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DEPARTMENTS FEATURES BOOKS & THE CULTURE MARCH 14, 2003 Texas Observer BUSINESS LOBBY DEATH MATCH 4 SBC and AT&T duke it out at the Texas Capitol over broadband in this session: most expensive industry_fight. by Dave Mann AN EVEN KEEL? 8 The TO talks with Austin Republican Terry Keel about abolishing the regional narcotics task forces. by Jake Bernstein. DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 End of Fiscal Innocence DATELINE TEXAS 10 No PromiseLand for Me by Patrick Timmons POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 12 BAD BILLS 13 MOLLY IVINS 14 When a Whiz Bang War Goes Wrong JIM HIGHTOWER 15 Deep Six the Bad News JAMES K. GALBRAITH 16 The Paramilitary Mind JOHN Ross 17 Our Man in Babylon POETRY 21 by Cynthia Harper and Karl F Weyrauch LETHAL PROJECTION 22 by Emily Rapp Seitz OBLIVIOUS PURSUITS 24 by Jeffrey Severs A MOVIE OF THEIR OWN 26 by Haven Iverson AFTERWORD 31 Diary of a Lapsed Catholic by James McWilliams DIALOGUE OUR BIG FAT BAD BILL I’m one of those non-Greek Slays you talked about in your article \(“It’s Al] to be called Macedonians. I cannot believe that a half-Greek American who has never set foot in any part of Macedonia has enough gall to tell me, what I am or what my ancestors were, just because his mommy said so. I can only hope this is not typical of your elected officials and their self-serving agendas. I hope an ethics committee looks into this situation, because not only is this piece of legislation racist, it is also an embarrassment to the state of Texas and its good citizens. Thomas Giancos Toronto, Canada You should start studying history. Macedonia was always Greek and the people living in that region were always Greek! During the Balkan Wars \(1912The geographical region of ancient Macedonia was divided between the three countries. Before World War II the southern part of Serbia was not even called “Macedonia.” Tito, ofYugoslavia named the southern part of Serbia the Republic of Macedonia to further instigate trouble with the neighboring country of Greece. The name Macedonia itself is part of Greece’s history and heritage and no one else has the right to use it. Slays who live in this part of the ancient Macedonian region are certainly not successors of the ancient but invaded the area in the late 15th century. I will be pleased to provide you with more historical and political data on this matter. Andreas Kapsalis Via e-mail MISSING THE POINT Your article “Beat ‘Em Up, Teach ‘Em new life into the old clich “never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” For example, your article states: “Corporal punishment for reasonable discipline of a child by the parent is already legal in Texas.” In another part of the article, you quote expert psychologist George Holden, as arguing that the “undefined” terms of corporal punishment and reasonable discipline are problematic in my HB-374. If it’s already in the law, then why are these terms problematic? Most parents do not need you or any other expert to define when and how to discipline a child. HB-374 simply reinforces the right of parents to reasonably discipline their children. No more, no less. Regurgitating statistics on child abuse and neglect cases to label HB-374 a bad bill is short sighted and misses the point. Admittedly, not all parents in Texas can be relied upon to treat their children fairly and decently. However, letting the bad apples dictate to good parents is the tail wagging the dog. Finally; your comment about brass knuckles places you in the journalism sewer. As always, using the extreme to make your point exposes you to not having one. I have not been an avid reader of your publication. But when I do, I hope I will find journalism at its bestor better. Harold V Dutton, Jr. MERCI, MERCI! Thank you so very much for Molly’s column about the French! My husband and I purchased a small walnut farm in southwestern France in 2000; I was there on 9/11.The outpouring of grief over the attacks was amazing. People I hardly knew called me up and wanted to know if I was okay, did I need any thing, could they do anything for me. I get so angry when pundits accuse the French of being chicken. EACH ONE of my French neighbors has been scarred by war. The brother of one neighbor was sent to Buchenwald because he was sabotaging the German munitions plant where he was working continued on page 27 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3/14/03