Page 4 Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Indiana, Wednesday, March 23, 1988 Opinion The free exchange of ideas is the greatest protection of liberty. Handout End of the line No more cheese and non-fat milk will be given away in the Department of Agriculture's Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program. Government stockpiles are finally depleted. After March's distribution, no more rice or honey will be given away, either. "Flour, cornmeal and butter distribution will continue as in recent months," said Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Food and Consumer Services John Bode. If — when would be perhaps a more realistic word — stockpiles of any of the surplus food stuffs now depleted begin to grow again, they'll be restored to the Program. Meanwhile, not only have recipients benefited. Taxpayers also benefit because they no longer have to pay storage charges for 5 billion pounds of food. The value of the give-away, ongoing since 1981, has been more than S5 billion. That's a lot just to give away. Yet it's far better to have it out of storage, used by those who couldn't otherwise have afforded the nutrition, than to have it dumped on the open market, further depressing prices, or into landfills or open fields to pollute and rot in a display of conspicuous waste in a society already based on conspicuous consumption. Today In History Today is Wednesday, March 23, the 83rd day of 1988. There are 283 days left in the year. HISTORY HIGHLIGHT: On March 23,1775, in a speech to the Virginia Provincial Convention, Patrick Henry made his famous plea for American independence from Britain, saying, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" ON THIS DATE: In A.D. 752, Pope Stephen II was elected to succeed Pope Zacharias; however, Stephen died only two days later. In 1743, George Frederick Handel's oratorio "Messiah" had its London premiere. (During the "Hallelujah Chorus," a captivated King George II rose to his feet. The audience followed suit, and the tradition of standing during the chorus was born.) In 1806, explorers Lewis and Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east. In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy. In 1933, the German Reichstag granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers. In 1942, the U.S. government began moving Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to detention centers. In 1956, Pakistan became an independent republic within the British Commonwealth. In 1965, America's first two-person space flight began as "Gemini Three" —nicknamed the "Molly Brown" — blasted off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young on board. In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls seek abortions. Berry's World SOMETIMES SMALL CHILDREN AND THE MEDIA CAN BE VERY CRUEL "FORMER TV EVANGELIST, FORMER TV EVANGELIST, FORMER TV EVANGELIST..." In The Past Ten Years Ago White County residents favored a ban on smoking in public places. Twenty Years Ago Rick Pugh, with a scoring average of nearly 26 points per game, was named Monterey High School's MVP. Public Forum Policy JL/ ETTERS intended for publication should be addressed to Public Forum, 517 E. Broadway, Logansport, Ind., 46947. Each letter 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 less. James J. Kilpatrick Hcitch Act ! It serves a useful purpose WASHINGTON — Suppose, to be supposing, that an agent of the Internal Revenue Service comes around to conduct an audit on your tax return. Just as he spreads his papers and gets down to work, you eyeball a button in his lapel. It says, "George Bush for President." "Oh, yes," says the tax man, "I'm local treasurer [or the Bush campaign. Want to contribute?" "No," you say. "I'm for Paul Simon all the way." Your visitor hands you a Bush pamphlet. "Think about it." He is ready to take a long cool look at your report of capital gains. Don't you wish now that you had forked over 50 bucks for Bush, just to get things off to a friendly start? No such subtle intimidation would be tolerated under present law. The Hatch Act positively forbids it. But under H.R. 3400, which is actively pending in the House of Representatives, the old rules would go out the Window. The Hatch Act would be effectively repealed. Civil servants would be free to run for office in partisan elections, to hold office in a political party, to distribute campaign literature and solicit votes, to organize political rallies and to raise funds for partisan campaigns. The bill would wipe out a century of constructive legislation. The story actually goes back more than a century, to the days of President Andrew Jackson. The salty old general brought the rules of warfare to the battlegrounds of politics. "To the victor belong the spoils.'' By the end of the Civil War, political patronage had badly corrupted the federal bureaucracy. A disappointed office seeker assassinated President Garfield. As a reaction, Congress passed the Civil Service Act of 1883, setting up the first merit system at the federal level. In the beginning, only about 10 percent of federal employees were covered by law, but President Chester Arthur further improved the civil service and President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 made real progress: He forbade all workers in the competitive service from engaging actively in political campaigns. Finally, in 1940, in response to continuing corruption, came the Hatch Act. That law has served us well. Assistant Attorney General John C. Keeney summed up its provisions in recent testimony before a House committee. The law prohibits only overt political activities of a partisan nature. Our hypothetical agent of the IRS is free to register and vote, to contribute money to candidates of his choice, to run as an independent candidate in certain elections (such as school boards), He may serve as a non-partisan election judge. Off duty, he may wear his allegiance on his sleeve or in his lapel. He is forbidden only "to take any active part in political management or in political campaigns." Yes, the Hatch Act enforces a double standard. It denies to federal civil servants some of the same rights and privileges accorded to persons in the private sector. But the benefits are of immeasurable value, not only to the taxpaying public but also to the civil servants themselves. It protects the workers from political retaliation by their superiors. As Keeney said, toe law has served "as a visible and, for the most part, effective dike against the tide of patronage abuse." The validity of the Hatch Act twice has come before the Supreme Court. In 1947 the court looked at the complaint of George P. Poole, a roller in the U.S. Mint. He was also a ward committeeman, a partisan poll watcher and paymaster for party workers. Speaking through Justice Reed, a majority of the court held that Congress could impose reasonable restrictions on partisan activities for three