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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 7, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-ZErruNGFORUM Saturday, May 7, 2005 ______ Herald-Zeitung mmmmmmmmmhmi Our Opinion Go vote; it will make a difference,/TT, I SSS,0' road in front of | pe0pie jn iraq( Afghanistan, your house j palestine and other countries repaired, cast a j went to the polls, many for the vote. If you j first time. want flooding    Our president has spent on your prop-    much of his time in office erty stopped, I working to “spread democra- * t    I    cy. The example he hopes the casta vote- I rest 0f the world follows exists right here in the United States, in Texas and even in New Braunfels. Today, voters around Comal County will freely go to the polls. They won’t be putting their lives on the line to do it, they will face no backlash for how they voted and the decisions they make will have a direct impact on their lives. Unfortunately, if history and early voting are indicators, most voters will stay at home. Maybe they’ll go for picnic, maybe they’ll play with their kids, maybe they’ll just rest. But the most important thing anyone can do today is take a few minutes and cast a ballot. Let your voice be heard. Make your wishes known. Make a difference in your community. Cast a vote. Local governments, whether it be city council, school board or county commissioners, make the biggest difference in a person’s life. National leaders set the course for the country, state leaders set the course for the state. But every day, local leaders make decisions that will impact your life. If you want the road in front of your house repaired, cast a vote. If you want flooding on your property stopped, cast a vote. If you’re concerned about your child’s education, cast a vote. If you want police to respond quickly in an emergency and an ambulance to show up when you’re sick, cast a vote. Nothing you can do today is more important.Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Saturday, May 7, the 127th day of 2005. There are 238 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France. On this date: In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President and Mrs. Washington. 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 1963, the United States launched the “Telstar 2” communications satellite. LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor do Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. 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. mMst Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Operations Director Vilma Linares News Editor David RupkaMs MmtTO counter It was disgusting to see Bush kissing up to a Saudi sheik In this age of tolerance for bizarre and unnatural behavior, expressions of disdain for any conduct are likely to bring the wrath of the politically correct and self-righteous, maybe a lawsuit by the ACLU. Disparaging comment about behavior that appears to be homosexual is strictly forbidden. But expressions of disgust are our right; most Americans are heterosexual and should be free to express their reservations about alternative lifestyles not rising to the level of gay bashing. We cannot allow any expression to be stifled even if it demonstrates disgust upon seeing certain public behavior between two people of the same sex. So, here goes! Our President Bush was recently televised hugging a Saudi sheik, you know, the head bobbing nonsense Arabs exchange upon greeting, then strolling along holding hands with the pompous camel jockey and skipping into conference. Rumor has it that the asinine Arab kept the president waiting past the time of his appointment. The top gun in the world was caught on tape sucking up to this sap to get him to siphon more oil from beneath Saudi soil. Such behavior might be commonplace on the streets of San Francisco, but not in Crawford. They say the president’s actions were dictated by protocol and matters of courtesy to an Arab leader, perhaps appropriate when Americans visit the desert, but not at home in America. No siree! It is the obligation of his highness to abandon his head rag, don boots and vigorously shake the president’s hand, maybe adding a little back slapping as they stroll toward their meeting. This caliph should have been the one to cower, the one to fawn, the one to plead. It was JTWOODALL American ingenuity and industry that brought his kingdom energy sources a lot better than camel dung. We have made his ruling family filthy rich and quietly protected their rule and power. It was the lives of our soldiers that were lost turning back Saddam in his juggernaut toward Mecca when we ousted him from his invasion of neighboring Kuwait. This sickening episode IT Woodall isafree-of groveling ought to make lance writer. us rethink our relationships with some of these ungrateful scoundrels and their countries. We can only hope that Bush privately took the sultan to the woodshed. Maybe our cowboy president took his Muslim mate behind closed doors and told him how the cows eat the cabbage. Maybe he told him to get his fanny back to the sand and give up more oil else Bush would spank it. Maybe he told him that he would soon order our generals to start pumping and loading Iraqi oil bound for the states to repay the costs of liberation. What is wrong with Americans? We were promised that Iraqi oil would flow to repay us. With oil prices at all