The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 4, 1970 · Page 8
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May 4, 1970

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

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Monday, May 4, 1970
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8 M«y 4, Ait Independent CoWLES, President COTfLES, Chairman of the Board Editor iM Publisher DAVID Kftuibtateft, General Manager A. EftWAM HEINS, Mtautgihg Editor LAuftEK Sots, Editorial Patf Editor Louis H. NORMS, Business Manager Doctors Switch on Abortion The Iowa .Medical Sdciety has added doctor or hospital that refused an abor- its voice and prestige to the drive to tion. .repeal abortion laws. The society's The Iowa Medical Society resolution House of Delegates .voted 75-25 last-week—adds-to-the-mounting... nationwide presto support legislation which jvould make sure to wipe out restrictive abortion _i.i.u._ —ii— «•__ j»-,»«_ „„,! „„.!„„* j aws j n February, Hawaii became the "firsTltale^r p§ss~an"outfight Tepeal bill, and New York and Alaska followed^ Similar bills were introduced this year in Arizona,, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Iowa. Last week, Senator Robert Packwood abortion matter for doctor and patient, wlthoursrafeTnTerference The stand Iowa"factors . is a major departure from the policy adopted in 1968 and reaffirmed in 1969. .„ That policy called f6r liberalization, \rather than repeal, of the Iowa law which permits abortion ^only when necessary x to save the life of the mother. The earlier policy was based on the stand taken by the American Medical „„,,.„ ailu ovisiim.v. «.>«..«> «. ...- ~.~. ^^Association, in 1967.-It urged-that-aboc*—-Department of Health, Education and tion be permissible only under certain Welfare, has endorsed legal abortion, conditions: to save the life or protect the mental or physical health of a wom- anrto-prevent-btrth of a deformed-or abnormal infant, or in case of rape or incest. '•••.._ Now the'state society favors, a- law that would leave to the physicians judgment when an'abortion is justified. The ^ only conditions attached to the resolution were that the abortion be per- LEtTEHS to tlie EDITOR On A0iteu/s Inf onnatton: Students (Rep., Ore.) offered a bill calling for legalized,abortions nationwide. Dr. Roger Egeberg, assistant secretary for health and scientific affairs in the U.S. A U.S. District Court struck down the District of Columbia's abortion-law-last November. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from tfiat what formed by a licensed physician and surgeon and only in a hospital; that no doctor be required to perform th* operation against his judgment and that no legal action would be allowed against a ruling. This, sets the stage for could be a test of the constitutionality of all abortion laws. Courts in Wisconsin and Michigan ruled against the abortiop laws of those states last month. The Iowa Medical Society delegates could have sidestepped the repeal issue, thereby avoiding .controversy. The deler gates chose to assume leadership—and did so by a margin which warrants the 1971 Legislature taking serious notice. Agreement With Russia America and Russia are often on opposite sides in international disputes, and compete for the support of other governments. But since October, in the 25-nation Geneva disarmament conference, the United States and Russia have been on the same side. They are trying to line up support of the other governments for a treaty,to ban nuclear weapons from the seabed and the ocean floor. ft's bad enough having a costly and dangerous arms race on land, sea and air without having one on the serf 1 bottom as well. Earlier agreements have successfully banned military use of the Antarctic and nuctear weapons in earth orbits and outer space. It seemed like a good idea to stop (before it started) the positioning of nuclear weapons on the bottom of the sea. The two governments managed between spring and fall to agree on a single draft for such a treaty, and in October they presented it to the disarma- liiuiiL Co nference. There were serious insist not all the objections made to earlier drafts. Thus it does not ban all military use of the ocean floor, as some.governments .wished, but only nuclear weapons there. Verification procedure is changed somewhat, but not as much as objectors wished. . ••' • The new verification procedure calls for a nation suspecting violation to notify the government on whose continental shelf "the violation is suspected. The notified nation would be invited to join in the verification'procedure. . Some countries wanted the U.N. secre' tary general to help with the verification if a complaining- country did not have the techniques and resources to do its own checking. The United States would have, been'wifag to go along with that, but Russia refused. Russia would have liked to ban all weapons, offensive or,, defensive, from the seabed and ocean floor, including underwater devices to 'detect submarines. A number of maritime countries objected to that, and Russia did not objections from other governments, so the two