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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 8, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Thursday, September 8,2005 FORUM Our Opinion Share your opinion before taxes are set Time is run- j ning out if you I want to let elected officiate I know how you J feel about the \ proposed tax rates. B ravo, Linda Patrick. Know her? She’s the only one who showed up Tuesday night at New Braunfels City Council’s public hearing on next year’s proposed budget and tax rate. The $26.8 million budget will fund additional police and firefighters next year and will result in a tax rate of 42.5 cents per $100. Maybe no one else cares. Local elected officials typically see no one at the annual hearings where budgets and tax rates are set, but just as typically spend the intervening years listening to people gripe about taxes and how they are spent. Why not try something new and take the time, people, to meet with your elected representatives before they decide how to spend your tax dollars and actually have some input into the process? If you don’t think the city, county or school district should spend your money on new facilities, come in and let them know. If you want to know why the police chief or the fire chief feel like they need more help, come in and ask them. They’d appreciate knowing someone noticed and cared enough to ask. In New Braunfels, one opportunity remains to do so — in City Hall at 424 S. Casten Ave. at 6 p.m. next Tuesday. In Comal County, one chance remains to offer input to Commissioners’ Court as it decides at 7 p.m. tonight at 199 Main Plaza on whether to set a 2-cent tax increase. Stop on down and let them know what you think. And thank Linda Patrick, if you see her. She’s looking out for all of us, and it's a burden she shouldn’t carry alone. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Thursday, Sept. 8, the 251st day of2005. There are 114 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 8,1930, the comic strip “Blondie," created by Chic Young, was first published. Also on this day, Scotch cellophane tape made its debut as a sample of the tape, invented by Richard Drew of 3M, was shipped to a Chicago firm which specialized in wrapping bakery goods in cellophane. On this date: . In 1664, the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York. In 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed about 6,000 people. • In 1921, Margaret Gorman of Washington D.C. was crowned the first Miss America in Atlantic City, N.J. In 1934,134 people lost their lives in a fire aboard the liner Morro Casde off the New Jersey coast. 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. 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 Gary E. Maitland Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director IMeice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor David Rupkalvis Letters to the Editor Mail letters to: Letters to Editor c/o Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- Bush should roll back tax cuts to wealthy, bring troops home In 2001, officials with the Army Corps of Engineers and other experts warned of the weak levee system around New Orleans ( hurricane I popup / nolalevees ml), and the “bathtub’’ effect this would have in New Orleans in the event of a major hurricane, given that it is below sea level. The projected cost to repair the levees was $14 billion — pocket change in Washington, but the Bush administration red-lined the project in favor of higher priorities, such as a massive tax cut for the most wealthy and an unprovoked attack on the sovereign nation of Iraq (at a cost of a billion dollars a week)! Instead of asking that the American people reach into their pockets to help out in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, why don’t we petition Bush to roll back the tax cuts for the most wealthy, and recoup the $70 billion in taxes lost from our tax base every year because they are sheltered by our corporations in the Cayman Islands. And while we’re at it, why don’t we have him bring the troops back from Iraq so they can help out in New Orleans where they are urgently needed? The best way to “Support OurTYoops” is to bring them home! And finally, the American people are entided to an explanation for why our major oil corporations are making grotesque profits — at the same time that the American people are subjected to highway robbery at the gas pump? So many questions, so few answers. Jim Green Seguin Rudy’s is not in the business of gouging citizens at gas pumps In reply to the letter in the Herald-Zeitung on Tuesday about Rudy’s gas pricing: Last Tuesday, Aug. 30, when we changed our gas price, our price that we pay for gas had jumped 50 cents from the previous day. We raised our prices by 47 cents, making it 3 cents less than if we had kept the same margins. By reducing the price 3 cents, instead of making very little on our gas, we were making virtually nothing. Rudy’s will be happy to show any concerned citizen those price quotes. I can understand how people might think the price was out of line, but we are not in the business of gouging the good citizens of Comal County. We never have, and we never will. A lot of the prices for gas around town are considerably higher than ours is now. We have worked very hard at Rudy’s to be good neighbors, and for us to be thought of in a negative light is very disturbing. We will continue to support the community in many different ways and keep our gas prices as low as possible. Pete Bassett Rudy’s Bar-B-Q 936 Loop 337 New Braunfels Let’s show a greater level of compassion for our neighbors Not to promote one of your competitors, but the huge headline on the front page of a recent San Antonio Express-News read: “Our Tsunami,” referring, of course, to Katrina's devastation of New Orleans and a massive section of our Gulf coast. The question in my mind is, will schools and churches and Scout groups and all the other groups that so readily responded to the needs of the tsunami victims, now be so ready to help our own? Following the tsunami, some victims, (read, Indonesian government) rejected and/or severely restrained our efforts to help, yet we persisted. I hope that an even greater level of compassion will be shown for our Gulf Coast neighbors! Jerry Welch New Braunfels NOW TO CONTACT 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 Fax: (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 Fax: (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    ^ NOW TO CONTACT , ...... , Texas Government GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. 