time highs, what better time than now? We should repeatedly carp on this subject until our government keeps its promise, or gives us some good reason why it can’t. Call it being old fashioned or intolerant if you must, but we cannot tolerate any more images of our president caressing an Arab posterior for apy reason.United States Government PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey HUTCHISON Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE; 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947HOWTO CONTACT Texas Government GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St. New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 Toll Free: (866) 687-4961 Fax: (830) 627-8895 WHILE IN AUSTIN: P.O. Box 2910 Austin 78768-2190 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512)473-9920 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: jeff. Wentworth ■ Judith Zaffirini RO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Renewable energy sources are not pie-in-the-sky alternatives AUSTIN — When the history of this administration is written, I suspect the largest black mark against it will be wasting time. The energy bill just passed by the House is a classic iHi example of frittering away precious time and resources by doing exactly nothing that needs to be done about energy. The bill gives $8.1 billion in new tax breaks to the oil companies, which are already swimming in cash. ExxonMobil’s profits are up 44 percent, Royal Dutch/Shell up 42 percent, etc. According to the business pages, the biggest problem oil executives face is what to do with all their cash. So why give more tax breaks to the oil companies? Makes as much sense as anything else in this energy bill. Nothing about conservation, higher fuel efficiency standards or putting money into renewable energy sources. It's so stupid, it’s painful. And their genius answer to "energy independence”? Drill in the Arctic MOLLYIVINS Molly Ivin is a columnist for Creators Syndicate. She also does occasional commentary for National Public Radio and the McNeil/Lehrer program. National Wildlife Refuge. Look, the total oil under ANWR is I billion barrels less than this country uses in a year, according to Robert Bryce, the Texas journalist who specializes in energy reporting. The bill is just riddled with perversity: We continue to subsidize people who buy Hummers, but no longer grant tax rebates to those who buy hybrid cars that are more than six times as Riel efficient. This is not how you get to “energy independence.’’ The United States hit its oil peak back in 1970 — domestic production has been declining ever since. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite as odd as the right wing’s insistence that global warming does not exist. I’m not a climatologist, but I can read what they’re saying. In fact, they’re screaming it. Rush Limbaugh is not a climatologist, either, nor are any of the rest of these pinheads who seem to think the whole thing is some figment of liberals’ imagination. There’s nothing liberal about global warming, it’s science. There seems to be some element of childish spite in the refusal to recognize it — "Boy, we can drive the liberals crazy by pretending its not happening, ha, ha, ha.” If you read right-wing blogs, you find a kind of Beav-is and Butthead attitude about the subject, a sort of adolescent-jerk humor. What’s astonishing is finding the same attitude among members of Congress. Head-militantly-in-sand is not a solution. There is a perfect convergence of economic, environmental and energy considerations that all point in the same direction: renewable energy sources. With demand for gasoline soaring worldwide, with the economies of both China and India growing at staggering paces, with the world somewhere near its oil peak now, our dependence on some of the world’s most retrograde regimes is only going to get worse and more expensive. Foreign policy also plays a role here. Let us pass quickly by the administration’s prewar assurances that Iraqi oil would pay for the war — the country is pumping less now than it did under Saddam Hussein. How smart is it to mess around trying to oust the president of Venezuela? You put a bunch of ideological nutcases in charge of Latin American policy, and you’re going to create a lot of enemies down there. And their answer is to bring back nukes? Let’s review the bidding on that one. Aside from Murphy’s Law, the problem with nukes is that they create radioactive waste that remains toxic for tens of thousands of years. And we don’t know what to do with it. The First Rule of Holes applies — if you’re stuck in one, stop digging. We’re already dependent on one form of energy that has a toxic legacy, why in heaven’s name walk into another one, this time with foreknowledge of its effects? Especially when there are cheap, reliable, renewable, nonpoison-producing alternatives? We’re nuts to even think about it. Wind power already has near competitive prices. Renewable energy sources are not pie-in-the-sky — they’re here right now, and they’re going to be a lot cheaper than oil. The single cheapest thing we can do about oil is not use so much of it. Current hybrid technology will not get us to the mythical goal of “energy independence," but at least we can slow down the demand for oil. In theory, it only takes 15 years to replace the entire fleet of American cars now on the road. We don’t have another four years to waste. ;