Go Fish
The parents in Dallas are blaming the Dallas Independent School District for gang participation and the dropout rate, but they don't support discipline ["Sultan of swat," March 13]. What do they want for nothing?

Robbie Lee
Via Internet

No Fish
I applaud the child's father for reporting Russell Fish's actions to the police, and the Dallas police for filing assault charges against him ["Sultan of Swat," March 13]. Among many other disturbing issues, this man obviously cannot see the irony in hitting a child in order to teach him or her not to hit.

It is disgusting that the Texas Penal Code, or any legal system, allows for any physical force against children. It is against the law for an adult to hit another adult in this country, but not necessarily for an adult to hit a child? It is amazing how many people and societal institutions condone hitting children, lying to children, humiliating children, etc., so they will grow up to be respectful, honest, and compassionate human beings.

Children do not have the physical, mental, or emotional resources to defend themselves. Being disrespectful to children in the name of "love" or "discipline" is nothing more than a shallow justification for the abuse of power.

Children will grow up to be loving, compassionate, and respectful beings if they are treated with love, compassion, and respect. I support and applaud any person who defends any child who is treated otherwise.

Laurie Sandefer

Cheap plug
The review of The Yellow Boat ["Stormy seas," March 20] at Dallas Children's Theatre about a little boy's fight for his life with AIDS brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.

Excellent, Jimmy.
Ann Fowler
Via Internet

Editor's note: Ann Fowler is critic Jimmy Fowler's mom.

Bitter harvest
Again Mary Malouf has clearly shown that when she strays from descriptions of food or ambiance or an eatery's architecture, even, she regularly deposits her foot in her mouth in attempts to make general commentary. So it was in the review of City Harvest. ["Stealing home," March 6]

In one instance, Malouf offended me; in another, she made such a glaring error that it nauseated me. In yet another, she makes a stereotypical remark that is indicative of the ilk of folks who depend on the media to guide their lives, to provide their life's knowledge.

In the first situation, she wrote, "City Harvest, for example, an energetic and idealistic fine-food grocery business in Oak Cliff (I said idealistic)..." Okay, here is the rub: What she is basically saying is that any food venture of quality fine foods opening for business in Oak Cliff is, at best, an idealistic action, as in "I said idealistic." My recommendation to Malouf is for her to conduct the business of food reviews and leave social commentary to better-qualified persons.

In another instance, she alluded to City Harvest's shelves being stocked "with great stuff," writing that the place carries "White Lily flour, for instance, the single reason Southern women are famous for baking..." How dare she? Did she read that piece before she submitted it? The "single reason" is the flour? Incredible.

I grew up in a house with many excellent Southern cooks and bakers, and, indeed, White Lily was the flour of choice, since it was choice stuff. But, for goodness sakes, before she chisels the stone with her all-knowing commentary, I respectfully admonish her to read what she writes. Pul-eeeeze! The single reason Southern women are famous for baking is not White Lily flour; rather, the single reason is skill.

Finally, she types in reverberating stereo the blatant, stereotypical observation that "While it is unlikely that these people [folks from her classy neighborhoods] will cross the bridge to pick up dinner..." As I have oft repeated to others who have voiced similar statements, I say to Malouf, "Get the facts, please!" She, and many others like her, would be thoroughly amazed at the folks who "come across the bridge" quite often, and for various and sundry reasons.

Ben L. Everett

Rook to pawn
In response to the article "On golden pawn" [February 13], Cynthia Wolf, in her letter "Pity the pawnbroker" [March 20], wrote: "If those things hadn't been pawned, they may never have been found" and "the pawnbroker deserves your thanks." Now that's certainly convoluted thinking, Ms. Wolf. If the pawn shops were not out there, most of those things would not have been stolen in the first place. The pawnbroker should be required to return stolen property at no charge to the owner. That's part of the risk of being a pawnbroker. If that was the law, a lot of pawn shops would be out of business, and so would a lot of thieves.

Mark McCauley
Via Internet

Role model
I'm sorry, but after seeing all too many movies about Mexican-Americans in which all we seem to do is sell drugs, join street gangs, hide out from La Migra, and in general kill each other, I find it awfully hard to be very critical about Selena ["Star bright," March 20].

