Newspaper Archive of
The Clarendon Enterprise
Clarendon, Texas
May 10, 2007     The Clarendon Enterprise
PAGE 2     (2 of 10 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 2     (2 of 10 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
May 10, 2007

Newspaper Archive of The Clarendon Enterprise produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2023. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

The Clarendon Enterprise May 10, 2007 WARNING: The following column is an editorial (i.e. an opinion, a point of view) and may contain ideas with which some readers may freely disagree. It could be harmfut to liberals, socialists, and other small mammals. Read at your own dsk. orln our ers on The boys and girls in Austin have gone too far this time. They've crossed the line and transgressed into an area that should be sacred. They have sold out and sunk to a new low. Not that it should surprise anyone. There is an old saying attrib- uted to a New Yorker named Gideon Tucker: "No man--s life, liberty, or property is safe when the Legislature is in session. In Texas, we've found Tuck- editor's er's observation to be largely but last week the Texas commentary true; House of Representatives went by roger esdack /F a step further and decided to mess with the heritage of all Texans and make a little change to the Texas Pledge of Allegiance. Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) decided the words "under God" needed to be added to the Pledge. The immediate thoughtful response to this news was to wonder where such a revision might be placed. "Honor the Texas Flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible." You don't just stick "under God" in there in any way that it makes sense. But Riddle thought of everything apparently. In her omnipotent wisdom, she determined that the Texas Pledge should go this way: "Honor the Texas Flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God and indivisible" The HOUSTON CHRONICLE reported that Riddle said she was trying to mirror the national pledge. "The national pledge is an indicator of what and who we are as a nation," Riddle said. Well, so it is. But shouldn't the Texas Hedge be an indicator of who we are as Texans, not just some "mirrcr" of another pledge? The simple inclusion of "under God" is offensive because ii is not so simple. It requires that the nature of the pledge itself be changed by adding the word "state." A true Texan knows that Texas is a state in the American union, but that same true Texan does not think of his homeland as just one of the 50 states. A true Texan thinks of Texas as its own nation with its own culture, its own beliefs, and its own brand of Lone Star independence. A real Texan knows that the Capitol in Austin is taller than the Capitol in Washington, DC; the San Jacinto Monument is taller than the Washington Mon- ument, and the Texas Flag can be flown at the same height as the American Flag. And a true Texan believes - at least occasionally - that Texas would be better off if it were still its own Republic. To reduce Texas to being just a "one state" reflec- tion of the nation is unthinkable, and it calls into ques- tion the patriotism of Rep. Riddle as a Texan for trying to subjugate our culture under the American yolk. The Texas Pledge was written into law in 1933 and originally went: "Honor the Texas Flag of 1836 " tt referred to the wrong flag - the present Texas Flag was adopted in 1839 - and was corrected in 1965. But the essence of the Pledge itself was not changed - honoring the national flag of Texas. One might think that the Texas Legislature would have better things to do. Texas has lots of problems - a lack of adequate funding for community colleges, for example. Or maybe we should get busy trying to mirror the nation in terms of teacher pay or Medicaid funding for nursing homes. But rather than focus on issues that could acre- ally better the lives and the economic conditions of all Texans, the right-wingers in the Capitol choose to focus on other priorities. For Riddle, that's the Pledge of Allegiance, which to her was apparently flawed. Or maybe she just hoped to score some political points by padding her religious rdsumr. Of course things don't get passed with just one vote. Riddle's bill passed the House 124-12 and picked up 98 co-sponsors, including our own Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa). The bill's fate now lies in the Senate where it is unlikely that the Republican dominated chamber will stand up for our tried and true Pledge. Riddle's bill is just a sad commentary on our times. It's another example of getting a bunch of poli- ticians so caught up in the idea of looking good super- ficially that they forget to actually think about what they're doing. It's how Texas has gotten into the TAKS test mess that gives ulcers to fourth graders and dumbs down our educational system to have the highest percentage of students meet the "minimum" standards. It's how Con- gress curtailed liberty throughout the Union by being afraid to vote against something with the red, white, and blue name of the Patriot Act. This bill - like many others this session - should have never been introduced. It should have never gotten out of committee, and it certainly never should have passed the House by a landslide. It overturns tra- dition and tarnishes the image of the Lone Star. Riddle and her compadres should remember two things. First, Texas is like a whole other country; and secondly, don't mess with it. The same goes for our Pledge. It doesn't need to mirror anything, and it doesn't need fixing. It belongs only to Texas - one and indivisible. By U.S. Sen. John Cornyn On May 13, families across Texas celebrate the annual rite of Mother's Day, a day to honor an irreplaceable person in each of our lives. It's a recognition we would do well to extend to every day of the year. Mother's Day is an opportunity to reflect on just how much we love and owe the woman who gave us life and raised us. Children traditionally dust kitchens with pancake mix in preparation for mom's