Opinion The Sallna Journal Tuesday, January 7,1986 Page 4 T1 Steillfli [i.i*ii T 1 1 he Journal Founded in 1871 HARRIS RAYL, Editor and Publisher KAY BERENSON, Executive Editor SCOTT SEIRER, News Editor LARRY MATHEWS, Assistant News Editor LORI BRACK, Weekend Editor JIM HAAG, Night Editor MARY JO PROCHAZKA, Associate Editor A new low Philip Morris, the cigarette maker, has enlisted William Allen White's reputation in its cause. The company should be ashamed. In full-page advertisements in several Kansas newspapers last week, the company suggested that the great editor of The Emporia Gazette would have opposed a new policy forbidding smoking in Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services offices. "Is this Kansas or Kiev?" the ad said White would probably ask. The new policy "must have William Allen White spinning in his grave," it said. We're offended. We're offended that White's name and reputation are being used for a commercial purpose. We're doubly offended that the commercial purpose in this case is to bolster cigarettes' social accept- ability and thus the market for a product that is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States today. The ad is presumptuous. If Philip Morris had done a little checking, it would have discovered that White was a non-smoker. The company also would have discovered that The Gazette has had an unwritten understanding for several years that smoking is not permitted on the premises, except in an employee lounge. Will Philip Morris now have White asking: Is this The Emporia Gazette or Pravda? The Gazette's approach to smoking in its offices is a commendable effort to protect the health of the paper's employees. So is the SRS's new policy. Shame on you, Philip Morris. Only name changed "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet," Will Shakespeare wrote. Ah, but the bard was not a politician or, like the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a TV preacher. Those folks know the name's the thing. Last week Falwell recognized that the so-called Moral Majority was not and never would be a majority force in American politics, so he formed a new group called the Liberty Federation to take on the unfinished task of converting American voters to right-wing causes. The Moral Majority was dead before its official burial within the Lib- erty Federation. Recent public opinion polls indicated that affiliation with the Moral Majority had become a liability for political candidates. The 7-year-old organization had lost much of its fund-raising magic. It would have lost money last year without a last-minute flurry of yearend donations. American voters were smart enough to realize quickly that the Moral Majority was neither particularly moral nor a majority, but just a facade for politicking by the conservative right. They are smart enough to know that Falwell's Liberty Federation won't do much to foster America's "liberty" either. Letters Kansas ag board I would like the ag board left as it is now. Don't change the people every time we have a new governor. I have been a delegate from Saline County a few times and I have encouraged younger . farmers to attend, as there is so much to be learned at those meetings. With the help of the state ag board, wheat yield has gone from an average of 12 bushels per acre in 1935 to 37 bushels per acre in 1985. In 1935, wheat at 12 bushels per acre and 80 cents per bushel would yield only $9.60 per acre. In 1985 an average of 36 bushels per acre at $3 per bushel would yield $108 per acre. What we need to do now is to cut cost. —OLIVER HAGG Route3 A bad city policy The City of Salina took the parking meters off the curbside posts, all over downtown, and applied free two-hour parking decals to each post. The idea of free parking for downtown patrons was and still is a good idea. Anyone from anyplace in the world can park a car in one of the free parking spaces for two hours, move his car to another location and park free for two more hours. In this manner anyone can park free all day, any day of the week, or every day of the week. The city is even working with the downtown business district to improve parking facilities with more free parking spaces for downtown patrons. I approve of that. Downtown shoppers can park free to shop in the business establishments and spend money, to have lunch and spend money, to go to the bank and deposit money, or just to window shop. This is great. Let them know... SEN. BOB DOLE, SH141 Hart Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. Phone: 202-224-6521. SEN. NANCY KASSEBAUM, 302 Russell Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. Phone: 202-2244774. REP. PAT ROBERTS, 1519 Longworth Building, Washington. D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-2715. REP. JIM SLATTERY, 1729 Longworth Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-6601. REP. BOB WHITTAKER, 332 Cannon Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-3911. The Mid-State Mall provides free parking. Sunset Plaza provides free parking. Southgate, Alco, K mart, Gibsons, Payless Cash- ways, Kraft Manor, Mowery Clinic, Salina Family Physicians, etc., etc., all provide free parking for their patrons and their employees. Who pays for parking in Salina? The people who must be downtown all day every day: the employees of the downtown businesses. They must be downtown to earn their livelihoods, all day every day; and they do not have the opportunity to move their cars every two hours to keep from being ticketed and fined for overtime parking by the city police