The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on February 25, 1990 · 22
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The Lincoln Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 22

Lincoln, Nebraska
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 25, 1990
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iopinion. undau Joumal-tar V . Dedicated to twPeopf of Nebraska, and to the Pavelopmont of 9w Resources of Vte StateSt 7. 1887. Editorials: Opinions of the Sunday Journal-Star Legislature's non-confirmation vote more message than rebuke There always are times the Nebraska Legislature does something most pleasing. One such came last Friday. A majority of senators then on hand effectively advised the state that the Legislature is determined to get to the bottom of the Franklin Con rnumly Federal Credit Umon scandal if It possibly can and regardless of whom the inquiry legitimately may touch. - That may seem a strange message to decipher from a floor fuss over what otherwise would be a routine confirmation of a Foster Care Review Board appointment Nevertheless; the interpretation is fair and the conMenceJuilding action stands to the Legislature's credit None of the senators really had any problems with Alice Bartels of Tobias, whom Gov. Kay Orr nominated for the board to replace Dennis Carlson. Bartels : simply was the unlucky innocent bystander. : The senators' full-scale beef was, and is, en-: tirely with Orr: that she failed to reappoint Lincoln attorney Carlson. Result: Twenty-three senators, directly or indirectly, registered against confirming Bartels. Eighteen : votes, or seven short of the required minimum number, were cast for confirmation. Democrat Carlson has been a pivotal figure privately bringing to senators' attention allegations of child and sexual abuse in connection with the Franklin investigation. He was, as Sen. David Landis said, the one Benefits Not since the transcendant Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov came to these shores has a victimsurvivor of Communist oppression been as lionized as was Vaclac Havel last week. The sandy-haired president of Czechoslovakia won cheers, applause, smiles of approval and upturned thumbs from Capitol HOI to a punk rock music club in New York City. That outpouring was not so much a happy recognition of Czechoslovakia's relatively bloodless revolt against the Soviet yoke, of which Havel is a living symbol, but the man's own moral authority. Havel is a . talented, respected interpreter of our jagged age through the medium of his ; plays. He deliberately opted for bleak years of imprisonment in his native country, de-: creed for speaking freely, rather than ac-: cept opportunities to escape to the Free " World as did other artists. It was behind bars he created literature. Going with So far a low-flow toilet bin before Congress has produced nothing but bad jokes. (The sponsors are not flushed with success.) But a number of communities across the nation are not waiting for action by the national legislature. A salute for the most innovative approach has to go to Santa Monica, Calif. Its city government is offering citizens a (100 rebate if they switch their homes to low-flow toilets. If 25 percent of the bathrooms ; in the community are so equipped, Santa" Monica should save 1 million gallons of water a day, no insignificant amount in a city that has begun to worry about where Its next drink is coming from. . : But the benefits of Santa Monica's project do net stop at the faucet Plans can for the old toilets ripped out of homes to be dumped in the Pacific Ocean. No, they wont pollute the sea but instead will be-" '- . - -. .- -: ? ff . Fourth Estate. : Handgun bill needed ;- Nobody needs a handgun the same day they deckle they want a handgun. This kind of need is - more closely associated with violence than with ; recreation. A nun In gun store doesn't need to shoot targets today. He only needs to shoot his wife today... Sea. Brad Ashf art's bin infringes only on the rights of those who wish to infringe on the rights of others. A seven-day waning period is needed in Nebraska. '-; Dairy Nebraskan UNL Enforce it or repeal it Capital punishment in Nebraska has become a cruel, expensive Joke, both on the people who are sentenced to death and on the people who had confidence that a death penalty law would help protect the public. ' , " : A law that becomes a parody of its intent Inspires contempt That's what has happened hi , Nebraska. And that's one reason we have taken ; the position that the law should either be enforced or repealed, with' first-degree murderers receiving a hfe sentence and no chance of being paroled. Omaha World-Herald Stiffen pot laws " ' Nothing bat good could come out of laws that make marijuana possession a more serious 'crime, .; - ( person uniquely capable of teffing the FBI that its own Franklin inquiry had been too narrow, and making the criticism stick. It isnl as if Orr didn't know of Carlson's efforts and contributions. Sen. Ernie Cham-ben reported to his colleagues Carlson and review board director Carol Stitt personally haiMried to present information to the governor about the allegations." The governor's troubling explanation for dropping Carlson, of all people; from the board at such a sensitive moment is that she supports i philosophy of giving new people public service opportunities. Well, so do we. So do most folks. But considering the exceptional circumstances, that Justification doesn't rate a passing grade. The governor still could do herself, her relations with the Legislature and the state itself a common service by finding some means to rename Carlson to the review board, if heU take the assignment