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J^ortfitoest Â· Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest Is The First Concern Of Tins Newspaper 4 9 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1974 Ultimate Pricing Weapon "Did You See That? He Jumped!" Later Reports Encouraging... A TIMES news story last Wednesday indicated thai an offer of $1 by the city for the Old Post Office Building had been rejected by the Fayetteville Housing Authority. A subsequent news item in Thursday's paper carried an amplification of events in question to the effect that the Housing Authority is, in fact, ready and \yilling to accept the city's offer, providing . . . There is a proviso outstanding, and therein is the source of misinterpretation. To an extent, both the Wednesday, and Thursday accounts of continuing negotiations on ,behalf of the Old Post Office are illustrative of the sort of confusion that can occur in the reporting of such inexact sciences as inter-governmental deliberations and determinations. It is instructive to note that a key development in the saga of the city's effort to save the Old Post Office Building from Urban Renewal Project demolition is the listing of the structure on the National Register of Historic Places. That listing was obtained through citizen initiative, and is twice noteworthy on that account, it seems to us. Not so, though, if we read rightly the early response from "official" quarters. The first reaction to the Post Office building's new designation was a verbal wringing of hands by the Housing Authority director, who offered the opinion that he just didn't know what such a designation would do to existing plans and commitments for investment of private capital. We are'probably wrong, but we get the idea that the present Housing Director is a 'dozer man, which is to say he sees the bulldozer as the cleanest, neatest way to solve urban problems. Saving old buildings, on the other hand, is less neat, certainly, and in the case of the Old Post Office, considerably more bothersome. In the present instance, the city has determined that if the money that will be required to recondition the structure for city (and civic) use can be applied to the purchase consideration;-and if two independent appraisers can be found who have the vision and the practical sense of values to appreciate the fact that an old building which is worth so little that it is about to be torn down, and is now on the National Register, so that its utility is even further circumscribed, is worth about a buck (or maybe a buck and a quarter), then the pinnacle of .the ordeal will have been surmounted. Sterling Cockrill Jr., Little Rock, the state director for Housing and Urban Development, as good as his word to Fayetteville, is leaving a proper resolution of rules and regulations to the local Housing Authority. The local Housing Authority last week agreed specifically that it is anxious to work out an arrangement along the good faith and a dollar line. What remains is for the various agencies to do the necessary paperwork to comply with regulations. Saving the old landmark has never seemed more promising. From The Readers Viewpoint Hell No! To the Editor: Would some of our so called patriotic intellects please explain to me how granting amnesty of any kind to a bunch of hippie, drop-out traitors is going to pull this country together? It will only open wounds and bitterness of our true Americans, that will take along time to heal. Vice-President Ford expressed his concern for our MIA'S in August and two weeks later made his speech to the V. F. W. convention in Chicago. The only thing that has been done for our missing loved ones is a bill that has been sent to the Senate Armed Service Committee that ..no status change be made Â«~n t i 1 North , r Vietnam and Viet Cong comply with Paris Peace Agreements or the President reports in writing to oCngress that no further accounting is possible. Current policy has been to halt all status views except at the request of a man's primary next of kin. What a way to treat a man thai may be dead or in Communisls prisons, left to rot while his family lives on fear and hope. Yet we want to give these damn draft-dodgers that claim to be American another chance. They chose to give up their country rather than fight. Now we want to let them sign Ihe Pledge of Allegience to a country they have already turned their back on. How do you expect future generations to react if (Pray God noil we get in another war, especially the sons of our MIA'S. I am a Veteran and a good member of the V.F.W. If o n e of those so so's tried to give me a bed pan while 1 was laying in a V.A. hospital I'd use it, then throw it in his face. What about Lieutenant Gal- ley? He was a man doing his job, yet he has been refused a pardon. He deserves at least as much consideration as a communist draft-dodger. Daniel Webster said, quote. "God grants liberty o n l y to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it." I rest my case. Doane Yeager Â· ( D e p a r t m e n t o f Arkansas V.F.W. Americanism Chairman) Pine Bluff How Else? To the Editor: Impeach President Ford? Son Jack Ford -- the Julie of Ford