Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on September 23, 1987 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 23, 1987
Page 4
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THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL OPINION WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23,1987 EDITORIAL Political phenomenon Despite the near fiasco in preparing the state's bid for the multibillion-dollar supercol- lider, the California legislature ended its session recently with some major bipartisan breakthroughs. The lawmakers deserve credit for a productive session, but more credit goes to Gov. Deukmejian, whose persistence was pivotal during the proceedings. "I'd hate like hell to be in a poker game with that man," said Sen. John Seymour, R- Anaheim. Yet in a sense that is precisely where the lawmakers found themselves in the waning weeks of the session. The smart money said there was no way that Deukmejian would get what he wanted, given the stalemate in Sacramento over tax reform, tax rebates and the placement of a prison in Los Angeles County. When the smoke cleared, however, the Duke prevailed on each of these issues by simply {•landing firm with a pat hand and persuading his opponents to fold. The clearest case in point was the governor's ability to gain an income-tax rebate. For several months, the Democratic- controlled Legislature had promised to divert much of the state's $1.1 billion revenue surplus to education and other social programs. But overconfident Democrats, dissatisfied with the Deukmejian compromise offer of $700 million, held out for the whole hog—to spend the entire bundle. The Duke kept his cards close to his vest and called the Democrats' bluff, suggesting they would be hard put to justify their extravagances to an angry electorate come 1988. When the deadlock lasted beyond the legal deadline, the Democrats forfeited their surplus game and the checks will be in the mail to taxpayers in the not-too-distant future. Similarly, the governor stood his ground on tax reform. He warned the Democrats that he would veto any bill that did not closely conform to the Federal Tax Reform Act of 1986. Thereupon Sen. John Garamendi, D- Stockton, guided two compromise measures through the Legislature that were consistent with what the governor wanted. Consequently, 71 percent of Calilomians will realize a reduction in their 1987 taxes, and all taxpayers will benefit from a simplified filing process. The prison victory was no less impressive. In July, it appeared the newly constructed prisons in San Diego and Stockton would remain empty because of the lawmakers' refusal to site a prison in Los Angeles County. After some skillful behind-the-scenes maneuvering, the governor and his staff were able to open the prisons and get a commitment from the Legislature to build two prisons in Los Angeles County. To be sure, the governor didn't get everything he wanted. His proposal to transfer more water through'the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta southward through the California Aqueduct was stymied. And the Democrats' pigheadedness on unrealistic minority set-asides nearly took the state out of the running for a $4.4 billion federal atom-smasher project. A political phenomenon is how Deukmejian continues to win far more than he loses from a Legislature that has been controlled by the Democrats during his five years in office. Letter policy The Journal welcomes letters from pur readers. However, we reserve the right not to print those letters we consider may be libelous, in bad taste or a personal attack. Letters must not exceed 300 words in lenght and should be typed and double-spaced. All letters must be signed and include an address and phone number for verification. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Addresses will not be printed, but the writer's name will appear. Because of the volume of letters received, some letters may be edited because of space requirements. RICHARD REEVES Reagan's a liar — and so are you, Reevesk NEW YORK — Depending on how you do the arithmetic, Ronald Reagan has raised taxes from 10 percent to 20 percent during his presidency. That thought came to me in the mail from Gilbert Noble of Vista, Calif. "Deficit spending is more taxes," said Noble, an accountant. "It's the same thing as using your credit card on a vacation. If you pay $1,000 cash and charge $2,000, then your vacation costs $3,000." What Reagan has done, of course, has been to defer his tax increases, but they are as sure as death. The Democrats, Noble went on, must go on the offensive on taxes, pointing put "that $2 trillion added to the national debt is in fact additional taxes. ... For Reagan to say he has not raised taxes is a lie and a cruel hoax." That letter, better than some of the stuff coming from the speech- writers for Democratic presidential candidates, was one of more than 200 from readers waiting for me after a month away from the office. That was a little higher than usual, but the total was padded by the Oliver North bundle — 20 saying my attacks on the Marine colonel were a national service, 42 saying I should be deported for maligning a great American. "Can you tell