Page 23


DIALOGUE MARCH 29, 2002 Texas Observer FEATURES VIEW TO A KILL . 4 In Baytown, a chilling video of a police killing raises more questions than it answers. by Jake Bernstein LET’S TALK TREASON 8 Forget John Walker Lindh. How about American corporations and Nazi Germany? by Robert Sherrill DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 Losing Victor IN MEMORIAM 12 Benny Preston Fisher, 1942-2002 by Nate Blakeslee POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 14 MOLLY IVINS 16 Cute Nukes JIM HIGHTOWER 17 W Giveth and W Taketh Away BOOKS & THE CULTURE FROM PORT ARTHUR TO DELAWARE I wanted to comment on the excellent oil-refinery expose by Michael May, concerning the industry in Port Arthur \(“Port Arthur Blues,” March objectively presented, with a compelling human-interest angle. I continue to be impressed by the caliber of journalism at The Texas Observer, and commend you on your inclusion of such environmentallyand sociallyrelevant pieces. Anne-Marie McMahon Dallas I was readirig ‘your article “Port Arthur Blues” when the name Motiva jumped out at me. Have you come across Motiva’s record in Delaware where the governor threatened to shut down their plant after an accident, apparently preventable and forewarned, killed a boilermaker? This corporation consistently abuses the law with emissions. Frank Spence Via e-mail PUBLIC & PRIVATE PARKS & WILDLIFE Good story and good reporting \(“Department of Ranch Managefarms and ranches in the United States declined 7 percent, but Texas gained 1,000 new operations in 2000. TP&W is right. But when you have Lee Bass as Commissioner, there’s a slight conflict of interest. \(Budweiser signs and It’s not a pretty sight. Joe Keathley Houston WATER WOES Belle Zars writes that “COPS led a successful petition drive in 1975 over a similar aquifer issue” \(“Like Water for involved, but they actually piggy backed on a petition drive originated by the Aquifer Protection Association. We have two blown up front page stoSan Antonio Light and the Express-News declaring our 4-to-1 victory, so we do hope you make the correction. We are also involved in this fight with an initiative petitionthe first in San Antonio’s history. Fay Sinkin San Antonio LET’S NOT GO OVERBOARD Now all we need is a book detailing how the Gramms & Enrons ruin thousands of people’s lives in Texas and California \(“Find Another Aggie, where’s the nearest lynching-tree?! Jesse Galvan Via e-mail AND NOW FOR SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT You’re too, too liberal! Do you ever have anything good to say about America and Texas? Get real about defense; our government must protect nearly 300 million people in this country as well as the rest of the peace-loving world. When you give the military professionals the money and equipment they need, they will get the job done. Government needs to step back and let the professionals handle the tough problems. The people of America need and deserve a strong military, and yeswith nukes. The “evil” ones \(there is that word need a good dose of reality. Who appointed you the expert? Or is it your job to stir the pot so you can keep selling The Texas Observer and T-Shirts? You’re one of the reasons “the liberal press” is getting blasted today. Colleen K. Miller Via e-mail POETRY 21 by Willa P Koretz and Annes McCann-Baker ONLY AMONG THIEVES IS EVERYTHING QUIET 22 Excerpt by Bernard Rapoport INTERMEDIATE ITALIAN 26 by Jesse Lichtenstein LOOKING BACK WITH A GOLDEN EYE 28 by Brant Bingamon AFTERWORD 30 La Perruque by Michael Erard Cover design by Julia Austin. Stills from Baytown Police Department video. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3/29/02