Hypocrisy and the Herd

Letters from the week of December 26, 2002

Courting Trouble

Ad nauseam:I have just finished reading Paul Rubin's article titled "Courthouse Scoundrels" (December 19). Obviously, Mr. Rubin spent significant time doing research. Of particular interest to me was what you had to say about Gary Karpin. One can't help but wonder how his victims even heard about him. I could find no listing in the phone book. An answer to that question came to mind when I recalled seeing an impressive advertisement (complete with quotes from pleased "clients") on page 53 of your December 12 issue. This ad contains self-aggrandizing language like "Former Prosecutor Justice Court Mediator" and "Trained in Mediation by Superior Court – Maricopa County." A similar ad, but smaller and lacking the testimonials, appeared before – for example – on page 13 of your October 3 issue. So the "scoundrel" must have represented a continued source of revenue for your publication. Perhaps Mr. Rubin's article would have been better balanced had he discussed your policy with respect to acceptance of such highly questionable advertising. Is it possible that he didn't know that your own paper was carrying such ads? Perhaps we're dealing with just plain old hypocrisy. Barry Moyerman
Scottsdale Rock BottomScene not heard: Your article ("Rocanrol Heartburn," Dan Cortez, December 12) was like somebody reminding me that there is a small scene of rock en español still going on. It was no more than three or four years ago that me and friends were going to Toolie's on Tuesdays to check out bands like Molotov and Los Olivos and, at that time, the scene was jumping off. Without solid airplay as well as better promotion, the scene can only go so far. Ramon Bertelsen
Via e-mail Work EthicsWhite matter:I want to begin by stating that I hold freedom of the press very dear to my heart, and I value alternative media like New Times because your paper helps provide a balance to counter more mainstream print such as the Arizona Republic. This isn't to say that I agree with everything I read in New Times, or that I don't think New Timesisn't biased on some occasions. I read with great interest your article "Herding People" (Susy Buchanan, December 12). I have lived in The Square, as it's called, for about seven years, and I am very cognizant of the day-laborer issue. It is a very complicated issue, and there are no simple answers. Both sides have compelling arguments. But as I read your article, I couldn't help but wonder if you're proud of your portrayal of Joe Fendler. You were quite successful in describing him as a hot-headed bigot who wants nothing else but to drive the Mexicans into the sea. On the other hand, your description of Hector was quite flattering, with the articulate Spanish and the way the jornaleros look up to him. To hear you tell it, he's probably the next Cesar Chávez. Clearly, your bias is showing. I won't waste time trying to debate the matter with you, but I do feel that your negative portrayal of Mr. Fendler is unfair because, in your article, he represents whites as a whole. And because of his heated arguments, because he is "snorting and puffing like an angry bull," you use his intimidating stance to invalidate any arguments he (or whites, for that matter) may have. Robert Schroeder
Phoenix Wage war:I just finished reading "Herding People" and am literally appalled at the thought that the so-called "lawmakers" of the city are all for letting illegals work in the state. I have been out of work for three months now myself, and, because of all the illegals in this city and state, it is difficult for me to find work. Granted, I may not have the "skills" some of these people possess, but I am a competent enough worker to learn how to lay block, hang Sheetrock, paint, etc. But because I am a legal resident of the United States of America and demand more money, I couldn't be hired by some of the employers that look for cheap laborers. Not to contradict myself, I do believe this country of ours is "the land of opportunity" for many. But what about those of us who were born here, have the legal right to work here, yet can't find suitable work because of the illegals that are working here for next to nothing? I would agree with the whole idea of your story if the first day-labor center had very strict regulations in place. I have no qualms about letting these people work here if they have documents proving they are allowed to work legally in the U.S. Any job I have ever applied for specifically asks if I am a resident of the United States and if I have the legal right to work in the United States. Why should people who cross our borders illegally be able to work here with no proof that they are residents of the States? Would these people feel the same if Americans were to go to their country illegally and take their jobs from them? It reminds me of a story I read in a newspaper a few years ago, how a Spanish woman went to take her exam to obtain a driver's license and then had the gall to complain to her legislators that the booklet wasn't written in Spanish to accommodate her! What gives these people the right to come to our country and start to demand that things be changed to accommodate them and to take jobs away from those of us who have the legal right to work here? Chris Belfiore
Surprise Change of VenueRocky rolling: Christopher O'Connor's column on the move of Nita's Hideaway missed the mark ("Nita's on the Move -- Thankfully," December 12). Mark Covert's "businessman way of saying" that the move has been an expensive and arduous one is only a small part of what the process has been about. The yearlong battles to make the move were well worth the tolls paid: physical, emotional and, yes, financial. Nita's has always been about the bands and the fans. That the bands even played in what O'Connor calls a "shithole" had much more to do with how they were treated by the employees and the community at large than with Nita's bare-bones facility. Tempe's support of both local and national acts is the reason that Nita's could afford to open its doors over the past years. Let the hard-worked-for move of Nita's Hideaway to a better-equipped and larger location be marked by this: the recognition that the fans are the driving force behind Nita's commitment to supporting rock 'n' roll in the Valley. On a personal note, the success of the club both past and future could not happen without the unfailing dedication of the many personalities behind the scenes. The club could never have drawn the tens of thousands of people to performances without loyal employees who helped to make it all happen despite the many obstacles along the path. Abby Covert
Tempe Strife on MarsTruth value:Your article on the spat between THEMIS and Enterprise was the first I have come across on the newsstand ("To Spite the Face," Quetta Carpenter, December 5). There are many anomalies on Earth and on other planets, and open debate about them is essential if we are to solve them. Your article reflects the entrenchment investigators and scientists show when their work is questioned. In itself, a very healthy sign. Nobody has a given right to expect acceptance of a theory or viewpoint, expert or not. Truth is undeniable. Chris Barnett
Via e-mail

 
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