a pretty lie, Ollie Boy, Ollie Boy?" was the title of a poem I liked sent by Dave Lipner of Miami, who identified himself as a Marine veteran of World War II. "I cannot believe the stupidity of people making North a hero," said Mrs. Florence Engler, an 82-year- old from Syracuse, N.Y. There was more, but it was balanced (and then some) by such comments, the printable ones, as: "Offensive beyond description," from Floyd L. Stewart of Houston; "left-wing slime" from Bob Pearson of Cleveland; "sponsored by the Kremlin" from "World War n veteran" of Dayton; and, the one that made my day, "Of all of them, you, sir, are the worst s.o.b. yet," from John B. McMaster of Albuquerque. Frank Sherzam of Wautoma, Wis., got in the first letter asking if I had considered whether CIA director William Casey was murdered to silence him. I have, but I don't take it as seriously as Garry Trudeau might. Although I can't always answer, I do read all my mail — the good, the bad and the ugly. I was reminded why this summer by a letter from Mrs. Joan Battey of Appala- chin, N.Y. "Is anyone out there," she said in the last sentence of a thoughtful letter on the role (and decline) of the American press, "or are we bouncing signals off one- way answering machines?" "You in the media broke faith with us," Mrs. Battey wrote, focus- ing on press glorification of businessmen without scruples, entertainers without talent, writers without ideas. "You clutched the coattails of the very people who were methodically destroying America, fawning over those people ... writing and speaking not the truth but what would bring you the same sort of fame in 15 minutes of the spotlight." She proposed "a large unencumbered, idealistic think tank, one that uses brains, not computer printouts from adulterated, selected input data." A half-dozen readers, the first was Elizabeth L. Knerr of Ceres, Calif., caught me in what they considered a double grammatical error. I wrote, "Let he who is without sin ..." and "It was me" in the same column. They all felt I should have used "him" and "I." Sorry, I would like to keep the faith on some tilings. Finally, from Atlanta, I received an angry letter from a British subject, a law student in Georgia, complaining about my periodic flights into mild Anglophobia. "If you don't like Great Britain," he said, "bloody well stop writing about it." The letter was signed Joseph D. Calvcrt, Lord Baltimore XIII. Like most of the other letters I found on returning, it made me think that perhaps I'm attracting a higher class of readers these days. ART BUCHWALD Analyzing Dan Rather's 'black hole' WASHINGTON — The Dan Rather "black hole," as it has become known in news circles, is probably one of the most unique things to have happened in television. This is what took place. Dan was down in Miami to cover the Pope and anchor the "CBS Evening News." To Dan's chagrin CBS Sports was broadcasting a whale of a tennis match between lady stars Lori O'Neil and Steffi Graf. Dan was informed that the "Evening News" might have to be cut to make time for the tennis. Rather was furious and said if CBS Sports cut into his show, then CBS Sports could do all the news that evening. It was a standoff until 6:30 rolled around and Rather was told he had to hold off on the Pope until the tennis game was over. Dan, in fury, took off his mike and walked out of the studio to call his boss in New York. Now it gets interesting. While Rather was in the hall the tennis match ended. But there was nobody in the studio to present the evening news. So CBS went to black — pitch black — while CBS network executives from New York to Key Biscayne were screaming at each other, "My TV set is on the fritz!" After six minutes of blackness Dan came back on the air with an upbeat report on the Pope. But it was too late. Ever since that night, known as "Black Friday at Black Rock," the CBS brass have been scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened and what can be done about it. Chairman of the Board Larry Tisch said, "This will never happen again." Howard Stringer, the CBS News president, said it even more strongly, "This will never happen again!" Three thousand CBS executives opened their windows and shouted, "This will never happen again!!" It is one thing to say it, but another to actually do something constructive. A source at CBS told me that one of the ideas the executives came up with is to station a pit bulldog by Rather's desk. Every time Dan makes a move toward the door the bull will start chewing his leg. Another idea, in case the pit bull doesn't work out, is to put Rather in chains in the control booth with Diane Sawyer holding the key. A news producer wants to let Dan sit in the umpire's chair at the tennis open and adjudicate the match on center court. Hopefully, by calling the matches, Rather will develop as much interest in tennis as he has in Afghanistan. It will also give him an opportunity to go straight from McEnroe to Judge Bork without a break. A TV expert on black holes has come up with voice-over audio tapes that would automatically start playing if CBS screens all over America darkened. The voice would s?v, "Don't turn the dial. LETTERS Stop the carnage To The Editor: