msnbc.com
updated 7/15/2005 2:01:02 PM ET 2005-07-15T18:01:02

Reader:
Below is a selection of e-mail comments we’ve received in recent days to stories by our writers. Several have been edited for length.

• June 29, 2005

MSNBC's recommended stories

Your web-site dept should be aware that the link/ stars that need to be selected to "Rate this Article" does not inform the viewer as to how it specifically works. While moving my cursor over this section to find where and how I actually select a rating star, I was unaware that each star individually was an actual selection. When my cursor transformed into that little glove as it passed over the star's, I assumed, as it often seems to be when this appears, it to be a link prompting another selection page or box.
It wasn't until I clicked over the stars that I realized I was actually choosing a specific star at that point - that I was supposed to click on a specific star - to make the selection. Because it was not obvious to me that a specific star needed to be selected based on the cursor glove appearing over them, I ended up clicking "3" (the middle of course) when I actually wanted to choose "5" (for the Homeland Security contractor article about money abuse and waste).
I thought this would be valuable to be aware of as an un-experienced user like myself would, and often probably do, make this same mistake. Once that cursor transforms, the impulse is to click on that spot/ link. I would suggest that a visual adjustment be made to make it more obvious to "paper geeks" like myself who don't use the computer as much as others that these stars are actually individual choices, and not a link. To me, it is of little concern. But, for a news organization like yourself, I understand accuracy is important.
If I did this, surely there are others. How skewed your ratings results are is unknowable. But, why leave the possibility? Techies can do a lot of sophisticated things on sites. Making it idiot proof should be a cinch. Hope this helps.
M Barenfeld

Spanish parliament legalizes gay marriage

I don't care what same sex couples do or don't do. I am simply tired of the publicity constantly given to "their way of life." If they are adults they have the right to live their lives as they want--within their constitutional rights.
But we who chose to live a different life, most common since the beginning of time, have the right to equal representation. You don't see "straight parades"...it's not necessary.
James Whitman


Bank of America buys credit card firm MBNA

If the Federal government allows this latest bank merger between Bank of America and MBNA to go through then we should just throw out the anti-trust laws in this country altogether and be prepared to be ruled by one mega-firm per business sector.  It seems like no U.S. company can grow the old fashioned way by offering good services and attracting new customers.
The easiest way is to buy a competitor, especially if they are more customer friendly, and eradicate them.  Lost jobs?  Who cares!  Worse service?  No problem!  By eliminating the competition, it makes it easier to limit choices and raise fees.
Consolidating the credit card sector even more would be disastrous for consumers.  Although credit cards applications arrive in your mail daily, upon closer inspection you will notice that they issuing bank is usually quite limited. The Republican backed, Credit Card industry written bankruptcy bill provided the impetus for this latest mega-merger.
Forcing consumers into bankruptcy for the credit card purchases will be the latest profit center for the issuers.  The more accounts the bank owns, the more forced bankruptcies it will process.  Again the industry got what they wished, the Republicans happily rolled over and gave it to them, and the general public is paying.
Alan McAllister

Oprah gets empathy after boutique rebuff

Regarding Oprah and the store that would not open for her. She’s correct, I’m white and I can get any store to re-open for me any time I want. Store hours do not apply to me or the white community. Just minorities. By the way my wife is a “minority” (Hispanic). When stores open for my white self she is required to wait outside. She can come back during regular business hours. I think it’s when more security officers are present.
Scott


June 29, 2005


Half the man he used to be

Your story on morbidly obese Patrick Deuel made me wince.  Am I supposed to feel happy for this man?  He has wasted his life eating and eating and then eating some more.  He doesn’t work and lays around all day (probably watching TV).
His life aspirations include a football game and an egg McMuffin meanwhile I’m collecting my pennies to afford graduate school.
He gets free gastric bypass surgery and takes pride in the fact that he still allows himself nachos and chocolate. He complains that the healthcare system isn’t doing enough for fat people while many hardworking women can’t even get their employers to cover birth control.  I just can’t feel sorry for this guy as he epitomizes the laziness that has become rampant in America.
He feels entitled to help from others yet I don’t see anything in your article to show that he has contributed to society in a way.  What has he ever done for anyone else?  I bet he could recite ABC’s line up for Must See TV night yet has no idea what Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is about. Patrick Deuel needs a good swift kick in his size XXXXXXXXXL pants.
Lora J. Thomas

Woman sues Applebee's over finger in salad

I read the "Woman sues Applebee's over finger in salad" story (Tuesday, June 28). Then I looked at the Food, Inc. graphic at the top of the page -- a little picture showing peppers and something that looks EXACTLY like ... two fingers! I love it!
Paul Mueller, Tucker, GA (former copy editor)

Canada may be 3rd nation to OK gay marriage

I'm absolutely in favor of equal rights for gay couples, across the board. I'm convinced that discrimination based on sexual orientation is immoral and un-American (for the record I'm a straight, happily-married father of two, whose marriage wouldn't be threatened in the least by treating gays as full citizens).
However, I think it damages the fight for equality for you to show same-sex couples kissing in conjunction with every article on the subject. All that does is inflame those whose fears and hate are driving a wedge through the heart of this country.
Please - consider showing something a little less divisive - the issue itself is quite divisive enough.
Dave Wesner

New York unveils redesigned Freedom Tower

I see that Gordon Childs of SOM has finally had his way and replaced Daniel Liebskind's far more dynamic if a bit underwhelming design for the WTC with his own unimaginative, bland, pathetic design.
Hopefully there will be a huge outcry against this lousy design and that Mr Childs will be sent packing for trying to replace what needs to be a strong symbol with a blah box!
Luke-John


June 28, 2005

Anger over ruling on Ten Commandments"

It's hard to feel sorry for fundamentalists who are "heartbroken" that their efforts to promote their religion with public resources have met a roadblock. They seem to see no difference between putting a Ten Commandments display on their own front lawns and putting one at the courthouse.
They can do what they want with their own resources and property, but they have no right to promote their religion with my tax dollars, in a place used by people of ALL religions.  Their complaints that their voices are being silenced ring hollow, now that their religion is disproportionately influencing all levels of society, and holds sway in every branch of government except (by the barest of margins) the judicial. They might be more credible if they were honest.
Instead of speaking of American ideals, they should tell the truth:
Their attempts to establish a theocracy are un-American, contrary to the Constitution, and directly opposed to the ideals of "freedom." If they'd admit those simple truths, the rest of us might be able to believe some of the other things they say.
Dave Wesner


File-sharing sites lose at Supreme Court

My question and/or comment is this: Why is it legal for companies to sell technology to record and watch television at a later time, VCRs can record any program for later usage?
Why is it illegal to download a song off the Internet for you own personal use? You can still record it to a cassette (provided you can find one).
I thought copyright laws pertained to the selling of materials. Music sharing on the Internet helps lesser-known groups and talent get heard . I know of several groups that I first heard about on the web... I still buy CD's from the stores ,the quality is still vastly superior.
As long as there has been radio there has been equipment to re record it, I remember in my youth making my own cassettes to listen to.
I wonder if they (the plantiffs) believe it is illegal for me to reburn a CD I already purchased...
BH

