Cedar Rapids Gazette, October 10, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette October 10, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 10, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 'She    t&tdnr Rapids Editorial Page Subversion flash: ‘Enemy seen; he is us Thursday, October IO, 1974 Litterbox plantings THE TREES AND SHRUBS in-stalled in sidewalks or in planters over much of downtown Cedar Rapids this year supplied a touch of class — a good esthetic lift — to the city’s busy hub. The way too many of these plantings have become receptacles for litter and debris is turning the class to a general eyesore instead. Two altogether different groups, of course, play parts in the ungreening of these beauty spots. One includes the passersby who, out of either malice or indifference, discard their cigaret butts, candy wrappers, napkins, tickets, empty sacks, sales slips or other crumpled paper close to where the shrubbery grows. That gives their own crummy touch to something meant to make downtown a nicer place for them to be. The other group contributing to ugliness includes the people whose responsibility it is to take care of the plantings and clean up the messes: the property owners or tenants in front of whose places People’s forum‘Time to get tough’ To the Editor: In Friday’s paper (Oct. 4) there appeared a tiny article about a Marion man being charged with third-offense drunk driving. What does it take to get this kind of driver off the road? Do we need to lose an innocent child trying to cross the street or a whole carload of unsuspecting people when the greenery stands. That, ironically, devalues something they have paid for and defeats the worthy purpose of a well done boost for the environment downtown. No amount of scolding, crabbing or lamenting will, of course, reverse the trend if either party to it massively neglects to mend its ways. One step that CAN help is the incipient upgrading and expansion of the downtown area’s litter receptacle system— reportedly now in the works. That promises improvement, of course, only to the extent that people will make use of the boxes and to the extent that city street-cleaning personnel will keep them adequately emptied and maintained. Cedar Rapids — all of us — w ill have a hard time living up to claims of virtue as a clean, progressive, pleasant place if a simple job of good housekeeping on one touch of class dow ntow n is too much to ask. this drunk runs a stop sign’ It's time we toughen up our laws as far as drunk driving is concerned. People should write to their congressman about this issue and see what we can get done. Judy Harrington 2625 McGowan boulevard, Marion By Russell Baker WASHINGTON - The odd thing is n«»t that we are in the business of overthrowing other peoples’ governments. but that we can still be surprised when somebody reminds us of it In Asia. Lain America, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East we have been propping up and knocking down governments more or less openly for the past 25 years. It is an established policy Everybody knows it It is supposed to bo done covertly, which is only sensible if you hope to succeed since publicity in matters of this sort can only make the natives resentful and defeat the project. Imagine the chauvinistic rallying around President Ford that would occur if Canada. say, announced that its agents were going to destabilize United States society so that discontented Americans would heave the present government out of office. We have been so active in the field, however, that a number of our projects have come to light. Iran. Indonesia, South Vietnam. Greece, the Congo, Guatemala. Cuba — all have had their domestic politics secretly interfered with by the Central Intelligence Agency in ways that made headlines. for its ineptitude by the opportunity it affords us to know ourselves. The difficulty may be that we prefer not to know ourselves. How else can we explain these cries of shock that follow each fresh disclosure that the CIA has done it again? We hear them again about the Chile intervention. In Washington, wise men who are on a first-name basis with Professor Kissinger are shocked — shocked! — to discover that the United States is overthrowing other peoples’ governments. Professional moralizers of press and television are outraged by the bloodshed induced by the new I’. S.-approved dictatorship in Chile, although it has been very slight compared to the mass murders which outraged them in Indonesia with the overthrow of Sukarno. Where have these people been for the past 25 years9 They always seem to be hearing it for the first time. President Ford’s public approval of exported subversion — everybody else does it; why shouldn’t we? he said — ought to have had a healthy result, it was a candid statement of a national policy in which most of us have tacitly concurred since the Stalin era Instead, the President is widely criticized. It is as if we don't want the President telling us the truth despite the demands for Presidents who will tell us the truth It is not a difficult paradox to ex plain We have listened to our own pub-    Purity claimed iicity for so long that we believe it Since IHT our publicity agents have been tell ing us we are the good guys, the white hats, the idealists struggling for democracy and freedom along dark streets swarming with the kind of thugs who overthrow other peoples’ governments and put their own axe men in charge. This is a very pleasant picture to have of yourself. It is traumatic to have people as authoritative as the President tell you it is the picture of Dorian Gray, and worse to have him pull the curtain away and show you what you have really come to look like after all these years of preening your beauty in the sunlight but taking all those clandestine nocturnal strolls down the balk alleys of world power U. S. foreign policy — 1974 Electrifying One of the CIA's few endearing traits is its penchant for making headlines. It is the world’s most fully headlined secret agency. This is as it should be in an open society, and while it is doubtless embarrassing to the CIA always to have its secrets turning up on page one. we are more than compensated .v*\v.v.v*v*v*v#v*v*v*\\\v.v.v.