Sheriff Joe Arpaio is willing to lock up everyone and anyone so he can show numbers and justify building a new jail ("Paying the Price," Tony Ortega, August 27). However, there isn't enough money to feed, house and clothe those people now. They are considered guilty until proven innocent. And the justice system is so overloaded now that people's lives--and their health--are being ruined.
We need more courts, and judges. We also need some better laws. Some of the laws are too nonspecific. But they charge people with these laws and then figure out they were not applicable. Oh, well. In the meantime, that person can lose his or her job, house, possessions, cars and have to file bankruptcy. So how is our society better by this system?
Name withheld by request
As an admirer of New Times' well-researched exposes, especially the articles by Amy Silverman, I was disappointed by New Times' ignorant labeling of humanists as "pinkos" (Night & Day, M. V. Moorhead, August 27).
Humanism is nonpolitical. Humanists may be Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, as is true of most nonpolitical organizations.
The one tie that binds them is that they have a non-theist view of the world. In short, humanists reject all forms of supernaturalism. It probably would be accurate to say that most are atheists or agnostics. But not pinkos.
I am personally insulted by the term "pinko," which means "Communist sympathizer." I would be more correctly labeled a "patriot" than a "pinko," as is true for other humanists.
It has nothing to do, however, with humanism.
I pretty much agree with Barry Graham's August 27 column, "Modern Maturity," except when he writes that President Clinton's contacts with Monica Lewinsky were "personal" and "nobody's business."
Well, Clinton got caught, and in most of the civilian world, he's not breaking the law. But he's our commander-in-chief, so, technically, he is part of the armed forces and should fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. When I was an MP in the Army, I saw firsthand what could happen to soldiers who got caught and admitted to cheating on their spouses. Officers were forced to retire, and enlisted men were given their discharge papers.
The military code can be pretty harsh. Adultery is, at least, a bad-conduct discharge, a fine and maybe prison.
Whether Clinton stays or goes, it's just one more reason this country is so screwed up. It would take another revolution, after which we would probably be worse off, or something out of a Tom Clancy novel to change our government. Between Clinton's antics, America's obsession with Princess Diana and actually believing that Beanie Babies will be worth something in the future, I know that the end of the world is near.
If Barry Graham is going to trot out White House spin as a substitute for real journalism, he should at least take the time to get the current version.
Sid Blumenthal retracted his accusation that Ken Starr was a "right-wing zealot" after it was pointed out to him that Judge Starr was appointed by a panel of five judges that included two Democrats, and that he serves at the pleasure of the attorney general, another Democrat, who could fire him at any time should he show partisan bias.
Judge Starr was lauded by all sides, when he was appointed, as fair-minded, evenhanded and diligent.
The current party line you should be spouting is that Starr's report will be "only one opinion." Get with the program, Barry!
Furthermore, Mr. Graham parrots the tired old White House line that "it's all about sex."
If Mr. Graham would do a minimal amount of research, he would learn that the Lewinsky affair is important to Starr's investigations because it is a near carbon copy of the witness tampering and obstruction of justice seen in the silencing of convicted crook Webster Hubbell, who reneged on his immunity deal after Vernon Jordan arranged more than $700,000 worth of "consulting contracts" through his business associates. Hubbell, on receipt of this "work," suddenly clammed up.
So when it was brought to Starr's attention that Monica Lewinsky perjured herself on behalf of the president after having had her $11,000 Visa bill mysteriously paid off, and a lucrative job offer made to her by Revlon, courtesy of Vernon Jordan, Starr was suspicious, and rightly so.
You claim also that Starr has nothing but the sex scandal to accuse Clinton with. Where do you get this little gem? The word is that Starr's report is already in excess of 300 pages, of which only a small part is about the Lewinsky affair, and that Clinton will be caught in more than 100 instances of perjury, witness tampering, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
I am confident the tenacious, thorough and professional Judge Starr will lay out a pattern of abuse of power, abuse of drugs--yes, drugs--and abuse of women, to say nothing of the embezzlement, fraud and misuse of government resources for personal gain.
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In short, I believe you will see that Clinton is worse than John Gotti--and no one trashed his prosecutor!
Oh. And one last little spin you need to update; that $40 million Starr has spent--apparently, it hasn't changed since January! So did we get the Lewinsky investigation for free?
But I'll tell you one thing, the cost is less than half of what Clinton spent in one afternoon to butcher a few Arabs in his efforts to divert attention from his crimes.