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Lipton responds to Dixie Chicks furor...
Corporate e-mail in response to my complaint. | March 27, 2003 | WorkingClassFilth

Posted on 03/28/2003 6:19:30 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth

Dear Consumer,

Thank you for your recent note regarding remarks made by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. It is important for us to hear from our consumers and listen to their concerns.

As you can imagine, we did not expect a political controversy to arise when Lipton became a sponsor of the Dixie Chicks upcoming "Top of the World" concert tour. In this time of national crisis, we believe it is important for Americans to come together behind the values of freedom, democracy and tolerance that have made the United States of America into the country it is today.

We have every reason to believe the Dixie Chicks sincerely regret the distress Ms. Maine's comment has caused. In a subsequent statement, she said, "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American."

The Dixie Chicks have in the past shown their love of America in very public ways, such as by singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in January, for an audience of 930 million people worldwide. The strong bond they have forged with the public - country and popular music fans alike - is reflected in part by the People's Choice award they won for "Favorite Musical Group," and the fact that their upcoming tour sold out in record time. The band's popularity and success were further recognized when the Recording Academy awarded the Dixie Chicks four Grammy Awards.

While we respect the right to free speech for all Americans, we believe it is important for artists such as the Dixie Chicks to recognize the impact their points of view can have on their fans, especially in these uncertain times.

We value your comments, and equally, the constructive spirit in which they were offered. Thanks again for your time and for allowing us to clarify the situation. We'll be certain to share your thoughts with the Dixie Chicks.

Sincerely,

Linnea Johnson Director, Consumer Services


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: celebritypolitics; dixiechicks; leftisthate; lipton
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Well, that's Lipton's take on the Dixie Chicks comments. Although only one of them made the remarks, she did it during a performance and that constitutes a group statement in my book. Anyway, after reading this PR spin, I guess they really are fine patriotic young ladies after all (smirk). If you'd like to e-mail Lipton about your thoughts on these red-blooded American girls, why, just feel free to ues the handy e-mail address below. This should put you into contact with some corporate drone that doesn't give a rat's *ss about what you think. After all, friends, what you think and hear isn't really what you think it is anyway.

Comments@unilever.com

1 posted on 03/28/2003 6:19:30 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth
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To: WorkingClassFilth
www.nataliemaines.com
2 posted on 03/28/2003 6:20:13 AM PST by TxBec (Tag! You're it!)
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To: TxBec
Thank you, Sir!
3 posted on 03/28/2003 6:21:10 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Ma'am :)
4 posted on 03/28/2003 6:21:31 AM PST by TxBec (Tag! You're it!)
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To: TxBec
Sorry, Ma'am. Thanks kindly, again.
5 posted on 03/28/2003 6:23:12 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Here's what I sent them back:

I'm still not buying any Lipton products as long as you are sponsoring them.

I guess in your "spirit of support for freedom of speech" you'll be sponsoring Jose Padilla's "Blowing Up the World with a Dirty Bomb Tour" next.

You've solidified my decision with your disregard of this consumer's concerns and your very weak justification of the Dixie Chicks actions.

Happy Bankruptcy.
6 posted on 03/28/2003 6:23:22 AM PST by Buffjammer
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I got the same response.
7 posted on 03/28/2003 6:23:59 AM PST by mgist
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I actually give Lipton some credit for this statement. The make some substantive comments, rather than sloughing it off in a fog of mealy-mouthed remarks.

One thing that did rub me the wrong way: they mentioned the Dixie Chicks singing of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl as a sign of their patriotism, then added that it was "heard by 930 million people world wide."

That undercut things for me. It made me think that Lipton and the Chicks were focused more on the exposure than on the patriotism.
8 posted on 03/28/2003 6:24:24 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Whenever you see the Lipton logo, understand that is the middle finger salute.
9 posted on 03/28/2003 6:27:24 AM PST by WaterDragon (Playing possum doesn't work against nukes.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
How lame, I hate that memo-speak stuff. The Blixie chicks should move to France.
10 posted on 03/28/2003 6:27:47 AM PST by biblewonk (Spose to be a Chrissssstian)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
Maybe. Or maybe they think that the Anthem somehow communicates our values worldwide or some such. I guess that case could be made.

It appears that Lipton has a response prepared for reasoned comments and I commend them also for their thoughtful approach. They didn't ask for this.
11 posted on 03/28/2003 6:28:33 AM PST by big gray tabby
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To: WorkingClassFilth
We have every reason to believe the Dixie Chicks sincerely regret the distress

I bet they do too.

