The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 07, 1983, Image 2

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

February 7,
By Jim Earle
“He claimed that it violated his right to privacy because I
knew his grades. Does he have a case if I’m his teacher?”
Reagan’s world
of high technology
by Maxwell Glen
and Cody Shearer
Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union
message might as well have originated
from Disney World’s Carousel of Prog
ress as well as from Washington’s House
of Representatives. Ronald Reagan
seemed more interested in the promises
of tomorrow than the problems of today.
..“In almost every, haint^a11d workplace in
'America, we are already witnessing ... the
'first flowering of the manmade miracles
'of high technology,” Reagan said. Unfor-
'tunately, the president may never more
^than sense the future.
- By proposing a freeze on federal
‘spending (meaning further cuts in social
• programs), the president would reduce
• our nation’s capacity to lay a new indust-
T rial base for the future. With his 1984
• budget are sure to come reductions in
'human-capital programs that would
>form the very foundation of high
-technology development.
• No natural evolution will produce a
-shift to a safe and happy computerworld.
-Enormous costs are involved in re-
leducating and restraining of workers for
'high-tech employment. California and
‘Massachusetts are prominent leaders in
‘this area, in part, because high tax bases
'support superb education and health ser-
' vice institutions which, in turn, breed and
•attract talented people. Only in this en
vironment will high-tech businesses
• “Aside from some of the rhetorical re-
• ferences to high tech in his speech,” said
• Robert Reich, an economist at Harvard
- University, “there was no sense as to how
• we get from today’s world to the high
-tech world of tomorrow. In reality, the
- president was locking the door to high
- technology.”
- According to Reich, the government
- must provide job training for those in
- threatened occupations, and provide in-
• centives to develop new businesses in re-
~ gions hurt most by unemployment. Only
then will passage to the promised land be
Indeed, the record shows that private
industry won’t underwrite the develop
ment costs without federal help. Boston’s
Digital Equipment Corp. plant, visited by
President Reagan on Wednesday, was
built with funds from the Economic De
velopment Agency (EDA)-as^ well as Bos
ton’s Community Development Corp.
(Reagan began to pha^e out EDA in
1981). No other companies have fol
lowed Digital’s lead in moving to a 40-
acre industrial park in Boston’s Roxbury
“A strong government must be active
in putting up part of the cost of long
term investment in people, in capital, in
new products and processes for high
technology to make it,” added Reich.
“The risks and costs are too high for the
private sector to do it alone.”
No less fascinated by the promises of
microprocessors, the Democratic Party,
in its videotaped response to the presi
dent’s speech, sounded only slightly
more realistic. While proposing strong
commitments to job training and public-
private investment, they embraced a
similarly vague notion of business
“breakthrougns” that would bring about
Of course, even with government
cooperation, microelectronics won’t
solve the unemployment problem.
The W.E. Upjohn Institute for
Employment Research reported this
week that robots will eliminate
13,000 to 24,000 jobs in Michigan while
creating only 5,000 to 18,000 new job
No politician can accurately predict
the future and then prescribe a best
course for a nation. And even Reagan
admitted that “we have a long way to go.”
Yet in the search for high-tech security,
Reagan seems mesmerized by the end
and ignorant of the means.
The Battalion
USPS 045 360
Member ol
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
Editor... Diana Sultenfuss
Managing Editor Gary Barker
Associate Editor Denise Richter
City Editor Hope E. Paasch
Assistant City Editor Beverly Hamilton
Sports Editor John Wagner
Entertainment Editor Colette Hutchings
Assistant Entertainment Editor . . . . Diane Yount
News Editors Daran Bishop, Jennifer
Carr, Elaine Engstrom,
Johna Jo Maurer, Jan Werner,
Rebeca Zimmermann
Staff Writers Maureen Carmody, Frank
Christlieb, Patrice Koranek, John
Lopez, Robert McGlohon, Ann
Ramsbottom, Kim Schmidt, Patti
Schwierzke, Kelley Smith, Angel
Stokes, Tracey Taylor, Joe Tindel
Copyeditors Jan Swaner, Chris
Cartoonist Scott McCullar
Graphic Artists Pam Starasinic
Sergio Galvez
Photographers David Fisher, Jorge Casari,
Ronald W. Emerson, Octavio
Garcia, Rob Johnston, Irene Mees
William Schulz
Editorial Policy
Texas A&M University administrators or faculty mem
bers, or of the Board of Regents.
