Page 23


VOLUME 90, NO. 21 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 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 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, C 1998, is published biweekly except for a four-week interval Foundation, a 501\(03 non-profit corporation, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, 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 Ind., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Ml 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 Editorial 4 Victory at Sierra Blanca Dateline Texas The Forsaken Children of Texas, 5 Rock Around Comfort, and 6 Rosebud in El Paso, by Karen Olsson 14 Political Intelligence 16 Molly Ivins 18 Hair-Raising Arizona Jim Hightower 19 Merger Mania, Label Lore & National Low Tech Day DIALOGUE 1 PARTIAL RECALL Enlightened beacon that you are in this state of right-wing politics, the Observer ought to hew to historical accuracy. Steven Kellman’s “Retitle indicates, veers badly. “Spanish culture sprawl[ing] across the continent,” filling the American West with “750,000 Mexicans, the progenitors of millions of Latinos,” is simply wrong. Fehrenbach says the Western U.S. contained 60,000-Mexicans, and Ken Burns himself states 70,000. The vast majority of Mexican migrs have entered the U.S. since 1900. Nor is it in question that Kellman’s “minor skirmish” at the Alamo created, as intended, the terror of the “runaway scrape,” gave Sam Houston time to raise the army that defeated Santa Anna, and galvanized American opinion against Santa Anna, if not all of Mexico, making it easy to recruit men and arms for the defense of Texas. Nor, as Kellman implies, are Americans conveniently “amnesiac” about the Mexican War. Losers simply have longer memories. Is that not why Southerners remember the Civil War, Texans the Alamo, and Mexicans every loss in their long and anguished history? Kellman might remember that Santa Anna’s eternal denials of “minor” massacres in the Texas campaign, as presented by Colonel Juan Jose Holzinger, at least were directly rebutted by General Urrea himself. As for young cadets leaping from the walls of Chapultepec, would Kellman also have your BOOKS AND THE CULTURE Mystical & Commonplace 22 Poetry by Rodrigo Joseph Rodriguez & Beverly Caldwell A Kennedy in Kerrville 23 Book Review by Mark Smith Orson Welles on the Border 26 Film Review by Michael King Playing Doubles in El Paso 28 Book Review by Karen Olsson Afterword 29 Anticipating the Crash by Michael Erard Cover art by Mike Krone readers believe, as reported by the Japanese, that Okinawans threw their children from Mount Surabachi to thwart capture by U.S. forces? Michael Dailey Harlingen P.S. Otherwise, the September 11 Observer was outstanding keep it up! Steven Kellman responds: What are a few hundred thousand souls between friends who share a border? I regret the digital ineptitude. Reporting the series’ claim that more than 75,000 Mexicans remained on what became U.S. land, I was lavish with nada; I erroneously added a zero. Nevertheless, the enduring legacy of the U.S.Mexican War is that a large number of human beings suddenly, without budging or choosing, found themselves See “Dialogue,” page 21 CORRECTION Aziz Shihab was imprecisely identified in the note to his Afterword, “On the has been a writer for the San Antonio Express-News, an editor for the Jerusalem Times and the Dallas Morning News, and a correspondent for the New York Times. FEATURES Court of No Resort by Jeff Mandell Ten years ago, 60 Minutes exposed the big money behind the Texas Supreme Court. The television reporters, are back and the money is still here. You’re the Judge by Louis Dubose Asked if the presence of his campaign treasurer as courtroom counsel influenced his vote, the Judge said no. They all gave me money, he told the Observer. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 6, 1998