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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 6, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas September 2003 HERALDZEITUNO Page SA NEW BRAUNPELS HERALDZEITUNG Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until Doug Editor and Publisher Gary Managing Editor 830 6259144 silent moments start the day off right Honor the Texas Flag I pledge allegiance to one and Its a simple but its the mean ing behind those few words that the Texas Legislature wants students to know and under Thats why a law recently went into effect requiring students to recite the pledges of alle giance to the Texas and flags and to conduct a moment of Its not about politics or policy its about know ing where we as a people have come from and having a sense of pride for the state and the The legislation itself is merely a housekeeping since many schools already require stu dents to recite the The moment of silence is Students who wish to pray during that moment can do so of so it doesnt intrude on those who might not appreciate Or they can reflect on and think about whatever they It would be nice if not just were to start their day with that kind of contemplative Contact Managing Editor Gary Maitland 220 Today In History BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is the 249th day of There are 116 days left in the Highlight in history On President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan American Exposition in a died eight days later he was succeeded by Vice President Theodore On this date In the Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio went In American explor er Robert Peary sent word that he had reached the North Pole five months ear In South Africa declared war on In Jews older than the age of 6 in German occupied areas were ordered to wear yellow Stars of In Queen Juliana of the Netherlands had her In Canadian televi sion broadcasting began in In South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd was stabbed to death by deranged page during a parliamentary ses sion in Cape In Palestinian guer rillas seized control of three which were later blown up on the ground in Jordan after the passengers and crews were In 25 years James Wickwire of Seattle and Louis Reichardt of San Francisco became the first Americans to reach the summit of Pakistans the worlds secondhighest Policy The HeraldZeitung en courages the submission of Letters must be 250 words or and the HeraldZeitung reserves the right to edit all submis Guest columns should be less than 500 An address and tele phone whichare not for must be included so authorship can be No letter will be pub lished until it has been ver Mail letters to Letters to the Editor HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New TX 781311328 Fax 830 6063413 email 12 would ease burden on doctors The voting citizens of Texas will soon decide on 22 amendments to the State Proposition which larifies the ability of the State Legislature to set penalties under tort would not change the cur rent system for trying med ical malpractice or other civil lawsuits by It will protect HB the Omnibus Tort Reform Bill which was passed by the 78th Legislature this in an effort to stop runaway law suit Because of the way Texas law is the Tort Reform Bill itself is in danger of being overturned by judges in the courts as unconstitutional unless Proposition 12 is This bill included limits on noneconomic damages to a maximum of per case and reset the cap on wrongful death payments to adjust for inflation cur rently set at about mil Calculations and pay ments for real losses such as medical costs and lost wages will not be changed nor The right of the defendant to a jury trial is not affected at All criminal penalties are limited by laws that are passed by the Legislature and passed as an amend ment to the State It is the law that determines which killings are capital crimes and which are The law sets minimum and maxi mum sentences for other BEVERLY NUCKOLS Guest Column felonies and although juries determine guilt and work within those limits during the punish ment phase of Texas tort law already limited civil penalties assessed for wrongful In other tort such as medical malprac tice and other civil law there are punitive and noneconomic The economic penalties include medical costs including future costs and actual lost and actual damage to There are no caps on actual economic Punitive damages are meant to punish some one at fault and help pre vent similar future Noneconomic damages are to pay for pain and suf loss of companion ship and mental While the penalties for medical cost and lost wages can and will continue to run into the its usually the noneconomic damages that result in the overwhelmingly high awards often called law suit These fees make up 65 percent of the totals of awards made by Doctors learn the cliche anyone can be sued for anything as fact in medical and the legal cli mate in Texas givesus plenty of continuing med ical education on that Half of all doctors in Texas have been although I dont think anyone believes that half of all doctors prac tice bad Even though in 87 percent of those lawsuits no money is paid to the person who doctors still have to go through all sorts of legal hassles and stress in deal ing with the matter and the malpractice insurance companies must pay to defend every So