The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on May 21, 1977 · Page 4
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 4

Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 21, 1977
Page 4
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f i,mJ,JJamman H. 1SJ7 At Jesu t tll DAVIS IT. MERYVIW ruj. , t-J.r WILLIAM C. l)IFF.L.(,wvar GENE F. SMEDLEY. .'.. ' Consistency elusive skill among state legislators THE ISSUE - How ideological fly-paper public affairs? can we avoid in discussing The typical citizen doesn't expect much very grand from his public officials. He has learned to trim his high expectations over the years because he hasn't gotten all that ' much brilliance. But simple honesty land frankness still are hoped for. , Instead, the Illinois General Assembly continues to be a good, but not exclusive, example of ideological fog, obtuse role playing, obfuscation and lame logic. We shall attempt to weave together the following four points to show a tapestry of the trivial, trite and tortured in the debate of public issues. 1. Lower electric rates at the low end of the use scale were rejected in part because opponents insisted that industry would be put in the role of a welfare operation that more properly should be the role of the state. 2. Legislation to increase welfare budgets 5 per. cent was defeated in the House. Opponents said the state could not afford the extra payout, state employes should get a pay hike instead and the system of welfare should be abolished in any event.' 3. Legislation increasing the expense allotments and (probably) pay for legislators was readied for passage. 4. Governor Thompson's free ride Inaugural The organizers of Gov. James Thompson's inaugural gala may not. be concerned; they seem confident they'll raise the $63,000 needed to pay the remaining bills from the governor's inauguration. . But the recent revelation of the accounting for that inauguration should cause some concern within the General Assembly. The high cost of the festivities ($126,040) and the manner in which much of that money was' collected ( corporate donations) should start a move for public financing of future inaugurations. Certainly, the taxpayers need not put out $126,000 for an inauguration, Gap divides Unit 5, taxpayers Editor, The Pantagraph: On Monday night I attended the Unit 5 Board of Education May meeting. As a parent and taxpayer, I was surprised to observe the way in which the meeting was conducted. The meeting was in the cafeteria of NCHS because of the large audience, but the board seemed to lower Ivoices deliberately. ; The reason for doing so may have been to avoid discussion from the audience, but I would like to remind the board that we parents and taxpayers elected them, and while we may not attend board meetings with regularity because of home responsibilities, we nevertheless have the right to attend and to hear the . business which is being conducted at the . meeting. Authority trusty Editor, The Pantagraph: Despite some welcome exceptions, the letters to the Pantagraph on significant issues are all too often drearily mindless missiles programmed to explode with the irritating force of a bubble gum pop. Why? The reasons, no doubt, are legion, but one in particular occurs time after predictable time: the mistaken belief feV FIE! Opinion Page (Ef)c Quiiv $anfacirapl) Bloomington Normal. 111., Saturday, May 21. 1977 I to the Kentucky Derby was called a crime by Democrats and defended as a natural perquisite of office by the governor's staff which, at the same time, was twisting arms all over the state to drum up ticket sales for a $150 dollar a plate benefit. First off, several of the same legislators who insisted that higher utility bills which hit the poor hardest be accommodated in welfare payments were among those who voted against higher welfare budgets to cover such things as higher utility rates. Rarely is it possible to convince such legislators that a dichotomy exists, that they are fashioning and refashioning arguments to fit a preconceived ideology, not the problem at hand. However, the argument that higher welfare payments are indicated because legislative pay is increased is the joke of the week. Somehow we get the idea that the theory that two wrongs make a right is being justified. If legislative pay Israel takes chance The political circle once led by David BenGurion, then by Golda Meir, has been shattered and the Labor party's leadership of Israel ended, at least temporarily. A leader of the right-wing bloc of Israeli parties, Menahem Begin, will be prime minister in Israel's coali- action but the practice of knocking on corporate doors for money although apparently not humiliating to the Thompson folks must be stopped. The implications and subtle pressure inherent in post-election donations should be enough to spur the legislature into action. With disclosure laws and the like, we have learned more about the Thompson campaign finances than past campaigns. The disclosure of the inauguration donations takes its place with the petty gifts and the post-election donations to a campaign chest surplus as practices that should come to a halt. Letters to the