Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 12, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Tuesday, November 12, 1974
U.S. Food Role: Apocalyptic?
Ford’s debut: fine candor, scary naivete
Soothsayers predicting a debacle at the World Food Conference in Rome have seen little to contradict expectations. President Ford pledged support. Secretary of State Kissinger offered an upbeat keynote address
— with emphasis on global grain reserves — and, predictably, Agriculture Secretary Butz labeled international control of stockpiles inefficient in allaying widespread famine.
Butz, a free market idealogue if ever there was one, is viewed by pessimists as a Food Conference spoiler. “Ile and our (U.S.) lack of policy may well wreck the conference,’’ observed Columnist Richard Strout in the Nov. 2 New Republic. Others warn of catastrophic consequences if leadership does not come from the United States, which, they remind, controls grain supplies much as the Arabs control oil. The fate of millions in famine-ravaged Africa, Asia and Latin America depends on mercy missions from developed nations.
Intriguingly, the food crisis and the ominous threat beyond align with predictions catalogued in the popular, evangelistic 1970 book, “The Late Great Planet Earth" by Hal Lindsey. Thesis of that work is that the countdown toward events foretold in scripture and summarized enigmatically in the Apocalypse seemingly has begun. The rebirth of Israel, the threat of holocaust in the Mideast, an increase in natural catastrophes
— realization of these once improbable occurrences and others give currency to the belief that the vision of biblical prophets indeed may have been 20-20.
What makes Lindsey s theme relevant to the U N.-sponsored World Food Conference is this: Unfolding of the disastrous famine in the past two years occurred AFTER publication of the “The Late Great Planet Earth”. Curiously though, the United States’ position as a leader at the food conference is anomalous to the prophecies. Not even the most liberal interpretation of scripture foresees a power such as the United States playing a part in apocalyptic events Significantly,
the rise of Russia in opposition to Israel, the threat of Red China and the coalition of Western European counties (Common Market) all are foretold.
Riding along with the Apocalypse-now theory, one thus is prompted to ask: Is the United States riding for a fall into relative impotence in world affairs?
The thought is hardly outlandish even considering this country’s military might and concomitant influence in foreign policy shaping. As recently as Btl years ago this country had not yet become a foremost power. Indeed, it seems conceivable that a century or so hence, the U.S. might not figure largely in the global scheme of things
Vet the theory propounded in “Late Great Planet . . sees doomsday pressures reaching flashpoint during the same generation (41) years) of the rebirth of Israel (1948). Under strict interpretation (which Lindsey insists upon) that leaves just 14 years for the United States to topple from power. Not even Jimmy the Greek could cite the odds on that long shot.
So, to theorize in empathy with author Lindsey, one looks for happenings which could speed up that degeneration. Failure to grapple realistically with global food shortages could be just such a catalyst.
This is not to subscribe to the belief that the day of reckoning is now upon us. Nor is the idea to heap all responsibility on the United States. Not even the most altruistic food programs will work if the world’s population growth is not curbed. But the onrush of seismic events (such as famine) and the need for epochal decisions certainly invite speculation.
The spread of hunger and the potential of man to revolt before starving indeed could reshape the world map. One needn’t buy the beliefs of Bal Lindsey to appreciate the menace of hungry men. John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath’’ spread the message indelibly 4(1 years ago.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. In this year of orbiting inflation, burgeoning famine and surging unemployment Santa’s survival indeed is good news The bad news is that old St. Nick’s elves allegedly have formed a union — the United Brotherhood of Elves, Dwarfs and Gnomes, UFO-ZIP
As a result, those traditionally beneficent little fellows no longer will toil around the clock in the finest elfin tradition, asking nothing in return except Mrs. Claus’ tasty gnome cooking. Not only do they insist on a cushy, high-paying 37%-hour week (plus time and a half), elves absolutely refuse to repair shoes — an assignment denounced as denigrating through stereotype.
Worse still, elf union hardliners insist that Christmas, one of 15 paid holidays, be observed at the North Pole on the fourth Monday of each December. On top of that, they want their own birthdays (another holiday) observed on Mondays, too — the reasoning there being that if Christ’s birthday is switched to prolong weekends, why not their own?
