Cedar Rapids Gazette, October 4, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette October 4, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 4, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa lr !Eht Itefttr fkttjpitU Editorial Page Friday, October 4, 1974 V.'VJV. . .Ti; Summitry successful? WHETHER the President’s economic summit fosters optimism or apprehension depends mainly on how one interprets news stories flowing from that historically huge brainstorming session. On the ledger’s credit side, Nathaniel Jones, general counsel for the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, seems to have jarred delegates out of any reassurance they find in six-percent unemployment. He warned that black teenage unemployment peaking at 36 percent and black adult joblessness averaging 9.7 percent raise “a clear warning” of “social and racial tension” to come UNLESS specific attention is paid to minority needs. Only a delegate snoozing away could have missed Mr. Jones’ important reminder. Unless considered in toto, percentages showing jobless rates, income averages, portion of income spent for food or any other fiscal indexes can be highly deceptive. On the debit side, though, were some incredibly naive and ill-advised assertions. Booby-prize winner must have been Alan Greenspan, Council of Economic Advisers chairman, who told representatives of the poor, the aged, the sick and the handicapped (at a minisummit) that Wall Street brokers have suffered the most, proportionately, from the na-tion’s economic decline. The only participant approaching Greenspan in overall flakiness seems to have been Earl Butz (“We tighten belts when we must’*), who proposed a traveling tent show as a vehicle for explaining high food prices. Also unsettling are reports that while summit participants talked austerity they dined lavishly and guzzled 75-cent soft drinks. Though most tended to business, a substantial minority reportedly goofed off or played hooky. When delegates left Washington Sept. 28, the resulting stacking of private jets tied up the airport for several hours. Citizens can be' excused for wondering: How attuned is such a crowd to the country’s economic hardships? With attention spans generally that short, how can they ponder the weightiest, most complicated problems? Encouragingly, though. President Ford apparently digested the whole thing. Will his antiinflation plan blend the U S federal budget cuts, the money supply adjustments, the tax relief measures and the expanded public service jobs needed to cut inflation in half? Here again, prospects are ambiguous. One recalls that in describing Congressman Gerald Ford, a house colleague said that he would empty his pockets if he saw school children going without lunch, yet would vote the same day for a bill cutting the lunch program. However, Ford's eight weeks in the White House have shown his ability to shed the predilections of a U. S. representative from Michigan and shoulder the concerns of 210 million more constituents. The depth of that compassion should become clearer when the President announces his “action program,” probably next week. Beef grade cosmetics A YEAR or so ago, this corner reacted favorably to a proposal to amend the U. S. department of agriculture meat quality grading system which judges meat on its quality and tenderness. (Unlike federal meat inspection, quality grading is not required. Packers having their meat USDA quality-rated must pay a fee.) The idea was — and still is — to permit a reduction in the amount of fat required for higher grades, “choice’* and “prime.” The more marbled fat a piece of meat contains, the higher its “palatability quality.” USDA officials say the reduction of feedlot time required to raise fatty cattle would result in an ultimate saving for consumers. Way    with words Bleepified By Theodore M. Bern stein AN INDUSTRIAL psychologist connected with Muzak, the music distributing outfit, said in a recent speech that “among the interrelated matters of a time and place, Muzak is a thing that fits in. The things that go together, including the Muzak, are synomorpht.” And he added that “Muzak is tynomorph-k.” But he wasn’t finished yet; he went on to say thai “Muzak promotes the sharing of meaning because it mollifies symbolism in which not few, but all, can participate." Synomorpht, from the Greek tyn-, together, and morph, a formed thing, obviously is designed to mean things that go together, as he said. And massify presumably means to spread to the masses, or something. Thus do the pretentionists wordify in the hope that they will be recognized as Bdentiologists, or something. Between, among, lf Miss Thistle-bottom taught you in grammar school that between applies only to two things and among to more than two, was she correct? This is what a reader wants to know. Between essentially does apply to only two. but sometimes the “two" relationship is present when more than two elements are Involved. “Baloney!” say spokesmen for the Community Nutrition Institute (NCI), who insist that the overall price of beef would stay the same, because the supply would remain unchanged. The NCI’s argument seems unassailable. True, a de-emphasis on marbling theoretically would stretch the world’s cattle feed supply farther with no corresponding loss in protein yield per animal produced. But the lone result as far as American consumers could see would be an increase in beef sold at “choice” prices. That would bring no pocketbook relief at all. Appealing as they seem at first glance, proposed changes in USDA meat quality grading would be mainly cosmetic. Theodore M. Bernstein For example, it would In* proper to hay that “Secretary Kissinger was trying to start negotiations between Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan" if what was contemplated was not a roundtable conference but separate talks involving Israel and each of the three other nations. Among would not Im* improper in that context, but it would be vaguer and less exact Likewise it would be proper to say that a triangle lies between points A, B and C arid less proper to say that It lies among them Word oddities. The present-day word bonfire was originally bonefire and it referred to the funeral pyres in the Middle Ages Later bonefire was applied to the burning of proscribed objects and heretical books. Still later, it was used to refer to any open-air or street fire. but by that time the spelling had been changed to the less offensive bonfire Proving that we always have had words to burn. Ne* York Tim#* lyfteicote 4Your honor, can we just toke the pardon and go? . suffered enough already!' We’ve W...V.SS AMI People’s forum Payroll tax To the Editor; In a wheel tax setup you are still only taxing the people who live in and pay taxes in Cedar Rapids How about the people who live on farms and small cities around us and earn their paychecks here? I had a talk with a man who lives in Springville and has worked in Cedar Rapids for the last 12 years He said. “Why should I pay a tax here when I live in Springville?" I answered. “What would you do if your car caught fire9 I’m sure you’d call the Springville fire department and then sit and watch it burn because they would not respond ’ This slowed him up a bit, but he said, “We pay the same price that you people do to swim in your pools.” I said, “That’s fine, but who has paid and is still paying on bond issues to pay for the swimming pools? We still pay to swim the same as anyone else." The same holds true with usage of our parks, river facilities, sanitary sewers, water and street improvements. Likewise as to plowing snow so everyone can get to work. I also have checked on several farm-er-factory workers and find that a lot of them own and are operating farms of 80-1 HO acres and drawing paychecks in Cedar Rapids for $140 and upward a week. We have a lot of young people here who are looking for jobs and want to work and support their families. I think these people should either farm or work in a factory, not both For people renting apartments or LETTERS The Gazette s editorial page welcomes readers’ opinions, subject to these guidelines: Ung#i limit: 400 worth. One bom per wmet every 30 bey* AH may be conder* ted an4 edited witty** ebon*** houses and paying taxes through their landlords, I’m sure that if the landlord had some relief on his taxes he could lower the rental cost I think this payroll tax idea could warrant a try. anyway. Woody Stolba 1507 Twenty-first street SE Surgical details To the Editor: In regard to Mrs. Ford and her surgery, I can’t help thinking; Is it imperative to reveal all the minute details? Wouldn’t it have been simpler to indicate that she had breast cancer? That the operation took place without being too explicit as to what it all entailed9 After all. there are certain personal ailments (regardless of the patient s position, prestige, etc.) which should be handled with simplicity. Granted, as our first lady she belongs to the public, but must we be so fully informed? Certainly the American people should be told of the physical condition of our President. But as to a personal illness of his which might require the removal of a testicle, would the public have to be made fully aware of this? Any illness, if major, could and should be handled gracefully. News is important from all media, but this particular aspect of personal illness should be* given careful consideration by the editors. Withholding the full, gory details from the public would be doing justice to both parties, the public and the sick individual. She is suffering enough, let s not add to it. John Sirotiak JIM Leonard Terrace NE Influence explored By Don Oakley THE CHARGE that it “hounded President Nixon out of office is something the press may never be able lo refute as far