Page 4 article text (OCR)
Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest 1* The First Concern O/ Thu Newspaper 4A Â· SUNDAY, MAY M, 1974 President Believes 'Worst Is Over' Good Government Needs Voters State Auditor Jimmy (Red) Jones, somewhat after the fashion of the famed groundhog oÂ£ Punxsutawney, Pa., traditionally surfaces about this time every two years, long enough to make a guess as to voter turnout in an upcoming election. Tfiis year, the seer says "505,000." From one point of view, Jones' estimate might well be regarded as low. There are, after all, almost 1,000,000 registered voters in the state, give or take a few thousand. (Exact figures won't be known until after June 1, when county clerks are required to report official totals as of that date). From another point of view, though, that of purely practical nose-counting, Jones' guess may well prove just a wee bit high. This is based on the fact that only 494,000 voted in the primary two years ago when considerable interest focused on the race between then congressman David Pryor and Sen. John McClellan. A fair question, we think, in view of the foregoing is why a "heavy" vote in Arkansas amounts to only slightly more than half of the state's registered voters. Some of the more obvious influences on voter turnout include: This is an off-presidential election year, which is traditionally less engaging for the average citizen. -- There is wide speculation this year that the climate of Watergate may have a dampening effect on public involvement in the election process. Art Buchwald -- In addition, there are fewer than usual county and local contests this year, and . . . -- The Republicans are holding primaries in many locales, which will reduce Democratic totals to a degree. Much evidence remains, though, that Arkansans are curiously casual in their attitude toward voting. This is emphasized by the fact that almost one million oÂ£ the state's residents HAVE taken the trouble to register. This is estimated to be about 70 per cent of the state's potential voting force. And 70 per cent isn't shameful, even though it could probably be improved with a modicum of registration reform. The big hangup it seems comes election day. With almost one million registered, less than half that many turn out for a major Democratic primary, and only about 60-65 per cent can be expected to take part in the general election. We hesitate to say it, but the answer may well be in the fact that an evident trend toward non-alliance with party beliefs, platforms and candidates, likewise leads, too easily, to an abrogation of responsibility to do one's individual part in the election process. We would hope that Auditor Jones' estimate is low. But it more than likely will prove top high. The effect of such a voter turnout is that those who don't go wind up as the decisive force, by default. The saying is that we usually get the kind of government we deserve. This is double true when only a very few bother to exercise their franchise. Plea Bargaining On The Potomac By ART BUCHWALD WASHINGTON -- I w a s walking past the building where Leon Jaworski. the special prosecutor, has his offices when I noticed a long line which wound around Ihe block. "What's going on?" I asked a police officer who was making sure that the people were orderly. "They're Watergate defendants and their lawyers and they're waiting to ; plea bargain with the special prosecutor. I('s getting near deadline time and I guess some of them are getting nervous." I went up to one of the men standing in line. "How's it going?" He referred the question to the man standing next to him who was carrying a briefcase. It was his lawyer. "My client jusl remembered that he withheld some information from the grand jury that he forgot. We wish to make amends by co-operating in any way we can with the special . prosecutor." liii, ("What do you hope to get X'. out of it?" "Thirty days and an electric toaster." From Our Files; How Time Flies\ 10 YEARS AGO All residents of the Fayetteville school district are invited to attend tile Community Conference on Educaion to be held at Woodland Junior High School a 7 p.m. today. Arkansas has a new dairy princess -- Miss Alicia Brush of Rogers, an 18-year-old fresh- 50 YEARS AGO Â· More than $2,500 damage, principally to the University of Arkansas, was registered here I last night when a baby cyclone hit Fayetteville, ripped a path about 300 feet wide, in the west . part of town and jumped from the top of Hospital Hill to the outskirts of town. A copy of Fayeteville's first 100 YEARS AGO Come and strew flowers o'er heroes' graves next Thursday. Come to honor the memory of men who "died for the land they could not save." What ', better lesson can we learn the v^irh t h a n that the memory of 'he valiant and honored men man at the University. Increases in salary offers hy employers to University graduates continue to gain more rapidly than the increases in offers to graduates of other major colleges and universities, a preliminary report by the University indicates. city directory issued in 1904 has been unearthed at the Court House here. The directory listed only 4.432 names and boasted a gain of 38 per cent in population between 1890 and 19M. Extensive plans for one of the best Decoration Dav ceremonials