Shark expert analyzes attacks

Enough with the shark attacks, bear attacks, any kind of animal attacks.  Every time a wild predatory animal does what it's supposed to do--attack another animal--it's all over the news.  Enough!  If you're going to report every time a fish bites someone, then report every time a dog bites someone, report every time some domesticated animal bites a child or mauls and disfigures someone.  How many times do we need to see some reaction interview of someone standing right next to the unfortunate who had their leg chewed off?  "I was right there.  That could have been any of us.  I was just glad I was there to help get them out of the water."
The term banal comes to mind. The last time animal attacks were prevalent in the news was the summer of 2001 and we all know what knocked them out of the headlines then.  I'm not very superstitious, but I'm superstitious enough to want news outlets to quit reporting on wild animal, specifically shark, attacks on humans.  Knock it off and get back to the reporting we have come to expect from MSNBC.
Keith Mossberg

From your recent article on shark attacks:
Some tips:
—While the risks are low, experts at the Florida Museum of Natural History do have tips to reduce that even further:
—Do not enter the water if bleeding from an open wound or if menstruating as a shark’s olfactory ability is acute.
You have got to be kidding! This is a myth and has been passed around via word of mouth to scare young girls/women for years. Good grief.  How ridiculous.
LeighAnne Coverstone


• June 27, 2005

File-sharing sites lose at Supreme Court

Gee whiz ! The court upheld Hollywoods suit against Groksters et al. What's next? Holding the gun companies responsible for what murderers do? Oops! Sorry.
They only support big companies in their suits. Like letting local governments take my house for some developer to get rich building more malls. Folks it is time to re-read the Declaration of Independence word for word.
It is obvious the Bill of Rights is no longer in play and King George is trampling through the new world once again. Where are the Franklins, Madisons, Washingtons,  Adams and Jeffersons. We are surrounded by Arnolds.
Fred Mannerino

Tom Cruise on Today

Tom Cruise needs to change his medication, from Scientology, his mind-altering drug of choice, to something prescribed by a good psychiatrist.  His performance on the Today show was bizarre, even by Hollywood standards.  It was sad to watch him display such adolescent arrogance.
Jon Reid

As a mother of a 4-year-old autistic boy I find it offensive that Tom Cruise would presume to have done more research into possible treatments (including drugs) available to my son than I have.  My husband and I have done exhaustive research into all sorts of treatments and should we decide to put him on Ritlin it would be to insure that he could have the fullest life possible. If it meant the difference between having him injure himself constantly by banging his head against the walls or floor or having him be able to self regulate then I will absolutely try anything.
Most parents dealing with a child with severe development delays are on a roller coaster trying to find treatments that work, diets, "hugging therapy", etc.  and are bombarded with quacks trying to push that next miracle cure.  I think I will stick with my doctors who actually have degrees that prove they have studied "the history of psychiatry" as opposed to some creepy actor with strange religious beliefs.  No parent going through this needs to have Tom Cruise making us feel bad about the decisions we are making.  Please stop giving him so much air time.  I know he is entertaining, but he does real damage to families that are already struggling with the tough decisions they have had to make.
Kerry K. Schlaack

Matt Lauer certainly exhibited superior journalism efforts in his interview with the "actor" Tom Cruise.  Mr. Lauer was extremely polite, well-poised and personified the professionalism of those recognized of the highest journalistic caliber.  It is always a pleasure seeing Mr. Lauer, as he has matured from just being a reporter to the a position many aspire.  Tom Cruise, on the other hand, totally exhibited that he is just an ill-mannered jerk!
Karen Ptak

Breyer casts decisive vote on religious displays

I am responding to the article on the Supreme Court ruling on the separation of church and state, specifically the vote. The article itself presented the information with great clarity. The vote, however, was too vague. The voting question is not, in my opinion, simply do you agree/disagree with the ruling but needs to go further as it was a split vote. By simply voting YES or NO, I feel like I would not be supporting my view; undecided does not cover my opinion either.
My vote would be to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed, period. They are not solely a religious statement but a way of living that I think most people would agree with. People migrated to this country in great part for religious freedom. Aren't most of the commandments also upheld by a court of law, i.e. you cannot steal and murder. The atheists of this country need to have their voice but should not be allowed to quiet the voice of those whose religious rights are protected by our country's constitution. I do believe that the latter would be the majority of the citizens in these precious United States of America.
Angie Wilz

• June 24, 2005

Olbermann: "Karl Rove on Maple Street

After reading Keith Olbermann's recent blogs, "Karl Rove on Maple Street" and "Enough with the Nazi references!", I am surprised to find myself agreeing with him. To a point.
The intensified rhetoric on both sides has become a divisive issue that both sides should accept blame for. However, I believe that the complete stonewalling of American opinion in this administration is harvesting this dangerous crop. Ugly rhetoric is the hallmark of a republic that is failing, as Olbermann warns with allusions to pre-civil war discourse and violence in the senate. Who benefits from the failure of a two-party system democracy?
Could it be the party left holding the most cards?
While we aren't exactly facing rioting in the streets, we are witnessing an intensity of partisanship that has only heated up after the last election, rather than subsided. The White House responds to every breaking scandal with silence or glib assurances. Democratic leadership sound the charge, but use inappropriate language to express their outrage.
At the center of this, I believe, lies Karl Rove. His intentional style of rhetoric and methodology (particularly as recently demonstrated) point to a man intent on manipulating his opposition and distracting the nation from the legitimate scandals (Gitmo, the Downing Street Memo, the global demands for environmental policy changes, the Iraq quagmire, the muzzling of science) that are weakening the administration. What he does for short-term efforts will lead to long-term, deepening divisions and mistrust.
Olbermann has painted the issue in carefully neutral colors, but he never asks the bigger question; what are the "aliens" on Maple Street trying to gain? If he thinks the answer lies in mutual destruction, he hasn't been reading the Karl Rove playbook closely. The goal is to divide and conquer by silencing your enemies. Democrats, while coming out swinging, will need to watch their own rhetoric in the future unless they want their legitimate critique silenced by his noise machine.
Shawn Humphrey

Cruise on Today

I totally agree w/Al Roker's blog about Tom Cruise's anti-psychiatry, pro-Scientology rants.
It is VERY irresponsible of him to criticize psychiatry, therapy, & anti-depressant drugs. Psychiatry has helped many more people than Scientology has, and without major self-absorbed, self-righteous celebrities scolding people who don't believe as they do.
Tom Cruise scares me, and while I hope that he is sincere about most things, I don't trust him, & I wouldn't pay to see him in a movie!
Kathy Mack

"Do you think it's OK for celebrities to use their fame to promote their religious beliefs?"

I sincerely hope that the people who answered "It depends on the religion" (currently at 9 percent) were merely exhibiting a sense of humor and/or irony.
That, or, perhaps, that they're from theocratic nations and are therefore unaccustomed to the concept of "freedom of religion" (or, of course, "freedom of speech").  If it's OK for a celebrity to tout Southern Baptist dogma, it's got to be okay to sell Scientology, or Satanism, or the beliefs of any other sect.
If any of those 9 percent actually claim to be Americans, I strongly suggest that they familiarize themselves with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in order to gain at least some preliminary understanding of what this country really stands for.
Dave Wesner

Yahoo chat choice signals Internet shift

I am a Yahoo Chat and Instant messaging user.  I am appalled that people are no long allowed to create chat rooms on yahoo.  This is what happens as a result of responsibility for our children being shifted from the parents to the corporation.  My question to these parents who sue Comapnies like yahoo is; "Where were you when your child was going to these chat rooms and other sites?"  Shouldn't they be raising their kids and being next to them when they are on the internet and watching TV.  These devices are NOT designed to be used as Baby-sitters.
The lack of Parental oversight in these cases is completely ridiculous.  I alslo place some small blame with Yahoo for them not having chat moderators that roam through the rooms and close down any rooms that are inappropriate for the Category it was created under. It is because of people being unwilling, or unable to watch their kids that we have problems like this arise.  The companies should have sections that only adults can get into, which I know yahoo has.  It is when adults take that info outside of the adult area that helps to cause these issues.  It would not be very hard for yahoo to shut off the Id's of those people who are using their Account to create adult themed chat rooms under the wrong category.
J.J. Henderson

