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March 18, 1971     Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 18, 1971
 

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DI There are lots of words to describe what our elected participants in the forty-second session of the Washington State Legislature have been doing while frittering away three million dollars during the past sixty days. Diddling is the first that comes to mind, probably because it produces such a pleasant sensation on the tongue and roof of the mouth when pronounced. Dawdling is another satisfying and accurate term. Procrastinating, that favorite of the four-bit fraternity, is also an excellent choice. Horsing around, while it may pain purists, is an apt description, as are the other arounds - fooling, fiddling and monkeying. Or you can take your choice from stalling, retarding, prolonging, protracting, postponing, evading, delaying or loitering. During the first forty days of the regular session, most legislators were frankly apologetic about the creeping pace. By the sixtieth day, however, they were openly hostile when asked when the hell they were going to get going on the important pieces of legislation. They had indulged in the practice that allows all of us to preserve a smooth brow while diddling - a time-consuming concentration on unimportant matters. The statesmen suddenly developed an intense interest in every last comma in bills that should have been put in a burlap and thrown off a bridge. Never have there been so many hearings and public meetings at which both sides were heard to exhaustion. And never have so many pompous statements been issued about the number of hearings and the crushing demands they place oll the legislators' time. Visiting constituents were also given undivided attention rather than the usual handshake and floor pass before being sent back to the provinces. A visiting farmer would find he had a full half hour to outline in detail the problem of the flooding of the creek down at the far end of the pasture where those idiots from the highway department put the culvert that was too small as anyone with a brain could see right off and why hadn't ,something been done about it even after he had written three letters that probably ended up in one of those over-priced wastebaskets the taxpayers had to pay for along with the sculpture while they were cutting off funds for the 4-H which was turning out good citizens not those long-haired freaks who were disrupting the campuses where the money was being wasted on high salaries instead of flood control that would protect the pasture of a farmer who was the backbone of America and it's about time something was done about it. Con By ROBERT C. CUMMINGS The state constitution has been a prime target of law-makers during the 60-day regular session of the 42nd Legislature. Eighty-five proposed amendments were introduced, 50 in the House of Representatives and 35 in the Senate, though some were duplications. Only two cleared both houses to be certified to the next state general election ballot, but seven others passed at least one house. The Senate passed two of the latter. The other five were approved by the House. All returned to their house of origin at the end of the session, but immediately were approved a second time, to return to the rge point where they were at adjournment time. Top Achievement The two constitutional amendments approved by both houses were probably the most important pieces of legislation to pass during the first 60 days. One, SJR 1, would lower the property tax ceiling to 1 per cent of true value; the equivalent of 20 mills on 50 per cent. The other, SJR 5, would liberalize the anti-gambling provision in the constitution. Both are subject to approval by the voters. There isn't any doubt in anybody's mind about the tax ceiling winning approval by an overwhelming vote. am The gambling amendment could result in one of the most bitter campaigns in many years. Replay For Some Those passed a second time in their house of origin and still requiring two-thirds majority in the other house in order to make the ballot include two Senate resolutions from the Legislative Council. One, S JR 13, would authorize the Legislature to convene itself in special session by a two-thirds vote of both houses. At present only the Governor has authority to call a special session. The other, SJR 14, would strip the Governor of line-item vote power except on appropriation bills. On general en men legislation, he wouldn't be permitted to veto less than a complete section of a bill. With Legislative Council backing, both have a fair chance of passing the House, though each will need a minimum of 66 votes for a two-thirds majority. Some Roads Are Rougher The House resolutions returned to the Senate to face a little rougher time, The Senate usually is a little less inclined to change the constitution. In addition, some of those passed by the House are highly controversial. One, HJR 35, the so-called "gateway" amendment, has passed the House twice before, only to die in a Senate committee. Editor, The Journal: Your remarks of March 4 concerning the two (?) telegrams about Mrs. Hansen have come to my attention. Two things must be said: Why you received two identical telegrams is beyond explanation on my part, unless it was an error on the part of Western Union. Secondly, I think the people in our district - and those who read your paper -- are interested in Mrs. Hansen's activities, and in the many honors she has won. The subject of the telegram you cite is only one of many such honors she has won. She deserves them. She