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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 17, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Demos' roadmap: Why conservatives fret Editorial Page 17, 1 The legislature's image Even though it was ranked sixth best among state legisla- tures back in 1971 by the Citizens Conference on State Legislatures, the Iowa general assembly has not been one to rest on its lau- rels. Super-sensitive about its so- called "public it has been moving slowly, but ever so surely, toward a more .profession- al staff in order to meet one of the criticisms leveled by the conference. This move was initiated by Republicans, who have controlled the legislature since 1968, but not without Democratic help. So when Democrats won control of the house in last month's elec- tion, and came within one vote of winning control of the senate (where control will be decided by the outcome of a special election Dec. 30 in Dubuque it was not surprising that they make it known the move toward a professional staff will continue. It was surprising, however, that one of the first moves by house Democrats was to create a new position director of infor- mation and fill it with an in- dividual who has had no training in that field. Sharon Robinson is a capable and popular individual who has carried a lot of water to the Dem- ocratic donkey enough years to warrant a good patronage job. In 1970 she was the party's candi- date for secretary of state. In 1971-73 she lobbied the legislature for her party. In 1974 she served as clerk to State Rep. Mary O'Halloran. But, the record seems to indicate she has no professional expertise or training in the field of public relations. In her new post, if the job description is accurate, she is supposed to find ways and means to improve the legisla- ture's public image, which some are unkind enough to think would be more of a challenge than even a firm of PR experts could han- dle. That reasoning does not hold up. The legislature itself is in the best position to improve its im- age without the help of a PR per- son. All it needs do and what an opportunity the Democrats have this year is (1) outline a priority list of legislation that must be attended to, in the order of importance to the general pub- lic, (2) go to work on it opening day and (3) adjourn by late April or early May. If the Democrats did that, they would not only improve the leg- islature's public image, they would assure themselves of re- taining control for some time to come. It's worth a try. Problem of some kind Though Iowa's lofty literacy index helps fortify against butchery of English, the coun- try's most barbarous new cliche has overrun more than a few tele- casts and newspaper sports pages. Most recently the Tartar expression brutalized a column in a Des Molnes newspaper: "He's done SOME KIND OF wrote a reporter describing a basketball player. (Emphasis is ours.) Naturally linguists are divided over what to do about the hack- neyed invader. Pacifists trust the expression soon will expire, while vigilante types want to capture its leading purveyor, Howard Cosell, and keep him gagged until he masterminds a way to exorcise the brute. The suggestion here, however, is to civilize the adjective "some kind of" and permit it to stay. To that end, the outlaw's outlandish lack of conciseness first must be attacked. Under the present condition of ignorance, for exam- ple, Denver's Charley Johnson is "some kind of" passer, as is Washington's Sonny Jurgensen. But football enthusiasts realize there is little sameness to the players' someness. Jurgensen is a better thrower. Duct-drainers, beware To eliminate confusion, what could be simpler than assigning degrees to the Some kind of somer kind of (Bob somest kind of Those finding such construc- tions unwieldy might prefer re- tention of the Cosellian "some kind of" to connote mere excel- lence and incorporation of the La- tin "summa" (highest thing) to form a super-superlative: "summa kind of." Examples: "That Yamamoto is summa kind of suma wrestler." "That sumac is summa kind of shrub." "Summer is summa kind of sea- son." Perhaps Latin instructors would lament such usages, but in light of the lingual carnage now being committed by "some kind any kind of remedy might do. Bargain clings Despite hefty increases in post- al rates, payers of utility, mortgage and medical bills still can send a pound of flesh for just a dime. By James J. Kilpotrick WASHINGTON The Democrats emerged from their Kansas City conven- tion with an appearance of unity on the two principal aims of a political party to elect its candidates, and to achieve its legislative program. For the moment, let the candidates go. What about the