Not only does this film do a good job of showing why its title character became so popular, it also manages to make some good points about Mexican-Americans which certain members of the infamous "Slam-Dunk" gang would be well to remember. And it doesn't hurt that unlike some recent films, it actually has a genuinely likeable music score. I find it hard to imagine, for example, anyone not dancing or tapping their toes to "Como la Flor" or "Baila Esta Cumbia" who is not already pumped full of embalming fluid.

Rogelio Mendoza, Jr

Question of equity
Only the most androgynous among us would deny there are physiological differences between men and women ["Losing by decision," February 20]. Biological destiny dictates different amounts and distribution of body fat and muscle mass. Woman bear children. Therefore we are built differently. Neither gender is inferior or superior. Just different.

When I was a kid, I had many occasions to wrestle with my girlfriend's brother, Patrick. He was a couple of years younger than me, but about the same size. He pinned me hands-down every time. And if Mrs. Zwiebel didn't tell us to "knock it off," Patrick would have indeed hurt me. (Unintentionally, of course--Patrick didn't have a mean bone in his body). So if exercise physiologists say that boys and girls in the same weight class are not fairly matched, I'd buy that.

However, intra-sex wrestling isn't really the question. What is at stake is how seriously we take girls' athletics and how equally they are funded.

Many studies have shown that boys involved in regular athletic programs are less likely to get into drugs or gangs, less likely to get a girl pregnant, and more likely to finish high school and seek past-secondary training. The same seems to be true for girls.

Organized sports programs give children discipline, structure, a sense of belonging, and, quite frankly, something to do with their excess time and energy. It should be noted that extra-curricular activities such as music, the visual arts, dance, theatre, and academics afford children the same benefits.

So we must ask ourselves, Are we more interested in investing in machismo or in bright futures for our children--boys and girls alike?

Sheila McKay

Embedded racism
This letter is in reference to Julie Lyons' article concerning the DISD hecklers/protesters ["Bring on the noise," February 27]. Lyons, while ostensibly attacking racism in the article from all sides of the color line, exhibited herself just how embedded racism resides in the conscious and subconscious minds of many Caucasians.

Perhaps Lyons was not even aware of it, but she stated that when she went to one of the protesters' homes, it was "well-kept." This statement was as if to say that such a house owned by a black person must be anomaly. Surely, it is not within the realm of normality for a black person to have a well-kept home! I suggest that if Lyons is truly concerned with eradicating racism, she should begin with herself and delve deep into her own consciousness and soul. She just might be surprised at what she finds.

E. Artsauna Joe

"Prophets without honor in their hometown." Good God, an oblique Jesus reference ["Prophets without honor," March 20]. For those two clowns? Of course, it should have read: Profits without honor. Or just maybe Charlatans R Us to keep in with their rant for their supposed free-enterprise love affair.

First, my two friends in fedoras have done a grave injustice to many of our black brothers when they say blacks have failed to embrace capitalism. Have they never visited a crack house? They would be so proud to see such pursuit of the bottom line! Capitalism at its purest! The cure for all economic ills! How they must beam with pride at the skill and organization of this thriving industry!

What would really be interesting is to hear how one of these free-marketing dealers conducts his business in the tried and true method of dog-eat-dog capitalism. Oh, I know the fedora twins can't have someone like that on their show as it would reveal all their hypocrisy. So try having a legal drug dealer like a liquor store owner on. He could talk about what good customers drunks are and other lovely details.

But what bothers me and the rest of the free-market faithful is their cry to "buy black." Well, what if a white guy has a cheaper quarter-ounce bag than a black guy? Are these two going to make up the difference in my pocketbook? I don't think so. Hey, talk about your socialists!! I want a choice, man.

Capitalism is one sorry religion. All it sees is money--not the human soul. Hey, I wonder which we get to spend eternity with? And putting money first would be fine if it didn't get in the way of that dang First Amendment. (It's always something that has to come along and ruin the party, ain't it?) Of course, God wasn't smart enough to understand that we have to have money and that therefore free-market capitalism will save our souls. Was He?

Tim Kohler
Via Internet

Home away from home
Hey guys, thanks for getting up and running on the web.
We're on tour right now in Seattle, and your website helps me get over the homesickness a little bit. I've been reading the Austin Chronicle over the web because I didn't know you guys had yours going. Gracias.

Ken Bethea
Old 97's
Via Internet


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