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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Commencement Address at Proctor Academy
    our society English journalist Peter Jenkins has already observed america s apparent unconcern with commercial mendacity in advertising lying seems to be considered fair game And early this month the New York Times published a profile of someone involved in Watergate who a few years ago could have been almost anyone of you Hugh Sloan was the Treasurer of the Committee to Re Elect the President He is in his early 30s a graduate of Hotchkiss and Princeton a husband a father and now a successful businessman He says of his experience in the white house There was no independent sense of morality there I mean if you worked for someone he was God and whatever he said you did Hugh Sloan tried to tell the truth about Watergate Now he is gone from Washington and from politics and glad of it In his words I learned one thing in politics if you go into it for a career sooner or later you have to compromise You either compromise or get out It just sooner or later takes the edge off your values How tragic it is that a young man feels he must choose between his integrity and public affairs How far we have fallen from the time when John Kennedy told us and taught us to believe that politics is the best means of service for our country If you believe that it is instead a dirty business as Hugh Sloan apparently does then Watergate is perhaps less relevant to you though no less threatening for the security of every citizen depends upon the rule of law over all citizens If the government commits crimes if public officials break and enter and spy on innocent people then no one is safe in politics or outside of it But I hope that you will not stand outside that you will participate in some way in politics not despite Watergate but because of it because you believe that politics need not be as bad as some politicians have tried to make it There are others who have made it a worthy and honest profession Robert Taft and Harry Truman Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson as politicians they sometimes disagreed about policy but like most political leaders in both parties they kept a common commitment to a politics of civility and decency And that has been my experience Never once as Director of the Peace Corps or the War on Poverty or as George McGovern s running mate in 1972 was I ordered or asked to do something that in Mr Sloan s words took the edge off my values All presidents and all candidates have made mistakes but in the past they have been mistakes not crimes Politics should not be a war of tricks and sabotage it should be a place of peaceful co existence among fellow citizens a process of reasoned persuasion a competition of ideas and dreams That is what it once was and that is what

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/commencement-address-at-proctor-academy (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the Democratic Women's Club
    prices and blamed housewives for people eating too much On Tuesday the Secretary of Labor suggested that maybe we should all start growing Victory gardens On Wednesday the price board said people should stop eating meat On Thursday the Secretary of the Treasury announced another devaluation of the dollar On Friday the chief economic advisor said interest rates will have to go up On Saturday another of the boys said we may have to ration gasoline On Sunday Nixon reported that the hour of crisis had passed And then he rested Perhaps as disturbing as the lack of moral leadership on the part of this administration is its conscious deliberate painstaking well programmed striving for mediocrity Ralph Barton Perry said society must maintain an express insistence upon quality and distinction When it does not we leave ourselves open to the tyranny of the lowest common denominator That has been the tone the style of this administration John Gardner observed that the ideas for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goals we set for ourselves is an amiable mediocrity Mr Nixon s appointments to high office have been by and large disappointments His cabinet is a gray faceless lot brought on board as mere caretakers of agencies that have ceased to serve the vital needs of people to provide the cutting edge to mounting problems of inflation crime and poverty When I was director of OEO we were getting the best brains in this country to work for us for an idea to innovate to create to solve problems that had never been tackled before These were not faceless bureaucrats content to preside over feasibility studies They were men and women superior in quality who responded to a challenge demanding their best effort Most of them gave up secure and important positions to join the program Let me name just a few of them Glenn Olds who headed the task force on VISTA came from the Presidency of Springfield College and is now the President of Kent State University Verne Alden came from the Presidency of Ohio University to lead the task force on the Job Corps he is now President of the multi billion dollar Boston Company Otis Singletary who was Director of the Job Corps came from the President s office at the University of Texas and is now the President of the University of Kentucky Ted Berry who ran Community Action gave up a successful private law practice and is now Mayor of Cincinnati Clinton Bamburger who left private law practice to be the first director of Legal Services is now Dean of Catholic University s School of Law Dr Julius Richmond left the Deanship of Syracuse Medical School to direct Head Start he is now Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard University Dr Joseph Kershaw resigned as Provost of Williams College to inaugurate OEO s budgeting and evaluation office And the list could go on and on It could include a Republican Attorney

