Page 4 Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Indiana, Wednesday, March 30, 1988 Opinion The free exchange of ideas is the greatest protection of liberty. Gardens The rites of spring Spring has come and with it the annual rite of garden planting. In our more southerly parts, the gardens of the industrious are already well started. Good gardeners in other regions have planted seeds indoors against the day when the last killing frost has passed and the soil has warmed. According to a number of reports, Americans increasingly are cultivating home vegetable gardens, even in cities where the garden is only a window box. Many are motivated by a desire to beat the high cost of food. They are discovering, however, that there is joy as well as savings, pleasure as well as profit, to be gained from their labors. It is unnecessary to order from the illustrated catalogues which promise bounty without warning of the threats from bugs, slugs, rabbits, too much or too little rain and al! the other heartbreaks which can turn garden delight into garden disaster. Garden supply centers have seeds and plants with which to experiment and, for beginners, good advice, which even old-timers could find worth listening to. It's best to plant proven favorites, which experience has taught grow and produce well in our region. The county extension office knows which they are. Make room, though, for a few different items to add interest and satisfy curiosity about what others eat. One of the joys of a home garden is the opportunity to grow and taste new or unusual vegetables. Not this year, but soon perhaps, plants may be available developed by genetic engineers. These plants will resist disease and insects and produce larger, more nutritious and tastier crops. We need not wait, however, since home grown already does well. Meanwhile, there's no time for dallying. There's earth to be turned, seedbeds to prepare, seeds to start and decisions to be made about what is to be planted where and in what order to assure a long season of good eating... and to provide each of us with a little help in our personal struggle to make ends meet, too. Legislators' Addresses SENATE DAN QUAYLE — 447 Federal Building, indiananolis 46204. nhone 1-317-269-5555: 524 Hart • '" J 'JIW i -fc li 'iiii dfch» Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, phone 1-202-224-5623. RICHARD LUGAR - 447 Federal Building, Indianapolis 46204, phone 1-317-269-5555; 306 Hart Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510, phone 1-202-224-4814. HOUSE JIM JONTZ - 104 W. Walnut St., Kokomo, 46902, phone 1-800-544-1474 or 1-317-459-4375, or 302 Lincolnway, Valparaiso, phone 1-219-642-6499 in Indiana. His Washington office is 1005 Longworth House Office Building. His phone number in Washington is 1-202-225-5037. JOHN T. MYERS -107 Federal Building, Terre Haute47808, phone812-238-1619; 2372Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C. 20515, phone 1 -202-225-5805. Berry's World "You've got computer virus. There's a lot of it going around these days." In The Past Ten Years Ago One month following its disappearance, Charlie Chaplin's body was still missing. Twenty Years Ago Jan Mowery, a seventh-grader, won the Miami County Spelling Bee. Public Forum Policy JU ETTERS intended for publication should be addressed to Public Forum, 5)7 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. Charley Reese PardonSI North, Poindexter should get them To say that I am angry about the indictment on criminal charges of Lt. Col. Oliver North and Adm. John Poindexter is an understatement. I knew they would be indicted but to see two honest, patriotic American military officers being lynched by venal, low-life politicians is sickening. Let's review the Iran-Contra affair. The president, as he is constitutionally entitled to do, opened negotiations with people inside Iran. In the course of the negotiations, a decision was made to supply a limited amount of arms. That decision, too, was perfectly legal. In the course of working out the arms transfer, someone came up with the idea of over-charging the Iranians and of using these excess funds to help the contras. This was done. The U.S. Government was fully paid 100 percent of the price it wanted for the arms. Thus, the dollars diverted to help the Nicaraguan freedom fighters were not U.S. tax dollars or dollars appropriated by Congress or dollars the U.S. was entitled to but Iranian dollars obtained by stinging foreigners who deserved to be stung. The Boland amendment notwithstanding, Congress has limited jurisdiction over foreign policy. Certainly, it may forbid the expenditure of any appropriation. It may not, however, forbid the expenditure of other people's money and it surely cannot order the president of the United States not to conduct foreign policy. President Reagan made a great error in not challenging the constitutionality of the Boland amendment at the time. Clearly the leftist congressmen were interested in destroying the contras. Clearly they are attempting to criminalize legitimate policy differences. Furthermore anyone who has been around Washington, the most power and status obsessed, piece of real estate in the world, knows that a lieutenant colonel and an admiral are so far down on the Washington pecking order that the idea that these men were doing these things entirely on their own is simply absurd. Poor North did not even have enough clout to get a special telephone or a rent-a-cop to guard his family after the FBI notified him that he was marked for assassination by the Abu Nidal terrorist faction. President Reagan has a clear duty to pardon North and Poindexter immediately. If he fails to do this, the good he's done will be wiped out by the most blatant case of cowardice and dishonorable behavior in the postwar era. North and Poindexter are only being used as surrogate targets by Reagan's enemies. They did not have the nerve to try to impeach this popular president so they are crucifying innocent subordinates in lieu of Reagan. I would hope that Washington will hear a swelling and angry roar from the American people. If it does not, then there is no hope at all for the future. A people so apathetic as to allow its best men to be destroyed by its worst will certainly not keep their necks out of a Soviet noost very long. If this dishonorable