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The Paris News from Paris, Texas • Page 34

The Paris Newsi
Paris, Texas
Issue Date:
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8C The Paris News, July 1, 1979 Editorial- Opinion PatM.Bassano, Publisher David Sullens, Managing Editor Moses established a standard of weights and measures. "Thou shall not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a thou shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shall thou Write your officials Want to write your governmental represen tatives? Here's how: U.S. SENATORS: The Hon John Tower or the Hon. Lloyd Bentscn Old Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20S10.

CONGRESSMAN The Hon. 5am B. Hall jr. 3ts Cannon House Office Building, Washington. DC 20515.

Phone (2021 225O03S. Paris office: Room 210, Post Office Building, P.O. Box3SO, Paris. Tex. 7SJ40, phone 785 0723 STATE SENATOR: Hon.

Ed Howard. Texas Senate. P. Box, 12068. Capitol Station, Austin, Tex 78711 Austin Phone (512) 475 0140.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE: The Hon. P. (Pete) Patterson, Texas House ot Represen tatives, P. O. Box 2910.

Tex. 78749; or BrooKston, Tex, 75421 Austin phone (512) 475-5727. No matter what, we can't repeal reality Events of the last few days seem, alas, to be bearing out a conclusion we reached some time ago: No way are the American people ready to come to terms with the realities of the energy crisis. Indeed, the most recent manifestations of our reluctance to face facts demonstrate a combination of wishful thinking and downright swinishness that does not augur well for the future. We have all been aware of the occasional instances of violence at our nation's service stations: Motorists, weary of waiting in long, long lines for gasoline, take umbrage when some clown cuts in ahead of them; words are exchanged; and takes its course.

At least one person has been shot dead in such an encounter, and there have been countless episodes of a less violent nature. This past weekend, however, brought something truly novel what just may have been our first full-blown gasoline riot." It began in Levittown, when a gaggle of independent truckers (remember them?) blocked an intersection. Other motorists many of them teen-agers joined in the fun; and when the melee was over, 67 persons had been arrested and 32 had been treated for injuries. All the while, of course, the truckers have been blockading fuel distribution points, typing up food deliveries and (not least) taking potshots at non-striking drivers, with one deatn having been recorded thus far. In part, perhaps, the blame for this can be laid on the government: Neither the Carter administration nor Congress have succeeded in bringing home to the public the fact that, yes, Virginia there is an energy crisis; there is no likelihood of things getting appreciably better; and there is a strong possibility of their getting a good deal worse.

Where we have needed Churchillian exhortations to sacrifice, there has only been with some exceptions the furtive scuttling of politicians heading for the exits. But it won't do to place all the blame on the politicos. The enemy, as Walt Kelly's Pogo reminded us in those long-ago pre OPEC days, is us. We are, for all our protestations of rugged independence and pluck, a self-centered, improvident, sullen lot of we long, spite ot au tne eviaence oetore us, to repeal reality, to go back to the days of 30-cent-a-gallon gasoline. Perhaps all of this will change under the pressure of events but we're inclined to believe it's going to take a heap of persuading before the American psyche grudgingly faces up the bleak dawn awaiting us.

Picture a little brighter for boat people Even as Malaysian authorities temporized this week over whether to drive arriving Vietnamese boat people back into the sea in some cases they have been repulsed; in others, they have been admitted to refugee camps one encouraging note was sounded: China announced that it would consider establishing a major center to receive refugees from Vietnam. Now. admittedly, this may be a rather chilly comfort for many of the Indochinese refugees who fled their homes largely because of the Communist takeover: Jumping from one authoritarian Communist state into another isn't exactly what they had in mind when they hocked their belongings and boarded leaky, unreliable boats and set sail. But on the other hand, a bertn in China might not look so bad when the alternative is being cast adrift in a hostile sea. At the very least, the Chinese action should serve as a goad to the conscience of the free world, whose response to the dilemma posed by the refugees has been, shall we say, mixed.

While the United States has been admitting some 7,000 Indochinese a month, other states have been less openhanded. Japan, for instance, has admitted half a dozen refugees as legal residents. An improvement in that record is not likely, given Japan's adamant refusal to open itself up to the would-be immigrants, but it's worth working toward. Are we hearing fact or fiction about fuel? Have you noticed in all the conflicting reports about our gas shortage or surplus, oil crisis (real or imaginary), how ignorant we as individual citizens and as a federal government are about the few giant global firms that produce, process or distribute essential raw materials? Have you had the queasy feeling that the so-called experts among reporters in this area, appear little, if any, better informed than run-at-the- mouth administration pundits? The morass of confusing and frequently opening contradictory "facts" that are released by administration officials and the sudden force with which gas shortages stike in widely separated areas of the nation strongly suggest that the workings of the oil industry are indeed mysterious often reminiscent of the way the internal politics of China appeared to us before diplomatic relations were re-established. As one illustration of the depth of our ignorance, a leading big city newspaper recently printed a photograph of what is described were the nation's chief oil executives their way to a private meeting with President Carter.

