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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 21, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 40HerakEZeitungCJT^ Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 220. Her (t Id -Zeitung ■To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, tile managing editor’s address QUOTABLE “The problem of freedom in America is that of maintaining a competition of ideas, and you do not achieve that by silencing one brand of idea.” Max Lerner, author, columnist EDITORIAL No excuses “Fasten your seat belt.” “Look both ways before you cross the street.” “Wash your hands.” Those are the sorts of warnings that people of all ages have heard time and time again, and those are the sorts of warnings people ignore. Add to the list of often-unheeded advice, “Get your flu shot before it’s too late ” Flu season doesn t start until about December, according to Comal County public health nurse Shel McWilliams, but the best time to get a flu shot is right now, and the time to get the vaccine and ensure its effectiveness ends mid-November. Flu symptoms can create varying degrees of temporary misery, but for certain high-nsk groups — such as the elderly — a bad case of flu can lead to lifethreatening consequences, such as pneumonia. High risk groups include people age 65 or older, nursing home residents, people with chronic conditions such as asthma, children or teens receiving long-term aspirin therapy and health professionals Some people skip flu vaccinations because they contract influenza or a cold after getting the shot and think the vaccine caused it That is a fallacy, accoying to Jim Schuermann, public health technician in the Texas Department of Health Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance Division The Comal C ounty Health Department has made getting flu shots so easy there are no excuses not to avail oneself of the opportunity Seniors age 60 and older can get flu shots free at two clinics Oct 31 at the Senior Citizens Center and Nov. 7 at the Canyon I ake Action Center I lours for both clinics are 0 to 11 30 a m. and I to 4 p m I he health department walk-in clinic has tlu shills available tor SIO from 8 to 11 a rn. and from I to 3:30 p m Tuesdays and I hursdays. Appointments may be scheduled Monday and Wednesday mornings For information, call the health department at 620-5595. T he time to pay attention to warnings like “(iet >our tlu shot” is now, not after the consequences have occurred, and all that can be said is, “it only I had ...” (Todays editorial hun antri n by Sews Editor Susan Elvnt England v Write us ... The Seu Braunfels Herald Ae a u rig welcome* letter* on any public i.stiue 'Hie editor reserve* die right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors letter* should be kept to 260 words. We publish only original mail addressed to the Seu Braunfels Her-ald Aa-a un# bearing the writer’s signature Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page nuinlier and ilale uf any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not l»vn j>ublushed in die previous 30 clays Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor co the Neu Braunfels Herald -Zedun# PO Drawer31132# New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 New Braunfels Herald -Zeitung Editor and Publisher, Ext 301 Managing Editor. Ext 220 Marketing Director, Ext 208 Classified Advertising Manager. Ext 214 Business Manager Ext 202 Circulation Director Ext 228 Pressroom Foreman Ext 206 ... Doug Toney Margaret Edmonson Jason Bor chard! Karen Remmger Mary Lee Hall   Carol Ann Avery Published un Sunday mornings and workday morning* Tuesday through F aday by (he Ne* Braunfels HeruLi/etruny (USPS 377-XSD) 7117 I anda bt, or P O Draper 11132*. Seu Brauntclx, t mnaJ County. I X 78131 -1328 Periodical pottage paid by the Ne* Braunfels Herald- Antony in Nevi Braunfels. Iexas I arncr delivered in Corita! and (ruadalup. counties three months. $20 50, su months $37, one year, $66 Senior Cm /en Discounts ny Lamer delivery only su months, $33, one year $62 Mail delivery outside Comal I aunty in Texas three months, $30 30; six months, $55, one year, $103 50 Mail outside lex**: ax months $78, one year, $118 25 Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5 30 pin I uesday through Friday or by 7:30 ani un Sunday may call (830)625-9144 or by 7 p m weekdays ce by 11 a m. J on Sunday Po* l mas I tit Send address changes to the Ne* Braunfels Herald-/emmy, P O. Draw -er 311328, Sew Braunfels, Tx 78131-1328. Reno right not to politicize investigation AUSTIN, Texas — Flow silly can this get? Republicans are now threatening to impeach Attorney General Janet Reno because she has so far not named a special prosecutor to look into whether President Clinton broke a law written in 1883 — which was intended to prevent another problem entirely — by making fund-raising phone calls from one room in the White Flouse instead of another that might be legal if the calls raised soft money but not hard money. Is all that perfectly clear? House Speaker Newt Gingrich made the astonishing suggestion that Reno resign because “she lodes like a fool.” If everyone in Washington had to resign when he or she looked like a fool, the vacancy rate would be astronomical and Gingrich would be long gone. The only people who looked like fools last week were the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee trying to bully and stampede Reno. What a hopeless endeavor that was. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott sneeringly referred to her as “Gen..Stonewall Reno,” and she did indeed stand like a stone wall. However you define “judicial temperament,” Reno has it, not to mention integrity out the wazoo. She was both cool and implacable through hours of verbal bullying by Republicans, who apparently still believe that if you are mean to girls, they will break down and cry. I have considerably more faith in Reno’s integrity than in that of the Republicans who were trying to reincarnate Sen. Joseph McCarthy last week. (And more faith in her integrity than in President Clinton’s, I might add. And will.) Let me suggest why Reno might be reluctant to appoint a special prosecutor in this case, quite aside from the nitpicking interpretation of an antiquated law. Reno has already appointed four special prosecutors who have spent close to $40 million, and the grand sum total of their efforts thus far is to accuse former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy of having accepted $20,000 worth of gifts, most notably tickets to a Super Bowl game. That was very wrong of him, and if he is found guilty, he will doubtless have to pay a fine. Also still under investigation are the love life of former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros (no public money involved) and the business dealings of former Commerce Secretary Rot Brown, who has been seriously dead for quite some time. But the real prize in the bunch is the Whitewater investigation, now in its fourth year and more than $30 million. This investigation of a 1978 land deal in Arkansas is edging up on the records set by the Iran-Contra investigation for both length and expense. Iran-Contra, you will recall, was about our government’s having Illegally sold arms to an enemy in order to use the profits to support one side of a civil war in Central America, which our government lied about being involved in. Constitutional violations were the issue. Reno originally appointed Robert Fiske, a Republican with 24-carat credentials, to investigate Whitewater. But Fiske offended the Republican red-hots by finding that poor Vince Foster had indeed offed himself. So the red-hots put pressure on Judge David Sentelle, head of a three-judge panel that then dismissed Fiske and appointed Kenneth Starr on the grounds that Reno’s appointment of Fiske created “the appearance of a conflict of interest.” Sentelle himself is so careless about “the appearance of a conflict of interest” that he saw nothing wrong in lunching with Sens. Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina just before appointing the rankly partisan Stair Starr, a right-wing Republican activist who volunteered to help Paula Jones gratis in her lawsuit against Clinton, has since demonstrated his regard for the appearance of a conflict of interest by contributing to Republican candidates, continuing to represent tobacco companies and defense contractors, and preparing to decamp entirely to the deanship of a law school. And then there’s his conduct of the investigation itself, which has become an anti-Clinton rumor factory. lf Starr is interested in becoming a good prosecute, he should study Reno’s consistent refusal to discuss the details of an ongoing investigation. Starr’s most notable contribution to jurisprudence so far has been the imprisonment of Susan McDougal for more than a year now for refusing to talk to him. In sum, what we have here is die politicization of the special-prosecutor process, which was itself introduced to de-politicize the investigatory process. No wonder Reno is wary. I realize that Republicans, at least some of whom suffer from a fixation about payback and tit-for-tat, believe the Iran-Contra investigation was political in nature, but at least it was about something more serious than which room the phone calls were made from. Now, is there a big, fat, stinking mess of corruption in Washington? Yes, there is; it is the form of legalized bribery by which our politicians finance their campaigns. But the stench from that cesspool is in danger of being outstunk by Republican hypocrisy. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, leader of the anti-reform faction on campaign finance, now threatens to impeach Reno for not acting on Clinton’s phone calls. And this is the same McConnell who, according to some media reports, urged the Senate Ethics Committee not to pursue Sen. Phil Gramm for having made fund-raising calls from (SET ITAL) his (END ITAL) office on the grounds that so many other senators were probably guilty of the same thing. (Molly Ivins is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.) 