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VOLUME 88, NO. 18 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 Circulation Manager: Amanda Toering Editorial Interns: Katy Adams, Carrie Evans, Karen Olsson Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Brett Campbell, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Lars Eighner, James Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, James Harrington, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Paul Jennings, 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 Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals: Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 198 I,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: htlp://www.hypenveb.com/txobserver Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. DEPARTMENTS Dialogue 2 Editorial 4 We Have Met the Enemy Molly Ivins 12 The Lesser of Two Weevils James Galbraith 13 A Social Security Check Readers Survey 15 Las Americas 17 Food Fight in MexicO, by John Ross Political Intelligence 32 Cover photo by Kirk Tuck DIALOGUE DEMOCRATIC DISSENT Like Steve Salinger I’m an immense admirer of both Ralph Nader and Ronnie Salinger and Cogburn I’m afraid that at this crossroads in our destiny we can’t afford “political purity.” It may bealthough it’s highly unlikelythat an authentic political Third Party is possible. \(And what did LaFollette achieve in the end? And wasn’t his the only help Dole/Kemp/Gingrich achieve their nefarious purposesespecially in California. As a radical, as a Christian Anarchist, I don’t believe in any form of government. But since we seem stuck with ours I have to vote for the lesser evil. The liberals’ yearning for political purity in this less than perfect world strikes me as insanely utopian. Dugger suggests that losing an election might teach the Democrats to reach back toward their FDR base. Alas, it seems to work the other way. The only effective way I can see to BOOKS AND THE CULTURE Intricate Duplicities 21 Poetry by Consuelo de Aerenlund The Book on Clinton 22 Book Review by Bob Sherrill Teach Your Children 25 Book Review by Marvin Hoffman Radio Daze 28 CD Review by Michael Erard AFTERWORD Baseball, Tacos, Empanadas 30 and Chevrolets By John Dugan and Bill Adler reform the Party is to go to work at the grass roots. I shall hold my nose and vote for Clinton. But I’ll WORK for my progressive Senator, Paul Wellstone \(the Right’s fable Congressman, Bruce Vento. But especially for my Hispanic State Legislator, Carlos Mariani, as I once did for Vento when he was first running for the Minnesota house. \(Perhaps it’s only at this more accessible level that we can begin to You’d be surprised at how much aching feet can help assuage a troubled conscience. Donald Demarest St. Paul, MN Why would Ronnie Dugger or anyone else endure moral struggle over whether to vote for the Democrat or a more acceptable third-party candidate such as Ralph Nader? Dugger apparently has, up until this election, attempted to vote strategically rather than to vote his conscience. He, like others, is afraid that a vote for a THIS ISSUE FEATURES Where’s the Party? by Michael King 5 The Democratic National Convention in Chicago was an artfully orchestrated lovefest, full of unity and confidence. But has the Democratic commitment to equal justice and opportunity been thrown off “the Bridge to the 21st Century”? A Passion for Water by Karen Olsson 10 Lavaca Bay Shrimper Diane Wilson has a lifelong love for the gulf waters. It’s a love that has required defending with her own life. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER SEPTEMBER 13, 1996