The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 15, 1991 · Page 70
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September 15, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 70

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Sunday, September 15, 1991
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Forum G-4Readers' Views the Cincinnati enquirer Sunday, September 15, 1991 Only choice-based system will cure crisis of schools 1 1 s: ' V trate all its efforts on electing legislators who will bring a true choice-based system into existence for all Ohioans true competition between schools for educational dollars. Otherwise, the CBC's actions are just a piecemeal effort which serves only to further support the entrenched monopoly of bureaucrats. S.A. MOORE 3807 Eastern Ave. Readers' views cal establishment. To this end, the mini-district idea is a mere carrot on a stick. Instead of working toward adoption of a prophylactic device like a mini-district (which has as much chance for acceptance by the educational establishment as did Polly Williams' mini-voucher plan in Milwaukee), the CBC should concen I I- V" ' . ... I J' : . . .... 1st i CINaNNATlRH.IC5am5 A TO THE EDITOR: I am unmoved by the changes proposed by the Buenger Commission report, and I continue to remain opposed to the tax levy. While the Buenger report proposes an overhaul of the logistics, management and information systems within the Cincinnati public schools, nowhere does it come close to adopting recommendations favored by the "choice in education" movement that the Bush administration has been pushing. If the Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC) members think themselves well-connected enough to lobby the state legislature to create a mini-district free of all state regulation, why do they fail to go the extra mile to the real heart of the matter and propose the repeal of all laws giving life to the educational monopoly? Why did they fail to tell us they will lobby for a voucher, or choice-based system? I suggest the reason has a lot to do with "rocking the boat" just enough to prod voters into believing change is just around the corner so they will vote yes on the tax levy, but not too much to anger the educational bureaucrats and politi- 1 astssijpivl , L-T - - JU-t 1 iJ I i " - " . -' " ' , - , , : ! I 1 Enquirer file photo Cuban President Fidel Castro greeted a smiling Mikhail Gorbachev at Jose Marti Airport in Havana during Gorbachev's visit to Cuba in April, 1989. Kremlin can't afford Cuba Castro seen as unlikely to loosen grip on island nation these people learned to speak English without foregoing the use of their native language in their homes or their local communities. Indeed, their successful adaption to life in America was facilitated by their use of the common language of the country English. Anyone interested in information regarding the purposes of the U.S.ENGLISH organization should write to: U.S.ENGLISH, 818 Connecticut Ave., N.W., No. 200, Washington D.C. 20006-2790. JAMES C. WOOTON 8740 Cavalier Drive. is going to force me to quit. We are overtaxed plus accused of causing sky-rocketing medical bills. Tommy rot! My medical expenses all have been due to female problems, and my hospital confinement was for the same reason. My last hospital confinement was 28 years ago. A lot of the violence and unrest is caused by these do-gooders who will push their ideas on you, whether you want them or not. Keep your nose out of your neighbor's business! M.L. HORN 2534 Hansford Place. Start at bottom New low BY JOHN OMICINSKI Gannett News Service WASHINGTON The Soviet decision to pull 11,000 Red Army troops out of Cuba is another signal that Fidel Castro is a luxury that the collapsing Kremlin government can no longer afford. Cuban exile and refugee groups exulted at the news from Moscow last week, though it had little immediate effect on the future of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. "Seeing the Russians packing up and going home will be a major blow to the Cuban psyche," said Jose Cardenas of the Cuban-American National Foundation, which claims 50,000 members and calls itself the largest exile organization in the world. "It will make it extremely difficult for Castro to continue business as usual." Heavy pressure on revolution The Soviet withdrawal is likely to place heavy pressure on the 65-year-old Castro to figure out new ways to keep his revolution alive at next month's party congress, which begins Oct. 10. "He can't go before the people and not offer hope for the future," said Cardenas. "But now he's boxed in it's getting harder and harder for him to exert central control of the economy." But few think Gorbachev's move will lead to any democratic shifts on the island. "No one's going to challenge Castro, and he's not going to hold free elections," said Jaime Suchlicki, director of the North-South Center at the University of Miami. "Maybe there will be riots and repression, but he'll die in the bunker." Castro came to power almost 33 years ago, and he survives now as one of the last vestiges of the once-muscular international communist movement. Gorbachev's decision had political importance, especially because it was announced with Secretary of State James Baker at his side in Moscow. Soviet aid to Castro has been one of the main sticking points in U.S.