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a ye STOP THE TRAGEDY “They Die in Brooks County” \(June Jo McConahay puts the whole problem in perspective. This has removed all doubts for me that we must solve the illegal immigration problem, and very soon. Frankly, any person that would favor or encourage illegal immigration after reading this and seeing the pictures should be more than ashamed. After reading the article, I contacted my senators and representative and informed them that they should vote against the immigration bill before the Senate. I suggested they read it themselves to see that they would be voting for more of the same if this bill passed. I asked them to push for a bill that would go after employers that exploit these poor folks as that’s the only realistic way to stop this tragedy. Every progressive and liberal out there should read this article and see how mistaken we’ve been. Joe Mahoney Via e-mail BOXING WITH GOD There are only two possibilities. Either we were created, or we are the product of happenstance. \(“Ducking All of the explanations of “where did we come from” can be reduced to these two propositions. No one can irrefutably conclude there is no God. Therefore, how can it be intellec tually honest to approach all reason from a materialistic viewpoint? Only 50 percent of the probability is being considered. Seems pretty short-sighted to me. John Leslie Via e-mail A WIMP BY ANY OTHER NAME I so appreciate the depth and space given the topic of Texas nurses. \(“An the not short conversation I had with Kathleen Sharp, I was a bit distressed to see the brief quote be that of me characterizing nurses as wimpy -but I did say it, and it is true. How else can we explain that despite the growing severity of the nursing shortage, nurses still cannot negotiate wages, have no true whistle-blower protection, and little control over nurse-to-patient ratios? When the problem is described by the Texas Hospital Association as one primarily of nurse ignorance and we do not rise up in numbers to refute that incredible arrogance, what other words besides wimpy would apply? One thing the article did not address was the role of the Texas Nurses THA, TNA worked to defeat HB1707. The TNA claims to represent nurses but I can tell you as a nurse with many years of hospital experience, they absolutely do not represent the interests of bedside nurses. Julie A. Byers, RN Via e-mail JULY 13, 2007 TheTexas Observer FEATURES DON’T STOP BELIEVING 6 Renegade Bloggers Besiege the Southern Baptist Convention. by Michael Erard A LESSON IN EQUAL PROTECTION 14 The Texas cases that opened the schoolhouse door to undocumented immigrant children. by Barbara Belejack DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 4 JIM HIGHTOWER 22 Bork’s Day in Court BOOKS & CULTURE POETRY 24 by Thom Ward SURVIVAL AMONG THE RUINS 26 by Paul Christensen AFTERWORD 29 Who Were Those Masked Men? by Julia Robb BACK PAGE 32 A Judge’s Ode by Sam Sparks Cover illustration by Ken Garduno BLOG FOR THE OBSERVER Sadly, the Observer’s blogger, Matt Wright, is moving on, and we find ourselves in need of a new one. It’s a part-time job for someone eager to post daily updates to our Web site about Texas politics, government, culture, and the occasional oddity. Curiosity, solid reporting skills, and a measure of self discipline are all musts. A bit of wit and charm and a sense of humor are also helpful. To apply, send a letter, a resume, and some writing samples to: Editors The Texas Observer 307 West 7th Street Austin, Tx. 78701 [email protected] 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JULY 13, 2007