Editor- There also seemed to be uneasiness on the part of the board. This could exist because of lack of knowledge. They seemed afraid to recognize the lone questioner on a point of information question because of insecurity on a question of parliamentary procedure. I suggest a copy of Robert's Rules of Order be kept with the Minute Book for reference. Board members expressed the reluctance to suggest that the budget may not be balanced this year because of fear of the taxpayers' wrath. I suggest that they are unaware of the parents' and taxpayers' feelings on the budget. I have never been contacted and questioned as to my feelings on priorities, expenditures, needs for bond referendums or hiding place that an appeal to some authority, whether the Bible or The Farmers' Almanac, can settle or (worse) has settled the issue at hand. Since all authorities may be fallible and all authorities may be differently interpreted, the naive appeals to authority in the happy assurance that the argument thus becomes unassailable stand out as nothing but comfortable escapes from the perils of thinking for oneself, which, for any contributor to the Pantagraph, seems to be the cardinal sin that is promptly rebuked by indignant appealers to-authority. As for the pleasure of thinking for oneself, try it we all might like it. VIRGIL HUTTON Normal To Letter Writers We want your opinions but make your letters brief and informative. All letters are subject to editing, especially those running more than 350 words. All letters must carry the written signature and complete address of the writer. HAROLD V. LISTOK, I - I I had increased only 10 per cent since 1974. we'd like to hear someone say that welfare budgets AND legislative pay should go up 5 per cent. And then the Thompson thing. There just isn't any money for traditional services faced by higher costs, the governor says. The tax load is tremendous. So where do the trips come from? What pocket contains all the banquet ticket cash? Is there a Swiss bank account in a Springfield bank? If what you have read thus far strikes you as the disjointed musings of a member of the strait-jacket set, you may be right. Each day the General Assembly remains in session brings us one day closer to demanding a zero-based legislature. Under such a plan, the legislative member would not be allowed to serve more than two or three terms consecutively, but withdraw for at least one term and be forced to read all the newspaper clippings and official records of legislative debate. tion parliamentary government. Leaders of neighboring Arabs states are not pleased or say they are unhappy partly to get the new government off to a shaky start. It is true that Begin was a leader of a particularly extreme Israeli guerrilla group during the war for independence a generation ago. It also is true that the coalition Begin heads has assumed the hardest line on a number of proposed Mideast settlements. And he is a strange face at the top, and feared because of that. A change in the political machinery in Israel couldn't have come at a worse time insofar as Western interests, including those of the United States, are concerned. It gives various Arab states a chance to review any previous steps toward peace and renege on any pledges made to the Labor government. But the voters of Israel spoke on economic and social and honesty issues as well as foreign affairs. Every party of interest in the Middle East should keep his fingers crossed, Arab interests most of all. whether I think the board which I elected should negotiate with UFEA openly and honestly. Government officials are attempting to meet with the taxpayers, why shouldn't the Unit 5 Board of Education? At the minimum I recommend a short, five-response questionnaire attached at the bottom of the Unit 5 monthly newsletters. It takes little time to answer such and mail to the board. The board speaks for parents and taxpayer, and if we don't like what they say they won't know it unless we tell them. MILLIE M. STOKES Normal How Time Flies Selected from Pantagraph files by Norma Steele 25 Years Ago May 21, 1952 Now they say Abraham Lincoln's romance with Ann Rutledge is not a myth. Willard L. King, Chicago biographer, started it all with his disclosure of a letter from Mary Todd Lincoln to Supreme Court Justice David Davis of Bloomington in which Mrs. Lincoln said it was her firm conviction that the Ann Rutledge romance is a myth started by Lincoln's law partner, William H. Herndon, out of spite for her. There were repercussions in Petersburg, where the New Salem Lincoln League puts on ' Forever This Land," a symphonic drama about Lincoln, each year. The drama leans heavily on the romance. E. S. Mitchell, president of the league, said, "We have too much evidence to the contrary." 