The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 21, 1991 · Page 10
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October 21, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 10

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Monday, October 21, 1991
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A-10Comment THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Monday, October 21, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER 1. 4 WILLIAM J. KEATING Chairman and Publisher GEORGE R. BLAKE Editor, Vice President THOMAS E. DUNNING Managing Editor THOMAS S. GEPHARDT Associate Editor DARRYLW. EVERETT Vice President, Advertising WTLIJAM R. JOHNSTON Vice President, Circulation MARK S. MIKOIAJCZYK Vice President, Production JAMES A. SCHWARTZ Vice President, Finance GERLD T. SILVTRS Vice President, Marketing Services A Gannett Newspaper .i ' ''J AV -T Wt 1 Congress Boehner tries to shed light into dark corners of House 11 1,1 1 k I bouncers. Representative Boehner requested, to no avail, that House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, D-Wash., release the list of offenders to remove public suspicion from the innocent. A number, to their credit, identified "A U.S. Rep. John Boehner of West Chester has found the public angry over a Congress arrogant and, in ways, out of control. More important, he is acting on what he found despite tradition that says to get along, espe cially in a member's first year, go along. His latest offense against his seniors was to introduce, with other Republican freshmen, a bill to eliminate Congress' exemption from the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. That 1966 act clung to Congress' custom of exempting itself from laws imposed on others. No con r John The 'Harvard in the Woods' Boehner A P gressional office, for example, need comply with affirmative action or civil-rights law in its staffing or conduct. But Representative Boehner, evidently sensing that Congress has a lot to hide, wants congressional records subject to the same scrutiny as those in the executive branch. The proposed legislation was triggered by the secrecy veil over those who bounced 8,331 House Bank checks in a 12-month interval before Representative Boehner entered Congress. Despite his innocence, he had to suffer through a weekend of criticism of Congress and jokes from his constituents after a General Accounting Audit uncovered so many check Iraq BY NEAL A. RAISMAN Guest Columnist The other day, someone called Raymond Walters College the "Last Chance Branch." "Harvard in the Woods" another person smirked. At first I was insulted but then remembered two-year colleges like Raymond Walters, are among America's best kept secrets for a better future. When America regains success in the world, much of the credit will be due to the "middle child" of the American educational family. Tucked between the senior sibling of the university and the baby of the family, k-12 schools, sit America's 1,222 two-year, community and junior colleges. Without much fanfare, football teams or headline grabbing, America's unique experiment with education provides a future for over 50 of all students starting higher education today. Two-year colleges like Raymond Walters opened the door to a future of success for over five and a half million students in 1990. But like too many other middle children, the two-year college is not recognized fully enough although it may even outperform its siblings in areas the fuller family so definitely needs. A chance at a dream Two-year colleges like Raymond Walters start with uniquely American dream that every citizen should have a chance at an education, a career and a productive life. They recognize that if education is the key to the future, then American higher education must not pocket the key and walk away. Doors must be opened to all whether they want a four-year degree, a start in a trained profession, up-grading of skills and knowledge, or a chance to overcome the errors of their past education or choices. Today's community colleges present paths to success for millions of Americans through the "open door" approach. Most community colleges have extremely minimal entry requirements beyond a desire to learn and grow. The "open door" has swung wide to every type of student wanting to take advantage of low-cost, excellent-quality coursework forming the freshman and sophmore years at four-year universities; professional and vocational education; workers being trained to work with the latest technology; displaced homemakers; new and future citizens with limited language proficiency. Indeed, anyone and everyone from people with minimal reading ability to Ph.D.s looking to expand their horizons pass through the doors of two-year colleges. Almost two-thirds of our students are enrolled part-time. At Raymond Walters Its heavy purchases of arms should have alerted the world themselves. The House leadership's refusal to release the list was not because all offenders were Democrats. Several Republicans have conceded they bounced checks in a bank which imposed no financial penalties because the House set its rules. Whether Democrat or , Republican, many simply exploited the bank for what amounted to interest-free loans. One member, Rep. Peter Kostmayer, D-Pa., retired a $5,000 Visa bill with a check for which he had insufficient funds. