Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 25, 2002 · Page 6
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 6

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, October 25, 2002
Page 6
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VIEWPOINT Friday, October 25, 2002 — Page 6 "The Gazette wants to be the friend of every man, the promulgator of all that's right, a welcome guest in the home. We want to build up, not tear down; to help, not to hinder; and to assist every worthy person in the community without reference to race, religion or politics. Our cause will be the broadening and bettering of the county's interests." — Indiana Gazette, 1890 The Indiana Gazette From vertical to horizontal By MAUREEN DOWD New York Times News Service LOS ANGELES — We have the worst governor's race in the country going on here, between the loony and the smarmy. We have the right-wing, left-wing World Series between anodyne Anaheim and a team from latte- land, with only one player anyone cares about. (Is it really a World Series if the Yankees aren't playing?) And, of course, we have the dashing top cop riding into town from the East, promising to rehabilitate the reputation of the LAPD and rout danger, at a time when Americans are jittery about snipers and terrorists and inept federal law enforcement agencies. "Hollywood Bill," as the 54-year- old William Bratton has long been known, is coming to Hollywood for his swearing-in. "I grew up in the 50s," he says, "watching Joe Friday, badge 714, on 'Dragnet' — somebody raped or robbed and only 24 minutes to solve it." He has a collection of hundreds of tapes and DVDs of movies and loves TV's LA. cop shows, including "Boomtown" and "Robbery Homicide Division." As police commissioner of New York in the mid-90s, Bratton made the cover of Time for helping Mayor Rudy Giuliani tame the untamable New York, from squeegee guys to wilding thugs. But Rudy, loath to share top billing, forced his brassy chief out. Giuliani thought Bratton was living too large, hanging out at Elaine's, getting a lot of money for a memoir, flying on private planes, engaging in serial marriages. But given Rudy's subsequent transformation from puritanical to operatic, with Judy Nathan, memoir riches and his own triumphant Time cover, Bratton may have just been ahead of his time in the Giuliani administration. "There's a certain irony there," Bratton says dryly. And certainly, in the dream factory where living large, marrying often and self-promotion are de rigueur, Bratton's style will blend perfectly. "As Popeye says, T yam what I yam,' "he says. "My wife Rikki makes four times, and I saved the best for last. I changed departments six times, and I saved the best for last. I project confidence, openness and approachability. I project caring." The man who compared himself to Babe Ruth when he became N.Y. chief gives himself credit for surviving Rudy and Rudy credit for 9/11. "He would have been assigned to the dustbin of history prior to 9/11,"he says. L-A.'s bland mayor, James Hahn, will not be competing with his chief for tables at Spago. Bratton has not even moved to his new home in status-conscious Brentwood, but given all the lackluster and unpopular politicians in the state, he is already a hot property. Guided by General Rove, the Republicans have the Democrats on the run everywhere except here, where they fear that the disaster area of Bill Simon Jr. will leave the state party even more weak and divided. "The Liberal Party in New York is a stronger political party than the California Republicans," says a Democratic strategist, Bill Carrick. Republicans have given up on Simon and are already scheming to get the Kindergarten Cop and the real commish to resurrect the party. Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing a dress rehearsal for the 2006 governor's race as he campaigns for his Prop 49 after-school program, and doing what Democrats call "his Ronnie Reagan, GE theater tiling." "I don't want to run for governor because it's very complicated just filling out the forms," he told an audience in Beverly Hills. "Let's say I put down 'actor' as my profession. I may get sued for perjury." A top Republican thinks Bratton, who flirted with challenging Rudy as a Democrat in 1996 and then seriously explored running against Mark Green as a Republican in 2000, would be a casting dream for mayor or governor: "After 9/11, people want a take-charge personality." Bratton, who describes himself as "a progressive," demurs. "I looked at it twice in New York, did polling and put together a team," he says. "But 1 could not pick up a phone and call and ask for money." He says he just wants to focus on moving from "vertical" crime-fighting to "horizontal," and find "new prescriptions" to counter fresh threats: "I would like the opportunity to get the patient through radiation and chemo and into rehab and then into intensive care." A matter of credibility By CHARLEY REESE King Features Syndicate It is a sad business when you