Dear Santa Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is the Democratic Party machinery, apparatus, perquisites, honorariums, sinecures, decrees, inhibitions, gratuities, and rewards. I don’t want any toys, but would like 300 dozen Texas plums. My little friend, John, wants $747,000.56 of 7 p.m. TV time. Send my little friends Price and Ralph two eight-month tours to central Mongolia. I’ll pick up the tab on these. Don’t forget me, as you never have. Love, Lyndon Good Health Railroad Commissioner Ernest 0. Thompson has sent this Christmas greeting to friends and associates. It prompts us to send our own Christmas greetings to Ernest 0. Thompson. His letter said : “Dear Friend : “Another year has passed without outbreak of a general war. However, there are brush fire wars in many points on the globe. These we hear about in exciting tones on every broadcast. “The spirit of nationalism is rampant in the world. “Freedom takes time to become rationalized and adjusted. Our own revolution took many years of adjustment, including a civil war, to settle some certain points. So we must expect confusion in newly formed nations for some time to come. “God grant us the wisdom to refrain from telling others what they should do in their own affairs and give us the fortitude to attend our own affairs regardless of outside suggestions. “May peace and good health and contentment be your lot during the coming year.” Reminiscence News Item, last spring: The conservatives in the Harris County delegation to the House opposed the Eckhardt industrial safety bill for interfering with the rights of business. Reps. Shipley and Garrison, former political secretaries to Ethelred the Unready, said such a law was not only not necessary, but violated individualism and dignity. Rep. Eckhardt, after the death of this most pernicious legislation, said : “We’ll remember you next explosion.” News Item, this week: “Vapor escaping from a faulty valve exploded early Sunday morning at the $6 million Dow-Badische Chemical Co. plant in Freeport, injuring six men, one of whom died a few hours later in surgery.” Two Resolutions We note that the American Studies Association of Texas, meeting in Dallas and with delegates from practically every college and university in the state, enacted a couple of resolutions which were passed by an almost unanimous vote. One of them “endorses the stand taken by faculty and students of the University of Texas in their efforts to make the facilities of the University available to all students without discrimination as to race. We recommend similar action to other public institutions in our state. To our brethren in still segregated denominational institutions we recommend prayerful re-examination of the Christian conscience.” The other “affirms its confidence in the personal integrity and professional competence of Dr. Paul Boller, professor of American history at Southern Methodist University, and in J. Frank Dobie of Austin, one of Texas’ most distinguished men of letters. Concurrently, we affirm no confidence in Mr. J. Evetts Haley, either as censor of textbooks or as spokesman for American values. We censure the Texas Education Agency for procedures under which testimony was admitted from incompetent, non-professional witnesses with no opportunity for rebuttal by competent professional witnesses. We recommend to the Texas Education Agency and to responsible state officials that in the future textbooks be adopted by corn petent members of the teaching profession unhampered by efforts of unqualified laymen to impose our personal prejudices upon our profession.” All the News Thumbing through the Monday San Antonio Express, we began to understand why the average Texas reader is about as well informed on news outside the provinces as Red Indians in Alaska, sweet potato farmers in Arkansas, and cabdrivers in downtown Acapulco. There were 28 pages in all. Two of them were sports, eight classified, two society, one comic, and one radio-TV. There were three pages devoted to news, and with advertisements this came to a grand total of 25 columns. To Be Killed The loan shark bill that came out of the Legislative Council is written to be killed. Men of conscience won’t vote for it. Sen. Herring and Rep. Kennard wouldn’t vote for its passage by the Council, and men of their ilk won’t vote for it when it hits the floor. Any bill that lets lenders charge $20 for a two-week loan of $100 plus a charge for insuranceis a bill written for loan sharks. No Mixing A big radio station in Shreveport has a nightly telephone opinion show. Good citizens hearing the show call in their most rabid opinions, which are duly broadcast all over the Deep South and most of Texas. As with other extravaganzas of the type, the Flaming Right and other members of the Grand Order of Hookworm Boobery have pretty much taken over. A few nights ago their comments on Negroes, liberals, flouridation of water, the National Council of Churches, the United Nations, and integrated education were especially saucy. This prompted one listener with a noticeable Negro accent to telephone the program. When someone, apparently, erred and put him on the air, he commented: “I don’t like all this talk about unsegregatin’ the schools. I think it would be bad for the country. I don’t want my chillun leavin’ their own schools and goin’ to some school they aren’t used to and mixin’ with the chillun of the poor white trash who keep callin’ this program.” State Library William Gardner, chief of Houston Post’s capitol bureau, recently published the following gazetteer to the new state library: “Though the publicity man, a former smalltown newspaper publisher from the Panhandle, bombards the press with little feature stories about the library, there hasn’t been a new book put on the shelves in the reading room since August. “Scads of them are lying around in the basementhistories, biographies, Civil War studies, books on , world affairs, travel books, books on Texas. Why don’t they bring them upstairs so the reading public can be exposed to them? Because they don’t have anybody to catalogue them, or so they say . . . “It’s fine to drop by once or twice, to look over the attractive reading room with its comfortable leather chairs and embedded lights, but the place has an indefinable chill about it that has nothing to do with the way the thermostats are set. Browsing is permitted, but it is not encouraged. “As a matter of fact, there is precious little to browse through. “On a small shelf against the far wall are a few books written in the 20th century, but