Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois on March 20, 1968 · Page 8
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Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois · Page 8

Freeport, Illinois
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 20, 1968
Page 8
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FREEPORT JOURNAL-STANDARD Published daily except Sunday and six legal holidays By The Freeport Journal-Standard Publishing Company AN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 1968 A Challenge For Rep. Anderson The United States Senate, by a surprisingly large 71-20 margin, last week passed an open housing measure that eventually would cover about 80 per cent of the nation's dwelling units. It is a piece of legislation of the sort that long has been needed in federal law just as were the earlier civil rights and the voting rights acts. Its passage would help to demonstrate to disenchanted Americans that change can and will come through peaceful processes. The House of Representatives approved an open housing bill two years ago, only to see it die a few months later in a Senate filibuster led by Southern Democrats and Northern Republican leaders, including our own Sen. Everett M. Dirksen, whose change of mind was instrumental in getting the measure through the Senate this year. The Democrats in the House, unlike those in the Senate, cannot pass an open housing bill by themselves. They will need the support of a' substantial portion of Northern Republicans. Thus, the moderate faction of the Republicans in the House is under pressure to show that their party is indeed as constructive in its outlook as its leaders claim. The matter is of the greatest importance. As the unanimous report of National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, of which several moderate Republicans were members, noted: The most basic cause of riots in our cities "is surely the continuing exclusion of great numbers of Negroes from the benefits of economic progress through discrimination in employment and education, and their enforced confinement in segregated housing and schools. The corrosive and degrading effects of this condition and the attitudes that underlie it are the source of the deepest bitterness and at the center of the problem of racial disorder." Among the most prominent of the commission's recommendations was a call for a comprehensive national open housing law covering even single family homes and strictly enforced. An open housing law, of course, . will not do all that needs to be done to provide full opportunity for the American Negro. But it is an important step toward that goal, a step that can and should be taken now without any major outlay of funds. We hope that Rep. John Anderson, the Republican member of the House from this district, will join in passage of a measure that is long overdue, essential to the future health of the nation and imperative in terms of fundamental human justice. New Wind Stirs In Czechoslovakia For twenty years Czechoslovakia has been under the domination of men who were indoctrinated during the Stalinist era in Russia. The manner in which these men, foes of democracy, contrived to take possession of the government, is a lesson which is unfortunately too infrequently recalled and studied. They came into the circle of the democratic leaders, Jan Masaryk and Eduard Benes, as collaborators and co-workers. By degrees they worked into a position of power and supremacy. It is a lesson for the many who today believe in the feasibility of coalition governments with Communist participators. Today, however, and particularly within the last two months, there have been signs of impending change. Nothing under the sun remains the same forever, and monolithic communism is no exception. Within Czechoslovakia there are clear indications of a widespread rebellion, especially among young people and even within the party, against the repressive totalitarian routines which have prevailed for a generation. Most significant of all is the lift- Ing of censorship in press and electronic media of communication and sanction of public panel discussions on state policies. A year ago this would have been considered unthinkable. Today it is accepted, even by the present heads of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. There are in Czechoslovakia, as in every other land in the Soviet orbit, distinct groups antagonistic to one another and insistent upon their prerogatives and special interests. But Czechoslovakia is a special case, because for thirty years before the Communist takeover it was a practicing democracy, presided over by Thomas G. Masaryk, his son Jan, his right hand aide Benes and a further nucleus of devoted believers in freedom. They were also, and most deplorably, as hindsight now shows, believers in a sort of pan-Slavism, in which Russia and the other Slavic nations would be associates and colleagues. It did not work out, as the tragic death of Jan Masaryk, perhaps pushed out of a window by Communist agents, presently showed. Whereas the Masaryk-Benes group had believed that pan-Slavism would bring free institutions to eastern Europe, it actually