Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 6, 1974, Page 8

Cedar Rapids Gazette

June 06, 1974

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Issue date: Thursday, June 6, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa th * ®*iiw tepid* ©»)#«*    Nixon-hating misses boat Editorial Page Thursday, June 6, 1974 How much for ? THE PRESIDENT and the congress are as one in insisting that today’s GI bill beneficiaries enjoy the same educational opportunities as their post-World war II counterparts, but the similarities in proposals for improvement end abruptly there. Mr. Nixon believes an 8-percent increase in benefits would suffice; the house of representatives has voted a 13.6-percent increase; and the senate veterans affairs committee has settled on an 18-percent boost (pared down from the original 25 percent). Indeed, the President and the senate are farther apart on this one than the distance from here to Tipperary. In recent years, the senate has been better attuned to the needs of veterans than the White House. But this time evidence suggests that the senate committee’s package is too generous. Cost-of-living figures show that since September, 1972 — date of the last veterans benefits increase — educational expenses have increased slightly over 13 percent, the very adjustment level suggested by the house. The house bill would raise monthly benefits to a single veteran from S220 to $249.92, compared with the $237 recommended by the President and $260 sought by the senate committee. While the dollar differences may appear small, the gaps grow mightily when applied to all 2.1 million GI bill participants: $200 million in the President’s recommendation and $361 million in the house package. (No figures available for the senate proposal.) Extravagant as the senate bill seems, however, two provisions (opposed thus far by the house and administration) are worthy of adoption; an extension of the maximum duration of schooling assistance from 36 months to 45 months and the payment of tuition directly to veterans. The latter proposal, set at a maximum of $720 yearly, would give veterans a wider choice of schools. Ordinarily the views of the Veterans Administration are instructive for those pondering legislation improving the lot of GIs. Because of its penurious opposition to most parts of the house bill, however, the VA should be counted out. Ford as President? Acceptable, says poll By Louis Harris The Harm Survey VICE-PRESIDENT Gerald Ford receives a 42-32 percent positive rating from the American people on the way he is handling his job This latest result is an improvement of six points in the positive column for the vice-president since March, but is still well below the 57 percent who thought he would do a “good to excellent” job when he was named last year. Mr. Ford has been touring the country almost nonstop since he replaced Spiro ^gnew, rallying Republicans for the 1974 campaign. He has been walking the tightrope of trying to demonstrate his loyalty to President Nixon while at the same time trying not to be tarred by the Watergate brush These latest findings of the Harris Survey indicate he has managed to carry off this balancing act with some success as far as the American people are concerned The bedrock appeal of Mr. Ford can be found in the 67-6 percent who feel “he is a man of high integrity.” In contrast, by 50-40 percent, Americans do not feel they can say the same about Richard Nixon. In fact, an impressive 58 percent of the public agree with the statement that “Vice-president Ford seems to be trying to be independent and to be his own man,’ which is good .” A 43-34 percent plurality, however, is critical of him, endorsing the view that “he is too much an apologist for President Nixon on Watergate.”New chief wanted A 48-27 percent plurality feels that Mr. Ford “would be qualified” to take over “if President Nixon were impeached and removed from office ” In fact, by 49-34 percent, the public says it would “respect President Nixon more if he resigned from the office of President to allow Vice-president Gerald Ford to take over as President in an act of national unity." This sentiment has grown since March, when a narrow 42-39 percent plurality felt that way. In May. a nationwide cross-section of the public 18 years of age and over was interviewed in person and was asked ' How would you rote th# job Vice-pre*tde«* ford ii do*ng — #ac#li«nt, pretty good, only loir, Of poof?" 74 % Good-excellent (poutiv#)    43 Only fotr poof (negotivej    32 Not *uf#    25 When asked why they rated him the way they did, respondents volunteered three main attributes about the vicepresident First and foremost, there is a sigh of relief that he bas "stayed out of trouble." As a 35-year-old lawyer in Saginaw, Mich., put it; "Well, he’s an honest man. I’m sure of that. And that’s saying a lot for a man who is serving as President or vice-president these days.” Another source of credit for Mr Ford is a feeling that he is "trying hard and doing quite well,” given “the tough times in which he has come into office." As a housewife in Stamford. Conn., put it. "I sympathize with him because he can’t bite the Nixon hand that put him there, but at the same time, he’d lose all public support if he just went out to whitewash everything Nixon has done."Still related Finally, people seem to sense that the vice-president has not burned his bridges with congress, where he spent 25 