ever staged in Fayetteville are beng laid by the American Legion for Frday, May 30. will ever live fresh and green in the hearts of their people? Married: On the 14th day of the bride's mother on Richland, by Dr. B. F. Williams. Mr. G. H. Warrenburg of Huntsville and Miss Sallie A. Smith of this County. They'll Do It Every Time ONE IN EVERV00X OFFICE LINE P1A6RAM Of 1WÂ£ STAPIUM? WHATS THE MÂ£XT LOWEST PRICE? "A toaster? Is the special p r o s e c u t o r giving o u t premiums?" "OF COURSE," the lawyer replied. "How else would he get anyone to plea bargain? I know one defendant who perjured himself in front of a Senate committee and he got a six- months suspended sentence and a set of Arnold Palmer g o l f clubs." v . The line was moving slowly. A defendant and his lawyer came out of the building. The defendant was smiling. "What did you get?" someone yelled. "Ten months on a prison farm and an electric blanket," the defendant shouted happily. "The lucky stiff," a man in the line said, "By the time we get upstairs they'll be out of electric blankets." "Did you hear," another man in the line said, "that if you turn in a Friend and they keep him deposited for a year, you're entitled to a color television set?" "Wow," said somebody. "I could get two TV sets today." A defendant and his lawyer tried to break in the line. Everyone started yelling. "Get in the back! Get in the back!" .. THE LAWYER said. "My client is being indicted in Los Angeles this afternoon and we have to catch a plane." "Tough luck," a lawyer shouted. "You should have plea-bargained last week." "We couldn't. He was indicted in New York last week. And next week he's being indicted in Florida. This is the only spare time we've got." Everyone grumbled, but they let them stay. A defendant came out carrying a silver tea set. "How did you get that?" a lawyer asked. "I pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and promised to implicate a former attorney general of the United States. So they offered me 90 days and a choice of a tea set or a set of Elvis Presley records." The policeman came by and cut off the line. "I'm sorry. I've been ordered lo cut the line here. That's all the plea bargaining they can handle today. The rest of you have to come back tomorrow." "Damn," said a defendant in the back of the line. "I think I'll plead 'not guilty.' " "I can't let you do it," his lawyer said, "I promised my wife I'd bring home a set of Tupperware." (C) 1974, Los Angeles Times BiWe Verse "And the Spirit of God came npon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God. Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you-" I Chronicles 24:20 Here is a message from the Spirit of God. It says simply, "don't make the mistake of thinking that God is always going to be standing by." "My Spirit will not always itriv* with man." By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON -- President Nixon has told aides that he believes the national outrage over the White House transcripts has died down and that he has now' weathered the worst of the storm. Sources privy to the President's private conversations say he feared for awhile that the crescendo of criticism might become overpowering. He felt the demands for his resignation, which came pouring in from Republican leaders and conservative newspapers, were "hysterical." Ironically, the President credits Democratic leaders with abating the storm. He had frankly expected them to join in the clamor for his resignation, he has confided. Instead, House Speaker Carl Albert, Senate Democratic leader Mike Mansfield and Senate Democratic whip Robert Byrd spoke out against resignation and broke the momentum. This had the dramatic effect. the President told aides, of lawmen calming a mob at the jailhouse door. Nixon is grateful to the opposition leaders for preventing Congress from becoming "a runaway grand jury" on the eve nf the impeachment hearings. He has confidence Congress will now keep the im- Congre s will now keep the im- The Washington Merry-Go-Round peachment proceedings on an even course. V I E T N A M SPENDING: The Vietnam war m a y have disappeared from the front pages, but the American taxpayers are still financing South Vietnam's military effort. Two unreleased studies disclose that the United States is now paying 86 per cent of the cost of maintaining the Saigon regime and that it may be dependent upon American 'aid for the rest of this century. President Nixon is as king for -2.4 billion in military and economic aid for Saigon for the coming year. This amounts to 32 per cent of the total U.S. aid for the entire world. Counting Laos and Cambodia, the embattled peninsula will get close to half of all U.S. aid. The studies were conducted by the Indochina Resource Center, a private research group Â· which keeps a close watch on Southeast Asian affairs, and by NARM1C. a project ot The American Friends Service Committee. South Vietnam's economy, warn the studies "in t h e manner of a heroin user, is ad- Â· dieted to American aid." They quote a confidential World Bank study, which concludes Saigon will still require (770 million a year in 1980 and $300 million to $450 million in 1990. Looking beyond 1990, the World Bank claims "Saigon wilt continue to remain highly dependent on foreign aid." In short, the