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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Saturday, May 18, 1974 - Page 7

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - May 18, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                 WiHi  ‘S’hf Ct* chit JAnpicU $113 tHf  Resignation spurned: Let system work’  Editorial Page  Saturday, May 18 19/4  Housing break deserved   r <0 THOSE convinced that the  X White House can do no right, the decision to pump 10.3 billion federal dollars into the sagging housing market inevitably will appear a gift to construction interests and home-loan institutions. And it’s true that no homebuilders and mortgage lenders have darted forth to oppose the move.  The major beneficiary, however, is the middle-income earner whose homebuying aspirations have been pole-axed by loan interest rates exceeding 9 percent. About 100,000 such persons and their families will be eligible for S.75-percent mortgage loans, with the government making up the difference between that figure and the lender’s requirements.  The opportunity is well deserved. For years many mid-ineome families remained unable to qualify for low downpayment, FHA-insured loans while those a rung or two down the economic ladder were landing home loan interest subsidies under the now defunct FHA 235 program.  Housing costs, meanwhile, have soared spectacularly. In Cedar Rapids, for example, a new. three-bedroom dwelling which would have sold for $16,000 ten years ago now costs $26,000. In Orange county, Calif., the Washington, D.C., area and other inflation-riddled locales, the adequate house priced under $35,000 is extinct as the carrier pigeon.  Since some of the newly-subsidized mortgages will buy homes of $40,000 and more, the administration’s housing boost does not qualify as a poverty program in the New Frontier sense of the term. Hut inability to secure anything other than an apartment or a mobile home qualifies as a hardship of sorts.  Importantly, the combined aid for home buyers and transfusion for the housing industry does not threaten collision with pending legislation providing housing help for low-income persons. Neither does the modest mortgage aid program invite the wrath of those who became homeowners before inflation broke loose; most of them are paying nowhere near the 8.75 percent required of mort-gage-aid recipients.  The government’s program for mid-income homebuyers is inflationary, however. To raise the millions needed for increased housing loans, the Federal Home Loan Bank system either must draw a check on the treasury department or obtain loans on Wall Street, thus pushing up interest rates. This attraction in turn will pull more savings from thrift institutions into higher-yielding investments, decreasing would-be mortgage funds.  But the advantage to deserving homebuyers outweighs the inflationary tradeoff. Never very adept in housing matters, the administration seems to have earned a gold star this time.  Cussed spring, as usual  BECAUSE the average temperature of the world has dropped by half a degree Centigrade during the past 30 years, some scientists believe that another ice age may arrive in about 250 years. After all, the last ice age (circa 12,000 B.C.) resulted from an average temperature decline of only five degrees.  Whatever schemes mother nature has concocted. Eastern Iowans can be pardoned for suspecting that the modern-era ice age is a 1970s phenomenon. Numbing cold, pelting rain and hail arriving supernaturally each weekend, winds which even Nebraskans would find annoying — all these discomforts have combined to make this the most cussed spring on recent record. Most observers believe the cycle of bad weather Aprils and Mays in these parts started in 1968 with the savage tornadoes in the Oelwein and Charles City areas.  Miserable as the weather has been this spring, though, Eastern Iowans can count themselves fortunate. Tornadic winds have been limited to the blast that hit West Branch last month; and — thanks lo some key rain-free days in  Way    with words  Motion  sickness  By Theodore M, Bernstein  IT YOU ATTEND a parents’ association meeting, tin* chances arc that .it some point someone will use this kind of construction: “Mr. Chairman, I would like to molto a motion that every pupil ta* able to spell ‘eat’ before he gets a diploma  There is nothing iii any rule book about it. but good parliamentary language would call upon the parent to move rather than make a motion. The proposal he has put before the meeting is a motion lo be sure, but in preferred usage he moves rattier than makes a motion •  Double genitive Mrs. Alex Fraser of St. Lambert, Quebec, raises a question that many persons have raised over the years: Why do we say “a friend of Jack’s.” rather than “a friend of Jack? The double genitive, as it is called, is idiomatic and of long standing and is by no means incorrect  Oddly enough, those who question the Construction would not dream of ques-  April — farmers are up to date on planting.  