Letters for April 13-19, 2006

Betrayed by the World

Can't an online masher catch a break? Sam Eifling was right in one respect about me — I will never find peace of mind in a world of betrayal ("Jailbait," April 6). Police betrayed their commitment to their own guidelines and their oath to uphold and enforce the law. Although Eifling failed to mention it, in my case, it was the police who introduced the topic of sex into our chats. It was clearly the police who explicitly solicited sex three times, and I acquiesced. That certainly was dumb of me, as everyone glories in pointing out, but it was legal: There is no law prohibiting an adult on the Internet from agreeing to have sex with someone believed to be a minor. The state's case against me boils down to: "Two-thirds of the evidence shows he's guilty," or, to put it another way, "If a minor threw herself at Mr. Welles online, he would agree to meet her to discuss music." I trust no one reading this now wonders why the state dropped the charge against me.

I felt betrayed by William Wallshein, whom I regrettably paid $25,000 to defend me. He committed an outrageous breach of legal ethics by calling a reporter to tell him matters about my academic and professional background that I had just discussed with him under the mistaken assumption that anything I said to him would go no further.

Finally, I feel betrayed by Eifling. He committed a number of factual errors in his story, but most are not significant. However, his errors of omission are unforgivable. He had every right to focus on me and my psychological world as he chose to, but my behavior was not conducted in a vacuum. Any evaluation of me and my behavior without full consideration of the other parties is absurd. He achieved his obvious goal in making me look bad, but only by deliberately failing to provide the context for my actions.

Jim Welles

Pompano Beach

The Snakes Come Out

If you're Middle Eastern, stand back: Trevor Aaronson's article ("The Terrorist Who Wasn't," March 30) is heartfelt. Manny Ebaid is but one of so many people here in the USA. My family has also suffered humiliation and defeat because the police and judicial agencies used the media to persecute us even though, after acting on information from a disgruntled customer, they realized that we weren't the bad guys the customer said we were. They had to make us look bad, at least on paper, so they could cover their judicial asses. It is amazing how many rattlesnakes and cobras came out of their holes to add more venom, all so they can make a few pieces of silver, literally and figuratively.

Of course, the media were eager to spread the poison, all for the sake of selling their news products. The news media have their asses covered by just using quotes, true or fictional. There are so many stories like this throughout the USA that I wish somehow legislation could be passed to protect the vulnerable small guys like myself. Thank God for New Times for being honest.

Name withheld by request

Miami

Decline of Hollywood

Mayor Mara fiddles over the flames: It's not just your article that uncovers the ugly pattern of concrete, crime, and corruption in Hollywood ("You Scratch My Back, I Write You a Bill," Trevor Aaronson, April 6). The daily newspapers are brimming with stories too numerous to e-mail all my friends.

Yep, baby, Hollywood has it all... corrupt law enforcement agencies (Police Malevolent Association), underaged prostitution, meth and bomb labs, muggings and purse snatchings, double-dealing officials, and, my God, the list of perverted items goes on and on. Makes you want to look elsewhere for a place to live. Mayor Mara's "perfect paradise" is too funky for me!

Asa Boynton

Hollywood

Follow the Money

Who's sponsoring who? It was interesting to read your article online about "AIDS Walk Turf Battles" (Tailpipe, April 6). It was even more interesting to see a Care Resource ad next to the article. After a call to your paper, I discovered that you are a sponsor of the AIDS Walk in Miami. Now the subjective, ill-informed article makes 100 percent sense.

As a sponsor of AIDS Walk Miami, why would you mention the fact that the AIDS/HIV crisis is larger in Broward than in Miami/Dade and almost everywhere else in the country? Why would you mention that the people in Broward need to wake up, and what better way to become informed than an AIDS walk in their county? Why would you mention that AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Broward House are much larger than Care Resource in Broward? And most important, it makes perfect sense that you try to put a rift in two organizations in two different counties trying to make a difference.

As a gay man living in Broward, I am appalled by your bias and unabashed need to promote an event in Miami. The AIDS epidemic is huge. But apparently, where New Times money goes is more important. As you say, follow the money trail. It's been followed and leads back to a New Times sponsorship of AIDS Walk Miami.

Matt Roberts

Fort Lauderdale

Editor's note: New Times is one of few publications that has taken an interest in Broward County's AIDS crisis (see "The Protection Racket," Wyatt Olson, February 2). The point of "AIDS Walk Turf Battles" wasn't to favor one organization over another but to show how the planned Fort Lauderdale march was challenging a long-established multicounty effort that has always supported Broward AIDS groups.

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