PAGE 4A OPINION SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 30,2006
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EDITORIAL OTHER VIEWS
Why big rush
TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE The administration also has
resisted saying whether the bill
he desire among congres-
would require any changes in the
sional Republicans to heal CIA interrogation program.
an intraparty rift on terror- Dana Perino, the deputy White
ist interrogation practices before House press secretary, made the
they head home this week to ominous statement that “The
campaign is palpable. So palpable program will still be the effec-
that it seems party members are tive program that it has been.”
ready to grab anything that re- This is the same administration
sembles a compromise and call it that insisted on giving immunity
good. to CIA interrogators who may
Late last week, so-called mav- have previously violated war
erick Republican senators who crimes laws.
had challenged President Bush’s The legislation’s supporters
efforts to rewrite American obli- argue that while the deal provides
gations under the Geneva Con- the White House wide discretion,
ventions emerged from their ne- it also provides an important
gotiations with the administration check: The administration would
and claimed victory. have to publish its rules for inter-
What the senators actually got rogations in the Federal Register,
was something far short. How far providing Congress an opportu-
short is hard to figure because the nity for oversight. Congress might
deal reached with the adminis- not want to hold its breath. White
tration provides few details about House spokesman Tony Snow
how far CIA interrogators would said Friday he wasn’t sure that
be able to go in their attempts to step would be “compulsory.”
extract information from terror- The legislation also unequivo-
ism suspects. cally suspends a bedrock princi- YOUR OPINION
The agreement defines “grave ple of American justice — a sus-
breaches” of the Geneva Conven-
tions and declares them felony
pect’s right to his day in court.
Detainees selected by the Penta-
Encourage federal lawmakers to approve Social Security Fairness Act
war crimes. But the legislation gon for prosecution would have
leaves it to the White House to access to the courts, but other ter- To the editor: and in jobs where they earned earned themselves. to state, there are affected indi-
draw the line on grey-area prac- ror suspects could be held indefi- The Social Security Fairness Social Security benefits, such as This is an education issue — viduals everywhere. The num-
tices that don’t rise to that level nitely without a hearing. At the Act would repeal the Govern- educators who do not earn Social the offsets affect student learn- ber of people affected grows
but could still be tantamount to same time, the measure would ment Pension Offset (GPO) and Security in the public schools, but ing by discouraging talented every day as more people reach
torture; the administration also broaden the definition of unlaw- the Windfall Elimination Provi- who work part time or during the people from entering and stay- retirement age.
would get to decide how viola- ful combatant, allowing the fed- sion (WEP). summer in jobs covered by Social ing in the education profession. The loss of income forces
tions should be punished. eral government to detain more The pension offset reduces Security. The WEP also affects Individuals who worked in oth- some people into poverty. Some
No one knows which interro- people indefinitely. public employees’ Social Securi- people who move from a job in er careers are less likely to want 300,000 individuals lose an av-
gation techniques would be al- Despite these critical unan- ty spousal or survivor benefits which they earn Social Security to become teachers if doing so erage of $3,600 a year due to
lowed. Fewer than 10 percent of swered questions and concerns, by two-thirds of their public to a job, such as teaching, in will mean a loss of earned So- the GPO — an amount that can
the members of Congress have Republicans probably were going pension. The windfall provision which they do not. cial Security benefits. make the difference between
even been told which techniques to push through the legislation reduces the earned Social Secu- Why should these offsets be The GPO and WEP are also self-sufficiency and poverty. Af-
were used in the past. before leaving Friday night on rity benefits of an individual repealed? causing current educators to fected people have less money
Sen. John McCain, the Arizona their election recess. Democrats, who also receives a public pen- The offsets penalize people leave the profession, and stu- to spend locally and sometimes
Republican who was tortured in a fearful of getting painted as soft sion from a job not covered by who have dedicated their lives dents to choose courses of study have to turn to expensive gov-
Vietnamese POW camp, tried to on terrorists, are offering little op- Social Security. to public service by taking away other than education. The offsets ernment programs like food
add some definition over the position. The GPO affects people who benefits they have earned. Nine will particularly hinder efforts to stamps to make ends meet.
