The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on August 31, 1975 · Page 15
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August 31, 1975

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 15

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 31, 1975
Page 15
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COMMENTARY ^^^^^^^^^^H^^IH^^||IHI^B^^^||^||^^||^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^IHHHHHHHHHHHHMHH||HMHII^H Civil rights pioneer recall! earlier eras of re[ PIOPII'S OPEN FORUM 1»8 MOINE8 SUNDAY KKGMTBR By LUCILLE B. MILNFR **t American of my age, I wu own into a heritage of freedom so great granted I tike the air we breathed, I pew. up to ttt age of peace and boundless hopetttt preceded the First World War, without aa idea of bow often our freedoms were endangered. ^But there came a time when I left my sheltered existence to plunge Into the maelstrom of the fight for social justice and civil liberties, War had broken out In Europe hut no one Uwoght that the peace-loving people of this nation would be Involved. Wood. row Wilton had been re-elected because fe promised to keep us out of the war. But before kmg we were In It. Hysteria against pacifists and dis- •fwan swept the country. Powerful military orgaaititloos called for the sup- jwaalon of all who oppoaad the war and «w militaristic programs. Pacifist meetings were broken up at gunpoint. carried full-page adver- anteeinf to make anyone a spy-hunter on payment of a dollar fee, and the federal government enlisted thousands of these citlien spies. The war hysteria swept colleges and courtrooms. • Soon the Espionage Act wu passed by Congress with elaborate machinery to enforce it Hundreds of persona were put behind prison ban solely because they expressed an opinion that some official Ladllfr Mllner was a founder of the Americas] Civil Liberties Union and a staff member for 25 years. She com' pkted this article several weeks before her death Aug. 14 at the eg* of 87. thought improper. It may hava been against the war, or a criticism of our government or of the President, or by workers against working conditions. As the war advanced, a small group of courageous men and women, led by Roger N. Baldwin, set up a National Civil Liberties Bureau - the first of its kind JnJUnerkan-hUtory-- dedicated to the preservation of the Bill of Rights. It all comes back to me as I, now in my eighty-eighth year, reflect on these early years. I can see before me the men and women of every political belief, every race, and every faith whose civil rights we defended, many of them now a part of American history and In some Instances of world history. Even after the war was over, civil-liberties violations were still with us and in much more virulent forms. Mob violence everywhere was on the increase. It took the form of lynchings, tarring and feathering and running "undesirables" out of town. Bands of vigilantes composed of local businessmen aided by American Legion posts and the Ku Klux Klan spread terror over the country. This was the state of affairs when the wartime Civil Liberties Bureau disbanded and the peacetime American Civil Liberties Union came into existence. From the start, the Union was the target of attacks. Active support of its work might mean social ostracism or economic ruin or imprisonment. It was a turbulent period and many thought that the future of democracy was at stake. A new factor in all this was the Russian Revolution, which fur- nished a new excuse to crush labor. Atty. Gen. A. Mitchell Palmar alleged that there was a large body of Reds in the country organising to overthrow the government by force and violence. Men were punished not for their acts but for what,they thought or for their associations. While Palmer was conducting his reign of terror, local officials in the 35 states where criminal syndicalism and sedition laws had been passed conducted illegal raids chiefly •Wtajt tta Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and hundreds were arrested without charges. frwn my desk at the American Civil Liberties Union I watched these fateful years travel their turbulent course, recklessly destroying rights and liberties that had been woven into the warp and woof of American life. Legal rights and constitutional guarantees were empty phrases. Everywhere there was fear of idealism, suspicion of liberals and ha. tred of radicals. As the years passed, I learned how persevering are the forces intent upon nullifying the advance ot treeoom won' by America at tremendous cost Then are always those who would destroy oar gains but always those who would fight to recover them. Periods of regression' have been followed by periods of freedom. The measure of freedom we in Amer- lea will have today depends upon the of. forts we make to keep our traditional rights Intact Liberty Is not handed down like the family silver but must be fought for and re-won by