facilitated the Soviet conquest of Czechoslovakia. The present regime of Communists in Prague is now represented as ready to allow more freedom of thought and expression to the new and rebellious generation. Whether this will be the course of history remains to be seen. The Stalinist clique, one of whom, a general, has been given asylum in the United States, and others in Prague, one of whom last week committed suicide, are not proposing to lose their power and prestige to innovators or reformers. Whatever ensues, it must be borne in mind that each of the countries in the Communist world has a different history and background, and its own history and inheritance will determine to a very considerable extent its individual future. Czechoslovakia had the most successful period of membership in the free world of any of them, but it was also influenced by the earlier years of restlessness and dissatisfaction when it was a province of Austria- Hungary. Out of the separate and distinct backgrounds a new future will be' evolved for each country, and it can be taken for granted that Czechoslovakia's Babylonian captivity of the last twenty years was not to be eternal. There Goes Your Income Tax The question of a demonstration over it aside, it is little short of incredible that the Army would have had the gall to construct the exhibit that ended up in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. On display at the museum is a "Huey" troop-carrying helicopter equipped with a machine gun with which visitors can simulate firing at a painted target of thatched hut. Flashing lights indicate a hit. According to news dispatches, the display has been popular with children. What motivated the army — if indeed it is thinking at all these days — to use tax funds, or any funds, for such a project is something that is probably just well left unexamined. Suffice it to say that our nation has already become enough of a military state that we do need anything to add encouragement to that trend, especially an army-financed game of which youngsters can say: "Hey, let's go down to the museum and shoot up an Asian village." They will probably have their chance to do that for real all too soon. MARQUIS CHILDS War Policies Shake U. S. Economy WASHINGTON — Even the perils of James Bond confronting Goldfinger pale beside the dangers of the gold trap in which the United States found itself as panic gold buying raged on to record sales. No one seemed to have the Goldfinger magic to check the drain of America's reserves. The grave risk as the crisis deepened was that emergency measures would be too little and too late! That is what critics were saying of the move by the Federal Reserve Board raising the discount rate — the basic lending rate — from 4M> per cent to 5 per cent. A Strange Situation But the wild gold rush on the principal markets had done at least one thing. It brought the central bankers together in Washington to try to reach agreement on cooperative measures seeking at least temporary stability out of chaos. It is a situation almost without parallel. As the rest of the world looked on — and conspicuously the cold-eyed central bankers of the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland — the richest of all nations appeared powerless to adjust its monetary resources to its far- flung commitments. The doubting spectators see the American system of divided powers as itself on trial with the executive pulling one way and the legislature another. After Secretary of the Treasury Henry H. Fowler had pleaded almost tearfully with the Senate Finance Committee for a tax increase the committee by a vote of two to one refused to approve the 10 per cent surcharge. By the squeak margin of 39 to 37 the Senate finally voted to take off the gold cover on U.S. currency, thereby making available an additional $10 billion of gold. Economists Speak Up A tug-of-war over taxes to curb inflation and reduce the anticipated deficit of $20 billion or more is hardly calculated to create confidence. The end result appears to skeptical onlookers to be paralysis. Members of the Joint Economic Committee, putting the finishing touches on the annual report released Tuesday, have faced up to what in their view is the heart of the matter. That is the huge drain of the Vietnam war and in America's military posture around the globe. To try to remedy this by higher interest rates is to court a depression here at home, JEC members say. "American labor, business, agriculture and consumers cannot afford this depression in order to save the government the agony of reappraising its military and diplomatic stance abroad, difficult as that reappraisal will be," the committee report will say. The annual cost in foreign exchange of keeping American troops and their dependents in Germany is put at $800 million. The estimate for Vietnam is about $1.5 billion. An additional $2 billion represents the foreign exchange cost for the American military posture elsewhere. Military Funds The Key With favorable balances in many areas, including trade, the military drain must be corrected, members of the committee feel, if there is to be any real improvement. They will recommend that the NATO