New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 18, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Sunday, September 18,2011 [ herald-zeitung.com
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Publiih#r and Editor Doug Ton«y
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I am a criminal!
Special to the Herald-Zeitung
I became a criminal three years ago. It wasn't because of any gene or otherwise inherited characteristic due to my race, religion, or past Instead, it was forced upon me
I have never been very good at keeping secrets formally was a professor who offered wisdom and guidance on various topics including criminality.
I am confessing publicly that every few months I receive contraband packages from other countries that are paid for with a credit card.
My suitcase is ready; I’ve been to jail before and am not afraid but somewhat apprehensive.
You see. I, an aging American on Medicare, buy most of my prescription medicine from Canada even though, according to some sources, it may be illegal and even unpatriotic.
As someone with a multitude of diagnoses, my medicine list is long. I try lo prolong the inevitable by heeding my physician’s warnings that I had better take this for that and that for this and this in case the others are not working and that for relief from all the others. With learned skepticism, their advice is followed and I am still here.
All the medicines received from Canada are generics, of course, and although the established companies here warn that they may be impure, the government says, on the other hand, that generics must meet the same standards of quality as the patent ones Lo and behold, I have just learned that the source of several of my medicines is India, the same country in which American companies buy ingredients for their own products.
American pharmaceutical companies make billions each year Rather than being hallowed institutions, they are now viewed as typical capitalist enterprises whose first loyalties are to their stockholders and that profit is their motivating force. Years ago, we respected companies with names like Pfizer and Merck but now their ads on TV seem to be composed of 20 seconds of hope followed by a list of possible side effects that, in some cases, can cause paralysis and death
Very cleverly, the drug and insurance companies created a well-funded campaign to ' stop lawsuit abuse" which to the average Texas seemed logical and informed. Instead, the passage of the bill resulted not in lower insurance payments for doctors, etc. as was promised but pitifully low limits on malpractice and drug error awards It is also unsettling to know that drug testing is done by the companies themselves and not by the government
The recent ads can simultaneously state that drug "X" is one of the best medicines you can take for a variety of symptoms but they can also kill you---so do call your doctor or read the full, small print text of the ad in “Wheat Farming Digest" The companies have little to lose against a potential gam of enormous profits
Look at comparative drug prices without the skepticism of the propaganda campaigns suggesting that generics could be harmful
The prices may vary by the supplier you select: visit the Internet to find one that is legitimately from Canada, has a toll-free number and a guarantee that the order will arrive within a specified time You, of course, must submit a current prescnp-tion by mail or by fax along with the telephone ordering.
I have been called by Canadian pharmacists twice advising me about interactions and whether my physician was monitoring drugs that I had been taking for several years.
Virtually all the others can be found on the Internet sites except narcotics and perishables Some companies charge modestly for shipping
I am not encouraging anyone to join me in my criminal life but you might just think about it!
■ Ldwatd VV Donei is a retired sociologist who lives m Spring BrofiC h,
T()1)A\ IN HIST()H\
The Associated Press
Today IS Sunday Sept J8, the 261st day of 2011.
On Sept. 18,1961, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld was killed in a plane crash in northern Rhodesia.
In 1759, the French formally surrendered Quebec to the British.
In 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol.
In 1810, Chile made its initial declaration of independence from Spain with the forming of a national junta.
In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which created a force of federal commissioners charged with returning escaped slaves to their owners.
In 1927, the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) made its on-air debut with a basic network of 16 radio stations.
In 1931, an explosion in the Chinese city of Mukden damaged a section of Japanese-owned railway track; Japan, blaming Chinese nationalists for the blast, invaded Manchuria the next day.
In 1947, the National Security Act, which created a National Military Establishment, went into effect.
In 1970, rock star Jimi Hendrix died in London at age 27.
In 1975, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was captured by the FBI in San Francisco, 19 months after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
In 1981, a museum honoring formfir President Gerald R. Ford was dedicated in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Ten years ago: A week after the Sept. 11 attack. President George W. Bush said he hoped to "rally the world" in the battle against terrorism and predicted that all "people who love freedom" would join. Letters postmarked Trenton, N.J., that later tested positive for anthrax were sent to the New York Post and NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw. Boeing Co. announced plans to lay off up to 30,000 commercial airplane employees by the end of 2002.