superpowers revised their proposals. Twice since they have presented a new agreed draft to the conference, the third on Apr. 23. It meets some but Making new International lavr by agreement is slow business, but it is going forward in Geneva, with Russia and America on the same side for months in a row. To lh» Editor: • Vice-president Aghew's speechIn bes Moines on Apr. 13 was filled with racist stufs based on, inaccurate information. -He spoke of black Students being admitted under a quota system regardless of whether they meet existing standards of enrollment. j Programs such as the Educational Opportunities-Program at the University of Iowa. have been established on various' ca v mpuses to locate, admit, and provide academic and supportive counseling to minority and economically dis- advanlaged students. They have the po- r tential to do college work but they have been discriminated againsTby the "nat- Readcrs are invited to submit letters for publication to The Open Forum Editor, DCS Moines Register, DCS Moines. la. 50304. Complete names and addresses are required. The editor reserves the right to shorten letters. Letters will not be" returned. ; ural aristocracy" that runs inner city and poor rural area public school systems. Hence, the students have educational disadvantages. Many of these students may have a poor prediction rate i based on the existing standards for en-" rollment, but they are admissible td the universities. — Mr. Agnew failed"-to mention that "... the poor Negro kids who have, been dumped into a competitive situation . .". " have had a national — and University of Iowa — retention rate above 75 per cent over the last two years. Although • the so-called "disadvantaged" students may (and should) be considered on the basis of different norms fpr admission, tKey have performed very well in regular university classes. They have met the same, academic standards as all other students. The retention rate clearly indicates that many young people with academic potential are victims of economic* and racial discrimination in higher education. There is no quota fo.r admission of minority students" at the University of Iowa. However, minority students are actively sought to the extent of available funds provided to help support low-income students. . . —There, is clearly no onslaught of black students : -orr this nation's campuses. A study of black students at state universities revealed in May, 1969, that blacks constitute less than 2 per tent (1.93) or 23,630 students out of 1,222,382 students at 80 predominantly white public universities. No predominantly white' public institution_has_a_full-time. black_enrolk mcnt over 5~per cent. (Blacks make up about 10 per cent of U.S. population. — Editor. These statistics 'demonstrate that the "floodgates" are not open at the admis-, sions office as Agnew charges^ "but they should be. If poor people and .'minority people are to have an .equitable chance :. to realize .their, .potential,^ universities must have an active commitment to enroll, educate, and graduate them. — Phillip E. Jones, coordinator, Educational Opportunities Program, University of Iowa, Iowa City, la. 52240. <tt Punch (Bin Roth Atfcncv) JOSEPH KRAFT Fears Cambodia Invasion Means 'Long, Long War' Wildlife Abounds on Rail Lines To the Editor: ' Thank you for the Apr. 27 editorial, "Old Rail Lines for Wildlife." Our family's favorite hiking area is along a two- mile stretch of "almost" abandoned right of way. In this varied habitat we have identified nearly 200 species of native plants and uncounted numbers of birds. In the prairie area we've found "compass plant, rattlesnake master, blazing star, wild indigo and wild quinine, prairie clover, and both big and little bluestem grass. Wild iris bloom in the marsh in June. Muskrats nibble greenery, and an Amer-. ican bittern hides among the cattails. A raccoon's muddy track's "walk the rails." A barred owl dives into the shallow water from his telephone pole perch for a mid-day .snack of frogs. The last of the bloodroot is blooming now among the saplings,"but bluebells, violets, dutchman's-breeches and sweet william are taking its place, and wild columbine is starting to stretch up. Cardinals, indigo buntings, brown thrashers and rose-breasted grosbeaks sing, and migrating warblers snatch insects from the newly-leafed branches. A blue grosbeak darts into dense cover, and a v chat — though unseen — betrays his presence with an amazing assortment of caws, whistles and grunts. A kingfisher gives his rattling, call from a perch on top of the bridge over Crooked Creek-and vultures circle high overhead. A startled deer bounds away from beneath the bridge'. The cinders of the roadbed — brightened by blue spiderwort, white pussy- toes, pink roses and green mosses — make walking easy. A mourning dove, trying to distract attention from . her nearby nest, flutters. ahead of you dragging a "broken" wing. You're right — the use of rights of way does deserve more attention than it has received. — Kathy Fisher, Rt. 2, Keota, la. JOSEPH KRAFT WASHINGTON, D.C. -, The Cambodian foray is a perfect expression' of President Nixon's