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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 7, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Wednesday, December 7, 2005 FORUM MMK Our Opinion Sign committee deserves praise The citizens on the signage committee should be praised, not criticized, for taking a stand against new billboards in New Braunfels. TI Ihe Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce’s position of opposing the regulation of billboards in New Braunfels is not only bad for the city, it’s a flawed position for the business community that supports the chamber. As billboards have popped up all over town, the aesthetic appearance of this Hill Country community has been altered, and not for the better. A committee of citizens literally has invested hundreds of hours and listened to scores of residents about the need to regulate the signage in New Braunfels. The members said the message from residents was clear: Stop the proliferation of the billboards. So the committee recently agreed to recommend to New Braunfels City Council that billboards in the city be curtailed. But in what could be described as a e-mailed tongue-lashing, chamber executive Michael Meek chastised the citizen committee members for ignoring what’s important to the chamber’s "interested parties.” Citizens of New Braunfels, and in particular the citizen volunteers on the sign ordinance committee, should be praised for their concern for the city’s future, not criticized. Citizens concerned about how their city looks is not an inherently anti-business position, but apparently that’s how the chamber has decided to define it. The chamber, more than any other organization, is responsible for successfully creating and promoting the image of New Braunfels. The chamber’s success in marketing the city is nothing short of outstanding. But that’s what makes the chamber executive’s reaction seem so incongruous to what the chamber promotes as our city's charm and beauty. How could it be good business for the chamber to take a position so counter to what the committee says is overwhelming support by residents for regulation of billboards? The citizens themselves comprise the largest and most important "interested party” in New Braunfels, and the citizens on the signage committee should be commended for recognizing who really is the most important "interested party.” The chamber members, most of them local business owners and managers, surely understand that the most important “interested party" to their businesses is their customers. And isn t it good business to understand and respond to what your customers want? LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor do Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Managing Editor Jeremy Pafford Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor David Rupkalvis iVJSXT FSP THE POLITICALLY tOTOECT HSUMV HIT SQUflG OOO SHOULDST „ THAT Be „ \NoMeNORAH ? Letters to the Editor Vote ‘yes’ on CISD bond issue to keep school district first-rate In 1969, my husband, three children and I moved to Garden Ridge from San Antonio. We liked being in a country atmosphere, and we especially liked the small outstanding Comal Independent School District. In the following 36 years, we realized that we were not alone in wanting to get away from “the big city life.” Our little country CISD has grown by leaps and bounds and will continue to do so. This growth is largely due to CISD’s high standards of education its reputation enjoys. We saw our three children get a first-class education in CISD, and now we witness with great pride our three grandchildren successfully moving through the Comal system. Needless to say, with the huge increase of families in our school district, we are in desperate need for new and strategically placed schools and first-rate teachers to service our current and growing population of children in the CISD area. It is imperative that CISD continues to maintain its high standard of education in order to prepare our students for tomorrow’s world. That is why my husband and I will vote “yes” for the proposed bond election Dec. 13. Barbara Scholze Garden Ridge Wurstfest ‘design’ would be well-served on local rivers The city of New Braunfels should take note of the Herald-Zeitung article regarding Wurstfest’s tally of $2 million as it pertains to management of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers during the summer months — specifically in regards to the “design” by the Wurstfest Association to deemphasize the beer drinking, which resulted in a more family-friendly atmosphere and a better behaved crowd. This same approach was used on Galveston beaches a few years back with a ban on alcoholic beverages. It did not decrease the tourism. To the contrary, tourism and development is up due in large part to the family-friendly mood now enjoyed along the beaches in Galveston. As a resident on the Guadalupe in town, I am amazed to see the endless flow of drunken toobers, littering, cursing and trespassing that gets worse each year on our rivers during the summer months. Perhaps our city leaders or state legislators can take a cue from Wurstfest to devise a way to promote our rivers to a more responsible group of tourists and give back to the community a part of what we enjoy for the other nine months of the year. Robert Kent New Braunfels If government didn’t legislate morality, who would be safe? Recently, a stand was taken against Proposition No. 2 by the Herald-Zeitung on the grounds that “you can’t legislate morality.” What else would you regulate or legislate? Maybe immorality or perhaps amorality. (Is anything truly neutral?) Is it immoral to kill, or can you copulate on the Plaza in broad daylight? Did we legislate against these things? Today in our society we have euphemized adultery, fornication and homosexuality. They are now an affair, living together with a significant other and an alternative lifestyle. Ah, no more stigma. In fact, to stand against these things is to be intolerant or perhaps a