By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Drug war insanity: Thanks to writer Michael Serazio and the Houston Press for their courage ["Reefer Madness," September 30]. It takes balls to attack the perversion of the U.S. drug laws, and your attack against the marijuana "laws" is certainly a bold first step.
In the 90-year-old "prohibition of drugs," commerce worldwide in these prohibited drugs amounts to some $500 billion per year.
There is no justice, no logic, no truth involved, no scientifically justifiable reason for this drug war -- none, zero, zilch. Bankers, government contractors and pharmaceutical houses lead the charge for the everlasting, ever-escalating drug war. Millions of suppliers, guard union members and pot growers supplement the call for more of our young people to be arrested for making a nebulous choice as to their intoxicants.
After the end of prohibition, overdose deaths will dwindle to the few who have chosen this route to commit suicide. When we break the back of the black market trade, there will be insufficient profits to lure street corner vendors who thrive on selling to our children.
People have used drugs for thousands of years. To set out on a 90-year jihad to prohibit such use is not just folly, it is a crime.
ApPauling: I'm not surprised that Ron Paul supports medical marijuana. Paul is far out of the mainstream and is usually one of the few minority votes on some U.S. House roll calls.
Maybe this explains his wacko behavior. In fact, when I saw your cover, I thought Clayton Jones was Paul. Maybe one was switched at birth.
Pointless and cruel: Thank you for Michael Serazio's excellent article. It is very informative and well written. I especially appreciated the interviews with Dr. Ron Paul and Alan Bock.
Several Libertarian Party candidates have spoken out for drug reform and are waging active campaigns for the U.S. Congress (www.lpcandidate.com or www.lp.org). In District 136 (Galleria-Memorial Villages), I am running for the Texas legislature. The focal point of my campaign is the benefit of drug relegalization. These benefits include lower taxes (throwing peaceful, nonviolent people in jail costs plenty).
Drug prohibition doesn't work. It diverts law enforcement resources away from apprehending murderers, rapists and thieves who richly deserve to be punished. But arresting sick and dying people for the "crime" of trying to alleviate their pain by smoking marijuana is inhumane.
Most Democrat and Republican incumbents aren't going to push for even the most obvious and humanitarian reform of medical marijuana. Those serious about freedom of choice in medicine, and ending drug prohibition, should vote Libertarian.
Harsh discipline: Our nephew was one of the kids expelled during the Klein school district incident ["KISD Off," by Margaret Downing, September 30]. He is a smart young man with severe ADD, for which he takes medication. Our nephew innocently accepted the pill from the other kid so as to avert any further badgering and deposited it in the nearest trash can. Our nephew had no problems; he was a member of the wrestling team, he was in ROTC and made good grades, but he got expelled. We didn't want him with the troubled group in juvenile "prison" school, so we have been forced to enroll him in a homeschool program since none of the charter schools will take an expelled student.
Principal Cain and teachers came to defend our nephew but to no avail, because the discipline had already been decided. Not only is this punishment too severe for our nephew, I can't begin to tell you how difficult it has been for our family.
KISD is like a military camp with no compassion whatsoever. We have talked about moving our kids out of the district, but they have their friends and all -- we don't want to interfere with their emotional distraction any more than we need to!
Thank you for the article. It needs to be brought to light what these school districts think they can do with/to our kids -- and they are so wrong in their decisions.
Connie Webber Chuisano
A cry for help: As a child in the Klein school district, I had depression and ADD, and was abused at home. Instead of offering help, KISD treated me like a discipline problem, even though my behaviors were textbook clues to my situation. I was repeatedly punished in school for events and behaviors beyond my control.
When the abuse at home was reported to a school counselor at the time, she did not follow the law and report it to CPS and the police -- even though she told me that she had done so. When questioned later by CPS, she said she hadn't reported it because she thought she could work it out herself. Her behavior put my life at risk.
Kids in KISD don't fall through the cracks -- they're pushed. It appears that things have only gotten worse. I am an adult now, but I will never forget how horribly I was treated in those schools.
Blame it on the judge: Who composed the bullshit extolling Judge James Squier as the Best Civil Court Judge [Best of Houston, September 23]?
