The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 13, 2001 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, April 13, 2001
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL FRIDAY, APRIL 13. 2001- ."All Tom Bell Editor & Publisher 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: (785) 827-6363 E-mail: SJLetters® saljournal.com Quote of the day "Eleven days on our knees. I don't know about you but I haven't prayed that much in a very long time." Rev. Jack Williams pastor at the Norfolk, Neb., hometown church of Navy Lt. Shane Osborn, commander of the crew held in China for 11 days. OPINION Who holds the gold? THE ISSUE Stovall vs. the [legislature THE ARGUMENT Principle should trump practice I n principle, it was wrong for Attorney General Carla Stovall to decide for herself what would happen to the $75 million settlement she struck last year with Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas. In practice, the attorney general had every reason to assume that her foundation to benefit the state's health care needs would be a better use of these funds than whatever hash the Kansas Legislature was likely to make of it. For example, only the tiniest fraction of the millions the state is going to get from its settlement — Stovall's settlement — with the tobacco industry is going to the anti-tobacco efforts that it should, by rights, be focused on. But it appears that principle is about to win. The House voted 121-2 last week to approve a bill that, among other things, takes Stovall's creation — Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansahs — away from a board that she appointed and gives it to one that will be selected by the governor, House speaker and Senate president. The new board, like the old one, would have one member representing Blue Cross. The money came from the insurance giant after Stovall argued that the Blues, operating under Kansas law as a charitable organization, owed some of its profits to the people of Kansas. That might seem like something to praise the A.G. for, coming up with a bunch of free money to help Kansans in need of health care. But lawmakers are rightly jealous of their constitutional role as the holders of the state's purse strings. And lawsuits against even the most predatory of businesses are suspect when the result is a pot of money for the winning lawyer to distribute as he or she sees fit. Money that belongs to Kansas, by every principle of American government, is to be allocated by the Legislature. With any luck, lawmakers will also be on the alert to make sure the money really does go for health care needs, and not to fill in some other gaps in their budget according to the panic of the moment. Otherwise, we may look back and realize that Stovall was right to keep a lock on this money. — George B. Pyle Journal Columnist T TORY NOTIONS LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL SJLetters@saljournal.com Ask what you can do for DVACK I would like to comment on the articles written about the "Rock 'n' Roll Beauties" calendars that are being sold to raise funds for the Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas. I moved to Florida in February after having worked as the outreach coordinator /volunteer coordinator for DVACK. It is really a,shame that so much fuss has been raised over such good intentions. While I understand that people may look at the calendar as something that exploits women, I believe that many are just looking for something to be critical of. They need to be concerned with the deeper problem: Why do the funds need to be raised in the first place? I was shocked, when I accepted the position of outreach coordinator for DVACK, at how many people in the 10 counties it serves did not know about the organization. People want to bury their heads and pretend domestic violence and sexual assault do not occur "in their neighborhood." Unfortunately, they are wrong. There is not a county in the area that has not needed DVACK services for members of its community Instead of trying to find fault in the models, the radio station or DVACK, the people who are pointing fingers about this fund-raiging could be volunteering time for the organization to help end domestic violence and sexual assavdt, educating the public or donating cash during the annual membership drive. If people in the service area would donate during the drive, the staff would have more time to provide services to victims instead of worrying about fund-raising and P.O. Box 740, Salina, KS 67402 finding new grants to pay the utility bills at the shelter, providing sweatsuits for victims of rape to wear home from the hospital, getting gas vouchers for victims etc., etc. DVACK has a wonderful board and staff that put in many long hours to help the victims of domestic violence. The board is made up of all volunteers. These are citizens who work long hours at their own jobs, have families and bills to pay, but still find time to donate time and money to DVACK. I have seen the staff work 16- hour days without complaining, trying to help victims put their lives back together. I have seen them go home dead tired after a long day at work and bake cookies on their own time and with their own money for a fund-raiser the next day I have ' seen them spend their own money time and time again to help victims. Even