Standard-Speaker from Hazleton, Pennsylvania on January 18, 1991 · Page 16
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Standard-Speaker from Hazleton, Pennsylvania · Page 16

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Hazleton, Pennsylvania
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Friday, January 18, 1991
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Page 16
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Editorial Standard- Speaker FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, 1991 Page 16 rf1 (Wwg"w WO !llin''v",,"ia"C ITS OsOT itc -mr TRAINING PffcCESS. I i KINK HE is ?V WE FLUNKED UOUR &NERNMEMT CLASS $10 TD ftSSS HIM? VCAH. I UADTO GVT HIMMl'A.' HE KNOWS MQUJTHIN65 fiEALLV1 tJ0RK. No other choice for Bush The outbreak of war in the Persian Gulf poses the paramount test of whether the community of nations, united as never before, can establish a more secure world order on the premise that unprovoked aggression will not be tolerated. At stake, as President Bush declared, is the vision of a credible United Nations enforcing the rule of law to preserve a durable peace. Americans do not shrink from this momentous task, despite the agonizing sacrifice in human lives that war demands. As they have done in past conflicts in this century, Americans stand prepared to do whatever is necessary to make the world safe from tyranny. But they confronted this fateful day only reluctantly, after months of futile efforts to negotiate a peaceful way out of the crisis precipitated by Saddam Hussein. From the White House to Main Street, the mood is resolute but somber, a reflection of the fact that this nation cherishes peace and abhors armed conflict. Yet the Iraqi leader left the world no other choice. He gave the back of his hand to 12 U.N. Security Council resolutions and spurned 11th-hour appeals by the French, the Algerians, the Yemenis, the U.N. secretary general and the Pope. After Operation Desert Storm began Wednesday, an unrepentant Saddam, contemptuous of the civilized world, addressed the Iraqi people and vowed defiantly to prevail on the battlefield. The case for this war is compelling. The international community has been challenged by a clear-cut act of aggression that, if left unchecked, will gravely undermine global security. For the present, the world can only hope that the massive allied air strikes will force a swift end to the conflict, with a minimum number of casualties. As the. antiwar protests in Balboa Park and in other cities show, some Americans do not see the threat that Iraq's military machine poses. Their earnest and emotional pleas for peace went unheeded in Baghdad. Nearly all Americans are slow to anger until it becomes plain that their vital interests are threatened. But now that the battle has been joined, it is clear that a solid najority of Americans back President Bush's resort to military force, recognizing that the only alternative is to allow an utterly ruthless despot to dominate the entire region and control the oil jugular of the world economy. Having built a fearsome war machine of 1 million men backed by chemical and biological weapons and the prospect of a nuclear arsenal within a few years, Saddam is a global menace that can be ignored no longer. Rarely in history has this country entered a conflict by such a deliberate and democratic process, carefully weighing the dangers of both war and inaction. Now that a thorough debate has been held, Congress has endorsed the use of force, and the bombing has begun, there is no cheering or war fever. Rather, most Americans are united behind the challenge at hand, sadly facing up to the uncertainties and awful human costs that war entails. Their prayers are for a short and decisive campaign that will open the door to a more peaceful world order. Packed prisons don't equal safety For years, Americans have been told that longer sentences and more criminals in prison equal a lower crime rate. But it's becoming increasingly obvious that this anti-crime equation doesn't add up. Crime rates continue to rise even as American taxpayers pay billions of dollars to incarcerate more of their fellow citizens than any other nation in the world. The latest tally by the non-profit Sentencing Project shows that, in the past decade, America surpassed both South Africa and the Soviet Union to top the world in incarceration rates. The title didn't come cheap. It costs $16 billion a year to house, clothe and feed those 1 million prisoners. Almost half that money goes to keep roughly one out of four black males behind bars. All told, America has more than doubled its prison population since 1980. What effect did the crackdown have on crime? Apparently not much. During that