The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on July 13, 1983 · Page 12
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 12

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Wednesday, July 13, 1983
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Page 12
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Wed., July 13, 1983 THE DES MOINES REGISTER 13A Abuse and adoption Administration may $ under strain of scanda Over the coffee pUt EL W5 i 1 i The Register of July 1 says Kevin McGinnis was sentenced to two years in prison and a 2,500 fine for killing Angela Peterson. If Angela had been 3 years old instead of IS months, would her life have been worth four years in prison instead of two? If she had been 10, might Mr. McGinnis have pulled 20 years? Did the court remember that Angela suffered other beatings before the one that killed her? The cost of killing or abusing a person over a period of time doesn't seem very high these days. Colleen Schmeling, 410 N.E. Bel Aire Rd., Ankeny. . . . Kevin McGinnis . . . gets two years in prison and a slight fine. He could be out in one year and four months to do the same thing again! Thinking of little Angela Peterson, a helpless 15-month-old, as being dead because of his brutality is both sickening and sad. Rev. Richard G. Viney, United Methodist Church, Spirit Lake. In the July 1 Register, I read two items . . . dealing with child abuse resulting in the death of a child. Twenty-year old Kevin McGinnis was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, an "aggravated misdemeanor" under law, for beating to death a 15-month-old child. If he is allowed credit for time served since his arrest, this "adult," who displays a behavioral pattern of psychotic or, at a minimum, uncontrolled anger, will be on the street in 11 months, . . . able to repeat the act Jimmy Lee Gray, 34, was to die in the Mississippi state gas chamber for abusing and killing a child. I am not a proponent of the death penalty; neither am J a supporter of a court system and a legal system that call for a "slap on the wrist" for snuffing out the life of another, regardless of circumstance. It appears that the system has more regard for the McGinnises of How we treat former presidents The' newsman Sandy Grady and Congressman Andy Jacobs object to paying for what they call the "imperial ex-presidency" Grady column, June 16. I have seldom seen such a shallow and petty article printed in this newspaper. First, consider the complaint about the number of secret servicemen who guard our ex-presidents. Carter, Ford and Nixon have nothing to say about the number of people who guard them. ... An implication is made that it is wrong to give ex-presidents a pension now because President Truman never received one. If Truman didn't get a pension, it was a disgraceful piece of ingratitude on the part of the American people. Are we to continue an injustice just because no president complained about it in the past? Mr. Grady objects to what he calls "trading on White House fame" by publishing books and accepting lecture fees. Does he object to presidents' telling their stories directly to the American people, without the intermediary of the press? Are newsmen to be the only people in this country who sell information? In praise of DCVs Shanahan What irony that Division of Criminal Investigation Chief Gerald Shanahan's last day in service to Iowa's citizens should be spent answering reporters' questions regarding Gov. Terry Branstad's brand new Racing Commission. According to newspaper reports, the appointees had been subjected to only the most cursory of checks into their backgrounds, despite Mr. Shanahan's recommendations last February. Had the governor's staff displayed the good sense to follow Mr. Shanahan's experienced counsel, their faces might not be so red now. Could this be only the first of many such episodes in Iowa without Gerald Shanahan around to look out for our best interests? Mr. Shanahan's reasons' for resigning were "personal," but according to this newspaper, "he conceded pari-mutuel betting, long work days, pay and state budget problems were some of the factors Big money to big A headline in the July 2 Register, "Dutch Bank to Back Loans for Farmers," looked encouraging because I thought of the many abandoned farmsteads I have noticed, and I thought Holland was coming to the rescue of other family farms that were in danger of being foreclosed. But I read on, and saw that this money from Holland is big money for big fanners. Larger mechanized operations mean products of poorer quality. Agribusiness in California has given us thick-skinned, rather dry fruits and this world than for their victims, the Angela Petersons. . . . Your editorial on child abuse, in the same day's Register) is commendable. Social Services Commissioner Michael Reagen's article contained a great deal of rhetoric! When those in the state who hold responsible positions see fit to do something besides talk about the issue, maybe, just maybe, a small child won't have to be maimed or killed before ... legal action can be taken. . . . Larry L. Shepard, 245 Grandview, Otttmwa. Twenty-two thousand reported cases of child abuse in Iowa last year, and the Department of Social Services completed only 152 adoptions that year? And they are proud of it? That's less than two children per county for the entire year. What a disgrace! With thousands of Iowa . families desperate for children, any children, that's the best they could do? For the last eight months, I tried, unsuccessfully, to adopt two school-age