Page 7


DIALOGUE 0. Needing the Observer We need the Observer as never before to keep us posted in what is going on in Texas as well as the rest of the country. We should stop pursuing merely the anti-Russian foreign policy of Reagan’s authoritarian and out-dated “might makes right” theory and return to our effort to make Democracy attract the friendship of others by seeking to settle problems by peaceful methods. I am enclosing my check for another year subscription. Broadway, Lubbock, Tx. Attorney’s Fees Re: Griffin Smith, Jr. letter on ACLU and Attorneys’ Fees in the “Scientific Creationism” case. \(Obs., The federal Attorneys’ Fees Act provides that a winning civil rights plaintiff is entitled to court-awarded attorneys’ fees. Awards of attorneys’ fees may be made against any losing defendant private individuals as well as public offi cials and public agencies. The purpose of the Act is to ensure vigorous and vigilant protection of civil rights. In the “scientific creationism” case, the record shows that neither the majority of the Arkansas Legislature nor the Governor had read the bill before it was Signed into law. If the only way to get legislative and gubernatorial accountability is to make such actions de facto votes for a state appropriation of more than a million dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union, then so be it. Criticism should not be directed at the ACLU for recovering attorneys’ fees. It should be directed at the public officials whose actions caused the litigation in the beginning. John B. Duncan, Executive Director, Texas Civil Liberties Union, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, TX 78701. Sam’s House Thanks to Nina Butts for her article “Sam’s House” in the January 29, ’82 Observer. As for Mr. Hoffman’s comment that the restoration was “not for the Walker County Historical Commission to please a few people who happen Texas,” he does not speak for this person of Texas, and I can only console myself with fantasies of personally hand-feeding him this issue of the Observer page by page. I suppose an historical aficionado might relish the present state of the Houston home, but it’s not the home I recall my parents showing me as a young boy on vacation. Some could criticize my preference as a wish to embellish legacies of our past, but if in fact historical evidence left no definitive record of how the house actually looked, then the present restoration is a travesty of our Texas heritage in my opinion. As for thelegal maneuvers that allowed this tragedy to happen, I am reminded of a. legal term I briefly became acquainted with “Res Ipsa Loquitur” “The thing speaks for itself.” When an obvious historical structure has to await being pronounced so while it is mauled in the interim has got to be one of the greatest Catch 22’s perpetrated in Texas history. This has my nomination for the number one spot in the Texas Monthly “Bum Steer Awards.” Ralph W. Love, 8225 Calmont #2007, Fort Worth, Tx. 76116. Gary Hart Hart has also issued a number of lengthy documents outlining other portions of his overall strategy. These he provided recently to the delegates to the Democratic National Party’s midterm conference in Philadelphia, where Hart himself was received with lukewarm enthusiasm, according to the newspaper reports. These strategy papers, labelled “Issues for the 80’s,” describe his proposals on the subjects of “Military Reform,” “Preventing Nuclear War,” “Restoring Economic Growth,” and a plan for “A Secure Energy Future.” They are long ‘and frequently tedious, though scattered throughout them I found passages where language and ideas combined to provide a stimulating point of view. If political analysts spoke the language of Broadway critics, they’d give these proposals “mixed reviews.” Having read through them once, I had no doubt they are worthy of more careful and considered analysis. I had a problem with the jargon in places, stumbling over the language to try to find the concept behind such proposals as a “progressive expenditure tax” and “New Capacity Stock” and the “expensing of investment expenditures,” among others. In other passages I found appealing notions, but notions that work better in speeches than in practice. For instance, when Hart says, “The Jeffersonian principle of a free, competitive economy must be melded with the Rooseveltian principle that economic success cannot be divorced from social conscience.” Or where he calls for “enlightened selfinterest” as a guide for human behavior and social policy. I began to wonder, as I read through his strategy papers, whether Hart could translate his ideas and intentions into ac tions that would become meaningful to, say, the 85% of the black teenage population unemployed and wageless this summer in Hartford, ‘Connecticut, or meaningful to the migrant farmworker families who work from sunup to sundown every man, woman and child for less than a decent living wage. I wondered if Gary Hart would be able to answer the question of a young, single, pregnant mother of two, with no job and not enough money to feed her children a question once posed hypothetically to me “What are you going to do about it?” I certainly couldn’t come up with the perfect answer, and I wonder if he can, in terms that can be understood and absorbed, and that will foster some hope. I wonder if any of the Democratic contenders now being talked about Kennedy, Hart, Walter Mondale or John Glenn can? And if they can, will it work? If anything, the gathering for Gary Hart in Austin proved that while Democrats may not be ready to support him, they’re curious, and they want someone to provide some answers. He had come to test the waters, and the waters were decidedly wet. 18 Al \(GUST 6. 1982