lynching is allowed to proceed, I predict a great many patriotic Americans will become radicalized. People are already disgusted that our legalistic system has become a mockery of justice. To see it being used to destroy innocent men while the men responsible stand by in quaking cowardice will have a profound and lasting impact. If there are any men in Washington who revere and respect the Constitution, if there are any men in Washington whose love of this country is unquestioned, if there are any men in Washington who have resisted the temptation to stuff their pockets with the people's money, they are John Poindexter and Ollie North. They are not on trial. We, the American people, are. If we abandon these men, then the verdict will be guilty —- of cowardice, dishonor, apathy, and stupidity. Reese is a syndicated columnist bused in Orlando, Fla. Jeffrey Hart RciClSm ! Brawley case not straight-forward The Tawana Brawley case has dominated the front pages and TV news in New York, has involved everybody from Albany to Manhattan, has twisted the ordinary criminal justice system out of shape, and has exposed Governor Mario Cuomo to accusations of racism and of being just "another Lester Maddox." The case has been shamelessly exploited by two black con men, the attorneys Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox Jr., and by the Rev. Al Sharpton, a racial hustler from Brooklyn. Bill Cosby and heavyweight champion Mike Tyson have gotten involved. All of this has happened because a "racial incident" is supposed to have taken place. Two days before last Thanksgiving, Tawana Brawley of Wappingers Falls in New York's rural Dutchess County, then a 15-year-old girl, disappeared for four days. Then she was spotted near an apartment from which her family had recently been evicted. She was lying in a garbage bag, comatose, and smeared with dog feces. In charcoal, the words "nigger" and "KKK" were scrawled on her. Her mother and step-father then presented an inherently implausible story about what had happened to the girl. Allegedly, she was kidnapped by two men, one in a policeman's uniform. She was taken to a wooded area, where four other white men appeared, and kept in a cabin for four days, during which she was repeatedly sexually abused. Medical tests later excluded rape. Then she somehow ended up back at the family's former apartment. Ah, whaddya, whaddya, as the defense lawyer in Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" says. If a white girl and her parents had told any such story it would have been greeted with incredulity. Is if likely that six men would spend four days — four days! — in a cabin engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old? Is it likely that in this small town six men could disappear for four days without its being noticed? There were no missing persons alarms. Two of the days were working days. The temperatures during those days averaged around 20 degrees Farenheit. That must have been one chilly cabin. And why would such six men arrange that she be dropped off at her old apartment? Maddox and Mason are charging that high Dutchess County officials are covering up the culprits. They are refusing to let Tawana Brawley testify. At their demand, Governor Cuomo appointed a special prosecutor, State Attorney General Robert Abrams, who is unsatisfactory to Mason and Maddox, and who, though a liberal, has been called "Hitler" by Sharpton. This is a racial farce. Mason, Maddox and Sharpton are guilty of obstruction of justice and should be charged, as they would be if they were white. Tawana Brawley should be subpoenaed and made to tell her story to a grand jury, as she would be if she were white. If she refused, she is in contempt. Alternatively, the district attorney could announce that, since she is refusing to testify, there is no case at all. Finis. This also might well happen if she were white. Instead, poor prosecutor Abrams is publicly begging her to come forward, has established a 12-man investigating team in a local armory and has set up a 24-hour Tawana Brawley "hot line." Ah, whaddya, whaddya. The most plausible theory is that Brawley, unhappy at home, disappeared for four days, visited a boyfriend in jail and then hunkered down in her old vacant apartment; and then needed a story to explain her disappearance. New York's white liberal officialdom is so terrified by any "racial" claim that they are being jerked to and fro by black hustlers like Mason, Maddox and Sharpton. I've got a deal Cuomo and Abrams just can't refuse. I'll sell them the Hudson River. Cheap. Hart writes his column for King Features Syndicate. Today In History HISTORY HIGHLIGHT Today is Wednesday, March 30, the 90th day of 1988. There are 276 days left in the year. ON THIS DATE: On March 30,1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million. The deal was roundly ridiculed in the United States as "Seward's Folly." On this date: In 1822, Florida became a U.S. territory. In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Ga., first used ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation. In 1858, Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patented a pencil with an attached eraser. In 1870, the 15th amendment to the Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, was declared in effect. In 1870, Texas was readmitted into the Union. In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge opened, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens. In 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Austria during World War II. In 1964, John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall. In 1973, Ellsworth Bunker resigned as U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, and was succeeded by Graham A. Martin. In 1981, President Reagan and three other men were shot and wounded by John W. Hinckley Jr. outside a Washington hotel. In 1982, the space shuttle "Columbia" ended its third test flight with a smooth landing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with astronauts Jack R. Lousma and C. Gordon Fullerton aboard. In 1984, President Reagan formally ended U.S. participation in the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon. In 1986, actor James Cagney died at his farm his Stanfordville, N.Y., at age 86.
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