Online readers comment on h"This River Oaks Playhouse Is Better Than Your Crappy Apartment," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, July 21:
Wow! Well, I guess showing kids the meaning of "integrity" is long gone. That money could have been used to build houses for the homeless around her own neighborhood. Yes, there is only one childhood, but that means there is only one chance that parents have to teach their children how to take care of the future by taking care of the present. How can that "playhouse" take care of that child later in life?
It's their money: How do you know how much money/time the family contributes to charity? What if they matched, dollar for dollar, the money they spent on building that house with contributions to Habitat for Humanity or the Houston Food Bank?
Since when do we get to make the decision on how these people choose to spend their money? Since when do we get to decide what is okay and what is too extravagent?
Capitalism has serious flaws. Homelessness and poverty are terrible, and a family building a $50K playhouse for their child while another child goes hungry is tragic. But I doubt most have lived to the bare minimum of their means and contributed the rest to charity, and until they have, they don't really have room to talk. See, everyone has their own "line" for extravagance.
People have the right to spend the money that they have earned however they choose.
Consumers good: Well, thank goodness people are spending money in this economy. As far as I can tell, Schiller didn't just burn the money. She spent good money on good, old highly skilled American labor. And, from the New York Times article, it looks to me like this is something that adds value to the home itself, meaning that while its creation created work for more than one American, it was also a property investment.
Or perhaps the blog author here is suggesting that we, as a country, would have been better off had Schiller just gone to Walmart and spent $500 on something plastic imported from China? Or that taxing this money away and putting it into unemployment payments or other entitlements would have done more, and created more jobs in the economy, than the act of having a custom playhouse built?
Thank goodness this US consumer is consuming.
Obscenity charge: The interesting thing about this country is that obscene displays of wealth here don't even make people bat an eyelash, but in other countries it is seen as tacky and gauche. This culture of selfishness knows no bounds. The "I have mine and fuck everyone else" mentality is not only encouraged, but applauded and defended by those who will never become that wealthy, yet still hold out in the belief that some day they will join them in their decadence.
The cult of wealth – and it most certainly is a cult, judging by the adoration people have for it – is symptomatic of a society gone insane.
Online readers comment on "Texas Science Textbook Wars: Ed Board Slashes Time for Public," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, July 19:
Sic 'em: Anyone who has a school-age child and does not get them into a good private school ASAP should have CPS sicced on them.
Suffering from withdrawl: The religious-right would like nothing better than for concerned parents to withdraw their children from public education. This would increase pressure for some form of voucher program that would then finish their goal of destroying public education.
The far right does not want an educated, literate public as we are harder to control. Ben Franklin was quoted as saying, "We have a democracy, if we can keep it."
An embarrassment: "I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it." - Dame Edith Sitwell
Barbara Cargill, and all the people that support her, are embarrassments to Texas. Hopefully one day, we'll have a true separation of church and state, and religious teaching will be back in Sunday schools, parochial schools or the home, where it belongs.
Bravo, Barbara Cargill: All the atheists and evolutionists who are crying foul here are a bunch of sorry crybabies. Evolution and atheism are not the be-all of science. Believing in creation and design is not the end of science. You people would be the first to exclude Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, from teaching science. Did Newton's belief in design and creation prevent him from being the greatest physicist that ever lived? I don't think so. Methinks the lady (i.e. atheists and evolutionists, not Cargill) does protest a little too much.
This is absurd! How can the State Board of Education even consider this with absolutely zero evidence? Why not start teaching Harry Potter in science classes? You have as much evidence that Harry Potter is real as you do Adam and Eve. Unreal. It's no wonder Texas has the most uneducated workforce in the U.S.
Debating Don Julio's
Online readers comment on "First Look at Don Julio's," Eating...Our Words blog, by Katharine Shilcutt, July 25:
Easy path: Being just bland enough to appeal to everyone: It's the American way! I can't blame them for going down the same path that's worked for sit-down restaurant chains and local "institutions" (like Barnaby's Cafe) for years.
Good neighborhood spot: We live within walking distance from Don Julio's and have been happy to just have the space filled. I think a large vacant building there makes the entire area look a bit derelict. We had an early dinner at Don Julio's on Saturday. The crowd was much as you described it, a lot of the neighborhood folk. I attribute that to the fact that they're only in their soft opening stage, and you pretty much had to drive by to even know that they have opened.
The signature margarita was much too sweet for me, but they quickly whisked it away and brought me a skinny version, which was perfect. The red salsa was lacking any sort of heat, the rellenos were a bit bland, the snapper was great, and the fajitas and a combo plate were just fine.
However, we did make a discovery. Hubs requested hot sauce because we like our Tex Mex with a bit of a kick. They don't have any commercial sauces, but brought back an incredible house-made chipotle sauce. That stuff was incredible smeared on fajitas, drizzled on tacos or added to the chili relleno. It was a bit sweet at the start, but with a signature chipotle finish and a surprising kick at the end.
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Is Don Julio's my favorite Tex Mex? Nope. But the good margaritas, great service, really reasonable prices and simple proximity will probably make it a fairly regular destination.
HE'S NOT HER BROTHER
In "Friends With Benefits," [by John Nova Lomax, July 27] we stated that Dr. Sam Siegler is the brother of former Harris County prosecutor Kelly Siegler. In fact, Dr. Siegler is Kelly Siegler's husband. The Houston Press regrets the error.