Page 10


NOVEMBER 9, 2001 Texas Observer FEATURES THE VIEW FROM OUTSIDE 8 Caught between a ruthless company and a feckless union, Amarillo meatpackers stage a walkout. by Karen Olsson MONSANTO ATTACKS! 10 Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser says Monsanto genetically contaminated his crops. .So why is he the one being sued? by Chris Womack DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 Acts of Terror DATELINE TEXAS 4 Two Languages, One Classroom by Belle Zars LAS AMERICAS 14 Remembering Digna by Cynthia Hawes POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 17 MOLLY IVINS 18 The Abominable Bombing JIM HIGHTOWER 19 Red, White, Mother Jones, and Joe Hill, Too ANDREW WHEAT 20 The Bush-bin Laden Connection BOOKS & THE CULTURE POETRY by Arthur Harcourt SOUTH TEXAS BUCKSHOT STORIES by Diana Anhalt ALL IN THE FAMILY by Alix Ohlin AFTERWORD Little Bitches by Debbie Nathan 21 22 24 30 DIALOGUE PADDING THE BOOKS My thanks go to Nate Blakeslee and everyone else that worked on the story about inflated numbers in law enforcement reporting \(“The Numbers of similar exaggerations reported earlier this year. Apparently, the Drug Enforcement Agency pads their numbers too, so the locals at least have a federal role model for this type of behavior. I suspect that the formal inquiries are still in progress,. but it is known that no details were available for several hundred arrests credited to the international “Operation Libertador,” the roundup of drug traffickers in the Caribbean and Latin America last fall. And of the 2,876 arrests claimed, 996 were in Jamaica, and they reported most of those as petty marijuana possession cases. It is sad to see law enforcement funding being spent this way. I suspect that billions of tax dollars are being spent annually on a drug war with little accountability, and interagency arrestsharing is just another way to obscure the failure of.our current policies. Danny Terwey Santa Cruz, CA Let me see if I have this straight.The drug task force in your particular area has been padding the books, taking credit for things they never did, and probably inflating the supposed value of what they seized because it makes better press and makes them look like they are having great success when, in fact, they probably aren’t. That part can understand. And your editors are surprised at all this? Clifford A. Schaffer Director DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy http: //www druglibrary. org Canyon Country, CA Why should it surprise anyone that America’s lunatic drug crusaders deceive people to improve their status in enforcing a fraudulent drug war? After all, most of the people they arrest are charged with marijuana offenses based on claims like: “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death;” “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind;” “[Smoking] one [marihuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother;” \(from sworn 1937 Congressional Testimony Once we become aware of the fiction, it is clear that all drug warriors are liars. It’s time to end a dishonest drug prohibition scheme that causes a hundred times the troubles drugs by themselves ever did. Redford Givens San Francisco, CA Major kudos for your outstanding editorial, “Study the Task Forces.” The nature of all organizations, especially bureaucratic organizations, is to justify and perpetuate their own existence. Very few government employees advocate the elimination of their own jobs. Many people, organizations and institutions have a vested interest in the continuation and expansion of our war on drugs. They will do anything and everything in their power to make sure now-illegal drugs never become legal. Their jobs depend on it.As our war on drugs expands, the rights of our citizens shrink. Kirk Muse Vancouver, WA Thanks for exposing a dark, twisted form of leadership that must change. America’s prohibitionist politicians’ war on some plants and drugs is still very powerful, but is losing credibility. It defies integrity and rationality to cage humans for using cannabis and to cage sick citizens using cannabis for relief of pain is morbid and spiteful for a civilization in the year 2001. Inherent lack of integrity incorporating the failed war on drugs is becoming too obvious to ignore. At the very least cannabis must be legalized to bring continued on page 7 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11/9/01