Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 8, 1974, Page 15

Cedar Rapids Gazette

December 08, 1974

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Issue date: Sunday, December 8, 1974

Pages available: 334

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All text in the Cedar Rapids Gazette December 8, 1974, Page 15.

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 8, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Editorial Page Sunday, Dtctmtxr S, 1974 Suicide threat The Middle East's incessant muscle-flexing is disquieting enough in natural form, with its Capacity for leading to a war that could expand and hurt a lot of people not directly in the quarrel over there. The nuclear dimen- sion that Israeli spokesmen add- ed last week gives the quarrel overtones more chilling yet for everybody on the side. newsmen who he knew pass the information worldwide, Israeli President .Ephraim Katzir brief: His country has "the potential to produce atomic weapons; if we need it, we will do 'it." Israel, if necessary, "will protect herself by all means possible." As -to whether this is worthy of con- cern: "Why should it worry 'us? Let the world worry." Implicit in all that was one key message for the Arab world: Be prepared for nuclear responses if aggression threatens Israel's sur- vival. A nuclear exchange, of course, has riot occurred in any war since World war II "gave the first taste of this to Japan. The trouble with a nuclear exchange in any theater is that its side-effects the fallout and the radiation that result, no matter where comprise a threat to all kinds of ;life even far from the scene: po- lentially no less than an extinc- tion threat to all life everywhere on earth. The world's general awareness of this Unacceptable effect has kept the tiger chained despite its presence for some 30 years now. Reduction and control of nuclear weaponry thus have become the common thrust among those' holding most of those capacities. To hear the devastating hardware rattle now .in contexts so immersed in passion and be- reft of rationality is something no outsiders can encourage or condone. In the seething Middle East, of all places, the. fabled world-ending Armageddon could too easily develop if the super- power friends of either side are conned or panicked into suicidal help for nuke-war starters. This much, then, should come across emphatically to' parties in the newly floated threat: Neither the United States nor the Soviet Union nor China, Britain, France or anybody else will lift a finger either way to "e- qualize" or strengthen nuclear capacities either of Israel or of the Arab world. In the name of world sanity, no one on the edge can risk contrib- uting to holocaust for all of us, even if.it means the self-oblitera- tion of both Arabs and Israelis in their monumental folly as it grows. Culver's idea bears fruit I At long last, an idea advanced Iby Senator-elect John Culver dur- ling his first campaign for con- gressman in 1964, is about to fruit. Culver suggested then that .'members of the Iowa congres- sional' delegation should hold Aperiodic meetings to coordinate .efforts for Iowa projects. More recently, he has suggest- 'ed that it would be in the state's interest for the congressional del- jegation to meet periodically with J the governor and legislative headers of both parties. This Blatter idea was subscribed jto by 1974 legislative leaders, t headed by Senate Republican jLeader Lamborn, who led legisla- 'Aors to Washington for one ses- and helped host appearances i'of several Iowa congressmen be- jfore the legislature, and before committees, at an- 'other session. Practically speaking, however, ithese were little more than "get acquainted" sessions but they :opened the door to more activity along this line in the immediate future. One drawback to the get-to- gethers, both at' the congressional level and between the congres- sional delegation and state lead- has been a lack of enthusi- asm on the part of some con- gressmen; At their recent meeting all seven Democratic members of the lowa'cohgressional delegation agreed to the meet monthly. They .also asked the lone Repub- lican- congressman-elect from. State Rep. Charles Grass- ley, to, join them. Grassley, to his credit, agreed to attend. This is the way it should be. There is no sense for members of Iowa's congressional delegation lo be moving in several direc- tions at once on various projects that would benefit the state. That goes, too, for the governor and legislative leaders. Lack of coordination on some projects in the past has been due, mainly, to poor communications the sort of thing that finds the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. One way to close the communi- cations gap is through this type of meeting system which Culver long has advocated. Dumb wording By William Safire .NEW YORK In teenage terminolo- gy, "dynamite" was turned into an adjective by teenagers last year and be- this year's favorite Madison Ave- nue descriptive expletive. Now its vogue-word antonym has arrived: as in "shoplifting is !or as an adjective on hair coloring '.commercials: "I have this dumb hair The use of "dumb" is exceeded only as in "that's what de- (or whatever) is all the tag line for