Dialogue

Letters to the Editors

TOTAL RECALL

Ronnie Dugger was a classmate and good friend at the University of Texas. I was close to or know or knew almost all of those mentioned in his story (“LBJ, The Texas Observer & Me,” Aug. 22). In 1960, I was an advance man for Johnson. In 1964, I ran his campaign in Fort Worth. Ronnie’s description of Johnson is so accurate that it makes it all come back as if you were talking to Johnson, who, warts and all, was a highly intelligent and competent leader. The problems with Vietnam started under Eisenhower. It was like a fly trying to get off the sticky surface of flypaper.

Sterling StevesPosted at www.texasobserver.org

Have just read Ronnie Dugger’s tale of Lyndon Johnson’s try at shaping Ronnie’s reporting on Johnson’s public acts.

The import of Dugger’s stand didn’t quite register until I read an essay chronicling the media’s co-option regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For the most part, our American media go along with the administration’s favoritism toward Israel, reporting Israeli casualties and motives more accurately than Palestinian. Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinian civilians is ignored by the U.S. media. One goes to the Internet for accurate eyewitnesses.

So Dugger’s sense of the potential for being seduced and losing his integrity to Johnson’s persuasive power is echoed today in the heartbreak that is the Middle East, and only truthful and accurate reporting will enable peace and justice there.

Thus I must renew my Texas Observer subscription as helping to accomplish this goal.

Ann KressAustin

I sure enjoyed Ronnie Dugger’s LBJ article in the recent issue of the Observer. My knowledge of LBJ is in retrospect, of course, and is drawn from reading rather than experience. Notwithstanding LBJ’s many aggravating characteristics and actions, his accomplishments were enormous and he and his predecessors were heavyweights compared to the pretty boys and girls who run for the top job nowadays. I would rather have Bill Heatly (long-time Texas House Appropriations Chair) in the Legislature and LBJ in the White House than the lightweight, poll-reading blow-dried weenies who seem to predominate in public office today.

John Bryantformer member, U.S. House of RepresentativesDallas

PRIVATE TIGER RIGHTS

It’s amazing to find out that there are safe havens for pet tigers in Texas. In 2003, the Texas Legislature repealed a law that prevented counties from banning the animals, and a lot of counties banned them at once. This is the cause of a lot of homeless tigers in Texas.

Animal rights activists want humans to be separated from all animals, not just the dangerous ones. They push for legislation on any level that they can and attack ownership rights from many different directions at once. This is a far more urgent problem than “too many tigers” in a world where the tiger is disappearing in the wild but can be saved by private owners.

Tom KirbyPosted at www.texasobserver.org

A GOOD LOOK

Thank you, Tom, for sharing your long friendship and memories of Ronnie Dawson (“The Other End of the Telescope,” Sept. 5). Ronnie was truly a gift to those who knew him.

Paul VintonPosted at www.texasobserver.org

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