The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on July 23, 1969 · Page 8
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July 23, 1969

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 8

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 23, 1969
Page 8
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Wed., July 23, An Independent Ncwtpaper er GARDNER CCWLES, President JOHN COWI.ES, Chairman of the Board KENNETH MACDONAI.O, Kdiiar and Publisher DAVID, General Manager A. EDWAHO HF.INS, .Managing F.aitnr LAUREN SOTH Editorial Page Kdiior Louis H. Nonius, Business Manager- Intolerable Welfare Law The Polk County Legal Aid Society lias gone to court to establish the right of the Porter Dimery family to receive the benefits of the Medicaid program for Iheir paralyzed 14-year-old son. The ,suit highlights the unrealistic, restrictive .nature of the laws governing welfare. Congress wrote the 1965 Medicaid law in broad terms to provide health care for all persons who cannot afford to pay. Congress told the states they could institute the program all at once or in stages and set a deadline of 1975 for states to give comprehensive coverage. Iowa now provides "Mffdtcaid benefits only to persons who receive public assistance under the Old Age Assistance, Aid to Dependent Children, Aid to Blind and Aid to Disabled programs and to those who are eligible for these pro- grains. The State Department of Social Services had hoped to expand coverage by July 1 to include all "medically needy" persons under 21, but not enough money was voted by the Legislature. This expansion would have enabled the Dimery youngster and all others under 21 who do not receive public assistance but who cannot pay their medical bills to receive care under Medicaid. The only way the Dimery family now -. can qualify for Medicaid is to fall into aii eligible category — namely, become the recipient of Old Age Assistance, Aid to Dependent Children, Aid to Blind or Aid to Disabled — or become eligible for such asisstance. The family applied under the ADC category and was told the program was limited to aiding the needy child "who tins been deprived of parental support and care by reason of ... continued absence from home ... of either parent." Since the father lives with the family and supports it the best he can, no child in the family is eligible for ADC and the ailing Dimery youngster cannot qualify for Medicaid. An application for coverage under the Aid to Disabled category was rejected on the ground that the law requires an applicant to be more than 18 years of age. * * * The Dimery suit challenges these requirements as contrary to public policy zmrt a denial of the-rqual protection and due process of the law. Whatever the legal merit of the claims, the situation they attack is clearly intolerable. Aid should go to all v/M have a demonstrated need, not just to those who fit into an arbitrarily-defined category. It is unconscionable for the government to penalize a family because the father refuses to desert it. If Porter Dimery left his home, his' family could qualify for ADC and his ailing son would be eligible for Medicaid. Tho- ADC program, originally designed to help keep families together, thus has become perverted to an instrument for encouraging family breakup. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that children cannot be denied ADC because of the presence of a "substitute father" in the home. But the presence of a real father is grounds for denying aid. This anomaly, which results in the paralyzed child of a hardworking family man being denied the aid he desperately needs, is an outrageous example of why public welfare urgently needs top-to-bottom overhaul. I.KTTKKS tollieKDtTOR Wheeler's View of the Lull Sending a general — Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff — to Vietnam to see if the month-long lull in enemy-initiated hostilities has any political significance is another fox-in-a-chicken- coop situation. Of course a general is going to see the situation in military terms and regard any political meaning as unproved and unprovable. To be sure, military intelligence does gather and analyze political data as well as military* and General, Wheeler undoubtedly talked to some civilians as well as military men during his four-day visit. One of the U.S. embassy's main responsibilities is gathering and analyzing political data, and its reports are regularly available to President Nixon, quite apart from the Wheeler mission. But Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker's views are as hard-line as the views of the American military command in Sai- gon. The military command has been . telling newsmen the lull had no political significance before it could possibly have any basis to judge, even when hard-liner Defense Secretary Melvin Laird was saying in Washington that the United States would have to wait and see — it just might be significant. Fortunately, General Wheeler had another mission for which he is better qualified: to see how the war is going and in particular how the Vietnam- ization of the .war is going. On these questions he is not so negative, in. fact not negative at all. We hope Secretary Laird — and Sec-' 'retary of State William P. Rogers and President Nixon — retain their