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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wednesday, January 9, 1974 - Page 7

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 9, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Perpetual motion? Editorial Page Wednesday, January 9, 1 Toward a global granary OF ALL the proposals jamming the congressional docket prior to adjournment last month, none holds more promise of universal betterment than a grain reserve bill filed by Iowa's Sen. Dick Clark. The measure would es- tablish domestic reserves of six major grains and feed grains and authorize American participation in formation of universally-ad- ministered grain reserves. To appreciate the need for domestic and global stockpiles of staples and livestock feeds, one need look no farther than banner headlines of the past several years: The notorious Russian wheat deal saw United States tax- payers underwriting bargain- basement grain shipments to Asia. Global food scarcities were co-triggered by population explosions and failure of un- derdeveloped countries to improve their agricultural output. Burgeoning nutritional re- quirements grew from affluence in previously poor nations. Significantly, both the domestic and global sides of the Clark bill are aimed at creating order where confusion now holds sway. Overflow production from boun- tiful days could be held against times of underproduction and shortages. Moreover, stabilization of. livestock feeds would prevent severe meat-price fluctuations. The demonstrably urgent domestic for government reserves of corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, wheat and similar to legislation filed in the house by Iowa Rep. Neal Smith. But the world-reserve proposal is the first ever offered in congress. It thus deserves far more attention than was accorded it during the congressional ses- sion's eleventh hour. At first glance, formation of a global granary seems a moun- tainous task. For one thing, the initial urge among major cereal producing nations is to serve themselves first, then worry about the family of man. For another, the ideologies of the world seem too disparate to allow teamwork of the scope required in the grain- reserve effort. Yet the global food-population crisis shows no other way to go. As Author William Paddock argues in a new book, "What We Don't traditional U.S. aid merely has allowed countries to evade their responsibilities in population control and agricul- tural development. The distinguished.Americans, Britons and Canadians compris- ing the British-North American Committee believe the logical replacement of foreign aid is a food bank insuring against crop failure anywhere in the world. Clearly, congress should make of- ficial this country's identification with that goal. A GOOD friend, who makes it a point to keep track of such things, is convinced'the legisla- ture could make a sizable con- tribution to the effort to save energy by limiting study commit- tee meetings between sessions. His motivation for the little non- energetic study leading to this conclusion came when State Senator Priebe of Algona recently suggested cancellation of December legislative meetings to save energy. It turned out there were hardly any meetings scheduled during the last two weeks of December. But nine were held earlier, in- volving 66 legislators. Our friend's figures show that if each of the 66 legislators involved actually showed up for the meet- ings, the mileage would run at 10 cents per mile for miles traveled. They showed also that if the cars averaged 12 miles per gallon, the gasoline consumed would total gallons. These figures do not include the per day salaries paid to each attending legislator nor the ex- penses paid for meals and lodg- ing. It would be too much, of course, to expect the legislature to eliminate interim study commit- tee meetings completely; there is a real need for some of them. Whether there is a need for all of them is anoth.er question. Still another question is whether the committees might function more efficiently, as well as eco- nomically, if fewer legislators were appointed to each commit- tee. Now that we are experiencing an energy crunch, real or other- wise, these are questions that deserve consideration when the legislature makes plans for studies to be conducted during the interim between the 1974 and 1975 sessions. Raw-resource pools sense latent power By C.L. Sulzberger Possibly the most interesting A shift in world balances this decade will eventually be seen not as the ending of two dominant military blocs and the start of a vaguely perceived pentagonal grouping the United States, Russia, the European community, China and Japan but as the emergence of the nonaligned underdeveloped lands as an effective global force. This is not because of their immense population, once described to me by Algeria's President Houari Boumcdicnnu as "the Third World's atom bomb." H is rather because that inchoate collection of nations possesses certain key raw materials which, if held back, can weaken if not paralyze at least some in- dustrial powers. Oil is but the first and most flamboyant example of what