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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 7, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas 4 A ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Sunday, May 7,1995 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21 H e r a u n cj Opinion Onllno 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 Q U O T A BLE “Certainly, television contributes at least to opening up the world for children.... [YJou sit there, you zap, and you have the world at your feet.” — Matty Chiva psychologist/educator, 1992 E D I I T O R I _i < Sacrifice Remembered Fiftieth anniversary of end of war in Europe a chance to study history If it’s true that history will repeat itself—if we don’t learn from its lessons— we should have real reason for alarm. As time passes and memories fade, the great events of history become less clear, and the lessons from those events become subject to debate. Probably the greatest and most tragic event of this century—World War II— is being remembered in special ceremonies this year as nations, veterans and others mark the 50th anniversary of the war’s end. Veterans from that war are still numerous in this country and abroad, but their numbers dwindle each year. And with their passing goes their stories, their experience and their wisdom. Also gone are their warnings. Many veterans argue, and correctly, that today’s younger generation is not aware of the sacrifices made by the generation that fought Hitler’s forces and Imperial Japan. That’s a tragedy. And it’s dangerous. If ever a study in tyranny and the triumph of free people could be made, it s subject would be World War II. And if ever an argument for the existence of evil need be made, one would just have to point to the murder of six million Jews in the concentration camps of Europe. There were also many other examples of atrocities committed in that war that demand our attention and our time. History’s lessons cannot be learned until we realize that the same failings and shortcomings of past leaders and dictators are present today, embodied in the people and leaders of today. And human beings seem no less inclined toward war today than they did prior to World War II. Taking into consideration all of the horrors associated with that war and the many other wars and conflicts since then, you'd think we’d finally tire of butchering one another. But a quick glance at the killing fields in Bosnia and Rwanda, as well as a look at the terrorism still plaguing the world (and now the U.S. following the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings), it’s obvious that force and violence are still perceived by many as legitimate means by which nations and organizations can attain their goals. Ceremonies in England and elsewhere this weekend marking the end of war in Europe 50 years ago should be required viewing and reading around the world. During those ceremonies the stones of war are told, and the horrors associated with it remembered, lf we turn away or forget, we take part in future ceremonies marking this generation’s own world war. And there may not be many remaining to take pan in that ceremony. (Today's editorial was written by Managing Editor Dour Loveday.) Write us The 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-Zeitung bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor do The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210) 625-1224 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday Advertising Director......................................................Tracy Stevens Circulation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt Classified Manager...................................................Karen Reinmger City Editor....................................................................Roger Croteau Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braun/eh Herald Trilung (USPS 377-880) 707 luanda St. or PO Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx 78131-1328 Second class postage paid by the New Braun )els Herald Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas. Camer delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties three months, $ 19; six months, $34; one year, $60 Senior Citizen Discounts by camer delivery only: six months, $30; one year, $56 Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $28.80, six months, $52; one year, $97.50 Mail outside Texas six months, $75; one year, $112.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 am on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 pm. weekdays or by ll am on Sunday. PosTMAS'itK: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald ZeHung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels. Tx 78131 -1328First Amendment takes beating Cal Thomas So it’s come to this. Speech causes violence. Aller Bill Clinton distinguished himself with appropriate and compelling remarks at the memorial service for the Oklahoma City bombing victims, the politically-wounded President emerged the following day in the presidential primary state of Iowa, slickly suggesting that unnamed (but we all know to whom he is referring, don’t we?) conservative talk show hosts were partly to blame. The script is already being written for the resuscitation of big government. Monday’s Wall Street Journal provided the rough draft. The headline read: "Some Citizens Disavow Extreme Right-Wing Views in Wake of Bombing. Have Angry White Men Gone Too Far?’’ The story said: "At a minimum, the horrific pictures of destruction in America’s heartland seem likely to reduce public tolerance for advocates of anti-government philosophies. Heartbreaking news reports present vivid images of government employees, not as faceless bureaucrats, but as sympathetic human victims with children.” Equating opposition to big government to opposition to people who are in it is a nice tactic if you’ve lost the ideological debate. But the contention that words and images, even the harsh variety, cause violent behavior is something many liberals have always denied. Remember Ted Bundy? He said he became a serial killer because of pornography. "Experts” were interviewed who denied there is a connection. The networks frequently defend themselves against contentions by some groups that gratuitous sex, violence and profanity on TV cause some people to copy the behavior they see depicted there. Why should we believe that one form of expression has no effect (ever mindful that commercials cause people to buy products) while another type of expression—which is critical of government—leads to terrorism? And why are lunatics and anarchists consistently labeled "far right”? Why was the man who stabbed a cultist in Japan a "right-winger”? What, then, was the cultist—a far right-winger? It seems much of the press and like-minded liberals label everything they don’t like "right-wing” in order to denigrate it. When was the last time you saw the "left-wing” label applied to people or events? Look for a full court press on this. The left sees discrediting the right as its last best hope of clinging to power. The rhetorical firepower is going to increase. Liberal politicians and their friends in the big media have had some nasty things to say about conservatives. Columnist Carl Rowan said, "The harsher rhetoric of the Gingriches and Doles...creates a climate of violence in America.” If harsh rhetoric creates violence, consider this. Bob Herbert of the New York Times wrote of a "Republican jihad against the poor, the young and the helpless.” Herbert said Republican budget cuts were "loathsome” and that the majority is "stomping on the last dying embers of idealism and compassion in government.” Or how about this from NBC’s Bryant Gumbel in a question to House Minority Leader Richard Gephaidt: “You called Gingrich and his ilk, your words, ’trickle-down terrorists who base their agenda on division, exclusion and fear.' Do you think middle-class Americans are in need of protection from that group?” Critic John Leonard, on "CBS Sunday Morning” Jan. 8, compared the new Congress to the Khmer Rouge. And let’s not forget the "moderate” words of The Washington Post’s Tom Shales, who wrote on Jan. 25 about "crackpots in Congress” who "want to exterminate” public broadcasting. One person’s extremist language is another person’s free speech, whether it comes from the "right wing” or the "left wing.” It will be interesting to see how many of the First Amendment purists come to the defense of talk radio in response to President Clinton’s verbal assaults. Initial comments from the ACLU and people like the writer Nat Hentoff, who believe free speech ought to remain free, are encouraging. What do you think? Homeowners have recently received their annual home appraisal from the Appraisal District. Because the amount of property tax home owners pay is determined by the valuation of their home (and the property tax rate of the different taxing entities), receiving their appraisal can be a stressful time. We want to know if you're satisfied with your appraisal. Fill out the coupon (right), drop it by our office at 707 Landa St., New Braunfels, TX 78130 or fax survey to (210) 625-1224. Copied forms are accepted. Deadline for this survey is Saturday, May 6,1995. I I I I I I L Do you believe home appraisal was correct or Incorrect? Yes or No (circle one) Comments/Explanations_ Name_ Address. Phone#. City_ Age. Sex. I I I I Lawyers seek to improve their image • WASHINGTON (AP) — Roberta Cooper Ramo won’t become the American Bar Association’s first female president until August, but she already has begun working to improve the battered image of the traditionally male legal profession. Ramo believes Americans misunderstand attorneys almost as much as they underestimate the value of politicians and don’t appreciate lawyers’ role in protecting the nation’s cherished freedoms. "The American people have forgotten, or maybe generations of Americans don’t understand, the brilliance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,’’ she said in a recent interview. "I’m trying to remind people why this country has been so successful, and explain how lawyers have played a big role in bringing about dial success.” In a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Ramo was more blunt. "We have become a nation of constitutional