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June 21, 2017     Hays Free Press
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June 21, 2017

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK "The work that they're (ARWA) doing is going to bring us the water that thepeople in the region will be using for the next 50years." -Todd Webster, Buda mayor from story on pg. 2A Hays Free Press * June 21,2017 Page 3A Donald Trump didnt just say the House-passed bill to replace the Affordable Care Act was mean. He called it "mean, mean, mean." That's "mean" times three. Interesting. When he invited the House White Caucus, er, Republi- can Caucus, over for a celebratory photo op after its passage, he said the bill was "incredibly well-crafted." But let's give Trump credit here for saying something true - may- be a first. The House bill is well-crafted - for something so incredibly mean. What this means is that Senate Republicans have a low bar to scale - or a high bar to limbo - as they take their own stab at wrecking health coverage in America. They can take the cue that "mean" multiplied by just two will do. That certainly appears to be the case from what we know. Of course, what we know is minimal, for Senate leadership has been stirring this con- coction behind closed doors, with the anticipa- tion of putting it on the floor without a hearing, and with as quick a vote as possible. One thing we know is that Republican senators are honing their pro- paganda skills for what emanates. We know this from a statement from West Virginia Sen. Shelley Capito, who attempted to say that cutting off millions from Medicaid in seven years wouldn't mean cutting them off. It would, said she, mean "transitioning" them from the health cover- age on which they were relying. Yes, one of the tools of the propaganda trade is the art of euphemism: hiding meanings with words, like "collateral damage" for a whole bunch of dead civilians and "enhanced interro- gation" for torture. Capito is considered a GOP moderate, and she is putting a nice spin on the fact that, apparently under this bill, states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA would have seven years to, urn, transition all those millions of insured peo- ple over to, um, being uninsured. Once again, we are only guessing at the Senate's designs, be- cause all discussions are being held behind closed doors, with the reported intent to have little to no discussion once the bill hits the Senate floor. Hence, Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman has called the architects of this maneu- ver the "Coward Caucus." As Waldman observed, an aide to a GOP senator involved in the secretive process said, "We aren't stupid." The senators are hiding their cards m Young- by John Young Yes, one of the tools of the propaganda trade is the art of euphemism: hiding meanings with words, like "collateral damage" for a whole bunch of dead civilians and "enhanced interrogation" for torture. until they can make their play. They know that the moment Americans find out what's actually at play, they'll burn up the phone lines. In fact, they should be doing that right now (Capitol switchboard - 202-224-3121) and demanding that the Sen- ate slow down and allow the public to see what's going into the sausage. It's been said count- less times that the Affordable Care Act was "rammed down Ameri- cans' throats." But it took over a year to write and approve, and the process involved hundreds of hearings and meetings, even a speech from Pres- ident Obama about the legislation. Additionally, Senate Democrats accepted 160 Republican amendments to the bill. What's the chance that Republicans will accept Democratic amendments to this bill? Zero. Three times zero. So, yes, this is coward- ice, and the American people should not sit by idly as it happens. We've seen a simi- lar yellow streak from Republicans who have dodged town hall meet- ings with constituents, knowing they'll get grilled foremost about health care. You see, governing is not just think-tank slogans and what sounds good coming from Sean Hannity or Grover Norquist. Governing in- volves people. Governing affects people. These wall-hugging chameleons offered their services to us, the governed, and part of the deal was to involve us in their decisions, to hear US out. Call your senator and be heard. However, try not to sound too mean. Longtime Texas news- paperman John Young now lives in Colorado. jyoungcolumn@gmail. com. J An exchange between Ray Wolbrecht and Wynette Barton Fortunately my ,, column is titled I Could Be Wrong," and I fall back on the latitude my title affords me. About a month ago "Tutta's Take" by x,~]nette Barton taught me a lesson about overstating facts. Since she still counts me as a friend I can appreciate the gentleness of her evisceration. I said experts in such fields as Egyptology, archaeology; psychology, gather, vote on what they think are facts, and as a result of the vote, the truth is found. Wynette, a Jungian psy- choanalyst and archae- ology hobbyist, refuted this, saying she has been to many conferences and has never seen or heard of a vote taken on what is true. Recently I phoned Miles Jones, a linguistic archaeologist who stud- ies the origin of language