New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 22, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
4A □ Herald-Zeitung g Friday, Nov. 22, 1996
■ To talk with Interim Managing Editor Jim Denery about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 221.
Herald-Zeitu n g. u m Opinion
■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the managing editor’s address is DLovedayOAOL.com.
“In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.”
French philosopher, author, 1764Trekker sees a long, prosperous future
Business as usual
Republicans, Democrats likely to clash in Congress despite conciliatory rhetoric
Republican leaders in Congress are calling for bipartisanship and cooperation.
Their statements echo those that have been coming from the White House since before the presidential election earlier this month.
Whether either side lives up to these warm and fuzzy proclamations, however, remains to be seen.
Newt Gingrich, who was nominated by fellow GOP lawmakers to a second term as House speaker, is being dogged by an ethics investigation and threats of formal charges being leveled against him.
Although Gingrich has claimed the charges are politically motivated, he’s still likely to act in a more conciliatory fashion until the ethics matter is resolved.
Describing the last Congress as the “Confrontation Congress,” Gingrich said the new Congress would earn the title “Implementation Congress” for the measures it passes in the coming months.
But should Gingrich weather the ethics storm, he’ll likely be forced to take a tougher stand against those policies likely to come at him from the White House.
BUtfjftnton won re-election proposing a moderate and even conservative agenda — one that Gingrich said he would be happplb work together on with the president.
But this president showed his true political colors after his first presidential run, churning out a liberal agenda after just a few days in office, despite running as a moderate or “new” Democrat.
There’s no reason to believe he won’t do the same this time around.
The result: more confrontation from this Congress. More gridlock. More heavy-handed politics.
In other words, look for business-as-usual in Washington D.C. in the coming months.
(Today s editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Love day.)
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Confession time — the terms “trekker,” “trekkie,” and “sci-fi nerd” could replace the byline to this column. Writing a story about “Star Trek” was a labor of love. Getting paid to do it was just a flourish on the icing on the cake.
As a Trek evangelist, I can claim at least one convert to Trekkerdom. My husband, like myself, has weathered about 40 years of “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” remaining a hopeful and positive sort.
We were both trained in broadcasting, and I was trained in several aspects of theater. We need outbuildings to store the speculative fiction paperbacks bearing my fingerprints and cracker crumbs. So we savor eveiy nuance of writing, every wildly creative costume, every acting or directing coup.
Then we dissect each episode with relish.
Thanks to pithy subjects woven among the Klin-gons and phasers, satisfying discussions often follow our post-mortems. Some of the discussions are in syndication now — we find ourselves reaffirming favorite beliefs that echo recurrent Trek themes.
One of those themes is the perennial question: Is humanity continuing millennia of progress toward a better future, or are we spiraling toward damnation? These debates end up the same way — in general agreement with Trek creator Gene Rod-denbeny’s vision for humanity’s future.
My husband had a double major in college, broadcasting and political science. He’s a history buff, and he spent 18 years in broadcast journalism. That was a front row seat to all kinds of human behavior and could have been an easy ticket to a cynical outlook. I got my post-high school history from the arts and from a voracious appetite for reading — not necessarily sugary, fluffy books.
We’ve come to the same conclusion Roddenberry has. The history of man might be a nice place to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live there.
We certainly wouldn’t want to live in an era of crucifixion. Ancient Egypt is appealing, but in a pyramid-building soci-FlVVlt ety shaped like a pyramid
™ mostly made of slaves, the
odds are we’d be slaves and not god-kings. We wouldn’t have to reach far back into the time tunnel to find slavery in our own country.
The exasperating behemoth of American government aside, we wouldn’t want to live in a society where policy makers were bom into their posi-
As profoundly disappointed as we often are with our chosen professions, the modern communications media, we wouldn’t want to live in a time when most people could not read. We wouldn’t want to live in a time or a country where other people told us what we were allowed to read or watch or learn.
We believe humanity has come a long way, and that the future can hold enormous promise. To borrow a phrase from another current sci-fi phenomenon, “the truth is out there.” We believe that truth continues to set humanity free. Not only scientific and intellectual truths, but spiritual truths — about our abilities and responsibilities as humans and our place in the universe.
We believe, as Roddenberry did, that while technology’s power can be wielded for evil, it can be an equally powerful tool for good. We believe, as Roddenberry envisioned, that if we humans continue to strive for the best in ourselves, humanity will “live long and prosper.”
(Star Trek aficionados are sticklers for detail, the kind of attention to detail that helps elevate the best Trek episodes from craft into art. Hurt could be why so many of them love trivia quizzes.
Trivia question: Which French word was misspelled (tsk, tsk) on Page 2 of Thursday’s Herald-Zeitung?)
Letter to the Editor
Concsms of par—its Etui not sddrssssd by school
In response to the letter from Sherry Clarkson on Nov. 12 concerning Sis. Peter & Paul Catholic School:
1. Ms. Clarkson addressed Ms. White as Mrs. White; that is incorrect. Ms. White has never been married and has no children of her own.
