New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 1, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
Dave Kramer, General Manager
Robert Johnson, EditorJames KilpatrickWe all make unforseeable slips in writing
A letter is at hand from Jim Hampton, editor of The Miami Herald, giving me a whack on the fingers for writing a sentence that caused him great pain. Speaking of the breakup of the Bell System, I had written that the happy days of first-class telephone services were gone, if not forever, “at least for the foreseeable future.”
In Mr. Hampton’s book, “foreseeable future” is an abominable term. He has banished it from his editorial pages and uses “near future” in its place.
I should know better than to argue
with an editor, having been one myself, but permit me to sputter a sputter or two. I would agree with my brother’s premise that “foreseeable future” is inherently contradictory. No one can absolutely, positively unerringly predict events that lie ahead. But in ordinary parlance, we live constantly in the “foreseeable future.” If this were not so, we scarcely could take out pork chops in the morning to thaw for dinner.
I am fond of a line fromn Niels Bohr, the physicist, and have quoted it before: “Prediction is a very difficult art,” he says, “especially when it
involves the future.” The difficulties have not prevented men through all ages from having a go at the art. Our vocabulary is enriched by a dozen verbs: forecast, foretell, predict, prophesy, prognosticate, foresee, foreknow, anticipate, apprehend, expect, divine, apprehend.
My thought is that most of us live our little lives content in the security of a foreseeable future. “I may not live in the Blue Ridge Mountains forever, but at least for the foreseeable future ...”; “The Democrats may not hold the House forever, but at least ...”; “Nuclear
war may destroy us one of these days, but at least ...” To be sure, in each instance “near future” could be substituted for “foreseeable future,” but to predict what may happen in the near future is to attempt to foresee it. We do love to haggle over these things.
On something else: Roy L. Nassau of Harrisburg, Pa., suggests that all of us who wrote for a living should get straight on the word “ethnic.” He writes: “I’m an American by ethnic background, Jewish by religious background. I get annoyed when I read such items as, ‘The candidates’
hopes for victory depend on the ethnic vote of the Italians, Greeks, Germans, blacks and Jews.’” As he quite properly points out, by definition a
Jew is one whose religion is Judaism. Strictly speaking, “Jewish” is no more an ethnic term than “Catholic,” or “Moslem,” or “fundamentalist.” I
am well aware that Webster’s permits “ethnic group’’ to include a “religious” group, but I would adhere to the old idea of ethnics in terms of their racial, national or linguistic origins.
Odds and ends: The Knoxville
(Tenn.l Journal reports redundantly a lost cylinder of “radioactive
americium.” Americium is
inherently radioactive ... United Press International has a macabre tale: “The body of Moises Chayo, in
New Orleans to visit his hospitalized son, was found in a ditch in rural Jefferson Parish.” ...Time magazine, for heaven’s sake, tells us that at People Express over the past year, “profits have rose 64.7 percent.” A rose is a rose is a rose, as Ms. Stein said, but that rose should have been risen.
Wick, friends try to rename every entity
Reagan tries to use education to election- year advantage
WASHINGTON - Charles Wick, the irrepressible director of the U.S. Information Agency, was discussing high strategy the other day with his No. 2 man, Leslie I,enkowsky, and the former head of French intelligence, Count Alexandre de Marenches.
It was a most solemn session, duly chronicled in a 17-page transcript intended for official eyes only.
Putting first thing first, de Marenches brought up the Soviet Union. It should not be called the Soviet Union, he said. He told Wick the USIA “should always say the Soviet Empire.” Then the problem came up of what to call Soviet Defense Minister Dmitri Ustinov.
“I don’t like the word ‘defense’ when you are talking about Russians ... “Said de Marenches.
“Minister of war?" asked Wick.
“I was going to say that he would be called the ‘minister of war, minister of global aggression,” suggested the count. “That is what he really is.” Speaking of “war,” he reminded the USIA policy makers that their agency is responsible for the “war of ideas.”
Declared de Marenches: “I would say that we haven’t lost the war of ideas...We haven’t even fought it ... Now, what this kind of warfare tells us (is) don’t worry too much about hitting the body, go in through the eyes and the ears...”
But the best place to hit the Poles, he felt, was in the stomach. The USIA shold bear down on Poland’s food problems, he said.
“lack of food should be associated with communists ideas ...” urged de Marenches. “I think simple things Uke this, Charles, are absolutely of paramount importance. And if we don’t do this, why do the rest? ... This is absoutely, I think, vital ... Do you agree?”
Lenkowsky quickly agreed. “I think you are absolutely right,” he said.
Wick later made a comment which can only be classtfed as mystifying. “I think you can without bilaterais be provacative...” he said.
De Marenches got back to nomenclature. The Voice of America’s name should be changed, he announced. "I am not sure I would call it the Voice of America,” he said.
“Too late now,” interjected an unidentified voice.
Undeterred, the count suggested that the VOA be renamed the “Voice of Liberty.”
Lenkowsky has something to say about the nature of the Soviet adversary: “I had a friend who said whenever you want to evaluate Russian behavior, you need not only a chass expert but a magician, a functional paranoid, etc.”
