The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, September 08, 1986, Image 2

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    Page 2/The Battalion/Monday, September 8, 1986
The Battalion
(USPS 045 360)
Member of
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
The Battalion Editorial Board
Cathie Anderson, Editor
Kirsten Dietz, Managing Editor
Loren Steffy, Opinion Page Editor
Frank Smith, City Editor
Sue Krenek, News Editor
Ken Sury, Sports Editor
ated as a community i
Opinions expressed in The Battalion are those of the editorial
board or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions
of T exas A&M administrators, faculty or the Board of Regents.
The Battalion also serves as a laboratory newspaper for students
in reporting, editing and photography classes within the Depart
ment of Journalism.
The Battalion is published Monday through Friday during
Texas A&M regular semesters, except for holiday and examination
Mail subscriptions are $17.44 per semester, $34.62 per school
year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on re
Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald Building,
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
Second class postage paid at College Station, TX 77843.
POSTMAST ER: Send address changes to The Battalion, 216
Reed McDonald, Texas A&M University, College Station TX
Setting standards
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which
is envisioned by a delegation of educators and civic leaders, would es
tablish nationwide teaching standards, a vital step toward improving
the quality of education in the United States.
This delegation, appointed by the Carnegie Forum on Education
and the Economy, has the support of the National Education Asso
ciation and the American Federation of Teachers, the two largest
teacher organizations, and the National Governors Association.
Currently; educational standards and teacher certification re
quirements vary from state to state. But the new board would create
a set of national teaching standards over and above those of the
states. Teachers still could be state-certified, but those who also re
ceive the endorsement of the national panel would receive higher
salaries — perhaps as high as $65,000 or more.
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The board was a central proposal of the Carnegie report calling
for improvement of teachers’ status and increased control over what
they teach. But educators are not the only ones who will be effected
by the new standards. Students also will benefit from higher certifi
cation requirements for teachers. It stands to reason that tougher
qualifications will weed out all but the most qualified teachers.
Numerous vehicles,
create Aggie traffic
bad ha
The new standards will not only measure what is taught in the
classroom but how it is presented. The new assessment methods
won’t be implemented for three to four years, but the long-term im
pact of the board is advantageous for both educators and education.
The ever- in
creasing number
of mopeds, bicy
cles, motorcycles,
cars and people on
campus has cre
ated a traffic
monster that ex
ceeds my most
horrific hallucina
The stricter requirements will help ensure that teachers have
learned their lessons before they teach them.
Anyone who
has tried to ma-
Craig Renfro
Countdown to success
neuver Ross Street at the noon hour, or
any time immediately before or after
classes knows what I’m talking about.
It’s almost impossible to cross because of
a solid wall of human flesh.
After a seven-month losing streak, NASA finally got a rocket off
the ground without a hitch Friday, and space-agency officials hope
this will provide employees with a long-overdue morale boost.
The Delta rocket, carrying a payload of two Strategic Defense
Initiative satellites, was a far cry from the glory of a successful space
shuttle launch. But we hope it marks the start of a countdown to fu
ture successes for the space agency.
Since the Challenger disaster Jan. 28 and the subsequent ground
ing of the shuttle program, the American space industry has experi
enced a barrage of failures involving various booster rockets and sci
entific projects.
The Delta success reminds us of how the space program used to
be, and how it should be still. Let’s hope that NASA can get Ameri
ca’s floundering space effort off the ground again.
These pedestrians have only one
thing in mind — crossing the street no
matter what. They don’t take into con
sideration that traffic is backed up for
miles because they have more important
things to do.
Most pedestrians don’t even use com
mon sense when attempting to cross the
street. They dart out in the middle of
the road regardless of what motor vehi
cle might be bearing down on them, and
then expect the driver to slam on the
brakes because they have the right-of-
I fully understand that pedestrians
do have the right-of-way, but when it
comes to enforcing my rights or being
crushed to smithereens by one ton of
metal cruising at 30 mph, I think my
rights could take a temporary back seat.
I often wonder how many Texas
A&M students are killed while away
from College Station because they walk
out in front of cars. Surely this has hap
pened to some unfortunate soul, imag
ine the grief the parents felt after
spending thousands of dollars on their
child’s education.
