Don't think of eating the stuff: While admiring the honesty of Miami-Dade Commissioners Bruno Barreiro and Javier Souto commenting about their consumption of foods containing trans fat in Tamara Lush's "Fat City" (February 15), I would expect our government representatives to be more responsible with the message they are sending to the taxpayers. It is true that the majority of the population has no idea what trans fat is and why we should avoid it, and the article is a call to attention to all consumers. Although obtaining food through a window is fast, being admitted to a hospital after a heart attack is slow. Pastelitos are undoubtedly delicious, but they are loaded with fat that clogs the coronary artery. While fat in moderation is needed for proper growth and for keeping good health, adding hydrogen to vegetable oil to make products last longer on the shelves and taste better in your mouth could be making your life miserable. It is better to stop trying to be so fast with what we eat. That way we will avoid consuming fats that are not good for our bodies.
Elsa M. Rodríguez
Free J. Edgar Hoover: Thanks for the enlightening news about John Connolly and Whitey Bulger et al. in Tamara Lush's "The G-Man and the Snitch" (February 8). This is just another round of scandal in the FBI's dubious Tommy gun of "integrity" which they routinely rotate with "lies," "misdirection," and "duplicitous ambiguity." Once, long ago, the FBI was a revered crime-busting organization under the indefatigable J. Edgar Hoover. He may have been a homo-hating, black-baiting, commie-cursing redneck bigot instigator serial killer, but at least he was open about it. He embraced the core goal of the FBI: to get criminals off the streets.
It is the purpose of law enforcement to identify crime, gather evidence, round up the criminals, convict them in court, and imprison them. That is, all criminals, not just a select few. There is no moral, ethical, legal, or social excuse for engaging one party at the expense of letting another thrive in a criminal enterprise. Spew as much colorful rhetoric as you want, but we all know the truth.
Connolly's a scumbag and a criminal just as responsible for the twenty or so murders committed on his watch (since he did not warn the victims of their impending doom, an obligation intrinsic to the job of an FBI agent) by his "friends" Whitey Bulger and company. A real FBI man would have them all behind bars. Twenty people might still be alive. There are many FBI agents who do just that. We don't read about them because they are honest and do the job properly. They are heroes, not scum like John Connolly and his attorney.
Many of us are under the impression that serial killers get life or are executed for cold-blooded murder. And Whitey Bulger is a free man. To say he is wanted is laughable. As long as the Bush administration is in power, he's got nothing to worry about. Many would bet he is enjoying cocktails (one part each conspiracy, apathy, arrogance, terrorism, profits, and a squeeze of rat bastard shaken and stirred, then guzzled greedily) with Osama bin Laden, somewhere in the North End of Boston.
Get the director: In reference to Emily Witt's "Busted Rackets" (January 11): As a Park and Recreation Department and Miami-Dade County employee, it is disheartening to see one of the few people who actually cares about his work be treated unjustly. The department director is so controlling that instead of developing a program that benefits the facility users, she punishes the guy who came up with a good idea. If an employee comes up with something that isn't her idea, that employee is escorted out for making her look incompetent. As always, cronyism is alive and well, and the ones who need to be made to resign are just slapped on the wrist.
Via the Internet
You'd take time from Halo 2? Wow!: I found the article by Gary Hodges, "Paper Tigers" (January 18), to be humorous and true. This is one of the games I am playing and I find it cute, interesting and full of multitasking. It's funny how quickly you can get involved in this game and how satisfied you feel when you receive an upgrade as a reward. I'll even take time out from Halo 2 and Gears of War to play this game.
Who let the Reservoir Dogs out?: I saw Pan's Labyrinth this weekend. I wish I hadn't. The sadistic violence made Reservoir Dogs' cruelty and torture look like a Disney classic. J. Hoberman's review, "Magic Touch" (January 11), is entirely misleading in this regard. I just cannot understand the suggestion that "the movie Pan's Labyrinth might be too cruel and bloody for children, although kids would surely appreciate its exquisite yuckiness." Does Hoberman think it is just a little "yucky" to see a man's face beaten in with a hammer? Is Hoberman including in the region of "voluptuously detailed" imagery the face of the captain sliced in half? Or the pathetic motion of the wounded guerrilla soldier trying to push away the gun that soon destroys his face? Would you like some more "voluptuous" details? C'mon, Hoberman, even an art house movie can be criticized on the grounds that the vision is depraved humanity, not "magic realism," and moviegoers should be warned, if they might prefer their entertainment aesthetic to be something other than that of the abattoir, a "voluptuous" word for a slaughterhouse as seen from the eyes of a child.
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Or at least a good writer: Regarding "Crime Calendar" by Derek McCann (January 4): What a treat! Wonderfully, wryly written and rendered. Big fan here! Great distraction in my workday.
New York, New York