Presidency? -- says let those who object to the pardon of ;7Pi,chard Nixon begin impeachment proceedings, (the only remedy in such a case!!) Actually not a bad idea. Except that stupidity hardly constitutes suitable grounds for impeachment, though it could be worth considering now. Not just because of the long-established absence of significant attributes of intelligence of Gerald Ford. Not because of Ihe colossal screwing of the nation in the actuality and the ternis of the Nixon Pardon (which may be the worst actual obstruction of justice in history). Not even because in less than 30 days in the White House, and in spite of lhat great P-R effort to the contrary. Ford already shows the usual presidential changes from humility to arrogance in the exercise of the prerogatives of power. After Johnson and Nixon, shall we "be suckercd again? If so, we deserve it! !The answers are not yet, but may be in the making. It wasn't very smart to make the pardon decision in virtual ritualistic seclusion, nor to spring it like thunder on a somnolent, worshipful, public on a Sunday morning, even prayerfully. Thereby precipitating virtual demoralization of staff, party, and body politic, and destroying at one blow his as yet unearned but precious credibility. Reopening Watergate, precipitating a Cox-mass a c r e type "Firestorm", wrecking not only a happy honeymoon, but any sort of successful marriage as well. Earning the contempt of a friendly press in sympathy with the courage and resolution of ter Horst, and inviting return to public cynicism, distrust, and contempt for justice as further discredited in the process. N o t consulting attorney general, special prosecutor, nor even his best available personal counsel, on a legal matter of such patently serious implications, so soon after such pointed lessons in disaster! Not allowing opportunity for reflection, on his own part, much less by any more competent advisers, as to the National Interest v. the Interest of Patron Nixon! How stupid can you get, even if you are a President of the Number One Nation? How now resolve the impera- t i v e s of "equal justice" dilemma for Watergate subordinates of Nixon? Of War Exiles? Where draw the line with respect to all convicts and accused, everywhere? How explain such "justice" to law students, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of intelligent, concerned young people of all occupations and levels of education across the land? How avoid aggravation of 'the already unprecedented crime wave?? How else indeed but by further exercise (if executive power? With more inroads on the Bill of Rights, in the direction of a Police State! How else? Reuben Thomas Fayelteville By All'!' BUCHWALD WASHINGTON -- Several weeks ago I wrote abpul how the supermarkets raise the prices on their cans and boxes so fast thai sometimes there are IAVO or three changes in the cost of an Hem before you get to the parking lot. I pointed out that some supermarkets actually have stock b o y s chasing your carl down the aisles stamping your packages before you gel to the counter, while oilier stores have their clerks bidden in ambush behind the slacks of Ritz crackers. But my friend Joe Krell revealed the latest in grocery price warfare the oilier day. He called me up and asked me to come over, explaining he couldn't talk on the phone. When he opened the door he looked like a nervous wreck. "Lei's walk oulside." be said, "the house could be bugged." We strolled down the streel. "Something's happening," he said. "The other day I bought a can of tuna. It was marked 55 cents. I carried il home and put il in the food closet. When I took it out the next- day it was marked 63 cents. I thought I had made a mistake in the ' original price, but to be certain I pul il back in the closet. The next day the price on the can read 70 cents." NOW I MUST say Krell is a very sober fellow and to my knowledge would not m a k e something like this up. He obviously bad gotten several cans of tuna mixed up. I suggested this but he shook his head. "No way. This mornin I took oul the can and il said 2-$'.50. I'm telling you something's fishy about ths." Krell told me at first he thought it was just the tuna can, but to make sure he started checking other grocery . items on his shelves. Sure enough they increased by 2 or 3 cents a day. "Even the stuff I put in the freezer changed price overnight. I bought some steak for $2.50 a pound -- the next night, when I took it out to thaw it, it was marked $3.25." 