New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 2, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
^QHerakJ-Zeitunq O Wednesday, August 2,1995
■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext;21
Z e i t u n g
“Language makes culture, and ne make a rotten culture when we abuse words.”
— Cynthia Ozick writer, 1972
Saved from ourselves
Saudi Arabia (like U.S.) perfects the fine art of bureaucratic bungling
Governments in other countries are not so different from our own.
As evidence of that, know that Saudi Arabia, in an effort to make that country a safer place, plans to confiscate all bicycles.
According to Bicycling magazine, the Saudi director of patrols has said, “Bicycles are banned because they are misused for evil purposes and because they endanger the lives of their users.”
A former traffic director of the city of Jeddah supports that, saying that bicycles “undoubtedly cause fatal accidents, so all efforts are being made to prevent their use and seize them.”
Importing and selling bicycles is still legal, however.
“We import bicycles from all countries of the world and sell them with no restrictions whatsoever,” said Khaled Al-Mabrouk, a bicycles shop owner in that country.
“But the market is currently experiencing stagnancy because the bikes are confiscated as soon as they are used.”
This little story offers two different examples of governmental and/or bureaucratic bumbling.
First, of course, the Saudi bureaucrats have taken a step so extreme as to be silly to protect people from themselves.
,k Why does this country’s own OSHA come immediately to &und in that context?
And then the Saudis have backed into the “problem” by ^establishing the program of confiscation but taking no action to ^prevent the importation or sale of the offending product.
Why does that conjure pictures of the logic of bureaucracy in general?
* (Today s editorial was written by David Sullens, editor and ’publisher of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.)
SS".......... ' ' 'us...
.‘The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public HjMue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctua-•jtson and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 words. ’We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Herald--Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone ber, which are not for publication, must be included, cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned, ference is given to writers who have not been published in the ous 30 days.
to the Editor do The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung *.0. Drawer 311328 \ New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 (210) 625-1224
itor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens
al Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall
mg Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday
erasing Director......................................................Tracy Stevens
a colation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery
essroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt
lassrfied Manager........................................................Laura Cooper
rty Editor ....................................................................Roger Croteau
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slows down Bailey
My friend Dennis Bailey fell out of an airplane last week. It helped ti .at he was wearing a parachute, which saved him physically. Mentally, there is probably no help available for his type. I’ve heard that the only reason people like to skydive is for the special thrill they get from feeling the wind blow through the holes in their heads.
If that’s true, Dennis certainly qualifies for several holes-in-one.
Dennis has lived in New Braunfels for IO years but he grew up in Almeda, Texas—the same place my husband, Clay, was raised. Their families were more than nodding acquaintances. Dennis’s father, H.B.
Bailey, and Gay’s dad were aspiring race car drivers. H.B. went on to pro racing. Last year, he was the first to attempt to qualify for the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.
Dennis’s brother, Joe Dan, worked several years for race car driver Dale Earnhardt and recently joined John Andretti’s racing team.
Dennis has always been into pro racing himself, but he doesn’t do it for a living. He’s been in the auto salvage business for 22 years. Currently, he’s the manager of Insurance Auto Salvage in San Antonio—the largest parts yard in the area. He works five to seven
days a week but still finds time to have his fun.
He’s a certified scuba diver and has taken dive trips to Belize, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. While in the Caymans, he took a stab at parasailing and liked that, too.
He goes snow-skiing almost every winter. Among his favorite (daces are Ski Apache in Ruidoso, N.M.; Brackenridge and Winter Park in Colorado.
He loves to raft down the Guadalupe. But his idea of a good time is to jump out of the raft at the top of each waterfall and swim down it (wearing a life vest).
Back when Dennis was at the University of Houston, he was on a swimming team and a basketball team (which won plaques at international tournaments in Toronto, Canada, and Las Vegas).
This week, he’s been practicing scrimmage football for an upcoming tournament, the “Blister Bowl,” which will be held in Santa Barbara, Calif., in October.
He hunts. Right now he’s joint-leasing three deer/bird/hog ranches in Texas. Last year he drove up to Wyoming and came back with some nice antelope which he likes to barbecue along with venison and wild hog whenever he can get some friends together.
Over the years, he’s: placed in some bass fishing tournaments; owned a 6-wheel all-terrain vehicle, which he mostly used to go frog gigging; owned jet skis; gotten in and out of bowhunting; and received a city of Dallas Citizen’s Award and Dallas Police Department’s Certificate of Merit for helping to apprehend two armed robbers.
When I think of Dennis, I’m reminded of a story. One day a calculus professor was illustrating the complexities of the subject. On the blackboard, he drew an equation that mathematicians had been puzzling over for decades. It appeared to be unsolvable. Toward the end of the lecture, one student came running into class breathless, having experienced car trouble. In the closing minutes of class, he noticed the equation on the board and, thinking it was homework, copied it down. When he came to class two days later, he turned in his “assignment,” telling the professor, “Well, that was pretty hard—I stayed up two whole nights working on it” At first amused, and then astonished, the professor realized that the student had figured out something no one had been able to for many years.
