Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 19, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
fhijntU fbwyt&tPresidential records’ ownership debatable
Monday, August 19, 1974
Misfire on growth' restraint
RUNAWAY, no-limit population growth is not the biggest headache in America — yet — but it IS the world’s worst one now, in terms of poverty, starvation, wretched quality of life and deprivation.
If President Ford’s recent potshot at “zero growth’’ as an environmental excess meant population-growth resistance has been going too far globally, three things were wrong with that:
It was most untimely as a sign of American feeling on the eve of an important U.N.-generated World Population Conference this month in Bucharest, Romania.
It blurred an important distinction between straight “growth” — of which many kinds are un-contestedly desirable both here and abroad — and “population growth,” which deals with sheer human numbers and can undeniably become disastrous.
It treated the problem too narrowly as a prime concern of the “environmentalists” — as a resource-depletion concern — instead of what it truly is: a threat to human dignity, to ways of life that fortunate people have known and that others fervently covet, to the world’s over-all tranquility for generations to come.
The President’s position statement rightly pointed out that man resists sitting still; the species wants to move and grow progressively to better things. But slow-down arguments neglect, he charged, to take account of man s one inexhaustible resource: his creative ability on a limitless frontier of scientific knowledge which will overcome shortages and cope with the environment.
Not so. It is precisely man s adaptive and creative qualities that fighters of the problem are relying on to combat mindless over-reproduction and bring overpopulation into check. Unless man’s innate tastes for freedom, privacy and running room change drastically over the next few generations, the only scientific way to ease the strain from more billions of bodies will be to colonize the planets.
That may come in due course, as it probably will. But growth into space would shatter any budgetary hold-downs that the Ford team has in mind, and it is not the answer that the world ought to struggle for first.
Population-growth restraints around this earth deserve not just the U.S. government’s complete support but better understanding than they seem to have right now
IT WAS a bow to clear reality if nothing else: the U.S. house’s recent 339 to 49 vote to make optional the seatbelt interlock system that is mandatory now on all new cars.
Behind this was a heavy push of congressmen s constituents fed up with the idea that your car won’t start unless the front-seat passengers have buckled up. Behind it, too, were noncompliance records showing that some 41 percent of the drivers of 1974 model cars have been getting around the interlock thing anyhow.
Hardly anybody with a grain of sense disputes that Wearing seatbelts is a wise, effective practice in the interest of self-preservation. The point is that many consider it a nuisance or worse under certain conditions, and the question is whether any government has a right to overrule personal choice in a matter of personal safety through threats of penalty against the noncompliant.
The house respected freedom in its turnaround on interlocks and in a further move to see that air bags, tin*, are optional instead of mandatory when they come into use Free-choice considerationsBeware of humor-loss
By Jim Fiebig
IT IX SURELY a false image, hut when I think of hardcore women liberationists I picture Billie Jean King heatedly smashing a tennis hail into the gallery after committing a double fault Her lips are a thin line, her brow is furrowed, her leg muscles are bulging in angry knots
During I hose fairly uncommon displays of frustration Billie .Jean becomes a formidable arid classic example of the scariest thing known to mice and men A woman without humor
All of which is a lead in for a recent action by something < ailed the Arizona Women s Political < aueus ( AW PC ; I^ist Monday, the AWFU sent a wire to President Ford asking him to remove the name of Sen Barry fjoldwater from his list of possible vi<< presidents
I he senator s sin'' W hen asked his opinion of naming a woman to Amenta » second highest office he impishly plucked a line from a John Wayne speech at Harvard arid replied “I have nothing against a woman just so she < ar: "tok and gets home on time
It was a double fault W ith lips thinned brows furrower! and leg muscle-, bulging
also should predominate when a conference committee works out differences between what the house has done and what the senate’s compulsion-oriented counterpart bill does.
