The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 18, 1998 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

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Monday, May 18, 1998
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ftfl MONDAY. MAY 18, 1998 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: <785) 827-6363 E-mail: SJLetters® ;aljournal.com Quote of the day "It would take everyone involved getting struck by 'lightningfor this I thing not to happen." unnamed source : talking about a government ; lawsuit against software maker Microsoft By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal A great drug' THE ISSUE Bob Dole and Viagra THE ARGUMENT Dole's frankness could save lives W e were going to leave Bob Dole's sex life out of this. But, in the wake of our former senator's admission last week that he served as a willing guinea pig for the new male potency pill called Viagra, Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page offered some kind remarks that deserve to be made known here in Dole country. Dole, 74, showed up on CNN's "Larry King Live" recently and said, among other things, the Viagra was "a great drug." It was a sentiment echoed, with a knowing smile, by his wife Elizabeth a few days later. The immediate reaction of some people was to giggle, and of others was to be shocked. But Page pointed out that there is more to the Doles' pillow talk than the sly smiles of a couple many people might think beyond such concerns. Even without a Senate to run or a White House to seek, Dole is a man of causes and crusades. One of them is to convince men to be examined and, if necessary, treated for prostate cancer. Dole was so examined, and so treated. He is, he says, alive today because of it. He wants other men to stay alive, too. One thing deterring men from such tests and treatment, however, is the fear that the treatment will leave them unable to function sexually. Some men, Page points out, would rather die than face such a future. But Viagra apparently can bring back whatever function prostate treatment removes. And that should ease much of the reluctance many men have to get the check-ups they need. And this knowledge, Page points out, is something that can save a lot of lives. If the cost of spreading that knowledge is a few more jokes aimed at Bob and Libby Dole, well, that's politics. By disclosing this part of his most personal life, Dole has done a great service. He has also suggested a way to guide us in the use of this latest wonder drug. Insurance carriers and states are in a quandary as to whether and when to fund the use of Viagra which, like many new drugs, costs a lot. Dole's experience indicates that while men should not expect free Viagra just because they feel a bit peaked, it does make sense to fund it when it will restore a function lost to prostate treatment or some other specific medical condition. Fun's fun. Saving lives is what Dole's approach is all about. It is a good use of the media spotlight the senator still enjoys, and still plays so well. LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL SJLetters@saljournal.com People never gave up their gun rights ; Which of the enumerated powers authorized to the federal government are described in the Bill of Rights? None, of course. All powers (except alcohol) given the federal government by the Constitution of the United States are listed in the body of the Constitution. The Second Amendment, then, is something else. When we have a doubt of the exact meaning of sections of the Constitution, the Supreme Court instructs that we should look to The Federalist Papers for clarification. In Cohens vs. Virginia the Court said: "Its intrinsic merit entitles it to this high rank, and the part its authors performed in framing the Constitution put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed." In The Federalist No. 84, Alexander Hamilton gives his opinion on why a Bill of Rights was not really needed: "I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this vfery account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?" Indeed. Why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? And, there is no pow- efc,' to regulate private firearms, ^et, many people wanted this declaration of rights added to the Constitution. The promise to do so LIBERTIES George Mitchell's nicotine-stained halo Wise old men of Washington make peace in Ireland and protect tobacco at home B ELFAST, Northern Ireland — George Mitchell was trying to bask in his diplomatic glory. The former Maine senator, a candidate for knighthood in Britain and sainthood in Ireland, made a speech at the National Press Club in Washington on Wednesday, sharing reflections on his role * in winning the longest of long shots, a peace agreement for Northern Ireland. The press, however, has a very short attention span. The journalists were distracted from peace to bang-bang in three other "I" countries — India, Indonesia and Israel. And, as usual, they were distracted by sex. Doug Harbrecht, the press club president, read Mitchell a question from the audience: "Since you are married to a woman 25 years younger than you, many in the audience are wondering whether you, like another famous Verner, Liipfert partner, Bob Dole, have ever used Viagra. Care to comment, please?" "The answer is no," Mitchell replied, with a broad smile, "and I've got a 6-month-old son to prove that I don't need it!" I felt queasy at what the question presaged for future presidential campaigns. I never T UNCOMMON SENSE MAUREEN DOWD The New York Times want to hear Richard Gephardt and Steve Forbes quizzed about Viagra, for Pete's sake. But Mitchell was in such fine fettle over his shimmering accomplishment massaging and melding bitter rival factions in Ireland, he probably would not have lost his beatific smile no matter what odd question he was lobbed. The man deserves blessings. He made 100 trans-Atlantic flights to Ireland in three years, brokered a settlement on terms tolerable to two governments and eight political parties, listening and soothing even after "everything that needed to be said had been said many times over," as he put it. But in the great Washington tradition, Mitchell has been doing good and doing well. On the dais as Mitchell's guests were his law partners at the politically connected Verner, Liipfert firm, Berl Bernhard and Harry McPherson, who are also Democratic mandarins. After Mitchell returned from his Irish triumph, Bernhard led the firm in a standing ovation at an impromptu reception for the peacemaker. While Mitchell and his Verner, Liipfert partners are celebrating over doing the Lord's work in Ireland, they've been doing Big Tobacco's work in Washington. While Mitchell spoke movingly in his speech about wanting to insure a safe future for the 61 babies born in Northern Ireland the same day as his son, Verner, Liipfert has been lobbying on behalf of an addiction that poses a deadly threat to American children: smoking. The law firm earned more than $10 million in fees in 1997 from the five largest tobacco companies. Originally, Mitchell and Verner, Liipfert justified