Church chat: The July 26 article on alleged problems at the two Catholic parishes in Phoenix ("Immaculate Heartbreak," Gilbert Garcia and Laura Laughlin) really gave this devout, lifelong member of the faith (43 years) reason to wonder how the situation could have been allowed to go so far so long, especially after the New Times article on the pastor of St. Jerome's parish, who had been reassigned after alleged problems in other parishes ("St. Peter Principle," August 21, 1997). My Catholic friends will get copies of "Immaculate Heartbreak." I regret the increase of news reports about problems around the U.S. in recent years. However, this must be examined to everyone's benefit.
Name withheld by request
Father knows best: I have been a parishioner at St. Anthony Catholic Church for three years, and I have never been so upset about an article in my life. I know Father Saúl Madrid very well and he has been a great comfort to my family during an extremely rough few years. The article seemed to be nothing but mudslinging. It was full of "facts" that seemed to be unsupported and not at all well-researched. What happened to the Catholics who support their churches without question and rumors? I hope the truth comes to light and Madrid can have a parish that will not question or judge. I would love to have him back at St. Anthony. Our gain would be Immaculate Heart's loss.
Name withheld by request
Restore sanctuary: Being a Phoenix parishioner and having been to Immaculate Heart church only once about two months ago on a pilgrimage, I had a chance to see the beautiful interior of the church and its eight to 10 statues of saints on the sides. I can see it was a great loss to the people. It at least should be restored to the way it was and continue to be the beautiful historical church that its parishioners made it!
As long as it is restored to its former beauty, I'm sure the parishioners would be happy.
I'm sure they can find good Mexican artists to restore the statue at reasonable costs, and they should be allowed to do so rather than have Father Saúl Madrid restore it only as an antiseptic-style building with no meaning in its art.
Name withheld by request
Power of Babel
So much for machismo: So let me get this straight. A city official made the egregious mistake of requesting that two men speaking Spanish in a meeting speak English, since this obviously uneducated and culturally insensitive official did not have the decency to learn or understand Spanish ("Lost in the Translation," Caleb Correa, July 6). At this request, the Spanish-speakers felt embarrassed, belittled and slighted. To speak Spanish is "sensitive to the Hispanic issue."
I am now under the impression that Hispanics, well, namely these two, are the most sensitive and fragile little flowers on Earth, and cannot tolerate anything that might be remotely perceived, or even twisted (depending on your agenda), as an affront to the Spanish language, or culture, no matter how innocent or unintentional. Not even an apology for an unintentional tone of voice can heal their wounded hearts and spirits. So much for the myth of Mexican "machismo."
I wonder, if I was in another country and attended the equivalent of a city meeting without a Spanish interpreter, how tolerant and accommodating would they be to me? Or is being offended at being asked to speak the primary language of the country in which you reside exclusive to "Hispanics"?
I couldn't figure out why this was even worthy of a story until I saw that Stephen Montoya was involved. I knew then that this kind of non-issue would fit perfectly into his agenda and could be hyped for all it was worth.
Doctor, no: I abhor abortion, and were I among the dolts in Congress, I would probably vote to have it banned during the third trimester. I'm glad Dr. Brian Finkel ("The Doctor Is Out," Amy Silverman, July 27) was finally booted out of his office space, but I wish he was an old skeleton, buried in his Vaginal Vault, rather than moving into Fortress Finkel. I hope his fortress soon meets the fate of the Berlin Wall.
In defense of hot rods: Concerning Skip Readio's letter of July 6, about Brian Smith's June 22 story "Rod Fellows": Aw, poor Mr. Wholesome got jealous because someone passed his red, tweed-interiored, 50 grand street rod, to look at a real car!
Secondly, although the term "jalopy" doesn't offend me (it's better than street rod), the implication that my car is unsafe does. The car has insurance, which required an engineer's safety report. It has big dual circuit brakes to match its big engine, and is a totally reliable daily driver, which by many standards is very civilized for the type of car that it is.
As for me being "an idiot and a moron," I have a background in aerospace engineering, and am completely capable of building a hot rod from top to bottom. Bad workmanship is not a prerequisite for our type of cars. Style and attitude, however, are, and Readio obviously had no style and the wrong attitude.
If I wanted to be on your "common ground," I could easily build a soulless, boring, Chevy-powered, billet-wheeled street rod, be accepted by your kind and become a harmless member of your society. But why not just buy a Saturn and get it over with? As far as putting your hobby back decades, that's the whole point. The difference being, our thing is not a hobby, it's a lifestyle, and our type of cars is where your hobby came from. You just don't want to admit it.
So why don't you just go and put on your big white tennis shoes, your shorts, and your good-guys tee shirt, get back in your lawn chair and mind your own business? Better yet, why don't you come and call me a moron to my face?
Boxing match: Loved the snippet in Flashes (July 20) regarding the battle brewing between Echo and Spectrum Weekly. You are too funny. Funnier still was the comment that Spectrum Weekly somehow copied the idea for street boxes.
As our advertising manager Leo Gonzales pointed out, "Spectrum Weekly has been in business for two months and Echo for 11 years. Who copied whom?" When Spectrum Weekly incorporated in April of 2000, we were public in our intention to buy the 40 boxes plus 50 wire racks. This information was in our business plan and posted on our Web site. Anyone could have seen our plans for improved circulation and market penetration.
As a proud New Times alum, I can say I learned the publishing business from the best. Professional distribution and street boxes will always be a key part of building our publication.
Publisher, Spectrum Weekly
Dead issue: I wish to thank you for publishing "Gas War" written by Jack Martin of Scottsdale (Letters, July 20). All historical controversies should be subject to continuing and open debate. This is the only way we can hope to arrive at some semblance of the truth.
