Sunday News from Lancaster, Pennsylvania on September 17, 2000 · 141
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Sunday News from Lancaster, Pennsylvania · 141

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 17, 2000
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F. er m a at rd m t at A. Edited by Helen Colwell Adams 291-8788 He's not dirty Harry Two quick questions. Which children's books are on the New York Times bestseller list? That's right, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. When it comes to demands to censor books by removing them from school libraries, which books topped the national list in 1999? Right again, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling! How can a series that is without a doubt the most popular phenomenon in children's literature in years at least according to children also be so controversial? Why do parents want to censor others' rights to these books? The answer lies in several areas. First, Harry is an unhappy, 11-year-old orphan living with an abusive aunt and uncle. He finds that his real parents used magic and that he is a wizard, or at least a wizard in the making, and as such he flies a broomstick, talks to animals and wears a cloak of invisibility. He escapes his nonloving home by going to a wizard school and finds a new life. Alas, Harry, you see, uses "magic," and magic is the supernatural stuff used by Satan and his kin. The books, these censors reason, must be satanic, and children should not be exposed to them as they might turn to the "dark side" of their natures. But in truth, these books promote the "light side" of humankind friendship, love, bravery, self-reliance and self-sacrifice. They depict the quest for knowledge, wisdom and right action the universal actions every human takes. The real magic in them is the magic of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm and of Dickens and Dr. Seuss. Second, there is symbolism critics call it Wicca symbolism in them, and Wicca is the religion of witches in the United States. One critic, Karen Jo Gounaud, of Family Friendly Libraries, indipates that the use of this symbolism alone makes these books "religious" in nature. Public schools, she argues, must not use them lest this breach the high wall separating church and state. It strikes me that almost all good books have some type of symbolism in them. "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" revolves around a young girl's discovery of the true meaning of Christmas. It is often read aloud by teachers for fun, not religious training during the Christmas season. Should this book be banned because of its Christian symbolism? Third, Rowling's fantasy offers children a way to see the Harry in themselves while temporarily escaping their own time and place. He reminds me of David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. These little boys are orphaned and mistreated by cruel adults, but through the use of their wits they achieve success, adventure and, finally, self-respect. It is the purpose of fantasy, indeed all fiction, to take the reader to another place to show that certain truths are basic to the human condition. Even children can distinguish the truths in such stories! But one writer for the Freedom Village USA ministry writes, "To suggest to any child (especially underprivileged ones like Harry) that there is a way to escape the unhappy, real-life world they live in and retreat into a mystical fantasy world to find happiness is totally irresponsible and deceitful." i More GUEST on P-4 QUOTES OF THE WEEK This was a direct assault on the law enforcement community of Lancaster County and a direct assault on the citizens of Lancaster County. District Attorney Don To-taro on the February shoot-out on East King Street that left a city police officer and two bystanders wounded. Last week Angel S. Irizarry was convicted of attempted homicide in the gun battle. It sounded like a tornado. Reggil Dickerson of North Duke Street on the lightning strike that shattered part of a turret at First United Methodist Church. Another bolt crumbled a chimney at Wharton Elementary School. We should leave religion to our places of worship and homes and not get involved In that at all in the public school system. Rabbi Jack Paskoff on why he and a Lancaster woman objected to a painting depicting the Ten Commandments that had been donated to Manheim Township schools. The painting was removed from the high school last month. I had no idea what zero tolerance is. Fired Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight in a television interview, arguing that no one ever explained to him the parameters of the "zero tolerance" behavior policy that he was accused of violating. By James B. Stewart The Washington Post How did killer doctor Michael Swango get away with it? 