Letters for September 7-13, 2006
The Whole Truth
This goes beyond state lines: I recently read the article that Julia Reischel wrote on cord blood collection ("In Cord Blood," August 31). I find it interesting how she seems to name just the one private cord blood bank in Florida but doesn't name any of the others.
Why would that be? If she were really against the collection and storage of cord blood in general, then all of the private banks should get equal "bad press" companies like Viacord, Cord Blood Registry, and Family Cord Blood Services. List them all if this is an objective view of the industry!
The Head of the Beholder
It all depends on how you define cult: I read with interest the Rev. Dozier's letter in last week's New Times (August 31), and he has confirmed what I, and many members of the community, have suspected for a very long while: He is irreparably deranged.
He says "Islam is a very dangerous evil religious cult," and then goes on to cite the textbook definition of "cult" in defense of his statement, pointing out that a cult is a "quasi-religious group... with a charismatic leader" (i.e., Mohammad). Now, the term quasi is certainly up for grabs what makes Islam any more quasi than Shinto is anyone's guess. But if Islam is a cult because of Mohammad, then Christianity is a cult because of Jesus.
And Dozier's inability to see the similarities between Christianity and Islam doesn't end with semantics. When he claims that Islam "indoctrinates its members with unorthodox and extremist views, practices and beliefs from and by... the Koran," he ignores the fact that a Muslim could apply those same words to Christians and their Bible without having to change anything but the proper nouns. To the rational people of the world and by rational, I mean agnostic or atheist the sermonizing of most Christian ministers is no less demented than the sermons of most Islamic mullahs. It's all dishonest, arbitrary, and ultimately dangerous.
The Bible is no less ugly a book than the Koran, and those who follow its tenets are not, as a whole, any better than anybody else. Thankfully, the followers of most religions tend to transcend the venal evil of their holy texts. When they fail to do so, the results are painful to see. Suicide bombers are a good example. So is the Rev. Dozier.
Dr. Thompson Debord
Assistant Editor, www.mogenic.com
On the Riviera
It's really government without the people: Thanks to Bob Norman for keeping the heat on. The articles on Fane Lozman are great; they highlight the type of things that go on here ("Witness for the Intimidation," August 10, and "City Bites Dog," August 24). The citizens of this municipality are disregarded and disrespected. The government does what it wants, when it wants, without any regard for the residents who must live with the results. One only has to look at the overdevelopment on the Singer Island side of Riviera Beach that is being done in spite of the residents' wishes. We all appreciate your printing what the Palm Beach Post has refused to print.
And they expect you to remember a lousy 15 grand? Recently, Bob Norman has tried to paint this picture of corruption involving Mayor Al Capellini, Sam Frontera, and me (including "Mayor Al's Shady Pal," July 20). Norman claims that I was a corrupt convicted "Greylord" attorney who cheated the government on my taxes and that Frontera was a drug "kingpin" who trafficked unimaginal [sic] amounts of cocaine into this country. He insinuated that Frontera set up a deal for me to buy a piece of property from Capellini for four times what Capellini had paid for it, to build 32 town homes in Deerfield Beach.
These are all exaggerations. First of all, I was never convicted of a "Greylord" corruption crime, and I never "cheated" the government. I pleaded guilty to filing a false partnership return because it excluded one $15,000 legal fee. That year was a very confusing year for me, and my books were a shambles. Yes, I missed the fee on the partnership return for which I would have owed taxes on $7,500 (my share of the fee), but it was in all the confusion surrounding my life and office at the time. I just broke up with my partner and also with my girlfriend. This was on my 1981 return, I might add, the relevance of which I do not understand in buying a piece of property some 20 years later.
I never knew Frontera to be in the drug business, and I think if he were, I would have known, especially if he were one of the major "kingpins" Norman claims him to have been. I never saw Frontera with drugs or even heard him talk about drugs. For 17 years prior to that, I was a successful criminal defense attorney in Chicago who specialized in narcotics cases, and Frontera's name never came to my attention in all that time.
I have known Frontera to have a very keen sense of business. Sam told me that "developers were all building west, but when they discover all the insects and mosquitoes out there, they will want to come to the east side of the Dade County area." Sam never even got any money out of this deal. I called him "my partner" as a term of endearment, like my "buddy" or my "pal" or "my friend."
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