more important I have seen them cry after a victim goes home. Instead of finding fault, I think Salina and the surrounding area need to pull out their wallets and buy a calendar. Then call DVACK and say what can we do to help! • — LUANNE SCHMIDT Ruskin, Fla. In translation I am now relieved about the air crew in China, but concerned about the language crew in Washington. I just heard our president say they are doing everything they can to "bring the solution to an end." But once we end the solution, then what? "This cryptic diplomatic language is tricky Oh, well, the Chinese probably understand it, in translation. — DAVID NORLIN Concordia Liberalism provides steady work Tlie Waslmgloii Post Backers of campaign finance reform are surprised to find out w(iat it really means W ASHINGTON — What is liberalism 's appeal? Surely less its plausibility than the surprises it provides. Liberals constantly experience the excitement of the unexpected, the thrill of being startled by the unanticipated — if only by" them —^ consequences of their actions. After Senate I passage of the McCain- Feingold campaign finance bill became a foregone conclusion, The Washington Post, which adores the bill, carried this front page headline: "Campaign Bill Could Shift Power Away From Parties." Couldf McCain-Feingold would ban soft money contributions to political; parties, so of course money diverted from that channel will flow into unblocked channels. The Post considers this news? Do reformers consider this progress? Since when? Not long ago, political action committees were the root of all evil- refusing PAC contributions was, indeed still is, a form of moral grandstanding by some candidates. Disregard the rhetoric by McCain-Feingold enthusiasts about their bill curing the "problem" of "too much money in politics." Here are two safe bets: There will be more money spent in the 2001-2002 off-year election cycle than was spent in 1997-1998, and more spent in 2003-2004 than in 19992000. The realistic way to reduce the amount of money in politics is to reduce the amount of politics in money-the importance of government in allocating wealth and opportunity Does the Post advocate less government as a path to less political money? No. The day after the Post's story The New York Times, a McCain-Feingold zealot, trumpeted this "news": "Campaign Finance Overhaul May Enhance Influence of Big Political Action Committees" Mayl This is not a close call. Alighting upon the obvious with a self- congratulatory sense of original discovery the Times reports that "suddenly, the large labor groups, corporations, trade associations and ideological organizations that funnel their political largess through PACs may find that they are the largest players on the field because their soft-money competitors can no longer participate." Then the Times, constantly liberal and thus incessantly surprised, used the U-word, "unexpected": "The prospect that PACs will T LIBERTIES TOO MUCH CAMPAIGN FiNkNCE RePofKl^ WILL DISRUPT OfR SAC-RED TRAOmoN Of CMECKS AMD BALANCES. 3© tool T^ie M6VJ R.eCviCui(. IT DEPeA/Dj-, become only more influential marks an unexpected turn because for years those committees were portrayed as the villains." If McCain-Feingold becomes law, by next year liberals, and McCain, will be describing PACs the way they describe all sources of political communication not yet rationed by regulations — as "loopholes" to be closed. They will propose closing the loophole by banning (their favorite word) PACs, or narrowing the loophole by, say, limiting the proportion of a candidate's contributions that PACs can provide. Three days after that Times story the lead story in Roll Call, the newspaper that covers Congress, was headlined: "Soft- Money PACs Banned." Do tell. More than 40 House and Senate members operate so-called "leadership PACs" funded by soft money But some members seem to have been too busy praising McCain-Feingold to read that bill. While voting for its ban on soft-money fund raising by the national party committees, they neglected to read what Roll Call calls "a little-noticed provision" prohibiting federal legislators or candidates for federal office from raising unregulated money for their PACs. Roll Call — written, mind you, for professional legislators and their staffs — says dryly: "That came as news to some Senate leaders who have opened leadership political action committees that operate outside of federal regulations." On March 19, the day debate on the bill began, Joseph Lieberman, a McCain-Feingold supporter, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission for his new leadership PAC. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, who says "the Senate passed a good bill," recently launched a soft-money PAC. Senators and representatives niight have assumed, understandably they would be exempt from a soft-money ban because Congress has often exempted itself from regulations it imposes on others. , • . The governors associations of both parties have been funded substantially by soft money Both parties' conventions are funded in part by ad hoc entities that raise large amounts of soft money that may or may not be impacted by McCain-Feingold. NQW what? Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and many of the other liberal lobbies backing McCain-Feingold candidly say that it is inadequate, other than as a step toward public funding of all carn- paigns. That is, a system in which the only permissible political communication by parties and candidates would be what the government pays for If McCain-Feingold becomes law, liberals (and McCain, a conservative infected by liberalism's faith that good intentions, cleverly codified, can scrub the naughtiness from this fallen world) will Soon demand more reforms to correct the unanticipated (by them) consequences of their reforms. That, too, is part of liberalism's appeal: It provides steady work. Herd on the streets of New York Some Upper East Side women would rather die demented than wrinkled N o one wants to talk about ruminant fears in polite society But abattoir betes noires lurk. Will elegant Upper East Side socialites, lunching at Cipriani, suddenly start foaming at the mouth? Will pouty young Gotham beauties, sipping sake-tinis at Nobu, begin running around in circles trying to bite their imaginary tails? Will high-powered women in leather skirts and Holstein-patterned purses find them- ^ selves sidling up to the famous pool at the Four Seasons and slurping at it like a trough? Will bee-stung actresses in New York and Hollywood drop their celery sticks and demand salt licks? Now for another episode of "When Bad Things Happen to Rich People." Fearing diseased live # stock. Wall Street's erstwhile bulls may be giving up their two- week golf jaunts this spring to Scotland. But the more women hear about mad cow disease and foot-and-mouth disease, the more jittery they get. Inside and out, women are putting on the cow. They inject buckets of bovine collagen into their lips and faces. They starve themselves on the Zone and Atkins diets, which entail massive infusions of red meat, cheese, butter and cream. They truss themselves up in leather. They slather on anti-aging creams featuring collagen. Not to mention the Ben & Jerry's they devour when depressed. MAUREEN DOWD The New York Times "I've never had a vegetarian object to bovine collagen. I've never had an animal rights activist object to cows getting killed for collagen. When it comes to cosmetic matters, women have a 'Don't ask, don't tell me, please!'policy." "Elsie did not die in vain; we're using every little bit of her," says Patricia Wexler, a New York dermatologist who is known as the Vermeer of fat injections. It is telling that the latest chic table arrangement is a small plot of grass — perfect for grazing. "Husbands have to start worrying now: if their wives are ranting and raving, is it menopause or is it mad cow disease?" Wexler says dryly. British women are skittish. Andrew Markey, a London dermatologist, said many patients were switching from bovine collagen to hyaluronic acid, a line "filler" found in roosters' combs, even though his collagen comes from America. "It's not about science," he said. "It's an emotional response." In America, vanity is still beating out health fears, according to Richard G. Glogau, a San Francisco dermatologist. "Most women would find the prospect of dying wrinkled a lot worse than the prospect of dying of dementia from collagen," he says. "As long as they don't drop dead 30 seconds later, they'll do it." Wexler says vanity also trumps morality: "I've never had a patient ask about a kosher cow. I've never had a vegetarian model object to bovine collagen. I've never had an animal rights activist object to cows getting killed for collagen. When it comes to cosmetic matters, women have a 'Don't ask, don't tell me, please!' policy." The Queen of Fat injects herself with bovine collagen, and says she prefers the cow product to alternative fillers — including one drawn from human cadavers, which gets tested for HIV When her patients get antsy she explains that the collagen comes from "a closed herd, a very elite club of cows. My patients want reassurance that they can go on guilt-free and wrinkle-free. They're not looking for written testimonials." Some beauty-seekers are,.however. "One woman wanted to visit the herd," says Arnold Klein, a Beverly Hills dermatologist. Executives of the McGhan Medical Corp., which supplies a large share of the world's collagen, say it has 2,000 cows, a "primary herd" and a "backup herd," on 2,000 acres on the California-Oregon border, that eat grain, breed with each other and are slaughtered on-site. But McGhan also has a biogenetically engineered human collagen waiting for FDA approval that may eventually supersede bovine collagen. The foreskin of one infant boy — the son of a company executive, according to Klein — will be engineered into a supply that will replicate endlessly and provide lips, etc., for women all over the world ad infinitum. A bris to remember. But until women can start injecting infant-boy foreskin into their faces, they must confront the specter of being quarantined if they start drooling and slobbering, Tina Alster, a Washington dermatologist who gives herself bovine collagen injections, is calm. "I would rather be among the quarantined than on the outside of the ring," she says. "Let everyone else look horrible." DOONESBURY FLASHBACKS By G.B.TRUDEAU tUHATXmWT- BPTOTALK 7DY:XJA0OUT, /m /s. /u^x /SONUYf^... He/, PONY im/ii ^'s THisamefz&Ri, /N THAT MM 0A0a /N/^O- 0J?AMMIN<S. KNOli/H&Z7

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