Letters for March 30 - April 5, 2006

Point by Point

The rent-a-cop alternative: The March 16 Tailpipe column addressed the important issues of anti-rape measures at FAU ("In the Clouds"). I suggest that nighttime campus lighting be improved; otherwise, the daytime rapes will simply shift to nighttime. Nor is a wellness program needed. Better that students seek professional medical help — which ensures full privacy — at FAU medical facilities (or equivalents). Finally, Tara Laxer wisely advises against arming the student body with mace. And, yes, improved (and trained) campus security is a must.

Leo Shatin, PhD, F.A.P.A (Retired Professor of Clinical Psychiatry)



Boca Raton

Cynicism Incubator

He never met a pol he liked: John Canada is only the tip of the iceberg ("Oh, Canada," Bob Norman, March 16). People we elect, especially local politicians, think they are above everybody else. They vote the way the money comes in; they just do things that, if you and I did them, we would be in jail. We have a corrupt system. It's not just a Democrat or Republican thing; it's a politician thing. All of them lie and steal. We have the best government money can buy. That's why I do not vote. It does not matter who is running. They are of the same breed.

Name withheld by request

Via the Internet

God in the Wiring

Bering offers questions but also answers: In "The God Fossil" (Julia Reischel, March 9). Jesse Bering says, "My meaning in life is to illustrate that there really is no meaning." I agree with his belief that there really is no meaning other than the meaning you give it. If it gives you a reason to live, keep on believing. I think of the meaning of life more as just enjoying your life and having fun.

The only thing I didn't understand fully was his use of evolution. I know that over millions of years, we have evolved from an organism to what we are today. But he doesn't really describe what he means when he states that the belief in the supernatural is something wired into the brain itself, "the result of evolution." What does he mean by that? By the experiences our ancestors went through? By changes in our environment and surroundings? By what we learn from our parents, teachers, peers, etc.?

At first, I wasn't buying into any of Bering's beliefs, but then I read the article a few more times and slept on it. It all started to make sense to me. I am always thinking about these kinds of questions. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Who is the creator, or did we just kind of happen? Is there a meaning for us to be on this planet? And when I came across this article, it all started to make a little more sense to me. If you find yourself asking these questions and you're getting nowhere, read this article. It will help you understand a little more clearly instead of being stuck in the foggy haze in your head where I used to find myself a lot.

Jake Crawley

Via the Internet

Playhouse First Aid

Scribes are word-of-mouth carriers: Thanks for your exceptional review of our production of And Then She Moved the Furniture ("This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun," Dave Amber, March 9). Support from the critics is one of the best ways we have of getting our work seen. Our advertising budget is minuscule, at best, so word of mouth — or in this case, a review — is our best advertisement.

Steven Chambers

Associate Artistic Director

Public Theatre of South Florida

Lauderdale Lakes

"Don't Panic"

The boomer buyers are coming: Air seeping out of a balloon is right! I took it as good-natured ribbing when you framed my quote somewhat sarcastically in your "Bubblicious" story ("Tailpipe," March 2). Referring to the housing market, I said, "It's not a case of the sky is falling. It's just a case of slowly coming back to a normal market." I agree with your assessment, though: Air is leaking rapidly from the balloon, and investors who bought at the peak are going to lose money if they have to sell today or next month.

I started issuing the warning to investors 18 months ago. Still, the key point is that the fundamentals driving demand are still in place: boomers, Gen Y, Scripps. There is an oversupply now, but, to co-opt the catch phrase from The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, for all you investors who are already in, "Don't Panic." The supply will get absorbed over the next two or three years. You will have to deal with a negative cash flow until then. There is still lots of demand. Even the thousands of condos reaching completion in the downtowns are going to fill up eventually. The return to reality is not going to happen overnight, and it is not going to be painless!

Brad Hunter, Director

South Florida Metrostudy

West Palm Beach

The plagiarist can make you shed salt tears: Copy rights? It's a fine idea, but I have learned that writers have no recourse for their stolen words; no one (other than the plagiarized writer) really cares ("Magazine Copy Rights," Bob Norman, March 2).

I am a writer in New York, and my work was used in a magazine article without my permission; my sentences were paraphrased and published in a story that shared a similar topic. I (as did Ms. Slater) broke down and wept — two years later, I'm still pained by this base act. Writing is grueling work; stealing is heinous. Ms. Slater, I commiserate with you.

Name withheld by request

New York

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