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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 12, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa f fitter IrtpitU 'Don'f answer that! It's Ma Bell, telling us the phone rates just went up 36 Editorial Page Monday. August 12, 1974 Red faces on the Hill 4 tpOOL ME ONCE, shame on JT you; fool me twice, shame on me." Musty and trite as the proverb always has seemed, it enjoys a robust freshness when applied to Richard Nixon's repeated hoodwinking of his most dogmatic supporters. Those diehard believers notably Republican congressional leaders must be sorely embarrassed that they applauded each time their besieged leader guaranteed that the latest trickling of forced- out information marked voluntary "full disclosure concerning Wa- tergate." One recalls especially senate minority leader Scott's stumbling trip down the garden path last January. Having seen a few edited tapes transcripts, Scott declared that he had viewed evidence proving John Dean lied about presidential involvement in the Watergate coverup. Last week's climactic coverup revelation also calls to mind the enthusiasm with which the na- tion's GOP governors hailed Mr. Nixon's avowed promise of full disclosure last November. As not- ed here at the time, talking about releasing tapes is one thing; ac- tually submitting unabridged evidence to public scrutiny is quite another. If being duped twice is, as the proverb alleges, tnen reason for embarrassment, repeated accep- tance of shoddy bills of goods seems cause for beet-red faces all over Capitol Hill. (Interestingly, during a news conference following a huddle with the President last Wednesday, Sena- tor Scott let Senator Goldwater do all the requisite trusting in Mr. Xixon's regard for the nation. It could be that the chagrined Scott was suspecting, as many Americans doubtless were, that Mr. Nixon's regard for country did not approach concern for self.) Before dunce caps are handed out in congress, though, it should be remembered that the gentlemen who fell for one presidential deceit after another are among the wiser heads in Washington. Their problem (this probably makes them all the angrier now) was that the office of President demands at least a lip- service brand of trust even when gut-feelings are sounding the alarm. Obviously, the applause for empty promises was not as witless as it may appear in ret- rospect. Curiously, however, those who seemed to trust Mr. Nixon the most months ago now seem satis- fied that the coverup admission of Aug. 5 bared the full scope of jus- tice's obstruction. What that conclusion overlooks is that the critical June 20, 1972, conversation remains at large and that the few tapes turned over that fateful Monday were but a tiny fraction of the 64 under subpoena. Fullscale airing of those other tapes (if they surface) may not be necessary now there is no sense making the Nixon administra- tion's rubble bounce. But given the dreadful duplicity already on record, it should not be assumed that full disclosure has been made, even now. Bike boom, safety lag JOHN F. KENNEDY, so greatly concerned over the flab- biness of youth 12 years ago, would be greatly heartened if he were here to see the enormous popularity of bicycle riding today. The bike boom in Cedar Rapids seems fairly typical of the trend: energetic youngsters pedaling three or four miles at a stretch without tiring; adults, too, battling gravity and wind to ride their 3- or 10-speed bikes to the top of formidable hills; safety-con- scious riders spending a few extra dimes to equip bicycles with highly-visible safety flags. Inevitably, though, increased bicycling has brought an unnerv- ing amount of unsafe stunting: clusters of young riders speeding silently through the dark with not one light to alert pedestrians and motorists; bicyclists of varying ages riding opposite car traffic on oneway streets; riders making unexpected turns with nothing faintly resembling arm signals. A summer-long repetition of such sights prompted a call to begef police. Is the upsurge in bad cycling habits as bad as it looks? Traffic Capt. Louis Stepanek said the city indeed has seen numerous bicycle accidents lately (statistics separating them from other ac- cidents not immediately at though the increase may be at- tributable to additional activity. At any rate, police are watching the bike situation as closely as patrol capability allows. This ef- fort includes a crackdown on sidewalk cycling in the downtown area, where city ordinance gives right-of-way solely to pedestrians. Stepanek said officers also are concerned about night cycling without lights and riding with faulty equipment. All of which points up a sizable public safety problem, though one which seemingly could be over- come easily. Beyond making sure his bicycle is safe (a licensing all a rider need do is