New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 27, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Dave Kramer, Editor and Publisher ' Jim Webre. Managing Editor
Page 4_ Herald-Ze/funp, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, January 27,1967
A balancing act
A balancing act. City Manager Joe Michie talked to City Council last night about balancing the 1987-88 city budget by increasing user fees and by cutting back on department budgets. He said raising ad valorem taxes would be a last resort.
We urge council to think long and hard about balancing a budget with fees that might drop if the area experienced another drought and low tourist interest, and we submit that increasing property taxes appropriately is the only sure way to keep the city’s life-blood stable and service levels safe.
Remember, New Braunfels has the lowest tax rate of a majority of Texas cities its size. Even if property taxes were raised, they would still be lower than what many others pay. Isn’t the peace of mind brought on by a well-staffed police department and well-trained and firefighters worth it?
A lot more than money weighs in the balance.
Rounded hamburgers un-American cuisine
I should have become suspicious when I looked in the window and saw all the ferns hanging from the ceiling and walls in the bar section of the restaurant Bars that have ferns everywhere are not part of the Chicago tradition of interior design More suitable Chicago barroom decor includes softball and bowling trophies, hand-printed signs that say "No Checks Cashed." and somebody taking a nap on the shuffleboard.
But we were looking for a fast lunch and the sign outside said the place served food. so we went in and took a table "Hamburger." I said to the waitress "With or without pecans?” she asked
"With or without what?” I asked ••Pecans," she said "Uh, maybe you misunderstood me. I asked for a hamburger "Yes I heard you. With or without pecans
Well. I didn't know what to say I had never heard ut pecans Aith a hambuger.
So I asked: "How do you serve the pecans*' As a side dish or what?"
"No. they're iii the hamburger " "Ah. of course." I said trying not to appear unsophisticated < *f course. I’ll have it with the pet ans." "How do you want it done?"
Now she had me I had stepped right into a trap I always get hamburgers well done As Slats C.robnik once told me. "Heal hot grease kills all the germs "
But what about pecans? Should pecans be rare, medium or well*'
So I asked "Could I get the pecans rare and the rest of the hamburger well done?"
She blinked at me "The pecans are in the hamburger ”
"OK. well done for both of them " Then she asked if I wanted cheese, and I said yes. And she asked, "Swiss, cheddar, blue cheese?"
There is only one cheese for a hamburger, plain American cheese The processed kind My favorite is Velveeta That s why I never go to Paris You can’t get real Velveeta from those barbarians "Do you have Velveeta?" I asked. "Velveeta? No, but we have some American cheese ”
"God bless America," I said "ITI have it.”
She returned in a white and put a plate in front of me I gaped at it and asked, "What is this'"'
"Your hamburger." she said "It is ?"
“That’s what you ordered .”
I had ordered a hamburger Everybody knows what a ham burger is And this was not a ham burger.
It was the shape of a baseball And it was wrapped in bacon and covered with the melted cheese.
It set atop half a roll, and the other half was on the side There was no onion. There was no mustard or ketchup.
I pointed this out and she said: "You didn't order onion. But ITI bring you mustard and ketchup ”
The mustard she brought was that
brown French kind. I demanded honest yellow American mustard, which is the only mustard you should put on hot dogs and hamburgers.
I doused it with the condiments and put the top half of the roll on it and picked it up.
It was impossible. It measured about eight inches from bottom to top. There was no way a person with even a big mouth could take a bite out of it.
"How do you eat this thing?" I asked my companion.
"I don't know Maybe you should sort of press down on it with your hand to flatten it out."
I tried Mustard squirted out on my shirt
I looked around to see what others were doing They were eating hamburgers. too With knives and forks. Knives and forks!
There are many gray areas in life Some things can’t be called right or wrong But it is wroung to eat certain foods with knives and forks. Ribs, hotdogs, fried chicken, egg rolls and hamburgers, they should all be eaten w ith hands.
l o eat a hamburger with a knife and fork is as unnatural as drinking a shot and beer through a straw.