2. The glittering generality that “Ms. White is an enthusiastic and progressive leader and has great things planned for” the school has so far not been based on anything but a few vague lines by Ms. White in the Oct. 24 school newsletter that the “concept of risk-taking must be integrated into our definition of thinking and learning. Without the willingness to dare... (and) doing what we have always done, we will get what we have always gotten.” Well, I don’t know about Ms. Clarkson, but I am not willing to take risks with my child's education, particularly since so many of the experienced and dedicated teachers and staff that Ms. Clarkson credits with her sons’
Today in History
By Th* Associated Presa
Today la Friday, Nov. 22, the 327th day of 1996. There are 39 days left in the year
Today’s Highlight In History:
On Nov. 22,1963, President Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Texas Gov. John B. Cornily was seriously wounded A suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th president of the United States.
On this dots:
In 1716, English pirate Edward Teach — better known as “Blackboard” — was killed during a battle od the Virginia coast Jt.
In 1660, French prstlPint Charles de Gaulle was bom in Ute, France.
In 1906, the SOS distress signal was adopted at the International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin.
In 1029, "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel made its debut in Parle.
fine education have left the school in disgust (nine in all), and have been replaced with very young and inexperienced staff. Ms. White’s statement therefore contradicts Ms. Clarkson’s assertion that her sons have previously received an excellent education. (“We will get what we have always gotten.”) Maybe the pnncipal elm tell us what was so wrong with our school before?
3. Close to 50 children have been removed from our school since August (this is a cold hard fact, not a glittering generality) and more parents are now considering following the same course. Many parents have tried hard to get the answers that they have requested from the school board, Monsignor O’Callaghan and the superintendent for the Archdiocese only to be labeled as “renegades and dissidents” and to have their concerns treated lightly or simply ignored. To date, after more than two months of waiting, the issues have still not been address. I find it hard to believe that such a substantial number of troubled parents are “being catered to.” I certainly don’t feel even
listened to when I express my anxiety over the current direction of the school. Even die superintendent was concerned enough to recommend a task force be appointed to investigate our concerns. This still has not been done, another fact.
4. The bottom line is simply this: We (the parents of Sts. Peter & Paul) are paying for a quality Catholic school education. This means that we have the right to answers, to respect for what we consider are valid concerns, and to get what we are paying for. lf any other business in this town treated its customers the way that the school board, principal and pastor are treating theirs, they would not stay in business for long. Is this what we are to expect in the future? The attitude that we should sit down, shut up and take whatever you decide for us is right and appropriate for our children’s education? And pay premium to suffer the privilege?
Sts. Peter & Paul is small school. It has been in continuous existence for more than IOO years. Every program
and tradition that the former principal J spent years building that has been dis- ; mantled or tossed by the wayside “ affects every child in that school. I could even accept that if those pro-*' grams were being replaced with some-1 thing better. So far they have not. Our; reputation has already been bruised by -. the “willingness to dare” of Ms. White. How many children have to leave before they will finally show a “will--, ingness” to admit their mistakes?
Peggy J. Lawson New Braunfels
Remember to include phone numbers — home and work — with letters to the Herald-Zeitung.
In 1939, a flying boot, th# China Clipper, took off from Alameda, Calif., carrying more than 100,000 pieces of mail on the first trans pacific airmail flight.
In 1943, lyricist Lorenz Hart died in New York at age 48.
In 1966, the musical play “Man of La Mancha" opened in New York.
In 1978, Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain.
In 1977, regular passenger service between New York and Europe on the supersonic Concorde began on a trial basis.
In 1990, actress Mae West died in Hollywood at age 87.
In 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, having failed to win re-election of the Conservative Party leadership on the first balot, announced her resignation.
Ten years ago: Etzire Dionne, who gave birth to quintuplets in 1934, died at a hospital in North Bay, Ontario, Canada, at age 77. Actor Scatman Cradlers died in suburban Loa Angeles at aga 76.
Five years ago: In an attempt to break a deadlock, the Bush administration proposed that Middle East
peace talks resume in Washington, D C.
One year ago: Acting swiftly to boost the Balkan peace accord, the UN Security Council suspended economic sanctions against Serbia and eased the arms embargo against the states of the former Yugoslavia. The Commerce Department reported the U S trade deficit had narrowed to its lowest level in nine months.
Today’s Birthdays: Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.l., is > 78. Comedian Rodney Dangerlieid is 75. Actor Robert « Vaughn is 64. Actor Michael Callan is 61. Animator J and movie director Terry GiHiam is 56. Actor Tom Con- J ti is 55. Astronaut Guion S. Bluford is 54. Tennis J player Billie Jean King is 53. Rock musician Tina I Weymouth (Talong Hoods; The Tom Tom Club) is 46. > Baseball player Grog Luzinski is 46. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is 38. Actress Marie! Hemingway is 35. Tennis player Boris Becker is 29.
Thought for Today: “In youth we feel richer for every new Huston; in maturer yews, for every one are lose.” — Anne Sophie Swelchine, Russian-French author (1782-1857).