From the week of November 22, 2001

Cabin Fever

Government lacking: "The Money Pit" (Laura Laughlin, November 8) was a terrific article. The Lees should be put in jail and they should pay back every cent. There is no protection for the consumers -- the Better Business Bureau and the Registrar of Contractors are useless.

Tom Hathaway
via Internet

Tinker toys would be a start: I read your article about Great Bear Log Homes and the unscrupulous business practices employed by them. Unfortunately, the dishonest dealings of one company can damage the hard work and reputation of an entire industry. I want you and your readers to know that Great Bear Log Homes is not representative of the log home industry.

There are many log home companies that are trustworthy and adhere to honest and ethical business practices. Consumers might start by finding a company that is a member of the Log Home Council of the National Association of Home Builders. Log Home Council members follow a code of ethics which promotes fair business practices. For information on the Log Home Council and its members, visit www.loghomes.org.

Jim B. Young, president
Precision Craft Log Structures
Meridian, Idaho

Logging off: I was so glad to see this article. How many of us are out there who have been duped by these people!? Hiding in plain sight is right!

S. Smith
via Internet

Series Champs

New Times finally goes to The Show: I've never been a big reader of New Times. I read it maybe once a month to every other month. But I noticed the issue regarding the Diamondbacks and the World Series victory, so I picked it up. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your perspective of baseball and the series very much ("Fan Fare," Robert Nelson, November 8). It seems that I and most of the people I know endured the same emotions you did. But all of us are now relishing in their victory. Anyway, I just wanted to voice an opinion on your article and thought it was very well done.

Mark Gilmore

You're a winner: Thank you, Robert Nelson, for such a wonderful article about the building up of expectations and the changes brought about by the D-Backs in the World Series. We all have so many stories of how we were affected by this wonderful series and the lead-up to it. Your rendition, with psychological and familial innuendoes, was fantastic. Your article will go into our collection of World Series 2001 memories. Anticipation and maybe premonitions of this event changed what was a slow drive from South Dakota through New Mexico to rushing to Arizona a month faster than we had planned. Better yet, this event brought our two sons, who were close as kids, but too busy to be close as young adults, back into each other's lives! D-Backs fever is an epidemic that is bigger than baseball -- and it comes at a time when we need a positive illness -- a healthy obsession!

Ruth Slaughter
Spearfish, South Dakota

Rock Out

Your flag decal really won't get you into heaven anymore: Kudos to Trashman on his article ("Marketing Misery," Bill Blake, November 1), and to add a comment, I'd like to know when any of us were any less American before September 11. Why did it take the tragedy of September 11 to make us all want to fly flags? Shouldn't we have been flying flags before then? And while on the subject, how come so many people are flying them backward? There is a proper way to display them. If you don't know how to fly them, why bother? I see lots of shredded flags, too, because they're being flown, attached to multiple places on one's car and trucks. If a flag is ripped or shredded, it's not supposed to be flown. This isn't very American.

J. Riffle

Law and Disorder

Bottom feeders: I really enjoyed the irony of your "Liar, Lawyer" report (Susy Buchanan, November 1). Since the victims of the false advertising were lawyers, however, I feel no sorrow.

I am a Phoenix attorney, and I was shocked when I received the brochure on the "Training for the Truth" legal seminar. I couldn't believe the State Bar would waste money marketing such a seminar. What lawyer would spend money to learn how to tell the truth? It's like inviting whores to attend a chastity seminar.

After eight years of civil litigation, I am thoroughly disgusted with the legal "profession" (really just a trade or occupation). About as often as I've sighted a coatimondi in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve (once a year?) I've witnessed an honest and forthright lawyer. (Unfortunately, though, I spend more time in the legal jungle than in the mountains and desert, so maybe that's an unfair comparison of frequency of sightings.) I assume honest criminal defense lawyers are even rarer, but at least the deceit of criminal defense lawyers has the side effect of protecting important constitutional rights and thereby keeping Big Brother in check. Civil litigation has no such beneficial effects. In fact, the effects are mostly bad: Civil litigation is a parasitic drain on the economy, and it exacts a harsh emotional toll on most litigants, winners and losers alike.

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