50 Years Ago May 21, 1927 The residence of A. F. Moratz, located at 317 East Chestnut street, is distinctive in that it is fire proof, the only dwelling of this character to be found in the City of Bloomington. Floors thruout the building are of term clay tile ribbed slab construction with William R. Frye Watershed in South NEW VORK-It was not empty rhetoric when, this week. U N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim said he feared "a disaster of grave dimensions" in southern Africa, with "repercussions far beyond this region." Diplomats have sketched out privately, in some detail, the grim scenario they foresee. The time is 1980 give'or take a year or so. Black governments have come' to power in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and Namibia (South-West Africa). Mozambique having won independence previously, the white-ruled Republic of South Africa is in effect surrounded by hostile powers, its back to the sea. Inside South Africa, riots, strikes and demonstrations by angry blacks and other non-white people keep the country in turmoil. The police and army crack down with a ruthlessness which further inflames the rioters. ACROSS SOUTH AFRICA'S frontiers, on all sides, African guerrilla armies prepare to stab into the South African heartland to assist their brothers. As the Evans and Novak New game in the Mideast WASHINGTON - Not only have the odds on a new Middle East war escalated with the surprise election of hardline Israelia nationalist Menachem Begin and his right-wing Likud party, but the regions's entire political fabric has been ripped to shreds. Begin, blessed with steely purpose and singleminded devotion to a "greater" Israel, has kept the lights burning into the wee hours at the White House. One reason is the suddenly escalated odds on a new Arab-Israeli war, but there are other disturbing political factors at work that may undermine U.S. Middle East 'policy: MODERATE ARAB leaders, such as Syria's President Hafez Assad, Egypt's President Anwar Sadat, Jordan's King Hussein and Saudi Arabia's King Khalid, now have their political necks in the noose. They will be challenged to turn militant and retrieve Israeli-occupied Arab lands, or face overthrow at home. The brilliant U.S. strategy that has insulated the Arab world from Soviet influence is now in tatters. With the possibility of a fifth Arab-Israeli war looming. President Carter is likely to come under irresistible pressures from American Jewish leaders backed by Congress to stop all U.S. military aid to the Arabs. This will only push them back to the Soviet Union.- reinforced concrete and finished in ter-razzo. Inside walls are constructed of hollow tile while the outside walls are hollow tile faced with fancy brick. The building is covered with a tile roof. There is a basement under the entire house, all walls and partitions being of a fire proof nature. 75 Years Ago May 21, 1902 One of the most striking signs of progress in Bloomington is the remarkably large number of houses which are being moved from the more central portion to the suburbs. A number have been rebuilt upon lots in the far eastern part of the cily, while another favorite site s on Walnut Hill addition or in the Citizens' addition. A frame cottage of from six to eight rooms usually sells for from $150 to $300, to be removed. 100 Years Ago May 21, 1877 Saturday noon James Brown, generally known as "Pop Corn Brown" died after a lingering illness. He was well and widely known through this section of the country, for he was sure to be at each train selling pop corn, and from his vocation he derived his nick name. a crescendo, guerrilla warfare begins. South African troops strike back across the frontiers in force, attacking guerrilla bases, wreaking havoc and killing civilians along with guerrillas. Mozambique and Zimbabwe call for war. The Organization of African Unity meets in cnsis session to decide what to do In this emergency. South Africa calls on the West for help. It portrays itself as defending white civilization against barbarism and communism. The Soviet Union and Cuba urge Black Africa on. Cuban forces gather in Mozambique, intensifying the cry of Red peril." A Soviet airlift begins to fly weapons to Zimbabwe. What do the United State, Britain, France, Canada and West Germany do in such a circumstance? Stand by and risk a Soviet-Cuban conquest of South Africa, with massive bloodshed? Or aid South Africa, thus incurring the explosive fury of all of Black Africa and delivering the rest of the African conti- The careful settlement formulations of Mr. Carter, spelled out in greater public detail than any predecessor ever dared, may now have turned to ashes. The prospective Israeli prime minister will never accept a Palestinian "homeland" west of the Jordan River and will . not relinquish the Palestinian West Bank. Begin's commitment to an enlarged Israel is not to be doubted. A man of great self-confidence and deadly serious purpose, he has always seemed immune from foreign pressures. He would not likely be moved even if Mr. Carter could somehow impose on Congress his own desire for moderate Israeli policies. That prospect seems dim. Some Mideast experts in the Carter administration doubted that even if Defense Minister Shimon Peres had kept the Labor party in power by winning Tuesday's election the President could have persuaded Congress to accept his even-handed policies. That doubt stemmed from the ease with which Mr. Carter was forced to retreat from his arms-export control plans by the pro-Israel congressional bloc. BEGIN'S WISHES for an