New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 21, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
4 New Braunfels Herato-Zeitung Tuesday, June 21,1983OpinionsHerald-Zeitun$
Dave Kramer, General Manager Robert Johnson, EditorJames J. KilpatrickSupreme Court 'off base' on abortion issue
WASHINGTON - In the rekindled debate over a woman’s “right to an abortion,’’ two broad questions present themselves. The first is a moral issue: Is abortion morally wrong’’ The second is a legal issue: Is the Supreme Court’s position constitutionally right ?
On the moral issue, there seems to be little middle ground A large body of opinion, propounded chiefly but not exclusively by the Catholic Church, holds that abortion is gravely wrong: It is tantamount to murder Yet even such dedicated fores of abortion as Sen Ornn Hatch of Utah tend to back away from a rigid position that abortion is wrong under any circumstances The senator’s proposed constitutional amendment would give
congress and the states the power no only to prohibit abortions but also “to restrict" them.
I am not competent to address the moral issue; theology and metaphysics are off my beat. I pause merely to make the point that if every abortion, without exception, is to be regarded as a breaking of the commandment laid down in Exodus 20:13, many of those who oppose abortion as a moral wrong are on shaky ground. “Thou shalt not kill” appears to mean just that. If abortions may be “restricted," which is to say, if abortions may be sanctioned to prevent the consequences of rape or to save the life of a mother, then we are into morality by degree. I leave it at
Is the Supreme Court’s position constitutionally right0 No. Ten years ago, when Justice Blackman wrote the majority opinion in Hoe vs. Wade. I said it was disgraceful example of judicial legislation I.ast week the court voted 6-3 to reaffirm its holding of 1973. The earlier criticism stands Ten years ago a majority of the court fabricated a law on abortion out of whole cloth I.ast week's opinion, this time by Justice Powell, is constitutionally as flimsy.
This is not to challenge the premises of the court’s approach Yes. there is a right to individual “liberty” established under the 14th Amendment. And yes. the almost forgotten
Ninth Amendment does say that the people retain other “certain rights" that are not spelled out specifically. And, yes. the Suprememe Court has power to construe these rights
All that is quite true. And if the Supreme Court had stopped at that point, leaving it to the states to define the manner in which this “liberty" could be exercised, I would be content to let the principles of federalism discover acceptable political solutions.
This is what the court has done in a thousand other instances The right to free speech is among our liberties, but noghing prevents the states and localities from passing laws on billboards and sound trucks The right to trial by jury is among our liberties.
but nothing prevents the states from saying how juries shall be composed. We have a right to the free exercise of religion, but as the court demonstrated recently, the Internal Revenue Service may define the kind of religion we are free to exercise
Justice O’Connor, dissenting last week with Justices Rehnquist and White, took a clear-eyed view of what was wrong w ith R<*e vs Wade in 1973. There is no justification, she said. in law or logic for the elaborate framework of abortion by trimesters of pregnancy that the court fashioned IO years ago. We should not forget, she added, that legislatures are ultimate guardians of the liberties and welfare of the people “in quite as
great a degree as the courts " Such issues as “accepted medical practice” ought not to be determined by the Supreme Court at a level of constitutional law “The appropriate forum for their resolution in a democracy is the notwithstanding. Roe vs. Wade has been not only reaffirmed but also in some ways expanded If the legislative power of the states is to be restored in this sensitive area of the law, it can be done only by constitutional amendment or by an unforeseeable reversal of the two decisions by a future court Neither course is attractive, but if we are to prevent further erosion of the foundation stone of federalism, the Hatch amendment may be the best avenue toward that end.
Penning an 'oath' for journalists
JUSTICE BURGER,,THERES A GENTLEMAN HERE WHO WANTS MW TD R6C0NS1P6R VOUK DECISION BARRING MILITARY LAWSUITS.
