Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 2, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette December 2, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 2, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Ct^clnr Enpitb Editorial Page Monday, December 2, 1974 Acceptability of risk The latest quarrel over safety of the nation’s nuclear power plants finds scientists challenging the credibility of other scientists, 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 $3 million of government money, a two-year study by Dr. Norman Rasmussen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined (as published last August) that nuclear technology rates very high in 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 defects”; its methodology is flawed; it paints a “misleading and incomplete” picture of the catastrophic risks involved Spokesmen for the Atomic Energy 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 criticizers want. they indicated, is another detailed study — a comprehensive and disinterested review by congress of the whole nuclear power program. No doubt other scientists (“disinterested”?) 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 venomous challenge. What all the incredible parties to this endless dispute could profit from first is a better understanding of the safety-badgered public’s own attitudes and value judgments as to hazardous technology. The key points there include a root assumption that energy availability is worth some risks to life and limb, however generated. So far, though malfunctions have occurred, no nuclear catastrophe has come about. Other technologies have massive death rates that the public accepts: Automobile accidents kill 50-60,-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 critics), 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 system’s risk-acceptablities. In the meantime, arguers about the risks will find receptive ears — and credibility, perhaps — if they can prove that nuclear designers disregard past mistakes, show contempt for public safety and are failing to improve all systems’ safety as new information and abilities develop. No one has come close to such a showing yet. This, too, is good enough for Joe Blow. Good times amid the bad The figures came out one day after Thanksgiving, but they still provided grounds for an afterthought helping of gratitude: The Cedar Rapids area’s unemployment 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 — corresponds 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-roces-sion and general gloom. One reason has to be that much of Cedar Rapids’ work is in or closely linked to food production. That, of course, meets a demand which does not slacken much despite hard times, and this has always given the employment scene h^re more stability than most. Other reasons are that only minimal relationships exist here with the hard-put automotive industry and with its dependent materials producers, which also hurt when that one does. This is not to indicate, however. that high employment levels currently experienced will stay immune entirely as national declines 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 depressant on employment here too, inescapably. 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. XrX-x*x,x*x-x-x-x^%&’'i-X*:%i-x3-x,X'X*X-X-x,S#^*!'i<!£^^9W'W*fr&c*w-x<-x,.‘-x-:-:-!i'^x<-t-:#:x*x-x%i$xNew-car hoopla out By Jim Fiebig Although Detroit automaker* have selected the economy as their scape goat, one of the big reasons new-model t ar sales are the Iou est in 1ft years is due to the glanng absence of P I. Barnum The master showman hasn’t pulled a promotional stunt since 1H91, of course, but every fall his spirit hovered approvingly over the formal introduction of Detroit's new models. Remember secrecy? the excitement? The One of the great annual thrills in those days was to be stopped by a train sometime in August and uatch it click by with a couple hundred neu models mounted on its back. You kneu thev were the new models because every single one was securely covered from nos<* 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 steel 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 publication with space to fill was running photos of the new models months ago All you had to do to see orje beforehand was ask the salesman for a tour of the bark lot Usually, you didn t even have to ask. (i<iod heavens’ You could actually buy a new model and drive it home before the formal introduction If you wanted one, that is If you could find one with a bange more dramatic than something called a catalytic converter. The economy is hurting new-car sales. But fhe banishment of Barnum is hurting them even more .v    J    ■ I [Iii People ’s forum ‘Let them applaud’ To the Editor: For five concert seasons I have admired the careful preparation and obvious sincerity in the musical-event reviews of Gazette critic Les Zacheis. He is often witty, always informative, and a very nice gentleman. But there is one thing about which we disagree: namely, whether people who come to hear