Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 18, 1998 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 18, 1998
Page 4
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LOCALLY OPERATED MEMBER DONKEY MEDIA GROUP Donald W. Reynolds, Founder Ukiah Daily (DSPS 646-920) Wil Dennis Wilson, Publisher K.C. Meadows - Editor Vic Martinez • Production Manager Yvonne Bell • Office Manager Ken Bohl-Circulation Manager MwUMrAu<fflBurMU r . M , nm J 8 g'iS!!!*f OfC.reu.rton. ,£«• Njgjg; OTHER OPINIONS from around the nation Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal On sexual harassment The U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision that a federal law against sexual harassment at work applies to cases involving people of the same sex is a victory for common sense and fairness. The ruling came in the case of a Louisiana man who said that he was subjected to sexual humiliation, assault and rape threats by his male boss and co-workers on an offshore oil rig. The man, alleging that complaints to the company brought no relief, filed a sexual harassment suit. But a federal appeals court threw it out on grounds that the relevant law, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,'applies only to behavior between men and women. The high court's ruling means that the suit can now go forward. This closely watched case also will smooth the way for similar lawsuits involving same-sex harassment charges. The decision is eminently sensible. Since sexual relations do occur between people of the same sex, sexual harassment on the job often is not so much about sex as about the abuse of power,, and power can be abused between men and men or women and women. Anyone who is humiliated, threatened or coerced at work in a way related to his or her sexuality ought to have recourse under the law without regard to the sex of the'offender.... The Record, Stockton On the Sprewell decision The arbitrator's decision in the Latrell Sprewell case would appear to be an assault on common sense. The Golden State Warriors player physically attacks his coach but gets off with a seven-month suspension. The Warriors, in turn, get stuck with the final two seasons of Sprewell's contract, worth $17.3 million. But we shouldn't be surprised. Basketball has been indifferent to violence in the past; it paid the price in the Sprewell case. Professional sports have demonstrated repeatedly their inability to deal appropriately with behavior that would, in any other setting, be considered criminal. ... The Greenville (S.G.) News On the federal drunken-driving bill The Senate is trying to revive the discredited congressional practice 'of blackmailing the states into adopting traffic safety laws fashioned in Washington. ... Iriie Senate approved an amendment to the federal highway bill establishing a strict nationwide definition of drunken driving — a blood-alcohol level ofO\08. Congress doesn't have the constitutional authority to impose traffic safety laws on the states, so the bipartisan Senate coalition supporting the bill opted to use the threat of withdrawal of federal highway funds to coerce states into accepting the 0.08 standard for driving under the influence.... Obviously, the 0.08 limit will have no impact on the heavy drinkers who cause a large percentage of the fatal accidents in the United States. That's a key reason why South Carolina and 32 other states have resisted calls to set a 0.08 blood- alcohol level for driving under the influence. Tough DUI laws have played a role in reducing highway deaths, but state lawmakers understand there is a point at which stricter measures don't enhance safety and actually undermine public respect for the law. Daily Times, Farmington, N.M On a possible leadership crisis "What separates the men from the boys in politics is that the boys seek office to be something and the men seek office to do something." We might do well to update that statement to include the role of women in the political arena, but the underlying idea in that oft-repeated maxim of the late President Richard Nixon contains an important thought for today's world of politics. We seem to be suffering from a certain ineptitude in the current generation of political leadership. The loss of political momentum that may result from President Clinton's ongoing imbroglio with Kenneth Starr, and his administration's lack of surefootedness in foreign affairs, in both the Middle East and central Europe, may cause long-term liabilities for this country at home and abroad.... It is a new generation that has taken the reins of governance — a generation that was born after the one forged by the Great Depression and World War II. This is a generation that was handed that hard- won better