A rumor given some credence around the Capitol is that the House Administration Committee acted as it did because the Conservative Coalition \(TO, space and equipment in order to provide legislative “analysis” akin to that provided by the House Study Group. The move to pull back legislator funding of all the groups was said to be the House leadership’s way of avoiding the Conservative Coalition issue. The Conservative Coalition is among those protesting the loudest about the House Administration Committee’s ruling. But do they protest too much? The great benefactor of a move to eliminate state funding of these coalitions, caucuses, etc., would be that organization with a stated bias which would have enough well-heeled supporters to survive, and even prosper, in an era in which legitimate government functions are privatized. In other words, with or without state funding, there will always be a Conservative Coalition. The question is whether there will be the other, independent organizations to provide the information to legislators that the Conservative Coalition leaves out. G.R. The Nation’s 120 Years “We are not protesting against the size of the U.S. invasion, but against invasion. You tell me that the governments of Honduras and El Salvador are hostile to me. Tomorrow they will regret such an attitude. Tomorrow each may have the same struggle. Augusto Sandino to Carleton Beals, interviewer, The Nation, February-March 1928 wrote in the March 13, 1965, Nation: “Yet new times call for new policies. Negro leadership, long attuned to agitation, must now perfect the art of organization. . . . In their furious combat to level walls of segregation and discrimination, Negroes gave primary emphasis to their deprivation of dignity and personality. Having gained a measure of success, they are now revealed to be clothed, by comparison with other Americans, in rags.” In 1919, William MacDonald wrote on the Treaty of Versailles: “In the whole history of diplomacy there is no treaty more properly to be regarded as an international crime than the amazing document which the German representatives are now asked to sign. . . . The burdens which the treaty imposes are heavier than any people can bear and progress.” A Nation editorial of January 19, 1899, criticized American imperialism in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War: “If we retain these island dependencies, we may count upon yearly assaults upon Congress for more soldiers as well as for more ships. It has been and is so the world over. . . . For the country that has once set its face squarely towards militarism and military governments there is no stopping.” Edgar Snow offered a prescient piece on Vietnam in the April 24, 1954, Nation: “The war could thus be prolonged indefinitely. . . . But Ho would not be destroyed. The first and basic reason is because Ho Chi Minh is leading a mass “The war [in Vietnam] could thus be prolonged indefinitely .. . Though Americans won their own freedom by comparable means, they have forgotten the terms of such a war.” Edgar Snow The Nation, April 24, 1954 WE WOULD like to add our voice to the chorus of congratulation for The Nation on its 120th anniversary. Not only has The Nation been a beacon in the darkness of the Reagan years, but that has been its role since its founding just after the Civil War. Among its announced objectives, published in its original prospectus, were “the maintenance and diffusion of true democratic principles in society and government,” and “the earnest and persistent consideration of the condition of the laboring class at the South, as a matter of vital interest to the nation at large, with a view to the removal of all artificial distinctions between them and the rest of the population, and the securing to them, as far as education and justice can do it, of an equal chance in the race of life.” The prospectus also announced that among the regular contributors it had secured for the magazine were Henry W. Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, John G. Whittier, Frederick Law Olmstead, and William Lloyd Garrison. Not a bad start. Through the years, The Nation has published the works of such writers as James Agee, W.H. Auden, James Baldwin, Hart Crane, Theodore Dreiser, Emily Dickinson, W.E.B. Dubois, Gloria Emerson, Gunter Grass, Randall Jarrell, Penny Lernoux, Margaret Mead, H.L. Mencken, C. Wright Mills, Lewis Mumford, Katherine Anne Porter, Nora Sayre, Lincoln Steffens, I.F. Stone, William Carlos Williams, and W.B. Yeats. But it’s not so much a matter of whom they’ve published as what those people have said. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., movement in which every human being is now or potentially a weapon forged by national revolutionary means to play an active part in guerrilla military tactics. Though Americans won their own freedom by comparable means, they have forgotten the terms of such a war.” In 1958, The Nation published details from a leaked Atomic Energy Commission report on concentrations of strontium90 in the bones of American children, contributing to the eventual atmospheric test ban for nuclear weapons. In 1959, it published a report by Ralph Nader on the dangers of American automobiles. The Nation’s breath-taking investigative report on possible U.S. complicity in the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 provided a chillling insight into the dynamics of the new cold war. And, in these dark days of Reagan, with the market doing to small opinion journals what it does to other small businesses, it is crucial to receive each week the work of Victor Navasky, Hamilton Fish, Alexander Cockburn, Andrew Kopkind, Max Holland, Kai Bird, Christopher Hitchens, and Calvin Trillin. Added to what appears on the pages of The Nation there is the work by Navasky and Fish to foster critical opinion and analysis in this country through smaller and sometimes competing journals. The Nation has organized conferences and meetings to shore up the role of the critical journal and its writers in this country. Navasky and Fish have many times provided advice and counsel to the Observer on matters ranging from libel coverage to finances to political advertising. This nation owes The Nation its gratitude and support. G.R. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5
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