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DIALOGUE T.O. ON TV I saw one of your writers on MSNBC today \(February 24, the day of Betty Lou Beets’ King. I am happy to see that not all Texans have a bloodlust that is often portrayed in these cases. I know you have an uphill battle, but you are not alone. Eric P. Slind Colbert, Washington BELEJACK’S BACK Thanks so much for Barbara Belejack’s article on Alejandra Matus re El Libro Negro \(“Letter ing in it, as my Spanish is pretty good, unlike George Dubya’s. Did not know about the Feria, the FIL in Guadalajara before this. As always, the Observer and its editors bring news I can’t find anywhere else. Also enjoyed Michael King’s report on the self-disinviting of Henry Kissinger \(“Good Riddance,” February Kyla Bynum Via e-mail STAY TUNED It has been four years since I moved from Texas to Las Vegas. I was shocked to see the Governor of my former state crawl into bed with the racists at Bob Jones University. Okay, I was not shocked that he would stoop so low to do it, but I was shocked that no one gave a damn. I am furious that the president wannabe could so easily kiss ass at Bob Jones and suffer no consequences for his actions. Where was the outrage by both the left and right on his pandering to these unrepentant racists? This is so sad. How dare he even think of reaching for the highest office in the land if he doesn’t have the guts to look religious bigots in the eye and tell them to go to hell. Bush has shown what compassionate conservatism is sympathy for racists and bigots. Mark Antonuccio Las Vegas, Nevada SLEDD ON DUTCH I would generally agree with James Sledd’s commentary on Dutch, by Edmund Morris \(“Informant T-10 and Christian Star Wars,” negative attitude toward the book as a whole. It seems that this official Reagan biography trashes Dutch about as effectively as, perhaps, even Dr. Sledd. Some of the things he says are downright frightening. Morris swings wildly from unbridled hero-worship of Dutch, to expressing the opinion that he was an airhead. It is mildly amusing to read of Dutch introducing himself to Michael, his son, at Michael’s high school commencement, as, likewise, it is to retary of H.U.D. for the mayor of Washington. The biographer comes across as a bit of an airhead himself when he complains about Dutch wasting the last half of Morris’s weekly one-hour conferences. Dutch, it seems, had a bad habit of ending with a lengthy tale of Hollywood days, instead of merely answering questions. Morris should have been listening instead of complaining. Hollywood was the greatest reality of all in the mind of Ronald Reagan. At another point he suggests that the thugs in the Kremlin would be enormously impressed by the ruthless thuggery of Reagan’s mass lockout of the air traffic controllers. If Dutch had gone to Moscow they might have given him a Hero of the Soviet Union medal Soviet regime was destroyed by the courage of Dutch in calling it an Evil Empire. The Russians took this talk to heart and down came the Bolshevik walls. It is terrible that no one else ever thought of this. It might have saved a lot of money if one of the earlier presidents had voiced this simple description. As Morris says, Dutch believed. He referred to the president’s addled scholarship, accusing the New Dealers of both fascism and modified Communism. Morris goes on to describe more examples of what he calls Reagan’s encyclopedic ignorance. He points out that Dutch was not dissuaded by fact corrections from his aides. Once he got something of that sort in his head \(usually from reading in conservative again. On thing Dutch was sure of: he did not trade arms for hostages. He merely hired some fellows in Iran, who had to have the arms as part of their hire. Generally, Morris states laudatory opinions about Dutch, but appears to relish factual data that relegates him to airheadhood. Reagan’s denials of arms-for-hostages share a kinship with Bill Clinton’s more sensational “did-nothave-sex-with-that-woman.” Reagan was the nightmare we all expected when he was elected. If he turned out less vicious than we anticipated, it might be we were saved from the worst by the common sense of Nancy Reagan. But he was a stinker. Ed Cogburn Houston VOLUME 92, NO. 5 A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES SINCE 1954 Editors: Louis Dubose, Michael King Assistant Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Associate Editor: Nate Blakeslee Managing Publisher: Charlotte McCann Office Manager: Candace Carpenter Graphic Designer: Harrison Saunders Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Development Director: Susan Morris Interns: Rosie Bamberger, Jeanne Steingraber Special Projects: Jere Locke, Nancy Williams Contributing Writers: Gabriela Bocagrande, Robert Bryce, Michael Erard, James K. Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, Paul Jennings, Steven G. Kellman, Lucius Lomax, Jeff Mandell, Char Miller, Debbie Nathan, John Ross. Staff Photographer: Alan Pogue Contributing Photographers: Jana Birchum, Vic Hinterlang, Patricia Moore, Jack Rehm. Contributing Artists: Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Sam Hurt, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Ben Sargent, Gail Woods. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Chandler Davidson, Dave Denison, Bob Eckhardt, Sissy Farenthold, John K. Galbraith, Lawrence Goodwyn, Jim Hightower, Maury Maverick Jr., Kaye Northcott, Susan Reid. In Memoriam: Cliff Olofson, 1931-1995 Texas Democracy Foundation Board: Molly lvins, Bernard Rapoport, Geoffrey Rips, Gilberto Ocafias. The Texas Observer \(ISSN 0040except every three weeks during January profit foundation, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Telephone: E-mail: World Wide Web DownHome page: . Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas. Subscriptions: 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. The Books & the Culture section is partially funded through grants from the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission, and the Austin Writers’ League, both in cooperation with the Texas Commission on the Arts. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MARCH 17, 2000