6 Americans killed in Iraq car bombing

Recently there have been quite a few headlines highlighting women's roles in the military. One headline that really threw me off was the proposed idea of taking women off the front lines. Just today, the headline "3 female GI's among 6 dead in Iraq" caught my eye. Who cares if they were men or women? The only point that should be made is that our soldiers were killed.
Are women more important in some way? When these women joined the military, they signed the same contract the men did. They knew exactly what they were signing up for and they deserve the same treatment. I realize that women tend to pull on the heartstrings of America, but it does not make them more important than any other soldier. I promise, those women aren't risking anything more. Proper recognition should be shown for every soldier risking their lives.
Amanda Lynch

China more popular than U.S. overseas
... I would like to add my own insight as to why Canadians aren't more supportive of the U.S (in more matters than just pointless wars).
It might have to do with the fact that you still can't find Canada on a map as this paragraph from the said URL proves...
Support for the U.S.-led war on terror has dipped in European countries like Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Spain, while it remains low in the Muslim countries surveyed like Pakistan, Turkey and Jordan.
I realize this is an Associated Press story that is merely being pipelined to your site but I'd like to send a nice fat Atlas with a post-it note stuck the page that shows my country easily drawfing yours to the guy/gal whose job it is to uphold the integrity of your site's content. Either that or buy him/her a ticket to Toronto via Madrid from his US city of choice.
JF

• June 23, 2005

Homes may be 'taken' for private projects

I have just read about the Supreme Courts decision concerning property rights and am heart sick and appalled.  What power the "right" has not give to big business, the "left" just did.  With this decision the Court effectively killed property ownership.
Government can now take your property for the "Public Good."  And since governments, National, State, and Local. are owned by big business, guess who's good will be served. In the last four years the publics right to privacy, due process, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech have been severely curtailed or have disappeared altogether. Now property rights are gone. How long will it be before everything this country stood for disappears?  How long before the country disappears?
Carol Kempfert

Married men earn more if wives do the chores

I was surprised and disappointed to see a story about the wage difference between married and unmarried men tagged with the offensive line "Men, want to earn more?  Keep wife at home."  There is nothing amusing about the implication that women's career goals should be considered subsidiary to their husbands'.  Furthermore, it is appallingly backward to imagine that women are akin to property, and that their husbands can make decisions about their futures by "keeping them at home."
This research should point out the amazing contributions of women who stay at home and take care of daily tasks and demonstrate that labor is not always rewarded with a paycheck in one's own name.  Furthermore, this type of study demonstrates the alarming disadvantage women face in the business world because they rarely if ever have a spouse who takes responsibility for more than half of the housework.  This disadvantage has been cited as one of the reasons women excel less frequently in academic disciplines--it's easier for men to work eighty hour weeks when their spouses attend to daily obligations. 
This sort of lack of sensitivity and casual sexism is beneath any major media outlet.  I hope the headline is removed from your website immediately.
Corinne Low

I don't know who writes your headlines but whoever it is needs to take the one that says, "Men, want to earn more? Keep wife at home" roll it up and, with all due respect, stuff it.
Kate Eisenhauer

House Passes Flag-Burn Ban

This amendment is not a “flag-burn ban.” The language of the amendment bans “flag desecration.”  In addition to severely violating First Amendment speech rights (the fact that flag burning is offensive is exactly why people choose it as a form of protest), it is a poorly worded law.  Define “flag.” 
Does the definition include the small flags made in China that people attach to car windows and drive around until they are ripped to shreds?  Define “desecration.”  Does the definition include sewing flag patterned fabric into 1980s style parachute pants or a pair of boxer shorts underwear? This poorly worded amendment reminds me of obscenity laws – I know desecration when I see it. The problem is, what one person thinks is desecration is open to interpretation.  For example, I think flying the flag for political gain is desecration.
Jennifer Leavens

AFI list of top 100 quotes from U.S. movies

It appears that the AFI is showing it's true colors - and black ain't one of them!!!  Once again, black films do not get the recognition they deserve even if they were reduced to a few lines of dialog.  There are quite a few memorable lines from black films that AFI neglected to include in their list of top picks of quotable lines from movies. But it would appear that even the American Film Institute doesn't mind ignoring certain American films.  Perhaps the AFI members didn't see these Black movies!  It amazes me that I, a black woman, have seen just about every movie on the AFI list.  But is it possible that the AFI members, who must certainly have access to any movie every made, neglected to see just a few black films?!?!
Here are a few very recognizable quotes from popular black films that should have been included.
"Please baby, please baby, please baby, baby, baby, please!"  from Spike Lee's film, 'She's Gotta Have It'.
"Waaaaaakkkkkkkeeeee Uppppppp!!!" from Spike Lee's film, 'School Daze' .
"Do you want my arm to fall off?" from 'Lady Sings the Blues'  (Oh My Gosh - how could they leave this one off the list?!)
"Never have so many people done so much to help so few", from Uptown Saturday Night.'
"You told Harpo to beat me!", from 'The Color Purple'.
"We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us!", from Malcolm X. (COME ON, AFI!!!)
"That's not Lake Minnetonka." and "How's the Family?" from Purple Rain. (By the way, I am still a upset that the AFI did not include one song from the movie 'Purple Rain' in the list of top songs from movies that they put out awhile back.)
And like 'Casablanca', there are so many memorable quotes in the movie 'Friday' that I can't even list them all.  But a few are "...And you know this, Maaaannnn!', "You ain't gotta lie, Craig, you ain't gotta lie!"; and the several lines of dialog that begins with "Why is it, that every time I come in the kitchen, you in the kitchen, in the g/d refrigerator, eating all the food..? 
Shame on you AFI! Maybe you need to re-define or at least clarify what the 'A' in AFI means!
Crystal Williamson

When a man can't climax

I was surprised and disturbed to fine the article "When a Man Can't Climax" on your homepage today.
In the interest of keeping your website family friendly, PLEASE don't include articles of this nature on your homepage.
While this may be good medical information for adults with these medical problems, it's not appropriate for children and young teens. I thnk most parents would agree that this is in the "adult" category of information.
It's a real challenge today for parents to censor and filter websites for their kids and teens. 
Your homepage has always been on the "aok" list for my 13-yr old.
I'm sad to say I will now be crossing it off the list.
Please be mindful and sensitive to ALL your readers.
Robin Roemer

• June 21, 2005

Lions Rescue, Guard Beaten Ethiopian Girl

I enjoy reading the news on msn.com but today I read about an ethiopian girl guarded by lions after she was kidnapped..
Interesting story.. that is not the reason I'm emailing. Aat the end of the artical it says that it's an Ethiopian custom to kidnap young girls for marriage.. uh. this is a completely fabricated and skewed perseption.
I work with many Ethiopian immagrants, they are a very friendly people, and to my knowledge even have friendships between the Christians and the Muslims. For marriage they choose their partner, or their family chooses for them.
To say that kidnapping young girls is a custom is ludicris. The Ethiopians who do this are not acting on customs, but are infact breaking customs that have been there for thousands of years. Please make a correction in your article.
Virginia. Denver, Co.

