1-Hour Outrage

Beauty made ugly: I do not think I could be any more disgusted or absolutely enraged by this story ("1-Hour Arrest," by Thomas Korosec, April 17). This is a perfect example of how people of this country are so obsessed with sleaze that they can take something beautiful, twist it and mangle it and somehow make it dirty. People are so far out of touch with what is a natural relationship with their children that any contact that is less than sterile is considered inappropriate or even a felony.

Thanks to bottle-feeding, cribs, baby seats and other such devices, people barely touch their children from birth. In other cultures where these things aren't so common and parents have a relaxed, natural relationship with their children, not so many kids grow up to be sexual predators or any kind of criminal. My prayers are with the family; may they be together soon.

Keri Isaacs
Lawrence, Kansas

Dirty minds: Is this case a joke? Breast-feeding is the normal way to feed babies. I can't imagine what strange things go through the minds of people who can't understand this--what makes people think that it is a sexual act? THAT is the only problem here, if you ask me.

Name withheld
Sebring, Florida

Send them home: This is outrageous. Those children should be at home. Thank you for printing this article, and kudos to the legal team representing Ms. Mercado.

Analisa Norris Roche

Sad story: As a concerned citizen and parent, I am appalled by the treatment of this family from Peru. The quick and cruel judgment and assumption of wrongdoing is inexcusable and should not be tolerated. I suppose parents all around the country will be hiding their own pictures of their naked and breast-feeding children for fear they may have their children taken away. What a sad story; I just hope there is a happy ending.

Gina Garrison
Via e-mail

Frivolous investigation: I'm sure your mailbox is full of emotional replies to the plight of this unfortunate Peruvian family, but I felt it necessary to praise the Dallas Observer and the article's author for its fearless and virtuous investigative reporting, without which the obviously innocent immigrants would probably still be looking at years behind bars (as if having their children taken away isn't enough punishment for doing absolutely nothing illegal).

More than anything else, this country needs papers like the Observer, a voice with which the people can blow the whistle when our swindling, overpowering, inefficient government and law enforcement continue to encroach on whatever remains of our constitutional rights to privacy and free speech/expression. Nude children/cherubs and the natural and culturally significant act of breast-feeding have been a subject of great artists for thousands of years.

I wonder how many thefts, robberies and assaults might have been resolved with the time and resources that were devoted to the frivolous investigation of this innocent immigrant family.

Keep up the good work...and I'll make sure that when my children are in these critical stages of development, I'll take my baby pictures with a digital camera.

Colin Wichman

Don't mess with Texas: I was just wondering--if I go to Texas and for some reason have to feed my son in public, will I get arrested and have my child taken away, too? I thought breast-feeding was legal anywhere, considering it is the natural way to feed your child. I also see nothing wrong with what the family did. We also have a few pictures of our son feeding. I think that this whole situation is stupid. People should not have their children taken away for wanting to preserve a memory of doing something that is perfectly natural. Thank you for making me never want to go to Texas!

Barbara Bixby
Ceres, California

Works Both Ways

Evil consumers: Memo to Ronnie Earle, Natalie Maines and Rosanne Cash ("Dixie Down," by Chris Parker, April 10): Oh, I can hear it now--"How dare those eeeeeevil consumers deny us our Allah-given right to their money because we chose to stick our feet in our mouths!!! The absolute nerve!!!"

I've got news for you morons: "Free speech" works both ways. You want to insult a goodly portion of your audience, don't piss and moan when said portion decides that they're not interested in your musical offerings. It ain't censorship unless it's government doing the censoring--and last I checked, neither Clear Channel nor Cumulus were government entities.

Steve Crager

Evil radio empire: Steve Earle is an anomaly, a Far Left-leaning "country" artist who fancies himself as the anti-Toby Keith. In Chris Parker's "Dixie Down" article, Steve warns us about the current evil radio empire and yearns for the radio of his youth. He must not remember the Elvis album burnings of the '50s, or the anti-Beatles rallies in the '60s or even the "Down With Disco" gimmickry of the '70s. What Steve fails to mention is that it's called "commercial radio," and if its audience doesn't support their shenanigans, they will lose money. Just ask those stations that banned Elvis and the Beatles and were blown away by the competition who embraced them. Making an anti-Bush comment during wartime to an audience that is overwhelmingly in support of its country and its president is simply career suicide. But if they had said they "were ashamed that most of our fans are trailer trash NASCAR fans," the results would have been the same.

Today's entertainers, including Steve Earle, have to realize the difference between being blacklisted and giving your target audience what they want. Being an ultra-liberal, Left-wing country singer is like being a white Harvard-grad Republican rapper. It just ain't gonna fly regardless of who's running the commercial radio stations.

Rich Haupt

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