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.

My question is, why has this cretin been allowed to continue in his position as sheriff of Maricopa County for so long, with no atonement for his evil behavior?

Part of the reason I decided to leave Arizona forever in 1992 was because of the extreme right political atmosphere statewide. Arpaio seems to be the product of that atmosphere.

In addition, the climate in Arizona has changed for the worse. Humidity, due to the plethora of private swimming pools and fake ponds, has risen to make the Valley heat unbearable in the summer. I cannot even imagine the suffering of the prisoners in Arpaio's tent jails. No wonder people die. He is a sadistic brute.

It distresses me to read that sociopaths like Arpaio are kept in office by the people of Maricopa County.

Naval gazing: I see you are as enamored of Sheriff Joke as I am. Although I have never had an encounter with him or his employees, being a good, law-abiding citizen, I detest him and his policies.

Anyway, the point of this is to suggest you might find a good line of inquiry in the subject of Sheriff Joke's Navy.

All the lakes around Phoenix have sheriff's buildings and fancy boat docks (some covered) and a fleet of boats supposedly intended for patrolling the lakes. Problem is . . . they don't patrol.

On weekends they do, but during the week no patrol can be found except for two or three days after a fatal accident on the lake. It appears to be a nice, cushy job for Sheriff Joke's buddies.

Where are the officers assigned to lake patrol? They can often be found in a group at lunchtime at the restaurant at Saguaro Lake. But otherwise, you won't see one cruising around the lake.

This is especially bad during the summertime because parents turn their kids loose with high-powered boats with no supervision. Things like no-wake zones and rules to stay away from fishing boats are not heeded.

A sheriff's deputy could sit up in the no-wake zones and write enough tickets in one day to pay his salary for a year or more. But Sheriff Joke's Navy of patrol boats is sitting firmly in the docks.

Reckon it costs too much money for gas to patrol, eh?

Fear factor: I have been following your stories in regard to this maniac and his antics. I have a loved one who also was in Durango about eight months ago and (like the woman in "Turning Up the Heat") had a spider bite. It took the medical staff forever to treat him. He, too, was facing surgery if something wasn't done.

It is like herding cattle to feed, when a person goes for visitation. The detention officers couldn't care less. The place is filthy and disgusting. The violence factor is outrageous and inhumane, and no one should be subjected to that kind of treatment. I am not saying those who were there didn't put themselves there, but come on: When does it end?

I can't encourage everyone enough to go out and vote against Arpaio. Thanks for all your articles, and for telling it like it is.

Joe must go: Please, please keep writing anything and everything you can about Arpaio. The more the public is made aware of all his activities, the more it will convince enough people -- as if there aren't enough of us already -- that it's time for Joe to go.

Thank you so much for not backing down. Have you ever thought of running for sheriff yourself, John Dougherty? It's obvious you know more about the laws and his jails than Joe does!

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