Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 13, 2004 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Saturday, March 13, 2004
Page 4
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4 - SATURDAY, MARCH 13, 2004 FORUM From the desk of,,, MAUREEN DOWD JFK, Marilyn, and 'Camelot' NEW ORLEANS - Here are five things you might not know about John F. Kerry: - Like W., he loved "Cats." - Like his hero JFK, he was crazy about the musical "Camelot" and Marilyn Monroe (but only on screen). - Like that other earnest Massachusetts liberal, Michael Dukakis, he is drawn to the sultry tango. (Then again, tango is called the dance of "vertical solitude.") - Like Dennis Kucinich, he writes soulful poetry. - Like my older brother Michael, he never got over the image of Elizabeth Taylor in a white bathing suit in "A Place in the Sun." It's not often that you get a presidential candidate to recite poetry to you, especially in a year when W. and JFK are going macho a macho. But there was Kerry flying from Boston to New Orleans on Friday, sipping tea for his hoarse throat -and reeling off T.S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." "There are so many great lines in it," he said. '"Do I dare to eat a peach?' 'Should I wear my trousers rolled?' 'Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets/The muttering retreats/Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels/And sawdust restaurants with oyster- shells."' Then he started on "Gunga Din" and "talk o' gin and beer." When I gave George W. Bush a culture quiz in 2000, he gamely struggled to come up with one answer in each category, calling baseball his favorite "cultural experience." Kerry, on the other hand, struggled to stop coming up with a cascade of things in each category, rarely settling on a definite favorite. In what may be an interesting harbinger for their debates, W. raced through his whole interview in the same time Kerry took to answer the first question about his favorite movie. After he had roamed through 37 movies, ranging from his "Fellini stage" to his Adam Sandier period, from "National Velvet" to "The Deer Hunter" to "Men in Black," Kerry's aides began to hover. The Republicans would denounce it as film flip-flopping, no doubt. But in culture, as in policy, the senator and the president proved very different creatures - the complicated versus the concrete, the "insatiable," as Teresa Heinz Kerry calls her husband's interests, versus the incurious. Kerry is not a simple brush-clearing, ESPN-watching fellow. Just as he has an almost comically vast palette of aggressive masculine sports and hobbies, with costumes and gear, he has a vast palette of cultural preferences. He not only reads poetry - "I love Keats, Yeats, Shelley and Kipling" - he writes it. "I remember flying once; I was looking out at the desert and I wrote a poem about the barren desolation of the desert," he said. "I wrote a poem once about a great encounter I had with a deer early in the morning that was very moving." (Sometimes he shoots deer, sometimes he elegizes them.) Still showing his phantom Irish side, he pronounced Leon Uris' "Trinity" his favorite novel, and said he once explored making it into a movie. Then he tacked on Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer and the Hardy Boys - "all those good dudes." Then, remembering he's in an alpha race, he added portentously: "We all were affected by Hemingway." Dan Rather may have been skeptical in the last debate about whether Kerry has enough Elvis in him, but the senator said he learned the guitar and played in a band because he loves Elvis, Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead - not to mention classical, opera and, yes, folk music. Though he dated Morgan Fairchild, Kerry has no interest in prime time now: '"Saturday Night Live's' my favorite show." Though critics paint him as pompous, Kerry dares to be corny. He says he's a "sap" for movies like "Miracle on 34th Street," "Top Gun" and "Braveheart," and a "sucker" for musicals like "Les Miserables," "Phantom of the Opera" and "My Fair Lady." He says he likes airport mysteries and thrillers as well as biographies of Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln. The Republicans cast Kerry as dour and angry, but he likes comedies lUce "The Blues Brothers" and "Animal House" and old-fashioned romantic epics, like "Scaramouche," "Ivanhoe" and "Indiana Jones." And finally, dancing. "I can rock and roll," he said. "And I'd love to learn to tango." Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, became a columnist on The New York Times' Op-Ed page in 199S after having served as a correspondent in the paper's Washington bureau since 1986. Letters from our readers Democrats are wrong To the Editor: I would like to comment about a couple Of the problems the coterie of Democrat presidential wanabees have with the cur-" rent administration. The first is the matter of the deficit. I have always understood that it was F.D.R. who inaugurated deficit spending. Right or wrong, Democrats have never been averse to deficit spending. According to the record from, and including, 1936 to 2001 there have been 35 Congresses. During that period Republicans held control of both houses only six times, the 80th, 83rd, and presently the 104th to 107th. In the 97th, 98th and 99th they had majorities in the Senate only. There was a period from 1970 through 1997 of 28 years controlled