Letters From the Issue of Thursday, June 28, 2007
Beats gettin shot: Congratulations on a really great job on this story ("Aftershock!" Paul Rubin, June 21). As the brother of a police officer, I know what goes on out there and how many times guns would be the right call over anything else. Tasers aren't perfect by any means, as the story says, but they sure as hell are better than getting a bullet in the chest, or than getting the crap beaten out of you. Everyone who trashes Tasers should read this article.
Fred Luria, via the Internet
More shocks, fewer suits: It appears the only reason most civil rights groups don't like the Taser is that takes money out of their pockets by minimizing "wrongful death" lawsuits.
Frank Pinelander, via the Internet
Continental Airlines should be held accountable for its lack of cooperation with law-enforcement agencies, who described in detail the dangers to other passengers on the same flight with a non-U.S. citizen fleeing Arizona after committing a horrific torture/murder ("Snake on a Plane," Paul Rubin, June 14).
U.S. citizens should refuse to fly Continental Airlines. If Continental's loyalty is to the almighty profit (their comment to law enforcement was, "Do you know how much it would cost in fuel to turn the plane around?") and to a criminal just because he is a paid customer, then . . . The insane, the mentally ill, terrorists, and murderers can book flights on Continental Airlines.
I have sent this story to thousands of e-mail recipients and hope they pass it along. Continental's priorities are its costs, not its passengers' safety. I will never book another flight on Continental.
T. O'Sullivan, Santa Barbara, California
See it, believe it: I heard about this story from one of the sources quoted who said it had blown his mind. All I can say is: Wow! This is something everyone should read. The writer sure made it read like a TV script. I could see everything.
Jessica Swisher, New York
Only everyone isnt happy: I agree with the airline. It is not Continental's business to play cops and robbers. The authorities had him apprehended in India, so what is the fuss all about? The end justifies the means in this case.
Remember, there is an obligation to international commerce that airlines are a part of. The alleged killer is behind bars, and Continental made a successful flight. Everyone is happy and the story ends there.
Bob Guthrie, Houston
Continentals correct choice: Ah, the arrogance of law enforcement agents. Do exactly what they say, when they say to do it, no questions or arguments allowed, no matter the cost to taxpayers and others.
It's the exact same arrogance that is used to shut down vital freeways and transportation corridors used by hundreds of thousands of people for half a day or more while lethal accidents or murders are slowly investigated.
Raju Grewal didn't commit a cold-blooded murder; instead, it was a hot-blooded crime of passion. No evidence was presented in the story that Grewal was a substantial or immediate threat to other passengers. No evidence of a history of violence. There was no way he could escape while in flight. Therefore, there was no significant reason why law enforcement couldn't wait for him to be arrested at the plane's next scheduled stop and extradited back to Phoenix, just like hundreds of other suspects every year.
Instead, law enforcement demanded a flashy turnaround that would have greatly inconvenienced hundreds of passengers and cost more than $100,000 of probably unrecoverable expenses for Continental.
Good going, Continental! Thanks for having the common sense to know that security concerns can be weighed against other factors, instead of just assuming the worst. Thanks for resisting the pressure to treat all passengers like cattle that can be herded around at the whim of government officials.
Mark Nelson, Phoenix
The wrong signal: The Phoenix police officer you quote, I'm sure, is a fine officer, and I do see his point.
But if the plane had turned around, it would have sent the wrong signal to the suspect. He might have panicked, taken hostages, or worse: He might have tried to bring down the plane.
By acting as if nothing had happened, the suspect was taken into custody with no more issues.
Jason Joyner, Phoenix
Gimme the tough calls: I like stories that let me make up my own mind about a topic. This one was a tough call, however. I can see both points of view. That's not to say that I think the cops really can prove anything.
Chad Vanegas, Avondale
They were thinking about the fuel: Scary story! What were these people at Continental thinking?
Alex Franklin, via the Internet
Phoenix cops blow it again: Although it acknowledged there was a way to arrest the murderer when the plane landed in India, the New Times article suggested Continental's failure to land was all about the cost to Continental.
Maybe that did play into it, but as an air traveler (generally not on Continental), I like to think safety was the major issue. Turning a plane around with a fleeing "lunatic" on board? I don't think so.
And as for the commitment to pay for Continental's landing costs many people expect cops to lie (and the Supreme Court has endorsed their right to do so). If the issue were really about money, there were a couple of hours of flight time when the Phoenix department could have e-mailed Continental's management in Houston a documented commitment to pay.
But, hey, this was Friday night. For top cops, it was already the weekend. Why bother? It's always easier to blame the airline.
Face it. The story here is that the Phoenix cops blew it again. Had they moved on the case like they actually cared, the murderer never would have left the country, because the cops could have grabbed him before takeoff.
Name withheld by request
SHORT FOR FANATIC
Spittin mad D-Backs dude: Hey, Clay McNear, I've got an idea. If you love the goddamn Red Sox so much, why don't you fucking move to Boston ("Tubular Sox," Night & Day, June 7)?
I can't believe you, man. New Times gives you 90 words and you throw them down the fucking drain trying to sound cool to all the trendy little kids. Word on the street, Clay, is that you're not from anywhere near the East Coast. In fact, you're a local boy.
It must be hard living a life of failure in a city that is flourishing. If only you could have grown up somewhere else, somewhere more liberal, where you may have been accepted. It's not too late to start over. Fuck, I'll be glad to help you pack.
You people at New Times, you are in a unique position to bring some fucking life to this city! You're one of the most widely read circulations in the Valley. What to do you do? You spend every week finding a new way to rag on everything. You have dipshits working for you like this McNear guy, who are more concerned with appealing to college-age scenester kids than to locals.
