Opinion The Salina Journal Friday, January 10,1986 *w •* «.r npl ^feitei 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 Out of Libya President Reagan's decision to tighten economic sanctions on Libya and to order all remaining Americans to leave that country was overdue. Libya's leader Col. Moammar Khadafy has reportedly sheltered and supported the Abu Nidal group of Palestinian terrorists. The recent shootings at airports in Rome and Vienna are only the latest in a string of cowardly terrorist acts linked to the Abu Nidal band. The group has been blamed for more than 60 terrorist incidents that have killed several hundred people in the last eight years. Libya's national press agency initially praised the attacks on El Al Airline ticket counters as "heroic operations." Libyan officials belatedly denied that the government had supported the "deplorable blood outrages," but the world should not be fooled by the belated denial. Libya is a breeding ground for a barbarian horde. Reagan is right; Khadafy should be "treated as a pariah in the world community." Khadafy's barbarity and Libya's outlaw character have inspired previous U.S. punishment. Most U.S. trade with Libya was cut off by sanctions imposed in 1981. Imports of Libyan crude oil had already been banned along with exports of materials with military or oil-producing uses. Those previous actions mean the sanctions imposed this week will have limited direct effect. Trade between the U.S. and Libya had plummeted from a 1980 high of $7.6 billion to only about $300 million per year. That is small change compared to Libya's $4.3 billion in trade with Italy (in 1984) or its nearly $3 billion in trade with West Germany. Ordering Americans, except for journalists, out of Libya also will have limited effect. Many had already departed in response to earlier U.S. suggestions that they do so. Unfortunately, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. oil companies will probably go on with business as usual. The sanctions imposed this week are not just empty symbols though. They send a messge to western allies and to U.S. citizens still in Libya. The message to western allies is clear: Cooperate in making Khadafy a world pariah or face official U.S. displeasure. International cooperation could be the key to curbing terrorists. The message to Americans in Libya is also clear: Get out now. Don't gamble on U.S. protection if you stay in a hostile state. If heeded, that message could also leave the U.S. freer to engage in such firm but reasonable anti-terrorism activities as the intercepting and capture of the. Achille Lauro hijackers without fear that the Americans in Libya would become targets for terrorist reprisals. No one should expect the sanctions to bring an immediate end to terrorism. Past sanctions against Libya have not changed Khadafy's character nor significantly altered his actions. So far the prospects for cooperation from allies look bleak. But the United States could not simply ignore the escalating terrorist threat, particularly as it is increasingly directed at U.S. as well as Israeli citizens. At the same time, Soviet influence in Libya serves as a reminder that strong military action against Khadafy carries grave risks. The boycott hadto be imposed. Now we must hope it has some effect. Letters A bold stand Forthright and reassuring is The Salina Journal's bold editorial stand on the practice of Indian husbands burning their brides because they bring insufficient dowries. The Journal is against it. For further untrammeled public enlightenment, how does it line up on (1) apple pie, (2) rabies, (3) Mother Teresa, (4) potholes, (5) angina, (6) Moammar Khadafy? -TOMKIENE Concordia Vaccinate pets regularly I was pleased to see that last Saturday's Journal (January 4) published the news release from the Centers for Disease Control urging vets and local governments to establish three-year rabies vaccination pro- State school board does little Why does Kansas suffer more than 300 school districts? The question is offered in the face of several related issues, mostly involving money. Chief among them are the plight of agriculture and declining land values in our rural regions, a state school finance formula gone berserk, inflated land values and declining enrollments in cities and some suburbs. The answer may be the State Board of Education. The board depends on something of a vacuum to survive, and 300 school districts — needed or not — are a fine primer. Atop that crazy quilt are 19 community colleges with at least a third of them packed into a half-dozen counties in southeast Kansas, plus other instances of costly duplication in state education. Most local school superintendents privately will offer any number of alternatives to the current setup in the name of improving the Kansas school system. They include appointment — not election — of board members by the governor a la the Board of Regents, which supervise administration at the six state universities and Kansas Technical Institute. More interesting is small but significant interest in reviving a proposal to amend the education article of the Kansas Constitution — a measure trounced by voters in 1974. It should be offered again, with some fine tuning. Its defeat then was due largely to the well-organized opposition of the state teachers union plus a general confusion as to what was on the Legislature's collective mind. What was on its mind then was to put the state school board more directly under legis- , / John Marshall HARRIS NEWS SERVICE Family lore falls into the hands of strangers BOSTON — The