Justice denied: Well done, Michael Lacey ("Bad Dog," June 1). Thanks for pointing out how a repugnant gang from Gilbert needed to be prosecuted as sure as any south Phoenix gang. The slap on the wrist handed down will only encourage more violence in Gilbert. How many random shootings in grocery-store parking lots or beatings at drive-throughs must be endured before prosecutors do their jobs? Perhaps they are more worried about the rich gang members' parents than the violence of the gang itself. This is a story that needed to be told as only New Times can tell it. Don't expect a spin like this from Phoenix's other newspapers.
White guilt: I am tired of the constant harping that because you are white you are supposed to feel guilty, and every Mexican's and nigger's well-being is our personal responsibility. It is time they grow up and be men and quit whining. They are their own worst enemy. I do not wish America to become another Mexico or Africa, both of which are corrupt and backward, and that is because niggers and Mexicans run them. Why would you want them to run America? Let them show they can run their countries first. Stop the white guilt trip!
Incomparable: Shame, shame on Michael Lacey for his very biased report on the Devil Dogs. How dare he compare a "small teen beating" to a brutal raping of a retarded girl. What is this racial instigator thinking? It's disgusting how some journalists twist and turn stories just to make the lead story. The low-life Crips who raped the little girl were not sentenced in my eyes severely enough, and the young Devil Dogs were punished too harshly. They should have been sent to a rehab center for the steroid abuse, and the beating incident could have been handled in civil court. Once again, sad story, grossly blown out of proportion.
Pathetic and sad: The sentencing of the Devil Dogs was pathetic, sad and ridiculous. The attorney stating that it was over nothing more than a "broken nose" is truly one of the reasons our country has its priorities backward. If that same gang of individuals were busted selling a sack of buds or some other recreational mood enhancer like it, they would be facing much tougher penalties (e.g., Gravano). This sends a clear message to our youth and our entire culture that extreme random and senseless violence (e.g., Columbine) is not only okay but validated by our lack of concern and popularizing of it.
Barking up wrong tree: I just read your article on the Devil Dogs. I have no use for the police or legal system. However, I do think that you were slightly off base on the Devil Dogs. When you compare the Dogs and the Crips, they are alike and very different. True, both are gangs and different races, but the crimes they committed were different and the punishment as prescribed by law is different and that's most likely why they were handled differently. Therefore, race should not have been brought into your article as a reason for the difference. The charge of rape has always carried long-term prison sentences for both black and white men and even women in recent times. Assault has always carried shorter penalties than rape. So, like it or not, the two above cases got their just due. So as much as it appears that you and I don't like the Devil Dogs, they were treated fairly even if their victims weren't.
I would suggest you be careful talking racism. Sure, there are more minorities than whites in prison, but there are far more of them out doing crime -- taking drugs, dealing drugs, rape, murder, robbery, drive-by shootings, gang activity, etc. Prison is full of criminals who put themselves there. Complaints that the law is unfair with minorities is pure bullcrap. Rather than try to put more whites in prison, minorities would be much better off "policing their ranks." Those who obey the laws and live peacefully are being accepted and blending in with their fellow Americans. Sad to say, many of them remain lawless, angry and hostile to most other people. As such, they are prime candidates for an encounter with the police/prison.
Why don't you use your articles to present the idea of social reform for the hostile minorities here in the beautiful Valley of the Sun?
Name withheld by request
Bought and sold: I thought the article was great. I guess having money means I can kick the shit out of anybody and get away with it. I'd rather be poor.
"Big cowards": My wife and I just finished reading the "Bad Dog" article. It should have been titled "Big Cowards!" We were both appalled and outraged at not only the repeated acts of violence these punks get away with, and the obvious condoning and approval by their "parents," but by the total lack of brain power by the county attorney. Sounds like the prosecutor is not only a white racist himself, but also a complete mental midget.
Ethan and Kim Dean
Gilbert gripe: I am usually against lawsuits, but I hope the Devil Dogs' families get sued into poverty. Their actions of gang-beating random people to disfigurement and near-death are an abomination! The City of Gilbert should be ashamed of itself for letting something like this happen more than once. What kind of parents raised them? I hope the parents of Kenneth Couturier, Barry Nutter, Michael Spears and Kevin Papa realize that they are personally responsible for putting people on this Earth who have caused harm and permanent damage to other people, who are just trying to live their lives.
How would you like it if you or your son were just sitting in a car, out in public, minding your own business, and were randomly attacked by a group of nine bullies? The thing is, pieces of trash like Couturier, Nutter, Spears and Papa were given light sentences, so it doesn't seem like they will be reformed. The citizens of Gilbert need to look into what was going on behind the scenes politically, to see whose families are friends with whose in the justice system, because it looks like more people's sons are going to get randomly beat up.