1 thought about it. Krell probably was suffering from some sort of hallucination brought about by exorbitant food prices.but at the same time the situation was worth investigating. We sought oul Thurston Craven, a friend who works as a chemist Tor the government on top-secret work. When we lold him the story he whistled. "It sounds like they've made a breakthrough on the APPS." "APPS?" I queried. "Auto-Progressive P r i c e Stamping. It's the ultimate weapon in price-marking techniques," Craven said. "We knew the supermarkets have been doing research in this field for some time. There has 'been so much human error in . marking cans and boxes and packages that they've had a crash program to find ways for the prices to change themselves. But we didn't expect them to develop anything like it until 1979." Â· CRAVEN ASKED Krell to bring over the can of tuna. By the time Krell returned and gave it to Craven, the can was marked "special ?L20." Craven put it under his microscope. "Hmmnn," he said, "just as I thought. It's on a laser-beam cycle. You see the prices are marked with a high ultraviolet ink which disappears and reappears according to the intensity of light. "All the supermarkel has to do is sel the laser on a cycle and the price \yill go up progressively, any, amount the store wants. Â· Â· Â· - Â· : Â· . "The only mystery for me is that the prices should only change in the store. They shouldn't keep changing in Krcll's closest and freezer. Let me ask you this, Krell. Do you have a television set in the kitchen?" "Yes. of course," said Krell. "Well, that explains it," said (CONTINUED ON PAGE 5) Mideast Unrest Surfaces Again By MARY COSTELLO (Editorial Research Reports) WASHINGTON -- A few months ago, in the wake of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy and the disengagement agreements he arranged between Egypt, Syria and Israel, t h e outlook for an accommodation among the major parties to the Middle East struggle seemed brighter than it ever had. Now there are warnings of another war as the parties prepare for a resumption of the Geneva peace talks later this year. Since the October 1973 conflict, Syria has received massive quantities of Soviet arms, raising fears of a Syrian attack on Israel or a preemptive Israeli attack on Syria. Israel, feeling threatened and isolated in the world community, is pressuring the United Stales for more military assistance and appears increasingly reluctant about returning the territories it seized from Jordan, Egypt and Syria during the Six Day War of June 1067. Another and seemingly more intractable i m p e d i m e n t t o peace is the Palestinian question -- the problem of the Palestinians who fled their homeland after the Zionist s t a t e was established in 1948 or remained under Israeli rule. The one issue on which Israel,. the Arab countries, the United States, the Soviet Union and the Palestinian Arabs themselves are agreed is that there can be no permanent peace in the Middle East u n t i l ; the problem is settled. But there is no agreemenl among the countries involved and there is no concensus among the three million Palestinians on the framework for a settlement. THE PALESTINIAN Liberation Organization (PLO) and the many factions under its wing call for a recognition of the "national r i g h t s of the Palestinians" and Ihe eventual replacement of Zionist Israel by a democratic, secular state. Israel refuses to negotiate with the PLO, claiming that the organization does not represent the Palestinian- people, half of whom are living under Israeli rule. The Arab states and the Soviet Union pay lip service to the Palestinian cause and the desire of the refugees to return to their homes. The United States calls only for a settlement which takes into account t h e "legitimate interests of the Palestinians" but does not specify what these "legitimate interests" are. It has, to date, avoided any high- level contacts with Palestinian leaders. However, there is some indication that this policy is changing. State Department officials indicate that talks between the United States and the Palestinian organizations could take place before the end of the year. Ignored by Ihe Americans and refused any role at the Geneva Conference or in the Â· disengagement negotiations between Egypt, Syria and Israel, the PLO groups began a attacks on refugee c a m p s in southern Lebanon. T h e s e Israel last spring. Israel retaliated with massive bombing attack on refugee camps in terrorist activities encouraged the Israeli government to take an even harder line on dealing with the Palestinians. "Peace in the area has to be negotiated between countries, not organizations,". Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said in July at a press luncheon in Jerusalem, Â·ruling out PLO participation at Geneva. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS to the Palestinian problem are as numerous and .varied as the interests of the parties involved. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that none of the major suggestions " -- .'a' separate Palestinian slate on.the West Bank and in Gaza, a Palestinian-Jordanian federation, assimilation of t h e refugees in the Arab countries where Ihcy now live and their repatriation and the establishment of a secular state in Israel -- is acceptable to all parties. Probably the most publicized proposal is a separate state for the Palestinians on .the West; Bank of the R i v e r J d r - ' dan and in Gaza. At Cai- Â· ro l a s t June, the PLO ^ agreed to settle for such a; state. Israel and Jordan are Â· opposed on the ground that t r a d i c a l Palestinians would; control it and use it as a base* from which to destroy both; countries. Â· Â· American policymakers fear; that PLO leaders might turn Â· to the Soviet Union for military ;. atid Â· political support. Many Â· Palestinians object Id a .West^ Bank-Gaza stale as too