Parents and Plastic

Corporate innocence: I commend Jennifer Fuller for accepting at least some responsibility for her current financial predicament, but her last quote still reeks of "not my fault"-ism, and that's irritating ["College Credit," by Jennifer Mathieu, March 20]. It's unfortunate she's living in credit card hell, and I sympathize (having been there myself), but it didn't happen by magic, and nobody held a gun to her head and commanded her to charge.

If she really insists on someone sharing the blame, why not start with her parents? If anyone should have given her tips on money management, it was they. Parents have a duty to pass on what they know. It is part of what constitutes real parenting, especially on sensitive topics like money, sex and morality. Yet many already have abdicated their duties in two of these areas and thrust them on an overburdened public education system in the forms of sex and character education. Is money management going to be next? (Denise Tidwell apparently thinks it should be.)

People are shamefully quick to point fingers at companies whose "fault" it is for not telling them something about their products. Nobody ever incriminates themselves for not reading the fine print or making sure they know exactly what it is they're buying or signing up for. It's just like that idiot in the Bronx who sued McDonald's for "making him fat." It never even occurred to him to educate himself about proper nutrition, or barring that (albeit ridiculous), to sue his parents for not teaching him the ropes.

It is not the credit card companies' fault that people don't look before they leap. If you want to enjoy the privileges of adulthood, you've got to accept the responsibilities. That's just the breaks, and the real world doesn't have any duty to hold your hand and make sure your best interests are served.

Name withheld by request

Foster Careful

Teamwork: I am lost for words regarding the situation with Gloria and Kenny Rogers ["Fostering Abuse," by Margaret Downing, March 27]. This couple has dedicated their lives to nurturing and caring for children with special needs and are subjected to this type of treatment by the system. Who is hiring and training these CPS employees? In California, CPS works with the foster parents as part of the team that is making decisions and doing what's best for the child. After witnessing the miracles at the Rogers residence over the years, my husband and I decided to become foster parents. They have inspired us to open our home and help children who are in need of a family.

Marie Holland
Vallejo, California

Crude Casualties

Gas war: With his war estimated to cost between $60 billion to $100 billion ["All Duct Up," by Richard Connelly, March 13], I hope Bush finds enough oil in Iraq to justify it.

Edan Milton Hughes
San Francisco

Curious George: We are waging a war to remove from power a mad tyrant, a threat to world peace and security. No one doubts that Saddam Hussein is an evil man, a murderer of both his neighbors and his own people. It is certain that he has oppressed and impoverished the Iraqi people. He may well have weapons of mass destruction, both biological and chemical, and he is probably insane enough to use them.

But we have chosen to act not as the protector of the innocent out of our noblest intentions but as a bully out of our basest fears. Each and every nation has the sovereign right to defend itself from aggressors. The war against the government of Afghanistan was justified and necessary, and the world was with us.

But that does not give us the right to go looking about the world for the next perceived possible danger and to attack without provocation.

Allegations without evidence are all that our president gives us to justify endangering hundreds of thousands of our own soldiers and millions of innocent Iraqi civilians. Our president has not proved his case to the American people, let alone to all the free peoples of the world. We have become a vigilante, a rogue nation.

Other nations of the world now distrust us, with good reason. As the most powerful nation, we must also be the most careful and restrained. As the greatest democracy, we must also be the most enlightened and just. We are waging a war to remove from power a mad tyrant, a threat to world peace and security. There is a safer and saner way to remove another tyrant: Don't re-elect him.

Adam Wagman, a native Houstonian
Framingham, Massachusetts


Thanks for freedom: With regard to any "cockiness" that may have been shown by KHOU for its part in the Josiah Sutton story [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, March 20], may I be the first to say that they deserve to be cocky. Had it not been for Anna Werner and David Raziq of KHOU, Josiah Sutton would still be in prison today.

Bob Wicoff, attorney for Josiah Sutton

Footloose Fancy

Another dimension: Perhaps Mr. Hamilton is a gifted man, and he might have telepathy, because this Bigfoot creature does not live in our own dimension and cannot be heard or seen ["Wrestling with Bigfoot," by Mary Lee Grant, March 13]. That is a big deal -- that is the reason why nobody is able to catch this being. We are not the only ones living on planet Earth.

It would be fun if we could go and meditate in that area, to see if we could make contact. We just might learn something.

Pedro Murillo

Ears of Scorn

Ban the club: I love Margaret Downing's writing. Therefore, I am especially looking forward to someday when she will actually write something original and not just the latest press release from whatever left-wing cause she is supporting ["Situational Ethics," February 20].

It is inappropriate for a school system to allow a group of underage teenagers to form a "club" based solely on sexual orientation. Once you open this door, there is absolutely no moral, ethical or logical argument against allowing the Bestiality Club, the Pedophilia Club or the S&M Society.

My own school experience consisted of years of verbal and physical abuse because of having big ears. How about a Big Ear Club? Four Eyes Society? Cootie Club? Everyone gets teased in school. Ms. Downing offers only a vague, unsubstantiated charge that a friend of the girl involved was encountering a lot of harassment.

Suddenly every student, teacher and administrator at Klein ISD becomes an "intolerant constituency that lets bullies and louts rule the hallways." I think I know who is intolerant and holier than thou, and it's not the Klein ISD.

Eldon Roehl

Gulley Backer

Loaded with talent: I have to strongly disagree with Bob Ruggiero's review of the Hulley Gulleys' CD Living in a Big Pink Edsel [Local Rotation, February 27].

I was visiting some Houston friends and went to my favorite live band venue, the Fabulous Satellite Lounge, and got a copy of this CD. I am now a huge fan of the Hulley Gulleys and cannot wait to hear more from them. I love Yvette Eden's voice. I think it is haunting and beautiful.

I am familiar with Dickie Malone's work as I was a Houstonian prior to moving to Arizona five years ago. I believe Malone is very talented and that he will go far in the music industry.

I don't think Mr. Ruggiero gets this music or the talent and genius behind the lyrics and the way in which the music was presented. It's too bad that some music critics have tunnel vision and/or no talent to recognize what true talent is.

Ada Ward

Messiah of the Month?

From rags to bitches: I was just cruising through your Web site when I came across your Jesus of the Week feature [by Peter Gilstrap]. I have always considered myself fairly liberal and broad-minded when it comes to poking fun at organized religion, but the comments accompanying the pictures of Jesus are stupid and sophomoric.

It is also insulting to Christians. If this is an attempt by the Houston Press to be "trendy," it clearly misses the mark. Grow up, people! Don't waste space on pure crapola like this! In the past I had heard someone say that the Press was a "rag." After reading your Jesus column, I see this is true.

Diane Lindenberger


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