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Kenneth Cleaver 

Consumer Correspondent

Kenneth H. Cleaver

P.O. Box 1034

Colorado Springs, CO 80901

April 30, 2004

Mr. Trent Gary

Bottle Stop Liquors

1602 West Colorado Avenue

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Dear Mr. Gary:

I'm not the first to notice the sign proclaiming your store to be American owned and operated, but I may be the first to say the following:

From this patron of fine liquor, you are receiving not an O for originality but rather a C for cheap patriotism. You see, wrapping one's business in the seemingly unassailable shroud of Old Glory is not new. Witness Wal-Mart's bogus buy American campaign in which Arkansas' paragon of faux folksiness pledges to buy domestically made products providing they can compete with those produced by a factory full of Chinese teen-agers.

And as far as exploiting the flag, well, just look at the average used car lot where the stars and stripes flaps larger than life (and your average cow pasture).

Before closing, a question and a suggestion.

The former first: If you're so committed to our nation's economy, why do you sell Beck's beer, a product of Germany whose government has not been very deferential to our commander-in-chief in recent years?

If you want a marketing campaign that will assure customers that you're indeed a loyal, patriotic American but won't smack of backhanded xenophobia consider insinuating that unless you're drinking A LOT of alcohol, you're not really American. (If that fails, try hot chicks in bikinis.)

I look forward to further dialogue.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Cleaver

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