Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 24, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette June 24, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Mirage? Editorial Page Monday, June 1974 Sock the scavengers IN VIVID contrast to Iowans’ selfless aid following the Ankeny tornado tragedy of June 18 stood this news notation: Iowa National Guardsmen patrolled the streets to deter looting. It takes a singularly thoughtless species of human parasite to scuttle in and make off with belongings of disaster victims. Does that class of sneak-thief actually thrive in Iowa? Or are the precautions taken in a storm’s wake merely an offshoot of lessons learned in crime-infested metro areas? A call to Col. Howard Miller, Iowa’s highway patrol chief, brushed aside the naivete. “I don’t want to emphasize this, but there was evidence of looting when I got to Ankeny,” Col. Miller said. ‘‘Before midnight one of the troopers saw two fellows carrying liquor from a store. They dropped the bottles and ran when he (the trooper) accosted them. He didn’t give chase because, being headed for the most devastated part of town, he felt he was needed more there.” Col. Miller said other instances of looting were reported at a service station just east of Ankeny and at a shopping mall where winds had blown out the fronts of stores. ‘‘Meanwhile in Ankeny, the man of the house stayed home in many instances to make sure no one would come in and take what little they had left,” he said. The highway patrol chief stressed that would-be looters comprise a tiny minority. ‘‘People always seem to come to the front in times of disaster — in Ankeny we had more volunteers than we could use. But it always seems that in a catastrophe there still are people around whose first thought is to acquire the property of others. Looting has occurred often enough that we guard against it; we think people have already suffered enough.” Col. Miller said looters in some cases are persons who would not break or enter or commit other crimes but ‘‘cannot resist the temptation to pick things up following disasters. “But looting is still a crime,” he stressed. An especially pitiless type of crime, indeed. Which distinction raises the need for setting the offense apart from the dozen other kinds of larceny defined in the code of Iowa. (The closest sweep the code book makes now is a provision concerning theft from a building on fire.) The revision and attendant publicity would remind would-be looters that this form of stealing is in no way justified by someone’s warped idea of salvage rights. The spotlight on looting also might inspire judges to study what rehabilitative forms of punishment might be appropriate: Work-sentences, perhaps, prescribing cleanup and repair assistance at disaster sites. Platform cop-out FOR A 50-page, 500-item, all-encompassing state party platform, the newly approved compendium of Iowa Democrats serves up at least one distinguished example of a naught-encompassing nonitem. The plank on abortion declares: “We support the right of all candidates in the Democratic party to reflect their own moral considerations of their constituencies on the issue of abortion.” In other words, each individual running for office should decide for himself how he stands on abortion and be guided by that in his actions rather than by any policy imposed by the group he belongs to. Ironically, that attitude is precisely what the law of Iowa advances, in its present form as modified by the latest supreme court doctrine, as to how society shall deal with abortion: Individuals free to decide for themselves. No one forced to have or take part in abortions against personal wish. Moral judgment resting with the individual alone. To each his own. W hy this freedom should apply through platform guidance to the party members seeking office but not through advocated law to everyone is a problem in logic that the platform makers might better explain, but probably won’t. The reason being, naturally, that the abortion issue is so hot, so divisive, so emotionally charged up that you can lose more votes than you can gain by taking a stand on it openly this year — either way — at the state party level. Ironically again, four years ago both major parties’ platforms did support reform of the restrictive law then covering abortions in the state. Now apparently the nerve is gone. But the Democratic statement still says more than it intends, perhaps. Fundamentally it says a person’s own position on abortion is a matter of free, personal choice. Any candidate who lets that handy principle direct his own campaigning but would vote for a law depriving the public of the same sort of freedom on this issue will confront a reconciling-problem of the first degree. :i I: if W TV?. I TW WPI iMj# I; ft ; Hr ia< 'itll Ii t i I ll Hi* V..H i: ?' ; I' ‘Mi SJH-.-; if. ■ ] lim mf ..A viMW***    „ rn rn IU* • *•( i i -    ’    S    ‘.I    i    •*    I ..