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Shock and awe and porn

[Chris] Wilson's site certainly does not mark the first time the public has had access to these gruesome images, as you state in your article ["The most depraved site on the Internet," Oct. 6].

During the first months of this war in Iraq, and still today to some extent, Al-Jazeera has displayed the most gory images of "the catastrophic damage advanced weaponry can inflict on the human body" that you could imagine. I've seen horrific photos of wounded babies and children with exploded scalps and brains on display on that site too. It's true U.S. mainstream media has not put forth these images for public view, but you are giving Wilson far too much credit by painting him as a pioneer of free speech in this situation. He's just a guy who installed a message board on a server like hundreds of thousands of others around the world. The only difference is Wilson has no qualms making money off shock and awe and porn, while others do.

Tiffany Jones, via the Internet

Crime isn't funny

I have a great concern with the tongue-in-cheek attitude Paula Ferguson incorporates in her Police Beat column. The premise for her column is great because it lets your readers experience what kind of crimes are being committed in our area. This information is not available from any other news or opinion outlet I'm aware of, and frankly it should be.

Please don't file me as a buzz-kill-with-no-sense-of-humor-type individual and dismiss my point of view. Everyday crimes are acts of violence that have a long-lasting effect on the victims, especially violent confrontations resulting in physical harm.

For the victims of break-ins, assaults, scam jobs, etc., the system is set up against the victims the laws were intended to protect. Justice is not swift; the criminals often know who you are and where you live. The unknown of any crime is if the criminal is going to retaliate against the victim. The reality of this unknown consumes a victim's every waking moment.

Remember, the innocent victims of most crimes are folks like you and me who have stressful jobs, families, car payments, mortgages and other numerous obligations that must be tackled. The criminal, on the other hand, is, for the most part, not burdened by these responsibilities.

Alan Kornman, Oviedo

Ah, the good old days

Manatee steaks? Are you certain those were fries on the side and not ivory-billed woodpecker wings? Unreal, surreal, appalling, pathetic and all great stuff! Well done. I also loved the way you "hid" the location of Doug's by providing a nearly Mapquest-like description of your journey to that outpost of ignorance.

I assume you're familiar with, where I discovered your article ["Eat at Doug's," May 22, 2003]. Now I know why that site has a designated "tag" for stories from your home state of Florida. (Unique among its 49 sister states, no less.)

Matt Kenn, via the Internet

Editor's note: Dear Matt, and all readers: The story to which you refer was a spoof, a lark, a joke, a prank. What's more, it's a 2-year-old spoof/joke/lark/prank. We've long since atoned for our grave journalistic sin, worn our hair shirt, and moved on. Remember what mama said about not believing everything you read on the Internet? For all we know, nobody in Volusia County is eating manatees, though perhaps someone should be because, frankly, they look delicious.

From Issac's mom?

I've read a couple of articles in your newspaper by Issac Stolzenbach: one on Hunter S. Thompson ("Gonzo Goodbye," Sept. 8) and one on the anti-war protest ("You say you want a revolution?" Oct. 6), and I wanted to let you know I really enjoy his writing. I like his style of mixing his personal experiences in with the story he's covering, and he isn't afraid to "tell it like it is" regarding corruption in politics and the media. Keep Issac's articles coming!

Grace Mosley, via the Internet

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