My only reaction to this article is surprise (“Life and Death in a Cold, Lonely Cell,” November 16). I guess I’ve never really considered prisoners, period. I’ve always thought of them as getting what they deserve, evil people getting their just desserts. “Lock ’em up and throw away the key.” That’s always been my only thought on people who commit a crime and land in jail. I never even saw them as human individuals. But, reading this man’s perspective, wow. I was amazed at how well he told his story. I guess I assumed that with most inmates went stupidity and a lack of education, but here is this individual who writes so eloquently. Of course, I imagine being stripped of the basic amenities of life, with nothing to do but observe the goings on around you in prison, will really hone your attention to detail and description pretty quickly. I’m glad The Texas Observer printed this story. It has certainly reminded me that there are two sides to every story, and we don’t always know what we think we know by what we are told in the mainstream news media.
Jen Sardam via e-mail
I am an anti-complacency advocate (“Confessions of an Ex-Protestor,” November 16). If you believe in something strongly enough you should get off your duff and show it. I am 67 years young and finally realizing it is up to you and me to vote. It is up to you and me to educate folks to the truth of the horror of war. We must be our own selves, not because it is popular to protest for protesting’s sake, but use that to command our soul to do the right thing.
Jim Hyder via e-mail
Carla Main’s book is nothing more than a work of fiction (“What the Fifth is Taking,” November 30). The truth does not fit her agenda, so she readily accepts a grossly distorted account. Freeport was in a reactionary mode from day one and did not file eminent domain until after nine months of aggression and harassment from the Gores, legally, verbally and in many other ways. There are no heroes in this story.
Lee Cameron via e-mail
I received my notice from the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners informing me that in order to renew my nursing license, I must submit my fingerprints for an FBI background check. Apparently, anyone working in the great State of Texas under a state-issued license is required to submit fingerprints (“The Governor’s Database,” April 20). So far, my research has uncovered that everyone from locksmiths, teachers, podiatrists, insurance brokers, real estate agents, etc. are being placed in a database. Each demographic is given “very credible” reasons why it is so important to leach out the “criminal” element that may have infiltrated its ranks. No FBI fingerprint, no license, no job, no income….what is really going on here? If more than a few nurses like myself decide to just retire instead of “going with the program”, not unlike the citizens of WWII Germany did in the past, there will be very few medical caregivers around to take care of Gov. Rick Perry in his geriatric days.
Deborah Koppel via e-mail
ECHOES OF BULLOCK
Great work by Jim Henderson and Dave McNeely (“The Man Who Ran Texas,” January 11). I could hear Bob Bullock’s voice all the way. Thanks to the Observer for publishing the excerpt. Can’t wait to read the whole book.