countries that have surplus dollar balances and want the United States to go on maintaining troops in Europe agree to remit the foreign exchange costs involved. Short of this the demand to pull put the American forces will be irresistible. Already the,call to remove most of the troops in Germany has the backing of nearly half the members of the Senate. JAMES RESTON Kennedy Decides To Go For Broke © 1968, NY Times News Service BOSTON - Sen. Robert Kennedy is now embarked on the greatest gamble of his political career. Why would he go for the presidency now? One answer is that he has been losing ground steadily for the last two years and this could be his last chance. Even he knows it isn't a very good one. He has lost some of the magic that helped him politically after the death of President Kennedy. The new McCarthyism with its attractions for youth is hurting him almost as much as the old McCarthyism did in the '50s. Many of the young idealists feel that he was not willing to risk himself for his antiwar policy, and he never was very popular with the conservative businessmen or even with middle-aged middle- class moderates. Chance To Recover So the trend was running against him. His policy of waiting and sniping at the Administration from the sidelines was losing him support within the party organization and among conservatives and liberals alike. And since Senator McCarthy demonstrated that there was a deep split in the party over President Johnson and the war, Kennedy felt he could change course without being blamed for having created that party division. The Oregon and California primary elections at least give him a chance for a comeback. He still has a popular following in these two states. And in California, he not only has the enthusiastic endorsement of Jesse Unruh, the speaker of the assembly, but he has influential supporters among President Johnson's divided California aides. Accordingly, a late victorious rally in theso states would at least bring him back to the center of the stage, and put him in the running at the convention in the event that Lyndon Johnson should decide at the last moment not to seek re-election. Why Kennedy Running This is regarded in political circles as only a very remote possibility — maybe even more remote with Kennedy in the race — but all kinds of remote possibilities seem to be happening these days. President Johnson has said ever since he entered the White House: "I want to do only one thing in this job: I want to unite this country." And that of course is obviously his most spectacular failure. Also, if Kennedy had waited out the election of 1968, he could easily have found himself up against eight years of a Republican administration and by that tune his long-haired appeal to youth might seem somewhat ridiculous. Besides, Kennedy was not only losing the confidence of many of his former backers in his sideline role, but what was ultimately more important, he was losing confidence in .himself. He is an activist and much more of an idealist than is generally supposed. No doubt the effort to challenge both McCarthy and Johnson now will revive the old charge that he is a ruthless self-seeking politician, but it would not be fair to charge him with going back on McCarthy. Great Risks, Issues McCarthy did go to Kennedy before entering the presidential race, just as Kennedy went to McCarthy after the New Hamp shire primary. But in neither case did they really enter into any understanding with one another. McCarthy merely told Kennedy what he was thinking of doing, and Kennedy did the same. These were courtesies and nothing more. No doubt a Kennedy campaign will complicate McCarthy's strategy. It could split the anti-John- son vote and maybe even allow the President to run ahead of the Democratic ticket in both Oregon and California. More than that, even if New Hampshire demonstrated the split in the Democratic party, a bruising four-way battle in the primaries by Johnson, Kennedy, McCarthy and Wallace could fracture the party even more and help the Republicans to win in November. But even so, the election is now at least getting down to the main issues and the main personalites. A presidential election with Rockefeller and Kennedy on the side was not a true picture of the political realities of America. The thing was loitering down to a choice between Johnson and Nixon, and it may still dp so, but at least the other major political leaders are now likely to be heard. There are obviously great risks involved in all this for Kennedy. He could easily lose and even put his re-election to the Senate in jeopardy, but he feels even more strongly than McCarthy against the P r e s i dent's policies in Vietnam and the cities, and he has apparently decided that it is riskier for his own personal wellbeing and for his political future to stay out than to get in. For most of us the intricacies of the gold and dollar balance are as mysterious as an exercise in higher mathematics. It is the bedrock stuff of higher taxes to pay for an unpopular war that hits home. As levies at the state and local levels constantly rise Congress hears from the voters a roar of protest over, any increase in the Federal income