Pubdate: Sat,  9 Sep 2000
Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)
Copyright: 2000 The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Author: Larry Nickerson


I was surprised at the comedic wit of your editorial writer in the 
editorial "Texas Prison Inmates" (A-J, 9-2).

There was a howler right off the bat with that line "We were not troubled" 
and neither should anyone else be troubled by how the Texas prison 
population was greater than any other state. Made me think of those zany 
routines Steve Martin and Gilda Radner used to cook up.

Not that anyone should be troubled since all that money is being put to 
good use. Too bad the Texas school system is bottom of the barrel. Too bad 
pricing to attend state universities is averaging $100 per credit and it 
was almost free 15 years ago. And here's a laugher they forgot: In the 
decade of the '90s, Texas built 77 prisons and one university.

By the time I got to the part how it was nothing that Texas had more 
prisoners than California, and "it indicates that too many criminals are 
free in California," I was laughing so hard people started coming over to 
my desk. I even got the subtle humor about having AIDS and cancer patients 
lean over some prison buckets because we've got to show the kids that the 
war on drugs is more important than any medical marijuana.

My, my. Well, just goes to show how a little humor can pop out at you like 
one of those illusions if you look at it right.

LARRY NICKERSON, Fort Worth, Via e-mail
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