Letters for April 6-12, 2006

Actin' All Republican

In Hollywood, the Democrats often get Bushy: I've been a registered Democrat since I turned 18 in 1976. In fact, I voted that year for Jimmy Carter in the Florida Democratic presidential primary. Over the years, though, I've grown increasingly uncomfortable with the behavior of my party.

"The Terrorist Who Wasn't" (Trevor Aaronson, March 30) gave me another reason to be concerned about Democrats who act like Republicans. It documents how Hollywood cops arrested a downtown businessman on a bogus charge. Have the Democrats who run City Hall asked their Police Department to investigate this and apologize? What's more, the article showed how the Republican-run federal government then held Mandoah "Manny" Ebaid for almost a year, believing he was a terrorist. He wasn't. Ebaid is back running Exotic Bites on Harrison Street, where I just ate a delicious gyro.

Unfortunately, his arrest prompted Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti to say, "You don't expect someone like that to be living in the community." Has our mayor apologized for this remark? Don't Democrats slam the Republican Bush administration for usurping our civil liberties under the guise of waging a War on Terror? And what is the difference between radical right-wing Republicans and Hollywood (Florida) Democrats who cater to the wealthy and convict people before they've been tried?

Why don't the Hollywood Democrats fork over some money and/or land to help Ebaid open the falafel restaurant he planned to start downtown before local and federal cops almost destroyed him and his business? This transaction would show that Democrats can still act like Democrats.

Steve Schneider Hollywood

We Demand Our Poison

Give the people what they want: I appreciate your concerns about the use of "black henna" or dyes for body designs ("Dangerous Designs," Julia Reischel, March 23). However, the one point you missed is why vendors have resorted to this practice. As a traditional henna artist, I constantly lecture about the evils of soma (black henna) and the myriad reasons it should not be used. I am also frequently confronted by hostile "patrons" who insist that the color "should be black, like Madonna's pictures," or "should last three weeks, or else!"

When I try to explain that the normal color is orange to dark brown, depending on the acidity of the skin and also the placement of the design (these designs were traditionally for hands and feet, not belly buttons, biceps, and bums), the response is the same: That so-and-so got henna and it was black. As long as we have an ignorant, demanding public to please, some will attempt to do that. Be careful what you ask for!

Francesca Austin

Fort Lauderdale

Cop Out

The PBA makes Dirty Harry look saintly: I have disdained police for most of my adult life — not an innate dislike but one that has been cultivated by the police themselves. This little episode of the Broward County PBA ("Calling All Cars," Jeff Stratton, March 23) just confirms anew my dislike. To target a reporter with a BOLO ["be on the lookout"] is in bad taste at best. To put his personal information on the web was illegal, and it should not have taken a lawyer threatening lawsuit for those in the law enforcement business to understand. Such underhanded tactics not only jeopardize this man but also his family.

We all have to suck it up and deal with difficult situations in whatever business we are employed. To expect highly paid and trained police officers to act professionally is not too much to ask. To expect them to act as public servants instead of highly armed thugs is also not too much to ask. If those cops on camera weren't pigs at heart, they never would have looked so bad. To blame the messenger for making those cops look like a bunch of pigs is ludicrous.

Rest assured, the next phone solicitor from the PBA will not get a polite answer, and all my friends and acquaintances will be alerted to the petty, underhanded type of organization it is.

Rob Boyte

Miami Beach

Send the scuzzballs back for retraining: It is a known fact that if you give an idiot a badge and a gun, his ego takes over and he thinks he's God. If you couple this with the brainless assholes who are accepted due to vacancies, it only compounds the problem.

Our political wimp, Sheriff Jenne, keeps a low profile whenever there is a problem he can't face. It's just too bad we, the taxpaying public, cannot dish out the same crap in the name of justice. Intimidation is taught at the academy, and that's where this problem excels. Nothing will ever change until these scuzzballs are forced into what they are sworn to uphold: complete honesty!

Willie Kaye

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

Some cops are helpful: Please find yourself corrected. The Miami Police Department was not the only police department to furnish citizens with complaint forms. If you recall the news piece correctly, Homestead and Florida City police departments complied. Please give the fine men and women of these police organizations the kudos they deserve. Thank you.

James Santoli

Homestead

Editor's note: The Homestead and Florida City responses were not acknowledged due to an editing error.

 
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