Boone or Bust?
I’m a fifth-generation Texan and mad as hell at T. Boone Pickens for his rape of our beautiful land [“There Will Be Boone,” September 2008]. And for what? To line his pockets even more? Apparently, a billion dollars isn’t enough.
A year ago, my husband and I purchased 93 acres just northwest of Gainesville, close to the Red River. And suddenly, as we look out onto what was a beautiful vista, we now see these gigantic eyesores popping up all over the place. Unlike an oil rig, these 48-story-high wind turbines will never go away; they are permanent fixtures. And while Pickens admits he wouldn’t have one of these things on his 68,000-acre ranch because, as he states, “they’re ugly as hell,” he doesn’t mind everyone else having to look at them. This man cares nothing about Texas.
We can save America—when we can walk into a big-box store and buy a wind turbine, a kit to retrofit our dually to biodiesel, and a photovoltaic panel for the roof. I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory almost thirty years ago. They had a fuel-cell car there; they had turbines. The government has had the technology for decades, and they blew it. I applaud T. Boone Pickens: Big business and people like him have the resources to get those dusty DOE experiments out of the archives and into the hands of the people in the marketplace. Thanks for a great article.
I first saw Mr. Pickens in the early eighties, when he gave a guest lecture to my business administration class at Wichita State University, in Kansas. He made it clear that, as a shrewd businessman, his ultimate goal was to make money. He told us never to forget that fact. I haven’t. Today, his Pickens Plan seems full of down-home patriotism and evangelical altruism. I agree that our nation needs to harness more wind power—I grew up in Kansas—as well as utilize more water, solar, geothermal, and some nuclear power (with cautionary safeguards). And I like Boone Pickens. I think he is a smart man for having bought up water and natural gas rights and for purchasing leases of land upon which to develop wind farms. I just wish he would candidly tell the public what he drilled into us students back then: He’s in it to make money—not to be altruistic.
James A. Marples
Great article. I think it is good to emphasize that billionaires like Pickens, Buffett, and Gates were decent people before they made money. It prevents me and others from being jealous or resentful of their money and lets us focus on their intentions, which seem to have America and the greater good in focus.
Michael G. Ott
So Charles Dean Hood boo-hoos that he’s fed greasy food every day and his cell is shook down just to “mess” with him [“Death Letters,” September 2008]. He complains it’s noisy and his cell is small. Pretty good accommodations compared with what his two victims, whom he never mentions in his writings, were left with after he so brutally murdered them. Such narcissistic and self-centered letters with no inkling of remorse. If he feels he’s living in hell now, just wait until justice is finally served—bet his food will be burning hot from then on.
I find it appalling that you wasted so much precious paper on convicted killer Charlie Hood. The State of Texas has already wasted thousands of dollars trying to put this murderer to death, and he gets reprieves and the taxpayers have to keep putting a roof over his head. He made his choices, and our taxes have given him all of this extra time to whine.
Winds of Change
“Katrina, Texas” is great [September 2008]! It’s so important to tell these positive Katrina stories, since there have been so many negative ones told.
Ms. Nelson asks, “What makes us think our kids are going to be any better at reining themselves in than we, their elders, are?” Obviously nothing, if we teach them, as she apparently has, that it’s okay to just indulge yourself because . . . there’s nothing one can do about it [“Let’s Talk About Sex,” September 2008]. It’s a natural urge? It’s going to happen no matter what parents say? What happened to teaching self-control and self-respect or even that, physiologically, our body is simply preparing for procreation? Why is a boy young enough to need his mother’s help shopping for a gift buying lingerie and massage oil as a present—for a girl young enough to have her mother checking out her friends? Desire isn’t hard to define in Ms. Nelson’s context. It’s called lust. And that we can’t control ourselves under its influence is the biggest load of nonsense ever perpetrated and perpetuated by mankind.
A Few Good Polluters
I have lived in Houston all my life. Our environment certainly needs work to bring it up to an acceptable standard [Behind the Lines, September 2008]. However, many of the outspoken critics live in cities without heavy industry and can’t handle the truth: that we live in a world of modern materials, and those materials are made by men in facilities that pollute. They weep for the environment and curse our industries. They have the luxury to use the plastics, paints, adhesives, coatings, pharmaceuticals, fibers, fuels, and lubricants that our facilities produce. And these facilities’ existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible, saves lives and improves our standard of living. Who’s gonna do it? You, Austin? You, Denver? We use words like “technological progress,” “standard of living,” “productivity.” They use them as a punch line. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain it to those who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very economic growth and national security that we provide but then question the manner in which we provide it. We would rather they just say “thank you for polluting your own environment and not ours” and go on their way. Otherwise, I suggest that they go back to riding a horse, tending to their own vegetable garden, making their own clothes, and improving great-grandma’s elixirs.