Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 30, 1974, Page 8

Cedar Rapids Gazette

November 30, 1974

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Issue date: Saturday, November 30, 1974

Pages available: 32

Previous edition: Friday, November 29, 1974

Next edition: Sunday, December 1, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 30, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ®h* Cellar ’Rapids Editorial Page Saturday, November 30, 1974 Veto yWcj!»*hA. ”*« o* * *i Hi \fw per When police pursue Concerned over an inordinate number of high-speed chases and resulting damage to several police vehicles, Cedar Rapids Chief of Police La Peters is checking the motor vehicle pursuit policies of police departments in other cities. The research is a good idea. It should supplement knowledge LaPeters has gained in several previous supervisory stints. It should also indicate whether chase-related accidents here are running higher than the norm for like-sized cities of similar population density. In the meantime, however, the chief says his inclination is to let officers decide whether to pursue fleeing suspects or abandon the chase. That route, in our layman’s view, is the only realistic way to go. Choosing whether to chase down another driver lickety-split through town requires the exact brand of intuition needed in deciding how to respond to an ominous “trouble unknown’’ call. Are there signs of aggravated criminal activity? Will the public be served better by catching up with suspected malefactors now? Or should one opt to let the pursued driver escape, perhaps to cause greater harm further down the road? It takes an experienced, well-trained individual to sense the nearly ethereal warning signals. Some have the knack. Some will acquire it later. Others — the bullheaded in particular — may never catch on. As any officer will attest, no two set of circumstances are identical. So it would make no sense whatever for police here to have a set list of do’s and don’ts governing vehicle pursuit. All the public can expect is that officers place public safety above all else. Only finely-honed instincts can provide that service. The need for good judgment cannot be overstated. Indeed, the decision to chase or fall back can be more critical than the choice of firing a gun at a felon. Unless discharged as a “warning shot” (unwise, in most cases), the bullet is not likely to harm anyone other than the criminal target. But a speeding auto can endanger anyone on or near the traveled right-of-way. They’re off again (way off) As if the ordinary people in a politics-obsessed republic had no greater passion than knowing who will run for President two years hence, the nation’s accommodating pollsters regularly undertake to test the wind. Just as they did it four years ago for the 1972 election, so they have done it this month for the one on tap in ’76. The process customarily turns out to be an exercise in relative futility so far as solid forecasting goes. Even so it tends to be instructive in a few ways not intended. One impressive item on that score from the renewal is the way the field changes each time out. The Harris Survey, for example, took a reading on ll Democratic “possibles” at this stage of the shape-up four years ago and on 18 so-called contenders right now (Democrats both times have provided the only suspense in the matter.) From last time to this one, only four names carried over: Edmund Muskie, George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Birch Bayh. Gone from the 1970 stable are Edward Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, John Lindsey, Sargent Shriver, Ramsey Clark, John Gardner and Harold Hughes. Newly programmed, in addition to the carryovers, are George Wallace, Eugene McCarthy, John Glenn, Henry Jackson, William Proxmire, Morris Udall, E.G. Brown, jr., Jimmy Carter, Eeubin Askew, Hugh Carey, Terry Sanford, Lloyd Bentsen, Dale Bumpers and Daniel Walker. (Among the last nine, plus Mondale and Bayh, 56 to 80 percent of the public confesses too much unfamiliarity to make a choice. One person in eight, it is also worth noting, conceded equal ignorance about the Democrat who actually headed the ticket in ’72.) One is tempted to lament, considering these kinds of lineups, that no outstanding individuals in any line of work but politics ever get into the act. As a practical matter, however, there is probably no hope for outside blood: Professionals who run the show and name the cast will never — short of miracle or madness — go for anyone who never graced a ballot . . and proved that he has the most requisite talent of all: garnering votes. Maybe the pollsters could conjure an earthquake by listing some able outsiders along with the ones holding office and see how they rate side by side. Even though professionals would never go for anything so wild, the people just might. Exposure helps, hurts Protest clouds student records By William F. Buckley, jr. The administrators of many of the country’s colleges and universities are these days grateful for their long experience in the civil disobedience