FEEDBACK
Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to mail@austinchronicle.com. Thanks for your patience.
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Why Did 'Chronicle' Fail to Mention Chris Whitley's Death?

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    I must admit that I was more than surprised that the Chronicle failed to mention the passing of Chris Whitley in last week's issue. (If by chance there was and I simply missed it, then my apologies.) I was even more surprised to hear mentions of it in places like Time magazine, CNN, and the front of the Yahoo news page. There was a most accurate, articulate, and honorable obituary to the man in a Nashville paper (www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/Arts/Music/2005/12/01/Chris_whitley_1960_2005/index.shtml).
    Perhaps the Chronicle is just planning a larger article or tribute to a musician/songwriter whose scope and body of work have been an immensely powerful and influential contribution to music. A truth that we will most likely see deepen over time.
Nathan Hamilton
   [Editor's note: Please see this week's “TCB,” p.73]

Shouldn't Reward Those Who Refuse to Learn English

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Citizens should become aware of and ask their U.S. senators to vote against the Closing the Health Care Gap Act, which would create a new federal government health care bureaucracy dedicated to servicing immigrants, legal and illegal, who refuse to learn the English language.
    The act is a veiled attempt to appease Spanish-speaking voters at the expense of our health care system and our heritage. The act would actually hurt immigrants by making it easier for them to not learn English and harder to obtain health care as doctors steer clear to avoid federal intervention. The current decline of English as our nation's language and the alarming decline of our fragile health care system would both be accelerated by this act.
Gerard Kern

Wow, Strong Support for Christmas!

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    I would like to see the stores that are selling Christmas trees do this: One side of the store will have trees labeled "Holiday Trees" and the other side of the store will have trees labeled "Christmas Trees." My money is on the Christmas Trees blowing right out the front door and the Holiday Trees spending Christmas alone.
Judith Matula

Shut Alex Jones Up!

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Alex Jones is a Nazi turd – an arrogant, narcissistic, megalomaniacal, power-mad, piece of filth – an Auslander, a foreigner, a punk, a fake! Alex Jones is a bucket of feces, a piece of trash! Alex Jones is a fascistic boot-licker, a pathological liar, a pus bag! Alex Jones represents everything that's wrong with America! Alex Jones is a Nazi death-camp operator, a eugenicist, a sociopath! Alex Jones is a total bloodthirsty murdering invading criminal! Alex Jones is a deep occultist, an adherent of Adolph Alios Hitler! Alex Alios Jones ... Adolph Alios Hitler!
    If I sound deranged, it's because those are not my words. I was using Alex Jones' own words against him. Those nasty names are direct quotations from Jones' InfoWars show on PACT/ACTV. They are all things Alex has called people – mostly innocent people.
    So Noam Chomsky is a “mongoloid idiot.” Our mayor is a “pathological liar.” Bono of U2 is a “little idiot,” “a globalist, an Illuminist.” One of our former mayors was “a police-state maven.” The governor is “effeminate.” Arnold Schwarzenegger is a “Nazi turd.” I myself “represent everything wrong with America.” It goes on forever – a breathtaking legacy of verbal slime.
    "Nazi turd," indeed. Alex Jones has been feeding at the public trough of our community access channels for about 10 years now. In this time he has almost certainly called you and everyone you know a Nazi or a fool.
    We've got to get this guy off of PACT. Please e-mail the City Council immediately and demand they throw Alex Jones off of PACT. And don't give me any First Amendment jive. Free speech does not cover incontinent slander. Alex has totally shredded his First Amendment rights through prolonged abuse. Call the City Council now, or you're a Nazi turd.
Perry Logan
   [Louis Black responds: When it comes to any of our basic freedoms (affirmed but not bestowed by the Bill of Rights) the most dangerous word I can think of is "but." As in "I'm in favor of free speech but ...." I'm not citing the First Amendment here, but free speech is an element crucial to a healthy society. In order to defend free speech we must be most militant about protecting the speech that we disagree with the most. It's not "even if we find it the most offensive" but especially if we find it so. Listen to the flying right wing of the Republican Party. "We believe in free speech, but 1) since we have the right, and soldiers died to preserve those rights, how dare we speak out against the war; 2) you have to be prepared to suffer the consequences; 3) it shouldn't offend me; and/or 4) what you're saying about Iraq is treason. It gives aid and comfort to our enemies." Let's work to bring more voices to the public discourse and not try to shut any of them up.]

