Kirk's Race

Kirk's Race

Campaign grind: Christine Biederman's profile of Ron Kirk ("Selling Ron," March 7) is one of the finest pieces on politics and the daily grind of campaigning that I have read in some time. I attended the AFL-CIO convention, and she got it right on the mark.

An excellent job of capturing what all candidates face as they attempt to secure the important endorsements that are virtually ignored by the daily press.

Steve Speir

Man's World

Bad ol' boys: Thank you for reporting on the bigotry and harmful management practices of the Plano-based Rent-A-Center ("Where the Boys Are," March 7). Ernie Talley and other management sound like the U.S. version of the Taliban or Al Qaeda to me.

Perhaps the Bush administration should really clean house here in the United States before it goes looking somewhere else to play policeman. It is time to stop people like bad-ol'-boy Ernie Talley and company from terrorizing women right here in the good ol' U.S.A.

Craig Rice
Manchester, New Hampshire

Exposed: Thank you so much for writing this article. People want to believe that this kind of thing doesn't happen anymore. Well, it does, and your article helps bring it into the open. You are doing a service for people everywhere who have experienced discrimination.

Kerry Hodgkins
Anchorage, Alaska

Keep On Busing

Lucano lives: The Buzz column in your March 7 issue reads as if Lucano was shut down completely. In fact, it has relocated to the area just east of the main post office on Interstate 30. Send a reporter over to Yorktown or Comstock, and he or she will see that Lucano is still in business, only now located in the middle of an industrially zoned area. So, "the poor widow driven out of business (in a new Cadillac, no less) by Laura Miller" doesn't exactly fly.

Deborah Carpenter

Knocked Out

Bringing it all back home: Your article about Bob Dylan's Love and Theft and his tour ("Beat the Devil," February 21) left me speechless! I am left dizzy. My spine is tingling. This is the most penetrating exegesis of Dylan's recent efforts that I have read. Bar none.

I have shared the link to your article with many other Dylan fans. We all thank you!

Christopher Dunn
Via e-mail

Dylan redeemed: I have been a Dylan fan since time immemorial. I grew up in South Africa, and Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" were rallying calls for those of us who dared oppose apartheid. Needless to say, when Mr. Dylan and Co. came to Toronto in the early '90s I was disappointed and disillusioned, because, as Eric Waggoner says, he was "indifferent" and "incomprehensible." Dylan fell off my pedestal on this day. So when I read the article "Beat the Devil" I was pleased. Maybe now I can once again pick up my old acoustic and begin singing the old songs again, with a little more gusto.

Great article, by the way.

Trevor Ludski
Unionville, Ontario

Nuke 'Em

Dangerous gnat: I never thought I would read in the Dallas Observer such an article as "Mayor Nuke" (February 21). How can an "investigative" reporter say what Johnnie Goins did was "a little bit of old-time Election Day tomfoolery"? How can anyone justify or sympathize with such behavior? If Ms. Goins didn't think she needed "this drama" and was concerned about possible voter fraud, then she shouldn't have pulled such shenanigans. It's slanted reporting to say, "This may have been a nuclear strike to kill a gnat." When does an investigative reporter justify such action? I lost a lot of respect for the Observer after reading between the lines.

Stephen T. Judy

Jim Schutze responds: I meant to imply neither that Goins was gnat nor that Miller was nuke. But I'm sticking with tomfoolery.

Poll watching: I am glad to see that Laura Miller's camp was able to clearly define the difference to Ms. Johnnie Goins and Co. between pole watchers (as in watching the Miller campaign get screwed) and poll watchers (as in ensuring that voters who are eligible to vote get to do so without problems).

It is also good to see Clint C. Blackman, the Clark Kent of the legal industry, being exposed as well. All this time, he has quietly defended the rights of the downtrodden, and suddenly the call came for him to don his tights to ensure truth in polling, justice in balloting and the American Way of voting.

Jim Hairston

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