Cedar Rapids Gazette, October 27, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette October 27, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 27, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ®lt* fadntIrish slaughter: ‘No cause justifies this’ Editorial Page Sunday. October 27, 1974 Public records’ owners Just as the matter of official-papers ownership created turbulence last spring over President Nixon’s income-tax deductibles, now the same kind of question is creating legal hassles over who controls his presidential records in relation to new Watergate-related trials. It is clearer than ever, as a result, that the issue needs a legislative answer: Congress should establish principles of law across the board to spell out who owns what by way of “presidential papers” and related material (including tapes) for clear, cool guidance in whatever future controversies may arise. Presidents, vice-presidents and other high federal people now claim all this material as theirs alone without any guidance from law. Tradition has established the pattern. Precedents from many years back tie it down But nothing in the Constitution covers any of it. and neither does federal law Watergate and all its ramified convulsions have shown vividly the pitfalls and injustices in that arrangement. It has been a painful lesson but a clear one: Personal profit from products of work as a public official should be ruled impermissible. So should personal control of that material when it is relevant to public matters being processed in the courts. Tangible records developed while a person holds office, at public expense, on government time, in performance of official duties, using public facilities, as part of one’s job, belong to the public and nobody else when the service is over. This is not to say the test is always easy or that clear lines differentiate between what’s public and what’s personal in all the functions of a high official in the government. Complexities and overlaps abound. There are borderline cases and marginal items and often a thin distinction between public performance and personal life. Even so, some pretty solid guidelines CAN pin down the basics. Letters, memos, formal documents and other verbal records from a high official's workday in performance of his duties for the public all should belong, in the end, to the public that put him in office. This should come about through law, not habit or tradition. The agency to put it into law is congress, not the courts. Events of recent months have clinched the need and given it dramatic urgency. The senators and congressmen about to be elected should commit themselves to follow up as soon as possible on the strength of a lesson well learned. Students’ food stamps When food stamp eligibility rules were liberalized last summer, the unsurprising result was a land office-type rush by college students hoping to qualify. Since students as a group are likely to be aware of their opportunities, it follows that their participation in the food stamp program should far exceed the average participation level of those qualified. (Of approximately 43 million Americans eligible, only 13.2 million — or 31 percent — are enrolled.) The logical upshot of increased student receipt of food stamps is a move by lawmakers to amend agriculture department appropriations bills so as to exclude certain students; specifically, those receiving more than half their support from parents who themselves are ineligible for food stamps The proposal is manifestly fair. For financially able persons to take advantage of a program aimed at increasing nutritional levels in homes is — to use today’s youth parlance — a big ripoff. Congress and the agriculture department should find ways of pinning down the real net in comes of students, which — when you consider parental support, scholarships, wages and sundry other benefits — is no easy task. But the special scrutiny given students’ food stamp applications should end precisely there — upon determination of actual income. No heed should be accorded those who would have Uncle Sam exile students from food stamp participation altogether. The warped thesis pushing such action holds that students who are out at the elbows are different from others whose incomes cannot satisfy adequate nutritional levels. Though valid in terms of expectations (those in school will earn more later), the claim is not relevant to U.S. food stamp program purposes. Food stamps are not issued on the basis of future needs. They are apportioned to those who need help meeting highly-inflated food prices now. Many of those millions happen to be college students. Neither they nor anyone else qualified should feel apologetic about signing up for the boost. Unless the statistics are wrong (only 31 percent eligible now participating), the problem is not too many, but too few.By Jenkin Lloyd Jones BELFAST. Northern Ireland — The two young men rn ski masks approached across the vacant lot and through the open door Tommy-gunned the baker bending before his ovens. The victim's crime? He was a Catholic. The 54-year-old steam fitter was busy* redecorating his living room while his wife was away at choir practice No one saw the authors of the fusilade that came through the window He was a Protestant. So yesterday the score was even, if you don't count the naked, unidentified body wrapped in plastic, found in a bog along the Antrim road, or the 60-year-old mother, cut down when she touched the arm of her son in a dark hallway of her home and he wheeled in a panic with his gun blazing. But the Northern Ireland Tourist Board is indefatigable The Evening Telegraph praises its new film, opening with a shot of whooper swans gliding in the placid waters of Strangford Lough The title: “The Quiet Land". It will take some selling. I found myself the only passenger in the first-class coach during the lovely 2l£-hour ride from Dublin. There weren't many people up forward, either, for the latest threat to bomb the railroad was a fresh one. Belfast’s Great Victoria Street Station bore a sign regretting that the public toilets were out of order due to bombing. Just opposite, a 200-pound charge of explosives, hidden in a van. had taken the front windows out of both the Hotel Europa and the Chamber of Commerce. The hotel has been reglazed The chamber is still plastering And the old theater opposite coyly announces that “due to circumstances