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Letters for February 2-8, 2006

Breed Free

Don't confuse pet stores and breeders: I have issue with the fact that you are referring to Wizard of Claws as "breeders" ("Puppy Love?" Julia Reischel, January 26), both within the article and on the cover of New Times. They do not breed dogs... they purchase dogs from backyard breeders who think it is acceptable to have their sires and dams live in deplorable conditions, breed them to no end (reputable breeders will do only one or two litters per year — puppy mills put no limits on their number of litters). I am not a breeder, nor do I support anything except adoption (there are tons of wonderful dogs needing homes... there's simply no need to "purchase" dogs). But I thought in your article, terminology was grossly misrepresented. A "breeder" and a "pet store" are in no way synonymous.

S. Kaufman



Via the Internet

Mayor Mussolini

Is it fascism or moneyism? Shades of Jack Abramoff! Do you believe Hollywood's mayor or your lying eyes ("The Mayor's New Digs," Trevor Aaronson, January 19)?

The mayor's arrogance offends me. The mayor should be reminded that she is employed to represent all the citizens' interests, not just the well-off and business interests — especially real estate developers.

The mayor said anyone who wants to hold her accountable has prurient interests. Prurient: "Characterized by lascivious thoughts, desires, etc. Causing lasciviousness or lust. Having a restless desire or longing."

Is the mayor saying we are jealous of her? We are not jealous; we are her constituents, taxpayers, and employers. We are entitled to an accounting if we suspect she's dipping into the public trough.

In my opinion, she has contempt for anyone who questions her and represents only fat cats and real estate developers. So, I found a word I feel describes the mayor's governing style:

Fascism: "A government system led by a dictator having complete power. Forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism." In the mayor's case, moneyism.

No wonder the mayor has earned the nickname "Mayor Mussolini" and the Real Estate Mafia. She is obligated to explain herself to the citizens — all of us, not just the fancy people.

Angela Jackson


Spread the Bread

Take me to your leader, moon-dog: "The Alien Has Landed" (Bob Norman, January 19) was interesting reading. It would be interesting to see where Prince Mongo's money comes from. At least he's using some of it to do something that very few rich folks do, especially firsthand: feed the "street people." Got to admire and appreciate that, in a time when punks with bats beat and kill the homeless for fun. I wish somehow those punks could be made to live like the ones they hurt.

Owen Maupin

Collegedale, Tennessee

National Buzz

Norman gives 'em heck: I came across Bob Norman's column through the link on the Jim Romenesko media column at Poynter Online ("Baghdad Boy," January 12). It inspired me to read your back columns. Very good stuff! I admire both your indignation and your talent. Continue to give 'em hell!

Bayard Veiller

Los Angeles

And So On

The never-ending academic brouhaha: Once again, I would like to attempt to set the record straight about my experience at Broward Community College. (I am writing in response to Michael Withrow's letter about me in the January 19 issue, in which he refers to Trevor Aaronson's article "Proselytizing 101," December 1.) First, I would like to publicly express my sincere gratitude for the tremendous personal sacrifice that Michael and all of his fellow soldiers have made in their valiant efforts to bring freedom to the Iraqi people and greater security for all of us. However, his opinion that my termination had nothing to do with religion is naive, and his hypothesis that I retaliated against him for his service in the military is downright absurd. Had he bothered to ask me, I would have told him that I am, in fact, a Republican who voted for his commander in chief and supported the decision to go to war. (Hey, guys, not all Republicans are narrow-minded and backward!)

Still, I think we would all agree that the loss of both American and Iraqi lives has been heart-wrenching. Michael was the only student in my 13 years at BCC who accused me of retaliation of any kind — the only thing that comes close is Robert Montreuil's claim that I gave him the A he fully deserved to make him shut up. It is unfortunate that a small group of Michael's classmates were "suckered" into believing his lies about me and then rallied to his support. Perhaps what is even more disgraceful is the way in which Winston Thompson (and company) cleverly used this false information to try to justify my termination after 13 years of devoted service to the college. (They knew that a lawsuit against them was pending).

It seems that the meeting Michael refers to with the vice president of Human Resources (and Winston Thompson) was a kind of "secret trial" in which I, the accused, was neither present nor ever asked a single question about the nature of my conflict with Michael Withrow or what really took place in my classroom; I was found guilty. Although I had made repeated requests (pursuant to the Public Records Act) for documentation about this meeting, Human Resources repeatedly denied that any such documents existed. Curiously, it was only after Michael's public revelation of his meeting with the vice president of Human Resources that the documentation in question suddenly turned up. Furthermore, the true nature of Michael's conflict with me will soon be revealed, much to his own shame and disgrace.

James Johnson

Fort Lauderdale


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