Brilliant New Plan for Thinning the Crowds on South Beach
Regarding the "Stallonegate" article by Paula Park ("Good Fences, Bad Neighbors," June 26), I agree with [open-gate proponent] Joe Beasley for this reason: If everyone in Dade who didn't feel secure could put up fences, all neighborhoods would be enclosed and have either private guards or off-duty cops as security. Not only would this be absurd, but it would raise taxes and drive tourists to Broward County and parts north.
Andres "Cookie" Maldonado
Calling Bartram's Bluff
I read with great interest the letter about me from Bill Bartram ("Letters," June 26). You should know that he is a phantom. This is just one of a series of letters attacking me written by an individual who doesn't have the moral courage to sign his own name. Although I have made several attempts, I have never been able to locate Mr. Bartram. Except for his pseudonym, it appears he doesn't exist.
The Miami Herald once published one of his letters, but when they investigated and could not locate Mr. Bartram, editor Jim Hampton personally apologized to me. Bartram also sent a letter to the South Dade News Leader. They tried to contact him; when they could not, they declined to publish and sent a copy to me.
I have big shoulders and am more than willing to accept criticism. But I expect my critics to stand up and be counted. I do -- but then, I'm not a phantom.
William H. Losner, chairman and president
First National Bank of Homestead
Secretary of State Judy Cantor?
I thank New Times for Judy Cantor's excellent article on the music scene in socialist Cuba ("Bring on the Cubans!" June 19). Her analysis of both the artistic side of Cuban music and its relationship to the social and political situation on the island was very astute.
I ran a marathon in Moscow in 1987, when Russia was still socialist, and I saw what an artistically oriented society it was. Both Moscow and Leningrad were filled with artists, as art (along with sports) was very much a focus of the society.
Early Soviet art was greatly concerned with "social realism," centered mainly on problems of the industrial and political state. As socialism has evolved, however, the work produced by its artists has grown to be much more diversified and broad-based, as can now be seen in Cuba.
Thanks again for the informative article. Journalists can play a key role in better relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
So Many Questions, So Few Answers -- None of Which We Actually Learn
As I read Lynda Edwards's article "Myths Over Miami" (June 5), it made me wonder: If there is a God, then why is God losing in the war against good and evil? How can God be so powerful and lose? It almost made me feel as though God is the myth. So many children hurting, so many people homeless, millions of people in the world hungry -- if there is a God, how can this be?
I was very saddened by the overwhelming feeling that if God can't win in His own war of good versus evil, then it must be doom for the rest of us.
Who am I to question the secret stories of homeless children when I can't even find an answer to my own God, a God in whom I have placed so much faith, a God I always trusted to be there -- a God who must have been there when the plane went down, who had to have seen the twin babies being thrown off that balcony, who knew just what time the bomb would explode. If I believe in God as I know Him to be, He is near even as the little children are mutilated and murdered. Who am I to question the myths of a homeless child?
As I pondered this, I began to feel that maybe I was losing my grip on what God is. Maybe I was losing grip on the security I had placed in Him. Maybe I was losing my firm foundation that God is always near. Then God gave me another question to ponder: How intense is your fear of loss?
One question led to another. If you had a child you loved dearly, would you exchange the life of another to keep your child? If all you had in the world was a reputation, an empire, a country, or even just a business deal, and you feared losing it, how far would you go to keep it or to stop the fear of losing it? I began to wonder if evil is nothing more than our own fears. Is life a test to see how we respond in the face of fear, when we have no escapes?
Pondering has helped me to work through my longing to escape. From within I found answers to the questions God gave me. Writing this has helped me to express myself. And publishing it will help me to share with others.
Vera E. Gilford
For Sale: Clifftop Home Overlooking Pacific -- Hurry! Won't Last
In her article about the University of Miami drama professors' tenure dispute ("Off-Track," June 5), Paula Park wrote, "After all, university administrators across the country have debated the merits of the tenure system, which is designed to safeguard academic freedom."
Safeguarding academic freedom is a noble cause, for both professors and students, like championing freedom of speech and other civil liberties. But there is a limit to what can be achieved because, although the wise professor believes he or she pursues knowledge and truth for its own sake and for the benefit of mankind, without hindrance from political pressures, the professor may discover or invent something revolutionary.
For example, suppose I discovered a way to accurately predict earthquakes. If this knowledge fell in the wrong hands it could be abused, causing hysteria and leading to legal questions. Could I sell a piece of property doomed by an earthquake if I knew the earthquake would occur a minute after I have the signature for the sale? Governments would similarly find their hands full -- and dirty -- with such knowledge. The man who knew too much was only searching for the truth and he opened Pandora's box.
A university is an educational and research-oriented business institution fortified by the intellectual property rights it obtains as a result of the tenure system. But let's not forget that a lot of institutions are not prospering as well as expected and are struggling to face reality and make ends meet.
North Miami Beach
Blown Away by the CIA
Who needs Tom Clancy when we have Jim Kelly? "The Fidel Fixation" (April 17) is one of the most intriguing and interesting pieces I have read this year. I am blown away by the history of this fine city and wonder how much more we don't know about our illustrious past.