each new gen- eratlon. "Moral need' for sharing THIRD WORLD Continued from page one afford big fishing fleets can exhaust the offshore resources of countries that aren't. The rich countries charge low import duties on raw cotton or copper from the poor ones, but slap on heavy taxes and other obstacles if the poor countries turn copper into wire or cotton into shirts. You can go on and on — and spokesmen for the poor countries often do. Whether it's the World Food Conference at Rome last November, the earlier meeting on population at Bucharest, or the one on women in Mexico City this July, the Third World insists on pusslng resounding resolutions that blame all these problems on "overconsumpUon" in the rich countries and demand a new- order of things to correct it The Third World presents its demands so relentlessly because it has begun to believe that in the long run it can win. Its governments are inspired by the success of the oil-producing countries. Like Western industrial workers who learned to collectively force their governments to change laws that suppressed unions into ones that supported them, the poor countries now see collective action as the answer to many of the* problems on their menu. The idea of rearranging the world economic order to benefit its poorest members is popular, too, among some Western intellectuals and religious leaden, who consider it a moral necessity. "Part of our affluence comes from some of the poorest countries on earth, and that's not right it's not just," says the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president of the .University of Notre Dame. i And siphoning off Western affluence ties in nicely with other Westerners' desire for a simpler life-style in place of the "overconsumption" they fear is despoiling the planet. Some Westerners also believe that tne rich countries' own interests lie in co-operating with the poor countries' demands. This is all supposed to come to a head at the Seventh Special Session of the U.N.,- Sept 1-12. Both sides seem ready to make concessions. Henry Kissinger since May has sounded more willing to talk about general principles, although there are differences over this within the U.S. government. The Third World has submitted a preliminary agenda of five specific items, instead of a rhetorical demand for everything at once. But this autumn's negotiations are only the beginning. No matter what they get this time around, the poorer nations will be back again and again for more. The most important thing about the new order may not bo the content of the negotiations but the long-term realignment of world politics that they represent We are used to a world divided between East and West The poor countries' new self-confidence may make them major actors in a new division of the world between wealthy North and backward South. The world conflict over ideology may be submerged in differences over the much more important issue of food. A proponent of integration COLEMAN • Continued from page one Those who can afford it will move to the suburbs. Yes. An alternative to individuals fleeing may be extreme conflict, such as we see in Boston. But if in Boston or Detroit, lower-class white children remaining in the city were finally to integrate with lower-class biacfc children, your 1988 study indicate* that there'd be no benefit anyway, No benefit in any sense as far as we know. And one of the things that's clear with regard to school integration is that the higher people's income the more likely they are to escape it. You are saying that school integration isn't working in our biggest cities. Yet you were a great proponent of integration for many years. And I still am a great proponent of integration. But I'm discouraged and worried about situations such as in Detroit I think tho kind of policies that ought to be pursued are not those that tend to make a black central city, but those that stem the flow of whites. The policies we're carrying out are going to make integration in the future much more difficult to attain. Then what should the courts do? .. . Following some cases in the South, the court has found, and correctly found, that Northern school districts such as Detroit have engaged in actions, sometimes intentionally, that have strengthened segregation in the system by gerrymandering school districts or by the way new school buildings are located or by a variety of other <r techniques. ... The argument is — and I agree with it — that this is no different in principle from the dual school systems in the South. Now, where I disagree is with the remedy that is then imposed. The legal precedent beginning with the Denver case is that once that kind of unconstitutional action has been found, then the remedy to be imposed' by the court is to create racial balance' in all tho schools of the system. In other words, when there is any segregation from state action, then all segregation, anywhere