RAID IN AMERICA
It's closing time when Five-O says it is: Holding patrons prisoner in bars? Even if the cops think they have a high-minded purpose, like checking the place for underage drinkers, I have to agree with the ACLU on this one. And I hardly ever agree with the ACLU on anything ("Bar Busters," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, March 20).
If I were in a bar and the Scottsdale police tried to hold me there, they would have trouble on their hands. As you said, this is a lawsuit in the making.
The kind of stuff that goes on around here, not only with the horrid Maricopa County Sheriff's Office but with most of the police departments in the Valley, gives me the shivers. Makes me wonder what country this actually is; is this even part of the United States?
Anne Harris, Phoenix
To be fair, some of them are retired manure-spreaders: Your story about "Buffalo" Rick Galeener about sums up what kind of scum the anti-illegal immigration movement is made up of in this state ("White-Trash Weenie," The Bird, March 13).
"Buffalo Chip" wagging his penis in front of a woman and her child aside, what I want to know is how all these nativist nitwits — some of whom are outed neo-Nazis — have the time to stand around outside the Macehualli Work Center day in and day out? I'll answer my own question: Because they are unemployed white-trash racists with nothing but time on their hands.
What a foolish exercise their protests are. Here are these lazy rednecks, who couldn't buy a job because they're too ignorant and lazy to get one, protesting against Mexicans going out and doing work that United States citizens are willing to pay them to do!
Maybe these boobs would have a point if they, themselves, were willing to do the work they try to stop the illegals from doing. Why don't they jump on the trucks and go spread manure on my lawn? I'm willing to pay them to do it! I won't discriminate against white people.
R.J. Bryant, Phoenix
Don't eat the yellow snow: I'm pretty sure we now know the secret ingredient to Rusty Zipper Childress' Magic Kool-Aid. It's Buffalo Rick's piss. United for a Salty America.
Dennis Gilman, Phoenix
Those with two halves of a brain, on the other hand . . .: Now, who's stupid here? I can rest a lot easier after reading this last piece of garbage that Stephen Lemons wrote. I now understand why he writes. Calling himself The Bird, he naturally needs something to catch all the crap he drops around. Liner for his own cage.
What helps me rest, though, is that he can side with Sal Reza and the illegal aliens at Macehualli and call anyone who is for law enforcement obscene names. Also, in the same column, he praises [Scientology founder] L. Ron Hubbard ("Hubbard Haters;" also see "Project Mayhem," The Bird, March 20).
Lemons is comic relief. Now that I understand this, I know that no one with half a brain takes him seriously.
Jim Williams, via the Internet
Come for Tom Cruise, stay for the exploitation: I beg to differ about the avian perception of why Anonymous is taking on Scientology. While the removal of Tom Cruise's video in January was an attention-getter, the attention is sustained by the church's policy of intimidating those who would speak out against its abuses and shuddering into silence anyone who disagrees.
In other words, Anonymous came for the T.C. vid and stayed for the unimaginable abuses of people and the law deployed by this tax-exempt organization. Most recently, Scientology has tried to file a restraining order against Anonymous with trumped-up charges, as if people who sell superhuman powers should be afraid of people with words on signs.
Anonymous has helped to remove fear, and now more people are speaking out. Scientology is worse than you think.
Name withheld by request
Greedy and tax-exempt? That's our fantasy!: Kudos to Anonymous for its efforts to expose and debunk Scientology. It is a scam, a hoax, and a fraud of the highest order. There is nothing that Scientology adds to society or culture.
Where are the Scientology charities, like food banks, health agencies, or homeless shelters? Where are the Scientology fundraisers for such endeavors? That's right. There aren't any, and there never will be.
Scientology is all about self. And that, in a nutshell, is its Achilles' heel and will be its downfall.
But do not take that to mean that Scientology should be ignored like some harmless little passing fancy. It is dangerous, pernicious, and evil. The greater the exposure of the truth about Scientology and its adherents, the sooner society will see that it is not a church, does not deserve tax-exempt status.
Name withheld by request
TWILIGHT OF THE FRAUDS
Vote, vote, vote: There is so much corruption in our state! The Honduran situation with the MCSO ("Jabba-Gate," The Bird, March 20) and the case against Congressman Rick Renzi come to mind ("Mind-Blowing Hubris," Sarah Fenske, March 6). I think the reason is that official lawbreakers know that nothing much will happen to them if they get caught.
It looks like Renzi may get his because federal authorities are involved. But corrupt local officials like Joe Arpaio are ever safe as long as immoral creeps like [County Attorney] Andrew Thomas and cowards like [Attorney General] Terry Goddard are in office in Arizona.
