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ANSWERING eetvae, ed-tt SERV ICE KATHLEEN O’CONNELL P.O. BOX 3005 477-8278 78764 of cheerful ‘negativism’ when confronted with the temptation of Realpolitik, and of self-confidence: pride and trust in one’s own judgement. We don’t intend to publish a dreary magazine, but sometimes our “negativism” has not been exactly cheerful. A while ago we got a letter from an attorney in Conroe who said he had grown tired of reading the Observer. He liked the magazine when Molly Ivins was an editor and, later, when Rod Davis edited it \(everyone has their favorite Observer often miss that type of burning populistic approach to things,” he wrote. “Because, to me, that is what defines my political values not some vague, fuzzy-headed liberal view of things, but an approach a la Jim Hightower, that the real story is the one of the little people against the forces of big business, big government, and big everything else.” Well that’s a big order, but I hope we can merit his continued attention. and that of many more old and new readers as well. D.D. DIALOGUE Good with their Hands Flawed it may be, but I am glad Simpson-Rodino passed \(T. O. devised. As things now stand, our humblest citizens are being systematically excluded from the only work they are competent to perform -, greedy employers prefer the tractable immigrants. We cannot, with open immigration, construct a society for others to emulate. Your position is fuzzy one-world liberalism, right up Milt Friedman’s alley. John W. Burns Houston A Lot of Darkness I’d already sent Paul Kirk a note this morning regretting that the “Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee” got to us before his “Democratic National Committee Membership Renewal” did this year. It’s all so ludicrous when you’re on at least half the mailing lists in the country. Sorry ACLU always will come first! But, you all write such a sincere appeal. . . . No, really, we do want to support all of the ideals the Observer has always stood for and we do feel so grateful for the few who do take the thankless, underpaid jobs on. There must be hundreds of subscribers out there like me who assume you all know you are appreciated and respected, and never take a minute to say so. I feel that if Texas didn’t have the Observer on its braggin’ side of the talley board, the scales would irretrievably tilt toward the grim and scary viewpoints of Phil Gramm, et al, with the religious right thrown in for good measure. I know I can’t be alone in my discouragement at the mass media mentality and lack of choices out there. Do keep up the good work even when I disagree I always respect the effort involved. The Observer is a beacon of light amid a hell of a lot of darkness. Erin McWhirter Russell Stephenville Totem’s Taboo The editorial “Dollarcrats and Democrats” in the T. O. 12-5-86 is on target. For too many years, both parties have taken the position, “In talking about venture capital as economic development, politicians are only talking about developing the economy for those who invest.” Please fire another broadside. Those of us at the bottom of the totem pole now don’t give a damn about voting. George Cooper Irving Not Perfect I am writing in reference to the letters printed in your November 21 issue by Rohde and Wylie and others of similar persuasion which have been printed from time to time criticizing your paper. Rohde’s letter had a spicy flavor but left out this essential ingredient: respect for differing opinion. Though your journal may very well have said, “Hold your nose and vote Democratic,” it did not say that without first showing both sides of the coin and then choosing one which all editors have a right to do. Though as Rohde accurately pointed out, the coin was “capitalist” \(only and you presented no viable alternative, you at least showed us both sides of that coin, and that’s commendable in itself. That one coin is all we have to work with at this time. Until people can begin to think in terms of the possibility of creating a better system of symbolism in which to affect change, as American socialists like myself who are committed to socialism as radical democracy are trying to do, then we must work within the present system in order to lay the foundations for an alternative framework. In the meantime, I will continue to vote Democratic because, to use the cliche, I feel it is the lesser of the evils, i.e., capitalism with a social conscience. Now Wylie says she’s not going to renew her subscription until y’all get back in touch with reality. I must reiterate, y’all did all you could do with what was given to you at the time. How much more “realistic” can you get than that? No magazine is perfect. No journal offers a complete variety of foods on its menu, but some may be more balanced than others. I subscribe to three major progressive journals out of which I feel I can assimilate a well-balanced world view. The Guardian outlines an international perspective, though the quality of writing sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. Mother Jones retains a highly original, broad-based national appeal in spite of its glossy, commercial outlay. The Texas Observer satisfies my craving for a concise, regional flavor with some exceptionally vibrant writing, stylistically speaking. Though my personal political views are more aptly expressed in the Guardian, I enjoy reading The Texas Observer more, simply because the quality of the writing is better more creative and certainly original. And though The Texas Observer is committed to upholding civil liberties within boundaries which limit its structure solely to a capitalist framework, it is still thoroughly committed to that ideal. This purity of intention, to me, transcends the nature or significance of an ideological bias, when and if one ever appears. \(That’s what I liked so much about Ronnie Dugger’s controversial article on Like readers who often miss the point of my letters, I feel that Wylie and Rohde have missed the point of this paper. Texans like to think about Texas as a place where individuality and true independence reign supreme. If Wylie, Rohde, and others similarly predisposed cannot hear that “freedom bell” expressly ringing loud and clear in its multitudinous array of musical tones throughout these pages, then they are the deaf ones. Judy Kennedy Center Point THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5