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-democratic-womens-club (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Commencement Address at Stoneridge School
    than for others that have gone before You are living in a world almost without certitudes So many of the moral values that were unquestioned a short time ago are virtually unheeded in your time How different how much less clear things seem in 1973 than they did to the Stoneridge class of 1953 They were sure of what it meant to be a catholic there were no bitter debates in the church then They were sure of what it meant to be an American there were no young men who thought it was right to resist the draft Twenty years ago if a prominent catholic married outside the Church it was a public scandal Now when Father Berrigan and Sister McAllister reveal that they have been married secretly since 1969 there is hardly a passing stir Twenty years ago abortion was a shameful crime Today it is a constitutional right and a Nobel laureate in medicine has proposed that we permit infanticide until the third day of a child s life Twenty years ago business as a profession had the respect of most Americans Today when the press reports a 2 billion fraud in the equity corporation many Americans simply accept it because that is all they expect of business Twenty years ago the country trusted the president despite our difficulties Today the country wonders and worries whether Watergate is the real way of all politics Many of these things are very bad They represent not merely a material but a moral crisis But not all the changes in perception and action which we are witnessing are all bad As the philosopher wrote long ago the unexamined life is not worth living In my view it was good that a majority of our people examined the Vietnam War and finally found it not worth fighting It was good that Pope John examined the Church and found it worth renewing It was good that we examined discrimination and found it worth defeating But the danger in this is that we will disdain every practice and principle of the past what is essential as well as what is evil that as we change what is wrong we may betray what is right Already we are perilously close to a world in which everything is believable and nothing is true That is what makes hard the moral choices you must make In our society doing your own thing more and more seems to mean that you can do anything But it also means that there is a special challenge in doing the right thing When others ridicule your values when the pressure mounts to live by their standards instead of your conscience then keeping and witnessing to the truth is even more precious As Christ told the doubting Thomas Blessed are those who have not seen but still believe And in these days blessed are those who lack the comfort of agreement from everyone around them but still have the courage to

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/commencement-address-at-stoneridge-school (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Speech at Yale 35th Class Reunion
    afternoon and of course all the talk there is about Watergate Incidentally I was asked to read the class a telegram from Washington Congratulations on your reunion Thirty five years is a long time Sincerely yours G Gordon Liddy By the way did you notice that there are no minorities involved in the Watergate scandal no blacks no women no one under 30 no one with long hair no Yale men I mean Yale persons On the other hand at one point when all that money was missing I did think that someone at the Committee to Re Elect the President was trying to pay his son s way through Yale I also thought it was appropriate that after the Watergate scandal broke when they had to find someone to pick up the garbage they hired Archie Cox and Elliott Richardson two Harvard men These days Washington is filled with speculation about impeachment and resignation But I doubt it will happen As Will Rogers once said On account of us being a democracy and run by the people we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government for four years no matter how bad it is Now I have the privilege to make a serious and important announcement Our class officers have worked very hard and tonight we can announce our class gift Harvard has the Kennedy School of Government but we all know that s a center of eastern establishment liberalism So here at Yale the Class of 1938 is establishing the Richard M Nixon Institute of Politics Actually the major donors want to remain anonymous But Kingman Brewster can pick up the contributions at the New Haven railroad station in locker 5 where there are those black bags filled with cash The Nixon institute already has a curriculum and a faculty The schedule looks like this funny money Maurice Stands elementary wiretapping Anthony Ulasewicz advanced wiretapping James McCord document duplication John Dean advanced amnesia Sally Harmony simple perjury and advanced perjury instructors to be announced There will also be a core course for all students taught by John Erhlichmann and H R Haldemann every thing you always wanted to know about politics but were afraid to ask Like the library the Nixon Institute will be located underground It will have two wings the Rebozo Wing and the Ablanalp Wing Students will be able to enter at any time because the doors will be taped But all Visitors will be required to wear rubber gloves And all students will be asked to read David Halberstam s new book about this administration The Worst and the Dumbest The Nixon institute will also have its own song Boodle Boodle Best of all the president has agreed to speak at the opening of the Institute As he enters the room the band will strike up Bail to the Chief But Mr Nixon did win the election As Abraham Lincoln warned you can t fool all the people

