One For the Money, Two for the Beards
In his article about ZZ Top's apparently accidental success ("Accidents Will Happen," May 8), Rob O'Connor touched on but failed to grasp the real attraction of this group.
It's the beards.
Say what you will about "other rock bands of similar caliber," ZZ Top is the group that came out with the matching-beards look. The photo says more than the words.
Harvey's Sound Constitution
Regarding Elise Ackerman's article "Freedom of Speech in Handcuffs" (May 1), I want to offer congratulations to Terner's of Miami, Marcia Terner, and the rest of the clan (klan?) for denying Angel Dominguez and Anthony Romano their right to distribute information in the public domain -- just because it was pro-union literature. Once again the Calle Ocho warrior mentality strikes at the heart of the First Amendment.
Maybe Marcia Terner, to be consistent, would also have called the police if these same two men were distributing anti-Castro literature outside her handbag factory. Doubtful!
With any luck, Terner and her ilk will have to pay all costs for the defense of Dominguez and Romano -- and let's hope it's a costly lesson to these cretins when they lose their case in court.
Garcia-Pedrosa: Autocrat or Terrorist?
After reading Robert Andrew Powell's story about Miami Beach City Manager Jose Garcia-Pedrosa ("The Autocrat," May 1), I can only compare the manager to some of the great leaders of our time -- like Cuba's and those of the old U.S.S.R. It all has to do with power -- they have it, you don't. You speak up against the government and you wake up missing. Even our spineless city commissioners fear him. Business people don't dare even speak his name.
Well, this writer does not fear him. Why? Because this is a free country. You may not like it, Mr. City Manager, but it is. Having a degree hanging on the wall does not put you above the people you are paid to serve. I remember a president who thought he was above the people, and he was removed from office. You too will make a small error in judgment one day and will find yourself on the outside looking in.
Now a word to the people of Miami Beach: Don't walk in fear of this terrorist. Speak up; let people know what you think. He is only a man and can do only so much. He does not own the city or the law. Go out and vote; tell the government what you want. Attend the meetings, get up and talk, tell the jellyfish commissioners what you want. Keep on them until they do what you want. They can be replaced very easily.
Garcia-Pedrosa: Out of Control?
There is nothing wrong with strong leadership -- if it is responsive to the citizens and can be controlled by the citizens. The Miami Beach city manager is neither. Rather, he is an appointee who is removed from the needs of the community.
Miami Beach is no longer a small town; it's growing in stature, population, and wealth. It is time the city charter was amended to allow for the election of a strong mayor. That would allow strong leadership and accountability.
Lousy Cars but Killer Parties
Over the past several weeks, I have been reading letters about the Carnival Miami South Beach brouhaha and Kirk Semple's article about the event ("South Beach Goes Palm Beach," April 3). I have read points of view from residents, neighbors, and merchants. I wonder what the main sponsor, General Motors, which spent $250,000 to put together the General Motors Carnival Miami South Beach event, thought when, in addition to having thousands of "unruly" people at their fling, the Queen of Carnival, telenovela star Thalia, was seen riding a Lincoln Town Car at the front of the parade. Makes one wonder.
After They Made Jack, They Broke the Mold
Reading Robert Andrew Powell's story about Jack Shaber ("Mr. Basketball," March 27) shows me that there are people who really care about people and sports, without gain or profit.
What Jack forgot to mention was that back in those days we had clubs that played sports. (Today they have gangs.) Example: Jack and I and four other fellows formed a basketball team, and we would play against other teams. We were probably about fifteen or sixteen years old.
Last year Jack sent me a copy of the box score of one of our games. Not only did he record a box score, but after 60 years he still had it.
They don't make them like that any more.
Listening to Ozzy Osbourne Doesn't Mean You're Racist, It Just Means You're Brain Dead
I am offended by letter writer C. Byrd (March 6) saying that I am some kind of racist because I do not listen to Israel Kantor's "black" music. That's like saying black people are racist because a large majority of them don't listen to Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, or Ozzy Osbourne. People listen to the music they like, period. And it's not because they are or are not racist.
Just Do It (For Subhuman Wages!)
You must be aware that Nike Corporation has allowed rampant mistreatment of its underpaid workers in the Far East for some time. It is my understanding that Nike continues to respond inadequately to the charges and has failed to institute much-needed changes in its labor practices.
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In the interest of maintaining market share, Nike has begun to open its own outlets, knowing full well that its controversial labor record has not won favor with its usual shoe retailers. Nike's recent arrival in South Beach is part of its marketing strategy to become highly visible in transient tourist markets where, it is thought, protests will be minimal.
I would like to make readers aware of the controversy so that they, as consumers, can make informed decisions. I encourage you to discontinue Nike advertisements until that company makes full disclosure of the facts and can show it has satisfactorily improved its workplace conditions in Asia.
If you continue to run Nike advertisements without question, you will, in effect, be contributing to the ill-treatment of possibly thousands of workers abroad. Furthermore, if you do not act prudently in this matter, I will stop reading your periodical and encourage others to stop as well.