The Manhattan Mercury from Manhattan, Kansas on April 17, 1979 · 4
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The Manhattan Mercury from Manhattan, Kansas · 4

Manhattan, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 17, 1979
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-1 A4 The Manhattan Mercury Tuesday, April 17, 1979 Washington The Manhattan Mercury 71st Year Edward Seaton, Publisher James Findley , Advertising Manager In Our Opinion 1st or 2nd 1, IN KANSAS s J Explanations badly needed That's a strange case and with some offensive overtones furnished by the judge in the settlement a strange case indeed in Topeka where a young black girl brought action through her aunt-guardian against thr school system claiming educational depirvabon because of race. Not only did Evelyn Johnson, now 16, win an out-of-court money settlement on the suit filed in 1975, in effect substantiating her claims that the Topeka schools had not fully complied with the famed Brown case of 1954, but the whole package, so to speak, was ordered into "secrecy by the presiding U.S. District Court judge, George Templar. Through the enterprise of a Kansas City newspaper we have now learned that Evelyn Johnson won the grand total of $19,500, which is by no means a shocking amount of money considering the seriousness of the case. If the amount of money causes hardly more than a ripple of comment, however, the entire disclosure most certainly raises a series of not only questions but some suspicions as well. The first, of course, is why Judge Templar, apparently not at his " own initiation, ordered the settlement kept secret. As all too frequently seems to need being pointed out to public officials, there are simply no ways to keep the facts from eventually coming out and if, as it appears, it was at the behest of the Topeka school board that such an order was entered then another suit of different sorts needs to be filed against that body. Question Number Two among the many that come to mind is why in the world the plaintiffs and their attorney who, by the way, got the bulk of the award) agreed to the lid of secrecy imposed by the judge. We can well understand the selfish desire of the school authorities to keep this matter quiet, although the attendant thought arises as to how naive can public officials like this really be in thinking such things won't come to light just because some judge says they shan't. We are by no means suggesting that Miss Johnson and her aunt initiated their action as a means of securing a great amount of publicity nor, obviously, were they hopeful of getting rich. We assume they felt that a basic and serious principle was involved and that in addition to her personal deprivation Evelyn stood as a representative of others possibly not being accorded all the available educational opportunities in the Topeka system. Having won their points in what amounts to a nolo contendere on the part of the Topeka school authorities, secrecy served absolutely no purpose; in fact from the standpoint of what was attempted to be proved it was counterproductive. Perhaps there is more to this judgment and the imposition of secrecy than meets the eye, although it is difficult if not impossible to find any reasonable justification on the parts of any of those involved and most importantly the judge himself. We therefore eagerly await an explanation from Judge Templar, whose past record has indicated a commendable dedication to justice in general and its socio-humanitarian aspects in particular. In imposing his gag order on what would appear to be a serious aspect of alleged educational discrimination, the judge has left much to be desired if justice is to be fully served. xX EATii? I pUn SUBSCRIPTION RATES By carter is Manhattan, and ana motor routes. S3 B per month H M pha II carta Mate and city taxi. 131 yearly J7ai pha ti n state and city oil. By earner a Keats. Riley. UonerdriUe. Wamean. St. Geerae. Oadea. Loasnlle. Weaunsrelaad Festsria. OWarl. SaaefieM. Frankfort. MarrmUe. Weterrille. Bam Rapoa. Beatoe. Home. Fort Riley. Alma- Alta Vata and RandMpa. nor anath HRaul cents tale sales taxi By mm! m Riarr. Pottawatomie Marshall. Clay. Geary and ajalaia c ewantw. Ma 'I a sub- , U m awes tai and 17 postal ei. Ill u Mr si I S5 saberraatae. it coots lax. MJa THast rates 4s sat apery where earner semee a ealable By oiail Uanbui M the U I . and Hear and t" S No. 60 BUI Colvin, Editor Don Cowman, Circulation Manager i?79 trwofjo fcm-T.i io frame it." APO and FPO. M yearly By mail ouUadr the MS and Mence, M yearly. Second class pestase pad at Manhattan. Karnes The Manhattan Mercwy ISPS 177 Ki a ptaliahed every aflernoaa Monday throne Friday and as Sunday axmaaj except Christinas. New Years Day tad Labor Day by the Seatea PaMaram Ca . lac . R M testaa. Proudest, at Fifth efOaef a. Manhattan. Ksaaaa MM The Aseanated Prea a eatiUed excaanety Is the ssa Mr reaablicatMa at all the Meal am anstad a tha atoamiir as at all the AJ Diepetchet Represented satanajry by Uadsa Aasoratas. tee. Onrapa Member at the Kansas Preat Aasooetxm. Inland Dairy Prea Asaonatioa. Aawrieaa Newspaper aocaoos and e Aasrt nor Ma at Qr- The new Aga Kahn and inflation WASHINGTON The most engaging character in Washington these days is the man with the most thankless job Alfred Edward Kahn of Cornell University, the president's chief inflation adviser. He is the sort of guy who can make failure seem attractive. Maybe the most obvious thing about him is that he is always saying what he thinks and always smiling a dangerous innovation and , contradiction in Washington. And it is not that sudden, ominous Carter smile, but a kind of reluctant rueful grin that says life is tough but sort of wonderful. Kahn could, as he admits, be a disaster as an "inflation adviser," since the Congress and even the president probably won't take his advice, and maybe, he concedes, his advice is wrong. But right or wrong, he is a vital and spontaneous personality here who commands the respect of this skeptical and cynical town. The point here is not Kahn's policies but his character and personality, and what happens when an outsider