years, as many think President Nixon has done. A dentist in Akron. Ohio, said: “Any President has to have the cooperation of congress to get things done. I think Ford knows this and has been very careful to keep his old ties there. He’s a smart politician in a good way." In order to test some of the most controversial aspects of the vice-president’s personal profile, the public was asked: "let rn# read you tom# statement* that hove been mode about Vice-president Ford. for each,. tell me >f you tend t© ogre# Of dnogree (read statement* i " OH Not Agree agree tore Poutive statement* He is a mon of high integrity 67    6    27 He seem* to be trying to be independent and to be hi* own man,’ which it good    58    19    23 He it gaming much experience which will help him if he hot to take over a* President    63    16    21 Negative statements He it too much on apologist for President Nixon on Watergate    43    34    23 He is going around the country so fatt, it looks a* though he it running for the office of President right now.    36    35    29 He doe* not seem to be very smart about the issues the country it toeing    26    36    38 Basically, Gerald Ford is doing quite well with public opinion at a time when his immediate superior. President Nixon, has been in deep trouble ov#r Watergate. The public wants to give its new vice-president the benefit of the doubt, because, increasingly, people are beginning to feel that he might very well be the occupant of the White House well before 1976 Chlcogo Tribune New York New* SvndicoteAnother Morch NOV 74 73 37 57 32 22 31 21 By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — There is an honest, rational case to support those who favor the impeachment of Richard Nixon This column is NOT discussing the good-faith critics of the President but those who aim to force him out of office by any means under any circumstances for any reason It is evident that the bitter-end opponents of Mr Nixon are intent upon impeaching him even if this means impeaching the United States They are apparently willing to harm the nation if this is the only means of harming the President. The tactic is this: to so immobilize the President by clamor, innuendo and calculated leak that the demand for his resignation, before he has even been charged with any crime, will be irresistible. The bad-faith opponents assert and reassert the claim that the President is incapable of governing because of the impeachment proceedings and. therefore, ought to quit before the facts are on the record and any impeachment vote has been taken Repetition of this claim day after day is the device to get it accepted without the necessity of proof It is evident that the bad-faith opponents of the President are prepared to set back the cause of world peace, detente and nuclear arms control if they can make it impossible for the President tit negotiate with either friend or adversary. Arthur Schlesmger. jr. a speechwriter for President John Kennedy and a fine historian, seems willing to demean his talents by writing partisan piffle pleading that congress do something quickly to prevent the President from "wandering around the world in a transparent effort to shore up a crumbling political position at home." Roscoe Drummond Is this tactic going to fool the American people — even any of the time’’ I think most Americans will see through it and perceive that these impeach-the-President-at-any-cost advocates are prepared to put the United States on a leash if that is the only Way to put the President on a leash And this at the very moment when Nixon policies and Nixon initiatives, begun early in his administration, have brought: • An end to the fighting in the Middle East. • An end to the long, economically perilous trade dispute between the United States and the European Common Market through which European Import duties on ti billion in American exports yearly will be reduced, This is some of the work which those who want to impeach first and ask questions afterward are recklessly willing to risk to serve their partisan ends. The heads of state who are eager to discuss and negotiate with Mr. Nixon are not thinking of the weakness of the President but of the strength of the United States — and isn’t that what we should all be thinking about? I 0* Angeles Time* Svndirote Capital punishment: Can its return be justified? Th« ArgumentsYES i <TX/HAT IT all boils down to." said VV Sen. John L McClellan (D-Ark ) during senate debate on the bill, “is whether it is ever ‘just’ to impose the death penalty Can man ever be found to have acted so viciously, so cruelly, so much like an animal as to justify society imposing upon him the ultimate punishment? I firmly believe he can." Some crimes are so heinous, McClellan said, that the person committing them forfeits his right to life. He continued: “They have merited the clearest statement that such inhuman action cannot and will not be tolerated. . . . Nothing less will provide ample protection for the innocent, or ensure a safe society." Concern for human life is central to arguments on both sides of the issue, noted Glen D King, director of information services for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police. But “the logic which urges an abolition of the death penalty in the interest of human life is more apparent than real,” he said. “I am convinced that ultimately abolition of capital punishment would result in a much greater