Squier did not give a shit in our case. He prostituted himself; he was not about to be deboned by the "Court Watch Vampires" over the likes of a child and her need for a stable, happy, loving, respectful home and a life with her father.
My daughter's life was destroyed, not to mention my own. It has been 13 years since my daughter set eyes on me. Either Squier has no heart, no understanding of human psychology and no common sense, or he was not going down over the precious life of a child.
Finding friends: Thank you for the feature on Scott Wizig ["The Specialist," by Craig Malisow, September 2]. You have confirmed my belief that there are still some good people out there. I am fortunate to have friends, co-workers and resources to help me.
Up a Creek
Respect nature: Congratulations on your recent excellent article about abusive ATV behaviors along Spring Creek ["Keeping It Real," by Margaret Downing, September 16]. Houston Audubon Society owns an 11-acre tract of land near Spring Creek, and we are gravely concerned about the extensive damage the ATV operators are causing.
ATV intrusions are a problem in many of our sanctuaries, but the damage occurring along Spring Creek is the worst. The damage to habitat and birds caused by the severe and pervasive assault on the creek corridor is incalculable. Birds will disappear completely if their nests and nesting habitat continue to be destroyed. Such a loss for the sake of a few thrills in the present clearly isn't warranted.
Dedicated people are working hard to preserve Spring Creek for present and future generations to enjoy in a way that is respectful of each other and the wildlife that has lived there for hundreds of years. I commend them for their courageous work -- and you for bringing this matter to the public's attention.
Joy Hester, executive director
Houston Audubon Society
ATV justice: I applaud TPWD and Harris and Montgomery counties for beginning to enforce the law by ticketing and arresting off-roaders who flagrantly ride in Spring Creek. Having canoed that stream for 20 years, I can tell you that it is definitely navigable in fact and as defined by state law. Regardless of who owns the banks of the stream, those waters belong to the state of Texas. Some of these ATV enthusiasts may not want to hear this from a "tree-hugging bastard," but I hope they will soon hear it from a judge.
Theater in the Round
Size doesn't matter: While I appreciate your review of The Cat's Meow at the Country Playhouse, [Stage, Encore, September 16], I am a good friend of Johanna Bonno, who played the part of Louella Parsons, and I feel your reference to her as "rotund" was distasteful and mean.
That comment had absolutely nothing to do with her brilliant performance of Parsons and was just a slam on her appearance. I think when you are reviewing a show, you should look at the person's acting ability and/or singing ability, and if size has anything to do with the part, then yes, you can mention it. But in this instance, it had absolutely nothing to do with that. Think about this the next time you decide to hurt somebody's feelings for no reason at all.
Rae Lynn Cuddihy
Lighten up: I think Robert Wilonsky was assigned to review the wrong movie ["Floundering," September 30]. Shark Tale is a kids' movie. Lighten up!
In a day and age of PlayStation and GameBoy, a shark being hit by an anchor is no big deal. So what if the movie was ghetto? Ghetto is reality for some children, and they shouldn't grow up being ashamed of it.
What I'm saying is that if you had more exposure, this movie wouldn't seem so violent or unfunny. Shark Tale is a coming out for a shark that was different. I've got three kids, and they laughed their asses off.
Albert de la Fuente
Tuning out listeners: Compliments on your "letter" to Radio One [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, September 30]. I can't even begin to tell you how thoroughly disgusted and bitter I am about the state of radio today. Sure, it sucks in Houston, but thanks to the megamedia, profit-snorting bastards, radio sucks almost everywhere these days.
Your column made me jump up and down like I was at a gospel revival.
Thanks for being so poignant. I sincerely hope that you actually mailed that letter. If Michael Moore wants to tackle a cause in a documentary, here is the topic that really represents the people, our youth and their future. Now, if only Duane Bradley would listen up and stop f*$#@ing up KPFT's format so much, at least we would still have one FM station on the dial worth listening to.
The real singer: I guess it's not that important, but Squeaky is not the vocalist for Soundclub [The Nightfly, by Brian McManus, September 23]. I am. He's just a friend of the "band."