But the photo in fact, of five insurance executives who were at the White House td discuss a program of neighborhood revitalization What's more, it took the newspaper's editors four days to realize the error, and reports by associate, Brooke Shearer, to print a correction. We might better understand the giants in oil and in such other kev resources as rubber, aluminum or grain if we viewed them as we do separate "countries" with organizational structures and jargons of their own and with interests that do Sylvia Porter Consumer columnist FUld Syndicate not necessarily jive with those of their host country', the U.S. Although multinational corporations regard themselves as politically neutral their actions affect the diets, pocketbooks and political relations of virtually every nation. Yet. it is undeniable that mystery' surrounds what the firms do and how they do it.

Would we not have been all better informed, for instance, if President Carter had invited the oil executives publicly to a Camp David session to communicate and netotiate? If it worked with Israel's Menahem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat, why couldn't it have worked with Exxon's Clifton Garvin and Gulf Oil's Jerry' McAfee 0 Now switch to the mystery of grain not just the grain we eat as bread or which becomes pasta flour in Italy, but also the corn, barley, oats, rye and soybeans fed to cattle and poultry the worfd and made into on or liquid sweetners for ice cream and soft drinks. The prices of corn and soybeans "ripple" through the economy much the way the price of oil does The entire grain trade is dominated by five large corporations reports Dan Morgan, author of a detailed account of the business, "Merchants of Grain" Viking, Thevare: Cargill, Minneapolis: Continental Grain.New York City; Andre. Laussane. Switzerland: Louis Dreyfus Paris; Bunge based largely in South America and Europe. These firms are owned and controlled by seven of the world's richest and most private families.

They publish no financial statements, have no public stockholders. The grain companies don't presume the public has a right to know anything about what they are doing and this despite the fact that they have received billions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies over the years." Morgan writes. And he states flatly: The CIA knew that the Soviet Union was negotiating for huge sales of U.S. grain in 1972 (which cost us almost $2 billion more for food the following year) long before U.S.

farmers or certainly U.S. consumers obL' this information. used the services of private companies to export hundreds of millions of dollars of maize in circumvention of the United Nations embargo. Breadlines formed in the streets of Zaire when Continental Grain abruptly cut off wheat shipments to its flour milling subsidiary to force Zaire to pay it's wheat bill. Now once again, crop failures abroad are resulting in feverish bidding for U.S.

grain. Plans for purchases have been announced or reported by China, the U.S.S.R., East European nations, developing lands. Worldwide gran trading in recent weeks has been in turmoil. And the U.S? Does the turbulence in the markets suggest we are more thoroughly prepared this time than in the past?" Thequeslion implies the answer. "No, I wasn't dreaming of another woman.

I dreamt I inherited a lot of land in Atlantic City!" Jim Berry Wayne Stayskal Ben Sargent OH, Ml, 1 WAS Jutf (if) fUYlNC; Stuff TO OH) MIX JWN 'Tanksgiving Day' is a gasser Dear Editor: One of my rocking chair cronies has come up with an idea for a new holiday on the Hill. He calls itTANKSGIVING. A special day on which to be tankful. He asked me what I thought of it. I told him I thought it was a gasser.

I told him there hadn't been a full tank on the Hill since the price of gasoline shot up past six-bits a gallon. I told him there is more gas on the stomachs of Hillers than there is in Hillers gas tanks. I told him that long lines have nothing to do with it. As one Hiller puts it, the long lines are no detergent The price, not the lines, is the bullfrog in the buttermilk. Did you ever see a bullfrog in the buttermilk? Probably not.

But it used to be a common practice to put a frog in the church on butter- making day. The bullfrog splashed in the whole milk until it made itself a Rockin' chair philosopher RCP It a luit-rockin' former resident of Lamor County small island of butter. Then it would get up on the island and croak until someone came and took it and the butter out of the churcn. The croak sounded something like: "Butter's come, butter's come." The bullfrog was this country's first cream separator. Or so they tell me.

I first heard that story when I was just getting big enough to handle a church dash. And I heard it off and on until I was big enough to foist the job off on a younger brother. When I asked why we didn't get a frog to do our churning, the answer CBS really means 'Confused Broadcasting System' My telephone call to the Columbia Broadcasting System had a simple purpose to confirm a news story- saying that according to a CBS-New York Times poll only 30 percent of those surveyed could name the two countries involved in the SALT II agreement. But in a giant corporation very few things are simple. My inquiry cost me half an hour Here's how part of it went: "Hello ThisisCBS," "Hello, could you please put me in touch with the person in charge of CBS public opinion polls' 1 "With what?" "Polls.

