Not immune: Mr. Schutze's article "Fear Itself" (October 4) did a great job of putting everything in perspective for people in North Texas. The story should help everyone understand the nature of the threat from terrorists. We are not totally immune; we don't have a crystal ball that can tell us exactly when and where a terrorist may strike. As Mr. Schutze states in the article, "the likelihood of a successful chemical or biological attack is slight..." It makes sense for people to be concerned. It does not make sense for them to live in fear because that threat exists.
I would like to add one clarification to his article; hospitals in the area may limit free access. That is, people won't be able to walk right in. Hospitals will make sure that they go through a decontamination process before they bring people in. I know the article does state that, but I want to re-emphasize that point.
Thank you for helping keep the citizens of North Texas informed of the potential threats and how to responsibly face them.
Williams S. Gross, P.E.
Coordinator of Emergency Preparedness
City of Dallas
No-fi: I hate The Strokes and I'm proud ("Are They It?" October 18). I'm not just saying that, man; I really don't like that Strokes album at all. I tried to listen to the whole thing but couldn't. As yet another poorly recorded, no-hook tune rolled out of my CD player, I thought to myself: I know people in bands that are a hundred times more talented than these guys.
This is definitely the most overhyped album in quite a long time. Obviously somebody at BMG is a genius, the way the world is swooning over this record. I just don't see it. It sounds like they're playing horrible instruments through bad equipment, recorded by someone who had no idea what he was doing. Some "lo-fi" recordings are cool, but I'm convinced this one is just lo-fi because it sucks.
If I were on a desert island and all I had to listen to was The Strokes, I'd burn the CD booklet for heat, use the CD itself as a mirror, then break the jewel case into sharp pieces so I could kill whoever packed that stinking CD in my suitcase!
Adults say the darnedest things: Your article about Laura Miller's children's reasons why she should not run for mayor had me falling out of my seat laughing (Buzz, October 18). I can only imagine the Millers' parrot squawking, "The mayor is a greedy motherfucker," over and over again.
Leave logic alone: Please inform Eric Celeste, and all your writers for that matter, of the true meaning of the phrase "begs the question" (Filler, October 18).
"Begging the question" is a fallacy in logical argument where a premise is incorrectly proven by assuming the premise to begin with. It's also called circular reasoning or petitio principii.
What Eric means and should say is that a situation "suggests," "raises" or "provokes" the question. Let me assure you that knowledgeable readers are tired of your writers' constant accidental forays into logic...not to mention the deliberate ones.
No support: When I saw your October 11 issue with Kim Sullivan on the cover with the headline "Deadbeating the System," I grabbed your paper so fast my head was spinning, so eager [was I] to read what the Dallas Observer could report. Hungry for some info regarding Sullivan's eight-year crusade, I was led into depression as I read further into the article. My case is only 4 years old, just a baby compared with Ms. Sullivan's.
I feel stuck in quicksand with my repeated requests for child support through the Dallas County Child Support Office. I have moved since I first began my long and tiresome journey with Dallas County Child Support; I am now continuing my journey with Denton County Child Support.
Ms. Sullivan, I believe, is luckier than most. Her deadbeat "daddy" is actually in Texas. Imagine how I feel, when my own special deadbeat "daddy" lives in Ohio. Now after eight years, her kids' wonderful "daddy" is now in jail. Hurray for her! What justice in this child support system.
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My case is unique in that I complain constantly to two states, Ohio and Texas--Ohio being as bad an offender as Texas and having the same amount of no-resolution drones masquerading as state employees. I have had a child support order since November 16. It took the state of Ohio one whole year for this order to make it across the street to the child support office. The amount of mismanagement and total lack of enforcement in child support, in my opinion, makes a crime without comparison.
My son is almost 15, and one of the "child support workers" kindly informed me that they can't seek any back child support for my child after he turns 18. Excuse me, but their total lack of enforcement will ensure that I don't have to concern myself with that bit of info.
Sadly, I'm forced to be a soldier in this "child support system."