'Aortic,' Not 'Brain'

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Just FYI, Marc Savlov wrote, in his review of Rent [Film Listings, Nov. 25], that Jonathan Larson died in the following manner: "brain aneurysm felled the 35-year-old writer a brief four months before the play's debut."
    In fact, Larson died of an aortic aneurysm three months before the debut – according to a recent interview with his father on TV.
    I am a huge fan of Marc's reviews and just wanted to help out.
Thanks,
Ryan Locker
   [Editor's note: We stand corrected on the cause of death. And more specifically, Larson died on the night of the last dress rehearsal, right before the play premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop, and three months before the play opened on Broadway.]

How About 'Matched'?

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Here's a try at redefining an old/new social situation: Committed homosexual couples should have all the legal rights of heterosexual couples, i.e., inheritance, hospital visitation, and so on. But the union should not be called marriage, because marriage already has a definition, and that definition is a heterosexual union. If we try to change the definition to make it inclusive, it would be like saying, “Both oranges and apples are fruits, so we'll just call apples 'oranges,' too.” No. That's erroneous. So all we need is a new word. How about “matched” instead of “married”?
    “Tim and Jim were matched last Saturday. Their match took place at No Saints Church.” And, instead of bride and groom, they are matchmates. Y'all OK with that? Probably not. Anyone have a better idea?
Leoda Anderson

Oh, Stephen!

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Oh, Stephen,
    I can't say thank you enough for including the Y.O. Ranch New Year's Eve bash in your column [“After a Fashion,” Arts, Dec. 2]. We would love to have you join us! Thanks again, darlin'!
Tiffany Schreiner
Y.O. Ranch

Hokkanen's Music Is Real Soul

RECEIVED Wed., Dec. 7, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Thanks so much for the Erik Hokkanen article [“Realms of Inspiration,” Music, Dec. 2] – I loved it, especially the very apt matryoshka doll metaphor. Ms. Moser captured well some of what makes this accomplished musician unique, charming, innovative, and such a treat to listen to ... descriptors that could be used on Austin itself, I think (or at least on the Austin I hope still exists). Erik's music and character radiate sincere fun and real soul, and I have never seen him stint on any performance, no matter the venue. I'm grateful for what the man gives to us all.
Jeanine Sih Christensen

Black Is Just a Tape Loop

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 6, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Re: Louis Black's "Page Two" column Dec. 2: Yes, Louis, you are a tape loop.
Tom McMahon

'Holiday Baking' Thanks

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 6, 2005

Dear Editor/Virginia Wood,
    I just read with pleasure your article [Gift Guide, Food, Dec. 2] on my newest cookbook, Holiday Baking, and I wanted to personally thank you. This book is near and dear to my heart, and I truly enjoyed writing it. And, yes, you must try the Amazing Left-Over Eggnog and Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding ... it truly is a keeper! Thank you again.
My best,
Sara Perry
Portland, Ore.

There Is a .41 Caliber Pistol, and Cash Would Have Known About It

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 6, 2005

Louis,
    Upon reading “Page Two” with my customary relish last week [Dec. 2], I found a minor error. There is indeed a .41 caliber pistol, and I'm betting that Johnny Cash was no complete stranger to it either, www.fishandhunttexas.com/41_remington_magnum.htm.
    Keep up the good work.
John Nelson

Hell's Belles Rocked Stubb's

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 6, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Someone really needs to mention how unbelievable Hell's Belles (AC/DC tribute band) were Saturday night [Dec. 3] at Stubb's [Music Listings, Dec. 2]. That entire place vibrated with energy and sweat. In fact, they rocked our asses right off our torsos. Thanks!
Shauna Shannon