You know, those surveys they refer toon your news programs'." The operator, saying nothing, plugged me into an office. The phone range for two or three minutes. I hung up and started over again. "Hello ThisisCBS." "Hello. I don't know whether you're the operator I talked to a couple of minutes ago, but I'm trying to reach the person in charge of CBS polls." "No.

I'm not the one. Just a minute please." The phone range again and this time a voice said. "Hello. Channel Two news." "Hollo I think fhf operator made a Another look Robert Yoakum mistake, but perhaps you can tell me what to do. I want to confirm a report I read about a CBS-New York Times poll on "Sorry, but this is the CBS New York station.

You'd better try the network news. I'll transfer you." There were a few clicks, followed by a prolonged buzz and then a dial tone I called again. "Hello. This is CBS." "Hello. Give me the network news department, please." "Hello.

Network news here." "Hello. I'm trying to confirm a report I read that quoted a CBS-New York Times poll as saying that only 30 percent of the public knew which two countries are involved in SALT II." "Hmmmmm. I think there's a group of people somewhere around here in charge of polls, but I'll be damned if I know where they are. I'll try to switch you to someone who can help. But don't get your hopes up." "I won't.

Not after what I've been through." The next sound was a busy signal. I waited for someone to come back on. but instead, after a minute or so, I heard a click and then a dial tone. "Hello. ThisisCBS." "Hello.

Uh. are you the one I talked to about polls?" "No, but do you want to protest? I'll put you in touch with This operator, I realized, thought that I wanted to object to an alleged ethnic slur. Perhaps I was one of hundreds reacting angrily to some comedian's Polish joke. "No, I'm talking about public opinion polls." The operator sighed. "You mean like at election time? That kind of "Yes.

The poll I want to find out about was conducted by CBS and the New York Times. There must be some person there who is in charge of polls." Another sigh. I began to wonder what would happen at the CBS switchboard if something unusual and complicated occurred a call arriving directly from Leonid Brezhnev, for example, saying in Russian that he was resigning as president and wanted Walter Cronkite to be the first to know. "What about the public information department?" I suggested. "Or public affairs?" "We don't have either of those.

Should I try press information?" "Great! Let's try them." "Hello. Mr Rumpelmeyer's office." There isn't space to go on. Suffice to say that Mr. Rumpelmeyer's office couldn't solve my problem, but that eventually after more transfers and disconnections and sighs and confusion I did reach a pleasant secretary named Randy who found the poll I was lookine for. But if that simple quest took half an hour, how long would it take Russian- speaking Brezhnev? Or Deng Xiaoping, who speaks Chinese with a strong Szechwan accent? Or an inflamed Serbian fanatic who is trying to tell CBS that he has planted a bomb and that everyone has only five minutes to clear out? (O Yoakum Features 1979) was nearly always the same: "Keep that church dash going lest the milk sulls and won't separate." The thinking was that once started, the up and down motion of the dash had to be kept going.

If it stopped, something happened to the milk so that the butter wouldn't come out of it and the milk itself turned to blue John. That's what I was told, anyway. I was also told that if I didn't care to do the churning there was a place for me in the pea patch. Picking peas is a worse job than churning milk. It's out there in the blazing sun with the chiggers, and the rest of it.

There's no telling how many bushels of black eyes and purple hulls I've picked. Somewhere along the line of my spine there may be a permanent crook caused bythe unnatural practice of picking peas. I remember my first reading of Zane Gray's "Riders of the Purple Sage." What a thriller that was. And how small I felt when I thought of myself as a lonesome rider of the purple hulls. Of course, most members of the new generation have never churned milk or picked peas, or even chopped that cotton.

And I'm happy for them. But it comes to me also that what they missed may be one reason for the mess the country is in today, including the long lines at the gas pumps, and all that. Hoo boy and yours truly RCP. Barbs The boss grumps. looKing at the clock, that the latest thing in fashion is his secretary.

If it's what up front that counts, why would anyone want to go on a reducing diet? Feeling down because you're not in the social swim? Recall: The upper crust is often hali-u One of the best ways to save gas is to keep your spouse Trom reading ads offering two cents, off the price of something in a store 20 miles away. Diplomatese: A concrete agreement is one in which both sides have harrierwfi thpir rxwttinns and can't be budged. Happiness is having your wife wash the awful jacket which wasn't drip- dry thus shrinking the problem of how to get out of wearing the How did they get rid of all the too-fat meat before packages with one opaque side were invented 1.

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