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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 free voices. SINCE 1954 Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Editor: Lou Dubose Associate Editor: James Cullen Layout and Design: Diana Paciocco Copy Editors: Roxanne Bogucka, Amy Root Mexico City Correspondent: Barbara Belejack Editorial Intern: Paula George Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, Terry FitzPatrick, Gregg Franzwa, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Ellen Hosmer, Steven Kellman, Michael King, Deborah Lutterbeck, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Greg Moses, Debbie Nathan, Gary Pomerantz, Lawrence Walsh. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; 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 Schwartz, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Poetry Consultant: Thomas B. Whitbread Contributing Photographers: Bill Albrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomev,i, 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 Executive Assistant: Gail Woods Special Projects Director: Bill Simmons Development Consultant: Frances Barton SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year 527. two years 548. three years S69. Full-time students 515 per year. Back issues 53 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. tents copyrighted, 1992, is published biweekly except for a three-week inter477-0746. Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to TILE TEXAS OBSERVER. 307 West 7th Street. Austin. Texas 78701. A Member of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Watchdog to Lapdog I could not disagree more with Ronnie Dugger’s outrageous proposal that journalists be subject to the Fourth Amendment of the mend [the Observer Editors] for their courageous stand in opposition. The folly of Mr. Dugger’s proposal is that it de facto urges that journalists become an arm of the state. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Therefore, to be brought under the purview of the amendment, journalists would have to be made government agents. I can’t think of a better way of convert-ing the media from a watchdog to a lapdog. \(Still, my mind makes up excuses for Mr. Dugger; is the Observer certain that his body has not been snatched by Richard Make no mistake, I do not condone the pack behavior that led the media to give the Gennifer Flowers story far broader coverage than it deserved. However, I also recognize that some voters consider news of possible marital infidelity to be vital. The bottom line is that, in a free society, we risk poor news judgement because we would rather allow information to flow freely than allow the government to decide what constitutes acceptable news. Kathryn M. Kase, San Antonio Low-Balling Drug Costs Brett Campbell’s article in the March 27 balanced. I especially appreciated his treatsummit participants. His figures on the cost of the Drug War were low, however \($2 admit the direct cost of the drug Prohibition will come to more than $12.7 billion next year. \(Of course, thiS does not count the extra expense to addicts caused by government drug “price supports,” the expense to the rest of us from drug-related property crime, or the cost to those killed in exciting The truth is that government-subsidized tobacco kills 350,000 people per year. Alcohol kills 130,000, according to government estimates. Marijuana, in comparison, seems to be a quite minor health risk. To spend billions of dollars to fight marijuana is the height of hypocrisy. And on a more basic level, where in the U.S. Constitution does it give Congress the right to regulate the contents of our bloodstreams? Perhaps in the same article that empowers the [Food and Drug Administration] to keep medical drugs \(even some used in Europe for P.S. The Libertarian Party might have been correctly described as a “fringe group” 20 years ago, but Mr. Campbell is somewhat behind the times. I am told that the Libertarian Party has almost 100 candidates on the November ballot in Texas alone. In a 1991 special congressional election, a California Libertarian polled 38 percent of the vote. Similar results can be expected in some Texas races this year, due to the massive voter discontent with the old parties. Nothing lasts forever, not even incumbent politicians William H. Walker, Libertarian candidate for 5th Congressional District, Balch Springs. Environmental Hypocrisy I was disappointed that the Observer allowed Senator Al Gore to tout his environforget that Gore voted for the U.S.’s war on Iraq, despite the war’s forewarned environmental destruction? Most of the war’s environmental damage was caused by the United States, including at least some of the oil spills, and the lighting of oil wells in Iraq. Evidently Al Gore does not consider raw sewage and contaminated water an environmental problem when it occurs in Iraq as part of the United States’ ongoing search for fossil fuels or to pump up the rating of a faltering Presidency. Overlooking Gore’s support for the war in view of his other positive efforts on behalf of the earth would be like overlooking Paul Tsongas’ support for nuclear energy in his otherwise earth-friendly platform, or Arkansas’ deplorable environmental condition in favor of Bill Clinton’s more recent environmental promises. Gore also supports so-called “passively safe” nuclear reactors if necessary, proof that his support for the war was no fluke, but a trait of someone who will succumb to crisis “solutions” and alternatives like war and nuclear energy when push comes to shove. Michael C. Worsham, Bryan The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Keep them brief, to the point, preferably addressing a topic of interest to Texans, and addressed: Dialogue, Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701. Write Dialogue. 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 DIALOGUE 2 APRIL 24, 1992