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Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest Is The First Concern O/ This Newspaper 4 Â» THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 1974 FBI, Courts Tough On Organized Crime A Drift From Responsibility The most disturbing trend in Arkansas politics these days, to us at least, is a steady drift away from party loyalty and affiliation. Too many voters list themselves proudly as "independents," as if a neutral hue somehow represents an intellectual or moral achievement. Far from it, in our view. Instead, it represents the easy, amoral way out. There can be no assumption of responsibility, nor any effective exercise of same, from the independent's position in American politics. To be an independent is to free ourselves of the commitment to work for principles and ideals of better government. It is to pursue the cult of the individual. Constitutional Gov- ernmentis not based on personality and individual charm, however, so that the fellow who says he "votes for the man, not the party," does his form of government a disservice. A distinguished local official, who hails from a Midwest center of political power, claims he is an "independent," because he has seen the immorality and perversion that partisan politics can bring to government. He could never affiliate with a party again, he says. We respect his outrage. But we are dismayed by his lack of appreciation for the over-riding importance of the two-party system in the American form of government. It takes courage to take sides, of course, and a lot of work to change an organization from within. But America's unique strength, traditions and stability in government, are based on a viable two-party system. Perhaps Arkansas is now reaping the seeds of its long history of one party domination. The swing to "independency" may in effect be a transition toward a stronger two- John I. Smith party system. We hope so, because that would be considerably healthier, in our view, than the continued deterioration of both parties in state politics. An interesting sidelight of this circumstance, we might note, are the contrasting positions of allegiance toward the national Democratic Party, its nominee and its platform, two years ago by Sen. Bill Fulbnght, who demonstrated a traditional loyalty, and Gov. Dale Bumpers, who was cautious to the point of "independency." This isn't to say that a political leader can't have an independent judgment on things. But, we do think that judgment should demonstrate a sensitivity to the system wherein the judgment is taken. And that, we believe, demands an appreciation and support of party allegiance as an indispensable democratic institution. There can be little argument, historically at least, about the fundamental importance of party politics. The two-party system as it affects our elections, our legislative organization, and our ability to use the ballot with organized effectiveness, is part and parcel of our constitutional form of government. To quote Kenneth Colegrove and Frederick Blachly, eminent political historians, "Political Parties are absolutely essential to modern democratic government." In this season of intense political activity, it might be a good idea if all of us paused and reflected on what the party of our choice stands for -- who can best represent us in that party -- and why it is a citizen's duty, as well as privilege, to belong to one party or the other. If you don't like either party, flip a coin and then use your influence and good counsel to change it for the better. Area Farming By JOHN I. SMITH Figures supplied us by one of our congressmen, shed some and show that our government light on or present economic situation. These figures came from the Bureau of the Budget and show that our government is a long way from being in any dangerous position. Many people contend properly that our unbalanced budget (the deficit sjde) brings inflation, and that if expenditures were cut down and taxes increased, inflation would slow up or stop entirely. Surely, such a change in policy would have material effect in slowing down the inflation spiral. Surely, if our statesmen could balance the budget and not bring about unemployment they would do so. The one thing that public officials fear most, justifiably so, is unemployment, which is poison to everybody. The figures supplied tn us, show that the gross Federal debt rose by 73 per cent from From Our Files; How Time Flies] 10 YEARS AGO The recently dismissed Grand Jury has criticized County Judge Arthur Martin for failing to observe bidding procedures prescribed in a county act, and for hiring his daughter in violation of the same act. An open house will be held at Bentonville's new Bates Memorial Hospital building. 50 YEARS AGO That the civic clubs of Fay- elteville cooperate with the civic clubs of Ft. Smith in a joint ceremonial at the half way spot in the Fayetteville-Wins- 1 o w - F o r t Smith highway, commemorating its opening, was the proposition advanced by Bert Watson at the noon session of the Lions Club today Between 200 and 250 high school students are expected TOO YEARS AGO We have received a lot of resolutions, passed at a meeting of the citizens of Bentonville, but they came too late for publication this week. If the "cruel war" is not over before the next issue, we will publish them. Our people seem lo be Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. The 35-bed structure cost $600,000. City police have opened a campaign against speeders and under-age drivers following an increase in the number of accidents and the death of a 15- year-old boy. here tomorrow for the opening of the State Invitational