makes it her business to read, to talk with members of our many Indian tribes, and to visit reservations. She grew up alongside Indians of the Lower Colu She fights interests, just as sh for the interests district. I think for her constituents of. The telegram was instance in order paper's deadline. It is to send telegrams for event. This was a circumstance. The send the wire was Because of the Hansen's work, providing activities is a her district deserve. t Editor, The Journal: On Saturday, 20 March, Christian patriots throughout America will gather simultaneously in the capitol city of each of our fifty states for a March for Victory and Victory Rally to bring into focus our need for peace through victory in Viet Nam, and to the support for prisoners of war. It is the hope of the committee in charge that each and every nook and corner of the state will be represented. As well as individuals, we hope to see Editor, The Journal: Thank you for your editorial "Facing the Truth" in last week's Journal. It was quite an eye-opener and I hope you write more like it. I wonder just how many people realize just what a billion dollars is. I sure didn't. I noticed the following notation in a recent veterans, civic units, bands, drulla corps, color guards, with a flag in The parade Capitol Lake Park, proceed along Capitol Capitol grounds and steps for an and speakers. In theS# and confusing days to unite behind the world, our service Saturday, 20 day, two p.m. is the in Olympia? publication: "How much is company started in in the year 1 A.D., dollars in capital, and every day since, it in business today not go broke for years. That's $1 billiO~ (,t' lSP In the Senate the effort to appear busy while dawdling became so acute that many of his colleagues actually listened when Fred Dore droned through his inevitable utterances. On February 22nd, at Harvard's Sanders correspondent - it's getting to be a profession - non-Communist government in South Vietnam.we can do it again ..... ~ ~9t~9, .T?rn Wicker, of th~._Ne~_Yp~lL Tkn_.e~ ..... and Charl~y_br~t~gl.~t out an important point. He Vietnamization isn't going to do any one of those "We got one President ouL and !~, ~~~t ~e~,~ F~'l~'-~ff"~tas ll~g~ts goirti tohell- taking pan,in a teach-in against the war in~ said that the problem at Pleiku - Those of you whothings. And, furthermore, even to the extent that do that again. in:a handbasket, while the legislators refuse to face the big Indo-China, made an extemporaneous speech that have read the history may remember that that was Vietnamization will remove our troops from 'We got one party turned by the issue hcad-,)'n, we believe to be of unusual importance. We quote the place where there were some American airplanes Vietnam, whether or not it brings a generation of being out of office from a war party from it here at length: That issue is the budget. The only really important decision the legislators have to make is what programs the state will finance, how much they will cost, and how the money will be raised. Sixty days and three million dollars after they convened to find lhose three answers, they are no closer than they were on the first day, unless the Mickey Mouse budget the House Republicans agonizingly disgorged on the 59th day can be called a partial answer. They can, however, give you a complete rundown on rock festivals and other diddle doings. Editor, The Journal: I don't understand why the tree at Brewer Park was cut down. I've heard several different reasons, but a park, in my opinion, is to have trees, not cut them down. 1 used to like to just sit down there and gaze at the flowers and that tree. But now there is no tree, just a big clump of dirt. Nature is beautiful; it should be kept beautiful, not ruined. Just the other day 1 was watching some pheasants walking along the grass. They stopped fight in front of the clump of dirt and stared at it like they were saying to themselves: "What will become of us? Will they just kill us off like that tree, and all trees cut down?" Please think about this. Shelton should be kept beautiful; something to be proud of and to show off to all our visitors, not killed off. Cindi Saupe Editor, The Journal: 1 PROTEST! If 1 could write it in larger capitals 1 would. It has taken me a few d'ays ~o find the time to assess the plan for the new Shelton' High School. The more 1 look at it, the more I am distressed. I am more than distressed, 1 am practically incoherent. At a time when the school forces of the state are searching every avenue to come up with funds they say are needed for the maintenance of our standard of education; at a time when the Governor is suggesting witholding payment of teachers pensions; at a time when our young people are experimenting with pot, marijuana, and other drugs in protest against their adults 'materialism'; at this time the Shelton School Board proposes to build a school that will require at least TEN TIMES as much money, concrete, thermopane glass, siding, electric wiring, plumbing, heating, finishing expense, upkeep, blue-prints, man-power, in fact at least ten times as much of EVERYTHING that it takes to build a building. The great majority of the young people who will attend that school are 'middle-class'. They will remain middle-class all their lives. They come from homes that have a middle class scale of living, and they are the solid foundation of our future community. I grant you that we need to be far sighted in our planning, but is it "relevant" to send these young people to school in a building so far out of our reach financially that they and their children will be paying for it for years to