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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 12, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (tlvr (trclpr I\npicU (DnjcH’f Editoria I Page Remember what, not who, is ‘supreme law’ Fnday, July I 2, 19 74 Party platforms obsolete? AT ITS SESSIONS in Miami Beach two years ago, the Republican national convention adopted Rule 29 — a rule directing that new methods of broadening the party’s base be found through the help of state “Rule 29“ committees. The Iowa “Rule 29“ committee, headed by Lieutenant Governor Neu, made its report a few weeks ago and went on to deliver itself of some suggestions for state and local party reform. In addition to many other worthwhile suggestions, the committee had this to say, in part, about the traditional party platform: “Many people are dissatisfied with Iowa’s statutory platform process. They feel that platforms are of little benefit. Scant attention is paid them by the news media, the public, or even the parties’ candidates.” Truer word was hardly ever spoken by a bunch of politicians anywhere. A review of the platform adopted by Iowa Democrats in state convention at Ames last month and of the proposed platform to be presented to Iowa Republicans in state convention at Des mMoines on July 20, substantiates the Rule 29 committee’s observation. A careful count indicates that the 50-page Democratic platform of some 13,150 words is composed of six main subjects, each containing the word “People” (People and Politics, People and the Law, People and the Land, People and the Economy, People and the Economy: National Priorities, People and the Government), 30 subtopics and 601 planks. That’s right, 601 planks. This is an expansion of the normal “catch-all, something-for-everyone” platform which includes, to borrow a cliche, “everything but the kitchen sink,” and there’s the possibility an avid researcher could find that stuck in there somew here too. The proposed 14-page Republican platform runs about 5.080 words, covers 14 main subjects (National, Human Resources, Labor, Education. Natural Resources, Agriculture. Environmental Quality, Economic Development, Energy, Taxation, Government, Legislative, Law Enforcement, Local Government) and contains 91 planks plus a preamble. Obviously, it doesn’t cover as much territory as the Democratic platform. One reason is that it confines itself mainly to state issues. The Democrats worked in planks on both national and international issues that should have been reserved for the party’s national platform committee’s consideration. In addition to being much too long to attract and hold attention (after all, the Ten Commandments covered only 318 words and President Lincoln needed only 271 to deliver his Gettysburg address), the Democratic platform was tough going for the state convention delegates by virtue of its composition. It was difficult to find the topic under discussion on the floor at any given time. By contrast, the Republican platform has been codified to make it easy for state convention delegates to follow the subject under discussion. For example, every line in it has its own number, from I through 508. What is the Rule 29 committee’s alternative to a platform letting people know where the party stands? It suggests the party look at the Michigan system of “statements of the majority.” Under this system, only a few key issues are taken up with convention delegates voting for or against a stated position and letting the record show the strength of each vote. This system recognizes, then, that not every party member has to agree with the majority of the party on every issue. Of course, not every party member agrees with each of the party’s positions in traditional platforms. The difference is that the record under the Michigan system shows clearly that there was a difference of only one vote, perhaps, between the majority and the minority on a given issue — a difference which is not noted in traditional platforms. There are other alternatives, of course, and each should be explored. As the Rule 29 committee plainly says, traditional platforms are virtually meaningless.Rephrase ALTHOUGH the gas shortage shows signs of easing up, one thing we can do without is any more negativism in connection with it. Specifically; what go against the grain are gas stations signs that read “No gas sold on Sunday,” or “No gas sold on July 4,” and the like. They bring immediately to mind the old refrain, “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.” How much more appealing and morale-lifting it would be if the signs read somelike this: “Gas sold every day but Sunday,” or “Gas-up daily except Sunday.” Yes, accentuate the positive (and) . . . latch on to the affirmative. ...” By Anthony Lewis WASHINGTON — Everyone will have his own memory, Ins own feelings about Earl Warren. What tame to my mind at tin1 news of Ins death was a scene in the supreme court on Aug. 28, 1958 The court was sitting in special term to hear the Little Rock, Ark , school case Counsel for the school board asked that desegregation orders be suspended because of local resistance. Governor Orval Eau bus had told the people of Arkansas that supreme court decisions were not the law of the land, he said, and they believed him “Mr. Chief Justice, you’ve been the governor of a great state . . counsel began saying. The chief justice broke in to say that as governor of California he “abided by the decision of the courts.’’ Again counsel argued that weight should be given to the views of Paubus. Then Earl Warren said: “I have never heard such an argument made in a court of justice before, and I have tried many a case through many a year. I never heard a lawyer say that the statement of a governor as to what was legal or illegal should control the action of any court.” The supreme court held unanimously then that judicial orders must be obeyed. Anthony Lewis An opinion signed by all nine justices said the case of Marbury v. Madison iii 1803 had “declared the basic principle that the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution, and that principle has ever since been respected by this court and the country as a permanent and indispensable feature of our constitutional system ” What came through in Earl Warren’s homey words in 1958 was his simple astonishment that a public official should stand against the process of law and the courts. What brings the episode to mind now is, of course, that a later supreme court is struggling with an even greater challenge to the American system of constitutional law — to the principle of Marbury \ Madison Speaking for President Nixon in the argument of the tapes case, James St Clair asked the justices to undo assumptions that have prevailed in our system since 1803. That would In* the effect of a series of audacious propositions that he candidly put to the court. A President is not subject to the judicial process at all, St. Clair argued He decides whether to obey court orders In his own discretion he may withhold evidence subpoenaed for a criminal trial, even evidence of a conspiracy in which there is a strong showing that he participated. The only law that can reach him is the law of impeachment — and he has the right to deny evidence to that process, too. He defines his own powers under the Constitution. There is a seductive logic in such arguments until one shakes one’s head and realizes that they are founded upon the Insights They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts. — Sir Philip Sidney premise of an imperial presidency. And those who created the office did not have that in mind. It is fascinating to compare St. Clair’s view of a President’s legal duties and powers with that of the lawyers for the first President served with a subpoena: Thomas Jefferson, in the Aaron Burr trials of 1807. Jefferson detested Chief Justice Marshall, who presided at the Burr trials, and in private letters criticized as political the demands for his evidence. But in court there was no claim that he was immune as President. The evidence was offered in full to Marshall for his scrutiny. Jefferson’s lawyers resented charges that he was trying to hide behind the presidency. All they asked was that evidence offered in public be limited to what was relevant to Burr’s case The ll. S attorney, George Hay, told the court that he had no idea of clothing the President with the “attributes of divinity.” Another of his lawyers, Alexander McRae, said: “We do not think that the President is exalted above legal process and if the President possesses information of any nature which might tend to serve the cause of Aaron Burr, a subpoena should issue to him notwithstanding his elevated sta lion ” The details are brilliantly evoked by Raoul Berger in the Vale Law Journal for May, and by Gary Wills in the current New York Review of Books What is needed from the supreme court now is a restatement of basic principle. The public is drained and wearied by the cynicism of Watergate. It has waited in vain for any great evocation of constitutional ideals in congress. It yearns for reassurance that ours is still a system of law applicable to all - law ultimately interpreted by the courts. Why the courts? Judges are riot wiser than other men. Their decisions may be right or wrong, cheered or denounced, as Earl Warren’s were. But Americans at least have confidence that the supreme court justices are not cynics, not partisans, not wrongdoers. However differently they see the law, their only interest is in vindicating it. That is why Justice Felix Frankfurter, no romantic about judges, wrote in the Little Rock case: “Our kind of society cannot endure if the controlling authority of the law as derived from the Constitution is not to be the tribunal specially charged with the duty of ascertaining and declaring what is ‘the supreme law of the land.’ New York Times Service Cherished values retainable Man a failure? Opposing proof abounds By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — As an upbeat ending to this series on whether the United States can recover the quality and staying power of its democracy, here are the views of several distinguished Americans who have written to me. • Dr. Philip Handler, president, National Academy of Sciences: “From the global standpoint we must confront the economics of perpetual scarcity — scarcity of energy, scarcity of mineral resources, scarcity of food, scarcity of everything but people .... Last in a series “We cannot go it alone. Not merely for humanitarian reasons, not merely because we cannot live indefinitely as an affluent island on an otherwise impoverished planet but because our civilization even now requires importation of a rather significant quantity of more than two