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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 21, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1th?    fLttlntftttpitU fbixytWt A Ford-kind-of-person, but still ambitious Editorial Page W*<tnevckjy, Aogu»» 21 1974 Fine choice, Rockefeller WHEN GERALD FORD became President August 9 and a scandal-sickened, inflation-wracked country wondered what now was in store, New York Times sage James Reston offered this highly promising observation: “One of the interesting things about Ford, though he is no intellectual, is that, unlike Johnson and Nixon, he does not feel uncomfortable or threatened by exceptional talent.” The President’s nomination of Nelson A. Rockefeller as the nation’s forty-first vice-president fortifies the belief that, like the earthy Harry Truman. Mr. Ford will surround himself with resourceful, sophisticated lieutenants, never fearing that he will be upstaged. Clearly, Rockefeller is an excellent choice. Assistant secretary of state for Latin America in the Roosevelt administration; undersecretary of health, education and welfare in President Eisenhower’s first administration; governor of New York for 15 scandal-free years — all these credentials and more Rockefeller offers to the congress, where — pending the same exhaustive scrutiny given Mr. Ford last year — confirmation is a certainty. Since he will be the first-ever vice-president to serve under a President who was not chosen in national election, Rockefeller’s place in history hypothetically should fall among Hannibal Hamlin, Schuyler Colfax and other laughably obscure executive branch second bananas. Realistically, though, Mr. Rockefeller is likely to become a strong assistant President, not by dint of ambition, but rather, through Mr. Ford’s resolve to offset his own weaknesses. Among other attributes. Mr Rockefeller furnishes strong background in foreign policy and. importantly, excellent rapport with Secretary of State Kissinger; support in the liberal East (balanced against Mr. Ford’s Midwest conservatism); and a voracious appetite for campaigning, which guarantees expertise in the traditional vicepresidential role of major party campaigner. Some critics inevitably will complain that Melvin Laird would have given the office more intellect. Others doubtless will claim that squeaky-clean Elliot Richardson would have cemented the GOP's hopes for strong, charismatic running in the next two presidential sweepstakes. Still others will hold that George Bush’s position as GGP national committee chairman made him the best possible pick. And some simply will grouse over Rockefeller's age — he’s HH — or the fact that he is as rich as Croesus. But few would argue that Nelson Rockefeller is not qualified to step into the presidency tomorrow And that capability alone, demonstrated executive capacity, has placed him above other potential nominees supposedly considered seriously by the President. Whether his appointment indeed will “finesse” Rockefeller out of a 1976 run for the White House remains to be seen Future political intrigues aside, though. Rockefeller’s appointment as vice-president shapes up as another welcome tonic for the country. Peace-seeking unwelcome? Fundamentalist christian clergymen in Denison have raised objections to the possible sale of the defunct Midwestern college campus there to Maharishi International university on grounds that MIU would advance the teaching of a nonchristian religion. This parallels earlier resistance to a similar proposal in Fairfield concerning the Parsons college layout. Both cases find the opposition mistakenly concluding that the teaching of transcendental meditation (TM) as proposed by MIU is the teaching of a religion. Both also would put the resisters in a strange position of contending — in a freedom-of-religion land — that someone has no right to further a certain religion, if TM did happen to be one. The causes of confusion as to TM’s status are understandable. Elements of transcendental meditation do have roots or counterparts in the Hindu religion. A meditator’s “mantra" (a meaningless word repeated silently to help clear the mind in achieving relaxation and mental uplift) is a Hindu adaptation. A handkerchief-, flower- and fruit-gift ceremony for beginners has symbolic parallels there too. But TM learners are told that this is a teachers’ tradition committing the initiate to absolutely no belief of any kind. In no sense is anyone’s mantra a prayer. Meditation is essentially a private practice (20 minutes twice a day). Nothing that remotely parallels “Satan worship,” as alleged, is part of the process at all. Fears of some dark, hidden, evil in the kind of meditation known as “transcendental” thus are totally unfounded. So are fears that MIU, if it becomes a part of Iowa’s instructional scene somewhere, would be dangerous and bad In a free, friendly, open, “Christian'’ community, it should be