Money is an illusion: As a conservative, I read New Times for the investigative articles, like "Gold Rush," that expose scam artists for the damage they inflict on unsuspecting consumers (Ray Stern, July 8).
When you and your fellow writers follow the truth in a story, without regard for political perspective, you do this community a great service.
I lived here in the early 1980s, and remember the collapse of North American Coin and Currency Ltd. and the collateral damage that hit many people. It does not surprise me that the two bottom-feeder principals have resurfaced.
As I listened to all the "buy gold" commercials over the past year, I truly smelled a rat, and your article confirmed it. That two convicted felons could weasel their way back to riches leaving a swath of empty wallets behind tells you all you need to know about that industry.
As to the rest of the article concerning the unstable economy and monetary system, let me say this: Money is an illusion, and gold is a metal you can't eat. The illusion that is money worked great as long as people could relate some fictional "value" to the green paper they were holding. We are conditioned for our hearts to go pitter-patter when we hold a $100 bill. That is beginning to crumble because the fiscal sociopaths of both parties have spent beyond sanity. They had the power to destroy the system, so we shouldn't be surprised when it finally takes place.
As for me, I have a small I-told-you-so coming, in that I wrote a novel more than 20 years ago called A Distant Crossing. It was premised on a monetary meltdown, and many thousands have read it. The thought behind it was what happens after all the "smart guys" finally screw up?
Fiction is fast becoming reality.
Tom Stitt, Scottsdale
Monetary collapse is coming: Great story on the gold mania afflicting our country. With all the spending in Washington, we'd be fools not to worry about a monetary collapse.
I wish I'd had the foresight to buy gold when the price was lower. Now I fear the top may have been reached. Guess I'll have to just wait for the crash, which I pray never comes.
I still can't believe that all the gold ever mined through history would be just a cube measuring 66 feet on all sides. No wonder the stuff is so valuable!
Ron Lester, Phoenix
Orange inmate suits for these clowns: How very appropriate for these two good Republican, racist, opportunistic felons to print their stupid hater shit on orange T-shirts.
Orange is, of course, the official color for all prison-inmate clothes and accessories provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections. I can only wonder whether these two jerks saw the irony in their color decision.
They have both worn plenty of orange. They both, however, seem to be solid-gold assholes.
Steve Tracy, Phoenix
Please go after these scam artists: Thank you, Ray Stern, for this story. More people need to learn about this serious problem.
After talking to a fast-talking gold salesman from L.A. who told a scary story of bank failures, depression, and riots in the streets over the value of the dollar, and saying gold coins were the way to protect himself, my 86-year-old father took $240,000 of retirement money and wired it to this asshole, who not only didn't send it all to him in gold, but sold him silver coins at an average 45 percent premium over street prices. So, out of the gate, my parents were $108,000 in the tank.
Not only that, but Dad was told the value of the coins was based on gold content when it wasn't. If the shyster salesman really had his best interests in mind, he would have sold him a series of coins that made sense to coin collectors, but he didn't. He sent several (as in more than four) of the same coin of the same year. It made no sense.
This is criminal. This is wrong. And I'd like to see our attorney general candidates go after these scam artists as much as identity-theft crooks. These are lowlifes who are stealing the nest eggs and savings of the elderly who can't afford to lose it. There is a special place in hell for these people, and the more who learn about the scams, the better.
Todd Landfried, address unavailable
Best way to buy gold is eBay: While the U.S. Mint doesn't currently sell any non-proof gold coins, until demand soared in late 2008, it sold non-proof "burnished" varieties for a relatively small market over spot.
Some creative folks even used the Mint as a way to speculate in gold and platinum at no cost. The mint was slow to raise prices and offered a 30-day return policy. You could purchase large amounts of gold or platinum at a small markup to spot, and if the price rose further, take delivery and sell it. If it didn't rise enough, you could simply send it back.
But the best way to buy gold has been eBay, using various cash-back methods, including one funded by Microsoft's Bing search engine. You can purchase gold coins for substantially under spot and immediately resell them on delivery to local gold dealers. Unfortunately, the Bing cash-back program ends at the end of July.
Babeu is turning out to be Arpaio Lite: Wow! Who knows whether the Pinal County deputy's story is fiction, whether he wanted to make the illegal-immigration crisis look all the worse by claiming he was jumped by scumbags in the desert, whether he wanted to glorify himself with a tall tale? But it sure smells fishy ("Lawyered Up," Paul Rubin, June 17)!
All the more so because Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu — Joe Arpaio Lite — jumped on it like a buzzard on carrion.
When the truth comes out, and it will, I think both Deputy Louie Puroll and Babeu will have a lot of 'splaining to do. Because the evidence simply doesn't support the county cop's fantastical yarn.
D.H. Gonzalez, Phoenix
Pinal County sheriff is covering up: I can't begin to express the disappointment I feel with Sheriff Paul Babeu. He had me completely fooled. I thought he might turn out to be a professional sheriff in Arizona. Apparently not.
I wonder how much influence the flaccid fool from Maricopa [County] has had on him? Better yet, why? Babeu had a very comfortable election result. He doesn't need to play the MCSO shurf game. But apparently he hasn't figured that one out.
Yes, I think the Puroll "shooting" eventually is going to be found a sham. Yes, I am also afraid Babeu is covering it up. Too bad.
Tommy Collins, former police officer, Phoenix
Nobody's surprised: Police officers have a reputation for never lying, when (the truth is) they often exaggerate what happened and, in some cases, outright make things up to get a conviction.
That this clown in Pinal County may have done that surprised nobody who isn't a fool.
Jason Head, Glendale
We all could use a job like that: Is the Pinal County officer's story made up? [Don't know], but he reported to work at 9 a.m. He didn't have anything to do so he decided to check out some smuggling trails. He then went to breakfast at the Iron Skillet and arrived at the trailhead, where he parked his car at 2 p.m. That's five hours later. This is his story. I am not making this up.
I could use a job like that. Get paid starting at 9 a.m. Go to breakfast. Get to your work location driving a county-provided vehicle at 2 p.m. What's not to like about that kind of duty?
Paul Cechovic, address unavailable
It's all just common sense: The fact remains that someone shot at a cop. Be it one round or 50 rounds, they shot at a cop.
It is common sense that, when a cop is shot at, he can shoot back and defend himself, and if that means firing more rounds then his attackers, then so what?!
One question I have to ask is, how many shootouts has this reporter been in to make the call on what is considered a shootout?
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The only bad thing is that the scum who attacked this cop weren't killed. It is getting out of hand in that area. Something needs to be done about the drug smuggling. Overwhelming force needs to be applied in dealing with this to show that we aren't going to put up with it. We shouldn't put up with not being able to use our own damn recreational areas because they have been taken over.
By the way, breaking the law by smuggling drugs and shooting at a cop has nothing to do with race — so stop crying racism when a cop defends himself against drug smugglers. It's not like the cop went out in town and shot at random people because of their race.
How is border security paranoia?: Please explain how it is right-wing paranoia to want to secure the borders of this country. What is right about illegal immigration?
I've noticed that it is okay to be against SB 1070, but not for it — at least from what it says in the news media, anyway.