Think About It: If Girls Were Subjected to the Same Rules as Boys

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 6, 2005

Dear Editor,
    A bill currently in the House Education and Workplace Committee (U.S. Congress) will target boys for not being girls. This bill extends Title IX to high schools, but only boys would be required to comply.
    Title IX was created in 1972 to ensure equal opportunities for both men and women in academic programs receiving federal assistance, but the good intent of this law was perverted in 1980 when the Department of Education reinterpreted Title IX to be a “gender-equity” law.
    Colleges nationwide struggle to get women interested in collegiate sports in the same numbers as men, but in the 30-plus years of Title IX, no college has ever been able to raise that kind of interest from women, so instead, opportunities for men have been cut or restricted to the number of women participating.
    If Title IX is enforced the same in high schools as it has been in colleges, then high schools may have to sacrifice their football programs or eliminate enough boys' sports programs (i.e., soccer, baseball, wrestling) to cut down boys' participation to equal that of girls.
    Ignoring "interest" and "inherent gender differences" to blindly enforce "gender-equity" is unfair enough, but it's compounded even more when only programs for which boys show more interest are targeted for gender-equity. Girls dominate almost all other academic programs from student government to advanced-placement programs; however, the new bill specifically targets a program where boys show more interest, athletics – thus leaving all programs dominated by girls legally protected.
    Enforcing “gender-equity” only on programs where boys show more interest demonstrates a warped sense of equality forced on boys for decades. If girls were to be subjected to the same rules as boys under Title IX's gender equity, then maybe common sense would prevail, and "interest," not "gender-equity," would play a bigger role.
Matt Ramos

R.I.P. None Too Soon

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 6, 2005

To Jeremiah (whiny-butt) Patoka,
    In answer to your question as to how soon you might meet your demise as a result of your (freely chosen) days as a bartender [“Postmarks,” Nov. 25], all I can say is that it'll be none too soon.
Dirty smoker,
Thomas Boggs

Denial Is an Ugly Thing

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 5, 2005

Dear Editor:
   My response to William Trey Andrews ["Postmarks," Dec. 2]:
   How many police shootings have occurred in the last two years because of young troublemakers on drugs, resisting arrest and running from the scene, brutal attacks on a police officer, possession of a weapon, etc?
   Tell the whole story, not just the part of it that suits you, Mr. Andrews. I sure hope the second a thug attacks an officer, he is brought to justice. And the fact that neighborhoods actually defend their foolishness to the point where they call police and the entire city of Austin "racist" is absurd. You can justify their acts all you want, but in the end, they are only the victims of their own behavior. Denial is an ugly thing.
Elizabeth Shelton

Cannabis Prohibition Must End

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 5, 2005

Dear Editor:
   Kudos to Angel Raich for continuing to stand against the prohibitionist zealots who would "protect and serve" by incarceration ["Weed Watch," News, Dec. 2]. It is hard to find a more noble and heroic stand since Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat.
   Medicine ought to be freely chosen with a physician’s guidance, and without fear of arrest. The right to preserve one's life is fundamental. That holds true for liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as well.
   In a nation with thriving alcohol and tobacco industries, it is absurd that any responsible adult must live with the life-diminishing, pervasive fear of arrest for cannabis.
   The injustice, harm and financial burden of cannabis prohibition must end. It has no moral authority.
Richard Steeb

Against Toll Roads From out of State

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 5, 2005

Dear Editor:
   I live in Las Vegas and have been contemplating a move to Austin. Southern California has been taking over this area and I was looking for a place where the politicians were not always looking for more ways to spend, and levy more taxes and fees. Now I see they are in Austin, too. Not only do you get to pay for the roads in your land taxes and gas taxes, but now I see they want you to pay again to drive on your best roads. Just remember that one toll road becomes two and then four and more. A small toll grows and grows forever. I wish you luck in your fight to keep Austin and the rest of Texas as free from as much spending and taxing as possible.
Curtis Seyboldt
Las Vegas, NV

