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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 20, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, February 20,2011 FORUM Herald-Zeitung Serving New Hraunfrh and Comal County >inet IHS2 New Braunfels Zertung was founded 1852, New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Editor and Publisher Managing Editor Circulation Oirector Business Manager Doug Toney Autumn Phillips Jeff Fowler Rosie Willingham Wrestling sacred cows fhe vvrvstling room at Graham 1 ligh School in St. Paris, Ohio, where lim Iordan, now 47, began the athletic career that took him to the University of Wisconsin and two NCAA wrestling championships, contains this sign: "Discipline is doing what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it." Today, as a third-term congressman from Ohio and chairman ol the Republican Study Committee, Jordan leads what looks like an ongoing insurgency to discipline his party's leadership in the House of Representatives. The RSC is the caucus of the most conservative Republicans in the House. Its members are determined to find whether their party’s frugality is operational or merely rhetorical. Jordan is serenely confident that those in the caucus mean what they say. Recently, the RSC, which includes more than 170 of the 241 Republican House members and more than 70 of the 87 freshmen, told the party’s 1 louse leaders — every one of them very conservative — that their proposed budget cuts were too timid. The RSC, which has produced a plan to cut $2.5 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years, rejected the leadership’s proposal to cut fiscal 2011 spending less than $100 billion. And the leadership bowed to the led. The RSC, which Jordan says "helps Republicans remember we re Republicans,” is not the tail that wags the dog. It essentially is the dog. So House conservatives aced their first test of their sincerity about spending. But will the dog take a big bite out of a sacred cow, such as farm subsidies? Michael Ianner of the libertarian Cato Institute notes that 24 of the RSC’s members are on the I louse Agriculture Committee, that farm income in 2010 was $92.5 billion, 34 percent higher than in 2009. And, even subtracting government payments, was 28.8 percent higher than the average oi the preceding decade. And 73 percent of all farm subsidies go to the wealthiest 10 percent of recipients. And Jordan’s district in west-central Ohio receives $30 million in direct payments, putting it among the top 50 beneficiaries of such subsidies. Asked about this, Jordan smiles like Albert Pujols watching the approach of a hanging curve ball. GEORGEWILL George Will's e-mail address is georgtwill&washpost. com He says he recendy met with some corn growers who were in Washington to try to protect their programs, including the ethanol fiasco, and he told them, in the nicest possible way, that he is all for ethanol — to the extent that the market pronounces it viable. But, he says, the government subsidizes the production of it, protects it with tariffs and mandates the use of it — and still it cannot thrive in this rigged market. How did the com growers take this? Iordan laughs: 'They know I’m just one of those crazy conservatives.” His explanation of why he got into politics is a verbal shrug: “You get mamed and have kids” — he has four ‘and you get sick of having the government take your money and tell you what to do. I’m just a conservative guy.” And an athlete looking for a surrogate sport. One of the surprising number of representatives who sleep in their offices (why rent an apart -ment, Jordan wonders, when Congress will keep him in Washington just six nights in February?), he is in politics partly because he is too old to wrestle and too young to dampen his ferocious competitive fires. To spend an hour with him is to understand that the 112th Congress is going to be tumultuous. Jordan is an apple that fell far from the tree, but the tree has moved toward the apple. His father was a Democrat, a member of the International Union of Electrical Workers who retired at age 48 after 30 years with General Motors and now, at 06, is a successful Ohio businessman. He makes hows for bow hunters, votes Republican and listens to Rush l.imbaugh. Many Republicans will urge Jordan to run next year against Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s liberal freshman senator. Jordan is disinclined because it would limit his ability to attend his son’s high school wrestling matches. Jordan’s high school wrestling record was 150-1. The RSC’s record in this Congress is, so far, slightly better. . On March 4, however, the continuing resolution currently funding the government expires; next, the government s borrowing will bump up against the debt ceiling. Iordan is determined that the RSC, using both deadlines as leverage for spending cuts, will then still be undefeated. Letters to the Editor Guest comment perpetuates Nazi propaganda Richard Odorfer is neo-facist apologist who is either lying about the Dresden bombings or too ignorant to be given a voice in this paper. First the facts on casualties. Dresden’s own Historians’ Commission concluded that between 18,000 to 25,000 people died during the bombing,” many times less than Odorfer asserts. 1 he same commission found no evidence that civilians were intentionally strafed by fighter aircraft. The lies Odorfer is perpetuating were created by the Nazi high command to motivate Germans to keep fighting, even though it was obvious by this time that Germany would lose. Almost seven decades later, Odorfer is still buying into the Nazi propaganda. His assertion that Dresden was an “undefended peaceful city that only contained hospitals” is also a lie. There were more than 100 factories in the Dresden area with approximately 50,000 German citizens working in them, producing everything from aircraft parts to poison gas for the Nazi war machine. More importantly, the city was an important railroad junction used to transport troops to the eastern front to fight against the advancing Soviet army. It was protected by antiaircraft defenses under the Combined Dresden and Berlin Luftwaffe Administration Command. Dresden was a legitimate military target. Odorfer, Holocaust deniers, and far-right pro-Nazi revisionists use the Dresden bombings as a smokescreen, attempting to morally equate Nazi atrocities with Allied battlefield strategy. It is a disgusting tactic. I he intentional distortions and outright lies promulgated by Odorfer and others like him can never be allowed to take root. Steve Mis New Braunfels When will we stop accepting revenge as a reason for war? I read Mr. Odorfer’s letter about the bombing of Dresden in Sunday’s paper, although I had read about this before and knew I would be distressed, to put it mildly. However, I