Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on August 3, 1987 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Monday, August 3, 1987
Page 4
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THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL OPINION EDITORIAL Protectionist trade bills Now that both houses of Congress have passed trade bills, House and Senate conferees must radically alter this legislation if they hope to avoid a presidential veto. Congress is to blame for this predicament. Its members let the trade bill grow like an amoeba that ultimately encompassed all kinds of amendments whether they pertained to trade or not. When all was said and done, the Senate version had swollen into a 1,000-page monster in bad need of judicious pruning and modification. Ironically, the trade bills are patently antitrade. Both versions are far too protectionist. They seem to focus on ways to retaliate against countries with large surpluses in trade with America and nations which allegedly impose .unfair restrictions on imports. There's little doubt that the Gephardt amendment, which prescribes rigid formulas to punish countries with a trade surplus, will be watered down, as well it should be. Nevertheless, protectionism has its supporters. The Senate voted 71-27 for this ill- conceived trade package despite the threat of a presidential veto. Still, the 218-214 House vote to approve the Gephardt amendment indicates that the measure is in for a rough ride in conference. The trade bill's noblest intention, of course, is to decrease the staggering American trade deficit. Unfortunately, the legislation ignores the fact that the United States, as well as the rest of the world, prospers when trade barriers are minimized and trade levels maximized. What's worse is that Congress — intent upon bashing foreign competitors — will inevitably hurt the American consumer who is destined to pay higher prices if protectionism succeeds. This country cannot continue to rescue American industries that lose their markets to producers abroad. One bad idea contained in the Senate bill is would grant power to dictate foreign policy to an obscure federal agency, the International Trade Commission, rather than to the president, who now has that responsibility. In conference, this misguided proposal should die quickly. The Senate also included an amendment that infuriated some of its Democratic and Republican members. It would require employers to give 60 days' advance notice of plant closings; if the plant failed to comply, it would be liable for back pay and fringe benefits for employees who lost jobs. Without a doubt, House and Senate conferees should remove that organized labor- instituted amendment. It does not belong in a trade bill. Many measures crept into both the Senate and House bills merely to appease special interest groups, or to give lawmakers more direct control over foreign trade policy, rather than remaining content with their advise-and- consent role. Congress is now on a summer recess. While in their home states and districts, we hope their constituents question their senators and representatives about the possible effect this trade bill would have on the American economy. The answer may be sobering: The bill could depress the economy rather than stimulate it through competition. That could mean that American consumers will pay for this congressional folly—by paying higher prices for their goods. Letter policy JACK ANDERSON Navy gumshoes all wet WASHINGTON — The sudden collapse of the Naval Investigative Service's espionage cases against some of the Marine guards at the Moscow embassy shocked many Americans. But it came as no great surprise to Rep. Jim Bates, D-Calif. The San Diego congressman, who was a Marine corporal himself as a young man, has been saying for years that the investigative service, is one of the most incompetent, undisciplined and abusive organizations in the U.S. military. Bates thinks the investigative service should be eliminated, and he introduced legislation to this effect last year. The congressman and his staff experts argue thai: — Naval Investigative Service agents abuse their authority by using unethical interrogation techniques and extracting confessions by intimidation, lies and trickery. — The Navy detectives rarely tape-record interrogations, relying instead on their recollections as evidence against the accused. It's also rare, Bates said, that they write down statements that would work in the suspect's favor. — Finally, Bates charged, NIS agents are heavily influenced by their uniformed superiors, who sometimes use them to retaliate against troublesome subordinates or to derail investigations that might implicate Navy brass hats. The Moscow Marines investigation wasn't the Navy detectives' first foulup — just- the one that made the biggest headlines. Bates wants a House investigation into the case of Tim Reid, a civilian electrical engineer who blew the whistle on a wasteful program "four years ago and became a target of the NIS flatfoots. Our reporter Daniel Kaufman has elicited Reid's story from interviews and Navy documents. In July 1983, Reid discovered at least $200 million in unnecessary costs in the overhaul of Sea Nymph class nuclear submarines at San Diego. He reported this to his superiors, but instead of winning a commendation, he was subjected to what he calls "a number of reprisals" by the Navy brass. Reid was stripped of his security clearance and bounced from job to job five times. His travel expenses were questioned by Pentagon lawyers. The alleged reprisals against Reid also included two NIS investigations in the last 10 months. The first occurred while Reid was vacationing in Europe last September. As he learned later, Naval Investigative Service agents tried to determine whether he had made plans to visit Syria or the Soviet Union. After questioning Reid's friends and family, and checking the stamps in his passport, the Navy dropped that investigation for lack of evidence. Then, last December, while Reid was working in Hawaii, his boss in San Diego allegedly found a "murder threat" on his desk consisting of a hostile note, a broken Darth Vader cup and an ace of spades. Reid, who said he was led to believe he was being summoned to discuss the Sea x Nymph matter, found himself being accused of sending the threat. Reid says the investigators tried trick questions, cajolery and intimidation to get him to confess. At one point an agent asked for permission to search Reid's home for a deck of cards missing the ace of spades. "Absolutely not," Reid said he replied, adding: "But I do know a number of people in command who aren't playing with a full deck." That investigation was also dropped. Washington Wire Little boys fight over debates The Journal welcomes letters from our 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, AH 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 (he volume of letters received, some letters may be edited because of space requirements. By EVANS WITT AP Political Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The fight over who will sponsor presidential debates in 1988 sounds a bit like a children's spat: The little boys say it's just that big sister doesn't have to do their homework anymore. Big sister retorts it is just "bully talk" from the boys as they try to steal her special project. But this doesn't involve children. It's the League of Women Voters defending its position during the last three election