The Bird, a racist? That's the accusation leveled by a cowardly campaign of avian-haters, featuring form letters denouncing this funky feathered fiend being sent to some New Times advertisers.
The malignant missives are addressed "Dear Business Owner" and sound like some nasty little chain-mail scheme from back in the day. The kind that would threaten you with death if you didn't send a copy to five of your pals and promise to dedicate your firstborn to Beelzebub.
"Your advertising in the New Times is an implied endorsement of the atrocious lies and hateful words of this column's author," reads the screed, which continues, "Please demonstrate your disavowal of the New Times racism, intolerance and continued bigotry by removing your advertising from their paper and spending your advertising dollars elsewhere."
Needless to say, no one's pulled ads because of the intentionally vague and misleading snail mails. What exactly does the mysterious author of the form letter mean by "continued bigotry"? And because a form letter implies organization, why does the true source of the correspondence operate under anonymity? You know, like a pre-arrest Baseline Killer.
After obtaining a few of the letters, this wacky wren decided to look up some signers. When rung up by this raven, Glendale resident David Scott screeched that he was a Minuteman, a Phoenix firefighter, and a regular attendee of Rusty Childress' Thursday night anti-illegal immigrant prejudice parties, which have hosted such wackjob racists as white supremacist J.T. Ready and brown-basher State Representative Russell Pearce. The latter's known for arguing for a return to the Dwight D. Eisenhower-era deportation program Operation Wetback, and for forwarding an e-mail from the neo-Nazi National Alliance last year.
Not the brightest crayon in the box, Scott first claimed he wrote the letter, and that the others who signed duplicate letters were "acquaintances." Asked what was racist about The Bird's columns, Scott, who confessed he's as white as a sack of pigeon crap, replied, "When you call Minutemen racist, it just shows how racist you are."
So, according to this Albert Einstein of the Phoenix Fire Department, this ivory-hued albatross is racist against racists! That's akin to David Duke asserting that Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees is prejudiced against Klansmen. Or that Anti-Defamation League chairman Abe Foxman hates neo-Nazis.
Reminds this rabble-rousin' robin of that ol' Woody Allen line from Annie Hall: "I'm a bigot, I know, but for the left."
In a later call, Scott admitted he hadn't written the form letter but wouldn't cop to who had. Queried as to why he'd stated otherwise, he argued that signing the letter "was just as good as me writing it."
Isn't it reassuring that Mensa members like Scott are the ones responding to your emergency calls? Ahem, The Bird knows it feels safer.
This persistent penguin acquired another copy of the form letter signed by Russ Dove, a Tucson nativist infamous for such antics as burning Mexican flags with lesbo anti-Mexican immigrant lightning rod Laine Lawless (see "Burn, Baby, Burn!" February 15), and their pal, anti-immigrant activist Roy Warden, whose big thing is drawing a perimeter around himself and promising to blow the head off whoever crosses his imaginary Maginot Line.
Dove was more straightforward than Scott. Though he didn't remember signing the letter initially, he soon recalled that he did so while in Phoenix speaking at you guessed it one of Rusty Childress' Thursday evening Mexican bash-o-ramas, held at Childress' Kia dealership on Camelback Road, east of Interstate 17.
"There was a table up there with a whole bunch of paperwork on it, and the gentlemen there wanted me to sign it," stated Dove, explaining that, "I know the New Times has been running a lot of really bad articles about Rusty that aren't fair and aren't real."
Thing is, everything New Times has told the public about Childress has been spot-on, from the undercover description of Childress' prejudice powwows to his support for the Ernst Roehm of the East Valley, J.T. Ready, and the petty destruction of an NT newspaper rack by one of Childress' employees in apparent retaliation for what's been written about Rusty's activities.
In case you're not getting this, the secret smear campaign against this starling apparently is emanating from the hoe-downs at Rusty's auto mall, where his group, United for a Sovereign America, meets.
Gee, what's next, Rusty? A mob-style hit? Heh, take your best shot, Oswald.
By the way, this tweeter would love to print whatever Rusty has to say about this and other issues. But Childress either declines to comment or refuses to return The Bird's many calls. Like a lot of pricks born rich, he likes to crouch behind the scenes and let the likes of Russell Pearce and, possibly, Russ Dove do the dirty work.
Why any Democrat in his or her right mind would vote for a Democrat in Name Only (DiNO) like Phil Gordon is beyond this baffled buzzard. Bad enough that Goober endorsed asshole wingnut Andy "Candy" Thomas for County Attorney in 2004, and that he's forever the puppet of the PHX's big developers.
