Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 9, 1974, Page 7

Cedar Rapids Gazette

March 09, 1974

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Issue date: Saturday, March 9, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 9, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Uit Editorial Page Soturdoy. March 9. 1974 Testing highway air A LTHOUGH new air quality standards of the federal highway administration are viewed as threatening lo hold up some of Iowa's impending freeway work, there is no need to assume that this will interfere for long with urgent items in Iowa's program. The testing is not terribly elaborate or time-consuming. Under ordinary circumstances, a multi-lane highway with the traf- fic load it was designed for does not generate so much exhaust pollution that it rates as unaccep- table. The further prospect of emission controls even stronger through requirements now pend- ing will reduce the problem at its source still more a few years hence.' It is not unreasonable, therefore, to invest whatever time, effort and cost it may take in the necessary studies of a given project's likely impact on the air. The end result is much more apt to be a better project better both for users and for other people near it than to be no project at all. Whichever agency of govern- ment is situated best to do this honestly, with competence, should get the needed funding in short order so that public benefits from needed work can follow too as soon as possible. Where local govern- ments can play a part in this with local benefits in view, they should. Expediting the construction is to everyone's advantage. The main concern among state highway officials so far has cen- tered on carbon monoxide levels under the federal guidelines. One spot in downtown DCS Moines reportedly exceeded the accepta- ble limit 57 times during 1973's last half. What happens in a high- rise, heavy-traffic concentration such as that, however, does not justify adverse assumptions as to what a fast-flow freeway through more common low-rise urban dis- tricts would produce. Just to put air-quality condi- tions for highway construction in meaningful light, a test of how the air stands up to federal requirements right now at several locations along teeming First avenue would say a lot to residents of Cedar Rapids. It could be enlightening to find that out at once. Energy IF IMAGE ADS from oil, utility and electric-appliance con- cerns seem more abundant than a year ago, your sensors are finely tuned. Members of energy- distributing industry indeed are using countless radio and TV commercial spots for precedented horn-tooting. un- Johnny Cash's video pitch for Standard Oil seems fairly typical. The homespun singer sits bundled in a cozy sweater, urging folks to drive slower and turn down the all in the spirit of seeing, the energy shortage through together. Such sanctimony beckons for Ernie Kovacs to reincarnate just long enough to give John Cash a pie in the face. It looks painfully have a millionaire, exempt from the usual consumer woes, telling lower- and middle-class Americans how to combat the fuel shortage. But we may as well get used to it. Lewis A. Engman, Federal Trade Commission chairman, says fuel firms that may have caused or benefited from the oil crisis are so stung by criticism that they feel compelled to portray themselves as "innocent cherubs, their quivers stuffed with the arrows of altruism." Oddly enough, such blandish- ments needn't be truthful to enjoy broadcast rights. That is Eng- man's opinion, at least. Image (also known as "institutional" ads aired by energy concerns during the fuel shortage are not com- mercials aimed at wooing cus- tomers, Engman said, so any FTC action against them could violate the companies' freedom-of-speech rights under the First Amend- ment. Will the FTC thus grant energy interests the widest possible, lati- tude in advertising? Given Uncle Sam's recent rigidity in regulat- ing commercial messages, Eng- man's hypothesis resounds with irony. Several years.ago, federal agencies jumped all over a bakery corporation for claiming its product helps children grow 12 ways. Conceivably; an oil com- 'pany now could maintain it helps America grow 12 ways and get away with it simply because no wares were being hawked at the time. Though the FTC continues checking the truthfulness of energy industry image ads (at the request of six the agency is expected to agree with Engman's emphasis on First Amendment protection. Consumers needn't be displeased, however, if the energy industry does get permission for unlimited image advertising. To have the heretofore secretive oil industry saying anything at all may prove highly instructive. But the public may not be receptive to increased image- polishing by energy distribution monopolies. The apparently needless expenditures (thus higher make this a dubious practice. The people's forum Who needs enemies? Our France By Bruce Biossot WASHINGTON