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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: July 13, 1974 - Page 4

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 13, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                fHt Editorial Page Key Republican tilts toward impeachment Saturday, July 13, 1974 U.S. role reconsidered ON JUNE 27 the house foreign affairs committee reported favorably on a bill restoring the United States to full compliance with U.N. sanctions against Southern Rhodesia. Its purpose: To repeal the Byrd amendment, adopted in 1971, that put the United States in violation of its own two votes in the U.N. for applying economic sanctions against Ian Smith's white minority regime established in Southern Rhodesia in 19B5. The Ryrd amendment was part of the defense procurement act that permitted importation of any commodity deemed to be strategic and critical from a communist country. Its effect was to authorize the importation of chrome ore, ferrochrome and nickel from Southern Rhodesia, making the U.S. the only nation besides South Africa and Portugal to violate openly the U.N. Security Council sanctions, which the U.S. had approved. Arguments for the Byrd amendment in 1971 stressed that it was in the national interest to keep from becoming dependent on Russia for chrome ore imports. However, since the amendment was adopted the Soviet share of U.S. chrome imports has soared to 53 percent from 24 percent. Moreover, the U.S. supply'of chrome ore stockpiled in the U.S. has become so large that in the last year President Nixon' declared 3.9 million tons to be iri excess. He proposed legislation to' release that amount for public- sale. The Second district's Congress- man Culver, a member of foreign affairs committee, was] pleased with its action. He told the. house the Byrd amendment "has; several adverse o It reverses the policy of two U.S. Presidents in support of self- determination of a majority oi Rhodesians of what kind of government they want. e It violates international law and sets a bad precedent for a country claiming allegiance to in- ternational law. It weakens the sanctions approved by the U.N. and weakens that organization itself as an in- strumentality for peaceful change. o It creates hostility toward the U.S. among black African coun- tries by giving the Smith regime a morale boost. It leaves the impression that the U.S. is not willing to sacrifice ever, a small economic interest in order to penalize a regime which flouts "principles of democracy, racial equality and self-deter- mination." Culver's points are well-taken. With U.S. approval on record for the sanctions resolutions in the U.N., congress should not have adopted the Byrd amendment in the beginning. But it did. So the best course now is to repeal it, taking note in the process that our credibility as a people suffers anytime we fail to say what we mean and to mean what we say. Chief Justice Warren rpHE MAN PROBABLY more JL responsible than any other in this generation for giving full constitutional meaning to such words as "ap- and "bill of died Tuesday after 52 years of service to his country, state and nation. He was Earl Warren, 83, who took off his World war I uniform to start one of the most remarkable public careers in the history of our nation as a deputy district attor- ney in California's Alameda county. In 1953, 36 years later, after a 13-year stint as district at- torney and 12 years as California's first 'three-term governor, rresment Eisenhower appointed him chief justice of the supreme court of the United States. During the 16 years he served as chief justice, he was the guiding light in decisions ending school desegration, wiping out rural- domination of slate legislatures attained through unconstitutional maiapportionment and putting the court solidly behind the guarantee of bill of rights protection to ac- cused criminals. In brief, he presided over a court whose decisions put into ef- fect areas of the U.S. Constitution Way with words By Theodore M. Bernstein ACORRKSPO.NDKNT, obviously a female chauvinist do IT, seeks a suggestion for a nonsexist salutation in a business letter. She says thai Dear Sir is inappropriate, To Whom II May Concern is too verbose and Greetings suggests in- duction. Of course, there is always Dear Friend if you don't mind having your let- ler tossed into the wastebaskct unread. Then (here is Dear Corporation unless Ihc recipient has a bay window. Bui how aboul Dear Addressee, which is about as insipid and noncninmilUil as anything anyone could dream up? All right, now lei's worry aboul (he Dear; isn't Ihat a little too sexy? So be it. Nut so many years ago Ihc word albeit was on Ihc way to being classed as archaic, but it has survived llinugli its are shaky. II originally was a compound