relatives. These supposedly "una-doptable" children older, more than one, severely deprived, with behavior problems and possibly low IQs and certain emotional trauma had six families pleading for them. When I had my home visits with a Polk County social worker, I stressed that I wanted almost any child if I could not get these. Yet after being approved as an adoptive parent, I got a letter stating that since Polk County had done its job by interviewing me, my case was now closed and filed away. How many other approved prospective parents have been "filed away" and forgotten? There's no such thing as an una-doptable child. There is no shortage of good, loving families. So why are children shunted from one foster home to another for five, 10, 15 years? And how many die before social services gets around to them? - foni Williams, 4131 Sixth St., Des Moines. Former President Carter might not have to make money in this fashion in the first place if it were not for the press. When he left the White House, Carter bad several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees to pay. Those expenses resulted from official investigations into Carter's affairs investigations initiated because of charges printed in the news media. Not one charge against Carter was ever found to have a shred of validity, but he still has the bills to pay. . . . The largest item in ex-presidents' budgets is their libraries $15 million, or 56 percent of the total annual bilL... Citizens need those libraries very badly. They are the only places we can go to learn what good and creative things our recent presidents have done. We might have hoped that the press would tell us about all the activities of our presidents, whether good or bad. However, this is the age of In gratitude in America, and no group, practices ingratitude more than the news media do toward American presidents Mrs. Cynthia Dobosy, 1903 Doff Ave., Ames. involved In his resignation." What that spells .out to me is that, with pari-mutuel betting coming in, more law enforcement officers will be needed, but budgets have been slashed, making it impossible to attract the quality manpower needed. Therefore current personnel will be expected to take on additional duties with little, if any, extra pay . . . Shanahan brought 31 years of law enforcement experience to Iowa, 25 years of which were with the FBI. He streamlined Iowa's office of criminal investigation by computerizing records and merging the criminal investigation, narcotics and vice units into one division to avoid duplication of investigative efforts, saving tax dollars. He created a field supervisory task force to cut travel costs, and concentrated investigative efforts on white-collar, narcotics and organized crime.... Jaann Bliigaano, 2821 Patricia Dr., Dcs Moines. farmers vegetables at the sacrifice of flavor and juice and a society separated from the land from which all life springs. If the middle, part of America emulates the poor example of California, a larger landless proportion of our population will result, which In other places has been a prime cause of revolution.... MHly Clapp, Earlham. to LMn, dm Ml Km. Cm nMit Ttm Mt m tfiau mrm ftxt Mm M M- By JOHN HYDE Much more than other people in the country, Washing-tonians are intrigued by the Carter-Reagan briefing-book scandal because it may be the last scene of a political battle that has dominated Washington, but has barely been noticed in the rest of the land, since the day Ronald Reagan was elected president. It has been a battle for the ear and mind of Ronald Reagan himself, a battle that he has allowed to rage because of his own different political, administrative and personal styles. As a politician, Reagan is a conservative ideologue. As an administrator, he tends more toward Republican pragmatism. Personally, Reagan is watchful of his own career and rewarding to those who are loyal. These traits were symbolized by the three men Reagan chose to run his administration. Edwin Meese, a deeply conservative former prosecuting attorney from California, was assigned to policy considerations. Michael Deaver, a public-relations specialist who had spent virtually his entire career working for Reagan, was installed to watch over Reagan's own interests. James Baker, a wealthy Texas lawyer who had been a key operative for Reagan's political opponents, was hired as the chief administrator. Together, they came to be known in Washington as "the troika" or the "big three." Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig called them the "three-headed monster." Other key figures within the administration reflected the same competing tensions. During most of 1981, however, the administration seemed in public to be a well-oiled, finely tuned machine. It scored a series of astonishing victories in Congress, moved rapidly to take control of the vast federal bureaucracy and pronounced a new and 1 toughened vision of America's role in world affairs. The "big three" breakfasted together each morning and, they told everyone, found themselves in perfect agreement about everything. (Much later it was learned that Meese had almost refused to work in the same White House with Baker, and that the two of them signed an extensive turf agreement before they took office, right down to the matter of office assignments. Meese, in this respect, proved inept; the agreement gave Meese the "Cabinet rank" he wanted, John Hyde is a reporter In The Register's Washington bureau. The cost By LEAH FACKOS KLUMPH HE "GREENBACK" dollar bill may be getting cosmetic surgery if Congress goes along