photo album, covered in worn green velvet and held together with ornate brass hinges, lay in a jumble of lace and candlesticks on an old table. It was, like everything else in the hall, a piece of used goods, the refuse of previous owners. Or, if you prefer, an antique. I opened the album the way someone in the market for a new home might read the real- estate listings. Was this property spmething that would suit my family? I thought no more of the former owners than I might have thought of the family who planted the tree in the backyard or added the dormers to the roof of a house for sale. But it turned out that this place was still inhabited. There were people living in this picture book, their story frozen, like their images, in time. The story began with a pair of wedding portraits, husband and wife in profiles carefully marked 1898. The photos that followed showed one christening after another and then another followed by the images of these children growing up. There were pictures of school and graduations, portraits of one rowing team, and another lacrosse team. Two sons were shown grinning in their full military uniforms and then at home again, and finally married with their own children. Standing in the middle of this antique show, I felt like a voyeur. It was as if I had happened upon a diary while touring a house and, just out of curiosity, read it. I put the album back on the table. To have placed my own family in that book, I would have had to evict theirs. I wasn't ready to dislodge them from existence. Ellen Goodman WASHINGTON POST I couldn't help wondering how this family — kept and groomed so carefully for posterity — had ended up in the hands of strangers? Had the family come to an end, like Abraham Lincoln's, with the death of Ms great-grandchild last month? Had the album's line of inheritance been disrupted by geographic or emotional distance? Or had someone simply discarded history on the way to a smaller place or a new life? I cared because I am also a haphazard keeper of family lore, a sometime recorder of family images. Each holiday season, I add a photographic entry, a set of slides or prints to the visual diary. I keep these pictures for pleasure and for some notion of history. At the same time I am the curator of an older collection. Through death, divorce, remarriage, relocation, I have inherited the snapshots of earlier generations, the portraits of their weddings, the albums cleared from larger houses. It is this family collection that has grown less familiar over time. I cannot name all the brothers and sisters lined up beside my girlish grandmother. My daughter doesn't know all the cousins on the beach with me. There are strangers among the snapshots. Like distant relatives at a family reunion, I need name tags to know how we are connected. My predicament as both collector and curator is not unusual. Once it was just royalty who had their histories recorded, just the rich who had their images reproduced. Now it is the rare American without some record of his or her family life. The camera has made the past democratic. Everyone can keep it. The tape recorder, the movie camera, the video are all tools of a middle-class memorabilia. We have the conceit that those who share our genes will want to share our lives. Yet handling that green velvet album, I realized how easily one generation's memories may become the next generation's clutter. Instead of cherishing mementos, families may be flooded with them. Eventually, our grandchildren or great- grandchildren, won't be able to hold all the images of all their ancestors anymore than they could store all their furniture. The antiques for sale in this hall were heirlooms without heirs or old things that didn't fit into new lives. They were the leftovers of broken homes. So too were these photographs. Pictures are far more personal but far less valuable than necklaces or chairs. One person's priceless snapshot may be worthless to another. The family story in the green velvet album was created by someone trying to pluck one family from time and from the multitude. It was created by someone writing a personal history out of snapshots. But 50 years later, there was nobody left who cared. How sad to see such a family estate fall into the hands of strangers. grams for both cats and dogs. In view of varying practices by veterinarians, our association finds the public quite confused, with many pet owners led to believe that rabies shots are needed every one or two years in adult pets. Pet owners should know, too, that the City of Salina was on top of this one. Since 1983, when the CDC added a recommended three- year cat rabies vaccine to its long-approved three-year dog vaccine, the city has required a program of three-year vaccination for adult cats and dogs. It is necessary to revaccinate cats and dogs only every three years to purchase a pet registration tag, also required by the city and which no pet should be without. — GAYLEROSE Vice President Saline County Humane Assoc. 