Letters

Letters from the week of July 17, 2003

 Abbreviated Response

XOXO from NT: Just read your story ("The Mile High Guys," Jimmy Magahern, July 10). I met my fiancée while I worked for HP (1996-2002). We met in OGG -- I lived here in PHX, she lived in ORD. Knowing that the distance was a non-issue, I didn't even think twice about pursuing the relationship. I was director-level as well, so had PS personal travel. That helped, especially for the Fri-Sun weekends. Of course, three months after we met, I left HP for another company and had to start paying for tickets! But we kept it up, and are getting married in September. She now lives here. Flying? More now than before (due mostly to work). She's Gold and I'm Platinum. Life is good being revenue pax! Again, loved the story. I can totally relate.

Name withheld by request

Editor's note: For those not up on International Airport Code: HP is the carrier designation for America West; PHX is Phoenix; OGG identifies Kahului, Maui; and ORD represents Chicago. In addition, PS designates "positive space," accorded the seating priority of a paying customer or "revenue pax."

Fly-by-Night Outfit

Roxie heartless: I take no pleasure in hearing of the employees who were left somewhat befuddled yet not shocked at the covert departure of RoxSand Scocos ("Ironic Chef," Spiked, July 10). I worked there 10 years ago and, although I am not proud of it, I can honestly take pleasure in the fact that she will finally be viewed more realistically.

True, she rarely cooked (and only for shows) and gave no credit (either verbally or in the many articles praising her culinary genius) to her chefs who propped her up over the years. Her longtime chef at that time was a six-year veteran who asked that he be mentioned in the course of accolades showered upon her; the phrase "like it or leave it" was his cue that it was not going to get better for his culinary career. Though I was not one, longtime employees were treated as the "indoor dog."

Name withheld by request

Marriage License

Bountiful in more ways than one: I have just finished reading your article about polygamy in Arizona and Utah ("Profits of Polygamy," John Dougherty, July 10). I was shocked and appalled to find out about what is going on. I want to thank you for exposing this cult to the world. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, and there have been recent stories about similar happenings in Bountiful, British Columbia. Your work is truly appreciated, and with increasing awareness, I hope things will be done to improve these situations.

Brandy Henrickson
Via e-mail

Prize package: I want to thank you for your efforts in exposing polygamy for what it is -- abuse! You have been very honest in your reporting and also very informative to assist all of us human rights workers who deal with polygamy. I personally believe you deserve a Pulitzer Prize for the work you have done to free the victims of polygamy from the secrets that entomb them.

Carmen Thompson
York, Pennsylvania

Wrestle Mania

Scar tissue: As a fan of professional wrestling, I was very curious to read Benjamin Leatherman's article about local wrestler Matt ("Scar") Haugen called, punningly typical of New Times' titlemeisters, "A Scar Is Born" (July 3). His freakishly high tolerance of pain suggests the possibility of serious neurological disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or maybe even abnormal complications of high blood pressure. Any one of these afflictions could disqualify Scar from professional wrestling, not because of "unfair advantage," but because of the potential for threat to his life. That would scare me, and it should scare Scar, too!

I applaud Scar for his athletic expertise and obvious fortitude. But I wonder how those who passively enable his life to be put in jeopardy might feel if Scar's scars ever become too deep or too deadly.

Scott Hume
Via e-mail

Jury Rigged

Mob mentality: Juries are invariably turning in death sentences because they are a mob ("Off With Their Heads," Paul Rubin, June 26). Mobs have no conscience. The intelligence level of a group of people goes down as their numbers increase. It is far easier to agree with a bunch of other people than to stand against them.

Mary K. Croft
Casa Grande

Altared states: Duped by Mary Durand, the hired lackey for our county's finest defense attorneys. New Times, even your scandal sheet should be ashamed of itself for printing such nonsense. What could make defense attorneys or Mary Durand think they possibly know how society should treat its worst murderers and career criminals? Innocent altar boys they are not and never were. Digging up irrelevant social facts or fantasies from the offender's distant past may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with why a murder was committed years later.

Mary Durand knows these titillating social revelations, whether real or fantasy, might just allow her altar boy a chance to escape the gallows, so dig them up or concoct them as necessary is what she likely does. If she can't find an altar boy murderer, then take this criminal and make him one more victim of society and hope for the best. If the devil did not make him do it, society must have.

