New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 12, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
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The rest of the world doesn't agree with Reagan very often, below
Dave Kraacr, General Manager Hobart Johaaoa, Editor
Washington TodayReagan getting little worldwide backing
By GEORGE GEDDA Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The release of the TWA hostages has given President Reagan a boost in popularity. But beyond the water’s edge, few seem to see things the way he does, allies included.
On issues ranging from terrorism to deterrence to subversion. Reagan has been able to attract scant international support for his policies, leading some to detect the whiff of neutralism in the air. On one issue after another. Reagan has ignored his instincts and been forced to retreat.
His call for a globe! ooycott ot Beirut airport has elicited expressions of support only from Britain and Jordan. The NATO countries are skeptical of his Strategic Defense Initiative known as "Star Wars.” and most Latin American countries feel the same way about U.S. backing for Nicaraguan resistance forces. The economic embargo of Nicaragua, imposed 24 months ago, has been criticized almost everywhere.
All of this seems to have had a moderating influence on the president. His conservative supporters are particularly disappointed with his more benign approach to the Soviet Union and wish he would have stuck by his earlier pledge to take "swift and effective retribution”
against Middle East terrorists.
On the East-West issue, mainstream opinion both here and abroad holds that Reagan should at least make an attempt at improving Soviet-American relations by meeting face-to-face with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. And the president, sensing this yearning, has dropped his previous conditions for a summit and will meet with Gorbachev in November.
In June, under intense allied pressure. Reagan also ignored conserv ative advice when he decided to continue to abide by SALT II limits on nuclear weapons despite perceived Soviet violations. On the other hand, he has remained firm on going ahead with SOI research for a
high-tech shield against Soviet missiles attack even though NATO has declined to endorse the program.
On terrorism. Reagan’s instincts tell him to strike back but he has been unable to convince himself that would be a w use course in specific situations Retaliation almost certainly would put the lives of the seven remaining American hostages in lebanon at risk and there is no guarantee that this would head off even more audacious ^terrorist incidents directed at Americans in the future.
Finally, Reagan also is restrained by the knowledge that any military retaliation probably would cost the lives of innocent civilians.
5-sided office bedevils amateur builder
When I started my vacation in 1983, I decided to spend a week or IO days building a little place out back of our suiiuner house so I could be alone and write.
Today, I am pleased to announce that just a little more than two years and several broken ribs later, that 10-day job is completed ..well, almost completed. For electricity, I still have a 50-loot extension cord running to it from my shop.
With the exception of World War II, putting up this building lias been the learning experience of my life. I d always taken buildings for granted. They had floors, roofs, walls, windows, and doors, but it never occurred to me exactly how one was built.
Uke almost everything else I ve ever done in my life, I started without a definite plan. For some reason that is no longer clear to me, I decided to build a five-sided building, a small pentagon. The length of each side was governed by the fact that I could conveniently get 8-foot boards of heavy, treated timber for the base of
the building in the back of my station wagon.
Problems began to arise almost immediately. I placed five heavy stones on the ground for the timbers to rest on and then started trying to figure the angle at which I should cut the timbers to make them fit together at the corners.
There are all kinds of devices that help a carpenter cut a 45 degree angle, but with five sides, all the mitre angles in this building were 36 degrees. This is not a right angle, it is a wrong angle. I know' now why most buildings have only square corners in them.
Don’t ever take a door for granted if it opens and closes easily. My door is made of oak and it swings on two huge old brass ieebox-door hinges I bought at a junk shop Everything about it is great except it doesn’t fit very well into the frame I made for it. I don’t even know whether you make the door or the frame first. Whichever is right, I did it wrong.
Yesterday, with the construction finished, I went into town to buy some
cheap carpet with which to cover the ugly plywood floor.
"How big an area are you covering9” the woman behind die desk at the carpet store asked. "How many square feet ”’
"J don’t really know,” I said. "None of the feet in this building are square ones.”
"What are the dimensions9” she asked. “Perhaps I can figure it out
It’s a little less than 8 feet on a side,” I said "About 93 inches, but it has five sides.”
"Five sides! Oh, goodness. All the men are out on a job. I’m just answering the phone here. I fill in once in a while. Maybe if you come back tomorow one of them can help you.”
