The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on May 2, 1979 · Page 8
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 8

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 2, 1979
Page 8
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The Palm Beach Post Mary McGrory Daniel J. Mahoney, Jr. Publisher Thomas A. Kelly Editor Cecil B. Kelley, Jr. General Manager Samuel J. Pepper Managing Editor Clarke B. Ash, Associate Editor WEDNESDAY MORNING, MAY 2, 1979 A Welcome Release There are two schools of thought regarding the conduct of U.S.-Soviet relations. Some say we should look at the total picture this is the so-called "linkage" school while others say each facet should be considered separately. Each view is an oversimplification, as the implications of last week's dissident-for-spy swap illustrate. No one seriously believes that Moscow's decision to send five dissidents west in return for two Soviet citizens convicted of spying in the United States was an act of altruism. The Soviets want something. More precisely, they want two things: a second-stage Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) and Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status. An amendment to the 1974 trade act, the so-called Jackson-Vanik measure after Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Wash.) and Rep. 'Charles Vanik (D-Ohio), bars .MFN status for any Communist nation that does not, in the opinion of the president, allow its citizens freedom to travel abroad. While the release of five persons is hardly a wholesale exodus, it is nevertheless part of a pattern of lessened restrictions. For instance, Jews now are being allowed to emigrate at the rate of 40,000 a year, a sharp increase since late last year. While Jackson continues to stand firm, one source reports that Vanik is urging President Carter to grant the Soviets MFN status on a two-year trial. That makes sense, as long as it is made clear to the Soviets that any extension is contingent upon continued improvement in human-rights recognition. In the case of Jackson-Vanik, linkage is logical? While we have reservations about the narrowness of that measure we would prefer to see one that deals with human-rights violations in general and applies to any government that violates those rights, be it Communist or not the principle is sound. Why should the United States give trading privileges to repressive regimes? For such policies to have any value, however, they must be adjusted to reflect changing realities. The Kremlin is hardly going to be encouraged to ease restrictions further if the United States ignores the improvement demonstrated thus far. SALT, however, cannot be linked. It is one of those issues that is so important to each superpower in fact to the world that it must stand or fall on its own merits. There are only two germane standards for approval of SALT II: Does it slow the arms race, and is it verifiable? In any case, the release of the dissidents is welcome. It means freedom for five brave men, it shows which superpower respects freedom and which one doesn't (the two men we released committed specific crimes whereas the five the Soviets released had been imprisoned because they disagreed with government policy), and it suggests that the chill noted in U.S.-Soviet relations during the early days of the Carter administration may be easing. Free Speech for Dentists The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have declared a truce in their two year-old battle over advertising . by dentists. If the free market economy is still working, consumers should be the beneficiaries. The consent agreement lifts the remaining ethical constraints upon advertising by dentists. They now have the unrestricted right to solicit business by advertising prices for basic dental services. The theory behind the FTC's antitrust suit against the ADA and the American Medical Association (AMA) is that ethical bans on professional advertising artificially inflate prices. All dentists and doctors are presumed competent by virtue of their state licenses to practice. But some can work more cheaply than others, due to lower overhead, more efficient support staffs, and other factors unrelated to professional skill. The FTC wants the public to know that, but professions have fought long and losing court battles to defend advertising bans. Professional group resistance is beginning to give way, however, under a string of judicial decisions which recognize that professional people have a 1st Amendment right to advertise their services. But the ADA has hedged its bets by tying its final settlement with the FTC to the outcome of a similar antitrust suit against the AMA. That settlement could be years in coming. The AMA has committed its considerable resources to reversing the legal tide favoring professional advertising. But the AMA effort is not likely to succeed and meanwhile, the public will enjoy the benefits of advertising by dentists hardy enough to brave the criticism of their anti-advertising colleagues. Be Firm With Tokyo The word out of Washington