The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 12, 1991 · Page 10
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September 12, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 10

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Thursday, September 12, 1991
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i Thursday, September 12, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER CommentA-11 Little progress made in cancer-survival rate Readers' views Why not tackle the real obstacle, the unfortunate practice of taxing property owners in ever-increasing doses? At present, I am supporting the public school system with over three-fourths of my real-estate taxes. This is truly an outrage. I am on a limited income and this is a hardship. Not only that, but I have no school-age children. There should be other tax avenues (a sales tax where all citizens share the cost) explored for these monies, or these levies are doomed to continued failure. MRS. ROBERT B. ADAMS 1329 Edwards Road. Friday, the 13th Tomorrow is Friday, the 13th. Have no fear. Our country, the United States of America, was actually founded on No. 13: 13 colonies, 13 states, 13 stars and 13 stripes (flag), 13 berries, 13 leaves, 13 arrows and 13 clouds (presidential seal). And certainly the best country in the world. EDWIN SIDNEY VINNELL 1618 Gage Drive Middletown. reason for writing is more emotional. As a mother of two biracial children, I have always taught them that we are all human, with feelings and a heart. No two people are ever exactly alike on the outside. That was God's plan, and he had a reason for it. Also, I have taught them that they have certain physical characteristics which, by definition, make them black. I feel that if we are to have any special category for these children, it should be "blest." They have the ability to walk freely without fear of the unknown the universal basis for most prejudice. They have the fortune of the family and friends of both parents and learn only to love, not to judge or to hate. They learn both the ignorance and the bliss of all individuals, and are able to get valuable insight from many mentors. I also feel very strongly that to teach these blest children that they are anything other than black would be to do them a major injustice since, unfortunately, we live in a society that won't allow any of us to be anything other than what the eye can perceive. MARY C. YOUNG 925 Marion Ave. School taxes Your editorial "Schools" (Aug. 26) praised the individuals who made private contributions to allow the Powell contract to finally be concluded. I too praise these public-minded citizens for their generous gift. Your comments included, "The friends of public education can resume their work with the certainty that one more obstacle to their success has been removed." not the best person for this job. He is not the best black available. He could never fill a Thurgood Marshall's shoes. He lacks the character. MARIAN A. SPENCER 940 Lexington Ave. Bush acts up President Bush's callous response to the ACT-UP demonstrators (Sept. 3) shows his unwillingness to try to understand the needs of this group. Bush claims he believes in prevention as a means of halting the spread of AIDS. Yet he opposes federal funding of clean-needle exchanges and has not instituted a national AIDS education program for schoolchildren. Instead, he referred to "behavioral change" as a means of blaming those who already have the AIDS virus. Overall, he was more concerned about a few Kenne-bunkport businesses closing temporarily because of the protest than the very legitimate demands of the ACT-UP demonstrators. . I become concerned about his motives as president when the needs of businesses take precedence over those of humans. DIANE M. COLETTA 4135 31st Ave, Biracial children I read with a curious kind of interest the article "A Box for the 'Other' Kids" (Sept. 9). First of all, I did not in any way consider it to be front-page news. I'm not even sure it was news at all. But that's just a thought. My main TO THE EDITOR: An editorial on Sept. 5 carried the headline "Cancer: 10,000 Are Dying Every Week Because Funding Has Declined." The implication is that if funding for cancer research were increased, those 10,000 Americans would not die. This is false! John C. Bailar III and Elaine M. Smith published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine (May 8, 1986, Page 1,226) analyzing statistics on death from cancer from 1950 to 1982. During that time the age-adjusted mortality rate went from 170.2 to 185.1 deaths per 100,000 population. Interestingly, when they deleted the increase in deaths due to lung cancer (we know the cause) and the decreases in deaths due to stomach and cervical cancer (changes unrelated to treatment), the age-adjusted mortality rate went from 130.1 to 128.9, a 1 decrease in 30 years. Claims of success in the war against cancer are often made based upon an increase in the five-year survival rate. This is due to improved detection methods, not improved cure rates. To illustrate, in 1950 a man might discover at age 53 that he had colon cancer and would die at age 56. In 1980, the colon cancer would be detected at age 50. At age 55 the person would be a "five-year survivor" and hence counted as a "success" in the cancer statistics. His death at age 56 would not negate this spurious "success." In 1962, if you were diagnosed as having cancer, your chances of dying from cancer were 46.2. In 1982, if diagnosed, your chances of dying from cancer were 46.3 (Bailar & Smith, Table 1). This hardly constitutes an improvement in the rate of curing cancer. CLYDE E. STAUFFER 631 Christopal Drive. Thomas, the snake "A black snake or a white snake, they both bite." Retiring Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall stated his position very succinctly. It is also my position. Character has no color. Clarence Thomas, President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, will bite. He has bitten the family from whence he came; he has spurned the program (affirmative action) which gave him an opportunity to earn his law degree; he has headed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and failed to process 13,873 age-discrimination complaints. The Reagan-Bush administrations chose him. His current nomination is a direct result of their "divide and conquer" tactics re the minority voter. Thomas should not be selected. He is Letters We welcome letters from our readers. Address them to: Readers' Views, Enquirer Editorial Page, 617 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45201. Limit your letters to 250 words or less, and include your name, address and phone number. Romania viewed from inside 7 Tony days. The world was getting his message about Ceausescu. But surveillance continued. Security cars followed Filipescu even when he jogged. He laughed it off, but his wife was unnerved. He was arrested a third time on Dec. 22, 1989, but later released the same day Ceausescu was captured. Filipescu was asked to make some jubilant remarks over Romanian TV. Yet Romanian TV remains state-owned and a government mouthpiece. TV won Iliescu the presidential election. "They used it very well," Filipescu said. "They were more professional." A new constitution will be voted on this autumn and general elections held next year. Meanwhile, Moldavia (80 Romanian) wants to reunite with Romania. Filipescu's biggest concern is that unscrupulous leaders will use economic hard times or ethnic clashes as a scapegoat to halt reform. Hungarians and Gypsies are the principal ethnic minorities, and ugly bias charges persist. Filipescu believes if ethnic accusations are dragged into every dispute, relations are poisoned and reform becomes impossible. The Soviet ds-Union is likewise reeling with ethnic bias charges and countercharges. I doubt if any country can heal itself and reform unless it can get beyond just trading ugly charges of racism or ethnic bias. I have met quite a few former prisoners of conscience, including Natan Sharansky, and without fail, each possessed an irrepressible, ironic sense of humor. Romanian dissident Radu Fili-pescu, 35, has that same boyish laugh-it-off survivor's attitude. He even remains upbeat about Romania's future, though this for-. mer prisoner under dictator Nico-lae Ceausescu and board member of the opposition party Civic Alliance is certainly no admirer of President Ion Iliescu's government. Party-controlled, it is still riddled with privileged nomenklatura and former Ceausescu security agents. Some 5,000 Romanians were demonstrating again last Friday, but Filipescu was not among them. An inventor and electrical engineer, he is visiting human-rights groups in eight U.S. cities, including Cincinnati. He spoke Monday to several gatherings at the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, University of Cincinnati College of Law. Even had Filipescu been home in Bucharest last Friday, he may have questioned some demonstrators' objectives. They were demanding Iliescu resign and that Communist parties be outlawed. Filipescu believes targeting Communist parties merely inflates their fading power. A similar protest last June turned bloody, with about 200 arrested. The Romanian Helsinki Committee of which Filipescu is president eventually was able to get the demonstrators released. But those guilty of police brutality were not punished. Filipescu's first arrest was on May 7, 1983, for distributing 10,000 leaflets calling for an anti-Ceausescu