as many people are concerned. But a far stronger case can tx* made that it was the press that elected him in the first place According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, newspaper endorsements of Richard Nixon were probably the decisive factor in his defeat of Hubert Humphrey in BMW In that election, In which the two candidates were separated by only about one percent in the popular vote, eight out of IO newspapers endorsed Nixon — a figure exceeded only in 1972 when nine out of IO newspapers endorsed him. Independent voters, whose ballot swung the 1968 contest, were influenced by the candidates their newspapers supported, the study found With other influences screened out, pro-Nixon newspapers turned about three percent of the vote toward the Republicans in 1968. “There s no doubt of the tremendous effect TV has on current elections,” John Robinson of the institute writes in Psychology Tinlay magazine. But the influence of newspapers “is greatly undervalued.” One reason for the power of the press, he suggests, is that people view a newspaper endorsement as a nonpartisan message that cuts through the confusing arguments of the campaign, reducing them to one conclusion. Ne*spao<*r Entprprisf Association Don Oakley Congressmen spill all Tighter hand on CIA required By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — There is plenty about the CIA's secret operations which needs better oversight. Horrible example; The ill-conceived attempt to overthrow the Cuban dictator in the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was badly planned, badly executed It was such a signal disaster as to encourage Premier Khrushchev to believe that President Kennedy was so inept that the Soviets could safely move offensive nuclear missiles into Cuba My information is that President Ford is no more impressed by the value and skill of much of past CIA clandestine operations than many others. His defense of what the United States tried to do in ('bile was not so much a blanket endorsement of the Non* pubfcthod anonymously Writer » telephone number (neI printed) should npnatute te Mp audion Scow Contents dool moro **«♦* issues and ovants Mum par-sonoSttes Mo dos try tfimTMRBIU’1 Hnr “ 11    *    r    ■    •    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    •    •    •    •    • Roscoe Drummond aft IBA CIA’s covert activities as it was an open, candid assertion that we can't under all circumstances entirely forswear such operations as long as our adversaries resort to them so widely. The CIA’s covert business is minuscule today compared to what it was when the West was confronted by active, aggressive worldwide communist subversion during the years of the cold war. But supervision of them* activities has never been adequate. President Truman did not know about the CIA’s first efforts to overthrow Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran in the early 1950s. and President Eisenhower did not know when the U-2 spy flights were begun over Soviet territory, which in the end wrecked the Paris summit But if congress is not going to strike from the hand of the President totally the means to take a covert action to serve the security of the nation — and the most ardent critics do not propose this — then some competent oversight, better than before, is needed. There may be several useful steps which could be taken, but there is one pre-eminently useless and dangerous way to go about it. That is: Put it in the hands of a committee of congressmen. Congressional committees can keep secrets like an alcoholic can keep sober This is no exaggeration. Take a recent example The director of the CIA. William E. Colby, testified in secret to a congressional committee about the agency's activities in Chile Much of this testimony was leaked by a member of congress. You can argue that the leak was not important because it had to do with the past. The truth is that it was grievously harmful to leak this information because it fed the communist propaganda machine. it enabled anti-American elements in Latin America to reassert the falsity that the United States engineered the coup against President Allende — which it didn’t — and acutely embarrassed Ambassador Daniel P. Moymhan in India. The purpose of the Chilean operation was to help strengthen the pro-democratic political parties and newspapers at a time when Allende was subverting Chilean democracy by smuggling arms from Cuba to set up a clandestine army to insure his continuance in office. Perhaps piMirly conceived, perhaps poorly carried out — but not an ignoble purpose But don’t put congress in charge of secrets. Since better oversight is needed, it would be well to require the President’s explicit approval before any covert operation can be undertaken Los Annies Time* Syndicate Who’s the ape? Look around Streak of bigotry at scientists perceived By Russell Baker IT WAS