Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 15, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette December 15, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 15, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Editorial Page Sunday, December 15, 1974 frx-x-x-xvx-x-w-x-^xox-x-.'-v: •••••• v>xvXv Price of leadership Though Uncle Sam has played Santa Claus in toting food to depressed lands the past 50 years, the venerable freedom symbol came off in Home as cold, stingy old Ebenezer Scrooge. Naturally, the unfair casting by World Food Conference participants has riled American conservatives. Inevitably, too, the most eloquent return broadside came from James J. Kilpatrick, one of this page’s syndicated columnists, on Dec. IO. Recounting decades of unparalleled charity, Kilpatrick fired off the retort of the “the essential Archie Bunker”: “ . . . Why can’t Russia help? Why can’t China help? What’s the matter with India0 . . How about a big fat pledge from the Arab states?” “This national attitude, if I correctly appraise it, finds great support here at home, but very little support in the rest of the world,” Kilpatrick wrote. “Under the circumstances, it is natural that nobody loves us.To which Archie Bunker might respond, ‘Okay by me*.” Heavy artillery, indeed. The hope here is that copies go to every Rome conference delegate who scorned the United States’ hesitancy, lf put to music, Kilpatrick’s message would be a juke box hit for months. Using sports parlance (still big in Washington), one might say the columnist “really put it all together.” Yet an important point went unmentioned, a curious omission since it meshes nicely with moderate conservatism. Other countries expect the United States to take charge of world food relief because it is No. I, has been for a half century. Modern history' has prepared the script: This country’s leaders will stack generosity atop present charity because if we don’t do it, nobody else will As for recognition hopes, able defenders can chide educated foreign policymakers for their ingratitude, but no one will expect starving 4-year-olds to know the intricacies of the Marshall plan. Similarly, the mechanics of keeping trade markets open will be handled by the United States or no one at all. And if global population growth ever is throttled down, do not expect to find anyone other than Uncle Sam at the controls. The Russians have awesome power. The Arab sheiks are rich as Croesus. And if numbers can be counted as strength, China has population growth aiming for billions or bust. But no country can equal the overall immensity which democratic government and wondrous resources have brought the United States. Epic struggles to avert world war, global depression and fatal overpopulation should accentuate the differences between this country and the world’s bumptious new giants. Windfall misleads Of all this year’s headlines in public service news, none has created a bigger stir than the pay increase won by street cleaners in San Francisco. Now receiving $13,000 yearly, broom-pushers in the Bay City will be making $17,000 by next June. On its face, the announcement was good news for any stiff toiling on behalf of the public. After all. if menial jobs could command princely sums in one town (albeit a high living-cost metropolis), could better things not be expected for more skilled personnel everywhere? What the optimists failed to remember, however, was an old law of economics, which can be rephrased to fit the 1974 example. If an employer accustomed to paying IOO workers $8,500 each suddenly is required to pay $17,000, pretty soon he will be paying the higher wage to half the original number of employes. That reportedly is how the city of San Francisco will handle its labor crisis. Workers fortunate enough to remain will scurry faster than ever and the city will rely more than ever on mechanized sweepers. Meanwhile, New York City already is deep into the sort of job-cutting and laying-off envisioned in San Francisco. Last month, Mayor Beame announced the pending dismissal of 1,510 city employes, including 510 civil service workers. Mayor Beame said it is a common misconception that civil servants could not be dismissed, except for misbehavior. Not accidentally, the city’s toughest austerity program in 40 years follows a number of inflation-pressured wage adjustments. Policemen, for example, now have a starting wage of $11,944 After one year it goes up to $14,078. A 14-percent increase is anticipated in 1975. Impending public sector layoffs in a number of U.S. cities suggest that nicer pay packages rate as Christmas tidings only for those who can stay on the work roster. Time was when some cities retained large, but modestly-paid, work crews as a hedge against higher local unemployment. Obviously, double-digit inflation is making such enlightenment a curio of times past. x-x •x-x-x-xvx-x-x-x*x-xx-x-:x xx-x-x-x-x-x*x*!