The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 1, 1996 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 1, 1996
Page 4
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A4 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal © Quote of the day "For the past 35 years, not many people have seen much of Bob Dole here." Jerry Driscoll Russell attorney and Democrat on whether Russell is the place Dole thinks of as home V COMMENT T S^T PJ 11 -* J ' Morning glories bring memories of granddad back into full bloom I was sitting at my desk — working in theory, daydreaming in fact — when I saw something creeping over my back fence. Morning glories. My neighbor must have planted them months ago. And now they were spilling into my yard, winding into my memory. My grandfather loved to garden, found joy in what he grew and in the growing. "Look," he'd say, his face lighting up at the latest bloom, "Solomon in all his glory was not so arrayed." That's how he talked, mixing his metaphors, quotes from the King James with personal observations, to illustrate some point. A lot of people — including his wife, nine daughters and various members of churches where he preached on Sunday mornings — said they found it a chore to understand him. Of all the flowers in his garden, he was especially fond of two. First was the Rose of Sharon, a tall shrub with stick-like limbs and ruffled pink blooms. It was also the name he used for me. "Rose of Sharon," he'd say, giving me a wink, "the most beautiful flower in all the Holy Land." By SCOTT SEIRER / The Salina Journal A cunning competitor THE ISSUE Government borrowing THE ARGUMENT Focus on the deficit T ime was, if you had money to salt away, the bank on Main Street was about your only option. But times have changed. The competition for your savings dollar is fierce, and chief among the competitors is, unfortunately, the federal government. And the government is increasingly innovative, an ever-more-cunning competitor in the financial markets. Consider President Clinton's announcement last week of a new savings vehicle: the inflation-indexed bond. It's not a novel idea, really, for it's been used in other countries for years. But it could turn the savings market on its ear for it's aimed directly at the middle class. Here's the deal: You invest as little as $1,000 for a 10-year bond and, as is typical, earn a stated interest rate on that investment. But at the end of the 10-year period you get back not only your original $1,000 but also an amount equal to a decade's worth of inflation. The inflation adjustment addresses the biggest risk in bonds: that when the borrower gives back your principal it's not worth what it was when you loaned it out because it's been eroded by inflation. It's a slick proposal, for you can be assured that the interest you earn on the bond is a "real" profit, over and above whatever inflation might occur. It's tailor-made for conservative investors who want a decent return and government- backed protection of their capital. You'll get back every dime that you invested, and each of those dimes will be worth just what they were when you bought the bond. But the boon for savers is an unintended consequence, for the government has its own interest in mind as it cooks up new ways to sop up investments to cover a federal debt of more than $5 trillion. The government's newest bond promises to lower its cost of borrowing. Investors factor in their fear of inflation when they bid for the current assortment of long-term bonds. With inflation protection, the pricing practices will change. Countries that offer inflation- indexed bonds, including Great Britain, have found that their overall borrowing costs have gone down. For banks and other financial institutions, it's back to the drawing board to devise equally innovative ways to attract savings dollars. Although savers might benefit, the driving force for innovation is coming from the wrong place, and for the wrong reason. We'd all benefit more if these creative juices were flowing toward the real issue: finding ways to eliminate the budget deficit, and thus reducing the government's need to borrow. SHARON RANDALL Scrtpps Howard News Service 4, . MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY, v |bl)KS TOJLY, VASSIR ARAFAT, T TRUE WEST Marriage should be between friends If two guys watching 'Monday Night Football' want to smooch each other, that's OK with me JL ttention, parents and squeamish adults: m\^ If you don't want to answer questions fmfrom your children or yourself about homosexuality, I would advise you to stop right here and take this column straight to Kitty's litter pan. I'm a big fella; I can take the rejection. In a spasm of election-year homophobia, President Clinton signed into law last month the "Defense of Marriage Act." At a midnight signing that lacked all the pomp and circumstance of earlier bill-signings, The President earned his nickname "Bubba" by signing a bill that states marriage "means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word spouse refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." And all across America, the citizenry said, "Duh." Of course, President Clinton doesn't deserve all the blame for this bill becoming law. The rhetorical tool of blaming only The President for things that happen during his term has worked so well for left-leaning "columnists" for so many years that I thought I'd try it. An example: Said "columnists" would blame former President Reagan for America's big ol' deficit. It took more than his signing of spend- T COMMENT DAVID FRESE The Salina Journal ing bills, however, to put America in the red — it also took acts of Congress. Yes, President Reagan had a veto pen then, but, back to the issue of homosexual marriage, so does The President. Perhaps I'm an unreachable demographic, but this young Republican couldn't care less about homosexuality. My view of the government is that Uncle Sam should keep his cold hands out of Lady Liberty's back and front pockets. If two buddies watching "Monday Night Football" choose to kiss each other on the mouth during halftime, well, hey, that's OK with me. In the traffic court of sins, consensual homosexual relations are about as serious as driving the opposite way down a deserted one- way street. If the Good Lord thinks homosexuality is wrong, then I guess He'll take care of it when we get up there. "So, my son," God might say, "you kissed your best pal on the mouth during halftime of the Cowboys-Eagles game. Couldn't you have just watched 'Chicago Hope?' Well, that's true. The show isn't the same without Mandy Patinkin." Perhaps The President felt his polling numbers were too low among members of the Flat Earth Society and others who pop the clutch into full scripture-quoting gear at the thought of homosexual relations. I don't know what kind of marriages