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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: October 23, 1974 - Page 6

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 23, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                ftnpitb Falsehoods muddle up the busing fight Editorial Page Wednesday, October 73, 1974 Historical Society dilemma AFTER A DELAY of nearly four months, the newly-author- ized Iowa state historical depart- ment is beginning to take shape. It will he recalled that the 1974 legislature acted to merge the old department of history and archives, the former historical preservation program and the former State Historical Society of Iowa into the new department. However, the new law. while quite clear in that six of the 12 members on the new depart- ment's board of directors were to be named by the governor, was unclear on how the remaining six members were to be elected by the Society's membership. Those ambiguities apparently have been cleared up by the at- torney general's office. At any rate, the merger, which was to have been consummated last .July 1, is going forward. Once it is completed, the new board will face some funda- mental questions involving the- status of the Society, which was not wholly dependent on state funds prior to the merger, and which is a corporation in its own right until 1992. One of the basic problems, according to the Society's direc- tor, Peter Harstad, in an editorial in the current issue of that' or- ganization's monthly publication. The Palimpsest, "will be to dif- ferentiate the state agency known as the State .Historical Society from the nonprofit corporation of the same name." Harstad observed that the 1974 legislature "demonstrated no hostility to the corporation when it encouraged the Society (presumably the corporation) to elect officers and to conduct af- fairs 'subject to the approval of Hie board'." "The nature of the Society has changed over the Harstad continued. "When the Society was founded in 1857. it was neither an arm of state gov- ernment nor a corporation. Pub- lic-spirited lowans simply asso- ciated to collect historical mate- rials. In addition to receiving facilities from the University of Iowa during the early years, the Society also received dues and gifts from its members ;md a small legislative appropriation. In 18G7, the Society became a cor- poration, 'not for pecuniary purposes.' This status expired in 1887. Incorporation procedures of 1892 and 1942 extended corporate existence until 1992. "Because of steadily increas- ing support from legislative ap- propriation in recent decades, the Society's 1915 denial of state agency status and its exclusive posture as a 'private eleemosy- nary corporation' is no longer re- alistic nor is it acceptable to leg- islators. But it is unwise to terminate the corporation and Jury-trial fairness operate exclusively as a state agency. A corporation can ad- minister the gifts and bequests entrusted to the Society, solicit additional support, identify and finance special projects, and provide continuity that tran- scends biennial budgets." While there are many legal questions to be resolved, Harstad believes that the best arrange- ment for continuation of the cor- porate body of the Society would be something similar to that ex- isting between the state's three universities and their supportive "foundations." This arrangement would be between the Society and (he newly-established depart- ment. In these situations, the "foundations" or "corporations" "support indispensable programs but do not set according to Harstad, who is convinced the Society corporation should con- tinue in existence, "but it must be brought into harmony with recent legislation and current institutional needs." We agree the Society's corpo- rate body should be continued and in the manner outlined by Director Harstad. We think Director Harstad has hit on a reasonable and logi- cal solution to this dilemma if legal questions can be resolved so that the corporation can be converted into the same kind of supportive body for the new department that the universities' foundations have proved to be. It would keep the door open for private contributions and gifts that otherwise might not be legal- ly acceptable by the new histori- cal department because of its state agency status. Celebration INSTEAD OF engaging in festivities that center on a home- coming queen, Coe college's student body will spend its main efforts for 1974 on a fund-raising drive against multiple sclerosis. This is the second straight year that student leaders have spear- headed what amounts to a pro- ductive-service approach to homecoming. It