Utah boy hid, fearing ‘someone would steal him’

Thank God young Brennan Hawker was found alive...it's the feelgood story of the day.
On the other hand, as an Eagle Scout, he broke one of the first rules in the Boy Scout Handbook...if one becomes separated or lost, stay put. He didn't follow this basic canon and put 4,000 people through a lot of unnecessary distress, and should not be treated as a good Scout.
He sure is a tough and resilient youngster, so there's hope that he could really become a great Scout. "Be Prepared"...good goin', kid.
Don Lowe
Eagle Scout (May 1967, Ta Tanka Lodge-San Gabriel Valley Council )

Married men earn more if wives do the chores

I am particularly offended by the title 'Men, want to earn more? Keep wife at home' for the article at the link below.  I have issues with the conclusions drawn in the article as well.  I realize the article came from Reuters but I feel that the content of the article should have been more critically examined by MSNBC. Another possible reason for the paltry 3% difference in salary could be an employer's tendency (consciously or unconsciously) to pay more to a man who is the sole support of a family. I think that it is infuriating that MSNBC.com would apply such a blatantly sexist title to an article. To imply that a man can increase his salary simply by making his wife stay at home insulting. What about  'Men, want to earn more? Get an education and work hard.'    

Karen L. Jensen


• June 20, 2005


U.K. memos show concern over Iraq invasion

Thank you for covering the Downing Street memos story in a serious way. The public needs to become much better informed on how Bush deceived the public as he led us into war. The memos provide one valuable source for exploring this issue. Please cover continuing developments as this story continues to grow.
Mitch Bogen

Higher gasoline prices

I wanted to mention that your current poll question on msnbc.com changes caused by gasoline prices assumes that one drives.  For those of us who have made the choice to use transit for most of our movements there is no possible answer to the question of whether the high price of gasoline has changed our driving habits as your choices are:
Yes, I am driving less.
No, I am driving the same.
I suggest a third possible response:
No, I am still using public transit.
In San Francisco, about 60-65% of residents use transit for their commute and about 30% of households manage without a vehicle in their household because we invest in our public transit system. And though I don't have numbers for it, I would suspect that about 80% of those working in downtown S.F. who live in other counties use trains, buses, vanpools, carpools, or ferries to get to work such that per person fuel used is significantly less than driving along to work, which I would guess is what 80% of Americans do. We in the central Bay Area are certainly not the ones who are causing demand for oil to outstrip supply and I would suggest future poll questions on this topic provide for greater choice in response.
Ken Niemi


On behalf of MSNBC
(Responses to June 17 letters)

I'd like apologize on behalf of all the men in your audience and everywhere else for the ill-conceived diatribe against all those "female anchor reporters" who "apparently run MSNBC news." Apparently the writer thinks that women, half the population, should be accorded second-class status, especially when it comes to what gets on the air. Even though I feel a certain giddiness when I read such utterly brain-dead chauvinism in this day and age, the letter shows how far the culture still has to go to make improvements.
Besides, who says men don't care about Tom Cruise's love life? Come on. As an over-40 male myself I think it's quite educational to see such an advanced case of mid-life crisis. All men can learn from that.

Jim Lent

Re: the letter from a reader about real news on MSNBC (or any news source, for that matter)  Roger Mudd's recent interview with a former CBS newsman-turned-author revealed that only a handful of broadcast journalists are combing the eastern and mideast worlds, so what can we expect?
Also, the problem of obtaining  knowledge about the world's trouble spots was alluded to in an interview with a former FBI agent immediately after 9/11, who said that our intelligence agencies are no more than "suits" behind computers, with no significant  information gathering taking  place. Given that the NSA allegedly has thousands of workers, and the CIA and FBI offering hundreds more, just what exactly is it that these agencies do?
With recent allegations against Bush implying false information as the basis for going to war in Iraq, who would give an ounce of credence to one of the president's primary information providers (Porter Goss) about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden?  More smoke, it would seem...
Jim Dulemba


• June 17, 2005


MSNBC news judgment

I have become increasingly appalled at the lack of actual news appearing prominantly on this website.
Instead of journalism, what you appear to be giving us is a series of tabloid headlines.  he TOP TWO stories today were about a missing teenage girl and a celebrity wedding. Shame on you.  How can you traffik in such tabloid headlines when there are real stories out there: concerning Bush's plummeting popularity, elections in Iran, the "Downing Street Memo," political corruption in San Diego, just to name a few.
Have you really abdicated your role as purveyor of news? I propose the following test for your headlines:
What do people need to know in order to make good political decisions? That's what your job is, or ought to be, to supply people with such information. Instead you seem to be doing your best imitation of the National Enquirer. Our nation will be all the worse for your efforts.
One day you'll look back and wonder how you missed the most important stories of the day, and why you instead decided to use your vast capabilities to put out nothing of any importance of all.
Michael Barsa

Arubans arrest new suspect in Holloway case

I’m so sick of the press bashing Aruba. I’ve lived in Aruba and the people are loving, giving, and gentle people. Yes, I’m ill over Natalee’s disappearance and pray she will be found. Aruba is being judged from three young men who are not even native Arubans. The press keeps talking about how poorly the case is being run and how much better the US does things but isn’t amazing that we set O. J. Simpson free for committing two murders, and set Michael Jackson free to continue molesting our children. Oh yes, we Americans are really smart; our legal system is great!
Olivia Cline

Tom Cruise pops the question

I can't believe that you think that it is   newsworthy to have a tape of Tom Cruise talking about his proposal!! I could care less about what Hollywood actors do: Why do you??
You should be talking about news. I guess that this is just another sign that we are in a celebrity obsessed culture. Also, it shows the feminization of the culture to see that the female anchor reporters apparently run MSNBC news. I challenge you to find one man who thinks that this is newsworthy.
The women really run MSNBC news but must we really hear this every half an hour on CNBC,  too?
Thomas Folgert

• June 16, 2005

From Downing Street to Capitol Hill

I want to thank you very much for your story about the Downing Street Minutes.  However I take issue with your closing paragraph. It stated Bush was attempting to get weapons inspectors back into Iraq  from the time we went to war and the writing of the minutes.  The minutes themselves dispute that. John Bolton was dispatched to get rid of the one person who was truly trying to get weapons inspectors back into Iraq.
The most important issue is that the world be fully informed and let them draw their on conclusions. Is it possible to download the Gitmo documents that Time magazine is publishing piece meal. Also the Downing Street Minutes.  Are there any agencies who are releasing these documents to the public?
I can't really understand why these documents have to be filtered by the right or the left with all their biases. Simply lay the truth out there without commentary and let the reader breath in the truth. 
Bill Justice


‘Runaway bride’ in deal to sell life story

I can't believe it. This is just about the biggest insult one can muster.  Good ol' USA.  This 'B' is going to benefit from committing crimes due to all the hype the media gave her?  How stupid are we?  She should be doing jail time, instead they're looking at a movie????  Who flipping cares about this crazy woman anyway, no one but her dumb boyfriend.  She is obviously unstable.
If the media would have left this story alone in the first place we wouldn't be reading about her good fortune for screwing over hundreds of people, the local law officials, the FBI and the state she lives in. I, like hundreds of thousands of other readers, would like to write her final chapter and sell the story too. We'll call it "She got what she deserved."
Mark Faivre

Six U.S. military, eight Iraqi police killed

We lost 6 of America’s finest young men in Iraq today and you ignore that tragedy on your headlines and choose instead to highlight a Texas cancer victim and US felon running an orphanage in Sri Lanka as your headliners.
Even MSNBC is now immune to the daily tragedy of this conflict?
If you don’t set the priorities, just who will?  Fox News?
KB

