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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 6, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas FORUM Kudos ... to active parenting. You might think that you are doing enough by checking homework and instituting a curfew, but in the changing world of social media and personal cell phones — active parenting is more important than it has ever been. Monitor you children’s Facebook pages, their cell phones and e-mail accounts. It s not an invasion of privacy — As today's front page story illustrates, it’s a safeguard. ... to Minerva Sanchez and Joseph Martinez. (Congratulations on the birth of your son, Bryndin Fidel Martinez—the first baby of 2011. ... to anyone who hasn’t broken their New Year’s resolutions yet. to all those who chose to spend New Years Day running in the YMCA’s first ever 5K fun run and especially Paul Frost, who finished the race and turned around and ran it again as part of his Austin Marathon training program. ... to Macy Davis — the 9-year-old who saw homeless men in New Braunfels and decided to do something about it by handing out a pillow case with a Bible verse hand-lettered on it, a pillow and a fleece throw inside, and a $5 McDonald’s gift certificate. f ier kindness to strangers is an inspiration to all of us. I o offer Kudos toan individual or organization, e-mail managing editor Autumn Phillips at aphillipsC« or bring it to the newspaper office at 707 Lancia St. Today in History Today is Thursday, Jan. 6,2011. Today's Highlight in History: On Jan. 6,1941, President Franklin I). Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, outlined a goal of Four Freedoms’: Freedom of speech and expression; the freedom of people to worship God in their own way; freedom from want; freedom from fear. On this date: In 1540, England's King Henry VIII married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. (The marriage lasted about six months.) In 1759, George Washington and Martha Dan-dridge (Custis were married in New Kent County, Va. In 1838, Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail gave the first successful public demonstration of their telegraph, in Morristown, N.J. In 1861, Florida militiamen seized the federal arsenal at Chattahoochee. In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state. In 1919, the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, N.Y., at age 60. in 1942, the Pan American Airways Pacific Clipper arrived in New York more than a month after leav-ing California and following a westward route. In 1950, Britain recognized the Communist government of China. In 1967, U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Deckhouse Five, an offensive in the Mekong River delta. In 1982, truck driver William G. Bonin was convicted in Los Angeles of 10 of the "Freeway Killer" slayings of young men and boys. (Bonin was later convicted of four other killings; he was executed in 1996.) Ten years ago: With die vanquished Vice President Al (lore presiding (in his capacity as president of die Senate), Congress formally certified George W. Bush the winner of the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election. Five years ago: Al-Qaida's No. 2 official, Ayman al-Zawahri, said in a videotape diat a recent U.S. decision to withdraw some troops from Iraq represented the victory of Islam." Hugh Thompson, Jr., a former Army helicopter pilot honored for rescuing Vietnamese civilians from his fellow Gls during the My Lai massacre, died in Alexandria, La., at age 62. The 115-year-old Pilgrim Baptist Church of Chicago was gutted by fire. Velvet-voiced singer Ixui Rawls died in Los Angeles at age 72. One year ago: James von Brunn, a 89-year-old white supremacist charged in a deadly shooting at Washington’s Holocaust museum, died in North Carolina, where he'd been held while awaiting trial. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown fended off a challenge to his leadership from within his own i uling Ixibour party just months before general elections. Today’s Birthdays: Pollster Louis Harris is 90. Bluegrass performer Harl Scruggs is 87. Retired MLB All-Star Ralph Branca is 85. Author E.L. Doctorow is 80. Actress Bonnie Franklin is 67. Musician Joey, the Cow Polka King (Riders in the Sky) is 62. Former FBI director Louis Freeh is 61. Rock singer-musician Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) is 60 Singer Jett Williams is 58. Rock musician Malcolm Young (AC-DC) is 58. Actor-comedian Rowan Atkinson is 56. World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez is 54. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kathy Sledge is 52. IV chef Nigella Lawson is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Eric Williams (BLACKstreet) is 51. Movie composer A.R. Rahman (Film: "Slumdog Millionaire") is 45. Movie director John Singleton is 43. TV personality Julie Chen is 41. Actor Danny Pintauro ("Who’s the Boss?") is 35. Actress Rinko Kikuchi (Film: "Babel ”) is 30. NBA player Gilbert Arenas is 29. Rock singer Alex lltrner (Arctic Monkeys) is 25. Thought for Today: "Simplicity is an acquired taste. Mankind, left free, instinctively complicates life. " — Katharine Fullerton Gerould, American author (1879-1944). Herald-Zeitung Settinf New Hraunfeii and Comal (aunty lince IS32 Upw Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852, New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in ¡957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 cuuur ana Publisher Managing Editor Circulation Director Business Manager Advertising Director Doug Toney Autumn Phillips Jeff Fowler Rosie Willingham Timothy Tergeoglou Congress sMnànoIaw.." / WERE-IW SHOULD BE ENOUGH POR NOW America is out of control, by choice Our flesh surrounds us with its own decisions.” — Philip Larkin Wonder why you have already broken all your New Year’s resolutions? Do not blame yourself — heaven forbid. Enlist modern sophistication and blame your brain's frontal cortex, affluence, the Internet (the "collapse of delay between impulse and action") and "the democratization of temptation." Those phrases are from Daniel Akst, a novelist