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Letters

Thin Skinned
White like me: I just finished reading your article on the recent Aryanfest outside of Phoenix and can't argue with your basic premise that neo-Nazi skinheads, their music, and their lifestyle are easy targets of ridicule ("Barbecue Nations," Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse, February 19). I myself find these kinds of individuals to be both laughable and despicable -- and this is coming from someone who is a white racist himself. I very much want to see these kinds of people brought down, but for far different reasons than you, no doubt. As the author of a pro-white novel, Hold Back This Day, and the founder of Heartland, I have long waged a running battle with the entire skinhead scene, especially against the National Alliance, which likes to speak of "family values" on its Web site, while hypocritically selling "hate-core" music to legions of tattooed thugs.

Thus, whenever I read articles like yours, I say to myself: What do these goddamned jerks expect, acting the way that they do? Looking the way that they do? It's not the "Jew media" making them look like a bunch of baboons -- it's themselves.

So bash away, Ms. Buchanan. And while you do, rest assured that you not only have the support of all the liberals, leftists and anti-white crowd, you also have the good wishes of white racists like me, who see no brotherhood whatsoever with these tattooed, shaved-headed scum.

Ward Kendall
Via e-mail

One step above car salesmen: To bash my racist views is one thing, but to badmouth the TV repair business is the last straw. I and other TV repairmen have worked long and hard to secure a reputation above car salesman. Now in one fell swoop you have backed down the image of TV repairmen by years. Not only do we have to fight the invasion of cheap slave-labor-made electronics, but now you smear us as white racists. Our industry, like most, is dying. So it looks like you may have rescued me in an odd twist. With the bad name for TV repairmen you have helped promote, I will have no other choice than to become a full-time hater and hang up my test meters. Ain't life a bitch. Have a nice day.

Tom Metzger
Via e-mail

History repeats itself: Remember that laughing at and demeaning Hitler made him inconspicuous until it was too late and he grabbed power. So don't ridicule the neo-Nazis or whatever they are so people won't grow complacent of them and the same thing happens over here.

Martin R. Quinones
Phoenix

Jerry's Plan
The vision thing: We've ridden this bus before. If Jerry Colangelo inflicts his "vision" for downtown on us, it's because we let him ("Give the Godfather the Boot," John Dougherty, February 19). We need to give the city council a swift kick where it will do the most good, and Phil Gordon needs to get with the program and stand up to Colangelo.

The city of Phoenix belongs to the people of Phoenix. The people of Phoenix should decide what the downtown area should be like, not Big Daddy. The people of this city should hound the city council and the mayor's office and let them know that we want our vision for the downtown area, not some self-absorbed sports mogul's. If we don't get on the bandwagon now, we're going to be stuck with "Jerry's Vision." God forbid.

Josette Umbertino
Phoenix

Elder Statesmen
Reach out and touch someone: I'm glad ex-AT&T workers are speaking out about what's going on at the customer service center at AT&T ("Wrong Number," Jimmy Magahern, February 19). Older people are discriminated against too much. Just because they are older doesn't mean companies should get rid of them.

I'm finding that younger people are clearly more rude nowadays when it comes to customer service. Even though I am quite young myself (22), I would never act the way a lot of younger people act toward their customers; they have no respect anymore. It's good to know AT&T is not a company worth buying service from.

Name withheld by request

Bishop Bust
No more good old boy: As a practicing Catholic of more than 50 years, a former boy of Father Flanagan's Boys' Home, Boys Town, Nebraska, a person who nearly became a priest (I lived many summers while at Boys Town in a seminary studying to become a priest), and someone who has closely followed the issues going on within the church and, specifically, those involving Bishop O'Brien, there are many things I would like to say ("What Was He Thinking?!" Michael Lacey, February 12). However, I believe that, as concerns Bishop O'Brien, it can all be summed up in Mr. Lacey's four little words: He is a monster! Maybe worse, he is probably going to get away with it. At least in this life.  

Thank you for your many articles on the subject. Moreover, please don't let it go; because, even though he'll probably get away with it completely (although, even if found guilty, no penalty will ever be sufficient for all the pain and harm he has brought to so many -- myself, and every other practicing Catholic included), this kind of evil needs to be shown in the light of day.

Charles Erickson
Phoenix

Editor's note: On February 17, Bishop Thomas O'Brien was convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident. A presentence hearing has been set for March 12.

