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VOLUME 90, NO. 11 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, 0 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 FEATURES DEPARTMENTS Dialogue Editorial Water, Water Anywhere? by Louis Dubose Dateline Texas Cemetery Ghosts by Paul Jennings PR Woman on the Phone by Karen Olsson Jim Hightower Levi Stress, Editerrorism & Recessed School Superintendents Molly Ivins Judge Justice of Texas Political Intelligence Las Americas Titanic Disaster in Mexico by John Ross 8 14 20 BOOKS AND THE CULTURE 3 My Favorite Poem Project Poet Power 4 With the Poetry Lobby in D.C. by Naomi Shihab Nye Environmental History 5 Book Review by Mark Stoll 6 Labor History of Film Book Review by Steven G. Kellman Afterword Making Cents Out of the Waco Tragedy by Char Miller 12 The Back Page Flogging the Franchise at A&M 16 Cover photo by Grant Fehr/the Texas Film Commission 18 A Long Journey by Michael King The state of Texas has returned to its tradition of execution, enacting new laws to make it easier and quicker. The Journey of Hope arrives to work for another way. “Hunker Down and Go” by Robert Bryce While Indonesia burns, Jim Bob Moffett and the Freeport-McMoRan Corporation continue to take the money and run but not without voices of protest. Schmaltz Across Texas by Don Graham What is it about our state that brings out the worst in scriptwriters and movie producers? Our attempt to answer that question took us to three new “Texas” films. 7 24 25 27 29 30 32 OUR WRITERS RECOGNIZED Debbie Nathan’s “Double Standards,” published in the Observer June 6, 1997, has won the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ 1997 award for Social Reporting \(publiLorena Mendoza, a young accountant robbed and murdered while transporting the weekly payroll for her employers, a Ciudad Juarez maquiladora owned by a U.S. corporation. Nathan, the author of Satan’s Silence and Women and Other Aliens, lives in El Paso. In April, the Texas Institute of Letters recognized Nathan and Juarez writer Willivaldo Delgadillo for the best translation of a literary work from a foreign language to English, for The Moon Will Forever Be a Distant Love by Luis Humberto Crosthwaite. Austin writer Lucius Lomax also won an AAN award for Best Columns, for his Observer Afterwords, including “Dreaming in Black and White” \(September 26, The Observer was also recognized, for best Social Reporting among AAN publications with circulations under 54,000. The AAN is a nationwide association of 111 alternative newsweeklies. Member papers in Texas include the Austin Chronicle, Dallas Observer, FW Weekly, Houston Press, San Antonio Current, and The Texas Observer. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JUNE 5, 1998