The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 9, 1970 · Page 6
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May 9, 1970

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 6

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Saturday, May 9, 1970
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An Independent ft CoWtM, Presitt&ti CfiWLtS, Chairman, of At Utoffd , ftKwr -«ut DAVTO KttWtWM, C«l«r«J Manager A. EfttAM Hani, M«*egi*s Editor LAt*e» S6lf, tiil»riil Pttgt EdMr LOWS lit. N««tt, Business Sad Day for tJniversity ' • V ' '. *^ I - -\-- • . w *^ • The decision by University of Iowa President Willard Boyd to cancel today's Reserve Officer Training Corps' Governor's Day ceremony is a sad moment for the university. We do not quarrel with the decision. Cancellation of tfie military review was urged by the Faculty Council, student and senior ROTC officers, deans, local civil and law enforcement officers, and a number of students. President Boyd said he"Was~convinced-of-"the strong probability of bloodshed among many whose only role would be that of bystander" if the program were held as scheduled. However, the cancellation of the program represents a sacrifice of principle in the face of violence which is abhorrent in a democratic society. It is especially abhorrent on a university campus. If a university stands, for anything, it stands for rational discourse. Threats of disruption and strong-arm tactics are alierPto the reason for a university's existence. President Boyd is well aware of this. "Acceding to force is intolerable to me -personally/^-he-said, but "there is no choice but to deviate from one principle in favor of the more important com- peting hurqan value of physical safety for the many." As Boyd said, the issue is not solely the ROTC. it-is whether one group of students is to be allowed to coerce another group of students into abandoning an authorized activity. The threat to disrupt the ROTC program is an example of how the irresponsible few can undermine the work of the constructive many. While most students concerned about the tragedy, at Kent State University and the Vietnam war have reacted in peaceful and dignified ways, a minority has taken to occupying buildings, destroying property, blocking buildings and highways. To participate in such excesses is to tarnish the goal of peace with the tactics of illegal action and war. It is to degrade the objective of nonviolence by committing violence. It plays into the hands of those who would like to dismiss anti-war protests as the actions of irrational mobs. If anti-war protesters are to be consistent in their demands to demonstrate and be heard, they must acknowledge the right. of _ those _who_ disagree with them to peaceably assemble and go about their business. Welfare Reform Snag The-Administration's welfare reform plan has run into a snag in the-Senate Finance Committee, which has asked that it be redrafted. Committee members complained that under certain circumstances the plan would encourage welfare recipients not to increase outside earnings. . . Administration spokesmen initially responded that revisions to meet the objections would be ready "within a natter of a few days." Daniel Moynihan, chief architect of the welfare reform plan, now states that ironing out the difficulty would be "the work of half a decade or more." The Administration plans to beef up work incentives in its proposal, but this will not satisfy all the committee objections. The problem is that welfare benefits are not limited to cash grants. Low- income persons receive other aid in the form of food stamps, medical care and public housing. While the Administration's plan contains strong incentives to work by enabling covered persons to have more income the more they earn, other programs operate differently. Eligibility for all Medicaid benefits, for example, terminates as soon as income reaches a certain level. The Senate committee cited the case of a welfare mother in Chicago with three children who coirid earn $5,000 under the Administration's plan and receive total benefits of $7,123, but if she boosted her earnings to $5,560 the total family benefits would drop to $6,109 because she no longer would be eligible for food stamps and Medicaid. Moynihan says the practice of providing benefits up to a certain income level and then cutting them off altogether is "insane, and we all know it." But redoing all of' the non-cash programs is such a massive undertaking that it cannot be done in the immediate future. The Administration believes that only a small number of families would be discouraged from working under its plan and that the examples cited by the committee are atypical. Every effort should be made by the Administration to hold the number of these families to the absolute minimum: But the fact-that anomalieT~mighT~ result is no reason to kill the entire, reform package. The greatest anomaly of all is contained in the existing welfare system, which forces a father to desert his .family in order for IHS children to be eligible for aid. The Administration's programs for uniform minimum welfare grants