welcomed rather than condemned. Ford’s inquisition By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON — President Ford is privately using a unique formula — sending chills through his inherited administration — to test the performance and work-styles of the old Nixon cabinet to we who he may want to keep and who he will allow to resign The Ford formula highly confidential interviews by a few presidential intimates with Democratic chairmen and ranking Republican members of congressional committees and subcommittees that work most closely with cabinet officers Questions to be asked include the cabinet member’s ability to work with key congressmen, their adaptable to compromise the reliability of their staffs and their performance in office The brainchild of key presidential aide Philip Ruchen, Mr Ford’s one-time law partner back in pre-congress Grand Rapids days, the new technique is spreading alarm through cabinet ranks At least at the start, the inquisition is strictly a F'ord operation The President’s inherited congressional liaison staff headed by William Tim mons, was not brought in Instead, it is tieing handled by confidential aides riot in the regular lines of communication between the White House and Capitol Hill. What makes this cabinet testing so important is that Mr. F'ord really intends to restore authority to the cabinet, pulling out the management functions of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) set up in the early Nixon White House A footnote One of the first departures from the F'ord cabinet is likely to be Secretary of Labor Peter Brennan, a conservative ex-labor leader scorned by Mr. Ford’s new friend, President George Meany, and other moguls of the AF'L-(10. A possible replacement labor arbitrator Kobben Fleming, a Democrat who is president of the University of Michigan Publisher* Hot! Syndical By Frank Lynn TELSON A ROCKEFELLER should N I ^ have little trouble making the transition from New Mirk to Washington and. judging by his recent record, should be in tune with President F'ord on such key issues facing the nation tod av Since he resigned as the nation s senior governor last December, the 66-year-old Rockefeller has devoted virtually full time to his role as architect, prune mover, financier, and chairman of the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans, which has provided him with a vehicle for deeply immersing himself not only in national hut also world problems He has also used the commission as a channel to national leaders by including then Vice-president F'ord. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the majority and minority leaders of the senate and house as ex-officio members Some Rockefeller associates contend that the commission work actually represents a return to Rockefeller’s first love. Internationa, affairs In that context. his 15 years as governor of New York was viewed as an overly long rest stop (rn the way to national office. In fact, a strong case can be made that he is considerably more conversant with international affairs than F'ord and could become a rival to Kissinger, a longtime Rockefeller associate, as the foreign affairs expert in the F'ord administration Rockefeller s complete preoccupation with affairs national and international has also been evident in his recent speeches, in interviews and his hands-off attitude toward New York state politics and government that he dominated for 15 years The same speeches and interviews have also provided ample clues to his thinking on various issues and evidence that he. with his reputation as the liberal Republican maverick, and F'ord. with his image of Middle America conservatism, have much in common Rockefeller, a longtime hawk on communism. has, for example, repeatedly exhibited skepticism about detente with the Soviet Union "In the enthusiasm to encourage detente — and I’m for it — I have a feeling that some of the longer range security problems are being ignored,” he said in an interview earlier this year Rockefeller often cites the plans of Occidental Oil and the Aluminum Company of America to build a huge oil refiners and aluminum plant, respectively, in the Soviet Union He notes that the aluminum plant would consume half the world’s supply of bauxite and that the oil refinery, which would process oil for American consumption, could give the Russians another lever in their dealings with this country. The former governor has also expressed concern over the growing Soviet navy “F'recdom of the seas — that’s basic to everything,” he says. Yet, he has insisted that he has “an open mind'* on detente and merely raises these issues to demonstrate the complexities of detente and other subjects that are being studied by the Critical Choices Commission. If Rockefeller has been a consistent internationalist in foreign affairs and consistently wary of the Soviet Union, his domestic record, primarily as governor, has been far from consistent. The