The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 27, 1998 · Page 10
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 10

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 27, 1998
Page 10
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B2 WEDNESDAY, MAY 27. 1998 THE SAUNA 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 Quote of the day "Nobody wants to sue a neighbor, but sometimes the neighbor gives us no choice." Carla Stovall Kansas attorney general, on filing suit against Nebraska over claims that Nebraska farmers have been taking too much water from the Republican River. By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal Rally 'round the flag THE ISSUE Protecting the flag THE ARGUMENT Limiting rights is not what veterans fought for A pparently, the solemn remembrance of the premature, violent deaths of thousands of young Americans is no longer sad enough. Now far too many people have to soil the memory of those fallen heroes by using their ceremonies and their honors in an attempt to carve a hole in the freedoms those people fought and died for. Again this year, Memorial Day was not allowed to pass without more calls for an amendment to the Constitution that would allow Congress to ban the "desecration" of the American flag. If Americans are to have a right to remember our war dead in honor, it must be because we fought our wars for some purpose higher than conquest. It must be because our armies were fielded to defend a principle, not just soil, an idea, not just image. The very core of the American principle is the right to express oneself, especially on political matters, even in ways that may be distasteful to others. For many, that expression means waving a flag. For a few, it means setting an American flag alight, or stomping on it, or Lord knows what else. Burning a flag is a stupid statement, one that wins few friends for the person making the statement. That is why it seldom happens and, when it does, the Republic is in no way endangered. The Constitution exists to limit the government and expand the rights of individuals. To add an amendment that would turn that approach on its head — limiting individuals by empowering government — would do more to undermine the principles of America than any dozen flag-burning idiots. When the flags in question belong to someone else — a courthouse, a veterans group, a family gravesite — existing laws against theft and vandalism are enough to punish those crimes. But good soldiers should know that, once a single breach has been blown in the perimeter that protects our freedom, more and more enemies of liberty will be able to cross the lines and start dictating our behavior. It would be the ultimate disrespect for our veterans, living and dead, to use the incredible suffering they endured to justify a law that assumes they are too weak to have their feelings hurt. IT TAKES T ESSAY Following the China Connections T CONTRIBUTING EDITOR One track is about U.S. corporations, the other about Chinese money W ASHINGTON — Think of "the China connection" as two-tracked. One track is the purchase of White House influence by U.S. aerospace corporations eager to sell advanced missile technology to China. The second is the plan by China to affect Clinton policy by directing money through various fronts into the Clinton-Gore campaign. First track first. After a mere $100,000 investment in the Democratic National Committee in 1994, Bernard Schwartz, CEO of Loral Space, was rewarded with a Ron Brown trip to Beijing that led to a $250 million telecommunications deal. When one of China's missiles launching a Loral satellite failed, Loral scientists — without telling our government — prepared a 200-page report for China to improve its missile guidance. The Pentagon objected; the CIA chimed in with an estimate later that China's nuclear missiles were aimed at 13 U.S. cities. China's targeting had been made more accurate with Loral's unauthorized help. This caused the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation. That might have slowed down an ordinary company's future approvals to launch satellites on Chinese rockets, but Loral's Schwartz had pur- T SPEAKING ENGLISH WILLIAM SAFIRE Tlie New York Times chased two tickets to the Clinton Ball. One ticket was Loral's status as the largest contributor to Democratic campaigns. The other was a shrewd recruitment: in May 1995, Schwartz hired the National Security Council's press spokesman, Tom Ross — who had worked closely for a year with Sandy Berger, now national political-security adviser — to be Loral's spokesman. Ross's urgent calls to his former associate, Gary Samore, the complaisant nonproliferation man at the NSC, moved the approval process along. Just as Loral and Brown had been able to get President Clinton to overturn a State Department disapproval years before, the company with the contacts was easily able to overcome State's warning to the NSC that Loral's actions were "criminal, likely to be indicted, knowing and unlawful." Thus did Clinton's favor to contributor Schwartz undermine Justice's