is that President Carter and Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira will concentrate on improving the atmosphere of bilateral relations rather than on specific economic issues when they confer today at the White House. It's hard to see how the two can be separated. The deteriorating relations are a product of Japan's large and evergrowing trade surplus, and they will not improve until Tokyo does more than talk about remedies. - Some Japanese are unhappy by what they consider to be undue harping by U.S. interests on the trade surplus, which they say is shrinking. Last month, however, the Japanese government said otherwise; it listed the surplus for the recently-ended fiscal year at a record $20.6 billion. Japan exports a lot because of efficient industry, a guaranteed-job employment system that puts a premium on level of pro duction, and an all-out marketing program in which industry and government are partners. Meanwhile, imports are held down not so much by tariffs as by a byzantine system of arbitrary regulations. Japan insists that U.S. firms are getting a better deal now, but to most U.S. interests the improvement is marginal. Obviously, the United States must avoid an arrogant posture; such an attitude would merely feed resentment and make meaningful reform more difficult politically for the Tokyo government. And we certainly can applaud such helpful gestures as the apparent approval of major economic aid for Egypt, a significant concession by Japan considering that nation's dependence upon Arab oil. But the key to better U.S.Japan relations remains a more equitable trading partnership. President Carter needs to make that point clear, politely but firmly. Cloud Lake's 'Disaster' Cloud Lake has decided it doesn't need the $22.61 in disaster aid to which it is entitled, due to a disaster between the ears of some federal bureaucrats. Palm Beach County was declared a disaster area after the January 1977 freeze. Among other things, this qualified local governments for compensatory funds to make up for the effect of the disaster upon their revenue-sharing entitlements. Racing along like a snail, the U.S. Office of Revenue Sharing finally figured out last month that Cloud Lake, a 25-acre community of 128 people centered on a rockpit lake, shoulget $22.61. Never mind that the freeze had absolutely no effect on Cloud Lake; reality cannot be allowed to intrude on the abstract truth of mathematics. Fortunately, Cloud Lake officials have a better grasp of reality. "We have no damage, so we're just going to let the deadline (for applying for the $22.61) go by," said Town Clerk Dorothy Gravelin. That's as it should be. The only disaster we can see in connection with Cloud Lake is the fact it was allowed to incorporate in the first place. Twenty-five acres should not a town make. f Blame Carter for Oil Prices WASHINGTON - It isn't as though Energy Secretary James R. Schlesinger lost Edward Kennedy's vote on President Carter's new energy policy. Kennedy has said from the beginning that it's not right to raise prices and then try to get a serious windfall tax out of the oil companies. He has in fact, co-sponsored with Sen. Henry Jackson, a bill to keep control on oil for another two years. But what Energy Secretary James R. Schlesinger did the other day was to personalize the disagreement, and make sure that Kennedy's opposition will have an edge that wasn't there before. Kennedy takes unkindly to being accused of "misleading the American people" and lacking "objectivity" on an issue that has become the most important question of the day for millions of Americans. Schlesinger is given to crushing condescension in dealing with Capitol Hill. It is a trait that maddened Gerald Ford, a man of Congress, and caused him to fire the brainy, overbearing technocrat. Carter who is not easily patronized, seems to like his only Republican Cabinet member all the better for his manifest ability to raise hackles on Capitol Hill. Still, Carter may be sorry that Schlesinger antagonized Kennedy, because the widely publicized scene of them going at each other stirred the juices of other adversaries of both Schlesinger and the administration's fancy, two-step energy scheme. The young Turks in the House are organizing a lobby effort to stop the decontrol effort. They were mildly astonished to discover two conservative Democrats, both from Ohio, Ron Mottl and Tom Lukens, already in their ranks. The people you might expect Moffet of Connecticut, Gore of Tennessee, Markey of Massachusetts, Maguire of New Jersey and Eckhardt of Texas are out in front on the fight to change the subject from taxes to decontrol. Their first target is the House Commerce Com- mittee, which could take up the matter as early as next week when the Department of Energy authorization bill comes i ap. Many members, including House Speaker O'Neill, spent their "dl strict work period," as the Easter reces:? was called, in foreign countries, far from tie plaii its of their constituents. They could run, but I hey couldn't hide. The mail, and local polls, t ell them