The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 24, 1986 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, January 24, 1986
Page 4
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Opinion The Salina Journal Friday, January 24,1986 Page 4 T 1 ! Stefcfei T 1 1 ne Journal Founded in 1871 HARRIS RAYL, Editor and Publisher KAY BERENSON, Executive Ed/for SCOTT SEIRER, News Editor LARRY MATHEWS, Assistant News Editor LORI BRACK, Weekend Editor JIM HAAG, Night Editor MARY JO PROCHAZKA, Associate Editor Forging ahead At a time when federal programs for the disadvantaged face retrenchment, it's heartening to see two local social-service agencies finding new ways to serve clients. As government funds have grown scarce for some of its traditional programs, the Occupational Center of Central Kansas has developed alternative projects that are more self- supporting to address the needs of its clients, the physically and mentally disabled. Though these alternatives can't always serve OCCK's worst-off clients as well as the more traditional programs, they do demonstrate the agency's resourcefulness in adjusting to lean times. OCCK is working, for example, to expand its new Integrated Employment Training Program, which channels OCCK clients to jobs with regular employers in the community. Also, two older OCCK vocational projects operated by the agency as businesses, Quality Custodial Sys- tems and Sparkle Car Wash, are growing because they provide services people are more than willing to pay for. The custodial service, started in 1982, plans to hire more of the agency's clients because of growing customer demand. The car wash has added another day to its service, making it a seven-days-a-week operation and giving its handicapped employees more hours to work and train. At the local office of the Salvation Army, program expansion is under way. Army Capt. Richard Forney plans to start a soup kitchen next month. Also in the works: a project to provide clothes to needy youngsters through the schools and an afternoon gymnasium program for school children. The OCCK's efforts and those of the Salvation Army speak well for the two agencies, which refuse to give in to the gloom that shadows such efforts nationally. They deserve praise for their spunk and ingenuity. Oceans of crude The world which was gasping for oil a few years ago now seems to be drowning in the glut. Prices are plunging to levels that have not been seen in more than six years. But before the cheering and ticker tape parades begin, before anyone rushes out to buy a new gas-guzzler, consider a few problems that may lie ahead. • Falling oil prices and resulting drops in the retail prices of gasoline and home heating oil may lead us to abandon the conservation measures we have adopted in the years since OPEC began throwing tantrums for higher prices. Oil is a finite resource. We cannot resume our old pattern of pretending there's always more where that came from. A tax on imported oil or a higher tax on gasoline would help ensure that consumption stays down by keeping prices up. Revenue from either tax could also help sponge up some of Washington's red ink flood. • Plunging oil prices also spell bad news for U.S. banks that have loaned heavily to oil-producing countries. Mexico, which owes U.S. banks some $27 billion, is almost sure to have difficulty repaying those loans. When Mexico stops paying, those banks may be in Washington looking for a federal handout to help ease the pain. We can't afford to look the other way when our neighbor nation comes looking for help, but any help should be directed at easing Mexico's serious problems, not at keeping the banks from feeling any pain. And one last thing to worry about: Some OPEC officials say the price war is simply an OPEC tactic to force non-OPEC producers, including Mexico and Britain, into cooperating with the OPEC thieves to cut production and keep prices up. So much for that fantasy of buying a new gas-guzzler and hitting the road forL.A. Letters Get the facts I would like to respond to Eva Lankhorst's letter to the editor, which appeared in the Jan. 16 edition of The Journal. Obviously, Lankhorst is down on something she is not up on. The leg-hold trap some people refer to is not a leg-hold trap at all. It's a foot trap (although Lankhorst did not specify). Usually within minutes after release, one can't tell which foot the trap was on. I would also be interested (as would many ranchers) in the Gayle Rose procedure of more humane methods of taking care of the coyote problem. It's very easy to sit in our homes or behind a desk giving advice and operating on emotions rather than facts. If Lankhorst has an appetite loss over the picture of the coyote in the trap, she should view a book called "Procedures for Evaluating Predation on Livestock and Wildlife." After viewing some of the pictures of sheep, calves and goats that have been half eaten alive by coyotes and wild dogs, Lankhorst probably wouldn't eat for a week. -JOE WIGGINS Solomon Myths dangerous In a recent editorial-page column, Whitley Austin perpetuated two myths that could, if accepted, have disastrous consequences for our foreign policy. The notion that civilians have been directly affected by war only in modern times is a false one. For example, during the Thirty Years War of the 17th century, entire sections of Europe were degraded into depopulated wastelands by armies devouring crops, burning villages, prostituting women and spreading disease. Civilians have always been victimized by war. Eliminating sophisticated modern weaponry will not end the carnage. It will merely change warfare back to the primitive type experienced recently by some