Mars Face-off

Letters from the week of December 12, 2002

Hot Topic

Fire alarm:I just finished reading your story on the Central Garden and Pet Supply fire ("Fire," Robert Nelson, December 5). I just wanted to congratulate you on your investigation. Part of me feels like I should apologize for my own ignorance. I worked in that neighborhood and remember seeing the smoke as I was driving down the freeway home. I had no idea that the damage was so severe, not only to the environment but also to the neighbors.

Thank you for the well-written story and for enlightening Phoenix residents. I'm sure everyone who reads the piece feels the same disgust that I do at the irresponsibility of the local government and industry. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Tony Bowers
Phoenix

Space Oddity

It's out there: One should just take a peek at another awesome Mars Web site by another independent researcher, Joseph P. Skipper at www.marsanomalyresearch.com, to realize that NASA is caught between a rock and a hard place on what should be the biggest story of the millennium ("To Spite the Face," Quetta Carpenter, December 5). The search for the truth using real science is the goal here, regardless of who is doing it, not silly accusations which only continue to fuel time-wasting debate.

The "Face on Mars" is just a small part of this incredible story and a possible diversion from the other Martian areas of interest. Take a look at this Web site and prepare to take a journey to another reality. We are definitely not alone. In fact, it is downright scary when one ponders the future sociological implications when, not if, this truth does hit the fan.

Joe Lee
Chicago

Money on Mars: It's nice to see that someone is finally looking into what happens to all the information that we the taxpayers are footing the bill for. How can anyone claim that the data is property of ASU, and therefore not subject to the Data Quality Act? ASU didn't pay for it -- we did!

Matt Michalik
Via e-mail

Space case:I enjoyed your article but felt you used some subtle images to give the reader the impression that Richard Hoagland is a crackpot. I am no mindless zombie-like follower of Hoagland, but sometimes he does come through with some convincing points. And does anybody truly believe that the government always tells us the truth?

Oh, hope you realize that bamf stands for "Bad Ass Mutha F@&$er."

Name withheld by request

Secrets and lies:Thank you for being one of the first to take the whole matter of the ASU/JPL/NASA misrepresentation of the THEMIS data seriously.

I recommend in the strongest terms that you read Richard Hoagland's book The Monuments of Mars and Dr. Stanley McDaniel's report (referenced in the book) to get the background of this whole fiasco. You won't believe it.

By the way, Richard is far from a "preacher." He's a scientist who tells what he finds. If you read his book on this, you'll understand where he's coming from. Science is a game that anybody can play, provided they play by the rules. Submit their data for peer review, explain honestly what they did and, as Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman said, "The hardest part is to not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."

Richard is on to something, make no mistake. NASA's history of lies is way too extensive to cover in one article, let alone one book. But Richard's book will give you the general idea. I don't want to prejudice you. Just read the book and draw your own conclusions about who's telling the truth here.

Once again, thank you for having the courage to take on an issue that the mainstream press avoids completely!

Robert Trevithick
Williamson, New York

Seeking resolution:I feel the one proof that the ASU infrared image is a fake is the fact that you can't get to a higher res[olution] image from a low-res image. If Photoshop or any other software were used to enhance/sharpen the image, this would be apparent to the professionals all over the world who work with such software. Look at all the false pictures we have had over the years, and any bright individual can see they are fake.

We are being kept in the dark, but times are changing. The world is changing very fast, information is more freely available (well done, Internet). People are lot more intelligent than in times gone by, and the government cannot continue to fob us off. Also, more nations are becoming space active. I can't see most of them keeping mum; the U.S. is not one of the most favorable countries in the world.

Shaun Clifford
Via e-mail

It's still out there: I have known Mr. [Keith] Laney for about two years and in fact was part of his initial graphics training. He has since moved well past my skills, as he has learned his craft well. He cannot, however, create the type of image that ASU claims he did. The opposite is true, actually. The image now on the ASU site can be created from Laney's image; Laney's image cannot be created from the currently displayed data. You should try this yourselves, and then you will know the truth.

Regarding the claim by ASU that its site is ASU and not NASA. While that may be technically correct, the question has to be asked: Whose money is involved?

Who financed the THEMIS spacecraft, the imaging cameras, the launch vehicle, the ground bases, the 24-hour tracking, etc.? If the federal government is the financier of this project, then the products resulting from this project belong to the American taxpayer. The federal government maintains certain rules regarding the use of federal dollars; can this situation be any different? Is ASU a public institution supported by public dollars?

This is a clear case of keeping the science hidden from the public. Why haven't we seen any color images of any kind from NASA, ASU, Malin, etc.? They have been taken but are released rarely.

No, I'm afraid that too much subterfuge exists in this whole affair. The truth is there if only a good reporter would get into the subject.

