New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 10, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
4 □ Herald-Zeitung g Friday, January 10, 1997
■ To talk with Managing Editor Micah Boyd about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ‘Ext. 220.
Herald-Zeitung■ ■ Opinion
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“Evidence is not evidence until it conies from (the courtroom), not the ll o'clock news.”
Lance Ito U S jurist, 1994
EDITORIALThe selling of the presidency
TV shopping network tapped to hawk inauguration knickknacks
Don’t have the time to go to Washington for President Clinton’s inaugural gala?
Don’t worry. Thanks to QVC, you can still have a souve-nier from the big event.
The inaugural committe has licensed the sale of everything from hats, T-shirts and coffee mugs to ultra-expensive commemorative items such as medals and jewelry to the home shopping channel. All this in the name of helping to defray the budgeted $30 million cost of the second swearing in of William Jefferson Clinton.
The committee receives a licensing fee that is built into the cost of each item that QVC sells.
Now there’s nothing wrong with celebrating a new presidency, but a little luster has certainly been taken away from the office with this latest marketing foray.
Traditionally, the expenses of an inauguration have been defrayed by the sale of tickets to various balls and the inaugural parade.
Does this mean that ticket sales are slow and there just isn’t enough interest in the kickoff of the president’s second term? Who knows.
One thing is for certain though — this can’t help Clinton’s already blackened image as a puppet of big money. From inviting Chinese arms dealers to the White House to questionable foreign campaign contributions to hawking wares alongside celebrity spokespeople, it appears that the current administration will do anything for a buck.
It’s not like Clinton hasn’t had to opportunity to bask in the glow of being elected to the nation’s highest office. He had a big gala four years ago.
Can selling swatches of Oval Office carpet be far behind?
(Todays editorial was written by Herald-Zeitung Managing Editor Micah Boyd).
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Mother Nature getting mankind back
Maybe Mother Nature is getting humanity back. In fact, she may be especially perturbed by South Central Texas humanity in particular.
We’ve dumped trash into the ground, water and air. More and more species are dying out, and evidence is mounting that Homo Sapiens are the culprit.
So just to remind us not to fool with her, maybe Mother Nature is unleashing her fury — microscopic fury. It could be a cold germ, or maybe a flu virus, or maybe mold spores or cedar pollen; God forbid a combination thereof. And Kablooee! According to the American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, we have an “involuntary, convulsive expulsion of air through the nose and mouth as a result of irritation of the upper respiratory tract” — we sneeze.
Health-care pundits are telling us that we’re on a collision course with several nasty flu bugs. The Encyclopedia Brittanica 15th Edition says that approximately 200 different strains of vims can cause influenza. Cedar pollen counts can be so high that it’s a wonder the clouds of teeny irritants aren’t visible to the naked eye. For those of us who have the misfortune to be violently allergic to mold, Texas dirt itself can send us into nasal spasms — 365 days a year.
Mother Nature’s micro-marauders attack, and the inevitable happens. "Pathologic changes occur in the mucous membrane that lines the nose, the nasal sinuses, the nasopharynx, that may include tissue swelling, congestion of blood, and oozing of fluids,” Brittanica says.
Ouch. Or rather, achew.
Judging from the ambient sound in the Herald-Zeitung office, rhinitis (inflammation of the nose) is rampant A dizzying array of sounds can accompany that “convulsive expulsion of air.” A few are the normal ac hews and kachoos.
Judging from the resonant quality of some sneezes, hidden operatic talent abounds. Some sneezes are an extended, uninhibited honk — Hoooonnnnk! or BrrmTonk! An animated cartoon rendering of that sneeze would show the sneezer being jct propelled backward by the honking sneeze. Family members have been known to shake entire two-story homes by honking in the shower.
Some sneezes have a reedy timbre like huge contrabassoon Brrrr/hhhhhli An animated cartoon
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of these would include the handkerchief being blown forward, flapping in waves. A comic strip would show the entire person in little wavy lines, vibrating on the sneeze pitch.
By far the most painful sneeze to watch is the implosion sneeze. It comes in several varieties, but the end result is the same — the observer wants to hide his eyes, because he’s afraid he’s going to watch the sneezer blow his own head off.
They all start by inhaling huge ^mounts of air. The room is drained of oxygen and a window-rattling honk is sure to follow. But no — instead it’s a little nnnnnnnt, or perhaps a tiny eeeeenk. All that compressed air is blown into the sneezer’s head, turning it beet red and bursting gazillions of cell walls.