Democratic program? As nearly as these things can be de- fined, the program is liberalism, pure and undefiled. The student of political science, seeking to Identify "liberal" and "conservative" positions, could not ask a better text than the Democrats' "Statement of Economic adopt- ed Dec. 7. When that statement is read in conjunction with the speeches of George McGovern and Robert C. Byrd. we are provided with a clear road map of where the Democrats mean to take us. The statement commits the parly to "a comprehensive package of tax reduc- tions and tax reforms." The package includes meaningful tax reductions for moderate and low-income families, to be balanced by compensating increases on high-income families and corpora- tions. Excess profits of corporations must be additionally taxed, and multi- national corporations must be denied tax incentives. In the Democrats' view, "tight mon- ey" policies have not worked in the past and will not work now. The. statement asks the Federal Reserve prudently to pursue "a general easing of credit." Anlilrust laws should be vigorously en- forced. The statement leaves little room for voluntary .measures: "We support an across-the-board system of economic controls, including prices, wages, execu- tive compensation, profils, and rents." There should be "a mandatory system of energy conservation." Senator McGovern repeatedly was applauded as he warmed to these themes. McGovern turned his fire nn "tax credits and write-offs for the wealthy." He denounced overseas pro- fits and corporate monopolies. In a pur- ple passage, he attacked "robber bar- People's forum Still hope To the Editor: The old saying thai "at Christmas il's better to give than to receive" has not disappeared from the children to- day. I'm a mother of seven children and very proud thai jusl one out of seven still has, and I hope keeps, the spirit of Christmas. Six of Ihe children asked Santa Clans for the usual of toys but the seventh sal and wrote his letler and here is what it said: Deor Santo; My name is Pat and here arc the things I want for Christmas this year. It dosfi not make a diffrente what you bring me this year. I know mine, is diffrent from me others but you can give my toys to some little child out there in the snow freezing or starving lo death. I know that there are alot of people who are starving this minute or have litlle water and food. So you can bring me what ever you want. P.S. I have olot of modles. Merry Christmas. Pat Harrington I wanted to share this letter with others who think the younger generation has gone to the drugs and drinking. Mothers and fathers, don't give up yet. because if you have jusl one who thinks differently, there is still hope. Carol Harrington 1810 Sixlh avenue SE Beautiful To the Editor: We are always quick to criticize our teachers and students when something goes wrong, but seldom do we think or 'Heck! That's the closest they've ever come' ufts" who steal from fanners and "make us the puppets of their greed." "Bigness in business js inherently said McGovern, "because it makes the individual small and weak. We must democratize the workplace, so those who labor will have a say in management and a share of profits." McGovern also called for sweeping "mandatory controls" on the economy. He assailed "militarism" and demand- ed "more than token cuts in a bloated Pentagon budget." In the area of civil rights, he said the party must sponsor legislation to achieve racially integrated education and housing in the suburbs. Senator Byrd, assistant majority leader, painted a pathetic picture of Americans "who asked for bread and have been given a stone." Old people, take the time to praise them for some- thing good. But praise is due lavishly so to the three music directors and to students who participated in Thursday night's (Dec. 12) Christmas concert at Franklin junior high. The dedication, hard work and in- sight shown by Gene Ferguson, the band director; .lack Ranney, the or- chestra director, and John Ryal, the choral director, were in abundance as their students responded with music and voices thai reached heights of musi- cal pleasure and ability not often asso- ciated with students of junior high age. It was a beautiful evening, filled with the joy, love and spirit of the Christmas season. A large lliank-you is in order for all those involved in such a meaningful effort. JoAnn Bruns 3045 Canton drive SE Bad water To the Editor: The Dec. 5 CBS special. "Caution: Water may be dangerous to your was thought-provoking. I wait- ed for the public's response. Finally on Dec. 10, WHO radio carried a letter from a listener who criticized the program because his 8-year-old daughter was now afraid to drink water. Perhaps the little girl was