Victoria Advocate from Victoria, Texas on January 27, 1991 · 4
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Victoria Advocate from Victoria, Texas · 4

Victoria, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 27, 1991
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Opinion Sunday morning, January 27, 1991 Editorials Thought Police Picture this: an academic goon squad ready to rough up students or professors who don't accept its brand of political orthodoxy . No, it's not the National Socialist Party of Nazi Germany. It's the Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities, the organization with the power to grant or deny accreditation to institutions in Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mary land, and the District of Columbia. The association is trying to raise the banner of "cultural diversity," a euphemism for racial quotas, gay rights, male-bashing, and other manifestations of "correct thinking." Heretics - professors or students who question the agenda are either rushed into "sensitivity awareness" seminars, harassed into silence, or run off campus. Unfortunately, the movement is finding fertile ground. At New York School of Law, students refused to debate a moot-court case involving a hypothetical divorced lesbian mother trying to win custody of her child because arguing against her would be harmful to gays. At the University of Michigan, noted demographer Reynolds Farley was harangued and denounced as "racist" because he had the temerity to read aloud a passage from the autobiography of black activist Malcolm X in which the author called himself a pimp and a thief. Farley dropped his course. This crusade, like so many other holy wars, is being waged through forced conversions. The Middle States Association is trying to use its accrediting arm to muscle universities into obedience. And the incentive for a campus to swallow the new orthodoxy of "political correctness" is strong: A college that loses its accreditation also forfeits federal aid and academic legitimacy. All of this is making the U.S. Department of Education a little queasy. The department is withholding the Middle States Association's accrediting authority while it reviews its diversity agenda. Education officials rightly fear that the obsession with cultural diversity will translate into quotas in admission and faculty hiring, violating a 1988 law prohibiting discrimination in public or private universities that receive federal money. Unfortunately, the Middle States Association has its henchmen. The National Task Force for Minority Achievement in Higher Education is calling for public universities to ensure that minority groups not only enroll, but graduate in rates proportional to their population in each state. Vincent Sarich, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, rightly asks, "How do you mandate graduation rates except by cheating? " How indeed. The zealous pursuit of so-called diversity often leading to quotas and mandated, politically correct speech cannot peacefully coexist with the quest for excellence in our universities. In what is becoming an academic inquisition, educators will have to choose sides. Let's hope enough of them choose freedom. The New Judges President Bush's typical judicial nominee is white, male, 50, a judicial conservative with a law degree from a private school, a net worth of more than $500,000, bench experience and the American Bar Association's top rating. Under a 1990 law, Mr. Bush will be able to appoint 85 new judgeships. Taking into account those slots, 38 other vacancies and the 67 he appointed in 1989-90, the president has named or will be able to name 190 judges, about one-fourth of the federal total. Between Mr. Bush's and Ronald Reagan's judicial appointments, the two Republican presidents by 1992 will have selected an overwhelming ma jority of the federal bench. By then, the federal courts will have been as strikingly reshaped as they were after 12 years of Franklin Roosevelt appointments. The left-leaning Alliance for Justice has criticized both GOP administrations' dearth of female and minority appointments and contends that Mr. Bush chooses judges "insensitive to the needs of society's disadvantaged," a sentiment echoed by Democratic senators. The Bush administration rejects that view, rightly so. It is apparent that Mr. Bush is trying harder for diversity than Mr. Reagan did. For example, consider the District of Columbia courts, where the president does not have to contend with recommendations by members of the Senate. Of his four appointments, one was a woman and one was a black man. And the president is seeking help on Capitol Hill. He wrote to Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., on Nov. 30, noting the role of GOP senators in choosing district court candidates and asking for more qualified female and minority recommendations. Mr. Bush also stressed other criteria: "By 'qualified candidates,' I mean not only persons who have the training, intellect, character and temperament to be excellent judges, but also persons who understand the separation of powers and the judicial role within our