rally. Though his anesthesiologist father had suffered a heart attack six months earlier, Filipescu decided to go ahead anyway after reflecting on American movies he had seen: "I never heard of a hero who did not go to war because his father had a heart attack," Filipescu said, chuckling. A fellow arrestee, also an American movie buff, demanded to see a lawyer. The cop slapped him in the face and shouted: "Idiot, where do you think you are, America?" After four months detention, Filipescu was "tried" and sentenced to 10 years, served three. (Arrestees now by law must be given access to a lawyer within 24 hours.) Amnesty International and other human-rights groups wrote protest letters and demanded Filipescu's release. When he was arrested again in 1987 and professionally beaten on hands and feet to leave no marks, the international outcry was intense. Radio Free Europe quoted him 40 times a day. The French prime minister registered his protest. Le Pave, a group of young Swiss collegians, demonstrated in Geneva. Filipescu was released after only 10 Tony Lang is a staff columnist for The Enquirer. Noriega trial should proceed Carl T. Rowan Life mm la fci i ifokii lit V &m third-ranking official and head of its covert operations, has been indicted on 10 counts of lying and obstruction of congressional investigations of the Iran-Contra scandal. Could stuff come out in the Noriega trial that will wound George? The Iran-Contra special prosecutor may secure indictments of former Bush aide Donald Gregg, now U.S. ambassador to Korea, and others. The Noriega trial won't make them feel any more secure. Robert Gates, who as No. 2 man was George's CIA boss, is up for confirmation as chief of the intelligence agency. President Bush has made angry demands that Gates be confirmed. The indictment of George puts such confirmation in grave doubt. The Noriega trial could deliver Gates a nomination-killing blow. The Noriega mess already has given us knowledge of some extraordinary behavior by U.S. officials and agencies, and has raised so many questions about BCCI, the CIA, the DEA, that I am not about to say "Stop it in the interest of national security." I now see that all our best interests will be served if this bizarre trial goes forward. WASHINGTON: The narcotics trial of Manuel Noriega already has shown how foolishly far U.S. prosecutors will go to meet President Bush's mandate that they hand him the head of the former Panamanian dictator. Foolishly because this trial may also reveal how deeply our Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and our CIA were involved in the international drug trade, using Noriega, the now-infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI) and some of the most disreputable characters on Earth to further illegal U.S. weapons operations in Central America. President Bush had a mind-bending passion to "get Noriega," even if it meant launching a war that killed countless innocent Panamanians and left that country permanently damaged. Even if it meant having Noriega indicted in the United States on charges that carry prison terms totaling 140 years this against the advice of U.S. agencies that said a U.S. trial carried serious perils for the United States. Noriega's lawyers have suggested that when Noriega tells all about his relationship to the CIA, to President Bush and the late William Casey, both of whom once headed the CIA, and to Oliver North of Iran-Contra notoriety, the Americans will look as much like drug-trade villains as Noriega. I doubt that the revelations will reach that far, but they will raise some profound questions about the conduct of Bush and others who are so desperate to convict Noriega that they have cut some extraordinary "plea bargain" deals with some very sleazy operatives in the drug trade all to get them to testify against Noriega. Michael Isikoff wrote a very disquieting story for Monday's Washington Post in which he reported that prosecutors have given big-time drug pilot Daniel Miranda a deal under which he could spend less than a month in prison if he testifies against Noriega. In addition, Isikoff wrote, "not only have prosecutors dropped counts and offered dramatically lowered sentences to Noriega's codefen-dants, but prosecutors have paid $1.5 million in 'fees' to another six men most of them convicted drug traffickers and pilots for information and potential testimony against Noriega." This Noriega trial fever seems weird, given the fact that the CIA managed to halt prosecution of its ex-official Joseph Fernandez so as to prevent the revelations of government secrets. Clair George, the CIA's former Win s:.iyiilin Mtijf. Carl Rowan is a Washington-based, nationally syndicated 4

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