Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 19, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Tuesday, November 19, 1974
Act of faith
On the widely credited supposition that intelligent life exists on other worlds in the universe, and on the premise that communication 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 300,000 stars (called Messier 13) at the Milky Way galaxy’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, genetics, human growth and structure of the brain.
At 186,000 miles per second (the speed of light), earth’s little birdcall will finish its journey in 24,000 years. If anybody reads it and responds, the same amount of time will pass to get an answer back here. That puts it 48-50,000 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 todays incessant warnings of apocalyptic doom and threats of no tomorrow for the whole human race, what people did at Arecibo brings a counter-outlook that is deeply optimistic and benign. It was, essentially, 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 questions 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 7,991 to 5,183, a zoo construction plan in Cedar Rapids nixed bv 16,454 to 12,661.
Some ten other bond-issue items succeeded with heavy support, 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 because they failed in lopsidedness, pulling less than 3 to 2 support as specified by state law. The favored failures included a Fort Dodge golf course (59 percent), a Lehigh city building (56.8 per
cent), a Decatur county school project (56.4 percent), a Sac county courthouse, (53.9 percent) and an Ida county courthouse (50.17 percent).
It is natural, of course, among the 60-plus-percent successes, to take it all for granted, rejoice in the results and waste no thought on the system’s philosophical foundations as to fairness 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 democracy 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 voter turnout?
It is disheartening, indeed, that only 38 percent of the eligible voters in the nation bothered to go to the polls Nov. 5 — the lowest turnout of voters since 1946.
By contrast. Iowans can hold their heads high — but not very high — because unofficial figures show that 46 percent of the possible vote turned out in this state
Unofficial results indicate that the total vote for the Republican, Democratic and American party candidates for governor stands at 917.(KH) The three candidates those same parties fielded for U.S. senator got a total vote of about 887,500
Iowa has an estimated 1,95ft,-000 eligible voters, now that 18-19 and 20-year-olds are eligible to cast ballots. Using 900,000 as the average voter-turnout, it is obvious that nearly 50 percent ofBasics re-admired
Iowa’s eligible voters went to the polls this year.
If that 900,000-plus total is confirmed in the official canvass of the vote, it will set a new record for participation in a non-presidential election in Iowa.
The previous high was in 1966 when 893,172 voters went to the polls. The low vote in the last 28 years was cast in 1946 when only 631,581 people voted.
Highest turnout in a presidential election year was when I,-273,820 of an estimated 1.8 million eligible Iowa voters went to the polls in I960 — 61.5 percent.
Forty-six percent of a KHI percent potential is nothing to write home about when it comes to exercising the right of franchise in our system of self-government. But, comparatively speaking, it is worthy of note and those Iowans who did vote are hereby commended.
‘Old’ schools renew
By Don Oakley
A funny thing is happening on the way to the graceless, wall-less and sometimes discipliners “alternative” school.
( ailing it “an ironic and unforeseen development in public education,” the Washington-based Council for Basic Education reports that there is a strong and spreading movement to include among alternatives the kind of schools that the alternative approach repudiates. In other words, the old-fashioned academic sc hool has suddenly become a novel experiment
In towns and cities where the open classroom concept or some other variation of neo-progressivism has been introduced, the advocates of strong academic schools are arguing before school boards that if experiments in free and unstructured programs are permitted, then experiments in the traditional academic approach should be permitted also And in many places, says the council, they are winning the argument.
An example is the Myers Park Traditional elementary school which opened this fall in Charlotte, N. C.t with a full enrollment of 500 pupils and with the
proper court-approved racial mixture Over I.INK) applications had been received from parents, black and white, who liked the school s announced emphasis on “back to basics” and its philosophy that leat hers know better than grade school students what they need to learn
Among the features of the program at the school:
• The primary concern is the acquiring of basic academic skills, with the school striving to build a positive self-image in each student through academic achievement.
• The curriculum follows a definite progression, building on skills and abilities acquired at each level. Subjects include reading, penmanship (!), spelling, history, English, physical education, art. music ami band and orchestra
• Letter grades will be given in all subjects and report cards will be issued six times a year.
It is ironic, comments the Council for Basic Education, that attempts to larry out the historic educational function of sc hools should now lie considered “revolutionary.”
Nt«scxip*r Enterprise AssnPeople 's forum
To the Editor;
Some comment on Dr. Harold Mill-ford’s article (op-ed page of Nov. fi) is in order.
It is essential that his recommended review of all the material available on aversion therapy for alcoholics be followed through. Along with reviewing the cost-benefit ratio, some thought needs to be given to just where aversion treatment would fit into Iowa's program of alcoholism rehabilitation. Emetine* hydrochloride-induced vomiting has been used only in private alcoholic treatment centers whose patients were all voluntary.