For those who want the fine ideal of “saving lives” to rule and think the dollar cost of seal belt nonuse is a fair price for the loss of some freedom, other possibilities still loom. The suggestion has been made that buckle-up pressure would follow legitimately from letting auto-insurance coni-names offer coverage — at justifiably lower premiums, which simply do not pay for deaths or injuries suffered by unbuckled policyholders.
As a consequence, seatbelt users would save money on insurance. Nonusers would pay a good deal more to cover the risks of their folly. Federal advancement of the premise that the individual has no right to control his own life would suffer a setback Drivers smart enough to beat the damage odds by wearing seat restraints would get the free-choice rewards.
The only law that needs to weigh on individuals in reference to their seatbelt habits is survival of the fittest.
the A WPC smashed (iff a telegram to Mr Ford calling the remarks negative, degrading, irresponsible and certainly no joke
If I were a women’s libber (and only my sex prevents it), I would tell the AWPC to quit pulling stunts that give our movement a bad name. To seriously suggest that a lighthearted male chauvinistic quip by a distinguished senator is sufficient cause to disqualify him from the vice presidency is not dedication to a cause
It is fanaticism It is ludicrous It is even dumb
Worse because it is ail these things, it becomes ammunition for every man who wants to keep women pregnant, barefoot and slaving over a hot stove
Believe it or not, lady libbers, most men are coming around to your way of thinking The only way you can blow it now — is by losing your sense of humor
evener O) I eotj irs Coruorytton
By James Reston
WASHINGTON - One of these days the moving vans will be backing up to the White House and carting off all of President Nixon’s personal and official papers to San Clemente. This is the way it has been since the beginning of the Republic: By tradition, which now has the force of law , the departing President decides what papers he wants to take away, and these are regarded as his “private property."
This means that these papers, which are the memory of the nation, are very largely under the control of the departing President and his heirs. They can edit them selectively, or even destroy them, or under the will of the President upon his death, arrange to conceal their contents for as long as he chooses.
For example, the papers of .John Adams and John Quincy Adams were locked up for over a hundred years until in 1956 the Adams family transferred title to them to the Massachusetts Historical Society, which finally made them available to scholars
So this is not a new problem. The papers of most major Presidents have been preserved fairly well. Even the official records of Presidents Fillmore, Tyler and Harding, which were meager and dispersed, still keep turning up. despite all the stories that they wert* lost or burned by their families.
Nevertheless, the principle that presidential papers “belong" to the departing President and can be trucked away, and disposed of as he and succeeding generations of his family see fit, raises some awkward questions
For example, the White House has just announeed that all the tape recordings of Nixon’s conversations, those published and those still secret, are his “personal property ” Is he, therefore, free to loc k up the still secret White House tapes for a hundred years, like the Adams papers, or burn them as Warren Harding’s widow is reported to have destroyed some of the records of the Harding scandals ?
Also, the modern presidency, since the invention of the trans-oceanic telephone and the tape recorder, now contains official records of conversations that are vital to an understanding of foreign relations.
President Nixon bugged not only his political “enemies” and members of his own staff but also his conversations with visiting presidents and prime ministers, without their knowledge. What promises or commitments, if any, did he make to foreign governments in these talks, which succeeding Presidents have to recognize’’ How will President Ford know what promises were made if the records are under the sole control of Nixon?
It is important to be clear about what is riot at issue here. The question is not whether the departing President has a right to the records of his administration — of course he has — but whether he has the SOLE right to take* them away under
his own and his family’s control, without leaving either the originals or copies behind
In some cases, lie does have this right For example, in his private correspondence about appointing members of his cabinet or members of the supreme court, there will undoubtedly be letters opposing his appointments on the grounds that his nominees were drunks or womanizers. This could Im* inaccurate, vindictive gossip, harmful to the characters of the people concerned, so obviously, the President has the right and duty to edit out scurrilous personal attacks.
But issue** of policy, official conversations with other heads of government, tapes of conversations that produced the first resignation of an American President, arc* quite different These have to do with the history of the country, and should not be entirely under the control of the departing President.
