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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 3, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas 4 A ■ HeraJd-Zeitung ■ Wednesday, May 3,1995 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21 t u n Opinion Online contact B To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the Herald-Zeitung’s address is [email protected] Q U O T “All of us are free as long as no one tramples on us.” — Tess Onwueme, playwright, 1988 EDITORIAL Speechless i About Food t New bill would make it unlawful to criticize the state’s farm products r * Stewed okra sure is disgusting. I can’t believe people can actually hold that garbage down. In fact, I wouldn’t feed it to a pig. It’s a good thing I got that off my chest now, because in a few weeks I could be sued or jailed for saying it, if a bill passed by the Texas Legislature is signed into law by Gov. George Bush. The law gives a special protected status to fruits and vegetables grown in the Lone Star State. Under the law, agricultural producers could sue people who disparage their products. Do you have concerns about food additives such as cattle growth hormones? Better keep them to yourself. Do you worry about the safety of Nutrasweet? Better watch what you say. Do you hate broccoli, like a certain former president did? Unless you want to risk a lawsuit from Texas broccoli growers, don’t talk about it. “Your father, President Bush, could be subject to jail time under this statute if he were to speak disparagingly about broccoli again,” Mary Nash Stoddard, founder of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, wrote to the governor this week, urging him to veto the bill. The bill almost sounds like a joke. Jail people for criticizing [food products? This is the kind of bill that makes people think it would be [better if the Texas Legislature met for two days every 150 years instead of 150 days every two years. It sounds like a joke, but the effect of this bill would be no joke. Freedom of speech is a Constitutional right not to be trifled with lightly. This bill would have a chilling effect on speech, intimidating people into silence on issues of public health and the safety of our food supply. It should be vetoed, and not just because it could get the governor’s dad in trouble. * (Today s editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.) I I |vv rite us JThe New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public •issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 words. "We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Herald-%eitun# bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone {number, which are not for publication, must be included. ‘lease cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned, 'reference is given to writers who have not been published in the ►revious 30 days. iii letters to: »tters to the Editor do The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung $».0. Drawer 311328 jNew Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 ^ax: (210) 625-1224 I New Braunfels Herald -Zeitung s Editor and Publisher............................................................David    Sullens j General Manager............................................................Cheryl    Duvall ^Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday J Advertising Director......................................................Tracy Stevens ^Circulation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery .JPressroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt ^Classified Manager..................................................Karen Reininger •City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau J Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Fnday by the * New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (USHS 377-880) 707 Lamia St., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New i* Braunfels, Comal County, Tx 78131 -1328 Second class postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas I Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalu|)e counues: three months, $ 19; six months, $34; June year, $60 Senior Citizen Discounts by carrier delivery only: six months, $30; one year, * $56. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas three months, $28.80; six months, $52; tone year, $97 50 Mail outside Texas: six months, $75, one year, $112.25. J Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p m. Tuesday through Friday * or by 7.30 a rn. on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p m weekdays or by 11 a.m ^on Sunday. Fdstmasieb: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, PO Draw-I cr 311328, New Braunfels. Tx 78131 -1328 rotative action leads to division “The government should not mandate equal outcomes; therefore, we oppose quotas that create racial, gender or ethnic preferences.” Believe it or not, that statement was offered by the Democratic Leadership Council in 1991, when Gov. Bill Clinton was its chairman. President Clinton, however, has taken a very different position. As one observer has noted, Mr. Clinton’s “pledge of a Cabinet that ‘looked like America’ turned into a slot system with Kay Bailey Hutchison jobs earmarked by race, ethnicity and gender.” While President Clinton can change his mind, and seems to do so with alarming frequency, he cannot change his record. If “by their fruits ye shall know them,” this Administration has cultivated a very large lemon tree. Consider the following: • Over 160 federal regulations currently require that race, gender or ethnicity be considered as factors in federal employment or the granting of federal con tracts. When a minority group is underrepresented on the staff of a vocational education program, the Office of Civil Rights presumes that the numerical difference results from unlawful discrimination. • The Pentagon has served notice that “special preferences will be required for the promotion of all white men without disabilities.” • The Clinton Justice Department filed suit against the Chevy Chase Bank, not because it failed to loan money to qualified black applicants, but because the bank’s branches were located in areas where a majority of the residents are not black. This amounts to quota-based extortion—a new form of bank robbery. Affirmative action laws have been in force for over 30 years, beginning with Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs. The goal of affirmative action was to be the great equalizer: to create a colorblind society where all could compete with equal bargaining power. Today, affirmative action has become a euphemism for quotas and set-asides, based on membership in racial groups. The system now encourages employers, contractors and school administrators to focus solely and exclusively on the color of a person’s skin—hardly a way of achieving a colorblind society. Discrimination should remain illegal and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. As Americans, however, we should emphasize our common bonds, rather than group differences. The American ethic has always held that individual effort and