American firm left out in cold as oil-rich country reneges on debt
I>an Rather, the television news anchorman, and Steve Glauber, the (50 Minutes" producer, are my friends so you wouldn’t trust any opinion I gave you about them But you can understand how happy I am that they were absolved of any wrongdoing by the jury in the libel case brought against them and (’KS News by a law Angles doctor Steve Glauber, a lawyer himself, is one of the best of the “SO Minutes producers and Dan didn’t get to the top of his profession with shoddy work, so I was never very worried about the outcome of that case The lawsuit, nonetheless, was troubling to everyone in the news business To wiiat news standards do we adhere and how do we make everyone in tile business adhere to them0 Sometimes I envy physicians their Hippocratic Oath, the creed they swear allegiance to when they become doctors Journalists ought to have a code they swear to when they enter the profession Even though I like the idea of the Hipocratic Oath, the oath itself is a little out of date “I swear by Apollo, the physician" it begins
I don’t think that's much of a beginning, but there are a kit of good things in Hie oath even though it needs rewriting
The Hippocratic Oath asks the young doctor to lake care of tile physician who taught hun as he would take cure of his own parents To tell you the truth, most young reporters don’t feet all that knolly toward the editors who taught them their profession, so we’d nerd something different there The Htppocratle i*uth also asks the young doctor to do only what is right f»*r his patients and to do nothing that I* wrong He promises to give no patient deadly medicine and not to induce an abortion for any pregnant won urn
By WAITER H MIARS
AP Spwctai Correspondent
WASHINGTON By the time politicians begin warning that one issue or anotlier should not become a political football, it already is I‘resident Reagan and his Democratic critics are demonstrating that almost daily in the scrimmage over education.
The issue involves money, priorities and control in an area *4 concern to virtually every American votrr TI ult would seem to make it the pertes t topic for serious. substantive debate in the campaign for Hie While House R certainly will lie a topic Reagan and his would-be Democratic challengers already have seized the issue How substantive the debate is another question Even as Reagan reissued the “political football" slogan, hr told parents to start pressing the federal government for ac lion for a return to basic's and old fashioned American values in the schoolhouse
Send a message to Washington. D C . and make it loud and clear,’ the president told Hie National Congress of Parents and Teachers in
The new doctor promises not to seduce any males or females and not to reveal any secrets You can see there are a lot of ways a journalist's oath would differ from the* doctor's.
The new journalist certainly wouldn't start by swearing to Apollo, and probably not even to Walter Iapprnann or Ed Marrow The oath should be simple and direct I was thinking of some things that ought to be in it
Here are some suggestions for THE
JOURNALIST S CODE OK ETHICS The word “journalist" is a little pompous and I will only use it on spec tai occasions — I am a journalist because I believe that if all the world had all the facts about everything, it would he a better world
I understand that the facts and the truth are not always the same It is my job to report the facts so that others can decide on the truth
- I will try to tell pe<*ple what they ought to know and avoid telling them what they want to hear, except when the two coincide, which isn t often
- I will not do deliberate harm to any persons, except to the extent that the faits ha nu them and then I will not avoid the facts
No gift, including kind words, w ill tie accepted when it is offered for the purpose of influencing my report
What I wish were tin* facts will not influence what investigation leads me to believe them to be
I will lie suspicious of every self intersted source of information
My professional character will be superior to my private character
I will not use my profession to help or espouse any cause, nor alter my report for the benefit of any cause, no matter how worthy that cause may appear to bt*.
I will not reveal the source id information given to me in con faience
Eat your heart out. Hippocrates
Albuquerque, N M "Tell them you want the basics back in your schools and the parents back in charge, tell them educ ation must never bet urn** a political football because your children come first "
At the same time, Democratic presidential candidates were criticizing the administration and demanding that more federal money lie put into public education
Kor example. Former Vice President Waller W Ronda Ie proposes SU billion in additional federal aid for education. $4 5 billion of it to be allocated by lot al school authorities Sen Ernest f Rollings, D-S U , said every American leacher should get a $5.00»-a-year pay raise financed by Washington
Reagan opposes increased federal aid or involvement, contending that the schools were better liefore Washington got involved in the first plat e He says Hie quality of public education suffered for the federal control that went with federal money
The education issue has been there ail along, public opinion analysts see it as a major topic of voter concern over the next decade
