Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 27, 1974, Page 6

Cedar Rapids Gazette

January 27, 1974

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Issue date: Sunday, January 27, 1974

Pages available: 122

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 27, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa {£ twilit- fhipuU Editorial Page Sunday, January 27, 1974 Amtrak expandable in Iowa WK EN the Amtrak network’s east-west Iowa transit was determined three years ago-through a thinly populated tier of southern counties on the Burlington Northern route, more Iowans than not considered that a poor choice. Time has proved it certainly to be of meager service to the state. Now, with gasoline in short supply and mass-transit passenger ideas cavorting in more and more heads, a move to retrack Amtrak on a farther-north more central route is gaining steam. If the needed marshaling of facts supports what else looks good about the proposition, putting Amtrak on the Chicago & North Western route could bring about a twofold benefit: Useful rail service to more Iowans and better patronage to help the system. In one new development, State Rep. Patchett of North Liberty is spearheading a bill to line up state financial support for a new Amtrak segment. On the supposition that earlier plans for using an Illinois Central or Rock Island routing may not get far initially, Patchett now is talking up a North Western choice because of two advantages: The North Western tracks are in suitable condition while others are not, and the North Western management — already in Amtrak — may be more receptive to this than the, others. In progress earlier has been a western Iowa campaign, centered in Carroll, to induce the Amtrak system to adopt a North Western trans-Iowa route. The present one uses Burlington Northern tracks SENATOR Potter of Marion has introduced a bill in the legislature to carry out an idea so basic that it qualifies immediately in the “why didn’t we think of this before” category. His bill would require counties to show in dollars and cents on each property tax statement exactly how much of Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer’s taxes due will go to each taxing unit — school district, city, county, etc. Already he is hearing from county officials the objection that this added load would be too much for them. But would it, really, in this day of the computer? Interesting question. Actually, the bill should be made even more demanding. Property tax statements should show the actual value of one s homestead as well as the assessed value. Supposedly the assessed value is 27 for a Union Pacific leg. This endeavor now is entering a research phase on costs and likely use. One item that deserves consideration in the service picture is the population close to these respective routes — the population potentially using and feeding the service. Roughly, this is how it shapes up: Eleven counties traversed by the Burlington’s present Amtrak routing (through Burlington, Mt. Pleasant, Ottumwa and Creston) had a 1970 count of about 275,000. Twelve counties carrying the North Western tracks (through Clinton, Mt. Vernon, Cedar Rapids, Belle Plaine, Tama, Marshalltown, Nevada, Ames, Boone, Jefferson, Carroll, Denison and Uigan) beat that substantially with about 480,000. Neither of those match the Rock Island’s 13-county tally of 780,000 in 1970 (through Davenport, Iowa City, Newton, Des Moines, Atlantic and Council Bluffs). But possibilities for easy access to North Western stations from Des Moines and Iowa City raise impressively the North Western’s potential. Indispensable to further arguments and any chance of tangible results, of course, is a good solid reading of probable costs for a shift to the North Western route and of probable use by the public if this did occur. But superficialities and zeal won’t suffice. The documenting must be thorough, realistic and reliable. If further study goes the way it should and does a clear, convincing job, this enterprise could help a new and stimulating opportunity pay off for everyone involved. percent of the actual value; it would seem simple for the taxpayer to figure actual value once he knows assessed value. But the plain fact is that it isn’t that simple for most of us. Therefore, why shouldn’t the statement list actual value along with assessed value? Senator Potter’s bill is a good one. It would help alleviate the frustrations most taxpayers undergo at taxpaying time. It would help dispel the confusion that “millage,” and “levy,” and “assessment,” and other difficult-to-understand tax terms add to the taxpayer s already heavy burden. Certainly it is not too much to ask that counties break down the dollars-and-eents amount a property taxpayer owes into how many dollars arid cents are going to each taxing unit in his county. People s forumDecision To the Kditor: While we appreciate the concern for potential life in the womb, we must