Letters

Letters from the week of August 5, 2004

WHININGLY CHALLENGED

An uplifting tale: Finally, a story about a handicapped person who isn't a whining pussy ("My Right Foot," Robert Nelson, July 29). I can't believe it! Thanks for telling the story of Gordon McGuire, now of Paradise Valley, Arizona.

As you so succinctly put it -- by backwardly quoting the famous line from the public bathroom scene in The Elephant Man -- Gordon McGuire is "not an animal. He is a human being."

With all the, um, warts that this entails.

He reminds me of the late Drunken Angry Dwarf of Howard Stern Show fame, only Gordon isn't high -- anymore, at least. Sounds like he was for years and years, though. What a story! A guy who is in such severe pain that he must take drugs, lots of them, illegal and otherwise, to be able to not seriously consider killing himself. And because of that, he starts to deal the dope, and becomes an underworld kingpin, running narcotics and prostitutes. That whole Lake Elsinore scene in the article was rich.

As a disfigured person myself, I loved this story. This is the stuff of a major motion picture. I'll bet Hollywood will be calling you once they get a look at this dramedy.
Amanda Stutts, via the Internet

PERVERTS GALORE

Sanitized for our protection: I enjoyed your article about Perverted-Justice ("Perverting Justice," Susy Buchanan, July 15). In fact, you will find some of my posts in its forum.

Aside from the information that you wrote, there is a far more disturbing element to their ambush style. Simply put, there are no checks and balances. They could very easily lynch the wrong person.

I went through one of the logs they published -- a conversation they had with a predator. The log showed significant signs of editing. The person who was the [Perverted-Justice] persona stated [he or she] had two hours invested in this online chat, but the log could account for 20 minutes at most. This also is to suggest that the logs can even be faked and the reported dialogue never happened, in reality.

It is too easy for PJ members to frame someone they personally don't like. And there is no recourse for the innocent victim of their tactics. I do not believe in entrapment -- and that is their agenda. Keep working the guy until he screws up, no matter how long it takes. Their personas start the sexual talk and keep it up until the guy bites.

That is not to say there aren't bad people out there. We know that there are, but once the persona has a hit, the matter should be turned over to law enforcement. If PJ frames an innocent person and puts it up on the Web site, it is too late forever, and the damage to that person is complete and will never go away.

I suggested to PJ members that they take a more legal approach and was threatened by them. I suggested they take a less zealous kill-at-all-costs approach, and this Xavier Von Erck lashed out with a seething demeanor. While their intentions are good and pure, their methodologies are frightening. Their approach is that of a witch-finder, and innocent does not exist in their vocabulary.

They have never written a public retraction [of a person who turned out to be innocent], to my knowledge. Be careful with these people, please.
Rabbi Michael Berglin, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

PROS AND CONS

Typical Joe supporter: Who is paying John Dougherty, for his vicious comments ("Turning Up the Heat," July 29). Is there payola, there ??? I lived there 25 years, moved back to normal condition, due to things such as the garbage your printing . . .

I have never read this paper, it in the past, won't again, how many of the people such as your writer, would take the job, do better, I followed his years as sheriff, he did what no one else would -- heard from others that thought he was doing a great job . . . other than sit in an office, the only fault I could find was all his bragging, wouldn't you brag ??? I would, I did a lot there in charity . . . no thanks for it.

Thank goodness the entire country doesn't feel the way you people do . . . I realize garbage, such as this -- sells papers -- I know someone that owns 3 newspapers, from here to Neb., never saw a personal attack in them, they know how to write, without playing favorites. I write to you, since you are the one to allow the items to be printed, You should read his book, maybe you can find more personal attacks in that.
Ann Freeman, via the Internet

Editor's note: Because of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's reputation for retaliation, New Times has decided not to publish the identities of the sheriff's detractors who write letters to this publication, unless they expressly request that their names be used.

Et tu, brute: Joe Arpaio is a disgusting creature. I don't even want to give him the honor of calling him human. He is positively medieval in his instincts and practices. He would have served well as a torturer for the Spanish Inquisition.

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