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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 4 'Oh, er, yes would you go round to the back door? Editorial Page Wednesday, November 6, 1974 KSffftlS revamping due Because he logged nearly a 'month campaigning for Repub- lican candidates, President Ford .has been accused of placing party politics above the country's awe- some economic problems. The criticism has some merit. Unem- ploymenl's surge to the ominous 6-percent level last week drama- tized the Chief Executive's mis- reading of priorities. Consequences of the Presi- dent .'s seemingly fruitless barn- storming needn't be recounted. Recent comments by the syndi- cated columnists on this page -Should suffice. But one puzzling seldom noted oversight by "Mr. Ford begs examination: Why, in his nearly 90 days in the White House, has the Presi- dent not begun to revamp the Nixon cabinet? As even the most casual observer of government ;knows, the former President's ;cabinet appointees were for 'the most part lackluster men ;riot considered likely to quarrel :with the assignment of power to old-time Nixon campaigners (not- ;ably Mitchell, Haldeman and With few excep- tions, latter-day department heads were scarcely more high- lowered than the initial crew "12 gray-haired guys .named It seems possible that the 'genuinely compassionate Mr. Ford has declined thus far to re- place cabinet members lest they considered part of the Wa- .tergate conspiracy. Or maybe the President has been too busy to contemplate cabinet changes. Or perhaps the delay owes to the administration's inability to line up able new appointees. Since Watergate is believed to have discouraged some worthy Re- publicans from seeking office, it follows that potential appointees to high office similarly are dis- enchanted. Whatever the President's rea- son for retaining the old cabinet through the election, the effects of the status quo obviously have hurt: This reality was not lost on reporters who interviewed nation- al party committee chairmen on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" last Sunday. Is retention of the old cabinet to give the Ford White House the look of a "third Nixon" administration? insisted GOP Chairman Mary Louise Smith of Des Moiries, "Mr. Ford's administration will have the Ford stamp on it." No doubt the cabinet restruc- turing will begin soon probably with the resignation of Agriculture Secretary Butz. But by failing to move before the election, Mr. Ford seems to have missed a sizable political op- portunity. More importantly, the delay postpones a vital move in the restoration of faith in govern- ment. This is not to stain present cabinet members with the tar- nish of an administration which in fact slighted them and de- nigrated their roles. The sugges- tion is that the need for installing a credible White House cabinet was one of the most compelling needs greeting the new President three months ago. Tabling the task this long was a mistake. TV up a notch No sooner had commercial TV networks launched their new series this fall than critics loosed their customary volley of shafts. usual, a common complaint is :that the most survival-prone shows arc those that pander to Gro-Magnon tastes. But a glance at the top-rated '.shows suggests lhat this year at :least the stock criticism is inappropriate. "Chico and the "Little House on the "The "Rhoda" some are tart and some are sweet, but Inese offerings and all others on Ihe honor roll have one attribute jh common: good writing. That means thought-provoking ;plots, well delineated characters, relevant dialog and generally situations. The authen- Bod case in U.N. ticity factor's importance can not be overstated. Consider, for example, "The Mary Tyler Moore whose principals inhabit a1 fictional TV station in Min- neapolis. Anyone associated with a local TV operation will tell you the characters are only slightly exaggerated. This relevance to actual human experience gives "Bob "All in the Family" and a dozen others a durability producers could only dream of in the years of "The Flying Nun" and "My Mother the Commercial TV still has its clunkers, and some good new shows have been axed without a fair trial (notably "The Texas But in terms of over- all production values, the fall '74 TV lineup is a surprise winner. Hypocrisy thrives By Don Oakley The double standard is alive'and well in Ihe United Nations. Not thai there has been much doubt about it. bul sel- dom has it been more glaringly apparent .than in the debate over Ihe question of expelling the Republic of South Africa because of its racial policies. Even the conciliatory speech by South Africa's ambassador. H. F Botha, in which he pledged his country lo "do everything in our power to move away from discrimination based on race or color" an astounding reversal of South .Africa's policy of apartheid had little effect on black African delegates press- ing for a show-dimn vote on expulsion, blocked in the end only by the Security Council vetoes of Ihe three western powers. In the