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., was reported to have paid a $4,000 property-tax bill this way. Without its FOI exemption, the House would have to identify the check-bouncers. That's why the effort of Representative Boehner and his colleagues is destined to tail unless public pressure grows for their bill. All Americans angered by the bank mess should contact their congressmen to make that pressure felt. order threatened. That's why a new arms-transfer study by the Boston-based Council for a Livable World Education Fund should be taken seriously by policymakers. It details the diversity and breadth of the arms-export trade. It tags the Soviet Union, for example, the world's leading arms merchant in the 1971-1988 interval, accounting for 39.8 of exports. The United States was second, with 25.9. France was a distant third, at 7.3. China ranked sixth, behind Great Britain and West Germany, accounting for only 2.4 of exports. Until Mao Zedong died in 1976, China provided weapons, mostly small arms, free of charge to favored cli ents. Discovering the profits in arms, it supplied slightly more than 10 of the weapons each side obtained in the Iran-Iraq war. When that war ended, the export market shrunk, though it revived to flourish again. All the more reason, then, for renewed efforts to reduce arms exports, especially to the developing world. aside bitterness ges, while many believed her. The point is that the Senate has made its decision, and Americans on all sides should close ranks now be hind it. Recrimination and accusation should cease. Justice Thomas should begin his tenure on the high court confident that even those who op posed him now wish him well. "This is more a time for healing, not a time for ancer ... or animosi ty," he said just after his confirmation. He was right. Any anger should be directed not at him or Professor Hill, but at the Senate process which exposed both to national and even inter national public scrutiny and scorn. Community colleges have formed partnerships with business and industry to provide education needed to make America more competitive in the global marketplace. Raymond Walters, for example, was recognized as one of the nation's best colleges by U.S. News and World Report for its work with local business and industry. These centers do not generate consultants' reports but hands-on training leading to results jobs and success. The success or failure of America to meet cultural and social goals of equality may rest on community colleges. Community colleges enroll over 1 million minority students a larger percentage of minority students than four-year institutions. Though many students at Raymond Walters come from the top of their classes, we also offer a chance to students, part-time learners, working adults, senior citizens and others who could not have initially begun in a four-year program. Without two-year colleges, they would not have had a chance at college. Schools like Raymond Walters may be truly the "Last Chance Branch" not just for many students, but for the dreams and promises of society. Two-year colleges offer an unbiased attitude toward students. Community college students do not have to "prove" they deserve entrance. They are their own admittance committee. Any person who cares enough to help him or herself learn and grow is welcome. Appealing lower costs As tuition increases and financial-aid money shrinks, many students are being priced out of many four-year colleges. Community college tuition remains less than at four-year colleges keeping doors open. Further, two-year college faculty are dedicated to teaching. Little is as important as meeting the needs of students. But scholarship is not ignored. Many Raymond Walters faculty are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields. So, students learn in small classes from experts who care. Perhaps being labeled "Harvard in the Woods" is not a slur after all. Perhaps some people will still call Raymond Walters and other community colleges "Last Chance Branch," "Harvard in the Woods" or some other name. They may mean to be ironic. I will hear them as reasons for pride. Dr. Neal Raisman is dean of Raymond Walters College. "So lone as there is no clear evidence that Laetrile is unsafe to the user, I believe each individual patient has a right to obtain the substance from a licensed physician who feels it appropriate to prescribe it to him. . . . "The issue here is human liberty. Can the informed cancer-ridden patient be limited in choice of treatment to 'state sanctioned' alternatives? . . . The right to control one's own body is not restricted to the wise; it includes the 'foolish' refusal of medical treatment." Exactly so. The big issue is freedom. How far should our government go in protecting the people from what the government declares to be folly? In giving the FDA absolute power over drugs, Congress has imposed liberalism in its most evil form. The omnipotent state knows best! In time the commotion over Laetrile subsided. Perhaps the stuff really was worthless. Perhaps the cancer victims who demanded access to the drug were foolish. But God and the Constitution have given freeborn Americans a right to be foolish. James J. Kilpatrick is a Washington-based, nationally syndicated columnist. A new study shows Iraq was the world's leading arms importer in the 1971-88 interval. The almost $75.4 billion it spent on arms