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son’s disease. In the primary, some vile Repub ran footage of Haywood trembling from his disease, and there was a sympathy backlash that got him the nomination and then the election. And worst of all, Carl Parker of Port Arthur got rained out in the anti-Jack Brooks follies in the Golden Triangle. Parker, a master legislator, was the trial lawyers’ main guy in the Senate, so now they’re all suicidal. He will be replaced by Michael Galloway, who is “in investments,” What we have here is proof that the yuppies in the Woodlands now outnumber the union members in the Triangle in that district. It occasionally falls my lot to write political obituaries for brothers fallen in the political wars, and I do so for Carl Parker with special regret. Twenty-five years ago, when he was in the House, he was known as Captain Tuna, after Charlie the Tuna, an advertising cartoon character who was always trying too hard. Parker would be a wonderful study for political science students, especially those who might be suffering from feminist correctness. Parker loved to play the role of professional sexist; he could be as crude, raunchy and obnoxious as anyone I’ve ever known, but once you learned that he liked smart women who answered back, he was easy to deal with. Underneath all the bluff and bluster, Parker finally had a heart as gold as his brain. Too much testosterone, though. One advantage of longevity for a journalist is that one can remember someone like Parker at different periods. Early on, he wore the last of the “East Texas afros,” a flat-top haircut, and raised hell in the House. One of his finest hours was the last night of the Constitutional Convention in 1976: The entire constitution, six months of effort, hung in the balance, and the only way to pass it was with a right-to-work provision written into the document, and Parker was a union man, son of a union man. He voted for Texas that night, but his old labor friends would never see it as anything but selling out. I’ve seen a lot of politicians under a lot of pressure, but never one under more than Parker was that night. He won’t admit this now, but he cried that night. Just last session, when Parker had started looking old for the first time, heavy and slow, one leg gone bad on him, he still rose on the floor to remind his colleagues that they were not there to advance the interests of the insurance industry or of the timber industry or of the oil industrythey were there to represent the people of Texas. Understand that Parker’s moments of nobility were rare; mostly he was just a fighter, a battler, who wound up in fistfights or near fistfights about once a session. One of his best weapons is that he’s a moon-faced fellow who looks like he just rode into town on a load of watermelons. Rude, crude, sometimes deliberately ungrammatical, he led many a fool to think he was just a loud, rough guy from the Triangle. I think he’s the smartest man I ever new in the Lege. And he had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. One of my Make Environmentalism Mean Business As Kermit the Frog tells us on Sesame Street: “It’s not easy being green.” In fact, as documented in a new book called The War Against the Greens, if you’re an environmental activist, being “green” can be downright dangerous. Some cases make national news, like that of Judi Bari, a prominent crusader against the cutting of California’s ancient redwoods by timber companies. In 1990, a bomb planted under the front seat of her car exploded, maiming her for life. But most cases target local activists and get only minor media attention, if any at alllike the toxins protester in Cincinnati whose home was set on fire and who later was knifed; or the Florida activist who opposed water pollution by Procter & Gamble and was raped and tortured by three men; or three opponents of logging in Maine and New Hampshire who had their houses torched. While the big polluters and anti-green organizations that front for them disavow any responsibility for this rising wave of violence, they are the ones out there preaching hate every day, asserting that environmentalists are The Enemy who want to take away your jobs and destroy the economy all for a bunch of owls and snails. These polluters might not commit the acts of violence, but they’ve got a stain on them so deep they can’t get it off with Ajax and a wire brush. Ironically, while they poison the climate with fear and hate, more and more evidence shows that good environmental policies in fact create jobs. Indeed, a new analysis by the Institute for Southern Studies finds that the states with the highest environmental standards also are the best off economically. So all of you, bean sprout eaters and snuff dippers alike, don’t let the polluters divide Jim Hightower, a former Observer editor and Texas agriculture commissioner, does daily radio commentary and a weekend call-in talk show on the ABC Radio Network favorite Parkerisms is “If you took all the fools out of the Lege, it wouldn’t be a representative body anymore.” Good on you, Carl, and thanks to you for all the ways you have made life in Texas both fairer and safer for Texans. uslet’s work together to make environmentalism mean business for all of us. Trade and Children Diplomacy, Mark Twain observed, consists of “getting the formalities right … and neverminding the moralities.” Well, as President Clinton heads off to Indonesia to begin negotiating the formalities of more trade with Asian nations, take a look at the moralities of the trade we already have there. Millions of Asian children are forced to forego schooling and work in despicable and dangerous conditions, toiling for hours to make consumer goods that major U.S. brand-namesfrom Nike to WalMartthen import here and sell to you. It’s called “free trade”but you pay a pretty penny for the goods, and the children pay with unimaginable poverty, degradation and illiteracy. In a recent report, the U.S. Labor Department found more than 2 million children making furniture for export in Indonesia, nearly 6 million making clothing for us in Bangladesh, 2 million making carpets in Pakistan and more than 17 million making shoes, carpets and other items in India’s export factories. The exploitation includes little tykes as young as 5, squatting for hours on end in dark pits, four to a loom, knotting carpets that end up in America’s finest homes; Bangladesh children, 10 to 14 years old, making cotton clothing for us while literally locked in factories for 10 hours a day; and goods coming from the hands of Asian children who’ve been sold into debt bondage by their impoverished parents. Meanwhile, three-fourths of us consumers say we’d refuse to buy a product if we knew it was made by children. So, before we let the president, the Congress and the corporations put your and my country’s name on a new “free trade” deal with Asian nations, shouldn’t we first make them deal with the moralities? Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has a bill to ban the importation of any product made by children younger than 15. To get a copy, call 202-244-3254. JIM HIGHTOWER 12 NOVEMBER 25, 1994