Congratulations on a great job and very responsible press ("The Moneychangers," Terry Greene Sterling, April 16 and 23). Some years back, I presented the Baptist Foundation of Arizona with the thought of professional portfolio management by a registered adviser based on fiduciary requirements. When the foundation said the only interest was real estate with what I considered unrealistic returns, I felt it must go much deeper. It sounds to me like both state and federal regulators need to read and move on your report.
After reading Terry Greene Sterling's article on the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, I've decided to establish my own real-estate investment foundation. I'm calling it the "Jeffe Bakke, Man of God and All-Around Good Christian, Real Estate Pyramid Fund," a family-oriented investment vehicle.
This not-for-profit religious corporation will be a charitable organization which will ultimately provide funding for poor children, perhaps 500 or 100 years down the road. In the meantime, God has decided that I should be blessed with a $2 million home filled with antiques and other pretty things. I also expect to be blessed with some nice new cars and lots and lots of cash.
Oh--if you're a good Christian with family values and you care about "the children," you'll send all of your retirement funds to me. Praise the Lord!
Your article is alarming to an old 82-year-old pastor who put a very substantial amount of his life savings into that fund. Is there any hope that the Southern Baptist Convention will assume some responsibility? I am not a Southern Baptist, but maybe it just goes to show that the greatest curse this world has ever seen is religion! My intention is to call North Phoenix Baptist Church and make a plea for its intervention. At least those members of its church should be called into account.
I would earnestly ask that you do not mention my name. Having been a pastor here in Phoenix back in the 1970s, I still have many people who know me, and I am, of course, embarrassed as well. Keep up the good work of exposing such ventures; at least it may be a help to those who are still thinking of making initial or further investments.
Name withheld by request
On your recent article on BFA, it is nice to know that its for-profit companies so greatly outnumber its non-profit companies! It would appear that the foundation has its road cut out to heaven, but it needs a little taste of hell!
Riders on the Storm
Thanks for writing a fair and unbiased article ("All Abort," Chris Farnsworth, April 16). It states the case of the city very succinctly and shows the Children of the Rosary to be caring people. I pray that the Children of the Rosary win their case. People who believe in this cause should contribute to the Children of the Rosary. They will find people from Children of the Rosary praying in front of abortion clinics around the city, almost any day of the week.
I am sorry to say that the City of Phoenix has missed the point completely. This is a free-speech issue. If one cannot make free-speech presentations on public land or property, so long as they are controlled and nondestructive, where exactly are we allowed to engage in free speech without censorship by the government?
If the city is going to try to prove that we cannot have free speech because someone is going to break the law as a form of response, then free speech is dead. These people are not even challenging "pro-choice." They are advocating which "choice" is more advisable. "Choose life," they say.
It seems the city finds the First Amendment completely beneath the dignity of a public bus.
Donald W. Turnblade
In response to "All Abort!": If the city ends up losing in Ninth U.S. Circuit Court and is forced to take ads from the Children of the Rosary to promote pro-life messages, I can promise you that neither I nor my family will use the bus system.
I have not taken a stance on either side of this hotly debated subject because I feel that both sides have valid points. I choose to keep my opinion to myself. This is an issue that will never be decided in my lifetime. Should it be decided by the nation's high court, it will just throw this country into a violent civil war.
I make my promise to keep my family out of harm's way because I guarantee that the pro-choicers will jump on the bandwagon (or bus) as well. When this happens, bus riders will be in harm's way. We have seen what happens when activists get competitive. Need I say more?
Name withheld by request
I have just finished reading John Dougherty's April 16 article titled "BOB Doesn't Get With This Program," and I have to commend him on his work.
To me, the Bank One Ballpark fiasco is like Reaganomics was in the 1980s. The rich got richer, and the money was supposed to trickle down to the poor, helping all of society at the same time. Well, it didn't work then, and it appears not to be working now. Why the powers that be who run BOB cannot allow a small businessman to sell his merchandise and make a profit for himself is beyond me.
Yes, I'll admit it, I've been to a Diamondbacks game. I even enjoyed it. I saw the vendors selling Scott Fader's publication, and, unfortunately, I didn't buy one. I regretted that decision as soon as I got inside and saw the $5 programs for sale. When and if I ever go to another game, I will make it a point to find one of Mr. Fader's distributors and buy one. Heck, I may even buy five.
Mr. Fader, more power to you. I wish you much success in your venture, and please know that there are many people who support your right to make an honest buck.
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Thanks for Tony Ortega's fine article on Arizona's high school mock-trial program, which teaches kids the basics of American jurisprudence. The article touches on some of the faults of our justice system. John Langbein, Chancellor and Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School, has written: "Ours is a criminal-justice system worthy of some banana republic where the rich often act with impunity and the authorities terrorize the peons at will." He concludes that our system is very much one where money is the defining element, where truth is only a happenstance, and that we should look to the Europeans for reform.
Maybe the students would be better served studying the latest period of legal hysteria in the U.S. rather than learning how to be sharks in a very flawed system.
Roland W. James