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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: November 19, 1974 - Page 6

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 19, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Editorial Page Tuesday, November 19, 1974 Act of faith On the widely credited sup- position that intelligent life exists on other worlds in the universe, and on the premise that commu- nication with that life would be desirable, astronomers at the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico gave it a try last weekend. They radio-beamed a three- minute message into space. The target was a globular cluster of some stars (called Mes- sier 13) at the Milky Way gal- axy's edge. The signal was the strongest ever sent from earth. The message was a coded string of pulses starting with a number- system summary, then adding data on earth-chemistry, genet- ics, human growth and structure of the brain. At miles per second (the speed of earth's little birdcall will finish its journey in years. If anybody reads it and responds, the same amount of time will pass to get an answer back here. That puts it years down the line and all of man's own social history so far goes only five or six thousand years through the past. Against today's incessant warnings of apocalyptic doom and threats of no tomorrow for the whole human race, what peo- ple did at Arecibo brings a count- er-outlook that is deeply optimis- tic and benign. It was, essential- ly, an act of faith in humankind. In times like these, the world needs as much of that as anyone can find. New batch of wins lost A few of the bond-issue ques- tions in this month's elections across the state ran into straight "no" answers fair, square, clean and flat: A school bond issue in Fort Dodge defeated-by to a zoo construction plan in Cedar Rapids nixed by to Some ten other bond-issue items succeeded with heavy sup- port, more than 60 percent six county home projects, one each for a swimming pool, fire station, library and health care center in various Iowa towns. Five more ballot propositions won the local people's backing but will not be carried out be- cause they failed in lopsidedness, pulling less than 3 to 2 support as specified by state law. The fa- vored failures included a Fort Dodge golf course (59 a Lchigfi city building (56.8 per- a Decatur county school project (56.4 a Sac county courthouse, (53.9 percent) and an Ida county courthouse (50.17 It is natural, of course, among the 60-plus-percent suc- cesses, to take it all for granted, rejoice in the results and waste no thought on the system's philo- sophical foundations as to fair- ness or inequity. It is impossible NOT to consider those questions wherever a good local venture won clear majority approval but failed because Iowa's 60-percent law is one of only a dozen or so in the country that still spite democ- racy by letting majorities lose. A lot of artificially short- weighted voters out in Fort Dodge, Lehigh and Decatur, Sac and Ida counties now are ripe to think it over and then add their voices, maybe, to the call for fairer treatment under law. Record vofer turnout? It is disheartening, indeed, that only 38 percent of the eligi- ble voters in the nation bothered to go to the polls Nov. 5 the lowest turnout of voters since 1946. By contrast, lowans can hold their heads high but not very high because unofficial figures show that 46 percent of the pos- sible vote turned out in this state. Unofficial results indicate that the total vote for the He- publican, Democratic and Amer- ican party candidates for gov- ernor stands at The three candidates those same parties fielded for U.S. senator got a total vote of about Iowa has an estimated 000 eligible voters, now that 18-19 and 20-year-olds are eligible to cast ballots. Using as the average voter-turnout, it is ob- vious that nearly 50 percent of Basics re-admired Iowa's eligible voters went to the polls this year. If that total is confirmed in the official canvass of the vote, it will set a new re- cord for participation in a non- presidential election in Iowa. The previous high was in 1966 when voters went to the polls. The low vote in the last 28 years was cast in 1946 when only people voted. Highest turnout in a presi- dential election year was when of an estimated 1.8 mil- lion eligible Iowa voters went to the polls in I960 61.5 percent. Forty-six percent of a 100 percent potential is nothing to write home about when it comes to exercising the right of fran- chise in our system of self-gov- ernment. But, comparatively speaking, it is worthy of note and those lowans who did vote are hereby commended. 