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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 24, 1974)
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"Patty Hearst is a crook...! know a crook when I see one!"
Most consumers are hard-pressed to find anything
that has survived the surge of inflation. Even so, who
could have predicted that the humble copper penny
would one day be priced out of the market?
That day is at hand. The Treasury Dept. s cost of
making a cent is perilously close to exceeding the face
value of the coin. One of two reasons is the price or
copper, which reached $1.20 a pound last week,
compared with 50 cents a pound a year ago January.
The second culprit is metal speculators, who Treasury
officials suspect have been hoarding and then melting
pennies for their copper content-which is soon to
exceed the face value of the coin. According to Treasury
Secretary George P. Shultz, demand for pennies in the
last three months has totaled two billion, double the
demand for the same period a year ago.
It's the old story:, the demand is exceeding the
supply. The U.S. Mint's inability to produce enough
copper pennies has resulted in an unprecedented
nationwide penny shortage, with a few government
banks forced to ration the number of cents they give
The obvious solution: use a cheaper metal.
The Treasury had hoped to abandon production of
copper pennies altogether and instead make pennies out
of aluminum. Congress, however, takes a dim view of
the idea because of pressure from the vending machine
industry. It seems an aluminum penny would not be
heavy enough to enable a youngster to exchange it for a
jawbreaker, ball of bubblegum or whatever.
In any case, penny holders bent on making a profit
should beware. Any person convicted of melting or
exporting pennies is subject to a maximum penalty of
$10,000 and five years in prison.
i.ict in thP nirk of time, a bill has been introduced
Congress to declare Republicans an endangered species.
In dramatic testimony before the House Wildlife
Committee, the .noted ornithologist, J. Livingston Segal,
declaicd that recent surveys showed . the number of
Repub'llcahS'had dwindled drastically during the past year.
"Furthermore," he said, "those that have somehow
survived are threatened by mass slaughter during the hunting
season this fall." . .
Oddly enough, he said. Republicans had been flourishing in
past decades-spreading from their native breeding grounds in
the Midwest even into the deep South, where none had ever
been spotted before.
But in recent months, he said, their natural environment
had been radically altered by pollution seeping through
carelessly unclosed watcrgates. "As a result," he said, "one
seldom hears their familiar cheery cry of 'good government!'
any more, and their sources of sustenance have all but dried
up. .. . A
"Unless they are declared . an endangered species, ana
soon," Segal orimly warned, "Republicans will go the way of
the carrier pigeon and the dodo bird."
Under cross examination, Segal conceded the Republicans,
as do any creatures, were struggling desperately to avoid
Most, he said, were striving to sever their symbiotic link
with the largest of their species (genus Nixonis). The Nixonis,
itself, ha said, was still laying numerous eggs, but most proved
rotten and this disability appeared to be infecting surviving
Other Republicans, he said, are adopting protective
coloration, attempting to disguise themselves as harmless
Independents. And some, he reported, are even turning on me
Nixonis, as do sharks on a wounded member of their own
"' "But Republicans aie handicapped by a quirk of evolution
that' left them with a large right wing and a miniscule left
wing," he said. "They fen thus fly .only In circles, as the
present crisis demonstrates. Weakened as they are, they will
therefore fall easy prey to their natural predators, the
"Unless this bill passes." Segal concluded, "our children
will grow up never to see a Republican-except in the
In addition to declaring them an endangered spades, the
bill provides for sanctuaries in tha Midwest where surviving
Republicans can be protected, ttudied and fed. Experts differ,
unfortunately, as to whether the species, even with their
survival at stake, would accept government handouts.
But all conservationists agree the effort must be made.
"Republicans are part of our great American heritage," one
said. "And they deserve to be saved from extinction just as
much as the condor, the hump-backed whale and the,
Moreover, as Segal pointed out, they are part of a complex
bioecological system. If they become extinct, the Democrats
will be next.
"Without Republicans to feed on," he warned, "Democrats
will succumb to their peculiar, lemming like compulsion for
self-destruction. , Within a few years, we can confidently
.. . . .... i -ii H
predict, the Democrats win nave eaxen eacn oxner an up.
(Copyrlc-t Chronicle Publishing Co.)
Kurt's catty cacaphony creates catastrophe
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.' the cat, proudly announces his
recovery. Chuck Johnson sends his regards.
When Al and Renee moved, their friend Ruthie,
the cat, moved, too. She argued lony against the
move, worrying aloud about conditions in the
unknown they faced. "What about the cat box?" she
wailed. "What of my scratching post, my catnip
mouse, my comic books?"
Cats have an uncanny ability to see the universe as
revolving around themselves. Ruthie W3S shocked to
learn the people she lived with were moving whether
sh9 came along or not.
Eventually, of course, Ruthie moved, though she
was surly and refused to help with the packing.
Shortly after the relocation she gave birth to
quintuplets, leading to speculation she had reasons
for staying that had nothing to do with comicbooks
or scratching posts. At any rate, Ruthie began
organizing a legal aid society in her new
Kurt and Chuck, relieved of the neoc4 o- vigilance
Ruthie had occasioned (relieved, too,, of the worry of
possible paternity suits) ware joyous. Kurt danced in
the governor's bu,h)s while Chunk, always the more
refined, began a citKW of William Faulkner's Light
But suddenly the tranquility was shattered. Molly,
the biggest, meanest, cross-eyedest, funniest looking
Siamese in central Lancaster County, issued a
Is It necessary to relate Kurt ignored the warning?
Kurt displayed common discretion rarely, and never
at the right time. Chuck, seeing that Molly was bigger,
braver and smarter than he, wisely resolved to cower
pathetically in the presence of the big newcomer.
' keith hndgren
Kurt refused to humiliate himself, but he did
exercise considerable restraint. He allowed Molly to
use the cat box, sat quietly while she played with his
favorite paper wad.
Molly, nsturaliy, grew bolder every day. If she
could count on the cat in tennis shoes running for
cover, she had only the black longhair to contend
with. So her cross-eyed gaze took in the apartment,
searching out the best scratching areas, trying to find
a soft, sunny place to watch "I logan's Heroes."
Eventually the tension broke.
"Il just couldn't take any more," Kurt recalled
later. "When she sat down on that orange piilow, I
saw red. Even Ruthie never did that.'"
A mad panorama of fur, teeth and claws ensued.
When the dust settled, Molly was gone. Kurt sat
licking his paw as if nothing had happened. But his
nonchalance hid a serious injury.
"Yeah, I know J should have gone to the vet right
away," he said. "But I know you're busy now, what
with finals and deadlines and all that. So t said
But the swelling worsened and he began to limp.
The vet was called. Kurt spent a painful afternoon
being injected with antibiotics. His sentence of 10
days indoors was only slightly eased by the
unexpected pleasure of refusing to take a pill every
day for a week. Kurt spends his days resting and
"i let her get behind me that time," he says. "Boy,
J sure can't let that happen again."
Molly isn't saying anything,
Wednesday, april 24, 1974
-40 R" -jft. 0tc. , sft.
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