New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 28, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
4A New Braunfels Hetald-Zeitung Friday, October 28,1983OpinionsHerald-Zeitung
Bm Kftier, General Manager ItM J shn—, Editor
James J. Kilpatrickrm tired of clauses dangling in the night
Uke so many other occupational worlds, the world of writing is divided into professionals and non* professionals. We have a right to expect higher standards from the pros than from the non-pros, biit from time to time our expectations get deflated. This has happened several times lately.
On Oct. 7, United Press International sent out a second-day story on the funeral of New York’s Cardinal Terence J. Cooke. This was the eighth paragraph: “As the coffin was lifted ami carried to the alter, more than 3,000 mourners sung the
hymn *0 God Our Health and Age Has Passed.”
Yipes! Never mind that the preferred past tense of “sing” is “sang.” How could any wire service editor have so mangled the name of one (rf the most familiar of all hymns? On inquiry, I find that UPI caught its blunder 30 minutes after the story had gone on the wire, but the correction somehow missed the Greenville (S.C.) News, where it ran as first dispatched. UPI’s explanation is that it was one of those things that happen through dictation. Shame on everybody concerned.
Note in passing: I was brought up to write of Terence Cardinal Cooke, but I’m now told that this for-malnomenclature, while permissible, is considered archaic.
UPI fumbled again a few days later, in moving the text of President Reagan’s letter accepting the resignation of Interior Secretary James Watt. Reagan said that Watt had completed “the principal objectives” they had agreed upon, but UPI spelled it “principle.” At least a dozen readers have sent me clippings from dozens of newspapers in which
the error went blissfully uncaught. Doesn’t anybody edit copy nowadays?
Even The Wail Street Journal has it problems. This is from a story about a new home computer from IBM:
“Details about two models of the machine are being bandied about among dealers, industry observers and consulting organizations, some of which have had a peak at the machines.” A peak at them?
In another story, this one having to do with hurricanes, the Journal treated us to a verb that was new to
me: to plateau. “While the ability to predict the course of hurricanes has plateaued,” said the Journal,” the population growth along coastal areas hasn’t.” Webster’s Newe Collegiate says that plateau, as a verb, has been around since 1939, meaning “to reach a condition of stability,” but I never saw it before and would as soon not see it again. It’s enough that campaigns peak or crest. I’d let them reach a plateau.
In any event, my point is that these things ought not to happen at the level of UPI and The Wall Street Journal. Because I’ve blundered a few
thousand times myself, I know that errors in spelling, grammer and usage are easily committed. As professionals we ought to try harder not to make such errors.
This week’s mangled sentence comes from a piece in the Los Angeles Times about the signing of an accord at the Madrid conference on security bi Europe: “Although it is deeply flawed, the United States is joining Canada and 33 European nations bi signing the document.” While we are trying to do better, let us do better with clauses that go dangle-dingle-dangle.
New defense against juveniles pretty shaky
WASHINGTON - Earlier this month, I uncovered a startling Justice Department proposal to identify future criminals by studying thousands of 94o-12-year-old boys. The inquisitors would watch for such ominous signs as lefthandedness, oddly shaped ears and failure to sweat when given electric shocks.
My disclosure of the proposed study blew up a storm of protest and Justice Department officials are backtracking frantically. I have been assured by sources within the department and on Capitol Hill that the initial $500,000 funding request doesn’t stand a chance. The project is now dead.
But now my associate Indy Badhwa~ has obtained a copy of another Justice Department proposal along the same lines — and it has already been funded with a $324,845 down payment. The three-stage study would be conducted by the prestigious Rand Corp. It is intended to develop “intervention strategies” that will stop “the careers of serious juvenile offenders before they become fully developed.”
The Justice Department official responsible for both projects is Alfred S. Regnery, director of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
I had my reporter Kevin Ellis do a little checking on Regnery to see if perchance he exhibited any of the telltale signs his scientists were going to look for.
According to a number of sources, Regnery is not lefthanded nor do his ears appear to be misshapen. My sources could not determine whether Regnery's palms remain dry when he's given an electric jolt nor could they find out whether his second toe was longer than his middle toe (another bad sign for the voodoo scientists).
But he was described by three sources as having shifty eyes and he never looks at the person he is talking to, a sign of suspicious motives — to silent-movie directors if not to medico-scientific quacks. And he has greasy hair, hunches over his desk and appears insecure.
These physical traits are meaningless, of course. The point is they are just as valid measurements of potential criminal tendencies as the characteristics Regnery does not show — bid which he evidently thinks were worth observing in young boys.
