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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Monday, December 2, 1974 - Page 6

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 2, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Editorial Page Monday, 2, 1974 Acceptability of risk The latest quarrel over safety of the nation's nuclear power plants finds scientists challeng- ing the'credibility of other scien- tisfs, who challenge in reply the credibility of the challengers The public, 'whose safety both sides are disputing about, can be pardoned for losing respect for the credibility of either one This is how the controversy stands For million of govern- ment money, a two-year study by Dr Norman Rasmussen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined (as pub- lished last August) that nuclear technology rates very high m safety The chances of reactor accidents that would kill many people are extremely low. For the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Sierra Club, a 150-page report by disagreeing specialists calls that an "in-house rationalization" It "has serious limitations and its methodology is flawed, it paints a "misleading and incomplete" picture! of the, catastrophic risks involved Spokesmen for the Atomic En ergy Commission fire back a flat denial of that criticism The two- year study's methodology was sound, "our numbers are in touch with reality What the cnticizers want, they indicated, is another detailed study a comprehensive and disinterested review by congress of the whole nuclear power program No doubt other scien- tists would handle that, the time and cost input would be immense, and any end results that someone didn't like again would be open to ven- omous challenge What all the incredible parties to this endless dispute could prof- it from first is a better under- standing of the safety-badgered public's own attitudes and value judgments as to hazardous The key points there include a root assumption that energy availability is worth some risks to life and limb, however gener- ated So far, though malfunctions have occurred, no nuclear catas- trophe has come about Other technologies have massive death rates that the public accepts Automobile accidents kill 000 Americans a year, and other kinds of accidents combined do the same. When tHe AEC claims a thousand-death nuclear mishap has the same occurrence odds as a thousand-death meteor strike (not disputed by the that is good enough for Joe Blow When millions choose to live in California despite high chances for a catastrophic earthquake in their lifetimes, that reflects a public mood When the bickering on odds gives way to an actual multi-death nuclear blowup, only then will people get concerned enough to reappraise the sys- tem's nsk-acceptablities In the meantime, arguers about the risks will find receptive ears and credibility, perhaps if they can prove that nuclear Designers disregard past mis- lakes, show contempt for public safety and are failing-to improve all systems' safety as new in- formation and abilities develop No one has colrrie' close to such a showing yet This, too, is good enough for Joe Blow 1 People's forum Good times amid the bad The figures came out one day after thanksgiving, but, they still provided grounds for an atter- thought helping of gratitude: The Cedar Rapids area's unemploy- ment rate for October reached the uncommonly low level of 1.6 percent. Nationwide, the level has reached 6 percent and still is creeping up. But Cedar Rapids' relatively healthy state counter to the national trend corres- ponds with what the business and industrial community here not to mention the working force already has noted concerning the local economy: It is holding up much better, as a whole, than the big one has done all through these months of inflation-reces- sion and general gloom.' One reason has ;to be that, much of Cedar Rapids' work is in or closely linked to food produc- tion. That, of .course, meets a demand which does not slacken much despite hard times, and this has always given the employ- ment scene here more stability than most. Other reasons are that only .minimal relationships exist here with the hard-put automo- tive industry and with its depend- ent materials producers, which also hurt when that'one does. let them applaud' To the Editor: For five concert seasons I have ad mired the careful preparation and ob vious sincerity in the musical-event reviews of Gazette critic Les Zacheis He is often witty, always mformathe, and a very nice gentleman But there is one thing about which we disagree namely, whether people who come to hear musical artists per- form, should be able to express their approval any way they like particu- larly if they have paid for the privilege, but even if they simply show up and pay attention. If that'means whistling and shouting, great If that means clapping between movements, beautiful If means a standing ovation, wonderful To be specific, Mr Zacheis' review of the November Symphony concert chided the'audience for clapping be- tween Tnovements of the concerto He went on to deplore the guest soloist's1 acknowledgment of the applause. This is not to indicate, howev- er, that high employment levels currently experienced will stay immune entirely as national de- Insights clines'go on. When effects of the energy pinch ripple 'out, they are bound to be 'felt here. When the automotive business hurts, so does the road-building business, with its intimate ties here. When mortgage rates are out of: sight and the construction field hurts in consequence, that is a de- pressant on employment here too, inescapably. Our Cedar Rapids audiences do not clap between movements because they are ignorant bumpkins. They do it when But over-all, the prospect for this area and much of Iowa with parallel roots in stability still comes through as pretty good, compared to most. In a, season for counting all blessings, this community can look ahead, too, with greater confidence than most. Never one thing and seldom one person can make for a success. It lakes a number of them merging into one perfect whole. Marie Dressier the music seems to call for it when their excitement demands