Dennis reminds me of that student. As long as he doesn’t know he can’t do something, he can do it.
Next month he’ll be water skiing at Sea World. It’s one of the wheelchair sports events set up by the Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center.
When Dennis was 12, he was thrown from a horse—but not completely. One of his feet was still caught in a stirrup when the horse took off at a gallop. Before Dennis finally got free, his back had been broken. He’s been paralyzed below the waist ever since.
He’s quite a guy—one I’m proud to call my friend. But he’s a hard person to keep up with. Especially when (like last week) he’s heading down.
(Allene Blaker is a Herald-Zeitung editorial assistant and columnist.)
M I _. M .
Reno and the new virtue of uncertainty
By CALVIN WOODWARD
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — If it’s rare in Washington for someone to stand up and take responsibility when something goes wrong, it may be just as rare for someone to say, with chin held high, “I don’t know.” Attorney General Janet Reno did both in testimony at the House Waco hearings.
She was contrite over what obviously went wrong in the 1993 assault, open about her inner s&uggles, defiant to anyone who thought she had it in her hands to make it turn out right All in all, she was a tough, moving target for Republicans trying to make hay over the bungled raid on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. One or two tied themselves in knots trying to trip her up.
In even tones that hardly varkxl over some eight hours of questioning, Reno worked methodically through the events behind her decision to end a 51 -day standoff by pumping tear gas into the compound. Hours later, 81 Branch Davidians died when fireToday In HistoryBy The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 1995. There are 151 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on Aug. 2, 1945, President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and the new British prime minister, Clement Attlee, concluded the Allied conference at Potsdam.
On this date:
In 1776, members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence
In 1830, Charles X, the last Bourbon king of France, abdicated.
In 1876, frontiersman “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot from behind and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, S.D.
In 1921, a jury in Chicago acquitted several former members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team and two others of conspiring to defraud (he public inAnalysis
destroyed the building.
By the end of the day, she was winning guarded praise or at least a degree of deference from some of her toughest critics.
“It was a close call. We are applying 20-20 hindsight today, a luxury not available to you at the time,” said Rep. Howard CoNe, R-N.C.
Reno was thrown immediately into the Waco standoff when she became President Clinton’s attorney general in March 1993. Her willingness to take the rap for mistakes in the assault was greeted at the time as a bracing departure from the Washington habit of ducking for cover.
She still wasn’t ducking Tuesday. “I am accountable,” she kept saying.
What that means, however, has not been clear. In some parliamentary systems, the parson who makes a decision leading to a terrible outcome quickly steps down. Waco could hardly have been more terrible.
the notorious “Black Sox” scandal.
In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco.
In 1927, President Coolidge issued a statement to reporters: “I do not choose to mn for President in 1928.”
In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler’s complete takeover.
In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Roosevelt that urged creation of an atomic weapons research program.
In 1939, President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act, which prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.
In 1943, a U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, commanded by Ll. John F. Kennedy, sank after being sheared in two by a Japanese destroyer off the Solomon islands. (Kennedy was credited with saving members of the crew.)
In 1964, the Pentagon reported the first of two attacks on U S destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.
“In any other country, she’d have resigned,” said Rep. Bob Doman, R-Calif., who had been watching the proceedings. “What saved her was taking the blame, allowing Clinton to hide behind her.”
But even Republicans didn’t call for her resignation in the hearings. They were more interested in trying to pin responsibility on Clinton. Democrats, meanwhile, fawned over her “towering integrity.”
If she was resolute in testimony, Reno let it be known she was plagued with doubt in trying to figure out how to deal with David Koresh without hurting the children with him.
“I stayed awake at night trying to figure out what was the right thing lo do,” she said. “What about the children?’
“I struggled over this decision. I don’t know... what the right answer was.”
Not much shook her, but the tension rose when Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., stumbling over his questions, began talking about autopsy reports detailing the suffering of the children from what he believed was the tear
In 1980, 85 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the train station in Bologna, Italy.
Ten years ago: 137 people were killed when a Delta Air Lines jumbo jet crashed as it attempted to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Five years ago: Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. President Bush condemned the incursion as an act of "naked aggression.” (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)
One year ago: Serbia threatened lo cut all aid to the Bosnian Serbs if they didn’t approve an international peace plan.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Beatrice Straight is 77. Former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 73. Actor Carroll O’Connor is 71. Actor Peter O’Toole is 63. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 50.
Thought for Today: “Ideas are powerful things, requiring not a studious contemplation but an action, even if it is only an inner action.” — Midge Decter, American writer.