follow the same rules of the road laid down for car and truck drivers. Such consideration, matched by like courtesy from motorists, could make the bike boom here even more stimulating. Parenthood bungled By Jim Fiebig DR. WALTER Zuschlag, past president of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Assn., has pointed out that the pet problem in America isn't that we have too many, but that we have loo many that are unwanted and uncared for. In other words, a lot of Americans aren't responsible enough to own pets. That's serious, but infinitely more serious is the "children problem" in America. To paraphrase the doctor, the problem isn't that we have too many kids, but that we have too many unwant- ed, uncared for kids. One of the reasons, of course, is that children arc too easy to come by. To get a driver's license, you must demonstrate decent eyesight, a degree of proficiency at the wheel and a good knowledge of the rules of the road. To gel children well, we all know how to gel children. Usually, it works out. Most children are particularly welcome to a stable marriage by parents who rear llicin with love and common sense. Bui millions of others find themselves in broken homes, or no homes, or with two big strikes against them: a father and a mother like the fathers and mothers 1 saw at an outdoor movie the other night. It was rated but it should have been an "S" or a "T." I've heard less gutter profanity in a marine corps barracks on a Friday night when all leaves were suddenly canceled. Combine the language with several sizzling love scenes and a too-realistic decapitation and you get the idea. Parked on our left, all calmly munching fried chicken during the entire film, were a father and mother and their four children. All the offspring were under 10. On our right, a family of four. The parents, who were going through a cooler of beer like tomorrow was prohibition, dozed off toward the end of the movie. The kids, both preteens, stayed wide awake and wide-eyed throughout. There must be an answer to the problem of loo many unwanted and un- cared'for children. But every one I come up with sounds un-American Gl-nurol l-roltjrvs Cdroorrjticjn Unofficial 'judgment passed Public's verdict: he did wrong By Louis Harris The Harris Survey AS T11K HOl'SE of representatives was preparing tn debate and to vote on the arlk'li's of impeachment against President Nixon, a sizable majority of llu1 American people had concluded that Mr. Nixon is guilty of committing most of the acts he has been charged with, along with some other-- which were left nut of the articles recommended by the house judiciary committee. Specifically, in the area of "obstruction of justice" in the Watergate case, on the eve of the sensational release of new White House tapes, majorities from a cross-section of adults already felt President Nixon had committed the following offenses: By 62-19 percent, a majority felt that he made "false and misleading statements lo investigative officers of the United States about judicial proceed- ings." By 61-22 percent, a majority believed the charge against the President of "approving, condoning and counseling witnesses to give false or misleading statements to investigative officers." By a higher C7-19 percent, the public believed that Mr. Nixon "interfered with the conduct of investigations by the department of justice, the FBI and the Watergate special prosecution force." By 61-21 percent, most people felt that the President "approved and con- cealed the payment of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence of par People's forum Top tWO: elect them To the Editor: There has never been a time in this country when we have had two appointed officers at the head of our government. That time should never come. With President Nixon's resignation the American people must petition the government for a new national election. We. the people, should never allow for an appointed President or vice-president. It is our right to select these two positions by popular vote. 1 feel a movement should he started immediately. We should see to it that a new election takes place. As the ambassador from Lebanon to the United Nations said, "Citizenship is not spcctatorslnp." W. Aossey Fifth avenue SK Unfunny To the Editor. Your "Today's Chuckle" of .July 111 is the kind of humor we would better do without. It said: "By .July :i, approxi- mately million American children were in summer camps. This could be another reason why so many people celebrated the Fourth of Julv." LETTERS The Gazette's editorial page welcomes readers' opinions, subject lo these guidelines: length limit: 400 words. One latter per writer every 30 days. All max condensed and edited without changing meaning. None published anonymously. Writer's telephone number (not printed) should follow name, addrett and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate. Contents