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THE TEXAS THE rver VOLUME 88, No. 7 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 Managing Publisher: Rebecca Melancon Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Michael King Production: Harrison Saunders Copy Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Subscription and Office Manager: Amanda Toeiing Editorial Intern: Ayelet Hines Contributing W \\riters: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Brett Campbell, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Lars Eighner, James Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, James Harrington, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Steven Kellman, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan, Brad Tyer, James McCarty Yeager. Contributing Photographers: Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Michael Alexander, Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Ben Sargent, Gail Woods. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Arlington, Mass.; Bob Eckhardt, Austin; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; 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; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Development Consultant: Frances Barton Business Manager: Cliff Olofson, 1931-1995 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 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. copyrighted, 1996. is published biweekly except for a three-week interval 477-0746. E-mail: [email protected] World Wide Web DownHome page: http /www.hyperweb.comitxobserver Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. REMEMBERING RALPH Many thanks for your tribute to Ralph considered it a privilege to be a Yarborough Democrat. One of my favorite stories about Yarborough is about the time John Connally became a Republican during the Watergate scandal. A reporter asked Yarborough what he thought about it and he replied, “It’s the only time in history that a rat swam to a sinking ship.” Keep up the good work! Richard Deats Nyack, NY POLITICAL MYSTI Fl E RS I ran across a news story in the San Antonio Express/News February 16: “Bonilla letter offered services of San Antonio psychic to FFA officials.” The article was referring to Republican U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla. At first I was amused but afterward, a bit frightened. Not only did Bonilla write a letter supporting “Mr. Penport were also sent at various times by Republican State Senator Jeff Wentworth, and Republican U.S. Senators Ben Hutchison’s letter was sent to an official at Randolph AFB, supporting the use of Pendragon’s services. Her letter went on to say “Mr. Pendragon’s special ability and eager willingness to help with unsolved cases has proven to be a great benefit to federal agencies and society.” These instances of Republican belief in mystic powers helps me to better understand then-presidential candidate George Bush’s 1980 comment branding Ronald Reagan’s economic policies as “voodoo economics.” That was before Bush knew that Nancy Reagan had hired a “mystic” [Ed.: actually, an astrologer] to chart the best days for Reagan to make important decisions. Maybe, instead of Republicans calling themselves “The Grand Old Party,” they should. refer to themselves as “The Psychic Hotline Party.” Is this’ absurd, or what? Al Carhart Kerrville PRODIGALS WELCOME? What miracle has happened to the Texas Democratic Party: a chairman not afraid of the “p” word: “progressive”?!? \(Bill White, resigned from the Democratic party in 1994, retaining my label of “liberal.” If Bill White can survive the state convention and not abandon “progiessive” as a dirty word, he write me for a fifty-dollar contribution. Otto B Mullinax Dallas WEB SOLIDARITY I just recently spoke to a friend of mine about Freeport-McMoRan and its activities in Indonesia. I found your WWW page and was glad to see that there has been coverage on the human rights abuses that Freeport is tied in with… Keep up the good work! Eric Dee [email protected] You have done a wonderful job with your home page. Aaron K. Rettig [email protected] Editor’s Note: Web-surfers can check out the Observer’s DownHome Page at: http://www.hyperweb.com/txobserver. HEARTS AND POEMS Observer long admired. It was especially touching to be in an issue with tributes to Ralph Yarborough, a Texas politician I’ve always admired. I remember being downcast when he lost his seat. Your hearts are definitely in the right place. Bert Almon Alberta, Canada EVEN MORE KUDOS I was delighted to open my issue of Observer view of my book, The Movement and the Sixties! Not only was the review a meticulous statement of my thesis and an engaging read, but it was superbly nuanced…. My book has been reviewed in numerous papers and journals, but has never received such a thoroughand thoughtfulreview. For that I simply say: Thanks! Terry Anderson College Station CORRECTION In “Sued and Censored” \(TO Ann Richards actually said she “did not recall” and not that she “did not receive” a $10,000 political contribution from Memo Joint Venture. DIALOGUE 2 APRIL 5, 1996