department. The city manager and the city commission have not deemed it prudent, or essential, to withdraw this "city policy.'' In my opinion the $10 per month ($120 per year) that each downtown employee pays the city is a "use tax." These city-owned parking lots for which downtown employees purchase parking permits have long ago been paid for from property tax revenue. This is a form of double taxation against a select few; these select few have already paid for the parking lots in their property tax assessments. Double taxation is supposed to be against the law of the state of Kansas and the Kansas constitution. Is the city working an injustice, an inequity, an unforgivable wrong against a minority? It is my opinion that this is the case. It is a policy that should be withdrawn by the city commission at once. -WILBER H.DAVIS 317 W.Jewell Farm bill is 'trash' While Sen. Bob Dole was telling the virtues of the 1985 farm bill, our neighbors to the south were telling the truth of this disaster. Sen. David Boren, D-Okla., and Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., joined Kansas Democratic Reps. Jim Slattery and Dan Glickman in voting aginst the bill. Traveling farther south the truth comes out. Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Hightower said the bill was "a piece of trash." "This legislation does more damage to American agriculture than all combined droughts, tornadoes, freezes, hurricanes and other weather disasters have done in the past 50 years," Hightower said. He talked of farms being farmed by international shippers, brokers, speculators and traders. It's interesting what a warmer climate does for the brain. -ALLEN COVER Abilene Protect America's land as a national resource NEW YORK — Nearly 20 years ago in Rappahannock County, Virginia, I built a four-acre pond — perhaps the single most constructive act of my life. The pond improved worn-out land and gave it a new ecology, stopped erosion, guarded against drought, beautified a barren little valley, and provided immeasurable recreational values for my family and friends — not to mention habitat for a beaver, then an endangered species in Virginia. I bought the land and put up the construction money. The state of Virginia stocked the pond with largemouth bass, bluegills, and channel catfish (to establish a natural cycle). Eddie Woods, the district agent for the federal Soil Conservation Service, designed the dam so well that the water eventually rose precisely to the little red flags he had set out to predict the shoreline of what he called a "water impoundment." That's only an infinitesimal incident in the annals of one of the federal services dedicated to the American earth, and to those who work and cherish it. This nation's farmers have been the most resourceful and productive in history, and another such federal agency — the Agricultural Extension Service, which teaches farmers the latest and best agricultural knowledge — has been a major reason. Now Ronald Reagan wants to kill the Extension Service to save money; if the service is needed, his aides say, let the states pay for it. What effrontery! The land is only artificially divided by state lines; it's a national asset and ought to be nurtured as such. What sense does it make for one state to invest Tom Wicker NEW YORK TIMES substantially in farming techniques or land conservation, while another chooses to let its land wash away and its farms languish? What national crisis justifies this reckless abandonment of so useful an agency, this soulless disregard of the land-workers who need that agency's help? But that's only one of a sad procession of events that in this richest and proudest of nations seem to reflect a crabbed spirit and undue panic over the federal deficit. Congress, for example, has just passed a farm credit bill that's expected to hasten the trend toward large commercial farms and to speed foreclosures on tens of thousands of family farms. Whatever its effect on the federal deficit, this is callous social policy, the consequences of which will haunt future generations. In many cases it's also unfair, because it was the government that only a few years ago urged farmers into debt to increase production. Land values in Iowa have fallen from $2,147 an acre in 1981 to $948 now — a 30.2 percent decline for which farmers cannot be held solely or even primarily responsible. But let 'em eat soybeans. If urbanites don't care what happens to farmers, they might be more concerned that Reagan, despite a grudging about-face, also wants to sell the Federal Housing Administration to private institutions—whose failure to make housing loans available to low- and middle-income people caused the New Deal to set up the agency in the first place. The FHA has not in a half-century cost the taxpayers a dollar; but Reaganites in their mania for privatization and profit think they can make a buck on the sale, thus reducing the deficit. Never mind the young people who as a result may never be able to buy or build a house. And for those members of Congress who voted for the cowardly Gramm-Rudman- Hollings deficit reduction act in the belief that it would force Reagan to cut military spending or raise taxes — welcome to cold reality. At the White House this week, he told them what sensible people should have known all along: that he still intends to veto any tax increase and to maintain his military buildup. Thus he'll send them a 1987 budget designed to reach the Gramm-Rudman deficit target through deep cutbacks — about $50 billion worth — in "wasteful and unnecessary" domestic