Our only hope is to vote Arpaio out, and for that matter, Thomas. I just wish Dan Saban [Arpaio's principal opponent] didn't have skeletons in his closet.
Andrew P. Smith, Phoenix
Buzzkill: Sheriff Joe is bulletproof Teflon. The best shot to defeat him was four years sago when Republican party-liners were mad because he had [earlier] endorsed Janet Napolitano against Matt Salmon.
If liberals had re-registered as Independents, as I did, we could have voted in the 2004 Republican primary for sheriff and Dan Saban would have won. Don't count on Saban winning this year as a Democrat, however.
Gary Klahr, via the Internet
Maybe the Devil will save us: I find it strangely reassuring that Gary Peter Klahr propounds the invincibility of Uncle Joe [this and the previous letter also ran on this Web site under comments]. Had he instead trumpeted Arpaio's imminent downfall I would be concerned; if there is such a thing as Murphy's Law, surely Klahr is Murphy's lawyer.
As an advocatus diaboli, Klahr is no doubt more familiar with the contract terms imposed by Mephistopheles than I, but his pacts traditionally involve ironic and interlinking loopholes, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that he had promised Arpaio immunity "until the day that Gary Peter Klahr declares you undefeatable."
Emil Pulsifer, via the Internet
You're still talking about Honduras, right?: I don't know Sheriff Arpaio, but we applaud his efforts with Honduran police. While it may be true that his office does not have all the funds for all police activities required in Phoenix, you have plenty resources compared to Hondurans.
Most importantly, you take your personal safety for granted, but you haven't the slightest idea what it is like to live in a place where you feel insecure at all times. Police have inadequate training and equipment, are grossly underpaid, and our government is practically bankrupt. In case you are not aware, murders occur here on a daily basis.
Carlos Archuleta, via the Internet
We'll dig to China if necessary: Dig deeper. There could be others involved in the Honduras scandal. When will the feds step in to investigate this corruption by Sheriff Joe and his Dick Cheney, David "Jabba the Hutt" Hendershott?
This story keeps getting better and better. This could be serious and bigger than we thought. Neo-cons, be prepared to be embarrassed once your disgraced sheriff is exposed for the evils he has done. Talk about real betrayal of the public trust. This case could make Rick Renzi look like a small-timer.
Names withheld by request
Yuma County could just tax the pot: I'm outraged by your story on the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints between here and the California state line ("Doggy Style," Ray Stern, March 13). It's bad enough that we have people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio throwing the book at us for next to nothing in Arizona, but now the Border Patrol is helping Nazi local authorities enforce Arizona's stupid drug laws.
Yes, I know Arpaio has nothing to do with the situation in Yuma County, but as your story notes, he tried to institute similar checkpoints on this county's roads and was slapped down by saner authorities.
It just annoys the hell out of me that the feds add more agents to the Yuma Sector, when there are very few, relatively speaking, illegal aliens coming through that part of the border.
So what do they do with hundreds more agents? They use them to bust people with tiny amounts of pot. What a waste of tax money, even if it does help Yuma County pay its bills.
Raul Montoya, Phoenix
"Are you all U.S. citizens? Okay, then, are you high?": The story says: "The Border Patrol takes pains to explain that it's running immigration checkpoints, with the secondary mission of detecting illegal drugs," which justifies its checkpoints under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Wouldn't the fact that the Border Patrol makes hundreds of times more drug busts than immigration busts (and presumably spends an equivalent proportion of time on drug busts vs. immigration busts) mean that drug busts are no longer their "secondary" mission?
John Semple, via the Internet
Now entering an altered state: Come on! You've been smoking weed for too long if you try to take it through a federal checkpoint, whether or not you realize dogs might be there.
Michael Mathis, via the Internet
Think of your rights as The Club: Mary and her friends in "Doggy Style" were asked if they'd consent to a search of their car. It is important to remember that a police officer or federal agent without a warrant can always be told no!
Then the officer or agent has to make an argument that proves his "reasonable" cause. If you tell him yes, he can search without impedance.
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Hold your rights dear to you lest they be stripped, people. Never let officers convince you that it would be easier or better if you cooperated. Be silent and allow them no quarter. If you make them have to back up every decision, they'll let you go. Much like a car thief, they'll just wait and find an easier target.
Name withheld by request
Old hippies catch no breaks: Typical liberal article. If these people stopped at Border Patrol checkpoints weren't fined, then it would be attributed to them being mostly white and middle-class. Talk about a Catch-22.
If you break the law, then you should be subject to the consequences, and I don't give a rat's ass if you're a grandmother. Signs are posted that a checkpoint is ahead. Do the laws only apply to certain people? Such arrogance.
Name withheld by request