may prove to bo an emergent pattern. Boumedienne told me (February, "Petroleum is in Algerian earth. It must be used for the Algerian national economy and not for the benefit of other, richer lands. All the wealth of the Algerian earth belongs to the people of includes another key energy source natural gas.) Sovereignty People's forum To the Editor; After reading the letter headed "Reasoning" on Jan. 3, and understand- ing the underlying message comparing the Miss Iowa-USA pageant to por- nography, I realized that this must have been written by a member of or sym- pathizer with the Women's Caucus. I find it hard to understand why the Women's Caucus is so bothered by the pageant that someone finds it necessary to attack it in this manner. That type of group is usually the first to call for everyone to "do their own thing." Most girls who enter pageants do so for the experience and fun that are involved. Some obviously are hoping to win scholarships, and I'm sure some are hoping to end up another Bess Myerson, Lee Merriweather or Mary Ann Mobley. Regardless of the reasons each girl has for entering, however, she should be to do so without harassment from the Women's Caucus or anyone else. As a woman I firmly believe that the Women's Caucus is in error when it tries to force its views on other women through harassment, intimidation or any other means, I, too, believe in doing my own thing and do so with the support and en- couragement of my husband and family. I also believe, however, in the rights of others to manage their lives as they see fit with no interference from me. It seems in recent years that manv groups working for the rights of others are using their cause as an excuse to deny us some of the rights we already had. If the Women's Caucus wishes to help the cause of women's rights, there are many areas in which to work constructively. Trying to stop pageants is, in reality, an attempt to deny some girls and women the right to participate in an activity they enjoy, and I consider that to be a des- tructive activity. Mrs. Billy W. Lawson 1617 Sherbrook drive NE tyranny exposed By Don Oakley A SCANDAL like Watergate could never happen in the Soviet and be exposed to an in- dignant public, that is. For one thing, it requires rival political parties. An independent judiciary and legislative branch and a long tradition of adherence to the rule of law are essential ingredients. Not least of all, it demands a free and alert press. None of these things have the Russian people ever enjoyed, either under the czars or the commis- sars. The Kremlin might well wish that a. "Watergate" was all that it had to con- tend with, however. A scandal of such monumental dimensions that the word is a pitifully inadequate label, a scandal long festering beneath the surface of Soviet life, has broken into the open with the publication in Paris of a new book by Nobel laureate Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn. It makes Watergate look like a harmless cabal among kindergartners. The revelations and indictments con- tained in Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago, go beyond those ho has already written about in his other quasi-fictiUouo books based on his 11 years' experience as a political prisoner and exile, such as "One Day in the Life of Ivnn In Ills new book, which may he his Don Oakley crowning life's work, Solzhenitsyn names real names of those involved, both as vicitims and as authorities, In the Gulag- Joseph Stalin's labor camp network. The Kremlin faces a double dilemma: how to prevent the revelations from inevitably filtering back to the Russian public, among whom exist thousands of survivors of Stalin-era terror longing for some kind of justice; and how to punish Solzhenitsyn without arousing an outcry in the outside world and causing repercussions that could adversely affect the U.S.-Soviet detente. It is again to speak in wholly inadequate terms reminiscent of the Pentagon Papers affair in this country. While the Nixon administration had nothing to do with the Initial involvement in Vietnam and the papers held littlo that reflected on it and much that was already on the public record, it felt It necessary to attempt to squelch their publication In the interests of "national and in so doing took extra-legal steps that proved much more disastrous than the publication itself. There, of course, the comparison ends. The present Soviet leaders are the direct heirs of one of the most vicious tryannies the world has ever seen, a tyranny which fed on its own children and, in a genera- lion, consigned millions of people to death, torture or brutal imprisonment. Even though it may have abolished some of the worst aspects of that tyranny, for the Kremlin now to permit its victims to come forward and tell the whole story, to permit trials of the officials involved, some of whom still hold positions of authority, would bo to shake the Soviet Union to itn very foundations. Doubts that some Americans may have about the fundamental justice of their system of government fade Into nothing- ness alongside the implications for Rus- sia in "The Gulag Americans have all kinds of remedies for Watergate, Including