of oil, be anil it in Ihc that, theretofore, either had been winked at or, at best, had received only lip service support. Roundly praised and just as roundly condemned, the Warren court stuck by its guns. Today those decision are standing well the tests of time. Mindful of the criticism heaped on the court for many of its precedent-setting decrees, Warren acknowledged upon his retirement June 23, 1969, that the court's responsibility "of speaking the last word for not only 200 million people, but for those to follow was "awesome." "It is a he said, "that is made more difficult in this court because we have no constituency. We serve no majority. We serve no minority. We serve only the public interest as we see it, guided only by the Constitution and our own con- sciences. And conscience some- times is a very severe task- master." Honest, fair, compassionate, understanding, humane and honorable those are adjectives that truly fit Earl Warren, who exemplified each of them and more. sense of "let it all be II had, and has, the meaning of although. One caution aboul how noi lo use it is exemplified by this sentence: are presently witnessing the banal bul albeit tragic spectacle of a world community idly watching the wanton murder of in- nocents by fanatic organizations." The use of but ahead of olbeil creates a redundancy. You could and should delete either the but or the albeit, .lust as you wouldn't say "but although." so you shouldn't say "but albeit." o Word oddities. If, heaven forfcml, we should gel into a depression, we may find ourselves resorting to boondoggling, that is, putting the unemployed to work at useless tasks at government expense. The word boondoggle was originated in by a Rochester, N. Y.. Boy Scout- master, Robert II. Link. Boondoggling at first referred lo the braiding of Hoy Scouts of leather straps used either as slides into which neckerchiefs were pushed or as hatbands. Came Ihe Depression and the word was widely used in its present-day meaning. New York Tlmci bviidicdlc By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON A shadow was cast on President Nixon's rising hopes for survival at a recent closed-door ses- iuii uf ttu' tiouse judkiarv cur.ur.ittvL1 tr. Hep. Thomas Railsback. a 42-year-old downstate Illinois Republican who has become pivotal in the historic impeach- ment drama. Railsback requested the impeachment inquiry staff to determine whether Mr. Nixon's April 17. 1973. order lo aides In convey secret grand jury information to his personal lawyer, Herbert Kalmbach. was actually carried out. F.xactly wha: the lommittee staff reported back us unknown but can be guessed at by the fact that Railsback, ill private conversa- tion committee colleagues, has expressed shock over possible defilement of grand jury sanctity. This means that Railsbark has implicitly rejected the White House defense strategy cif narrowly focusing the inquiry on whether it can be proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Nixon authorized hush-money payments. On the contrary, the fact that Railsback is independently probing Ihe overlooked but potentially letha! grand jury issue indicates a strong possibility he may vote for impeachment. This is dreadful news for Mr. Nixon because of Railsback's unique position. Although moderate ideologically, he is closely aligned socially with the party's People's forum Way of life defended To the Editor: I read in your paper where a 63-year- old woman was imprisoned because she refused to pay her taxes, because she claimed to be a peace activist. She also stated that she's never forgiven this country for dropping the bomb on Japan, and I suppose since she feels thai way, she must forgive Japan for the sneak at- tack 11 pulled on Pearl Harbor. There's no such thing as peace, and never can be. There is understanding between countries. That's all. I don't like war. But I don't believe America should stand by and lei olher countries beat her to a pulp. If America hadn't dropped the bomb on Japan, Ihink of how many more of our boys would have died trying to keep freedom for people such as those. If people don't like life in America, and the American way, then let Ihem go to the country of their choice. I wonder if this lady would still feel the same if the Japanese had invaded America. I shudder to think how life would be for us now. Edward Strange Fort Madison EVANS NOVAK i-uis-ii v.ilivf mainstream as a nii-mber of the elite Chowder and Marching Society and as a daily communicant in the house gymnasium (no place for He is a close friend and ad- mirer of Rep. Robert Michel, the congressman from IVoria whoso loyalty lo Mr. Nixon knows no deviation. With this background and by shielding his intentions, Railsback has become the committee's single most influential member. If lie votes against