Letters from the Issue of January 30, 2003

I Got 200 on Brown Dog

Easy money that Brandon goes down hard and bloody: I would put down some serious blood money to watch writer Brandon Dane vs. Brown Dog ("Dogfight Club," January 23). I know he hasn't been bred to it, like the poor dog, but maybe he can get his respectable buddies Tat and Cas to groom him lovingly before the fight and keep him safe, chained to an anvil somewhere.

I don't want anything to happen to him before I can bet on the odds of him losing an eye or getting his throat ripped out. It'd also be interesting to bet on which pieces of him will be ripped off, and how big.

I'm not that big an asshole to appreciate animal vs. animal, but dogfight-lover vs. dog -- now that's entertainment.

Wendy Dou

North Miami Beach

The Deed, Not the Breed

Pit bulls are good, it's the PR that's bad: I must say that Brandon Dane's dogfight story was very accurate and well written. I have been a pit bull breeder and exhibitor for ten years. Although I would never fight my dogs, I don't point the finger and judge those who do. As he says in his story, the owners are using them to do what they are bred for. The only problems I have with dogfights are the inhumane way the animals are treated if they lose, and the aftermath of a fighting pit bull getting out and maybe killing a child.

As Brandon wrote, there are "professionals" and there are "streetfighters." I always encounter street fools because they see me walking my 80-pound pit and ask if I "roll" him. Even people like myself, who are not fighters, know that an 80-pound dog would get killed by the more agile, slimmer fighters. So that's where my problem lies -- with the inexperienced dogfighter who will end up hurting someone.

I love this breed and I have seen its reputation raped by the inexperienced, the thugs, and the media. Miami-Dade County sucks, and unfortunately nobody does anything about the unconstitutional laws here. The county is telling me what kind of dog I can and can't own? Next they'll say I can't buy a sports car because I'll race it.

Anyway thanks to Brandon for the story. I can't help but say he glamorized dogfighting more than anything. And that's fine. But he must realize that in the end, the breed is what suffers. As I say, "Punish the deed, not the breed."

Peter Rodriguez


Fifteen Minutes of Horror

Nation recoils as free weekly induces wicked nausea: Well, it took all of fifteen minutes for me to read "Dogfight Club" and make a decision to never read Miami New Times again. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and I read the Phoenix New Times as well as the online version of the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. The New Times organization's participation in this makes me sick.

Way to go impressing America.

Amy Wallen

Chandler, Arizona

A Match Made in Journalism Hell

Newspaper's demon seed creates broadcast monstrosity: Regarding Rebecca Wakefield's "Radio Free Herald" (January 16): The Miami Herald and WLRN-FM, Miami-Dade County's National Public Radio affiliate? Strange bedfellows indeed. If this unholy match is consummated, you could kiss editorial and news independence bye-bye.

Those who submit that such a marriage would boost news and journalism capabilities are surely placing form over substance. We should pray these two entities do not get hitched.

Simon Hendrixx


Somewhat Better Than Awful

Any improvement welcome: I really hope WLRN-FM goes ahead with its Miami Herald deal. The morning news on public-radio WXEL-FM (90.7) in Boynton Beach, featuring its wheezy Sun-Sentinel announcer, is awful. The current so-called news on WLRN-FM is pretty terrible and amateurish too. At least the Herald will give the station some professionalism in the news department.

Good news at last!

Timothy Burrwell

Deerfield Beach

Covert Convert

Where do I sign with the invisible ink? I found Rebecca Wakefield's article about the Association of Former Intelligence Officers ("The Hard Lunch Bunch," January 16) to be a treasure trove of history in the Paul Harvey style. It was "the rest of the story."

Ever since my father, an American CIA pilot, was killed during the Bay of Pigs invasion, I have come to know many people who shared the covert side of history. Reading her article motivated me to join the "lunch bunch" and learn still more about the clandestine version of history.

Janet Ray Weininger

Palmetto Bay

Mom and Dad, Gilbert and Sullivan

Who says Yiddish is dead and gone? Nina Korman's report on the Yiddish version of The Mikado ("Keeping It Yiddish," January 16) reminded me that my mother Lili was president of the Brooklyn Hadassah group that staged the Fifties Yiddish musical H.M.S. Pinafore. The planning meetings often took place at our house, and the production was held in a school auditorium in Crown Heights, which was sold out for every performance. She even had a performing part in the production.

I'm pleased that a recording exists and that it served as the impetus for the recent Miami Yiddish theater presentations. Even after their move to Miami-Dade County, both my mother and father, David, a retired physician, continued their "acting" careers by appearing on other stages, including those of the Florida Grand Opera. Thanks for keeping the memories alive.

Eric A. Orzeck, M.D.

Houston, Texas

Cuba Caper: Squish the Little Guy

More threats, less freedom: Thanks to Kirk Nielsen for the eye-opener about Will Adams's affair with the federal government ("The Will Adams Embargo," January 9). His battle is symptomatic of this administration's tendency to set public policy by threatening citizens with the loss of liberty and property. The Cuba embargo and its travel restrictions, while well intended, are not credible in today's environment, when everyone knows that more, not less, contact with democratic ideals and Americans will hasten the demise of the island tyrant. President Jimmy Carter showed that to be undoubtedly true.

You might think the administration would have learned an important lesson (that the travel restrictions are not favored in America) when it convincingly lost an important "security zone" test case against Ramon Saul Sanchez and two other members of the peaceful, pro-democracy Movimiento Democracia. Together with my highly regarded "dream team" of criminal-defense lawyers, I successfully helped defend Ramon and his colleagues against government prosecution, in which the U.S. wanted to imprison these freedom-loving patriots merely because they traveled toward Cuban waters to pray for the souls of the victims of the Trece de Marzo tugboat massacre, people who were murdered by Cuban gunboats while attempting flight to the land of freedom, the United States.

The Will Adams saga is yet another sad chapter of government prosecution of its ordinary citizens who are merely doing what common sense tells us is right, while the government ignores the many instances of cooperation with the Cuban despot. This administration should know better, but political expediency is obviously more important.

Best wishes to Will-Bob and his outstanding lawyer, "Wild" Bill Heffernan, in their efforts to bring justice to an unjust situation. As the great patriot José Martí proudly proclaimed, "Let there be justice, and then no one will ask for anything unjust."

Benedict P. Kuehne


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