Letters April 29-May 5, 2004

 Stop with these cockamamie rules: Great article on the Seminoles ("Rock 'n' Nole," April 22). I would think that before they opened this place, they might have had some inside information that the state or federal government were going to allow blackjack, craps, and other table games as well as real slot machines. It's a shame to let all that money go off-shore or to other jurisdictions and have an unregulated and untaxed entity like the Seminole tribe be our main source of local gambling.

I see people in Hollywood dropping thousands of dollars at a time with odds that defy reason. At least in Vegas, Atlantic City, and other places, the regulators try to give the patrons a reasonably fair shake. With no competition, the Indians do what they please because they are (unfortunately) the only game in town. But if the State of Florida would wake up and see how much Connecticut is profiting by allowing full-scale Indian gaming, we would all be better off -- gamblers and nongamblers alike.

Joseph Berlinger

Lake Worth

False hair: In Bob Norman's April 22 article, "The GOP's Brain," he refers to Frank Luntz's "orangish hair." I guess it is his, since he paid for it, but it is a wig. Years ago, when he first started working in front of the camera, he was bald as a grapefruit; then he started to wear a wig. It was always on crooked and about to fall off. Only recently has he started to wear that wig so that you don't notice right off the bat. No doubt all those blond, master-race, Stepford-wife Republicans gave him some tips on wig couture. Just a little FYI to expand your understanding of all these Potemkin Republicans, for whom a photo op is sooo much more important than facts and substance.

Steve Gonzales

Fort Lauderdale

False facts: I just read "The GOP's Brain." I would like to thank you for this important coverage of the medical liability crisis but want to point out one glaring error: "His mission: formulate the campaign to persuade voters -- and Congress -- to cap punitive damages on malpractice suits at $250,000." This is false.

HR 5 -- which passed the House last year -- and the subsequent bills being debated in the Senate all state: "$250,000 cap on non-economic damages," not punitive damages. Punitive damages are very rare in a medical liability case and therefore are not significant in this debate (however, the bills do have a cap of $250K, or twice economic damages stated for punitive). However, the capping of noneconomic damages is the largest-debated subject in all state and federal bills.

By the way, since you didn't specifically state this, I wanted you to know for the future: Economic damages are unlimited.

Jan May, Executive Director

Coalition for Affordable and Reliable Health Care

Dallas

Play it: I have even less respect for Brian Warner and Trent Reznor than I thought humanly possible after reading Jeff Stratton's April 15 story "Manson Family Feud." Point a gun at me or break my guitar? Scott Putesky showed inhuman restraint! You would have had to call the fire department to unhinge my hands from either of their necks.

The goth scene of South Florida has deteriorated to an absolutely laughable joke, especially when you compare it to a few years ago. The article brought back lots of old club names that I had all but forgotten. Nowadays, you go to a night that has "goth/deathrock/punk" on its flier and you will hear virtually nothing but EBM/synthpop and techno rave crap! And playing a token Sisters or Bauhaus or Joy Division song doesn't cut it. It's no wonder that, especially in Broward, no goth night can stay at one club longer than six months. A little truth in advertising goes a helluva long way.

Louis Moore

Delray Beach

For the future is now: In reference to Jeff Stratton's April 15 story "Next Stop, Nowhere," I have been there. Late for work, the Tri-Rail train held in a siding waiting for a freight train full of scrap iron to rumble past.

I had to give up on Tri-Rail after riding it for a few months because my supervisors could hear my train late stories only so many times before they asked if I had a car. But while I believe in the facts of the story, I don't believe its conclusions.

Mass transit has to compete for riders with the subsidies we give automakers by paying for roads and expressways. I am sure it costs more than $9 a ride every time we take to the road in our cars. I hope that the current gas prices make people see the light and take the train. Some day, when gasoline is $10 a gallon, we will pray and be grateful to all the people who kept Tri-Rail alive. We need mass transit and Tri-Rail now, and we will need it much more in the future.

Lazaro Rodriguez

Dania Beach

No truth in war: Bob Norman's critiques of the Sun-Sentinel are so true. ("Hammer Time," April 8). Only on a cold day in Fallujah will there be an article of such truth written in such a corporate whore of the national media as the Sun-Sentinel. Thanks.

It's a strange time to be an American. Even more strange to be an American with an active brain. Norman's commentary is ever so critical. I'm that "pinko-commie" liberal who questioned the war before the first bombs blew. Every bit of rhetoric I used to explain my views to those who supported the war is now proving true. Honestly, sometimes I wish I were wrong.

Chris Bernhardy

Sunrise

Erratum: Due to an editing error, New Times incorrectly named the founder of the Art of Living Foundation in an April 22 Night & Day story titled "Breathe Deeply." He is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We regret the error.

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