Talking out of both sides: Clint Bolick, "The Merry Revolutionary" (Amy Silverman, March 7), would merrily use publicly financed vouchers to breach church/state separation, leaving the way open to indoctrinate kids with ultra-parochial religious and cultural beliefs, unscientific notions of science, etc. Clearly the diversion of public school tax dollars to private schools is an obscene attack on public education, a blatant raid on the public treasury and probably unconstitutional.
On the other hand, in other venues Bolick forcefully asserts that it's unconstitutional for a majority to vote to earmark a few of our tax dollars to assure convenient access to the free speech views of all candidates competing for public office. In effect, while publicly financed religious indoctrination of school kids is constitutionally protected speech in Bolick's view, publicly financed free speech political debate by opposing sides of public policy issues is deemed unconstitutional.
Competitive groveling for big campaign bucks by today's politicians to finance one-sided, hit-piece advertising indoctrination of voters is hardly the kind of competition in the marketplace of ideas envisioned by the founders.
Without public financing, politicians seeking public office -- like parents seeking private schools for their children -- are limited to the private funds available. But parents have an alternative: the system of free public education that they already control as taxpaying voters; it has served the nation well for two centuries.
On the other hand, to cast an informed vote, we need to hear from all candidates, not just those with the most money. It is sensible and constitutional to publicly finance free speech media dialogue among candidates who seek to lead us. After all, we have always publicly financed the conduct of elections and the counting of ballots to ensure fairness.
The need for balanced political debate is too important to be diverted by bogus broadsides from the hypocritical right.
The Joe Show
Hi ho: Thank God someone is addressing a subject that few of the flaccid organs of daily news in Arizona dare address ("Serious Business," Robert Nelson, March 7). Namely: Joe Arpaio is a nut and has no right to hold office. I had been observing his fortunes from afar in Northern California, little realizing I would come to a state under his jurisdiction. I agree that the bulk of his support comes from well-heeled retirees living safely behind the secure portals of gated communities, but how can we address that?
Keep up the good work, and don't let up on this bloody egomaniac -- every little bit helps. Why not fight ignorance with ignorance? I suggest a line of bumper stickers with the slogan: "Sheriff Joe, the Media Ho!"
Fallacy symbol: I like just about anything spoken or in print that reveals Sheriff Arpaio for what he is, so for that reason alone I enjoyed Robert Nelson's column. But I wish he had been more specific, used numbers instead of just saying how he has lied about the cost of lunches, etc. We all know how the little old folks just love Sheriff Joe, but tell them about the fallacy in their fears so they won't run with open arms to what they perceive as their protector.
What in the world will the media have to do to convince people that this man is deceitful and neither capable nor worthy of the office of governor? Please, take off the gloves! Come March 27, the move to defeat Sheriff Arpaio in his gubernatorial bid goes into high gear, and I expect New Times to be front and center.
Cuckoo's nest: I have been in Arizona for four years now and I cannot believe that no one in the media except New Times has noticed that Sheriff Joe is a psycho. Robert Nelson really hit the nail on the head in his column about him. I cannot understand why anyone would vote for that moron for governor. I would also like to know what his educational background is. Did he even get his GED? Sometimes I think listening to the man talk is like watching a dog lick peanut butter off the roof of its mouth. I know his mouth is moving, but nothing of substance is coming out. How can anyone think his treatment of inmates is anything but inhumane? I feel that man is the true menace to society and should be locked up with Nurse Ratched.
Who even remembers Erik Estrada?: Is it just me, or does every bureaucrat and politician in this state have a forked tongue and invisible ink in his pen ("Steamed," Paul Rubin, March 7)? This hot dog vendor is getting jacked like every other person in this state: for the benefit of the stagnant quo.
A "convenience" clause? In a private business transaction, you'd be a moron to sign anything with that, but who would think your government would screw you? On top of "convenience," they are concerned about him "attracting" business? Isn't that what business is about? The American Way! They should make him speak in hushed tones of an old Hebrew dialect to make it even tougher to make money!
It seems that every city wants to regulate how individuals do business. In Tempe it is illegal to have an "attention-grabbing device." I have one; it is attached firmly on my hand!
Balloons, signs, music, banners, streamers, flags and more are illegal in our nanny-ridden codes, so why should we be the slightest bit mystified that whistling may be against the law? Better make sure Erik Estrada doesn't smile nearby (might offend someone).
Every politician abuses roadside signage for reelection (that really attracts business), but anyone else's sign is an "eyesore" (except homebuilders')! Do you see how codes change to protect the not so innocent stagnant quo?
I hope the hot dog guy gives a few politicos a wiener right where they need one!
Dogging it: Paul Rubin's article lacked mustard. I ask: "So what?" Sounds to me like the county is doing us all a favor by improving our health and eliminating another source of saturated fat and cholesterol. Perhaps now county courthouse employees and others will start brown-bagging it with some healthful stuff. Yeah, right.
Suspicious activity: Amazingly enough, prior to America West Arena and Bank One Ballpark, no county official ever paid any attention to hot dog vendors. More than likely this location is "grandfathered," plus he could probably lay claim to the land based on the length of time he's been there if the land were private. Class-action lawsuit -- looking good!
Oldies but Goodies
A long, strange trip: Once in a while, we habitual voyeurs of New Times are given some eye candy. Such is Serene Dominic's "White Men Can't Rap" (February 28).
For those of us who were lucky enough to live large in the late '60s/early '70s, the memories of spoken-word records are like an acid flashback, complete with loin tingles. Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" vs. Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets." Wow! Households divided. Body counts at the evening meal! Morality plays. Mono records.
One addition to the record, kind of: James Douglas Morrison's "American Prayer," and, after Miami '69, Jackie Gleason and Richard Nixon's Miami "Decency Rally" at the Orange Bowl -- saving the youth of America. The spoken word, savior or slayer?
David C. Brainerd