studies contend that the Saigon government is an "artificial state," kept afloat mainly by the generosity of the American taxpayers. The biggest drain on the South Vietnamese economy, charge the studies, is corruption. "Certainly more than a few (Saigon) subjects a r e millionaires or nearly so," the documents state, and "there are probably several hundred" who together could pay the government's bills "each year for a decade hence." These South Vietnamese pro fiteers are able to escape heavy taxation. Consequently, state the reports, "indigenous Vietnamese tax revenues have not any time in the last decade produced more than 15 per cent of the total resources spent to sustain" the government. CLOSING COSTS: Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., has been trying to lower real estate closing costs, a racket that 'Of course, this looks bad; but it can't hurt us as much as giving them the evidence" A From The Readers Viewpoint Tell It All To the Editor: It's not too late, and newspapers are really the best means to tell it all, so I wish the governor would stop so much redundant, irrelevant harping on tv about Senator Fulbright's length of service and get some space in our papers and lay it out in specifics -- Get down to the nitty gritty, Governor, please...? For example, what are your views on the Mid-East trouble? What do you k n o w about f o r e i g n activity of the multinational conglomerates, like ITT and others? Their hanky panky with other nations seems to ignore interests of mainstream Americans increasingly, and surely Congress will give closer attention to them, so what are your thoughts, if any, on such matters? Yes, indeed, voters are very concerned about the Mid-East and any h a n k y panky there on the part of our government. We're in a dilemma now because we've already lost many loved-ones in expeditionary wars since "the war to end all wars" -- Why, why, why, we ask....! As a former -marine engineer aboard the hospital ships "Larkspur" and "Stafford" I helped haul thousand! of wounded and crippled Americans back across the Atlantic and after that war hauled many loads of additional "First-Class Passengers", as indeed they were, though these were in coffins, stacked in cargo holds like cord wood, 10,044 each trip. We ponder it all, then shudder when within the shadows of our self-communion echoes a wise man's sobering words:. "The most certain outcome of any war is that it creates the cause for the next..." However, we all, young and old, continue to hope and. as we must, place great trust in our republic'* leaders, even though we are deceived at times. Such as the "Gulf of Tonkin Incident," which, we now know, was a funnel for that wastefully poured priceless American blood on the battlefields of Vietnam's hopeless Civil War -- A war that fermented from "the war to end all wars." Now, again, the stage is set, in the Mid-East, with potential dangers far greater than Vietnams. 'Tis no Gulf of Tonkin, the Mediterranean. No sir! Not with the sea-going "Russian Bear" there in bigger force than is our own Navy. Governor, are you concerned about such power plays? If so, please let us know exactly how you feel about latent dangers with regard to America's commitments in the Mid-East -- If recent history is any guide, we know our diplomats are p r o m i s i n g something over there! Now then, you surely realize that Senator Fulbright was the first national statesman to warn us about the tragic and futile results of our plunging into the Vietnam conflict -- which, history must record to his credit as well as that that he had the courage to do so even when such a warning was unpopular to most Americans. Therefore, Governor, are you knowledgeable enough about foreign intrigue to recognize danger signals of another possible Vietnam-type tragedy? Would you be courageous enough to put your political future on the line to warn us? Such things about you we ponder, for we have seen no example of your courage, to date. You come on ty with a pleasant smile, but so does that p r e t t y airline stewardess, asking in seductive tones: "Fly me." And, seriously, Governor, your style of campaigning reminds me a lot of that stewardess, commercializing her airline without a word about bow well her (tabilizer handled costs the homebuyers f!4 bilHoa a year. But he has been ootmaneu- vered in the backrooms by Sen. Bill Brock, R-Tenn.. the handsome banker's son who seems to take his signals from tht counting houses. As private correspondence between the two antagonists show, Proxmire thought he could bring his subcommittee around to forcing the Housing and Urban Development Department to crack down on closing costs. But Brock wanted to take thi power away from the government, leaving homeowners to the tender mercies of title companies, title searchers and insurers, real estate lawyers and others who profit from high closing costs. Brock offered some reforms in a double play that would also strip the government of its authority to regulate closing costs. Enticed by Â»e reforms, even such consumer men as Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif., Adlai Stevenson. D-J11., and Bob Packwood, R-Ore., supported Brock's maneuver. Meanwhile, in the House, Rep. Leonor Sullivan. D Mo., was so upset over a prallel move by