dozen minerals .... “The opportunity for the ‘good life’ — at least for Americans — was never more real. We can use science-based technology to manage our physical problems, to assure our food supply, to protect our environment in a sense we have never known before, and in so doing we can retain most of those values which we cherish from the American past. “Throughout our remarkable history leaders have been made rather than born, and the next generation of leadership will appear in due course ” • Dean Rusk, former secretary of state; professor of law, University of Georgia: “The young people who are now in our schools and colleges are destined to write a unique chapter in the history of the human race. They have on their plate a number of problems which are different in kind than any which mankind has faced before. “One thinks of a more assured decision on how to keep the nuclear beast in its cage, the adjustment of man’s appetites to a wholesome environment, the population explosion, the sharp reduction in tensions arising out of racial, religious, cultural and ideological differences and adjustments to diminishing supplies of certain raw materials and energy sources .... “There are no foxholes in which we can hide if we try to withdraw from a responsible participation in world affairs . . . “The American people will respond to a leadership which calls us to great tasks, mobilizes our hope and confidence and shakes us loose from our concentration on today’s pleasures and creature comforts.” Roscoe Drummond A ❖ • S Dillon Ripley, secretary. Smithsonian Institution: “My own feeling is that this state of affairs can Ik* turned around, not quickly and easily by panaceas and raised popular expectations but rather by an understanding of man and his kindred creatures. “I would opt for what some of us are doing in the field of open education, in the museums as well as the media, the creation of understanding of our ethnicity, our cultural roots and pride in them, and at the same time our responsibility to our environment and the realization that we all have a role to play in keeping our world viable, all of us, wherever we are. linked in a common citizenship. . . . “From my own point of view I hope we can have a share in the process at the Smithsonian through the creation of a Museum of Man which will teach the vast crowds of quiet, orderly, decent people who come here from everywhere in the nation something that has so far eluded museums as well as schools: the concept of the creations of the spirit of man. the development of ideas which arise in the human species wherever it happens to exist . . . We can visualize for a moment the truths that lie in the world about us and in the process rediscover our humanity.” • Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, former chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; director. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory:Grumble is all we do’ “My own outlook is optimistic. If it seems we are being told from all sides today that man is a failure, this comes about ironically enough because we are being judged in terms of a w hole new set of standards in a world where almost everything seems possible, thus making every want, every injustice and every wrong seem unbearable. “For the first time in human history — within our lifetimes here — technology has made possible on a massive scale what an economist has called ‘the democratization of privilege.’ “Today increasing numbers enjoy freedom from enervating, backbreaking labor, the means to travel and explore the world's wonders; the leisure to enjoy nature’s beauty and new dimensions of one’s own creativity.” Los Angeles Times Syndicate Uncle overtrusted By Jim Fiebig WHILE MUCH lip service is paid by the citizenry to the theory that we have little confidence in the problemsolving capabilities of the federal government, in practice, at least, we're still a nation of sheep Take our economic situation. We complain — about rat-hole spending, mismanagement of tax dollars, inflation — but we rarely complain with enough volume or feeling to scare our political representatives into action Instead, they look upon our grumblings with the fatherly tolerance of army officers listening to the murmurings of the men in the foxholes They read us right. They read us loud and clear. Beneath our gruff exteriors, there still beats a dangerous, childlike trust in government that no amount of bungling seems able to penetrate. This trust is founded on a belief in a mythical line of defense in Washington — manned by our leaders and representatives — over which no economic problem or crisis will bt* allowed to cross. Because or. the other side of the line is chaos — and who among them would allow chaos? To be sure, the pendulum may swing all the way to the absurd, but logic, leadership and patriotism will always be there to slap it back toward common sense The flaw in this thinking is that chaos is relative. People’s forumProfligacy To the Editor. I see that our President gave Sadat of Egypt a very expensive helicopter. Was it his to give away? If the firemen in a city all chipped in and bought a fire engine and then watched their chief give it away to the chief in another town, do you think the firemen would be happy about it? He is also promising to give away nuclear reactors, economic assistance, technology, you name it. I