"After Their Murder-Suicide, Questions About Rufus and Lynn Flint Shaw's Shady Dealings Haunt Dallas," by Jim Schutze, March 20
Over the Top
Jim Schutze writes of Rufus Shaw: "He was a grifter with no visible means of support." The definition of a grifter is a person who obtains money or property by swindling or defrauding others. What evidence does Mr. Schutze have to back up such a harsh claim about the late Mr. Shaw? I have read many things about Mr. Shaw, but I have seen nothing that even hinted that he was some sort of con man. I have enjoyed and admired Mr. Schutze's writing since moving to Dallas nearly eight years ago, but this does seem over the top and, yes, tasteless.
Scott Rowekamp, Dallas
This story affirms the necessity of our having strong, independent reporters in Dallas, because without Jim Schutze, this news would have been peremptorily minimized, avoiding the real story of government contracting in the shadow of blatant impropriety. Our mayor needs to rise to the ethical challenge by focusing transparent scrutiny on the entire process of procuring favorable treatment in such municipal contracts.
Perhaps the higher concern is that we as a society need to examine the culture of material competitiveness and social striving which perhaps energized the behavior of the Shaws and made them feel that life is a zero-sum game, and if they were not "winning," it was futile to continue living.
I offer my sincere condolences to friends and relatives of the Shaws, and I join you in mourning such a tragic event.
Willie Dysoon, via dallasobserver.com
I have to say I am concerned with the "grifter" remark, and I would like some elaboration.
I am more concerned with the city of Dallas ethics rules. Think about this: "...the proper party to go to the district attorney and make a complaint about violations would in fact be the city or a high city official. Like the mayor." The mayor is very possibly involved in this mess. The DA had a close relationship with the Shaws and with several members of the "Inner Circle." Who is left? Is there a council member willing to air out the dirty laundry?
The city fathers and Belo Inc. want to rush blindly into a convention center hotel deal which is going to cost Dallas taxpayers millions. The last thing they want is an investigation about how they do their "bidness." Does anyone know the number to the FBI corruption hotline?
El Rey, via dallasobserver.com
"Battle Against Teaching Evolution in Texas Begins," by Jesse Hyde, March 20:
It's a Miracle
Forgive my TV brain but....after watching the History Channel series called The Universe, I am compelled to believe the greatest "miracle" of all is that life came to exist at all given the seemingly random circumstances of how the planets are formed, let alone the concept of the Big Bang. We do, however, have Brother Sun and Sister Moon to thank, without whom evolution would not have taken place...and don't get me started on prehistoric asteroids.
As a person of faith and a former Bible literalist, the biggest questions I had to ask myself in my 20s were, "What is the problem I have about a God having created the laws of physics?" and "What difference does it make to me whether the world was created in six days or 6 billion years?" (Or was it 4.5 billion?) Compare the statements "God created humankind out of clay" or "Life evolved out of pond scum." Gee...sounds kinda the same to me.
The BIG question I have now is, "Are the dinosaurs of fundamentalism going to evolve or will they just become extinct?" Or better...maybe they'll do what I did and just get over it.
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Charlie Rose, via dallasobserver.com
The perceived "problems" or "criticisms" of evolution prove nothing whatsoever about creationism or intelligent design. What is the proof of creationism? Why don't we see things being created today? When was the last time anything was created? What is the proof for intelligent design? What facts are known about the "intelligence"? What facts are known about the process of design? If problems with evolutionary theory somehow prove creationism or ID, then you have two things to prove: prove creationism itself, and prove that there is no other theory of the origin of species.
I'm really worried about our country.
RedPolygon, via dallasobserver.com