Moaning about LeAnn Rhimes
I agree totally with you about LeAnn Rimes ["'Blue' it," May 28].
I am a C&W keyboard player who has worked with several name acts over the past seven years. I worked with several musicians who have worked or are working with Ms. Rimes. It's ironic they never have a "public opinion" on some of the issues you brought out in your article. (Especially her true age. It's a matter of public information, by the way, and the press has always mis-represented her age, often by up to three years!) I have met her and her parents, and I'm not impressed with their exploitation and marketing tactics.

I've played for Lonestar, Collin Raye, Darkhorse Band, Del Rio, and many other acts, and have met over 20 other famous C&W stars. My band went all the way to the Jimmy Dean Country Showdown and placed second (because of Nashville politics) in 1996. I've never had a hit song or a record deal. I've been writing songs and lyrics for 10 years. I produced my own independent CDs with my own studio, with my own money, with my own instruments. I don't ask for anyone to look at me or know my accomplishments.

Frankly, I could just pick one song that I've written and recorded that has more passion, soul, true personality, and spirit than any cover song or rendition Rimes could ever dream of. It sounds boastful, but the unheard true musicians and singers have so much more than she could offer.

If she offered me $10 million for one of my songs or even to sing one of my songs, I would refuse it in less than one second! My church, bedroom walls, and personal friends get more out of the music God has given me than any fan of Rimes'. She needs to come back to earth and realize her true place in the world. It certainly is not redoing others' music with contrived and egregious moaning.

I thought you might want to know you are not alone. Most of the musicians I've played with and talked to are completely sick of her! Yes, we don't have millions of record sales, but at least we know who we are.

Randall W. Haws
Via e-mail

The fur flies
As a former daily newspaper reporter and editor, I found your story "Pelted!" [June 4] a thorough investigative piece that went beyond the headlines and actually "investigated" something more than what public relations hacks from corporate America hand out to unwitting reporters.

In your story, you explored the claims of police that they could not find witnesses to those who assaulted the animal rights activists, and found--oh, gee, what a surprise--that the witnesses were available.

Now, the big question is how far does the corruption go? From Neiman Marcus' influence over the police, and possibly the District Attorney's Office to...where?

Good story, objectively written and incisive.
Cres Vellucci

Let me get this straight: You've got two self-important nutcases who had promised a "major disruption that could get confrontational" outside Neiman Marcus; a security guard who allegedly overreacts; the two hook up with a Fort Worth ambulance chaser; and presto, Neiman Marcus has goons beating up waifs.

Now the two have a major newspaper story publicizing their efforts. In my opinion, Lydia Nichols and J.P. Goodwin are not too far removed from people like [Operation Rescue chief] Flip Benham. This story, along with the Paula Jones/April Fool's Day article, is another example of a story not worth the attention of the Dallas Observer.

Name withheld
Via e-mail

As a student at the University of California, Davis, I am told on a daily basis that America is the greatest democracy in the world. We live in a nation where you are free to protest without having to live your life in fear, at least in theory.

I find the actions of the Neiman Marcus security guards and the subsequent inaction of the Dallas Police Department to be shocking. One would hope that economic and political power would not make a corporation like Neiman Marcus above the law.

The colonists responsible for such acts of protest at the Boston Tea Party must be rolling over in their graves right now. This miscarriage of justice can only be corrected by a massive civil finding against both Neiman Marcus and the Dallas Police Department.

I applaud the Dallas Observer for printing an unbiased story and ignoring the political and economic power of Neiman Marcus, the Dallas Police Department, and the fur industry. Even though we may not agree on the issue of animal rights, we should all be able to agree that nobody should be choked simply for believing in a cause.

The thugs at Neiman Marcus should realize that doing so will only make the public more sympathetic to the cause of animal rights. I will be telling everyone I know to boycott Neiman Marcus and encouraging them to send big fat checks to the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade.

Bhaskar Sinha
Via e-mail

Thank you for your accurate and unblunted story on animal activism in Dallas. As pressure from big business continues to rise against animal liberationists around the world, our nonviolent approach seems to draw more attention to the desperate, unethical, and often unlawful tactics used against us.

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