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The Observer’s Position On the Amendments: Three Yeses, Three Nos, One Maybe our destiny. I am filled with a vague and pervasive fear that chaos lies through the portals. “Today and yesterday I have gone .through the motions, but my mind is blank of all else. The assassination is so large and monstrous an event, its effects so multiplicitous and terrible, that one’s own efforts to do good are dwarfed by its evil. And how to fight it? By giving to the candidate of your choice? By writing a searing expose?” was the Republican-Libertarian from Houston, Ron Paul. Quick, unorthodox, and consistent apparently without heed of the consequences, Paul composes his posture out of anti-state reaction, libertarianism on behaviorial matters, and anti-militarism in foreign policy. Obviously he thinks for himself one can almost hear him thinking. An impressive guy. At present I think that the four best Texas members from the point of view of the public interest are Mickey Leland, Henry Gonzalez, Martin Frost, and Mattox. Leland, who purposes to lead the progressive movement in Texas, is also the black caucus’ specialist on Cuba, which has led him into controversial postures. Gonzalez, in the course of conducting many crusades, has launched important new hearings on the scandal of housing for farmworkers. Frost, although faced with a strong possibility of minority opposition in his new district, is calmly preparing to run hard for reelection. Jake Pickle, the Austin Democrat and the most important man in the House on Social Security, the subcommittee concerning which he chairs, is seeking what he regards as a middle way between Reagan’s drastic cuts in Social Security benefits and the Democratic liberals’ fierce opposition to any cuts. Pickle’s plan, still being worked out, comes down much closer to Reagan’s than to the liberals’. There are hard choices to be made here, but the reduction of Social Security benefits is absolutely not necessary if the Congress will just do any of the many things that will prevent it. While Pickle is on top of the complexities of the Social Security system and its problems, I do not believe he understands how angry voters are going to be if the Democrats go along even partly with the emasculation of Social Security which Reagan desires. The famous Phil Gramm, BollWeevil -in-Chief from College Station, is a professorial sort, just as consistent as Paul, but a totally orthodox conservative. Calmly and at great length, as if conducting a class, he justifies the abolition of the Social Security minimum benefit despite the hopelessness of that cause even Reagan has abandoned it for now. The dashing Charley Wilson, the now-here, now-there East Texas Democrat and friend and supporter of fascist dictators, deftly fielded my argumentative questions, Senator Bentsen was his usual quiet, understated self. I was to see Senator Tower one afternoon, but he was called to the White House for a briefing at precisely the hour of our interview, and forced to choose between Reagan and me, he chose Reagan. Stifling my feelings of rejection, I look for ward to interviewing Senator Tower a little later in the year. Chaos It’s difficult for me to visualize the effects on being a person never having known a world without nuclear bombs in it. That same younger generation must be absorbing impacts from the assassinations that those of us older did not have to try to live with, when we were young. The late Al Lowenstein was godfather to my son, Gary, and my daughter, Celia. On Oct. 7 Celia, a reporter on the Atlanta Journal, wrote me: “Yesterday I stayed up all night helping out with the coverage of the Atlanta mayor’s race \(Andy Young is in a runoff day at home watching the news and weeping for Anwar Sadat and the Middle East. We are so vulnerable to terror. And these violent events have a cumulative effect. For me, each time one occurs it is worse. Each one brings all the others back to me as though they had just happened. Kennedy. King. Kennedy. Al. Sadat. Young said yesterday in a television interview that you can kill the dreamer, but you can’t slay the dream. I’m not sure. History is different because these men are gone. Each time heightens my sense that we are not in control of The Observer here makes recommendations to our readers concerning the seven constitutional amendments to be voted on Nov. 3. Proposition 1: Yes This would let cities issue revenue bonds to finance improvements, such as parking garages, malls, sidewalks, and lighting in run-down commercial areas and pay the bonds off with the tax revenues generated by the higher property values, and it would also let cities temporarily freeze taxes on both residential and commercial buildings in run-down neighborhoods as an incentive for the owners to renovate them. This might help rebuild some commercial areas and give owners of run-down The Newcomers We welcome Third Coast, the serious and attractive new Austin monthly. Besides performing, in an outsize qualitypaper format, what one expects of city magazines, Third Coast has substance. In its October issue. for instance, there is Jackie Calmes’ intelligently admiring study of Sen. Lloyd Doggett \(entitled “Mr. Doggett Makes A Difference,” The premiere issue of Ultra, the new Texas monthly that’s sent free to rich people, isn’t bad, either. Prepared to snicker, one finds instead a one-state Town and Country, with book reviews, a literary excerpt, two pages on a painter. The predictable things are here, of course, too, features on richies, Deveral D. George on “Shopping for Diamonds.” Handsomely printed. R.D. homes a little financial help. With federal aid to the cities drying up under Reagan, cities are going to have to find ways to help themselves. Mayor Henry Cisneros of San Antonio sees this as a way to help poorer areas of cities. “It’s a question,” he says, “of whether we want two cities in San Antonio or Dallas as they exist now: one poor and one prosperous.” Reducing cities’ tax revenues just as Reagan squeezes the cities is the other side of the issue, but the amendment may help some to reduce imbalances between rich and poor. Proposition 2: OK This would let the Land Commissioner issue land patents to persons in situa THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3