Letters

Tasneem Akhtar Khan
Miami

The Mo Morgan Fan Club Will Now Come to Order
After reading the recent article about the demise of MoJazz Cafe ("MoJazz No Mo'," September 4) and the subsequent response by Mo Morgen to the hatchet job Georgina Cardenas did on him, I will be hard-pressed to believe the veracity of any future articles I read in your journal.

Instead of throwing salt in the wounds of a courageous man losing his business, you should have awarded him a medal for creating the only real jazz club in Dade County. Cardenas is expert in throwing barbs but is totally ignorant of the difficulties of running a business, especially a jazz club, and has no interest in learning -- or in giving Mr. Morgen an opportunity to answer his critics. I personally know Mr. Morgen. I know the difficulties of creating a business. I know jazz. And I know musicians. This was the only true jazz club, and now it's gone.

My definition of a true jazz club?
1. A place dedicated to straight-up, driving jazz with food, drinks, and socializing thrown in. Not dedicated to socializing, drinks, and food with some jazz thrown in.

2. A place with pure jazz every night.
3. A place where, on any given night, you'll find an assortment of top students as well as visiting pros waiting to sit in for a late-night jam session. (Unfortunately, on many nights there were more musicians than patrons.)

4. A place where the owner (Mo) encourages these up-and-coming musicians, as well as poets and singers, to grow and expand.

5. A place where dozens of fabulous musicians could blow and make a few bucks, where previously there was nothing, nowhere, and no money.

Someone complained that Mo didn't pay the musicians enough? He was lucky he could pay the rent so the musicians had a place to play -- and they knew it! And almost everyone appreciated it. Unfortunately, few pure art forms or artists can survive in this world without "selling out" to commercialism.

MoJazz succeeded for four years. Thank you, Mo Morgen.
Barry Edelson
North Miami

Lectures by Luis
Monique Reyna's response to my letter criticizing Kirk Semple's article "Witness for the Prosecution" (August 21) misses the point. It's not that prosecutors are bad and that criminal defense lawyers are good. Neither is it true, as Ms. Reyna suggests, that prosecutors are good and defense lawyers are bad. The point of my letter was that prosecutors prosecute to win, and to suggest, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Udolf did in Mr. Semple's article, that there are other reasons for prosecuting people is silly.

I would also note that defense lawyers defend to win. As most of us learned in our seventh-grade civics class, our legal system is an adversarial one. It is hostile. Both sides want to win. Ms. Reyna's view that prosecutors "convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent" suggests that prosecutors (or defense lawyers) can be trusted to decide who is guilty and who is not guilty. Not only is her view of our criminal justice system unrealistic, it is unwise.

Fortunately for us all (yes, even Ms. Reyna), more than 200 years ago some very wise people realized that prosecutors and defense lawyers alike are human, that they are fallible, that they make mistakes. Those same wise people realized that, in their zeal to prosecute or defend, these humans may become biased and jaded and perhaps could not be trusted to decide guilt or innocence. In drafting our Constitution, they created a jury system that places the decision of guilt or innocence in the hands of presumably disinterested people.

Thus my original letter was not meant as an attack on prosecutors. Rather it was designed only to reflect reality. Prosecutors prosecute to win. Defense lawyers defend to win. Judges make sure both sides (yes, Ms. Reyna, even the prosecution) play by the rules. Juries, not prosecutors, decide guilt or lack of evidence thereof. And, one hopes, justice is done.

Luis I. Guerra
Miami

Our Dinner with Pasquale and Alain
Our favorite section of New Times is Jen Karetnick's "Cafe." Being French, it's normal for us to be interested in cuisine, no? Her articles have led us to decide to voice something that has bothered us for a long time about American English -- that is, the misuse of the word entree.

To explain to those who don't speak French, entree, in the culinary sense, means the first course of a meal (not the main course, which somehow made its way into American English). Americans spell and pronounce the word correctly, even write it with the accent, but constantly use the word in the wrong way.

We and other foreigners we know have been confused by the word entree on menus in the United States. One friend we know even ordered pasta (thinking he was ordering a first course) and was bewildered when the serving was enormous, and even more bewildered when no plat principal was offered. Plat principal means main course in French.

New Times is a fresh, critical, and honest publication. Why not educate your fellow citizens by explaining to them what entree really means? The world is far too small to misuse a language in such a way. If you think we are too picky, just think of the poor Americans who travel to France and order an entree thinking they are ordering a main course -- only to be shocked when a tiny first-course portion appears. It works both ways.

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