By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Every week, along with the come-ons for penis enlargement and toy hovercraft, our Letters section receives a handful of prewritten, conservatively slanted letters. The letters are sent out from one conservative website or another to people who add their names at the bottom and forward them to us, thereby earning points toward a valuable free hat or coffee mug or, if they're really good, I don't know, a hovercraft or penis enlargement.
On Tuesday, we received 25 clone missives in two hours, each scolding the liberal media for paying attention only to the anti-war movement while ignoring the pro-war side that has as its only allies the network news and three branches of government.
The letter signers all said they'd "INSIST" (their capitals) we cover this weekend's "Liberty Weekend" demonstrations—that it was our "DUTY." Apparently, they believe socialists are not only anti-American, but also nearsighted. We went them one better and called them to asked them about how they felt so strongly as to go to the trouble of keystroking their name on a prewritten letter and pressing send.LADONNA M. McCANT-DICKEY, CHILD INTERACTION SPECIALIST, SAN DIEGO
Oh, none. I'm busy with kids this weekend.For your job?
What?Your letter says you're a child interaction specialist.
Oh, that means I home-school.Well, do you know where some of these demonstrations are?
No, they [the conservative organization] sent me that, and I forwarded it on to you.Still, this is a subject you feel strongly about.
Yes, very much. I don't think we have any other choice. It's a very hot topic in our home-schooling community. People say I'm pro-war, but I'm not pro-war. I just don't like being blackmailed. It's like dealing with kids: you can only slap someone's hand so much; eventually, you have to do more.How old are your kids and what do you tell them about the war?
They're 11 and 14. I'm honest with them. I tell them terrorists can hit anywhere, but at the same time, it's only happened a couple of times. Living in a military town makes us kind of a target, but then all those ships and planes are there to protect us. They're there for us. I grew up in Mira Mesa, and I always felt secure having the planes around.Being someone who works closely with kids, do you worry that this war will create a generation of kids in the Middle East who hate the U.S.?
I think the opposite. I think if we can purge out some of the elements that are in those countries now, we can get outside information to those kids. Those kids grow up with a lot of misinformation about us. This will give them the truth and freedom of education; they'll be in a much healthier mental state.Why did you decide to home-school your kids?
They're were getting misinformed by the public school, and I didn't agree with the moral standards. It seemed like the people who did things were always getting away with it without being punished.D. PATRIOT, HUNTINGTON BEACH
[. . .]Hello? . . .
What do you want?Is this D.?
What was your question?I just wanted to know which of the rallies you'll be attending?
That's none of your business.Well, you e-mailed me telling me to go to the rallies. I kinda need to know where they are.
All you have to do is open your eyes.Where?
You don't want to know.Yeah, I do. That's why I called.
[. . .]Hello? . . . HOWARD DYER, CHINO HILLS
All over. They've been going on all over all the time, but you guys never seem to cover them. But you sure don't miss the chance to cover those socialists disrespecting my president. You sure don't miss them.You feel very strongly about this.
You bet I do.There's a lot of people on the other side who feel just as strongly, and then, I think, a lot of people in the middle who . . .
I'm sick and tired of that kind of people.Who?
The ones in the middle. They're either sniffing glue or got no brains to speak of. I have less respect for them than the socialist. The ones in the middle got their heads so deep into socialism that they can't believe in nothing. I was 20 years in the military, and I have no respect for them. They can all go to hell.What branch of the military?
Air Force technician.Did you serve in the first Gulf War?
Nah, Vietnam. I'm ready for us to go in there and stomp some ass, but I got a bad feeling that they're going to make our military fight with one arm tied behind its back just like [Vietnam] . . .Do . . .
We gotta go in there and change the whole government—make it a real blow to the terrorist. We gotta keep at them. After we do it to Iraq, we gotta let that French bunch of communists know that they're our enemy and do the same with them and North Korea and let Germany know they're our enemy and Russia, too. We gotta let the world know it's gotta stop.DOROTHY OREYZI, ALISO VIEJO
All over. There's always one at South Coast Plaza; that's the one I go to. And there's one in Yorba Linda.Have the crowds been getting larger every week?
Oh, yes. You see a lot of support, and a lot of people were upset with what the Dixie Chicks said about Bush.The Dixie Chicks?
Yeah, one of the Dixie Chicks had a concert overseas, and she said she was disappointed that Bush was from Texas, too. It was very insulting, and so now people and radio stations are boycotting her music. They're even burning her CDs. I heard she apologized, but it's too late. They're coming home to do concerts, and there's going to be nobody there. You need to be behind our country now and what is right.So . . .
You have to understand that people are not against Iraq; they're against Hussein. They want to give freedom back to Iraq. Right now, it's being controlled by people that if you cross them, they'll destroy you. Can you imagine what kind of fear that is to live under?NAME WITHHELD, COSTA MESA
Right . . .But you didn't mention in there where the demonstrations will be.
Oh, I don't know.Well, are you going to one of the demonstrations?
No, I just got that from some [conservative organization], and I just sent it on. To be honest, I really didn't read the thing too close.So, you didn't read the part where you asked for France to be bombed?
Whaaat?!I'm just kidding.
That's not cool, dude. You had me scared.So, I can say that you're not for bombing France?
Right, I mean, no. . . . Are you writing this down?Well, yeah.
Oh, man, I don't know if I want to be quoted.But you wrote us a letter.
I told you I didn't write that. I barely read it.Still, you did send it to us.
[. . .]How about if I write about it, but don't use your name.
I guess that's cool. You wouldn't use my name at all? Okay. I just don't want to be quoted about something I really don't know a lot about.