Sinc e Franklin Roosevelt, the papers of the Presidents have gone back to memorial libraries in their hometowns, arid the system has worked very well. The libraries have been built by the financial contributions of their friends
and supporters. They have been maintained by the federal government, which has paid professional librarians and archivists, who have organized. Xeroxed, computerized, and, in the* Lyndon Johnson library in Austin, even captured the voice and pictures of the departed President.
Under this system, students and scholars have available to them the records of the Presidents in the communities where they lived, but everything depends on what the students and sc holars sen* and hear
The way things arc now in San Clemente, what the students and sc holars see and hear depends entirely on what the departed President and his family, not only in this, but in the next and succeeding generations, wants them to hear It is all up to him and his heirs to decide: To turn the record over to the national archive's, to leave the whole record to history and succeeding generations or to edit it, or fiddle with it, or burn it.
Nothing in the law obliges Nixon to turn all his papers over to the federal archives and let the government maintain a Nixon library in San Clemente By
tradition and present law he can keep them to himself and turn them over iii his will to his children and grandchildren. They are his “personal property," as things now stand, and, on the record, nobody is full of trust about what he will do
The chances are that, like the Presidents from Roosevelt to Kennedy and Johnson, he* will want that library in San Clemente, and submit to the vague rule's of what papers now belong to him and what really belong to the* nation, and from his point of view, it’s a good deal
Like Ike, Kennedy and Johnson, ho will get both his papers and his memorial library, to do with as he likes. But the integrity of the* nation’s record will still be in trouble.
(living the President all the papers he wants to take home is okay, letting him and his family control them, and exploit them is understandable, but in the end they are not really personal papers or private property. They are the record and memory of the nation, and should be preserved in the* original or by copies for that purpose.
New York Times Service
People s forumOne-sided
To the* Editor
I was shocked and disillusioned to read in the Aug 14 letter from Margaret Hcaverlo that the creators of “Sesame Street’’ are planning a series of 26 “health” shows, 16 of which will include abortion She stated the word abortion will be used frequently and one segment will depict an 8-year-old girl being denied an abortion by her mother
This should anger people on both sides of the controversial issue The producers of this childrens’ program have learned that by the use of repetition, special lighting, and sound effects 3- and 4-year-olds can Im* made to learn the ABCs, size and shape relationships, numbers, etc. Let us not permit them to drill into our childrens’ minds a one-sided view of an emotional and moral issue This is not compatible with our ideals of the democratic way of life
I urge your readers to write to the two addresses listed by Mrs Hcaverlo and demand these programs not be aired Corporation of Public Broadcasting. SKS Sixteenth Street NYV. Washington, D C 20006. Children's Television Workshop.
No. I Lincoln Plaza. New York, N Y 10023.
Frances A Hatfield 3834 Red Bud Road NE
(Editor s note. It would also be well to determine whether the information is correct that these programs ARE being planned J
To the Editor.
We have been subscribers to The Gazette for many years During those years we have enjoyed your coverage of the county fairs, but we have noticed your failure to cover the Benton County fair for the past several years. I am sure you have many subscribers in Benton county and I am also sure they have noticed the absence of your coverage of this fair
We were told this year by the sheep judge rhat we have the largest sheep show around for a county fair I’m sure the cattle and hog shows are equivalent to those of any other county fair
We believe in a complete coverage of all county fairs, something your paper has not done for many years Let’s not play favorites; give us all the same coverage.
Dr and Mrs R O. Stamy Norway
(Editor s note: In fairness to the various summertime shows held in Bas
tern Iowa, The Gazette adopted a policy this year of reporting only names of champions — this taking the form of championship group photographs. When several county fairs are held within the same week, the publication of some fair photographs is delayed, as was the case with Benton county's fair. The number of photographs also is limited by space, and in some cases only one livestock species is featured. The Gazette has carried stones and pictures of the Benton county fair each year for the last six year s.)
To the Editor:
Would you believe 1 11 miss hearing former President Nixon say. “Let me make one thing very clear . .’’?
