By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Judge not: David Morr (Letters, February 3), please be advised that I can only wish upon you that when you are driving your prestigious car to your prestigious job with a full tummy and a healthy family that all of you suffer the same inhumanity that has made me permanently disabled. As a former judge in two different states and internationally recognized person of accomplishment, it has been quite a fall from my hallowed perch where my clothing budget was $10,000 per year. Now I am one of those vagrants begging for food on the streets and being homeless because Shrub and his cronies, the corporate giants who are raping America and the world of all its resources for their private gain, refuse to take care of taxpaying citizens of their own country and even state.
I have been waiting eight years for my SSI benefits. My file was purportedly lost for four years--and I had to file at least three times before they agreed I have a file. I have had to sue Section 8 for fraud and non-payment of benefits. I have had so many hearings with food stamps and Section 8 that my head is spinning.
I take approximately 27 prescribed (from Parkland) drugs per day thanks to a minority woman driver who didn't know how to drive on slippery streets and was hurrying on her lunch hour to a clothes sale. (I recognize the irony.)
I no longer have a law license, car, house, credit cards, regular nail appointments, makeup, designer clothes, telephone or cell phone, meals at McDonald's--or even at Biernat's, where I was a regular.
My day is spent writhing in pain.
As a supposedly intelligent person, I am considered better able to manipulate the system for my own benefit--that is the cruelest injustice of all. The illegal underage aliens with three kids get better treatment from the U.S. than I do.
Can't wait for you to join us on the streets because you choose not to work--think of the GIs and others like me who had no choice, and then make your supercilious and completely unfounded and pernicious judgments.
See you at the Stewpot--maybe you will get a reality check there!
Judge Linda Hack
The Way We Are/Were
Funny guys: I have been reading and enjoying the Dallas Observer's articles since I moved here from Austin last year. I just had to give you my two cents' worth concerning some of your staff writers. I really think that you have two very talented, witty and intelligent writers, and I am talking about John Gonzalez and Jim Schutze. I have laughed so hard at some of the articles and the public responses and opinions but really have enjoyed all of it. I do not get offended easily about much, and I just had to give you some feedback. I personally think that Dallas has a lot of uptight readers who do not have a sense of humor. Some of these people take themselves too seriously and do not appreciate talent when they see it in their back yard.
Going soft: As a longtime reader who remembers her dad bringing home Dallas Observers when she was in elementary school, I have always admired the high quality of the journalism written by Dallas Observer writers and the investigative nature of many of the past features. I'm no prude, but I've been dismayed by the choices of subjects for many of the recent feature pieces such as the most recent one about the strip club DJs or the young adult who makes a living playing video games. If I wanted to read mainly about such topics, I could visit many other news sources. It's not so much that you wrote about them (I did enjoy the piece about the video gamer) but the fact that the percentage of hard-hitting feature pieces has dropped.
That's not why I was drawn to the Observer in the first place. Please return more often to something that has made the Observer great--hard-hitting investigative journalism pieces.
Moderately strong mayor: In his article "Pearls" (February 10) about the strong-mayor amendment, Jim Schutze writes, "[T]his is totally about the personality of Dallas Mayor Laura Miller." Dallas' government, due in part to its Charter, acts like a group of doctors arguing over who should operate while the patient is bleeding to death. How much more blood can Dallas afford to lose? While Dallas debates the relative merits of one person, group or neighborhood, Houston enjoys a thriving downtown, hosts a Super Bowl and attracts businesses and jobs from around the country. Dallas' current Charter contemplates a part-time mayor and a full-time city manager. That may work in a small town but not in a big city. Of the 20 largest cities in the U.S., only six retain the outdated council-manager form of government. Nearsighted people, or those with agendas, label the amendment "too extreme" or "too radical." The amendment, modeled after Houston's Charter, is more moderate than many cities' and will not result in the council losing much power. This is not about Laura Miller, who will not be mayor forever. In May, we have an opportunity to make some real changes. Let's not squander it debating about personalities.