Independent from Long Beach, California on January 23, 1975 · Page 27
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 27

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Long Beach, California
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Thursday, January 23, 1975
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Page 27
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604 Pine Avenue, 90844 . ' Telephone 435-1161 ' Hermon H. Ridder -- 1962-1969 Doniel H. Ridder -- Editor ond Publisher ·J .'.'.. , Somuel C. Comeron -- General Manager ' . - . . · · Miles E. Sines -- Executive Editor ., Lorry Allison -- Managing Editor - Don Ohl--Editor Editorial Pags '··Bert Resnik--Assistant Managing Editor L.A. Collins Sr.--Editorial Columnist : Don Nutler, Advertising Director E. H. Lowdermilk, Circulation Director Milton A. Lomas, Production Manager 1-2.". LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, THURSDAY, JANUARY 23, 1975 JEjLitorials ^Moving cars off the lots ' ·» !! :.-.-cThe A m e r i c a n a u t o m o b i l e industry is capitalist, of course, but it represents a sort of capitalism in which there is only limited free enterprise. -,·- At least, the manufacturers have often behaved as if the law of Supply and demand had no relation to their business. Happily f Gillie American motorist, the law is HOW in effect -- at least for some "-models for some time. " :: The Big Three -- Chrysler, I^drd and General Motors -- have .announced plans to give purchasers cash rebates when they buy ·some 1975-model cars already in dealers' inventories. A spokesman ; :fpr American Motors said that .company is considering a similar program. For FBI and CIA* new direction? .-THE COMPANIES h a v e on [hand a three months' supply of ''cars. Inventories of some small 'cars approach a five months' sup- 'ply. ·.. If the rebates lure buyers, they will'do a good deal for the economy. They will move automobiles jpff the lots. That will return auto -.industry employes to work. And to -the extent that the car buyers · Spend the rebates on consumer goods, they will p u m p m o r e Vhjoney into the economy and ease -.me recession. i^v The rebirth of competition in "the automobile industry is welcome. If automakers must bear some of the responsibility for its absence hi the recent past, government must take some of the blame, too. Starting 40 years ago with the requirement that car windows be of s a f e t y g l a s s , government has increasingly dictated how automobiles shall be built. Some of the requirements -like the one for safety glass -- are obviously sensible. Others are not, or at least have not worked as lawmakers expected t h e m to. · Bumper safety requirements, for example, have made cars safer in low-speed crashes but may have increased repair expenses after crashes at slighly higher speeds. The. requirement for an interlock of seat belts and ignition was not accepted by motorists. The antipollution requirements scheduled for future years would result in a minimal decrease in pollution at a high expense to car buyers. . C a r makers can hardly compete effectively with each other if before they start they have to provide hundreds of dollars worth of features the buyers don't want. The time has come for Congress to weigh economics in the balance with safety and environmental preservation. Manufacturers cannot be allowed to sell cars that are unsafe or that seriously pollute the atmosphere, particularly where the buyer would have no way of detecting that he was buying danger and pollution. But requiring manufacturers to produce cars with extreme safety and antipollution refinements is self- defeating if the cars are thereby made so costly that only a few can afford to buy them. WASHINGTON - For a century and a half the country muddled through wars and crime waves without cither a CIA or FBI. As far back as the American Revolution, however, there were secret intelligence operations; the Bureau of Investigation founded under Theodore Roosevelt preceded J. Edgar Hoover's FBI by some 30 years. THE CENTRAL ISSUE now is whether such operations can be institutionalized on such a grand scale as at present within the confines of an increasingly assertive and permissive democratic society. Can all these thousands of investiga-' tors and analysts permeate a free society without arousing the gravest of suspicions feeding fears of a secret police state? The aapprehension is made no less by the plethora of other investigators who look into a citizen's income tax returns, credit standings, business practices and personal habits. It is quite consistent with the popular mood that both the CIA and the FBI should in their different ways now come under examination for excesses of zeal in collecting information which might prove damaging to individuals if carelessly' or tyrannically used. · · · The astonishing part so far, however, is that after so many years during -which