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A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES SINCE 1954 ,0111″ftalaaviN, ga I # 174 AP OBSERVER IALOGUE VOLUME 102, NO. 4 FOUNDING EDITOR Ronnie Dugger CEO/PUBLISHER Carlton Carl EDITOR Bob Moser MANAGING EDITOR Chris Tomlinson ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Mann CULTURE EDITOR Michael May INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER Melissa del Bosque STAFF WRITER Forrest Wilder Preaching to the Converted An anti-choice Bible-thumper took an opportunist job? \(“Conversion Story,” they hire. It’s like the PETA activist who takes a job at the slaughterhouse to expose it. She knew what it was. Krissy Acevedo POSTED AT TEXASOBSERVER.ORG THERE IS NO DENYING THAT SOMEONE WHO WAS ALIVE is no longer alive once an abortion is finished. Prochoice? Certainly the fetus would choose to live if given the option. Amazing that anyone who advocates life and living for the most helpless of all humans can be vilified and smeared! Fredrick Shirley MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE I HAVE WATCHED ABORTIONS BEING PERFORMED. I HAVE studied the after-effects in many first trimester abortions. I never saw a baby. A zygote can mature into a fetusbut it is the evolution of cells. It takes nine months for the evolutionary process, and what begins as a fetus does not even have a brain. It can feel no pain. [Abby] Johnson is merely trying to raise money and name recognition. Arthur Frederick Ide RADCLIFFE, IOWA In Others’ Shoes THE DATELINE IN THE JAN. 22 ISSUE \(“CLOSE TO stream media. I am disappointed the Observer lacked any analysis of the institution of homelessness. To add insult to intelligent readers, you used stock photos. Roll over in your grave, Russell Lee. Don’t waste the back of the magazine with things readers can get elsewhere or you lose the value of the Observer. D’Ann Johnson AUSTIN Alone on the Plains HAVING READ THE ARTICLE BY CHRIS TOMLINSON ABOUT that only part of West Texas is being served by state wide candidates. As the longest-serving Democratic county chair in Texas, and being in a county that has been forgotten, I have seen candidates run a com mercial on a West Texas TV station and think they have covered counties like ours. If they would spend a couple of days out here in the boondocks, they could get many more votes. A few years ago a state wide candidate came here, and when the results were known, that candidate led the ticket. Democrats car ried counties that had not voted Democratic in years. Bob Dean REEVES COUNTY Living in Fear I WELL REMEMBER THE FEAR THAT I, OR A PLAYMATE, might wake up one morning and be paralyzed from several did not. I give thanks each day for the Salk and Sabin vaccines that saved me, and future generations, from that dreaded disease. I also give thanks for parents who had the good sense to welcome vaccinations that were available during my childhood. Are we now in danger of current and future generations reliving history because we haven’t learned what my generation learned? Howard Butler GEORGETOWN THE KEY PASSAGE IS SURELY THAT TEXAS PARENTS ARE “choosing whether to vaccinate their children.” That’s exactly the right thing to do, to make a choice based upon knowledge and not to be herded into the line for mandatory vaccination. I note a very satisfying trend both in the U.S.A. and U.K. that parents are taking a much more carefully informed view about whether their child should be vaccinated. Those who choose not to do so are not anti-vaccine, but caring parents who want to do what’s best for their kids. Tony Bateson OXFORD, ENGLAND Sound Off editors\(L ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Julia Austin CIRCULATION/OFFICE MANAGER Candace Carpenter ART DIRECTION EmDash LLC MARKETING ASSISTANT Jaime Kilpatrick WEBMASTER Shane Pearson COPY EDITOR Rusty Todd POETRY EDITOR Naomi Shihab Nye INTERNS Laura Burke, Robert Green, Lara Haase, Hudson Lockett, Maddie Pelan, Jen Reel CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Emily DePrang, Lou Dubose, James K. Galbraith, Steven G. Kellman, Joe R. Lansdale, Robert Leleux, James E. McWilliams, Char Miller, Bill Minutaglio, Ruth Pennebaker, Josh Rosenblatt, Kevin Sieff, Brad Tyer, Andrew Wheat CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jana Birchum, Alan Pogue, Steve Satterwhite CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Michael Krone, Alex Eben Meyer, Ben Sargent TEXAS DEMOCRACY FOUNDATION BOARD Lisa Blue, Melissa Jones, Susan Longley, Jim Marston, Mary Nell Mathis, Gilberto Ocanas, Jesse Oliver, Bernard Rapoport, Geoffrey Rips, Geronimo Rodriguez, Sharron Rush, Kelly White, Ronnie OUR MISSION We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy. We will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. FEBRUARY 19, 2010 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 1