as previously mentioned, they haven’t been changed or updated in months. Anybody who wants any other book must make a request for it by name at the desk, and it will be brought to them from the stacksa vague, shadowy region lying somewhere out of sight, and of course carefully guarded against snoopers who might want to pick up a book and thumb through it, or perchance even to take it home to read . . . Buy More Furniture We commend Lady Bird Johnson’s television station, KTBC-TV in Austin \(“To be weather-wise, watch ing the half-hour “public service” film the other night which warned the more ill-informed among us that allies like England and Denmark are socialist countries and hence have gone over to communism, or at least almost. We also appreciate the handbill advertising this performance in advance which was placed in our bag by our friendly corner grocer, H.E.B., when we bought some prunes and soda-water for the holiday season. In a similar spirit of public service, we hope Lady Bird used her pull in the communications world to get said film on some station in Bermuda before that man MacMillan got to President Kennedy. Implication? The tallest building in El Paso is the El Paso Natural Gas Company, and at night the lights in the various rooms are turned on and off in such a way that the building displays a cross, so gigantic and bright that it can be seen without difficulty all over the city, as well as from the slums of Juarez across the river. This sight prompted one wag, a traveler from a distant Texas City, to ask local residents if all this implied that Jesus would have been against the recent proposed tax on dedicated reserves of natural gas. A British View Alistair Cooke, the writer, historian, radio commentor \(British Broadwas in Texas earlier this month. He filed this story from Dallas for his newspaper, the great and perspicacious Manchester Guardian. Cooke might be trouble for Texas. By the grace of God, he is the best journalist in the United States: “In the Dallas Airport there is a bronze statue of a Texas Ranger. He is about ten feet tall, has shoulders like the Parthenon, and leans very from fear but from his God-given instinct to smell an Indian or a Mexican on the down wind at 30 miles. His role as the protector of the Southwest frontier is celebrated in the legend: ‘One riot, one Ranger’. “Political wags in this always rumbustious state have suggested that the Ranger should be replaced with a symbol more appropriate to the political ferment that is presently exciting the Southwest. The only question is whether it should be an elephant in a ten-gallon hat or a general on horseback. “The first of these emblems has actually been adopted by Democrats who are rebelling against their traditional family ties to a party that seems to them to represent nothing more than a mule proceeding at a steady gallop down the primrose path of socialism. They want to cast off the hypocrisy of the one-party South and regularize a revolt which has, after all, moved Texas to vote twice in the last three Presidential elections for a Republican. “These people have so far held fiestas in eleven of the biggest counties ‘resignation rallies’ at which unabashed Texans publicly take the pledge to secede from the Democratic Party and to work while God gives them strength for the welfare of the Republic and the Republicans. It is a boisterous but healthy movement, for the curse of the Democrats’ hold on the South is that it rewards mere lon Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. DECEMBER 22, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Hugger, Contributing Editor gevity in office with patronage without regard to the ability or convictions of the office-holder. “The other movement is frankly a Texas tribute to the fanatic Right, or what General Eisenhower has better called the ‘super patriots.’ Its local sponsor is Mr. Ted Dealey, the editor of the Dallas News, the Texans’ family Bible. He is the man who walked out of a White House luncheon after telling President Kennedy to his face that he was moving on Caroline’s tricycle and that what the country needed was ‘a man on horseback.’ “Luckily, the proper candidate is to hand, in a native Texan. He is General Edwin A. Walker, who was relieved of his command in Germany after the Army decided he had, against its regulations, publicly attacked Government officials, tried to influence the absent votes of his troops, and engaged in partisan politics. The evidence was thoroughly substantiated by the Army but, it should be said, only after Walker had been relieved, resigned in a fury, and forfeited his pension. “Today General Walker is housed in the offices of an oil firm on the seventeenth floor of a Dallas building. He awaits the call to a crusade for the salvation of America from the Communists and from such naive or unwitting agents of the great conspiracy as Mrs. Roosevelt, Stevenson, Ed Murrow, and Harvard University . . . “General Walker is a tense man, an intense and incoherent speaker, a leathery-faced man with a turkeygobbler neck, an upright bearing, and the liquid, penitent eyes of a man who has just recovered from a towering rage. He was a champion polo player and is by every account a daring and first-rate soldier who was as ruthless with himself as he was selfless with his men. He believes, with an absolute lack of humour or misgiving, that he is fated to be Mr. Dealey’s man on horseback. “When he is asked where the money is to come from to finance his bid for power, he declares that ‘America is bigger than money,’ but meanwhile displays dollar bills and crumpled checks pinned to a pack of letters, many of them illiterate, from Texas, Arizona, California, Louisiana, and Arkansas. No one here is deeply concerned about his lack of funds or the loss of his $12,000-a-year pension, if only because he has the sympathetic support of Mr. H. L. Hunt, a Texas oil man, who conservatively figures his daily income at $220,000. “There are those who look to \(his of ‘the American way of life.’ There are others who think that General Walker is a morning glory who will shine for a night and a day and collapse unless the U.S. suffers some massive humiliation outside its own borders. There are unruffled practical men, like a veteran Washington reporter who has followed Walker and simply concludes : ‘He might be trouble, but he won’t be. By the grace of God, he is the worst speaker in the United States.’ Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas. THE TEXAS OBSERVER
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.