Falun Follow-up

Plus: Porn Priorities?, House Woes, Sit on It

I was appalled to discover that the same remark applied to indigent health care. I didn't receive dental care for more than five years and was forced to spend funds earmarked for my move (about $900) on a root canal out of fear that the infection would kill me before I'd get Medicaid coverage for it.

California supplements Medicaid; I'll get a much-needed crown for another tooth, which broke apart four years ago, through Medi-Cal. My husband survived a heart attack and two strokes but almost didn't survive the substandard health care he received through Medicaid.

John, your determination is admirable, but as they say in sports, a team can beat the other team, but not a (biased) ref. You've expended precious energy fighting Texas's backwardness that should have been used to fight your illness. Please see if Brett's company has a California office to which he could be transferred, or if he'll seek employment with a similar company here, and when you're well enough to travel, come to California. The differences will astound you.

Tamara T. Jessup
San Diego

Hard Lives

Improve mental health care: I enjoyed reading your article very much ["Common Cents," by Margaret Downing, June 20]. I found it well researched and provocative. I am delighted to see a journalist educate the general reader on the (usually) poor treatment of those with psychological disorders.

I have Bipolar I Disorder and had my first manic episode in New York in 1994, when I was 24. As if staying awake over three weeks and hallucinating weren't scary enough, my landlord (a psychiatrist) evicted me and my ex-husband backed him up. City emergency psychiatric ward doctors "diagnosed" me as schizophrenic and shot me full of Haldol, Thorazine, etc. My father eventually caught wind of what was happening and brought me back to Houston. He presented me to a good psychiatrist who bothered to run the usual tests before medicating. I haven't been in a hospital since.

But I'm one of the lucky ones. By the time I went psychotic, I already had my BA and a good-paying editing gig; I could afford one of the best psychiatrists in the city, as well as the medications, which run me over $1,000 a month. My insurance didn't -- and still doesn't -- acknowledge psychiatric disorders. But I was able to pay, and knew to stay on the meds, so I was able to keep working. (I considered taking my $500 a month, but even with $1,500 to $2,000 a month going to my psychological care, I was still doing better than I would have had I relied on Texas. As your article points out, you can't take care of shit on that kind of money.)

Several of my bipolar friends aren't doing as well. One is a professor, but he is rapid-cycling and therefore difficult to medicate. Another is in a creative writing program, but he compulsively self-mutilates. I don't think the third will make it too far into her thirties; she refuses the meds, drinks habitually and every year makes one or two suicide attempts (she favors cutting her throat). Compared to the people you wrote of, these aren't such extreme cases. All three of these people at least have money and family to rely on.

Bravo! I truly enjoyed "Common Cents," and I think the information you are disseminating is critical.

Name withheld by request

Justice or Racist?

Blatant bias: The letter writer negating racial bias in the Carlos Coy trial really steamed me ["South Park Fallout," Letters, July 11]. Ideally, we are one nation under God. However, one must wonder what rock the letter writer has been residing under if she thinks the powers that be have adopted this "moral clause."

I suggest that she seek an education in sociology if she's too blind and ignorant to see the wheels of racism steadily turning.

Shari C. Wright

Net Losses

Bad bureaucracy: One area not touched upon in John Nova Lomax's column was the potential effect the copyright law will have on new, young talent [Racket, July 4].

Before the monopolization and homogenization of commercial radio, independent recording artists could get airplay. They could walk their material into a radio station and, some abuses aside, could expect a fair shot at having a song or two played. Within the past few years it looked like Internet radio would take over that role.

It is my belief that the proposed fees are not applicable to indie-only broadcasts where permission is obtained to use the material. But my fear is that the copyright office will be influenced to set up an enforcement bureaucracy that will in effect harass broadcasters out of business. The result will be one fewer outlet for new talent.

Al Delaney

Different Spin

Enough of the '80s: Thanks for the whitewash bullshit story on Houston's worst DJ, Mike Snow ["So Retro," by Craig D. Lindsey, July 11]. Once again you take one of the worst things about the downtown scene and try to put a good spin on it.

I have a larger selection of CDs between the seats of my car than he plays on any given Wednesday. I can set my watch by when he plays "Just Like Heaven" and Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up" (which, by the way wasn't even in the '80s -- it was 1990). This situation is indicative of the problems with this city's music scene. Why are people still stuck in the '80s?

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