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brace out-and-out sophistry with selfrighteous sincerity, but surely something has gone wrong when these are the only choices we have. I’m not sure what else to do myself, other than say and say again what the genuine tradition of this country is: when the spirit of monologue dominates, all dialogue becomes monologue. It takes two to talk. the process of replacing the political principles which stand at the beginning of our tradition with a purely economic way of thinking, don’t we lose precisely that character which most distinguishes us? If an “interest” is only an apparent good, what happens to the arena in which the question of the truly good can be raised? A just political institution is one which is dedicated to the good of the citizens, and, since the only means available to mortals for determining what is good and what is not is the give and take of dialogue to these most fundamental questions, there are no scientific answers such an institution must safeguard the open realm in which these questions can be asked. If I have the right to fight for what I think is good for me, I also have the obligation to raise the question concerning what is truly good for me. I also have the obligation to consider what is good for my fellow citizens. The rights to free speech and the pursuit of happiness were conceived as protection against a tyrannical government, not as the legitimization of unadulterated competition between individuals or groups. These individual rights do not mean that each individual, and certainly not each business, has the right to take anything away from anyone that he or it is capable of taking. Freedom of speech implies a responsibility to speak on behalf of the truth; the right to the pursuit of happiness implies the responsibility to pursue those things which one truly deserves. POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE Gov. Mark White’s nomination of Allen R. Parker to head the state’s Department of Labor and Standards didn’t sit well with several of the state’s labor leaders who expected White to appoint longtime labor official H. S. “Hank” Brown. Off the record, however, several applauded the appointment. Parker’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate, where a twothirds vote is necessary for the 41-yearold Houston resident to fill the $36,600a-year position. Brown was officially endorsed by the Texas AFL-CIO after the organization’s nominating committee met in January and asked White to name the former president of the state’s major labor council to the post. There was, however, strong support on the committee for Parker. Since 1977, the governor has acceded to the nominating committee’s choice, and it was assumed White would also. Instead he disregarded the endorsement and selected Parker, a business representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 15. Neither Parker nor Brown was interested in any other position, and Texas labor generated a massive drive to support Brown, sending telegrams and letters to White’s office. After White refused to change his mind, Brown sent a letter to members of the state’s labor council saying his not being named to the commissioner’s job was a great disappointment, but he added that “there is much more for all of us to do.” “We cannot base our relationship with the governor on one deed or act,” he wrote. “So, let us be mad at Mark White for one day, but be mad for one day only and then go on with our legislative program.” Don Horn, executive secretarytreasurer of the Harris County AFLCIO Council, said Parker’s nomination to the post “is unfortunate for Mark White, unfortunate for the labor movement, and unfortunate for Hank Brown. “But I’m sure we’ll go on from here,” he added, “and build a relationship with the governor that will be of assistance to everybody in this community. I think this will bring certain issues into sharper focus, like who will stay with the movement and who’s not going to stay with the movement.” Horn was referring to C. L. “Chuck” Bertani, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 15 and Parker’s mentor. Bertani had previously announced his intention to withdraw from the county council. He told the Houston Chronicle that Parker is good at bringing people together and that he is capable of setting up an effective statewide political structure. Some labor officials in Austin also applauded Parker’s selection, although they asked not to be named because they didn’t want to exacerbate what one called “an internal crisis” over the Parker nomination. “I agreed with the appointment,” one official said. “Allen is a young, able corner while Hank is the epitome of the old-time labor leader. I think White did the right thing.” The responsibilities of the commissioner in past administrations have been few. The Labor and Standards Department is charged with regulating boxing and wrestling, auctioneering, labor agents and personnel employment ser vices; inspection of boilers and pressure vessels; monitoring the safety of manufactured housing; enforcing laws related to the safety, health, and welfare of employees. “He [the commissioner] has so little power because everything significant has been replaced by federal law,” one official pointed out. “Jackie St. Clair [commissioner appointed by Gov. Briscoe] would use it to put out fires for little working people, not necessarily union members. Bubba Steen [commissioner appointed by Gov. Clements] didn’t do anything. Allen [Parker] is smart, ambitious but why not? and I suspect he’ll use the position as a stepping-stone to something else.” A majority of the State Republican Executive Committee, meeting in Corpus Christi recently, asked state party chairman Chet Upham to resign. Tom Carter, a Dallas oil and gas lawyer on the 62-member committee, said that 37 members of the committee signed a letter asking Upham to quit. Carter said the group seeking Upham’s resignation was concerned mainly about the $312,000 debt confronting the state party and the direction the party has taken recently. He said the party in 1982 seemed to forsake the grassroots efforts of 1980. v Update: The Dallas County Bar Association has agreed to pay $32,500 in damages to former head law librarian Sheila Porter after a 2-year legal battle during which she was fired three times and was reinstated twice. \(TO, THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15