Why you think they call 'im Big Bird?: Props to Jonathan Zwickel's new direction for a kindler, gentler gangsta rap (Beatcomber, "Amerikkka's Most Cuddled," February 4) that the whole family will love.
It may be the beginning of a new era in which homies can get as much respect for their mad diaper-changing skills as they do for popping a cap in yo' ass. Will gangsta rap ever recover from this?
Maybe there is room for both. After all, it's all about maintaining the street cred (that's Sesame Street cred). "It Ain't Nothin' But a Pee Thang..." Join Dr. Dre on the pot-tay! With his lovable sidekick Snoop Dogg, Dre shows ya'll the ins and outs of toilet training.
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Bustin' them is the custom: Regarding Trevor Aaronson's "Bruiser in Blue" (January 27), why doesn't someone get the Hollywood Police Department dissolved? If it is composed of dirt bags and most of them are low-life, it's time to do something.
It looks like the Mafia still exists; only now they drive marked cruisers and carry badges.
Give drugs a chance: Jeff Stratton's January 27 article "Acid Again" is the best and most comprehensive article about LSD that I have cared to read. I have taken LSD over 200 times and cannot tell you how important it is.
If everyone in the Middle East took LSD, there would be no more war. Everyone should trip on acid and stare into the sky and realize how big the horizon really is. Only then will they realize how small we all are in the entire universe -- and that the whole world can get along and be strong together!
Start Slavin: The letter from Marc Smilen of Dania Beach smacked of the words of a sour-grapes perennial loser at the area's jai alai frontons ("Jai Alai Down Low," Letters, January 27).
Why, for example, blame the jai alai frontons for laying off some senior citizens? At least the frontons hired them, didn't they? Do you have jobs for them, Marc? Next, why get pissed off because you don't like the posture of the players when they salute the fans before each game? Ever see the baseball players scratch their balls and pick their noses while the National Anthem is being played, Marc? And baseball's our national pastime!
Also, why bad-mouth the clientele at jai alai? Don't they meet your requirements? Isn't their money green enough for you? My wager, Marc, is that jai alai is great fun -- and that you're a humongous sourpuss! I suspect you've lost one paycheck too many and are just a sore loser.
Hey, here's a revolutionary idea: If you hate jai alai so much, stop going!
Feed the Hungry
Then get out of the way: Jeff Stratton's December 23 article, "A Sort of Sanctuary," about the homeless encampment in the 441-Davie area holds the nucleus of a solution to the "problem." It's created by government building and zoning codes, which don't allow the existence of housing that these poor folks can afford. Government, with its cumbersome bureaucracy, erects million-dollar shelters that can only accommodate a small fraction of the needy. These shelters are burdened with onerous rules that only a monk could endure and staffed by social workers who don't know one end of their anatomy from another.
These shelters are infested by do-gooders who want to coerce everyone into a suburban lifestyle with a huge mortgage to pay and a useless lawn to mow. In many cases, the homeless don't find that lifestyle appealing.
Shove the building and zoning codes where the sun doesn't shine. Set aside a few tracts of wasteland for the homeless. Put in a couple of latrines and perhaps barbecue pits. Give them some used lumber salvaged from the older homes that authorities are keen to demolish so that they can erect more substantial shelters.
If the preacher men want to bring in food, let them do so. Then butt out and let these people get on with their lives as best they can.
I know that this is all too simple to be considered by the politicians who devote their lives to making life more difficult, expensive, and complicated for the general public.
Michael E. Gilley
Finally makes print: I want to thank Trevor Aaronson for writing this outstanding article ("Suffering Together," December 9)! I attended Growing Together from May 26, 2001 to February 17, 2003. I witnessed every single thing that he mentioned in this article while I was there.
Where should I start? We had to hold our urine overnight, but sometimes we were lucky and had a bedroom with a sink and we would go there. Kids would also masturbate in front of others and perform other sexual acts to other kids while they were sleeping.
I was also accused of three charges of simple battery, which later led to me getting court-ordered to the program. Strange that it happened exactly one month before I turned 18, isn't it? Strange that I had never picked up one charge before I entered the program, when I was told I had a behavior and drug problem. The place was filthy -- there were rats. And every time state inspectors were scheduled to come, they made us scrub the building from top to bottom. Counselors wouldn't even be in group sessions because they had to catch up on all their paperwork.
I've long been trying to tell and prove to my mother what happened in there and she has never believed me until now! Thank you, thank you so much!!! We weren't the only ones who were brainwashed. The parents were too. They just didn't know it.
If you beat a dog long enough, when it gets older, it will eventually bite back! I was age 17 when I went in and 19 when I got out. No graduation, no prom, no nothing. I'm 22 now, and I do what I got to do to get by. My parents never took me back at home. Even though the day I signed out I had no money, no job, no home, and no family, it felt like the best day of my life! How sad is that?!?
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