and writing. His book, "TheWriting of God," destroys the time worn idea that the first pho- netic alphabet began with the Phoenecians, but was the writing on the 10 Commandments. He is a fascinating man whose energy and pas- sion is contagious. Miles said these ex- perts do meet together and make agreements about the way it has to be, not by pro forma vote, but by consensus. The exclusion is subtle (not necessarily) but the effect is the same. Let someone with new evidence arrive, like Galileo (Tutta's Take uses him as an example) and his lifestyle and career may be in jeopardy. New PhDs will likely not get hired by a university ff they disagree with its establishment. Partic- ularly notable is the bias of many Egyptolo- gists and archeologists against Biblical history. I could be wrong by Ray Wolbrecht Many say the Exodus from Egypt is a fanta- sy because there's no proof it ever happened because the Egyptians never wrote about it. But it did happen.And there is evidence that they wandered for 40 years in northwest SaudiArabia, not the Sinai Peninsula. Try getting these biased persons to accept that new evidence, It's like pulling teeth. This majority rule was exemplified when, in a social setting, I asked a psychotherapist 'what is the current thought about flying dreams. I was interested because I've had so many of them, from the Peter Pan flying to dunking a basketball from the free throw line. How I loved therrd Anywa~ this psychotherapist began with, "We think," telling me that a consensus- a de facto vote - had been formed among experts. Shirley McLaine would say flying dreams were astral projections, out of body experiences. Now where would she fit in at a Psychology convention? So I overstated this thing about a formal vot- ing on the truth. Teach me a lesson. But the majority rules just the same. And they write the textbooks. Only when they die off and younger ones replace them does new evidence stand a chance. So I think Tutta and I are both right. I acqui- esce to the accusation that I was loose with the facts. Maybe I oughta get with Dan Rather next time. Iwon't argue about how difficult it is to change the mind of an expert, although experts aren't alone in this. Firm ideas are characteristic of human life. That said, not all ideas are created equal. There are bodies of knowledge that exist. Civilization's signature is the holding, adding to, and passing down of knowledge, is it not? "Experts" (from the Latin "to try") are those who devote years or decades to study, research, and raw-fist- ed debate in trying to understand and learn more. They know the discoveries that came before, mistakes already made, markers understood and not yet understood, and theories proposed. Do experts know ev- erything? Certainly not, but it isn't surprising that they aren't overly impressed when some- one waltzes in with a half-baked idea based on random thought and misinformation. Take Ray, who seems not to recog- nize himself as being among the experts he denounces. My guess is that on his first day of dental school, he wasn't tossed into a roomful of patients and told to try out his own ideas on them. Years of study, observation, supervision and exams formed and informed his ideas about mouths and teeth. That subject I know nothing about, so when Ray became a dentist I deferred to him about present' and future implications of dental complexities. His order for a root canal wasn't exactly thrilling, but I didn't consult Shirley Maclain for an opinion, fine actress though Tutta's Take by WyneRe Ba~on she is. I had it done, and now a trouble-flee tooth owes its long life to an expert. Ray spoke of Miles ]ones, who wrote a book about finding the original 10 Command- ments. Not kidding. The original copy. ]ones may be charm- ingly enthusiastic; however, most people who are considered experts in the field be- lieve he was duped by a forgery. Among other problems, photos of the stone he acquired showYHWH, the Hebrew designation for God, to be incor- rectly written, only very slightly, but something an expert would notice right away. Moses, too, no doubt. Naturally it's embar- rassing to be fooled, especially after distrib- uting a book about it. That might eventually be forgiven by the academic community. What won't be forgiven is his refusal to con- cede that his "find" may well be a fake. The last I heard, he hadn't allowed serious schol- ars to examine it, years after he announced the discovery. That may have changed, but at the very least it calls into question his judgment and ability to learn from those who know more than he does. So back to ideas, experts and slow, te- diously careful change. Sometimes that holds us back; and some- times it keeps us out of the tar pits. Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: Opinions: 113 W. Center St., Kyle, TX 78640 512-268-7862 Publisher Reporters Proofreaders Cyndy Slovak-Barton Samantha Smith Jane Kirkham News and Sports Editor Moses Leos III Columnists Bartee Haile, Pauline Tom, Chris Winslow, Clint Younts Marketing Director Tracy Mack Marketing Specialist James Darby, Daniela Arriaga Production Manager David White Production Assistant Christine Thorpe Circulation/Classifieds David White Distribution Gabe Ornelas Tanya Ornelas + tl