can no longer tmst your own government to tell you the truth. That's the great harm to America that President Bush's propaganda campaign against Iraq has caused. Trust is a fragile but precious thing. One lie can destroy it, for once a person lies, you can never be certain in the future if he or she is telling the truth or lying some more. If only President Bush had been honest with us in regard to Iraq, then I would be supporting him. All he had to do was tell the truth: There is no evidence that links Sad- dam Hussein to the Sept. 11 attack; there is no hard evidence that he has any weapons of mass destruction, but we suspect that he does; given his past history, we believe it is imperative to gel United Nations arms inspectors back into Iraq to determine the truth, for I fear, if he does have weapons of mass de- siruclion, he might one day decide to supply ihem to terrorists. Instead, the Bush administration has asserted as fact thai Iraq does have weapons of mass deslruclion, does have links to al-Qaida and is an imminent threal lo the security of the Uniled States. When Iraq offers to allow the world lo come see for itself, Mr. Bush says that's just a trick. When Iraq offers to allow the U.N. inspectors back in, Mr. Bush argues against them going. He is determined to get the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that no leader of any sovereign nation could accept. That's the same trick the Clinton administration pulled on Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was willing to admit U.N. or even NATO observers into Kosovo, but the United States insisted that as part of the deal, NATO troops would have unrestricted access to all of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia turned it down, as the United States knew it would, and the bombing campaign started immediately. That's what Bush wants. He wants a resolution Saddam Hus- sein cannot accept so Bush will have the excuse to go to war. Ills objective is not disarmament, but regime change and American occupation of Iraq. American and Britisli financial interesls have never forgiven Iraq for kicking ihem out in the late 1970s when it nationalized the Iraqi oil reserves. Two of the clauses he knows Saddam will never accept are for any permanent member of the Security Council to add its own representatives to the inspection team and another clause that states armed forces should accompany the inspectors. Mr. Bush has never mentioned to the American people that the United States corrupted the last U.N. arms-inspection process by using it as a cover for spies. That is a fact. Hopefully, the French will hang tough, and Mr. Bush won't get his war-triggering resolution. Then he will be forced lo choose between naked aggression without a U.N. fig leaf or allowing inspectors to go back and do their job. I expect he will choose naked aggression. He will call whatever gaggle of small and weak countries that give their passive assent his "global coalilion." I thought of George Orwell when George Bush, in a belligerent speech before he signed the congressional war resolution, said it was being done "for the cause of peace." Thai's newspeak — war is peace. Trust in George Bush is gone. What he is doing is anti-America in the sense that it violates all the traditions that made this country great. We are like Rome now, with Ihousands of soldiers siationed in more than 60 countries and our emperor proclaiming the right to remove any sovereign government he doesn't like (provided, of course, it is small and defenseless). Far from serving the cause of peace, Mr. Bush is involving our country in a perpetual war against ihe resi of the world, a war we will eventually lose. He is not protecting the American people; he is endangering all of us. (Write to Charley Reese at P.O. Box 2446, Orlando, FL 32802) 'Hard power'loses relevance By WILLIAM PFAFF Tribune Media Services International. VIENNA —When the U.S: government sets forth a national strategy statement declaring its aim to be permanent military domination of the world, so that no rival should "even think about" challenging it, the inevitable result is to make people think the hitherto unthinkable. They don't think about challenging the United States. They think about deterring the United Slates. The policy statement issued last month by the Bush administration risks doing more for nuclear proliferation than anything thai has happened since 1945. A government might reasonably consider— as North Korea now says it has done — how to construct a minimal nuclear deterrent that raises enough uncertainties to keep any hostile foreign power at bay, even the United States. Consider Washington's different reactions to North Korea's newly announced nuclear program and Iraq's supposed one. Washington is eager to go to war against Iraq, but not against North Korea. There arc some 40,000 American troops in South Korea, and a single North Korean nuclear missile could kill a very large number of them. That is not to mention South Korean victims