Girl with cancer to continue as ward of Texas

Let me start by saying I am not one of those people that get easily offended, but to put the picture of that poor 12 year old girl on the front page of your webpage is disgraceful.
As a former Hodgkin's patient, I know that losing your hair and going through treatment does a number on your psyche and posting her picture (presumably without her consent) is beyond comprehension.
She has enough to deal with, put a graphic up there or a picture of her parents.  Not her.  That poor girl has enough to deal with right now.
Alex Varson

• June 15, 2005

Schiavo autopsy report backs husband

Regarding your story on Terry Schiavo’s autopsy I take offense to the tone of the article published on the MSNBC website. To describe the results as a ‘victory’ for Michael Schiavo or to use the words ‘profoundly atrophied’ is appalling. We are talking about two families who have suffered greatly.  Everyone has lost in this battle. Your story should reflect the autopsy as a footnote to this tragedy not as a triumph by one party.
Pat Canavan-Petrowski

In evangelical world, a liberal view steps up

Those of us on the right do tremendous amounts of work with the poor and needy. However, the Bible clearly states that God wants us to be charitable on our own, not under compulsion. Democrats cleverly disguise abortion as some sort of "choice," as if Republicans were trying to eradicate any choice from a woman. Yet ironically when it comes to finances, "choice" is not an option to them.
The implication is that Republicans don't care for the poor and needy and the press does nothing but reinforce that.
The Bible clearly states that poverty is an unending issue, God states "You will always have the poor among you." Boondoggles and creating a welfare state are a horrible way to end poverty.
Not to mention millions/billions of dollars wasted on people who have no intention of ever getting a job. The Bible clearly states "if you don't work, you don't eat." And I am not referring to the one who truly need the help; they would and should be helped by faith-based initiatives, which Democrats oppose.
It is the Democrat Party that is part of a movement to ban religion from public life.  You didn't mention the ACLU's efforts nor Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The Press has no interest in talking about "the radical religious left." I actually thought of some more things, but I doubt you got past 1.
Ralph Kinscheck

PBS to overhaul editorial practices

I was raised watching a lot of PBS, and my kids are following in the same tradition. I know bias when I see it (even if it's bias toward my viewpoint), and PBS is not biased. It's neutral, as any publicly-funded entity must be. The problem conservatives seem to have (despite the fact that they're not saying so) is that anything truly neutral is too far left for them. Make no mistake - they will only stop calling PBS biased when they've either killed it entirely, or made it as "fair and balanced" as Fox News.
There's simply no justification for playing politics with such an incredibly valuable resource.  Congress needs to keep its grubby hands off of PBS, and let it continue educating and enlightening Americans. It's needed more now than ever.
Dave Wesner

Porn star Carey attends Republican fund-raiser

I found it very interesting to find this article not only on your website, but other popular news sites as well. Republicans are known for their more staid ways, so the attendance of a porn star at a fund-raiser would definitely raise an eyebrow or two. Yet, almost the entire Hollywood community is in support of the Democrats. I’m not in any way an advocate for porn, but what is the difference between Hollywood stars (most are willing to bear all for movies, not to mention their weird states of mind and choices of mystical religions) and this one porn star? Of course, there are categorical differences, but the principal is the same. Why be up in arms over one porn star’s support of Republicans when you have a whole Hollywood bandwagon of morally loose individuals supporting the Democrats.
Jeanne Petrizzo

• June 14, 2005

No reason to beat up on Tyson anymore

It was "interesting" to read MSNBC's boxing coverage, or rather, Tyson coverage, after this weekend's fights.  Interesting in that, on the very night the human circus known as Mike Tyson was taking on an apparent sacrificial lamb, another set of fights was happening which saw Miguel Cotto and Joel Casamayor, two very well-known, talented and legitimate boxers, taking on relatively unknown but fantastically capable opponents.
Either of the Casamayor or Cotto fights were infinitely more entertaining than watching the has-been Tyson get pulverized once again.  And yet no media, including MSNBC or NBC, chose to even report on them!  As commentator Jim Lampley (HBO) astutely observed, the "Fight IQ" of the nation was put to test that night - and let's just say in that multiple choice question whose answers were A). Cotto/Casamayor or B). Tyson, that "A" was the correct answer.
You can guess the question.
Now that Tyson, Amber Frey and Michele Jackson are fading into their respective sunsets, on what will the MSNBC Enquirer report?  Might I suggest "Monica Lewinsky - A Retrospective" or maybe something about Paris Hilton....oooh, she gives good news!
R Chadwick

Senate Apologizes for inaction in Lynching

The writers of this article explains that the bill was not acted upon in 1960s due to the Senate  "Southern Conservatives" wielding their filibuster powers. I was wondering if it was just too painful for the writers of this article to write truthfully that it was the "Southern Democrats"? I know damn well they would have written it was southern Republicans. Liberal bias.
Timothy A. Hooley

Now free, Jackson ready to make changes

Just read Jon Bonne's article "Graceless Exit" You want to know why he has "fallen" here in the US and not worldwide....you. The American Media and their relentless attacks on him. Had you backed him, the public would be backing him. But you enjoy salacious stories more than heroic ones. Michael Jackson, has never hurt anyone. He never has a mean word to say about anyone, he never strikes back when people continuously kick him--maybe that is his great flaw. He is too nice. This is a man who deserves to be honored by his own country. He has been honored by 4 American Presidents as an outstanding citizen. He has been nominated for 2 Nobel Peace prizes, most recently in 2003.
He has given more money to charity than any other celebrity as listed in the Guiness bok of records. He has given and given and given to society, only to be spit on. You know what? He was aways weird...theres an interview from 1984 where he has a long talk with his llama. then he talks about kids and how incredibly special they are to him. And he explains why. He talks about magic, and breaks into peter pan songs in mid-interview. Michael Jackson is not the one who changed. Its the rest of you. You all grew up. You all got cold. You all decided to judge his quirks as "weird" and "bizzarre" You all put the spin on things (the 'oxygen chamber" ---was a piece of equipment for a Burn Unit he sponsered) But you are ignorant to that. And even tough the inormation is there, the media continues to talk about him sleeping in the "oxygen chamber". This is just one tiny example...the list goes on and on. The public enjoys the mess..they just love it because this guy was too nice and made everyone else feel inadequate. "heal the world" puh-lease! right? ......He was right. You just dont care anymore. Fear God.
Travoltachik

Only in California can a man sleep with a boy, another kill his ex-wife and friend, and then another kill his wife after dinner at a restaurant, and then walk away totally free.  I guess the real lesson here is, don't toss the body in the bay.  But then, I am reminded that someday, each of us must answer to the "real" judge for our sins.
Fred, Columbia, Mo.

More reader reaction to Jackson verdict is here.

