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A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as wejind 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 offree 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, Ayelet Hines Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Brett Campbell, Peter Cassidy, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Terry FitzPatrick, Richard L. Fricker, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Jim Hightower, Ellen Hosmer, Molly Ivins, Steven Kellman, Deborah Lutterbeck, Tom McClellan, Biyce 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, 1931-1995 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 bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University MicroAny 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 ta Periodicals: Texas Index and for the years 1954 through 1981,The Texas Observer hides. copyrighted, 1996. is published biweekly except for a three-week interval 477-0746. E-mail: [email protected] World Wide Web DownHorne page: http://www.hypenveb.comAxobserver Second-class postage paid at Austin. Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER. 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. A LIFE SIMPLY LIVED After having just read “Son of Citizen which made me decide to see NixonI stumbled across the note on page 2: “In MemoriamCliff Olofson: 1931-1995.” I wish that I could cry more easily than I canI knew Cliff when I was writing for the Observer during the Hightower years. He will always remain one of my models of the good life. I saw him in my grocery store periodically in recent years, and once I approached him to say hello, but most of the times I saw him, I decided to just let him go and enjoy his privacy. Now I wish I had said more. Now I wish I told him, as I’m sure anyone who has had sufficient dealing with him since he became the soul of the Observer back during the early days of Ronnie Dugger, that I still try to live my life as he did, giving something essential to the future. I wish that I was still an on-going part of the Observer community to have been present with those who actively mourned his passing. I saw him sleeping on the Observer office floor many times during those days in the 1970s. I saw him reviewing type with the dedication of a monk. I saw him loving the permanently passing people who periodically gave their beings to being the Observer. His life made a mockery of those who would make politics simply as opportunity. I remember once having heard that he had gotten great pleasure in putting John Connally on hold when Connally made a phone call to the Observer office. I asked him about it and he absolutely glowed before we both returned to our duties. There is something in my soul that will miss Cliff Olofson being in the worldthere is something in my soul that is Cliff Olofson. I wish I had told him, but he was simply too important to have wasted such little words. Tim Mahoney Austin A LOSS TO ALL PROGRESSIVES It was a shock, and a sad one, to open the latest Observer yesterday and read that Cliff died nearly a month ago. I hadn’t seen him in a few years, but we shared the old building on Seventh Street for several years, and, particularly given the odd hours that both of us kept, that was enough to form a lifetime bond! Although a person of limited means \(as, indeed, anyone connected with the Observer was a generous donor to the TCLU. He was an offbeat, gentle and wonderful per son. I know what a loss Cliff’s passing is to the Observer as an institution, but it’s also a loss to the Texas progressive community and its diaspora, in which I am proud to count myself. I will miss Cliff, and raise my glass here in Brooklyn when his many friends gather to remember him. Gara LaMarche New York DEFINE YOUR TERMS Re “Remember the Alamo” by Rudy ask Mr. Actifia to define exactly what a “Euroamerican-Zionist vision” is? Thank you. Robert Lebow Houston SHELL GAME I’m not sure I’m a flat taxer, but I think it deserves a complete and fair presentation. make twenty-five thousand dollars a year, you’ll pay twenty-nine hundred dollars more.” While I do not have access to the total Forbes plan, I understand that a family of four making up to thirty-six thousand dollars per year would pay NO federal income tax. Some clarification would be appreciated. Jack Cawood McAllen The editors reply: According to independent estimates of both the Treasury Department and Citizens for Tax Justice, the twenty-nine hundred dollar increase is based upon a “revenue-neutral” version of the Forbes planunder which his proposed “exemptions” \(as described thirds in order to meet current revenue requirements. If Forbes’ exemptions are retained, his plan would cost the treasury two hundred billion dollars in lost revenues. allowing for consequent massive cuts in federal programs, low and moderate income families would still pay higher taxes \(due to elimination of the earned-income average for a family of four, thirty-one hundred dollars in government services, per year. Speaking flatlyit hardly seems a bargain. \(See also, “Return of the FlatWRITE: DIALOGUE THE TEXAS OBSERVER 307 W. SEVENTH ST. AUSTIN, TEXAS 78701 DIALOGUE 2 FEBRUARY 9, 1996