and the North Koreans who would die in retaliation. Such a scenario is highly improbable and implausible. It is not a fully rational one. But it is enough to make even die flock of hawks currently in residence at the Pentagon and While House think again. That has undoubtedly made Sad- dam Hussein think, and others, as well. Nuclear nonproliferation currently is only for those who do not already have nuclear weapons. That is the weakness of the policy. When the United States announces that it has no intention of giving up its nuclear advantage, but rather of enlarging il, as Mr. Bush has said, then any prudent government has cause to consider purchasing for itself a small but secure nuclear deterrent. No one envisions a military challenge to the United States, which would be hopelessly expensive and provoke wholly unpredictable reactions in the American political class. People are being forced to think about the nature of power, and to wonder if the United States is really as powerful as it claims to be. They note that since George W. Bush was elected and began to assert American military "hard" power, America's "soft" power has shrunk. Soft power— apart from economic power — encompasses diplomatic influence and political persuasion, cultural influence and prestige, and additional factors that cause others to respect a country, wish to become associated with it and to accept its values and views. Joseph Nye of Harvard University has recently written about this in terms of the importance of soft power to the United States itself. But soft power can also be used against America, particularly when the U.S. is in its Bush administration hard- power operational mode. France has been using its soft power to block the American demand for a single U.N. Security Council resolution that would authorize the United States to attack Iraq whenever Washington judged this appropriate. The French maintain that international law requires that the Security Council authorize whatever retaliation follows Iraqi obstruction of inspections. The American position was never popular with other governments, and in a low-key but persistent and unyielding way, the French mobilized that international opposition. France has U.N. veto power but never threatened it, understanding that veto power, like nuclear power, is much more important unused than used. The United States now has provisionally agreed to return to die U.N. before any attack on Iraq, aidiough at this writing negotiations (notably with Russia) continue on the wording of a resolution acceptable to the five permanent Security Council members. As for hard power, no other country imagines trying to construct as huge and versatile a military force as the United States possesses. What purpose would it serve? No government today imagines fighting a full-spectrum war against the United States. No other government except the American has the least interest in deploying its forces worldwide, with bases in scores of countries. The U.S. reacdoii to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks included establishing new military bases and deployments In Central Asia, South Asia and Southeastern Asia, while naming as new enemies a variety of Islamic extremist movements or factions in these regions, as well as bandit and kidnapping gangs, and separatist groups, all described as part of a vast axis of terrorism. This served chiefly to multiply the number and geographical distribution of identified enemies, not previously perceived as important forces even in their own countries. This certainly has not improved matters for the United States, which risks becoming identified as at war not only with the Muslim world, but with the non-Western world as a whole. Letters The facts on shooting 1 would like to respond to the front page article that appeared in the Indiana Ga/eltc on Friday, Oct. IB, "Man faked slory on shooting, police say." As the mother of the 21-year-old White Township man who was wounded by shotgun fire, I was shocked and then outraged after reading this article. My son was portrayed as a "criminal" when in fact he was the "victim." I am writing this letter and hope that Ihe Indiana Gazette will have the decency to print it, lo clarify certain comments that appeared in the Oct. 18 article. My son was shot by accident while at a friend's house. While I will always be grateful lo the mother of ihis "friend" for taking my son to the hos- piial emergency room so lhat he could receive the proper medical treatment, I will never forgive her and her family for encouraging my son lo fabricate a story to cover up the iruth. I was present during part of Detective Vojlek's qucslioning of my son while he was at tiie emergency room. I knew lhat my son was not being truthful and relayed this information to Detective Vojtek. After nearly three hours of questioning, I decided it was lime to take my son home and told Detective Vojtek lhat we would be in touch with him the next day. On behalf of my son, I apologize for the faked