I seem to have set off a bit of a wave of resentment among some residents of Martinsburg, West Virginia, concerning my observations about the local Wal-Mart. It's interesting to me how many people conflate an attack on Wal-Mart with an attack on their community. I suppose this just how the malevolent merchants from Bentonville, Ark., would have it.

One thing that is particularly surprising is the quantity (though not quality) of the anti-Semitic attacks directed at this modest blog. To wit:

Dear Mr. Jewberg:

Why don't you Jewish asshole (sic) leave West Virginia and go back to Isreal (sic) were (ditto) you can steal from Arabs and not the people in America.



And so on. Such e-mails came without signatures, of course. The reason I'm surprised is that I've spent quite a bit of time in West Virginia and find the people, particularly of the Panhandle, very tolerant.

Then there was this one from a Katie Hageny, in Martinsburg:

Your article is going around the federal government offices in Martinsburg.
Best you should stay in D.C.
Like Thumper says....don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.



Katie seems not to grasp the role of a free press in American society, but at least she didn't call me, as another correspondent did, a "dirty Kike."

(By the way, is "kike" meant to be capitalized? Someone help me out here.)

I'll post some of the more considered reactions soon.

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