-Soviet discussions of new economic partnerships. "If this is the best he could do, it's a minor concession," said Suchlicki. "It leaves the naval base at Cienfuegos, the listening post at Lourdes, the airstrip at Trinidad and the 296 MiG aircraft that the Soviets have supplied." Concession made to Yeltsin But it was a concession by Gorbachev to Russian republic President Boris Yeltsin and other reformers, who want a fast dismantling of old Kremlin connections. Generally, Gorbachev has been more cautious than Yeltsin when discussing the future of Soviet-Cuban relations. Despite its symbolic importance, Gorbachev's removal of the Soviet training brigade leaves an important economic connection between Havana and Moscow. The Soviet government imports Cuban sugar and citrus products and delivers oil to the Castro government at below-market prices. Suchlicki says the current trade agreement between Moscow and Havana is up for renewal sometime before it expires Dec. 29. Thomas The Thomas file City schools The patient has arrived in critical condition, gasping for revival, and what does Robert Braddock say? "I want a second opinion." After 18 months of watching a desperately ill child die in front of you, wouldn't you most gratefully reach for a hemostat to stop the bleeding instead of a Band-Aid? The Buenger Commission has been diligent, deliberate and dedicated in its critique of a cancer which is, regrettably, spreading nationwide. For the president of the Cincinnati Board of Education to laugh on camera and toss off the report's intended seriousness is irresponsible and a further indication of the bureaucratic incompetence throttling the education of our kids. This report is not, nor is it intended to be, a miracle cure. It is a hard-nosed, apolitical attempt to infuse life-saving education back into the education process. We either reach out for its ideas to save our children, or continue to stand in the railroad tracks and allow the current bureaucracy to run over them, and watch them die. Your days are numbered, Mr. Braddock. Your 17 years of service) on the school board have brought us to this sorry condition. This cancer must be removed. CAROL ANN PLOEGER 1568 Reid Ave. Closing schools In your four pages of the Buenger Commission report (Sept. 6), the Cincinnati Business Committee recommends that the School for Performing Arts (old Woodward), Washington Park Elementary, Rothenberg Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary and Windsor Elementary schools be replaced. Disposition of these buildings (to be supplanted by new schools in unspecified locations) is not specified. Already, we have Columbian (at Melish and Harvey avenues), and Garfield (at Beekman and Elmore streets) standing vacant, with many broken windows and weed-filled yards. I do not favor increasing to seven the number of standing, unused abandoned school buildings in Cincinnati, and believe explicit building and spending schedules should be revealed to voters if they are to approve a 9.83-mill levy in the November election. EDGAR M. HYMANS 1587 Elizabeth Place. English first Lester Ness (Sept. 6) indicates a lack of understanding of the proposed legislation to establish English as the official language of the United States. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to assure that all citizens of the country can communicate with every other citizen through the use of a common language. It in no way discourages immigrants from using their native tongue, but does require they learn a second language English. Why is this an insult to the immigrant who wishes to succeed in his new country? Actually, many of us who are firm believers in having an official language also believe multilingual citizens are desirable. Mr. Ness refers to the loyalty of our German-, French- and Spanish-speaking citizens for 200 years. He fails to note that nearly all of To the young man (Sept. 1) who lost his job after five years and refused a job opportunity because he must start at entry level, I say he was shortsighted and had a very inflated sense of his own worth and ability. I lost an engineering position after 21 years with a major company. I was 45 years of age, and jumped at the chance to start with another concern at entry-level salary. I realized this company did not know my ability or consider my experience because the job was in a different industry. However, my acceptance at entry level paid off. I proved myself and my worth to the new company, which resulted in a salary increase that in two years was greater than that of my former job. It is difficult for me to understand why the young people of today feel they must only get out of school or be in a job a short time to get a salary equivalent to the chief executive officer of a company. JAMES E. SUTTER 3899 Mack Road Fairfield. UC football Penn State, 81; UC, 0. I read with interest (Sept. 8) that "Dr. Steger, UC president and staunch supporter of the football program, had not heard the score when contacted in Cincinnati early Saturday evening." Staunch supporter? It would seem that by Saturday evening he surely must have wondered what his team did that afternoon. In my opinion, it is unconscionable that the administration at the University of Cincinnati would continue to permit the overscheduling of its football team and subject the young players to disappointment, frustration and, more importantly, bodily injury just to make a few extra bucks and be able to say, "We're in the big time now." How much longer will this go on? ART FRIED 6644 Ambar Ave. CONTINUED FROM PAGE G-l But he added an important caveat, again hearkening back to his own experience. "We have to remember that, even though the Constitution is color-blind, our society is not," he said. How much a judge's personal experiences affect decisions is always difficult to tell. Judges like to talk, as Thomas has done, of shedding past views when they don judicial robes. Often, however, an individual's past cannot help but influence how they see a case. One of Marshall's best-known opinions involved such a case, a claim that a $50 bankruptcy filing fee discriminated unfairly against poor people. The court struck down the claim, noting that the fee could be When The Enquirer can run an article in its main news section (Sept. 1) that brackets the question "What about the man who, every time he makes love to his wife, fantasizes about making love to another man?" as serious news, you have sunk to a journalistic level beneath that of the supermarket checkout-line tabloids. One may, and probably should, pity those beings who are unable to fulfill meaningful roles. But a man who, when he makes love to a woman, imagines that he is "making love" to another man is certifi-ably insane. That isn't news. It is reality. It is indeed about time The Enquirer realized that the