and aid for poor families with fathers in the home are essential reform steps. Reorganization Issue Can't Be Ignored The Iowa State Education Association •(ISEA) has asked the platform committees of both parties to back "some type of reorganization .plan for our local schools" and "regional educational service units to replace county boards of education." . These are touchy issues- Democrats and Republicans may understandably prefer to ignore. The Legislature ignored them in the 1969 and 1970 sessions. But property tax relief — which is going to be an issue in the 1970 state election — cannot be dealt with realistically apart from school reorganization at the county and local levels to reduce the cost of inefficient schools. The issue is not. whether school reorganization is going to, continue in Iowa. It is going to continue. Districts now spending $200 and $300 above average per pupil costs will not receive state aid on all this expense next year, , throwing some of the extra cost back on property taxes. Declining enrollments can be projected in many rural schools on the basis of declining birth rates. The issue is whether this reorganization is going to be planned. Local initiative has produced too many instances of one 200-pupil school merging with another 200-pupil school at little or no savings in per pupil costs. Such districts face the need for further reorganization. The heart of,the Great Plains School District Organization Project report was its recommendation that the Legislature create a commission to propose boundaries for effective and efficient districts for action by the Legislature. Most elementary schools could continue to operate where they are as attendance centers. But high schools large enough to offer a more complete curriculum, with fewer teachers having to double up by handling subjects with which they have little preparation, could be created within reasonable transportation distances. If Iowa's 300 districts with fewer than 1,500 pupils operated at the same cost level as those in the l.SIW-^QOJL.iange, they would have spent atoutlIBHrnfllioa less last year. At the same time, they would have offered an -average of -15 more units of instruction in their high schools. "Plan" is the key word in the ISEA's recommendation on school reorganization. Planning for reorganization should be a key issue before the 1971 Iowa Legislature, too. LEttEKS to tte EOtfOR Too Late to Correct This Error Members of a legislative committee touring the State Training School for Boys at Eldora this week came away critical of the school's new 14-bed hospital. They claimed it usually is occupied by no more than two or three patients. .Two were hospitalized at the time the committee visited. **\ "Maybe we ought to shut it up," Senator Francis Messerly (Rep., Cedar Falls) said. The town of Eldora also . has -a~new hospttalrwhich could serve( the needs of the training school, he suggested. the hospital is not used solely^ as .a medical facility. It houses the training school's special program for brain- damaged and mentally ill boys, some transferred to Eldora from mental .. ; health clinics, some from homes for dependent and neglected children. At present there are eight boys in this , program. Since July, the average daily popfilatioo at 4fa» hospital bas been 10. with eight of these being boys in toe special program. In addition, the building provides office spice for counselors, who previously used unoccupied ceils. It also provides ... space for recreation facilities and chapel ) services. ' v ~ Carte (yNeil, who became superintendent of the Ekkva facility a year ago after serving as assistant superintendent, said he agrees with the legislators that the $350,000 hospital, opened last year, was more expensive than necessary. "I'm sure we could have gotten by with a cheaper building" for the type of program it isiised for, he said. But closing down a hospital today cannot correct an error made three- years ago when the plans were drawnT^ The vanishing-arFofiotenTpoie carving is being revived —but not by the Indians, reports the National Geographic Society. Most miniature totem pole* now sold at souvenir counters in British -Columbia, birthplace of the i craft, are made in — you guessed it — Japan.— Council Bluffs Nonpareil. The man who used all his spare time before he was married thinking of ways to make the sweetest little gW in the world happy is now busy trying to think how he can get away from her for in evening now and then,—Zula B. Greene, Topeka Capital. A 4-year-old stood in front of a supermarket counter stuffing grapes into his mouth with both hands. His mother appeared and stared at him aghast. "Bil- lyi" she shouted. "Not «o Blames Congress, Nixon for Violence T6 AM Editor: ' ' -r' • It seems incredible to me that so many adults can condemn student vioIdnCe^ without also condemning those that are directly to blame for it —'President Nixon, Congress,' and themselves. Nixon did not consult Congress before ^making his decision to order trdops into Cambodia. In fact, the entire war, the million dead, the $100 billion wasted, the inflationary economy, the lack