Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois on July 17, 1975 · Page 8
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Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois · Page 8

Freeport, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, July 17, 1975
Page 8
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AN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER Published daily except Sunday and six legal holidays by The Freeport Journal-Standard Publishing Company FREEPORT JOURNAL-STANDARD THURSDAY, JULY 17, 1975 FREEPORT, ILLINOIS Goldfish Bowl While the hue and cry against the CIA and FBI continues, in the belief that perfect privacy is the inherent right of all citizens, neither the committees of the two houses of Congress nor the media who seek to inform and likewise entertain the public allow anyprivacy whetever to the President of the United States. Whatever he does however slight, is observed and recorded. Twice, in negotiating the steps leading from or to an airplane this man has stumbled and been photographed in the act. A thousand could accidentally fall sornewhere else, or ten thousand at his right hand, and it would mean nothing. But if this man stumbles, what does it mean? Is it a sign of weakness, perhaps of poor calculation, or just because the football injury of his younger days has left a trauma? Does that indicate something? But what he does not do, or fails to do, becomes quite as important for the public to observe and appraise as anything he actually does. For instance, he did not invite Alexander Solzhenitsyn to the White House. The opposition says it was a contemptible snub of a very great man, and should be remembered against him next year when he seeks re-election. Had he received Solzhenitsyn just before or during the week of the Apollo-Soyuz project, the inconsistency of the two events would have been pointed out and cited as evidence of the fact that here is a man who does not know what he is doing, and cannot be trusted to make prompt and correct decisions. What is of special interest in all this is the apparent indifference of the President to the daily, hourly scrutiny of all he does and says, together with drawing unfavorable conclusions. There were indications during the first weeks and even months of his administration that Mr. Ford was troubled by the remorseless exposure a President of the United States has to endure, and the self- serving interpretations anybody is entitled to put on what he does. But now he seems to have changed. True, a man long seasoned by a political career and comfortable in it must accommodate himself to it. But not all previous presidents have managed it so well .as Ford now seems to be doing. He says he feels 20 years younger than he is, and likes what he has to do. That is indeed a blessing for him, because, whether or not he likes and enjoys it, he has to do it. ' Pride Of Heritage , Breathes there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said: "This is my own, my native land?" Walter Scott In order to measure the extent of the existing pride of heritage in the community, a Detroit newspaper in the week preceding the Fourth of July asked its readers to respond voluntarily to a question published on its front page. The question was: "On the 199th birthday of the United States are you personally planning to make a contribution to the celebration of the Bicentennial during the next year?" Out of the many replies received, 75.5 per cent said they were not planning any contribution, and only 24,5 per cent said they were. That in itself was not surprising because comparatively few think they can do anything more during this year than in any ordinary year. But some of the explanations given by those who were not planning any contribution were disturbing. One said: "How can I be patriotic with so-much government corruption?" Another said: "This land was stolen from the Indians and it's not ours to celebrate." Perhaps the one who felt that the land should be considered as the property of the Indians should be asked what he (or she) is planning to do for the Indians. Another pertinent question might be about the aborigines whom the Indians, coming presumably from Asia, displaced and dispossessed. But the answers of the 24.5 per cent who were going to contribute were also discouraging, because none of them had yet formed any plans beyond perhaps flying the flag every day, though they firmly believed contributions should be made. It it certain that more Americans feel far more pride of heritage than is indicated by these fragmentary replies to a question. What they can't decide is how to show that sense of satisfaction or exhilaration felt at being Americans rather than something else. We take for granted the nourishment given us by any inheritance, whether of property or of something intangible. But the idea of plowing back, by individual effort and accomplishment, something into that inheritance is still only a gleam in the average eye. The Sonic Boom When the sonic boom was first heard by Americans, as supersonic aircraft were being tried out, the shaking of dishes on the shelves and occasional shattering of windows was attributed to blasting of some sort near by. In some regions near the testing sites the nuisance became so acute that protests were made and the supersonic testing stopped for the time being. Now, in the light of the exposure given to flights of the French- British supersonic Concorde, a vastly expensive project, calculated to give prestige to aviation in both countries, several new hazards are being noted and reported. One, which might be comic if it did not