Our Lady Bird
THE EXCERPT FROM JAN JARBOE Russell’s book on Lady Bird Johnson confirmed my belief that there has always been a Lone Star in that family and it is our state treasure, Lady Bird, not her famous husband [“Alone Together,” August 1999]. I, like most Texans I know, avoid talking about Lyndon much, but we always point with pride to our gracious and stoic Mother of Texas.
THANK YOU FOR MICHAEL HALL’S story “Evil” [August 1999]. The Sirnics were indeed wonderful people. The virtues they taught us will always be remembered. The church is holding on and doing okay; however, we are still healing and will be for a long time.
Carol Lighthill Columbus
COME ON, TEXAS MONTHLY! MR. HALL’S story has portrayed Rafael Resendez-Ramirez as guilty without the benefit of a trial. Yes, the crimes were terrible and no one should have died in that manner, but unless the news has failed to notify us otherwise, Texas is still part of a country where all are innocent until proven guilty.
AS SOMEONE OF CHEROKEE HERITAGE, my heart breaks each time I hear of another tribe selling out to the false power of the gaming industry [“The Blood of the Tigua,” August 1999]. The division created in the Tigua tribe is not an anomaly but the norm. The division invariably occurs between those calling for “self-determination” and those wanting to preserve the tribe’s spiritual heritage and cultural traditions. Tribal leaders who say they are seeking “self-determination” are in reality seeking money. Pursuing the huge sums of money that the gaming industry pumps into previously money-poor tribes creates greed, a false sense of power, and a weakening of the tribe’s spiritual center. Amassing huge sums of money is not the answer to Native Americans’ problems. The “problem” is the perception that the tribe would be better off if it had more money.
Karen L. Malone
FOR AN OFFLINE, MAINSTREAM PUBLICATION, your story on id Software and the Quake phenomenon was well written and a balanced overview of the online and “violent” game scene [High Tech: “Earth Quake,” August 1999]. I’d just like to emphasize an important message of the article: Quake is nothing but a high-tech game of tag. “Fragging” an opponent is nothing more serious than slapping his shoulder and shouting, “You’re it!”
Marco A. Zamora
A Boy and His Mother
DOES SPIKE GILLESPIE WISH for us to congratulate her on being a doormat, which she apparently defines as “mothering” [First Person: “’Night Mother,” August 1999]? What Ms. Gillespie will be very successful at is, by her own example, raising her “One Perfect Boy” to be yet another very wrong man.
Burka on Bullock
PAUL BURKA’S COWARDLY ATTEMPT to autopsy the life and legend of the late former lieutenant governor Bob Bullock is much more revealing about the author than it is about the subject [Behind the Lines: “The Dominator,” August 1999]. I’ve often heard the truest test of a human being is how he treats people who can’t fight back. Once again Mr. Burka’s personal recollections have proven George F. Will right: “There is something awfully small about someone who cannot admit that anyone else is exceptionally large.”
Mary Jane Wardlow
I HAVE LONG SINCE LOST MY LOVE for or interest in the politicians or the politics they peddle. I don’t think any long-term Texan, however, is without some inkling of who or what Bob Bullock was in the affairs of Texas. I heard him speak one time in person, and Mr. Burka’s article captured the essence of his presence. It was honest and balanced and certainly a tribute to Mr. Bullock.
YOUR PIECE ON DAN MORALES’ questionable role in the tobacco suit was the first explanation in any medium as to why the Big Five ripped off Texas as badly as they did, i.e., the suit was basically a cookie-cutter claim with no challenge and no risk [Texas Monthly Reporter: “Up in Smoke,” August 1999]. Will Pryor deserves more than an honorable mention in your pages. He obviously was in line to get millions if he would only play along with the boys. He didn’t. He could smell this deal from upwind and did the right thing.
Mark W. Stevens
THE QUESTIONS SURROUNDING FORMER attorney general Dan Morales, his former law partner Marc Murr, and the tobacco litigation fees may never be answered. Of course, these questions wouldn’t be necessary had there been a review process in place that required the attorney general to get approval before agreeing to hire outside lawyers and pay them billions of dollars in fees.
For the past two years Metroplex Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse has been a vocal proponent of such oversight. Thankfully, the Legislature agreed, passing a measure that clarifies when the state can hire contingency-fee lawyers, who approves the contract, and who has the authority to appropriate any funds that result from the lawsuit.
Chairman, Metroplex Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
Wrestling With Facts
ON BEHALF OF VINCE MCMAHON AND the World Wrestling Federation, we thank you for your interest in Steve Austin and the WWF and write simply to correct an error in the article [“The Texas Twenty,” September 1999].
You made the statement that Vince McMahon was indicted for distributing steroids and that he was convicted of a conspiracy charge to defraud the Food and Drug Administration. To be correct, Mr. McMahon was never charged with distributing steroids. He was charged with conspiring to defraud the FDA in its attempts to regulate the manufacture and distribution of anabolic steroids. He was acquitted of that charge. Mr. McMahon was not convicted of anything.
Senior Vice President, Marketing WWF Entertainment, Inc.
Texas Monthly regrets the error.