of their students. They are preparing something of the sort in protest against the promulgation of the so-called Buckley amendment. The amendment took effect last Tuesday, having earlier this year been tacked on to the omnibus education subsidy bill at the urging of the sainted junior senator from New York, Mr dame's L. Buckley. The rider is known as the “Family educational rights and privacy act of 1974.” It passed as a result of one of those infrequent and felicitous conjunctions of right- and left-wing pressure. Mr. Buckley, desiring to protect the privacy of students, found himself in the same camp with the American Civil Liberties Union, which desires the same thing. Usually the ACLU desires that kind of thing in order to protect people from being prosecuted, or convicted. Senator Buckley desires it in order to protect students from wandering around the country for the rest of their lives with a hidden albatross around their neck — hostile information, of a factual or evaluative nature, that is often available to almost anyone who wants to look at the file — except the man the file describes. The rider gives to the parents of students in primary’ and secondary schools the right to inspect these files. to protect their children against malice, and otherwise to respect their privacy. At the college level, the bill permits college students to march into the relevant offices and demand to see their files. Now there are some very good arguments against Senator Buckley’s rider It is true — for instance — that a teacher. asked to give a recommendation to a college senior for review by the admissions board of a graduate school, is not likely to be so candid if he thinks there is a chance that the student he is describing will himself be reviewing the professor’s recommendation. Or consider the parent who sends his boy to a prep school to which said parent has been donating gymnasiums or whatever for a generation Suddenly he discovers that the headmaster’s letter to Harvard discreetly advises Harvard that the young man is a pain in the behind, and ought not to lie admitted into the c ompany of civilized people. There goes the hockey rink. Indeed, the resistance of the college administrators is in the classic mode: Interpret the law. if possible, ludicrously. Thus Mr. Albert B. Fitt, legal adviser to Yale university, has said without one gathers cracking a smile, that under the new act, “grades may no longer be sent to parents.” This because the act specifies that no data from the files may be sent to anyone without the students’ consent, and Mr. Fitt is here suggesting that the students would deny knowledge of their grades to their parents. That is. of course, the way to torpedo a bill: Treat it the way Hugo Black and William Douglas treat the Bill of Hights, i.e. stretch it into incoherence. The trouble is, there is much that is correct in the objections to the act as it now stands. First and most obvious, congress shouldn’t trespass ex post facto on arrangements arrived at legally, and in good faith. There are millions of recommendations on file that were elicited on the representation that they would be held confidential. It is not right that any law should superordinate itself over the arrangements reached between college admissions offices, and persons writing letters of recommendations. Clearly, then, the law's focus should be prospective, rather than retroactive, and one would think that a simple clarification — by congress, or by HEW with the tacit consent of Mr. Buckley — would limit the students’ rights to future files. And these would presumably tx' collected differently. Colleges would use a standard form and decline to solicit the advice of others except upon waiver, by the student, of any future right to examine that recommendation Surely the logical thing for the admissions officer to do, after weighing the evaluation of the student. would he to destroy the letter, to avoid strategic miscarriages of justice. What you have is a classic dilemma. Whatever happens, somebody loses something. When confronted with such dilemmas, the rule should be: Weigh in on the side of the individual, over against the bureaucracy. This Senator Buckley sought to do. His bill needs fine tuning, but it is correctly pitched Washington Star Svndico*e Target unperceived Fist-shake futility William F. Buckley, jr. By Jim Fiebig I remember once as a kid sitting in a darkened theater and being pelted with candy throughout an entire Tarzan movie by an unseen assailant Not knowing who was to blame made it twice as frustrating. The American grocery shopper today is in the same irritating predicament. During the first nine months of this year, the market-basket cost of food has risen more than it did in all of 1973, and the culprit is nowhere in sight. With the farmers claiming innocence on one end and the supermarket chains on the other, we are left helplessly shaking our fists at some elusive, undefined culprit in between. People s forumBus praise To the Editor: Of the many wonderful programs put into effect for the elderly, the retired and the physically