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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 7, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Editorial Page Monday, Jcjmtory 7, 1974 'The readout on the calculator says 'see the pages for the closest poor house'" V Absolute corruption Legislative time-saver IOWA ATTORNEY General Turner ruled recently that it is constitutional for the state legislature to pass noncontrover- sial bills in a bundle rather than to vote on each bill separately, as is the present custom. We hope the legislature takes note and runs with it. Voting by the bundle would result in con- siderable saving not only of time but of money and energy as well, since the house voting machine would be used less frequently. At first glance, the public might disagree with the ruling. But once the public became aware how dif- ficult it is for a bill to attain "non-con" status, which virtually assures its passage, it probably would accept the ruling. The senate and house follow different rules with respect to their non-con calendars. In the senate, any member may propose a bill for the weekly non-con calendar. If it is approved by the majority and minority leaders, it goes on that calendar. But if any other member of the senate ob- jects to a bill within 24 hours after the calendar appears, that bill must be removed from the calendar and' no longer carries non-con status. In the house, five members must object to knock a bill off of a non-con calendar. But the time limit for filing objections is 48 hours twice that of the senate limit. Once, a bill is firmly established on a non-con calendar, passage is usually by unanimous vole. Since considerable time is required for each vote taken, it is obvious that the legislature could accelerate its pace by voting on all non-con bills at once rather than on each separately. This is one way to speed up legislative procedure without losing anything of value in the process. Amtrak stock soaring BECAUSE Amtrak passengers were socked by a veritable blizzard of holiday discomforts, the semipublic railway is in for a merciless roasting by cartoonists and standup comedians. Despite the frustrating string of delays, breakdowns and other -snafus, however, Amtrak remains a promising energy-crisis an- tidote. A review of attributes is apropos now. Consider first the' fuel savings offered by rail travel: A train's fuel use per mile per passenger is less than half of a small.au- tomobile's consumption. No wonder Amtrak's ridership was climbing 12 percent annually even before the fuel shortage arrived (a 33 percent increase is foreseen for A traveler may have to drive 100 miles or more to reach the nearest railhead, but the ultimate gas savings makes the inconvenience bearable. Then, too, the rail service scores passing grades in travel comfort. Though some holiday travelers thought their ordeal reminiscent of Dr. Zhivago's train ride, Am- trak during saner times offers comfortable chair coaches for all passengers, efficient and clean bedroom facilities and surprisingly reasonable dining. Commendably, the Amtrak people are trying mightily to ex- pand routes and buy up additional cars from sick and folding private companies. Many of the cars are aged clunkers, but in light of Amtrak's erstwhile anemic bud- get, dollars are stretching surprisingly far. Two cheering developments bid to relieve Amtrak's growing pains. First, the Nixon adminis- tration and cool toward rail service up till warmed to train travel. Second, the Interstate Commerce Com- mission has issued regulations aimed at forcing the improvement of all intercity rail passenger ser- vice public and private. The ICC action includes man- dates for nationwide toll-free telephone reservations and infor- mation systems, minimum levels for train-on-time performance and enough seating space to meet "normal demands" of customers seeking reservations. Whether all this adds up to a revolution in travel habits will depend on the fuel shortage's duration, but it's a safe bet that Amtrak will enjoy nearly double the popularity originally en- visioned. That's a pleasant, pros- pect for those of us who remember that trains once excelled at mov- ing people as well as coal, live- stock and brand new cars from Detroit. Isn't It the Truth? By Carl Riblet, jr. Citizens who demand plain-speaking in government stand aghast when they give ear to much of the oratory in the. City ot Lost Content on the banks of the polluted Potomac and they are shocked to learn- that so little logic rises to the surface there. Maybe that's because logic is like the who use it may perish by it. "There is something in the vanity of logic that addles a man's brains." Alien Pttc Inleroceor! press Syndicate By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON Brezhnev versus superb jux- taposition: 1. Leonid Brezhnev's recent speech to the Communist World Congress of Peace Forces in which he proclaimed that Soviet citizens enjoy all the freedoms they need and that they certainly didn't need any Western ones. 2. The explosive new work by the Nobel Prize-winning author, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, detailing the massive repression, terror and murders by the Soviet regime. There couldn't be a clearer, more pointed, more revealing confrontation. In the Soviet Union Brezhnev's words are widely distributed. But what Solzhenit- syn is saying, however heavily suppressed, will get through, and his ideas may well be more listened to. How does Soviet "freedom" work? It's like this: Brezhnev's speech is automatic page 1 in every Soviet newspaper and has been made compulsory reading in the public schools. Solzhenitsyn's shattering work must remain secret, as far as possible, From Roscoe Drummond the Soviet people. The Soviet people are free to know that the Kremlin doesn't like what Solzhenit- syn is saying, but they are not free to know what he is saying. The Soviet press is free to attack Solzhenitsyn but it is not free to publish anything anyone may say in his defense. Soviet citizens are free to applaud what the regime says and does, but they arc not free to read or advance alternative political views. Brezhnev says that Soviet citizens have all the freedoms they need. Solzhenitsyn says that freedom in Russia died at the birth of the