Protesting Peace

Protesting Peace

Don't question; support: Maybe I'm growing out of my liberalist mentality. Or is it that maybe I'm looking at all points of view on an issue before I form my opinion instead of falling victim to the media brainwashing?

There are certain times in a society when it must come together, respect and support the decisions of its elected leaders. I would expect the members of the media to take it upon themselves, as Americans, to attempt to support their leaders and the war effort. This negative form of reporting ["Peace Signs," by Craig Malisow, January 30] during times like these is damaging to the morale of the citizens and the troops being deployed. This war is not about oil. It is about human rights and preserving the citizens of Iraq and surrounding countries.

Your article has a one-sided argument that blames the United Nations' sanctions for the suffering in Iraq. Give me a break. A heartless dictator used chemical and biological agents on millions of his own people and others. So why not protest Saddam? And what makes you believe that Saddam would not deploy a nuclear weapon against Americans if one were available to him? This man continues to build his arsenal of biological and chemical weapons, and he's very close to developing a nuclear weapon. Sanctions and diplomacy have not worked. The only option left is force.

I know that my viewpoints disagree with many on your staff and many of your readers. Nobody likes war, because people die. But thanks to the sacrifices of those who went to war in the past, you have the right to publish articles such as this, your readers have the right to protest this war, and I have the right to submit this letter to the editor voicing my opinion. Do you enjoy these rights? If you do, then support our troops! In essence, they are fighting for your rights as Americans.

Joseph Gonzales

ANSWERing the alarm: In his article, Craig Malisow mentions that the protests were organized by International ANSWER. Some Internet sites show that ANSWER has links to the Workers World Party, a Stalinist cult. The WWP is on record as supporting the massacre in Tiananmen Square, the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the tyrannical regime of North Korea's Kim Jong Il and the genocidal lunatic Slobodan Milosevic.

I suppose people can both love the United States and be against this looming war. But when they freely march in protests with ties to supporters of totalitarian and fascist regimes, I have my doubts.

Michael L. Brock

God-awful: Maybe I'm a sucker for God talk, but I appreciated hearing the president say, "Freedom is not something the United States gives to other nations; it is God's gift to all mankind." It struck me as an indication of humility and right-mindedness. There is no doubt the president's detractors will hear it as further evidence of a crusade mentality.

Hey, wait a minute. The president's detractors? That's me. Where was I…Oh, yes. The crusade mentality. First we have a bunch of wacky Muslims from the Middle Ages cloaking their murderous intent in the mantle of holy war, and now we have the leader of the most powerful nation on earth responding like Richard the Lionhearted. I knew we shouldn't have elected an Episcopalian. His true loyalties lie in Canterbury.

Seriously, is it a good idea to portray our impending attack on Iraq as divinely inspired? Didn't the Crusades of 1,000 years ago teach us anything? Some of the worst horrors man has ever inflicted on himself have been in the name of God.

If the president is correct about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein (and who am I to doubt the president?), then it may be wise to disarm him now rather than later. If so, let's admit that we are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils; we are not carrying out the perfect will of God.

Freedom is, indeed, God's intention. And it starts with freedom from the fear, greed, jealousy, guilt and false pride that have enslaved mankind for too long and perpetuated the cycle of oppression and war. You would think Muslims and Christians would get it by now.

Herschel E. Moore

Big turnout: My husband and I were also in D.C. for the rally on January 18. The organizers had the march start halfway through the speeches because there was no way it would have finished before nightfall. The crowd kept growing as the marchers took off.

To get an idea of the enormity of the crowd, check out photos at C-SPAN also has full video on its site, and aerial views of the San Francisco rally are available at  

Theresa Keefe

Breaking in: With the world nearly at war, corporate wrongs and budget shortfalls, Houston newscasters feel the rodeo lineup deserves the top story. News 2 Houston sent a Breaking News E-mail on the rodeo lineup along with an advertisement!

The local newscasts are filled with glitzy, pretty smiling faces that will make any viewer ill. Breaking news is not something you plan in a segment in every newscast. Face-overs are not news except for those females 18 to 24 working in the mall. E-mail newscasts can't be all advertisements and a smidgen content. Shaq v. Yao is not news! Proper English should always be used! Those who don't understand English are not watching your newscast anyway! Charity event coverage should not be in the first, second or third segment; it should be, rather, at the end of the newscast. Real news can be a winner if newscasters rid their souls of glitz, excessive smiles and research at the makeup counter at Foley's!

Michael Haddad

Been There, Din That

Blame it on Mick: Thank you for the article titled "Stone Deaf" [by Wendy Grossman, February 6].