All this article really proves is that juries are best left with making these life-or-death decisions. Crybaby advocacy on the part of Mary Durand or all the defense attorneys in America can't change the fact that murder unravels the sacred social contract we all share with one another and just maybe some murderers should incur a deadly penalty for their behavior.

So cry on, Mary and defense attorneys of America. Just keep cashing those paychecks, crying those crocodile tears, but always remember even your boy might have to go to the gallows someday.

Name withheld by request

Death and taxes: Please, stop. My heart is just bleeding for those poor, maligned, misunderstood serial rapists and killers, those assorted multiple murderers and the rest of the cream of our criminal crop. Is mitigation just another name for how to make victims out of our worst victimizers so we can all feel sorry for them?

Put them to death, oh please. I just might lose sleep over them. Let's just see if we can find out if they were ever impoverished, victims of molestation, whether real or imagined, at any point in their distant past, victims of bias or prejudice, today, yesterday or 20 years ago, whether it was real or imagined. We need Mary Durand to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars looking for all this irrelevant social drivel and then tell us how important it really is and how we should feel so bad for her miscreant. Then and only then can we understand how 90 days of house arrest, treatment and an early parole just might be too punitive. Mary Durand can continue to make us feel guilty while she spins her yarn of meaningless nonsense and laughs all the way to the bank.

Even she cannot be so naive as to believe all these miscreants' early social misfortunes have anything to do with why or why not any murderer commits a murder and what is or is not society's reasonable response.

Name withheld by request

Image Conscious

Cover me: I was appalled by the cover story of your June 19 issue ("Local Hero," Susy Buchanan). I don't know what you guys were thinking, putting a huge swastika and a skinhead giving a fascist salute on your cover. Although I was immediately offended by such symbols of hatred, I read the article anyway. I think it's disgusting that someone with a rap sheet, touting a doctrine of hatred, was given so much copy in your publication.

While the writer did make attempts to keep the cover story objective, including quotes from law enforcement officers on the dangers that skinheads pose to society, I can't help but think the article was less about education and more about glorification. Josh Fiedler obviously enjoys being in the spotlight and recruiting misguided youths into his hate gang, so why give him the opportunity to expand his little posse?

While New Times may have thought the cover story on Fiedler was informative, I'm sure that Fiedler viewed it as a great opportunity to spout his venomous beliefs and cement his local celebrity status, which will undoubtedly aid him in converting others to his doctrines. As for Fiedler wanting to "create a more positive image for skinheads," I don't think that's possible. Fiedler may think he's revolutionizing the skinhead movement by picking up trash at a park in front of the cameras, but the bottom line is, hate is hate. Many high-ranking officials of the Ku Klux Klan are respected, white-collar businessmen in their communities, but that doesn't diminish the KKK's long history of violence and hatred against minorities.

Your cover story on Fiedler, while revealing the ignorance and immaturity of his followers, only helps to further the cause of hate by providing Fiedler with a forum for his views. I don't understand your motives. Of all the people worthy of the term "local hero," why did you pick the leader of a skinhead gang?

Niki D'Andrea
Phoenix

Impact statement: I have yet to finish your article on the "Local Hero," but I had to stop and look up the religion Josh Fiedler claims to follow, as Christianity has always been the religion of choice, and from the first Web site I came to, I pulled this quote:

"We are opposed to racial hatred and intimidation, regardless of who practices it. We salute honorable men and women of all racial, ethnic, and religious groups. The AFA sympathizes with the efforts of all cultural and racial groups to maintain their identity and promote their legitimate interests. We are opposed to all forms of totalitarianism, of the left and the right alike."

How can someone claim to be a skinhead, tolerant or not, and follow these same beliefs? These beliefs may have a place in prison -- survival, maybe? They do not, however, have a place in today's society. I find myself from time to time cringing when I see a person of Arab-like descent, but thank God I have met a physician of that ethnic background and my son recently brought home a new friend of the same background. This was a pleasure for me to see, considering his father has "skinhead" beliefs and has tried to shower my son with them. But I feel I have made enough impact on his life that he can make his own decision about a person and not a race.

We should all pay closer attention to the children of today. Tolerance should not only be an exceptional personality trait, it should be a way of life. Depending on the remainder of the article, I may continue this letter. But let me say as long as we continue to give these American terrorists front pages of papers and magazines, they will continue to grow. No, we should not hide our heads in the sand, we should all rally around them, because our weakest link is as strong as their strongest link!

Name withheld by request

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