The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 8, 1970 · Page 10
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May 8, 1970

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 10

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Friday, May 8, 1970
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r frl., Mly I, 1*70 An Independent Netvspuper Cotrtss, MitfioNALD, £<&«? aT KWftWttH, Getitrat Manager £*fAH* Hftt*, MoMgifig Editor LADWW Setrf, XdittritlPagt Editor LOOTS H. Nbwu*, JtowHB* Managtf \ Russian, Chinese Threats Kremlin-watchers in Washington are relieved to find that Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin's response to American armed entry into Cambodia was so "restrained." He called Americans aggressors and habitual treaty, breakers. He described the action as "invasion" and said Russia "condemned" it. He urged all right-thinking countries to "assist in rebuffing the aggressor." - , . But at the end, where the final bang should come, was a waffle: -^The-Soviet government will naturally draw the proper conclusions for its policy from this course of action of the United States in Southeast Asia." This could mean a threat of war. It could mean stepping up Russian supplies of arms to North Vietnam. It could mean Russian arms for exiled Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia, who keeps threatening to start a counter-revolution in Cambodia. Or, Kosygin might break off the arms talks with the United States in Vienna, or get nastier about the Middle East, or support North Vietnam in breaking off the Paris talks. Or he might just say "tsk tsk" a few times and let it go at that. We do not feel as reassured as the Washington "diplomatic officials" who analyzed Kosygin's remarks. Kosygin's ~word "rebuff" is a harsh, word. The .Russian word is. rather more physical than the English equivalent. It also means "push off, kick out, repel, fe- • pulse." The Peking government of China issued a statement earlier, calling U.S. actions "atrocious aggression" and pledging "a powerful backing" and "all- out support and assistance" to North Vietnam, the Viet Cong and "the peoples of Cambodia and Laos," (meaning the anti-U.S. elements among them). Russia and China do not get along, but they compete (and sometimes even co-operate) to help North Vietnam against the United States. For years they have promised North Vietnam and the U.S. that they will not let North Vietnam lose the war. They are not anxious to get in as deep as the United States is, but the geography and politics of the region make it possible for them to frustrate the United States with less effort than the United States makes. They and the United States are the major "privileged sanctuaries," keeping bloody wars going on someone else's land. Russian and Chinese threats need to be taken seriously, even when they hedge them. Green Light for Church Tax Exemption i The Supreme Court this week rejected i a challenge to the practice of granting tax-exemptions to churches. The only surprise in the case was that the high court agreed to hear it in the first place. • As Chief Justice Warren Burger noted in bis opinion in which five Justices .concurred, the issue has long been considered settled, both by tradition and by court decisions. The New York state courts that dealt with the case brushed it off with brief orders declaring that thenplaintiff's'argument-had no meritr" The plaintiff was Frederick Walz, a .."recluse New York lawyer, who had created a test case by purchasing a vacant lot on which property taxes were about $5 a year. His argument was that t tax exemption of'churches increased his taxes, thereby forcing him to help support a religion, as well as making the state contribute to "an establishment of religion" — both explicitly unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined Walz in his appeal. ' . ' The majority opinion, written by Burger, and a concurring opinion fay Justice r Harlan, both reasoned that by law, tradition and practice, all 50 states from their beginnings have exempted churches from at least some kinds of taxation. Both opinions quoted Justice Holmes as saying: "If a thing bas been • practiced by common consent for 200 "- years Jit will need a strong case" to overturn it The majority viewed the' intent of the I framers of the Constitution in the con- text of their times. In the Eighteenth Century established churches were the usual practice in Europe, supported directly by taxes, sometimes controlled by the state, sometimes given semi- governmental powers. They even were authorized to operate to the total exclusion of other churches. This, Burger wrote, is what the Founding Fathers were trying to avoid, not the incidental financial benefit of tax exemption. Only Justice William Douglas agreed with Walz arid the ACLU. He^held that even the indirect benefit of tax exemption is state support of religion. He said custom and court decisions cannot - overcome these words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . . ." Douglas also seemed concerned