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By D Magazine |

All Critics Great and Small

In “Unpeaceable Kingdom” [May], Dr. Steven Pakes said that medical researchers were the true animal advocates because the animals lived longer with them. I remember in World War II, Nazi doctors spared twins, tatooed people, and others from the gas chambers for the purpose of “research” and experimentation. The comparison is apt.

Your article was so superficial you failed to mention that there is an organized move among M.D.s to stop the use of animals in research experiments. Animals are not good models for human tissues; their individual differences prevent accuracy in testing as well as that most necessary of all scientific tenets-the ability to reproduce a test result time after time.

Worst of all, the veterinary profession itself, the men and women who have the medical expertise and organizational skills to speak out and act on behalf of the voiceless animals, is almost uniformly silent on the issues. Your article didn’t mention veterinarians. Rightly so. They don’t seem to be a factor where non-paying animals are concerned.

Angus MacDonald, DVM


You state that “. . .the battle over animal rights pits pet lovers against scientists, emo-tion versus reason.”

Emotion versus reason? A flawed hypothesis! How about moral integrity versus immoral exploitation? I am sick unto the death of news media references to animal rights advocates as “emotional” and to animal “researchers” as “scientists” and heroic savers of human life. Why are compassion and consideration for the suffering of the helpless automatically translated by journalists into “emotion”?

Mary Betty heath Dallas

I find the goings-on at Southwestern Medical School sickening. Dr. Rakes and the other resident butchers shatter and destroy animals. In their eyes, animals were meant to be killed and dissected and catalogued. Experimental torture is as appropriately the study of the half-enlightened man as the blood sport is the amusement of the halfwitted. Frankly, the public should take to the streets with torches and pitchforks and run these Baron Frankensteins out of town.

Mamie Sinclair


As I read about NCNB’s part in this skulduggery, I was reminded of Andrew Jackson’s quote concerning bankers-“You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”

I’ll drink to that, and I believe we should begin our routing with Joe Bowles, director of Public Affairs for NCNB. You could tell by his defensive and arrogant remarks that he nor the bank likes the idea of D Magazine’s digging around in the Morgan trust. There is something very wrong in this case.

Tyler Williams


Your readers deserve to know that Mrs. Morgan’s trust has been of great benefit in the medical treatment of children, as well as in the care of dogs, in the City of Dallas for many years.

We had several discussions with Chris Thomas and furnished her all of the information to write the complete story. We sent copies of trust tax returns and other documents that she did not use. The writer indicates that for some twenty-two years, the bank trustee did not make disbursements from the trust for the two charitable purposes provided in the will of Ivor O’Connor Morgan. In fact, as early as 1950, the trust paid income to the Dallas Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to operate a Home for Lost and Strayed Dogs. Later, in 1957, the bank trustee established the home on Exposition Street, which was operated with trust funds until 1977.

The writer is critical of the growth in asset value of the trust from some $820,000 in 1937 to the present value of $1.3 million. The trustee would be subject to criticism if the trust asset value was in the same amount as originally funded, but our investment performance has resulted in asset growth plus the disbursement of all trust income.

The charitable trust created by Ivor O’Connor Morgan has been properly managed by the bank trustee, with all actions in compliance with agreements between the City of Dallas, the Texas Attorney General, and under the District Court order. The trust will disburse about $200,000 from trust income in 1989 for the two charitable purposes within the intentions of Ivor O’Connor Morgan as provided in her will.

Daniel J. Kelly

Vice President, Personal Trust, NCNB

Dustin Crocker: Who’s To Blame?

Feelings of horror, sadness, and futility overwhelmed me as I read this article [“Why Did Dustin Crocker Have To Die?” May]. Ignorance is bliss, they say, and I thank God that my children are now college-aged and the discussion concerning day-care abuse was not apparent when they were being cared for. I don’t even allow myself to consider retrospectively what they may have been exposed to. Perhaps the continued focus on how our system allows children to be victimized through a sloppy, lazy effort to regulate and revise day-care provider requirements will awaken and alarm enough people to force change. Thank you for your contribution.

