Online readers comment on "Irish Luck," by John Nova Lomax, July 24:
He should pay: Just because someone gets to the U.S. and lives here for years doesn't mean they should get to stay once caught. Whether they are here a month, a year or five years, they still need to face the consequences of their actions. If I killed (or harmed) someone ten years ago, does that mean I should get away with it if I haven't been caught till now? Of course not. And these people who sneak in should have to deal with their issues. On top of it all, Brennan has been in trouble in the U.S. before and been jailed. It is frustrating to hear that some people expect total forgiveness because they have gotten away with their crimes for so long. I am a born U.S. citizen, and I know if I did something slightly wrong, I would have to pay. So should everyone else.
adjudicator from Houston
So let's get this straight: You are up in arms because a guy who was planning to blow up women and children is having difficulties 20 years later? This guy is the scum of the earth and deserves no mercy. He has no respect for the rule of the law in our country or his own. He is an escaped prisoner and should be locked up for life.
Nate the Snake from Pearland
Ha, ha: Your article is a joke, as revealed in your comment comparing the union of religious sects in Northern Ireland to a marriage between D'head Moore and C'head Coulter. It's an insult to the thousands that died or were murdered in the so-called Troubles.
Because Pól Brennan was only caught with a bomb does not absolve him from the crime of attempted murder, not to mention other crimes that he may have committed. If he is innocent, he has nothing to fear from deportation. If he benefits from the peace dividend, so be it.
If Timothy McVeigh were living in England, would you also apologize for him?
Anon from Houston
A war: I think this was a fair article, but I admit to bias, being married to one of the men involved. The point I would like to make is that during the time my husband was growing up, the British army and Loyalist paramilitaries were at war with his community. He never ever saw himself as a criminal or a terrorist, but rather as a person defending his family, friends and neighbors, some of whom he saw killed during Bloody Sunday.
Francie Broderick from St. Louis
From the mailbag:
Send him back: Nice try trying to make us feel sorry for a former terrorist. We need neither former terrorists nor illegal immigrants here. Pól Brennan is both. I hope they send him back to Ireland. I really couldn't care less that he made a life here in America.
Name withheld by request
Hair Balls blog readers comment on "John Edwards Denies Affair (Kind Of)," by Blake Whitaker, July 23.
Hair Balls hater: This blog is trash.
Edwards hater: The truth is trash.
Way to go: I salute you for having the courage to ask an obvious question of a person who only months ago was seeking to be president, who only weeks ago announced he was ready to be Obama's running mate and is discussed as a top contender for the post.
Where was the reporter from the Houston Chronicle? The Houston Business Journal? The New York Times, for that matter?
A confession: It's clear to anyone who thinks about it that Edwards basically just confessed. He knew about the Enquirer story. He knew he was likely to be asked about it. And he knew there is a pretty good chance that the truth of his paternity will eventually come out. Edwards is a bright man, a politician and a trial lawyer. He certainly went over in his head how he would reply to such a question. Edwards deliberately chose an answer which sounded like a denial, while still literally true. He did not choose an actual denial, which could potentially show him to be a liar, because he knew such a denial would likely do so, sooner or later.
His confession is as obvious as, and more definitive than, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" (which obviously meant "I got a BJ" to anyone who cared to open a dictionary), because our language does not contain a word which suits his purposes so well. If there were only Edwards's hopes (now I think dashed) to be picked for VP, I would merely be laughing about this. (I do not care for Edwards, for other reasons.) But the man does have a family, and likely all of them would be better off if his relationship had remained a secret, either forever, or unless and until his wife dies.
Sleazy: I'm not surprised other reporters didn't want to touch this "story" with a ten-foot pole because, as Edwards said, it's "tabloid trash." It's typical National Enquirer, sleazy sensationalism with no facts whatsoever to support it. In fact, it was debunked the first time the National Enquirer put forth this smear.
What next? Will Bush be asked about that "alien baby" he supposedly fathered? Obviously, the timing of this is not coincidental, with the VP announcement right around the corner.
Sensationalism: I personally do not believe anything that the National Enquirer puts out. It is ridiculous to think that John Edwards would indeed put himself in a position that would get this type of publicity. For goodness' sake, give the man some credit for being honest.
The love he has for Elizabeth and his family is very obvious, and I am glad to see that most media are not playing into this trash sensationalism in order to make money. Years ago, no one would dream of trying to make news by publishing such personal nonsense; the media have lost some of their credibility when they stoop so low to report this sleazy stuff.
Simple: If it wasn't true, he would've denied it. If someone makes up a story like that about you, you don't say, "I don't want to talk about it." You say, "That story is a complete fabrication. I wasn't at the Beverly Hills Hilton that night. Here's where I was and what I was doing."
Simple as that.
Probably true: The National Enquirer is a sleazy tabloid that has periodically had to admit stories were false. However, it often gets the story right. They clearly staked John Edwards out and went to a lot of trouble to document confronting him in a compromising position. Since he's a trial lawyer who is experienced at suing people, it's unlikely the Enquirer would print this story without being able to prove the story.
I suspect John Edwards does love his wife and family. He'd obviously like to spare them the embarrassment that an affair and an out-of-wedlock childbirth would cause. Unfortunately for his family and this new baby, he's made a series of bad choices that are likely to blow up in a very painful fashion.
On Santa and Christ
Offensive: I thought your article ["Selling You," by Craig Malisow, July 17] was well written. However, your photo caption — "Rick Senner, who was driving the SUV that plunged off a cliff and killed two crew members, celebrates Jesus Christ's birth with the lighting of special frankincense" — was quite distasteful and offensive. Just because you are wearing a Santa hat doesn't mean you are celebrating Jesus Christ's birthday. The reference to Christ was not necessary.
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In the July 31 feature "The Crusader" (by Jesse Hyde), we misspelled the name of a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. The correct spelling is Cecilia Fedorov. We also got the month wrong on when an Associated Press report was released. The report referred to in the story came out in April.
The Houston Press regrets the errors.