incidental, babbled rationalizations of the "spokespersons" for gay and feminist groups are not, per se, news. WILLIAM FLAX 414 Walnut St. Union poor In reply to Jim Meale ("Union Power," Sept. 9), because of union power many Americans are unable to purchase American-made products automobiles, clothing, etc. Unions have forged ahead, leading the workers to be paid wages far surpassing what the non-union workers get, quite often for doing the same type of job. The high wages, of course, cause the price of the product to go sky-high. Who can afford it? Certainly not the non-union worker, and sometimes not even the union worker. You can drive through the Ford Motor Co.'s parking lot and see foreign cars in the lot. Why didn't those people buy Ford, American cars? Also, it has been known that unions have been introduced into a company and taken over, and shortly thereafter the company closes; the union does nothing to help the people who are now out of work. I have had experiences with unions over the past 35 years and I have nothing good to say about them. Perhaps they should all be abolished. Then, perhaps, companies would be in more of a position to pay people a decent day's wage for the job they do, not because a union says a pay scale must be met. . C No one who has had close contact with poor people can fail to understand how close to the margin of survival many of them are. J J Thurgood Marshall advocated contempt proceedings. I have advocated penalties. Something that would do more than say to an employer, 'All you have to do is hire the person that you discriminated against or pay that person what you would have paid that person.' " Liberty: "Our notion of liberty ... evolves over time," Thomas said. That's a statement liberals would be proud of and conservatives would likely shun because it can be a charter for rights not in the Constitution. Church-state: Thomas said he had no quarrel with the court's historical approach to deciding church-state controversies an approach the current conservative majority wants to re-examine this fall. That standard discourages government accommodation of religion. Individual rights: He said these decisions deserved the greatest protection from being overturned in direct opposition to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who says it's more important to preserve decisions affecting business. Separation of powers: 'I think it is important certainly that judges not confuse their role as judges in interpreting the Constitution with your role in this body, the important role of making policies and determining the statutory or legislative policies that we should have in this country in a variety of areas." I think it is very Important that judges realize that their role is a limited one." Constitution: "I just think that when judges move away from Interpreting the law and applying the law as written or interpreting the Constitution in an appropriate way and begins to read his or her views into those documents, I think we are venturing into an area of judicial activism." Here are views of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas on various constitutional issues: Abortion: Thomas said he never has supported the conclusion that all abortion is unconstitutional. He said restrictions on privacy and equality should be reviewed by the court using the highest possible level of scrutiny a constitutional standard few regulations regarding any topic can meet. Natural law: Thomas said he would not let natural law influence his judging of constitutional issues. He said his past speeches and writings were merely musings of a "part-time political theorist seeking to promote civil rights," not the way he would conduct business as a justice. Natural law is the view that all humans are endowed by God with certain rights and characteristics that no law or government can abridge. Affirmative action: Sen. Howell Heflin said that as chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Thomas hired 49 people who reported directly to him: 26 women (53), 33 minorities (67). He also said Thomas hired 29 special and executive assistants: 14'women, . 15 black, one Hispanic and two Asian. Thomas said: "I looked long and hard to make sure that any number of people, whether they were minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, were included in my search. I always, to the best of my abilities, hired the best-qualified people." Discrimination: "I think it is a matter of written record that I abhor discrimination, and I think that Title VII undervalues the damage done by discrimination in the employment context. I have advocated damages (as chairman of the EEOC). I have Butt out! Communism is alive and well and getting stronger weekly in the U.S.A. First it was trying to ban GENNY MONACO 4540 Victor Ave. paid off if a person saved as little as $1.28 a week, "less than the price of a movie and little more than the cost of a pack or two of cigarettes." Judging by his testimony so far, Thomas might well have agreed with Marshall's dissent. "It may be easy for some people to think that weekly savings of less than $2 are no burden," Marshall wrote. "But no one who has had close contact with poor people can fail to understand how close to the margin of survival many of them are. "It is disgraceful," he concluded, "for an interpretation of the Constitution to be premised upon unfounded assumptions about how people live." cigarette smoking in all public places, businesses and transporta- mmmm , tion. Second came gun control. Third, a woman's choice concern- Ltt6TS ing abortion. All of these are legal, so why don't they leave them alone instead of making or trying to make them illegal? I read that two more hospitals have become smoke-free. Well, I'm 69 years old and have smoked since age 16, and nobody We welcome letters from our readers. Please send them to: Readers' Views, Enquirer Editorial Page, 617 Vine St., Cincinnati, Oil 45201. Limit your letters to 250 words or less, and include your name, address and telephone number. 7

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