in the system, must be eliminated. And that requires busing? The only way that can be achieved is 'through busing. . . . Now, I think the appropriate remedy would be to eliminate the segregation that results from the state action. In other words, eliminate the gerrymandering, redraw school district lines to increase integration. That 1 think, is an appropriate remedy by the court That will still leave some segregation, which I think ought to be whittled away over time by the school districts themselves. Do you have some ways {to bring about the benefits of integration without large-scale mandatory busing/? I'd propose that each central-city child should have an entitlement from the state to attend any school in the metropolitan area outside his own district — with per-pupil funds going with him. That's a right no black child has now, and it would be extremely valuable in a. place like Boston. This would entail' some restrictions: The program' wouldn't be subject to a local veto; whites couldn't move from black schools r/ to white schools; the move should not increase racial imbalances. Also, there would have to be some kind of limit on out-of-district children, say 20 or 30 per cent. Are you concerned about having your work used by foes of integration? Yes, I'm concerned about that very much. At the same time, it imtmi to mo there is a kind of emperor's-dothes phenomenon among advocates of busing; I think it is incorrect to ignore certain things that are in fact happening. Some people feel that if you don't talk about them they won't happen. And the vehemence of critics comes from their feeling of being embattled. If I felt that school desegregation hinged on busing, I'd feel as distressed as they do - but I feel that busing hurts school integration. Now, if may very well be that my research results will be used to lead in directions quite opposite from those I'm arguing, in tho direction of metropolitan-area busing, which takes In suburbs as well as central cities. If that's so, that's a social choice that tho American people will make — and I think that metropolitan area-wide school integration is better than the course we're following now. I am also not saying that an end-to school busing will altogether stop the movement to the suburbs. It is a movement that preceded desegregation and will no doubt continue in any event — but it has been accelerated by school desegregation: If we blind ourselves to the fact that whites are fleeing the central cities, we'ro going to get ourselves into a situation of black cities and white suburbs. I TUnks stable grain prices helped kill livestock profits To the Editor: Your editorial in the Aug. 17 Sunday Register, entitled "Stabilising Grain Prices," states that an accumulation of stocks In the farm programs of the Thirties and Fifties unquestionably raised con prices above levels which wouUhavo prevailed if an the grain had been sold on whan harvested. I ask, why would prices have been necessarily lower without aa accumulation of stocks? Certainly In some years prices would have been lower but in other years of lower production wouldn't prices hava been higher? ... You mention that stability of feed rains In the 1950s and 1910s helped livestock producers, and that in contrast explosion of grain prices W1972-73 resulted in serious disruption of livestock industries, from which livestock producers are still suffering. It la my opinion that the stability you are so strongly advocating was the very culprit that put us beef producers and feeders where we are today. For years the grain prico was stable because of government stocks, which you admit Tho price of feeder cattle was also stable. Gradually corporations outside the livestock industry decided that here was a source of guaranteed profit, though small, and in addition, It would be an income tax shelter. As a result, tho beef feeding conglomerates were born. With feed costs stable and knowing almost to the penney what total costs would be, bow could one go wrong? As more and more feedlots were built, the price of feeder cattle gradually Increased duo to competition. However, profits did not decline because, volume made up the difference. A feedlot turning out thousands of finished animals at $1 to $5 profit per head is one thing, but the same margin per head for the small farmer-feeder is ridiculous.'As feeder cattle costs increased, the producer kept more replacements and the situation simply snowballed for about three years. Then we no longer had government grain stocks, so the price of grain also snowballed. But then we had feed costs 2Vi to three times more than they had been. The consumer said he wouldn't pay that much more for beef at the counter. The result has been disaster for many cattlemen and we're not out of trouble yet... I am willing to compete with the Wall Street cowboy any time government intervention is eliminated, knowing full well that about 85 per