Letters From the Issue of Thursday, June 7, 2007
THE SHAME GAME
"Crybaby" presiding judge: I am an attorney who has practiced in this state for more than 30 years. I was one of the attorneys who spoke to the Phoenix City Council just before it fired Municipal Court Judge Mike Carroll and asked them not to do such a terrible thing to a just and honorable man ("Injustice System," Sarah Fenske, May 31). I was one of many, including a judge who had previously retired from the bench and had known Mike and his work as a judge for many, many years.
The "hearing" was a joke. The firing was a "done deal" long before any of us went to the council and told it the truth about Presiding Judge Roxanne Song Ong and what was going on in Phoenix Municipal Court. Judge Eric Jeffery's background aside, it was the lack of Song Ong's ability to handle a clearly administrative issue without running to the council like a frightened baby to its parent for "protection." Is that really the kind of judge the council wants running the largest city court in the Valley?
Apparently so. Guess why? Because only a short time before the mayor and council had made a very public announcement, lauding themselves on appointing the very first Asian woman to a position of such power and esteem. Diversity, it seems, has "come a long way, baby."
The dispute between Song Ong and Mike Carroll was a minor one, relative to the things that happen at city court, and was one that she, as presiding judge, was supposed to handle. If she couldn't handle a small administrative problem like this, ask yourself how she is handling far more important administrative issues. But I guess the article you printed explains it pretty well.
Shame on the city council, and shame on the judges at the city court who, unlike Karyn Klausner, are afraid to speak out.
Eleanor L. Miller, via the Internet
Fired for asking, "Why?": Judge Roxanne Song Ong should not only be immediately terminated, she should be brought up on charges, not the least of which being conduct unbecoming of a judge. She is an embarrassment to our system of justice.
Should nothing be done, we are setting the stage for all to believe it is normal practice to oust the person who simply asks, "Why?" This was a pure tar-and-feathering of a person who simply chose to exercise his right to free speech.
Mindy K. Reyes, via the Internet
From the reading-impaired: I have known Judge Eric Jeffery for many years. The unsubstantiated, baseless allegations are just that allegations, with no support or evidence.
Judge Jeffery is a man of high integrity, dignity, caring and is, above all, a proponent of the law, not a violator of it. He is, and has been supported by many for the excellent work he has done for the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix legal community.
Suzanne Dondeville, via the Internet
"Astounding" abuse of power: As a former resident of Phoenix and, at the time, a proud one, it is sad to see that this once great city has followed (or beat) the national trend of unfair and unlawful treatment of judges.
Civil liberties are disappearing very rapidly and, in this case, the abuse of power is astounding. How did this happen, and where were the Phoenix City Council members?
The head judge should lose her job over this. She is obviously biased, unfair and spiteful. How else to explain denying Phoenix residents [a jurist with] all those years of experience [in] Judge Carroll.
Wait, it was a few e-mails. Gee, we all should get fired, I guess.
M. Petrone, via the Internet
ANN COULTER JR.
A robot and a liar: From the story about the campus super-conservative: "In one breath, [Emily] Mitchell can explain why she's against Hillary Clinton, affirmative action, and feminism, then switch gears with a smile and offer you a cookie." That's charm? Maybe if this were the 1950s. ("Move Over, Ann Coulter," Megan Irwin, May 24).
This Mitchell person sounds like a crazed robot. Her pronouncements are so determinedly chipper her arguments about keeping a child conceived by a rape made me blanch, especially coming from someone who's clearly never been there.
Mensa or no, you wonder just how complex a thought she can actually process. Something the professor who rejected her initial capitalism versus communism paper seemed to have gotten a taste of.
All in all, Mitchell sounds naive, like the perennial newly matriculated college freshman who's convinced she and only she has uncovered True Knowledge & Wisdom.
Squeaky wheel: Maybe young people have checked out of the political process and activism precisely because people like Emily Mitchell cheat and dishonestly subvert the system solely to win their cause, not to win a consensus that there is a better way to live our lives.
Squeaky wheels are ecstatic being squeaky as long as they think their grease can get on others. I truly feel sorry for this woman.
Tracy Nash, Tucson
Culture club: As a black woman, I've been involved with various organizations specific to black women . . . and the kid [Emily Mitchell] actually has it right it's about culture. If she'd wanted to start a Polish-American club, then yay for her! But what kind of "culture" is "Caucasian"?
The day people actually realize that race is nothing but a social construct is the day I will run naked through the streets. I opt to call myself "black" over "African-American" because saying "African-American" is about as specific as saying, "Hi, I'm North American." Africa is an entire continent, and since I'm unable to trace my ancestors, I'll use what I've been given black.
My point, however, is this: I don't think anyone would have a problem with white people claiming their heritage (hello, have you seen the pride that overflows in enclaves like a Little Italy or Germantown?) so long as they don't claim their "culture" as white. I hate to break it to you: That's the color of someone's couch, not a heritage or ethnicity.
So figure out what you are Polish, German, Danish, Dutch and celebrate it if you want to, but don't stand around and whine that no one's looking out for you.
Bronwen Taylor, Houston, Texas
Lessons from Emily: Yes, it would be comforting if all conservatives were dumb or overzealous, but they're not. Most are smart, well-organized and committed to a variety of causes they will fight for tooth and nail.
