Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, April 2, 2009
SICK OF JOE
Who is this petty tyrant?: Three articles in your March 19 edition really drive home the point about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and (to a lesser, but still important, degree) his sidekick, County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
First, if anyone in his or her right mind ever believed Joe Arpaio wasn't racially profiling, Michael Lacey's cover story proves once and for all that he most certainly is. The harassment that this Yaqui Indian family (American citizens all) went through cannot be tolerated in a free society.
Who does this petty tyrant think he is?!
Then, The Bird's article on the poor Mexican lady who got her arm broken because she wouldn't put her (supposedly voluntary) fingerprints on deportation papers really got me fuming. Yes, she shouldn't have been in the country, the Nativists will fume, but Sheriff's Office personnel have no right to treat her like an animal. Whether the cretins who elect Joe over and over know it or not, even foreigners on our soil have constitutional rights.
Where does this petty tyrant get off?!
Next comes Paul Rubin's story about Arpaio's detectives threatening a former State Bar official and Superior Court judge because he went after County Attorney Thomas on what (to any rational and honest individual) were obvious ethics violations. This constituted an outright threat to this individual, who not only did his job, he tried to do what was right.
Who do these petty tyrants think they are?!
I pray every night that Joe Arpaio and Andy Thomas will someday get theirs. They both need to wind up in prison, where I hope Mr. Arpaio will die alone of old age.
Kate McDonald, Phoenix
Actually, Gomer, Valenzuela's a Native American: [Maria del Carmen] Garcia Martinez did wrong by being an illegal alien. She wouldn't have gotten her arm broken if she had obeyed the law and stayed in Mexico.
And did it ever occur to you that most of the illegal aliens in this country are Mexican? They are brown-skinned, not white-skinned. So, consequently, police look for Mexicans! Who else? Germans?
Guadalupe was a shit-pot community 80 years ago, and it will be a shit-pot community 80 years from now — because of the half-assed people who live there. A classic example of a half-assed Mexican is Manual Valenzuela, driving his brother-in-law's car without a driver's license and with the license-plate light out. This taco was just itching to get picked up.
Michael Lacey, you're a liar: Arpaio didn't threaten the mayor of Guadalupe. He told the mayor she had 90 days to cancel the contract and that she was free to do so. Guadalupe knew it couldn't do without Arpaio, and it came crawling back. They put in a new mayor who wanted Arpaio. Ain't democracy grand?
Just like we voted for Arpaio time after time. Don't you just love it?
Lacey, did you ever wonder why, in the Western Hemisphere, the two countries with the highest living standards are Canada and the United States, while Latin America is a shit pot? That is because we are settled by white, northern Europeans who were hard-working, educated, and organized.
The Spanish copulated with the Indians and produced shit. And now this shit is flooding the U.S. and Canada because we are superior and they want some of what we've got. Read history!
Fred Linsenmeyer, Phoenix
Ashamed to be from here: Michael Lacey's story, The Bird's column, and Paul Rubin's article in New Times made me ashamed to be a Maricopa County resident. If I'd read these articles from afar — and were thinking of moving here, or even visiting here — I'd immediately change my mind. Oppressive government officials, like Arpaio and Thomas, are bad for us all — whether the white trash who keep electing them know it or not.
Dick Taylor, Phoenix
Where's the other side of the story?: The "Are Your Papers in Order?" article in New Times is interesting, but it is only one side. I sympathize with the people who have been wrongly targeted, but something has to be done.
I'm 30 years old and in school. I'm also looking for a part-time job. I went to the car wash the other day to see if it was hiring, and the manager told me no. As I walked out, I noticed the guys drying cars. I am almost positive they're illegal. I called MCSO's hot line.
I'm also sick of going to the bus stop and standing next to a bunch of illegals waiting for construction workers to pick them up for jobs. [All the while], I have to stand in the trash they throw on the ground. I know it's their trash because I see the scumbags throw it there.
You're welcome to check it out; it's on the corner of Priest and Baseline.
