I I News Tribune Sunday September 18 1988 F5 I i I Sometimes they pledge a lesion to the The Bush campaign has homed in on Dukakis’ problem with the Pledge of Allegiance with a vengeance evening up the score for the Dukakis hits on Quayle’s service with the National Guard during the Viet Nam War Kind of makes me wonder what all the fuss is about I mean we're not talking about a card-carrying Communist here We're talking about a- Governor who thinks the Pledge should not be mandatory' I don’t happen to agreebut even that isn’t the issue-The issue really is just what is the Pledge of Allegiance and what does uttering' it before the start of any function really prove? So we sing The Star Spangled Baiiner before sporting events Does that mean sports fans are more patriotic than opera fans? If I recite the Older executives I -a II Whenthe gray-haired older man a knapsack draped from his shoulder and a book in his hand marched to the library circulation desk at Santa fe miMi Two Cosmonauts spaced out Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Lyakhov turned the switch on the engine that would soon propel him and his comrade in space Abdul Ahad Momand back to Earth Lyakhov and Momand were on a routine mission in their Soyuz T-5 capsule traveling approximately 234 miles above the Earth’s surface “Won’t be long now com-radeqntil we’ll be back in Soviet Union as heroes” said Lyakhov “And get new hats and shoei’” said a smiling Momand Thh engine purred for approximately a minute and then suddenly shut down “Uh-oh” said Lyakhov “What is this ‘uh-oh’?” asked Momand: "You have accident in spacesult?” "Worse comrade” said Lyakhov: “The engine it has stopped’ “What should we do?” “I’m not certain Hand me screwdriver” Lyakhov worked frantically but the engine remained silent "What does this mean?” asked Momand becoming a bit nervous “If engine starts again it means nothing” explained Lyakhov “And if it doesn’t?” asked Momand “Bad scene” explained Lyakhov “We will run out of air and food and die” “And no new hats and shoes '" said Momand "This is some deep doo-dinski we’re in” How they voted St Lucie County The following issues were among those voted on by theSL Lucie uouniy Cuuimission at its Tuesday Sept ( meeting: To proclaim Sept 13 1988 “St Lucie Mets Day” in St Lucie County for winning the Florida State Baseball League Championship on Sept 11 - J HavertTenn yes: Jim Minix yes: Jsck Krieger yes: Judy Culpepper yes Dele Trefelner yes To grant conceptual approval to a plan to protect public drinking water wells from pollution - i Fenn ‘yes: Minix yes Krieger yes Culpepper yes Trefelner yes To table the question of whether or not to reappoint Mabel Fawsett and Pat Ferrick to the St Lucie County Planning and Zoning Commission Fenn yes Minix yes Krieger yea Culpepper yes Trefelner yes rt i To proclaim Sept 17 “Local Prisoner of War Recognition Day” Fenn'yes Minix yes Krieger yes Culpepper yea Trefelner yes IMN1 To proclaim the week of Sept 19 "Florida Industry Annreciation Week" mimii Fenn' Ves Minix yes Krieger yes Culpep-per yes Trefelner yes M ir Port St Lucie The'following issues were among those voted on by the Port St Lucie City Council at its Tuesday Sept IS meeting: To approve a developer’s request to close Trenton Lane from Port St Lucie Boulevard to Crescent Avenue 1 Pledge of Allegiance before launching my boat on a fishing trip does that make me a better American? Somehow I don’t think so Let’s face it many people don’t think about the words anyway and most grade school children haven’t the faintest idea what they mean Come to think of it there are probably a lot of adults who have never given much thought to the words either they simply ssy them by rote So just for the heck of it let's see what this short pledge does say and mean I pledge (promise) allegiance (loyalty) to the flag (a piece of doth or bunting used as a symbol and especially s a national emblem ) of the United States of America (a group of small states organised into a larger state for the common good Community College in Gainesville the other day three teen-age students milling nearby snickered The man turned suddenly Lewis Grizzard Lyakhov still unable to restart the engine called to Mission Control back in the Soviet Union "Mission Control" he began in his best Chuck Yeager voice “this is T-5 and we’ve got a little ol' trouble up here Probably nothing to worry about but just thought we’d let you know" “What is the nature of your trouble?" asked Mission Control “Engine won't start” “Too bad” said Mission Control “You will soon run out of air and food and die Have you checked battery?” “That’s a 10-4 Mission Control Also checked spark plugs and fan belt” “Then check carburetor" “Check carburetor" Lyakhov said to Momand who raised the hood of the space craft and looked at the engine “Try now” said Momand “Nothing” said Lyakhov “Careful not to flood” said Mission Control still the engine would not start and Mission Control could hear the uneasiness begin to V but withholding rights unto themselves) and to the Republic (a form of government) for which it stands (which it represents) one nation under God (there is no comma after "nation" no pause) indivisible (not able to be divided) with liberty (freedom) and justice (fair treatment under the law) for all everyone So let’s try that from the top I promise to be loyal to the have their work cut out for glaring at the students They attractive well-dressed and embarrassed walked away After the man checked