Gardens may appear retarded, and dandelions may seem poised to take over the region, but hor-ticulturally there is nothing wrong around here that a week of sunny weather and several days of hard work couldn’t mend.  If the past few springs are an accurate barometer, the warming should arrive next week: Not a pleasant swing into the mid-70s daily, but rather, a spiteful lurch into the steamy upper 80s or low 90s. That jolt — aggravated by the usual mosquito hordes — should postpone further ice-age speculation until spring of ’75.  •  Isn t it the truth?  B/ Carl Riblet, |r  Time hangs heaviest fur these: a boy waiting to catch his first fish, a wife waiting for her husband to come home, a husband waiting for his wife on a windy street corner and many a high-ranking Republican.  lf you want the time to pass quickly lust give your note for 90 days  —Farmers Almanack, I 797  IeterOceon Press Syndicate  Theodore M. Bernstein  tinning if ii a pronoun rather than a noun were involved They would not ever sav “a friend of her or “a friend of me ”  There are rare instances (though not ones that decide this) in which the double genitive has a different meaning from the single genitive, f or example, “that picture of Jack s’’ means something quite different from “that picture of Jack “  •  Word oddities Not long ago a columnist used tin* wold wonderous There is no sin 'Ii word though presumably there was at one tune lf there ever was, the present-day word, wondrous, arrived through a process known as syncojw*. tile dropping of a letter, a sound or a .syllable from the middle ut a word.  It is that process that gave us laundress III place of launderess, and ne er do well III place of never do well. Sailors seem to be fond of syncopation (same as s.vn-cope): they take orders from the bo's'n iii  tile fo c's Ie.  Ni m Yof* Times Svndtco*«  By James Reston  WASHINGTON - Sen Mike Mans field of Montana is a reminder that there are still a lot of steady decent folk around here watching the store I N ci v body iii Washington is not crazy; it inst seems that way  Room S 208 iii the Capitol building. Mike s hideaway, is as plain and calm as a country lawyer s office. The door is always open. Inside, no fancy elegant people or heroic portraits of the majority leader. Some old amiable cartoons, and a big picture of Jack Kennedy throw mg out the first pitch on opening day. with Mike iii the background, as usual An atmos pherc (tf cheerful and relaxed efficiency, coffee perking on the shelf and cookies on Hit' table.  Understanding  Mike is sad but not pessimistic a bout the present mess in Washington. He thinks it is wrong to press the President to resign, hut he understands why tilt' Republican leader in tilt' senate, Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, condemned the President s private Watergate conversations. and why tilt' Republican leader iii the house, John Rhodes, suggests that resignation has to bt* considered. That’s Mike’s way; he tries to understand everybody ’s problems  But pressuring the President to resign. he insists, would he unfair, evade rather than resolve the moral and legal issues. (Jive tilt* President not only the presumption of innocence, he says, hut every opportunity to have his lawyers in the house and senate to argue his case, cross-examine witnesses, and appear on Hit' floor of the house and senate, if he chooses, to defend himself personally.  Senator Mansfield  Let the system work, says Mike. It is not only the President, but the congress and the Constitution that are on trial. Hut — and here In* is very tough — let it work all tin* way — not half way. Take the President at his word. (Jive him every conceivable opportunity to stat!' Ins case, all the lawyers he wants to challenge the evidence and all the time he needs to do so Hut, he insists, “let’s have the evidence.’’  