Poor old Joe: It's terrible what Elias Bermudez did to the best sheriff in the United States ("Grand Wizard Arpaio," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, August 23). He should be strung up for that.
And your boy, Lemons, should be strung up for re-publishing that illustration Bermudez passed around. I know you guys at New Times don't like Arpaio, but he's not exactly a Klan member unless being justifiably hard on crime qualifies him for that (Mexicans commit a serious crime when they come hear illegally).
Sheriff Joe Arpaio
I had to laugh when I read that Bermudez was bending over to apologize to the sheriff, because the little fucker is scared. He's pissing in his panties that Arpaio will mess with him, figure out something to charge him with. If I were Elias, I'd be keeping a keen eye in my rear-view mirror. Ha!
It just goes to show you what kind of cowards are speaking for the Mexicans.
James Carlton, Phoenix
Hazy hyperbole: People need to learn to tolerate other people's lifestyles. If others enjoy smoking marijuana and you don't, then don't do it ("The Bong Show," Ray Stern, August 16). But don't tell other people what they can and cannot do.
There are plenty of people who use it for medical reasons, and although the article doesn't allude to it, you can bypass most of the harmful toxins by using a vaporizer or ingesting the cannabis through food.
Cannabis is the most benign of "illicit" drugs. No one in history has ever died from the stuff. In fact, in many countries, the elderly attribute their long lives to it.
Henry Anslinger, via the Internet
THE TROOF IS OUT THERE
Shucks, Tom, you dont mean it?: What a very fair and balanced article you wrote regarding September 11. At no point did it seem like your article was an opinion column. It seemed very open-minded and objective, and completely without an agenda ("The Yoda of 9/11," Stephen Lemons, August 9).
I'd like to thank you for including the likes of Jim Hoffman, Stephen Jones, and the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth in your well-researched article. Too often, authors submit narrow-minded slam pieces that focus on one or two really absurd conspiracy theorists and use them to discredit all of the scholars and professionals that have submitted extensive evidence that would warrant further investigation.
You're an excellent example of the type of journalistic integrity that all publications should strive to attain.
Thomas Edwards, San Francisco
Grasping at straws: You'd think the 9/11 "truth" movement would have built enough of a case in five years to go before a grand jury with solid evidence. But claims that no steel-framed buildings besides the ones at the WTC ever collapsed from fire are false.
And those that collapsed before weren't hit by fuel-laden wide-body jets doing 500 miles per hour.
But "truthers" keep repeating the same thoroughly debunked nonsense day after day, week after week, year after year, as if maybe ignoring their isolation will somehow make them mainstream.
Not that long ago, truthers tried to conduct a "citizens grand jury" in San Diego, and despite a complete show- trial-meets-kangaroo-court environment, they couldn't secure even a minimal "indictment" for anyone or anything related to 9/11.
Seems after the mistakes made in Iraq and after Katrina, reasonable people not suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) are unwilling to believe the Bush administration consists of the infallible über-mensches (whom the entire "9/11-was-an-inside-job" hypothesis is based on).
Even among truthers themselves, their fact- and evidence-free lies only produce internal division and bickering: There were planes; no, they were holograms. There was controlled demolition; no, there were particle beams from space. The phone calls from the hijacked flights were faked and the passengers were killed; no, the passengers are living in the lap of luxury on Bali Hai.
Thanks to Pat Curley and his Web partner James Bennett for providing a breath of fresh air among all the miserable 9/11 conspiracy nonsense online.
Arnold MacGregor, via the Internet
Americans in the dark: I reviewed screwloosechange.com and didn't find it very convincing, but I do appreciate your holding people accountable for what they say.
I think that's the same spirit that we "truthers" are trying to bring out. The main message is: Don't swallow everything you're given to chew, be it from the media or from the government.
If your intent at New Times was to make people back up their claims, I have no qualm with that. I personally don't believe a damn thing the government says, but I felt that way before 9/11.
Unfortunately, Americans are largely in the dark about what we do abroad. Many in this country claim we overthrow dictators without realizing it was us who installed the dictator to begin with.
Even if you disagree about government involvement in 9/11, you have to admit that past attacks were staged by the government (example: Gulf of Tonkin) to bring us to war.
Ben Logan, Phoenix
Maybe next time: Before you print another 9/11 "conspiracy" hit piece, perhaps you should talk to this former NIST employee about what he thinks of the WTC NIST Report:
James Quintiere, former chief of the fire science division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has called for an independent review of NIST's investigation into the collapses of the World Trade Center.
Quintiere made his plea during his presentation, "Questions on the WTC Investigations," at the 2007 World Fire Safety Conference. "I wish that there would be a peer review of [the NIST investigation]. I think the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable."
Quintiere also encouraged his fellow researchers and engineers to scientifically re-examine the WTC collapses: "I hope to convince you to perhaps become 'conspiracy theorists,' but in a proper way."
Mike Meyer, Tempe
Who are you calling gratuitous?: Just read your story on the 911 "troofers." It was good, and the fact that a leftist like Stephen Lemons would take on the über-leftist wing-nuts is commendable. One aside: I noted the gratuitous "chickenhawk" slap at George Bush.
Tom Stitt, Scottsdale
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Hes not a sheep: Some of the people or groups and their theories you covered in "The Yoda of 9/11" were pretty out there, but the idea of 9/11 being a setup isn't as far-fetched as you think.
It's definitely on people's minds [that] the government had to have at least known about it beforehand and let it happen, or worse. This country would kill its own citizens, especially for good reasons like changing the Constitution [to seize] oil and land for bases in the Middle East, to tighten its grip on the Earth. We've even killed our own in the "post-9/11 world" with Hurricane Katrina.
We live in a country that has conquered and destroyed nations and has virtually wiped out entire races of people. A country that has installed dictators and raped countries for their resources and their economies. We've funded, supplied, and trained terrorists, stolen elections, enslaved people for nearly two centuries, and the list goes on. We've done so many terrible things since we came to this land, it really boggles my mind.
I'm not a conspiracy nut or "troofer." I'm an open-minded, truth-seeking free-thinker. I don't buy into television, the media, and religion too much. I read and try to find less-restricted forms of information. I'm not a sheep, in other words. But I do think there's something going on in the world, certain forces are manipulating events, manipulating certain systems and organizations to their benefit. Since 9/11, there is definitely an element of control being slowly put upon us that really feels like something out of Orwell's 1984.
Eric Dearing, Phoenix