Boiled by Oil, Try Gas Station Work, Rollin' with Ralph

Boiled by Oil

Lube job: Well, finally somebody's blown the whistle on America's biggest thieves: oil companies ["Paying the Price" and "Pumped Dry," by Bob Burtman, October 26 and November 2]. Thanks, Mr. Burtman. When I worked for Texaco in the late 1960s, it was obvious they were fucking their dealers at every opportunity. (Any credit card problem? Just charge it back to the poor bastard dealer.)

The way the credit card operation went reminded me of walking barefoot in the hen yard as a kid. I quit the assholes in 1970. Unfortunately, back in those days you better keep your mouth shut unless you wanted a "bad" job recommendation. Texaco was truly an equal opportunity employer: They treated everybody like shit.

Bayousphere: Free-form: An improvisational jam session at the Sound Exchange record store on Richmond at Hazard calls on the talents of Ed Valot (left) on trumpet, Rosa Lange on violin and John Atlas on sax.
Bayousphere: Free-form: An improvisational jam session at the Sound Exchange record store on Richmond at Hazard calls on the talents of Ed Valot (left) on trumpet, Rosa Lange on violin and John Atlas on sax.

When I inquired at Chevron (né Gulf) for employment, I was told their operation was the same as Texaco's.

Robert Young

Try Gas Station Work

CPS woes: I can only say I agree with the letter ["Crisis Management," October 19] about management policies within Children's Protective Services ["A Father's Retribution," by Brad Tyer, October 5], as do several other investigators in the Rio Grande Valley.

Here's another point that could be made: How can an agency that is supposed to have a caring attitude about kids and the elderly be successful when it doesn't have a caring attitude about its employees?

It is difficult enough for a CPS investigator to go into dysfunctional homes on a daily basis to make an investigation and then have to return to a dysfunctional office setting to complete the investigation. Could that be part of the reason CPS has a turnover rate of 45 to 50 percent annually?

Antonio Lopez Goldberg
McAllenRollin' with Ralph

Taking issues: Thank you for reporting that hometown folks have created a ballot-qualified Green Party, our town's best-kept media secret ["Green Horns," by Brad Tyer, October 19].

A faintly patronizing tone and a keen eye for stereotypes apparently are de rigueur for major-media reports on well-intentioned nonprofessionals, and who are we to complain? But I might correct a few superficial impressions:

Starting a political party from scratch, recruiting candidates, getting them on the ballot and running campaigns, all without the backing of corporate bucks or a friendly billionaire, involves something other than a leader's "big, orgiastic party." Parts of it are a blast, and it sure beats plodding along with cash-register politics as usual, but mostly it's a lot of people working hard and smart.

So that's why the media refused to cover Ralph Nader -- because the Green Party had too many issues? Every political party has more issues than you can shake a stick at. Here are the issues our campaign material focuses on: universal health care, a living wage, environmental protection and campaign finance reform. Is four too many?

Regardless of Nader's vote percentage, we're going to continue working to build a progressive movement -- and planning that "orgiastic party."

Oh, and the Green Mobile art car is not an Eagle, it's a Hornet. And green. Get it?

Beverly Hayes
Co-chair, Green Party of Texas

Home Again

It's all relative? I was intrigued to read that Councilmember Todd took a city-paid trip to Seattle to research its civility laws [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, October 26]. In a conversation I had with him a year ago, he mentioned that his parents live in Seattle. I think a good guess would be that the two are somehow related.

Name withheld by request

Busy signals: It's bad enough to have "compassionate" relations with another city councilman's wife behind his back. And it is worse while being the self-proclaimed "conservative" moral leader of Clear Lake. This can all be expected from Councilman Todd, but to use a taxpayer-supplied cell phone to do his compassionate wooing?! This is crossing the line. It's time for an investigation.

John R. Cobarruvias

Fist and Last

Bush whackers: I live 1,000-plus miles north of Texas, and I do enjoy KTRU on the Internet ["License to Steal," by Lauren Kern, October 19].

KTRU is an extremely valuable commodity for the Houston area. Rice University heads should be ashamed of themselves for wanting to cannibalize such a valuable station. Students and citizens of Houston, stand up to this insult. And while you're at it, get rid of that Bush fellow who's pretending to be your governor. From Minnesota, with my fist held high in support:

Ron Madson
Bemidji, Minnesota

Mom knows best: Thanks for the article about KTRU. The Rice administration's actions needed to be exposed to sunlight. Students should be allowed to broadcast what they want within FCC regulations. Many resources are devoted to college sports in most universities. The arts, however, are Cinderellas.

My daughter is a DJ on KTRU. She plays all kinds of music that I have never heard before. Some I like, and others, well But I think it is important that the music be heard. Thank you for making public this conflict. The students are very taxed already with their studies and don't have the time to present their views, whereas the university has a full-time paid public relations staff working for it.

Kay Wilde

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