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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Monday, July 15, 1974 - Page 6

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 15, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Editorial Page Stupid, partisan lunge not 'inconceivable' Can-ban benefits proven MID THE DIN of Oregon's bottle- bill brouhaha, Oregon State university business professors, Charles GudgtT and Jack Bailes, have quietly con- ducted a study charting the im- pact of the two-year-old law. The celebrated statute requires a five- cent deposit on all beverage con- tainers unless they could be reused by more than one com- pany; for those, the deposit would lie two cents. The aim is to vir- tually eliminate the distribution of pull-top, disposable cans which litter the landscape. Results of the research, presumably dispassionate in the finest professorial tradition, are worth passing along here. As ex- pected, the decrease in beer- and pop-can jettisoning has been impressive: a reduction of 88 per- cent in the volume of solid waste and litter from that source. The law is expected to save Oregon taxpayers yearly in cleanup costs. And contrary to.predictions of the pro-nonreturnables crowd, tin- effect of the law has been to increase by nearly million the total operating income for business sectors directly affected. Naturally, experience has varied from industry to industry. Brewers and outliers have saved S8 million, according to the study, while beer distributors' operating costs are up and retailers' costs have increased by nearly million. Fears of unemployment also were unfounded, though here again impact from one business to another has made up a mixed bag. Despite a personnel decrease in container manufacturing and soft drink canning industries, all other members of the business sector affected by the law have recorded employment increases. The net overall job increase has been 363, according to Profs. (Judger and Bailes. The bottle law's demonstrated success owes largely to consumer cooperation, according to the researchers: "Consumers are re- turning substantially more con- tainers, thus cutting their deposit losses." All of which should be instruc- tive to Iowa's general assembly, which four times has seen "ban- the-can" legislation die in com- mittee. Clearly, it is time for the Iowa proposal, now based on the Oregon bill, to be taken seriously. Unusual arrest m.o. DAMON RUNYON would have liked the way Police Chief Wallace LaPeters handled the booking of five Cedar Rapids police officers on conspiracy, per- jury and obstruction of justice charges last Tuesday. There was, undeniably, a certain amount of style involved in the secret pho- tographing and fingerprinting ri- tual: meeting indicted officers at a motor inn, feeding them refresh- ments (courtesy of the innkeeper) and then handing officers notices of suspension on the way out. Accounts of the highly unusual (for this locale, at least) modus operandi evoke images of the new chief placing long-stem roses between the teeth of indictees as they trip through the doorway. In light of the imaginative arrest- making already on record, the wonder of it is that Chief LaPeters did not equip the veteran officers with do-it-yourself booking kits. A touch of class? Enough, perhaps, for two Runyon short stories and a Humphrey Bogart movie. No doubt the private bookings impressed police department members with the fact that LaPeters, like all conscientious chiefs of police, aims to protect his own. But good intentions and verve aside, the move probably does not score equally high among the citizenry, particularly those who have suffered the humiliation of being booked in the bleak surroundings of police headquarters. Why, one might People's forum Rural riposte To Hie Kdilor The opitniii; expressed by the Wall Street Journal editorial published in The (laxette July 3-4 prompts me to reply. We as the nation'1- food producers tile [.....I that keeps the nation powerful tin not want anyone's sympathy, nor do most of us with any insight into the future want the low-interest loans to gel us further into debt and In further cloud the future markets We do want, and have the right to ex- pect, the chance to recover and to go on producing the best food a! the most reasonable prices fount! anywhere in the world. Whether the gentleman pushing the pencil for the Journal realizes it or not. il is not just a matter of "saddling up nnr horses and gelling nut on Iho range" we've been there and will continue to slay there. (He should try it sometime it's not a joy-rifle.) ask, should policemen accused of felonies be excused the same rou- tine prescribed for others taken into custody? LaPeters has explained that he simply wanted to conduct the lawfully private proceedings away from news media members, whom he lumped into a single characterization: hanging around "like fleas on a dog's back." The chief contends that reporters created a circus atmosphere which threatened the