a thousand advertise- mcnts and newspapers editorials, which has taken over for the outplayed "name t of the the displaced "where it's t and the bankrupt "net net" and I "bottom line." I This year's language pollution award Jgocs to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco J- Company, which won it some years ago by forever blurring the distinction ji between "as" and "like" with "like a f clgaret should." Now, a denim-haltered f model torpedoes the language with: "If Jit wasn't for Winston, I wouldn't I smoke." If It weren't for Winston ads, we wouldn't be so dumb, but that is In political terminology, a "kangaroo ticket" is one with the vice-presidential candidate a stronger vote-getter than the candidate for President. To avoid getting trapped in this pouch, President Ford is in the process of splitting do- mestic power. White House aides say that one force will be the Office of Management and Budget, probably under James Lynn, now HUD secretary, who should take over after Roy Ash completes his work on January's budget. The other power base will be the Domestic Council, a good spot for the innovations of Nelson Rockefeller and his entourage. Creative tension is thus intended to permeate the White House, which would then pepper the congress with exciting ideas for health insurance, negative in- come taxes and the like. During hard times, Rockefeller and Lynn would help absorb the domestic punishment, as Ford assumes the mantel of man of peace. Might work, if there is a strong upturn in the economy a year from now. New York Times Service Williom Safire Burton in fhe house New uncrowned king People's forum Too quiet To Ihe Editor: Once 'again a bond-issue election is coming up in Cedar Rapids, and once again it seems that -very few people know much about it. In fact, it :seems as if a decision has been made based on the reasoning that the fewer the people who know the details about the proposal .the better, because fewer people will oppose it. At any rate, many questions about this proposal should be answered. They include: i 1. Just what .type of remodeling is being planned on the four older junior highs? Are large sections of the existing buildings to be gutted and rebuilt completely? Or arc selected areas of the buildings to be remodeled extensively? Or additions planned? Or arc only a large group of small improvements contemplated for the million or so per building? 2. If it is only a group of small improvements, why not publish a list of them with the approximate cost of each and the reason why each is needed? 3. It seems that normal maintenance on the buildings has been let go. Walls need to be painted. Ceiling tiles have fallen down and not replaced. Was this done to make the buildings look worse than they are? Or is there a legitimate reason for delaying normal mainte- nance? 4. A few years ago there were indica- tions that the remodeling of these junior highs was to be financed on a pay-as- you-go basis from funds generated by the levy., What happened to that plan? 5. Since this bond issue was defeated once by the voters, have the plans been modified in any way to make them more acceptable? The school administration has the primary responsibility for publicizing its proposals and making sure that complete information about them is available. But The Gazette also has a re- sponsibility to provide the information if it'is not being widely-distributed. Re- (Editor's'noiei Before the lost bond election fo which (he new one ii identical except "m amount al- most a full-page feature with six pic-. lures explained if in The Gazette Feb 3. A 58-inch story elaborated April 21, Since the first proposal failed, at least six sizable news stories totaling some 90 inches have dealt with it too, twice on page one. Page 14A today contains another detailed summary. Editorially, The' Gazette has not cri- ticized voters. It has criticized fhe 60-percent law which allows a minority of voters to defeat bond is- sues against the majority's will.) ,j Helmets To the Editor In an article by Tom Fruehling (Nov. 28, page 1) Safety Director Lance Faust states that Iowa must pass a' mandatory helmet law or lose million in high- way funding; he adds that government studies show helmets do save lives. It would seem that the best thing to do would be to pass a mandatory helmet law as soon as possible. But first let us consider that there are no government- set standards for the 'manufacture of these helmets and that many helmets are of such poor quality that, they will break by merely -throwing them on the sidewalk. The strongest made will wilh- By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak .WASHINGTON The dramatic and profound power realignment in the house of representatives was symbolized the day when Rep. Wilbur D. Mills of Arkansas sidled up to Rep. Philip .Burton of California In the well of the house while debate droned on a few'feet away. Mills advised Burton he now was most agreeable to increasing .the membership of his ways and means committee, long fixed at a mystically immutable 25, with six new members Just such discreet whispers and llth- hour compromises retreating from pub- licly fixed positions were commonplace during Mills' reign as the most dominant force in