deal more with issues and events than per- sonolitiei. No poetry. By litl-22 percent, most Americans believed their President to be guilty of "leading prospective defendants and people already convicted to expect favored treatment in return for their silence or false testimony." By 6S-20 percent, a sizable majority fell that Mr. Nixon "made false or misleading public statements in his capacity as President for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been con- ducted on Watergate." These issues, largely covered in the "obstruction of justice" article presented by a majority of the house judiciary committee, spell out the alleged claim that President Nixon was well aware of the Watergate coverup while it was going on. On the cnarge of "abuse of power" in committee impeachment proceedings, majorities of the public further believed the following about the President: Louis Harris My w-ife and I ahvays found it very- hard to send the children away and made sure they knew that. Some of today's generation gap may spring from such flippant images of our society as expressed by Chuckles. While they may have no general truth in fact, they are so often repeated (hat people begin to believe they do represent the general opinion. Ask how many parents ever get a lump in their throat when they leave their young men and women off at college for the first time and I think the response would he very high. We are grateful for the blessing of our coming from strong family lies; we trust we created one in our own. and pray our children will do the same. Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Johnson 2315 Linden drive SE Price gouge To the Editor. We were dismayed, dumbfounded and ON en flabbergasted when we noticed we had paid S3.Ii9 for a 10-pound bag of sugar a few days ago, and the price is above many places. Here we are with a good supply of apples and hardly able lo afford the money to buy sugar to make applesauce lo can. Lovers of good applesauce could tell von it takes at least a half cup of sugar to a quart of sauce. Actually one cup to the quart makes it delicious and is the prescribed amount. We low-income people are frustrated not only about sugar hut also the high costs of other food necessities, but sugar is a real concern at this canning season. Sugar manufacturers have an advan- tageous lime (for them) lo put prices up so high. Many of us will have lo skimp somewhere so we can buy sugar for fruit preparation. Sugar and gasoline may not mix well, but they are involved in a partnership of crime to humankind. Fuel oil and gasoline costs Inve hit us hard while the oil companies revel in the greatest By liti-17 percent, a majority fell that Mr. Nixon "used the putter o( the President to authorize illegal sur- veillance and investigation of individuals by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service and agents of the of- fice of the President." By h'll-19 percent, a majority nation- wide felt that he was guilty of "misusing and trying to misuse the Central In- telligence Agency." By 59-211 percent, a majority also felt that he used "the power of the President unlawfully to establish a special inves- tigative unit within the White House, known as the lo engage in unlawful and covert activities." Contemptuous By 82-10 percent, an even larger majority felt thai President Nixon was guilty of "refusing to give the house judiciary committee the tapes that deal with discussions about Watergate." This item, of course, was covered in article 3 of the judiciary committee's report, dealing with contempt of congress. Although the President not charged with an impeachable offense in connection with his taxes, a 62-21 percent majority was nonetheless convinced that the President "knew about and signed false statements on his income tax re- turns filed with the Internal Revenue Service." This litany of specifics, largely chorusing the televised proceedings of the house judiciary committee, led 66 percent of the public to want to see the President impeached, as reported by the Harris Survey last week, ofi percent of whom believed he should be convicted by the U.S. senate. profits ever known, and now the sugar people seemingly .lre working the same deal on us. I read in The Gazette a few- days ago there is a good and bettering supply of sugar just as there is no oil or gas shortage, according to persons in the know. The government pounces on small business for minor infractions of rules and regulations but refuses to chastise the oil companies drastically as it has power to do. We doubt it will do anything about sugar. More and more we have come to doubt our government's in- tegrity and even our President's. Was it Shakespeare who said: "Getting and spending we lay waste our Well, our government is sure laying waste to powers. What's a poor man to do these I'm in a quandary