Green Bay Press-Gazette from Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 29, 1987 · Page 39
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Green Bay Press-Gazette from Green Bay, Wisconsin · Page 39

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Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Monday, June 29, 1987
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Page 39
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A-8 Tuesday, June 30, 1987 Green Bay Press-Gazette Michael B. GagePublisher John D. GibsonEditor Lawrence A. BelongerManaging Editor Robert WoessnerOpinion Page Editor We believe: "The Press-Gazette will be conducted as an inde- pendent newspaper. It will have no interests to serve other than those of the people. Its columns will at all times be open to a free expression of opinion, and to : a discussion of matters of public policy." mm Ellen Goodman James Kilpatrick Op V ' . hi In Colorado, tracers try to halt AIDS DKNVKR If Beth Dillon has a working motto, it's a very modest one: "Most people are not sociopathic." Mast people if they know they've been infected with the AIDS virus will not go out and bite their prison guard, or turn tricks, or share their used needles, or get pregnant. What they need is to know. This is why Dillon is part of the team of public-health workers who do AIDS-contact tracing. The team tries to locate people who have been exposed to someone with the virus. They go out and talk to them, especially to those who may have no reason to suspect exposure. They encourage them to be tested, counsel them about "safe" behavior and hope they've cut off a route of transmission. They do it because, as Dillon says, "Those who say this is a disease of consent are full of baloney. A black woman "who has sex with fin occasional IV drug user doesn't know she's at risk. She doesn't watch Ted Koppel." And these tracers do it because "we're devastated by what we've seen of AI I )S. What motivates us is reaching one person." Hack in what Fred Wolf, the AIDS coordinator for the Colorado Department of I lealth, refers to ruefully as "the good old days," public-health officials traced the path of syphilis and gonorrhea to offer a cure. When AIDS began to spread and a test for the virus was devised, Colorado became the first state to do contact tracing for AIDS as well. But without a cure in sight. Today there are 4(X) known cases of AIDS in Colorado, about 2,7(X) known to be infected with the virus, and perhaps as many as l.r,(MK) actually infected. Hut the public-health department has operated this program in t he midst of enormous controversy and heated name-calling. Much of the anxiety revolves around the state law that requires laboratories to report the names of those who test positive for the AIDS virus to the Department of Health. The law protects confidentiality, but there is, somewhere, a locked up list of names of the infected. It is this vision of a list that alarms many in civil liberties and gay-rights circles. No matter how fervently the Department of I lealth insists that no name has ever leaked, there are no guarantees. "The reality is that there is not going to he one way to limit the spread of AIDS." Many worry that reporting scares people off from taking the test. The Colorado health department's director, Dr. Tom Vernon, assumes that it does scare some and I hat others taking the test may do so under false nanus. Hut there are larger questions about contact tracing as other cities and states debate and sometimes adopt variations on this program. Is contact tracing an acceptable option, something that falls between leaflets and lockups, more direct than mass education ami surely less draeonian than quarantine? Arguments over AIDS rigidify quickly into heated debates between those who tight for the civil rights of the infected and those who fight for the public health of the uninfected. The Colorado program falls somewhere in between. It is. to begin with, voluntary. The work depends on voluntary testing, the willing divulgence of contact names and their voluntary testing in turn. The one right not assured is the right of a contact to remain ignorant. As Dr. Vernon says, ; "We believe that our overriding moral duty is to warn." Precisely because the program operates in the middle of a mine field of anxiety, it is especially vulnerable. Vulnerable to both charges of "fascism" and charges of laxity. If one name leaks, the necessary trust will he irrevocably broken. If the public witnesses one series of "sociopaths" what public-health people call "rare recalcitrants" the 1 demand for safety may ride right over civil liberties, even common sense. "This morning, a social worker said to ; me, 'What do we do about an H1Y- positive (virus-carrying) mother?'" says Dr. Vernon. "We talked to her, said she shouldn't breast-feed her baby, and she is anyway. I don't know what we do." And what of the w oman they contacted a year ago, a woman who carries the virus and has begun a new relationship, another contact to be traced? The reality is that there is not going to be one way to limit the spread of AIDS. There is no fail-safe system that wouldn't ' deeply offend our entire history of respect for individuals. Hut does that mean we sit immobilized while one group cries against any testing and another cries for quarantining? In Colorado, a team of public-health officials goes out and talks to people, one by one, people who might otherwise pass on the disease without