--CV';, £2*    •Mi''*******    •    >    - ? fa fiji' wfa, . ■ ‘rv'fc'ifc-sx,.. -'•VT-, ""WMK*. -v*. *****rn People's forum Judgment To the Editor: On June 13 in Dallas at the Southern Baptist convention the delegates reaffirmed their belief in “The sanctity of human life.’’ Then they supported a resolution allowing abortion for rape, incest, severe fetal deformity and probable damage to the mental health of the mother. It is common knowledge that in any of these cases mentioned the fetus is human and Ood did create it just as Ile did any of us. Just who are they to judge who can live and who must die? It seems that when some churches are confronted with the abortion issue they are adopting a situational ethics approach. They are trimming their theology to fit what they think the public wants to hear I’m sure they would be more within Clod’s guidelines if they had adopted a resolution to eliminate human problems not human beings. E. Laschanzky 1530 Twelfth street, Marion Milk money To the Editor When Edward Mezvinsky announced his candidacy for U. S. representative from the First district of Iowa, he was submitting his name to the voters as to being their choice of two candidates. The people most likely expected both candidates to confine their dependence for financial support to their expected constituency. It is not expected that either candidate accept financial help from institutions from other states to finance his campaign, thus becoming involved in the interests of out-of-state commercial bodies. In a recent letter in The Gazette (June 16), Rep. Mezvinsky said: “To return the money to the contributor could be interpreted as admission that the dairy money was dirty money.” Just possibly perhaps, accepting the money to help in one’s election can be interpreted as meaning that the money would help one win. Thus it could mean selling your vote, unknown to the district’s people, because to have returned the money would have been to notify the dairy folks that you were not for sale. It is more the responsibility of the candidate to prove his honesty by saying “No” than to accept and now have some who voted for him awaken to deception. In following presidential elections for 66 years, I have never known of a presidential candidate, Democrat or Republican, who had the temerity to say to the people or to other candidates, “Do as I do and you will be OK.” But here is a representative advising the President to pattern after himself such conceit. Since this financing from an out-of-state source most likely had a part in securing some votes which would otherwise have gone to the opponent, that amounts to buying votes. If a guilty verdict is passed on the President, then acceptance of out-of-state money should give the receiver a share of that verdict. In that case, in the coming election, the voters of Iowa’s First district should invite Mr. Mezvinsky to stay home by electing a man who will take heed, go to Washington and properly represent his constituency, not constituents from other states . . . Since Rep. Mezvinsky has said he would not return the money, the folks of First district may properly wonder how much money he is receiving to finance the present campaign. This goes for any other candidate in similar circumstances, be the office sought higher or lower Omer L. Allison 705 Second avenue SW To the tune of the Washington Post March Macabre lf impeachment runs, public wants it tubed By Louis Harris Th* Hatrit Survey B ► Y 57 to 36 percent, a majority of the American people favors televising nationally the impeachment proceedings in the house of representatives. By an even larger 59 to 34 percent, a majority also would favor putting a U S. senate trial of the President on TV People were asked to choose between specific arguments in favor of televising everything from the proceedings of the house judiciary committee up to and including a possible trial of the President in the senate as against the fears expressed over creating a public spectacle. Decisive majorities came down every time on the side of the camera eye. Earlier this month, a nationwide cross-section of 1,413 households in which interviews were conducted in person was asked this question: "Do you think th* impeachment proceeding* in the house of representatives should be televised nationally or not?” Total public Should be Should not Not sure 57 36 7 Traditionally, the house has always prohibited televising either its committee or full house proceedings. At first, the judiciary committee indicated that it planned to open its hearings to television, a decision later reversed. The issue, however, is still being debated by members of the house and a vote to open up the judiciary committee investigation and a possible later debate on the house floor could well be in the offing. In the case of the U.S. senate, majority leader Sen. Mike Mansfield has already indicated that if a trial is held there after house impeachment of President Nixon, he would favor that it be before the television cameras. The cross-section was then asked: "lf the President is impeached by the house of representatives and he is put on trial by the U S. senate, do you think the trial in the senate