with a pending Reagan administration proposal. To be more precise, the govern ment wants to change the back of the bill by shifting its production from the traditional intaglio process (required under the National Currency Act of 1862 to make currency secure from duplication and fraud) to offset printing at a claimed annual savings of $5.4 million. A bill produced by offset will look much the same as the current dollar, but it will feel slightly different, and there are those who warn that any attempt to tinker with existing currency is doomed to failure. In testimony in May at a hearing before the Senate 'Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, U.S. Treasurer Angela M. Buchanan said the need for high-quality $1 bills is escalating rapidly with the growing use of automatic-teller machines, fare machines, bill-changer and vending machines. Buchanan told the panel that although total currency demand and output increased by only 19 percent over the past five years, the yearly output is expected to grow 61 percent by 1987, from 14.1 billion to $6.6 billion in notes. The $1 bill accounts for just over half of all currency printed each year. She said the Bureau of Engraving and Printing can handle the anticipated increase for the next two or three years, but after that "our current production processes will fail to meet the demand without significant infusions of expensive machinery and personnel. An alternative to this program of long-term extra effort and expense is a change in the way currency is printed." Not everyone likes the idea, however. The cost estimates have been challenged by the union that represents BEP's intaglio plate Leah Fackot Klamph writes for Congressional Quarterly. 1 f ,lr(?'' jfc if J f ' ' A " V White House Chief of Staff James but it, gave Baker control over political, press and lobbying functions, plus the power to hire and fire White House staff. Baker also landed the only office in which staff meetings could be held.) The first sign of trouble came from the right wing. Only a month after Reagan took office, columnist John Lofton wrote -an open letter to Reagan in the pages of Conservative Digest, warning: "Your mandate for change is in danger of being subverted. . . . The success of your presidency depends directly on the views of those who hold the top jobs in your administration. People make policy. And if the key individuals in your government are not dedicated, demonstrated, energetic advocates of your positions i on the issues, your views will not prevail. There will be no Reaganism without Reaganites." Baker, who had been in Gerald Ford's camp in 1976 and was George Bush's campaign manager in 1980, became the lightning rod for criticism from the right. In February 1982, a Conservative Digest headline asked, "Has Ronald Reagan's presidency been captured by Wall Street-Big Business-Corporate-Executive Suite-Big New YorkHouston Law Firm-Eastern Liberal-andor Estab- of a dollar i 2. y printers. Union officials claim that the savings estimates are "highly inflated, inaccurate and undocumented." James J. Kilgallon, an economic consultant retained by the Washing I word (wrd) n.lMlj, I i Hi ILIA (extension of base ((extension of base if tAfiMAA worril 1. a) a soeecn ia woraj i. Hi a speecn Villi II iXcc.mmunicate meaning By MICHAEL CARTNER I visited the Harvard Business land watched if J1 Prnf stor Oeorire " o Lodge conduct a 'class. It was a wonderful show. The professor would march to the blackboard, scribble a word, wander over to a student in the front row, ask a question, rush up an aisle to enter a discussion with a student in the back and then hurry back to the blackboard to cross out one word and enter another. His actions provided the perfect definition of peripatetic. Peripatetic means "walking about from place to place" or "carried on while walking or moving from place to place." Another peripatetic teacher was Aristotle, who conducted discussions while walking about in the Lyceum of Athens. So, the Aristotelian system of philosophy became known as Peripateticism. It" If J r Ifh 1 -"i 1 W I AP PHOTO it, .tf-uitdxm-:-:" y ft . . '4 ! v . I f if Baker with President Reagan.' lishment-Non-Reaganite Republicans?" The answer, as Conservative Digest saw it, clearly was yes. By mid-1982, things had progressed to the point that Reagan's Texas campaign-finance chairman, Clymer Wright Jr., sent letters to hundreds of contributors warning, "Our beloved president today stands alone under siege. His economic program is being undermined by White House Chief of Staff James Baker." By the end of 1982, Conservative Digest and numerous right-wing columnists were calling for Baker to be fired, and the Big Three in particular Baker and Meese were barely on speaking terms. Their last morning breakfast was Nov. 1, 1982, the day before the midterm election. , Reagan managed to finesse most of these difficulties, but the briefing- book episode is hard to finesse. The matter poses a real threat to someone in the administration. People are telling different stories; one of them is wrong. Someone is going to win and someone will lose. When that happens, the ground beneath the Reagan administration's warring factions will shift swiftly and never will be the same again. Power in this divided administration will be redivided, and the effect on Reagan and his presidency could be profound. bill ton Plate Printers Union, said BEP employees can easily meet the projected demands for currency through fiscal year 1987 with current manpower and without the use of overtime. Kilgallon noted that