Free Weekly Throws Election! Evil Reigns!
If Jeb Bush is elected governor on November 3, it will in large part be due to the lackluster performance of New Times during this election season. As readers will presumably have noticed, New Times deliberately chose to ignore Florida's elections until the very last moment. And even then it was too little too late, as evidenced by Jim DeFede's article "Jeb Repackaged" (November 4). Not only did DeFede and New Times fail to convey the true extent of Bush's sordid past, but you also gave him a rather generous makeover just in time for election day.
New Times, for example, failed to tell Florida voters that
*Jeb, back in the Eighties, hobnobbed with officials working for the infamous bank known as BCCI, a.k.a. the Bank of Crooks and Criminals International.
*Jeb may have played a part, in the mid-Eighties, in helping organize right-wing Cubans in Miami to attack Nicaragua, where tens of thousands were killed by American-supplied mercenary thugs.
*Jeb was connected to the S&L crisis, another colossal rip-off of the U.S. taxpayer that cost tens of billions of dollars.
*Jeb had a cozy relationship with the infamous Miguel Recarey, whose health maintenance organization, International Medical Centers (IMC), was charged with Medicare fraud.
*in 1995 and 1996, Jeb served on the board of directors of the Ideon Group, Inc., a Jacksonville credit card service company that was sued by its shareholders and settled for millions of dollars.
*Jeb had business dealings with bloodthirsty military dictatorships in Nigeria and Indonesia.
What is worse, however, is DeFede's generous makeover of Jeb in time for the election. DeFede refers to Jeb as a "political pragmatist," ignoring that this shameless Republican right-winger, who wants to speed up executions and to impose the evangelical agenda on abortion, also
*wants to gut not only Aid to Families with Dependent Children but also Head Start, prekindergarten, subsidized day care, free school lunches, and school health clinics.
*likes to demonize water boards, which regulate development in wetland areas. Jeb says these boards are guilty of seeking the erosion of property rights.
In glossing over Jeb's antidemocratic past and thoroughly reprehensible positions, New Times and DeFede rendered our community a disservice. What will it take for DeFede and the editors to write articles with true political commitment?
Kropola: Try Spelling It Backward
After reading the article by Ted B. Kissell on school board member Michael Krop ("The Naming Game," October 22), it came as no surprise to us to learn that Krop actively lobbied to get his name on a new school in his election district, and that vote trading is a common practice at the school board.
Dr. Krop is one of northeast Miami-Dade's eminent pork-barrel politicians. At civic meetings he always makes an announcement that he has found money for some special project at some school, as if the money weren't there before he "found" it. What a guy! (Note that "Krop" is "pork" spelled backward.)
What surprised us was that board member Manty Sabates-Morse said she would have voted to put Dr. Krop's name on the school had she been present for the vote. Sabates-Morse is also chairwoman of the county Republican Party. What will she suggest next? That we put Bill Clinton's name on party headquarters? Clearly she has a genuine conflict of interest. She cannot openly support the immortality initiatives of sleazy Democrats on the school board and continue as party chairwoman.
We might as well name schools for the other school board members and finish the job. Here are several suggestions:
*Stinson Magnet School for Drunk Driving and Chain Smoking: Named for youth role model and board chairman Solomon Stinson (DUI conviction in 1996), who can regularly be seen standing outside the school administration building satisfying his nicotine addiction. Each student receives a free carton of Camels and a bottle of Jack Daniel's to start the semester. Stinson can supervise the demolition derby every day in the school parking lot.
*Perez-Hantman-Castro Academy for Pompous Windbags: Named for board members Demetrio Perez, Jr., Perla Tabares Hantman, and the Twentieth Century's greatest windbag, Fidel Castro. Perez and Hantman can't go on for six hours like Castro, but they can make six minutes seem like six years.
*Junior Junior Junior High School: Named for Demetrio Perez, Jr.'s son, who is also his staff assistant at the school board. Demetrio's gofer has been nicknamed "Junior Junior" by his fellow staff aides. If we're going to name schools for the most ordinary people we can find, people who've never done anything notable or said anything memorable, we might as well name one for Junior Junior.