meantime, these same delegates to ignore far worse violations of human rights in many of their own "countries thai make South Africa at its worst look positively benevolent. For example, a recent report lo the by the International Commission of Jurists described the situation in Uganda us a "reign of terror." II is estimated lhat more than Ugandans have been murdered or executed in the three years since General Idi Amin overthrew Ihe government of President Obutc and instituted a terrorist dictatorship The Don Oakley killing has struck virtually every tribe in the country, including Amin's own tribe. Yet not since the 11172 session, when Britain protested the persecution and expulsion of (iO.IIOII t'gandan Asians, has a voice been raised In Ihe I'.N. lo con- demn Amin or (he arming of his regime by the Soviet Union, Libya. F.gypt and Algeria. The commission's report has been placed in the I'.N 's file-and-lor- gct-box. The silence of the Western nations in Ibis mailer is not surprising, They have nothing to gain by sticking their necks out to protest the oppression of black Africans by black Africans. What is in- comprehensible is I lie self-righteous blindness of Ihe black Africans them- selves. But then, much of what passes for statesmanship in the United Nations is beyond comprehension. NowsDOtior Enteronse Assor.tntioi V-P method worked O.K. Succession system: let it run By James Reston WASHINGTON In his news conference here the other day. President Ford suggested that the congress might be wise to consider revising the 25111 Amendment to the Constitution under which he became the JlKth President of the United Stales. He was not suggesting that President Nixon had nominated and the congress had confirmed the wrong man. bul he noted that the 25th did not'foresee the present situation that both a President and a vice-president might serve without ever having been elected by the people and lie was concerned particularly afiar I he long congressional delay in confirm- ing Nelson Rockefeller as vice-president. Accordingly. Ford proposed specifically that congress consider a revision of the 25th, so that the congress would have to either approve or reject a vice-presidential nominee within a definite but limited period of time. This is a serious question that lias received increasing attention since the resignation of President Nixon. But while the 2oth Amendment has sonic obvious shortcomings and even dangers, all other alternatives proposed so far also have their defects. A strong case, therefore, can he made for a little judicious loav- ing-alonc. The present discussion about amend- ing Ihe 25th is not directed at President Ford or intended as criticism of former President Ni.xon for appointing him to tile vice-presidency and thus choosing his own successor. Rather, the main objec- tion Is to the principle here; that the 25lh Amendment violates the clear stipulation of Article II, Section I of the Constitution, which stales thai the President and vice-president of the United States shall "be elected." One man who did foresee Ihis conflict was Sen. John Pastorc. who proposed before Ford became vice- president that the 25th be amended to provide for a special election for the of- fices of President and vice-president If People's forum Chlorosive To the F.dilor: The recent downtown display of new cars, with motors hidden by a max.c of anti-air pollution and other equipment, reminded us of another kind of pollution coming with winter: Corrosive chloride to melt the ice and snow, attack the concrete, and convert those new cars into rust heaps before their time. So we have them undercoated and then try to complete the job with a brush. Bul wheels throw the street corrosion with slush and mud Into cracks and around parts Into areas you cannot reach. There the sticky dope resists hos- ing out. and corrodes Ihe bare metal. When the paint on your new automo- bile blisters in a few years, and you can push a needle through the section of the lender which has become porous and later drops out, you surmise the chemi- cal has gotten in its work The question lhat persists is whether its use on the street is expedient enough to compen- sate for the damage. C. M. Day street Runaway prices Recently 1 found lhal two identical egg noodles side by side on the same shelf were priced Hi cents apart one al cents, the other at fill cents. (Ili- this was an oversight no the part of Ihe person with the price-in. crease stamp. These persons earning price-in- crease markers are unilaterally free to up prices outrageously and needlessly several times a year By comparison, union-labor wage rales arc fixed rigidly, absolutely and immovably for a full year at a lime The wholesale grocer is an appointed vice-president becomes President under Ihe 25th with more than a year to go in Ihe President's term of office. "As tragic events of the past have proved." Pastore said in the senate on Nov. 15. 