That's the ticket!: I was ticked off when I read your photo-radar story ("Gotcha!," Ray Stern, February 8). That corporations can get out of the tickets is outrageous enough, but that city governments in towns that employ photo radar to nail drivers, no less don't pay their tickets from other jurisdictions really got my goat.
The whole camera-ticket thing needs to be overhauled, and probably scrapped. I understand that deaths are down on the 101 in Scottsdale where the cameras were located, and are about to be located again, but there has to be some fairness put into the system.
Why not change the law and hold companies responsible for any photo-radar violation in one of their company's cars? Same with public entities. The fact that they will chase down you or me and let these public lawbreakers go scot-free shouldn't be tolerated.
Oh, thanks for the "how to get out of a ticket" chart, but my feeling is, once you get one of the damned things (unless, of course, you're exempted like city governments), you will be hunted down by the process servers until you have to pay or lose your license. Who has time to avoid a process server for weeks?!
Dennis Stewart, via the Internet
Web of Lies
Get-well-off-quick scheme: What you wrote in "The Real Rip-off Report" (Sarah Fenske, February 1) about Ed Magedson is truly amazing! Only in America could a guy get rich (or at least well-off) by posting scurrilous lies and then extorting people for money for his editor's notes saying that those lies aren't true.
What I didn't know and what is truly unbelievable is that Internet sites can put up any kind of bullshit and not be held liable. This is law that needs desperately to be changed, as your story points out. How can this be that Web masters are allowed to just mess with people's lives and businesses by allowing enemies carte blanche to say whatever they please and get away with it?
I truly hope this guy, Magedson, is sued into oblivion and even criminally charged someday. I loved the way your writer opened the story, because it showed Magedson for what he is: a weasel.
Al Bradley, Los Angeles
New world disorder: A friend of mine pointed out your story "The Real Rip-off Report" to me; amazed that this guy could get away with what he's doing. But I have long known that the Internet can print any kind of crap and not be held accountable. It's wrong, but it's one of the realities we have to live with in our 21st-century world.
That laws need to be changed is obvious. But until they are, we must run scared of guys like Ed Magedson, unscrupulous assholes who think they're doing noble work by doing as they please. Madedson's tortured logic, as reflected in your story, is funny unless, of course, you are one of his victims.
Tom Dillon, Evanston, Illinois
The lying king: I was a victim of a vicious smear campaign on Ed Magedson's site, and I can tell you there's absolutely nothing I could do about it. Complaining to Ed did no good. The guy has the crazy belief that he's upholding freedom of the press by publishing even what he knows are blatant lies. As your story said, he cannot be moved.
My business was pretty much ruined by what was said about me by somebody with whom I had been romantically involved. Now there's an unbiased source!
Anyway, thanks for writing this story. Maybe it will bring light to what's become a huge problem in our world: libel on the Internet. Maybe some lawmakers will read this and propose some changes. I hope so, before more lives are ruined.
Name withheld by request
Prosecute the Prosecutors
Porn-again Christian: The story about Matt Bandy and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' office really made me mad ("Doubting Thomas," Sarah Fenske, January 25).
I notice that Thomas' office had little to say in explanation of why they were so harsh with a teenage boy about alleged child porn that was on his computer through no fault of his. Aren't minors supposed to be treated more leniently than adults? And that's if they really did what they're accused of, and Matt Bandy didn't.
I find it hard to believe that a so-called God-fearing man like Thomas would be so callous. I wish his office had been more forthcoming, because I'm left to believe that he and his prosecutors should be punished somehow for what they did. As described in New Times, their deeds are unforgivable.
Maria Lozano, Phoenix
Truth ache: Thank you for the story about Matt Bandy. Thank you for being the only newspaper in Phoenix that actually prints the truth. I can always count on New Times to tell the truth about the many flaws in the Arizona judicial system.
Hopefully, the article on Matt will help my son, who's facing the very same nightmare from the County Attorney's Office.
