Online readers respond to "No Justice,"by James Lieber, October 29:
Props: This is an interesting article with some good points. Props for calling Obama to task.
I completely agree there needs to be prosecutions of the über-elite, but why stop there? How about everyone who got a sub-prime loan get prosecuted as well. They knew that they wouldn't be able to pay their debts, but they took out the loans anyway.
I disagree that more regulation would cause any change (as it would be written by the lobbyists). I just think we need to remove this idea of "too big to fail." Having capitalism on the way up and socialism on the way down just robs the middle class to pay the über-rich.
Nate the Snake
We deserve better: How 'bout calling to task the Dems who, by force of law, "encouraged" the banks to make bad loans and who got favorable loans themselves? How about the former head of the Fed Mr. Greenspan, who kept rates artificially low for years? Fact is, home purchasing helps the economy, and getting people into homes they cannot afford helps the politicians. Ask the tough questions, never quit. This is our country; they work for us; we deserve better.
Break them up: I really don't understand this "too big to fail" thing. I've always been under the impression that antitrust and antimonopoly laws were put into place under Theodore Roosevelt so there would never be any one company that was "too big to fail," because government shouldn't be bowing to a corporation.
Here we have banks that are deemed to be "too big to fail." The next logical step seems to be to break them up until they aren't too big to fail. But that's not happening.
Where were you? I don't know who James Lieber is — perhaps a staffer at another New Times publication? [Editors' note: The Press is now owned by Village Voice Media.] But this is a well-reported piece of advocacy journalism, and I applaud the Press for running it. It seems that the Obama administration has made a devil's bargain — it will leave the structure of investment capitalism essentially unchallenged if international capitalists will agree to leave their money invested in American stocks while the administration seeks long-overdue, relatively modest progressive changes in other areas of society.
But I have a question — where was New Times for the previous eight years when the Bush administration was doubling the national debt and ignoring or dismantling what inadequate regulatory structures were in place to prevent financial abuses? The Houston Press has done some excellent investigative reporting on corrupt local politics, but national issues have rarely been the subject of Press cover stories. Indeed, the New Times chain seems deliberately nonideological, unless "snarky" can be defined as an ideology. Is it that attacking Bush would have been too obvious, too characteristic of what readers would expect from an alternative weekly? But attacking Obama, the great hope of progressives, Nobel Peace Prize winner, the one who is the change of which he speaks? Well, that would be the snarky thing to do...
Online readers respond to "Trying to Save Memories of Mary's," by Richard Connelly, Hair Balls blog, November 3:
What remains: Are the prospective owners aware that the back green space is the resting place of hundreds of our dead brothers and sisters? Who would want to build over this? Not me.
So sad: This is just another sign that Montrose, as many of us have known it, is slowly transforming. I'll start referring to the neighborhood as "Midtown West" from now on.
When I moved to Houston in 1977, Mary's was the first gay bar some friends shared with me. It was like going into a carnival spook house — scary but exciting as hell! It was the gathering spot on Sunday afternoons, especially during the Westheimer Art Festival, holidays and after Mardi Gras. I took a lot of photos that are on that bar-top. Young ones today have no idea how much energy (and other things) went on in that bar back in the heyday of Houston's boomtown era. Politicians, celebrities and neighborhood patrons all dropped in. But like everything else in Montrose, all good and fun things come to an end.
The Old Switcheroo
Online readers comment on "Planned Parenthood Director Becomes an Anti-Abortion Protester," by Margaret Downing, Hair Balls blog, November 2:
Protesters' abortions: I worked at Planned Parenthood for years and continue to volunteer. Abby's story is unusual, but the reverse of it is not so unusual.
You wouldn't believe the number of people who have spent time protesting out on the sidewalks in front of clinics who, one day, show up inside the clinic asking for an abortion. Each one explains — up, down and sideways — that her case is different, her need somehow more important, her choice right when others' choices are wrong. Each of those protesters is treated with the same care and respect as any other patient seeking an abortion or any of the many other services Planned Parenthood offers.
Many of them wind up right back out on the sidewalk, sometimes at the same clinic where they obtained abortions, protesting against the very people who provided the legal medical procedure they obtained.
I hope Abby Johnson finds some peace. But I also hope that women who need the health services Planned Parenthood provides continue to find safe, legal and nonjudgmental access to those services. That's much more important.
Horrifying: If more women like myself had the opportunity to see an ultrasound of what transpires inside the womb during an abortion, more women would be absolutely horrified. I know some people who provide the opportunity to view a 3-D ultrasound of their baby and when women do, they almost never go forward with the abortion.
The owner of the company told me that they have recently acquired a couple of 3-D ultrasound videos from two different abortions and will start sharing those with women who are considering this horrific and barbaric practice.
That thing: Come on Alecia, what is so horrific about "health services"? Every woman should have the right to go on a bender, wake up with some indeterminate sperm inside of them and go down to their local "health provider" to get the "thing" removed. It's in the Constitution.
Infiltrator: Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who volunteer for Planned Parenthood or get involved in the choice movement and do it with the wrong reasons. They want to sabotage or get inside information for the "right to life" groups. Sounds like this lady is one of them.
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