Letters to the Observer



The article, “Give Me Shelter” (November 16) by Andrew Papke, is amazing. This story should be required reading in every high school in Texas, if not the United States. The words literally jump off the page and grab you by the throat, and they scream, “Don’t do drugs!” I can’t recall ever reading anything better or more powerful.Please have Mr. Papke write more for your publication, that kind of talent must be exposed.

Jerry DonnellyVia e-mail


I hope Robert Leleux will expand further on Sissy Farenthold’s remarkable personality and accomplishments (“Texas [Still] Needs Farenthold,” September 21). She was far ahead of her time and we still need more of her kind. The author is a fresh voice whose further work I look forward to reading. I’m sorry to hear he no longer lives in Houston. I was planning to call him up and invite him to lunch — or cocktails. We do have some fun here.

Nancy EtheridgeVia e-mail


Texas is one of many states grappling with overcrowded prisons (“Break the Chain,” November 16). Throughout the nation, states facing budget shortfalls are pursuing alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders. Incarcerating non-violent drug offenders alongside hardened criminals is the equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded education in anti-social behavior. Turning drug users into unemployable ex-cons is a senseless waste of tax dollars. It’s time to declare peace in the failed drug war and begin treating all substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the public health problem it is. Destroying the futures and families of citizens who make unhealthy choices doesn’t benefit anyone.

Robert SharpePolicy AnalystCommon Sense for Drug PolicyWashington, D.C.


“A Simple Mind Run Amok” (November 16) seems a fitting title for Thomas Palaima’s favorable review of Glenn Greenwald’s book, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency.Both reflect what should have been expected of a righteous president who fancies himself heaven’s designated hitter for democracy who will deliver the world from evil.

Ted S. CorinAustin