Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 12, 1974, Page 7

Cedar Rapids Gazette

January 12, 1974

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Issue date: Saturday, January 12, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 12, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Inpitb Editorial Page Saturday, January 12, 1974 Why police grumble SEVEN YEARS AGO, police officers were (he most ada- mant of all Cedar Rapids city em- ployes clamoring for pay raises. Then, faithful to the squeaking- wheel-gets-grease adage, the city council began a series of in- creases which was to boost the starting patrolman's pay a total of 63.2 percent by the beginning of 1974. Yet the men in blue are still grousing. What's more, they have embraced a gentle but amply visible means of protest: filing citations under state statutes so that fine monies go to Des Moines rather than into city coffers. All of which may prompt the average taxpayer to join coun- cilmen in wondering if local of- ficers would be happy with anything short of the moon. But there is a .flip side to the police pay record, as was vividly shown in Gazette Reporter Mike Deupree's extensive examination of police salaries and fringe benefits throughout Iowa (City Hall Notes, Dec. 30 and Jan. A rookie policeman receives monthly (compared to in third highest in the state. But. after that auspicious start, the Cedar Rapids police officer faces a pay increase schedule which is a good deal short of enriching. Top base salary for a pa- trolman here is monthly. So, to frame an example: A five-year veteran receives (exclusive of overtime) per month, plus an extra for longevity. His thus is just more per month than is received by the officer with little experience beyond recruit training. Thus, despite the relatively at- tractive starting wage, veteran patrolmen actually are paid at a rate placing them somewhere below tenth best in the state. Promotion offers an escape from the pay schedule bind, but an officer is not eligible for civil service promotional examinations until he has served three years. Since the exams are given every two years, some officers must stay patrolmen nearly five years before having a chance for ad- vancement. Police sergeants enjoy a salary scale only slightly more favorable than that of patrolmen. Officers in upper echelons fare somewhat better. (For example. Cedar Rapids police lieutenants arc fourth in base salary but seventh statewide in maximum pay.) A look at the police department roster shows why most employes are disgruntled. Of the city's 142- person law enforcement staff, 94 (92 patrolmen and two policewomen) hold the rank of officer. Barring promotion, they are subject to the pay restrictions of their rank bracket. Dissatisfaction over pay could be lessened, it seems to us, if the safety commissioner and city council were to plan a widening of the gap between veterans' pay and the beginners' wage (an ob- vious recruitment For a valid model, the council might like to consider the state highway patrol's pay spread. State troopers start 'at a meager monthly less than Cedar Rapids but six-year veterans receive per month (approximately equal to the base pay for police captains This is not to say police in Cedar Rapids are underpaid. Nor do we imply that there exists a magic pay-plan wand which the council has yet to find. Stretching budget dollars among 950 city employes is a mighty tough job. The point is that something is amiss when widespread grumbl- ing follows years 'of ostensibly fair salary adjustments. Council- men apparently must themselves turn sleuths to find a solution. No favor. NEW YORK state as- semblyman, Andrew Stein says New Yorkers are losing millions of dollars each year by joining bank Christmas clubs, which in New- York pay an average of 4.5 percent (compared with 5 percent on or- dinary If Stein gently chides banks for paying Christmas clubbers 4.5 percent, imagine how harsh he might be with savings institutions which pay no interest on Yule ac- counts but nonetheless act as if they are doing a big favor by maintaining the accounts. The New York assemblyman commendably is seeking legisla- tion ensuring a 'fair interest rate for all Christmas club savers. Iowa legislators, take notice. 's triumph Kremlin time-bomb By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON Without any doubt .ho bravest living man in the world today is Alexander I. Selzhcuitsyii. Hi' is in a class with Joan of Arc and Martin Luther and is far more fearless than (he Gorman generals who dared to try to as- sassinate Adolf Hitler. In liis explosive expose of the Soviet police-stale terror, which has already taken the lives of at least 14 million of its citizens, Mr. Snlzhcnilsyn is saying to the Kremlin, and to the Soviet people (when fnroi.Mii broadcasts bring his message to (live Russia liberty or it will die. Mr. is, of course, insane in the view of the Soviet regime. Any Soviet citizen wiio criticizes Hie leadership thereby shows himself to be insane. What dire punishment awaits Snlzlionitsyn remains to be seen, lie may lie silenced by death or exile to one of the Siberian prison camps lit' so vividly describes. But his voice will never be silenced from here on. He has written it down in aiifl.OOO