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%,,,,PINort :Vginnpr s ,n77″ 57.: MANNING & ASSOCIATES FINANCIAL SERVICES A homegrown Texas firm, Manning & Associates is a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm that specializes in socially responsible investments Our advice is tailored to meet your needs and your values. What we do: Wealth Management Asset Allocation Gifting Strategies Estate Planning Miscellaneous Issues 1200 Smith Street, Suite i600 Houston, Texas 77002 tel. 713.621.6646 I toll free 877.309.8248 [email protected] GROWNUP GIFTS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES NORTH SOUTH RESEARCH E. RIVERSIDE 832-8544 443-2292 502-9323 441-5555 EAST S.E.MILITARY CENTRAL WEST 654-8536 333-3043 822-7767 521-5213 NEW AUSTIN STORE! STASSNEY 727 WEST STASSNEY 512 101.9069 entra Texas Gardener KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, creates innovative television that inspires and educates. KLRU-produced programs that air statewide on Texas PBS stations include Central Texas Gardener, Texas Monthly Talks and The Biscuit Brothers. Check your local listings. klru tv and beyond policies are often followed incongruently by dorky stoner talk, reducing the authors’ credibility. Upon entering the CPA headquarters, LeMoine observes, “To create democracy in Iraq, the Bush administration had chosen to use the one American societal tool that wasn’t democratic: the military and its chain of command.” Following this thought, LeMoine turns to Neumann and states, “‘Man, I wish we had some weed. … What a perfect spot to smoke a victory blunt.” Victory blunt? At times, the Bill and Ted dudeness is a jarring roadblock in the narrative. Yet LeMoine and Neumann aren’t war journalists or full-time professional aid workers, nor are they pretending to be. Essentially, they are two backpackers who manage to gain a front seat to Baghdad’s action while happening to help some needy Iraqis out. Contradictory, honest, and compelling, Babylon by Bus offers a decidedly new vantage point on the war in Iraq. Unlike the tidy, black-and-white scenarios portrayed in the mass media of early 2004, LeMoine and Neumann embody the honest messiness of the Iraqi rebuilding effort and what it means to be human. Stayton Bonner is a writer in Austin. SEPTEMBER 21, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27