Page 2


Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer FREE TIME FOR POLITICIANS Let those flatter who fear, it is not an Americon art. . And Now a Little Fellow You All Know .. . JEFFERSON Rare is the legislature with the chance of this one. Inheritor of the multiple unsolved problems of infant industrialism, it comes to power high on a tide of reform. It is time now for bold strokes, above politics, for the simple and ob vious good. are are the problems, complex are their elements. But “Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.” This is the blunt truth. THE LOAN SHARKS are feeding off the helpless. We have more of them, and they are more vicious here, than anywhere else. Christ cast the moneychangers from the temple; the least the legislature can do is repeal credit insurance. THE SLUMS are spreading in the cities, sucking down the poor into filth, shabbiness, and disease. Most of the big cities want to enter into agreements with the federal government for slum clearance and privately-financed rebuilding. All the legislature has to do is say all right. LOBBYISTS, some of them, have bought senators, corrupted elections, and compromised state executives with feasts and gifts. They must be forced to admit and record What they dothey must go to jail if they lie about what they do. LEGISLATORS, some of them, have practiced “law” before state agencies quivering with fear for their appropriations ; have taken fat retainer fees for political law ; have been hired as lawyers merely to get special trial delays. This must stop : they should make public their sources of income and go to jail if they lie. INSURANCE against casualty losses is actually forced to be a monopoly business by the state policy of setting uniform premiums. Competition should be restored for the sake of the consumer. THE PHONE COMPANY charges more for long distance calls inside Texas than for calls the same distance across a state line. The railroads are allowed to stop passenger service when they’re losing money in the narrowest sense. Utilities are for the utility of the people. We need regulation of the phone rates and restoration of the concept of the public convenience and necessity in state law. SOME OF OUR AGED are eat ing like dogs, sleeping like pigs, and dying like abandoned Eskimos. We need, not only higher pensions for Incorporating The State Observer, combined with The East Texas Democrat JANUARY 8, 1957 Itonnle Dagger, Editor and General Manager Bob Bray, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-clans matter April 26, 19$7, at the Poet Office at Austin, Texas, under the act of March 3, 1879. TELEPHONE in Austin : GReenwood 7-0746. them, but state-owned homes for the especially helpless cases who are now jammed into hospitals with the mentally ill. OUR MENTALLY ILL are simply cooped up, fed, clothed, and watched. Caution Ye Who Enter Here! Until we pay for psychiatric care for them we cannot lay claim to a well civilized condition. 1N RED WORKERS must go to court to get their just awards from the insurance companies. The maximum weekly benefit should be raised from the disgraceful $25 to .at least $45. The unemployment benefit should rise accordingly. UNIONS in practice are forced to strike befOre they can get recognition; the state provides no means of collective bargaining: Unions, with mass industry, are here to stay ; to repress them is to repress the future. OUR CHILDREN are taught by underpaid teachers in crowded classrooms in inadequate buildings. The criers of states’ rights must finance teachers’ pay raises and school construction from new state taxes, or give in to federal aid. OUR LATINS quit school, on the average, in the third or fourth grade. Countless thousands are victims of the migrant labor system, which uproots them from school, church,community life. The state should set stiffer overall school attendance requirements and establish transportation. and educational standards for the migrants. DEPENDENT CHILDREN get only $56 a month in Texas, worse than 41 other states in the union. THE BLIND get $44, worse than 35 other states in the union. THE PERM ANENTLY DISABLED get nothing, and the Legislature should enact a generous allowance of at least $70 or $80 a month for these people helpless for all of their useful lives. PRISONERS released into society are unsupervised, unhelped. Men and women ready for freedom are being kept in jail for lack of a good parole system. If ever there was penny-wise, pound-foolish policy, it is here. . Overcasting all these issues will be the need for water, and the need for taxes. Without water, our farmers leave the land for a drying-up industrialism. Without taxes, the people’s problems go on .worsening, leaving for another legislature and another tide the mission of their solution. 9 MAILING ADDRESS: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. HOUSTON OFFICE: 2501 Crawford St, Houston, Mrs. R. D. Randolph, treasurer. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rlghta of man as the foundation of democracy ; we will take orders, from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit AUSTIN Every night at ten o’clock, says Milton Mayer, sixty to seventy. million Americans watch television. Into their minds are poured dancing cigarette packs, high-tail super-constellation autoliths, and lachrymose tales of violence and virtue. Occasionally, say of a Sunday afternoon, the level of the pitch rises, but this is mainly to prove to critics that the exception is the rule. Texas legislators can do something about this if they , The federal government hasn’t ; it’s a ready-made opening for state’s rights. The FCC set aside 18 channels in Texas for educational, non-commercial telecasting, but so far only the University of Houston has responded. The legislature, by financing engineering studies and eventually backing ventures into the field by state universities and colleges, can -make an historic contribution to the enlightenment of the people. Once a statewide educational network were established, the state could also use it to make state elections more democratic, if it wished. As things go now, the candidates with the most money buy their way into the public’s consciousness. With dunning 30-second plugs ‘very much like the detergophyll toothpaste ads, they pick up tens of tfiousands of careless votes. They repeat their propaganda until it seems it must be true, you hear it so much. Politics has a strong intrinsic appeal to opportunists, anyway, and encouraging them to enrich their own prospects by chanting the rich man’s slogans gives democracy a built-in political bias.. No true democrat, conservative or liberal, wants that. The legislature could require the statewide educational network to make free TV time available to all candidates on the levels Pertinent to a station’s coverage. The amount of time could be based on the party showings in the preceding general election. The stations themselves would simply be the impartial media over which each candidate could have his say. If the .educational network covered the state, it would be logical to limit political broadcasts on commercial stations to the same proportions Among the candidates. The coinmercial stations should have to afford such limited time free as part of their “sustaining time obligation to the public. But whether this is practical for Texas or not, the legislature can, by supporting the recommendations of its own Texas Commission on Educational TV, help to make available to the state’s millions of people the drama, music, adult education, and talks and debates on serious topics which have become characteristic of educational TV stations in the United States and have long delighted and informed the followers of Britain’s . Third Programme. RoN NIE DUGGER HOLIDAY HITCH By Countryside and Town NEW WAVERLY Four inches of rain, -then 14 days of sunshine made a holiday beyond all words delightful. Clover and winter rye grass painted the pasture green, set my dignified herd bull to cavorting like a Walt Disney creation. And mocking birds sang, in the trees like springtime.. One almost forgot that on the third of January a gentleman was to rise in the Senate and move to adopt rules for the Senate. The issue is : can the Congress be considered a continuing body? If it is, why do we elect the whole House of Representatives and a third of the Senate every two years ? And why do we then number the Congresses consecutively ? Why isn’t it still the first Congress ? This is a new Congress, and no official can change that fact no matter how hard he wants to maintain the status to which the last Congress promoted him. The President has been tossing billions of dollars around in his planning in a way that makes usthe victimsfeel the solid dollar-ground shift under our feet. Part of it is a big “education.” business. Makes you remember that a man named Alfred North Whitehead, Harvard professor of philosophy, wrote a book with the title : Adventures of Ideas. Worth reading. He it was who said of our educational system : “…. we offer children algebra, from which nothing follows ; geometry from which nothing follows; science from which nothing follows; history from which nothing follows ; a couple of languages, never mastered ….” Can this, he asks, represent life in the midst of living it? M.F.C. Bl unt , Z,11,11r Texas Observer