The winners are ... chavs, yarcos and neds

I am not 100 percent on top of words from Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales (notice I respectfully listed the countries seperate rather then lazilly state "U.K") but a ned is a Scottish word that describes a very specific disgruntled group of people in Scotland usually centred around major cites. Watch "Trainspotting" and notice Carlisle's character (also stars as the dad in Angela's Ashes & soldier in To End All Wars) as he obnoxiously throws his beer mug over a balcony and hits a girl in the face and doesn't care. That character is a Ned. He'll fight you if you look at him funny, but truthfully has no back bone and stands for nothing.
There are several websites about Neds (apparantly) but it is extremely innacurate to define Neds as simply be "Scottish" and thereby giving the impression that all Scots are Neds. The extreme majority of Scots can not stand Neds whatsoever.
Bottom line: Ned is not a synonym for Scottish. and just for information's sake: Scottish people are not British.
Don't meant to nit pick, but to the people of an entire country it matters a lot. Hope this can be addressed, if not I hope you maybe learned something then. Take care, thanks for your time.
Jerimy Spencer

12-year-old boy killed by family pit bull

There are so many things wrong with this story.  First, instead of putting the stupid vicious dogs outside while leaving him alone, which in itself is wrong, she puts her son in the basement?  Then, when he’s killed by the dog, she says “it was his time to die?”  What the hell kind of people are out there?  I would love to get my hands on that lady and shake her.  My two cents, but I could go on forever,
Mary Jo

• June 10, 2005

Audio Ad on MSNBC.com cover

Editor's Note: We received many letters Friday complaining about an advertisment on the MSNBC.com cover that launched audio. The ad, which was in violation of our standards, was removed.


Women’s orgasms may be influenced by genes

Orgasms are no more determined by genetics than by stimulation alone.  Any woman with a functioning set of sexual hardware is just as capable of experiencing orgasm as any other woman, with the key ingredient being knowledge.
There are a number of inputs feeding into this event, and in order for the orgasm to occur all the inputs must be in the go/on position. These inputs are mental as well as physical, with each one as important than the next. These functional sexologists need to step out of their laboratory and into mine, the bedroom, and do some real research, instead of making preposterous assumptions based on conjecture.
Sincerely,
Stephen Penrod

Plastic Surgery on Private Parts

TMI, .too much information.  Tacky, tacky, tacky!
Lettie

How can I get my credit report for free?

I recently read the article about how applying to too many student loans at one time "could" negatively affect your score. As I understand it, this is misleading and bad advice. In fact, if someone is applying for a new loan they should actually try to shop "all at one time." According Understanding Your Credit Score, by the Fair Isaac Corporation, page 14, your credit score looks for "rate shopping." The credit score takes into account that when you are looking for a mortgage or an auto loan, for example, multiple lenders may request your credit even though you are looking for one loan. So, the credit companies only count any number of inquiries into the same type of loan made within a 14-day period as just 1 inquiry. In addition, the scoring ignores all inquiries prior to scoring, so if you can find a loan within 30 days, inquiries will not affect your score while you shop for a loan. Hence, the first inquiry may lower your score, usually by less than 5 points, but any additional inquiry within the 14-day period for the same type of loan will not lower it further.
People shop around for the best prices on everything from shoes to gas, but when it comes to their home, their most valuable asset, they refuse to look around because of a perceived fear of lowering their credit score. Much of what they “think” is true is because of how articles like this are written. Please take time and consideration in researching how the Fico score really works before making insinuating statements, and make it easier for me to help people.
Trevor Ambrosini

Hispanics now one-seventh of U.S. population

In regards to the Hispanic population, I feel that we are a nation of immigrants and that Hispanics are the majority in the current years. We do live in the Americas where the land is ruled by Spanish speaking people. In regards to the comment written by Jacquelyn Woolley, Racism at its best and ignorance at it's best. I believe Jacquelyn that the ONLY TRUE AMERICANS are the natives of the Americas, Meaning (Mexico, Venezuela, all the North and South America). You should read your history , America was already here before your ancestors arrived (Europeans). I'm assuming your white (descendants are European). The natives which are American Indians are the true Americans and you should keep your mouth shut before you talk about something you know nothing about.
The Americas which include the United States are lands of the indigenous people and that includes Hispanics which come from ( Central America), (South America) and the Caribbean. Anglos should go back to Europe and complain about Spanish automated systems there. So lets just close the borders and send all people that are white back to Europe including your self. How does that sound to you?
To bad the rest of the world see's the United States as a white nation not what it really is, a nation of the indigenous people.
Jennifer Santana

Not only did I find the wording of this poll repulsive the results were even more horrific. Approximately 65% said that the Hispanic population boom was a minus justifies the ignorance of America. Who will than maintain your lawns, serve your food, clean your homes and take jobs the everyday American does not want.
With home prices soaring nationally and the Immigrant population increasing almost as fast, perhaps there is a correlation? As a homeowner, I do not see my homes price going down in the near future.
Eddie Rodriguez

Stem cell advocates plan strategy in Texas

My future sister-in-law works for a biomedical research company operating out of Tufts University.  In the early stages of their research to regrow ACL's, stem cells were used.  Funding so far has come from a variety of sources including professional athletics, the American Dental Association, and others. The witholding of federal funds for stem-cell research has been severely inflated in importance. Their are many, many private sources with very deep pockets standing in line to reap the windfall of the next great breakthrough.  Dubya's reticence is symbolic, at best, and not a hindrance to ongoing research.
Christopher C. Ward

• June 9, 2005

Plastic surgery on private parts

While I enjoy reading your site for daily news updates and commentary, I do think there are some headlines that shouldn't be on the home page.  In my opinion, today's headline "Sexploration: Vagina makeovers all the rage " doesn't warrant front page posting and is in bad taste.  I think the nation would be appalled if one of our top news anchors presented this topic at the 6:00 news - so why should it get top billing on your web-site?
I would like to encourage my kids to visit msnbc.com or cnn.com or any other prominent news site.  But I'll drop msnbc.com from the list if they continue to so prominently display such content. 
Lisa Kerns

Hispanics now one-seventh of U.S. population

The article about Hispanics in America well one of the problems I have is this:  Why do we not insist that if you want to live here and survive that Hispanics and any other race with a different language not be made to learn to speak English?  I am so ticked that almost everywhere you call you must choose English or Spanish?  If you want to live here learn to speak English we should not be forced to learn Spanish they should be honored to learn to speak English since they want to live here so badly!!!!!
Donaldson Shirley R Civ 435 MDOS/SGOHF

This is truly a disgusting statistic. I also read an article about Cubans trying to come to Florida on a car turned into a boat. The government has got to do a better job of keeping illegal immigrants out of the u.s. and once they are here, do a better job of checking for illegals and sending them back to their own country. We cannot afford to take care of every other country's problems.
I am a US citizen and taxpayer and my hard-earned money should not go to paying for illegals hospitalization and medical care. That is why medical care is so high now. If these people want medical care, they should have to pay for it. They should have  to pay taxes just like i do. come on government, help protect our borders!
Jacquelyn Woolley

Gasoline: One of the best bargains around

I don't even understand why you published that article, it's an absolute fake.  The article says that one gallon of gas ($2.10 per gallon industry average) is "1/3 the cost of milk".  Where are they selling a gallon of milk for $6.30?  And "1/5 the cost of beer" (as though beer is common in every household in the U.S.); and 2% the cost of Jack Daniels (need I even comment?).  This is so stupid, I'm surprised your website even allowed such b... to be printed.
Linda Moody


The fighting in Iraq

I am aware that as a military wife that this subject is much more pertinent to me than it is to most Americans, but why is MSNBC choosing to ignore the continued deaths in Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom?
On Saturday, the web page briefly posted a story about the two soldiers killed in Afghanistan that day. It was pulled before noon. Today there is no mention of the incident at the Bagram Airfield. It truly hurts me to see Jackson trial headlines when the deaths of American Soldiers go without mention.
My husband is away preparing for Afghanistan.  Next month he will be there.  Please don't continue to ignore this war.  Maybe the intent is simply paternalistic but do not think that we at home do not know what is going on over there, we have simply learned not to seek our information from the American media.  By not reporting the news, you are not sparing us fear and worry, you are highlighting through omission that American's don't care. The families need to know that someone cares.  Report the news.
Jeannette Ward

