River in Egypt

Bedfellows get stranger all the time: Thanks to The Bird for reporting in his February 1 column that one of our upcoming 9/11 Accountability Conference organizers and presenters, without informing us, had recently self-published a book questioning the facts of the Holocaust ("Deniers Conference," Stephen Lemons). We immediately removed him from prominent roles in the conference and later uninvited him due to security concerns.

I would like to respond to The Bird's hit piece, which said: "Ever notice how much Holocaust deniers and '9/11 deniers' have in common?" We note an odd similarity between Holocaust deniers and the purveyors of the official story of 9/11 events. Both refuse to acknowledge evident facts. This distorted perception results more from ideological bias and ulterior motives than from any honest desire to pursue 9/11 truth.

Our goal is to find out exactly what happened on 9/11, so we have asked the hosts of the Web site Screwloosechange.blogspot.com and other defenders of the Bush Administration's al-Qaeda conspiracy theory to appear with us in an onsite television studio to dialogue during our conference. This would mark the first time in five and a half years that those who claim that 19 Muslims perpetrated the attacks would dare to defend in a public forum the conventional narrative that has been endlessly repeated yet never proven.

Have they something to hide by staying away? If the official version of 9/11 events is grounded in truth, would it not withstand the scrutiny of our ideas and questions? Our group welcomes those of contrary view who might answer the many questions that cry out to be addressed. Feel free to get in touch with me via e-mail at aquapete@cox.net.

All citizens who care about the direction of our country in the wake of 9/11 should join us in Chandler at the San Marcos Resort on February 23.
Pete Creelman, Steering Committee, 9/11 Accountability Conference

The truth will set you back $129: I love the way Stephen Lemons has made sport of the conspiracy freaks organizing the so-called 9/11 Accountability Conference (see also Lemons' blog, Feathered Bastard). That so many speakers have dropped out of the conference makes me wonder what people who pay the lavish entry fee [$129 for the three-day event] are going to think when almost nobody who had originally signed up to speak actually shows up.

Naming a Holocaust denier to a prominent role in the conference was incredibly stupid on the part of the organizers, who are now trying to get anyone they can (even people who think they're crazy) to come and debate them. They've got to have somebody to tout at the affair!

What they don't understand is that most sane people would just as soon go to a convention of flying-saucer advocates than show up at this convention of kooks, particularly when nobody of note is speaking.
John Mackie, Tucson

Totally Ripped

RipOff retort: My name appeared on RipOffReport.com with all kinds of lies attached to it, and my life hasn't been the same since. I sincerely hope that your article brings heat down on Ed Magedson's Web site ("The Real Rip-Off Report," Sarah Fenske, February 1).
Name withheld by request

Blogging a dead horse: Bloggers have been getting away with stuff like you cite in "The Real Rip-off Report" for years. The blogosphere is the most lawyer-proof thing I've seen for some time.
Herbert Greasham, Scottsdale

Michele's a Belle

Treat transsexuals right: I am appalled and disgusted with the way Stephen Lemons wrote about the incident at Anderson's Fifth Estate regarding the transsexual woman Michele De Lafreniere ("Tranny-Gate," The Bird, December 28).

Lemons was insulting and insensitive in his portrayal, never once even taking a moment to consider what a transsexual person has to go through their entire lives because of jerks like him who perpetuate such stereotypes.

From the moment that transsexuals realize that something isn't right inside of them, they must cover up who they are and how they feel. They live their lives in quiet agony, knowing they are not who everyone thinks they are.

I always thought New Times was a progressive publication, but if you deign to print stuff like that, you just lost me as a reader, not to mention a paying advertiser.
Linda Costello, Scottsdale

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