cent of parity is about all that ril be allotted. But then. Isn't that what ambition, competition and free enterprise are all about? — Ergon Penningroth, Rt. 1, Maquoketa, la. 52060. Export control, full output incompatible? To the Editor: Regarding the Aug. 24 Sunday Register editorial, "Control of Grain Exports": Your editorial questioned the advisability of allowing the flow of exports to be handled by big grain companies (among others) and stated that what we need is more laws and government control over exports and reserves of grain. Who is better qualified to deal with grain exports than grain exporting companies? Though longshoremen and some senators and representatives feel better qualified, I would rather leave the exports in the hands of experienced prof es* sionals. You stated that "Congress needs to pass laws providing for more positive government control over exports and reserves of grain — with adequate guarantees for farmers to encourage full production." Aren't those two proposals non-compatible? Only if government frees the grain market can there be encouragement for full production on the farm. The farmer wants to be free to control his own destiny without often uninformed consumer-oriented legislators doing it for him. Limiting grain exports for the purpose of controlling food costs (when the bulk of the food price rise cannot be laid to grain cost Increase) is subsidizing the consumer at the fann- er's expense. Concerning keeping grain costs down in order to encourage production of meat: Why should the grain farmer support the beef and pork producer as he did all the years the government kept grain reserves? The livestock producer is a big boy now and isn't asking for a hand-out. - Connie Foci, Foss Grain Co., Gorin, Mo. 63543. Editor's Note: We advocated stabilizing grain prices (reducing fluctuations), not keeping them down. Canning lids To the Editor: . [An Aug. 24 Sunday Register story said new types of canning lids or "flats" are beginning to appear.] The "flats" are not a new type of lid. This type of two-piece lid is described in my pressure cooker booklet from 1949. It has never been recommended to reuse the flat part with the sealing compound, but the rings may be used for 'several years, or until they get bent or too rusty to fit tightly — Mrs. William. W. Stewart, Rt. 1, Maquoketa, la. 52060. Suggests husbands pay wives for disproportionate share of housework To the Editor In every society the responsibilities for home and children are the woman's. Prof. Xathryn Walker In her outstanding 1973 report on time-use in U.S. households reports that in families where the wife works the husband assists with housework' one to three hours per day,while the employed wife spends between four and eight hours per day on housework. ' The working wife with three children, one an infant, works seven hours a day at home and has two hours of assistance from her husband. In the cases of divorced, deserted or separated mothers, she assumes the double burden in total: getting up at S a.m., planning every minute until 7:30 a.m. when she punches in at the plant, in order to see that the children are dressed and readied for school and day care.... In the evening after eight exhausting hours at the plant she helps the kids with homework, fixes dinner,'gets the shopping, the laundry and more housework done and goes to sleep for six hours or so. No pay, no vacation, no weekends, no fringe benefits for the mother's job. A recent multinational-tune budget re- search in 19 countries demonstrates that husbands of employed wives assist very little more than husbands of non-employed wives. An East German study shows that husbands on the average have 10 hours more free time per week than their working wives, in spite of the family code which makes housework the responsibility of both partners. The solution is simple: For every additional hour the wife contributes she should be paid, by her husband, the going rate for a housekeeper in the community - e.g., |2.50 per hour. Similarly, when determining support payments, the courts should look at the needs of the child, Include in this the value of household services, and divide the total by two. For Instance, the needs of a child 2 to 5 years old for food, shelter, day care, toys and recreation, medical and dental can might be $365 per month; and for a parent's household services and care, $400. Assuming each parent must assume half of these needs, the support payment should be $382.50 ($7«5 divided by 2) Happy "Equality Day" when we get there! - Genevieve Proor, 411 E. Market r Apt.201A,lewaClty, la. 52240. Bank, saving & loan insurance 'not same 9 To the Editor: In the Aug. 17. Sunday Register under a copyrighted Chicago Daily News article headed "Advice on Handling Savings Accounts" (Consumer Corner) by Leonard M. Groupe, a comparison was made between banks and savings and loan associations. It was accurately