The Art of Doublespeak

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 5, 2005

Sir:
   From reading Louis Black's recent opinions, I have gathered that he doesn't understand life here in the United States of Soviet Republicans (USSR) – also known as the Reds ["Page Two," Dec. 2]. Here, our government has mastered the art of doublespeak. For example, when Karl Rove recently impugned liberals by saying they were unwilling to fight for America, he really meant that he and his cohorts were the ones who avoided fighting for the US by avoiding military service. When the Reds' leaders say they support veterans, they are really saying they are cutting veterans benefits. When the Reds say they support freedom, they really mean that they enjoy trampling on people's freedoms by re-instituting the Patriot Act and offering amendments to limit free speech. When they say they want freedom for Iraq, they really mean they want their corporate friends to have a free hand in Iraq in the search for oil and profit. When they say they support "Clear Skies" they really mean they want their corporate contributors to have a clear path to do what they want to the environment. Or, more recently, when they rant about their opponents (from the Democratic People's Republic) as being unpatriotic, they really mean they themselves have lost their patriotism by exposing a CIA operative to the public for political gain. If Louis will keep all of this in mind, he will have an easier time adjusting to life here in the USSR.
Jay Williams

There Was a .41

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 2, 2005

Dear Editor,
    I enjoyed the story about the Dylan-Cash session in Nashville [“Page Two,” Dec. 2]. Actually, a Colt .41 revolver was produced around 1900 for a while.
    I know this not because of any knowledge about guns, but because a Huddie Ledbetter song described an altercation involving a Colt .41 and a woman. My reaction was the same as yours, that he had used a number that rhymed. Research proved me wrong.
Philip Key

Health Conscious in a Bar? Give Me a Break!

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 2, 2005

Dear Editor,
    I have just one question for the writer of the letter titled "You Dirty Smokers!" in the Nov. 25 issue [“Postmarks”]: How would you like your cirrhosis of the liver? Quick or slow? I am tired of this health-conscious line that nonsmokers are using about the smoking ban in bars. You are going there to drink! That will kill you too. Did any of the nonsmokers in town ever think about how many people drunks kill every year? The author of the above-mentioned letter said that he'd spent more money on Sixth Street since the ban went into effect than in the last seven years. So he's killing himself faster because there's no smoke to breathe in the air. Let's get one thing straight; I don't like drunken nasty people throwing up on me or fearing driving down the road at two in the morning when last call is over, but that's part of going to a bar. Another part of going to a bar is smoke. Get used to it and drop the health-conscious ploy. Health conscious in a bar? Give me a break. Who are you kidding?
Monica Cosgrove

More Shelter No. 14

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 2, 2005

Dear Editor,
    God Bless Rachel Proctor May and The Austin Chronicle for speaking out about the seriously bad joke that the No-Kill Millennium has become [“What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?,” News, Nov. 18]. If people were angered by your cover they should channel that anger into something constructive, like maybe contacting their City Council members and demanding that the council enact a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.
Delwin Goss

Bus Riders Rise Up!

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 2, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Today, I became inspired seeing a seat reserved for Rosa Parks on my usual bus route to write the following call to action:
    I call on everyone to rise up against the oppression caused by backpacks on the bus system. I don't know how many times I've had to ride standing up and be slung around whenever the driver throws on the brakes because a backpack has refused to give up its seat while its owner silently and deliberately buries their head in a book and does nothing.
    Down with people who need an extra half a seat to read their newspaper when the bus is full! Down with people who sit on the aisle seat instead of scooting over and making room even though they obviously see you standing up for an entire five-mile journey! And down with the young and able-bodied who can't give up their seat for senior citizens and pregnant women!
Suzanne Schroeder

Pray to the Lord My Grandson to Keep

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 2, 2005

Dear Editor,
    “When I lay me down to sleep, I pray to the Lord my grandson to safely keep.”
    The “not knowing” is constant – not knowing where he might be, is he sick, or cold, or hungry? Is he OK? I have not received a letter, is something wrong? Has he been moved again?
    Yes, I travel this road every day and night. Brandon is my grandson, my only grandchild [“Justice or Vengeance?,” News, Nov. 4]. I worry about him and what he has to deal with every day locked in that prison – my feelings cannot be explained in words. Loss comes in so many forms and so many ways. I pray not only for Brandon and myself as we have a special bond and understanding, but also for our family and friends affected. The McArdle family is in my thoughts and prayers also.
    It would be easier to give in and tell myself I just can't go on; but my faith, my family, and my respect for Brandon's wish that I go on with my life drives me to get up every day, go to work, and carry on. Often the threads of weakness surface and it takes all my inner strength to regain composure. As I get older, I worry I won't be around to see Brandon home, but I refuse to think negatively. I am the matriarch of the family, and I will remain strong and provide support. I have faith and trust that God will guide our family, friends, and legal counsel through this maze. The same faith that pulled us through these past few years. I truly feel sympathy for those who do not share in this philosophy or some other faith, because without it, I would not have the choice to go forward – those threads of weakness would multiply and I would wallow in my own grief and self-pity, forsaking all others. I elect to go forward, not only for myself but also for Brandon, my family, and my friends.
Sincerely,
Joyce Clark (GrandMadre)
Clear Lake

