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The Sallna Journal -Sunday, November 22.1981 Opinion The Salina Journal The 'lowly' folks can be important In the hierarchy of political parties, precinct committeemen and committewomen are generally considered low persons on the totem pole. If they're asked to do anything other than maybe roust out a few voters on election day, the chores are usually mundane. That's why, in every city, there are always a lot of precinct vacancies. Nobody wants the posts. Ah, but now and then, once in a while, those precinct committee- persons do become important. That's the situation in Salina right now. Sunday afternoon, probably less than 23 persons will, in effect, "elect" a state representative who will represent Salina until the November, 1982, election. Those persons are committeemen and women in the 71st legislative district who will nominate a successor for Jerry Simpson, who has resigned. Gov. John Carlin will then make the appointment official. There should be 30 of those precinct persons, but seven slots are vacant. And not all of those 23 are apt to be present Sunday for the district convention. , So an important decision on an important legislative appointment will be made by a handful of persons. That shows you how important a precinct committee post can really be. Incidentally, precinct com- mitteepersons also elect the party committee chairmen. That's important, too. We would hope that when the next elections are held, all precinct jobs will be filled by candidates. After all, you never know when lightning will strike and that "lowly" job will suddenly become important. Alas and alack for a grand old dame Let us consider the case of Stephens College in Missouri. For generations it has had a certain mystique, a certain cachet. Girls who went to Stephens were a cut above other girls. Stephens had the smell of money, good breeding and the social graces. Oh, it wasn't the creme de la creme a la Smith, Vassar and Bryn Mawr, but it certainly was toney for the Midwest. Mothers yearned — most of them in vain — to have the distinction of having a daughter at Stephens. Well, the yearning, or the money to support such yearning successfully, has apparently decreased. Stephens' enrollment has dropped 40 percent in the last decade. That's serious because nearly 75 percent of the college's operating budget is generated from student fees. What is Stephens doing about this sad state of affairs. For one thing, it recently increased student fees 10.7 percent. The $725 increase will bring a full- time student's annual fees to $7,500. That will help keep the college's financial head above water but probably will further decrease the number of students. To attack that second problem, it hired a consultant who recommended the college use a "hard- sell" approach to stem the enrollment slide. That hard-sell was to include use of highway billboards and airport advertising. Shocked administration officials rejected those two crass approaches, but did adopt other recommendations, including having the students from each department write "personal" letters to prospective students and installing toll- free numbers for those prospects to call the college. Alas, how tearfully sad it is to see such an aristocratic dame forced to bend a knee, to commercialism and begging! But, if it's any comfort, she has plenty of company these days. Most other private colleges have the same problems of declining enrollments and sagging finances. Some of them — if Stephens will forgive such a gross phrase — are going to go "belly up" because of those twin woes. Welcome back, Bill We're glad to note that W.S. "Bill" Duitsman is returning to Kansas State University when he leaves the post of Kansas Secretary of Agriculture early next year. He's a loveable and talented man, with a great gift for organization. It hasn't definitely been decided what his duties will be, but he does know his title. He'll be assistant to Dean of Agriculture John Dunbar. CITIZEN SMITH uaitsman became secretary of agriculture in 1976 after being superintendent of the KSU-Fort Hays Branch Experimental Station for 22 years. He became something of a legend out there. During his time as ag secretary, he was on leave from K-State. He is a 1940 graduate of the university. He'll be a big asset to his alma mater — as he has been in the past. By Dave Gerard 1981 IKe R»gtii«r and Tribune Syndtaie. 'I've just added it up. We've run out of money before we ran out of shopping list!" ® Copley News Service Reagan's 'new deal' to Soviets WASHINGTON - Having gone to great pains to show us he is not afraid of war, Ronald Reagan has suddenly announced that he is not afraid of peace. He invited the world to join him in a quest for it. Reagan as a dove was a real surprise, coming as it did in the wake of 10 months of casual dismissal of the hazards of nuclear war. The president twice insisted that battlefield nuclear exchanges could be limited to Europe. Four days ago, with supremely awkward timing, he flew back to the capital in the "Doomsday" plane, from which he would, presumably,' survey the nuclear devastation of the United States. In his effort to be upbeat about radioactivity, he conspicuously declined to referee an argument between the secretary of defense and the secretary of state over the desirability of setting off a "demonstration" blast to show the Soviets we weren't kidding. Even those who immediately examined his proposal for cynicism and hypocrisy and who came to the instant conclusion that he had made the Soviets an offer they were bound to refuse, enjoyed hearing him talk about the horrors of war and the blessings of peace. Just hearing him suggest that we would not deploy 572 Pershing II and Cruise missiles in Europe if the Soviets would give up their