Letters: Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Big Dog Barks

To the editor: The Weekly’s June 11 cover story by Joaquin Sapien and Chris Campbell (“Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil”) illustrates the problems with TXU that stretch through decades. The article was a comprehensive combination of an exposé and an examination of corrective measures that could alleviate the pollution if implemented. But m-o-n-e-y is the Big Dog. Money talks and bulls--t walks. When you have experienced, seasoned lobbyists proselytizing the governor and handpicked legislators, it’s almost an exercise in futility to go against the ‘goliath’ of Big Companies when you’re just a lowly citizen-consumer.
The dangers of sulfur dioxide spewed into the atmosphere have long been a known health detriment to children and adults.
Without any meaningful regulatory repercussions to these offending plants, they are basically operating with impunity.
Jacqueline Neel
Fort Worth

Death Row Costs
To the editor: In his recent column, Fort Worth Weekly staff writer Dan McGraw touched on a subject that has been controversial around the world (“Death Be Not Prosaic,” June 11, 2008).
The death penalty debate will continue until capital punishment is abolished. The Texas killing machine at Huntsville is now in overdrive, and many folks are ambivalent about the death penalty, particularly the three-drug cocktail application.
DNA testing has proved some death-row inmates innocent, and they have been released. Some have collected thousands of dollars in compensation, courtesy of our tax bucks.
With Mr. McGraw’s first-hand journalistic experience in witnessing three executions, his commentary is well taken.
Death row inmates sometimes spend decades behind bars prior to execution — that’s profligate spending, maintaining them in prison that long. Wonder who profited from the frozen cadaver of death row inmate Joseph Jernigan?
Billie Williams
Fort Worth
Silly Season
To the editor: It’s Silly Season again. No, it’s not the beginning of political ads, it’s Fort Worth Budget Time (“Foot Off the Gas,” May 7, 2008).
Time to raise taxes and/or lay off employees. Do they think we are stupid?
The mayor of Fort Worth and others have boasted of how it is the fastest-growing community in America, with new businesses moving in and favored tax abatements for some. Millions of dollars in new revenue from gas drilling in the area. On and on.
Now with budget time, it’s the same old cock and bull.
Fort Worth already has one of the highest tax rates of any major city in Texas. With Fort Worth and other taxing entities receiving record revenue from gas drilling, it’s time for some public disclosure of where this revenue is being used.
Jack O. Lewis
Haltom City
In last week’s issue, a story about gas drilling near Azle (“Paradise Lost”) included two errors. Mike and Annette Daniel are not having a problem with chemical runoff from a Devon gas drilling site killing plants on their property. And Annette Daniel said her horse was not injured in an incident in which the driver of a truck related to the drilling gunned his engine. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the errors.

Prison Profit Complex
To the editor: Great article about Unicor (“A New Kind of Wage Slave,” Oct. 17, 2007)! I left Carswell last year on the very day it appeared. I was there for civil disobedience, and I know Kathleen Rumpf. Keep writing, please. Betty Brink’s articles about Carswell help many understand how rotten the penal system is in this country. Private prisons that lock people up for profits, corporations making millions off prison labor — it makes
perfect sense that the United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.
I speak regularly about the prison industrial complex, as I want to try to help people understand that slavery is not dead.
Ms. Brink does a wonderful work, blowing the whistle in the face of injustice.
Christine Busch-Nema
Kirkwood, Mo.

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