police department. But by setting up shop in a posh motel, LaPeters created a country-club at- mosphere. In our opinion, the decision was a mistake. As it ironically turned out, the police department's iden- tification bureau might have proved less exposed to the news- gathering hordes. Isn't it the truth? By Carl Riblet, jr. Scientists ought to invent a device that could determine exactly what is or is not in the mind of any particular candidate for public office. If Ihe voters learned, after getting a peek into the handsome head (if a candidate of either Democratic or Republican persuasion, that the space contained therein was a mish-mash of knots and snags, a vacuum, or solid, they could then elect it, reject il or preserve it in a jar against future need in politics for knotheads, empty heads or lhat specialty of congress huneheads. "There is a third kind of brain that can neither understand itself nor be taught to understand." Niccolo Machiavelti With cheap imported beef coming into the country at lower cost (and also quality) than what we can produce, due to the exorbitant inflation lately we hardly have half a chance to get our breath before going down the third lime. You can bet your newspaper and Ills lhat if. by chance, some foreign industry was publishing a rival newspaper at less ciist than his and distributing il in his Another View By James Reston WASHINGTON In his first inaugural address. Woodrow sou said tliat "the firm basis of gou-ni- men! is justice, nut pity." anil he ap- pealed tn "every man's conscience and of tiic I Igill lilts did to be a vorv contagious suggestion, but Wilson said some things that dav that .ire relevant to our present political and public ctinfusions "Tile nation has been deeply stirred." he said, "stirred a solemn passion, stirred by the knowledge of wrong, of ideals losi. of government ton often debauched and made an inslruuu'iit nf evil We know our lask to be no mere task nf politics but a lask which shall search us through and through, whether we are able to understand our time and the need of people, whether we be indeed their spokesmen and interpreters, whether we the pure heart to comprehend and the rectified will to (house our course of action. Wilson was concerned that the people and the congress, confronted by the dif- ficult and ambiguous problems of lhat day. should approach their duly from Ihe interests of the nation as a whole and of the future. "It is lie said, "thai we sh'Mild do this as partisans; it is incon- ceivable that we should do il in ignorance of I lie facts as they are. or in blind haste men's hopes call upon us to say what we will do. Who shall live up l'i Ihe great Irusl'.1 Who dares fail to try1.'" Compare this with the rhetoric and ar- guments of the White House, the congress, and [he country today. Again the nation lias been confronted by "the knowledge of wrong, of ideals lost, of government too often debauched and made an instrument of evil." The evidence is clear before us on Ihe White House tapes, but the reaction is quite different. It is no longer "inconceivable" that we should seek "justice" without knowledge of the "facts" the White House is refusing to produce the facts, and telling the supreme court to stay out of the case, and refusing to say even whether it will abide by ihe judgment of the highest court of the land. It is no longer "inconceivable" that this great constitutional crisis uf today should be approached in partisan terms: The White House legal strategy is tn provoke a partisan splii and thi'irby. if successful, assure enough vuli-s to avoid conviction of tilt1 President on the ev idence. The congress is not exactly motivated these days by "every nun's conscience and vision of the but is seething with partisan sentiments, and the public opinion polls reflect similar confusion between politics and principle. This is the most interesting and probably the most decisive question about the impeachment process: whether the people and the congress want the disturbing facts, or whether they are bored and frightened by the facts and want tn evade them. The evidence seems to be that a very large percentage of the people are almost stunned by the facts they already have and that the daily disclosures of wrong- doing, even when expressed in lockerroom language in the President's own voice, no longer produce a com- parable response. In the last few days, the White House has gone into the supreme court and ar- gued that the President alone should decide what evidence ought to he made available, even evidence nf criminal misconduct. Also the house judiciary committee lias issued its recordings of the President's White House conversations, which differ from the President's versions of the same tapes and demonstrate that somebody eliminated critical informa- tion and even changed words and mean- ings in the original White House presen- tation of the "facts." On May 2, (lie White House deputy- press secretary, Gerald L. Warren, an- nounced that the White House