Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on March 17, 1988 · Page 4
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Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 4

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Thursday, March 17, 1988
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Page 4 Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Indiana, Thursday, March 17, 1988 Opinion The free exchange of ideas is the greatest protection of liberty. Greece: Should we pull out? Has the 40-year-old "Truman Doctrine" outlived its usefulness? Despite resolution of the latest dispute which held up talks on the renewal of leases on four major and 20 minor United States bases in Greece, shouldn't we seriously consider withdrawing from them? Currently the U.S. pays $500 million a year for the use of Greek bases. Along with bases in Turkey, U.S. forces in Greece can combine with other elements of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in defending and keeping order in the Eastern Mediterranean, a thankless task. The region seethes with anarchy in Lebanon, Arab-Israeli tensions, and Greek-Turkish distrust. We pay a high price for a doubtful privilege. The Truman Doctrine commits the U.S. to defending Greece and Turkey from Soviet hegemony at any cost. Yet in return for the $500 million in economic and military aid which we pay Greece annually, we are expected to bear up stoically to self-serving criticism from Greek politicians, to terrorist attacks on U.S. troops, to assassination of our spies and otherwise to serve as a foil and punching bag for Greek nationalism. Pulling out would deprive Greece not only of the $500 million in aid, the economic benefit of spending by Americans stationed there and the security of U.S. air and naval elements in the NATO umbrella. It would force Greek leaders to choose and decide, two actions which politicians hate, since they then must reject or support their stated views. Public Forum Town Marshal This is concerning Gary Layer, the town marshal of Royal Center. There are people in Royal Center, including myself, who wonder why he gets away with a lot of stuff that other police officers don't. For instance, here are some of the things we are talking about: LA white van has driven through Royal Center with Florida plates for the past seven months. The people who own this van live just a few doors' from Gary Layer. 2. Myself and many others have come very close to hitting his squad car because of him driving around town with his lights off. 3. There have been many times when someone has needed him and he was in Logansport. So we have to wait anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for him. 4. Instead of patrolling Royal Center like he should, he spends more time in Logansport in two nights, than he does in a week here in town. Michelle Ploss Royal Center Berry's World CO K)S8 by NEA. Inc In The Past One Year Ago John McLaughlin, 6-5 senior guard for Twin Lakes, made a verbal committment to attend Memphis State University and play basketball after being offered a full-ride. Twenty Years Ago Marvella Bayh, wife of Sen. Birch Bayh, was the principal speaker at a dinner in her honor at the YM-YWCA. Public Forum Policy JU ETTERS intended for publication should be addressed to Public Forum, 517 E. Broadway, Logansport, Ind., 46947. Each tetter must be signed and must include the writer's address and a telephone number where the author can be reached. The Pharos-Tribune reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, spelling errors and libelous statements and to limit the number of letters from an individual author. "Thank-you" letters are not accepted for publication. Public Forum letters must be limited to 400 words or I ess. James J. Kilpatrick Campaigns! Their costs are alarming M, ississippi's Sen. Thad Cochran had it just about right. Last month's battle over campaign reform, he said, "is a power struggle between the two national parties over the future control of the Senate." Precisely so. The struggle ended with no decision, but it will be revived. Ostensibly, this was a fight not over reform, but over the means of reformation. Both Republicans and Democrats agreed that something is terribly wrong about the way in which our congressional elections are financed. Both sides asked for tighter limitations on the sums that may be contributed by PACs (political action committees). Everyone agreed that it is absurd and degrading for senators to'hustle incessantly for campaign funds. So much for bipartisan sweetness and light. The. Democrats had a purpose all their own. Their bill was designed, as best such things can be designed, to ensure Democratic control of the Senate into the foreseeable future. Through a combination of virtuously disarming provisions, all of them superficially innocent, the measure purported to treat all candidates equally. But this was the kind of equality once defined by Anatole France — the majestic equality that forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under the bridges. Republican senators, no dummies, understandably balked at so dismal a prospect. They fought off seven cloture votes last fall and last month they bettered their record: They fought off eight attempts by Majority Leader Robert Byrd to end the partisan debate. The bill is dead for this Congress. It may be dead, but it won't lie down. Something is indeed wrong when the average cost of a senatorial election soars from $600,000 in 1976 to $3 million in 1986. Senators serve for six years. This means that on average, a senator must raise $500,000 a year, or nearly $10,000 a week, to prepare for his next campaign. It is unsettling to learn that PAC contributions in this same period grew from $5 million to $45 million. In the elections of 1986, nearly 200 members of Congress obtained more than half their campaign chest from PACs. These gifts are not exactly bribes — the system is not so crude — but they buy a kind of special access. The Democrats'reform bill would have imposed limits on both individual and PAC contributions. Several provisions were intended to discourage out-of-state contributions; in order to qualify for public funds, a candidate would have to raise 75 percent of a threshold amount within his own state. The bill also would have put limits on Senate campaign expenditures ranging from $950,000 in the smallest states to $5.5 million in California. A candidate could exceed the limit, but if so, an • opponent could demand public funds to match the excess. Republicans looked with disdain upon the whole idea of public financing of