of funds for education, poverty, ecology, housing — have all resulted mainly from executive decisions, unchecked by Congress, in turn unchecked by unconcerned adults who blandly assume that all is well in Washington... I do not condone the violence of students or anyone else, including the police and the military. But I ask you to consider that student violence is a symptom of frustration, caused by the people who won't-listen ... — Douglas Goodlier, Apt. 1, .132 S. Dubuque, Iowa City, la. 52240. What Iowa Papem Urges August Primary tCHif fti»Mi •ittttt) Now that annual legislative sessions are a reality, fteptesentativft fUtoh McCartney of Charles City, leader of the Republican majority in the Iowa House, thinks it would be wise to fneve the date of the primary elections back to September of late August, from June. Body count Protests 'Treason 9 JOSEPH KR AFT ... To the Editor: I read with interest Senator Hughes's evaluation of the deaths-of- the four students and~how he described it as a frustration shared by millions of peace- loving patriotic Americans. How many peace-loving people are breaking windows in police stations or burning public buildings? All millions of other Americans can see is a bunch of long-haired, Communist-inspired hippies who are just intent on keeping out of service while other patriotic young men make this country safe for these slack- ^ers to carry .on their demonstrations. They expect the police to just say "No" and let it go at that. I think the police did their duty, only about four yeajs too late. These so-called demonstrations are nothing but outright treason and should be dealt with as such. If these students desire an education, that is what these places of learning are in operation^for, not for trying to overthrow the government that is trying to protect them ... — F. V. Liscomb. Rt. 2, Waverly la. 506157. Calls Cambodian Attack Wise To the Editor: . President Nixon made an extremely wise choice in attacking Red sanctuaries in Cambodia. We must aid our friends in defeating this enemy the world over. The Communist goal has always been to surround us, then defeat us.... More people have fled Communism than any other form of government since the world began. In Cuba 700,000 have fled Communist rule, With many more wanting out. This should leave no doubt in our minds which side we are going to support. — Paul M. Strong, 1209 Morningside ave., Sioux City, la. SUM. Deplores Loss of Train Service To tht Editor: -" . I agree wholeheartedly with Attorney Melvin Belli of San Francisco ["Lawyer Belli Mourns Loss of Good Trains to Des Moines", letter, Apr. 17]. This last few years I have gone to Des Moines, Perry and Kansas City to catch trains ' for Albuquerque, Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., and next week will go to Perry to get a train to Colorado and thence on to California again. I enjoy the scenic route, the relaxation on the train and the friendly people in the diner and the dome. I have now joined the National Association of Railroad-Passengers with the hope that in some way this group can bring about more nice trains for those of us who enjoy'this interesting type of travel. — Mrs. G. H. Foster, €08^ Grand, Ames, la. 50010. Reagan Fan To th« Editor: As a staunch supporter over the years of Iowa's own Ronald Reagan.(now California's fine governor), I feel I must reply to Lawyer Belli's obviously political letter of Apr. 17. Mr. Belli seemed to blame all the world's ills, from railroads to rioting —students on "Dutch" Reagan.-Therefore, my money prescription in care of the Reagan TV Fund, has been air-mailed to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., to help obtain a cure. — Allen D- Anneberg, M.D., Carroll Medical Center, Carroll, la. 51411. Says War Unwinnable, But Invasion Derails Talks JOSEPH KRAFT WASHINGTON, D.C. - American troops enter Cambodia in search of the main enemy headquarters. They end up burning's bunch of dusty villages. Presumably some damage will be done to Communist supply lines, stores, and plans. But for how long? The White House estimates it will take - eight or nine months for the Communists—to_build back to where they were. President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam told Osborne Elliott of Newsweek that the effects would last "two, three months — five, six months." • Then what? The White House has not yet figured out -how to do an encore. President Thieu fs not so reticent. He laughingly told newsweek. "We will go in again when it is necessary." What this .teaches — once again — is that there is no way to end the Vietnamese war by conventional military force, that the only good way out is to negotiate out. But what does the latest set of strikes do for the negotiating possibility? Boost for War Backers The Russians and those leaders of Hanoi who favor a negotiated settlement are plainly on the defensive. That is the meaning of the Communist boycott of the Paris peace talks this week. That is why Le Due Tho, Hanoi's chief negotiator, has left Paris, backtracking from early indications of'sympathy with the idea of a new Geneva conference. That is why Premier