'Old' schools renew By Don Oakley A funny thing is happening on the way lo the gradclcss, wall-less and sometimes disciplineless "alternative" school. Calling it "an ironic and unforeseen development in public the Washington-based Council for Basic Education reporls Ihal there is a strong and spreading movement to include among alternatives the kind of schools lhat Ihe alternative approach repu- diates. In other words, the old-fashioned academic school has suddenly become a novel experiment. In towns and cities where the' open classroom concept or some other varia- tion of neo-progressivism has been in- troduced, the advocates of strong aca- demic schools are arguing before school boards lhat if experiments in free and unstructured programs arc permitted, lhen experiments in the traditional academic approach should bo permitted also. And in many places, says the council, (hey arc winning Ihe argument. An example is the Myers Park Tradi- tional elementary school which opened Ihis fall in Charlotte, N. C., with a full enrollment of 500 pupils and with the proper court-approved racial mixture. Over applications had been re- ceived from parents, black and white, who liked the school's announced em- phasis on "back lo basics" and ils phi- losophy Ihut teachers know beller liian grade school students what they need to learn. Among of the program at the school: The primary concern is the acquir- ing of basic academic skills, with Ihe school striving to build a positive self- image in each student through academ- ic achievement. The curriculum follows a definite progression, building on skills and abili- lics acquired at each level. Subjects include reading, penmanship spell- ing, hislory, English, physical educa- tion, art, music and band and orchestra. Letter grades will be Riven in all subjects and report cards will be issued six times a year. It is ironic, comments (he Council for Basic Education, thai attempts (o carry out Ihe historic educational function of schools should now be considered "revo- lutionary." People's forum Punishing alcoholics To the Editor: Some comment on Dr. Harold 'Mul- ford's article (op-ed page of Nov. 6) is in order. It is essential that his recommended review of all the material available on aversion therapy for alcoholics be fol- lowed through. Along wilh reviewing Ihe cost-benefit ratio, some thought needs to be given to jusl where aversion Ireal- ment would fit into Iowa's program of alcoholism rehabilitation. Emcline- hydrochloride-induced vomiting has been used only in private alcoholic treatment centers whose patients were all voluntary. In Iowa, the stale's more lhan (Ml al- coholism treatment facilities all have been developed with tax money. They have worked closely with law enforce- ment agencies, employers, clc. Mosl of the alcoholics they treal, whether in- patient or out-patient, are not voluntary walk-ins; ralher they are forced into treatment by legal means. It would be a shameful reversal of recently developed altitudes for Iowa's court-referred or employer-referred alcoholics to be forced into a treatment that has vomit- ing therapy as ils basis. II is doubtful lhat unions would long continue to offer their support lo such programs. Invol- untary aversion therapy reeks of punish- ment ralher than treatment. If the health commissioner [eels such a program is of benefit he must, as pointed out by Dr. Mulford, approach lids as a conlrolled study. It should be introduced into a private treatment center where only voluntary patients seek treatment. Iowa's traditional treatment program has been much more effective lhan Ihe health commissioner's recent press releases indicate. The community-based counselor responds to his client on a round-the-clock basis, hospitalizing those in need and providing follow-up counseling lo the alcoholic and his fami- ly. Iowa's eight-year-old program is a model to the nation Reverting to a 40-year-old punishment process would hardly help us build on Ihal lead. There is some disagreement wilh Dr. Mulford's article, however. He strays from research when he suggests Ihal the legislature made a mistake by approving the intoxication and Ireal- ment act of 1974. The balance of power rests wilh the Iowa Commission on Al- coholism in thai act, and it was de- signed to be so While thai group exercises its power we have nothing to fear. But we can look forward to an upgrading of stan- dards in all alcoholism treatment facili- ties. We can also be fairly sure that tax money won't be used to make sick peo- ple sicker. Floyd J. Gardner Swisher Put up? To the Editor: I read in The Gazette lhat Ihe members of congress have pending leg- islation which will increase their salary by about over a three-year peri- od. Fifteen thousand dollars is consider- ably more than the average American earns in one year. For 80 cents in postage, one can write lo each of Ihe members of con- gress listed in the Nov. 13 Gazelle and voice an opinion on Ihis proposed leg- islation. All (luring the recent campaign, we were bombarded, by both Democrats and Republicans, about how they were going In fighl inflation. Now congress- men have the opportunity to put their vole where their mouths were during tlie campaign. Let's see thai they do it. George R. Etzel 615 Thirty-third street NE Hidden taxes To the Editor: According to Hie Tax Foundation of New York, Ihe typical American now spends the first 112 days nf (he year working In feed the insatiable appetite of our Washington bureaucrats, or roughly one-third of .our inlake of sal- ary. As Hihlondahl, dirednr nf busi- ness research for Bank Hawaii, oil- serves: "Presently, government absorbs 