tax. Here the President's timing has been, to say the least, unfortunate. Beginning in early 1966 Chairman William McChesney Martin Jr. of the Federal Reserve Board was urging that a tax boost be passed as quickly as possible. With Johnson's popularity still high and large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, he could have had about what he asked for. By mid- 1967 this was no longer true. But taxes are only one of a host of larger uncertainties. New troop commitments to Vietnam would send the deficit soaring without a much bigger tax bite than the 10 per cent surcharge. Ominous as is the gold rush it is only one symptom of the doubts everywhere over America's capability in the months ahead to put the American house in order. © 1968, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc. MAX LERNER The President: Look At His Outlook, Mood WASHINGTON — The impression a visitor gets of Lyndon Johnson in these days of trial is that of a last-ditch fighter in a western movie of the bad old days, surrounded by the savages, with his horse shot from under him, embattled, unyielding, waiting for re- enforcements to carry the day. It is also that of a man who is dead-certain that the re-enforce- ments will come, sure of his own conscience and confident that history is with him. The parallel with the ordeal of Abraham Lincoln is likely to ue brushed aside these days. Instead there is the stress on how hard every one of America's wars has been for America's people and leaders, how high the casualties, how torn the nation. One can see the dangers in the Lincoln parallel. Faced with a bloody, protracted, intractable war, Lincoln kept rethinking strategy and changing commanding generals until he got results. Anyone reminding President Johnson of this is likely to get a sharp putdown. Gen. William Westmoreland stays. Will China Fight? The sharpest difference between the President and his critics comes in assessing the meaning of the new phase of the war. Playing down the importance of the Tet offensive, Mr. Johnson tells his questioners what Secretary Dean Rusk told the Senate committee — that it is easier to destroy than to build and that destroyers, therefore, always have the immediate advantage. Those who ask about the shift of initiative to the enemy are told that this has given the Americans and their allies a new opportunity they lacked before — the chance to meet the enemy in the open, inflict heavy casualties and thus grind him to pieces. Once the enemy moved away from guerrilla tactics and came out into the open he suffered enormous casualties. This approach may be disturbing to a questioner who reflects that in a war of mounting casualties on both sides the problem becomes one of manpower and staying power, and that the Asians have both. But one gathers that in the President's mind a nation of 17 million must reach its limits on both. If the improbable happens, and the Chinese come in, America is prepared even for that. The problems of internal American unity seem to disturb the President more than the course of the war itself. He expected the heightened disaffection of college and graduate students when the draft deferments were all but wiped away. But he clings to the idea that this applies only to a small group of students, not to most of the young across the nation. As for the changes in the draft, he puts the onus for them on Congress. He recommended the majority report of the study commission on the draft, but Congress responded to the overwhelming demand of its constituents to make the draft truly democratic and adopted the minority report. As for the question of priorities, in allocating America's resources, Lyndon Johnson always points with pride to the figures themselves. A Bureau of the Budget study shows steep increases in appropriations under the Johnson Administration over the three preceding ones in every area of social welfare — including health, education and housing. Even if the war were ended, he is skeptical of whether Congress would be likely to increase the welfare allocation, especially if it were a Republican-dominated Congress. As for his own political future, he brushes aside any questions, despite the anxieties which the recent political events must have stirred in him. He scoffs at conjectures on what he will do about running or not running which are based on guess and hunch rather than on information. And thus far he has given no one any information. Stubborn, Lonely Too The burdens on a wartime President are always great. When the war is going badly and the nation is split, they are even greater. The President would be less or more than human if his face and demeanor did not reflect them. But his self-image is still that of a confident leader, taking decisions and reverses in his stride, "steady and patient" in the face of all the volcanic excitement around him The impression that comes through to visitors is that of a terribly stubborn man and a terribly lonely one, whose massive power only emphasizes his isolation, turning increasingly inward for support, showing few signs of how shaken he may be by events blinkered by his own past decisions and blunders, confident of vindication by history