Lynn Scribner


Glenna Whitley indicated that Mary Jo Earle, public defender, went after the man they believed was the “real culprit: Dr. Lawrence Pivnick.” The implication appears to be that Pivnick may have been in some way culpable for the tragic death of this child.

I believe that Pivnick’s competency was unfairly and inappropriately questioned. As a licensed counselor and certified marriage and family therapist, I have counseled a number of patients whom Pivnick has referred to me. Although a physician can strongly recommend seeking therapy, there is no way the physician can force a patient to act on that recommendation. If the article is correct, Pivnick, in fect, did make several attempts to make an appropriate referral; he is not responsible for the patient’s actions-over which he does not have control.

Regarding Betty Blagg’s use of the prescription drug Valium, reducing the Valium while encouraging counseling appears to represent a conscientious attempt to reduce the risk of a “dangerous situation.”

I strongly believe that Pivnick was seriously wronged by a slanted report that sensationalized a child’s death and used the highly charged emotions triggered by the story to manipulate the reader into a simplistic and erroneous journalistic conclusion.

Charles M. Jones, M.Ed.


I am tired of the public using doctors as scapegoats. If we need a “culprit,” who better than the child’s mother and grandmother? Do we no longer trust mother’s instinct when our children exhibit unusual behavior? Why did Karen Crocker so readily accept Betty Blagg’s explanation of “just going through a phase”?

Does convenience of close and seemingly adequate day care override a genuine concern for a child? Come on, let’s put the blame where it really belongs!

Paula Zeitman Dallas

Attacking “Briefcase Blacks”

I am quite surprised to see your publication step into Dallas’s “Racial Polar Zone” by printing the article “The Briefcase Blacks” [May]. The concept that there is a new level of leadership in the African-American community is true. It’s also true that many of us have acquired skills through education and corporate experience. However, the stereotyped title and opening lines are about as far from the truth as Dallas is from electing an African-American mayor.

If the author had actually interviewed me, perhaps I would not have been misquoted again. What 1 actually said was, “Communication and negotiation comes before confrontation.” If I had talked with Cecil Sharp I would have explained that most of us understand and appreciate the Al Lipscombs of our community. It’s because of them we had the opportunity to acquire those “boardroom negotiating skills.”

1 might not know a lot about politics, but I do know the mentality of institutionalized racism called divide and conquer. Don’t try to pit some of us against others of us-it won’t work. Your misuse of an African-American writer and those of us who serve our community, especially Diane Ragsdale, Lipscomb, and John Wiley Price, fails to represent progressive thinking.

Lonnie MurphyDallas

I have always regarded D’s standards of ethical journalism highly, but enough is enough.

Cecil Sharp’s article is nothing more than a puff piece for some politicians who either have been defeated by John Wiley Price, Al Lipscomb, and Diane Ragsdale, or are afraid to run against them. For the record. I have financially supported John in the past, consider him a friend, and will support him in the future. Furthermore, having spoken to several of the people mentioned in the article. I found that all agree that AI, Diane, and John serve a purpose for their constituents and are rewarded with reelection consistently.

In addition, like myself, few of us were consulted by your writer prior to inclusion in the article. In fact, many of us have relationships with the elected officials that will be reinforced as a result of this article. The writer hoping to drive a wedge between the black community will only succeed in unifying us. I am shocked that a black man would write such an article, and I feel that he owes the community an apology. More importantly, he owes an apology to the credible black journalists in this town; he has disgraced himself before them.

For the record and by way of illustrating how wrong the author is, he says I am planning to run for the Dallas City Council in 1991. Simple, professional research would tell him that I don’t live in Dallas; I live in Carrollton with my wife, son, and dog. Additionally, anyone who knows me knows that although I have a great deal of professional political experience, I would never take a $50 a week job.

Robert Boyd Carrollton

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