it It has happened three times in five years, and each time the artist 'graciouslj ac knowledged the "inappropriate' ap- plause. Only an arrogant lout; would not. (I have seen performers Vtho rewarded such applause with glares of disapprov al. Shame! Their mothers should have taught them better, manners.) Furthermore, I deplore anything that contributes to Cedar Rapids' time-hon ored tradition of being undemonstra- I hasten to add that undemonstra live does'NOT mean unapprcciative Cedar Rapids Symphony" audiences are among the most appreciative, attentive, intelligent, receptive, supportive listen ers I have ever seen But they have a tendency to restraint when it.comes to applause. At first I was bewildered by the sight of an "ecstatic listener donning gloves and coat during the first bows, sighing, "Wasn't that FABULOUS, Harry'" But I have learned to understand the lo- cal style, and certainly I wouldn't trade this audience's intelligence and appre- ciation for more noise Still, Mr Zacheis should not, dis- courage them Let them applaud How can we convince people that music is for everyone if they arc afraid coming to a concert might lead to a social blunder7 f think it would be wonderful if they stood ort the scats, yelled for joy, and threw programs in the air even between movements. Music is not for polishing the socialgraces; it is not a ritual. Music is for letting the spirit soar. Enjoy! Bravo! More! Linda Williams 600 Nineteenth street SE Student tribute To the Editor: I was very pleased to read the recent article concerning a memorial for an athlete from Jefferson, .Greg Fontana. This will be a great tribute to him. I couldn't help but think of another memorial not too. long ago started not by the Booster club but by the students of Prairie high school. In these days of hearing how corrupt kids are, it's nice to know how super they can be; The memorial I'm speaking of was for Lauren Slycord, who was killed in Oc- tober of 1972. A good athlete, no, but a good friend of many. These kids did everything from start- ing a memorial fund to dedicating the 73 yearbook to him. If I understand Revived integrity tops public's priorities list By Louit Harris Horrli Despite 'oiir dismal economic _situa tion and rising unemployment rate, the American people consider restoring in tegrltv (o government the most pressmg issue for the newly elected congress I f An overwhelming 92 percent of the American people feel that "cleaning ir> corruption in government" is the new congress' top priority item The same number feels that members of congress should stop looking after tlieir own (in lerest and look after those of 'the country i Large majorities believe congress, should ''make sure no more Watergate affairs can take "listen and show trust in the people" and fully diclose and account for gov eminent decisions and actions Eighty five perpent feel thai the fed eral government should "represent the consumer more ahd big business and labor less A substantial 70 percent feel that congresspersons should "stop listening to high-powered lobbyists in Washington Large numbers also hope to witness cutbacks in defense and so- cial programs whtch indicates the pub lie belief that federal spending has gotten out of hand. correctly this: memorial fund is still being used in the construction of an outdoor lounge The lounge will be used in warm weather months for studying and relaxing: by students. Praipie is relatively small compared to other .metro. schools! But '-when it comes to heart, there s no bigger giant than Prairie. This is a great tribute to Lauren but also a tribute to good stu- dents; who care. Keep it up, kids ho matter'what jour colors are Mrs. Jerry Wilford 2904 Johnson avenue NW Teaching parenthood To the Editor: "Boy, 6, i in Jailed" People recoil in horror and anger when they read such headlines. What kind of human beings would do such a thing to a child' x The new thinking about abusive par ents suggests that most of them are essentially normal, and it emphasizes more sympathetic understanding and therapy that includes group sessions and sell-help Research into the causes ofv child abuse indicates that valuable and even .necessary as psychotherapy is, battering parents also need other kinds of help help that is immediate as well overwhelmingly important- facts about child abusers (1) The parent and child are isolated in a pressure cooker, alone, with harrowing emotional con- flicts and stresses: (2) Battering par- ents don't know the first thing about effective parenting practices. They need to be taught how to be parents. When children, are conclude that they are unlovable. When they are beaten regularly they grow tip believing' it is right, even necessary, to beat their ownj children because children need "strict by which they, mean the 'kind of brutal punishment they received. Experience has shown that 90 percent of these parents can be significantly helped. Programs do.just that are taking shape around the country in Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, Syracuse, and Cedar Rapids. Parents Anonymous is helping stop the cycle of child abuse by helping par- ent. We meet weekly at Olivet Presbyteri- an church, Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and-or 7 to 9 p.m. Free child care is provided at the church. Anyone interest- ed may call 368-5628. Cindy Hochstetler 313 Thirteenth street SW Last month, a cross-section of households was asked: Do you fwl II It very Important, only loaMwhal important, or not Important al all far tin new eongren la take the following (Html lilt) Very Only Impor- Not Net tan! ,whal al all turn INTEGRITY IN GOVERNMENT Clean Up corruption in government. 92 7 Congreispar oni hould stop looking after their own interests and look after those of the country. 92 84 n 70 16 85 80 10 Moke sure ho more Watergate affairs 'can take place. Listen to the people Show trust in the people.' Moke government secret and more open about is really going on. Stop listening tc high-powered lobbyists in Washington. Curb the power excesses of the White House. .ECONOMY Begin to represent the consumer more and big business and labor las: Help the poor, the, and others hard hit by inflation. Create a self- sufficient energy source. Reduce the influence of big business in government. Have the courage to ask people .to moke the sacrifice; to get 'out of rhe present mesi Make certain the labor unions do not demand excessive wage increases. 