Letters to the Editors



Many have tried, all have failed except The Texas Observer. Congratulations to Kevin Sieff and the Observer for finally writing a meaningful article about a critically important subject (“Healing Faith,” Nov. 14). Tens of thousands of Texans do not have access to health care, and we sweep it under the rug or pretend it’s not true. The Observer‘s article on El Niño Fidencio points up the fact that desperation requires desperate measures. People have to seek health care somewhere, even in the backyards of Edinburg, Texas, or the muddy waters of Espinazo, Nuevo Leon. Congratulations for putting the issue on the table.

Tony ZavaletaProfessor of AnthropologyUniversity of Texas, Brownsville

Curanderos are dealing with the occult; for everything they supposedly cure, they leave patients in worse trouble with evil spirits. This article omits the Catholic Church’s battle against this evil, and its aftereffects. Dabbling with the occult is worse than playing with fire. Yet Texas’ sinful refusal-for all the state’s oil wealth-to help its own sick and poor is rightly blamed for people turning in desperation to occultism. Shame on Texas.

Kathryn SchutzPosted at www.texasobserver.org


I was a young Republican from a small Midwestern town when I arrived in Dallas in 1965 to go to SMU. It didn’t take long to realize that my idea of “Republican” was to the left of Dallas Democrats, and as for Dallas Republicans, well …

Dallas was an uptight, buttoned-down, bunker-mentality city (“Big Bad D,” Nov. 14). But I saw progress before I moved to Austin in 1974, and I’d attribute the improvement of the city’s overall atmosphere at least partially to two things: Single-member districts diluted the power of the downtown establishment, and liquor by the drink triggered a rather rapid evolution of Dallas from a closed, country-club society into a fairly cosmopolitan city with a broad array of upscale restaurants and entertainment venues accessible to the broad middle class. The city finally “got a life.”

You couldn’t get me to move back there, but Dallas has changed a lot over the last 43 years.

Doug ZabelPosted at www.texasobserver.org


What a splendid issue! A cultural treat with the Afterword by Jesse Sublett on rocker kids, a review of Sarah Bird’s new novel How Perfect Is That and the very fine piece by Dick Holland on James Crumley. More of all of it, please.

Tom Doyalvia e-mail


Literary skill and Texas backdrop (“The Last Good Detective Writer,” Nov. 14)-no better recipe for drinking I can imagine.

Logan LamechPosted at www.texasobserver.org


Interesting article (“The View from the Fifth Ward,” November 14) underlining the Democratic Party’s main problem in some areas: turning the African-American and Tejano vote out on election day. Examination of the local scenes in El Paso and Fort Worth would have been helpful also.

Roger OlienPosted at www.texasobserver.org