Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 13, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Saturday, July 13, 1974
U.S. role reconsidered
ON JUNE 27 the house foreign affairs committee reported favorably on a bill restoring the United States to full compliance with U.N. sanctions against Southern Rhodesia.
Its purpose: To repeal the Byrd amendment, adopted in 1971, that put the United States in violation of its own two votes in the U N. for applying economic sanctions against Ian Smith’s white minority regime established in Southern Rhodesia in 1965.
The Byrd amendment was part of the defense procurement act that permitted importation of any commodity deemed to be strategic and critical from a communist country. Its effect was to authorize the importation of chrome ore, ferrochrome and nickel from Southern Rhodesia, making the U.S. the only nation besides South Africa and Portugal to violate openly the U.N. Security Council sanctions, which the U.S. had approved.
Arguments for the Byrd amendment in 1971 stressed that it was in the national interest to keep from becoming dependent on Russia for chrome ore imports. However, since the amendment was adopted the Soviet share of U.S. chrome imports has soared to 53 percent from 24 percent. Moreover, the U.S. supply of chrome ore stockpiled in the U.S. has become so large that in the last year President Nixon' declared 3.9 million tons to be in* excess. He proposed legislation tor release that amount for public* sale.
The Second district’s Congressman Culver, a member of the foreign affairs committee, waq pleased with its action. He told tho house the Byrd amendment “has several adverse effects”:
• It reverses the policy of two U.S. Presidents in support of self-determination of a majority oi Rhodesians of what kind of government they want.
• It violates international law and sets a bad precedent for a country claiming allegiance to international law.
• It weakens the sanctions approved by the U N. and weakens that organization itself as an in strumentality for peaceful change.
• It creates hostility toward the U.S. among black African countries by giving the Smith regime a morale boost.
• It leaves the impression that the U.S. is not willing to sacrifice even a small economic interest in order to penalize a regime which flouts ‘‘principles of democracy, racial equality and self-deter ruination.”
Culver’s points are well-taken. With U.S. approval on record for the sanctions resolutions in the U.N., congress should not have adopted the Byrd amendment in the beginning. But it did. So the best course now is to repeal it, taking note in the process that our credibility as a people suffers anytime we fail to say what we mean and to mean what we say.
Chief Justice Warren
THE MAN PROBABLY more responsible than any other in this generation for giving full constitutional meaning to such words as ‘desegregation,” ‘‘apportionment,” and ‘‘bill of rights,” died Tuesday after 52 years of service to his country, state and nation.
He was Earl Warren, 83, who took off his World war I uniform to start one of the most remarkable public careers in the history of our nation as a deputy district attorney in California’s Alameda county. In 1953, 36 years later, after a 13-year stint as district attorney and 12 years as California’s first three-term governor, ^resident eisenhower appointed him chief justice of the supreme court of the United States.
During the 16 years he served as chief justice, he was the guiding light in decisions ending school desegration, wiping out rural-domination of state legislatures attained through unconstitutional malapportionment and putting the court solidly behind the guarantee of bill of rights protection to accused criminals.
In brief, he presided over a court whose decisions put into effect areas of the U.S. Constitution
Way with words
By Theodore M. Bernstein
A CORRESPONDENT, obviously a female chauvinist deer, seeks a suggestion for a nonsexist salutation in a business letter. She says that Dear Sir is inappropriate, To Whom It May Concern is too verbose* and Greetings suggests induction. Of course, there is always Dear Friend if you don't mind having your letter tossed into the wastebasket unread.
Then there is Dear Corporation unless the recipient has a bay window But how about Dear Adores see, which is about as insipid and noncommittal as anything anyone could dream up? All right, now let’s worry about the Dear, isn t that a little too sexy?
So be it. Not so many years ago the word albeit was on the way to being classed as archaic, but it has survived though its legs arc shaky, it originally was a compound of all, be and it in the
that, theretofore, either had been winked at or, at best, had received only lip service support.
Roundly praised and just as roundly condemned, the Warren court stuck by its guns. Today those decision are standing well the tests of time.
