Back at you, Texas Monthly. Don’t let my door hit you … Paul Burka’s article on Tom DeLay was not very objective [“Without DeLay,” May 2006].

Democrats deemed Tom DeLay the new bogeyman for one reason only: He dared to fight hard for Republicans in Texas. Forget the fact that Democrats had controlled the redistricting map for decades and never once sent a Republican majority to represent Texas—proving that they always drew the map in their favor. When Republicans became the majority in Texas and decided to do the same perfectly legal thing, Democrats somehow believed that it was their right to continue to control the redistricting map. In fact, it was so important for them to keep control that they fled the state to avoid legislation concerning redistricting. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Flower Mound

If Mr. Burka believes that the stalking, pit-bull attitude of Ronnie Earle was nonpartisan, then I believe that there are a bunch of people out there who still believe in the tooth fairy. I’m not a fan of Tom DeLay, I don’t live in his district, and I would think long and hard about voting for him, but I recognize a vendetta when I see one.

I am no legal expert, but since when is “destroying evidence on state computers” and using state employees for political purposes a “trivial” matter? It all makes sense when you recognize Paul Burka not as an “afflict the comfortable, comfort the afflicted” journalist but as more of a court historian of the Texas establishment (with a few honorable exceptions). He has a soft spot for Texas pols in general (exhibit A: his downplaying of Representative Nick Smith’s bribery allegation against Tom DeLay), and though that establishment viewpoint may yield interesting insights, overall chumminess with those in power leads to naiveness (about Bush and about the right).

How was Tom DeLay a great politician? He preached less government. He used lobbyists for entertainment. Why don’t you write about a politician who has innovative thinking and is bringing new ideas to Washington, who doesn’t abuse the lobbyist benefits, who does more than bring pork to his district? He or she doesn’t exist? Then don’t call our present politicians exceptional.

That’s No Bull

What a steaming load of cow pies! Skip Hollandsworth’s attempt to glorify Roddy Dean Pippin made me want to throw up all over my new Texas Monthly [“The Last Rustler,” May 2006]. This kid is no rustler or Robin Hood. He is a spoiled-rotten mama’s boy who always got away with his misdeeds. This kid got exactly what he deserved.
Fort Worth

If Roddy Dean Pippin would like a pen pal, I would correspond with him. We all make mistakes sometimes and should be forgiven.

Wise Cracks

Gary Cartwright wrote that crusty, conventional baseball managers handed out advice like “take two and hit to right” [“The Rookie,” May 2006]. My coach at the University of Wisconsin during the fifties would growl, “Don’t take that third one.” So not all old-time baseball wisdom is “ridiculous hokum.”

Health Assurance

Texas Monthly and Patricia Kilday Hart performed a needed public service by raising awareness about MRSA in “Field of Nightmares” [May 2006]. Unpublished data collected by the Texas Department of State Health Services reinforce the fact that human-to-human contact, not human-to-environmental-surfaces contact, is the more likely culprit in MRSA infections. Schools would be better served by investing their resources in personal hygiene, injury prevention, and prompt professional wound care rather than in turf disinfection.
Infectious Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch Texas Department of State Health Services

See Spot Brush

Just a word of caution to Oscar Casares on his article “Pet Project” [May 2006]: To ignore your pet’s dental health is to put him at risk for other health issues, such as congestive heart failure.

That’s Right, He’s From Texas

Thank you for the article on Lyle Lovett [Texas Monthly Talks, May 2006]. I was fortunate to meet him last November at a local restaurant in Spring. I was finishing lunch with a friend when she saw him come in. As we were leaving, we walked past his table. I stopped and told him I was a big fan and asked for his autograph. He gladly obliged by signing the back of an old grocery list I had dug out of my purse. I told him that I had played one of his songs at my husband’s memorial service in October, and he asked me which song. I said, “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord.” He looked touched, said he was so sorry to hear of my loss, thanked me for playing his song, and said, “God bless you.” I couldn’t get over how approachable, friendly, and kind he was. He is truly one of our Texas treasures.

Toad Warriors

Since we at Texas Christian University have a somewhat, ahem, proprietary interest in the horned frog, I was intrigued to read Anne Dingus’s exposé [Texas Monthly Reporter, Encyclopedia Texanica, May 2006]. Ms. Dingus noted that our little horned friend can squirt blood from its eyes, “spraying several feet and, ideally, distracting the fearsome roadrunner or first-grader.” So far, the repellent nature of horned frog blood has been demonstrated only on coyotes but is presumed to affect bobcats and domestic dogs and cats as well, since they have similar oral and olfactory receptors. No word yet on whether it also repels roadrunners and first-graders.
Director of Foundation Relations, TCU