by Democrats when the government operated on deficits. From the 73rd Congress to the present the government had managed surpluses only 12 times, three of those being with the 164th through 167th, controlled by the Republicans. President Bush's next budget is a whopper and has a lot of people angry, but how can a bunch of hypocritical Democrat wanabees criticize deficit spending in view of the foregoing record? The other matter being cussed and discussed by the wanabees is the war with Iraq. No matter what all of the committees that are now investigating our reasons going to war conclude it is a known fact that Saddam Hussein had WMD. There are even those who argue that the reason that he had them is because the U.S. gave them to him to use against the Iranians. Whatever the case may be it is common knowledge that he used WMD against the Iranians as well as his own people. Instead of gloating over the fact that no WMD have been found wouldn't it be better if those who want to lead this country into the future were to worry about what has become of those weapons which a dozen years ago the UN Inspectors know that he had. Saddam ignored 16 resolutions by the UN and played I hide and you seek with the UN. If he destroyed those weapons he has to be the biggest fool in history because all that he had to do was prove the weapons had been destroyed and he would still be there burying "traitors and thieves," as he claimed they were, by the thousands hi the desert. The wanabees have criticized the president, particularly General Clark, for a lack of exit strategy from Iraq. Indeed exit strategies are important. But would it be fair to ask what F.D.R's strategy was for getting us out of Germany and Japan? We have 70,000 troops in Germany as well as 12,000 in Italy and about 40,000 in Japan. The total of all troops in Europe today is close to 117,000. Why? Who are we afraid of? It has been nearly 59 years. What was President Truman's strategy for getting us out of Korea where we still have 36,000 troops? That war was has never been declared. The general says that he is the one who can get us out of Iraq. We have 6,000 troops in Bosnia and I don't know how many in Kosovo from President Clinton's and his wars. Knowing that Saddam had WMD and lacking any proof whatsoever that his arsenal was destroyed, and lack of discovery is not proof, would it not be prudent to show some concern as to where those weapons might be? Are they going to show up some day in the NY subway, the BART tube under the bay, LAX, O'Hare, JFK or Seattle? And here is something to think about. Does anyone know where those suitcase size nukes are that disappeared from the Soviet Union when it collapsed? Someone sure does. The president's opponents hailed the report of David Xay, but he did not say that Saddam had never had WMD. He only said that he had looked for six months and failed to find anything. Further, he blamed human intelligence and a lack of money for intelligence agencies for their failures. And John Kerry's record shows that hi 1995 he proposed to cut $300 million from intelligence funding for the next five years and in 1994 he proposed to cut $1 billion from the program that coordinates counterterrorism activities. Isn't that what happened when President Clinton bombed an aspirin factory and a Chinese Embassy. We cannot leave Iraq until order is restored and it is my opinion, as if it counts, that order will never be restored until the people themselves take a stand and tell the militants that enough is enough. It is my fear that hi the end Iraq is going to end up with another regime as bad as was Saddam's. Sharia Law that many people in Iraq seem to favor is oppressive. It is what the Talaban imposed upon Afghanistan. But if that is what they want and get, they deserve it. Arthur Church Ukiah WHERE TO WRITE President George Bush: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500; (202) 456-1111, FAX (202)456-2461. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: State Capitol, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-2841; FAX (916)445-4633 Sen. Barbara Boxer: 112 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510; (202)224-3553; San Francisco, (415) 4030100 FAX (415) 956-6701 Sen. Dlanne Feinstein: 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202)224-3841 FAX (202) 2283954; San Francisco (415) 393-0707; sena- Congressman Mike Thompson: 1st District, 119 Cannon Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3311; FAX (202)225-4335. Fort Bragg district representative, Kendall Smith, 430 N. Franklin St., PO Box 2208, Fort Bragg 95437; 962- 0933.FAX 962-0934; rep AMtmblywoman Patty Berg: state Assembly District 1, Capitol, Rm. 2137, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 319-2001; Santa Rosa, 576-2526; FAX, Santa Rosa, 5762297. Berg's field representative in Ukiah and Lake County is Kathy Kelley, located at 104 W. Church St, Ukiah, 95482, 4635770. The office's fax number is 463-5773. E-mail to: assemblymember.berg@asen> Senator Wes Chesbro: State Senate District 2, Capitol Building, Room 5100, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-3375; FAX (916) 323-6958. Field Rep. in Ukiah is Jennifer Puser, P.O. Box 785, Ukiah, 95482, 468-8914, FAX 468-8931. District offices at 1040 Main St., Suite 205, Napa, 94559, 224-1990, 50 D St., Suite 120A, Santa Rosa, 95404, 576-2771, and 317 3rd St., Suite 6, Eureka, 95501, 445-6508. Mendoclno