Dialogue

Letters to the Observer

VOICE IN THE DESERT

I just wanted to thank you for the “Eminent Disaster” article (May 4). It’s a story that definitely needs to be told. El Pasoans have been grossly misinformed about the downtown plan and it is nearly impossible to find unbiased coverage in the city. Thanks for being an alternative voice.

Gabriela Garcia El Paso

WE THE JURY

Great article and analysis (“Hitting the Bottlers,” May 4). It begs the question, where do we as a democracy go from here? This decision means that those with enough money can prolong litigation, nullify jury verdicts and keep right on stepping on the little guy. The implications of this decision are disturbing, especially where similar circumstances might arise with other mega-conglomerates such as Wal-Mart. There is little justice to be had right now in court rooms. Given this decision, there will be no justice at all.

Michael V. Booth Buffalo, New York

I read the article about the Texas Supreme Court overturning the Coca-Cola case, and am totally appalled. To me, this is just one more nail in our democratic coffin. How ironic that we are fighting around the world to spread “democracy” and slowly but surely losing it in our own country. What happened to We the People? Insurance and big corporations have spent multi-millions to influence the jury pool for years now by spreading “frivolous lawsuits” “greedy lawyer” lies, when actually it’s the lawyers for these insurance companies and corporations, who get paid by the hour (and benefit greatly by years of litigation) who are “greedy,” not plaintiffs’ lawyers who represent Joe Citizen who can’t afford an attorney to litigate a case for years. These plaintiffs’ attorneys don’t get paid at all without either settling or winning a case. Corporate America knows this, and even small law firms or private practice attorneys can’t afford to front costs of litigation that drags on and on. Our judicial system is a foundation of our democracy, and We the People are a foundation of that system. Hasn’t anyone noticed that We the People is slowly being taken out of our government? I think it’s time to wake up and realize that without We the People, we don’t have a democracy. Let’s not be willing to sit and watch as Corporate America takes over our government, who then takes over our rights. We are capable of being a jury. We are our democracy. Stand up for these rights. Or, lose them.

Nita Backes Anchorage, Alaska

WARREN’S WORLD

I enjoyed the interview of Warren Chisum (“Being Warren Chisum,” May 18). It reminded me of a remark by Lyman Jones, a veteran newspaper reporter who worked in Ralph Yarborough’s various political campaigns in the ’50s. Lyman was fired from several Texas newspapers for writing about elected windbags and miscreants in violation of the then-prevailing “press dead-zone” that protected corrupt public officials. Lyman said all he had to do to embarrass a sheriff or county commissioner was to quote them exactly. Chisum’s interview was a perfect example.

Pampa’s guardian of public morality was refreshingly candid about his belief that government’s proper role is to impose his notions of piety on the rest of us, so that we can continue to qualify for benign neglect in a benevolent republic – unlike those poor wretches in Europe, Asia and points East who have to make do in undemocratic kingdoms ruled by “virtual” kings or prime-ministers not responsible to anyone but themselves. [I guess ol’ Warren didn’t notice the recent election in France.]

Bob Hall Houston

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