Far out, dude: I couldn't agree more with The Bird's assessment of Loose Change ("Goofball Shockumentary," April 27). I hate the Bush administration, but all these conspiracy theorists just don't make sense.
What you say about Bush and his minions not being smart enough to plan 9/11 is true. I wouldn't put it past them otherwise. Unfortunately, what the people who made the Loose Change film are proposing is just impossible. It's pure science fiction to think that the government planned it all merely to justify going into Iraq.
And, like I said, I'm stating this as somebody who is staunchly against the Iraq war. I wish what Loose Change proposes were true (then, we could get rid of the Bush-Cheney gang). But what these filmmakers are touting is far too far out, dude.
Jace Elliott, via the Internet
Uh, whatever you say: For you to attack Loose Change and its producers is ridiculous enough, but to actually belittle and deride an employee of Scottsdale Community College for her concern over the subject matter (during her time off, no less) makes it clear that you have freed yourself of any attachment to simple logic.
Also, you right-wing pricks shouldn't shamelessly spread this pabulum to us regular dopes, who just might believe it. You have revealed your hubris in spades by spreading your words as if you believe them. Shame.
Kary Collison, Tempe
Wild about Harry: Regarding John Dougherty's column about Harry Mitchell's campaign to unseat Congressman J.D. Hayworth ("Slow-Motion Nightmare," April 20), Arizona state Senator Mitchell -- on his worst day -- will be better than J.D. on his best.
Senator Mitchell, a lifelong East Valley resident and leader, knows the East Valley and has served the East Valley longer and more effectively than anyone else. As Tempe's most respected mayor and state senator, Harry Mitchell will hit the ground running in Washington, D.C., and will bring something that D.C. has not seen in years: civility, bipartisanship, good manners, respect for others and a lifelong passion to serve the public and the public interest.
People are tired of toxic partisanship that places party over the public and lobbyist money over everything else. Congress has never been held in lower esteem. Harry Mitchell will be part of the cure.
Jon Fiegen, Tempe
Tired blood: John Dougherty couldn't have nailed it any better in his column than when he said, "Is Harry Mitchell the best the Democrats can do?"
I believe the Democratic Party is in the catbird seat to win the seat away from J.D. Hayworth this time around. Hayworth is tainted by taking money from the wrong people, and he's just a complete dumb-ass in the first place. But what do the "Dumbocrats" do? They run tired old Harry Mitchell.
We need new blood, not tired blood.
David A. Smith, Tempe
Ho-ho: I disagree with all of John Dougherty's solutions put forth at the end of his column on Harry Mitchell. Specifically, his idea on health care. If the government confiscates all the Twinkies, who will be left to write for New Times?
Keith Flanagan, via the Internet
Marshall Plan B: John Dougherty's an incredibly shortsighted, ridiculous partisan hack! Your bashing of J.D. Hayworth is both off-base and unfair. Calling him a hate-monger and a racist is altogether wrong.
He has served and represented his district fairly and spoken the language that many of us can identify with. He has broken ranks with Republicans on numerous issues, especially the whole illegal immigration debacle.
Dougherty's endorsement of Harry Mitchell shows his true colors as a Democrat-at-any-cost liberal who really doesn't care about the issues. The last three paragraphs of his column show that he really has little knowledge of the issues.
On immigration: His stance that a Marshall Plan would have any worthwhile effects presupposes that the government of Mexico is transparent. It is really loaded with corruption, and the only benefit of foreign investment in Mexico by the United States would be to Vicente Fox and his cronies. The people of Mexico would still be living in squalor.
On health care: His plan to provide financial "incentives" is truly ridiculous on so many fronts.
On Iraq: Dougherty and his liberal ilk have deluded themselves into believing that terrorists can be negotiated with. They do not speak the language of diplomacy, they speak of violence, they perpetrate violence, and the only way to end this war on terror is to win it. We need to beat them into submission.
Dougherty obviously has no truck with rational thought.
Cory Mandall, Phoenix
J.D. Hayseed: I never thought I would see the day when New Times would endorse a Republican. Even though John Dougherty said that J.D. Hayworth is a buffoon, the result of what he wrote is to say: "Keep J.D. Hayworth in office because the Democrats haven't come up with a good candidate."
I can tell you that nobody is as bad as Hayworth. If Mr. Ed were running against J.D., he would make a better congressman. Better a talking horse than a talking horse's ass.
