Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 19, 1979 · Page 4
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 4

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Monday, February 19, 1979
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Page 4
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A4 Monday, February 19, 1979 Editorials Q Comment ALB Andrew Tally . GSA Ties' Concealed Lack of Bids NAL JbJMf (T.M. PEFPERDAV, ii,Hihrr. IW6.I9S6 H.P. F1CKJUUL, edtor 1926-1964! (C THOMPSON tANC. putiMAi r. IWWlt T.H. LANG, Publirr Xn Independent Newipaper PublUird Ai SrvetHtl St. and Silver Aw. SW, AHmquFrqur. New Mexico By The Journal Publih Co. Robert A. Brown, Senior Editor Gerald J. Crawford, Editor i . ... . ., ,, . lummmmm w NWK WE SHOULD W;tekn WMCi MM FENCE. Jack Anderson Hoover Wasn't Telling Jokes tary on Hoover and the anti-communist paranoia he so effectively cultivated in the American public. Helen Keller was born June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Ala. When she was 19 months old, illness left her blind and deaf (and therefore mute). Under the tutelage of another remarkable woman, Annie Sullivan, she learned to speak, read and write. She went to college and was the author of 11 books. Give Compromise a Try The unlikely but very real and decisive combination of temperance forces and liquor interests once again has sidetracked efforts to inject an element of sanity into New Mexico's liquor code. While proposals for the issuance of special nonquota licenses for the serving of beer and wine in restaurants are not literally "dead," the 7-to-l "do not pass" vote of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee stands as a solemn message for advocates to get their affairs in order. There also are bills pending which would abolish or phase out the state's license quota system a system that has nurtured "canopies," profiteering and a wide range of evils festering within the protected sanctuaries of liquor industry insiders. Hope for a significant change in the quota system is almost as dismal as that for beer-and-wine licenses. In view of the unconditional defeats inflicted year after year on those who strive for improvement of the New Mexico liquor laws, the message should now be loud and clear that the only hope for change lies in compromise. A geographic study of support for the status quo both this year and for many years past should be revealing. That support is concentrated largely in the state's rural areas and its smaller cities areas where the selling price of a quota license does not double every year or two because of artificial scarcity . To preserve what hope lingers for beer-and-wine licenses, a local option clause would be a reasonable compromise, allowing each legislator to keep the faith with his own constituency. The clause has permitted the outlawing of liquor sales altogether in some New Mexico communities and Sunday sales in others. And rather than to stage another futile crusade for ending or relaxing the quota system, why not amend the quota law by the insertion of a simple clause making quota licenses untransferrable? Such a clause would protect the interests of present license holders who have paid astronomic prices for their liquor privileges, and it would bring profitter-ing and all its incidental evils to an abrupt end. years after World War II. The FBI file, which is stamped "Security Information Confidential," also notes that "Helen Keller, blind author and educator, was one of a group of individuals sending messages of condolence on the occasion of the funeral of Mother (Ella Reeve) Bloor, well known Communist Party member, on August 14, 1951." Even worse, by Hoover standards, "Helen Keller has sent loving birthday greetings to Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a prominent communist leader, on her 65th birthday," according to the FBI dossier. Keller also was one of the signers of a letter to the speaker of the house in March 1948, protesting the red-baiting activities of the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee. This transgression was duly recorded in her FBI dossier. WASHINGTON - Because the United States government buys things in super-wholesale lots, it always pays lower prices than just folks. Right? Wrong. Uncle Sam always gets competitive bids before buying anything. Right? Wrong. And that's why Sen. Lawton Chiles, D-Fla., got so sore the other day that . he shouted and pounded his desk when he revealed that former high-ranking General Services Administration officials lied to Congress and the White House in 1970 to cover up the waste of $100 million a year in taxpayers' money. Chiles announced that GSA suppressed an audit report that found the agency could save that $100 million by obtaining competitive bids when buying office merchandise. Indeed, the waste of money is even greater today, according to Howard R. Davia, director of GSA's audit staff. He told a Senate Governmental Affairs Spending Practices subcommittee, which Chiles chairs, that "I am convinced the government today is wasting three to four times" more than was estimated in the 1970 report. This is not a nickel-and-dime scandal. GSA now spends two startling billion dollars a year to buy office products without competitive bids. GSA, for those who have been too busy gawking at Laverne and Shirley, is the federal government's department store. It buys stuff, then "sells" it to various