constitutional system and who are committed to interpreting the law and not legislating from the bench." And that's fine with us. Words Worth Remembering Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." , -Matthew 16:16 There was never law, or sect, or opinion did so much magnify goodness, as the Christian religion doth. Francis Bacon, English author and philosopher UUN vjrr un Sow Stupid, THoDOf H&NDUN6 H3T ! JSIpl Pentagon Openness Criticized rm iooi mm uch Ta Evans WASHINGTON By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak (c) 1990, Creators Syndicate, Inc. r i 1 Retired senior military officers were aghast at the amount of detailed tactics and strategy in the U,S. air war against Saddam Hussein revealed in Wednesday's Pentagon briefing by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. One of the most prominent critics is a recently retired three-star officer. He said Saddam's access to photographic evidence of the way U.S. bombers "crater" Iraqi airfields could teach Iraqi defenders how to circumvent the results of bombing runs. Never before has one country had instant access to the photographic evidence of war damage taken by enemy cameras as Iraq does now via CNN. The political community's reaction to the Wednesday briefing was awe at Powell's masterful performance. That revived talk of a future political career for him, perhaps as a Republican vice presidential candidate. Novak The intelligence report contradicts assurances that Moscow has withdrawn all advisers from Iraq. Instead, it says, Soviet technicians are helping with Iraq's high-tech weapons, including the firing of Scud missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia. Testing Mitchell Tipping Off Israel A western reporter was telephoned by an Israeli official at 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 16 and told that the United States would launch its air war against Iraq in exactly two hours. The Israeli had been tipped off by a high U.S. official. In then passing this information to a reporter on an open telephone line, the Israeli risked giving a two-hour warning to Saddam Hussein, during which he could ready Iraqi aircraft and anti-aircraft guns for the attack. U.S. officials aware of the breach of security were furious that an American would reveal such a high state secret in the first place. That fury was compounded when they learned that the Israeli then passed the news on to a reporter, who could have gone on television or radio with it but did not. Soviet-Guided Scuds New intelligence showing that Soviet advisers are helping Saddam Hussein target his Scud missiles may undercut President Bush's deep desire to go ahead with next month's Moscow summit in order to prop up Mikhail Gorbachev. Bush wants to strengthen Gorbachev, even though the Soviet president has conspicuously failed to condemn the killing of a score of Baltic nationalists by his own troops. Without Gorbachev, Bush fears the Soviet army's strong opposition to his gulf . war policy could break up the anti-Saddam coalition. Influential Democrats will be looking at Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's televised response to President Bush's State of the Union address as a test of whether he could handle the war issue as a presidential candidate. Mitchell's powerful performance as Senate floor leader has built increasing support for him in Democratic ranks as a potential candidate of presidential stature. But party operatives will be eyeing him closely to see how he handles Democratic opposition to the war resolution, including his own, at a moment when the popular tide is running for the Bush war policy. It is taken for granted that Rep. Richard Gephardt will run for president again next year, though he would have to resign as House majority leader because of a pledge he made to Democratic congressmen when elected to that post in 1989. Mitchell made no such promise and would not have to quit as leader but has not made up his mind about 1992. Michel's Seat The full court press put on by House Republican Leader Robert Michel for his fellow House member from Illinois, Rep. Edward Madigan, to become secretary of agriculture so exceeds the bounds of friendship that it is taken as a signal that Michel plans on staying in Congress indefinitely. Michel and Madigan represent adjoining districts, one of which figures to be eliminated in the congressional redistrict-ing. If Madigan was ensconced in the Cabinet, it would be easier to ensure Michel's seat. The veteran House leader over the past decade has often talked of quitting, but colleagues now see him going strong after last year's election to an 18th term. Madigan has clearly outdistanced ex-Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who made the mistake of pressing too hard for the agriculture portfolio after his defeat for re-election last November. But the congressman could lose out to either Assistant Secretary JoAnn Smith or American Farm Bureau President Dean Kleckner. Smith is regarded as the choice of the departing secretary, Republican National Chairman Clayton Yeutter. Little Help for the Baltics An Unwanted Truth WASHINGTON - Day by day, the two vice presidents walked the corridors of power in Washington. Everyone was polite. Some were supportive. And, yet, at the end, both knew they were bringing a message no one wanted to hear. It was not a role either would have chosen for himself. Bronius Kuzmickas, 55, was an academic and philosopher, the head of the Lithuanian equivalent of the American Assn. of University Professors. Dainis Ivans, 35, was a popular Latvian magazine and television journalist turned environmental activist. Last year, when the Baltic republics began their bids for independence from the Soviet Union, both were elected to the parliaments of their nations and from there to the vice presidencies. Kuzmickas and Ivans came west to arouse the conscience of the democracies to the bloody repression of freedom in their homelands. They came after Soviet "Black Beret" security forces had killed 18 civilians at a television station in Vilnius and a government ministry in Riga. They came begging help, moral and material, for their fellow citizens who have formed volunteer militias to protect the Latvian and Lithuanian parliament buildings and the infant democracies they house from Moscow's thugs. They arrived in Washington on the second night of the Persian Gulf War, when this capital was preoccupied with the battle between the Scuds and the Patriots in the dramatic television pictures from Israel and Saudi Arabia. America was focused on one small country Kuwait -and hardly had time for others. Even in such a week, many doors were open to them - and many minds as well. Ivans found the support offered by members of Congress "fantastic." He was "satisfied" with the assurances he and Kuzmickas received from Secretary of State James Baker that "the United States would," as Ivans put it, "continue to look for ways to help." By David S. Broder (c) 1990, The Washington Post But at the end of the visit, when I caught up with them for interviews, both men were exhausted and mon nan a bit downcast. Despite the sympathetic reactions, there was nothing substantial to take home to their embattled lands. More openly frustrated were members of the delegation of Americans of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian ancestry who met with President Bush to protest the repression in their homelands. "He acts as if he does not wish to see what is happening," one told me. "It seems he has made up his mind that Gorbachev is the key to the future, and we must support him at all costs." Bush and Baker told their visitors that they had already communicated Americans' condemnation of the shootings and takeovers to Soviet officials, from Gorbachev on down. But they declined any of the offered suggestions for action. Their timidity is conspicuous. The World Bank and other international organizations, the Scandinavian countries, Canada, and the European Community all suspended economic assistance to the Soviets because of the Baltic repression. Kuzmickas and Ivans asked only that the U.S. give its economic and food assistance to the republics that are instituting economic and political reforms, not to the old-guard communist bureaucrats in the ministries in Moscow. They were told Moscow already had snapped up most of the (1 billion in credits Bush made available in December. Their suggestion that the United States formally recognize the elected governments of the Baltic republics a step which would clearly make Moscow think twice about its harassment and repression was greeted coldly. They understand that the Bush administration believes it has bigger interests at stake, which make it impolitic to push Gorbachev too hard. He is cooperating in the Gulf War and he may be ready to sign a new arms-control agreement. But the two men argue that it would be unthinkable for Bush to meet with Gorbachev next month while Soviet security forces are threatening more violence and repression in the Baltic republics. At a minimum, they say, Bush should insist the "Black Berets" be withdrawn before he and Gorbachev sit down. They are right. The moral principle we invoked in opposing Iraqi aggression against Kuwait cannot be suspended when Soviet forces attack Latvians and Lithuanians. "Even in the midst of the Gulf crisis," Kuzmickas said, "the United States must think ahead a year or two. The Baltics are the crucial test. If democratization is stopped in the Baltic states, it will be in the Soviet Union as well. And the world will be faced again with a hard-line communist Soviet Union, and hopes for a new relationship will be suspended. " That is a truth Washington does not want to hear at the moment, any more than it wanted to hear harsh things about Saddam Hussein when he was fighting Iran. But it is still the truth. Letters to the Editor Officials Show Responsiveness Editor, The Advocate: I was disabled in 1979 at the age of 32. 