In the Hold

In the Hold

Pro-cuddle: So holding therapy is bad ["Holding On," by Wendy Grossman, September 19]? It's bad to cuddle a child? To want the child to be able to accept safe touches? To want the child to attach? A child that doesn't want comfort when he's hurt or distressed -- surely that's an indicator there's something badly wrong.

Cuddles, lots of love, constant nurturing. They are all stages a child has to pass through as an infant in order to learn to trust, to attach to his/her parents and caregivers. So if a child misses these stages because of abuse, is it therefore, as your article implies, okay to just miss those stages totally? These stages have to be passed through for development.

Yes, I agree that cuddle therapy doesn't work for all RAD kids. Some do better with play therapy, for example. But these children do have extreme needs, and any form of normal parenting techniques does not work. Speaking as a stepparent to two RAD kids, I know what I'm talking about. We are parenting under more stress than you could ever imagine. The last thing we need is accusations that giving our children cuddles is abusive.

Rachel Sisson
Nottingham, England

Nonbeliever: As a woman and an attorney with a psychology degree, I can only respond to Wendy Grossman's article that if "holding therapy" can teach a child to trust, then rape can teach a person to enjoy sex. I would rather trust my child to a horse whisperer.

Christine Cooper

Breeding Greed?

Call Houston like it is: I was doing my regular reading of all my old favorite weeklies and monthlies of the places I have lived. I read first online almost all the articles in the recent Texas Monthly ["Hello My Name Is Texas Monthly, September 19], mostly because I couldn't believe my eyes.

Having grown up in Houston and lived there off and on over the years, I found this to be the worst tome of self-aggrandizement and crap ad nauseam I've read to date. Texas Monthly would have us believe that greed, corruption and the obscene consumption of a select few are adversities that Houston stoically overcomes time after time. There are many things I treasure about Houston, but let's own up and call a greedy spade a greedy spade.

George Owen
Belleville, Illinois

Trim the Bushes: My concept of Texas Monthly is that it is little more than a spin machine for Texas Shrubs.

John Edward Robinson

Rebuttal Witness

Defending Dempster: From reading their quotes, Sami Kabbani's expert, Kristine Uhlman, and his attorney, Ms. Wilson-Glah, must have been in a different trial than I was ["Trial of Faith," by Jennifer Mathieu, September 12].

I never heard Judge Dempster state the "anti-religious" quotes that were attributed to her. Ms. Uhlman, Mr. Kabbani's expert on Middle Eastern abductions, did testify under cross-examination that Mr. Kabbani fit the profile of an abductor. Ms. Wilson-Glah did interject religion by accusing my client, Teresa Lauderdale, of being a "cafeteria Catholic."

Further, while the ACLU states that 9/11 has trickled down to the family courts, none of their representatives was in court to hear Mr. Kabbani state on tape, "I have my ducks in a row. I carry a Syrian passport. You will never see Diana again." Before they get too interested in his case, the ACLU might want to review the transcript. Their time might be better spent on citizens whose civil rights really are violated.

While some are wringing their hands over Mr. Kabbani's civil rights, what about the civil rights of two little girls that, if abducted to the Middle East, will never see their mother again, will lose all identity with their culture and American family, will be treated as second-class citizens because they are female, can make no decisions without the permission of the male head of household -- you get the picture. Any citizen would be proud that Judge Dempster would put the rights and needs of these children first.

Thomas R. Conner

Ethics awry? Why not focus on the fund-raiser at the lawyer's house -- that's the no-no that screwed this guy. Is he looking for a lawyer on appeal? He should file a Rule 145 affidavit for the free transcript to appeal, as well as take the matter to the grievance committee and the commission on judicial conduct.

That fund-raiser is what makes this story so bad, not the Muslim connection. He should appeal, and slam both the court and opposing counsel.

Michael Easton

Doctoring the Ratings

Privacy, please: Jennifer Mathieu's article ["Reality TV Bites," September 5] illustrates brilliantly the point that even in the world of reality TV, there are privacy boundaries that must not be crossed, regardless of the particular network's thirst for the highest possible ratings.

My heart goes out to the Walters for the loss they have suffered, and I hope they can get past the outrageous disregard for their feelings by both Memorial Hermann and ABC and eventually find some inner peace.

