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VOLUME 90, NO. 9 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 Editors: Louis Dubose, Michael King Assistant Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Associate Editor: Karen Olsson Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Production: Harrison Saunders Interim Business Manager: Jeff Mandell Circulation Assistant: Nate Blakeslee Development Director: Nancy Williams Web Editor: Amanda Toering Technical Consultant: Brian Ferguson Editorial Intern: Juliana Barbassa Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Nate Blakeslee, Robert Bryce, Brett Campbell, Lars Eighner, James K. Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, James Harrington, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Paul Jennings, Steven G. Kellman, Jeff Mandell, Bryce Milligan, Char Miller, Debbie Nathan, John Ross, Brad Tyer. Staff Photographer: Alan Pogue Contributing Photographers: Vic Hinterlang, Patricia Moore. 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.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Jackson, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Fort Worth; James Presley, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. In Memoriam: Cliff Olofson, 1931-1995 copyrighted, 1998, is published biweekly except for a three-week interval World Wide Web DownHome page: . Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas. SUBS: One year $32, two years $59, three years $84. Full-time students $18 per year: add $13/year for foreign subs. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb 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 Texas Observer Index. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS Dialogue 2 Dateline Texas Grave Developments 4 by Paul Jennings Molly Ivins 14 Elegy for My Father Political Intelligence 16 Jim Hightower 18 Pentagon Screwballs, Insurance Scams & Indonesian Bailouts The Back Page 32 David Dewhurst Revealed DIALOGUE MAURO ON SIERRA BLANCA The people of Texas should be very proud of Garry Mauro’s courageous opposition to the state’s proposal to build a nuclear waste dump in Sierra Blanca \(Political InIt should surprise no one that Governor Bush has been a strong advocate to bring nuclear waste from Vermont and Maine into Texas. He has, as usual, sided with the big-money special interests, against the best interests of the average Texan who lacks the resources to fight these milliondollar companies that transport wastes. Mauro has said, if elected, he would make certain “the state will not spend one more penny on Sierra Blanca” \(the proposed also added that he felt that he understood how Sierra Blanca was selected. “I think they said let’s find a place that’s poor and has no political clout, and let’s put it there…. Some people call this environmental racism,” he added, “and they’re probably right.” Texas citizens should applaud Mauro for fighting to protect the underprivileged and our environment. Let’s remember this when we go Vote! Remember that Mauro will BOOKS AND THE CULTURE From. Egypt to La Paz 19 Poetry by Jane Bach & Jackie Bartley Photo Play 20 Book review by Louis Dubose The Birth of Choice 24 Book Review by Ann Moore Hanging Out 26 Director Richard Linklater by Steven G. Kellman Afterword 29 Graham Crackers: Don Graham Interviews Don Graham Cover art by Kevin Kreneck stand up for the minority and isn’t afraid to fight for a safe environment for all of us. Jane Blumberg Austin MYSTERY MEAT I am writing in response to Jim Hightower’s bit, “Dinner by DuPont” \(March about the safety and price of geneticallyengineered veggies and grains, writes: “Or, they say, they can mimic nature, turning soybeans into fake sirloin, chicken nuggets and crab.” He next poses a question to this statement: “…But why?” He goes on to imply that since these foods will not be cheaper than the ones in the markets now, why buy them and support the generic-veggie industry? Well, perhaps those of us who wish to see fewer animals tortured and slaughtered for the sake of their carcasses “tasting good” see a brighter side to the idea of giving people a murderless alternative to bloody bodies on the dinner plate. Now, please make no mistake, I find Jim to be quite bright and empathetic, and I almost always greatly enjoy his articles in the Observer. And, I’d definitely put up a stink if he decided to quit the editorials; FEATURE Who’s Poisoning Texas? Part Two: Grandfathered Secrets by Michael King 8 For years, the state’s environmental agency claimed it couldn’t account for grandfathered pollution. So one determined citizen did it for them. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 8, 1998