our nation's politicians have gotten themselves into, but I've always thought that if you don't want homosexuals to have sex, the best thing you could do is encourage them to marry. But the other day as the wife was a-hollerin' at me to shut off the MTV and fold the laundry, . I thought maybe The President was feeling the pain of all us married Americans and decided to spare homosexuals the heartache. For instance, if men lived together in holy matrimony, both husbands could leave their underwear on the bathroom floor. Neither would hear the other yell at him to do the dishes. And that painting of the dogs playing poker? In an all-male household, that sucker would be in its rightful place — right above the full-on quadraphonic wide-screen TV. Same with women. Female marrieds would never have to hear debates on the greatness of Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas and could spend all their time in stores that feature dried-flower wallhangings. There would be no long lectures on the arithmetic of the earned run average, and all meals would be picnics. Before y'all get freaky over the above gender stereotypes, know that my wife has taught me the math on the earned run average. I love her for her fierce brainpower. Which is, I guess, my point. Marriage should be a union between best friends who can enjoy a walk around Milford Lake after a refreshing argument over who forgot to write which check in whose register. Gender doesn't need to play a part in that. Perhaps The President had good intentions and thought it would be better if men and women who like men and women could just run around smooching on their pals and avoid arguments over toothpaste and toilet lids. But the act also frowns upon certain individuals enjoying a lifelong union. Those folks, and they are just folks, are now discouraged from having relationships in which they can weather each other's failures and share each other's dreams. That's just my opinion as a heterosexual, though. I can't help it, I was born this way. Tirst Wives' revenge completely satisfying His second favorite flower was the morning glory. He called them trumpets of the Lord because he said they shouted the glory of God. "Can you hear them?" he'd ask and I'd nod my head. "Yes," I'd say, "loud and clear." Then we would have ourselves a big laugh. When I was 5, my mother decided to run off and get married again. The night that she left, when I figured out what she was up to, I pitched an impressive fit. The next morning, after my grandmother made my favorite breakfast, my grandfather took my hand and led me out to the garden. The morning glories were just beginning to open, turning pink and blue trumpets up to catch the sun. Lifting me up to let me pinch spent blooms from the vine, he quoted a verse from Psalms. "Weeping may endure for a night," he said, "but joy cometh in the morning." I'd heard that verse in Sunday School. I almost knew it by heart. But that morning, sheltered in my grandfather's arms and faced with so much beauty, I began to understand its meaning. Last week, I bought two pots of morning glories of my own, set them outside my kitchen window. I know. It's late. They'll be gone soon. But they are here today. I heard them this morning, blue trumpets of God shouting joy. Who's to say about tomorrow? Joy, it seems, is where you find it. I'm learning to find it one morning at a time. Women stand by their men and feel the pain, even when their men don't stand by them ileen McGann says she's standing by er man, political consultant Dick Mori ris, who fled the Clinton campaign advisory team following news that he dallied with a hooker and let her snoop on confidential phone calls with the president. Has McGann seen "First & Wives Club"? Tammy Wynette is out. Ivana Trump ("Don't get mad, get everything") is in. Thanks to the hit film that drew more viewers last week than movies about men Swiss-cheesing each other with automatic weapons, women scorned are the new Amazons. McGann knows her two-timing husband is no Galahad: "I'm not happy about what he did and sometimes I think about dismembering him." That's the spirit! The sisterhood of Lorena Bobbitt. But, McGann says, Dick has been her "best friend" for 20 years. Old habits die hard. You hate to break in a new cad just when the old one is feeling like a pair of well- BARBARA YOST The Phoenix Gazette worn slippers, even if they occasionally slip under someone else's bed. Too bad. Washington has enough scorned wives — former and still-hanging-in-there — to form a club that would make the movie heroines look as if their idea of revenge is phoning an ex and asking whether his refrigerator is running. But revenge apparently hasn't caught on in the capital. Consider the first Mrs. Newt Gingrich, Jacqueline. Newt served her with divorce papers while she was hospitalized with cancer. For that act of boorishness, she might have poured Just for Men hair color into his shampoo and tarnished his trademark silver mane. Instead, she's behaving graciously. Phyllis Dole, Elizabeth's predecessor, gave Bob 25 of the best years of her life, and a daughter, before he summarily dismissed her in 1972. Perhaps she never noticed. It seems he was an infrequent visitor at home, sharing only two meals with his family during the year he was chairman of the Republican Party. Surely, Lee Hart was due something after enduring husband Gary's fling with Donna Rice on the good ship Monkey Business in 1987 when the Colorado senator was planning a DOONESBURY White House run. Hart's cheekiness was appalling. He practically dared the Miami Herald to dog his philandering footsteps. They did and exposed his monkeyshines. The list of cuckolded, abandoned and just plain ignored Washington wives is lengthy. Kitty Dukakis found solace in her medicine cabinet. Cindy McCain buddied up to painkillers. You pay your dues with a broken heart and you earn a lifetime achievement award, even if you don't throw the bum out. If you believe the gossip and the plaintive cries of opportunistic bimbos, there's a bum living in the White House as we speak. Hillary hangs in there. Women endure. They stand by their men, feel the pain when their men don't stand by them. Can't help lovin' that man o' mine. In the grand finale of "First Wives Club," Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler are singing and swinging triumphantly to the' defiant strains of "You Don't Own Me," after they've taken over their ex-husbands' businesses, snatched Lambourghinis and threatened statutory rape charges. It's the Hell Hath No Fury thing in Techni- .color and Dolby sound. Women in the audience cheer. Revenge is so cathartic, even if it's vicarious. It's soul food for hungry victims — no fat, low-cal, completely satisfying. By G.B. TRUDEAU WOUIP SHUTPOtON 7H& SOTH&HAP TO BRING IN

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