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A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal of f r ee voices. SINCE 1954 Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Editor: David Armstrong Managing Editor: Brett Campbell Associate Editor: Scott Henson Copy Editor: Roxanne Bogucka Capitol Correspondent: Jennifer Wong Mexico City Correspondent: Barbara Belejack Editorial Intern: Austin Holiday Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, Terry FitzPatrick, Gregg Franzwa, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Ellen Hosmer, Steven Kellman, Michael King, Mary Lenz, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Greg Moses, Debbie Nathan, Gary Pomerantz, Lawrence Walsh. Editorial Advisory Board: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Presley, Texarkana; Susan Reid, Austin; Geoffrey Rips, Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Contributing Photographers: Bill Albrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Carlos Lowry, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau, Gail Woods, Matt Wuerker. Managing Publisher: Cliff Olofson Subscription Manager: Stefan Wanstrom Special Projects Director: Bill Simmons Development Consultant: Frances Barton SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year $27, two years $48, three years $69. Full-time students $15 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Any current subscriber who finds the price a burden should say so at renewal time: no one need forgo reading the Observer simply because of the cost. published biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues in Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin. Texas 78701. Heavy Baggage Just resubscribed. Some recent issues make me wonder why. We poor Democrats. With T.O.’s editorials and international positions well, it’s often baggage that’s just too much to carry, certainly if you’re trying to get at least 50 percent of the vote on election day. Ann is doing a great job as are many other of “Yarborough’s Kidz” in Texas gov ‘t under this tough, competitive and relatively new two-party system. That change helped the odds; the T.O’s endorsements, etc., I fear, often do not. Too bad. Barbara Belejack’s article on Mexican views of the Gulf War was interesting \(“Third World War,” people pay attention to that stuff here it’s an eggheads’ game in Mexico City. Too bad Barbara didn’t write about Mexico’s real concerns and problems those that Carlos Salinas de Gortari faces and works on 16 hours a day, the best President this country has had in 50 years. But then M.C. is very provincial, like New York in the U.S. Chuck Corwell Guadalajara, Mexico Target: Texas Since you asked, I’ve decided to drop you a little line with my subscription renewal. Since it’s important to establish credentials, let me say that I have subscribed to your periodical for at least 15 years and I have always responded with a check during those desperate times of budget despair. I have always thought that it is important you survive. But Guys and Gals, I subscribed to the “Texas” observer, not the Central America observer, not the Mexican observer, not the women’s rights observer, not the gay/lesbian rights observer, nor any of the other constituent groups your recent past editorial policies have sought to pander to. I read the Observer for current political reporting of Texas politics told from a perspective which I happen to appreciate. I love the investigative reporting \(which Mother Jones was so successful at until they too sought to pander to outspoken constituent groups with their own ported in the past. I guess I just miss Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins too much. RD is great but we don’t hear enough of him, though I sometimes wonder where the hell he is coming from. The current political scene in Texas should provide a “target-rich” environment for some good ole muckraking which we all love and enjoy. Now dig something up and tell us about it! Don Silver Austin Keep It Up The Texas Observer for April 19, 1991 has a magnificent article on South Padre Island with the efforts of American General Insurance Company, a corporate giant, to mow it down, and use it for their own benefit. Keep up your good work. Your article on the effort to turn South Padre Island over to American General Insurance Company to satisfy its own greed, forgetting public needs, and for their private egemony, is enlightening and beneficial, and is the type that in my opinion elevates the demand for The Texas Observer. Recently, the Houston Chronicle had a feature article on the Big Thicket. There is a big controversy in Congress now over how to exchange lands, and to receive from the oil companies some badly needed land along the boundaries of Village Creek. The desire of the lumber companies is to exchange that, acre for acre. But, some environmentalist called me about the mud flats and swampy areas, which the lumber companies offer to swap acre for acre for some of the most valuable forestry lands in the National Forests of East Texas. The big swap is supported by most of the Big Thicket organizations there in the Thicket, but is bitterly opposed by some progressives and liberals there who think it is giving away too much of the most valuable national forests of Texas to the forestry interests for the land they are giving up, what some environmentalists call the “swamp bogs and mud flats.” There should be some better equalization. If you had the same reporter who wrote this article on Padre Island, to write one about the Big Thicket, or another person of equal competence be assigned to write it, this would also be an invaluable article for The Texas Observer, in efforts to preserve what we have of the Big Thicket National Preserve and to add to it. Sen.Ralph W. Yarborough Austin WRITE DIALOGUE Send your letters to: The Texas Observer 307 W. 7th St. Austin, TX 78701 DIALOGUE 2 MAY 17, 1991