The star chamber
Your article on Judge McBryde in the October 2, 1997, issue of the Observer ["Temper, temper"] has been read, thoroughly.

Thank you for an extremely well-written report on a complex and arcane subject. The statistical disclosures of the efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice to make tractable the federal judiciary were especially enlightening.

But even more so was the gentle, even muted, references to the judiciary's propensity to shape its image with secrecy. All your observations about "sealed files" and "unlisted case numbers" are mere suggestions of the deception, hypocrisy, and inconsistency of a judiciary (both state and federal) that hides some 80 percent of its official rulings behind various "do not publish" rules. Lack of accountability has become a way of life within the third branch, and the various actions in Judge McBryde's situation should surprise no one.

Equally of no surprise is the fear of quoted attorneys to identify themselves: The star chamber for them is just as real as for independent-minded federal judges (and far more readily accessed). Of all the lawyers quoted, only Arch McColl and a couple of others had the personal constitution (and Constitutional courage) to identify themselves. Their kind is becoming a rarity.

Thank you again for an excellent article.
John B. Hawley
Via e-mail

Family feud
First, I want to commend the Observer and Ms. Rebeca Rodriguez for a basically objective story ["Brawl in the family," October 2] with a few exceptions. Ms. Adelfa Callejo's quotes really were on target as it relates to Council 100 and my assertions that petty jealousy and greed by the leaders of Council 4496 led to the allegations and request for information. This is a classic case of "celo" and "mal agradecidos."

Within time, LULAC will have a full report on all the expenditures, and we hope that maybe Council 4496 does the same with reporting their true membership, minutes of meetings held, and legal election of its officers.

LULAC 100 is committed to helping the Hispanic community through its scholarships and leadership support. Only time will tell when this "renegade" Council 4496 does the same. True leadership is not created in the media; it's how you help your fellow man.

Rene Martinez
President, LULAC Council 100

Adventures in the R.O.T.
Just finished your front-page article on the R.O.T.'s unexpected constituency ["Soul food & crackers," September 18]. What a riveting piece; a fine example of the type of in-depth journalism I look for in The New York Times and sometimes actually get to read! What a story. Thanks.

Via e-mail

Race and powerlust, cont'd
History has been blamed for it, institutions have, as well as economics, demographics, and many other things; but blame for the current discord at DISD ["City of ignorance" and "Hunter or prey?" September 25] and in the society at large must be laid at the feet of the individuals who make up that institution, this society. What we have here is a people problem--the failure to recognize, identify, and deal with that natural and strong human tendency to lust after and abuse power, and the tendency not to admit the truth when we or someone we support is caught doing it.

Too many times lately, race has been used to either justify or condemn the abuse of power--a card in order to deflect the truth and rally the support of others--and too many times, that support has been blind. It's time to stop these games and start dealing with people as individuals with strengths and triumphs, weaknesses and failures, and apply the same laws and standards to all. It's time to stop supporting bad behavior out of blind racial loyalty. Thoughtful and mature people of all races are tired of the race card being played to either support or condemn the obvious, and many times illegal, abuse of power. It's time to grow up.

Steve Turman

For all your smartass snide prose, your paper is nothing but a paean to political correctness. Your paper has to accept blame for Dallas losing the best school superintendent it has ever had. Miriam Rozen is a murderer of reputations. A pox on her and the paper.

Name withheld

Ashleigh's feelings
Tuesday's edition of The Dallas Boring News carried a small tidbit regarding everyone's favorite news anchor/rock-and-roller, Ashleigh "Sticks and Stones" Banfield. Seems that poor Ash got her feelings hurt over the Observer's observations about her singing and coiffure [Best of Dallas, September 25]. So much so, that she was a no-show this past weekend for gigs at two local spots about town. What a trouper! Not only did Ashleigh confirm that she was kept away by the Observer's cruelty, she offered up that the less-than-flattering attention "didn't sit well" with the head honchos at Channel 4.

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