enlarged Israel have been spelled out frequently, not only in his important book "The Revolt" but in interviews such as one we had with him in the spring of 1975. On that occasion, he told us Israel would "never" descend from the Golan Heights, "never" retreat from the Jordan River and "never" yield Sharm el-Sheik controlling the waterway into the Gulf of Aqaba. But that fails to capture the essence of Begin, who told us with forceful clarity: "Zionism is one of the greatest movements in history, but make no mistake: We don't want to be a protected state, the way we used to be protected Jews Schutz Juden. Just give us the tools and we will defend ourselves. If it were not 2 sn CD rioting reaches "Now, I ask you what's wrong with the environment? Nothing that's what! Just look around!" Africa nent to communism in a different way? There would be no good answer. Whatever the West did. it would stand to lose a fact which is sometimes overlooked by those who decry westers "interference" in South Africa's "internal" affairs. There is no serious doubt in western intelligence circles that this nightmare scenario for the 1980 s is realistic. Even the South Africans agree on major parts of it. THEV DO SO IN a defiant vein, . claiming they are strong enough to take on the whole of Africa, and lick it. Even with the 21.000.000 non-white population of South Africa in a state of near-insurrection, and Cuban forces stiffening the external enemy? Yes. they say though with a shade less conviction. And what if the Soviet Union were to intervene directly? Obviously South Africa could pot deal with such a cha'lenge. Even if Pretoria had a secret nuclear stockpile, American help would be needed to deter Moscow. No one else could. Under what conditions, if any, therefore, would South Africa be able to appeal for western help with any realistic expectation of receiving it? Certainly not unless there is swift elimination, now, of the legitimate grievances which inflame Africans, inside and outside South Africa. Meaningful non-white participation in the governing process; full civil rights and equal economic opportunities for all; universal, free, compulsory education of all children this is the kind of thing which, even at this late date, after decades of cruel denial, might fend off a bloody racial conflict. Willingness by the white rulers to talk with black leaders and listen to what they say, instead of clapping them in jail, could also help. So would a decision to grant non-whites the right (o travel freely within South Africa, to take any job for which they are qualified, to own property and to live with their families without government approval. The meeting this week in Vienna between Vice President Walter Mondale and South African Prime Minister John Vorster was planned with just such steps in mind. So were the warnings which U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young has been issuing, to South Africa's distress, at nearly every opportunity. IF VORSTER REGARDS this as unwarranted interference in South Africa's domestic affairs, he cannot expect the West to bail him out of the plight into which his stonewalling will inevitably lead. Nor can he expect the United States to stand idly by now, watching disaster approach and sharing the opprobrium of close association with South Africa. As American officials told newsmen this past week, a "watershed" has been reached in relations with South Africa. for this little country, this whole region would have been taken over by the Soviets. The enemy is at our doorstep, and you should be worried not that we are asking too many arms from you, but too little." Many Israeli politicians talk tough before elections, or to create bargaining positions that can later be modified. But Begin is not one of them. A most feared terrorist against British rule of Palestine before 1948, Begin always opposed partition of Palestine between Jews and Arabs. He always demanded all of Palestine west of the Jordan River, based on the Biblical history of the Jewish tribes of Israel. Begin's claim that Israel should get sole credit for the expulsion of Soviet influence from Arab territories rests on his claim of Israel's military prowess. Therefore, Begin implies, the U.S. owes Israel support for its present boundaries. MANY U.S. EXPERTS, however, argue it was the intimate U.S. -Israeli connection that gave Moscow its entree as patron of the Arabs to counter Washington as patron of Israel. To counteract this, the U.S. began serious courtship of Arab leaders following the 1973 war. Even earlier, the Russians had been expelled from Egypt and their influence was waning in Syria and even Iraq all unrelated to Israeli military might. The delicate U.S. maneuver now seems doomed unless Begin makes an astonishing and wholly uncharacteristic about-face. Mr. Carter is confronted with the most difficult undertaking of his youthful presidency fashioning a Mideast policy that at the same time can fulfill national needs of the U.S. and satisfy a new Begin government in Israel. That may be beyond his or anybody else's skill, which is why the odds on war are rising.

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