communist revolution and his words may be a shot heard round the world. Los Anodes Times Syndicutc People's forum To the Editor: Notwithstanding our increasing population and necessity for expanding our educational facility for the student generation, Iowa is in an economic bind to maintain the present school system. Parochial schools have had to curtail their services, throwing an even greater burden on our public schools. When is Iowa going to get with it and establish a state lottery, perhaps on the plan of the New Jersey state lottery, that could greatly alleviate the economic stress of both public and parochial schools? Only recently our next-door neighbor, Illinois, legalized a state lot- tery. A year ago last November the voters of Iowa, by a 2-to-l majority, expressed their feeling on the matter. But our legislators appear to be weakening to the voices of minority groups opposed to this, although they our legislators were not hired by the minority of the citizens of Iowa. Minority groups opposed to a state lot- tery say, "Naughty, naughty, mustn't seeming to be unaware that even they indulge in gambling, and they would be foolhardy not to. What is auto insurance, fire and wind- storm insurance, farmers' crops (hail .and tornado) insurance, other than a long-shot gamble? The insured place a smaller "bet" on the chance that they may win a-larger return than they had "bet." But instead of truthfully calling that which it certainly is, their conscience is gratified by giving that game the more euphemistic term, J "insurance." The principal difference is that in in- surance one must have bad luck to win, whereas in a lottery one must have good luck to win. Of course, we now have legalized bin- go, but that is extremely-small potatoes, as compared to a state lottery, in sup- porting Iowa's educational system. If a slate lottery should come into be- ing the proceeds from it should be fairly apportioned to both public and parochial schools, inasmuch as parochial property owners contribute taxes to support our public schools. Let's have a state lottery, Insights People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for ffie freedom of thought which they seldom use. Soren Kierkegaard Successor-problem considered Revealing events Soviet ha! By Louis Harris The Harris Survey BY 50 to 36 percent, Americans would favor holding a "special election for President in 1974, if the U. S. supreme court found it was constitutional." By 53 to 37 percent, a majority agrees with the statement that "because public confidence has been so shaken in the White House, a special election for President would clear the air and give the country a new start." It has been suggested that such a special election might be in order if a vice-president not elected by the entire as Gerald to succeed to the presidency. This possibility could become a reali- ty if President Nixon were to resign or were impeached. In that case, Gerald Ford would become President and could ask congress to call a special election if there were judged to be no con- stitutional obstacles. Wide open It is by no means a foregone con- clusion that a Democrat would be elec- ted President in such an election. In recent Harris Survey trial runs for the 1976 election, Vice-president Ford ran slightly ahead of both Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen. Henry Jackson, two of the most frequently mentioned Democratic presidential prospects. At the same time, these identical likely voters gave the Democrats a 22- point lead 53-21 percent, nationwide in contests for congress in 11174. The American people have often ex- pressed reluctance to turn over both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government to the same 'Enemies' most foul By James J. Kilpolrick WASHINGTON -1 have been reflect- .UK on Watergate lately, in the course of closing the files on 1973, anil venture this observation for what it may be worth: In the whole sail list of the bad things that were done, one action stands out as the worst. It was the compiling of the "enemy lists." Granted, that is no easy choice. One has to relegate to a secondary rank such offenses as the bugging itself, the cover- up, the extortion of campaign contribu- tions, the attempted seduction of Judge Byrne, the contemptible devices of Donald Segretti, the presidential approval of a brenk-and-enter careless handling of (he White House of that, and more. Yet my own eye keeps turning back, in a kind of avful fascination, to the memoranda that were prepared by John W. Dean, III, in August of 1971 and again in September of 1972. Some of the other incidents could be explained, if not jus- tified, in terms of over-zealousness, pure panic, human error, perverted taste, or an obsessive anxiety for the national security. The enemies lists can be un- derstood only in terms of corruption. principally to relieve the financial bind on Iowa's educational system. Milton Smith Oelwein Damaging To the Editor: After all the pros and cons on trapping, I thought maybe you would like a farmer's viewpoint. I have lived on Hie. same farm for the past 20 years with a fairly large creek running through it. I feel I have lost about two acres of good land to muskrats by burrowing in the banks. In times of flood this cuts out and goes down the creek Every year I lose between an acre and an acre and a half of corn to muskrats. In 20 years this comes to about As for a raccoon and litter in a haymow, they can be compared with a bunch of hogs, only more destructive. I have seen where they have chewed holes in the sides and roofs of barns, plus taken the paint off where they crawled up the sides. I believe that fox, skunk and. possum are the greatest carriers of disease between farms, because of their diets and the disease they are susceptible to. I think most farmers are willing to put up with them as long as they don't cause too much destruction. But when they become overpopulated and disease takes over, it can become alarming. I almost forgot to mention the damage to tile and drainage systems, which can run into thousands of dollars. II Mary Tyler Moore would send me about a year for time and damage I would promise not to kill or trap another wild animal until I have to.... Leo Saunders Ryan Bv "corruption." I mean to suggest an abuse of office, an