beyond our control" it is closed Guests coming into the hotel are patted down at a security post far away on the curb. Armored cars, bearing soldiers carrying their machine rifles at the ready, patrol the streets Barricades close all but a few entrances to the shopping district and shoppers patiently Concern for people blemished open all their packages and purses for inspection. And still a large sign outside Donegal Square Methodist church announces that the death toll now stands at 1,081. “No cause justifies this’" says the sign And of course, it doesn't The do-gooders are busy. The Catholic bishop of Derry has joined with prominent Protestant leaders in what is hoped will he a mass movement for peace Buses and front-page newspaper Poxes carry the confidential police number to which one may report anonymously “to save a life " Efforts are being made to create a sort of children's crusade for the end of murder But the agony continues The provisional wing of the Irish Republican Oh, oh, Paddy . . . Now we've gone and done it!' Army, a terrorist revival of the original Irish separatist movement, specializes in vehicles loaded with explosives. The Protestant killer gangs hurl fire bombs through the doors of Catholic pubs The secret Young Protestant militants this week boasted that the deadly bomb in downtown Dublin last summer was theirs, and they added that they were ready to take on the whole Irish Army. And why0 Long memories And atrocities aplenty to stoke the fires within the vicious A few miles north of Dublin the train speeds through the pretty town of Drogheda, scene of Cromwell’s great massacre of the Catholic defenders Outside the pale of Dublin, beyond protection of British soldiers. Protestants were repeatedly put to the sword. Catholics remember the cruel English landlords and how Britain did little when the potato blight hurled Ireland into starvation The Orangemen tell their children how. on Easter Monday. 1916, when king and country were sore beset in Europe, Catholic Ireland stabbed the empire with its abortive rising, and how Sir Roger Casement was landed from a German submarine When the British ended home rule for Northern Ireland and sent in the troops, the Catholics welcomed them even though Article II of the Irish Republic’s constitution asserts that the six northern counties are part of the Catholic south But now the British are weary There is a handwashing movement in london and a desire to quit the expensive mess And if the British troops should suddenly go° I asked it of my young friend, correspondent of a Dublin newspaper, as we sat over a couple of glasses of black Guinness He smiled “There would be an awful silence." he said. “—for about two hours." Peotuf#* Corporation Cattle-kill: a symbol harmful to U.S.By Norman Cousins The willful destruction of cattle in protest over the high price of feed — at a time when famine is spreading across the world — may make sense to people who understand the economics of cattle-growing, but there is no way of explaining it to people who are struggling against hunger Cattle farmers, especially m the American Southwest, have had to take a double beating in recent months Large grazing areas have been dried out by the prolonged drought, making it necessary to buy vast quantities of additional feed at skyrocketing prices. Little wonder that so many cattle farmers feel so desperate Even with the fullest understanding of the predicament of cattle farmers however, it is impossible to avoid being shocked and outraged by the slaughter and burial of cattle It is erroneous, of course, to believe that the destroyed meat would otherwise have found its way to hungry people Meat is a luxury food. far beyond the means of people deep in poverty But this is not the point Any act involving the destruction of food (annot be morally justified in today’s world lf we are unable to get fo«x1 to hungry peo-pie. the least we can do is to avoid making it seem that we are indifferent to their suffering We can recognize the effect on others of the wanton destruction of living creatures The rest of the world understands that the Ended States, wealthy though it is. has poverty of its own to contend with and that we cannot take on the entire burden of feeding the hungry, wherever they may be — whether in the Sahara or in South America or India But people have a right to expect that we will do what we can and that we will not be unaware of the symbolic horror that the slaughtering of cattle represents. lo the outside world, nothing has been more characteristic of the American people over the years then their concern for their fellow human beings Wherever I have gone rn the Soviet Union. for example. I have met people whose idea of America was first formed by what they knew about the food relief expedition to their country headed bv Herbert Hoover shortie after World war I. No amount of propaganda by the Soviet government against the United States could offset the direct or indirect knowledge the Russian people have about our expedition of mercy to their country at a time of great need. Similarly, during the Biafran war in Africa several years ago, the fact that individual Americans would risk gunfire to bring them food and medicine made a profound impression on those people that will In* with them as long as they live The amount of such food and medicine was relatively small, yet the fact of our outstretched hand — the evidence that we cared and were willing to make a special effort in behalf of strangers — this was more important than the actual volume of help involved The same is true in reverse, of the slaughter of (attle The amount of food we destroyed — quite apart from the heartless killing of living things — was too small to have made much of a difference in the battle against world hunger But the fact that the killing of cattle could take place at all made a profoundly negative impression Symbols are important in history The right symbols can build powerful bridges of friendship and understand ing. The wrong symbols can do grave damage to the good name of the American people in the world At a time when the world has become a single geographic community, the moral imagination can be the most important building block we have in the making of a better world Los Aneles Tim** Svodifa** x,x-x-x-X‘X-X‘:-x-x-X-x-x-x^x-x-:xv:-x-x-X‘X:X-X‘XvX,X;XxXx:;X;X;Xv>X;X-x*x*-,:‘'':,:':‘:>*->,:,ft:ffiry;iifr^:,:^|9^Way with words