*:-x’:-x-x:x:x:x:x.x>xy&>y£x->x*xv:-x-xv::x-'::xTop culls of ’74 By Jim Fiekxg Having just goo** through my filet, it is dear that I will not have time to write even a fraction of those columns this year that have been suggested by well-meaning family, friends and readers. In hopes of placating them somewhat. however, let me at least mention three of the subjects I was forced to ignore in 74 My 7-year-old insisted I do a column on the fact that she threw a rolled-up sock into the air — and caught it 21 times in succession While lying on her back. She believes this to be a world s record for throwing rolled-up socks into the air (while lying on one s back) and I have no reason to doubt it. A lady in Birmingham wrote to say I might do something on how she is affected by a full moon “I always feel very strange when the moon is full." she said, "and I wonder if there might be something to those werewolf stories ’’ (I called this lady long distance and asked her if she had my home address She said the newspaper syndicate would not release it to her. I said ‘ good" and hung up ) Another unsolicited idea came from a bm Angeles man who thinks that ifs significant that he rarely comes across any dead birds "Each of us has seen millions of live birds in our lifetime," he wrote, "but how many dec-eased birds have you run across'* Could it be that birds — like elephants — go to some secret place to die when the end is near? Please do some research on this " (I did — and concluded that we do not really see millions of live birds in our lifetime We are just seeing the same few birds over and over again.) Gewol    Corporation JimFiebig People 's forum Ration gas To the Editor: Outside of the economy the talk in Washington is whether to raise the tax on gasoline or ration it in order to decrease the use due to shortages. The only option that would be fair would be rationing, because to raise the tax would eventually result in rationing for the low- and middle-income citizens due to inability to pay the higher cost. The rich and big industry would have no problem. AU they would do is pass the higher cost on to the consumers of their product or service, thereby saddling the low- and middle-income people with an additional tax and making those people pay double. By rationing, this inequality would be substantially eliminated to the extent that everyone would get a fair share to start with, and in the event that some people wanted more than their share, they would have to pay one way or another to get more This is not to advocate a black market but to stress the point that a raise in tax would certainly cut the poorer people off from the supply while richer ones could get as much gas as they wanted and charge it to the poor guy who had to cut down in the first place because he couldn’t afford the increase. Maybe I’m dreaming, hut I hope to In sights see the day when congress does for the people, not to the people. Robert A Fry rear 2416 E avenue NE Zoo keeping To the Editor It was the pleasure of the eighth grade students at Harding junior high to have Mr. Leo Prather, Bever park zoo keeper, as our guest speaker Wednesday. Dec. ll. On behalf of all these students we would like to publicly express our appreciation to the city park department for its approval and encouragement of this program. Mr. Prather brought three monkeys When too much is enough with him and talked about such things as animal psychology, endangered species, the care of Bever zoo animals, and career opportunities for students in related fields. We were also fortunate to have with us Dr. Dean Frey, one of the Bever zoo veterinarians, to answer specific questions about animal care. Mr. Prather shared far more than mere knowledge. It is obvious to us that ('edar Rapids has more than just a zoo keeper, The man you meet at the Bever zoo Is warmly concerned with all his animals and the people who get to know them Lois Sauerbry Patti Knutson Alice McCabe Harding junior highEradicate To the Editor: Recently my 8-year-old son brought home from Hiawatha elementary school a hard-core pornography magazine (with dog-eared pages) to destroy. With the number of outlets for this immoral type of literature in the Cedar Rapids area, how can one expect our young children not to be exposed to the material? Does anyone dispute the fact that pornography of this type is corrupting this budding generation of its moral values? The solution to this severe problem is to eliminate the source of pornographic materials Our public officials, business men (including The Gazette), school officials, clergymen and citizens should not condone, allow or purchase these materials which could eventually fall into the hands of innocent, moral, religious young children. Organizations addressed to elimination of sources of illicit materials should come forth and get we the public involved in their eradication. Neale S. Le Mense Route I, MarionHospitable *! ** * ti I •»V ***** hat He $ the kind of boro who s here today and Here tomorrow. Bmnio Barnes To The Editor: Likely not too many of our citizens have had occasion to sit as a spectator in one of our city council meetings, and fewer still would have had a reason for making an appearance there to address the council Such was my privilege and pleasure recently I most heartily commend our mayor, Don Canney, in his open, well-organized and entirely democratic manner of conducting the council meeting which I attended. I and all of the others who had occasion to rise and speak were treated most courteously and respectfully For those of our