Rednecks ruling the roost: Lord knows something must be done about the influx of illegal Mexican immigrants to our country. But to have the kind of people who wrote letters to the editor in your July 19 edition seemingly in charge of the situation is truly scary. It seems that these uneducated bigots are driving the agenda in this country like they have never before been able to do.

Back when such rhetoric was common during the civil rights movement of the '50s and '60s, such rednecks were marginalized. The federal government stepped in and ensured the rights of African Americans. Look, I know the situation is different today, in that illegal immigrants are the perceived enemy, but it's a shame that more rational heads aren't behind solving the problem.

I never thought I'd be saying this, but Senator Jon Kyl looks like a statesman on the immigration issue. The whole situation — from Governor Janet Napolitano siding with State Representative Russell Pearce to the bigotry of these letter-writers in your paper — is so sad.
Arlene Manning, address withheld by request


Donít buy the hype: What a great story by Ray Stern on the worthlessness of the great majority of identity-theft companies ("Money for Nothing," July 19)! Anybody who's even thinking of contracting with one of these firms needs to read this story first. I was considering plunking down my money (I thought I had to in order to keep my identity safe), and now I've reconsidered.

I didn't just read Stern's story and make my decision. I looked into the contentions Stern made, and I came away agreeing with the vast majority of them. Any of you out there who are buying into the hype that the ID-theft monster is about to eat you alive should check out the facts in the New Times story for yourself. Money is a terrible thing to waste.
Ted Parker, San Francisco

We give you journalism expert Rob Anderson: Ray Stern is absolutely clueless. He clearly has no idea about the concerns or effects of identity theft, as a whole. He's quick to point out some of the industry's perceived shortcomings but lacks the journalistic integrity and expertise to cover all sides fairly.

I guess that's par for the course for a paper that's more focused on selling advertising spots for massage parlors and hookers than it is for reporting accurate facts.
Rob Anderson, via the Internet

A most worthless industry: If the two stories Ray Stern has written about identity theft and ID-theft companies don't warn people off wasting their money on these "services," I don't know what will (the first story was "What Happened in Vegas," May 31).

Never have I read about an industry that is so worthless. But the truth is, nobody is forcing customers of firms like LifeLock to sign on. People are so lazy that it's unlikely many will take the trouble to ensure that their vital statistics and credit ratings are safe on their own. Enter LifeLock.

Also the basic American business principal that "a fool is born every minute" comes into play. Should LifeLock be forced out of business because it preys on the fools of the world? There's nothing illegal about dumb people throwing away their money, now is there? Scads of businesses would go under if there were a law against that.
Ann Gould, via the Internet

Cringe-worthy, indeed!: I followed your excellent article on ID theft in the July 19 issue. Long before your article, I cringed every time I heard or read about the LifeLock founder. I guess it always felt to me like what LifeLock offered was a rip-off, doing something customers could do on their own. LifeLock had a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal with a large photo of the founder. Keep up the good work.
Joseph Wermes, via the Internet

A spin doctor speaks: On behalf of LifeLock, I would like to provide for New Times readers some of the information that was given to the reporter in response to his questions, but not used or addressed in this story. We strongly believe that this information shows, in no uncertain terms, that LifeLock's protections do work to greatly reduce the chances of identity theft and that all but a small handful of LifeLock's 200,000-plus customers are satisfied with the service.

According to a statistic reported in the original May 31 New Times story about LifeLock, an average of 3.7 percent of Americans were victims of identity theft, and FTC statistics show about 100 out of every 100,000 Americans have fallen victim. LifeLock is aware of only seven reported identity thefts among its well over 200,000 customers, or roughly .0003 percent. It's also just a fraction of a fraction of the national average reported in New Times on May 31. Seven is seven too many, but we believe this information pointed to a very important bottom line: LifeLock is effective in preventing identity theft.

LifeLock has six documented Better Business Bureau complaints in its history. While LifeLock also believes that six complaints are six too many, this is also a highly enviable record in the service industry where any growing company of LifeLock's size could easily generate hundreds of complaints without necessarily being tarnished. None of these complaints involved identity theft, all were addressed and all but two were resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

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Christian T. Black
Christian T. Black

First of all, let me just say this up front: these ignorant, racist, bigoted rednecks do NOT represent the majority of Phoenix voters who have been supporting the Propostions the radio team on El Break have been trying to encourage their listeners to fight against. I really don't appreciate the shallow, hollow argument that Stephen Lemons, New Times and ILLEGALS have presented over the past months (I'm a weekly reader): That on one side is "brown people" and the other side is "ignorant white people who hate brown people". That is total crap. The facts are really simple: we have laws that govern immigration. For far too long, employers and big business owners have been getting away with MURDER, when it comes to wages, benefits, and employment practices. This is the REAL issue: exploitation of illegal aliens, in the name of a bigger bang for their big bucks. Add in the well-known fact that we're a "right to work" state, countless labor union busting, etc...and now you've got the whole picture. This is NOT about hispanic people, or a hatred of them. This is about violators of laws already on the books. The employers (both commercial and private) and illegal aliens. That's the issue here. Frankly, they're both criminals..and the people of Arizona have spoken. We want justice. We passed these propositions because of these illegally-operating businesses; Americans are tired of being ripped off by them, having our benefits cut, our insurance snatched away, living in fear that they'll hire a LAW-BREAKER and pay them on the cheap to replace us. This is for the ILLEGAL ALIENS, who, by my country's laws are NOT, by definition, immigrants: if you don't like it, leave. You didn't have permission to be here anyway.

So, cut the crap; the only people I have a problem with should be pretty damn clear now. Just call me the "average" Arizona resident, because this is how "we" REALLY feel. Ray Childress isn't us. J.T. Ready DEFINITELY isn't us. And do you even have to ASK about Joe Arpaio??? Thanks for hearing me out.


well i was out of town for a couple of weeks and the last issue i read contained some rather upsetting letters about stephen lemons calling for his termination. when i got back to town i thought they finally did it. they canned him. honestly his articals are the only reason i pick up the new times anymore. it seems when i first got down here it was a different magazine. it had great stories that the "regular media" wouldnt touch. so few ads that i didnt understand how you were able to keep going. maybe it was my newness to the area that made me think that, but its looking like you're about to fall the the mainsteam. losing the bird would be the worst thing you could ever do. lastly: STEPHEN, MAKE IT WORTH WHILE. we miss you.

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