\v.v*vKv*vZvZvKvJvJvIv.\v.v :*.*.w^^*.*.wA%v.v.\v.v.,.v.v.v*vX*X#X,X#!\\,X%\vXvX\v.vr w*v.%v.v.v.v.v.w.v.v.v*vX%vXv*w.\v*v.v.v.v 1813) shows Blouin voted against fellow Democrat Gene Glenn’s amendment to limit the aggregate amount a person could contribute to a political candidate (or committee for the candidate) to $1.-(NMIDefinitionsReform To the Editor In his campaign for congress. Michael Blouin talks about the need for campaign financing reform. But he doesn’t vote that way. The Senate Journal for June 7. 1973 (pages 1612- This amendment was an important step to place a limit on the amount the privileged few can give to a candidate. Unfortunately, the amendment didn t muster enough votes. You should be proud of your senator, Tom Riley, a Republican who put partisan considerations aside and voted for the Glenn amendment. When Tom Riley talks campaign reform. I ll believe him Ronald T. Amundson Dubuque To the Editor: Most arguments for and against abortion are emotional ones Seldom do you find a simple, logical, unbiased approach. This may not bt* one eithe r. but consider this. Scarcely anyone would classify “The World Book Encyclopedia" as a controversial publication. The sole goal of these volumes is to impart maximum of knowledge in a minimum number of words. Here’s what you'll find in “The World Book" under ‘‘embryo." A human being is called an embryo during the first two months of development ; . . The heart and brain are formed first At the end of one month there is a large bulge in the body wall over the heart ” The key words here are ' human being." ‘heart" and "brain." "one month.’’ By the time a woman can be certain she is pregnant, her body is the home of a human being w ith a heart and a brain. Now how do you classify abortion? The removal of an inconvenience or murder? I'm very much afraid that thousands of women and their doctors are committing murder every week in the United States. What’s your opinion9 Francis U. Oilton 2649 Meadow brook drive SE Overthrowing other peoples’ governments is a habit of great imperial powers Romans and Britains did it openly, as do the Soviets today, and we differ from them only in insisting that our innocence has not boon lost, that we are as pure today as we wert' when we bedded down with empire 30 years ago. Our publicity proclaims it and when truth threatens to spoil the conceit, we deflect self-recognition by blaming tired old scapegoat GIA. which, goos the self-deception. is out of control and amok In fact. CIA has been operating with tacit public consent from the beginning Everybody knows it has been overthrowing governments, often bloodily, as a principle of American foreign policy for years. The policy was never publicly adopted as such through the usual processes of debate, congressional vote and publicly reviewed appropriations. To have done it publicly would have been Phi embarrassing for us It would have required us to admit that we were not who our publicity said we were. We preferred it done out of sight, and the government obliged There has been no great clamor since for reviewing the policy. We accept it so long as we don't have to admit to ourselves that we accept it. The government is sensitive about preserving our illusions. It does its best to keep the drearier realities from intruding upon us. Typically, the exposure of the Chilean subversion has resulted not in any congressional demand to do away with the policy, but a move by the house armed services committee to punish Rep Harrington for telling us what we did down there. If we are becoming the enemy we set out to thwart, the least congress can do is punish anybody who threatens to let us know about it Ne* York Time* ServiceQuestion: Should the government raise price supports for milk and limit dairy imports? The Arguments yes] DAIRY FARMERS, cooperative and Grange officials and members of congress representing farming states contend that without quick government action to boost dairy income, the industry will go under — jeopardizing the nation's domestic supply of dairy products. "Our only alternative to government help is financial disaster,” one dairy farmer told the house subcommittee The problem, as described by an official of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. is “the worst cost-price squeeze since World war ll." While the prices dairymen received for their products began to drop sharply in late spring, they continued to pay more for everything from feed grains and gasoline to baling wire and interest on loans. "A good many fine farmers, some of them young and enthusiastic, have i>een forced to quit because they couldn’t continue to operate when their costs consistently exceeded their income month after month," said a New York cooperative spokesman. The dairymen’s goal is a federal support price equal to 90 percent of the "parity price," instead of the current HO percent level. In theory, "parity” is the price today’s farmer should receive if he is to have the same purchasing power enjoyed by his predecessors in the "base years" set by law — 1910 to 1914. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Democrat, thinks the government should go further. “If the idea of parity is fair." he says, “then anything less than parity is not fair." Nelson has introduced legislation to increase the support price to IOO percent of parity. “Unless we construct a stable floor under a dairy industry and halt the current decline in production units, the nation will lose self-sufficiency in dairy products by 1980," he warns. A dairy farmer cannot pass his costs on to consumers as other business men do, Nelson argues, “because government policy affects his milk prices, and sometimes floods his market with cheap im ports." Nelson says another handicap of dairy farmers is their “productive genius,” which had ltd consumers to expect an abundance of low-priced dairy products "as a basic right ” Congreiwonoi Qo<j'*ert* By Congressional Quarterly WASHINGTON — The nation s dairy farmers are pleading for federal action to help them survive a period of skyrocketing production costs and plummeting farm prices They want the Ford administration to prevent foreign dairy imports from flooding domestic markets and driving prices down, as happened