The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 10, 1970 · Page 29
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May 10, 1970

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 29

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 10, 1970
Page 29
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id-T May I'O, 1970 An Independent Netmp6t>er Cottts, Prtiietenl Tom* Cowtt*, Chairman Of the Board md Polluter DAVID KMJiDfcsiEft, Central Manager A._Eft»AJ» HtiNS, .Mafuigifi£ Editor LAtmEff SotH, Editi>tieL2age^£dit6f LourS H. NofiMS, Btuinus Manager Avoidable KeoKuk Strike T HE FIRST general strife/of teachers in Iowa shut down the Keokuk ^chools'Wednesday and severely crippled ~operation of the'scRooTTon Thursdiy and" Friday. The strike should not have occurred. The two sides — the Keokuk Education Association (KEA) and the city's school board — are not far apart on the provisions _Jhey want In next year's teachers' contracts. The KEA,agreed to accept a mediator's recommendation __of a base starting salary of $6,775 a year, a $250 Increase over current pay. The board has offered $6,800, but insists on lower step increases for experienced teachers than those demanded by the KEA. Both sides ag'ree that they are about $21,000 apart on the entire salary package. - The recommendations of mediator William G. Monahan, a professor of education administration at the University of Iowa, were a compromise of the teachers' and board's positions. The cost of Monahah's proposal would be a little more than a 5 per cent increase in next year's teacher's salaries — ranking it among the state's lower teacher pay increases. "The members of the board-could say with sincerity to their constituents that they have successfully held increases within the resources of the district," Monahan said. - It is difficult to understand why the school board rejected the mediator's compromise.- AfteMhe school-board-rejected itrthe strike started Wednesday and the board obtained a District Court injunction declaring thff strike illegal;' Most KEA members remained away from their classrooms. Contempt citations are being sought againsjjhe^tr.iking teachers. The teachers claim strong community support. Even if they have it, this doesn't justify an illegal strike and the violation of the court order against the strike. Michael Fleming, executive director of the ~Iowa Association of Classroom Teachers, which supports the striking teachers, said "ethical and professional, considerations and obligations outweigh the legal obligatiqn of the injunction." We would flunk him in civics. Since when have "ethical and professional considerations" given anyone the right to break the law? The Keokuk impasse might have been avoided if Iowa had a law providing for collective bargaining for public employes. A collective bargaining measure passed the Senate but died in the House in the 1970 Legislature. It contained an arsenal of impasse resolving tools, including mediation, fact finding, public hearings, and v the public disclosure of the fact finder's conclusions. A formal procedure for working out the narrow differences in Keokuk might have avoided this unfortunate strike. Unreason and Reason at Grinnell Several hundred campuses all over the country exploded after the many- pronged American invasion • of Cambodia. A larger secondary explosion came after National Guardsmen killed, four students at Kent State University in Ohio when other students were demonstrating and throwing rocks. One of the most interesting explosions.. was that of Grinnell College. From the start, faculty and administration shared the students' feelings and sought to help them express them constructively. By student and faculty vote, classes were suspended for 36 hours. One group of student protesters occupied the off-campus ROTC building. The occupiers camped out in the place. They called it the "Demilitarized Zone." President Glenn Leggett had bigger zones in mind. With the occupiers still in the building, he left for Washington as part of an all-Grinnell delegation — two deans, two professors, two student leaders, two citizens of Grinnell — to petition their government for redress of grievances. In one long day, they got in to see Secretary of State William P. Rogers for 75 minutes; they saw two White House officials (John Price and Daniel Moynihan), both Iowa senators, three Iowa congressmen. The students did most-of the talking." The delegation had been formally authorized by a vote of the student body. President Nixon had talked with a _ student delegation from Kent State earlier and that day he talked with one of the two delegations of college presidents which wanted to see him. These and the Grinnell delegation all had the same point to make: that the explosion on the campuses was not just the work of a few wild radicals, but that deep feelings of hundreds of thousands are involved. The prexies got a promise from the President to tone down administration language about students, but deep differences remain. The students on the Grinnell delegation were not sure they had got their point across, but they tried hard. And-they were listened to. Fury is human. But in a rational world, people must reason together, people must listen to one another. Saeco andVanzetti Revisited It is getting harder to start an argument nowadays about the Sacco and Vanzetti case. The payroll robbery and murder for which Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzettf were electrocuted by Massachusetts took place 50 years ago this spring. The case dragged on through 1927, and the controversy much longer. . •A good part of liberal and leftwing opinion in America and abroad became convinced early that the two were given an unfair trial and sent to their deaths because they were poor, Italian immigrants, and active propagandists for the Anarchist movement: that they were innocent of the robbery and murder. New evidence began appearing in the 1960s, evidence for the guilt as charged of one or both of the men. The most formidable part of this counterattack was the book, "Tragedy in Dedham," by Francis Russell, a man who had started out gathering evidence for their inno- 'cence.