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A Mountain by Any Other Name...

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Zotero Amavizca
Phoenix

Rules of engagement: Don't you know by now governments get tough only with those who can't get tough right back? All avid David Koresh's crew had were a few guns. This outfit is reported to have rocket launchers and other heavy-duty hardware; they'd at least match, if not outgun, any SWAT team brigades that went in after them. The killing wouldn't be as one-sided as it was at Waco and Ruby Ridge. This cult is bigger, better financed and probably a lot better armed than the Branch Davidians; so the SWAT heroes won't be quite so anxious to buck this one. And the President and the Guv won't dare send in regular or reserve military forces; to do so would be political suicide. Especially when the body count would be a lot less one-sided.

Marc Ridenour
Via e-mail

Male fraud: In response to "The Wages of Sin," I am wondering why the polygamous society in Arizona has not been put to an end. These bishops are brainwashing our youth, leaving underage females thinking that the only choice is to marry an extremely older man, sometimes their own stepfather or even second cousin. She is expected to accept the fact of being one of sometimes three or more wives. This leaves young males thinking that this is the correct way of life. Why hasn't the Colorado City School District been busted by the government for religious discrimination, polygamy, and the misuse of educational public funding with all of the evidence New Times has gathered? There is something horribly wrong with this picture. As a state, we need to put an end to this illegal form of Mormonism and its grossly sexist lifestyles.

Katherine Wing
Phoenix

Food for Thought

Sweet and sour: I'm wondering if perhaps Carey Sweet might consider a journal. Perhaps a support group, or even one of those "blogs" that have become all the rage. Perhaps then Ms. Sweet would have an outlet to the world for her personal issues instead of injecting them into her Cafe column.

In the past few months, Ms. Sweet's columns have grown curiouser and curiouser. Late last year I spent some time wondering why I knew so much about Ms. Sweet's car troubles and what they had to do with Peruvian dining. That was followed by a beguiling rant about Qwest, which, although I sympathized with, I had trouble placing the connection between the pagelong diatribe and whichever restaurant she was reviewing. Shortly thereafter Ms. Sweet made her infamous assault on raw food, and spent more of her article demeaning a lifestyle than reviewing a restaurant, followed by a puzzling assault on dog food. I certainly support Ms. Sweet finding any restaurant lacking in quality; however, I surely don't think that one's distaste for a movie should be either the cause of such a finding, or the basis of an article on dining. For goodness' sake, can someone please rein Ms. Sweet in?

Amanda Blum
Phoenix

Mercury Rising

Toxic avenger: Thank you for a most interesting and educating article ("Dentist the Menace," Speakeasy, Robrt L. Pela, April 10). Finally, someone should bring this issue up.

Considering the effect of mercury exposure (from mercury amalgams, as well as from other sources), the public must soon be made aware of this enormous medical and environmental issue. And the FDA, along with the EPA, should put a stop to spreading more mercury in our environment.

I have never been able to locate a comment explaining just how mercury leaking from mercury amalgam fillings can be so harmless, while mercury in our waters, and fish, is so dangerous. Could someone address such questions to the FDA? There are countries in Europe that have come much farther in prohibiting this highly toxic material. Why is the U.S. so far behind?

Boris Dragin
Via e-mail

You're not a dentist, but do you play one on TV?: Well, okay. That got a laugh from me. I am not a dentist, nor am I a chemist. It is obvious from the article that you are simply letting Charlie Brown hoist himself by his own petard, so to speak. This man seems to be another conspiracy nut -- if it weren't for his rantings, some of his points might actually get through.

I remember learning in basic chemistry that there are essentially three states of matter (we will ignore, for this discussion, plasmas and Bose-Einstein condensates): solid, liquid and gas. These states are passed through by most matter, depending mainly on external temperature and pressure, as well as by the chemical makeup of the matter. For example, water is a liquid at room temperature, at normal air pressure. Lower the air pressure enough, and it will boil without heat. Raise the pressure, and it takes more heat to boil. Drop the temperature, water freezes (turns crystalline in structure and becomes a solid), heat it high enough, and it turns into a gas (steam).

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