Letters From the Issue of Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kvetching About J.D.

Admiring Ford: I'm certainly no fan of Congressman J.D. Hayworth. I hope that he gets unseated in the next election, for sure! But I couldn't agree more with The Bird when he called out the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix for blasting Hayworth's admiration of Henry Ford ("Hayworth Hoo-Ha," Stephen Lemons, August 17).

Come on, lots of people admire Henry Ford. He was a genius who transformed the American workplace. As The Bird noted, he was one of the early industrialists to include black people in his work force. He paid his workers, at the time, better than anybody else.

There are a lot of reasons to criticize Hayworth. For instance, he's a fool and a bigot. But admiring Henry Ford no more makes a person an anti-Semite than does driving a German automobile or wearing Hugo Boss. Get a grip, Jewish News!
John Carpenter, Phoenix

Bashing Ford: I disagree with The Bird's rant about how the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix fucked up by calling J.D. Hayworth an anti-Semite. As far as I'm concerned, J.D.'s adulation of a Nazi-lover like Henry Ford definitely qualifies him as such.

Anybody who's read anything about Ford knows what a horrible dude he was. The fact that he wouldn't return his Nazi medal from Hitler after the war broke out is evidence enough for anybody who has any more than a bird brain.

Besides, Hayworth has committed so many sins against this state and this country, including bigotry against Latinos, that he deserves to be run out of office for any reason anybody can dream up. He's such a duplicitous politician that I believe he could say he supports Israel and still hate Jews.
M.L. Santiago, Phoenix

Protecting Liberty

We won't forget 9/11: Another "Me, too" 9/11 memorial is pointless, as The Bird said ("Monument Valley," August 3). But a memorial that would chronicle the attack on civil liberties by the Bush administration using 9/11 as an excuse would be worthwhile.

There is no danger of forgetting September 11, 2001, but perhaps many need reminding that in the past, the Bill of Rights was not just a piece of paper.

The memorial I'm suggesting might also record for posterity every lie that was told and every law that was broken in order to carry out plans to invade Iraq and plunge it into chaos. It would be a reminder to future generations of just how dangerous fear-mongering, propaganda-spouting politicians can be to liberty and to world peace.
Michael Walker, Glendale

Neal in Prayer

Capstone chronicle: Your article "The Frisby Legacy" (Sarah Fenske, August 17) was very interesting to me. I grew up in a Pentecostal church and have watched the wayward directions some in that group have gone — that is, the questionable theology you mentioned.

I wonder what happened to the thousands who used to go to Capstone. I wonder if and where they attend church now.

I drove from Mesa to the church in the early '80s and enjoyed the short service. Afterward, many went forward to pray together, and I thought it was all great. I prayed in a fervent manner, which was rare for me. I was enjoying the moment.

Then, all of a sudden, Neal Frisby, who was walking back and forth praying on the platform, left early to catch a plane to somewhere. Immediately the music stopped, the lights arose and the collective mood turned from glorious to nothing. The expressions on the people's faces around me turned from ecstasy to "the ball game's over. Head to the car."

It was a multifaceted lesson for me. This particular group leaned completely on the man, instead of on God, it seemed.

Later I told a co-worker, a Baptist, that I'd visited, and he started listing the kooky beliefs that Neal had, including that Jesus would return through the tip of the cathedral, or something ridiculous like that. That was the end of Neal in my life.
Aaron Cook, Chandler

The deserving one: Gerald Frisby's comments in your Neal Frisby article crack me up! Anyone who spends more than a moment around him will see him for who he really is — a crybaby with a childlike jealousy of Curtis Frisby.

Thank God he didn't get the church; he would have done entire sermons of Curtis-bashing! I feel that the only person who deserves to be at Capstone is Curtis. I know he has bought and paid for that church 10 times over in "sweat equity." He took care of his father when no one else would or could.
Name withheld by request

God will judge us: Neal Frisby was truly a devout man of God. I grew up in his ministry and have witnessed many miraculous works that God did through him. I'm ashamed that the people closest to him would betray him in his time of need.

Neal was only a man called by God, not God himself. Since he was a man, he was capable of making mistakes. I am appalled at the article's criticism of his decisions. The truth is, most of us aren't disciplined enough to run our own households, much less faithfully follow a call from God.

God will be the judge between you and your contempt against God's anointed. Name withheld by request

All That Jazz

Clearing up a few things: Thanks for the "Jazz Hands" article about our Valley's jazz scene (Casey Lynch, August 17). I'd like to make a few comments to clarify some of the words in the article and to add a couple of additional points that I think will bring valuable perspective to your readers.

First, Jazz in AZ is a nonprofit organization with the mission of "supporting the art of live jazz and cultivating interest in jazz through youth education, scholarship opportunities and community outreach." We are not a booking organization. We do present a variety of jazz artists in approximately 40 of our own concert and party events each year; however, we do not book or represent any musicians or venues. Our mission is to do everything within our resources to publicize and promote live jazz; but gatekeepers, we are not.

Second, as stated in our mission, we have a proud tradition of cultivating young jazz talent and interest. An example is that we just completed our third "Catch a Rising Star" six-concert series that featured about 30 musicians from the age of 11 up to the mid-20s. We also present young musicians at other events throughout the year.

Third, the booking of the Energy Trio for our August Jazz in AZ party predated the writing of your article and should therefore not lead to the inference that their booking was a knee-jerk reaction. In fact, we were pleased to present Energy, as we regard this group as having the potential to help our organization expand the audience for jazz.

I'd like to add the perspective that the conflict between young and old — innovator and purist — is not peculiar to our Valley. In fact, it is the main concern of every jazz programmer and presenter on the planet: how to keep the music fresh and attract new (largely younger) audiences without alienating established core (largely older) audiences who favor the familiar. We at Jazz in AZ are grappling with the challenge in the most vital and inclusive manner we can.

Next year is the 30th anniversary of Jazz in AZ. We are developing a year of activities and events that will celebrate the diversity and vitality that is jazz — America's original art form. With more than 50 venues presenting some form of jazz with some regularity here, there are a variety of jazz styles and artists available Valleywide.

Our Jazz Notes newsletter, posted on our Web site (, has a comprehensive listing of jazz venues, as well as a jazz calendar. Please use this as a resource for finding local jazz.
Joel Robin Goldenthal, executive director, Jazz in AZ

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