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Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 3, 1971     Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 3, 1971
 

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Menc, "You haven't written anything about the final day of the legislative session," complained the voice on the telephone. That's right, we haven't. Others who were present at the grotesque death rites have chronicled the debacle. Even the most cynical observers found the reality worse than the anticipation. We spent the closing hours of that unbelievable day praying for immediate reincarnation of Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll or H. L. Mencken. With all due respect to the assembled resident word-mongers, the events of the day screamed for the talents of one of that triumvirate to do them justice. The theatre-of-the-absurd happenings of that final miscarriage of management represent another victory of professional politicians over both the public and the boobs who share the chambers with them. "Boobs" may be too unkind. "Suckers" is probably a better word for the well-meaning representatives who, year after year, are seduced by the professionals, then defend the seducers in an effort to sustain the illusion of a long-gone virginity. Even the violent rape of the recent 120V2-day orgy failed to jar the suckers out of their self-imposed roles as apologists for the venal, self-serving professionals. After spending that last day voting on measures they had no time to study and watching a handful of their fellow legislators make important decisions over which they had no control, the suckers trekked back to their constituencies with the same stale tales they have parroted in previous years. "The press is being unfair," they whine. "Look at all the good bills we passed." What an incredible statement. Of course they passed some good bills; that is what they were sent to Olympia to But the fact that they passed some good bills is no defense for the calculated chicanery that marked the session. An embezzler who offered as a defense for her crime the f:,ct that she took errorless shorthand and could type 120 ,, rds a minute would receive little sympathy from the court. Since our prayers to resurrect a suitable commentator were unsuccessful, we concluded that the next-best-thing to a live Mencken would be a quoted Mencken. Here is what he had t. ay, fifty years ago, of the premise that there are two kinds of politicians - good and bad: "1 need not argue, I hope, that this assumption is almost univ 'rsally held among us. Our whole politics, indeed is based upon it, and has been based upon it since the earliest days. What is any political campaign save a concerted effort to turn out a set of politicians who are admittedly bad and put in a set who are thought to be better? The former assumption, I believe, is always sound; the latter is just as certainly false. \ *--,trr'mg KOSE tiP" Letter box-. Editor, The Journal: I'm writing in regard to Little League baseball. I've got three boys in Little League and a fourth coming up. One boy is in Minor League, one in Coast and the third is in Major. Now the first two leagues I have nothing but praise for. My boys get to play ball at least three out of six innings every game. It's the oldest boy I'm writing about and the league he's in. When my boy finished his second year of Minor League, the manager and coaches decided to put him in Major League against my wishes. It is now two years later and my boy hasn't yet played a full game in all that time. He has played a total of three and a half innings since he started Major League. I'm curious as to who this league is for and for what purpose. Isn't the object of Little League to show the boys sportsmanship and to teach them how to play the game? I realize there are a lot of boys playing ball and the managers try, but if these boys aren't quite big enough or good enough to nlay in Major League, By ROBERT C. CUMMINGS Legislators who are unhappy with Gov. Dan Evans' use of his item veto powers will find out if the third time is a charm when the Legislature meets here again next January. The law-makers have tried twice to pass a constitutional amendment which would restrict the Governor's use of red ink. In 1 969 it obtained the necessary two-thirds majority in the Republican-controlled House, but died in the Senate Committee on Constitutions. This year it sailed through the Senate, where the Democrats hold the upper hand, but died in the House Committee on State Government. On both occasions it was recommended by the Legislative Council. The last time the council acted, it was approved without opposition. Evans Didn't Like It When he was a member of the Legislature, Gov. Evans was one of the severe critics of the Governor's item veto power; when former Gov. Albert D. Rosellini vetoed the appropriations for legislative interim committees out of the 1963 budget bill. The proposed constitutional amendment which passed the Senate this time would still have permitted item vetoes on appropriation