Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 27, 1976 · Page 47
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June 27, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 47

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, June 27, 1976
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GAZETTE-MAIL Editorials He Did Get Half a Loaf Half a loaf is better than none. Gov. Moore asked for $56 million in road money. He got $28 million. Thus ended another expensive spe- cial legislative session, which devoted four days to the single subject of roads. Superficial observance of the legis- Guns Yes, Butter No Except for Rep. Ken Hechler, no West Virginia congressman dared express discontent with U.S. involvement in Vietnam until it was perfectly safe to do so. Among those who played it safe was Sen. Jennings Randolph. In a speech delivered during the war, Randolph told a Roanoke, Va., audience that even if the war were to end abruptly there would be no financial dividend accruing to the American people. ·The speech, which bore the f a i n t aroma of one prepared in the Pentagon for delivery by friendly congressmen apparently was intended to dispose of at least one contention--that getting out of Vietnam would save the American people about $30 billion a year. ^ We don't remember how Randolph justified his assertion, but he was more nearly right than many of us thought at the time. There has been no Vietnam dividend except, possibly, in the tax relief measure which soon will be up for extension again. Constructive peacetime programs certainly haven't benefitted by the $30 billion a year formerly spent on the war. What has happened is this: the demand for defense spending in peacetime has produced outlays for arms that very nearly match the wartime expenditures. And the end isn't in sight. The House has already voted to give the Pentagon $105.6 billion, with the appropriations committee adopting several provisions not even requested. The country may never have enough butter to go around, but there will be plenty of guns. lature's starts, stops and long hesitations during its latest performance seems to justify this unconventional wisdom from Moore: "I've found you can't divert the legislature. If you give them two subjects, it's hard for them to handle." It's easy to draw the quick conclusion that, if the legislature had been given another subject, it might have met twice as long and accomplished half as much. However, anyone interested in counting more than days and subjects, can easily determine that the legislature had to drive itself over, through or around a number of financial potholes before it could reach the end of the session. There were glaring defects in some of the legislation that emanated from the Governor's office. Not the least of these was a provision to spend federal money on nonfederal-aid projects. Also, it was quite difficult for the Senate Finance Committee to pry loose specific project cost figures and certain other details in the process of trying to consider the Governor's requests. Highway Commissioner William S. Ritchie Jr. was cooperative enough, yet seemed to fall short of the committee's requests for information. At one point, he made this enlightening statement: "I'll go talk to my leader and see what I can give you and see what he agrees I should give you." Before it was all over, legislative leaders had to meet with the Governor, to seek his help in getting across the financial potholes and through the financial mire. He probably knew all along that the legislature would be involved in lots of time and trouble before it could divine his figures and ask for his assistance in presenting him with half a loaf. He can look far down the road and think of more than one subject at a time. 'Let Us Spray' May Be In Everybody else talks about Jimmy Carter's teeth, of which he has an abundance. We're interested in his hair, which seems to be sprayed almost to the point of being lacquered. Unless we've been fooled, and the Carter hair just naturally looks as if Glen Campbell has been treating it, the former Georgia governor will be the first presidential candidate to take his hair as seriously as the television commercials advise us all to do. But Carter may be motivated by a Higher Power, rather than TV commercials. His Christian evangelical attitudes are well publicized. Maybe he is merely responding to his own message, "Let usspray." And speaking of Christian attitudes, we hope you will forgive us for that. The devil made us do it. What Shrine Is Next? It is never very productive to speculate upon the proper usage of federal funds. Proper for the goose often is improper for the gander. When Herbert Hoover consented to some mild pump-priming in an effort to end the Great Depression, the first customer of the Reconstruction Finance Corp. was a bank. The second customer was a bank in which the head of the Reconstruction Finance Corp. had an interest. We had always considered Appalachian