Interscholastic meets sponsored by the University of Arkansas, to be held Friday and Saturday. In a nightmare of a session t h e Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the Hendrix Bulldogs yesterday on the University diamond by the count of eight to five. unusually cool over the troubles at the capital. The only way that we can account for this is, that the Boston Mountain is between us and the scat of war. The Washington County Council of the Patrons of Husbandry meets at Farmington next Saturday at 10 o'clock a.m. They'll Do It Every Time WHERE POES THE GARBMEMAM THROW HIS TRASH? the end of 1954 through 1973, nearly two decades. The Korean war and the Vietnam conflict played a 'big part in this increase in indebtedness. Again, it' the leaders can bring aQout a balancing of the budget without bringing unemployment and a severe recession, it would be welcomed by most people. T h o s e figures furnished, -which poured some oil on the troubled waters are those which involved that portion of the Federal debt held by Federal institutions. That portion is now much larger than it was in years past and it is growing rapidly. There is an element of comfort in this information. The biggest Federal institution holding these federal bonds is, by all means, the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Land Bank System is another, and there are probably a dozen minor ones. One might ask, "But do not the banks, like the seven commercial banks of Washington County, own all the stock in the Federal Reserve System, and do not the farmer- borrowers, like those scattered o v e r Washington County, through their local associations, own all the stock of the Federal Land Bank System." The answer is "Yes," but it is n o t proprietary stock--full ownership stock--like the stock one of you might own in any corporation which you and others might form. All that those banks or those farmers can ever get back from their stock is the same dollars that they put in plus dividends; and that g't;s for a multitude of other lesser institutions created under Federal acts. The entire reserves, surpluses and undivided profits belong to the Treasury of the United States, and will go to the Treasury of the United States in case of liquidation, not to the stockholders as in case of the liquidation of private corporations. After subtracting the bond holdings of Federal institutions, the amount of Federal debt held by the public increased since 1954 by only 34 per cent, not 73 per cent, not a big increase considering war costs. This information had an element of comfort, especially a book from the Liberty (?) since we were recently handed Press of Washington, D.C. This bonk utterly castigated the government (which it wishes to destroy} and the FederRl Reserve System and other federal institutions (which it also wished to destroy). The answer was. "O.K. that's fine. We as citizens of the United Statis own these institutions, 'ct them make monov and help finance the government of the United Stales." Maybe other 1 ; can get some comfort frnm this situation, I certainly did. DIRTY BOOKS The Library of Congress, It is reported, has a dirty books section. It is secluded and, in fact, kept under lock and key. But a persistent member of tho public may gain access to It. And, we suppose, even members of Congress may go there to while away the time. For them, we suppose, it may le a good place of escape from the even dirtier daily news in Washington. - Charlotte (N.C.) Observer By. JACK ANDERSON -.' ' W A S H I N G : ' ! ' O f t - .As evidence perhaps of tho cynicism about corruption In high places, we arc frequently asked whether the Mafia is r e a l l y manipulating the government from behind the scenes. We have responded that the Mafia has no Influence In Washington, t h a t the Justice Department's task forces have been cracking down on organized crime. Now we have seen evidence In a secret General Accounting Office report that the courts, too, have been harsh on Mafia mobsters. The roster of crime lords, who have wound up In federal prisons, should lay to rest any Idea that Mafia membership pays. More than 800, Including some prominent "godfathers," have drawn prison sentences since 1909. To cite a couple of examples a kingpin of the "French connection." Auguste Rlcord, Is sitting out his life in a federal penitentiary. A n o t h e r l o p Mafioso, Aniello Dellacroce, just finished an income-tax sen- The Washington Merry-Ga-Round tence In the Atlanta pen. A few days before his release, nnothor Mafloso lender, Frank Valenll, wns locked behind federal bars. The GAO study shows that, despite high-priced lawyers and highly placed friends, a crime syndicate figure can count on going to jail after conviction 54 per cent of the time, compared with 49 per cent for ordinary criminals. Not surprisingly, the syndicate mobsters come before federal Judges for sentencing most often oh charges of extortion, racketeering, threats, Nostra criminals get longer gambling, embezzlement and fraud. For these crimes, Cosa sentences than do garden variety hoods. For non-Mafia criminals, an average sentence for embezzlement and fraud is 18 months. But for the Mafia man it is 28 months. For the other crimes, a common hoodlum averages 35 months, the syndi- cate criminal 41 months. On narcotics convictions, the syndicate pushefs get an average of eight years compared t o ' s i x (or non-Mafia peddlers. Theft anil Immigration charges also bring longer sentences (or organized criminals. Nowhere In the federal crime spectrum, with the possible exception of assaults, do Mafia mobsters get a better break than common criminals. FOOTNOTE: Rep. Chiirles Range), D-N.Y., who requested