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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 7, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, October 7, 2003 Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels ami ComatGoutily since 1852 New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957and printed in both German arid English until 1958 Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland News Editor Brady Creal Features Editor Brian Grant Editor and Publisher Dqug Toney Circulation Director Craig Pauling Advertising Director Courtney Abernathy Business Manager Heather Grant Our Opinion Redistricting: Just get it done When it conies to redistricting, the donkey isn't going to outrun the elephant. So for everyone's sake, both parties should put on their running shoes and finalize a map. T he Republicans have shown their undying political will in the congressional redistricting process, but they are losing traction in their suits and wingtips in Austin. lf redistricting is what constituents want, strap on a pair of tennis shoes and just do it. But stop the whining, and stop holding hostage the upcoming presidential primary. Redistricting has been a political juggernaut since the first remap was drawn. It was going to happen, and the Democrats’ fight, albeit sincere, was altogether futile. With three legislative sessions and two Democratic fright flights behind us, we still haven’t a map, and the March primary likely will be delayed. What can we say for ourselves? Better, what can our legislators say for themselves? Well, they’ll say, “It was their fault.’’ The Republicans will blame the delay on Democrats’ stall tactics and quorum-busting out-of-state lams. Ardmore, Okla., isn t the most beautiful place on Earth, but it wasn’t Texas, and that was good enough for the I louse Dents. The Senate Democrats’ exodus to Albuquerque staved off Senate action for a while, but one of their own, Sen. John Whitmire, was prescient enough to realize the OOP’s resolve wouldn’t end soon enough. I Ie and his cohorts are back, both houses are in session, and Republicans control the world, yet redistricting is moving with the lethargy of molasses through a garden hose. Shame on them all. As the GOP’ers point fingers, their party is as responsible for the delay as anyone else. Redistricting has been on the docket for months, but even among themselves, the Republicans have never had a clear consensus on what they would send to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk. The partisan infighting occurring now should have been hashed out long before the third session was gaveled to order (or the first or second, for that matter). As the old adage goes, you don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the slowest guy or gal with you. The donkey isn t going to outrun the elephant on this one. But for everybody’s sake, lawmakers should just put on their running shoes and finalize this mess once and for all. 10/5 (Texas) Letters to the Editor Is profit motive driving city’s plans for farmland annexation? Just a few words about being annexed by the city of New Braunfels. Good for you, Ms. Evelyn Kirst, right on! I agree and sympathize with what you said about farmers and living in the country. I also live in Comal County (Canyon Lake) and looking down the road, see the same thing happening to myself. I don’t want, or need, annexation by New Braunfels. Could it be that the developers have ties with those wanting annexation? Would a profit motive be involved? Does it matter that most of the residents affected don’t seem to want annexation? Does the county government have, or want, a say in this matter? (Jarl Shea (Pinyon Lake Few recognize, debate terror inflicted on farm animals A great debate still rages across America over the conduct of the Bush administration’s war on • terror. But there can be no debate over the terror inflicted every day on billions of farm animals by the U. S. meat industry. Each year, more than IO billion cows, pigs, sheep and other innocent, feeling animals are caged, crowded, deprived, drugged, mutilated Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Tuesday, Oct. 7, the 280th day of 2003. I here are 85 days left in the year. Today’s I lighlight in I listory: On Oct. 7, 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. British forces under.Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered IO days later. On this date: In 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore. Md., at age 40. In 1949, Republic of East Germany was formed. In 1950, the United Nations General Assembly approved an advance by IJ.N. forces north of the 38th Parallel in the Korean Conflict. In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John E Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard M. Nixon held the second of their broadcast debates. In 1963, President Kennedy signed the documents of ratification for a nuclear test ban treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union. In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America adopted its film-rating system. and manhandled in U.S. factory farms. Veal calves are tom from their mothers at birth, chained by the neck for 16 weeks in tiny, filthy wood crates. Sows are encased for three years in metal “gestation stalls." laying hens are crammed up to eight birds into “battery cages" the size of a folded newspaper with wire mesh floors and walls that cut their feet and tear out their feathers. These animals are transported in crowded micks with no protection against weather extremes and many die in transit. Even slaughter doesn’t end their agony, as they are frequently skinned, dismembered, gutted, scalded and drowned by slaughterhouse workers while still conscious. Studies have demonstrated that animals experience many of the emotions that we do, including joy, affection, sadness, sorrow and pain. One survey showed that 93 percent of Americans oppose farm animal suffering. Another found that 85 percent of Americans oppose raising farm animals in tight confinement. This is why, Oct. 2, (Gandhi’s birthday), I observed World Farm Animals Day, launched 20 years ago, to expose and memorialize the daily suffering inflicted on animals by animal agriculture. I will be asking my friends and neighbors to stop subsidizing this suffering by cutting their consumption of animal products. Kevin Smote New Braunfels Limns policy ■ Letters must be 250 words or fewer. ■ The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be less than 500 words and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail totters to: Letters to Editor c/o Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131 1328 Fax thorn to: (830) 606 3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC. 