bills. But they would have been prohibited on all other types of legislation. Vetoes of entire sections of bills also would have been permitted. In complete vetoes of entire bills, former Gov. Roland ltartley is still the champion. But in total vetoes, partial as well as complete, Gov. Evans has outstripped all of his predecessors. Together they added up to 110 that could be counted. These include complete vetoes of four bills. There were 106 partial vetoes, some of complete sections and many only of items, in 30 other bills. This represents only those which were counted. With so many, it is highly possible that numerous others were overlooked. Two-Edged Sword No other state in the nation grants its Governor the power of item vetoes, but it is a two-edged sword. While legislators grumble about certain items being inked out, they frequently are the first to approach the Governor and urge him to veto out some item they don't like in some other bill. It frequently has been charged that the Governor preempts powers of the legislative branch of government with the item veto, because it gives him the power to "amend" a bill, which should be the sole prerogative of the Legislature. But in some of his veto messages, the Governor said he vetoed out certain items because they usurped for the Legislature administrative authority which belonged exclusively to the executive branch. His change of attitude toward item vetoes isn't the only example of how Evans views things differently from the Governor's office than when he held a seat in Editor, The Journal: To the citizens of Shelton, Washington: The Tacoma Starliters Baton & Drum Corps is a TACOMA-based organization and darn proud of it! The reception we received from some Shelton citizens when they saw Tacoma on our jackets was uncalled for and insulting. It cost our group a pretty penny to charter a bus to their parade and remarks made by some citizens will sure keep us home next year. Remarks such as, "Tacoma Starliters, we're from Shelton, to hell with Tacoma." We feel sure the coverage given the Forest Festival by the Tacoma News Tribune had much to do with the success of their festival. So Shelton, why the uncalled-for remarks about Tacoma? We called the City Clerk in Shelton to get permission to sell booster buttons at the festival, For if experience teaches us anything at all, it teaches us this: the ttouse of Representatives. which we understand, few that a good itician, under democracy, is quite as Another example is his organizations bother to do. We wholesale use of the iterr~ veto in u~thtn~k'~*a~l~ ~i~[ hO~#~i'~~l~' ~"~ "~~/~ '~*~ ~* ~7/~)~'~7~ current issue of Ramparts Magazin*: Tl~e *Ramparts inking Legit of the gamblihg bill were thanked graciously by the City clerk for having the is a standing subver#o on of the public good in every rational In a recent message to Congress President Nixon report has already stirred some interest in Congress. everything except n0n-profitconsideration of callinz first but sense. He is not one who serves the common weal; he is said that heroin addiction is spreading with It bears investigation by anyone seriously interested bingo and raffles. "pandemic virulence" in the United States. Once in getting to the roots of heroin addiction in the simply one who preys upon the commonwealth. It is to the interest of all the rest of us to hold down his powers to an irreducible minimum, and to reduce his compensation to nothing; it is to his interest to augment his powers at all hazards, and to make his compensation all the traffic will bear. To argue that these aims are identical is to argue palpable nonsense. The politician, at his ideal best, never even remotely approximated in practice, is a necessary evil; at his worst he is an almost intolerable nuisance.. "If any genuinely honest and altruistic politician had come to the surface in America in my time I'd have heard of him, for 1 have always frequented newspaper offices, and in a newspaper office the news of such a marvel would cause a dreadful tumult. 1 can recall no such tumult. The unanimous opinion of all the journalists that I know, excluding a few Liberals who are obviously somewhat balmy - they all believed, for example, that the late war would end war - is that, since the days of the national Thors and Wotans, no politician who was not out for himself, and for himself alone, has ever drawn the breath of life in the United States. "The gradual disintegration of Liberalism among us, in fact, offers an excellent proof of the truth of my thesis... Their (the Liberals') primary error lies in making the false assumption that some politicians are better than others. This error they share with the whole American people. "'I propose that it be renounced, and contend that its renunciation would greatly rationalize and improve our politics... Politicians, in so far as they remained necessary, would be kept at work - but not with any insane notion that they were archangels." III. C. \ j i< i~i~, confined to the big city ghettoes, the use of heroin now spans all social classes. There