Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 10, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette August 10, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 10, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa r fcfor fit sIik* Rnpitla Social security faith- Editorial Page Saturday, August IO, 1974 WWW Servants, not masters ACROSS the desk last week came a leaflet promoting the Coalition of American Public Employes, a labor movement to unite the separate organizations of such union groups as teachers. firemen, police and other city-county-state employes, therein increasing their bargaining clout. The cover depicted a picketing Milwaukee fireman being arrested with a poster at his feet that read: “Public Employes NOT Public Servants. " That message tells a lot about the trouble more and more communities have had with public workers who go out on strike and paralyze the schools or other public services, against the public interest. The trouble is an attitude that treats a public job as private property, endows its holders with possession rights of some sort and belittles the No. I purpose behind it: public service. No one in his right mind claims that people who work for the public should not get fair treatment on the labor market with pay rates and working conditions that are competitive with those in private employment. Good public service follows only when they do. But that does not erase the fact that working for the public differs drastically in one respect from working for a business: It carries obligations to put public service first, public safety and well-being ahead of narrow personal concerns, as a fundamental understanding of the work. No one has inherent rights to any public job. No one has to take a public job against his will. The choice is voluntary, on whatever terms the job may carry, with the nature of public employment understood in advance. Anyone can ({Uit a public job he doesn’t like. The fact remains that public employment IS public service. Public employes DO public service. Public service is performed by public servants. “Public servant" is an honored and respected term. Nothing in it smacks of lower-grade humanity, second-class citizenship, substandard employment or anything remotely bordering on slavery. Any group that looks on “servant as demeaning looks on “service" as a dirty word too. When public servants and their spokesmen take a line that means their own self-interests override the public’s, they declare themselves the master of the public they have been employed to serve. The public that receives the service either draws its own line again and makes it stick or pays for serv ice that it can't afford and doesn't get. Unfair to use ‘fair ? THOUGH none of the several nationally-known opinion polls claim infallibility, all hold their surveys to be accurate within a few percentage points. The Harris Survey, carried twice weekly on this page, deems itself second to none in that respect. But — a newsroom colleague wondered recently — how can the Harris people claim near-bullseye accuracy when they place “excellent*’ and “pretty good” evaluations on one side under the heading “positive,” and lump “only fair" with “poor" on the “negative” end. There is no doubt as to what “excellent,” “pretty good" and “poor” mean, the newsman argues, but since when should the assessment “only fair" be equated with a flunk performance? A valid question anytime, but most pertinent this year, because the political fate of a President hinged in part on pulsetaking by Harris, Gallup et al. It may be. for example, that a respondent who calls presidential performance “only fair" would not characterize that .judgment as negative. Rather, he may mean “fair” as in the purest dictionary sense, “moderately good, mildly satisfying" (American Heritage). Or — somewhat less likely — he may decide on “only fair" because the job in question is neither “excellent” nor “pretty good." but because, faults aside, the effort is being handled in a fair or equitable manner. Either way, the “only fair" judgment should fall on the “positive" side of the ledger. Vet the Harris Survey paints the picture in stark black and white. No matter that “only fair” assessments may outnumber the poors 8 to I. the sum of the disparate parts — all the reader gets to see, anyway — is a singular judgment, “negative.” ll thi* reading of sentiments is thus flawed at the cross-section stage, it can hardly be deemed accurate when assigned to the population as a whole. What adjective would be fairer than “only fair" in reflecting the opinions of moderately negative-feeling interviewees? “Mediocre” is the nominee here. Though it means “neither good nor bad,” the term generally conveys disparagement. The only question is, how many average poll respondents understand its meaning? Way with wordsDislocated By Theodore M. Bernstein Misplacement of a word was ^potted by William Barish of Rydal, Pa , in the following sentence Since Mr Weinberg is an appointee of mayor and serves at his pleasure. hi* opinion supporting the mayor's position hardly is surprising The adverb hardly modifies surprising arid should be right next to ii Not exactly horrible example but close to it feel testy? This fest should not be too much of a strain; in fact you niav enjoy it What you are apposed to do is place a ielter in th* space at the head of each word in order to make the new word that Is defined after the da"h Ready'’ (Answers appear indow t 1 —rite — put it down on paper 2 —issue — organic substance Theodore M. Bernstein 3. —word — weapon 4 —left — split 5 —robe — investigate. ti —unction — formal ceremony 7. —pinion — belief. K —hear — clip. 9 —lower — scow I 111 —exist — male chauvinist. Word oddities There is a slang word cockamamie, which means crazy, nutty, ridiculous or even, shall we say. lousy. It sprang from, but really hasn't much connection with. decalcomania, which is the name for pictures, designs or cartoons on specially prepared paper, which when moistened can Ik* transferred to glass or wooden objects and even to children's arms They arc sometimes called decals, but the kids corrupted the real word into cockamamies, a word perhaps influenced, as Webster s New World Dictionary suggests, bv coclea nee-nee, a If*th Century name for a cheap molasses candy Vnywav ifs a cockamamie word • (Answers I write, 2. tissue, 3 sword, 4 elett. 