Despite the perplexity and perversity of the Soviet Union, despite his dissatisfaction with U.S. nomenclature, de Marenches thought he saw a light on the horizon.
“One day,” he said, “they will be Russia again.”
Unidentified voice: “You mean, the historical Russia.”
De Marenches: “The power will break.”
Voice: “We have got to liberate those people. Let’s.”
Three Mile cover-up
The five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission is trying to decide whether to allow the undamaged reactor at Three Mile Island back on line. Questions of “management integrity” have sharpened since the facility’s owner, General Public Utilities, was indicated last fall on charges of falsifying safety data.
NRC Commissioner James Asselstine directed the agency’s general counsel to draw up a list of the integrity questions involved, and then make the list public. But Chariman Nunsio Palladino quickly vetoed release of the list. He evern refused to give Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.t a copy of the list.
Asselstine turned over the list to Spector and is trying to persuade fellow commissioners to back public releaser of the document. So far he has convinced Commissioner Victor Gilinsky. The issue — daylight or darkness — will be resolved by the full commission any day now.
Libyan strong man Muammar Quaddafi might well be called “the desert cat,” considering the numm-ber of attempts on his life he has survived. The latest coup plan was blown when an army general was involved in a car accident. Investigating police found documents in his car that disclosed the whole plot. Sources say executions may already have followed.
— At the time of the Falklands invasion, the Soviets were so eager to win Argentina’s friendship that they sent two spy satellites up and relayed information to the right-wing military government in Buenos Aires. Intelligence sources say the Soviets continued to provide updates (Mi British activities in the Falklands to Argentina at least as late as last summer.
— Ignore reports that hundreds of Afghan rebels are surrendering to the Soviet-backed regime. It’s true, but it’s all cyclical. As the Afghan winter gets really rough, many guerrillas pose as penitents just to get food and shelter until spring. Then Hwy return to their rebel bands when things warm up — often bringing valuable intelligence information with them.
Name your voluntaar
The third annual President’s Volunteer Action Awards wil be given out at a White House ceremony in May to Americans who have donated their time to worthy causes. There are IO public-service categories, and you can get nomination forms from the PVAA at P.O. Box 374M, Washington, DC 20013. Deadline for nomination is Jan. 31.
By DONALD M ROTHBERG AP Political Writer
WASHINGTON - When his Democratic opponents accuse President Reagan of gutting federal education programs, lie will point to his election-year budget and argue that he proposed the largest education budget in history.
The figures sent to Congress today prove it. The budget for the Department of Education that Reagan once advocated abolishing is $15.5 billion, an increase of HOO million over the current level.
The increase reflects two political realities: this is a presidential
campaign year and the quality of education is an issue Reagan and his opponents hope to use to their advantage.
That’s the way it is with election-year budgets.
Four years ago, Jimmy Carter proposed the largest defense budget in history, but it didn’t prevent candidate Ronald Reagan from accusing the Democratic incumbent of neglecting the nation’s military preparedness.
The principal Democratic campaign theme this year is fairness. The party’s White House contenders are arguing that the Reagan administration has been biased toward the rich at the expense ai federal programs designed to help the less fortunate in society.
The new budget enables the president to tell the nation that in this era of high deficits, he is compassionate and is holding the line (Mi domestic programs.
In particularly sensitive areas, there are increases.
As Reagan promised in his State of the Union speech last week, the
proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency is being increased.
With unemployment still a potentially damaging issue, there is an increase in funding for retraining dislocated workers.
The Reagan budget attempts to answer the fairness issue with a Department of Health and Human Services request that totals $318.1 billion, a 7.4 percent increase over the current year. Secretary Margaret Heckler says the total is “significantly larger than the defense budget.”
But the Democrats are likely to point out that Mrs. Heckler’s budget is dominated by so-called entitlement programs, which automatically increase to keep pace with inflation. In effect, the administration has opted for basically keeping level the funding of programs it could control.
The president’s defense request of
$264.4 billion, a 14.5 percent increase over this year’s spending level without accounting for inflation, offers no compromise, no yielding to political pressure and no chance of getting through Congress intact.
The Pentagon request is becoming an annual ritual, one of those Washington confrontations played out regularly with predictable results.
Each year of his presidency, Reagan has asked Congress for far more than even his Republican allies were willing to approve for defense, and this year is unlikely to be an exception
Sen. Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, the Republican chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said the “defense (figure) is not going to surprise me. It is significantly lower than I would have assumed last year but still higher than I think is necessary.”
Rap. Tom Loeffler
Rep. Edmund Kuempel
U.S. House of Representatives
Texas House of Represen
1212 Longworth House Office
P.O. Box 2910
Washington, D.C. 20616
Austin. Texas 78769
Sen. John Tower
Sen. John Tr aeger
United States Senate
Room 142 Russell Building
Washington, D.C. 20610
Austin, Texas 78711
Son. Lloyd Bemean
Gov. Mark White
United States Senate
Room 240 Russell Building
Room 200 State Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20610
Austin. Texas 78701
How Ed Meese Will End Crime In America. •