New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 18, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Thursday, May 18, 2000Opinions Forum Letters
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
By the Associated Press
The Globe and Mail of Toronto, on Dr. Laura:
Laura Schlessinger — a.k.a. Dr. Laura, based on her Ph.D in physiology — has been taken to task by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for characterizing homosexuality on her radio show as “deviant,” “dysfunctional,” “aberrant,” “abnormal” and biologically “an error.”...
What is most astounding about “Dr. Laura’s” proposition is that she clearly missed taking a course in evolutionary biology. Biology is all about deviance. Species arise because variant traits are selected for by the environment. Because you never can tell which traits are going to be selected for, as a general principle, biology favors significant genetic variance in populations.
Homosexuality seems to be among the variations favored by nature in humans. We say this because, as far as we can tell, it is found in all cultures and throughout human history, not to mention in other species. It is not average, but neither is being seven feet tall or having red hair or being Einstein.
Thus, “Dr. Laura’s” central intellectual failure is not that she gives offense to homosexuals, but that she gives offense to biology as it proudly proclaims: Valiancy is part of normalcy. Back to school, Ms. Schlessinger.
The Guardian of London, on Mideast peace:
This week’s explosion of violence in the West Bank and Gaza — which (so far) has left three dead, hundreds wounded, and brought direct exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and Palestinian police — is not difficult to explain, though much harder to justify.
Promised that the new millennium’s opening year would finally bring a lasting settlement, Palestinians have watched with growing frustration as U.S.-expedited “fast-track” talks have reverted to the old, familiar, stop-go two-step.
While the outside world focuses on the more salient drama of a Lebanon withdrawal under fire, on the grim harvest of Syria’s displeasure, and on a vengeful Hizbullah’s vow to pursue its war beyond the pale, the dream of Palestine reborn is again obscured.
Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, May 18, the 139th day of 2000. There are 227 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 18, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.
On this date:
In 1642, the Canadian city of Montreal was founded.
In 1804, the French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.
In 1896, the Supreme Court endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation with its Plessy vs. Ferguson decision, a ruling that was overturned 58 years later.
In 1897, a public reading of Bram Stoker’s new novel,
“Dracula, or, The Un-dead,” was staged in London.
In 1926, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished while visiting a beach in Venice, Calif.; she reappeared a month later, claiming to have been kidnapped.
In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority was created.
In 1951, the United Nations moved out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success, N.Y., to its permanent home in Manhattan.
In 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a North American F-86 Canadair over Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.
In 1969, astronauts Eugene A. Ceman, Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young blasted off aboard Apollo IO.
'we're getting close,
ten® are flesh!
State economy depends on water
Water conservation must be the wave of the future if Texas is to continue its phenomenal economic growth.
Clean, abundant water is the building block of Texas’ land, economy and its healthy population. A healthy human body is comprised of approximately 55 percent water. If that amount were suddenly reduced by 50 percent, the body would suffer immeasurably.
Texas also will suffer if its water supply is reduced by 50 percent. That is the amount of reduction projected for some areas in the next few years unless we increase water planning and conservation.
To focus on the need to plan and conserve our state’s most precious natural resource, Governor George W. Bush recently proclaimed a Water Month in Texas. “Water is Life-2000” is the theme of the campaign of water conservation awareness which is sponsored by the Texas Water Foundation.
To ensure an abundant water supply, Texans must address two major issues: recurring droughts and population growth that is expected to reach 33.9 million by 2050.
Droughts have always been a part of Texas’ natural weather pattern. In 1822,
Stephen F. Austin lost his first crop to a Texas drought.
A Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission study indicates that droughts that last six months can be expected every 16 months, and droughts of one or more years are likely to occur every three years. Currently, mild to severe drought conditions exist across the state, with 75 counties having been declared drought disaster areas.
Except for weather modification programs or cloud seeding, little can be done to alleviate the drought, but we can minimize the damage through planning, conservation and awareness. In 1997, the 75th Texas Legislature passed a historic water management plan which included establishing regional water planning districts.
Water conservation and management districts, however, need the help of dedicated, water-conserving citizens. The near dou
bling of the state’s population by 2050 demands a more efficient use of water resources.
