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Arizona Daily Star from Tucson, Arizona • Page 10
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Arizona Daily Star from Tucson, Arizona • Page 10

Tucson, Arizona
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Page Ten Section A Tucson, Saturday, March 18, 1989 TOLES bf Arizona Bailn Star Founded 1877 Michael E. Pulitzer, Editor Publisher Susan J. Albright, Editorial Page Editor EDITORIALS Health and safety High malpractice premiums hurt more than doctors jSjL iffi S0? i 4 For rural women in Arizona, the price doctors pay for malpractice insurance is no abstract statistic. It has translated into a very personal health and safety risk as their obstetricians quit delivering babies or leave rural practices altogether. Several proposals put forward by a governor's task force deserve support as components in a plan to ease the rural health problem. Two others, however, pose problems of their own. The extent of the rural doctor shortage became clearer earlier this month when the University of Arizona released the results of a study done by Rena J. Gordon, a research assistant professor of family and community medicine. The study found that 20 towns in Arizona with populations of 2,000 or more including Ajo and Benson now have no doctors who deliver babies. Neither do two whole counties: La Paz and Greenlee. Health officials have reported that of the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 67,000 babies born in Arizona in 1987, an estimated one-third were born to women who received little or no prenatal care. That results in heartbreaking health risks that are needless in a nation with such a high level of medical expertise and technology. Last month, Gov. Rose Mofford ordered the creation of a system to transport pregnant women to urban areas for care. That made sense only as a stopgap measure. It is safer to find ways of bringing servioe to patients than to count on getting them to cities. The proposal to subsidize rural doctors' insurance premiums is an attempt, said task force Chairman Paul Bender, to do two things. It would encourage doctors to stay in rural areas and would serve as an incentive for other doctors to return. The plan has merit, though it should only be carried out as part of a combination approach that includes efforts to lower the premiums and make insurance companies accountable. That is what a second recommendation would do, and it deserves to pass for the sake of urban as well as rural doctors. The Legislature should give the state Department of Insurance more authority over insurance premiums and insurance company reserves. This could have an effect throughout the state, as would a third proposal to expedite court procedures in malpractice cases. The recommendation includes a plan to encourage alternative methods of settling disputes. Two other proposals must be rejected. One proposes periodic payments of jury awards, a plan that is very likely unconstitutional under the Arizona Constitution. It allows no limitation on jury awards, and voters rejected a previous attempt to relax the constitutional provision. The other proposes to add a tax to auto-insurance premiums to collect money to subsidize malpractice premiums. With Arizona's auto insurance costs at fourth in the nation, it would be unfair to drive them up further. Car owners need relief themselves. Road skills that violation of traffic laws causes many of the accidents attributed to older citizens. Stuart M. Fitton Green Valley Appoint a czar constitutional right of citizens to carry concealed handguns. Robert J. Hirsh Thinking ahead Once again, that pious moral crusader from Mesa, Rep. Leslie Whiting Johnson, also known as "the dildo lady," has embarked on a campaign to ban the commercial sale and possession of "obscene devices." Although she claims that the devices are "used only against children and are a health hazard because they can't be cleaned properly," she is actually afraid our younger generation will become addicted to these obscene devices and form a cult of "dildo heads." In spite of the many critical problems facing the state, I feel some comfort knowing that at least one of -our elected officials has taken the time and effort to prevent our state from being overwhelmed by rampaging "dildo heads." Ed Esplnoza Arizona (ob)scene "Hey pal, what you got there in your pocket?" "It's a gun, officer." "Ok. Sorry to bother you. Hey, you over there what's that thing in your pocket?" "Uh, it's a dildo, officer." "All right, buddy, you're under arrest. You have the right to remain Don Reese Recently TV Channel 4 probed the question "when is one too old to drive safely?" and what should be done to weed out unsafe older drivers. The basic assumption was that after 55 years of age, one's faculties become less acute that