Exit 13 finally grabs the spotlight: Thank you for Abel Folgar's recent review of Exit 13 (Live Wire, August 17). I have been attending the band's shows for two years now, and it is nice to see local media noticing our hard-working indie musicians here in South Florida.
Exit 13 will be taking the stage on So-Flo Live, a new rock TV show coming very soon that hopes to provide local musicians with the platform of their very own TV show. Thank you for supporting them and local rock.
The pedal is to the heavy metal: Just a short note to thank Josh Schonwald for the wonderful article about magic and magicians, "Metal Magic" (August 17). You did an outstanding job! Thank you for capturing the essence of magic and our lives.
We don't believe in fairies: You made me cry. Thank you for what I consider the highest of compliments, in Patrice Yursik's "The Furball's Fairy Godmother" (August 17). When the New Times calls you one of their favorites, you have arrived. Fairy Tails is truly grateful for your unyielding support. Could New Times be the fairy godmother for the fairy godmother?
Donna Halpern, president
Stanley N. Halpern Foundation for Homeless Animals
Ain't English: Regarding Trevor Aaronson's "Classroom Felon, Part 2" (August 10), Steve Clark is a white male with connections; Jamila Johnson is not it's as simple as that. I think it's disgusting that our country works that way and, even worse, that almost all of our white males with connections think that way. I also think that if Johnson has it in writing that St. Thomas expelled her for not disclosing her felony, and if she has any witnesses or any proof that she did disclose that information, she would have grounds for a lawsuit. I would be so glad to see that. I am sick and tired of such blatant double standards, especially from those who are put in charge of shaping the young minds of our world.
Des Moines, Iowa
In response to all of your Castro blather: It is true that Castro is a despot, tyrant, egomaniac, and dictator who has taken many lives, ruined many lives, brought Cuba to its knees, outlived and out-governed ten American presidents since Eisenhower, and has been a major influence on all of us who live and work in South Florida.
It is true that hundreds of thousands of Cubans voted with their feet against Castro and his so-called revolution. They left their own country in fear, anger, despair, and hope for a better life. In the classic capitalism novel by Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, entrepreneurs and industrialists also walked away from a government that did not appreciate them and wished to oppress them. There is the quote that states, "He was guilty of nothing, except that he earned his own fortune and never forgot that it was his."
Castro has also been the impetus of a multimillion-dollar industry known as Miami-Cuban media and politics. How often do local newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations report about Cuba and Castro each day? How often are Cuba and Castro mentioned in speeches and interviews by Republican U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Mario Diaz-Balart? Just like U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy did in the late 1950s, all of them owe their existence, reason for getting up in the morning, celebrity, and years of a most generous income to the fact that Castro is evil incarnate. They have taken the opportunity to continually fan the fires of discord with the local population of Cuban exiles to "let them eat cake" (or pastelitos). They prolong the stubborn, stalemated, uncompromising fight between Us Good Cubans versus Them Bad Cubans. It seems they all simply wish to continue to stoke the fire even though the policy of an embargo and a very flawed and reprehensible wet-foot/dry-foot law has not been successful in these 47 years. They preach the same old stale sermon of let's continue to hold our course, even if the course has proven time and again to be a total failure.
Be careful what you wish for, because someday it might come true. Cubans wished for an alternative to the dictator Batista, Yugoslavians wanted to get rid of Tito, Haitians wanted to get rid of Papa Doc, American's wanted to get rid of the Democrats and replace them with George W. and his pals and many folks wanted to get rid of the tyrant Saddam Hussein, and look what a mess that has turned out to be!
What will they all do when there is no more Castro to play the part of Goliath to their role of David? Will they finally retire or just find another Goliath?
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Miami New Times editor Chuck Strouse was a finalist in the recently held Salute to Excellence awards sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists for a column describing the travails of Haitian priest Gérard Jean-Juste.