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OBSERVATIONS Beyond Yuppification Austin IT’S NOT JUST nuclear weapons we have to get beyond. It’s not just nuclear deterrence. We have to get beyond war, and that, Beyond War, is the name of a nonpartisan group of young professionals who started their own Yuppie Crusade Against War, one might call it, in California in 1982. Barbara Carlson, the Texas coordinator, and her husband Jerry, an IBM site manager, were among the originating group who were galvanized into action by seeing Helen Caldicott’s film, “The Last Epidemic.” “It was really a profound experience to realize, ‘It’s up to me,’ ” Barbara Carlson said one day sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Austin, having a cup of coffee. “The way it’s set up in our country, we’re getting what we want, in a way rightly so. It’s got to come from us.” Alluding to Einstein’s famous statement that the atomic bomb changed everything except the way we think, she continued: “We are going for the long-term solution to the problem; that the only way to change our thinking is to realize that war is obsolete. No winners. No one to bask in glory.” People still think we can survive a war, that “they” won’t let it happen, and that anyway: “I can’t do anything about it.” Well, Ms. Carlson says, “the individual is key to the change that has to happen. All the blacks that didn’t ride the bus in Birmingham every one of them mattered that didn’t get on the bus.” The Beyond War workers organize small meetings in private homes. Ms. Carlson, working full-time and voluntarily out of an office at her home, speaks four or five times a week. Beyond War also has three teams in San Antonio \(Darby and Chris Riley, Garry and Pat Lundberg, and Judy and Steve in College Station and Wichita Falls. To the charge of utopianism, the people in this movement point to other total shifts in paradigms the end of slavery; at the industrial level, the replacement of bias-ply tires with radials. “If you think the way Einstein did,” Ms. Carlson says, “you will come up with different solutions. Until we give up on war as an answer we’re not. You have to address it from a new way of thinking that’s a profundity to me. We’re trying to get people to see their personal responsibility.” The group annually presents the Beyond War Award, $10,000 and one year’s possession of a leaded crystal sculpture, to a person or group making an outstanding contribution toward “a world beyond war.” The first three recipients were the American Catholic Bishops, for their pastoral letter on peace; the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; and the six leaders of Argentina, Greece, India, Mexico, Sweden, and Tanzania in the fivecontinent peace initiative. On Dec. 14 Beyond War’s fourth award will be presented to the Contadora Group working for downlinks in Texas, in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, for the presentation on satellite TV. Demilitarized Zones You have to read the out-of-the-way mimeographed newsletters of the peace movement for the real antitoxins to the Amarillo Advocate, the journal of the Amarillo anti-Pantex peace movement, helped conduct a workshop on the “Stop War Toys Project” this fall at the Amarillo Central Library. Does the subject make you snicker \(either out loud or in some such snickers in two paragraphs she penned for the Advocate under the heading: “Making Our Homes War Toy-Free Zones.” “Would we hand our child a scorpion? Never. . . . But we complacently allow the younger generation to spend a large amount of their time ‘playing’ amidst the most pernicious perpetrators of violence disguised as ‘He-Man,’Voltron,’ `Transformers,”Gobots,”G.I. Joe,’ and countless others. “War toys are racist, classist, sexist, and they promote war. They replicate weapons used against ‘jungle dwelling guerillas’ of the Third World. They are inexpensive and more easily affordable by the poor who suffer most in war. They are advertised as boys’ toys, reinforcing a stereotypical military mentality. Playing with war toys teaches children that violence is the acceptable way to settle conflict. They learn the glamour and adventure of war, but deny the real suffering it brings.” The Amarillo Advocate is published monthly from Box 1396, Amarillo, Texas 79105, for $5 a year. Optimists’ Almanac The return of Fred Schmidt, the policy intellectual and former labor leader and college professor, to his native state \(he and his wife Sonia have settled into a home four blocks’ reflections about optimism and pessimism. Anyone inclined to cast a dour glance toward our prospects for survival, much less for social progress, had best keep clear of Schmidt. He’d as soon snap a pessimist in two as a twig. Accordingly, optimismwise, I have been scouring the news for months, and herewith I present the Optimists’ Almanac for late summer and early fall in these parts. In August, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will spend $94 million to clean up the 20-acre Sikes waste dump alongside the San Jacinto River near Crosby. According to the Texas Water Commission, cancer-causing chemicals in this dump are 100,000 times higher than are considered safe. They leak, of course, into the river. Dumpers paid the landowner $2 a load starting in the 1960s. At $94,000,000, a bargain. Although school districts in Texas with large minority populations continue to have lower average academic achievement test scores than other districts, a survey of the 63 largest school districts in our state shows that the minority districts are making rapid gains in math and reading scores. In 1980 only 13 percent of black fifth-graders statewide could distinguish between fact and opinion in reading tests. Now 85 percent can. Crackerbarrel politicians, beware. Bad news: the Vatican publicly rebuked Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle, an outspoken opponent of nuclear weapons, forcing him to cede certain authority to a subordinate. But good news: in September two Texas bishops, questioned on the matter by the Dallas Times Herald, or behind his back,” said Bishop John J. Fitzpatrick of Brownsville. “I find it a little disturbing,” said Bishop Leroy Matthiesen of Amarillo, “that there seems to be some lack of trust on the part of some Roman authorities.” “Well, OK, but what have you got for October?” Schmidt 4 NOVEMBER 7, 1986