But here's the latest: Goober's also backing Republican Senator John McCain for president in 2008. What a disgusting little turncoat-weasel.
No surprise, considering that in 2005, the Phoenix Business Journal quoted Gordon PR-toady Scott Phelps as stating that hizzoner would be endorsing McCain in '08.
See, McCain and Gordon are longtime allies. McCain's wife, one-time Percocet-popper Cindy McCain, has donated cash to Goober's re-election bid, and reportedly helped raise moolah for our milquetoast mayor. Also, Gordon's co-chief-of-staff Deb Gullett is married to Wes Gullett, a longtime adviser to the senator and his former deputy campaign director from Y2K. Sheesh, Goober and McCain are practically fused at the hip.
True, Goober keeps it on the QT while suckin' up to McCain, who's as popular with the AZ GOP as a massive anal probe is to a prostate patient. But last week, the L.A. Times reaffirmed that Goober "has crossed party lines to back Senator John McCain, the Republican candidate who is a longtime friend and supporter." This, in an article about how L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a real Democrat, would be endorsing Hillary Clinton in her White House run.
Why doesn't the AZ Democratic Party threaten to disown Philly Cheesesteak unless he toes the line and supports the freakin' Democratic Party in the national elections? And why would any Dem prez candidate making a swing through Phoenix want to share the stage with this punk?
Yeah, the PHX mayoral contest is nominally nonpartisan. But if Dems want to vote for a true D and not a DiNO, they should cast a ballot for the Rev. Jarrett Maupin. That cat will never endorse a Republican.
"Phil's in the game, he acts like he's on our team, he's in our huddle, but he has their jersey on," opined Maupin to this meadowlark. "You know, go play for your own team and stay out of our huddle. Actually, he wouldn't even be a good Republican. So I'm urging him to re-register as an Independent."
Maupin, who turned 20 this week, challenged Goober to defend his egregious hypocrisy in a debate. The PHX's political boy-wonder also pointed out that in a state with a self-respecting Democratic party, Phil would be drummed out.
"He's like the house Negro," offered Maupin. "You know, the one that told on the field Negro so that he could sit on master's front porch. That's what he's doing in this race. He wants to sit on Master McCain's front porch, or he's trying to assure that he's got Master McCain's support when he eventually runs for governor."
(Save the angry letters, people. Maupin's black. He can use that analogy.)
Goober's canoodle-fest with McCain is nothing more than political back-slapping. Democrats should treat Phil like a leper until he stops using the party faithful to his own ends, and stops playin' patty-cake with the enemy.
Is Fred Thompson smokin' crack? On the same day last week that the Law & Order star and former U.S. senator was incorporating his presidential committee, this winged wonder learned Freddy's shilling for scumbag Robert Maynard Jr. , founder of Tempe identity-theft company LifeLock.
Maynard's the subject of an exposé by New Times staff writer Ray Stern, who reveals Maynard's shady, duplicitous past in lurid detail ("What Happened in Vegas . . ." May 31). Yet Thompson's stentorian vocals "will grace 60-second ads for [LifeLock] on radio networks nationwide," according to a recent story in The Boston Globe.
This lack of vetting on Thompson's part could help derail Thompson's honeymoon with the media and his fellow Republicans. The Globe article suggests Thompson's doing the ad "because LifeLock has a special offer for servicemen and -women deployed around the world." But once those servicemen read Stern's piece on LifeLock mogul Maynard and his scummy past, they'll be thinking twice about that "special offer."
LifeLock offers a service for $10 a month that most people could do solo: Inform credit-reporting bureaus that you want your account red-flagged for fraud. Stern tells you how to do it without LifeLock's help.
Stern also details how Maynard filed for bankruptcy three times. Maynard's previous firm, National Credit Foundation, was sued by AZ and the FTC for fraud and misrepresentation. And, incredibly, federal court records state that Maynard and other execs at NCF obtained clients' banking info and "withdrew funds from consumers' checking accounts without authorization."
Authorities shut down NCF in the '90s, and there's a federal court order forbidding Maynard from working in the credit-repair industry indefinitely. Maynard's never admitted wrongdoing. But he declined a chance to defend himself when Stern phoned him.
Maynard even took advantage of his own father, Dr. Robert Maynard Sr. , who admits "veracity is a problem" for his son. See, Maynard Jr. used his father's identity to open an account with American Express without the knowledge of Maynard Sr., racking up over $154K in unpaid bills on the AE card.
Yep, the guy whose company promises to protect you from identity theft was once a practitioner of the art form.
