Dewey Webb's "Drugstore Caballero" (April 4) was entertaining, but New Times did us legitimate over-the-border pill buyers a disservice. On my frequent sojourns to Mexico, the farmacia is a required stop. Case in point: Ceclor, an antibiotic that I've been prescribed to fight recurring sinus and respiratory infections. A course of Ceclor consists of ten capsules and retails for $85, excluding the doctor's office visit. The same Ceclor in Mexico: $12--no doctor visit, no co-pays, no forms.
Having some Ceclor in my medicine cabinet is a matter of dollars and "sense." The alternative is to get an appointment (good luck), take time off work, pay a doctor to tell me what I already know (that I'm sick), then trek over to a drugstore and play another waiting game, only to fork over an outrageous sum of money. I consider it an indictment of the American drug cartel: the Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association and the drug manufacturers. It runs the largest, greediest monopoly in this country.
Congratulations, Dewey Webb. The American Medical Association and all of its powerful lobbyists should be very proud. Take away the power of prescriptions that doctors have over us and they would all learn the meaning of competition, and they would, forevermore, have to actually work for a living.
I imagine that very soon a brand-new, three-piece suit, along with a job offer to go to Washington, D.C., will arrive at Dewey Webb's door, sent from the American Medical Association. Or maybe he should just set up a medical-emergency center near the border and make a killing off all those poor, dumb souls who do not have the mental capacity to read the Physicians' Desk Reference.
I want to thank Phoenix Art Museum for "Old Glory: The American Flag in Contemporary Art" and New Times for printing an excellent article about this show ("Legionnaire's Disease," Michael Kiefer, April 4).
Art's sole purpose is to evoke emotion or reaction from those who experience it. It makes its audience think, challenges it to venture past the surface and to see things in more than one context and, hopefully, the audience will see the exact intention of the artist's work, and embrace it.
Art does not have to appeal to everyone. What may offend some may spiritually release others. The image of the American flag belongs to all Americans. It does not judge whether one is a "good" or "bad" American. As Americans, we have the freedom to interpret this symbol the way that we, as individuals, see fit! This is just one of the many beautiful things about being an American. This is why we all choose to live here.
I've suffered through all the news reports about Phoenix Art Museum's flag exhibit with impassioned vets venting their anger. These "patriots" consider it an insult to put the flag in a toilet, but would applaud and leer if it was jiggling on a tall blonde's backside or chest. Their cry is, "I fought for this country"--we are eternally grateful for their efforts--but what did they think they were fighting for? Freedom to be able to express, and this precious freedom is unconditional.
And if they think that some of this country's priorities have not gone down the toilet, all they need to do is pull their heads out of the sand and look around. I quote Voltaire: "I may disagree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it." It works both ways.
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Amy Silverman's "Organ Lessons" (March 28) rightfully exposed the horrors perpetrated by physicians who prey on misguided male vanity. But if New Times is serious about exposing flimflam, why limit it to the few men who freely choose to mutilate themselves? How about the one million nonconsenting newborn males who, each year, are genitally mutilated in American hospitals, and whose parents dimwittedly give those institutions a quarter-billion dollars for the "privilege"?
Please don't lump foreskin-restoration groups into the folly of penis-enlargement schemes. We at NORM (National Organization of Restoring Men) are working to repair the mutilation forced upon us by venal physicians and ignorant parents. We are unalterably opposed to the scalpel.
A real American tragedy is found in the 100 million men who have been circumcised, and who remain absurdly unaware of their own freakishness. That a majority of men has been genitally mutilated does not make that mutilation a normal circumstance. Would that New Times had the courage to expose the stark truth about this wholesale mutilation.
founder of NORM Phoenix chapter