comes to Washington, from the university or business worlds and gets involved in the political struggles of this town. Kahn inherited Bob Strauss 's inflated office on the southeast corner of the Executive Office Building, which has a little porch overlooking the White House Oval Office, where he serves tunafish sandwiches at noon, and meditates in the sunshine on the state of the American economy and the American charter. One gets the impression that he has occasional doubts about both, but he is an arresting figure because he has a few old-fashioned qualities which are now in short supply around here. For example, he has a sense of humor and a sense of history. He remembers when mandatory wage and price controls had some effect in time of war, but is against them now though he doesn't rule them out on the reasonable proposition that the human race is cantankerous On the right Science has it in control The debate triggered by the events at Three Mile Island is welcome. That part that isn't welcome is that which is hysterical in nature. When 17-year-old solons or 70-year-old baby doctors denounce fission energy as a plot against mankind they can and should be dismissed as that breed of protesters moved either by crack-pottery or by latent ideological biases. After all it was only 150 years ago, approximately, that solemn gentlemen of science warned that the steam engine train should never be produced because the human body was not designed to travel faster than 15 miles per hour ; and not long before that that medical textbooks announced that any surgical incision into the body would, by admitting air, resultin instant death to a patient. That part of the argument that is interesting is the question, "What faith can one place on science?" "Nuclear Accident Aggravates the Public's Distrust-Of Assurances From Experts on Technical Topics" is the headline in the New York Times. There follows an extremely interesting news analysis by Peter J. Schuyten quoting scientists in an introspective mood. Now here one has to be careful. Ann Landers Advises Sex can be used as a DEAR ANN LANDERS: What do you think of a man who gets furious when he wakes up and finds his wife has gotten out of bed before him and is therefore not available for instant sex? I try to be cooperative to keep peace, but some days I must get up earlier than "B" does, and frankly there are mornings when I beat him out of bed on purpose because I don't want to face the "ritual." When that happens, he retaliates with verbal abuse and petty punishment. ("You can't use the car today.") "B" is 42 and can't get much going at night, but he's rarin to go in the morning sometimes as early as 4:00 a.m. 'After which I can't getback to sleep. ) He claims I am selfish and inconsiderate when I refuse him and quotes doctors as saying. "Repressed sexual drives are unhealthy." He also insists something must be wrong with me because I have to force myself to go along with what comes so naturally and unreasonable and wouldn't go along. He expresses his doubts in simple terms. He lives up on Capitol Hill, jogs around the neighborhood every morning, and then goes to the public swimming pool to cool off. It is a rule there,' he notes, that everybody should take a shower before hitting the water, but very few do. They know the rules but can't be bothered. Same way with the energy problem, he suggests: Do it the easy way. He's not cynical or bitter about any of this. He is a teacher, who has learned in the classroom to pass judgment on things as they are, without losing faith in a better order. The other day he said in effect at a White House briefing for the press: I'm not running for office so I can afford to say what I think. There is a fundamental point which most big-shots, including Jimmy Carter haven't yet accepted, namely: that even if you love the power and prestige of Washington, you must be willing to leave it, and will be trapped if you are not willing and even eager to go home. x Kahn is very frank and even funny about all this. He keeps going around ' the country, telling big business and labor types to shape up, answering nosy and provocative questions from the press, and going on television and " startling everybody with his answers. What does he think of mandatory the small society TMTHi WMlnncton BUT Syndicate, Inc. Because scientists have been notoriously susceptible, in recent decades, to naive accounts of imminent Apocalypse. Fifteen years ago some of them were telling us that we were all going to die from the roentgens released by nuclear testing. This finally aggravated a British Royal Commission exploring the charges to conclude an investigation by gravely sta'ting that "In short, we must assume that eating food is highly dangerous." That also was the period when everyone who believed that nuclear weapons should not be tossed into the sea except after the Soviet Union had tossed theirs into the sea was labelled a Strangelove, and novels were wonderfully popular according as they exaggerated the possibility of muclear mishaps that would bring on doomsday. The late Mr. William Schlamm once wrote that scientists are people who first build the Brooklyn Bridge, then buy it. Still, Three Mile Island poses interesting questions. The Times quotes Alan McGowan, president of the Scientists' Institute for Public Information, as saying, "How do you know what you know, and what are the limits to your knowledge?" It is to him. I used to believe we could work this problem out if each of us gave in a little, but the man won't compromise. Can you help? Pooped In California Dear Pooped: Sex can be a weapon punishment for displaced anger. It can also be withheld for a variety of reasons. I'm not attempting to analyze your problem but perhaps 'these insights might behelpful. You don't say what is required of you in terms of time and energy. If it's only a few minutes you should agree to accommodate "B" in exchange for his promise to leave you alone before the alarm clock goes off. DEAR ANN LANDERS: I received a letter this morning from my grandson age 11. It was full of mispelled words and grammatical errors. Should I (a) correct, his mistakes and send the letter back to him; (b) say something to his parents about the kind of education he is getting: (c) ignore the mistakes? Too bad our young people today are wage and price controls? He considers the history of the past and proclaims them not only a failure but "a stinking mess." Kahn is not a master of cautious understatement. Even when he is asked about Carter's policy pronouncements, he is definitely indiscreet. How, he was asked, could he justify a 3 percent rise in the Carter military budget? "I can't," he replied. He simply will not follow the administration's political or propaganda line. He's not trying to be difficult or hostile he likes Carter and hopes he'll be re-elected but insists on arguing his point, even if nobody listens. As fjead of the Civil Aeronautics Board, before he got involved in trying to stamp out inflation, but always he has been speaking out and even spouting off for honest, if violent discussion of national problems. As a teacher, he has been pleading with Washington to define its problems in plain language that the people could understand. When he came to the Civil Aeronautics Board, he wrote a memorandum to his associates: "May I ask you, please, to try very hard to write ... in straightforward prose ... One of my peculiarities, which I must beg you to indulge if I am to retain my sanity (possibly at thexexpense of yours) is an abhorrence of the artificial and not widely remembered that Galileo, who was forced by the inquisition to recant for telling the truth, aggravated the eccelsiastical court only in part by insisting that the world traveled about the sun. He wanted to go further than that, maintaining that "that which we know to be true scientifically, we know as certainly as if it had been given to us, by Revelation." Scientific "truth" is a dodgy thing. It will be a long while before the jury comes in, and the most vociferous jurors should be disqualified for cause. It would appear that scientists did not anticipate the so-called hydrogen gas "bubble." On the other hand,, if the relevant technicians had done what they were supposed to do, no bubble would have materialized. Question : Is it properly a scientific responsibility to anticipate every conceivable contingency? Or is it fair to say that although this is hardly possible, they should have anticipated this particular contingency? These are prudential questions to which the answer is not yet given us, although we are reminded that there is nothing science knows as a matter of certitude, with the exception of the weapon growing up with so little grounding in the basic skills they will need to get them through life. I await your decision, Ann. Vexed In Lexington Dear Vexed: Please don't return (a) your grandson's letter with corrections, or (b) tell his parents about the errors. Both would be unforgivable. Be happy that the boy wrote to you. I hear from dozens of grannies who would be thrilled to get any kind of letter from their grandchildren. Incidentally, dear, you misspelled "misspelled." (There are two s's in it. Should I return your letter or write to your parents? DEAR ANN LANDERS: I know you are against young married couples living with in-laws or next door, even but my husband's folks are so terrific we decided we could beat the odds. Actually the problem isn't them, it's my husband s kid brother. Tom is 16 a loudmouthed, spoiled brat who runs in and out of our placewhenever he feels like it. He's Commentary from JAMES RESTON The New York Times hyper-legal language that is sometimes known as bureaucratese or gobbledygook." That is the plain talk of Alfred Kahrt today wherever he goes. He knows it's not popular in the Executive Office Building or even in the White House. He plays the political game. The telephone rings on his porch overlooking the White House, asking him to go out next month to make a speech out West where it is politically important or so he is told and he agrees, but with doubt and some regret. Even so, Alfred Kahn is an important symbol in this city. He is just confident enough in himself and in his own judgment to tell the president what he thinks, and just independent enough to go home to Cornell if Jimmy Carter doesn't like it. There are not many influential characters in Washington like Kahn. Most of them don't know where they come from or where they are going. But Kahn is different. He has been around here just long enough to tell the truth and get lost when nobody listens. by Brickman iiiUM 4-10 'lW By WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR. L principle of contradiction, namely that nothing can at once be, and not be. A corollary of that is that we cannot at once have energy and not have energy-creating substances. But it is appropriate, in this season ; of anti-scientific hysteria, to remind; ourselves that the record of the', scientists, whether in medicine in. construction, or in energy research, is : infinitely better than that of non-scientists, in their own professions. This is the bloodiest century in the -history of the world. But it was; defective diplomacy that brought on ; two great wars killing more people; than will grow in Pennsylvania in the ; next thousand years. It was defective : ideology and ethics that gave us: Auschwitz and Gulag. Scientists were not born, nor were they trained, to; govern, but they should not,, respecting their own profession, lie -supine to the criticism of the most: defective policy-makers in history ANN LANDERS always in the fridge and constantly borrows my husband's clothes (without permission). - My husband doesn't like this setup any more than I do but we are both intimidated by the boy's terrible temper. What do you suggest? Ashamed To Sign. Dear Ashamed: Medical science has made it possible to transplant hearts, kidneys, corneas, teeth and hair but so far nothing on backbones. Together you must sit the boy down and recite the new rules. No more running in and out. Come only when ; invited. Fridge and clothes closets are out of bounds. If he opens up with the mouth tell him to close it or leave.

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