Care package: As New Times notes, money isn't everything when it comes to Arizona's lost and antiquated mental-health-care system ("Club Meds," Paul Rubin, July 13).
Despite minuscule results, we continue to hammer the brain-altering chemicals of psychiatry into our treatment modalities and ignore the lack of human involvement which brings many of us to our psychosocial and emotional knees.
Common, everyday human interaction is what clients and the mental-health system are starved for, not the cold, aloof hand of psychiatry and its extended bureaucracies.
We must learn to talk to each other, to give to each other in trust. The bottom line here is people -- not illnesses, drugs and the "professional" ego.
Richard P. Beeman
Unhappy clapper: Your article on Lynda Sue Dale and the mental-health-care system really hit home with me. I am a 22-year-old man who also suffers from bipolar disorder, and I have run into many of the same obstacles myself.
I originally applied for SSI assistance back in 1997 and was denied. So I appealed it, just to be denied again. I was so overwhelmed and stressed out by the situation that I gave up on it until January 2000 when I reapplied. I was told that it would take 30 to 60 days to reach a decision on my claim. Well, it's now almost eight months later and still no answer. I guess they figure they can drag their feet at the expense of others.
But I'm going to continue to fight the powers that be. And thanks to your article, other members of society may also join in and try to change things for the better, because when people unite for change, change is imminent. I guess the best way to put it is to quote a wise man who once said, "One hand alone is silent, two hands clapping can be heard, but one million hands clapping in harmony can be heard around the world." And hopefully thanks to your informative journalism, people will see the flaws of the system and unite for a positive change.
Name withheld by request
Research and Destroy
Bad medicine: Dude! Now, let me get this correct: biomedical researchers as whistleblowers, exposing fraud and waste ("Committing the Truth," Robert Nelson, July 13).
There is no occupation in the capitalistic system more steeped historically in fraud and waste than the chemical-medical-academic syndicate. Trillions (that's right, trillions) of dollars are wasted every year on nutritional studies, colon cancer research, Alzheimer's, breast cancer, MS, MD, Parkinson's, etc. The list of maladies is almost endless. The fraud and waste are institutionalized; from the conception, these so-called studies and experiments are profit-oriented and intellectually juvenile. Clinical progress is made by caring, common sense and patient observation (Hippocratic principles), not by hyping reductionist theories.
Robert Nelson obviously is involved in hero worship of these biomedical charlatans. The notion that science is self-policing is a myth. Peer review, replication and the referee system are a sham. The biomedical profiteers feed on a gullible public. The public (taxpaying) for all its trust gets false promise of cures and the whining of egotistical, self-promoting pseudo-scientists. Excuse me if I don't genuflect to the white-coated biomedical "whistleblowers."
David C. Brainerd
Lab retrievers: Don't sing any sad songs to me about the biomedical (animal experiment) "research" at the University of Arizona in Tucson. They take lost cats and dogs from the Sierra Vista pound and torture them in their labs. They've even poured lye down the throats of dogs. The pups could only eat baby food thereafter.
Alice aforethought: While reading the article about tribute bands ("Cloning With the Devil," Serene Dominic, July 20), I noticed that you left out Scott Rowe's Tribute to Alice Cooper. For about four years, Scott was the closest thing to the real Alice Cooper my son would ever get. He thought that Scott was Alice. At that time, my son was about 3 or 4 years old. He is still the biggest fan Alice Cooper will ever have. He was probably the only kid in his age group who could sing every Alice song there was. My son finally had his biggest dream come true -- Scott took him backstage to meet the real Alice. Scott does the old stuff that Alice used to do like the death scenes and the monster stuff. He does everything he can to become the best Alice he can. When he is onstage, he is Alice. I would like to say thanks to Scott for bringing Alice Cooper into my son's life.
Name withheld by request
The X Phile
Character study: In the review "Zzzzz-Men" (July 13), reviewer Robert Wilonsky states that in the X-Men comic book, Magneto is your traditional bad guy, while in the film he's a sympathetic character.
Wrong. Magneto's actions and motivations have varied widely in the comic as he's tried to find a role. He even led the X-Men for a while. He's a disturbed man whose family was lost to the Holocaust and will fight against anything similar happening again, occasionally killing in the process.
X education: I read Robert Wilonsky's review bashing the X-Men movie and assumed that the film was going to be yet another bad adaptation of a classic cult comic book. It seems by others' past experience that it isn't so easy to adapt a comic book to the screen.
So I went to see the movie, and I was shocked, because this movie was really good and a lot of fun! It had good special effects without relying on them. It had a lot of clever language, and so what if it didn't explore the development of the characters? If it had, it would have been three more hours long, and besides, I am sure most people (excluding your reviewer) already knew at least a little bit about the X-Men before buying a ticket.
Kansas' Twitty Bomber
Patch chord: This is in regard to Bill Blake's trashing of the new release by Kansas ( Trashman, July 13).Why bother if he wasn't even going to listen to it? He may not care for the band, but why make nasty remarks about Rich Williams' eye patch? He wears it because he lost the eye. They may be old, but they are a lot more talented than most of the groups of today.
Holocaust and Effect
The exterminators: This is a response to the letter written by Jack Martin of Scottsdale (July 20). The word "Holocaust" means the attempted annihilation of the Jews by the Germans. There were many means of execution. The point is, it happened. There is so much evidence that backs the existence of the Holocaust. How do you explain bodies in the stoves and documentation of human experiments? What about the people who now have tattoos as a permanent reminder of the camps? You also stated that if Auschwitz were an experimentation camp, Anne Frank would have died there. The Germans did experimentations and executions at random. The only reason that all did not perish in the camps is because the Germans ran when they saw that the camps would be liberated and they were outnumbered. You, sir, need to relearn your history before you show your ignorance again.
Name withheld by request
Sniper space: The constant bickering back and forth between the white supremacists and those of us who live in reality is making me wonder if you should change the name of the column to "Letters From Jerry Springer." Can't we all agree that white supremacists are dangerous, ignorant fools? Good. Now let's get back to beating up on Joe Arpaio.