early open-mindedness about the lull and don't accept uncritically the generals' knee- jerk reaction. Wait and nee. It might be a step toward the end of the war they have all been seeking. Big Surprise: Namath Will Play The "return"\of Joe Namath to football marked a well-publicized end of a well-publicized six-week suspense story which we never found very suspenseful. The star quarterback of the New York Jets had announced his retirement on June 6 because pro football Commissioner Pete Rozelle insisted he give up his one-third interest in Bachelors III, a New York night club said to be attracting on a regular basis a bunch of unsavory characters who wouldn't do the image of football any good. Joe swore up and down that he never saw any of those guys, and he vowed that he was not going to let football officials tell him how to run his private life. In principle, this sounds great. Here was a man who would give up years of future fame and fortune in return for being part owner of an East Side dive no one west of Broadway ever would have heard of except for Namath — and would quickly forget once Joe disappeared from the headlines. And that, of course, is precisely the point — a point which slugger Ken (Hawk) Harrelson also came to realize earlier this year when the Boston Red Sox traded him to Cleveland and he said, in effect, "Hell, no, I won't go, I'll retire," because of business interests in Boston. Harrelson went. On second thought — which also must have occurred to Namath if he ever really intended to retire — The Hawk realized that an athlete's business interests de' pend entirely on his name.and fame. If Joe Namath hadn't been one of me better quarterbacks of recent years,, how long would it have taken him to save enough from his earnings as a steel mill hand* (or whatever) to buy that one-third of Bachelors III? First things first, Joe, and you know it! Explaining the Courts Persons receiving traffic summonses in Waterloo are given a brochure prepared by the Waterloo Municipal Court. It explains their legal rights, the court procedure, what it means to plead guilty or not guilty, information on the payment of fines and court costs and how decisions can be appealed. The brochure pictures the court as a human institution. Neither the motorist, the arresting police officer, nor judge is described as always right. The pleading, trial and appeal procedure is portrayed as man's way of seeking the truth. The toll taken by traffic accidents is cited to emphasize the need for carefuj driving. "We have more trials," reports Municipal Judge Everett H. Scott, "but we also have more satisfied citizens. They're often satisfied with the outcome, even when they've been convicted. Before, they usually had the opposite feeling." He said there had been no complaint from Waterloo policemen, even though they have had more court days and have had more of their decisions questioned. "They even hand out brochures at the police department," Scott said. .The brochures are used only in the traffic court division of the Municipal Court. Persons appearing in criminal, civil and juvenile proceedings have their rights explained to them orally by the judge or have their own or appointed lawyers, Scott said. The nation's lower courts are the most important in the judiciary system in forming public attitudes toward our legal institutions.. They are the courts seen most often by the overwhelming majority of citizens. Yet, the performance of these courts has been largdy ignored. The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice said it was "shocked" by what it found in some lower courts. Its 1967 report said: '"It has seen cramped and noisy courtrooms, undignified and perfunctory procedures, and badly trained personnel. It ha"s seen dedicated people who are frustrated by huge caseloads, by the lack of opportunity to examine cases carefully, and by-the impossibility of devising constructive solutions to the problems of offenders. It has seen assembly line justice." The brochure, developed by Waterloo judges Scott and William W. Parker and the municipal court clerk, Mrs. Isabelle Frerichs, is one method of improving the quality of these courts. It is one which other local courts should emulate. •*• One of the difficulties with parents these days is that they expect their children to behave as well as they never did. —Braude's Source Book jor Speakers and Writers. ^ Thirty is a truly good £ge for a wom- Hn. That's why so many of them decide to keep it. —Dousman fWis.i Index. Men generally fall into three classes: The handsome, the clever and the majority. —Mason City G.lobe-Gazette. The way some people find fault, you'd think there was a reward. —Baltimore Sun. Sees State Probe Damaging G.O.P. To ths Editor: I have just completed my second year of study at the University of Iowa, and I'm not only concerned but frightened by the nature of the pending legislative study of the state universities. An examination of economic efficiency would be one thing: an examination of the "professional, academic, and social adaptability and abilities of academic and administrative staffs" promises ominously to be quite another. When. Senator Francis Messerly [Rep., Finchford] speaks about "whether a man is willing to stand up for America and the American way