citizens who have not exercised their right to sit in on an open-to-the-public council meeting. I’d encourage them to do so They would find the experience both pleasant and rewarding. Guy L. Rich 2925 Center Point road NE •X-X-X,X->WX%-X*>X*W-SSS«XS?to>X*X-X<*X-X-X-X'X"X*XLETTERS The Gazette s editorial page welcomes readers' opinions, sub/ect to these guidelines: langfS limit 400 words One Wtt*f par writer avory 30 day* AH may ba Condon»od and od<tod without changing mooning Nona publithod anonymously Wcitor s tolophono nutnbar (not printod) should lot low noma, addrost and raodabla handwntton ugnotura to help outhanScota Coolants dad more with tssuas and ovonts thor par tondittat No poatry Man-of-the-year: a quitterBy Russell Baker It is man-of-the-year season over at Time magazine again and before they settle for anointing one of the bush-league politicians in which the planet abounds I want to put in a word for Willy Brandt, who did something so rare in this era of bloated excess that the mind can scarcely grasp the grandeur of the deed Brandt turned himself off To my knowledge, no other person of consequence was able to match Brandt’s achievement in 1974. Threatened with a government scandal if he stayed on as chancellor of West Germany, Brandt simply quit. W’hat an example to a world crying for mercy from achievers who don’t know when to stop. It was Ingmar Bergman's latest film. "Scenes from a Marriage", that brought Brandt’s great achievement to mind I am told this movie runs a mere three hours, but after what seemed like its thirty-third, I recognized that even the great Bergman had been infected by the plague of the 1970s and could no longer turn himself off No movie maker can turn himself off any more. Two hours for the telling of a 20-minute story is commonplace on the screen, and a remake of "The Maltese Falcon", which was stunning in its original 90 minutes or so would probably run seven hours nowadays The swelling of movies by people who don't know when to stop is a small part of the general excess There was a coup in Ethiopia not long ago and the new government shot most of the literate population of Addis Ahaha In New Orleans the city fathers are building a domed playground bigger than the domed playground in Houston. The Willy Brandt example is needed here “Come, come," Brandt could have explained to the triumphal Ethiopians, "shooting people quickly reaches the point of diminishing returns." And to the boosters (rf New Orleans: "Turn yourselves off quickly before you commit another pointless arena." We are in the elephantine age What cannot be done better is done longer and bigger To work Bergman’s film into my schedule I had to put aside Robert Care’s biography of Robert Moses, "The Power Broker”, a work in which I had been reading since August If I finish it before senility steals my wits. I have William Manchester’s 1,200-page “History of the Modem Age" to look forward to Excellent books both, hut life is short, and Bergman who cannot turn himself off any more must still be attended to, as well as the shah of Iran, who cannot stop lecturing me on politics, conservation and morality And what of the Academy Awards and the Miss America pageant, which run longer than Bergman and Care combined? Is John Huston still speaking at the Academy Awards show I turned on one night last spring? He seemed to he just warming up when I collapsed with acute tedium at dawn the next morning. Let us draw a merciful veil over the communique of Henry Kissinger, the pronouncements of Earl Butz, the politics of Lister and Palestine, the advertisements of the petroleum lobby, the magazine fluff about Jacqueline (Cassis, Richard Burton, Prince Charles, Burt Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor, and the televised dissections of football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball and Olympic quoits, and touch briefly on Watergate. Richard Nixon could have saved us from it years ago by following the Brandt example, hut he was like everybody else, from Bergman to the shah. He couldn’t turn himself off "I have never been a quitter." he told us, without even apologizing for this flaw in his character Refusing to quit is a virtue only up to a point. Knowing when to quit is the beginning of wisdom Nixon didn’t know Neither did Johnson before him in Asia “When the going gets tough, the tough get going," was the big enchilada philosophy of John Mitchell. A more accurate philosophical summation of our time would be. "Damn the torpedoes, full excess ahead'" And so. when the editors make up their annual list of the "ten biggest stories’’ of 1974, they will have an easier time than ever before. All IO stories this year have been Watergate. It is longer than Ingmar Bergman and John Huston combined, bigger than New Orleans' domed playground, and just as unnecessary■./ Willy Brandt showed how we might have been spared, and in salute to him I shall turn myself off, although, Uke a good American, only for a day or two Saw York T irr»a« Sac vie#Isn’t it the truth? 