From the week of July 8, 1999

Off the Hook
I think Fife Symington is guilty ("Paradise Lost," John Dougherty, July 1). It always seems as if these so-called politicians who are supposed to be working for "the people" always find a leeway to try to get themselves out of a bind. And Mr. Symington is doing exactly that. I couldn't care less about what he has done for the community; once you steal from the community, the community you are supposed to be governing and making a difference for, I'd say that all respect will be lost at the drop of a dime. He hurt and disappointed many people, especially those who had funds saved up for their future. So I don't care what kind of character he showed he was; he now proves what he is by his actions.

Sebrina Jimenez

Skip a Riot
Skip Rimsza's done a lot, and he's not boring ("Four Bore Years," Amy Silverman, June 24). He is a great character and he has a tremendous sense of humor. If the City of Phoenix should last for 1,000 years, comedy in government will have seen its finest hour.

Converse Murdoch
via Internet

Critic's Choice
Thank you for printing James McKenna's letter to the editor "Delete Elitism" (June 24). I would like to apologize for his banter. This letter is to inform Mr. McKenna that if he would like to read about mainstream bands and blockbuster movies that he check out Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly. These publications will have more than enough information to allow him to move along with the herd. Mr. McKenna should not criticize something he doesn't understand.

(This is where it gets personal.) Mr. McKenna, I am in a rock (I will call it rock so you can understand what the masses might call it) band. It is very hard to make it in the music business. New Times gives me press, and it gives press to many other bands that deserve the exposure. I would like to thank New Times' music editors for their hard work and their open minds. I would like to thank the movie critics as well. I enjoy hearing what another human being thinks of movies. I will see the flick and come to my own conclusion.

Mr. McKenna, you should support your local music scene and help these bands make it. Local music depends on you and, tragically, people like you to buy their music and help them get signed and sell CDs and go on tour and play for the herd of people like you.

Name withheld by request

The dumbing down of America must now be complete, to judge from the letters section in the June 24 issue of New Times. No fewer than three readers express outrage over an unfavorable review of a film (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) so juvenile and trivial that it makes Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace look intelligent. Does it say something about the times we live in that this pathetic piece of rubbish is not only hyped as a major event but is considered above criticism by its legions of philistine admirers?

If these immature whiners don't like the reviews in New Times, they have an ideal alternative: the Arizona Republic, where the state's (or perhaps the nation's) leading ignoramus regularly heaps accolades on the likes of Showgirls and Hudson Hawk. This is the level of taste and intelligence at which these shallow complainers are most comfortable; let them stay there, since their minds obviously have no room for anything resembling thought.

William Tannen

All Abort
Just finished reading your interview with my friend Brian Finkel ("The Terminator," Amy Silverman, June 17). Having interviewed him myself a number of years ago, I must say what a fabulous job you did with your interview. Brian was fairly open with me (and as always was extremely quotable), but you had an opportunity to visit his home and talk to his wife, which gave a much fuller picture of who and what he is as a physician and a person. I can tell you he appears delighted with the article, as he called me here in New York state to tell me to go online and read it.

As someone who cares about him and believes him to be an excellent (albeit eccentric) physician, I am glad to see him spotlighted in your paper. I truly believe he is very underappreciated in his community. Rodney Dangerfield used to complain about "getting no respect," but I think Brian Finkel has a much stronger case!

Anne Bower, editor
Body Politic magazine

I just read the entire article about the abortionist doctor Brian Finkel. I can't believe there is such an evil person on the Earth. This man is insane. His use of profanity is mind-boggling. His complete lack of feelings for his patients is frightening. Can you imagine sending someone you know to him for an abortion? Abortion is murder, but this man seems to relish in killing the unborn. My God in heaven, how can someone like this live with himself? Adolf Hitler is reincarnated in this monster. I just can't believe what I read, but I know it's true. Thanks for the report. I have told all my friends to bring it up on their computer.

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