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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Affluence fortress? No chance amid hunger Editorial Page Saturday, April 20, 1974 No crime against belief IN OPPOSITION to the rising tide for public funding of political campaigns to overcome the big-money wrongs that recent history has brought to light, one argument receiving new stress makes a right-sounding point: It is wrong to take money from people to support ideas, prin- ciples, beliefs or policies they personally disagree with or find repugnant. Very true. That is not accepta- ble in a democracy. But this does not invalidate the campaign-fund- ing plan. A closer look shows why. Vermont Royster of the Wall Street Journal elaborated on the matter in his column April 10. If political liberty means anything at he wrote, "it surely means both the right of a citizen to support what political opinions he pleases and not to be 0 coerced into supporting those he detests." From Thomas Jefferson came this supporting view: "To compel a man to furnish con- tributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." Again, no quarrel. But the reason these contentions miss the campaign-funding mark is this: The taxes everyone would pay would not support specific items of opinion or specific bodies of belief. The money would pay for a process, not a doctrine. Depend- ing on the system's mechanics, it would go either to the party chosen by the taxpayer or to all parties qualifying for assistance. It would underwrite the party system as a way of handling popular elections. One party's platform would receive no favor over any others. Each party's candidates and their own stated views approved of or detested would stand on equal footing philosophically. No citizen-con- tributor would be supporting something he hates more than something he likes unless he hates the Constitution and the country and its whole approach to government. Besides, when someone volun- tarily gives money to a party or a candidate, it doesn't mean that he agrees in full with every dotted i of either one's positions on all is- sues. Out-of-pocket taxes for campaigning would be just as flexible and general in what they mean concerning givers' views and the receivers'. This is not tyrannical or sinful or coercive, not a violation of good conscience and belief. Tax support for the election process would im- pinge on personal beliefs no more than taxes do when they are spent on governmental policies or programs that a payer doesn't like. The taxes-for-campaigns idea, as a partial remedy for worse abuses dirtying the record these days, still is one whose time has come. id-ball ruckus here TO CASUAL observers Kid's league baseball in Cedar Rapids may seem an identical twin of Little League, the enor- mously popular international or- ganization for boys in the 3rd to 7th grade range. The resemblance, however, is mostly illusory. Not only does the local Kids league function independently, it offers'mem- bership for older children and sensibly divides participants into three age groups (10-11, 12-13 and Kids league's status as a happy island unto itself should be all the more apparent this spring as girls aspiring to play hardball meet no other requirement than age and, if making the first team is the goal, ability. As reported in Jack Og- den's column (Gazette, April girls not only will be welcome in Kids league, they might help boost membership (down about 200 last Now consider the contrast between the harmony here and the unsettling Little League con- troversy elsewhere: If a Cedar Rapids girl ballplayer-to-be were to move to New Jersey or Califor- nia, her petition to join the fun People's forum Courts blamed To the Editor: Concerning your editorial of April 16, "Sitting still for it isn't the apathy, contempt and scorn for law en- forcement that pay off in victims and crimes. If you look across the page above your thumb and read the article "Molesting of Child Ruling you'll see what is making crime pay off. The courts, not the cops. What good is accomplished in arresting a criminal, only to have someone sitting in the judge's seat who doesn't know the meaning of the words "im- moral" and "lascivious." This is a mockery of justice in no uncertain terms. Courthouses full of lawyers and judges, legislators, representatives all sup- posed to be educated people what have they come up with? I can't agree that the public must lake the blarnc for all of the criminals walking might await a U.S. supreme court review. Girls in Little League? One ex- pects the commotion to climax with a cover-to-cover search of the Bible. Is the heresy con- demned there? The avoidance of such a ruckus here reflects well on the people in general and the operators of the flexible Kids league in particular. Isn't It the Truth? By Carl Riblet, Jr. Any newspaper reporter can tell you he has never met a political type who could not and would not express a considered opinion on any subject, whether familiar with it or not. "Even senators talk too much at times." Dirfcsen People these days are minding their own business more than ever. Neigh- borhoods are no longer very neighborly because hardly anybody wanls to be his brother's keeper, or even his sister's. Everybody plays it safe and nobody wants to stick his neck out, except to wash it. "You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward. Jhurber Interoceon Press Syndicate the streel. Examine (he courts' records. Then put Ihe blame where il belongs. Karl J. Wagner 1510 Eighlh avenue SE Oscar-views To Ihe Editor: In reference to the Channel Comment in The Gazette of April should like to make a few commenls. Nol a television enthusiasl, I cannot qualify as critic. But as a qualified human being I feel most strongly urged to speak out, in this so- called Century of the Humanitarian, for the rights of man, to be humane. My grandfather used to say, "If you can't say something good, say nothing." This old-fashioned precept leaves our modern-day critic somewhat in limbo; but docs it? What has become of plain old constructive criticism? The comments from Ihis article lo which I take exception are certainly not constructive. For instance, John Huston's "lecture" about the attilude of Ihe audience after the awards had all been made should nol be limited neces- sarily lo (hose present since the propen- sity to witless criticism appears to be By Anthony Lewis "If the strong attempt to impose their views, they will do so