The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 16, 1996 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, October 16, 1996
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B2 WEDNESDAY. OCTOBER 17, 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 Sallna, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: Sal Journal * 7 ©aol.com Quote of the day 'We went over a cliff. It took one year to wipe out five years of gain." Jim Lambert Abilene superintendent of schools, after enrollment dropped by 6 percent. By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal Sauce for the goose THE ISSUE Clinton, Dole and campaign money THE ARGUMBUT If it's wrong for one, it's wrong for both A fter more than 30 years in Congress, and less than three weeks before he will find out if he will be president of the United States, Bob Dole has suddenly discovered something very important about politics. If a person gives a public official a lot of money, that person might expect the public official to do something for him in return. Who'd a thunk it. Not that Dole doesn't have himself a good issue to bash President Clinton with. Not only was it bad form for Clinton and the Democratic Party to accept nearly $1 million from people tied to a banking conglomerate headquartered in Indonesia, it might have been illegal. . It doesn't matter so much if the gifts are legal. It matters that the American people don't like the idea of folks from other countries buying the ear of our high elected officials. Which brings us back to Bob Dole. As far as anyone knows, the Republican presidential candidate has only reached deeply into the pockets of . American-based multinational corporations to finance his political machine. One of Dole's best friends over the years has been Archer Daniels Midland Co., which will be reaching into the small change in its boardroom's furniture cushions to pay a $100 million fine to settle a federal price-fixing case. And, over the years, Dole has insisted that the millions he received have never had any influence on his decisions as a senator, as chairman of the Finance Committee or as majority leader. Yeah, right. Dole is trying to have it both ways. It won't fly and, to his credit, even he knows it. His attacks on Clinton's campaign ethics are late — probably too late — and ring false. Either campaign contributions influence public officials, or they don't. If they do, then Clinton is wrong to have accepted so much money from Indonesian bankers, American lawyers and Wall Street investors. But, then, so was Dole. If campaign contributions do not influence public officials, then Dole was perfectly justified in raking in millions upon millions worth over the years. But, then, so was Clinton. Clinton was wrong to accept all that money and pretend that no one will expect himto grant any favors in return. So was Dole. T SPEAKING ENGLISH Learning how to be a brother and buddy There are many little boys who just need someone to take time for them H e sat in my car, french fry grease on his hands, and began to talk about video games, and I knew he would become a part of my life. I was introduced to Micah about a year- and-a-half ago. We seemed to be a pretty good match on paper. So we went to Sonic to pick up some food and try to get to know each other. I was terrified. I had always felt squeamish around kids. They were just so ... so ... slimy and ... well, let's just say I didn't feel comfortable around them. Micah was 10. In my mind, that qualified him as a full-blown kid. But Micah began talking, and when he closed his mouth about a half-hour later, I was amazed at how much we had in common. He even looked like a younger version of me. It was as if I was in some creepy "Twilight Zone," one that starred me, Micah and William Shatner, where me 15 years earlier comes back to wipe french fry grease on my car seat. I would now say that "there are many kids like Micah," but I don't want to sound like one of those late-night charity commercials. So I'll simply state that Big Brothers/Big Sisters kicked off its recruitment challenge this week in an effort to get more male volun- DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal A. teers. There are 31 boys who need big brothers, a number that worries Executive Director Kay Bachofer. There are 15 girls who need a big sister. "In terms of boys, that's a, good-sized number," Bachofer said. "We really need people to come in and give them a chance." I am a Big Brother only through the persistence of the agency. The United Way suggested I become a part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and I said sure, why not, but inside I wasn't sure at all. When the United Way workers saw me two months later, they asked me how Big Brothers was going, and I said I hadn't called. You know, things to do, work is crazy, blah blah blah. I got a phone call that afternoon from the agency. I wanted to get involved in Salina, and I knew that this would be a