A Select Few
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“The Texas 100” [TM, September 1991] refers to my attitude about George Bush and Dresser Industries. Dresser is a fine company with an excellent leader, Jack Murphy. We enjoy extensive business and personal relationships with that company; in fact, on my trip to Iraq we retrieved the Dresser employees and returned them to Europe and the United States. I firmly believe that Governor Connally and I were to a large degree responsible for the release of all the hostages. My statement about Mr. Bush and Dresser needs to be clarified. What I said was, when people speak of Mr. Bush’s humble beginnings in the oil industry, it should be noted that he rode down to Texas on Dresser’s private aircraft. He was accompanied by his father, who at that time was one of the directors of Dresser Industries. I should have been quoted as follows: “I hate it when people make statements about Mr. Bush’s humble beginnings in the oil industry. It just didn’t happen that way.” There is no doubt that Mr. Bush and I have serious political differences and different foreign and domestic objectives for our country—but as for hating him, I do not. In fact, I was a substantial contributor in his race for the presidency.
O. S. Wyatt, Jr.
The article was impressive, but other ideas also come to mind. Why not have an issue featuring Texans who are “rich,” but not in monetary value? Rather they are rich in spirit, life, art, emotion. Sure, money makes the world go round, but why not spotlight Texans who inspire people in other ways too?
The piece should have been titled “The Rich Get Richer While the Poor Get Poorer,” which is what is happening on a grand scale here in Texas. A recent report in San Antonio papers showed that more than 250,000 people in our city live below poverty level, giving us the second-highest poverty rate among the fifty largest U.S. cities. Although I am a conservative Republican and a capitalist to the bone, I am fed up with the greed in this country and the lack of concern for the millions of people being Exploited By “Fat Cats.”
Rick D. Manuel
I found Gary Cartwright’s article “Who Says One Man Can’t Change the World?” [TM, September 1991], on Ernie Cortes, very interesting and fairly close to how I see Ernie. If there is indeed a “New Texas” or even movement toward one, it is more the result of what Ernie and his colleagues have accomplished than what any of us in public office have done.
Mr. Cartwright captured the essence of the personality and substance of Ernie Cortes. Ernie and I disagree from time to time on strategy and tactics, but I believe Ernie’s goals and aspirations are shared by all Texans.
Thomas W. Luce III
Nowhere But Texas
Paul Burka’s &Ldquo;New Ball Game” [Sports, TM, September 1991] seems to be an honest article, true. And he wrote it for all the right reasons. But so what if Rice hasn’t beaten Texas lately? The way the Owls are playing now, that trend might come to an end soon. And who could imagine a year without the Longhorns and the Aggies playing at each other’s field? The open air of Memorial or Kyle beats a dome any day. Who cares what other states think of Texas? Now that Arkansas is gone, let’s form a Texas Conference. Only Texas teams can play. And while others are having heart attacks over TV time, we’re just enjoying football.
As a state district judge, I was immediately drawn to Gregory Curtis’ “Free to Kill” [Behind the Lines, TM, September 1991]. The terrible situation of which he writes occurs all too frequently in Texas. I agree with his assessment of the problem but feel that he was much too kind to the problem’s primary source: “court-ordered limits on prisoner population.” As long as our prison system has to operate under federal mandates, we cannot expect much improvement. Prison-reform lawsuits have left Texas with a system that is turned inside out. Convicts know that they won’t be kept long and that while they are incarcerated they will have all the modern conveniences. They can sleep soundly every night, with the assurance that their cellblock will never exceed 95 percent occupancy. Until prison is once again considered a bad place to be I will continue to see defendants opt for prison over probation. Severe punishment for many offenders today is a lengthy, highly supervised probationary term. This degree of federal control over the state’s prison system is ludicrous.
Robert P. Brotherton
Judge, 30th District Court
Of Wichita County
As a police officer on the streets of Texas for more than a decade, I know all too well that our cities and counties are filled with the likes of Delwin Jones and Vincent Martin. Many times my fellow officers and I have seen the utterly ineffective court system push the revolving door and shove such people back on the streets to prey on our citizens again. We have listened to those citizens beg the police to do something about it. The article should increase readers’ awareness of where the real problem lies.
Kyle L. Kutach
Mr. Curtis blames the prisons for releasing Delwin Jones. Wrong! It is the Board of Pardons and Paroles that releases inmates from prison. Inmates may serve a month for each year of their sentence generally, but first offenders—those who are the best parole risks—have the toughest time making parole. Career criminals get the earliest release dates. Putting them back on the street quickly pushes the crime rate up and thus justifies hiring more police officers, building more jails and prisons, hiring more jailers, prison guards, and parole officers, and employing an ever-growing number of lawyers to prosecute and defend these frequent fliers. Extortion of the public by the parole board does not appear to be a crime in Texas.
W. R. Messinger