senatorial elections. None of the bill's proponents could say with conviction what such financing might cost, but the burden on taxpayers would be substantial. A $2 checkoff would not provide an additional $2 for election financing; it would merely divert $2 from the general fund to a special campaign fund. As a consequence, some taxpayers would wind up contributing to candidates they positively loathed. Traditionally Republicans have been better at outright fund raising than the Democrats, though the margin of difference has fallen in recent years. By contrast, the Democrats have been much better at getting "soft money" than the Republicans. Such soft money comes in the form of contributions "in kind." When the teachers' union or the autoworkers' union sets up a telephone bank or wages a specific get-out-the-vote campaign, it is a very real contribution, but.the bill would not have laid a hand on soft money. The problem as a whole, it seems to me, is rooted in the dramatically changing patterns of our political campaigns. There was a time, and it wasn't so very long ago, when senatorial candidates talked directly to the people. They talked to them in person, at clambakes and barbecues. They talked to the people and they listened to them. They learned. Not much of that remains. With every succeeding campaign, the tendency increases to campaign by TV. These commercials cost a fortune, so fortunes must be raised. Real reform — the kind of reform that would get to the heart of the matter — would demand that clocks be turned back to a less frenetic time. It's easier said than done. Kilpatrick is a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Charley Reese Language! It doesn't have to be a barrier L t is not true, as some think, that you have to speak Spanish to enjoy this city. About the only people here who are not bilingual are the Anglos, and they speak English, though many with an accent. It is true that Florida's largest city has become an international city. There are about 700,000 Cuban-Americans here as well as 70,000 or so Nicaraguans and a smattering of other Latins. Miami has. always been the natural gateway to Latin America, and it has the potential, in terms of trade and finance, to become an American Hong Kong, so to speak. As one who used to deride Miami as New York City with palm trees let me tell you it is decidedly much the better for its Latin flavor. I've just spent three days in the Hispanic areas of the city and for the first time really enjoyed being in the city. I don't speak two words of Spanish. Some Americans seem to flinch when they hear a foreign tongue spoken. They imagine, since they can't understand the words, the people speaking them must be different. Only in little and often pleasant ways are they different. For example, I asked ReneSiJva, director of the University of Miami's Koubek Center, to define Cuban values. He named two: a great love of the family, including the extended family on out to cousins, and the enterpreneurial spirit. You certainly see evidence of both. In a Hispanic restaurant you see many families, but what is striking to me is to see what a good time everyone is having. There is usually music; now and then a customer will decide to sing along. Children are hugged or kissed, obviously included in the family conversation. You find friendly, courteous waiters. You find good food even if you can't pronounce it. And you find you're having such a good time you don't want to leave. The "Miami Vice" image of vicious Latin drug dealers doesn't hold up. There are vicious Latin drug dealers and occasional shootouts, but you might have to spend a couple of decades in Miami before you see either. Simon Ferro, a Cuban-American attorney, shrugs off the "Miami Vice" image. "I've lived here 19 years and never seen a crime committed. The closest I've come to crime is that my car was vandalized one time. It's a great place to live and a great place to raise children, "he said. I drove out to Los Ranchos, a Nicaraguan restaurant in the Sweetwater area, and got lost coming back at night. Never once did I see an unfriendly face or, when I asked for directions, did I not get them in friendly English. I don't think there is a language problem here per se. There is no trouble communicating if communication is your real goal. It became a political problem not because Hispanics can't speak English — nearly all of them do — but because most native Americans can't speak Spanish and thus are at a disadvantage competing with a bilingual person for a job. Some take the attitude of why should they learn to speak Spanish in America. The answer is for the same reaon you learn shorthand or typing. In some areas of the country, it helps you be a more productive worker. It is not the case, as some claim, that Hispanics refuse to speak English. There may be a few cranks, but the overwhelming majority do learn English. In fact, virtually the whole world is bi- or multi-lingual except for us and possibly the Australians and New Zealanders. We just have to recognize that we are no longer isolated between two oceans. I am opposed to the movement to encode English as the official language because it won't change a single fact on the ground. Also, it is viewed by many very good and patriotic Americans as an insult to their heritage, which happens to be Hispanic as opposed to German or British or something else. After three days among the Cuban Americans and Nicaraguans here, I can tell you the threat of Balkanization — a main argument of the English-onlies — is hogwash. Little Havana is not a foreign enclave in an Americn city — it is not a foreign enclave in an American city —- it is part of an American city — it is part of an American city in which its.people are as wired in and tuned in to America as those of Peru, Ind., or McDuffie County, Georgia. Reese is a syndicated columnist based in Orlando, Fla. Today In History Associated Press Today is Thursday, March 17, the 77th day of 1988. There are 289 days teft in the year. Today is St. Patrick's Day.. HISTORY HIGHLIGHT: Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died. ON THIS DATE: In 1776, British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War. In 1870, the Massachusetts Legislature On March 17, A.D. 461, according to tradition, St. authorized the incorporation of Wellesley Female Seminary. It later became Wellesley College. In 1905, Eleanor Roosevelt married Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York. In 1942, during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater.

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