that the president's strenuous attem ts to make Big Oil the villain is not playing we 11 in the provinces. Nor is his cont ention that decontrol is "acceptably inflationary" lieing accepted by people facing higher heating-oiil bills and gouging at the gas station. O'Neill will, as usua 1, play a central role. He is not entirely comfortable, caught between his party chief and hi is fa vorite senator. His home state suffers severely from energy costs, and Massachusetts Democ rats can be expected to remind him that when a Republican president, Gerald Ford, suggste4 a "Republican" solution to the problem, that is raising costs, O'Neill staunchly opposed him . As a faithful lieute nant of the president, he went along with thi; b: Itterly fought decontrol of natural gas, which pjissed by one vote in the House. The young Turks, who are ever on the watch for lapses in hi; i declared liberalism, are telling him that oil' i s of much more consequence to many more p eople. The guess is that he will not join the rebellion in the House, but can't be counted on to squash it, either. So far, O.Neill has made a less than fervent statement of support for the president's pricing decision, as long as it is accompanied by enactment of an "effective" windfall profits tax which is generally held to be a pipe dream as long as Russell Long is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Kennedy told Schlesinger sharply that he was the only person in Washington who thought a serious windfall profits tax was possible. Sen. Jackson, a sometimes friend of the consumer, is the prime sponsor of the control-extension bill. The Kennedy-Schlesinger confrontation has made him understand that if he falters, the most popular Democrat in the country is ready to pick up the torch. Jackson is Schlesinger's most ardent champion on Capitol Hill, and they have passed many a pleasant hour swapping technicalities unintelligible to those with less lore. But he seems to have parted company with the secretary on prices, and is reported to be rallying his old friends in the labor movement to join him in the fight. His first obstacle will be Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who will resist bringing up the controversy before May 31, when controls automatically expire. But if Jackson and company prevail, Carter could face a repeat of one of the more embarrassing episodes of his presidency a filibuster against his energy policy led by members of his own party. In 1977, he sent the vice president to silence Howard Metzenbaum and James Abourezk, who were trying to talk decontrol of natural gas prices into oblivion. It wouldn't be that easy to take on Jackson and Kennedy. Congress would have to be as dumb as Schlesinger thinks it is to buy the argument that the only question at issue is windfall profits. The evidence is, that with his inadvertent help, it is coming to realize that it is Jimmy Carter who is raising prices, not the oil companies. USE THAT DIRTY FUEL. V . WK5&$L JUST LOOK AT THE J) n mmtSSSMt- Letters t o the Editor- Pluses Exceed Min uses at North Shore As a student at North Shore High School, I was very disappointed in the articles written by Ann Doyle. The articles, a product of her substituting in some regular classes at our school, were, at best, very one-sided and misleading. From what I've learned about journalism, I think that well-meant reporting should reveal both sides of the coin; I'm sure that even the "noisy and obnoxious lot," as Ms. Doyle describes them, present at our school would concur with me on that point. Nowhere in the article is anything said of the college level precis being written next door, the calculus students with their college acceptance notices in their pockets, or the student government association, which is President of the Florida Association of Students Councils, downstairs preparing legislation to take before the School Board. As is usual, on the front page of the paper we read of juvenile crime and wrongdoings in lieu of the brighter side of today's youth, which by the way, accounts for 98 percent of today's minors. Investigative and critical reporting is fine and a mainstay of our democratic way of life as is shown in the 1st Amendment of our Constitution, but maybe it's about time that we examined our values and decided what goes up front and vice versa. John Pauly Jr. West Palm Beach Balletic Delight What a joy it was to attend the recent performance of the Palm Beach Ballet Company. Three hours of sheer delight. Their professional ballet and jazz movements were stunning and entertaining. Individual solo and group arrangements, with a superb cast, were staged under masterful direction, combining humor and expertise. We thank the Palm Beach Ballet Society for ending the season with a bang. Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Greene West Palm Beach Weaning Away Freedoms Tom Kelly's column Sunday touched me deeply, so much so that I must share with you my concern about the trends in our society in recent years. It started with my awareness of the mumbo-jumbo made of the English language in the construction of our laws that forced one of our notables to remark that it took more than 43,798 laws in our country to do what the original 10 commandments did more effectively. The legalese used currently boggles the average mind today as does the ever-increasing confusion of our judicial system. But most important of all to me is my concern about the invasion into the freedoms that our country enjoyed, which made it the most unique in the world. My concerns are based only pn an average citizen's awareness of the devious, deceptive, "sneaking" weaning away of these freedoms. Mr. Kelly's expression touched me so because I felt it was a true, honest expression of thought and feeling in good, open, old American English that I could ' understand and feel. All I know is th at I have a depressing feeling that like a snak e in the grass crawling unseen, our lifeline oif freedoms is being slowly attacked. And we ai :e so vulnerable in so many ways. Mrs. Helen Rowe Palm Beach Energy Foot-Dragging What is it goinj j to take to have the American fuel producers to quit their foot dragging and seriously get g oing on alternative and new sources for the fuul we so desperately need? Every day another source is suggested such as gasohol, oil from s hale deposits, reworking old oil wells and of coi irse new exploration for the "black gold." With the prices , we are now paying for imported oil and witt i the ever constant threat of even higher prices, would we not be far better off to embark on a n all-out program to use our dollars right here to find and work out meaningful alternatives ? Even if we have to pay higher prices for )ur new oil, our hardworking dollars would at 1( :ast remain here and our balance of trade couli 1 be greatly improved. It is indeed i great pity that America, a leader of nations for so long has been reduced to being led arou nd by the nose by others who have learned how ' easy it is to take advantage of a good thing. It is time that we did something without furt her delay. Murray Lee Brody West Palm Beach Nonsmo Iters' Nonsupport On May 8 a referendum to restrict smoking in public places will take place in Dade County. Smokers new comprise one third of the j! fl ON iUI,tW ANP FRIENP ONTMT Storf tP HER ANP MOW NO adult population. A considerable percentage of the victims of this idiotic life destroying habit are very unhappy about their addiction and wish they could shake it. It would therefore seem that the measure should pass easily. But tobacco companies have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a fight to defeat it. Judging by their TV commercials, their propaganda must originate in homes for the retarded. They equate the liberty to befoul the air of restaurants with the flag and motherhood. "Smoke enders" are accused of a secret plot to undermine our freedoms and destroy the republic. It would appear that this puerile nonsense is unworthy of a reply. Unfortunately a great many citizens are easily swayed by nonsense. Where has the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society been in this matter? The answer is nowhere. Despite their enor-' mous treasuries I have failed to see one commercial, one newspaper ad initiated by these organizations. Perhaps they are girding for the attack in the last week. But if they fail to do so, I would consider them to be unworthy of support in the future. Louis March Lantana Mar-a-Lago Answer Kudos to The Post. You have raised a long overdue question in your comprehensive report: "Does anyone want Mar-a-Lago?" The answer is surprisingly simple: we, the people, want it. There is plenty of blame at all government levels local, state and federal for keeping the Palm Beaches' brightest jewel and most unique treasure under mothballs for so many years; for squandering the available funds, private and public; and for making Mar-a-Lago inaccessible for all. One recent example should illustrate the point: Congressman and Mrs. Mica, during their Easter holiday, must have found inspiration and pleasure viewing the treasures of Peking, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Honolulu and other exotic places of the Far East and the Far West. His constituents, less fortunate, who had to remain closer to the hearth, had to find their inspiration and pleasure by looking over Mar-a-Lago's stone walls or through the cracks of the wooden, boarded-up, locked doors. Surely, if Vice Chairman Teng Xiaoping can open the gates of the Imperial Palace in Peking for the enjoyment of Mr. and Mrs. Mica, Congressman Mica can open the gates of Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach for the enjoyment of Mr. and Mrs. America. Fair is fair. James May Lake Worth 0 199 by NEA Inc Letters should be limited to approximately 200 words. They must bear the name and address of the writer, and a telephone number for verification. All letters are subject to condensation. A letter will not be considered for publication if the writer has had a letter published Within the previous 30 days. -C 1

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