— --• - - Russell had experts run modern ballistics.tests on the bullets used in the murder anj^the Jirearms found on Sacco and Vanzetti when they were arrested. .Russell also obtained the .private opinion of some of _the leaders of the long crusade, including Carlo Tresca's "Saqco was guilty, but Vanzetti was pot," told to his friend Max Eastman shortly before Tresca died. All this is from Russell's findings in the '60s. In the May 5 .issue of National Review,; Russell summarizes this and adds a curious sequel: about an Italian- American who told a man in London in 1962 that he was one of the payroll robbery gang and should have been punished instead of Vanzetti. Russell checked carefully and believes his story fits. Russell now thinks he can reconstruct almost the whole story: who all five of the robbers were, what Vanzetti's connection with the case was and why he did not try to save himself by talking. Russell says the verbatim trial record does not support the charge that it was unfair and that the defense lawyer at the time (before the verdict was in) told the judge it was fair. Why, then, the tegend? Russell can explain that, too: a deliberate tactic by the defense from' the start, the class •tensions-pf the'1920s -and '38s, -therpic— turesque posturing of the accused men themselves, especially Vanzetti, who was something of an orator. . Vanzetti's "last testament" —a prison interview given wide circulation, owes its eloquence not only to Vanzetti, but to the young reporter who reconstructed it- frpm brief penciled notes, an lowan who later became a famous writer: Phil Stong, of "State Fair" A Lady Hamlet? In general, we think plays are better if women actors play women's roles and men actors play men's roles. But if Dame Judith Anderson wants to be Hamlet in "Hamlet," that's different. Judith Anderson can do no wrong. That grand lady has been acting in plays professionally since 1924, in every kind of part including most of the great classic ones. • Her television Lady Macbeth in 1960 won her an Emmy award, and her Medea still chills spines, though she did it in 1947-49. If at 72 she wants to play 9 young man who is on the stage almost continuously all evening and must fence and rant ami be or not be, why not? • In Shakespeare's days (as in the classic KabuM plays of Japan), all the; women's rotes were played by males, which seems even odder. But the great Kabuki actors put it over with panache. And the young boys who played Shakespeare's girls and women must have done a fine job, too, judging from the roles he wrote for thein- He even had several roles where the .boy actor had to present a young woman disguised part of the time as a young man. "Hamlet" is a great drafty barn of a play, able to contain the most diverse interpretations: that Hamlet is a weakling, that he is a strong man, that he is neurotic or even psychotic. "Hamlet".is usually.p 1 a ye d in Elizabethan costume, but it works in modern dress, in ancient Viking dress, and anything in between. It can be decorous, stately, violent, absurd. Each new presentation (provided it is d o n e with talent) brings out sonething new. Reports from icolleagues who had studied the Apollo 11 material for 90 days throw no light on the origin of the moon. We'll still have to send a congressional junket up there.— George Eyer, Daily Oklahoman. A woman we know expressed pained surprise the other day upon seeing an automobile with twin exhausts. "Just makes for that much more pollution," she sniffed.— Minneapolis Star. To be considered for the AU-Americaa team, a college football player needs size, speed, agility and an alert public relations bureau.— Hartford Courant. What Made Nixon Decide To Take Cambodia Risk? ROBERT J. DONOVAN By Robert J. Donovan ttf ASHINGTON, D.C. - More than a yV week after President Nixon's astonishing announcement of the U.S. thrust intft Cambodia the question persists: What can he gain from this ven- -tut'e—that- can- possibly- compensate for the desolation at home? Historians looking -back—on—this-moment may conclude that the President was more than just in trouble — that he was in a crisis, or something close to it. Referring to the North Vietnamese shortly before he launched the Cambodian attack, he said: "They thought they could win politically in the United States. This proved to be their most fatal miscalculation." In light of the tremors across the land since the invasion, it is less certain where the miscalculation lies. Even among his friends, there is a great deal of skepticism that the President adequately gauged the effect the Robert J. Donovan is chief of the Wash- Jngton-buteau-o{ the Los Angeles Times news service. Cambodian assault and the brief resumption of bombing in North Vietnam would have on this country. Possibly because of his concentration on the "great silent majority" or possibly because he was misled