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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 13, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Wednesday, June 13, 2001Forum Contact Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson at 625-9144 ext. 220. Nkw Braunfels Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor Jo Lee Ferguson, News Editor (830) 625-9144 Editorial By the Associated Press Longview News-Joumal on parents who ruin kids’games: Rowdy fans and unruly parents are spoiling sports for children, youths and other people. That’s a shame. From T-ball to high school athletic events to professional sports, the people who go nuts when a game doesn’t go the way they think it should are ruining a cherished pastime. It’s hard to conceive of parents who would boo opposing teams of pee-wee players, who are mere children. But they do, and their actions are an embarrassment to their own children, the people around them, coaches and officials who are attempting to encourage youngsters to learn sportsmanship and develop athletic skills. From cussing matches to fistfights, the people who become so excited that they can’t control themselves should be muzzled and banned from attending. Such outrageous behavior is uncivilized and demeaning. It makes you wonder whether it might even be necessary to hire law enforcement officers to eject those people who step over the line. Violence and anger in youth sports obviously are on the rise. Parents who think their children are not playing enough, who don’t like the coach and his or her strategy, who get into disputes with other parents in the stands, or who don’t think the opposing team was on the up and up are common. For every sport, there’s a parent who thinks he or she knows more about the game or league rules than the coaches or officials. Angry parents claim league rules are biased against their children. Such outbursts are viewed by most sensible people as sour grapes and ignorance. That’s because some parents prefer to attack the coach, referee, umpire or other parent rather than asking to meet with a board of directors to discuss the situation calmly and rationally. Ultimately, these parents hurt their childrens’ self-esteem and set a poor example that many will imitate as they grow up. That’s a life lesson poorly learned. That’s why every league, every school, every sports association should adopt the University Interscholastic League’s “Sportsmanship Manual” and adopt the Parents Code of Ethics Pledge, developed by the National Alliance for Youth Sports. The UIL and Texas Association of Sports Officials should develop stronger rules that make it easier to eject people who throw tantrums, taunt or make other verbal attacks. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, June 13, the 164th day of 2001. There are 201 days left in the year. Ibday’s Highlight in History: On June 13,1971, The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of America’s involvement in Vietnam. On this date: In 1888, Congress created the Department of Labor. In 1898, the Yukon Territory of Canada was organized. In 1900, China’s Boxer Rebellion targeting foreigners, as well as Chinese Christians, erupted into full-scale violence. In 1927, aviation hero Charles Lindbergh was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City. In 1942, President Roosevelt created the Office of War Information, and appointed radio news commentator Elmer Davis to be its head. In 1944, Germany began launching flying-bomb attacks against Britain during World War II. In 1966, the Supreme Court issued its landmark Miranda decision, ruling that criminal suspects had to be informed of their constitutional rights prior to questioning by police. Letters To Hie Editor Congressman’s views full of ancient rhetoric Dear Editor: There was an article from Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez that was stating his views on the tax relief bill signed by President Bush that was so much of an acid speech that I must object. This is such ancient rhetoric by the Democrats that it is getting comical. For one, most of the items in this tax bill that Rep. Rodriguez finds objectionable were put in by the socialist members of the Congress. If he has a statement to make he should address it to his fellow socialists. Another is his constant drum roll of the “rich” getting more than anyone else. Well, they pay the most in the government bills, so it is only reasonable that they are the ones to receive the most in return. Please go back to any tax relief bill, and you will find that the economy has surged and not regressed. This surge is what actually made the great overpayment to the government in the Clinton years. The only great program that I remember under Clinton was the horrendous tax increase in 1992 and the absolute joy that the vice president gave to the Congress in his one tie-breaking vote. The Contract With America made it possible for the people in the lower incomes to boost themselves and the businessmen to take steps to increase their employment. Rep. Rodriguez states that he supports tax relief, and I ask, “Where?” Also I would like to see more factual statements and not the umbrellalike statements that he continues to give when demonizing the opposing views. As we finish celebrating Memorial Day and D-Day, our struggle to overcome the horrors of WWII and the other fallen soldiers, I want to remind Rep. Rodriguez that in the WWII beginnings, 1931-1938, it was focused on what divided a country and not what brought it together. Hitler had to find an enemy, and because he had no plan on his own, he demonized his fellow countrymen, much to the detriment of the entire world. Do better, Rep. Lamar Smith Rodriguez. Also, pick another president other than President Clinton to hold up as an example. He was the only one disbarred from practicing law (in his state of Arkansas) and the only one to sit idly by while an energy problem was looming in the U.S. He also pardoned felons and again against the laws that govern the pokey for pardons. His entire life is corrupt and you find him as one to admire? Your judgment needs to be examined. Betty Clifford New Braunfels What do alcohol ban supporters say now? Dear Editor: Well, Mr. Toney, I’m glad that you took the time to actually go down to the river and check out the behavior of the tourists firsthand. I have floated both the Comal and the Guadalupe rivers this year, and had much the same experience as you. Let’s all remember that there were those who said that only by banning alcohol could we control the rivers. Obviously they were wrong. Of course, I have yet to hear a peep out of the anti-drinking bunch, headed by the you-know-whos on the council and their