musical artists perform should be able to express their approval any way they like — particularly 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 that means a standing ovation, wonderful. To be specific. Mr. Zacheis’ review of the November Symphony concert chided the audience for dapping between tnovements of the concerto. He went on to deplore the guest soloist’s ‘ unfortunate’’ acknowledgment of the applause. Our Cedar Rapids audiences do not clap between movements because they are ignorant bumpkins. They do it when Insights Never one thing and seldom one person can make for a success It takes 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 graciously acknowledged the “inappropriate” applause. Only an arrogant lout would not (I have seen performers who rewarded such applause with glares of disapproval Shame! Their mothers should have taught them better manners. I Furthermore, I deplore anything that contributes to Cedar Rapids’ time-honored tradition of being undemonstrative. I hasten to add that undemonstrative does NOT mean unappreciative. Cedar Rapids Symphony audiences are among the most appreciative, attentive, intelligent, receptive, supportive listeners 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 local style, and certainly I wouldn't trade this audience's intelligence and appreciation for more noise. Still, Mr Zacheis should not discourage them. Let them applaud. How can we conv mce people that music is for everyone if they are afraid coming to a concert might lead to a social blunder? I think it would be wonderful if they stood on the seats, yelled for joy, and threw programs in the air — even between movements. Music is not brr polishing the social graces; it is not a ritual. Music is for letting the spirit soar. Enjoy! Bravo! More! Linda Williams WNI 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 bv the Booster club but by the students of FVairie 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 Sly cord who was killed in October of 1972. A good athlete, no, but a good friend of many These kids did everything front starting a memorial fund to dedicating the ’73 Yearbook to him If I understand Revived integrity tops public’s priorities list By Louis Harris Th® Harm Survey Despite our dismal economic situation and rising unemployment rate, the American people consider restoring integrity to government the most pressing issue for the newly elected congress An overwhelming 92 percent of the American people feel that “cleaning up corruption in government” is the new congress’ top priority item. The same number feels that members of congress should stop looking after their own interest and look after those of the country. Large majorities believe congress should “make sure no more Watergate affairs can take place." “listen and show trust in the people” and fully diclose and account for government decisions and actions Eighty-five percent fwd that the federal government should “represent the consumer more and big business and labor less.” A substantial 7ft percent fwd that congresspersons should “stop listening to high-powered lobbyists in Washington." Ixirge numbers also hope to witness cutbacks in defense and social programs, which indicates the public 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 rn warm weather months for studying and relaxing by students. Prairie 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 I^iuren but also a tribute to good students who care. Keep it up. kids — no matter what your colors are. Mrs. .Jerry Wilford 2904 .Johnson avenue NW Teaching parenthood To the Editor: “Boy. 6. in Coma—Father .Jailed Pwiple recoil in horror and anger when they read such headlines What kind of human beings would do such a thing to a child? The new thinking about abusive parents suggests that most of them are essentially normal, and it emphasizes more sympathetic understanding and therapy that includes group sessions and self-help Research into the causes of 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 as overwhelmingly important facts about child abusers (I) The parent and child are isolated in a pressure cooker, alone, with harrowing emotional conflicts and stresses. (2) Battering parents don’t know the first thing about effective parenting practices They need to be taught how to be parents. When children are unloved, they conclude that they are unlovable When they are beaten regularly they grow up believing it is right, even necessary, to beat their own children because children need “strict discipline.” by which they mean the kind of brutal punishment they received. Experience has shown that 9ft percent of these parents can be significantly helped Programs designed to 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 the abusive parent We meet weekly at Olivet Presbyterian church. Thursdays from 9 to ll a rn and-or 7 to 9 p m. Free child care is provided at the church Anyone interested may call 366-3628 Cindy Hochstetler 313 Thirteenth street SW Last month, a cross-section of 1,523 households was asked Do you feel ii i* very importer)!, only »om®whot important, or not important at oil for th® new congress to toke the following tteps5 (Read Int) Very    Only impor    »ome    Not    Not font    what    at all    tare •/.    %    %    % INTEGRITY IN GOVERNMENT Clean up corruption in government Congre**per»on» should stop looking after their own interests and look ofter those of the country Make sure no more Watergate affairs con toke place listen to the people Show trust in the people Moke government less secret and more open about what 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 less. Help the poor, the f Iderly and others hard hit by inflation Create a self Sufficient energy source Reduce the influence of big business rn government Have the courage to ask people to make the sacrifices necessary to get out of the preset mess. Moke certain the I odor unions do not de mood excessive wage increases. SPENDING Cut bock federol spending sharply. Cut bock spending on many of congress pet public works protects Cut bock spending on mony of the government s sociol programs Cut bock defense spending 92 92 84 87 81 I I IO 13 79 15 70    16    5    9 63    22    8    7 85    9    2    4 82    15    2    I 80 IO 2    8 78    12    4    6 74    16    7    3 63    21 70    20 61 21 11 56    22 46 27 15 20 Oddly enough, the people have survived 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 CSU ago TriOune Ne* rk Ne** Syndicate Life you take may be your own Stamping the burdensome: Who’s next? By Tom Tiede W ASHINGTON — One of the arguments 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 bit Accustomed to terminating the “life’’ of unwanted fetuses the argument goes, the nation is increasingly discussing the possibilities of eliminating other burdensome beings Regularly, the prevs reports new concepts of euthanasia and beyond Fr. Prichard McCormack, learned .Jesuit of Georgetown university, ha* announced his support for the removal of newborn infants with deformed txwlies who’have no potential for human relations. A Florida state legislator. Walter Hackett, has introduced a bill which would allow the “mercy killing’’ of Mongoloids and other retarded people. Then there is the hospital in ( oral Gables Fla , which recently went to court to evict a 21-year-old patient who has been in a coma for 16 months; the hospital sa.vs 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 bf* empowered to decide “when life may Im* terminated in these people who no longer live in a productive manner." Dr Darrell ( Crain, past president of the DC. Medieal Society and now head of this town s Arthritis Rehabilitation Center, says large numbers of old. sick and handicapped people are being “kept alive without any particular purpose. ” The trend here is not merely academic. It is real Dr Robert Veach of the Institute of Social Fellies and the Life Sciences, a professional who monitors the pulse of opinion concerning life and death, says the movement toward expanding euthanasia is currently on the threshold of “experiments at the hospital level.” Dr Veach says he knows of no experiments going on now — nor dites the American Medical Association, nor the National Institute of Health — hut he Tom Tiede regards the eventuality as not just likely hut “probable”. Already, a* a practical lf not always legal matter, euthanasia of various sorts is fairly common There are numbers of infants born with grotesque maladies — “(.od only knows how many.” sa.vs ar 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 and death Subscribing to the theory of "the right of a man to die with dignity,” doctors normally do not induce death in these lases hut instead withdraw life-preserv-mg medical techniques Taken individually, most area* of euthanasia as practiced today have compelling always merciful, rationales Doctors who destroy deform**! infants are saving the children from lives of horror Yet the gnawing reality remains that, taken as a whole, a trend Dr Veach describes as “terribly dangerous. ’’ may lie developing, Who will be next, in other words, to he classified as unwanted, inhuman, unnecessary. unproductive; who will be next to be eliminated9 The question may he “Htrangelovi-an hut then so is the answer Dr Cram has said it to the unproductive. It may still be ridiculous to imagine a social order sit efficient or pressed as to legalize the elimination of the enfeebled or the senile — yet tomorrow is another day. Facing it, we might do well to remend*** the story of the society which one* day democratically voted to send all people over 65 to a camp to await euthanasia, All went well until e«, h vtiter himself reached HS and then, tint late, realized the error Ne* MWO#' Enter or H# A,WK lotion ;

  • Cindy Hochstetler
  • Greg Fontana
  • I. Barnum
  • Jerry Wilford
  • Jim Fiebig
  • Joe Blow
  • Lauren Sly
  • Linda Williams
  • Louis Harris
  • Marie Dressier
  • Norman Rasmussen
  • Phineas T Barnum
  • Prichard Mccormack
  • Robert Veach
  • Tom Tiede
  • Walter Hackett

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: December 2, 1974

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