Re: "A Question of Values," letter to the editor from James White (April 26-May 2)
I'd like to correct Mr. White's last line, where in the course of lauding high-speed police chases he says, "Doesn't get much simpler than that." The word he's looking for is "simplistic," as in thinking limited only to a short-sighted and narrow viewpoint.
I don't have any intention of stealing a car, but that's no guarantee that I won't "die or be maimed in a high-speed chase!" Unfortunately, the victims often are not the car thieves (for whom I share his lack of concern) but innocents hit by the thieves, police, or other motorists trying to get out of the way. While I certainly sympathize with anyone whose vehicle is stolen, having experienced this tragedy myself, I'd gladly go through the experience again (the insurance did reimburse me, after all) if it would save a life.
A car is a thing; it's replaceable. Lives are not.
Re: "Cuba Libre" by Susan Edwards (April 19-25)
I spent six years in Cuba, from 1980 to 1986, arguably the best economic six years of their revolutionary history. I am a Cuban-American who chose to go to medical school there. I grew up in Tampa with one of my best friends, Maura Barrios, who sent me your article. I just wanted to tell you I truly enjoyed it. It is probably the most balanced, compassionate article on Cuba that has crossed my path in recent years. Thanks.
Julian Gonzalez, M.D.
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I commend you for presenting a very entertaining and informative report on Cuba. Your report documents precisely what is happening. Also, thanks for selecting Maura Barrios to provide a historical context. She really knows her stuff.
My last medical airlift to Havana in my small plane was Thanksgiving Day. I am organizing a medical armada of six yachts plus two aircraft for July.
Anthony F. Kirkpatrick, M.D., Ph.D.
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Unlike other American travelers who go there for a few days and come back drawing all sorts of conclusions (mostly mimicking their political agendas, being left or right), I do admire your style, basically describing what you saw and leaving it at that, but acknowledging that Cubans leave every which way they can because liberty continues to elude them.
I found Maura Barrios' quotes very sincere and truly reflective of mostly past conflicts between the two Cuban waves of immigrants to Tampa.
I sense in your last paragraphs that you were also able to detect the emotionally-charged atmosphere at the Jose Marti Airport. When we Cubans leave the island "permanently," as it is officially classified, there is a sense of not coming back, that those 90 miles that separate us from Cuba might as well be 90 thousand. Leaving loved ones under that premise is the most bizarrely painful feeling a person can have, and even repeated visits to Cuba after that do little to erase that sensation.
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For That Bony Critic
Re: "Female Delivery" by Lance Goldenberg (April 12-18)
I found in extremely poor taste a comment Lance Goldenberg made about actress Rosario Dawson being "the big boned bassist." Every day, young girls are bombarded with images and comments in the media that help perpetuate the myth that anybody over 110 pounds is gigantic.
You never hear film critics describe the bone structure of Tom Cruise or John Travolta. "John Travolta (big-boned, gun-toting dancer) and Samuel L. Jackson (his curly-haired, Bible-spouting sidekick) play gangsters in Pulp Fiction." I expect these kinds of comments from Cosmo, Entertainment Weekly and other rags. I guess I just expect more from my Weekly Planet!