The Biscayne Times

Jun 21st
April 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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A Rational Christian on Christianity?

An openly antitheist screed in a community newspaper?!? The End Times must be nigh (“Rethinking Religion” by Christian Cipriani, March 2013).

Or is this a sign of the dawning of the long overdue Rational Spring in the superpower of god-bothering, 95 percent of whose population believe their god created the universe; 40 percent of whose population believe he did so in the last 10,000 years?

Hope springs eternal.

Oh, and before I forget, and what is it U.S. politicians must close with when running for office? God Bless America©.

Shruti Chatterji


More People Like Christian on Christianity

Outstanding! Kudos to Christian Cipriani for such a sober, right-on, superb, “hit the nail on the head” article.

We need more people writing and being published with actual common sense like him.

Ernie Garcia


A Bigoted Christian on Christianity

Christian Cipriani’s “Rethinking Religion” is nothing more than a rambling anti-religion screed. Please explain what “skepticism of Darwinian evolution taught in a handful of American public schools” has to do with Pope Benedict’s resignation.

Can Cipriani please identify the religions that he claims are engaged in battle? If he is using the term “battle” in a figurative sense, such as a battle of ideas, then it is a tremendously good thing that people with different religious beliefs are discussing their differences.

Or does he think that freedom of speech and thought should be limited to liberal atheists?

I am not a scientist, so I’m not going to pretend to know how “we’re irreversibly screwing up the environment.” However, if you believe that the environment is irreversibly screwed up, it doesn’t seem like there is much point to changing things now. Maybe that is why the people who talk so much about environmental issues live no differently from those who think global warming is a hoax.

Cipriani’s assertion that faith is anathema to reason is wrong. He probably doesn’t understand faith, and based on his commentary, he certainly doesn’t use reason.

His view of history has little connection to reality, and his assertion is fantasy that “across the world, there’s an almost perfectly inverse relationship between the importance of religion and general prosperity.” I suggest he look at all the countries, such as China, North Korea, etc., that have had officially atheist governments, and their general prosperity.

Over the past 100-plus years, the greatest “threat to peace, happiness, and human progress” has been from atheism, not religion. The greatest mass murderers of all time have all been atheist. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, just to mention a few, all shared Cipriani’s views of religion.

Lumping all religions together and ascribing all the problems of the world to religion is not a reasoned reflection. It is bigotry.

Jerome Hurtak, Esq.
North Miami


Out of Commission: Spence-Jones Is No Friend to District 5

With respect to your cover story “Now Showing: Magic City Madhouse” (March 2013) and Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, I can’t argue if it’s true or not that just about everyone in Miami conspired to get Spence-Jones out of office. But I can argue that if they had succeeded, the people in District 5 would have been better off.

No one knows whether her accusations are true, but we can analyze her behavior in office based on her own words. There are two accusations she made that should have disqualified her, or at least made her constituents repulsed by her candidacy.

She asserts that funds designed to help small businesses in impoverished areas wound up in her bank account. Why? Because of her “business background,” she deserved the money more than existing businesses in the district. Businesses struggling to survive looked to their government for help. Unfortunately, the very people they thought were helping them were, in reality, competing against them.

If you need any further evidence that this was a horrible decision, see which businesses are still surviving. Was it the Café Soul that got the $50,000 or her constituents, Timbuktu Market Place and Osun Village? If you think Spence-Jones deserved it because of her “superior business experience,” then try having dinner at Café Soul. Unfortunately it disappeared faster than the $50,000.

Spence-Jones also claims that she was being kept off the city commission because she would have voted to keep former Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito on the job. Chief Exposito was the worst police chief in the history of the City of Miami. Under his watch, eight unarmed constituents of Spence-Jones were shot and killed. Just think if eight unarmed citizens of the City of Miami Beach or Coral Gables were shot and killed. Do you think their political representatives would have been fighting to keep the police chief on the job?

Unfortunately for the citizens of District 5, with friends like Spence-Jones, they don’t need enemies!

Alfred Mcknight
El Portal


A Decade of Procrastination Finally Ends

The column by Biscayne Times publisher Jim Mullin got me thinking (“After Ten Years, It’s Clear That Reports on the Death Of Print Are Greatly Exaggerated,” March 2013).

Let’s go back ten years, when this paper landed on my driveway and I said, “Why do they deliver these rag newspapers?” (That is when it was quite common to get many on your driveway every month.) With my high level of curiosity, I looked and I read it thoroughly, and to my surprise, I really enjoyed it.

Now, ten years later, I am looking forward to my next copy, still reading the entire thing, and for the those many years I have been visiting and spending money with the BT’s advertisers, passing on the word to others if we had a good experience.

Since the “age of the big boxes,” my husband and I have chosen to spend our money at local “mom and pop” businesses, and your paper provides us with many to choose from.

Your paper is also a source of lots of local news, and the monthly “Biscayne Crime Beat” is a real hoot! It can’t believe how stupid people are when I read it, but I work with the public, so I realize this.

It has taken me ten years to write this, as I have enjoyed your paper from the very beginning and I have been meaning to contact you regarding this.

Keep up the terrific work!

Pattie Solomon
Sans Souci


Does Stephen Ross Think We’re All Suckers?

I am writing in response to Frank Rollason’s article “Pigskin Politics” (March 2013), about the Dolphins’ request for $200 million, and the question for readers: “What project would you propose for the sum of $200 million of public money?”

First, there is the greater question. Should we be taxing anyone to give money to a private citizen who will not invest his own money in his own business because he does not believe it is a good investment? This evaluation is by the Dolphins’ own management.

Miami-Dade County relies heavily of tourism and conventions to create jobs, but taxes on visitors have consequences. New York City learned the hard way after its increase in resort taxes on hotels drove trade shows and conventions to other cities.

Further, studies done by American hotel associations on the benefits of sports facilities to hotel occupancy indicate that there basically is no significant increase on days when sport events are held.

On the question of how to spend $200 million that might best serve the community, I offer this:

First, because the convention/trade show business is a large part of local industry, we should first invest in building a larger convention center. This would enable Miami to attract the large trade shows and conventions that would love to come to Miami but avoid the city because we don’t have a facility to house these events. I know this to be true because I have attended these large shows and have asked the sponsors.

Next, we should give a portion of the increased resort tax to Jackson Hospital. This would help cover costs for all the nonpaying tourists and visitors who use Jackson. Aren’t there undocumented immigrant visitors, too?

Then we should set aside an amount to pay for the extra police needed to manage the increase in population that tourism causes. Also we should set aside monies to pay for the extra lifeguards needed to make our beaches safe for these same tourists. Currently local resident taxpayers are supporting the added costs to fund the infrastructure needed to support the tourists. Hello!

Keep in mind the Dolphins stated that one reason they want to improve their stadium is so they can increase the price of tickets to their loyal fans. That’s another Hello, Suckers!

So let’s fleece the tourists so we can fleece our customers. Sounds like Miami circa 1950s.

Ralph Camerlengo
Miami Shores

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