of life," I wonder if his "American way of life" does not include freedom of speech and discussion in the academic community. Again, I wonder what Senator Joseph Coleman [Dem., Clare] means when he says that he is "a little concerned abouf the political philosophy of some of our .professors." Surprisingly enough, most college students have enough maturity to listen and weigh arid make [their own] intellectual and moral decisions. Lastly, I wonder if some of our legislators understand what they may be doing to the future of the Republican Parly in Iowa, if nothing else. . . I was an officer in my county's Teen-Age Republicans, and 1 joined the Young Republican group at the University of Iowa. For years I've defended "my" party against charges of ultra-conservatism and lack of insight. But now, following the G. 0. P.'s big comeback in state politics, and now, as I come to within a few months of voting age, I am doubting my previous" assertions ' and wondering whether those charges were not true. And I am not atypical. Increasingly, young people in this state are identifying Republicanism with the cutback in funds for the universities, with naivete concerning campus affairs and exaggeration of the dangers there, and With a general attempt to usurp the power of dedicated and experienced professional educators. If a McCarthyite hunt in the.univer- sites is in the making, the G. 0. P. might well consider its political future. - Catherine Cox, 721 W. Ninth st. S., Newton, la. New Criteria? To the Editor: Senator Messerly seems to have developed new criteria for application to the conduct of professors at the state-supported universities. His definition seems rather vague but, since the possibility of a professor becoming "socially unadap- table" logically is an attempt to foretell future events, it must be assumed full use will be made of such investigative aids as seances, tea leaves, crystal balls, ouija boards and, perhaps, psychiatric evaluations. The I latter does seem out of place, though, in the context of a Salem witch-hunt era. . . — Burke Milnes, 422 N. Eighth st., Chariton, la. Says Legislatures Inefficient, Costly To the Editor: . . . The Iowa university system spends hundreds of millions of dollars in an immensely complicated fashion. This is to be "investigated" for inefficiency and unnecessary costs by a' group of Iowa legislators. Yet, anyone who has studied state and local government realizes that virtually no organizations are as old-fashioned, poorly organized, inefficient, and unnecessarily costly as our state legislatures. . . — Robert Davis, 4558 Mt. Vernon rd., S.E., Cedar Rapids, la. 52403. : Objects to Photo 'Horror of Death' To the Editor: ... I could not help but notice the front-page picture [July 14], entitled "The Horror of Death." This is the first time I have seen a picture of this nature on the front page of The Register. This is extremely strong material to absorb along with a reader's breakfast. Surely there must be material that would catch the eye of the reader, that would not be so heartless as to depict the shock of a woman witnessing the death of her husband and son. . . — Daryl W. Hanson, 1112 Clark, Ames, la., 50010. Wo Redeeming Public Value' To trie Editor: * Pictures of starving children in Biafra, pictures of soldiers dying on the battlefield, pictures of police chiefs shooting the brains out of Communists are pictures which at least have some social significance and belong in newspapers. The picture of a grieving mother on the front page of the July 14 Register falls into none of these categories, has no social significance nor redeeming public value. If The Register meant to shock, it did so with disgusting effect. — Dave Hubler, director, Student Activities, Parsons College, Fairfield, la., 52556. •till life* •Mklr JjS^H^NMWM^P^r • There are cats . . . arid there are fat cats! Nixon's Positive Thinking On Speedy End of War Hy Richard Wilson (Rtiisttr't Washington Corrtipondenl) WASHINGTON, D.C. - Positive thinking is a working doctrine of the Richard Nixon who now occupies the White House. This is brought to mind by a passing glimpse of the now-fading facade of Nixon-for- President headquarters impudently opened by Nixon in red-white-and- blue decor a few hun- d r e d feet from the White House entrance more than a year before the 1968 election. Lijjg Norman Vincent Peale, Nixon thought positively and is still doing so. One embarks in his wake on a trip around the world with this thought foremost. It is evident from the background briefings on the President's trip through the Far East that he is thinking positively about ending the Vietnam war as quickly as possible and replacing it with a new Asian policy without war. 