In Iowa. the state's more than WI alcoholism treatment facilities all have been developed with tax money. They have worked closely with law enforcement agencies, employers, etc. Most of the alcoholics they treat, whether inpatient or out-patient, are not voluntary walk-ins; rather they are forced into treatment by legal means. It would be a shameful reversal of recently developed attitudes for Iowa's court-referred or employer-referred alcoholics to be forced into a treatment that has vomiting therapy as its basis It is doubtful that unions would long continue to offer their support to such programs. Involuntary aversion therapy reeks of punishment rather than treatment.
If the health commissioner feels such a program is of benefit he must, as pointed out by Dr. Mulford. approach this as a controlled 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 than the 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 to the alcoholic and his family. 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 that lead.
There is some disagreement with Dr Mulford s article, however. He strays
from research when he suggests that the legislature made a mistake by approving the intoxication and treatment act of 1974. The balance of power rests with the Iowa Commission on Alcoholism in that act. and it was designed to be so . . .
While that group exercises its power we have nothing to fear. But we can look forward to an upgrading of standards in all alcoholism treatment facilities. We can also be fairly sure that tax money won t be used to make sick people sicker.
Floyd I Gardner SwisherPut up?
To the Editor
I read in The Gazette that the
members of congress have pending legislation which will increase their salary bv about $15,000 over a three-year period Fifteen thousand dollars is considerably more than the average American earns in one year.
For HO cents in postage, one can
write to each of the members of congress listed in the Nov. 13 Gazette and voice an opinion on this proposed legislation.
All during the recent campaign, we were bombarded, by both Democrats and Republicans, about how they were going to fight inflation Now congressmen have the opportunity to put their
vote where their mouths were during the campaign. Let's see that they do it.
George R. Etzel HU Thirty-third street NEHidden taxes
To the Editor;
According to the Tax Foundation of New York, the typical American now spends the first 112 days of the year working to feed the insatiable appetite of our Washington bureaucrats, or roughly one-third of our intake of salary.
As W. Hihlendahl. director of business research for Bank Hawaii, observes: “Presently, government absorbs 43.5 percent of personal income, twice the share of 40 years ago.” Mr. American does not realize the 40 percent tax
he pays, since it is hidden in goods and services. As Paul Harvey stated: “Only people pay taxes,” concerning the fact that liberals call for the tax burden to be paid by corporations when in actuality consumers still pay the price.
One begins to realize what this means when one discovers there are: 151 taxes on bread. KH) taxes on eggs. HH on one suit, 150 taxes on a woman's hat, HIH) 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 inflation tax of about IO percent per year and you see why “taxation without representation" 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 Federal 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 resulted in Webster’s definition which said: “Politicians cause inflation by spending deficit dollars, for which you pay a 'hidden tax’ in the resulting rive of your cost of living."
There is a solution: lower taxes through less government. It is the current theme of the John Birch Society, and Americans had better listen
Harry L. ( ole 3832 Da lew nod avenue SEUNICEF's merit
To the Editor
I want to express thanks for Katherine KoUman's wonderful letter in the Nov. IO Gazette Many of us have staved loyal to the I N and to UNICEF in spite of recent derogatory letters.
Many citizens appreciate Kathryn s years of dedication to the UN, and I'm sure her letter 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 things and some bad things are happening these days in the field of race relations This month's elections offered heartening evidence of the giM>d. A new little book by George Roche provides maddening evidence of the bad
The good news has to do with the election of blacks to public office. Year by year, the old walls of prejudice are tumbling down. The voting rights acts of 19H5 and 1970 gave the walls a push. but sih tai and political forces would have toppled them anyhow. Blacks are registering and voting today in about the same percentages as whites; and black candidates are winning
The 94th congress will see 17 blacks in the house of representatives, among them Harold Ford of Memphis Nov. H must have marked a great day iii the Ford household one son to congress, one to the Tennessee senate, one to the Tennessee house Blacks won l l seats in the Alabama house*. 20 in the Georgia house. 13 in the lower chandler of South ( arolma
By one estimate, blacks won 72 percent of the races in which they ran in the South Blacks will serve as lieutenant governors in Colorado and California From coast to coast, they won on their merits, in free and fair elections. As time gi**s on. under the same rules that apply to everyone else, they will continue to win on their merits
To the latter-day Jacobins in charge of “civil rights," such evolutionary change is not enough. These* misguided
James J. Kilpatrick
crusaders are attempting to impose upon higher education what is known as “affirmative action." A more disastrously negative program could not Im* contrived.
