Child pornography is illegal. Nudity is not.

I'm sure every pervert in the country knows where to go to find naked pics of kids on the Internet, 24/7, without having to go to an art gallery. And they can view them in the privacy of their own home.
Name withheld

No rational way to call them obscene: How sad that some people still see nudity equated with sex. It's likely that many of these people would be still burning books and banning some of our greatest artists if they had their way.

We should not judge our writers or artists on what some degenerate reader or viewer may make of a work of literature or art. Do we really wish to live in a society that allows things to be produced that are acceptable only to every taste, culture, religion, and personal value system?

I have three children of my own, and based on the photos shown, I have trouble understanding how anyone — other than someone predisposed to seeing all photos of children as sexual — could find these pictures obscene by any rational definition.
Name withheld

ANGRY MAN BLUES

McCain is nothing special: John McCain, probable Republican nominee and presidential aspirant, wears the label of maverick with pride, more myth than magic. He has been applauded, exalted and placed upon a pedestal from which he flies on the wings of self-aggrandizement and cleverly plays the sympathy card with great success ("Postmodern McCain," Amy Silverman, August 7).

But what kind of person continually exploits for political gain their valor and sacrifice? Such shameless self-promotion seems somewhat insincere, even contemptible. There are thousands of unsung war heroes around the world, and many more who're dead. McCain's military service may be commendable, but his congressional service . . . not so much.

George W. Bush and McCain have much in common. Both have lunch-bucket appeal, both are lacking in oratorical and vocabulary skills, both like budget deficits, both employ fear-mongering, exaggeration, and dishonesty in political campaigns. And, of course, they both like a good war. Bush likes to watch from the safety of the White House, and McCain lives vicariously through the military men and women who're sacrificed as referees in Islamic blood sports.

If you look under the halo and pull aside the shroud of perceived respectability, McCain the man is just another run-of-the mill politician, nothing special and not superior in any way. But his embrace, support, and pandering to the worst administration in recent memory calls into question his wisdom, judgment, and integrity.

A McCain presidency would most definitely be a continuation and an extension of the Bush administration. His perverse and unhealthy obsession with war is such that he will willingly inherit and wear the mantle of war monger-in-chief.
T. Byron Sinclaire, Pinetop

Tales of dirty tricks are getting stale: A few thoughts on your semi-hit job on McCain from a guy who's not a huge fan but won't be voting for the laughable Barack Obama — who, you heard it first here, will be beaten George McGovern-style in November:

McCain's about to learn, big-time, that being nice to reporters and giving them access is like petting a coiled rattlesnake; it may work for a while, but sooner or later you get bit.

The fact that this state is at the bottom of the earmarks raffle makes me want to send him a contribution. We all will be better off when the producers in this country finally tire of the non-producers' cleaning them out.

I was agnostic about Ev Mecham at the time (didn't vote for him), but I will tell you that his only impeachable offense was being the proverbial turd in the punchbowl of Arizona politics. His political demise was a raw display of power, a coup d'état, if you will, by the power brokers in this state, both Republican and Democrat, public and private (the Arizona Republic).

Spare me the sanctimonious politicians who bemoan his "crimes." There are more bodies buried in the desert from crossing these guys than sold cars at Mecham's dealerships.

I'm sure the stories about McCain you related are true. Hell, one look at him will tell you he's a poster boy for Napoleon disease. But the drivel about the mean-spirited attacking, the Republican dirty tricks is getting a little stale.

The Democrats wrote the book on hardball politics. They give as good as they get. The continued party line of the Dem/libs fighting the good fight for truth, justice, and the American way makes me nauseous. (See LBJ's first run for Congress).

That being said, I don't often agree with much in New Times, but do enjoy reading it at lunch. When you put the blinders on and go after all the scumbags from every political persuasion, you are at your best. I bid you a Don Quixote adieu.
Tom Stitt, Scottsdale

Facts are too ugly to ignore: Wow! I was riveted reading this article. After all the years you have invested in following, interviewing, and investigating John McCain, you deserve a huge thank you!

I knew little bits of some of this information, some I knew nothing about, but I now see what I feared about this candidate is valid. Too bad some continue to believe the public persona McCain has created — and choose to ignore the facts because they're ugly.
R. Hallowell, Phoenix

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