'This is described as a "turning point" . in Asian policy not because of some his' torical imperative but because a' conscious decision has been made to get out of Vietnam and out of A s i a,-militarily speaking. ' • Trembling Asian Hand The whole burden of what is officially given out on the asserted necessity of the President's trip now is that Southeast Asia can no longer be operated on Washington's prescriptions but the initiatives will have to pass into Asian hands. These Asian hands evidently need a good deal of holding at the moment. They tremble a bit while grasping the initiative and providing what is called the dynamism of their own salvation. The feeling persists that one has seen this before, and that is literally true with those of us who traveled this road with Lyndon B. Johnson as he proclaimed "the promise of the new Asia" in the fall of 1966 with congressional elections impending. This trip did Johnson no £ood politically. He was very nervous about it at the end. He abandoned and denied he had ever thought of his carefully scheduled plan to barnstorm the country on his return from Asia on behalf of Democratic candidates for Congress. No Automatic ('all to Arms This was just as well because the country was not then and is not now Asia-minded. Nixon is traveling into the hot and humid countries under entirely different circumstances. His spokesmen have not been talking about greater direct involvement in Asia but of less—or at least of a quite different kind. The difference is that the involvement would be based less on the legalities of treaty commitments and more on the realities of how we can effectively exercise our power. If that means what it sounds like, it means that .we will not consider the SEATO treaty an automatic call to arms when the political integrity of a Southeast Asian nation is threatened. Therefore, the need is felt to discuss with the leaders of Southeast Asia the nature and extent of the future American presence in Asia and what type of presence will be "most useful." Faith Is, Restored , Assuming that the men on the moon will have been returned safely, the President takes off from the departure point of enhanced American prestige in the world. The great adventure restores faith in the technological magic, know- how and resolve of America in the realms of peace rather than war. A technology which could not be permitted to Win a war in the jungles .of a little Southeast Asian country can still demonstrate 'its superiority to the world when embarked upon constructive works on a planetary scale. This is what America is supposed to be all about. It is not supposed to be napalming innocent Asians while trying to rout out the enemy. America is supposed to be reaching for the stars on behalf of all humanity. So, Nixon can carry that mood into his discussions with' Asian leaders who are being called upon to provide greater creativity and initiative. Charted Our Course The Nixon doctrine in Asia will take a lot of explaining. We are taking out our troops but we are not abandoning Vietnam. We are less concerned with the legalities of the SEATO treaty but we feel a commitment to participate in Southeast Asia's development. We are not abandoning.Southeast Asia but there will have to be intensive periods of consultation on how we are not abandoning it. Positive .; thinking may undergo a strain in these circumstances, but as the President's spokesman says, we have charted our course. Qnce Nixon charts a course, as he did when he opened his presidential headquarters in Washington so far in advance, he likes to stick to it. Creating a Climate for Crime SYDNEY HARRIS JJy Sydney Harris CHICAGO, ILL. — When ordinary citizens think of "crime," they think of it as being committed by a separate class called "criminals." .But what we designate a "crime" is simply an infraction of,the law as decided by the community. If the community a t 1 a r g e is contemptuous of the so- called "civil" laws, then the criminals will exhibit a similar contempt for "criminal" laws. Law enforcement can never keep up with this attitude. In New York this spring, for instance, it was decided to cut back the auto "towaway" program, because of a lack of policemen to cope with violators "and a growing disregard of the no-parking law." At first the towaway program was quite effective, but gradually motorists began to ignore it, and finally some drivers would follow the towtrucks, waiting for an illegally parked car to be taken away, to get the place. Over a year, the New York Transportation Administrator admitted, "the impact of the program has lessened, and the congestion is worse.' 1 Contrary to what the hard-line "law and order" people believe, harsher measures and higher fines have not reduced illegal parking in Manhattan. The noted fact that the national crime rate is lower in Great Britain has nothing to do with "criminals" there, but everything tp do with public attitudes. "Every country gets the kind of criminals it deserves and asks for," is an old axiom in sociology. The English people themselves are remarkably law-abiding, with a deep sense of fair play; they hold ;. their freedom so precious that they will not abuse it by pushing ahead in line or taking advantage of others by parking in prohibited zones. The general level of public morality — morality in the sense of maintaining a "right relation" toward other people — determines the degree of law-breaking in any society. Motorists who flagrantly park in "towaway" zones and then complain bitterly that their ca,rs have been broken into are a peculiarly American example of the left hand pointing with pride at our slyness, while the right hand denounces our crime rate. Criminals take their cue from the implicit attitudes of the non-criminals. Guns are not used either by the population or the police in England, so the criminals find no need to arm themselves. Like children with their parents, they learn what the limits are, and push to the farthest. Crooks are the barometers of a nation's moral climate. Student Says 'We Affirm Your Values' By Meldon L«vine T HE streets of our country are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and riot* ing. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might. And the republic is in danger. Yes, danger from within and without. We need law and order . . . Without law and order our nation cannot survive . . ." These words were spoken in 1952 by Adolf Hitler. ', We have heard almost every one of those "assertions used this year in this country as justifications for repressing student protests. Instead of adjudicating the legitimate causes of the dis- Meldon Levine, who graduated from the Harvard Law School last month, delivered a commencement address at Harvard, only the second in the university's history. This article consists of a portion of_ thataddress. satisfaction, our political and social leaders have searched for explanations which deny either the validity or the pervasiveness of the dissent. Our society cannot afford to deny this conflict any longer. You cannot expect it to go away by suppressing it, for it is a conflict inherent in our consciences — one which exists because you have taught us what America, .should stand for. ** Accepted Your Principles What is this protest all about? It is not a protest to subvert institutions or an attempt to challenge values which have been affirmed for .centuries. We are not — as we have been accused — conspiring to destroy America. We are attempting to do precisely the reverse: We are affirming the values .which you have taught us to respect. We have accepted your principles — ^ and we have tried to implement them.' But we have found this task to be less than easy. Almost every one of us has faced the inflexibility and the insensitivity of our system. To those who would argue that the system has been responsive, there is a one-word answer: Vietnam. It is not a weakness but a strength of American education that enables us to understand the absurdity of the premises which control our policy in Vietnam. We have tried every possible peaceful means to change our disastrous course, but we were not' even given a choice in Vietnam. University As a Target We have grown weary of being promised a dialogue. What we urgently need is a meaningful response. And although our complaints are more with society than with the university, the university itself is not an illogical target. Some students believe it contributes to oppressive social policies, and most of us feel that it has become, in an unresponsive system, the only means whereby we can focus attention on the most serious injustices which continue to infect our nation. The university, too, has tenaciously resisted change. Six years ago, I was elected president of the student body at Berkeley. 1 ran on a moderate platform — one calling for educational reform, increased university involvement in the community and student participation in academic decision-making. Since that time, I have received degrees at Berkeley, at Princeton and at Harvard. And I have heard my fellow students raise the same issues — time and agair^. And time and again, I have witnessed the university's response: A committee will be formed, and the issues will be discussed. [This creates] an opportunity to stall until another class of undergraduates leaves the school, re- • moving that particular thorn from the university's side. Issues Are Avoided Thus, the university and the society respond the same way to our appeals for change: A direct confrontation of ideas is refused and the issues raised are avoided. But explaining the issues away won't make them go away. If anyone still doubts the depth of the conviction, I ask him to witness the intensity with which it is felt. I ask him to review the efforts of my classmates. They chose to work with poor people in Appalachia and with black people in Mississippi and in urban ghettos. They persevered in calling, attention to the injustices in Vietnam, despite accusations of disloyalty to their country. When the price was raised to include physical danger, they exhibited courage and did not waver — in Chicago, in Berkeley, and in Cambridge, Astounding Response Now, for attempting to achieve the values which you have taught us to cherish, your response has been astounding. It has escalated from the presence of police on the campuses to their use of clubs and of gas. When this type of violent repression replaces the search for reasonable alternatives, Americans are allowing their most fundamental ideals to be compromised. What do you think that response does to students? It drives the wedge even deeper. It creates solidarity among a previously divided group, committing the uncommitted and 1 'radicalizing the moderates. Continuing to explain the conflict away will only serve to heighten the frustration. So far, we have been unable to understand, your response. You have offered us dreams and then urged us to abandon them. We are asking that yofr allow us to realize the very values which you have held forth. And we think you should be with us in our quest.

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