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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 1, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ftapitU Editorial Page Sui.day, December I, 19?4 ‘Wait! No peeking till I get it wrapped!' People’s choice improvable Amid the current dissidence concerning who the country’s next vice-president is going to be. some of those unhappy with the outlook bellyache repeatedly about how wrong it is to wind up with a President and V-P who have never been elected by the people as a whole. That qualifies as grade-A drivel, if not out-and-out hypocrisy. In a literal sense, no vicepresident within the memory of anybody living now has come to office as a consequence of people’s voting for him over someone else. Every ballot in the land lists candidates for President and V-P from o*ch party as a team The pairing is unsplittable. When someone gets a vote for President, his running mate collects one automatically as well. Whoever makes it to the White House automatically brings in a no-split nominee for No. 2. Almost uniformly, too, each party’s V-P candidate got on the ballot in the first place as a handpicked choice (convention-yessed) of no one but the presidential nominee himself. To rate the end result as a vice-president “elected by the people’’ misstates the fact and compounds a myth. To moan and bleed because some interloper chosen by the President from a community elective camp may move to the No. I post “unelected’’ overlooks the nature of the normal way and bloats the myth still more. “Elected by the people’’ even has a hollow ring in respect to the presidency itself, apart from the maligned succession route. considering the technical mechanics of the first-instance vote Whatever their illusion, people do not vote for Presidents. Their vote establishes electors — members of the so-called electoral college — who convene at an appointed time and formalize the business through the medium of electoral votes. That exercise, of course, resubdivides the people’s votes on a state-bv-state basis of winner-take-all — each state's whole contingent going for the statewide winner even if the people gave him only 51 percent support or less. As frequently deplored. this also means the people’s choice in nationwide vote-totals can be beaten because of elec-toral-college redistributing that overcomes the whole publics will. It has happened before. It almost did again in 1960 and again in 1968. Considerable support developed then to scrap the surrogate election foolishness and let the voters’ straight decision settle who their President will be. The pressure has died out in recent years amid still noisier disturbances of democratic peace, and electoral-college reform has relinquished its punch to more timely reforms. Against the backdrop of today’s unseemly sniping at the ups and downs of White House tenancy and how its lines develop with the voters merely standing by, the question of electoral reform would be a better one to raise again — and push to meaningful results. Landmark endangered Unless a rescue try barely under way succeeds somehow, the historic Alexander G. Clark house in Muscatine will be razed early next year to clear the way for a low-rent housing for the elderly project. The loss would be irretrievable. The causes of education and civil rights in Iowa have known few, if any, abler champions than Alexander Clark, a black whose 1868 court suit enabled all children, regardless of race, to receive public education in Iowa Significantly, in 1870 — two years after the supreme court ruling on behalf of educational equality — Iowa ascended to primacy among all states in literacy. Clark later gained national recognition as a politician and orator Students hang loose By Roscoe Drummomd WASHINGTON — Peace has come to Berkeley The University of California includes nine campuses, it serves more than 120,006 students, it contains buildings and property that exceed $2 5 billion in value — altogether one of the world's largest universities Time was when the Berkeley campus alone was the recurring scene of violent protests and radical activities Not any more To date the University of California in all campuses has completed its third year without a single riot or major confrontation Further, the campuses have become the safest places to live anywhere in California The national guard remains under stiff restraints Despite the acquittal of all eight guardsmen in the Kent State case, the guard is not easing its new rules on rifle fire in handling protest group* The rule in most states permits no shooting until other measures to restrain violence are tried and found inadequate No change is contemplated in the directive to guardsmen not to load their Exploring the possibility of saving the Clark home is the Eastern Iowa chapter of Links, Inc., a national women’s philanthropic organization Chapter chairperson, Mrs. Reid Motley of Cedar Rapids, noted that the deadline for moving the brick building is less than two months away (Jan. 25, 1975). Not only must funds be raised, a relocation site must be found Muscatine city officials have estimated the project at $100,000 or more. If preservation of the ('lark home is deemed feasible, the effort will rate every man-hour and dollar Links, Inc., can enlist. As Mrs. Motley has observed, the building is black history, but beyond that it commemorates a citizen who contributed much to the state and country. Roscoe Drummond rifle}* when preparing to confront protest man-hen* labor's political clout is more powerful than ever In the congressional elections it was a big spender — more than $4 I million contributed to candidates — and a big winner. ('OPE, the political arm of the AFL-(10, endorsed 265 house and senate candidates and had a victory rate of 70 percent; two years ago, HO percent. The United Auto Workers endorsed 356 candidates and was 72 percent successful COFF played a hand in electing 41 of the 43 new Democratic member* of the house President Ford has been advised that inflation is receding Economists, who are looking some months ahead, see the tide of rising prices ebbing, the rail* of inflation dropping This doesn't mean that the economic crisis is passing; it simply enters a different phase — a stage in which the policies of the government would be