12 posted on 03/28/2003 6:28:37 AM PST by razorback-bert (28 March 2003..."Saddam Hussein still denies he's alive.")
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I got the same form reply.
Lipton tea is inferior to others such as Luzianne and I urge everyone, who has not already, to switch ASAP. You'll be glad you did.
There are many other products associated with Lipton and Unilever. I will find alternatives to any of them I currently use as well.
13 posted on 03/28/2003 6:29:11 AM PST by Extremist
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
Well, time for Lipton to do a Kmart.

Buh Bye!
14 posted on 03/28/2003 6:29:43 AM PST by the gillman@blacklagoon.com (They have been warned.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
BUMP
15 posted on 03/28/2003 6:30:36 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I got that same letter.

My response

While we respect the right to free speech for all Americans, we believe it is important for artists such as the Dixie Chicks to recognize the impact their points of view can have on their fans, especially in these uncertain times

And we will continue to exercise our rights of free association and stop buying the products of sponsors of the Dixie Chicks. Let the market decide.

Have a nice day.

16 posted on 03/28/2003 6:32:15 AM PST by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
The Dixie Chicks have in the past shown their love of America in very public ways, such as happily taking the money of people who don't know that they actually harbor a resentment for all those "hicks" in fly-over country.

Some love.

17 posted on 03/28/2003 6:32:27 AM PST by Jerry_M (I can only say that I am a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation. -- Gen. Robt E. Lee)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

18 posted on 03/28/2003 6:33:32 AM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
This container looks like Natalie's figure...
19 posted on 03/28/2003 6:36:04 AM PST by antivenom (Liberals MULTIPLY by DIVIDING...)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Notice in the entire form letter there is no actual response to what Natalie Maines said and did other than surprise? Lipton states "we did not expect a political controversy to arise"; however, they will not do anything to mitigate the situation either because the Dixie Chicks recently performed for "audience of 930 million people worldwide".

That attidude is so French.

20 posted on 03/28/2003 6:40:56 AM PST by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: antivenom
Doesn't Lipton also sell other beverage products? Help me out here.
21 posted on 03/28/2003 6:41:00 AM PST by lmavk
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Well, thank you very much for that link to unilever.com. I learned a lot. How European, how global.

The Dixie Pix would not have said those things to ANY audience if she had not believed them. So saying that she's sincerely sorry if I'm upset does not change anything, her feelings and her willingness to express her feelings in a foreign venue. And Lipton's request that we be "tolerant"...I've had it. My tea bags are going back to the company. I can live without them and as much as I hate to give it up, I'll find a replacement for my favorite Ragu.

Hey, Lipton, it's my right and my choice not to purchase your products or those of your parent companies. I'm sure you can tolerate that!

22 posted on 03/28/2003 6:41:06 AM PST by NTegraT
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I received the exact same response in the form of an e-mail. My guess is that due to contracts signed with DC they can't drop the sponsorship.
23 posted on 03/28/2003 6:43:22 AM PST by duckman (ta ra ra boom de ay, lets bomb SADDAM today.)
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To: governsleastgovernsbest
I can see your point, but I would have to say that your interpretation is probably predicated on good-will and reading words for their face value. I suppose I'm too far gone for that.

I cannot read these words from Lipton's PR people without hearing the echoes of political calculation and precise word-smithing for a maximum impact of 'commited-non-commitment.'

Like you, I detect the vibrations of a spider in this web of prevarication. As you note, a small example of the disingenuousness is cited by the singing of the National Anthem as some kind of proof of patriotism. Well, 'scuse me, but I can remember the 'patriot' Rosanne Barr's disgusting rendition of the Star Spangled Banner all too well. Furthermore, awards given by entertainment industry mean less than nothing to me. The spectacle of Hollywood in recent days is evidence of this.

I guess as far as I am concerned, when entertainment figures take their popularity and use it as a platform for their ignorant and definitely anti-patriotic views their status as entertainers ends and they become just one more parasite on the Nation that gave them opportunity in the first place.
24 posted on 03/28/2003 6:45:58 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
This is a copy of the letter I sent.

Ms. Linnea Johnson
Director, Consumer Services

I have just finished reading your letter on Lipton’s continued support of the Dixie Chicks. Frankly, the stance of Lipton makes me sick. Ms. Maine made the conscious decision to travel to a foreign country, and to be a spokesperson for the Dixie Chicks (and by proxy, Lipton). Her comments were an insult, and while I support her right to free speech, there are also the issues of responsibilities assumed when doing so. If she lamented about how the world needs more leaders like Hitler Stalin, and Saddam, would Lipton still support her? I mean, she DID say she was sorry. Well, she apologized after she found out that she had cost her group sales and endorsements. Good grief, if I opened my mouth and said ‘Good Morning’, and it cost me $1, I’d apologize too.