"It’s the C alifornia influence," my companion said.
Of course The ferns should have told me that. And the pecans and foreign mustard.
And the fact that a wan young man at the next table was sipping white wine with his hamburger.
As we were leaving, the waitress said to me. "Was everything all right?"
"Everything was subversive and un-American." I said.
That evening. I stopped at the Billy Goat Tavern, where a hamburger is still a homboorger and a sheeseburger is still a chizbooger: flat circles of meat cooked on a greasy grill, with onions and yellow mustard and slices of pickle.
And I warned Sam Sianis, the owner, that times were changing and he should consider changing with them • Ferns, Sam. you had better think about ferns "
"How you cook dem?"
"You don’t cook them. They’re plants You hang them from the walls and ceiling."
He shook his head. "No plants enn dees place. Plants got bugs. I no like bugs ”
"Well, then you should consider pecans in your burgers. It's the coming thing. It's already here " "Pecans?" he said. "You mean knots?"
"Yeah, nuts ’’
He thought for a moment Then he went and got a hamburger and put it in front of me Next, he turned around and pulled a package of beer nuts from the nut rack on the back of the bar.
He lifted the top of the bun and put the package of beer nuts on the hamburger. Then he replaced the bun.
"Ok, you got nuts in your chix-booger."
Ah, sanity prevails.
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Useless considerations in Congress
WASHINGTON - Well, here we go again. The opening gavel scarcely had fallen in the U.S. Senate before Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Joined by 42 colleages, revived the poor old Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. This is a sleeping dog. Congress ought to let it lie.
The discredited ERA was only one of a dozen resolutions of constitutional amendment to be offered on opening day. Not a one of them is worth the paper It is printed on. In this bicentennial year of the Constitution, couldn’t we just leave the charter of our liberties alone?
Age has not improved the ERA. The Kennedy resolution is identical to the resolution that failed over a 10-year period to win the support of three-fourths of the states. It is Just as ambiguous, Just as needless, just as unwise as before, lf it should win approval of two-thirds of each house of Congress. it will prove just as divisive within the state legislatures. This we positively do not need.
Is it ambiguous? The proposed amendment says that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." What rights does the amendment contemplate? No one can say for sure. The feeble answer of proponents is that they would leave all that to the courts.
Is it needless? Over the past 20 years, relying upon the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment, proponents of the ERA have won every constitutional battle they have waged. In Congress and in the state legislatures, sexist statutes have everywhere been repealed. What is
there left to fight about? Where in our public laws is there any significant trace of discrimination "on account of sex"?
Is it unwise? The overlooked section of this well-intended but misguided resolution would authorize a major transfer of power from the states to the Congress. This section would vest in Congress the power to enforce the article "by appropriate legislation." No one knows exactly what this means, either. If the ERA ever should be added to the Constitution, the states would lose the power they historically have exercies over legislative areas that touch upon "sex." Among the areas axe divorce, inheritance, criminal law, homosexuality and conditions of employment. The ancient and honored principle of federalism argues strongly against so radical an innovation.
At least five amendments have been proposed to require a balanced federal budget except in time si war. The version offered by Strom Thurmond of South Carolina is the shortest of the lot and therefore the least offensive, but all of them are unrealistic and none of them could be enforced. The way to balance the budget Is to elect members with the guts to make income and out go coincide. Lacking that kind of political courage, no constitutional amendment ever would be effective.
Here we go again on school prayer. This is Thurmond's proposal: "Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions. No person shall be required by the United STates or by any state to participate in
prayer. Neither the United States nor any state shall compose the words of any prayer to be said in public schools." We have lived a long time under the rule that no laws may be passed "respecting an establishment of religion," and though this commandment has been erratically Interpreted by the Supreme Court, the results have not been intolerable. This amendment could not be adopted without the most bitter controversy, controversy that would tear the country apart.