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: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512) 463 0125 E-mail address: jeff. Wentworth ■ Judith Zaffirini SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095Bush’s next justice appointee should be a conservative KW THOMAS Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. He hosts “After Hours" on Fox News Channel Saturdays at ll p.m. EST. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite J500, Chicago. 60611, or leave an e-mail at wight Eisenhower came to regret the judicial activism of the chief justice he nominated. Ike called his choice of liberal California Republican Earl Warren “the biggest... fool mistake’’ he ever made. Richard Nixon nominated six justices to the bench. TYvo of them, Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell, were rejected by the Senate. Four—William Relinquish Warren Burger, Lewis Powell and Harry Black-mun — were confirmed. While Blackmun, who authored Roe v. Wade, was in the activist mode of Earl Warren, Nixon’s nomination of Rehnquist (and Ronald Reagan’s elevation of him to become chief justice) was Nixon’s greatest domestic legacy. Rehnquist slowly, but eventually and effectively, moved the court not so much in his direction, but toward what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. He single-handedly anchored the conservative wing of the court until rein forcements arrived. He had one of those qualities rare in today's Washington: the ability to hold strong convictions while maintaining good relations with those who held different views. John Roberts, who clerked for Rehnquist, apparently shares his demeanor. With Roberts’ nomination to the court already enjoying the announced support of several Democrat Senators, it will be difficult for them to oppose him for chief justice. The question now is: Should President Bush nominate an equally conservative person to the court to fill the remaining vacancy? He should if he wishes to remain consistent to his often-proclaimed desire to have a court that makes decisions based on the Constitution and not the personal whims, prejudices and objectives of individual judges. No political doctrine has been stated and restated by President Bush as much as this one. To go against it now would be the political equivalent of the president denying his faith. Bush gets it when it comes to ideology. Unlike his father who listened to top aides and gave the country the liberal disaster named David Souter, whom Sen. Edward Kennedy now praises, Bush is not about to see his legacy tainted by someone who is a closet liberal. The great temptation in Washington is to do things that please the social and journalistic elites. If you don’t care about invitations to the “right” social events and you are unconcerned about whether those newspapers like you, then you can achieve true independence. In a tortured editorial on Rehnquist, The New York Times exhibits an attitude that must resemble that of Satan when someone he is after gets away to the other side. The Times consoles itself by noting the bathes Rehnquist lost, not those he won. It could only say that the “final word on his service... will be history’s, and it is likely to view him as hardly a great jurist, but one who loved the court and had a significant influence on it.” Rehnquist could have cared less what the Times thought during his life and the same could be said about the paper’s prediction concerning his legacy. He cared about the Constitution and the Court. That is the model President Bush used in finding and selecting John Roberts, and it is the model he should use in his second selection. The president should forget race, gender and all other meaningless considerations (gender considerations produced Sandra Day O’Connor, who turned out less than conservative when i mattered most). The president should, and I think will, nominate another justic with credentials at least as impeccable a John Roberts, whatever their backgroum or personal status. Liberal activist groups, which have so far failed to stop the Roberts momentum will be taking the ideological equivalent ofViagra to whip themselves and their whacky followers into a state of frenzy over whomever Bush selects as his next nominee. Watch for those rusty coat hangers to reappear in TV ads, suggesting the self-butchering of pregnant women who might be denied their “right" to abortions. Watch also for the left to invoke tin image of blacks being denied the right ti vote. Bush’s next nominee can distinguish himself, or herself, by overcoming these smears with dignity, intellect and a reminder that devotion to the Constitution, as written, is the best protection. President Bush won the election. I Ie gets to name judges who represent his judicial outlook. That’s what President Clinton did. The Senate should confirm President Bush’s nominees in the same timely manner. ;