Checking in on Che Guevara
No hero: Thanks for the article on Che ["A Darker Look at Che," by Tim Elfrink, August 6]. I can't express the anger I feel each and every time I see Che being portrayed as a hero in books, T-shirts and articles. You really showed how he hurt a Cuban family that didn't deserve it. Gustavo reminds me of my father. He too had to leave his beloved Cuba, and his hatred for Fidel and Che is similar to Gustavo's. I know that as a responsible journalist, you had to mention another view and you did so with quotes from UCLA scholar McLaren. His views are so incredibly hypocritical, much like the views of many liberal professors at American universities. He should think of his colleagues at the University of Havana who cannot make any such comments freely and thank God that he is an American and is afforded that right to speak and say such ridiculous statements.
And from our online readers:
Trash talking: This article, while exposing Gustavo's story, is garbage written by some stupidly capitalistic low-brainer. Thanks.
Comment by Betin from Houston
The money: I second the previous comment. Is always about the money with exiles (the "white" ones)...Gusanos!
Comment by Manolo from Houston
Whiny liberals: Wow, what a bunch of liberals you guys are. The minute someone works hard and makes a lot of money, you hate on them. Go find a job that is rewarding "spiritually" and fiscally. Che was just as big a monster as the big, bad capitalists. He began with a vision of justice for all people, but was not immune to the disease of power. Che killed anyone that did not view the world as he did. He didn't believe in an individual's growth of quality of life, except his own. He even turned his back on his own family because they didn't believe in his socialist views. Che was a waste of a humanitarian. He should have been greater.
All you whiny liberals are the cause of this country's loss of wholesome values. No real person wishes harm on anyone, but to judge others because of their earnest living is the same thing. Granted, there are greedy bastards out there, but that should not be taken away from those who earn it.
Comment by Eddie from Houston
Government goons: So anti-Castro! While I encourage people of all nations to fight against oppressive governments, I here believe that the Cuban Villoldos were simply goons of the U.S. government, which seeks to dictate to Cuba. I also find it interesting that a man as honorable and free-spirited as Gustava Villoldo would believe it's heroic to devastate innocent villagers in his revenge mission or would threaten nondisclosure of interview if another perspective were sought!
Comment by Netsbridge from Houston
The On-Top Rape Victim
Nothing lit up our online readers on both sides of the issue more than our "Judge Reportedly Questioned Whether Woman Was Raped Because She Was 'On Top'" Hair Balls blog by Richard Connelly on August 10.
Tact: I agree with the judge that perhaps he could have used a little more tact in dealing with the victim, but failing to ask a question out of politeness when a guy is facing life in prison would be inexcusable. Kudos to the judge for asking a non-PC question in order to be comfortable with the sentence. I'd hate to think that judges fail to satisfy their questions when considering sentence because the question might offend someone.
Real time: 25 years isn't "life in prison" — the rapist will probably be out on parole in five.
And a misogynist cokehead who automatically assumes a rape victim is at fault for being raped has no business being anywhere near the bench.
Befuddled and bemused: And just how does a woman get raped when she is on top? I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one, because unless the woman was drugged or paralyzed, there was at least one 100 percent effective escape route: Just. Stand. Up. Man left floundering on ground, woman up and out of reach and able to run; ergo: rape thwarted. How much more simple does it need to be? Besides, it's hard enough to control a "willing" partner when they're on top; I'd need to be superhumanly strong in order to successfully control an unwilling partner who's on top. As such, I find this judge's skepticism quite understandable...I would be just as incredulous were I in his place.
Knifepoint: I was raped five years ago at knifepoint.
As a "victim" myself, I understand both how it can still be rape even if there's a potential escape route and how important it is that rapists are convicted.
However, I still want alleged rapists to have a fair trial. Fair trials require judges to be free to ask potentially offensive or upsetting questions.
Houston Press art critic is named to distinguished fellowship
Kelly Klaasmeyer, an award-winning art critic who writes for the Houston Press, has been named one of six recipients of the 2009 University of Southern California Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowships.
Klaasmeyer is a working artist who also is editor of the online magazine Glasstire, which is devoted to the visual arts of Texas. The USC/Getty fellowship program, now in its eighth year, "seeks to establish a new standard of excellence in arts and culture coverage," according to a press release in which the fellows were named.
The three-week program begins November 1 and will focus on the visual arts and architecture of Los Angeles. A committee of arts journalists and journalism school directors chose this year's fellows from an international pool of more than 90 applicants from 24 U.S. states and 16 foreign countries.
Obama and Us
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Todd Spivak wins first place for feature on the President
Former Houston Press staffer Todd Spivak won first place in the just-announced 2009 Salute to Excellence Awards sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Spivak won in the Feature category for newspapers under 150,000 in circulation for his story, "Obama and Me," which told about his experiences as a young cub reporter covering a fledgling politician back in the years when Obama was beginning his Chicago political career.