Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 7, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Mondav, January 7, 1974
IOWA ATTORNEY General Turner ruled recently that it is constitutional for the state legislature to pass noncontroversial bills in a bundle rather than to vote on each bill separately, as is the present custom.
We hope the legislature takes note and runs with it. Voting by the bundle would result in considerable saving not only of time but of money and energy as well, since the house voting machine would be used less frequently.
At first glance, the public might disagree with the ruling. But once the public became aware how difficult it is for a bill to attain ‘'non-con” status, which virtually assures its passage, it probably would accept the ruling.
The senate and house follow different rules with respect to their non-con calendars. In the senate, any member may propose a bill for the weekly non-con calendar. If it is approved by the
Amtrak stock soaring
BECAUSE Amtrak passengers were socked by a veritable blizzard of holiday discomforts, the semipublic railway is in for a merciless roasting by cartoonists and standup comedians.
Despite the frustrating string of delays, breakdowns and other snafus, however. Amtrak remains a promising energy-crisis antidote. A review of attributes is apropos now .
Consider first the fuel savings offered by rail travel: A train’s fuel use per mile per passenger is less than half of a small automobile’s consumption.
No wonder Amtrak’s ridership was climbing 12 percent annually even before the fuel shortage arrived (a 33 percent increase is foreseen for 1974). A traveler may have to drive IOO miles or more to reach the nearest railhead, but the ultimate gas savings makes the inconvenience bearable.
Then, too, the rail service scores passing grades in travel comfort Though some holiday travelers thought their ordeal reminiscent of Dr. Zhivago’s train ride, Amtrak during saner times offers comfortable chair coaches for all passengers, efficient and clean bedroom facilities and surprisingly reasonable dining.
Commendably, the Amtrak people are trying mightily to expand routes and buy up additional cars from sick and folding private companies. Many of the cars are aged clunkers, but in light of Amtrak’s erstwhile anemic budget, dollars are stretching surprisingly far.
Two cheering developments bid to relieve Amtrak’s growing pains. First, the Nixon administration and congress— cool tow ard rail service up till now—have warmed to train travel. Second, the Interstate Commerce Commission has issued regulations aimed at forcing the improvement of all intercity rail passenger service — public and private.
The ICC action includes mandates for nationwide toll-free telephone reservations and information systems, minimum levels for train-on-time performance and enough seating space to meet “normal demands” of customers seeking reservations.
Whether all this adds up to a revolution in travel habits will depend on the fuel shortage’s duration, but it’s a safe bet that Amtrak will enjoy nearly double the popularity originally envisioned. That’s a pleasant prospect for those of us who remember that trains once excelled at moving people as well as coal, livestock and brand new cars from Detroit.
Isnt It the Truth?
By Carl Riblet, \r
Citizens who demand plain-speaking in government stand aghast when they give ear to mueh of the oratory in the City of 14*st Content on the hanks of the polluted Potomac and they are shocked to learn that so little logic rises to the surface there Maybe that's Itecause logic is like the sword—those who use it may perish by it.
"There is something in the vanity of logic that urhllvs a man's brains."
— hit gar I lien Toe
Soviet ‘freedom,’ ha!
By Roscoe Drummond
WASHINGTON — Brezhnev versus Solzhenitsyn—what superb juxtaposition
I Leonid Brezhnev’s recent speech to the Communist World Congress of Peace Forces in which he proclaimed that Soviet citizens enjoy all the freedoms they need and that they certainly didn t need any Western ones.
2. The explosive new work by the Nobel Prize-winning author. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, detailing the massive repression, terror and murders by the Soviet regime.
There couldn’t be a clearer, more pointed, more revealing confrontation In the Soviet Union Brezhnev’s words are widely distributed But what Solzhenitsyn is saying, however heavily suppressed, will get through, and his ideas may well be more listened to.
How does Soviet “freedom” work? It s like this:
Brezhnev’s speech is automatic page I in every Soviet newspaper and has been made compulsory reading in the public schools.
Solzhenitsyn’s shattering work must remain secret, as far as possible from
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the Soviet people.
The Soviet people are free to know that the Kremlin doesn’t like what Solzhenitsyn is saying, but they are not free to know what he is saying
The Soviet press is free to attack Solzhenitsyn but it is riot free to publish anything anyone may say in his defense.
Soviet citizens are free to applaud what the regime says and does, but they are not free to read or advance alternative political views
Brezhnev says that Soviet citizens have all the freedoms they need
Solzhenitsyn says that freedom in Russia died at the birth of the communist revolution and his words may In* a shot heard round the world
Los Angeles Times Syndicate
The readout on the calculator says see the yellow pages for the closest poor house’
majority and minority loaders, it goos on that calendar. But if any other member of tho senate objects to a bill within 24 hours after the calendar appears, that bill must be removed from tilt' calendar and no longer carries non-con status.
In the house, five members must object to knock a bill off of a non-con calendar. But the time limit for filing objections is 48 hours — twice that of the senate limit.