case. White House counsel Charles Ruff dismissed the objections of prosecutors because Attorney General Janet Reno did not make the call herself. (Her deputy, Eric Holder, is now trying to protect the White House by claiming that prosecutors were mistaken about their case being weakened.) Result: Clinton ads paid for, Loral profits up, Chinese missiles more accurate, America's cities in greater danger. Small wonder that disgusted Democrats in Congress last week voted to slam the barn door on waivers. Now to track two of the China Connection. Johnny Chung, who handed a $50,000 check in the White House to Hillary Clinton's chief of staff, is testifying that some of the money came from the Chinese military. The daughter of China's then-top commander denies she was . the conduit. Our doubters are now embarrassed because .Chung's testimony confirms the wiretap evidence of a Chinese plan to influence American elections. The Clinton defense is now that he did not know the source of his Asian money. His venality is in not wanting to know. Chung's evidence is part of a larger mosaic: Clinton's money association with Indonesia's Riady family, like Gore's with the fund-generating Buddhist temple, dates back more than a decade. The Riadys gave both money and ad-vice about changing the early Clinton policy toward China. Their advice was taken. We will learn more about Clinton's Asian.; sources and money methods in the trials of Charlie Trie and Maria Hsia. If Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., permits, we will learn about Ted Sioeng from four witnesses whose testimony he has blocked. And one of these years, we will get the full story from the man Bill Clinton and James Riady selected to be their agent at the center of the Commerce-DNC fund-raising complex: John Huang. On each separate but parallel track, Clintqn, probed for monetary help and asked no que's-. tions. China's leadership, through its many agents, dupes and business cutouts, eagerly responded and made the connection. Should this compromised president go to- Tiananmen Square on the ninth anniversary of the massacre of students there? Yes. He should hold up the picture of the dissenter fa'c-. ing the tank and honor the slain demonstrators lying beside their replica of the Statue of Liberty. That would befit the representative of democracy and begin his own redemption. What education means We have not ended the nuclear threat BETTY PRICE for the Salina Journal Building a child's character begins with the child's parents W atching the grandchildren walk across the stage to receive their degrees from college, and the high-schoolers marching up front to receive their diplomas, made us proud, excited and indeed grateful to be an important part of their lives. 'Our 2,500-mile trip to Pensacola, Fla., was worth every hour we spent with this graduating senior who, through determination and fortitude, has finally finished her study at the college there. & The trip was cut short as we were to be in Hays to watch another grandchild walk up that stage to receive his college degree from Fort Hays. It wasn't easy sitting through the program while 1,000 seniors walked that stage, yet it was worth every moment! Not to be outdone, another grandson received his high school diploma last week. He won an award for being the outstanding senior of his class. One more to go! Another grandson will walk down front this weekend to get his diploma after four years of high school. Wow! Congratulations to all these hard-working young women and men who have spent many hours, days and years to reach this goal. I know they have struggled financially, physically and mentally to accomplish this step in their ladder of life. I'm sure there were times when it would have been much easier to just quit, to just give up. They kept on studying, obeying orders, not only making their parents proud but all the other members of the family as well. What definition does the dictionary give for the word education? It says it is the ability to develop I > and cultivate mentally and morally to make oneself fit for a calling, by systematic instruction. How many parents realize that a child's education doesn't begin when he's sent off to school? The character of a child begins at birth. As parents we must be the teacher, for who loves those children more than us? Several teachers I've talked with in public schools have told me that many of the young children don't know the reason we celebrate Christmas. Also the children have been led to believe that multi-colored eggs laid by white rabbits is what Easter is all about. Where are the dedicated teachers who once believed in God and weren't afraid to say so? Raising children, helping them learn about lasting values, having faith in God, living the Golden Rule is really tough work. The Christian bookstores have video cassettes and tapes with wonderful stories of the Bible. To sit in front of the television on the average of four hours a day could give the children something worthwhile to watch. As parents we need to instill manners, obedience and praise into the