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Subscriptions to and back issues of The Texas Observer are available. Fill in the gaps in your collection or even out that short leg on your table for only $3 for each back issue you need. We still have plenty of copies of the following issues: To inquire, call 512/477-0746 or write: Texas Observer Back Issues, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701 TO SUBSCRIBE: Name Address City State Zip $32 enclosed for a one-year subscription. Bill me for $32. $3 for each back issue. Please indicate dates: multiply throughout campaigns are symptomatic of Louisiana’s soul. “We party more than most people elsewhere,” says former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu, explaining why, more than Moscow or Washington, Louisiana is the natural habitat of party politics. “Shreveport is a suburb of Dallas,” scoffs one downstater, making the case that politics in northern Louisiana is more sedate, less colorful and intense, than in the South, more like Arkansas, Mississippi, or even Texas. In New Orleans, where blacks have dominated the races, lightskinned candidates have traditionally triumphed, with the help of hundreds of neighborhood organizations. But throughout Louisiana, the state’s motley mix of Cajuns, Creoles, Catholics, Baptists, and others has shaped the body politic into something that is at once wondrous and grotesque. As much as any of the other forty-nine, Louisiana is a welfare state, where candidates have prospered from promising and sometimes delivering hospitals, schools, and bridges. “Louisiana Boys” begins its story in the 1930s, with a Long view of Huey, Earl, and others of the modern ilk, but a longer view, at least as far back as the purchose from Napoleon, might have done more to explain why parish politics thrives in only one state. Because Louisiana boys take care of their constituents, grown men and women invest so much energy in getting them elected. One never ceases to marvel at the choices others make in lovers and leade,rs. “Louisiana Boys” is marvelously entertaining, but the spectacle of electoral choices made on the east side of the Sabine inspires pity that other people are not better than they could be. Riding Hood Safe, Schools Under Siege AUSTIN Little Red Riding Hood is still safe in San Antonio contrary to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. The front-page Journal story was published last month and included a report that the children’s tale was pulled from regular circulation in a San Antonio elementary school library. The Journal’s Red Riding Hood censorship tale seems to have been based on a four-year-old story written by Express-News columnist Roddy Stinson and Little Red apparently has been restored to full library privileges. The book, according to Brewer Elementary School principal Sylvia Reyna, was returned to the book shelves at least three years ago, shortly after the Stinson column ran. But the rest of the Journal’s story sheds some light on a fundamental Christian organization that prefers to work unobserved. Citizens for Excellence in Education, a California-based group, was founded in 1983 by Robert Simonds as a division of the. National Association of Christian Educators. The group’s stated goal is to “return faith to our public schools” and “change the atheist-dominated ideology of secular humanism in our schools’ texts, curriculum, and teachers’ unions.” The CEE also wants to see textbooks cleansed of “all teachings of secular humanism.” According to the Journal article, the CEE1 also supports teaching of creationist theory along with evo lution in public school science courses. Simonds, the CEE national president, refused all requests for telephone interviews and would only respond to questions sent to him by fax. CEE’s Texas state director, David Muralt, said he would answer no questions until he had first seen a copy of the Observer. In 1991 CEE claimed 61 chapters in Texas, 1,500 chapters nationwide and a support base of 40,000 American parents. People for the American Way, a public interest group that works on behalf on constitutional rights, quotes Simonds saying: “There are 15,700 school districts in America. When we can get an active Christian parent’s committee in operation in all districts, we can take complete control of all local school boards. This would allow us to determine all local policy: select good textbooks, good curriculum programs, superintendents, and principals. Our time has come.” tion had been successful in Texas, Simonds replied by fax: “We do not give out names of chapters or locations because of past media and school teachers unions’ abuse to CEE workers.” Subsequent faxes to Simonds’ California office have not been answered. CEE has been successful, according to the Journal story, because many parents pay little attention to schoolboard politics, leaving organizations such as CEE greater opportunity to influence school boards. -Paula George Paula George is an Observer editorial intern. JOURNAL THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19 ,a