Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 5, 1974, Page 7

Cedar Rapids Gazette

January 05, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 5, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 'Half-mast will be sufficient, People's forum ilwpitb Editorial Page Sotwdax. January 5. 1974 Unrealistic speed limit NOW THAT PRESIDENT Nixon has signed the bill limiting the speed of all motor vehicles to 55 miles per hour dur- ing the energy crisis, there's little the states can do but go along. Especially when the law provides for the withholding of federal approval and funds for proposed new highway projects in states that choose not to go along. But we wish senators and congressmen from mid western, southern and western states had put up more of a fight for a 60- m.p.h. limit in states where there is more area to cover and less traffic than in eastern and New England states. Each state has its own peculiarities, such as population density and road design, as Colonel Miller, chief of the Iowa highway patrol, pointed out recently..He feels that it might have been wiser to set speed limits on a state-by-state basis, or on a regional basis, taking area into consideration. Fifty-five miles per hour is not an unreasonable limit in heavily- trafficked eastern states, where it is not uncommon for highways to be so crowded that motorists must travel under 55 to. get around. In fact, speed limits in some eastern states already are in this range. It follows that motorists in those states aren't experiencing as much change in driving habits at 55 as are those in larger-area states with daytime limits of 75 m.p.h. on interstate highways and 70 on primaries. We can be thankful, however, that congress chose not to go along with the President's request of several weeks ago that trucks should be permitted a limit five miles above that of passenger au- tos. By setting the same limit for all vehicles, congress averted the possibility of adding another traf- fic hazard to the maze of them we have already on our highways. The 55 -m.p.h. limit does not foreclose the right of states to set lower limits if they choose. But through use of the blackjack method, congress has locked all states into the maximum limit. There seems little that can be done at this point other than to make the best of it. Snowmobiles: Let 'em rip jF ALL the fuel-squandering practices still with us, none seems more conspicuous than snowmobiling. Service stations are shutting down Sundays and holidays, auto drivers are girding for fuel rationing; yet snow- mobiles still are whining about country scapes, scaring wildlife and occasionally spilling oc- cupants. Naturally, more than a few snowmobile critics are asking that the infernal machines be outlawed, or that authorities close down designated snowmobile use areas. Several writers to the People's Forum have noted the obvious fuel-saving a mothballing of snowmobiles would bring. On its face, a sensible notion. One wonders, though, whether a ban on snowmobiles would help appreciably in cushioning against the energy crunch. After all, some people look for- ward to snowmobiling as eagerly as their neighbors anticipate hunting, fishing, skiing and mushroom hunting. Their eccen- tricities should be tolerated, even when coupon-book rationing arrives. If a person decides to use a third, half or even all of his allot- ted fuel gallons for snowmobiling, no governmental edict should in- terfere. What better way to main- tain good spirits than by making sure the energy shortage doesn't black out choice freedoms needlessly? For the record, then, the vote here is to let snowmobiling con- only in deference to hobbyists but for protection of the burgeoning industry dependent upon survival of the pastime. Besides, the snow-skimming contraptions are relatively thrifty in fuel use. According to the In- ternational Snowmobile Industry Assn. (whose pitch is admittedly snowmobiles used for both utilitarian and recreational purposes account for only one- twelfth of one percent of the na- tion's annual gasoline consump- tion. That comes to. 80.1 million gallons. Significantly, however, fuel consumed by towing snowmobiles to and from' recreation sites gob- bles up another 45.2 million gallons. Explicit in that statistic is an argument favoring the desig- nation of local use areas. Not only do easily-accessible snowmobile trails preclude long-haul towing, they protect animals and birds whose habitats are not yet violated by the frightening screech of man's motor-sleighs. Then there was the fellow who wasn't afraid of dying intestate because he always drove on two- lane roads. White House vs. CBS Spite-spirit flows two ways By William Safire WASHINGTON When the White House was in power, one of the most mean-spirited and petty abuses it was fairly accused of perpetrating was "the freezeout" a stern direction from on high to cut off some reporter or publication from all communication with White House aides, after a critical or unfair article or commentary appeared. The freezeout made life difficult for the reporter, but was rarely successful in intimidating a publication. Carried to the extent of slamming the White House door to a white-haired woman reporter cover- William Safire ing social events, the freezeout succeed- ed only in making the President look ridiculous. What happens when power shifts from the presidency to the press? Consider the case of. Alvin Snyder, a White House press aide. Formerly a Columbia Broadcasting System employe, Snyder has for the last five years been handling many of the technical television arrangements for the President, working with the networks on how many cameras cover a given event, where the outlets are, who stands against what color backdrop. He also "books" administra- tion figures on television panel shows. A quiet