Gut Reactions

Plus: Catcher in the Wry, The Brown Brown Vote, Super-Kid Cynics

Gut Reactions

Gastric bypass option: I think you did a great job on this piece ["A Figure to Die For," by Craig Malisow, January 2]. There is another surgery you can have done. I am 20 years old and I weighed in at 315 pounds, and I had what they call a gastric bypass.

They put a rubber band around your stomach to limit the amount you eat; in the beginning you can get sick, but if you learn to eat right you won't get sick. This surgery is less invasive. You have a small cut in your abdominal area and you are in surgery only about 30 minutes. Most insurance companies will now cover the surgery.

I thank God every day for physicians like mine, Dr. Molina. I am about to turn 21 and weigh 175. I am almost completely to my goal, and I have him to thank for saving my life.

Krystle Miller

Morbid obesity is different: Your cover article did a service by warning potential patients of the disastrous record of Dr. Srungaram. However, you did a great disservice by trivializing surgery for morbid obesity. The purpose for the surgery (and the reason it is covered by many health insurance policies) is not to have a figure to die for or to avoid being fat and 40.

The purpose is to prolong the life and improve the quality of life of those with morbid obesity who have tried diet after diet after diet, only to regain the weight. Most people who have this surgery already suffer from one or more serious obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, gastric reflux, arthritis and infertility.

It is endorsed as a treatment for morbid obesity by the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference, the American Obesity Association, the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, the World Health Organization and the NIH, and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Your article showed a failure to understand morbid obesity and those who suffer from it that is typical of society in general.

Nancy Malley

Catcher in the Wry

Make Richard richer: Much appreciation for the Richard Connelly piece exposing the mysterious cabal exercising Machiavellian machinations in order to persuade the People's Republic to send us Yao Ming ["Year of the Yao Woo," December 26]!

I was reduced to tears of laughter while reading this wonderfully acidic and witty look at that bizarre year known as 2002. As a regular reader of National Review, Mother Jones, Foreign Affairs and the Houston Press, I have come to expect and enjoy lucid and incisive journalism, flavored with wry and clever editorials. Once again, thanks. Whatever Connelly's being paid, it's not enough.

Scott Burton

Equal Rights

Stripper fairness: George Flynn's piece on the Annette McManus lawsuit against her former supervisor, Thomas Kleinworth, was subtitled "Complaints of lewd conduct come from an ex-stripper" ["Skin Game," January 2]. This tagline and the rest of the article implies that strippers or ex-strippers may not set personal boundaries, are not entitled to protection against harassment in a non-sexually-oriented business, and that they should not expect that protection.

The fact that Ms. McManus was a stripper does not mean that she, or any other current or former stripper, is not entitled to the protection that other women enjoy. Nor does it mean that her testimony in this matter is somehow untrustworthy. Her attorney was correct: Her work as a stripper was irrelevant to her treatment at Baylor College of Medicine.

Priscilla Long

The Brown Brown Vote

Don't go conservative: Regarding Danny Davila's remarks [Letters, "Barrio Ballots," January 2], I take issue with the insinuation that the Hispanic Democratic vote is one based solely on ignorance or tradition. If the 2003 mayoral election is going to be about who supported Lee Brown and not Orlando Sanchez in this community, I say bring it on.

The ignorant voter is the one who voted for Sanchez because of his Spanish surname with disregard for his right-wing politics. I ask Mr. Davila that he not speak for me or for anyone else in the "barrio." In 2003, we don't need "conservatives" stalling infrastructure projects that would vastly improve mobility problems in our neighborhoods.

Mr. Davila, if you are indeed a resident of the barrio, I suggest that you walk outside your house, look around and ask yourself how much more "conservative" we need to be.

Sandra Puente

Super-Kid Cynics

Crimson bun order: "Alien-ated Youth" [by Dylan Otto Krider, December 19] was an interesting read, but a rather depressing one. This article provides the perfect illustration of how people believe what they want to believe. This thoroughly human trait is the centerpiece of the New Age movement, which figures prominently throughout this story.

As I began reading, I found my eyes skipping ahead in an attempt to identify anything superhuman about these children. Were they prophesying? Raising the dead? Levitating the family car? No. They were drawing pictures of rainbows, stick figures and birds while talking back to their grandmothers.

When little Jan says, "Satan tries to come in my head," we know that there's something dark going on here, but it has more to do with the fact that most of the adults in this article are up to their necks in the occult.

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