Cabin Fever

Government lacking: "The Money Pit" (Laura Laughlin, November 8) was a terrific article. The Lees should be put in jail and they should pay back every cent. There is no protection for the consumers -- the Better Business Bureau and the Registrar of Contractors are useless.

Tom Hathaway
via Internet

Tinker toys would be a start: I read your article about Great Bear Log Homes and the unscrupulous business practices employed by them. Unfortunately, the dishonest dealings of one company can damage the hard work and reputation of an entire industry. I want you and your readers to know that Great Bear Log Homes is not representative of the log home industry.

There are many log home companies that are trustworthy and adhere to honest and ethical business practices. Consumers might start by finding a company that is a member of the Log Home Council of the National Association of Home Builders. Log Home Council members follow a code of ethics which promotes fair business practices. For information on the Log Home Council and its members, visit www.loghomes.org.

Jim B. Young, president
Precision Craft Log Structures
Meridian, Idaho

Logging off: I was so glad to see this article. How many of us are out there who have been duped by these people!? Hiding in plain sight is right!

S. Smith
via Internet

Series Champs

New Times finally goes to The Show: I've never been a big reader of New Times. I read it maybe once a month to every other month. But I noticed the issue regarding the Diamondbacks and the World Series victory, so I picked it up. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your perspective of baseball and the series very much ("Fan Fare," Robert Nelson, November 8). It seems that I and most of the people I know endured the same emotions you did. But all of us are now relishing in their victory. Anyway, I just wanted to voice an opinion on your article and thought it was very well done.

Mark Gilmore

You're a winner: Thank you, Robert Nelson, for such a wonderful article about the building up of expectations and the changes brought about by the D-Backs in the World Series. We all have so many stories of how we were affected by this wonderful series and the lead-up to it. Your rendition, with psychological and familial innuendoes, was fantastic. Your article will go into our collection of World Series 2001 memories. Anticipation and maybe premonitions of this event changed what was a slow drive from South Dakota through New Mexico to rushing to Arizona a month faster than we had planned. Better yet, this event brought our two sons, who were close as kids, but too busy to be close as young adults, back into each other's lives! D-Backs fever is an epidemic that is bigger than baseball -- and it comes at a time when we need a positive illness -- a healthy obsession!

Ruth Slaughter
Spearfish, South Dakota

Rock Out

Your flag decal really won't get you into heaven anymore: Kudos to Trashman on his article ("Marketing Misery," Bill Blake, November 1), and to add a comment, I'd like to know when any of us were any less American before September 11. Why did it take the tragedy of September 11 to make us all want to fly flags? Shouldn't we have been flying flags before then? And while on the subject, how come so many people are flying them backward? There is a proper way to display them. If you don't know how to fly them, why bother? I see lots of shredded flags, too, because they're being flown, attached to multiple places on one's car and trucks. If a flag is ripped or shredded, it's not supposed to be flown. This isn't very American.

J. Riffle

Law and Disorder

Bottom feeders: I really enjoyed the irony of your "Liar, Lawyer" report (Susy Buchanan, November 1). Since the victims of the false advertising were lawyers, however, I feel no sorrow.

I am a Phoenix attorney, and I was shocked when I received the brochure on the "Training for the Truth" legal seminar. I couldn't believe the State Bar would waste money marketing such a seminar. What lawyer would spend money to learn how to tell the truth? It's like inviting whores to attend a chastity seminar.

After eight years of civil litigation, I am thoroughly disgusted with the legal "profession" (really just a trade or occupation). About as often as I've sighted a coatimondi in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve (once a year?) I've witnessed an honest and forthright lawyer. (Unfortunately, though, I spend more time in the legal jungle than in the mountains and desert, so maybe that's an unfair comparison of frequency of sightings.) I assume honest criminal defense lawyers are even rarer, but at least the deceit of criminal defense lawyers has the side effect of protecting important constitutional rights and thereby keeping Big Brother in check. Civil litigation has no such beneficial effects. In fact, the effects are mostly bad: Civil litigation is a parasitic drain on the economy, and it exacts a harsh emotional toll on most litigants, winners and losers alike.

Maybe you can research and write a follow-up article about the deceit, deception, distortion and manipulation of our litigation system by lawyers who are interested primarily in prolonging and expanding litigation in order to maximize their (hourly) fees and secondarily in abusing the system by any means necessary to maximize their clients' interests, at the expense of their (usually unenforced) ethical duties to the legal system, which is supposed to be about a search for truth and justice.

Name withheld by request

More on Maher

Politically speaking: In reference to the letter "Will Steven Toth ever write another letter?" (Letters, October 18), the answer is: Yes he has, with great enthusiasm. I'm not interested in starting a spitting contest with Brandon Norris through New Times; however, I feel strongly inclined to reply to his letter.

Mr. Norris, I'll cut to the chase real quick. I've been called names by better people than you who couldn't make them stick. I doubt if you can, either. But let's get to the important stuff.

After reviewing my letter, Mr. Norris, I failed to find any Nazi-esque propaganda in it. I guess that means you think non-liberals are against freedom of speech. Far from it, Mr. Norris. For your information, I am not an owner of any of the 16 or so television stations which took Bill Maher's program off the air. Nor am I an owner of any of the companies that dropped the sponsorship of his program. If you have an ax to grind with anyone, Mr. Norris, it has to be with them, not someone whose viewpoint was published via the courtesy of New Times.

Let's face it, Mr. Norris, you're probably just another sorehead Democrat who isn't used to having a president with a backbone and an honorable set of principles to live by. Eight years of leniency from Bill Clinton tends to do that to people on the left. Speaking of service to our country, Mr. Norris, I served four years in the Navy. What's your record? Or are you too busy talking about freedom to take time to defend it with something other than your mouth? Mr. Maher's bio indicates he hasn't served in our nation's military. When he starts calling the military cowardly, then I think I have the right to refer to him with the terms I did. I am willing to bet most men who have served our country would agree with me. Mr. Maher enjoys all the freedoms others have paid for with their lives, yet feels obliged to criticize the methods used to retain those freedoms. When Mr. Maher steps up and defends our country, I will give him the respect all our servicemen/servicewomen have earned. That goes for you too, Mr. Norris.

Steven L. Toth


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