Editorial forum Times Herald, Carroll, Iowa, Monday, May 3, 1976 Ford on Marijuana, by a Member of the Family Washington Merry-Go-Round ; by Jack Anderson WASHINGTON - Jack'Ford has promised the pot lobby that his father will support decriminlization of marijuana.just as soon as more states eliminate the criminal penalties. "Don't worry, Dad's a pretty cool guy. Give him some time," said the President's son. He explained his father's leniency toward pot smoking to Dave Samber, an official of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), at a private meeting in March at Chicago's Tremont Hotel. . On the other hand,. President Ford favors mandatory prison sentences and preventative detention for hard-drug traffickers. But the President doesn't believe people should be sent to prison for personal use of marijuana. He wants more states "to take the initiative," in dropping criminal penalties, however, before he. will openly support decriminalization, Jack Ford confided. A New Approach The 'Ford administration's decision to .put new emphasis on an "aggressive ; conservation program" is a belated but ' welcome reversal of its past approach to .; solving the nation's energy needs. i Far from advancing towards "energy • independence;" we .are going in just the opposite direction despite significant ;, declines in energy consumption. , According to Commerce Clearing k House, demand for heat, light and power in il all its forms last year was 2.5 per cent less • than in 1974 and down 4.9 per cent from ;, 1973's record high. ( - Higher fuel prices, conservation efforts and a mild winter contributed to this drop. ; But the biggest factor in the overall decline was a 6 per cent downturn in 'energy use .by the industrial sector, reflecting the lingering effects of the recession. In terms of oil, we are more dependent son fflr||.i J gp l (SO,urges,t 1 hgn ( .ev,er. (( The ; . f American Petroleum Institute reports that |for tlie,f'fips;t time inihistpry^he,,United, • ; States in one week in March imported 'more oil than it produced, even though : Americans are using less oil than they did . before the 1973 embargo. The association's . •'figures show domestic production •continuing a six-year decline, with imports rising to record levels. Just how much can the nation expect • from "aggressive" conservation? • A recent report by Worldwatch Institute, .- an' independent, nonprofit research :' organization, found that more than half the !: energy the United States consumes is wasted. Efficient conservation practices, .-including improved car mileage, better | building; insulation and the use of waste ;, heat, could meet this country's new energy ; needs for the next 25 years, it claimed. '; "Energy obtained through conservation j-is the largest source of new energy "currently available to the United States," f; says the institute. 1' Robert C. Seamans Jr., head of the -ifederal Energy Research and •;' Development Administration, is confident /that projects ERDA intends to promote — j. tietter insulation in homes and buildings, ' gas stoves and heaters that don't need pilot \ lights, etc! — will .save the United States the equivalent of five million barrels of oil ;, a day by 1985. ', As he points out, each barrel saved .' obviously means one less barrel that needs '•' to be imported, and in general it costs less ' to save a barrel of oil than to buy it. ; Yet vital as.coriservation unquestionably ,is, there are limits to how much ii Americans can cut back on energy use. .;Not only'that, but we may reduce i; consumption in one area only to increase it , in another.' ','"'' v As an example, the U.S. Department of ; Commerce says that the amount of energy I required fey the iron and steel industry ' alone to comply with current federal and '.- state pollution control laws amounts to ,' about 10 per cent of the total energy v consumed by that industry — or the 5 equivalent of 161,000 barrels of oil a day for J pollutiorfcontrol. , : : •••'.< ' I If we, 'can do more in the way of energy • conservation,— and we certainly can — we 'can also do much more in developing '•alternate sources of energy. Some j : possibilities, as. suggested a^ a conference '• held recently in'Washington: k —Using L wood or.grain alcohol, either ^straight or, mixed with gasoline for i automobile fuel. (Sen : Ala,n Cranston, 'D-Calif.,. has introduced legislation in •'Congress calling for the first large-scale , road test .of "gasohpl."). ; —Using small digesters to produce >, gaseous fuel from animal and crop wastes ; onfa.rms,. -.. ,-....•'.. ; —Mixing city refuge with coal as fuel for i heating plants and generajting stations. —Growing special land and ocean crops '• for direct burning or conversion into fuel. Conservation, yes. But innovation, definitely. A White House spokesman told us the President is still opposed to decriminalization but has "an open mind" on the subject. Last fall, he called for less emphasis on enforcing the law against marijuana users. ' Government studies show that it costs about $1,400 to,prosecute a pot smoker whether he's sent to jail or not. Last year more than 400,000 people were arrested for personal use of marijuana, at a cost to the taxpayers of about $600 million. But because marijuana reform is still a controversial issue, few states are likely to decriminalize marijuana and the President isn't expected to make any pronouncement before the election. Only eight states have dropped criminal sanctions so far. Footnote: As have an estimated 29 million of )\is fellow Americans, Jack Ford has sampled 'marijuana. There are an estimated 12 million regular marijuana users in America. Jack Ford said he favors decriminalization but believes