People who stop in the middle of the
sidewalk to talk also bother me. The
most flagrant violators are members of
the Corps of Cadets. They are always
“whipping out,” as it is called when an
underclassman sees some upperclass
man and has to run up and give his
name, rank and serial number.
This Geneva Convention-type greet
ing has more than once caused me to al
ter my course of travel, lest I trample
one of these military youth.
The Memorial Student Center is an
other place where large crowds of peo
ple manage to take up half the hallway.
Just once I would like to get on a loud
speaker and tell them to get out of the
way or else. I just hope they would
oblige, because the “or else” could be
However, this is enough harping on
pedestrians. There are other flagrant vi
olators of traffic rules — namely bicycles
and mopeds. These blazing idiots roam
about the campus at speeds of 15-20
mph zipping in and out of people and
often times narrowly avoiding the big
crash. Some of these people must have a
deathwish the size of Alaska because
many times they are the same people
who cause these near catastrophes.
More than once during mysta
fine University a brisk breeze hi
up the back of my shirt after
these two-wheeled maniacs flew
on the sidewalk. I could feel the
their tires as the hair on myi
sucked into the spokes. Foi
these experiences occurred sofa
didn’t have time to realize how p
mv situation was.
t acts.
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the Capitol,
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and Lubbc
■ 1987 Legisk
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something . i m l and totalb unckB Rep
ristic of my otherwise cheerful diemi; a memb
kic k one of those hikers right Wits means mo
frame and send them tumbungB^g; it means
sidewalk. However. I don’t thinkl®*’ meet nevv
stoop to such animalistic beha':® a / e J*°^ s * 1 ‘P
i , ,i i n Jdf Cox,
U-.m without theinfluence« d J e s
min.l boggling substance, bea«rk White, pu
have seen what happens. whcnBbr the Singii
meets concrete. H-male group, e
It is not a pretty sight. St
shredded, the hike is mangled
blood trickles from the kneecaps
ing it difficult to walk the nexidt
to mention making ugly scabstb
crease your chances oi getting ad*
This is probably enough of this
ing and raving because no matter*
say people will continue to act like®
and play “Frogger” with theirlife
Of course, I don’t indudent'*
any of these traffic abomination
cause I drive a motorcycle.
Craig Renfro is a senior
major and a columnist for The E 00 Q P‘
Caution: misinterpretation ahead
of Worn
Here is the line
the avant-garde is
taking on the
Sandinistas. It is
all laid out in the
rolling, witty prose
of the suave anti-
American Irish
man Conor Cruise
O’Brien. O’Brien
previously served
as vice chancellor
of the University
William F.
of Ghana. Before that he was a func
tionary of the United Nations, active in
anti-American activity on all interna
tional fronts, taking extracurricular
time to defend Alger Hiss and defame
Whittaker Chambers. He is back now,
taking pretty much the Soviet line on
the Sandinistas. In a big piece in The
Atlantic called “God and Man in Nicara
gua,” he is telling us what to think about
our policy in opposing the Sandinistas.
The line is:
1. The Sandinista movement is 100
percent nationalist, anti-imperialist and
2. The Christianity of the Sandinistas
is incorporated in their motto, “El Dios
de Los Pobres” — the God of the Poor.
He is to be distinguished from the regu
lar God of Latin Americans, who is the
God of the Rich.
3. When Pope John Paul II visited Ni
caragua three years ago, he committed a
terrible blunder by publicly castigating
Lather Ernesto Cardenal, the Sandinis
tas’ minister of culture, while aligning
himself with Cardinal Obando y Bravo,
the outspoken critic of the Sandinistas.
4. The Sandinistas have absolutely no
intention of becoming a Soviet satellite.
In the event that this should happen,
why, the blame clearly will be that of
Ronald Reagan for supporting the Con
tra movement.
All clear now?
