The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 17, 1991 · Page 11
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October 17, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 11

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Thursday, October 17, 1991
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Thursday, October 17, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER CommehtA-1 1 Get U.S. taxpayers out of banking business TO THE EDITOR: Tho This is no time to give up on the Cincinnati public schools. Each and every one of us has a vested interest in the kids who attend them. SUSAN SILVER 3566 Monteith Ave. Clean senators It is with disgust that I read newspapers and watched TV and the accusations of sexual harassment against Judge Clarence Thomas, which is supposed to have happened several years ago. If some of our past presidents and leaders would have been condemned for the things that really did happen, and those men were ejected from public service, we would have been without the leadership of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, L.B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and his famous brother Ted. I wonder how many of the senators who voted against Judge Thomas' nomination for the Supreme Court have a clean and spotless record themselves. HARRY N. BROWN P.O. Box 152 North Bend. dents, NCJW has consistently directed its energies and dollars toward the improvement of life for our nation's children and families. We look forward to the day when Ohio Right to Life does the same. Perhaps then, those of us on opposite sides of the abortion issue will have a common ground from which to continue the debate. JOANNE B. GROSSMAN National Council of Jewish Women 6200 Montgomery Road. Learning to learn I recently attended my 8-year-old son's German class at Fairview School. Parents were told at the open house that they were welcome anytime. So there I was, surrounded by small people who were virtually bilingual. You see, no English is spoken in this class. The assignment was to make a picture of a person by cutting and pasting leaves. The children practiced terms such as kopf and arme as they created their masterpieces. I struggled with my paste and held my own verbally by occasionally uttering danke when handed a pair of scissors or additional leaf parts. I was impressed by the skill and creativity of the teachers and moved by the pure dedication of the students. They were learning the art of learning. Like many parents of children in Cincinnati public schools, I have often despaired for the future. But today I am heartened to think that, under Michael Brandt's sensible management, essential and long-overdue changes are being made. And under the dynamic leadership of principals like Fairview's Frederick Veidt, teachers and students can thrive. fore the tragedy of child abuse occurs. Yes, preventive services do exist in Hamilton County, but they may very well face critical cutbacks if voters should fail to pass this vital tax levy. All citizens should heed your editorial. We must find ways to end the cycle of abuse. We are making progress, but we can't afford to drop the ball now. We must all "Say Yes to Kids" by voting for Issue I, the Children's Services levy. M. ELAINE BILLMIRE, M.D. 8630 Winton Road. Beyond the babies In your coverage of the Ohio Right to Life's convention in Sharonville, you quote (Oct. 4) Barbara Willke as promising a broadened pro-life agenda: "Our message to the public is that they need to become concerned about not just unborn life, but life at the other end (after a child is born)." With the growing number of children born into poverty and the growing incidence of unmarried women heading households, one can only hope that Barbara Willke takes her own words to heart and steers Ohio Right to Life in a direction that will meaningfully benefit our community's families. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has long advocated for choice, but it has done so while working firsthand with disadvantaged children and dysfunctional families. Whether it has been NCJW's support of family day-care providers, its educational efforts for the prevention of teen pregnancy, the creation of a job-readiness program for low-income women, or its preparation of materials for visually handicapped stu - - wvwii, wmu shell of congressional members' disgraceful finances should leave little doubt in our minds as to how the savings-and-loan (S&L) crisis could have occurred. We are conning ourselves if we believe these congressional joyrides are anything but a result of their utter contempt for us. Once again we taxpayers have been mugged by this gang in three-piece suits, with the S&L crisis undoubtedly exceeding all their wildest aspirations. The problem with the system is that taxpayers have no say in how banks, S&Ls and