stated that all national banks and all federally-chartered savings and loan associations must belong to and be insured by FDIC and FSLIC, followed by the sentence, "the safety of the insurance protection . .. is the same". ... In 40 years of active banking I spent much time in pointing out and passing out pamphlets noting a difference [in insurance protection]. Under'the pressures of a credit squeeze the FSLIC has the option of limiting withdrawals in an amount and in order of requests which does not make funds available as desired or needed, and in critical conditions may issue its own debentures in payment, which debentures are not due for three years. One with funds in a savings and loan and desiring immediate cash would have to take the going market price on those debentures in settlement for immediate cash in hand. Insurance payment by the FDIC is by check or availability of cash by credit in another institution for withdrawal on demand by the depositor. There Is merit in the method of FSLIC liquidation of liabilities but it is of little help to the party with funds tied up and who understood he would have immediate access to funds as he is led to believe and which the above article does not point out when it says the insurance protection afforded is the same. ... — Arthur C. Herman, (30 S. Story St., Boone, la. 5003ft. Family lore To the Editor: Pictures of the old Hughes Settlement Church and headstones from the nearby (three-quarters of a mile) cemetery in- .voked many memories for me, a Hughes •descendant and a member of the parish through my childhood and youth [Picture Magazine, Aug. 24]. Since the cemetery is situated on a hill quite some distance from the church, Frank Folwell's picture [of the cemetery with the church in the distance] must have taken some doing — Esther Kane, Long Grove, la. 52751. Mac—London Dtilv M»li "Could you put me on to a younger man? The money will be worthless before you hand it over." Thinks A-bombing of Japan justified To the Register: I was at once amused and frightened by the letter to .the Open Forum from Dale J. Prediger CAug. 24 Sunday Register] — amused that anyone could be so naive as to think that we could have achieved the same results at Hiroshima by dropping one or more A-bombs 20 miles offshore, frightened because other people might think as he does. World War II was a war of survival for the U.S. and half the world. Perhaps he doesn't remember that we were attacked first and the Japanese didn't drop their bombs 20 miles offshore at Pearl Harbor. Admittedly, an A-bomb has a tendency to overkill, but think how many Allied troops and Japanese would have been killed had the war ground on to the end using the more conventional methods. As for President Truman'assuming total responsibility for the use of tho bomb, he did it because he was totally responsible and one of the reasons that he is our "current presidential hero" is because he may very well be the last president who didn't believe in passing the buck. * Prediger refers to President Ford as being considered a junior-grade presidential hero because of the Mayaguex rescue. History may prove that he deserves a higher rank. Much more than an old freighter and its crew was at stake there. Someone had to prove to tho punks around the world that they could no longer push us around with impunity. I am a grey-haired, grizzled veteran of World War II who by no means advocates the use of nuclear bombs again but I am wondering if instead of being in the fray all the way from Normandy to the Elbe River, perhaps I should have written a nasty letter to Hitler threatening to do so. Oh well, we get too soon old and too late smart. - D. L. (Pat) Haberstlcb, 710 Woodbury St., Manballtowa, la. 50158. Hopes Iowa adopts 'official state fish 9 To the Editor: , Regarding the editorial "Political Beavers," Aug. 24 Sunday Register: With New York adopting the brook trout as its official fish, there are now three states sharing this same species. It was designated by Michigan in 1966, and by Pennsylvania in 1970. Many of us do not consider the matter "innocuous," in that the word tends to connote something frivolous. We feel strongly about showing respect for nature and wildlife, and believe adopting an official fish (and animal) is just one meaningful way to do so. New York is now the 17th state to adopt, an official fish, with six others, including Iowa, still pending. California became the first when it designated the golden trout in 1947. So far, no other state has chosen the channel catfish as proposed by State Representative W. R. "Bill" Monroe, jr. — House Concurrent Resolution 120, published in the Iowa State House Journal Feb. 29,1972. I, for one, hope to see the day when Iowa adopts an official fish. It certainly would beat raising taxes, election year or no. — George L. Marseck. Bex 111, West Burlington, la. 5215$.

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