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January 26, 2011     Hays Free Press
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January 26, 2011
 

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Hays Free Press January 26, 2011 i I had an odd sense of d6j[t vu as I read the lead article on the front page of the Sun- day Statesman'a couple of days ago. As Perry attempts to shift the focus away from the $27 billion debt he has racked up in his tenure as governor, he was, once again, whipping the religious tight into a frenzy as a press-catching diversion. In the grey morning light, the entire article smacked queasily familiar so I went back through my files and, sure enough, this is an, annual grandstanding event for Perry. In 2010, there he was once again, smack dab in the middle ofyet another religious rally, addressIng the crowd in his political capacity as governor, with abso- lutely no regard to the issue of separation of church and state. Last year, with requisite dramatic flair he had proclaimed, "We love life in Texas!" The irony that he has personally presided over the execution of more than 200 people in this state was obviously lost on this crowd as he strutted and mugged and they shrieked and chanted. This year, vowing to ram through a bill re- quiringa sonogram for any woman seeking an abortion, this politician, who has noisily flung his fist in the air demanding govern- ment stay out of health care, has pomp- ously decided that women, evidently, need a bit of that governmental intbrvention. To add insult to injury, he then suggests that his casuistic legislation would enable us feeble-minded women the capacity to actually understand "the full impact of her decision." Really. Twenty five years ago I worked as a counselor in a woman's health clinic, of- feting support and information to women who had, for innumerable reasons, found themselves unexpectedly pregnant. It was my responsibility to listen to their story and then steer them to professionals best quali- fled to deal with whatever decision they reached. Prenatal counseling, adoption services, pregnancy termination informa- tion, sonograms, birth control altematives, it was all offered and could be utilized at the woman's request. Her request. And, believe me, they understood the full impact of their decision. The women I counseled were you and me and our morns and sisters and daughters and they each had unique histories and cir- cumstances. Some were sad, some terrified, some weary to their core but regardless of their situation, they each had three viable options" available: Continue the pregnancy to term and assume parental responsibility; continue the pregnancy to term and relin- quish parental responsibility;, or terminate the pregnancy. Three options. By law. Looking at the newspaper photographs from the two rallies, I recognized the generic faces in the crowd. These were the same folks who would amass on Saturday mornings in front of our clinic, casting judgement upon women as they sought information and health care, grappling with one of the most critical and personal deci- sions of their lives. I shudder at the memory of those hate- filled faces. The sanctimonious sneer and the white-knuckled grip on their Bibles as they themselves persecuted. Waving Ameri- can flags as they chanted for the denial of liberty to women and their fundamental and legal right to make decisions regarding their lives. Their goal was to refuse these women their choice of options, regardless of their circumstances. They had anointed themselves the moral authority and, in this delusion, felt divinely qualified to deter- mine the path onto which they would force these women to walk. Same faces, different venue. In another ironic twist, in an attempt to alleviate some of Perry's astronomical debt it looks like they are going to zero out Public Health in Texas Communities which funded diet, exercise and teen pregnancy reduction programs (we're #1, we're #1) and the TEA's contribution to student pregnancy centers. They even cut their own abstinence-only education program to decrease teen birth rate (see above) and sexually transmitted disease rates. And, the real kicker? They zeroed out the Health and Human Services "Alternatives to Abortion" counseling which provided low-income women with parent- ing information and support services. How about this? If the Pied Perry and his followers don't want to invoke free will in their lives, so be it. Don't have an abortion. Hell, avoid it all together and don't even have se~ It's not my business. But stay out of the rest of the free world's doctors offices and examining rooms and tend to your own set of circumstances. In one final slap In the face of respecting the dignity of women" Perry had the audac- ity in his 2010 address, to assert that we should "...stand iti front of God with your message of anti-choice." Read it again. Not "anti-abortion." Not even "pro-life." He is anti-choice. Against a woman's legal right to choose what happens to her own body. So incredibly arrogant. , btonde~.eom TH[Y REALLY SAID THAT? -- Felix Hernandez, Iongtime friend of Gabriel ,alva Vasquez, who