by the rhetoric of Vice-President Spiro Agnew and Attorney General John N. Mitchell about law and order, Nixon seems not to have sensed the full danger of the war issue on the campus. Congenial To Hanoi If this is so, the miscalculation may have the most insidious consequences for'him. The harsh reaction threatens to revive the very climate of popular dis- •sent and congressional mistrust that would be most congenial to Hanoi. One of the genuinely- constructive things President Nixon had done was to bring the country back into some kind of rational balance with his policy of disengagement from Vietnam. The political turmoil of the late Johnson years was muted as Nixon cut back the war and began withdrawing troops. He withdrew them faster than some hawks wanted, slower than many doves de- sired; still he had managed to hold these conflicting forces in equilibrium. •Hence, he had grounds for saying that the North Vietnamese had miscalculated the political climate in the United States. Hanoi has, always hoped to win the war by wearing down not the Ameri- can-army-but the will 0Mhe "American people. When Nixon succeeded in neutralizing the peace movement that had rampaged through President Johnson's —last two-yearsHie-undereutNorth-Viet namese hopes. Now he is scattering North Vietnamese troops from their Cambodian sanctuaries and pulverizing their installations, which doubtless hufts Hanoi, but in the process he has caused great shock at home. He has made the war more unpopular than ever, which is saying a great deal and. which must give . some consolation to the North Vietnamese for their pains in Cambodia. Weeping Over Slaughter The anxiety about the new wave of dissent was evident in Nixon's sudden meeting at the White House on Wednesday with six students of Kent State University. Even so, it was pretty late for someone who only five days earlier had referred to "these bums . . . blowing up campuses" to try to make his influence felt amang students. Nixon's good efforts have all too long been bedeviled by his own unfortunate choice of words and those of the Vice- President. As if it would not be upsetting enough to extend the war to Cambodia, the President had to magnify the effect a thousand times by going on television and likening his decision to the momentous acts of Woodrow Wilson in World War I and Franklin D. Roosevelt in World War II. As National Guard units rush from campus to campus, there is no way of judging where the tidal wave of dissent will carry the country. America has witnessed dissent, but the feeling here grows that this time something has changed. There is more to it now than just being spectator to turbulence on the campus. People are weeping over the slaughter at Kent State. Tens of thousands of families with children in high school and college are frightened. Why did the President ever take the gamble that at home is paying off, so far, in such melancholy coin? There are , many possible answers. Perhaps, as one of the best minds in Washington believes, he took a step, the political pitfalls of which he failed to comprehend. Perhaps he saw the fall of the Siha- nouk government in Cambodia as a unique military opportunity and thus finally ,. yielded to the pressure of the military to slam into North" Vietnam's Cambodian sanctuaries. Perhaps, as he stressed in his broadcast Apr. 30, he felt the smashing of the sanctuaries was necessary to enable him to continue the troop withdrawals from Vietnam. If so, this raises disturbing questions about the feasibility of his plan foF getting out of Vietnam. « Why Take The Gamble? Perhaps he believed he had to demonstrate his own toiighness in the face of the Soviet challenge in the Middle East. Perhaps he thought it necessary to calm South Vietnamese nerves over the continuing enemy threat in the sanctuaries. __. . . In what appears to have been a very loose-jointed bit of decision-making in the Administration, the President may have made up his mind not on the basis of any one of these considerations' but of all of them put together. . Not since the Bay of Pigs has any decision in the 1 White House been so passionately challenged. Still, no living politician has ever pulled himself out of so many holes as Nixon has. He already is working at this one, as his televised press conference on Friday suggests. Maybe the Cambodian venture will yet come up roses for the President. His severest critics must hope so, if the country is to avoid a precarious time. One possible result of this crisis — if it is a crisis — is'that Nixon may have less time in which to liquidate the American commitment in Vietnam than appeared to be the case 10 days ago. Revolutions and the New Tyranny JACK VALENTI By Jack Valenti rpHERE IS an edge of the demagogue J. among the radical young. To cry "revolution" today is to make it known that you are clear-eyed and idealistic, fed up to here with the "system" and therefore committed to| its destruction. Ergo,] revolution. • What revolution! means can vary from] revolutionist to revolutionist, but if it means I violently tearing down! the apparatus of govern- f ment and society as we know it now, then we' might debate the subject. If we can agree that the study of history has some purpose in lighting up the future, the catalogue of revolutions becomes enlightening. A number of wise men have looked at revolution and have made some observations worthy of pondering. Albert Jack Valenti was a White House special consultant in the Johnson Administration and is now president of