Mindful of the criticism heaped on the court for many of its precedent-setting decrees, Warren acknowledged upon his retirement June 23, 1969, that the court’s responsibility ‘‘of speaking the last word for not only 200 million people, but for those to follow us,” was ‘‘awesome.”
“It is a responsibility,” he said, ‘‘that is made more difficult in this court because we have no constituency. We serve no majority. We serve no minority. We serve only the public interest as we see it, guided only by the Constitution and our own consciences. And conscience sometimes is a very severe taskmaster.”
Honest, fair, compassionate, understanding, humane and honorable — those are adjectives that truly fit Earl Warren, who exemplified each of them and more.
sense of “let it all be (whatever).” It had, and has, the meaning of although.
One caution about how not to use it is exemplified by this sentence: “We are presently witnessing the banal but albeit tragic spectacle of a world community idly watching the wanton murder of innocents by fanatic organizations .” The use of but ahead of albeit creates a redundancy. You could — and should — delete either the but or the albeit. .lust as you wouldn't say "but although," so you shouldn’t say “but albeit. ''
Word oddities. If, heaven forfend, we should get into a depression, we may find ourselves resorting to boondoggling, that is, putting the unemployed to work at useless tasks at government expense. The word boondoggle was originated in 1925 by a Rochester, N. Y., Boy Scoutmaster, Robert Ii Link Boondoggling at first referred to the braiding of Boy Scouts of leather straps used either as slides into which neckerchiefs were pushed or as hatbands. Came the Depression and the word was widely used in its present-day meaning.
Ne* York Times Syndicate
Key Republican tilts toward impeachment
By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak
WASHINGTON — A shadow was cast on President Nixon’s rising hopes for survival at a recent closed-door session of the house judiciary committee by Rep. Thomas Halfback, a 42-year-old downstate Illinois Republican who has become pivotal in the historic impeachment drama
Railsback requested the impeachment inquiry staff to determine whether Mr Nixon's April 17, 1973, order to aides to convey secret grand jury information to his personal lawyer, Herbert Kalmbach, was actually carried out. Exactly what the committee staff reported back is unknown but can be guessed at by the fact that Railsback, in private conversation with committee colleagues, has expressed shock over possible defilement of grand jury sanctity.
This means that Railsback has implicitly rejected the White House defense strategy of narrowly focusing the inquiry on whether it can be proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr Nixon authorized hush-money payments. On the contrary, the fact that Railsback is independently probing the overlooked but potentially lethal grand jury issue indicates a strong possibility he may vote for impeachment.
This is dreadful news for Mr. Nixon because of Railsback’s unique position. Although moderate ideologically, he is closely aligned socially with the party’s
People ’s forum
Way of life
To the Editor:
I read in your paper where a 63-year-old woman was imprisoned because she refused to pay her taxes, because she claimed to be a peace activist. She also stated that she’s never forgiven this country for dropping the bomb on Japan, and I suppose since she feels that way, she must forgive Japan for the sneak attack it pulled on Pearl Harbor.
There s no such thing as peace, and never can be. There is understanding between countries. That’s all.
I don’t like war. But I don’t believe America should stand by and let other countries beat her to a pulp. If America hadn’t dropped the bomb on Japan, think of how many more of our boys would have died trying to keep freedom for people such as those.
If people don't like life in America, and the American way, then let them go to the country of their choice. I wonder if this lady would still feel the same if the Japanese had invaded America. I shudder to think how life would bi* for us now.
Edward Strange Fort Madison
conservative mainstream as a member of the elite Chowder and Marching Society and as a daily communicant in the house gymnasium (no place for liberals). He is a close friend and admirer of Rep. Robert Michel, the congressman from Peoria whose loyalty to Mr. Nixon knows no deviation.
With this background and by shielding his intentions, Railsback has become the committee’s single most influential member, lf he votes against impeachment, the White House hopes for 16 out of 17 Republicans — a near party-line vote that could carry over to the house floor. If Railsback votes for impeachment, however, he probably would be accompanied by another four committee Republicans and would influence many other Republicans on the house floor.