congress. But this time, it was poignantly dif- ferent Burton was 'no sceptered baron m congressional feudal system Mills, but rather a rela- tively congressman with no position at all in the hous'e'Democrat- ic hierarchy. Nor was'1 this.one of Mills' masterfully timed retreats'. Burton and other reformers had decided to expand ways and means by 12 members, not six, to break Mills'.' power as chairman. Mills had offered too little too late. Still, in that brief "'whispered con- versation in the well of the showed some old form as a congression- cently The Gazette has criticized the voters 'for turning down bond-issue proposals. However, I submit that good proposals, openly presented to all the citizens of Cedar Rapids, will be approved. If this school bond issue is defeated, let's not blame it on objectionist voters. Let's say the voters either decided it was a bad proposal, or if it is a good proposal and it is defeated, let's say it was defeated because the school admin- istration and The Gazette failed to explain and publicize it properly. Clark K. Parks 200 Blake boulevard SE stand a direct impact with a solid object at approximately 15 mph. What fantasy it is to believe a helmet will keep your head from being squashed when that oncoming car doesn't see you and hits you head-on at 60 mph. Also, let us consider how much of a safety factor a helmet is in downtown traffic in 90 degree weather when your hearing ability by about 50 percent and the sweat is running in your eyes from the heat build-up inside that pad- ded fiberglass shell. Iowa is one of only three or four states- that have no' mandatory helmet laws. California is another, and contrary to what Mr. Faust says about the gov- ernment studies, the governor of Cali- fornia says that government statistics ..do not show mandatory helmet laws as being beneficial to saving lives of mo- torcyclists. Mandatory "helmet laws were not passed in all those other states by free choice, they were passed be- cause of federal.requirements. Current- ly, drives arc way to repeal helmet laws.in many of those states because of'the adverse effects the laws have caused. a necessary, part of many aspects as motorcycling, but a law that requires a mptorcylist to wear a helmet 100 percent of his riding time is an infringement on both his safety and his freedom of personal choice. I urge anyone feeling as 'I do to contact his state representative. John A. Yatcs 400 Twenty-ninth street NW al power broker. In approaching Mills was displaying his instinct for power, fully'aware that Burton'would not only be elected chairman of (he Democratic Caucus for the new con- gress but would become Its dominant figure and perhaps the next speaker. In offering to add six new seats to' his committee, Mills was simply flashing his old pragmatic realism. At that point, his'tragically ludicrous appearance on the stage of a Boston burlesque house was only three days hence. Nobody probdbly >not Wilbur Mills himself knows whether, his llth- hour failure to preserve, at least icuni of his power contributed, to, .that humiliating act of self-destruction.. t Now, Mills' days as ways and means chairman are probably ended, perhaps by his resignation to avoid caucus ishment. But even before his futile Conversation with Burton and his inex- plicable Boston trip, Mills' reign had ended.; i Contrary 'to mutterihgs within the dwindling band of southern conservative Democrats' 'that Mills made' possible liberal reforms by his high truth is that last week's caucus resolu- tion was assured by the election of 15 overwhelmingly liberal .freshman Demo- crats. That guaranteed ending 'Mijls' reign and the long; committee. Also 'assured was the election of Burton as caucus chairman over mod- erate Rep. B. F. Sisk of California, a transplanted Texan close to.-Mills and other southerners. "The loser .wasn't Bernie commented one senior house was: Tip O'Neill." Burton, not majority-leader Thomas P. O'Neill of Massachusetts, now becomes the potential probably within four years to Speaker Carl fatigued and unhappy with leadership burdens at age 66. Burton" is the: tru'e successor to Mills as uncrowned king of the house. Unlike Albert and OJNeill, he is trusted by the new generation of leftish Demo- cratic congressmen and would have been easily elected majority whip in 1973.-had not.O'Ne'ill1 kept that post ap- pointive. Unlike many is a highly effective politician who tireless- ly' cultivates personal., alliances with moderate-lo-cohservaiive congressmen. Burton is hardly'thc fire-eater sent to congress from San Francisco in 1964 as d.o.ve.even before Vietnam supported (he centrist tional chairman Robert Strauss, and dp- plores Strauss'left-wing critics. Although he intends a neutrahcourse concerning the 1976- presidential nom- ination, it is no secret he inclines' to Sen. Henry Jackson-, a hawkish bogey- man for many liberals. Most important, Burton wants no confrontation with ei- ther Albert or O'Neill, preferring to nudge them leftward quietly. LETTERS The Gazette's editorial pagt welcomes. readers' opinions, subject to these guidelines: limit, 400 words. One letter pn writer every 30 dayi. All mat be'coodenwd and edited without dunging meaning. None published anonymously. Writer's telephone