as sponsors of the debates against the national parties, the television networks and others who say they will put on debates this time around. The league loosed its latest barrage in the debate wars Tuesday, announcing the four cities that will host its general election debates with presidential and vice presidential candidates: Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Birmingham, Ala. The political parlies had fired their.rounds earlier in the month, laying down four dates — but no sites—- for general election debates and claiming commitments from all their candidates to participate. As Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul Kirk talked about putting the dates and the candidates together, he said the parties have grown up and surpassed the league. He said it is like "a little boy whose older sister did his homework for some time. It doesn' t mean that that can go on forever. At some point, we've got to take up our own responsibilities." But league president Nancy M. Neuman called that patronizing. "It sort of sounds like bully talk." In addition to the battle to keep its role in the general election, the league is fighting the war on another front — trying to retain a role in sponsoring primary debates among the presidential candidates. And the battle on this front has gotten tough and confusing. Early this year, the league announced dates and sites for two pairs of candidates debates — one set in February in New Hampshire and one in March in Tennessee. But now just about everybody is jumping into the fray with its own debate plans. MONDAY, AUGUST 3,1987 LETTERS Answer lies within To The Editor: ' . .>„. Isn't God (however we may conceive of Him ov It) a concept of good, of purpose to join together, instead of separate?, (Mightn't religions focus on eliminating our faults and developing our assets, and to see and help bring about the good in everyone? If this ,is so, aren't there many ways, neither wrong nor right, only personal? Who am I to say God is not back of people who strive, through their own efforts, to become better in themselves and for the betterment of the world? How do I know the Buddhists, or anyone, is relying only on their own power to improve, or a higher power, or both? How do I, mortal that I am, know? If the answer to world peace lies within each of us—and I believe it does—who am I to say how we are to turn our minds and hearts around? Maybe the issue is not how, but that we do it at all. And how are we to love, if we bicker? I am saddened when I see someone find fault with one religion in order to elevate another. I am one voice only, in a multitude, and I cry for joy, for love, for understanding not just for or amongst one segment, but for all. The more common ground I can find amongst all of us, the better. Marilyn Sibley Ukiah Save the Skunk line To The Editor: Your June 27 article on the Skunk line is more true than you know. It's about time Ukiah joined Willits and Fort Bragg in opposition to the destruction of the scenic quality along the rail line and the inevitable destruction of the railroad itself. The Board of Supervisors meeting of Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. will have this matter on the agenda. Please attend. Let's get this out in the open. Roger McKenna Fort Bragg Books are basic To The Editor: We write to you as newcomers to Ukiah, moved here in April from Tucson, Pima County, Arizona and less recently from southwestern Connecticut to recommend support for the budget of the Mendocino County Library system. In both areas, the libraries were and are basic in unifying the community. In Connecticut, the library was central to the transition from a declining fanning town to a growing residential area for commuters to New York City and nearby industrial towns. • In Tucson, the county library is a vital link between; the university, with its specialized library, the defense-oriented aircraft industries and its staff, and the army base. Even to us as newcomers here it seems clear that the Mendocino libraries, and their bookmobile, with adequate support, could be vital in serving to unify the widespread rural and residential centers of this pleasant county. It is also clear that the Ukiah building suffers from too small a staff and too restricted a book collection. Yet even these assets, and more particularly its reference resources, as supplemented by inter-library loans, are in danger of being wasted. We accordingly urge an increase in the library budget, not merely a continuation of prior support rates. As future taxpayers we strongly urge that these potentially valuable county assets be preserved, and not allowed to waste away by neglect and inadequate support. Caroline C. Rounds R. Stowell Rounds AH three television networks are planning debates, with NBC and ABC going in December and CBS in March. Newspapers are leading the charge in Dallas and Atlanta for debates in those cities. The New Hampshire political parties are looking for a pair of confrontations. Southern politicians are trying to put together two sets of debates before the regional primary March 8. Groups in Iowa from the Farm Unity Coalition to arms control organizations are setting debate dates. The league maintains publicly that this surge in debates won't have any impact on its plans. But privately, league officials are angry, particularly at CBS News. CBS scheduled its debates for March 3-4, just before the league's planned debates on March 5-6. It's hard to envision the candidates giving up key campaign lime right before the "Super Tuesday" primaries on March 8 for debate, debate, debate, debate. Something has to give and the league fears its debates will be the losers. Almanac Today in History Today is Monday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 1987. There are 150 days left in the year. Today's highlight in history: On Aug. 3,1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships — the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria — on a voyage that would take him to the New World. On this date: In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the outset of World War I. In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the United States following the death of Warren G. Harding. In 1936, the U.S. State Department urged Americans in Spain to leave because of that country's civil war. In 1943, during World War II, General George S. Patton slapped a GI at an Army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton later apologized for this incident, and a second similar episode.) In 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist, publicly accused former State Department official Alger Hiss of having been part of a Communist underground in the United States. . Hiss denied the allegations. In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed by a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League. In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole under water. Ukiah Daily MenckM'inu ( 'uunty. ( 'aliltinim Donald W. Reynold*, Chairman of the Board Thomas W. Reeve*, General Manager John AlDMtllff *ftf WiVf Ptter 0*nlwHil) Composum Supervisor A4v«rtW*Wr»ctor Victor feftinri Preamvwi Supervisor f**' Yvonne B4 Officer Manager Bureau JED MEMBER A GROUP -DOONESBURY LOW HUNK-M, VOW <SOOP WOKIHG BOTH ON AND OFF T&AOWK& MAH9BRVANT. 21,000 KAK iAW, HUNK-M, LIKE SOMANYOFHISPfeKFWtl ~ ... SUIWC& IN CALIFORNIA, Kaa»-^W»»a»w»«iMgeiii

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