Mrs Don Weinier 1221 Norwood drive Sp;
Motlier “Junior, stop using such bad words
Junior “But. Motlier, Shakespeare used them.”
Motlier “Then you'll have to quit playing with him."
Honeymoon still holding
Clouds form, but Kissinger still shines
By Louis Harris
THE STANDING of Henry Kissinger, reappointed by President Ford remains high among the American people, with a lopsided 79-16 percent giving him high marks on his job performance These latest results, however register a slight fall-off from the K5-10 percent rating accorded Secretary His singer in May, just following his success in achieving a cease-fire in the Middle East.
In late July, a cross-section of 1,502 adults were asked
How would you rot** (He lob Secretory of State Henry Kissinger it doing excellent, pretty good, only (air or poop
opinion as he was back in May. The cross section was asked
Let me read you tome statement* (Hat Have been made about Secretary of State Henry Kis singer For each, tell me if you tend to agree or disagree (Read statements J"
He is a Highly skilled negotiator, especially in dealing with the communists July May
He did a remarkable job in negotiating a cease fire between the Arabs and Israel in the Middle East July
No matter who is President, He should stay on as Secretary of State
20 I I
Good excellent (positive)
Only foir poor (negative)
Dis Not Agree agree
The public was so sold on the competence of the job Dr Kissinger has been doing thai a substantial 66 20 percent feel that “no mutter who is President, he should stay on as secretary of state ’’ And by a thumping 70-17 percent. Americans rejected the suggestion thai “if President Nixon left office, Kissinger should leave with him ”
Despite his continuing high standing, there are some signs that Secretary Kissinger is not as secure with public
He is taking a lot of gambles ond risks with world agreements that are often secret in nature, without checking with congress, the President or even the State Department
He has not told the truth about wiretapping the telephones of his associates
*ay * „
lf President Ninon left office, Kissinger should leave with him
July 17 70
May 9 79
a—Not asked rn May
These results clearly demonstrate that the American people deeply admire tin* secretary’s skills rn being able to deal with the Russians and with disputing parties, such as the Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East. Most people feel a sense of real appreciation for all that Kissinger has accomplished in U S. foreign policy and obviously approve the basic approach In* has taken
Nonetheless, two clouds have now begun to appear in what hitherto was a cloudless sky of public opinion Tor Dr Kissinger
The first concerns the worries of a plurality of 46-29 percent who agree with the statement that "he is taking a lot of gambles and risks with world agreements that are often secret in nature."
Back in May, public faith was so high that people appeared ready to entrust much of the conduct of foreign policy in the secretary’s hands, apart from congress, the President or the state department But lately, close to half the public have begun to worry about the
secretary's practice of highly personalized negotiations
The concern appears to be centered on the* possibility that he might agree to some provision in a negotiation that he might not Im* able tit deliver back home The public appears to want him to consult more than he has, not only with the President, hut also with his own state department and the congress
The second concern stems from the question of whether the secretary ordered wiretaps on members and staff of the National Sec urity Council, some of whom worked directly for Dr Kissinger when he was c hief international security advisor to President Nixon in the White House.
Secretary Kissinger threatened to quit unless he was cleared of charges that he did not tell the truth about the wiretaps to senate questioners during confirmation hearings The* secretary has since been cleared of charges by the senate foreign relations committee However, a quarter of the public still had doubts about the matter, with no more than 38 percent feeling assured that the secretary told the whole story in his testimony
F or all these* doubts. Henry Kissinger remains the most admired of public officials in a time when doubts about poll Heal and governmental institutions have never been greater The honeymoon is still on. despite an occasional cloud on the horizon Above all, people want him there as President Ford 'n strong policy arm
Chico«o Tribune Ne* York News Syndical*
The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.
You can't put the facts of experience in order while you are gettimg ' them, especially if you are getting them in the neck.
The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth
Henry David Thoreau
The men who make history have not time to write it.