Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 23, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette June 23, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 23, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (titbit RnpitU Editorial Page Sunday, Jan# 23, 1974 Isolationism magnified i i TSOLATIONISM as a con-A copt still evokes the image of a 1930s-'4fts mossback bent on keeping the United States unto itself and apart from the world, physically and psychologically, in jingoistic self-sufficiency forever. Recent poll-reports to the effect that “isolationism” in Americans has more than doubled in the last two years is hard to reconcile with that understanding of the word. Assuming, as the survey-takers did, that it is no contradiction in terms to acknowledge varying degrees of isolation, the key findings were these: “Total isolationists” now amount to 21 percent of the population, up from 9 percent in 1972. “Total internationalists” make up 41 percent, down from 5fi two years ago. Manifestly, the preponderance runs heavily, still, against pure isolationism Whatever people SAY about their feelings as to international dependency, what they DO may also temper findings (by Potomac Associates, Inc., and the Gallup organization) of an isolationistic trend. By definition, isolationism is a national policy of avoiding relationships — political and economic — with other countries. “Economic” is the sticker. No matter how a person answers questions as to U.S. leadership power, military allies, defense spending. UN. dealings or domestic-needs-first, he is no true isolationist, if: (I) Self-interest gauged by product quality and price ever moves him to buy a Japanese-made car or camera or TY set, a German-built VW, or you-name-w hat from somewhere else. Or (2) his livelihood depends in part upon or benefits from U.S. products bought by people overseas — corn, wheat, beans and meat, for instance, from the “isolation-minded” Middle West Attitudes in many people here have shown some change, unquestionably, from the high-hope days of U N. get-together-ness, U.S. save-the-world leadership and world awe for what America has done. On top of disillusionment from Vietnam and deep concern with tough domestic problems, not the smallest reason for this change has been the smail-thanks way that many foreign states have kicked around old Uncle Sam when things went hard. But to count this movement as a backup toward the classic days of isolationism is to misread the nature of the beast and to underestimate the depth of many other changes since then. The day of the Neanderthal is nowhere in the offing yet. Checkoff turnaround CONGRESSMAN H R. Gross of Iowa’s Third district announced some time ago he will retire when his present term expires. But that doesn't mean congress has heard the last of Mr. Gross, thank heaven — not on your four-svllable adjective it didn’t. So it was like old times when he raised his voice in opposition to a practice he said the Internal Revenue Service is engaging in this summer. The congressman charged IRS with reminding millions of taxpayers, some of whom made errors in their tax returns, that they did not check off a contribution to the presidential campaign fund. In other words, IRS is sending back returns to many Iowa taxpayers with the suggestion that they might want to check off $1 or $2 on joint returns, to be channeled from the tax they owe into the presidential campaign fund Congressman Gross said the IRS is sending back returns with this message: “You did not indicate oh your return whether you want any of your tax to go to the fund; but you can make the designation now, if you like, by checking the appropriate box ” An IRS spokesman responded to the congressman’s protest by asserting that the reminder is just another way to publicize the fund, which hasn’t found much favor with taxpayers as yet. What a turnabout by IRS Only a year ago it was being charged, and properly so, with failing to display the political checkoff boxes in prominent enough places to be seen on income tax blanks. In fact, it was called to task by congress at the behest of Common Cause, the national citizens’ lobby, and IRS promised to rectify last year’s error on tax return blanks for this year. That promise has been kept. The checkoff boxes are conspicuously displayed on the front page of this year’s return. But it wasn’t a part of the bargain that IRS would go out of its way to send back unchecked tax returns in order to give taxpayers a second chance to do what they apparently didn’t want to do in the first place. It appears that IRS performed a 180-degree turnabout when 90 degrees would have sufficed. People s forumOutdated anthem To the Editor There has bern some dissatisfaction expressed in these columns as to the appropriateness of “The Star Spangled Banner” as our National Anthem I expressed my opinion on this to .Jack Miller when he was United States sena tor With due respect for the loyalty of Americans who favor “The Star Spangled Banner”. its words were written during the heat