INDEPENDENT PKESS-TELEOMM The 'new direction' is upstage 604 Pine Avenue, 90844 . Telephone 435- 1161 Hermon H. Ridder --_1 952- 1969 Doniel H. Ridder -- Editor ond Publisher Sorri'je! C. Comeron -- Generol Mnnnner Mile; E. Sines -- Executive Editor Lorry Allison -- Managing Editor Don Ohl -- Editor Editorial Page Bert Resnik -- Assistant Managing Editor L.A. Collins Sr. -- Editorial Columnist Don Nutter, Advertising Director E, H. Lowdermilk, Circulation Director Milton A. Lomas, Production Manager B-2 LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, MONDAY, JANUARY 20, 1975 Editorials A poor yardstick Sen. Roman Hruska, R-Neb., once argued that Americans of mediocre intellect were entitled to have one of their number on the U.S. Supreme Court. His fellow senators rejected the argument and the Nixon appointee in whose defense Hruska offered it. The p r i n c i p l e of providing representation to special interest groups -- assuming that the mediocre are such a group -- was not new, of course. Politicans have long made up slates of candidates on the basis of color a'nd ethnic background -- and sometimes not on the basis of much else. There are certainly o t h e r groups that are victims of discrimination and that could consequently use defenders in public o f f i c e . F a t people, w o m e n , homosexuals and children are among them. But the idea of electing or appointing someone to of- fice as a specific representative of one of these groups is a poor idea in a democracy. It is admittedly no poorer than the idea of electing or appointing a black or Chicano because of race or ancestry, but it is just as bad an idea. That is why we are not very enthusiastic about some of Governor B r o w n ' s appointments -which were made on bases other than proven ability to do the job. And that is why we are not enthusiastic a b o u t Los A n g e l e s County Supervisor Ed Edleman's appointment of a homosexual staff worker to provide special help in working with the homosexual community. Assuming that the supervisor is correct and the appointee is well qualified, we have no quarrel with the appointment. But it should have been made because the person appointed ' would . be a good staff aide, not because he is, in his own description, a "gay activist." Gouging the taxpayers S e v e r a l Northern California officials "retired" last month and went back to work this month at the same jobs. In consequence of that -- and of a loophole in state law -- they are now collecting both salaries and pensions. That puts a. double whammy on the taxpayers and enables the officials to Whip Inflation Now in style. The Monterey County sheriff, for example, gets a salary of $21,456. By being "retired" at the same time, he will get an additional $12,240 this year. The loophole was apparently an accident. Virgil O'Sullivan, the state senator who sponsored the bill in 1961 and who now practices law in Williams, said he never meant the legislation to allow this sort of gouging of the taxpayers. O'Sullivan said his bill was designed to allow a retired public em- ploye to accept a low-paying public service position without losing retirement income. It would be easy to condemn public officials who used the loophole to get what amounts to a fast pay raise. These officials, in effect, abandoned their contracts to serve the public for their full terms; they quit early for purely personal advantage. But it is hard to expect anyone of no more than average saintliness to resist the temptation to augment his income by 50 per cent or more. Now that the loophole has been called to the attention of public and lawmakers, however, we trust it will be swiftly closed by the California Legislature. Although, c o n s i d e r i n g the legislature's record on pensions for its own members, p e r h a p s t h a t word "trust" should be changed to "hope." If s a pleasure The Long Beach branch of the Music Teachers' Association of California has generously -- and ambitiously -- undertaken to purchase a grand piano for the new city library building. The instrument would be available for recitals, chamber music concerts and lectures. Anyone who'd like to help the project along -- and get a'small What others say tax deduction and a large amount of musical pleasure -- can do so by attending the association's "young artist concert." The concert features baritone Andrew Boettner and pianist Mark Jones. The program will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in the Covenant Presbyterian Church, Third Street and Atlantic Avenue. Student tickets are $1. Adult tickets are $2. Will a snicker From the Wichita Eagle It is heartening to see thai the Kansas .Legislature is not the only such body 'guilty of an occasional mistake. In California a number of officeholders are profiting from a goof made by the legislature of that state last year. It approved a pension plan permitting state or other public employes who retire to draw a pension check. Immediately several who had been re-elected to office retired, thus making themselves eligible for the pension checks. Then they assumed the office again at the beginning of the new term. Now they're drawing two checks, one pension and one for salary. Governor Ronald Reagan who left office himself and will draw a $19,000-a-year pension, said he didn't think the legislature intended that anybody draw both a pension and a