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often see him ahead of me, with a brown bag on his tray, shopping for a drink and sometimes a dessert, which brought him the right to use a table, where he sat in lonely splendor, the target of glances from other nooners who sought to boggle or blow their minds with speculation about how much he earned that day. The rumors ran from one million a day to one million a week. Either figure produced enough arithmetic to stagger the imagination, particularly when you divided your $5.00 per hour into it. It was a common surmise that the amount of taxes he ‘must have paid’ would have provided an annual income of $10,000 for every person who went through that chow line.” As you see, Otto Mullinax thinks about things in original ways. When the cost of using money is more than the cost of labor or raw materials in producing a product or service, then, he says, “indeed the moneychangers have us in chains. We have sold our soul to Satan and Shylock. . . . My son must earn and pay to the mortgage company the price of his house plus that of three and one-fourth more houses at the same price over 30 years.” Or war: “What does Reagan need but an excuse?” Americans are supposed to have learned a hard lesson from Vietnam, but: “Why then am I ready to march?” Idion II looks kindly on Molly Ivins, now of the Dallas Times-Herald, as a new redeemer for liberalism in Texas. He also regards my book on Lyndon Johnson as thought-provoking, which gives me a conflict of interest writing this review, so let me tell you clearly what made me the maddest in these essays. First there’s Idion II’s discussion of Abby, a daughter of Laurance Rockefeller. “When her father asked her why she preferred communism,” according to Idion II, “she answered that it would bring about decent human living conditions quicker than capitalism would.” In the ensuing discussion, the father said he believed that people needed to be prodded and then rewarded to make them work, and Abby told him his idea of capitalism was based on laziness and greed. Idion II, for himself, says his son wants more than the carrot and the stick from the workplace, “he wants respect for his work, participation in policy and planning, and a share in the profits from the joint effort with his employer or partner.” That’s fine. But Idion II concludes: “Hooray for Abby!” To hell with Abby. You do not kill the people’s civil liberties in the name of getting them social justice or workplace democracy. If we haven’t learned that from the Twentieth Century we are idiots. In fairness to the subtlety of Mullinax’s mind, just before his hooray for Abby he had written that the workers “will get more out of the work by the democratic process whether through unions or laws democratically arrived at.. It is rather often a mistake to assume you know what Otto is saying by what he seems to be saying. Dimly, from way back there in the 1950s, I remember his infuriating me by making a case that suicide is good. I may well not yet understand what he means on this, but “Suicides Are Healthful” is the title of one of the essays in this book by Idion II. So arguing, Idion the First says, “Now, you take death. That’s not so bad after you get there, but it takes a brave person to get there, and he must have a high sense of his own worth. How many people continue to live for their loved ones, or because of their religion, or because they just don’t know how to finish it! You see it takes a smart person to know how and when to lose.” Idion the First argues then, rightly I think, that a person beyond hope has “his right to die.” But Idion here celebrates suicide, says “suicides are healthful,” and as I argued with Otto a quarter of a century ago so now I argue with Idion: presenting suicide as a positive good is morally irresponsible because we haVe a duty to help people live, because waking up one OEIN HILL John Hill is smart, experienced and qualified, but that’s not why I’m for him for Chief Justice. I’m for him because he doesn’t get his sense of justice from a law bookhe gets it from his heart and his gut. He has spent his entire professional career fighting for the “gougees” of Texas society, and now we need his fairness, integrity and leadership on the high bench. JIM HIGHTOWER Texas Commissioner of Agriculture For CHIEF JUSTICE TEXAS SUPREME COURT Paid for by John Hill Statewide Steering Committee, Vester T. Hughes, Jr., Treasurer THE TEXAS OBSERVER 29