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14 The Texas Observer Equalizing the inequities 1 SAVE 20% Titles listed below, and all others stocked by the Texas Observer Bookstore, are offered to Observer subscribers at a 20% discount. No membership fee required; and, except for a 25 charge if you want. to be billed, no additional charges for postage or handling. The amounts shown are the discounted prices, plus the 5% sales tax. $5 minimum total on mail orders, please. paperback HOW TO KEEP YOUR VOLKSWAGEN $ 4.62 THE LAST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG $ 4.20 WE HAVE BEEN INVADED BY THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X $1.26 THE GREENING OF AMERICA $ 1.64 THE MAKING OF A COUNTER $ 1.64 THE PENTAGON PAPERS \(Sheehan $ 1.89 $ 1.26 $ 2.23 $ 1.05 hardback THE SUNSHINE SOLDIERS: ARMY $ 5.84 THE COMPLETE WALKER $ 6.68 POLEMICS AND PROPHECIES $ 8.40 YAZOO: INTEGRATION IN A DEEP $ 5.00 CONFESSIONS OF A WHITE $ 5.00 $ 5.84 LIVING THE GOOD LIFE $ 4.16 $ 5.84 FORTY ACRES: CESAR CHAVEZ & $ 5.84 ECONOMICS, PEACE & LAUGHTER $ 6.68 CHANGING SOURCES OF POWER: AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE $ 6.68 HOW TO TALK BACK TO YOUR $ 4.83 \(Non-Texas addressees exempt from THE TEXAS OBSERVER BOOKSTORE 600 W. 7, Austin, Texas 78701 Washington, D.C. Sometimes court decisions break through the miasma and give us that real jolt of hope. The six to one decision of the California Supreme Court striking down as unconstitutional that state’s entire system of financing public schools is such a decision. The state’s highest court said the financing system, based largely on local property taxes just as the Texas system is, causes “wide disparities” in revenue available for the schooling of children in rich school districts and poor ones. In California, the state’s highest court said, “these tax bases vary widely . . . ranging from a low of $103 per child to a peak of $952,156 a ratio of nearly one to ten thousand.” Also as in Texas, the allocation of state funds “partially alleviated these disparities,” but, the court held, did not go far enough. It is the ruling of the California Supreme Court that “such a system .. . must fall before the equal protection clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees every citizen “the equal protection of the laws.” Sen. Joe Bernal of San Antonio \(as the legislature to equalize just such disparities in his county of Bexar but couldn’t even get his local school superintendents to agree. The import of the California ruling, if it stands up, is that Texas public interest lawyers and organizations should get cracking to get just such a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court or, that failing, the one in Washington. Inside agitators From full reports I have received from people I rely on, it seems clear to me that the Connally-Barnes group have taken some back-door steps to try to head off the young vote in Texas in 1972. They are frightened of this vote and well they should be. The young people include many voters who are sick of wheeler-dealing and this drag-on war and who are dedicated to change. Johnson, Connally, Barnes, and Democrats associated with them champion exactly the policies that need changing. The evidence is quite strong that young opportunists openly or secretly aligned with these politicians have moved in on the Texas Interscholastic Students’ Assn. Democrats. For instance, “Countdown ’72” had every right to organize young people to vote around a focus against injustice and the war. The people who organized their loud walk-out from the Countdown ’72 conference also arranged a reception for Ben Barnes, or at least appeared to be in charge of it. Some of those same people, no longer so young by any means, worked on salary for Waggoner Observations Carr for the U.S. Senate as though the welfare of the country depended on that reactionary’s election. I was myself quite taken aback to see the Daily Texan buying these fake-liberals’ line that the Countdown ’72 conference was organized by “outside agitators.” That was Allan Shivers’ line back in the 1950’s. Are we Texans even some of the young still so damn provincial that we don’t realize this is one country and that what affects the country directly affects Texas and what affects Texas directly affects the country? Done we know that yet? Every American has a right to care who carries Texas. The 1,500 or so young people who stayed with Al Lowenstein, Clifton McCleskey, Sissy Farenthold, and John Henry Faulk at the Countdown ’72 conference knew it, and they are the future. Lively, lively! So far nobody has challenged my aside in a recent column that the Kountze News is the best weekly newspaper in Texas. Meanwhile Jean my wife has been reading the copies of it that come to our house and has written to me \(here where I am holed “The Kountze paper with its screaming headlines and heartbreaking message is hysterically funny and occasionally quite good. One columnist seems to be a rather unusual talent. The political writing is a panic. There’s a feud going with Carl Parker, and there’s Pious Preston, Greedy Gus, Useless John, and Bilious Bentsen. The funniest dumb column was entitled `What Kind of People go to X Rated across the top of page 7, ‘School Cafeteria front page, ‘Woman Falls in Well.’ She suffered sprains, bruises, and scratches, including two busted blisters on her hands caused by holding on to a big rope .. they pulled her up with.” I guess Archer Fullingim is the closest thing in Texas the law still allows to William Brann. He also has an unerring and totally original responsiveness to the things that are actually the talk among local rural people. Not for him the hot news items that Thus-and-So spent the weekend sitting around visiting at the Those-and-Thems, nor would he be caught dead running the dead editorials from the Texas Press Association, The League for Polluted Poultry, or the Army-Navy War Is Good