transcripts represented "the complete story as it relates to the President and Watergate." But the judiciary committee version includes one statement eliminated by the White House, in which the President, eliminating his gutter language, says: "1 want you all to stonewall it, let them (his aides) plead the Fifth Amendment, cover-up or anything else, if it'll save the plan. Thai's the whole point Later, he said lie might prefer to do it another way. by giving the ('ingress a partial report of the evidence, but his personal involvement in the discussion of n.u-i-iiif; uii am! instructing dear, yet the White House says this and other discrepancies are meaningless. In fact. James St. flair, the President's lawyer, is turning out to be the shiftiest broken-field runner to come ..lit of the t mvcrsitv uf iiinuMs since llrange. Asked why the While House had omitted one Iti-page portion uf the President's March 22. conversation, he replied that he saw "nothing sinister" in the deletion. "I still don't think it's relevant." he added. Htm Xiegler. the President's propaganda chief, is even more shameless in his denials and charges, but he has been so discredited for so long now that it no longer matters what he says. What does matter is that even documentary evidence of While Utilise evasions, deletions and misrepresenta- tions no longer seem to surprise or even impress a great many people Even members of the congress seem to be a little numb after two years nf con- troversy and contradiction since the Wa- tergate breakin. They seem to be waiting for a clear response from the people anil the people seem to be waiting for a clear response from the congress. Meanwhile, even the definition of what is an im- peachable offense is still the subject of endless debate. These, then, are the threshliold (pies lions: How is the mountain of evidence to be judged'? On Nixon's terms or the court's'' With all the facts or without them? On the whole shoddy record of misconduct or on the narrow ground of si me clear violation of criminal law? On the basis of justice, conscience, and the right, as Woodrow Wilson proposed that we should approach our problems, nr on the basis of pity and politics? Daniel J. Boorstin, in "Democracy and Its quotes Claude Hopkins on the art of advertising: "In fishing for buyers, as in fishing for bass, one should not reveal the hook." But the astonishing thing is that the President and his men, fishing for votes, keep on revealing the hook and landing the suckers. It is quite a performance, but it wasn't exactly what Woodrow Wilson had in mind. Feds, manufacturers tweaked Product safety: 'area of deep concern By Louis Harris The Harris Survey WITH CONCERN about the safety of consumer products continuing to run strong. 77 percent of the buying public favor "the federal government developing more extensive standards for product safety." In 11 of 14 products asked about, there has been a rise in the number of Americans who are worried about safety hazards or potentially dangerous defects. Home pesticides, room heaters, au- tomobiles and power lawnmowers top the list of products causing the most public concern. Recently the Harris Survey asked a cross-section of 1.4117 households, as it had back in 1971: "Some people hove expressed concern over Ihe danger of or poisoning from certain Louis Harris area, we would hear endless arguments on how this is America and American industries should come first We agree that less government in- terference would definitely DC beneficial, but first the government could try to correct at least one of its mistakes not by giving us handouts, but by at leasl giving us a chance to come back by res- tricting meat imports much more strictly. It's 11 pretty poor time to decide not to interfere after you've pushed someone who can't swim into deep water The domestic livestock people are in- deed "big boys." and we will manage somehow However, the author of the editorial might keep in mind the truth of a new bumper slicker thai has been making Ihe rounds "America lives if Ihe farmer dues No oversight "A year ago I could have sold it tor double the amount that it's worth today." To the Kdilor The drowning of an inuoccnl child years of age was tragic enough bill to have a reporter write. "It was len For each product on this card, please tell me whether in using this product, you feel there is serious danger lo your health or safety, only some danger, or almost no danger at all. (Hand respondent I97J 1971 Pesticides ard bug sprays for home use (poisoning} 85 84 Room heaters (fire, asphyxiation) 80 75 Automobiles (manufacturing delects} 78 71 Children's toys (poison, sharp edges, flammable} 76 82 Power tools (inadequate safeguards) 70 62 Fabrics such as curtains or children's clothes (flammable) 64 Artificial additives in food (poisoning) 68 64 Automobile tires 64 69 Canned foods (poisoning, botulism) 63 48 Detergents (allergic reactions} 62 64 Hair sprays 62 54 Appliances (electric shock or fire) 58 56 TV sets (radiation