Welcome to Everglades National Parking Lot
Regarding Jake Bernstein's article "Swamp and Circumstance" (July 1), man is the animal who walks upright (when he's not driving), the creature whose survival depends not on fangs or claws but on his capacity to use hand and brain to manipulate the world around him. Man can't leave things well enough alone because man is anatomically configured to pick things up, examine things, reshape things, move things around. That's man's nature.
We don't need the Everglades. If we want recreation, we've got Jet Skis and concrete banyan trees we can walk past on our way to the movies.
We don't need biodiversity. We've got computer viruses, genetically engineered flowers, chemically impregnated vegetables, grow-house kryppie weed, steroid-enhanced livestock, cloned pets.
We don't need a recharged aquifer. We live next to the ocean, for God's sake! We can build bigger nuclear power generators and desalination plants and make all the damn fresh water we want.
"Everglades Forever"? The place is only a few measly thousand years old. The pyramids of Egypt are just about as old and, I might add, generate significantly more international tourism.
Saving the Everglades is unnatural; it's impossible; it isn't even definable. Still, the airboat rides are cool and everybody likes Indians. But let's get real here. Naples is sprawling wildly from the west. Pembroke Pines is being lauded for breaking national population growth standards. Miami's "leadership" is busy lamenting that they can't figure out how to turn Miami-Dade's SR 836 into Broward's I-75, while at the same time they plot to build a transit system for people who already have cars. Environmentalists drive SUVs. Concrete rocks! Sprawl rules!
A reasonably proportioned Central Park, for sentimental purposes, is really all we need from the Everglades (not too big, though, or it'll attract the homeless). Besides, if we subdivided and paved over more of the Everglades, we wouldn't have all those late-afternoon thunderstorms and lightening strikes.
Save the Everglades! It's a nice place to drive to.
Land of the Free Ride, Home of the Brazen
Jim DeFede's article "Alex Penelas's Rite of Passage (July 1), while seemingly on the money, was ironically premature. The entire nation caught a glimpse of the real Magic City this past week, when illegally smuggled immigrants ran to our shores while three mayors, especially Penelas, posed for the cameras (and their constituents) and rolled out the red carpet.
Never before has the mayor of an American city performed with such disregard for both federal and state law. But Miami-Dade County had no less than three mayors tripping over each other for the right to do so and for the media to capture. Although it's no shock that our elected officials would suck up to the exile community, it does leave the rest of the community with the gut feeling that they are indeed the exiles in a country of spoiled brats.
Anyone who doesn't believe that should please try explaining to us "outsiders" why, three hours after these "heroes" were allowed the privilege of staying in our country, we were not allowed the privilege of driving home via the MacArthur Causeway or the Palmetto.
As to Penelas, it wouldn't surprise many of us outsiders if he considered it in our best interests to have a ticker-tape parade for these zeroes, at taxpayers' expense. It's incredibly ironic that an exiled community, after leaving a country with a lack of basic human rights, now feels the need to shit all over everyone else's -- with mayoral approval, of course.
Old Lies in a Brand-New Package
In response to Alex Salinas's "A Mind in Exile" (June 10), Andres Orta's philosophies are neither new nor original. The idea that a group of Zionists and international Jewish financiers are plotting to take over the world is nearly a century old. Mr. Orta has simply stolen these notions from other hate groups and applied them to Cuba.
The Zionist-conspiracy idea was concocted in Russia around the turn of the century by supporters of the czar, who were threatened by the rising power of the Bolsheviks. To get the attention of the czar, his supporters played on his anti-Semitic beliefs by creating a document called "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," which purported to be documentation of a secret meeting of wealthy and powerful Jews in which they laid out their plans to take over the world through the spread of communism. As ridiculous as the idea sounds, it was accepted by the czar as authentic and was used as justification for the pogroms in which tens of thousands of Russian Jews were tortured and murdered.
Soon after this document spread throughout Europe, it was quickly proven to be a complete fabrication. Nevertheless it was proclaimed to be proof that the Jews were plotting to rule the world. One would like to think that after the Holocaust, the "Protocols" would have disappeared, but sadly today you can find them reproduced and declared authentic on hate-group Websites.
Now to Mr. Orta. He states that he is not against Jews, just the Zionists who allegedly are the cause of all problems in Cuba and the rest of the world, an argument that was used in both Russia and Germany. He also claims not to be the leader of a hate group, a claim also made by neo-Nazis and the KKK. History has shown that when social problems are blamed on a particular ethnic group, the inevitable result is violence against that group.