Mansfield has a sense of pity about human folly and is very generous about the personal aspects of this tragedy—and he sees it not iii partisan terms. Ile is beyond all personal ambition now. even beyond his own party’s battles  For example, lie not illy sees the Watergate and V ietnam iii moral terms, but also Chappaquiddick and Senator Kennedy, and admires Kennedy as a good senator but is against him as the presidential nominee of his party in 1B7B  So there must he something right about a system that puts a decent man like Mansfield at the head of a party, and something consoling iii the thought that people in the house and the senate, worried about what to do iii this crisis, come to room S 2(18 to talk out their anxieties, and sec'k Mike’s quiet counsel  Mansfield, if I hear him right, is looking beyond the present turmoil in Washington. Ile is afraid that tilt' nation would be deeply cliv idee! for a long time if President Nixon were forced to resign by political or newspaper pressure.  Ile thinks the whole Watergate scandal could have been avoided if the President had been open and trusted the system, and had wondered about what was right or wrong and had said “yes" or “no” at the right time.  Hut he is not worrying about the past now Ile agrees with the President that resignation is a had idea and that the impeachment process should go on to the end. but not iii the way the President means it. The Constitution, the courts, the house and the senate must decide and nothing else.  On the line  By which Mansfield means: No fiddling, no holding hack — not just the transcripts but the tapes. Open all the way. Full and complete disclosure, as the President claimed. Defense lawyers for tin' President in tin* judiciary committee of the house, and on tin* floor of the house to cross-examine witnesses, and in the well of the senate, if the house votes to impeach  Put it all to lest. lie says, and br mg the people into it all the way. Ile wauls televised hearings in the house' and senate Ile wants not merely the evidence the president wants to give, hut the hest evidence, including the tapes, and ii ne eessary, he wauls them played, when relevant, in the c hambers of the congress and on radio and telev ision  There are many arguments against this procedure, argued iii this space before, hut Mansfield thinks we’ve had enough secrecy, and enough deception The President has asked for a fair trial under the Constitution, so let it begin with all the relevant facts out plain and clear  This simple approach carries great weight here, for the importance of Mansfield is that his colleagues iii both parties and in both houses believe in him. They watc h him iii S 2118 and on the floor of the* senate*, struggling to In* fair, opposing the President on troops in F.urope, opposing his own party (til many issues, arguing for the things he thinks is right, even if this means opposing his own party.  So he has power, even though lie* doesn’t want it, maybe because* he doesn’t want it. Others here are jumping to conclusions, calling for resignation, shifting and jumping around. But Mansfield waits. Ile is in no hurry. He goes on with the business of tile* senate. Ile won I even talk about whether lie* has made any preparations for a trial of the President. “That's not before us yet,” he says.  He may be right or wrong on tins procedure, but he 1  has the Influence of integrity, and in the* end, that may be* what the controversy is all about.  New York Times Service  Justice twisted, torn, undone  Law’s lawyering-to-shambles documented  By James J. Kilpatrick  LOS ANGELES — Our criminal law has fallen into a condition that may charitably be described as chaotic. That is the judgment rendered bv a California jurist in a brilliant book scheduled for publication this month. The book is “The Price of Perfect Justice’, by Judge Maeklin Fleming of the court of appeal of California. As you love the law. do not miss this work  Judge Fleming’s thesis goes to this effect: The* highest appellate* courts in the nation have' become so obsessed with “the perfect trial” that they have lost sight of the fair trial. As one* consequence, our system of criminal law is bogged down in a swamp of legalisms, technicalities, and judicial booby traps In this morass, the fundamental question of guilt tends to disappear. The* goddess of justice finds herself holding a pair of cockeyed scales and an impotent sword.  That is too brief a summary of a devastating work of criticism. Other writers on the law tend to single* out partic ular areas for comment, and some of these other writers make clean hits. Judge Fleming's book is a grand slam homer: Ile clears all the bases  ■  People's forum  Kennedy defended  To the Editors:  You must indeed lie desperate in view of your editorial May 9 containing a despicable smear, below the-belt attack on Ted Kennedy 2 , /s years before he might run for President.  