these agencies have grown to their massive size the specific charges against Richard Wilson them do not approach a gravity which is a serious challenge to popular freedom. THE FBI IS NOW charged -- and its former high officials readily admit it -- w i t h assembling s u c h information as came its way on members of Congress. The CIA is charged with having kept a file of 10,000 or more Americans in the course of trying to determine if the war protest of the 1960s was inspired or financed from foreign sources and to what extent. Apparently if such inspiration existed it was not actually significant to the fact that many thousands of young Americans were self-siariers and needed no encouragement they could not find at the domestic level. ' _ As of yet, there is no cited instance of any member of Congress being intimidated by the FBI, nor of any war demonstrator having been hounded by the CIA, but this could have happened in a few isolated instances without shaking the foundations of the republic. . As for congressmen, they are probably no less free of the peculiarities of human behavior than any other group : of 535 people, and it is reassuring, if true, that the FBI over all this time came into unsolicited p o s s e s s i o n of information about one-twentieth of them. . . · THE WAR DEMONSTRATORS certainly have a stronger complaint against the metropolitan police of the District of Columbia, who arrested t h e m , t h a n against the CIA which claims to have liquidated its files on them. Still, common observation suggests that both the FBI and the CIA have become too grandiose to remain immune from public criticism and doubt. As more people come in from the cold silences by ·retirement or resignation more becomes known of their secret operations and their rationalizations for invasions of privacy. What does become known, such as the files on congressmen and war demonstrators,' is seen as the tip of the iceberg and from this observation all kinds of fanciful conclusions can be drawn. So, in the post-Watergate atmosphere, no politician in his right mind would for a moment pooh-pooh the slightest surface indication .of a secret official twilight zone where liberty is being slowly snuffed out. IN ANY CASE, the' glamorous days are over for both institutions. The CIA has had so many failures (its successes cannot be boasted about) that it gives the impression of being a bloated bureaucracy incapable of performing its prescribed functions within the required limits. .'. The FBI, once the star of.screen-, stage and radio, performs in faded glory while the national crime rate rises and "The Godfather" -- I and II -- confirm lurid popular imaginings about the true state of crime in America. How often is it heard: "If Hoover was so smart, how come the mafia?'' The present ordeal for both agencies points toward reorganization, restatement of aims and principles, possibly a purge, and finally the disastrous imposition of congressional control. When the last part comes, forget about secrecy or covert operations. The world will know it all in advance. ' · One of the good ones Letters to the editor Lawyers had rather a bad year of it in 1974, what with Watergate and all. They must, then, be especially grateful for the good deed one of their number performed on New Year's Eve. Lawyer Gilbert Kerlin, taking a clock to be fixed at Cartier's in New York, found no one in the Fifth Avenue jeweler's Tuesday afternoon. Thinking a r o b b e r y Gaffe No. 2 Those who thought General George Brown was restricted in his prejudices might like to know what happened when he visited the New York Times as a luncheon guest. The general got to discussing the Middle East. And the journalism review More reports that "at one point, speaking of the Arabs, Brown allowed that 'we can't keep them barefoot and ignorant forever.'" What others sav might be in progress, Kerlin left the store, rushed to a telephone booth and called the police emergency number. Then he went back and stood guard at Cartier's. "Several people came up to the door and I told them the store was closed," Kerlin said. "No one questioned my authority." The police Kerlin had tried to summon did not arrive. After five minutes, Kerlin spotted a police officer walking his beat. Kerlin called him over. The officer drew his gun, and the two entered the store. There was still no one there. The officer r a d i o e d on his walkie-talkie for help. Eight officers arrived, established t h a t there was no robbery, and called officials of the store, who sent someone down to lock up. Presumably, lawyer Kerlin will be rewarded with a suitably engraved memento from Cartier's. He has the added reward of having demonstrated that there are lawyers who can say honestly "I am not a crook." Tighten whose belt? From the Washington Report, a publication of the Chamber of Commerce of the United Slates. During this time of recession and unemployment, there is much talk of needed belt lightening, but the only cry Senator Soaper building a better and m o r e peaceful world, but neglect to tell us where it is situated. THE AMERICAN FARMER who is called upon to feed the world would like it if thing? 