New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 9, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
4 New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Friday, July 9, 1982OpinionsHerald-Zeitung
Dave Kramer, General Manager Robert Johnson, EditorDyanne FryDoes my mailbox look like a garbage can?
I had just about given up on my mailbox.
It’d been weeks since I’d gotten a real letter, a relevant communication directed toward me personally. Just an endless stream of junk aimed at my wallet, my political sensibilities, my environmental conscience.
It upsets my environmental conscience to see so much paper wasted on pleas that mostly go in the trash unopened. When they’re stamped with pictures of clubbed seals, speared whales and starving elephants, it kind of upsets me that I throw them there. But you have to draw a line somewhere.
Any response, I’ve found, just opens the door to another flood of junk mail.
I once got a large brown envelope full of propaganda on an east coast shelter for homeless cats and dogs. Supported entirely by volunteer donations, it said, and dedicated to
finding a good home for every lonely pet. The envelope also contained a folder full of sweepstakes stamps. Just past them on this card, it said, and you might win a car, a toaster, a trip to Hawaii. No need to send money — but of course, every little bit helps.
I thought, what the heck, just this once. I pasted the stamps and sent the “suggested minimum donation”: $2.50.
I didn’t win the sweepstakes, but the shelter did send me the promised commemorative com acknowledging my gift. It was a bas-relief of an Irish setter — stuffed inside an even larger envelope with more pictures and pleas for more money.
A little card fell out when I first opened it. “Thank you ... thank you ... thank you!” it said in artistic, heartfelt script. What a guilt trip. I could scarcely stand it. And the worst of it is. I’ll bet it all cost more than the
$2.501 sent them.
Then there are the endless mailings from N.O.W., Common Cause, the anti-nukes, the pro-abortionists and sometimes even the anti-abortionists.
It was getting so I was almost glad to see a utility bill. At least those people know who I am and what I’ve really been up to. “During the period from May 20 to June 19, you used thus-and-so kilowatt hours. Please remit the following.”
You can imagine my joy when I dropped by the house for lunch Wednesday and found two letters from actual friends. Even the junk was better than usual: just one circular; a semi-personalized subscription offer for a new magazine; and a small box of something called “the protein-rich food cats CRAVE.” Now that's a piece of junk mail I can get into. Or more precisely, my cat, Jezebel, can get into it.
If she really likes it, the back of the box converts into a 10-cent coupon toward the purchase of more CRAVE.
Those people are out for money, too, but I like their approach. They send me something I can use, then leave it up to me whether I want to go to the store and buy more of it.
But one point worries me. How do they know I have a cat?
They must know. I never got sample boxes of food when I (lulu 7 have a cat. My next-door neighbor doesn’t have a cat, and she didn’t get one.
The offer from Vanity Fair magazine makes me a little uncomfortable, too. “In an age where television and home video games give easy access to simpleminded entertainment ... we’re looking for people who still enjoy a beautifully written work of literature. Still make the effort to go to the theater and important films, live concerts, art and
photography exhibits. To whom IO minutes of stimulating conversation means more than IO hours of game shows and situation comedies.”
Tiuk\ Ne irs lei (‘ lr, Na I tonal (it <>,irnph ie — all try to make you feel as if you’re a member of some elite group. But they’ve never been quite so specific. These people sound as if they’ve almost got me pegged.
What else do America’s great computers know about me?
The seal, whale and wildlife mailings are no mystery. I’ve belonged to the Sierra Club for seven years, and the Cousteau Society for five. It took a while, but every ecology-freak organization in the world has my number now.
At least, some of them print their junk mail on recycled paper.
The same goes for the nuke people, the political activists and the pro-choice crowd. Or maybe they plague
me just because I’m a woman with a college education.
The Literary Guild, one of those monthly book clubs, probably got my name from Writer's l)i<j<st, which I’ve been getting for four years or more. Maybe the Guild also gave my name to the American Film Institute, and perhaps even the Vaulty Fair people.
But how on earth did the cat-food company get wind of Jezebel?
