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A We are not amused… Alan Pogue THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS Dialogue Editorials Kissinger-Speak & Death Penalties by Michael King Left Field The Bush Beat, Austin-Style Pols, Bombing the Observer & Smoke Signals Political Intelligence Molly Ivins Political Polar North 2 3 5 16 18 FEATURE BOOKS AND THE CULTURE Vigorous Revision 24 Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle S.A. Recollections 25 Book Review by Miguel A. Rodriguez Writing Reagan 28 Book Review by James Sledd Afterword 30 The Big Empty by Johnny Hughes Knee Deep in Eufaula by Michael King In which we consider the return of author J.H. Hatfield, who scooped the world about George W. Bush and cocaine. Sort of All the News That Fits Laredo by Karen Olsson Meet Meg Guerra of LareDOS, debutante, scholar, student activist, and crusading hometown publisher. Bursting W’s Bubble by Robert Bryce The Bush train was heading into the presidential station, ready for the coronation. Then came the “bump in the road.” 8 12 15 Jim Hightower 19 Las Americas Debate Abuse, Arbitration Zedillo’s Top Ten Rights & Sperm Sales by John Ross 20 EDITORIAL Good Riddance i n March of 1984, Henry Kissinger participated in a forum at U.T.Austin and complained that foreign policy is too public, making it difficult for professional diplomats like himself to do their self-appointed jobs. Fifty-three noisy protestors were arrested. \(One person yelled, quite accurately, “This man’s hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of thousands of peoface. The University and the Republic somehow muddled onward through the fog. Sixteen years later, we are expected to observe a moment of tragic silence in honor of poor Henry, statesman without portfolio, who abruptly unvolunteered to speak last month at U.T.Austin’s LBJ Library, in response to planned public protests. Library director Harry Middleton told Kissinger that the university police and the Secret Service believed the protest would be “of sufficient magnitude to pose a threat to public safety.” Kissinger’s press release intoned, “I regret the circumstances that have caused the cancellation of this year’s Harry Middleton lecand any embarrassment suffered by this great former first lady and valued friend.” Chancellor William Cunningham was deplored “those who would shout down an invited speaker,” and President Larry Faulkner chimed in, denouncing supposed “threats of assault on a peaceable, academic assembly…. The tactics are both immoral and inimical to the public interest.” The university administrators declined to provide a scintilla of evidence of any actual “threat to public safety,” yet Faulkner ominously promised “new and appropriate steps” to prevent future protests. Hogwash and horsefeathers. The academic bureaucrats and their thoroughly dishonorable guest cowered in anticipation not of “threats of assault,” but of public embarrassment to them and to Kissinger. As the Butcher of Cambodia and the Consigliere of Nixon, Suharto, and Pinochet richly deserves, there would undoubtedly have been noisy, impertinent, and obstreperous campus demonstrations in response to his visit, and almost certainly some audience members would have shouted loudly and demanded rudely that he stand accountable for his shamelessly murderous career. Some protestors might even have been arrested, in a long and quite healthy tradition of civil disobedience and protest. The university could not produce evidence of “threats to public safety” because there is no such evi FEBRUARY 18, 2000 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3