Texans can help ensure our state’s future water supply by following a few simple steps around the home, such as the installation of low-flow faucets, showerheads and fixtures. Low-flow showerheads, for example, use 30 percent to 70 percent less water, while low-flow faucet aerators on bathroom and kitchen sinks use about half as much water. Toilet water use can be cut up to 20 percent by placing a half-gallon plastic jug of water in the tank.
Other water-saving tips from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission include using cut-off nozzles, adjusting water levels to meet washing machine loads, repairing all plumbing leaks, and watering lawns weekly before IO a.m. and after 8 p.m.
By following these and a few other water-saving steps, a family of four can save up to 100,000 gallons of water annually and $100 to $200 on the family’s water bill. Water conservation makes economic sense for Texas families and for Texas.
(Jeff Wentworth represents District 25 in the Texas Senate.)
Got Something to Say?
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung encourages letters on any public issue.
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errors. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included for confirmation purposes.
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Mail letters to:
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to Giuliani: Save your marriage
Critics of Bill Clinton have a problem. After denouncing the marital infidelities of the president of the United States, some are now trying to draw a distinction between his actions and those of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who is alleged by his wife to have had a “relationship” with a former top aide and who has been seen in public with another woman he describes as a “very good friend.” Giuliani defenders explain that Clinton lied under oath about his infidelity with Monica Lewinsky, while the mayor was upfront about his marital difficulties and his pending legal separation from his wife of 16 years, Donna Hanover. Conclusion: Clinton’s behavior is worse than Giuliani’s.
Defenders of President Clinton also have a problem. After supporting the president through his impeachment and Senate trial, during which they said his misdeeds were “only” about sex, and asserting that his good performance as
president protected him against removal from office, they will have a difficult time criticizing Giuliani who has, by everyone’s acknowledgment, turned New York City into a fun and safe place to visit once again.
There is something far more serious than politics taking place, and the outcome will have greater and longer-lasting effect than who wins the New York Senate contest. It is the trivializing of marriage and the frivolous way many public people treat their marriage vows, which include forsaking all others until death parts them (most also include
unconditional love and commitment through thick and thin). The media, including Hollywood, have moved beyond a moral-equivalency treatment of couples who keep their vows and those who don’t to favoring those who don’t over those who do. If you stay married and don’t stray, many consider you weird, while the person who cheats and divorces his or her spouse becomes part of the emotional public processing that passes for thoughtful decision-making.
It is impossible to get inside someone else’s marriage or head, but the public statement made by Giuliani in announcing his intention to separate from his wife deserves some comment. “I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to formalize this (separation) in an agreement that protects our children, gives them all the security and protection they deserve and protects Donna,” said the mayor.
Excuse me, but what would protect their 14- and 10-year-old children and
give them security would be for the mayor and his wife to announce they are entering counseling with the specific objective of saving and strengthening their marriage. Such a decision would encourage others with similar problems to do the same. Too many children, who never asked to be bom, experience the conditional love of their parents, suffer emotional trauma and often repeat the same mistakes in their own married lives. Sociologists and common sense tell us that children need both of their parents, and when they don’t have them, they often turn to selfdestructive and antisocial behavior. At the extreme, they might act out their anger by killing others. No “Million Mom March” can put locks on broken hearts.
Some blame President Clinton for the corroding of our culture. He has played a part, but he could not have done it without the public’s acquiescence as it fixates on making money and ignores the nobler
things. Clinton and Giuliani can have a positive or a negative influence — not only on public policy, but on private morals — by the way they conduct themselves.
Clinton and Giuliani can continue to show up for work and “do their jobs,” but isn’t a successful life more than excelling in one’s career? It was said that Jimmy Carter’s attendance at church encouraged many others to follow his example. Think of how much more good Giuliani and Donna Hanover could do if they put their separation on hold and focused not only on beating the mayor’s prostate cancer, but on conquering the disease that is killing their marriage and hurting their children.
The alternative is for Giuliani to join Clinton in helping to make the world increasingly safe for adultery.
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.)