In 20 years, there's going to be a huge generation of native Arizonans living in this city. We won't give a shit about Boston. We will give a shit about our fucking team. We will want to hear about why the Diamondbacks are the coolest fucking team on the face of the Earth and why, no matter what, they are going to win the World Series. And that if it just so happens that we lose, we will want to hear about how the other guys cheated, or how they are all a bunch of fags.
Save your cynicism for corporate fat-cat articles. Leave it out of hometown sports. I am calling for an apology, not to me, but to the Diamondbacks and the city. I'll wait two weeks, and if I haven't seen one by then, I swear I will spit on every New Times stand I come across in the Valley, and encourage others to do so.
Mark Petrie, Phoenix
Urine and stale franks . . . smells like victory: I'm a transplant here. I have read six straight years of negative journalism and watch as you continue to burn down the city with your words. I am not even sure if great journalism is understood at 1201 East Jefferson.
A typical paper includes your incessant anti-Phoenix articles, terrible restaurant reviews and now this: a small article in which you proclaim the Boston Red Sox as the coolest team in baseball.
Clay McNear, you are wrong on so many levels.
The Red Sox's stadium, like its city, is a filthy landfill where the sweet smell of urine and stale franks rule the property. The Green Monster represents the jealousy they have of the large, successful, much cooler metropolitan area known as New York.
Curt Schilling is becoming one of the most hated men in baseball as he continues to mock the league and the players who are in it. In fact, this great man will never reach a little city called Cooperstown where he could awe at the accomplishments of another player, Randy Johnson.
Are you kidding? You have a team in Phoenix that, after six dreadful years, finally can show a winning record, and you bring it down. You have a successful, technologically advanced city that can afford not one but two stadiums with retractable roofs. We have a bunch of farm players who are busting their asses to win games with salaries that represent one-tenth of what Dice-K makes, a Hall of Fame pitcher, Johnson, who wanted to retire his name and jersey from the same team that brought us a championship, and a division that is arguably the best division in baseball this year.
Clay, you should have your head examined! You obviously know nothing about baseball, this city, or the Red Sox and Diamondbacks.
I have an idea: Why don't you write another article, this time about the mishaps and bad judgments of Sheriff Joe, Governor Janet, and our AZ political system. It has been two weeks since you spent another 14 pages about these faults.
Brian Dewey, Phoenix
Birds of a feather: Nice work by New Times writer Ray Stern in uncovering the truth about LifeLock ("What Happened in Vegas . . . ," May 31). After all the denials, Robert Maynard Jr. has apparently now resigned from the company ("Slapstick Scammers," The Bird, June 21).
What makes no sense is that although Maynard Jr. has apparently resigned, he is now going to form a "marketing company" and do the exact same work he has been doing for LifeLock as a "consultant."
So, exactly, what is the difference? If LifeLock has concluded that Maynard Jr. shouldn't be an employee or officer of LifeLock, why would it continue to use Maynard Jr.'s services and why would it continue to allow him to be an owner?
What is even more troubling is that LifeLock is apparently going to use Maynard Jr. as a "marketing consultant," when it was Maynard Jr.'s marketing lies that got it into trouble in the first place. If LifeLock and Todd Davis were reputable and cared anything about the truth, they would force Maynard Jr. to sell his stock, stop Maynard Jr. from making money from his lies, and completely disassociate him from LifeLock. What is that old saying about "birds of a feather"?
A more humorous note is that another of LifeLock's marketing campaigns has gone awry. As anyone who has been to LifeLock's Web page knows, Todd Davis posts his Social Security number on the site because he is so confident in LifeLock's services. Well, Todd Davis recently had his identity stolen by a thief using Davis' Social Security number, and a loan was taken out in his name.
If the service can't even prevent LifeLock's CEO from having his identity stolen, then Maynard may be the least of LifeLock's problems.
Name withheld by request
Us, too: I just want to thank the writer of the story titled "Fred Flintstone" (The Bird, June 7). In it, you mentioned Robert Maynard Jr. I hope all of Phoenix reads about the slimy scumbag.
Dawn Horn, Phoenix
Leave that Phil alone: I am a frequent reader of New Times, though I resent the contempt that is often shown for Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon within your pages ("Benedict Gordon," The Bird, June 7).
For all the things that he has done to make this city a better place for young people (who I assume make up a majority of your readership), I would think New Times would be a bit more appreciative of his leadership.
The light-rail project alone should be enough to get a shining endorsement from you. It will make this city a much more exciting place to live and work, providing a safe, easy way to navigate through the city's cultural and entertainment centers. Not to mention that Gordon was also instrumental in getting an ASU campus constructed in downtown Phoenix.
I just don't understand how you can be so critical of Gordon and yet so supportive of his incredibly inexperienced opponent, Jarrett Maupin. Maupin is so inexperienced that he sent out a press release celebrating his 20th birthday that had misspelled words in it.
Sure, Maupin is young and ambitious and (supposedly) idealistic, but could he achieve the great accomplishments and policy successes of Phil Gordon? It takes more than just being young and loud to speak for young people. To me, Gordon's actions speak much louder.
Steven Slugocki, Phoenix
Feeling no pain: How dare you tell the Mothers Against Drunk Driving to "eff" themselves ("Mad at Madd," The Bird, May 31)!
Your writer obviously has not had the pain of burying a child because idiots like him think it's okay to drink and drive. You can have a nightlife without getting so drunk you can't drive.
Sandy Fehr, via the Internet
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