Once. a bill is firmly established on a non-con calendar, passage is usually by unanimous vote. Since considerable time is required for each vote taken, it is obvious that the legislature could accelerate its pace by voting on all non-con bills at once rather than on each separately.
This is one way to speed up legislative procedure without losing anything of value in the process.
‘Enemies’ most foul
By James J. Kilpatrick
WASHINGTON — I have bren reflect mg on Watergate lately, in the course of closing the files on 1973, and venture this observation for what it may tx* worth In tin* whole sad list of the bad things that were done, one action stands out as the worst It was the compiling of the "enemy lists.”
Granted, that is no easy choice. One has to relegate to a secondary rank such offenses as the bugging itself, the coverup, the extortion of campaign contributions, the attempted seduction of Judge Byrne, the contemptible devices of Donald Segretti, the presidential approval of a break-and-enter plan/the careless handling of the White House tapes—all of that, and more.
Yet my own eye keeps turning back, rn a kind of awful fascination, to the memoranda that were prepared by John VV Dean, III, in August of 1971 and again in September of 1972. Some of the other incidents could be explained, if not justified, in terms of overzealousness, pure panic, human error, perverted taste, or an obsessive anxiety for the national security. The enemies lists can be understood only in terms of corruption.
People s forum
‘Let Iowa try lottery’
To the Editor:
Notwithstanding our increasing population and necessity for expanding our educational facility for the student generation, Iowa is in an economic bind to maintain the present school system Parochial schools have had to curtail their services, throwing an even greater burden on our public schools.
When is Iowa going to get with it and establish a state lottery, perhaps on the plan of the New Jersey state lottery, that could greatly alleviate the economic stress of both public and parochial schools? Only recently our next-door neighbor. Illinois, legalized a state lottery. A year ago last November the voters of Iowa, by a 2-to-1 majority, expressed their feeling on the matter.
But our legislators appear to to* weakening to the voices of minority groups opposed to this. although they — our legislators — were not flirt'd by the minority of the citizens of Iowa
Minority groups opposed to a state lottery say, “Naughty, naughty, mustn’t gamble,” seeming to be unaware that even they indulge in gambling, and they would be foolhardy not to.
What is auto insurance, fire and windstorm insurance, farmers’ crops (hail and tornado) insurance, other than a
long-shot gamble? The insured place a smaller “bet” on the chance that they may win a larger return than they had "bet.” But instead of truthfully calling that "gambling,” which it certainly is, their conscience is gratified by giving that game the more euphemistic term, “insurance.”
The principal difference is that in insurance one must have bad luck to win. whereas in a lottery one must have good luck to win.
Of course, we now have legalized bingo, but that is extremely-small potatoes, as compared to a state lottery, in supporting Iowa’s educational system.
If a state lottery should come into being the proceeds from it should be fairly apportioned to both public and parochial schools, inasmuch as parochial property owners contribute taxes to support our public schools. Let’s have a state lottery.
principally to relieve the financial bind on Iowa’s educational system.
Milton Smith Oelwein
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use
To the Editor:
After all the pros and cons on trapping, I thought maybe you would like a farmer’s viewpoint.
I have lived on tile. same farm for the past 20 years with a fairly large creek running through it. I feel I have lost about two acres of good land to muskrats by burrowing in the banks. In times of flood this cuts out and goes down the creek ($1,200). Every year I lose between an acre and an acre and a half of corn to muskrats. In 20 years this comes to about $3,000.
As for a raccoon and litter in a haymow, they can be compared with a bunch of hogs, only more destructive. I have seen where they have chewed holes in the side's and roofs of barns, plus taken the paint off where' the*y crawled up the side's.
I believe that fox. skunk and possum are* the greatest carriers of disease between farms, because of their diets and the disease they are susceptible to. I think most farmers are willing to put up with them as long as they don’t cause too much destruction. But when they become overpopulated and disease takes over, it can become alarming.
I almost forgot to mention the damage to tile and drainage systems, which can run into thousands of dollars.
If Mary Tyler Moore would send me about $2.(NHI a year for time and damage I would promise not to kill or trap another wild animal until I have to
Leo Saunders Ryan
By "corruption,” I mean to suggest an abuse of office, an arrogance of Down that goes beyond mere scandal l h corrupt acts that Dean recommended were so far removed from integrity, virtue and honor as to shock the conscience He was proposing a course of action at once vindictive and vile In those sleezy memoranda from this sleezy little man, tin* stench becomes unbearable
"This memorandum,” Dean wrote to John I). Ehrlichman on Aug. 16, Bbl. "addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our administration. Stated a bit more bluntly — how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies
"After reviewing this matter with a number of persons possessed of expertise in the field, I have concluded that we do not need an elaborate mechanism or game plan; rather we need a good project coordinator and full support for the project. In brief, the system would work as follows:
"Key members of the staff . . should Im* requested to inform us as to who they feel we should tv* giving a hard time The project coordinator should then determine what sorts of dealings these individuals have with the federal government and how we can best screw them (e.g., grant availability, federal contracts, litigation, prosecution, etc.)
