St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on October 20, 1983 · Page 18
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 18

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Thursday, October 20, 1983
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ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH founded by JOSEPH PI LITZER December 12, 1 878 : THE POST-DISPATCH PLATFORM I KNOW THAT MY RETIREMENT WILL MAKE NO DIFFERENCE IN ITS CARDINAL PRINCIPLES. THAT IT WILL ALWAYS FIGHT FOR PROGRESS AND REFORM, NEVER TOLERATE INJUSTICE OR CORRUPTION, ALWAYS FIGHT DEMAGOGUES OF ALL PARTIES, NEVER BELONG TO ANY PARTY, ALWAYS OPPOSE PRIVILEGED CLASSES AND PUBLIC PLUNDERERS, NEVER. LACK SYMPATHY WITH THE POOR. ALWAYS REMAIN DEVOTED TO THE PUBLIC WELFARE, NEVER BE SATISFIED WITH MERELY PRINTING , NEWS, ALWAYS BE DRASTICALLY INDEPENDENT. NEVER BE AFRAID TO ATTACK WRONG, WHETHER BY PREDATORY PLUTOCRACY OR PREDATORY POVERTY. JOSEPH PULITZER" April I0J 907 Thursday, October 20, 1983 letters Executive Bloopers Whether Secretary Watt should have apologized to President Reagan is less relevant than the fact that Mr. Beagan owes a public apology for his appointment or watt in tne nrst place. Why not a blooper room at the White House? This could be smallish, iet aside for use by presidents contemplating in solitude the naming of men to Cabinet posts and other positions of high office. The walls should be devoted solely to portraits of presidential appointees who had disgraced their positions. The list would certainly include men ,chosen by Jackson, Lincoln, McKinley, Harding, as' well as those of more recent vintage. .' A future president, giving serious, ' contemplative thought to a candidate for office, observing the portraits of Messrs. Baker, Lance, Butz and Watt . might be steeled to avoid the errors of his predecessors. Of course, a small room might demand miniature portraits. Harold Hartogensis Naples, Fla. History's Lessons How sad. How short the span of memory. How feeble the signs of maturity, whereby one learns from the past not to repeat the mistakes of yesteryear. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Chancellor Danforth and the Washington University Board of Trustees forgot the past. There was no reason to award an honorary doctor of Jaw degree to the West German president a man who was a volunteer in the Storm Troopers for three years and later joined the Nazi Party. ; I always remember the 1945 letter written by Pastor Niemoller of Germany. "In Germany the Nazis came for the Communists, and I did not speak up because I was not a .Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up because J was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up because I was a .Protestant. Then they came for me. By that time there was no one to speak 'up for anyone." Certainly West German President Carstens wasn't speaking up. Belleville Justine Eiseman It's Not Our Fault So House Democrats want to dish out $20,000 to each of 60,000 Japanese-Americans who were interned during World War II. This amounts to a cool $1.2 billion, no small sum. I assume -the funding will come from "general revenues," meaning my tax dollars. ' , I was not eyen born when this episode took place. By what rule of equity am I compelled to pay compensation for something I had nothing to do with? The burden should be borne by those who were already .adults in 1942, because it was their silence that made the internment .possible. Most of these people are now .receiving old-age Social Security .benefits and paying no taxes. Thus Jhose most responsible for this sad episode in our history will pay nothing. , r, In, all fairness, this scheme should -be funded by a one-time cut in the . bloated Social Security budget Instead 1 of gouging America's young once again. . , Leniay G. MunU : Equal, Not Separate Federal Judge William L. Hungate -has taken yet another step in proving . -that he is a dictator who has no regard for the principles upon which this nation was founded. Judge Hungate has ordered Anheuser-Busch to give jobs, along with seniority and more than $50,000 in back pay, to three persons who failed to -score passing grades on the company's employment tests. The judge ruled that the tests were discriminatory toward blacks. This country was founded on the principle that "all men are created 'equalj" This means that all men -should have an equal chance to 'compete for a particular job. If a company uses testing as a basis for "selecting employees, then one test ' should be given to all applicants, regardless of race. It is the company's objective, through testing, to find the most qualified person to perform a 'task... Certainly the Missouri Bar ' Association does not give separate "tests based on race. And most -Americans would be outraged if the AMA were to test new physicians according to race. ." . Providing separate tests, based upon race, is discrimination. It is not equality. Allowing all candidates to compete, with the best person winning, is equality. ' Hazelwood Michael A. Fee editorials- 1984: Money Inflation may have been slowed, but not the inflation of political spending. The 1980 presidential and 'Congressional campaigns were the costliest in history at $550 million for both, the cost was nearly double that of 1976. For 1984, more of the same. In the contest for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, seven Democrats already have collected $16 million, four months before a meaningful primary