New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 19, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
THE WHITEHOUSEOil prices don't faze Americans, see below
Dave Kroner, General Manager Robert Johaeoa, EditorJames KilpatrickThe exact word is always important
When is a UOPH not a UOPH? It’s when ifs BOQ instead. That was the thrust of an order issued the other day by Navy Secretary John Lehman Jr. He has directed all hands to restore old-fashioned naval terminology, and to scrape away the bureaucratic barnacles of recent years.
What has been known as Unaccompanied Officer Personnel Housing (UOPHi will return to the time-honored Bachelor Officers’ Quarters (BOQ). Instead of the namby-pamby “enlisted dining facilities,” we will restore the brig. Sailors no longer will use stairs to reach an upper level; they will use ladders to go topside. I^t’s hear it for Horatio Hornblower!
Lehman’s directive on nautical terminology serves as a reminder to all to keep aware of the myriad vocabularies around us. By coincidence, at about the time Lehmann was sending the Navy a message, a friend
sent me a copy of Words by Paul Dickson (Delacorte Press, 19821. It’s a browser’s delight a collection of oddball vocabularies. Professional writers may find it useful.
For example, printers have a vocabulary that is all their own. To a printer, a “widow” isn’t the surviving wife of her late husband; a widow is a short line at the top of a page or a column. In printing, such familiar words as “slug,” “furniture,” “gutter” and “descender” have meanings all their own. I have no idea (and neither does Webster's) how “pi” or “pie” came to mean messed-up type, but the word has been used in that sense for more than 300 years.
Dickson provides a sampling of words from the vocabulary hardware. A “bail” is the wire handle on a bucket. A “becket” is a rope grip. A “chime” is the rim of a cask. The decorative plate around a keyhole or a
doorknob is the “escutcheon.” A miner’s double-pointed pick is a “flang.” A bricklayer’s hammer is a “scutch.”
The makers and drinkers of alcoholic spirits live in a linguistic world of their own. The froth on beer is the "barm.” The wire around a champagne cork is the “agrafes” or the “coiffee.” The thumb-piece on the lid of a stein is the “billet.” The thing that stops up the bunghole of a cask of beer is a “shive.” A “noggin” is a quarter of a pint.
I bring up all this only to make the point that specialized vocabularies are like foreign languages. If we are writing a novel about an architect, a surgeon or a cop, we had better first learn to speak Architecture, Medicine and Police. This way lies credibility ; and to the extent that we use arcane terms wrongly, we are likely to look pretty silly.
People do get mixed up. In the Pensacola (Fla. i News
Journal last month, a writer on the op-ed page spoke of President Reagan’s “adversity to a tax increase.” He didn t mean “adversity.” Probably he menat “aversion.” In the Chicago Sun Times, a sportswriter said that Jim Frey “felt no vindication toward the Royals for firing him midway into ’81.” l^et us hazard a guess that “vindictiveness” was what the writer had in mind. At the Collegiate Times, the student newspaper of Virginia Tech, a feature writer burbled away; “Christmas season is in the air. and people are warming up for the seasonal purge around the corner.” Only Cod and the young lady know what was intended here.
Let us never cease to search for the exact word, and let us never settle for its second cousin. In the Navy you “set” a sail, “raise” a jack, “hoist” a signal and “break out” a pennant or a flag. When next you w rite a sea story, I expect you to keep all this firmly in mind.
Americans aren't crippled by oil
By BARRY SCHWEID AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON — Pity the 13 members of the ee lusive club known as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Eleven winters ago they had Americans shivering in their gas-guzzlers, trying to choose between a ride to Grandma’s for the holidays and a trip to the supermarket for groceries.
Gasoline prices were climbing and lines at the service stations — those that could be found open — were growing.
Jt seems so long ago.
;Ihe club isn’t all that exclusive anymore. Countries Uke Mexico, Britain and Norway don’t hqve to be members in order to carve out a profitable share of the oil market. And the all-for-orte and one-for-all spirit within the cartel that hipped quintuple prices is running out.
Higher taxes have partly masked what otherwise would be a 30 percent drop in American pump prices since 1981, As it is, prices have been
dropping steadily and soon may dip below $] a gallon.
It’s a surplus or buyer’s market. The price of a barrel of oil is sliding as OPEC members undercut each other with premiums and by offering better* grade to their customers. Some are exceeding the production ceilings set seven weeks ago.
The aim w as to maintain the benchmark price of $29 a barrel through quotas for each OPEC member. Overall production was supposed to be cut to 16 Mullion barrels a day from 17.0 million barrels.
It hasn’t worked and analysts doubt the OPEC ministers meeting again today in Geneva can keep production down and prices from failing.