depositors handle their money, yet we are forced to assume all liability through the FDIC and now-defunct FSLIC . Knowing now that Congress and government regulators are either unwilling or incapable of preventing this situation from happening in the future, only one alternative remains. We must abolish the FDIC and get the taxpayers out of the insurance business. Let professionals insurance companies insure bank deposits. They will do a much better job regulating the banks and S&Ls or lose profits, which is wonderful motivation. There would still be fraud and failures, but surely not of such catastrophic proportion and only those involved would be affected. GREGORY F. PARSONS 1019-6 Cedar Ridge Drive. Readers' views Next! Now that the Senate Judiciary Committee has completed its most recent investigation, the next item on the agenda should be: The competence of Senator Biden to chair a hearing and the character of Senator Kennedy to sit in judgment of a morals case. DONALD W. MARTIN 7960 Chinquapin Lane. Children's levy Your fine editorial emphasizing the need for child-abuse-prevention services (Oct. 2) is very timely since the Children's Services levy, which funds these services, appears on the ballot Nov. 5. Thanks to the enthusiastic, forward-looking leadership at Children's Services, preventive services are finally becoming a reality in Hamilton County. As a member of the Children's Services Commission, I have assisted in reviewing proposals and recommending allocation of tax-levy funds for new programs, such as parenting education, drug and alcohol treatment, homemaker and home-finder services, designed to strengthen and heal troubled families be 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 telephone Clarify harassment charges V lTony Lang ARMSTRONG CEILINGS NOW IN COLORS! Dzeich, a University of Cincinnati English professor, co-authored the Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus. She insists: "In most cases, sexual harassment is not whatever a woman wants it to be. In most cases, there is a clear pattern of repeated abuse. Very often the abuse is known by the colleagues of the perpetrator. Very often it is possible to construct a perpetrator profile and a victim profile." The Hill-Thomas case doesn't fit the profiles. Dzeich likewise told me: "In all these years, I have never heard of a capricious complaint that didn't get picked up on." Nor have I. Have you heard of men being railroaded right and left on phoney sex-harassment charges? Face it: We all know we can say some things to some people and not to others. We know what's professional and what isn't. We also know sometimes a woman's "no" can mean "maybe." Dzeich believes the way out of the crater is open disclosure and honest communication between the sexes. She believes institutions should openly report the number of sex-harassment cases there per year. And if either males or females are confused about the limits, they should get it out in the open. The risk from the Thomas-Hill case is that many will go Thousands of male bosses and male workers must be wondering now if the female colleague next to them is another Anita Hill. A lawyer friend last weekend half jokingly remarked to me: "The safest thing we could do is not hire any more . . . women." Thousands of male mentors of young female proteges must be recalculating their possible exposure. Did the Glass Ceiling just turn to unbreakable Lexan? As for women, Michigan and other states report increased inquiries from female workers claiming sexual-harassment incidents dating back years despite the statute of limitations. But for every woman coming forward, there may be 10 others who saw the Clarerice Thomas-Anita Hill inquisition by the Senate Judiciary Committee and decided: Forget it. Hill's llth-hour allegations have raised the nation's consciousness about sexual harassment? That's what politicians and media have been telling us for days now. Oh yeah? Is this case really going to improve professional relations between the sexes? The Senate's public inquisition wasn't about finding the truth of what happened between Thomas and Hill. It was about power and winning. Poor Sen. Joe Biden kept slipping up and characterizing his committee colleagues as "either side." Some in the media resorted to Old Testament terminology to describe the two camps: the Tho-masites vs. the Hillites. I think more than just the Supreme Court confirmation process was damaged in this latest grotesque exercise. So was the sex- harassment complaint process, not to mention mentoring. God forbid if either males or females take this confrontation as a defining case for sexual harassment. In the overwhelming majority of sexual-harassment cases, the female victim avoids the perpetrator to a fault, to the point she may not even bring charges. Moreover, the squeaky-clean sanctimony exhibited by