Comments 


Gone …

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My comment has more to do with the website than with the Fall Guide 2009. I am astonished how Jeffrey C. Billman must have ruled the Orlando Weekly with an iron fist. The minute he leaves, the website goes through a radical layout change. It really is sad how much control he must have had on the poor staff of this paper.

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via www.orlandoweekly.com

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But not forgotten

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Yo (Jeffrey C.) Billman, you can't leave, dude! You and (Billy) Manes are the two douchebags who influenced my stay in Orlando when I decided to move here in 2007. Who's gonna make me and my minions laugh? We can only get half a laugh out of Manes.

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We love your stuff, man. I hope that fishwrap (Philadelphia's City Paper) has an online component so we can still read your stuff.  You will still be writing, right? We know how it is with editors … they are lazy fucks once the title has been bestowed.

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Anyway, my friends and I wish you and the wife the best of blah, blah, blah. Word from the wise: Get a gun. Philly is rough and tough. This Jersey boy knows. Thanks for all the great memories. I hope I get to keep enjoying your work, wherever you may land.

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Hey, Manes, it's on you now, buddy! If you can't keep it strong, I'm packing for Miami. My love for the Weekly. Best fucking weekly anywhere. Thanks, guys.

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via the Internet

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Half right

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Jeffrey C. Billman is hands-down one of the better opinion writers in Orlando. As a 22-year vegetarian, I found his Thanksgiving editorial excellent because he articulated both sides of the issue with depth and understanding ("To kill a turkey," Nov. 27). 

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In Billman's Rifqa Bary piece he gets it in one breath but misses the point completely in the bulk of his article ("My God can beat up your God," Sept. 17). The Orlando Weekly and Orlando Sentinel are unlikely ideological brothers in reporting the Rifqa Bary case. Billman got it when he wrote, "The problem with radical Islam is that it hasn't evolved; it still sees the world in fundamentalist hues." 

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Imam Musri attacked Rifqa Bary personally by calling her "troubled" and stating categorically that the "Quran does not say anything about honor killing." Billman produced what Imam Musri, of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said didn't exist in regards to honor killing and apostasy, in Quran verse 4:89.

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The real story does not focus on competing faiths. The real story is in the modern-day culture clash between Sharia/Islamic law and our constitution, personified in one 17-year-old girl named Rifqa Bary who apostatized from Islam. In America, it is not a crime to leave one faith and join another. In Islam, being an apostate is the same as being a political traitor to the state and church/mosque. State and church are one and the same – that is, political Islam. Islam, according to Billman, still sees the world in fundamentalist hues, and I couldn't agree more.

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The United Nations Population Fund estimates that the annual worldwide total of honor-killing victims may be as high as 5,000. Rifqa Bary, however, is a living apostate who scares the Islamic state to death. Rifqa Bary said in court, through her attorney, that she is going to trial not for herself, but for the thousands of other girls like her. The possibility of thousands of Muslim girls, boys and women following Rifqa's example of becoming a proud and loud apostate has the potential to do great harm to Islam.

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With 5,000 honor killings annually, any Muslim around the world needs to think long and hard about leaving Islam because the legal remedy for such a crime is death. Rifqa Bary empowers those Muslims around the world who want to leave Islam, demonstrating that it can be done and you will live to tell about it. The Rifqa Bary case has the potential to unravel the 14th-century Islam that, according to Billman has not evolved. 

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 Alan Kornman, Orlando

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God bless Billy Manes

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Dear Billy Manes: Thanks for the truly wonderful, very accurate and candid article on the Orlando Opera ["The opera is dead. Long live the opera!," Aug. 20].  And thank God for you opening the "door" for dialogue to bring forth a more excellent resurrection.

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 Thomas C. Devitt, Orlando

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