Name withheld by request
Spears and Arrows
Hoppin' mad: If you actually think anyone would believe this bullshit ("Pop Tarts," June 1) you made up, you're out of your fucking mind! I can't believe you want to trick people into believing this trash! You know there are, like, stupid people out there who might actually take this seriously and it'll ruin their 9-year-old minds thinking that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake are both nymphos, and it'll be your fault. I can't believe you'd want to disgrace people like this. Thank God I'm a smart girl, or else I might've actually thought this was true! Stop printing this shit, or you're going to have a lawsuit on your ass.
Oops, we're busted: Nice try, guys! Your obviously fabricated attempt to piss off the Justin Timberlake/Britney Spears fans became all the more pathetically transparent when you quoted "Britney" in the first e-mail, "Did you see me on the cover of Rolling Stone a couple of weeks ago?" That e-mail was dated 4-26-00. The Rolling Stone cover "she" referred to was the May 25 issue! Which I received on May 16! I know that teenybopper fans can be vicious at the slightest criticism of their idols, but this gag is rather petty! I would not be surprised if you get sued!
Idle worship: After reading the article "Pop Tarts," I couldn't help but laugh. I mean, the article was really funny, but what person would have the time to write the "e-mails" and stuff? Definitely a person with no life. But that is beside the point. I just wanted to say that the article was really funny and certainly made my day brighter.
Fargo grump: I may not be a genius, but I know those e-mails are total BS. Jeez, even Forrest Gump wouldn't believe that garbage for a nanosecond. No, I'm not naive, either. You guys should just grow up. And yes, I have a sense of humor, but I'm not laughing at this f****** s***. You guys couldn't be farther from the truth.
Fargo, North Dakota
So not cool: It is easy to joke about a "boy band" member and a pop princess. They are not on the top of many popularity lists for adults. But this "joke" was not very funny. While most adults can tell that this was a fabrication, these musicians have fans who are much younger and will believe your "article." Amazingly enough, there was no signature to this fine piece of writing (gee, I guess someone drew the short stick in the meeting that morning and did not want to fess up that they wasted four years getting a journalism major so they could write lies and rumors). I find it despicable that you would write such trash but still use these two people to sell your paper. I guess the line between reputable paper and tabloid becomes fuzzier and fuzzier with time. Next time, hire some real reporters who believe in writing about the truth and not some lame excuse for a "joke," because we are not laughing.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hate mail: How fake was that Justin-Britney e-mail? You people make me sick. I hope you all rot in hell for making people's lives miserable. Don't you all have a life? I hate you all who believe this and the editors for placing this story.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Chaste stars? I was totally disgusted by this article. It not only insulted the artists but their fans as well! If this author didn't like the artists, then he/she shouldn't have written the article. And as for them not being virgins, just because they are famous doesn't mean they can't stay a virgin! And even if they weren't, it's none of my business or yours!
Name withheld by request
Where's Quigman? New Times' new format is fine. A bit more polished than before, but still essentially the same New Times I've been reading avidly every week for what seems like forever. Only one suggestion: Put the comics back on a single page or put them on the major articles at the front exclusively. I don't enjoy digging for them through all the stuff I don't care about. I'm certain I'm not the only one who feels that way.
Boy to mentor: After reading "Student, Teaching" (Amy Silverman, June 1), I am convinced that the mother should be proud of her son rather than asking for a paycheck! The question should be, "Did he do a good job?" Probably better than who they would have had teaching the class. Funny how the child didn't think it was a big deal, or the parents of the students. But after the mother's statement about a paycheck, she is just another greedy parent wanting to cash in on her talented son. To me that is a sign of child abuse!
Charter flight: Students teaching, teachers and principals walking out, court cases; the list goes on and on. What happened to David Wadding is just another example of what is wrong at Dragonfleye. It's just another drop in the bucket. The school has been plagued with problems because of its director since 1996 (your article in 1996 detailed it perfectly) and yet, somewhere in the red tape and loopholes, the director remains. There has to be something done not only for the benefit of the children, but for the teachers and staff. Dragonfleye can be a wonderful school with the right people in charge. What will it take for the state Board of Education (Bonnie Barclay) to see that this particular school is not being run correctly?
Bash & Popular
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Bob's led: I am writing to tell you how much I enjoy music editor Bob Mehr's column "Bash & Pop." His droll mixture of sarcasm and self-deprecating humor, combined with useful and insightful commentary about the local music scene, provides a great read each week. Would-be local music boosters who are (inexplicably, in my view) upset that Bob is somehow "hurting" local music by expressing his occasionally strong views should take a few deep breaths and relax. Fearless music criticism is sorely needed, if the local music market is ever to mature. Mehr seems qualified for the task. His column should be taken for just what it is: one man's opinion, well-written, in a charming and original voice. For my money, he's generally right on the mark.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Scary thought: I have always wondered why people do the crazy things they do, so while I found Dewey Webb's article on The Scary Guy ("High Marks," June 8) to be intriguing, I was still left with a major question unanswered: Why did he paint every visible part of his body, and especially his face, with permanent tattoos? I know if I met the guy in a bar, I'd first buy him a beer, then I'd ask him that question. Dewey should have, too.