impeach- ment, Ihe White House hopes for 16 out of 17 Republicans a near party-line vale that could carry over to the house floor. If Railsback votes for impeachment, however, he probably would be accom- panied by another four committee Republicans and would influence many olher Republicans on Ihe house floor. When Ihe impeachment inquiry was beginning last year, Railsback collaborated with Rep. Charles Wiggins of California now Mr. Nixon's most effective defender in decrying Democratic partisanship. He has since beer, sharply critical of Chairman 1'rler Rodmo lor limits placed on witnesses called by Nixon defense lawyer James St. I'l.l.T But he has never bought the prevailing Republican thesis that only a criminal offense is sufficient to impeach a President. Rather. Railsback feels several noncriminal actions, in both misusing government power and in Wa- tergate obstruction of justice, constitute grounds for impeachment. Not looking for the "murder weapon" which his Republican colleagues Ihink is necessary. Railsback found something more subtle when he read a June S column in the Washington Post by Walter Pintus, executive editor of the New Republic. Three paragraphs in Ihal column, suggesting Mr. .Nixon violated '.lie grand jury process, led Railsback So the edited White House transcripts. In a telephone conversation April Hi, 11173, the President asked Assl. Ally. Henry Petersen what was happen- ing inside the Watergate grand jury, promising not to pass on the information "because I know Ihe rules of the grand jury." On Ihe next morning. April 17. the President relayed to H. R. llaldeman what Petersen had told him and sug- gested llaldeman share il with John F.hrlichman. On April 17, Ihe President again requested and received grand jury infor- mation from Pelersen, relating it later that day to llaldeman, Ehrlichman, Press Secretary Roll Xiegler and Secre- tary of Slate William Rogers liul Kailsback was bothered most by what Ihe President did with Pelerseiis report io him April IB thai Kalmbaih before Ihe grand jury because uf im animating by John W. Dc-.il IH That same day Mr Nixon told llakleiiuin lo question Kalm- bach about Dean's testimony, adding. "Be sure Katnibacli is at lea-! aware of llus." Kail-back requested Ihe commit Tins i> not the clear criminal uffi-nse demanded by Clair Hut 1" lawyer K.Mlslw, k H is seriously improper con- duct deserving --cnilinv Indeed. Wig- gins, hoping lo bring Kailsback into Ihe anli-mipcaihiiiciil fold, is worried by Ins intense concern willi grand jury meddling. Railsback has been chary of offending his district's hard-cure Republicans, needed lo fight (iff an unusually strong Democratic challenger in November. But he returned from the Fourth of July weekend back home-declaring himself confident his constituency will support him no matter what he does about im- peachment. That confidence, his rejection of St. ('lair's standards of impeachment and his concern will! the Nixoii-grand-jury affair ought to seriously undercut recent optimism at the White House. Trie most obvious inflation solution is to fire us I hope nobody thinks of Wrongs To the Editor: Perjury used lo be a lerrible crime, but lately it seems to be the "in thing" to do. The federal government isn't the only one with scandals, and after the Water- gate serial we now have the C. R.- Policegale scandal. Greed seems to be the theme. Innocent people suffer because a few get greedier, more power- ful and still become the uprighl cilizen. When Ihey arc finally caughl, the only good Ihing is that the news gels bigger headlines (nol bigger senlences, just bigger I suppose these men will gel a light pat on the hand, perhaps be scolded and then continue on their merry way. Let's lake a look the laws. They seem to prolect just the guilty, and if you have had an accidenl lately, (his really will shake you up. My husband has been hit by two drivers iflheir fault) and neilher had insurance. One of the fellows didn't even have a driver's license, and he is still driving. We asked aboul Ihis and nothing has been done. My point is that we should get together, change our laws and make Ihem work for the majority and nol jusl Ihe crooks. Re- evaluatc the powers of certain offices and make it mandatory Ihat two- or four-year terms be the maximum lo serve in one office. Where do we start''. 