arrogance of powe that BOM beyond mere scandal. lli< 'omfpt acts that Dean recommended were so far removed from integrity nr- tue and honor as to shock the conscience. He was proposing a course of action al once vindictive and vile. In those memoranda from this liltlo the stench becomes unbearable. memorandum." Dean wrote to John Ehrlichman on Aug. lb, "addresses the mailer of how we can maximixe the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our administration. Stated a bit more bluntly how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies "After reviewing this matter with a number of jwrsons possessed of expertise in the field, I have concluded that we do not need an elaborate mechanism or game plan; rather we need a good project coordinator and full support for the project. In brief, the system would work as follows: "Key members of the staff. should be requested to inform us as to who they feel we should giving a hard lime. The project coordinator should then deter- mine what sorts of dealings these in- dividuals have with the federal govern- ment and how we can best screw them (e.g., grant availability, federal con- tracts, litigation, prosecution, etc.) A few weeks after that memorandum crept up the line, White House Counsel Charles Colson, catching the contagion, worked up a priority list of 20 enemies. As to Morton Halperin: "A scandal would be most helpful here." As to CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr: "A real media enemy." Dean licked his pencil and wrote down 216 names. A year later, on Sept. 11, 1972, Dean sent to IRS Commissioner Johnnie M. Walters a list of 490 "enemies" of the Nixon administration, with a request that their tax returns be specially audited. One struggles to visualize Dean at his desk. Did the coordinator of the project lick his lips at some especially juicy prospect? Did his fantasies evoke the stammering victims as agents of the IRS began to turn the screws? Did he smile with satisfaction, rub his palms, count the enemies by Hve and tens as he alphabetized their'names? One wants to vomit. It is gratifying, of course, that Walters eventually paid not the slightest attention to Dean's request. There is no'proof whatever that Richard Nixon initiated these lists or knew of their existence. What is so deeply dismaying is that an atmosphere existed, a state of mind existed, some perhaps unspoken under- standing existed, in which this fungus growth could occur. In such a fetid climate, absolute power corrupted ab- solutely. Woshinglort slar Syndicate political party. So a call For a special presidential election by a Republican President at a time when a Democratic congress was also up for re-election would not necessarily prove fatal to his party's chances to maintain control of the White House. Recently, the Harris Survey asked a cross-section of households across the country: "It has been suggested that it might be proper under the Constitution for congress to coll an election for President in 1974. The person elected would serve until the regular election in 1976. If the U. S. supreme court found i) wds consfitutional to have a special election for President in 1974. would you favor or oppose such a By East Midwest South West By Republican Democratic Significantly, voters in every region of the country expressed support for the idea of a special election for President in 1074, although sentiment was strongest on the East and West coasts and weakest In the South. As might he expected, Republicans oppose such a step, but Independent voters, who now hold Iho balance of political power In the country, favor It by a clear percent margin. Much of the public's thinking in support of the special election centers on the uncertainty over whether or not President Nixon will survive the remainder of his term, Framingham, Mass., said, "If Nixon goes out of office, we'll have a man as President who was elected by the congress, not the people. It's better to have another election and clear it all up once and for all." A welder in Ltirain, Ohio, added, "The only way to clean up Watergate is to have another election and let the people decide what direction the country ought to go in." Opposition to such a special presiden- tial election clustered around the reasoning expressed by a business man in Williamsport, Pa., who said, "It is our tradition to hold elections for Presi- dent every four years. We should strict- ly follow the Constitution on such matters." Entitled A Republican office manager in St. Paul, Minn., added, "Nixon was elected for four years and he should finish his term, even if he is having terrible trouble getting people to trust him." To determine national feeling on (iiies- tions surrounding a possible presiden- tial election this year, the cross section was asked: Ols- aoree If a special election were held, the country could then have a new President elecled by the people as he should be....... Because public confidence has been so shaken in the While House, a special election would clear the air and give the country a new start...... Anti Election Our tradition is to have a President serve for four years and that should not be changed. It is not right to have a candidate go through a whole presidential campaign and then sorve only two morn years....... The Rgpublicans won Iho office of President In 1972 and a Republican should be President unlil 1976. 62 28 10 53 35 35 39 13 53 12 "Lot mo road you some slotomonls on calling a 'special oloction for Prosidont in 1974. For oach, loll mo if you lend to ogreo or disagree, (road As systems engineer OH- Hot Agree ouree sure Pro Election Suet) an oloclion for Proildonl would lol Iho pooplo docldo whol dlrocllon Ihoy think Iho country ought to go In and who should load Amorlca 63 25 12 These results make it apparent that the public (eels strongly about the four- year tradition for a presidential term. People do not relish the thought of an off-year contest for the White House although the idea Is not beyond the realm of public acceptance. Confidence has been so shaken In the present incumbent of the White House Ilial, despite Its reluctance, the public is prepared to see such u renfrinniitloii'n'f popular control. Clilcntio I'lliunii-Hw, York Hlm, synillcoln
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