that if the court reaffirmed church tax exemption it would open the door to an increasing amount of public aid to parochial schools. The widespread adoption of legislation providing various forms of assistance for parochial school education makes it likely that the Supreme Court will have to face the constitutional questions posed by such aid. The court's decision on tax exemption, meanwhile, is in accord with logic and common sense. It would be unthinkable for states to be allowed to exempt from taxation the property of universities, hospitals, veterans clubs and fraternal groups but be prohibited from granting the same treatment to religious institutions. * Unknown School Aid Impact The 1970 Iowa Legislature made some 20 changes in the state school financing law. Thexihangea will affect the amount of aid each district will receive from state aid and the countywide school levy beginning next year. In one change, the Legislature reduced the weight given property values in the formula for determining the per, pupil wealth in each district. This formula (which considers both property market value and adjusted gross personal income) determines the percentage, of local costs to be paid from the state equalization aid appropriation. * The change by and large will benefit small rural districts which have a high property value per child, since only about "60 per cent'bf property value will, under' this new law, be counted in determining how much wealth a district has for each child in school. The change reduces state aid — and increases property taxes — for schools in Iowa cities. The Legislature also wrote into the law an attorney general's opinion which bad! the effect of reducing the COUP- tywide school tax to districts witfilarge farm and Industrial .valuations but few pupils,' These benefits will be offset in part in many districts by two other changes in the law: . -One will-limit state aid paid next year to those costs below $860 per pupil. Some 100 small districts exceed this . figure. Another change will place limits on a district's share of money from the countywide levy. In the past any limit-affected only state equalization aid (which is paid from a legislative appropriation). Many districts will be affected by the change which requires that private school pupils be counted in a district's average public school enrollment. This will increase state aid for districts with large proportions of private pupils, and lift their allowable spending limits for state aid. The State Comptroller's office has not yet run a computer analysis on what the major changes will mean for each district because-no.-figures on the number of private school pupils In each district are available. (Private pupils will be counted where they live, not where they attend school.) It is ironic that a Legislature so concerned with local property taxes would pass a law affecting those taxes without knowing in detail the effects. - ^ Israeli Cease-Fire Talk A student rally is a curious place to make a cease-fire offer, but for Israel it's as good a place as any. The Arab governments will not speak to Israel or let Israel speak to them directly, but they do pay some attention. So it was at a student rally in Haifa that Defense Minister Mesfae-Dayan said tb$ Israeli goyernmenj «js ready to reestablish an unconditional and unlimited cease-fir e, even if tMs will enable Egypt to reorganize and put up miasile sites." The cease-flw ngj^>|J8hf4 after the m selling Egypt SAM-3 missiles, to defend against air attacks. Newsweek magazine says 15 of the proposed 40 SAM sites have been built. Soviet planes flown by Soviet pilots have been scrambling into Egyptian skies recently to protect these missile sites: Deep reprisal raids by Israeli forces .are becoming more and more dangerous, and Egyptian raids into Is/ rael havo been tan-earing. It if easy to let why Israel would Ukt to restore the ceajse-fire now. time* by Arab wmmandoj ml reprisal force*. It feU apart Apr. 23 last year wnen the Egyptian governmeat announced it no longer felt bound by it, or b/ the Suez cease-fire For quite a while, Israel kepfsiying if. .would go back to the cease-fire anytime Egypt did. Lately it has been saying a cease-fire would be useless, because Egypt would use it to rebuild its ow, with Dayan's Israel is willing again. Egypt hat been rebuilding its defenses, ft asked Russia laat year for offensive ground-to-groundmjssilea. r would not furnish them, tf is , Anti-Strike Laws iOttUy OMjhonuw) Laws purporting to jban sjrikes by- public employes aren't turning out to have much practical value. It's practically impossible to enforce such laws in an inflationary environment cwiducixe to a cshrooic condition of full employment or o^ver-employment. The wholesale firings or individual legal proceediQga necessary to impose respect for no-strike laws would be impractical in the circumstances. Thus they're wide* Jy ignored. LETTERS to the EDITOR 'Upset* at Coverage Of Honey well Protest T« th» BdUffri We were upset with the^ [Associated Press report] of the