Growing concern is evident about the question of whether the animal shelters and pounds of this nation should continue to supply animals for use in research, testing and education. The controversy involves animal defenders on the one side, opposed by the experimenters, who are accustomed to viewing the shelters as a convenient and cheap source of live laboratory material. The defenders insist that no pound or shelter should relinquish its animals to laboratories for procedures which are frequently painful and frivolous, and they have succeeded in banning pound seizure in 11 states and a number of municipalities. Recently, some powerful defenders have arisen in the United States Congress. Senator Wendell H. Ford of Kentucky and Representative Robert J. Mrazek of New York have introduced legislation which would effectively ban the practice of pound seizure country-wide. Those of us who support the Ford and Mrazek legislation are the same people who are working hard to end pet overpopulation. Fifteen million unwanted animals arc killed every year by the humane societies which must accept the pathetic victims of human irresponsibility. Through public education and spay/neuter programs we are trying to solve a problem which the research community has been content simply to exploit. The viviscctors' decision to capitalize on this tragedy has led many of them, most recently Michael DeBakey, M.D., to make the spurious claim that the future of medical research depends upon the perpetuation of the animal overpopulation tragedy, with continued access to the victims of human negligence. Experimenters have also devised other excuses to justify their assault on the integrity of the shelter concept, arguing that (1) every medical advance of the 20th century has been a result of animal experiments, (2) the use of pound animals makes good economic sense and (3) the animals do not suffer any pain. They have trampled roughshod over the truth in making such claims. Even if true, they miss the point, which is that we humans have failed in our responsibility to the dogs, cats and other animals who share our lives. The historic mission of animal shelters has been to serve as the last refuge for those of our animal friends who have been denied the love and protection of a caring human family. Pound seizure defiles the memory of the shelter founders and reduces the public trust which is crucial to a successful animal control program. If we do not oppose pound seizure, we are saying that we no longer care enough to do right by the victims of human irresponsibility and neglect As one observer suggests, "The issue of pound seizure — the fundamental issue — is not whether we are for or against animal rights. It is whether we are for or against what is best in ourselves." Bernard Unti American Anti-Vivisection Society Jenkintown, Pa. UUSD board, we want sports To The Editor: An Open Letter to the Ukiah Unified School Board: I am one of the many children that go to your school, Pomolita. Last year I participated in your basketball and softball sports programs. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I am an eighth grader and the one thing that I really enjoy about my school is gone. I have nothing to look forward to. I know and understand that a lot of parents are working on this subject. Now let me speak for myself and my friends. We are all real athletic and have needs for sports. ' The sports program that we used to have was a great learning experience and as you know, Pomolita usually did terrific in it. From what I near, there is not enough money for sports. What I and a lot of other people would like to know is what money do we need? If we could get parent transportation and use of the P.E. equipment for practice there is hardly any money needed. We use a large amount of money on the Band so don't you agree with me that we could use a small amount of that money on sports? You have some real talent in this school which I have seen in the past years. I really don't think you should waste it. Laura Crutcher Ukiah An Open Letter to the Board: I wish to express my disappointment and anger over your inaction in regard to reinstating interscholastic sports activities in the Pomolita and Redwood Valley Junior High Schools. Regardless of the efforts of individuals, parents and voters whose petition was presented to you with over 400 signatures in June, it appears you still see fit to do nothing to reinstate these vital programs. Personally, I do not think it is too late. You are the Board — do something. Dianne Harrison Ukiah Ukiah Daily WMfldOCino Bounty, (aliform,. Donald W. Reynolds, Chairman of the Board Thomas W. Reeves, General Manager John Anastasio Managing Editor Bruce Schlabaugh Advertising Director Eddie Sequeira Display Advertising Manager Claire Booker Circulation Manager Dcnise Hall CompoainK Supervisor Victor Martinez » > ress Supervisor Yvonne Bell Officer Manager Member Audit Bureau „( Circulations LOCALLY OPERATED MEMBER OONREY MEDIA GROUP -DOONESBURY f/X YOUU/AHT, pwsMYexau- 00PY! I JUST SENT MY ASSISTANT W5R TO MY 0UNGAUWTOIXCKIT INIC&! SHALL 14JE SAYAU.TH& MON&UP FRONT? HIHA7 POPY? I

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