'SPENDING Cut back federal; spending sharply. Cut back spending on many of congress' pet public-works projects. 1 Cut back-spending on many of the government's social programs. Cut back defense spending. _ Oddly enough, the sur- vived Watergate with hope and morale relatively intact. Rather than- cynicism and despair, the public's mood is one of hope for better leadership and renewed integrity in government a rather-tall and challenging order for the new congress walking in to meet. Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate 68" "21 70 20 56 22 Life you take may be your own New-car hoopla out By Jim Fiebig Although Detroit automakers have selected the economy as their scape- goat, one of the big reasons new-model car sales arc the lowest in 10 years is due to the glaring absence of P. T. Barnum. The master showman hasn't pulled a promotional stunt since 1891, of course, but every fall his spirit hovered approv- ingly over the formal introduction of Detroit's new models. Remember the excitement? The secrecy? One of the great annual thrills in those days was to be stopped by a train sometime in August and watch it click by with a couple hundred new models mounted on its back. You knew they were the new models because every sin- gle one was securely covered from nose to stern. Remember how you'd race your eyes over each cover, searching for some telltale hump or tantalizing curve that would offer a hint of the NEW design? What, had, those, .magic sculptors' in chrome and steer come up with this year? Man, you could hardly wait for opening night when every dealer with half a brain hired a band and stabbed the sky with giant searchlights. Exit Phineas T. Barnum. This year, it seems, every publica- tion with space to fill was running photos of the new models months ago. All you had to do to sec beforehand was ask the salesman for a tour of the back lot. Usually, you didn't even have to ask. Good heavens! You could actually buy a new model and drive it home be- fore the formal introduction. If you wanted one, that is. If you could find one with a change more dramatic than something called a catalytic converter. The economy is hurting new-car sales. But the banishment of Barnum is hurt- ing them even more. Generof Features Corporation Stamping the burdensome: Who's next? By Tom Tiede ;WASHINGTOM One of the argu- ments against legalizing abortion has! been that once society begins to violate the sanctity of life a little, the door is open to.violate it a lot. Accustomed to terminating the "life" of unwanted fetuses the argument goes, the nation is increasingly discussing the possibilities of eliminating other bur- densome beings. Regularly, the press reports new- concepts of euthanasia and beyond. Fr. Frichard McCormack, learned Jesuit of Georgetown university, has announced his support for the removal of newborn infants with deformed bodies who' have no' potential for human relations. A Florida slate legislator, Walter has introduced a hill which would'allow the "mercy killing" jjf Mongoloids and other retarded people. Then there'is the hospital in Coral Gables, Fla., -which recently went to court to evict a 21-year-old patient who has been in a 16 months; the hospital says the patient is terminal, expensive, and it wants the bed space. But the boldest concept of all. at' least the most far-reaching, has come from a respected Washington physician who is calling for the-creation of committees which would be empowered to decide "when life may .lie terminated in these people who no longer live in a productive manner." Dr. Darrell C. Grain, past president of the D.C. Medical Society and now head of this town's Arthritis Rehabilita- tion Center, says large numbers of old, sick and handicapped people arc being "kept alive without any particular purpose." The trend here is not merely acade- mic. It is real. Dr. Robert Vcach of the Institute of Social Ethics and the Life Sciences, a professional who monitors the pulse of opinion concerning life and death, says the movement toward ex- panding'euthanasia is currently on the threshold of "experiments at the hos- pital level." Dr. Veach says he knows of no expe- riments going on now nor does the, American Medical Association, nor the National Institute of Health but he Tom Tiede regards the eventuality as not just likely but Already, as a practical if not always legal matter, euthanasia of various sorts is fairly common. There are numbers of Infants born with grotesque maladies "God.only knows how says an 'AMA spokesman who are killed In secret by delivering doctors. And to be sure, there are growing numbers of physicians willing to let their patients or their patients' families decide questions of life arid death. Subscribing to the theory of "the right of a man to die with doctors normally do not induce death In these cases but instead withdraw life-preserv- ing medical techniques. Taken individually, most areas of euthanasia as practiced today have com- pelling, always merciful, rationales. Doctors who destroy deformed infants arc saving the children from lives of horror. Yet the gnawing reality remains that, taken as a whole, a trend Dr. Veach describes as "terribly danger- may be developing. Who will be next, in other words, to be classified as unwanted, inhuman, un- necessary, unproductive; who will be next to be eliminated? The question may be "Strangelovi- an" but then so is the answer. Dr. Crain has said it to the unproductive. It niay still be ridiculous to imagine a social order so efficient or pressed as to legal- ize the elimination of the enfeebled or the senile yet tomorrow Is another day. Facing it, we might do well to re- member; the story of the society which one day democratically voted to send all people over 85 to a camp to await eu- thanasia. All went well until voter himself reached (ft and then, too late, realized the error. ir EnlerorlM AiKtclatlon   

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