Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the June 23 “Twin Pack” questions (an abbreviated version of “Half a Six Pack” and “Six Pack to Go”). Each question has five responses from readers. (Sorry, but Russ serves as the “gatekeeper” — he determines the five answers to accompany each question.) In order to make this a reader-friendly feature, some lengthy answers submitted by readers may have been shortened.
1) Would you give “Dear Abby” a thumbs-up or thumbs-down for reporting to police that a man wrote to her and asked for advice on dealing with his child sex fantasies? I think people have the idea that writing to a columnist like “Dear Abby” is supposed to be anonymous. Perhaps he was sincere in his desire to get help, but I can't help but support her actions. Maybe if someone would have had the courage to tell the police what their priest was doing, we'd have seen action. Maybe the guy is just fantasizing, but maybe he isn't … Thumbs sideways. Dear Abby: Send him to a psychiatrist instead. Looks like hearsay to me. Thumbs-up for Dear Abby's reporting of a possible future sex offender. It seems to me that the person writing her wanted to get caught. Hard call. I tend to give her a thumbs-down, in that she was asked, in confidence, for her advice for help. I suppose had the girl in question been abused, there would have been an uproar had “Dear Abby” not sent word to the police. … Abby did act responsibly, and it was ill-advised for the presumably innocent man to write such a letter to such a painfully public figure. If he had questions, he should have gone to a professional in the private sector — which he'll wind up doing now, anyway.
2) Considering that it would generate the most giggles, aren't you hoping that Watergate's Deep Throat is Pat Buchanan? That would be too good to be true and most likely isn't. Like everyone else, I don't know who it is and wonder if I'll ever know. Watergate continues to fascinate me and millions of others 30 years later. Who were all these guys, why did it happen, should it have happened, what became of the missing 18 minutes of tape? On and on and on. I never get tired of reading about this one, so it would be a blast and a half to finally learn who Deep Throat was. My feeling is, he's probably dead by now. But if, in fact, it is Pat Buchanan, then, yea, talk about some giggles! No. Deep Throat is a composite character. I hope that the real Deep Throat will never be revealed. Seems to me there is more fun in trying to guess. We don't have to know everything, do we? This question screams for just a “yes,” but I've got to add that this is the only time I would vote for Pat Buchanan.
Hold off on another big raise (for Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Eugene Sanders) until it's sure that this year's climb out of academic emergency is not an aberration. I continue to be amazed that higher education just doesn't get it. If the company I worked for had a money problem, raising prices is one of many options available. Layoffs, reduction in services, and reductions in all parts of the company would also be considered. But it seems to me that jacking up the fees and laying this burden squarely on the backs of the students (in many cases, the parents of the students) seems shortsighted and less than well thought-out. Today's student's will be asked to give after graduation, and most people have very long memories. Unfortunately, the laws of supply and demand do apply to higher education. Pity. We need to find another way to fund our public schools, but our state legislators are too timid to do this. I went to the University of Toledo in the 1950s. By my calculations, it now costs roughly 30 times what I paid for my education. Using that formula, a Chevrolet should cost about $60,000, gasoline should be over $7 a gallon, and burger-flippers would be making about $25 per hour. Something is wrong. Just when we thought it was not doing anything, the General Assembly changes the traffic laws. Must have been a lobbyist somewhere in this.
I like your column. I have a suggestion for a topic: How many times should a levy appear on the ballot after voters have rejected it? We ask everyone to vote and we reject some levies, and then our vote does not count because we have to do it over and over until it passes. UT has had a new president for how long? No locally publicized incidents. The lack of a caustic reaction from The Blade, general acceptance by the campus community, plus the encouraging up-tick in applications for new students would seem to indicate they might finally be on the right path there. Too early to say for sure, but the resounding lack of negatives can be seen as a positive start. For a paper not known for forward-thinking and original thought, I always enjoy your refreshing and candid opinions. I wonder how many poor souls in Toledo rip the paper open early Sunday just to see who you lined up in your sights this week. Not that they don't deserve this type of close examination. I saw Sen. John Kerry on Meet the Press. He is running for president and was very impressive. He is no Al Gore. He has a dead-serious, no-nonsense personality. He may be the man that can't lose. I would love to see him in a debate with anybody. I'm still pining for the days of the “Six Pack to Go.” Your regular readers will remember those days of yesteryear, when only a few stout-hearted fans responded with regularity and devotion to the column-ending queries. The “Half a Six Pack” era was greeted with a sense of detachment and abandonment on the part of our favorite scribe. As we enter the age of the “Twin Pack,” loyal readers and responders can only imagine what lies ahead. The “Solo Shot,” “The Big Gulp,” or, perhaps, nothing at all? In all seriousness, you have become the victim of your own success!