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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: April 16, 1974 - Page 6

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 16, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Value of President's stump-role discounted Editorial Page Tuesday. Apiil 16, 1974 Sitting still for crime SO IT ISN'T just police officials who, according to critics all over the country, doctor local crime statistics in reporting to the FBI, for purposes of making themselves and their cities look good. It is also cynical or apathe- tic citizens who distort the truth on crime by failing even to report a lot of crime to the police, because the citizens don't care if their communities look good. This was the thrust of a newly unveiled crime survey by the jus- tice department's Law En- forcement Assistance Adminis- tration (LEAA) on the basis of some personal interviews and business-firm queries in five of the nation's biggest cities. It appeared that true crime rates in the five (Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Phila- delphia) run more than double what they seem to from police material alone. The oversight did not pass off mere mischief. The crimes that victims said they failed to report were robbery, rape, assault and burglary. Their reasons: Nothing could be done, not enough proof 34 percent. Not important, enough 28 percent. Too much bother to police 8 percent Inconvenient 5 percent. And so it went. LEAA Administrator Donald Santarelli's judgment of the cop- out: The data transmit a strong message of public apathy toward criminal justice institu- tions, bordering on contempt." Appalling as the scope of this appears to be, it is useful to know its dimensions and ponder its meaning. One key insight is that neither high-crime blame nor low-crime credit falls primarily on any town's police department. Most of both fall on the public's back. Just as voters, by and large, receive the quality of service they deserve in keeping with the quality of their performance at the polls, so do people get police pro- tection of the quality they earn in line with their concern for that protection. Apathy, contempt and scorn for law enforcement naturally pay off in victims and in crime. There is only one catch. The victims, in- dividually, too often aren't the ones who harbor the indifference. But if those who care are too weak as an urban force to order up protection, as they want it, what they get they may as well compliantly expect, deserved or not. Happy ending THEN WORD'first reached _ news outlets April 2, the drama at sea rated a page-one splash: The huge luxury liner Queen Elizabeth 2 crippled by boiler breakdown 270 miles south- west of Bermuda; senior citizens, comprising half the pas- sengers, subjected to stifling heat. Providentially, though, the sea remained calm. A stalwart crew of the small Norwegian liner Sea Venture sailed forth to aid the drifting QE2. To anyone who has viewed the two vessels side-by- side in port, the story recalleil the, exploits of Disney's intrepid Little Toot. By the time the transfer at sea was finished a day later, the QE2 had become a second-line news item. But to a world conditioned to expect the worst when ships and planes meet trouble the outcome was a great relief. No casualties reported. No possessions lost. Travelers accustomed to nothing other than the Good Life coming through the ordeal with stiff upper lip (Owing.largely to the crew's success in a party at- Happy endings: Why must they be so stingily apportioned? id narrative iNE OF THE saddest stories told in print this year is an Associated Press report from Jacksonville April 9, recounting the fate of a cab driver who had sneaked off to watch TV the night before. Scolded by his wife for watching TV when he should have been out earning money, the fellow became enraged, pulled a gun and shot the woman in the ear and hand. He turned the weapon on himself as his wounded spouse fled scream- ing. Now the story differslittle from dozens of other tragedies occur- ring in this violence-prone country every week. What made it so pi- f tiful was the way AP played it. Because the TV show which had attracted the cab driver was Henry Aaron's assault on the homerun record, the shooting story incredibly was carried on the sports wire, as a sidebar to the Aaron heroics. No word of the marital discord which must have loomed enormously behind the flareup over trivia, no mention of whether the tragedy-struck couple had children, just the superficial mechanics of the assault-suicide, plus a wrapup paragraph: "Police said Weatherspeon died before Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record in the fourth inning." Not only is that sad, it's SICK. By Don Oakley OF THE progress of the equal rights amendment, which is now five states short of the 38 needed to ratify it as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, may be interested in a recent study of the status of women in Europe. The principle of women's equality with men in employment was guaranteed by article 119 of the 1957 Common Market treaty. Despite progress made in apply- ing this principle, however, a special European Economic Community (EEC) commission task force reports that real job equality for women is still a long way off. The commission found widely different work patterns among Europe's women, who now account for one-third