Letters August 12-18, 2004 | Letters | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Letters August 12-18, 2004

Swingin' on the River

Call him Wild Olson: I LOVED Wyatt Olson's August 5 article "Wild and Dirty." It is great to learn more of the local history of this area. This is exactly the kind of local flavor and story that I am interested in reading. Please write another one soon.

Steve Gonzales

Fort Lauderdale

He's a swinger: I was at the rope swing the day mentioned in this story. I just wanted to let you know how precise Olson's article was about the happenings that day. As I was reading, I kept saying to myself, "I remember that!" Even the words of the Jungle Queen tour guide were right on.

The majority of us call that spot the rope swing these days. I've been going there for over a year, and it's one of the few small spots where a young person can go and not be surrounded by violence or drugs. I am curious about the future of the rope swing. Rumors have circulated about it being turned into some form of park.

Justin Humphries

Fort Lauderdale

Stratton Bashing

Get it right, Jeffy: You should fire this so-called reporter, Jeff Stratton. He consistently publishes stories with incorrect facts.

In [his] August 5 article "Too Many Grams," he identifies one girl, Suzy, as being a local hooker by the name of "Sara." In reality she worked under her real name of "Suzy" or "Suzy Cue." Now the other girl who goes by "Sara" has been labeled a drug smuggler and is supposedly in a Turkish prison.

This is just one of many blunders by ace reporter Jeff Stratton.

Bob Gary

Via the Internet

Errata: A picture that appeared with Jeff Stratton's August 5 article "Too Many Grams" was published in error. Neither the "Sara" depicted in the photo nor the website mentioned had anything to do with the story. Pynk Pages publisher Ralph Teetor sent the wrong photo and then erroneously confirmed its accuracy. Moreover, "Sara" is not Suzanne Lutz's nickname. We regret the errors.

Lovin' Lori

She's dedicated: We enjoyed Tailpipe's humorous take on Lori Parrish ("Loribiquity," August 5). I think one reason for the overwhelming support for her candidacy is the intelligence, education, and experience she will bring to the office. She's up at 4 or 5 a.m. every day, working every night until 11 or later, seven days a week -- to reach people all over the county. She is proposing a two-part change to the assessment system -- one is the assessment process and two is the Value Adjustment Board protections of property owners. She cares, and she shows her sincerity by taking action. If only everyone running for any office would be so dedicated, energetic, and love everyone she's trying to help.

Sheila Anderson

Virginia Gardens

Editor's Note: The August 5 Tailpipe item on Lori Parrish falsely claimed that Broward Judge Thomas Lynch gave to Parrish's campaign. His son made the contribution.

No Patriot, We

Lies, Lies, and More Mendacity: While Trevor Aaronson's July 29 article about me and my book The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America, "Patriot Acts," was a well-written and insightful piece in some ways, it also contains some inaccurate and misleading statements. For one thing, Mr. Aaronson implies that the book is focused on the USA Patriot Act. The book does not purport to be about the Patriot Act. Rather, the Act is handled, along with numerous other topics, within the context of "the Bush Plan" for global dominance.

Secondly, his statement that "the dash of doomsday is all too palpable" in my prose contradicts his earlier declaration that the book is "dense and academic." My feeling is that Aaronson, to whom I provided an electronic galley copy of the book, did not read enough to fully grasp its scope and meaning. In fact, the book is neither academic nor doomsday. It provides brief capsulizations of legal and constitutional principles that are important for all Americans to comprehend if they are to make their own decisions about the dilutions of civil liberties, violations of international laws (the torture at Abu Ghraib), and so on.

Aaronson also spends little time bringing forward the depth and breadth of my work in law and on civil liberties, mischaracterizes me as viewing myself as a "good soldier of the left," and gets me wrong on Kerry, as well. Although I'm definitely not pro-Bush, I don't advocate for Kerry. I have defended U.S. attorneys and FBI agents in public debate. Truthout, for whom I wrote through 2001-02, views itself as a progressive democratic news provider, not [a] "leftist online magazine," as Aaronson calls it.

Also not mentioned in the article is the fact that while I do have a dissociative disorder that creates memory gaps for me and perhaps have "a mind as engaging as it is mysterious," even to myself, I also have an IQ of 133 and am a member of Mensa. He is wrong that I aspired to be an actress in college. I was already a highly trained classical actress by the time I was in high school.

Aaronson further fails to mention that he was originally put in touch with me by the Florida ACLU office because he had a detailed question about the anti-terrorism laws which their own staff was unable to answer, or that I have published scholarly legal articles on those laws and on the electoral tie of 1801 or that I have debated and spoken widely on civil liberties and against the Patriot Act all over this country and across Europe, in the company of such persons as Nat Hentoff and Scott Ritter.

While Aaronson captured the more human element of "the woman behind the book," and I'm grateful for that, his omissions are as revealing as his brush strokes.

Jennifer Van Bergen

Via the Internet

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