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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 15, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas                                4 New Braunf els November Opinions ttoraldZfltims James Kilpatrick Public officials have no right in a private matter WASHINGTON A 17thcentury proverb tells us that the streets of hell are paved with good So it is with the hell that has been imposed in recent weeki upon tto pMtttti of Baby Jane Doe on Long It is a sad but instructive The child was born 11 with three major birth Her spine had not closed the condition is known as spina she had an ab normally small head and she had water on the The cbUds acrMto fethaved They talked with child care professionals they talked with a clergyman they talked with at tending doctors and we may assume they talked long and hard between Of the familys economic circumstances we know Neither has it been reported whether the family has normal The medical conclusions were bleak With corrective the child might gain a shortterm ex tension to her but the procedures would carry a high risk of adverse side The parents were told their child might survive as a paralyzed They reached an agonizing decision no Left the child would have about a 50 50 chance of reaching age though there would be a continuing high risk of such diseases as Word of the babys birth and the familys decision leaked out of Stony Brook What followed was an act of breathtaking which Jack Anderson Government lets oil theives go their merry way WASHINGTON The cattle rustlers who plagued the Old West have been succeeded by a new breed of range thieves oil They can be big oil companies who commit the larceny in their bookkeeping departments or in dividual operators who simply steal the oil The one thing they have in common is the source of their illgotten wealth federal and Indian lands which hold billions of dollars worth of The most disgraceful aspect of this multibilliondollar ripoff of the American taxpayers is that the government lets the crooks get away with Unlike Wyatt Earp or Mar shall todays govenment in spectors have acually been discouraged by higherups to enforce the law and collect what rightfully should be paid for the publics No one knows for sure how much is lost to the oil rustlers each year accounting procedures are too sloppy and the Interior Departments en forcement measures hopelessly But knowledgable sources told my associate Dale Van Atta the govern ment will come up more than billion short in oil royalty collections this year They estimate that the losses could double or even triple in the next seven or eight the General Ac counting Office has found that in almost every case examined over the last 35 the royalty payments have been inaccurate usually in the oil companies A yearlong investigation by a House Interior subcommittee headed by Edward found that the department hadnt even bothered to verify the volumne of oil and gas being pumped out of federal and Indian lands estimated in 1980 at a total volume of almost The Interior sup posedly in charge of the oilleasing was found to have such an unstructured and unsupervised ac counting system that changes in royalty accounts were frequently made without authorization of senior The amended reports filed by oil and gas companies to reduce their payments were routinely ap proved at all One field investigator testified that after he proved that a company was pumping more oil than it was paying officials at headquarters helped the miscreant work out a way to get out without Critical filed by government auditors in 1972 and again in 1979 failed to bring Last the watchdogs reported that the situation had grown Interiors inspector general had also exposed the problem of royalty cheating in several major One comany was found to be paying 70 percent lets than it should And the biggfjt underpayments were by 25 major oil and gas which account for 85 percent of all For one large oil company paid million in royalties in some offshore gas leases but should have paid As for the less sophisticated rustlers who simply move in their rigs and steal the one estimate is that as much as six percent of onshore oil production is being stoloen that Because of the governments ho hum attritude toward the oil rustlers inspectors are seriously They have been threatened in the field and tran sferred by headquarters when they try to do their job Many have quit in So the Interior Department bum bles along and the oil thieves go their merry Poor ol boy Jesse is known as probably the most successful fund raiser in the annals of So a recent mailing is somewhat sur prising It is an almost pitiable plea for or donations to match conditionally pledged by 10 Helms supporters They the letter that Helms match the amount before theyd hand over the A Helms campaign spokeman said he wasnt familiar with the particular fundraising but said he was sure that the senator really did have 10 friends who put up The letter explains Helms recourse to such a gimmick with a poormouth complaint about the massive war chest the liberals are amassing to defeat The last official report showed that Helms had already raised million to the amassed by his James North Carolina political in siders are betting Helms will raise million for his reelection Panamanian recruit Panamas strong An tonio may join the revived Condec anticommunist alliance of El Guatemala and The mutual defense groups an nounced aim is to protect each other from the MarxistLeninist threat in Central America spelled Noriega is an old buddy of Eden the former Sandinista hero who is now trying to overthrow the Managua regime from his base in Costa Panamas northern If Nicaragua and the Condeca countries start mixing it Panamas role would probably be to support Partoras guerrillas and to send troops in to defend Costa which has no army of its Websters defines as brazen bold ness coupled with impudent assurance and A lawyer by the name of Lawrence associated with the righttolife filed suit to compel the parents to authorize surgery on their Mind this insensitive in truder was not related to the family he held no public position with a health or welfare