Oops, not that one: Regarding the story "Savage Station" by Bob Norman (September 22), thanks for letting me know about the great things going on. Although Savage is just that, he speaks the truth about many people. It's disgusting how the media portrays Bush as the goat in all the Katrina delays. Why not look at the retards who were shooting at the rescue teams? Maybe that's why they were slow to go in. Maybe people will look to Texas and see much less looting because people can carry concealed weapons there. Many of the people in New Orleans are lowlifes for doing what they did. Nobody deserves to die, but looters need to be shot on sight.
It will be a national struggle to get through these two storms. We don't need every leech trying to get money from these horrific events. There are some really bad people trying to take advantage of this situation, and you have reporters stating they are only trying to get by.
Sometimes we need guys like Michael Savage to open people's eyes. This country is way too politically correct. People protecting our borders are heroes. The ACLU will sue you for having a manger on your lawn but will defend the pervert who comes up to the lamb in that manger and screws it.
People are not getting disenfranchised, they are just ignorant.
What a country. We need the right because they are just that.
And how about Billy Carter?: I read the letter by Estrella Eguino, "Find That Judge" (September 22). As another inquiring mind, I would like to know how the Castro couple got through the cracks of justice. Was it because Sonia's brother was upholding the law as chief of police? Or was it because he was running for mayor? I think of Mayor Carlos Alvarez as a person with integrity, but this scandal, unless he clears his name on this matter, will affect him greatly. We cannot label people because of their family members; look at Jeb Bush's son, involved with public intoxication and resisting arrest. And what about Kathy Rundle's twin sons, involved in drug and alcohol charges? Surely Carlos Alvarez must be freaking out about all of this. I assume he was aware of something illegal going on and knew it would one day come out. What I ask is this: How did he let his sister take charge of his campaign? What does this decision in his personal life mean in regards to appointing honest citizens to county offices?
C'mon, Mario!: Kudos on "Unintended Consequences" by Tristram Korten (September 15). These removals threaten about 3000 Haitian refugees, their 5000 U.S.-born children, and remittances that sustain 20,000 people in Haiti. The inconsistency of deporting breadwinners -- each of whom has been here ten to fifteen years and whose dollars save ours by preventing migration from Haiti that taxes the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, detention, and judicial resources -- doesn't seem to have occurred to the administration. Officials are oblivious to the inhumanity of destroying these families.
South Florida legislators like U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, and Sen. Mel Martinez -- as well as Kendrick Meek -- should insist that the Department of Homeland Security stop these deportations and reinstate work permits. Under the leadership of Marleine Bastien and Jean-Robert Lafortune of Haitian Women of Miami and the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition respectively, we will make this happen.
Steven David Forester, Esq.
Free weekly out-tabloids the tabloids: I'm writing in regards to your recent article titled "Disintegration" by Forrest Norman (September 15) about Marcy Hine and her tragic death. Although the article is well-written and apparently provocative enough to make the cover of your publication, I found it utterly irresponsible, tasteless, and flat-out cruel. I held the New Times in high regard -- until now. The reputation of your newspaper is one of social watchdog, ensuring the little guy is heard. I had a lot of trouble seeing exactly how the article about Marcy Hine did anything to further public awareness, help your readers, or call to light anything of significance.
The only thing your article did was once again bring to light painful memories. Her life should be celebrated and her memory laid to rest. You handled this with the sensitivity and journalistic integrity of Geraldo Rivera. You were able to get off-the-cuff remarks from a few friends, but in general, your story was seasoned with "no comment." What does it tell you that her entire family and best friends refused to comment? You wrote a totally insensitive story with no social impact other than further dragging her family's name through the public mud.
I fully realize that a reporter's job is not to placate and appease the family and friends of subjects. Occasionally one must allow a story to progress in spite of hurt feelings if it brings to light a social unbalance or furthers the general public cause. Your story did none of this. Did you cite statistics of how many adolescents go through these tragedies and what the leading causes are? Did you include the contact information for depression and suicide hotlines? Did you quote a specialist who could give tips to friends of depressed people to read the signs? No. You merely wrote a one-sided account of her life that discussed her party habits more than the roots of her death.
It is clear Forrest Norman is a gifted writer. It's a shame he doesn't have the self-restraint and maturity to direct this talent in the right direction and do good rather than reopen slowly healing wounds to sell a few newspapers.
Aim your pity elsewhere: Regarding "Crash Dummy" by Chuck Strouse (September 15), Jim DeFede has admitted to committing a crime. As an objective reporter, Strouse, rather than feel sorry for DeFede for losing his job, should be questioning the twisted logic allowing him to avoid criminal prosecution. (Just because Arthur Teele is dead, how does that alter right from wrong?)
More than 100,000 people on the Gulf Coast are jobless through absolutely no fault of their own. If you want to feel sorry for anyone, feel sorry for them.
Paul M. Freier
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No pith here: I was trying to think of some pithy words to jot down about Jim DeFede, and I realize I don't have any. I just have raw, exposed feelings: like one big giant sore that won't heal. If ever there were a community that needed a reporter as fine and principled as Jim, it is this one. The Miami Herald bigwigs are morons.