Recent data from Nicaragua docu
ment that the standard of living there
has fallen to approximately 50 percent
of the economic level of life under for
mer President Anatasio Somoza. Why
should that be? Well, President Daniel
Ortega just has completed a tour of the
United States in which he gives the rea
son for such reversals. Any country that
has to fight a civil war backed by the
United States obviously has to give first
priority to the war for independence. It
is not explained why this should have
been necessary given that the United
States actively supported a) the over
throw of Somoza, and b) the Sandinista
government — until it became univer
sally clear that the Sandinista movement
had been taken over by Marxist-Lenin-
The Sandinistas proceeded to insti
tute a repressive government impeded
only by the great defections of original
Sandinistas. These deserted the
movement when it became obvious that
it was bent not on instituting personal
liberty, political democracy and eco
nomic progress, but Marxist militarism.
It became clear even to economically
shortsighted observers that the God of
the Poor, under the Sandinistas, was en
gaged in multiplying poverty. The only
economic accomplishment Marxist so
cialism is capable of is the elimination of
the wealthy and the middle class. If God
is involved in helping the poor in Nica
ragua, there are unmistakable grounds
here for religious agnosticism.
The line tells us that religious perse
cution in Nicaragua is a trivial thing: It
is directed merely at persecuting overt
enemies, of the , Sandinista movement,
such as Cardinal Obando. Since O’Bri
en’s piece appeared, the Sandinistas ex
pelled Bishop Pable Antonio Vega. The
leaders of the Catholic Church in Nica
ragua are not permitted to publish even
the sermons they deliver. And, as we all
know, the principal anti-Somoza organ
of the revolution, La Prensa, is now shut
down. The country is under martial law,
President Ortega slavishly supports the
Soviet line in all international affairs,
travels to the Soviet Union for counsel
and receives huge military shipments
from Cuba, Eastern Europe and the So
viet Union with the aim not only of de
fending Nicaragua from the Contras,
but of exporting its revolution to neigh
boring countries.
While it is true that there is much
popular support for the Sandinistas
within Nicaragua, this should not sur
prise any cosmopolitan observer of this
century’s awful record of public support
for tyrants. Ortega is as popular with
Nicaraguans as Hitler was popular with
Germans, Stalin with Russians, Mao
with Chinese, Peron with Argentines.
That Ortega has been shrewd enough to
co-opt God for his sordid enterprises
perhaps adds blasphemy to his sins, but
blasphemy is a trivial offense for a ty
rant routinely engaged in torture, geno
cide, the suppression of civil rights and
military aggression.
But that is the line, carefully culti
vated to appeal to exactly the same weak
of mind who appeased Castro and, be
fore him, Mao, Stalin and Hitler.
Copyright 1986, Universal Press Syndicate
Mail Call
A healthy tradition
I write in reply to Mark Ude’s column, “A&M traditions are moretha
outdated customs.” Ude, in his conclusion, states: “The major traditional
events which mark the school year still remain because they have moreth
tradition holding them up.” Indeed, the bases upon which rest the major
traditions at A&M consist of more than tradition itself, but Ude fails to
mention, if not recognize, a point of relevant significance. One can defend'
tradition, if not deleterious, on the grounds of tradition alone.
Each generation cannot solve anew all the world’s problems, nor can
each, by itself, reach that high attainment called civilization — an attainmeff
higher than, in the words of Edmond Burke, “the gross animal existenceof
temporary and perishable nature.” Traditions, even when they havener
profound or sublime bases, are of great worth because they help us
remember these things. They provide a means of coherence between
generations past, present, and future. They encourage us to look at the
institutions and ways of those who preceded us and determine whetherwe
should maintain, modify, eradicate or even restore them, for the benefit of
both the present and the future. (Civilization, note, is a partnership that
includes future generations).
A&M places upon tradition a heavy emphasis. Though some traditions
adhered to in the past no longer exist, others have continued for generation
Certain others are but a few years old. While some traditions here boast not
origins, a reason we in fact have so many traditions at A&M is that those who
came before us recognized the positive role of tradition. Heed the wisdom^
those old Ags, who know' that a tradition of tradition is a healthy tradition in
Andrew H. Pendleton
Class of’88
Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words in length. The editorial staff reserves thenf
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Each letter must be signed and must include the address and telephone number oil he writer