or caucus. Former Vice President Walter Mondale expects to have $5 million by Jan. 1. Sen. John Glenn has less but has closed an early gap. Sen. Alan Cranston's total is close but rests heavily on loans. Sen. Gary Hart is awash in debt. The Cranston and Hart campaigns may get some help next year from federal matching funds. Meanwhile, ' President Reagan has authorized creation of a re-election committee without announcing that he will seek re-election, but Edward J. Rollins, the campaign director, says Republicans plan to spend $21 million on Mr. Reagan's behalf in primary elections. Yet, presumably, Mr. Reagan would not be seriously opposed in 'them. The price tag on congressional campaigns undoubtedly will top the 1980 figure of more than $300 million, and the picture for state races is the same. Missouri's secretary of state, James Kirkpatrick, predicts that candidates for the Legislature alone will set a spending record. In 1982 they spent $3.4 million as against $1.4 million in 1978. What are the controls over an inordinate influence of money in politics? Post-Watergate election reform laws in 1974 and 1979 established a federal election Long-Range Everyone talks about the greenhouse effect but no one does anything about it. And for good reason, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. There is nothing that can be done to stop it, any more than it is possible to prevent a rainstorm. In a report that resounds with the inevitability of a doomsday pronouncement, the EPA said that as a result of the buildup of ; carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, global temperatures will begin rising in the early 1990s, and by 2040 they will have gone up an average of 3.6 degrees. As the next century draws to a close, average temperatures will have risen about 9 degrees. The weather will be much windier and wilder, with far greater extremes of heat, drought or rain, and the polar ice cap will melt, raising sea levels by a toot or more, the EPA calculated. The carbon dioxide buildup is the result of burning fossil fuels, primarily coal and A Right And After a 15-year struggle, the Senate, by a vote of 78 to 22, has finally moved to make the third Monday in January a national holiday in honor of the famous civil rights leader, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was murdered in 1968. In his short life of 39 years, Dr. King led ' one of the great revolutionary movements of the 20th century, but unlike most it was a movement of peace, not of violence. Following the example of this century's other great practitioner of nonviolent passive resistance, Mahatma Gandhi of India, Dr. King mobilized millions, of men, women and children to overthrow an unjust and exploitative social order. His bitterest critics have falsely charged that Dr. King preached lawlessness and brought disorder wherever he went. That stands truth and Dr. King's legacy on their heads. Rather, Dr. King taught that law must be respected and that, in the name of Contemptuous Toward Freedom A circuit judge in Alabama has shown utter contempt for free expression by fining a woman $100 for writing a letter to a newspaper questioning the fairness of one of his decisions. Using his contempt power as a weapon for personal vindication, Judge Billy Joe Sheffield imposed the fine and court costs on Mrs. Connie Cox because she wrote to the Abbeville (Ala.) Herald mild letter of criticism, in which she did not even mention the judge's name. A federal judge in St. Louis was impeached some 150 years ago for displaying a similar kind of arrogance with regard to criticism by a letter writer in a newspaper. Judge James H. Peck had written a newspaper article defending one of his decisions. When a lawyer wrote a letter of rebuttal, the judge sentenced him to jail for 24 hours for contempt and Make Merit Selection Permanent Sen; John C. Danforth's recent advocacy of his merit selection system for federal judges did not go far enough. In a speech at the St. Louis University Law School, he urged legal and citizens groups to insist that candidates for the U.S. Senate pledge to continue such a program. Citizen insistence and political promises are not enough. Unless the procedure for merit selection of federal judgeships is codified, it will not be followed faithfully. Mr. ' Danforth carefully explains that "the continuation of merit selection for the federal district courts in this state depends upon my tenure in the Senate and President Reagan's tenure in the White House." In emphasizing the district courts, Missouri's junior senator did not mention his refusal to use his merit selection panel when he was And Politics commission, limited campaign contributions and spending and provided for public financing of presidential campaigns. In general, public financing of presidential campaigns has curtailed the influence of wealthy individuals. That is not true of congressional campaigns, much less of state campaigns. Mr. Kirkpatrick recommends that Missouri employ the check-off system used on federal income tax returns for public support of statewide races. He is right, though incumbents who would vote on the issue Seldom admit it; they have a built-in advantage in raising private funds. The greatest possibility of abuse arises from the phenomenal growth of corporate and other special interest political action committees. They donated more than $55 million to congressional candidates in 1980 and $11 million to help elect Ronald Reagan. And, to a