the Motion Picture Association of America. Camus (whose credentials, as an ~anti- —establishmentariairare weir known) put it this way: "The rebel begins by demand^ justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown." Shifted Tyranny George Bernard Shaw, whose distaste for .traditional procedures could never . be described as mild, looked at insurrections and said: "Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny; they have only shifted it to another shoulder." The prune point in this line of reasoning is a truth which was ancient when Lord Acton gave it brilliant brevity: Power corrupts. It corrupts the young as it does the old. It is an elixir few men Ymmg^Nonvoters Shreveport (L«.) Journil The United States has a fairly young population, with a median age of not quite 28 years. But the median age of persons who voted in the 1968 presidential election, as calculated from Census Bureau figures, is a little beyond 46. Forty-nine per cent of persons 24 years of age and younger, and of voting age, did not vote. Only at the other end of the scale — 75 years and up — can a stay-at-home record be found that comes close. 'Perhaps youthful enthusiasm would drive teenagers to the polling places in greater numbers. But it's apparent that by the time young people reach 21, the minimum in most states, they have lost much of whatever eagerness they may once have had. can drink without feeling the effect. That one starts out loving and involved in justice is of no matter. Every revolution in history that was started by those determined to pull down the city always ended in despotism. To cite the American Revolution as an example of beneficent change through revolt is to disfigure facts. The American brand of revolution was unique, generated by the well-bonTand the high- stationed, by those with the most to lose. The leaders of the American rebellion had no intention of tearing down. They just wanted to order their own kind of government, free of non-resident arbitrary decrees. They fretted that the British government .intruded on the colonies, and so they threw the rascals out. By no stretch of historical or emotional imagery can one catalogue the American revolt as a revolution in the current accepted sense of the word. In Guise of Protector The Glorious Revolution of 1688. in Britain came, according to historian G. M. Trevelyan, not to overthrow the law but to confirm it against a law-breaking king. It was at once liberal and con. seryative; most revolutions, said-TreyeU yan, are neither one nor the other, but overturn the laws and then tolerate no way of thinking save one. The French Revolution ravaged • France. The mass of people, tired of Bourbon stupidity, triggered the revolt, but it quickly fell into the hands of demagogues and terrorists, and we know what happened there. The Russian revolution needs no re- stirring to make the point that for whatever noble and -understandable reason the revolution begins, when it savages the society and destroys both structure and rational good sense the result is always more tyranny. When a tyrant first appears, said Plato in his "Republic," he is in the guise of a protector. This is the form from which the dictator springs. It seems strange that some of the most educated of our young people should be the loudest shouters for violent revolution. They need only investigate history to find what they are advocating is an illusion. One can imagine what would happen if sonie of' the Weathermen types succeeded in revolt. * *• * ffationil Wildlift Mattzin* ing and winning. If they won't let speakers with an opposite view say their piece now, what would they do if they possessed total power? If some of our educated young truly believe revolution is the answer, they are sadly lacking in historical perspective, and if they know the truth and still bloody their words with cries. of .destruction, then demagoguery is a disease not limited to the old. If we were to be honest we would have to admit that playing at revolution is quite an exciting adventure. But to achieve change that is~sorely needed, to construct new designs for more decent living, demands work. It means canvassing a thousand neighborhoods to elect competent, compassionate public officials. It means giving these men the kind of support they need to do what needs to be done. It means patient, endless explaining and incitement to those who are lethargic and set in their ruts. It means putting in long days and nights to make the legislation work where it should, among those who need its help. That is why the wisest of the young (like'Sam Brown, David Hawk and David Mixner and hundreds more like them) will surely surface -as the most durable leaders because they are the ones who have inspected the future and found it hospitable to change, the ones who are not afraid or bored by the prospect of laboring for what they believe in within the rules and order of a lawful society. Only beasts and gods can live outside an organized society, and only fools would try to repeal this truth. Action on Iowa 'Saving Suggestions By John Millhone (bf Tht Rt«t»»*t"* Editorial Nl* Stuff) fTIHE recommendation of the Cover} JL nor's Economy Commitee ran into 1 obstacles in the recent legislative se$ - sion but appear to be making headway in Governor Ray's, administration. . \ The Legislature canceled consiructioi) of a $3.5 million Eagle Ridge prisoner rehabilitation unit at Anamosa, which' Hhe-committee-said-shouM-be-stopped ai\— part of-a reorganization of state correc!