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A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES SINCE 1954 onta7.61 1P44 411re 14: r,. 4k- 11’1111′ -441 OBSERVER VOLUME 102, NO. 20 FOUNDING EDITOR Ronnie Dugger EDITOR Bob Moser 1111.0611E Bitter Tea The ignorance of Teabaggers, and the seething hatred they show toward their fellow human beings, never ceases to disgust me \(various stories at don’t know why; I was born in Texas and have watched self-styled “conservatives” demonstrate their mean-spirited hatefulness toward minority groups all my life. But if I have difficulty living with these people, I also think about how much trouble they have living with themselves and what hell it must be for their families to live with their hatred and lack of moral compasses. If they claim to be “Christians” \(and Terry Adcock AUSTIN MANAGING EDITOR Chris Tomlinson SENIOR EDITORS Dave Mann, Michael May WEB EDITOR Jen Reel GROWING UP IN A TOWN WHERE NEARLY EVERYBODY spoke two or three languages with some degree of fluency, I can remember when it was a point of pride to learn English. But if people are willing to integrate into the mainstream and contribute to the country, I say let’s set up an exchange program. Send Tea Partiers who want the government out of their Medicare to Mexico and have Mexicans who want to work brought up here. Robert Rister GRANGER I’M A FISCAL CONSERVATIVE AND A DEDICATED environmentalist. I’m also pro-business and I think that none of those ideals has to conflict with one another if we come up with innovative compromises and are willing to listen to one another instead of just taking a knee-jerk position. People tell me, for instance, that Tea Partiers don’t believe in global warming. Some don’t, but I personally know a lot that do. That’s what’s wrong with this country. We put everyone in a box. And life is too big to put in a box. Dennis Schneider ROUND ROCK THE ONLY WAY TO COMBAT THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT IN Texas is for the Democrats to play the class card 24/7. Populist politics will draw folks away from the current insanity. Michael Cosper AUSTIN GIVEN KINKY FRIEDMAN’S WELL-KNOWN AND AMPLY documented racial prejudices, I am not surprised he’s come out in support of the Tea Party \(“Kinky Friedman Hearts the Tea Party,” texasobserver. orgy. If you remove race from the Tea Party equation there’s not much fizz left in the bottle. Fred McGhee MONTOPOLIS I’VE BEEN A FAN OF KINKY’S FOR SUCH A LONG TIME, AND if I stretch and stretch, I can sort of empathize with his sentiment for the Tea Party, and definitely about the Democrats being wimps. But the consequences of his political stances here seem shockingly reckless, irresponsible and dangerous. I couldn’t be more disappointed. Joni Guthrie AUSTIN WE HAVE PROBABLY SUNK AS LOW AS POSSIBLE WHEN it comes to political intellect on the whole in this country. Imagine any politician even a decade ago dropouts. And the Williamson County Democratic Party chair who endorsed a Republican candidate and then had the nerve to complain when party members expressed their disdain \(“Stumper of the Week,” fectly the example of political intellect we are seeing too much of not only in Texas but across the country. This moment in history will be analyzed and debated for years to come. Betty Beard WACO THE REASON THE CANDIDATES ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT is that there isn’t anything that can be done that doesn’t make things worse. Chuck Wright MIDLAND A Sound Off [email protected] org INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER Melissa del Bosque STAFF WRITERS Abby Rapoport, Forrest Wilder ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Julia Austin CIRCULATION MANAGER Candace Carpenter OFFICE MANAGER Lorraine Blancarte ART DIRECTION EmDash LLC COPY EDITOR Rusty Todd POETRY EDITOR Naomi Shihab Nye INTERNS Brooke Breitling, Cameron Ingram CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Laura Burke, 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, Matt Wright-Steel CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Michael Krone, Alex Eben Meyer, Ben Sargent TEXAS DEMOCRACY FOUNDATION BOARD Lisa Blue Baron, Carlton Carl, Melissa Jones, Susan Longley, Jim Marston, Mary Nell Mathis, Gilberto Ocarias, 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. NOVEMBER 12, 2010 THE TEXAS OBSERVER I 1