No-win situation: Ed is not evil. He is just a rude, and sometimes violent drunk ("Evil Empire," James Hibberd, March 22). He is a cancer in the Arizona gamer scene. Out of the many positive people and organizations, you picked the most negative persona of them all.
The current adolescent generation is quickly having all its negatives placed on computer games. From Columbine to Congress, teenage misbehavior is increasingly being blamed on the video games that they are playing. Ed and his wanna-be persona only help parents and authorities theorize that video games are society's demise. Much like rock 'n' roll being blamed for its generation's shortcomings and bad seeds in the '60s, this is far from true.
I would encourage you to take a look at some of the Valley's game groups to see what kind of positive influences are out there. Ed is a negative image that many in Arizona are embarrassed by. His lewd behavior and appearances are disgusting. His constant womanizing only hurts the adolescents in forming negative opinions about the female sex. Trying to put everyone below him and belittling everyone else only shows that he has low self-esteem and no regard for others. He is not a hero, and it is disgusting to see he thinks he is.
a.k.a. Az Syndicate
Earth thirst: Amy Silverman's extensive piece on former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's failures under the Clinton Administration must be viewed as one side of a very hot coin, one the journalistic community seems reluctant to turn over for examination ("Land Sakes!" March 22). She's on target with her description of Babbitt's agencies' capitulation on land trades. The very worst of them is about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, the Snowbasin Exchange, in which the Forest Service gave ski resort developer Earl Holding (Sun Valley, Sinclair Oil, a burgeoning hotel magnate) 1,320 acres he had coveted for decades, but had been unable to acquire. All this, with the unashamed guidance of Congressman Jim Hansen (now House Natural Resources chair) and Utah senators Hatch and Bennett. In exchange, the USFS received about five times as much land, but it should have been 50, or perhaps 500 times as extensive. Indeed, this land is -- and was at the time of the exchange -- worth more nearly $1 billion dollars.
When the 104th Congress unleashed upon the West the Great Power Play, echoes of which we see in action even now, the talk blossomed of sale of all federal lands to private interests. Anti-federal sentiment reached explosive, violent levels, levels only slightly suppressed by the years. Back-room theft of federal lands became a wildly popular game in rural Western states, where polished prevarication techniques put Saddam Hussein and the Taliban to shame.
Lie for land. That's all you have to do. Congress and the courts will back you up, in case you're challenged.
Will someone explain to those of us who believe that, for all its warts, the federal government is the closest entity to our desire to preserve the commons? Explain, please, how Senator Hatch's perennial flag-protection legislation can be reconciled with the secessionist culture of which Hatch is a central figure?
The Western lands rebellion is alive and well under Norton and W., only less visible, more covert and probably more successful.
Salt Lake City
Chez It Isn't So
Nous times: Maybe it was foolish, but there was once some hope that Central Phoenix wouldn't turn into a generic blight like Ahwatukee ("Sloshed Cause," Dewey Webb, March 22). Aren't there enough mini-malls in this town?
Razing Chez Nous is a terrible shame. Not because of its unique nightlife (described so well in the article), but also because it has some history and a little bit of cachet. Maybe saving a bar isn't important to some people, but if this was Los Angeles, would they let it happen?
A landmark is a landmark is a landmark. Remember the Cine Capri?
The part that saddens me the most is that, like the Cine Capri, people will wail and moan and sign petitions, but when the Osco opens they'll all pile in to buy nail clippers and greeting cards and quickly forget that the Chez Nous was even there.
In pharm's way: Yet another Osco Drug??? I'm glad I'm leaving town.
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