Letters: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Boost That Signal

To the editor: My husband’s family has been listening to Joe Bielinski for 10 years or so(“Buckin’ Trends,” June 19, 2003). Personally I’m the novice of the group since I didn’t discover him until1997. I even had the opportunity to work with Joe when he brought his show to Pioneer Days one year! This year The Ranch’s Steve Harmon helped us promote Meals on Wheels’ Mardi Gras Benefit. This station’s commitment to community and Fort Worth is so refreshing, not to mention they have some of the best talent in radio working for them (like Linda O’Brian). It is such a shame that Pioneer Days was discontinued — The Ranch would have been a perfect venue for their music. Only complaints: We can’t pick up their signal clearly in downtown Fort Worth buildings, and play more LeeRoy Parnell!

Kathy Robertson

Fort Worth

Beyond Rock

To the editor: I like to read your paper front to back each week, always enjoying your thought-provoking lead stories, calendar events and even the funky ads. HearSay is always entertaining and informative. And I have always wondered — how much does Chow, Baby weigh?

It is evident that Ken Shimamoto likes the rockers that frequent the Wreck Room. I like rock as well as the next guy but perhaps you could switch once in a while to feature a country combo or a blues band. Fort Worth has a wealth of great music from Texas Swing to Tejano to great blues and even traditional Irish. It would be a nice change of pace to read about some of the local musicians and venues that showcase other types of music.

Linda D. Pierce


The Difference That Drugs Make

To the editor: After reading your response regarding Keri Olson (Letters, June 19, 2003), I agree that my original letter was inaccurate. Keri did go on a 10-day binge and spend the $13,000 from the bank (“Meth Madness,” May 29, 2003). So she didn’t try to correct what she’d done immediately, but only after the drugs and money ran low. I never knew Keri when she was on meth. The time I spent with her she was clean. She was a rational person when I was around her, so I can say the drugs affected her decision-making. I know it was her decision to take the drugs in the first place. Hopefully she will come out of this and try to lead her life without alcohol and drugs. I also want to say that I never read your weekly paper before now, but I have made it a point to read your articles now. Keep up the good work.

Ronnie Shipley

Denver CO

Wirt From Afar

To the editor: I was recently assigned to write a paper concerning prominent American businessmen. The Wirt Norris case is what I looked for and my internet search led me to you. It was most helpful and I very much enjoyed the illustration that accompanied the article(“Accused and Accursed,” June 12); it very nicely depicted the man as well as the situation. My compliments to your writers and illustrators.

Tarryn Fisher

Johannesburg, South Africa


To the editor: A friend sent me Ms. Chacko’s article on PETA (“Food Fascists?” June 5, 2003). After reading this piece of propaganda, I was prompted to wonder who had paid her to forward the industry viewpoint.

What is more dangerous to our children: Colonel Corn encouraging them to eat more vegetables - or Ronald McDonald pushing the Happy Meal? What is scarier: learning to love and care for animals or condoning the act of bludgeoning them to death? (Yes, they still do that on a number of pig farms.) For, if you eat animals that were raised in abhorrent conditions, are you not supporting the horror? In fact, many brilliant people, from Leonardo da Vinci to Albert Einstein, have agreed that a vegetarian diet is the best diet.

And, while research scientists might have convinced Ms. Chacko that animal testing is an absolute necessity, those who have studied the question have reached a different conclusion. (Sacred Cows and Golden Geese, written by a doctor and a vet, examines the issue in detail.) Fact is, testing on other animals will only ever tell us how other animals react. Would you eat rat food or dog chow - because it was good for them? What is more, a reliance on animal testing has put us humans at risk. Remember thalidomide and fen-phen? That is why erudite individuals from Pythagoras to Dr. Charles Mayo have denied the value of animal research.

I am proud to be a member of PETA (and our local animal rights group, Animal Connection of Texas). And, although PETA has never purported to save individual animals, I am convinced that they have saved millions. (I’m an example - when their articles prompted me to become a vegetarian 14 years ago, I began saving animals every day.) Food Fascists? Maybe. But I think the world is a better place because of them.

Susan Oakey


Editor’s note: Intern Sarah Chacko was paid only by the Weekly for thoroughly researching and then writing the above-mentioned story. Suggesting that their critics are paid by the meat industry is a common tactic of PETA adherents. PETA does publicize its rescue of individual animals. The story quoted people on both sides of the animal research question.

To the editor: When Adolf Otto Eichmann was captured, he was asked how he could have ordered the torture of children. His answer: “They were only Jews”.

As a vegetarian, I often hear “It’s only an animal” to defend cruel practices in the meat industries. As a Jew, these words haunt me. It is not that I think that cows are equal to my (or any other) people, but that the capacity to dismiss suffering as “trivial” is what allowed the Holocaust to happen.

As Jewish philosopher Theodor Adorna, who fled Nazi German in the 1930’s wrote: “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: ‘they’re only animals.’”

I am frightened to see caring people conditioned to accept horrendous suffering. Why do some believe that animal rights activists care less for people because we include animals in our circle of compassion? My empathy for one group does not diminish my compassion for another. Cannot the mantra “Never Again” encompass every being?

Jayn Brotman

Cincinnati, Ohio

To the editor: I am a PETA member. I am also Jewish. And I support PETA’s “Holocaust On Your Plate” campaign. This campaign is not Anti-Semitic. In fact, it is being funded by a Jewish philanthropist and has the support of the grandson of Jewish scholar Isaac Singer. The only people who seem to have a problem with it are non-Jews,. Perhaps this is guilt because many of them did nothing to stop the Holocaust in the first place.

It is a fact that PETA fights to protect the rights of all animals, both human and non-human. The fact is, PETA will be around forever and I will always be a proud member.

Staci Harris

Titusville, Fla.

Editor’s note: A rabbi was among those quoted in the story as questioning PETA’s Holocaust campaign.

Get the Weekly on Wednesday!

(Or: A firm grasp of the not-so-obvious)

Of course you’ve always picked up Fort Worth Weekly on Wednesdays. You and about 60,000 other people in Tarrant County. Except, that is, for those folks who, until the last few months, didn’t get the paper until Thursdays.

May we explain?

Until a few months ago, the Weekly was delivered to most boxes on Wednesday. However, because of the lateness of our press run and other annoyances, some papers did not hit the boxes until Thursday. In an unusual show of conservatism, the Weekly therefore carried a Thursday date.

But time has brought us a bit of progress. We now get our deathless prose to the printer earlier, the papers get produced earlier, the trucks pick them up earlier, etc. And all the papers make it to their destinations on Wednesday.

As of a couple of weeks ago, therefore, we changed the date on our paper to Wednesday. And now, those of you who either (a)noticed or (b)cared, know why.

Thank you for your attention. You may now resume your reading of the actually important stuff.

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