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The Flag, The Code, The Leak And More

It's that time again — time for me to share with you some of the comments that readers have sent me in response to my columns. Enjoy.

In Get An Earring, Join The Lawsuit, I talked about a man who is suing Michael Jordan and Nike because he's tired of being mistaken for Jordan. Your comments included:

Jeanne: "This one you must have made up!"

Tammy: "People actually wonder why the courts are so tied up and why insurance rates are so high. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm ... maybe I should sue Mr. Heckard for pain and suffering. I laughed so hard at him, I pulled a neck muscle. I hear soft tissue injuries pay big bucks."

In Bush Must Be Shocked: He's The Leaker, I discussed the announcement from President Bush that he was the person who authorized the leaking – or the declassification — of a classified document regarding some conclusions about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Barry: "Well, Lloyd ... Now we find out that Bush did not lie. The lies are coming from our 'free left-wing press,' from partisan liberal Democrats like you."

Diane: "What I've noticed with this administration is if their lips are moving, more than likely it's not true."

Jim: "How can you 'leak' a CIA operative that has been parking in the CIA parking lot for six years?"

Peter: "I rarely write in response to articles, but highlighting the 'fictionalized realities' being fed to us in comparison to 'real fiction' was enlightening and entertaining."

In I Just Want A Phone That's A Phone, I discussed the difficulty in buying a simple cell phone.

Jerry: "At last, a subject that is neither liberal nor conservative ... if they didn't have all the extra features, the phone companies could hand out these phones for free the way they did when I was a kid."

Jeff: "When I asked for the simplest phone they had, it came with a 100-page instruction book and sounds like the Boston symphony. Whatever happened to 'ring, ring?'"

Jeff C.: "I live in Japan where ... the only cell phone markets that are untapped might be seniors and small children who don't want or need all the features. So some company came up with the idea of making a plain phone. It has no features other than dialing. You can only hope that they'll bring it to North America."

In My First $3.00 A Gallon Fill-Up, I talked about how traumatic it has become just to fill up our cars.

Dave: "Last fall I had a knee operation which kept me from driving for six weeks. During the time I was (convalescing), gas prices dropped. Sure enough, they began to rise a couple weeks after I returned to work."

Aar: "It's called supply and demand. And you suggest that we become more like socialist France, where they pay around $7.00 per gallon. Come on, get a clue."

In Overdosing On "The Da Vinci Code," I expressed my dismay about why so many people were taking a work of fiction so seriously:

Thomas: "As I watch the controversy around this book/movie, all I can think of is Oscar Wilde. In the preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' he said, 'There's no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.'"

Ed: "The more his book gets banned, the more copies he will sell."

Alan: "Please note the best novels are often used to propound a theory or teach a lesson about the human condition, not just tell a story. See 'Les Miserables' and 'War and Peace.' I doubt this novel is on the level, yet it may not be meant just to be taken as an interesting story, but to bring attention to a theory."

Glenda: "Given the fickleness of our society, we'll soon be on to something else. 'The Code' was just fiction."

In Field Of Screams On Capitol Hill, I talked about Republicans dropping out of the Congressional Softball League, after 37 years of bipartisan play.

Jeffrey: "I always enjoyed the White House Correspondents dinner for their ability to put aside differences with humor. Now even that is strained."

The column that received the most e-mails in recent months was Whatever Happened To 'Good Morning?' After my recent trip to France, I noticed how much more likely Parisians were to wish me a "good morning" than those back home in the good ol' U.S.A.

Arthur: "No one knows anymore how to speak politely and sincerely. I must tell you it ****es me off."

Shervonne: "Come to Texas ...(Greeting people) is one of our traditions. Perhaps we're not as afraid of people as the folks in your area may be."

Dietter: "I believe that it is cultural. Black folks, I am one, greet each other all the time. ... I've tried to extend the 'hi' to random folks of other races. I'm usually left hanging."

Kate: "If you come to Tennessee, you will hear plenty of 'Good Mornings.'"

Shen: "Come South!"

CSS: "If you go to a relatively small town, one that's viewed as 'safe,' lots of people will say, 'good morning.'"

In Betsy Ross Would Be So Proud, I discussed the proposal for the "flag burning" amendment.

Nancy: "Contrary to the pompously patriotic, no one has ever died for the flag — they died to defend the freedoms it represents."

Chip: "If cigarette smoking is illegal in many places, shouldn't flag smoking be illegal in those places, too?"

"Flag smoking?" Well, Chip, who could argue with that logic?

Thanks for all the e-mails. Keep them coming.

Lloyd Garver writes a weekly column for He has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover.

By Lloyd Garver