I am not presenting this history lesson for Mr. Orta as I believe he is mentally and morally incompetent and cannot be converted by the truth. I am writing this for the Cuban Americans who have suffered greatly as a result of Castro's regime and are hungry for answers. I can understand why they may be tempted to believe Mr. Orta's lies in order to make some sense of their world.
But I would ask people who might believe Mr. Orta's ludicrous philosophies to exercise some common sense. For instance if Zionists really are using communism to attempt to control the world, why have so many Russian Jews been persecuted under communist rule? Why would Zionists continue to support communism if its central tenet is atheism, which is diametrically opposed to Judaism? Also why is Israel a democratic nation with a free-market economy and not a communist state?
Granted, many of the original supporters of communism 100 years ago were Jewish, but it is obvious that today Judaism and communism don't mix. It is also clear that, without common sense and a knowledge of history, this phrase (sometimes attributed to Hitler) is true: "If you tell a lie often enough, and with conviction, people will believe it is the truth."
Don't believe the malicious and dangerous lies of Mr. Orta and his group. Alianza Nacional's hatred will ultimately lead to its undoing.
White Boy and Proud of It
I vehemently disagree with Andres Orta's views on Jews and think it's high time the "Jewish conspiracy to rule the world" myth is put out of its misery. I am in complete agreement, however, with his statements about the unfortunate rise in Cuba's black population and the lack of Spanish pride among the nation's dwindling white population. I wish Mr. Orta's organization would make race its number-one concern, because that's something that needs to be said.
As a white Cuban-American male in my twenties, I'm sick and tired of stupid people confusing race with culture, and using the word Hispanic the same way they might use African American or Asian, as a term that basically indicates people of a common ancestral origin. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I feel no desire to embrace Afro-Cuban, Indian, or mestizo culture as my own, nor do I have any desire to consider such people my brothers. And I know damn well I'm not the only person who feels this way. There is no difference racially between a white Cuban American (or Argentinian, Brazilian, Uruguayan, et al.) and a white Irish American (or German, Swedish, et al.). Cultural differences might exist, but so what? There are big cultural differences between Italian Americans and Appalachian whites, but it doesn't mean they belong to separate races.
Mr. Orta must remember that you can't have racial segregation without racial awareness. And if most white Cubans are brainwashed into standing behind laughable slogans such as "Viva la raza" or "Brown Power," or looking up to Negros and half-breeds like Jon Secada or "El Duque" Hernandez as heroes, then we as a people are doomed.
Jose Antonio Ledesma
Fascist and Proud of It
On June 24 New Times published my explanatory letter among three others that offended me. I am going to briefly answer my three attackers and then express what I think of New Times and its ill-intentioned headlines.
To Mr. Armando Levi, a Jew and, according to his letter, a friend of degenerate homosexuals, I must tell him that I know the history of the Semitic people perfectly well, which is why I have never presented myself as an anti-Semite but as an anti-Zionist.
To Mr. Joe Graubart, also a Jew and bearer of a sick and poisonous hatred of the Cuban exile, I will say that when Cuba is free from the criminal tyranny of communism that has oppressed her for 40 years (a tyranny imposed on the people of Cuba by the international Zionist mafia), I will return to my homeland to work for her reconstruction and for the creation of a nationalist independent and sovereign state over the solid pillars of the Spanish-Christian heritage that formed our nationality.
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To Mr. Bruno E. Santos, I have to say that before 1959, when the population of our island was mostly white, Cuba was a rich, prosperous, and envied nation. After the bloody triumph of the communist revolution, with its collective totalitarianism and its premeditated Africanization program, Cuba sunk into misery and backwardness. That is how the Cuban people lost their ethnic and cultural identity.
If being a nationalist and an enemy of the satanic New World Order means being labeled "fascist," then I happily accept the epithet. It does not worry me in the least that I am attacked by racist blacks and Jews and communists and homosexuals. They are carrying out their duty, which consists of attacking everything that is Christian, decent, and patriotic. As for New Times, no impartiality can be expected of a liberal leftist newspaper that publishes obscene pornographic advertisements that attack the moral and family values of American society.
Andres Orta Candal
Owing to a reporting error in Kathy Glasgow's "The Secret Life of J.M. Denis" (July 1), the manager of Libreri Mapou was misidentified. Her name is Bernadette Bastien. New Times regrets the error.