And never, ever vote for W.: Maybe Ruth Pleva and insinuator Eric Alan Barton should be reminded that Will Rogers must have voted for Franklin D. Roosevelt four times ("Committee to Defeat Itself," January 22). He was president that many times. Pretty well-organized, I would say!
Direction and purpose has been the Democrats' middle names. While the GOP was 90 percent against Social Security, the Democrats (led by Roosevelt) pushed through the most significant piece of legislation of all time.
Parting is such sweet dessert: I have been an avid reader of your Dish and Foodstuff columns since your newspaper's inception six years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the columns, the frankness, and the humor of Jen Karetnick. I am one reader who will greatly miss her reviews.
I also want to comment on the editor's note at the end of Jen's last review ("Last Dish Effort," January 15); Chuck Strouse should have used "Ms." Karetnick, or "Jen" Karetnick when talking about the columnist. After six years as an integral part of the staff, she deserves at least that courtesy.
I think New Times Broward-Palm Beach has lost a valuable asset, and her shoes will be difficult to fill. Your loss is Miami New Times' gain. That paper will definitely benefit by having "Ms." Karetnick with it.
Editor's note: Check out Lee Klein's review of Chez Laurent on page 42. Mr. Klein is a shoe-filler of another flavor.
The untold story: Mark this date and take my pulse and blood pressure. I have something positive to say about a Bob Norman article ("Rafer Madness," January 15) -- the one about Miami Heat 'baller, Rafer Alston, a.k.a. "Skip to My Lou" of Street Ball fame -- as seen on ESPN2.
Norman's right when he says the Heat should give Alston a freer hand on the court and allow him to show off his "Rucker Park talent." As a former Heat season-ticket holder, I can attest to the fact that the team has been as exciting as watching Pat Riley's greasy hair dry out in the South Florida sun in the summertime.
In fact, the Heat should get rid of some of its end-of-the-bench stiffs like Loren Woods, for example, and bring in a couple more Street Ball players like Alston. After all, what have they got to lose?
In closing, I think the Miami Heat sucks for not allowing Norman direct access to Alston for the story about him. Micky Arison's management team sounds about as vindictive as George Bush's fascists in Washington.
Definitely, definitely, Mr. Flack: What is the problem with the author of the telemarketing story in the January 8 New Times ("Doing Time in the Boiler Room," Rebecca Meiser)? Really! What was her point? What was the purpose of presenting Bluegreen Corp. and RVM in such a negative light? Nowhere does it go into any depth about the Do Not Call List law being violated. It only points out how it is being circumvented. She goes on and on discussing the vicissitudes of the psychological aspects of selling. Well, honey, get a grip, 'cause I have news for you -- short of the grocery store and gas station -- everything else is an emotional sale!
To exacerbate matters, she goes on to trash the telemarketing industry. She needs to look around, do the math, and put it together: Successful telemarketing is vitally important to the time-share industry in South Florida. And the time-share industry is vital to the economy of South Florida.
While my days of telemarketing are over to be sure, I know for a fact that it was telemarketing that paid for my college education -- otherwise, I would have been working for Wal-Mart for $5.15 per hour. (That was 15 years ago, but Wal-Mart still pays only around $6.50 to start -- who's being taken advantage of there, huh? Perhaps the next story should describe worker abuses committed by corporate retail.) Furthermore, to quote the source from the Direct Marketing Association, the telemarketing industry "provides an employment opportunity for millions who might otherwise be either unemployable or working at menial jobs." And besides, how many real jobs are there in South Florida anyway? It is part of the price we pay for "living in paradise."
Michael C. Flack
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Stratton loves pot smokers: All kinds of people wrote in about that stupid Blues Society guy, but no one even takes note when Jeff Stratton writes about the feds raiding a dozen local smoke shops ("When Bongs Are Outlawed," December 25). People are apathetic down here, to say the least. Thanks for speaking out. Write on.
Via the Internet