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PM* 4 The Saitna Journal - Friday, November 20,1961 Opinion The Satina Journal •/ A preposterous payment proposa A national coalition of utilities is saying that customers of other electric firms should chip in to help pay the staggering bills created by the Three Mile Island debacle. That's a preposterous plan that will never fly, except in the boardrooms of a few other utilities such as Kansas Gas & Electric, which is pouring millions down what appears to be a rat hole at the Wolf Creek nuclear plant. Certainly it isn't flying with the Kansas Power & Light Co., or the Kansas Corporation Commission. KP&L says it's against the idea simply because "it would cause an unreasonable burden on our customers." And the chairman of the corporation commission frowns on it and adds that it would literally take an act of Congress to force others to pay a share of the Three Mile Island costs. In that connection, aren't you glad that KP&L resolutely discarded the nuclear route and opted for coal-fired plants instead? That was sound thinking and planning. But still, outlandish as the share- the-cost proposal is, it raises some philosophical questions. Suppose an electric utility, whether through its own stupidity or from events beyond its control, starts to go belly up — and that certainly is a possibility in these hard economic times. The state — any state — can't simply let it go out of business and plunge all its customers into darkness. Who's going to pay the freight then — the utility's already overburdened customers, or someone else? Who else? NAfc I'VE GOT IT ,' WE'LL GET SOME UnS-tERM CREDIT, WE'LL UR5RAPS THE WHOLE PUNT, WHU IMPKO/E OUR SCHEDULE, WE'LL HlRH MORE WftS,WU.BuY WKE.WElL HAVE T« COUNTY WM& teAIN, 1 ' Kirkland strips off the gloves Insolent Israel During the protracted debate over the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia, the Israelis wept and wailed about the danger the sale would pose for them. The Saudis would use the AWACS to spy on Israel, they cried, ignoring the fact that the AWACS can't "see" much of anything on the ground. The Saudis would have an unfair military supremacy over poor, little Israel, they wept. Now, it has been revealed that the Israelis have been routinely spying on Saudi Arabia with their American-made reconnaissance planes and their warplanes have frequently violated the Saudi air space in arrogant displays of military supremacy. These violations have been well- known to U.S. officials, but the Saudis suffered in silence a long time before complaining recently. And, now that the Saudis have blown the whistle at last, the Israelis pretend to be surprised by all the fuss. How insolently hypocritical can a nation get? Maybe we ought to send the Saudis some more reconnaissance planes for their very own so they can respond, tit for tat. Where to write Sen. Robert Dole 4213 Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 * * * Rep. Pat Roberts 1428 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 * * * •Sen. Nancy Kassebaum 304 Russell Senate Building Washington D.C. 20510 NEW YORK — There were some who suggested that AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland committed a breach of etiquette when he failed to invite President Reagan to the week's 100th anniversary national convention of the labor federation here. But it turns out Kirkland was really being deferential to the president's sensitivities. Never in memory of old labor skates has an AFL-CIO chieftain excoriated an occupant of the White House the way Kirkland oratorically clobbered Reagan in his keynote speech. The federation has never been enamored of Republicans generally, but the biting aggressiveness of Kirkland's attack put the federation more solidly than ever in Democratic Party ranks. The tone and purpose of the Kirkland speech was hardly accidental. The late George Meany's successor had already ruled that henceforth the AFL-CIO would involve itself directly in the process of selecting the Democratic presidential nominee — a break from old Meany aloofness. His words here amounted to a declaration of political war. Of Reagan, Kirkland said: "He has shown a cold heart and a hard fist, but where, indeed, is the rest of him?" The reference was to the old Reagan autobiography, "Where's the Rest of Me?" — titled after actor Reagan's line in the old movie, "King's Row," in which he loses his legs. Shoot the wounded And of the President's firing of all striking air traffic controllers, he said: "It is one thing to use the full force of government to break a small union of hard-pressed public employees ... But is it then just and fitting to go out upon By Jack Germond and Jules Witcover the field and shoot its wounded?" Kirkland had even more bitter remarks for Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, and his confessions of personal doubts about Reaganomics in The Atlantic Monthly. The AFL-CIO chief called them "recorded fleeting spasms of honesty" and he convulsed the convention by adding of Stockman: "He was the original interior decorator of this economic house of ill repute. Now that the sirens are sounding and the bust is due, he has his story ready. He was only the piano player in the parlor. He never knew what was going on upstairs." And after no more than a scolding from Reagan, Kirkland said, Stockman "tells us that it was all a foolish mistake, that he was only guilty of being the south end of a northbound Trojan horse" — Stockman's characterization in the magazine article of the oldtime Republican trickle-down theory, disguised as "supply-side economics." Others addressing the AFL-CIO convention similarly ridiculed Reaganom- ics and Stockman's explanations. Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale cited the definition of his mentor, the late Hubert H. Humphrey, of the old Republican trickle-down theory: "Hubert used to say if you feed the elephants, sooner or later the sparrows will get something to eat." The laborites erupted in guffaws again. It is a truism in politics that when they start laughing at you, you're in trouble. And while it isn't particularly hard to get a laugh at any Republican's expense at an organized labor convention, the Stockman confessions are the best raw material to come along in months for serious Democrats and for stand-up comedians alike. Even without them, though, the mood at this convention has been one of political optimism based on the demonstrable negative effect of the Reagan budget cuts and workplace deregulations affecting labor safety. Also, the success of Solidarity Day in September — another Kirkland initiative — has lifted the spirits of union leaden, if not necessarily the rank and file. William Winpisinger, president of the International Association of Machinists, suggests that blue-collar workers who voted for Reagan last November need time to accept what their leaden already buy — that Reaganomics is a bust and that Stockman has admitted it. "This is startling to them," he says. "They've got egg on their faces, so they're bound to be cautious. They voted for Reagan out of frustration and this just increases their frustration. But now they will repose confidence in us again. They know we're not lying to them." Republicans for a long time now have argued that labor's leadership has lost touch and influence with its rank and file and that Reagan was able to go over the leadership's head to win blue-collar votes in great numbers in 1980. That theory seems certain to be put to the test between now and 1982, when the AFL-CIO under Kirkland's more avowedly political, anti-Reagan leadership strives to put the federation more effectively into the leadership of the Democratic Party as well. Aid for the truly needy only NEW YORK - One of the most significant and far-reaching policy decisions of the Reagan administration is its firm conclusion that welfare expenditures ought to be confined to helping people who are truly in need, and not expanded to aiding people who are relatively poor but still able to support themselves. There is general agreement that no one in this country should be allowed to go hungry or without proper medical care. Not so long ago, even these "basics" were left to private charity insofar as they were addressed at all, and that of course is still the situation in most areas of the globe. But relatively few Americans today object to being taxed so that government can provide these fundamentals to people who, for whatever reason, are simply unable to provide them for themselves. Commencing in the Johnson administration, however, it became government policy to expand the basic purpose of welfare. Little by little, government moved from merely helping the truly needy to supplementing the income of what it called the "working poor." Now, being "poor" is of course a purely relative thing. In a nation composed exclusively of millionaires, those with the fewest millions could quite accurately be described as "the poorest segment of the population." The idea that, with the aid of enough welfare, everybody's income could be lifted to Readers write to the Editor Don't have legitimate complaint Re: "It's time to bend a Little" by Jack Germond and Jules Witcover. Just how the Air Traffic Strike is connected to a "snowy Sunday night standstill" which could occur and did occur before the strike because of an act of God, not the decision of a group of strikers, is another attempt of the news media to sway public opinion. Rather dumb reasoning to try to connect such, however. As for the effect of bending and allowing the fired controllers to return to work, just how do you think those who remained on the job, at the expense of cancelled vacations, long hours, and uprooted home life to cover the vacancies etc., would feel? Striking is one thing but defying their President is a real tragedy. And we wonder why our youths are so defiant! I for one am tired of the media's attempt to get sympathy for grown men who made decisions to let a union CITIZEN SMITH make their decision instead of standing on their own two feet. If, and I really mean if, they had a legitimate beef, why didn't they as individuals have the intelligence, fortitude and courage to put the beef in writing and send it through channels with copies to their Congressmen or visa versa. The day I pay someone else to handle my complaints, I'll know I need counselling. And to think they actually paid monthly for this advice. For two yean this strike was talked about, in two yean a blitz of mail would have gotten attention and done more and the result would have been much better. Yes, I am a wife of one who stayed on the job. And for two yean other employees asked him what he would do and he always said he would go where needed. We are just thankful it is close enough that he can come home on his days off, but believe me, after 30 yean of married life, having my husband working out of town five days a week isn't ideal. I am, of course, sorry for the families of those who walked out and refused to return in 48 hours, but at 30,40 or 50, one must pay the price of their actions. The tears I shed when some By Dave Gerard didn't return were real, for clay feet are difficult for me to handle. Their walkout made many victims in other jobs who are hurting, too. All the talk about air traffic safety, if they were creating such a risk and they said they were, was that too a disregard for the nation as a whole as air travelers? Yes the nation is suffering because of this strike but that is no reason to back down. It simply shows how one union can hurt many. How greed rules too often. How people don't know when they are well off. - HELEN E. WILSON, 312 East Parkway. Should take a stand for this what we have to expect in the future, that it's no longer safe on the streets? What's this country coining to?" Well, what do you expect? Take Jesus out of society and that's exactly what will happen. People don't under stand how God allows these things to happen, yet don't realize we're doing it to ourselves because we're turning away from God. I urge every Christian to pray and take a stand for Christianity no matter what society says or thinks. After all, Christianity is more than a "religion". It's a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and until the people of this nation fall to their knees and pray and accept Jesus as their savior, things will continue as they are. — BARBARA