VOLUME 90, NO. 18 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 Business Manager: Jeff Mandell Development Director: Nancy Williams Production: Harrison Saunders Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Staff Writers: Nate Blakeslee, Jeff Mandell Web Editor: Mike Smith Editorial Intern: Justin Burchard Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, 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 ICreneck, 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, 43 1998, is published biweekly except for a four-week interval World Wide Web DownHome page: http://texasobserver.org . 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 Political Intelligence 17 Dateline Texas Dust in Your Eyes by Jeff Mandell 18 Molly Ivins 22 Political Hatred & Campaign Dollars Jim Hightower 23 Lamar’s Loophole, Politician Platinum, & Registered Quacks DIALOGUE ROMAN ENGINEERING I was moved by your review of Remaking Eden by Lee M. Silver \(“Designer Children,” by You might enjoy reading about genetic engineering as Plutarch described it, in his lives of Lycurgus, ruler of Sparta, and Numa Pompilius, a ruler of Rome \(Plutarch’s Lycurgus made it “…honorable for men to give the use of their wives to those whom they should think fit, that so they might have children by them”; and further, “…allow a man who was advanced in years and had a young wife to recommend some virtuous and approved young man, that she might have a child by him, who might inherit the good qualities of the father and be a son to himself.” Then Plutarch compares the lives of Numa and Lycurgus as they apply to breeding wives to young men. I also remember the genetic engineering of work stock in Northeast Texas. My father, and other farmers and horse traders, bred their mares to jackasses to produce mules to do the heavier labors of the farm. The mule could not breed or bear colts. Otto B. Mullinax Dallas IGNORANCE PAYS Re: “U.T. Sold for $5.9 Billion” \(The Back “In a further move to cut costs and enhance profits, Hicks today announced closing of the School of Engineering. ‘Pakistanis can be ob 4 7 10 BOOKS AND THE CULTURE Family Style 24 Poetry by George Ella Lyon Memories of Octavio Paz 25 Elena Poniatowska on the Poet Attention Shoppers! 29 Book Review by Chris Garlock Afterword 30 Haze over Nicaragua by Cyrus Reed tained for much less than it costs to educate a U.S. high school grad,’ Hicks said.” Robert Melsha Georgetown IN PEACE MAY IT WAVE A friend of mine, in Marble Falls sent me some literature encouraging people to support a constitutional amendment “protecting” the United States flag. The House passed the amendment 310-114, on June 12, 1997. Utah Republican Orrin Hatch introduced it in the Senate February 4, 1998, and as of June, it had sixty-one cosponsors, only six short of the two-thirds needed. The Senate is scheduled to vote on it this fall. Since forty-eight state legislatures have encouraged Congress to pass the amendment, its supporters are optimistic. The following is what I wrote to my friend: I oppose a constitutional amendment allowing Congress to punish people who burn or desecrate the American flag. Good men can differ on this point. I don’t expect to persuade you, but neither can I be silent and lead you to believe I agree with you. I happen to think the U.S. Supreme Court not exactly a pinkoleftist group when it comes to conservative causes ruled correctly on this issue, calling burning the flag political speech. I hope we do not take the drastic action of amending our two-century-old basic document of government over what I think is a trivial thing. I fear we will, and I think it is precisely the wrong thing to do. I’ll tell you why in a moment. FEATURES Borderline Hispanic: George Bush and the Mexican-American Vote by Nate Blakeslee The Governor’s re-election campaign team is shooting for an unprecedented 40 percent of the statewide Hispanic vote. Should he get it? The Toll by Debbie Nathan The U.S. determination to close its southern border has definitely had an effect. The people still come, by the thousands but now more of them die. El Polvo: Intruders in the Dust by Monte Paulsen The Marines told Clemente Banuelos that Redford was full of dope smugglers and collaborators. Young Esequiel Hemcindez had to be one or the other . 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER SEPTEMBER 25, 1998 01*.