New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 28, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
4 New Braunfels, HeraldZeitung Tuesday, February 28,1984Opinions
Htrald-ZdlmtAndy RooneyThe head bear just creates questions
Once upon a short, short time ago there was a Big Bear who called all the other bears into the den one night at five of eleven to make an announcement. All the bears knew it must be something important because they didn’t usually stay up that late.
“I’ve called you all together to tell you I want to be the head bear for another four years,” the Big Bear said.
Some of the bears clapped until their little paws hurt but some of the other bears began to cry.
The League of Women Bears, 58 percent of whom opposed the Big Bear because they were paid 64 percent less than men bears for the same work, cried the loudest.
Some of the bears were just bored. All they wanted was to watch television. The Big Bear continued with his speech:
“I’ve been the Big Bear for three years,” he said, and then he read a long list of his accomplishments to prove how well things were going ... which many of the bears hadn’t realized because tney were too busy looking for work.
“You couldn’t see the trees for the forest when I started this job,’’ the Big Bear said.
“We’ll be lucky if there are any trees left in the forest to see when you’re finished,” one bear down front said in a stage whisper.
“There’s still a great deal of work to
be done,” the Big Bear continued. “My first priority in balancing the bear budget will be to spend a lot more on sharpening our claws and building up our bear hug. We’ll be the strongest bears in the woods.”
"Someone’s been eating my porridge,” a blue collar bear muttered.
“As I say,” the Big Bear said.
“Tip and Teddy Bear say you hibernate half the time,” a grizzly bear interrupted. “They say you do less work than any head bear we ever had.”
“Well,” the Big Bear said again, “just let me say ... you don’t know how lucky you are to be living in this land of milk and honey.”
“There’s too much milk and not enough honey,” a honey bear yelled. “Why does honey cost so much?”
“If there’s room in our forest for trees,” the Big Bear said, “I think there ought to be room enough for God.”
“Don’t change the subject, ’ the honey bear yelled. “What about the honey?”
“I don’t beleive,” the Big Bear said, “that any bear who really needs honey is without it. Also, I think that if we stop taking so much honey from the bees who produce it, it will encourage other bees to make more of it. Eventually there will be plenty of honey for all of us.”
“Why are you paying bees not to
produce noney men?” a Wall Street bear asked.
“Yeah, and selling it to the Russian Bear, too,” a girl bear shouted.
The Big Bear smiled. “I think I can explain that, Goldilocks,” he said.
“I’m not Goldilocks,’’she snapped.
“You girl bears are all alike,” the Big Bear said.
“I’m not a ‘girl’ bear either,” the girl bear said angrily. “I’m a woman bear.”
“What are you going to do for black bears?” a black bear shouted.
“As I say,” the Big Bear said. “Again, yes, there are problems in the area of black bears but we’re putting bears back to work and I’m announcing shortly a new committee to study the black bear problem.
"What about acid ice?” a distinguished-looking bear in the middle of the room said. “I’m a Kodiac bear and... ”
“If you’re a Kodiac bear,” the Big Bear, who was noted for his sense of humor, laughed, "where’s your camera?”
All the bears who had clapped, laughed. All the bears who had cried, booed.
“Good night,” the Big Bear said, waving as if from the steps of an airplane, “and God bless you.”
"Is that an order or a request?” one of the disgusted bears muttered.
The moral of the story is this: He who has all the answers, faces a lot of questions.Washington
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Deadbeat daddies headed for delinquent dessertsReagan tries to break arms bloc
By TIM AHERN Associated Press
WASHINGTON - With the standstill in U.S.-Soviet ’elks to limit nuclear weapons. President Reagan is trying to formulate a treaty that would eliminate chemical weapons and also give him an election-year boost in foreign policy.
Arm| control specialists in the State Departnpnt, Pe,agon and several other agencies are trying to draft a pact that was promised last month by Secretary of State George P. Shultz during a speech in Stockholm. No decline has been set.
.Whether the Soviets will accept inch a treaty, of course, is still an open question, although there have been public hints that Moscow is willing to deal on a new pact.
“Even if the Soviets don’t agree, it would still be a public plus in an •lection year,” said one administration foreign policy official, speaking only on condition that he not be identified
Reagan’s critics, pointing to the chilly relations between the two superpowers, question the president’s commitment to arms control even though he has repeatedly stated in recent months that he considers arms limitation to be a high priority.