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/speech-at-yale-35th-class-reunion (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address to the National Conference of Catholic Charities
    is told humbug everyone does it Americans see that we no longer have men in office like Jefferson Lincoln Roosevelt Truman Kennedy or Eisenhower Moral midgets have replaced moral giants in Washington strikes most Americans as disgraceful Why does an Attorney General of the United States need help to tell the truth Only one thing can make Americans feel good again there s only one thing capable of helping Hugh Sloan get over feeling lousy and that is reworking the reconstruction if needs be of an ethical foundation for American democracy I know this cannot be done in one day one year or one decide it cannot be done by one person or one church I know that many believe ethics should play only a secondary role in the great decisions of government But I say that the survival of the American dream demands revival of American ethics National survival is infinitely more important than the personal survival of the Presidency of a man who has contributed so much to the moral morass we are wallowing in Survival in office appears to be more important than survival for our system Would that Henry Clay were alive I d rather be right than president said Henry Clay That s the ethical spirit we must recapture if we are to survive as a nation We all know the adage that morality has not place in foreign policy Indeed we hear many government officials praised for their cold pragmatic hard headed amoral approach We are told that our policy in Bangladesh was effective diplomacy We should not mind that millions paid for our diplomacy with their lives Perhaps this attitude had its origin in the belief only a few years ago that God was dead that only the problems left are technical or technological that ours was a period for equations and cost accounting scientific rationality and social planning based on economics Well there is more in this world than was ever dreamed of at the Harvard Business School Richard Nixon Caspar Weinberger Roy Ash and their technocrats may be the world s greatest administrators but Americans will never feel good again until their leaders are good men again We need to hear once more in this land those unforgettable words Here on earth God s work must truly be our own Vietnam is the most obvious and painful example of what happens when technicians with their special skills make the final decisions without any help from moralists or without any attention to ethical and human values or without consulting the people The policy sciences created the bloodless idiom in which the issues of war and peace were debated and decided Facts were fed to computers Computers responded with the answer of machines But no one questioned the faith that led us to Indochina The Pentagon provided body counts but there was no accounting for our national soul Our leaders asked how much will it cost how long will it take how many

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-the-national-conference-of-catholic-charities (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Statement Upon the Resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew
    be one of the saddest days in the history of America Sorrow for all who patriotically placed their trust in the man who was Vice President sorrow for all who have looked upon the offices of the President and Vice President as positions almost beyond criticism sorrow for all our people especially the young who deserve so much better leadership than they have been given But it is no time now to replace this man precipitously with another person principally chosen by the same man whose judgment in the selection of his closest associates raises so many doubts Our nation needs moral integrity not political acceptability in this high office Let s give the people a chance to think let s give Congress a chance to reflect upon its special and unprecedented responsibilities in this matter For in this situation our Senators and Congressmen are surrogates for 250 million Americans and they must not proceed as if they were merely confirming a Cabinet officer Ambassador or even a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Finally let s all take time out to pray that our new choice for this position will be a national choice Previous Speech Address to the

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/statement-upon-the-resignation-of-vice-president-spiro-agnew (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the University of Pittsburgh
    of Johnstown men lost their lives for Bethlehem steel In the old days before there were unions men wore clothes that would burst into flames if they we too near the heat Many workers fell into the molten steel were roasted to death Practically every old man who worked in the mill can tell you stories of whose hands were caught in broken machinery or who were hit by flying chaff Some of the bitterest strikes in the entire world took peace in Pennsylvania many of them in Johnstown In the great strike of 1936 union men were tarred and feathered Company police and mounted troopers beat workers on the head with stanchions Probably relatives of yours can tell you vivid stories of what happened here in those days Your grandparents or great grandparents came to these beautiful valleys in Pennsylvania to find the American dream to escape the poverty of Europe to find peace and dignity and a chance to work for themselves Suppose your grandparents came here in 1900 73 years later what have you to show for it You are much better off than they were Many of you have cars there are rows of cars on the parking lots You are here at school Some of you are the first people in the entire history of your family to attend college But do you yet control your own destiny Do you and your families decide when there will be peace and war When there will be boom or bust When Bethlehem steel will hire or fire Did you and your families decide to send young men to Vietnam Or do you and your families just sit there and take it passively waiting for things to happen letting other people decide people outside Johnstown far away If you are like most other Americans in most other Americans you feel helpless and frustrated I used to be head of the Peace Corps We sent young volunteers all around the world to help others help themselves Peace corpsman would build schools or teach or open clinics or dig latrines do whatever was needed People in the meanest huts and poorest villages of this planet worked with representatives of a foreign government who really cared Today Washington is almost a foreign government In Washington they don t seem to care about the people of Johnstown let alone the people of India If I were going to start the Peace Corps today I wouldn t send everybody to Nigeria or Turkey or Indonesia I would also try to find young people in Johnstown who want to work for Johnstown I would tell them to stay at home For here at home is where we need evidence that somebody cares Just look around in Johnstown and Portage and South Fork and all the outlying towns You see real poverty here You see homes in need of paint old people in need of medicine young people in need of jobs with a future