basic approach to the war in Southeast Asia, so the real trouble is not that the operation may get out of hand, still less that a couple of senators were misled. The real trouble is what the Cambodian invasion reveals about the underlying policy. It shows that Nixon has missed the boat again on a negotiated settlement. It also demonstrates that the one alternative he has left — Vietnamization — will almost certainly fail to achieve an early American exit from the war. The basic policy of the Nixon Administration is to build up the South Vietnam-,, cse regime of President Nguyen Van Thieu. To that end the United States is footing the bill for an expanded and retrained South Vietnamese army. For that purpose this country has moved to turn over vast stores of modern weapons to the South Vietnamese forces. In the same spirit this country has allowed diplomatic and political pressure on the Thieu regime to be swept away. Supposedly • Two Options iirordcr to take military steps directed at solidifying the Saigon regime; — - . , That is why it look so long to get' the talks going at air. That is why the.talks have been stalemated. Now the 'application of major military pressures-will have the effect of spoiling what" little chance there was to use the Cambodian crisis as an excuse for moving beyond the Paris talks to a full Geneva conference. With negotiating out, there _ remains • the Vietnamization route. It is barely possible that the Saigon regime'will, lake on enough of the war for Nixon, under cover of elaborate victory claims,,, to release a truly large number of Ameria\n_ troops, but all indications go against itTllie more so as the President ~]ias' built up North Vietnam as a direct challenge to America's role in the world and thus compromised the possibility of sneaking out of the war. • Rejected Ity Johnson Certainly the present operation on the Cambodian border cannot be decisive. It was served up and looked at overhand over again in the Johnson Adminis-' tration, only to be rejected as not' very promisiRgr-Evcn if the other side..; 8 dealt a hard bjow, the basic fact»is-4hat' the Communists field a guerrilla foVce. Support for No-Fault Insurance The case for no-fault auto insurance is 'supported by a study released last week by the Department of Transportation. No-fault insurance is based on the same principle as automobile collision insurance: the driver's policy pays losses for medical or death expenses, lost wages, etc., incurred by 'anyone in the driver's car or by a pedestrian he hits, without regard 'to liability. •• • ' " The federal study shows that in 1967 auto insurance paid only $1.1 billion of , the $5.1 billion loss incurred by the 450,000 seriously injured and 59,000 killed on the highways that year. Another $1.4 billion was paid by other kinds of insurance or in the form of sick leave. Half of the total loss was unrecoverable through insurance. The study showed, furthermore, that the $1.1 billion paid by insurance was Inequitably distributed. Those who suffered the most-often recovered the least. The average^victim with a loss of $25,000 or. more received only $2,500 from auto insurance. The average victim with a loss of $500 or less received four and a half times the amount of his loss. How, could this happen? It is mostly the result of the working of the present tort liability system A .person injured in an auto accident receives no compensation (except perhaps $1,000 or $2,500 from the medical payments provision that is a part of many policies) if the accident was his fault, or the fault was uncertain or nobody was to blame. Other accident victims receive large payments from the liability insurance of drivers held to be at fault. The liability concept also results in overpayment for small losses. Insurance companies often find it less costly to settle a $500 loss out of court for $2',000 than to face the expense and risk of defending a threatened $25,000 lawsuit. Juries often "punish" a guilty driver by awarding his victim a large sum for pain or disfigurement. Np : fault insurance — not-yet legal in any state — appears weak on compensating for physical and mental suffering. But the excessive or inadequate payments inherent in the present liability system.cry out for reform, as the new study shows".. RICHARD WILSON ... Views Any Congressional Curb on War as Disaster Study of Presidential Studies Presidential commissions have made a sharp imprint on recent American events — the Warren Commission on the assassination of President.John F. Kennedy, the Kerner Commission on ghetto riots and the Eisenhower Commission on the causes and prevention of violence. The presidential commission is the subject of a report by Frank Popper for the Twentieth Century Fund. Popper concludes that presidential commissions are "the most effective mechanism in the American government for providing the President publicly with disinterested, prestigious advice." But it is their flaws which concern him. Commission members share what Popper calls "the conservatism of personal success." Consistently underrepresented are young people, women, the genuinely poor and Americans