may be as many as half a million addicts in the U. S. To sustain their habits they spend more than $15 million a day, commit 55 per cent of the crime in the cities and steal about $2.5-billion worth of goods in a year. Heroin has become the major killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 35. The alarming increase in heroin use, with its devastating impact on American society, has given rise to moves in Congress to cut off the supply at its source. One of these is a bill introduced recently by Sen. Frank Church of Idaho to stop foreign aid to governments which do not act to prevent narcotic drugs from unlawfully entering the United States. Church's bill is aimed primarily at Turkey, which, he says, produced about 80 per cent of the opium which winds up in this country as heroin, and which, unlike other opium producing nations, does not strictly regulate the supply. Withholding of economic aid could be a potent lever, Church argues, against Turkey, which receives immense amounts of U. S. aid, as well as Iran and Afghanistan, which are beginning to loom as major sources of supply. The approach seems a logical one. But the assumptions which underlie it are challenged in a report on the international opium trade in the United States. Since the end of World War II, says Ramparts, a major shift has occurred in the world-wide opium trade. Turkey and the Middle East, once the principal sources of supply, have been replaced by Southeast Asia. Citing the United Nations Commission on Drugs and Narcotics and a former secretary general of Interpol, the international police agency, Ramparts says that 80 to 83 per cent of the world's 1,200 tons of opium traded illegally each year now comes from the "Fertile Triangle" of Laos, northern Thailand and northern Burma. And the United States, far from being a helpless bystander, is actively aiding and abetting the opium trade through its prosecution of the war in Indochina. Opium comes from the poppy flower. Ramparts says most of the poppies which wind up as heroin are cultivated by the Men hill tribespeople who inhabit the Fertile Triangle. They are also the people who have been recruited and trained by the U. S. Central' Intelligence Agency to serve as counter-insurgency forces - fighting the Pathet Lao in Laos and anti.government guerrillas in Thailand and Burma. Their principal source of livelihood has become opium, the principal market for which is the United States. Most of the raw opium grown in the Fertile 'll~~~~~~~~~l~~ll~~~~~~~ll~~l~l~~~ll~~~~l~l~l~ll~lll~l~l~~~~~~l~~~l~ll~~~~~~l~~lll~ll~ll~l~~~~~~~lll~ll~l~~~~~~~~~l~ll~~~~l~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Triangle is collected at Longcheng, a northern Laotian city of 50,000 which is also the CIA's operational headquarters in Laos. At Longcheng it is sold openly in the markets and flown out in planes operated by the Royal Laotian Air Force and Air America, a Far Eastern private company financed by U. S. capital. The opium goes through Bangkok and the Middle East to Marseilles, a traditional refining center for heroin; to the Gulf of Siam and the South China Sea, where it is air-dropped to fishing boats, and to Saigon, where much of it finds its way into the G1 black market. Along the way there are rake-offs by officials in the South Vietnamese, Laotian and Thai governments. "The shift in the international opium traffic is a metaphor for what has happened in Southeast Asia itself," says Ramparts. "As the U. S. has settled in there, its presence radiating a nimbus of genocide and corruption, armadas of airplanes have come to smash the land and lives of a helpless people; mercenary armies have been trained by the U. S.; and boundaries reflecting the U. S. desires have been established, along with houses of commerce and petty criminality in the American image. One of the upshots has been that the opium trade has been systemized, given U. S. technological expertise and a by MARTHA WRIGHT Ever since '"environment" exploded into the American consciousness, the most frequently asked question has been, "What can I do?" To answer those questions many organizations have published pamphlets, handbooks and guides that deal with what could be called "lifestyles." They urge the citizen to use white toilet paper, compost his garbage, launder with non-phosphate soaps, tune up his car, and in general see that his purchases are not the result of environmentally destructive practices. Too often these booklets become the easy way out both for the organizations that publish them and the citizens who use them. They enable the organizations to cope in a simple and efficient manner with the growing numbers of people who contact them for advice. And they enable the individual to check off his list of lifestyle practices and feel he is doing all he can to save the environment. In so doing, the booklets can divert the citizen from looking more deeply into the issues of pollution and responsibility. They also make it easier for organizations to avoid coming to grips with complicated problems and reorienting their programs