Implosion sneezers may be incredibly polite, or shy, or inhibited. But surely a little honest phlegm is preferable to the sneezer’s shattered ear drums and blood vessels.
Splitting atoms and trips to the moon aside, resistance to the micro-marauders is often futile. Brittanica says “The nasal discharge is the first warning. The secretions become watery, clear and excessive. Later they increase in mucus ...” To quote further would cross the boundaries of this family-oriented column. (The kids could take it, but their parents couldn’t.) The victim has a full-blown, head-in-a-jar, upper respiratory mess.
It’s time to go home, pile up the blankets, brew a pot of hot tea, and crawl into bcd. Since your brain is too muddled for an adult book, try reading one of your kids’ instead.
An old but endunng offering from A. A. Milne’s “Now We Are Six” is appropriate
Christopher Robin had wheezles and sneezles. They bundled him into his bed They gave him what goes With a cold in the nose.
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered if wheezles Could turn into measles,
If sneezles would turn Into mumps;
They examined his chest
For a rash, and the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors In sneezles and wheezles To tell them what ought To be done.
All sorts of conditions Of famous physicians Came hurrying round at a run.
They ail made a note Of the state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle Came first.
They said, “If you teazle A sneezle or wheezle,
A measle may easily grow.
But humour or pleazle The wheezle or sneezle,
The measle will certainly go.”
They expounded the reazles For sneezles and wheezles,
The manner of measles when new.
They said, “If he freezles In draughts and in breezes.
Then PHTHEEZLES May even ensue.’*
Christopher Robin Got up in the morning.
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look in his eye Seemed to say to the say,
“Now — how to amuse them today?”
(Literary sources for this column came from the Dittlinger Memorial Library.)
(Susan Flynt England is a columnist for the Herald-Zeitung.)
I. ,1*. vn \
neuralToday in History
The Associated Press
Today is Friday, Jan. IO, the loth day of 1997. There are 355 days left in the year.
Today’! Highlight in History:
On Jan. IO, 1776, Thomas Paine published his influential pamphlet, “C ommon Sense.” In calling for American independence from England, Paine wrote, “Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation.”
On this date:
In IMI, Florida seceded from the Union.
In I M3, London’s Metropolitan, the world’s first underground passenger railway, opened to the public.
In 1920, the League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect.
In 1928, the Soviet Union ordered the exile of Leon Trotsky.
In 1946, the first General Assembly of the United Nations convened in London.
In 1947, SO years ago, the musical fantasy “Fin
ials Rainbow,” with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by E Y. Harburg, opened on Broadway
In 1957, Hamid Macmillan became prime minister of Britain, following the resignation of Anthony Eden.
In 1967, Massachusetts Republican Edward W. Brooke, the first black elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, took his seat.
In 1967, National Educational Television (forerunner of the Public Broadcasting Service) operated as a (rue network for the first time as it carried President Johnson’s State of the Union address.
In 1984, the United States and the Vatican established lull diplomatic relations for the first rime in more than a century.
Ten years ago: Saying he felt “just fine” after recent surgery, President Ronald Reagan warned Congress in his weekly radio address that he was ready to do battle over his new trillion-dollar budget.
Five years ago: President George Bush returned home from his grueling 12-day journey to Australia, Singapore, South Korea and Japan, boasting of’’dra
matic progress” on trade issues.
One year ago: Russian troops allowed a convoy of Chechen rebels and 160 hostages to head for Chechnya, then surrounded them in the village of Pervo-mayskaya. (After a five-day standoff, Russian troops launched a massive military assault that resulted in the deaths of most of the rebels and some of the hostages.)
Today's Birthdays: Jazz musician Max Roach is 72. Singer Gisele MacKenzie is 70. Opera singer Sherrill Milnes is 62. Rock singer-musician Ronnie Hawkins is 62. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey is 59. Singer Scott McKenzie is 58. Singer Frank Sinatra Jr. is 53. Singer Rod Stewart is 52. Rock singer-musician Donald Fagen (Steely Dan) is 49. Singer Pat Bcnatar is 44. Singer Shawn Colvin is 39. Rock singer-musician Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets) is 38. Rapper Chris Smith (Kris Knits) is 18.
Thought for Today? “Sex is the Tabasco sauce which an adolescent national palate sprinkles on every course in the menu.” — Mary Day Winn, American writer (1888-1965).