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entered Nicaragua after Calvin Coolidge claimed that Mexican-financed Bolsheviks were about to take over. The Marines didn’t leave until 1933, and when they left, Anastazio Somoza was in charge. Somoza ran one of the most corrupt governments in the world, and when the Sandanistas rose in rebellion, his empire collapsed like a rotten corpse. It wa the United States that put Somoza in power and largely kept him there; American bungling in the years since his fall has undermined the credibility of democratic-minded opponents of the Sandanista regime. “In El Salvador, there has been government by thugs since the thirties. The United States has done very little to insist on land reform, on any kind of justice, on any kind of reform that would benefit the genuinely aggrieved citizens of that tiny land. The blood flows freely, and for all the millions of dollars in aid supplied to the Salvadoran government, rebellion flourishes and grows stronger. “What should we do? The answer is, we should stand up for our own principles. We ought to oppose governments that are unresponsive to the legitimate needs of the people. We ought not to support governments that rule more by terror than by law. We ought to stand with the people, not against them. Why should we leave it to the Cubans to teach literacy, to provide elementary health care, to bring tools to the farmers? “Yet our policy has been merely to send in more guns. Central Americans are no different from you and me; they want a government that stands with them, not one that stands over them. If we would just see that, and follow policies that reflect our own principles, our own beliefs, we would have nothing to fear anywhere in Cental America. As it is, our policy today is no different from what it was in the days of Coolidge, and no more honest or effective than it was then.” V Sen. J. E. “Buster” Brown’s bill establishing the Texas Spill Response Fund, to be used in cleaning up spills of hazardous wastes, passed favorably out of the Senate Natural Resources committee. SB 1241 also sets up procedures for responding to spills of chemicals or oil and changes the penalties for violation of current waste disposal laws. Brown aide Larry McGinnis expressed optimism about the bill’s chances and said that neither the Chemical Council nor any other opponents appeared before the committee to testify. SCR 64 by Brown also received a favorable recommendation from the com mittee. The bill establishes a joint interim committee both to study the need for standards for location of future hazardous waste disposal sites and to make recommendations about the state’s role in determining those standards. RSR Corporation, the Dallas lead smelter currently under fire for alleged violations of lead emission regulations, recently issued its annual report. The report, supposedly written for stockholders and potential investors, dances around the issue of the company’s potential liability for regulatory and judicial claims against them. Lawsuits involving claims for damages for alleged lead poisoning alone total more than $28 million. Rather than give investors any realistic picture of the company’s position regarding the various lawsuits, the author mounts his soapbox for a rant against regulations. “RSR’s operations in some respects have not met all of the applicable standards promulgated pursuant to such laws and regulations which have imposed, and may further impose on RSR, increasingly onerous compliance obligations, including the obligation to remove from operations and continue wage payments to employees exposed to excessive contaminants and to make substantial capital outlays in pollution control and related equipment.” Perish the thought! In addition to lead poisoning lawsuits, RSR has been subject to claims involving environmental, worker health and safety, toxic waste, and product safety violations. RSR will be holding its annual meeting on May 25, but interested parties planning a trip to Dallas for the meeting need to change travel plans. The meeting will be held at the City Midday Club in New York City far from the “madding crowd. ” V During the House debate on the Appropriations bill, Calendars Committee Chair Bill Messer, D-Belton, offered an intent rider to reduce the number of state employees. Messer proposes the replacement of only two of every three full-time employees in any state agency based upon state employees per 10,000 population. Texas currently has 115 employees per 10,000 residents. Messer says the rider is the idea of a Mr. Weinstein, who works for the Center for Conservative Studies in Houston. It has all the makings of former Governor Bill Clements’ efforts in this regard. The rider passed with little opposition. The final assembly of all U.S. nu clear weapons takes place in the Texas Panhandle. Houston has more oil company headquarters than any other city in the world. The whole state reeks of Sunbelt boosters, strident anti-unionists, political hucksters, and new industry and money. THIS IS THE LOOK OF TEXAS TODAY and the Texas Observer has its independent eye on all of it. We offer the latest in corporate scams and political scandals as well as articles on those who have other, and more humane, visions of what our state can be. Become an Observer subscriber today, order a gift for a friend, or instruct us to enter a library subscription under your patronage. Send the Observer to Othis subscription is for myself Ogift subscription; send card in my name O$20 ‘enclosed for a one-year subscription bill me for $20 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 600 W. 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19