says good things about the judgment, the values and (he maturity of I he young people involved. The Coc Letlermen's club, on its own, has decided to sponsor a homecoming queen selection at that level, reportedly to "keep up with the traditions of homecom- ing as the alums know it." That is the lettermen's privi- lege, of course, if they deem it worth doing. But they ought to be a little more precise about whose choice it was: their own. As far as most alumni are concerned from almost any institution ex- perience would probably com- mend the service enterprise in preference to the queens. By Don Oakley II has to he done in the interest of justice, (if course. Kven so, there is something contradictory aboul the hours and days consumed al the beginning of the Watergate coverup trial in Wash- ington in the endeavor to find 12 men and women, and alternates, who re- tained an "open mind" about gate. On the one hand, Americans are encouraged to learn what is going on in their communities and in their nation The large percentage of people who answer "don't know" in every opinion poll is cited as a symptom of our lack of caring, our noninvolveioent. or of the failure of the media and of leaders in inform the public. On the other hand, when they are called to serve on juries, people are supposed to have perfectly pristine minds, untainted liy prior knowledge or Actually, anyone who still has. an open mind" about Watergate mean- ing either that he has never heard ol the scandal or is totally unaware nf the many damaging stories that have been published about those involved would have to be so wanting in the mental department that his fitness as a juror would be suspect on that ground alone We seem to have gotten the idea in this country that a fair trial means that only people possessing the naivete "I newly arrived Martians are iiualified to sit on juries What a fair Irial really means is thai, first, every defendant in a court of law is to be'considered innocent until proven guilty and that he has certain basic rights the right to hear the evidence against him, to confront his accusers, etc. that must be protected. Anil sec- ond, that those who .judge him will hon- eslly put aside whatever prejudices or preconceptions they may have and will make their decision solely on the basis of the evidence presented in court. This dors not call for blank minds .lust fair lines. By Roscoe Drumrn'ond WASHINGTON -The racial violence in Boston is bad enough without having it made worse by the distortions and op- illiels thrown by the extremists. The issue is not school integration. The issue is forced busing to distant schools to achieve a particular racial mix. One distortion is the repealed, vehe- ment assertion that parents who oppose having their children taken out of neighborhood schools against their wish- es are obviously, per se, racists. Not true. Ironically Remember the little black girl. Linda Brown, who was being forced to attend a segregated school in Tupcka? It was her ease (Brown vs. the Board of Kducation) on which the supreme court ruled unanimously in 1954 and this caused the wall of illegal school segre- gation to come tumbling down. Today Linda, a grown woman and mother, opposes compulsory school bus- ing. She doesn't want her child driven off to a distant school away from her neighborhood. Linda Brown is not a racist. II is quite true that there are bitter- end opponents of school integration who oppose forced busing. But this doesn't make school integration wrong or forced busing right! I'PI reported from Boston that ill Hyde Park high school four boys Iwo black and two white "were stabbed with knives" and that injured children had to be "carried out of the school on stretchers." Anil the next day the headmaster of the Hyde Park high school allowed him- self lo assert that those who object to forced busing are "haters" and that the children "have been taught to hate by their parents for 14 or 15 years." What arrogance What cruel, thoughtless epithet tossed off without proof. Has this "educator" ever read the supreme court decision of 1954 ill Brown vs. the Board of Education'.' Its central premise is that children should not be prevented by law from 'Where now, attending the school of their choice because of race or color. The premise of that decision was not that children should be forced by school board edict or by court to attend schools not of their choice in order to bring about a mathematical racial balance. Reversals There is ample evidence lhal a great majority of the American people do not want it that way. The supreme court's latest decision on forced busing indi- cates that it does not want it that way. 1 