Bob Levy

Pinheads Aplenty
Arthur Jay Harris's article about the murder of Stanley Cohen ("The Imperfect Murder," December 17) was a great story. It's clear, however, that the wrong people are locked up. As morally corrupt as Frank Zuccarello and his gang appear to be, television reporter Gail Bright, her cameraman Mario Hernandez, and retired homicide detective Jon Spear seem to be the guilty ones.

People who would allow another person potentially to go to the electric chair without a peep deserve to go there themselves. These white-collar moral pinheads are the real sleazeballs.

Terri Mitchell
Los Angeles

Street Gangs Are for Sissies
For some reason limp wrists continue to be associated with homosexuals. The photographs of gang members in John Lantigua's article "Rich Thug, Poor Thug" (December 10), and their limp-wristed sign language, made me wonder why the issue of latent homosexuality inherent in gang membership was not discussed in the story.

Repressed homosexuals historically have joined all-male clubs. Gangbangers are no different. The fact that these warped youths walk around with their underwear out, flashing hand signals makes it all the more obvious. Since ancient times all outlaw groups have traditionally been repositories of homosexuality. The ancient Greeks practically patented the concept of warrior homosexuals. Then came the Romans, the Goths, the Visigoths, the Vandals, and now the gangstas. When you consider that most of these kids become convicted criminals who spend their time in prison either giving or receiving homosexual intercourse, it all makes sense.

Perhaps now that Miami-Dade County has passed a law protecting homosexuals, these gang members will be able to come out of the closet without doing violence to others. Gangstas need to stop fighting their guilt over the urge to live with other men. They need to realize they do not need to go to prison in order to be gay.

Instead of Scared Straight, the county should start a program in which gang members spend a weekend in state prison. Call it Scared Queer, and refer to the gang leaders as Gay Lords.

Alberto Victor Batista

Pro Sports' Dirty Little Secret Exposed
I found Ralph de la Portilla's bilious assault on Sean Rowe to be unwarranted. Rowe's article on Dan Marino ("Chasing Danny," December 3) was not intended for the simple-minded. Rather it was vintage Ralph Ellison. De la Portilla missed the valuable lesson Rowe was trying to teach us. In his unsuccessful bid to interview Marino, Rowe became the nonperson, or if you will, the invisible man. He exposed a side of sports that many are reluctant to admit exists: the growing incapacity of the common sports fan to relate, on a person-to-person level, to his or her favorite sports hero.

The salaries these guys make are -- like de la Portilla's rebuff of Rowe -- as ridiculous as pitcher Kevin Brown's recent comment that "it's not about money." (Brown said this after signing a contract for more than $100 million, making him one of the highest-paid athletes in history.)

I agree with de la Portilla that children are "mesmerized" by these sports heroes, but at what cost? In fact children are so mesmerized that many are renouncing academic or intellectual aspirations for a shot at the dream. It seems to me that football, instead of helping children, is profiting at their expense.

The lunacy of it becomes all the more clear when one considers that Marino and his colleagues are grown men who are hitting each other for no apparent reason. Just think how silly these men in pads are going to look to future generations, for whom Sean Rowe will seem to have been the only rational person on the face of the planet.

Manny Losada

Hiaasen Joins New Times, Herald Folds!
I loved Jim DeFede's piece on Calvin Grigsby ("Grigsby in Defense of Grigsby," December 3). He always saves the best for last. Nobody does it better (aside from John Lantigua). Sure beats the heck out of the Miami Herald. If Carl Hiaasen were a regular in your paper, I'd have no use for Herald.

Peggy Bowen

Susana to Melissa: A Little Smiles Goes a Long Way
I am writing in response to Melissa Sindle's letter to the editor regarding Miami's Haitian community (November 26). She must be very lonely to think no one has ever found a decent Haitian. I work with them and I'll tell you they are the hardest-working people I have ever met. They are also the most loyal. In four years of business I have never been disappointed, and I have only received respect, honesty, and love from every one of them.

Ms. Sindle should instruct herself before taking pen in hand. If Haitians are suffering in their country, it is in part because of the mess Ms. Sindle's own government created there. Despite that, Haiti has a lot of merit. In 1804 it became the second independent nation in the Americas and inspired independence movements in the rest of the hemisphere. Most Haitians speak three languages: Creole, French, and English. I have seen Haitians work two jobs to give a good education to their kids, and also join the military to defend Ms. Sindle's country. Can she do any better?

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