We're in a real quandary: Thank you Michael Lacey for the lucid objectivity in your article on the presidential candidates ("Raging Bull," October 7). I registered as a Democrat in the Kennedy years when I was admiring their battle against organized crime and work on civil rights. With dismay I saw the Democrats eventually endorse legalized abortion with a fervor that ignored logic. A young woman who died in an abortion clinic here in Phoenix had a late-term baby aborted at the same time, who was not even mentioned as a victim in the Arizona Republic. I thought where have the ideals of the liberals disappeared to?

An amazing thing happened when George W. Bush started running for President. All the abortion rhetoric disappeared from the Republic. It's as though they knew quite well this philosophy was repugnant. With his election, the abortion rhetoric continued to be muted, justifying Bush's election on those results alone for me, a dedicated protestor of abortion propaganda in our newspapers.

Now, I (like Lacey) am in a quandary. Bush seems to have so miscalculated the results of an invasion of Iraq that I have lost my faith that he can make logical decisions. In the first debate, he demonstrated such an inability to think on his feet that I wondered if I could vote for him.

On the other hand, most Democratic candidates prove remarkably weak in opposing far left extremists. Kerry, a Catholic, says he doesn't believe in abortion, but endorses abortion rights anyway. So if we elect him, I suspect the liberals like Michael Moore and the Hollywood crowd will once again have a field day.

If liberals have no objections to the millions killed by legalized abortion each year, why would they worry about the genocide in Iraq that Saddam inflicted on his own people?

I thought Elie Weisel's opinion that Saddam needed to be stopped remarkable because of how he hates war. The majority of our country, it seems, are not blessed with the ability to reason about knotty issues. Kerry and Bush seem unable to understand the logic that an Iraqi majority is reluctant to embrace democracy after a democratic nation has bombed their country into a state of chaos.
Geraldine King, Phoenix

Clothespin your nose and vote:I found myself deeply saddened by Michael Lacey's article. Here's the shorter version: Don't vote! It only encourages them!

Mike, it's sad that both Bush and Kerry turn your stomach. I wish we had better choices, myself. But sometimes we don't have a good option, and not voting is the worst choice of all.

So put a clothespin on your nose on Election Day, Mike, go to your polling place and vote for whichever candidate you think will do the least damage in the next four years. You won't be the only one making that choice.

Me, I'll be voting for Kerry. I don't expect good government to suddenly appear under Kerry's leadership, but at least we'll have a chance of returning to normal government, instead of one so recklessly driven by incompetent ideological extremists.
Bruce Arthurs, Glendale

Talk about a constipatard: What a deal! What I got from Michael Lacey's right-leaning article was that we are not to vote at all. What I got from Rick Barrs' left-leaning article was that Arizona State University is suppressing students' political points of view because they might be too pro-John Kerry ("Forty Whacks," October 7). That ASU prez Michael Crow, in an effort to curry favor with the Bush Administration and the local political yokels, is keeping students from throwing rocks at political candidates showing up on campus for the third debate. Well, here's to Crow!

As for Lacey, what a fuck brain to not come out and say that we shouldn't vote for Bush. He's obviously the best candidate. When I saw the cover of New Times, I almost fainted, because I thought the paper was actually coming out in favor of Bush. What a great day that would have been! Finally, reason has taken over the Mother Jones of Phoenix. But, no! Lacey can't make up his noodle who to vote for, the ninny! I agree that Ralph Nadar's a conspiratard, but when it comes to Lacey, talk about a constipatard!

But let me save special venom for Barrs, who is the kind of muted but dangerous liberal whom those of us with a brain in Arizona hate. He tries to argue his lefty ideals with logic. Illogic is more like it! He actually gets all high and mighty that it was wrong of the ASU Art Museum to "balance" its exhibit. His argument over artistic integrity is bullshit, since artists are all liberal slime and deserve to be censored. Thank God, for true conservative believers like [museum director] Marilyn Zeitlin and Crow! Sometimes you must make sure the public gets what it needs to get and not just leave it to chance that the likes of artists will do the right thing. Remember, Picasso had Communist leanings. Somebody should have stopped him, just like somebody should -- and did -- stop these limp-wristed artists who submitted nothing but anti-Bush art to ASU.

Thank you Marilyn and Michael Crow for holding down the fort and not making Arizonans look bad to Vice President Dick Cheney and the people who run our government.
Richard Denison, Prescott

More smartass writing, please: Give us more of Michael Lacey and Rick Barrs! Why is New Times hiding these guys under a rock? The two of them may possibly throw rocks at each other politically, but they can sure turn a phrase.