Dr Roche, president of Hillsdale college in Michigan, exposes this evil in “The Balancing Act ', just published bv the Open Court publishing company of I,a Salle, III. In the field of education, a field marked more by timidity than by boldness, Dr Roche speaks with rare candor and c ourage. He can afford to Im* courageous: His small college accepts not one clime of federal subsidy, so threats to withhold federal money hold no terrors for him
This is not true cif his colleagues Most of our institutions have become desperately dependent upon federal aid of one kind or another, and these institutions are discovering an elemental truth Federal aid means federal control The control is taking the form of demands from Washington that the colleges meet certain “goals in the hiring and promotion of women and minority fac ulty mem leers
An egalitarian dream has become an educational nightmare. Civil rights officials insist that a “goal" is not a “quota," but that insistence, in the kindest possible word, is a lie. Those who believe this invidious scheme does not demand racial quotas will believe the moon is made of green cheese When the* euphemisms are stripped away, demands for “affirmative action” mean that college administrators must hire women, blacks. Spanish Americans, or Orientals regardless of their qualifications.
Dr. Roche quotes from ads placed by leading institutions in professional lournals: “We desire to appoint a blac k or Chicano, preferably female . . .” “Our doctoral requirements for fac ulty will Ik* waived for candidates who qualify under the affirmative action criteria ...” A faculty candidate, writing for a job, gets a blunt letter in reply. “It will be possible for Ale to contact you for a position only in the event you are black ”
As Dr. Roche points out, this degrading scheme is especially cruel to those women and blacks who are in fact qualified for faculty positions. It always will be wondered if they made It on merit
The reverse* discrimination understandably embitters white male candidates. The scheme paralyzes college administrators who see their integrity prostituted for federal dollars. And all this is being done, mind you, in the holy name of “civil rights,” A better description as Dr Roc he makes clear, is civil wrongs.
Washington Mor Syn<|ttoU
Byf Rowland Evans arwd Robert Novak
WASHINGTON - Behind the outrageously overblown slurs on American Jews by Gen George Brown is sober. well-justified concern at the Pentagon over the drain of ever more costly military aid to Israel at a time of growing congressional resistance to defense spending.
Accordingly, the grneral s blunt warning at Duke universuty last month that Israels influence in the U. S. congress is “so strong yow wouldn t believe it” has a solid foundation. Leaving aside his gratuitous, untrue and grossly offensive crack about American Jews owning “the banks in this country, the newspapers,” Brown’s warning about Israel’s control over U. S.*. congress is reflected in the vast transfer of scarce military supplies to Israel.
Pentagon concern reached a peak just after the $2.2 billion ll. «S. airlift of desperately needed military equipment to Israel during and after the fourth Arab-Israeli war in October, IOT
One result of that resupply line for Israel is this shocking fact: Igite model M HH tanks airlifted out of U. tv military depots in West Germany and* flown to the Mideast battlefield have still not been replaced in the American .arsenal a full year later. ^
All told, some WHI American tanks — both \l-60s and M-48s - were dished to Israel. That was almost IO percent of the entire American tank force* With a production line running then at a mere 3ft a month, thanks to congressionally* imposed budget restraints, thaL drawdown of the American arsenal to aid Israel ate up nearly two years of capacity.production
Potentially more damaging far the U. S. was the airlift of nearly onohalf the entire supply of the highly sophisticated TOW anti-tank missile, the famous wire-guided tank killer. Although precise numbers are shrouded in military secrecy, it is known thai approximately KHI of these miracle mis-sile-launchcrs were rushed to Israel.
Highly qualified military officials told us privately that this drain of the newest U. S. anti-tank weapon threatened “training problems" in the U. S. army by causing shortages of the missile launcher. But when we asked for an official statement on the alleged sh<rt-fall, the Pentagon's official spokesman hedged. He said only there had been “no apparent adverse impact on individual training conducted by our artily schools . . . that we can tie directly to the sending of TOW systems to Israel last year.” *
There are other examples of the dangerous drawdown of American military capabilities forced on the Pen-tagon by the October war. For instance, the air force today is short of the small percentage of F-4 fighter aircraft — the mainstay of Israel’s air force — that is equipped with extremely costly electronic counter measures (ECM). "A high percentage of the very small number of these aircraft we had went to Israel.” a Pentagon official told us.
Bv far the most dangerous shortfall is the M-Hft tank. The army is now desperately trying to boost production to KH) a month from the present rate of 4ft (up from 3ft a year ago) but cannot find suppliers of turrets. The army has not yet replenished the tanks flown out of Germany to Israel It was 2,(HH) tanks short when the Israelis made their October-war demand The army’s tank arsenal is so depleted that M-Hfts 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 influence in American politics, going beyond military aid. Israel’s political allies here so dominate the debate over the Middle Fast 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
states. It is a little-known fact that air force pilots today are restricted to extremely short flight-time to conserve fuel. Likewise, the navy's “steaming days for front line warships have been drastically reduced
AII this lay behind Brown s hamhanded assault on the power of the
American Jewish community, (juite apart from the general's inexcusable rhetoric, the Pentagon views the Middle East rn terms of long-range U. S strategic interests — a view that does not always parallel those* of Israel
Pubti»h#r* Holt Syndic OU