MURDER, ANYONE?1 The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU C64 r Tr y,* s oh s trurr .ec c e ,cq c2 ‘,4, .0 Vol. 50 ‘ ..4.00 \\e 0 .AS, SEPTEMBER 26, 1958 ,;S2 C 5″ A LOYALIST A. ,` it OR *ON THE PLAINS :beral Weekly Newspaper H. M. Baggarly Has Prizes and a Portrait Near Him Last of a Series The arrow straight highway runs righth up the middle of the Panhandle, severing the plains, connecting the plains cities. A hot dryness, stirred by the constant plains wind, clings to the caprock. . This is the land of the “golden spread,” so dubbed by the Chamber of Commerce minded AmArillo News-Globe. At the southern edge of this oceanic vastness, nestling in the country north of Lubbock where the Panhandle blends into the South Plains, where the cotton begins to run out and the prairie gently waves miles of grain sorghums, is another of the small agrarian cornmunities of the western plateau. The highway marker says: TULIA POP 4284 Down this road, past the endless loneliness of the traveled miles, past the railroad, which not only brings life to the community but once was the sole reason for its existence, past the throbbing irrigation pumps, past the tall granaries and the Hays Implement Company is the unexpected scene, the familar link that makes the starkness real again: the County Courthouse sitting stodgily in the town square, ordering life along traditional lines. Tulia is the county seat of Swisher. It is also the home of the Tulia Herald, in its circulation spread perhaps the most effective molder of public opinion anywhere in Texas. From his desk in the modern building two blocks from the courthouse a middle-aged bachelor named H. M. Baggarly didactically, sometimes even paternally fashions his Tulia Herald along lines calculated to instruct Tulia’s farmers a n d farm-merchants I Mr. Baggarly Effectiveness First about the happenings in far off Austin. His lectern embraces two columns of the front page under the heading “The Country Editor,” and the political scriptures he interprets have almost immunized the countryside against any and all apocrypha. Rightist prose from the outside world does not faze the Herald’s readership; Jake Pickle does not penetrate the realm. The daily pro-Daniel sparkings of the Amarillo News-Globe’s Louise Evans are doused by the once a week flood of Editor Baggarly’s forensic; the Dallas News is but a faint clamor from the far southeast. In Tulia, Baggarlian prose has proved an almost total insulator against eastern labor bosses, and radicals who might be lurking over the horizon. In an area where Ralph Yarborough did well to earn small majorities, Tulia gave him 76 per cent of its vote in the Blakley campaign. The county as a whole was almost as firmly in the Yarborough column, the total vote being 1764 to 605. To ‘Be Effective’ Baggarly is a “loyalist” Democrat with blood in his eye. The quotation marks are Baggarly’s, for he instantly disassociates himself from the word “liberal.” “The Republican big-city press,” he says,”has succeeded in its long campaign to prejudice people against certain words, certain initial combinations. In this country DOT is almost a dirty word. Apparently it cuts both ways, for only the other day a fellow came in here complaining about people who have put a stigma to the word conservative. I think he meant me.” He smiled briefly at this, then went on in the earnest manner of the high school teacher he once was. “These words, the associations they have, you can’t be effective with them around your neck like an albatross.” Nothing if not effective, Baggarly. therefore leaves “liberal” to others and talks to his readers as “red blooded Democrats who resent convention steals, brainwashing tactics, deceit and slander.” Liberalism, he says, “means change. Progress, I’m for that. I’m a liberal in the sense Jeffer son was, but not in the New Republic sense.” “I take politics seriously,” he says. “When Yarborough was running, I felt like I was running.” He was,. in fact, Yarborough’s publicity chairman in the area. His columns during the campaign reflected his enthusiasm. When Louise Evans wrote about the “radical” support be hind Yarborough, Baggarly replied that Miss Evans was “Miss Political Irresponsibility.” A paragraph from this column illustrates his calm approach of per suasive indignation: “Perhaps nowhere in America could an area be found more American, more conservative \(in dedicated to private enterprise and individual initiative \(in the anti-Communist, mo r e “antiradical” than the area served by the Amarillo papers. This area is made up primarily of farmers, small town folks just a step away from the farm, and masses of city folk perhaps only two steps away from the farm. These people are found in churches on Sunday, at PTA and at the various civic AUSTIN Lewis Nordyke, the Texas free lance writer, has put together the case against Texas laws which seem to sanction murder or at least to remove some of its customary legal inconveniences. Writing in Coronet for October, Nordyke says the frontier-time laws when the idea was do-ityourself law enforcement virtually give Texans the right to kill and are at least balanced in favor of the killer. In Texas, he says, more men have been lionized than convicted for shooting down men who paid court to their wives, “regardless of whether the wives may have initiated the situation, or cooperated a little.” Nordyke tells of a man who hadn’t taken his wife out for nine years and then shot a TV repairman who did. In another case a man met his wife and a neighbor coming out of his home, shot the neighbor between the eyes, confessed to the police, and was exonerated, congratulated, and taken to lunch by the grand jury. In 1912, legislators passed, Nordyke writes, “a man’s law, which leaves it up to the husband to size up the situation a n d decide whether circumstances point toward seduction, or even planned wrongdoing. In effect, the law says: ‘It will be sufficient if the husband sees them \(his wife and to indicate with reasonable certainty to a rational mind that the wife has been or was about to be unfaithful’.” As for the wife, the law doesn’t give the husband the right to kill her, but neither does it give her clubs during the week. This area has a bare