Alexei Kosygin of Russia, when asked about a Geneva meeting the other day, replied: "At this point it is necessary to stop" the aggressor — not to hold conferences." Similarly, the Comrflunist Chinese and their allies in Hanoi Vave had a new boost for their theory of maintaining a perpetual guerrilla war in Indochina. That is why Peking is plugging as never before the insurgent liberation movements of Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam. That is why Hanoi is making such a big deal about the presence of Chinese Premier Chou En-lai at a recent meeting in south China of all the Communist parties to the Vietnam, war. No doubt a temporary clouding of the negotiating prospect would be justifiable if the great center of the Communist power was being put on notice to behave SYDNEY HARRIS ., . by the show of strength in Cambodia. But the Russians are not getting that message at all. On the contrary, at his press conference Kosygin was confident to the point of joking about Western speculation on inner Kremlin politics. He spoke of a new burst of activity by Soviet pilots in Egypt with bland impunity. For the fact is that the United States is not exactly in good position to complain about potential Soviet threats while the Cambodian invasion is going forward.. Indeed, the deeper fact is that the Nixon Administration is top obsessed by Cambodia even to focus serious attention on the grave challenge, in the Near Ea,st. In the same confident vein, Kosygin announced that Cambodia might cause the Russians to reconsider their position fin the arms control talks now under way in Vienna. At best that means that Moscow, far from being scared, is applying against the United States'the Administration's famous policy of linkage — the policy of say ing you behave or we won't play ball in the arms control talks. Potential ( Troubles. At worst, there could be genuine harm done to the prospects for arms control, for the Soviets are negotiating on the assumption that agreement will register rough parity between the Big Two. They finally have begun to believe former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's assurances that neither side could gain from an increase in strategic weaponry. But if they are convinced that ,this country is creating a climate of confrontation in order to go one up, then they could easily back away from any agreement. So far, most of these bleak developments are potential.- They could be undone by a reversal of American policy. But thatPwouM mean finally rejecting the contention of the American military that they can win decisive advantages in Vietnam. It would mean understanding that President Thieu is advocating a policy of perpetual war. , It would mean moving to negotiate by changing the ambassador and the commander in Vietnam in order to pave the way for a new government ready to compromise with the other side. Doing all those things takes courage — the moral courage of convictions, not the kind given to men who think they have to prove they are tough. "that you can not do t good job of legis* lating and campaigning for of f ice it the same time. It's too much of * strain on legislators to force them into this." In too many cases, he said, legislators up for re-electon have one eye on how their votes may affect their political fortunes and the other oh what's best for the state. Representative McCartney believes that a June prirrlary tends to lengthen the campaign, not shorteir it. He pointed out that the deadline for filing nomination papers was March 29 this year — at a time when the Legislature \»as considering some of the most important bills of the session. Until the Democratic Legislature of 1965 changed the primary election date to the day after Labor Day in September, it had for many years been on the first Monday in June. Republicans vowed to return it to June. There were some problems with the September primary. But these problems would'vanish if the~primary were-held in the last two weeks of August. The plain fact is that as long as we have annual sessions June is simply too early to hold a primary election. Consolidation Study Potential Cited (Uwt CUT PmfrCIHtMl) During the final days of the [1970 Iowa Legislature] while the clamor for "property tax relief" was ringing loud within the Statehouse and throughout the state, Representative Joan Upsky of Cedar Rapids proposed doing something concrete . . . studying the possibility of cutting costs of government by eliminating some government, of which Iowa has an oversupply. She asked a study into the possibility of consolidating some of the state's 7,783 local government units now empowered to levy taxes. They, include, Mrs. Lipsky pointed out, 99 counties, 453 school districts, 87 county school districts, 15 merged area school districts, 952 municipal corporations, 1,602 fovmships, 3,200 drainage and levee districts, 11 sanitary districts, 1,165 fire districts, 100 county conservation districts, and W extension council districts. Her proposal was defeated on a 60 to 50 vote in the House. The irony is that there has always been an astonishingly high correlation between those