illiterates, easily swayed by slogans, assailed by halftruths in what seems to be an endless stream of vituperative language, anger and hate poured over the airwaves into our cars and homes,” she said. Ramo also believes most Americans also don’t appreciate the jobs done by their political leaders. "You can’t give someone enough power to make up for what they lose — family life, privacy," she said. "There’s a lot of talk about a leadership problem, bpt there’s a followership problem, too. We’re all armchair quarterbacks today,” she said. "All of us, lawyers and non-lawyers, have to help bring about Analysis solutions." The association’s presidents-elect usually are such low-profile figures they approach invisibility. But Ramo already has been the most traveled ambassador of the 370,000-member, Chicago-based ABA, ‘We’re all armchair quarterbacks today. All of us, lawyers and nonlawyers, have to help bring about solutions.’ —Roberta Ramo Ramo, a real estate lawyer from Albuquerque, N.M., this month carries the ABA flag to Cincinnati; Kansas City, Mo.; Denver; Cleveland; Houston; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Fla., and New Haven, Conn. "They want me lo talk to people,” she said. "If you want to make things better, you have to go out and talk to people ” In Houston later this month, Ramo will be talking about youth violence and the role of the family in providing a solution. “For all our talk about family values, we are not a very family-friendly society,” she Today In History By The Associated Press Today is Sunday, May 7, the 127th day of 1995. There are 238 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: Fifty years ago, on May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, to lake effect the following day, ending the European conflict of World War II. On this date: In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President and Mrs. George Washington. In 1812, poet Robert Browning was bom in London. In 1825, Italian composer Antonio Salieri died in Vienna, Austria. In 1833, composer Johannes Brahms was bom in Hamburg, Germany. In 1840, composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in the Ural region of Russia. In 1847, the American Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia. In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner Lusitania off the Irish coast. In 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. In 1945, the 1944 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded; winners included John Hersey for his novel "A Bell for Adano,” Mary Chase for her play “Harvey,” and Associated Press pho tographer Joe Rosenthal for his picture of the Iwo Jima flag-raising. In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces. In 1963, the United States launched the Telstar ll communications satellite. In 1975, President Ford formally declared an end to the Vietnam era. In Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — the Viet Cong staged a rally to celebrate their takeover. In 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who charged they had suffered injury from exposure to the defoliant. Ten years ago: Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth announced The Survey says... Growth blasted by some readers Seven readers responded to last week’s survey question “Do you believe growth is good for New Braunfels?” The responses were overwhelmingly against growth (6-1). While the one reader who supported growth pointed to the economic vitality of growing communities, the others denounced it for various reasons: • Our taxes continue to rise. • The Chamber of Commerce has done a good job of destroying the dear little town that retirees chose to move to. • The roads in New Braunfels will not take anymore traffic. / said. "There’s a parenting problem. Some don’t take the time, some don’t have a clue,” she said, adding that youth violence often is a byproduct of dysfunctional homes. "There’s a need for societal parenting for those who don’t have parents.” It appears another favorite theme of Ramo’s year as ABA president will be the need to save the Legal Services Corporation from efforts in Congress to kill or greatly reduce the federal agency that provides legal help to the poor. The ABA’s defense of Legal Services against past attempts to cut its funding has led some to suggest that the nation’s lawyers want the government to represent the poor so they won’t be obligated to donate their services. The legal profession calls this kind of free service “pro bono publico” — for the public good. "It’s not true,” Ramo said. "The amount of pro bono work has gone up exponentially” since Legal Services was created by Congress in 1974. "Lawyers, unlike doctors, don’t have emergency rooms, and people don’t think they can walk into a fancy law firm office and say, Tm in a legal emergency and I need help.’ But they know they can turn to Legal Services,” Ramo said. She noted that 12.5 percent of the agency’s budget goes to coordinating the pro bono efforts of private lawyers. Ramo, 52, served notice when elected last year that her presidency would be different. "It’s no longer fair to say the ABA is a bunch of white guys,” she said. # ;