well-deserved breakfast in bed. As I travel around Texas, I see the e.ssential family work being done by moth- ers, some of whom have earned the title through adoption. I have come to see that Mother's Day has a special meaning for women who have decided to enrich their lives by providing a child with a loving family. Adoption is not easy, It can be legally complicated, fraught with risk and poten- tial disappointment. But Texans are opti- mistic and generous. They give freely and are enriched by their generosity of spirit.: Adoptive parents know that achieving- great joy for themselves and others often requires taking a risk and making sacri- rices. They are more than willing to do so. It's worth remembering: "We should not be asking who this child belongs to, but who belongs to this child." Drs. Larry Anderson and Sasha Vnkelja of Tyler found they belonged to a young Russian orphan from St. Petersburg who visited East Texas as part of a Chris- tian exchange program. Boris and nine other orphans first came to Tyler in 2003 for the "Miracle of Christmas Tour," sponsored by the Night- light Christian Foundation. Following their "vacation" in Tyler, most of the children in the group were adopted by local families. "It's really like he's always been a part of our family," Dr. Vukelja said. "He's cer- tainly brought so much joy. We just think lie's a mirad " ' Americans!a opt more children from t'oreign coun b,s than the citizens of all other com tries Combined. The number of children Americans have adopted from foreign countries has doubled 0ver the past decade~i- No~:jmatter where adopted children come fror~, the act of adoption itself repre- sents the '/'alue that Americans place on the worth bf each human life. There are many ways to pursue this noble idea, including domestic public agencies, private adoptions, or interna- tional adoptions. The lives of all children must be cherished andProtected regardless of their place of birth or circumstances. Another way of helping children is by providing them a safe and stable home while they await adoption. Mother's Day provides a perfect opportunity to recognize and thank the women in our lives who provide the love, cam, and nurture that no else can, na "onal Fidel Castro's political inspiration, the philosopher Karl Marx, was fight about very few things; but he was correct when he observed: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce?' It's a farce that Castro's successor as leader of the Latin on Earth. Like Castro, who partnered with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, President ,movement, the Venezu- Chavez is making capitol elan dictator Hugo Chavez, seems poised common cause with to repeat all of Castro's mistakes - which is America's enemies c0mment bad news for the people of Venezuela and - including the by sen. kay bailey butchison also for the people of the United States. world's largest state On May 1, President Chavez r~,n his sponsor of terrorism, the government of latest, and most ominous, scheme out Iran. Earlier this year, he met with Iranian of the Castro playbook by nationalizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and multi-billion dollar heavy oil fields in the revealed plans for a $2 billion joint fund, Orinoco Belt. This energy-rich region part of which will be used as a "mechanism southeast of Caracas has so much energy for liberation" against American allies. potential that some experts claim it could President Chavez hopes that the profits give the country more oil reserves than from the Orinoco Belt will flood his coffers Saudi Arabia. By seizing the Orinoco Belt for other foreign adventures; but by assert- with armed soldiers, President Chavez is ing government control over this coveted consolidating his political power within region, he is actually killing the golden Venezuela and increasing his ability to goose that feeds his socialist-inspired rsvp- manipulate global oil markets, lution. The strongman rules an oil-rich nation President Chavez's national oil corn- that accounts for 14 percent of America's pany, Petroleous de Venezuela, has already oil imports, and he's promised to use his shown signs of stress from the dictator's "strong oil card" to "finish off the U.S. constant political interference. Despite empire" - even if that means colluding record oil prices that should be a boon for With Some of the most nefarious regimes the industry, the company has been forced to accumulate a rapid increase in debt to pay for a doubling of"social development" spending. Meanwhile, its spending on energy exploration and production badly trails its global peers. In addition, the Orinoco Belt pro- nOuncement has made Exxon,ConocoPhil- lips, and' other energy companies extremely cautious about putting their employees and billions of dollars in assets under Venezu- elan management and for good reason. If President Claavez continues to adopt the Castro economic model, the greatest victims will be the Venezuelan people. The people of America will suffer consequeree8 too. According to some economists, every time oil prices rise by 10 percent, on average, 150,000 Americans lose their jobs. We have the resources to achieve energy independence: the resources under- neath our land and water, and the best resource of all, the ingenuity of our free, creative minds. President Chavez is a tremendous challenge to America's energy future; but if we choose to be proactive and decisive, it can be a great opportunity to create a stron- ger, safer America in the world. We still have time to write our own history. line sire By Todd Stottlemyer You could hear the sighs of relief as millions of tax returns were dropped at post offices across the land; another tax deadline has come and gone. But at the same time, many taxpayers were left scratching their heads, wondering why filing a return is so hard. Certainly small-business owners are wondering. According to an NFIB Research Foundation Small Business Poll on Tax Complexity and the IRS, 88 percent of small-employer taxpayers used a tax professional to prepare their