1 ask. Mrs. A. McGregor Coralvillo Ways-means power untouchable? Quixote takes on the wind 'Mills By Tom Tiede WASHINGTON In 36 years as a congressman, Wilbur Mills has grown accustomed to homage. As chairman of the puissanl house ways and means committee, he expects and receives deference from colleagues and presidents; as a tireless and effective legislator, he is handled gingerly by the media. As an awesome political potentate in his home district (Arkansas' Second) he has not, in 18 terms, suffered opposi- tion in a general election. Now, maybe the times are changing. A 30-year-old Little Rock divorcee named Judy Petty has decided lo aim her Republican halpin al Ihe Mills' balloon Ihis November, and she is trying to pop all kinds of hell. Charging Mills with every thing from arrogance to abuse of power. Petty says the man is too old. loo insulated, too possessive and perhaps even too powerful to be returned lo office. Says she rapidly, by telephone: "I am amazed at the power Wilbur Mills has over so many people in our democracy. Rep. Mills Let me cite just one example. In 1972, when he made his embarrassing run for President and finished somewhere in the miscellany column, there were all sorts of rumors about the illegality of some of his campaign contribulions. Since then, the illegalities have been proven. "Bul to this day. Mills has not per- sonally commented on Ihe subject. He even refused to divulge his campaign contributions prior lo April 7 of Ihal year (when a law was passed forcing con- tribution How about that9 We hound Nixon to death about his cam- paign problems, hut Mills, who in my opinion is more powerful than Nixon, is let off without even a second look." According to Arkansas veterans, the lady is not yet causing any explosions in the political hardrock. Mills himself, says a Democrat, "probably doesn't even know her name." But if votes are given for reflective pause, her autumn tally may surprise. She has a point which, post Watergate, should be clear: as James Otis said in "The more elevated Ihe person who errs, Ihe stronger is Ihe Obligation lo refute him." To be sure. Mills is highly elevated. .V, ways and means committee chairman, he has Ihc absolute hist word on such matters as taxes, trade quotas, tariffs and welfare. F.sually, it appears, he has carried Ihe responsibility willi honor. Sometimes, it's clear he has nol. In I'J72 he was given (and kept) 000 bv 10 breweries obviously mien-sled ill Ihe fact Ihe Mills committee has respon- sibility for determining Ihe federal ex- (ise lax on beer. That same year he was given (but returned) by (lull Oil, a company ever cognizant of Mills' power over tax loopholes. Trulv. hii 11172 campaign chest was filled willi suspicious money (Ihe milk industry roporlodly paid for some nl Mills' office bill Ihe congress- man's only response has been a shrug. His top aide, Gene Goss, says today wilh a resenlful sigh Ihul "Mr. Mills never received one penny himself the money was collected by various commitlees. 1 don'l know why Ihe committees don't divulge. You have to ask them." Despile the audacity of the Mills' evasion, it has worked. The man and his methods are rarely questioned. "I think he has plenty to says Judy Petty, "but no one stands up to him. He's like a lot of old-time congressional incumbents. He acts like Ihe office is .his, not the people's, and he spends his time ac-. Punishment without end t cumulating the influence to make sure it is his and nol the people's." Again, though obviously grinding her own ax, the Little Rock lady makes sense. Congress too often has become a bastion for the mighty. The founding fathers never intended such; indeed, they felt Ihe house especially, with its two- year lerm, would turn over regularly with changing public opinion. Yet. witness Mills, 38 years to now without opposition. It hasn't worked out that way. And regrettably, this says less about Mills than of the rest of us. By Don Oakley IT IS DIFFICULT to understand the reasoning behind a recent decision by the li. S. supreme court upholding a California law that bars felons who have completed 'heir sentences from voting in state and local elections. If the purpose of Ihe penal system is nol merely to punish but to rehabilitate lawbreakers and return them to society as useful citizens, denying them one of Ihe most basic rights of citizenship even after they have served Iheir lime would seem to deleat Ihat purpose. This is nol rehabilitation but a con- linuali'in of pinnshinenl. We hear much about Ihe dehumanizing aspecls of prison life. But Ihe overwhelming majority of inmates in Ihe nation's penal insliliilions will in I he Ihere permanently. There is a constant turnover as men are paroled and others take Ihcir places I'nfiirtuiialely, mai.'y Ihose enlering prison have been Iliere belore. and will he Ihere again. Don Oakiey This suggests thai there is something wrong not only wilh our prisons but with orr poslprison treatment of Ihoso who have supposedly "paid Iheir debt" lo sociel v. In any event, il is hard to see how society would be injured by permitting an ex-convict to cast a ballot for local dogcatcher or mayor or even the judge who sent him up in Ihe first place and. acnirdini; lo Ihe odds, may send him up aj'ain.   

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