Watch that court: I want to thank Emily Witt for investigating and writing the article regarding immigration judges' work vis-à-vis asylum seekers, "Mock Trial" (October 19). For the public, it is fundamental to bring and maintain high standards within the immigration system. Only through the public's eyes will asylum seekers find due process and fair resolutions to their cases. If this issue continues to appear in the media, the system will be held to a standard that is just and fair. During the 1980s and 1990s, a significant part of the Mayan people fled Guatemala because of genocide, and thousands came to the United States. Yet there are so many cases still unresolved today. The immigration system must be expeditious, fair, and just. Once again, thank you.
Lucio M. Perez-Reynozo
Freestyle is not defunct: Regarding "Look Out, Miami, Here Freestyle Comes" (October 19): I'm not entirely sure Rich Juzwiak has his finger properly placed on the pulse of the modern-day music scene. Quotes like "That said, in 2006 freestyle remains a niche, largely tied to nostalgia and far removed from what the kids are listening to" couldn't be further from the truth. As Debbie Deb's road manager/fiancé, I've had the opportunity over the past year to see just how popular freestyle really is. Debbie as well as other lesser-known freestyle artists are staying quite busy. The Alen Beck-hosted "Freestyle Explosion" tour has been filling arenas around the nation for several years now. You'd be hard-pressed to find a city in the United States that doesn't have at least one or more clubs that sponsor freestyle nights. And many popular radio stations around the country have a day of the week or at least a few hours dedicated to freestyle. I've seen large arenas filled with twentysomethings rocking to the beat of music from a genre that began before many of them were even born. The Internet, streaming radio, music sharing, MySpace, and YouTube have done wonders for keeping the beat alive. Reading the MySpace, Website, and e-mail fan traffic we get, one quickly realizes its not all about nostalgia and old-timers. The kids know, listen to, and enjoy the music and aren't shy about letting us know it.
Nah, the music never died. On the contrary, it is living and thriving! Young and old can appreciate simple music that doesn't reference bullets, bling, and bravado. It's all about getting up and having a good time. That's a theme that will never lose popularity. The fact that so much new music and so many popular artists are using this ages-old yet simple formula is testament to the genius of the originators. I think the kids of today realize this. Long live freestyle!
He's a Eucharistic minister: I was surprised to see Trevor Aaronson's article about Judge José E. Martinez, "Religious Conviction" (October 12). I am a criminal defense attorney, and my experience has been very different from that described in the article. My in-court, professional experience is that Judge Martinez is intellectually honest and follows the law, even when his feelings tell him otherwise. I know nothing about the underlying facts of the lawsuit, but I do know that the law does not always produce a "just and popular result"; it will, however, when impartially applied, produce a lawful result. I might disagree with Judge Martinez's rulings, but I am confident he has always applied the law as it is intended, and he is not at all the judge described in Mr. Aaronson's article.
Get the Cuban experience: Regarding Harry Emilio Gottlieb's letter "David and Fidel" (September 7): I was seventeen years old when I came to the United States. It was before the communists seized my country. I came with my grandma, an American, in order to go to college. For 40 years of my life, I never went back to Cuba. I cried when I read the way Mr. Gottlieb thinks. If he believes in God, I'll pray for him.
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But please don't: I was glad to see Sire Esquire's review of the single "Shotgun" by LexOne featuring Cynic and Manifesto (August 31). Esquire recognizes real hip-hop! Cynic and Lex definitely have a talent and work ethic that stands out. They are a part of Real Life Dialects (Ist, Lex, and Cynic), a South Florida group that really bases lyrics around life period. Everyone should have a copy of their album; it's good music for a steal!