43.5 percent of personal income, twice the share of 40 years ago." Mr. Amer- ican does not Ihe -10 percent tax he pays, since it. is hidden in goods and services. As Paul Harvey stated: "Only people pay concerning Ihe fact lhat liberals call for Ihe lax burden to be paid by corporations when in actu- ality consumers slill pay the price. One begins to realize what Ihis means when one discovers there are: 151 taxes on bread, 100 taxes on eggs, 116 on one suit, 150 taxes on a woman's hat, 600 on a house, 87 on a quart of milk, 114 on a pair of pants, and 191 taxes on a fence. These taxes accumulate like compound interest. Add this tyranny to the infla- tion tax of about 10 percent per year and you see why "taxation withoul represen- tation" truly is tyranny. Webster's New World Dictionary defines inflation as "an increase in the amount of currency in circulation. caused by an increase in the volume of paper money issued." Since our supply of money can be controlled by the Fed- eral Reserve system by overprinting anytime they desire, it is the federal government which is responsible for our present inflation. During the so-called conservative Nixon administration, the money supply was increased by 50 percent. This re- sulted in Webster's definition which said: "Politicians cause inflation by spending deficit dollars, for which you pay a 'hidden tax' in the resulting rise of your cosl of living." There is a solution: lower taxes through less government. It is the current theme of (he John Birch So- cicly, and Americans had beller listen. Harry L. Cole 3832 Dalewood avenue SE UNICEF's merit To the Editor: I want lo express thanks for Kalher- ine Kollman's wonderful letter in the Nov. 10 Gazelle. Many of us have stayed loyal tn the UN and to UNICEF in spite of recent derogatory letlers. Many citizens appreciate Kalhryn's years of dedication to Ihe UN. and I'm sure her Idler will persuade others of the integrity of UNICEF. Amy Roberts 570 Eighth avenue, Marion Recruiting offsets office-winning Civil rights up; so are wrongs By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON Some good tilings and some bad things are happening these days in the field of race relations. This month's elections offered hearten- ing evidence of Ihe good. A new lilllc book by George Roche provides mad- dening evidence of Ihe bad. The good news has to do with tin1 election of blacks to public office. Year by year, the old walls of prejudice are tumbling down. The voting rights acts of and 1970 gave the walls a push, but social and political forces would have toppled them anyhow. Blacks are registering and voting Inday in about Ihe same percentages us whiles; and black candidates are winning. The 94th congress will see 17 blacks in the house of representatives, among them Harold Ford of Memphis. Nov. li must have marked a great day in the Ford household: one son lo congress, one lo the Tennessee senate, one to Ihe Tennessee house. Blacks won 13 scats in Ihe Alabama house, 20 in Ihe Georgia house, 13 in Ihe lower chamber nf Soulh Carolina. By one oslimate, blacks won 72 percent of the races In which they ran in the South. Blacks will serve as lieuten- ant governors in Colorado and Califor- nia. From coast to coast, they won on Iheir merits, in free and fair elections. As lime goes on, under Ihe same rules Ihal apply lo everyone else, they will continue to win on their Merits. To Ihe latter-day Jacobins in charge of "civil such evolutionary change is nol enough. These misguided James J. Kilpatrick crusaders are attempting lo impose upon higher education what is known as "affirmative action." A more disas- trously negative program could not be contrived. Dr. Hnche, president of Hillsdale college in Michigan, exposes Ihis evil in "The Balancing just published by Ihe Open Court publishing company of La Salle, III. In the field of education, a field marked more by timidity lhan by boldness. Dr. Roche speaks with rare candor and courage. He can afford In lie courageous: His small college accepts not one dime of federal subsidy, so threats to withhold federal money hold no terrors for him. This is nol true of his colleagues. Most of our inslilutions have become desperately dependent upon federal aid of one kind or another, and these in- stitutions arc discovering an elemental truth: Federal aid means federal con- trol. The control is taking Ihe form of demands from Washington Ihal Ihe colleges meet certain "goals" in Ihe. hir- ing and promotion of women and minor- ity faculty members. An egalitarian dream has become an educational nightmare. Civil rights offi- cials insist thai a "goal" is not a but Ihal "insistence, in Ihe kindest possible word, is a lie. Those who believe Ihis invidious scheme does not demand racial quotas will believe the moon is made of green cheese. When Ihe euphemisms are stripped away, demands for "affirmative action" mean Ihal college administrators must hire women, blacks, Spanish Ameri- cans, or Orientals regardless of their qualifications. Dr. Roche quotes from ads placed by leading institutions in professional journals: "We desire to appoint a black or Chicano, preferably female "Our doctoral