WASHINGTON kin a diz/ving decade, the oil-ruh Arab sheikdoms have been scattering petrodollars to tlr wind like autumn leaves Eager American busirtesMtien have scrambled to rake iii their share They have offered the Arab rulers everything Hies wanted, from schools and hospitals to private jets and fancy limousines Now many businessmen can't collect the* money that’s owed them rite* drop iii world oil prices lias forced Hie Arab producers lo cut back on their extravagant spending So sheikdoms have simply refused to pay their bills Perhaps live worst of the desert deadbeats, according to Stale Department sources, is the United Arab Emirates It s still one of lite wealthiest Arab slates, with billions of dollars in reserves It should be able lu pay its creditors But the situation has become so acute that the American ambassador in Abu Dhabi complained to Hie crown prime As a confidential cable tells the story, the ambavsador explained * that he was laking the unusual step of elevating this basically commercial matter to the level of bilateral discussion between governments because of potential political implications The cable identified these political implications" as th** “burgeoning ranks id individual, unreimbursed smaller creditors who were
becoming increasingly atienled One such creditor is a (amity firm, DeAimeida Const rut lion Co of Did Bridge, N J , founded by lino
De Almeida Sr , a Portuguese un-migrant (her Ute years he built llhe company to Hie point where, in 1977. he felt able to take on a multi million dollar contract to build an extensive M-wer system in Abu Dhabt Although inexperienced in th** business partner the brother-tn-law of Mieik /ay rd bin Sultan Al Nahyan. the IAE president That, De An ie Ida figured, would assure fair treatment Hut there was a hitch - a colossal one DeAimeida was retying on an earlier study by a British firm. which showed that the sewer system excavation would ta* rn sand and soil It turned out to be mostly solid rock, which led to a ITO million coal overrun on the original contract Assured orally by various figures in Ilk* CAE government and business circles that the $30 million would be paid. DeAimeida went ahead with the project Hut the company has been unable to collect.
As for the supposedly influential brother in law, Sutiayl bm Mubarak. be turned out to be even less trustworthy than the British finn s soil sampling When the DeAmeidas pressed their case for payment, they and their American employees were harassed and threatened Some — including lino DeAimeida Jr have been thrown in jail on occasion The younger De Almeida's life was also threatened by the sheiks brother-in-law In March, lino DeAimeida Sr died His family told my associate (.acetite I .ag ria do the strain of the UAE mess had alot to do with his death
Hep James Howard, IFN J , has complained to tie State Department, which has tried to persuade Hie UAE government that it must honor its obligations State is abo warning other American business firms that it's risky to deal with Hi** UAE sheiks
Hut the diplomatic pressure may not savr De Almeidas Tile company is on the verge of bankruptcy Recently, many of their local employ ees in Abu Dhabi quit because they weren't getting paid
Tile IS* Almeidas suspect UAE wants them out of th** country altogether Then Uh* Arab partners, int lading the brother-in-law. might br able to collect money owed to th** company and keep it themselves
f ulling off Escape Fresh from their victory in the fight over withholding savmgs-income taxes. Uh* banking industry is now going after the last resort of borrowers who have gotten in too deep in many cases thanks to the ease with which they have been able to get in over their heads through heavily promoted credit cards and other buy now-pay -later plans
The bankers' target is the bankruptcy law. which allows a consumer who has overextended himself to start over again with a clean slate The American Bankers Association, joined by the Credit Union National Association, the National Consumer Finance Association. Sears Roebuck,
Household Finance Corp and Beneficial Management Corp . wants to amend Uh* bankruptcy law so that those who file will have to pay prebankruptcy debts out of future income This will effectively kill th** fresh start they now get by going into bankruptcy
The proposed legislation will affect only individuals, not corporations It would hit low income borrowers hardest
The powerful interests behind the amendment have contributed heavily to their friends in Congress more than SI 6 million in the 198° campaign alone Of the IOO House members who co-sponsored the bill. 92 got contributions from th** five leading credit-industry political action committees
The top IO recipients of Uh* credit industry's largess were Reps Bdl McCollum, K-Fla <$13,Uu0>; Stan Rams, R-Va $12 050>; les AuCoin,
I Mire i$11,750); Stephen l.ybrook Neah IFN l\ *$9.6001; Butler Derrick, MC (18.2501; Robert Freeman Smith, R-()re ($7,300*; John Spratt, MC ($7,050j; George Hansen, H-Idaho < $7,050 >; Barney Frank, D-Mass t$6,507 J, and Hat Daub. R-Neb ($6,500*.
The Senate passed a similar amendment in April on a voice vote Only Sen Howard Metzenbauin, !>-Ohio, spoke out against the proposal, charging that it “tips the scales in favor of creditors." Metzenbauin got no campaign contributions from tilter edit industry
Education — everyone's football