• June 7, 2005

Jesus dies of blood clot

I find it particularly appalling that the "Jesus dies of blood clot" article is placed in the science/technology page of your website. Every bit of this article is mere speculation as there is no physical evidence that Jesus even existed. If you want to place it somewhere, put it somewhere more appropriate, but it most certainly belong in the science section.
Erick Hayden

Blood clot?  Jesus died of a blood clot?  Of all the mundane and blasphemous articles I've ever seen, this one tops the chart. Jesus did not die from asphyxiation, blot clot or loss of blood.  Jesus died because HE GAVE UP HIS LIFE.  Had He not said, "It is finished," and gave up the Ghost, He would STILL be hanging on the cross.  Remember, He said, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:18).
Your so-called "experts" need to check the Biblical statements before fulfilling what it states in Romans 1:22, Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
Jerry W Jones Sr Ph.D

Poll finds dimmer view of Iraq war

You are anti-American and a traitor to this country. The WP Poll that shows a lack of support for the War in Iraq has skewed numbers. 48% Lean Democrat and 34% Lean Republican but where is the other 18%? If the Democrats had that much more support than Republicans then how did President Bush get reelected and the Republicans gained seats in both houses? You are as guilty as the WP for using them in your warped, bias agenda. If there was a legal system that would support suing frauds like you then I would. I have been believing these polls until yesterday when I looked at the breakdown of sample and now I'm just angry at you and mainly myself for being such a fool to believe you! I will never watch another MSNBC show or even read an article from you website again, you liars!

Troy Beal


The Jackson case

I am writing to express my concern over the fact that news of the Michael Jackson case is being reported in the Entertainment section of your site. This is a serious case involving very serious criminal charges against a man accused of sexually molesting a child. In what way is that entertaining?
While I personally believe Jackson is likely to be found guilty, and will loudly applaud such a verdict, I do not categorize a man's life hanging in the balance, or the impact of his accused actions against a child, as entertainment. I beg you to reconsider your editorial decision in this matter and treat this case with the level of seriousness appropriate to it.
Kenneth Landes

Los Alamos whistleblower beaten up

This article about the whistleblower being beaten up in Santa Fe is purely speculating that his whistleblowing has anything to do with his being beaten up. 
I find it irresponsible to jump to such a conclusion without any evidence beyond a second-hand statement from his wife that an assailant supposedly said the man should keep his mouth shut.
Your report completely left out the type of bar the man was at when he got beaten up. Cheeks is a strip joint in Santa Fe, not a sports bar or dance bar.  Considering the man was beaten up in the parking lot of an 'adult entertainment' facility, the facts might lead to other possible and maybe much more likely conclusions than it having anything to do with whistleblowing.
I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, about an hour south of Santa Fe.  I'm getting sick of speculative 'journalism' and I'm using the word 'journalism' very loosely here, even if it was an Associated Press report you repeated.
Frustrated with the news and reporters and wishing I could find facts and truth somewhere!
Cindy Jones

Taiwan adopts changes to boost top parties

In your article ...  I find "China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949" a total misleading.
While China was having civil war, Taiwanese were brainwashed to die for the Japanese Imperial emperor including my parents. Only Chiang Kai-Shek and his 12-15% of population had this civil war experience. However, using 12-15% of population to speak for 80-85% of Taiwanese is not scientifically logic. In fact, Taiwan has never been a part of PRC, how can they split?
It was the treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895 that ceded Taiwan to Japan forever, and Japan has not assigned her sovereignty to China. MSNBC is a big company; it is especially significant for MSNBC to tell the truth to the readers instead of just copying a Chinese propaganda in your report!
Lily Chung Bradberry

• June 7, 2005

Christian group suspends Ford boycott

Thank you for your article detailing all of the companies that the AFA is boycotting and/or protesting.  It provides me with the list of those companies that I, as a Christian, want to support (and I am not being ironic). Companies who take stands on such social issues relating to their treatment of their employees deserve my support.
John Cummens

As an AFA supporter I would seriously consider not dissing such as you call it “conservatives.”  What this country needs to remember is that us “Christians” have just as much a right to express our opinions for opposition of gays and lesbians as they do to express themselves. What is the need for such urgency to label Christians as “conservatives” as opposed to “God-obeying citizens”?
Darlene Hardee

Whether they boycott or not, I have bought my last Ford truck. I will never visit Disney or Six Flags over Mid-America in Eureka, Mo., for having a gay pride day.
Bob Hoisington

As  a member of the Armed Forces I find it appalling to hear about this kind of stuff. I am here putting my life on the line so that Americans can have the freedom of choice. Who are we to tell each other who we should fall in love with? I say what happens behind closed doors between consenting adults should be no one’s business, and I am tired of these right-wing wacko Christians trying to make a name for themselves. Using any methods they see fit for THEIR cause, no matter how it impacts the rest of society. Boycott Disney -- that’s a hair-brained idea. Let’s punish the children for some adults’ actions. No, let’s go after Ford -- not only the first automaker in the U.S., but perhaps in my opinion one of the best. There is nothing that will ever stop me from buying Ford trucks and cars short of my death or them going out of business. As long as there are Fords to buy and I have money then Ford will get it
George P. Carty

• June 6, 2005

I'm utterly appaled by your article about Michael Jackson. Why do you people in the media keep calling people weird? Leave them alone! You are like children, honestly, no, worse than children!

Everyone has a unique personality, everyone has idiosyncracies if you care to examine them as closely as you do Michael Jackson.

What about Bush and his Bushisms, for example? People walk with a limp. People stammer, people line up to watch Star Wars at midnight or go on pilgrimage to Elvis Presley's shrine or have food fetishes and sex fetishes. People sleep with their pets, or their toys, or with the lights on, or with their socks on, or can't sleep without a drink, or without reading a themselves to sleep. All kinds of people have plastic surgery, nose jobs, tummy tucks, tattoos and piercings, you name it. What is so weird about Michael Jackson, and who is Janet Arvizo? I'll tell you what's weird: the attitude of the media.

Besides, this case isn't about who's weird? It's about allegations of child molestation. No one can be convicted for being "weird".

This kind of cheap mud-slinging does not please me the reader. Do you really think people enjoy reading it? I charge you that it hurts your sales. I for one will never advertise on your site if you call Michael weird just one more time, and trust me I might well be a potential advertiser. Your article is mean-spirited, horrid, and also racist. So stop! even if only for the sake of the salvation of your own souls!

"Inasmuch as ye did it not to the least of My creatures, ye did it not to Me."

