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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: May 14, 1974 - Page 6

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - May 14, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Nixon's mercy plea: 'A vast deal to ask' i Editorial Page May K. Can CAP survive? WHEN THE Nixon adminis- tration unexpectedly declared war against war-on- poverty programs last year, a priority target was the community action program (CAP) composed of 900-plus agencies that focus on health, employment and other an- ti-poverty efforts in communities. CAP and other Office of Economic Opportunity efforts survived thanks to several suc- cessful court skirmishes but the reprieve is good only till June 30, when funding expires. To appreciate Iowa's stake in the ef- fort to retain CAP'S services (if not the program's one need only to review the nine-year performance. Of community action employes working for the state's 19 CAP agencies, 60 percent have advanced from the ranks of the poor. The million spent an- nually by CAP agencies serves disadvantaged persons; the turnover of those funds represents nearly million for the state's economy. Opportunities for pre-school children; family planning assist- ance; job chances for the so-called 'harcore unemployed; employment for youth, coupled with incentives to remain in school; emergency food and medical supplies; aid for the elderly all these services and others have been offered through CAP agencies. In Iowa at least, the record strongly contradicts the opinion of Howard Phillips, whose admitted goal during a short stint last year as Office of Economic Opportunity director was to dismantle OEO and CAP programs. In a steamy session before the house education and labor subcommittee on equal opportunity, Phillips ironically billed the administration's plan to close out OEO as "an effort to strengthen and improve" the use of federal antipoverty funds. Said Phillips to the subcommit- tee; "The old approach of trickling down dollars for the poor through a vast array of poverty contractors and professionals has only alleviated poverty for the middlemen The nation's poor are entitled to a dollar's worth of results for every dollar spent in their name." As in most astounding exaggerations, there was a kernel of truth in Phillips' assertion. When the war on poverty was begun in salaries within OEO did seem surprisingly high lofty at least in comparison with salaries previously received by profes- sional social workers. But once accomplishments began replacing1 blueprints, corrrplaints about bloated agency payrolls de- creased. Nevertheless, Phillips craftily People's forum Bond-vote footnote To the Editor: A Gazelle editorial, May 111 time for referred lo my suggeslion of dropping Wilson from a rerun of the junior high bond proposal as My remarks were made in an informal, free-flowing discussion at a school board afternoon workshop. We were consider- ing the failure of the April 30 bond proposal and I was attempting a positive suggestion to improve our vote the next time around. I thought we might gain support if we economized. However, no oilier board member was interested in dropping Wilson, and even I brought out some arguments against it. The suggestion was not made because Ihe Wilson area didn'l support Ihe bond issue. (Enrollment projections show that we could accommodate all the junior high students in five schools by 1978, saving Ihe cost of remodeling Wilson and ils annual operating costs. Wilson was mentioned because it has by far the smallest enrollment and many of its students live as close or closer to Taft or Roosevelt. On Ihe other hand, there are some used the overpaid-professional stereotype in his short-lived at- tempt to dismantle OEO. Sig- nificantly, he failed to explain how the total elimination of an- tipoverty funding beyond fiscal year 197-1 would benefit the deserving poor. Phillips also insisted thai the elimination of OEO meshes with the administration's aim to revise welfare programs in favor of a better deal for the "working poor." What he neglected to men- tion, however, is the CAP program's role in assisting the working poor without doling out cash. In Iowa, for example, more than 50 percent of the people agency personnel work with are not receiving public assistance funds. How would CAP agencies in Iowa fare under a federal funding cutoff? Knowledgeable sources report that all probably would be eliminated except agencies headquartered in Cedar Rapids and Decorah (where local monies presumably would ensure sur- vival of skeletal Fortunately, however, Demo- cratic congressmen are not too busy tripping through the transcripts to wage a last-ditch effort to bail-out CAP programs. First a three-year funding exten- sion was proposed; however, a more likely solution is that offered by the house education and labor committee. It has approved (27 to 8) a measure which would abolish OEO as such, but transfer its major programs to a new Com- munity Action Administration within the department of health, education and welfare. By plant: ing the embattled program under an old-line agency, strategists hope to ease administration