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DIALOGUE FIGHTIN’ ILLINI I live in southern Illinois, which is a considerable distance from Texas, but am a longtime fan of Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower. I read Ms. Ivins’ article in the Progressive about the dearth of investigative journals in these days and times. I sent for my sample of the Observer, and was very pleased, and even though the focus is on Texas, there is considerable overlap with the political and global problems that face the remaining states. Mainstream media is not really concerned about mainstream anymore; it’s all about not ruffling corporate and lobby interests. Public television, public radio and a few newspapers and very few magazines have the gumption \(an oft-used and I’m sure they see the shadows of the corporate nooses hanging over their heads. As Mother Jones urged, keep up the good fight and raise hell! I’ll be there with you. John 0. Gilmore Anna, Illinois COMBAT CYNICISM Please tell Don Graham, who reviewed Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line \(“The Past Ryan visited the cemetery at Omaha Beach, where, as Graham takes pains to note, Ryan did not fight, is because he wanted to visit the and his men saved Ryan. If Graham had stayed awake, he would have seen Miller’s headstone, noting Miller died June 13, 1944, seven days after, Omaha Beach. Miller commanded Ryan, seconds before Miller died, to “Earn it!” Graham denigrates any attempt`to depict war know what the real war was like?” He notes Spielberg talked with historian Stephen E. Ambrose, who talked to veterans. The better question is, how does the superciliously .cynical Graham know what real war is like? Please ask Graham to detail his combat experience. . Robert Heard Austin DorzGraham’responds: Happily, Don Graham has never been shot at so. far. All he knows about combat is what he reads, not what he sees. Finally, citizen Graham is fully cognizant of the fact that Captain Miller saved Private Ryan, else the old boy wouldn’t have made the trip to Europe with his family to look at the cross of Captain Miller. Duh. Spielberg’s cinema is clear if it is anything. A MAVERICK’S FAREWELL deskinate in the Texas House of Representatives for six years, died ,of prostate cancer in an Austin hospital. . We were there during the worst of.the Jpe McCarthy era, when if you believed in unions, academic freedom, dignity for AfricanAmericans, and, a living wage for MexicanAmericans you were a Communist. Is it better today in Texas? If so, only a little. In the McCarthy days, they shot the messenger. Now they buy him off. I am the last of the “Big Four” who voted against outlawing the Communist Party. When this legislation was first introduced, it had a provision in it for the death penalty for mere membership. Maury Maverick, Jr. San Antonio 0, MADALYN! I am indebted to Louis Dubose for his eyeopening essay on Madalyn Murray O’Hair, atheist, which appeared in the February issue of The. Progressive. That woman dedicated her life to the principle of separation of church and state in our national Constitution. And she is now passionately needed, as the Christian Coalition is dominating Republican Party politics, seeking to move government money into the churches’ bank accounts. And to know that Sam Houston Clinton and Maury Maverick defended her in court! May they live in memory forever. Otto B. Mullinax Dallas CORRECTION “The Bush Beat” Gremlin has struck again, dropping the final line of “Bush Beat,” page 6, February 6. The final sentence should read: Unfortunately for Bush, a “balanced approach” cannot provide a partisan political soundbite on education nor can it appease the Governor’s right-wing supporters, who remain desperately hooked on phonics. We apologize for the confusion. 2 ; THE TEXAS OBSERVER MARCH 5, 1999 .