competent, experienced profes- sional. Grudge-cause Couple of months ago, amid the general leakage of White House memos, a two-year-old memo from Snyder sur- faced in which he recommended that the White House not make available to CBS a group of people to talk about the Nixon public relations operation instead, to meet.the CBS request by providing an interview.with Herb Klein. Not exactly a scandalous memo, but one which evidently caused CBS news in Washing- ton to take umbrage. On Nov. 7, Snyder found it impossible to contact the CBS producer who was handling the network pool on the President's energy crisis speech: He was informed that the producer had been in- structed by his boss at CBS never again to communicate with lhal particular press aide. On Dec. 5, Snyder tried to contacl the CBS producer of the Ford swearing-in; he was rebuffed; the next day, when Snyder called again, the head of CBS news in Washington picked up the phone and said to Snyder's secretary: "This is Bill Small. Please tell Mr. Snyder that CBS is not accepting his calls." Bygones? Next.day, Snyder wrote a conciliatory letter to Small, pointing out that "the effect of this blacklisting decision makes it harder for me to function here" concluding with1, "Let's put aside any personal animosities that may exist. I hope you will agree after a little reflec- tion." The letter was sent back with "I don't Small" scrawled across the bot- tom. Last week a CBS employe did take a call from Snyder, listened to his plea, then said, "Look I'm putting my job in jeopardy just by talking to you." On its face, this "freezeout" by a news organization of a government official do- ing his job is outrageous. CBS has no more right to refuse to deal with any in- dividual in the White House than the White House has to dictate to CBS which reporter it should assign to the White. House (as John Ehrlichman once tried to But hold on I know Bill Small to lie one of the best television news executives in the business, and author of an ex- cellent, serious work, published last year, "Political Power and the He is neither a power-nut nor a Nixon- hater this didn't sound like him. Reached by telephone, Small said wearily that there was no CBS policy to blacklist anybody, that he would deal with Snyder if he had to, that be might have been smart-alecky in writing that snide comment on what he assumed was a private communication. He didn't recall telling his associates to freeze out Snyder. One of the CBS producers then refused to deny that he had told the White House aide he was persona non grata at CBS, but let his memory go all recollecting specifically" anything, sounding for all the world like a loyal White House aide himself, saying as little as he could even if it made him appear dense. The temptation here is to take the cheap shot to denounce CBS for beginning its own "enemies list." for doing to an individual in government exactly what Eric Sevareid would rightly condemn the government for doing to an Individual anywhere. Out of hand A subtler point, however, is closer to the truth. Good men, in positions of authority, can get irritated and act thoughtlessly. Their attitudes can be in- tensified and magnified by subordinates, who want to please and get ahead. The resulting misapplication of power, when exposed, makes good men at the top ap- pear to be petty tyrants which they are most often not, or at least do not intend to be. So flow gently, sweet Afton: Among thy green braes is the tendency of power to corrupt by inadvertence or pique rather than venality. We must blaze back at the insolence of office government or corporate. whenever it appears, intended or not. But it might help cool passions to recognize that what often seems like raw tyranny at the receiving end is merely a lapse of sensitivity at the source. New York Times Service When anyone has offended me, try to raise my soul so hfgh that the offense cannof reach if. Rene Descartes Isn't It the Truth? fly Carl Riblet, jr. When our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, explained that it was his habit not to say anything because he then would not be called upon to repeat it, he must have anticipated tape recording. frl regret often that I have spoken; never that I have been silent. Syni.1, c 50 BC InterOcean Press Syndicate Peaceful purposes presumed Idea: Lure UFOs to land on earth and get in touch By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON Now that uniden- tilled flying objects arc widely and wisely accepted as real, the next step which must concern everybody public and government alike is how we on earth can begin to make contact. There is no reason to be surprised that our planet should be under surveillance by intelligent extraterrestrial beings. Most astronomers now share the once heretical view of Dr. Harlow Shapley, former director of Harvard Observatory, that there are at least 100 million inhabited planets in the universe. This makes it reasonable to expect that intelligent beings perhaps superln- tclligcnt because many inhabited planets may be several billions years older than ours should pay a visit to earth. There could be three motives: curiosity, migration or conquest. There is reason to doubt hostile intent. Maj. Donald E. Kcyhoe, who knows more about UFOs than anyone else in the United States, makes this point In his new and engrossing book, "Aliens From iSpacc" Roscoe Drummond the last chapter of his book. He calls it "Operation The first attempt to attract aliens was made by the Canadian. Defense Research Board when it es- tablished a top-secret UFO landing field in 1958. It failed, perhaps because there was nothing unusual about it to catch the attention of alien crews. But "Operation as worked out by Major Keyhoc and numerous specialists linguists, psychologists, visual-aid and other