At least I don’t get junk from religious and pseudo-religious causes, as some of my neighbors have been doing lately. My brother, now attending Methodist seminary in Kentucky, would probably say I need more religion. But I guess he has better things to do than put my name on their lists.
You’re wondering where my cat got that Biblical name? You guessed it. She belonged to my brother first.
Israel military strength made Russia back off
LOOK- WE TOLD 'EW EVER/THING 1'IA GONNA TELL 'EM ABOUT im HMG- BUSINESS- UHPERStfHP?
I’M SKI; ’N' TIREP OF THE AMERICAN _PEOPLE ACTIN' UKE THEY OWN IWS PLACE—
me .soviet forces located in the nearby Caucasus and Turkestan Military Districts. Twenty-six ground divisions, with 250,000 men on active duty, are now located in those districts and in Afghanistan.’’
The report also noted the presence in this Soviet force of “first-category airborne divisions’’ and, most significantly, a “command and control capability necessary to conduct large-scale military operations.’’
It seemed, as a State Department analysis put it, that Soviet intervention in Lebanon ‘ because a distinct likelihood ... in the event of a serious threat to the Syrian government.”
So why didn’t the Soviets make their move? Intelligence experts offered several reasons. One was that the Palestinians themselves would have been unhappy about direct Soviet intervention. Another was that the Kremlin lacked a solid pretext for armed intervention.
But the most interesting explanation is that the Russians were leery of risking an embarrassing military defeat at the hands of Israel. For example, an airborne invasion would require Soviet control of the air. But destruction of the Syrians’ entire surface-to-air missile strength had given Israel total air superiority.
In short, a modest “police action” could be disastrous for the Soviets, and the Kremlin was not prepared to escalate into a full-scale war with Israel. So it settled for bombast instead of bombs.
Endangered Shrines: In addition to other forms of persecution over the years, American Indians have suffered from misunderstanding and intolerance of their “heathen” religion practices. To remedy this, Congress in 1978 passed a law guaranteeing that the religious customs of native Americans would be respected.
The law called for a study to suggest policy changes that would secure the Indians’ religious freedom. The study was completed in 1979, and a draft executive order was prepared.
Not a single recomendation of the study has been acted upon, and the executive order draft is gathering dust in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Of particular concern are the estimated 25,000 sites sacred to Indians. They could be destroyed by development of federal lands where they are located.
A BIA official suggested that Indian leaders prepared a study of the sacred sites — a process that would take years. But because they are sacred sites, Indian rights leaders say, their locations cannot be divulged.
The Russians did their usual huffing and puffing over the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, but never went beyond rhetorical flourishes.
My intelligence sources tell me this may have been because Soviet leaders were afraid the Israeli war machine was too strong for the kind of limited intervention that was the Kremlin’s only real option. Or, as Marx might have put it (Groucho, that is), the big bully was confronted by a little bully and didn't want to risk a bloody nose.
As soon as Israeli tanks crossed the Lebanese border, the Soviets put their forces in the Middle East on full alert. This included the Soviet’s Mediterranean fleet and an airborne division in the Caspian area, a few hundred miles north of Lebanon.
Except for a few alarmists, State Department and CIA analysts discounted the Soviet alert as a prelude to direct intervention in support of the Soviet-supplies Syrians and Palestinians.
They pointed out that this would be unprecedented. Previous Soviet intervention in Hungary,
Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan and Poland has been confined to countries that are not only contiguous to the Soviet Union, but already within the Kremlin s orbit. Soviet military meddling elsewhere, as in Angola and Ethiopia, has been done by the Russians’ Cuban and East German surrogates.
The experts’ complacency was jarred by an ominous Kremlin communique on June 14: “The Soviet Union takes the Arabs’ side not in words but in deeds, and presses to get the aggressor out of Lebanon.
The present-day Israeli policymakers should not forget that the Middle East is in an area lying in close proximity ti* the southern borders of the Soviet Union, and that developments there cannot help affecting the interests of the U.S.SJL We w arn Israel about this.”
