Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 6, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette September 6, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa dktfflat Rnpirlja Editorial Page Friday, September 6, 1974 Looking to the future: urgencies heighten ■^aate Carelessness with privacy IT IS FULLY in the freedom-based American tradition — a tradition worth unceasing effort to preserve — that Thursday’s Harris poll finds strong majorities supporting people’s rights of privacy against government urges to pry, snoop and keep watch. The one surprise is how many people, even so, would willingly submit to that sort of thing: Twelve to 14 percent apparently can see no harm or rights-infringe-ment in the government’s tapping their phone conversations, opening their mail or spying on them electronically even if these occur without court approval on showing of cause. That is one in eight who either doesn’t understand the danger, doesn’t care about it, wholly trusts all arms of government or feels so secure in righteous personal behavior that his personal life seems properly the government’s business. From a different approach, the privacy-right testing showed even larger minorities in favor of socalled law-and-order steps enabling the government to keep an unseen eye or ear on everybody, good or bad. Nearly two in five would let the government keep central-eom* puter records on each person’s police, tax and military records, credit ratings and other personal information. Almost one in three would go along with police entry into homes for searching at crime-emergency times even without a court warrant. Slightly fewer would permit the FBI to keep computerized biographies of everyone for use in case a citizen becomes a crime-suspect some day. More than one in four would give the government authority to wiretap and bug for evidence of crime without a court order. Fortunately, clear majorities continue to oppose undue intrusion and resist proposals to invade their privacy. Most people understand that freedom would be meaningless if heavy-handed government could override the Constitution’s live-a rid -let -live guarantees on behalf of the innocent person as well as the guilty. They sense that even for “good ends,” the government cannot be trusted with new means that blight each individual’s integrity and shorten freedom’s rope for all. What those who would submit to these reductions overvalue is a need — however real — to curb the harm being done by minorities bent on crime. What they grossly underestimate is a potential for wrong at the hands of government agents, counter to a system which has purposely, from the beginning, rated people — individuals — ahead of government in power and in trust. Ironically, the rationale for giving ground on privacy-protection sees crime as the deadliest threat to a society still worth preserving. The staunch minority promoting privacy’s destruction is, itself, at least an equally subversive threat to values that a freedom-oriented people must preserve in order to survive. DOT derelict? THE STATE’S NEW depart-ment of transportation (DOT) is still in its infancy, feeling its way for a sense of direction, and won’t become fully operative until next July I Nevertheless, the criticism leveled by DOT Commissioner Thoms of Dubuque at a recent meeting was pertinent. He wanted to know why DOT didn t send a representative to a meeting in Washington last month where the* Western Association of Railroad Passengers (WARP), an Iowa-based organization, requested a second Amtrak route along the Northwestern tracks in our state. Paul Heitmann. a director in DOT, explained that he didn t think it right for a state official to accompany a group of private citizens advocating their own project to the meeting. Heitmann said he feels WARP officials and other Iowans should wait until DOT feasibility studies are completed before asking for anything. In other words, any Iowa efforts along this line should be coordinated. Heitmann’s explanation is reasonable, but so is Thorns’ point. In the past, similar situations involving other embryo state agencies or groups have been worked out in a manner that might satisfy both Heitmann and Thoms. The solution: Simply send a representative as an observer with no active role to sit in until such time as the state agency he represents is ready to take a position on the question. Iowa for many years did not become a member of the Education Commission for the States. But it did send observers to annual meetings to keep posted on what was going on in event the state did decide to join. which it has since done. It is not a fair implication that DOT’s Heitmann was derelict in his responsibilities. But it would have been wise to avoid the whole question by arranging to have one or more observers at the meeting. •• ** ■ Way    with wordsBridal path By Theodore M. Bernstein A LITTLE over a month ago this column tried to answer the question. How lorn* does a bride remain a bride? The answer in brief was that there really is no answer. Now Mrs E Rush* berg of Wilmington, Del., writes a* follows; “Some 50 years ago a Quaker teacher told us, ‘A bride is a bride as long as lier trousseau lasts.’ At that time everything in personal linens was truly fine cotton and hand-embroidered or made of silk and hand-seamed Repairs were immediate. So the bride remained one a** long as she took care.” Isn t that a sweet answer to the question? Theodore M. Bernstein Good blends What interests Joseph I Oser of Huntingdon Valley. Pa., is port manteau words, otherwise known as blend words or blends The term port manteau words was coined by Lewis Carroll to designate a word like his “slithy“ (a combination of “slimy” and “lithe”). As he said in “Through the Looking Glass”, by way of explanation of the term. “You see it s like a portman teau there are two meanings parked up into one word “ Carroll originated the term but he didn't originate blend words Long iiefore him there were words such as splutter (a combination of splash and sputter) and on this side of the ocean gerrymander la combination in 1812 of Gerry and salamander) In more recent times Walter Winched gave us such coinages infanticipating arid a nameless somebody gave us smog (“smoke” plus fog I Word oddities One more word before an ending of blending In ( armil’* day everyone knew what a portmanteau was — a leather traveling bag with two compartments — but how many people know it today? Very few. and for thai reason your host a few years ago coined the term centaur word to desert Im* blends A cen tour, as you of course know, was a mythological beast, part man and part horse. So there is an analogy in that word. In 50 years or so the term will catch on. but that s just a guesstimate New York Times 'Syndico*eFederal foresight agency proposed Insights By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — I thought I would never be caught proposing to enlarge the federal government It's big enough — maybe too big. But something needs to be added There is a dangerous gap in the functioning and mechanism of the government Its absence has already done great harm and it needs lo Ik1 repaired soon It is evident; • That tin1' I tilted States is quite competent — perhaps unusually competent — at dealing with national problems when they get big enough to hit the nation between the eyes ami thus can no longer be neglected. • That the United States is woefully incompetent at anticipating national problems so that they can be seen far enough in advance to be handled efficiently before they reach crisis proportions. In a word, this government of ours — President and congress combined — is reasonably good at managing crises but dangerously bad at anticipating them. There’s a reason. We have nit mechanism for anticipation. Neither in the executive nor legislative branch do we do enough looking ahead The result is that wink* the government may be well centered on present problems, it is inadequately focused on future problems which land on us like a ton of uranium because we are usually taken by surprise. I propose a department of foresight, perhaps more appropriately a National Council of Foresight, to be created bv congress and charged with the duty to report periodically to the President and congress on urgent national matters which ought to he seen at least a dec ade ahead. The need is real and practical There isn t a single major domestic problem which has struck the nation with fury and surprise in recent y ears which could nol have been foreseen well in advance and therefore dealt with in a far more efficient and orderly mannerBus buy explained To the Editor; In a recent letter to The Gazette an aspiring candidate for the Cedar Rapids board of education attempted to discredit the decision of the school district to invest in sc hool buses for transportation of nonpubiic students as required by newly enacted legislation The writer warned that if the law was declared unconstitutional the local taxpayers might he responsible for the amount invested in the school buses. This warning was apparently based on a statement of a staff employ e of the state department of public instruction. However, at the budget review committee meeting of Aug 5. the Cedar Rapids board of education was assured by Dr. Robert Benton, state superintendent of public instruction that as chairman of the* state budget review committee he would recommend the committee use* the funds appropriated to them to protect local districts from this constitutional contingency. It is abundantly clear that neither (he state nor the school hoard nor tin* administration intends to risk the resources of local taxpayers to implement this program. Since the state will purchase hu>»-s only during the first year of this program, the school board has affirmatively fulfilled its obligation to provide school bus transportation on an equal basis for both public and nonpubiic school students as mandated by law The state comptroller s office has notified the school district the chock in payment for the buses purchased is to i*e written no later than Sept 5 and should Im* received by the school district by the first of next week Robert I* Barber 3528 White Oak road SEEnd unemployment To the Editor A few years back was a law passed saying politician* couldn’t hold down two jolts at the same time Now we have more people holding down two jobs than