F^dward H. Murphy, director of statistics at the American Petroleum Institute, says Nigeria mas be 300,900 barrels a day over its quota, and OPEC up to 1.3 million barrels.
“The price next year is going to be governed by OPEC’s willingness and ability to maintain production substantially below their capability to
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Teen-age males escape famine in Ethiopia
produce,” he said. I don’t know whether they
Murphy thinks the United States .should produce as much oil as it can, and not make OPEC’s job easier.
About one-third of the oil consumed here is imported. Of those imports, about 38 percent comes from the OPEC countries.
The State Department is watching developments with subdued optimism.
“Supply and demand, rather than a group, is setting the price of oil,” said an official who keeps tabs on energy problems and spoke only on condition he not be identified.
“We believe today’s official prices for oil are high, but by saying that we don’t intend to talk the price down. The market does it.
"The market has a greater influence on prices than it has since 1973.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Barry Schweid reports on diplomacy for The Assoc iated Press.
WASHINGTON If you can stand lo study Hit heart-rending photos of starving Ethiopians, you will notice a .striking phenomenon Few if any of the horribly emamciated refugees in the relief camps are teenage boys The reason is simple Young males old enough to carry a gun have been conscripted either by the government army or by the opposing guerrillas. The latter have been fighting the Marxist regime for years in the northern areas most devastated by famine A lucky few. whose parents were foresighted enough and had a little money, have been able to escape the military press gangs and cross the border into Sudan. From there, they can get refugee passports thai allow them into Italy, West Germany or the United States.
Daniel Keleta and 1-eelai Negga were two of the lucky ones who were able to come to the United States. My associate Vickt Warren interviewed them in Boston, where they have been helped by a church program directd by Ethiopian-born Mekonnen Meshesha.
Daniel Keleta is now 16. He lives with his sister in Boston and attends high school. But two years ago, he spent two weeks walking 300 miles from his home in the famine area to safety across the Sudanese border.
Daniel said he never would have made it if his parents hadn’t given him all the money they had. Though he tried to hide from government and guerrilla recruiters, he couldn’t elude them all the time. So the money w as used for bribes that allowed hun to continue his flight Daniel said many young boys rap out of bn bt* money and were conscripted by one side or the other in the civil war.
l^eelai Negga is lo and Igis been in this country for only a few months. He lived through some of the worst of the famine, and there’s no doubt in his mind who’s to blame for the situation that could spell death for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of his countrymen He holds tin* Ethiopian government responsible.
Ix*elai said it’s not true that there were no vehicles to transport food to the needy. He said Sweden sent trucks to handle the relief supplies, but that the communist government expropriated the trucks for military use.
He also said that there would have been plenty of water to prevent the drought that caused the famine — but that the government failed to build dams and irrigation ditches. The Marxist rulers have been too busy trying to stamp out the guerrillas in the northern provinces.
“All of the young people are fighting, and have been for IO years,” Leelai explained. “There is no one left lo do the building.” Other refugees agreed that lack of manpower and government planning were responsible for the drought, and thus the famine.
Both boys want to go back home some day. but not until theres a different government in Addis Ababa If he went back sooner. Da nile explained, "they would only use what I have learned to hurt my people even more.”
Since Congress opened the door to Ethiopian refugees in 1980. the number who have fled to the United States has hardly been overwhelming. From 939 the first year, the number arriving this year has totaled 2,536.
1’he number of Ethiopian immigrants those w ho have relatives rn this country or who have work skills went from 1.749 in 1981 lo 2,875 m 1983
Several months ago I reported that the Pentagon had used a secret fleet of Hughes 500 helicopters in last year’s Grenada invasion. The choppers, which were seen in the government's own films of the invasion, were not listed in the official weapons inventory issued by the Pentagon. Interestingly, the same kind of helicopter turned up in the hands of Nicaraguan contras, who are backed by the ITA in their fights against the Sandmistas.
Now I can report that the Army, according to internal documents, has ordered eight new Hughes 500 helicopters, for a total of more than $3.5 million. And there’s a fascinating feature to the specifications; The choppers are to bi* painted with primer only. Does this mean they won’t be marked w ith identifying insignia?
— Ifs gratifying to learn that my reports on government excesses sometimes have an effect — particularly when the government that responds is ensconced behind the Kremlin’s formidable brick walls. I -ast month I reported that the Soviets had been flexing their anti-Semitic muscle and making life miserable for teachers of Hebrew. I told one such instructor, Yuli Edelstem, who was not only rn jail for his activities but was being subjected to abnormally harsh treatment.
Since then, according to reliable sources in the Soviet Union, Edelstem’s jailers have eased up on him and Ids trail has been postponed.
"What's the old buzzard hatching now