Cry for justice: GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!

Possible probation? What a travesty! Because the cowardly bishop decided to hit and run, the possibility that he also was under the influence was not a point of consideration at his trial. This man is still allowed/chooses to wear the clerical garment during trial? "Oh, please pity me, for I am above the law!"

All this from a man who refuses to accept any responsibilities for his action(s) even involving sexual abuse? I wish I were his judge!

Plain and simple, this man fled from a fatal hit-and-run. Which other common citizen among us would be eligible for possible probation? Hang him high!

Walter Dzukola
Buckeye

Turn the other cheek: It saddens me greatly that after so many dedicated years of service to Arizona, the great Bishop O'Brien is being vilified by the press because of a few minor mistakes. It was only a year ago that he authored the brilliantly modern and thought-provoking treatise in the Arizona Republic defending chastity and celibacy within the priesthood. Certainly it is not his fault that his own priests ignore his advice. Not following his sage advice forced the good bishop to transfer child-molesting priests to distant parishes. This brilliant tactic not only protected those children still undefiled but, more important, avoided, at least temporarily, further embarrassment to the church. Consequently, the settlement money paid to silence the families of the abused children most surely helped ease their sorrow and pay for the therapy sessions. In the culture of the church, this treatment has been doctrine for centuries and the good bishop was simply obeying long-established tradition.

In the present matter of the unfortunate killing of the drunken pedestrian, the good bishop did not stop driving because he feared that what destroyed his windshield was not human and that possibly he was under attack by his enemies (how could such a great man possibly have enemies?). He wisely decided to keep moving to avoid self-injury.

Precedence for his behavior was acceptable just last year when he struck (for want of a better word) an immunity deal to spare him an indictment on obstruction charges for protecting priests found guilty of child molestation. Therefore, it was reasonable for him to conclude that he is, again, not responsible. The petty accusations about not contacting the police and barricading himself from earthly authorities merely prove that he answers only to higher authority.

As I look toward the future of this great leader, this moral compass of our state, this paragon of virtue, this tireless soul of purity and selflessness, I am convinced that one hundred years from now his stellar contributions will be recognized. He may even be canonized for sainthood, if he can just dodge jail, again.

Mark Shapiro
Scottsdale

Believe it or not: I am a lifetime Catholic but have come to believe nearly anything can happen in my church. I'm not proud of it, but it happens.

More people need to hear about bishops like O'Brien. However, I have one complaint, suggestion or request, whichever you might consider the following.

I certainly don't blame you for your apparent anger and disdain, which is rampant throughout the article; however, I would think the purpose of your article would be to convince those who still have doubt about the depth of this problem.

While I would not think of you leaving out any pertinent facts, I felt that its tone might leave those too blind to see what is going on to feel that you might be biased against the bishop and even the church, to the point that you were not entirely fair. I personally believe that every bit of it is entirely possible, but I fear some are going to look at it as just another Catholic bashing.

Arnult Mitchell
Via e-mail  

Denying responsibility: Even before reading this article, it should have been obvious to all logical thinking people that Bishop O'Brien doesn't take responsibility for any of his actions. That fact became crystal clear during the investigations of child molestation by priests who were under the protection of the bishop.

Too bad that the jury will never hear about his first hit-and-run accident. One can only hope that the jurors clearly remember that he took a plea agreement in order to protect himself from prosecution during the child molestation investigations and then, once the agreement was signed and made public, again denied personal responsibility -- a concept that obviously has no meaning to this man of the cloth.

Hopefully, this is one time that he will be held responsible for his actions. Hopefully, there will be no second plea agreement. Hopefully, this man will finally be brought to justice.

Shame on you, Bishop O'Brien.

Name withheld by request

Command Performance
Management problems: You certainly nailed the tail on the jackass again ("Covering Tracks," Robert Nelson, February 5). It is quite clear that Dora Schriro is a commander who leads from the desk instead of the field. Worse, it appears she certainly doesn't even know how to run the desk. In short, she doesn't know crap from Shinola about the corrections business.

I wonder how she and her buddy the "Guv" would like it if every ADOC employee just up and walked off the job at once because now they all know for sure that prison management is "namby-pamby" as hell and they have absolutely no protection from that management.

James Barbee
Glendale


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