achievement are valued and rewarded. Affirmative action undermined this ethic by attempting to eliminate discrimination by sanctioning, encouraging, and in many cases, requiring discrimination. Affirmative action programs are expediting the balkanization of America, under the banner of multiculturalism. What kind of America do we want? A society that divides groups based on race and ethnicity? Or a society that rewards people on their individual merits? In attempting an impossible task—to mandate equal outcomes— affirmative action programs have nudged us in the direction of a divided America. To change course, we must set our sights on a different objective—equal opportunity for all. (Kay Bailey Hutchison is a U.S. senator from Texas.) -terrmsm ©Mi*WM* Tmrs-imd Consequences of words taking their toll WASHINGTON (AP) — President Clinton tells audiences, “Words do have consequences.” That’s been driven home in recent days as incautious words have returned to spite those who uttered them. Conservative talk-show host G. Gordon Liddy and the National Rifle Association are high on the list of Clinton’s favored — if unspoken — targets. But his admonition cuts across party and ideological lines. And Clinton himself has been a victim of his own choice of words more than once. His campaign against “loud and angry voices” in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing seems to have struck a chord with the public. Polls show most Americans approve of his handling of the crisis. Clinton’s central claim is that words of hatred — on and off the nation’s airwaves — have nurtured a climate in which unbalanced people can be driven to violence. Already: —Harsh language by the NRA produced a backlash that could help assure that repeal of last year’s assault- Today In History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, May 3, the 123rd day of 1995. There are 242 days left in the yearc Today's Highlight in History: On May 3, 1802, Washington D C., was incorporated as a city, with the mayor appointed by the president, and the council elected by property owners. On this date: In 1654, a bridge in Rowley, Mass., was permitted to charge a toll for animals, while people crossed for free. In 1916, Irish nationalist Padraic Pearse and two others were executed by the British for their roles in the Easter Rising. In 1921, West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax. Analysis weapons ban, an NRA priority, will not take place in 1995. An NRA ad refers to federal agents as “armed terrorists ... clad in ninja black” and a fund-raising letter talks of "jack-booted government thugs.” —Suggestions by Liddy that listeners shoot federal firearms agents in the head or groin — though only in self defense — got the former Watergate burglar dropped as guest of honor at a GOP fund-raiser. The event’s chairman, Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., found Liddy’s words “despicable, outrageous and wrong,” according to D’Amato spokesman John Heubusch. It’s only been a few weeks since D’Amato himself had to apologize for impolitic talk-show remarks that mocked the Japanese-American heritage of Lance Ito, the judge presiding over the O.J. Simpson murder trial. “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — nothing more, nothing less,” Humpty Dumpty tells Alice in Lewis Carroll’s book, In 1933, Nellie T. Ross became the first female director of the U.S. Mint. In 1937, Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, “Gone With the Wind.” In 1945,50 years ago, during World War II, Japanese forces on Okinawa launched their only major counteroffensive, but failed lo break the American lines. In 1945, Indian forces captured Rangoon, Burma, from the Japanese. In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable. In 1971, anti-war protesters, calling themselves the “Mayday Tribe,” began four days of demonstrations in Washington D.C. aimed at shutting down the nation’s capital. In 1978, “Sun Day” fell on a "Through the Looking-Glass.” “The question is,” responds Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” Clinton has sometimes been accused of making words mean too many different things. He has been by turns conciliatory toward Republicans and hostile toward their proposals. And he has issued conflicting words on many of his administration’s policies. In a speech on April 24 in Minneapolis, Clinton denounced "purveyors of hatred and division” for “things that are said regularly over the airwaves.” But White House aides were quick to claim that Clinton didn’t really mean radio broadcasts even though he’d said "airwaves.” But that’s apparently exactly what he did mean. Despite the disclaimers, Clinton aides said privately that the president was livid about conservative talk show hosts in general and Liddy in particular, especially Liddy’s talk about using drawings of the president and Hillary Rodham Clinton for target practice. But the “airwaves” comments Wednesday as thousands of people extolling the virtues of solar energy held events across the country. In 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary elections. In 1986, in NASA’s first post-Chal-lenger launch, an unmanned Delta rocket lost power in its main engine shortly after liftoff, forcing safety officers to destroy it by remote control. IO years ago: In Bonn, West Germany, leaders of the world’s seven biggest industrial democracies praised the Reagan administration’s approach in nuclear arms control talks with die Soviet Union. Five years ago: The federal government formally approved the use of seemed unpresidential and gave talk show hosts like Liddy and Rush Lim-baugh new ammunition. Clinton later broadened his target to include all angry talk. House Speaker Newt Gingrich chose the word "grotesque” to dismiss any suggested link between Republican-led moves to scale back federal government and militias that arm themselves against that government. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole has found that some of his more acerbic comments, like suggesting Clinton was not “a real president,” have backfired. He’s still trying to live down a two decades-old remark that all the military conflicts of the 20th century were "Democrat wars.” Political leaders might want to consider the advice of pop singer and Clinton supporter Jimmy Buffett: “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Or to follow former Senate Republican Leader Howard Baker’s sage advice: “Don’t speak more clearly than you think.” the drug AZT to treat children infected with the AIDS virus. One year ago: President Clinton presided over a televised forum from Atlanta, during which he denied suggestions he’d vacillated on foreign policy, but said global problems were more difficult than he’d imagined. Today's Birthdays: Broadway librettist Betty Comden is 76. Folk singer Pete Seeger is 76. Singer James Brown is 62. Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 59. Singer Frankie Valli is 58. Magician Doug Henning is 48. Thought for Today: “If you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.” — Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister. ;