there are people unemployed AII we have to do is see to it that no one has more than one job at the same time and there won’t lie any unemployment A M. RICCIO 1259 Second avenue SE I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today. William Allen White Examples; • The environmental crisis Random specialists knew that pollution of air, water and land was massively in the making, hut government didn t listen until very late It didn't listen because nobody in government was hired to listen and others were too busy with other things to listen And now everything has to be done twice as fast, twice as inefficiently and twice as expensively. • The food and famine crisis. It has been building for years. And during this period, when too few saw what was happening and even fewer were pay ing any attention, sorious undernourishment in many parts of the work! was increasing and food production in the United States was decreasing because we were taking acreage out of production to cut down huge reserves Now we are trying to catch up. bul at this point famine is stalking large parts of the world. • The energy crisis It hit us so unexpectedly that many Americans thought the shortage was a myth, a kind of plot which politicians thought up to make themselves unpopular. It was foreseen by some perceptive experts two decades ago and nothing was done to avert it. Some warned, but nobody listened. It is time we put some qualified people at the highest level of government whose sole duty is to anticipate, listen arid warn well ahead when it will do some good. Los Angeles Times SvodicotpLittle man socked To the Editor; On top of ever rising prices we have been notified that our utilities are once more due for a very big jump. the second in less than four months. I imagine that is the start of another round and before the winter is here they will come back for several more. to further help the inflation reach its peak. along with the phony gas shortage, and sugar and anti-freeze prices Yes. we do have a new man at the helm but you cannot change spots on a leopard and they still are looking out for the big business This idea he has of socking the little man with a further cost of ten cents a gallon to help pay the Arabs the $5(Mi million they received from whaf's-his-namc Now as if that were not enough we just heard from our city fathers we are going lo Im* subjected to one more round of tax gouging They still have the same outfit iii here that they hired from out of town to tell you that your (axes are riot high enough So if you hung up a two-by-four on your property or did a little painting. you re in for a nice surprise Our scIhmiI board just came back from a convention where they found out that they needed several more millions to run their business Count up the number of bond issues that are facing us and hire some smart outfit from out of town lo sec who wilt foot the hill. You will note your businesses with the banks and theNarrow-visioned man faces perils By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON - What does the future hold in store in 2024 for America and for the world? The editors of Saturday Review/World tackled the question last month in a special issue marking the 50th anniversary of the Review For the most part, contributors found tin* prospect pretty good Microbiologist Rene Bubos, for example, expects a far better environmental quality 50 years hence, as science solves most of the problems of pollution that plague us now. The Russian physicist. Andrei I) Sakharov, foresees a world divided into “work territories" and “preserve territories” iii which man may re-establish a natural balance. Astronaut Neil Armstrong looks toward industrial development of the moon Wemher von Braun, the rocket pioneer, sees a time when “a life without spacecraft may be as hard to imagine as one without planes or phones.’’ Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau believes the seas, if they are managed wisely, could produce a new golden age half a century hence Moshe Safdie, the brilliant young Israeli-born architect, contributes dream cities that he himself expects to see when he is SH Such ventures into prophecy are as old as recorded literature. The natural curiosity of man never can be satisfied by inquiry into what has gone before There is always a temptation to look beyond the veil, and there always have been astrologers, diviners, prophets and mystics whose present stoc k in trade is the prediction of things to come Most of their predictions turn out poorly. As editor Norman Cousins observes, “the biggest changes of the 20th Century were not foreseen by the experts.” Cousins is not talking of the technological c hanges alone; he is talking chiefly of the intangibles that shape the history of mankind The very iwst cry stal balls cannot foretell a Hitler, a Churchill, a Roosevelt. “The most important factor in the complex equation of the future.” Cousins says, “is the way the human mind responds to crisis ... Human experience is not a closed circle. It is full of mag- skyscrapers dotting the horizon will nett take up the slack Recently a question was asked on one of the talk shows why should a monopoly advertise Well, it makes