Blowing Smoke|Red-Faced Profession|From the Inside Too

"Barroom Brawl," by Courtney Clenney, November 27

Blowing Smoke

The hypocrisy exhibited by two of the opponents of the proposed ban on smoking in bars, etc., is truly mind-numbing. On the one hand, we have James Graham, president of a petroleum company, fighting the ban because he "hates seeing lies being told [about the effects of secondhand smoke, apparently] and laws being passed and more and more infringement on this country."

Despite all the medical and scientific evidence to the contrary, he sees "lies"—no doubt, as an oilman, he has the same view of all the evidence of global warming to which his products contribute.

Infringement? I imagine he doesn't mind the government interfering to give his product a depletion allowance or to cut his capital gains tax.

Then there's City Councilman Jerry Allen, who is all sober fiscal responsibility when he expresses concern about a projected $1 million cost of the smoking ban expansion. This would be the same councilman who had no trouble flinging $500 million at the demonstrably shaky convention center hotel project.

Oh, yeah.

Bill Halstead, Dallas

I don't understand the bar owner who wants the smoking ban but won't ban it in his own bar. Does he need the government's permission to do everything? Just hang up some no-smoking signs and ban it, and advertise it. Why cede control of your bar to some city bureaucrat?

Anonymous via

Cigarette smokers are DRUG ADDICTS! They should be treated accordingly!

Northstar102351 from Dallas, via

"Off With the Heads," by Jim Schutze, November 27

Red-Faced Profession

I retired as a teacher from DISD two years ago after having given them 36 years of my life. I feel so bad for those at the bottom of the food chain—my ex-coworkers who still somehow have the will to show up every day and do a thankless job while all the world crumbles around them. I know I used to be embarrassed to tell folks I worked for the district...and that was before this latest series of tragedies. I can't begin to imagine what it's like now to mingle at a party and tell guests who writes your checks.

Tim Perkins, Rockwall, via

Do us a favor and name us some names on the "rich, old business geezer" list. These guys (and gals) never get outed for civic misdeeds and incompetence, it seems, and thus they're able to maintain some kind of sanctified status, regularly lending their names to appear on glossy mailers supporting the latest big-ticket "public trough" project Carol Reed and Rob Allyn are being paid to gin up public support for.

Tim Dickey via

With the story changing like dirty underwear, I think the Observer should hold a contest. We send in our positions on what really happened to the money, and after the fraud audit (should it ever come about) you award a prize. Like, the Observer awards a flashlight, shovel and trash bags to help clean out DISD; however, it might take a front loader. Or better yet the Observer pays your property taxes to DISD and sends your child or grandchild or niece/nephew to private school.

Orgchartmom from Dallas, via

"Dianetics Unplugged," by Elaine Liner, November 27

From the inside too

I wonder how this play [A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant] would go over if it made fun of the Dalai Lama, who also has some religious beliefs that are quite weird. I am reminded of the writings of Huston Smith, the religious scholar, who said that all religions look goofy when viewed from the outside.

Anonymous from Austin, via

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