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and genuinely want to do something to change things for the better, it seems especially appropriate to reflect on the fundamental legislative inequalities that perpetuate those conditions and precipitate the kinds of emergencies the public is being asked to help resolve today in South Texas. If concerned citizens and public officials would put as much spirit and sacrifice into the effort to secure equitable labor protections for agricultural workers as they have devoted to the campaign for public aid and private donations, the next time a natural disaster causes widespread agricultural unemployment, farmworkers wouldn’t have to rely on the philanthropy of society, but could turn instead to the sameemployment-related benefits the rest of the labor force depends on when the need arises. Brian R. Craddock, Austin Two Friends Recently, two friends of mine in the prison reform movement died. Franklin Garcia not only was a catalyst for the organization of unions in South Texas, but he was also an adviser to us in the early seventies when we started in San Antonio to organize the families of prisoners. Franklin not only advised, he also was a person of direct action. I shall never forget a large meeting in ’71 when I kept trying to be recognized to speak. Franklin was standing in his overalls next to me. Finally, he turned to me and asked, “You want to speak?” Almost as soon as I had nodded, he gave out this incredibly loud whistle, everyone immediately became quite, and I had the floor. Franklin had very little in common with the other late friend of prison reform, Herman Adams. As a state representative from a conservative rural area, Herman appeared very seldom in the pages of The Texas Observer. And yet, Herman was one of the chief reasons why Texas has a state agency to set minimum standards for county jails. As a member of the powerful Calendars Committee, Herman in ’75 made certain that the bill creating the Texas Commission on Jail Standards received action on the House Floor. Although the Commission has its been responsible for substantial improvements in Texas jails. Over the years, I would periodically bring this to his attention when he was the lobbyist for the University of Texas. Herman would smile with the gesture of a person who knew that he had done a noble deed, and only he and I would ever know. In many ways, Herman’s and Franklin’s help represent two sides of the same coin. One upfront and confrontational while the other extremely behind the scenes. In my opinion, both are essential in the movement for a more humane world. Charles Sullivan, Austin. Abortion Foe Contrary to the assertion in your twoAmericans do not consider abortion an option for all women. Polls consistently show that four out of five Americans favor strict limitations to the relatively few cases involving rape, incest or a serious threat to the health of the mother. The aggressive abortion industry heavily represented in your ad, by the way strives assiduously to make the issue a liberal-conservative confrontation. Many sincere people accept that dichotomy unthinkingly. How many of your readers are asking ourselves the hard questions on the avalanche of abortions performed in the past decade? Doesn’t being liberal mean a commitment to defend the interests of the weakest members of the human family? If so, who are these weakest among us? Can we seriously maintain, in the light of current medical knowledge, that the unborn are not human? If we ignore their rights, how then are we different from 19th century slaveholders and from Nazi Germans in relegating some categories of humanity to sub-human status? What’s liberal about taking human life? Edward M. Corbett, Commerce. Republican Praise From the perspective of a longsuffering Texas Republican political operative, let me add a few words about Dave Shapiro. \(Observations, Feb. 10 In his own often lonely way, Shapiro has probably done more for two-party development in Texas than any single individual because of his dedication and the fact that he understands the dynamics involved better than anyone and can articulate them at a drop of a campaign hat. When I first heard Shapiro’s pitch in 1962 on how to break one-party rule, I thought he was preaching heresy to his liberal friends and nonsense to us. So a liberal backlash had pushed John Tower across the line in a strange special election in 1961, branded as a “fluke.” How could we possibly count on our philosophical arch-rivals, liberal Democrats, to help us in other major races? And bear in mind, the philosophical winds were blowing strongly in the early 1960s, both left and right. Yet, the Shapiro approach was evident in the 1962 governor’s race. A fledgling Republican Party, with a fair primary turnout, meant a liberal Democrat had a better shot at the gubernatorial nomination and a Republican made the first competitive GOP general election bid for governor since Reconstruction. One could now see the light. But all two-party bets were off in 1964, a Democratic landslide in the aftermath of the Kennedy Assassination. Facing virtual annihilation as a viable statewide party in 1966, we circled the wagons around Tower, up for his first re-election bid. A unified Democratic Party would probably have meant a devastating defeat for the GOP, but Tower weaved his way to a decisive victory, thereby securing a crucial beachhead for two-party politics in Texas. Liberal backlash against the Democratic nominee vs. Tower, Waggoner Carr, was a key element in Tower’s victory margin. Many sophisticated liberals voted for Tower and convinced their friends to join them. Others, along with some labor leaders, simply refused to turn out their vote. They had subscribed to the two-party theory promoted by Shapiro and a few other staunch liberals. The 1960s were tough, and sometimes, desperate times for Texas Republicans. Had Tower lost that pivotal 1966 election, the GOP wouldn’t have folded, but realistically, it would have meant a return to one-party rule for who knows how long. Shapiro’s understanding of the dynamics involved plus his tenacity under criticism and pressure were invaluable during those formative years. John R. Knaggs, Austin THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5