New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 26, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
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The White House
Superpowers still chilly toward each other, below
Deva Kraaicr, General Manager Robert Jokason, Editor
U.S.-Soviet relations hit rough water
By BARRY SCHWEID AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON — U.S.-Soviet relations, never very smooth, appear to be entering another rough period as the 40th anniversary of the powerful alliance that crushed the Nazis and saved Europe approaches.
The rise of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as paramount Soviet leader on March ll was greeted by Secretary of State George P. Shultz as “a moment of opportunity” for an across-the-board improvement in relations.
But after nearly seven weeks, what diplomats refer to as the ‘ atmospherics” are as cloudy as ever. An apparent agreement to prevent further harm to U.S. reconaissance officers in East Germany seems to have collapsed.
President Reagan’s spokesman, Larry Speakes, has threatened the Soviets with unspecified ‘‘adverse consequences” if they do not deal responsibly with U.S. demands for an apology and compensation for the slaying of Maj. Arthur D. Nicholson Jr.
Amid the turmoil, the first round of talks to limit nuclear weapons ended this week in Geneva, Swit
zerland, with no sign of progress — which means the arms race goes on.
Gorbachev accused the United States of reneging on an agreement to negotiate the “Star” Wars program in tandem with offensive nuclear weapons.
Distrust appears to be on the rise.
Shultz said in an interview recently that the Soviets had not even responded to U.S. proposals to reduce long- and intermediate-range missiles.
But the Soviets may be holding back until U.S. negotiator Max Kampelman signals that the space-based defense program would be part of a deal.
The other night, addressing a private arms control organization here, Brent Scowcroft assessed the prospects of an agreement as “fairly bleak.”
Former President Ford’s national security adviser said the problem was the Soviets want the United States to give up the Strategic Defense Initiative “without paying anything for it,” while the U.S. negotiators “don’t want to put it on the table at all.”
Scowcroft suggested several possible approaches, including a halt to Star Wars in exchange for the elimination of U.S. and Soviet missiles with multiple
warheads. His audience seemed interested, but it’s unlikely the two governments are. right now and for the foreseeable future.
Several top U.S. officials have concluded that Gorbachev is not really all that different from his three invalid predecessors, even though, at 54. he represents a new generation. The conventional wisdom within the administration is that he will need many months to consolidate power in the Kremlin and will not launch new foreign policy initiatives in the meantime.
However, the new Soviet leader appears to be moving quickly. On Tuesday, in Moscow, he introduced two new national party secretaries with reputations for efficiency and combating corruption.
Jonathan Sanders, the assistant director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, described Nikolai I. Ryzhkov, 55, as an “up from the factory floor” official bent on reform. In an interview Wednesday, Sanders said the same applies to the other new secretary, Yegor K. Iigachev.64.
“I believe we are going to see a retirement and review process,” Sanders said. “The retirement of old people and review of corrupt people.”
The import for the Reagan administration, the scholar said, is that “when the Soviets begin to solve some of their economic and organizational problems they are going to be an even more formidable rival.”
Sanders said he thinks the Soviets are serious about arms control negations. “We have a wonderful opportunity,” he said. “We have a window of tune.”
But progress on arms control probably requires a better overall relationship than exists at this point.
After U.S. officials rejected as a propaganda ploy Gorbachev’s Easter Sunday proposals for arms control measures, the Soviet leader told a visiting U.S. congressional delegation headed by House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr.. D-Mass.. that "a kind of ice age is being observed in relations between the U.S.S.R. and the United States."
There seemed to be a little thaw when the top U S. and Soviet mill tar) commanders met in Potsdam, East Germany, on April 12. The State Department announced four days later the Soviets had agreed not to permit “use of force or weapons” against American military liaison personnel.
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Gov. Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington. D C. 20510
Sen. John Traeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas. 78711
Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D C.. 20510
Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P O Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
Rep Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County) U S. House of Representatives Washington. D C, 20515
Rep. Tom Loeffler U.S. House of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington, D.C. 20515
WASHINGTON — Like a steward rearranging deck chairs on the sinking Titanic, the manager of the federal government’s crop-insurance program is eagerly
Federal crop insurance agency quickly loses ground
,e a steward making changes that havent a prayer of iceberg in the first place. after another from other federal agencies. surance agreements hav
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making changes that haven’t a prayer saving the bankrupt agency In fact, some critics believe the changes propelled the agency into the financial
iceberg in the first place.
In a past column, we recounted the series of fiscal crises that have forced the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. to seek one bailout
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after another from other federal agencies. After more than 40 years of black-ink operation, the FCIC has run itself $861 million into the red over the last five years.
FCIC manager Merritt Sprague pins the blame for the agency’s plight on Mother Nature — years of bad weather that have ruined many of the 32 crops the FCIC insures.
But some critics charge that the main reason for the FCIC’s financial catastrophe is the practice of “reinsurance” through private companies —• a practice that has mushroomed at the agency since 1981. They note that the rush to reinsurance coincides with the FCIC’s period of major losses, and they suspect there’s a connection.
Uke bookmakers laying off potentially ruinous bets, the insurance companies get reinsurance coverage from the FCIC on the riskier crops. The annually revised rein
surance agreements have enhanc companies’ profit potential while limi amount of losses they can incur. Ifs deal for the insurance companies, bi deal for the FCIC.
Recognizing a good thing when the; the private insurers have rushed to new customers — and protected ther with FCIC reinsurance. From 1981 un the amount of reinsurance covera grown from 3 percent of the FCIC op to nearly 80 percent.
Noting that this is precisely wt agency suffered its biggest loss vestigators for the General Acc Office urged the FCIC to “moderate expansion of the reinsurance progra the current program’s operation evaluated to assure that it is cost-el for both the government and the in* companies.”