Sunday, December 8, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Page: 16

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 8, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Burton in the house New uncrowned king Editorial Page Sunday. December 8, 1974 Suicide threat cent Iv The (ia/ette 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 approved .. . be If this school bond issue is defeated. let s not blame it on objectionist voters. Let s say the voters either decided it vias a bad proposal, or if it is a good proposal and it is defeated, let’s say it was defeated because the school administration and The Gazette failed to explain and publicize it properly Clark K Parks 2IMI Blake boulevard SE (Editor s note: Before the lost bond election — to which the new one is identical except in amount — almost a full page feature with six pictures explained it in The Gazette Feb 3. A 58-inch story elaborated April 2 I. 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 criticized voters. It has criticized the 60-percent law which allows a minority of voters to defeat bond issues against the ma/ority s will) Helmets stand a direct impact with a solid object at approximately 15 mph. What fantasy it is to belie\e a helmet will keep your head from being squashed when that oncoming car doesn’t see you and hits you head-on at WI mph. Also, let us consider how much of a safety factor a helmet is in downtown traffic in 90 degree weather when it cuts your hearing ability by about 50 percent and the sweat is running in your eyes from the heat build-up inside that padded 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 government studies, the governor of California says that government statistics do not show mandatory helmet laws as being beneficial lo saving lives of motorcyclists. Mandatory helmet laws were not passed in all those other states by free choice, they were passed because of federal requirements. Currently. drives are under way to repeal helmet laws in many of th<*»e states because of the adverse effects the laws have caused. Helmets are a necessary part of many aspects as motorcycling, but a law that requires a motorcylist to wear a helmet IOO 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. Yates -MNI Twenty-ninth street \W 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 dimension that Israeli spokesmen added last week gives the quarrel overtones more chilling yet for everybody on the side. To newsmen who he knew would pass the information worldwide, Israeli President Ephraim Katzir warned, in 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 concern: “Why should it worry us? Let the world worry.” Implicit in ail that was one key message for the Arab world: Be prepared for nuclear responses if aggression threatens Israel’s survival. A nuclear exchange, of course, has not 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: potentially no less than an extine- At long last, an idea advanced by Senator-elect John Culver during his first campaign for congressman in 19H4. is about to bear fruit. Culver suggested then that members of the Iowa congressional delegation should hold periodic meetings to coordinate efforts for Iowa projects. More recently, he has suggested that it would be in the state’s interest for the congressional delegation to meet periodically with the governor and legislative leaders of both parties. This latter idea was subscribed to by 1974 legislative leaders, headed by Senate Republican Leader Lamborn, who led legislators to Washington for one session and helped host appearances of several Iowa congressmen before the legislature, and before legislative committees, at another session. Practically speaking, however, these 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-lo 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 bereft 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 superpower 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 contributing to holocaust for all of us, even if it means the self-obliteration of both Arabs and Israelis in their monumental folly as it grows. gethers, both at the congressional level and between the congressional delegation and state leaders, has been a lack of enthusiasm on the part of some congressmen. At their recent meeting all seven Democratic members of the Iowa congressional delegation agreed to the meet monthly. They also asked the lone Republican congressman-elect from Iowa, 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 to be moving in several directions 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 communications gap is through this type of meeting system which Culver long has advocated. People s forum Too quiet To the 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 Just what type of remodeling is being planned on the four older junior highs 0 Are large sections of the existing buildings to Im* gutted and rebuilt completely? Or are selected areas of the buildings to be remodeled extensively? Or additions planned? Or are only a large group of small improvements contemplated for the $2 million or so per building 1 ’ 2. lf 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 0 Or is there a legitimate reason for delaying normal maintenance? 