Letters to the Editor
Disgusted: The first thing I'm going to admit to is the fact that I was too angry to read the entire article ["Horse Flesh," by Josh Harkinson, April 13]. There were far too many unanswered questions, for me, in the first two pages. First, if Finch feels that horse slaughter is "murder," how does he feel about the butchering of innocent cows? Both groups would qualify as cattle, and to be perfectly honest, though I'm American, born and bred, if someone offered it to me, I'd eat a chunk of horse flesh. Second, I have a question in regards to the poll stating that 70 to 90 percent of Americans are opposed to killing horses for meat. What question were they asked? Is anyone aware of the wording? If someone asked my mother or sister if they were opposed to killing horses for meat, they'd say yes, because as the article stated, Americans generally don't eat horse. If it were specified that this meat would be exported to countries that do eat horse, their answer would be the exact opposite.
That said, I just wanted to point out to these people that you cannot murder a horse. Murder, by definition, only applies to other human beings. If someone wants to claim their horse is human, they need to have a long talk with their therapist. As for the people in the article who lived near the slaughterhouse, I just want to know what their problem is. I've never lived near a slaughterhouse because I'm about 98 percent sure that it would smell, regardless of the animal. They've made their bed, and when it's time to lie in it, they want to complain about the bad smell? If it's that bad, move. There are plenty of free boxes in downtown Houston for them to live in.
To end this letter, and go back to being disgusted by the people interviewed for the article, I just want to say that it's horribly ethnocentric to deprive people of a food source because we don't eat it. How would Americans feel if Indians (people from India, not Native Americans) came over and said they have a spiritual union with the cow and then started to shut down all of our slaughterhouses?
Circle of Trust
Don't be silly: Did I land on another planet?
Since when did American children under the voting age live in a democracy ["Such Nice Kids," Hair Balls, as told to Richard Connelly, April 6]? As kids growing up in Houston, we did not have the right to leave school and protest silly social challenges like segregation, lynching, fair housing practices, police brutality, yada, yada, yada. And if my parents' friends, neighbors, church members, co-workers, mailmen or anybody else had recognized us on TV, our next sit-in would have been a stand-inÉfor medical reasons.
Economically speaking, dollars travel in circles. That's what keeps us going. The circles are being broken. Anybody care to guess how many FEMA-Katrina reconstruction dollars are being wired straight to Mexico?
How do we plan to get those dollars circulating on this side of the Rio Grande?
Name withheld by request
View from the Top
Rigorous training: I would like to commend you for choosing Michael E. DeBakey as the No. 1 school in Houston ["These Kids Go to the Best Public High School in Houston," by Todd Spivak, March 2]. My two years there were well spent, and they truly prepared me for my future in college. Academic rigor is what all high schools in the Houston area should hold their students up to. Students should have to think for themselves and take their future into their own hands, instead of being handed their diploma on a silver platter.
I am also very glad you included SAT and AP scores in your analysis. As a new policy at my school, North Shore Senior High (No. 26 on your list), all students who are enrolled in an AP class must take the AP exam. While this has caused controversy among the students, especially seniors like me, I think it is a good idea. The whole point of taking an AP class is to get credit for college. With good teachers, this is possible.
I also believe that requiring all students to graduate on the recommended program, as both North Shore and DeBakey do, is not a bad thing. It's not like it takes up the student's whole schedule. I am enrolled in four AP classes, choir and independent study. With all of this, I still have space to have a filler period, when I do work as an officer of our local Anchor Club. Having students graduate on the recommended program really isn't asking much. I just wish some people would get that through their heads.
Not TRU: The KACC profile ["KACC Mentality," by John Nova Lomax, March 30] was pretty amusing. I remember growing up in the Clear Lake area and hearing a lot of weird little shows coming from that station. Glad to know that it's still puttering away.
Despite the nice profile, Lomax takes some needless swipes at KTRU. Why? Not because the content is bad -- after all, he calls the programming cutting-edge. No, instead he lashes out at the "hipster kids" for not entertaining him. If you want great radio personalities, go to the holy grail that is KCOH on the AM dial. That isn't what KTRU is all about. KTRU is and always has been about the music. Its pabulum (I'm using the word in the positive sense of intellectual sustenance, not in the negative sense employed by Lomax) comes not from DJs making cute skits but from DJs playing music that they give a shit about. That means poring over music and challenging themselves to open their ears. I spent many years at KTRU, and for me, despite my mumbling intermissions, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Heidi Bullinga, one of the station managers, once told me, "If you don't play at least one shitty song in your set, you aren't a good DJ!" That to me was always what KTRU was about: people who love taking chances and exploring music. So why would Lomax not praise this type of radio in Houston? Somebody please tell me, 'cause I got nothin'!
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