Aiken Standard, May 6, 1993, Page 8

Aiken Standard

May 06, 1993

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Issue date: Thursday, May 6, 1993

Pages available: 58

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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - May 6, 1993, Aiken, South Carolina OPINIONS Aiken 0tanlmrii PUBLISHER: Scott B. Hunter MANAGING EDITOR. Jeffrey B. Wallace ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Debra Z. Price PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Sue S. Brown BUSINESS OFFICE MANAGER: Ellen C. Priest CIRCULATION DIRECTOR: Daniel S Holland Page 4A, Aiken, S.C., Thursday, May 6, 1993 Unfocused Bill Passes His 100th Day OUR VIEW Hitchcock Woods Comes To Life In Musical Work Aiken’s own arboreal treasure, Hitchcock Woods ... what gentle music to the ears! You read correctly, Hitchcock Woods is sweet music to our ears. While most of us think of the woods as a visual splendor, it has now been turned into a musical work thanks to the insight of composer Benjamin Boone, a resident of Aiken. Boone turned the colorful images of Hitchcock Woods into a piece of music that is as wondrous as the woods themselves. The debut of the piece was performed by Aiken’s professional orchestra during the Etherredge Center Orchestra’s concert last Saturday night. Under the direction of Harry Jacobs the sights and sounds of Hitch cock Woods filled the auditorium at the Etherredge Center, and the audience responded with a spontaneous standing ovation. Aiken is indeed a fortunate city. The foresight of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hitchcock gave the city a wooded treasure that will be with us always. Through the inspiration of Mr. Boone, we have been provided another treasure — a piece of music that describes one of the most beautiful and peaceful aspects of our city. We applaud the composer, the director and the Etherredge Center Orchestra for bringing this special piece of music to life. We hope that other musical organizations in the community will be able to offer this unique piece for their members. This is a special work of art that truly belongs to our community. Serbs Stand Alone Against The World For months, from conference to conference, the Serbs made the international community look ridiculous, a community that always wanted to believe in last-chance meetings. This time, the break is complete. The Serbs in Bosnia find themselves alone against the world. This clarified situation doesn’t seem to upset them any. The war in Bosnia is over. The fighting can certainly last another 15 years, but the territorial conquests sought by the Serbs are practically achieved. They control 70 percent of the country. For a year, nobody tried to stop them. — Le Parisien, Paris Had Enough Resonating? Then Segue Into Wonkery It is time for one of our periodic reports on fashionable words. Writers who are truly au courant, as we say, or otherwise on the ball, should know that “dysfunctional” has had its day. My dears, “dysfunctional” is gone, simply gone! What has arrived in its place? You will never guess. This spring the word is: resonate. US News & World Report says the president’s call for shared sacrifice “resonates among the voters.” USA Weekend says that one of President Clinton’s favorite lines “resonates deep within us.” In the Rocky Mountain News, columnist Jon Talton says that “Clintonomics may resonate well with people who want government to play Mommy.” In The New York Times, feature writer Alison Cook has kind words for Gov. Ann Richards of Texas. “She has battled alcoholism and weathered a painful divorce, victories that resonate with the times.” In Double Deuce, Robert Parker’s latest Spenser novel, a TV anchorwoman had “an on-camera persona that resonated with compassion.” Newsweek magazine took an uncertain look at the 1980s. “The battle over the meaning of that especially resonant decade is just getting going.” Newsweek also looked at AIDS. As a cultural metaphor, AIDS “brings up life, death, class, sex, in a way that makes it resonate for everybody.” The Miami Herald headlined a story in its Sunday travel section: “Diversity resonates in Clinton country.” A book reviewer for the Herald had praise for Robyn Davidson’s new book about her trek across Australia: “Her very personal story resonates forcefully.” Had enough? Playboy magazine says Tony Bennett’s records still resonate with listeners. Rolling Stone says the thought of driving influence peddlers from democracy’s temple “resonates with Americans like an old Frank Capra movie.” In the Chicago