of the Community's total working population. Half of France's female population between 15 and 65 holds a job, but in the Netherlands, only one woman in four goes to work. In five original EEC coun- tries, all except Italy, more than half the female workers are in service occupa- tions. In most cases, equality for women is guaranteed by the member states' own constitutions. But although the principle of "equal pay" has been relatively easy to define, says the commission, the definition of "equal work" has been more elusive. Jni'ipnpf fl icpffm j n n t inn t ii mi t> inequitable job classification systems, is widespread. For example, low salaries are set for jobs reserved exclusively for women. The notion that women are es- sentially part-time or occasional workers has also encouraged their exclusion from many training programs. Outside the world of work, the European woman's status is still inferior. In most EEC countries, a man is automatically assumed to be the head of his family, while a woman, if she is, has to prove it. Newspopcr Enterprise Assn. Another View By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak SANDUSKY, Mich. President Nixon's sweep through dimse Republican thickets here may indeed keep (he 8th congressional district safely Republican in Tuesday's election, but it was clouded by the same elements of freakish politics that have shrouded other frantic efforts to escape the im- peachment noose. Mr. Nixon was received enthusias- tically by thousands of voters, country people steeped in Republican faith and imbued with pride over the first presidential visit since Graver Cleveland's second term. In short, the President had a captive audience. As such, it was not dissimilar to pro-Nixon celebrants at the Grand Ole Opry festival at Nashville and the con- vention of National Broadcasters at Houston and the 35 heads of state with whom, he repeatedly reminded his par- tisans here, he negotiated high issues of foreign policy in Paris earlier this month. The critical impact of these one-shot excursions has been less than momen- tous. Indeed, the shrewdest Republican leaders here were saying privately that the best that could happen to the President even if he does get credit for electing Republican candidate James M. Sparling would be "buying a little bit of time." More important, these Republicans would far rather have Sparling win without such conspicuous help from Ihe President. A post-election consensus that Mr. Nixon's visit, instead of endangering Sparling as Republicans here first feared, elected him over Democrat J. Bob Traxler, might actually compound the party's insoluble Nixon problem. Behind the fear is this thesis: Nothing that happens here will affect the im- peachment vote in the house, which depends not on the President's marginal popularity in a single congressional dis- trict but on the quality of Watergale- coverup evidence presented to the house. Hence, a Sparling win credited to Mr. EVANS NOVAK Nixon would be a politcal freak, not a harbinger that Mr. Nixon was recovering his political health. Supporting that thesis was stark contradiction between pro-Nixon enthusiasm of Republican voters in Michigan's now-famous Thumb and the impression of Republican workers worried about the future of their party. An active worker in the Oakland county (suburban Detroit) Young Republican organization told us during a dinner for Vice-president Ford last week that "it's not that Nixon can't help himself but that he is hurting our party more every day." Here in Sandusky, on the other hand, defenders of the President spoke sharply. A mother with two children who had waited three hours along the packed sidewalk in front of the courthouse said: "This will let them know in Washington to think twice about impeachment." For the President or Sparling that woman was no comfort. Indeed, Mr. Nixon deliberately passed up any pos- sibility of making converts here. The Thumb contains about one-third of the district's total vole. Its Republican majority regularly exceeds 70 percent. There is little unemployment here and the price of navy pea beans, the biggest money producer, is up to a fantastic a hundredweight. In the cities of Bay City and Saginaw, !o the contrary, unemployment is 10 percent and independent voters control elections. These are the crucial voters. An unpublished poll in Ford's old Michigan district just after it went Democratic early this year showed that independents voted 2-to-l Democratic an identifiable anti-Nixon vote based on Watergate. The President's politicking here made not the slightest effort to convert this crucial bloc to Sparling. Accordingly, few real political risks were taken here by the President or by Sparling. Running behind, Sparling may have lit a small spark with the glamorous presidential visit. As for Mr. Nixon, he would have been blamed anyway for a Sparling defeat. Now, if Sparling squeaks through in this district which went Republican by 59 percent two years ago, he will naturally claim credit. That would mean one addi- tional Republican seat in the house. But on the far larger question of Mr. Nixon's fate, it would mean virtually nothing. It would simply be another example of the freakish politics being practiced by a President in the throes of impeachment, an example without symbolic portent. Publishers Hall Syndicate Laziness, complaisance yield piffle Worst media sin: too good to