By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Scorn porn: I really enjoyed reading your story ["Showdown at the Bar X," by Jennifer Mathieu, January 23]. Couldn't put it down until I finished it. You did an excellent job, leaving one wondering what would happen and what the truth is. Wish there were a way to find out the end of this, since I don't read the Houston Press (sorry, too much porn in it).
Board business: I am really disappointed that I was quoted so badly in your article. My running for the board had nothing to do with the hazing or terminating of Helen Phillips. My only statement was that my being elected would give the majority of the property owners the majority of the votes on the board. And that if a vote came regarding the continued employment of Helen, then I would have to support whatever the majority suggested.
It was the nepotism and mismanagement of funds, the constant badgering and lack of human decency shown to the new board members that concerned me the most. Helen does only what she is allowed to do by the property owners association board. A majority of the board representing the majority of owners will put into place a set of checks and balances that will curtail the improper business practices and the socially unacceptable way people are being treated by Helen and the front office.
Now quote this!
Junk Food, Junk Suits
Eating it up: This is an amazing story ["Mac Attack," by Wendy Grossman, January 16] on the lawsuit over the peppered burrito. Let me congratulate your writer on the bizarre mental images: "He opened his mouth..." You get the drift.
On a more serious note (and it took me five minutes to stop laughing), I am appalled by the number of junk lawsuits clogging our already creaky system.
Hazards from hawks: I read your story on the hawk that was seen in the Heights ["The Rooster That Fell from the Sky," by Scott Nowell, January 23]. On January 25, I was working around the house when both my dog and cockatiel started acting weird.
As I went outside to do some chores, I noticed some feathers floating down from the sky. After going back in the house, I looked out the front and could not believe what I saw! A huge hawk was on my front fence with a pigeon in its grasp.
It was truly an awesome sight. However, I am scared about my Scottish terrier. This hawk was big enough to carry away a small dog. Maybe there should be some public awareness about this.
Cut the crap: As a lover of animals and children, I was delighted with your story about the child being reunited with his rooster.
As a hater of crude language, I deplored your printing the S-word. I could hardly believe it. Please help clean up America by desisting from using vulgarity in future. Thanks for "listening."
Meds for the Poor
Medicaid woes: I think it is unfortunate that the limits for the HIV medication program are going down ["Getting THMPed," by Jennifer Mathieu, January 23], but I work in the Texas Medicaid program, and many of my clients need medications. I would estimate the average income of my clients to be $9,600 per year, and yet there is no program to pay for their medications.
My clients do not typically have HIV, but mostly they suffer from "old age," which is a health condition that always ends in death. People who are making more than $9,600 per year should be applying that excess to pay down their medical bills and might consider trying to make ends meet by living more simply.
GOP should change: Senator Trent Lott's comments in support of Strom Thurmond's 1948 Dixiecrat presidential campaign [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, December 26] have provided the Republican Party with a wonderful opportunity, which I pray will not be squandered.
The Republican Party's long-standing policy of pandering to the racial prejudices of Southern whites and right-wing extremists perpetuates racial tension for political gain. For this reason primarily, minorities vote almost exclusively Democratic. We have no bargaining power with either party if Democrats are guaranteed 90 percent of the African-American vote. If the Republican Party would rebuke and disassociate itself from its racially divisive strategy, more minorities and moderate whites would feel comfortable supporting the party. The political landscape would change, and our country as a whole would benefit greatly.
Indeed, we minorities are in favor of law and order since crime disproportionately affects our communities. Most minorities are fiscally conservative and dislike taxes as much as, if not more than, the staunchest Republican. The genius -- some would say gall -- of Bill Clinton was that he adopted the best ideas of Republicans: a balanced budget and welfare reform. But he maintained the Democrats' commitment to human rights. Minorities still support certain Republican ideals and candidates solely because they are good. That is all that is necessary.
The Republican's Southern Strategy -- initiated in the 1970s and continuing today -- of exploiting race for political advantage is divisive and, ultimately, destructive. There is much to gain by abandoning it now.