Blurred revision: There are none so blind as those who will not see. Jack Martin is a fanatical anti-Semite who cannot look beyond his obsessed hatred and anger. The Holocaust was a reality.
Not only were six million Jews killed, but so were many Catholics, Gypsies, disabled and gays. If Martin thinks the newsreels lie, if he ignores the eyewitness accounts, the Nuremberg trials, foreign governments that imprison revisionists and those who denied, there is nothing that will ever persuade him of the truth.
As a member of the Army of Occupation, I can testify to the ovens, the gassing facilities, to the piles of ashes of the dead in many camps, and where I cannot find a single trace of my father's Polish family. The quiet of the death camps was deafening. Too bad we don't have the revisionist laws that pertain across the sea. Our democratic laws give Martin the right to be an anus in the first degree.
Why do you give space to such a blight on society? Look upon this small mind with horror and pity.
Eyewitness: Please tell Jack Martin that there are thousands of us ex-soldiers who can correct his thinking about the horrors that Hitler and his SS troops performed on non-complying citizens as well as Jews who were interned in the various death camps.
On April 4, 1945, my squad of mortar gunners, reassigned from the 93rd Chemical Warfare Battalion, was back about 800 yards behind the point of an armored scout car and trucks of infantry soldiers as we left the town of Ohrdruf, Germany, heading east. About a mile out of town our task force turned north, and in about another mile's travel we heard German machine guns being fired. You could tell they were German because the firing was irregular with a variable explosive report. (This was because the guns had been manufactured by prisoners who did their best to sabotage their products without being caught.)
While I didn't see it, I was told by an officer when the point commander deployed riflemen up on the wall around the enclosure and they shot and killed the three SS soldiers who were left to kill the last of the prisoners who were still alive. The bodies (probably 50 in number) were spread out over the small central open space that was behind the gate. The armored car smashed through the gate and the rest of us followed on foot into the camp.
We now know this as the Ohrdruf Prison Camp. Just inside the gate to the right were two killing ovens, each with four doors, into which these nearly starved bodies would be slid naked to be gassed. In the early days of the camp, gas was used as a killing agent. During this final stage of the war, they were building fires in the bottom of these ovens, and carbon monoxide was the killing agent.
Behind the ovens there was a wooden railroad boxcar resting on logs reaching across a pit into which the ashes of the boxcar would fall when they would burn it after it had been filled with bodies. The boxcar that was in place was about half full of bodies, which I estimated to be 100 or more.
Please tell Jack Martin the Holocaust did occur. I have pictures of what I saw.
I fully believe that most of the German people had no idea these death camps were in operation. Prison camps with workers for their farms and factories, yes; but this wholesale killing was a closely held secret by the Hitler hierarchy and the SS troops; most of the regular German soldiers possibly did not know.
I am frightened by people like Martin who refuse to accept documented history. They evidently did not listen in school, either.
Last gasp: When I wrote my letter (July 20) disputing the so-called "Holocaust," it was with the understanding that my comments would not go unchallenged.
The response, as expected, came quickly.
In the letter ("Holocaust and Effect," July 27) from "Name withheld . . . ," the respondent declares, "The word 'Holocaust' means the attempted annihilation of the Jews by the Germans. . . . The point is, it happened."
No, sir, the point is that it did not happen. The point is that credible evidence for such a monstrous undertaking is nonexistent.
The point is that the whole bizarre claim is an audacious and malicious lie, now believed by many after decades of continued exposure to ceaseless and unremitting propaganda. And the abundant evidence you mention is mostly bogus; confessions obtained by threats and torture, copies of documents of which the originals were never produced, statements by persons who were offered "deals," wild and often insane accusations by persons seeking revenge. That, pretty much, sums it all up. Hard, verifiable evidence that a program existed, involving "the attempted annihilation of the Jews by the Germans," simply does not exist.
That is not to say that crimes were not committed against Jewish persons. "Name withheld" asks, "How do you explain the bodies in the stoves and documents of human experiments? What about the people who now have tattoos as a permanent reminder of the camps?"
There is no mystery to any of that.
As for tattoos, it should be obvious that if one's intent were to exterminate people, one would hardly waste time and resources by tattooing them beforehand. Even today, more than 55 years later, many of the subjects of this tattooing remain alive. Doesn't that tell you something?
"Name withheld" continues, "The Germans did experiments and executions at random" and closes by saying, "You, sir, need to relearn your history before you show your ignorance again."
Is it necessary to observe that some "experiments and executions at random" do not equate to a program of genocide?
I would suggest to "Name withheld" that he obtain a copy of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Arthur R. Butz. The book, first published in 1976, is still available, and has yet to be successfully refuted. And, I might add, it will not be.
Prophet statement: I just finished reading the Chuck Prophet interview ("Prophet Ear," Bob Mehr, July 13). Now, I know quite a lot about Chuck -- he's my favorite rocker, after all -- but that was a mighty fine piece of reading.
A great job indeed.
Cutting edge: I just wanted to let Mr. Stephen Paul Green (Letters, July 20) know that the Daggers are not now, nor have we ever been, a part of the "garage punk underground" world that he believes we have come so lately to. We aren't punk rockers. We listen to Poison. We didn't even know you were having a party, let alone did we want to add anything to it. I have no idea what the hell you are talking about, Mr. Green. Let's get real: You obviously don't really know anything about the Daggers or our music. Who is Stiv Bators anyway? Who is this Richard Hell guy?
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I've got a brown belt in karate and I know how to use it. This is a pathetic era and you're one of the reasons, old man!
P.S. I'll see you at RAW and Smackdown, sweetheart!
Abe E. Ruthless, Daggers