Page 8


United States for an American policy paralleling President Gorbachev’s dramatic initiative. After Speaker Wright left the Congress it was business as usual once again, with respect to the military economy, until the present day. Seymour Melman Chair, National Commission for Eco nomic Conversion and Disarmament and Professor Emeritus, Columbia University New York, N.Y. Editor’s note: From high atop our mountain perch here at the Observer, we are pleased to see that so many of Mr. Wright’s friends are interested in protecting him from “extremesuch as ourselves who would “pontifically” look down on him and the other poor souls “in the valley.” For all of their expressed concern, however, they fail to refute the central thesis of the item in question. While there can be no doubt about Mr. Wright’s well-documented efforts to cut military spending overall, nor his admirable peacemaking attempts in Central America, Mr. Wright and his supporters fail to name a single instance in all his years of public service in which he advocated the closure of military programs or facilities within Tarrant County. That is a position he came to only after leaving office. \(Not to pick on Wright alone: this willingness to advocate cutting military or other pork-barrel spending in every district but one’s own is epidemic in Congress, and helps explain the federal budget deficit and the shortage of funds to pay for Mr. Rapoport is correct: Mr. Wight’s record “speaks for itself.” We tried simply to illuminate that record. Childish Rant The editor’s note that accompanied the letter headlined “One for the Books” in the Sept. 2 issue was childish and inexcusable. The letter raised a perfectly valid point. Why wasn’t The Texas Observer covering the Texas Legislature when it was in session? A simple, one-sentence explanation of your vacation ‘policy would have sufficed for the smart-assed rant we got instead. Once you get off that apparently much-needed vacation, you might try apologizing to the letter’s author and giving the rest of your readers their money’s worth. Sean Price New York, N.Y. Editor’s note: Yours is not the only expression of concern we’ve received on this matter. Our intention was not to be “smart assed,” although judging by the response, that is clearly how we came off. We wished only to That the Aug. 23 issue was a “regular” edition of the Observer, was devoted to recent political events in The issue in question was clearly marked “Special Summer Books Issue.” Moreover, an editorial in the previous edition alerted readers that we would be on vacation. \(The summer books/vacation issue is a long-standing Observer weren’t addressing “political” matters is truly mystifying. Every single review in that issue dealt with a major political theme, such as ecology, feminism, the gay and lesbian community, electoral politics, economics, war resistance, Hispanic culture, the Texas-Mexico border, and Texas “culture” in Washington, D.C. The fact that we weren’t covering the Legislature hardly means that we weren’t covering politics. Finally, we believe that this year’s books issue was far superior to any the Observer has published in many years. We tried to ensure that the reviews would be timely and relevant. While we sincerely regret that any of our readers were offended by the admittedly too-snide tone of our previous response, we continue to stand behind its underlying message. No respect After reading your article on the welfare system [“Out of Touch,” TO, 9/6/91] my convictions were reaffirmed. I have concluded that the welfare system \(Unemployment Compendesigned for political beneficiaries, who in turn merely provide jobs for mostly middle-class groups of people. Most of these bureaucrats are misinformed, halfway-educated people who are out of touch with their clients. That’s another thing, they lack professionalism to realize that all clients should be treated with respect. P.S. Thanks for your informative publication. Julia Soto Cabrera Dallas The Trouble with Texans I have just glanced over two copies of the Observer, and am so pleased! It is wonderful to learn that there are some people in Texas who are not dyed-in-the-wool racists and bigots…. I read your Afterword about racism at Lee High School in San Antonio, and was so pleased with it. [“Banner of Ignorance,” TO, 9/6/91] You have indeed hit the nail on the head, by saying that most Lee High students and alumni have no idea why the Confederate flag bothers anyone! Tney truly don’t, and cannot imagine why their flag should be removed. But of course the principal was absolute correct in his actions. The trouble with most Texas is that they hav,e ‘no world experience, or even out-of-state experience, and have never faced any such problems before…. I also read the article about Texas A&M stopping the action it took last year, in effect protecting the rights of all gay students. That article, too, was right on…. Of course, discrimination is not confined to blacks only. Here in Comfort, as it surely is in most of Texas, Latinos are greatly discriminated against. ….Comfort has no blacks living here, and any Latinos are relgated to their own space firmly and surely…. Congratulations on your publication. I live on Social Security only, so cannot subscribe to the Observer, but my neighbor may decide to do so. Keep up the good work! Peggy Snyder Comfort Turn on the Points of Light Your article on welfare is enlightening. On the “Paths to Reform,” client training was mentioned. I think volunteerism should be expanded in a cooperative way with the business world to offer job taining. For example, our residents the project of Women In Action, Inc., worked as vplunteers this summer to gain job experience. They are young women 16 to 18 years old who will need employment when they leave the house. With babies as an added responsiblity they will sorely need employment. They are already receiving AFDC, commodities, and medical care. The GED is not really a long-term solution to their problems. If there were something organized similar to Big Sisters or the Job Corps’ Supportive Services, these would be at least a half-step toward independent living. There needs to be a wholistic approach, I think. The young women often come from broken family situations, and have been ,rejected. The bits and pieces that were lost from their lives need to be restored by the special care and resources that could be available in a kind of remedial system. Mildred Bohn Houston Wise Decision Having moved from Texas, I was undecided about renewal, but your Sept. 6 “Inhuman Services” issue convinced us to keep on. Zy Weinberg Sacramento, Calif. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5 T.1.11,4W