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E-mail offers another way to lambaste a columnist

August 11, 2001 

NOT BEING computer-inclined, I neglected to mention the Web site for the rap group C-Preme Team when I wrote about them recently. Sorry, guys, I'm still new to this computer stuff. The Web site is .

Good luck finding it. Lord knows I don't know how. I've even got the instructions in a pamphlet The Sun provides. One day, I may get around to reading it. As it is, I'm having enough trouble answering my e-mails.

Oh, yeah. I finally got an e-mail address. For all you folks who prefer to bash me via e-mail as opposed to a letter to the editor, the address is I think.

So, come on, readers. Why bash me in letters to the editor when you can bash me via e-mail? Letters to the editor might not get printed, or might be condensed. With e-mail, I'm sure to read it, and you can leave in the cuss words.

In just the past month, I've received 10 e-mails about a column in which I made a couple of unkind references to Malcolm X. A column on the attempt by anti-gun lobbyists to hijack the Second Amendment drew seven e-mails. I've received two from folks about the new Planet of the Apes movie - there will be more, much more, on that one in a later column - and two on Wednesday's column about gay rights.

One of the e-mails about the gay rights column was a real doozy. The writer went on and on about how I hate gays and don't want to admit it, about what a horrible bigot I am, and yada, yada, yada. He stopped just short of calling me the anti-Christ.

"You say there is no discrimination against gays," the e-mailer wrote. "Please. You've been working at the liberal Baltimore Sun too long. Try getting a real job, Greg!"

I explained to the ranter that I've worked several "real jobs" in my life, one of which had me supervising Sinai Hospital's transportation department. Two openly gay men worked for me. Firing them because they were gay never occurred to me. Their sexuality was not an issue with me, their co-workers, the human resources department or hospital administrators. They were evaluated on what they did on the job, not what they did off it.

The truth is, I couldn't have fired them, even if I were the raging, seething homophobic bigot the e-mailer thinks I am. The hospital gave specific guidelines on what an employee could be disciplined or terminated for. Sexual orientation was not on that list.

Most businesses and employers probably have such rules. Those that don't aren't worth working for, whether you're gay or straight.

Bernard Neyer of Chanute, Kan., sent an e-mail about gun rights. His information is worth passing on to those of you who still believe the Second Amendment means something. Neyer recommended a book by David E. Young, the author of The Origin of the Second Amendment. Young cites newspaper articles, pamphlets and letters from the era before the Constitution was ratified to tell Americans precisely what the Founding Fathers intended when they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Advocates of gun rights might also want to get the Aug. 7 issue of USA Today and clip out and save the story on page 10A. It's about how gun crimes have increased by 40 percent in Britain since that country voted to ban handguns in 1997.

But enough of e-mails and the handgun debate, and on to Joe Silvers of Glen Burnie. Silvers calls me frequently. Granted, he calls around 10 or 11 at night when I'm not in the office, but it's the thought that counts, right? Silvers talks about all sorts of topics, from the state of Maryland's making a boo-boo on his wife's tax refund to how Jimmie Walker is now a staunch conservative.

Yes, it's the same Jimmie Walker who played "J.J." on the sitcom Good Times. Silvers is a conservative and has called several times with his opinion about one William Jefferson Clinton.

"I'm calling about the networks' latest buzz over what Bill's memoirs should be titled," Silvers said. "I've heard such things as It Takes a Villain [and] A Man for All Sleazes. My personal favorite, until I came up with another one tonight, was I Don't Care What You Call It, Just Tell Me What Is Is. But now, thinking back, how about Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?' This would apply to both of the Clintons in the pardon process. I think that would be the perfect title."

Any of the titles could apply. I'm partial to No. 3. Perhaps readers can come up with more. My preference is a Clinton memoir about his years after the White House. I have a title for that one, too.

We could call it The Horny Hillbilly Takes Harlem.

By Gregory Kane, Copyright © 2001, The Baltimore Sun

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