salary' from the same government body. He urged that "somebody take a hard look" at the situation. That sounds like a perfectly splendid idea. Meanwhile, the rest of us can permit ourselves a snicker at the discomfiture of the lawmakers of the nation's most populous state. More bad news From the Houston Chronicle Two years ago when the anchovy On ut- CGoSi Oi of a quirk in ocean currents, there were worldwide repercussions because the anchovy fishmeal provided a major source for chicken feed supplements. The anchovy is making a comeback, Guatemala's 3-1 volcanoes, has virtually destroyed that country's sesame crop. No- hody has said what this means in terms of sesame seed, but with the way things arc going today we aren't optimistic." . NEW YORK -- We have a slogan. On his television teaser Monday night, President Ford spoke of his "new direction;" he repeated it twice in his State of the Union address Wednesday. In his transmittal messages for the budget and economic reports in coming weeks the "new direction" will flutter like a banner over the fine print. CARTOONISTS will at long last have a symbol: arrows and signposts will proliferate, wealhervanes and directors' chairs will sprout on editorial pages, and the story of Wrong-Way Corrigan will be exhumed. We have a new slogan, but do we have a new direction? By evoking the ghosts of FDR and Harry Truman in his address, Ford has indicated whose beckoning he follows. On economic policy, Ford has evident- ly concluded that inflation is no longer a problem -- its reduction is not even listed among the five goals of the new direction -- and he has proposed to inundate recession in a sea of red ink. The profession of economics is in a state of palsied disarray William Satire Nw ?oHc flmw Ntwi S*TM at the moment, as punchy and puzzled as the polling industry after the 1948 elect i o n ; p r i v a t e l y , even administration economists admit that nobody can confidently say whether the direction pointed out by the consensus is right or wrong. Letters to the editor Middle East facts EDITOR: There appears to be a concerted and --Â· to use a favorite phrase -- "well- orchestrated" effort in the letters to the editor to castigate the Independent, Press-Telegram for its even-handedness in dealing with the Middle East crisis. At the same time these letters tend to malign Israel by employing the worn, but nonetheless most effective, technique of the Big Lie. These letters manage to obscure some facts which need to be restated. Fact One -- Israel was created by the United Nations through a resolution in which the superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, both concurred. If the Arabs had accepted that decision as did the Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, there would be no Palestinian issue today. Fact Two -- The Hagana was organized in the early days of the Jewish settlement in Palestine to protect the Kibbutzim against Arab marauders. It must be kept in mind that every inch of the land on which Jewish farms and settlements were established prior to 1948 was purchased by the Jewish National Fund from Arab land owners, who profited thereby. The Stern Gang and other terrorist organizations came into being when the British abused the mandate given them by the League of Nations and prevented first the hapless victims of Nazi persecution and later the few fortunate survivors from finding a home in Palestine. Due to many irresponsible and violent acts committed by these groups, they never found acceptance by the responsible Jewish leadership (in contradistinction to the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Arab states today) and were at times even combated by the Hagana. Fact Three -- With the exception of being obligated to serve in the army, Arab citizens of Israel enjoy full equal rights and the highest standard of living of any Arabs anywhere. They have six representatives in the K'nesset, which proves the freedom and citizenship that is theirs. Arab volunteers serve in the army. Fact Four -- The Six Day War in 1967 broke out when President Nasser of Egypt succeeded in having the United Nations meet his demands to withdraw troops from Sharm El Sheikh and by blockading the Gulf of Aqaba put a stranglehold on Israel while massing troops and an incredible amount of Russian war equipment in the Sinai. The Arabs lost that war, which created occupied territories that Israel declared to be subject to negotiation in a peace settlement. These negotiations never took place because, perhaps for the first time in history, the vanquished in battle refused to sit down with the victors. Fsct Five - In October 1973, on the holiest day of the Jewish religious year, the Arab slates launched a sneak attack upon Israel that made Pearl Harbor look almost amateurish. The United Nations, totally silent during the first days of that war when Israel was beaten, called for a halt of hostilities just as soon as the tide of battle had turned in Israel's favor. Fact Six -- U.S. support of Israel can hardly be considered due to Jewish influence, but is rather due to geopolitical considerations. Despite the f a c t that many more Jews vote a Democratic than a Republican ticket, every Republican administration since the establishment of 'Israel has been pro-Israel because a strong and independent Israel with unquestionable commitment to western democracy