Faith No More

Letters from the week of August 29, 2002

Pat Down

You can fool some of the papal . . . :Father Pat Colleary is on holiday in Ireland while being investigated for indictment by a grand jury in Maricopa County for sex offenses ("The Pain of Publicity," Robert Nelson, August 22). How many people under investigation by the grand jury get to leave the country on holiday?

I marvel at the County Attorney's "investigation" of priests accused of sex offenses. He turns the case over to an investigator who is a Knight of Columbus (sworn to protect the Catholic Church on their own lives). That guy allows Bishop O'Brien's personal attorney, another Knight of Columbus, to go through the bishop's personal files first! The bishop's attorney gets to decide what to turn over to a grand jury investigation?

This isn't the fox in the chicken coop, folks. It's the whole darn wolf pack! I thought Arizona laws applied to everyone. I even thought that a grand jury investigation of an alleged child molester meant an investigator would interview the suspected predator or even search his dwelling for other obvious signs of pedophilia, such as child pornography. Not these guys. They haven't talked to Pat or searched his living quarters! Not in all this time. This is just not done with suspected child predators. What will they find now, if they decided to search for evidence at Pat's home? Duh! What's wrong with this picture?

You can fool some of the Catholics some of the time, but not all of the Catholics all of the time. You didn't fool me.

Dianne Hanagan
Prescott Valley

Pumped Up

Going strong: With all that is meant by the words "thank you," I thank you for my first real experience with what is meant by the words "ethical journalism." Uniquely, for me anyway, you allowed my words to receive equal time and space on the subject of anabolic steroids ("'Roid Warrior," Robert Nelson, August 15). It is something no other mainstream media source has had the integrity to do and, believe me, for years I have tried.

Two final comments, if I may. First, the very last thing that my position represents is "situational ethics." People who have read my philosophy know that my ethics are founded on an irreducible absolute: the self-evident axiom of bodily sovereignty. Best defined as "My body belongs to only me!" No caveats, no addendums, no weathervane situations! If anything in the column evinces situational ethics, it's professor Charles E. Yesalis' statement: "This may seem strange to you, but I can argue both sides of this issue with sincerity." Strange or not, it is situational pragmatism at its best.

Second, professor Yesalis makes a major error for a scholarly academic, when he says, "A lot of people mistake absence of evidence for evidence of absence." This is semantic subterfuge and lacerated logic trying to claim that I'm required to prove a negative! Nonsense, and he should know it. As Bacon proved years ago, "The force of the negative instance is greater." And this kind of ignorance does indeed, as Mr. Nelson wrote, "drive me crazy." There is no proof that use of anabolic steroids harms anyone, and the assertion of that negative instance is, as a scientist, all that I'm required to do. The burden to prove them harmful is on our newspeak word twisters.

Robert A. Clapp
Phoenix

Power of the bench press: I just wanted to commend you on a job well done. Most news articles about steroid use only show one side of the story. Your column provided an objective look at steroid use and did not dwell on the hype that most mainstream media focus on. What the public usually hears about on the news or reads about in magazines, newspaper, etc., is a one-sided story based on opinions and misinformation.

Peter Bertolini
New Haven, Connecticut

Doing Justice

It takes a village:I have been reading your articles on the juvenile system ("See You in October," Amy Silverman, August 8). I was a special ed teacher and worked with behavior-disordered children beginning at the end of the 1970s. This has been an ongoing problem. I ran a residential treatment school (1987-'89) called Wayland Family Centers. We would intake children from Adobe, the state hospital, etc., when they were ready to be in an unlocked facility. I read many, many psych reports and I can tell you the problems have begun way, way before they are locked away.

We fail to provide services for children who are having severe emotional problems. I taught in the Dysart Unified School District for several years. We had some very sick children, but outside help is very limited and not what is really needed.

If you did even more research, you would find that many of these children wouldn't have been where they are if they had received the right help very early on.

I am not defending the system -- it is awful. But we are all letting these children down.

Kate Hooker
Via e-mail

 
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