degree, the Supreme Court has given the campaign dollar free speech. It has upheld limits on contributions to candidates, but has overruled limits on how much PACs can spend to advocate their views. When these coincide with the views of a candidate, the restrictions become meaningless. At least the law should require "independent" PACs to prove that they are independent. Public financing of election campaigns, with ineligibility for candidates who accept further private contributions, remains the best way to" improve the integrity of the democratic process. Despite the immediate political obstacles, 1984 should further demonstrate the need to reduce the unhealthy relationship between private money and public government. Forecast oil: Carbon dioxide lets heat from the sun enter the atmosphere, then retains it, much as the glass in a greenhouse does. Even if we quickly phased out coal and oil as fuels, the EPA said, it is too late to stop the weather transformation. Abandon hope, all ye who enter the next century. As a follow-up story by Post-Dispatch reporters E. F. Porter Jr. and Jon Sawyer pointed out, however, the scientific community is less than unanimous about the certitude of' the EPA's forecast. In short, the scientists they talked to said that such long:range projections require more precision than science can command. By way of confirmation, consider the difficulty' of accurately predicting next week's weather, let alone the next century's. And remember, too, that the government issuing the greenhouse warning is the same one that told. the people in 1939 that America would run out of oil in 13 years. Fitting Honor law and justice, unjust laws must be opposed by peaceful means to the point of going to jail if necessary. It was the overwhelming power of moral force, not physical force, that Dr. King preached. The violence that did erupt was more often than not caused by the rear guard of hate and racism. In an ironic way, it is perhaps fitting that Sen. Jesse Helms, the leading radical right-wing opponent of the bill, should employ the same mean-spirited rhetoric that was directed at Dr. King more than 20 years ago by die-hard segregationists. However, Sen. Helms' slurs and innuendos were decisively rejected by the Senate and by a federal judge who blocked the senator's attempt to get at Dr. King's sealed FBI records. In a sense, Dr. King's legacy was honored twice yesterday: once with a new national holiday and again by the total rejection of Sen. Helms' hate-filled attack. suspended him from practice for 18 months. Judge Peck was impeached by the House of Representatives for subverting the "liberties of the people." But the Senate failed to convict him. Nevertheless, the Peck case and later ones have taught a lesson that all judges should have learned. As Justice William O. Douglas said in the 1947 Texas case of Craig vs. Harney in which the Supreme Court reversed the contempt conviction of a Corpus Christi editor who had criticized a judge "the law of contempt is not made for the protection of judges who may be sensitive to the winds of public opinion. Judges are supposed to be men of fortitude able to thrive in a hardy climate." Or, as Harry Truman said in another context, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." asked to submit names for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. As for the president, Mr. Reagan rescinded President Carter's bipartisan merit selection plan. The bulk of Mr. Danforth's argument is valid. As he said, "Too often, the road to the federal bench is paved with political IOUs. . . . The credibility of the judicial system is undermined each time the public sees a judge selected because of political' connections. A different method of selection should be sought." Indeed it should. And Mr. Danforth should take his message out of Missouri which is well noted for its nonpartisan judicial selection plan and into the halls of Congress to push for legislation requiring the use of merit panels in the federal judicial selection process. .. I Sock It To The Judge, Soak It To The Poor Wrong Approach. On Synfuels Economically Doubtful, Environmentally Risky Projects Favored Edward Flattau In The Chicago Tribune Environmentalists are . not against the development of synthetic fuels. They just think the process should proceed at a rational, measured pace. In 1979, Congress approved formation of the Synthetic Fuels lliihuut Corp. with a $15 1 1 1 1 1 Ul , billion kitty to launch of public a crash program for development of alternative energy sources. But the energy crunch that opinion ' ' motivated lawmakers to take this action has. moderated. The nation's improved fuel conservation performance and the world oil glut have combined to give us ample time to do the job right. The sense of urgency about introducing synfuels into the mass market at once has disappeared for virtually all except a few well-connected "energy speculators." These individuals stand to reap .quick, enormous profits at the taxpayers' expense from synfuel projects of dubious cost-effectiveness. If we have the time, what is the proper way to proceed? The Washington-based Environmental Policy Institute, which has been critical of the federal synfuels program from its inception, sums up the formula quite well: "Establishment of a modest, evenly paced research and development program which requires cost-sharing on the part of the' private sector and provides for the collection of data on technical