words his own experiences in the detention camps with all their terror Practicality, nostalgia blending New hope for the iron horse By Tom Wicker TjpSSEX JUNCTION, Vt, The old I-1 railroad station here has been con- verted into a bank, and only one small portion of the building is still being used by Amtrak, the national rail passenger service. But the other night, that tiny room was crowded with travelers coming to the end of their Christmas and New- Year's holidays and heading for home. Only a minute or two behind schedule, Amtrak's southbound Montreal-to-New York and Washington overnighter ap- peared far up the tracks. The massive blast of the diesel horn has replaced the old steam whistle, of course; otherwise it was a scene out of Thomas Wolfe, a memory from a long ago time. The people waiting by the tracks, the steam rising in the winter evening, cars dashing recklessly over the trade crossing just ahead of the also was a new and exciting moment for two young boys, one return- ing to Washington, the other seeing his friend off. It was not commonplace in their lives, as once it was in those of another generation, to watch the lighted windows slide past, the people seated in the diner, the conductor leaning from the cars. The long train grinding to a hall at the is surely going to be at least a momentary pausing in its romantic trip to glamorous, distant places, is a sensation that has been lost at the airport (which offers a different kind of But one result of the gasoline shortage is surely going to be at least a momentary resurgence of train too often an American horror in recent years, when it was available at all, but once a comfortable, economical, efficient and sometimes elegant means of getting about. Train travel is still like that in Europe and Japan, and it can be here, where Amtrak has been slowly reviving it. The gas shortage may be the final develop- ment needed to turn a sizable number of Americans back to the trains, which can carry more people for less fuel than any other vehicle. The waiting crowd at Essex Junction probably was not typical. The Montreal- to-New-York route through Vermont other stops at Watertniry, Mont- pelier. White River Junction, Bellows Falls and ideal for the vacationers who throng this stale from the New York area. It is even something of a revival of the old ski train, with its convivial bar and convenient route to resort places. But Amtrak has reported encouraging growth in daily passenger traffic on all its major lines, including long haul routes in the West. Measured from a five-week period in November and December, 1972, to the comparable period in 1973, these percent on the New York-Boston run, for example, 30 percent on the New York-Washington Metroliners, and even 13 percent on the_ long New York-Chicago mostly attributable to the gasoline shor- tage. They were achieved despite the facts that Amtrak still does not have sufficient modern equipment or operating capital; that it operates over trackage owned by railroads that give first priority to freight Tom Wicker hauling; that the on-time record of Am- trak consequently is not yet good enough on the established Metroliner runs; and that winter weather and outmoded equipment have combined in recent months to cause serious breakdowns and delays.' Of course it is too early to draw final conclusions, but daily passenger traffic growth on Amtrak this, winter is the second strong.suggestion that Americans are reacting to the gasoline shortage in ways that may have important long-term effects. Already, they have turned their bucks on Detroit's standard gas-guzzling mon- sters to such an extent that big-car production lias been sharply cut back and (lie manufacturers are predicting sub- stantial and permanent shifts into small-car production. This should complement the embryonic return to train travel. Small cars are wonderful for city and suburban use and fuel economies, but they are not as well- suited to long family .trips over the in- terstate system, with great loads of lug- gage, skis, dogs, etc. On the other hand, the selves hit by the gasoline crisis and molhballing many of their best adapted to relatively long range in- tercity travel. This combination of circumstances, together with a general decrease in the number of airline seats likely to be available, seems bound to produce, at least temporarily, a continuing increase in rail passenger travel on relatively shorter intercity and regional rout is- York, for example, ,it Chicago-St. even some longer routes, such as New York-Miami. If that happens, the shift in travel habits need not be. temporary. Impres- sive traffic gains are what Amtrak needs improve its profit picture, to enable it to improve station, baggage, meal, ticketing and other services, tc demonstrate to congress and the White House that rail travel is a vital public service, to wrest from them more capital and modern demand higher priority for passenger trains over freight, possibly even to divert highway funds into new lines and improve roadbeds. All that may yet be a pipedream. If the sheiks open the oil tap a little, maybe Americans will flock back to the high- ways as fast as they can. But at Essex Junction the other night, to one who well remembers.the good old days of train travel, its