trying to figure out how to make a small social security- check pay the bills. We read about couples "struggling" along on per year. How would you like to try about a year regular income? A poet long ago said: "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we all should be happy as kings." I'm happier than kings or presidents even if I'm poor, but we still complain about high prices. Al Watson Whittier Insights Judge a man by his questions rarlier than by answers. Voltaire habits due for change By Russell Baker "Bring us VV together" and "law and order" were the first catch phrases of the Nixon men. and in the end they did bring us together in the cause of law and order, hut not in (he wa> the at 1968 had in mind. The Nixon people would have said that what went wrong was the "scenario." At the end it simply "wouldn't play in Peoria." They talked like that. They were marinated in the faith of the public-relations quackery which holds that high gloss on a sow's ear will make it a big seller in the silk-purse market. Their talk was public-relations talk. Weighing a problem, they discussed the "I'.R." of the situation. They es- tablished, probably forever, the bar- barous usage of "media" as a singular noun meaning "the news business." In the early days they talked about "the input process." When the President listened to suggestions about things that ought to be (lone, they said "the input process" was going on. In the tradition of public-relations talk, this kind of pseudo-learned jargon sounded impres- sive. In the words of the headwaiter jus- tifying the flaming food in the Pump Room, didn't hurt the meat none. Every administration evolves its own prose signature. With Kennedy we all talked about "vigor" and "style" until we persuaded ourselves that this kind of talk was saying something trenchant. .Johnson suffered to the end from the suspicion that he- lacked both "charisma" and and often seemed deluded by the notion that but for their lack he could have raised a higher "Camelot." Politicians will not revive "Camelot" for awhile now. Every disaster has its bright side. In the manner of the public-relations minded, the Nixon men understated unpleasant realities and overstated their case when it was weakest. Thus Water- gate was dismissed at the beginning as "a third-rate burglary" of presidential notice, and the judiciary committee's impeachment hearings were denounced as a "kangaroo court." In Ronald Xieglcr's agony, when the "third-rate burglary" turned first-rate, he fell into the most dismal trap of all and took the public-relations man's refuge in gobbledygook. Thus was born "inoperative." The "scenario" of the "third-rate Zicglcr an- nounced after the upgrading, had simply become "inoperative." He meant the of- ficial White House story had been a lie. At this point, with cases going to court, the administration desperately needed judges who might see that it was not "appropriate" another Ziegler coinage to press the White House too firmly with the law. Unfortunately, it was too late for thai. There was that wonderfully memorable phrase of the President's, uttered in happier days when "law and order" meant an entirely different kind of courthouse "scenario" the phrase in which the President had denounced "soft-headed judges" for leniency tow.ard the criminal classes. The White House was cornered by its own prose again, and in the last days Nixon men could only grumble privately about the judiciary's excessively unsoft head. Classy bloat, always present in public- relations talk, swelled the language beyond all comprehension as the "P.R." became more and more difficult. Bloat in language results from a breakdown between thought and expression. The more determined a person is to conceal his thinking, the wordier he becomes. Eventually there is a Niagara of words that communicates nothing. Saying "at that point in when you mean requires a lot of time and wears down the audience. Talking about "seeing the constitutional process through to the when you really mean you don't know what you are going to do next, becomes an exercise in obliterating communication. The private shop talk, which was fated lo become public, was the breezy, color- ful shorthand commonly used by bright young men in business conferences devoted lo planning ways to shear the customers. "Stonewalling" and "the hangout route" will become prominent entries in the lexicon of Nixonisms to be left to Ihe country. "Modified limited hangout" will probably need a long footnote of explica- tion, as well as "the Big .lohn Khr lien man's term for .John Mitchell. The input process is ended now and Un- American language as revised by Hichard Nixon is complete. It is tempting to say, "now it belongs lo Ihe and unless we are lucky, some lasl departing phrasemaker probably will. Ynik Immsl.rivir.i.
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