handicapped by so many public-spirited groups and citizens, the city and county programs for senior citizens bus service and “SEATS” rank right up there at the top. I’ve never taken the SEATS bus, because I ve had no occasion to go outside the county, but I ve taken the buses for the elderly many times on errands in the city. I am more than pleased with the efficient, reliable, prompt service given by both the drivers and the women who handle the telephones. The drivers are not only courteous but pleasant and very accommodating. I ll recite an example, as I don’t believe many of the elderly have taken these buses to know just how efficient they are The bus picked me up and let me off at the west-side Peoples bank. I went to Claxton’s pharmacy to pick up medications which I d ordered in advance Then I returned to the front of the bank building, where the bus picked me up arid took me to the main library. I picked up my books, and then the bus picked me up and returned me home. I was gone exactly one hour for these three trips and errands — a cost of 29 cents a trip, three trips. Can anyone top this? These buses are a godsend to those of us who have foot, leg. knee and other problems which prevent us from standing and walking too much at a time And for the many of us who have the problem of trying to make a penny do the work of HJO pennies. I liken these buses to Rolls Royces driven by one’s private chauffeurs — the poor man s luxury, his dream come true. Also, I wish to remind the many who don't know that if one is held up on an appointment and can’t keep the time set for a bus to come again, all one has to do is notify the bus office. The people in charge will change the time to a later one. So one doesn’t have to worry when the doctor, the dentist or someone else holds one’s appointments up. I hope this program is never discontinued. Mrs. Wilbur C. Miller, sr 518 I avenue NWFairness? To the Editor: Is it fair to condemn an innocent man through the laws of Linn county when he knows he is right? I was sent to court on a larceny charge. People have convicted me when I know I’m innocent. Is it fair? Jim Nichols 1206 Fifth avenue SEFood control To the Editor Pope* Paul VI was unfairly underquoted rn your Nov. 17 editorial. The Wanderer. St. Paul Minn., quoted further “It is inadmissible that those who have control of the wealth and resources of mankind should try to solve the problems of hunger by forbidding the poor to be born or by leaving to die of hunger children whose parents do not fit into the framework of theoretical plans based on pure hypothesis about mankind’s future — that civilization places too much emphasis on industrial and technical solutions and too little on human values almost to the total abandonment of agriculture. ” There is a food shortage — not a food crisis. The Nixon-Kissinger administration paid U. S. farmers over a period of five years at least $4 billion more not to grow grain than it would have cost to buy the grain and give it to the needy So now Kissinger threatens the world with a Food Security Council, controlled like the ll. N. Security Council, by a small clique of powerful nations. It s not hard to see what pressure such a council could bring to bear on countries which disagreed with U. N. policies. Charles Monro, a Canadian farmer and head of the International Federation of Agriculture Producers, stated that at no time during preparation of the World Food Conference had any farmers been consulted, and he had not been able to obtain even a copy of the preliminary proceedings. He stated delegates “assume that food is a product of politicians speeches and big business operators.’’ Two IFAP leaders from Niger and Cameroon warm'd in 1971 about Sahara encroachment on their land but no one listened. One wonders what 3,000 employes of the U. N. Food and Agriculture Organization has been up to all these years. A booklet, “Things To Come”, made available to journalists of the food conference, picture's a supermarket cart of goodies alongside a peasant sc ratching the dry earth The explanation refers to the disappearance of grain reserves without mentioning deliberate idling of American land, and the tremendous price rises without mention of the secret Russian wheat deal. Then the booklet state's everything seems to have gone wrong at once. Well, a malevolent spirit seems to be tightening the world into a utopia or death program where we eat if we play ball and starve if we don’t. Americans, beware of Kissinger placing olir rights under a World Food Council Margaret Heaveho 180 Twenty-second avenue SW Well, the mystery is over. The culprit in between, according to an agriculture department survey released this month, is a guy calk'd “the middleman " The middleman has accounted for H4 percent of this year’s rise* in food prices. But who — really — is the middleman? What’s his name and occupation? Where can we write to that so-and-so? What’s going to tx* done about him’’ Alas. The agriculture department can only tell us that we’re shaking our fists in the right general direction. That’s what I like about government