Five years ago; An Iranian-American telecommunications entrepreneur, Anousheh Ansari, took off on a Russian rocket bound for the international space station, becoming the world's first paying female space tourist. Aboard the space station, an oxygen generator overheated and spilled a toxic irritant;forcing the crewto don masks and gloves in the first emergency ever declared aboard the 8-year-old orbiting outpost.
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Ranetta begins job with specter of a sequester
It must take some getting used to. Leon Panetta. the secre* tary of defense, knows the Pentagon IS under 24-hour cyber siege There constantly are thou sands of what he calls ■'exploitive" cyber probes from nations "pulsing the system." trying to devise tools to disrupt the control systems without which complex societies such as ou5 cannot function Panetta. a seasoned Washingtonian who laughs easily and a temperate Californian who frets about the San Francisco Giants' bats, is not given to hyperbole But he says any cyber attack that 'crippled OUT (electricity) gnd or took down our financial system would make Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined look mild" m terms of social disruption.
Although a cyber attack 'is moving up" on his list of his worries, it ranks only "third or fourth," behind North Korea's and Iran’s nuclear weapons programs. what he calls terrorism "nodes" in places such as like Yemen. Somalia and North Africa, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Iraq, the mission of the remnant of U S forces — the number 3,000 has been bruited —will, Panetta says, include counterterrorism actions "working with the Iraqis ' Which leaves a lot of room for
Panetta's most immediate worry, however, is visible from the windows of his office overlooking the Potomac — Capitol Hill, where the ‘'supercommittee" created by August's debt<eiling agreement is sitting By Thanksgiving it will either agree to do something important - reduce the next decade's debt by at least $ 1.2 tnllion — or Its disagreements will trigger something important: A sequester.
This would take from military budgets nearly $500 billion, in addition to a minimum of $350 billion cuts already scheduled An almost trillion-doHar trim ming, Panetta says flatly "cannot take place. " Actually he knows it can; ' The gun to the head could really go off ’ Even without a sequester, the military “is going to be a smaller force " And with a sequester^ The 1,5 million active-duty members of the armed services and 700.000 civilian employees of the Defense Department depend on an industrial base of more than 3.8 million persons According to
the Pentagon, a sequester v^uld substantially shrink those three numbers, perhaps adding a point to the nation's unemployment rate. The cuts would leave the smallest Army and Manne Corps in more than a decade and the smallest tactical Air Force since this service became independent of the Army in 1947 The Navy has already shrunk almost to Its smallest fleet size since World War I.
Time was. when Democrats looked at the defense budget with a skeptical squint. Republicans rallied 'round it. No more. Few tea partyers remember Washington’s hawkversus-dove dramas They live to slow spending. period. They are constitutionalists but insufficiently attentive to the fact that defense is something the federal government does that It actually should do. And when they are told that particular military expenditures are crucial to force projection, they say As in Libya^ Been there, don't want to do that.
Much of the defense budget is consumed by pay and health care for uniformed personnel, who have been abused enough by repeated deployments The priciest new weapon, the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (at least $90 million per plane), is vital for the continued salience of aircraft carriers, which are the
basis of the U S strategic pres ence in the Western Pacific. Inferring China’s geopolitical intentions from its military purchases IS difficult, but Panetta says guardedly that in five years China’s force projection will be "much better." The Mannes, with their smaller carriers, need a short-takeoff model F-35 Cut the number of planes built, the cost per plane rises, and the ability to recoup costs through sales to allies declines Panetta's two years as CIA director were important preparation for his current job: his nine terms in Congress, and four years as Bill Clinton's head of the Office of Management and Budget and then chief of staff, were essential, A defense secretary's tenure, more than that of any other Cabinet member, is graded by events a decade after he has left office, when the nation either has or does not have the military capabilities a crisis demands Until recently, Panetta thought there was a 90 percent proba bility of a sequester Now he is less pessimistic because he thinks everybody was "burned" by the debt-ceilmg battle The next few months, he says, are going to tell us a hell of a lot " But the meaning oi what is told may not become clear for 10 years.
Thank you to all who made Freedom Walk a success
Thank you for your excellent coverage of the Freedom Walk across Canyon Lake Dam on Sept. 11, commemorating the tragic attack on America in 2001.
Beside your reporter and photographer, we have so many people to thank who went out of their way to honor those who gave their lives, those who have served and those who are serving, from the military to first responders — to make our lives free so we can choose to spend an afternoon on a beautiful lake honoring our country.