serves American interests best in the total context of world politics. If this should no longer hold true -- and the present Arab blackmail in the oil market and the field of high finance opens up that possibility -- no "Jewish influence" will help and Israel may well find itself isolated as were the Jews of Europe, six million of whom were exterminated in the Nazi holocaust, while the world, including the United States, stood by silently. I would be the very last to claim that everyone who is critical of Israel or sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian refugees is an antisemite. I feel, however, that many of the letter writers in the columns of the I, P-T have been severely infected by the virulent germ of vicious Jew-hatred, whose tragic effects more often than not in the history of mankind have been but the precursors of worldwide catastrophe. RABBI WOLLI KAELTER Long Beach o R L On energy policy, the President has urged steps both dramatic and conservative. He has taken the price route to discourage oil imports and to put a floor under the price of domestic supply: this should induce a!! consumers of oil, not .;; just motorists, to conserve, and should stimulate internal production. Many of the ways he suggests pumping these tax receipts back into the economy make , sense. OVERRIDING both the energy and economic proposals, however, is this ... question- how well has Gerald Ford done in his real debut week as president - and how well has Congress shown that two branches of our government can work together on energy and the economy? The -answer: not well at all. The President's State of the Union ',,' message is the single most important ., communication between the executive .. and legislative branches mandated in the Constitution. Over two centuries, it has come to be treated by presidents as a benchmark in their stewardship; in this century, it has often been presented in person by the president to his co-equal ,.' branch, and has been received -- if not always in admiration -- at least always in respect and dignity by the House and Senate in joint session. : ; CONSIDER what happened last week. ., The Democratic leadership of the Con J gress, in a lust to grab the credit for recommending a popular tax cut,' upstaged the President on Monday with a program all its own. Substantively, it was an insult to the voter's intelligence, with its dire finger-wagging at high interest rates while it proposed enormous deficits ; that ensure high interest rates; institutionally, it was an insult to the executive branch, which -- last week -- it owed the ' courtesy of an interested reception of proposals. Â· ) ! - . ' , , . . And how did the new president react? Tipped off to the planned upstaging,-and" ; eager to dominate the headlines asr th'e ;V saviour who proposed a tax cut, Ford' ',',; followed the panicky advice of his closest ;; aides to present a prime time television- . pitch Monday night, calling upon- 'all''- Americans to make the sacrifice of accepting a tax rebate. ; ,"'' The next day, Tuesday, with his'-prtb ' gram presented lopsidedly, the Presi-'' dent's press secretary put out a grfeat' many of the answers to questions raised' , in the President's teaser. The media,-a's it'--'" is geared to do, followed the President's ' " ' lead, concentrating on his program fqr : a''- ';: second day, downplaying the congression-' M ' U al reaction to the teaser speech", " ' crossplugging the next day's show. 'Â· THAT ANTICLIMACTIC show wa's Wednesday's afternoon presentation ."Of ! Â· the details of the program previously jiint! J '''": ed at, designed to provide filmed high'-V lights for Wednesday night TV network^' news. That third bite at the apple, effec-'' tively overwhelming the congressional'" ploy at gaining voter credit for the tax' : " cut, was what we used to call "the presi- ' t dent's annual State of the Union address:'? Â· 'Â·' Certainly the strategy succeeded: irt feeding the story out over a full week. But- ' y what did it tell us about the state of the relations between the Congress and the- President, and about the way Ford views his office? / ' Congress, we now see, stands ready to one-up the President at any opportunity, tradition and good taste be damned. Piously proclaiming no "politics as . usual" at a time of national difficulty, the Congress has shown it intends to play politics with unusual intensity, to the extent of disguising agreement in the cloak of controversy. THE PRESIDENT, we have seen this week, is a Truman-style scrapper: like his hero, he is a man of the Congress thrust into the presidency unexpectedly, who knows the ploys that congressmen play. When "the boys" tried to finesse Ford, he gave them the old media one- two-three. But a president is the president. He ' ought to act with deliberation and dignity. He need not be personally stiff nor programmatically rigid, but he ought to have some sense of decorum and concern for history. When he finally came around to delivering his heavily-leaked address, ' Ford did well to confess that the State of the Union was "not good"; one way to help it get better is for the. President to conduct himself with the high seriousness expected of a man charting a "new direction." "/ used to have an ollice in one of those b!g buildings, then I saw 'The Towering Inferno'..."
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