He'll give 'em shelter from the storm: What happens if Dave's Rooming House closes ("Forever Flophouse," Felicia Levine, May 1)? The residents will join the 3,000 or so homeless people in Broward County. I blame the government for not doing more to help the poor, most of whom are not drug addicts. I spoke to someone at the housing authority, and they told me it takes three years to get housing assistance. These people can't afford to rent an apartment on their $600-a-month SSI checks. The only housing for them is cheap rooming houses or the streets.
They shoulda stayed home: More anti-Israeli junk from the mouth of Bob Norman. ("Political Therapy," May 1) This time, he brings along a "world-traveling dissident" who has visited such beacons of freedom and civil rights as Cuba, Egypt, and China (among others) to tell us that Israel "isn't a democracy" but a theocracy. There are probably more mosques in Israel proper than there are synagogues in any Arab nation. And naturally, Norman makes no mention of suicide bombings in this little discussion. There are intelligent and knowledgeable people on the left who write about the Middle East. Unfortunately, Bob Norman and Jim Mullins aren't among them.
But damn, they're smart: I really enjoyed Bob Norman's interview with Jim Mullins. I have never heard of Mr. Mullins, but he sounds very intelligent and interesting. Thank you.
C-O-N-V-I-C-T: A short thank you for writing a story on the murder of the Venter child ("A Father's Plea, I & II," Bob Norman, April 17 and April 24). Anthony Venter's father was my husband's hairdresser when we lived in Coral Springs, and I had the pleasure of meeting both the father and son. We were shocked to read of the murder of this poor child, but the bigger shock came when the story went cold in the Sun-Sentinel. If this story had unfolded in New York, the New York Post would have had a field day. To finally read your story and hear what has happened was sickening. The child is dead, and the mother is living with some wealthy friends and playing the role of a reformed Christian. What is wrong with the justice system here that this person is not being charged with first-degree premeditated murder?
Those of us who wondered what happened now have the answers and can only hope that Mrs. Venter is punished soon so the family can attempt some level of healing.
Name Withheld by Request
And a blasphemous rise: Does Michael Roberts know what he is talking about? His review of Linkin Park's Meteora raises questions on whether he understands rock music at all (Shortcuts, April 24). His lack of understanding was to compare Nirvana with Stone Temple Pilots. Any person with a little music history realizes that Stone Temple Pilots may not have set the world on fire like Nirvana, but they have created an impressive body of music that sets them apart from any other '90s rock band. A fair juxtaposition to Nirvana would be Pearl Jam, which came out with a bang but was never able to harness its sound after the debut album, Ten.
Oh yes, I forgot: Mr. Roberts once said Britney Spears' Stronger "Kicks it harder than any rock song." (Shortcuts, May 10, 2001). In any context, Mr. Roberts, this is blasphemy. Hang yourself now while you still have time.
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And he deserved it: In regard to an "Absolute Disgrace" (April 3): If the events described by Bob Norman occurred, then I apologize to Mr. Joseph K. Smith. I am a person who supported the war with Iraq in an effort to free the Iraqi people and help achieve peace in the Middle East (which would have been unattainable if Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction). I pray to God that no more casualties occur; however, if people die, the loss will be greatly overshadowed by the number committed by Hussein's regime.
Fredrick Graydon Van Atta
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Deserved what, dude? It is quite apparent to me that our esteemed president has murdered true patriotism and instituted nationalist fanaticism/fascism in its place. A key element of patriotism is love of your COUNTRY and its PEOPLE, not blind devotion to its boy king. I read Bob Norman's April 3 article on my good friend Keenan (Joseph K. Smith) with sadness. George W. has turned our country into this, because of oil, because of [Dick] Cheney's special interests, because Saddam tried to kill W.'s daddy.
This nation was not built on blind devotion to leaders -- if so, we'd still be under British rule. Also, forget not that it was a minority seeking independence. The antiwar activists are the minority, and just like the Founding Fathers, they are the true patriots. We want our country and constitution back from Bush and Cheney's dirty, oil-stained paws.
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