ATCHISON, 1620 Sycamore Christianity The ERA fight isn't over yet "Do yov realize we ve spent $10 and that's |ust for the ox*ter-ch«stnut-celery-bread stuffing!" DEAR EDITOR: I want to thank the Salina Journal for the "Letters to the Editor" section. It's refreshing to know that while many persons are trying to eliminate Jesus from society, He is not being eliminated in your paper. We are supposed to have freedom of religion in America, but those freedoms are being trod upon by society. We no longer live in an age where Christianity is a majority, but rather a minority. While people are taking a stand and being heard from minority groups all over the country, Christianity is being silenced. A good example of this is the distribution of Bibles to grade schools, and the problem of the college students not being able to have Bible studies on campus, (not to mention the fact that prayer has already been eliminated) I know there are "legalities" involved, but it's time that we overlook these and take a stand and do what God would have us do. After all, our country was founded on Christianity. I read one article last week expressing the concern about our safety in America. The question was quoted, "Is DEAR EDITOR: June 30, 1982. It's an important date to remember. Will we achieve the Equal Rights Amendment, or will we fail? Remembering that it took 72 yean to win women the right to vote makes our 58-year struggle for ERA seem shorter. The suffragettes of the first women's movement were our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, and our fight is just as hard. When we remember the gains, we remember that women have gone to jail to secure their rights and will continue to do so. Ask the women who participated in the suffragist movement or Sonia Johnson, who in a July 4 demonstration this last summer, wondered if we must begin "filling the jails again" — as the suffragettes did — to secure our rights and to be taken seriously. There are a lot of women "out there" who are just as worried as we are. But they're not, worried about the passage " V By William Rusher Syndicated Columnist of the Equal Rights Amendment. What they're worried about is making it through another day. There's a woman in Alaska who can't buy groceries for her children because all she has is a promise of support from an absent husband. There's a woman in Illinois with a college education who deserves to earn more than her son who dropped out of high school. And there are working women in Missouri, Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia who are learning the cost of inequality. ... that their legal rights and their paychecks diminish without the ERA. We've come a long way since the night in 1923 when Alice Paul first introduced the ERA in Congress. And the Equal Rights Amendment fight is not over yet. - DR. JANICE COLEMAN; 2310 Applewood; IMOGENS NORTH, 521 E. Wayne; ALICE TERRY, 738 S. Front; JANICE NEWKIRK, 1218 Faith; VIRGINIA HUMMEL, 860 Seneca; VICKI PRICE, 1226 E. Wayne. Skilled care saved life DEAR SIR: As the birth of our son on Nov. 5 was an emergency C-Section and not a normal delivery, my husband & I wanted to write an open letter of appreciation to Dr. Maxwell & the staff of Aabury Hospital. The excellent care given to my aon and I was lifeaaving. Hopefully, moat of us will never need emergency hospital care but it's nice to know that we here in Salina have experienced and caring medical professionals in our hospitals If clincii. — ROBIN & SAL ATTANASIO, 633 S. Front. To the creep To the creep who shot our cat: An old shoe would have scared him off - and hurt him a lot lew! - K. GOVREAU, 2430 Brookwood. the level of the average income is strictly a liberal delusion. There will always be — there must always be — people who are below the average. No special group The "working poor," therefore, are not some special group of zombies like the "walking wounded" or the "living dead." They are simply that section of the working and self-supporting popu- * lation that happens to have the lowest incomes. How did these people happen to attract the attention and massive compassion of the federal government? Take food stamps, as an example of the process. Food stamps were invented as a means of making surplus commodities — commodities that were overproduced because their production was subsidized by government — available to the truly needy. It was a good idea, as government ideas go: Farmen were being paid to grow the stuff anyway, so why not make it available to destitute people who would otherwise have to be given cash for groceries instead? The idea, however, turned out to be not only good, but too good. It was catnip to both congressmen from farm states, whose constituents were being subsidized to grow the crops, and congressmen from inner-city ghettos, whose constituents were consuming them free of charge. This unlikely coalition kept expanding the scope of the food-stamp program, year after year, until there weren't enough truly needy . people to consume all the commodities that government was paying the farm- en to produce. The solution? Simple: Give food stamps to the "working poor." Ultimately those eligible for food stamps came to include not only the truly needy but any family of four with an income of $12,000 or less per year. Many families in the armed forces and many students in college discovered to their delight that they too were entitled to share in the output of this vast cornucopia. The coat of the program soared to many billions of dollara — and the band played on. Cut back the ilie That ia the sort of thing that President Reagan ia determined to bring under control. Aa long aa farmera are powerful enough to demand crop BUD- aidiea (and bear in mind that Senator Dole, chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, ia from Kansas), there will probably be a food-stamp program: After all, basically the principle still makes aenae. But the size of the program, and other welfare pro- grama, ia going to be cut back, if Mr. Reagan has hia way, until it coven only the truly needy, not whole categories of aelf-aupporting workera wboae only claim to aid ia that they are, relatively speaking, "poor." It ia a major change in federal policy.