Jim Miller
Howell, New Jersey

And the Beating Goes On

Fists of justice: I found a copy of the New Times on a flight this morning and was compelled to write this letter as soon as I got home. Right off the bat, I'd like to say I have zero sympathy for Wade Jess Jordan, the subject of Robrt Pela's interview "Death by Cop" (Speakeasy, December 5). I have never understood, nor will I ever understand why people get so riled up when obviously guilty individuals get exactly what they deserve. As a matter of fact, when I hear about cases like this, I cannot help but applaud the officers involved for instantly solving another one of society's problems. All the defense attorneys reading this letter will scream: "It is what our country is based upon, assumption of innocence, blah blah blah blah, if we give the police that kind of power, no one will be safe, blah blah blah blah."

It is those same defense attorneys who have made a mockery of true justice and robbed police officers of their ability to do what is right. Reference the Rodney King case. A complete joker. Multiple DUIs, PCP, multiple robberies, multiple assaults, then pursued one night in a high-speed chase, pulled over and justly beaten. Suddenly he achieves the status of martyr hero!

All the knee jerks reading this letter will scream, "Racist! Racist!" Not true. I have never been, nor will I ever be a racist. I am a realist. I don't care if you're black, white, red, yellow, purple, or even green -- if you have a rap sheet a mile long and take police on a chase, you deserve to be beaten for hours. Daily!

Tammie Hanson-Ferguson's description of her brother's incident is almost comical. Does she seriously believe her arguments hold water? Maybe in court, but definitely not in terms of absolute right and wrong. Jordan got a DUI and an assault charge and was sentenced to a work-release program? Why is he not alive right now, sitting in a jail somewhere? Hanson-Ferguson's speed limit and turn signal excuse is the most laughable.

In my view, the incident sums up like this: kid breaks law, court system unwilling to punish him, kid takes advantage of the situation, kid takes police on chase, kid refuses to comply with the officers' orders, officers solve the problem that the court was unwilling to solve.

Tammie: If you want to blame somebody for your brother's death, look no further than your brother.

Aaron Dunham
New York, New York

Stone Cold

From the clown of Bedrock: Thank you for telling us about Gary Carpaneto and Bedrock Stone Company ("Heart Failure," Robert Nelson, December 5). As consumers, we need to know the ethics of the people and companies with whom we are doing business. That isn't always easy to learn early on, but in this case, thanks to your reporting, we now know more about Mr. Carpaneto and his Bedrock Stone Company, and that helps us to make informed decisions about whether or not we should be doing business with him.

Linda W. Massey
Peoria

Pagan's Progress

Ritual in spirit: I read your article about pagan gatherings ("Coffee, Tea or Mead?" Spiked, November 28). I, being pagan for many years now, felt prompted to respond.

First of all, pagan is derived from the Latin "pagus," meaning country dweller. This pertained to one who honored a God and Goddess. There are a variety of Pantheons (paths from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds). Each pantheon has its own deity structure.

I would like to say I believe, during a ritual, one must Honor the Deities. Foolish behavior and immature actions are not what should be taking place while conjuring and calling upon the Deities. This is very inappropriate and of no use to others who are serious and take pride in what they believe and portray. Yes, of course there is merriment and party time and so forth . . . after the ritual.

One cannot be taking himself or what he claims too well if he acts in an immature or inappropriate manner. I know if I were conducting a ritual, I would not tolerate this kind of behavior. It's too bad you didn't take an interest earlier and attend Pagan Pride Day, the solstice September/fall ritual. That one was done well because of the fact it was a public ritual and gave one a better idea of Pagan Celebrations.

There are many who choose their spiritual or religious path by what they were raised in as children. I, for example, came from a Catholic background and realized when I was about 24 that I needed to change direction in that area of my life. So I came across the Pagan Structures and have been with it since.

Name withheld by request

Turning the Table

Talk about what, exactly?: The Table is wonderful, very warm from the heart and international in style, serving only fresh Italian home-cooked meals created from only fine organic and wholesome natural products (Spice, Carey Sweet, December 5). It is a must for those with only the utmost in world class or taste, regardless of location. The goods are there, come one or two by two, for you shall be greeted and treated amongst its old-world flavor. The Table is an exceptionally kind and warm, inner-city, fine-dining establishment, unlike 99 percent of the cold and so urban atmosphere many local Phoenix dining establishments exhibit. I do not frequent clone eateries such My Florist Cafe or Privé Bistro or Paisley Violin, for these are only for the want-to-be-seen, hipster mentality clan.

Now, I ask you, New Times, why the bad write-up in reference to The Table? Could this be an envious and disgruntled former assistant to the chef or slight female envy here? Is this world love for society contained from inner heart or what? How many well-to-do Phoenix fine-dining eateries give back to needy people? Let's talk!

Anthony Newcomb
Via e-mail

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