HRS has helped far more families than one thinks (according to most recent media attention)! Study the statistics! Interview clients and families HRS has helped. Ms. Snodgrass, a protective investigator, is one of HRS's most experienced. So are HRS's attorneys, Esther Blynn and Robin Greene. They constitute employees who "truly labor" day after day, helping children, even under the pressure of limited resources and income, to do what's necessary to protect children from abuse, neglect, and/or death. Investigator Snodgrass was attempting to protect Aimee, due to the overwhelming evidence she obtained from the case. Often a victim recants his or her story once police, HRS, and the media intercede. Of course, no one at HRS can give his/her details of the story, due to our law of confidentiality.

Why not feature an article on one of HRS's success stories?
Rose Losniak, investigator
Health and Rehabilitative Services

I just read your article, "The Case from Hell," and it frightens me to think that the very people who are supposed to be protecting our children are ruining their lives. The state has shown just how recklessly it has handled this case. HRS is destroying the lives of decent and innocent children. They are paid to make sure things like this do not happen. How can they let this case get so mishandled?

Maite Corrales
Miami Beach

In your September 11 edition you tell us about an attempt to censor porno magazines published in Coral Gables ("Tie Me Up! Tone Me Down!"). Many of your readers will undoubtedly be angered by this attempt at censorship. They will be fully justified; but the campaign against Dugent Publishing Corporation is less important (since it will undoubtedly fail) than the nature of the group which instigated it. This group is the Dade County Commission on the Status of Women, and the important point about it is that it is publicly funded - in other words, it is our tax money being used, or misused.

I will agree that the question of the status of women is an important one, but is it one that is properly a concern of the Dade County government, or even one that can be dealt with at all by any county government? There is always pressure upon government to do something about some problem and advance some noble cause, but certain goals are simply too nebulous to be dealt with by government.

What does this commission think it can do about "the status of women," and what facets of the status of women does it intend to address? Does it have any clearly formulated program? One suspects not, or else it would not be careening about the South Florida political landscape searching for a cause to champion, a dragon to rescue, a fair damsel to slay.

If the commission had a sufficiently narrowly focused agenda, it might perhaps have some purpose. If it were investigating job discrimination in Dade County, it might perhaps accomplish something. Perhaps. This is at least a subject matter that can be clearly defined, but if you cannot define what it is that you wish to accomplish, it is unlikely that you will accomplish anything at all. It is also unlikely that the politicians of the Dade County government really believed that the commission would do any good. Municipal, county, state, and federal governments regularly pass resolutions and publish proclamations naming state flowers, state birds, even state insects, honoring favorite sons, bestowing keys to the city, establishing a day, or a week, or a month honoring some worthy cause, naming a street, bridge, or building after some more-or-less famous individual, etc., and all to make some constituents feel good, and also, not incidentally, purchasing some good will for the politicians in the process.

No one really believes that any of this will actually make the world a better place. Similarly, none of our elected officials really believed that this commission would do anything to improve the status of women, it was just a "feel good" gesture, like proclaiming National Earthworm Day. The difference is that National Earthworm Day doesn't cost much, while the commission undoubtedly costs a lot (we are not told how much by the New Times article) - our elected officials are buying a little bit of good will from the feminists and their allied cohorts of leftist, "progressive," politically activist, New Ageish, and neohippie types. With our money.

Our tax money is taken from us by force or the threat of force, allegedly to be used for worthy and necessary public purposes. The money that is being pissed away on this well-intentioned but vacuous commission is not just being stolen from the taxpayers, it is also being taken from far more worthwhile causes. Mental health, food and housing for the homeless, drug education and drug counseling, police and fire protection, public health, protection of the environment - all these are crucial, and all are underfunded. There is never enough money for worthy causes, and there never could be enough for all the purposes that someone may find emotionally appealing.

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