of battle, when Britain was our enemy, 1H(I years ago Today, when received as guests by England. Canada or Australia, is it good ethics for us to flaunt our victory over the British intl years ago0 Moreover, we engage in braggadocio in the “SSK”, implying thai we are the exclusive “home of the brave which is untrue Nazi Germany, communist Kus- •Isn t it the truth? By Cor* Rtbl#*, |r Some of lh<* letters that members of congress receive from their constituents are discovered to be entirely frank One voter wrote his senator “Sometimes you act like you don’t know what you’re doing and then you go ahead and do it again ‘ Practical politics consists in ignoring facts —Henry Brook Adams lnt«roc*on Pr#*» Syndicate sia, Korea and Indo-China also are “homes of the brave,’ whose sons in greater number than ours died on the field of battle in what they considered a just cause I feel thai ‘ America, the Beautiful’’ would tx' much more appropriate and creditable to us as our National Anthem as it is nonbelligerent, nonbraggadocio, inoffensive to any nation, and it lauds and appreciatively displays God’s blessings to us Milton Smith OelweinWeak inspections To the Editor: In my opinion the Iowa state motor vehicle inspection law is as phony as a ti hill I think this law was passed for the benefit of the auto dealers and the ser-vice stations Most inspection stations just give cars a quick onee-over for the *5 fee All they are required to inspect is one front brake and one bac k brake, plus the lights, turn signals and tire treads on all four tires It makes no difference if the motor, rear end, drive shaft, transmission or cooling system is completely shot The state and some of the auto sellers don’t care if none of these parts on a car you are buying lasts for only two blocks. I think these car dealers all should be held responsible for all parts and labor for at least 90 days after a car has been sold from any car lot. Then arid only then will the state safety law he fair and equitable to the public. W' E Stern Route I, Marion Democracy's safety valve Look before you leak-proof By James Reston WASHINGTON — Ever since Adam — or was it Eve? — Ieak»s1 the news about that tempting apple and other funny business in the Garden of Eden, the human race has tx»en arguing about the wisdom of leaking forbidden news The latest chapter in this long story is now unfolding again in Washington Sen Barry Gold water wants the attor ney general to prosecute the Washington Post for leaking confidential FBI documents. Pat Buchanan and Ken Clawson of the White House staff, two of the leakiest taps in town, want staff members of the house judiciary committee to be punished for leaking anti-Nixon information out of the impeach ment proceedings. A dreadful, underhand practice, they say, and a lot of people agree with them. It should be noted, however, that nobody proposes the abolition of all leaks — only the leaks they do not like It all depends on whose basement is flooded I**’    .    James /lr Reston And this brings us to the theme of this epistle, which is that the leak is the safety valve of democracy. It leaves room for honest dissenters It is the refuge of conscience. It can tx* used for gtxwl or evil: disclose the murders of My lait, the secret bombing of Cambodia. the coverup of Watergate Or it can tx* used to disrupt elections, to vilify and destroy the political opposition It is a powerful, ambitious, and sometimes dangerous instrument, but it should not tx* destroyed without a little thought For example, the President deplores the leak when it is used against him, but it is one of the most effective tools in his own political arsenal and he couldn’t get on without it. He is constantly running into situations at home and abroad where he wants the truth out but does not wantEnvironment loses again to make things worse by issuing an official statement confronting his adversaries So he leaks it through Buchanan or Clawson, or through some embassy abroad to some sympathetic or ambitious reporter The White House has its “friends list” as well as its “enemies list.” And there is nothing new or wicked in this In the latest crisis between Washington and Moscow during the Middle Fast war. when the information here was that the Soviets were about to send seven airborne divisions into the Middle Fast, the President could either have sent an ultimatum to Moscow to pull back, or quietly ordered a worldwide alert of American forces and “allowed” the fact to ix* leaked to the press He wisely chose the latter method and got his message across to the Kremlin without a direct challenge. When W ashington and Paris get into an awkward argument over policy and consultation, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger can either call a news conference and denounce the French, or both sides can “inspire” articles that make their points clear, and still leave room for maneuver. As a matter of fact, anybody who has studied or practiced the art of leaking knows that government officials use the leak more than it is used against