County Supervisors: Michael Delbar, 1st District; Richard Shoemaker, 2nd District; Hal Wagenet, 3rd District; Patricia Campbell, 4th District; David Colfax, 5th District. All can be reached by writing to 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1090, Ukiah, 95482, 463-4221, FAX 463-4245. From the desk of,,, WILLIAM SAFE Privacy in retreat WASHINGTON - "I believe privacy is a fundamental right," said the candidate George W. Bush one month before his election, "and that every American should have absolute control over his or her personal information." Those of us agitating against snoopery - facilitated by databanks and newly invasive surveillance - were further assured when we elicited Bush's on-the-record promise to "guarantee the privacy of medical and sensitive financial records." But after 9/11, the passion went out of advocacy of privacy. The right to be let alone had to be balanced against the right to stay alive. Accordingly, we readily submit to preboarding searches, right down to our shoes. We tolerate foreigner-fingerprinting at our borders. We live with hidden security cameras near national monuments or bridges. Benumbed by the fear of appearing insufficiently vigilant, we accept "cookies" on our computers that track our habits and electronic location devices hi our cars that guide our way but never let us wander about unobserved. We don't know whether our nosy neighbor is taking his cell phone call or taking our picture. We let our most confidential e-mail be shared among our spies, our cops and our military. To keep our national defense up, we have let our personal defenses down. Terror's threat is real. But as we grudgingly grant government more leeway to guard our lives, we must demand that our protectors be especially careful to safeguard our rights. Officials all too often fail to see both sides of their jobs. As reported last week by Robert Pear and Eric Lichtblau in The New York Times, the Justice Department said that medical patients "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential." This abhorrent philosophy underlies a counterattack launched by Justice at doctors who went to court to challenge the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Most Americans, including many who are pro-choice, favor that legislation. I think the doctors are mistaken in their constitutional objection. But in defending the law, Attorney General John Ashcrpft went overboard. Justice issued subpoenas to hospitals in several cities across the nation for the medical records of hundreds of women who had undergone abortions. After hospitals protested that the order flew hi the face of federal and state privacy laws, Justice offered to allow the individual names to be blotted out. In Chicago, Northwestern Memorial argued in court that patients would not trust such redaction of their records - copies of which would pass through hundreds of hands - to keep private such an intimate procedure. The judge quashed the subpoena, but Justice is appealing. "Congress created a zone of privacy relating to medical information," says Chicago Congressman Rahm Emanuel. "Who would have thought the first one to violate it would be the federal government?" Medical records contain dates of treatment, doctors' names, prescriptions - all clues to identity. Who would not be deterred from going to a hospital that meekly passed along those records? This intrusion cannot be justified by a claim to protect the nation from a terror attack. In Pittsburgh, however, the FBI has set up a pilot Strategic Medical Intelligence unit under mat very rubric. Doctors in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are expected to notify SMI bioterror experts of any "suspicious event," frojn an unusual rash to a finger lost in an explosion, icjen- tifying but not informing the patient. It's proper for a doctor to report a case of spousal or child abuse to the police, or to query the Centers for Disease Control about a mysterious infection. But how do patients feel about their doctors first secretly calling the FBI? Where is the oversight to protect the innocent injured or ill? Where is the patient's informed consent? A balance must be struck between protecting all of us and protecting each one of us. I don't trust Justice or the CIA to strike that balance. I have more faith hi the courts and Congress, and - if he would remember his stand on personal freedom - in George W. Bush. William Satire, winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, joined The New York Times in 1973 as a political columnist THANK YOU LEHER POLICY Editor's note: The Daily Journal welcomes letters of thanks from organizations and individuals. We are glad that so many successful events are held here. However thank you letters must be kept short. For that reason we have a 20-business name limit per letter. If your letter lists more than 20 businesses it will not be printed. Shorter thank you letters which do not contain lists of participants or donors will be printed more quickly. Those wishing to thank long lists of people and businesses are welcome to contact our advertising department for help with a thank you ad. Visit our web site at email us at The Ukiah DAILY JOURNAL PuWUheriNevinMcConndl Editor: K.C. Mwdow Advcrtlalng director: OndyDelk Office monger: YVonne Bell Circulation director; DanklMUIer Qrou>«ptem» director: Sue Whitman

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