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VOLUME 89, NO. 2 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 Special Correspondent: Karen Olsson Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Brett Campbell, Jo Clifton, 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: 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 copyrighted, 0 1997. is published biweekly except for a three-week interval World Wide Web DownHome page: httpd/ Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas. 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. ‘Lech 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 1981,The Tel= Observer Index. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 Wist 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. THIS ISSUE FEATURES The Last Don by Robert Bryce The Lieutenant Governor has a reputation for hard living, tough leadership, and getting what he wants. The more things change, the more things change… DEPARTMENTS BOOKS AND THE CULTURE 8 Dialogue 2 Quiet Memories 21 Dateline Texas The Wage War by Paul Jennings 3 Poetry by Carol Fiedler Kawaguchi and Jeremiah Kelley The TRLA War by Louis Dubose 6 Immigration’s Prisons 22 James Galbraith 5 Book Review by Barbara Belejack Pay, Pensions and Propaganda Oil Field Stories 25 Bad Bills 17 ‘Book Review by Lars Eighner Legislation To Look Forward To Hayden’s Environmental Gospel 27 Molly Ivins 18 Book Review by Amanda Toering A Tribute to Mother; Newt’s Beauts AFTERWORD Jim Hightower 20 Losing Townes Van Zandt 29 Work More, Pledge Allegiance and By Naomi Shihab Nye Collect Waste Cover art by Kevin Kreneck . Political Intelligence 32 DIALOGUE BETTER UNDEAD DSA, which runs an aggressive direct I’m writing to correct a confusing blooper mail campaign, has a national membership in your “Democratic Promise” editorial of about 10,000. Although it functions as an organization within the Democratic “the vacuum created by the demise of the Party by supporting progressive Dario Democratic Socialists of America.” I as cratic candidates, many of its members are sume that you’re actually referring to the active in the New and Labor parties. Its Socialist Party of America, the dear old Debs/Thomas organization that stopped The SPUSA, which has a membership running presidential campaigns after 1956; of perhaps 1,000, continues to function as because the Democratic Socialists of Amer an independent political organization. It runs a presidential campaign every four A very simplified explanation is that the years, under increasingly difficult circum Socialist Party of America continued to stances. Many of its members are likewise exist until 1972, when its various factions involved in the new political efforts that split apart. The dominant neoliberal fac tion changed the party’s name to the So 691-0776. cial Democrats USA \(now perhaps de So you see, just when you thought that democratic socialism was dead and buried the Democratic Party. Michael Harring in the U.S., you discover that we’re actu ton’s faction of progressives left to form what in 1982 became DSA. And finally, fast as we can. the more radical Old Guard formed the So Earl Divoky Austin be the continuation of the original party. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JANUARY 31, 1997