right. There was strong evidence in the docu- mentary to show that much of our country's water sources are polluted with industrial wastes and farm chemi- cal runoff. This was further pointed up in a Dec. 9 Gazette article which de- tailed the extent of water pollution in rural Iowa. Many Iowa cities use river water treated with chlorine. According to CBS news and the Environmental Protection he cried, "are tired of eating oatmeal and dogfood." He too demanded manda- tory energy controls: "Voluntarism will never work." Other speakers at Kansas City beat the same drums, for redistribution of wealth, reduction in defense spending, increases in outlays for "human and as a constant factor in the social- political equation: Controls, controls, and more controls. Now, granted, the "party unity" behind this program may prove more apparent than real. Some of the more sweeping pronouncements may be discounted as convention oratory and dogfood demagoguery. Glossy promises tend to lose their sheen in the nitty- gritty of the lawmaking process. Even so, the Democratic goals cannot possi- Agency, chlorine is good for killing wa- ter-carried bacterial diseases but is deadly itself in combination with the chemicals found in our water today. Carcinogenic (cancer producing) sub- stances are often formed and then ab- sorbed by those who drjnk the water. Program moderators pointed out that if we want pure water, we must as indi- viduals begin pushing for curbs on in- dustrial and farm pollution and for the improvement of our water treatment facilities. According to the EPA, carbon filtration systems can be added to present water treatment facilities to remove most carcinogenic substances. When the public recognizes that our water quality is deteriorating and in- sists on pure water again then we can have it. Let's not just ignore the problem just because our water doesn't taste or smell too bad (except in the Judy Plambeck Iowa City Defense reserves To the Editor: I was distressed at the Tom Ticde column, "U.S. reserve bulge is fat, not muscle" (editorial page, Dec. In these times of inflation, our nation would find it difficult to support a full- time, military establishment of the size and quality necessary to provide even minimum required capability. By far the greatest portion of the plus billion defense budget goes for personnel costs: feeding, housing and compensating our active-duty forces (luring war and peace, at home and overseas, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contrary to Mr. Ticde's conclu- On weeping in politics and the rarity of same By Russell Baker NEW YORK Although Jesus wept, American politicians do not. When one of them violates the protocol, the event is so extraordinary that newspapers re- port it on front pages and television records it with the gravity due mysteri- ous fireballs in the sky and diabolism in city hail. Thus, John Ehrlichman's tears on the witness stand in Washington were Ireated as a major nalional occurrence lasl week and will probably be re- membered by the multitude long after other details of the Watergate Irial have been lust. Although other public men may have wept publicly over the last 25 years, I tan remember only two. Both of them, curiously or not, were associated with the career of Richard which gives Nixon a monopoly on political tears in the modern age. The first, of course, was Nixon, who wept publicly on the shoulder of the late Sen. William Knowland in 1952. There had been the slush-fund scandal in the Russell Baker middle of the Eisenhower campaign. Nixon, under orders from the general lo prove himself "clean as a hound's had delivered the Checkers speech which brought millions in the television audience close lo tears, and the general had pronounced him "my boy." On hearing the news, Nixon fell against Knowlami's lapel and wepl. There are pictures of it. Ills old acting coach at Whittier college, upon seeing Ihem, is said to have boasted. "I l him how to do that." The next public weep was Sen. Edmund Muskie's, execuled outside the plant of the Manchester Union-Leader during the New Hampshire primary of 1972. As with the post-Checkers crying, the Muskie (ears also represented political progress for Nixon, for it was widely assumed lhat the voters would never tol- erate a presidential candidate who had tears to shed and that Muskie had. therefore, cried himself out of Ihe Dem- ocratic nomination. This proved correct Muskie, who had been running ahead of Nixon in Ihe popularity polls at the end of 1971, faded like an old prlnl by springtime, leaving Nixon to feed upon the luckless McCi.iv- ern. There is a small irony in Ehrlich- man's (ears, for the Watergate confi- dence game in which he is Involved was a part with Ihe