Julian Huff

I just wanted to thank New Times for finally exposing the truth behind the ridiculous prohibition of so-called no-holds-barred fighting events. In the last four years, well more than 300 fights have occurred with no deaths or serious injuries. If only NASCAR or Senator John McCain's favorite sport, boxing, could say the same.

Anyone who looks at the evidence can only come to one of two conclusions regarding McCain:

1. He is attempting to kill a legitimate and safe sport on the basis of willful ignorance. He has been repeatedly exposed to the facts of the sport, yet ignores the evidence and keeps up with the "human cockfighting" nonsense. In the case of the now-dead Arizona event, it wasn't even a no-holds-barred show; it had far more restrictive rules than UFC. Yet McCain referred to it as such publicly. Even if he is sincere about his reasons for being against the sport, his not-so-subtle meddling into local affairs based on incorrect facts would still be inexcusable.

2. He is attempting to kill a legitimate and safe sport because it threatens him personally, financially and politically. Simply put, this means he is corrupt.

Which is the truth? Given the time and energy that he has spent fighting this very minor issue (he is, after all, a United States senator), it is difficult to imagine that he is both that ignorant and that impassioned about it.

Jason Wheat
Bakersfield, California

I just read Amy Silverman's article on John McCain and the event that was recently canceled, and I have to say that was one damn fine article. I hope to see the spread of informative articles like this so that more people can become educated on the self-serving ways of one John McCain. Once again, thanks to Silverman, and New Times should keep up the good work.

Dan Boyle
Butte, Montana

Apostle Pall
I enjoyed Robert Wilonsky's review of Robert Duvall's film The Apostle ("Savior Breath," February 5).

There are knowables and unknowables, the latter of which we can never know. They're mysteries and out of our control.

Mystification, however, is when, after a cold calculation of the needs of the soul, a mystery is made also, through pretense and fraud, out of that which is knowable.

In short, this is what The Apostle doesn't know or address, and why, as Robert Wilonsky suggests, Duvall spends his life in the film simplistically chasing his tail. But after all, the tail is still so enticing, and Duvall's performance noteworthy, God bless him, even when it's continually going in circles.

Philip Zurich

Memorable Pearson
I was really down, and a friend of mine invited me to a jam session hosted by Big Pete Pearson ("Goin' Fishin'," Dale Baich, January 22). I had played in the Valley in various bands, none blues--mostly reggae and Cajun style. Anyway, my confidence was wavering, as I was reeling from a recent divorce and the fortunes of the financial burdens associated with it. There was a long list of players already signed up at The Blue Note Cool Cafe that night, so I set my guitar case on the chair next to me and had a beer and listened to a few songs.

I thought, this is silly, I better get home. I headed toward the door and Pete stopped me. He came out of nowhere. He said, "Man, where you going?" He said, "Get your guitar out and get up there." He then asked his drummer and keyboard player to come up and back me up. He did not know me from Adam; maybe he just sensed I needed to play. Anyway, I did three songs which were well-received. I tried to stop after one, but Pete said to play some more. It really felt good to play and get that affirmation from playing and singing in front of a crowd.

That single act of kindness has stayed with me for the past six years. I ran into Pete at a car wash near my then-home in Tempe a few years back. I mentioned what he did for me that night and thanked him again. He just smiled and kind of chuckled. We talked for a while until his car was finished.

Anyway, thanks to Dale Baich for his well-written article. I hope Phoenix gives Pete a big, well-deserved thank you during the time he has left to gig in the Valley.

Jim Sauter
Malone, New York

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