surveys. They may not offer any solutions, but they give our frustrations such a nice, “official” stamp of approval. Gonerot ►eoture* Corporation Replacing it is a cartoon called Marmaduke; it has a dog. Whatever happened to Heathcliff? Will you please bring it back0 My family has enjoyed He. ihcliff ever since. Jim Miller 39HI Falbrook drive NE (Editor $ note After Heathcliff had appeared for several months, in the editor $ judgment, it was not receiving a satisfactory reader response, so the feature was dropped ) InsightsHeathcliff?CBS news flunks test of balance By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON - The Institute for American Strategy last month released a thoughtful and thoughtprovoking study of the coverage given by the Columbia Broadcasting System in 1972-73 to news of national defense. The institute charges (’BS News with imbalance, and the charge is well taken. The evidence amassed by tho institute is overwhelming. Under the direction of Ernest W. Lefever. a distinguished scholar in world affairs, a team of analysts undertook a meticulous examination of the CBS evening news. They isolated every reference to national security over a two-year period, studied the transcripts, and tabulated their findings. American attitudes on defense may be classified roughly in terms of the hawk. the sparrow, and the dove. The hawk believes national defense efforts should be increased; the sparrow believes present levels are adequate; and the dove believes these levels should be reduced. As to Vietnam, the hawk defends U. S. involvement, the sparrow feels yes-and-no, and the dove deplores the whole thing. Lopsided Such classifications are fairly within the range of statistical analysis. The institute’s study found that in 1972, CBS News gave 79 sentences to the hawk point of view, 774 to the sparrows, and 1,382 to the doves. The Imbalance was even more glaring in coverage of Vietnam. The hawks got 25 sentences, the sparrows 493, and the doves 1,201. The same imbalance was found in coverage of other news in the field of national security. CBS gave virtually no attention to Soviet military buildup; its news editors sought out doves for interviews; most damning of all. the network’s own reporters regularly exposed their own opinions in the guise of news. An analysis of 2.235 “viewpoint sentences” found that 418 originated with UBS newsmen; of these, 1.4 percent inclined toward the hawks, 12.5 toward the sparrows, 84.1 to the doves. In brief: “A consistent and careful v iewer of the UBS evening news, with no other sources of military information. would have gained a strange and mas- James J. Kilpatrick To the Editor: Last summer there was a cartoon in I he Gazette calk'd Heathcliff. The main character is a cat. but now it is gone America is a large, friendly dog in a vary small room Every time it wags its toil, it knocks over a chair. Arnold J. Toynbee sively lopsided picture of our national defense issues and options . . , UBS News gave 17 times as much attention to views advocating that the U. S. government do substantially less in defense and national security than to views advocating that the government do more ” Richard S. Salant, president of CBS News, has responded to the institute’s study with a request for more information on the methodology. He promises to take the institute’s charge's seriously and to examine the data. It is a reasonable reply. So much for the institute’s accusations and the network’s initial response Something more remains to be said on the nature of news and the task of editorial judgment. The institute complains repeatedly for example, that CBS carrus! little about “the mission” of the air force, “the mission” of the navy, and “the mission” of the army. The institute objects that CBS ignores! significant news of national security and gave time instead, on a given night, to such events as the trial of Angela Davis News value Well, the trouble is that “the mission” isn’t news; and put to a choice between reporting Admiral Mooter on Soviet submarine's and covering the trial of Angela Davis, 99 editors out of 180 would take the Davis trial. The Institute for American Strategy is obsessed with national defense — a useful obsession. But a thousand other outfits have a thousand other newsworthy obsessions: abortion, gun control, fluoridation, organic gardening, racial balance busing, women’s rights, historic preservation It is likely that every one of them could compile a statistical violation of Unfairness dextrine On the record, CBS News evidently failed to meet requirements of the fair-moss doctrine in its coverage of national security news. But to some degree, fairness, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. If Solomon himself were sitting in for Walter Cronkite, complaints would still be heard In the news business. alas, that s the way it is Wmhmgton Slur Syndical* • Backup Nearly all jMiliticlans approve of the two-party system . . and an increasing number seems to approve of having them both the same night. iowa Slate Travel*’ ;

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