No light rail system has ever turned a profit, let alone paid for itself, and light rail projects are being canceled across the United States.

Meanwhile, America's love affair with the automobile has facilitated and fueled expansion of the American free enterprise system by freely allowing more social interaction and economic transaction to take place than otherwise would have been possible.

Besides, Houston had a passenger rail system once before. Many Major League Baseball fans drive their cars to Union Station, which once handled rail passengers. The fact is, free-market forces have driven advancement in Space City, and most Houstonians have found their automobiles to be their best transportation choice.

Do you reckon the Houston Sports Authority has a "light rail failure contingency plan" involving visions of a "corporate name here" Formula 1/Grand Prix racetrack?

Shawn Christopher Phillips
Texas City

Cultured Pearls

Reviewing the review: "The exhibition's tour of the modern art landscape certainly looks at art history from a specific point of view; the collection is extra-heavy on the white Western males."

Boy, we almost got through the entire review ["Mo' Masterpieces," by Kelly Klaasmeyer, October 16] without sinking into multiculti land.

Almost. (More bad news: Many of the artists were straight, too.)

Jason McNamara

Blight Out

Graffiti's awful: Re: Best Graffiti Artist designation in your Best of Houston issue [September 25]: I just don't get it. Why sing the praises of someone who willfully defaces public property? Your "award" is a misnomer; it assumes there is something good about graffiti (there is not) and that the person doing the defacing is an artist (he or she is not).

I may be a liberal Democrat (otherwise known as the T. rex of political dinosaurs in this part of the U.S.), but I simply cannot see the value in this behavior. The fact that it's against the law is the least of my concerns; it's the fact that the sight of this stuff is so repugnant. It's not cool, it's not hip, it's not a justifiable means of expressing dissent. It's just plain ugly. This is at least the second time you have given this "distinction" to someone, and I feel it demeans your publication.

Why should I take seriously anything you recommend if you're going to support someone who contributes to visual blight? This town has enough problems trying to be scenic; we don't need graffiti on freeway signs and overpasses to make it worse.

Neal Massey

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