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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 Founding Editor: Ronnie Dugger Publisher: Geoff Rips Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Michael King Production: Harrison Saunders Copy Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Editorial Interns: Amanda Toering Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Brett Campbell, Peter Cassidy, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Terry FitzPatrick, Richard L. Flicker, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Jim Hightower, Ellen Hosmer, Molly Ivins, Steven Kellman, Deborah Lutterbeck, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan, Brad Tyer, James McCarty Yeager. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Austin; 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, Jackson, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Fort Worth; James Presley, Texarkana; Schwartz, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Poetry Consultant: Thomas B. Whitbread Contributing Photographers: Bill Albrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Michael Alexander, Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Carlos Lowry, Gary Oliver, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau, Gail Woods, Matt Wuerker. Business Manager: Cliff Olofson Subscription and Office Manager: Douglas Falls Development Consultant: Frances Barton SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year $32 two years $59, three years $84. Full-time students $18 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and hulk 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. INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 1981,The Texas Observer Index. THE TEXAS OBSERVER \(ISSN 0040-4519/USPS entire contents copyrighted, 0 1905 is published biweekly except for a three-week interval 477-0746. E-mail: [email protected] Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7111 Street, Austin, Texas 78701. A TEXAN IN NEW ENGLAND Neither author Winegarten nor reviewer Bogucka of Black Texas Women \(October from East Texas [Ruth J. Simmons, of Grapeland and HoustonEd.] has recently been installed as president of prestigious Smith College. Martin Shockley Denton P.S. I am pleased to learn that there is one prostitute in the Great West that Don Graham does not know. Don Graham replies: I’m glad to see that Martin Shockley’s penchant for hyperbole is still marvelously in evidence, lo these thirty-odd years, since I was an undergraduate in his American Lit class at NTSU. MAILROOM? WHAT MAILROOM? With only light editing, Ray Reece’s review of Rebels Against The Future, Kirkpatrick Sale’s study of the Luddite rebelappeared in The National Review as The Texas Observer. It’s surprising to find a liberal publication preferring hoary tradition to progress, a cozy home and hearth, family values and self-reliance to an idyllic future unfolding from carefully engineered theories and blueprints for change. The “communities with long heritages and strong allegiances” that Reece somewhat wistfully describes, represent the very same lifestyle that conservatives so passionately tout and which most liberals routinely regard as quaint, rife with misogyny, paternalism, atavism, and feudalism. It sounds odd to hear a liberal approving, or even recognizing, the “human happiness” which can be found, in the words of your reviewer, “rooted like an oak, in three or four centuries of stable family and community life.” If only the Observer hadn’t glossed over this eye-opening irony and skipped past the opportunity for any kind of intellectual rapprochement with the right. It instead seized the occasion, predictably, to put an envi ronmentalist spin on what is much more interesting and relevant as a socio/cultural question. This approach is rather facile, and somewhat hypocritical. Complain all you want about high-tech \(T.O. and the be intellectually honest enough to concede this: without the good incomes that are the fruit of a humming technologized economy, how many of us would have the discretionary funds to spend on subscriptions to high-brow magazines, pondering questions about how many cottage-community mailroom employees at a Luddite-sympathizing biweekly journal might be risking unemployment at the hands of their employer’s e-mail system. Jim Hornfischer via e-mail, naturally Austin The Observer replies: As the masthead says, “Writers are responsible for their own work…” IVINS VS. MORALES The October 12 commentary piece “When the whole colonias story comes out, it won’t look like this,” while appropriately titled, is unfortunately filled with the acerbic words and half-truths of Molly Ivins. Ms. Ivins’ reaction to the “60 Minutes” story “The Other America,” which aired October 8, attacks Attorney General Dan Morales. This appears to be a blatant outcry by Ivins to protect Representative Ron Coleman. I applaud “60 Minutes” for their powerful story. The long existing crisis of the colonias in Texas and along the US-Mexico border has failed to receive the attention it deserves. The conditions in which US children are forced to live because of See “Dialogue,” page 17. DIALOGUE Erratum Because of an editing error in the November 17 issue, a line was dropped from Peter LaSalle’s article on Nelson Algren, “The Chicagoan in Texas.” The last two sentences of the article should have read: Because even in these times of faceless multinational corporations and the ongoing, mind-deadening celebration of a Life of Glitz with which the media bombards us, there remains enough of a demand for everything by Algren \(a demand stemming from enough in print but also go as far as struggle to repackage the old material in new ways. In this case, the legend and the writing genuinely do live on. 2 DECEMBER 8, 1995