311 Sunset Drive Now that Hart is ranning for president lative control. The argument, bolstered by a court decision, was that the law made the state board a separate power of state government, answerable to no other branch. The amendment should have been defeated. Not because its basic goal was wrong, but because at best it would have been a patch job on the legal tire. The education article should be revived and rewritten and submitted again to voters. It should remove from the Constitution any provision on selection of board members, leaving that process to legislative action. As of now, election of the board is frozen into the Constitution. This has proved a dismal failure. We never know who is in charge, what is happening or why. Anyone who has attended a state board meeting comes away in a daze, craving coffee or shock therapy to awaken, including some of the members themselves. The Kansas Board of Education may be a fourth arm of government, as legislators argue, but it's a woefully weak one. It has done little service to the cause of education, at any level. In fact, in some instances, it has been a downright hindrance to schools. The Legislature should start again. We need a good school board guiding school destinies. We don't have it, and won't — not under t£e present law. WASHINGTON — Gary Hart, a forgiving fellow, is moving with measured strides to give the national electorate a second chance. His first step is to deny Colorado a third chance. Hart, a prudent fellow, is the second Democrat to make much of announcing what he is not going to do. All our leaders are, of course, brave, resourceful and gallant, but Kennedy and Hart made withdrawal statements that the Food and Drug Administration should label "Do Not Swallow." Kennedy's sufficient but unspoken reason for not running for president is that he cannot win. Hart's unspoken reason for not running in Colorado is that victory would be problematic, and even if he won with, say, 52 percent (about 2 percentage points better than he did in 1980), such narrow escapes in one's own state do not impart much momentum. (His 1974 victory came over an incumbent, Peter Dominick, who was incapacitated by the medication he was taking for the illness that was to kill him.) Hart has often been a valuable senator, as when he opposed the stampede in support of the Gramm-Rudman folly. He saw the unseemliness of senators and congressmen constructing a mechanism to insulate them from accountability for painful budget- cutting choices. To help them keep office, they have diluted the dignity of office; to preserve personal power, they have yielded institutional power, wholesale. Hart says, "I've never seen politics as a career." But he plans to leave the presidency after two terms at age 61 never having had any career but politics. Kennedy's withdrawal casts Hart in the dreaded role of frontrunner. The front-runner is nasty work but someone must do it, so why not someone who got 1,200 delegates last time. Besides, front- runnership is a function of name recognition. George Will WASHINGTON POST Two years before the 1960 election, the leading Democratic contenders were Adlai Stevenson at 29 percent, John F. Kennedy 23 percent, and Estes Kef auver 11 percent. What one Democratic professional says of another possible presidential candidate (Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri) could be said of Hart: "There is no MSG in the guy — no flavor." Yet Hart's personality has, for many people, a kind of disagreeable bite. He makes many people vaguely uneasy. A comfortable f eeling about a candidate may be an inappropriate criterion for voters to use, but Hart may be exactly the wrong kind of candidate for the first post-Reagan election, Reagan having accustomed the country to an easy intimacy, the old slipper feeling, with its head of government. The attributes that suit Hart to the Senate may incapacitate him as a presidential candidate. He is cool, technical, analytical, utterly unlike the man who in a span of 48 months carried 93 states. Hart says he is "shy," an odd description for a fellow who has spent years pressing himself on the public without the motivation of any pressing agenda of the sort that has animated Reagan. However, Hart has enough self-knowledge (and, perhaps, plural selves) to be referring to something as real as shyness: It is an inner motor that seems disconcertingly unconnected from public passions. What derailed his express in 1984 was the voters' unarticulated worry that Hart (like Johnson, Nixon and Carter) might be working out private turmoils in public action. His vulnerability to the question "Where's the beef?" was inherent in his "new generation" nonsense. Any campaign with a "generational" theme is apt to be intellectually vacuous in its attempt to make a virtue of mere membership in a particular demographic group. Worse, a "generational" theme adopted by someone who came to political consciousness in the 1960s is apt to express the insufferable narcissism of a small portion of that generation who think they experienced history more intensely than anyone ever did before. That thought must amuse older Americans who were not at Woodstock but were at Omaha Beach, and in the Depression. Besides, a generational appeal can, in time, turn and bite the ankle of the person making the appeal. Ronald Reagan, the oldest person to begin a presidential term, did not enter politics until he was 55. Of the score or so persons now mentioned as candidates in both parties, relatively few (such as Bush, Dole, Baker, Kirkpatrick) are over 55. Hart will be 51 in 1988, and will want to change the subject from age to anything else. Kennedy's absence will help. Were Kennedy going around the primaries and caucuses being Kennedy, anyone else could claim to be, by comparison, a centrist overflowing with new ideas. With Kennedy out, Hart can concentrate on stigmatizing Mario Cuomo as the person who has caught Kennedy's falling flag as the Last New Dealer. If, that is, Hart can bring himself to think of politics as a career. Doonesbury IT 50VN05 WILD. KPGCIftWi * t % WL, JUST GOT HER FlfST COMMISSION!
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