This may be the issue that finally gets me voting for Libertarian candidates.

Michael Warren Smith
Via e-mail

Lazy judges
The article on the judges did not go far enough ["Courthouse coup," November 27]. A more slothful, ignorant, rude, and arrogant group cannot be imagined. It is not limited to the criminal courts. The civil judges are just as lazy and ignorant as their criminal counterparts.

People should not be surprised when Republicans tell them they want less government and then work half-days. Makes sense to me.

If anything, the article but scratched the surface.
Don't use my name since even cornered rats turn and fight back. If you think these are not the most vindictive people on earth, you haven't been to the courthouse to see them in action.

Name withheld
Via e-mail

Good ol' Sandy Kress
Thank you, Ms. [Miriam] Rozen, for being the first reporter at the Observer to get to the actual issues in DISD ["One fine mess," November 20]. Princess Laura [Miller], apologist for [Sandy] Kress, never quite got it. As a result, issues that should have been exposed years ago were hidden by her continual whining about what a martyr Kress was for wasting his important intellect on minority children. How ironic that his opinion of their representatives so resembled Dan Peavy's.

Via e-mail

If you'd been more familiar with DISD history, you would have witnessed [John] Scovell's greatest screw-up: pressuring Marvin Edwards and the board into laying off teachers rather than increasing taxes. The district has never recovered the trust of teachers, parents, or students. It also left a permanent disability in regard to recruiting bilingual teachers. Those teachers who had left other countries after being recruited by the yahoos at DISD were left with no jobs.

Via e-mail

Down for the count
The piece you did on Kevin Von Erich was excellent ["Wrestling with tragedy," November 20]. I already knew the story, but hearing it from Kevin's lips brought a tear to my eye.

Ryan DeSain
Via e-mail

As a child in Houston, I grew up watching the Von Erichs fight their way into wrestling history. As I grew older and watched wrestling's focus shift from fights to farce, it became clear to me that wrestling was just a joke, as many of my friends claimed. But the tragedy of each Von Erich death hit home--as does the death of everyone's childhood heroes. I am now attending school in California and accidentally stumbled upon the Observer's Web site. The article's focus on the Von Erich history made me pause and examine my life, and how it, too, is completing a circle. (Sorry to sound so cliched.)

Your article, which was surprisingly well chronicled and well written, brought back all my childhood memories. It is good to see that Kevin Adkisson wants to keep his family's memory alive--but more so, it is good to see his positive outlook. There may be some who question the intentions of the Von Erich site; but I, for one, will be waiting for merchandise--with credit card in hand.

Paul Chu
Davis, California

The spin on Spin
Hey, this is Matt outta Las Vegas, Nevada, and I bumped into your article about Spin magazine and its authority on all that is rock and roll ["Too cool for us," November 27]. First off, great article! I just wanna get something off my chest, so this little rant may drag on...

Anyhow, I'm a native of Las Vegas, but I lived in Dallas before returning to Nevada. Since my return, I've made it a point to see as many shows as possible, being the music lover I am. I've seen three shows in Las Vegas. Three. That's in a 13-month period. Not one show was under $15. I saw nine bands in that three-show span, and three bands were local (and by chance, one was from Dallas!). I went back to Dallas on vacation last July, and I saw four shows in one week, most of them being better than any show I've seen here. And not one of them was over $8.

Second, no place on the planet has music appreciation like Dallas. Go to any club in any other large city, and it's impossible not to run into hecklers and hostile crowds.

Furthermore, Dallas defies genres. The West Coast thrives on the latest trends in music, and everyone in the crowd dresses the same and drives on punk ethos. A show is either a "punk show" or a "ska show" (and those are the only two "cool" genres here now), a "metal show," or whatever. Rarely did I ever hear anyone classify what type of music a local band was in Dallas. Everyone was called by the name of the band. Every band sounded relatively different from the next band. Oh man, I don't even want to go on about this; I could write a book on just this difference between Dallas and most other places.

Well, OK--it's off my chest, there you go. I'm pretty damned open-minded, and all eight Las Vegas bands just seem up their asses bent on the mega-record deal, yet they brag about their punk ethos. In Dallas, you can find the Toadies--a platinum record seller--in the crowd watching fellow bands and walk up and talk to them like any other Joe. You can't do that here.

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