1973. "we cannot foretell what lies ahead for this country The appoint- ed vice-president may himself succeed to the presidency and then appoint a new vice-president. "Should this sel of circumstances evolve (as they did, of a con- stitutional crisis will occur. And what will happen to us then? For the first time in Ihe history of this great nation, the President and vice-president will both be appointed, not elected by the people, and not responsive to any mandate from the citizens. The nation will no longer he democratically governed." 11 is hard to challenge the facts of the senator from Rhode Island, who is now pressing hard for bis special-election amendment, but in actual fad. there is no "constitutional crisis" in the nation today. There was a "constitutional crisis" and a paralyzed government during the impeachment proceed- ings, but it was relieved precisely before the 25th Amendment worked fairly well. There is a lot of fussing and grumbling in the country now for a variety of economic and political reasons. Bul con- sider the situation if the people had en- dured the impeachment and resignation of President Nixon and then had to plunge into a presidential election cam- paign. In the case of Kurd, who has not yet James Reston quite probably the culprit forcing the retail grocer to follow suit. Tliis unrestricted common practice by food purveyors is probably Ihe fore- most single cause of our constantly ac- celerating inflationary spiral. It appears obvious that the news media, in blaming union-labor for oul-of-control inflation, are barking up the wrong tree. Union wages can't possibly stay put for more than a year at a lime while food and other prices rise several times during the same period. When, if ever, will the congress wake up and put forth more effort in stopping the runaway price-horse, instead of the wage-cart'.' Milton Smith Oclwcin Sod town hilis To the Editor: We have been mailed The Ciazellp's recent story, "Little Remains of Sod by Duane ('rock. We arc proud of our people who sel- llcd in the Sod Town Hills some 125 years ago. Why'.' Hccau.se the hills had beautiful timber for their homes; fuel for their winter heat and to cook their food. Wild game roamed the hills and wild turkey nested in the timber Yes. (hey also had foxes, wolves and coyotes LETTERS The GozoMo's editorial page readers' opinions, subject to these guidelines: .100 words. One lottor per writer every .10 doys All may bo condensed and edited without changing mooninq. None published anonymously Wiiler's telephone number (not printed) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate. Contents dent more with issues events tlion per- sonalities. No poetry. been in office three months, the chances are that, under Paslore's proposed amendment, we would have been having not only congressional and state elections Tuesday, but an election for President and vice-president as well. Before the new President could settle into his job, or the congress could adjust to him, both parties would be involved unavoidably in a partisan tussle over who was going to be on the lickels and which party was going to govern the country. No doubt Pastore's proposal would be more logical and democratic, but as 11. L. Mencken once remarked, for every human problem there is a solution that is neat and wrong." This is especially true when some thunderclap of history suddenly carries away a President cither by death or forced resignation.. Il is a time for reflection, calm and unity three' qualities seldom present in presidential elections. Even Ford's more modest proposal has its drawbacks. The delay in voting Nel- son Rockefeller in or oul may be exces- sive. Also, il risks the succession of Speaker Carl Albert lo Ihe presidency, not a particularly joyful thought. But Ihe alternative is to impose a limit on investigaling the nominee's record and qualifications, and the complaint about most vice-presidents lately is that I hey were not chosen too slowly but too fast. On the brief record of the 25th Amend- ment, il has served Ihe nation well under extraordinary and unforseen circum- stances. The people did nol choose Ford or Kockcl'cllcr. In fact. Ford never thought of being President, and Rockefeller thought about it. without much public support. Still, nobody has suggested thai they were inferior to Spiro Agnew or Tom Kagleton, whose nominations for the vice-presidency were no great recom- mendation for democracy. So maybe the 25th should stand as is for a while. II takes lime lo amend Ihe Constitution, and that's not a bad idea either. to guard against. Bul the Wapsipinicon river provided fish as well as a place for picnics, boating and swimming with all the good neighbors. We do nol know why it was called the Sod Town Hills, but have you ever sat in the hills and seen a double rainbow? Or walked through the fall leaves and gathered hickory nuts and walnuts, or seen the setting sun that the Master painted just for you? Or waked up early in Ihe morning and gathered wild blackberries or raspberries in those hills and watched the sun rise? It's all there. Early in the spring just after a warm rain, my how the mushrooms pop up lo greel you. Our