recognize and respect the right of existing human beings to control their own destinies in the area of reproduction As we ha\e seen in the past, a law denying a person the right to choose in this area was not only unenforceable but — as the supreme court has recognized — unconstitutional. These laws did not eliminate abortion. They did eliminate medically safe abortions at a reasonable cost. To think that a constitutional amendment protecting the fetus would be any better is totally unrealistic. To be enforceable, governmental agencies would have to be established to develop fetal protection standards. We believe our time and energies would be better utilized in developing more effective birth control methods and educating the public in their use. However, until that time arrives, we must have local clinics and-or physicians available who are willing and able to perform abortions — without further governmental interference — for any woman who chooses to have one performed. The pertinent question is not whether life begins at conception, 20 weeks gestation (or any other number of weeks), or at birth, but does an individual, group of individuals, religion or even a society have the right under our Constitution to deny to a woman the choice of continued pregnancy or abortion? We think not. We also think that is what the supreme court said in its decision of Jan. 22, 1973. The court was not usurping the legislative [lowers of congress and the people. It was deciding that existing laws violated the right of free choice of women in our society. This is exactly the purpose for which the supreme court was established. Jams (ialbreath ll K. (ialbreath, M I). 217 Windsor drive NEPrecedent To the Kditor: Before there were any oil wells it was nut a political appointee in an Office of Energy Management who discovered and produced oil. There was an oil shortage then, too. Dale L. Netherton FairfaxGas cans To the Kditor: I notice that The Gazette has carried repeated warnings about the danger of carrying extra gasoline in a container in the trunk of a car, and that even Dr. An-delman’s column has discussed the subject. While admitting that there is a certain risk involved, I would like to point out that there are circumstances in which carrying extra gasoline is not nearly as dangerous as not earning an extra supply. For instance, suppose one has to make a necessary trip on gasless Sunday, which for certain reasons cannot be postponed to Monday, and that the distance there and back is just a little more than the car will travel on one tankful, lf he carries extra gas, he will probably get home safely, with maybe one chance in a thousand that a fire or explosion will result. On the other hand, if he doesn’t carry extra gas, and runs out on the highway, he is very likely to freeze to death if it is cold weather. I was recently faced with just that situation. Before I finally found a gas station open, I was so desperate I certainly wished I had carried extra gas, whether dangerous or not. For a comparison, Just how many people have burned from this cause, compared to the many that have frozen in blizzards when their gas was used up? In the test mentioned in Dr. Andaman's column (in which a can of gas was placed in the trunk, the engine left running, and the car blew up in 20 minutes). I feel sure the test was rigged in some way, since this is not the normal or expected result, or we would all have been Insights S Ii. 4 HF Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.” bernard baruch dead long ago. It must be even more dangerous to carry a power lawnmower in the trunk, since gas usually spills over from the tank of the lawnmower, causing a strong gassy odor throughout the car. Yet I have done so hundreds of times and nothing happened. Robert I). Smith Route I, Swisher‘Mr. America’ To the Kditor: Kvery time I view a pageant such as Miss Teenage America. Miss U.S.A., Miss America, Miss World and Miss Universe, I feel men should have an equal chance to be viewed by millions. Why can’t men be seen in their swimming trunks parading up and down in front of the authorized arbiters to be judged on their looks and talent as women are9 They wouldn’t be Judged Just on their bulging muscles, as for the title “Mr. Universe” on the Wide World of Sports, but also on their ability to dress formally, their talent and knowledge, as for example, in the Miss America pageant, only this type of pageant would represent the opposite sex. There are so many pageants for females that it s a shame to not see a few male pageants. We ladies would like to see the best looking males in this world compete for our approval. Both sexes could also benefit from this type of pageant. Men would have the chance to be known for their looks. They could travel, earn money, or any of the possibilities women have when they enter pageants and many ladies would very much enjoy this entertainment. So all those handsome men in the world should get themselves