The Battalion aiso serves as a laboratory newspaper
for students in reporting, editing and photography clas
ses within the Department of Communications.
Questions or comments concerning any editorial
matter should be directed to the editor.
Letters Policy
Letters to the Editor should not exceed 300 words in
length, and are subject to being cut if they are longer.
The editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for
style and length, but will make every effort to maintain
the author’s intent. Each letter must also be signed and
show the address and phone number of the writer.
Columns and guest editorials are also welcome, and
are not subject to the same length constraints as letters.
Address all inquiries and correspondence to: Editor,
The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald, Texas A&M Uni
versity, College Station, TX 77843, or phone (713) 845-
The Battalion is published daily during Texas A&M’s
fall and spring semesters, except for holiday and exami
nation periods. Mail subscriptions are $ 16.75 per semes
ter, $33.25 per school year and $35 per full year. Adver
tising rates furnished on request.
Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald
Building, Texas A&M University, College Statioti, TX
The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting news
paper operated as a community service to Texas A&M
University and Bryan-College Station. Opinions ex
pressed in The Battalion are those of the editor or the
author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of
United Press International is entitled exclusively to
the use for reproduction of all news dispatches credited
to it. Rights of reproduction of all other matter herein
Second class postage paid at College Station, TX
White House media relations
by Norman D. Sandler
United Press International
WASHINGTON — Relations be
tween the White House and the news
media have been on a roller coaster for
years. But at midterm, President Reagan
has raised new questions about their sym
biotic und sometimes combative co
Such questions always are vexing for
two institutions that so depend — and use
— one another.
But deputy White House press secret
ary Larry Speakes himself raised the level
of debate last week by accusing the media
of a “steady denigration of the presi
“My question to you,” Speakes said in
a speech, “is can the modern presidency
survive the modern media?”
Reagan enjoyed a much talked-about
“honeymoon” for much of his first term
— not because reporters went easy on
him, but because he appeared to be mak
ing progress toward the goals of his pres
Well into his second year, Reagan bat
tled Congress on issues ranging from
spending cuts to tax hikes to the sale of
AWACS radar planes — and won.
But all good things must come to an
end. After 20 months, impatience with
policies that failed to end the longest re
cession since World War II and the worst
unemployment since the Depression
weakened Reagan’s political muscle.
His defeats at the end of the 97th
Congress were untimely and compound
ed by Republican losses in the November
As Reagan neared midterm, the
budget process — normally completed by
early January — labored on, beset by in
decision and indications that political
realities would force him to “stray the
course” rather than “stay the course.”
Coupled with a lower approval rating
lower than his predecessors, this pro
duced a rash of critical midterm assess
ments. Reagan complained he was up to
his “keister” with public airings of what
he and his advisers were doing in private.
Even after issuing new guidelines for
contacts with reporters and embarking
on an public relations offensive to show
Reagan as compassionate, concerned
and in control, some in the White House
still complain of a lack of direction.
One aide says decisions about where
Reagan should go and what he should say
are made too hastily. Print reporters
complain, with merit, that the White
House caters to television images in plan
ning Reagan’s outings.
Part of the problem is that Reagan is at
times his own worst enemy. The “Great
Communicator” in fact has been spotty in
his recent speech deliveries, even when
aided by teleprompter.
The other part of the problem is how
the White House handles his gaffes.
The most recent example was his trip
to Boston.
Until minutes before his departure,
Reagan was home free. The network
news would show just what his c
ageshapers wanted: Reagan with blij
job trainees and hoisting a beer inabaij
a workingclass neighborhood. j|
But as he rambled on in responset I
final question from high-tech bi®;
executives, Reagan raised the idei
abolishing the corporate income tax.
