Letters

Posted on 26 Jul 2007 at 5:28pm

Carpenter should be ashamed

I just read OutRight by Dale Carpenter (Dallas Voice, July 20).

I found it offensive that Carpenter called Michael Moore’s work and specifically the recent documentary “Sicko” propaganda. Carpenter is from a political party that has brought propaganda to a whole new level with its right wing radio shows and the Fox News Channel.

Moore is a people’s advocate; his agenda is to help the everyday worker in America. His previous “Fahrenheit 911″ was totally accurate. Not one falsehood was ever discovered in that movie. People still lambaste him when they should be thanking him for the courage he had in documenting the greedy, war-profiteerng agenda of this awful president.

I ask you whom is Carpenter for the greedy pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies? He is blurring the lines about the truth of the current horrible healthcare system in America. He acts like if we get universal healthcare, all scientific growth will stop, that we will get worse care than we already have.

That is simply not true.

We are the richest country on the face of the Earth at this time, and we have only the 37th-best healthcare. We now have 18,000 people a year dying because of lack or denial of healthcare.

I went to the pharmacy just the other day and saw people walking away without the medication they needed to live because of the $3,400 prices prices that are being gouged by the soulless pharmaceutical companies.

Carpenter should be ashamed of himself for attacking Michael Moore. People really do die and suffer because of the awful things people like him say.

Roy Calhoun

Oak Cliff

Gay firefighters approve of “‘Chuck & Larry’

I am president of FireFLAG/EMS, the official fraternal organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of the Fire Department of New York and the nation’s oldest and largest LGBT firefighter organization
Universal Pictures recently invited members of FireFLAG/EMS to a screening of “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry,” which opened July 20.

While “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” is a broad comedy, the reality is there are gay firefighters in many departments across the country, including FDNY. The “coming out” process in the movie mirrors what I, and many of my colleagues, have gone through on the job.

Initially, we may have dealt with disbelief, disdain and even prejudice from our fellow firefighters. But significantly, as in our experiences, the film shows the process gay firefighters go through on the job as they move toward

The film shows the journey that gay firefighters go through in their careers, the brotherhood of firefighters, and ultimately their respect for one another based on actions and deeds.

Over the years, the FDNY and its members have become more supportive of gay firefighters and have made strides in improving how they are treated on the job. FireFLAG/EMS supports this progress and is actively involved in the department’s actions on gay-related issues.

“Chuck and Larry” is, of course, a comedy, and some of the humor may be considered offensive to some, but the growth of the principal characters during the course of the film is the ultimate measure of how to judge the intent and heart of the filmmakers.

Mike Vissichelli

New York City

Mangum deserves death penalty

I am outraged at the fact that the Brazoria County District Attorney, Jerri Yenne, isn’t seeking the death penalty against Terry Mangum!

This man, and I use that term loosely, was at a known gay bar with the intent of soliciting a gay man to “‘pay for him to attend welding school.’

By his own admission Mangum had planned to kill a gay man for six months before he killed Kenneth Cummings. Last time I checked this is premeditation.

Mangum went to a gay bar, had drinks with Cummings, went back to Cummings’ home, possibly had sex with Cummings’, but felt justified in murdering Cummings because “‘God “‘visited’ Mangum while he was in prison telling him that sexual perversion was “the worst sin.”

Mangum then cleaned up the murder scene, disposed of the body and went shopping with Cummings’ credit cards. My thoughts are that he should have considered turning the knife on himself.

But I guess he must think God is OK with solicitation, lies, manipulation, theft and murder.

There are some people who may not agree with the lifestyle that Cummings led, but he had a family and friends that I am sure will miss him deeply.

I can’t help but wonder if Mangum had picked up a woman in a bar, went home with her, murdered her, disposed of her body and went shopping with her credit cards, how this case would be viewed differently.

Mangum would be seen as a monster, and society would be in an uproar demanding that he be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Frankly I don’t think taxpayer dollars should be spent to feed him, clothe him and provide legal council. He has confessed to this heinous crime with no remorse and should be put in the express lane for the death penalty!

Missi Smith

Dallas

Vice officers targeting gays

I want to salute Dallas Voice for the recent article “Cruisers beware: Vice officers are watching” (July 13). Thanks for finally lifting a corner of the veil of secrecy under which vice officers operate. Without deceit and deception these officers would be without a job.

They can lie and they do; but you can’t. They are professional queer-baiters. While they may not legally entrap you, they certainly instigate the very thing they are trying to prevent.

With many vice officers catching queers is a sport, a game; it is a lot of fun. If their sole goal was to prevent cruising, they could park a police car or one of the mobile police vans in plain view of the cruise area.

But they would rather sneak around to catch as many queers as possible.

The head of these queer-baiting officers stated that, “This is not about gay or nongay.” But you do not see female vice officers going to places where straights go to cruise or seek sexual partners.

If they did, using the same instigating techniques, there would be a lot more heterosexuals charged with sexual misdemeanors.

But, this is the difference between them and us; what they do is normal and they are the majority. They have always made the rules under which the gay subculture can operate.

Besides, queers have to be punished.

I went to the Dallas Police Department’s Web site and reviewed the photograph of Shannon Bailey. It appears that this picture was taken at night. It seems to be distorted by a bright light.

Circumstances can make a big difference. This makes me think that vice were out at night with their search lights trying to catch queers in the bushes.

Who are the bigger perverts?

I would encourage you to lift the veil of secrecy even further by making the public aware of what is currently happening from time to time.

I applaud Roger Herrera for coming forward with his insight and advice. His best advice was, “You’ve got to let them touch you first.”

I would add: Don’t do anything first. Information such as this can only empower people and help prevent “public humiliation and loss of employment or stature.”

Hopefully you would be able to report the circumstances of others that have been victims of vice officers. Maybe you could talk to other lawyers and/or their clients.

I am sure that there are people who are absolutely destroyed by these types of misdemeanors; and for what: because they groped a queer bait vice officer who was hoping to be groped so he could catch a queer.

Who are the real perverts here?

As for myself, I prefer to be queer rather than queer bait. It is more honest.

Hugo Perez

Dallas

We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters are more likely to be printed, as are those that address only a single topic. On some weeks we receive more letters than we can print. In that case, we print a representative sample. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include your home address and a daytime phone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail (editor@dallasvoice.com). Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or mailed (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas, TX 72504).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 27, 2007

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