performance, environmental impacts and economic feasibility." There's been so much publicity in recent months over administrative mismanagement at the SFC that the imperfect technology, economic failings and environmental neglect associated with the corporation's targeted projects have often been obscured. To be sure, it's distressing to see the SFC lavish taxpayers' dollars on its own employees through wages, medical benefits and pension programs unequaled anywhere else in the federal bureaucracy while synfuel proposals topple like tenpins as their inferior, uneconomical technology base becomes apparent. Yet the fact that most of the projects the SFC is trying to push have severe environmental as well as economic liabilities is rarely discussed. The latter can be covered up for a time by heavy federal subsidies, much to the discomfort of our pocketbooks. The former, however, can cause immediate ' and possibly irreparable ecological havoc if The Eagle Makes A Comeback The Kansas City Star Who doesn't like a bald eagle? The American symbol long has been among the most beloved of birds, a living example of the majesty and independence of this country. Thanks to mankind, the eagle has had to survive terrific odds created by pesticides, loss of habitat and illegal killings. Its numbers in recent years dwindled so that it is on the endangered species list in 43 states, and is considered threatened In five others. Only Alaska has a plentiful population. In a piece of good news, the National Wildlife Federation has found that the bald eagle may be making a comeback after years of declining numbers. The federation, in making its annual survey of the birds in each state, has found about the same number of eagles as last year. Still, there were only 12,098 found in 46 states, excluding Alaska. That Is much improved over 1979, the first year the federation took the survey, when only 9,815 bald eagles were counted. Missouri, which has had a comparatively large number of eagles, ranked third in eagle sightings with 908. Kansas had 436. Much of this encouraging news can be attributed to efforts by the same species which brought about the decline of the bald eagle in the first place. Wildlife biologists, conservationists and others have worked to return captive bald eagles to the wild so more W. ,. ' 2W Sr. uxs fetr-PiffAW the projects ever get off the ground. SFC officials have created this situation because they issued no environmental monitoring guidelines for synfuel project sponsors during the corporation's first two years of existence. When guidelines were finally unveiled, they were pitifully weak. And perhaps most important of all, the SFC has repeatedly ignored its own selection criteria by approving project sponsors unable to demonstrate they can qualify for federal and state clean air and water permits. Take the case of First Colony's peat-to-methanol project in eastern North Carolina which has gotten the go-ahead from the SFC (against an initial recommendation of its staff) to the tune of more than $460 million. SFC has treated the project as environmentally benign, but local fishermen and conservationists disagree and have prodded North Carolina to proceed very cautiously in granting permits. Indeed, one could say the First Colony project is stalled as a result of environmental concerns, particularly regarding water and air quality. Furthermore, environmentalists are considering a lawsuit that could force First Colony to prepare an environmental impact statement, something the SFC never required. The public record is replete with statements from energy industry representatives that synfuel technology is not yet advanced enough to support mass commercialization. If the SFC persists in subsidizing commercialization of second-rate technologies, as it's doing now, billions of taxpayers' dollars will be spent to produce relatively little energy. Congressional hearings are scheduled to review the SFC's shortcomings and decide whether modifications need to be made. One can only hope the result of these sessions will be to reshape the SFC into a tightly run research outfit instead of allowing it to commit billions of dollars to massive projects of dubious worth. Only then will the odds favor synfuel technologies beginning to fulfill a potential that is being squandered. can mate and thrive. They , have pushed for wildlife refuge programs which afford the birds a place to nest and for protection from indiscriminate shooting and infringement by developers. Private corporations and businesses have donated money for educating the public and protecting the birds. Laws have been passed to fine and jail persons who traffic in eagle talons or feathers or who shoot or trap eagles. Certainly the eagle and mankind hasn't won the battle yet. What must be done to continue this return of a magnificent bird is more of these same types of activities. With human help to erase human error in the past, the bald eagle may be around for generations to come to watch and enjoy. ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH VflOIWlA Turin nuttlmairifrllUI CIH) 622 7mm JOSEPH Pl'LITZER, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER I87M11 1 JOSEPH PVLITKH. EDITOR AND PI BLISIIER IVI2-IV.V; JOSEPH PI LITZER JR.. EDITOR AND.Pt RUSHER MICHAEL E. PI LITZER. ASSOCIATE EDITOR UAMD UPMAN. MANAUM. EDITOR WILLIAM F. WOO. EDITOR OF THE EDITORIAL PA(iE C. A. CHRISTOPHER. V ICE PRESIDENT AND (.EN. MAN AGER

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