9tete curiou&,5efior Ptesident-HaK didyxiever atrian -moee eater fbi tiles tetojusedft Wifes ontfur, cRwemfefy— rrrx? venyJter dtour -moae.iaieo < ^DurcoFfee lond rdi«>ing,jyaT •nirninQup arter nxflha of ^ ifNWliP*TWie,? S ^..andtteeWfitevBBrWiiingA nil i»» \ accent/ MliXll 69IIOS Legal immigration reform unfinished business In passing the 1996 immigration reform law that I authored, C engross spoke for a broad cross section of Americans I ighty percent of them have told pollsters the) favor immigration reform, including reduced levels of legal immigration Immigration reform remains an issue for C .engross because needed changes in our legal immigration system remain unfinished business Congress must continue to speak for Americans - immigrant and native-born — or we will surrender to the siren song of narrow -minded special interests who want unlimited immigration immigration reformers have the facts on their side The U S. Commission on Immigration Reform recently affirmed, in its final report to Congress and the Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Tuesday, Oct. 21. the 294lh day of 1997 There are 71 days left in the year Today’s Highlight in History: On Ort- 21, 1797, the U S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, was launched in Boston’s harbor On this date: In 1805, a British fleet commanded by Adm Horatio Nelson defeated a French-Spam sh fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar; Nelson, however, was lulled. Lamar Smith President, that the biggest problem facing immigrants is our hapless immigration system itself. The Commission recommended that we reduce overall immigration below its current historically high levels to reduce the backlogs for family members and to focus limited immigration benefits — green cards — on spouses and minor children Legal residents currently wait four to IO years to unite their families in the U.S We are overdue to reaffirm in 1879, Thomas Edison invented a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ. In 1944, during World War ll, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen In 1959, the Guggenheim Museum opened to the public in New York. In I960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate. In 1966, more than 140 people, mostly children, were killed when a coal waste landslide engulfed a school and several houses in south our commitments to policy that ensures quick family unification for immigrants. A report by the National Academy of Sciences warned that current immigration policies have created losers, including ‘less skilled domestic workers \ ho compete with immigrants.” The NAS also reported, “The gap between native and immigrant levels of education and income is increasing, wh h means we are in danger of creating i new underclass of low-skilled ir .ugrants.” Another sn Jy of immigration by the Rand Co ,Miration in California, our most populous state, also included recommendations for reducing legal immigration and giving preference to immediate family members and immigrants with higher skill and education levels. Wales. In 1967, tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters marched in Washington, D C. In 1971, President Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1986, pro-1 rani an kidnappers in Lebanon claimed to have abducted American Edward Tracy (he was released rn August 1991). In 1991, American hostage Jesse Turner was freed by his kidnappers in Lebanon after nearly five years in captivity. Ten years ago: Sometimes-sen Today, those of us who stand for immigration reform are crassly labeled “anti-immigrant” by the advocates of unlimited immigration. But it is just as unfair to call immigration reformers anti-immigrant as it would be for the reformers to call the other side anti-American. Let the others be judged by their rhetoric and let Congress be judged by actions that represent the needs and wishes of most Americans. The great majority of Americans, myself included, favor generous levels of immigration because immigrants arc good for America. But immigration policies that set no priorities on serving American interests make no sense. (Lamar Smith represents the 21st District in the U.S. House af Representatives.) momous debate began in the Senate on the nomination of Judge Robert H. Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Two days later, the Senate voted 58-42 to reject the nomination.) Five years ago: A report prepared for the Los Angeles police commission found that the city was unprepared to handle the rioting that broke out the previous spring, and had responded inadequately. The Toronto Blue Jays won game four of the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves 2-1. Singer Madonna’s book ’’Sex” was released. ( ;