Letters

Hooray For Green Space!
Your feature story couldn't be more appropriate on how Alan Koslow operates ("Hooray For Hollywood!" Harris Meyer, April 29). It is unbelievable that he can go from one unwanted project to another without missing a heartbeat, and all the projects are destructive to surrounding neighborhoods. Only in Hollywood can a situation like this continue to prevail because of unscrupulous people who are looking to live off free public property at the taxpayers' and residents' expense.

The newest creative idea from Koslow and Tibor Hollo is being floated around the Lakes community as a wonderful project that will enhance our residential neighborhood and be a great boom [sic] to the city's tax base by building three 20-story towers on our public Hollywood beach. Are all the people in this town crazy or only thoroughly infected by avarice and greed? This is public land. This property is in the CRA area and would only add tax increment dollars to the CRA funds, not the city's general fund. This is property we, the taxpayers, bonded ourselves to purchase to the tune of $20 million about 20 years ago to prevent just this type of development.

Will we have to lose every inch of public green space to developers before people wake up? It will be too late. I urge every citizen to begin spreading the word: Hollywood's public land is not fair game anymore. We are mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore! The sleeping giants are the citizens and taxpayers of Hollywood, and we have had enough!

Linda Wilson
via the Internet

Let's Again Let the So-Called Editor Pick the
1.) "Uninformed," "Derivative," and "Second-Rate" -- Of Course We're Threatened!

2.) Mike, Does the Expression "Damning With Faint Praise" Mean Anything to You?

3.) Online Editor... Isn't That an Oxymoron?
Feeling threatened, guys? The shrill and catty headlines over Free Press editor Michael Koretzky's letter (Letters, April 22) seem to be a reflection of your own anxiety.

Granted, Free Press commentary is often uninformed and second-rate, the publication's design derivative almost to the point of plagiarism, and the restaurant reviews read like they're written by Michael's mom (a woman who must not get out a lot).

Nonetheless, the paper has grown enormously since starting up, only, I think, about a year ago. And in our neighborhood, at least, Free Press is well received by a public that seems very happy to be able to read a genuine alternative paper. You know, one that isn't really owned by a big, national, ten-paper media and marketing company, as New Times is. Oops!! Did I say that out loud? Sorry!

Mike Margolis, Editor
downtownwestpalm.com
Palm Beach

Following God or Seeding Fascism?
The following conversation took place about 25 years ago in DYsseldorf, West Germany. The speaker was a high-ranking officer in the police department of the German state of Nord-Rhein Westphalia. I was the listener: "The difference between the German system and the American system is this," he said. "In Germany you cannot do anything unless the king says you can. In America you can do anything you want unless the king says you cannot." The "king" he was referring to was a euphemism for "the state" -- the government.

I thought of those words while reading Bob Norman's article about the controversy over Character First! ("Little Soldiers in the Culture War," February 18), preacher Bill Gothard's quaint system that teaches, among other things, that children should be subservient to authority figures because those authority figures "represent God." Is the divine right of kings, supposedly ended once and for all by the guillotine during the French Revolution, about to be resurrected?

My German friend had given the subject much thought and was of the opinion that Adolf Hitler could not have remained in power had the American system prevailed in Germany during the 1930s. "World War II," he said, "at least the European portion of it, would never have happened."

Hitler was not very popular with the majority of Germans when he took control in 1932, but the German system of obedience to (and fear of) authority allowed the madman to stay around long enough to consolidate his position through terror. The Germans, because of their long history of obedience, were a docile people who followed "The King" as he led them (and the rest of the world) into the greatest calamity in history.

The key word here is docile, defined by Webster as "submissive," and that is what Character First! is all about -- submissiveness. Submit yourself to authority figures because they "represent God"! Submit yourself and be quiet.

The cover of your February 18 issue showed a line of Character First! students with their hands raised. How like Deutsche Jugend [German youth] they looked -- poster children for fascism -- docile, their hands in the air, waiting to be told what to do, how to do it, and sooner or later, one supposes, whom to do it to.

Did that most disgusting of authority figures, Adolf Hitler, represent God by virtue of his position as head of the government? Of course not! Neither does any other politician. Gothard's advocacy of unquestioned submission is just another volatile commingling of politics with religious extremism -- always dangerous, often lethal.

It is good to remember that the belt buckle of every German soldier in World War II carried the legend "GOTT MIT UNS!" ["God is with us!"] More than five million of them very obediently died.

Richard Aull
Fort Lauderdale

 
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