come? Let's build a middle class school facility that they can be at home in, that they can be proud of and that we can pay for. Marian Robbins "This old war, from beginning to end, has been rooted and grounded in misapprehension. I recall being in Vietnam in early 1966 with Hubert Humphrey, who was then Vice-President. At the conclusion of that trip, we were taken around to the Ambassador's house. The Ambassador was then Henry Cabot LodR_e - I'm sure most of you remember Henry Cabot Lodge. And Mr. Lodge sat at one side of the portico there, and the Vice-President of the United States sat at the other side, and they lined up the television cameras back here, and in between they sat six hapless, helpless American advisers to local district officials, and they said, 'Fellas, how's it going?' They told them how it was going. It was going pretty good. And I was a rookie at that game and was taking notes pretty madly there, and a friend of mine who had spent about two years in Vietnam came up tq me and said, 'This sounds good, doesn't it? You ought to have heard what that fellow told me the other night when I was talking with him in his tent. What he said did not go anywhere near what he said on the television cameras.' "So I think that, in many ways, is the story of this war. We've been fooling ourselves. We've been fooling ourselves time and time again. I would take issue to some extent with some of the things that have been said here tonight, because the impression, I think, has been left that evil politicians and evil administrators have fooled the American people into doing something that they did not want to do. I would not for one moment want to imply, you understand, that they haven't been trying to fool them. We were being fooled with talk about counter-insurgency back in 1961. What were we going to do in the jungle? President Kennedy was reading the handbook of the Irish Republican Army, and that's not a joke. And the White House press group at the time went down to Fort Bragg with President Kennedy, and we saw the Blue Berets at practice, or the Green Berets - well, one of those Berets - and they even had one of those ridiculous things where a fellow with something like a rocket on his back went up and over and down on the other side of a creek. He then was free to attack the enemy. They were more vulnerable than our helicopters in the Panhandle. While this show was going on, a reporter from Agence France-Presse came over to me and whispered in my ear and said - he had been in Indo-China as far back as 1951 - 'All this looks great. But none of it worked when we tried it in 1951.' And it didn't. "But we fooled ourselves with counter-insurgency: We fooled ourselves with the bombing campaign. I remember when the planes went north from Danang and Pleiku. We all heard glorious stories of how we were going to pulverize them up there and within eighteen months they were going to come to the conference table and bring peace. There was one story in the New York Times that deserve honor - at least one on that occasion. It was written by a man named Charley Mohr, who was then and is now our premier war Page 4 - Shetton-Mason County Journal - Thursday, March 18, 1971 and some American troops before they officially had a combat role, and that base was guarded by a perimeter of South Vietnamese troops. The perimeter was pierced, and the Vietcong came through and destroyed our planes at thai base and killed a number of Americans. The next day, President Johnson ordered the beginning of the bombing attacks on the North. Charley Mohr pointed out in his article what has been true of this war from the start: that if the South Vietnamese can't hold the perimeter against the Vietcong in the South, then you can't do anything by bombing the North. But we fooled ourselves at that time into thinking we could do something with bombing in the North. "We fooled ourselves that we were pursuing the lesson of Munich. We fooled ourselves that somewhere in Peking, or in Hanoi, perhaps, but somewhere over there, there was a Hitler and we were holding the line against aggression. We fooled ourselves that a half-million ground troops put in there with all their firepower could take care of a few little brown men. "Well, we've found since then that in the efforts to go in there - if there was ever any validity to the effort of going in to try and protect people, if that's what we thought we were doing - we found that in the long run to protect those people we were having to destroy them. And that was fooling ourselves with a vengeance. "We fooled ourselves in the progress we were making. I was at a dinner party in Washington along about that time - the fall of 1966, I believe. Avery high Administiation official came up to me and assaulted me, verbally, in front of a lot of people that I didn't like to be assaulted brutally in front of. He said to me, 'Why does your paper print lies?' And 1 said, 'Well, I can't defend that case. Which lie are you talking about?' And he said that when 'the Buddhists took Hue last month' or 'attacked Hue last month,' or whenever it was at that time - he said, 'You printed a story in your paper that said they captured the radio station and held it for two hours and broadcast antigovernment propaganda.' And he said, 'I didn't believe that.' And he said, 'I picked up the phone and called our man in Hue. Ane he said they didn't take that radio station over there to broadcast their propaganda. Now, why do you print lies like that?' I said 'Mr. Secretary, there isn't very much I can do about that. I don't know.' A few months later, I was in Vietnam, and I went to Hue and