Those critics also cite the administration’s request — turned down by Congress the past two years but again a part of the pending budget — to permit the Pentagon to build a new generation of nerve gas weapons. That request, they say, means the administration doesn’t really want a new treaty.
Two sets of Geneva-based talks aimed a limiting nuclear weapons have stalled and the only current major arms control forum is the 40-nation Conference on Disarmament, which includes both the United States and the Soviet Union.
One of the main items on that group’s agenda is a new treaty that would eliminate chemical weapons.
It would be in addition to the 1925 Geneva Protocol, banning the use of chemical weapons in war, and a 1972 pact outlawing toxin and biological weapons.
Neither pact has enforcement or verification provisions, a fact repeatedly pointed out by the administration during three years of charging the Soviets with using or supplying various types of gas weapons in Afghanistan, I^ios and Cambodia.
The Soviets, who deny those charges, have said they are willing to consider a new anti-chemical weapons proposal. Last week, they said they had accepted, “in principle,” international inspection of plants where existing gas stocks would be destroyed.
In Ids news conference last week, Reagan said of the Soviet announcement, “we think this is a good
Adminstration arms control experts poilu out that the Soviets have only accepted the principle of a new treaty in general terms and have not approved any specifics.
A hopeful prospect is developing in Congress for divorced women whose ex-husbands are failing to meet their obligations for child suport. It will take a while, but legislation is on the way that will make the deadbeat daddies pay up.
President Reagan asked for such legislation a year ago. A bipartisan coalition developed in the House, where half a dozen bills were combined into a single hard-hitting measure. On Nov. 16 the House voted 422-0 in favor of the “Child Support Amendments of 1983.” Now an identical bill has been introduced by IO members of the Senate — five Democrats, five Republicans — and early passage seems assured.
The problem attacked by the bill is rooted in the bitterness and unhappiness of divorce. The Census BureauJack Anderson
The remarkable thing about Joann Jones is the way she smiles through the tears. Her neighbors in Paris, Ark., can tell you she has been dogged by hard times. Yet her whole personality always seems to smile.
I .eft with three children to support, Joann found work as a cook and eventually opened her own small restaurant. But her 22-year-old son was stricken with a rare disease. He lost a leg and, because she couldn’t keep up with the medical bills, she lost the restaurant.
Yet tragedies didn’t dampen her spirit. All that mattered, she told friends, was that her son was alive and preparing to become a missionary.
The financial squeeze left her with no money to pay insurance premiums. Then the inevitable happened — her small home burned down. Though all her wordly possessions were reduced to ashes, she remained cheerful. At least the family wgs still together — almost too close together, cramped
has estimated that 8.4 million women, either divorced or legally separated, are living with children under the age of 21. In about 60 percent of the cases, a court awards child support, but testimony before a House committee indicated that such “awards” often are hollow victories.
Twenty-eight percent of the mothers receive no payments at all, and another 23 percent get only partial payments. The situation is remarkably better among poor families: Sixty percent of the women whose incomes are below the poverty level get something from the fathers of their children. The worst deadbeats are divorced fathers in middle and upper income brackets.
The House bill would expand the child support enforcement program adopted in 1975. That program dealt
into a cheap, second-hand trailer.
Then the other day, a cold front sent the temperature plunging below zero in western Arkansas. Joann stopped at a country store to use the pay phone. Across the road in a frozen field, she noticed four Mexicans huddled under a cedar tree. They were shivering in shirt-sleeves in the cruel cold, with only one blanket to keep them all warm.
She put down phone and strode over to the freezing men. She couldn’t speak Spanish, and they didn’t understand English. But with gestures and a few words in common, they let her know they wanted to return to Mexico. But they had no money, no food, no warm clothing.
The irrepressible Joann, though impoverished herself, brought the migrant Mexicans home. The family took two blankets off their beds, and the afflicted son gave up his wool coat so each Mexican could wrap himself against the cold.
Joann remembered that her church
only with women receiving Aid and Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The pending legislation would benefit not only women on AFDC but all single parents who are entitled to child support payments. It's a bareknuckled bill.
As a condition of receiving federal welfare funds, every state would be required to enact implementing legislation of its own. l^et us suppose that Joe Doakes has been ordered to pay $40 a week to his ex-wife Susan for support of their infant child. He doesn’t pay. The law has these teeth:
(1) Susan could obtain a court order directing Joe’s employer to withhold the $40 from Joe’s wages or salary, the money to be remitted directly to her.
