New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 5, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Dave Kramer Editor and Publisher Jim We tire. Managing Flditor
Herald-Zeifung New Braunfels Te*as Friday June 5 >8
Resisting inactions of registration resisters
Fly WILFRED L ELBEL
U S. Selective Service System
David Villain Kerley has been onvieted as a felon by a jury of his " ors in Madison Wise On May 29. in was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a SlO.nno ‘ ne His crime’’ Refusing to comply with the Military Selective Service ■Net the federal law that requires men to register with Selective Ser • • e within JO days of their SKth lur dday
While I agree with the necessity to prosecute nonregistrants. I have great sympathy for Mr Kerley My feelings are akin to the adage that one should • hate the sin but love the sinner It is a paradox that a r an fortunate enough to live in a nee society one that protects our i ,ght of legitimate dissent should boose to defy a law that helps guarantee freedoms Registration gives our nation the ability to call on its young men rn my future emergency should Con less decide a draft is needed Mr Kerley overstepped the rounds of legitimate dissent by knowingly and willingly violating me law I'he government literally t>* gged him to register and thus ivoid going to trial Regrettably Mr Kerley adamantly and repeatedly rejected such entreaties Apparently he never understood that it s okay to be discontent in our society hut ii s not okay to fie a malcontent h or a democracy to thrive, iti/cns cannot pick and choose ■aInch laws they will obey, all laws mist tie obey ed Laws that prove unpopular or unwise are changed by mr society through our system of government not by criminal disobe (lienee
Despite wide spread circulation of fliers on th** t 'niversity of Wiscon in s Madison campus calling for bidents to “pack th** cour troom ” »*i\ tow supporters of the defen bint wen* present when the guilty erdiet was handed dow n I suspect that the young men iii Madison. Ilk** just about all young American men, mow that spending those five minutes at the post office to give the government your name, address. tat** of birth, social security and phone numbers, is a civic duty as veil as a legal requirement Failure bi register, they know is simply not .Mirth (lie risk ol tieing branded a t**|on. tx*mg denied employment and ertam federal job training benefits Ii i> s id to note that Mr Kerley has also placed hi> future profession it risk lie aspires to a degree in law aud one must wonder what (lit in uit ms w ill tx* encountered when a
convicted felon applies for admittance to the bar Although I have never met Mr Kerley. I am certain we share some common concerns and goals Surely we both want future generations of Americans to enjoy the same benefits we inherited from our forebears Hut history teaches the w ise must not only pray for peace, but also must simultaneously prepare for w ar Preparedness never caused a war and un preparedness never prevented one I bis year, as we commemorate the Bicentennial of the signing of our Constitution, we should each remember that freedom isn t free Nor is its permanency ensured Lath generation must be prepared to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to preserve anti protect American values In our culture, the security of our free society must often rank ahead of individual goals or beliefs Concomitantly, we must adhere to the legal concept of least drastic means That is to say the government's method of assuring the safety of the state must minimize intrusion on individual rights
Peacetime registration wit flout a draft is hardly intrusive Kighteen million men have registered since President Carter called for a return to peacetime registration after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan No doubt many were les* than eager to do so. and some have legitimate and deeply felt objections of conscience that would preclude them from ser ving in war But they lived up to their obligation by registering and the moral high ground belongs to them
Not one has been adversely af fet ted because they obeyed the law they go to school, work, travel, marry and enoy all the lither benefits of living in our great na lion Every registrant knows that registration is not an obligation to serve in the military All should know that the system w ill provide equitable opportunities for exernp Bons, postponements and deferr merits should Congress reinstate a draft Conscientious objector status w ill be dispensed liberally to those whose religious ethical or moral beliefs cause them to oppose military service It is out of fairness to these millions who have registered that the government is obligated to pursue those few who have failed to comply I ain proud of the 5,000 young men w ho come forward every day I lament that Mr Kerley doesn't share this pride He has failed to unders tarn! that registration is an invest ment our nation must make to help maintain the peace
Gov Bill Clements Governor's Office State Capitol Austin, Texas 78/11
U S. Rep.
Lamar Smith United States House of Representatives 50V Cannon House Washington, D C. 20515
US Senator Llo/d Remsen United States Senate 703 Hart Senate Bldg. Washington, D C 20510 U S Sen Phil Gramrn United States Senate i/0 Russell Senate Bldg Washington, D C 20510
State Sen Judith Zaff trim Capitol Station p O Box 12068 Austin, I ex as 7871 I
U.S. Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County)
United States House of Representatives 1713 Longworth House Office Bldg. Washington, D C. 20515
State. Sen. William Sims Capitol Station P.O. Box 12068 Austin, Texas 78711
State Rep. Edmund Kuempei Texas House of Representatives P O Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D C. 20500
What class reunions should be but aren’t
To return or not to return That i*' the question when it comes to class reunions
It was alternately great terrible ex hilarating. depressing fun and boring lf, as Thomas Wolfe wrote you can never go home again." it is equally true that You can't go back to school again At a reunion we’re all l*»oking for something as gone as yexterday I was surprised though at how quickly old relationships, both good and bad. were reestablished The classmates I didn't like very much almost instantly irritated me again and I could see they felt the same hostility toward me The years hadn't dissipated whate\er it was in each of our personalities that rubbed the other the w long w ay The good part was that when I met the people who had tx*en friends in school the warmth of our friendship was instantly re established It was sweet pleasure to tx* reminded of why I Ilk cd them so much You don’t talk to anyone tor long at a reunion You envision spending hours reliving old times but you don’t There is almost no time to listen to anyone else s life story or tell your own I saw Carl across the room and headed through the crowd to say hello We laughed
about the Latin class we both failed and then our conversation was interrupted by a clasmate We never talked again and when I got into bed that night. I remembered that the last time I d seen Carl was at the Highth Air Force base in Kngland in 1942 where he'd been a B t? pilot Two days later he d been shot down and spent two years in a Herman prisoner camp Such is th** condensation of reunion conversations that it never came up There were students around and they had a proprietary air that amused me It was as though it was their school and we were intruders for the day Those young students had no way of understanding that we knew the school as well as they did I looked at the blackboards, the familiar cracks in the marble floors, the locker room, the stairways and a desk I d sat at for three years and I smiled at the students It was their turn to be young I talked to Walt We sat next to each other in chapel because his last name begins w ith an K too We had been friends but not close friends He wasn't in my group. I guess you d say “I never did much here.’ he said "I certainly didn t distinguish myself."
