Can't privatize government: Sometimes Jim Schutze hits and sometimes he misses. This was the case with Jim's last article about limited government corporations ("Up With Fascism!" September 30). First, this new hybrid government being promoted by the likes of Robert Decherd and Mayor Miller is not a fascist one (violence)--it's merely an un-American one.
Please let me explain. A limited government corporation is where a group seeks to take control of, and spend, its own tax money for its own purposes or agenda. This would be like me getting back all of my taxes so I could build a swimming pool in my back yard. Decherd, as the front man for this scheme, believes that the downtown property owners (landed elite) should be able to red-flag their own tax payments into projects that will enhance their own real estate. Meanwhile, they expect the rest of the taxpayers to fund general obligations of government like police and fire protection. This would be a sweet deal if they can get it, and, seeing how the local paper effectively sets public policy, they probably will.
Rulers like Miller are quick to forget the fundamentals of the republican form of government. Under our national constitution and our state one, we are guaranteed a republican (representative) form of government. This simply means that all policy and spending decisions must be made by our democratically elected representatives. This bars the creation of any shadow government that would operate outside our representative system. In America, we can't privatize government.
I am constantly amazed by how little members of the public and our elected representatives know about our system of government. They think that any screwball plan that can be dreamed up is within the realm of our all-powerful government. Well, it isn't. And all this limited government corporation needs to put it out of business is one legal challenge. Mr. Schutze shouldn't hang his hat on name-calling--he should hang it on the Constitution.
Richard E. Finlan
Father, Forgive Them
Messy Casita: I am torn after reading this story ("The Sins of the Father," by Claiborne Smith, September 23). I work at a nonprofit and can testify that it is unheard of for employees to receive $3,500 bonuses, much less $10,000. We are fortunate to get $10 Chili's gift cards at quarterly meetings. That is what being a part of the nonprofit world entails. Resources and funds are supposed to be used to further your mission--aiding your clients. Still, I can't help but feel Father Lucio had nothing but the best intentions throughout all his years of service to immigrants in Dallas. Why is it that the state Attorney General's Office did not catch any "unfamiliarity with charitable obligations" on the part of either Father Lucio or the entire board of directors of Casita Maria 13 or 14 years ago? Perhaps then this situation might have been avoided entirely.
Just think: Um, dudes--not to stir the Republican vs. Democrat thing already brewing or anything, but there are LOTS of Sessions signs around where I work and live that don't have the word Republican on them anywhere (Buzz, by Patrick Williams, September 30). And more in Richardson, too. Hey, maybe this actually COULD force voters to do some research and look at the voting records of the candidates instead of doing a straight-party vote. It's a naïve hope that I'd like to hold onto a bit longer. Anyway, what harm could it do?
Shocking, Just Shocking
Police inefficiency: Wouldn't it be funny if all Berkshire and Team Phillips did was simply download Christine Biederman's articles ("Good Cop, Bad Cop," August 31, 2000, and "Dirty Cops, Dirty Games," September 7, 2000), along with a few other Dallas Observer articles, pasted them all together into one piece and turned it in as the "Dallas Police Department Management and Efficiency Study"? ("Cop Hell," by Jim Schutze, September 23.)
Why do we even bother paying outside consultants when any Dallas City Council member, Dallas mayor or newly hired Dallas police chief can get pretty much the same information from a variety of Dallas publications? Haven't we done enough of these "studies" on our own that theory has now become fact?
Look, instead of spending all that time and taxpayer money on yet another "shocking, truly shocking" report on the Dallas Police Department, how about a plan of action? Our money would be better spent on whatever administrative costs are needed to out-process these cops. I certainly wouldn't mind paying a few extra dollars to see that happen. Enough with studies, already!
Reuben L. Owens
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The anti-protesters: There's nothing admirable about what the Protest Warriors do, which is to show contempt for, and to interfere with, the fundamental rights of those who wish to protest ("The Right's Stuff," by Robert Wilonsky, September 9). This is what Brownshirts do in their spare time.
If they really had anything to say, they'd organize their own pro-Halliburton rally with oil execs and other corporate criminals. What's not to love about Halliburton? How about a pro-Union Carbide rally to celebrate their environmental record of killing thousands with lethal air emissions?
One thing's for sure, there's no shortage of right-wing assholes in Dallas.
William Winston Newbill