New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 12, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
4A New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Friday, August 12,1983OpinionsHerald-Zeitung
Dave Kramer, General Manager Robert Johnson, EditorJames J. KilpatrickMy friend has three rules for life
Editor's note: James J. Kilpatrick is in the hospital after undergoing heart surgery. While he is recuperating, we will be running some of his older columns. We will also be publishing substitute columns from other writers.
SCRABBLE, Va. — J. Taliaferro Spelvin, friend and neighbor, dropped by our place the other day. His threefold purpose was to borrow the posthole digger, to share the cup that cheers but does not inebriate, and to pass along some of the accumulated wisdom for which he is so widely acclaimed in Rappahannock County and sometimes in Culpepper also.
My fellow countryman recently had observed his 39th wedding an
niversary, a pleasant milestone, as he observed, though not a round one. He had used the occasion to write down his own Three Rules for Domestic Tranquility, and these he was eager to impart. I moved the jug a bit closer to his hand and waited in respectful anticipation as he took a scrap of paper from his pocket.
“The three rules are,” he said, pausing for dramatic effect, “as follows: One, put it back. Two, take it with you. And three, don’t put it off.” He put the paper back in his pocket.
“J.T.,” I said, “you are having trouble with your antecedents. What are all these 'its' that must be fetched, carried and accomplished?”
These are the universal “its,” he replied, and he went on to explain.
Nothing, said my venerable friend, nothing at all is more disruptive of domestic tranquility than a continuing state of indifference to Rule One. When a man wants his hammer, his pliers or his bottle opener, he expects to find these indispensable objects in their established place. And when the hammer has been appropriated for cracking walnuts and has not been returned, he frets, he fumes and he waxes wroth. Such vexations hang on for years.
“Back in the spring of 1975,” J.T. recalled, “I had to cut a little strip of rubber insulation. Through an act of gross misjudgment on my part, I took my beloved’s pinking shears for this purpose, and I left them in the garage. If only I remembered to put the thing
back, I would have been spared the maledictions that ensued. I also would have been saved the price of a new pair of pinking shears.”
Well, I said, “Put it back” is most certainly a splendid rule. What of Rule Two?
“This is the rule,” he said, “by which we reduce the clutter that jangles the nerves. The business of everyday living is mostly a process of moving objects from Point A to Point B — dishes, laundry, toys, bottles, firewood, garbage, tools, tennis rackets and so on. On this principle the whole trucking industry depends. But life can be simplified if one takes out the empty Coke bottles as one brings back the dog’s dish. Never go anywhere empty-handed! That is
Rule Two, and it serves a great purpose.”
J.T. inspected the jug and improved his toddy. Rule Three, he continued, is the rule against procrastination, which is the most infuriating vice of all. if a thing has to be done — if the gutters must be cleaned, or some kindling split, or a button sewed back on, or the oil changed, or the frozen hamburger put out to thaw — then do it! Get it over and done with! Then you can do something else without any nagging from one’s conscience or one’s spouse.
I inquired of my philsopher friend if his three rules embraced his entire prescription for domestic tranquility, and he said he was working on others
but had not yet perfected them. Tentatively he was thinking of a Rule Four, which he was formulating as “Think about it first,” or in the alternative, “It is often better to shut up than to pop off.” Recognizing, however, that there also are times when it is better to pop off than to shut up, he has postponed a definitive statement.
I fetched the posthole digger, which fortunately had been put back in its proper place, and J.T. promised to bring it back along with a peck of apples. He would bring it back, that is, as soon as he got around to digging the postholes — next week, or maybe next month. Rule Three, said J.T., is the rule he never could remember.
LBJ's Job Corps finding itself in some trouble
WASHINGTON - The Job Corps, a survivor of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, has been untouched by scandal during its 19-year history. But maybe that's because no one was really looking — until recently.
Auditors from the General Accounting Office have just completed an investigation of the agency at the request of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Their report, still unreleased, questions many practices.
Job Corps officials have doled out millions of dollars in contracts and modifications in apparent ignorance of proper procurement methods. Virtually none of the contracts were audited.
In addition, investigators rn the Labor Department inspector general’s office suggested possible misconduct and “abuse at official authority” by the Job Corps' former national director. Richard A. Jaffe. They listed his questionable procedures in a sizzling memo to Assistant Labor Secretary Albert Angrisam on May 18
The GAO found no examples of outright fraud in the Job Corps' contracting procedures, but one investigator told my associate Tony Capaccio: “The whole system is vulnerable.”
One example the GAO cited was a $2 million training contract award in 1978 to the National Association of Home Builders. “Modified” 26 Umes since then, the contract has now cost $2.27 million — and it ws never auditied by the l.abor Department.
The inspector general’s secret memo accused Jaffe of specific questionable practices. One instance involved a contract award to Humanization Inc., a management consulting firm whose president, Richard Shrak, formerly headed the Job Corps in the Southwest Indeed, the IG memo says Jaffe was instrumental in getting Humanization the contract from the Job Corps training center in San Marcos, Texas.
