By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Democracy in Action
Goon patrol: Last Saturday I walked up to see a petition-gatherer and a blocker engaged in some degree of verbal static ("Laura's Goons," by Jim Schutze, May 17). I had to interrupt them to tell the petition-gatherer, "Come here, man, I wanna sign that sumbitch." The volunteer looked at the blocker wanting to know if he'd attempt to interfere with our transaction. Apparently whatever they paid him wasn't enough, or perhaps they had failed to explain to him that very large, quite possibly crazy rednecks are less than excited about putting a billion-dollar tollway where we voted to put a park/lake.
Educate yourself: As a volunteer for the Trinity vote, I can certainly echo Schutze's dismay at the out-of-state blockers' tactics when it came to signing petitions for the Trinity vote. What many of us saw on election day was actually tamer than the early-voting tactics employed by the Trinity Commons "education technicians."
At the Northaven church, I dealt with two blockers with Florida and Oklahoma plates on their cars and their back seats filled up almost to the ceiling with clothes. At a Northwest Highway church, I dealt with a woman with Missouri plates on her SUV, also full to the ceiling with stuff. The woman claimed she lived "in Plano off I-35 near a big mall." Rather intrigued by her response, I asked, "Oh, do you mean the Galleria?" She said, "Yes, that's it." I then proceeded to tell her that the Galleria was not on I-35, nor was it in Plano. Oh, by the way, she also claimed she got her truck with the Missouri plates in an estate sale. Interesting. Maybe she got the clothes there too, like her friends.
I still can't figure out how educational it was for these blockers to startle people by thrusting postcards rudely in front of people's faces while I tried to talk to them about the merits of the petition. Nor do I understand how educational it was when one of the Oklahoma blockers took the copy of the ordinance away from one of our older petitioners and then refused to give it back.
Perhaps she wanted to educate herself on what she was doing, since many of the blockers professed facts and figures to voters that were totally erroneous. It was obvious the blockers knew little by the questions they couldn't answer from the public.
I don't know about anyone else, but I surely resent someone out of state telling Texans, much less Dallasites, that they aren't to sign a petition to SIMPLY get a vote on a project which doesn't look the same as the one in the 1998 election. Do you?
Richie Whitt, Everyman: As a habitual sports junkie looking for the 15-times-a-day fix ("Going for the Green," by Richie Whitt, May 17), I am very glad that you exist with the Dallas Observer. I would have to agree with the Hardline that you should be paid as much as the mooks that write the daily compucrap from the DMN. Thanks for the Everyman perspective.
Never seen one: Anecdotal stories aren't evidence ("Ever Seen a Ghost?" by Megan Feldman, May 17). There isn't any evidence in the scientific literature to suggest that our "ghosts" live past our deaths. As far as we know, there isn't any mechanism by which such phenomena can occur. (The people who talk about ghosts aren't providing any evidence beyond relating their own personal experiences. We do know that our perceptions can be easily tricked.)
The true "spirit" that we can leave after our deaths is our legacy of positively influencing our fellow human beings. Negatively influencing people by spewing nonsense on them without providing any evidence won't build our legacy. This type of article does a lot of injustice not just to your readers but to mankind in general. Stop publishing them.
Pathetic Anand: I never met Anand Jon ("Fashion Foul," by Glenna Whitley, May 10). I have a strict rule about meeting people that contact me on MySpace claiming to be fashion designers and photographers. More often than not, it turns out exactly like this.
That didn't stop Anand from contacting me and then berating me as a "self-indulgent spoiled little bitch" who would "never make it in the modeling industry." That's nice, seeing as how I had no interest in modeling in the first place.
I knew something was wrong with this guy from the first moment he contacted me. I look much younger than I am, and for someone to approach me about doing lingerie shows just isn't right. Then when he assumed that my polite refusal was me being shy and ordered me to send him more pictures of my body...well, sorry, but that's not going to fly with me.
Anand Jon is nothing. He's sleaze and trash. I feel extremely bad for all the girls that he was able to get to, and I'm glad he wasn't able to hurt any of the girls I personally know (rather, we spent our time mocking him on MySpace for being so pathetic with his insults just because we had no interest in modeling).