to cope with them. That is not to say the lifestyle booklets are bad. Far from it. They are often essential in helping people realize that everything they do has environmental implications -- whether it is in misuse Page 4 - Shelton-Mason County Journal - Thursday, June 3, 1971 of natural resources or poisoning of air and water. They also help people see the interconnectedness of all things which is the essence of ecology. However, they can mislead people into thinking that if they follow those guides, environmental problems will be solved. And they imply that the consumer can always make significant environmentally sound choices. Unfortunately, that just isn't so. For even if everyone carried out the lifestyle recommendations there would be no noticeable improvement in the poisonous condition of air and water. Solid waste problems would still be overwhelming and natural resources would continue to be misused. The probable result would be disillusionment on a massive scale. The real problem is that there are few environmentally sound alternatives. In most realms of choice one can only pick the lesser of two evils. And that is not good enough. Consider the automobile. It is responsible for the majority of air pOllwUl~il~" Except for the very few American cities have subways, mass transit in America is still a dream. Most people have no choice but to drive to work, and they cannot choose but to own an auto with an internal combustion engine- The alternatives _ walking and' bicycling - are both unpleasant and unhealthy as ._.qv continues to drive cars. Buses long as the majo- : le most often are not availab . Therefore, the honest way to tell people how they can help is to point out to them their current lack of alternatives and urge them to press public officials for stricter controls on autos. They should also be urged to work for private mass production of automobiles with external combustion engines which are virtually non-polluting. Or take recycling. Most lifestyle booklets focus attention on ,turning in old newspapers but ignore the problem of creating a demand for the recycled paper those newspapers will become. Many mills already claim to be handling all the waste paper they can and industry says it will take 20 years to build the facilities necessary to recycle the paper now available. If all government, businesses and organizations insisted on buying recycled paper, it's probable those mills would be built a lot sooner. Or water pollution. Some 60 per cent of it is caused by industry over which the individual has no direct control. Only forceful action by government and public outcry is going to get polluting industries, which have always assumed a right to pollute, to change their ways. The majority of the remaining water pollution comes from municipal sewage treatment plants. The only way the citizen can eliminate that source of pollution is to elect public officials who will spend his tax money for total water treatment. These solutions, however, are complicated and more difficult. Since it's hard enough to get people In give up their phosphates and to buy returnable bottles, it isn't surprising that organizations often why don't they they belong, in kids My boy who does bench. I know of have quit because they've in it. I tried to with his own age League, but the league said because he was last year. My boy in actually more League than my wouldn't let League yet brother had kids at 10 or feelings, too. It's bad the feelings to think of mY this way, now What's giving each play part of some aren't aS with the best and that was one words we Our are our only support and couldn't parades such as When "Don't buy Tacoma on it, support TacOma Shelton?" they their own town, Paul Bunyan To those our buttons a helping to suP Once we're from of it ! Pamela Gress Arlene WaYS shipping and transportation the U. S. presence itself. transporters have been technocrats carrying out thetr accuracy. Unimpeded by customs agents, and military personnel through Orient, the United States has warfare in Indochina - built for the trade in narcotics modern history." The Ramparts extent on suspicion and thesis is too well doCtt corroborated by what is heroin traffic in Vietnam, to secrecy which has long political activities in the the Fertile Triangle underlines inquiry. While scouring the popPY refining laboratories of haunts of the United States narcotics trade, we may be pushers of them all. from the emphasize the easier serious discussion of what really requires. It requires reading dull financing lawsuits against government agencies. It or county government get their way, and how voice heard over that writing Senators and again. It takes bringing public spotlight. It challenging the sacred industry. It takes being refute insinuations that precipitate unem and essentials and It is hard hard we time. But the cause of founder on a compost pamphlets unless public arena where the The lifestyle issues are measure of personal never clean up the air wasteful natural needs of the future. To will is misleading, important action until