focused primarily on economic slowdown and unemployment Lo* Ar»8«(** Time* VE VAMIX 10CWH6All NIZEUNP/ FTO //j    ' Meany into high dudgeon Trade bill splits labor, Jackson By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON — How much the onee-ardent love affair between big labor and Sen Henry M. Jackson has cooled became clear in a spontaneous outburst triggered by George Meany at the AFL-CIO executive council’s dosed-door meeting here Nov 7. Blunt-spoken Meany was in an ornery mood that day, not feeling up to snuff physically and irritated by im portunmgs from the Jackson tamp for labor s early presidential endorsement. Angered that Jackson was supporting the labor-opposed foreign trade bill. Meany snapped “He better endorse us before we endorse him” That set off waves of emphatic agreement from other council members and not a word of dissent This hostile mood is taken seriously by Jackson’s advisers Although big labor certainly has no alternative to him, the determination a few months ago for an early, unequivocal AFL-CIO endorsement of Jackson has vanished Just as his acceptability within the Democratic party’s left wing is rising. Jackson's basic hardcore support has been undercut. Trouble between Meany and Jackson began last July when the senator s visit to — and praise for — communist China troubled the old anti communist labor leader It intensified when Jackson endorsed the trade bill after compromising on his amendment for Jewish emigration from ♦he Soviet Union. Some labor officials had mistakenly believed Jackson w is pressing th, amendment only us a covet enabling him to join the AFL-CIO in oppeising the trade bill. Beyond Jackson, top AFL-CIO leaders feel abused and taken for granted generally by the Democratic party While claiming with considerable justification they paid the hills for the winning Democratic candidates Nov. 3. labor leaders grumble that once in congress they refuse to help labor on such projects as defeating the trade bill. Meany made precisely these points Nov 7, evoking a suggestion from Paul Hall of the Seafarers union that candidates no longer win AFL-CIO endorsement without first agreeing to four or five principal labor goals — including its protectionist position on trade. That generated a spontaneous outburst of such ferocity and unanimity that some officials attending the meeting were taken aback As for Jackson, not with his most enthusiastic supporters on the council — Floyd (Red) Smith of the Machinists union and Joe Keenan of the Interna tional Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — contradicted Meany by saying a word in the senator’s defense Nor was Jackson helped at AFL-CIO headquarters when he recently named Robert Keefe, executive director at the Democratic national committee, to run his pre si der ti a1 campaign The acquisition of the highly regarded Keefe was applauded everywhere except in big labor, which feels Keefe turned a.;ainst his former colleagues in the labor movement as top aide to Democratic National Chairman Robert Strauss Although both sides want the Jackson-labor rupture repaired, some AFL-CIO officials see unavoidable trouble if the trade bill passes and. as they predict, results in exporting still more American jobs. In that case, labor will open fire on all supporters of the bill — Jackson included Publish#!-* Hall Syndical# Senator Jackson People 's forum Dictation To the Editor; You recently published a letter in the Forum which defended Pope Paul s stand in regard to birth control It stated that the Pope does not “deserve to be criticized for his belief in the equalty of all people” True, he is entitled to his beliefs But unfortunately they are just a euphemism for dictating moral law to millions of people and can only compound the enormous problem of overpopulation Conservative estimates are for the world’s population to exceed K billion within 35 years, over twice the current number. To dictate that the only acceptable form of birth control is by the "rhythm method” is irresponsible at best. It is difficult to correlate a belief in the equality of all people with a mandate which can only serve to augment the very problem one professes to be against. Unless, of course, equality can be construed to mean the right to be born unwanted and facing almost certain starvation as are countless millions of people on our planet and with the number growing daily. As to the Pope being against only “unnatural (chemical and mechanical)’’ forms of birth control, perhaps he should also dictate that blood transfusions. surgery and radiotherapy be prohibited on the grounds of being unnatural and therefore, morally wrong A problem with the magnitude that catastrophic potential of overpopulation should not be dealt with by religious dogma but rather, with expediency, foresight, and concern for all mankind. We should form our beliefs based on our own morals and intellect rather than have them thrust upon us by religious organizations which have no more knowledge of the wishes of a Supreme Being than we do The lack of perspective displayed by many theologians should make this fact only too obvious to all who care to look beyond religious jingoism Dave Bradley 2131 Blairs Ferry road NE No insult To the Editor In reference to the letter titled "Unfortunate” (Forum. Nov, 26) concerning “the lack of knowledge and sensitivity in this community to the feelings of native Americans”; Did Mabel me Crosby or the 26 other signers find out what is being taught to our preschoolers concerning the na-tiveAmericans in connection with Thanksgiving? I think not. The children were taught that the American Indians were cheated, swindle! and killed for their land, much of which was generously given to the white man out of kindness. They were also taught that the first Thanksgiving wa* one of praise to God by the white man The powwow at Happy Hours preschool was one in honor of our native* Americans It was not intended as an insult I am sorry we were thought insensitive. As a teacher there. I for one am trying to train children to resj>eet all people Mrs M J Trunecek 4227 Northwood drive NE Sharplined voting not discernible By Don Oakley There may no longer he1 “thunder on the right” hut a great deal of noise is still coming from the conservative side of the political spectrum. Some commentators