Down the Drain

Down the Drain

Our leaky water department: I live in a 19-unit condominium, and we haven't received a water bill since December 1999! If the city of Dallas keeps this up ("Eeek, the Facts!" by Jim Schutze, January 23), they'll certainly go the way of other poorly run businesses. I just can't wait to see who gets jail time.

Named withheld

Water on the brain: Who cares? All that will happen is that they will raise water fees and taxes. The water department is well aware of many leaks that they do not repair.

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My property taxes have doubled in five years. They had a property tax revolt in California, and the funny thing was, the effective tax rate was less than we pay in Dallas.

Look for the state of Texas to give Dallas less money. How will it be made up? Heaven forbid that they would cut back on some of their private boondoggles.

Peter J. Sawyer

Stars in His Eyes

You, Mr. Bolton, are no Eisenhower: The photograph of Dallas police Chief Terrell Bolton in uniform ("Dallas' Chief Problem," by Thomas Korosec, January 16) reveals the wearing of four stars on each collar. This is the insignia of a U.S. Army full general. This insignia of rank was worn by, among others, Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton. At the time there were at least two Army corps under their respective commands--more than 500,000 officers and troops.

With all due respect to the office of Dallas police chief, there is no comparison to the office of general--not only in the tremendous disparity in the number of personnel under command but in the military situation of being locked in mortal conflict with the determined German Army command.

Robert N. Benson

The buck stops with you and me: The abuses of power at the Dallas Police Department by Terrell Bolton and his cronies sound like what the Caucasians have been doing for a long time down there. The relationship of the police force with the citizenry is the most direct between citizen and government, and therefore one of the most critical to a well-functioning democracy. Honor has been lost not only in the DPD but in the city council and more acutely offensive in the city manager's position, from what I've ascertained from local media reports. Every individual in these positions should be brought to account and properly dealt with by the checks and balances of our government.

However, the ultimate managerial responsibility lies in the hands of the citizenry. As long as we ignore the cancerous dealings of city government officials, we, the people, are at fault. The only way real democracy can flourish and we can maintain the respect and rights for our children is for we, the people, to exercise our most powerful and fundamental responsibility by voting and engaging in the electoral processes.

Scott Prater

No Military, No Peace

Men of war, men of peace: This week's Buzz, "War and Peace" (January 23), decrying the presence of ROTC cadets and other color guards in the MLK Day parade, is a great example of the left's disdain for all things military. I've heard many things attributed to Dr. King, but the knee-jerk disgust with which the liberals in modern-day America view the military is not one of them.

Dr. King was a man of peace, yes. But as has been demonstrated time and time again in history--World War II, the Cold War, etc.--peace is best achieved and maintained when the United States military is strong enough to deter would-be aggressors, bullies and tyrants.

Renowned "pacifists" like Jimmy Carter may win Nobel Peace prizes while overseeing the dismantling of the U.S. military, but unapologetic hawks like Ronald Reagan are the real peacemakers. If you think otherwise, ask yourself when was the last time you heard someone mention the Soviet Union.

Anyone who understands the realities of the world we live in and the need for a strong military knows there is no inherent disconnect between a desire for a strong military and a love of peace.

Mike Breslin

The Havard Legend

We all go down: I really enjoyed your article ("Crazy White Mother," by Glenna Whitley, December 26). There is still much talk of "Big Doug." I grew up not far from him and went to the hated rich school in that little part of Dallas that everyone knows as the Park Cities. There are a handful of kids that still work to provide the services that Doug did. These kids and Doug simply have supplied a service that makes money faster than a Fortune 500 company. This guy was known everywhere. I have personal friends who knew him and hung out with him. Doug was brilliant and thought that he'd never be caught. Growing up rich can give you this thought, but eventually we all go down. But no one went down like Doug. He went out with such fame in this small but big-time business. I guess there will always be stories of "Big Doug," but there will never be anyone as smooth or smart as Doug. So wherever you are, Doug, your legend lives on.

Via e-mail

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