The Crime of Punishment
Two years ago, while a visiting third-year law student at Arizona State University, I had the pleasure of meeting, and briefly working with, Dale Baich.

Barry Graham's column "Near-Death Experience" (October 29) did an excellent job of portraying Baich.

How Baich can do the work he does and still stay balanced and focused will always be beyond me. It takes more wonk than most will ever have to keep that photograph of Matthew Cook on his wall, the image of which is permanently etched in my mind.

Dale Baich practices a noble profession.
George Griffeth
via Internet

Plane Janet
Janet Reno and Janet Napolitano have more in common than their first name and the careers they've wed and carved for themselves out of the American public. They're both politically correct bigots. As usual, it takes Michael Lacey to light a way for anyone who still cares, through the night and fog of American political culture, as he did in his October 29 column "No, No, Janet."

Reno wasted millions of dollars prosecuting, ironically, a 14-year-old boy for alleged child abuse in Florida, since the child-abuse issue was a part of her rise to national notoriety; Napolitano, on the other hand, has wasted no time, either, finding the shortest distance between herself and her ambitions. While Janet Reno authorized tanks and tear gas used against children because they were allegedly being abused, and incinerated them all, Napolitano watches with apparent glee the antics of Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the necks of cripples are broken in his restraint chair, and while Hispanic citizens of the United States are expeditiously herded like so many cattle to make Chandler safe for gentrification.

It's always what's convenient. In the case of the 14-year-old boy acquitted by a jury of all charges of child abuse, and those poor, little kids reduced literally to ashes at Waco, the real abusers go untouched. The politically correct media, which, given their uniformity and calculated disinformation might as well simply be referred to as Pravda, catapult the likes of Reno and Napolitano, among others, ever onward in behalf of "progress." Given progress's muscles in the Sheriff's Office and in Chandler, one can only wonder what our politically correct Janet Napolitano will, conveniently, have in store.

Our very own William Jefferson Clinton appointed Janet Reno! The hypnotic media of beauty queens and neutered reporters--probably more than the politically correct women voters of Arizona, but undoubtedly with their help in the voting booths--will vouchsafe Napolitano. Oh, happy days. Frauds beware!

That's progress!
As the bloodiest century in the history of the world slithers to a close.
But all applaud, both our Janets got the apple!
John Highsmith

Squatter's Rights
If you take away the right to sit on Mill Avenue, you will also be taking away a lot of the very persona of Mill Avenue ("Crusty Crackdown," David Holthouse, October 22).

While we might not like every "element" on Mill, it seems to me that to ensure your rights, you also have to ensure the rights of others.

Teeka Lynne

Killer Deal
By running Zia Record Exchange's "Dead Artist Sale" ad, you have supported bad taste while sanctioning and elevating the act of suicide. The ad shows a picture of suicided rock star Kurt Cobain next to the copy, "This guy blew his brains out to bring you the best damn sale this town has ever seen!" While it may be your inclination to stand behind the First Amendment's free speech clause, this is not the time. This is a case where your paper is in the wrong because you've shown a total lack of respect and sensitivity for those who have lost someone to suicide.

The ad may also have a very disturbing community impact. Consider this: The rate of suicide among Zia's target audience in Arizona is very near the highest in the country. While there are many contributing factors to attempting and completing suicide, one clear influence is peer attitude. If an adolescent perceives that his/her friends see suicide as imbuing a sort of elevated martyr status, then the likelihood of suicide increases.

There have been many examples where media attention to suicides by public figures is linked to a spike in the number of suicide attempts. Is it New Times' idea of community service to support an act that decimates roughly 800 Arizona families each year? The right thing to do is be responsible and stop running the ads. Then go a step further and rewrite your advertising policies so this does not happen again.

Ilene L. Dode, president and CEO,
EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center

Pecking Order
I want to thank you for your cockfighting article ("Out, Out, Damn Sport!" David Holthouse, October 8), which motivated many people to vote yes to ban this grotesque animal blood bath. I also appreciate your printing of Jamie Massey's great letter. I found Max Cannon's October 22 Red Meat cartoon revolting and disgusting.

I view Jim Geary's "Fowl Play" letter (October 22) as absolutely absurd, and typical of the total lack of intelligence and sensitivity of cockfighting proponents. To even compare a game with vicious cockfighting is ridiculous.

Glick's grim prediction of economic collapse if cockfighting is banned is probably one of the many unrealistic arguments used against the dogfighting law on which the cockfighting proposition is patterned. As far as I know, it's still legal to own dogs, just illegal to exploit them for amusement or profit, the loss of which has not plunged the country into economic ruin.

As for our "illustrious" legislators, the Arizona Legislature is riddled with animal-hating Mormons, and a notorious history of cockfighting connections and good-ole-boy favoritism. These are the same individuals who are hypocritically demanding the demise of the eco/animal-aiding lottery, while illogically refusing to outlaw brutal cockfight gambling, reducing their dubious credibility to zero.

Donna Worthington


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