It is not , yet too late. It is also appropriate to cite the 23 senators who blocked the confirmation Friday. Sens. Chambers, Morrissey and Wesely voted no Senators whose non-voting became Just as effective a form of protest were Abbood, Ashford, Baack, Chizek, Conway, Dierks, Halt Hannibal, Hartnett, Kor shot Labedz, Landis, Lynch, Moore, Nelson, Robak, Schellpeper, Scoftekl Smith and Withem. of solitude One suspects an immensely preoccupied President Havel might even welcome the return to a quiet cell now and then It wasn't entirely black humor he fed a New York audience last week apologizing for extemporaneous comments: Tm sorry I had no opportunity to write my speech because I was not today two hours in prison." Solitude is as ultimately necessary for men and women of distinguished letters as are oceans for dolphins. In the quiet of isolation, removed from the environment of action and demands of decision making, sensitive people such a Vaclav Havel dig for balance and renewal And yes, even a kind of liberation tough to explain but no less real for souls not so deeply dependent on external stimuli as are most of us. More political figures with personal lifelines to the intellectual world and there are some should carve time from 25-hour days to be alone, to sort things out to look into themselves. Even try to create. the low-flow come an artificial reef that will boost kelp, fish and lobster. And they wont be taking up landfill space. Not every VS. community has a sea into which to dump cast-off plumbing fixtures, but plenty of them could benefit from water conservation. It's estimated that toilets account for 38 percent of household water use. A conventional bowl needs 15 to 7 gallons per flush. Low-Cow models are supposed to do the Job with 1.6 gallons. Nebraska, which is not without water problems, is home to Carbenge, a construe-. tion of old motor vehicles which people around Alliance are thinking may be a work of art instead of an eyesore or at least a tourist attraction. WhoU be first with a Bowlhenge? At least Santa Monica is offering an example not only of water conservation but of bow imagination can be applied to environmental challenges. : t ' , ""In committee hearings on the bflls last week, a pharmacologist from New York called for a return to the "rational optimistic policy of the 70s," during which an but 11 states decriminalized marijuana possession. In retrospect that attitude probably was a mistake In the 90s; and may have fostered today's drug problems. But in any case, that attitude is outdated by today's standards. Columbus Telegram Saying it briefly The editor has been running on too much at length lately. Here are two short editorials to make up for it. jj rWe need good people to run for political office" tai this community, especially for school board and city council where apparently several tacumbenti do not plan to seek re-election. Everybody seems to think the dry and the schools could be run better, but mighty few are willing to take the time to try... There is something missing from the Republican campaign for nomination to Virginia Smith's 3rd Congressional District seat Having watched the 1974 campaign fat which Virginia emerged by the narrowest of margins over a large field, we eipected this one to be equally interesting. Maybe it is just too early. Maybe it is Virginia we miss. North Platte Telegraph Values clash; Havel vs. By Haynes Johnson I l By Haynes Johnson "We are living ta very extraordinary times. Tie bwnaa face at the woridis cbang-tegnizpkny thti none the fomUizr political speedometers are adequate." Vaclav Hard, to a joint ejecting tf Congress. WASHINGTON Oa the day that Czechoslovakia's playwright president spoke with rare eloquence about the "family of man," the need for great powers to help others ta trouble and how ' America has modi to teach totalitarian lands about democracy and opportunity, the Wall Street wolves provided yet another lesson m first taking care of No. L Though tt attracted relatively Btfle pubBc notice, this latest uhtstratka of putting self above other interests provides in many respects the most outrageous example of what's gone wrong oa Wan Street and why so many American! are repelled by the rapacious behavior there. Once agala, Drexd Bsnkaa Lambert be, set the standard. A week ago, Drexd was ta the news after filing for bankruptcy. Because the firm virtually created the great "junk-bond market that financed the merger and hostile takeover eras of the 1980s, leaving corporate America weakened and the nation battling rising levels of debt its fall sent shudders through the financial world. In the history of the fevered Wall Street dealings of the last decade, Drexel stands alone. Its rise from relative obscurity as an old-hoe but unspectacular firm to the powerhouse of Wall . Street was as notable as its fan, It was DrexeTs Michael Milken, the fabled, junk-bond genius," who elevated the firm into almost mythological status as the passionately hailed and, later, passionately denounced Which to way to Oz, Mr. Reagan?' Public, pols and journalists want to clean up campaigns WASHINGTON - Last month, I warned you I was about to become a crank on the subject of corruptly financed and crudely manipulative campaigns, An excepUonal number of you wrote to say, "Pour it on." Apparently you share my fed-up feeling about incumbents tapping huge amounts of interest-group money to mtimidate possible challengers and assure re-election. Apparently you are tired of being assaulted with negative ads on matters of dubious relevance. And apparently you think, too, that the press and television need to clean up their act and help voters understand what candidates believe and