was gunned down last week at a Kyle trailer park Page4A ..,., "r'~. ;ver since Barack Obama was telected president, the Re- JL~publican Party has gotten national debt religion. They beg to remind us at every turn that it is immoral to saddle our children and grandchildren with debts. And you know what? They are right. So it is only fitting that we should examine the history of the national debt, to determine which major party is the mor~ immoral of the two. On Sept. 30, 1980, the national debt ~tood at $908 billion (rounded to thO nearest billion). During ]immy Carter's last year In office, the debt had increased by $81 billion. In his eight years In office, Ronald Reagan ran up an additional $1.695 trillion in debt. Keep in mind that a trillion is a thousand times as much as a billion. The national debt nearly tripled under Ronald W'dson Reagan. . _ It is tempting to say tlaat Ronnie Reagan's fiscal immorality score is 1.695/trillion (that's 1,695, followed by 9 Zeroes). But that is not entirely fair to Mr. Reagan, since Carter left him saddled with an annual deficit of $81 billion in his last year in of- fice (that's 81, followed by 9 zeroes). Each president should be scored on thechange he made, and not be held accountable for the level of fiscal irresponsibility he inherited from the previous administration. So, subtracting out $81.2 billion per year for the eight years of Reagan's administration, Ronnie was fiscally imm~al to the tune of $1.045 tril- lion, an average of $130 billion per year Worse than his predecessor. So his fiscal morality score is negative $130 billion. Following similar reasoning, George H. W. ("Poppy") Bush ran up anladditional $1.462 trillion, and increased the national debt by another 56 percent. But the increase In deficit spending by Poppy Bush was "0nlY" $454.3 billion more than the levels established by the Reagan Admi~stration. Nevertheless, he |AI accomplished this in just four years, so his fiscal morality score is nega- tive $114 billion. Wdliam Jefferson CSllckWdliC) Clinton inherited an annual budget deficit of $399 billion and a national debt of $4.065 trillion. ClInton ran up an additional $1.609 trillion in debt in his eight years in office, and increased the national debt by another 40 percent. However, com- pared to the deficit levels he inher- ited from Poppy Bush, SlickWlliie actually shrank the deficit substan- tiaUy. In his final year in office, Clin- ton ran a sizable operating surplus, but the interest on the national debt was bigger than the surplus, so the national debt still went up by $18 billion. All told, Clinton reduced the deficit by $1.585 trillion dollars. Divided over the eight years of his administration, Clinton turns out to have been by far the most fiscally moral president in the last 30 years of American history, .~yith a score of positive $198 billion per year better than his predecessor. Next came George H.W. ("Shrub") Bush. He inherited an annual bud- get deficit of $18 billion, and a na- tional debt of $5.674 trillion. Shrub ran up an additional $4.351 trillion in debt, and the national debt grew by another 77 percent on his watch. Compared to his predecessor, this Bush increased the deficit by $4.207 trillion over the eight years of his presidency. So his fiscal morality score is an all-time record low of negative $526 billion per year. Barack CObama") Obama inherit- ed an annual budget deficit of $1.02 trillion dollars and a national debt of $10.025 trillion. He has only been in office two years, so the jury is still out, and it is not fair to draw the bot- tom line yet on his fiscal morality or immorality. So far, however, he has run up an additional $3.537 trillion and Increased the national debt by another 35 percent. Of this, $1.503 trillion is spending over and above the deficits he inherited from Shrub. Thus, even when you subtract out the record-setting fiscal immorality of his predecessor, Obama is on a course to set a new all-time low of his own. He has thus far averaged negative $751 billion per year to the deficit, compared to his predecessor. Adding it all up, Republicans have been in the White House for 20 of the past 30 years. Republican presidents have run up additional deficits of $5.706 trillion, over and above the levels established by their predecessors, for an aggregatefiscal morality score of negative $285 bil- lion per year. Democrats have been in the White House for 10 years. Demo- cratic presidents have shnmk the deficit by $82 billion, compared to their predecessors, for an aggregate fiscal morality score of positive $8 billion per year. So if we measure morality by fiscal responsibility, as the Republicans insist- and remember, they are right- the Democrats are far more moral than the Republicans, by a whopping $293 billion per year. Both parties have been fiscally irresponsible, and President Obama has so far taken the cake. But the jury is out on his presidency as a whole. The only president in the last 30 years who can be said to have been fiscally moral is Bill Clinton, and even he added 40 percent to the national debt. By far the most immoral presi- dent of the past 30 years was Bush Junior. Character counts,huh? God save the United States of America from the fiscal immorality of both major parties. djones2032Oaustin.rr.