programs, such as the FHA. So his Spartan priorities are unchanged; and he's just proved in the House tax reform battle that when aroused he still packs a powerful political punch. Congress may yet have the backbone to force some military spending cuts on him; but even if that happens, it will be at the price of horrendous further reductions in domestic programs that once showed a responsible government's concern for its citizens' well-being. Letters I'd like to write about TV shows, stories ByJULIE DOLL I suppose if I didn't work for a newspaper, I would be one of those people who cause editors to slap their foreheads and moan, "Not her again." I would write dozens of letters — to editors of newspapers and magazines and television producers. Even though I have this page as an outlet, I still found myself coming close to writing three letters in 1985 about things I saw on television or read in a magazine. The closest was a letter typed and signed to the Atlantic magazine. But I didn't mail it. What prompted the letter to the Atlantic was a long, explanatory article on the farm economy. It was a good article, which pointed out better than most the causes of agriculture's problems and why solutions are so nebulous. But the article was based on data that tended to mislead the reader as to the severity of the situation. For example, the article noted that the number of foreclosures filed by the Fanners Home Administration had declined in 1984. It did not note that the FmHA was under court order that barred it from initiating foreclosure actions against farmers. As evidence that subsidy payments were small and evenly distributed among all sizes of farms, the magazine used 1983 figures for average payments to Kansas farmers. It ignored 1984 figures, which showed substantially bigger averages and which also showed large fanning operations received a disproportionately large percentage of the payments. There were other, similarly misleading statements and use of data, but I let it pass, concluding that one letter would help neither the magazine nor its readers to better understand the strain under which rural America finds itself. I. also was tempted to write a letter every time I saw Jimmy Swaggart on television. There are thousands of qualified pastors who can provide religious instruction via the air waves, but for some reason, Swaggart is a favorite. His fire-and-brimstone speeches can be seen on at least three channels in Hays. Most of what Swaggart says is infuriating, but three topics were especially maddening. The first was his speech that all journalists are atheists, and that the teaching of psychology and sociology should not be allowed. He went on to say that people should not turn to therapists and psychologists for help, but to God (as if one excluded the other). Only God can solve your problems, he declared, not therapists, not psychologists, not psychiatrists, and not even Jimmy Swaggart. "Then why bother listening to you?" I asked the television. The second was Swaggart's declaration that all churches, except true Pentecostal churches, were ardent supporters of communism, communist rebels and communist regimes. After all, he said, the pope is not just from a socialist country; he is a socialist. And the World Council of Churches routinely supports communist countries. One wonders what Swaggart would have made of Christ's lifestyle, particularly his refusal to get a real job and earn a living. The third was Swaggart's declaration that women who wore shorts, or other clothes he deemed inappropriate, were Satanic. "I'd like to see you stand before Lynette Woodward or Martina Navratilova and say that," I told the screen. (I have a bad habit of talking to the television.) I also was tempted to write a letter to Alan Conwell, the hostage spokesman who was in the news last summer. He was roundly criticized as being too sympathetic to the Palestinian causes. Conwell, in comments made to the media, said he could understand the Palestinian's point of view, but he made clear that he did not condone the Palestine Liberation Organization's use of violence. While Conwell was in the hands of the hostage-takers, his critics could forgive such talk. But after he was released, Conwell repeated the statement, and his critics were outraged. Why? Why is it so difficult to understand why a person who has lived in the Mideast for years would sympathize with the plight of Palestinians, as well as that of Israelis? It's within the realm of reason to disagree, even adamantly, with Conwell. But to condemn him for his conviction that the Palestinian people deserve more than to live as exiles in war-torn lands seems out of line. We are too hard on people such as Conwell, who are forced into unfamiliar situations. Conwell didn't ask to play the role of diplomat, expert on foreign affairs and media spokesman. Meanwhile, we allow the inane comments of the Jimmy Swaggarts of the world to pass without comment, granting him credibility with our silence. Doll is editor and publisher of The Hays DailyNews. Letters The Journal welcomes letters to the editor but does not promise to print them. The briefer they are the better chance they have. All are subject to condensation and editing. Writer's name must be signed with full address for publication. Letters become the property of The Journal. Doonesbury . J.J,A& 1 WUSURE SOMBMS MICHAEL, LflNfflWAKT I5VEK/0I6 PJGHTNOU. DKO/VITINGROCKCW05FROMTHE YBAH, PEOPLE SPEW MUCH Wm MOKBTWIN'WBfflH- BfflH- WOM1HAN1H&POON MOMZ?
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