Sticks and stones won’t keep me awake at night

When your host landed this gig, he suddenly realized his opinion was going to be broadcast for all to dissect—every week. While I was fully expecting some “conservatively challenged” readers to question the assertions (also known as “truths") made herein, in what deranged reality do people believe they should send obnoxious, malicious, epithet-spewing diatribes casting personal dispersions on yours truly?

Perhaps a few salient examples, gleaned from my archived e-mails and the letters section, are in order. In consideration of some of the younger readers of this paper—I have children who will eventually read these columns—I’ve replaced and italicized some of the rougher profanity.

“Michael Lafferty is a jackass.”

“You are a douche bag.”

“You embarrass me, and you embarrass yourself.”

“If chemical engineering and biochemistry are liberal arts that offend you, I’m glad, since you’re a moron, but please try to spend more than 30 seconds proofing your unintelligible, jingoistic horsedookey.”

“This pork-farting Rush Limbaugh wannabe seems to think that all it takes to be a political columnist is a low I.Q. and a high cholesterol count.”

“The Right Hook column is the proverbial turd in the RN&R punchbowl.”

“I usually enjoy Mike Lafferty’s columns, but in this column he proved himself to be the singularly conservative dumbhead most readers have wanted him to be all along.”

“You deserve to burn in hell. What a joke you are.”

“How can you be such a stupid gentleman?”

“You’re a moron. Do you seriously believe that horsedookey you write every week?”

But on they go.

This pretty much sums up that “liberal tolerance” I hear so much about but never see. Or perhaps I’m mistaken, and sending obnoxious, insulting e-mails to someone you don’t know and have never met is actually considered the new norm for those who consider family values passé?

I particularly enjoy those who have such courage in their convictions that they don’t bother using their real names or e-mail accounts.

I mean, c’mon. Lump me in with the rest of the “right-wing wackos,” but since when did I deserve to “burn in hell” for my beliefs?

Is it too much to ask for a little common courtesy? Although considering some people get offended anytime a Republican sneezes, perhaps not.

The aforementioned readers are apparently taking a que from Al Franken, who has a book titled Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.

Then there is our own Sen. Harry Reid who, while speaking to a group of Las Vegas high school students, referred to the president as “a loser.”

Yeah, that’s “tolerance” all right. Or perhaps not.

And before you dismiss my opinions, you should realize that, according to 2004 Pew Research Poll, 38 percent of those surveyed considered themselves conservative, compared to the 22 percent that identified themselves liberal.

Look, if it blows your skirt up to slag on me personally, have at it. At least be adult enough to include your real name and e-mail address—and copy me at michaell@newsreview .com. Nothing like reading insults in the letters section written by people who didn’t have the maturity to copy me in advance.

Oh yeah, the reverse is also true. If you’re one of those who’ve written notes of encouragement, praises or kudos, please copy the editor at renoletters@newsreview.com. You have every right to be heard as well, and it won’t happen without a copy to the boss.

If you want to stand up and be counted, at least put your name on it.

I do.