Despite Santa’s labor woes, however, the transglobe sleigh ride this year still is scheduled for Dec. 24-25. Unless, of course, the Teamsters solidify a reported pact with the reindeer. One worrisome clause there (not Santa’s, to be sure) calls for no navigation on foggy eves — Rudolph or no.
By Jim Fiebig
Once upon a time, an employer felt it was his right to freely hire and fire whomever he pleased simply because, well, because he was the employer
Oddly enough, it was a pretty equita hie system. Since most employers are first and foremost concerned with making a profit, any employe who helped him attain that goal was relatively safe in his job No matter what color he was or what church he attended.
It is no longer once upon a time. Now, in order to achieve what the government considers proper minority representation (just enough women, just enough blacks, just enough Irishmen and so on), many employers are often forced to hire the least qualified applicant. Which is simply another form of discrimination.
What s worse, employers are finding it progressively more difficult to fire people who aren't hacking it. Nowadays, a person unwilling to admit he was let go for incompetence — and that covers practically everyone — can and often does find a way to bring his employer before some board, commission or agency.
If you’re a woman, you can holler sex discrimination If you re a white male over 4(1, you might make a case for age discrimination If you’re a black, an Indian or a Mexican-Amencan. you can claim prejudice
Whatever your beef, whatever your actual level of job efficiency, you can find someone eager to come down on your former employer with both feet
The danger in all this. of course, is that in the future fewer and fewer Americans may Im* willing to take on the headaches of running their own businesses. That would sure solve the employe problem
Central beal art* Coroo'o’ion
By James Reston
WASHINGTON — President Ford, coming to the end of his first KHI days in the White House, is besieged by problems at home and abroad, but personally he seems relaxed, confident, and even amiably chipper
You have to wonder why. In his first UN) days, unemployment has increased in America to 5 5 million, or ti percent of the total work force; automobile sales are down 15 percent from a year ago, the cost of bv mg keeps creeping up; the GNT drooled 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 1974; the balance of payments deficit exceeds $1 billion a month; and the Republican party, despite Fords exertions, was clobbered in the November elections.
Meanwhile. Henry Kissinger is back from an 18-day, 17-country, 27,000-mile trip with nothing but bad news to report from the Middle Fast; the Chinese are suddenly proposing to negotiate a nonaggression treaty with the Soviets; the Yugoslavs, just as surprisingly, are proclaiming their common ties to Moscow; and from Ireland and Portugal to Japan, which is quite a distance, the noncommunist world is struggling with inflation, strikes, and political instability.
Still Ford acts just the same as Jerry Ford, the old congressman from Grand Rapids. Mich. He recognizes all the problems and grapples with them in his
own way, but he doesn’t agonize over them. He listens to the ll o’clock news at night, and says he sleeps soundly until 5:30 or 5:45 the next morning, then gets up and jiedals his exercycle and does some fancy push-ups to strengthen his legs for skiing, reads the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and the official news summary of other pajiers, and then goes to work.
The contrast between this and the Nixon White House is startling The Ford W hitt1 House is now almost as open and casual as a congressman’s office. No show or pretense or fake dignity. He takes the telephone calls from Capitol Hill. His White House staff is respectful but unintimidated, frank, and even blunt. In short, the old upstairs-downstairs division of the Nixon days is gone. Ford is not only available, but almost recklessly candid, and Washington, accustomed to calculated deceit in the White House, doesn t know how to adjust to his free and easy ways
There is no order or logic to his appealing candor He is natural and spontaneous. One day tie gives an on-the-record interview to the Associated Press on his private plane. Next day, he agrees to do a hundred-days interview with Harry Reasoner for ABC, or talk on the record with UPI or somebody else.
But for everybody he sees and makes happy by talking frankly, he infuriates. in this savagely competitive news business, all the other jieople who were left
out. Yet this doesn’t seem to worry him After 25 years on Capitol Hill, he just keeps un doing what comes naturally, and accepts the consequences.