It had never occurred to me before that he had thought that about himself when he was in
W hat are you doing now I asked T m a heart surgeon practicing in Los Angeles." he said It was one of the depressing moments I realiz ed how cruel and exclusive a small group of us had been We thought of ourselves as the leaders and the doers and as much .is halt of the class was shut out simply because of some quirk of personality
What business did we have shutting out of our group a 15-year old boy with th** ability inside him to become a heart surgeon"
I don t know whether ITI go to another reu mon Today I wouldn't but iii five years I may I like the continuity lifelong friendships provide but there is something artificial about the reu mon setting
Schools encourage graduates to return to their reunions because reunions generate the kind of enthusiasm that induces alumni to give money I was thinking that there are some other groups of people I ve spent important parts of my hie with who I II never see again simiply because there s nothing in it tor the organizations to which we belonged They have no interest in bringing us together and we wouldn’t bother on our own Maybe just as wellMike Royko
President’s global strategy clear as mud
Slats Grobmk looked up from his paper and said. “You know, this Persian Gulf thing is harder to dope out than any horse race "
Not really. It s simply a matter of global strategy* What is confusing you'’
“Well, to start with, whose side are we on?" Obviously, in the matter of the Iran-Iraq war. we're on Iraq's side That is why we are going to protect the Muwaiti oil tankers "Because Iraq and Kuwait are allies'’”
Correct Kuwait helps bankroll Iraq in its war "But wasn’t it Iraq that hit our ship and killed all those sailors9"
That was a mistake Pilot error or something like that
"Yeah, but isn t Iraq real palsy with the russians?"
I suppose so I has been described as a client of the state of the Soviet Union "Then why should we be taking sides with someone who is palsy with the Russians?"
Because we are even more apprehensive about the possibility of Iran winning this war We view Iran as a greater threat to stability in that part of the world "I get it The lesser of two evils, huh”’
"Then how come we sold all that military hardware to Iran9”
That was unrelated
"What do you mean ‘unrelated’? If we don’t want them to win, why are we selling them weapons?”
Because President Reagan wanted to free some hostages Or maybe he wanted to form bonds between us and the moderate elements in Iran for future benefits
I get it We want Iran to lose, so we sell them weapons We want Iraq to win. so they bomb one of our ships and kill our kids And that makes sense to you "
In those terms, no But you are oversimplifying
"I guess I am over simple So what happens
Now we have our fleet guard Kuwait's oil tankers to prevent Iran from shooting them "That’s because we need that oil, huh'”’
No. we don’t need Kuwait’s oil We get most of our oil from other sources "So who needs the oil9"
Japan And Italy And a few other European countries
"Then why don t they guard the tankers9’’ Japan doesn't have the military gear and we didn't want them to ever build up another war machine
“Oh, they’s don’t have to spend money on military gear and can concentrate on beating us up in the business world and buying Hawaii and New York.”
It has kind of worked out that way.
“What about Italy and the other European countries Why can’t they help out in guarding those tankers9’’
They don’t want to get invived in someone else s war.
“in other words, they’re smarter than we are. They aren’t going to get stuck between the crazies in Iran and the crazies in Iraq.” Obviously, they don’t have the national resolve to keep the seaways of the world open, as we do “Hey, I don’t have any resolve to get in the middle of anybody else’s religious war ”
Ah. but you are not the president And Mr Reagan has that resolve "Yeah, well what's he going to do if that crazy Khomeini starts shooting at our ships" I mean, that old coot is liable to do anything, right? He thinks it will help him get to heaven The president hasn t said what we will do He says he wants Iran to go to sleep each night wondering what he ll do "What’s he think, he can beat them with insomnia What if they take sleeping pills?"
Wait He has made one thing clear He says he won t let anyone attack our ships without getting an appropriate response from us “That means we ll hit ’em.’
“And if we hit them, we’ve got to figure they'll hit us ”
There s always that possibility “So if they hit us, and we hit them, and they hit us. and we hit them, that is what some people would call a war, right?"
I think that would be one way of puting it “So there s a chance that we re going to get into a war because we want to help a coutnry that’s a lot friendlier to Russia than it is to us, and to make sure that Japan gets oil so it can keep beating up on our economy and that Italy gets oil without having to risk one Italian sailor'!; hide. and so we can beat Iran after we’ve sold weapons to Iran ”
That s global strategy for you “Uh-huh Well. ITI tell you this. Iranians won t be the only ones going to sleep worried about what we’re going to do There s someone else ” Who9 "Me ”