intermediate range missiles, the SS-20s, SS-ls and SS-5s, was a welcome change from the "peace through strength" chant that has rung through his foreign policy utterances. But there he was, on the platform of the National Press Club, saying things for which the background music could have been "Give Peace a Chance." Naturally, his proposal engendered scepticism and hope, often in the same person. Dr. Helen Caldecott, the physician Syndicated Columnist who heads one anti-nuclear group, Physicians for Social Responsibility, said it was "unfair" and "one-sided" in that it asked much more of the Soviets than of us, but then added wistfully, "You know, he might be the one Republican who could bring about disarmament, just as Rid' ird Nixon was the only one who could recognize China." Henry Kendall of MIT, who heads the Union of Concerned Scientists, which recently staged a countrywide anti-nuclear teach-in, compared the proposal to Jimmy Carter's ill-fated 1977 initiative. That, too, was an unexpected request for actual reductions, published in advance, and it so offended the Soviets they practically kicked our team out of Moscow. "But at least he has stated a predictable objective," said Kendall. Marshall Shulman, who was the resident Soviet expert at the State Department in the Carter years, counters that if we made a mistake in jarring the Soviets, who hate surprises more than anyone, the Soviets made a mistake in their teeth-rattling turndown of the idea — and never giving Cyrus Vance a chance to state his fallback position. Shulman, who teaches at Columbia, has his doubts about the Reagan proposal, but says hopefully that even if the president's intentions are mainly propagandistic, something good may come out of it all. "He may have started more than he thought, and he could get carried along by it." And Paul Warnke, Carter's director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency thinks that the Reagan proposal, however far off the mark from the Soviet point of view, is something that "the Russians will have to consider." What drove Reagan to the Press Club podium with a dove in the hand were the peace marchers of Europe. Although he and his Cabinet officers have been belittling the demonstrators as naive, misled or simply young, and describing growing Continental neutralism in terms of the bubonic plague, in the end, they understood that the protesters were shaking the ground under the feet of NATO leaders. -' Europeans did not see him smile as he spoke of a war that would be limited to them. They burned him in effigy. He was losing every propaganda encounter with the Soviets. The Europeans heard him talk of them as liars and cheats and atheists; they saw him as a man with his finger on a button that could fry their children. Talk scared them He was, finally, faced with the choice between 572 missiles and the Atlantic Alliance. Actually, it was his loose talk rather than the new nukes that set Europe on its ear. After all, it has been living with old nukes for years. It was his macho lingo. He scared them more than the Russians. And the shaking Europeans will make it difficult for the Soviets to say a formal "nyet" to his proposal. He may have broken the rules by advertising his position, but the Europeans are not into diplomatic fine points. Survival is what interests them. His most ardent partisans have insisted that Reagan really wants to live in history as a president who brought about arms reduction. If he tells his chief negotiator Paul-Nitze, who goes to Geneva on Nov. 30, the same thing, he may achieve the epitaph that he himself made so implausible up to now. Our no-win war upon crime MIAMI — We use the word "war" too loosely. In recent years we have talked of a war on poverty, a war on inflation, a war on drunk drivers, and even a war on the Mediterranean fruit fly. The war we hear most about these days is the war on crime. And the grim truth is that we are losing it. We are losing this metaphorical "war" for the same reason we lost a real war in Vietnam: We are not serious about winning it. For all the talk, we have yet to take those measures, especially at the national level, that would involve an all-out commitment of money, manpower and resources. Last week this beautiful but beleaguered city recorded its 549th homicide of 1981. Charles Whited, writing in the Miami Herald, bluntly defined the area's No. 1 problem: "Violent, brutal, vicious crime of epidemic scope." Miami has become "a community besieged," he said, in which an innocent population lives at the mercy of criminals of the most hardened sort. Drag trade thrive* The problem here, as in so many great cities, is a problem of the drug trade: marijuana, cocaine and heroin. The stuff arrives by the ton, by the planeload, by the boatload. All the evils of gangland Chicago in the days of Prohibition have returned. Rival gangs fight bloody wars for a share of the turf. Local law enforcement officials are as helpless as so many Cub Scouts in a rumble with the Black Panthers. Miami's 200 Club held its annual fund-raising dinner the other night. By James J. Kilpatrick Syndicoted Columnist The club's purpose is to provide lump- sum benefits for the widows and orphans of police and firemen who die in the line of duty. A dozen local police chiefs were in attendance. Vehemently, almost bitterly, they pleaded for the kind of federal action that might change a no-win war into a winnable war. What action? Bring on the United States Navy, urged one police chief. And the Air Force, too, said another. Their point was that the nation maintains a highly sophisticated and effective system of coastal surveillance. Not a plane flies in the Caribbean without the knowledge of the Air Force. Yet for some unfathomable reason, embedded in the old Posse Comitatus Act, this intelligence