By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Born-again bias: While reading "Die-In" (by Jim Schutze, October 6), I could not help but notice that everyone who is quoted in the article praising Harriet Miers as a politician does not seem to grasp the fact that if she is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, she will be one of only a handful of people interpreting and upholding the Constitution! It bothers me that someone who has allowed Christianity to change their views on an issue, such as a woman's right to an abortion, might possibly be confronted with the same issue in her term as a Supreme Court judge. Is the country supposed to be OK with her personal bias on an issue? Much less do I understand why persons in need of representation at this moment (i.e., the gay and lesbian community) would support someone who is caused a "crisis of conscience" because of their lifestyle.
I suppose that I should become resigned to the fact that she will fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court, since George Bush made clear in his last speech that "she will get the position." It's sure nice to know that our president can predict the future!
Egregious quote: I noticed that in your September 29 feature article about Ralph Isenberg ("Pretty Woman," by Glenna Whitley), you appear to have used a Dallas Morning News quote without attribution. Paul Hunker, of Dallas ICE, said in a private interview with me that Nicole Isenberg had one of the most egregious cases he had ever seen. As far as I know, that statement was not made publicly.
Gretel C. Kovach
The Dallas Morning News
Glenna Whitley responds: In an interview with me, Paul Hunker made a statement similar to the one that appeared in a Dallas Morning News story on Ralph Isenberg. I saw no need to give the News credit for a comment made directly to me.
No better mentor: Rick Kennedy's profile of Del Hendrixson, "Jesus in a Mullet" (September 22), was superbly written, and it ought to serve as the catalyst for TDCJ to re-examine the programs it uses to rehabilitate inmates. With Hendrixson's record of serving time herself and helping 10,000 people turn their lives around, her credentials are worth putting to use. What better mentor could a criminal or gang member benefit from than one of their "own"? The rehabilitation strategy would have prior experience and knowledge to be utilized in teaching these former inmates how not to return to the culture of crime and give them a sense of belonging in society again.
Given the statistics that nearly one-third of former inmates released in our state return to prison, Bajito Onda deserves another look and opportunity to be given certification to assist these "lost souls."
Crime and gang activity are spinning out of control, and the usual state agencies that oversee operations to reserve this trend aren't seeing many success stories, because many people require a more intimate rehabilitation program to fit their personal psychological needs. Bajito Onda would serve small groups with more individual times--and it works!
Your publication of the story will surely awaken someone and perchance be persuasive in getting Bajito Onda reinstated to its capacity to benefit those in need.
A fine whine: I have enjoyed the Dallas Observer for years. Your journalistic staff offers a five-star service. Two of your most recent compelling articles, "All the Pretty Horses," by Matt Pulle (September 1), and "Jesus in a Mullet," were very moving, and thanks to the Observer for addressing these two subjects with such depth and comprehensiveness. Well done!
The vitriolic letter to the editor by Isaac Eiland-Hall (September 29) took aim at Del Hendrixson, founder of Bajito Onda. He really pulled the trigger--apparently motivated by jealousy and retribution. Perhaps he needs some counseling of his own to overcome his dysfunctions.
In perusing his letter to the editor, it was likely beneficial to Bajito Onda for him to depart and distance himself from the organization, because his attitude would have only served as a detriment to Bajito Onda's efforts to help and assist individuals in the crisis of their crimes.
Would Isaac like some cheese to go along with his whine?
Soldier of Misfortune
Loser: A soldier friend of mine e-mailed me this story the other day about Haberman ("G.I. Jerk," by Glenna Whitley, September 1). I was the Mess Sergeant in Camp Caldwell that he mentioned in the story who took his ammo/bullets away from him because we knew he was crazy. He did work as KP but had plenty of time off. Camp Caldwell wasn't bad at all. It is very interesting to read about him complaining about the conditions in Iraq, yet he portrayed himself as Special Forces. Special Forces don't complain. They just do their job and move on. They are trained to live in harsh conditions. This Haberman guy was a complainer, and I was glad to get rid of him. He just needs to go to prison with all the crazies of the world. Feel free to contact me for more information on this loser.
That fraud: Thank you for that well-written piece. Exposing that fraud and roasting him in a public forum was the best course of action. I would like to shake your hand for a job well done. Thanks.
Staff Sergeant Frank Carrillo