THE TEXAS OBSERVER 70.41We& FUTURA PRESS. Professors Ask The Governor’s Race Wrort9 2YreciionJ ? Observer Notebook “We are deeply disturbed by current developments in the field of civil defense. It appears to us that the prodigious energy of our people is being channeled into wrong directions for wrong reasons ; and that continuation of this trend may be extremely dangerous to the nation and to civilization itself.” So began a large advertisement entitled “An Open Letter to President Kennedy” in the November 10 issue of the New York Times. It was signed and paid for individually by 180 faculty members at Boston University, Brandeis, Harvard, MIT, and Tufts. Of the 180, 23 are physicists, 21 biologists, 8 biochemists, and 7 professors of medicine. We think their message is a sufficiently sane and realistic differing view from the almost diabolically sanguine “interpretations” now flooding the Texas press to warrant reprinting here in part : . . The nation has not yet faced up to the real dangers of thermonuclear war. We believe that most of our people do not understand what the world would look like the day after an attack or what problems would be involved in recovering from a war which killed, injured, poisoned, and destroyed on such a large scale. Many of those who do understand have found the prospect too awful and have therefore put the idea from their minds. “We are aware that our government is trying to deal realistically with the problem of war or peace. Unfortunately, however, government encouragement of shelter construction, as interpreted by the popular press, some local CD officials, and would-be shelter manufacturers, has led to a cruel deception of the people with respect to the protection which would be afforded, especially by individual fallout shelters. These shelters might be adequate in a ‘minor’ atomic war, as could have started in 1950. Such a conservative program has little relevance to the type of large scale attack which might be anticipated in 1962 . . . “The principal danger of the present program is the false sense of security engendered. It is much like a quack cure for cancer. If we are lucky, the ‘treatment’ may not kill us, but in the meantime, while the cancer is growing and becotning incurable, we fail to go to a reputable physician for sensible treatment. By buying a shelter program which does not shelter, and thereby believing that we can survive a thermonuclear war, we are increasing the probability of war. This probability increases both because we may be more willing to ‘go to the brink’ if we think survival is possible and _because we are less likely to devise and take any of the constructive steps which may ease tension and secure the peace. “We recognize that many sincere people support the present civil defense program for what they believe are good reasons. Space is too short to discuss these at length, but we have examined them at length and believe they are wrong. “For example, it is said that civil defense is a deterrent. If it really protected us to the extent necessary for survival it might be; but at present its only deterrent value lies in the demonstration to the Soviet Union that we expect to have a war. Even on this point, it might in fact be argued that this is more likely to precipitate a pre-emptive attack than to deter one .. . “We have not touched on the moral issues of the shelter programthe question of whether it is right to plan on ‘losing’ our cities and the people in them when decisions of war and peace are made, the question of defending private shelters against intruders, the question of abandoning millions of Injured outside while the rest of us hide underground, the question of shelters for the wealthy vs. shelters for the poor or the apartment dweller, the question of the long-term effect of shelter psychology on the values of a democratic societythese are important issues as well. “We have dwelt here primarily with the more pressing questions of the adequacy of civil defense and its effect on war and peace. A moral code does not exist in a vacuum. If we lose the structure of society we cannot hope to keep our moral values. ,… The American people are capable of great effort and sacrifice. We believe this effort should be directed toward a positive program for peace with freedom. This is bound to be at least as difficult and time consuming as any preparation for war, and will require the highest type of leadership for success. At the present the nation is not ready to consider such a program, largely because of widespread lack of understanding of just how catastrophic war today would be. We call on you, Mr. President, to make this plain and then to lead the nation forward on a race towards peace.” Defending Smith WASHINGTON If Howard K. Smith were Jack Paar I have no doubt the hue and cry over attempts to restrict his freedom of expression on the air would be page one news across the country. If Smith were Fulton Lewis Jr. I am sure some society would champion his cause. Or if he were a broadcaster who lived behind the Iron Curtain and sought freedom over here there would be articles in all the news magazines. There would be receptions in his honor and we would all admire his desire to speak his mind. Unfortunately for Howard K. Smith he is none of these. Instead he is simply a competent, clear-headed, qualified, soft-spoken CBS news analyst who brings to his audience more than 20 years’ background in writing, interpreting and reporting world affairs. He is probably most recently remembered for his exceptional TV interview with Walter Lippmann. Smith has long fought for freedom of expression for others, and he practices what he preaches. His present difficulty with CBS stems from a view that a commentator may not express personal judgment nor make personal assessment of the conditions he describes. THERE IS a basic issue at stake here, one which the heads of the network may not have fully considered. The Smith case is one of censorship, possibly resulting from outside pressures. There were complaints after his vivid portrayal of what he considered brutal mistreatment of the Freedom Riders in Birmingham. Smith himself is a Southerner, so his comments may have stung more. The irony in the Smith case is that it comes at a moment when all the networks are engaged in a battle with Newton Minow, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. When Minow described television as a vast wasteland and suggested improvement, the broadcasters raised the cry of “censorship.” They expressed fear of