Not just the United States, but most of Western Europe lias felt compelled for years to pretend that the French are allies. In fact, they are no one's ally. Their governments have consistently proved themselves lo be among the most selfish, arrogant and narrowly nationalistic on the face of the globe. Foreign Minister Michel Jobert's exhibitionist solo at the recent conference here of top oil-consuming na- tions was typically obstructionist and none-imperative. There is no doubt he came for just that purpose. Everyone knows French sympathy for the Arab cause in the 1973 Mideast war spared France oil shortages suffered by their "allies" in Europe, America and Japan. More recently, France has been cooking cozy deals with the Arabs and Iran, locking up future oil supplies, sometimes offering Arab lands arms in return. It may be little known but at the lime of the 1867 Mideast war, France reneged on signed, paid contracts with Israel for vi- tal aircraft and four small missile boats. Israeli testing crews successfully made off with the half-finished boats, but the planes were never delivered. U. S. officials at NATO conference describe French participants as consis- tently obstructionist and arrogant, as striking "leadership" postures un- warranted by their size and pathetic na- tional strength. Long since, of course, France has pulled men and material out of NATO and forced its headquarters to Brussels. French behavior is both handicapping and hypocritical, inasmuch as they know their security is the U. S. nuclear umbrella. We still make secret exchanges with the French involving technical military data and materials. Yet here again, of- ficials say the French attitude is nasty and one-sided. When you consider the panorama of France's military-diplomatic life through most.of the 20th century, the ironies hit you full force. In World war I, when the nation's countryside and man- power were ravaged in Hie carnage of Verdun and stalemated trench warfare, we bailed out the French. It was the same in World war II. Des- pite the vaunted Maginot defense line and a huge ground army reputed the best in the world, France fell fast-before Hitler's racing Panzers. Moreover, French intelligence at the critical moment of German assault was grossly thickheaded. The celebrated Allied spy, a German rebel named Rudolf Roessler working in Switzerland with a priceless tie to the Nazi high command, gave the French precise de- tails time, place, size and identity of Nazi forces on the 1940 attack. France ignored thewarning. Roessler, later used by the Russians for years, was correct. Hitler dashed successfully for the English channel in short weeks. Nothing should detract from the bravery of the guerilla Maquis or :the 'Free French who fought with retaliating U. S. and British armies to clear France in 1944. But their sacrifices, and many others, might have been diminished had the initial French army response not been so dismal a failure, so ignorantly bllnd to available, accurate intelligence. Later, of course, the French battled eight years of futility against Ho Chi Minh's communist-led forces in Indo- China. Some historians blame Franklin Roosevelt's "fixation" over alleged pre- war French colonial ineptitude, arguing it hurt re-establishment of .postwar French rule. However that may be, the French fought a lousy war, then signed a jerry-built, improperly revered Geneva pact in 1954 and pulled out their forces with destabilizing haste. The final irony was French moralizing over Americans in Vietnam, and sustenance U. S. anti-war people got Irom phonily "seasoned" French corres- pondents pretending to deep knowledge of Vietnam's realities. Since their 19th-century glories, the French have been selling the world false gold. The market for it has run out. Newspaper Enterprise Assn. lephcmts' tribulation, donkeys' delight i By Russell Baker WASHINGTON If you are a Republican politician, good form requires you to exhibit delirious hap- piness each time President Nixon says lie will never quit. If you are a Democrat, naturally, you are expected to scowl, shake a list, predict imminent demise for the Republic and promise impeachment unless the President agrees to leave peaceably. Publicly, Democrats and Republicans play these roles very much as the country expects them to. Privately, they do not. In our neighborhood live a Democratic congressman, and a Republican, and last week both of them dropped by the house to watch the President's news conference. It was obvious that Harold, the Democratic statesman, was.delighted at .having the President on television, for after the opening minutes he began telephoning his constituents back home he is from the great plains and telling them lo get lo Iheir TV sets and watch (he President. On the oilier hand, Arlhur, the Republican congressman, could scarcely be persuaded to look at the screen. said Arlhur, "are a very minor part of government. Everybody should put them out of mind instead of