Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on September 25, 1987 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Friday, September 25, 1987
Page 4
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OPINION THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL EDITORIAL Effective deterrent Gov. Deukmejian has signed into law a bill that will hit big-time drug dealers where it hurts most: Their wallets. Under the new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, persons convicted of possessing heroin face a maximum fine of $8 million. You read that right, $8 m-i-1-l-i-o-n. Under current statutes, the most someone would pay for heroin possession is $50,000. The new law also makes provision for those convicted of possessing powdered cocaine and crack. Get caught with heroin, coke, or crack weighing less than three pounds and you face a $100,000 fine. Three to 10 pounds will run $1 million; 10 to 25 pounds clocks in at $4 million, and the tab for anything over 25 pounds is $8 million. And this is just the icing on the cake. Convicted drug dealers also face long stretches in the slammer. What better place to ponder the auction of that plush home and fleet of luxury cars to satisfy the judgment? The top fine now for possessing powdered coke or crack is $20,000. Small change for the merchants of death. It's not unusual for many drug dealers to pocket that kind of money in a week, so it makes good sense for law-enforcement officials to raise the ante. But will the new law be vigorously enforced? That is the problem. California is joining ranks with other states that have similar laws mandating tough financial penalties for convicted drug dealers. Yet even the most Draconian anti-drug laws are meaningless if judges lack the will or the courage to enforce them. The deterrent effect of this kind of law can be enormous. Experience has shown that many drug dealers start out small and ultimately get hooked on the astronomical profits. Strip them of the profits and the glitz the profits buy, and all of a sudden dealing drugs doesn't look so glamorous anymore. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25,1987 Encore, encore It reads like something out of a Robert Ludlum novel. A suspected Lebanese terrorist accused of hijacking and blowing up a jetliner two years ago was lured aboard a boat in the Mediterranean and promptly busted by FBI agents. Beautiful. The Lebanese, Fawaz Younis, was the first terrorist suspect arrested abroad and brought to the United States to stand trial under antiterrorist laws enacted by Congress several years ago. At the time they were enacted, the laws were nicknamed "long arm." It fits. The FBI isn't talking, mainly because it hopes to use the tactics again, but apparently the caper went down something like this: Younis was contacted and told that a man or group of men wished to avail themselves of his, ahem, "expertise." When Younis went to meet the client on a boat in international waters, he was arrested. Before he could say "ransom," he was whisked to the U.S. carrier Saratoga operating in the Med, flown to Washington, D.C., and hustled into a heavily guarded federal courtroom. He was ordered held without bond to face trial. Younis was charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy, hostage-taking and destruction of an aircraft, a Royal Jordanian airlinei on which four Americans were passengers. None of the hostages was killed in the June 1985 incident. The suspect faces life in the slammer if convicted. The novel arrest raises immediate concerns that terrorists might retaliate by targeting Americans in the middle East or Europe. The Justice Department, to its great credit, is hanging tough. Said Attorney General Edwin Meese, paraphrasing President Reagan: Terrorists can run, but there's no place they can hide. This is the first international sting pulled off by the FBI. We hope it won't be the last. 'The pope's visit inspired me to do something for my fellow man... now that he's gone, I've reduced my prices 50%." JACK ANDERSON Construction funds are being wasted LETTERS Bork's necessary philosophy To The Editor: The Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court have provided several lessons that Americans, currently in the midst of Constitutional Bicentennialism, would do well to consider. Whether a result of timely accident or a curious manifestation of historical synchronic- ily, the hearings have served to illuminate in stark relief a critical paradox presently confronting a country too long afflicted by the short-sightedness of a liberal Congress and an activist SupremOjCourt. The wisdom of the Framcrs' decision to deny the judiciary direct access to legislative power and initiative has, unfortunately, been compromised by the devices of agenda toting liberals who demand the Court intervene in matters of social policy. Chief Justice Marshall's oft-cited opinion in Marbury vs Madison, while validating the concept of judicial review, at the same time recognized the danger posed by the indiscriminate exorcise of the Court's judicial discretion — a danger come to fruition in the Warren era. The key to the dissolution of this judicial paradox is one that has (bund an admirable proponent in the mind of Judge Bork. