Political commentary without bias; agenda-free and always aggressive.
While we can't publish every letter and comment we receive (and most of them are ridiculously unintelligent and incomprehensible), we do from time to time post some of the mail we get to our inbox.

Bill O'Reilly sells well at big retailers, NOT!

Just for a little bit of perspective, Bill O'Reilly's claims that his book sells well at big retailers while liberal books sell well at independant bookstores and on Amazon (an interesting attempt to divert attention away from the fact that his book isn't selling as well as Franken's or Moore's books) are obviously a crock. I work at a Borders in a community known for it's heavily Christian-conservative population, and yet we have sold more copies of Franken's book than we have of any of the right-wing-nut pundits' books. Since June, my store has sold about 120 copies of Coulter's new garbage-bin liner of a "book". Since the release of Franken's book, we have sold nearly 200. When Coulter's Slander came out, we ended up selling about 200 copies. We sold about 400 copies of Moore's Stupid White Men. And since the time that Moore's new book came out, he has outsold Coulter's book. And this is in a store in which i have had to reassure customers more than once that we aren't conspiratorially hiding Coulter's books.

One particularly braindead couple implied that this conspiracy of ours was proven by the fact that the books were "hidden away in a corner" when in fact they were shelved in the political science section which also houses a large seating area. When i told them this they rolled their eyes and asked where we kept the Michael Moore books, which I informed them were actually shelved in the humor section, which is a much smaller section and much harder to find than political science. I told them his books were sold out anyways, but that we had plenty of leftover copies of Coulter's and that if they waited a couple years it would surely be remaindered (as Michael Savage's book has been recently) Interesting side-note: Michael Moore caused a stink a few years ago at a Borders in New York when he cancelled a signing upon learning that his books were shelved in Humor instead of Political Science, and even made time in his film THE BIG ONE to criticize the corporation. His books, as of 2 months ago, have been moved to the Political Science category.

Samir Roy

Rick Santorum is Right; Homosexual Sex is Wrong

Our sense of morality (right and wrong) regularly changes, and when it does there's a gap between what's no longer wrong, but still illegal. (Or what's still legal, but no longer right.)

No more obvious case comes to mind than the laws that protected slavery and segregation in our country. It was illegal to help a slave escape his owner; can you honestly say that you would have backed a pre-Civil-War politician who said he had nothing against slaves who wanted to escape, just those who tried?

Santorum's comments are simply illogical and hypocritical. There are places where oral sex is illegal, but Santorum never mentions that he's opposed to heterosexuals that practice it. Moreover, there are lots of places where acts of sodomy are not illegal. Does Santorum not have a problem with homosexual activities there?

The thing is, Santorum does have a problem with non-practicing homosexuals. He doesn't, for example, want them leading Boy Scout troops. He doesn't want them in the Army. He, and his ilk only make this distinction between existence and behavior to appear "fair".

In my eyes, he and they don't succeed.

Jess Kiddin

Aggressive-Voice Responds:The issue on homosexuality is--and you're right--law vs. morality. I wrote and still say that I don't agree with his position on the matter, but as a lawmaker he has the right to respect and agree with the laws. Of course, it is everyone's first amendment right to criticize him for it, but I don't think his comments warranted the harsh lashing he received last May.

I wouldn't have backed a politician who supported slavery, more specifically a politician who opposed slaves who tried to escape, but again it's that politician's right. We can all disagree with a law, and slavery is one I would have had issues with. I have nothing against active homosexuals, but I respect Santorum's opinions as I would someone who pushed for slavery back when it was legal. (Remember, I would respect the opinion but not necessarily the person).

As for heterosexual oral sex, Santorum is a conservative so he probably opposes that anyway! We must also consider the time he made those statements and when I wrote the article. Since then, the Supreme Court has reversed a previous ruling and has ruled that what people do in the privacy of their own home is none of the government's business.

Therefore, saying "Homosexual Sex is Wrong" is no longer a fair statement, because according to law, it is now acceptable. Still, I won't remove the article I wrote on May 19 because at the time it was legally true.

Christian Terrorism

First, in answer to your first question: No, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are not our Christian leaders, and they do not represent the majority of Christians, especially with regard to their comments about Islam. To believe so, you would also need to believe that Louis Farrakhan and Osama bin Laden represent the majority of Muslims.

As to why we are disliked by Muslims, especially Fundamentalist Muslims, it is relatively easy to understand. We have a government based on a Representative Democracy. This is not compatible with the teachings of Islam, in which the government and the church are irrevocably intertwined. In other words, our 'Separation' of church and state is one of the prime reasons that we are disliked by Fundamentalist Muslims. Other reasons include the sexual freedom that we enjoy, the fact that women can get an education and go to work without the consent of their husband or father, our women show their faces (as well as many other body parts) in public, and that we are exporting this to many Islamic countries through our movies and television shows. Even our most prim and proper 'prude' could be stoned by a fundamentalist Muslim.

As for being bigots, Of course we are! Any religoius person will believe that their way is correct, and other religions are following the wrong path! Christians, Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Wiccans, and even atheists all believe the same. Do we condemn? Some very Fundamentalist Christians will condemn people of other faiths. But as you state in your article, some very Fundamentalist Muslims are condemning us as infidels. Why do you think that there are not some 'nut cases' on all sides of an argument?

