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Good News . The Libertarian Party’s nomination of Ron Paul of Lake Jackson for President in 1988 is very good news. Paul, an obstetrician, is an intense, intellectual, and highly original person. He was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1976 and served until 1984, in which year he lost in the Republican primary for U.S. Senator. Last February he joined the Libertarians, with whom he always had deep affinity. In Seattle on September 5 they nominated him for the White House. Speaking personally, I believe the Libertarians to be a valid movement in the realm of civil liberties and totally invalid on economics. They go as far as the ACLU, sometimes further, on the rights of the people against the ceaseless intrusions of the state. They then extend this same way of thinking to economic activity, proposing seriously that the state should leave corporations entirely alone. This is a prescription for the governance of the people by IBM, General Motors, Exxon, and the like. After a decade or two of Libertarianism the Business Council would have become, in effect, the American Politburo. I called on Congressman Paul once in his Washington office and we fell into one of the most stimulating political discourses in which I have ever become engaged. I made, presumably in my questions, the point I have just stated. For his part Paul was as eloquent as any peace-movement intellectual on the scandal of wasteful military spending. He seemed even then to be toying in his mind with the possibilities for an alliance between anti-nuclear progressives and anti-military libertarians. The Libertarians are not run-of-the-mill Gramm stingier; their passion for personal liberties is so strong, they have turned on the military mind and the military way of life as the ultimate expressions of statism, commandeering and Making use of people as means. Paul can’t win, and if he adheres to the extension of libertarianism to the corporations, he shouldn’t if he could. But his entry into the race is an event of real interest. The level of political discourse in the presidential election will be much better for it. Musings on a Pratfall We all had a good horse-laugh at John Connally’s expense when he spent $12 million of other people’s money in his campaign for president to win one, just one delegate to the Republican National Convention back then whenever it was that he ran. I will always remember the appearance of the $12-million-dollar-delegate on a morning talk show. She was a sweet little old lady who was just so happy and proud to be John Connally’s champion! The columnist on the San Antonio Express News, Roddy Stinson, has had a horse-laugh now that Connally is in the hole for $80 million. A Del Rio painting contractor, Frank Perez, wrote Stinson a letter saying: “If John Connally needs a job, he is welcome to come work for me in Del Rio. I’ve been a painting contractor for over 40 years. If he is REALLY as broke as he says he is and is determined to get back on his feet, then let him come to Del Rio. I’ll find him a job.” Stinson telephoned Perez and asked him what kind of work he was talking about for the former governor. “He’d be doing some scraping at first, and then I’d show him how to paint,” Perez replied. “It’s quality work. Nobody in Del Rio does the kind of work I do. I paint banks, churches, rich people’s houses . . . nothing but the best.” And the pay? Stinson asked. “Oh, maybe $6 an hour. But it jumps to $8 pretty quick. Do it long enough and you make good money. It has provided me with a good life. My bills are paid, and I don’t owe anybody.” Stinson closed his column with an open note to the prospective employee: “Gov. Connally, if you need Frank Perez’s phone number, please contact this column. Don’t worry about a job-finder’s fee. We’ll chalk this one up to community service.” The idea of John Connally going to work painting a rich man’s house is funny. Furthermore, the notion has some philosophical interest. Working people have plenty of time to think when they’re doing tasks that have become second nature to them, and they would know very well what to think about Frank Perez putting John Conally to work at $6 an hour. I think Connally’s bankruptcy is sadder than it is funny. People enjoy the pratfalls of the high-and-mighty, and God knows Connally was high and mighty in his time, but both he and his creditors are entitled to some sympathy, too. Business ventures are failing all over the state, and failing with them are working people who need jobs. The Connally-Barnes ventures would have put plenty of people to work. Now those workers will have to contemplate the idea of Connally painting one of Frank Perez’s houses as they sit staring into their own back yards. R.D. Appreciation Thank you for devoting a whole issue to women’s voices \(TO, publication not only gives a forum but affects the pitch in which those voices register with the audience. Shrill harpies no more, we have become Cassandras looking to Texas’ future as our half of the state’s brainpower finally is tapped. I particularly enjoyed Rita Shelton Deverell’s essay, “Black Antigone,” for its observant, sensitive rendering of her experience growing up “Negro in Houston.” As a member of her generation but not of her race or her home 8 OCTOBER 23, 1987 town, I understood the kind of isolation she describes. It is very sad to note that “the Dark Ages [as she terms racism] are not a particular time we live through, but times we live through periodically” and that even in the arts its ugly head rears itself to hiss. But Ms. Deverell has clearly processed her experience as a black woman, and it can do nothing but enrich those acting parts which she does get the opportunity to play. Thanks for giving her the space to reach this important audience. Dee Seligman Austin \(171TAIIIt IPN A Walk on the Beach, A Breath of Fresh Air, A Discovery of A Shell, And Yourself . . . P.O. Box 8 Port Aransas, TX 78373 DIALOGUE