working for the tobacco industry by arguing that they were promoting the historic $368.5 billion tobacco settlement! reached last June, which would have provided! new funding for teen anti-smoking programs! and other public health initiatives. | But now Big Tobacco has launched an ag-; gressive, multimillion-dollar advertising and! lobbying campaign to kill tobacco legislation 1 sponsored by Senator John McCain that would extract even more money from cigarette makers to stop kids from smoking. McCain says it is "not fun" to see himself ripped by tobacco companies in TV and radio ads in Arizona. With Big Tobacco in a recalcitrant mode, the prospect for enacting last year's settlement seems off the radar. ! And when the cigarette makers stalked! away, Verner, Liipfert went with them. The in-! dustry's critics are saying that Verner, Li-j ipfert should now be doing some soul-searching over whether it wants to stick with Big To- i bacco. "Now they should see that they are on; the wrong side of the fight," said one anti-' smoking activist. "But it's going to be hard for these lawyers to go tobacco-free. They are in' the hourly rate business." And $10 million is a mighty fat fee. McCain said that the Washington lawyers and former Democratic and Republican wise men — Bob Dole, Howard Baker and George! Mitchell — who are becoming rich on tobacco' money "really need to examine their responsi-; bilities, they really do." i Having taken such good care of the children! of Ireland, maybe Mitchell and his law firm! should now take good care of ours. President Clinton on the couch P.O. Box 740, Salina, KS 67402 was made so as to get the Constitution ratified. And the rest is history. It is also enlightening to read what the representative from Virginia, James Madison, said to the first House of Representatives as he proposed the Bill of Rights. "The people have those rights in their own hands, and that is the proper place for them to rest." Later, he says that, "all (powers) that are not granted by the constitution are retained" by the people. If the federal government had the power to regulate personal firearms, it would be one of the powers listed in the body of the Constitution, not in the Bill of Rights. And, as there is no such power granted, the right to keep and bear arms completely and unequivocally belongs to the people. So, what would the Founding Fathers say about the abuse of power by the federal government to grab guns? Alexander Hamilton gives us a pretty good idea in The Federalist No. 78: "There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid." State governments gave up a few powers when the country was formed. The American people did not give up any of their rights. Were the people asked to sacrifice liberty, the Constitution would never have been ratified. — ART HOWELL Lincoln ahowell@tri.net Philanderers believe they have done nothing wrong despite the suffering they cause others F ormer Sen. Gary Hart is on a book tour, trying to expunge his image as a philanderer, not by confession but by debunking such behavior as irrelevant to overall character and leadership skills. Philanderers talk like that. It insulates them from reality, responsibility and accountability. Psychiatrist Frank Pittman has written a sobering article for the May/June issue of the professional journal Family Therapy Networker. In it he rips apart such thinking. Using President Clinton as his example, Pittman writes, "... we elected an apparently post- patriarchal leader — a noncompetitive idealist, a pot * smoking pacifist who called for love, not war, a feminist with a powerful wife as an equal partner — and now he seems to want the privilege of old-style patriarchs, like Greek gods, Roman emperors, Renaissance popes and Kennedys." Pittman goes deeper than Rep. Dan Burton, who called Clinton a "scumbag." He says, "Clinton was our yuppie Schindler — the badly flawed man who could save his soul by sav- CAL THOMAS Las Angeles Times Syndicate ing our lives. But we see now that his services come too high, requiring too much compromise of our values. It's hard to live a lie, let alone defend one. It messes with our minds to defend the president." The beauty of his article is that it isn't about politics. His views result from years of clinical experience with philanderers: "I see people in post-traumatic shock from their own affairs or those of their loved ones. There may be greater sins than adultery, but not when it is happening in your family, in your marriage or in the marriage of your parents. While the betrayed spouses in my practice can't understand how a man can betray his loved ones, his country, his place in history for something so insignificant as a sexual dalliance, the philanderers find it perfectly reasonable. They consider such behavior normal. They proudly include the president as one of their group. These men, usually either fatherless or the sons of philanderers, avoid intimacy and often sex at home, while devoting a lifetime to the seduction and abandonment of strange women, forever reliving puberty rituals they hoped would make them feel like men." For those, like Gary Hart, who believe public and private character can be separated, Pittman responds: "Philandering requires a life of duplicity, constant betrayals, sexual obsession and gender preoccupation. It may be a good way to build seductive skills, but not a good way to develop character or responsibility. Philanderers lie." Pittman says while the public can live with DOONESBURY what the president has done, they still want the truth. In his experience, he says, the only : thing that hurts a husband or wife more than! extramarital sex is the lies and cover-up efforts, which are the greater betrayal. Sexual freedom comes with a price, notes. Pittman. "We give up our right to throw,; stones." He seems to partially excuse philanderers like the president, saying they've never i been told the truth. That's too easy. Truth is available to any person. The president can find it in a book he carries to church on Sunday. Based on his clients' patterns of denial, Pittman predicts President Clinton will continue to deny any sexual misadventures and will be supported, though not believed. While Pittman forecasts no crippling legal consj-, quences, Clinton "will live out his damkged^ term amidst derision and contempt and he w3j • go down in history as a fool rather than tHe;.' hero he aspired to be." In the process, we lo§i; respect for the presidency until it is agajji' filled with someone worthy of our respect "The philanderers among us will see only thflkfi another man defeated his female accusers aiflj: won; the rest of us will see 'what he lost. Afjft- the whole thing will continue to be a national joke." -•-* Hart cites great presidents who allegedly:' had affairs, saying we wouldn't have thenuif today's standards applied. Thankfully, weTdiSk n't have Hart as president because standards did apply. And it's fair to ask if he and Clin'toS would lie to their wives, on what basis shouiS£ we believe other promises they make? By G.B. TRUDEAD OF COU&&, BUT I HAVE A

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