Standard-Speaker from Hazleton, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1997 · Page 14
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Standard-Speaker from Hazleton, Pennsylvania · Page 14

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Tuesday, September 23, 1997
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r Standard-Speaker HAZLETON, PENNSYLVANIA Tuesday PAGE 16 SEPTEMBER 23, 1997 n IFFuOOT A I' Guest Editorial Is White Mouse using the DRS? Just one of every 100 Americans is audited by the Internal Revenue Service in a given year and, lo and behold, Paula Jones happens to be one of this year's unfortunates. Naturally, the White House insists that Jones' unluckiness of the draw has absolutely nothing to do with her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton. "We may do dumb things from time to time," said spokesman Mike McCurry, "but we are not cer-tifiably insane." Tell that to Billy Dale, former director of the White House travel office. When the Clintons wanted to dump him to give the travel business to a firm owned by family friends they sicked the FBI on Dale. He was indicted on trumped-up charges of financial misconduct, only to be found innocent by a jury. So if the White House used the FBI to go after someone it didn't like, it is not hard to imagine the same White House using the IRS to go after Jones. And if former presidents such as John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had no qualms reportedly about using the tax collection agency against perceived foes, it is conceivable that the current occupant of the Oval Office might do the same. Perhaps the IRS acted entirely on its own on the Jones audit. Since most civil servants working in Washington, D.C. reflect the city's 85 percent Democrat majority, it's altogether possible that a party loyalist might have targeted her. Of course, acting IRS commissioner Michael Dolan will deny that his agency would ever single out a taxpayer for political reasons. But the IRS itself admits that its workers routinely, and illegally, snoop through the taxpayer files of former spouses, neighbors, Hollywood celebrities and political figures. Congress first investigated IRS snooping in 1993. It found that more than 1,300 IRS employees had improperly browsed through confidential taxpayer files. And although the IRS instituted a policy of "zero tolerance" of employee snooping, a recent General Accounting Office report says the policy has failed to deter rogue employees. So if IRS employees brazenly ignore the agency's rules against snooping in taxpayer files, they might also initiate an audit against an individual, like Jones, for political reasons. There is no evidence, so far, that this has happened. But Dolan ought to be hauled before a congressional committee to show that Jones was randomly chosen for audit by a computer, not by a politically motivated employee. He might also explain why the IRS has targeted a disproportionate number of conservative, nonprofit organizations for audit, like the Heritage Foundation, the National Rifle Association and the National Right to Life Committee. And why liberal, nonprofit groups like the Brookings Institute, Handgun Control Inc. and the National Abortion Rights League have had no problems with the IRS. The IRS should be a politically neutral agency. Its powers to audit, to investigate or to prosecute taxpayers should not be used to harass selected individuals or groups. San Diego Union-Tribune Dunagin's People DRIVE 1 CL 61M7 Trfcone Medta Sen cat. Inc. nil rigis (morveu "Give him your order, Frank" Standard-Speaker Continuing the STANDARD-SENTINEL, Established 1866 PLAIN SPEAKER, Established 1882 Published every day by Hazleton Standard-Speaker, Inc., 21 N. Wyoming St. Hazleton, PA 18201 Jane N. Walser Chairman of the Board Paul N. Walser Jr. General Manager Paul N. Walser President and Publisher Stephen H. Walser General Manager John F. Patton, C.P.A., Controller Carl Christopher, Managing Editor Edward J. Socha, Day Editor Jeff Cox, Night Editor Anthony Greco, Sunday Editor Garv Yacubeck, Advertising Director John M. Davis, Assistant Advertising Director Bruce L. Leonard, Classified Advertising Manager Joseph M. Clatch, Pressroom Superintendent William Steinman, rressroom roreman Donald F. Johnson, Composing Room Superintendent Frederick J. Williams, Composing Room Foreman Richard H. De Haven, Circulation Director National Advertising Representative: The Papert Companies Member, Associated Press Member, Audit Bureau of GraJatjon 'Frank Walserrf Franli H. Walser President and Publisher Vice President and Publisher ' (1961-1967) (1977-1984) I thEwDBIOF (SNOWS' Republicans in Congress display hypocrisy on grandest of scales Al Gore working the White House boiler room. Buddhist nuns profaning their sacred vows. Middle East pipelines negotiated through the Democratic National Committee. Hard money, soft money. Looks like Christmas the year 'round for some politicians. On and on it goes, and mostly one-sided. Democrats bending the law to fill their campaign coffers, we're led to believe, while the party of Lincoln and Jesse Helms holds to the high road. We might have supposed the Republicans, who can do pretty much what they please in this Congress, would man the battlements to overhaul a system so defiled by the minority party. But this isn't happening. Exactly three Republican senators have committed their support to the only important campaign reform measure presently pending, the McCain-Feingold bill. With all 45 Democratic members added, this would leave the bill still two votes shy of passage. To his great credit, Fred Thompson, who chairs the Senate campaign investigative committee, plays no cute games. Indeed his open, almost defiant insistence on the need for new campaign laws caused some early problems within his own party. A leadership eager to expose Democratic sins seems strangely reluctant to change present methods for raising campaign cash. Could it be they know that the way things are, the GOP does every bit as well as those thieving Democrats and maybe a bit better? A cynic scanning the majority members of Thompson's committee might sense a reason they're sitting still. Go down the line. Pete Domenici usually has enjoyed a 5-to-l financial edge over challengers in New Mexico. Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter already has raised $3.5 million to discourage potential challengers in 1998. Paul Coverdell of Georgia and Oklahoma's Don Nickles are listed as two of the top three congressional recipients of tobacco lobby largess. You want to talk money laundering? Freshman Sam Brownback, elected to the final two years of Bob Dole's Senate seat from Kansas, spent $2.5 million. His father-in-law spread $35,000 among seven different political action committees which thereupon forwarded checks to Brownback at the legal limit of $5,000. Would Sam be inclined to shut off a spigot like that? Ah, but the House of Representatives now has a separate probe going. Alas, its leader, Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, is himself the piratical Captain Kidd of political fund-raising. Burton made a monetary vacuum cleaner of his Foreign Affairs Committee connections, freely tapping overseas contributors and venting wrath on at least one foreign lobbyist who failed to tithe. Political campaign reform will flow from the " ip "'piiiiiii if-1 lit- - ""j- likes of Brownback or Dan Burton at precisely the moment promoter Don King purifies pro boxing. The level of their commitment to political purity L,0NEL VAN DEERLIN was amply demonstrated when the Senate's 55 majority members selected Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to chair the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. McConnell looks upon campaign contributions the way others see First Amendment rights. "In our society, spending is speech," he says with a reasonably straight face. McConnell will defend to the death a lobbyist's right, nay duty, to give till it hurts. Nor does the Kentuckian cotton to candidates who may occasionally hold to a higher standard. Case in point: Rep. Linda Smith, who will try for the Republican Senate nomination in Washington State next year, has decided she will refuse help from corporate PACs. McConnell, whose duty is to help his party's Senate candidates, regards the lady's ethics with such contempt that he doesn't return her phone calls. In addition to Thompson and sponsor John McCain of Arizona, the only Senate Republican presently declaring support of McCain-Feingold is freshman Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a feisty member of the Thompson committee. All 45 Senate Democrats have signed a statement promising their votes for the reform. McCain-Feingold mainly would ban so-called "soft money unregulated contributions presumably intended for party-building activities but which often have been diverted illegally to individual candidates. In its other major provisions, the bill would reduce to $2,500 the present limit on PAC donations. It would encourage voluntary agreements between political opponents to limit campaign spending and in the face of vigorous opposition from the broadcast industry McCain-Feingold would require stations to provide some free air time to candidates as a condition of keeping their federal licenses. All hands agree that if there is to be campaign finance reform, it must be enacted in a non-election year. Which means it will happen within the next 90 days or not at all. Can a few more Republicans be coaxed from the woodwork? Lionel Van Deerlin, former congressman, is a contributing writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune. Whom do you trust? My friend Moses (a.k.a. Charlton Heston) came to Washington to make his usual pitch for gun ownership and his usual attacks on those who would demand the banning of them. In his presentation at the National Press Club, Heston (a.k.a. Ben Hur) said the Constitution's Second Amendment the right of the people to keep and bear arms is more essential than the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion and the press, among other freedoms. He said, as he parted the Red Sea, "The Second Amendment is America's first freedom the one that protects all the others." Heston also said guns alone are what offer the absolute capacity to live without fear. Mr. Heston said, "I want to save the Second Amendment from those nitpicking little wars-of-attrition fights over alleged Saturday Night Specials, plastic guns, cop-killer bullets and other for-prime-time non-issues invented by some press agent over at gun control headquarters." I may not agree with what Heston has to say, but I will defend with my deadly automatic rifle his right to say it. Men of good will can argue whether it is the gun in Mr. Heston',? closet that makes it possible for him to give a speech, or the First Amendment that guarantees him the right to Art Buchwald do it. The people who don't believe the Second Amendment is necessary in a modern society live in fear that if everyone has a gun they might start using them before making a speech, if for no other reason than to attract attention. Not so, says the National Rifle Association. Everyone knows the media are corrupt, and if all of us were armed, reporters would think twice about what they write in the papers. Where Mr. Heston got into deep trouble was when he said the right to bear arms is more important than the guarantee of freedom of religion. This upset people who believe it was Charlton Heston who brought his people out of Egypt by guaranteeing their right to assemble in the desert. When I asked a clergyman what he thought of the Heston argument, he said, "Thank God he didn't start shooting from the hip before he gave us the Ten Commandments." (c) 1997, Los Angeles Times Syndicate ' - - - i I - - - - - - - fl i - i t r - urn j'ww.'