To equate the tragedy in the* personal life of Senator Kennedy in which one life; was accidentally lost but for which the* victim’s parents do not blame* him, with Nixon’s Watergate* in which the whole country is the victim and his destruction of thousands of lives in Vietnam and Cambodia, is ridiculous and the height of irresponsibility. Evidently you and others like you w ill do everything you c an to whip up anti-Kennedy hatred to bring about his assassination  So what if party bosses dc* riot want him ti* run? Every poll indicates that he is far ahead of every other Democratic candidate* in preference among the rank anc! file. After Watergate, don’t you think that the people at large* should decide who the ir candidate will be*''  Furthermore*, Kennedy is still undec ided about running, and if he does se* will enter most <if the* primaries In te*st voter sentiment. Therefore*, why not leave* it up to the* Democratic vote-rs Ie* dec ide* whe*m the*y desire as the ir can-didate? If the*y hold Chappaquiddick against him ane! pre*fe*r Jackson or Wallace, so be* it And if he* loses the* election ye*u will tx* happy. . . .  After Kennedy’s accident, Nixon’s unscrupulous minions made* every possible investigation, even trie*e! to se*elue e otheT girls who attended the* party, ie* get eie*re*gatory information against him I hat they faile*d completely give*s credence Ie* his account of the* events His post-accident behavior can Im* accounted  It is a fair observation on most lawyers, judges and law professors that they write turgid stuff; it is as if their pens had been dipped in library paste. Judge Fleming, by contrast, writer crisply and luc idly. Even the most untutored layman can read this book with profit.  The California jurist, now 82, writes from a lifetime in court, both at the* liar and on the bench. Graduated from Yale* law school in 1937, he* practiced briefly in New York, then migrated to California after World war II. There he began the general practice of law. specializing in trial work  lie* has known both sides of the* courtrooms of Los Angeles, as an assistant prosecutor and a public defender. He served five years a*> a trial judge* on the* superior court for Los Angeles county, and ten years ago took his place among the* 2(1 justices who make up the Second district of the court of appeal of California  It is from this vantage* point, as an appellate* judge required to interpret the mandates of his judicial superiors, that Judge* Fleming has witnessed the* maddening deterioration of our criminal law Ile* and his colleagues have* become, in effect, umpires for the* games defendants  for by concussions for which he* wore a nec k brace afterward. His “advisers” took advantage* of his condition.  lie that as it may, wait until he becomes a candidate, give him the* benefit of every doubt, and let the* voters in the* various primaries and the election decide his fate. This is the American way. The country cannot stand another assassination inspired by venoni-m-spired news media.  R. Goethe Iowa City  Mistreated'  To the Editor  I ani a 17-year-old prisoner confined to the men’s reformatory at Anamosa. I am writing from administration segregation (lockup) where I am allowed out of my cell for showers one day and 15 minutes of exercise the* alternate day  Last Feb. 4, I was taken lie fore the disciplinary hoard (kangaroo court) fora report that I received for swearing at an officer. I was sentenced to seven days iii isolation (the hole) and 90 days in administration seg Iii the* hole I reeeivcel a blanket al night aleuig with a mattre*ss ane! was put oil half rations of food  But sentences like* mine are* ge ne rally handed down for serious infractions such as hitting a guard or fighting. I am a revedatioii munste r iii the* Church of the* Ne*w Song ariel fee*! that lins had a lot to do vv It Ii Hie* great sentence* I was given, as the* administration trued every way iii tin* book lei keep the* church from having servo es lichi he*re* Tills is the* general feeling also of my brothers eif the* church  Another injustice that is allowed to be* piae cd upon us prisoners is through another kangaroo ixia rd known as tile* e Jus-situation board, whose main purpose is to transfe r young men to the* Fort for any infraction of rules. T he* main grie f here is that a bit of the se* men an* confronted to commit homosexual acts with o|ele*r iiu*n at the* Fort or seek lockup to ge*t away from such action  play. Daily the*y are* compelled tee give practical effect to the* bizarre* theories handed down from above.  Judge Fleming dryly describes the* delaying tactics that impede criminal justice. These he terms “sidetracking” and “mainlining.” The defense lawyer who elects to sidetrack a prosecution may begin by attacking the arre*st warrants, or the compositiem of the* grand jury, or the* qualifications of the* judge.  