loss of human life than its retention.” In some circumstances, continued King, "this act of the utmost gravity is not only justified but is demanded, and .. violations can be committed which are so reprehensible that no other form of punishment is suitable." A similar choice was set forth by Ernest Van Den Haag, adjunct professor of social philosophy at New York university: “We may execute without thereby adding to deterrence and vainly sacrifice the life of the executed murderer But if we fail to execute, we may have failed to add the deterrent that might have prevented prospective murderers from engaging in murder. We may therefore have been sacrificing the lives of victims who might have been spared, had we executed the convicted man. ..." Congressional QuarterlyPeople's forum Backtalk To the Editor: Nothing ever presented on radio or TY could beat the live performance brought to us by KXIC radio from the Johnson county board of supervisors meeting on a recent W'ednesday morning For the benefit of those who were unable to listen, Mr Joe Zajicek brought an unpopular matter before the board and was treated with unbelievable rudeness bv Mr Burns, who butted in constantly while Mr. Zajicek was trying to explain his complaint. Only Mr Zajiceks strong voice kept him from being forced to retreat. Finally, Mr Burns in a derisive manner told Mr Zajicek to go ahead and talk because he wasn't listening anyway Then, without any basis of fact. Mr Burns accused Chairman Bartel of having planned the whole affair This was certainly an eye-opener as to who starts all the quarreling we’ve heard so much about in the past Concerning Mr Zajiceks recommendation that the board of health be dissolved, doe* he not have a point? When did the power of the board of health supersede that of the board of supervisors? Are we to Mieve that this fellow Burns is actually asking the voters of Johnson county to return him to office again0 lf By Congressional Quarterly WASHINGTON - TwoVears after the supreme court struck down laws allowing capital punishment, the death penalty has reappeared in more than half the states. And the debate over its wisdom is as complex and emotional as ever. The 5-4 ruling, announced June 29, 1972, did not impose an absolute ban on death sentences in the United State's It simply found that the laws which then allowed that sentence gave so much discretion to those who imposed it that it was resulting in irrational and arbitrary sentences, amounting to “cruel and unusual punishment’’ in violation of the Eighth Amendment. But only two of the justices said they felt that the death penalty under any circumstances was unconstitutional Nullified by this decision were the death penalty laws of 39 states and the death sentences of 631 persons awaiting execution. But soon many of these states were at work on new laws. Florida, where 102 persons were on Death Row when the supreme court ruled, was the first to pass a new law; it went into effect Dec. 8, 1972. As of mid-May 1974, 27 other states enacted new death penalty laws. And, in March 1974, the senate approved a bill that would allow the death penalty for certain federal crimes. As of early June, the house had not acted on the measure. Central to the controversy over capital punishment is the issue of its double-edged effect: Does it degrade those who impose it more than it deters those whom it threatens? Should the United States have a death penalty at all? Both sides’ opinions follow. The (wdzette's opinion Disrespect both ways THE HISTORY, the practices and moral codes of nearly all societies reflect no overriding value on the people’s part for human life as such. War and the death penalty for crime testify to values counted as superior to the lives of certain individuals, notably of enemy aliens and obnoxious criminals. Therefore it is not very persuasive to argue against capital punishment on grounds that it is inhumane, degrades human life or mars the dignity of man. Neither does it score well to argue the issue on grounds of deterrence — that a death for a death dissolves the homicidal urge. If that were the key, Minnesota — devoid of capital punishment since 1904 — might logically qualify as Murder Capital of the United States. Instead, it had the nation’s seventh lowest murder rate in 1972. In fact, six of the IO lowest murder rates in the nation that year belonged to states that still outlaw the penalty of death. Wherever life’s value and the dignity of man belong in this equation — either for the wronged or those who do the wrong — this much is inescapable: When society takes the life of a taker of life, it manifests the same kind of devaluation (despite the better motives) that the criminal did in his crime. As long as that example lasts, murder will remain as commonplace as capital punishment. so, would it not bo reasonable to suggest to anyone wishing to approach the board in the future to enter the room carrying a whip and a chair? This was indeed a spectacle of which no elected official should be proud A B Mutehler Iowa CitySchool support To the Editor A reply is required to the May 28 letter of four students responding to the failure of the school bond issue Admittedly, the failure poses a number of questions. However. I am unable to decipher a constructive answer in their comments A superficial and cursory investigation of a vexing problem can result in an intemperate and emotional reaction Such a reaction associated