Theories of biological litmus tests for criminals have long since been discreditied as quackery on a par with phrenology and palm reading. The theories enjoyed their peak of popularity among the demonstrably criminal leaders of Nazi Germany — with richening results that were dofumontsrl at the Nuremburg trials.
jnterMtingly, the proposal for “Early Identification of the Chronic Offender” has references that are rsnrinisront of Nazi ideology. “It will be Important,” tbs porposal notes, “to amess neighborhood characteristics such as ... ethnic and racial hitoragoaoify L Moats can ho
evaluated in terms of ... ethnic and racial composition, and heterogeneity
In this context, “heterogeneity” is simply a seven-syllable word for that old bugaboo of the Third Reich: race mixing. Like the Nazis, the study’s proponents apparently fear that young boys can be corrupted simply by associating with kids of different ethnic or racial backgrounds.
Regnery, a former official of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom, drew considerable opposition at his Senate confirmation hearing because of this outspoken views in favor of harsh punishment for jevenile offenders. At one point he suggested “maybe sending a juvenile to Wales for a week as a sort of shock treatment.”
And during his confirmation hearings, his car bore a bumper sticker that asked: “Have You Slugged Your Kid Today?”
Blunder of the week
In the paperwork maelstrom of Congress, even a high official can simply disappear. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee misplaced an ambassador the other day.
The nomination of Gerald Thomas to be ambassador to Kenya was scheduled for confirmation by the committee along with 22 other presidential anointments. To avoid the time-consuming process of taking a formal vote on each nomination, the committee decided to confirm the whole bunch en masse with a voice vote. Done.
But later — after the committee had adjourned — aides discovered that Thomas’s name had been left off the list. Technically, he hadn’t been approved. So a discreet telephone poll of committee members was conducted and Thomas's appointment was belatedly OK’d.
Headlints and footnotes
Next month Congress will announce the annual Congressional Excalibur Award for outstanding public service. I’d like to second the nomination of two unsung Labor Department racket busters, special agents Wesley M. Walker and Fred Ferrone. They were the key players in an investigation that broke organized crime's long stranglehold on the Fulton Fish Market in lower Manhattan. Their efforts led to 48 indictments and 44 convictions, many of them top members of the Vito Genovese crime family.
— For months, two Washington State environmentalists, Carew Paprits and Buss Tremayns, cajoled wheedled cai
caricatures ti lakier Secretary James Watt from Motte nation’s cartoonists. Ibey tided ta
Reagan’s address offers no hope for world peace
By DONALD M. ROTHBERG Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Reagan has offered Americans a bleak picture of a world under siege by Soviet-encouraged terrorism, with little encouragement that the danger will soon end.
In his nationally broadcast speech Thursday night, the president seemed unable even to take much comfort from the quick success of the military action in Grenada.
And there could be little optimism in the wake of the terrorist bombing in Beirut that killed more than 220 UJS. Marines and Navy men.
“Let me ask those who say we should get out of Lebanon: If we were to leave Lebanon now, what message would that send to those who foment instability and terrorism?” the president asked.
The tone of the speech reflected his apparent conviction that the Soviet Union supported “network of
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surrogates and terrorists” is likely to strike again and Americans must remain ever vigilant.
“The world has changed,” he said. “Today, our national security can be threatened in far away places. It is up to all of us to be aware of the strategic importance of such places and to be able to identify them.”
His speech also reminded Americans of the nightmare any president must live with since the day a little more than four years ago when the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was overrun and its staff taken hostage.
In describing his decision to send U.S. military forces into Grenada, Reagan said a major concern was the safety of the 1,000 Americans on the island.
The safety of the Americans on the island was not the only objective of the Grenada invasion. Their evacuation possibly could have been accomplished with U.S. forces in not much more than 24 hours.
Another objective was to remove
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the Cuban and Soviet influence that both the United States and Grenada's island neighbors see as a threat.
Reagan described Grenada as “a Soviet-Cuban colony being readied as a major military bastion to export terror and undermine democracy. We got there just in time.”
The two events, the bombing in Beirut and the leftist coup in Grenada, were both unpredictable and beyond
the control of the United States.
There is little argument about the importance of the Middle East to the United States, but that won’t dampen debate over the wisdom of keeping the Marines in Beirut.
The debate over Grenada is likely to center on whether an invasion was the way to deal with that threat.
Reagan offered no quick resolution to either crisis.
San. John Tower United States Senate Room 142 Russell Building Washington, D.C. 20610
San. Uoyd Bantsan United Stites Senate Room 240 Ruetell Building Wallington, D.C. 20610
Gov. Mark White Governor’s Office Room 200 Stats Capitol Austin, Texes 78701
Sen. John Traeger Texet Senate
Capitol Station Austin, Texes 78711
Wall would bt around load eonp. do they published “188 Write” thorn-