4. A few years ago there were indications that the remodeling of these tumor highs was to be financed on a pay-as-you-go basis from funds generated by the 2 l *2-mill levy What happened to that plan 0 5 Since this bond issue was defeated once by the voters, have the plans been modified in any way to make them more acceptable 0 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 responsibility to provide the information if it is not being widely distributed. Re To the Editor In an article by Tom Fruehling (Nov. 28. page I) Safety Director Lance Faust states that Iowa must pass a mandatory helmet law or lose $8-7 million in highway 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 with* By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak W ASHINGTON - The dramatic and profound power realignment in the house of representatives was symbolized the day before Thanksgiving 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 tin* membership of his ways and means committee, long fixed at a mystically immutable 25, with six new members Just such discreet whispers and 11th-hour compromises retreating from publicly fixed positions were commonplace during Mills’ reign as the most dominant force rn congress. But this time, it was poignantly different. Burton was no sceptered baron in the congressional feudal system dominated by Mills, but rather a relatively junior, 10-year congressman with no position at all in the house Democratic hierarchy’. Nor was 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 conversation in the well of the house. Mills showed some old form as a congession* LETTERS The Gazettes editorial page welcomes readers' opinions, subject to these guidelines: l*ng#i limo. 400 words On* totter per writer every 30 doy» All may be condented and edited without changing meaning None published anonymously Writer s telephone (Himber (not printed) should follow nome, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate Contents deal more with issues and events than per tonalities. No poetry a1 power broker. Iii approaching Burton. Mills was displaying his instinct for power, fully aware that Burton would not only be elected chairman of the Democratic Caucus for the new congress 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 thai point, his tragically ludicrous appearance on the stage of a Boston burlesque house was only three days hence. Nobody — probably not Wilbur Mills himself — knows whether his llth-hour failure to preserve at least a modicum of his power contributed to that humiliating act of self-destruction Now, Mills’ days as ways and means chairman are probably ended, perhaps by his resignation to avoid caucus punishment. But even before his futile conversation with Burton and his inexplicable Boston trip. Mills’ reign had ended. Contrary to mutterings within the dwindling band of southern conservative Democrats that Mills made possible liberal reforms by his high life, the truth is that last week’s caucus resolution was assured by the election of 75 overwhelmingly liberal freshman Democrats. That guaranteed ending Mills’ reign and the long dominance of his committee Also assured was the election of Burton as caucus chairman over moderate Rep. B. F Sisk of California, a transplanted Texan close to Mills and other southerners. “The loser wasn’t Bernie Sisk.” commented one senior house Democrat. “It was Tip O'Neill.” Burton, not majority leader Thomas P. O’Neill of Massachusetts, now becomes the potential successor — probably within four years — to Speaker Carl Albert, fatigued and unhappy with leadership burdens at age 88. Indeed. Burton is the true successor to Mills as uncrowned king of the house. Unlike Albert and O’Neill, he is trusted by the new generation of leftish Democratic congressmen and would have been easily elected majority whip in 1973 had not O’Neill kept that post appointive. Unlike many reformers, he is a highly effective politician who tirelessly cultivates personal alliances with moderate-to-conservative congressmen Burton is hardly the fire-eater sent to congress from San Francisco in 1984 as a passionate dove even before Vietnam convulsed the nation. Ho has staunchly supported the centrist Democratic national chairman Robert Strauss, and deplores Strauss’ left-wing critics. Although he intends a neutral course concerning the 1978 presidential nomination. it is no secret he inclines to Sen. Henry Jackson, a hawkish bogeyman for many liberals. Most important. Burton wants no confrontation with either Albert or O’Neill, preferring to nudge them leftward quietly. 