number (not printed) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate. Contents deal more with issues and events than per- sonalities. No poetry. But for all his centrist connections. Burton remains rigidly left on most issues. Washington business lobbyists who fear .him as a .skilled tactician in Mills' class expect no goodies from him as the man to see next year. There is one additional different.' As master of ways and means, Mills held a measure of autonomy' enabling him lo hand Presidents legislative success (John F.. Kennedy) .or humble them (Lyndon B. Johnson on the without full dependence on his Capitol Hill constituency. But Burton is the agent of the newly powerful caucus, to reflect its views. So the new uncrowned king of the house begins as more a constitutional monarch than his precedessor. Publlshers-Holl Syndicate Penalties for being human How ethics problems plague a columnist By William F. Buckley, jr. People who write newspaper columns are also people, and that is a great, but unexpungeablc, distraction. It is some- times useful to be a people, in addition to a, newspaper columnist there is no other way, for instance, to have a fami- ly, or to drink good wine, or engage avo- cationally in other practices than writ- ,ing a column. But let me, just this one lime, share my problems with you as a fellow people, giving four examples. 1. A fortnight ago, a tape was played al the "Watergate trial. The voice .of President Nixon came in loud and clear, talking lo Haldeman, discussing clem- ency for Howard Hunt. He said: "We'll build, we'll build that son-of-a-bitch up, like nobody's business. We'll have Buckley write a column and say, you know, that he, (hat he should have clem- ency...." Within a very few minutes, my office reached me at the airport enroute to Boston. The newspapers had begun lo call in, asking the obvious question: Was Mr. Buckley approached? Does he have any comment? I dictated over the Iclcphonc Iwo sentences that were then given by my office lo Ihc New York Post, the New York Times, and the Associated Press: "At no time did any member of the Nixon administration approach me. Besides, I don't need to be reminded to write columns urging clemency even for sons-of-bilches, as Mr. Nixon has every reason to know from personal experience." The next morning, the charge was carried very conspicuously in the Boston Globe together with my retort, which 1 also saw in the New York papers and in Time Magazine. Notwithstanding; I have received much mail asking why I was silent on the subject raised at the Watergate trial. 2. A month ago, I wrote a column on the now famous Goldberg book by Vic- tor Lasky, in which I expressed the view having now read the book that although itr was of course hostile to Jus- tice Goldberg, It was for from being libelous. I remarked that the only dls- .lortion in it was Lasky's stalemenl that Mr. Goldberg was Ihe worst public speaker in Ihe slate of New York, since In fact he was the worst in the country. Mr. Goldberg telephoned roe and Was extremely amiable, making no criticism of the book, merely of Its provenance, I did not note, In my column, that I am the chairman of (he board of the parent company that owns' the company (Arlington House) that published the Goldberg book. I did not do this for two reasons. The firsl was when the William F. Buckley, jr, book was first discussed, my position' In the corporate hierarchy was widely identified, so that I proceeded on the happy, or if you prefer unhappy, as- sumption that most people knew about it. The second reason is that never hav- ing heard of the book-before, I.was in no way Implicated in the decision whether to publish it. But if I had mentioned my corporate affiliation In (he column, I'd have had to go on to rfiake the connect- ing point, and this struck me, on bal- ance, as unnecessarily self-concerned. Result: a big article In Editor Pub- lisher on whether my omission of my connection was ethically correct. Yoii decide. 3. Maybe four or five limes a year. I am greatly struck by an article or anal- ysis published In Nalumnl Review Now I am the editor-in-chief of National Review, and'its sole owner. So when I mention the article, I'give the name of the author but leave out the name of Ihe magazine where the article was .published, lest it should appear that I am atlempting. to advertise my .impe- cunious but magnificent journal. Then 1 get mall asking me how could I have been so sloppy as to fail to give 'the name of the journal where the article I wrote about appeared. 4. There is no way lo avoid writing, occasionally, about ,lhe doings and say- ings of James Lane How should I identify him? As "my Brother the That has Ihe obvious'dis- advantage of calling attention lo myself and .the less vobvious disadvantage of snuggling up against the cognate cliche, "my son the doctor." So, to refer to him as "the sainted junior sena- tor -from New York." Hyperbole is a form of self-effacement; but I still get a letter or two, complaining. These I answer by expressing grout surprise lhat the reader Is unaware of the beatif- ic character of Ihe Junior senator from Now York. But there, you share my prob- lems this one time, and I shan't ask you soon again to share them. Many thanks. ;