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1949 1977 Land Structure \(labor and 69% Structure \(labor and 46.7% Builder’s overhead and profit 17.5% Source: National Association of Home Builders Land 25.0% Finance 10.8% 11% Finance 5% Builder’s overhead and profit 15% Political reform Former U.S. Sen. Ralph Yar borough has sent a letter to Dolph Briscoe and John Hill, calling on them to work with the Legislature next year for the passage of two needed political rethe Democratic primary from the badweather spring months to the summer, thus shortening the prohibitively expensive campaign season and possibly party purity system that would prevent Republicans from crossing over into the Democratic primary to meddle with the naming of that party’s nominees, then crossing back to vote Republican in November, or vice versa. “There is a certain amount of cynical economic power pulling the strings in both parties in Texas,” Yarborough wrote in his letter, adding that these money managers do not care which party wins, so long as they control the government. The two procedural reforms would go a long way toward restricting their hold on the political process, Yarborough said, and he urged Hill and Briscoe to use whatever influence they retain next year “to strike this blow for democracy.” What’s in a house? It used to be that materials and labor accounted for most of the cost of a house, but no moreless than half the cost of today’s home is wrapped up in the structure itself. The major cost factors now are the financing and the land \(both of profit. The upshot is that homeowners are paying much more, but much less of what they pay goes into the houses they buy. Component Costs Typical New Single-Family House, 1949 and 1977 Dumb and/or illegal There are two kinds of censorship at San Antonio College. The first is directed against distribution on campus of newspapers and handbills that contain “lewd and/or subversive information.” This type may be problematic, but it is at least predictable. The second kind is aimed at dissemination of literature printed in any language other than English. This type takes some explaining. The way administrators at the public junior college describe it, the ban on foreign-language leaflets is “designed to enhance uniform and effective communication.” You see. with students. from “approximately 33 countries” attending the college, SAC officials figure that communication has to be uniform to be effective. As Earl Wright, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, puts it, “In order for every student to have the same opportunity to comprehend literature passed out on campus, we prefer that such literature be written in the English language.” If that strikes you as incomprehensible and/or unconstitutional, you are now in accord with the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is threatening a lawsuit unless the junior college’s board of trustees lifts the ban. The policy came to the ACLU.’s attention recently after members of the Socialist Workers Party were reported to SAC Dean Truett Chance for passing out leaflets with two foreign words boldly printed on them. The episode caused college officials no little embarrassment, since the two words were Spanish words and Spanish is the first language of a whole passel of students in this predominantly Mexican-American city. But the administrators were equal to the challenge: they announced that the prohibition applied only to literature having no “cultural value.” For interpretation of this mystifying edict, the Observer telephoned Associate Dean Wright, the hapless fellow who got stuck with the task of justifying the whole censorship scheme to the ACLU. First he said that the prohibition covered literature printed entirely in a foreign language unless some significant cultural value would be lost if the words were translated into English. Then he took a breath and got to the point. What the ruling is really aimed at, said Wright, “is literature announcing political atrocities in foreign countries.” Such writings, he added, “have no cultural significance.” But, of course! As the SWP members suggested to the ACLU, just think of all those Iranian military personnel being trained at air force bases in San Antonio. Consider also the many Iranian students enrolled at SAC. And just imagine what might happen if they started communicating with each other in their native language about events back home. Why, how culturally worthless and insignificant can you get? However, Associate Dean Wright evidently fears that no one will understand. When asked about the outcome of the SAC board’s review of the censorship scheme, he acknowledged that a decision had been reached, but refused to discuss it over the phone, insisting instead on an in-person interviewin the interest of effective communication, we presume. Donna Ng THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13