Yes, I too had been dreaming of seeing the Stones for the third time in Houston. Previously, I saw the Stones at the Astrodome and Compaq Center. Both venues offered exceptional sound quality. No, it was not like the Meyerson in Dallas or the Wortham here, but I could certainly hear the words.

The only word that comes to mind when I think of the night of January 25 is "cacophony." A Reliant customer service representative kept calling me in Waco. He was very nice. This person explained that the Stones used their own equipment. They controlled all of the sound. I believe this.

In my opinion, approximately 90 percent of the speakers were front-fired. I was sitting in section 634. These tickets were sold by Reliant as a promotion before tickets were being offered to the public.

If the Stones are still alive for another tour, I will likely head to the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

David Whitten

No Smut Glut

Porn-less with the Press: Where's my porn?! I read in your Letters column ["Scorn Porn," February 6] that the Houston Press has too much porn in it, and I'm wondering what happened to my porn.

I've been reading the HP for years and not once did I get porn with it. Did perhaps the letter writer get my fair share of said porn? Are terrorists (Iraqi ones, no doubt) intercepting it?

Just wondering.

Cary Stanford

Cursory Check

Clean it up: Didn't this letter writer's mommy ever tell him not to cheat, lie, steal and use the F-word unnecessarily [Letters, "Cinematic Intercourse," January 30]?

Why does the Press allow so many spike-haired punk rock wannabes to keep it in second-level status with the forced and indiscriminate use of the F-word that saturates your Letters column?

The Press has the potential to compete favorably with the "Comical" (Chronicle), so why do you embarrass yourself?

Please tell the letter writer (and the others) that "vulgarity is the crutch of the inarticulate asshole."

Kenneth R. Bryan

Editor's note: Before you grab the soap and go after the letter writer, understand that he was merely continuing the commentary originally crafted by Gregory Weinkauf in his review of the film Narc ["Straining Day," January 9]: "In tone-deaf tune with the warmed-over gangsta dialogue, the essence of Narc is that fuckers keep fucking up each other's fucking shit until every fucking thing gets all fucking fucked up."

Hawk-ing Art

Transcending war: Transcending strife: I'm a liberal myself, and I appreciate Kelly Klaasmeyer's "The Art of War" [January 30], an explication of the imperialistic machinations behind the collecting and exhibition of the art in the imminently closing Afghanistan show at the MFAH.

But Jesus and Buddha, Kelly? Who cares? The works on exhibit have survived the plundering and cupidity of countless generations; those sculptures have survived beyond politics and beyond empires, and we are so fortunate to be able to see them in Houston, of all places.

The focus of the review should have been on the art. What possibly could be more timely and moving in the context of our own multicultural and information-flooding society than these examples of cultural fusion and spirituality unique to Afghanistan?

The beauty in that one room transcends politics. It should make us reflect that the only thing that survives, the only immortality we can be sure of, is embodied in works of art.  

Scott Bodenheimer

Gratuitous vex: Kelly Klaasmeyer's review (or personal political statement) on the MFAH's Afghanistan exhibition follows a tedious and predictable pattern of shallow political analyses masquerading as art reviews.

Certainly the issues surrounding collections of third-world objects are a valid topic for serious discussion. And the ubiquitous sponsorship of the Bush family for everything in Houston is also worth a comment or two. But linking the exhibition with (what most of us think is) the impending war in Iraq seems a bit gratuitous, even for this reader.

But the real problem with the review lies in the lack of journalistic research. If the writer had interviewed the exhibition's organizer and curator, she would have realized that the Houston exhibition was planned pre-9/11. We also don't know what motivated the curator, and that would have been helpful for a balanced review. But that would have made the story less interesting.

Klaasmeyer is a good writer who tackles important subjects, but her work falls flat when we find out the journalism is second-rate.

Patrick Kwiatkowski

Editor's note: An essay in the exhibition's catalog states that the plan to show this exhibition at the MFA "took shape as early as November 2001" -- two months after 9/11.

Unloading on Unloco

Can the clones: I was extremely disappointed to open your magazine to find, of all bands, Unloco getting a full-page feature piece ["Unloco en la Cabeza," by Bob Ruggiero, January 30].

As a DJ at UT's KVRX, I had the displeasure of reviewing their 2001 debut, Healing, which is little more than another sound-alike, overly serious nü-metal album. It's no wonder this band never took off: Their niche has already been filled by crappy bands like Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Korn and God knows how many other rip-offs (ahem, Saliva) overplayed on KLOL and the Buzz.

C'mon, guys, let's leave the industry-hyped clones to magazines like Revolver, which you so rightfully criticized two issues ago, and focus on the more innovative, exciting music Texas has to offer.

Stephen Palkot

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