ambassadress spokeswoman. Could it be that there’s some other motive at work here? Let’s keep that in mind the next time they trot out their cast of characters to proclaim that the sky is falling. Y’all enjoy the crow. Duane Neel New Braunfels Thief could spend time in better ways Dear Editor: To the person(s) who took the street sign at Camellia and Pecan Arbor as well as my “for sale by owner” sign: What a shame that you are not using your energies and talents to better our society instead of for thievery in the dark of night. Melba L. Harper New Braunfels New ideas to consider For years minority voters have been taken for granted. Their support was assumed while their communities decayed. When one pierces the rhetoric and looks at the issues that affect the futures of minority Americans, it’s clear that new ideas deserve their support. School choice One of the great tragedies of our times is the cycle of poverty in which many Americans — predominantly minority — are trapped. Liberals and conservatives alike agree that a better education is the path out of poverty. Liberals believe that the way to do so is to pump more money into the public education monopoly; conservatives believe that we can develop this excellence by allowing disadvantaged students to choose a better school. A recent poll issued by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank specializing in issues of race, found that a majority of minority voters aged 26 to 35 support school choice. Choice gives parents more control over their children’s education. Social Security Social Security payments take a cut out of every dollar most workers earn. However, minority workers have a lower life expectancy, meaning that they will collect Social Security benefits for fewer years than other workers. Immigration Low-skilled immigrants take jobs held by low-skilled Americans. The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform concluded, “immigration of unskilled immigrants comes at a cost to unskilled U.S. workers.” Before another child enrolls in a failing school, before another minority worker steps back into the unemployment line, before another individual dies too young to receive the fruits of his labor, let reason prevail. Common sense policies that turn plight into prosperity should be considered. (Lamar Smith represents District 21 in the U.S. House of Representatives.)Democracy too tame for McVeigh’s immature mind AUSTIN — “Invictus”? Lord save us, what a sick man. Talk about delusional. That Timothy McVeigh, mass murderer of children, saw himself as the master of his ship and the captain of his soul is beyond irony. Now he’s going to ruin a perfectly good minor poem. Tb the extent that Timothy McVeigh can be understood — or that we’d want to understand him — he obviously considered himself part of the warrior culture. Warrior mythology is an ancient and in some ways still-noble ideal. “Duty, honor and country” is a code that continues to reverberate with most of us. From Hector of ancient Troy to Col. William Travis to Audie Murphy, the romance of the warrior role still has great appeal. Th be a warrior in a comfortable, commercial, bourgeois culture is to be profoundly out of place. It is also a way of finding a sense of superiority over all the fat, lazy civilians of the world. In McVeigh’s favorite book, Molly Ivins “The Turner Diaries,” the hero is an outlaw guerrilla warrior whose motive is not just glorified racism. In the book, the “mud people” (black Americans) are subhuman, while the Jews are behind everything and white men are an endangered species. Paranoia, racism and a profound distaste for and sense of superiority to the complacent sheep of the American middle class are all intermingled in a poisonous stew of badly written prose. The book also includes the recipe for the bomb McVeigh used in Oklahoma City and a hilariously bad sex scene — and if you think those two don’t belong in the same sentence, you have no idea how bad this book is. One of the more puzzling aspects of McVeigh’s warped sense of the warrior culture is that he so clearly loathed the “country” for ' which he claimed to act. I rarely venture into the realm of parlor psychology, mostly because I am hopelessly unqualified, but McVeigh is not just an aberration. Exactly how a supposed code of honor could drive someone to murder 168 people is beyond me, but it is obviously not unique to McVeigh. This nation has a huge population that identifies the manly warrior with guns, bombs and killing. Believe me, I am not blaming this society for Timothy McVeigh. That someone could be unhappy with both the culture and the government of America seems not at all odd to me — I am, frequently. But the point of a democracy is that there is, in the-oiy, something you can do about it: organize, protest, run for office. All of which is damn tame to an immature mind compared to blowing up a building. It is this longing for a sense of mission, for a purpose, to be in a heroic drama in a country that judges accomplishment only by the size of a person’s bank account that is so familiar about McVeigh. Not to put McVeigh and Charlton Heston in the same category (I sincerely apologize even for the implication), but I was struck by that dramatic footage of Heston at the recent National Rifle Association convention holding up a rifle and proclaiming that it would have to “pried from my dead, cold hands.” It’s the easiest thing in the world to make fun of such self -dramatizing claptrap, especially in an age with an overdeveloped sense of irony — but there are many people who have no ear for irony, just as others have no ear for music. People say McVeigh was the poster boy for the death penalty. White, had good lawyers, had a number of opportunities in life, was not retarded or evidently insane and, best of all, we know he did it. The pro-death-penalty people have an underdeveloped taste for vengeance, as far as I’m concerned. McVeigh got off too easily. If we’d put the s.o.b. in the Cowboy Gulag for 50 years, then he could have learned what suffering is. Anthropologists tell us one of the great needs of Western civilization is for a rite of passage, for some ceremony — a sort of trial by fire that marks passage into adulthood. War and its substitutes, like jousting and hunting, have long been recognized as such a rite. American kids often invent their own weird rites of passage — stealing hubcaps, taking LSD — for lack of some recognized rite. Despite the fact that he had served in an actual war, McVeigh seems to have tried to invent another war in a search for mission, for some Luke Skywalker role. The weird part is not that his urge was so strange, but that it is so familiar. (Molly Ivins is a syndicated columnist.) ;