and essayist whose book “We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess” notes that the problems of freedom and affluence — of "managing desire in a landscape rich with temptation" — are desirable problems. But they are problems and have fascinating philosophic entanglements. American life resembles "a giant all-you-can-eat buffet" offering "calories, credit, sex, intoxicants and other invitations to excess. Americans accept these invitations so promiscuously that bad decisions about smoking, eating, drinking and other behaviors account for almost half oi U.S. deaths in "our losing war with ourselves." Life in general has become what alcohol is — disinhibiting. First, America was transformed from a nation of want into one of wants. Then the 1960s repudiated restraint, equating it with repression. Next, inflation in the 1970s discouraged delay of gratification. loday capitalism has a bipolar disorder, demanding self-controlled workers yet uninhibited shoppers. "Want to buy something?" Akst asks. Chances are that nearby stores are open (many Wal-Marts virtually never close), and with plastic in your pocket you've got the wherewithal." The Internet further reduces life's "frictional costs." But it increases distractions. Increasingly, Americans work at devices that can be stereos, game players, telephones, movie screens and TVs. The inhibiting intimacy of the village has been supplanted by the city's "disinhibiting anonymity." Even families have dispersed within the home: Time was, they listened to one radio together; then came the transistor. As traditional social structures have withered under disapproval, and personal choice and self-invention have been celebrated, "second careers, second homes, second spouses, and even second childhoods are commonplace." What the cartoon character Pogo said many decades ago ("We have met the enemy and he is us") is especially true of us wielding knives and forks: One-third of Americans are merely overweight, another third are obese. GEORGEWILL George Will's e-mail address is [email protected] Since 1980, obesity has doubled. Akst says 1980 was about the time when the microwave oven became ubiquitous: The oven is emblematic of the plummeting effort required per calorie ingested. One estimate is that Americans' per capita caloric intake has increased 22 percent since 1980, and the number of diabetics haif more than quadrupled. Pondering America's "aristocracy of self-control," Akst notes that affluent people, for whom food is a relatively minor expense, are less likely than poor people to be obese. Surely this has something to do with habits of self-control that are conducive to social success generally. Environmental stimuli and our genetic inheritances circumscribe self-control, but Akst insists that we are not merely fleshy robots responding to them. Skepticism about free will has, however, become convenient and soothing, because exculpatory behaviors once considered signs of bad character have been drained of moral taint by being medicalized as "addictions." When a political operative went five years without filing income tax returns, his lawyer explained this as "non-filer syndrome." Akst wonders: "Isn't it possible we are confusing human diversity with disease?" If someone holds a gun to your head and demands, "Don’t blink or I’ll shoot," you are doomed. But not if the demand is "Don't drink or I'll shoot.” Unlike Isaac Bashevis Singer, who said, "Of course I believe in free will — I have no choice," Akst sides with William James: "My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will." Akst says "we create the patterns that we are victims of," and he considers the idea of self-control "perhaps tautological" because "who else besides me could possibly be in charge of myself, after all?" As Akst recognizes, arguments about the reality of personal autonomy have political resonances: "If you believe your life is largely the result of your own discipline and decisions, you're going to feel very differently about taxes, regulations and redistribution than if you believe your life is largely the sum of your genes and your environment — factors irretrievably beyond your control." Will power, Akst says, is like a muscle that can be strengthened but is susceptible to exhaustion. Did you tell lots of people — did you blog about — your New Year's resolutions? Akst knows why you didn't: “self-control fatigue,” which is as American as microwaved apple pie. Letter to the Editor Replacing turf so soon reflection of‘throwaway society’ It’s no wonder CISD has to raise school taxes. Replacing items once the warranty period ends ("Red Turf ready for play at Canyon," Tuesday, Jan. 4) is indicative of today's wasteful throwaway society. There was no mention of the condition of the existing turf, just that the warranty period had expired. Well, the electric mixer I received as a wedding gift in 1968 is still operating fine, but gee whiz, I could have replaced it 43 times had 1 just paid more attention to that one-year warranty. It’s time we get back to the “use it up or wear it out” philosophy. Bette Gilbert New Braunfels 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 r / \ j'z....... annmjmm ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Doug Miller EXT E 1.216 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 SENATE ■ 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 @ senate, state.tx.u NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Castell Ave. P.O. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 (830) 221-4000 ■ Mayor Bruce Boyer bboyer@ Telephone: Extension 4507 ■ Dist. 1 Councilor Richard Zapata [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4501 ■ Dist. 2 Councilor Mark Goodner [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4502 ■ Dist. 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4503 ■ Dist. 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4504 ■ Dist. 5 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 ECCLESON [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1101 ■ PCT. 2 COMMISSIONER SCOTT 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 ;