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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 10, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 4A □ Herakj-Zeitung g Wednesday, December 10,1997 ■ To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 220. Hera Z e i t u n g Opinion - Online contect ■ To submit letters aux! guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the Herald-Zeitung’s address is QUOTABLE“A biased journalist will lose credibility sad sources, and when you’re without credibility and sources, friends, you’re not a reporter.’' John Mashek journalistStop singing about it and just do it EDITORIALKudos As exciting as Saturday^ football victory over MacArthur was, there was an awe-inspiring moment before the first play from scrimmage. With heavy traffic trying to get into the stadium, the buses carrying the band, pep squad, cheerleaders and Monoceras were late arriving to the game. As a result only a handful of the Unicom band members were present when the stadium announcer said, “And now the Unicom band will play the New Braunfels alma mater." People around me began saying, “There’s no one to play” or “Wheres the band?” and “They can’t do that; there’s no one here.” At that point one lone trumpet player for the band raised his instrument and played the alma mater, by himself, not missing a note. From my location, one could have heard a pin drop. It was truly inspirational and typified the season the Unicorns have experienced. Despite seemingly ov erwhelming circumstances, someone steps up and does what it takes. This lone trumpet players actions are a credit to the school, the community and the parents of this band member, lft also a great lesson: anything is possible, if you believe. R. Fletcher New Braunfels (Editors Note: That lone trumpet player was junior Nick Leifeste. Job well done! See related story' on Fbge I A.) (Kudos is a regular feature of the Herald-Zeitung in w hich readers can recognize the work or support of individuals and organizations in the community'. Send your Kudos to: Herald-Zeitung, 707 Lamia St., New> Braunfels, TX 78130, or fax them to (210) 625-1224).Write us ... The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 w ord*. We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must bs included Please ate the page number and date of any article that is mentioned Preference is given to writers who have not been published rn the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor co the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung P O Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax 1830) 625-1224 New BraunfelsHerald -Zeitung Editor and Publisher, Ext 301    ................................. Doug Toney Managing Editor Ext 220      Margaret    Edmonson Marketing Director Ext 208      Jason    Bor char dt Classified Advertising Manager Ext 214............. Karen    Remmger Business Manager, Ext 202     Mary    Lee Hall Circulation Director, Ext 228     Carol    Ann Avery Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Fnday by the ■MewHruunhrL Herald-/sauna(LSPS 3774*))TOT Linda St, or PO Dialer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, TX 78131-1328 Paxnhcal postage paid by the Air* Braunfels Herald-/et nam in New Braunfels, texas Lamer delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $20.50; six months, $37, one year. $66. Senior C itizen Discounts by earner delivery only: ax months, $33; one year, $62 Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas three months. $30.30; six motahs, SSS; one year. $103 SO. Mail outside Texas: ax months. $78; one year, $118 25 Subscribers *ho have not received a newspaper by 5:30 pm Tuesday through Fnday or by 7:30 am on Sunday may call (830) 625-9144 it by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 am on Sunday, PosTMxsTfcX Send address changes to the View Braunfels Herald-/etlung P O Drawer 311328. New Braunfels, Tx. 78131 • 1328. lf I were Colin Powell, I would be insulted that the president of die United States believed I became a general, an advisor to presidents and chairman of the Joint Chiefs because of die Army’s affirmative action program instead of merit. Yet that is precisely what Bill Clinton suggested to author Abigail Themstrom at a * town meeting” on race in Akron, Ohio, last week. Themstrom had been added to the program following complaints that the audience was composed exclusively of those favoring affirmative action. The president, returning to his Oprah-Donahue role, continues to focus on the externals of race when he ought to be focusing on the internals of character, diligence, attitude, morality md personal integrity. When minorities and the majority attend to the internal things, die external things usually work out. For example, the successful shun crime, drugs and sexual activity that leads to fatherless kids and single motherhood. lf poor and minority children were allowed to go to the schools of their choice, their education would improve to the level where they Cal Thomas could compete for college admission with everyone else. They wouldn’t need a two-track admission system or remedial programs. Unfortunately, the education lobby and its political allies don’t want to open themselves to competition because they would lose their political power, and they are willing to sacrifice even the future of children in order to maintain that power. The president continues to emphasize feelings and attitudes rather than virtue and accomplishment. This line of thinking subordinates success to emotions. Ask those in poverty whether they would rather have a sympathetic president or a real job, an intact family and a future. For their part conservative whites are tired of hearing the whining and complaining. They will not be intim idated into continued spending on failed and discriminatory programs by stories about slavery and bigotry by others. Yes, blacks in luxury cars are sometimes wrongly stopped by the police. Yes, some store owners are wary of black customers. And yes, some Macks get greater scrutiny at the bank when cashing checks. These are all wrong and should be corrected. When too much attention is focused on the bad, we get more that is bad. If we focused more on the good — from good black-white relations, successful minority individuals, responsible and loving minority families — we might get more that is good. In 1930, multiracial novelist Jean Toomer wrote a letter to a