Our Son Should Not Have to Spend 20 Years in Prison

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 2, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Two young men agreed to settle their differences in a way that went terribly wrong [“Justice or Vengeance?,” News, Nov. 4]. My heart aches for the parents of the son who lost his life. My heart aches as one of the parents of the other son who also lost his life. I am Brandon Threet's mom. I have no desire to add to the McArdle family's grief, and we continue to pray for them, but I cannot surrender my son's life to cold vengeance attempting to pass for justice. Brandon is not the person portrayed by the prosecutor who committed character assassination of my son in court. He is not mean, angry, or violent; he is just the opposite. In fact he has so many friends that during his trial they couldn't all fit in the courtroom; for five days they waited outside on the benches to be there for him. This shows his true character; four seconds of a video does not define my son. Those two lawyers do not define my son. They portrayed lies to the jury. If only our defense lawyer had introduced them to the real Brandon, this awesome young man who had no criminal record of any kind. His upbringing being: an A/B honor student, a Sunday school student, a hard worker and responsible young man. He is an awesome, bighearted, compassionate, caring, loving son, grandson, brother, nephew, and friend to many. He was a young man of tender age and through provocation, alcohol, and fear, reacted to a blow that he received at the onset of the fight. He felt the need to defend himself; he never meant to seriously hurt anyone. I cannot undo what happened that night; I wish to God I could. I wish to God someone could. Brandon will live with the events of that night every day for the rest of his life. He struggles daily with remorse and sadness. Brandon was not the only guilty party that night. Equally guilty are those who took another young man's life, my son's, this time through cold vengeance, political ambition, and client neglect. As compelling as the video is, there is much more to this story.
    During a two-year investigation many facts have surfaced; we know that our son should not have to spend 20 years in prison. We only want the whole truth and the facts of the story to be heard. Brandon's father and I along with our family members are determined to put forth every possible effort to have the oversentencing and injustice done to our son corrected. Thank you to Kevin Brass and The Austin Chronicle for making our voices heard. Thank you to our family, friends, and many supporters that keep our son and our family strong, and for our legal team, investigator, and those continuing to work hard for Brandon, we are forever grateful.
Sincerely,
LisaRhea Threet
LaPorte

More Shelter No. 13

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Thanks so much for printing the article on the No-Kill Millennium [“What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?,” News, Nov. 18]; the story needs to be told for everyone to hear. Many of us have done pet rescues over the past 15 years here in Austin, and the situation is out of control. On the one hand we are spending money to euthanize animals, where on the other hand some folks are making money selling them by breeding animals. It is cheaper to just get a dog from someone in Austin who breeds (intentionally or unintentionally) than to get one from TLAC. Supply and demand are reversed. You can, however, drop your dog off to be euthanized for free. You should have to pay to drop it off and receive money to get one out! Are we teaching our children responsibility? There are many of us who really appreciate that the story is finally being told! Great article and very true.
Thanks again,
Dr. Martina Walker

More Shelter No. 12

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Just wanted to say thanks to you and your staff for having the courage to run the recent article on the No-Kill Millennium, or the lack thereof [“What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?,” News, Nov. 18].
    And yes, the cover photos were graphic, but perhaps it's time people woke up and smelled the coffee, or rather woke up and saw the dead bodies.
    Maybe they will get out of dreamland. We can just hope.
    After working in a shelter for more than nine years (mostly clinic area and animal intake), I realized it is just a thankless job, and shelter workers are the true sin eaters of our society.
    You are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
    And every time someone told me that, "They couldn't do my job because they 'loved' animals too much," I just wanted to put my boot right up their ass!
    Anyway, thanks again.
    And the animals thank you, too.
Susan J. DuBose