-.' -. ,r;r Kathleen Parker When P.C. Tj becomes part7 of curriculum: In Provincetown, Mass., preschoolers this year will learn about homosexual lifestyles as part of a new, trailblazing curriculum. "It's truly a milestone in education," Jean-nine Cristina, a lesbian mother said recently, remarking on the school boards move to teach sexual orientation along with the ABC's. -l "I'd be so excited to have this happen across the' nation." '." PROVINCETOWN, Mass. "Good morning,.' children, my name is Miss Fleming. I'm very ' happy to be your teacher this year. We're going to do and learn lots of fun and exciting things. First, let's take out our crayons." - Miss Fleming hands out pictures to all the : children. A little boy in the back of the room . v looks at the picture and raises his hand. " "Thank you, Johnny, for raising your hand. " What did you want to ask?" ",; "Miss Fleming, why are these two women . ' holding hands? My mom doesn't hold hands with her friends." '.'" "Very good question, Johnny. Those two v; women are lesbians, and they're holding hands ;, - because they love each other. Lots of women love other women, and they're very happy together. Sometimes they have children like you." "Oh ... But where's the daddy? Don't children it need a daddy?" "Well, Johnny, the child, of course, has a dad-h dy, too, but he doesn't necessarily live with the t lesbians and their child. Sometimes lesbians have babies by borrowing someone's sperm. You " can go to a sperm bank and get sperm just like you can go to a real bank and get money. Men " make a deposit and women make a withdrawal." "Oh." "That's how I got my little girl. It's called arti- ficial insemination. Can you say that, class? Ar-'A ti-fi-shal "- . in-sem-in-a-shun.Very ? fc b 'MiSS good. That means I used FlGmiPQ, someone's sperm to fertilizg why are these y ep and 'a- Rpeat; ' two women that last word- Vwa'la- m hnlriinn Excellent. So early in 5 L rt o hi e day anc a'reaQy we've' hanOS ( My covered vocab and French mom doesn t Johnny raises his hand hold hands again. . ? With her "But doesn't your little friends.' 51 girl ever get to see her daddy? My daddy and I go fishing." "Well, no, at least not yet. Maybe someday ' ' she'll want to meet her sperm donor dad and ' , maybe he'll want to meet her, but we'll cross tha bridge later. Sometimes, fathers don't want to ., know their biological offspring. He was just sharing his sperm so someone else could have a baby,'1; He might go have another baby some other time maybe even with another man." 1,' "A man can have a baby?" Johnny asked, his,";; voice and face betraying amazement. "Our dog ri had babies, but she's a girl. I thought only girls could have babies." "No, a man can't have a baby by himself, but' sometimes he can find a lesbian who'll share one with him. Or he can adopt someone else's baby." ! "Oh ... But if a little boy has two daddies, ' who's his real daddy?" "Well, they both can be his real daddy, or one v-of them can be a good friend, a buddy." . J "Oh ... But what about a mommy? If you have '-two daddies, where's your mommy? My mommy" reads to me at night." . 'r- "I'm glad she reads to you at night, Johnny. I. have some books she can read to you that will . v help explain that not all families are heterosexu- al. Oh, look who just walked in. Children, this is Mr. Ryan, a homosexual who teaches high ',' school. Homosexual men love other men instead of women. That's perfectly normal. Sometimes ' you'll see men holding hands and kissing and , living together. That means they love each othr,' er. "Mr. Ryan is going to explain some of what we'll be learning this year." "Good morning, children," said Mr. Ryan. 'Tm so happy to see all of you here. You know you'r2 in a very special school. You children are goingb learn how to combat racism, sexism, ableism, classism, heterosexism and homophobia and alf 3 forms of oppression and find ways to build a socw ety that includes all people. We're going to teacjFj you children that the world is not made up onljj! of heterosexual, homophobic white people of Euro-Christian descent." ,2f A little girl, holding a doll and looking dis- "v5 tressed, frantically waves her free hand. "But Mr. Ryan, Mr. Ryan." 2 "Yes, you, in the polka-dot sundress?" "My mom and dad told me that I was going to 1 learn my letters and numbers and stuff. I want 1 to learn how to draw a four, cause that's how old I am. Aren't you going to teach us how to read ! and write?" Kathleen Parker, an Orlando Sentinel columnist, welcomes your views and suggestions. Write j Ijg Ms. Pa$er in care of this newspapygr, or contact her by e-mail at kparkerl(AT)aol.com tw (c) 1997 Tribune Media Services, Inc?

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