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Saturday, September 21, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER CommentA-7 Public control helps keep water rates low society. Maybe we should regulate them? I ride about 10,000 miles per year, wear a helmet, and encourage others to do so. However, if after due consideration of all facts and circumstances, the decision is made to ride without, then I support that decision. Educate, then let people decide for themselves. DOUG SWANSON 4212 Allendorf Drive. TO THE EDITOR: Ymir prfitm-iai people need protection. No one argues those. Even if you don't accept the figure of 53,000 deaths a year due to secondhand smoke, still you must see that not all people are healthy adults. If folks could smoke without leaving secondhand smoke for the rest of us, nobody would be objecting. Most compassionately, restrictions against smoking motivate people to quit, and thus save lives. Social pressure gets people to start, and is now getting them to quit. Put the compassion where it belongs, Camilla: with those smokers who are painfully regaining freedom, and those of us who only want to breathe clean air. JENEENE BRENGELMAN 2647 Cora Ave. Need unions It should not, however, be implemented word for word, without tempering it with other valid points of view. What are our objectives, aside from getting out of debt? Surely we still have some. We should take a lesson from the school system of Worthington, Ohio. They formed a volunteer strategic-planning committee, which developed the following set of goals they call "leaner outcomes," or traits of an "effective person" for the 21st century: autonomous, culturally aware, decision-maker, effective communicator, knowledge-explorer, lifelong learner, possessor of a positive self-image, practitioner of good health, responsible citizen and wise resource-user. Will our children be "effective persons," or will we push them through the system spending as little money on them as possible? At what cost to society? ELLEN RASCH FLANNERY 412 Liberty Hill. Tired refrain It is indeed about time for readers such as William Flax (Sept. 15) to realize that his homophobia is old news. I'd much Helmet law The catastrophe in Hamlet, N.C., and the deaths of construction workers in recent weeks is a clear argument for unionism. If there had been union representatives on the job at the chicken factory, the asininity of locking fire exits to reduce theft would not have occurred. Paying workers those kind of wages ($4.35-$6) would not have allowed those people to purchase insurance of any kind, let alone have decent housing. How anyone could eat chicken nuggets at a fast-food (service industry) after this is beyond me. I don't suppose the owners of these slave operations have any qualms about their profits. MRS. EARL BENNETT 239 Count Fleet Lane Harrison. "Utilities: Cincinnatians Seem to Benefit From Private-Sector Ownership" (Aug. 18) was so erroneous and biased that it demands a response. On a biennial basis, Ernst & Young publishes water rates for the nation's largest systems. The latest survey of 116 systems shows that 77 had rates higher than Cincinnati's. Ten of the systems were privately owned and, on average, their rates were 73 higher than ours. The rates of five of these Scranton, Chattanooga, Gary, Peoria and Bridgeport were more than double ours. Close to home, Indianapolis, a private system, has rates that are 41 higher. Let's look at home. Considering my home as an average household, my water bill per month in 1990 averaged $26.40; my gas bill, $34.40; and my electric bill, $42.80. If the exorbitant increase in electric rates is granted, my electric bill will be double that of my water bill. Since electric costs account for 28 of the Water Works non-personal operating expenses, the increase will dramatically impact water rates. In 1990, the Water Works paid $4,726,277 to Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. for electricity. Its requested increase will cost an additional $890,000. Water service is basic to the health, welfare and safety of all Cincinnatians. The best possible service should be delivered at the least possible cost. Cincinnati Readers' views has been doing that for over 150 years. As proven by the 1990 Ernest & Young report, such is not the case when this vital service is placed in the hands of a profit-oriented corporation. RICHARD MILLER Director Cincinnati Water Works 4747 Spring Grove Ave. Smoking victims Camilla Warrick (Sept. 15) calls for compassion for smokers. I wish it were that simple. I testified in Columbus with a woman who said that when she is exposed to secondhand smoke she coughs up blood, and several times had to go to the . emergency room. She said she would give up everything she owns to be less sensitive to tobacco smoke. She feels trapped in her home. While she spoke, our legislators lit cigarettes, talked to each other, and several left the room. The tobacco industry, which only recently admitted that tobacco harms smokers, now assures us that secondhand smoke is not harmful to healthy adults. However, one of seven adults in Cincinnati has a chronic lung condition. They, plus all children, pregnant women and old I cannot agree with your editorial (Sept. 9) supporting a mandatory-helmet law, and urge you to reconsider. As I understand it, motorcycle accidentfatality rates have been dropping significantly in the last few years, while medical costs as a whole have increased about 10 a year. If you are looking to cut increasing medical costs, the decline in motorcycle-related hospital care seems a strange call to action. Can't