Sun-Times, “Hitler Parable Resonates as Fascism Re-emerges.” In the winter Bulletin of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, those of us in the news business are made aware of our shortcomings: “Old criticisms of the media resonate in recent post-riot evaluations.” It will take six to nine months for the last echoes of “resonate” to subside, but fear not! Other fad words are nipping at its heels. Leading the pack is “segue.” Webster’s dates “segue” (seg-way) as aWRITER'S ART By JAMES J. KILPATRICK Universal Press Syndicate verb from 1854. As a direction in music, it means “to proceed to what follows without pause.” It wasn’t until 1961 that Webster’s admitted the noun to polite society. “That’s a nice segue, Dan.” Now “segue” is in vogue. The Congress will segue from taxes to health care. The country last month segued from basketball to baseball. Newsweek speaks of a radio interviewer who “segued effortlessly” from the feminist revival to a commercial break. Newsweek’s Rich Thomas says the Clinton campaign motto, “It’s the economy, stupid,” is segueing into a catch phrase for governance. USA Today commends talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael for a smooth segue. USA Weekend likes Mark DeCarlo: “His smooth talk and sexy segues make his sophomoric Studs watchable.” Right behind “segue” is “wonk.” A wonk, for those who live in climes more civilized than those of Washington, D.C., is an excessively studious person, one who knows more than anyone needs to know about whatever it is that engrosses the wonk. Health care. Grazing fees. The value-added tax. A Washington correspondent for Knight-Ridder Newspapers recently dubbed “wonk” the buzzword of the year for political writers. A computer search found that The Washington Post had used “wonk” only twice in 1992, but had used the word 24 times already in 1993. The New York Times, perhaps a bit wonkier, made five references in 1992 to “wonk,” 27 in 1993. A derivative noun appeared in Newsweek in December: “One wonders what Bill Clinton was really thinking when Elaine Kamarck ... dragged his economic conference from the rarefied mesas of high wonkery to the funky swamplands of political reality...” Warning: Have care with wonk, wonk ing and wonkery. In British slang it carries a meaning that goes back to Genesis 38:9. All things considered, ifs arguably time for me to bid a fond farewell to dys functional, to applaud the demise of pa rameters and quantum leap, and segue back to resonance. My nominee for 1994: “fungible.” Or maybe “proactive.” Citations will be welcome. WASHINGTON - We haven’t gotten used to the idea of Bill Clinton as president, and the evidence suggests he hasn’t, either. Neither Clinton nor his presidency has shifted into focus as he passes the popular Washington abstraction known as “the first IOO days.” People who like Clinton — some of those who voted for him — suddenly fear he’s a hapless throwback to Jimmy Car ter, while those who buy the “Slick Willie” label smirk at his recent failings. Unfortunately for him, the new president lives in a world where he’s graded every morning in the papers ana every night on television. That said, Bill Clinton isn’t feared, loved or respected enough to make a success of his presidency. At this moment, about half the popula tion approves of the way he is handlin his job. and about half aren’t muc impressed. That statistic is worse than it sounds; it means that three months into his tenure, Clinton’s job-approval rating is about the same as Gerald Ford’s just after he pardoned Richard Nixon. A low level of public enthusiasm might not hinder a rookie president devoted to maintaining the status quo. But Clinton ran as a “change agent,” and he faces a daunting agenda of his own making: health care and welfare reform, Russian aid, defense conversion, a North American free-trade agreement, and campaign finance reform. According to the polls, the public thinks he’s working hard and is prepared to give him some time. But there are questions, the same questions that have dogged Clinton since he became the nation’s youngest governor in 1979 What is at the core of the man? Why does he seem to have so much trouble with the whole truth and nothing but? Why are campaign promises — middleclass tax relief comes to mind — so expendable? Why does he so often seem both callow and cynical, letting Attorney General Janet Reno drift a little too long after the Branch Davidian fiasco, cutting deals with Western ranchers while promising “no sacred cows” in dealing with deficit reduction? Finally, what element of Clinton’s