Presidents By Russell Baker WASHINGTON A powerful case exists against American television and press, but Richard Nixon and his men are forever getting it wrong. It is not that the media are hostile to Presidents, and to Nixon more than most, but that they are such abject tools so eager to be of presidential use that they have dis- torted all our perceptions of what news is and what government is about. Some years ago I was assigned to the White House for the Baltimore Sun and as a lean, untempered rookie went with President Eisenhower to vacation in the western air. Vacationing was a big part of White House coverage in those days, and Eisenhower did it thoroughly. For five and six weeks at a time he did ab- solutely nothing that was remotely definable as news. Each day, however, my more profes- sional colleagues would unsheath their typewriters, pound away for an hour or two and wire home stories. It was.not a little disconcerting .to a new boy When, after four or five days without having sent a word, I found the veterans joking about how long I could go on reporting nothing from the Rockies and stay on the payroll. The President, I quickly learned, is always news, whether he is involved in any. news or not. So we all poured out reams of material daily. The President had eaten beef bacon and skim milk at breakfast, we told America. He had risen at and fished. He had talked on the telephone. He had enjoyed a good day on the golf course. He was in good spirits. Two business men had paid a courtesj call. He had played bridge. It was worse than nonsense, of course, because it created a totally deceptive impression and, by keeping the President constantly in the "news" for this drivel was published and broadcast extensively through the dis- torted the public's perception of govern- ment, leaving the notion that the President, like the planet Jupiter, was a force constantly in motion. Nothing has changed significantly since then in the appetite of both press and television for presidential "news." On any given evening, the top "news" items on the network shows will concern the President. On a typical day the New York Times front page will display two or three stories from the White House. President Nixon has declared, or reject: ed, or challenged, or stated, or flown, or worked on, or met with, or released, or issued, or signed, or smiled, or looked tense. And how often is it news? Very rarely. Most often it is, in Daniel Boorstin's splendid phrase, a which is to say an event created to satisfy the media's ceaseless craving for be reported. Such was President Nixon's recent flurry of television appearances in news conferences around the country. In the typical presidential news conference no news occurs. It is staged because cameras are available and editors have space at hand from which they arc al- ways willing to clear real, but dull news about the nuts, bolts and boring percen- tage points of real government for sure- fire hokum about the President. Typically, the stories produced by these pseudo-events deal heavily in how he looked, whether the audience was friendly and how well he performed under pressure. They are in the main exercises in the aggrandizement of piffling fatuity. Presidents since Eisenhower have probably been spoiled by media complaisance and laziness. It.is easy to repqrt.Presidents, and it is hard and dull -to report congress, courts, city..halls and. zoning commissions. And so the media have; conditioned us all to think of government, when we think of it at all, in easily simplified presidential terms. The ease with which Nixon has exploited these lazy old media habits with his recent series of pseudo-events must make a logical mind wonder why he chose to wage that self-destructive war upon them? When they were so deferen- tial, so willing to be of service in the glorification of his office, where was the gain in the niggling quarrel with a handful of reporters, small voices in the storm, who occasionally tried interposing themselves between him and the picture of glory their papers and networks were painting of his office? Well, he wanted total complaisance, of course. "Media" word an advertising term; it implies the use of television and newspapers for ads that sell goods; television and newspapers do not argue with their ads. The Nixon people wanted no argument with theirs. After the President had used televison to sell, he wanted no reporters following him immediately afterward to discuss the message. In this insistence on reducing the media to the humiliating status of advertising media, this demand to have everything presented absolutely his way when he -already had all the riches the media could bestow upon mortal man, he was like a sultan fuming because there were gnats on the bananas. They still servo him well. If you think not, check today's news columns and see how much declaring, announcing, defy- ing, meeting and conferring he did only yesterday. New York Times Service always knew there had to be more lhan one." People's Forum Two kidney funds differ To the Editor: The Cedar Valley chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Iowa would like to point out that we are not now nor have we ever been associated with a Washington, D.C., group called the American kidney Fund.' The Gazette carried an Associated Press story April 10 about the fund-raising tactics of that other group. We would like to