should be televised nationally or not?” Total public Should be Should not Not sure 59 34 7 Clear majorities favor televising both the house impeachment proceedings and the ultimate senate trial, if it takes place. The public feels strongly about getting to see the impeachment process at work. They believe that television is the most direct means for them to know what is going on. The biggest single group favoring televising the proceedings, coming to one in every four persons, volunteers as their reason the people’s “right to know.” As a farmer in Jaspei county, Iowa, put it: “We’ve got a right to know what’s going on there in Washington, and on TV we ought to be able to see it all." Another key reason volunteered in support of televising the impeachment proceedings was the desire to “see things for myself,” without any filtering through media interpretations. This implies some public skepticism about the way electronic and print media report the news. As a business men in Rochester, N Y., said: “I’d like to get it like it happens, without all the commentary and the shadings in the papers or on TV or radio.” Opposition to televising the impeach- Lesson in how justice percolates to the very top By Russell Baker ASHLNGTON — Senator Coldwater W prosecuted for printing government information the government doesn’t want published At first glance this seems like a good idea lf you are one of those people who would just as soon not know what the government » up to — and considering what it ka» been up to lately, only a masochist would want to be even slightly informed Only brief reflection, however, is required to see that the senator s proposal is unsatisfactory Mr. Coldwater has not thought the thing through. Let us do it for him. Let us assume that the Dost receives in the mail a typical government document classified “secret.” It arrives in the mail room where a clerk empties the mail bags and puts it in a batch of envelopes for delivery to the news room. A copy boy sorts the news room mall and sends the* document to a clerk on the city desk The clerk, observing that the document is written in typical government gobbledygook and that it deals with, say, the price of butter, assumes (bsf it is another routine press release Russell Baker and routinely sends it to the reporter covering the butter beat In due time it is printed in the paper, having been checked by a reporter, processed by a copy reader, read by an assistant city editor, reread by the city editor, okayed by an assistant managing editor, approved by the managing editor and mentioned casually to the publisher, Mrs. Katherine Graham, at an office lunch the day it goes to press Now, the crime having been committed, the government swings into action A grand jury is convened. The justice department sets up a three-man prosecuting team to insure that the perpetrators of this hellishness will pay for their sins. lo no time at all the rnail-ronm clerk who received the forbidden document and passed it on to the copy boy is convicted of receiving illegally circulating federal papers and sentenced to 3 to 7 years at hard labor in Leavenworth. He has implicated the copy boy who took the document to the news room, and the copy boy, facing 5 to IO years in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, begins plea bargaining with the special prosecutors In return for telling them to whom he handed the forbidden document — the clerk on the city desk — he is allowed to plead guilty and is sentenced to one year in Danbury. The prosecutors go after the city-desk clerk, but they are really after Mr. Big, so they make a deal. They let the city-desk clerk plead guilty and get off with nine months in lx*wisburg, in return, he agrees to identify the man whom he passed the secret paper to. It is the reporter who covers the butter beat. After plea bargaining the reporter identifies the copy reader who processed his story and the assistant city editor who read it, and is sentenced to six months in liCwisburg The copy reader gets off with four months for agreeing to testify against the assistant city editor, who gets off with two months in Allenwood, where he will be taught to groom radishes, in return for implicating the city editor. The city editor pleads guilty and is sentenced to 30 days at an ITT-Sheraton motel in suburoan Washington. In exchange, he agrees to testify against the assistant managing editor More plea bargaining ensues. The upshot is that the assistant managing editor agrees to testify against the managing editor, and after pleading guilty he is sentenced to pay a $10 fine, which is suspended. Confronted with the assistant managing editor’s testimony, the managing editor pleads guilty, weeps before the judge and throws himself on the mercy of the court. He is given a one-month vacation in Venice with all accummodatons prepaid on the Lido. At this point the prosecutors an? ready to nail Mr. Big, or in this case, Mrs Big — Katherine Graham, the publisher. Now, however, higher policy con-siderations must Im* taken into account Would it Im* good