Off the Hook
I think Fife Symington is guilty ("Paradise Lost," John Dougherty, July 1). It always seems as if these so-called politicians who are supposed to be working for "the people" always find a leeway to try to get themselves out of a bind. And Mr. Symington is doing exactly that. I couldn't care less about what he has done for the community; once you steal from the community, the community you are supposed to be governing and making a difference for, I'd say that all respect will be lost at the drop of a dime. He hurt and disappointed many people, especially those who had funds saved up for their future. So I don't care what kind of character he showed he was; he now proves what he is by his actions.

Sebrina Jimenez

Skip a Riot
Skip Rimsza's done a lot, and he's not boring ("Four Bore Years," Amy Silverman, June 24). He is a great character and he has a tremendous sense of humor. If the City of Phoenix should last for 1,000 years, comedy in government will have seen its finest hour.

Converse Murdoch
via Internet

Critic's Choice
Thank you for printing James McKenna's letter to the editor "Delete Elitism" (June 24). I would like to apologize for his banter. This letter is to inform Mr. McKenna that if he would like to read about mainstream bands and blockbuster movies that he check out Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly. These publications will have more than enough information to allow him to move along with the herd. Mr. McKenna should not criticize something he doesn't understand.

(This is where it gets personal.) Mr. McKenna, I am in a rock (I will call it rock so you can understand what the masses might call it) band. It is very hard to make it in the music business. New Times gives me press, and it gives press to many other bands that deserve the exposure. I would like to thank New Times' music editors for their hard work and their open minds. I would like to thank the movie critics as well. I enjoy hearing what another human being thinks of movies. I will see the flick and come to my own conclusion.

Mr. McKenna, you should support your local music scene and help these bands make it. Local music depends on you and, tragically, people like you to buy their music and help them get signed and sell CDs and go on tour and play for the herd of people like you.

Name withheld by request

The dumbing down of America must now be complete, to judge from the letters section in the June 24 issue of New Times. No fewer than three readers express outrage over an unfavorable review of a film (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) so juvenile and trivial that it makes Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace look intelligent. Does it say something about the times we live in that this pathetic piece of rubbish is not only hyped as a major event but is considered above criticism by its legions of philistine admirers?

If these immature whiners don't like the reviews in New Times, they have an ideal alternative: the Arizona Republic, where the state's (or perhaps the nation's) leading ignoramus regularly heaps accolades on the likes of Showgirls and Hudson Hawk. This is the level of taste and intelligence at which these shallow complainers are most comfortable; let them stay there, since their minds obviously have no room for anything resembling thought.

William Tannen

All Abort
Just finished reading your interview with my friend Brian Finkel ("The Terminator," Amy Silverman, June 17). Having interviewed him myself a number of years ago, I must say what a fabulous job you did with your interview. Brian was fairly open with me (and as always was extremely quotable), but you had an opportunity to visit his home and talk to his wife, which gave a much fuller picture of who and what he is as a physician and a person. I can tell you he appears delighted with the article, as he called me here in New York state to tell me to go online and read it.

As someone who cares about him and believes him to be an excellent (albeit eccentric) physician, I am glad to see him spotlighted in your paper. I truly believe he is very underappreciated in his community. Rodney Dangerfield used to complain about "getting no respect," but I think Brian Finkel has a much stronger case!

Anne Bower, editor
Body Politic magazine

I just read the entire article about the abortionist doctor Brian Finkel. I can't believe there is such an evil person on the Earth. This man is insane. His use of profanity is mind-boggling. His complete lack of feelings for his patients is frightening. Can you imagine sending someone you know to him for an abortion? Abortion is murder, but this man seems to relish in killing the unborn. My God in heaven, how can someone like this live with himself? Adolf Hitler is reincarnated in this monster. I just can't believe what I read, but I know it's true. Thanks for the report. I have told all my friends to bring it up on their computer.

Archie Brown
Dallas, Texas

Though strongly pro-life and finding the doctor and myself in sharp contrast on almost all points, I don't think he would be disappointed in your coverage. You were respectful of him and his views. Well reported!

Bill Tomlinson
via Internet

Amy Silverman, how did you keep from puking all over his handmade rugs? This guy is the worst of the worst and makes you want to pray for a very long time in dying for him, and those like him. Thanks for the info, I think.

Suzanne Garner
via Internet

What a man! My deepest respect to him, his wife and Amy Silverman for writing so eloquently about the abortion problem.

I learned my lesson in the slums of Mexico City, doing volunteer work. I guess Dr. Finkel learned his lesson in Asia.

It is invigorating to read about people who are brave and don't give a damn, even if not giving a damn means isolation.

Sofia Gonzalez
San Antonio, Texas

I will be kind to Pastor Jonathan Massey and say that he speaks out of ignorance or that he misspeaks and that his words belie his actual feelings (Letters, June 24). My reference is to the pastor's statement, "I wish every New Times reader would . . . read about Hitler's childhood and how he fought back at an unjust world when fate granted him a big opportunity. . . ." The obvious and, I hope, untoward implication of the good pastor's statement is that Hitler sought justice when he deliberately murdered millions of Jews, Poles, Russians and others because he deemed them to be subhuman. Moreover, there is nothing in Hitler's childhood that was particularly difficult, and it was calculated thuggery, not some accident of fate, that "granted him a big opportunity." The appellation "killer" that he used to describe Dr. Finkel would be put to better use if he had applied it to Hitler.