at the cost of justice (improving) (he quality of life has become a political demand, a technical possibility and a moral imperative." of State Kissinger at the United Nations. TT MUST have been Oscar Wilde-or was it Mao said: "When I hear Henry Kissinger talk about justice and morality, I reach for my Dramaminc." Anyone might suspect cynicism in such talk by a man who helped to waste five years, and num- berless lives, trying to impose American views on Indo-China, and who until recently showed not the slightest interest in questions of world poverty, trade, finance and resources. But however cynical Kissinger may be, and however late his discovery of economics, his speech to the special United Nations session on raw materials and development did deal with what is very likely the most important long-term issue we face. Thai is, nutting it broadly: How can the fruits of this earth be shared equitably enough at least to reduce the chances of mass starvation, economic collapse and war? The trouble is that the secretary of state alone cannot begin to deal with all Ihe profound problems of material yearning, psychology and nationalism Ford's metamorphosis involved in that issue. Even if he could find time to negotiate with other coun- tries about world economic conflicts as well as arms control and the Middle East, he could not carry the burden of policy and exhortation at home. And on these questions change in Ihe world depends on change here in America. Consider a homely example. While Americans fretted over waiting in gasoline lines this winter, farmers in In- dia waited in lines for five days to fill a 5-gallon gasoline can. They needed the fuel not for commuting or pleasure driv- ing but lo run the pumps that give their farms water. There was not enough gasoline in India for that most urgent necessity, and the direct result of inadequate watering is now apparent. The U. S. department of agriculture estimates that lack of fuel for Ihe water pumps has cost India one million tons of her spring wheat crop. The price of crude oil has risen so sharply that a poor country such as India simply cannol buy what il needs. There is a direct effecl on food production through shortfalls of pumped water and even more significantly of fertilizer. Whal has all that to do with us? Does il mailer to Asian peasants how we live and think in America? The answer is lhat il mallp.-s to the point of life and death. We must begin to understand why. In the short run American economic and aid policies are of vital importance. Insights An empty stomach is not a good political adviser. Albert Einstein What must our sense of values be, our grasp of the real problems of humanity, when this year we are spending more than 10 times as much on South Vietnam (population 19 million) as on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined (population 711 Even to begin talking about world ac- tion on food and resources, Henry Kis- singer has had to overcome lough op- posilion from the treasury and agricul- ture department on the narrowest com- mercial grounds. Secretary of Agricul- ture Bulz lours Japan and Taiwan to view good dollar customers for American farm products, but he does not get to South Asia. But we are connected with the needs of the world in a deeper sense. Stability, even survival, will not be possible for hundreds of millions of people if Americans continue relentlessly to pur- sue super-affluence. If this country eats and uses and burns so much of the world's resources on an ever-increasing scale, then the supply for others is likely lo be shorter and dearer. Certainly in oil, Ihe crucial commodity now, we could have a much more potent influence toward deflating- the wild prices by curbing our own huge demand growth prospect than by talking at the United Nations. These are requirements not of charity but of wise self-interest. It would not be much of a future to defend a fortress of affluence in a hungry world. For a while this winter William Simon talked of making permanent changes in the American lifestyle, moving us from a habit of waste to one of conservation. Bui all that has been forgotten in the pellmell rush for normalcy, meaning exploitation. Kissinger's speeches will not count for much while we have a President who lells (he Seafarers Union, as Nixon did lasl November, that America uses 30 percent of the world's energy and "thai isn'l bad; thai is good. Thai means we are the richest, strongesl people in the world. May it always be thai way." New York Times Service From mere spear-carrier to No. 1 mahout By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak DETROIT Well before Gerald Ford was publicly rebuked by White House press secretary Ronald Ziegler last weekend for being the source of a magazine article discussing a possible Ford cabinet, the outlines of a major speech denouncing arrogance of power by a President's While House staff were beginning to take shape in the vice- president's mind. Ford is being pressed by political in- timutes and party leaders to make such an encore to his assault last month on the "arrogant, elite guard uf political adolescents" controlling the Committee for the Re-election of the President The CRP speech, Ford's coming of age as the single most influential Republican politician, attempted to put him on the right side of the Watergate issue without bringing him into direct conflict with President Nixon. As such, it produced only private complaints from the White House staff. But Ford, newly aware of his unique position at the pinnacle of Republican influence, would cut much closer to the bone by attacking the old Berlin wall of H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Not once since his two trusted aides left last April 30 has the President permitted himself even a suggestion of criticism.. Rather, he has integrated his own defense with theirs. Moreover, even before Ford's con- templated speech, the White House mood changed. Whereas resentment had previously been directed strictly against Ford's staff for insufficient .'loyalty to Mr. Nixon, it is now being aimed at the vice- president himself. The White House was outraged by the New Republic magazine article last week that left no doubt Ford was the source. Ziegler's criticism fully reflecte'd the President's own position. The vice-president is well aware of all this in planning a new speech. As Republican leader in the house, he was systematically excluded by the Berlin wall. Hence, a warning by