op- position. Though CAP'S survival chances are improving, federal appropri- ations 'likely will drop to basic amounts expandable only by matching state and local monies. In light of the program's excellent record, grassroots governments should not hesitate to flesh out bare-bones allocations. Goof power IF THE Guinness Book of World Records ever tabulates tape- destroying feats, No. 1 ranking most surely will go not to White House personnel but to a Los An- geles goat aptly named Goat. In the Oddball Olympics out there two weeks ago, Goat devoured inches of paper tape. Perhaps administration brain- stonners goofed when they spent all those months searching for scapegoats. What they really needed was a lapegoat. Like the inimitable Goat, for instance. studenls who would have lo be bused and the preference of most of the Wilson area is obviously to continue their school. There is also some feeling thai junior highs should be smaller than their presenl levels of sludents If (he board desires to submit the same bond proposal again I will repeat my support. The chance of informal discussion be- ing reported out of contexl and blown up out of proportion discourages aggressive discussion and initiative by school board members. All our meetings must he public, so if we forego a completely open discussion in fronl of reporters, much of the decision making process is relegated lo the staff who can discuss in private. Although I regrel unduly agitating. Ihe Wilson community, I feel deeply that my responsibility lo the public requires thai I should Ihink for myself; find out whal others think, then discuss this with fellow board members even if il results in con- troversy or opposition lo the established staff or board position. In the future, I will continue lo vigorously question, dissenl and ad- vocate new approaches when appropriate. However, I must admit that I have in the past usually found our schools to be efficient, effective and operated by a dedicated, highly qualified staff. We can all be proud of the educa- tion our kids can have in this community. Ronald Moore, board member Cedar Rapids Community school district biilll Indian Hill road SK By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON Let me CHIMP back to Ihe presidential transcripts. Some sad second thoughts are in order. When I first wrote annul the transcripts 10 days ago. 1 hail read the first 500 pages uf the blue book. The President, I said, emerges from Ils pages in pretty good shape. That judgment was premature. When the pages are nintt'iiiplalcd as a and rt-iid in eonjunclion with Ihe President's public statements, a regrettably different conclusion appears. We arc faced with two questions about the President's conduct. The first is a question of law: Was his conduct criminal'' The second is a question of morality. Was his conduct wrung1.' If the issue before Ihe ruuntry were confined to the first question, 1 would not be so troubled. These pages settle that question: My President is not a crook. The most serious charges that have been raised against Mr. Nixon are that lie twice suborned felony first in the Ellsberg matter in California, second in the burglary at the Watergate and that be later obstructed justice by con- spiring to cover up the unlawful conduct of ills aides. The record as to these charges admit- tedly is ambiguous. If one reads only an isolated passage here and there, an ar- guable case can be made that the President at least indirectly commis- sioned the "penetration" of Ihe pyschia- trist's office. Similarly, prosecutors can find evidence to support their contention that Mr. Nixon knowingly sanctioned (In- payment of hush money. Hut (lie record has to be taken us A whole. Under two familiar rules of criminal law Ihe presumption of in- nocence and Ihe rule of reasonable doubt a fair jury would vote to acquit. If the tapes here transcribed are the most damaging evidence that can be adduced against the President, Hie house could not rightly impeach him nor the senate justly remove him from office. Alas, Ibis leaves the second question, the question of morality. Was his conduct wrong? On this point, the evidence is overwhelming. His conduct was indefen- sible. If all that one asks of a President is simply that he is not a crook, one asks very little. One is entitled lo ask more. One is entitled to ask for a certain purity of conduct, for a sure sense of moral leadership, for a keen understanding that Presidents must be judged by standards more demanding than the standards we apply to lesser men. Here, too, on'e can find isolated pas- sages in which Mr. Nixon says whal one would like a President to say: "It would be wrong, that's for sure Tell the truth, John, tell the truth! We've got to prick the toil and take the heat The President lets'his sense of compas- sion show through in his sympathy for E. Howard Hunt and for others caught in the Watergate net. Insights Duly it Ihe sublimes! word in our language. Do your duly in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less. Gen. Robert 5. tee But when allowance has been made for these comments, hundreds of bleak pages remain. In page after page after page, the President