imports more than double Iran's total is not surprising in retrospect. Nor is Iraq's No. 1 world rank in recent years in proportion of gross national product spent on weapons. The vast flood of arms into Iraq should have alerted the world to the evident sweep of its intentions. Clearly the Israelis were concerned, especially with Iraq's nuclear-weapons development program. But U.S. and other Western experts apparently wrote off the conventional-arms imports as essential for Iraq's war with Iran. Moreover, no nation, presumably, knew Iraq was trying to develop hydrogen as well as old-fashioned atomic bombs. Experience is said to be a good teacher. But is it where arms are concerned? Profits in arms sales are immense. To the extent the weapons-export market continues to flourish is President Bush's new world Neal Raisman ... the need for two-year colleges we offer classes day and night and Saturdays, on campus and at sites like the Ford plant, General Electric, Ethicon, or other work environments so working men and women seeking new skills, knowledge or perspectives to apply to their lives and jobs can have access. This part-time population is one which would be largely , locked out of higher education without colleges like Raymond Walters. Community colleges recognize not everyone wants to obtain a bachelor's degree, but to succeed in our information society, people need education. Many of these people work fulltime to support themselves andor a family. Flexible hours and mix of technical, applied and baccalaureate transfer courses meet their self-identified needs. If we are "Last Chance Branch" we welcome the opportunity to open futures for others. . Not only do individuals benefit, but the four counties we serve get solid return on their tax dollars. Families have access to excellent education which transfers to complete a bachelor's degree at the University of Cincinnati, Xavier, Miami or most anywhere else including our sister college in England. There are specific programs to advance personal life-long learning, or fulfill workplace requirements needed to keep pace with changes to keep our economy strong. Two-year colleges are part of the community and are responsive to community demands. Transfer education , offering courses which parallel the first two years of a four-year college or university is central. There was an old, false belief that community college courses would not transfer to baccalaureate programs. James J. Kilpatrick Above all? Really? Must the FDA's precious "standards" be maintained above any consideration of humanity or compassion? Under federal law, the FDA's responsibility is to approve only those drugs found to be (1) safe and (2) effective, Abundant anecdotal evidence now attests tacrine's effectiveness. For some victims it works, although it may not work for every victim. In a few cases the improvement is described as "stunning" or "almost unbelievable." Tacrine appears also to be relatively safe. Preliminary data indicate liver damage in some patients, but in every test case the damage has proved to be reversible. The story of tacrine, or Cognex, takes me back to 1974 and the story of amyg-dalin, or Laetrile. In California, a doctor actually was sent to jail for six months for prescribing Laetrile. On appeal he won a resounding decision in California's Fourth District, where Judge Robert Staniforth said: FDA is wrong to block drug Judge Thomas With the battle o,ver, the time WASHINGTON: The person who dies of Alzheimer's disease dies slowly. The mind goes; memory goes; the victim loses control of bodily functions. All terminal diseases are bad, but some are worse than others. Alzheimer's ranks with AIDS and certain cancers as the most anguishing of all. Dr. David A. Kessler, commissioner of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), vividly described Alzheimer's in a talk July 15. "Patients face the demeaning realization that they will become a burden to others. They face the terror of a relentless descent into oblivion." The FDA commissioner was in Be-thesda, Md., to talk to one of FDA's advisory committees. The committee had met to consider whether access should be expanded to a drug known as tacrine, or Cognex, developed by Warner-Lambert Co. Preliminary trials had indicated that tacrine appeared to benefit some victims of Alzheimer's. The company proposed a massive test, involving 50,000 subjects, to provide data on which a final decision on approval would be based. The committee's answer, essentially, was no. Not now. Further preliminary studies would have to be made at higher dosages. Dr. Kessler affirmed the committee's recommendation. "Above all," he said, "we must maintain our has come to set Most members of the U.S. Senate are accustomed to bruising battles, and don't harbor bitterness or resentment after they're over. The senator against you today, for example, may be on your side tomorrow. So most, if not all, wounds opened in the Senate during the confirmation fight over Associate Justice Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court will heal fast. Those in the country, regrettably, may last longer. Many people took strong positions after the Senate Judiciary Committee's marathon public hearing on Professor Anita Hill's charges of sexual harassment against Justice Thomas. Many believed his denial of the char-

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