James Buechler, Phoenix
Explain the "technically" part to us: Who does Michael Lacey think he is to write such crap?! These spics may be American citizens, technically, but they are still part of the problem in this country. You know they are harboring illegals, even if it can't be proved. I applaud Joe Arpaio's keeping his foot on their necks. He's standing up for Americans!
Rusty Barnes, Phoenix
Speaking up is a start: Thanks for the story "Are Your Papers in Order?" I have been disgusted by Arpaio's behavior for years, and I just don't know what to do to help protest his actions and support the people being mistreated.
Jennie Whitmer, via the Internet
Correcting some falsehoods: Flagrant false statements are made in your letters section regarding the "No Canada" article. Americans owe service personnel for duties completed, no matter the lengths. Respective service periods end for divergent reasons — positive and negative.
No American has all the details to truthfully assess separations, and you cannot just rudely criticize service personnel based on your ignorance.
Desertions are mentioned over and over, but some letter writers don't mention the desertions by the U.S. military branches of service personnel. Mentioned are Iraq and Vietnam, but why don't writers include Korea and World War II. Moreover, why don't stupid critics understand the differences among these wars. Americans have never received the details of the thousands of deserters among enlistees in all these wars.
U.S. presidents have horrifically sent out military personnel to the Vietnam civil war. Service personnel were justified in deserting from that immoral war.
Donald Begalke, Phoenix
She really should've just stuck it out: Basically, I think Kim Rivera should've toughed out the time she signed up to serve, but I would also like to know whether she was given alternatives to running away.
She clearly has some issues, and from personal experience, I can tell you that homesickness can be debilitating and can sneak up on a person. With that in mind, a well-run military would allow a person to get help, to transfer to a position that the person's more capable of, to be discharged.
If you jump at your own shadow, you're a danger to yourself and your unit, and that trumps unit cohesion. Still, while a lack of such options could be considered extenuating circumstances, what she did was still wrong.
The ones I do support are those who got a stop-loss order. They did their duty, fulfilled their obligations, and went back to their lives, only to be pulled back in, or not allowed to leave the military.
What happened to a volunteer military? Aside from a slap on the wrist, I don't think such deserters deserve punishment. They did everything they were supposed to, and the military simply decided to conscript them, which goes against the claims of an all-volunteer military.
This is especially galling when, at the same time, we're kicking gays out because they can't be gay and serve. Quite frankly, as long as you behave yourself and conduct yourself professionally, I don't see why gays can't serve, particularly at a time when we need everyone we can get.
Jim Harrison, Phoenix
Simply a coward: I don't believe [Kim Rivera] for a minute; she joined for a free ride, hoping her kids would keep her from serving in Iraq. She gambled and lost and now needs to face the music. I served in everything from Vietnam to the first Gulf War (and had five kids along the way). I may not have agreed or liked the situation, but I was no coward. She could have gotten out, if she hated it so much, but with no benefits.
Mike Wichrowski, Phoenix
Canadian love for deserters: Megan Feldman's article on desertion was an excellent piece on the subject. I first went to Canada in 1966 and have since become a dual citizen. Canada has been very good to me, but I won't go on about that.
I'm very embarrassed by the way the Harper Conservative government has handled all of this. When I first arrived in Canada, I had a choice. Go kill people I didn't know or find a new life somewhere else. Which I did.
Pierre Trudeau wasn't "welcoming American deserters by the thousands." It was very tough, and the Canadian government was not at all welcoming. But, like I said, we had a choice and had to live with it. [Vietnam-era deserters] were duped by their leadership, but they were responsible for what they did.
I don't think we can debate anymore the story of Vietnam. Many books have enlightened the world on the illegal and immoral war that was Vietnam. When Jimmy Carter "pardoned" all of us, we all thought that was a joke.
Anyway, the current deserters need to be respected and praised for what they're doing. All we hear now is "support our troops," but they are doing the work of their government. They, too, have been duped.
David Wilkie, via the Internet
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.