perfect chance. But I couldn't help hoping inside that the agency would find something wrong with me during the pre-match interview. I wasn't sure how to be a big brother. When we started out, I would ask Micah about how his life was going. Nope. We'll have none of that. He would quickly change the subject. He can overpower any conversation with a sudden flurry of words that come out of his mouth so fast he has trouble pronouncing them at times. Micah mostly wanted to visit the arcades or play video games at my house. That was fine with me. We would go to the park at times. That was OK. We would go to a movie. That was cool. I began to feel guilty. I wasn't offering Micah any "big brother" advice. I wasn't even sure what that advice was supposed to be. Do Your Homework? Help Your Mother? Don't Kill Small Animals? I wasn't perfect. There were a few times I wouldn't call because I had too much to do. I let an occasional #$%# slip from my mouth. He would come to an apartment that wasn't always neat and tidy. But I discovered that wasn't the point. It took a few months before we got to know each other. He would wave at me when I saw him. He would tell me about his friends and his problems. I'm glad to say there weren't many. Problems, that is. He's a good kid. He seemed to enjoy the time we spent together, and it wasn't because he got to play video games all the time. I'll never forget what he said a couple of months ago. We were riding bikes, and We stopped at a local gas store to get a freezie, or whatever they're called these days. He bought me a bag of pretzels and cheese, and after watching him gag on them, I told him thank you. He said "you've done so much for me, I should do some things for you." I never thought I was doing a whole lot for Micah, but I discovered I was wrong. Twelve- year-old kids don't say that unless they mean it. I wasn't guiding Micah through life with my older, wiser knowledge. I wasn't showing him how to be a genius. I wasn't lifting his spirits out of the darkness of despair. I was simply an older man who would listen. A young adult who showed him how to do his homework. And a fellow kid who loved to play him in "Mortal Kombat." We are good friends. That's the point. TKe AdWTustration backs tine call for softer baseballs. MR. PRESIDENT, IS THE WHITEWATER /INVESTIGATION JUST POLITICS ABoi/T A SUBJECT MOBOOY 7S REALLY OR \fJOULO VOW L IK£ ME TO E iTUPofiJ A TEE. FOR T UNCOMMON SENSE LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL Dole may be a kinder and gentler loser O /""\ D/"\\X TAr\ OAI IMA tX'AKIOAO e>TJtf\r\ ^* • ^"^ * P.O. BOX 740, SALINA, KANSAS 67402 Housing authority has standards , 'The "One Strike You're Qut" policy that President Clinton recently enacted is nothing new to the Salina Housing Authority. Although abiding by the strict rules and regulations set forth by the government is not always an easy task, it has been the standard practice of the agency. .Being unfamiliar with the housing authority's policies and regulations, many people are misinformed about the low-rent programs as well as the participants. For instance, few are aware that police record checks are run on all adults to assure no one has any arrests for drug or violent criminal activity in the previous 12 months. If so, they are not eligible for the programs and their assistance is either denied or terminated. ".The housing authority takes fraud very seriously. Committing a fraudulent act, such as not reporting income or making false statements, has its price. Those who choose to do so not only face possible prosecution, but permanently lose their right to housing assistance. Participants are made aware of their obligations and the consequences right from the start. Perhaps it would be best to focus on the good things that come from the agency and its efforts, kike the mother of three small children living in an increasingly violent situation. She has the opportunity to break the cycle and provide her children with a warm, safe place to live, as opposed to living in the streets or worse yet, living with the abuse. The term "hard times" has hit home to all of us at some point in our lives, but it is so easy to forget — it hits hardest on the children who have no choice. — JACKICALP Salina • Jacki Calp is office manager of the Salina Housing Authority. ASCS, spare that tree We have received a letter from the local Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service office concerning management of farms under conservation reserve program contract, as ours is. It is titled "Trees cause payment reduction." It charges the farmer to destroy any trees on CRP lands, unless prior approval has been obtained to grow trees. I think our original contract would allow up to a quarter of the land to be in trees. But the letter says, "Now is the time to look at your CRP and get rid of trees." Now, we happen to be quite conservation-minded, and consider trees an asset, especially in our area. Mr. David Sweany, the