is, seeing, hearing and reaction time and it was suggested that after that age, drivers should be subject to an annual street examination of these faculties before receiving a drivers license. As a senior citizen far beyond the age of 55, 1 fortunately am not impaired as far as seeing and hearing are concerned, and though I note some decline in reaction time, I feel able to cope with driving conditions. At my age, I agree that annual testing would be a good idea, but I believe that 55 is too young to require annual testing unless there appears to be some noticeable lack of acuteness of hearing, seeing and reaction time. Individuals' faculties decline at different ages and rates. Testing should be refined enough to detect whether annual testing is desirable. It should be an individual matter, not based on age alone. I resent, however, the implication that senior citizens are a menace to safe driving. I believe that senior citizens become frustrated by the driving habits of those who are complaining about us. The failure of many drivers to obey traffic laws regarding speeding, weaving from lane to lane, tailgating and running amber and even red lights creates conditions that require higher reaction time than would be necessary if drivers obeyed traffic laws. I submit Charles Waller, Ira I am writing to commend Rep. Leslie Johnson on her courageous stand on dildos. Everyone in this great state knows the incalculable harm that dildos cause. Indeed, it might well be that the only way to attack the dildo problem is to go after the user. Once Rep. Johnson's dildo law passes, we might consider enforcement measures enacting MADS (Metro Area Dildo Squad) to ferret out dildo sellers and users. I urge readers to write Gov. Rose Mofford and suggest she institute a positon of "Dildo Czar," which should, of course, be held by Rep. Johnson. Rep. Johnson is well-qualified for this position, having previously advocated the death penalty for child molesters, and, in doing so, opined that if we were to execute a few innocent men in the process, we would have to pay the price for the cSmmon good. Finally, we know our Legislature, ever vigilant to these problems, is considering a bill that permits citizens to carry concealed guns, undoubtedly to enable the public to be fully protected against the vicious dildo peddlers. We, in this Christian nation, should be grateful to the 1989 Arizona Legislature for providing the machinery to prosecute the criminal pushers and protect the True colors Flag-waving didn't hide attempted censorship DOONESBURY In Illinois, heady patriotism curdled with the sour tang of censorship. Unfortunately, the nation has sipped from the bitter cup as well. The controversy began at the Art Institute of Chicago, centering on a student artwork with the politically tinged title "What is the proper way to display a U.S. flag?" The work featured an American flag spread neatly on the ground. It also included a shelf with two ledger books, in which viewers could write their comments. Viewers had the option of stepping on the flag to reach the books. The work wasn't particularly inspired or original, but it did provoke a serious discussion over the issue of free expression as well as some frighteningly intolerant responses. When it comes to free expression in President Bush's "kinder, gentler America," it seems that some types of expression are freer than others. Veterans' groups held daily protests outside the museum. While that was fine, and healthy for a free flow of debate, it degenerated into strident attempts to censor the offending display. Illinois and Indiana legislatures censured the art institute, which laudably refused to remove the exhibit. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill making ifa crime to display an American flag on the ground or floor. Others decided that mere words weren't enough. A Chicago Park District committee voted to end $28.4 million in funding to the institute and seven other museums, heavy-handed punishment it later thought better of. Subsequently, some citizens urged the Illinois General Assembly to cut off state funds to the institute. The American flag is a revered national symbol. But it stands for more than itself; it is a symbol of certain principles and constitutional rights upon which this nation was built. To deny them in order to honor their symbol makes no sense. Veterans' groups were understandably offended by the artwork. While their passion is admirable, their efforts to remove the work were sadly off target They do not honor the principles the flag stands for when they try to crush the precious right to free expression. The defense of America including the right of free speech is one of the hallmarks of patriotism. That considered, those who would squelch provocative art flo damage also to the nation they revere. FROM TUB MASTERS WITHOUT A TRACB OF IF THE DOWNTOWN CROWP COULP SEE TO ACCEPT A JOB LIKE THI5, YOU HAVE- TO KSeP TEIUN6 I yourself one I i THING OVER ANP lx IRONY! 