political dirty-tricks op- erations which drove Muskie to rtcstrnc- tion-by-lears in New Hampshire. The mechanics by which Ihe White House unloosed the Muskie tear ducts seem lo have been masterminded by Charles Colson, but we may reasonably assume thai Ehrlichman smiled as happily as his fellow While House pranksters upon learning thai Ihe fatal tears had flowed in the New England snow. Did Muskie smile privately this week at the news of Ehrlichman's tears? lie would surely not admit to it. but he would he less than human if he did not take satisfaction from the mild biblical justice of extracting a tear for a tear. The more troublesome question is why the occasional shedding of tears by public men is such an astonishing event thai it commands headlines and de- stroys careers? If .lesus could weep, why not Mnskie? The aggressive American lempcra- inenl would naturally be uneasy with leaders who governed on floods of tears, but an occasional cry would seem to suggest a becoming sensitivity in a man. which ought to make him more attractive, not less so, (or Ihe brulish work of Ihe presidency. One of the most skilled public weep- ers of the modern age was Winston Churchill, an American idol. I once saw the old man weep ostentatiously in the House of Commons during a speech de- scribing the devastation humanity would suffer in a nuclear war, and the house was almost reverential in its si- lence before Ihe spectacle. An English politician to whom I de- scribed this remarkable and un-Amer- ican performance replied, "Oh, Winston does lhat crying business every time ho talks about the bomb, lie can turn It on and off." Somewhere in England, I suppose, there was an old drama coach who said, "I taught him how to do bill it doesn't matter. For Churchill Ihe ability lo shed a few tears on a large occasion was a manly attribute. Small boys arc taught that boys don't cry, hut tears on a big are entirely fitting for a big man. Perhaps Americans prefer lo be led by big boys. Nrw Yftrtr Times bly be mistaken. The taxing power is lo he used for a great leveling; the spend- ing power is lo be directed toward new programs of social welfare; and a vol- untary society is to yield to pervasive regimentation. The Democrats hold overwhelming majorities in Ihe new congress. They al- ready have recast key house committees in a liberal mold. They have the votes to keep the commitments of Kansas City. Very well. The prospect is enough to make every conservative hair stand on end, bul conservatives have only them- selves lo blame. They were Ihe ones who last nionth slayed home. Woshinqton Stor Syndicate sions (couched in accusalory language, hardly worthy of a professional journal- ist) the existence of the U.S. reserve forces allows the department of defense to apply funds lo supporl weapons sys- tems rather than the personnel operat- ing them. I am also disturbed by several refer- ences to the reserves' inadequacy in the "atomic age." It is true that Ihe major- ity of the reserve forces use convention- ill (that is, non-nuclear) weapons. How- ever, the vasl majority of our active forces are conventional. Both active and reserve conventional forces are equally vulnerable to a massive strategic nucle- ar allack. The requircmenl for conven- tional force capabilily has been repeal- edly juslified (and demonstrated) lo a cost-conscious congress. Mr. Tiede also observed that many members of congress and prominent cit- are members of the guard and reserve. Are they members because of their prominence, or are they prominent because of exceptional personal finali- ties, including love of country, which enable them lo successfully pursue two careers, civilian and military? The "cadre" system of guard and reserve organizalion proposed by Mr. Tiede ignores Ihe facts. The se- lect reservisls already form competent, conibal-ready organizations; ready reservisls can take their places in the military promptly should the need arrive. The remaining standby reservists do nol draw pay but have committed themselves to a direct parl in our nalion's defense, if called on. In my own case, I am a pilol for the Illinois air nalional guard, even though 1 live in Cedar Rapids. 1 commute lo Peoria to mainlain my combat readi- ness al two or three weekends a month. In the course of proficiency Iraining, I flew over 220 hours lasl year and altend- ed 11 training periods wilhoul pay, and I am not atypical. I must meet the same professional flying standards as any air force pilot, whatever it lakes to ac- complish this .lames Swickard 4410 I'eppcrwood Hill SE In sigh is Many of us spend holt our lime wishing for Ihings we could hovo if wo didn't spend our time wishing. AfoKondnr
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