in early 1974. They also are pressing for an increase in the federal milk support price — which would raise the floor under market prices The administration has promised to restrict imports more tightly in light of the dairymen’s economic plight And the agriculture department has agreed to consider a small increase in the minimum price set by the government for "Class A" drinking milk But sit far the executive branch has turned a deaf ear to the pleas for a higher support level for all milk products The dairymen appear to be making more headway tm Capitol Hill. where the house and senate agriculture subcommittees recently held hearings on their problems. Should the administration or congress act tit raise the milk price support level9 Following are some arguments on both sides of the issue: r Th* k JO I Arguments I THE FORD administration and several consumer groups oppose raising the milk support price on grounds that the free market should determine dairy prices. "Farmers’ objectives of higher prices will be achieved in the marketplace rather than in Washington.” agri- The Gazette's opinion Refusal is surest path to monopoly TO HEAR opponents of increased milk price supports tell the story, one would think this country has an inexhaustible herd of schmoos. A schmoe, it will be recalled, is a lovable and marvelously bountiful critter introduced into the ‘Li! Abner series by Cartoonist Al (’app a generation ago. Among the schmoo s wondrous attributes (tasting like beef, chicken or whatever — depending on how it is cooked) is the ability to produce eggs and dairy products already packaged or bottled. If the schmoe fable ever came true, neither Dogpatch citizens nor the nation as a whole ever would need cattle or dairy farmers. Not that consumer groups opposing further government help want to see dairymen face bankruptcy. The result — proliferation of price-controlling agribusiness — is a worrisome prospect to most. Nonetheless, the popular consumerist theory is that normal, unrestrained supply-and-demand forces ultimately will restore sanity to a milk-price situation suddenly driven crazy by inflation. That hypothesis sees bankruptcy for a flimsily-financed minority as the bullet-biting President Ford has in mind. But a close-up look at the dairy industry shows how vital government leverage can be this year and next: Iowa State university reports that the cost of producing milk is $9.74 per hundredweight, compared with the selling price in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area, $7.21. In other words, the harder a dairy farmer works, the more money he is certain to lose. Memories of profitable times can keep the veteran milk producer plugging along for a while longer, but younger, erstwhile optimistic, dairymen are bailing out by the score. Now the federal government cannot control all factors which have contributed to a 25-percent milk price dropoff in the past six months. But it can increase the support price level (at which the government enters the market to buy milk products) and it can tighten controls on imports of foreign dairy products (a major cause of the present domestic price slump). Obviously, rushing to the dairy farmers’ aid would In* a largely thankless effort — especially in an election year. Grocery shoppers would gripe, partly because of suspected deals with dairy industry high-rollers, but mostly because of a projected 2-cent increase per quart of milk (with dreadful 1974 grain-growing conditions auguring still more increases). Distasteful as higher prices for dairy products may Im*, however, they are a great deal more palatable than the predicted result of letting dairymen sink or swim in these unnatural economic currents. So many would be washed under that the dairy industry would be unrecognizable. Granted, the trend toward zero population growth makes glaring anachronisms of the postwar, baby-oriented milk slogans. Indeed, the ‘‘nation’s most perfect food” pitch bowed out about the same time as Al Capps schmoos. But Americans are too dependent on the dairy industry as presently structured to entrust the milk-production job to monopolies and foreign interests. culture department staff economist J Dawson Aholt has testified An increase in the support price would In* “unnecessary and unwise," Aholt said. because prices are low enough now that the government would In* forced into the market to buy milk products — and the resulting stockpiles would depress prices even more. ‘We believe that milk prices will increase — even without an increase in the support level,” he added Ahab predicted that the farm price for milk would "rise seasonally during the rest of 1974, paralleling expected strength in the products market " Roy Alper of the National Consumers Congress agrees that an increase in the support price would not help the farmers in the long run "Our milk supply is adequate." he says. "Dairy farmers should cut grain consumption, produce less and conic* into line with supply and demand " The National Farmers Organization has estimated that increasing the support price to 91) percent of parity would boost consumer milk prices by one* to two cents per half .gallon at most — and would not affect price's at all in some areas But the* real threat to consumers and dairy farmers. Alper argues, "is not farm prices, but rathe r the* farm price aste rn It is common knowledge that huge su|H»r-cooperatives have established monopoly control over milk niarke-ts " A spokesman for the* newly-formed National Assn for Milk Marketing Reform elahorutc*d on that point, and calles! for a thorough re*vie*w of the milk marketing system "The soper-coopcratives drain off large sums for administrative expenses and . . political contributions, said Michael Maggie) "Coiisum* e*rs, processors and the department of agriculture tell us that they are in (bedark about what farmers actually get paid for their milk " ( oncer ,Mono) QijQrltrly .rf A ;

  • Al Capps
  • Dawson Aholt
  • Francis U. Oilton
  • Gaylord Nelson
  • Michael Blouin
  • Michael Maggie
  • Ronald T. Amundson Dubuque
  • Roy Alper
  • Russell Baker
  • Tom Riley

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: October 10, 1974

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