weekend, naming three measures How we treat captives in the work as federal, state, or local out of 10 public employees af- attract new math and science We cannot afford to wait any
— extreme sleep deprivation, war on terror reflects our deep- government employees — includ- fected by the GPO lose their en- teachers from the private sector, longer. Tell our federal represen-
forced hypothermia and water- est values as a nation. The policy ing educators, police officers and tire spousal benefit, even who will be unwilling to sacri- tatives to pass the Social Securi-
boarding — that would not be al- deserves more time and consid- firefighters — if the job is not cov- though their spouse paid Social fice earned Social Security from ty Fairness Act (H.R. 147/S. 619)
lowed. But the White House re- eration than Congress is giving ered by Social Security. The WEP Security taxes for many years. their prior careers. to repeal the GPO and WEP!
fused to confirm his assessment. it. affects people who worked in jobs The WEP causes hard-working This is a national problem. Signed,
not covered by Social Security people to lose benefits they Because people move from state Mario Zaragoza, M. Ed.
COLUMN Nixon-Alexander game a good one,but LISD needs a new field Aleutian Island veterans
Fight on terror To the editor:
Last Friday night, I attend-
ed the football game between
field in another location. The
parking lot and the visitor
stands at Shirley Field do not
ers on the same side of the
scoreboard covered the bot-
To the editor:
Aleutian Island Military Veter-
Nixon and Alexander at accommodate the large num- It may be best to move this ans will reunite November 8-10,
Shirley Field. The old stadium ber of fans. Cars are spilling good-looking scoreboard 2006 at 2 p.m. in Laughlin, Nev.
has luscious green grass and a into the streets and neighbor- where people can see the All service branches’ veter-
great-looking digital score- hoods. timeouts remaining, ball loca- ans, guests and spouses are wel-
board. Both teams have sharp The visiting team does not tion and yardage for the first come.
By GARY HARMON notwithstanding. uniforms with great support- have the same amount of spec- down. Football fans like to For information and/or regis-
COX NEWS SERVICE February 1993 — The first ing bands and cheerleaders. tator seats as the home team. keep informed through out the tration blank, send self-ad-
attack on the World Trade Cen- The game lived up to the hype As a result we were forced to game. dressed, stamped envelope to Al
RAND JUNCTION, Colo. ter. Osama bin Laden is charged
and was good for local high sit in the end zone seats. We How’s ’bout a new stadium, King, POB 130327, Sunrise
— If you didn’t think so be- in the case, and a grand jury school sports. sat in the end zone seats oppo- LISD? Florida 33313, or e-mail request
fore, the past five years takes pains to point out his work- It is certainly obvious that site the scoreboard side and Signed, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and the past five days should have ing arrangement with Iraq. He high school football is huge noticed that the digital score- Fred Arce Signed,
been convincing. remains free to work on other here in Laredo. I think it’s board was partially covered. Mustang ’87 Al King
We are in for a long, painful projects, such as American em- time to build another football Fans standing on the bleach- Coached by Gene Sharp Sunrise, Fla.
and likely disappointing wait be- bassy bombings in East Africa in
fore the war we became aware of 1998.
on Sept. 11, 2001, can be consid-
2000 — The U.S.S. Cole is at-
tacked and 17 sailors die. Ameri-
County treasurer’s request for salary parity should be denied
One reason is that so many are can leaders, and the nation, shrug.
so eager to return to those halcy- The most bitter battles are re- To the editor: good collaborative working re- eration of the taxpayers. When serve to be paid an honest day’s
on days when we could simply pi- served for Americans them- It is with great regret that I lationship between our county she filed her lawsuit she placed pay for an honest day’s work.
