I'm not condoning drugged-up physicians' actions and certainly would not want to be operated on by a physician with a relapse in his past. It just seems unfair to target one of the only state agencies taking their role in protecting the public seriously, when this is such a complex issue.
Name withheld by request

The drugs are right there: An estimated 90,000 staph-infection deaths, an estimated 90,000 malpractice deaths, and tens of thousands of people who suffer disabilities because of physicians. Many more because of insurance companies not providing what's needed.

And doctors are not regulated, reviewed or monitored until they're busted, and then only for five years. I think this proves [that the Arizona Medical Board] can't be trusted.
Name withheld by request


Abuse and kill us, okay, but stop costing us money already: I'm angry that Sheriff Joe Arpaio condones this Honduras thing, and that County Attorney Andrew Thomas, whose office is supposed to monitor what the Sheriff's Office is doing, just looks the other way ("Evil Weed," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, March 6). Thomas has been looking the other way when it comes to Joe since he assumed office.

Thomas has made a fool of himself in so many ways. Let's not get into the illegal immigration thing his office spends time pursuing (because I'm in favor of what he's doing there); let's talk about his outrageous blunders regarding old Joe.

Thomas has backed him in every way possible as Joe costs us [$43 million-plus] in payouts because of jail lawsuits. I don't care that much about lawbreakers who died, but I do care that Joe's supposed inhumane policies are costing me as a taxpayer.

My point is that Thomas' malfeasance in Joe's regard didn't start with [fired special prosecutor] Dennis Wilenchik and the New Times case ("Blowback," Stephen Lemons, February 21, and "Head on a Skewer," Paul Rubin, in this issue).

Thomas needs to stop catering to Joe, who most thinking people believe is a bozo, or he may have to forget politics in this state. Because I think Joe is going down on this Honduras thing, and if Thomas isn't careful, he will go down with him.
Dent Travis, Phoenix

As county attorneys go, maybe Thomas will: Hopefully, the County Democratic Party will do something for the county attorney primary winner. Four years ago, it didn't help Don Harris, the nominee. And prominent Democrats like Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon endorsed Andy Thomas.

When I was the uncontested Democratic nominee in 1992, I got no help — except the formation of a "Democrats for Romley" Committee that included liberals who should have known better.

In hindsight, Romley was much better and fairer than Thomas, although I stand by my criticism of him over the phony AzScam sting and the belated release of four innocent alleged murderers of the Buddhist priests in the West Valley.
Gary Klahr, via the Internet

Police Academy 8: The Fleecing: So if I'm to understand this, Nickel Bag has done it to me again? He has put his grubby meat-hooks in my pocket, taken my tax dollars and given it to Jabba [Chief Deputy David Hendershott] to run amok with down south.

I'm sure [Hendershott and the other deputies traveling to Honduras] are teaching the finer side of police work, like how to make sure nobody makes it out alive after a weekend in the clink. Ah, elected "officials." Where would we be without them?
Tony Alexander, via the Internet


Hobson's choice: I took the time to read the comments (about "Arrested Development," Megan Irwin, February 28) and was taken aback by one ("Why should I have to pay for their care?" Letters, March 13). First off, Drew's parents had to stay at or below the poverty level for 18 years to have the Medicaid money needed to pay for the average of $100,000 year in medical expenses.

No insurance would touch our family even if we could find a company that would take us on. That meant my three sons and we two parents had to forgo medical care and a normal life all that time until my son became "a family unto himself," in Social Security terms. It doesn't matter what the expenses are in relation to the family income, only that the diagnosis be severe enough for the family to be at poverty level.

All those years that two college-educated professionals could not work in their career fields because it would put us over the income level [to get government assistance]. And, remember, no insurance would cover anyone in the family!

Second, we were not members of any church at all, so your comment about our religion making a difference in deciding to help Drew live was off the mark. It was our personal values and morality, and isn't that enough for a personal family decision?

Third, who would [the letter-writer] suggest make these life-and-death decisions?

If government money is not used for the support of those most vulnerable in society, most dependent and most unable to ever "pay their own way," then what is a government for? Oh, yeah, perhaps some people would rather all their taxes go for more bombs and weapons for the War of Terror.

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melanie bulseco
melanie bulseco

how did Easter creep up on me like that? I had no idea tomorrow was easter until I received an electronic easter card from back east. I thought it was next sunday or the sunday after that. i mean, it's no big deal. I'm 52. It's not like I gotta run out and buy eggs and egg coloring for the kiddies. It's just that the year went so fast. it seems that easter was just a few wks ago.


BJ with all due respect - bite me.

You made a You made a decision, why should I have to pay for it?You were told in no uncertain terms exactly the kind of life Drew would have, in fact according to the article, you were told it would be worse.

Tell me did you mention in your interview that you and your husband deliberately sabotaged your careers to fraudulently get government assistance? Do you know how many men are in prison for sabotaging their careers and failing behind in child support? How is what you did different?

Ever think that had you worked, and had your family help out, you might have earned enough to provide for your sons care rather than relying on the tax payers? Do you know how close the country is to bankruptcy because of the war and moronic social welfare programs in this country?

You say your religion played no part because you don�t belong to a church, I never said church I said religion, and your comment about the great beyond shows you to have some sort of faith.

As to who should make such life and death decisions? The parents should, and guess what?YOU DID. You made the decision, and then after you made the decision you made another one - let society pay for it. Its like had you smoked all your life knowing the dangers and then once you had cancer you expect the government to pay for your treatment, hoe is that fair?

So tell me how is it working out? I know this sounds callous, hell it is callous, but what kind of life does your son have bouncing from home to home rarely seeing his family never in one place long enough to form relationships? That was the life YOU chose for him, not me, but you. And your upset with me because I would rather spend my money on my family rather than yours?

This wasn�t some horrible accident that happened to him later in life, something totally unexpected and unforeseen. It was a birth defect, one that would have caused, and one day will cause his death if not for constant medical intervention.

This is the life you chose for yourself, this is the life you chose for your family, this is the life YOU CHOSE for Drew. So again - why should I have to pay for your choice?


Homedepot Gang Fights?

What's with the battle between the Red shirt gang and the illegals ?I went to the Homedepot (McDowell - Phoenix, AZ) Saturday 3-15-08 at about 9 am and was run out of the parking lot by a big gang fight between two gangs. One gang of about 5 or 6 black guys (one was white) wearing red shirts that said something I could not read, and about 20 of the 40 hispanics that were hanging around looking for work.The biggest black dude was the one starting all the problems but with 20+ against five the red shirt gang was sure to get a beat down.There were 2x4 boards being used along with fist and a bunch of rocks, one of witch flew past me and smacked a car in the lot next to me, it was the size of a baseball and could have killed some one.I got the heck out of there as fast as I could not wanting to see someone get killed or very hurt.Homedepot needs to do something about this, it drove me off and I saw a few folks looking pretty upset. This is not going away and will only get worse, I am sure.Do they need a security guard to watch over the illegals ?Do I need to pack my 9 mill. just to go to the hardware store on Sat. morning for gods sake?Please tell me you have heard something about this incident?I saw at least 4 Homedepot employes standing around checking out the gang war.I'm from Kansas and this just may be run of the mill stuff I have to be apart of when I go to Homedepot ?Thanks for letting me voice my concerns.

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