reasons — to promote efficient governmental services, to avoid a tendency toward one-party government, and to prevent the building of a political machine within the bureaucracy. In 1973 the high court "unhesitatingly" reaffirmed that judgment. Speaking through Justice White, the court held that "neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of the Constitution invalidates a law barring this kind of partisan political conduct by federal employees.". Keeney made this observation: "The confidence of the public in the integrity and impartiality of the day-to-day operations of governmental action rests on the fundamental premise that the government operates in a fair and non-partisan fashion." Repeal of the Hatch Act would fatally undermine that confidence. If a tax man wants to raise funds in a partisan campaign, let him stop being a tax man. Kilpatrick is a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D,C, Public Forum Town marshals Town marshals are a rare, dedicated, professional breed. How many of you would work a 40-plus hour work week, be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for a salary that is anywhere from below to just above the national poverty level? The majority of town marshals do. A police officer on a state, county or city department works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and normally has arrangements for compensatory pay or time off. This is not a luxury offered to most town marshals because of budgetary constraints and manpower shortages. The marshal is required to enforce the law fairly and justly for everyone, as is every other law enforcement officer. This includes the very strong possibility of having to arrest the son or daughter of his neighbors and closest friends. Most of the time, the marshal is alone and solely responsible for his town. A good relationship with the other departments in the area is essential if and when he finds himself in a situation where he needs assistance. Pie must be able to work effectively with all the members of the other departments for the safety of all concerned. This can only be accomplished through association. Finally, it is unrealistic to expect a law enforcement officer to be everywhere and to be able to enforce 100 percent of the law, 100 percent of the time. (P.S. A response time of 15 to 30 minutes is considered average to above average on most departments.) Sincerely, Ken Davis 2nd Vice-President Indiana Town Marshals Association Galveslon Town Marshal Send the president In case of war or police action, train and outfit the president, vice president, cabinet, senators, representatives and their families. This would make an elite battalion, and war would be about as short as this public forum. Frank lanneJly 1601 Wright St. Berry support I attended the Marion regional last Saturday and I was wondering where all the Logansport fans were. I drove up from Indianapolis and was real excited about attending my first Marion regional since 1979.1 was disappointed to see only a few hundred people in the Logan section. With their regional nemeses, (the) Marion Giants, out of the picture, I thought the Berries had an excellent chance of advancing to the Fort Wayne semi-state. Logan lost a close, tough game. But I can't help but ponder if the outcome would have been different if the Berries would have had a thousand more supporters? Is that too much to ask for? The officiating was horrendous and Logan missed some free throws, but Norwell was a team they could have beaten. I recall with pride the following the Berries had back in 1979,1977,1976 and 1974 at the Marion regional. I'm sure if Logansport had won the afternoon game, more people would have come down for the championship game. However, it still would have been a far cry from the previous regionals. Don't you think players and students deserve better? I know the Berries had an up and down year, but had proven that they could play, with the best teams in the state. It was the most talented team they have had in quite a while, and Wade Gault is the best basketball player to come out of Logansport in several years. That is why I can't understand the lack of support. I no longer live in Logansport, and might be out of line, but I still follow the Berries and try to attend as many games as possible. Reminiscing about the '76 and '79 losses in regional games to Marion and the championship in '74, it is sad comparing the fan support to this year's regional. There are definitely more means of entertainment now than 12 years ago, but I think Logansport can do better. Over 8,000 people watched Damon Bailey and Bedford win the Seymour regional. Well, maybe next year. How good is the baseball team this year? Chris Breach Indianapolis The death penalty There's an old saying that goes thus: There is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that has not at some time been said by some philosopher. To this thought, I would substitute for the word philosopher the word judge, a Supreme Court judge of Indiana at that. When Indiana Supreme Court Justice Givan said recently the death penalty should be eliminated because it doesn't prevent murder (he said crime), he is not logical. The death penalty is used so infrequently that, of course, it has no efficacy. This nation has approximately 20.000 murders each year. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977, an average of eight executions have occurred in each succeeding year throughout the nation. How could the treatment for this vile, brutal disease be efficacious inasmuch as it has not been given a chance to prove its worth? A bite of a mad dog in the throes of rabies would most certainly be fatal to a man it the doctor, seeing the pain his treatment was causing his patient, decided to abort the painful series of antirabies vaccination. After the patient died, some fool would conclude from his death that the treatment was flawed. If, then, the treatment were abandoned for lack of wilt to carry it through, thousands of humans in the United States would die each year in agony from rabies. In my thinking, murder is a disease, the cure for which is discriminating executions. If it were a constant fact that he who kills will himself be killed without fail and without delay, murders would become rare once more. Regarding Judge Givan's statement that it is more expensive to try to execute a murderer because of the numerous appeals over many years than it would be to just give him a life sentence, he was right. Society rarely has to bed and board a murderer for the whole length of his sentence. He is invariably walking the streets a few years after he was sent to prison for life. And in conclusion, what would be more proof of the value of a human life than that he who would presume to destroy it should then forfeit his? Any punishment less than this makes a mockery of justice. Thank you, Keith K. Michael 409ShultzSt.
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