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Evansville, Indiana
July 16, 1993     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana July -- Perspective-- Our words achieve a life of their own It was one of the dumbest things I ever did. The days and dates are not clear in my mind, but the feeling of having done something stupid is still with me. It is not in my head, but somewhere in my gut, where I remember things like that. My older brother, back from a hitch in the U.S. Army, had brought home a reel-to-reel tape recorder. It was a Phillips, I re- call, a model made in Europe. It was the occasion of much fun and wonder. For example, my brother se- cretly recorded our table conversation one day. It was amazing. Everybody seemed to agree on an impossible characteristic of the recording. "It sounds just like you, but I don't sound like that." Everybody in the family thought the same way. One day, when no one else was around, I did something I should not have done. I gave in to this new electronic temptation. I played with my brother's tape recorder. I unwound the power cord, and plugged it in. I turned on the switch as I had seen my brother do it. Then I pushed the lever to "Play." Reels started turning, just the way they had done for my brother. So far, so good. By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDR'OR I pushed the lever to "Stop" and it stopped. Then came the big challenge: I turned it on "Record" and said "Hello" into the micro- phone. The recording indicator light flashed its brilliant acknowl- edgment. I gingerly tried "Rewind" and played back my "Hello." It really did not sound like me -- since I had spoken too loud and too close and my voice was distorted. I spoke normally the next time, and the indicator light flick- ered much more gently. I don't re- member what I said, but I kept on talking for a moment or two. I even tried to sing -- something I had never done in the presence of another person since I had been embarrassed once in the second grade. I knew I could erase the tape after I listened to it, so I wasn't worried about anyone else hear- ing me. Dumb idea. What I had not learned was that it doesn't take very much tape to record a minute's worth of something -- but that a lot of tape flies through the system when you put it on "Rewind" or "Fast Forward." I rewound the tape for about a minute or two, and turned it on play. There was nothing 4 there -- at least there was nothing on the tape at that point. My recording was somewhere on i reel -- but I couldn't find it. I tried "fast forward"  but the faster I tried i to find the recorded spot, the more uncertain of :: its location I became. My words were somewhere on that tape  clear evidence that I had played with the machine without my brother s knowl- : edge or permission. I didn't think he angry  since I hadn't hurt anything  but what was it I had said? How stupid did I sound? A little anger I could take. Embarrassment' was unbearable. I had to put the machine away knowing that some day my brother would hear : what I had said  maybe. Two thoughts struck me as I recalled cident. Our own words, once spoken, sometimes achieve a kind of life of their own. If they are words of praise, or words of scorn, they lift or beat down another person long after they have left our own mouths. Once we speak we have lost a certain amount of control over where they will end up. 'n God's word has also become alive, reveah g so much love for us that it is almost em ing. Or it would be, for me. Have I listened lately? Have you?  : :  Washington Welfare reformers find no one likes the present BY NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN meant to illustrate that the Catholic News Service support for fulfilling Clin- ton's campaign promise to ., ,.WASLUNGTO,NCNS), ..... 'end welfare as we know-it" When members, of President  is, strongest among those who 'Clinton's welfar reform task ' benefit. from the $22 billio 'force met in July with partici- pants in Project Indepen- dence, a program to help resi- dents of Prince George's County, Md., get off welfare, :they got more than they bar- : gained for. "We asked what about wel- fare drives them nuts, and we were lucky to get out of that room alive," said Bruce Reed, deputy assistant to the presi- dent for domestic policy and co-chair of the task force, for- really called the Working Group on Welfare Reform, F;mliv Support and |ndepm> The working group was formed to follow up on Clin- ton's pledge to reform wel- fare, a system that Catholic observers and many others would like to see revamped. Reed's joking remark at a 'July 8 press conference was The MESSAGE ' 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published week/y except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pusher .............. Bop Gef A. Gettenger E ............................................. p ertising .................................... Paul Nevnd Stafff  ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2rid class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- t number 843800. Postmuler: Return POD forms 3579 to Off'e of Publcation C.,opy 1993 C, aShic Prow of E i i i iii joint federal-stateprogram. ' "They applauded our ef- forts to change the welfare system as we know it because they don't like it anymore than we do," said Reed. "The people who hate it most are the ones in the sys- tem," echoed David Ellwood, another co-chair and assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Ser- vices. The two (:o-chairs -- who will be joined by a third c:,- chair when Mary }o Bane is confirmed as HftS assistant secretary for children and families -- head a group made up of 28 government of- ficials from eight agencies and the White House. The task force is divided into nine issue groups Priestless Sundays To the Editor: While the time has come to plan priestless Sundays, it is well past the time to talk about a married clergy. The question Father Dilger poses in his July 2 Commentary, "Is it better to adhere to a law when it is clear that adher- ence to such a law defeats the purpose of a greater law?", gives us all something to think about, pray about and talk about. Jeanette B. Knapp , Evansville NAFTA To the Editor:. " I charged with developing background information and policy options in specific areas -- "making work pay," child support, absent parents, transitional support, post- transitional work, child care, program simplification, pri- vate-sector job creation, and prevention/family stability. The last group's goal is to "ensure that efforts to prevent out-of-wedlock births and family break-up are given pri- ority in the reform plan," ac- cording to a fact sheet from the task force. By "making work pay,," the group means creating eco- nomic incentives to encour- age work over welfare and fi- nancial sp, pport for the working poor. such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The working group has scheduled hearings for Aug. 11 in Chicago and Aug. 19 in Washington, and also plans to hear testimony about wel- fare in New Jersey, California and Tennessee. Over the years our large corporations have convinced our government that they could no longer compete with cheap foreign labor. Through their powerful lobbies they have had laws passed that gave them incentives to move their factories to countries with cheap labor. Now they are multinational corpora- tions. They have their foreign factories with cheap labor. These same corporations that used to provide jobs and pay taxes in our country want our elected servants to do them one more favor. They want them to vote in favor of NAFTA. This will allow them to bring their foreign made See LETTERS page 10 "We want to look at what works, to get outside Wash- ington and talk to some real people," said Reed.  Etlwood' outlined the four primary goals of thelwelfate reform envisioned by Clinton -- making work pay, enforc- ing child support, providing education and training, and creating a transitional system followed by work. "Both the left and right agree that reinforcing work has to be the starting point of welfare reform, not an after- thought," he said. Much media attention has focused on the punitive as- pects of Clinton's expe(:ted welfare reform plan  a two- year limit on benefits  and not on the other goals. Ell- wood said. The Li.S. Catholic bishops support efforts at lint)roving child support enforcement and education and training, but have opposed attempts in various states to cut off bene- fits after a specific time pe- riod. "Our goal is not to tinker to change a few rules here and few limits there," said Ellwood. "We want to change the system in a comprehen- sive way. Our orientation, rather than trying to tighten up on the current system, is to find a genuine The working 1 to present a plan to Clinton by this 'fa: related prop in the works. Expansion of come Tax Credit, a able tax credit for heads of families, has passed the House anC and is awaiting c committee ac long-delayed healtl form plan will go a toward reversing major disincentives off welfare  the loss 0 ical coverage. The welfare reform that they won't bogged down by the tions of secrecy an missed deadlines plagued the health c{ form task force he first lady Hillary Clinton. !Letters Bishop's sche The following activities and events are listed 011 0 schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger.