MI'S WORLD © 19H by NEA. Jnc. ^ 'Wow hear this! Now hear this! Please keep calm. There is no shortage o! toilet tissue!Repeat — there - is..." nion page Looking at oil industry— or converting heat to light IT WAS FUN while it lasted, the game.of "pin.the tail on the oil donkey:" Members of the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations took turns in a series of sessions last week grilling representatives of seven major oil companies as the committee began hearings into the fuel crisis and — to use one commentator's phrase—the industry's "oil-gotten gains." Sen. Abraham A. Ribicoff, for one, accused the executives of using the present conditions of fright and panic, "to squeeze out the small independent. dealers and some of your own franchisers." * * * THE CONNECTICUT Democrat charged them not only with misleading the people and the government about the fuel situation but of "cheating the American public" by means of tax breaks arid other tax-law provisions, such as the depletion allowance. The time has come to translate all this heat into a little light. What the oil companies are doing if they are doing it, is either legal or illegal. If it is illegal, the solution would seem to be relatively simple. If it is legal but undesirable, then it would seem to be the course of wisdom to leave off castigating those who are disadvantaged by the laws and begin looking to those who framed the laws in the first place. If the oil industry is enjoying unwarranted benefits from the fax laws, then change the laws. If the depletion allowance is a bad thing, then let's get rid of it entirely or revise it so that it serves the purpose for which it was intended.— encouraging the development of new petroleum sources. "The facts are," said Sen. Henry M. Jackson, D-Wash., as he opened the hearings, "we do not have the 'Y -facts." Well, get the facts, gentlemen, " and then bring them before the American public. A new face on the watch THERE is a little company in Washington that has made some money, apparently, in putting the faces of politicians on wristwatches like Mickey Mouse used to be. There was Spiro Agnew and Sam Ervin and a few others. And now, you guessed it, there's President Nixon. The likeness is not total but the eyes do move from side to side sixty times a minute and there's a quote not a The watch has a multi-colored dial and a black band in keeping with today's White House atmosphere. There have been enough watches manufactured that the practical politician might want to own more than one — say one of Agnew for the right wrist, one of Senator Ervin for the left wrist and one of President Nixon to wear somewhere or other. Quote The institution of Little League is as American as the hot dog and apple pie. There is no reason why that part of Americana should be withheld from girls. —Sylvia Presser of the New Jersey Civil Rights Division, ruling thiif the league must le( girls play. THE GASTONIA GAZETTE Goifonia, N.C., Wed., F«b. 6, 1974 Let Peace Begin With Me! This newspaper is dedicated to furnishing information lo our readers so that they can netter promote and preserve their own freedom and encourage others to see its blessings. For only when man understands freedom and is free to control himself and all he produces con he develop to his utmost Capabilities. We believe Jhat all men are equally endowed by their Creator, and not by a government, with The right to take moral action to preserve their life and property and secure more freedom and keep it for themselves and others. Freedom is self-control, no more, no less. To discharge this responsibility, free men, to the best of their ability, rnUiV understand and apply to daily living the great moral guide expressed In Ihe Coveting Commandment. Why make taxpayer foot bill? JOHN 'GARDNER'S own high-level pressure group, the organization known as Common Cause, thinks a "new era" of honesty in public life can be touchedoff if only Congress will vote to pay for the cost 'of political campaigning,out of the U.S. Treasury.; Mr. Gardner wants to •force you and me, as taxpayers, to foot the bill for theTV appearances of candidates whom we might prefer to see starved for funds. A better solution might be to limit private campaign funds without putting up public money for anybody at all. The President's man, Patrick Buchanan, who is against public funding of Federal political campaigns, has taken issue with By John Chamberlain John Gardner's panacea. Maybe, as Nixon lieutenant, Pat Buchanan is not the most advantageously placed individual to oppose even the most obviously fallacious campaign- expenditure reforms. Nevertheless, Pat is correct when he says that outlawing or severely limiting private contributions, while at the same time State's 'Miss Judge' has singular honor Raleigh IT SEEMS people get tongue tied when they get around a lady judge. Officially, Susie Marshall Sharp, is Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. But that