Prison Scared Me Straight
Good job: In response to Francisco Alvarado's "Unequal Justice" on March 19: This is a great article and all true, I'm sure. How do I know this? I turned 18 in jail back in the early '80s. I was busted with a whole lot of Quaaludes and spent two months in a jail in Miami.
One night there, I saw a bum get stripped and raped right in front of me by other inmates while guards did nothing.
abuse by prison guards
It was my last juvenile offense. At my hearing, I told the judge I wanted to join the Marine Corps, so he said, "Bring me a letter of intent from your recruiter and I'll consider expunging your record."
Three weeks later, I got the notice that said my record was expunged and good luck.
I did my four years in the Corps and have stayed out of trouble since, and believe me when I tell you, I've had numerous opportunities to get involved in drug trafficking and money laundering, but I have always declined.
I wish I could reach all the lost teens and young adults I see screwing up their life and their health with crack and heroin on the mean streets of Miami.
Don't Tread on Me
Desertion is immoral: These people signed a contract ("Move Out!" Megan Feldman, March 12). You cannot enlist in the military and then decide after one tour, no matter how awful it is, to run and hide in Canada. They knew full well how long they enlisted for, and they should have fulfilled their obligation.
I can only hope the units these immoral, un-American kids were in did not suffer any losses due to their immature behavior.
No, actually, it's moral: Excuse me, but in case you have not noticed, these people, unlike the Vietnam deserters, actually did report to duty. They left for moral reasons. If you haven't noticed, none of their complaints is about the fighting or the crappy food or the threat of death. They are not asking for a handout, and most of them are gainfully employed in Canada. What they are asking is that their country not to force them to turn into murderers and thieves. They all tell the stories of the nighttime raids on innocent civilians where their units ransacked homes and abused civilian families, never turning up any evidence of wrongdoing. Every soldier, seaman, Marine, pilot, or other serviceman takes an oath when he or she enlists to complete any lawful order. Clearly they are acting in the name of the oath they took. They are objecting to the fight only after seeing, with their own eyes, the lawlessness of this war. That is not fleeing responsibility. It is refusing to commit a crime simply because they were following orders.
These men and women fought for what they believed was a just cause and had the integrity to refuse to continue fighting when they realized they were assisting in the commission of atrocities. They have my sympathy and support.
Guarding a fence ain't shit: That girl guarding a fence had no cause to go AWOL. Perhaps if she saw some action, then maybe I would say, 'OK she's got a good reason to want to leave,' but being a lazy American, as she appears to be, is no excuse. The key here is that she volunteered for service because she wanted money for school. She left her country and the soldiers in her platoon to suffer.
Sex advice is obscene: In response to Raina McLeod's "Wet Is Maybe Too Wild" on March 19: I have read two articles about letters to Magic City Kitty. They were both obscene and disgusting. Text like that belongs in a porn magazine, not a newspaper. Besides that, the advice given is just making things worse. Instead of helping people avoid trouble, it encourages them to go ahead with their wildest ideas.
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Luna sends her over the moon: It is true what Carlos Suarez De Jesus said about Pancho Luna in the March 12 art review, "Restless Heart." Congratulations to Pancho! He really has an endless heart and a bag of tricks for all of us.
La Plata, Argentina