government rules and regulations. The television and radio industry needs men with free and creative spir itsjust as the press does, or the the ater, or the arts. No one questions the networks’ right to hire or fire anyone. But one may question their judgment. ROBERT G. SPIVACK Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. NOVEMBER 17, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor conservative appropriations committees managed to keep the system a jump ahead of the crime boom which invariably is the offspring of a society moving toward urbanization from its rural moorings. The prisons remained crowded, but year after year he got the buildings to stay ahead. Fighting his committee-room wars with the legislature, he modernized and made more human the whole code of penology in Texas. He had no patience with the abuse of prisoners; his faith was unshakable that fairness with an inmate brought results much more often than failure. “You can’t run a prison system from a desk,” he said, and he travelled thousands of miles every month keeping in touch with far-flung units. Those close to him knew him to be an opponent of capital punishment, although as a prison official he would not say so publicly. In a state gradually breaking away from outmoded patterns of social responsibility, but still far too sluggish in its views of social ills and failures, Ellis’ gruff and emphatic voice was a voice of sanity. It was a voice of the Texas future. UNFORTUNATELY and possibly unfairly, Texans nevertheless unquestionably have a reputation in other states for being quaint blowhards. The Texas Education Agency has contributed to that reputation in recent weeks by encouraging and even favoring the public utterances of the Texans for America, whose spokesman; J. Evetts Haley \(czar of the loyal vic,0015 hi Is , o t , N.0VES 4741 ,1,. 4’0? %_0V4 t$41& s and commented uponnot, needless to say, quite sympatheticallyby two magazines of national circulation \(Publishers Weekly and Saturday Reas the Chicago Sun-Times. Some may consider such sophisticated judgments damaging to the cause of education in our state ; or, infinitely more important when touched by the vernacular of 93 percent of the legislature, it “ain’t encouraging for new industry coming into Texas.” THE INDICATIONS are getting stronger every day that Navy Secretary John Connally will run for governor. It is not clear at this stage just how active a hand Vice-President Johnson is playing in getting his longtime protege into the race, but let there be no doubts on this point : if Connally does get into it, he will have Johnson’s vigorous behind-the-scenes support. Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas. In a somewhat confusing and unsettling political situation, the crucial question concerns Cong. Jim Wright’s candidacy. Will he get into the same race with Connally, who is also from Fort Worth and who could be expected . to draw upon some of the same middle-road support Wright would count upon? It is this writer’s firm opinion, after considerable thought, that liberals in this state should throw their full weight behind Wright, the sooner now the better. Much of his voting record as a congressman has been distasteful to us, true ; there is reluctance among a number of our associates to endorse him except under almost emergency conditions. But we are no longer in the Texas political arena of the ‘fifties, when the bedrock issues were all dabbed in blacks and whites. Times have changed ; a liberal-moderate coalition might very well control both houses of the state legislature in ’62; many important state issues have blended into imperfect greys ; for the benefit of tragically neglected state services the time has come to cash in on our advances. Wright has a keen understanding of the pressing issues in state government. He is able, forceful, and intelligent. We believe he would make an outstanding governor, willing to tackle that vast backlog of social ills which have been accumulating in Texas since the administration of Jimmie Allred. There is not a man who has been mentioned, Connally included, who could outpoll him in the primary, or in the general election. There are times, most times, when men of liberal conscience must stand wholly and inflexibly on principle. There are other times when, with all the factors weighed and the political risks computed, it can be self-defeating and even foolish to fail to see one’s significance in the total power equation of politics. This, we feel, is one of those times. We hope Wright will announce. If, however, Wright chooses not to run, and the Democratic field is left to the Wilsons and Connallys and possibly the Daniels, the best and strongest route should be to go with a tried and tested liberal, perhaps Don Yarborough of Houston. Yarborough is ideally suited for the lieutenant-governor’s race, where he ran superbly against Ben Ramsey in 1960. He has been running ever since ; he is the one politician in the statewide field who has been using the sales tax, the hottest issue in Texas since Lightcrust Flour, to good advantage. But if the gubernatorial lists lack a moderate of Wright’s promise, the liberals of this state should make it perfectly plain that they will not passively and perfunctorily endorse a man with a mere “image”, condoned in certain Washington quarters, who will offer the same old theme wtih the same bland and meaningless variations. * WITH ALL the wisdom borne of grassroots political expediency, the appointed wards of the University of Texas once again ignored the groundswell of faculty and student protest, continued by a narrow and unyielding conservatism to fan a campus crisis that could burst out at almost any moment into a modern variant of the Rainey episode, and chose to court legal force rather than to confront as wise and courageous trustees should the realities of the times. At a meeting of the Student Party last week, Dr. Douglas Morgan, pro fessor of philosophy, made these “per sonal and wholly unofficial” remarks : “. .. A university is not essentially a nursery school for delayed adolescents, a vocational training school, a football factory, a game preserve for hunting husbands or wives, or an asylum where docile young people can be peacefully aged until they are mellow enough to be safely decanted .. . “It is understandably but mistakenly supposed by certain citizens of Texas that, having brought the University of Texas into being, and remaining its principal \(but not exclu
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