title Justice has caused some trouble. "People think Justice a name, and when I first moved to Raleigh and kept getting my Greensboro newspaper by mail, it kept going astray. She wrote and asked that the label be changed to read Judge Susie Sharp, and has been getting her paper ever since. To a growing number of Tar Heels, despite the formidable title and her current bid for the title of Chief Justice, she is "Miss Susie." That used to worry her some. The first time it happened was in Asheboro shortly after Gov. Kerr Scott appointed herto the Superior Court —a political move which she candidly admits was "because 1 was a woman and women were emerging and it was time to do something for the women." * * * THAT WAS in 1949. She went to Randolph to hold court, and when she entered the courtroom, the sheriff asked, "Miss Susie, shall I open court?" She hesitated, then softly said, "yes, Bailiff." But she worried that such an informal salutation might not be appropriate. She mentioned her concern to long-time friend, U.S. Judge John J. Parker, who assured her that the use of such a term was indeed one of the highest indications of esteem, respect and affection possible for a Southern lady. But other titles have caused problems. Lawyers often stumbled over calling Judge Sharp "her Honor," and seeing that this often interrupted a chain of thought she sent the word out amongst the Bar; call her "his Honor." Sheeven had onedefendent insist on calling her "Your Honoress," and . at one point heard an attorney address her as "Miss Judge," an act which she hopes she doesn't do. Her bid for the position as Chief Justice carries with it one bit of fear — that she will now be labeled "Miss Chief." By Bill Noblitt WHILE JUSTICE Sharp feels her sex helped her — "I wouldn't say it was a handicap —" colleagues agree that her credentials and qualifications are the equal of many man's. She possesses a legal background second to none with experience as a lawyer, city attorney, Superior Court and Supreme Court Justice; holds numerous honors and awards, and honorary doctorates from seven colleges or universities. A brilliant career and widely recognized brilliant legal mind do not detract from her good humor. She is a petite, attractive lady who anyone would be glad to claim as a favorite aunt. Her biggest problem, a close associate confides, is "remaining as serious as a judge." Her official biography lists her birthplace as Rocky Mount. "That's true, but that was an accident. My father was there only temporarily. We moved back to Rockingham County when I was four months old," she said. Reared in a' 'big,old white frame house with two oak trees in the front yard" in Reidsville, Miss Sharp grew up listening to dinner-table stories of courtroom happenings from her father, a trial lawyer. "In high school, I made the debate team — the only girl — and friends would tell me I ought to be a lawyer." She has been "the first woman" on a lot of occasions, but she is now running unopposed for election and expects tobe judged on her merits. "I am not running as a woman, and have faith nobody will vote against me because I'm'a woman," she said. She: will be the only female chief justice in the nation. compelling the taxpayer to fund a- multiplicity of candidates by a compulsory levy, would drastically limit the freedom of most individuals to take part in the political process. WHAT WOULD happen, so Pat Buchanan predicts, is that still . another Federal agency would be created to allocate the tax-seized money. The agency would be staffed by the kind of $30,000-a-year bureaucrat who supports Common Cause. We would be paying the salaries of the police force that would have to be created to see the money was spent as prescribed. But this is only a part of the story. The fact is that the sort of reform proposed by Common Cause would throw future elections to any candidate endorsed by the AFL-CIO's George Meany. Labor has its fine-tuned organization that is always ready to make the telephone calls, to transport people to the polls, to spread literature, to canvass whole neighborhoods, to provide baby sitters, and to provide poll watchers, without making big cash contributions that can be identified as such. The cost of labor politicking is hidden; it appears on the union books as ordinary salary expenditures for maintaining locals that are ostensibly devoted to such rionpolltical things as -collective bargaining with employers and making pitches for new members. 