most recent federal tax return. For those employers who employ 20 or more people, the per- centage increased to 95 percent. Nearly 27 percent admit that the laws and require- ments are just too complex for them to do their own taxes. The two reasons small-employer tax- payers most frequently cited for using tax professionals are to assure that they prop- erly comply with tax laws, and the sheer ral i complexity of the law. Only about one in; four report that they even try to understand the law. Other provisions that small-employer taxpayers most frequently rely on their tax professional to understand for them include the amounts subject to self-employment tax, capital gains or losses on investments, and the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT was originally intended to ensure that the extremely wealthy pay at least some tax, but will affect approximately 23.4 million Americans this year. Of course, every dollar that a small- business owner has to pay a professional is a dollar that can't be invested in growing the business or providing employees with better pay or benefits. Reforming or repeal: ing the AMT would be a big step Congress could take to keep small-business owners from having to figure their taxes twice. But there are some easy things that Congress can do to help simplify the code and the many forms required for a tax return. Cxeating a standard deduction for' use of a home office would allow more small businesses to take advantage of the deduction that they're entitled to, but don't because it's too hard to calculate under current law. At the same time, simplifying Schedule C to make the.form more user- friendly would benefit the self-employed and sole proprietors, as well as encourag- ing better compliance with the tax laws. You may remember that the Internal Revenue Service was forced to change its ways in the mid-90s after a Senate inves- tigation spotlighted numerous eases of taxpayerl;abuse. Those effort appear to be paying off, as 53 percent of small-business taxpayers report that their dealings with the IRS were either "generally" or +'very" sat- isfactory. Simplifying the tax code would go along way toward ensuring that the two sides maintain good relatiOns. To Id Sto~Jemyer is presldent and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business in Washington, D.C. E~f&fS~ise 129th Year, Series 25, Vol. XVIII, No. 21 E12.11 The Clareml~n Enterprise (USPS 947040, ISSN 1088-9698) is published each Thursday by Roger A. Estlack at 105 S. Kearney Street, Clarendon, Texas 79226-1110. Periodicals postage paid at Clarendon, Texas 79226-1110. Copyright@ 2007. All rights reserved. This paper's first duty is to print all the news that is fit to pdnt, honestly and fairly to all, unbiased by any consideration even its own editorial opinion, Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing, or reputation of any person, firm, or corporation which may occur in the columns of The Clarendon Enterprlae will be gladly cor- rected upon being brought to the attention of the management. ENTERPRISE STAFF Publisher & Editor Office Director Copy Editor Distribution Reporter/Ad Sales Guardian Roger A. Estlack Ashlee Estlack Helen Estlack Anndrla Kldd Julle Funderburg Allen H. Estlack CORRESPONDENTS HawardwickI Peggy Cockerham Clarendon Sports I Sandy Andorberg Hedley Sports I Tangela Copelln Hedley Photos I Karl Undsey Outdoor Sports [ Gary Dzledzlc COLUMNISTS Life's Lessons I Cards Tlppen CONTACT US Phone 806.874.2259 Fax 806.874.2423 E-Mail news@clarendononllne.com INTERNET EDITION www.ClerendonOnllne.com ADVERTISING Open Display rates are $4.50 per SAU column inch. Classified Ads are $7 for the first 15 words and 12 per word for each additional word (Boxes or special typography are extra.). Thank You Notes are $9 for the first 40 words and 12 per word for each addittional word. Basic engagement, wedding, anniversary, and birth announcements are $10 each. Expanded wed- ding announcements are $20. A one-column announcement picture is $5, and a two-column announcement picture is $10, Pictures submit- ted for publication should be picked up within ten days after publication. DEADLINES New= artl lu and pictures are due by Monday at noon. Advertising should be submitted by five o'clock Monday afternoon. Deadlines may be altered for holidays or special issues, SUBSCRIPTIONS Annual ~lx~r|la~lose are available for $20 for zip codes inside Donley County, $30 elsewhere in Texas, $35 out of state, and $45 in Canada. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: The Clarendon Enterprl~, PO Box 1110, Clarendon, TX 79226.1110. DIgRal Subscrlp- tloem are $9.95 per year. LETTERS Letters to the editor are always welcome. Views expressed in letters are those of the writers and do not necessadly reflect the views of the editor or staff of The Clarendon Enterprise. Submis- sion of a letter does not guarantee publication of that letter. Letters may be edited for gram- mar. style, or length. All letters must be signed and must include an address and telephone number for verification purposes. To improve your chances for publication, type and double space your letter, stick to one main topic, and keep R brief. No letters will be accepted from candidates for local political offices. Letters submitted to this newspaper become the prop- erty of The Enterprlae and cannot be returned. The Texas Panhandle's First Newspaper TH~ CUmr~DON NEws, established June 1, 1878 with which have merged: Ths Clsrsndon Traveler, February 1889; The Clsrendon Joumsl, November 1891; The Banner-Stockman, October 1893; The /qgltst~, February 1899; The Clarendon Tlmas, May 1908; The Denisy County Leader, March 12, 1929; ~ P.~rendo~ Press, May 18, 1972; and The CisreBles Fattetpd=e, March 14, 1996. Mmber 200? National Newspaper Association Texas Press Association West Texas Press Association Panhandle Press Association I ASSOCIATION | BETIER NEWSPAPER CONTEST ! AWARD WINNER [ YOU are reading The Cleremlon Enterprise - Hailed as an "Award Winner" by the Texas Better Newspaper Contest for nine consecu- tive years.