vision is ne prepared not to trade for a short-term political gain? The IOO days ledger reflects Clinton’s fundamental problem in the early going. Despite the high-energy, smartest-kid-in-class performance, ne’s done nothing STEVE DALEY Knight-Ridder Service that looks or feels like fundamental change. The headlines may wonder if Clinton is trying to do too much too soon, but the public sees legislative gridlock, the routine ascension of millionaire lobbyists and the facile dumping of campaign pledges. At this moment, Clinton’s economic plan is up on blocks in the Senate, crippled by a show of Republican unity and Democratic defections. Knowing better, Clinton allowed his $16 billion jobs bill to be defined as old-timey Democratic pork. His health-care package, due this month, is an obsessively guarded secret, and there is a palpable sense that at least one room in the White House is solely devoted to the development of new taxes to pay for new programs. Beyond that, Clinton has spent an inordinate amount of time talking about issues of marginal concern to most Americans. Gays in the military falls into that category, as does the administration’s damaging obsession with diversity in government. Part of the problem for Clinton and his smug cadre of political advisers is that they no longer nave a dithering George Bush and his recession to exploit. Bush is gone, but Ross Perot isn’t. In the fall campaign, Perot treated Clinton as an afterthought, which was embarrassing to the Democratic nominee but disastrous for Bush. Now, the tes ty Texan is nipping at Clinton on a fulltime basis, and there isn’t much the new president can do about it. From moment to moment, Clinton demonstrates the political skills that helped him survive a rough-and-tumble Democratic primary campaign and a three-way race against an incumbent president. Around Washington, Clinton has generated good pictures and good will, slurping decaffeinated coffee in a local McDonald’s (though not lately) and jogging in his Suburban Dad outfit. But the political missteps and the institutional arrogance continue. How else do you explain the adminis tration’s floating of a value-added tax on the day 40 million Americans were licking envelopes to the IRS? How else do you explain Lloyd Bentsen, the Texas senator whom Clinton made head of the Treasury Department to help shepherd his economic plan through the Senate? As an administrator, Clinton seems to have surrounded himself with arrogant kids and term-paper intellectuals who keep clotting into Task Forces, endlessly weighing options. Clinton needs to show us who he is and what he most wants to do. Otherwise, he’s playing a game he can’t win. Steve Daley is a Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Test Early — And Often — For Parents So OK, it’s a free country and it would never work. But woulcm’t it be great if licensing were mandatory for all would be parents? No license, no child. No kidding. Look at it as an alternative to “Home Alone: Not the Movie.” Four and 9, home alone in Chicago while mom and dad vacation in Mexico. Six years old, home alone in Florida while dad, a divorced wildlife officer, goes off to catch a poacher. Home alone after school, at night, every weekend at all ages all over the country for a mind- and spirit-numbing diet of televised sleaze and violence. Or not home alone. Instead, beaten and brutalized by the cretinous boyfriends of drug-saturated mothers who had the IQ of a doorknob in the first place. On the street at ll, in juvenile court by 13, no hope and no future by 15: Time to produce a child and begin another dreary round. How could my plan be worse? Here it is: Exceptions abound, but we know what works best, so applications will be accepted from heterosexual couples, legally married, 25 years of age or older. Race, religion and country of origin will not be factors, and neither will wealth, but the couple will have to have a track record of supporting themselves, and they will be required to describe their plans for spreading their income toROBIN BRANCH Knight-Ridder Service cover their offspring. For those applicants who pass the financial responsibility screening, a drug test and a background check for violence, there will be a 100-hour parenting course spread over six weeks to include classroom instruction in early childhood development, nutrition and first aid, as well as hands-on experience at child care centers, hospitals and schools. Many applicants will be too busy for this, thereby proving the value of the course without even taking it. Happily for them and their