When the impeachment inquiry was beginning last year, Railsback collaborated with Rep Charles Wiggins of California — now Mr. Nixon’s most effective defender — in decrying Democratic partisanship. He has since
been sharply critical of Chairman Peter Rodino tor limits placed on witnesses t ailed by Nixon defense lawyer James St Clair.
But he has never bought the prevailing Republican thesis that only a criminal offense is sufficient to impeach a President. Rather. Railsback feels several noncriminal actions, in both misusing government power and in Watergate obstruction of justice, constitute grounds for impeachment.
Not looking for the "murder weapon’’ which his Republican colleagues think is necessary, Railsback found something more subtle when he read a June 8 column in the Washington Post by Walter Pincus, executive editor of the New Republic. Three paragraphs in that column, suggesting Mr. Nixon violated the grand jury process, led Railsback to the edited White House transcripts.
In a telephone conversation April 16, 1973, the President asked Asst Atty. Gen. Henry Petersen what was happening inside the Watergate grand jury, promising not to pass on the information “because I know the rules of the grand jury.” On the next morning, April 17. the President relayed to IT R Haldeman what Petersen had told him and suggested Haldeman share it with John I). Ehrlichman.
On April 17, the President again requested and received grand jury information from Petersen, relating it later that day to Haldeman, Ehrlichman,
Press Secretary Ron Ziegler and Secretary of State W illiam Rogers
Hut Railsback was bothered most by what the President did with Petersen's report to him April 16 that Kalmbach would be called before the grand jury because of incriminating testimony by John W. Dean III That same day Mr Nixon told Haldeman to question Kalmbach about Dean’s testimony, adding "Be sure Kalmbach is at least aware of this.’’ Railsback requested the committee staff to (heck out that order
This is not the clear criminal offense demanded by St. Clair But to lawyer Railsback it is seriously improper conduct deserving scrutiny. Indeed, Wiggins, hoping to bring Railsback into the anti-impeachment fold, is worried bv his intense concern with grand jury meddling.
Railsback has been chary of offending his district’s hard-core Republicans, needed to fight off an unusually strong Democratic challenger in November. But he returned from the Fourth of July weekend back home declaring himself confident his constituency will support him no matter what he does about impeachment
That confidence, his rejection of St.
( lair’s standards of impeachment and his concern with the Nixon-grand-jury affair ought to seriously undercut recent optimism at the White House.
Publishers Hall Syndicate
The most obvious inflation solution is to fire us . . .I hope nobody thinks of it!
To the Editor:
Perjury used to be a terrible crime, but lately it seems to be the “in thing” to do. The federal government isn’t the only one with scandals, and after the Watergate serial we now have the C. R.-Policegate scandal. Greed seems to be the theme. Innocent people suffer because a few get greedier, more powerful and still become the upright citizen.
When they are finally caught, the only good thing is that the news gets bigger headlines (not bigger sentences, just bigger headlines). I suppose these men will get a light pat on the hand, perhaps be scolded and then continue on their merry way. . . .
Let’s take a look ai the laws. They seem to protect just the guilty, and if you have had an accident lately, this really will shake you up. My husband has been hit by two drivers (their fault) and neither had insurance. One of the fellows
didn’t even have a driver's license, and he is still driving. We asked about this and nothing has been done.
My point is that we should get together, change our laws and make them work for the majority and not just the crooks. Reevaluate the powers of certain offices and make it mandatory that two- or four-year terms be the maximum to serve in one office. Where do we start?, I ask.
Mrs. A. McGregor Coralville
Woys-meons power untouchable?
Ms. Quixote takes on the wind ‘Mills’
By Tom Tiede
WASHINGTON - In 36 years as a congressman, Wilbur Mills has grown accustomed to homage.
As chairman of the puissant house ways and means committee, he expects and receives deference from colleagues and presidents; as a tireless and effective legislator, he is handled gingerly by the media. As an awesome political potentate in his home district (Arkansas’ Second) he has not, in 18 terms, suffered opposition in a general election
Now, maybe the times are changing. A 30-year-old Little Rock divorcee named Judy Petty has decided to aim her Republican hatpin at the Mills’ balloon this November, and she is trying to pop ail kinds of hell.
