Letters 07-13-2000

Self-Determination vs. Socialites

Thanks for writing such a great article about Jim Harithas and the Art Car Museum ["Revolution in Chrome," by Lisa Gray, July 6]. I can't say how refreshing it is to have a museum that is 100 percent directed by its own private vision, as opposed to being dictated to by socialite boards. And even better, this museum is free to the public!

It's places like the Art Car Museum (and people like Jim and Ann Harithas and Bryan Taylor) that make Houston an interesting place to live. Thanks for showcasing their good work.

Gary Coover
Houston

Bucking Up

Whew! Clark Kent has nothing on this lady ["A Yenne for Your Thoughts," by John Suval, June 29].

Uncommon valor, honesty and many other complimentary praises should be heaped upon Ms. Yenne, rather than castigation by her so-called peers. Ms. Yenne stands alone in her battle against blatant wrongdoing by other governmental agencies.

Our organization first had the privilege of working with Ms. Yenne only a few months after she took office in January 1999. We were defending a gentleman who had been railroaded in a "questionable" proceeding by a local Brazoria County "good old boy" judge. We assumed that a young, newly elected D.A. would be afraid to buck the local establishment. Boy, were we surprised! This lady actually believed in her oath of office, which requires her to uphold the Constitution and the laws of Texas.

The second time told us this lady is for real. Now we are convinced. Here is a person elected to the position of D.A. who really understands the terms "justice" and "equal treatment" in law. Her critics do not understand that 85 percent of the 2,000 or so laws passed by our Legislature every session do not pass constitutional muster. No officer of this state has any kind of ridiculous "duty" to enforce an unconstitutional law. Ms. Yenne is our choice for Public Official of the Year.

Preston Peterson
Public Official Oversight Forum

Humble

Pointing More Than Fingers

It may be legal to carry a long gun, but it is illegal to brandish a weapon in a threatening manner and to incite disobedience, like the Panthers allegedly did ["Hanging with Mr. X," by Steve McVicker, June 29]. Can you imagine the outrage and the response if members of the Klan demonstrated with guns outside a Democratic convention?

Name withheld by request
Houston

Flight to Freedom

Let me praise you for your well-written and way past-due article on the injustices that are placed upon women of China and many other countries outside of the United States ["Deliverance from China," by John Suval, June 22]. This concerns women and their babies having to choose between exile at home or trying to find a better place, basically a home for these children.

Fortunately for Lijun, she had an opportunity to flee her country and come here, but many thoughts and prayers go out to the ones who do not have the opportunity to flee via a job, as Lijun did. If this is a known practice of the Chinese government, then why isn't more said of it? Until reading your article, I had never heard of laws requiring permission to have children in China.

I certainly hope that people will understand just how free they are in America, because I believe, even before this article was printed, that we as Americans take freedom for granted.

Chezell Coleman
Houston

The Devil You Say!

In the last nine years, the Houston Press has had, to my knowledge, only one article about Madalyn Murray O'Hair and atheism. Your July 1995 piece on Christian vocalist Yolanda Adams stated that if O'Hair could only have heard her sing, she would have frolicked into a church and become a Christian.

So it was a real surprise to see the recent Press article about O'Hair ["God Only Knows," by John MacCormack, June 15]. Then I noticed that this article only had a very small paragraph explaining her atheistic viewpoints. This article merely regurgitated the rumor mill about O'Hair's disappearance and the court trial. And it was loaded down with crude, cutting remarks about the O'Hairs (they were friendless; Austin police were glad to see them go; lawyers howled when Ellen Johnson called O'Hair "doctor"; Gary Karr chain-sawed their bodies!).

Why do mainstream publications like the Houston Press continuously employ "mainstream" journalistic practices aimed at vilifying atheists, an oppressed minority, and misrepresent their concepts?

Perhaps they suffered through years of Christian brainwashing that taught them to loathe atheists. Perhaps they see a cash cow in any article that vilifies atheists. Or perhaps they are spineless and timid creatures who don't wish to offend a large, potentially powerful Christian readership by portraying atheism as a positive lifestyle.

Henning Fernstrom
Houston

To Tell the Truth

Truth Decay would like to thank you for your nomination in the Industrial/Noise category in this year's Houston Press Music Awards. However, it must be clarified that Truth Decay is in fact a hard rock band. We therefore feel it is our duty to decline this nomination and the live showcase slot, so that a more deserving group may take its place.

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