the right to throw the rascals out in the next elec- tion, if not sooner. When justice comes to Russia, It will be a terrible thing to behold. And the more It Is repressed, the longer It Is delayed, (he more lerrlblo it will he. rnlcrprlio Ai'.ocloflon Wasting light To the Editor: Sometimes I wonder if there really is a gas, oil and power shortage in our fair city. Every morning our street lights burn until After checking, I find there are several thousand of these lights, and they burn 175-walt bulbs. On a clear day one can accurately read a newspaper at 7 a.m. on the streets. Passing some of our big factories here I found many big lights burning at in the afternoon outside and not a person working or around. Also, many lights burn in front of stores and business places at that hour. What a waste. How many Christmas trees could have been lit up with this waste of power? Perhaps next year our beloved law-makers will try to eliminate Christmas altogether. To me, the whole setup doesn't make sense. Albert Scoville 835 Fourteenth street NE 'LETTERS The Gazette's editorial pugc welcomes readers' opinions, subject to these guidelines: Length limit: 400 words. One letlcr per writer every 30 days. Ail may be condensed and ediled without changing meaning. None published anonymously. Writer's telephone number {not printed) should f follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate. Contents deal more with issues and events than personalities. No poetry. Boumedienne continued: "There must be'increased prices and we must as- sert our ownership the Algerian state, according to international law, has the right to nationalize any foreign conces- sions." The day after our talk he nationalized 51 percent of France's petroleum con- cession. In July, 1972, he predicted in another conversation an energy crisis with the Middle East and North Africa becoming vital to world development. There is little disagreement among the oil states on matter how much they may argue on other matters. The shah of Iran, although poles apart from Boumedienne, told me the last time I saw him (April 14, "The U.N. charter states specifically that all the natural wealth of a country belongs to that country We know our fuel business and we will sell energy from an organization at least as as that which existed before Anyone who has the money can come and buy our product." Since_ last October's Arab-Israeli war, many of the most important petroleum- owning states (outside of North America) have readjusted to the old law of supply and demand and realized they can make more money by withholding oil from the market while enormously boosting the price. This has worked like, a dream, aided by lack of planning in the industrial West and Japan which somehow refused to believe it possible that they could lose eternal'access to cheap fuels owned by other peoples. The shah told me in 1961 that the United States wasn't doing enough to protect its access to oil abroad. He recalled later: "Nobody believed me then. But now your country realizes the importance of this." Petroleum and natural are only part of the picture. New squeezes arc inevitable in ullicr areas. Copper could be next. At last year's Arab summit, President Joseph Mobutu of Zaire addressed the meeting (first non-Arab to do so) and there have since been reports he was offered funds to stockpile copper from and neighboring Zambia. Zaire, Zambia, Chile and Peru are the four largest copper suppliers and, despite ideological arguments, they have all agreed to restrict exports if tho existing favorable price structure threatens tu collapse. Aral) stockpiling of Zaire-Zam- bia copper would probably boost pi-ices. lever This same kind of logic is bound to he applied to other materials. The law of supply and demand can be a handy weapon when properly used. To a large degree, neither the United States nor the Soviet Union (much less China) has been seriously in- convenienced by the first successful at- tempt to apply this law in the instance of petroleum. They have access to largely sufficient stocks of their own and (especially the U.S.) can easily cut down wasteful usage. But the day is coming when the Third World applies more and more political leverage by restricting access to more and more items. This is normal logic. It is high time, therefore that the tech- nically advanced West gets ready to act in unison (as tentatively suggested by Kissinger) to face inevitable difficulties which could further hamper its progress. If this is not done some Western nations face the possibility that a decade or two hence, because of their overloaded social commitments to themselves, they and not the Third World will be the earth's underdeveloped segment. New York Times Service C.L. Sulzberger Isn't It the Truth? By Corl Riblel, jr. National .borders are becoming ob- solete as money changing and petroleum diplomacy create a new breed of trillionaire: a man or consortium who can now go and live anywhere they choose in about the same degree of com- fort and fear they would experience at home. All that must be decided in making the selection is under which law they will settle the law of the computer or the law of tho