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Letters from the issue of Thursday, January 31, 2008

A BANANA REPUBLIC

Jabba in control: Isn't it great that Maricopa County's dictator has sent his men to Central America to train police, though it was really [Chief Deputy] David Hendershott who sent himself and the others? ("Jabba in Paradise," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, January 24)?

Maybe Hendershott can teach the cops in the banana republic how to kill prisoners in jails, how to get sued for $41 million, how to send "threat-assessment" officers in unmarked cars in the middle of the night to arrest newspaper people, [political] enemies, and anybody else who gets in the way ("Enemies List," Sarah Fenske, November 29).

The key is for their Joe Arpaio to get on TV all the time, acting like the tough lawman because he makes it clear to his detention officers that it's good law enforcement to kill people being held for trial — people who haven't been convicted of anything. They probably would've been convicted of something, but that's not the point. Unless they were murderers, they didn't deserve what they got.

The Bird's right with what he said about the Honduran thing, but he was right and wrong about a couple of details in the article:

He's right that Hendershott is the one with the brains. Hendershott leads Arpaio around by the nose. He's wrong about the MCSO being "one of the worst metro police agencies in the nation." There are many good officers working here. These guys hate Arpaio and Hendershott. These guys will be voting for Dan Saban. Please leave my name off this letter, because I'm one of them. I'd like to keep my job.
Name withheld by request

Sheriff Joe is an embarrassment to all of professional law enforcement. Even if there is an explanation for the issues raised by The Bird, Joe's refusal to explain the whys and hows must cause a reasonable person to suspect the very worst. Where is the FBI's Political Corruption Unit when we need it most?
Name withheld by request

McCAIN? REALLY?

Lay off the McCain Kool-Aid, Sarah: Columnist Sarah Fenske obviously has a crush on John McCain, but she really should stop drinking the Kool-Aid about the war ("Favorite Son," January 17). She admits it was a "mistake" to invade Iraq, but we can't "just leave. We owe it to the Iraqis to get the country stabilized and give democracy a chance."

Guess what; the war isn't, and never was, about stabilizing Iraq or democracy. It was about de-stabilizing the country so we could control their vast reserves of oil! That's what we're doing there, and the majority of Iraqis want us to get the hell out.

We ruined their country and are making life miserable for them every day. More than a million people have been killed and 4 million have been displaced. But John McCain says the surge is working so well that we can never leave — at least for a hundred years or so. Typical "enthusiastic conservative."
Nancy Cavazos, Apache Junction

Another galvanized liberal: I just read your article on John McCain, and succumbing to my visceral reaction, I immediately sent Hillary Clinton another donation. It is writers like you who will continue to galvanize us liberals and lead to our victory in November. So on behalf of Hillary Clinton's supporters, thank you!
Orlando Alvarez Jr., Scottsdale



Translation: I can't cite any other examples: I have been reading New Times ever since the first issue came out. Heretofore, I have done so not only because the price was right (i.e., free) but because it usually took a liberal-to-moderate position. I have noticed, however, that as it has gotten much larger, and probably more financially rewarding, it has moved to the right in its stances.

I could cite any number of examples to prove my point, but for now I will simply cite the article concerning John McCain written by Sarah Fenske. I agree with her that McCain has some claim to our sympathy and respect for his service in the Vietnam — which is why I, a lifelong Democrat, assisted him with knowledge of government in Arizona the first time he ran for Congress. But I part company with him on two right-wing positions he has taken:

His support for the fundamentalist positions on social issues (e.g., against freedom of choice). And [his support of the war in the Middle East] — 9/11 was not an example of warfare between nations but an ideological battle that cannot be resolved with military action.
Bruce B. Mason, via the Internet

You don't know the real McCain, Sarah: I've enjoyed a number of the articles Sarah Fenske has written since arriving at New Times. But it's obvious she hasn't lived in Arizona long enough to see through [John McCain].

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