Come on, John, give us a break! This is Arizona. We don't have real Democrats in this state. The only Dems who can get by are pussies like Janet Napolitano and Terry Goddard. People who never really take a hard stand on anything, left or right. People who try to sound like Republicans so the dumb state voting public will give them a chance at politics.
Harry Mitchell's no genius, and he's certainly done little to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack of pinto Democrats, but he's far better than a congressman who's proven that he's a real scumbag idiot.
K.C. Moody, via the Internet
A confusing mess: I have known Harry Mitchell for nearly 40 years. Harry never promises anything that he cannot deliver. He will work to undo much of the damage that J.D. Hayworth and the Bush gang have wrought.
The mess in Iraq has become very confusing. I know that Mitchell wants our troops home. However, we need to leave something stable for the Iraqis.
As a senior citizen, I am very concerned about health care and social security. I trust Harry to work on my behalf.
As for specifics, I know that he will need to get settled in Washington as a freshman. He does not shoot from the lip. Hopefully, the Democrats will control Congress, and that will help. Harry Mitchell is a class individual and will not get in bed with lobbyists the way that Congressman Foghorn Leghorn has.
You have J.D. pegged; now give Mitchell a chance.
Ron Pies, Tempe
PAC man: J.D. Hayworth may not remember the 1994 Republican Revolution, but voters do. He promised term limits and a balanced budget. We got neither.
He was supposed to change Washington, but Washington changed him.
Not only has he abandoned the Contract With America, he's abandoned his integrity. He and his political action committee accepted thousands of dollars in Jack Abramoff-related campaign contributions, and unlike most other politicians, Democrats and Republicans, he's refusing to give the money back or donate it to charity.
And now we learn, through Tim Russert on Meet the Press, that Hayworth's wife is on his political action committee's payroll.
I used to think Hayworth was part of the solution, but it seems he's become part of the problem.
Stan Williams, Tempe
A load of something: Ken Bennett, president of the Arizona State Senate, deserves everyone's sympathy. All children in some way disappoint their parents, principally because parents load on the backs of their children all their own unfulfilled dreams ("Mission: Impossible," The Bird, April 20).
All children break under such overwhelming loads. The failure of a child would be particularly painful to a man of such high accomplishments as Ken Bennett, coming as he did from a small town to great political power. Added to that pain is the humiliation of having his son charged with such a creepy crime as sticking broomsticks up the rectums of boys.
Of course, everyone would expect a father to support a son. While comparisons are odious, President Franklin D. Roosevelt must have felt the same way about his sons. President Roosevelt secured a commission for his son Elliot, who had no military training, as a colonel in the Marine Corps. In his first appearance as a Marine officer, Elliot marched a platoon of Marines into a wall. Of course, a really creepy crime, such as sodomy, would be more embarrassing.
Roosevelt never mentioned the wall incident, although Eleanor did call her son patriotic. Roosevelt knew that talking about the incident would simply publicize it all the more. Perhaps this is the reason that Senator Bennett has kept silent. When contacted by an Arizona citizen about Bennett's silence, his secretary responded with the cliché of all cover-ups, "Well, you just can't believe everything you read in the newspaper."
The real issue of his silence is not about his son's alleged proclivities, but about a suspicion about Senator Bennett's possible collusion with the Yavapai County Attorney to secure a reduction in the charges against his son. Such nasty speculation could all be set aside if Senator Bennett were simply to address the issue in public, deny the suspicion and reaffirm his commitment to the fair administration of the law.
Failing that, in the interest of justice, he should resign from the Arizona Senate.
Dana P. Smith, Flagstaff
No Mexican Left Behind
Language barrier: Hey, birdbrain, I agree that Stephanie Harris ("Minutewomen," The Bird, April 20) is not on the bright side, but she does have a point.
And no, I'm not a George W. Bush-supporting, ex-Marine Bible-thumper. I'm usually on the liberal side, but I just don't know where you're coming from with your bird-shit on immigration. This topic brings out the right-wing militant in me. And I think my opinion on the topic is valid since I am a first-generation American.
My family immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old and, although I spoke two languages, I did not speak a word of English. Neither did my parents. I was in the fourth grade when I arrived, and by the time I was in the fifth grade, I was fluent in English. I became an official U.S. citizen when I was 19.
My story is echoed by the millions of immigrants who come from many countries. Our families followed the rules, waited for green cards, learned English and studied for our citizenship test.