emerges as little more than a second-rate public relations man. He waffles, he squirms, he ducks and he bobs and he weaves. He cannot face John Mitchell. He yields to John Elirlichman's stronger will. He is con- cerned above all things with a with a with a "line." He does not lead, lie merely goes along. Finally, to be sure, he does act decisively: He wrings a resignation out of John Dean and reluctantly he lets II. R. Haldeinan and Ehrlichman go. But the whole record is a record of cynicism and aiiioralitv. There is more. Mr. Nixon was charged with surrendering these tapes as evidence W the house judiciary commit- tee. The transcripts that he offered are fatally defective. The Washington Post has counted 1.670 notations of "Inaud- ible" or "unintelligible." Ncwsweck has counted In one conversation with Henry PfU-rseti. at least 3B2 passages are thus marred. The President himself ordered the deletion of a dozen portions of material "unrelated" to presidential actions on Watergate. Viewed as evidence, Ihe blue book has limited probative value. The pages may serve Mr. Nixon badly, but they are self-serving all Ihe same. "1 am so sick of this thing." Mr. Nixon says at one point. We arc all sick of this thing. The country is sick of this thing. But the miserable prospect is that we will all be sicker yet before the country begins to gel well. Even if the house refuses to impeach (a prospect that grows increasingly uncer- a pestilential virus of these pages will persist. The President's ap- peal now is not for understanding or for justice or even for vindication. His ap- peal is for mercy, and for compassion. Under the melancholy circumstances, il seems a vast deal to ask. Washington Star Svndlcale I Steep.odds for poverty clinics Medical monopolies face senate scalpel By Jack Anderson WASHINGTON Senate investiga- tors have Found that medical societies have put their pocketbuiiks before their patients by freezing out doctors who try to. set up low-cost health care centers. The societies, often made up of the wealthier doctors in the community, have created a quiet monopoly in one town after another. The result: higher costs at a time when all medical cost controls have just been lifted by the federal government. This finding will surface this week in the senate antitrust; chaired by Sen. Philip Hart who ironically looks' like" a stereotype of the oldtime doctor.'Later this month, .Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) will chair more hearings. f ,The ailment the senators will analyze is little known but costly to the ordinary patient and sometimes fatal for the poor. It is the stranglehold that county, state and national medical societies have on almost all medical practice. They can and have blocked doctors from forming clinics to dispense good, reasonably-priced health care tinder a single comprehensive fee. Instead, the average ailing American must go to an individual doctor, or to a "clinic" set up by doctors who sock them with a separate fee for each ailment. medical societies, often supported by government, can be disastrous. Poverty physicians have actually been banned from using local hospitals, dispensing medical information and even from practicing. Typical of cases discovered by Hart's sleuths is that of a young idealistic physician, Dr. Daniel Blumenthal. He was determined to a community of black eane workers in rural Louisiana. Documents collected by Hart show that among 107 people in the community, ranging from the aged to babies, "a total of 102 pathological diagnoses were made." Forty-two of the 107 needed im- mediate hospitalization. For poor- patients, the attitude of the The diseases ranged from tumors to 'Are you covered by hospitalization at the 'present time? And if so, what kind and how Business chaos? To the Editor: America is addicted with unrealistic expectations and many if not most of our major national problems may he traced to an unrealistic expectation of one form or another. Inflation can tic traced to our expecting In "live better" each year without increasing our productivity enough to make it all possible. The energy crisis can be traced to our expecting In endlessly increase our na- tional energy consumption year by year in the face of ultimately limited energy supplies. The population crisis can be traced to our expecting hi promote endless growth in the face of a limited amount of land on our planet. The educational crisis can be Iraceil In our expecting that most if not all our youth can and-nr should have what has traditionally been the "best education" a heavily academic book oriented one. The crisis of our cities can be traced to our expecting that if a city of residents is a good place to live because of what il can offer, a city of twice dial size will be even belter because it will lie able lo offer more. Our polilica! crisis can be Irani In our expecling Hint while mosi of us busy ourselves in nonpolltical religious and charitable work others will somehow wisely spend the massive tax payments we thoughtlessly turn over to them. If members of the Cedar Rapids city council unrcalistically expect there to be enough business for existing places of business in Cedar