departments and agencies. It also may harbor more blatant crooks since the heyday of Warren Harding's Teapot-Dome Interior Department. Jimmy Carter occasionally voices "concern" over the GSA mess. But apparently he can't shake the habit of dealing in peanuts. Since the public learned through the media last year that the GSA was enmeshed in payoffs, kickbacks, bribery, and fraud, the White House hasn't laid a glove on any big shots. Yes, there have been indictments and convictions, but they have involved" only low-level government functionaries and two-bit contractors. According to evidence gathered by the FBI, these employees certified the agency had received goods or services never delivered, in return for payoffs of cash, TV sets, vacation trips and even, in one instance, a custom-built house. In another case, GSA allegedly was overcharged a cool million bucks on a single order. Here and there, it is possible to discover that honesty has raised its lovely head. The two auditors who prepared the 1970 report on waste quit their jobs at GSA when the report was suppressed. WASHINGTON - Teen-agers' sick jokes about deaf and blind people are known as "Helen Keller jokes," after that remarkable woman and distinguished American whose triumph over ' her handicaps was an inspiration to millions the world over. But the sickest Helen Keller joke of all was perpetrated, not by teen-agers, but by the late director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. His near-hysterical suspicion of anyone who did not measure up to his rigid standard of red-white-and-blue Americanism led him to maintain a detailed investigative file on Keller until her death in 1968 at age 87. We have obtained Helen Keller's FBI dossier 44 pages of incredible trivia. It tells us little about Keller. But it tells us a lot about J. Edgar Hoover, the self-appointed guardian of America's political morality for half a century. The idea of the FBI running its number on Keller would almost be funny if it weren't such a sad commen But to the FBI, Keller was a "writer on radical subjects." There are numerous references in Keller's FBI file to her support of the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The brigade was made up of American volunteers mostly idealistic college students who fought for the republican government of Spain against Francisco Franco's facist rebels in the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s. There were enough communists in the Lincoln Brigade to taint every survivor or supporter in the Red Scare that gripped the United States in the Anderson's "Washington Merry Go Round" is copyrighted by United Feature Syndicate. Mike Causey Retirement Paradox Examined There is a 2 percent annuity reduction for each year the retiree is under age 55. But even with that cutback, the prospect of retirement that young is an attractive option, and one almost unknown in private industry. anizations that have already been made. The first agency to get permission to offer the early out option to its employees was the Office of Personnel Management itself. 0PM also gave the early-out authority to the Merit Systems Protection Board, another spinoff of the old Civil Service Commission. The offer runs until June 30 in both agencies. The Agriculture Department's Stabilization and Conservation Service here also has early out authority that will expire April 8. The Panama Canal Zone Company and government will begin to allow workers to retire early on April 1, and its authority extends through Sept. 30. To get permission to offer the "early out" retirement, agencies must convince the Office of Personnel Management (the old Civil Service Commission) that they are facing layoffs or reorganizations that will result in major job shuffles. Both the energy and labor departments are planning major reorganizations, some on top of reorg- The "Capital Fare" column by Tully is copyrighted by the McNaught Syndicate, Inc. WASHINGTON - Only the U.S. Government would have an involuntary retirement program that is strictly all-volunteer. The Department of Energy is seeking permission to allow long-service workers in headquarters to retire on immediate pensions as early as age 43. Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration wants the same early-out benefits for its people here. Under the new civil service reform law, federal departments and agencies facing layoffs or undergoing reorganizations (and who isn't?) can request permission to allow their senior employees to "volunteer" for involuntary retirement. In a nutshell, that means you may (if qualified) ask your agency to force you to retire. Although it is "involuntary" retirement, it cannot be done unless you volunteer for it. The expanded early-out law says that workers must be at least age 50, with 20 years of federal (or combined federal-military) service, or they can retire at any age within 25 years of service. In the case of employees who joined Uncle Sam, or the military, at age 18 it would mean immediate retirement as early as age 43. For retired military personnel who have joinedgovernmentascivilians.it could mean a second federal retirement while still on the sunny side of 40. Causey's column is copyrighted by the Washington Post. SCOOPS WE'RE VPUCM WE CHOPSTICKS FROM I m U PIAHS FOB M TRIP TO AMERICA WILL K AT mm WITH ROMAfLAV SILVERWARE. UASf AS i mm A TWCtf FOR VICE PREMIER WKi. mm, WT WITH OUt Remember the Good Guys So far, for