D.W. Miller, Chandler
Shouldn't that be "libel," or are we just being paranoid?: Stephen Lemons, in an attempt to slander the rapidly growing 9/11 truth movement, accuses 9/11 Accountability Conference organizer Eric Williams of Holocaust denial ("Denier's Conference," The Bird, February 1; also see Lemons' blog, Feathered Bastard).
Whatever Williams' views and I doubt Lemons has portrayed them accurately, given the ongoing flood of slander all 9/11 activists endure the overwhelming majority of 9/11 truth advocates are not deniers or revisionists of any of the dozens of holocausts and genocides that have plagued our planet during the past few centuries of European imperial conquests. On the contrary, we are peace activists working to stop the ongoing Iraqi holocaust (nearly two million civilians murdered by your tax dollars in less than two decades) and prevent the current wars of aggression from incinerating our planet.
Please visit the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth Web site (http://mujca.com) and help end the murderous Islamophobia and anti-Semitism that have been provoked (intentionally, it seems) by the 9/11 inside job. And please visit the upcoming 9/11 Accountability Conference in Chandler and see for yourself what kind of people are risking their reputations and perhaps their lives by demanding truth and accountability.
Kevin Barrett, Madison, Wisconsin
Birds of a feather break laws together: Thanks for the recent piece about Joe Arpaio's number two needing to be prosecuted for withholding evidence ("How Convenient," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, February 1). I won't hold my breath until the cowardly county attorneys' offices around here do that (they'd rather kiss old Joe's butt and go after New Times), but your point is well-taken.
Chief Deputy David Hendershott may be even more evil than Arpaio. In many ways, it reminds me of the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney relationship. Keep going at them, because as somebody inside the sheriff's office I can tell you it really pisses them off.
Name withheld by request
We'd go back where we came from, but we forget how: I find it humorous that, year after year, more snowbirds forget their way home and get lost in the Valley. Then, to make things worse, they won't stop squawking about how things are done back home in whatever Godforsaken place they are from. Guess what? If shit worked right there, they would be there and not crapping on our minds' windshields.
Let's look at the loudest squawker of them all, the king birdbrain, Stephen Lemons. Since he is a transplant to our state, he doesn't know how much better we are with Sheriff Joe. He has no idea about the days of innocent people being pulled out of their cars and restaurants by his predecessors and their officers.
Another thing Lemons should understand is, this is the West, and that's how we do it. We carry guns and treat criminals like criminals. There are gangs in every prison in the country. It cannot be stopped. Mr. Lemons likes to act as if Tent City is the only place with them ("Sheriff Gangbanger," The Bird, January 18). He also appears to think that the inmates there are treated unfairly. Well, maybe they are treated like criminals for a reason. That's what they are! I remember what this Valley was like 20 years ago, and some things were better, but not law enforcement. I remember when English was the primary language here, when kids could play outside with their friends, when schools were safe.
This was before the liberals destroyed the Valley with their, "Oh, we have to be nice to them" philosophy. When illegals were sent packing and America was for Americans. I am proud to be a native Arizonan, but how that definition has changed wasn't clear to me until at work I had to ask for a translator for a Spanish-speaking Mexican who asked me a question. See, I was born and raised in the United States and do not speak a foreign language. Last I checked, this is a state in America, not Mexico.
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You want something to throw a fit about, then throw one about the fact that illegals have taken over this state, and if we say anything bad about it, we are racists. Quit taking the easy targets and start reliving the days of this paper being an underground mag that went after the real feelings of the people.
William Peltier, via the Internet
Working Out the Kinks
Are pasties provided?: I'm glad to see coverage in New Times of my absolute favorite way to work out pole dancing ("How to . . . 2007," Resolution Guide, January 18). There are actually quite a few places in town now offering classes, and even pole-dancing parties for ladies who want to try it out at home with their friends.
I went to a single class a couple of years ago and was instantly hooked. Every woman should try pole dancing. Thank you for helping other women out there find out how great pole dancing can make you feel.
Emily Kuehn, Glendale