Letters: Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Signs of Blight
To the editor: Just wanted to give Jeff Prince a pat on the back for the fine article regarding the bandit sign issue (“Found: Too Many Signs,” Sept. 26, 2007). This is a serious issue for the city, as these signs are generally the first step toward decay and urban blight. If they were allowed to congregate and multiply, pretty soon our city would be overrun with pollution. I would hope that everyone could get a handle on how serious this is.
Maybe with more journalists getting involved, we can put a stop to this problem. Thanks again for the great article.
Alex Southern
Public Information Officer
Fort Worth Code Compliance Department

Rise up for the Wage Slaves
To the editor: Thank you for Betty Brink’s story on the abuses of federal prisoners (“A New Kind of Wage Slave,” Oct. 17, 2007). I have been campaigning for prison reform for a long time and have known about prison labor. Your story was in-depth, precise, and very well told. I have been forwarding it to members of Congress.
My great appreciation goes to you and the women who sacrificed so much to get some light shed on these issues.
Karen Leonard
Willits, Calif.

To the editor: Veteran journalist Betty Brink’s chronicle of the Carswell prison medical center is a fit read for us all, but particularly for those who have a friend or family member incarcerated at this federal Hotel California. It truly is a breeding ground for corruption, exploitation, and, as the Weekly titled it, a Federal Bureau of Profit.
This scandal is long overdue for legislative action, but what can one do when this “government-assisted capitalism” gets an exemption from prosecution? Unicor has pimped these women for the company’s own financial gain, not to mention the way the prison price-gouges on personal hygiene necessities that inmates must buy exclusively from the prison commissary.
These “wage slaves” may have committed crimes and been sentenced to prison, but the Unicor officials are just as guilty of crimes. They should be prosecuted and sent to join their laborers.
Yvonne Roth
Fort Worth

The Good — or Bad — Fight
To the editor: Thank you for Eric Griffey’s article documenting what the rest of the media is afraid to tackle head-on (“Censored,” Sept. 26, 2007). It is unfortunate that so few people will know about these stories and that so much corruption will continue. It saddens me that a large part of this is caused by American corporations with no regard for human dignity or life.
Keep up the good fight and keep writing these stories. Without people like you there would be less hope in the world.
Stephane Magne
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

To the editor: I just had to laugh reading “Censored.” I mean, just how dimwitted are Fort Worth Weekly readers supposed to be? Here is a left-leaning newspaper doing an article on a left-leaning organization (Project Censored). It’s like a wolf getting a report from a fox about what’s happening over at the henhouse and around the farm.
You would never see a fair and balanced article in the Weekly on anything about conservative views or the Bush administration or a Top 20 list from Project Censored with a fair and balanced view on news stories that have not received enough coverage around the globe. Gosh ... sounds like censorship to me.
What’s worse: censorship or outright propaganda as practiced by Media Matters and Moveon.org? The sole purpose of these organizations is to take quotes from conservatives out of context and then do a smear job through the liberal media. I mean, holy cow, that’s beyond censorship — it’s just outright lies and distortion!
Christopher C. Black

In the Sept. 26 cover story “Censored,” Project Censored’s report was incorrectly quoted as saying that Asian workers were being illegally smuggled into Beirut’s U.S.-controlled green zone. The article should have said the workers were smuggled into Baghdad’s U.S.-controlled green zone. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error.

To the editor: Betty Brink’s article speaks volumes about a corrupt federal prison system that is profiting off inmates. As the article pointed out, the Weekly has been doing Carswell exposés since 1999. But Congress has been as slow as wet gunpowder in moving to correct the injustices and abuses being perpetrated on the inmates. The officials seem to have a blanket of immunity, since they still run the prison camp as usual. But this scandal is spiraling out of control because Congress is so loath to exercise its power. We voted these folks into office to look after our best interests, not just to collect their paychecks and merely commiserate with those who need their legislative assistance.
Jackie Watkins
Fort Worth

To the editor: “A New Kind of Wage Slave” is a great article. I knew this was going on, but you have enlightened me enough to understand the issues. I will now protest this.
Donna Conroy
Chicago, IL

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