guess the theory is that if you can buy a presidential election you can also buy peace. When President Nixon is in Russia, Kissinger is in Europe, and Ford is flying around the country making political speeches at taxpayer expense, who is minding the store? Could it be that we have too many chiefs and not enough Indians? The half-hearted efforts of this administration to control inflation are understandable. The only people who can do anything about it are the very ones who benefit by it. Inflation squeezes the poor, elderly and middle-inconie people and makes the rich richer. The wealthy can put money into gold, silver, art, antiques, jewels, real estate and anything else that is rapidly rising in value, while the worker is falling behind with his poor little 5 percent savings account. I have heard that congress should be able to do this as long as the Democrats have a majority, but as long as such southern Democrats as McClellan, Sparkman, Eastland, Nunn and Allen support the President most of the time, the “majority” is meaningless. These fellows are just Republicans in Democrat suits. I get incensed at the “image” TV commercials of oil and insurance companies telling the public what good guys they are. I think it’s a little late. All oil derricks should be required to fly a black flag with skull and crossbones on it As for insurance companies, look around and see who builds the most lavish and expensive office buildings The part that gets me most is that my own money is being spent to insult my intelligence with these “aren't we fine fellows” ads. These corporations are in the same class as the monopolistic utility companies which spend more money advertising themselves than they do on much-needed research I think it is high time for a reversal of a lot of priorities. James E Maloney MonticelloWonderings To the Editor Ever wondered why we have the progressive income tax? Ever wondered why the U N was formed, and by whom and who donated the land’’ Ever woo dered why Sen Joseph McCarthy was censured (criticized) and who really did this smear job? Ever wondered why the United States is so socialistic? Ever wondered why the public cannot find (let alone buy) a book called “NoneA intl her View We re building a little pipeline, too. ” Dare Call It Conspiracy” in local bookstores or in the public library (except in the Kennedy high school bookstore)? This book deals with a communist conspiracy which is going on right now to bring the world to socialism. Jeane Dixon said that Watergate exposed this “secret society — “like an iceberg.” Ever wondered why our $1 bills have a picture of an eye ct the top of a pyramid and what the Latin words mean? Ever wondered what role the international bankers (in New York, London, Paris and West Germany) have played iii this worldwide swialist conspiracy? And who they are? Ever wondered why the people and organizations implicated in the book above have never been able to file a lawsuit against the author. Gary Allen, and who they are? Ever wondered why the Council on Foreign Relations was formed and who its big man is right*now ' (Congressman Culver has just recently joined this council.) Ever wondered why General MacArthur was called off from victory in Korea? Ever wondered what role Colonel House played in the Wilson administration and what “council” he came from? Ever wondered how America was conned into both World wars arid all those foreign alliances, ami why'* Ever wondered why some (if not all) of the news media (NBC and CBS — not local stations or ABC — and many large newspapers like the ones out East) are biased, left-wing, and so flagrantly anti-Ameriean? Ever wondered why the left always tries to smear anyone who tries to expose its vicious, insidious, worldwide plot and why it fears the John Birch Society9 Ever wondered why we have such high prices on gasoline? Ever wondered who really killed President Kennedy and possibly others9 The movie, “Executive Action ”, will clue you in Ever wondered why evil is so rampant now ? Ever wondered who caused the crash of 1929, and why? Read “None Dare Call It ( onspiracy" For a copy, just contact one of us by mail Phil Olmstead 1745 Higley avenue SE Margaret Heaveho intl Twenty-second avenue SW Tom Corrora Route 3, Marion (Editor s note On $1 bills, the pyramid emblem is the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the right side of the bills The pyramid s I 3 courses of stone represent the Union, watched over by the eye of Providence in its traditional triangle ) If you are wealthy, as many of our leaders and representatives are, the fact that today’s dollar is worth less than one-third of its 1940 counterpart does not represent economic chaos. Nor does the prospect that a continuance of the current rate of inflation will cut the purchasing power of today’s dollar in half b> 1979 They are not even particularly upset that the Nixon administration has just handed us our first $300 billion budget — only five years after saddling us with our first $200 billion budget! Our government keeps spending more than it takes in. year after year after year. And each year, you and I murmur and grumble and complain. Never with enough volume. Never with sufficient feeling. No confidence iii government? Hell, we're killing ourselves with confidence General feature! Corporation Jim Fiebigr I ;

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