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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 14, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas FORUM ■M Mi Our Opinion Step back in time at die county fair Stop by the county fair and check out the exhibits and projects. They show us where the city came from. I t’s getting to be the time of year in Comal County that kids of all ages have looked forward to for generations. Next week, the Comal County Fair Association launches the 112th rendition of the Comal County Fair — one of this state’s largest county fairs. Make a point of going out — on “Suicide Night" if you dare — and let the children enjoy the attractions provided for decades by Heart of America Shows, one of Texas’ grand old names in midway amusements. Patronize the food booths operated by many of the county’s non-profits and try some of the food that is unique to New Braunfels. Check out the tractor pull and the rodeo. Then, go find out what a rural county fair is all about while you still can. After all, we’re becoming less and less rural. Walk through the exhibit halls and look at the craft projects and the business exhibits. Check out the ag exhibits and don’t forget the animal pens. They show us where we’ve come from. I But, they do more than that. In a world that has increasingly gotten faster and lost touch with itself, the programs these exhibits represent — scouting, 4-H, FFA, the school systems’ ag departments — provide a valuable framework and die preparation needed to build the adults who will one day take the reins of society. Acknowledge them and support them at the county fair. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Sept. 14, the 257th day of 2005. There are 108 days left in the year. I Today’s Highlight in History: I On Sept. 14 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote his poem “The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. On this date: In 1901. President McKinley died in Buffalo, N.Y., of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him. In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice, France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of her sports car. In 1940, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, providing for die first peacetime draft in U.S. history. In 1959, the Soviet space probe Luna 2 became the first manmade object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface. 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. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor do Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Rroi TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- 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 Neice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor David Rupkalvis Letters to the Editor Bullying incidents should be reported, followed up by adults As school starts, we cire faced again with the problem of bullying in our schools. As concerned citizens and advocates in bullying prevention, we know that approximately 75 percent of students in middle schools are bullied. Children that bully do it for many different reasons. Sometimes they are trying to gain popularity or show that they are a part of the clique. The child might be seeking attention. Some students that we have worked with do not understand the severity of their bullying behavior. Often, these children are being bullied and are retaliating toward another child. Why are some children targeted or bullied? For one reason or another they are different than the other peers. They might wear different clothing, glasses, braces, or have a different skin color or size than their classmates. Bullying is very harmful to the children that suffer this injustice. In fact, statistically, students are more likely to have lower grades, be truant, experiment or use alcohol, tobacco or drugs, become involved in criminal behavior, or commit suicide if they are bullied. What can one do if they are being bullied? The student should tell the peer to stop and then tell them that if it continues, they will report the problem to a principal, counselor, nurse, teacher, or a parent. If the bullying does not cease, the student should report the situation to an adult. It will be the responsibility of that adult to follow-through and get help. Michael Piers New Braunfels Grants to help elderly repair homes is an important service The article by Leigh Jones, written Aug. 26, regarding the city’s grant in helping the elderly repair their homes was really important. When people reach a certain age, it can be hard for them to repair their homes when they break or begin to fall apart. If they are retired or widowed, it may be even harder for them to afford to pay someone to do the labor. Besides the fact of it being a wonderful way to help people, it will also make New Braunfels look nicer. More homes will look cleaner and the town will look better. This is a benefit to everyone who lives here. Thank you to the city for taking pride in the way New Braunfels looks and for helping people in the community. Vanessa Broughton Brownwood A compassionate heart during times of need adds to one’s life In the wake of Hurricane Katrina lies the true soul of mankind. We can look at the tragedy with eyes of humanity. Letting go of the past and opening up to the possibility of this need to unite a country back to our true roots. We are here to serve. We are here to grow. We are made to suffer. True wisdom the fruit of our suffering. A compassionate heart. Loving unconditionally as we are loved by God. For our community to shift its focus on to something positive is powerful. Hearts uniting in love for those suffering is healing to us all. Allow this opportunity for personal growth to reconnect you as an individual to your immediate community in a positive way. Realizing that your life, no matter how challenged here in beautiful New Braunfels, is blessed. Speak words of gratitude to others. Use these circumstances to add to your life. All it takes is a compassionate heart. Elvie Utulerwood New Braunfels Roberts would try to change law, not apply the Constitution I feel that john Roberts would be one of those “reactionist judges” that I hear so much about. I think that he would try to change law and shape policy from the bench rather titan apply the Constitution as written. John Notabartolo Schertz SENATE ■ Kav 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 GOVERNOR HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government lim minim ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. 