Honeywell stockholders meeting in Minneapolis, which appeared in the Apr. 29 Register. . . . The article ... made no mention of the unjust tactics used by Honeywell as it attempted to silence legaj^rpxy Jipjd^ ers. It made no mention of the repressive working conditions existing in 15 countries where Honeywell, Inc., has plants. It made no mention of the .working conditions existing in various U.S. locations of Honeywell. ... ^ Of the 1,000 demonstrators present, most coverage was given to the two frustrated youths who broke the front windows. No mention was made of the teach-in held earlier in the morning at Washburn Park or the teach-in "held in Honeywell's parking lot. The teach-in was held by a sizable number of nonviolent individuals concerned with learning about the violent manner in which Hbneywert operates as it disrupts the environment of its workers in 15 countries and as it kills people with its deadly anti-personnel bombs in Vietnam. The pictures, wefe~also somewhat ambiguous as they implied the majoritjToT protesters were long-haired people with painted faces. Why not have a picture of the eight or_so clergymen who joined the Honeywell protest?" Or the "straight" leaders of the Honeywell project? Or better yet a maimed child crippled by a Honeywell product? As participants in the Honeywell demonstration, we were deeply upset with the coverage given. . . . — Mr. and Mrs. David J. Kalke, 110 Fourth st. S/W., Waverly, la. 50677. Agrees With Wilson on Nixon Decision Huffikw, Raltlth (N.c.) Ntws and Obi«rvir (Bin Roth Aftncr) To the Editor: The May 4 Register carried the clearest and most logical column, by Richard Wilson* regarding the President's decision to carry the war to the strongholds of the North" Vietnamese in Cambodia that we have seen in any paper.' . . . As to Mr.-Nixon's decision, he has memories of excellent advice by former President Eisenhower. On a number of occasions the former President stated that if he were President he would win this war and would not stop for boundary-lines. We should also remember that another great general, General MacArthur, wanted to win the "Korean police action" debacle so we would not be mixed up in another Korean-like conflict. Republican presidents have inherited three wars and have not left any for an opposition party President to have .to deal with. President Hardirtg inherited the aftermath of the World War I, President Eisenhower inherjted the Korean conflict, and President Nixon inherited the Vietnam campaign of attrition and is doing his best to get the fighting stopped and as many of the men back home as possible. Columnist Wilson's article is in direct opposition to the position of junior senator from Iowa, Harold Hughes, who seems to do the most surface thinking of any senator this writer recalls, and this goes back to 1912. — Omer L. Allison, 705 Second ave. S.W., Cedar Rapids, la. 52404. RICHARD WILSON << Nixon's Success Depends M* • i > On His Control of Events Calls Action 'Breach of Confidence' To th« Editor: President Nixon's move into Cambodia of U.S. forces without the consent of Congress or the approval of the majority of the American people is clearly a breach of confidence and deserves to be treated as such. What this military-oriented President asks is for trust; while cleverly and quickly setting the stage for unknown world catastrophe. The first step was to stifle dissent and dissenters; then begin or attempt to censor the news media. . . . Misleading the people by censorship is not serving the public interest Clearly the President enjoys power and strives to please .the affluent and Jhe military industrial complex. Congress should move now as rapidly as possible to limit the powers of a President; these decisions affect millions. One man is not capable of flash decisions without massive error. Restore the power to Congress and the people. Impeachment proceedings would be in order. ... — Merle Edward Zwcifel, Hilton rd., Keokuk, la. Opposed to Widening War To lh» Edllori I would like to express my strong -opposition to. the United States widening and escalating the war by" our military" involvement in Laos and Cambodia. I resent the cynicism expressed in the President's comment that the public need only be concerned if it comes out . right. Our young men need to live, and beyond that, they need to live in a nation whose national goals and objectives '• ' ' - - - WASHINGTON, D.C. - There comes a time in the life of Presidents when events seem to converge against them. [This is one of those times for President Nixion. From a balanced 1 view, however, a bad time .does not make a disaster, and it is over the longer range that Nixon judges his own I actions. Others should, I too. This characteristic of looking beyond immediate popular reaction has been a Jate-developing trait in Nixon pre-dating his election by not very much and based in the deeper reservoirs of his long experience in public affairs. He looks to the ultimate rather than the immediate result, and therefore he has taken very large risks, not merely