Rep. Robert Stephens, D-Ga., to fleece homebuyers that she wrote personal letters to members of the House Banking Committee. "It would be extremely unwise," hÂ« pleaded with them, to accept the Stephens measure. FOOTNOTE: Brock insisted to us that he has the best interests of homebuyers. not banks, at heart. Consumer men who voted with Brock said they were getting the best bill possible, under the circumstances. Containing Nuc/eor things when they get bumpy. You come on tv with your smile and also seem to say: "Try me." But, alas, the only reason you give why voters should is, "Senator Fulhright has been in office a long time." So won't you please get with it, Governor Bumpers! How can you expect to end his tenure unless you can inform us with worthy examples of your own wisdom, courage, and skill -Come on, let's be honest, we all know your glide as governor has been a creampuff, so we're waiting, still, for you to give a sensible reason why. exactly, we should replace a man of Seantor Fulbright's stature with a Dale Bumpers. What about ypur stabilizer, Governor? Lay it out in our newspapers in black and white so that we can study your merits -- Uncover your light and let us see just how brightly it shines! Lee R. McEwen Texarkana Election Info To the Editor: The Election Laws Institute (TEL) is initiating an election monitoring program which- will be in effect May 17 through June 17. Anyone in the State can call, using the toll free WATS line, to receive information concerning election procedures, to have questions an swered, or to report a suspected violation of the election laws. All calls will be followed by appropriate action, and a report will be published giving UK results of this program. We ask your cooperation tn helping us reach the public with this WATS line number. Th* number to call is -- 1-800-4828980. Remember, H is toll free, and it is for the UM of t h e general public. Delia Bluett (Election Lawt Institute) Little Rock PO Box 77 Genie WASHINGTON (ERR) Technically speaking. India is not yet a full-Hedged member of the nuclear club. What India exploded on May 18 was a nuclear "device," as opposed to a bomb deliverable by plane or missile. There is little doubt, however, that India can join thÂ» United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, France and China as a nuclear power if it is willing to spend the required amount of money. India's action was disheartening to advocates of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. The more nations that join the nuclear arms race, even in junior status, the more complicated the arms control problem becomes and the less secure the fate of man. E v e n a minor nuclear power can initiate the chain reaction of response and counter-response that could involve the might of the major powers. Herbert F. York, former director of defense research and engineering for the Pentagon, stated the problem this way last fall: "...there are now five nuclear powers, and there will be more someday, and if any of them ever makes a technical, political or military nuclear mistake for any reason, real or imagined, then there would be a substantial chance that the whole civilized world could go up in nuclear smoke." AN EVEN MORE worrisome problem is the possibility that some terrorist group will steal plutonium from a government installation, use it to make a nuclear weapon, and then threaten to detonate the bomb unless certain demands are met. In a recent report to Sen. Abraham A. Ribicoff, (!"Conn.), Uie Atomic Energy Commission asserted that "The potential harm to the public from the explosion of an illicitly made nuclear weapon is greater than that from any plausible power plant accident." Terrorist groups "are likely to have available the technical knowledge needed to process fissile materials and for building a nuclear weapon," the report continued. "They are also liable to carry out reasonably sophisticated attacks on installations and transportation." It is therefore necessary to make "an immediate and far-reaching change in the way we conduct our safeguards programs." THE DANGER OF nuclear theft and blackmail will grow as the world turns increasingly to nuclear power to meet its energy needs. Research now under way in this country and the Soviet Union envisions the use of extremely powerful lasers to create electric power from controlled thermonuclear fusion. The idea is to employ laser beams to evaporate, ionize and implosively compress a solid fuel pellet and thus trigger nuclear fusions. In a parallel development, Soviet scientists are trying to perfect a "graser" -- a device that would stimulate atomic nuclei to emit a beam of gamma rays instead of a beam of light. Science News magazine speculated that "The great penetration power of gamma rays might open new realms of radiotherapy, precision measurement and long distance energy transmission, as for example, to a satellite in orbit." On the other hand, Ihe maga- riM went on, "graer technology might..,revive prospects of developing a 'neutron bomb' -- a weapon giving off almost nothing but radiation that would destroy m urban population while leaving the buildings standing with very little radioactive residue." Now more than ever, nuclear power has the capacity to be the salvation or tha destruction of mankind.