'White wall of silence' protected him -- but not his patients. E arli E arlier this month Michael Swango confessed in New York federal court to a killing spree er spanned his career as a physician. He admitted to four murders and four attempted murders, pleaded guilty to five felonies and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Scores of suspicious deaths of his patients remain officially unresolved. No mercy killings these. Prosecutors introduced chilling evidence of the former doctor's state of mind: notebook entries in Swango's handwriting such as "I love it: the sweet, close, husky COMMENTARY smell of indoor homicide." Sobbing relatives of Swango's victims spoke of their grief and anger and not just at Swango, who seemed unmoved and offered no apologies. Nearly all of the survivors mentioned their outrage at a medical profession and hospital system that let a Swango continue to practice even after he was investigated for murder at the Ohio State Hospitals in 1984 and was convicted of poisoning co-workers at a hospital in Illinois in 1985, eight years before his murders in New York. Medical school residency programs hired Swango after he told them he was a convicted felon. After concluding their murder investigation and dismissing him from their program, doctors at Ohio State wrote glowing reviews on his behalf. Cynthia Ann McGee, a University of Illinois gymnast who died at an Ohio State University hospital in 1984, was injected with a fatal dose of potassium while Michael Swango was an intern at the hospital. Swango's medical career continued in Illinois, in Virginia, in South Dakota, in New York and finally in the African nation of Zimbabwe. He was en route to yet another job, this time at a hospital in Saudi Arabia, when he was arrested at O'Hare airport in 1997. After Swango's past was discovered, usually by local media, and Swango was hurriedly dismissed amid public outcries, hospitals conducted failed internal investigations and rushed to reassure the public. The Veterans Hospital at Northport, Associated Press photos Former doctor Michael Swango is escorted by a U.S. marshal from federal court in Uniondale, N.Y., in this July 17 photo. Long Island, announced in 1993, one week after Swango was dismissed, that "no suspicious illnesses or deaths" had been there. This is the same hospital where Swango has now confessed to murdering three patients and sending another into a coma. Perhaps the most egregious behavior by doctors and hospital officials was at Ohio State, which officially exonerated Swango and wrote into one of his victims' medical records that she was "paranoid" for claiming a doctor had tried to kill her. She survived, and Swango has now admitted injecting a paralyzing drug into her IV line. Swango has also confessed to murdering a 19-year-old gymnast who was a patient at Ohio State, and will plead guilty to murder in Ohio later this month. Yet police say Ohio State was not cooperative. More DOCTOR on P-4 We erect a high wall between church and state only at our peril. Editor's note: "In My Opinion" is a column of guest commentaries. Send submissions to Helen Colwell Adams, Sunday News, P.O. Box 1328, Lancaster, Pa. 17608-1328; e-mail By Thomas E. Despard Special to the Sunday News As the presidential race heats up, the relationship between church and state continues to underlie the great social and political issues of our day. What exactly is this relationship? The framers of our Constitution did not want the type of national established church that still exists in Great Britain, but did not use the words "separate" or "separation." Thomas Jefferson's advocacy of a "wall of separa y egrees IN MY OPINION tion" was meant to keep the state from meddling in the affairs of the church. We were conceived to be one nation under God with the foundational premise that the state receives its right to govern from the Creator. Alan Keyes