even knowing it. They are doing something. Goodman is a smdieated columnist. In our view iernember Kasten can't seem to tell right from wrong Is Sen. Robert Kasten unable to tell right from wrong? Or does he just not care about the distinction? The questions are pertinent in light of Monday's admission by Kasten that false information was used in his campaign against Democrat Ed Garvey. A Kasten commercial claimed that $750,000 in National Football League Players Association money "disappeared" while Garvey was president. The implication was clear. Garvey was either a lousy administrator or a thief. Garvey demanded that Kasten pull the ads. But they continued to run. Garvey and his wife filed a libel suit. As a result of Kasten 's admission Monday, the Garveys dropped their suit. "The reason we brought this lawsuit was to clear up Crazylegs End of Hirsch reign shows need for more than cheerleading any question about my integrity. That was the important question for us and for our children. Now that Kasten had admitted the commercial wasn't true, there isn't anything left to prove," Garvey said. Rather than being shamed by the reckless action taken on his behalf, Kasten had the gall to crow. "This is a tremendous victory for us. Ed Garvey brought the suit and Ed Garvey is dropping it. He's not receiving a penny in settlement," Kasten said. Victory? Where is the victory in Kasten admitting that he misled and deceived the public in order to win elective office? There is no way to vote again. But state voters must remember Kasten 's cavalier use of the truth. It is something to be kept in mind if he ever again seeks votes. One of Wisconsin's most famous cheerleaders leaves office today as Elroy Hirsch ends his 18-year tenure as University of Wisconsin athletic director. Hirsch's record is mixed. He oversaw the resurgence in UW football attendance. He saw the school become a national hockey power. A strong women's athletic program grew during his reign. Many alumni contributed heavily to the school. People's forum But there were problems. UW was rapped for a variety of recruiting violations. Controversy surrounded fund-raising activities. Administrative policies were often in disarray. Too often, Hirsch was on vacation, his boat or the golf course when his services were needed. UW benefited from Hirsch's cheerleading, if not from his lack of attention to detail. But today's big time college athletic programs need more than the rah-rah approach. Raps Roth record In a recent newsletter to his constituents, Congressman Toby Roth reprinted a letter from Rep. Claude Pepper, the leading spokesman in Congress for older Americans, which praised Roth for his efforts on behalf of senior citizens. This letter was apparently the result of a deception. The Milwaukee Journal reported that Pepper said that he was deceived by Roth, that Roth actually wrote the letter himself, and that Roth had misrepresented his voting record (18 percent on senior citizen issues') in order to get Pepper's endorsement. "Now I find out that he's ( Roth) not been a good friend of the senior citizens and it's embarrassing to me," Pepper said. Roth was recently in Appleton at a seminar for senior citizens, which he apparently organized to provide himself with a forum so that he could tout himself as an advocate for older Americans. He assured those who attended that he had a good record on senior citizen issues. Exactly the opposite w as true. He has consistently voted to cut senior programs, most recently housing for older Americans, claiming that he couldn't afford them, while he supported an extravagant military budget. I wonder how many other awards, plaques and letters of endorsement Roth or his staff arranged for so that he could convince 8th District voters that he was a concerned and effective representative? The misuse of Congressional newsletters (which are printed and mailed at taxpayer expense) to spread untruths and misinformation should not be allowed. We older Americans are tired of being deliberately misled and used as pawns to further someone's political career. More of us should be asking our Congressman for accountability perhaps then we can get the truth. Robert Baron 1072 St. Agnes Drive Calls city smut capital In addition to periodic editorials supporting pornography (re: November '86 obscenity ordinance referendum); the Press-Gazette contains columns, advertisements and features that promote this moral corruption. The latest example occurred on June 23 when a good portion of page B-7 was devoted to the clothes that a recent visiting stripper rarely uses. (I would be hard-pressed to label this a fashion piece.) What a waste of space for a so-called 'family' newspaper. If I disrobed in public, I would be charged with indecent exposure. However; if someone dances nude (with the sometime exception of a brief G-string) in a nightclub, it is perfectly okay. (This is, indeed, very strange.) Is the Press-Gazette pleased with the number of males who frequent these establishments to stare at females as 'sex objects'? And, why this fascination with vulgarity and perversion? With six porno shops, bookstores selling porn magazines and books, video rental stores having X-rated films, five strip joints and homosexual bars, Green Bay has definitely become the smut capital of the state. Is the Press-Gazette proud of this? Is our evening newspaper happy with the huge increase with cases of sexual assaultrape? We are suffering the after-effects of the Hugh