Serendipitous Or Miraculous?To the Editor,
Regarding Margaret Regan's sensitive review of A Message of Hope: Anne Frank in the World ("Dark Visions," Tucson Weekly, September 7): Otto Frank's photos are in stark contrast to the photos of Cy Lehrer's Places of Ha-Shoah (the Holocaust), a companion show to the official exhibit. Once again, Lehrer proves that he is the consummate artist, a man able to provoke the most profound feelings in those who view his photos.
Such is the power of his work that even very young age is not an impediment to understanding. A two-year-old boy pointed to one of the photos and said, "That's bad!" When asked why, he said, "There's no sky." What he felt was the gloom; he sensed without realizing it, the horror. And also, without realizing it, he related to what Anne Frank wrote, "...I feel the suffering of millions and yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better."
And serendipitously or miraculously, depending on one's point of view, there is a symbol in the photos that leaps out at us, a symbol which gives hope in spite of the surrounding darkness. In Judaism, the letters of the Hebrew alphabet have numerical value. The letters in the work "chai" (life) total 18. One of the photos in the exhibit is Barrack 18 Site, Dachau Concentration Camp. Lehrer did not purposely select that picture because of the 18. There are over 30 barracks in Dachau and he took about a dozen photos and made his final selection because of its pictorial qualities. Only after he printed it, did he realize what had happened. Additionally, he used a technique in several of the photos where the clear numbered margins of negative strips serve as frames within frames. Some of these strips contain the number 18 and 36 (twice "chai"). Serendipity or miracle? That is for the viewer to decide.
Finally, among the photos, there are several of Theresienstadt, the concentration camp the Nazis used as a showcase to prove to the Red Cross that the Jews were not treated so badly. Of the thousands of children who passed through Theresienstadt, only 100 survived; one of them is a Regents Professor at the University of Arizona. Like the sole plant that survives a forest fire and continues to grow and blossom, those 100 children who reached adulthood must give us hope, if for no other reason than to honor and cherish Anne's memory.
VOCAL ResponseTo the Editor,
Regarding "It's Enough to Make a Pedophile Smile" (Tucson Weekly, September 7): My, my! When I first opened to page 17 to read this article, I was struck by the similarity of the county prosecutor to a man that I happened to know in Sacramento. But this prosecutor wasn't a man, in spite of the appearance: the tie, the striped men's shirt, trousers, and haircut. No, siree. He's a she! And she represents the People of Arizona in sex cases. Now before I go on, I must assure the reader that VOCAL assists all people of all religions, races, both straights and gays, and I realize the following statements are not going to be politically correct. However, since VOCAL has already been libeled as "a haven for child abusers," here goes: I saw what appears to be one who apparently is either a cross-dresser or is uncomfortable with her gender, or at least perhaps holds a sexual multiple choice in her own closet (excuse the pun), and that this person with these sexual conflicts is paid by the taxpayer to prosecute those she chooses to imitate (men) who are accused of sexual deviance. Interesting.
The appearance of "feminist separatists" seems to be a norm among those who embrace the witch-hunt mentality of the child protection movement to "protect" children at all costs. The impetus of this mentality is this: once accused, one is guilty. To hell with the Constitution, to hell with the presumption of innocence, children never lie, and molesters (who are always men) are behind every tree and bush, and it is they, the child savers, and only they, who can ferret them out. Anyone who dares say, "Wait a minute, isn't this like Salem?" or who disagrees in any manner is a child abuser themselves or provides a haven for them.
The real horror about child molestation cases, be they true or false cases, is that nobody wins, especially the child. The child is warehoused in foster care, dumped there once used by the prosecution in its effort to "win." The state is the winner (inclusive of the prosecution and CPS), and collects matching federal funds for every single child that is labeled by the state as abused or neglected. The public defender's office on the other hand, who represents the indigent (inclusive of those falsely accused), doesn't get a dime of this special ear-marked money, and yet Ms. Prosecutor says losing is "unfair." Awww.
The chief deputy county attorney for Coconino County, Ms. Camille Bibles (and she ought to read one about telling the truth) shouldn't make statements that are libelous. She states that Dr. Underwager and Wakefield "do work for a frightening group called VOCAL, Victims of Child Abuse Legislation." Underwager and Wakefield do not do work for VOCAL. They work for individual clients, mainly attorneys. They are on our extensive referral list of professionals who work in various areas of medicine, mental health, and law. They also happen to be international experts, therefore, their works are cited in both professional and law journals throughout the world, and they are very well known. The conference workshop that Ms. Bibles referred to did not hold any mention of pedophiles. It did address the issue of false-positives in child abuse cases and provided research as to the incidence and prevalence of such occurrences. The alleged $15,000 per day wage is preposterous. We've known them to provide testimony for a fraction of that as well as pro-bono in many cases. What Ms. Prosecutor never mentioned is that prosecutors across the country pay very well for their own experts, directly out of the taxpayer's pockets, and have even paid child witnesses fees to testify in court...some against their own parents. Some cases go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions (McMartin, Akiki) paid for by the taxpayers. The accused, on the other hand, must do battle out of their own pockets against the unlimited resources of the state.
Further, VOCAL does nothing more frightening than seek the truth in cases that come our way. Most are definitively false, and those few in which we find evidence that shows factual abuse, we document them and provide our findings to the attorney of record, and in some, have even turned state's evidence on behalf of the child. VOCAL has no resources that could possibly assist a guilty person. It is up to the courts to render judgment, not us, and most certainly not the district attorney's office. It is for this reason we have a trial process.
The "common but grim" joke among prosecutors that "100 percent" of VOCAL's members say they're falsely accused is not a joke. It is true. They do, and almost 100 percent are falsely accused. That isn't funny and any taxpayer-supported official shouldn't be laughing. It shows that something is horribly wrong with a governmental system that abuses the rights of the innocent in an effort to punish those who are guilty. That is wrong and unconstitutional.
Lastly, I can understand why Executive Director Maxine MacCarthy or the Board of Psychological Examiners didn't return The Weekly's calls. I found that my own views and those of VOCAL's were being used to as a little package to be wrapped up by the diatribe of yellow journalism. I bet no one attempted to call Underwager or Wakefield, but you sure libeled them. One of Tucson's local professionals smiled when he read this article. "Don't worry," he said. "No one takes them serious. The Tucson Weekly is a rag." I concur.
--George Wimberly, President
| © 1995-97 Tucson Weekly . Info Booth