Our thanks to the Corps of Engineers, who were our greatest cheerleaders, allowing us to take over the dam, helping with all our needs; Sheriff Bob Holder, his staff and the Shenff’s Color Guard; the Junior Rotary Interact carrying the service flags. Rio Raft, which provided transportation to the top of the dam; Bill Jones and Peaches Kelly for their amazing talents; Clint Epley and the Commemorative Air Force flying the Missing Man formation; the myriad boats from Canyon Lake Yacht Club escorting the 500-plus marchers under the direction of Joe Pyle and Bob Laymon; the members of the VFW who honor us each year with their presence; Suzanne and Eric Zamora for the flags flown in Afghanistan; the Community Resource and Recreation Center for the air conditioned building for our reception; Fire Chief Shawn Wherry and the firefighters and EMS technicians; Constable Shane Rapp, who kept traffic moving; Lov^e’s Market for the txrttled water; Tiger Express for the ice; Sattler Signs for the great signs; Comal County Judge Sherman Krause and Sen. Jeff Wentworth; Cols. Ellis and Slupik for leading us in the pledges; Cub Scout Pack 548 and Boy Scout Troop 348. whose members came to work; and all those who brought their children — our future — to witness that Americans dearly love their country. And
most of all, to the families of Lt. Darren Andrews and LCpl. John Felix Farias, goes our lifelong gratitude for their sons — the heroes whose ultimate sacrifice makes us unfathomably sad and fiercely proud at the same time ~ and makes all of us who attended vow to Never Forget Thank you to all who volunteered and all who came.
Patti Johnson Canyon Lake Republican Women
Thank you for help with 9/11 Remembrance event
1 would like to thank everyone who came out to our special 9/11 Remembrance event.
A special thanks to: Chns and Tina Resendez and the Knights of Columbus for the use of their hall and organizing the sale of the BBQ plates to benefit Homes For Our Troops; Granzins BBQ for the donation of the chicken and Rudy’s BBQ for the donation of the beans and potato salad, Police Chief Wibert and his department for bringing out their new SWAT vehicle; Sheriff Fiolder and his department for bringing out their command vehicle. Fire Chief Robinson and his department for bringing out their vehicles; theJROTC Color Guards from all four Comal County Fligh Schools. James Cole for his outstanding job singing; Sgt Allen and our local Army National Guard for bringing out their vehicles; Mayor Pospisil; Army Chaplain Wake; Gold Star Dad Carson George for bnnging out the Memonal Wall of our Texas Fallen. Earth Angels for the release of the 10 white doves, all the speakers from the Army. Navy, Air Force. Marines and Coast Guard; and all the non-profits that set up tables with information, including the VFW. Operation Flomefront. Operation Comfort. USO, Wreaths Across America, Fiomes For Our Troops. Military Working Dogs Adoptions. Military One Source. Blue Star Families and the Blue Star Mothers It was great reminder on this 10th anniversary
of September I Ith that "Freedom is NOT free' * and "We will not forget' ”
Penni Saige, Past President Canyon Lake Area Blue Star Mothers - TX 7
Obstructionism won't create American jobs
1 am continually amazed at Rep. Lamar Smith’s hypocnsyl I recently received his glossy, color, tri-fold constituent survey" (sent at what cost to the taxpayer^, vv^hich states. "Currently. 24 million Americans want a full-time job but can't find one" Then his only proposed solutions to our massive unemployment problem are requiring employers to use E-verify to identify the 7 million illegal residents working in the U.S. (at low wages jobs most Americans don't want)
How does that help 15 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed or working only part-timei'
Republicans rant about "job killing' tax increases on the wealthy while the truth is tax rates are at their lowest since the 1950s. If tax cuts were the solution, where are the jobs that should have been created during the past 10 years since the Bush tax cuts have been in effect’
Republicans attack President Obama's Jobs Plan, which would immediately create jobs to repair our roads, bridges, and schools, would send federal assistance to the states to avoid further layoffs of teachers. police, and firefighters, would give tax breaks to small businesses that hire new workers. Republicans have been in control of the House of Representatives for nine months. Where is their jobs creation plan? Speaker Boehner's new plan is to revise the tax code with lower rates, which again helps the wealthy, but where is the jobs creation? It is high time we all demand that our representatives stop being obstructionists and support Obama’s jobs plan,
Brenda Witt New Braunfels