or fire) 49 48 Although three in every four still are concerned about the safety of children's toys, the number has dropped from three years ago. Part of the reason undoubt- edly is the result nf a concerted cam- paign by botn consumer groups and manufacturers of children's toys to see that they are being made with greater attention to individual safety. The previous widespread concern over the allergenic effects of detergents has dropped slightly from Ii4 to 62 per- minutes, however, before it was noticed that Kerry McKnany. was missing." We do not know who gave that information. lint it is untrue. Kight young people were there on Ihe sand bar. and they knew immediately one person was missing. One young lad dove repeatedly, trying to reach whoever il was. while the others cried for help In come. Why did the reporter have to write the lime of ten minutes1' TIP these young parents and to the rest Hie family, lie as well have written 111 hours. We thank (iod Kerry's uas recovered, bill some words, un- true. can never be erased from our hearts. Kerry was my grandson Marcia Smith Walker (Editor's note: The Gozefte's story was based on a deputy report ol the incident. report said the vic- tim and four others "were swept into Ihe water" and the others were rescued by boat. "It was about ten minules before it was noticed Kerry was gone, the report said. Hearty identical com- ments appeared in a second official report. Deputies attributed ihe elapsed linie to the turmoil involved in Iho res cue operations.) Insights A man is known by the com- pany he organizes. Ambrose Bierce cent. This has been another area of in- tensive consumerisl activity in recent years. At a time when worry about tilt- safety of new cars still remains a concern to a high 78 percent of the public, apprehension over auto tire safety, on the other hand, has dropped from HS In 64 percent. Aside from these categories, there has been ill some cases a marked increase since 1071 in public worry about II products surveyed. In the category of canned goods. percent report being uneasy or worried about food poisoning, particularly bot- ulism. Over the past few years, in- stances in which persons have suffered from botulism from defective canned goods, which can be fatal, have received wide attention. This in turn has led to increased misgivings about canned goods of all kinds. Concern over artificial ad- Uncle Sam is biggest credit card nut of all AN KCONOMIST for the I. S. Chamber of Commerce has figured out thai next year's 83114.4-liillion federal budget comes In an average share of S4.362 from every family or household in the country No need to worry, however The government won't lie sending bills lor that amount not directly. As in the past, that portion of Ihe budget not met by tax or oilier income will lie financed by borrowing. In other words, by adding il on In the national debl. We, or our children, will just pay lor it later, the "easy" way. with cheaper dollars and conlinncd inflation. ditives to food also risen from 04 to BS percent. The number of people who use hair sprays and coloring for the hair has grown rapidly. But with increased usage, public worry about poisoning from the sprays or coloring has also risen from 54 to B2 percent. Back in 1971. a substantial 71 percent of the public was worried about the safety of power lawnmowers and the possibility of accidents resulting from their use. In 1974, an even higher 78 per- cent express concern, especially over whether sufficient safeguards are being built into the mowers. Power tools, which have grown in popularity, also are the source of concern among 70 percent of the public, up from 62 percent who felt the same way three years ago. Again, the complaint is that not enough safeguards are built into the power tools. All in all, the public not only is worried about product safety but also feels that the federal government is not doing a highly effective job of enforcing safety standards. The cross-section was asked: "In Irving lo enforce stondords for product safety and quality, how effective do you think Ihe federal governmenl is very effective, only somewhat effective, or not effective al Very effective Only somewhal Not effective at oil Not sure 18 62 14 25 50 17 When asked if federal efforts should be tightened in the area of product safe- ty ,lhe public loudly replied in the affir- mative "Some people hove suggested thot the federoi government should develop more extensive stand- rjrds for safety Do you favor or oppose Ihe federal government developing more extensive standards for product Opposf Not lur 77 17 I'roducl safety is now an obvious area of deep consumer concern in this country, and most people (eel not enough is being done by ihe federal government or the manufacturers uf the producls. This is the stuff from which consumer movements are made, and there is every likelihood Dial consumer groups focusing nil the prodncl safely will continue lo grow.   

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