revival seemed at. last to be a real possibility. New York Times Service ami brutality plus tales of 227 other in- mates of the Soviet prison system. This is Alexander Solzlienitsyn's bold and spine-stiffening bequest lo his fellow Htissiaus a gift courage with which to say lo (heir oppressors: Liberty shall prevail. His monumental work, "The (Julag is a powerful weapon a lime-bomb planted not just under a few Soviet leaders but under the whole Soviet police state. It will go on ticking and ticking and ticking. II will never slop until it has served its purpose: It is now evident why the Kremlin hoped that Solzhenilsyn would go lo Sweden last year to accept the Nobel literary prize. They wanted lo get him out of Russia voluntarily and then keep him out nn the ground that as an exile his forthcoming expose could be more easily smeared. They knew what was coming because the KGB had obtained the one copy of his manuscript lie had entrusted lo a Russian friend by so brutalizing her that she committed suicide. The Kremlin lias good reason to bo worried. which is a Russian abbreviation for the "administration of the collective-labor prison is a direct, explicit and total challenge In the very life of Soviet communism. Nikita Khrushchev sought lo separate Soviet communism from the horrors of Stalin and argued that Stalin's crimes were those of a paranoid dictator run amuck. Solzhenilsyn shows that massive police-state repression was present at the birth of the 1917 Russian Revolution and was practiced, advocated, encouraged and justified by Lenin himself. The Kremlin seeks to dismiss Stalin's massive liquidations as departures from normal Soviet communism all in the past. Solzhenitsyn documents the fact that such police-state repression began before Stalin and continued long after his death, with only a little abatement in recent years. He proves that repression is not a departure from Soviet communism but is vital to its very existence. This is why "The Gulag Archipelago" cuts so deep into the bone and marrow of the Soviet regime. The Kremlin can't accept the truth that Lenin exhorted his colleagues to employ merciless terror, and maintain the myth that Stalinism was an excrescence that never belonged to Soviet communism. It can't accept the truth that lawless repression is the natural accompaniment of communism and retain the working loyalty of its people which it crucially needs to survive. The Kremlin is in a considerable dilemma. It can't be sure that the thrust and substance of "The Gulag Archipelago" will not be widely circulat- ed in the Soviet underground press. It can attack the book but it won't dare specify what it is attacking. That would reveal too much. It can silence Solzhenitsyn by death, which in itself would be a revealing ad- mission. But it can't silence Solzhenit- syn's message. Like Martin Luther, he has nailed his truths on the door of the Kremlin. Like Joan of Arc, he will never recant. Los Angeles Times Svndlcotc Beyond skin-deep People's forum Bungling To the Editor: Between the corporations' resource- grabs and financial shenanigans in our economic-industrial complexes, it is not surprising that interest rates, taxes, the cost of living and material shortages continue. If this type of action were pursued by individuals not of the proper political or academic schools, even though they ac- complish the same things, netting the same disastrous results, they would be categorized as stupid incompetents. Therefore they should immediately be severed of all connections with the economic structure of the United States, due lo their bungling management. On this course, wealth and power soon wind up in the hands of these uneducated dolls, resulting in rapid ruination of this country. In which case the old pros, politicians and academicians, would discontinue just debating and agreeing about the illegality and of these manifestations, yet continuously alibi or excuse the actions. You had belter believe Ihey would be right there, with Hie proof and power, to legitimately -and constitutionally eliminate those uneducated ignoramuses from ever again having the opportunity lo so completely seduce Ihc country into such a lethargic state. 1976 being our 200th anniversary date, all this country needs is a "damn good" study of our Constitution, which has served us well for all these years. The Constitution does not need changes to conform more to the other countries. Let them learn ours. By so doing, they could also enjoy and appreciate it as all good Americans do. With proper time spent studying the Constitution and all the garbage thai has been misconstrued (for personal gain) as constitutional by laws or ordinances that actually conflict with or disregard the individual rights of the people, we would get at least a good start at the bottom of the pile of rot that has caused this decadent condition of our moral and ethical way of life. Like any good cleaning out, it would give us an opportunity to discard lhat trash and set a new and clearer heading, reestablishing those truths and fun- damentals that were inherent in our humble beginning. That would be the best 200th anniver- sary celebration this country of democracy could have. And the best birthday present possible for all 200 million Americans: An opportunity to once again be a country of the people, by the people and for the people. Walter L. Joy 4505 C Avenue NE Religion day To the Editor: World Rcgllginn day .Ian. 211 Is spon- sored by the United Stales Daha'i com- .munily. It is intended to proclaim the oneness of all the great religions and to emphasize that religion is the motivating force that will eventually prompt the es- tablishment of peace upon the planet. The event is now celebrated in the more than communities Ihronghoul the country where Baha'is currently reside. More than a century ago, Baha'u'llah. (he prophet-founder of the Bahai'i faith, established as the central principle of his religion, the truth of the oneness of mankind. He taught also thai religious truth has been revealed progressively since the beginning of time, and that his was the most recent in the series of never-ending divine revelations. Today tho world of humanity is in need of international unity and conciliation. To establish these great fundamental prin- ciples a propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that unity of the human world and the "most great peace" cannot be established through political power, for the political interests of nations are various and the policies of peoples are divergent and conflicting. They cannot be found through racial and patriotic power, for these are human powers, selfish find weak. The very nature of racial differences and patriolic prejudices prevents ihe roalizull'nn of this unity and agreement. Therefore it Is evident thai Ihe promotion iif the oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is (he essence of the teachings of till manifestations of (iml, is impossible except through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. The Baha'i faith originated in Persia in 1844. It now has followers in more than 300 nations and territories of the world. The world center of the Baha'i faith is located on Mount Oarmel in Haifa, Israel. Mehri Molin 2720 Second avenue SE Message from moon To the Kditor: As these strange people look upon us we see that they are very violent. They create violence, they destroy, they kill, and they criticize. These strange people are the people on earth. They send people to our planet, the moon. They seek water, land and air. We hid nil of these so lhal onr land won't be mined of its minerals, stripped of its coal and pumped of its oil. We hid our water so they won't pollute II, run sewage in it, and so they will not harm our fishing habitats. We hid our air su they won't destroy its beauliful smell and wonderful views, with their factories, smoke, cars, (rucks, jels arid buses. We hid all these because we know what will happen. We sal back and watched man destroy his planet and his self. Yes, the strange people are Ihe Intelligent human beings of your messed-up earth, Terry Hawkins 4K2 Eighteenth street, Marlon i-ugly bias shown By Don Oakley A FELLOW in Fort Worth, Texas, has formed an organization called "Uglics Unlimited" lo fight a different kind of.discrimination. "The blacks, the Chicanos and the American Indians have all had their day in the says Danny McCoy. "Now it's lime for the ugly people." McCoy is compiling a list of employers who advertise for "attractive" secre- taries and hostesses and the like. His group, which has a couple hundred members and is growing, recently picketed an airline in Fort Worth for allegedly discriminating against ugly people in Ihoir ads and application forms. The situation may even bo worse than the uglies of Uglies Unlimited claim. In a study conducted at the University of Michigan law school, 91 undergraduate students acted as jurors in a mock au- tomobile negligence trial that had been recorded on tape. As they listened, pho- tographs of a defendant and plaintiff ap- peared on a screen. For some of the jurors, pictures of an attractive plaintiff and unattractive defendant were shown, while tho process was reversed for u second group. As n "control" condition, Jurors saw no photos at nil. In the case where the plaintiff was at- tractive and the defendant unattractive, 49 percent of the jurors gave a verdict favoring the plaintiff.'By contrast, only 17 percent of the jurors favored an unat- tractive plaintiff, while 41 percent of the control group found for the plaintiff whose photograph was not shown. The average damage award for an at- tractive plaintiff was for the unattractive plaintiff it was (inly When no photos were shown, the jurors awarded damages averaging JR.BOfl. In a similar study at the University of Maryland, a professor of psychology fpund that a physically attractive woman has a belter chance of receiving a light sentence for a criminal conviction than an unattractive one. Dr. Harold Sigall conducted a mock Irial before 09 male and female students. A Ihlrd of the jurors was given a pho- tograph of a good-looking defendant in a burglary case, another third n pho- tograph of a less attractive woman. The remaining control group was given no photograph. On the basis of (he 0111110 evidence, the jurors gave the attractive defendant a Honlcnco averaging yearn, while Hie less, attractive winiiiin was sent to the clink for a lerm nearly twice as long. Now that's discrimination. Nimnrifmnr lintornrUo Anncltillnn ;