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TESTING OUR ACCURACY A May 4 item on uranium exploration in Goliad County \(“Mine the affected area. The tests that discovered high levels of radon and radium were conducted by the San Antonio River Authority, under contract to Goliad County. The Texas Railroad Commission reviewed those results, but concluded there was no evidence of contamination. Dialogue LASTING IMPRESSIONS Thank you so much for the lovely story about the burro lady \(“The It is the first I learned about what I had seen back in the ’80s, probably between Marfa and Alpine, or perhaps between Terlingua and Lajitas. The image is permanently etched in my memory of a person whose face was barely visible beneath their hat, leisurely riding a burro covered in colorful blankets, with other goods dangling about. I am delighted to know her name, that the community helped watch out for her, and that she has family. The mystery is solved. Gail Denkhaus Bandera BLOOM IS OFF THE YELLOW ROSE The Texas State Office of Homeland Security, aptly headquartered in Kentucky, should be renamed the Office of Republican Security \(“The Some years ago, we briefly lived in a Texas Metropolis. As a new citizen living in a Northern ghetto, I often found myself parked on the interstate, using the delays to ponder huge billboards proclaiming, in effect, “Come to Jesus, or Go to Hell.” I never understood the fervor surrounding Sunday morning until I discovered the abandon with which they celebrated Saturday night. \(I’ve since come to better appreciate Bush wasn’t sober until he was past 40. I was thrilled with the vibrancy and opportunity, until I got to know the place better. I felt like I could have emptied every building site and garden by yelling, “INS!” I objected to that not because so many were probably undocumented, having been chosen namelessly at a morning shape-up, but because they were objects not allowed to participate in the prosperity they built. They were meant to disappear at the end of the workday, when the job was done, or whenever they fell off a scaffold. That’s when it came home to me that buying a home in Metropolis was like shopping at Wal-Mart. I thought it was a bargain not paying state income tax, too, until I saw how many things went unprovided, and how many other things were available, but only at a price not everyone could afford. My last memory of Metropolis was a day when my son came home from his award-winning school and proceeded to tell me, he reckoned, about the War of Northern Aggression. Fortunately, we had not given up our passports and were allowed to re-enter the United States. Oddly, we promptly moved to East Asia, where the governments were more frankly corrupt, but the prosperity was more evenly spread. Many thanks for your work, and for giving Molly such a fine home. D.P. Kilian Via e-mail MAY 18, 2007 TheTexas Observer FEATURES AN OUNCE OF DISSENSION 6 Texas nurses are getting organized, with help from a veteran California labor activist by Kathleen Sharp BEING WARREN CHISUM 11 Inside the mind of the state’s most powerful fundamentalist by Megan Headley DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 4 JIM HIGHTOWER 14 Same Song, Third Verse BAD BILLS 15 CAPITOL OFFENSE 17 Texas Government’s Potemkin Village by Dave Mann and A.J. Bauer BOOKS & CULTURE POETRY 20 by Del Marie Rogers DELAY, INK 21 by Andrew Wheat THE BEST GOVERNMENT MONEY 23 CAN BUY by Matthew Stevenson A MASTER’S ELOQUENT MUSINGS 27 by Stayton Bonner AFTERWORD 29 Scotland, Texas by Wade Williams Cover photo by Jana Birchum 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 18, 2007