More butter and bullets I feel that you have been an integral part of my life-style for quite a few years now. I developed a dependence on you and the paper and used it as a so-called “crutch” to help me over the depressing periods of time created by several of Texas’ famous “dual personality” legislatures, those “consumer-front/backdoor-corporate” oriented bodies who were elected by “We, The People.” I retired last August from my job as conductor with the Santa Fe Railway and moved into deep East Texas where my wife and I live in our little mobile home on two-and-a-half acres where we expect to outsmart our legislative saviors by raising vegetables, chickens, hogs and a few other necessities of life, hidden under the tall pines from their eversearching eyes where we can manage to live on the annuity we earned after forty years of railroading. The Texas Observer and its staff, along with Billy Cowan of the United Transportation Union, and Harry Hubbard of the Texas AFL-CIO have provided a most dependable padding against the shock created by the aforementioned cunning people-pinchers .. . Find enclosed another year’s renewal payment to buy more butter and bullets. Keep up the good work, Texas Observer Ernest D. Rose Livingston Rejoinder to Acuff I was quite amused to read Mark Acuff s pro-nuclear letter [Obs., Jan. 18], especially where he mentions that light water reactors are well understood and design stabilized. The nuclear industry would be very surprised at this news, since, in their words, the tremendous cost of nukes comes because of the necessity of building each one differently. As for “well understood,” I cannot think of a better example of a misunderstood machine than Three Mile Island II, where everyone was panicking and no one understood what was happening, or why it was happening, to this very day. However, folks like Mr. Acuff tend to ignore such minor details as a partially melted nuclear reactor, or millions of dollars in cost overruns. Instead, they get right down to the juicy stuffname calling. They substitute words like “freaks,” “dog and pony shows,” and “crazies” for true, provable facts. For instance, Dr. Thomas Mancuso, during his many years of studying nuclear radiation, found that there was no threshhold below which radiation is “safe.” Cancers and genetic defects caused by the nuclear power industry are now beginning to show up. According to Drs. John Gofman and Ernest Sternglass, renowned researchers in the field of nuclear technology, the time lapse between the original injury from radiation exposure and the onset of disease symptoms is anywhere from five to 30 years. I could list dozens of other antinuclear authoritiesDrs. Linus Pauling and George Wald, Nobel Prize winners; Sister Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D.; Helen Caldicott, M.D.; to name just a few. Of course, readers of The Texas Observer are free to form their own opinions. They can believe Brown & Root, Westinghouse, Exxon, Phillips Petroleum, et al., who are in the business of making money on nuclear technology. According to the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility, these companies will go to any lengths, including delayedmurder-by-radiation, to make a profit. Or the readers can believe newspaper editors like Mr. Acuff, who generally tend to side with big corporations who will provide their newspapers with the most profitable advertising contracts. Or they can trust those dedicated antinuclear scientists who don’t profit from the nuclear reactor rip-off business. Herman R. Levine, M.D. San Antonio Not impartial? In evaluating newspapers, I have decided that The Texas Observer is the most factually accurate in the state. I wish these facts could be more impartially reported, but that lack is a small price to pay to obtain information that is available in no other publication. Alice Pratt Houston Weary traveller Please allow me to criticize your style. I feel that you show a lack of objectivity quo personalities, corporations and political theories other than the ultrapopulist, possibly socialist viewpoints ward. I am a working-class student slob like most people, but Clements should be given a fair chance, or at least equal time. Perhaps I am misguided, but please, no more Mexican train ride stories. Rex Easley, Jr. San Antonio Axe job The differences I’ve had over the past four years with Janie Paleschic’s unfair brand of journalism are well known among other reporters and editors in Austin, and particularly among the capital [sic] press corps. For you to employ her to write an article about me for the Observer is not only ridiculous, it reaches the level of sublime travesty of the most basic rules of fair play and elementary journalism. For these past four years I’ve made it a policy not to talk to Janie Paleschic, and that policy certainly hasn’t changed in regard to the story you are paying her to do. I did, however, sometime ago talk at length with Mr. Eric Hartman of the Observer. That story if I’m to believe there was ever to be a story has never appeared in the Observer. Your selecting Janie Paleschic to write about me flies in the face of the fairness and integrity most of us have always thought we saw in the Observer. It flies in the face of the decency we would want to see in the Observer editors who hired her. What other conclusion can be made than that you wanted a gut job done on me and you got the person most willing to do it? You wanted an axe job and you got a person with an axe to grind. Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 Dialogue I 24 MARCH 28, 1980
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