people saw all (his and more. They tilled fertile soil to grow grain and food for Ihe families they were raising. Have you ever gone into a cave and seen bins of potatoes, sweet and while, beans, peas, corn and tomatoes in the jars' Or cabbage like you'd never put your lips to. with the hearts as hard as a rock and delightful to eat as an apple, which they had there wrapped in lasl year's Sears calalog pages'.' If you'd like lo see one of the true Sod Town houses, il stood at the Boy Scout camp in Watibeek and was used as a nature cabin. I have nol been there since our son has grown up; it may he gone by now. It was the Dahlar's home from Sod Town Hills; I have a picture to prove il log for log, along with the fami- ly that lived there. Now they have all moved on due to death and changing limes. Highly acres wouldn't keep a growing family and they moved to where the work was. I'm so sorry you saw the Sod Town Hills as so rundown. The people may have been poor, but they were honest and Cod-fearing people, good neighbors and lasting friends with a word of honor you could slake your life on. William and Doris Mole Mesa. With gain, 1 can Demos do the job? By Roscoe Drummond WASIHNUTON The large Democra- tic majority In the newly elected congress presents conflicting prospects. One would help the nation and the Democratic parly The other would harm both. Now that the Democrats have the voles in the house and the senate to do virtually everything 'hey have been urging President Ford to do, one prospect is that the congress will speedily enact needed measures to deal with inflation, energy and the recession. The other prospect is that the new Democratic majority will be so divided and diffused thai il will continue to talk down every Ford proposal and vote down the sterner measures that Democrats keep saying they want. This is whal has been happening ever since Mr. Ford presented his "economic package" some weeks ago; namely, nothing. 11 is evident that both the White House and the congress have been afraid of the voters. The President has been hesitant to push for the vigorous actions he knows are necessary and congress has refused to put into law even the mild measures Mr. Ford advocated. Result: nothing just delay and more delay. Sen. Edmund Muskie (D-Me.) has been quite candid about it. He and Majority Leader Sen. Mike Mansfield of Montana and other influential Democrats have been dismissing Hie Ford anti- inflalion program as totally inadequate. But when I asked him why the Roscoe Drummond Democrats didn'l promptly enact what they contend is adequate. Muskie's reply was: "We can'I do lhal unlil public opinion creates a demand for such measures." There you have it: The Democrats ac- cuse the President of not giving leadership before the election but excuse themselves by contending thai they must wait unlil after the elcclinn to do anything. Now the voters have spoken. 11 is true lhal they have not spoken with a very clear voice, and the reason is that neither the Democratic nor the Republican congressional candidates offered the voters anything definite to vote for as far as inflation, energy and the economy are concerned. But they did give the Democratic parly the voting in congress to prove its capacity to lead and thereby to do what so many of the Democratic congressmen have been chastising Mr. Ford for failing to do. Why doesn't congress vote the ad- ministration's urgent energy bills or propose something better? The Aral) oil squeeze and it's more like a vise is wrecking the economies of the Western world. Why not pul oil imports under government license and limit domestic consumption to whatever extent is needed to Free ourselves from this menace? Bui if the Democrats want to he ready to win the presidency in HITfi, they need to show, through the power they have been given in congress, that they can govern. Los Anoeles Time Syndicate No earth-shaking changes expected By Tom Wicker NEW YORK Despite what happened on election day, Ihe Republicans will continue to hold the strongest political force in American life the presidency and the executive branch of Ihe federal government. The talk of a "veto-proof" congress was phony. Even had the Democrats won enough Republican seals to have a two- thirds majority in Ihe house, thai many Democrats from every section of the country couldn't stand together on anything more controversial than resolution in support nf Mother's day anil not even that if welfare mothers were included. As for issues like Ihe economy and energy Democrats have been in solid control of congress right along; if they knew what In do about such mailers, and had thi! political will and unity lo do it, I hey could have laken Ihe lead long ago. The most lhat probably ought lo lie expected from the Democratic congres- sional sweep Is lhat enough youngish, ambitious new members will scorn ill Icasl briefly the old gel-along and go- along philosophy to make structural and procedural reform possible in Ihe house. Ydrl< rmirs Sor o
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