- tions institutions. • . ;. It also increased the fee for copies of accident reports from $1 .to $2, initiated a $20 fee for.the reissue of suspended driver's licenses, provided for salary in- .ducements to keep Highway Patrolmen— with from two to eight years of experience from leaving the force, gave the superintendent of public instruction more freedom to reorganize his administration and exempted Board of Regents purchases from the slate fair trade laws — all committee recommendations. However, the two proposals Which re- 'ceived the most attention were no,t passed^ One would have replaced the three-member Liquor Control Commission with a single general manager which, with other changes, would produce an annual saving of nearly $2 million, the committee said. The other major proposal was to issue motor vehicle license plates for five years on a staggered monthly basis with colored annual validation decals. The annual saving was estimated at $1.8 million. Poor Start On Proposals - Overdue reforms with smaller price tags, such as the elimination of the public subsidy for private agriculture associations, also were turned down. Some recommendations, such as the reorganization of the state's corrections programs, will require considerable leg 1 islative study before, they are enacted'. Even so, the lawmakers made a less- than-satisfaclory start on the 593 economy proposals which the committee said would provide net annual savings of $23.1 million and one-time savings of an additional $9.6 million. Fortunately the implementation of many of the committee's recommendations doesn't need to wait for legislative decisions. Fully 70 per cent .of the changes, representing 40 per cent of the dollar savings, can be achieved by executive or administrative action. Pushing ahead for these 'changes are Governor Ray* and one of his administrative assistants; Elmer H. (Dutch) Vermeer, a veteran of the Iowa House'. They . are meeting with department heads to. see what they are doing to implement recommendations affecting their departments. Thus far, meetings have been Jield with'Revenue Director William H. Forst, State Car Dispatcher Frank E. Johnson and Liquor Control Commission members. Recomendations , Adopted Vermeer said the revenue department has implemented most of the conv mittee's suggestions, including the auditing of fuel tax refunds claimed by farmers, a recommendation which the committee said would save the state some $1 million. Johnson's dispatching operation also has adopted most of the committee's recommendations, including the establishment of written rules for assigning state cars to individuals, requiring those not meeting this criterion to return their cars, and the centralized purchasing of all state cars. The public auction of used state cars is producing an additional $20,000-$30,000 annually. The committee recommended the auction but made no estimate of dollar value. Johnson also has earned $14,000 for the state by the sale of used tires — a. possibility-not ^een by the committee. * The record of the Liquor Control Com- mission is more spotty. Liquor §tore hours.4iave. been-reduced from 60 to 48 hours a week and some additional stores have adopted self-service 5 operations, _ This has reduced the number of hours . worked by .extra employes. However, it hasn't reduced operating costs as much as it should eventually. * * * Worth Repeating. ,. John W, Gardner, former secretary of health, education and welfare, in his new book, "The Recovery of Confidence." A LTHOUGH left-wbg revolutionaries X"X have managed to get most of the attention lately, we are in just as much clanger from extremism of the right, from all those in our society who five with their finger on the trigger of repressive action—leaders who make political capital out of fear and anger, law-~ enforcement officers who are seeking an excuse for harsh measures, and all the secret militiamen who lurk in the shadows of our national life. i I The extreme right is fully as radical in its intentions as the extreme left. Though it mouths the pieties d flag and Constitution, it would V given the opportunity — fashion a society that would be utterly unrecognizable to the authors of the Bill Danger Of Apathy One result is that the commission isn't obtaining the capital necessary to open additional liquor stores where, according to the committee, the potential for high- volume sales would produce a net annual profit of about $900,000. "By showing what can be saved through administrative changes, we hope to convince the Legislature that it should act favorably on its- end of the economy proposals," Vermeer said. In the future, he said, a staff person will be hired to work full-time on implementing the economy reforms. Administrators who reject any of the recommen- dationsSvill be asked to justify to the subcommittee which studied weir department why the changes shquWt be made. The House and Senate standing committees will be urged to consider proposals requiring legislative action. , Venneer also said that some consider eration is being given to repeating the economy committee study but this time looking at ways of streamlining local government operations. The greatest danger to the report is dust. However, if the governor, legislators and other public spokesmen continue to-press for economies, the apathy and entrenched special interests which have killed past reform studies can be overcome. The measure of the con> mltteeT report 15 what is done with it.

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