who shout loudest about high taxes and efficient government and those who object most strenuously to consolidating local governmental units. No Need for Rushed Registration Seen Can the Schools Be Reformed? H OW DO YOU get an institution to change without putting a firecracker under its tail? If our colleges and universities had changed when, and in the way, they should have, the riots and disturbances of the late '60s would have been not only avoidable, but unneces-j sary. This same discontent I is now seeping down to the high schools, and the dead hand of institution^ alization will soon be I lifted by force if it is not raised by consent. For 1 the quality of education is even worse in most secondary schools than it is in colleges and universities. We could go right down to the elementary grades for an example of administrative paralysis in the face of modern educational knowledge. For instance, it has been known for more than 20 years that young children cannot be best educated, by ttie present "grade" system of keeping them in the same class for all subjects. Differing ' Abilities That is, there are no "fourth gride" childreo. Students of the same age have differing ajjjjitifis in different fields, and cannot be effectively schooled on a mass assembly-line basis, as. they are almost everywhere today. Individual differences must be taken Into account. A child who is in fourth grade in Eng- lish should not-necessarily be doing fourth-grade math, but perhaps third or fifth. Another might be doing sixth-grade art and second-grade music. A few might be working at the sixth or seventh- grade level in history. The fiction that abilities are roughly even at comparable ages makes for badly taught pupils and frustrated teachers, but eases the path for administrators, paper- workers, and schedule-planners. And, of course, the schools are mainly runJojL the benefit of these people, not for drawing upon the fullest potentialities of teachers or pupils. f I -A. A. • ' Invites ~~Ovf rthrow ~~ ~ (MIM* City The .Iowa Legislature has passed a law making permanent voter registration mandatory throughout counties with a_pepMation_exceeding 50,000. Cerro Gordo County had 49,894 residents in the i960 census. It should go beyond the 50,000 level in the 1170 count. This poses an interesting question: Supposing an efficient U.S. Census Bureau makes its report prior to the Nov. 3 general election. Does this mean that Cerro Gordo would have to whomp up a voter registration system overnight? The Globe-Gazette asked Secretary of State Melvin Synhorst, who is in charge of such things, about the situation. His response was reassuring. "Before census figures can be official in Iowa," he said, "they must be certified in my office and then published. " Laws based on such census figures cannot become effective until then. "I also think it would be a reasonable interpretation that if the census count is verified, close to election, time that it would not be practical or even possible to prepare permanent registration for this year's election." That sounds sensible to us. Housing Needs At Home, Too (J*hn MeC*rm*Hy, H«wk-f y«) All educational experts who have seriously studied the matter agree that the kind of ^grade regimentation" we have in the public schools is regressive — this is way so many pupils entering high school have to repeat, the last year or two of grade school, and why so many entering college axe simply repeating the last year of high school The "water" in the educational system must be wrung out. . But it will not &e wmn|TeUHintiJ parents and teachers begin to •**«»* the ^"""*»^ ^^*» •• WHJIAJ .' ** iw^pMii ^^ UPWWI^^^^ ™^^ status quo as expensive, timft-conjumtog 'W"_|PP €pMSjWS*W?flp!Pw* *™S^PTSMPHSP y IwSBHwsBPf*^ however, ajrt rarely iropltrafatrd by the people who fijpj it simpler to keep tP* old machine running in the eg nay; and this is what foraenU revolutions. An that hi? lost its capacity to be invites its own eventual overthrow. I agree with Kingman firewater of Yale that because of the, reliance on force and violence to achieve national -goals (as in Vietnam) and because of the determination to crush rather than respond to forces of change, "potentially constructive critics, skeptics and heretics are being driven into the ranks of those enraged destructiviiti who ywld- tear down the system." Brewster points out how even the less militant students are "beguming to won<ter wny feame questions seem "tottd, glossed over or ruled out of debute. Violence - on the campus or in toe streets — is irrational But it if ej- tremely difficult to argue rationally with excited student* w angry blacks, when the policies and *ctio«s rf the nation itself ar« so irrationtl, Take one fantastic, raind-boggUng example: ' •' r ' Pentagon has announced § mw- itw te-iro^di fcHKtog f<r jrf South Vtebjtme* «Mier«. AM right Fine. Now, hosr are we doing on" the rnonumfntaj bousing abort- age w this country? la the jmettoes? FOJ; the wver^ndrtM^B «fw oro soldiers in^he overcrowded towns near military bases? For ftufento on the more crowded campuses?

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