The school system needs to address these issues. Bring respect back into the equation, for teachers and students alike. Are we more interested in teachers as potential prison guards, with students as inmates? Sounds silly, I know; however, with the rush to punish, Zero Tolerance can be compared to a shark net that catches mostly minnows! Let's put reason back into our schools!

Jean Stout

Dogged Again

Absent Elves
Absent Elves

Not so Swift: I read the letters to the editor with apprehension [Letters, "Raining Cats and Dogs," February 17]. I feared that the name of one or more of my former senior English students would appear at the end of them. I breathed a sigh of relief when I recognized none of the senders.

I like to think that my former students read the articles ["The Fido Solution," by Richard Connelly; "Canine Cuisine," by Robb Walsh; and "Cats: The Other White Meat," by Anon E. Mouse, February 3] and said, "Wow! That's just like that guy we studied in English class who wanted to eat the babies!"

I guess many of your letter writers, expressing their outrage, must have slept through the Jonathon Swift lesson. Too bad. They could have finally answered the oft-asked student to teacher question, "How are we going to use this later in life?" with a "so people are still writing satire these days."

Russell J. Sanders

A proud shootist: Fear not, Mr./Ms. Mouse, I too have capped cats with a similar single-cock pistola. It was for the good of everyone involved. We must not be ashamed to stand up and be counted! Huzzah!

Don Bezonosee

Down for the Count

Swank's a champ: I really enjoyed the movie Million Dollar Baby ["A Few Dollars Left," by Bill Gallo, January 6]. It was about redemption, second chances and belonging. Hillary Swank is brilliant -- and in such a demanding role. She really becomes the character. As for Mr. Freeman and Clint Eastwood, they just do what they do, and very well, I might add.

If you plan to see it, and you should, be prepared for the ending. I wasn't, and like one of Ms. Swank's punches, it floored me. I give it two fists up.

Ray Coleman

Pressing on in New York

Big Apple angst: I moved to New York state a year ago and tried to like Village Voice, which is supposed to be similar to the Houston Press.

I really cannot explain it well, but articles in the Houston Press are much more interesting than those in the Village Voice. To me, NYC must be the most interesting exciting city in the whole world, but now I really don't think so. I miss Houston and the Press as well -- you are the best.

Houston is my hometown in the U.S. (I am from Japan) and the Houston Press had been my English textbook. Thank you for your great job and please keep on doing that. I am reading your articles in New York and I still need your help to improve my English.

Ayako Yamazaki
New York

For Christ's Sake

Motivations: I feel I must answer some of the points brought up by the anonymous letter writer [Letters, "Cross Ways," December 9] regarding my previous letter about Matt Groening's Life in Hell cartoon. My intent was to show how Groening and others were led by the nose by those exit polls regarding the whole "moral values" issue and blew it out of proportion.

By no means was I indicting all of Islam by the actions of those killing in that name, any more than you should indict Christianity for the actions of those who have harmed others in the name of Christianity. Killing or harming in the name of Christianity does not equate with acting according to the teachings of Christianity. Yes, I have studied heinous things perpetrated by those claiming to be Christians, but I will say that they acted despite their Christian beliefs, not because of them.

I am sorry for those things that have been done "in God's name", but if you take the bad, you must in all fairness take the good. Look up people who range from William Wilberforce (abolition) to Florence Nightingale (nursing) to Martin Luther King, Jr. -- the list is endless. All Christians. Peace, charity, kindness, helping the poor and weak, despising wealth and power and ambition, these are the teachings I and most Christians strive daily to live by.

I have been reading the Houston Press for years, as well as heartily expose myself to diverse opinions/viewpoints. I know exactly what I am in for. Are you suggesting that your letter in response to mine was written for a totally different reason than that my opinion didn't match yours?

Alfred Tam

Turning the Dial

Metal megawatts: Nice article, but about that shaking up thing that you said 97.5 needs [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, February 10]: What about a teenager as a radio jock, a teenager who listens to Zeppelin, Metallica, Megadeth, Sabbath, AC/DC and many other bands?

How about letting somebody who actually listens to the radio and old songs, songs that don't get that much attention, like "Holy Diver" by Dio? Songs that are great but only listened to by metalheads.

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