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of an expanded United States.” The correct figure should be 75,000 persons of Mexican \(or was less than half the number of the Indian poparea at that time. Vernon M. Briggs Jr. Ithaca, New York LOTTA ANTIDOTE You’re too liberal, too populist, and too outspoken. Keep up the good work! You’re the first pub lication I reach for after a Trent Lott speech. Gary Sattell Via internet SIERRA’S BANKER How , very, very interesting. In the September/October issue of Sierra \(the Sierra case of Alfonse D’Amato \(“Promises aside, a Sierra Club MasterCard, managed by MBNA America, which, members are told, helps support Now, it just so happens that the August issue of The Texas Observer arrived on the same day, and in that issue is Jim Hightower’s column \(page “MBNA, the huge issuer of bank credit cards, wanted Al [D’Amato] to use his pen to wipe out a consumer protection law. Rather than write a policy paper for the Senator, though, MBNA execs started with writing checks to him $220,000 to his re-election campaign, $127,000 to the senatorial committee he chairs, and $170,000 to his Republican State Committee. Sure enough, Senator Quid-Pro-Quo D’Amato maneuvered MBNA’s anticonsumer amendmant right through his committee.” So what exactly is going on? Bergman aptly observes that D’ Amato’ s environmental record is lamentable; Sierra Club wants its members to get Sierra Club/MBNA cards; and MBNA funnels cash to D’ Amato. What to do? One possibility would be for Sierra Club to suggest to MBNA that supporting D’Amato \(or any other anti-environmental however, rather doubtful that MBNA would listen. Abetter idea, at least in my view, would be for Sierra Club to switch its credit card relationship to some other company. Lynn Eubank Denton Editor’s note: Lynn Eubank reports that as of September 25, the Sierra Club had yet to print or acknowledge his letter to the editor. A Jim Hightower, Urvine Atkinson \(winand Lou Dubose at Threadgill’s Alan Pogue HELP FOR DEL RIO My son Elias, myself, and thirteen people from Our Lady of Guadalupe in East Austin spent much of Labor Day weekend in Del Rio. We passed out food, water, and baby supplies in the neighborhoods. We helped clean debris from the yard of a couple in their eighties. We also prepared clothing, school supplies, and mattresses for distribution. St. Joseph’s Church lent us its hall in which to sleep and shower. By then, two weeks had passed since the twenty-foot wall of water roared through Del Rio’s San Felipe community in the middle of the night, but the ravages of the flood were still shocking, and sobering. We saw concrete bridges broken and rendered impassable, classrooms of an elementary sch6o1 ripped open, buildings missing walls, and countless cement slabs and piles where houses had once stood…. Flowers and crosses marked places from where homes were washed away, and their residents killed by rushing waters some swept from their rooftops…. The flood struck the other side of the Rio Grande as well, carrying away the cardboard houses of poor people in Acufla living along the flood plain. The death count is put at nineteen; some bodies still lay in the makeshift morgue, unidentified, probably from Acuiia…. Three hundred families are without places to live, scattered around the area in temporary homes, house trailers, and Laughlin Air Force base…. The people’s spirit, though, is impressive. Houses marked with an “x” for demolition bear slogans like, “We will survive,” “A little water? So what. Life goes on,” and “We shall live on.” The Red Cross, local law enforcement, the Texas National Guard, church groups, and many kind individuals are all doing a heroic job helping out. But much more needs to be done. Del Rio is hurting…. There is plenty of work to go around. Jim Harrington Austin For information about helping out in Del WE NEED HER HERE! How about stationing Molly in New York City so she can put the boot to Mayor Giuliani? Ruth Limmer Via internet STAGE-DOOR SUBSCRIBER Who is this woman Naomi Shihab Nye and where did she .get such a pretty name? She has inspired me to find poetry in my life. I also want to pay my repects to Molly Ivins. She was the main reason that I paid for a subscription in the first place, and it has opened me up to the other writers on your staff. Justin Green Galveston YELLOW DOG TIME Your friends and mine, those who loyally attend the “Saturday Morning Yellow Dog Breakfast,” urged me to send you the enclosed item as the “Letter which Time Magazine would not publish.” The sentiments I expressed in that letter are as appropriate today as they See “Dialogue,” page 7 Turn Left on the Information Highway! Now You Can Go DownHome with The Texas Observer! Visit The Observer DownHome Page: The DownHome Page has recently been upgraded, revised, revamped, and just generally Texas-ized. Recent issues are posted Archives are available You can write to us Or send us to a friend. You can even subscribe by credit card! Check us Out! OCTOBER 9, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3