I found the Secretary's man in Hue, and I found that he was only too eager to tell me that the Buddhists had indeed taken that radio station and broadcast propaganda. But you didn't expect him to tell that to the Secretary of State in a long-distance telephone call. "Well we've 1~ooled ourselves. The American people are still fooling themselves. We are fooling ourselves on the Vietnamization program. We are told Vietnamization will bring a generation of peace. And not just peace but peace with honor, which is going to prevent the establishment of a Communist government or SOmething less than a peace, whether or not that peace was honor, Vieh,amization has required the invasion of two countries and the bombing of three to evacuate one, and that is a policy that seems to me to have very little future to it and yery little profit. "Worst of all, we are fooling ourselves that this war is winding down. This war is not winding down. It's not winding down for six million refugees. It's not winding down for the people on whom the bombs drop, for the children on whom the napalm drops, for those one million people who are going to be moved out of the northern provinces into the southern provinces. You know that in ancient times the southern provinces were a different country. They are moving them into a diffe'rent country down there. The war is not winding down for those people. It's not winding down for the nearly one million refugees created in Cambodia after the incursion there. It's not winding down on the Plaine des Jarres, where we have dropped more bombs than we did throughout World War II. It's not even winding down for the Thais, because the Chinese have resumed building a road through the northern part of Labs up to Thailand. With our incursion into Labs, the Thais are going to become vulnerable. "So this war is not winding down. It's another case in which we are fooling ourselves. The American people have been fooling themselves over there for ten long years that thei aim is selfless and their cause is just. Yet the truth of the matter is that it has always been a war for American objectives, however dubious and illusory they may be. It has become in recent years a war to conceal original American folly, if not original American sin. It has become a war to preserve American vanity, a war to preserve American self-regard and to preserve American delusions of grandeur. It's become a war of war crimes for those purposes. "We are creating - and I use the word advisedly, and with consciousness of its meanings, to many people _ we are creating a holocaust in Indo-China. I went, a year ago, to Auschwitz. But there will never be in Indo-China a glass case full of the eyeglasses of those who have been butchered, and there will never be there a glass case full of little children's shoes and the hair from women's heads. There will never be any such glass cases there, because we are incinerating the people without saving the booty. "We are fooling ourselves when we think that the war is winding down, and, above all, when we think that through any means whatsoever there can be honor in the end in a war which had no honor in the beginning and has even less in the process. "And, in the great tradition of this war, many of us, and many of us here in this hall tonight, are still fooling ourselves. There are some who are fooling themselves that nothing can be done. Well, something has been done. 1 wouldn't want to characterize it as much or little, but something has been done. "We stopped the bombing once; we suggest that it could be 'stopped again. "We got negotiations going once, and perhaps party, and perhaps we can do that agaia, "But there are many things that have done some things, and I say wet things. We can work more. Or, in perhaps write more. But there are not advocate that course. We can although there are those, I'm sure in this hall tonight - who wouldn't proposition. "We can vote when the time comeS. "We can protest any time, "There are many things that we can "There are others in this hall, fooling themselves into thinkin that overnight. They are fooling say that. The history Of this war is history of misapprehension - it is search for a quick fix. Something that over with quickly - invasions Cambodia. And, among those who war out of peaceful motives and restore the character of America, that they can do it with a quick wrong, and, in the long run, are much damage. This is true because people have not simply been du a disaster. I think we must face up to I know many who do face up to there is something deeply wrong in Something has gone m our not merely the war in sickest fruit of what is wrong in ou~ not the only thing wrong. And contemplate what is wrong with we are not going to be able to do wrong things our country does. This got to face up to. I needn't things in our society that need to They all stem from the same basic society, which are the distorted have sought personal affluence and and military power in the world as values and things that improve life. " "I say, also, that we are all will be fooling ourselves if we effort that lies before us only believe that we can stop believe that we can deal with the the United States of America. I redeem the soul of our country redemption, and I believe that we suppose, ladies and gentlemen, Just in case we can't, I will tell Suppose we cannot redeem our with the poet that a man's reach grasp. I believe with William basest of all things is to be afraid. Cavafy: Honor to those Thermopylae, even if in the etad appear and the Medes will go to think that only success matters redeem America, then we shall begin." from The I