When in Rome . . . : I completely agree with your take on the Ray Lindell case ("Naive Gringo Pill Popped Below Border," Susy Buchanan, July 22). This guy totally went down to Mexico and didn't follow the country's laws, and his family started screaming bloody murder. It's so true that ugly Americans think they can do whatever they want south of the border and that the grateful Mexicans should just look the other way, proud and happy that the great citizens of the United States deign to spend money in their country.
And the Arizona press, except for New Times, portrayed Lindell as if he were just some poor old man trying to help his sick wife. I'm sure he wanted to help his wife, but that wasn't the whole story. It's just wrong for his family and the rest of the media to make it seem like Mexicans are evil. Come on, folks! Mexico is a Third World country, and that's why we Americans like to go down there for bargains on everything from clothes to narcotics.
I can tell you from experience that it is painfully easy to buy whatever you want in a Mexican pharmacy, as long as you follow the rules of the land. The problem is, how do you get the drugs past U.S. agents at the border? Which, I found it amusing to read, was what Ray Lindell was worried about. I mean, he clearly thought he was doing something wrong, even though the story pointed out that he was allowed by U.S. law to bring in a three-month supply of Valium as long as he had a U.S. prescription, which he claimed to have.
Anyway, great job at setting the record straight. And another in a long line of insightful stories by Susy Buchanan.
Ray Peterson, Chandler
And the guy who's buying loads of pills is not corrupt: How dare you criticize a poor, elderly gentleman for trying to help his wife! Those corrupt Mexicans are beneath contempt. I don't care what you say, that country should be nuked for keeping Ray Lindell in jail for any length of time. He could have died in there. What are they selling illegal drugs for in Mexico, anyway? And then they try to shake down an American who's down there helping them out by spending money in their dreadful nation. Shameful and horribly shameful of New Times to take their side.
Patricia Mantell, via the Internet
PERVERTED JUSTICE FOR ALL
The real ball busters: After reading your article about Perverted-Justice.com, I looked over the site thoroughly ("Perverting Justice," Susy Buchanan, July 15). The methods used by these vigilantes are not only devastating to their victims (and I call them victims because of the methods they use) but, more important, to the wives and children who are severely affected by Perverted-Justice's procedures.
Don't get me wrong . . . I am all for breaking the balls of any man (or woman) who solicits a child for sex. But to be judge and jury just because you catch an adult chatting about sex with a minor is not due process of the law that we are all entitled to.
Since reading the article, I went to Corrupted-Justice.com and signed up. After posting my opinion on the subject, the next morning I awoke to a nasty message over the Internet calling me a person who "takes up" for pedophiles, which couldn't be further from the truth.
This tells me that not only does PJ harass "suspected chatters" but also anyone who dares to criticizes their cause. My son (who is a minor) occasionally uses my computer for the Internet and could have logged on and seen that deviant message left for me.
Protecting children, my ass! My children need to be protected from the fanatics at PJ!
Name withheld by request
PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION
Master debaters: The Phoenix area worked hard to get one of the 2004 presidential debates. As we are the host city, both President Bush and Senator Kerry are invited guests and deserve respect from us. The political exhibition that is scheduled at ASU is not art but hate ("Heil to the Chief," Joe Watson, July 1).
It does nothing to provoke constructive thought. To those who hate President Bush, it simply reinforces their hatred but does nothing to make them think openly.
I do not think that providing art that demeans Senator Kerry adds anything to raise the level of a bad exhibition. That would not provide balance, nor do justice to either candidate. The only people who benefit from this exhibition are the self-serving, so-called artists who have an agenda. It is true that these people have a right to display their work, but not in a public arena that I help pay for.
Finally, it seems that the supporters of this exhibition seem to equate vulgar language with witty and brilliant thought. This shows a lack of maturity, and disrespect. Let's show both Senator Kerry and President Bush that Phoenix is deserving of hosting this debate, instead of being crude and petty.
Lee Shapiro, Phoenix
SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES
Tricks of the trade: You remind me of New Times at its start. Reveal all about this sickening fat-ass coward Joe Arpaio. Do most people not have any clue what this pig is doing ("Outlaw Joe," John Dougherty, July 22)?!
Mr. Dougherty, giving the practical tips at the bottom of your column on getting rid of Arpaio via the vote was inspired. Yes, we can flip to Republican during the vote, then move on. The trick is, there is no trick once you know how.
Ralph Rice, Phoenix
The muck daddy: It seems you are trying to be a muckraker like Drew Pearson was. Only he didn't do half-truths, innuendoes or plain outright lies like you do. Joe did not back Janet Napolitano for governor, another lie.
John Dougherty, are you nuts? Why would Joe be afraid of a liar like you? If Joe wasn't a class act, you would have to go to the hospital to get his foot cut out of your backside. Since Joe took office, you have been on his back like ugly on an ape. Why?
Are all you left-wing liberals scared of an honest conservative? Joe's private life is his private life and none of anyone else's concern. I'm glad Joe kept your ilk from the Glen Campbell concert ("Arpaio's Running Scared," July 15). You didn't deserve to get in.
You seem to know a lot about running the jail system. Do you have a paid snitch inside? Let's put the Scott Norberg lies to bed. This kid was high on drugs with superhuman strength. Instead of berating Joe, why don't you investigate who's behind all the drugs coming into the city? Where did this kid get the drugs?
You stated that Joe tortures inmates. Another outright lie. Yes, there is a restraining chair, but it's more to protect the inmates. I have sat in it numerous times.
How come you never write about all the helpful programs changing people's lives that were inaugurated by Joe? [These helped people like] the 23-year heroin addict who was freed from his addiction and the girl who confessed to turning a thousand tricks and now is a reformed law-abiding citizen.
Why? If horse manure was music, you would be a 500-piece marching band.
John E. Ryon, jail chaplain, Phoenix
Censored: Keep up the good work on Sheriff Blowhole. It's about time somebody lets the county know the truth about this crook.
I'm sure he is a bigger criminal than more than half of the inmates housed in his jails. I'd like a chance to perform a concert for the inmates. I'm no Rhinestoned Cowboy, but I bet the inmates would enjoy my lyrics a lot better. After all, my latest CD is titled The Anti-Joe Experience. Its six songs are dedicated to "America's stupidest sheriff."
And don't feel bad about being blackballed from the concert. I'm sure it sucked.
Gary (G-rival) Barocsi, Phoenix
Joe public: I've been intrigued and educated by your articles. Thank you for your honest reporting. They have opened my eyes to many things that I was in denial about because I had, unfortunately, bought into the "public" Joe Arpaio.
My husband is a firefighter, and I, too, was shocked and appalled that he would take guys off their shift, without any replacements, leaving the public in jeopardy. It definitely could have been handled differently.
Monica Tipton, Phoenix
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One less vote for Joe: Hallelujah and praise the Lord that someone in the media finally has the guts to stand up to a pompous, arrogant son of a bitch who thinks that he can get away with breaking the law! I, for one, am very proud to see this, and as for me voting, I sure as hell can tell you it won't be for Joe Arpaio.
He should be the one sitting in the jail. He should be under investigation. I am in total agreement that it is time we do something to kick his ass out.
Like you, I wonder what he has on the attorney general, the governor and anyone else who is afraid to go up against him.
Name withheld by request