Simon Cameron

Evidence points to terrorists hiding in Iran

I'm very concerned after seeing your article about Terrorists in Iran?
In my opinion, you guys are doing the same irresponsible crap that got us into this bloody, immoral war in Iraq.  Stop helping them create more wars.
Don't tell us "US sources"  say something.  Give us names, or don't print it.  Do some real checking of facts.  As you should have already learned, things are not true just because this administration tries to convince they are.
You guys helped in the cover-up last time.  Don't  do it this time, too.  Your information was wrong before, it probably is this time, too.
Use better behavior, or I'll be sure to let all my friends know how poor a job you guys do at reporting.
Apple

• June 3, 2005

Underwood is an ‘Idol’ to animals, too

Thank you for reporting on PETA’s “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” contest (“Underwood is an ‘Idol’ to animals, too,” 5/31/05).
The scores of sexy vegetarian celebs up for the title are a reminder that meatless is mainstream—and for good reason: not only do vegetarians save themselves from many health problems like strokes, osteoporosis, kidney stones, heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and obesity, they also save animals a lot of misery.
On factory farms, animals are warehoused in tiny cages or muddy feedlots, where they are denied their every natural desire. Workers cut off their horns, tails, and beaks without anesthetics. Their deaths are far from painless—because slaughterhouse workers operate at such a fast speed, many animals are improperly stunned and are skinned or boiled alive.
For their compassion for animals, all vegetarians are winners in my book.
Lindsay Pollard-Post

False Alarm In Flight To New York

In your Terrorism and Security News article titled "False Alarm In Flight To New York", you mentioned the words "... the aircraft began emitting Code 7500...".  Saying this publicly is a disservice to all who fly and could increase the hazard in any potential hijack situation.
While not "classified" in the true sense, code 7500 procedures have always been "close hold" within the aviation community.  When hijackers gain entry into the cockpit and are monitoring all conversation/communications, these procedures may be the only way the pilot can surreptitiously advise people outside the aircraft of the fact a hijacking is actually taking place. 
An aircraft squawking code 7500 on its transponder is saying to the outside world (all FAA/military agencies), I AM BEING HIJACKED!! There are additional procedures which are used to confirm that the squawk is intentional, but I will not address them here.
The bottom line is that none of us intentionally want to make it easier for a potential hijacker.  Therefore, I would suggest a little more discretion be used not to divulge anti-hijack procedures to the general public (which obviously includes potential hijackers).  The article could just as easily been written without using any specific codes or procedures.
Rodney D Chiapusio

Secret of longest marriage is saying "sorry"

Regarding the 80th anniversary of the British couple. My grandparents just had their 80th wedding anniversary party on April 23, 2005. They have 7 children, 37 grandchildren, 81 great grandchildren, and 19 great great grandchildren. They also would drink their brandy every morning. My grandfather turned 100 and my grandmother is 94. They still live together in the city of  Chino, California. We are blessed. They will also make the world’s longest marriage.  Thanks.
Martha Aquino


• June 2, 2005

Urine trouble,’ some states warn lazy truckers

Thank You for bringing this disgusting behavior to peoples attention. I thought I was the only one that noticed this. I point it out to people who are in my car all the time, including my son who is 12 and they don't realize what is going on.
I have thought about the highway workers who have to deal with this too and thought they just destroyed the containers and threw them out. I never realized the cleanup effort involved. I hope your story goes out on network news so people can understand and start cracking down on these guys.
Steve Leonhardt

I think the state would have a better success rate of stopping the truckers from continuing this nasty habit if they offered a reward or $1025 to people who turn in one of these nasty law breakers. Proof might be tough, but you have the urine for a DNA test.
David Walters

Hundreds still kept from homes after landslide

As someone in the metro-NYC area who pays close to $30,000/year in taxes, yet cannot afford to purchase a home, I object to the government bailing out homeowners, with multi-million dollar homes, in California and elsewhere, who elect to build homes in high-risk areas.
Thad Wilkes

Why was there a slide?

Could you have him do one on Why was there an earthquake?
How about Why was there a flood?  Oh then you could do one on Why was there Volcanoe?  How about Why do peopler die, Mommie? Please couldn't he have just written one that said "Stupid morons desperate for a view build home in really dumb spot!" Give me a break.
Dave Munson

• June 1, 2005

Christian activist group goes after Ford

I'm one of the Christians who will boycott Ford.  Did you see the other images that the Ford Motor company is using for their ads?  They are quite blatant and very sexual.  I don't think that this kind of advertising should be used at all (heterosexual or homosexual).  I'm not some weirdo, I'm just tired of being fed this garbage.
Matthew Allard

I thank you for bringing to my attention just how selfish and hateful people can be. I recall that Christian values include forgiveness and a loving attitude toward all living things, not hatred toward people that they simply do not understand.
I have gay friends, whom would never be as hateful and ridiculous as these “Christians” are acting. I’d like them to tell me: is it better to be in a loving relationship with someone whom you respect and care for or to push people away with ugly words and criticism? Guess which phrase describes the Christians? Surprise! Someone needs a wake up call.
Janet Francis

I am a Christian and I have not gone after Disney or Ford and neither have any of my Christian friends nor the members of my church, Episcopal. This is shoddy journalism and reporting.  You are enabling this small group of radicals in their attempt to create the impression that they speak for all Christians. Well, they don't. They don't speak for the majority of Christians nor for the majority of Americans. Their views are extreme and un-American.
John Cummens

Are you saying that you support perversion?  It appears so by the slant of your article. It's not just "Christian groups" that are concerned with the decline of morality in our country. Oh by the way, since our nation was founded by Christians, and our laws are based on the Ten Commandments and the Bible in general, shouldn't all Americans be disgusted by Ford, Carl's Jr. and such companies that support perversion?
Dennis DeRose

I am, what I would consider, a supporter of good morals and Christian values. I also believe that we each have the freedom to choose our own beliefs and values, which is what I believe that this country stands for. We all have to accept some degree of tolerance for others.
When we start pointing fingers, we began to extend beyond our normal prejudices and hypocrisies.
How is it that Mr. Wildmon and the AFA spend so much time and money condeming and pointing fingers at homosexuals when the Bible has as much to say about all of us falling short and judging not lest ye be judged? It would be a contradiction to say that one sin is bigger than another. What's more troubling is there is always someone willing to follow a "cause" no matter how blinded they are from its true colors.
S. Bryan

The future of this nation does not rest on monetary or political savy. It rests on the the foundation of our  founding father's faith. That faith that built this nation is the same faith you will find that the AFA and One Million Moms/Dads stand on. These organizations simply fight the fight against those things that would destroy this nation. And yes that includes the homosexual agenda.
Notice I said, "agenda" (the organization that lobbies lawmakers to pass laws, that forces Americans to adopt the practice that this deviate lifestyle is good). People will always practice this behavior, but to pass laws forcing all to adopt this as good? I don't think so. History shows that when a nation's moral fabric is taken away it eventually passes from the scene. I don't want this to happen. Without this nation standing on Judeo-Christian principles we are doomed to repeat history: That is every nation that has fallen has fallen first from within.
Michael Kennedy

Just read your article on the boycott of Ford Motor Co.  Why do you give such an organization enough credit to even bother writing about them?  It is news articles like this that foster this craziness in our society and by giving them publicity you only help them continue with their ridiculous campaigns. 
Michael Lowery

I wrote all of the local Ford Motor Co. Dealerships in my area, urging them to please urge the Ford Motor Company to stand behind its philosphies and principals.  To be cowed by this kind of bigotry is to embrace that bigotry for one's self.
R. Michael McLellan

Would you have allowed Bill Gates to be born?

Thank you for your inspiring article about Asperger's Sydrome.  I have an 11-year-old son who is "strange" to the world around us, but as sharp as a tack to me. You bring hope for his future and words of encouragement to parents like me.
Pam Dunlap

I completely agree that we run the risk of removing the genius factor from society with the removal of those who are on the autism spectrum.
From my studies Alan Turing (father of electronic computers) did have aspergers - so do many others in the computer tech world of today.
Personally my son is under a diagnosis of PDD/NOS on the spectrum and I can already see the advantages he has when he plays clarinet and the piano - he started six months ago and he is accelerating his playing and he loves it - the decoding of the notes and sounds are very intriguing to him.
My wife and I are starting a company to create multimedia tools that with work on special needs students strengths rather than trying to change the students.
Peter Cook

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