if not by the people. Above all, one must be impressed by the naked will power of the man, as if he were exerting sheer will to hold everything together at once — the war the nation and his own internal universe. JOSEPH ALSOP: Matter Of Fact Our Dream Becoming Nightmare' WASHINGTON — An older man, nostalgically hankering for a simpler America, glumly packing for yet another journey to Vietnam, would prefer to say a cheerful farewell. Yet in honesty it must instead be said that all our immediate, fast-converging crises — of the dollar, of the war and of our national leadership — are downright trivial compared to what now lies ahead. It has taken some time for this reporter to get through the whole of the vast, not very well-organized report of the President's riot commission. The report has been received, so far as one can judge, with depressed indifference. Dream Becoming Nightmare Yet the President, the Congress and the country should instead be responding with the desperate, unanimous activity of the people of a city remorselessly besieged — the women twisting their hair into bowstrings, the old gaffers grimly taking their places next to the young warriors, even the little children hurrying to carry food and water to those who man the threatened walls. For this report's cold print, bolstered at every stage by columns of unanswerable statistics, is nothing more nor less than an official portrait of the Ameriean-dream-turning-into-nightmare. We are not besieged but we are sore beset, and by such a problem as this nation has not known since the guns at Sumter opened the Civil War. Furthermore, for all its strong, even emotional language, the riot commission's report timidly understates the true horror of that problem. The heart of the horror is the series of statistical tables on Negro immigration to the center cities, on white emigration to the affluent, rancidly complacent suburbs, and on the consequent future pattern of the great cities of America. The Capital A Ghetto The nation's capital today, as this reporter has often pointed out, is no more than a huge black ghetto thinly concealed behind a pompous white federal facade. Today, Washington, with 66 per cent Negro population, and Newark, with more than 50 per cent, are the two American cities with solid Negro majorities. But in only 15 years (and probably in much less time) Washington and Newark are due to be joined by Chicago and New Orleans, St. Louis and Detroit, Philadelphia, Oakland, Cleveland and Richmond, Jacksonville, Baltimore and Gary. And if the almost equally wretched Puerto Ricans are added to the calculation, New York and half a dozen other major cities must be added to the list. Where the report is timid and inadequate is in its description of the consequence of this trend. It is not enough to say that "our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal." Our nation is, in fact, moving toward something far worse — if worse can be imagined. The Danger Ahead For it should be clear to anyone that on present projections the political and economic patterns of these ghetto-cities of the future will be wildly unlike the pattern of New York and Boston (the cases the riot commission cites) when those two cities acquired majorities of newly arrived Irish and other poor immigrants in the 19th century. Unless massive, costly and urgent measures are taken to give justice and opportunity to our Negro fellow citizens, they will surely turn — as they are already turning — to the black racists who preach hatred and violence. The Boston Irish no doubt resented and disliked the entrenched and wealthy Yankees; but when they gained control of Boston's City Hall, they were not shouting, "Get the black Protestants! Burn, brother, burn!" The recent elections of able Negro mayors in Cleveland and Gary were events that should make every American proud of this country. But black racists in city hall will be something else again. They will be a recipe, in fact, for noncities. For in this management, banking and commerce, retail and other kinds of trade, the arts and sports and every other kind of profitable and life-enriching activity will also emigrate to the white suburbs. Industry is already emigrating rapidly, as the report indicates. A Grim Prospect With shriveled tax bases, with no future, with few jobs for huge populations, with business buildings blank-windowed and unused, with all their services steadily deteriorating, think of these ghetto city-centers of the future! They will be hardly better than the grim, barbed wire-surrounded "locations" where the white South Africans lock up their Negro workers for the night! That is what now lies ahead for America, if one is realistic about it. And that will be just as horrible, just as life-deforming, just as soul-destroying for the white American majority as for the black American minority. All that this republic stands for — hope and freedom, decency and honor — will go by the board if that is allowed to come to pass. In dreadful truth, no effort and no sacrifice, no outlay and no self-denial can be too great to aver' this impending nightmare. O 19S8. The Washington Pott Co.

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