of Mexican, Italian, Slavic, Oriental, Puerto Rican or Indian descent. Commissioners rarely have had previous experience with their commission's topic. None of the draft law commissioners, for exampje, had,, contact with the draft for 15 years. The results, according to Popper, are recommendations produced by "an unreal, overly detached consensus." There have been too .many presidential commissions in recent years, he believes. Truman named 11, Eisenhower four, Kennedy four and Johnson 80. President Nixon announced plans for five in his first year in office. The Fund report suggests a limit of two a year. It says a commission should not be named unless the President intends to act on , its recommendations. The drive for a consensus view by commission members is questioned. Popper points out that three members of the Warren Commission believed botli Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally were hit by the •same bullet. Three others disagreed, a view which east doubt on the single-assassin theory. The first group wanted to state that there was "compelling" evidence Kennedy and ConnaUy were hit by the same bullet. The second group favored "credible" evidence. A consensus was reached on "persuasive" evidence which left this pivotal question open. Popper's most far-reaching suggestion is th,at presidential commissions be replaced by national commissions appointed jointly by the President, Congress annd perhaps the Supreme Court. This would prevent a President from using a commission to bis political advantage. Presidents in the past have not named commissions to study foreign poUcyor military strategy, considering these subjects too sensitive to entrust to independent .studies. Popper would let commissions consider these important areas, The Twentieth Century Fund study is a contribution to improving the application of independent brainpower and prestige to the solution of problems. RICHARD WILSON WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nothing could be more disastrous at this moment than any congressional action limiting the au- s thority of the President | in his constitutional role 1 as commander in chief of the armed forces and executor of foreign policy. Such limitations or at-' , . e m p t e d limitations I would create a constitutional crisis which could so vitiate, presl-" dential authority that the effectiveness "of America's world leadership would be destroyed. The President would not recognize such limitations. The only congressional response which amounted to anything would be cutting off appropriations for the Vietnam war, and that is impossible because the security of a million merris involved. Nothing but chaos would result, and the exercise of American will in world affairs would be paralyzed. Pressure On Politicians How the men in the Senate can move in this direction escapes all rationality and reality and is but another sign of the frightful confusion affecting the thinking of politicians who cannot stand modern pressure arid run for cover Richard Wilson is The Register's Washington Correspondent. when the Vietnam war protest is carried into the streets by violence-prone activists. What bothers some of the men in the Senate is that they may lose their status, position and means of livelihood if they support a President in an unpopular cause. Their minds are concerned less with America's defeat than then- own. In these circumstances, Congress is not capable of limiting the President's constitutional freedom of action on a rational basis. In these tunes when only hair-trigger action may save a modern nation from extinction, the century-old argument over the President's authority has no relevancy. He must be free to act without congressional sanction. Committee's Judgment The Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate- wishes to substitute its judgment for that of the President. This ridiculous premise supposes that 8 or ID senators comprising a majority of the committee would determine when the United States would fight, where it would fight and how it would fight.' Senator J. W. Fulbright was right in 1961 when he said: "With their excessively parochial orientation, congressmen are acutely sensitive to the influence of private pressure and to the excesses and inadequacies of a public opinion that is all 'too often ignorant of the needs, the dangers, and the opportunities in our foreign relations." Nothing could have described the present condition better. An opportunity lias presented itself in Cambodia to set back the Communist side in a major way. President Nixon has grasped the' opportunity that neither the Congress nor the public would touch if they had to make the decisions themselves. Required Courage It all boils down to a matter of success or failure in a major.military operation. This is likely to be Nixon's Dien Bien Phu or his Battle of the Bulge — that is to say, conclusive in determining either the success or failure of his policy in Southeast Asia and his own political future. The idea recognized, by Nixon that he might be a one-term President is not confined to his way of bringing the Asian war to a