Letters from the week of May 13, 2004

 Firearms Aren't Us
Gamers don't pose a threat: I just wanted to comment on the excellent job that Jimmy Magahern did in delving into our little circle of gaming and other activities ("War Games," May 6), but I would like to refute the spin that the story seemed to take.

First off, only a small portion of us recreationally use firearms. A large majority of us do not. That is not by any means what we are about or why we are drawn to video games.

Most of us are working professionals, some in the IT field and some in other fields. We pose no more threat to you or your family than any other person you may know. None of us is militant, and none of us is a terrorist!

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the "gaming world," please visit www.lancamp.com and learn.

Thanks, Jimmy, for a great article!
Cedar Coleman, Tempe

Later, Nader
Dude, he's the boss: Michael Lacey's comment stating "[Ralph] Nader's legacy is that boys must grow up with the lame-ass idea that you can't ride a damned bicycle without a helmet" shows a real lack of intelligence ("President Tofu," April 29). If at the age of 13 I would've been wearing a helmet I wouldn't have come close to death with a fractured skull. Teenagers in a car who were chasing girls raced into an alleyway I was riding past.

Lacey puts down soy products because Mr. Nader is a vegetarian. Anybody who has studied nutrition knows that animal products are highly correlated with every physical illness going. The surgeon general says that 68 percent of all deaths are diet related. The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine research supports the same thing.

If Michael Lacey is a reporter, he leaves a great deal to be desired. Ralph Nader no more kept Al Gore from winning the last election than did the Libertarian party keep George W. Bush from winning the popular vote. Ralph Nader has devoted his life to protecting consumers; how long would it have taken to get seat belts if Nader hadn't been there?

If you want to pay Lacey for writing nonfactual articles about a man who has given more to this country's consumers than any single person I have ever heard of, I can't stop you. But even New Times should have a little quality. Even Lacey has benefited from many of the changes Ralph Nader was instrumental in bringing about. My opinion probably won't change your editorial decisions, but I wish you would reconsider the employment of Michael Lacey.
James McClernan, via the Internet

A laff riot: I just wanted you to know that I just finished your article on Ralph Nader, and I can't remember being so entertained by something so funny in I don't know how long. So I just wanted to say congratulations.

You may have missed your calling as a comedian. It was insightful, and it was done with wit. Anyway, good luck and keep up the good work, Lacey. You're right on!
Name withheld by request

Right-wing lies: I enjoyed your Ralph Nader column, but I'm disappointed you repeated two right-wing lies in your mad dash to deliver a body slam on Al Gore.

He did not claim to have invented the Internet; rather, he claimed to have played a leading role in the Internet's development. Which is true.

Also, Gore claimed that the Love Story character was based on him, based on a quote he had read from the book's author, Erich Segal, in the Tennessean of Nashville. It later turned out the Tennessean article had misquoted Segal, which Gore had not known at the time.

Please don't repeat these right-wing lies. It gets tiresome to have to play defense so much when folks keep repeating this nonsense, because they read it in the paper and think it therefore it must be true.
Name withheld by request

Adding insult to personal injury: Michael Lacey sure does hate Ralph Nader. Hates him so much, apparently, that his rage impairs both his grasp of the facts and his ability to write professionally.

How does Lacey err? Let us count the ways:

There's the constant barrage of lame and sophomoric insults. Nader is "President Tofu," and "one of the century's great vinegar pusses." Dennis Kucinich is an "oatmeal eater." Actually, the rapid deterioration in Lacey's writing skills, combined with the sudden obsession with food metaphors as insult, suggests that he has spent too much time with that other New Times no-talent, Stephen Lemons. Regardless, the point is that Lacey's invective was so juvenile and amateurish that it demeaned him more than his intended targets. I am just thankful that Lacey decided to pull in the reins before he called Nader and Kucinich "doo-doo heads."

Lacey goes on to label Nader a Mennonite, and to imply that Nader is personally responsible for the number of personal injury lawsuits in the United States, as well as with the sissification of American boy-children. Wacky? You bet! Now Lacey is starting to sound like a full-fledged nut case, one of those people you see in the park muttering about socialism and stuffing their hats with aluminum foil so the Martians can't read their thoughts.

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