Thomas, Hill and some senators over sex talk in the workplace certainly played well to the cameras, but it hardly gave much guidance to men and women who long for a workplace where they can feel free to be themselves and banter as professional equals. The fact is, in the last 10 years, real progress has been made toward defining genuine sexual harassment and real abuses of power and professionalism, but now suddenly we have "experts" on the tube declaring sexual harassment is whatever a woman says it is and members of both sexes left wondering what a "reasonable woman" standard means. When I asked Billie Wright Dzeich her reaction, she likened the Thomas-Hill ll'ch-hour confrontation to dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. The crater is there now, so men and women will have to deal with it. sZT iress, --gfi 1270 Cascade White lltCr' ! : f Fire-retardant W l V 'S2f !i ''-- ' I ''" 'Washable T " yJIW, 3-D look I 1 ML isj f Dimensinally stable T A ua- S !!:; i" 'Install only &t ';rH p' with Armstrong T " 11 color-matched ' or accent grid II . 9 B '4.56 . Tony Lang is an Enquirer staff columnist. The Senate as the big loser WASHINGTON: Through Evans & Novak 1 il (mstrong X. 13 Use Armstrong color-matched, brass or mirror grid. Your Armstrong Ceiling Center Since I960. fah; irrtYT Vur Y aWCI1 those who urged him to go home and get a good night's sleep Friday. Instead, he made two decisions on his own that kept his nomination alive. First, he came back Friday night with a vigorous denial of everything Hill had said. Second, on his own volition Saturday morning he accused his foes of a "high-tech lynching" instantly bringing a look of fear into the eyes of Democratic senators. Liberal activists were outraged. But without the protections afforded the accused in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence developed over centuries, a nominee must depend on political pressure. So, remaining uncommitted Democratic senators had to weigh the impact of their vote on pressure groups, on rank-and-file blacks and on ordinary Americans, not on jurisprudence. On the Senate and its performance, the people's verdict came in earlier and more clearly than on Clarence Thomas. When Joe Biden declared that the process over which he presided was to defend "the rights of the individual," that sound heard rolling across the country was the laughter of millions of Americans. three wrenching days of hearings on sexual-harassment charges, the initial White House irritation with Sen. Joseph Biden grew into barely controlled rage. The source of anger was Bi-den's duality while serving as Judiciary Committee chairman. While professing to put the burden of proof on Clarence Thomas's accuser, Professor Anita Hill, he in fact served as her protector and advocate. But what most galled the Thomas camp were the chairman's intermittent, banal homilies defending the Senate confirmation process. In fact, the clearest loser last weekend was the U.S. Senate and the way it functions. The Judiciary Committee members are neither judges nor jurors but partisan politicians worried about the next election each already committed on the Thomas nomination. The anomaly of non-judicial judges reached an emotional climax at the hearings early Saturday evening. Thomas, a man of the law, expressed his anguish over being accused of foul deeds with no recourse to the rules of evidence and law, no professional cross-examination, no judicial review. Biden, who has never disguised his ultimate interest in another try at the presidency, has been playing catch-up with liberal special-interest groups furious that he overlooked Hill's allegation after SELECTION OF PANELING IN CINCINNATI. OVER 150 PATTERNS TO CHOOSE FROM. an inconclusive FBI report. He blocked Sen. Orrin Hatch from exposing and exploring parts of Hill's FBI report that might reveal an ideological motivation for ruining Thomas. Behind the scenes, the chairman refused to issue subpoenas for evidence relating to her past. It is not hard to see why ABC pollsters found over the weekend that people thought the committee treated the judge unfairly and his accuser fairly. Sen. Howell Heflin, a designated Democratic interrogator, is a former Alabama chief justice who made two outrageously unjudicial observations that were lost in the torrent of sensational developments. On Friday night, Heflin observed that Thomas might not have an adequate "judicial temperament" because he so vigorously defended his life and reputation. On Saturday afternoon, he compared the difficulty of proving Hill's allegation of dirty talk by Thomas with prosecuting "date rape" felony cases. Thomas might have been finished had he followed the advice of s i i i rv i r -x . r i slip? Rowland Evans and Robert are Washington-based, syndicated columnists.

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