friend in which he suggested that our tendency to label people might be the cause of our division: "My view of this country sees it composed of people who primarily are Americans, who secondarily are of various stocks or mixed stocks. The matter of descent, and of divisions presumably based on descents, has been given, in my opinion, due emphasis, indeed over emphasis. I aim to stress the fact that we are all Americans. I do not see things in terms of Negro, Anglo-Saxon, Jewish and so on. As for me personally, I see myself an American, simply an American.” Toomer wished to “withdraw from all things which emphasize or tend to emphasize racial or cultural divisions. I must align myself with things which stress the experiences, forms and spirit we have in common.” He sounds like actress Whoopi Goldberg, who says: “I’m not African-American. I’m an American.” Such attitudes might do more to heal racial divirions than the constant nagging, whining and ’ 'gimme” syndrome that engulfs the liberal and civil rights establishment. Our country isn’t perfect because people aren’t perfect. But there’s no greater land of opportunity on Earth. Let’s stop the songs about overcoming and start overcoming. When that happens, real healing, and real progress, will follow. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) Nice qoina Janer.' Nowwiwm canali) j nottinu UK . J. I Remember this when Christmas shopping Dick Thaier, a professor ai the University of Chicago, gave every second student in hts class a $6 coffee mug He then asked those with and without mugs what they’d buy or sell the mugs for. Those without mugs didn ’t think much of them and offered just a dollar of two. Those with the mugs, by contrast, valued them and were unwilling to sell them for less than five or six dollars. His research intfccates that $ IOO lost seems to matter to us about twice as much as SI OO gamed. Mott of us have loss aversion We then to cling to our mistakes because we hate to recognize a loss. Perhaps that explains why so few of us are willing to change behavior that is bad for us. lf we change, we have to admit we were wrong So to maintain a feeling of complacency. we keep doing the same things thai harm John Ingram Walker lf we tend to hold on to things, why are so few of us saving and investing money 9 Why ate most of us in debt? Why is the average net worth of an individual rn the wealthiest country in the world less than S3,CKX) Because advertisers, peer pressureToday in History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Dec. IO, the 344th day of 1997. There are 21 days left in the year. Tedey’s Highlight ie Watery: Ob Dee. IO, 1900, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War. and social habit have taught us a buy-now-pay-later approach to finance. My guess is that if Thaler had allow ed his students to use credit cards to buy the mugs, they would have given $10 for them. I read somewhere recently, I think, (I hate it when I swear to myself that I’ll remember an interesting tidbit and. later, am uncertain of the exact facts and figures. Worse yet is writing down the information somewhere and not being able to find my notes) that shoppers don’t pay off their Christmas debt until the following summer This might not be true because I can’t remember where I read or heard this tidbit Nonetheless, most of us spend more than we should on Christmas girts With that in mind, here are some financial considerations for this Christmas season. Ob this date: la 1520, Martin Luther publicly burned the papal edict demanding that he recant, or face excommunication. la 1017, Mississippi was admitted as the 20lh state. la 1009, women were granted the right to vote in the W yoming Territory la 1090, a treaty was signed in Pans, officially ending the Spamsh- • A luxury once sampled becomes a necessity Those things that we can be happy without before we’ve bought them — remote controls, microwave ovens — become impossible to do without once we’ve used them. Pace y ourself when shopping Don’t go toto hock to buy an expensive entertainment center when you have no center in which to put it. • W atch what you buy yourself for C hristmas. I once bought myself a pair of golf shoes. For someone who plays golf once a decade, this seems, to retrospect, a little extravagant (Frankly. I was an idiot bul I try not to dwell an it) • Never shop for food items on an empty stomach. • Never make an important buying (or investment decision) on toss than seven hours stoep. • Exploit the difference between frugal, cheap and extravagant. Frugal is turning off the lights when you leave the room, bringing a tool inside so it won’t rust and taking long. brisk walks instead of buying treadmills that no one ever uses. Cheap is buying your wife something toss nice than she’d like when you can emily afford American War. la 1931, Jane Addams became a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the first American woman so honored. la 194t, the U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights. la 1959, Ralph J. Bunche was presented the Nobel Peace Prize, the first black American to receive the award. to make her really happy. Extravagant is buying something you can’t afford just to impress someone who doesn’t care. • Avoid expensive restaurants when shopping. You arc eating your money • Bargain. If you buy two — make certain you need two — you might get IO percent off. A long, thoughtful sigh before you buy might get you a price reduction if the seller really wants the sale. • Yes, Virginia, because politicians enjoy playing Santa Claus (it gets them re-etocted), there always will be Social Security But if Social Security is all Baby Boomers have at retirement, they will be Baby Booers. Why not start your favorite Boomer to a no-load, tow expense stock market index fund*? You might introduce to him/her an interesting concept — saving • Learn the difference between expensive and valuable. Silver coins purchased as an inflation hedge are valuable. A silver-plated coffee mug bought «i credit is expensive. (John Ingram Walker is a psychiatrist, speaker and author.) la 1951, the first domestic passenger jct flight took place to the United States as a National Airlines Boeing 707 flew 111 passengers from New York City to Miami. la 1994, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize during ceremonies to Oslo, Norway. la 1997, ringer Otis Redding died in the crash of his private plane in Wisconsin. ;