I'm not sure I agree with either of them on the major points they made -- I think we should all definitely vote for somebody despite any misgivings, and I see nothing wrong with ASU requiring a fair representation of political art at a state-funded art event. But I loved Lacey's line: "Make mine a double," among other zingers. And Rick's comparing the snooty ASU Art Museum crowd to Animal House hooligans was genius. His line comparing Marilyn Zeitlin to Saddam (in a funny way) was priceless.

Please, please publish more smart-ass (and smart) writing like this, which is what New Times is noted for!
Thomas Buchanan, Via the Internet


Way to sue the County Dictator: Man oh man, did you hit the mark with your article on suing Joe Arpaio ("We Sue the Coward of the County," Rick Barrs, September 30)! I lived in the Valley for 15 years, until 1999, and got sick of that weaselly blowhard of a Joke known as Arpaio. He is basically a County Dictator who feels he is accountable to no one, still, after all these years.

You are also correct in pointing out that the sellout Governor Janet Napolitano was cowering to the Big Gasbag so she could get elected. Everywhere else in this democratic country records requests are turned over pretty much ASAP. If not, you get sued and then a judge will inevitably order that person to provide such records. Arpaio can't seem to get this fact past that pea brain of his. God what a complete and utter moron that guy is!

I checked out New Times for the first time in quite a while and had to laugh to myself: Yep, Arpaio's up to the same ol' shit that he was pulling years ago. Very little has changed where that buffoon is concerned. Too bad those know-nothing geezers (in Sun City, most likely) with the "law and order" mentality keep re-electing that bozo. They appear to be his biggest supporters. Honestly, I have to wonder what it will take to get Arpaio bounced from office.

Wild West mentality=cruelty:I enjoyed reading your latest article about how New Times is suing that scum-bucket Arpaio. He makes me gag, and I am embarrassed to say I am from Maricopa County. He's so arrogant and, in my opinion, evil. I will vote against him in November.

Just as a principal sets a tone for a school, so does a police chief or sheriff set the tone for his team, his "posse." Jeez, I should go back to New York where we don't have such things as a Wild West mentality.

I've had bad experiences dealing with county jail employees. A couple of years ago, my son, who was psychotic at the time, was arrested and jailed at Durango for several weeks. When I went to visit him several times, I had to wait in long lines (with many other family members) in the hot sun, and felt I was being treated like a criminal myself. When I sat opposite him during the visit I had to see him and the other inmates, who were not even convicted of a crime yet, in the degrading pink socks Sheriff Joe is so proud of. I could barely have a conversation with my sweet son because he was delusional, and it just tore at my heart.

When he was released, the asshole who was at the place where I picked him up told me "Here, you can have him," like he was a dog or something. This was my precious son who was schizophrenic. I cannot believe that this attitude is OK with the general voting public. We need to get rid of this guy and his pink underwear and awful baloney sandwiches.

The good news is, my son is on the road to recovery. The bad news is, what about the others with or without mental illness who are subjected to such cruel treatment.

Adolescent efforts at humor: My pleasure in learning about the actions the New Times is taking to force the sheriff's office to comply with the Arizona Public Records law was seriously undermined by Rick Barrs' insistence on peppering the story with offensive and irrelevant remarks about various players in the case.

Public information offer Lisa Allen MacPherson was described as "one dumb bitch" and "a lady with a rep for giving excellent head (not just for the benefit of wrinkled, old Joe . . .)." Paul Chagolla was described as "her main MCSO butt boy" (no mention of his actual job title). Such gratuitously sexist and homophobic remarks are in a similar vein to New Times' often cringe-worthy cover art and headlines, which frequently reduce serious political and social issues to patently offensive caricatures. I.e. [the cover caption on a recent story]: "Michael Crow has made ASU's frat boys his bitches," and the innumerable representations of Janet Napolitano and other female public figures as dominatrixes, whores, evil nannies and other sexist stereotypes.

Come on, is this really necessary? Joe Arpaio's record of corruption, abuse of power and bad public policy and the beautifully apt quotation from MacPherson herself -- "So sue us! -- tell the tale far more effectively than Barrs' adolescent effort at humor.

Editors note: Because of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's reputation for retaliation against his enemies, New Times has chosen not to publish the identities of those who write letters critical of him or his policies to this publication, unless letter-writers request that their names be used.


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