them and in most eases reporters are their allies rather than their adversaries For in many instance1 governments are using the leaks to get the embarrassing truth out rather than to keep it in.' The conflict comes when governments try to have it both ways — to use the leak to their own advantage and to suppress and condemn it when it discloses truth they do not like. Or to leak “news,” or worse, to invent “news” to destroy their political opponents See the evidence in the White House Watergate transcripts This leaking is a complicated business The communists are the best anti leak plumbers. “Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed0” Nikolai Lenin asked in Moscow in 192<l. “Why should a government which is doing what it th*nks is right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons Ideas arc much more latal than guns Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?” The answer to this in America, at least, should be obvious, but it is surprising how many people who think they love democracy and hate Lenin, seem to agree with this notion that opposition to the ruling authority of the state is somehow subversive and even unpatriotic. Even the Soviet plumbers cannot stop the leaks, cannot silence Solzhenitsyn, Zakarov, Pasternak or even Stalin’s daughter Svetlana, for the spirit of freedom is eternal and even in thai closed society, truth leaks out Obviously, there are times when security information and grand jurv in formation should not be published — and the press has not yet analyzed the difference between being bold and being irresponsible — but it is not the power of the press but the power of the state that is really out of hand “It would be in the national interest Barry Goldwater said, “to immediately institute criminal prosecutions against the Washington Post” for publishing confidential government documents But would it really? For if noixxiy had talked against the government’s policies and actions in the last few years we would not have heard about the horrors in Vietnam, the secret bombings of ( anthodia the espionage and sabotage of the 1972 presidential campaign, and all the lies and fiddling of the President s men Always somebody had to talk out in opposition or in conscience, and leak to the press, usually against government orders. It is an untidy process, often subject to misuse, but it shouldn’t be knocked or destroyed without a little care The President needs it as well as the opposition Ne* Yoe* Tim#* Service Senator Goldwater Old George’s blueprint soiled By Stephen Ford VJ’EARLY 17k years ago George J-NI Washington left office as the first President of the embryonic United States. If at that time the fledgling nation could have been personified, it might have been depicted as a pink faced lad with the world at his feet When the nation’s first Chief Executive stepped down from office, he did not spew promises of nirvana in the years ahead.Another View “I rn aware of the need for oil. But as captain, I don t plan to go down with it in a hum cane Instead, Washington admonished the 13 disparate states to avoid enormous public debts, entanglement with foreign powers and a mammoth military, to remain essentially an agrarian country in order to feed its masses and preserve natural resources, to guard against an elite cadre of politicians centralizing and seizing power and always to tx* wary of big business, ll is ironic today to recall these ancient blueprints for the national future Almost from the moment Washington turned fiver the presidency to his successor, .(•din Adams, America tx*gan to follow an opposite course. Disregard for Washington’s warnings on the economy and the environment is particularly relevant today. One has only to look at our capricious environmental protection laws And conservationists, who a few years ago had such a good thing going, today are prime targets for brickbats of corporations, bureaucrats, Wall Street s “Monday morning quarterbacks” arid even the fellow who pumps gas at the neigh borhixxl station, reasoning being ttiat if these alarmists had not shot their mouths off we d sill! be burning away 34 cents a gallon In-test. Undaunted conservationists are nevertheless stepping forward again, but this time as sitting ducks and not messiahs. Five conservation groups and three states filed suits against the Reserve Mining Company of Minnesota last month to stop its dumping KT (MMI tons of industrial waste into I .ake Superior every day. The plaintiffs charged the taconite rock discharge produced asbestos-like fibers in the lake which provides drinking water for residents of nearby Duluth I S District Judge Miles Lord subsequently issued an injunction against Reserve Mining citing their dumping as an “immediate health hazard” and ordered they cease at once On ap|x*al a three-judge federal panel overturned Lord s decision and issu(*d a 70-day stay permitting the company to continue dumping wastes into the lake The judges did stipulate that Reserve Mining must provide its own land disposal facility as soon as possible. Reserve