our malpractice rates are going through the Ive never been but my malpractice insurance has gone up 25 to 30 per cent every For many the increase is even The constant threat of being sued and the rising cost of malpractice insur ance were factors in decid ing to close my office this Neurosurgeons and those who deliver babies have been hit hardest of all and its affecting the availability of medical In the neurosurgeon who used to do trauma care at Methodist Hospital moved to North Carolina when his malpractice went increasing the stress on Parkland and Baylor Forty percent of Texas counties dont have doctors who deliver babies or pro vide prenatal Doctors and hospitals are limited by Medicare and the marketplace by much they can charge their but within those they must raise their fees to make up their Each increase in malprac tice raises the cost of doing This makes it more expensive for other businesses and the state to buy health insurance and for the uninsured to afford health Businesses and states dont pay the costs on their own logically the costs are passed on to taxpayers and as well as employees who theoretical ly could have taken home more in Medical liability premi ums will not go down immediately when the caps go into effect we have to expect a lag as the old cases are And those economic damages will increase as medical costs continue to increase because of increased tech the cost of medica and there is evidence that the increases will The burden on our courts and stress on doctors who are practicing goodmedi cine will definitely decrease if there are fewer lawsuits because the lawyers contin gency fees will be limited because patients will only receive actual damages and costs instead of extravagant Beverly Nuckols is a doctor in New Lack of resolve a greater enemy than terrorism As the second anniversary of that other day of infamy I do not need to see TV replays of what As on a the images are burned into my President Bush should stop saying the terrorists hate free They do not think that They believe their twisted reli gion and evil application of it are true freedom for them and for all who worship their angry and hardtoappease They see us as living in decadent For the West to prevail in this it is going to take more than the new air marshals the president proposed this a Department of Homeland the liberationoccupa tion of Iraq and a stillunsuccess ful hunt for Osama bin There is a greater enemy than terrorism facing the United States and tfce That enemy is lack of which has little to do with money and weapons and everything to do with motiva tion and CAL THOMAS The Washington Post reported Tuesday the Bush administration is having trouble enlisting allied governments in its efforts to rebuild The reason is that too many governments fear what might happen to them if they give aid and comfort to what the radi cal Islamists see as the Great These governments have stupidly and dangerously let too many of the extremists into their countries in doing have clutched fiery coals to their Tom Clancy addresses this grave mistake my pun is intend ed in his new The Teeth of the One of Clancys main is a terrorist leader from Central In a commentary on the fuzziness of Western Mohammed says about himself How strange that the only lands where he could feel something close to safe were the Christian countries of which Muslims had struggled and failed to conquer on more than one Those nations had a nearly suicidal openness to and one could disap pear in their vastness with only modest skills hardly in if you had These peo ple were so selfdestructively so afraid to offend those who would just as soon see them and their children dead and their entire cultures It was a pleasing Mohammed but he didnt live within he worked for emphasis mine What the United States sees as its greatest strengths toler ance and openness our ene mies see as our greatest weak The Wall Street Journal car ried a frontpage story Tuesday 2 about an Indonesian school that trains The alumni of Pesantren al an Islamic boarding should appear on a most likely to succeed page in a terrorist The school has pro duced almost all of Indonesias top terrorist says the including participants in last months attack on Jakartas Marriott Hotel and last Octobers deadly night club bombing on the island of Indonesia is 90 percent and the government fears if it cracks down too much on the extremists it risks an While we argue about the place of God in our ene mies are not so They believe their god wants us No amount of money and Marines is going to stay these fanatics from their ordained To death is To it is They are counting on us not wanting to They welcome death as a They believe we will cut and run if they can spill enough of our We regard our blood as They see theirs as the currency of Newsweek magazine reports that Osama bin Laden is plan ning an attack that will dwarf and this time he plans to strike panic into the populace using biological Who knows if the report is true Who doubts that it could be Many think the war began two years It began a long time before Unlike every other war in which the United States has been this one will have no end not as long as there are Mohammeds willing to kill and to die in large num bers and to take as many of us with them as they 11 will not be the last tragedy we will be forced to observe in recurring Thomas is a syndicated ;