By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Old times best forgotten
First, City Councilwoman Laura Miller made people cry when she suggested the city might have something better to spend $50,000 on than a Veterans Day parade. Now the city is the target of righteous anger by Confederate history buffs.
It's becoming clear why the city hasn't had such a parade in 50 years--you can't please some people.
The Metroplex Heritage Organization and South Central Southern Reenacting and Living History Inc. have been sparring with the city over its attempt to ban their members from dressing in Confederate gray and marching in the parade at Fair Park.
According to the two groups, the city first contended that since the Confederacy tried to overthrow the U.S. government, the marchers had no business being in a parade honoring veterans who fought to defend it. When the organizations helpfully pointed out that the city's interpretation of history was incorrect, the city responded, "OK, but Confederate soldiers weren't really U.S. veterans. Forget it." The groups cited a federal law that suggested otherwise, and made vague threats to sue--which proves they are indeed true Americans. A final decision on whether the groups can march is pending.
Being from the North (a.k.a. The Winning Side), Buzz admits to a lack of sympathy for the South (a.k.a. The Losers). We also lack a Southerner's tact, so we'll state flat out what the city was too polite to say: Dressing up in Confederate uniforms and marching through a largely black Dallas neighborhood is rude. Don't do it. (Shooting Yankee newspersons through the spleen with a black-powder rifle is rude too, boys. Don't do that either.)
James Dark of the Metroplex Heritage Organization says that if their opponents understood history, they'd take no offense. His Confederate ancestor never owned a slave and "fought to defend his land." Unfortunately for thoughtful people like Dark, the symbols of the Confederacy have been co-opted by every redneck yahoo who ever shouted "yeehaw" from the back of a pickup. Asking people watching the Veterans Day parade to tell the two apart is a bit much to ask.
The TV newsmagazine has been preparing a report for months on the Supreme Court's timeworn tradition of taking campaign contributions from law firms that routinely argue cases before the court on behalf of corporate clients. If that sounds familiar, it's because 60 Minutes exposed "Justice For Sale"' in a report about the court in December 1987. That time, though, the court was selling out to the lawyers who represented injured plaintiffs. (Ever wonder what lady justice is weighing on those scales? It's gold.)
The Republican justices swept into office on promises of reforming the system after the 1987 report are the ones who are going to be skewered.
One of those "reform" justices was John Cornyn, who was elected in 1990 but resigned to run for attorney general this year. The producer of the 60 Minutes segment says the piece will focus on the system and not on individual justices. That job will be left to Jim Mattox.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams