New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, September 24, 1985, Page 4

Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung September 24, 1985

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 24, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4 HeraldZeitung Np * ' junfels, Texas    Tuesday,    September    24,    1985 James Kilpatrick believes that Congressmen sometimes take foreign junkets too far, see below Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand itT Abraham Lincoln Op Htrald-Zfltum inions Dave Kramer, Editor and General Manager Satan Halre, Managing Editol James Kilpatrick Sometimes members of Congress take junkets a bit far .. . t a a lh _ _ en ai are WASHINGTON of tile Congress capital now. And some of them All 535 members ashamed of themselves. back in die Today’s topic, to put the matter politely, is authorized congressional ought to be foreign travel. To put the matter bluntly, the topic is junkets. According to US. News 9 World Report, 31 Senators and 160 representatives have visited 65 nations since the first of this year. Much of that travel occurred in the August recess. Ellen Goodman New movie is a family fantasy BOSTON — I must have been 1»: ut 17 Indore I wondered about my parents. I mean I wondered about them a separate people with their own past and psyches. I had heard stories of ther childhoods before that, of course. But it took a greater leap of imagination than I could rmuiage to “see" them as they had been at ten, to truly believe that they had once been my own awkward age of 13 or 14. Only toward the end of the lengthy transition from my childhood to adulthood did I begin to know them in their own context, in terms of their own histories, as people who had lives before and beyond my own. Now, I am the parent of a teen ager aud I find it equally awkward to trasiiut whole Hie younger linage of myself. I thought about tins when I spent a muggy night last week going Back to the Future." For once a movie was as advertised, a film for the whole family Or maybe a fantasy for whole fahulies. Tlus time science fiction was the tool of psychology. The story touched lightly, whim-si< ally, on some of the dramatic chords of family life. I he son in this movie, Marty, drives a car bac k into the past. II** finds himself a peer of his parents He faces them as they really were, not as they remembered or pretended. The plot is out of Psych I or Greek Mythology. What more primal fantasy for a boy than to discover that his father was a kick-sand-ln-his-face wimp and that his mother, young, beautiful and sexy, prefers him. But Marty is in a position more awkward than that of Oedipus. Having interrupted tile flow of history by his time-machine visit, he must la* the matchmaker for his pat eats to assure his own birth. The rest is a iiudsuiiuner night’s fun, wacky and delightful. But I was most touched by the final scene. Marty returns to his own 1985 home *.» discover a family transformed by his tinkering with their past. His parents sterile marriage is now a loving one; their thwarted ambitions and emotions fulfilled. And maybe this is the greatest fantasy of all. For every teen-ager who would use one wish to satisfy his curiosity, to see his mother and father as they were in an old rerun, there must be two who woulu use that wish to fix things. The fantasy that somehow you could straighten out your family if you could only go back and find the key, that you could make it all work out right this time, belongs to every child of an unhappy parent. To a certain degree, the fantasy is a power trip unlike the one that fueled this movie’s son back to 1955. Today, children are routinely portrayed as smarter and more worldly than their elders. In the 1955 media world, television was black and white, and the father knew best. In 1985, the colors are more vibrant and the roles are reversed. I can’t name a film or a television family — with the exception of Bill Cosby's — where the parents take their rightful place. The burden of that premature power must be as exhausting in real lie as it is in the cinema. But it’s striking that this movie son uses his power to rewrite the script of his parents’ lives, and give them all a happy ending. It symbolizes the moment in a child’s life when he realizes his own vested interest in the happiness of these people who are his parents. I have seen that understanding, as most of us have, among legions of children who have been through divorce and wish for repair. I have seen it, too, among children whose parents, like Marty’s have stayed miserably locked together. Even as adults, many carry the cost of parental self-sacrifice and the burden of their elders’ unhappiness. We know this, or most of us do. But in the last hazardous tunnel to adulthood, when teen-age kids tug and pull their way to separation, it’s easy to forget what this movie remembers: Our children wish us well. u a X V c o 0 a ITS MV ROOM MAW, MAN. SAL,THATS NO REASON my Assiento ic prop out mo a major OFcmeee FLAMER I ITS JUST NO! IMMU NG, MAN' I PONT FIT IN I LOOT TA GET OUIJA HERL1 TF. sal, every-one Feeis that my THE FIRST FEWUJEEFS. V LAMM IT, MIKE I THIS UQM IS AN EMER wa,! OCHCff ONEMORB Wgf RU0BER, L£HT! GENTS* X SAL, WTS 60 TALK TMS OUT FIRST OPAT7 I'M TULINO YOU. MAN. THE OUYSAUmP CLASS FL AMER! %'ICANT TAFE ONE MORE PAY HERE1 n SAL .EVERYBODY HAS ROOMMATE PROBLEMS. ITS TART OF BEING MIN.. HI, I'M SAL'S BROTHER, MIKE BOONES BURY TRIP TRI PIER NICE TOMEET YOU, MR POONESBURY. \ rn. rn.su matts SK.touK whate