David Hinterberger

Faulty focus: The gross insensitivity concerning the treatment of the Walter family by New Screen Concepts Inc. is appalling and outrageous. The producers seemingly extorted a signed consent form by insinuating to a distraught mother that the focus was on her children's attending doctor (creating the assumption the babies would receive more attentive treatment). But to be oblivious to the anguish of the Walter family by their callous exploitation (it's all about ratings, right?), along with the company's refusal to honor what was clearly promised to the family (entire film footage) is a deed worthy of a fate worse than hell.

I am not against "reality shows," or the First Amendment. All I can do is be disgusted by, and enraged at, the ethics of New Screen Concepts Inc. Memorial Hermann Hospital is guilty of perpetuating this situation by permitting this company to openly accost patients and patients' families to get free footage. How dare Memorial Hermann claim neutrality when it started entirely with them to begin with? The hospital's quest for positive publicity is a pathetic example of vanity run amok.

I am greatly enraged for the Walter family, and though I am only one "regular" person, I will make every effort to deploy an assault of words to the individuals responsible for increasing the family's agony.

Charmaine Chandler

Rush to ratings: I am disgusted at the lengths to which a wealthy network will go in order to ensure ratings. The blatant disregard and pernicious exploitation of this innocent family in their time of grief is appalling. I condemn all of those responsible; they are all human garbage. Too bad they weren't around to film the holocaust.

Jason Molloy

NSC really cared: As someone who signed a release and appeared briefly on Houston Medical, I am writing to set the record straight about New Screen Concepts and ABC. My sister, Dr. Marnie Rose, was one of the doctors featured on Houston Medical.

The people at NSC were amazing. They took care of Marnie both on and off the screen. When she didn't want to tell anyone about a bad diagnosis, they refused to film her until she called someone. Mitchell, Janice, Chuck and the others really made Marnie's last days so much better.

After the filming had stopped weeks before, who was in Marnie's room while she was taking her final breaths? Our friends from New Screen Concepts. Marnie considered Mitchell and New Screen to be part of her family. We couldn't have had a better experience with ABC or NSC.

Myles Rose

Sonic Boom

Bradford beef: Great story about our not-so-great police chief ["Myths and Legends," by Margaret Downing, September 5].

Spence Kerrigan
HoustonWhite fright: Give me a break! The only civil rights violated were those of the people and businesses who had to put up with that drag racing and loitering for all this time. These types of raids have happened in the past in predominantly minority areas -- all with "zero tolerance." Throw in a few little white kids and some of Daddy's money and the world has come to an end. Where were these kids' parents? Why were they out so late? If they were really shopping, I have no doubt Kmart wouldn't mind them hanging around.

Have you checked the crime reports for that area? How many drive-bys were there? How about car accidents? How about fights? How many times have police had to break up crowds there before? Did you get the stats on that? No. So why don't you do some investigative reporting? Give us all the facts -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

Bernadette Aguirre

Mattress Support

Accessible, irrepressible: In response to your attack article on Mattress Mac [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, September 5]:

When was the last time a major player in the Houston business community could be reached personally by phone? Neither Bob McNair nor Drayton McLane takes calls from the general public, and certainly not from the Houston Press.

Mac always tries to do the right thing, and even your inflammatory reporting pointed out that Mac vowed to pay for everything and make things right with all parties. I have had many dealings with Mac; he is very busy but will always listen, even if only for two minutes.

Mr. Bates probably approached Mac in a less-than-nice manner, and Mac's offer of multiples of what was owed is typical of Mac's "make the customer happy" attitude.

I continue to read the Press, but this type of attack was unwarranted.

John Finlay

Liftoff: I loved the drawing of Mac that accompanied this column by Tim Fleck. There's Mac -- being propelled upward by his own gas.

Bruce Hart

Bad Ad

Demeaning to Islam: As an American Muslim, I am very upset to view such an ad or even a film as The Sex Life of the Prophet Muhammad [display ads, September 12]. Please respect the other faiths and prophecies. It is very disturbing to learn that the Press is a source of promoting such materials, which would be offensive to any religion or faith. Please refrain from such material about religion or religious leaders.

Muzaffar Hussain
North Ridge, California

Painful reaction: As a Muslim, it is very painful to see this. It is hurting our feelings, and we are ashamed to hear that even now people are keeping all these irrational feelings.

Name withheld by request

Publisher's note: We recognize the concerns voiced and will not run the advertisement in the future. We apologize if the Houston Press offended anyone within our community by publishing this ad.


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