Is the Dream a Nightmare?
Of course I believe that Hakeem Olajuwon is pious and loves Allah ["Dreaming of Perfection," November 25, by Alex Hecht] -- even though he fights, throws elbows, disses his teammates, impregnates women, has to be sued for support when the child is born a girl, renegotiates his contract yearly and is uncooperative with the media. I believe it like I believe how that other paragon of NBA virtue, Charles Barkley, will be taking over the Miss Manners column when he retires.

R.T. Castleberry

The Right to Rights
It's funny to see the news and entertainment media upset because they are being partly blamed for the current level of violence in our society ["Violence, TV and Demagoguery," December 2, by Mark Jurkowitz]. Perhaps you can begin to understand how most gun owners in this country feel. Furthermore, perhaps you will begin to understand that it is the Second Amendment to the Constitution which insures First Amendment rights.

Forrest Armstrong

Border Crossup
"Border Crossings," by Deborah A. Garza and D.J. Wilson [Photo Essay, November 25], was a welcome addition to the consistently interesting reporting in the Houston Press.

There is one omission I would like to correct: Garza's photographs for this project were first exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography during its annual members' show, June through July 1993. Garza was among twelve photographers selected by the judges, of whom I was one. I recall that when we saw her works, we unanimously agreed that these images belonged in the exhibition.

Garza's photographs deserve an audience, and I am glad that the Houston Press gave them exposure.

Edward Osowski
President, Houston Center for Photography

Hermann's Homeless
What a piece of writing! ["Outside People," November 4, by David Theis] Great! Wonderful and sad! This underworld of homelessness (the very word is frightening) brings back the cold reality that we all have failed each other as human beings.

Via Barksdale

Let the Secret Out
Since I never seem to be able to find the Houston Press in the Heights, it was a pleasure when a friend gave me a recent issue. In that issue is a discussion that nobody had sent in a letter to the editor ["The Letter We've Been Waiting For," November 18, by M. Jackson August]. Thus, my letter to you today.

Reading three issues, I was struck by the suddenly homeless writer and his point about just who cares ["Outside People," by David Theis]. Having worked with the homeless as a VISTA [Volunteers In Service To America] worker, I learned that a huge chunk of Houstonians are only one day from being homeless. It's rather frightening, to say the least.

And I especially relished the profile on Jan de Hartog ["The Literary Lion in Winter, November 18, by Ann Walton Sieber]. Not much has really changed at Ben Taub, except perhaps the new buildings. Don't ever go there if you have emotional problems -- you will finally be seen after twelve to 16 hours of waiting.

The profile of Hakeem Olajuwon brought some warmth into the sports pages ["The Pious Giant," by Alex Hecht]. Those of us who have followed Olajuwon since his University of Houston days have always known he was special. Besides, anyone who could cold-cock a 7-11 clerk will always have a special place in the hearts of anyone who has dealt with their clerks.

The Houston Press is a well-kept secret to most Houstonians. I hope you soon you will have more outlets.

R. Mike Harvey

Case Closed
Our world is one of chaos, one where arbitrary acts of violence regularly occur. It took no super-spy logistical planning to assassinate President Kennedy ["The Theory Assassins," December 2, by Rebecca Sherman]. Oswald simply took advantage of the printed travel route placed in highlighted detail within the Dallas newspapers, he had easy access to a rifle and, finally, there was the fateful coincidence of his working at the school depository building.

A conspiratorial mindset has inherent psychological defense mechanisms which allow the dismissal of all contradictory evidence as merely further lies of the conspirators. Arguing logically is useless when confronted by this vacuous mentality. These are pathetic people who immaturely embrace a make-believe world, ignoring the demands of getting a real life.

David Thomson

Bishop to K-9
We would like to add to your November 11 article "Scientific Necessity?" [by Bernadette Gillece] by reminding your readers that the Houston SPCA, the city's largest and oldest animal-welfare facility, has not, does not, and will never sell animals for research.

Leah K. Bishop
Community Relations Director, Houston SPCA

In Memoriam
The crossword by Eugene Sheffer is my favorite feature in the Houston Press. It was omitted in the current issue, and I really miss it. Hope it will be back again next week.

Lilian E. Long

We've been looking for the past two issues for the Cryptoquip. We do it before we read. Hope it comes back.

Ron Odom
Missouri City

The byline was left off of an interview with Iranian filmmaker Bahram Beizai in last week's Press. Peter Szatmary wrote the story.


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