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`There’s Also The Problem Of Warheads Here At Home’ namese Blockade Could Trigger World War”: “We have not declared war on North Vietnam. We cannot claim with any justification now that Haiphong is vital to our national interests. We must concede, on the other hand, that Red Chinaperhaps even Russiamay consider North Vietnam as vital to its security. “A blockade of Haiphong would be an act of war, clearly violating international law and freedom of the seas. The blockade would almost certainly catch Russian ships in its net. What if the captains of those Russian ships refused to turn back or to halt and be searched? Vietnam, instead of a sideshow in the perilous great power struggle, could suddenly become the cause for World War III.” In these days, in these circumstances, we shouldn’t let pass unappreciated any temperance, any moderation, when it crops out in a Texas politician on Vietnam. Therefore let us nod to Congressman Jake Pickle of Austin for standing up against suggestions, during a question and answer session after a speech he made, that the U.S. should declare war on North Vietnam. That, he said, might bring in China. Why not bring in China? There are about 700,000,000 reasons. Senator Tower Organizations College students in the South have recently formed the SOUTHERN STUDENT ORGAN-IZING COMMITTEE ganization dedicated to working for a new South in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, academic freedom, poverty, and other relevant political and social issues. Newsletters and additional information may be obtained by writing Box 6403, Nashville, Tennessee. Subscriptions for $4 Subscriptions to the Observer can be bought by groups at a cost of $4 a year, provided ten or more subscrip tions are entered at one time. If you belong to a group that might be in terested in this, perhaps you will want to take the matter up with the others. 30 The Texas Observer says there aren’t enough Chinese to beat us, since we have such enormous superiority in the air. Only if we use nuclear bombs on people. We haven’t come to that yet, have we, Senator Tower? Or have we? Alas, Pay the Poll Tax With the status of the poll tax dependent on federal court rulings which cannot be predicted, the poll tax must be paid this year. The three-judge court that is hearing the U.S. suit to set, the poll tax aside in Texas has made it obvious to anyone who can read behind the legal lines that there is no possibility that appeals from lower court holdings can be finally settled by the Jan. 31 deadline for paying the poll tax. Therefore, if you mean to vote in 1966 pay your poll tax the first chance you get. Migrants on Strike The largest farm workers’ strike in the United States since the 1930’s is in progress now against grape growers in California. It is led by the California Migrant Ministry and sponsored by U.S. labor and other groups, Mexicanos from South Texas have been recruited and carried over there to help break the strike. On guard, amigos: don’t go. The Insulting Oath The decision of Howard Mumford Jones, the distinguished Harvard historian, not to come to the University of Texas after he learned of the loyalty oath required there by the legislature ought to give the governor and the legislature one clue on how to attract top-flight brains into the state. Abolish the damned oath. The Texas conference of the American Association of University Professors, prodded no doubt by Jones’ pointed inquiry why nobody was opposing it in Texas, will testify against it at the 1967 legislature. RFK For a Ceasefire Offer “There could be some kind of offer to make a ceasefire. We all have responsibilities now to explore all the positions. I think we’re getting into a more dangerous situation for all mankind.” Senator Robert Kennedy, at a press conferencethe New York Herald-Tribune, Dec. 10, 1965. The Lifeboat We have much cause these days, do we not, for concern, for upset; yet life is still going on, and this is the thing. If we have but time, life can go on. I do not care for the theory of compensation; I am more impressed by the finality, the bleak truth, of an injustice beyond correction than by the notion something good somewhere else offsets it. And so this earth is silent witness to aeons of dignity denied, pain given in hate, death died, beyond knowing or recall. Accepting that, still there is life, here with us, and still we have time. Happy New Year. R.D. IPush-Button Death Billions upon billions upon billions have met death Alone, in groups, en masse With the innocence of a caveman, knowledge of an Oppenheimer, wisdom of Socrates, stupidity of Hitler, pride of Antoinette, faith of Saint Joan, The aimlessness of Jim Smith, who played chicken, The purpose of Christ. Gaily bedecked, they have leaped gloriously into the Sacred Well. Delicate maiden bones form the epitaph: Offering of the perfect to an exacting God. Scourged, they have given up the human spirit Suspended between heaven and earth On the conqueror’s cross. \(“The Gate of Man so narrow that its sides exact their cruel sacrifice,” They have met death with courage, cowardice, resignation, reluctance, sacrificial fervor, Messianic force. Now man faces death en toto of himself, his kind, his culture, his subsistence, his planet home. A death compounded of that same in nocence turned ignorance, knowledge turned technology, wisdom turned craft, stupidity turned indifference, pride turned avarice, aimlessness turned cruelty, purpose turned stubbornness, Glory turned denial. How, then, shall he meet the Maker of his choice? How shall he answer the questions? “I did not know, my Lord”; “I did not care, my Lord”; “I wanted my way, my Lord”; “I thought it could not happen to me, my Lord”; “I would have lost face otherwise, my Lord”; “I thought that really I could take it with me, my Lord”? As the skeleton of a neolithic Chinese horse Preserved from excavation for a dam of the Yellow Sorrow Marries a steel girder from an unfinished New York skyscraper, And the couple floats off into the Universe united in holy nucleon To live happily ever after as Cosmic dust When shall we administer extreme unction, if not now? If we not toll the bell, who shall mourn? GEORGIA EARNEST KLIPPLE Austin