I find her apology completely devoid of emotion, regret or selflessness. Her apology is simply a disingenuous attempt to recover funds, sales and promotional money potentially lost by her rant.

This is a great country, and living in Texas; we have the best of all possible worlds. Mild winters, warm springs, and hot summers. We also have a choice of several products that we use to quench our thirst on these hot summer days. For the first time in my life; my family will try an assortment of new teas. Lipton will no longer be consumed, nor welcome in our home. Naturally, exercising my rights of free speech, I will encourage my friends, relatives and neighbors to try the alternative teas; all readily available at our supermarkets, at prices that are competitive to yours.

Isn’t America grand? We all have the right to live as we please, to act as we please … then again, we are held accountable for our decisions in life.

25 posted on 03/28/2003 6:47:29 AM PST by Hodar (With Rights, comes Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect.

Bullfeathers! Think X42.
26 posted on 03/28/2003 6:48:22 AM PST by Aeronaut (It's all about You, Lord.)
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To: duckman
This isn't a one time slip of the tongue. Don't forget that Natalie dissed Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue: The Angry American" as well. I see a pattern here.
27 posted on 03/28/2003 6:51:14 AM PST by Semper Vigilantis ("We have wakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve." ADM Yamamoto Dec 7 1941)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Dixie Chicks sincerely regret the distress Ms. Maine's comment has caused.

Correct. They don't regret the remark, they "regret the distress it caused."

28 posted on 03/28/2003 6:51:34 AM PST by j_tull (My words but a whisper, your deafness a SHOUT!)
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To: Hodar
Excellent, excellent letter. Very well done, this really does make the key points.
29 posted on 03/28/2003 6:53:48 AM PST by sd-joe
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Unilever owns Ben and Jerry's, Dove Soap, etc,etc,etc.

They are a multi-national and it's likely they really could care less about what Natalie Pasdar (her husbands father is from iran)says. They think they are too big to be messed with.

30 posted on 03/28/2003 6:54:55 AM PST by isthisnickcool
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Luzianne is sometimes a little harder to find, but the better taste and the Vichy Chicks make it worth the effort.

Luzianne Mail Order

So9

31 posted on 03/28/2003 6:56:05 AM PST by Servant of the Nine (Republicans for Sharpton)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Here's what I just sent:




Anti-American Dixie Chicks Tour

Below is your canned response you’ve been sending out regarding the Dixie Chick’s (the face of your company) disgusting, anti-American remarks on foreign soil.

In reading this response it is apparent to millions of Americans you support Natalie Maines’ opinions and statements.

Good enough. We will not forget. It won’t be just Lipton tea that will suffer; it will be all your products.

Looking for an example? Call the CEO of KMart and ask them how they now feel about their relationship with Rosie O’Donnell. Worked wonders for them. Their going out of business. Millions of Americans stopped shopping there permanently.

Natalie Maine’s and the Dixie Chicks insulted America. There apology was canned and contrived. Doublespeak. Your continued support of them helps us better understand who and what you are.

We had a tea party at our house last night. It was very similar to the Boston Tea party and your product was the guest of honor. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
32 posted on 03/28/2003 6:56:20 AM PST by schaketo
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To: WorkingClassFilth
The Dixie Chicks have in the past shown their love of America in very public ways, such as by singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in January, for an audience of 930 million people worldwide.

And for an appearance fee of how much? Or did they do it out of the goodness of their carbonated li'l hearts?

33 posted on 03/28/2003 6:56:23 AM PST by strela ("a' poppin' off at Pop's Sodium Shop")
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To: WorkingClassFilth
FReeping Lipton and Unilever is important and it works.

I have some experience in celebrity branding and posted an outline of why...

Why FReeping Lipton and Unilever about the Dixie Chicks Is a Good Idea, and Why It's Effective

34 posted on 03/28/2003 6:57:42 AM PST by IncPen (Get 'em, boys!)
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To: mgist
Yeah, you and me and about a zillion other "Dear Consumers." A mass mailing without personal consideration for specific comments, insightful thought or reasoned discourse. A bland product marketed for the undiscerning minds. Typical cover for thoughtless spokespeople from anonymous corporations.


35 posted on 03/28/2003 6:58:18 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: sd-joe
Thanks, please feel free to cut'n paste at will. Change whatever portions you like.
Remember the key idea in movements like this. Typically, when poor service is given, less than 4% will tell management. The other 96% will tell everyone. So, each letter actually represents many, many more opinins than just yours. So, phrase it accordingly.
36 posted on 03/28/2003 6:58:42 AM PST by Hodar (With Rights, comes Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: strela
Good point! I wonder how much they got paid for singing the anthem! I can't stand to see all of these people making money off of our patriotism. :(
37 posted on 03/28/2003 6:58:49 AM PST by Laurie S
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I just dumped all my Lipton tea in the local "harbor" (my toilet)!
38 posted on 03/28/2003 6:59:11 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Aeronaut
I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect.