the issue should be handled on a local instead of a national level. He denied, however, he promised Samber the President would support decriminalization as soon as more states eliminate criminal penalties. SOLAR SLOWDOWN: Solar experts believe recent breakthroughs make workable solar energy possible in 10 years, Yet the government appears to be doing everything in its power to slow the development of solar energy. A new breakthrough in photovoltaic technology converts the sun's rays directly into electricity. With a concerted effort, this photovoltaic development could provide cheap, practical sun power in 10 years, experts claim. . Under this system, solar power could be generated right in the homes and buildings that use it. This would reduce the need for the vast utility power grid network, with the tangle of electric lines that now crisscross America. It is precisely for this reason, solar supporters suspect, that the government is downplaying solar research. The giant electric utilities have tremendous political influence. The solar division of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) requested $300 million from the upcoming budget. The agency's top brass whittled this down to $257 million before even submitting it to the White House. The President's budget office then attacked it with a meat cleaver, chopping solar research down to $160 million. This was coupled, according to our sources, with a gag order. The agency has even refused to tell Sen. Hubert Humphrey, D.-Minn., a solar sympathizer, how the original $300 million request would have been spent. Humphrey wants to restore part of the solar budget in hearings this week, but he can't even find out what research was cut. In fact, one high ERDA official, Donald Beatty, has threatened to fire any employe who talks to Congress about solar energy. In contrast, funds for developing nuclear energy continue to flow as freely as the Nile, despite growing evidence that safety and technology problems may make nuclear power unfeasible. The powerful utilities, of course, are pushing nuclear power which they can distribute through their existing lines and sell to their customers for the customary guaranteed profit. The President's top energy aide, Glen Schleede, is an avid advocate of nuclear power. His pet project, the development of "nuclear parks" around the nation, has already been funded for $10 million. Schleede also has an ally in the budget office in the person of Hugh Loweth, who handles much of the energy budget. These back room operators, if they get their way, may slow development of solar power by an estimated 15 years. Footnote: An ERDA spokesman denied that the agency had withheld any information from Congress. He said that the original $300 million request was "a wish" and that the agency never expected to get that kind of money for solar research. Beatty's outburst, he said, was simply a reaction to the "childish" bickering that was going on between ERDA and Capitol Hill staffers. SHAPP SEQUEL: We exposed wide spread corruption last January in the administration of Pennsylvania's Gov. Milton Shapp. As an example of the corruption, we revealed that Shapp's Turnpike Chairman Edgalio "Gene" Cerilli would be indicted on federal kickback charges. The U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh, Blair Griffith, fired off a telegram to us, denying that Cerilli would be indicted. But we stuck to our guns. Cerilli was indicted on March 25. The indictment was delayed two months, according to our sources, because of our expose. Shapp, meanwhile, has dropped out of the presidential race and has gone on the defensive about corruption in Pennsylvania. Never Should Have Been Written STRAIGHT TALK by James Kilpatrick WASHINGTON - The Senate Intelligence Committee disgorged its 651-page report on Monday. By Tuesday night, ( w,e | ma ( y 1 bj 1 qe,rtain, | the report ( was being gleefully .dissected in the' Kremlin. In the annals of stupid congressional stunts, this massive piece of folly will rank exceedingly high. . Yes, the report does contain some thoughtful observations. Yes, it gives lip service to the idea that our nation needs a foreign intelligence service. Yes, the report calls attention to the dangers of Soviet espionage. The principal authors stoutly insist that their publication will not weaken, but rather will strengthen the Central Intelligence Agency. When these perfunctory pieties have been acknowledged, little of value remains. The committee has raised a banner vith a strange device: "Let It All Hang Out." The majority members seem genuinely to be wedded to the naive notion that an agency whose function is to deal in secrets must have no secrets -^ it must shed itself of "secret practices that have eroded the processes of open democratic government." What is the first accomplishment of the committee's long investigation and report? It is to belittle the CIA, to stigmatize the honorable men who have served it, and to make the agency's successful performance vastly more difficult. The committee's disclosures "blow the coyer" on sensitive operations; many of the committee's recommendations would treat the agency as if it were merely another government bureau — a crop reporting service, or a bureau of labor statistics. Consider, if you please, one legislative recommendation that provides an accurate indication of the tone and approach of the sunshine addicts in the Senate. Their idea is to prohobit virtually all covert actions; only in "extraordinary circumstances involving grave threats to the U.S. national security" would they '•tolerate a secret operation; And then* mind you, . the'committee's proposed statute would require prior