Spare us the sexual pontificating: Regarding your "Tailpipe" on August 18: Tom Gallagher's return of campaign funds to Marc Bell presents a comical irony. When Bell took over Penthouse magazine, his first and primary editorial change was to tone down the explicit sexual content. This took effect starting with the January 2005 issue. Personally, I admit I enjoyed the explicit nature of the magazine under the final years of publisher Bob Guccione. I have no patience for the extremist sexual pontificating of the religious right-wingers.
I can only hope that Gallagher will be a governor who puts his focus on the secular issues that matter and keep his sexual pontificating within the confines of his own life. Perhaps those other Republicans who took contributions from Bell did not yet know of his corporate takeover of Penthouse magazine. But I hope the majority of Republicans lean toward a middle "libertarian" viewpoint.
If I may add one final note: Give [Dan] Marino a break. Celebs endorse products. It's what they do. It's what they have always done, since the days of Mary Pickford.
But the cat can't cook: While Louis Flematti ("We'll Always Have Paris," Gail Shepherd, August 11) is no more French than my neighbor's cat, they could both probably spell la cuisine française. And besides, when was the last time you heard someone say, "Let's go get some Swiss food?"
Anybody can review a dump. So why not find some joint with a bright staff, impressive food, and a wine list written in English? They're out there, you know: the ones that don't advertise in the Yellow Pages or have specials reflecting what's left over, those places where women feel pretty and their dates can afford the check, if even for a night. You have to dig, Gail. Dig.
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Let's Get Down, Really Down
Norman stimulates our brains: I would like to thank Bob Norman for his incredible journalistic work ("Finding Gary," Parts 1 and 2, August 4 and 11). Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer people in our society interested in the real issues: corruption, war, abuse of authority, civil liberties, etc.
For those who use more than one-millionth of their brain cells, you make our lives more significant. Thanks.
CARE Package for Saint Aaron
How do we help? Where can I send Aaron ("Saint Aaron," July 21, Eric Alan Barton) a contribution? Loved your story. Good work. Keep at it.
West Palm Beach
Editor's note: Contributions may be sent to: Aaron Jackson, 1203 N. Federal Hwy., Hollywood, FL 33020. His Internet address is www.chickgrantfoundation.org.
Get the Jargon Right
Do you know a gixxer? Another confirmation that you cannot rely on even the alternative media to get facts straight. What the f**k is a Honda Gixxer or Honda GSXR-1000 ("Crotch Rocketeers," Jeff Stratton, July 7)? FYI: Honda sport bikes are 600RR through 1000RR, Suzuki sport bikes are "gixxers," GSXR600 through (my 2004) GSX1300R (Hayabusa), which, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the fastest production motorcycle on the planet, unchanged and unsurpassed since its windtunnel creation in 1999. Zero to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, faster than a quarter-million-dollar Lamborghini.
You could've sensationalized the story with these documented facts. Search the web for "Hayabusa" (the Japanese Falcon that dive-bombs for fish at 300 kilometers per hour).
Name Withheld by Request
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Remember the 'Glades
Roll back that blanket: Thanks for opening the eyes of the masses ("Attack of the Killer Weed," Wyatt Olson, June 23). We who have lived here for more than 20 years remember what the Everglades were like then and see what they have become.
Those of us who worked or played there know that it is different now, and we can make a difference to restore it all before it disappears beneath a smothering green mass.
Geoffrey C. Lane
FIU Still Simmers
Decades of experience don't make a dean: Edmund Newton's article "Adios, Ink-Stained Vets" (June 2) merely scratches the surface of the malaise that has existed at FIU for a number of years. Select faculty are favored because they "don't rock the boat" or "challenge the system" that the president and provost seek to maintain. The function of the university is based not on collegiality but rather on the administration of power, control, and authority of individuals who frequently are not those at the top of their select professions.
The idea that one is qualified to head an academic department -- addressing student concerns and needs, administering myriad "paper chase" activities while teaching, consulting with colleagues, and writing articles -- but not qualified to receive tenure is preposterous. While I do not know Mike McQueen, the claim that he did not perform adequately to earn tenure seems a fabricated fantasy: How could he have functioned as a department chair effectively if he were not qualified?
Editor's note: Ted Baker is a retired associate professor with Florida International University's graduate program in landscape architecture.