Bud Arkules
via Internet

I just wanted to thank you for writing the article about the abortionist Brian Finkel. He has a typical attitude for an abortionist; he is just more outspoken about it than most. They need to be exposed.

Pat Goltz, co-founder
Feminists for Life

To Dr. Finkel: Thanks for being you. Thanks for caring about those Filipino prostitutes. Thanks for talking to women first with their clothes on, so they will feel like a person. Thanks for decorating your office. Thanks for using 15 mg of Valium. Thanks for being a marshmallow underneath all that other stuff. Thanks for being the voice for women.

Name withheld by request

I got as far as "On the da-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r-rk side . . ." when I looked at the date of this New Times issue. Surprised that it isn't the April 1 edition, and assuming it's a somewhat accurate article, I'm scared. I thought the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Kaczynski and the "scientists" in WWll Japanese POW camps were insane. Boy, do we ever have a madman here in our fair city!

Don Schloeder

I'm an infrequent reader of New Times; however, I was lucky enough to grab an issue with your article about Dr. Finkel on the cover, and I wanted to tell you thanks so much for researching and writing about this great man, a Valley hero, who through his kindness, confidentiality and medical expertise virtually saved my life, lifestyle and mental health by providing his most valuable services to me years ago.

You forgot to write about, and probably couldn't, the fact that this man performs much more than medical services to women: He affords them the chance to "right their wrongs, start over from a clean slate," and complete their education, not to mention avoiding having to marry an unloving and abusive man, becoming a welfare recipient or a patient in a mental hospital, all for the sake of a "thumbnail size" piece of tissue implanted in their body during a drunken/drugged, one-night stand which will grow to the size of a Mack truck, a painful and possibly dangerous delivery, a stretch-marked fat belly, bottom and sagging breasts, which no personal trainer or aerobics class in the world will ever be able to get rid of.

Oh, and let us not forget having to "warehouse" the infant out to daycare the day after delivery and expect a minimum-wage worker to give the child the same love and caring that a mother would. Ha, and that's the way it is now for many of the women who want their babies since a growing number of women can't afford to stay home with them.

You can always put it up for adoption and end up searching for "your mistake" for the rest of your life, while your offspring searches for, wonders about and wishes to confront you with the question of why you gave him or her up. Just ask my adopted sister, who, after 20 years, is still looking for her "real" mother and father and can only forget about it when she drowns in a bottle of vodka and whatever juice.

And just think, 30 years ago we were only allowed to talk about "shaming the family" before we were sent off to an unwed mothers' home at age 15, banished, only to be seen again in a different town.

You know, what's funny is that you mention that Dr. Finkel gives a great pre- and post-abortion counseling. He understands us, and has a quality most admired in OB/GYNs. Ladies, he's practically painless and very gentle.

Name withheld by request

I just read your article about the abortion doctor in Phoenix, Dr. Finkel. I commend that man. He is fighting a never-ending battle. Pro-lifers are the most whacked people. They would rather kill a living, breathing human being than an unborn fetus. I thought the article was great and very courageous; pro-lifers will protest you now. Dr. Finkel is saving a lot of women by performing abortions. As long as sex is legal, women will get pregnant and want abortions. Whether or not it is legal, they will get them.

Heather Kelder
via Internet

Style Points
I generally applaud your style since you took over as editor. I love the political coverage you can do as a weekly. I love the way you keep trying to butt-slam Joke Arpaio. However, what I love best is your generally sick, twisted and demented combination of the book of sick comic strip with the Nightwatch column. These usually set each other off in such a repulsive manner that even I find it to be not in the best of taste. The distastefulness of the comic strip Red Meat is mitigated by its artist's residence in Tucson, especially as I know in what high regard you hold that center of sophistication in Arizona. (Especially considering that you seem to judge the relative merits of the local population centers by the nightclub scene per your Nightwatch and In the City columns.)

Just remember, you cannot please everyone, so you have to please me.
Robin Goodfellow

Gift Hotel
Kudos to the Flash for calling the City Council's shameless behavior regarding the downtown hotel as it is ("The Hotel Emergency," July 1). I always thought that the Arizona Republic is sort of like Pravda--an unquestioning, uncritical co-conspirator in the one-party rule of the state. Like the Soviet Union, the ruling elite (i.e., the GOP) rarely, if ever, has its errors pointed out in the news or criticized in the editorial pages. And, just like in the Soviet Union, the public is kept in the dark about the rapacious corruption of the party's leading figures. Socialism didn't work too well behind the Iron Curtain, and though one would think that such a shrill anti-Communist paper like the Republic would understand it, it won't work any better in Arizona. Keep up your vigilance and thanks for speaking up for the taxpayer.

Hank Lacey


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