A few weeks after that memorandum crept up the line, White House Counsel Charles Colson, catching the contagion, worked up a priority list of 20 enemies. As to Morton Ha I perm: “A scandal would be most helpful here.” As to CBS correspondent Darnel Schorr: “A real media enemy.”
Dean licked his pencil and wrote down 21H names. A year later, on Sept. ll, 1972, Dean sent to IRS Commissioner Johnnie M Walters a list of 490 "enemies” of the Nixon administration, with a request that their tax returns be specially audited
One struggles to v isualize Dean ut his desk. Did the coordinator of the project lick his lips at some especially juicy prospect? Did his fantasies evoke the stammering victims as agents of the IRS began to turn the screws? Did In' smile with satisfaction, rub his palms, count the enemies by five and tens as Ik* alphabetized their names? One wants to vomit
It is gratifying, of course, that Walters eventually paid not the slightest attention to Dean’s request. There is no proof whatever that Richard Nixon initiated these lists or knew of their existence. What is so deeply dismaying is that an atmosphere existed, a state of mind existed, some perhaps unspoken understanding existed, in which this fungus growth could occur. In such a fetid climate, absolute power corrupted absolutely
Washington Star Syndicate
Vote for President in ’74? Acceptable
By Louis Harris
The Harris Survey
BY 50 to 30 percent. Americans would favor holding a "special election for President in 1974, if the U. S. supreme court found it was constitutional ”
Bv 53 to 37 percent, a majority agrees with the statement that “because public confidence has been so shaken in the White House, a special election for President would clear the* air and give the country a new start.”
It has been suggested that such a special election might be in order if a vice-president not elected by the entire country—such as Gerald Ford—were to succeed to the presidency.
This ;>ossibility could become a reality if President Nixon were to resign or were impeached In that case, Gerald Ford would become President arid could ask congress to call a special election if there were judged to Im* no constitutional obstacles
political party. So a call for a special presidential election by a Republican President at a time when a Democratic congress was also up for re-election would not necessarily prove fatal to his party’s chances to maintain control of the White House
Recently, th** Harris Survey asked a cross section of l,49fi households across the country:
"lf has been suggested that it might be proper under the Constitution for congress to call on election for President in 1974 The person elected would serve until the regular election in 1976 lf the U. S, supreme court found it wets constitutional to have a special election for President in 1974 would you favor or oppose such a step‘,’’
It is by no means a foregone conclusion that a Democrat would be elected President in such an election In recent Harris Survey trial runs for the I97fj election, Vice president Ford ran slightly ahead of both Sen Edward Kennedy and Sen Henry Jackson, two of the most frequently mentioned Democratic presidential prospects
At the same time, these identical likely voters gave the Democrats a 22-point lead — 53-21 percent, nationwide — in contests for congress in 1974
The American people have often ex pressed reluctance to turn over both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government to the same
Significantly, voters in every region of the country expressed support for the idea of a sjM'cial election for President in 1974, although sentiment was strongest on the East and West coasts and weakest in the South As might be expected, Republicans oppose such a step, but independent voters, who now bold the balance of political power in the country, favor it by a clear 53-34 I>ercent margin
Much of the public’s thinking in support of the special election centers on tile uncertainty over whether or not President Nixon will survive the remainder of his term
Framingham, Mass., said, “lf Nixon goes out of office, we ll have a man as President who was elected by the congress, not the people. It’s better to have another election and clear it all up once and for all.”
A welder iii Lorain, Ohio, added, "The only way to clean up Watergate is to have another election and let the people decide what direction the country ought to go in.”
Opposition to such a special presidential election clustered around the reasoning expressed by a business man in Williamsport, Pa., who said, "It is our tradition to hold elections for President every four years We should strictly follow the Constitution on such matters ”
A Republican office manager in St Paul, Minn., added, "Nixon was elected for four years and he should finish his term, even if he is having terrible trouble getting people to trust hun ”
To determine national filling on questions surrounding a possible presidential election this year, the cross section was asked
"UM mo read you some statements on calling a special election for President in 19/4 For each, tell me if you tend to ugree or disagree (read statements)
lf a special election were held, the country could then have a new
President elected by
the people as he should be 62
Because public confidence has been so shaken in the White House, a special election would clear the air and give the country a new start 53
Our tradit.on is to have a President serve for four years and that should not be changed 56
It is not right to have a candidate go through a whole presidential campaign and then serve only two more years 4g
The Republicans won the office of President in 1972 cmd a Republican should be President until 1976. 35
Dis rig i re
a systems engineer
Pro f lection
Such on electron for President would let the people dec ide who! direc tion they think the country ought to go in cmd who should lead America
These results make it apparent tin the public feels strongly about the foul year tradition for a presidential tern People do not relish the thought of a off year contest for the White Roust although the idea is not beyond ti realm of public acceptance
Confidence has I teen so shaken in til present lncuml>cnt of the White lieu* that, despite its reluctance, the public prepared to see such a reaffirmation i popular control
hic ugu r i Ilion# New York Nee