story which, according to the Oct. If! article, "sent police in blind pursuit of a non-existent sniper in downtown Indiana." The article also staled that after Detective Vojtek could noi find anyone lo validale the story he summoned my son for a second interview and lhal is when my son changed his story. My son willingly came forward and was not "summoned" the next day to relay the truth of what happened. As a member of the media, the Indiana Gazette has a responsibility lo report newsworthy events; however, they should verify facts from all par- lies involved before publishing. Dcnise Clawson Indiana State's doctors disappearing I just returned from the Pennsylvania Medical Society's annual House of Delegates meeting. PMSLIC, the largest physician insurer in the slale, has announced a rale increase request of 59 percent! Due to me fact that Pennsylvania — in contrast with almost all other states — has had no significant medical liability reform, access to care problems are spreading throughout the state. As a direct result of the adverse practice climate, doctors are leaving Ihe slate, retiring early, and choosing not lo praclice here in ihe first place. Examples from eastern Pennsylvania: • Not one hospital in south Philadelphia is delivering babies. • Abinglon Memorial Hospital reports a 14-16 week wait for screening mammograms because of too few radiologists trained in reading mam- mograms as a result of high liability cosls and low reimbursemenls. • Neurosurgeon Andrew Frease, irained at MIT/Harvard, will leave Pennsylvania for New Jersey. His malpractice premium will drop from more than $200,000 to $47,000. • The former president of the Pennsylvania Orthopedic Society left his practice of 20 years in Philadelphia to practice in Delaware because his insurance costs dropped from $150,000 to $23,000. The YI'S (Young Physician Section) members stated most medical students and residenls who train here do not plan lo practice here because of the liability cosls. Examples: • Only one of 16 ENT physicians graduating from the University of Pennsylvania's residency program in the past four years has stayed in Pennsylvania due to high malpractice premiums. • For the high-risk specialties — orthopedics, ob/gyn, and neuro- surgery — 85 percent of residents and fellows trained in Pennsylvania arc moving outside the state. At rural caucus meetings (which included Indiana County) we learned of physicians leaving Ihe state or retiring early. Some examples: • Uniontown Hospital (Fayette County) previously had three orthopedic surgeons and now has only one. When he is unavailable, orthopedic problems have to go out of the county. • The 6th District trustee (Clearfield County) was forced to resign his position when "My associate of seven years retired at age 55 rather than pay the outlandish liability insurance rates which we all have been forced to endure. I resigned due to lack of coverage..." If you want to slem the exodus of established doctors and recruit young doctors to Pennsylvania, I'd encourage you lo ask your elected slate officials and governor if they support limits on non-economic damages and lawyer contingency fees. Unless Pennsylvania's medical liability syslem undergoes changes similar to olher states, Pennsylvania's disappearing doctors will only get worse. Kim Hatcher, M.D. Indiana County delegate to Pennsylvania Medical Society (USPS2B2-040) Published by 11 IK INDIANA PRINTING & PUBLISHING COMPANY B!>!>Water Sired Indiana, PA. 15701 724) 465-5555 Established in II1IM) On (lie Internet: II. 11 ASTIR RAY Publisher, 191^-1070 LUCY IS. DONNELLY Publisher, I970-I9!):i JOE DONNELLY Publisher. 1!)7()-2(KX) MICHAEL J. DONNELLY President Publisher IJASTIG I). KINTER Secrclary Assistant Treasurer .STACIK D.COTCI : lII-DSON Trcasurer Assisiam Secretary JOSEPH I-OEAHY General Manager ROBERT YRS1LO.NIS A tlvJMkl (^Director SAMin-Ll.llECIITI-l Executive Editor LYNN SCOTT -Asst. Rxcculivc Ellilor Special Projccls CARI.A.KOUX;iI> Miinagn); Editor CARRIER SUIISCRIPTION HATES— Paid in advance lo Ga/ette office— I : onr weeks, SI2.35; Thirteen weeks, S.T7.9!xTwi:nty-six weeks, $75; Fifty-two weeks, SMR.ilO. MOrOHROim-SUBSCRIPTION RATES — Paid in advance to Gazelle office — Four weeks, SI 2.00; 'niirteen weeks, $3(1.75: Twenty-six weeks. S77.M; Fifty-two weeks, S154. SUNDAY ONLY SUBSCRIPTION RATES— Paid in advance to Gazette office: • BY CARRIER —Twenty-six weeks. S22 II); Pifly two weeks, $4 '1.20 • I)YMOTOR ROUTE —Twenty-six weeks, $21.70; l : ifty-l\vo weeks. S4!).10. MEMIIEH OI"n II-ASSOCIATED 1'Rl-SS —Tin: A! 1 is entitled exclusively to (he use or repio- ituctirm of all local newsprinled in Ibis newspaper as well as all AI> news dispatches, tvi !< K I ka v, nnngf Mil at 1,1,1 Lm.i. i >,\ i r,?n i Iliblhlintdaily i>itt-plNrwYi'iiiUXiy.Mrmiiri,i! Day Inly l< 1 uil!,.inl.s B lvi,, R |].iyi,ml(:l,t!Mnml),,y l\.MinaMi-r S<'nilnflilrt-v,<l)iiiiKi".r(r [ricli:nLa<;.,*,.|ri' ltd. Kin 10, Indian;..I'A i:,7(l|

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