8y Cor! Riblet, jr. The complaints against our country's long, tiring, boring, sometimes funny and always much too expensive presidential primaries, and the campaigning for them, are unreasonable and unfair Can’t voters try to realize that a man has Ut grow up to be President? Who can sensibly say that a year or two is too long to give him time to get through the growing pains that make him man enough to refrain from blubbering when somebody else gets the nomination * The presidency is an increasing drudgery and daily loss of friends " — Thomas Jefferson, 1807 IntorOccoft Pfa** Syndical*Cabinet soloing irks Ford By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON - Although his deeper purpose was concealed in the rhetoric, President Ford sent a red-hot message to his own top advisers in his speech to the Business Council here Wednesday evening. The message: Stop committing the President to energy and economic programs that he hasn t personally approved Particularly annoying to Mr. Ford was a day-long banner headline in the Washington Star-News on Dec. IO committing the President to a "bigger job plan" and indicating that he had decided to junk the "trigger" (8 percent unemployment for three months) in his jobs program That headline grew out of a television interview with Secretary of the Treasury William Simon on Monday night, in which Simon said the administration was plotting an unemployment program "that deals with the economy and with unemployment the way it exists today, not the way it was forecast." Politicians of both parties were highly gratified by that Simon statement, particularly Republicans growing more disenchanted every day with bland statements from the President which they feel vastly understate the economic crisis. But Mr. Ford was angry He reacted with similar anger on several occasions the last two months when his energy EVANS NOVAK aides, most recently Interior Secretary Rogers Morton, repeatedly talked of a new federal gasoline tax to conserve energy The key phrase in Wednesday evening s speech tipping the hand of presidential annoyance when he is taken unaware went this way: "For a start let me say this: Do not believe I have made any economic decisions unless you hear those decisions from me personally There can be only one person that makes those decisions and when I make them ITI announce them ’’ Despite this barely concealed warning to Simon, Morton and other high-level offenders. Mr Ford has no Intention of replacing either Simon or Morton in his cabinet. Indeed, Simon was conspicuously invited by Mr Ford to sit at the presidential table at the symphony hall on Dec. 8 Behind that select invitation was the President’s desire to undercut harshly critical press forecasts that Simon’s departure was only a matter of time. But Mr. Fords intention to keep Simon as his chief economic spokesman does not exempt him from presidential anger when Mr. Ford feels he is being pre-empted. A footnote: A principal purpose of the Wednesday speech — which fell on disgruntled Republican politicians with a thud, not a hang — was to stem the alarming loss of business confidence as the recession deepens. To his old colleague's in congress, the prescription needed Is not misplaced confidence in the economy but confidence that Gerald Ford understands how bad the situation is and will act fast to start curing it. • The long televised hearings into Nelson Rockefeller’s personal and political past, far from doing him damage, increased his standing to the point of persuading one right-wing Republican member of the house judiciary committee to change his mind and vote to confirm him as vice-president. Rep. Trent Lott of Mississippi confided to high-level Republican party opera tives three months ago, soon after Mr. Ford nominated the super-rfch Rockefeller, that he seriously doubted he could ever vote to confirm him as vicepresident. Rockefeller’s performance under fire in both the house committee and the senate rules committee, however, ( hanged his mind Just before the vote in the house judiciary committee. Lott said he would support Rockefeller because nothing in the hearings clearly made him unfit for the office. Privately, he expressed strong if grudging admiration "The dang guy is just as tough as nails," he said, adding that Rockefeller’s ability to keep his temper and hts disposition during the often-outrageous questioning by the anti-Rockefeller left and right was "amazing " Many conservative Republican leaders agreed Although fearful of a Rockefeller presidential bid in 1978 should Mr. Ford change his mind about running, they conceded he emerged from the confirmation ordeal strengthened, not weakened as so many Democrats had hoped. ;

  • Archie Bunker
  • Burt Reynolds
  • Dean Frey
  • Don Canney
  • Earl Butz
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Gerald Ford
  • Henry Kissinger
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • James J. Kilpatrick
  • Jim Fiekxg
  • John Huston
  • John Mitchell
  • Leo Prather
  • Lois Sauerbry Patti Knutson Alice Mccabe Harding
  • Nelson Rockefeller
  • Prince Charles
  • Richard Burton
  • Richard Nixon
  • Robert Moses
  • Robert Novak
  • Rogers Morton
  • Rowland Evans
  • Russell Baker
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Trent Lott
  • William Manchester
  • Willy Brandt

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: December 15, 1974

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