Down-Bight Flattering

Hooray for Gray: Loved this piece ["Houston, Once Removed," by Josh Harkinson, November 20]. I've long thought Regimanuel Gray deserved more press coverage -- I've been to Accra a couple of times and thought it really was the Houston of the Bight of Benin.

I even met Mr. Ohrt at his Sugar Land-like estate. Now that American cities have been cleaned up, it's easy to diss suburbia, but in Accra you really come to appreciate it. I've sent this on to a bunch of friends in Ghana. They will be wowed by the international coverage. Congratulations.

Ben Moser
Utrecht, Netherlands

She's Positive

Support the educators: I really enjoyed the article about Lee High School ["Tee Time," by Wendy Grossman, November 13]. It's great to read about some positive students and educators from the Houston Independent School District, especially when the odds are stacked against them. Please print more positive stories like these.

Hilary Robinson

Grim Game

Real environmentalists: I wish to express my disappointment with the "Shooting Bambi's Mom" cover story [by Robb Walsh, November 6]. Not only does this article encourage violence, but the so-called environmentalist approach it preaches is misleading.

Real environmentalists don't eat meat. Nor do they hunt animals for sport or trophy. It is hypocritical to suggest that someone is an environmentalist while demonstrating that they take such pleasure in exerting force and brutality over nature and other living beings. Sport hunting is a far cry from a sense of "stewardship" with the land and environmental responsibility.

One can only wonder if Mr. Walsh critiques his meals based on the violence and brutality with which the animal was killed (e.g., sport hunting, slaughter on a factory farm, etc.). Maybe someday Mr. Walsh can greet a spicy Thai vegetarian dish or gourmet vegan sandwich with the same enthusiasm, but from the article, I'm guessing that would never be the case. I can only hope that a future issue of the Houston Press would give equal coverage to cruelty-free living and healthy, vegetarian meals.

As a vegan, I choose not to eat dead animal flesh, and my "Thanksgiving" meal will be compassionate and cruelty-free. True environmentalism should encourage a reverence and respect for all life. True environmentalism means doing the least amount of harm possible.

Kristen L. Ohanyan

The Green Party

Sour grapes: Ronald Green is a Democrat [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, November 20]. He appeared at the recent Howard Dean rally at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Just because someone is angry because they did not make the run-off is no reason to be a sore loser. Don't blame some straw man (conservative) backing Ronald Green for your failures as a candidate.

I voted for Sue Lovell, but have gotten over it (losing). I am going forward and supporting a candidate with whom I may agree only 90 percent of the time. But that is better than seeing the other guy win, who I am sure I will agree with only 10 to 20 percent of the time.

Edward Ybarra

On the fence: Knowing that Ronald Green can't decide what political ground he's on was very interesting and insightful. I would love to see an African-American male win, but if he can't take a true stand, then something is very wrong.

Don't get me wrong; many Republicans voted for Clinton during the 1990 election. So, if it has happened on the national front, it will happen on the local level as well.

Keep in mind that Ronald Green isn't the only politician who lives on both sides of the fence. I guess he's the one who is more obvious in attending Democratic and Republican functions. Mr. Green needs to decide who he is and then his platform will become more effective.

Arnetta Murray

Remember December 6: I wanted to say that your recent Insider columns have been spectacular. You give the kind of information that is nonexistent elsewhere. (I would have liked to have seen more before the election.) You are the only high-quality political commentator in town, in my opinion.

But, that aside, I have one big request: Say the words "Election Day is December 6" in your column. Why is this date so hard to find in newspapers? You should find a way to inform your readers of all upcoming election dates. It's newsworthy, I promise!

Daniel Chaikin

An Inmate Responds

Victimizing everyone: By the (lack of) facts from the letter writer ["Pity Them Not," Letters, November 13], I can only conclude that you believe that because we are criminals, whatever treatment -- even daily lashings and starvation -- we receive is not inhumane. What does that person really know about life in TDCJ?

The writer's view fails to grasp the fact that the majority of TDCJ inmates are here for minor drug offenses, with no direct victims involved in our "crimes." So the argument about our victims living in lesser conditions than our own doesn't always hold water. Sure, you could argue that drugs victimize the whole of society, which may be true to an extent, but our government's war on its own people -- a.k.a. the war on drugs -- does far more damage to the fabric of society than the drugs themselves.

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