I agree with Harris that this country's education is harmed by catering to Hispanics. We are underestimating Mexican children if we think that they are incapable of learning in English. This whole "No Child Left Behind" thing is crap, and so is teaching classes in Spanish.
Mexicans seem to have an air of entitlement just because they are here in larger numbers than immigrants from other countries. Harris has a point when she states that if we have classes in Spanish for Mexicans, why not have classes in Chinese for the millions of Chinese immigrants?
M.C. Ricler, Scottsdale
You can't spell "assertion" without "ass": The only reason Hispanics are angry with readers like Jon Krieger ("An Admirer of Mayor Phil's," Letters, April 13) is that he had the guts to articulate a growing, vast uneasiness about how Mexicans are trying to gain immigration reform.
While Krieger may not have used the most politically correct of phraseologies, he was essentially quite correct in his assertions.
And one of these assertions should stick in the craw of anyone critically following the illegal immigration debate, including marches by Mexicans in our cities. Krieger's right that The Bird does have rather obvious sympathy for the illegal Mexicans who've been marching in Phoenix. Columnists generally should have opinions, but not biases.
Krieger's also quite perceptive in his analysis that white Americans are upset with Mexicans "waving the Mexican flag while displaying our flag upside down." That's a blatant insult to America!
Scott Hume, Phoenix
Patriot act: My, my, my, the truth certainly does hurt, doesn't it?
Both readers Joseph Lujan ("What the #$*! Does He Know?," Letters, April 20) and Raul Lopez ("Not Kicking Ass, but Taking Names," in the same issue) objected to my calling all illegal immigrants "idiots," "wetback bastards" and, my personal favorite, "dumb spics."
I notice they didn't say anything about how their fellow idiots disrespected America during the first march. Could that be because they know I'm right? And as far as the second march is concerned, everyone knows that the only reason Old Glory was hoisted instead of their own shitty flag was because their leaders told them to.
I proudly stand behind everything I said in that letter, and as for my telling Mexicans all these things to their faces, they should name the time and motherfucking place.
Jon Krieger, Phoenix
Don't confuse him with the facts: Readers like Jon Krieger really sum up what the illegal immigration debate is all about: racism. No matter how much rational thought is published in The Bird and elsewhere, racists like Krieger just keep believing that "spics," as he calls them, are beneath contempt.
He keeps advocating, for instance, that Mexicans are ruining the country by taking jobs away from Americans when it just isn't true. No matter how many times that's proven, he just keeps spouting his racist shit, oblivious to facts that don't support his views.
If Krieger were in the South, he would be wearing a sheet.
I'd like to see Krieger walk up and down 16th Street near downtown Phoenix with a placard stating all those racist slurs he spouted in his letter. There'd be one less redneck in town.
Bet Galloway, via the Internet
Editor's note: There could be a lot of Jon Kriegers in the world, we don't know. But we do know there are at least two, Jon Krieger of Phoenix, who's been writing anti-immigration letters to New Times, and Jon Krieger of Scottsdale, who hasn't. We emphasize: These two Kriegers are not the same person! The one from Scottsdale is appalled by the racial slurs the one from Phoenix has been spewing.
Phoenix's finest: I would like to inform reader Raul S. Lopez that the city of Phoenix had plenty to do with the success of the second big pro-illegal immigration march.
Phoenix paid police officers and firefighters to be on duty to the tune of $300,000. This figure is per the office of the Mayor of Phoenix.
Giving credit to the protest organization, it did provide water and port-a-johns.
Dorothy Doehrer, Phoenix
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Our worst enemy: Mexico is this country's worst enemy. It is a far greater threat to our country than any country with nuclear weapons will ever be. It is the main source of drugs coming into America and the source of more drug-related crime than anywhere else in the world. Our jails and prisons are overflowing with hundreds of thousands of people involved in drug-related crimes.
Mexico is run by criminals far worse than the head of Iran. No terrorist group has ever killed as many Americans or caused as much turmoil as the drug pushers coming into our country from across the border. They are killing our children by the thousands, but President Bush does nothing to stop it.
They are turning America into a cesspool of crime and corruption, like Mexico. It is time for Bush and all of the politicians who support him to be impeached and put on trial for treason.
David Postgate, Sun City
Glued to The Bird: I find myself absolutely glued to The Bird's columns, not only on illegal immigration but on everything else. Genius! Keep 'em coming!
Nelda Lilli, Tucson