'vorked out so he could feed his family, loo. that has gone up so far is that the people should tighten their belts for the government. In the past the American people have responded magnanimously with the sweat of their toil, but maybe the time has come when government should start doing some belt tightening for the people. Average federal pay exceeds private nay by 46 per cent. "Whose belt needs tightening?" The federal government in 1973 took $3.97 out of every $10 in income, leaving the recipient with only $6.03. Two years earlier, it took $3,75, leaving the recipient with $6.25. "Whose belt needs tightening?" Economic poker EDITOR: Consider that 10 men have gathered in a home to play small-stakes poker. They don't have regular chips so they use matches. Fifty matches, representing 10 cents each, are counted out to each player, who then puts $5 into the kitty. As the g a m e progresses, s e v e r a l players go into the kitchen and sneak some matches, which they surreptitiously slip into the various pots. When the game breaks up and the players present their matches for reimbursement, the reality emerges that there are more matches than dimes! That's inflation. The cash surrender value of each match has been watered down. Some individuals had received f u l l v a l u e for matches that had no official kitty back- i n g : c r i m e m a t c h e s , h i g h - i n t e r e s t m a t c h e s , exorbitant-profit m a t c h e s , e x t o r t i o n m a t c h e s , speculation-rise matches, military-materiel matches, etc. Who is hit the hardest when pay-up time shows center stage? The players who did not sneak into the kitchen. Because -- for the above-mentioned reasons -- we are now dealing with a rampaging inflation, pay-up time is lasting longer. As long as we have "poker games," as long as we have "kitchens," as long as we have "matches" and as long as we have "sneakers," we will have inflation -- the virulence of which will depend on the size of the poker games. SAMUEL WHITMAN Long Beach Save the status quo EDITOR: The news story "Cherry Manor crowd in protest" (Jan. 17) failed to reflect the sympathies and attitude of a large proportion of the 200 in attendance. A selected number were at the meeting to become informed on how best to maintain the status quo; a few vocalized this preference and received substantial applause. Our "small residential enclave" is a pleasant neighborhood. The homes are well-kept. The streets are wider than in most residential areas. The city maintains sidewalks, curbings and trees. Our property values are high. We have nice neighbors. We are situated somewhat aside from beaten paths -- and, frankly, many of us prefer Cherry Manor to any other part of Long Beach. Some of us are satisfied with Cherry Manor as it is. We came into it, investing our money, with open eyes. Our eyes are even wider now. We do not harbor any resentment for those of our neighbors who have become invested with fear. Campaigns of the sort that have aroused them to an area of confrontation with law and established practice are a sometime prac- ,tice of individuals who seek individual reward. In our case, any of the proposed cures . would inflict more malaise, than does the presumed malady; We are citizens of Long Beach, and we propose to do our share in furthering the prosperity and beauty of the International City. EVAN L. SCHWARTZ Long Beach None of the above EDITOR: It's about time somebody recognized just why voters are exercising their right not to vote. (Sydney Harris' "Eloquent o R JL. silence at the polls," Jan. 17.) After reading his column for the second time, I remembered how hard it was for me to cast my vote for Nixon in '72 and Johnson in '64. I actually felt guilty and couldn't figure .out why. I now know why. Most of us throw little, if anything, away nowadays. To "throw away" a precious freedom just goes against my grain. Thanks to Sydney Harris, I now realize by not v o t i n g for "third- or fourth-rate hacks" I wouldn't throw away anything. I'd recycle it, maybe. Congratulations to those courageous, patriotic citizens who, not through apathy and after really trying to find someone to help them understand the mish-mash of these propositions and issues, refuse to vote blindly. Congratulations, most of all, to those who refuse to vote for, "third- or fourth-rate hacks or worse." "Eloquent," I'm not, but "silent" I shall be forevermore when I feel disgusted or taken advantage of -- and with no guilt. Thanks, Sydney. PAT CALLINA Lakewood "We cannot rule out the use ol force il strangulation ol our American luxury car supply becomes a serious threat!" \

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