Kiss your butts goodbye
Mr. [Dick] Simkanin ("Taxing Situation," August 10) will soon be going through a living hell, and he'll deserve every painful moment. In fact, he belongs in a very special level of IRS hell for dragging his poor employees behind him. Even though his employees should know better (Ms. Cathy Daum is obviously one who does), they are in for a world of hurt.

As a tax specialist, I've seen many fools tell human resources to stop withholding taxes. The scam may work for a while, but eventually the IRS tells the employer to ignore the employee and withhold. By the time the employee finally settles with the IRS, we're talking big, big, penalties and interest, and the employee finally realizes he's been had by the tax protest movement. Mr. Simkanin solves this problem by simply not withholding in the first place. He doesn't give the IRS a chance to tell him to restart withholding. Sweet.

Something tells me that this issue of the Dallas Observer has been read by everyone in the Dallas office of the IRS. The folks at the IRS are not dumb. They realize they have to stop this now and do so in a manner to discourage others.

To Mr. Simkanin and his employees--kiss your butts goodbye. You'll be hearing real soon from your friends at the IRS. I suggest you start looking for a really good tax attorney.

R. Bronson

Farmers Market filth
Regarding Adam Pitluk's editorial/news item on the Farmers Market management ("Tomatoes of Wrath," August 17): Scattered amid a piece that seemed to be trying a little too hard to fan controversy were some questionable statements. I was struck by the following: "The bathrooms are filthy, more than likely because many homeless people have easy access to the facilities." OK, maybe such access is exactly the reason for the state of the bathrooms; the reasons why aren't self-evident, and the equation of filthiness with access to homeless people is not a connection made by everyone. What we get is Mr. Pitluk's offhand conjecture about what is "more than likely." This reader is far from advocating politically correct, emasculated speech, but your writer could have made his statement a little more responsibly...or not at all.

In the next paragraph, he writes that the director responsible for the market has responded to a phone call by promising to send a task force to the scene. To me, this sounds like a reasonable response; however, Mr. Pitluk cannot resist speculating that the delegates "likely won't bring mops and brooms." Lest we think that the situation was being handled (thus obviating the need for the article itself), we get more perturbed whimsy about what seems "likely."

Obviously, neither of these statements is of major significance, even within the narrow context of the piece, but they struck this sometime fuddy-duddy as a good example of the "new" lazy writing, wanting only a few spelling and punctuation errors (and a "fuck" word or three) to qualify it for publication in The Met.

Looking for solace, I turned to Gregory Weinkauf's weekly movie review--and there wasn't one. Vexed at every turn...but the picture caption, "Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson love them some weed" made everything else OK. Thanks for keeping me company during lunch.

Charles Wilson

Ripping off inmates' families
My family has experienced this outrageous and unfair situation ("Talk Isn't Cheap," July 27). It is very immoral to charge these fees. Most of all, my relative needed to hear our voices and be told how much we love him, and to hear words of encouragement.

We all know that jail is not a nice place. Most of the time while we were being charged these fees, the phone would cut off and messages from the lawyer could not be relayed. That is very hard to deal with, because I don't know anyone who can afford these charges. Dallas County is punishing the families who love their children. It is my opinion that the county should be punished for stealing. How wrong it is for them to get away with breaking the law when they punish others for breaking the law.

I will not support the county in any way for any reason. I am not the only person who feels this way.

Lisa Worthington

Feeling less than ecstatic
Let's hear it for Lisa "The Lion" Singh! Single-handedly, this intrepid reporter entered into the seedy underside of Dallas night life and in doing so came back with yesterday's news ("The Straight Dope," August 3). Yes, if you didn't already know by now, there are drugs at raves...and at clubs, and at bars, and at truck stops, and at pharmacies, and at Denny's lavatories really early in the morning. Let's face it, we live in a hyper-medicated society, one in which there are a staggering variety of multihued consciousness-expanding/contracting chemicals. So why the story?

After reading and re-reading Ms. Singh's article, I can't help but wonder why she felt it was necessary. Did she feel that somehow her piece would enhance the solidarity and survival of the scene? Perhaps she felt that by including some mention of DanceSafe in her investigation that certain societal ills might be ameliorated through "harm reduction" tactics. Or perhaps she wanted to give the world that is not a part of the party an exciting peek at what goes on when the sun is at its nadir.

Well, if it was her aim to do any of the above, then she is a considerably worse writer than I suspected. In fact, her article did not concentrate on any of these things to any substantial degree, but instead opted for the same old sensationalist point of view that we have come to expect. There were a number of things she could have done to produce a substantial commentary of the local, national, and international scene: 1. Gone to more than one party; 2. Spoke with more people who are involved with the scene; 3. Completed more secondary research on the scene, its inhabitants, and its choice of palliatives. I believe that if she would have performed any of these activities, she would have found the situation far more complex and beautiful than her subtle insults have indicated.

I personally have been a part of this city's dance-culture since the late '80s. I am in my late 20s now, work a professional corporate job, and still maintain a supporting role in the Dallas rave/party scene.

Also, I happen to be happier now than I have ever been. Most of that happiness is attributable to good choices at appropriate times, but I'd be lying if I said that drugs had nothing to do with that feeling. If anything, drugs like ecstasy have helped me fine-tune my moods in a way that I find much more desirable than being saddled with a Paxil prescription for the rest of my life.

Perhaps what I've just said isn't "man-bites-dog" enough for Ms. Singh or the Dallas Observer, but it is the other side of the coin--the side people don't seem to be paying attention to.

After it's all said and done, we will probably have to fight a new version of "cops and ravers" due to Ms. Singh's incomplete vision of our culture. This will not cause her to lose any sleep, and I can almost see her now sipping cocktails at Cuba Libre or Sipango with Becky Oliver, trading quips about those evil, drugged-out ravers.

Shawn Richburg

The children's best interests
As bizarre and unfortunate a situation as this story portrays ("Between Heaven and Hell," July 27), it is even more bizarre and unfortunate when children are "legally" allowed to be kidnapped and kept from a parent; this has occurred with the blessings of the very people and system that are entrusted with protecting children. If you read Brian Wallstin's story "Absent a Mother" from the Houston Press (houstonpress.com) this year, you will understand. I hope that my attempts to see my children, whom I have not seen in more than three years, will be successful soon. I wish the gentleman in this story good luck.

A big part of this problem lies in existing legislation, and the "broad powers" of judges who may or may not have any interest in children, much less the children's best interests. Hopefully the bright light of public exposure will bring about pos-itive changes.

Karen Shrader
Gun Barrel City

The Dallas Observer neglected to disclose in its August 17 cover story, "Sins of a Preacher Man," that state Sen. Florence Shapiro, who is mentioned in the article, is the sister of Observer staff writer Mark Donald. We regret the oversight.

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