peaceful, innocent Italians in hand-to- hand combat with Liverpool longshoremen at the European soccer championships! A man run through with a sharpened stick dies a far Black crisis is found in lack of family support WASHINGTON — The week that began with the first national observance of Martin Luther King's birthday ends with a stunning demonstration of the general irrelevance of the civil-rights era to the calamity currently engulfing much of black America. The demonstration will be on CBS for two hours Saturday night in Bill Movers' "The Vanishing Family—Crisis in Black America.'' The honors accorded King are proportional to his accomplishment, and nostalgia for the clarities of his day is understandable. But the struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, against institutional barriers to blacks and for material assistance, are almost irrelevant to the catastrophe of the 1980s. Government programs on behalf of access and amelioration for blacks are necessary. But such programs are barely germane to the growing crisis of personal behavior by millions of inner-city blacks. All other value- generating institutions — schools, churches, youth organizations — are unavailing if the primary institution, the family, fails. Today nearly 60 percent of all black children are born out of wedlock. Imagine the astronomic percentages in many inner cities. Blacks girls between ages 15 and 19 are the most fertile population of that age group in the industrialized world. Half of all black teen-age girls become pregnant. The resulting "families" rarely are self-supporting. Almost half of all black children are partially - supported by government payments. As a result, social pathologies multiply. More than half of all black pupils in primary and secondary schools are in the 12 largest central-city school districts, where schools are inadequate and only one-quarter of the students are white. Blacks are about 11 percent of the population, but about 50 percent of imprisoned felons. The principal cause of death among blacks aged 15 to 24 is murder by blacks. Approximately 40 percent George Will WASHINGTON POST of murder victims are black men killed by black men. The yearly total approximates the total number of black deaths in the entire Vietnam War. Young blacks, whose sexual recklessness produces oceans of misery, feel little of the kind of guilt that changes behavior. One reason for this is that they have been taught by reflexive "civil rights" rhetoric that they are mere victims, absolved from responsibility by the all-purpose alibi of "white racism." When next you hear a "civil-rights leader" (probably a middle-class black selected from a small and self-selected pool of middle-class blacks important as brokers of government benefits) say that the big problem is, say, "failure to enforce the Voting Rights Act," try this: Suppose that the Act is now imperfectly enforced. Also imagine perfect enforcement. Then ask yourself: What would that accomplish? The problem of black America is not an insufficiency of elected officials prepared to regard blacks, alone among American groups, as permanent wards of government compassion. The problem is that millions of blacks are victims of many irresponsible blacks. Moyers begins asking a young unwed mother if she does not need a man's help. She replies, "Not really. I didn't have a father." Today most black families are headed by women. Most black children are growing up without fathers. Moyers talks with a Timothy, unmarried father of six children (not counting the abortion and the stillborn baby) by four women: "I ain't thinking about holding up as far as no sex, my man, you know. If a girl, you know, she's having a baby, carryin' a baby, that's on her, you know. I'm not going to stop my pleasures because of another woman." , Moyers: "How did it feel to have those...." Timothy: "Women?" Moyers: "No,kids. Kids." Try to concentrate, Timothy. The subject is kids. He laughingly says, "I'm highly sexed" and "I just got strong sperm," and he had "a lovely time" begetting the children. But he says, "I'm old-fashioned" about marriage. And he means he wants "a big wedding" with the men in tuxedos. Moyers: "When?" •; Timothy: "Whenever." The Timothys are more of a menace to black progress than the Bull Connors ever were. There is much heroism in the ghettos. Moyers interviews a black man, a Newark detective, who tries to be a caring father for some fatherless children. He says that with Medicaid, welfare and food stamps, "a lot of the women are more married to welfare than to the guys layin" in the bed next to 'em. 'Cause he's just a physical thing. The whole backbone of the family is coming out of downtown or out of uptown offices." Wrong. Such backbone can not come from offices or any other mere physical thing. The detective really knows that. He says: "Freedom is a lot of times destruction (to fatherless children).... So I try to, you know, keep 'em in a little cage ... keep 'em in my arms." That is the voice of a real father. Nothing— not laws propounding "rights," not rhetoric deploring "racism" — can do what such a loving, protective cage can do. Who's counting? Why, minorities, as always more excruciating death than one instantly blown to bits by a bomb. Why do you, Mr. Austin, think the war your generation fought against the Nazis and Japanese was more righteous than the one we are waging today against the communists? The Soviets are attacking the homes of civilian Afghans, destroying their crops, killing and maiming their innocent children, terrorizing old men and women. How does that differ from the actions of the Axis in World Warll? Why are Vietnamese boat people still fleeing their peaceful homelands, braving the rapacious attacks of pirates to reach a foreign shore with only a dubious future? Liberal apologists label these refugees as rich businessmen who exploited workers. That is exactly what Hitler said about the Jews. Wake up, Mr. Austin, the fight is not over! An enemy every bit as vicious as the Nazis is still infiltrating our world. Turning one's back on a bully merely shifts responsibility for controlling that bully to someone else. I don't want to force my sons to fight because I failed to stand firm. What a tragedy we would perpetrate if, through our apathy, we should repudiate the sacrifices of centuries that have secured our personal freedoms. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." Let us not grow so weary of war that we throw up our hands as did the Western world* after World War I. Bowing to pacifist pressure, we reduced our armaments and military expertise to such a low level that an unknown upstart, Adolph Hitler, was able to conquer most of Europe in 1939-40 with a ludicrous assortment of tiny tanks, horse- drawn artillery and foot-marching infantry. Then he sucked dry the occupied countries to build armed forces that cost millions of lives to overcome. Pacifism caused those deaths. A strong defensive posture inhibits warfare. Pacifism does not, for idealism must be tempered with realism. We cannot "abolish war." We can only make it unlikely, using strong defenses kept in balance through negotiations with potential adversaries. -RONTARNSTROM /, Lindsborg BOSTON — We don't generally get lessons in new math from writers. Writers work with words; even the ones who get paid by the line have a bit of trouble with their multiplication tables. But last week at the PEN International Writer's Congress in New York, women writers including Betty Friedan, Gail Sheeny, Grace Paley and Margaret Atwood added up the panelists for the meeting and then divided the total by two: two sexes. There were 120 men speaking to the group and only 20 women. When Friedan went to deliver the imbalance sheet to PEN President Norman Mailer, he reportedly laughed and said, "Oh, who's counting?" Numbers, numbers, numbers. What a bore. The PEN conference was concerned with such lofty ideas as imagination, the writer and the state. Here was a group of small- minded accountants, literary inchworms measuring the marigold. Who's counting? It was, of course, the minority who were counting. It always is. Most of the women I know today would dearly like to use their fingers and toes for some activity more enthralling than counting. They have been counting for so long. But the peculiar problem of the new math is that every time we stop adding, somebody starts subtracting. At the very least (the advanced students will understand this) the rate of increase slows. When the Reagan administration stops counting female Cabinet members, the number goes down from three to one. When Ellen Goodman WASHINGTON POST those in charge stop making a conscious effort to add women to a board of directors or a faculty or a firm, they unconsciously stop adding. Minority members of any group have a choice: They can keep score or they can lose. The woman in the boardroom or on the committee is left holding the calculator. She can risk being labeled petty and tiresome or she can stand by while other women get eliminated from the equation. There is a new philosophy that comes with the new math. The mid-'BOs have been cheerfully designated the "post-civil-rights era." Some in the establishment have declared "victory" over discrimination, the way others once urged us to declare victory over Vietnam so we could leave the field. They say that women and blacks can now rise on merit. We won't insult them anymore, we won't injure their mental health and self- esteem by considering them in percentages instead of unique digits. But by some mysterious calculation, the same men who invited women in because they "needed one," now find it remarkably difficult to identify women who "merit" inclusion. To wit, Mr. Mailer: "More men are intellectuals first, so there was a certain natural tendency to pick more men than women.'' Forgive me if I step gingerly from the turf of Mailer to that of Ed Meese. A more deadly version of new math is now on the White House blackboard. Today if employers with federal contracts ask "who's counting," they are told that it's the government. Under affirmative-action orders, 125,000 employers have to meet "goals and timetables" for hiring women and minorities. The government is an easy grader. In 1983, the Labor Department found that companies were only reaching 10 percent of their goals. But only 15 companies have been barred from government work in the past decade. Not surprisingly, the best hiring records were held by companies that were getting their records checked. Now Meese wants to stop counting. According to his new math, goals equal quotas; affirmative action equals discrimination. If we lived in a post-civil-rights era, I would turn over my Arabic numbers and Roman numerals to Meese. I know no woman, no minority, who doesn't want to be accepted as an individual rather than as a class action. But in large measure, women and minorities still have only two choices: affirmative action or reaction. Numbers may not be as eloquent as literary or political ideas. Goalkeepers and timetable makers may not always be welcome. But from PEN to Pennsylvania Avenue, somebody has to keep counting. Doonesbury WUR.PEATH CERTIFICATE, THANK* I CANT FOP. COMING IT.. AWIP5AWHATKIWOF PRU&HBMAYHAVE B&NUSING? PUK£?NO -$IGH..~ my, MAN. ru.6er 7HE.PUP5 TmKHO- . WAS AS PCX.

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