small; to accommodate the Palestin- Â· ians living there and those who .' wished to return -- or "because, Â· for refugees, it would not per- ^ mil a return to the villages in Israel proper they left after 1948. Besides not providing for a return of the refugees, a .lor- danian-West Bank-Gaza federation is seen by many Palestinians as merely a substitute of repressive Israeli rule for equally repressive Jordanian. rule. T h e argument against- Palestinian refugee assimilation was summed up by Professor Â· Cherif M. Bassiouni. an Arab- '. American in congressional tes-; timony this year: "1 m u x l emphasize the importance to'. the Palestinians of their Pales-- tinian entity...They don't w a n t ' , to be assimilated anywhere; regardless of the economic- benefits they can derive frnm " f it; they wanl to be once again Â· a people in their own country." ; Dreamers on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian s t r u g g l e " often view the ideal solution as ; the establishment of a sectilfH', Â· democratic slate where Jews, ; Christians ami Moslems can * coexist peacefully. 1 All the .proposed solutions to ~ the Palestinian problem h a v e been heard before and will doubtless be aired again at tha Geneva Conference. The parties that must be involved in any accord are no closer to nn agreement than they were a quarter of a century ago. Without compromises on all sides, the vicious cycle - of war, preparation for war and terror-' ism will assuredly continue. Arkansas Editors Comment On 'Irresponsibility' Of The Press Charge DUMAS CLARION In arraigning two men on criminal charges' in Lonoke, Lonoke Circuit Judge William Lee noted that he could not prevent the press Irom printing stories about the case. And he reportedly added that "the press is the most irresponsible institution in the country today." We should like to remind Judge Lee that it was the press who exposed Watergate...and investigative reporting led to the resignations of both the president and vice-president of t h e U.S. There haven't been any reporters and editors indicted in Watergate . . .as have been politicians and lawyers. Without a free press to expose the power plays in politics and to report the news, the nation's government might well move toward dictatorship. SOUTHWEST TIMES RECORD It was good news to l e a r n that the Army Corps of Engineers are nearly finished with updating plans to build a reservoir at Pine Mountain in Crawford County. The project has been in the talking stage for too long, and now some action seems forthcoming. One reason for the delay has been the exploration of other sites, particularly the lower I.ee Creek area. We had leaned toward that lower s i t e because it would i u p p 1 y more water for Fort Smith and Van Buren, and other area towns. But once Oklahoma nixed that idea by making t h a t portion of Lee Creek in that state a part of the scenics streams system. Pine Mountain is the next best. ' The proposed reservoir - is estimated to supply an.addition- al 60 million gallons of water 'daily. Added to the 35 million gallons supplied by Lake Fort Smith and Shepherd Springs, it makes a pretty good supply. In addition, a darn at Pine Mounlaini will help prevent costly erosion and flood da- damage, and also be a recreation area where people can fish, picnic, and relax. Naturally the project will have to pass an enviorrmcntnl impact test and undoubtedly there will, be many objections raised. Some of them might be valid. But hopefully any objections will be reasoned, not merely wild charges t h a t something "might" be h a r m f u l to this or that aspect of the environment. Often - times, such a project as this not only enhances the natural beauty of an area without harming the ecology, but provides people with essentials of life. Construction of a dam arid reservoir at Pine Mountain is intended to do that. Any environmental objections m u s t ' b e dealt with when and if t h e y arise. The people should realize now that they arÂ« not going to get this project for nothing. It will have to be paid for, and the people will have to pay. But in our view and tt data put out so far is reliable, we s e e the project as a bargain for this whole area. Costs will mainly involve installation of one or more Irans- mission lines from the lake, and maintainunce of those lines and olher features that deal with water delivery. The federal government win contribute to much of the costs because of the recreation and flood control aspects of the project. T h e city administration should actively cooperate with the Corps of Engineers and push Ihe Pine Mountain project to completion at the earliest possible date. PINK BLUFF COMMERCIAL "T do support a fair trial," said Congressman J o h n Paul Hammcrschmidt this week, but he wasn't talking about Richard Nixon. Rather, he was coming out against cither general or conditional amnesty for those who left the United Slates rather than serve in Vietnam. Just what is Congressman Hammerschmidl's position on t h e unconditional, general amnesty plus Tape Deal that Gerald ford has handed Richard Nixon? Or is that too embarrassing a question for a Republican to answer? PARAtiOULD DAILY PRESS The first