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R.D. reflective, is at least trying to do some good, even from his confusion; Mailer’s hero is Raskolnikov not merely understood, but celebrated. Now look: here comes James Lehrer’s Viva Max! \(Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1966, Times Herald. He had this idea, get a general of a Mexican troop down at the border, dreaming of his and his nation’s vindications and have him come up and recapture the Alamo; great possibilities. I’m afraid Jim lost me when he had Maximilian commit a pratfall from his horse in the presence of the Border Patrol. Maybe this is the kind of book we need. For humor, though, I’m inclined to Cat’s Cradle. Even though Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., isn’t a Texan, even though his setting is a backward island, he makes you laugh a lot more where you are than Max does, even if you’re in Texas. Laugh in that recent way, having to do with the abyssout of it, or into it, you’re not sure. Even Texans proud of a new Texas novel might also take up the new magazine Atlas, which presents, with a cosmopolitanism about values so off-hand it’s not courage, articles and documents from every part of the world on the controversies that matter. The last issue has the speech of defense of one of the two Russian writers sentenced to jail for criticizing their country in books published “outside.” Outside, inside, it’s all one now; it’s too late for any more of that. The Grape Strike The grape strike huelga in Delano, California, has become an historic test that will have an important bearing on the lives of the farm workers of the country. If it succeeds the same kind of strike can be expected to spread through the Southwestern U.S., including Texas, as it should. Walter Reuther’s branch of the national 16 The Texas Observer AFL-CIO is backing the grape strikers, whose militant action against incredible hostility from the growers is more like the strikes of the thirties in which Reuther was a key figure than anything else now hapnening in the country. The striking workers AWOC Strike Fund, 1457 Glenwood Ave., and NFWA Strike Fund, Box 894, both in Delano, Cal.urge a national boycott of Delano grapes and Schenley products. Contributions can be sent to the striking unions at those addresses. And congressmen and senators can be urged to get federal protection for farm workers minimum wage, collective bargaining, unermiloyment insurance, and so on. From press reports I gather that Schenley has given in, and the strike is on its way to being won. I hope this also means that the organization of farm workers is on its way to Texas. In Texas there is something of this same spirit already in the Texas AFL-CIO’s drive to organize the unorganized in South Texas. And there have been more and more spot-strikes in Texas the last few months. The message that ought to be embodied in the war on poverty, but isn’tthat the best way to fight poverty is to pay more money for honest workis getting through the government buncombe. If the unions have to do it again, maybe they’re willing again. `Bent on Violence’ The resignation of the high mucketymuck of the Texas Ku Klux Klan, Royce McPhail, with his statement that the Klan is “bent on violence” ought have given a red-flag warning to Texas lawmen. When the man who, being the chief, has been in on the most secret doings of the Texan Klan says he’s getting out because it’s “bent on violence,” law enforcement people who don’t heed the obvious import have no business in law enforcement. The dilemma for democracy is a venerable one. The new Texas Klan spokesmen say they will not tolerate any violence. No group can be guilty, per se; only individuals can be guilty in American law, and only after they have been convicted. This is one of the restraints that having a free country means. But if you want an idea of how easy it is to say “peace” when you mean “mayhem,” see Stewart Alsop’s dazing report of interviews with North Carolina Klansmen in the Saturday Evening Post. A civilized society’s only possible response to violence is maximum organization to prevent it and maximum activity to punish and stop it while strictly respecting everyone’s rights. When violence becomes the law there is no law. The shadowy, elusive line of justice must be forever sought. Here is the front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for Feb. 23. In the upper left corner is the news that James Cross, convicted of the sex murder of a co-ed \(he admitted slaying corner is the news that Judge David C. Moore has sentenced a Negro, Johnny Lee Clemons, to death at Huntsville April 29 for the rape and shooting of a Gregg County white woman. Last year only seven persons were executed in the United States, seven who didn’t have either money or luck. So it is good to see that Sam Houston Clinton of Austin, as an attorney for the Texas Civil Liberties Union, has announced that his group will join in an appeal of the death penalty against Leon W. Johnston, convicted of raping an eight-year-old girl. The grounds for the appeal will be a contention that the death penalty in this case is “cruel and unusual punishment” \(prodid not suffer serious injuries and there was medical evidence Johnston was mentally ill. The high court is thus to be asked, in this case, whether capital punishment has not become, in this day and time, a cruel and unusual punishment, which common sense tells us it has. The few lawyers in Texas with the conscience and gumption to take the thankless civil liberties cases ought to be especially appreciated by the sorts of people who take the Observer. I mean lawyers like Clinton, Maury Maverick, Jr., in San Antonio, Joe Tita in Houston. There is no pay in this work for these lawyers; they do the work from principle, sometimes at cost to their regular practice. The local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union in Texasbacked up by the few lawyers who handle the casesare the best guarantee we have that really grievous violations of the civil liberties of individual citizens will not go undefended. Dialogue Multiples of 12 Is it possible that the governor’s “Project Dozen” directive about the precinct conventions was drawn up by the public relations firm that drew a dozen thousanddollar checks from the San Marcos poverty project last year ?Margaret Carter, 2816 Sixth Ave., Fort Worth, Tex. A Reader’s Objection I refer you to the Texas Observer of April 1, page 15 [“Even editors in distant reaches instinctively know that a Carr vs. Tower campaign will have all the wit of George Lincoln Rockwell, all the depth of Ronald Reagan, all the sparkle of Step-nFetchit, and all the public appeal of a week-old newspaper”]. “Even editors in distant reaches instinctively know that a Beame vs. Lindsay campaign will have all the wit of Gus Hall, all the depth of Congressman Gene Tuney, all the sparkle . . .”Had my bit of paraphrasing been done by a well-known conservative in, say, National Review, you gentlemen along with most of the left side of American politics would have, as if in one voice, yelled extremist, foul, mudraking, yellow journalism, hate mongers, etc. Richard A. Viguerie, 326 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.