By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Ascent of the stupid: This story ["The A Student," by Todd Spivak, November 3] again epitomizes the total lack of sensibility and common sense of the institutions that teach our children. It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly stupid the individuals are who ascend to the levels of authority in FBISD and HISD.
First it was Terry Abbott, a non-college degree holder pulling down more than $100,000 a year (ridiculous, don't you think), the consummate yes-man who never answered a question working for Rod Paige. We thought we were rid of him when he went with Paige to D.C., but he lasted barely six months, only to be rehired. And he's rewarded -- we get him back with a pay raise, no less.
Then, HISD's total stupidity in firing and then attempting to convict a whistle-blower on the principals and others who falsified attendance records to line their pockets with bonuses. Do they go after the persons who benefited from the scam? No, they go after the people who exposed it. In the end, the countersuit that the whistle-blower should rightfully win will cost HISD and the taxpayers, when it should really be levied against Kay Stripling and the current board. But that will never happen. There is no accountability for these people. They have no business running a billion-dollar budget.
It's absurd and pathetic that we as voters and the city and state allow these people to embarrass all of us. Please, keep looking into and writing about the incredible lack of accountability exhibited by these administrations. If we could charge them with gross mismanagement, reduce their salaries or fire them on the spot, maybe they would think twice about filing charges against those who are innocent, and instead file them against offenders. But that would never happen, because they would have to file against themselves.
The Swing Set
The ladies love it: This is regarding Josh Harkinson's swinging feature ["Pick Me Up," October 13]. My wife and I dabbled in the lifestyle over a period of four years. Here's the CliffsNotes on what we learned: When you meet a couple, you will always love one of them and barely tolerate the other. Couples you are attracted to at a club will not be interested in you (and vice versa). It's been a year since we did the wild thing outside our marriage. Here's how that last attempt went:
Me: "We've been invited to a house party with two or three other couples from Connecticut."
Wife: "I don't want to go. You end up humping all the women, and I end up with some fat old guy who can't get it up."
Me: "This is different. All the couples are very attractive, in their thirties and ready to go."
So we went. I had a great time with the women, and she dealt with good-looking guys who couldn't get it up. Point being, our experience is that more couples are out there being led by the women, with the guys along for the ride (although many not doing all that much riding, if you catch my drift). In all, we had some very good times and don't regret any of it. We also learned things are not as the stereotypes would have you believe.
Name withheld by request
Big and beautiful: I've been a loyal reader of the Houston Press for many years. I've always maintained that the writers you have on staff were talented and presented a thought-provoking spin to many issues both here in Houston and, to an extent, across the country. I've not always agreed with the writers' viewpoints, but I can appreciate their right to express it.
It was not until I read Josh Harkinson's piece on the Houston swinging community that I thought you had a total hack on the payroll.
I've been involved in the lifestyle for about five years and have gone to countless house parties and many of the clubs that Harkinson visited gathering research for his story. What could have been an opportunity to really delve into the guts of the community turned out to be no more than an adolescent narrative about a few couples who obviously have issues and which clubs have the best-looking clientele.
The more I read, the more I realized the story was focused not on the lifestyle but on Harkinson's obvious disgust with the overweight. There are people in the lifestyle from all walks of life and in every color, size and shape. We all have our personal preferences, but Harkinson proved once again that the only people it is socially acceptable to discriminate against are the fatties.
I'm a big beautiful woman, and I'm just as comfortable with myself as the girls who spend hours in the gym. The human body is a beautiful thing no matter what size. Tell Harkinson to peddle his prejudice and hatred somewhere else. We don't need it in our community.
Name withheld by request
No offense taken: I loved the article about swinging in Houston. I'm curious about that lifestyle and have participated with couples and even my own husband. Now I have somewhere to go. Not all of us were offended.