Both Maynard and LifeLock CEO Todd Davis like to tell this bogus story about how Maynard was once arrested for failing to pay back a $16K casino loan that he never took out because someone stole his identity. Problem is, Maynard actually did take out that casino marker, so the arrest was 100 percent legit. This, according to the Clark County, Nevada, district attorney's office.
Why does Thompson associate with a bottom-feeder like Maynard? Maybe he's got a noggin full of flintstone. Not that he's the only celeb who's pimped Maynard's company. There's also sleazemeister Howard Stern, erstwhile OxyContin addict Rush Limbaugh, and radio fossil Paul Harvey, for whom Thompson's subbed on Harvey's radio program.
Thompson's peeps didn't immediately return calls for comment.
Personally, The Bird's never been able to take Thompson seriously. He comes across as a real fat-head. A big, Foghorn Leghorn-phony baloney. This kissy-face time he's having with the media will be over soon. Perhaps sooner, should his ties to Robert Maynard prove more profound than a few ill-advised radio ads.
Good news and bad news, bird-brains. First the good. Seems Heart Attack Grill owner Jon Basso is movin' his artery-cloggin' enterprise from its somewhat remote Tempe address on West Warner Road to 44th Street and Thomas in P-town, a short flight from this dodo's PHX digs.
The new location promises to be even more profitable for Basso, who scored huge pub when AZ Attorney General Terry Goddard's office objected last year to Basso's naughty nurse waitresses on behalf of the Arizona State Nursing Board.
The result was a tsunami of ridicule for Goddard, the nursing board, and the Center for Nursing Advocacy, a small band of femiNazis out to make everyone adhere to PC speech codes when it comes to those following in Florence Nightingale's footsteps. Ultimately, the nursing board retreated, the CNA returned to obscurity, and Goddard went back to doing what his office does best nothing.
Basso appeared on 20/20, Japanese and German TV, radio shows like Rush Limbaugh and Tom Leykis, and on and on. Fast-forward to May 31, when Basso closed the Warner Road location in favor of opening a bigger, better 24-hour Heart Attack Grill with the same Quadruple Bypass Burgers, scantily clad angels of mercy, Flatliner Fries and beer and ciggies. But this time with a drive-through!
Sadly, it looks like we'll have to wait a couple of more weeks for this char-grilled hunk of heaven on Earth. The delay's because of dillweed City Councilman Michael Johnson, who objected to HAG having a liquor license in his District 8 because he believed the burger 'n' babes biz will cause an "extreme traffic hazard." Johnson got his fellow chuckleheads on the Phoenix City Council to vote with him to recommend against granting HAG's license.
Extreme traffic hazard? Are you freakin' kiddin'? Has Johnson been driving to work like regular folks through the war zone that is light-rail construction? Or does he pilot a helicopter to work? This City Council, as led by Mayor Phil "Goober" Gordon, knows all about extreme traffic hazards because they've overseen the biggest traffic nightmare in Sand Land's history. Why, if this woodpecker didn't have wings, it would've killed itself by now dodging downtown ditches while driving its T-bird to and from work.
We all know traffic's not the real reason Johnson's against Basso's beefy vision. Rather, it's insincere, politically correct prudishness ironic given the fact there's a Bombshells Cabaret strip club nearby.
Thing is, neither Johnson nor anyone else on this supposedly pro-business City Council wants to garner the scorn and derision that, say, Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross has been subjected to since she campaigned unsuccessfully against Jenna Jameson's flesh shack Babe's.
Or since she objected to Harry Morton's Pink Taco restaurant and was mocked on Jon Stewart's Daily Show. These bogus traffic concerns are a cover-your-ass move for P-town's city fathers.
Basso seemed unperturbed, arguing that the Arizona Department of Liquor License and Control is a state entity, over which the City Council has no power.
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"The City Council has delayed our opening for about two weeks," acknowledged Basso. "But the state has to give us a legitimate hearing, and they have to have an objective reason not [to grant a license]. It can't just be, 'Oh, you've offended some people.'"
This bill-bearer hopes Basso's right, because HAG's new amenities sound frickin' cool. The place will be decorated as a surgery room, with a huge stethoscope hung inside and a giant Styrofoam Bypass Burger on a pole outside. In the drive-through, your order will be taken via two-way monitor from a hot nurse wench lounging in a second-floor bedroom upstairs.
And there's more:
"Our license will allow us to pass liquor out the window," boasts Basso. "So it'll be like a drive-through liquor store. You'll cruise through, and you'll go, 'Gimme a Double Bypass, Flatliner Fries, a Budweiser, and a pack of Marlboros.' Of course, we can't uncap the beer. People have to do that themselves."