was shocked and shaken by Mr. Toney’s response. I thought New Braunfels was different than this. Should we go on and talk about our behavior in the war we waged in the Philipines for starters? I here were other instances. We weren’t always honorable. But back to avenging deaths. As a Catholic Christian, I was taught that revenge or “an eye for an eye” was not our way. Yes, 9/11 was horrible, so we had the right to destroy an innocent people in Iraq. Now, because we did this, suppose Iran gets the atom bomb and sends one over here. Why not? We are guilty. If Pakistan gets Drones, now they can come here. Our atom bomb on Hiroshama? We did that, so now we are set up. Hey, this is war and if lots and lots of people get killed, well, that’s what it’s all about. Dear God, sweet Jesus, I hope not. No, no, no. We do not have a right to kill just because someone else did. Where will this end? I guess I feel like a fool praying for peace, after all, peace is not ours until we and everyone else are entirely guilt free. The wronged have every right to keep on killing. This isn’t what you meant? It sure reads that way. Mary O'Donnell New Braunfels Gov. Perry s sound bites mask serious state budget woes Editor s note: The following editorial ran in the Tort Worth Star-Telegram. Gov. Rick Perry says don’t worry. He told the state House and Senate on Tuesday that "the mainstream media and big government interest groups are doing their best to convince us that we re facing a budget Armageddon. Texans don’t believe it and they shouldn’t because it’s not true.” The $31.1 billion in spending cuts necessary to balance the state’s 2012-13 budget simply represent "tough choices,” Perry said. “We can overcome them by setting priorities, by cutting bureaucracy, by reducing spending and focusing on what really matters to Texas families.’’ Fair enough. Let’s see how that works in the real world -- the one where people have to make the numbers work rather than just make a speech. Arlington schools Superintendent Jerry McCullough is one of those people who has to make the numbers work. It’s reasonable to assume that what happens to schools in Arlington "really matters” to the families that live there. Last week, McCullough presented the numbers. Under the “base line” budget being considered in Austin, the Arlington district stands to lose $35 million in state foundation and grant funding for the next school year. Add to that the district's already anticipated deficit of $13.3 million and the total shortfall tops $48 million. McCullough has to start looking for ways to make up that money. He gave board members his initial recommendations. First on the list was an item that’s popular with people who say school districts are top-heavy: Cut administrative expenses 5 percent and save $2.2 million, McCullough said. Pick up $2 million more through a group of 11 other cuts, each with less impact but together they save. Cut out some programs, reduce the number of receptionists and junior high assis tant principals, stop playing football games at the UT-Arlington stadium, delay introducing the International Baccalaureate program at Martin and Seguin high schools, that type of thing. Were rolling, but the pace is slow. We need some big-ticket items. Reducing district health insurance outlays for teachers and other employees could save $1.2 million. Ouch. Teachers aren’t going to like that Eliminate “guidance techs” (who are they, anyway?), $1.5 million. We still need to speed this along. Eliminate two kindergarten teaching assistants at each elementary campus, $ 1.6 million. Cut out team teaching at junior highs, $2 million. Make high school teachers take on one more class, $4.5 million. You might say those are the “easy” choices. But we re still about $33 million short of our $48 million “make it work” goal. Close a junior high, $1.8 million. Eliminate fifth- and sixth-grade orchestra and band, $1 million. Pick up $3 million from another laundry list: cut some high school coaches, some fine arts teachers, cafeteria monitors, attendance officers and the Kooken pre-kindergarten center. We need a home run or we’ll never get this done. We could save $10 million if we got the Legislature to raise the 22-to-l stu-dent-teacher ratio in kindergarten through fourth grade. Don't know about that one. Getting little ones off to a good start “really matters." But even at that, we’re still short by $17 million. Should we fire some teachers? Firing every one of them who is on a probationary contract would save $38.9 million. We’d have to hire some back, because we can’t just empty out the schools. But this gives us some flexibility. Arlington residents should let their school hoard members and legislators know whether this is as easy for them as it seems to be for Perry. United States Government PRESIDENT ■ Barack Obama 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 2409 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: 615 E. Houston St. San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 GOVERNOR HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government MMÄD ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Doug Miller EXT El.216 RO. Box 2910 Austin TX 78768-2910 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512)463-5896 ■ John Kuempel Rm. CAP 3N.06 Austin TX 78701 Telephone: (512) 463-0602 STATE SEN ATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: 888-824-6984 E-mail address: jeff. wentworth @ NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Castell Ave. RO. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 (830) 221-4000 ■ Mayor Bruce Boyer [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4507 ■ Dist. 1 Councilor Richard Zapata rzapata @ Telephone: Extension 4501 ■ Dist. 2 Councilor Mark Goodner [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4502 ■ Dist. 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra mybarra @ Telephone: Extension 4503 ■ Dist. 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte snolte @ Telephone: Extension 4504 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Kathleen Krueger [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4505 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Steven Digges [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4506 Comal County Commissioners' Court 199 Main Plaza, New Braunfels (830) 221-1100 ■ COUNTY JUDGE SHERMAN KRAUSE [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1105 ■ PCT. 1 COMMISSIONER DONNA ECCLES0N [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1101 ■ PCT. 2 COMMISSIONER SCOn HAAG [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1102 ■ PCT. 3 COMMISSIONER GREG PARKER [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1103 ■ PCT. 4 COMMISSIONER JAN KENNADY [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1104 ;