Rapids plus all those planned in the monstrous new shopping in a few years Cedar Rapids will have a crisis of business chaos as merchants cut service in an effort to make ends meet in a locally created business recession of loo many merchants and not enough shoppers. Paid A. Smith Maplcwood drive NF, Waterloo worse To the Editor: For the past'two years we have boon going lo Waterloo once or twice a monlh. Therefore, wo have boon able to observe the Waterloo-Cedar Falls scene. In the shoppers on Fourth street in Waterloo were five abreast. Now, it would be unusual to see Kill people at any time on this once "Main" street of Northeast Iowa. When the shop- ping centers wore biilll in Waterloo, the downtown area, was a civic and cultural (.'enter of lilack llnwk county, developed Into n disgusting muss iif deteriorated mid limply boarded Imlld- ings. The shopping center areas are very difficult and dangerous to get into and out of. The centers themselves, while not being particularly attractive from the outside, are beautiful and comfortable inside if one survives the trip to them. It is obvious that many Waterloo, residents, especially in older areas, have lost pride in their property. Are higher taxes, caused by revenue lost from downtown Waterloo restricting properly improvements? The statistics in Sun- day's Gazette (May 12) say nothing of esthetics and civic pride. We are in favor of the smaller shopping center proposal in Cedar Rapids. We would hale-lo see our city's downtown area ruined as Waterloo's has been. There is nothing lo aspire lo in Wa- terloo for Cedar Hapidians. We still do have n city that looks like a cily. not a deteriorated, decentralized memorial lo niisplaiming. Frank W. and Anita .1. Kighmey .'I7H Twenly-eighth avenue SW Unsilenced Little junior, who hadn't spoken a word in all of his six years, finally blurted at breakfast: "Mom, Hie loasl is burned." His mother, amazed, shrieked with joy, hugged him n ml said: "Junior, why Inivc'n't you spoken to us before tills'.1" replied junior, "up to now everything's been okay." various heart problems (including two with undiagnosed heart rotten teeth, blindness, arthritis, alcoholism, various ulcers, psychiatric disorders, emphysema and hernia. Ninety percent of these children had worms. The sugar companies paid the first of medical care, about enough to cure one case of worms. As described in the Hart documents, the ordinary sugar worker "goes to a physician only when his children are sick with fever or pain, or when he or his wife has obvious pain. They usually go know- ing they cannot afford the medical care and usually incur a bill that they cannot pay. As for the doctor, he spends 'long hours seeing his regular paying pa- tients" and sees the charity patients inly when he must. Blumenthal stepped into this medical nightmare and tried to help local an- tipoverty workers set up a clinic. Despite the [act that the clinic was only for the poor, the local medical society and doc- tors-on a "federally sponsored planning council blocked it. When federal funds were finally ob- tained, the local doctors refused to approve the clinic as a National Health Service Corps site, so this ruled out a full-lime government doctor. Blumenthal's experiences are not unique. The Hart studies have turned up similar medical outrages in Texas, Wis- consin, Massachusetts, Ohio and other states. In Ohio for example, Charles Rawlings, then director of health consumer affairs at Case Western Reserve university, told Hart investigators how the American Medical Assn. killed his program. Under a federal Public Health Service grant, Rawlings had prepared a simple slide show to demonstrate to Cleveland residents, particularly the poor, what their medical options were. Rawlings' brisk, factual slides were accompanied by a text that said, "Private doctors have left the inner city and rural areas where people do not have as much money lo pay them. Making large amounts of money is often a major consideration for many private physicians When the American Medical Assn. and the Cleveland Academy of Medicine learned of the innocuous little presenta- tion, they showed acute symptoms of soaring blood pressure. The academy's executive director, Robert Lang, wrote a choleric letter to then U.S. Surgeon General Jesse Stein- fcld. "I am amazed sputtered Lang. "This is obviously a piece of propaganda I do strenuously object In the use of government funds The American Medical Assn. published a three-column story and an editorial against the "sinisterly biased" slides. In a letter lo the health, education and wel- fare department, the AMA suggested the grant be withdrawn. Surgeon General Sleinfeld stuck to his guns, but the AMA won anyway. Medical alumni of Case Western, the Cleveland Academy of Medicine and others put pressure on the university, which withdrew its support. These and other stories of medical malfeasance will make the medien! en- tabli.shment Hut there Is stronger medicine still In the The Hurt-Kennedy hearings muy result In 11 formal for iiiitiinml action by the jiisllee depnrlnxjiil against the AMA mid (ilher medlciil societies.   

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