have tragic implications, is that the sonic boom engendered by the flight of the Concorde oyer Lebanon was misinterpreted as dropping of bombs, and gave rise to a new round of hostilities between Israeli and Palestinian guerrilla forces confronting one another across the boundary between the two countries. In the vicinity of Heathrow airport near London, the reactions of people living in the area were various. Some said the booms emitted by the Concorde were intolerable and they would have-to move away for relief of pervous tension if the noise nuisance continued. Others, not necessarily deaf persons, said the noise of the jets around the airport was continuous anyway. They had come to think that what cannot be cured must be endured, and perhaps the addition of booms by the Concorde did not make things much worse than they had been. In the long run, it will have to be determined to what extent this superspeedy craft is really necessary, either for purposes of passenger and freight transportation, or for defense purposes. Since the real value of the Concorde cannot be ascertained after a year or two of testing, the prospect is that this extravagant project will continue and we shall have the supersonic monsters with their booms for a long time to come, and will have to conclude, like the people living near Heathrow airport, that nothing can be done to prevent frequent shock. That other, even more expensive project, also undertaken for the same "dual reasons of prestige and restless curiosity, Project Apollo, is still being assessed. It takes at least years, maybe centuries, to find out whether all seeming progress is real progress. ANTHONY LEWIS WE CAN'T <30 ON MFEtING LIKE THIS." Special Breaks Not Needed By LEONARD SILK A major new issue in federal tax policy is whether additional tax incentives are needed to spur investment in productive equipment by American industry. The Ford administration, with the strong backing of business groups,' the securities industry and many conservatives, has launched a campaign for new tax breaks to encourage saving and investment; arguing that they are essential if the United States is to . overcome a looming capital shortage and achieve faster growth in productivity, total output and employment. The issue is highly complex and too important to the economic future of the nation to be resolved ideologically or shortsightedly, in terms of whether one is for or against special tax breaks for industry and investors. It is true, as the proponents of additional tax incentives for investment maintain, that a prosperous and stable economy tends to benefit all groups in the society. And there is no question that, huge capital demands lie ahead estimated to total over 2 trillion dollars by the end of this decade - for growing investment in energy-development and conservation, pollution abatement and environmental protection, mass transit, the processing of raw materials and other outlays and new plants and equipment. Fortunately, there will be a slowing of the rate of growth in some areas, such as educational building, interstate highways and housing construction, compared with the decade of the 1950s and'the 1960s. If the total investment requirements of the nation are to be met without resort to inflation, there must be an increase in total national savings - not gimmicks to spur particular types qf savings or investment. And it is precisely on those grounds of aiming to achieve stable growth that conservatives should be wary of chopping more holes in the United States tax base for the alleged purpose of creating additional incentives for particular types of economic activity. Such outstanding tax experts as Prof. Stanley Surrey of Harvard,-a liberal who served as assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and Prof. Dan Throop Smith, a conservative who held high positions at the Treasury in the Eisenhower administration, surprised a recent hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee by agreeing that major tax reform could be accomplished simply by repealing all of the deductions, exclusions • and tax' credits that Congress- has enacted in the last five years. If, after wiping out the two dozen special tax breaks of the past five years, no net revenue gain : was sought, there would be room" for major over-all reduction in income tax rates, both personal and corporate - a constructive reform that virtually all tax authorities, liberal and conserya- tive, would favor for reasons of both efficiency and equity. '. Immediately, with the economy operating far below capacity, there is no capital shortage problem. It is not entirely clear whether, if the economy gets back closer to full employment, there will be such a problem. However, studies by different groups of economists, at the Brookings Institution, indicate that savings will be just about adequate to meet the nation's capital investment requirements through the rest of the decade - with one important proviso: that the federal government not persist in running huge deficits once the economy regains' high employment. Deficits by the government would constitute a drain on national savings at full employment; instead, the federal budget should show a surplus once the economy warns that. tax cuts, though specifically intended to increase the flow of savings and investr ment, might actually be "counterproductive" - by reducing the Treasury's revenues and increasing its borrowing needs. ; The 10 per cent investment'tax credit and the liberalization of asset - depreciation have already given an 8.5 billion dollar annual tax reduction for business investment. No more special breaks are called for. The best way to revive real capital investment now would be for the Ford administration and the Federal Reserve to pursue a more expansive over-all economic policy to reduce unemployment and narrow the gap between what the economy is capable of producing and its present depressed level. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, in its first detailed report, has concluded that substantial additional tax reductions to help move the economy toward full recovery next year would not create any additional inflation and would have no adverse effects on the ability of businesses to borrow and finance capital investments. In the short run, the American economy needs more stimulus; but for the longer run, the tax base must be preserved and indeed strengthened. New York Times Service Names of writers or fetters on controversial subjects may sometimes be withheld. The newspaper encourages identification of letter writers but names will be withheld if the request is deemed justifiable. A 300-word limit to letters is encouraged. Confidence Lost In Government Word In 1972 Cambridge Survey Research, public opinion analysts, asked people whether they agreed with this statement: "Over the last few years this country's leaders have consistently lied to the American people." Of those asked, 38 per cent agreed. A similar poll was taken in 1974, and 55 per cent . agreed with the statement. This • spring, 68 per cent agreed. Those figures illuminate the obvious: to a dangerous degree, Americans have lost confidence in the word of their government. Such distrust may be endemic in other countries, but it is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States, and a corrupting one. Moreover, it persists even after the replacement of a President who made lying a way of life by one thought of as candid. , It is not hard to find reasons for the public feeling. One is that high officials who are caught out in crude deceptions so seldom pay any penalty. On the contrary, they remain in office and continue to be treated by much of official Washington as if they deserved respect. An outstanding example of survival by deceivers is that of Richard Helm's, the former Director of Central Intelligence, now U.S. ambassador to Iran. Reading back over some of the things Helms has said over the years arouses a feeling of awe for such mastery of the misleading. On Feb. 7, 1973, Helms appeared before a closed session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a hearing 'on his nomination as ambassador. The transcript, subsequently published, includes the following exchanges with Sen. Stuart Symington of Missouri. Symington: "Did you try in the Central Intelligence Agency to overthrow the government of Chile?" Helms: "No sir." Symington: "Did you have any money passed to the opponents of Allende?" Helms: "No sir." Since that testimony, it has become known that the Nixon administration authorized the CIA to spend more than ?5 million on covert activities in Chile between Allende's election as president in 1970 and his fall in 1973. The cash went to anti-AUende civic groups, newspapers, radio stations arid others, with the aim of making it impossible for Allende to govern. Helms has explained that he took Symington's second question to refer to Allende's two actual'"opponents" in the 1970 election - and the CIA gave them no money. That is a strained argument, to put it mildly, since the first question was so clearly about the post- election period. And in any event, the CIA did give $500,000 to opposition party personnel during the 1970 election. In the confirmation hearings, Sen. Clifford Case of New Jersey mentioned the known use of Army intelligence to report on the antiwar movement. This exchange followed: Case: "Do you know anything about any activity on the part of the CIA in . that connection? Was it asked to be In-, volved?" ' . • , Helms: "I don't recall whether we were asked, but we were not involved because it seemed to me that was a clear violation of what our charter, was." The Rockefeller Commission has just reported that the CIA under Helms set up a Special Operations Group to "collect information on dissident Americans." It ran Operation Chaos, infiltrating the antiwar movement and collecting on a computerized index "the names of more than 300,000 persons and organizations." Even by recent standards of official untruth, Helms' "not involved" must set a record. In the confirmation hearings Helms was also asked about any CIA connection with E> Howard Hunt Jr. and G. Gordon Liddy, the convicted Watec- gate burglars. He said there had been no connection since Hunt retired from the agency in 1970. Later it ^as . learned that the CIA had supplied Hunt and Liddy with equipment for their, burglary, of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist in 1971. Helms explained that' he thought the questions had related only to the Watergate break-in. • No one has called Helms effectively to account for his testimony. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the immediate victim of his deception, recalled him"" but asked unfocused and , deferential questions. The Rockefeller Commission, comprehensive as its report was, said nothing about the lies that had allowed all those illegalities it found to flourish. As for President Ford, at whose pleasure ambassadors serve, he has not been heard to murmur a critical word about Helms. The government's failure to bring a particular perjury case may always be explained by technical or evidentiary problems. But anyone who wonders why Americans have grown cynical about those who govern them might think about this question: Why does Richard Helms still hold the-rank of ambassador? New York Times Service Law For Today State Driver's License Law Q. What does Illinois law say about a motorist not having a driver's license in his or her possession? If stopped by police, is there a 24 hour period for the motorist to produce a valid license? A. Illinois law requires that every licensee have the license in immediate possession when operating a motor ve- • hide. However, no person can be convicted of violating that law if he or she' produces satisfactory evidence in court that a valid license was in effect at the time of the arrest. The court appearance may come more than 24 hours after the time of arrest.. -Illinois State Bar Assn.- THE BETTER HALF By Barnes "Would you drive a while, dear? I need to cure my hiccups." Writer Debate Adds To Churning Among the other turnings and churn- few who think of America as a r-nnntpr- Thus the nhrasint? runs lartrplv in «,!„„* TK^., ^ ^~ the other turnings and churn- ings in latter-day America there is a debate going on among the writers. Most recently it has surfaced in the current issue of the monthly, Commentary, which is entirely given over to a symposium on the theme "America Now: A Failure of Nerve?" It is a good subject at this hour of America's history. Early in the century an English classical scholar, Gilbert Murray, first gave currency to the term when he attributed the easy conquest of the Greek city-states, by Rome, to a failure of nerve. The con.- cept has since been applied to a variety of'situations -' a failure of belief, a loss of confidence and purpose, an introspective turning inward when what is needed is an alertness to dangers, a paralyzing tender-mindedness in the faith of the reality principle. But always it comes back to the central element: When the crunch comes, whatever is needed to confront it isn't there. Or in Harry Truman's homelier phrase, failure of nerve means getting out of the kitchen, because you can't stand the heat. 35 Responses There were 35 responses to editor Norman Podhoretz' one-page formulation of the question. Politically, they cover a fairly wide spectrum, from a few who think of America as a counterrevolutionary imperialism to several who think of the monster as world Bolshevism. Most of the rest are somewhere between these poles. But perhaps because some of the avowed radical intellectuals scorned to re-' MAX LERNER spond to a Commentary symposium, the weight of numbers is oentrist - a little to the left or a little to the right of center. In some ways the symposium question conceals, rather than reveals, the true direction of its thrust. It starts with John Kennedy's inaugural sentence - that America "will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship ... to assure the survival and sue' cess of liberty." It goes on to point out America's failure to respond to the OPEC oil challenge, the refusal of Congress to send even economic aid to Vietnam and Cambodia in their moment of dire danger, the "passivity" of response to the takeover in Portugal, the tendency of American intellectuals to "question the legitimacy of American civilization." And it asks what it all means. Thus the phrasing runs largely in terms of the foreign policy response by the political elite. But what is really troubling, Podhoretz and the Commentary group is, I suspect, not.the policymakers like President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, or even the Democratic majority in Congress which tries to be Populist and narrowly avoids being isolationist. The prisoner in the dock is not only they but the total climate of American opinion, within which foreign policy decisions are made and judged, and the legitimacy of the civilization is tested. The central question is thus about the idea-makers - the intellectuals themselves. For it is they who influenced the political elite, whether the group around Kennedy and Johnson or those around Nixon, Ford and Kissinger. It is they who shape the climate within which not only foreign but domestic policies are decided. And it'is they who are constantly describing the civilization itself, interpreting its capacity to survive, giving it the imaRc which it assumes in books and articles and films on TV. Expected Answers In effect, the responders to the symposium, themsel\es writers, have been asked to comment upon whether they or other writers have made a mess of things. They answer pretty much as expected. Some of the left-leaning intellectuals say the mess is due to the bad policies of the "best and brightest" around Kennedy and Johnson, not to speak of the Watergate Palace Guard around Nixon, and the CIA— that if the true intellectuals had been heeded the trouble would never have come. A larger group, closer to Commentary's own position, blames most of it on the false ideas of the left-leaning intellectuals, A small third group, keeping itself above this particular battle, believes a new world is in the forming, with a number of power centers, fatefully interdependent, and that the, job of the elite is to work effectively in this world. My own leanings are to this third group. But I should add two comments. One is that, no matter how American foreign policy may try to operate in the new situation, the problem with the intellectuals is still there Tho problem is, I suspect, less one of a failure of nerve than of a .failure of perception and imagination. The second is that on the question of the survival of the civilization, people themselves have better instincts than most of the intellectuals I know, . Los Angeles Times

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