Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 12, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette August 12, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 12, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Mi ‘Don't answer that! It's Mo Bell, telling us the phone rates just went up 3O percentI Editorial Page Monday, August 12, 1974 an mw Red faces on the Hill t *Tp00L ME ONCE, shame on a 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 Watergate.” 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 nation’s GOP governors hailed Mr. Nixon’s avowed promise of full disclosure last November. As noted here at the time, talking about releasing tapes is one thing; actually submitting unabridged evidence to public scrutiny is quite another. If being duped twice is, as the proverb alleges, then reason for embarrassment, repeated acceptance 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. Nixon’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 lipservice 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 retrospect. Curiously, however, those who seemed to trust Mr. Nixon the most months ago now seem satisfied that the coverup admission of Aug. 5 bared the full scope of justice’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 mw — there is no sense making the Nixon administration’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 flabbiness 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-conscious riders spending a few extra dimes to equip bicycles with highly-visible safety flags. Inevitably, though, increased bicycling has brought an unnerving 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 toIrresponsibles beget 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 accidents not immediately at hand), though the increase may be attributable to additional activity. At any rate, police are watching the bike situation as closely as patrol capability allows. This effort 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 overcome easily. Beyond making sure his bicycle is safe (a licensing requirement), 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 DK. WALTER Zusehlag, 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 too 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 unwanted, uncared for kids One of the reasons, of course, is that children are 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 get children — well, we all know how to get children. Csually, it works out. Most children are particularly welcome to a stable marriage by parents who rear them with love and common sense. But 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 I saw at an outdoor movie the other night It was rated ”R, 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 lh. 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 too many unwanted and uncared for children. But every one I come up with sounds un-American General l-eotures Corporation Unofficial judgment passed Public s verdict: he did wrong By Louis Harris The Harris Survey AS THE HOUSE of representatives w as preparing to debate and to vote on the articles of impeachment against President Nixon, a sizable majority of the American people had concluded that Mr. Nixon is guilty of committing most of the acts he has been charged with. along with some others which wen- li ft out 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 1,552 adults already felt President Nixon had committed the following offenses: • By H2-19 percent, a majority felt that he made “false mid misleading statements to investigative officers of the United States about judicial proceedings." Perjurious • By Hl-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 til-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 til-21 percent, most people felt that the President “approved and concealed the payment of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence of par- People's forumTop 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 un appointed President or vice-president It is our right to select these two positions by popular vote. I feel a movement should be 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 spectatorship." .bn* VV Aossey 17:14 Fifth avenue SF Unfunny To the Editor Your "Today’s Chuckle” of July JI is the kind of humor we would better do without. It said: “By July 3, approximately 4 million American children were iii summer camps. This could be another reason why so many people celebrated the Fourth of July.” LETTERS The Gazettes editorial page welcomes readers' opinions, subiect to these guidelines: Length limit: 400 words One letter per writer every 30 days All may be consented and edited without changing meaning, None publithed anonymously Writer i telephone number (not printed) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate Contents deal more with issues and events thon per tonalities No poetry ticipants in the illegal entry into headquarters of the Deinoiratic national committee.” • By BO-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 HK-2II percent, a sizable majority felt 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 conducted 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 charge of “abuse of power” in committee impeachment proceedings, majorities of the public further believed the following about the President Louis Harris rn rn My wife and I always 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 that 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 lie very high We are grateful for the blessing of our coming from strong family ties; we trust we created one in our own, and pray our children will do the same. Mr and Mrs Theodore Johnson 2315 Linden drive SFPrice gouge To the Fditor We were dismayed, dumbfounded and even flabbergasted when we noticed we had paid S3.39 for a 10-pound hag of sugar a few days ago, and the price is above $3.50 many places. Here we* are with a good supply of apple's and hardly able to afford the money to buy sugar to make applesauce to c an Lovers of good applesauce could tell you it takes at least a half c up 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 but also the high costs of other food necessities, but >ugar is a real concern at this canning season Sugar manufacturers have an advantageous time (for them) to put prices up so high Many of us will have to 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 have hit us hard while the oil companies revel in the greatest • By HH-17 percent, a majority felt that Mr. Nixon “used the power of the President to authorize illegal surveillance and investigation of indiv iduals by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service and agents of the office of the President.” • By HO-19 percent, a majority nationwide felt that he was guilty of “misusing and trying to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency ” • Bv 59-20 percent, a majority also felt that he used “the power of the President unlawfully to establish a special investigative unit within the White House. known as the ‘plumbers,’ to engage in unlawful and covert activities Contemptuous • By 82-10 percent, an even larger majority felt that 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 (O’ congress. Although the President was not charged with an impeachable offense in connection with his taxes, a H2-21 percent majority was nonetheless convinced that the President “knew about and signed false statements on his income tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service.” This litany of specifics, largely chorusing the televised proceedings of the house judiciary committee, led HH percent of the public to want to see the President impeached, as reported bv the Harris Survey lust week. 5H percent of whom believed he should be convicted by the U.S. senate Chicago Tribune No* York News Syndicate profits ever known, and now the sugar people seemingly ‘ire 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 l>ower to do We doubt it will do anything about sugar More and more we have come to doubt our government’s integrity and even our President’s. Was it Shakespeare who said: “Getting and spending we lay waste our powers”? Well, our government is sure laying waste to powers What’s a poor man to do these days? 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 $12,000 per year How would yo* ’ike to try about $2,500 a year regular income? A [HK*t long ago said “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure w«* 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 W-wKKJ M Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers VoltaireWordbloat habits due for change By Russell Baker WASHINGTON - “Bring us 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, but not in the way the phrasemakers of 19H8 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. I he} 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 “P R.” of the situation. They established, probably forever, the barbarous 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 done, they said “the input process” was going on. In the tradition of public-relations talk, this kind of pseudo-learned jargon sounded impressive. In the words of the headwaiter justifying 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 “charisma,” “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 “style,” 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 ease when it was weakest. Thus Watergate was dismissed at the beginning as “a third-rate burglary” unworthy of presidential notice, and the judiciary committee’s impeachment hearings were denounced as a “kangaroo court.” In Ronald Ziegler’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 burglary,” Ziegler announced after the upgrading, had simply become “inoperative." He meant the official White House story had been a lie. At this point, with eases 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 that. 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 toward 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 Gassy 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. Saving “at that point in time," when you mean “then,” requires a lot of time and wears down the audience. Talking about “seeing the constitutional process through to the end," 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 to become public, was the breezy, colorful shorthand commonly used by bright young men in business conferences devoted to planning ways to shear the customers “Stonewalling” and “the hangout route will become prominent entries in the lexicon of Nixonisms to be left to the country. “Modified limited hangout" will probably need a long footnote of explication, as well as “the Big Enchilada,” John Ehrlichman's term for John Mitchell The input process is ended now anil the American language as revised by Richard Nixon is complete. It is tempting to say, “now it belongs to the ages,” and unless we are lucky, some last departing phrusemaker probably will Hew York Times Service ;

  • Jim Fiebig
  • John Dean
  • John Ehrlichman
  • John Mitchell
  • Louis Harris
  • Louis Stepanek
  • Mo Bell
  • Mrs Theodore Johnson
  • Richard Nixon
  • Ronald Ziegler
  • Russell Baker
  • Walter Zusehlag

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: August 12, 1974

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