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Bork has stressed the court's fundamental duty to refrain from entering directly into the domain of policy. This concept of judicial restraint corresponds to that of the great Justice Felix Frankfurter who wrote, "Our duty to abstain from confounding policy with constitutionality demands perceptive humility as well as self-restraint in not declaring unconstitutional what in a judge's private judgement is deemed unwise or even dangerous." Clearly, Judge Bork subscribes to a judicial philosophy 'that is not only acceptable to the "right" interpretation and application of the Constitution, but absolutely necessary for the proper maintenance of liberty and justice under the law. Jeff L. Anderson Ukiah WASHINGTON — Those congressmen with an ingrained nonchalance about deficits are shaking the money tree again on Capitol Hill. They want to spend $16 billion to house or indirectly help the poor and roll the money over into the indefinite future. The poor deserve a roof over their heads, but the real beneficiaries of the housing legislation will be the bureaucrats who run the program and the real estate developers who will build the housing projects. The bill will subsidize developers and syndicators who, are eager to construct more apartinent complexes. Judging ftpm past experience, these projects win be located where the housing au/horities and construction people decide to build — not where the poor want to live. The figures alone suggest there is no need for new housing in some cities in the first place; surveys show that a number of localities have more rental vacancies than have been available for 20 years. The poor should have no trouble finding apartments; their problem is that they can't afford the rent. President Reagan, therefore, wants to issue housing vouchers to help the poor pay for the rental units of their choice. This would cost the taxpayers only half as much as new construction — which means the .government could aid twice as many poor people for the same money. It also makes more sense to fill the vacant apartments before government funds are spent to build new ones. The U.S. Taxpayers Commission, meanwhile, has found waste galore in government-subsidized housing. For each dollar that was spent in a recent four-year period, the hard-up tenants got only 34 cents in benefits. In contrast, the poor who received housing vouchers in a demonstration program got 84 cents of every dollar. Here is how some housing money appropriated in recent years has been and will be spent: — Atlantic City has more rental vacancies than the national average. Yet the city collected $7.1 million to construct new apartments, presumably for the poor. Instead, the money was sunk into a luxury housing complex, with a creamy-white 14-story center. Two-bedroom apartments will cost as much as $800 a month. — Minneapolis will receive $5.5 million to build a Hilton Hotel, with 800 rooms. — A $3.3 million grant went to South Haven, Mich., for a marina, boat yard, restaurant, 16 condominiums and 200 "dockominiums" at the mouth of trie Black River. 1 — A generous $9.3 million was allocated to Wilmington, Del., for a new office tower for the Chase Manhattan Bank. — Another $3.4 million was earmarked for St. Petersburg, Fla., to renovate a 337-room Hilton Hotel, complete with a swimming pool and tennis courts. In Puerto Rico, San Juan was granted $2.5 million to transform an old hotel into a 190-rpom, art deco-period hotel with a nightclub, restaurants, banquet hall, conference rooms and parking spaces. — Erie, Pa., will receive $4 million to help build a 175-room hotel, with a 250-slip marina. Another $1.5 million will go to Charleroi, Pa., to renovate a melting furnace for Corning Glass. And in Lawton, Pa., $170,000 will be set aside to help build a Dunkin Donuls facility. — New York City is collecting $6 million for a complex to be called the Renaissance Center, which will include a Hilton Hotel. Footnote: Jack Anderson is cochairman, with J. Peter Grace, of the U.S. Taxpayers Commission. It has the bipartisan backing of both liberals and conservatives, who want to stop unnecessary government spending. Its purpose is to keep the facts and arguments alx^l government waste reverberating in the public dialogue. THE BOLT-CUTTING STAGE — Rep. John Dingcll, D-Mich., wants to make it easier for the Pentagon to keep suppliers of substandard, counterfeit steel bolts from getting any more defense contracts. Imported bolts ofinfcrior quality, mismarkcd to look like the genuine, high-strength article, have plagued the military. At present, Ihc Pentagon practically has to prove its case against a shoddy supplier ir court before it can remove it fron the list of qualified vendors. Dingell wants to relax that requirement. He also is taking aim at the advantages that small businesses have in getting defense contracts. Dingell has been told horror stories about unqualified suppliers who slip through the screening process with help from the Small Business Administration. HANSEN UPDATE — Hornier Rep. George Hanscn, R-Idaho, is due to be released from federal prison next month, and a number of his conservative friends and supporters arc planning a gala welcome-home reception in Washington. Hanscn will be heralded with yellow ribbons, according to the organizers, "to symbolize (his) freedom and to welcome him back into the fight for a freer and safer America;" Hansen served about a year for filing false financial disclosure reports with