him against any future President permitting his inner staff to monopolize power in the Haldeman-Ehrlichman manner is regarded by him as a public duly. But it would also be a political ten-strike. Thus, Ford has come far since that day quite universal. Furthermore the need to alter attitudes throughout all of society today is so obvious that no intelligent and perceptive lecture would go amiss before any audience, homebound or otherwise. Presumably the writer could have switched off her set were it too great an impact on her delicate sensibilities. The all too obvious lack of which brings us nicely to the grossly ill-mannered cri- ticism of Katherine Hepburn, one of the all time greats of the theater world. Miss Hepburn needs no champion and one is comforted by the knowledge that it is scarcely possible she will ever read these shamefully tasteless lines. If her great prestige docs not warrant more respect from a grateful public, why docs not her age or her health demand the common courtesy of polite silence? Such stuff cannot be construed as cri- ticism but rather as personal opinion of no interest to anyone but its unforlun ately limited author It is high time for critics even in such small-town midwestcrn backwaters to aspire to some higher goal than personal spite and mediocre venom. Speaking of memories, let us retain that of the well deserved standing ovation accorded the great lady by her colleagues in the (heater world as Miss Hepburn 'Don't have enough trouble without you upsetting Ronny like in December when he took the oath of office under President Nixon's gaze. No political figure has shot from obscurity In acknowledged presidential heir-apparent so fast, and none with so few inherent political problems ahead. A symbol of Ford's power position in the Republican party is the way he can speak out even on such forbidden sub- jects as changes he would make in the Nixon cabinet if he became President tomorrow. Only the White House has reprimanded Ford for the New Republic article. Republican leaders have said nothing. One Southern party leader who consis- tently defends Mr. Nixon told us that no matter how embarrassing Ford's speculation might be to the President, it "probably helps Ford." Ford has so clearly become the depository of the party's future hopes that even Nixonite stalwarts (outside the White House) hesitate to rebuke him. made her graceful entrance on the stage that memorable night. Add to this the more recent honor as one of the eight Women of the Year while we in this community whisper a silent apology that such a gaucherie was ever allowed publication in our midst. Rose Mary Barlow 257 Twenty-ninth avenue SW Instruct To the Editor: My interest was stirred by the enthusiasm shown by young Americans on the Gazette editorial page, April 13. I realize this is not the first time good let- ters from our youth have appeared in the paper, but to me this is special. Just recently I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal saviour, and as I read my Bible every day I find out as parents we too of- ten forget the real important things, which is God and His blessed word. If our nation is going to solve its great problems, it will have to get back to God and BE a Christian nation, not just say it. I can Ihink of no better place to start than the homo. As parents, lot's all start reading our Bibles to our children daily. This was apparent when Ford stopped off in the Detroit area last week to cam- paign for two Republican congressmen running for re-election, including an address to one of the largest dinner meetings ever held by the suburban Oakland County Young Republicans. The applause was deafening when a letter from Sen. Robert Griffin was read stating that "Jerry Ford's service to the nation has just was thunderous when Rep. William Broom- field of Michigan talked about Ford's "unique ability to bring people together, and that's what we need in this country today." But an amplifier was needed to hear the scattered applause when Ford praised Mr. Nixon and declared him "innocent of any of these charges that have been made acainst him." The new Ford Mr. Nixon himself, while blaming the party's Proverbs, chapter 22, verse 6: "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he Isold, he will not depart from There are so many people that need help. Gerald B. Loilg 1243 Belmont Parkway NW Another View "They're boclt lo wiping windshields and checking, the oil, but they're still not giving away coupons or dishes." crisis on his old praetorian the major political blunder Ford made in his Atlantic City speech early this year. Ford attempted then to debunk Water- gate. He has not repeated that mistake. The future holds some risks. He will be the party's spearpoint in this year's midterm election, and could be con- taminated to the extent his party loses seats in a possible Democratic landslide. But a confident Ford, now wearing elegant suits with slant coat pockets and shirts with detachable soft collars and French cuffs, seems totally unconcerned. "That would be a he told us "...if I were a candidate for President, but I'm not." Ford's closest political friends don't believe that disclaimer. Moreover, the feud between his staff and Mr. Nixon's adds to the disbelief. Ford's lieutenants correctly perceive him not as the President's right-hand man but as what he has become in just five months: the single most influential Republican in the country. Publishers-Holl Syndicate Late equals punctual in Amtrak scheduling By Don Oakley WITH AN ASSIST from the gasoline shortage, Amtrak, the national railroad passenger system, racked up a 28 percent gain in patronage in January over the same month a year ago. The increase was reflected in all parts of the country as a total of people took the train. Amtrak also reports a much improved on-time performance record. Unfortun- ately, as the United Transportation Union points out in a recent newsletter, in this case all that glitters is not exactly what it appears to be. A train is now counted "on lime" if it reaches its ultimate destination within five minutes for every 100 miles of operation. For example, a train traveling 600 miles can come in 30 minutes after scheduled arrival time and still be con- sidered "on time." But better late than never, as they say. These days, any train is hotter than no Irain at all. And the system does seem to he improving. Hcwspnpcr Enterprise Assqclotlon
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