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VOLUME 89, NO. 4 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 Editorial Intern: Mark Murray 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: 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 copyrighted. 1997, is published biweekly except for a three-week interval World Wide Web DownHome page: 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. Zeeb Road, Anil Arbor, Ml 48106. INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals: Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 198I,The Texas Observer Index. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. the “ten most regressive” statement but was not provided by Citizens for Tax Justice? Jay Doubleday Kerrville Michael King replies: Mr. Doubleday is right; due to a layout error, the graph incorrectly repeated the last income interval for the “Top 1 percent.” The correct figure for the “Top 1 percent” should be “$395,000 and above.” \(See corrected graph, page 3. The average annual family income in this range, paying just 4.4 percent in state and local taxes, is ERRATA In the February 14 issue, the name of poet Tim Seibles was misspelled in the Table of Contents, and Frank Coronado was incorrectly identified in the photo on page 14. We apologize for the errors. FEATURES Kicking the Habitat by Michael King “Free Market Environmentalism” is the shell game at an Austin country club with a dubious environmental record. A report from the scene of the crime. The Nazi Braceros by Linda Hunt Revelations by the Department of Energy highlighted secret radiation experiments on human subjects. Ohdid we forget to mention the Nazi doctors? Gasoline Morality? by Jeffrey St. Clair Got those on the road again, running down the highway, don’t know where to buy gas again, lowdown blues? Good luck… DEPARTMENTS BOOKS AND THE CULTURE Dialogue 2 Melodious Thoughts Editorials Poetry by Samuel Hazo Uterine Gothic 4 Badtime Reading Legislative Surrender 5 Book Review by Steven G. Kellman Dateline, Texas Dollars and Apologies 6 Bad Bills 7 Legislation To Look Forward To Political Intelligence 16 Molly Ivins 24 Howdy Dow-dy Jim Hightower 25 Doublespeak and Corporate Lapdogs James Galbraith 26 Low-balling the Economic Forecast CRUNCHED NUMBERS I appreciate the information in “Thus appears to me that the chart is incorrect in using the same salary interval for the “Next 4 percent” and the “Top 1 percent.” I also wonder whether the text is correct in saying the “richest fifth pay 5.5 percent.” It seems unlikely that the top quintile would be paying 5.5 percent if the 96th through 99th percentiles pay an average of 5.5 percent, the next 15 percent pay 6.6 percent and the top 1 percent pay 4.4 per . cent. In any case, I would like to have clarification on the intervals for the last two bars in the chart. One other question: you credit the Citizens for Tax Justice for the statement that Texas has one of the “ten most regressive” tax systems in the country and refer to the graph, which credits another organization as the source for the graph. Am I correct that the information in the graph supports THIS ISSUE 8 14 21 27 28 AFTERWORD Byting the Virgin 30 By Barbara Belejack The Back Page 32 CheetoMan for Hire Cover photo by Harrison Saunders DIALOGUE 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER FEBRUARY 28, 1997 .,…410010.00P1IMMINV