No way: I would not serve in the military if openly homosexual individuals were allowed ["Don't Ask, Don't Be," by Craig Malisow, January 5]. As stated in your article, service in the military is not a right, and success is based upon the cohesion of the unit. Here is a real-life battlefield scenario: One of your fellow soldiers, an openly homosexual male, is out in front, all shot up but alive. You can go and get him and expose yourself to possible AIDS-infected blood from contact with your own open wounds or cuts. Me no way. Live and let live, but hey, the military is no longer "Meals on Wheels." If the military is having difficulty attracting recruits now, I venture to say it will be twice as hard to recruit if openly homosexual people are allowed to serve.
Name withheld by request
Too Much Information
Nothing funny about it: Your article last week on gays in the military was very well written, sensitive and well informed. All the more ironic to me, then, that in the same issue, in the review of Tony's ["A New Tony's Order," by Brian McManus, January 5], your food writer could not stick to writing about pasta or veal but felt the need to share with us how he and his other food buds like to call each other (jokingly, of course) the Spanish equivalent of "queer" or "fag" in their free time. Whether he's gay, straight, bi, transsexual, asexual, metrosexual, pansexual, whatever, it's really more information than most of us want in a restaurant review. And for an entire group of citizens who are now permanently second-class because of a new state constitutional amendment, there is nothing funny at all in his banter. In fact, had it been about Jews, African-Americans or many other groups, I doubt you would have even printed it. Perhaps you can send him to the Anti-Defamation League for some sensitivity training some evening when he's not chowing down on a dessert soufflé.
Alan J. Hurwitz
The Word on Wagyu
Well done: What a terrific article about Gary Yamamoto and his herd ["A Cut Above," by Robb Walsh, December 29]. Not only did you handle all the less-than-promotable details about his losing his primary customer, but you wrote what you thought about the Wagyu beef you sampled -- just as you experienced it rather than placating anyone.
That took great courage, and you are to be applauded for it. Thanks again for a very good article.
Paul D. Butler
Not Drugs -- Dirt
Keep away: In addition to being riddled with inaccuracies, Jason Kerr's Stirred and Shaken piece on the Dirt Bar's Vodka Seven [January 5] contains one gross assumption that we insist your readers be aware of: The Dirt does not allow or condone drug use. If anyone buys, sells or uses drugs on the premises, they will be asked to leave. Not only is this sort of reckless journalism insulting to our customers and our staff but it has potential legal consequences to our business. This legal threat exists, despite its basis in the poor observations of your employee. The "huge lines of cocaine" he describes are actually piles of dirt. Clever or not, our graphic designer was trying to incorporate our namesake into his artwork.
The Dirt is a private club. We do not advertise. We are not in the phone book. The only sign we have reads: THIS IS A PRIVATE CLUB.
Mr. Kerr, you are not welcome at The Dirt. In the future, when your ad sales department tells you that they are tired of soliciting sales to businesses that maintain grudges against your publication, you still won't be welcome.
Plane and Simple
Guilty parties: I want all people encouraging this airport to be built just to remember that if or when there is a bird strike, it would be like you bringing down that plane yourself ["It's a Bird! It's a Plane!" by Ford Gunter, December 22]. And if it does harm to anyone, you are to blame for ignoring Katy residents' pleas not to have this airport built. It might not happen today, but it will happen, and I hope you can live with the guilt of injuring or killing someone.
Tagging with Crap
Grow up: Are you freakin' serious!? Can someone please explain to me how "Knitta, Please!" [by Keith Plocek, December 15] was approved? Just because "Poly" and "AKrylik" chose to show their ignorance by tagging their crap with this name doesn't mean you had to follow suit. They obviously knew that this would piss off African-Americans -- why in the hell do you think they chose to remain anonymous? On top of that, whose decision was it to have them pose in long cloaks, masks and hoods on your cover? Grow up, already! By the way, since when did bull like this become news?
Puh-lease: Good Night, and Good Luck the best movie of 2005 ["Rogues' Gallery," by New Times reviewers, December 22]? I doubt it. It is a well-done movie -- well done to the point of being clinical. Good Night, and Good Luck is all head and no heart.
Brokeback Mountain is the best movie in years. The fact that it isn't on your ten best list shows how homophobic and/or closeted your critics are.
The December 29 Stirred and Shaken column by Jason Kerr incorrectly stated the first name of the Mugsy's bartender who served Kerr a sidecar. The bartender's name is Jimmy.
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The Houston Press regrets the error.
Readers of "Diamond in the Rough," an item in the January 12 Hair Balls column, might have been left with the impression that the Harris County Flood Control District would be responsible for the operation of two detention ponds in the Heights. The ponds will be the property of TxDOT, the state highway department, unless other arrangements are made.
The Houston Press regrets the confusion.