Regional Commission funds to be intended for transportation, health, education, communication, and the general welfare of the people of Appalachia. It never occurred to us that a shrine to great athletes, very few of them from the Appalachian states, would be eligible for ARC money. We just aren't with it. as the young people used to say. The proper use of federal funds is whatever you can convince the federal government is proper use. We don't know how the people of other states in the Appalachian Mountain range will feel about $1.2 million going to a National Track and Field Hall of Fame in one of the more prosperous areas of West Virginia, but if they're smart they'll come up with some projects of their own. The Appalachian region extends from New England to Georgia. If precedent makes shrines eligible for ARC cash, it will be interesting to see what kind of, and how many, shrines spring up in that vast area. Fanny Seller: Affairs of State Sob Story Too Bleak 'Just One Little Old Loophole 1 Jenkin L. Jones Messing Up the Birthday (C) Los Angeles Times · With America's 200th birthday only a week away it will be interesting to see how two attempts by the Left to seize July 4 for .its own propaganda purposes will come out. - Quite logically, the two attempts will be made in Philadelphia and Washington, and .of the two the demonstration in Philadelphia will probably be the least successful because it is more honest. · At the end of last January a "National Hard Times Conference" was set up at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus by something called the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, the overt arm of the old Weather Underground. : · WITH THE SUPPORT of the Cuban- .· backed Puerto Rican Socialist party, rem- ' nants of the old Vinceremos Brigade, and ·; the usual bewildering array of Communist ': fronts backed by that faithful cadre from J the National Council of Churches, it was ': decided to descend on Philadelphia July 4. r : Osawatome, a publication of the Weath- ter Underground, said: (~ "The rulers have set the time for the : party. Let us bring the fireworks." jI-The "Prairie Fire" manifesto was ; straightforward. "We hope to join forces i with other Communist groups and organi- I zations to build a Communist party truly ; representative of the U.S. working class," it said. "We believe it will take a socialist ' revolution--the seizure of power and control of the means of production." ·"THUSJfHE CHICAGO mee^g was a -« good old orthodox call for a Marxist rebellion, but there were two new twists. ' Of the $7,000 cost of the meeting, $3,000 was underwritten by the American Issues Forum of Chicago, which is part of a nationwide organization that last fall got a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. And, when some members of the Chicago committee of the AIF expressed some misgivings about underwriting the Hard Times Conference, no less a person than vice chancellor Eugene Eidenberg of the Illinois Circle Campus assured them that they had nothing to worry about. As Rep. Larry McDonald of Georgia put it, "Taxpayers' money was used to fund a meeting of those whose avowed purpose is to tear down the fabric of our society and replace it with a totalitarian Marxist-Leninist system." PERHAPS OUR FOUNDING fathers 200 years ago missed a bet in not seeking a royal grant to underwrite the Continental Congress. Whatever deviltry may be planned for Philadelphia, it will be modest compared to the mass demonstration for a hoped-for quarter of a million New Leftists now being frantically organized for a march on Washington July 4. The agency is our old friend, the People's Bicentennial Commission (PBC). which got under way three years ago to cure the decay of the campus revolutionary movement by reorienting it. In its early literature it pointed out tha^ waving the face of Lenin and mouSVjng the 1} "Thoughts of Mao" weren't making sales among young Americans. So the new ploy was to pursue the old aims in a new way, by identifying the movement as a logical extension of the Revolution of 1776, and portraying our founders as persons who would have been collectivists if they had thought about it. · THE PBC'S OFFICIAL publication, Common Sense (stolen, of course, from Tom Paine), says that July 4 should be celebrated "in a revolutionary spirit." It promises a "dramatic demonstration and spectacular celebration" with a mass march on the Capitol to be addressed by such worthies as Jane Fonda, Dr. Benjamin Spock, "Hurricane" Carter and, of course, Jeremy Rifkin, PBC's founder. There is a toll-free number to call for further information, and Common Sense even carries a map, showing its subscribers in San Francisco, Boston and so on, how to find Washington. The success or failure of the Communist-lining gathering in Philadelphia and PBC's "Rally for Economic Democracy" in Washington will depend, oddly enough, not on how many attend, but on the direction in which the TV cameras are