sitting in front of TV screens gaping al them as if they really mattered." "Presidents are cried Democratic Harold, "and Ihis he said, raising the volume of Nixon, "I positively adore." He kissed the screen. Al thai moment the President declared that he would never quit, not even though his slaying three more years in office should endanger Ihe careers of many a Republican pol. "Are you all righl, I asked my Republican friend, whose color had abruptly lurned plum gray. "It's said. "I just realized that I'm over 50 and unemployment is headed toward 6 percent." Harold Ihe Democrat was on his knees clapping Ihe TV set exultantly on the back. "Yon tell 'cm, he was shouting. "Show 'cm, he was shouting. "Show 'em how you can hang in there. Three more lie shouted, with tears of delirious happiness streaming down his cheeks. "Three more "Three more groaned Arthur. "Surely not Ihrec more years, Mr. President I brought Arlhur a poultice and some spirits of camphor and elevated his feet, Ihe prescribed treatment for stricken Republicans. For Democrats I always bring some whisky and elevate Ihe head. Harold was leaning from Ihe opened window waving his scarf at startled passers-by and joyously shouting, "Three more years! Three more Arthur became furious. Slamming Ihe window shut on Harold's scarf, he said lhal Harold was a disgrace to Ihe Democratic parly. Scowling and shaking his fist, Arthur said Ihe Republic was doomed unless Democrats did their unpleasant duty and went ahead with impeachment. said Harold. "If Herbert Hoover had been impeached and kicked out in 1930, he wouldn't have had three more years three more years! in the White House. Then who would we have had to run against him for the nexl 20 Harold went to the telephone and sent the President a wire applauding his de- termination never to quit. Arlhur, being a Republican, still had faith In the mail. Borrowing a pen, he hastily wrote the President an anonymous Idler full of curl and disagreeable advice. They walked together Inward the mail Another View Sites "Who decides when it's a box. "You're supposed lo be deliriously Harold said lo Arthur. said Arthur, "and you're sup- posed to be thirsting for the President's downfall." "I said Harold, "Doesn't anybody around here understand this Mow York Tlrrm Sarvlro UCS cut opposed the Kditor: The citizens of Cedar Rapids-Marion put the 1974 campaign of Unite'! munily Services over the tup by 6 per- cent. However, in spite of this. UCS made substantial cuts in the budgets of the Unn County Assn. for Retarded Children and the United Cerebral Palsy Assn. A few years ago, (lie Linn County Assn. for Retarded Children voluntarily reduced its budget and professional staff when tax-supported agencies took over programs they formerly operated. This left it an advocacy group dependent on a one-woman staff, scores of volunteers and full support from UCS. Now. along with other groups for the handicapped, its budget is being reduced. UCS supports (rightfully) the work of the Red Cross even though tax-supported agencies arc more and more involved in disaster relief. It supports (rightfully) agencies such as Camp Fire'and the YMCA even though tax-supported agen- cies provide character-building and recreational opportunities and facilities. Why are the handicapped told to look toward tax support for all their programs? There is need for full community sup- port of the handicapped because, when helping them, everything turns out to be a little more complicated than it appears. To take just one example: The city operates a summer playground program free of cost to all children including the handicapped. However, as there is only one location for the mentally retarded and that is at Seminole park, the "free" program costs parents in transporta- tion. As long as there are handicapped people in Linn county who are not being served by the established agencies or whose needs are being met only at a great sacrifice of time, effort and funds by their parents, there will be a need for a strong advocacy group willingly sup- ported by volunteers. The citizens' panel reviewing the original, budgets "supported the programs as presented at budget review hearings. I feel sure the majority of ci- tizens who put the 1974 UCS campaign over Ihc.top also support these programs. Lorraine Snider 2042 Franklin avenue NE Motives To the Editor: It appears thai once again witch-hunt- ing for communists is blossoming in the U. S. On Feb. 23 you ran a letter by Joann Briggman of Manchester. As she told it, anti-Nixon senators apparently are-eom- munist-controlled, are trying, to overthrow the government and also are connected to the economic strife in Great Britain. Then she .tried to involve a man who was shot down in cold blood for trying to get equal rights for all men through peaceful demonstrations. She spoke of evidence that Martin Luther King was a communist. I try to keep up with the news, but.l never heard anything about that. What Ms. Briggman