together and get up on that stage Here he comes, Mr. America' I Juda A. Johnson Route 3. Cedar Rapids LETTERS The Gazettes editorial page welcomes readers' opinions, subject to these guidelines: Length limit 400 wofdi On# letter per writer every 30 day* All may be condented and edited without changing meaning None published anonymou»ly Writer i telephone number (not printed! ihould follow name, addr*** and readable handwritten ngnature to help authenticate Content* deal more with iituet ond event* than perconalitie* No poetry. Tax-bill spell-out Conflicting causes share a name Diverse conservatives should reach out for more By William Safire WASHINGTON — One of Fred Allen’s radio characters was an amnesiac who kept trying to remember who he was by the process of elimination. "Bduh I don’t carry an umbrella.’’ he would muse, ‘‘so I can’t be Neville Chamberlain.” Few of us at that time caught Allen’s subtle sociopolitical message — that people tend to identify themselves in terms of what they are not. Thus, many of us apply political labels like “liberal” or "conservative” to others, resisting the application of either label to ourselves, or permitting only a sister-kissing label like “moderate,” which is a better description for drinkers than voters There are those of left and right who are willing to wear a label, and do so proudly: For example, the true believers of the right have gathered in Washington this weekend at a political action conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union and the Young Americans for Freedom, buttressed by such periodicals as National Review and Human Events, and addressed by such nght-wing-backs as Gov Ronald Reagan and Sen. James Buckley. The organizers place high on their agenda the other-directed question: “What are the liberals up to now?” William Safire The trend toward self-identification as "conservative” has not been stopped by the decline in the President’s popularity or the Agnew scandal; When the New York Times surveyed New Yorkers in 1970, those who called themselves liberal outnumbered self-described conservatives by 33 percent to 27 percent, with 31 percent moderately sister-kissing. The same poll conducted only two months ago .showed crime-conscious New Yorkers flip-flopping those figures, with conservatives now decisively on top Because the best way to sell candidacies is to attack the opposition, even people who accept the label “conserve tive" define it in terms of what they are against coddling criminals, raising taxes, or what-have-you. Rarely do conservatives define their label in terms of what they are for, and for a seemingly good political reason: A fundamental split is built into conservatism One side of conservatism emphasizes traditionalism, permanent moral values, respect for institutions and order in society. The other side stresses libertarianism, individuality, and holds personal freedom to la* the great value. These two sides of conservatism will agree on the need for self-reliance, diversity and for halting the growth of big government and will feel comfortable sallying forth together against the centralization of power usually urged by their common adversary, the liberal But the two sides of conservatism will tear up the turf In great doctrinal battles against each other: Most traditionalists will take positions against pornography, prostitution, drug usage and abortion, while many libertarians will argue that those are matters for the individual to decide and not the government. That is why William F\ Buckley, in a fascinating new Ixmk, "Four Reforms”, can look at the increasing numbers of victims of crime arni call for an end to what he considers the abuse of the Fifth Amendment by the accused — while a minority of other conservatives, under a libertarian banner, march in the opposite direction calling for more protection of individual rights and an end to the growth (rf federal police power Conservatives in conclave have frequently derided the “zigzagging” (rf the new federalists, who try to decentralize administration with one hand and to centralize welfare with the other But the right has not faced up to the challenge, and the opportunity, (rf examining the divergent forces inside conservatism’s tent — which can be a great source of strength Politically, the admission that there can be no “true” believers cuts down discipline but opens up recruitment — while clinging to “principle,” conservatism’s favorite word Might It not Ire useful for conservatives to open up their “movement,” to recognize conflicting causes within it, and encourage inwardly the same kind (rf ideological diversity it espouses outwardly9 In that spirit, like mothers sewing labels in clothing to accompany kids to camp, we could identify our political positions in the specific way that invites acquaintance and discussion Labels could then cease to be onerous or fuzzy. “Libertarian conservatives” would then Ire able to gauge what they held in common