Housebreaking the Lapdog
Thank goodness someone has finally painted the real picture of what has been going on in the city controller's office during the last two months [The Insider, "The Lapdog Eats His Own," March 14]. Not that the public cares about what happens to city employees, though they should. These folks are for the most part a group of hard workers dedicated to the city of Houston, not to any mere politician, as your source points out. Their lives have been turned upside down by a cruel bunch of autocrats. One has to reach back to the beginning of Kathy Whitmire's first term as controller to experience such mean-spiritedness in City Hall. One person laid off by Lloyd Kelley, six days short of being with the city ten years, asked to extend her termination date to safeguard her pension position in the future, and was told, "No way." Even Whitmire, known for her callousness, wasn't this uncaring. Thanks for exposing Lloyd Kelley and his cohorts.

D. Ruffing

The Twelfth Man Speaks
While I did find Michael Berryhill's "Swinish Behavior" [March 14] to be a very well-researched article, it infuriated me. Not because the sources were not credible, nor because it was poorly written. The problem was that Mr. Berryhill seemed to be yet another member of the liberal media who decides to take a 90-mile trek to College Station and then makes a general assumption about Texas A&M and the A&M mentality.

I state this because of a key line in his article: "The notion of institutional arrogance, especially when it comes to A&M E " was wholly unnecessary. You cannot simply state that an institution such as Texas A&M is arrogant based on one incident, one case, one visit or even a small series of trips and articles. Unless you have attended Texas A&M -- and understand the bond, the spirit, the camaraderie and the spirit that it fosters -- then you have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT TO MAKE SUCH A STATEMENT.

As for the "heavy gold A&M ring" that John Beverly wears, why doesn't Mr. Berryhill learn what all the symbols on that ring mean? Is he aware that the ring is the same design for both sexes -- and that it does not have any differences among all the graduates? Is he aware that the ring's symbols stand for pride in this great state of Texas? Is he aware that symbols on that ring also stand for pride in this country, and an Aggie's devotion to God, family, school, state and country? Is this institutional arrogance? I think not.

Texas A&M is a fine institution -- but it is a generally accepted belief that because it lies in College Station, miles from a major urban center, that it must be arrogant because it simply "does as it pleases." Well, that belief is incorrect. It is not an arrogant institution because it lies where it does, or because it embraces its own internal beliefs; rather, it fosters a spirit of hard-working, conservative, proactive leaders in the community and a dedication to what this country stands for.

I would not call this institutional arrogance, but rather institutional excellence! Once again, Mr. Berryhill is indeed a fine writer, and an excellent journalist, but I stand by the fact that I highly disagree with his comment.

Gilbert Velasquez Jr.

Twisted Brodner
Steve Brodner's comics display a demented and darkly twisted view of reality. It is the same type of view that characterizes someone who needs professional help and is probably more than slightly deranged. In other words: Brodner, keep up the good work.

John Filton


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