requirements for [acuity will be waived for candidates who finali- ty under the affirmative action criteria A faculty candidate, writing for a job, gels a blunt letter in reply. "It will be possible for flic to contact yon (or a position only In Ihe event you are black." As Dr. Roche points out, this degrad- ing scheme is especially cruel to those women and blacks who arc in fact quali- fied for faculty positions. It always will be wondered if (hey made it on merit. The reverse discrimination under- standably embitters white male can- didates. The scheme paralyzes college administrators who sec their Integrity prostituted for federal dollars. And all Ihis is being done, mind yon, In the holy name of "civil righls." A better de- scription, as Dr. Roche makes clear, is civil wrongs. Wruhlnoion Mor Svfldlr.fltfl I General's outburst grounded Byf Rowland Evans arid Robert Novak WASHINGTON IBchlnd the outra- geously overblown slwrs on American Jews by Con. George Brown is sober, well-justified concern at the Pentagon over the drain of ever more costly mil- itary aid to Israel at a time of growing congressional resistance to defense spending. Accordingly, the general's blunt warning at Duke university last month that Israel's influence :in the U. S. congress is "so strong you wouldn't be- lieve it" has a solid foundation. Leaving aside his gratuitous, untrue and grossly offensive crack about American Jews owning "the banks in this country, the Brown's warning about Israel's control over U. congress is reflected in the vast transfer of scarce military supplies to Israel. Pentagon concern reached a peak just after the billion U. 5. airlift of desperately needed military equipment to Israel during and after the fourth Arab-Israeli war in October, 11973. One result of that resuppty line for Israel is this shocking fact: Late model M-60 tanks airlifted out of U. S. military depots in West Germany andl flown to the Mideast battlefield have i still not been replied in the American .arsenal a full year later. i All told, some 600 American! tanks both M-60s and M-48s were rushed to Israel. That was almost 10 percent of the entire American tank force., With a production line running then at'a mere 30 a month, thanks to congressiionally- imposed budget restraints, thai; draw- down of the American arsenal, to aid Israel ate up nearly two years oftcapaci- Potentially more damaging for the U. S. was the airlift of nearly one-half the entire supply of the highly sophis- ticated TOW anti-tank missile, the famous wire-guided tank killer.. Al- though precise numbers are shroudtcd in military secrecy, it is known thai ap- proximately 100 of these miracle mis- sile-launchers were rushed to Israel. Highly qualified military officials told us privately that this drain of the newest U. S. anti-tank weapon threat- ened "training problems" in the U. S. army by causing shortages of the mis- sile launcher. But when we asked for an official statement on the alleged short- fall, the Pentagon's official spokesman hedged. He said, only there had been "no apparent adverse impact on individ- ual training conducted by our army schools that we can tic directly to the sending of TOW systems to IsraeJ last year." i There are other examples of the dangerous drawdown of American mil- itary capabilities forced on Ihe Pen- tagon by the October war. For instance, the air force today is short of the small percentage of F-4 fighter aircraft the I mainstay of Israel's air force that is I equipped with extremely costly electron- I ic counter measures "A high percentage of the very small number of these aircraft we had went to a Pentagon official told us. By far the most dangerous shortfall is the lank. The army is now desperately trying to boost production to 100-a month from the present rate of 40 i (up from 30 a year ago) but cannot find suppliers of lurrels. The army has nol yet replenished the tanks flown out of Germany to Israel. It was tanks short when the Israelis made Iheir Oc- tober-war demand. The army's tank ar- senal is so depleted that pledged to Morocco and some other countries have had to be replaced by old-model tanks. But there is a deeper reason for Brown's outburst against Jewish influ- ence in American politics, going beyond military aid: Israel's political allies here so dominate Ihe debate over the Middle East that the Arab case remains somewhat obscure. In short, the emotional preoccupation in congress with defense of Israel short- circuits Pentagon fears about U. S. influence throughout the vast Moslem world, particularly in the Arab oil stales. It is a little-known fact that air force pilots today arc restricted to ex- tremely short flight-time In conserve fuel. Likewise, the navy's "steaming days" for front-line warships have been drastically reduced. All this lay behind 'Brown's ham- handed assault on the power of Ihe American Jewish community. Quite apart from the general's inexcusable rhetoric, the Pentagon views the Middle East in terms of long-range U. S. slralo- gic interests a view lhat does not al- ways parallel those of Israel. EVANS NOVAK   

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