Hefner Playboy philosophy and sex revolution. Certainly, one of the ways to remedy the situation is not to applaud the success that Satan has had. Surely what we need is much prayer and more people to speak out against the moral corruption that exists in society today. Timothy P. Beno 2345 Sunrise Court Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau J HA'0CF:tlDSSOV5FLAK I KVOHTHEf HAVENT LOOKED i TOOiMPRESSr&SOftRR- SECRETARY... YOU CAN SAY THATAGAlN! AND5CWILL CONGRESS WHEN THEY wteonfu- TJREAIP. WHAT CAK I SAY, SIR THE CIA ONLYPIRECTS theuar. me ACTUAL FIGHTINGS UPTOmCDN- y JRAS. FIGHTING MHAT FIGHTING2 THEY'RE IN A CONSTANT STATE OF RE TREAT! um.rrmsA LONG RAINY SEA -SON,SIR. AND THEN THEY HAD TOBREAKFOR. CHANUKAH. APPARENTLY EARLY HERE, v Tell court evolution is still a theory ( WASHINGTON Louisiana's : . ' "Creationism Act" at bottom was just what the Supreme Court called it: The act was a "sham," and a fairly transparent sham at that. In the spurious name of "academic freedom," the act ' ' sought to compel the teaching of a religious doctrine. This the Constitution forbids. The case was rightly decided. - Even so, the issue was not so one-sided as the court's 7-2 division would suggest.-Aspects of Justice William Brennan's' majority opinion are disturbing. In . . ,'; dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia (joined by-Chief Justice William Rehnquist) said some things about judicial restraint that, sorely need to be said. Scalia thought that sham had been too quickly inferred, and he objected to disposing of the case "on. . the gallop." He felt the opinion compounded the inconsistency of decisions in this field. The facts are clear. In 1982 Louisiana passed a law affecting all of the state'a , , public schools. The act did not require the teaching of any theories on the origins of life, but the act decreed that if the theory of evolution were taught, the theory of ' "creationism" had to be given equal time: A group of parents sued to have the act .' held unconstitutional. Both the U.S. District Court and the 5th Circuit agreed! with the parents' complaint. Last week the Supreme Court affirmed the lower ' courts' decisions. Justice Brennan began by emphasizing that states and local school boards do not have unbounded discretion in matters of curriculum. Their discretion is subject to', constitutional limitations. "Families - entrust public schools with the education-of their children, but condition their trust on the understanding that the classroom will not purposely be used to advance religious views." ' ' ". . . the issue was not so one-sided as the court's 7-2 division would suggest." Prior cases dealing with the establishment clause have laid down a ; rule that acts touching in any way upon religion must have a "secular purpose'. . Legislative statements of such a purpose ; must be "sincere and not a sham." The legislative history of Louisiana's act made it clear that the purpose was not to ' advance academic freedom. On its face, , the act was not "balanced." It tilted toward creationism. "We need not be '' blind to the legislature's pre-eminent ' ' ' religious purpose in enacting this statute." The purpose was "clearly to advance the religious viewpoint that a " ' ' " supernatural being created humankind." The act thus violated the First Amendment and had to be struck down. ' Very well. But if the court was saying that only the theory of evolution may be taught in public schools, we are in deep trouble. Brennan's opinion walked to the very brink of such a disaster. The majority offered but a single sentence of , reassurance: "... Teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of ' humankind to schoolchildren might be . ; validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction." Note the heavy verb: This "might" be done. Brennan's doubt is as palpable as a stone. This is the troubling thing. The theory of evolution is just that: a theory, nothing more, nothing less. It is a theory embraced by our very best scientists. But to worship science is to worship a most unconstant god; and for the high court to give its imprimatur to one theory, . ' excluding all others, would be intolerable. In other eras the very best scientists have been very wrong. The very best ' oceanographers once were certain the ' !; world was flat. The very best doctors of the Middle Ages had a way of treating ; lunatics: They drilled holes in the lunatic's skull to let the demons out. The ! very best physicians of the 18th century put leeches to George Washington; they were certain that phlebotomy was the ; very beet cure. . ; In the matter at hand, some quite respectable scientists testified that "creationism" relies upon far more than Genesis 1. These scientists do not regard ; creationism and evolution as mutually exclusive theories. Indeed, there is general agreement on the tumultuous formation of seas and mountains eons ago. It is generally agreed that vegetation came first, followed by fish and amphibians, followed by mammals, followed by humankind. Lnless the biblical word "day" is read literally to mean 24 hours, which is nonsense, the theories closely coincide. We ought to keep minds more open than the mind of Justice Brennan, and we ought to leave a vast deal of educational inquiry to the states and local school -boards. Milton's advice w as to "let the winds of doctrine blow." And Milton was right. Kilpatrick is a syndicated columnist.

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