asserts that "The free exercise of religion means nothing if individuals are forbidden to act upon their religious faith." Here are some insights into how we can define and evaluate this 200-year-old relationship: Distinct roles. It is the role and responsibility of the church to proclaim and practice the gospel, declare moral truth, administer ecclesiastical affairs and reach out to those in need. It is the role and responsibility of the state to establish and maintain an orderly society by providing for regulation and enforcement in matters of peacekeeping, justice, public health and safety, commerce and the environment. f separation These roles and responsibilities are distinct, not separate. World views. Everyone has a fundamental belief system, whether it is defined or not, that governs decision-making and behavior and through which he or she views the world. There is God-centered religion and man-centered religion. There is a religious right and a religious left. Public officials take their world views to work with them like everybody else. They do not have one world view one day of the week and a different one the rest of the week. Wisdom. In their new book, "The Experience Economy," authors James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II contend that information technology is evolving into wisdom technology as businesses seek to provide positive experiences that actually transform their customers. They write that "No longer can an enterprise take an More OPINION on P-4 Cheney hits the skids -- big time SHELTON, Conn. Gertrude Kovak, who says she is "89 and a half," sat in her wheelchair at the Methodist seniors home here, up in the front row where she could get a good gander at Dick Cheney. So, I asked after the Republican's talk Sept. 8 on prescription drugs, how did she like what he had to say? "Wel-1-1," she replied, hesitating. "You can't tell. A lot of people didn't hear a thing. He speaks so softly." Reporters, who have been having trouble capturing Cheney's low monotone on tape, said they were buying bigger microphones for their tape recorders. Cheney was in Connecticut to chant the Bush campaign's newest populist slogan, "Real plans for real people." Of course, the Hallibm-ton gazillionaire may not be the best medium for the message. There is much gnashing and grinding in GOP circles over the vice presidential contest. There's a thrilled Joe Lieberman, praising the Lord and making the Democrats the immoral, skirt-chasing party look a little more kosher. And there's "Big Time" Dick Cheney, still learning how to make hand motions when he talks. A new ABC-Washington Post poll shows that Lieberman's f avorability ratings have nearly doubled, while Cheney's unfavorability rat ings have nearly doubled. So far, there are three lessons to draw from the Cheney debacle: 1. Never choose a back-room guy you think would be good at governing, because if he's lousy at politicking, he may never get to the governing part. 2. Even if you pick a loyal family retainer, vet him. 3. Don't select somebody just to please Daddy. In the wake of the open-mike flub and questions about his mingy charitable contributions, Cheney was pinching those pinched lips again. He was pestered about a Dallas Morning News report that he had skipped voting in Hof 16 elections since he registered in Dallas County nearly five years ago including W.'s March presidential primary. "I traveled a great deal," Big Time explained. "My focus was on global concerns." Hmmm? Too busy with Halliburton's state of affairs to vote for the candidate he was tutoring in the affairs of state. Hasn't Cheney ever heard of absentee ballots? Which brings us to Big Time lesson No. 4: If you want votes, cast votes. Halliburton is becoming a House of Horrors. The Associated Press reported that the company has a segregated restroom policy, keeping separate restrooms overseas for its American and foreign employees. Halliburton said the policy was -no different than Eastern countries that often designate facilities for use by Westerners." Come again? As a final fillip to an embarrassing day in Connecticut. Cheney pointedly ignored Mark Nielsen, the local Republican congressional candidate. That day was the debut of Nielsen's campaign ad that showed pictures of former President George Bush, John McCain and Joe Lieberman, while the announcer intones, "Today, when America wants leaders of honesty and integrity. ." Little Bush and Big Time were conspicuously missing. The eager GOP candidate had made a decision about where to look for coattails and it wasn't on his own party's ticket. Maureen Dowd is a columnist for The New York Times. 