Nelson Rockefeller of the 1960’s assailed any attempts to undo social welfare and civil rights programs; but in the 197()’s he proposed residence requirements for New Yorkers on welfare and prison sentences for drug addicts lf"' NELSON ROCKEFELLER Politically, the Nelson Rockefeller of the 1960's who frequently and often bitterly opposed Barry Coldwater and Richard Nixon was in the 1970’s to praise Coldwater as a “great man’’ and to decline to attack Nixon even in the final hours of his president w hen he had few defenders Nationally, he worked closely with two Democratic “old pros” — President Johnson and Rep Wilbur Mills, chairman of the house ways and means committee and the man to see on a Rockefeller pet project, federal revenue sharing with the states. Rockefeller mounted a national campaign for revenue sharing because he contended that the states could no longer cope with inflation and built-m costs that increased state spending at a rate of 15 percent a year while revenues increased at only half that rate. It was this arithmetic, rather than any ideological change, that he said impelled him to crack down on welfare and education spending in New York He contended that without such hard-nosed economies, the state would not have enough money lo support social welfare programs Critics contended that Rockefeller s turn to the right was motivated by a desire lo join the national Republican mainstream and thus advance the presidential ambitions that had been so often thwarted by his image as an eastern. liberal maverick In any event, pragmatism. whetheF economic or political, prodded him Ibis in the view of many politicians, the complete pragmatist rather than a liberal or conservative idealogue Rockefeller describes himself as “a centrist with a progressive point of view The 42 members of the Critical Choice Commission reflect that centrist point of view Almost all are politicians, academicians and business men who are not likely to espouse any radical new courses. All of which would seem to make him a President Ford kind of person, politically and philosophically. However, those who know Rockefeller see one possible cloud on the horizon — the New Yorker’s penchant for being his own man, a leader, an activist. Until the last year, he had repeatedly brushed off any talk of the vice-presidency by noting that he was not the type to be “standby equipment With the presidency blocked off, at least temporarily, he has decided that politically his best course of action is to be standby equipment But many politicians wonder whether Rockefeller the person will agree with Rockefeller the politician Ne* York Times Service Relaxable Computer'^ may not be entirely human, hut they share quite a few traits with us. including an inclination to quit working. - Omaha World Hera'rl Dilemma of the conservatives New political spectrum defies labeling By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON - There ts little doubt that the scandals in the Nixon administration are strengthening conservative forces in the United States The visible public displeasure with everything connected with the name of Watergate is not primarily aiding the Democratic party, is not appreciably hurting the Republican party; it is augmenting the voice of conservatism. Today many if not most conservatives are unhappy with both parties. This is one of the most striking and significant political developments in post-Watergate America It isn t just pervasive distaste for the offenses cited in the articles of impeach ment It is the mounting centralization of personal power in the hands of the President and the lack of restraint in using such power which most offends and scares conservatives. It is not only traditional conservatives who are becoming alienated from an administration tney thought was devoted to their cause; there are liberals who are becoming disillusioned with traditional liberalism and who are feeling uncertain and uncomfortable It is happening on both sides of the political center Time was when most liberals took certain political facts as given without further questioning. F'ranklin Roosevelt Going Swimming was their hero. Democrats constituted their party automatically and a strong central government was accepted uncritically as the as>ured means of creating the good society. Many Americans, including traditional liberals, are today changing their minds on these matters for a variety of reasons. Some because they accept the judgment of Daniel Moynihan that the federal government “is good at collecting taxes but bad at dispensing services.” Others because they have seen that the big antipoverty programs of Lyndon Johnson did not come near to fulfilling their promises And most of all because they see big government — and big presidency — endangering the liberties of a free society. IVANS People s forum ‘Give them respect’ To the FIditor It is very disturbing to read all the adverse comments that have been