kids. The Bible holds the words of wisdom for living in the light so we can stop cursing the darkness. The Book of Ephesians 6:1 says "children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Verse 4 tells believers that "fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath but should bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." The final duty must rest with parents. Not the schools, not the state, not youth groups, not grandparents, not peers or friends. God will hold parents responsible. Not the village as our first lady's book states. Discipline, an atmosphere of encouragement, tenderness, patience, listening, affection and above all the knowledge of wisdom which comes from faith in God and His Son who died because of His great love for us. Jesus said we must become as little children to enter the Kingdom of God. It works! The U.S.-Soviet arms race is over, but now everybody wants into the nuclear club T here are no nuclear war disaster movies anymore. The nuclear warheads have been replaced by comets, aliens and really big lizards. Disaster movies are big in Hollywood during the summer — there's nothing like wiping out a few hundred million people to get people to buy more popcorn — but the nuclear threat apparently doesn't sell tickets anymore. It's passe, they say. How foolish we all have been. Now movies such as "The Day After," the TV show about nuclear warheads crisping Kansas City, suddenly becomes terrifying again. That's because India barged its way into the nuclear club last week. Pakistan, India's rival, predictably was enraged at India's five successful tests and announced that it would soon begin its own tests. So here we go. Scientists confirmed that the largest of the five underground tests they conducted last week involved a hydrogen bomb. Such bomb is known in American military circles as a "city buster." Gulp. DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal However, scientists also said this would be small by comparison with the most destructive nuclear weapons built by United States, Russia and other established nuclear powers. Gee. I feel better. The United States expressed its displeasure with India's tests. We harrumphed and threatened sanctions and waggled our finger. We acted surprised and stunned and downright shocked. But what did we expect? There's a lesson in this. You can't build a huge weapon and expect no one else to want a piece of the action. We won World War II for many reasons, our courageous soldiers being one and the atomic bomb being another. Some say invading Japan would have cost the lives of at least a million Americans. I believe dropping the bomb on Japan was the right thing to do. But now we appear to be paying a steep price for introducing such a deadly device to the world. There have been at least two times in our history that the bombs almost set the world afire. The Cuban Missile Crisis was one. The early '80s were another, when we were locked in a spend-a-thon with the Soviet Union to see which country could stockpile enough nuclear weapons to wipe out Earth more times than the other country. The battle was as well-publicized as the space race we had with the Soviets in the '60s, and so of course other countries were going to take notice. Gee, they thought. Just think if we had one of those missile thingys. Just think what we could do. Just think about how much power we would have. Weapons mean power. One of the few things that stopped nuclear war in the early '80s was the fact that the Soviets had the power to blow' us to kingdom come as well. With our weapons pointed at anyone who looks at us funny, you can bet that any leader in his right mind isn't going to mess with us. I know we had a war with Iraq, but I don't believe there is anyone who would say that Saddam is in a right mind. Now just imagine a country that isn't as powerful, rich or organized as us. One nuclear weapon essentially evens the score. That's the thing about nuclear weapons. It only takes one. The most chilling thing about "The Day After" wasn't how everyone got toasted by the explosions, deathly ill from radiation or thrown back a couple centuries in time by the destruction of the world. It was the kicker at the end of the movie. The part about how the results would, of course, be much worse than what you've seen tonight. Gulp. You can't build an assault rifle and not expect students to shoot each other with them. And you can't build nuclear weapons without the expectation that other countries soon will build them as well. .; j So maybe the next time someone comes up with, say, a laser that could vaporize half 6/ South America at the push of a button, maybe' we bury the plans and hope that no other country learns about it. We've already done enough to ensure that we never run out of terrifying plots for the next big summer flicks. iSBURY By G.B. TRUDEAU •)T,..OH,HI,i HOU'P THe PNA r&ST 6O?...FEAU,Y?... THATS GRf-AT! SO WHAT'P THE <IUPGE SAY?... 15.OOO A MOffTH? WHY, &NA, THAT'S JU5T HBY, &/EK/- BOWJ05Y GCTCHIU? SUPPOKT!

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