pointed. On July 4, two of the TV networks plan almost full-day coverage of America's birthday. Adroit camera assignments and skillful film editing could very well give the impression, not of a happy birthday, but o'f a furious America, frustrated by economic oppressors and crying out for a new revolution. In view of some of network TV's performances in the past, this new test will be fascinating. f ' It was a bit too much last week for the House Finance Committee to buy when Public Institutions Commissioner Calvin Calendine said he needed $116,000 for Huttonsville Correctional Center because the institution was out of food, clothing, soap and medicine. After doing a little checking, two subcommittees found out that wasn't true, and cut down the request to $10,000 in new money, plus giving the prison authority to transfer $50,000 to current expenses from other line items in the budget. Calendine's sob story was just too bleak. A WEEK BEFORE the end of the fiscal year, the commissioner also had a hard time convincing all 25 members on the committee that he could spend $5,000 in postage before July 1. As one member pointed out, $5,000 would buy 30,000 stamped envelopes, and that was a lot of writing for slightly more than 400 inmates. If the letters were held up a few more days, the new budget would be in effect and postage money in it would be available. The Senate Finance Committee wasn't impressed at all, apparently. It didn't report out the bill, so Huttonsville got nothing, although it could have used somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000. Calendine, however, isn't the only state official to tell sob stories. Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass painted a picture of rotting vegetables and farm crops because Gov. Moore vetoed the appropriation for the new State' Farm Commission next fiscal year. »· WHILE DOUGLASS was invited to discuss the commission's plight, probably to take up some idle time while road budgetary problems were being worked out, some of the House Finance Committee members thought the agriculture commissioner could at least try to get some help for the state farms from federal programs. Perhaps the lesson to be learned is that a softer sales pitch, accompanied by justification of the budget request, is what wins legislators' hearts. »· SHORTS-If House Judiciary Committee Chairman Albert Sommerville, D- Webster, gets the nomination for the new judgeship in the 14th circuit and doesn't return to the House, reliable sources say Jay Rockefeller will give his support to Del. Don Kopp, D-Harrison for speaker. Sommerville met with Rockefeller last week, and reportedly said he'd give Somerville his backing. But Sommerville is leaning heavily toward the judgeship which pays $31,500 a year and won't require as much time away from home. Kopp says he's a candidate for speaker now that Sommerville might not be returning to the House. However, Kopp said he hadn't talked with Rockefeller as of Thursday about the matter . . . A lot of delegates say they're thinking about running for speaker. Among them are Del. Jackie Withrow, D-Raleigh, Del. Ted Stacy, D-Raleigh, and the delegates from McDowell County--T.J. Scott, Ernest Moore and Lacy Wright Jr., Del. Joe Albright, D-Wood, most assuredly will be a candidate again. Del. Roger Tompkins, D-Kanawha, and Del. Clyde See, D-Hardy, are said to be working as a team for speaker. If one wins then the other will get a top position in the leadership. Del. Billy Burke, D-Gilmer, and Del. Nick Fantasia, D-Marion, are running. There are so many people running for speaker that Majority Leader Marion Shiflet, D-Monroe, says four persons asked him to second their nomination... »· THE LAWSUIT filed last week that challenges the selection of delegates to the Democratic National Convention is the tip of the iceberg insofar as the bitterness in the party is concerned. Katina Cummings, who filed suit, ran uncommitted for delegate, so the story goes, but the two uncommitted slots filled by the executive committee went to Democratic State Chairman J.C. Dillon, who launched Sen. Bob Byrd's presidential campaign in West Virginia, and former state chairman William Watson of Wellsburg. Then there were rumblings in the legislature last week that Del. Tom Bell, D- Fayette, is giving some thought to running for sheriff on the GOP ticket this fall since he was defeated narrowly by an outpour- ing of money in the primary. Bell, a former sheriff, was seeking the Democrat nomination to the office again, and his wife ran for delegate to the Democrat National Convention. Mrs. Bell made a good showing, although not good enough to win, but she wasn't named an alternate while Sen. Ralph Williams, D-Greenbrier, was, when his showing wasn't as good as Mrs. Bell's . . . *· DEMOCRATS NAMED to standing committees at the Democratic National Convention are William Coleman, of Wheeling, and Diana Everett of Parkersburg to the platform committee; Del. Don Please Turn to Page 