experts will be much more alluring than the Canadian experiment. It will be visibly nonaggressive. There would be no attempt to capture aliens or UFOs. No aircraft or ground traffic would he allowed near the lure and all interceptor chases would be ended. Its principal features, as described in "Aliens From would be thcuc: "The lure will have three or more dummy UFOs, disc-types with domes, built of aluminum. Each ono will have glass panels to show that no one is hiding Inside, This is what Major Kcyhoe proposes in "The base will bo unmanned, and the "If the aliens had intended to attack or invade our world, they could have done so long ago. During the long surveillance (by there have been well over UFO chases by U. S. fighter planes, including capture attempts. Vet the space beings have shown surprising re- straint. From all the evidence, it seems clear their main purpose requires peaceful contacts and cooperation with humans." The question now is how lo bring about such cooperation'. Since unfriendly con- tact by force has not worked, why not try peaceful contact by lure? nearest humans will be stationed at hid- den observation posts over a mile distant. "Near the dummy UFOs will be several 'educational buildings' contain- ing a number of exhibits intended lo interest UFO crews. To emphasize that no humans are concealed, the roofs will be made of shatterproof glass, so interiors can be seen from the air. Each building will have one glass wall lo per- mlt inspection on the ground. Another View "Tho way things are In Washington, tha don'I know what lo "All the observer posts are to be below ground level, except for the camouflaged roofs below which will be high-powered movie cameras wilh telephoto lenses and concealed telescopes." Some mighl be understandably apprehensive as to what might happen if wo make contact with intelligent space beings or, indeed, with cxtralcrreslrial beings from a socicly far more advanced than ours. The astronomer, Dr. ,1. Allen Hynek, feels it would be a great adven- ture leading to tremendous benefits. Other scientists hold similar views. It Is Major Keyhoe's conviction that the odds arc against lerrlfylng space beings and that most of the evidence so far docs not Indicate any definite menace. Obviously the problem of communica- tion would be difficult. But If humans arc not up to communicating with extra- lerreslrlal beings, It Is quite likely that Ihe extraterrestrials, whose scientific achievements would he so much greater lhan ours, can communicate with us. Lot's Iry. t-0-, Anooliifi tlmm 'Unfair To the Kdltor: j I (hieik (tic method of ra- tioning is discriminatory and newlle-ssly expensive. II would be much more equitable and less expensive if it was handled by the auto registration office in each county or conmuiiiily. Application with auto regis- Iratiun could mailed in or taken down to receive gas coupons. Many families with only one car have two or three people with drivers' licenses. They would receive two or three, times the gas coupons limit a lone driver In a family would receive. Think about this and Ihi) unfairness of .1. Hay Mann !I17 II avenue NVV Discriminatory To the Editor: If and when the U.S. begins to ration gas with coupons, only licensed drivers 18 years and over reportedly wiM be eligible to receive them. The tiling that irks me is that the IB- and 17-year-olds who have a license can't get'the coupons. This is discrimination. 1 am Ifi, and I have a license and a car. I.have to'pay for my driver's license, plates and insurance, and now they're- going to withhold gas from- me and thousands of oilier' lli- and 17-year-olds. Maybe we're not of age yet, but we pay for our licenses just as others do. We ex- pect gas too. ,1 -Schwitters 1793 Mallory street SW Snowmobile gas To the Editor: I agree with a letter in the People's Forum Dec. 28 by Ed Hartmann. Not only did the Linn county conservation com- mission promote snowmobiling in Squaw Creek Park but also there are snow- mobile trails open at Seminole VafSey park and the Manhattan Bobbins lake area. They talk about car pools and busing lo save on gas, then have gas used on a recreation like this. When gas rationing comes, maybe they can park their snowmobiles somewhere and still use them. Ann Novak 624 Seventeenth street NE Osmonds Tu the Editor: Osmond fans here in the West read a wire-service article from Moscow, published in The Gazette Dec. 28. (quot- ing a Soviet publication's critical story about this American pop music The Osmonds were acknowledged by the Soviet paper with such phrases as "living a pious and "capitalist kids, brought up in an austere spirit." If being friends of the Osmonds is "maiming my what a way to go! Soviet teenagers should be so fortunate, not because of having these kinds of friends, but having a soul that the "evil eye" can't touch. When the Soviet newspaper ack- nowledged, though that the Osmonds' parents raised their children properly, it gave good publicity to members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. I had to make a new year's resolution to try to put one more Osmond concert on our family's summer vacation schedule, which includes collecting Osmond souvenirs, posters, chains and jingles and spreading alot more throughout the U.S.A. Becky Doysen 2105 Third avenue Marion Cutoff To the Editor: I've been a property owner '10 years, paid all taxes and paid for every drop of water consumed, yet neighbors have my water shut off before the holy days, knowing that a plumber will not come. I live In a Karlow. The -stub-In to tny front property. They notice a leak' which does not deprive them of anything, yet lake II upon themselves to act as Chris- tians and have my service cut off. I have other names for neighbors such IIH they. I thank them one and nil, ilulln llannn W Twentieth street NW ;