By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
Nose Job Notoriety
Morals don't matter: As shown by your profile of Dr. Michael Salzhauer, the plastic surgeon who's courted infamy with web videos like "Jewcan Sam" ("Boob Tube," Michael E. Miller, June 21), we should not care if doctors like him are one of the soulless bastards from Nip/Tuck, with their mega money, fast cars, and loose morals, as long as they are good, talented plastic surgeons. The problem actually is that people expect other people to be perfect, and he is not. He has the gift of being a good doctor, but he does not have the gift of common sense. That should not matter, as long as his surgery is good. I would much rather get plastic surgery from him than from a sensitive, soft-spoken, mediocre doctor.
Money talks: Of course the government will protect lenders and financial institutions, as you prove with your story about a questionable foreclosure firm getting sheltered by connected Florida officials while the investigators checking them out got fired ("Foreclosure Fraud," Stefan Kamph, June 21). Those firms have the money to bankroll and finance the government, while average citizens do not have that kind of clout, just a vote, which means nothing if there is no money. It's always been like this, it will be like this for another 100 years, and there is nothing we can do. The one who has the money is the one who controls everyone.
Get what we deserve: We live here. We elect our public officials. We allow them to continue to serve. We get the government we deserve. Florida institutionalizes low expectations. You can see it everywhere. Underachievement is the order of the day in education, public services, commercial services, and political office. By expecting too little from ourselves, we expect very little from others. The corruption of low expectations also infects Florida's judicial system. It will change only if we change ourselves.
Kill the status quo: It is time for all Floridians to stop arguing over Democrat or Republican, since they are two sides of the same coin. Neither party is looking out for our best interests. The only answer is to stop electing anyone who is connected with those parties, and stop re-electing people. When we show politicians that money will not work to buy our votes, we will get the government and the governmental services we deserve.
Adoption fiasco: The debate over whether to make the new Miami-Dade animal shelter a no-kill facility ("Animal Instincts," Francisco Alvarado, June 21) just highlights what a poorly run place it is. My friend came down to adopt a dog, and they didn't want to let her because she lives in Wellington. We had to fight them to get the dog out of there. It had an infected eye, a chest infection, and other health issues. My friend even offered to let them pick a vet and drive it over and she would pay all the bills. Finally, after three visits and the dog suffering there for a week and a half, she got the dog. It needed to have its eye removed. Now the dog lives happily on a nice horse farm and is truly loved. They will adopt to anyone in Miami-Dade who won't necessarily take care of the animal, but not to someone outside the county who wants to give it a good home!
Loosen the adoption standards: If you want to adopt one of these pets, you probably have to pay an adoption fee on top of registration or license fees. Instead of killing the animals, the shelter should at least give them away for free to people who are willing to care for them. Come on, these aren't human babies whose potential parents' backgrounds need to be thoroughly checked. I mean, I understand the animals might end up in worse conditions or potentially end up back at the shelter, but why not give people the benefit of the doubt? Sure, not every pet would be adopted, but it might help. Sometimes every problem is not just black-and-white. You can find solutions in the gray area.
Bleeding hearts: Who exactly is going to pay for the caring and feeding of these animals at no-kill shelters? I love liberals and their feel-good policies. It is so easy to make these plans when it isn't their money at stake.
Competing against daily newspapers from around Florida, Miami New Times won several honors at last weekend's Sunshine State Awards. Staff writer Michael E. Miller placed first in feature writing and in religion reporting, managing editor Tim Elfrink earned second place in sportswriting, and senior writer Gus Garcia-Roberts took third place in investigative writing and public service.