(2) Susan cold slap a lien on his property.
was holding a fireside service that evening in Fort Smith. She cerefully counted out enough quarters to buy gas for the 65-mile round trip. She drove the forlorn four to the Latter Day Saints church, where she found two dozen members still assembled.
Interrupting, she announced that she had four destitute Mexicans who needed help. The church members rustled up more warm clothing and collected enough cash to buy four tickets to Dallas, with pocket money for food along the way. The members also put through a call to Dallas and arranged for some Spanish-speaking members to meet the bus.
Joann Jones gave her widow’s mite expecting nothing in return. I learned about her act of kindness from others. Because she cannot afford a telephone, I reached her at the diner where she now works. She didn’t want to talk about her good deed; it didn’t seem right, she said.
“Charity should be given in secret,” she said. “Anyway, it was no big deal.
(3) lf Joe has a refund coming under state or federal income tax, Susan could collect her child support from this source.
(4) If it can be shown that Joe has “a demonstrated pattern of overdue support payments,” Susan could invoke procedures by which Joe would be compelled to post a bond to secure payment.
To be sure, in an estimated 5 or IO percent of the cases, it is Joe who has custody of the children and a working Susan who owes child support. It should be emphasized also, in fairness to the fathers, that the pending bill assures them a right to be heard before any wages are withheld or liens attached or bonds posted. In any event, under the earliest schedule, the legislation could not take effect before 1986.
Anyone would have done the same thing.”
Footnote: This story could be an even happier ending if something nice were to happen to Joann — something real nice, say, like getting back into a house of her own. I almost know what she would say; she would protest that others are more needy. But I am setting up a building fund for Joann Jones. Donations can be made to the Drew Pearson Foundation, Box 2300, Washington, D.C. 20013.
Boor of the week
Speaker Tip O’Neill, a grizzly bear of a man, can be crotchety when he’s riled. And he was at his grumpiest the other day during a closed-door meeting with President Reagan.
The president delivered an emotional defense of his Lebanson strategy. He was more anxious to bring the Marines home, he told congressional leaders, then they could possibly be — because he had the
Other voicesNetwork death?
"Why the Networks Will Survive Cable” appeared in the December 1983 issue o/The Atlantic. An excerpt:
Thomas E. Wheeler, president of the National Cable Television Association, is the new technologies’ most infatigable cheerleader. “Not only will the broadcast media survive the new technologies, the will offer better programming because of the competition,” Wheeler says. “This doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed success. Some broadcasters, perhaps even a network, may encounter severe financial distress, because the competition for viewers will be brutal. The result may not be a continuation of the status quo. Instead of the three networks — known sometimes as Tweedledum, Tweedledee and Tweedlydee — there could be four, five, maybe six or seven networks.”
... It should come as no surprise that the networks take a different view of their future.
The problem will get worse before it gets better.
During House debate, Rep. Barber Conable, R-N.Y., sketched the sad picture. Every year the parents of 1.2 million children are divorced. Every year 700,000 children are bom out of wedlock. “These depressing statistics compound, year after year, with the incredible result that half of the children bom this year are expected to live in single-parent families before age 18.”
It is the innocent children of broken marriages who suffer when child support isn’t paid. I don’t like federal laws that say the states “must” enact particular measures, but the states should have no problem with these requirements. Nobody likes a deadbeat, and deadbeat daddies will be getting what deadbeats deserve.
painful responsiblity to notify the wives and parents of Marines killed in action. Sometimes he telephoned them personally, Reagan said.
He wanted to pull out the Marines but didn’t know how to do it, he said, without jeopardizing U.S. interests in the Middle East.
O’Neill responded sourly that he din’t buy it. The president had made certain statements when he sent the Marines to Lebanon, and “not a single promise” has been fulfilled, grumped O’Neill. “Now more Marines will die because of your polices,” he said.
It wasn’t so much whit the speaker said but the way he said it that offended other leaders. They fold me afterward that Ilia manner was rude, that he could have disagreed with the president without being disrespectful.
Sen. John Tower, R-Tex., tried to defend the president. Tower began citing his own findings from a recent trip to Lebanon. But O’Neill loudly interrupted bim. “That's jsut partisan bull—he rumbled.
Woman's good deeds go unpaid