1 am now 44 and have been confined to a wheelchair for 12 years. My greatest ambition has been to be as self-sufficient and independent as possible. My wife agrees and supports my ambitions. My greatest difficulty is overcoming barriers of accessibility in public places. In October license tags for my car were due. My wife had to take off work to go get them for me. We decided that the issue of handicap accessibility at the County Tax Office was long overdue for attention. When my wife inquired about accessibility at the tax office, they referred her to County Judge Norman Jones. When she arrived at his office, she spoke with Mr. Jerry Nobles instead. He told her about the city ordinance on ramps and the age of the tax office building. He agreed to speak to Judge Jones about the issue and get back to us. In November, I received a letter from County Commissioner Rex Easley Sr. stating that they hadn't forgotten the issue and would get back to us. On Jan. 10, 1 received a call from Commissioner Easley to inform me that he and County Clerk Val Huvar, would meet with my wife and I to discuss the issue on the first clear day. I agreed. On Jan. 17, he telephoned in the morning to set up an appointment for 2 p.m. in front of the county tax office, where my wife and I met with Mr. Easley and Mr. Huvar. After a lengthy discussion it was agreed there will be at least two handicap parking spaces in front of the County Tax Office for the ambulatory handicapped, and special wheelchair parking and ramp entrances at the rear of the office on Glass Street. All this can be done without defacing the historical appearance of the building. Construction will begin after Mr. Easley recovers from scheduled eye surgery. I believe these men will do what they promised, although the proposals and agreements are confirmed with just an old-fashioned handshake. My sincere gratitude to my wife Ella Dean Bess for helping to accomplish these goals, and my sincere thanks to these men for their time and support. They are to be commended. They took time to come to the aid of the common citizens of Victoria, although it is a time of world crisis. DANIEL CHARLES BESS, Jr. Victoria Depression-Era NYA Participants Sought Editor, The Advocate : I am writing to ask your readers for assistance in locating individuals who participated in the National Youth Administration (NYA) during the Great Depression. In existence from 1935 to 1943, the NYA offered out-of -school and out-of-work youths part-time jobs to earn money to help their families and to gain work experience. It also provided jobs for high school and college students so that they could remain in school. I completed a history of the NYA in Texas for my dissertation at Texas A&M University and am now in the process of turning the dissertation into a book. The history would be greatly enhanced by . some personal accounts of participants. Unfortunately, state and national records containing the names of enrollees have been destroyed, and I am now searching for former participants through other means, including local newspapers. If any of your readers were former participants and would be willing to answer a brief inquiry, about their years in the NYA, I would appreciate it if they would send me their name and address. CAROL A. WEISENBERGER Department of History University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA 50614 Support Appreciated Editor, The Advocate: The Spring Creek 4-H Club thanks Lack's for sponsoring a tree decorating contest and for giving us an opportunity to participate. We would also like to thank everyone who donated cans to the store or during our neighborhood can drives for the benefit of Christ's Kitchen. MICHELE KOLLE, secretary Victoria Advocate Policy on Letters The Advocate welcomes letters on topics of general Interest. Letters should be clearly legible and must carry the writer's signature, address and phone number. Letters must not exceed 500 words. All letters are sublect to editing. Individuals are limited to bublica-tion of one letter each 30 days. THE VICTORIA ADVOCATE s, . (USPS5 920 " Established May (, ISM Published every morning except Dec. 25 by Victoria Advocate Publishing Company, 311 E. Constitution St., Victoria, Texas 77901. P.O. Box 15K. Second class postage paid at Victoria, Texas, Telephone (5)2) 575-1451) Circulation, 574-1200; Classified Advertising, 574-1234. John M. Roberts, PresidentPublisher and Editor . Catherine R. McHaney, Secretary-Treasurer Vince Reedy, Associate editor Jim Bishop, Managing Bditor Daniel Cobb, Editorial Page Bditor Patrick J. Witts, Assistant Managing Bditor L. Michael Tieman, Advertising Director Sue Oopffarth, Classified Manager Albert H. Johnston, Circulation Manager Charles Kulow.ProductlonManager Preston Salilger, Assistant Production Manager Preston M. Salilger, pressroom Foreman Metvln Janecka, Composing Superintendent Delivered by carrier: One month SA W, one year S72.00. Delivered by mall: In Victoria County, one month Ss.50, one year S7S.00; outside Victoria County, one month 17.50, one year $90 00. All subscriptions are payable In advance. POSTMASTER: Change of Address notice should be sent to P.O. Box 2393, Victoria, Texas 77902. Member of the Associated Press. The Associated Press Is entitled exclusively to the use for republication of all the local news printed In this newspaper as well as all AP news dispatches.

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