I think what was meant to be said was 'I respected X42, until he demonstrated (repeatedly) that he was unworthy of my respect'. I respected Clinton for the first month or so.

39 posted on 03/28/2003 7:01:55 AM PST by Hodar (With Rights, comes Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: big gray tabby
It appears that Lipton has a response prepared for reasoned comments and I commend them also for their thoughtful approach. They didn't ask for this.

I beg to differ. As long as companies sponsor anything, they have the responsibility to own up to what comes out of what they sponsor.

40 posted on 03/28/2003 7:02:21 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: Laurie S
I wonder how much they got paid for singing the anthem!

When somebody says "It ain't about the money," you can be sure its about the money.

Not to mention the goodies they demand for performing.

41 posted on 03/28/2003 7:02:42 AM PST by strela ("a' poppin' off at Pop's Sodium Shop")
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I wonder if Unilever's remarks are due to their being a non-American company

If I am not mistaken, Unilever is a Dutch-owned company. They sell their products worldwide, but I believe they are HQed out of the Netherlands

Thanks for the heads-up on the Unilever canned response. I will check products now for whether they are made by Lever Bros, Unilever, or their subsidiaries. I use a lot of store-brands so hopefully I wont have to much to do
42 posted on 03/28/2003 7:05:17 AM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (Anti-War Protestors: Our Own Home-Grown War Criminals)
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To: isthisnickcool
Here is a partial list of their products. I wrote Unilever listing all that I regularly purchase and informing them that I would be shopping for alternative brands.

Bertolli Olive Oil
Hellmans
Knorr
Ragu
Lawry's
Birds Eye Frozen Foods
Breyers Ice Cream
Lipton Tea
I Can't Believe Its Not Butter
Becel Spreads
Snuggle Fabric Softener
Suave Beauty Products
Thermasilk Hair Products
Dove Soaps
Lux Soaps
Vaseline Brand
Ponds Skin Care
Slim-Fast
Mentadent, Aim, Close-up Toothpastes
Calvin Klein Fragrances
43 posted on 03/28/2003 7:06:30 AM PST by conservativehokie
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To: big gray tabby
I agree that Lipton didn't ask for this, but when they contract with some agency for the express purpose of binding their sales to the wagon of some rising star, then logically they share the consequence of those star's stupidity as well as the rubbed-off prosperity of partnering with stardom.

This 'relationship' is a contract for image enhancement. Period.

When the DC's prove to be turds in the punchbowl, well, that is part of the deal. If Lipton truly had the brass to make them worthy of loyalty, they would admit the foolishness of their bargain and cut their losses by dumping these clueless morons.

Frankly, if Lipton were to act with spine and principle, I'd return to the fold with the fiercest loyalty. If not, they can dangle with the rest of the Leftist swine with whom they have allied themselves.

Weasel words and corporate prevarication do nothing for me.



44 posted on 03/28/2003 7:09:41 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
The strong bond they have forged with the public - country and popular music fans alike - is reflected in part by the People's Choice award they won for "Favorite Musical Group," and the fact that their upcoming tour sold out in record time. The band's popularity and success were further recognized when the Recording Academy awarded the Dixie Chicks four Grammy Awards.

That was then. This is now.

45 posted on 03/28/2003 7:10:36 AM PST by Rocky
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To: Hodar
Beautiful letter = unhappy recipients at Lipton.

Good work!
46 posted on 03/28/2003 7:12:00 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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To: conservativehokie
Breyers Ice Cream and Ben and Jerry's is not ever going to reside in my freezer.
47 posted on 03/28/2003 7:12:39 AM PST by bmwcyle (Semper Gumby - Always Flexable)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect.

Dear MS. Maine: Respect is something that must be earned. It does not come with the office.

#1.Witness the difference between the current President who seeks to defend his country against terrorists, knowing that there will be sacrifices, both private and public, to be made.

#2. Clinton: Who turned his head when our Embassies were being bombed. Who refused to serve his country as a member of the armed services and as President. Who brought discrase upon himself and the office of President of the United States with his immoral behavior.

48 posted on 03/28/2003 7:12:48 AM PST by fightu4it (allyourbasearebelongtous!)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
They can drop the chicks or I drop their tea.
49 posted on 03/28/2003 7:12:57 AM PST by SarahW
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To: Aeronaut
"I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect."

"Bullfeathers! Think X42."

That would all depend on who the President is, and, of course, the meaning of 'is.'
50 posted on 03/28/2003 7:14:21 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Defund NPR, PBS and the LSC.)
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