The intelligence community began to take a second look at its information on the Soviet military alert. They noted that the Soviet Navy’s squadron in the easter n Mediterranean had been beefed up by the addition of some surface warships, and that a Soviet airborne division in the Caspian area had been puton “special alert."
In fact, they knew, the Soviets had already expanded their military forces in areas looking out Russia’s “southern window” toward the Persian Gulf. A recent highly sensitive Pentagon report seen by my associate Dale Van Atta supplied the figures:
"A large increase has taken place in
A pox on Phyllis Schlafly and her lies about the ERA
with men (as if they didn’t already on airplanes).
The ERA was not only a threat to their security, she argued; it was unnecessary. Laws protecting women are already on the books.
Never mind that those laws are not uniformly enforced. Or that sexual harassment is an everyday nuisance in the marketplace. Phyllis maintains that men don’t make passes at virtuous lasses, that a woman “asks for it” by the way she walks to the water cooler.
The irony of the whole thing is that most people saw through her. Poll after poll showed that the American people, including a couple of presidents, were for ERA by a convincing majority. But she got through to a lot of niddering state legislators and in a ratification fight, they’re the ones who count.
Ah, well ... it hasn’t been a good year for the ladies. Just last week we learned that Betsy Ross didn’t sew the first American flag, after all. Turns out she was a businesswoman who outlived three husbands — and Phyllis probably wouldn’t have approved of her, either.
fact that it didn’t make it; it s the way it was defeated. And the country can thank Madame Schlafly for that.
She was the mastermind behind the campaign to “Stop ERA,” an accomplishment she reminded everybody as she tossed her (are you ready for this?) Over the Rainbow Celebration to rejoice over (and I quote her verbatim) “The expiration of the Equal Rights Amendment and the commencement of a new era of harmony between women and men.”
grab a microphone.
Women now make up 53 percent of the labor force, up from 44 percent when the ERA ratification battle started. But bnly 20 percent of them are on a management level.
What’s even worse, and what ERA was really all about, they still aren’t geting equal pay for equal jobs. Fulltime wage-earning women make only 66 cents for every $1 a man gets for the same work.
They’ve proved they can do a man’s job — from mining coal to building skyscrapers to performing brain surgery. Some of them have even made it to the executive suite, but only as vice-presidents. Female chief executive officers are as scarce as hen’s teeth.
There may, indeed, be a woman in the White House some day but nobody expects that to happen any time in the next 50 years. There are too many Schlaflys out there who would drag out that tired, old bit about female glands and how a woman’s place is in her own house, not 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In the end, what makes the death of the ERA a bitter loss is not only the
Well, the ERA has gone belly-up and Phillis Schlafly has had her “I-told-you-do” party — and may she and all her fellow revelers choke on their victory toasts.
Or better yet, gain three pounds pigging out on cake, champagne and self-satisfaction.
A pox, too, on all those so-called supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment who come to the funeral and console the mourners that, although they failed to make it into the Constitution, they really did win their battle.
That’s just not so.
So there’s a woman justice sitting on the Supreme Court now. Big deal. There are still only 21 women in the Congress (out of a total membership of 535) and their tally in state legislatures is a measly 12 percent.
Half a dozen women are big-city mayors — in Chicago, lincoln, Neb., Houston, San Jose, San Francisco and Honolulu — but there’s not a single lady currently serving as governor.
So Jeane Kirkpatrick is now our ambassador to the United Nations, a post that gives her Cabinet rank. She is not, however, secretary of state and he lets her know it every time he can
Phyllis hasn’t always been interested in “Harmony.” In the past IO years she has waged a cat fight of lies, innuendos and half truths to influence the rednecks and divide the homebodies from the working women.
Tirelessly, she crisscrossed the country, speechifying and debating ERA supporters on podiums and talk shows, warning women that ratification would mean their husbands wouldn’t have to support them any more, they’d lose their children in custody fights, they’d be sending their daughters to fight in the trenches, there’d be a rash of homosexual marriages, and they’d even have to share unisex bathrooms
Sen. John Tower United States Senate Room 142 Russell Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510