failed to think, is that the reason these senators want to impeach Nixon is that the people they represenMvant it..I try to think that (hey represent the people who voted them in, not their campaign contributors. Jeff Robinson Route 1, Cedar Rapids Protection? To the Editor: In addition to pornographic literature and triple-X movies, there is something equally disgusting to guard our children against. I'm speaking of the inhumane treatment of animals occurring in the ik'W pet store in Cedar Rapids in full view of everyone. Alter a recent visit there, my daughter and I were actually ill. While looking at the aquariums of tropical fish, we came upon tanks where the bottoms were covered with dead fish. Baby guinea pigs were crowded into containers and did not seem to be in lull control of their movements. The big shock came when we saw: at least two dozen ihamslers in one container with the live ones actually devouring the dead ones. While making our hasty exit, we paused long enough to look at the five or so puppies that are confined to cages and forced to walk on large-mesh wire which must certainly cause great pain to their feel. Arc there no laws to protect such animals? If not, Ihere most assuredly should be. li, McCoy Killll Second avenue Marion Emerald Knights To the Editor: I would like to point mil what a won- ilerfiil drum mid bugle corps Cedar Rapids has. Many families attended the corps award dinner Feb. 25 at the Ar- mory. Afterward, the boys and girls played for us. These kids have worked hard, and they are really great...Since Mr. James Bishop took over as director in August, 1973, the corps has grown tremendously. The Emerald Knights have been picked out of all corps in the state to represent Iowa at the Jaycees' national convention in San Diego the third week of June. I think this is just wonderful, a great honor to the Emerald Knights and to Cedar Rapids. The corps has new uniforms and a lot of new instruments. They look great. There will be a Tournament of Drums June 8 at Kingston stadium. People in and around Cedar Rapids should come out to the tournament and cheer their winners on. The kids will love it. Mr. and Mrs. George Wilcox Hiawatha Rollback To the Editor: There' seems lo be a strong pos- sibility that crude oil shortage is a planned shortage designed to get the prices up to where already excessive profits can be doubled or tripled. The government seems to support this idea by refusing to roll back'prices to a noninflationary level, thus in effect giv- ing the oil companies their blessing and encouraging them to raise prioes all they want to. If there is an honest oil shortage, then ihe government and oil companies are both guilty of shortsightedness. If there is not an honest oil shortage, Ihe oil companies are guilty of robbing the people. How can we fight inflation if the government refuses to hold down prices on the flimsy excuse lhat. to do so would tend to discourage production? This seems lo be contrary lo common sense.. The higher the price Ihe less production is necessary to earn the same amount of profit. To encourage price increases by refusing lo roll them back and compelling the suppliers lo hold the line would seem to 'be the most infla- tionary action the government could lake. According to press reports the oil companies'had excessive, or windfall, profits for the last quarter of 1973 when gasoline was selling for two-thirds of whal.it sells for today. If this is true, how come all.of the for gasoline since Jan. 1? It seems the oil companies must have more than just ex- cessive profits or, they won't play, and can't (or won't) increase production. What kind of blackmail is this? When price controls were finally put into effect (already a year late) raw agricultural products were excluded, leaving the door wide open for inflation to walk in. Sometimes a job that is half- done is worse than a job left undone. Now wage and price controls are considered unacceptable, taboo, and they may well be the only answer lo inflation if they were used right and put on everything without discrimination and kept there. As things are now it is like Robin Hood in reverse, rol) the poor to give to the rich. Harold L. Matteson 885 West-tenth'avenue Marion Tribute To the Editor: I am grateful to Gus Schrader for sharing "those foolish things" which remind him of Jane. I never met Jane but after reading this tribute I feel I know something about her. Gus said it very eloquently for all of us who share such foolish little things with a loved one. No wonder Jane didn't mind carrying the typewriler. Thank you for printing this column Guess I'll have to start readinK (he sport pages. I don't want to miss anything -is good as this March 4 Red Peppers column was. Virginia Walker 2824 Southland street SW Blame shared To the Editor: 1 don 'I think the energy Nixon's fanll. I think everybody Marled and also can slop it. l We AflH trying lo slop k we are doing N1 K bust. ls ,r, s .Seventh avenue ;