religious bigot or maybe a member of the radical right. We also allow babies to be killed right up to the time he/she is partially delivered. Is it a little ironic that to deliberately break a bald eagle’s egg is a felony? We now have soaring divorce rates, rampant sexually transmitted diseases, juvenile delinquency, disrespect and rudeness. You don’t suppose these things we allow, endorse and promote could be causative factors in all this, do you? Robert C. Davenport New Braunfels What seniors should demand of their Congress members A proposed new treaty with Mexico will open our Social Security system to not only legal workers, hut also to 5 million Mexican immigrants who have worked here illegally. Also, seniors, your cost-of-living (COIA) increase in 2005 was only 2.7 percent, when the statistics show actual increase by 17 percent. Medicare premiums rose 17.5 percent and ate up most, if not all, of the COLA increase. Congress is trying to make deep cuts in Social Security. What seniors should demand of the Social Security Administration and our Congress is: ■ That Social Security and Medicare, by law, be exempt from cuts. ■ That COLA be fair and accurate and be guaranteed to pay for COLA accurately. ■ That government should stop borrowing from the Social Security trust fund. ■ That Congress should repay the $1.6 trillion debt that threatens the future of the Social Security trust fund. ■ That we should demand Congress pass House Resolution 20 and stop illegals from Mexico or elsewhere from benefits for illegally performed work under the proposed Totalization Treaty. Marty Davis New Braunfels MOW TO CONTACT United States ffinnnmm Government PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512)469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government minimum GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St. New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512) 463-0125 E-mail address: jeff. Wentworth® senate, ■ Judith Zaffirini RO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Military waging propaganda war with Middle East media, American liberals w. i\’V CAL THOMAS Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1500, Chicago. IL 60611, or leave an e-mail at wwiv. cal tho mas. com. The Pentagon is investigating allegations that the military paid to have positive stories about the war published in Iraqi newspapers. Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a military spokesman in Iraq, thinks the program is “an important part of countering misinformation in the news by insurgents.” Johnson said in an e-mail, “This is a military program initiated by the Multi-National Force to help get factual information about ongoing operations into Iraqi news. I want to emphasize that all information used for marketing these stories is completely factual.” In this, as in other wars, propaganda has been a useful tool in winning hearts and minds. Propaganda is defined on as “the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.” The late columnist Walter Lippmann observed, "We must remember that in time of war, what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.” Lippmann was possibly being sarcastic, but propaganda is an important weapon in any war. In his speech last week on our “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” and in the 35-page document available at, President Bush used propaganda to persuade the public he has a winning strategy in Iraq. Democrats, who have engaged in their own propaganda, calling on the president to present a winning strategy, engaged in propaganda by criticizing his strategy. That their response to the president’s speech was contrary to their earlier propaganda, which made many of the president’s points, apparendy escaped them. Propaganda is sometimes true. It can be used to advance a policy that is workable, or not, depending on the intent of the one engaging in it. Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at the National Defense University last week. Using truthful propaganda, Pace said our enemies declared war on us years before 9/11 and have stated without equivocation that their goal is to “destroy our way of life.” He said we need to understand the nature of our enemy and that the United States and free world don’t have the option of staying home, because they would come after us anyway: “They are saying their goal is to rid the Middle East of all foreigners. Then, overthrow all governments that are not friendly to them, which means every single one of those governments. Then, to use that base as a way to spread their terrorism and their oppression across the globe to include a map that shows IOO years from now that the entire globe will be under their domination.” Pace added, “Our enemies are ruthless, uncaring. They murder children with bombs.... The more people understand who these terrorists are, the more they will gather together to defeat them.” He also mentioned a number of positive signs for the Iraqi economy, including more than 30,000 new businesses that have come on line in Iraq and the bravery of individual Iraqis who vote and apply for jobs in the new Iraqi army and police force in spite of terrorist attacks. That is something one never reads or sees in the mainstream media, which delivers its own propaganda that says nothing is going well in Iraq. It sees only dark linings in silver clouds. I have no problem with planted stories in the Iraqi press if they are truthful. How else to counter enemy propaganda, which includes most Middle East newspapers and al-Jazeera? They regularly publish lies about America’s intent in Iraq and throughout the region. President Bush and the military leadership have said this will be a long war without an obvious conclusion. But the conclusion will be obvious if the American left wins its own propaganda war, encouraging our enemies to fight on by causing a precipitous withdrawal before the goal of a self-sufficient Iraq is achieved. The choice isn’t war or peace. The choice is victory or defeat. That is truthfril propaganda. ;