have never condoned prnlesl-hy- violence. There is no justification fur the ugly incidents in Boston. That is not the way to redress a wrong. The way to do it is for the lower court decision in Massachusetts lo be appealed to the supreme court as rapidly as possible. The overriding need today is better education for blacks and whiles alike. Kvery dollar and it mounts to mil- lions spent on forced busing ought to be used to that end. Alcohol and nicotine still hotsy totsy By Tom Tiede WASHINGTON' After two months and many thousands of lax dollars worth of hearings, tin1 senate sub- committee on internal security has re- leased a report on marijuana use (hat insults the public mentality and can on- ly serve to further fog and confuse rea- sonable debate on this most complex, often wretched, social issue. Admitting that the hearings were prejudicial, that only negative weed views were allowed expression. Sub- committee Chairman .lames Kastlaml (D-Miss.) nevertheless warned with pos- itive' assurance that society may be "taken over by a marijuana culture" which, lacking any higher moral guid- ance, searches only for self-gratification and the escape from reality. Pol-smok- ing "semi-xombies" walk the land, he added, coupling the poor devils with the communist conspiracy. He concluded by predicting "national disaster" if the grass epidemic continues. Kastland, of course, is entitled to his views on pot, just as for 112 years in congress he has been entitled lo his views on school segregation and olher dark-age propositions. Yet his report is a meaningless, perhaps dangerous fraud. Lacking balance, depth, fairness and investigative honesty, the sub- committee summary merely reinforces subjective ignorance and in no way resembles the consensus of scientific and studied opinion concerning mari- juana. That consensus is lhal pot remains largely an unknown quantity, bill much evidence so far judges it in a similar risk category with alcohol. Kastland. by the way. has never been known to rail against the semi-xombies of booxc. But more than this, the Kaslland re- port misses entirely the central point of Ihe pot argument. Since no one but fools claim that marijuana is harmless (all drugs are chancy, even the question is not one of risk but hypocri- sy. Is it right in a nation of seven mil- lion alcoholics and no known "potohol- ics" to forgive the former and can Ihe lalter? Last year while several hundred thousand booxe addicts were admitted to hospitals and counseling centers in America, people were arrested and frequently jailed for pot use. And jail for the grassers is often no overnight thing. Several hundred people in Texas are serving two years lo life for mere possession. Kven when judges, out of sympathy, do suspend pot sen- tences, the user for the suspension peri- od loses his right lo vole, (o hold public office, lo be a licensed doctor, dentist, certified public accountant, engineer, lawyer, architect, Realtor, schoolteach- er, barber, funeral director or stock- broker, and he cannot work on govern- ment jobs. Moreover, the pot user, this semi- xombie who may be a kid. a housewife, a cop. even a senator, is. because of societal hypocrisy, often sentenced lo public humiliation as well as jail. Peo- ple with cigaret coughs and whisky nos- es talk with a queer but censuring kind of ethics of a neighbor caught growing backyard nol. A man in New Jersey recently, a fellow who'd been indulging in his own drug discovered his son with marijuana and became so angry that he loaded a shotgun and wounded Ihe boy ill Ihe back. Mnralily, (hen. is the genuine issue1 here, the right of people lo risk their health has been settled in America by the continuing sale of cigarels. 1115-proof vodka and over-the-counter sleeping pills, .lames Kastland could have con- tributed lo the public good, possibly, had he addressed his hearings to reality rather than bias; yet his goal was deceit deceit he believes, no doubt, but deceil nonetheless. And so this deceit raises a question far above Ihe importance of whether a five-leaf annual can bring America to its knees: Can a 711-year-old senator be allowed lo use his public office and jiriv- ileged trust lo foisl one-sided Irulhs and unary superstitions on a confused popu- lation'.' If so. then we really may become a nation of semi-xombies led by Ihe nose by whatever narrow virtues our elected officers wish. has its limits By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak CONWAY. ARK. Hep. Wilbur Mills probably will win a term in congress, but the jarring change in his treatment by the folks back home was mercilessly evident during his first full day of campaigning following the tidal basin