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 1 am writing regarding to the photo On the front page of the Hays Free/~'ess dated January 12, 2011. I have been receiving the Free Press for ovor 20 years and this is the first time ~at I have been so disappoInt- ed in ~ decision of what is appropri- ate to publish. The photo showing the bee of Corporal Christopher Cody Dahl laying ha his coffin was not only disrespectful to his family, but to him~ A United States Marine, who srved 2 tours In Mghanistan deserves more than his face laying In a coffin on the front page of the local n~wspaper in his hometown. This photo could have easily been croppEI to still utilize the photo withotR showing Corporal Dahl's face. What a lack of respect this shows our military, which by the way is the only reason his funeral was covered bythe press. One would of thought that ffthis was important enough to make the from page of the newspaper because his was a Marine, it would have been done in a more tastefulway. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the funeral service being covered by the press, if it would have been done in a respectful manner. Think about beIng Corporal Dahl's mother, sister, grandparent or friend getting the paper in the mail, opening it up and seeIng this on the front page, how violated they must of felt. I certainly hope that you NEVER have to face what this family has had to face. But unfortunately because of a decision that was made by the staff of the HaysFree Press, they not only are overcome with grief over their loss, but feel their loved one was violated by their own local newspaper. I am a friend of the Dahl family and was at the funeral service that day. Ms. Dahl did not deserve this photo being published to cover the funeral service honoring the memory of her son. Stacey Cullen NEED HELP ON HISTORY I am wanting any information about my father, Dr. Robert W. Read, who was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Kyle during and after WorldWar II. Please contact me at: Bob Read P.O. Box 74 Roosevelt, TX 76874 210-415-7759 read_ranch@yahoo.corn COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE "it is nice to think about winning state championships. But lots of good coaches never win one. Lots of coaches who win one never win another. Hays has had only a very few athletes capable of playing at the college level, but it posted winning records year after year. The coach who should be hired ought to have a record of ~tting lots of effort out of minima/ability. He should be supportive of aoadernic efforts. He should be knowledge- able in all sports and have a good understanding of fundamental personnel prect/ce. It wit/prove to be a balancing act, because the right fit will be strong in some areas and weak in others end that is why a good strong administration will keep their options open until the last moment." - Observer on =DeedUne to epply for Hays job ends" at hayMreepreu.com I have heard the list of the g~o- plicentS. Since I am a parent of a Hays footbedl player, I am reel/y interested in this whole process. The list contains a lot of good coaches, My persona/opinion after hearing the names of coaches that have applied are: One tFpe is close to retirement end trying their best to get a pay bump for it. The other type is trying to get their tst job and when the opportunity presents itself, they will jump ship for a bet- ter job, I know it is gonna be herd to replace the stability end tenure that Coach Sheiton has demon- strated in all th~,~se yeers, but hopa- fully there are six that want to make Hays ff~eir home for a long time. -- Jack Black on =Deadlk~e to apply for Hays job ends" at haysfreepress.com ree ress MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBUCATIONS, INC. Co-Publishem Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton Office Manager Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com NEWSROOM Editor Brad Rollins brad@haysfreepress.com Staff Reporters Jennifer Biundo Sean Kirnmons Kay Richter Features Writer Brenda Stewart School Reporter Jim Cullen CommunRy Reporters Sandra Gnzzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Torn Sports Editor. Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul Columnists Bob Barton Bartee Haile Phil Jones Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Proofreaders Jane Kirkharn Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack tracyQhaysfreepreas.com CIRCULA'nON Ciroulaffon Mgr. Suzanne Hallam paper~haysfreepress.com CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.corn Distribution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Production Mgr. David White Assistant Designer dorge J. Garcia Jr. Contact Us: HaysFreePress.com news@haysfreepress.com businassOhaysfreepreas.cOm BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397 www.haysfrsepress.com ~ll~l~ ' I I .......... illi~lllllllllBi inlllli~ i ii 11~1111 ~ i | r. i~ v i, -i, h, 1 ( ~, ave,w. ~1~1.,~1.1 r .~. ....................................