1.:;1 i':i.111T....-ilt.4,W . -4;111f !g t,,.1"4..4,t4,!, ''"I . , CI , ( ,, lull 111 n 113 T1 LI Li LI Li Ifil 153 ,,,, , . .:,- , , s . f ,I, i ' P ' ' 1 Arwak," , , ..,,, z . 1 a a s .. '' I .:',4'.' v---..- 1 rpm r ,,, 10) ii 0 Ifil GIL: , , , , ,,,,,,,ty ,, . . ,, , , ,,, . , '''4',',4., , ' 1 ,. , ,, ., ...., ' - , .. g , It 0 ogils ,, , fill V ? a if ,: ,.. 1. , ..;,., .,..z . '4441 j ' ,, .i.!,','S.,""', ' 4 1 , - ISK. , ., '','4".r.71',! 00: il Z 6, -.'1,..''' ' ',. , ' '''' . ' 0".S.' -'i: '''''''''' '.' .' l'i.'. 1 ' , .. '''-; '. ; ' ' i 1 , .,. . ' I , . i 4 - i ISR a . ''' ". ' :. s ' '5 . -?' ' - , -',.. , , ' '.. ' , -'. . ',-. How did killer doctor Michael Swango go; .,,, ,I ,, ,, , ,,,,, , , ,,, iirce .i, ,,,-. , i- 1 : '-', ,',t, I , '', !, , f, ,., , :-..,,,... t ! get away with it? 'White wall of silence, ...Ana,. ,,,,, ,,k ,,,,. . ! 1,11147 ,,, ,,,, , ..,,, ,,, '3 y i , , .: il protected him -- but not his patients. ,twkii i , , ,,,, z., ,,,,,, , , 4,:, ,. !, , . '., ,,, ,,, - Pkva .--,:- '-- -,,: , - , .- , -, .., , ,:,,,, ,, . . . , , .., , - . .- , .014144 'i, , :,,,., , ,,,. , , , , , , ; . -, , , . le Washington Post ,, ,, . . , , y James B. Stewart , . - . 111410:: ,. -2 -,' '. , -, c - IsA, t . . . gm - !! - -A '72--- ','' : 1I'' ,i, ', - -'- , t'ailled --' '' 1 ' ' ', ' ,, ', L.-reA : . ,.7. , ,-, ,'-, ,t,-74,,..::.z),:1,3.,t. o' 0r,i--.,.! .,--.,-, . "wags . to , et arlier this month Michael i -,'''-i'-' ,,..i....4-- ,.,,-,-5:-.' ''' - ..4?-s. 1, !. ''.:: Vitra 1 to i - v. , .,,, c?,zzogarti,1 '-'1 , ::,,' ' , I ',' ,,, ,, ' ,, , ,, y Am Swango confessed in New York t - ,,,.,,--..,1 , ,,, -,, -,.-",,- eiTto : '. .,, .. . ,. ?';',..'. - ar.sts . or ' :1 1 federal court to a killing spree .., ., , , '4110.04i! 1 ' ' ' ,' ''' "e ' ' ' ' - that spanned his career as a , !" 's Z.,:.. - ' ,, ,' r.00-.'ikt ,, , ,, Eiysician. He admitted to four mur- , 13111.7.'' - '0,48,40 ,k, !i . , :..; , .,.? 0 , io,,,!etwoHk. .. 4,,-,..0-,,,iL, vt , . , 0,17, !, ,,,,,,,,, , , .r , , .. ,.. . , ers and four attempted murders, ' ''' :'''' -.40'37.:-"' t . -'''' . ,PrImitt,,,,,'- ?? ''', ' ' - , ,,- ' ' . "ti..:,-,:, ?ntenced to life in prison without pos- ' t leaded guilty to five felonies and was t - ' t 7 "A,': .. -,, ,. ,-,t---d,.- - ',,,. '1.. , , , . , -''- ,,, i ' - , ' :4-' "71) , . -,. . , , I , ,.. .. . bility of parole. 4 , " -,---,00 ..1. -- ' nv '14,';'. . . ., . , . . . , Scores of suspicious deaths of his pa- , ' s 4 ,,,, I- ,i -,-7,4: ' !,' k '.1,;?'.i. , ,' ents remain officially unresolved. No Tr , - ' - I ' , ' I' ' tt ---, -, - ,-4-41:4 ; :-:::- ,-,, , ..., 4, , iercy killings these. Prosecutors in- v , 40, - N,' K '-'17:414) t ''',, ; . , . , , ,, , , --7.., ler doctor's state of mind: notebook ti 'oduced chilling evidence of the for- '1, 41 ...i ,,,- , , , ' ' ' I f . - : , f ., ritries in Swango's handwriting such i , ,00)441 I ''''''-;'''' Ntr,,,, i , , , , . , 3 "I love it: the sweet, close, husky ot, . --, 's l-47-, , t ' ",4, , . , ' COMMENTARY ,,, i j) V . 1 ' , , Li'' ' -,t -,' ,:,),-------. , , Cynthia Ann McGee, a University of nell of indoor homicide." Illinois gymnast who died at an Sobbing relatives of Swango's vic- Ohio State University hospital in - - ms spoke of their grief and anger and . . -11- incl. nt Swnnon whnseemed lin- 1984, was injected with a fatal dose ,,,---A i,,,- - ,,., ,,.. , . .- , - , - ,,i , p 3 vo Ec-D 3 RR 0 ue .; ,,,t, I , -, , , . 4 s' " '- --- ' ----, ez 000tok..omb,oikko..t.-..o.."ks...---,- 2 ,.... 2' 3 ..:: -Cfitcfr4r- 1 t ' 1 , - 1:16:.:211 LI Edited by Helen Colwell Adams 291-8788 L A Editorials , La Letters -- j ' ---- -, " Elegant Cape May 7' '':. ,44,,...-""", 1: 7,-;'-- - 1 :4 ,. : , . V: .'..,', les7:!).' A, K ! '-',' t 'i it l .-,, ,.;:. -.1 .. i.;!:.i: MAUREEN DOWD ''''i LI L . Commentaty I rern:147E,C,,,,,a7W , . : I ! .93.41;,,, i 1 ! 1 i4k'' ;:gnyttl''''4, :,:, : 1 . W 4,,.,!,v).,,,, , ), DR. JACQUES : ii''-?fik 'z '-' : GIBBLE '' t::1 -,.,,', Sunday's ''',, A). ', , , SUNDAY NEWS SEPTEMBER 17, 2000 41) 010

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