out the book I followed him outside stopped build in the cosmonauts’ voices “I hate it when this happens” said Lyakhov Said Momand “Perhaps we should say prayer” “But we do not pray in Soviet Union” said Lyakhov “I was in Catholic Church in United States" said Momand “I know prayer Bow head and repeat after me ’Under the ‘B’ 17 Under the 0’ 75” “Bingo!” cried Lyakhov “Get engine started?” asked Mission Control “No” said Lyakhov “Win toaster” Fortunately Lyakhov was able to get the reentry engine started again and he and Momand were able to land safely-back in the Soviet Union Neither ever participated in a Soviet space program again however Lyakhov joined the Bolshoi Ballet and Momand defected to the United States won the Florida lottery and bought Eastern Airlines Lewis Grizzard is a syndicated columnist who writes tor the Atlanta Constitution Willism McChesney no: Hugh “Pat” Kelly no: Tom Hooper no Shirley Conti yes: Frank Alexander absent To approve a 1988-1989 property tax rate of $218 per $1000 of taxable property value McChesney yes Kelly yes Hooper yes Conti yes Alexander absent To approve a 1988-1989 general fund budget that includes $87 million in revenues and $79 million in expenditures McChesney yes Kelly yes Hooper yes Conti yes Alexander absent Fort Pierce The following issues were voted on at the Sept 12 special meeting of the Fort Pierce City Commission: To adopt on first reading the tax rate of $468 per $1000 of taxable property value Bob Bluestone yes Bob Burdge no Darrell Drummond yes: Gloria Grimyser absent William Dannahower absent To adopt on first reading the city’s $146-million budget for 1988-89 Bluestona yes Burdge no Drummond yea Grimyser absent Dannahower absent School Board The following issue was voted on Sept 15 at a special meeting of the St Lucie County School Board: To approve a $1123 million budget that includes an overall tax increase ol 128 percent Tom Coes yes Samuel Gaines yes Mary Goodenow yes Judy Miller yes Susan Minchi no Dick Schmidt Got a minute? symbol of this nation and to the form of government that symbol represents which is one countiy under God made up of many local groups which cannot be divided and which gives freedom and fair treatment to everyone Apparently we can go two ways from here In one direction we can wonder just why any American would possibly have a problem with having school children recite such a pledge In the other we can him introduced myself as an instructor and writer and I apologized for the students' behavior I liked his face its symmetrical wrinkles solid chin and square jaws Wisdom and integrity shone in his clear blue eyes John (he and I agreed not to use his real name because of ongoing litigation) a 57-year-old executive recently was forced to "voluntarily retire" from the department store chain he had been with for about 17 years He and 25 other professionals older than 50 filed a class action suit against their former employer He said he was taking courses at the college “to keep from dwelling on the hurt of being thrown to the wolves” After 1 spoke with John I did some researh and learned that he and his 25 colleagues aren’t unique They represent thousands of older professionals in corporate America who have been fired or discriminated against in other ways because of their age In John’s case his boss told him to either accept early retirement thereby relinquishing some of his pension and benefits or hang on and risk losing everything when the company reorganizes for the 1990s “There goes the American corporate dream for me My young boss forced me to accept the lesser of two evils Isn’t that what they call a dilemma?" John said “I mean who’s going to hire a 57-year-old executive who’s been issued final walking papers? The whole damned thing stinks When they made me quit I was better at my job and more loyal to the company than ever Did that matter? No But l‘m going to fight the bastards “I know what it is It’s called the bottom line Profit I and folks like me have been around a long time and the company thinks my salary is costing them Laminated First I’ve got to clean up after last week's column op former Circuit Clerk Roger Poitras and St Lucie County’s French-Canadian connection You’d think an old gaffer like me would be more careful but in interviewing Janine Poitras Roger’s widow I “misunderheard” some things Also 1 did something that a sign on State Sen Dempsey Barron’s desk warns against: "Assume nothing” It didn’t help the 32-year veteran Panama City legislator keep his seat in the Sept 6 primary but it’s still good advice I goofed in several places in telling about the Archambault and Forget families who were the vanguard of the French-Canadians who moved to this area in the early part of the century Conrad Forget and his wife the former Armande Archambault (I identified her by her mother's name Anna) had five children not four I left out Theresa Durocher who lives in a Montreal suburb half the year and Fort Pierce the other half and I misspelled the name of another sister Pierrette Lagace I wanted to straighten this out not only for the sake of accuracy but because I’m told a copy of the column is being laminated lor Pete's sake to hang in the new county ad wonder why anyone would feel children living in a free country should have to be forced to recite it But aha! There’s a third direction We can wonder why Bush feels this should be a campaign issue (what an insult to your intelligence as a voter to imply that you’re so stupid