constructive conclusion. He has taken that risk-in his definition of a new and more practical policy on racial equality, in his policy on Israel, his facing down the war protesters and the campus revolutionaries, his attitudes on labor. Right or wrong, this has required immense courage on the President's part, and never more than when he faced the nation, challenged his detractors and led the country where it was doubtful of going. ,<?,' This is presidential leadership under ^conditions which have been rarely seen. According to President Nixon's foreign policy adviser .and. flack, Henry Kissinger, support for Saigon is supposed to give this country two options in 'Viet- n;un. , First, there is the Vietnamization option. The theory here is that the South Vietnamese forces will become strong enough to take over the main fighting job. When the enemy is sufficiently bloodied, there would be a total American withdrawal. Then there is the negotiating option. The theory is that the Communists will get worried when they see the Saigon regime gathering strength. Rather than that, they will agree to negotiate on the terms offered by Nixon at Paris. Anyone believing in these views will find it hard to make a case against the Cambodian invasion. It hits a large concentration of Communist forces and supplies. A blow is dealt to the other side that brings nearer the day when South Vietnamese forces can take over the war." The only hitch in all this is that the two options which the President supposedly has been preserving turn out to be empty options. A negotiated settlement has always had as its principal obstacle a nearly neurotic fear by the other side that the United States was talking peace They can take it on the chin in Vietnam and show up in Laos. They can be stopped in Laos and emerge in Cambodia. They can be squelched in Cambodia and lie doggo for weeks and' e'ven months without suffering anything like a final defeat. , ' Moreover, there is no incentive for'the Saigon generals to take over the full burden of the war. If they know anything, they know Unit they have the whip hand oyer Nixon. They know that the first bit of trouble in Laos ,and Cambodia led the President to stretch put and glow down the timetable -for American troop withdrawal. They "see how easy it was to hook him -on the Cambodian invasion. They know.,they can keep large numbers of Amerkan troops__around — and a guarantee: of tbeir- own security — by inventing new threats and new opportunities In Vietnam A Long Time .; , What all this means is that the United States is going to be in the Vietnam 1 war for a long, long time to .come.-Not because of anything done in the -last few • days, but because of something more visible than ever — namely, --that.''the Nixon Administration is a government of weak men unable to think deep or see far. SYDNEY HARRIS ... Hair! Hair! /f s Not TJiat£adf A LTHOUGH I've been writing this -to, column for more than 25 years, I never cease to marvel at the response of readers — and especially how many will react to trivialities while remaining impassive about matters of real consequence. Last Christmas, my children asked me if 1 would grow a moustache and let my sideburns get a little longer, so they could see how the "mod look" became me. I agreed. Well, the children (as well as the woman I live with) liked the new look and urged me to keep it — at least until too many silver threads started blooming among the gold. At the first of the year, I haxl>new pictures of me sent out to all the newspapers that use a photo with my column, since I.am annoyed by columnists who use pictures taken when they were 20 years younger. You- wouldn't believe the mail that started coming in as soon as the new picture was in the papers. You would think I had started smoking pot, attacking nubile girls, desecrating churchyards, and publicly burning the American flag. All because of a little bit of extra hair, far less than Cramps proudly displayed. One reader in North Carolina actually wrote that she had for years venerated me as a seer, put my columns on a bulletin board, read them to her classes, bought my books, and'ia, general'looked upon me as one of the great minda of HARRIS (A.D. 196») HARRIS (A.O. 1WOJ the Western world — but now sherwas ulterly disappointed, disgusted/" and could hardly bear to read a word I wrote! Hundreds of other readers tore out the new picture and sent it to me, disfigured by capitalized exclamations' like "Phooey!" and "Take it off!" and "Stop trying to look younger!" and still other expletives not suitable for transcriblblj in a family newspaper. Why are we so perturbed and upset by a little bit of hair these days?-What deep Freudian symbolism does it have for us? Why are we so concerned about form, and so little interested in substance? What matters are njy ideas,'my feelings, my attitudes, my sense of'fair- ness, of humor, of compassion — and these are all that matter about anybody. Are we so excited about appearance because it offers us ar excuse to refuse to examine the reality beneath it?. How trivial can we get?

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