cannot be made available to civilian law enforcement agencies. Do something about bail, said the chiefs. Eight months ago, after a tedious and dangerous investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested a notorious trafficker in drugs, one Jose Antonio Fernandez. A federal judge in Vero Beach fixed hit bond at $20 million. In April a federal magistrate in New Orleans, where the case had been moved for trial, reduced the bond to $10 million. Shortly there- after, another federal judge further reduced the bond to $500,000. The accused's lawyers promptly showed up with a cashier's check for $500,000. Fernandez hasn't been seen since. It was a mere business expense. The big dealers, once arrested, ought to be locked up, incommunicado, and denied bail in any amount. By extension, those peddlers with a record of criminal violence ought also to be detained as dangers to society. Look to CoogreM The Florida police chiefs want a short and simple federal law to this effect: Any person convicted of using a firearm in a criminal offense gets an extra five to 10 years in prison — mandatory, no deals, no plea bargaining, no time off, no suspended sentences. If such a law were strictly enforced, word would move swiftly through the underground. Some of the homicidal violence might be contained. A dozen such bills are pending in Congress. What's wrong with Congress, the chiefs ask. Why doesn't Congress act on these things? Moat criminal offenses, of course, are state offenses, not federal offensei. The prevention, detection and punishment of crime must remain primarily local responsibilities. Almoat no one dia- agrees with that proposition. But hwt in southern Florida, criminal activity and drug activity are to intertwined that one cannot be separated from the other — and drug smuggling most emphatically is a federal crime. We are fighting this war with popgun*. No wonder the lords of cocaine are winning. 'Newspeak' is heard in the land The Nixon White House used to call its lies "inoperative truths." And remember when we first discovered that when the CIA does away with someone, it's called "termination with extreme prejudice." Those were the good old daya. They seem to be coming back. The centerpiece and flagship of Reagan economic policy was the tax cut for everyone. But things aren't working out, and it appears they will have to raise taxes. They don't call it that. At the White House, and among Republican congressmen, it's "revenue enhancement." A key ingredient of the new world George Orwell created for 1984 is '"Newspeak," the official language which helped enslave the people by lulling them into insensibility with words and phrases which mean the opposite of what they seem — or mean nothing at all. You don't even have to look at the calendar, but only listen to the talk in Washington, to realize that 1984 is only a little over two years away. When people, especially politicians, are unable to say what they mean, It's a good rule Just to assume they're up to no good. In Washington the other day, I heard that the latest State Department expression for wiping out the guerrilas in El Salvador is "depluralization." Someone topped that with the revelation that the bureaucratic description By _ 4 John McCormally Harrit News Correspondent for people who die in hospitals is "non- positive patient care termination." * * -tr Remember how worked up everyone was, only a few weeks ago when the U. S. refused to back a World Health Organization curb on the rampant marketing of infant formula in the Third World, blamed for thousands of infant deaths? Such a curb would be against the principles of free enterprise, the Reagan administration said. I ran across another of the familiar stories the other day: An Asian woman called Lin took her new baby home from the hospital with a complimen- ' tary sample of infant formula — big business' way of hooking ignorant mothers on formula while their own milk dries up. The mother, who is hard of hearing and speaks no English, for nine days fed the new baby the concentrated formula straight — instead of diluting it by half with water. Luckily, a public health nurse discovered the case before the baby died. What's interesting about this story is that it isn't from the Third World. Lin's baby was born in San Diegp. Reporter Mary Ellen Schoonmaker, writing in Progressive magazine, cite* this and other cases to illustrate the fact that while we were all in an uproar over foreign babies being sacrificed to profit, it's a growing scandal right here at home. She quotes New York pediatrician Allan Cunningham that there's "a disturbing pattern of heavy-handed infant formula promotion" that discourages breast feeding. Abig market The reason's simple enough when you learn that quite aside from the killing that's to be made among gullible mothers in the undeveloped countries, there's a whopping $700 million formula market Hght here at home. The companies are estimated to be spending $100 million of that in promotion, including free samples, goodies for hospitals and pediatricians and such persuasive gestures as a $1 million grant to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The key gimmick here U the same as U is overseas: Ply the young mother with enough free sample* so that by the time they're used up, the mother'! own milk ia dried up and che'i hooked with a $10 to $12 a week formula bill. It'i just another reminder that, aa in •11 miMtonary work, when you go seeking MUU to save, the place to start ii •t home, Letters Wanted v The Journal welcomes letter* to the editor but does not promiM to print them. The briefer they are the better chance they have. All are subject to condensation and editing. Writer's name must be signed with full address for publication. Letters become the property of The Journal.