disclosure to a congressioha'l oversight committee before any funding could be provided. That is marvelous, is it not? The director of the CIA would be required to travel to Capitol Hill, hat in hand, and spell out his most sensitive recommendations before a gaggle of loose-jawed Senators or Congressmen. Why not, one wonders, require the director to hire a sky-writing airplane and spell his plans out in mile-high letters over Washington? Over the past two years, the Congress has forfeited whatever confidence one might have had in its discretion. How long will it be before the "unexpurgated edition" of the committee report is leaked to Jack Anderson and the Village Voice? True, that particular "prior notice" recommendation has been dropped — temporarily, at least — from oversight legislation now before the Senate Rules Committee. Even so, the thinking behind the recommendation persists. The authors of the report are so hipped on the principle of open intelligence, openly arrived at, that they would publish the CIA's budget, publicly monitor its activities, approve or disapprove its intelligence-gathering programs, and substitute an oversight committee's judgment for the judgment of a President and his top security advisors. In one of its lip-service moments, the report acknowledges that espionage directed against the United States is "extensive and relentless." By the FBI's estimate, more than one thousand Soviet agents are on permanent assignment as spies against us. It is common knowledge, known ito every schoolboy, .that the Communist enemy • engages, constantly, in subversion, propaganda, and deception. The Soviets do not flinch from clandestine operations intended to manipulate events to their advantage. It is childish, or so it seems to me, to strike the virtuous pose that we must never, never emulate the Communist techniques. It is not wise, it is stupid, to suggest that the United States should go abroad in a dangerous world, accoutered like Little Lord Fauntleroy, to play patticake with gangs who fight with switchblade knives. It will be a long time before the damage done by this report can be undone — before friendly nations will again cooperate with our intelligence service, before truly competent and dedicated servants can be attracted anew to the CIA. Senator Barry Goldwater refused to sign the report, "This is a report," he said, "that probably should never have been written." He had the last and truest word. Ford and the Panama Canal Issue INSIDE REPORT by Roland Evans & Robert Novak . WASHINGTON — After first fudging on his intentions about the Panama Canal, President Ford has managed what officials in his own administration most wanted to avoid: the impression that the U.S. is negotiating a new canal treaty out of fear. Once the certain prospect of ultimately turning the canal over to the Republic of Panama no longer could be covered up, Mr. Ford began pounding home the point that the alternative to negotiation is a blood bath. That seriously undercuts negotiators seeking quietly to transfer control of the canal without Uncle Sam, in the wake of Vietnam, seeming again to be pulling down the flag under fire: In sum, Mr. Ford's handling of Ronald Reagan's strident and inaccurate charges about the canal has been horribly botched. Besides giving credence to Reagan's theme that the President preaches hard on the campaign trail and practices soft back in Washington, it has revealed characteristics antithetical to Mr. Ford's public image: deceptive, demagogic, overheated. That is a poor omen for the long campaign ahead. •'•,••• The Ford administration's position on the canal, inherited from the Johnson and Nixon administrations, is clear though not public. Mr. Ford's secret instructions to negotiators call for seeking 25 more years of operating rights and 50 years of defense rights, though the latter is more flexible and both are subject to negotiation. The question, in short, is not "if" but "when." Deception began early. Instead of trying to justify this position, Mr. Ford decided to keep it under the State Department rug through the 1976 election. U.S. diplomats talked Gen. Omar Torrijos, Panama's turbulent leftist dictator, into keeping quiet until Mr. Ford's election. Reagan spoiled the conspiracy of silence by raising the Panama Canal issue in terms that were exaggerated, inaccurate and unquestionably demagogic. Responding at a Dallas news conference April 10, Mr. Ford made a pledge he clearly had no intention of redeeming: "The United States will never give up its defense rights to the Panama Canal,and will never give up its operational rights as far as Panama is concerned." Was the President guilty of incompetence or outright deception? "I don't think the President was up to speed on this issue at this point in time," one Ford adviser told us. Translated, that means he did not know what he was talking about. But canal policy had been thoroughly reexamined when Mr. Ford became President and Dr. James Schlesinger, then Secretary of Defense, unsuccessfully sought a harder' negotiating position. Even detractors concede Gerald Ford has an excellent memory. Moreover, one close adviser had urged him to keep canal business quiet for 1976. The inescapable conclusion, then, is that Mr. Ford knew what he was doing in Dallas April 10. But reports five days later of Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker's testimony revealing the government's intent ultimately to give up the canal forced a new line by the President. It came April 19 in a White House interview with editors of the Texas Harte-Hanks newspapers. To break off negotiations, Mr. Ford declared, would be "absolutely irresponsible" and would "undoubtedly lead" to "bloody" incidents. But the Texas editors .persisted: would the treaty result in relinquishing the canal? "Well, • you get into some of the very sophisticated areas here," the sidestepping President replied. Through the next three days of escalating rhetoric, Mr. Ford never did answer that simple question but painted increasingly ferocious pictures (with "bloody" the most frequently used word). By April 23 in Evansville, Ind., his voice rose in excited anger as he warned of "riots, more bloodshed . .. and the enmity" of all Latin America if negotiations are broken off. Actually, a different view is privately held within the military governments of Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Furthermore, the 1975 position paper of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, reluctantly supporting continued negotiations does not back up Mr. Ford's suggestion that the canal will not be "economically justifiable" within 25 years. Nor have the Chiefs recommended sending 10,000 to 20,000 additional U.S. troops to the Canal Zone if negotiations are broken off — a prospect repeatedly cited by campaigner Ford. Rather, the Joint Chiefs have contended the canal is vital to U.S. security and suggest U.S.-Panamanian cooperation is the answer to the future. But trust and cooperation would be doubtful with Panama ruled by Torrijos, Fidel Castro's close friend. Accordingly, military experts warn that the U.S. could not continue operation of the canal if Torrijos gains authority over the Canal Zone in a year or two. Reagan's demagogic charges do not even attempt to deal with those very real questions. But neither do the President's demagogic responses. The canal, a deadly dilemma for the U.S., is made infinitely more difficult by manhandling from the President and his challenger. THE FARMER'S VIEW by Dean Freed The date is April 24, the day is Saturday, and the time is late afternoon. Chores are done early this day because of a welcomed, all-day spring rain. Like everyone else across the upper Cornbelt, my spring work has advanced well ahead of schedule. Preparatory field work is completed, and as soon as it dries off, I guess I'll start planting corn. It's been an unbelievably mild winter, and the spring, outside of a little wind, has been unusually pleasant. I can certainly remember one year ago about now. It seemed as if it would never stop raining. At that time the mud around here seemed as if it were knee deep and rising. Things sure do change, don't they? I was always told the Southwest was the land of infinite variety, but I believe I am living in the heartland of infinite variety both climatically and economically. I guess what bothers me most as I sit here analyzing my situation is all the talk I hear about the bumper crops expected this year and what they will do to prices. Maybe if enough economists and agricultural officials talk long enough about cheaper grain prices ahead, it won't happen. This blind man's reasoning seems as if it could be logical during a time when rumors and opinions are all readily being accepted quite frequently as validated data. It is reasonable to think that if Mother Nature continues to bless us with adequate moisture this growing season, the U.S. farmer could be looking for lower grain prices come late summer and fall. The fellows back in Washington say the country is looking at a record 13.6-million-acre corn crop. This beats the previous record, if my memory served me correct, by .5 million acres, or 4 per cent. Soybeans look a little better at 6.65 million acres or 5 per cent less, but that is still a lot of beans. You know everyone can figure it however he wants, but as I see it, if a bumper crop develops this next year or any other year, the key to holding grain prices is improved and increased transportation from the farm to the foreign importing country. I can remember all the talk this past year about the bottlenecking of grain at the ports due to the limited number of ships available to haul grain. This raises a problem, for you know as well as I do nobody is going to provide an additional fleet of ships at the last moment next year to haul a significantly greater amount of grain. Secondly, we must consider whether the world will be able to absorb more bushels of U.S. corn and soybeans. I guess, I will have to stop ail this thinking and do like my neighbors — plant my crops and spend the next 5 months hoping. Now isn't that a crazy way of understanding your business? ONE-LINERS by Mark Russell Henry Kissinger's fact-finding tour of Africa is going very well. The State Department is preparing a report revealing that there are more blacks in Africa than there are in Wyoming. ***** We're being nice to Rhodesia so they won't cut off our chrome. Otherwise, it could mean a chrome crisis, and remember, a nation without hood ornaments is a nation without spiritual values. ***** The announced candidates are resentful that Hubert Humphrey isn't working in "the trenches." In politics, a trench is either a hotel suite, a chartered airplane or seat at the head table. ***** Morris Udell's funds are dwindling. Recently his pilot attempted to fly across Pennsylvania on a dollar's worth of regular. He was greeted in his Philadelphia hotel lobby with a sign saying: "Welcome, Mo Udall — We Love You — Cash Only!" Berry's World ® 1976 by NEA. Inc "/ wish you wouldn't tell me such personal things. I'm like the House Intelligence Committee — I can't keep a secret!"
What members have found on this page
Get access to Newspapers.com
- The largest online newspaper archive
- 11,200+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
- Millions of additional pages added every month