you’d rest your whole future on such an issue) just as we wonder why Dukakis feels Quayle’s National Guard service should disqualify him as a viable candidate (should Bush die in office) for the Presidency What I propose is they both get off this nonsense and get down to the real issues Let’s hear Bush explain precisely what he intends to do to continue the prosperity this nation is now enjoying since it's a fair assumption that Reagan who will not be in office is responsible not Bush Let’s too much It’s pure greed Nobody cares about people anymore About the years we gave to our companies Profit at any cost is the new religion and the whole country is suffering because of it These greedy bastards are sending all of us older folks straight to financial hell They didn’t even give me a gold watch They didn't even show me the door I had to find it myself” Under the US Age Discrimination Act schemes such as those against John and others have been illegal for 21 years But since 1981 according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 27000 workers filed age-discrimination claims each year a figure more than double the number of similar claims filed each year before 1981 So blessed by Ronald Reagan’s apotheosis of the business person much of corporate America is waging a dirty unconscionable war against older professionals Nationwide patterns of age discrimination — particularly involving forced retirement — are amply documented Fortunately because juries consist mostly of employees rather than employers and because many inept company bosses leave fetid paper trails scores of age-discrimination victims are garnering million-dollar settlements Reports show that corporate giants such as Dresser Industries Pan American World Airways and European American Bank paid mega-bucks for their alleged wrongdoing Others such as Xerox and Jor for the first time ministration building dedicated to Roger Poitras' memory I’ve been doing columns for a lot of years and I don't think one has ever been laminated before Lampooned and lambasted but never laminated Speaking of making errors I'll let you in on a dark little secret One of the finest colum- -nists the News Tribune ever had the late great Tom Cope intentionally slipped errors into his pieces That way he’d have material for future columns straightening out the boo-boos I can assure you my errors are not intentional m CUM GRANUM SAL: On account of because I was born and raised here I'm qualified to have opinions about the weather and I’m glad to share them with newcomers to the area — and it seems like most everyone these days is a newcomer When August came to an end flag hear him tell what he intends to do to encourage the Soviets to abandon some of their more warlike ways Let's hear just how Dukakis feels about national defense Just a couple of months ago he ridiculed the Strategic Defense Initiative now he says he thinks more research should be funded Let's hear why we should believe he won't do to the citizens of the nation what he did to the citizens of his home state promise no tax increases but get them anyway But most important of all let’s hear not how well each candidate can recite the Pledge of Allegiance but how each will fulfill its most important promise: liberty and justice for all Dick Schmidt Is a News Tribune columnist who lives in Port St Lucie them Bill Maxwell Against the grain dan Marsh are embroiled in class action suits Even so experts say many corporations have instructed their attorneys to devise “legal” ways of ousting older executives In some circles this process is called “pruning corporate dead-wood” A spokesman for the American Association of Retired Persons said he agreed with John that age — traditionally valued as a sign of experience wisdom and loyalty — has become a liability in business “Ironically age is something that overtakes everyone” the AARP representative said “The blow-dried youngster who fires today's 50-plus professional will himself be 50 one day Who will protect him? The way things are going he stands a good chance of getting a taste of his own medicine “I think we must redefine the rights of older workers We must also reassess the value we place on loyalty and experience Why is age suddenly an automatic liability? If a person has been with his company 20 years and continues to do an exemplary job he deserves to be kept on and at good salary if that's what he wants But I am afraid that our worship of youth and the merger and takeover frenzy will make matters worse before they get better Older executives certainly have their work cut out for them” Bill Maxwell is a News Tribune columnist you thought the hot weather ' would subside Wrong We're having what I refer to as “old-timey” September weather when it threatens to rain — or does rain — every day The actual temperatures may not be quite as high as they were in August but I’ll bet you’re sweating more and enjoying it less That's the humidity folks and September is full of it Hang in there One day in October you’ll notice a slight change The temperature may not be much lower but the air will be drier and you'll know that fall is here And then comes winter when Florida is glorious Knowing that several months of blue skies drier air and cool evenings are on the way is the only thing that makes September bearable That and air conditioning Bob Enns is the News Tribune's tutorial page editor mi m - - — - - I -U — U - - - ikaonmm)'
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