round to Joe Weslon's fight against the state's criminal libel law is over. Joe suffered a staggering knockdown. But a knockdown doesn't ne- cessarily mean the end of the light. Weston, the seemingly puncture-proof irrascible editor of the Sharp Citizen, the Cave City fable-rop tabloid which .rakes muck from cover to cover and from headline to end of text, has been sentenced to three Â·months in prison and fined $Â·1,000. He was accused of libeling several Clay County residents. Wcston's whole defense is based on the Firsl Amendment of the Constitution -- the section of freedom of speech. And his defense is valid. His two Little Rock attorneys arc taking the correct approach in defending Wcston's apparently indefenscible attacks through the pages of his newspaper. One told the Clay County jury that he doubted "if there is a man or woman in the courtroom who believes these har- ges." "But," he continued, "just because a statement is wrong is not a reason to put a man in the penitentiary." Weston plans to carry his next flurry of courtroom actions to the state Supreme Court. There, we predict, the jury's ruling will be overturned. If not there, then possibly at the level of the U.S. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of the United Stales. Our only regret is that a man of Wcston's calibre should he the one to test the contitution- alily of Ihe criminal Iroel law. Bui then again, responsible newsmen seldom have to worry about such laws. That they are allowed to exist is bad enough. That attempts are made to enforce them is a farce. But this exercise in legal futility will only serve to help in doing away with Arkansas' antiquated criminal libel law. If it does that, Joe Westqn's harranguing of public officials will, at least, have had minimal results. Indirect, assuredly. And completely unintentional, assuredly. EAGI.E DEMOCRAT WARREN Circuit J.udge William Lcc, presiding over that Jacksonville murder trial, gets our nomination as a winner of the Fatuous Pronouncement of Ihe ..year sweepstakes when he said, "The press is highly irresponsible. It's the most irresponsible institution in the country today and causes more trouble than any other." Isn't that amazing? The press is not wartless-- neither or jjudges -- but the successful conclusion of the Watergate matter, just for one, would never have been drawn had it not been for the Washington Post ond its tireless investigation into nefarious activities surrounding the White House. How silly can you get? HOPE STAH A bulging balance in the stale treasury, ouilt up in part by a lax on labor, has convinced the political powers that it should be spent, and all at once -- in a $75- million state office building complex in Pulaski county. A still worse feature of the proposal is that it calls for issuing S7b mi' 1 'o'i in Â·":(!' Yel Ihe plan, has the support of the Legislative Council, the state Building Authority -- and Govt 1 ;:Â· r i*-i c Bumpers. Regardless nf such powerful backing, the people of Arkansas shtmki rise in wrath and halt this monstrous steal to build up the economy o! the state's capital city. ' Slate Senator Morriss Henry has suggested that the best way. to block this enrichment of Pulaski county is lo file a taxpayer's suit, and he reports that several of the legislators are working on such a suit. They have Ihis editor's and his newspaper's endorsement, ant! ;i -'uarantce 'hat we will participate in underwriting the legal cosi. The infuriating aspect of this prodigal project is thatit wouldn't have been conceivable without the additional taxes n recent legislative session voted because of Ihe tax-eaters raise a great clamor over what they sa : r| was an impending money crisis in slate government. ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT The Arkansas Industrial De- velopment Commission tells us ; that the national economic slow- ; down has caused a drastic ra- ; duction in the number of in- ', quiries the state is gelling from Â· potential industries. ; No cloiiot. However, another factor that Â· might have affected the slow- down is lhat the stale's lame- ; duck governor has stepped up . : his Â·Â· 'iiwiJc spe:)kin; Â·Â·Â·Â·.-!(Â· = r- Â·.' an'cs in anticipation of going to . Ihe U.S. Senate and points be- Â· yond. It would help no doubt, if Governor Bumpers would : temper his enthusiasm for com- mmiicating with 'audiences out-. side. Arkansas about national ' Â·, and international issues and ' communicate with them a bit ' about Arkansas. ; The governor expresses no Â·', enlhusiasum for new industry 'Â· coming to this state. In fact, lie '' sort of resents it. Here's what . he told a national audience not ' long ago: "Economically the 'Â· census shows that more people ' as well as industries are moving South. And I might add it's not :Â· because we're inviting them." ; The A1DC -- with or without '' Ihe governor's help -- needs to Â· step tip its activities to counter ', the negative influence of the ' economic slump and talk up Â· new industry for Ihe slate. We ' want no exploiters or polluters Â· but we do Ihink our officials ' should not rest until every citi- : zen in Arkansas has a chance Â· to do better than the minimum ; wage.