fang. "Money can do anything." Dickens IntcrOcean Pness Syndicate Old virtues newly wrapped By Helen B. Shaffer WASHINGTON The Republican party has doubtless .suffered from Watergate and this party is considered to be the natural "home" of the conserva- tive tradition in American politics. Does it necessarily follow, then, that conser- vatism too has suffered a setback? Tho answer is still in the future but there are some signs of Watergate's ef- fect on the conservative-liberal balance. The Nixon administration has muted its talk of building a "new majority" from blue-collar constituencies in suburbia. The administration has also apparently backed down in attempts to dismantle a number of social-welfare programs that have long been the target of conserva- tives. The contrast between January 1973 and January 1974 in this regard is striking. A year ago, the President was all set to reverse a trend toward the "welfare slate." At that time he exuded confidence and a strong sense of his authority to carry out these policies, whether congress went along with him or not. He was buoyed by his landslide re-eleclioni victory the previous November. Now the steam bus gone out of the ad- ministration's crusade against "welfare stateism." Nixon's plan for "new. federalism" through extensive revenue- sharing with tho states has made little headway. And public esteem of tho President has fallen amid demands for his Impeachment or resignation. The events following the first Water- gate disclosures have been profoundly disturbing to many conservatives. While Nixon may never have been their Ideal candidate for President, they nevertheless supported him nnil expected him to further their favored causes. Now I IK fear that the damage to his prestige will discredit conservative posi- tions. As early as Scpl. 12, Sen. Dnrry M, Goldwater "favorite son" of right-wing Republicans, accused "diehard liberals" of trying to "equate the irregularities of the Watergate affair with conservative principles generally." The conservative weekly Human Events found it "disconcerting that in the wake of Watergate, the President has been yielding to political foes." It eluded conservative members of congress for failing to warn the President- that he would have to support conserva- tive causes if ho expected conservative support during his impeachment crisis. Vice-president Spiro T. Agnew's resig- nation on Oct. 10 was even more disheartening to conservatives. William F. Buckley, jr., editor of the weekly Na- tional Review and brother of Son. James L. Buckley (Conservative-Republican, cautioned his fellow conservatives not to let Agnew's disgrace sway them from upholding positions he had taken. He said Agnew had become so much "the incarnation of law, order, probity and inflexible that conservatives were likely to feel that these qualities had fallen with him. Expectations for conservatism have risen and fallen during the past two decades, usually in response to the drift of everyday politics. When Clinton k Rossller wrote his hook, "Conservatism In In tho early years of (lie Klscnhowcr administration, he said "the revival of conservatism in American politics and culture (was) one of (he wonders of the postwar decade." Hut conservative optimism waned with the Democratic victories of 1980 and 19114, Helen B. Shaffor only to surge forward again with the election of Richard M. Nixon in Claims that conservatism is resurgent in politics arc based largely on analyses that indicate the end of the old Democratic coalition put together by Franklin D. Roosevelt. A "new majority" of conservative stamp was said to have emerged. But a smattering of elections held last November raised doubts as to how firmly the "new majority" is wed- ded to the Republican party. There were signs the blue-collar ethnic in suburbia is drifting back to the Democratic fold. What this means over the long term is uncertain. Both major parties contain conservative and liberal elements, and the old Roosevelt coalition itself con- tained conservative elements. Political decisions will, no doubt, con- tinue to be made on a pragmatic basis reflecting the necessities of changing circumstances. That usually adds up to a fairly liberal stance. But conservatism, if viewed as a general outlook rather than as a set of policy positions on specific is- sues, has a lot going for it. Disillusionment over the failure of past reforms to solve social problems has boosted conservative arguments against liberal nostrums. From the ranks of disappointed liberals has arisen n new faction referred to as "nco-conscrva- tivos" who arc having second thoughts on the standard liberal social policies. Tho prestige of conservatism has gained from the emergence of witty ur- bane, literate propounded of Its tiics- sage. William F. Buckley, Jr. Is the best-known of Ihoso who linvo helped' dispel the Imago of tho conservative as mntcrlallHtic, selMntorcntecl bilHlnoHs They have resurrected tho linaKo of conservative as n moral, Immune, ami In o leclmil nrlslocrnt, H nilKhl ovoi..... wild that they hnvo miido It "chic" to lui or nt loimt not he one, Cilllnrlnl nntnnrrli   

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