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AUGUST 1, 2003 Texas Observer FEATURED REVIEWS GET REWRITE 4 Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court vs. The American People, by Jamin B. Raskin Review by Lou Dubose PANDERING 6 Falling Up: How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting, by Raymond D. Strother Review by Dave Denison FOR WHOM THE PHONE RINGS 8 Somebodies and Nobodies, by Robert W Fuller Review by Geoff Rips BLOWBACK? WHAT BLOWBACK? 10 Charlie Wilson’s War, by George Crile Review by Molly Ivins DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 Books, Books, and TO Too BOOKS & THE CULTURE THE END OF GENETIC INNOCENCE 12 by James McWilliams PHOTO ESSAY 14 Richard Baron’s El Paso POETRY 21 by Luis H. Francia D’ASIA Vu 24 by Anna Mayo WESTERN CIVILIZATIONS 26 by Barbara Belejack UNWRAPPING JAPANESE PHOTOGRAPHY 28 by Jake Miller SCHOOLS FOR SCANDAL 30 by Jeffrey Severs LOVE, NEED, AND TEXAS 32 by Emily Rapp A LITTLE LIE MAKES A GOOD STORY 34 by Lee Middleton NOWHERE ELSE BUT BROWNSVILLE 35 by Sandra Spicher AFTERWORD 44 Living in a Kleptocrat Nation by Jim Hightower THE BACK PAGE 48 by Lou Dubose Cover art: Doug Potter THADDEUS ‘SPIKE’ ZYWICKI LL I try to live every moment, learn all I can, and be independent,” Thaddeus “Spike” Zywicki told Caroling Lee and Jessica Chapman when they interviewed him in McAllen last spring for a Photo Essay on protests against the war in Iraq \(“War, long activist and crusader for social justice, Spike was influenced by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. He also participated in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that established the right to stand on Supreme Court grounds and distribute leaflets. \(United States In his earlier years, Spike recalled to Lee and Chapman, he was “all gung ho and Yankee doodle.” On July 4, 2003, Spike died at the age of 91. DIALOGUE LYING If lying about sex is an impeachable offense, then it would seem that lying to invade a nation should be a BIG felony. William A. Mercer Richardson W. used to say he was a Texas oilman. He used to own a little company out in Midland named Paragon Petroleum. I have always wondered ifW ever drilled a producing oil or gas well. Was he really in the drilling business or was he just providing his daddy’s friends with a few additional tax breaks? You know that if Bill Clinton had told some of W’s lies, Bill would have been impeached by the Republicans. Ray Sharbutt Via e-mail In regards to the inaccurate portrayal of Jessica Lynch’s “dramatic and heroic rescue” it really shouldn’t be a surprise to us to hear that the U.S. government and media lied to us about certain aspects of the Iraqi war. Throughout history they have subjected the American public with propaganda to justify aggressive actions against others. Such deception started back with the wars against Native Americans and Mexico.The lies continued through the Gulf and Afghanistan wars, which should be still fresh on our minds. The most recent war propaganda was the most deceiving of all. It was almost sinful the way Bush brainwashed young, naive Americans into fighting a war for him. He chose violence over following international law and improving foreign policy. Now, his “road map” to world dominance is leading the United States and the entire world to a scary and unsafe place! Anita Quintanilla Austin BIG, BIGGER, Big media is getting bigger and our democracy is at stake. As you know, in June the FCC dramatically relaxed media ownership regulations, suffocating the cornerstone of American democracy: a free, fair, and open public debate. Because one million Americans raised their voices against the FCC decision, the Senate Commerce Committee recently sent a bill to the Senate floor for a vote that would roll back many of the rules. Today the challenge is to get that bill to the floor of the Senate and House for a vote. Take three minutes to stop media monopoly: Phone it in. Call your Congressional representatives and demand that they support the rollback. One phone call from a constituent is more effective than scores of email petitions. The website will tell you if your members of Congress are currently supporting rolling back the FCC. If they are supportive co-sponsors, then thank them for their support and ask that they keep the bill alive. If they’re not a cosponsor, ask them to become one. Robert McChesney and John Nichols Free Press MediaReform Network www. mediareform . net 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 811103