Go, Teem, Go!

I am puzzling over what sort of sports may have been played on the Eastern Shore in the "slower, simpler" 1940s [Close to Home, Aug. 21], because the "crabs, clams and oysters" that were "teaming" in the Chesapeake Bay had no feet with which to kick and run. It could not have been football (or soccer), so perhaps the writer meant a sort of crab-drawn ferry (the yoke's on us)!

I am quite certain that it was "teeming" that the writer intended -- prolific in bringing forth young.

-- Robert Braxton

Fairfax

Bunt Away

The statistics referred to in your Aug. 28 Sports article "Too Much of a Sacrifice" essentially claim that 91.9 percent of runners on first base with nobody out eventually score and that only 70.6 percent of those on second base with one out score. Taken separately, those stats seem to make the decision to not bunt a no-brainer. But stats, like baseball, do not exist in a vacuum.

The first set (91.9) contains the second set (70.6) because some of those who eventually scored from first with nobody out got home via the sacrifice bunt route. Simple logic says that a true set can't be used to prove the negation of its own subset.

Luckily, real baseball is played by real people, not by fantasy-ball numbers geeks.

-- Robert Sullivan

Bonita Springs, Fla.

Oxfam and Mining

Leni Berliner's assertion in her Aug. 20 Free for All letter, "Judging the Quality of Oversight," that Oxfam has "instigated" protests at mining projects is an outrageous lie. In no way has Oxfam ever instigated or encouraged any group or individual to protest a mining project anywhere.

We support local organizations around the world that seek to protect the rights of communities harmed by mining and to ensure that these communities benefit in some way from mining investments. We do not oppose mining in principle; on the contrary, we are working to promote a reformed mining industry that respects the rights of local communities. Provisions in trade pacts such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement that give corporations the power to overturn environmental and public-interest regulations do not serve this purpose.

Neither do unfounded attacks.

-- Keith Slack

Senior Policy Adviser

Oxfam America

Washington

Real Concerns in Herndon

I found your Aug. 20 editorial "Herndon Gets It Right" both arrogant and condescending. I have done dozens of radio shows on the problems of illegal immigration in our area.

I have spoken to hundreds of Herndon residents by radio, telephone, e-mail and in person. I attended the Aug. 16 Town Council meeting on the proposed day-laborer site. The residents of Herndon have valid concerns about public safety, property values and the message that building such a site sends. They do not deserve to be dismissed as a bunch of "Chicken Littles."

-- Chris Core

Washington

The writer hosts "The Chris Core Show" on 630AM WMAL Radio.

No Surprise From Iran

An Aug. 9 editorial said in regard to Iran's refusal to accept a European offer concerning its nuclear program: "Now there is no further room for obfuscation . . . The real aim of the Iranian nuclear program is nuclear weapons, not electric power."

I am at a loss as to why you think you can conclude this. Maybe developing countries don't like being patronized by former colonial powers. No self-respecting nation could take the European proposal seriously. Britain, France and Germany "offered Iran a role in the discussion of regional security issues," for example. Try to imagine the U.S. reaction to somebody offering America a role in discussing U.S. security issues.

-- Christian Haesemeyer

Champaign, Ill.