There's that double standard thing again: I just have one question for Amy Silverman: If Mr. Palin were running for vice president, would you have written the statement: "And what the fuck does this man think he's doing; does he have any idea what it takes to raise a kid with Down syndrome? He thinks he can be vice president and take care of that baby?"

Hmmm. I think not. Can you say double standard? I know I can.
Christine Hippeli, Tempe

Plenty of puke sessions ahead?: I hear you, Amy! I have a 1-year-old daughter with Rett's syndrome (take cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy, stir well, and add a shortened lifespan). At five months, a disabled baby is not much different from other babies. But Palin has no clue what's in store for her in regard to properly raising her Down syndrome son.

Palin's son will need her and her husband and an army of medical specialists to get through life. Ever heard of speech pathologists, medical specialists in every field, occupational therapists, physical therapists, behavioral therapists? Somebody needs to handle these specialists. Mrs. Palin, has someone told you that there could be serious heart complications later in life with a Down syndrome patient?

Did anybody tell you that having a special-needs child affects your other children, and that they will need their mom and dad? Oh, and I am sure all of the people of Alaska who live with a disabled family member have big love for you after you cut the state's funding for caring for the disabled by $60 million dollars.

Oh, but this was before your son was born. Now, you pledge your support for us, telling us during your GOP Convention acceptance speech: "If you have a child with a disability, you have a friend in me."

That's when I puked! I'm sure you're going to bring America plenty more puke sessions. Well, that would be a good way to solve our obesity problem. (Just kidding!)
Trisha Cullen, via the Internet

Any woman should applaud Palin: It was so clever of McCain to get Palin to have a Down syndrome baby — just to drum up more votes. Nothing tugs at the heartstrings like a POW holding a Down syndrome baby.

I mean, come on! How ridiculous can you get? If Palin were a man, there wouldn't be any mention of how this child's needs would be met. Perhaps Sarah Palin has a nontraditional family in which the man provides more of the childcare, which any woman should applaud! Shame on Amy Silverman for being so closed-minded!
Erin Giles, Phoenix

So, what's your point again?: Look at all the help Sarah Palin would get by being vice president. Where else should a baby with Down be, hidden in a dungeon somewhere?

How would her pregnant daughter feel if she didn't take the job? "Well, my mom could have been the first female vice-president, but I got pregnant, and she was ashamed of me and turned it down."
Caren Fife, Tucson

Ethics and openness are lacking in Palin: Many are asking: "Can Sarah Palin meet her responsibilities as a mother and serve as vice president?" I don't care. Neither should you. Quite simply, how other parents perform isn't our business — at least not unless they are abusing or neglecting children. Clearly, she is not going to do either.

So let's get to the real question. Is Sarah Palin who we as a country need?

We need political leaders with an ability to weigh both science and religious beliefs. While there are many who would support her views on abortion, how many Americans think that it's a good idea to have a political leader who believes in creationism and doesn't believe in global warming?

I don't care what kind of mother Sarah Palin is. I care greatly what kind of national leader she would be. There is nothing in her record that reassures me that this candidate is fit to lead. More importantly, she appears to lack the ethical values and openness to others that are critical.
Kenneth A. Weene, Phoenix

JOE ARPAYASO

Excuses are all we ever get: I haven't walked in their shoes, but I know plenty of cops who: a) know what the word restraint means, and the difference between compliance and revenge, and b) haven't killed anyone in their custody, even if the suspect ran [at] and/or attacked them ("Dead Again," John Dickerson, September 11).

I'm sick of hearing excuses and reasons that make [Maricopa County detention officers'] actions somehow okay. It's time for accountability. But more importantly, ask yourself how would you feel if that was someone you knew, or a loved one?
David Saint, Phoenix

His handle says it all: I invite anyone to come take a tour of the Lower Buckeye Jail — or of any of our jails, for that matter. What you see on the news or read in New Times (which has a known bias against the MCSO) is utter bullshit.

I promise that the full facts of the Juan Mendoza Farias case haven't been released. As far as not releasing the video, it's policy, not hiding. I honestly wish the video of this man's actions toward officers and staff were released. He was not only going through alcohol withdrawal, he was also on about every known street drug under the sun.

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