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VOLUME 89, NO. 5 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 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, Patricia Moore, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Michael Alexander, Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Sam Hurt, 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: 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, Ann Arbor, Ml 481’06. 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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. DEPARTMENTS Dialogue Editorials The Sheet Hits the Fan 3 School Daze at SOA 4 Bad Bills 5 Legislation To Look Forward To Dateline Texas 6 The Real Money in Boll Weevils Molly Ivins Meeting the Enemy Themselves Jim Hightower Uncle Sam’s Scams Political Intelligence Las Americas Love in the Age of Narcodemocracy DIALOGUE FED UP I have been a longtime fan of the Observer because you have fought for environmental protection and equal justice for all citizens. At the same time I respectfully believe the editorial staff has missed the boat in your mission to be “The Tyrants’ Foe and the People’s Friend,” because the issue of the Federal Reserve has not been fully discussed in your pages. The Federal Reserve Board is neither Federal nor are there any reserves, it is a quasi-priate, for-profit corporation that has never been audited. Since the creation of the “Fed” there has been an orchestrated and effective program to transfer wealth. The “Fed,” being the most powerful bureaucracy in the world, is bankrupting our nation through fractional reserve banking pOlicies and thus destroying personal and Constitutional liberties, These are strong words and accusations, but objective research and a willingness to let go of traditional paradigms will bear out that our nation is in deep economic, political and. Southern Satire 22 A Tribute by Brad Tyer Sermon on the Mount 26 Film Review by Dick Reavis The Play’s the Cosa 28 A Manifesto by Rodolfo Valier Alvarado social trouble due to the manipulations of a powerful elite who control the Fed. George Humphrey Austin …DONNE THAT Oops! Molly Ivins wrote in her January 31 column that her mother told her, “…\(in island….” Her mother concluded that in such splendid isolation, one’s closest human relationship is to one’s child \(which may or may not be true, mistaken what John Donne said. If Molly \(or your found the correct John Donne line was: “No man is an island….” Big difference. Margaret Ivins’ error probably did not influence Molly, fortunately, because her essays are tributes to the interconnectedness of people, which was precisely Donne’s point. Joanna Kirkpatrick Boise, Idaho THIS ISSUE AN OBSERVER INVESTIGATIVE REPORT Virtual Welfare by Michael King 8 While they wait on the Clinton administration,. Texas’ welfare privatizers promise cost-cutting and better service. But it looks more like layoffs and profiteering. BOOKS. AND THE CULTURE 2 Dreams & Invisible Souls 20 Poetry by Rodney Gomez and Rosemary Catacalos 14 AFTERWORD Jailbreak 30 15 By Philip Brasfield The Back Page 32 16 Jane Nelson: She Means Business 18 Cover art by Sam Hurt 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MARCH 14, 1997