1 HEY, UP THERE! YOU HAVE 6IVE THOSE A NYMPHS) SOMe WJjSjfi HOOTERS! AftyM- aoDBclia dcfb a qo ARMS RACE Bush has to move dead-end arms race away from multiple warheads 1 1989 The New York Times EW YORK In his Nl presidential campaign last year. George Bush was pressed more than once to state a preference between deploying 50 more MX missiles with 10 warheads each or 500 of the proposed single-warhead Midgetman missiles. He came out for both sort of, but not quite. "The real choice Midgetman's one warhead is what makes it an unattractive target, since two enemy warheads would be required to destroy one Midgetman. The need in arms control talks, moreover, is to "de-MIRV" that is, to move away from the destabilizing multi-warhead missiles that both invite and threaten attack. How can we de-MIRV, or persuade the Soviets to, if we add a warhead to Midgetman? As expounded in a previous article, moreover, the best choice for the Bush administration would be to renounce further MX deployment, state its willingness also to forgo Midgetman, and lead the way in renewed Start talks toward strictly retaliatory, non-threatening nuclear forces for both superpowers. The need for such forces arises from the inexorable logic of nuclear weapons. It was well stated by former President Reagan surely not a soft-headed dove when he said that "a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought" The destructive power of these weapons is so great he had come to realize, that if either superpower resorted to their use against the other, the response would assure the attacker's own devastation. That would be true whether the "first use" were a strategic nuclear missile launched from either All that being the case, why should either side keep building more, more powerful and more accurate nuclear weapons? Why should either side do that if nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought so that nuclear weapons are therefore unusable? Why shouldn't both, instead, reduce their nuclear forces to the minimum necessary to deter the other from attack, deploy that force so that it cannot be destroyed, and devote its resources and ingenuity to some more productive course? It's from this logic that the Bush administration ought to proceed in renewing Start talks with the Soviet Union, and nothing in it suggests deploying more MX missiles or that the Midgetman is a necessary addition to the present deterrent force. If anything, in pursuit of greater stability through "de-MIRVing," the Bush administration in its current strategic review ought to consider "downloading" the 500 Minuteman III missiles, from three warheads each to only one. Would they be survivable? The mobile Midgetman might be marginally less vulnerable, but no Soviet leader in his right mind would attack U.S. land-based missiles, even in fixed silos. He would have to doubt that he could get them all but not that the response would destroy his own nation. side's home territory or a "tactical" nuclear weapon fired from a cannon in some putative European war. In either event a nuclear response would be certain; if the opening exchange were at the tactical level, the next round and the next, and the next would escalate into nuclear holocaust This balance of terror is horrid to contemplate but it is the overriding and irrefutable fact of life and death in the nuclear era. No serious analyst today believes that either strategic defense or new offensive weapons or any combination of them can give one superpower or the other the power to wipe out its opponent without itself suffering unacceptable devastation. Any momentary "lead," a dismal 45-year record amply shows, will be matched quickly by the other side. In "Danger and Survival," his new history of major nuclear decisions, McGeorge Bundy shows with abundance of detail that neither is the much-belabored concept of "nuclear blackmail" a usable stratagem for either superpower. A nation cannot effectively threaten nuclear war in order to get its way, even against an opponent with a "weaker" nuclear force, if that force is nevertheless sufficient to absorb a nuclear attack and destroy the attacker in response. The threat is not credible. Tom Wicker now, he said, is to find a possible mix between the two." That is the worst choice in fact no real choice at all. It probably would mean deploying some numbers of both missiles, thus saddling the United States with the disadvantages of both but not bringing it the full weight of either. Or Bush's hybrid might produce, as some are suggesting in Washington, a two-warhead Midgetman. Like a two-headed calf, that would be a freak.

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