world sought by their parents. It is a generation that has been filled with bright ideas of things it wanted to accomplish. It seems it is a group wanting to be something in order to accomplish big things, but lacking the character-forming experience needed to achieve (them). Likes common sense approach To the Editor: Sunday's, March 1, Journal, had at least two if not more articles in which local individuals in positions of power were invoking "common sense" in support of their beliefs. Mr. Pauli's comments on the issue of new listings of salmon as endangered species and Mr. Delbar's comments on the air quality in the Ukiah Valley, left me feeling that they are ready to dodge one of the most basic issues facing mankind. It is my feeling that a little common sense might shed some light on the issues of species extinction and pollution of the environment on which our own species is dependent for its survival, in a way that they can be seen as the handwriting or the wall telling us that unless we do something about the present overpopulation of the earth with human beings, future generations will be wondering why we did not use a little "common sense." Terry Poplawski Ukiah Spoofing? To The Editor: . I have to admit Dan Hamburg really had me going with his "Respecting our elders" letter in the Journal March 10. I mean, it seemed plausible enough when I handed the paper to the wife. "Look what Dan's up to now," I said. After she read the letter she said, "Eddie, sometimes you are so naive. Can't you see he's spoofing us. Come on! 'Bronze-visaged Indian man.' 'Paraplegic spokesperson.' 'I want you to do me the honor of firing the bullet that ends my life.' '...bring out your Catling gun.'" The" wife continued: "and listen to this howler, '...denied a burial site by the people from whom this land we call the United States was stolen.' Eddie, how could you take this thing seriously?" "But what about the 'nuclear waste dump' and the 'sacred land" and the 'language of our people' and the 'desert tortoise' and, and," I began to stammer. "Aren't these serious issues? Why would Dan spoof them?" I asked the wife. But doubts began to overtake me as I reread the letter. It did seem that Dan had thrown in just about every politically correct, environmentalist, noble Indian, cause into his masterpiece. Then too, there was this unbidden image Dan put into my mind of the "avaricious" Governor Pete Wilson stomping the desert tortoise with his tiny feet. I guess my final humiliation came when I spoke out loud Dan's final words: "'No,' we assured her. 'It is we who are honored.'" This is classic Hollywood B movie dialogue, I thought. And I could picture the (polluting) campfire. The cheesy sound stage desert backdrop. The old Indian woman draped in the colorful blanket. Add a softly strumming guitar or a mournful harmonica and you got a real tearjerker, lemme tell you. P.S. I'm dying to know, Dan. What do you call "this land we call the United States?" Edward McShane Ukiah ON/f Of- THE WONDERJ Of THE POSTMODERN President Bill Clinton: The White House, 1600 V> Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500i'»: (202) 456-1111, FAX (202)456-2461. :'.**>. rftton Governor Pete Wilson: State Capitol, SactfiP^ mento, 95814. (916) 445-2841; FAX (916)445^>d . 4633. '"~ i"i on Sen. Barbara Boxer: U.S. Senate, Washington}ud D.C. 20510; (202)224-3553; San Francisco, (41 $)'*)! 403-0100. M fl* Sen. Dianne Feinstein: U.S. Senate, Washing'- 1 ''' ton, D.C. 20510. (202)224-3841; San Francisc6 • (415)249-4777. :»•'•& Congressman Frank Riggs: 1st District, Longworth House Office Building, Washingtoflptf D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3311; Fax (202)225-3403'/> Field representative in Napa, Pam Simpson, 1700 Second St., Suite 378<'Napa, 94559: Phone<254 7308:E-1fiairrepriggs®h'r:hbuse.g6v: iff; u -r-::i mitt ' Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martini * State Assembly District 1, P.O. Box 942840,^ Sacramento, 94249-0001. (916) 4458360; Santa-.*-' Rosa, 576-2526; FAX, Santa Rosa, 576-2297 1 / Strom-Martin's field representative in Ukiah : fe' . Jennifer Puser, located at 104 W. Church St,'-^ Ukiah, 95482,463-5770. Lake County's represent; tative, Harry Bistrin, can be reached at 463-5771'." The office's fax number is 463-5773. ^'- a < Senator Mike Thompson: State Senate Dis^•• trict-2f Room 3056, Sacramento, 95814. (916^ 445-3375; FAX (916) 323-6958. Thompson's rep--'i< resentative for Mendocino County is Kendall 1 ' 0 "' Smith, 962-0933, P.O. Box 2208, Fort Bragg; '^ 95437. Regional director is Kathy Hayes, located' 0 '* at 50 D St., Suite 120-A Santa Rosa, 95404, 5761-"'' 1 2771. Mendocino County Supervisors: Michael 10 ' Delbar, 1st District; Richard Shoemaker, 2nd Dis t0 '' J trict; John Pinches, 3rd District; Patricia Camp-"" 7 bell, 4th District; Charles Peterson, 5th District.