Child Support

Letters from the week of March 20, 2003

How does he continue to get reelected? I don't understand. But then again, I don't understand many things that are going on in our country today. Like the office of "homeland security" virtually eliminating our rights to privacy under the guise of "securing us from terrorists."

Thanks again for standing up for what is right (correct)! You not only crossed all your "t's" and dotted your "i's" when it came to the investigation, but you have the evidence to prove it!

Mary Ann Fierros
Phoenix

Right-minded: So many civil rights being violated, and the taxpayers get the bills to defend Sheriff Joe. If a reporter for New Times loses the right to freedom of expression, we all lose a basic constitutional right.

Virginia Chaffin
Phoenix

Gag reflex:I am writing simply to compliment and tell you how much I enjoyed reading your column "Gag of an Order." I am somewhat familiar with the McGee case, and I do recall reading previous related New Times articles. It is disturbing to learn of the extent that the MCSO has gone to attempting to "break open a case" with a scapegoat like McGee. I am so glad and grateful that there is someone out there such as yourself with the means and motivation to bravely expose at least some of the unjust criminal activity that occurs certainly almost daily among Sheriff Joe and his cronies!

Hopefully, McGee will overcome this chapter in his troubled life, and maybe something good will come of this tragic unsolved murder. I believe he will have his day in court and be awarded a hefty settlement for his human rights violations! Keep up the modern-day muckraking! We need more people like you in journalism! Hats off to you, Robert Nelson!

Tony Pignato
Via e-mail

Crime and Punishment

Psycho therapy:As someone named in Susy Buchanan's excellent article, "Very Bad Thoughts" (February 6), I wish to amplify several points. First, Derek has a very valid point. Society is quite willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars incarcerating a person after a crime (and a victim) but makes it extremely difficult to seek the help necessary to prevent the crime. Two: Not all pedophiles are child molesters (Derek admits to being a pedophile but has not acted out), and not all child molesters are pedophiles (I have a very happy marriage, have molested, but am not a pedophile according to professional diagnosis). Three: Correct therapy works! I will never molest again. I know what my triggers are and can easily avoid them.

Those who commit sex crimes against children vary enormously from each other. The murderers of Polly Klaas and Megan Kanka are the most horrid extreme and receive the most publicity. At the other extreme may be the person who takes a photo of a bathing and unaware child. I'm not either extreme. And lastly, as indicated from other letters: People don't choose to be victims, but many choose to remain victims. We as a society can do better.

Lester Welch
Via e-mail

Hippie Replacement

Viewpoint of contention: I recently read a column in your paper about the recent war protests ("Not The Usual Suspects," Rick Barrs, February 20). I am very offended by the stereotype of old hippies being there at peace vigils. I was there, and I am not a hippie nor am I old; I am 19. So if your paper is going to cover a story, make sure you don't let the author's own point of view get in the way. That's not what a good journalist does.

Jason Sykes
Apache Junction

Arabian fights: I read with pained amusement Rick Barrs' "Not the Usual Suspects," his profile of Phoenix-area Iraq war protesters. Retired dentist Pete Slover caught my eye with his wild claim that the U.S. has supported the Israelis' killing of "Arabs" for years, and proclaimed the September 11 gang as veritable "heroes."

Reflexive anti-Americanism is always a hoot, especially when spewed with typical nonsensical vitriol. Slover forgets rather conveniently that the Palestinians (not Arabs, sir) were sold out by their Arab brethren years ago. Those occupied territories? The Palestinians could be in Jordan, Syria or Egypt instead of the squalid camps, except for the fact that those countries don't want those folks any more than the Israelis, and closed their doors years ago because they would rather use them to score political points with their own citizens. The Palestinians were offered more concessions by Prime Minister Ehud Barak than they'll ever get anytime soon, and they chose to throw bombs.

Blood is on both sides' hands, but let's face facts. If the Palestinians had leaders with anything even remotely resembling competence, they could have employed nonviolent civil disobedience, and they would have had their state years ago. No country has the ability to defy moral weight such as that for long.

Protesters, when they exercise their right against an iffy war like the potential Iraq war, may have a point. Alas, many of these same protesters turned out en masse against the war on terrorism before it even began, negating any relevancy they may have had to the national security debate. Our country does not have the right to basic self-defense? Going after responsible parties may make the Middle East angrier? That's like saying, after Pearl Harbor, that going after the Japanese will only tick off their navy that much more. If the terrorists became angrier, what could they do? Plow loaded jetliners into major American landmarks? Wait – they already did that! How could they possibly be more pissed-off?

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