hypothetical offspring, they will learn before it’s too late that they don’t have time to be parents. These couples can withdraw their applications without prejudice, get on with whatever it is that keeps them busy and reapply later, when a child would be less of an inconvenience. Graduation from the parenting course will depend on successfully passing a final exam on the basics as they apply to children of various ages, such as: Question: It’s 3 a.m. and your 2-month-old baby — furious and red faced — has been howling inexplicably for an hour. You should: A. Sit in a rocking chair and hold him until he dozes off, or B. Punch him in the face. Question: Even though you have prepared a delicious and nutritionally balanced dinner that contains 98 percent of her average daily requirement of vitamins and minerals, your 5-year-old stubbornly refuses to taste it. You should: A. Put it away and give her French toast cut in the shape of Mickey Mouse, or B. Throw her against the wall. Question: Your 13-year-old daughter has decided to go to the mall dressed like a streetwalker to hang out, chase boys and smoke cigarettes. You should say: A. Be home by 10:30 p.m., or B. No, you may not go. And so on. Each parenting license will be handed out at graduation in exchange for a notarized copy of the mom-to-be’s schedule of pre paid prenatal care. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Wow! This is a great plan for alleviating the sad and sorry condition of America’s beleaguered children. But where will we ever find someone with the wisdom of Solomon to decide who gets a license and who doesn’t?” Forget Solomon. All it takes is someone with common sense. I’ll do it myself. And while the result may not be perfect, I can assure you that it will be a vast improvement over what’s going on right now. Robin Branch is a columnist for the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Salvation Comes To Road To Ruin Somebody spilled his whiskey on the deck of cards again. Across the table a range hunter with caked blood in his beard put his side-gun on the table. This was the Road to Ruin Saloon in 1893 in what was to become Phoenix, Ariz. There and then when fights tended to end at distances where the flaming wadding from one man’s pistol would set the other man’s coat on fire. The tumbleweed who’d spilled his shot is rubbin’ tobacco juice into his eyes to stay awake... Peel the bark off him you’d likely find some 80 rings... But he’s gonna draw. When into the Road to Ruin Saloon strode a wet-eared young dude wearin’ no guns... That was the setting, or one like it, the day William McIntyre - caked with alkali dust from a long stage ride - arrived in town. This soldier without a gun was so good at what he did that he’d made divisional commander by the age of 19. And what he did was to travel the un-PAUL HARVEY Los Angeles Times Syndicate i Street — with eight buildings on 12 - to temporary housing and reha- tamed Southwest a hundred years ago and tame it — organizing outposts for the Salvation Army wherever they were needed most. Within days of William McIntyre’s arrival he was attracting crowds of unchurched to his outdoor meetings at Washington and Center streets... And within months, the inch-deep legacy of dirt and tobacco juice on the floor of the Road to Ruin Saloon had been scrubbed away... And the place was renamed the Road to Heaven Saloon... And the infamous Red Corner of Phoenix was never the same again. Now ifs a new generation. Adding to its many rescue and family services and its day camp and senior housing... Now the Salvation Army of Phoenix has converted a one-time motel on Van Buren Street acres bilitation for a rotating population of a hundred homeless. For in the VERY beginning Gen. William Booth had commissioned his soldiers with these words: “Take ANYONE who comes to us and put an arm around him ... and if he’s hungry give him food and if he’s homeless shelter him...” Unlike federal agencies, Gen. Booth — confronted by a need — chose first to do something, then figure out the logistics. You can give $10 to many charities and less than $1 will find its target. Nine dollars — and in some charities all $10 — are spent on administrative salaries and office expenses and on raising more money. You let the Salvation Army dispense your charity dollars and $9 of the $10 will go to help somebody who is homeless, hungry or hurting. The Salvation Army of Phoenix is responding to a critical need, and I am proud to say of my adopted city, Phoenicians are generously supportive. ;

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