The E—Mail Keeps Piling Up.

– Dear Peever: Why are you interested in running for city alderman? Dan

Dear Dan: I’m crazy enough to think I can do some good.

– Dear Bruce: When is this book you keep talking about going to be finished? Sally

Dear Sally: It is done and the first copies being printed as I write. The title is, ThePeever. com, Blinded by the Right. I’m expecting a Pulitzer Prize, but more likely will start a resurgence of book burnings. Either way, I would be pleased.

– Dear Mr. Weik: I see you are involved in anti—war activities? I suppose that’s par for the course, you being so liberal. Scott

Dear Scott: I’ve never been much into war. Seems an awful waste of money and lives. The most confusing thing for me is I can never tell which side is the worst. I definitely don’t think I would like to have dinner with Saddam Hussein, but then again, I don’t think I would care to spend the evening with W. George. Bin Laden is not my cup of tea, but neither is John Ashcroft. One of the things I’ve never had trouble with is hysterical patriotism. While there are many reasons to be grateful for living in this country, there are many things that could be improved. (One simple example is if you get the most votes in an election, you should win). Fighting for peace has historically been seen as un—American, as cowardism, and here lately, this administration sees you as "the enemy." It’s always been a mystery to me why that is? My training in seminary led me to become a pacifist and advocate for nonviolence. I have not for one moment ever felt ashamed of that or that I was ever any less patriotic than a general in the army, or the President of the United States. I simply do not believe you can kill your way to peace. I sure hope that’s not un—American.

– Dear :Mr. Peever: Do you really believe right—winged Christians are dangerous? Beth

Dear Beth: I believe when you blend religion with ideology, it can become lethal. I don’t believe it is good for any living creature. That doesn’t mean that I see any particular, or all right—wingers as dangerous, although any one particular right—winged person could be dangerous, but I doubt all of them would be. In fact, I like most of the right—winged folks I know. They give me strength and courage to carry on my peeving. Without them, I’d have never found a title for my book.

– Dear Peever: Every time I read something from you, I see "red." Harry

Dear Harry: What’s the matter with red? We have The Red Hat Club, which seems to be an pretty nice bunch of ladies. The Cincinnati Reds are sometimes real good, although I don’t think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. Kids like to play Red Rover, which I always thought was kind of a sissy game. The Big Red is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. The Red man has always seemed smarter than white Europeans, but he was outgunned. The Red Hot Chili Peppers is a pretty good band, but awful loud. Red has always been thought of fairly positively, being associated with power, aggressiveness, kind of the American way. If you are meaning Red like in Commie Red, grow up.

– Dear Mr. Peever: I am worried that the world is coming to an end. What do you think? Mary

Dear Mary: Nothing to worry about. You’ll be dead anyway. If you believe in heaven, no problem. Disney World for eternity. As far as evolutionary time is concerned, our demise would hardly cause a blink. Some day, be it 50 million or 500 million years from now, the spark of life might strike again. I’m here to say that at a very minimum, that would be at least God’s second mistake.

– Dear Mr. Bruce: Why do so many people use drugs? Andy

Dear Andy: I suppose there are a lot of different reasons. The most overwhelming seems to be that they want to feel different than they do. You always wonder, different from what? Depression, loneliness, boredom, anxiety, craziness? We often don’t like how we feel. It somehow isn’t right, or good enough. We hope drugs will take us somewhere else, somewhere better. But the trip is never, over the long run, a good one. No one has ever, in the 20 years I have been a drug counselor, come back to me and said, "Bruce, you were wrong. My life has been better using drugs." It don’t happen that way. That’s not how this works. So if you do, don’t. And if you don’t. Good.