the GAO study, had feared that federal sentences for the Mnfiti might be light, as appears lo be the case in some stale courts. A tew state Judges, particularly in New Y o r k , seem l e n i e n t on crime syndicate figures. But in contrast, the federal courts in New York have been even tougher on tile crime lords than the national average. On narcotics, for example, Brooklyn federal judges are the roughest in the Art Buchwatd Polyester Has A Perfect Plan By ART BUCHWALD WASHINGTON -- A group of men were having lunch at a well-known restaurant in Washington the other day. Although t h e y were in various professions, they all had one thing in common. They were away from home a great deal and their wives had said they were getting fed up with it. Amazingly enough it turned out that their wives, who did not even know each other, used the identical phrases when complaining about their lot. T h e s e included: "All I'm doing is running a hotel." "The only time I see you is v/hen you come home to g e t clean laundry." "You weren't even here for your own daughter's birthday party." "What the heck is so important in ?" (Fill in the city where you're going.) It was at this juncture that Polyester, who works for a computer firm, sprung his plan. "Our wives' main complaint," he said, "is that they have no one to talk to, which translates no one to bitch to. The reason why we're missed is that they want someone to listen to their stories and give them moral support." We all agreed Polyestcr's description of our wives was accurate. "SUPPOSE," .he said excitedly, "we had a computer that could match up complaining wives with other husbands who were on the road?" W- all looked goggle-eyed. Are you suggesting wife- swapping?" Acrilan asked. 'In a sense." said Polyester but no hanky-panky in the bedroom. You swap wives just so that they have someone to talk to. Let me give you an illustration. I'm on my way to Boston and I feed the computer at National Airport he-arrival of my flight and how long I'll be there. I also tell the computer how many children I nave, my position in the f i r m and salary. "The object of the computer would be to match me as closely as possible to my own situation at home. T h e computer gives me an address and phone number. At this very moment there Is a man in Boston coming to Washington, U.O., and he ( j o e s to his computer and asks for an ad- Â° r . e Â« Â«cre. Ho gets mlnn. KiglH? ' Okay. I gt to Boston Â«nd I check into my hotel. Now remember, the success of this scheme is no hanky-panky. "LET'S SAY MY surrogate wife is Mrs. Dacron. I call her and ask when dinner is being served. I show up at the house at 6 p.m. and before I even gt to hang my coat in the get to h a n g my coat in the on the day. She tells me how lousy the kids have been behaving, what went wrong with the garbage disposal unit, how much she paid for eggs and how she can't manage a lainily on my salary. I get an earful. "At this very moment the man from Boston is at my house listening to my wife doing two hour;, on what it's like to run a house when the man duesn't even know where t h e fuse box is. "Mrs. Dacron is thrilled to have someone there to let out her frustrations on, and my wife finally has someone besides the kids to talk to." "FJut w h a t happens after dinner?" someone asked. Polyester replied "I go into the living room and watch television while Mrs. Dacron does the dishes." "Don't you help her with the dishes?" "Hell no. It would ruin it for Dacron if I did something he didn't do. Then after watching TV I go to my hotel. Dacron, who presumably let my wife do the dishes while he read the evening paper, also goes back to his place." The trouble with Polyester's plan, when we all discussed it later, is that not one of us could find a ingles-o gFra'aemmm find a single thing wrong with it. (C) 1974, Los Angeles Times A LAST RESORT The lowly copper penny, the last United States coin with any intrinsic value, is apparently on its way out. Because of inflation and the demand for copper, the value of the metal itself is now worth more than the penny. During World War II, pennies were made of zinc-coated steel, but these were all called in and destroyed after the war. So it is planned that next year old .Abe Lincoln, E Pluribus Unum and a l l , will appear in aluminum and there he will remain until aluminum, too, becomes more valuable than the penny. What happens then? Maybe the Great White Father in Washington will resort to wampum. - Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram NO COMFORT At least, so the saying goes we have it betler than those in Europe and Japan, where inflation is worse and gas sells for more than $1 a gallon and steak costs upwards of $5 and more a pound. Better think up a new saying. International Monetary Fund statistics recently released show thai inflation in the United States is now rising faster than in most other countries Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland and Japan are the exceptions. But West Germany. Sweden and France all had inflation rates of less than 8.5 per cent in the 12-month period which ended last March. But the United States' inflation rate lopped 9.4 per cent, and the gap is predicted to have increased since then. - Charleston (S.C.) News and Courier from The Bookshelf Many commentators have deplored Lhe heavy burdens of the President; and nearly every president has himself complained to associates at one timotr another that the overwork, the intolerable strains, and the selfish pressures he must withstand are loo much tn ask of anyone. Although, curiously enough, tho tasks most complained of arc not ones imposed by the framers, his sphere of duty Is still