Letters for January 23, 2003
He's awful: "Wake Up and Smile" by Bob Norman (January 9) was a great story. Rick Sanchez is probably the worst TV newsman I have ever seen. I unfortunately had the opportunity to watch WSVN-TV (Channel 7) while growing up in South Florida. I only saw it briefly because of all the gruesome material. He's just awful.
He's illustrative: Excellent article on Rick Sanchez. I can't believe he actually said "So it can actually be a good thing" about losing one's parents. Is that really true? I still remember him during the '91 Gulf War. Channel 7 painted a map of the Middle East on a floor in some "war room" that it created. I turned on TV to see Rick Sanchez squatting over Iraq with some sort of toy scud missile to show everyone an illustration of what was happening when Saddam started launching scuds at Israel. Oh, I can picture it much better now, Rick. Keep up the entertaining and informative articles.
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John R. Glade
Hold on, bucko. Norman has an off-the-scale IQ! Bob Norman's diatribe goes far beyond character assassination, reflecting far more hate than shown by his obvious liberal biases against anybody who has a higher income than he does. Considering the large number of pro-Castro, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian remarks it contained, he should be the one taking an IQ test.
I don't know anything about Mr. Sanchez. I have never heard of him, let alone seen him on MSNBC. My response is based on the vile comments you used to justify your attacks on him -- which went well beyond any legitimate criticism of his talents.
James M. Nevler
Princeton, New Jersey
And New Times, well, I guess we are pimps: I really don't know what prompted Rebekah Gleaves to write a story about my friend Joey Elkind and reveal half his life because some contractor dumped needed landfill and the neighbors had to smell it for a couple of weeks ("Sludge and Slime," January 9).
The neighbors are the ones who wanted only new construction on the street in the first place. That's why those properties took so long to sell. If Joey didn't buy them, nobody would have, and they wouldn't have their new construction. Also, it seems you had issues with him being in the adult Internet industry. Please look at the back pages of New Times for the prostitution advertisements. Adult Internet is much less harmful to the public than the prostitutes you help. You can't get AIDS looking at the Internet.
I'm not saying Joey doesn't have problems, but he shouldn't have his life exposed over this. This guy has always helped his friends, given me money to give to charity, and is a good father to his daughter.
Try the Texas variety: The articles underscoring blatant de facto racist policies in Plantation are excellent ("Down on the Plantation I, II and III," December 12-26). The kind of bias described can be found in back roads all over Texas as well, especially in education. While Bush was governor of Texas, he and his Republican buddies, especially Ted Olson (now U.S. solicitor general) and John Cornyn (then state attorney general, now a U.S. senator) effectively abolished affirmative action in public education. Of course, enrollments of minorities have continued to decline, and the few who remain are treated worse than second-class citizens. The Republican Party of Texas has made the state a lot meaner to African-Americans and Hispanics, as well as to women. And what Bush and his big-money boys did to Texas, they are now doing to the entire United States.
Now that's gruesome: In Eric Alan Barton's report ("Blood Trade," November 28) he states: "By the 1960s, much of the blood supplied to South Florida hospitals came from charities that paid donors. A large portion of it was given by vagrants and tramps infected with hepatitis and other blood-related diseases. Blood was so tainted with viruses and ailments that blood-borne diseases complicated surgery in the area. Miami's John Elliot Blood Bank, the last of these pay-for-donation organizations, closed in 1980..." For your information, there is still at least one organization continuing to buy blood under the same circumstances that he described as a thing of the past. It is located on NW 36th Street in Miami. He might want to check that out.
Hi-ho, it's off to work we go: New Times deserves credit for publishing articles like Bob Norman's November 14 story, "The Antiwarriors," detailing the journey of a busload of South Florida activists to the October 26 Washington, D.C. antiwar protest. Such major examples of political dissent appear to be a rarity in the Sunshine State, where most of the typically sensationalist local media would rather report on catchy topics like the increase in the number of men undergoing cosmetic surgery.
As I read the article, I was positively impressed by the dedication and resolve displayed by this small but resilient group of Floridians. All suffered through a seemingly interminable round trip to Washington, and some endured the slights and innuendoes of the pro-Gore crowd without flinching. They proved that you can adhere to your principles even while inhabiting a politically hostile region that often seems like the ultimate activist void.
The many acts of illegal aggression carried out by American presidents during the past two decades are all worthy of condemnation. Ronald Reagan's notorious invasion of tiny Grenada, George Bush Sr.'s Desert Storm, and Bill Clinton's reckless pursuit of numerous conflicts around the globe have set the tone for a society of permanent war. But the current administration has brought the obsession with Saddam Hussein's alleged transgressions to a fever pitch. It's worth noting that, if the shoe were placed on the other foot, the argument would read something like this: We must not allow an unelected, mentally disturbed dictator with weapons of mass destruction to menace the world. This tyrant, who controls vast stockpiles of chemical and biological agents, must not be allowed to threaten civilization. A prevaricating, stammering, cheating autocrat who has refused to renounce a nuclear first strike, who has used depleted uranium on a hapless civilian population, is a threat so ominous that decent people must not stand idly by and permit his continued rule of terror.
I'm referring to crimes against humanity committed by a brutal mass-murderer who has authorized spending more than $350 billion in the past year alone to acquire even more machinery of death. This psychopath has personally authorized killing more than 150 people in his homeland. It is for all these reasons that regime change is so desperately needed... in Washington, D.C. We must immediately impeach and remove the impostor who occupies the White House!
Afterward, he must be tried, perhaps in one of those military tribunals, for war crimes -- without the benefit of legal representation, since that's the way Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft like to bring their victims to injustice. Consider that these lunatics are ready to kill, by some estimates, 48,000 to 250,000 more Iraqis, and countless Americans, in the impending bloodbath. Preemptive life imprisonment would therefore be a fitting punishment and necessary deterrent.
Dan A. Goldstein
On Bobby Wexler: I know these are old columns, but I don't live in Florida, and I had never heard of your paper until I came across a URL for Bob Norman's columns, "Hawking for Israel," September 26, and "Wexler's Travels," October 24.
Well, you have my heartfelt gratitude for saying it like it is and having the courage to do it. It's a shame so few journalists/politicians have the courage to stand up and tell the truth these days. Thank you again, and please don't let anything or anyone intimidate you into changing your views or ways.
New York City
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