Charging Mills with everything from arrogance to abuse of power. Petty says the man is too old, too insulated, too possessive and perhaps even too powerful to be returned to office.
Says she rapidly, by telephone: “I am amazed at the power Wilbur Mills has over so many people in our democracy.
Let me cite just one example. In 1972, when he made his embarrassing run for President and finished somewhere in the miscellany column, there were all sorts of rumors about the illegality of some of his campaign contributions. Since then, the illegalities have been proven.
“But to this day, Mills has not personally commented on the subject. He even refused to divulge his campaign contributions prior to April 7 of that year (when a law was passed forcing contribution disclosure). How about that? We hound Nixon to death about his campaign problems, but Mills, who in my opinion is more powerful than Nixon, is let off without even a second look.”
According to Arkansas veterans, the lady is not yet causing any explosions in the political hardrock. Mills himself, says a Democrat, "probably doesn’t even know her name.” But if votes are given for reflective pause, her autumn tally may surprise.
She has a point which, post Watergate, should Ik* clear: as James Otis said in 1762, “The more elevated the person who errs, the stronger is the Obligation to refute him.”
To be sure, Mills is highly elevated. As ways and means committee chairman, he has the absolute last word on such matters as taxes, trade quotas, tariffs and welfare. I sually, it appears, he has carried the responsibility with honor. Sometimes, it’s clear he has not.
In 1972 he was given (and kept) $6 (MIO by IO breweries obviously interested iii the fact the Mills committee has responsibility for determining the federal cx-(ise tax on beer. That same year he was given (but returned) $15,110(1 by Gulf Oil, a company ever cognizant of Mills’ power over tax loopholes
Tmh. his 1972 campaign chest was filled with suspicious money (the milk industry reportedly paid for some oi Mills’ office space), but the congress
man’s only response has been a shrug. His top aide, Gene Goss, says today with a resentful sigh that “Mr. Mills never received one penny himself — the money was collected by various committees. I don't know why the committees don’t divulge. You have to ask them.”
Despite the audacity of the Mills’ evasion, it has worked. The man and his methods are rarely questioned. "I think he has plenty to hide,” says Judy Petty, “but no one stands up to him. He’s like a lot of old-time congressional incumbents. He acts like the office is his, not the people’s, and he spends his time ac-.
Punishment without end
cumulating the influence to make sure it is his and not the people’s.”
Again, though obviously grinding her own ax. the Little Rock lady makes sense. Congress too often has become a bastion for the mighty. The founding fathers never intended such; indeed, they felt the house especially, with its two-year term, would turn over regularly with changing public opinion.
Yet, witness Mills, 38 years to now without opposition. It hasn’t worked out that way. And regrettably, this says less about Mills than of the rest of us.
Newspaper f nterpr
Pay ‘debt’ forever?
By Don Oakley
IT IS DIFFICULT to understand the reasoning behind a recent decision by the U. S. supreme court upholding a California law that bars felons who have completed ’heir sentences from voting in state and local elections.
If the purpose of the penal system not merely to punish but to rehabilitate lawbreakers and return them to society as useful citizens, denying (hem one of the most basic rights of citizenship even after they have served their turn would seem to defeat that purpose
rills is not rehabilitation but a continuation of punishment.
We hear much about the dehumanizing aspects of prison life But the overwhelming majority of inmates in the nation’s penal institutions will in t bi* there permanently There is a constant turnover us men are paroled and others take their places. Unfortunately, mary of those entering prison have been there before, and will be there again
This suggests that there is something wrong not only with our prisons but with our postprison treatment of those who have supposedly “paid their debt’’ to sin letv.
In any event, it is hard to see how society would be injured by permitting an ex-convlet to (ast a ballot for local dogeateh* r or mayor or even the judge who sent him up in the first place and, according to the odds, may send him up again.
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