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-university-of-pittsburgh (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the Wake Forest University Carlyle Lecture
    his office as a sacred trust He chose men to run it who were not politicians but men of superb ability and passionate commitment to law Byron White Nick Katzenbach Burke Marshall a Lou Oberdorfer a John Douglas a Bill Orrick a Lee Loevinger and others of similar caliber But John Mitchell made the Department of Justice into campaign headquarters Six out of the seven top department officials were politicians and their caliber and morals were deficient They included A Deputy Attorney General who admitted that he received a bribe offer from one Robert Carson which he failed to report at the time allegedly because he did not recognize the offer as a bribe This man later became Attorney General then had to resign and may soon be indicted An Assistant Attorney General in charge of the sensitive criminal division who resigned under pressure when it was revealed that he was heavily in debt to the central figure in a major Texas bank scandal An Assistant Attorney General in charge of the civil division who was tied to the defendant in the Watergate burglary and bugging and is suspected of massive destruction of campaign financial records A Director of the F B I who admitted to the destruction of legal documents and to falsehood under oath With such men at the helm of Justice it is not surprising that politics courses through the Department the examples abound An antitrust suit against the Warner Lambert corporation is suppressed contrary to staff recommendations the head of the company is Elmer Bobst Mr Nixon s adopted father Dubious price rulings favor Combined Insurance Company of Chicago The head of that company a friend of Mr Nixon s contributed about a half million dollars The dereliction of a U S Attorney in San Diego is ignored despite Mr Kleindienst conceding that a shocking breach of trust had taken place In this way the very Department of our government which above all others should be free of taint scrupulous in its fairness and dedicated to principle has been subverted There is much more to deplore in the Department s conduct The Department should not be politically dominated but it also should not be a Department which recommends incompetents for the Supreme Court plus numerous others judged unqualified by the American Bar Association whose recommendations for federal judgeships abound with mediocrities and worse which engages in massive arrests of peaceful protestors without cause and in flagrant violation of constitutional rights which fails to enjoin widespread violations of voters rights in Alabama and Mississippi which condones political attempts to undercut legal services for the poor All of these are forms of injustice All of these dishonor the very name the Department bears I have told you what the Department of Justice should not do Let me tell you what it should do Our country and our people deserve a new and genuine Ministry of Justice A Ministry of Justice which sees as its responsibility the expansion of justice for all of our citizenry which perceives its task to confront injustice wherever it is found I have a vision of a Ministry of Justice which opposes private lawlessness by a slum landlord and official lawlessness by a General Lavelle who bombs cities against orders and doesn t even receive a court martial I have a vision of a Ministry which chooses civil rights and liberties over suppression of dissent A ministry in which the guarantee of justice to every American is regarded as a pervading continuing mission As I conceive the role of the Department it should have two Deputy Attorneys General one would be in charge of the traditional law enforcement activities the other would head a new office charged with the duty of expanding justice for our citizens The expansion of justice encompasses many possibilities It means for example that the Department s duty would be to seek out new means to confront the sources of injustice in our nation Health authorities spend huge sums to search for new discoveries to eradicate disease The Department of Defense spends 8 2 billion annually to develop new capacities for killing people Yet when it comes to creating new methods for combatting injustice our expenditures are frugal and minimal to improve justice for our people we spend a mere 26 million dollars per annum less than 1 2 of 1 of the amount spent to improve our capacity to kill our enemies Yet there is an enormous potential to improve our system of justice A nation that can devise vehicles that travel faster than the speed of sound can devise means to speed trials A nation which can launch communication satellites in space should be able to find ways to teach citizens their legal rights A nation which can devise complex multimillion dollar computer systems should be able to devise systems to prevent arbitrary denials of benefits and cumbersome procedures when citizens seek to exercise their rights We are advocates of preventive medicine but what of preventive justice Why should we know so little about how criminal tendencies develop about what stimulates acts of violence about what causes recidivism We are only at the frontiers of knowledge about preventive justice when we should be well within the gates The Department of Justice should be taking the lead in these endeavors It should be creating and stimulating new ideas It should be encouraging scholarship and research It should be the nation s catalyst in the quest for justice This is part of what I mean by an expanding vision of justice Some time ago I proposed the creation of a National Institute of Justice devoted to the improvement of our entire legal system the coordination of legal research and long range planning needed revision of our system of legal education the reform of criminal and correctional systems the development of new techniques in neighborhood courts citizen mediation panels arbitration techniques and other methods of bringing justice close to the people

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-wake-forest-university-carlyle-lecture (2015-03-27)
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