Here we go again on abortion. Andy Jacobs of Indiana proposes to write this provision into the Constitution: "The birth of any person shall not be prevented by they voluntary termination of the pregnancy of any person, unless such pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest, or such termination is necessary to prevent the death of the woman." Virginia Smith of Nebraska proposes a similar but mote restrictive guarantee of the right to life of unborn persons. She would not exempt even those pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Any such amendment, lf ratified, would drive the agonizing business of abortion back to the back-alley butcher shops of old.
Other resolutions of an*tvtm-i» deal with establishing English as our offical lanauam with restricting invocation of the FuL-ment, and with limiting senators to two six-year terms and representatives to six three-year terms. None of these is urgently requited. As the conservative maxim goes, when it is unnecessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
The times, they are a'changing (maybe)
An AP News Analysis By BARRY fCMWRID AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - In China and the Soviet Union, the two largest communist nations in the world, the democracy that is taken for granted In the West is as peculiar and unknown an institution as the Super Bowl.
Since no Marxist government ever went out of business voluntarily, change comes about in China and in Russia through evolution or outside
American conservatives prefer procure as a tactic. Liberals hope a Jeffersonian model here at home will inspire evolution in communist
Hie the IO years since the Red Guards imposed a tight grip on China, suppressing free thought and both the liberal Carter administration and the conservative Reagan adBdniotretlm hoped forevolution.
And there wee some progress under Dang Xiaoping, the country's paramount leader, who had survived purges by Mao Tiering during the Cultural Ravolutkm. Ha mad
room for a little freedom while shopping the West for technology to help the country’s economy.
At the colleges, always a barometer of the political climate, students occasionally expressed thoughts that were not directly drawn from Chairman Mao's sayings.
Last week, however, the trend stalled Hu Ycobang, a leading ad-vocate of introducing more market forces in China’s economy and loosening the Communist Party's tight political controls, was forced to resign as party chief.
A few days later, China's intellectuals were warned in a long report in China’s newspapers that they could expect renewed restrictions on tllenisslon and that debates could take place only ||w4fr ’’Marxist guidelines."
However, Prime Minister Zhao
Ziyang, who was designated ■ general secretary of the party, also was purged as a ’‘revisionist" during the Cultural Revolution and Is closely associated with Dang. He offered assurances that the p#RtciI changes of the last decade would be maintained.
go it will take some time to sort out what is really happening in
China to see if the spark of democracy is being snuffed out.
While Hu's ouster made frontpage news, a little-noticed item from Moscow mggoatort a hopeful trend in the Soviet Union.
Yuri Kashlev, the chief spokesman on human rights, announced a review of the sentences of prisoners convicted of "anti-Soviet activities.”
Many imprisoned political and religious dissidents are in that category, Kashlev told The New York Times he "would not nile out” a general amnesty for such prisoners, which would be unprecedented in Soviet history.
This was the latest Indication that the Soviet Union may be undergoing implant political and social changes under uimmii Gorbachev, who has tried in tt months as general secretary to revitalise the economy*
■ While Jewish emigration, another
mains at a low ebb, Andrei Sakharov woe permitted to return to Moscow ***** resume hie scientific career, and two other prominent dissidents, Anatoly Shcharensky and Yuri Orlov, were granted snit visas.
During the 27th Communist Party Congress in Moscow last February the watchword among American reporters was "openness,” or "glasnost” in Russian
Soviet officials criticized the party and themselves. A Politburo member, Gelder Aliyev, who is a first deputy prime minister, hold a wide-ranging news conference. He answered questions on such “fbjefts as the black market and his own salary.
Speakers at the Congress made only occasional mention of Got* RH bachev's name. This the adulation heaped |
Leonid Brezhnev at the last Congress in IMI.
Earlier this month, the party newspaper Pravda disclosed tho! several officials of the RGR international security agsncy had been disciplined for the illegal airest last year of a Soviet reporter who had exposed government corruption in the Ukraine,
The disclosure may have been Intended to show that the party Is la control of the KQB: But, Uke the review of ooMsneos and the events ai the party Congress, it may moon change is In the wind in theloviet Union.
compared with I on the late