with sarcasm and antagonism does little to solve anything. Such reaction will normally be answered in kind and in that direction there is only conflict for its own sake. Tolerance and understanding do not come with age but rather through knowledge Pride based upon physical appearance alone is pride which is a mere veneer The well-kept school is not only the product of a bond issue. In fact, unless today s youth is totally changed, the condition of a school is mon* relined to use, and years are not necessarily the sole vandal The students parents know that money is not everything. Our educational system is proof of that, but try to sustain it without funds Their parents also know the value of a good educational system — how far would it have gotten without their moral and monetary support0 John Newton wrote. "Do not say, the people must Im* educated, when. after all, you only mean amused, refreshed, soothed, put into good spirits and good humor, or kept from vicious excesses.” Is he on point here and now 0 The measure of young people’s education. knowledge and wisdom is yet to come It is the hope of their parents and this community that they are up to the task, and that is reason enough not to let cither our educational system or the junior high schools deteriorate further Mathew P. Zieringer 822 Twenty-seventh street NERespected To the Editor: The recent resignation of Dr Richard Sorensen as superintendent of the Marion Independent school district has prompted the Marion Education Assn to request its executive council to draft a letter which would publicly honor and thank Dr Sorensen He has been an active member of our association al the local, district and state levels and has held high positions in the government of these organizations. Dr Sorensen served as president of the east-central district and as a niemtier of the state executive board of the ISEA In these positions he has worked diligently for conditions that would enhance the educational opportunities for children all over the state of Iowa. not just those in Marion Th® ArgumentsNO <<rpHE STATE, even if it punishes. I must treat its members with respect for their intrinsic worth as human beings," wrote supreme court Justice William J. Brennan, jr., in his 1972 opinion on the death penalty Brennan was one of the two justices who spoke out for the abolition of capital punishment altogether. “The calculated killing of a human being by the state involves, by its very nature, a denial of the executed person’s humanity . . . (and) is uniquely degrading to human dignity." The other justice who took this position was Thurgood Marshall, who described the court’s 1972 decision as “a major milestone in the long road up from barbarism." The barbaric aspects of capital punishment were emphasized in 1971 by Jack Greenberg of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Greenberg later argued one of the cases that brought the 1972 supreme court ruling In its irrationality the death penalty resembled “ritual human sacrifice," he said earlier. "The sheer lunacy of deliberately taking the life of a caged man. who can be kept caged forever, causes wonder at what the death penalty is all about.” Even before the U. S. supreme court acted, the California supreme court had held that state’s death penalty law unconstitutional. In its opinion, it warned that "the dignity of man, the individual and society as a whole is today demeaned by our continued practice of capital punishment. . . . nevertheless, it is incompatible with the dignity of an enlightened society to attempt to justify the taking of life for purposes of vengeance." To reinstate capital punishment, warned Sen Harold E Hughes (D-Iowa) during senate debate on its bill in early 1974, is to take "a long voyage into the night of the past ... an incredible retreat to a barbaric mode of punishment. ... It may satisfy our anger to take a life for a life, but what does it solve?" Congressional Quarterly The Marion Education Assn. wishes the patrons of the district to know of their great respect for Dr Sorensen as a professional educator and of their gratitude to hun for guiding the staff in providing an excellent program for the youth in our district. It is with regret that we lose a qualified, efficient, dedicated and respected school administrator Tom Gallagher, president 3481 E avenue NWZoo backed To the Editor: I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Hawkeye Zoological Society. Several months ago. it initiated an animal of the month program. which included my first-grade class at Bowman Woods elementary school A Society representative, Rev Rongren, each month chose an animal which was somewhat unfamiliar and interesting to most children in this area She brought it in for them to see and learn about. On her last visit, she brought the entire zoomobile, arid the children were so fascinated they talked about it for days Our area’s need for a /tnt became more apparent to me as I saw how the children benefited from first-hand understanding of different animal ways. I certainly thank and support the Hawkeye Zoological Society in its efforts to establish a zoo in the Cedar Rapids area Mrs Steven Scott 1828 Park Town* Lane NE on U.S. strength • An announced trip by the President to both Israel and the Arab nations to help turn truce into permanent peace • An imminent second useful U.S.* Soviet summit in Moscow. ;

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