geonhole terrorism as a mere selves. write this letter but circum- treasurer’s office and auditor’s all Webb County taxpayers on We also understand that elected
crime unworthy of more firepow- Today, infighting in govern- stances compel this submission. office producing better account- notice that parity pay was her officials know what these
er than subpoenas and sum- ment results in release of a The continued request for ing practices within the finan- special interest. The lawsuit salaries are when they run for
monses, some of them actually cherry-picked National Intelli- parity salary request from elect- cial payments and investments cost taxpayers several thousand office. The sacred trust of being
delivered. gence Estimate that concludes ed officials is nothing short of a of our community? dollars, dropping of the case not elected is not license to pad
Presidents Reagan, Bush and the war in Iraq has increased scandal. In less than two years Those are the questions that withstanding. your personal pocket book, but
Clinton all treated terrorism as terrorism. of her re-election, our county should be answered before any Elected officials need to un- to serve.
criminal activity deserving of jail- That, of course, is much like a treasurer continues to put her pay adjustments should be con- derstand that the working men Annual budgets are not
time and therapy. creditor getting hold of your bank own interest before that of the sidered. Hold fast, dear County and women of this community, mandates to include raises year
That one believed that more records, looking solely at the tax-paying public. The reason Commissioners, to the princi- the residents, which they are after year. Let’s remember who
strongly than others is beside the withdrawals and telling you for the request is simply parity ples of service/productivity be- duty bound to serve, are watch- pays those checks, who puts the
point. you’re bankrupt. to be paid at the rate of the dis- fore parity; the voting public, ing. Take note to remember money in the treasury for those
To a greater or lesser degree No truth-in-intel rules, howev- trict clerk and county clerk. the taxpaying public, deserve who pays these salaries, not the checks to be covered. Or will
and for varying reasons, all of er, apply in the war for Capitol The request is not based on no less. commissioner’s court but the the taxpayers have to teach you
them chose stability and sacri- Hill. service. Has the county treasur- How much less do residents tax-paying public. The people, that next Election Day?
ficed initiative. We have yet to be shaken free er increased productivity? Is the have to do without because who work every day, trying to These are issues that compel
There is no reason, absent of the level of consciousness that automated payroll system in elected official feel they deserve make ends meet, give their chil- individuals to try to effect
Sept. 11, to believe that George W. evaluates the world as though place? Has innovation within more? Shame on our county dren a better future than their change in our local government;
Bush would have done things “The West Wing” was reality TV the treasurer’s office produced treasurer who states that she own. our work is truly not done yet.
much differently and no reason to and “Survivor” a foreign-policy tangible savings to the taxpay- dropped her previous lawsuit The public well understands Signed,
think he’d have been much criti- seminar. ers of Webb County? Is there a (over this same issue) in consid- that our elected officials de- Javier H. Martinez Jr.
cized. That’s perhaps why we don’t
Still, it’s worth a quick look have a good idea of what victory
back at what happened and the in the War on Terror actually
outcome: might look like: We haven’t had a DOONESBURY | GARRY TRUDEAU
1972 — Yasser Arafat mas- world without terror, though we
terminded the murders of 11 Is- have had lots of faux peace.
raeli athletes at the Olympics in Now that we’re beginning to
Munich. Arafat goes on to a Nobel rebel against the status quo, the
Peace Prize and 44 visits to the costs will grow ever higher, but
Clinton White House, not one ar- it’s remembering that the price to
rest. get here hasn’t been cheap, ei-
1983 — 241 Marines died in ther.
a suicide-bomb blast in Beirut, It was a largely carefree stroll
Lebanon. Today, Lebanon is a into these dangerous woods, and
client state of Hezbollah, which it will take a long forced march to
means, by the way, Party of God, get out of them.
or Allah, take your pick. It in- (Gary Harmon writes for the
dulges in terrorism and outright Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sen-
war as it wishes and won’t disarm tinel. He may be reached at ghar-
anytime soon, the United Nations email@example.com)