And the liberals among us (and I am one) had better be just as smart, inventive and just like Emily Mitchell brazen as we set forth the case for our beliefs in various liberal causes.
As you can see, Mitchell's confidence in her beliefs and her mission is unwavering. I am sure the same can be said of many working for both conservative and liberal causes, but I don't get the sense that liberal groups are giving the type of grass-roots support to organizations the way conservative groups like The Leadership Institute are doing across campuses nationwide.
I worry more that Mitchell's students at her new school may fall prey to her own biases in the teaching of a curriculum that will most likely cover a lot of ground on evolution.
Peter Kohan, Union, New Jersey
Stop the deception: I'm getting rather tired of hearing about deceptive practices from self-proclaimed conservatives, particularly when they have this false impression about themselves that the difference between liberals and them is that conservatives have integrity.
And I say this in regard to anybody and everybody who cannot be honest in their business and public relationships: Stop the lies, stop the deception, stop misrepresenting things to advance a cause that you find so worth endorsing. Please . . . give us all a break from your self-promotion.
Barry A. Zavah, Alpine, Texas
Philosophy of hypocrisy: Emily Mitchell is just another whining, spoiled, crybaby conservative running a campaign of hypocrisy and fake persecution. It's funny how conservatives rail against affirmative action when it comes to minority student admissions but demand quotas for conservative teachers to stop the liberal ideological factory of universities.
Conservatism is a philosophy of hypocrisy: Talk about small government during your campaign, but once the election is over, expand the government's ability to spy on people the party doesn't like: abortionists, gays, anti-war activists.
Cries of "liberal witch hunt" will be screamed faster by these crybabies than when Johnnie Cochran played the race card in the O.J. case. It's amazing how conservatives keep winning elections on their self-fulfilling prophecy that "the government is the enemy" when many become career government employees.
Every time conservatives are in charge, the government is mired in scandal, corruption and debt, and people lose confidence in government officials.
Is this the plan for the conservative movement in this country?
What happened to small government, responsibility, a strong defense and fiscal discipline? That has all been replaced by a bunch of whiners about flag desecration.
These are theocrats who want us to bomb Muslim conservative fundamentalists but do nothing about Christian fascists who want to turn America into Ameristan because of gay marriage, abortion, sex education and the teaching of evolution.
But my all-time favorite hypocrites are the conservatives who rail against the illegal immigrants they are hiring.
Joe Benkovich, Anchorage, Alaska
"Liberal" fallacies: Bravo to Megan Irwin for tracking down the professor whom Mitchell claims "discriminated" against her for her political beliefs, only to find out the professor in question is a Republican who found the paper Mitchell wrote to be weakly researched and argued.
Too often these claims of "liberal bias" are accepted at face value, and I bet, if looked into more, would be shown to be false.
This backs up an impression I have of conservatives like Mitchell who accuse academia of being unfair to conservatives when, in reality, the real problem is that these right-wing college students are so arrogant that they can't believe they could get bad grades because their arguments and research are bad.
Name withheld by request
The dumbing continues: Megan Irwin wrote quite beautiful prose about a pathetic human front for some hick from Virginia.
This front rails against socialism, liberalism, feminism, intellectualism and every other real and imagined enemy she could dream of. I was surprised there was no negative talk of elitism, like she would rather go to a nonelite doctor when she is ill. The dumbing down of America continues.
Name withheld by request
BASH THE MEXICAN
Blaring cowardice: Payback? Interesting! Now a little truth comes out! Thank you for confirming my suspicions, but I did nothing to you or your people ("Jumping to Confusion," Ask a Mexican, Gustavo Arrellano, May 17).
Why don't you let the rest of us in on how you people think, or give us some lessons on how to be rude, inconsiderate and blameless all at once?!
You know, I used to blare my radio at full volume, too, when I was 16 and 17 years old! Time to grow up, don't you think? And by the way, coward, if you know the English translation for the Spanish words you used in your article, why not use them? Afraid? That's too bad!
Bill Hadeley, via the Internet
Restless native: I have no problems with immigrants. This was native land before the white people came and took it away.
It's the white people who are the illegal immigrants. They took away our country.
To this day, we natives don't have many rights. We had been trading with the Mexicans before the white people came to our native country.
Freedom of speech? We still have that, at least. We can speak our own language, and white people can't tell us not to speak in our native tongue. They can't take that away from us. Remember this is our native country!
White people are here illegally and should go back to where they came from. Give the land back to the native people. White people stole our mother Earth.
Linda Rose, via the Internet
No civil rights for illegals: The basic bottom line here is that illegal immigrants, and I stress the word illegal, are not entitled to any rights in the United States. Period! They are not citizens, they have no civil rights here and they broke our laws by entering our country without going through the proper channels.
This country was built by immigrants who came here legally to begin a new life. This is America, and the language is English!
It's very disheartening to drive through communities and see strip malls with store signs posted entirely in Spanish and painted to look like something from south of the border. If you come here to live the American life, you don't need to make our communities look like the homeland that you decided to leave.
Why are people deciding to come here illegally? Are they trying to hide something? Many legal immigrants who founded this country had to wait endlessly to get here. But they did it, and so should those who now want to live the American life.
Name withheld by request
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