No sympathy here: I am having a hard time finding sympathy for the men in "The People Under the Bridge" by Isaiah Thompson (December 13). They assaulted the innocence of children, as far as I'm concerned. They forfeited their right to state support (I'm not particularly sure I agree with paying for their prison stays either). I understand that a support structure assists in preventing a repeat offense, but a family or house should be located far from any possible temptation; a long commute doesn't exactly tug at my heartstrings. It might be commendable that there are people and organizations willing to extend help and charity to men in this situation, but I side with the government in believing it's these men's responsibility to find a place to live and a job to go to, however difficult it may be. If the intention is to break their spirits, as the young man in the article asserts, that's okay with me. These offenders have surely broken the spirits of their victims ... and no amount of jail time undoes or pays retribution for that.
Via Web commentary
Sympathy here: Why punish yet again those who long ago paid their debt to society? How does the situation discussed in "The People Under the Bridge" protect our children? Does it instead call to mind George Orwell's description of a "boot stomping on a face forever"?
Paul Vincent Zecchino
More sympathy here: This is the most inhumane thing I've ever heard. If you — government — are going to sentence men to be unending pariahs, as is the case in "The People Under the Bridge," you had better get your butt down there and build them a real shelter. If you have the guts to have a 2,500-foot ordinance, you have the responsibility to ensure they at least have the basic human dignities. Small Katrina cottages can be built for $15,000 to $20,000.
You created this; get to doing something about it. Men in prison at least have a bed and a toilet. And while you are at it, make them some kind of stair access to their de facto prison. Shame on you.
Via Web commentary
Just a logical argument here: Sexual crimes deserve severe penalties, which the men in "The People Under the Bridge" have experienced. But a lifetime of exile and disgrace for a single offense ought to be one of the "cruel and unusual punishments" the founding fathers banned with the Eighth Amendment.
What's next? Branding and maiming in the marketplace? The new dark ages are indeed here.
You Just Don't Understand!
Art is like ... wow, man!: It is an insult to try to pass off Carlos Suarez De Jesus's angry piece "Baseled Out" (December 13) as an article. He writes about art as if it were there merely for his enjoyment. This person has forgotten or maybe never knew the purpose of art. What does it say about our society when this writer mentions drug addicts in a car but focuses on the car, not the fact that our streets are filled with drug addicts? What does it say when this critic features a whole mess of adjectives to describe a piece of art but forgets to write about the artist's intentions? It was a car, right; does that not remind anyone of our situation with oil prices? Maybe the artist made the car ugly because it represents the ugly situation in which the United States has put itself. Mr. Suarez De Jesus mentions snails also. Maybe those could stand for the slow progress of green technology, or maybe they could symbolize our slowness in breaking our addiction to foreign oil.
Art is a statement; it does not have to be pretty. I don't know where you found this critic, but he should take some art history classes. Picasso must be turning in his grave.
One Last Patrick Lover
For the holidays: Regarding "Reading, Writing, and Revenge" by Francisco Alvarado (November 29): The "real" professionals at Turner Tech are a bunch of self-serving wimps! Why criticize those who have been attacked by the principal? Because they fight back, they are vindictive? How dare you? Who can be more vindictive than Valmarie Rhoden?! People at the school don't know or care about the anguish her victims have suffered, because it wasn't them. Ms. Rhoden hasn't hurt them ... yet!
I guess it was all right for Ms. Rhoden to call the police to remove Patrick Williams because she told them she was afraid for her safety.
Everyone who is close to Ms. Rhoden is a card-carrying union member? You ain't that stupid.
This school has gone to hell in a hand basket.
Via Web commentary
And a Quasi Criminal Too
Is eating a crime?: Because what happened to me was mentioned in "House of Lunch" (November 15), the review of House of India, I feel compelled to clarify a few things:
The person who took my lentil order and called the police was no mere waiter; he was also the owner. And he did not "try" to have me arrested; he did have me arrested. I have mug shots to prove it. Also I have never "stiffed" a server, as your article implied, but I promise you that horrible man deserved that and much worse.
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With so many culinary choices abounding in Miami's metropolitan area, surely service quality is just as important to the overall dining experience as food quality. I am surprised your recommendation is not more discriminating.