The consequences of his open candor, however, are mixed Everybody who meets him likes him personally, but many wonder about his policies. He defends everything he has done, his economic policy, his pardon of Nixon, his aggressive campaigning in the election, his support of the old Nixon cabinet, etc.
Maybe, he says, he could have “sold'' his economic program better, but the Democrats have not come up with a reasonable alternative Maybe he adds, the Republicans lost the election, but now the Democrats have to step out front and take equal responsibility for the next two years. Maybe the American people are eating too much and ought to share their food with the hungry peoples of the world, but why do the nations at the Rome Food Conference condemn the
United States for being greedy when they didn’t condemn the oil producing countries for gouging the world?
With his candor, Ford gives the impression that the recession, the infla turn. the problems of the Western world, the desjH'ration of the hungry world, the struggles of the Middle Fast, and the negotiations over atomic arms, trade, food, and the prices of raw materials are awkward but temporary dilemmas that could tx1 solved with patience and common sense.
And maybe this is his problem Not since Ike have we had a more decent man in the White House, or anybody so open and relaxed. But by his candor, he gives the impression that we are not living in a revolutionary age, and don’t have to make fundamental changes in the lives of families and nations, but that we must merely be patient and sensible and all will go back to the old affluent days and fie well in the end
It is a lovely dream, and he is an honest, decent and refreshing man, but Washington wonders. Nixon concealed the problems of the modern world, and pretended he could deal with them. Ford does not conceal the problems but exposes them, and also exposes himself, with the uttermost candor. But he suggests no answers, and even those who wish him well, are troubled by his limited vision of his problems.
New york Times Service
Warning sirens for conservatives
GOF runs risk of signifying nothing
By James J. Kilpatrick
W ASHINGTON — A week after the election, conservatives still are picking their way through the smoking rums. The palpable fact is that we got clobbered — but the clobbering, as such, is not the most disturbing aspect of the vote.
If the clobbering were all that mattered. one could go along with President Ford’s cheery observation that the GOP has come back from disaster before. On the historical record, a loss of 45 seats in the house is not a fatal blow. The Republicans lost'36 seats in the swing of 1874, 85 in 1890, 57 in 1910. 75 in 1122, KH in 1932, 75 in 1948, and 47 in 1958. The Democrats have survived their own
matching ups and downs. Last week's numbers, in themselves, are not so bad.
Far more depressing, in the conservative view, is the substantive prospect for the 94th congress, labels and numbers are not so lmjiortant. Issues are important. Given a lopsided majority of liberals, regardless of party label, the next congress reasonably may be expected to jiass bills that would (I) provide for national health insurance (2) nullify state right-to-work laws. (3) vastly increase costs of public welfare. (4) make dangerous cuts in outlays for national defense, and (5) create a Consumer Protection Agency with sweeping powers of intervention in the work of other government agencies.
Every congressional observer could add a dozen titles to that list. The “Byrd amendment.” which permits us to buy vitally needed chrome from Rhodesia, may now be repealed In the name of tax reform, incentives for the accumulation of capital may well be destroyed. National no-fault insurance lies ahead. Industry could be saddled with further unrealistic burdens for environmental improvement.
The old conservative coalition may be mustered in congress now and then — some of Ford’s vetoes will lie sustained — but let us face it: Liberals will be running the show,
Why did it happen0 The standard explanations have to do with Watergate.
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the Nixon pardon, and the state of the economy, but these explanations overlook a deeper cause. The Republican party, as a national political party, consistently is falling to provide a constructive conservative alternative to the liberalism with which the Democratic party now is so well identified.
This failure is all the more remarkable when one gives account to the public opinion polls. Every time the Gallup or Harris pollsters study political attitudes. they find far more “conservatives” than “liberals” within the electorate.
(iranted, the labels are only generally and not precisely understood. Even so, the ideological predisposition is there — and it is not being served by small voter turnouts.