propose to da . Tm back today to ten yea that we are not alone that many people in politics and bi journalism share that anger and that determination to act Inside a month, we should know how serious Congress is about passing campaign-finance legislation. Even if Congress acts, the great turnoff win continue unless we find a way to make candidates talk about the voters' concerns, instead of spending their money on TV ads designed to blacken each other's reputations. The assault-weapon ads of 1388 and 1989 are already spinning off clones in 1990. Some candidates, however, are acting much more responsibly. In Iowa, Sen. Tom Harkin, Democrat and his challenger, Rep. Tom Tauke, Republican, already have agreed to debates on seven major issues In Michigan, where gubernatorial candidates receive public financing, state Sen. John Engler, the likely Republican nominee, has sponsored a bin, passed in the state senate, to make participation in eight televised debates a condition for receiving the taxpayers' money. Of course, it does little good for the candidates to talk substance if the press and television focus on personal trivia. Rep Bill Schuette, a Michigan Republican senatorial hopeful, set a good example when he publicly criticized the priorities of the media ta his state. The press and TV "jumped on the story" when Ron CaH a Capitol Hill semi-weekly, named Schuette one of the "Hunks of the HilL" But those same news organizations did only short stories or none at all about Ms recommendations on the drug problem, probably the voters' biggest concern, after be made an official trip to the Andean countries. Schuette called it "insulting to the voters." He was right Happuy, the media performance kt contra told want the let us work and they want us to send back dollar remittances." Of . an the odd things about today's Nicaraguan elections, the oddest by far is Mavei savior of corporate America. Mukea and Ins Drexel investment bankers financed bflhons of dollars for a new breed of VS. enu epreneura. They were the bold "raiders who led an assault on corporate America that reshaped the financial world, introducing the greatest wave of buying and selling of major businesses to the nation's Mstary. MUken and ins associates profited beyond wildest dreams of material success. In 1387 alone, he was paid $551 mflhoa, more than the gross national product of many smaller nations. He was a bOionairt before reaching age 40. After the bubble burst Milken was indicted on criminal charges growing out allegations made by Ivan Boesky, the "great shark" of Wall Street, and Drexel itself agreed to plead guilty to six felony charges and pay 550 milhon. It was against that background that Drexel battled for survival -In its final days, Drexd made the rounds of banks seeking a ban to stave off bankruptcy. It sought 50 million. : Now we learn that tt was exactly the amount that Drexel paid in bonuses to its top executives in the weeks before its bankruptcy. Some of the bonuses, according to The New York Times, came only weeks before the bank- hired by Sea Claiborne Pell, D-Rl, for bis campaign. A shot across the bow like that can make consultants think twice about using the same shoddy tactics again , The Washington Post has made a year-long conunitment to monitor campaign advertising. Paul Taylor did a hard-hitting first piece, including a "story-board" graphic detailing the distortions in a 1989 New Jersey gubernatorial al Taylor's story was a deliberately bhmt message to consultants to expect similar scrutiny of their handiwork this year. On the TV side, Timothy J. Rus-sert, of NBC News' Washington bureau, told the Barone Center at Harvard that in the next presidential campaign, political commercials should be dissected weekly on the evening news. He also called on networks to present true debates, without press panels, and disdain campaign-designed "photo-ops" and "sound-bites" in favor of excerpts of substantive campaign speeches. These are a few of many eases rve beard abort. Tea aw about ethers abases er good models. Wt have a chance to get some sanity back into ear elections. 0 1990 Washington Poet David Broder Commentary is better than that case might suggest Some recent examples: Ron Casey of the Birmingham News wrote an editorial reminding readers that four years ago the focus in "the most expensive, most negative" campaign Alabama had seen was the irrelevant fact that Gov. Guy Hunt, .Republican, "doesnt have a college degree and once was an Am way salesman." If we allow the consultants and pollsters to set the agenda" for the 1990 race, he wrote, voters win hear that same "kind of sound and fury ... There are too many real problems in Alabama" to permit that M. Charles Bakst political columnist for the Providence Journal, set a noteworthy example with a piece alerting readers to the track record, including misleading negative ads, of the consulting firm of Robert Sender and Carter Eskew U.S. has clout in Nicaragua TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras Several leading anti-Sandinista contra fighters hesitantly returned to Nicaragua recently. They feared Sandinista retribution. Instead they found something that really confounded them. "You know how the Sandinistas look at usr one officials here. "We're just a cash crop. They gringos to in Miami, Georgia Anne Geyer Commentary i that, if they win, the Sandinistas are looking to the hated United States for aid in rebuilding afterward. One hears it voiced privately across the inner political circles of Central America. "Mam; SandMstas have told me that, if they win the elections, the VS is going to lift the embargo and help them," former Costa Rican President Luis Alberto Monge told me. "The