em? Mins**.. mean? Beyond question, much of this travel was entirely legitimate. It would take a real yahoo to condemn all congressional trips abroad. Members who are involved in foreign affairs can learn from face-to-face meetings more than can be learned in months of correspondence. For a specific example, Sen. Bob Dole may have accomplished more in terms of trade relations by his trip to Tokyo last month than he could have accomplished with 50 speeches on the floor. For another example, Sen. Jake Gam went to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei last fall as chairman of the banking committee. He wanted reciprocal treatment U.S. banks. He met the Chinese bankers eyeball to eyeball, and when they blinked he had his reciprocity. But when the propriety and usefulness of much foreign travel has been acknowledged, a great deal remains to be said. It is equally beyond question that travel privileges are abused, that members combine official business with private pleasure, and that the taxpayers are getting royally ripped off. Fortunately, we have seen nothing this year that approaches the brazen conduct of Rep. Adam Clayton Powell 20 years ago. The Harlem congressman tapped funds of the House Education and Labor Committee to finance regular summer vacations in Europe. He was forever flying down to his beach house on Bimini Island in the Bahamas. He turned up in Geneva with the title of “Congressional advisor to the U.S. delegation to the International labor Organization" and after a pleasant sojourn in that expensive city, he went on to the nightspots of Paris. The Rev. Powell, let it be said, was a cool cat. Powell’s constituents were indifferent to his travels. After the House refused to seat him, the voters re-elected him anyhow with an 84 percent landslide. Other constituencies may not be so forgiving. As a breed, voters will tolerate almost anything from their elected public officials — anythin! that is, but living it up at the tai payers’ expense. My guess is that Rep. BJ Alexander will have some tall plaining to do back in the Fir District of Arkansas. He commandeered a 42-passengc Air Force jet to take him, daughter, six associates and otl factotums to Brazil for six days studying alcohol fuel plants. It cost taxpayers $56,000 for thai airplane. Alexander could have flowif first class on Pan Am fror Washington to Rio and back again I $3,682. The Alexander incident was exj ceptional but in some ways typical Members customarily take th wives or children along. In time, Air Force bills members for the t of air transportation and reir bursement is made, but many ol expenses fall through the cracks. The State Department picks up the| cost of entertaining junketing! members at our embassies around I the world. It is fiendishly difficult to find out I what all this costs. In 1983, the Better) Government Association United and United Press International went to court, invoked the Freedom of Information Act and struggled mightily to get at the truth. After months of dogged labor, they put together a figure of $22 million for foreign travel in 1982. If Oklahoma’s Sen. Don Nickles has his way, at least this difficulty would be removed. He has introduced a bill that would compel full disclosure of all costs, hidden and otherwise, of congressional travel abroad. All vouchers would have to be filed in one place and made available for public inspection. Then, if a House delegation went to a parliamentary conference in Brussels, but somehow made intermediate stops in lisbon, Vienna, Copenhagen, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the taxpayers might better be able to ask, How come? The Nickles bill, it will not surprise you to know, has picked up no visible support at all. Mailbag policy The Herald Zeitung welcomes the opinions of its readers, and we’re happy to publish letters to the editor. While readers’ opinions on local issues generally are of more interest to other readers, we welcome letters on any topic — local, state, national or international — that the writer chooses to address. Content will not prevent publication unless the letter is judged to be potentially libelous. All letters to the editor should be signed and authorship must be verifiable by telephone. Anonymous letters will not be published. Send your letter to: Mailbag, New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 361, New Braunfels Texas, 78131. Letters may also be hand delivered to the newspaper offices at 186 S. Casted. Your representatives Rep. Tom Loeffler U.S. House of Representatives 1212 Long worth House Office Bldg Washington, D.C. 20515 Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769 Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D C., 20510 Sen. John Traeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711 Gov. Mark White Governors Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701 Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington, D.C. 20510 Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County) U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C., 20515 ;

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Adam Clayton Powell
  • Bill Cosby
  • Bob Dole
  • Don Nickles
  • Edmund Kuempel Texas House
  • Ellen Goodman
  • Jake Gam
  • John Traeger
  • Lloyd Bentsen
  • Mac Sweeney
  • Phil Gramm
  • Russell Bldg
  • Tom Loeffler

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Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Issue Date: September 24, 1985

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