in Cambodia, but over the wider scope Richard Wilson is Tht Register's Washington Correspondent. of domestic affairs. His Inner confidence RICHARD WILSON respect and commitment.. . . . . . In the President's widening of the war into Cambodia .. . he ia endangering the future of our nation — Lola Krensky, 221 Maryland ave., Waterloo, la. War: 'Violence of Worst Kind' To the Editor! ... Sunday, on TV's Face the Nation, I listened to Vice-President Agnew trying to defend President Nixon. He seemed very serious and well he might be. When he was answering questions about violence and lawlessness, I wanted to ask him if our young people and others do not have a good example of violence of the worst kind In the war. . And as to lawlessness, is it not against the law to kill? Moreover, bas it been accomplishing anything to make-the world better any more than violence here at home? — Mrs. Mary T. Dougan, 711 N. Monroe ave., Mason City,'la. 50401. Court SecMyiA Shield for The Strong, But Not the Weak An editorial in the Wall Street Journal. A LL SORTS of judgments have been drawn now that the courts have finally released the transcript of the inquest into the death of Mary Jo Ko- pechne. We only hope that the topical fervor does not obscure what .the episode says i about the assertion that the courts—can-• deal even-handedly with celebrated cases if only the press is prevented from stirring up the public. Back when the Massachusetts Supreme Jus- ticial Court was weigh- «AKYJO_ ing-whether the inquest' KOPECHNI should he pubifci* private, we wrote thatihe problem was not the "crescendo of publicity" of which Justice Paul C. Reardon complained. Rather, it was a crescendo of bungling in the judicial process, that at njxjtep.o| the way had Senator Edward Kennedy been subject to the same scrutiny an ordinary citizen would have, received in similar circumstances. We continued: "The danger is that the justices will convince themselves the problem is 'prejudicial publicity,' that the villain of the piece is the press, which in fact bas only exposed and dramatized the bum-"" tiling that is the real problem. If they so decidrlhey will accordingly 'solve' the problem by dropping^ curtain of secrecy around the proceedings. Then ~ for all the world will know — the' bumbling can continue safe from prying eyes." Denied Access Which is exactly what has happened, we learn now that the case, is closed, at tawdry battle over property rights to the secrets is ended, and the transcript finally released. The upshot is that the judge who presided over the inquest conduced the likelihood is ftat the'sena- tor lied during judicial proceedings, and that he had contributed to the death by negligent driving. Yet somehow Qf Other these charges are'not brought to trial by asy of the relevant authorities. And a grand jury with aq instinct that the ease needs further probing was denied access to the inquest hearings by the rule of leerecy. * Surely this is not the same outcome the case would have reached If it concerned an ordinary citizen. Despite the uneasiness of the grand jury, the inquest judge and perhaps others, what seems to have happened is this: That favoritism in the judicial process drew criticism when the public could learn of it, so a lid of secrecy was clamped on so the favoritism could -continue with utmost decorum, subject to criticism only after the senator was better protected from further prosecution.,.. Was Never Disciplined Now, back when the secrecy decision was pendjngrwe-also took note of iow the cpurts and bar bandied the problem in another case where the tables were reversed, where the defendant was weak; and the prosecution powerful Surely, we wrote, the most egregious example of an attempt to prejudice a trial in recent tunes has been New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's pre-trial Impli* cations about the trial of Clay Shaw. Yet though ultimately the local -press vigorously opposed Garrison, he was never disciplined by the courts or the bar. So looking on the Kopechne episode, we wondered: "On the record so far, the strictures against prejudicial publicity by the courts and bar afford no protection to someone Kike Oay Shaw, a particularly vulnerable man. Now will tie courts rush to sJiield from publicity a man not only wealthy and fainous, but one who bas already commanded national tele- vista time to tefl hfe dde of <&» case?" Precisely so, it would seem. Both individually and together; Ow cases are sorry testimony of the ability of the courts to control the problem of pre-trial pu£ JicUy. J&e^eeowl WffluW seem to suggest that secrecy is no help to the weak but -i^ into the Cambodian operation, into new definitions of racial relationships, into strong attitudes against student disorder, and into calculated restraint in economic matters. Control Of Events Now in all these areas there is some a kind of an explosion of popular opposition, doubt or resentment which in normal circumstances and with another President might prove politically fatal. It is Nixon's calculation that in all. these fields the result will turn out to be otherwise - not fatal but beneficial both to himself and to the country. This depends, however, on one essential: his actual rather than his theoretical ability* to controlrevents." . .