printed on the detoxification center in tin' last few weeks. Mr Kopel’s very dramatic “bombshell statement doesnt delve very deeply into the true facts If I’m correct, the county will have to pay only if the individual does not have insurance to cover his hospitalization The 25 percent share paid by Linn county amounts to approximately $15 50 per day Mr Kopel seems to stress the $62 (Kl figure It would be interesting to see statistics on how much repeated jail terms for intoxic ation cost the tax payer And who can measure the cost of a human life7 We are constantly reading of the number of accidents due to drinking Now that there is a unit to try to help these people overcome their problem, isn t it worthwhile to give it a chance? I also have a question for the unnamed official who joked about a bar across the street from Mercy hospital so persons could commit themselves after a binge. If he is at all aware that alcoholism is a disease, does he realize this is comparable to suggesting a candy store across the street so diabetics could go on a binge and then Im* admitted for treatment due to a dyibetic coma? That s not funny cither The final straw was Mr Crosier’* letter in Sunday’s Forum lh* is entitled to his opinion on alcoholism, even though it is in direct conflict with a reputable source such as the American Medical Assn But his suggestion to enlarge the “drunk tank’’ seems a little unreal Would he really wish to throw all ages and both sexes into one big tank? What purpose would it serve? What qualifications does an officer have to judge whether the “peaceful and harmless’ ones will remain that way or later become “ornery and quarrelsome* thus earning an evening in the drunk tank7 One final plea Alcoholism is a disease. Sufferers thus deserve as much respect as those who have diabetes, heart disease or cancer Yet they aren’t called by the derogatory terms that constantly pop up when uninformed persons discuss alcoholics The dictionary classes the word “drunk” as an adjective. Let s use it that way instead of as an all inclusive noun Mrs. Harold L Timmer 4436 Rushmore drive NE LETTERS Tho Gazette $ editorial page welcomes readers’ opinions, subject to these guidelines: length limit 400 word* On* Utter per writer every 30 days All may be condensed cmd edited without changing meaning. Non* published anonymously Writer s telephone number (not printed) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate Contents deal more with issues and events them personalities. No poetry The man who has best described this mental and political transformation of many Americans is Haynes Johnson, who has gone through the experience himself and who has written about it in an article called “The Odyssey of a New Conservative”. Haynes Johnson is a Pulitzer Prizewinning correspondent of the W ashington Post, author of such books as “The Bay of Pigs”, “Fulbright. The Dissenter” and “Lyndon” — some of which he says he would write differently today — and one whom David Halberstam might describe as one of “the best and the brightest.” Here is the theme of his own political odyssey: “I find myself in a peculiar position.” he wrote a few days ago. “In private conversation with such as George Will and James Buckley (Will, the Washington columnist of conservative National Review, and Buckley, the Conservative New York senator) I discover far more areas of intellectual agreement than disagreement. I want to limit the powers of the state, to preserve the delicate checks and balances so carefully crafted into our Constitution nearly two centuries ago and to protect the individual against the tyranny of the mob. “I am a new conservative with no place to go politically. I long ago cast off any allegiance to the Democrats as a party. “I am not sure any more what either they or the Republicans represent. Old liberals have become new conservatives, and old conservatives have become — what? I say all this because I suspect many Americans today share my disquiet.” They do. Los Anaeies Times Syndicate Sorrow Cushioned To the Fodder: I wish to thank the considerate people who gave assistance to our little dog who was run over by a car last Tuesday evening on Mt. Vernon road SE. In these tunes when so many people are too busy to care, or simply do not want to Im* involved, it is comforting and reassuring that there are still some people who care These people got a blanket from their car and placed Muffin on it, and covered" him with it In his pain, Muffin bit one of the ladles. I wish to reassure her that he had had his rabies shots. Another lady phoned us and told us about the accident I nfortunately, by the time we called our vet and went to get our pet, he was beyond help Anyone who has ever had a pet knows how deep our sorrow is, hut mingled with our tears, there is gratitude to these people who took the time to make Muf fin s last minutes a little easier Juan McCord 1142 Twenty-eighth street SFI a I NOV AK ;