I ended up buy ing a few remnants of green carpet and they’re under my chair now, but there are a lot of bare
When I left the place last fall, there was a lot of work to be done, but the door was on and I thought the place
CERTAINLY UUAS EVASIVE, HAILE
THUPPUCRER, ITE- CHAIRMAN (VASA LITTLE; PRESSePFOP TIME
EE ASSURED, THOUGH, THAT THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA MIE GIVE YOU A OUAPM WELCOME. TTH I OPT ANS VERT/MUCH AD -MIRE AMERICAN MUSIC
FOR THE lOTH ANNIVERSARYCELE3RA -WH OF OUR REVOLUTION. IVE TRILL? TO GET HAU ANO OATES, WHO ARE COMPERE?ACROSE AFRICA VEE YOUR GREATEST BLADT BAN? UN HAPPILY, THEY (VERE UNAVAILABLE
Collective nouns can give experts
a syntax headache
When I opened up last week, there was evidence of animal life everywhere. I took the cover off my typewriter and there were hickory nuts down between the keys where the chipmunks had stored them.' There was the beginning of a beehive in the corner of one of the triangular windows overhead. There were mice droppings on die floor and three kinds of ants parading across my reference books Obviously, a vast assortment of animal life thought I d erected the building as winter headquarters for them. They’d all moved in. My family may laugh at this place but the animals love it.
It rained yesterday and you’ll probably think highly of me when you hear that the roof only leaks in two small places. As long as I keep things out from under the drips until I fix them, they won’t bother me hardly at all
I just hope you’ll understand if some of my columns are a little damp and have tiny footprints on them for the next month.
. J SUPPOSE.
MAYBE IT'S HEROES CAN
JUST AS SOMETIMES
WtLl ut YOU BOWN
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A sentence comes to hand, taken from an article in New York magazine about Bill Kurtis. co-anchor of the "CBS Morning New>
"A rash of stories in the Chicago media have reported that Kurtis doesn’t like his new co-anchor, Phyllis George.”
The question is What s the proper verb9 Has? Or have My vote is for "have.” on the theory that in this instance “rash” is a collective noun, meaning "a great number ut instances in a short period,” arui thus should be treated as a plural subject Having cast my vote, let me add a word or tw o more
Collective nouns have a terrible way of tripping us into tangles ut syntax How do we handle such words as committee, jury, team, legislature, majority, and family The answer is ttiat we handle them as if we were drying the gotnl china Wt handle them with care, and. at least within tile same piece of writing, we try to handle them consistently
One rule of general application teaches to use the singular unless there is some reason, grounded in clarity, to go with the plural instead It is the numerical meaning that controls the verb If we are writing about a court of three judges, but there’s nothing wildly objectionable in “an overwhelnung majority ot voters, of all ages and occupations and income levels, evidently believe that...”
Where we get into trouble is in such constructions as, "Missouri has lost its all-American quarterback for the Nebraska game, but they will have a promising replacement in..." If wt are going lo begin with Missouri has,” we have to end with “it will have.”
Tile best advice comes from Wilson Follett in “Modern American Usage.” In his admirable discussion of die trouble with numbers, he remarked that “problems of this order are not to bt* solved, but sidestepped ” It is much easier lo write in the plural of learn numbers. or jurors, or legislators, than to brood all night over whether a rash “has” or a rash "have.”
Odds and ends: In their view edition of the Harper Dictionary of
Contemporary Usage. William and Mary Morris have a sniffy entry on "for free ” It is slang, they say. and is used "only facetiously by careful writers "
I am willing to accept that judgment for the moment, but I wonder if the idiom isn t wtinning its wax into respectable company The Miami Herald, for one example, appears to sanction the phrase. "For free" is shorter than the stiff and formal "Without charge.” and conveys a slightly different meaning Jackson gave his talent for free” is a clear and vigorous expression Jackson received no compensation for his appearance” may be proper, but it s feeble Fie on the ad agency serving Kotlik Full-page ads depicting a bo) with a tux sword and shield carry the caption "He just slayed his last dragon ” Slayed The past tense of slay, bx George, is slew An ad for Kellogg's bran buds says that "everyone needs fiber in their diet ” lf ad writers intend to flee in terror from “everyone needs fiber in his diet," they might consider a recasting that woudn’l offend granuiuirians: "All of us need fiber rn our diet ."
Blooper of the week The Kocltester (NY.I I>eniocrat and Chronicle says that al a reception for winners of a golf tournament, "there will be a selection of cheeses and small dinner roles.” ... In tile Washington Host, a company advertises for a media director "capable of developing a sound report with TY stations " .. The Hays i Kau. I Daily News reports that astronauts soon will be conuiung to debretfing sessions in Hutchinson, where “they will spend two days basically being run through the ringer " An enviroment writer for the Miami Herald warns about three species of imported trees that "are so profligate they are crowding out more fragile native species.” ...In Baltimore, a book about the Orioles lias a word about Orioles Advocates, a non-profit corporation "Membership of the Orioles Advocates compromises some 75 men and women drawn from a broad cross-section of the Baltimore area ” Take us out to the ball game’
Gov. Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701
Sen. JohnTraeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington, D.C. 20510
Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D.C., 20510
Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County)
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.. 20615
Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
Rep. Tom Loeffler U.S. House of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington, D.C. 20515