From mid-1980 through December 1981, Humanization was paid $376,351 through subcontracts with 14 training centers. Jaffe personally assured officials at the San Marcos center that funds would be forthcoming for a $60,000 subcontract, the IG investigators found.
After persuading the center’s prime contractor to give a $27,000 sub
contract to Humanization, Jaffe instructed the Southwest regional Job Corps office to transfer the amount to San Marcos from funds earmarked for another Texas facility. The Humanization contract subsequently grew by $33,000, and despite Jaffe’s original assurance, the San Marcos center had to pay the added amount out of its operating funds.
In another case, the IG investigators reported that Jaffe persuaded a New Jersey institute, the Institute for Humanist Studies, to award a $31,564 subcontract to Prep Inc. for instruction of Job Corps staff members in the presentation of sex-education material.
Jaffe authorized several regional offices to pay for the sex-educational material, even though it had not been asked for and in fact was never used by the job training centers that got it.Party pooper
With the federal budget deficit rocketing toward $200 billion, eagle-eyed cost cutters on the House Appropriations Committee have triumphantly found a way to save $6,500. They have deleted the “representation” funds — known in some circles as the booze allowance — from the 1984 appropriations bill.
In the past, the money has been routinely appropriated for receptions, open-house affairs and office parties — ostensibly to pay for coffee, doughnuts and refreshments.
That’s whiskey money,” explained a staff member to my reporter Claudia Kahn.
In the 1984 appropriations bill, the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government subcommittee conceded that in “certain circumstances” some government officials may have a legitimate need for party funds But the subcommittee now insists there ought to be a law, and urged the administration to ask for one.
Starting small, the subcommittee axed the booze allowance for only three agencies under its control: Office of Personnel Management, $2,500; Merit Systems Protection Board, $1,500; and General Services Administration, $2,500.
Unaccountably, the Treasury was let off with a warning that it would get no entertainment money in 1965
Democrats, Republicans play the crazy fund-raising game
WW. THI C0N6RESS QUIT FUNP1N6 COVERT OPERATIONS,,BY EVANS WITT Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - If campaign treasuries bulging early in an election scare off potential competitors, a lot of incumbent senators won’t have any opposition in the 1964 elections.
But that piece of conventional political wisdom seems destined to go the way of many other such “truisms,” as the soaring costs at campaigns and the explosion of PAC money reshape the nature and timing of election efforts.
It may only be the summer of 1963 — 15 months before the 1984 general election — but campaign fund-raising is going full blast.
Already, 31 incumbent senators have raised more than $10 million for their 1964 re-election campaigns
They have stashed $9.6 million in bank accounts across the country, ready to pour it out to beat back opponents’ efforts to unseat them.
The political action comiiuttees are a major source for this surge of money. More than $2.4 million poured from PACS into Senate campaign treasuries by midyear — up 62 percent from the same period in 1981.
At least ll incumbents have already collected more than $100,000 from PACS. Only three had done so in 1961, Federal Election Commission reports say.
This suggests the 1964 Senate campaigns will top the $114 million spent in 1961-62 — the record — including $21.7 million in PAC money.
Big campaign war chests don’t seem to have done much good at scaring off opponents this year.
John Tower has one of the biggest, a
$1.6 million bankroll to start his effort to keep the Texas seat in Republican hands.
But Bob Krueger, the former congressman who almost knocked off Tower rn 1978, is back again. He’s got almost $200,000 in the bank And state Sen. Lloyd Doggett, who wants the Democratic nomination just like Krueger, already has a bankroll of $400,000, much of it left over from his previous campaigns.
And that doesn’t even count Rep Kent Hance or former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe, who are thinking about making a bid.
Jesse Helms has already raised $1.7 million — and spent $1.5 million of that. But, as certain as anything can ever be in politics, North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt will challenge tile Republican incumbent in what
proimses to be one of the moat ex-pensive and most heated Senate campaigns ever.
And Chuck Percy has $609,861 in the bank, including the proceeds from a dinner featuring Ronald Reagan Bul Rep. Tom Corcoran is trying to take the GGP nomination in Illinois away from him, while Rep. Paul Simon, former Percy opponent Alex Saith and state controller Roland Burris are off and running on the Democratic side.
Conversely, a lack of early money doesn't seem to do much to encourage opponents — at least in Kansas Nancy Kassebaum, the GOP of ficeholder, had only about $66,000 lr campaign money raised as of July I but various prominent Kansai Democrats have repeatedly turned down those urging them to challenge the first-termer.
San. John Tower United States Senate Boom 142 Russell Building Washington. D C. 20610
Rep. Tom Loather U S House of Representatives 1212 Long worth House Office Building Weehington. D C 20616
Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P O. Box 2810 Auetin. Texas 78768
Sen. Lloyd Bemean United Statee Banate Room 240 Rueeetl Building Weehington. D C 20610
Gov. Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Auetin, Texas 78701
Sen. John Traeger Texae Senate
Capitol Station Auetin. Texas 78711