Saline County ASCS executive director, told me it was mostly in regard to some cottonwood thickets. Trees might cause erosion? I understand cottonwood and willow shoots are prime deer feed. If this is a widespread order, state or national, it could cause enormous loss of reforestation on marginal lands. There will be a public meeting at 1 p.m. today at the Holidome in Salina to discuss the future course of CRP. It's being suggested that per- acre payments be slashed in our area and increased in the eastern states. More votes back there perhaps? If you interested ones can, meet me at the Holidome this after- Dole is supposed to be running for president, not Mr. Congeniality T hank God for Bill Bennett, who has uttered the word that Bob Dole dare not speak. Those who plead that character doesn't matter in a president are indicting themselves and revealing their own paucity of 4, character. Dole told ABC's Ted Koppel last week that he was reluctant to raise the president's lack of character because "I want to be at peace with myself." Dole is supposed to be running for president, not Mr. Congeniality. Perhaps the next Republican convention should be in Atlantic City where candidates could parade in bathing suits and pledge, if elected, to strive for world peace and work with children. * George Bush played the kinder and gentler game, which is why Jim Wright and congressional Democrats chewed up his "no new taxes" pledge and spit it in his face. By preferring the endorsement of his adversaries, Bush is watching from the sidelines as Clinton finishes what could have been Bush's second term. Bennett, who isn't running a popularity con- CAL THOMAS Los Angeles Times Syndicate test, needs to give Dole a kick in the pants before tonight's debate. Co-chair of Dole's campaign, Bennett told reporters last week: "I believe this administration is one of the most corrupt in recent American history .... It doesn't matter if (Dole) talks about (violations of public trust) or if Jack Kemp talks about them. It matters that somebody talks about them." Democrats were all over Reagan and Bush and those in their administrations, trying to make character an issue. Remember the "sleaze factor"? Various Democrat-led committees investigated Cabinet officials and the Iran-contra affair, charging patterns of corruption and lawbreaking. Did the media brand them mean-spirited? Not to my knowledge. Politics is a contact sport. If Dole can't stand the heat, he shouldn't have entered the race. What does it say about a nation that cares more about a baseball player who spits on an umpire or a kid who interferes with an outfielder during a playoff game than it does about the integrity of its leader? If, as the biblical proverb says, a good reputation is more precious than fine gold, our reluctance to care about character in our president means that the bottom has fallen out of the gold market. Good character leads to honesty and integrity. Bad character produces deceit and lies. If a person has bad character, on what basis do we judge whether he is telling the truth? Whether the subject is taxes or the size of government, marital fidelity or personal ethics, character matters. Dole doesn't have to talk about Paula Jones or Dick Morris. He can stick with the number of people under investigation in this administration, which Clinton promised would be the most ethical in history. What about the FBI files and Travelgate? He could remind us about the 1972 re-election of Richard Nixon in which Nixon's character flaws were overlooked. They led to his downfall in the Watergate affair. Do we want to repeat that mistake with Clinton over events collectively known as, but not limited to, Whitewater? Dole should read from the chapter on honesty in Bennett's phenomenally successful "The Book of Virtues": "To be honest is to be real, genuine, authentic and bona fide. To be dishonest is to be partly feigned, forged, fake or fictitious. Honesty expresses both self-respect and respect for others. Dishonesty fully respects neither oneself nor others. Honesty imbues lives with openness, reliability and candor; it expresses a disposition to live in the light. Dishonesty seeks shade, cover or concealment. It is a disposition to live partly in the dark." Honestly, now, which candidate comes to mind when you think of concealment, cover and living partly in the dark? Character is the issue Dole should raise and keep in the forefront until the election. If he is afraid, he deserves to lose. Better to go down speaking the truth than desiring the praise of the deceitful. If Dole is worried about his place in history, as he indicated to Ted Koppel, he should remember that history's judgment on the timid has not been kind. III IESBURY By G.B. TRUDEAU noon. — MARION L. SWISHER Gypsum Utters to the Journal are welcome, though there i ' not space to publish all ' OOPS, NOW YOU'RE MAP TOTAUX M&TTAL ON L&, OFBUILPINGTH&NBW

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