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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 4, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa llw Editorial Page Friday, October 4. Summitry successful? WHETHER the President's economic summit fosters optimism or apprehension de- pends mainly on how one in- terprets news stories flowing from that historically huge brainstorm- ing session. On the ledger's credit side, NathaniC" 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 unem- ployment peaking at 36 percent and black adult joblessness aver- aging 9.7 percent raise "a cleat- warning" of "social and racial tension" to come UNLESS specif- ic attention is paid to minority needs. Only a delegate snoozing away could have missed Mr. Jones' important reminder: Unless con- sidered in toto, percentages show- ing jobless rates, income aver- ages, 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 rep- resentatives 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 Green- span in overall flakiness seems to have been Earl Butz tighten belts when we 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 lavish- ly and guxzled 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 pri- vate jets tied up the airport for several hours. Citizens can be' excused for wondering: How at- tuned 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, Pres- ident Ford apparently digested the whole thing. Will his anti- inflation plan blend the U.S fed- eral budget cuts, the money sup- ply adjustments, the lax relief measures and the expanded pub- lic service jobs needed lo cut inflation in half? Here again, prospects are am- biguous. One recalls that in de- scribing 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 predilec- tions of a U. S. representative from Michigan and shoulder the concerns of 210 million more con- stituents. The depth of that compassion should become clearer when the President an- nounces his "action program." probably next week. Beef grade cosmetics A YEAR or so ago, this corner reacted favorably to a pro- posal to amend the U. S. depart- ment of agriculture meat quality grading system which judges meat on its quality and tender- ness. (Unlike federal meat inspec- tion, quality grading is not re- quired. 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 offi- cials say the reduction of feedlot time required to raise fatty cattle would result in an ultimate saving for consumers. say spokesmen for the Community Nutrition Institute who insist lhal the overall price of beef would stay Ihe 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 catlle feed supply farther with no corre- sponding loss in protein yield per animal produced. But the lone resull as far as American con- sumers could sec would lie 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. Way with words Bleepified By Theodore M. Bernstein AN INDUSTRIAL psychologist con- nected with Muzak, the music dis- Iribuling outfit, said in a recent speech that "among Ihe inlcrrclaled mailers of a lime and place, Muzak is a thing thai fits in. The things that go together, including the Muzak, are And he added that "Muzak is synomorph- ic." But he wasn't finished yet; he went mi to say thai "Muzak promotes the sharing of meaning because it symbolism in which not few, but all, can participate." Synomorphs, from the (ireek together, and a formed thing, obviously is designed lo mean tilings that go together, as he said. And massify presumably means to spread lo Ihe masses, or something. Thus do the pretenlionists wordify in (he hope that they will be recognized as M'icnlinlogisls, or something. Bctwncn, among. If Miss Thistle- lioiiimi laughl yon in grammar school Dial bohveon applies only lo two things and omong lo more than two, was she cnrrerl? This is whnl a reader wants to know. Between essentially does apply to only Iwo, hut sometimes the "two" rcla- iicinship is present .when more Hum elements are involved. Theodore M. Bernstein For example, it would lie proper In say that "Secretary Kissinger was trying to slart negotiations between Israel, Egypt. Syria and .Ionian" if what was contemplated was not a round- table conference but separate talks in- volving Israel and each of the three other nations. Among would not be improper in that context, but il would lie vaguer and less exact. Likewise il would he proper lo say that a triangle lies faefween points A, B and C and less proper lo say that il lies omong them. Word oddities. The present-day word bonfire was originally bonefirc and it referred lo the funeral pyres in the Mid- dle Ages. Later bonefire was applied to Ihe burning of proscribed objects and heretical books. Still later, it was used lo refer to any open-air or street fire, but by lhal lime the spelling hiirt been changed to the less offensive bonfire. Proving we always have bad words In burn. 