Mining officials claim it will require three to five years to complete Hie land disposal site The judicial panel acquiesced, stating there was no pr<*of of Lord s contention there is ait immediate health hazard After all. the injunction might curtail Reserve Milling s production schedule whereas dumping will only affect anyone in Duluth who drinks water So Lake Superior joins thai list of tins takes brought about by myopia and iii difference. George Washington must be spinning beneath Mi. Vernon at 7 IHM! rpm Ne*,paper tater prise Adunation All God s chillun got N-powerCare and feeding of Presidents By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON - When it conies to protecting a President of the I nit cd States anti providing for his reasonable needs, how much is enough? And how much is loo much 1 After six months of grappling with these difficult questions, a house sub committee last month came up wiih a generally temperate and constructive report. As you might expect, the report was bitingly critical as to Mr Nixon, and tenderly inconclusive as to his Democratic predecessors, ............. a good jot) on the whole. Some of the startling expenditures on Mr Nixon’s properties in Florida and California cannot bi* rationally explained, and they cannot be condoms! After every reasonable expense has been deducted for communications, personnel, and the legitimate upkeep of Secret Service activities, it appears that the taxpayers were soaked about *575.000 in Florida and *701 (MMI in California for outlays on Mr Nixon’s personal property.Court matter Eventually, tine supposes, most of the California expense will be recouped The President’s home at San Clemente is to become public property. It would to* reassuring to hear from Mr Nixon that he will settle up with the taxpayers at some point on Key Biscayne as well. Most of th** questionable outlays at the two presidential homes already have been well publicized, but for those who came in late, the matter of the shuffleboard court may serve for purposes of illustration James J. Kilpatrick In the course of installing security devices at Key Biscayne, it became necessary to demolish a conerete-slab shuffleboard court. It would have been reasonable to replace this court at public expense, or it would have been reasonable for the President himself to have paid the difference on something better Instead, a new black, white and green terrazzo court was installed at an added cost of *2.(MMI The taxpayers paid for this To paraphrase a well known moralist, that was wrong, that’s for sureToo late How did this situation get out of hand? The subcommittee’s answer, in effect, is that nots sly was in charge of the store The Secret Service felt it had a free hand to spend whatever might be necessary for the President’s protection The General Accounting Office exerted no effective restraints The President s people in charge of remodeling, chiefly his architect, proceeded as architects so often do with a regal disdain for where the money is coming from. The consequences of this casual lavishness could have been predicted. At Key Biscayne, the taxpayers twilight Mr Nixon a *88.IMW ornamental aluminum fence A Secret Service command post that should have cost *;‘)3,(NW wound up at *130.(MW. Seven brass lanterns for the San C lemente driveway came in at $3,700 When someone at GAO finally rang a bell, it was too late for economy In fairness to Mr Nixon, it should be said that he didn t invent these abuses The late Lyndon B Johnson benefited in precisely the same fashion, right down to ice machines and refinished furniture More than JUNI (MMI was spent at the LBJ Ranch that cannot tx* accounted for at all. Substantial sums also were spent on private properties of John Kennedy, but the dost of these is not known “ According to testimony before th** commit tee, “when President Kennedy left office, the naval aide who handled most of the expenditures on his property took the records to sea with him and they wore dropped overboard accidentally.”Scrutiny needed As the committee emphasizes, no reasonable person will oppose reasonable expenditures for the protection of a President lf future Presidents are not to be kept captive at the White House or c amp David, they must tx* expected to maintain a personal residence somewhere It would tx* patently unfair to impose the staggering Hists of security, transportation. personnel and communion lions upon the President himself But a line has to tx* drawn somewhere Koine better oversight must tie provided, not only lo protect til*’ taxpayers but also to protis t a President from the beneficence of his own spendthrift protectors Washington Slat S# al# ;

  • Barry Goldwater
  • Henry Brook Adams
  • Henry Kissinger
  • Jack Miller
  • James J. Kilpatrick
  • James Reston
  • John Kennedy
  • Ken Clawson
  • Lyndon B Johnson
  • Milton Smith
  • Nikolai Lenin
  • Pat Buchanan
  • R. Gross
  • Stephen Ford

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: June 23, 1974

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