MIDNIGHT by the television set and John Carradine was turning a woman into an ape Or was he turning an ape into a woman9 I can’t remember, but it makes no difference since John Carradine probably did It both ways during hi* long career at mad science I seem to recall him at one stage turning lion Chaney into Count Dracula, which is really big-time mad science, in a class with George Zucco’s achievement in turning Maria Monte/ into an Egyptian mummy, or vice versa In any case. Carradine was wearing surgical gown and cap and he was working in what looked to lie a well-built stone cellar fitted with expensive operating-room equipment A go<Kl stone cellar is the surest warning that you are in the presence of a mad scientist True, they always put on surgical gowns, tim, but by Rusted Baker that time it is usually tem late The time to run for the woods is when you see that beautiful masonry. As Carradine fiddled with scalpels and showed tini much white eyeball, I realized that I knew everything that was going to happen in this movie. So did anytxMly else who was watching it anywhere else in town So had everybody who had paid gmsl money to see it at a movie house years ago It was like Chinese opera We all loved it for its utter predictability Someone was going to ask Carradine why he was conducting this fiendish experiment, and Carradine would say that he was doing it for the pure hell of it. and then somebody would tell Carradine he was mad. and Carradine would strap this party to the operating table and show tm» much white eyeball, and sri on It is hard to believe that movies of this genre ever really Neared audiences, or that they were even intended to The appeal is riot to our love of horror, but to some bigotry about scientists that probably lurks in most of us Watching Carradine at work. I realized that he would have seemed a thoroughly admirable character if the filmmakers had not loaded the dice against him. The rolling eyeballs, the stone cellar These irrelevancies were what made him Mr Bad Guy. If the action had been switched to a busy hospital and Carradine had smiled instead of grimacing, hi* would have seemed a perfectly admirable, even heroic, figure. What. after all, is so mad about turning an ape into a woman? A British scientist says he recently started a human being growing in a test tube, and Carradine's project was surely more sensible than this. In a time of dwindling planetary resources, Carradine's project — turning apes into people — wisely compensates the human population Increase by causing an equal reduction in the ape population Making new people out of whole cloth, as it were, as the British experimenter claims to have done, accelerates population growth when the real need is to stop it Carradine’s science is far saner because it opens d<H>rs on a possible solution to population problems; namely, the possibility of disposing humanely of excess people by transferring them into the ape kingdom I did not sit up to see Carradine reach the dreadful end that would deny us the fruits of his genius I knew his work would be destroyed and that he would Im* killed by his ape-woinan when she inevitably went berserk This violent end would be representative of victory for justice, the fitting reward for all mad scientists, who toy with the unknown for the pure hell of it. What a betrayal of reason. Scientists are always toying with the unknown for the pure hell of it They can no more stop themselves from toying with the unknown than a horse player can stop phoning his bookie. What’s more, while they are occasionally destroyed by their works, so are coal miners and chemical-plant laborers. They often give us horror shows Hiroshima The air of bis Angeles. Carradine’s stone cellar is a place of serene civilization compared with the horrors of a large city hospital This movie convention of isolating the scientist from any social setting makes it easier for the audience to loathe him, whereas if he is set in a modern hospital and given the dimples of Dr Kildare the audience is compelled to admire him for his struggle to make apes and women interchangeable, for in the hospital grouping he is a servant of siKiety. Well, obviously a lot of us fear and dislike science, but don’t dare admit it The movies know it, however They give us the mud scientist whom we can fear and despise without feeling bigoted and anti-intellectual, even though, truth to tell, his work is often saner than that of sane scientists. Na* V«v* Ti ma* Vary it* ;

  • Alan Greenspan
  • Daniel P. Moymhan
  • Don Oakley
  • Earl Butz
  • George Zucco
  • Gerald Ford
  • Hubert Humphrey
  • John Carradine
  • John Robinson
  • Mohammed Mossadegh
  • Nathaniel Jones
  • Richard Nixon
  • Roscoe Drummond
  • Russell Baker
  • Theodore M. Bern
  • Theodore M. Bernstein
  • William E. Colby
  • Woody Stolba

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: October 4, 1974