A lawyer may the*n attack the ennsti-tutionality of the law itself, or contend that excessive publicity prevents a fair trial, or appeal from preliminary rulings. Once a case* gets hack on th** main line*, the* prosecution can bi* slowed to a crawl by a doze*n other delaying motions.  Conviction and sentence no bulger mark a terminal pennt. A defendant  James J. Kilpatrick  When these men are take*n before Hie* board, they are* allowed tee call witnesses on their behalf. I was a witness for a fellow inmate not long ago and had not said more than 111 words when the* head of treatment said in a ve*ry loud, harsh voice, “(Jet him out of here*,’’ and I was forced to le*av<* the room. What good are witnesses if they can’t bt* heard?  It’s true we broke the law to come here, and arc locked up like animals, plus working for slave wages. But th** fact remains that we are still human and should be treated as such. The only resource we have is to lot tin* public know how we are being mistreated and hop** that someone will eventually investigate an*l have something done about it. I will probably be punished for writing tins letter.  Steve Fitzpatrick Anamosa  Horse killed  To th** Editor  Hardly a day could go by without our being exhilarated, if not inspired, to sir a beautiful horse and girl move in unmistakable majesty over hurdles, fused together as one, as only an expert horsewoman and mount can. Hut today is a most grievous one for us, and our grand state of Iowa is a little diminished, because champion numt>cr two barrel racing horse is now just so much cold meat. It was slaughtered by a van on Hlairs Ferry road Tuesday morning ( May 7)  What kind ut speed picks up a I BHI pound animal and tosses ii into the windshield, sluffs it over the sui** of the hood to die iii a few minutes-—35 iii p Ii or even 55 ni p h. as the posted speed claims? No, much more, we say.  The investigating officer was heard to say, I hunk goodness it was only a horse Though we speak in grief arid perhaps anger, we must agree, for it could have been our child instead of “only a horse “  Mr and Mrs David (i. VT flu ii WM Fourth street SW  found guilty in a state tribunal needs only to cry “due process” or “equal protection” or “retroactivity” in order to leap into the federal courts for review. Defense lawyers have been given great balls of twine, and they have learned to tie justice into knots  Judge Fleming’s hook is polemic in its spirit, but restrained in its tone. He lots the appalling facts speak for themselves Ills concern is for the blindfolded woman with th** sword and the scales:  “Each time the criminal process is thwarted by a technicality that docs not bear on the innocence or guilt of th** accused. we trumpet abroad th** notion of injustice; and each time a patently guilty person is released, some damage is done to the general sense of justice.”  Ile urges a return to trials that are swift, fair. and final, lh* wants more attention paid to substance an*! less to mere ritual. And ho wants judges to serve as judges instead of as legislators, policymakers, super school boards, or smart-alecks.  This is a sockdolager of a book. One hopes Justices Douglas, Brennan and Marshall, for starters, find time to read it.  Washington Star Syndicate  Youth in business  To the Editor:  On May 8, I attended the Ninth annual Junior Achievement awards banquet at the Roosevelt hotel for the young men and women in the Cedar Rapids and Marion area.  The public at large hears a great deal •if had news through television news reports, magazines and newspapers about the youth of our country. Very seldom do we take the opportunity to acknowledge a job well done by the young people of our community, who really contribute to the growth of this country and arc tile future of America.  I speak for the many adults that were there in praising the Junior Achievement organization ami the exceptional young people that are involved in these projects. As the various awards were presented and appropriate rounds of applause were given, it reinstated my faith in the American way of life and the free enterprise system and that it is being passed on to a very healthy, ambitious, group of young people who will Im* a credit to our society in the very near future, as they are today.  The parents of these young adults and the community can be very proud of these fine young people.  Richard Goode 2918 Alleghany drive NE  Insights  By speaking of our misfortunes we often seem to get relief  Pierre Corneille   

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