Another very important fact about this bill is that when one studies second- or third-degree Reiki, he is given "sacred symbols." The recipient must agree not to reveal them to anyone not of the same level. A Reiki master does not discuss this sacred process, much like any religious group would hesitate to open its sacred practices to the state.

Rev. Lance Winters, Reiki Master-Teacher
via Internet

Congrats, you were dead-on with your article about security ["False Sense of Security," by Steve McVicker, December 31]. I work as a security guard at a "premier" account here in Houston. The level of criminality/borderline illegal behavior among guards sickens me. They openly brag of stealing things from the client and of how they got away with their criminal pasts' not being discovered.

I myself have been through the recruiting process and can tell you that everything -- the background check, the psych profile -- was done with a wink and a nod. Any fears of not passing were answered with a smile and, "Don't worry, we'll take care of you."

The security managers couldn't care less whether we are protecting the client. All they care about is what the client perceives -- in other words, what it looks like.

Name withheld by request
via Internet

Off with the Head
I think it is a disservice to Patrick Zone and Sonoma's to have to share the article on his new restaurant with the headline of a restaurant that has failed ["Dacapo's School for Success," by Margaret L. Briggs, February 18]. Especially when Patrick is an excellent manager. Shame on you! Run to the light, Ms. Briggs!

Stephanie Moore
via Internet

Tilman the Terrible?
It's not just your publication, but also the Galveston paper and the Houston Chronicle that I have a beef with [Dish, by Margaret L. Briggs, February 18]. How come every article I read about Mr. Fertitta depicts him as this great and powerful businessman and the focus is on what great things he is doing and nothing else?

Landry's Seafood Restaurants, Inc. is not Fertitta's company. It is a public company owned by the shareholders. Yes, Fertitta is the founder and CEO, but he only owns 8.6 percent of the stock. That company has not been doing well lately. The stock has dropped from about $30 to $7 a share. Why no mention of that? Landry's has been laying off employees. That Kemah Waterfront development everybody is gushing about has cost the company over $60 million!

Please tell at least some of the truth about this man. An awful lot of people have lost quite a bit of money investing in "his" company!

Mitchell Gustafson
via Internet

Get Unreal!
Who wants to pay to see real life when average people live it every day of their lives ["Oh, Sister," by Jean Oppenheimer, February 25]. I personally thought The Other Sister was wonderful in that the mentally challenged were played with dignity and care. It is the best movie I have seen of late. Sorry you are so uptight that you could not enjoy a feel-good movie!

Nancy Hopkins
via Internet

Justice for Jimi
Your review of Live at the Filmore East [Rotation, by Anthony Mariani, February 25] shows a lack of knowledge of musical history. The shows offered us a glimpse into Hendrix's roots in the groove and connected the link with what later became funk as we know it today.

What James Brown, Sly Stone and Miles Davis were exploring, Hendrix added his stroke to that canvas of American music.

You degrade the importance of the rhythm section of Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Cox was a bass player steeped in knowledge of R&B backbeat grooves.

This album is important musical history. How can we evolve if we don't explore? And this was an exploration and an evolution whether you like it or not.

G. Grigsby
via Internet

Incomparable Hendrix
I have to take issue with Anthony Mariani's review of the Jimi Hendrix recording. Mariani thinks that the music on this album sucks, even though he admits that Hendrix's playing is, for the most part, "exceptional." This language is contradictory and an oxymoron. The music will probably appeal primarily to hardcore Hendrix enthusiasts or students of rock/blues guitar. Accordingly, I could not fault anyone for choosing not to buy this particular album.

What I find most disturbing is Mariani's sweeping proclamation that Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies, in general, did not make good music. The original recording from this concert is considered a masterpiece.

If you love live recordings of Jimi Hendrix, a man considered by most to be the best electric guitar player ever, the original Band of Gypsies is one of the best. Just be careful not to compare it with this new release, as Mr. Mariani did!

Gary Freeman
via Internet

Beating the Rap
I was very impressed with Craig D. Lindsey's article on the Houston rap scene ["That's the Breaks," February 11]. There was a time when no one at the Houston Press would have cared to address the topic at all.

While I do agree there should be more diversity in the music, it can't be denied that so-called gangsta rap has sustained many a mom-and-pop and major chain store throughout this city. Just ask Southwest Wholesale. At its very essence, gangsta is soul music personified. Some of it's good, and some bad. Whatever the description, it's always pure and straight from the heart. I can truly say that gangsta is here to stay, like it or not.

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