Letters From the Issue of February 5, 2009

Mooney's Still Got It

Thank you, Michael J. Mooney, for reminding us that just because we finally became "sane" as a nation by getting out to vote in November, Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti and his office are still making easy money by bullying local bars ("Jug or Not," January 22). Gee, they are making cutbacks in education, but BSO isn't hurting for money.

I can always count on Mooney's stories to add humor to my week!

Faith Rossell

Fort Lauderdale

What's the Deal with Knight Bienes?

Bob Norman's recent story "Madoff's Man" (January 22) was an excellent read and well-researched. But I'm inclined to say that the article undershot the runway. I'm sure the Fort Lauderdale Catholic laity among your readers would be interested to learn: Why did Archbishop John Favalora elect to confer upon a Jew a knighthood in the Catholic Church — or was he unaware of Bienes' religious background? And, if so, where was the due diligence before such a high honor was conferred upon a non-Catholic? Was there a financial consideration that influenced the archbishop's choice? Was there a donation to church coffers coincidental to the honor? If so, what price knighthood?

The photo of Bienes' investiture shows him wearing a cocked hat, commonly part of the formal regalia of the Catholic lay order of the Knights of Columbus. How and where did he obtain that regalia, and who authorized his wearing of it? A query of the Grand Knight in the area would seem newsworthy. How much did Monsignor Vincent Kelly have invested with Bienes? And where did that money come from?

I note your story mentions "plaques all over town" paying tribute to Bienes' generous philanthropy, e.g., Holy Cross Hospital for a $4 million gift, St. Thomas Aquinas High School for $2.5 million — among other beneficiaries of his conspicuous largesse. As for those self-serving plaques, Bienes might well have heeded the wisdom of Cato the Elder (234-149 B.C.):  "I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue than why I have one."

Thomas R. Butler

Prince Edward Island, Canada

In Defense of Knife Hunting

I was a bit disappointed at the slant that this story took ("Hog Huntin'," Natalie O'Neill, December 25). It portrayed hunters as an irresponsible bunch with zero morality. The truth is that there are as many types of hunters as there are people.

To label knife hunting as "extreme" is just unnecessary hyperbole. Knife hunting with dogs is the traditional way of hunting boar. There is no doubt it is dangerous. But it is irresponsible hunters who put their dogs in danger, cross moral lines, and gain enjoyment from seeing the boar suffer at the jaws of their powerful dogs. I have hunted with a knife, and I am not a Jeff Dahmer. I am a responsible hunter, as are many others. Whatever I'm hunting, I kill quickly and kill only what I can eat.

You also mention that often, the boar is flipped by its hooves and stabbed in the heart. Well, Ms. O'Neill, when using a knife, the two quickest ways to kill a boar is stabbing it in the heart or cutting its throat, then lean in hard to bleed him out quickly.

I often wonder if people saw the inside of a slaughterhouse, whether it be chickens, cattle, or pigs, how many could stomach the experience. I can tell you that knife hunting often pales in comparison.

Hunters kill responsibly and irresponsibly. Your article mostly focused on the well-to-do yahoos who have a twisted sense of entitlement. They do not realize that the tradition of hunting should be treated as a privilege and not a right.

Antonio Sevillano


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