7E. Letters to the Editor Gun Figures Hit Editor: In reading your June 6 editorial. "Gun Statistics No Shock," I feel the urge to once again respond to your continuing attack on my constitutional rights to keep and bear arms (Second Amendment, U. S. Constitution). Should we the people exercise our second amendment rights to attack the newspaper (freedom of the press. First Admendment)? I'm sure you would become irate, to say the least. Why the constant pressure, Mr. Editor, on the right to keep and bear arms? Are you for the entire U.S. Constitution or for only the First Amendment? I would like to rebut the following statistics (yours): each year handguns figure in a minimum of 300,000 violent crimes; 11,000 murders; 175,000 armed robberies; 100,000 aggravated assaults; 4,000 suicides; and 3,000 accidental deaths, (mine). The FBI's 1973 crime report (for 1972) shows that the handgun figures in 25 per cent of aggravated assault cases; the knife in 26 per cent; the fist in 48 per cent (should we ban or register the fist? The same report shows only one third of 1 per cent of the total number of guns in private hands were used in 1972 crimes. Logic would seem to point for the news media to ban or register handguns for criminals, the 99 plus per cent and stop infringing upon the average citizen's rights. Also according to accident facts for 1972, deaths due to firearms accidentally discharged ranked seventh, trailing suffocation, poison, fire and burns, drownings. falls, motor vehicles. The figures you quote show 11,000 murders, 4,000 suicides, and 3,000 accidental deaths due to firearms each year, which is a total of 18,000 deaths per year. Are you aware, Mr. Editor, (I know you are) that each year at least 30,000 Americans die on our highways as the result of drunken driving (Booze)? Another 180,000 each year are maimed by drunken drivers. Is it a guarantee in the Constitution of the U.S. to buy and drink booze? In all fairness, Mr. Editor, your time should be spent trying to get the state of West Virginia out cf the murder business (selling liquor). Your statistics would be twice as great for publication. L. Gene Stalnaker. president, Kanawha County Chapter of the Committee to Restore the Constitution, Rt. l.Box462-A7. St. Albans Page 2E * Vol. 20, No. 51 Charleston, Wett Virginia Sunday Gazette-Mail June 27, 1976 Priorities Editor: West Virginia Day Sunday was so nice and rainy, I slept until noon. Then, ready for juice, coffee and that big special edition, I headed for the front porch and found a wet mess of running print. I screamed a few choice curses on boys who do not put newspapers behind screen doors on rainy days and a few more for parents who don't train boys to put papers behind screen doors on rainy day.* I carried in the soggy mess across the living room--drip, drip on the carpet into the kitchen and into the sink. Now it was time for decision making and priority setting. What to go into the oven to be dried out? Front page first and then, of course, "Always on Sunday, "then the funnies. By the way, all wet, B. S. Palausky doesn't look too good. Dried out wasn't much improvement, but at least I could read the print. I wanted you to know in my choices, Palausky came in prior to the comics. I look forward to his clever, "poke in ribs" of truth and get many a chuckle and belly laugh from his writing. In other words, thanks, B.S. for being there always on Sunday. Virginia B. Myers. 4312 Washington Ave.,SE Charleston, W.Va. 25304 Shift? Editor: It is interesting that in the Sunday Gazette-Mail's list of reasons why Jimmy Carter is a liberal there was included a statement concerning his opposition to amnesty for draft resisters.- Is American political spectrum shifting so far to the right that Carter can be made to seem a man of the left? Gordon Simmons, 806 E. DupontAve., Belle Berserk? Editor: In reference to the editorial titled "Sales Tax Not Needed," in the Current Affairs section of the June 13 Sunday Gazette-Mail. Have both gubernatorial candidates, the citizens of our state and you, the editors of the news media, gone berserk? A few years ago the citizens of our state voted to eliminate personal property tax except for motor vehicles and since the origin of our nation, school taxes have been levied only on real estate. -Now ( i f ) sales tax is eliminated from food, services, etc., the citizens not owning homes and having incomes not requiring payment of income tax will pay no taxes to support their government and schools, except certain hidden federal taxes on such items as cosmetics. Are we, the middle citizens of the nation, to be saddled with the total cost of the government? We have already created a class of citizens who sit on their duffs and refuse work because surveys indicate approximately 60 to 65 per cent of those drawing welfare and food stamps do not qualify for s a m e . . . Troxell 0. Mason, 229 Lincoln St., Grafton Please Turn tjo Page 7E. »

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