news, it has been a fairly normal year the usual wars, upsets, triumphs, tragedies, the usual blur of events briefly noted and quickly forgotten. But so far 1979 seems to be stacking up as an exceptional year for good Samaritans and heroes. Rather than let them get lost in the blur, it would pay us all to consider, briefly and in no particular order, their stories: Albuquerque police officer Daniel McDonnell, while off duty, came upon a burning car at a traffic accident. Trapped inside was a woman. McDonnell, three times, tried to pull the woman from the flames. The accident claimed the woman's life. McDonnell's heroism as he crawled inside the overturned car could have cost him his own. Another Albuquerque policeman, Joe Ulabarri, saved the lives of a mother and her two children when he ran through flames and dense smoke in their apartment to find the family huddled under a blanket and lead them to safety. Two purse snatchers in Albuquerque were caught by Mike Hartman, husband of the victim, and an off-duty policeman, Tim Kline, who was notified by witnesses. Police in Albuquerque also got a hand from Said O.A. Otaiby of Saudi Arabia, on duty at Kirtland Base, and a number of unidentified citizens. Otaiby said he left a bar early one morning, and was approached by a group of people who stole his car keys after hitting him with a beer bottle. The group stole his car, but Otaiby and a number of witnesses chased the group in another car, finally capturing one of the thieves. These people went out of their way. They got involved. Some of them even risked their lives. It's nice to know people like these are around. EMBASSY ' J.L. Jones Spelling Is No Trivial Matter for Teng The "China card" will not neutralize Russia. China needs us a lot more than we need it. The opening to the West was dictated because the Thoughts of Mao weren't working. China has been wallowing in the quicksand of certain fundamental illusions, and revisionism (however much Peking will deny it) is an outstretched hand seeking a firm pull. To all this, we should respond favorably as long as we keep America's self-interest in mind. Someday, China's textbooks may be rewritten and its charming children will cease chanting hatred of the American imperialists. But Teng came, not because he loves us, but because America can supply things that China must have to put aside the hand barrow and the bullock cart. As he approached us, let us ap proach him - smiling, palms upward with friendly reservations. Houston is stuck with a reputation for opulence, and there was possibly some unconscious symbolism in the menu ordered for the Feb. 3 breakfast which Dick Johnson of The Chronicle and OvetaCulp Hobby of The Post threw for Chinese Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-p'ing (Deng Xiaoping). The orange juice and grapefruit bowed to the Rio Grande Valley. The grits attested to Houston's carefully nourished Southern traditions. The scrambled eggs could have been handled in pinch with chopsticks. And the steak was top-of-the-line for the ranch country. On the dais, beaming like a benign Buddha, 74-year-old, five-foot Teng, in his drab and severe high collared suit, gracefully fielded questions from the 50 invited newsmen. But undoubtedly the most uuuauoi question came troni an East Texas editor who simply wanted to know how to spell the guest of honor's name. If inscrutable China is at last going to re-enter communications with the rest of the world spelling will no longer be a trivial matter. Since Chinese is written, not in an alphabet, but in ideograms, it is idiotic to spell Chinese names with Western letters that do not conform to the pronunciation. The breakfasters were relieved when Teng said that his government has promised the United Nations to straighten out the mess. The vice premier appeared remarkably easy during the quiz, for top dogs of authoritarianism do not have much experience with the give-and-take of a free-world press conference. His palms-up gestures were friendly and disarming. . Teng spoke hopefully of vast un-' tapped oil reserves in China, and at the conclusion of the meal the motorcade gathered for a dash out to the Hughes Tool Co. where the touring Chinese could figuratively kick the tires of the latest methods of capturing the bird-not-in-hand Half the police force of Houston seemed to be at the exit of the Hyatt Regency Hotel to confront about 400 Taiwan-sympathizing Chinese who waved the flag of Chiang, called for the impeachment of President Carter, and brandished furious placards proclaiming, among other things, that "Red China has killed 60 million people." Whether the proper figure is 60 million, 20 mlffion or 15 million, it is generally conceded that it is certainly in the millions. It is strange how some "liberals," who choke on occasional shootings by the police of South Africa, or a scragging or two by Chilean agents, can blandly swallow wholesale murder as long as it is perpetrated by left-wing governments. There is noquestionthatamong trendy thinkers to whom chic is more powerful than principle Teng's China is now "in." The American habit of forgetting old wrongs and embracing old enemies is an engaging one, but it sometimes leads us into incredible boobery. the small society by Brickman F1 wm Me &?WS UP WB DO X 1 "- The Column by Jones is copyrighted ; by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. 2-19 'faJA

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