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; 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio 78230 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate Courtyard 5 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 2231 Washington, DC. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410. Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 321-5947 NOW TO CONTACT Texas Government 'GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 PO 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: PO. 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: [email protected] ■ Judith Zaffirini PO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627Saddam’s suspected links to a1 Qaida melt away with time denying it." In fact, the report has been disavowed by Gzech intelligence, and American intelligence found that Atta was on the Last Coast of the I Jnited States at the time of the alleged meeting. Now, still trying to follow the bouncing ball on Saddam and al-Qaida, we find the Los Angeles rimes reporting in November 2002, “Allies Find No Links Between Iraq, al-Qaida." Spain, which supported the United States in the war and has been active in prosecuting al-Qaida, reported "no link to al-Qaida.” In August, the “National Journal" reported on three former Bush national security officials who had said “the prewar evidence tying al-Qaida to Iraq was tenuous, exaggerated and often at odds with the conclusions of key intelligence agencies.” dreg Thiel maut), formerly of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, saitl intelligence confirmed that Saddam and a1 Qaida were “mortal enemies.” Osama bin laden often denounced Saddam I lussein as “an infidel.” Guess someone forgot to tell tile president and the vice president. The one known connection between Iraq and al-Qaida is that for a time an al-Qaida operative was in Baghdad, presumably up to no good, although we have no evidence. Uh, there were 18 al-Qaida operatives lurking in this country — does that make us guilty of harboring terrorists? According to the Dis Angeles l imes, the classified section of a congressional report about 9-11 details “a Saudi government that not only provided significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups through support charities and other fronts." Now, after his statement on Sept. 19 that “we've had no evidence that Saddam I lussein was involved in 9-11,” Bush said on Sept. 25: “9-11 changed my calculation. It’s really important for this nation to continue to down and deal with threats before they materialize, and we learned that on 9-11.” So, you see, we have no evidence that Saddam was involved in 9 -11. Moving right along to the crystal-clear matter of the weapons of mass destruction, we find Colin Powell saying of Saddam back in 2001: “I think we ought to declare our containment policy a success. We have kept him contained; kept him in his box. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. I Ie threatens not the United States.” Veep Cheney then believed the same. l ive days after 9-11, he said, “Saddam Hussein is bottled up.” But the storyline changed, and by October 2002, Bush told the nation: “The threat comes from Iraq. America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a nuclear cloud.” Just before the war, Bush said, “The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.” We could go on and on with all the detailed information the administration gave us about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction — more than 500 tons of Sarin gas, etc. But now climes the Kay report confirming what we have been learning all along — there ain’t none. For months, whenever anyone asked, “Where are the weapons of mass destruction?” the administration and its flaks in the press corps said, “You better not raise that question because you’ll sure be embarrassed when we find them." Well, we haven’t. Not a trace of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. I have been trying to concentrate on the pragmatic lately, liven if we were wrong to go into Iraq, let’s focus on what can be done now to save the situation. But sometimes — such as when the president admits Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11 or our official WMD searchers admit they have nothing — it seems to me useful to go back and review the bidding. rile fact that 70 percent of the American people are under the misimpression that Saddam was connected to 9-11 seems to me a shocking indictment of the news media. I think we need to go back and explain how we got where we are. United States Government NBW Y( IRK CHY — Are you confused yet? Iwo weeks ago, President Bush said, "Theres no question that Saddam I lussein had al-Qaida ties.” In September 2002, he said, "You can’t distinguish between al-Qaida and Saddam." But Bush also said two weeks ago, “We have no evidence that Saddam I lussein was involved with the Sept. ll." That helpful clarification came after Vice President Dick Cheney was asked on “Meet the Press” why he thought 70 percent of Americans believe Saddam was behind Sept. 11. "It’s not surprising that people make that connection,” said the veep. Back in 2001, Cheney had said it was “pretty well confirmed” that Iraq and the Sept. 11 hijackers had coordinated. But most recently he said, “I don’t know” if Saddam was connected to Sept. 11 . On the thoroughly discredited report that the lead hijacker Mohammad Atta met witli an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001, Cheney said, “We’ve never been able to develop any more of that yet either in terms of confirming it or MOLLY IVINS Molly Ivin is a columnist for Creators Syndicate. Her f reelance awk has appeared in Esquire, Atlantic, Hie Nation, Hailer s, TV Cuide and numerous other publications. She also does occasional commentary for National Public Radio and the McNeil!Lehrer program. ;