* In the case of Cambodia such calculations became confusingly complex, so in~flie end Nixon relied upon his instinctive judgment, supported by documents and skilled opinion, but still a decision which could as easily have been made differently. The impression prevails that some of his advisers, probably Secretary of State Rn«>r« ami a,«™*.—< Defense Laird as planned, the operation would lUrfi'out satisfactorily. Claim He ' ' . L Misjudged '" Whether or not that is precisely .what happened will probably be related in the memoirs of those involved and tie subject to controversy thereafter. What counts now is that Nixon believed he could control events, including the .duration of the Cambodian operation,-and the extent of Russian, Chinese,. and North Vietnamese reaction. Those who oppose what Nixon did,can logically claim that he misjudged his ability to control events, that the results would be more drastic than he calculated, and in any event no President or general or admiral could foresee, .what the results would be. Time will prove one side or the other to be right. ..,„. The same confidence in his ability to control events has guided Nixon in,, his handling of the economic crisis,, if it deserves to be called that — and? few holders of common stock would disagree. Confidence hi his ability, and that of independent government agencies, to rtum-on-and-turn-off-the-hot-and^cold- water to get a balanced flow of pleasant Warmth influenced Nixon all through his first year in office. . ,. „• "Majority" • , Won't Help \ ", 1J Now that the cold water is spurting out more strongly than the position of the spigot would indicate, we shall see how Nixon controls the warmth of the flow. He never had any doubt that he could do so in an economy which he thought was rarin' to go if given, the slightest encouragement. But lack of faith and confidence owing to the rattled state of the'country bas Invaded the economic system and could conceivably be beyond-the controls of the New Economics. • Student .disorder certainly has gone beyond the expectations of those-who thought the campuses were cooling off. The resentment was there waiting to be fanned into fire by the C^bo&aji.' attack, and events have carried ,# 0 into shocking horrors which have agauTbad- ly upset and divided the country,'.and laid upon its conscience the weight of more young dead. .;.';; In the end Nixon will have to be right. A "silent majority" will not save-bbn. - — • - -T---*~... ». «o t^uiutCU that Al^rney.GeneralMJtchell tended-to confirm Nixon's natural conclusion that, that in word and act the Nixon AWUUUS- tration represented as near to wbatf'ttiey were thinking as they would ever get. •»i7*iri; A Valuable Look at 'Creation' From a review in The Economic of London of "Present at th t Creation," bu Dean Acheson. . . .NOW we have had no com. W plete ana authoritative account of the postwar _world from any of (0039 who were involved in the making of it. Dean Acheson hajj now, in bla middle {seventies, given us an exhaustive and masterly lone. - • Nobody else, alive or dead, has been in a better portion to do so. He was in high office in the State Department, either as undersecretary '** Witty,-, fcr'jfe fl« the eM of the Truman or two with "O.K. . . bottom of the page. We would also, for example, have had a lengthy and logical explanation of why be suggested ordering mankind*'to > be delivered in four colors — with some acid comments on the'stupidity and venality of Satan, Mephistotonel4s,.and Beelzebub for opposing hia ideas <§Hha subsequent four-power conference*.:But we would have no hint that he recognized, eons later, that his poBo'y.had created certain problems and' that monotone man, though less interesting and varied, might have had a, more peaceful existence. But we would nave bad a very, valuable book. And that is what Mm Ach- esonbas given us on this later creatim. m .•«,(. So we see lessjeason than ever to believe that the courts can be trusted to operate- in 1 secrecy, aol feast of all in the celebrated cases where pre-trial publicity is a potential problem. There seems much to be said for the ancient notion that justice is more Lidy to be done if tbf courts are kept open and subject to jjjydie scrutiny. tant decisions As toe United Statw TO tbeo all- powerful, be can claim most of the credit, or ma«t accept most of the responsibility (according \» one'a point ^ view) for the world as it is today. Had Acheson beqn present at that earlier creation (to which the splendid quotation from wWch be takes bis fctie refers) we would have bad a much fuller account Han we get from ihr book of Genesis. We \would baye learned bow policy wa> hammered out in the ified Mr. Acteaoo wa», time and again, _ to g^ bis proposals back within » day , f-f 5W*Cy*1

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