gauchene. Mills was visibly shaken al Conway high school when students hooted and whistled at his brusque answers to prob- ing questions. When Mills ignored Ihe tidal basin in addressing Conway's civic clubs, some business men grumbled he was taking too much for granted. Afler strolling through the Wilbur Mills Center for Social Sludies now under conslruclion at his alma maler, Hendrix college, he was interrogated by newsmen who wanted intimate details aboul his visits lo Ihe Silver Slipper striptease lonil. As the imperious chairman ol Ihe house ways and means comimtlee, who has made Presidenls tremble. Mills is unaccustomed lo such treatment. Never- theless, except for obvious displeasure with the high school students, he dis- guised emotion and coolly discussed the economy in the authoritative, lucid style that has awed the house for Iwo dec- ades. Indeed, he will answer no more questions about his persona! life. The overvv helming consensus is that this strategy will bring victory in (he. first real challenge to Mills since his first-term primary election in 1MB, if only because his Republican opponent, .ludy Pelty. is a :il-year-old divorcee and neophyte candidate But Ihe stunned disappointment among his con- stihionts simu'osls Mills mighl be in deep (rouble against a more formidable foe. Mills' problems at home starled with Ills aborlive campaign for President in IIIT'J This year's linkage of that cam- paign wilh shady milk lobby contribu- tions shocked constituents. Although Mills had privately predicted Mrs. Pelty would gel no more than 15 percent, a recent poll her III perccnl. Still, Mills declined to campaign, lie sen! back all eoiilribulions (including from Henry Kordl. When a labor official informed film lhal Steelworkers union members a( Ihe Alcoa chemical planl in Benton uero dropping him for arch-conservative I'elly, Mills look no aclloll (o woo them hack Moreover, wailing a week alter Ihe lidal basin incident before returning hoiiie pcnmHcii opposition to sohdif.v. Ills contrite opening speech to Ihe Little Hock .laycees was cffediu Bui there is ilniilil whether he c.in now be silent aboul (he incident any more (ban Thom- as Kaglelnn. Kdward Kennedy and KH hard were aide lo half cxplo- i.ilion of then more serious difficulties was delivered by an aged lawyer en- countered by Mills last week in tin1 musty corridors of the Cleburne county courthouse in Heber Springs. he croaked, "if il weren't this divorced Republican woman bul some man in a Democratic, primary. I don't know if you'd make it." Apart from her sex and marital status, Mrs. Petty seems ill-equipped lo challenge Mr. Taxation. While advocat- ing fiscal responsibility lo fight infla- tion, she is [imposing several lax-reduc- ing measures. How much would her package lose in revenue? She wasn't sure bul told its a reporter for the Wall Street Journal estimated billion. Though an cuiluisiaslic admirer and oralorical imitator of California's (lov. Ronald Reagan, Mrs. Petty courts lib- eral critics of Mills by attacking him as chief architect of tax loopholes for spe- cial interests big oil. for example. Yol when we questioned IIIT she advocated partial retention ol the oil do- plclion allowance, backed natural gas deregulation and allowed as how she was inclined lo decontrol all oil prices. Mrs I'elly, attractive and articulate though she is, cannot compare wilh Mills delivering jeremiads on Ihe delen- oralmg economy and critically ing President Kurd's economic policy. A c'igcnl, frequently eloquenl lecture an the economy al a VKW dinner in Heber Springs reminded listeners exactly whal Mills intended thai their congressman is one of Ihe gianl1. ol congress with immense influent e over the ecnnnmv WltBUR MILLS NOVAK his first hours hack home last week. Mills tried to picture Ihe gaudy affair at Hie lidal basin as an aberration, not the pattern of a secret swinger. .Suspicious Arkansniis are divided whether to accept this, but nol all the skeptics consider Mills' private life as cause for ending Ins public career. "I feel ashamed and lei down by Mr. a hide old saleslady in Little Rock iold us. Bo! she does nol want a memorable career to end on so shabby a nole and will vole lo send "Mr Mills" back to Washington to redeem Ins repu- tation. She desperately n will he the old Wilbur Mills returning lo full use of his intellecl and legislative mastery al a lime when Ihe need never greater Isn't it the truth? An'. aihnniiMrai inn nun leai us Ih.i! Ihe hoilv pollllc lias iinK one Ihe voice of lll'.cniilelil Il has million', ol mouth-, lo leed We ih live U holll lol hill llol u llholh i tmimiil   

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