The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 30, 1986 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

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Thursday, January 30, 1986
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Page 4
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Opinion The Salina Journal Thursday, January 30,1986 Page 4 The 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 Ed/tor JIM HAAG, Night Editor MARY JO PROCHAZKA, Associate Editor After 125 years A century and a quarter ago today, the news that Kansas had become the 34th state was still fresh. The celebrations continued. Some spots on the frontier were undoubtedly just getting the news of the Jan. 29, 1861, official admission. Statehood had not come easily. Pro- slavery and free-state supporters fought so bitterly in the years just before statehood was finally achieved that the territory had become known as Bleeding Kansas. By the time Kansas gained admission to the Union in 1861, its status as the 34th state was debatable. Five Southern states had already voted for secession. The shots fired in the guerrilla warfare that preceded Kansas statehood were the forerunners of the bloody Civil War that broke out in earnest less than three months after Kansas joined the Union. This day after the day of statehood, 125 years ago, must have been a time of mixed feelings for many Kansans. The joy of statehood was mixed with the near certainty of approaching war, a war in which the battle of pro- slavery and anti-slavery forces, which Kansas had already seen firsthand, figured prominently. The launching of Kansas' 125th birthday celebration yesterday inspired similar mixed feelings. The joy of reaching the milestone of a 125th birthday was tempered by the national tragedy of the space shuttle explosion. Kansas astronauts Steve Hawley and Joe Engle were called away from planned appearances in Topeka because of the tragedy. Fortunately, the plans for Kansas' celebration extend throughout the year. There will be more joyful occasions later this year. The Smoky Hill River Festival will be one opportunity for a joyful celebration of Kansas' heritage. This week it may be just as well to remember the adversities the state has always faced and the high aspirations that have carried Kansans through the trials. This might be a week for Kansans to remind the rest of the nation of our motto: "Ad Astra per Aspera," (To the stars through difficulties). 16 cents — and higher? President Reagan has wisely dropped his support for a lower federal cigarette tax. The tax, now 16 cents a pack, is scheduled to decline to 8 cents. The president had opposed leaving the tax at 16 cents because doing so, he said, would amount to a tax increase. But now Reagan proposes to keep the tax at the higher figure in his 1987 budget. A chink has finally appeared in the president's anti-tax armor. That's good, because more "revenue enhancement" will be needed before the administration and Congress can write a 1987 budget that contains both intelligent spending choices and prudent budget-deficit reductions. This particular tax has another obvious strong point besides the money it raises: It discourages cigarette consumption, a worthy goal of government policy. So why not go further? As the Washington folks haggle over spending and revenue figures in the months ahead to meet the first big Gramm- Rudman deadline this fall, they should take another look at the cigarette levy. By keeping the tax at 16 cents and making several other changes, the administration says it can reduce by about $12 billion the amount that will have to be cut from spending to meet the Gramm-Rudman target for 1987. Why not raise the levy to 25 cents or even 50 cents and bring in even more of those badly needed dollars? Reagan has acted correctly ir< his new endorsement of the 16-cent cigarette tax. He and Congress now should consider hiking the levy to new heights. The small society Letters Smokers have rights I am writing in regard to the news story of Jan. 22 concerning the smoking ban at the Norton State Hospital. The headline, "Smoking ban at Norton hospital angers some employees, patients," and the first paragraph are somewhat misleading. The smoking ban states that there will be no smoking by patients or employees in any of the buildings. Employees may smoke only at the time of their coffee breaks or lunch break and only in designated areas. These designated areas are in your car in the parking lot or away from the buildings in an area quite remote, near a creek that runs along the property. Some may feel that smokers should have no reason to complain if they still are allowed to smoke during their breaks and at these locations; however, when the wind is blowing 50 mph and the temperatures are down around 10-15 degrees, it certainly is no picnic! We are state of Kansas employees, and it is felt that some accommodation should be made so that those who choose to continue to smoke can have an area within each of the buildings strictly for smoking. No one is asking for any privilege that is not guaranteed each citizen of our country by the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence states in part: " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain un- x HOW NICE Ifc Gtf BACK rotRADrfiONAl VAlUK.,,' Super Bowl was no Mardi Gras in New Orleans NEW ORLEANS — For some of us, life is hardly worth living now that the Super Bowl is over. The last play of the game meant football was finished for another year. It is, as I write, the morning after the Super Bowl and I'm sitting in my hotel room. Next to the bed, newspapers cover the floor, where they'd slipped as I fell asleep the night before. My Super Bowl program is covered with notes I wrote in some of the white spaces between the advertising. I know it's late, but I feel compelled to type out my notes. Herewith is the last Super Bowl report. • I accept the necessity for playing the game in a warm place but I reject a covered stadium like the Superdome. Football is an outdoor game. It should be played outdoors, not in a gym. The Superdome is a big room. It was like watching a game while sitting in a bathtub filled with lukewarm pea soup. • Otherwise, New Orleans was a good place for the game. The food is good and the French Quarter has that suggestion of evil about it that makes walking around the night before and the night after an experience. At breakfast this morning I heard four men at the next table laughing. One was saying, "She wanted $300 just to dance with me." • As you can imagine, prices were inflated around town. Avis, for instance, raised its weekend price for a car from $23 a day to $63 a day. Andy Rooney CHICAGO TRIBUNE NEW YORK NEWS • There was more emphasis on music than football at the Superdome. The din was terrible. • For real football fans, the Super Bowl is often a disappointment. The game has been taken away from the fans and turned over to television. There's too much of everything but football. • If television isn't careful it's going to kill the goose laying those half-million dollar, 30- second commercials. It took three hours and 45 minutes to play four 15-minute quarters of football. The players were as impatient as the fans. • Whoever had the idea of lengthening halftime from 15 to 25 minutes ought to change his sport to chess. I have the theory that most football halftime shows are staged by the people who run the concessions. They want to be sure the halftime show is bad enough so people won't stay in the stadium and watch it. The Super Bowl halftime show this year should be in the Halftime Hall of Disrepute. Beer, hotdog and popcorn sales must have been very good. • My seat was right on the 40-yard line, high up. The only bad thing about it was that the two enthusiastic Bears fans in front of me were stander-uppers. Every time anything at all happened they jumped up in the middle of the play and I missed it. • My friend Phil Johnson lives in New Orleans. I called his office but he wasn't in. His secretary told me I might be able to get him on his car phone. I'd never called anyone on a car phone before. His line was busy. : • The Superdome is at one end of Canal Street, the main street through downtown New Orleans, so you can walk from most of the hotels. It was fun being in the 'crowd walking to the stadium. Someone tried to pick Walter Cronkite's pocket, but the thief didn't get anything. He was probably after tickets. • There must have been 100 people in front of the stadium with little cardboard signs reading "Need two tickets." Near the stadium, two good-natured young men were leaning against the wall of a building with a signthatread "Need two wild women." • I had a good time at the Super Bowl, but I'm a little sad about what's happened to pro football. It's like when you were a kid and everyone else found out where your hiding place was. I liked football better before the advertisers discovered it. Textbook writers bend overboard to be neutral alienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." My dictionary defines "liberty" as, 1-a, the condition of being not subject to restriction or control; 1-b, the right to act in a manner of one's own choosing; and, 2, the state of not being in confinement or servitude. We, as smokers, have the right to be treated in a dignified manner. It may not be a healthy habit, but as responsible adults we have the right to the same privileges as nonsmokers. It should be a matter of our choice as to whether we choose to smoke or not. When we have one privilege taken from us, what will the next control on our lives be? Will we next be subjected to physical fitness exams and required to meet certain guidelines or face dismissal? The patients should have the same rights as all citizens. They have been told that if they want to smoke, they will have to go to an institution that allows it. How can they do that? Others make these decisions for them. I would encourage individuals, whether they smoke or not, who feel this policy is just "one more liberty that has been taken from us" to write their congressmen, Gov. John Carlin and SRS Secretary Robert Harder to express their views. If we fail to respond to this edict, the next ruling may take away even more. - MRS. LORETTA J. MORGAN Norton Loretta Morgan works in the resident records department of the Norton State Hospital. WASHINGTON — Gary Bauer, undersecretary