formally defined by their Constitution -- formally, but not actually. The reluctance lo amend, and the difficulty of the process, has, in this Instance as In others, forced amendment by usage. Presidents have done what seemed to be called for, sometimes with reluctance, often against opposition. But the greatness ascribed lo several derives from undertakings not originally expected of them. Rising above the Constitution Is nearly always a virtue In the estimation of posterity, If not of tho contemporary public. There have even been Injtances -- as that of Lincoln in suspending wrlls of habeas corpus -- when constitutional prohibitions have actually been Ignored. --Hcxford O. TuKwell, The Emerging Constitution (1W4) land. W A S H I N G T O N WHIltLr Sources who have listened lo House tapes say they wero shocked ut President Nlxon'n gutter language nnd vicious cracks. Ills profanity luid Iho flavor, they say, of Ihc dialogue In tho ribald movie. "The Last Detail." He assailed those who displeased him with ungly Invective. In n telephone conversation with ex-Attorney General Richard Kloindlenst, for example, Hie President enlled antitrust chief Richard McLaren a nasty name but later appointed him a federal Judge... Secretary of Stale Henry Kissinger has told confidantes that he received a scorching from Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev at their l a s t Moscow meeting. In the strongest language Kissinger has heard from him. Brezhnev castigated United States moves in the Middle East. Kissinger predicted in advance that Iho Soviets would encourage Syrian shooting on the Golan Heights. Kissinger has done his best, meanwhile, to appease Iho Kremlin...Sources close to the investigation of ex-Treasury Secretary John Connally can't understand why he would pocket $10.000 in milk money, as alleged, since he is a millionaire. Of course, Connally has vigorously denied that ho took the money. But at the time of the alleged bribe, White House sources have reported, Connally was complaining that he had to borrow money to avoid selling off investments. His low government salary t wasn't enough, he grumped, to keep up with his high living expenses...The Federal Energy Office has become afflicted with the secrecy mania although it doesn't deal with security matters. Until FED can buy its own supershredclers, burners and what not, its employes have been instructed to deposit their secret trash in a central vault. An internal memo directs them to deliver the trash in "burn bags" which "must be sealed and marked to identify the specific element from w h i c h it comes...Items such as cans, bottles, lunch bags and other routine trash must not be put in the burn bag." Debate On Containers Continues WASHINGTON (ERR) - One of these summers, soft drinks will surpass coffee as America's favorite beverage and beer will knock milk out jf third place. That's the unmistakable trend in U.S. beverage consumption rates, which show losses for coffee and milk in the past decade and great gains for sodas and suds. On the average, Americans will drink more than 30 gallons of soft drinks apiece this year and about 20 gallons of beer. Coffee consumption has fallen from nearly 40 gallons in 19G2 to 35 gallons per person, while milk drinking has dropped slightly to around 25 gallons. Dentists, nutritionists and sociologists mav debate the pros and cons of these statistics, but b e v e r a g e container manufacturers can hardly contain themselves. For theirs has become a multimillion-dollar J n- dustry which is growing by about 10 per cent a year. Leading the salcs'upsurge have been the ubiquitous ::no deposit, no return" glass bottles and pull-tab aluminum cans. Non- returnables have cornered 73 per cent of the beer and soft drink market in little more than a riecadn. Thev have become such a part of the American scene that many youngsters don't remember any other kind, even though 98 per cent of soda bottles and 58 per cent of beer bottles \vern returnable as recently as 1958. Environmentalists now call for a return tn returnables, 'n order to reduce litter, encourage recycling and change the nation's "throw-away mentality." Oregon and Vermont have enacted state laws banning or restricting non-returnable bottles and cans and requiring a refund for those which are returned. Ann Arbor, Mich., and Bowie Md. are a m o n g many communities which have passed similar local regulations. By all accounts, the laws have been enormously successful in reducing roadside litter and have gained wide, public acceptance. Some grocers and retailers complain of increased costs and handling problems, while can and bottle manufacturers are fighting the laws in court on the ground that they interfere with Interstate commerce. But the anti-throwaway camp a i g n continues to gain strength. The Senate Commerce Committee will begin hearings Monday, May (i. on a bill sponsored by Sen. Mark 0. Hatfleld (R-Ore.) to ban non-relurnahlcs nationwide. The most persuasive testimony in' support of the measure may come from those who have computed tho energy requirement 1 ) of return- ables versus non-rcturnablcs. The Environmental Protection AKency estimates that it tnkcs six times more energy to deliver 1,000 gallons of a drink in aluminum cans than In returnable glass bottles. Moreover, the lightweight non-re- turnnbles can bo dangerous-many explode nnd others havo slivers of glass Inside. I/nst year 111,000 emergency room cases resulted from glass container mishaps, according tn the Consumer Product Safety Commission. One woman whoso hand was permanently Injured by nn exploding Klngcr nlo bottle told a r e p o r t e r ; "I will never open another non-returnable bottle In my life."