Congress. MINI-EDITORIAL —- A Sun Francisco entrepreneur has had to withdraw a sales pitch for Ollie North dolls at $19.95. Seems (Tie bottom has fallen out of the Ollie- mania market, and the company's hopes of selling 20,000 of the dolls were cruelly dashed. Fewer than 200 Olliemaniacs sent in checks to order the doll. We note with surprise that this super-American item was to have been made in Korea and we note, with a modicum of melancholy, that the patriot who thought up the hustle figures to lose $20,000 on the deal. Editorial Sampler Sept. 10 The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, on where to spend science dollars: Nothing cpuld prove worse for American science in the long run than for Congress to be swept up in the hoopla and political huckstering that has so characterized state competition for the superconducting super-collider. The SSC is the giant atom smasher, 53 miles in circumference, that would be the world's largest and most expensive research ment. ... Construction of the SSC probably would cost upwards of $6 billion, create thousands of jobs, and bring the lucky state priceless prestige and other benefits. .. The central question is how America should spend $6 billion on science. Should it be on physics or cancer, heart disease, reducing the toll from trauma, treating Alzheimer's disease, curing acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or any of hundreds of oilier urgent problems? ... Sept. 13 Chattanooga (Tenn.) News-Free Press on small business: In Congress, there are several proposals pending to require businesses to provide certain new benefits for employees. That may sound like a good idea, but the effect on business — especially struggling small businesses — has to be tak n into account. ... Hearty congratulations To The Editor: Having had some little to do with the multimillion dollar bond issue which built San Jose's magnificent city hall in the laic 1950s, we can doubly appreciate the really -fantastic transformation of an old school into a truly wondrous city edifice. Hearty congratulations on good thinking regarding making use of a still functional structure and an excellent, 'in-town' location. We sincerely wish the City of Ukiah a glorious opening and good uses for that most beautiful building. We recently noted the unique, "staircase" entrance which further adds to the magnificence of Ukiah's pridcful new City Hall. . . . „ '" Henry M. Plymlre Willits A fantastic effort To The Editor: I received a letter the omcr day, a complimentary one indeed, yet I feel an obligation to include many other people in their same response because they also deserve some recognition too, because of their response, the giving and generosity that they displayed. 1 helped in assisting a good friend, in which I donated myself, when the Jerry Lewis M.D.A. (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Phonothon look place on Sept. 6, 1987. But my thanks go directly to the citizens of Ukiah, our county residents and outlying communities of Mcnclo and Lake counties. Their participation entered into this whole affair when they responded to give from their heart instead of allowing words or voices saying "I might consider it," or "1 don't want to promise or commit myself." My appreciation and thanks go to our people of Mcndocino County as well as many calls came from far beyond outside our rural community of Ukiah. Because of the generosity, phone pledges and other donations, 1 take great pride and joy of living amongst such a friendly atmosphere and being one of your neighbors and being a part of your delightful community of Ukiah. I would really like to remind you local citizens who participated or gave your time or donations for this wonderful cause, please remember the merchants and businesses whose supporting people that assisted our volunteers to operate these telephones for that 24 hour (period) of time. We ought to each compliment each and every one of them for their sharing and participation in this event. Remember: Ralcy's Supermarket for their mayonnaise, mustard, cheeses, and paper plates; Bob Huff, meat department, Forks Market, for their lunch meats; Porno T.V., use of a television; Century Cable for their cable hookup; Jim York, of Pepsi-Cola, for their selections of soft drinks; Wonder Bakery, br<;ad; Round Table Pizza, a large pizza; Da Vinci s Pi/./a, a large pizza (delivered personally). By the way, I forgot to mention the fact, but the recent total count of pledges made during the telethon was a fantastic 55,848. We surpassed last year's total by $1633. Congratulations Ukiah Valley. Don R. Madden Ukiah Ukiah Daily Mtndocino uounty, <'aliform. Donald W. Reynolds, Chairman of the Board Thomas W. Beeves, General Manager John Anastasio Managing Editor Dem* Hall Composing Supervisor Bruce SchlabauKh Advertising Director Victor Martinez »Tess Supervisor Eddie Sequeira Display Advertising Manager Yvonne Bell Officer Manager Claire Booker • Circulation Manager ' > Mfiiiii.T Audit Bureau LUCALIY OPERATED MEMUl M OONREY MEDIA GROUP -DOONESBURY .THATOLP PIKTBAG HAP TO PO WAS HOLPOHFOZ TWO/MQK& UV5Y/HINUTeS./^^^ ' \ i *". ".'/ *,j INSTSAP, I'M tfFTWITH AN i' UNSIGNED BANK. AUTHORIZATION CAW ANP $2*0,000 SIR, IF I MAY ASK, UH£f!E PIP yOU GST THATKJNP OF FINANCING'? I THOUGHT THE COMPANY M pM^' mttersunsi OHTH5/R. WAV UP, SIR.

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