Sandinistas believe they are going to get millions from the VS," said Dr. Alfonso Sandino, director of the Nicaraguan Human Rights Commission, in Honduras. "The only godfather they have is the VS." Think about tt. The Marxist Sandinistas, supported by the Soviets and the Cubans, have for 10 years obsessively spun out theory upon theory and theology upon theology of dependence and independence, liberation and oppression, all virulently anti-Ui Now, after aQ these yean of defiantly trying to km 10C Wall Street rater filing and reportedly totaled as modi i mptry fihng and reportedly totaled as much as for this action, these facts brand Drexel as pKmg personal gam nr execuuvw unsi survival of the firm and the claim of creditors. What a fitting leototte to the legacy ef greed ami arrogaaee exafbned eaWafl Street By contrast there's the example of Vadav i was revealed, Havel was delivering ins remark-ably affecting speech in the VS. House. . r. Havers message extended far beyond pontics and poflcy-malang, however important In a speech that he refreshingly wrote himself, the Czech leader struck a universal theme of a ' leader's higher duty to the human conscience. Salvation of this human world, he said, "Bes nowhere else than in the human heart in the nirmaw power to reflect, in human meekness and in human responsMBty." He warned against selfishness and irrespon-sibffily, saying, "Interests of an kinds personal, selfish, stale, nation, group and, if you hke, company Interests suH considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests." Taei he added. "We stQ doit knew fcm to po morality ahead of pontics, science and economics. We are stul incapable of miderstandteg that the only genuine backbone ef an ear actions, I they are to be moral, is responsMity. Responsibility is something higher thai my family, my country, my company, my success." As for his central theme about the extraordinary pace of world change, Havel obviously fat correct but with one exception. On Wan Street everything kt stul the same. There, the operative order remains: Take care of No. t 0 1990 Washington Post Public; Mind Wrong location The Lincoln City Council is considering amending the Lincoln Municipal Code "to allow bowling centers in residential districts ... by special permit" (Sunday Journal-Star, Feb. 18). The present definition for special ' permits in residential districts states that such structures shall be recreational faculties of a non-enclosed nature. For residential neighborhoods this has historically referred to picnic shelters, horse shoe courts, volleyban courts, etc The real purpose of this requested change is to anow a bowlingrecreational structure including a restaurant and lounge serving liquor, at S. 70th and Holmes Park Blvd. ' To change the definition of special permits in an Rt Rt, R3 and R4 zoning districts would allow an activities from non-enclosed recreational structures to enclosed structures with bowling, electronic darts, miniature golf, basketball shooting, restaurant and lounge (serving hq-nor) in any residential area of Lincoln. The permit not only could include an but just a segment of the above activities. Further down in the same newspaper article the real purpose is listed under City Council resolutions. Item 1 states: "Recreation center "consisting of 40 bowling lanes, indoor miniature golf course, multi-use room and support facilities." One has to wonder what "support facilities" means in a liberal interpretation. This recreational facility appears well-conceived and designed accordingly. But it does not belong in any residential area. At present land toned Bt B2, B3, B5, H2, H3, H4 or land for industrial use would be an excellent choice. Harry R. Alward Lincoln The Sunday Journal-Star waloomM readers' comments, but cautions ttat tellers submitted tor pubbcabon must be signed and capable of vorfficatkm. Thia raqukw both mailing addraaa and a Maphor numbar. Tha adltors raaan rioht to condanaa (attara, retaining wwrHera points. Except hi vary unu-uat circumaiaiicea, pan names or W-Sala en riot permitted. fEWUARY25. 1990 the VS "father," they wast to move back home with Urn again, - The realities behind the fascinating, mululayered elections which are looked upon by most players in the Central American drama as finally a "way out" of these endless conflicts are almost exclusively economic Fully 25 percent of Nicaraguans are now in exile, roughly 625,000. Remittances from these exiles, which amounted to between J10 million and J15 million in 1973, are now 110 milhon a year. The Sandinistas have even made then-export of ple-for-dollars official. Minister of Foreign Commerce Alejandro Martinex said recently that it is better that more Nicaraguans go to the United States, thus in effect ushering in suH another new "theory of dependence" that the Sandinistas hadn't thought of. Actually, after these 10 turbulent years, once-heroic Sandinista "muchacbos," or boy and their Soviet friends have only returned to their initial intention. They would make a Marxist revolution, and the United States would finance it. The Soviets want to retain political Influence in the area, whue the United States bails them out economically. Only now that has moved up the scale to dire necessity, as the volcanic schisms of the East Bloc shake Central America as wdL As for the United States, forcing the Sandinistas to end aid to the Salvado-ran Marxist guerrillas and to hberahze the economy internally are two obvious areas of pressure. Even if the Sandinistas win, these realities and needs mean that the United States has tremendous renewed influence in this new period. C 1990 Universal Press Syndicate

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