of education, recently took some time off. He spent the better part of a week reading six textbooks in 20th century world history. All of the books, intended for high school seniors, were newly written or revised since 1983. He found it a depressing experience. In a speech two weeks ago to the Association of American Publishers, Bauer reviewed his findings. His principal impression, though he did not define it in these words, was of a kind of intellectual anemia. Certain chapters of recent and contemporary history seemed to be protected by a thin gray film. It was as if the authors looked at events through smoke-tinted glasses, obscuring the glare of fact. Bauer quoted a passage from one widely used text. "Equality for women in the USSR is a reality ... They may marry or vote when they are 18." Bauer read on, looking for some explication of what is meant by a right to vote in the Soviet Union. He looked in vain. "Soviet women have the right to vote in the same context as Soviet men — in the context of a society that gives them only hand-picked candidates of the Communist Party and no one else. This shouldn't be a hard concept for a textbook writer to understand or to explain. To fail to tell our children these facts is to seriously mislead them about the nature of the Soviet system." Bauer compared the six textbooks on the war in Afghanistan. One volume, he said, got the story right: It said that "the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to bring that country under their complete control." "In the other books, however, the Soviet goal was simply to shore up the government in Kabul, to fend off guerrilla attacks, or — remarkably — because 'the Soviets feared that an uprising among the Muslims of Afghanistan might spread to ... the Soviet Union.' In short, five out of six gave the impression that Moscow's move was essentially defensive or vaguely compassionate. None, it must be noted, had a word about exploding toys that maim Afghani children." One of the textbook authors, said Bauer, James Kilpatrick UNIVERSAL PRESS seemed to have suffered from amnesia in his recollection of events that most of us well remember. The author forgot about the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33, forgot about the millions who died in the communist takeover of China, forgot about the genocide in Cambodia in 1975. Another textbook recalled that U.S. troops invaded Grenada, but the authors forgot to tell students that our forces were promptly withdrawn when the threat of a communist coup had been nullified. Bauer examined not only the six textbooks but also a booklet published by the National Council for the Social Studies. In comparing freedoms in the United States to freedoms in Eastern Europe, the booklet says that freedom of speech, voting and due process are of prime concern here. "In Eastern European countries, economic rights such as the right to work, to form trade unions, to strike and to take vacations are considered essential." Will Lech Walesa tell us about the right to form unions and to strike in Poland? The disturbing problem, in Bauer's view, is the air of bland neutrality. "Many textbooks reflect the views of prominent historians and social scientists who refuse to see a difference between the United States and the Soviet Union, who refer to both nations commonly with the neutral term 'superpower,' but are unable or unwilling to make crucial distinctions about both systems of government." Bauer emphasized that he was not asking the publishers to produce textbooks of patent indoctrination. Not at all. "But textbooks also should not read as if they were written by neutrals in the struggle between freedom and slavery. We need to do nothing more than tell the truth — the truth about our attributes and our shortcomings, about our triumphs and about our defeats, about our heroes and about our fools. And we should tell the truth about those who believe and act upon different principles — about those who see man as a creature of the state, and not as a child of God endowed with inalienable rights." Let me say amen to all that. A textbook in American history that sugarcoated the evils of 19th-century slavery would be a poor textbook, but a text that sugarcoats the evils of contemporary communism is worse. In the war of ideas, waged at the high school level, intellectual neutrality is the unforgivable sin. It may be explained, but it cannot be condoned. Quotation One of the soundest rules I try to remember when making forecasts in the field of economics is that whatever is to happen is happening already. —Sylvia Porter 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: 202-224-4774. 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 WHTTTAKER, 332 Cannon Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-3911. REP. DAN GLJCKMAN, 2435 Rayburn Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-6216. REP. JAN MEYERS, 1407 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20515. Phone: 202-225-2865. Doonesbury KANHONBY? FT'S ME., I **/' OFCOUR5B I'VE COM£. HOU/A& miHOLPINd TOB5 HAVE YOU EV5RHAPAN AFFAIR OF HUN60P£N,ONl.YTO HAVeYOURtOVERCIW; WSHAKHEPAUAY UM..IVSLL,

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