'Your honor, con we just take the pardon and go? suffered enough We've People's forum Payroll tax To the Editor: In a wheel tax selup you arc still only taxing the people who live in and pay (axes in Cedar Rapids. How about the people who live on farms and small cities around us and earn their pay- checks here? I had a talk with a man who lives in Springville and has worked in Cedar Rapids for the last 12 years, lie said. "Why should I pay a tax here when I live in I answered, "What would you do if your ear caught fire? I'm sure you'd call the Springville fire department and then sit and watch il burn because they would not respond." This slowed htm up a bit, but he said, "We pay the same price thai you people do lo swim in your pools." I said. "That's fine, bul who has paid and is still paying on bond issues lo pay for the swimming pools? We slill pay to swim the same as anyone else." The same holds true with usage of our parks, river facilities, sanitary sewers, water and slreel improvements. Likewise as to plowing snow so everyone can gel to work. 1 also have checked on several farm- er-factory workers and find that a lol of Ihcm own and arc operating farms of 80-llill acres and drawing paychecks in Cedar Rapids for 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, nol both. For people renting apartments or 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 Slolba Twenty-first street SE Surgical details To the Editor: In regard to Mrs. Ford and her I can't help thinking: Is it imperative to reveal all the minute de- tails? Wouldn't it have been simpler to indicate lhal she had breast cancer? Thai Ihe operation took place without being ton explicit as to what it all en- tailed? After all, there are certain personal ailments (regardless of the patient's position, prestige, elc.) which should be Congressmen handled with simplicity. Granted, as our firsl lady she belongs to the public, but must we be so fully informed? Certainly the American people should be told of Ihe physical condilion of our President Bul as lo a personal illness of his which might require the removal of a testicle, would the public have lo be made fully aware of this? Any illness, if major, could and should be handled gracefully. News is important from all media, but this par- ticular aspect of personal illness should be given careful consideration by the editors. Withholding the full, gory de- tails from the public would be doing jus- tice to both parties, the public and the sick individual. She is suffering enough, lei's not add lo it. John Siroliak Leonard Terrace NE Influence explored By Don Oakley T1IK C1IAKGF, thiil il "hounded President Nixon oul of office" is something Ilii' press may never bo able lo refute as far as many people arc concerned. Bui far stronger ease can he made thai il was Ihe press llial elect- ed him in Ihe first place. According a study conducted by Ihe University of Michigan's Institute for Social Kesearch, newspaper endorse- monls of Hldiard Nixon were probably the decisive faelor in his defeat nf Hu- bert Humphrey in HIGH. In that election. In which Ihe two candidates were separaled by only about line percent in the popular vole, eight out of 10 newspapers endorsed Nixon a figure exceeded only In 1972 when nine nut of 10 newspapers endorsed him. Independent voters, whose ballot swung Ihe contest, were influenced by the candidates their newspapers sup- ported, the study found. Wilh other Influ- ences screened oul, pro-Nixon newspa- pers turned about three percent of the vote toward the Republicans in IflfiS. "There's no doubt of the tremendous effect TV has on current John Robinson of the institute writes in Psychology Today magazine. But the influence of newspapers "is grcally undervalued." One reason for Ihe power of the press, he suggests, is thai people view s newspaper endorsement as a nonpartisan message that cuts through the confusing arguments of the campaign, reducing them to one conclusion. LETTERS The Gazette's editorial pogo welcomes readers' opinions, subject fa these guidelines: length limit: 400 wordi. One tetter per writer every 30 doyi. All may be condensed and edited without changing meaning. Mono published anonymously. Writer's telephone number (not printrd) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate. Content! deal more with iisuol and events than per- sonalities. No poetry. By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON There is plenty about (he CIA's secret operations which needs better oversight. Horrible example: The ill-conceived allcmpl to overthrow Ihe Cuban dictator in Ihe Bay of Pigs invasion. It was badly planned, badly executed. It was such a signal disaster us to encourage Premier Khrushchev to believe lhal President Kennedy was so inept that Ihe Soviets could safely move offensive nuclear missiles into ('uba. My information is that President Ford is no more impressed by the value and skill of much of pasl CIA clandestine operations than many others. His defense of what the United States tried to do in Chile was not so much a blanket endorsement of Ihe Roscoe Drummond 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 min- uscule today compared lo what il was when Ihe West was confronted by active, aggressive worldwide communist sub- version during the years of the cold war. But supervision of these activities has never been adequate. President Tru- man did not know about Ihe CIA's Ilrst efforts to overthrow Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran in Ihe early 1950s, and President Eisenhower did not know when the U-'l spy flights were begun over Sovi- et territory, which in the end wrecked the Paris summit. But if congress is not going lo strike from the hand of the President totally the means to lake a covert action to serve the security of the nation and the most ardenl critics do not propose this then some competent oversight, better than before, is needed. There may lie 