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I WISH TO THANK PAUL BURKA for his enlightening article “Perot in ’92?” [TM, June 1992]. Mr. Perot may capture enough votes to throw a monkey wrench into the political machine, thereby requiring an overhaul in both parties, but I doubt that too many informed voters will take him seriously in November. It appears that he is a classic example of “tell the people what they want to hear.” Most people have lost faith in the system. Those who really believe that Mr. Perot is not a politician are fooling themselves. No one reaches such heights without a clear and working knowledge of politics.
AS A WIFE, MOM, AND college instructor, I have been appalled at the decline of this country. Unfortunately, since I voted in the Texas primary, I am unable to sign a Perot-for-president petition. However, I fervently hope he will succeed in his quest. Mr. Burka is correct that Perot’s “main opponent for the next few months is the media.” If the media are fair, I believe that we common people will vote him into office. Although it seems fashionable today to denigrate traditional values, a majority of Americans believe that integrity, honesty, faithfulness, and hard work are the cornerstones of our country’s past and the only hope for the future. Unlike professional politicians, Mr. Perot embodies these virtues, which is why he is succeeding in poll after poll.
ROBIN W. WHITAKER
MR. BURKA CLAIMED in his article that Hawaii is the only American state to have been subjected to a foreign attack since the War of 1812. Veterans and Aleut Indians who survived the Japanese invasion and occupation of several of Alaska’s Aleutian islands would surely take umbrage at such a statement. On June 3, 1942, as a diversionary maneuver for his Midway operation, Admiral Yamamoto sent a task force centered around two carriers north to raid Dutch Harbor on Unalaska and to invade and occupy the Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska. Japanese troops remained on Kiska and Attu until American forces invaded and reclaimed the islands a year later. In spite of the historical error, Mr. Burka’s article was interesting and well written.
Mr. Burka replies:
I should have said “the only American population center to have been subjected to a foreign attack.”
Little Big Man
SHAME ON YOU. THE JUNE 1992 cover of Ross Perot is an insult to the American citizens who want and need information on the presidential contenders. Thanks for providing a cheap shot that shows no creativity or thought.
LYNNA J. OLLOM
I HAVE READ AND ENJOYED TEXAS Monthly for many years and have always felt that the magazine was highly credible—that what I read and saw was fair, honest, factual, worthy of belief, and not distorted. I was surprised when I picked up the June issue and saw Ross Perot’s pictures, which are certainly distorted and malicious. I am sure that Perot would give you a picture and also one of his desk showing the actual condition. Most of us cannot place much validity when we see articles that are misleading and do not display the truth fairly. I am not necessarily a supporter of Ross Perot. I just hate to see anyone treated unfairly.
G. R. LAMASTER
HARDBALL OR DIRTBALL? With regard to Steve McElroy’s “Ross and Me” [TM, June 1992], assuming the veracity of Mr. McElroy’s account of his dealings with Ross Perot, what is revealed there about Mr. Perot’s character is appalling. I am glad that Mr. McElroy is happy with the outcome; he showed a gutsy personal integrity and deserves success. On the other hand, Mr. Perot appears to have tried shamelessly to manipulate a young man who came to him trustingly and somewhat in awe. Some mentor! Some presidential candidate!
I WAS FASCINATED WITH MIMI SWARTZ’S “The Man Who Knows Everything” [TM, June 1992]. I have come to look to Ms. Swartz as a guide to the Texas landscape because of the information, character, honesty, and wry humor she brings to every piece. She refers to Clyde Wilson as a historian of a hidden world, and so is she, speaking Texas family secrets. When I finished reading the article, I looked up at my husband and said, “I don’t ever want to live anyplace else. It’s just too interesting here.”
The entire June issue, in fact, was one of the best. I started with Gregory Curtis’ Behind the Lines and read obsessively all the way to Paul Burka’s State Secrets on the last page.
GAIL DONOHUE STOREY
IN HER “HEARTLESS BEHAVIOR” [Science, TM, June 1992], Patricia Sharpe takes the FDA to task for being stuffy and requiring controlled studies to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 before approving it for marketing. She may be too young to recall the furor caused by thalidomide in 1961. It was the best tranquilizer ever but was never approved for sale in this country. Consequently, we escaped the fate of Europe, where 30,000 babies were born with flippers for limbs. I am not aware that the National Academy of Sciences has designated Coenzyme Q10 as a vitamin. It is the latest in a long line of miracle cures, many of which are easy to come by in some other countries but are not available here. Are we thereby deprived of some helpful and even life-sustaining drugs? Perhaps. But we are certainly spared exposure to some remedies that are dangerous and others that are worthless. There are well-defined procedures for filing a Food Additive Petition so that Coenzyme Q10 could continue to be marketed as a food supplement (without therapeutic claims) or for filing an Investigational New Drug Application followed by an NDA. Completion of the testing and documentation required is time-consuming and expensive. The proponents of Coenzyme Q10 may be in general agreement with the need for this process but wish to have an exception made for their product.
PAUL B. THOMSON
GREGORY CURTIS’ “OIL AND WATER” [Behind the Lines, TM, June 1992] struck a chord for the oil and gas industry in a manner that I have not seen in recent years. His understanding of the American people and government and their lack of willingness to do anything on the energy policy is extremely accurate but, at the same time, very troubling to me. I believe, as Mr. Curtis so correctly points out, that we must find a way to educate the public to the imminent danger created by the lack of a complete and resolute energy policy.
The environment and energy can and must be approached in a compatible manner; it is critical to our nation’s very survival. When you consider that our economy simply cannot fund the level of energy imports projected by the government, there should be no doubt that our domestic energy sources must be developed. The watered-down National Energy Strategy and its amendments, however, pay only lip service to this need and really do nothing substantial to alleviate the import deficit. It should not take another energy crisis to highlight this economically draining problem. An example of the government’s lack of knowledge in the area of energy strategy was evident recently when the House accepted an amendment and passed an energy bill that does away with Texas’ sixty years of prorating (or regulating) oil and gas production. Through the Railroad Commission, this state has worked to develop a regulatory framework within which the producer and the consumer are each served fairly and equitably; now the government is putting that in jeopardy with shortsighted legislation.
THOMAS D. COFFMAN
Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association