He was and he was seeking doubtless with the very best intentions to play a bit part in the God New Yorks Court of Appeals on 28 threw Washburns suit out of court with some hard remarks about the offensive and distressing nature of the suit that subjected the parents to litigation that had neither precedent nor But this was not the end of the parents Five days after the state suit had been the Department of Justice leaped into federal court in Our government had the very best intentions It demanded the hospitals confidential records on Baby Jane in order to let a district judge determine if the parents and the doctors had violated the in fants civil This is the 12th according to the National Law that the federal government has ordered an investigation under the Rules and Regulations for Handicapped Infants adopted in May of last but it is the first time the government actually has taken court action against a I thought the rules and regulations a bad business at the time they were They remain a bad business It simply is not business of the federal or so it seems to to intrude upon the informed and reasonable decisions of a family in such intimate matters as this The federal rules say that surgery cannot be denied when such denial is based on an ticipated mental paralysis or incontinence of such child rather than on reasonable medical judgements that treatments would be futile or unlikely of In the name of the Constitution of the United how did we get into such Orwellian nonsense The surgeon general at the moment is a nice bearded fellow by the name of Everett He too must have the very best But did he run for God in some august primary Did he get elected What are his credentials what are a judges credentials for saying to the anguished Thou shall Some parents may have the wealth and the temperament to care for a severly deformed or paralyzed Other parents may make a reasoned decision that a right to life carries a question with it A right to what kind of life Our wellintentioned bureaucrats seem not to have thought about that little question at NCTOPCVIS NOT HERE BECAUSE HES UFTO W5WCAHP IN TEETERM6 W HMMS AND SO WANFEEBtt KRSOif SINCE WENS W BEEN AN EXCUSE Andy Rooney Do presidents ever get back at the press Everyone knows that reporters are tough on the president no matter who he If its ever a theyll be tough on Do you think the president ever strikes back Do you think he ever gets mad at newspaper people and broadcast reporters because of what they write and say If President Reagan wasnt striking back last it was a very unusual thing he did when he stepped into an agrument between Hollywood producers and network television executives and made a ruling in favor of the Hollywood The business decision the president made affects which one of them will collect about million a year from rerun and syndication rights to old telvision I have no idea who is right in this I wouldnt want to have to choose between these Hollywood producers and the network television people as to which group was ethically Money is higher on both their lists of objectives than It seems like a very unusual decision for a president to Its especially unusual for a president who says government should leave business Maybe Im too Maybe the President has been studying the issues in this case for months and finally decided the Hollywood producers were Youd think with all the problems hes been having in and with unemployment at that he wouldnt have had much time recently to spend on show business Each of us expects our president to be better than We want him to be above pettiness and We expect him to smile and turn the other We dont expect him to be like the rest of you cant help wondering or I cant anyway if maybe the President was striking back at the networks for all the mean things White House correspondents Sam Chris and Bill Plante have been saying about Dont you think that just a little devil in the back of his brain might have whispered Go Stick it to President Nixons presumably with his wasnt above striking back at In John Dean one Nixon wrote to John asking the blunt How can we use the available federal mandate to screw our political enemies There was ample evidence during the Watergate trial that this is the way President Nixon wanted CBS News correspondent Dan and at least ten other news people on Nixons enemies facing various forms of harrassment from the including IRS tax It would be difficult to sit there and take it if you were president and had all that It would be difficult not to swat at the journalistic gnats buzzing around your head all day wouldnt it If you were president and network reporters were always picking on you and some old pals in Hollywood asked you to do something that would help them and hurt the television networks whose reporters made you so mad all the what would you do I know what Id but Im only Washington Today We cant expect anything from a clock but time ByTOMRAUM Associated Press WASHINGTON The Ohio Clock took a licking but kept on no one can tell you why its called the Ohio Last weeks bombing in the Capitol focused attention on the ancient a tall mahongony case clock located not more than 10 feet from the blast site near the Senate At first workers thought the old clock was But a little tinkering got its pendulum swinging once And its still ticking off the just as its done in the same spot since For as long as anyone can the clock has been called the Ohio Thats always seemed since the word Philadelphia is printed behind its It was just another mystery of the But the bomb blast sent the office of the Capitol curator scurrying into its records for the history of the Seems it was ordered by the Senate in 1815 from Thomas a Philadelphia for just over The which is topped by an wingspread carved was delivered to the Senate in 1816 and placed outside what was then the Senate It was moved to its present location after the Capitol was expanded and a new Senate chamber built in the curators office can come up with no clues as to why the clock is called the Ohio So the clock remains a wound it ontinues to do all that anyone could ask of a clock it keeps good   

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