1 could go along with the idea of limiting campaign monetary contributions if there were only some way of giving the middle condition of men and women, most of whom have no organizations to conduct "political education" campaigns for them, an election-day clout comparable to that exerted by the union operators of'telephone banks and car pools. But most of us middle-condition people are not organization prone. Nor can we take time off to do our own stamp-licking, our own protracted canvassing. We have to make our livings. If we are not to be allowed to make cash contributions to political parties to do our telephoning and .our house-to- house visiting for us, it means that the college students (conveniently excused from classes) and the labor union hierarchy must have a most unfair advantage. * * * \ BESIDES THERE are those among us who might see no choice between Candidate Tweedledum and Candidate Tweedledee. What about our rights in this event? Must we be taxed to pay for the campaigns of politicans of both major parties whom we might prefer to boycott on election day? Must our money be used against us? My idea of a healthy common cause (no capital letters here, please) is one that tries to create a distrust of all politicians who think the government should support the people instead of vice versa. Instead of putting my money into political campaigns I prefer to support movements designed to increase the scope of voluntary non-state action. Under any reasonable conception of •freedom, that should be my right. Eastern part of N.G. is a little different I AM FINDING out about Eastern North Carolina. What happened was we bought a newspaper in Kinston, N.C., and one day the Raleigh newspapers did a big front-page piece about us. I called them up to thank them and I said, "Gee whizz, fellows, with paper being so hard to get and all, how come we rated all that publicity in your paper?" "Well," said the man in Raleigh, "you are newsworthy because you are new to North Carolina." "Not so," I said, "we have been in Gastonia for five, six years." "Oh," he said earnestly, "that is the Piedmont. I am talking about North Carolina." The message did not filter through until native-born Carolinians began to explain it to me. Quite often they put the knock on the eastern part of the state, remarking that the people are provincial, unreceptive to change and given to incessant nil-picking politics. I am not prepared to assess the political complexion of this state, but I am devoutly impressed by the friendliness of the people. I have traded in some Gastonia stores for years and never had the kind attention I got in Kinston. The folks out there seem to go out of their way to make you feel welcome. They want you to like the place. And I do. *•*••*I SPENT SOME time in New Bern, inspecting their Tryon Palace and "restored homes." The former is M^ a bit of an acknowledged fake, of course, but that didn't matter to me. A cadre of local ladies.idressed in colonial costume, escort groups of visitors around; and when I said I was pressed for time, they dispatched a guide to give me a solo tour. That, friend, counts for something special. Good people. I don't count Gastonia the bustlingest place in the world, but compared with some Eastern N.C. places it is Broadway and 42nd St., a fact which Piedmont Carolinians are quick to point out. But balance that against what happened to a family recently moved to Kinston. Within a few hours their neighbors came over with food, flowers and invitations. Which is not the habit in the Piedmont. I have never understood the wrangle about a new medical school at ECU and I could care less where they put it. If the Eastern part of the state has exercised political control of North Carolina forever, I'm blessed if I see what good it's done them. Eastern North Carolinians are, in precious fact, a little something different. But I rather like the difference. Computer error By JIM FIEBIG WHEN THE Veterans Administration recently engineered a massive check foul-up that delayed payments to thousands of ex-GIs in California, the VA initially pinned the snafu on "computer error." Later, when President Nixon himself interceded on the veterans' behalf, the agency admitted it was actually flesh-and-blood clerks who'd gotten their circuits crossed. "Computer error" has become the whipping boy of human frailty. A few weeks ago I called the bank in a rage when it bounced one of my checks despite an ample balance. After putting me on hold for several minutes, the sweet-voiced lady returned to say that they'd "been having quite a bit of trouble with their computer." "That is not my problem," I fumed. "My problem is that the manager at the supermarket now has my name on his list of deadbeats." "I'm sorry, sir," said sweet voice, "but you know how much trouble these computers can be." "No, I do not know how much trouble computers can be. In fact, I have an idea there is no such thing as a bad computer—only bad computer programmers. Or bad clerks who feed erroneous or slipshod information to computers on the assumption that the machine will magically rectify their mistakes. If computers ever find out how often their human masters malign their capabilities Just to have themselves a bit of embarrassment, we may have an electronic revolution that could bring U.S. industry to its knees over night. After all, computers have feelings, too.
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