As to your statement that Robertson and Falwell have done the same as bin Ladin as far as brainwashing, and promoting terrorism: How many Christians have flown planes into buildings? How many hostages have been taken at Iraqi or Iranian embassies in Western countries? How many boats have been run into Islamic ships? How many Christian (or Jewish) terrorists have killed Muslim competitors at an Olympics? As I have stated before, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell do not represent me, but to call them Terrorists? Maybe a bit out of line.

Unfortunately, all we hear about are the 'Muslim Terrorists', 'Muslim suicide bombers', 'Isreali Military Responses', 'Falwell this...', and 'Robertson that...'. We don't hear about the millions of Christians, Jews, and Muslims for each of the terrorists that want nothing more than peace. Peace to live their lives as their religion and morals tell them to, bringing bread to their homes to feed their families.

Why would anyone believe 'Hussein is hiding weapons'? It may have to do with the many UN resolutions 'demanding' that Iraq provide documentation as to the destruction of the biological and chemical weapons that were noted by the weapons inspectors in the early 90s, and not receiving same. It could also be the comments by (then) President Clinton, (now) Senator Clinton, Vice President Gore, Senator Daschle, and Representative Gephardt among others, made in 1998 and 1999 stating that Saddam must get rid of his weapons of mass destruction or face consequences. (This was around the time of impeachment, so it may have been political, rather that true foreign policy.) It sounds like President Bush is continuing the policies of the previous administration (presenting a bipartisan, continuing Foreign Policy should be seen as a good thing? Maybe?).

Thank you for a very thought provoking article. I will be visiting your site again in the future. I like trying to see all points of view.

Not as aggressively yours,
S J Anderson
Andover Minnesota

Dixie Chicks Pay a Price for Free Speech

Thanks for your articulate and logical article on the Dixie Chicks controversy. The public doesn't have a microphone or entertainers forum to express our views. What we do have is the ability to protest by wielding the economic stick. The future of the Dixie Chicks as entertainers is dead as a hammer as far as I am concerned. Their remarks about the President were outrageous and no anemic retraction or apology is going to make up for it. Like, Get out 'a Dodge, Chickens.

Randall E.
President &
C.E.O. Integrated Resources, Inc. I just got to reading your article about the Dixie Chicks. I like how you argue a point: with logic, not emotion. It is true that we have the right to free speech; however, with freedom comes responsibility. Interestingly, twenty years from now history will tell us if the war was right or wrong. It will also tell us if the Dixie Chicks will travel down the same path as Jane Fonda.

Sincerely,
Jennifer L. As an American and a Texan I find your article misguided, at best. Not being a very aggressive person, I hold it as your right of free speech to say anything you want. As an American, it is my right and the right of anyone else, at any time, to disagree with you, the President of the United States or anyone I want to disagree with. I was at the Dixie Chicks concert at which they said their piece, and I, and thousands of other patriotic Americans applauded them. You do not like that. Well that's your right. But, don't go calling them unpatriotic because they disagree with you.

For you to hold up some principle that I should hang up my rights to object to the actions of my elected leaders, regardless whether that is during a time of undeclared war or during war, is misguided. My right to do so is guaranteed by the United States' Constitution under the right of free speech. I suggest you go to your Constitution and show me and your readers where it says that during any particular time we should suspend those rights. So long as we are not inciting violence, unrest or the like, we can exercise our right to disagree with any policy put forward by any elected politician serving in the White House, the Senate or the House of Representatives. For you to try to deny that is your right, but you have no Constitutional or legal basis upon which to do so.

So, having said that, let me really say what I want to say. I think George W. Bush is a coward. I am a Vietnam veteran who served my country during our last war, a war I did not agree with, but as a citizen of the United States, I served my country in combat and fought. I was not drafted. I volunteered. But, never, during the course of that war, did I, or was I asked to, hang up my morals, my beliefs and keep my mouth shut about my thoughts. Even in the military during a time of war I could, and did, object not only to the conduct of that war, but to the right of that war. I served four years in the miliary during Vietnam, and I assure you that the majority of my fellow soldiers were as strongly against the war as I, but, that did not stop us from serving our country and doing our duty - nor did it stop us from voting against the government that got us in that situation or exercising our Constitutional rights to disagree with it.

It takes nothing to egg someone on to aggression, or to put themselves in the line of fire. So, you like it so much, you think this is such a just cause for our country. Get your uniform on sir and get over there and fight for me then! Then, when you write an article like you did a few days ago, you might get some respect from me and millions of other veterans and patriotic Americans who are sick of your vitriol, sick of this government, sick of us throwing our weight around, sick of undoing years of work to make the world a safer place by cooperating with allies to fight the real bad guys, not the dozens of tinpot dictators we don't like.

I'm expecting you to show your patriotism sir and tell everyone in your next article that you're volunteering for the United States military to serve your country and fight for what you think is right. As a Vet, I have done my duty, served my time, and I want young men like you to do theirs! I won't say put up or shut up, because even if you still sit there shying away from serving your country the way you are telling others to do, you are exercising your Constitutional right to free speech, and God bless our Founding Fathers they gave you that right and you can exercise it no matter how much of a coward you are! Good luck sir!

Mike

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