with “Great Society disillusionees” and Malthusians could dance with Marcusians. Oxymorons would abound, as moderates exchanged their meaningless tags for something like “egalitarian elitist” or “pragmatic moral absolutist” or “principled opportunist.” Names are not things, but nameless things do not communicate ideas: poll. Deal labeling can serve a useful purpose, lf we specifically identify our own line of thinking along with that of our opponents. My own label? I’m working on that, by identifying and eliminating alternatives. < onservative traditionalism is not for me, nor Galhraithian liberalism New federalism with an underpinning of libertarianism has its attractions Sometimes I like to carry an umbrella. Maybe I m Neville ( hamberlain N** folk IhnM We should remember tho old American axiom — never war In Asial1 THWt VOW. of (Winos1Japan misjudgedBy Norman Cousins I AST WF!KH on this page, I wrote J about the effect of the Arab oil squeeze on Japan’s ability to undersell the United States in the world’s markets It may be useful here to consider further the phenomenon of Japanese industrial capability — one of the three or four most important developments iii the world in the past quarter-century. From the American standpoint, vs hat Is most striking perhaps about the sharp rise of Japanese industrial power is (hat the United States didn't see it coming. American policy-planners made a whopping miscalculation in the late ’40s and early ’Jills Dean Aeheson and John Foster Dulles thought the big threat to American capitalism would come from the socialist countries. What they didn’t anticipate was that the main challenge to the American economy would come from another capitalist society — Japan Not only did Aeheson and Dulles fail to foresee that Japan would become tho arch-economic rival of the United States; they did everything they could to help build up Japan. It is one of history’* greatest Ironies that the billions of dollars poured into Japan by the United States after World War II should expand the industrial capability of a nation that today is outselling the United States in many of the world’s markets and that, indeed, is outselling American industry within the United States itself Here are figures on what Americans paid for Japanese products last year: RADIO and television sets, tape recorders, phonographs, telecommunications equipment — $$4,536,700,000. AUTOMOBILES, buses, trucks, transport equipment, motorcycles, motor scooters — $4,045,700,000 ELECTRICAL machinery — $1,163,700,000. Norman CousinsIRON and steel — $804,600,000. COMPUTERS and business machines— $239,200,000. TEXTILES — $238,400,000. SHOES, clothing —$203,400,000. CHEMICALS — $184,500,000 The movement of all this merchandise into the American market iii such massive quantities is without parallel in our history. The effects must Im* seen not just in terms of jobs or the losses to American industry. I .ess obvious but just as serious are the effects on tho American economy iii general. The flight of billions of dollars from the United States contributes to the weakening of the American dollar abroad and to the inflationary situation at home. It may he said that the American economy is robust enough to stand the strain of this kind of competition and the outflow of dollars. The point here, however, is that even the strongest economies are affected by small but vital fractions And the I nited States economy for the [last two years has been under pressure from many directions. Watergate and associated scandals have shaken the confidence of the American people iii their government. I he public psychology has always Insm a [Htwerful factor iii the economic health of this nation It is not true, therefore, that the American economy can withstand any amount of undercutting and underselling What Is true of the Japanese competition inside the United Slates is equally true of (he competition for foreign markets. American automobiles, which dominated those markets not so many years ago, have been running far behind Japan and West Germany among nianv car-importing nations It is inaccurate to say that Japan's low labor (cists account entirely for her ability to underprice the United States Oilier countries have even lower labor costs than Japan and still haven't been able to produce highly sophisticated products at low cost I et us face it Japan has become a society for Total Production, one of the most advanced and efficient such soeie-tics the world has ever known. In the process, Japan has upset some of Karl Marx’s most basic theories. Despite its lack of raw materials, Japan has been able to outproduce the most highly developed socialist societies II is not yet clear that American polic ymakers have finally adjusted to the new economic reality. The slogans of c quarter century ago are no substitute for the severe economic challenge* of today and tomorrow I <>»    | |rl)#| ;

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