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 Ihe hands of a committee of congressmen. Congressional committees can keep secrets.like an alcoholic can keep sober. This is no exaggeration. Take a re- cent 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 lo do with Ihe past. The truth is that il was grievously harmful lo leak Ibis information because It fed the communist propaganda ma- chine, it enabled anti-American clemenls 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. Moynihan in India. The purpose of the Chilean operation was lo help slrcnglhen Ihe pro-democrat- ic political parlies and newspapers at a tiine when Allende was subverting Chile- an democracy by smuggling arms from Cuba to set up a clandestine army lo insure his continuance in office. Perhaps poorly conceived, perhaps poorly carried oul but not an ignoble purpose. But don't put congress in charge of secrets. Since belter oversight is needed, il would be well to recpiire the Presi- dent's explicit approval before any co- vert operalioti can be undertaken. Lei's Angplps Times SvncJicnte Who's fhe ape? Loolc around By Russell Baker T T WAS MIDNIGHT by Ihe television A sol and .John Carradine was turning a woman into an ape. Or was he turning an ape into a woman? I can't remember, bul il makes no difference since John Carradine probably did il both ways dur- ing his long career at mad science. I seem lo recall him at one stage turning Um Chancy into Count Draeula, which is really big-time mad science, in a class with George achievement in turning Maria into an Egyptian mummy, or vice versa. In any case, Carradino was wearing surgical gown and cap and lie was work- ing in what looked to be a well-built slone cellar fitted with expensive operat- ing-room A good stone cellar is Ihe surest warning lhal you are in Ihe presence of a mad scientist. True, they always put on surgical gowns, too, but by Russell Baker that time it is usually too late. The time to run for the woods is when you see that beautiful masonry. As Carradine fiddled with scalpels and showed loo much white eyeball, I re- alized lhal 1 knew everything that was going to happen in this movie. So did anybody else who was watching il any- where else in town. So had everybody who had paid good money to see it at a movie house years ago. II was like Chinese opera. We all loved it for its utter predictability. Some- one was going lo ask Carradine why he was conducting this fiendish experiment, and Carradine would say lhal he was doing il for the pure hell of it, and then somebody would lell Carradine he was mad. and Carradine would strap this parly lo the operating table and show too much while eyeball, and so on. It is hard to believe that movies of Ibis genre over really scared audiences, or lhal they were even intended to. The appeal is not to our love of horror, but lo some bigotry about scientists lhal probably lurks in most of us. Watching Carradine al work, I that he would have seemed ;i thoroughly admirable character if Ihe filmmakers had not loaded the dice against him. The rolling eyeballs, the stone cellar. These irrelovancics were what made him Mr Had Guy. If Ihe ac- lion had been switched lo a busy hospital and Carradine had smiled instead of grimacing, he 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 hu- man being growing in a test lube, and Carradine's project was surely more sensible than this. In a lime of dwindling planetary resources, Carradine's project turning apes inlo people wisely compensates Ihe human population Increase by causing an equal reduction in Ihe ape population. Making new people out of whole cloth, as it were, as the British exper- imenter claims to have done, accelerales population growth when the real need is lo slop il. Carradine's science is far saner because it opens doors on a possi- ble .solution to population problems: namely, the possibility of disposing hu- manely of excess people by transferring Ihcm inlo Ibe ape kingdom. I did not sit up In see Carradine reach Ihe dreadful end that would deny IK Ihe fruils of his genius. 1 knew Ills work would be destroyed and thai he would be by his ape-woman when she inevitably went berserk. This violent end would be representative of victory for justice, Ihe fitting reward for all mad scientists, who toy with Ihe unknown lor Ihe pure hell of il. What a betrayal of reason. Scientists arc always toying with the unknown for the pure hell of it. They can no more slop themselves from toying with the un- known 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. Hi- roshima. The air of Los Angeles. Car- ratline's slone cellar is a place of serene civilizalion compared with Ihe horrors of a large city hospital. This movie convention of isolating Ihe scientist from any social selling makes it easier for Ihe audience lo loathe him. whereas if he is set in a modern hospital and given the dimples of Dr. Kildare Ihe audience is compelled lo admire him for his struggle to make apes and women interchangeable, for in Ihe hospital grouping he is a servant of society. Well, obviously a lol of us fear and dislike science, but don't dare admit it. The movies know il, however. They give IIK Ihe mud scientist whom we can fear and despise wilhoul feeling bigoted and anti-inlelleclual, even though, truth to lell, bis work Is often saner than thai of sane scientists.
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