same period, the crime rate dropped by only 3.5 percent and it's back on the rise now up 14 percent in the past five years. Meanwhile, America continues to lead the world in a second category murder rates. So do investments in prison time pay off? Partially, at least. Many, if not most, prisoners now behind bars deserve to be there. Public safety requires it. But experts agree that many others don't. They caution that prison time should be viewed as only one item on the menu of sentencing alternatives. Many offenders would benefit more from such things as mandatory participation in drug-treatment programs, community service work or placement in a secure halfway house where they can continue to interact with their families. Money saved by utilizing these less-expensive alternatives could be invested in programs with proven success rates. A dollar for prenatal care is paid back manyfold in a healthy child capable of pursuing a bright future. Expansion of Head Start programs guarantees needy youngsters a chance to excel at school. Increased education funding, particularly when targeted for at-risk students, broadens future employment opportunities. These programs fight the roots of crime poverty, unemployment, alienation. They aren't as immediately gratifying as slamming the door on a crook. But, ultimately, they will do far more to ease the crime crisis than the most ambitious prison construction project. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta Bad bolts plague Pentagon hardware WASHINGTON Judging by the numbers of counterfeit bolts in the Pentagon's hardware inventory, the U.S. war machine is held together by no better than chicken wire and duct tape. An internal Pentagon report reveals that cheap bolts made from weak metals have found their way into the military stockpiles in alar-.ming numbers. Many of the back-up machine screws used to fasten wing parts on the Navy's Corsair A-7 attack jets are fakes substandard imitations of what the Pentagon thought it was buying. The same weak screws are used in the Army's Apache helicopters and Tomahawk missiles. Many of the spare machine bolts for the M174 gun mount are also bogus, as are the bolts on the Lamps Mark III helicopters and the studs on the Phantom F-4 jets. We have been warning for years that foreign manufacturers were passing off weak bolts as the real thing. Congress passed a bill in its last session to stop the traffic. But the Pentagon is just now figuring out how many of those bolts it bought and used before the brass realized it was being fleeced. The revelations about the spread of bogus bolts through the military appear in a Defense Department inspector general report obtained by our associate Jim Lynch. Pentagon investigators estimate that 62 percent of the hardware in the military's "ready-to-issue" inventory does not meet the required strength and size demands. The investigators took samples and then projected that at least S624 million in hardware on hand does not meet safety standards. It it junk that could fail and kill American soldiers. In the past three years, about 100 firms have been prosecuted for selling bogus fasteners and for falsifying tests. But industry sources say that it will take another year to feel the full enforcement effect of the new consumer protection law. Meanwhile, distributors are scrambling to dump their bogus bolts on the market. "It's dump time," warned Tommy Grant of Grant Fasteners Inc. in Houston. Grant is the leader of a pack of honest bolt makers who forced the issue onto Congress's front burner with the help of Reps. John Dingell, D-Mich., James Bilbray, D-Nev. and Helen Bentley, R-Md. Many U.S. manufacturers were run out of business by the cheaper foreign fasteners before buyers in America caught on to why the foreign products were cheaper. The counterfeit glut affects more than just the military. A recent General Accounting Office report determined that almost two-thirds of the nation's nuclear power plants bought fasteners that don't meet safety standards. Bogus fasteners have also surfaced at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Energy Department and other federal agencies. Fraud is rampant because it is easy. The bad bolts can't be detected by the eye. Expensive metallurgical tests are needed, and the test results in some cases have been faked. The Defense inspector general recommends that the Pentagon implement a rigid testing policy, including testing the bolts it gets from reputable manufacturers.' The Pentagon's supply system is so disorganized that it has been known to throw out bad bolts and then buy them back again. Last year a California firm was convicted of falsifying tests and selling bad bolts to the government. The company had picked up many of the bolts at military surplus auctions. DUMP DAN Pressure is building in the Republican camp to remove Vice President Dan Quayle from the GOP ticket in 1992. Some higher-ups in the party believe that, after the Persian Gulf crisis, George Bush will need all the help that he can get if he wants to be re-elected. And Quayle offers little help, except as an aggressive fund-raiser among the rich right. The name pf Gen. Colin Powell is being bandied around again, as it was in 1988 as vice presidential material. Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a good reputation now and his stock would be boosted by careful handling of the troops in the Middle East. Rowland Evans and Robert Novak Long-term Republican pain ahead? WASHINGTON Republicans reacted with unwonted glee to congressional Democrats, divided and uncomfortable as they mishandled President Bush's call to war. But wiser heads in the GOP constrained their joy, fearful of the political cost when the bullets begin to fly. The abysmal performance by Democratic leaders was enough to cheer Republican spirits, sodden after a miserable autumn of discontent. President Bush's step last Nov. 7 doubling troops in Saudi Arabia without rotation was not perceived by the Democrats as destroying the rationale for sanctions. Because congressional leaders delayed formal debate until less than a week before the Jan. 15 deadline for Saddam Hussein's withdrawal from Kuwait, dissenters risked seeming less than patriotic and being linked with left-wing freshman Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. However, a day of reckoning may be nearing. Astute Republicans know that the margins in Congress, reflecting the public mood, are enough to declare war but not enough to fight it for long. They see salvation from either an eleventh hour diplomatic settlement or a lightning military victory. Otherwise, short-term gain may be long-term pain for Republican fortunes. The momentary GOP bliss stems from the demonstration that Democrats are not ready for serious presidential politics. The party's rank-and-file lawmakers grumble that their leaders should have called for a post-election debate once the president put the huge, non-rotating military force in the desert. Congress then could have examined the wisdom or folly of this course as last week's hurried proceedings could not. That mistake was compounded by House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt recently when he suggested cutting off funds for U.S. troops if the president sent them to war without a congressional OK. That was a reflexive imitation of the Democratic majorities taking away weapons and ammunition for Nicaraguan Contras and risked restoring the party's Vietnam-era image of being not quite patriotic enough. The finishing touch was the advent of Paul Wellstone as the epitome of today's Democrat. No freshman senator in memory has been so bumptious. After importuning Vice President Dan Quayle during the swearing-in ceremony by handing him a video of a Minnesota peace meeting, Wellstone delivered one of the Senate's earliest maiden speeches ever a scream against war. In the House GOP cloakroom, leaders cracked that freshman Democrats were so far to the left that the passionately progressive Rep. Barbara Boxer of California had become the model for moderation. Republicans were understandably delighted to forget bank failures and broken tax promises and wave the flag of patriotism. The ambivalence of the GOP nevertheless is personified by Senate Minority Leader Robert J. Dole. He returned from a visit back to Kansas two weeks ago in a gloomy mood about chances of ever leading a Senate majority, about economic prospects and especially about war. In Kansas, as elsewhere, people were not ready to fight Iraq. After publicly suggesting that restoring the emir of Kuwait is not worth one American life, Dole put his shoulder to the wheel as the president's floor leader but not with his heart in it, say GOP senators. Dole's heart was not where his shoulder was because of misgivings, widely felt within the Senate minority, about where Bush is leading the nation. Sen. William Cohen, a liberal Republican, is defying public opinion in Maine to support the president. But in doing so, he attacked the "disappointing, deplorable performance" of Japan and Germany in contributing to the "coalition." Other Republicans were uncomfortable by the central backstage role of American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby, in lining up enough Democratic votes to pass the war authorization. It is bitter for GOP leaders to rely on the organization that has created so much mischief over the past generations for U.S. governments seeking an even-handed