view the recent electoral debacle suffered by the Republicans not as proof that liberalism is in the saddle hut that million of disenchanted Americans are looking, longing for a leader to ride in on a different kind of horse They quote (Hills showing that while only 19 percent of voters call themselves Republicans, only 37 percent identify with the Democrats, leaving a majority that are “undecided" or “independents." Columnist Kevin P. Phillips, who once wrote a hook called "The Coming Republican Majority", still sticks by that prediction, though he is no longer so sure it will hear that particular party label According to columnist James J Kilpatrick the major trouble with the Republican party is not that it is stained with corruption but that it is no longer identified with any particular ideas The party is not unprincipled hut, in the popular view, is nonprmcipled. Tom Tiede, Washington columnist for Newspaper Enterprise Assn . quotes a young, recently disc harged (ii who did not vote or even register to vote because he wants no part of traditional politics What he is looking for is “somebody who speaks to the real majority in this country . . . Let me tell you, if somebody cane along to appeal to these pen pie. who could truly represent the,r thinking, he could win any election, even the presidency.’’ It is difficult to square these opinions with the actual results of Nov 5. Americans did not stay away from the polls in significantly greater numbers than usually they do in an off-year And those who did vote elected a younger. more liberal congress than the one the country is supposedly disgusted with. As for the great, silent voice of conservatism. it had its chance to speak hack in 1964 when Barry Coldwater seized the* Republican banner That election was overshadowed, of course, if not distorted, by Vietnam, just as the last one w as ov ershadow od by W atergate. But when has any election been a clean-cut contest between diametrically opposed political philosophies unaffected and uninfluenced by the domestic and foreign crises of the moment * Those who disenfranchise themselves out of principle, who call a plague, on both party houses, may comfort themselves in the belief that their political messiah will someday come. In the meantime, we live in the real world of compromise and unrealized dreams, where politics continues to he. whatever else it is, the art of the possible S#**ooo#f EnteriH'*# Allocution Don Oakley Consistent with conservatism Pressure builds to uncrime marijuana use By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON — Proposals for the decriminalization ’ of marijuana once again are being heard. The proposals make sense — so much sense that they ought to be seen as a first step toward reconsideration of public policy on the whole field of victimless crime Granted, “criminalize" and “decriminalize are verbs that make a man wince, and “decriminalization’ is a noun that would have driven II L. Menc ken up the wall Yet the words are useful, all the same, in defining an area of the law in which an act is illegal but not criminal Overparking is a familiar example. If I recall my dog I .atm correctly, such an offense once was known as “malum prohibitum’’ as distinguishes! from "malum in se ” Over the past 40 years, m»»st state's have treated even the mere possession and use of marijuana as crimes — as felonies or grave misdemeanors, pun ishable by both fine and imprisonment Here and there, as reason has replaces! emotion, attitudes have moderated Oregon now treats simple possession as a “violation,” usually punished by a $25 fine Dr Robert L Dupont, chief White House spokesman on drug abuse, last month recommended that possession of marijuana (as distinguished from sale) he* decriminalized at the federal level, His preeedessor. Dr. Jerome H. Jaffe, concurred Here in Washington. I S Attorney Earl J Silbert announced that his office no longer will prosecute cases in which the evidence indicates possession of five or fewer cigarets Chief Judge Harold H Greene backed him up On Capitol Hill, Hep Edward Koch (DNY) said he would reintroduce a dec riminalization bill next month In Miami, Attorney General William Saxbe said he would welcome a change in th** law, Jambs J. Kilpatrick For the most part, the recommendations draw support from liberals Such consevatives as James Eastland, chairman of senate judiciary, remain stoutly opposed Yet carefully examined, the idea of decriminalizing marijuana precisely accords with conservative thinking. Conservative doctrine holds that to the greatest degree possible, consistent with a demonstrably overriding public* interest, the individual citizen should he l»oth free and responsible — free to do what he pleases, responsible for the harm he himself may suffer Unless it can I** demonstrated convincingly that marijuana constitutes a health hazard to society, conservative* cannot consistently support the criminal sanctions that now apply. No such evidence has lieen brought forward Even as to individual harm medical testimony is in conflict The notion that most or all pot smokers process! from marijuana to heroin ha* been exploded As a hazard to public health, marijuana plainly does not qualify There is a second, pragmatic reason marijuana users It is a foolish ai wasteful use of the time of knith polit men and judges to continue the spa modic and capricious enforc ement of t marijuana law Half a million such arrests will I made this year I he eases divert poll from such truly serious crimes as bu glary and robbery and they clog t courts with defendants — mostly youi defendants — not guilty of any true t tense against society. To he* sure. univ or 3 percent actually wind up in jail. h all of them suffer the stain of a crtrnm arrest on their records The same considerations ought to applied to many other “crimes " I) tasteful as the process may he*, con sc* i alives should re-examine their bushi to repeal of laws that make it ennui for adults to engage* in homosexual re* tionships Why is simple drunkenness crime ? Why are those who gam! still lawfully subject to arrest ami ii prominent9 We* rie-ed to think on the*se things TI decriminalization of marijuana offers fine* place lei start iftotSi'ttflon liar    'I*# ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Cedar Rapids Gazette