Letters for June 12-18, 2008

Lay Off Capitalism, Dude

Nice work ("Man a Mano Against Poverty," Tailpipe, June 5), but can we stop attacking the '80s and Reagan? The decade wasn't about greed, as is commonly portrayed by the far left. It was about capitalism... the very "evil" that has raised more people out of poverty and despair than any man, government, or religion in the history of Earth. The rich don't get richer on the backs of the poor when freedom, liberty, and capitalism are the fundamental foundations of a nation. Perhaps one day all nations will embrace the ideals that have made this country great. Until then, I'll always offer my hand to those in need.

Name withheld by request

Via the internet

Actual Villain

I want to express my thanks for New Times' article "Lambs to Slaughter" by Thomas Francis (April 17) concerning the milking of the Catholic church by professional lawyer Jeffrey Herman. Herman, who is the main villain in this story, has made the church his dependable "cash cow." Clever tactic. Herman goes on the prowl to suss out these unfortunate victims, enticing them with a wad of cash to convince them they've been harmed, even though in many instances, the young men return dozens of times for the "abuse." Herman reminds them that the law says they've been harmed; therefore, they're entitled. That's the key. It's trendy and fashionable today to go on pedophile bogey-man "witch hunts" — a sport popularized by Fox News' very own Bill O'Reilly. You can bet, there will never be a shortage of horny boys to fill Herman's needs — he's right there hanging on to the cleric's coattails.

The other villain in the story, Father Doherty, should be ashamed of himself. With all of the countries in the world that are not spooked by gay pedophilia, he should have gone elsewhere for his trysts. Not here. We're not quite ready for this relatively new kind of sexual orientation. Just not yet, anyway.

Tad Mazur

Boynton Beach

Save the Parakeets

Concerning two of your April 10 stories: In "New Dogs, Old Tricks" by Michael J. Mooney, about greyhound racing, the quote by the anti-dog racing president of Grey2k USA, Christine Dorchak, that "our main concern is the confinement" is understandable. But she'd be helping many more animals if she and Grey2K USA put their efforts into stopping the cruel confinement of millions of parakeets and canaries with clipped wings in "little tiny cages" and millions of fish swimming back and forth in tiny fish bowls. The public wants illegal and vicious pit bull and cockfighting stopped first — while legal greyhound racing is last on the public's list but always first in the news.

Second, regarding Bob Norman's story on Sen. Steve Geller's representing developers as an attorney ("Wait, Let Me Change Hats"): For 20 years, Geller's constituency (and all of Broward) has cared about only one thing: "What have you gotten for us?" Geller has brought home jobs and tax revenue and helped straighten out insurance problems, among many other things. That's why he's been reelected for 20 years! The best thing an elected official could wish for in an article is to get his name mentioned and spelled right. Norman did that part well... 18 times. Any official would be pleased with that.

Stan Wertheimer


Accidentally News

Tailpipe gave us a true scoop with the review of the University of South Florida's published research article in Florida Public Health Review in "Brake Hazard" (April 10). Red-light cameras at traffic intersections increase automobile accident rates by 40 percent! Our local communities are rushing to follow the newly fashionable trend of traffic red-light cameras on the false premise of increased safety. These cameras will certainly bring in nice traffic-fine monies — but at the cost of increased accidents and injuries. This was truly a New Times news scoop. Nowhere, neither in newspapers nor broadcast media, have I seen a word of this important USF research. Your staff deserves copious praise.

Leo Shatin

Boca Raton


The South Florida Society of Professional Journalists has awarded a Sunshine State Award to New Times writer Thomas Francis for best nondeadline business reporting in 2007 for his feature story "Heartbreak Hotel." Deirdra Funcheon and Bob Norman have been honored by the Florida Press Association with first-place awards. Funcheon's "Kill My Wife. Please!" was the best feature story of 2007 among large-circulation entries; Norman's column "Witness for the Defense" and his feature "Gang Tackled" were honored as the best serious column and best sports feature. Francis was also awarded a first-place for business reporting.

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