Where's the paper?

I went to Crispers in the Winter Park Village this afternoon (July 20) for a takeout. While waiting for the food I decided to read the latest edition of the Orlando Weekly. I looked around for them and could not see them. When I asked where the papers were I was told, "We don't get them anymore." What happened? Did some blue-haired coot from Winter Park think the magazine is too racy, so now they all get pulled and no one gets to see them? Kind of like the rich kid who brings the ball and bat to the schoolyard but doesn't get picked on either team so he takes the ball and bat home so no one can play?

Waiting for a takeout at the Crispers in the Winter Park Village used to be so quick when reading the Weekly. Now the wait is boring and almost intolerable without being able to read the Weekly. I swear, the folks in Winter Park are just getting weirder and weirder these days!

Robert Y. Patterson III, Orlando

Editor's note: Crispers has apparently pulled all publications out of its stores, not just Orlando Weekly, so don't blame the blue-hairs. You can still find it at several other fine Winter Park Village establishments.

Don't get fooled again

As reported this week, the neo-conservatives who engineered the Iraq War botched the job so badly that the Army isn't trusting them on Iran. It isn't so much that the intel on Iraq was so wrong (although that would explain the Army's misgivings about where Iranian weapons facilities are), it's that the neo-cons refuse to alter their positions in the presence of reality. Even James Baker was ignored when he warned that centuries-old conflicts between Sunni and Shia in Iraq would erupt in the absence of a stable body politic. Now, to quote Pete Townshend, the Army simply "won't get fooled again."

Jeff Robertson, The Villages

One man's terrorist …

On CNN's American Morning program of July 27, there was a heartwarming report about a dedicated young American who has gone to fight with the Israeli forces attack on Lebanon. Why would a guy travel from New York to Tel Aviv, and why does the IDF accept him? Simple: He's Jewish!

Yes, this one characteristic is not the sole qualification one needs to be embraced by what is often misrepresented as "the only democracy in the Middle East," but the driving reason for him to go off to kill (and risk his own death) is his religion. Is he called a "religious fanatic"? Of course not. Is he alone? Heavens, no!

Though the IDF won't reveal the number of Americans among its ranks, the boy's mother reported that there were 30 other Americans going with her son. Well, I can recall a much different reaction to the California boy whose religion motivated him to go live in the Middle East and fight amongst "his brothers"; his name was John Walker Lindh.

So why the difference in the tones of reporting about the admirable Jew who "defends" Israel versus the "American Taliban" who treasonously fought American forces entering Afghanistan?

As an atheist, I think it ludicrous that a boy finds religion and decides he needs to go kill and die in a faraway land. But it does seem to me that this is only the mainstream position when the religion is Islam, or more precisely, when the fight is against the United States or its allies. The Fifth Estate `sic` is really the fourth branch of government.

Can we imagine anyone in this country asking American Muslims to go to Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya or Lebanon to fight? This recruiter would at best be derided for religious fundamentalism; at worst he'd awaken to a Guantanamo torture session.

Andrew Mason, Orlando


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