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 differed. As master of ways and means, Mills held a measure of autonomy enabling him to hand Presidents legislative success (John F. Kennedy) or humble them (Lyndon B. Johnson on the surtax) without full dependence on his Capitol Hill constituency. But Burton is the agent of the newly powerful caucus, required to reflect its views. So the new uncrowned king of the house begins as more a constitutional monarch than his precedessor PoDinhfrj-Wali Syndical* Culver’s idea bears fruit Dumb wording By William Safire NEW YORK — In teenage terminology, “dynamite” was turned into an adjective by teenagers last year and became this year’s favorite Madison Avenue descriptive expletive. Now its vogue-word antonym has arrived ‘ dumb,” as in “shoplifting is dumb.” or as an adjective on hair coloring commercials: ‘‘I have this dumb hair The use of “dumb” is exceeded only by ‘‘all-about," as in “that s what democracy (or whatever) is all about,” the tag line for a thousand advertisements and newspapers editorials, which has taken over for the outplayed “name of the game.” the displaced “where it’s at,” and the bankrupt “net net” and “bottom line ' This year’s language pollution award goes to the R J Reynolds Tobacco Company, which won it some years ago by forever blurring the distinction between “as and “like’’ with “like a cigaret should ” Now a denim-haltered model torpedoes the language with “If it wasn’t for Winston, I wouldn't smoke.” If it weren’t for Winston ads, we wouldn't be so dumb, but that is uhs* wimp advertising iv all ahold Penalties for being human In political terminology , a ’’kangaroo ticket ” is one with the vice-president tai 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 domestic- 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 takeover after Roy Ash completes his work on January’s budget. The other power base* will lie the Domestic Council, a good spot for the innovations of Nelson Roc kefeller and his entourage Creative tension is thus intended to permeate the White House, whic h would then pepper the congress with exciting ideas for health insurance, negative income 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 iv a strong upturn in the economy a year from now N#* York Tim#* S#rvice William Safire How ethics problems plague a columnist By William F. Buckley, |r. People who write newspaper columns are also people, and that is a great, but unexpungeable. distraction. It is sometimes useful to be a people, in addition to a newspaper columnist — there is no other way, for instance, to have a family, or to drink good wine, or engage avocationally in other practices than writing a column But let me, just this one time, share my problems with you as a fellow people, giving four examples I A fortnight ago, a tape was played at the Watergate trial The voice of President Nixon came iii loud and clear, talking to llaldernan. discussing clemency 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. that he should have clemency .. . . ” Within a very fee* minutes, my office reached me at the airport enroute to Boston The newspapers had begun to call in, asking the obvious question: Was Mr Buckley approached? Does he have any comment? I dictated over the telephone two sentences that were then given bv my office to the 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 k* reminded to write columns urging clemency even for sons-of-bitches, 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 I 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 Victor I-asky, in which I expressed the view — having now read the book — that although ii was of course hostile to Justice Goldberg, it was far from being libelous. I remarked that the only distortion rn it was Laaky’s statement that Mr Goldberg was the worst public speaker in the state of New York, ainee in fact he was the worst in the country Mr Gold berg telephoned me and was extremely amiable, making no criticism of the book, merely of its provenance. I did not note, in my column, that I arn the chairman of the hoard of the parent company that owns the company (Arlington House) that published the Goldberg book I did not do this for two reasons. The first was that 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, assumption that most people knew about it The second reason is that never having heard of the book before, I was in no way implicated iii the decision whether to publish it. But if I had mentioned my corporate affiliation in the column. I'd have had to go on to make the connecting point, and this struck me, on balance, as unnecessarily self-concerned Result, a big article in Editor A Publisher on whether my omission of my connection was ethically correct. You decide. 3 Maybe four or five times a year, I am greatly struck by an article or analysis published in National 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 the magazine where the article was published, lest it should appear that I am attempting to advertise my impecunious but magnificent journal Then I get mail 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 to avoid writing, occasionally, about the doings and sayings of James Lane Buckley. How should I identify him? As “my brother the senator "? That has the obvious disadvantage of calling attention to myself, and the less obvious disadvantage of snuggling up against the cognate cliche. “my son the doctor," So, I resolved to refer to hun as “the sainted junior senator from New York ” Hyperbole is a form of self-effacement; hut I still get a letter or two, complaining These I answer by expressing great surprise that the reader is unaware of the beatific character of the junior senator from New York But there, now, you share my problems this one time, and I shan't ask you soon again to share them Many thanks. Waihmgfi' nrttr at#