More Shelter No. 11

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Re: Your article “What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?” [News, Nov. 18]:
    1) Spay or neuter your pets and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
    2) Make a donation to Animal Trustees of Austin, EmanciPet, Town Lake, or any of the wonderful animal rescue groups saving lives in Austin every day.
    3) Adopt your next pet from Town Lake or a rescue group. If you must have a purebred pet, only buy from a responsible breeder. Responsible breeders don't advertise in the paper because they have homes lined up for the litter before they breed. Responsible breeders screen their animals for health problems common to their breed and don't breed those that don't pass. Responsible breeders have contracts that require you to return the animal to them if you can't keep it, and require that pet-quality animals be sterilized. If you are a breeder and don't do any of these things, you are not a responsible breeder. Stop being part of the problem.
    4) Do not get a pet if you cannot make a lifetime commitment to care for it as a member of your family.
    5) Volunteer to become a foster home for a local rescue group.
    6) Volunteer at Town Lake, ATA, or with feral cat trap-neuter-release programs.
    7) Landlords: Change the pet-hostile rental policies that exacerbate this problem. Remove weight or breed restrictions, or make exceptions for those with pet references, obedience training, etc.
    8) Write City Council and county commissioners in support of a mandatory spay/neuter law and more money budgeted for spay/neuter programs, pet owner education, and enforcement of leash and registration laws.
    9) Get help before you dump your pet at Town Lake. Most pet behavioral problems can be resolved.
    Many thanks to the Chronicle for shining a light on this daily tragedy.
Chandra Lewnau

More Shelter No. 10

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    With the numbers and information you wrote in this article, perhaps the public will be more responsible with the precious gifts they are given [“What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?,” News, Nov. 18]. The lives of their animals should be cherished instead of discarded. It is not the God-given right for people to take on the responsibility of a life and then decide they are too busy, the animal is too much trouble, they don't match my furniture, or one of the countless reasons and excuses they use to throw away their animals. How can someone move, pack up all their "stuff," and leave the dog and/or cat behind? Did they forget they had this precious life waiting for them to come back to get them? Or better yet, they can find room in the car for the dog only long enough to drop them off at a shelter. I am very afraid of the values these humans are teaching the next generation. Thank you for caring.
Stacy Brainard
From the Heart Animal Rescue

British Tipping Correction

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    I have just read your article on tipping – an excellent and eye-opening piece for a European who likes to visit the States and enjoys eating out [“Split Parties,” Food, Nov. 4].
    But it misinforms readers; in Europe – and especially the UK – the 10% service charge is more often 12.5% and is not automatically added to a bill. It often is, but not always.
    Should you receive very poor service you do not have to pay it. You can simply cross it out and note your decision on the bill and pay the lesser total.
    However, I wouldn't recommend it. As the article points out, European service is often cold and will quickly become positively arctic should you do so.
Alan Tovey
London, England

More Shelter No. 9

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    I was disappointed about reader response to the article "Gimme Shelter" a few weeks back [“What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?,” News, Nov. 18]. It seems that readers are more outraged by a mere glimpse of reality (the cover photos that were "too graphic") than by the notion that the dead animals in the photos are just an insignificant fraction of the 13,000-plus animals that die in the Town Lake shelter alone. Where is the pertinent reader input about the important issues raised in the article?
Jennifer Thomas

Time for Militant Moderates to Step Up

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Hurrah for you, John Romano [“Postmarks,” Dec. 2], but don't just resign yourself to it – get mad! Out here in Northwest Austin I'm the militant moderate. A pox on extremists at both ends of the political spectrum. But especially a pox on the hard-core, right-wing, moronic thieves who have stolen our Republican Party. Their phony self-righteous arrogance is positively insufferable. You should tell them that at every opportunity and at the top of your lungs. I do. They will continue to ride herd over our party until people like you and me rise up and take it back from them. Vote for moderates from either party. We found one in District 50 in Democrat Mark Strama. Now some simple-minded right-winger thinks he can unseat Strama. Not while I have the strength to lift a fist in protest. Fight back. Tell Tom DeLay, Alan Sager, John Cornyn, and even George Bush that we are the real Republicans and they are just thieves.
Scott Sexton
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