The president of the United Sur
who had just sought to demonstrate!
concern for blacks in Roxbury andw,
ing stif fs in Dorchester was suggesij
massive tax relief for corporate Ameril
The off-the-(ul t remark altered!
complexion of the Boston visit. I
White House, sensing political I
first hedged in explaining the reim
then made the mistake of pretendiij
did not exist.
Then Speakes made another
common mistake: He tried to del
attention from Reagan’s own blunder
attacking the media.
Speakes said reporters, know
Reagan made the statement off-the-cii
should have softpeddled the st«
“rather than licking your chops anddi
ping your hands and doing back Oi|t
Speakes has the unenviable
having to face reporters seekingclarifi
lion of Reagan’s impromptu and see
times confusing remarks. But refusing
address them needlessly raises temioi
Perhaps overly protective president
assistants should rely more on Reag
himself to straighten out the tangles
sometimes creates.
©IW-THE CfiUWWX WSpfcTtrt /OfcA
wrm Kpowooitt Tb
learn l
than f
ated t
ie Sh(
ion in
ion m
)f the
ind T
A pile
'he Si
Pray for spring budget thaw
by Dick West
United Press International
WASHINGTON — If a science may
be said to have a “state of the art,” that
phrase surely applies to cryogenics, the
study and theory of low temperature
In President Reagan’s State of the Un
ion message, it was evident the state of
the art had reached the point of freezing
government programs.
But, as has since become clear, the
budget is only one state in which art
dwells. We also have seen cryogenics at
work in international relations.
Just last week, there was a renewed
effort to put Congress on record as favor
ing a nuclear weapons freeze. OPEC
leaders tried to freeze world oil prices.
And from Jerusalem came Prime Minis
ter Menachem Begin’s assertion that
Israel could never freeze Jewish settle
ments in occupied territory.
“It is impossible to freeze the settle
ments as it is impossible to freeze life
itself,” Begin said.
medium-range missiles in Europe, I say it
is equally expedient to freeze the deploy
ment of all freezes. Several benefits
would immediately accrue.
First, and perhaps foremost, freezing
freezes would eliminate the danger of
freeze proliferation, which has
threatened to get out of hand.
Already, in recent days, we have seen a
bipartisan Social Security commission en
dorse a freeze on this year’s cost-ofliving
ing the already complex East-Westi
Admittedly, a freeze on frees
would be a rather drastic measure,
the way the state of the art is expam
zero option may be the only means
avoiding a new Ice Age.
Since some disciples of cryogenics
claim living matter can be preserved for
future use by freezing it, I’m not certain
Begin’s analogy was valid. One upshot is
plain, however.
If Begin doesn’t freeze the settle
ments, the United States may freeze arms
shipments to Israel.
As for me, I favor the “zero option”
If it is prudent for Reagan to insist that
any arms control treaty with Russia in
clude a total ban on deployment of
Meanwhile, Reagan’s proposal to
freeze various social programs has pro
duced counter-moves to freeze segments
of the military budget, which the Penta
gon argues is frost-proof.
What we have here, obviously, is a
rampant case ot Ireezecreep. If con
tinued at current rates, the freeze escala
tion soon will prevade all sections and
levels of national life.
What mainly bothers me, however, is
whether the freeze movement can be
contained within these borders.
When Britain, France, West German,
Japan and other industralized nations
see the United States freezing indiscri
minately, will they not be tempted to
freeze some of their own programs?
A freeze on imports, followed by a
freeze on exports, is one possible de
velopment. Which would play havoc with
world trade.
And if the developed countries start
freezing their programs, will not the so-
called Third World members feel bound
to take emulative action?
I can foresee, for example, a freeze on
non-alignment, thus further complicat-
Berry's World
©1963 by NEA. Inc
"Someday, / want to be like Jim Henson f
President Reagan and create a fantasy mH
level c
:an cl
may b
or fall
he el
md at
ten hi