minimum of foreign influence, the non-white population is infinitesimal and has never been a factor in any election, nor has organized labor. These are the people who voted overwhelmingly for Ralph Yarborough…while the questionable South Texas “boss” countiesconsistantly vote “conservative.” As a newspaper woman, we love you Louise. But for heaven’s sake, although you are working for a Republican paper, try to be responsible even if you are out of step with the majority of your subscribers.” Besides his Yarborough efforts, Baggarly also actively worked for State Senator Andy Rogers for re-election and H. G. Wells for representative. “I spread myself pretty thin in the campaign this year, but we got them all elected.” Although he personally favored Henry Gonzalez, Baggarly allowed publicly only that Gonzalez was the lesser of the available evils. “It would have been too confusing. It was bad enough as it was. Why I’d sit on some committees planning Andy Rogers’s campaign and there’d be a Blakley man or two and a. Daniel the right to kill him should she find him with another woman in his arms. Nordyke says the Texas law on self-defense also seems tailormade for murder. Early-day legislators allowed plenty of leeway for men to follow their own judgement. The only substantial change in the law was passed in 1916, repealing an article permitting .the killing of hostile Indians. “Almost everywhere except in Texas, Nordyke says, “the killer who pleads self-defense is required to prove that he attempted to prevent the homicide, that he retreated or tried to. But in. Texas a man who has reason to think his life is in danger can pull the trigger without batting an eye or backing up an inch. Not only that, he can chase his victim until he gets a good shot.” Nordyke reports that the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled a danger does not actually have to exist. The court has ruled, “If at the time of the killing the conduct of the deceased, viewed in the light of all the circumstances, was such as to create in the mind of the defendant a reasonable apprehension of death or serious bodily injury, although in fact no such danger existed, his right to kill would be as complete as if the danger had been real.” It is illegal to carry a gun in Texas if you’re a private citizen, except that “a bona fide traveler is permitted to carry a pistol in his saddlebags.” These days the courts have interpreted saddlebags as applying to glove compartments of cars, Nordyke observes. “Anyone bent on murder can easily take advantage of this loose interpretation.” 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. 10c per copy No. 26 Sales, Receipts Taxes Provide Half State Cash Average Texan Pays Lower State Taxes Than in 39 States AUSTIN Texas taxpayers pay $73.26 per person a year in state taxes. Study of the U.S. Bureau of the Census report, “State Tax Collections in 1958,” shows that only eight other states levy lower per capita state taxes than TexasAlabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Virginia. Of the 669 million paid to the state by Texans in 1958, $313 million was in the form of “sales and gross receipts taxes.” This was about 47 percent of the state’s tax collections in 1958. The federal report therefore indicates Texans pay lower state taxes per person than most citizens of the United States but that almost half the taxes they pay are taxes on consumer goods. This state’s nine million citizens pay more total sales and gross receipts taxes than are paid in 40 of the 48 states. Texas also ranks sixth highest among the 48 states in total money raised through license taxes. Texas population as reported in this document was 9,138,000 August 31, 1958, fifth among the states. Sales and gross receipts tax collections exceeded those in Texas in only seven of the ‘states, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania. License tax collections were higher only in California, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The report did not include per capita computations in these areas. The rest of the state’s income came from severance taxes, $183 million; licenses, $126 million; property, $34 million; death and gift, $11 million; poll, $2 million; document and stock transfer, .3 million. The sales and gross receipts taxes paid by Texans in. 1958 included $167 million, motor fuels; 130 million, alcoholic beverages; $47 million, tobacco products; $28 million, insurance; $14 million, public utilities; .4 million, amusements; $26 million, “othermainly from taxes on motor vehicles.” The state’s license tax collections, totaling $126 million, included $69 million, motor vehicles; $6 million, motor vehicle operators; $39 million, “corporations in general”; $1 million, alcoholic beverages; $2 million, chain . stores; $5 million, occupations and businesses; $3 million, hunting and fishing. Every state makes some use of sales and gross receipts taxes and license taxes; almost every state uses property, death, and gift taxes. However, Texas is one of nine states using the poll tax, one of 27 using the severance tax, and one of 14 using document and stock transfer taxes. Thirty-one of the states use an individual income tax, and 33 use the corporation net income tax; Texas uses neither. PRICE REPORTEDLY AGREED TO ‘SHALL’ AUSTIN Intelligence of value to interpreters and historians of the recent state convention in San Antonio: Gov. Price Daniel and Sen. Lyndon Johnson had a meeting before the convention to discuss the issues and see what they could agree on. The Observer is very firmly advised, by a source which it regards as unimpeachable, that a written statement figured in this meeting in which it was firmly stated that the senatorial district caucus nominees for the state Democratic executive committee “shall be honored.” The Observer’s qualified source says that Daniel agreed to the terms of this document. Daniel told a press conference the morning after the convention he had talked over honoring the caucus nominees with Johnson, and then the Governor added the phrase: “Only the general principle.” Two caucus nominees were disapproved by the convention with the Governor’s accord. Larry Goodwyn -1111,..
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