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: [email protected] ■ Judith Zaffirini P.O. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627Undersecretary for public diplomacy has impossible task IL nV THOMAS Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. He hosts "After Hours" on Fox News Channel Saturdays at ll p.rn. EST. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 4500, Chicago. 60611, or leave an e-mail at President Bush might as well have asked Karen Hughes — his friend and longtime political adviser — to hold back Hurricane Katrina, because he has assigned her an equally impossible task. In naming Hughes undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, the president wants her to improve America’s image abroad and specifically in the Muslim world. The Bush Administration believes that image has been distorted and the message concerning what America stands for is not getting out. The problem with this thinking is that the Muslim world’s position regarding the United States is rooted in fundamental political and most especially religious doctrines that will not be changed by people many of them regard as “infidels" and worthy of death. Take Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population. Three Christian women were given three-year prison sentences in West Java earlier this month after they were convicted of “enticing” Muslim school children to become Christians. The parents of the Muslim children had given permission for them to attend Sunday school classes in private homes. None of them converted, but the hosts are going to prison for speaking of their faith in front of Muslim kids. How does America combat such a mentality through political “missionary trips” and television commercials? Asked another way, has the public relations campaign by some Muslim organizations in America converted us to the belief that they and Islam are mainly peaceful and interested in religious and political coexistence? Some Muslim clerics and Web bloggers have been gloating over the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. They say it is Allah’s judgment on wicked America. It is unlikely people of such persuasion can be convinced of America’s goodness. Here are two of many examples of this line of thinking. In a Sept. 2 sermon on the hurricane that was broadcast on Sudan TV (transcribed and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute), Sheik Al-Karouri said, “If America wants to maintain what is left of its civilization, it must free itself, as we say in Sudan, from the curse of the Jews.... The curse of Israel has affected America.... The state (sic) called New Orleans is no longer new’ at all.... If people want their countries to prosper, they must make peace with Allah and avoid disputing Allah and his prophet.” “Al-Qaida in The Land of the T\vo Rivers” issued a statement that declared, “Congratulations to the nation of Islam on what befell the worshippers of the cross.” How does one counter this? How can an “infidel” like Karen Hughes or any other American say or do anything (short of removing U.S. support for Israel and converting en masse to Islam) that will change these minds? After receiving $50 million in aid from the United States, Palestinian Authority religious officials continue to openly promote vicious anti-American hatred. According to a Sept. 6 Palestinian Media Watch bulletin, one religious leader, in the presence of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, called for Iraqis to intensify terrorist uprisings against American soldiers. In a June 24 letter to Philip J. Perry, general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, Barry Sabin, chief of the counterterrorism section for the Department of Justice, described The Muslim Brotherhood organization (which claims chapters in 70 nations, including America) as “committed to the globalization of Islam through social engineering and violent jihad.” How does Karen Hughes, or anyone else, reprogram such people? Hughes recently spoke at a gathering ol American Muslims in Rosemont, 111. She told a news conference, “We need to foster a sense of common interest and common values among Americans and peoples of different faiths and different cultures." That sounds good to Western ears, but where are such values shared in the Muslim woild? What if the strategy of our enemies is to take advantage of the kindness, understanding and pluralistic intentions of the United States in order to further infiltrate and undermine this country? This is the plot line of the chilling 1995 novel by Peter De Rosa called “Pope Patrick." A fictional “Federation of Islamic Republics” weakens the resolve of the United States government by using America’s good motives against the president with disastrous results. Before President Bush and Karen Hughes proceed with their attempts to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, they should read this novel, which sounds more like current events than fiction. United States Government PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 ;