No leakBy Theodore M. Bernstein At a recent news conference President Ford was asked a question about his pardoning of former President Nixon and in replying to it he fell into what most authorities consider a loose usage “Let me review quickly, if I might he said. “the things that transpired following the last news conference." He didn t have to tell us what had transpired because we already knew that The word transpire, aside from its biological sense of emitting moisture through the pores, means to leak out. to become known. Therefore the public was aware of what had already become known The sense in which the President was using the word was to happen, to occur — a sense that is widely used but is frowned upon by purists Adverb ambiguity A term that doesn't sound at all pedagogical is used by grammarians to denote the sloppy usage in this kind of sentence “The bars he patronized frequently are mere dives " The grammarians’ term for that word “frequently” as it is placed in the sentence is squinting modifier or squinting construction. The idea is that the word seems to look in two directions Does it tell you about the bars he patronizes frequently or about the frequency of their being mere dives0 If the first alternate is meant, the sentence should say. “The bars he frequently patronizes . ." If the second alternative is meant, it should say. “. . . are frequently mere dives " Squinting has no place in precise language. Wo rd oddities The word squint is an aphetic version of asquint, in other words it is a shortening of the original word by the dropping of the unaccented first sy llable, just as squire is an aphetic version of esquire and lone is an aphetic version of alone. There is a kinship between squint and th** Dutch schuinte, meaning a slant or slope That figures. since to squint is to look slantingly or turn the eyes to one side N** /Of) Tim** SvteStcotoOutasight, outamind, outacontext, meaninglessAt blinding speed, the washaway of yesterday roars onBy Russell Baker It is extraordinary how many things we don’t talk about any more There is Watergate, which everybody is tired of hearing about, and there is Vietnam. which everybody wants to pretend doesn’t exist And Patricia Hearst. If anyone ever mentions Patricia Hearst these days it is only to ask. as one might ask about the good old days, ‘Whatever happened to Patricia Hearst0" Whatever happened to the Sym* bionese Liberation Army0 For that matter, whatever happened to black power, the new left and "the movement"? What was "the movement ’ anyhow ? Nobody ever talks about "the revolution" any more, nor campus unrest, nor the Beatles When is the last time anybody talked about "hippies"? About “Fun City"? Nobody says "uptight" any more, or "backlash," or "silent majority." No-Russell Baker body talks about “the free world." the struggle for men s minds." "the new politics." or Spiro Agnew It is as though Agnew had never existed. yet within the memory of recently born babes he was the rising glory of Republicanism Now. in less than a year he has become an unperson So has John Connally Anybody remember “Big John”? He was the post-Agnew rising glory of Republicanism, and now he has been consumed and forgotten after three minutes of fame Three minutes of fame may be all any man, any idea, or any event can ex ped nowadays There was a war in Cyprus a few weeks ago and afterwards a sort of revolution in Greece, and who remembers it any more0 Anything that is four minutes old is as ancient as Egypt And speaking of Egypt, whatever happened to Libya0 We consume our history so fast to get on to the next tidbit that there is no time to digest it. and so become a people without memory Whatever happened to George McGovern0 Who was Elliot Richardson? Where is little Tama s Leningrad diary 0 To ask these questions is to be tiresome, to betray oneself as a lingerer in the past at a time when events are rush mg ahead at breakneck speed We like that cliche — ('vent rushing at breakneck speed — it gives us the sense of living dynamically, which is a delusion because events are not rushing anywhere We are merely consuming them at indigestible speed, perhaps so thev will not get lodged in our memory and start to mean something to us Who was General Thleu? What was My Lai ’ Does anybody rememt>er light at the end of the tunnel0 Nobody wants to hear about such things any more We are blanking experience out of memory There are weighty events bearing down upon us which must Im* dealt with at once President Ford s swimming pool Pollution-emission controls The cold-water laundry crisis Who has heard lately of Elizabeth Taylor0 What became of Rowan and Martin0 Stokely Carmichael0 Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin0 And who has talked lately about the most important book of the decade0 None of us probably, for none of us ran remember its title, any more than we can remember who played in the game of the century not long ago It is not surprising that trivia is one of the few pastimes that has survived an entire decade, for it demands ability to remember facts without context, and Insights • ll No single man makes histo ry History cannot be seen, lust os one cannot see grass growing Bons Pasternak facts without context are almost all that remain when you consume history with your grain off Nowadays context is harder to find than tO-cent hamburger It is very much like flying across the country by jet. The country does not rush by underneath so rapidly that we cannot see it. sense it. digest it and emerge with the slightest sense of what an extraordinary and fascinating place it Is, It is we who rush by overhead so fast that the journey becomes meaningless We are coming up over the Grand Canyon on the left side of the plane now and will shortly be crossing the Mississippi river, folks." What was Pompidou’ Which was Anthony llasewicz? Why was <diaries Manson? Who was the second man on the moon0 It is a last trip up here at Ti INN) light years above context, hut despite the speed you sometimes wonder if you are really going any place al all Ke* York T im** Vt'vtCf ;

  • Elliot Richardson
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Jenkin Lloyd Jones
  • Patricia Hearst
  • Roger Casement
  • Russell Baker
  • Spiro Agnew
  • Strangford Lough
  • Theodore M. Bernstein

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: October 27, 1974

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