ue A DISSENTING OPINION One day after activist Steven Rosenfeld published this story \(“Vote Alternet.org , a very different story emerged from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, which ran an editorial entitled, “Mail Ballots Remain a South Texas Problem.” And just days earlier the San Antonio Express-News wrote an editorial opining that mail-in ballots “are particularly vulnerable to voter fraud.” Yet Rosenfeld takes a different track, choosing to editorialize to the contrary. In a misleading article that omits significant factual details, Rosenfeld criticizes this office for enforcing the law. For example, though he describes a recent case involving four Duval County residents, he fails to disclose that local authorities filed the formal complaint that sparked the indictments. Nor does he mention that the suspects were indicted by a South Texas grand jury. Rosenfeld’s article spends significant time discussing a legal challenge to a Texas law that governs mailin ballots. Authored by then-State Rep. Steve Wolens, D-Dallas, the law passed the House with a bipartisan 98-to-45 margin, and the Senate by an overwhelming 26-to-5 bipartisan majority, including Sens. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio. So it’s not surprising that Rosenfeld also failed to note that a federal appeals court unanimously rejected the restraining order the plaintiffs filed to prevent the state from enforcing the law. Because it was clear that Rosenfeld was more interested in hyperbole than the facts, we declined to comment. Jerry Strickland Communications Director Office of the Attorney General Austin WHAT GOD GIVETH? I don’t disagree that Christians should work to end poverty and be good stewards of our precious planet I think where author Jim Wallis and I disagree is the method. To suggest that flushing precious resources through an inefficient, often corrupt, and politically motivated bureaucracy is the best method for solving society’s problems ignores the historical legacy of applied socialism. It is much better to allow the person who earns resources in the first place to decide how to spend them. This fosters the work/reward cycle and encourages economic growth and excess, upon which all altruism depends. From a biblical perspective, using government as a remedy to economic “injustice” is patently absurd. God could wipe away poverty with a wave of His hand. What is important is how we respond to this need: not out of compulsory requirement, but out of our hearts. If the tax man shows up at my door and takes my money to do his definition of good, then I am in no way charitable myself. It could be argued that they are stealing from me … stealing my earnings; stealing my labor; and stealing my ability to choose how to be charitable myself. For those who have forgotten or never knew, stealing is on the top-10 list, right up there with murder, adultery, and idol worship. Any decent theologian knows this, so Wallis’ view is either the result of ignorance or malice that places government over God. To me, this is scripturally, constitutionally, functionally, and fundamentally wrong. Jimmy Hogan Nashville, Tenn. MAY 2, 2008 TheTexasObserver FEATURES SYSTEMIC NEGLECT 6 Inside Texas’ troubled institutions for the mentally retarded. by Dave Mann THE OIL CONUNDRUM 13 Excerpts from Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence.” by Robert Bryce DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 4 JIM HIGHTOWER 18 Freebies, Failures & Delusions BOOKS & THE CULTURE POETRY 19 by Margie McCreless LAST PIG STANDING 20 In San Antonio, Texas’ founding contribution to fast-food culture hangs on by the hair of its chinny chin chin. by John MacCormack LOGICAL CONCLUSION 26 James Howard Kunstler’s World Made By Hand. by C.B. Evans AFTERWORD 28 by Steve McVicker Cover photo by Daniel Carter 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 2, 2008
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