Letters from the Issue of April 18, 2002

Is the only good fish a dead fish?

While eluding Cuban security forces, Representative Deutsch even found time to comment on visits he had made to other police states. Of a trip to Damascus, Syria, he said, "I made a judgment that [President Hafez Assad] can speak for a long time without going to the bathroom." When Lincoln Diaz-Balart was asked about Deutsch's trip, he replied, "Hopefully, there will finally be a United States congressman who will not come back either brainwashed ... or having had a pro-Castro agenda."

Deutsch would later tell the Sun-Sentinel: "I saw firsthand the repression.... I saw the fear of real people, the cab drivers and the waiters and the people walking in the street. Except for government officials, I had the feeling no one wanted to be there. There can be no compromise with this government ever."

Oh well, so much for Representative Delahunt's idea. While it might sound logical to simply have Ileana and Lincoln go to Cuba to see for themselves, Deutsch's trip clearly proves that you can lead these horses to water, but you can't get them to stop the demagoguery long enough to drink.

Scott Sutherland


Editor's note: Owing to a reporting error in "Heretics in the House," a principal sponsor of the "The Time Is Now" conference was misidentified. The Dante Fascell Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution is not affiliated with the University of Miami's Dante B. Fascell North-South Center. New Times regrets the error.

Pizzi's Honors

He's so good I'd call him from jail: Regarding Jim DeFede's "Pollution Solution, Part 2" (April 4), rock-mining and blasting opponent Michael Pizzi, who was left out of the meeting between County Manager Steve Shiver and the rock-mining industry, didn't mention that, in addition to being a member of the Miami Lakes Town Council, he is also a fighter for clean water, a fighter against unwise development, a protector of environmentally significant land, a fighter for the rights of Northwest Miami-Dade's residents and the area called West Miami Lakes, a fighter against landfills in neighborhoods, and a protector of historic Indian mounds.

Were I ever arrested, I would not hesitate to use my one phone call to contact this gentleman attorney.

Thanks for all your good works, Michael. Keep it up. Want to run for county mayor? You should!

Alan W. Rigerman, president

Palm Springs North Civic Association

Northwest Miami-Dade

How Do We Love the Winter Music Conference?

Let us count to ten first: Regarding New Times's Winter Music Conference supplement (March 21), I have a new name: WMC = Wasted Money Conference.

I'm a former disc jockey from an out-of-town radio station and now reside here. I can't tell you what a waste this conference thing was. I've attended this for five years now and I've seen the same DJs playing at the best clubs here (Little Louie Vega, David Morales, Armand van Helden, the Sneak), not to mention the outrageous prices to hear them spin for the one hour they do. None of this is any different from the last time I visited a club except that it's during the day and everyone is kissing butt to the DJ in hopes of being noticed. (Stupid.)

First was Ultra Fest, or shall I say Ultra Line, because all you did was wait on line. Plus there were no barriers to organize a line. People who didn't have a ticket and were waiting to purchase one were crammed in with ticketholders, all waiting up to two hours in the 85-degree afternoon heat (it felt like 100 degrees). If you didn't just give up, as some $50 ticketholders did, once you finally got in you were thirsty and hungry and had no problem getting the food. But get this: Not one food vendor sold drinks. You had to wait on a separate line for that, which I did for about one hour for two five-dollar bottles of water.

Then at 8:00 p.m. there was supposed to be a WMC welcome reception for conference badgeholders. At 8:30 p.m. my wife and I left -- there was no welcome reception. Over at the Surfcomber, where the WMC was holding events, it was a bust. I shelled out $450 for my artist to perform in the new-artist showcase. I was told by WMC staff all the industry A&R people would be there, and they bugged me for weeks to enter. I also shelled out $25 for one of my DJs to enter a contest where (get this) all DJs were given eight minutes. Mine was given five minutes after the other six were so lousy and embarrassing to hear. Doesn't anyone listen to the tapes they were supposed to have submitted with their money?

All the "world-renowned DJs" who weren't even registered at the WMC were forcing the badgeholders to be at their events, shell out $35, and miss the panels at the convention center in order to try to talk to their favorite DJ. (Isn't that the reason I shelled out the bucks for the badge in the first place?)

I mean, most of the people who attend are trying to get their foot in the door and would like to submit their undiscovered talents to these people, not try to get through the door at Opium, crobar, or Spin. How sad.

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