it another tax loophole. They charge it off to business cost and then pass the cost to the consumer Then when tho corporation lawyers get their fingers in the pot. they turn around and uso it once more as a tax write-off The only way that we common people will survive is to band together and tell the leaders that we have had enough skulduggery Frank Sasek 1912 Hamilton street SW Fish-kill To the Editor: I, for one. presumably along with other sportsmen, am not satisfied with Boh Middendorf* report on the catfish kill in the Cellar river above tho dam at Cedar Rapids I believe an area fisheries biologist should not have to theorize the cause* of the kill He should be able to come up with a definite cause* I first saw a few dead catfish about a month ago at I. avenue* on the* west hank of the river hut did nut give it too much thought. I was told by a member of th** river patrol they saw dead catfish float* ing in the* rive*r last week from Seminole* Valley park on down Mr Middendorf said he* was unable to find any dying catfish Tuesday or Wed- mflcent detours and sudden departures from predicted destinations." ll I had been contributing to Mr. Cousins’ symposium, I probably would have been more* pessimistic about the world of 2024 Doubtless many of the technological problems will be solved; Safdie’s cities may arise, and Von Braun’s satellites will twinkle through the nights of the* next century. But for all of Norman Cousins' unquenchable optimism, I wonder about the willingness of men and of nations to abandon characteristics that have seemed immutable thus far Is man essentially good ’ Kindly * Neighborly? Self-sacrificial? Are nations wedded to the Golden Rule? I deny it absolutely On the contrary, the record is one long record of selfishness, exploitation and conquest. Men and nations ar** mostly blind moles, burrowing in their own narrow tunnels, heedless of where they have been or where they ar** going What is th** greatest danger, and the* greatest madness, affecting the world of 1974 ’ It is the proliferation of atomic* weapons (In his contribution to the symposium. McGeorge Bundy foresees a series of atomic exchanges devastating cities in China, Russia, and the United States, hut he imagines a Great Covenant thereafter, with world authority over weapons, food and population.) N then* any indication that men and nations are disposed to avert the danger and to cool the madness? Nothing in th** arms limitation talks provides th** slightest encouragement. Is the affluent United States morally and spiritually agreeable to reducing our own standard of living? It is idle to ask Is India disposed toward population control? Are nations that depend upon til** sea prepared to accept the radical controls that Cousteau perceives as indispensable for the survival of species* The policy is rather to l atch out and get out I am not by nature* a pessimist. Th** “intangibles” that Cousins rightly remembers may well appear, perhaps in tin* form of a worldwide religious movement of compelling effect. But will 2024 bring peace, prosperity, and loving kindness to the planet Earth? It is more likely to bring a massive compounding of the perils and deprivations that afflict us now. Washington Star Syndicate nesdav so could not verify his theory about the kill. If he had parked his boat and walked along the west hank of the river from L avenue upstream, I assure him he could have found dying catfish, as I saw them on both of these days within a foot of th** shore scarcely able to nav igat* Mr Middendorf minimizes the kill as not serious. Several thousand catfish in this small area is quite a few, in my book Two thousand catfish from three inches long to five pounds or an average of I 1*2 jMiunds each would amount to 3,000 pounds at $1 59 a pound, or 14.770 I believe the state should check the outflow at the atomic energy plant and also take samples from the riverbed to see if there is a cause there to contaminate* the catfish, as we all know catfish are bottom feeders. As long as Mr Middendorf is only going on theories, my theory is that this was brought on by the accidental disc harge into the river about a month or so ago at the atomic plant Mr Middendorf was quoted in The Gazette of Aug 29 All fish host infectious bacteria and if they undergo stress from sudden temperature change brief lack of oxygen, poor water quality or some other reason, they become vulnerable to disease,” I would suggest Mr Middendorf do some further checking, as I, for one, would hesitate to eat any catfish caught in this area After all, I live here too Miivuy P. Maliy. sr. 1301 Fourth street NW People s forum    Bears    are    at    large    on    Wall    Street f i ;

  • Boh Middendorf
  • Jacques Cousteau
  • James J. Kilpatrick
  • Joseph I Oser
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Moshe Safdie
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Norman Cousins
  • Paul Heitmann
  • Rene Bubos
  • Robert Benton
  • Roscoe Drummond
  • Theodore M. Bernstein
  • Von Braun
  • Walter Winched
  • Wemher Von Braun
  • William Allen

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: September 6, 1974

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