The two-party system has contributed immensely to the stability of American institutions. To abandon that system in favor of the chaotic conditions one observes rn Italy. France, and in Portugal would be utter folly. Yet to defend the system is not to defend its present operation. Nowhere is it divinely decreed that the Republican party, as it now is disorganized, must forever be one of our two major instruments of political action.
A commitment to ideals is far more imjiortant than a commitment to party. The OOP’s trouble is not merely that its image is stained by corruption, or that it is unfairly saddled with blame for our economic distress, the larger trouble is that the party no longer is strongly identified with any particular ideas.
The party is not unprincipled; in the popular view. it is nonprincipled. It Is small wonder that the Democrats have become the first party in congress and in state government across the country. The time may be at hand not for the formation of a new third party, but for the emergence of a new second jiarty instead.
Washington Star Syndicate
To the Editor:
Discussing the killing of young calves, my husband and I felt there must be other ways to help How about activities like these on the part of fellow cattle raisers and farmers?
I Offer calves for sale at auctions at their birth price.
2. Offer another to anyone wanting one to butcher for the table.
3. Sell or trade livestock for eventually mixing breeds
4 ( laim the giveaways as donations that should therefore In* tax-deduct! hie
5. Contact the home-county welfare agencies for someone immediately (or otherwise) needing food Help our own people first.
ti Provide young boys the opportunity to become a 4-H member by helping their parents afford a calf for a project, or have one given to them
7. Use the want ads The * For Sale” columns could also read “For Free.”
Yvonne E Townsend East Amana
To the Editor
My great-grandfather. John Merrill Wood. was a western New Yorker all of his life Born here, he farmed in the area and died here in 1892 However, during inc gold rush days of the 1850s. he traveled to the Pike s Peak area On his way back here in 1861, he stopped in Waterloo, Iowa, long enough to get married and then to join company C of the 32nd Iowa Volunteer Intantry during the Civil war. He served three years in the western army, chasing General Price through Missouri, etc.
Now to the point — I ani looking for a copy of the Civil War Regimental History of his unit. I would like to Imrrow or buy a copy to more fully appreciate his service to his country Could any of your readers help me with my quest?
Edward Hess 415 Argonne drive Kenmore. N Y 14217
To the Editor
The Iowa conservation commission was ill-advised when it set this fall’s pheasant season shooting hours from sunrise to sunset The sunrise opening, coupled with the return lo standard time. means that during the early part of the season when hunting pressure is the greatest, shooting hours will begin approximately one hour earlier than was the case with the old 8 o’clock opening.
The adverse* effec ts of this change are: (I) It will further strain fariner-sports-man relations, since landowners are not going to appreciate hunters knocking at the door at ti 45 seeking permission to hunt. (2) It will significantly increase the hunting pressure on birds which frequently languish in road ditches when more suitable cover is no longer available. as is the ease in some jiarts of the state (3) It will increase “road hunting,” long considered the least sporting means of hunting
Hopefully the commission will correct this mistake next year and return to a more restrictive season In the meantime. Iowa’s true sportsmen should not accept the new liberalized shooting hours
I would rather see the United States respected than loved by other nations.
Henry Cabot Lodge
but take to the fields on Saturday at self-imjwsed 8 a m.
Donald ( Freeman, Presider Iowa Division, Izaak Walton I^eagu
To the Editor .
< andlelighters. parents of childre afflicted by cancer, would like to e: press its appreciation for the rol played by Sen. Harold E Hughes, vol senator, in continuing the government research war on cancer.
Senator Hughes is a member of ti senate health subcommittee whit helped draft recently enacted legislate extending the national cancer act i 1971. That act began an expanded fe< eral earner research effort.
The new legislation will be importai in seeking ways to provide beth diagnosis and treatment and, hopeful! eventual cures for cancer The legisl tion authorizes $2 8 million for Nation Cancer Institute research for the ne three years It removes the limit of on the number of comprehensive cant) centers throughout the nation It r quires the NCI director to develop nut! tional programs relating to cancer ai authorizes him to conduct programs disseminate new research knowledge doctors and the public.
We are grateful for the work on th legislation by the subcommittee.
Richard Sullivan, preside The Uandlelighte Washington, D