- •"" All can be reached by writing to 501 Low GapV J ' Road, Room 1090, Ukiah, 95482, 463-42.21, FAX 463-4245. ">W Skeletons in every closet Defenders of the president have wondered aloud who'could withstand the kind of intensive investigation to which he has been subjected. Why, anyone subjected to the scrutiny of an independent counsel, we are told, will be revealed as having committed crimes. There is a cynicism inherent in that claim which says a great deal more about those making it than about the claim itself. It lends credence to the idea that Clinton's defenders are either immoral themselves or incapable of judging immorality in others ~ which is another kind of immorality. There are many people in this country, unbiased by political considerations, who believe that President Clinton falls far below the moral standards set by almost all other presidents and below the standards of the average American. Is it true that an investigator, given enough time and money, can find crimes in anyone's closet? Let's look at the record of independent counsels since the statute was first passed in 1978. Each counsel had unlimited time (the investigation of abuses at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Reagan administration is still ongoing) and unlimited funds. There have been 20 independent counsels appointed to investigate officials from four administrations. Of those 20 probes, only six yielded indictments, guilty pleas or convictions that were not reversed or pardoned, and three of those were from the Clinton administration. It seems that some closets are dirtier than others. And speaking of withstanding scrutiny, the country should collectively applaud the spotless Mono Charen is a syndicated columnist. Mona Charen life Kenneth Starr has led (if anyone really cares about personal morality anymore). How do we know? Because .the Clinton White house has hired two and possibly more private investigators to nose around in the backgrounds of every lawyer on Ken Starr's team — with special emphasis on Starr himself. Starr, it seems, is the kind of man who can withstand even the most intrusive investigation unscathed.. When Mike McCurry, the president's press secretary, was asked about rumors that the president had hired private detectives to dig up dirt on the independent counsel, he said that neither the White House "nor any of President Clinton's private attorneys has hired or authorized any private investigator to look into the background of ... investigators, prosecutors or reporters." Within a few days, the White House was forced to admit that Terry Lenzner, owner of a firm called Investigative Group Inc., had been retained by Williams and Connally (presidential adviser Robert Bennett's law firm). When asked if he or his staff were looking into •loliq he backgrounds of Starr and other lawyers in tlj^J ndependent counsel's office, Lenzner told The,!"*! Washington Post, "I'd say there was nothing inajp-'|_ propriate in that." '.'" ! It may have been Lenzner who unearthed tji$ ° idbit about Linda Tripp having been arrested fm:,. heft while a teenager. According to CNN, she li^Q},^ on her Pentagon application form by answering"'" no" to the question "Have you ever been arrest-m» ed?" >9« Quick as a wink, Secretary of Defense Williajiv Cohen was on the air saying that if Tripp lied, thjp fji was "very serious." -/aolx, Life is getting very confusing. Doesn't tnjs (i// administration take the view that lying is not aU<,;4 that important? Doesn't it believe that elected offi^,^ cials should just get on with the jobs the Americ^n^d people hired them to do and not go rummaging around in the past? : ,,-,,;{,, Tripp says she was innocent and was nevef 00 l charged in that incident, which occurred when sh.e 0 . jc | was 19. But if the administration is going to ke^k consistent, it seems they must admit that TrippfsJ^ brush with the police was a private matter having nothing whatever to do with her Pentagon job,< Jf-,fl she lied on her application or security clearance^ J( so what? Lying is no measure of character, is it?.!{«}({ Bill Clinton stared into a TV camera and tQ|<£ c the American people that he did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. It looks now as ; j| ,d he also made that statement under oath in lii§,,./ deposition. Ditto for his encounter with Kathlee^H Willey. It doesn't matter what happens to the Jongs J case. The key fact is that we have in the Whij^ j •' House a man who can swear falsely on a Bible an/J^i then trash those who tell the truth - a man pletely without honor or decency.

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