four new intaglio presses, with a capacity 20 percent greater than some machines currently in place, will soon be operational, with additional new equipment already planned by BEP. The Senate Banking Committee has asked the General Accounting Office to analyze the government's, estimates of savings before the legislation authorizing a switch to offset printing goes further. UL.. akin U u-orl ! lh.'ur wer - wtr - . to sneak, savi. whence L. ml. s sounn, or series oi incm, scrvjn and consisting of at lr.vt enc t "If a person stops being uncouth, is he then considered to be couth? And if not, why not?" asks a reader in Pennsylvania. The answers: 1. Sort of. 2. Because. There was a couth before there was an uncouth. Couth meant known or familiar, and uncouth at first meant not known or not familiar, as I think I wrote in this column a few years ago. Something not known is strange, and something strange is often thought to be crude or awkward. That's how uncouth came to mean rude, crude or awkward. But what happened to couthl It became obsolete decades ago, and it disappeared from some dictionaries. But as people began to wonder about the so-called lost positives the couth from uncouth, the gruntle from disgruntle, the gainly from ungainly the words started showing up again. Today, couth is used sometimes humorously, sometimes seriously to mean polished or suave. 71' It is a curious coincidence that Buckminster Fuller ana Herman nann, m two of the most in- n fluential futurists of our time, should die within a week of each other. Although the two men shared a pas sionate belief in the ability to triumph over problems through technology, they came to their optimism from slightly different directions. In a sense, Kahn was the dark side of Fuller; an odd combination of Moliere's Dr. Pangloss and Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove Kahn was optimistic about nuclear war not avoiding it, fighting it. In his work at the RAND Corp. and, later, at his Hudson Institute, he, as much as any other human, was responsible for the concept of the "sur-vivable" nucleir war. "War," he wrote, "is a terrible thing, but so is peace. The difference seems in some respects to be a question of degree and standards." There would be an increase in misery and suffering In the event of nuclear war, he admitted, but "the increase would not preclude normal and happy lives for the majority of survivors and their descendants." He even thought there would be positive aspects. - , "We can imagine a renewed vigor among the population with a xealous, Every time you hear someone say something nice about nuclear war, you will know that Herman Kahn yet lives. almost religious, dedication to reconstruction, exemplified by a 50- to 60-hour work week." See there? Nuclear war isn't so bad. It just means giving up weekends. Personally, I always thought he was a nutcase, but you keep hearing his ideas being recycled by the Pentagon and White House. Every time you hear someone say something nice about nuclear war that we can win it, that we can survive it, that we can prevent it with fallout shelters and more bombs and a first-strike capability you will know that Herman Kahn, who died of a heart attack at the age of 61 last week, yet lives. I don't know how Herman Kahn felt about air bags In cars; you know, those balloons that inflate instantly when you crash so that you don't get killed? He might have liked them from a technological standpoint but, then again, he might have thought they were a left-wing Intrusion into the lives of drivers. He was like that. I know how Ralph Nader feels about them: He thinks they're a good thing. I know because he just said so in a letter to The Washington Post. The topic comes up because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Reagan administration didn't have the right to revoke the crash-protection standards for automobiles, as it did in 1981. This means, basically, that we're going to fight the air-bag battle again. Nader wrote: "Air bags were first proposed in 1969 as one way to meet a national safety standard , by the Nixon administration. Then the auto industry's delaying tactics took over. "Three years ago, In Michigan, Mr. Reagan campaigned specifically against air bags and safety standards to curry the industry's favor. Since then, he has been uniformly unrecep-tive to appeals that he can save lives by implementing the federal motor vehicle safety act. But as one tire company official advised us recently, If Mr. Reagan is Informed that air bags are high tech, fight the Inflation of accident-injury costs and create jobs, maybe he'll swallow hard and come around.' " Maybe, but I doubt it I used to be lukewarm on air bags, because they offer protection only in front-end collisions. Good seat belts are more effective over the wide range of possible accidents. But you can t get people to wear seat belts, apparently, or, at least, we are politically unable to make the effort to force people to wear them. Which figures. In a country that is unable to pass legislation that would limit the right of cuckoos to carry around guns so that they cant shoot someone when they feel the need, why should seat belts be popular? Air bags are better than nothing. If you have similar feelings, you should write your congressman. Lord knows, he'll get enough pressure from the other side. A T-shirt seen at the Fancy Food and Confection Show in Washington last week: "Eat Dessert First ... Life Is Uncertain." I'll drink to that Donald Koul I 1A 1 I. 1 If f ' M

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