for the country to have a publisher hauled into court? Would it not do irreparable damage to the institution of the Publishency to press things too far? Urgent high-level conferences are held and their transcripts classified “secret" so that the mail clerk of any paper daring to publish them can Ik* sentenced to hard labor at Leavenworth Yes, someone points out, if Mrs. Graham were just any publisher justice should be served She should be sentence! to a three-month winter vacation in the Caribbean. But she is a woman and, moreover, a widow It would Ik* bud for the administration's image to send women to the Caribbean unescorted Thus image’s demands confound determination lo do justice, and the ( use is closed The mail-room clerk will be eligible for parole from Leavenworth in only two more years That is how justice works, Senator Coldwater If you read the papers instead of confining yourself to whut the government wants you to know, you would have known that all along. N*>w Vorh T im*»s Servif* Louis Harris Blent or trial tended to Im* rather diffuse, with people raising such reservations as: (I) “We have seen too much of Watergate already.” (2) “The proceedings should Im* kept private to only those involved." (3) “It might undermine the office of the presidency.'’ 44) “The people can reud all about it in the newspaper if they want to.” (5) “It would be cruel to President Nixon.” (6) “It might turn the proceedings into a sideshow. ” But none of these reasons was volunteered by more than 8 percent of the public. Finally, basic propositions for and against televising the impeachment proceedings were put directly to the cross-section: "let me reod you tom* *tat*m«nt» lorn* people have made about ♦devising the hearing* of the hou»e judiciary committee and an impeachment trial of the President by the full U.S. * enate. For each, tell me if you agree or dnagree (reod statement*)." DI* Not A°J    oar re sure ^ V    % Pro televising; They should be televi*ed because the American people have a right to know all the fact* about this highly important event in American history    67    28    5 The public can't lodge if congress is doing the right thing on impeachment unless the people are allowed to see it all    58    34    8 Anti televising: No proper judicial trial can be held fairly under the glare of television lights and cameras    35    53    12 The possible impeachment and conviction of a President is too serious a business to turn into a television spectacular, so it should not be televised    35    59    6 In each case, a solid majority clearly opts for televising the impeachment process in either the house or, if it gets there, the senate. Basically, the people are trying to say that it is not idle •curiosity which leads them to want to see the impeachment proceedings, but rather a deep involvement, themselves, in the process and a desire to see that justice is meted out to all concerned. Televising the proceedings, in the judgment of a majority, is a way to insure this fairness, not to impede it. Chlcogo Tribune New York News Syndicate ‘Liquor lib’ By Don Oakley ALONG WI TH everything else they ** established in 1787, the founding fathers made a “common market” out of the United States. The “commerce clause’’ was intentionally inserted into the Constitution to remove trade barriers between the states, which had boon one of the principal grievances of the former colonies. Prior to Prohibition, the supreme court ruled that intoxicating liquor was a legitimate subject of commerce, “as much so as cabbages and Candlesticks." Since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, however, court opinion has held that the 21st Amendment (repeal) overrides all other constitutional provisions and permits individual states complete latitude in the area of liquor control, including the right to discriminate against wine produced in another state. The result has been a pattern of “Balkanization” in state liquor laws, especially in regard to wines. A bill currently before congress — ll R. 2096 — would give alcoholic beverages the protection they were once guaranteed under the Constitution. The bill has been passed by a substantial majority in the house of representatives and is now awaiting action in the senate The only right that would be denied to an individual state would be the “right” to discriminate In favor of the wines of any one area over those from any other area It could not force a retailer, Whether a state-operated store or a private licensee, to buy or to refrain from buying any wines offered for sale by suppliers, nor would it interfere with a state’s adoption of local option laws ii. it 2096 would, in short, remove u shadow that has hovered over the legal status of alcoholic beverages for some 40 years NewsfMioer t nl»'pr i*« Assot lotion ;

  • Don Oakley
  • Edward Mezvinsky
  • Howard Miller
  • Katherine Graham
  • Louis Harris
  • Mike Mansfield
  • Omer L. Allison

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: June 24, 1974

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