policy in the Middle East. Many Republicans want to depict the truncated debate as proof that Wellstonian Democrats won't go to war anytime, anyplace. But Dick Gephardt is no Wellstone and no pacifist. He is seriously concerned about the viability and value of the kingdoms and sheikdoms that are upheld in the Persian Gulf with American treasure and possibly blood. Potential for that attitude to resonate through the electorate is another reason Republicans pray so devoutly that war is either averted or won quick- iy- Standard Speaker Continuing the STANDARD-SENTINEL, Estabushed 1866 THE PLAIN SPEAKER, Established 1882 Published daily except Sunday and Holidays by Hazleton Standard-Speaker, Inc., 21 N. Wyoming St., Hazleton, Pa. 18201 Telephone 455-3636 Jane N. Walser, President and Publisher Paul N. Walser, Vice President and Publisher Dr. Lawrence E. Lamb What method is best for prostate exam? Frank Walser President and Publisher (1961-1977) Frank H. Walser Vice President and Publisher (1977-1984) Stanley E. Wagner, Controller Ramon S. Saul, Managing Editor Carl A. Christopher, Day Editor Edward J. Socha, Night Editor Richard M. Rybarczyk, Advertising Director John M. Davis, Assistant Advertising Director Gary D. Klinger, Circulation Manager Paul A. Witcofski, Distribution Manager Member Audit Bureau of Circulation General Advertising Representative Landon Associates, Inc. Bureau 7M N y mi Member of The Associated Press The Associated Press is entitled to the use for republication of all the local news printed in this newspaper as well as AP dispatches. 3ffiirF A-V Audn DEAR DR. LAMB: I'm 65 and have an enlarged prostate which my urologist checks annually with his finger. However, I've read that digital examinations are not a perfect screening technique and that probably more than 50 percent of prostate cancers can go undetected if only the finger method is used. Now an apparatus called the TRUS (transrectal ultrasound) has made its appearance and is supposedly much more effective in detecting prostate cancer. DEAR READER: There is no perfect screening test for the detection of prostate cancer. It is true that the digital examination of the prostate through the rectum leaves a lot to be desired. It identifies lumps that are not cancer and it may miss about half of the early cancers. That is because the cancer has to be big enough and on the back side of the prostate to be felt. The transrectal ultrasound test is done by inserting a probe into the rectum and using ultrasound to map the prostate and any tumors in it. It is good in detecting small tumors, but may miss 30 percent of them. It may miss those that are felt by the finger and the finger may miss those detected by ultrasound. It may identify areas that are suspicious of cancer but which are not cancer. There is considerable disagreement about which method is best. Ultrasound is certainly more expensive. It is a great tool for guiding where to biopsy the prostate if a suspicious area or lump is identified and it helps to determine the extent of existing cancer. It is also very useful in following a patient's progress as during radiation treatment. Read Special Report 71, The Prostate Gland, for more information on diagnosis and treatment. Others who want this report can send $2 with a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope for it to THE HEALTH LETTER71. P.O. Box 787, Gibbstown, NJ 08027-9908. DEAR DR. LAMB: You recommended distilled water if you were concerned about your drinking water. I have a home water distiller and I am very happy with the water, but an acquaintance told me that distilled water is bad for you. She said since it had nothing in it, it is "hungry water" and can actually leach minerals from the body. Is this possible? What is this theory based on? I also get occasional comments that I should not be taking all the "healthful" minerals out of my drinking water. Is this true? DEAR READER: No, distilled water will not leach the minerals out of your body at all. That's nonsense. Your kidneys control the loss of minerals, retention of water or elimination of water. What really counts is a balanced diet that provides the source of minerals you need, such as calcium in dairy products. Rely on your diet, not your water, for minerals. But if there are minerals in your water, they will be handled just like minerals in your food. Too much sodium in water can be harmful to patients who need to limit sodium. Lead in water can be very harmful. The calcium in "hard" water is just like calcium in milk, but it is not a significant or adequate source for calcium. DUNAGIN'S PEOPLE "MONDAY'S k rtOUPW... GOVERNMENT OFFICES AMP W STILL OPEN WILL BE CLCSEP."

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