you foresee a day when the legality of someone's hobby, interest or sport is dictated almost solely by the "cost to society"? Are you ready to tell hang-gliders, horseback-riders and mountain-climbers that their activities are too costly and so must be regulated into ' extinction? How about couch potatoes, race-car drivers and people who drive small economy cars? I would be interested in hearing what the physically unfit cost School goals rather be reading about the opening and accepting attitude Americans are learning to take towards people of different races, religions and sexual preferences than to hear, once again, the tired refrain of self-righteous citizens who are afraid of change. Jesus spoke of love and walked with the lepers. Surely the least you can do is emulate him. HEIDI E. TEBBS 5126 Grafton Ave. It is inspiring that some of the business leaders of our community have offered their valuable time and expertise to help our public school system. Their advice should be seriously considered and Other editorial views U.S. must accept nationalism j William I IUI I if sliced in half as they ran from attack planes. Only the sanitary films explosions with no people were released. Military censors work on the theory that such details could hurt support for the war effort, or give aid and comfort to the enemy. But there is something to be said for acknowledging reality, too, and for respecting Americans' ability to judge it. Dayton Daily News. According to a tally compiled by People for the American Way, the 1990-91 school year saw a sharp rise in censorship. The group documented 264 "attacks on the freedom to learn" in 44 states. That was a 33 increase from the previous year. With few exceptions, those who would ban books are threatening the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights . . . The right to read whatever one chooses is fundamental to a free society. As citadels of learning, schools should be in the vanguard of defending that right. Those who disagree with or dislike a book have only to close its covers. Hobbs (N.M.) Daily News-Sun. Now, seven months after the fact, Americans know that their troops buried thousands of Iraqi soldiers alive in their trenches. Those who didn't surrender were covered up. It was effective. It caused a lot of other Iraqis to come forward with their hands up. No Americans were killed. It is horrible, but so are all the other ways of dying by cluster bombs or artillery fire or cruise missiles. The result is the same as killing by other means; only the moments of terror before death are different . . . The press was not allowed to witness it from the front lines. The press was not even allowed to have or show Defense Department films of Iraqi soldiers being gunned down some of them It is ironic that, as the United States celebrates the bicentennial of the signing of the Bill of Rights, self-appointed censors are increasing their efforts to ban certain books from American schools and libraries. state visits Moscow, and to communicate from time to time with President Bush and other foreign leaders. There is something in this argument, although it may underestimate the interest and surviving capacity of the old structures of party and army to hold onto important, if isolated, chunks cf power. Most power has certainly left Gorbachev's office, and the Soviet parliament as well. Nothing the United States can do will recreate a Soviet center. American policymakers have a bias, which goes back beyond Woodrow Wilson's version of liberal internationalism to the origins of the American Republic itself, inclining them to believe that the destiny of peoples is to federate in larger ensembles just as the American states did. If larger ensembles break down, as they are doing in Yugoslavia and the former U.S.S.R., this is taken to be retrogressive, a development going against the course of a naturally progressive history; hence one that cannot prevail. It is time that this be recognized as a bias, distorting how Washington and the American policy community see contemporary events. Yeats said on another occasion, "Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,It's with O'Leary in the grave." So is romantic ZURICH: American policymakers have taken warning once too often from the much-quoted Yeats: "... the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." They are resolved that the center the centers will hold. They will make them hold, in Yugoslavia as well as what used to be the Soviet Union. But can these centers hold? And why? A belief that the former U.S.S.R. needs union is perfectly reasonable. The agreement recently made by 10 Soviet republics on centralized food distribution acknowledges this logic. But American policy must recognize where power actually is rather than postulate where it should be. There is a deep hostility in Washington to "nationalism." I put the word in quotation marks because I am not sure what the State Department understands by this term. Nationalism is a bad thing, in Washington's conventional usage. But what do officials think sustained the Baits and Poles and the rest through the long darkness of Soviet rule, if it were not nationalism? National feeling provided the moral core of resistance to totalitarianism in all of the Soviet-controlled nations. It provided that conviction of unalterable identity which made it possible for people to endure Soviet rule knowing who they were and who, despite all, they would remain. It allowed them to believe that they would emerge as themselves at the end of their ordeal. I suppose that American officials would reply that it is "destructive nationalism" to which they object. This is all very well as an intellectual distinction, but is of little practical use. There is nothing to be done about the existence of nationalism, destructive or otherwise. Policy must address reality, and nationalism is the reality. It must be accommodated and dealt with. Not to do so causes the United States to risk irrelevance to what is happening in Yugoslavia and in what the policy community now calls the Soviet Successor States (fashionably abbreviated to "S-cubed"). The chance that Croatian and Serbian nationalists can be put back into cohabitation in a revived Yugoslavia is today effectively nil. It is argued in influential nongovernmental circles in the United States that the survival of central authority in "S-cubed" no longer is even a hypothesis worth attention by U.S. policymakers. Power over anything that still works in that society has already been taken over by republican and regional authorities, in this argument. Mikhail Gorbachev is held to preside over an enormous but empty apparatus whose connections to what actually happens have been cut. Their phones are dead. In this argument, Gorbachev's surviving function is to greet Baker when the secretary of Johnston & Murphy Proudly Introduces Optima William Pfaff is a Paris-based columnist for the Los Angeles Times. A classic dress collection combining sophisticated styling with exceptional comfort. J&M's Optima system provides Consolation prize diminished cushion designed insoles, sock cal education." It also can make a name for a losing candidate, put ting one campaign's outsider into J5v Walter - v Mears the front rank of entries for the next race. linings, heel pads and full leather linings. Made with welt construction for long wear and But the more elusive rewards of party leadership no longer ap ply. Landslide losers fade quickly now. Defeated nominees in the support. Attractively priced Regularly 140 recent Democratic past have quickly lost whatever hold they had on party reins. Former Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts was forgotten almost as soon as he lost, to Bush, in 1988. Even so, long odds in favor of an incumbent have not always deterred candidates of national standing with reputations and power to risk. The stakes are different now, WASHINGTON: Winning isn't quite everything in presidential politics there can be rewards short of the White House for the candidates who don't get there. But they come at an increasing price, and that's one reason for the late start and limited roster of Democratic challengers for 1992. Candidates have run to raise issues, to protest policies, to send the establishment a message, to claim party leadership, even when chances of winning were remote. Sometimes an unsuccessful campaign can provide the training and recognition that leads to a winning one. But aims like those must now be weighed against an increasingly grueling, consuming campaign process. Consolation prizes aren't what they used to be. And while nobody runs to lose, any Democrat challenging a favored incumbent like President Bush in 1992 has to weigh long, adverse odds. That's one of the reasons the field assembling over the next three weeks is made up of outsiders and newcomers to national politics, not the party's leaders and big names. Gov. L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia and Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa have declared their candidacies. Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas, Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, Rep. Dave McCurdy of Oklahoma, former Sen. Paul E. Tsongas of Massachusetts and former Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. of California are the rest of the likely lineup. Party power and discipline have dwindled. Risks are higher be-cause campaigns are more de Those Democrats don't have a lot to risk by running. Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York says he isn't running or planning to now, but he could declare even later in the game and still rank as an instant front-runner. Democratic leaders in Congress and some of the party's best-known names opted out early or flirted with candidacy and then decided against running. The 1996 campaign will be more inviting, with no incumbent to seek a second term unless someone vaults from the Democratic field to upset Bush. Even in urging that Democrats get on with the campaign to make the case and draw the issues against Bush, Walter F. Mondale, the defeated nominee of 1984, acknowledged that "there are plenty of reasons to shy away from running in 1992." He said Bush's presumed invincibility is one, and a divisive Democratic nominating process that can weaken candidates before the final campaign is another. Mondale, Carter's vice president, has described presidential candidacy as "the ultimate politi manding, and a losing national bid can be a career setback, a problem issue in the next campaign at home. Nominating votes have to be won in grueling primaries and caucuses, a few at a time. Fund raising can't be wired in advance because of limits on big donors and the need to enlist thousands of small ones to earn public financ yO a ing. Where The Smart Money Shops C UJfSJLNUL W Walter Mears, vice president and columnist for the Associated OPEN Mm. thru Sat. 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday noon to 6 p.m. KENWOOD 6475 Eat CalUruith Road Cincinnati, Oil 45236 I'honc (513) 791.98(H) TR1 COUNTY Gentry Tri Centre 1UH9 Princeton Road Cincinnati, OH 45246 Plume (513) 772-31)00 Press, has reported on Washing ton for more than 25 years.