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The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life Dear readers: The antiabortion forces have two arguments: that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder. Both are false. As to the first, Harold Henderson’s “Building a Better Baby” (October 22), telling of 15,000 in vitro fertilization babies born every year in this country and widespread shopping for spermatozoa […]

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French Connection

Dear Reader: Re the October 1 Straight Dope: Roger Ebert had an interesting slant on the French-Jerry Lewis affair when I wrote to his Sunday page. I asked him if we would ever be able to look down on the French for idolizing Lewis when multimillions are paid to such actors as Jim Carrey and, […]

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The Real Del

[Re: “Del Close,” March 12] It’s come to this–speaking from notes because of the sneaky approach of alehousers’ disease: I can foresee some Goodman thespian holding up that famous skull and spouting “Alas poor Delbert; I knew him, Bernie Sahlins…a fellow of infinite jest,” and the jawbones clapping together with “Cut the bull and get […]

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A Radical’s Lament

oetting.qxd Dear Reader: I hope Studs Terkel’s Hot Type fantasy (April 17) about being appointed publisher of the Sun-Times comes true. In addition to upgrading Garry Wills and downgrading George Will, he should kick out Dennis Byrne, Tom Roeser, Robert Novak, Arianna Huffington, and especially that reactionary Uncle Thomas (as in Clarence) Sowell, who replaced […]

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Your Beatin’ Heart

Cecil Adams in his fine answer about the heart [Straight Dope, February 16] credits William Harvey with the discovery of blood circulation. Along with a million other attributes to the bard, the honor goes to Shakespeare. As long ago as the 400th anniversary of his birth, in 1964, and in many repetitions since, I have […]

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Who Killed JFK

To the editors: The October 22 City File has attorney Elmer Gertz touting Posner’s Case Closed about the JFK murder by saying “It should be forced down the consciousness of Oliver Stone and other falsifiers of history.” That should be a tremendous force-feeding job, as over the years polls have shown a large majority of […]

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Unfortunate Development

To the editors: As usual, my favorite issue of the Reader, the Year in Review, was extremely entertaining and informative [December 25]. Especially interesting was the treatment of the river leak, for the following reason: The union to which I belong, Chicago Typographical Union No. 16, has been around since 1852 and has seen many […]

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Caution, Quayle Ahead

To the editors: Thanks for the superb article by Florence Hamlish Levinsohn on the life and candidacy of Carol Moseley Braun [March 6]. What a wonderful opportunity Illinois has: to elect a black woman senator from the Land of Lincoln! Paul Simon, a political hero to me for years and years, has gone way down […]

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The Measles of Mankind

To the editors: The following law is still in force, negating the necessity for an amendment to the Bill of Rights [Hot Type, July 7]. U.S. Legal Code, Title 1800, Section 700 reads: “Whoever knowingly casts contempt upon any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning or trampling on it shall […]

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When Life Begins

To the editors: Weary of the “when does life begin” controversy [Our Town, May 19], my concentrated study after discussing the matter with a friendly M.D. settled it as follows: Biologically speaking, sperm and ova are haploid forms of the human species. They join to form a single cell called a zygote. The zygote is […]

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Holy Jokers

To the editors: I found great pleasure in Gary Houston’s review of the new book about the hero of my youth, H.L. Mencken [September 9]. Just as I was escaping from strict Catholicism and giving up on all religion, in 1930 along came his “Treatise on the Gods,” fortifying my stand. The great man foresaw […]