By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"Sweating Equity," by Jim Schutze, December 11
Don't Blow It
Jim Schutze's question in the December 11-17 issue is a valid one: "Why is Commissioner John Wiley Price trying to sandbag a big business venture that has such clear benefit to his own constituency?" The Allen Group appears to be "onboard and ready to go." I find it curious that no prominent minority businessperson or, for that matter, any prominent businessperson period hasn't jumped on this prime opportunity. If Mr. Price is indeed "sandbagging" this venture, the word "Why?" comes to mind. Does he want it given to them? That would be absurd, although that's what Mr. Price seems to be saying with his talk of "equity" and "intellectual capital." Let's call it what it is, "gibberish"! This opportunity is a godsend. Mr. Price, if you care for your constituency, you should be encouraging business men and women to invest in the inland port. This is a chance to grab the golden ring; it may only come around once. Don't blow it.
Kathy Zerangue, Dallas
"Queasy Does It," by Jim Schutze, December 25
The level of corruption and abuse of power in Dallas is enough to make most anyone ill. Instead of railing against the project because a group of "businessmen" from South Dallas couldn't get their greedy hands in the cookie jar, the elected officials from that area should be thanking their lucky stars that someone is poised and ready to help them out with such a huge project. This shortsighted response from those leaders is ridiculous and sickening.
Ryan, via dallasobserver.com
"Friends in Need," by Matt Pulle, December 25
The following sentence needs revision or clarification: "Passed in 2003 and enshrined in the Texas Constitution later that year by a referendum, advocates credit the bill for lowering malpractice rates and luring new doctors to Texas. That was the chief selling point of tort reform in the first place." In fact, the bill did nothing to lower "malpractice rates." It perhaps lowered or reduced increases in malpractice insurance premiums for physicians, but it did not lower malpractice rates—the rate at which malpractice is committed by physicians. That is, it did not reduce the risk of malpractice to patients or patient safety; it only reduced the likelihood that patients would be compensated for their injuries.
Robert Oshel, Silver Spring, Maryland, via dallasobserver.com
"Buzz," by Patrick Williams, December 25
If the goal of AIDS prevention is to prevent the development of AIDS, then focusing the attention of AIDS-risk groups on actual health risks would be a far more effective way to prevent immune collapse than distributing condoms. Condoms, while having their place, do nothing to compensate for the biologically destructive effects of drug use or rimming, fisting and passive anal sex with hundreds of partners in a short period of time. In fact, the emphasis on condom distribution among these high-risk individuals simply reinforces the idea that because their high-risk, immune-compromising behaviors are noninfectious that there can't be any serious health consequences. This is a deadly myth.
If you compare these euphemistically dismissed, immuno-compromising "co-factors" to both the ever-static HIV statistics from the last 25 years and the "up and down" trends of every other STD/STI locally and nationally, you will discover that not only has "HIV" never behaved like a sexually transmitted virus, but that the spread of the different manifestations of AIDS are far better correlated with noninfectious health risks than with HIV-positivity.
So when it comes to using "Condom Sense" consider this: Playing it "safe" can actually be dangerous. If someone fires a gun at his head, no one attributes the damage done by the bullet to a virus hiding inside of it. And yet, if we apply to this scenario the same standards we use in AIDS prevention, we would be telling suicidal individuals to be sure they clean the bullet before firing the gun. The ultimate irony here is that when it comes to topical and internal exposure to something as toxic as latex, the advice to use condoms to prevent AIDS, rather than lowering the risks, actually adds to them!
Michael E. from New York, via dallasobserver.com