Michael A. Van Dyk, president
North Dade Republican Club
Kropola: A Motherlode of Dirt
Message to Ted B. Kissell: Dig deeper! At last someone has realized that the greatest corruption machine in Miami-Dade County is the public school system.
Pooch's Something or Other from Nothing or Other
Regarding John Lantigua's article "Deconstructing Tommy" (October 8), I say congratulations to Tommy Pooch for making something (whatever it is) out of nothing (South Beach). It's amazing that a world-class restaurant and club like the Forge couldn't get away from the blue-hairs and their walkers until the Poochmeister showed up. (What does that say for Shareef Malnik's intelligence?)
Tommy Pooch has South Beach by the short hairs because he figured out what anyone with an IQ above three knows: Sex sells!
Radio for Real People
In his article "Making Airwaves" (October 1), Kirk Nielsen speaks only of the rights of broadcasters and not the rights of the community those very same broadcasters are supposed to serve. Broadcasting companies kiss the ass of corporate sponsors who care absolutely nothing about community taste or issues that affect everyone on a daily basis. When broadcasters begin to wake up to the needs of local communities, then perhaps you will see more respect for the airwaves.
Local communities, not the federal government, need to set their own local broadcasting standards.
A WAMI Critic with Cultivated Taste
In response to Robert Andrew Powell's article "TV from There" (September 24), about the Miami TV station WAMI (or whatever you call it), it sounds like they violated some copyright law concerning a game show that aired during the early Eighties. There was a little character that screamed out "Whammy!" every time a contestant answered a question wrong.
Also, what's this with Neil Rogers and Politically Incorrect? If you really want to have an audience, air Howard Stern's television show. I guarantee the ratings will soar. Bill Maher has got to be the most boring entertainer I have ever seen. Give me a break.
A WAMI Critic with New Friends at New Times
I found it very interesting that on the same day WAMI's program Out Loud had a segment on the problems with the local music scene (one of the problems mentioned being the lack of support from the local newspapers, New Times included), New Times had one of the best local music issues I've ever seen. Keep up the good work.
Mayor Alexander Thanks You for Your Support
With respect to Kathy Glasgow's article about outspoken Coral Gables political critic George Alexander ("Furious George," September 17), I think Alexander has a point. The evidence speaks for itself: fines to the tune of $200,000, liens against his property. And for what? For speaking his mind, that's what.
Unfortunately our system of justice is based more on perception and image than on true justice (as a photographer, Alexander should know this). A smile or a demure attitude will go much further than crying out for justice. It's the crazies like George Alexander (and his antics, and Glasgow's writing about them) who ensure that we keep our rights.
If the City of Coral Gables tries to enforce its $200,000 fine against Alexander, I think all hell is going to break loose. I'd be the first to sign a petition, not because I agree with everything he says but because I'd defend to the death his right to say it.
To Mr. Alexander, I have this to say: It's time to play their game. You've already made enough noise. Put your signs away, buy yourself a Brooks Brothers suit, and start pressing palms. I'll gladly be the first to shake your hand. Do your best in court and trust the rest to fate. After this is over, let the memory of Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli fade to some obscure corner of your mind. Enjoy life, take lots of pictures, and run for mayor. I'll vote for you.
Jazz -- Too Sophisticated for Its Own Good
Nina Korman is a writer with great musical insight. It's wonderful to see an article on jazz that makes a clear distinction between real jazz and "Love" jazz and all the rest of that crap ("All That Brass," August 27).
Jazz is one of the very few original American music forms. Unfortunately it receives very little support from the media and the public because it is more sophisticated than other music. (Plus record companies can make a lot more dough with rock.)
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Jazz deserves more respect. We are trying to present great music every night at the Van Dyke, jazz that people can relate to and enjoy. We sincerely appreciate the support we get from New Times.
Behold the Speedy Dutch Mail Service
Thank you for Judy Cantor's very nice article about Cuban music ("Bring on the Cubans," June 19, 1997). We've just been to Cuba, especially for the music, and your article gives a very good picture of the situation. There's not much information to be found on this subject, so thank you very much.