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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 26, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, November 26, 2005 FORUM "i , : Other Viewpoints Trust teachers, kids to have proper debate Chicago Tribune, on evolution and classroom wars: Eighty years after John Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in the state of Tennessee, a culture war over faith, science and Charles Darwin in the classroom has erupted anew in courts and in ballot boxes. Voters in Dover, Pa., recently tossed out the eight school board members who were up for re-election, because they and one other member had voted to introduce “intelligent design” to the curriculum.... The state school board in Kansas recently redefined biology standards to make room for discussions of alternatives to Darwin.... Clashes over evolution and intelligent design have been staged elsewhere. And in some cases students and teachers might feel whip-sawed by it all.... What to make of all this? The great majority of Americans have tolerance and respect for different faiths and beliefs — and no patience for those who would impose their faith or beliefs on others, particularly in public life. ... But let’s leave that decision to the classroom. Evolution is a matter of science, intelligent design is a matter of faith.... But it is a mistake to hand down directives from on high as to the inclusion or exclusion of a discussion of a matter of faith. Our species has evolved far enough by now to trust that teachers and students can, on their own, hold intelligent discussions. ■ ■■ The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., on the U.S. presence in Iraq: It s good to know that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, after last week’s verbal fire-bombing of their critics, think its healthy and “patriotic” for Americans to voice their criticisms about the U.S. presence in Iraq. It s also reassuring to know Cheney doesn’t think his “good friend” Rep. John Murtha, a hawkish ex-Marine who called for the U.S. to get out of Iraq, is anything like liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, as White House spokesman Scott McClellan suggested last week. What they do continue to think, though, is that its “dishonest and reprehensible” for anyone to say that the White House exaggerated prewar intelligence, or worse. ... Whether or not that’s true (more likely the information wasn’t fabricated but seen through the prism of an administration ideologically disposed to view it in a certain light), the more important issue for the moment is not why the U.S. is in Iraq but whether we should remain there. In many ways, Murtha’s surprise attack last week was salutary because it has brought the question to a head. 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- Herald-Zeitung 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. Managing Editor Jeremy Pefford Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor Dsvid Rupkalvis GUESTCOLUMN Baby Jesus as a pro-life symbol Christmas was once a day to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus; it was not a religious happening. In fact, it was the death of Jesus Christ that gave impetus to his life. It is only in recent years that the life and/or death of Jesus has been brought to the forefront as to how he can be displayed in the public square. At Christmas, for hundreds of years, the birth of Jesus, as well as his death, has been free of intimidation. Today, activism is going on by those opposed to religion of any kind, as well as by those organizations that have to “stir up the pot" in order to maintain any semblance of defending the rights of the supposedly poor and downtrodden, while the unborn are being slaughtered by the millions. Basically, it all boils down to the right to kill and particularly the right to kill the unborn. For the pro-choice citizens, seeing any symbolism of a baby having just been born displayed in public forum throughout the land could only have a chilling effect on their cause. However, we can turn the right to protest in our favor. I low? By turning the baby Jesus as normally displayed into a poster child for the right-to-life supporters. No one can be denied the right to protest in the public square. The baby Jesus in a manger could be, symbolically, displayed as a right-to-life poster child. The fact that we choose to pursue our cause during the Christmas holidays cannot be challenged. If we have to protest to protect the unborn, if K JAMES DOBRANICH who could be better than    i the baby Jesus to be representative of our goal — to protect the unborn. “Thou Shall Not Kill" applies to the living, as well as the yet unborn. Folks, if we plant the seeds of a rose, we get a rose. Today, if we plant the seed of mankind, in far too many cases, we get an abortion. To those that doubt this fact, or if you dismiss my premise out of hand, james Dobranich is a let the process of birthing resident of Canyon a baby proceed to its full Take. term. If the seeds of mankind are allowed to work their magic, I will be willing to bet a child of mankind will be born. Under the Establishment Clause in Capitol Square Revien vs. Pinette (1995), the Supreme Court allowed the Ku Klux Klan to display a cross on a public square near the state capitol of Ohio. Also, the Supreme Court upheld Christmas displays in Lynch vs. Donnelly (1984), as long as they included a secular symbol of the season as well as religious ones. For starters, how about the baby Jesus being displayed in a manger on Santa’s sleigh? I think this would be a nice seasonal way to deliver the right-to-life message. After all, the gift of life is God’s gift to mankind. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Saturday, Nov. 26, the 330th day of2005. There are 35 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 26, 1942, President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing, beginning Dec. I. On this date: In 1825, the first college social fraternity, Kappa Alpha, was formed at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. In 1832, public streetcar service began in New York City. The fare: 12 1/ 2 cents. In 1942, the motion picture “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York. In 1943, during World War II, the MMT Rohna, a British transport ship carrying American soldiers, was hit by a German missile off Algeria; 1,038 men were killed, including 1,015 American troops. In 1949, India adopted a constitution as a republic within the British Commonwealth. 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 Fox: (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 Fox: (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) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE.: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 NMf19 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 E-mail address: carter.casteel^ STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILDIN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512) 463-0125 E-mail address: jeff. Wentworth @ ■ Judith Zaffirini P.O. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Republicans dole out one turkey of a bill just in time for Thanksgiving MIKEREAGAN Mike Reagan, the eldest son of President Ro mild Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network. Just in time for Thanksgiving, warm-hearted Republicans in the House of Representatives have come up with a genuine turkey for the nation’s taxpayers to swallow — a bill to ladle out a whopping $830 million to millions of Americans to pay for converting their TV sets to receive high-tech digital transmissions. A bill passed before the members ran off to spend Thanksgiving at home and brag about how they are cutting spending (while bringing home the federal bacon to their districts) requires TV broadcasters to switch to all-digital transmissions by December 2008. Some 21 million households are dependent on free, over-the-airTV, and will need converter boxes to keep receiving their television signals after the switch to all-digital IV transmission. The Associated Press says that cable and satellite cus In one fell swoop, these generous members of the party dedicated to restraining needless government spending have created a whole new category of welfare clients — people with soon-to-be-outdated analog TV sets who are digitally impaired and unable to cough up the estimated $50 to $60 cost for a converter box. tomers will not be affected. In the House, Republicans claimed they don’t expect wealthier Americans to request coupons for the boxes, so they expect the $830 million would cover those homes that really need help. In one fell swoop, these generous members of the party dedicated to restraining needless government spending have created a whole new category of welfare clients — people with the soon-to-be-outdated analog TV sets who are digitally impaired and unable to cough up the estimated $50 to $60 cost for a converter box. So the government will fork over $40 and the TV owners will have to come up with the other $10 or $20. But it gets worse. With the transition from analog TV to digital TV three years away, are there really people who can’t afford to set aside about $7 a year for the next three years so they’ll have the money to pay their share of the subsidized price of a $60 converter box by December 2008? House Democrats appear not to think so. They want more money. According to the AR Democrats are complaining that the GOP subsidy for converter boxes is too stingy. It would only pay for about IO million households, hif the number of homes that would need them. Moreover, consumer groups say the $830 million would cover only about a quarter of homes. “The funding level provided is woefully inadequate to ensure that consumers aren’t forced to reach into their wallets to facilitate the government's mandated transition to digital television,” Jean-nine Kenney of Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports whined to the AP. But the House Republicans and their Democratic colleagues are mere pikers compared to their opposite numbers over in the Republican-controlled Senate. The AP reported that Senators want to lay out all of $3 billion to subsidize the cost of TV set conversion. Who are these people? Where did they get the idea that every American has a right to digital television? I ve been trying to find a clause in the Constitution that decrees that the federal government is responsible for providing the kind of infotainment now available from television. I can’t find it anywhere in that hallowed document. My father used to say, “When they pay you not to work, why work?” By the same token, when they pay you to watch TV, why pay for it yourself? ;