If you go over my postings, you will find that at no point did I attack you personally -- with the possible exception of referring to you as "Mr. Antiquated" -- jocosely playing on your web name. If you found that offensive, I apologize. I think it is more correct to say that you attacked me personally, though, of course, this is immaterial to me. If you imagine that I attacked you personally, it can only be because I do not agree with views you hold dear. Now I do know that many, many Americans regard anything less than fulsome and overblown jingoism as personally insulting and tantamount to treason -- yet I maintain it is not so. And, on the whole, Wake, I rather like you -- so far. Yet I find a certain illogic in regarding "never a particularly admirable lot" as being especially insulting. After all, it merely means "fair to middling". This may be offensive to the pompous and self-important jingoism which, over the years, has made Uncle Sam such a figure of mockery all over the world, I cannot see that any rational person would be offended by it. While, ever since the Insurrectionary Terrorists established the Republic so long ago, I have found the political figures of American history a rather depressing lot, I can think of many Americans I admire -- if you will just grant me a little time to recollect. I do have a soft spot in my heart for Nathaniel Hawthorne. How could one not warm to an American capable of saying, "The United States are suited for many admirable purposes, but not to live in." That "are" is a nice period touch, don't you think? .