5. probe* 6 function, 7 opinion, H. shear. 9 glower. HI sexist ) St a Yorfc I >”>• Sy'«l» OK Prospects \ city fellow spoiled an old New Englander fishing "How many fish did you catch'*” hr asked “Well, sonny. I’M tell you,” he said “lf I catch this one, and two more, I II have three,** By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — Every year the congress of the United Stales is stealing several billion dollars from some 3 million American citizens who for years gave part of thelr earnings to social security and are now, at 65. denied their own contributions Perhaps one should put quotation marks around that word “stealing,” but if it isn't stealing, it is immoral, unfair, unethical and downright dishonest I say dishonest because this social security money is not the government’s to withhold — and never was. It belongs to those who contributed and who are not now allowed to receive it. I say this ruling by congress is dishonest because it violates an explicit promise which congress made over and over again when it started the social security program in 1935 and repeatedly reaffirmed. Bul in recent years congress has reneged and several million workers who put aside their savings through social security are now not able to draw what they saved and what is theirs because they still want to do a little we**k and get paid for it If they get paid more than $2,400 a year, these people are out $1 of what they have saved for every $2 they earn. Surely this is Robin Hood in reverse with a vengeance The cruel unfairness of this is doubly evident in the fact that there is no limit whatsoever on what a social security beneficiary can earn through bank interest, stocks and bonds, but only on what he earns by his ow n work and skills He is penalized for that And he shouldn't be. The government doesn’t own this money it is denying to social security contributors over 65 who want to work. Those who paid it in own it But congress. under present statutes, says that if they want to earn extra money over $2,400 a year they can’t receive what they have contributed and which the congress many times told them would be theirs “as a matter of right.” That is the exact promise of the social security act when it was first passed — “a matter of right, not a matter of charity” — and it prevailed until congress began tinkering with the law a few years ago. Sen Barry Coldwater (R-Ar«z ), who has the credentials to speak out and who “It is an outrage against millions of citizens who have made years of contributions out of their hard-earned salaries. It is an affront to the workingman who has lived faithfully by the best rules of the American system and who has never been a burden on the welfare rolls “It is morally wrong because social security should not be a contract to quit work.” A worker should not be forced to lose past savings because of present earnings lf congress wants to recover some of its lost confidence with the American people, It will not adjourn this year without repairing this egregious unfairness. Lo* Anodos Timos Syndicate MV mm    rn ai i HK' I mm -    mmt hhhmmhp ■ atm ■    «• *    * m ■? People's forum Poor ‘zoo’ To the Editor I recently went to Bever Park to see the "Cedar Rapids zoo.” I was appalled by what I saw The cages are all too small for any healthy animals. They were also dirty aud smelled so bad I’m surprised the animals haven’t been asphyxiated. I think the saddest sight I saw was the hears’ "hole.” How are they supposed to romp around on a 12-by-12-foot block of cement? I ve been to the San Diego zoo, so I know there are other ways to show the public wild or different animals. Tm not saying we should build a zoo in Cedar Rapids like the San Diego zoo. But something has to be done to make our zoo worthy of being called a zoo. Zoos are for learning about our wildlife. I feel that a spectacle like the “Cedar Rapids zoo” can and should make people sick. We have innocent animals relying on us to take care of them — and I know this isn’t the best Cedar Rapids can do, Denise Patten 3916 Pine Tree drive NE Ordination To the Editor Many times we readers are reminded by magazines, newspapers and ether news media that there is a difference between ordination (appointment or admission) of men and ordination of Cmd For example I read an article the other day about a man who was called by God to minister to the |K*ople; the newspaper described him as a self-taught minister Now let s get down to the nitty gritty. Many seminaries are using teachers who aren't saved (you don’t like the word, then maybe you aren’t) but the word “saved- was the word used by Jesus Now how could an unsaved teacher in a Christian seminary teach about salvation if he were one of the unsaved? How can wr even dare to suggest that a man called by God to teach people about salvation — that s th** biggest miracle in the last 2.(NNI years — was only ordained by God and not by men” I wonder how many preachers there are who went to seminary and are ordained V men but aren’t saved (that as lose his good name Iii a way ii amounts to being killed Maybe President Nixon was telling the truth. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. I ani not upholding Nixon, never have. I look for the truth and principle. If he is guilty of malfeasance in office, he is no better than the man on the street who breaks a law What worries nu* is the whole spectrum of Watergate, what it is doing to the people. I realize that most members of the committee think they were right and sincere in what they were doing, but they can be wrong sincerely, and while they bury Nixon they are digging their own gruves, In other words, this is causing people to lose faith in both parties, as the demonstrators did. They are not satisfied with the Republicans but haven’t anything better to offer instead We can’t take things at face value any more. They have called and recalled already convicted men to testify. It’s normal for anyone to try to lie himself out of trouble and pass the buck to someone else. What do they have to lose — they are already convicted, aren't they? We are not all sick, though I get some really sick unsigned letters As for Nixon’s behavior and speech, even the supreme court can’t decide* on what s vulgar, obscene*, etc. I have said over and (tvcr that I ani nonpolitical. We have true and tried Democrats and have had for years, and we will still have them long after Watergate has been hung and buried. So let’s look at things as they really are — principle and truth. Weigh one against the other, and see what we come up with. Forget about the party, if we want to face the truth. Joann Bnggman Manchester 'M Insights means they are going to hell) and are looked up to bv men who aren't saved and written about in the news media by "till unsaved writers Perhaps what I am trying to point out I* when readers see ail article about a self-taught or a home-taught minister I flex can take a better look and try to understand for themselves that ordina tion of men isn t all the system would have them believe Jess W Martin 345 Thirtieth street drive SF Losing faith To the Editor I he real issue today is character assassination One might as well be dead No civilized person ever goes bed the same day he gets up. Richard Harding Dot Longevity’s ingredients researched Newest key to long life: zest for living By Jenkin Lloyd Jones H OW ( AN one live to a very old age” In the current issue of The Mayo Alumnus, produced by the Mayo Foundation of Rochester, Minn , there is an article on Dr Alexander Leaf, chief of staff at Massachusetts General hospital and Jackson professor of medicine ai Harvard He has wandered the world pursuing that question Years ago Dr Leaf became impressed with the fact that there were specific pockets of extreme longevity He chose three — Hun/a a remote area between Pakistan, china and Afghanistan; Georgia, the state in southern Russia, and Ecuador What have these people in com mon” The first common characteristic, Dr Leaf points out, is old parents Great age runs in families and even in closely related tribal groups A tendency to long lift* is inheritable, just like brown eyes, artistic bents and intelligence. The second ingredient is a rugged and relatively simple diet. The long-livers are not overweight. They go easy on vein-dogging animal fats. This is, no doubt, an involuntary choice, since they are generally poor and may have neverJenkm LloydJones seen an ice-cream store or eaten a marbled steak The third ingredient is activity — not strength, like the ability to run fast, leap high or lift great weights, but endurance Dr Leaf recalls a 130-year-old woman who only two years before had retired as a tea-picker She still liked her tot of vodka and smoked a daily pack of cigarets A 117-year-old farmer carried a pall of potatoes up a hill that exhausted the doctor A retired hunter, HO, mourned that he was not 15 years younger From this the doctor concluded that persistent jogging, swimming and bicycling are wiser than trying to set track records. Now there is not much argument about these three ingredients in the formula for long life. A family history of longevity has long been recognized, and the other two are included in advice which physicians are constantly passing out at $10 |mt office call. But there is a fourth ingredient which only recently has come into prominence in medical thinking. In one word. it is attitude, or in three, zest for living Says Dr Leaf f or a physician who was raised un the pathological and physiological basis of illness, I must say I have been struck increasingly, as I have looked at these problems of the aged, how much of illness comes out of psychological and emotional situations “If you re no longer needed and no longer useful and you no longer feel your life is meaningful and that you’re contributing, I now believe that you won’t live very long.” Commenting on the general cheerful attitude that he found among his p<M»r but bouncy centenarians, Dr D'af said “It became somewhat annoying for me to hear that everything was so good I asked one man if there weren’t some things he didn t like and he said, ’Sure. but there s nothing I can do to change them ’ They just don’t worry about what they can’t change.’’ The doctor pointed out that in moat of the villages where the very old lived happily they were honored Their coun sel was often sought and their experience valued. Thus, their sense of usefulness lived on Contrast this with putting Mama in a very nice nursing home and visiting her regularly and hurriedly every week in between the supermarket and the children s dance lessons How many gold watches given away at retirement dinners will be looked at only briefly” What s for Grandpa in his lonely room staring at the boob tube” I'rue, some retirees always hated their jobs, and the fishing duck fulfills a lifelong ambition But among the highly motivated, the happiest retirees I know got themselves Involved rn some new en-!(i pf 1st tug enough ti* concern them and small enough not to ruin them Dr they set themselves up as private consultants and kept on selling expertise Or they threw themselves Into good works Not until they an in their terminal ill nesses do men of a questing nature run out of the need for enterprise and imagination I* is unfair to blame children exclusively for th. root leanness of ag** Age has some responsibilities to itself Joy in pi* king lr a * an extend ir a picking to the Hundredth summer 1,1 » At,It,.ft, I break Roscoe Drummond needs repair in many ways is the conscience of the congress, calls this earnings limitation "morally wrong, illogical and a harm to the economy. Hr* says t ;

  • Alexander Leaf
  • Barry Coldwater
  • Denise Patten
  • Jenkin Lloyd Jones
  • Jess W Martin
  • Joann Bnggman Manchester
  • Richard Harding
  • Robin Hood
  • Roscoe Drummond
  • Theodore M. Bernstein

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: August 10, 1974

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