contrast that report with the facts about the Kidney Foundation of Iowa. We are an affiliate of the National Kidney Foundation, founded in 1949, which is a member of the National Health Council and is approved by the National Information Bureau and the federal Civil Service Commission. Our fund-raising and administrative costs combined make up 22 percent of our budget. The remaining 78 percent is devoted to our programs of research, education, services, and organ donation. We do not solicit contributions through direct mass mailings, nor do we contract with or pay commissions to any other firm In raise funds for us. The Foundation's budget and fiscal policies are determined by a volunteer board of directors. Our President, Richard L. Lawton, M.D., is a professor of surgery at the University of Iowa college of medicine, the director of hemodialysis services at the Veterans hospital, and a member of the University of lowa-VA transplant team. We do nol pay doctor or hospital bills on behalf of any patient. Many more cri- tical needs exist because, with Medicare, state aid, and private insurance, the financial burden of kidney disease is no longer the principal threat. Of far greater importance to the victims of kidney disease in Iowa is the critical lack of donated organs for transplantation. Our goal .is the eradication of kidney disease. In pursuit of that goal, we dis- tribute organ donor cards in Cedar Rapids alone this aid in the rehabilitation of today's patients through counseling and advocacy Linn county residents are afflicted with some form of kidney, and support research into the prevention and ultimate cure of kidney disease (Iowa and national We hope the people of Eastern Iowa will not confuse the vitally important work of the Kidney Foundation with the activities of this other group. We wel- come questions (an audited financial report will be sent upon request) and we will maintain standards worthy of the support of this community. Tom Eggleston, President Cedar Valley chapter Kidney Foundation of Iowa Box 279, Cedar Rapids Parents Anonymous To the Editor: Cedar Rapids and Linn county are in urgent need of an organization called Parents Anonymous. It is successful all over the country in aiding parents who are potential child abusers. Every year here in Cedar Rapids, hundreds of children suffer severe physical punisimant and mental an- guish. These children arc not unloved. They arc Jrarji feyejy ethnic group and every social l The parents of these children arc con- fused and unhappy. They end each day promising themselves that tomorrow they will try harder. They are a constant disappointment to themselves as they fail time and again. I know, because I am one of these people. Anyone wishing to help pioneer a Parents Anonymous program here should contact me at Our children's future may depend on our willingness to help ourselves and each other. Cindy Hochstetler 313 Thirteenth street SW Still fighting To the Editor: Millions have been killed by abortion since the Jan. 22, 1973 supreme court decision in which Justice Blackmun declared: "The word as used in the 14th Amendment, does not include the unborn." Now, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, even full- term infants ranging up to several months of age have been deliberately allowed to die because parents and doc- tors decided their "human-hood" might not he "meaningful." Nobel laureate James Watson has proposed in an A.M.A. publication that no one "be thought of as alive until three days after so those with '''defects" might be liquidated. Dr. Peter Adam of Case Western Reserve university has experimented on the severed heads of the aborted infants; he believes such research on aborted babies should be done in full public view. There arc even federal "guidelines" to prescribe which aborted babies may be experimented upon while still alive. Funding this slaughter are the Rockefeller Foundation, the Playboy Foundation and the taxpayers. In fact, 40 percent of the abor- lions in California in 1972 were paid for by the taxpayers through "Mcdi Cal." And Dr. John Knowles, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, says that the new objective of this lucrative, business is to create a capacity in the U.S. to perform somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-million legal abortions a year. These are some startling, eye-open- ing facts. But they are developing the fight for life into an even more deter- mined nationwide movement one that has refused to be beaten. Consider that 188 anti-abortion bills have been in- troduced in 41 states while 41 members of the house have sponsored such bills. On Jan. 22, 1974, the first anniversary of the supreme court's abortion decision, people converged in Washington for a demonstration, marching in a "circle of life" around the Capitol and past the supreme court building. Legislation has been introduced to create a special house committee to handle nothing but bills and constitutional amendments relating to abortion. And so despite what the mass media say, we are growing. We will grow in- finitely large until our government recognizes that there are still countless Americans with courage enough to stand up for God's truth. Why not go to work for God and country in protesting this Satanic cult of infant murder? Juanita A. Cole 3832 Dnlpwond avenue SE   

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