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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Monday, December 30, 1974 - Page 6

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 30, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Editorial Page Monday, December 30, 1974 Gross and Hughes retire In some respects, Iowa's Sena- tor Hughes and Congressman Gross, who arc retiring from politics after a collective 42 years of distinguished public service, are as different as day from night. Yet careful research would in- dicate those differences are limit- ed, basically, to political philosophy and party affiliation: Gross being a conservative Republican, Hughes a liberal Democrat. It would also indicate that these outstanding lowans are alike in a good many other respects. Item: Each has deeply-held convictions, together with the courage and ability to express them in public in language that leaves no room for misunders- tanding. To put it more colloquially, each has the old- fashioned guts to say what he thinks in a world that could stand more of that in every walk of life. Item: Each is dedicated to duty and possessed of an unquenchable desire to serve what he deems to be in the public interest. Item: Each is an individual of unquestioned integrity; devoted to family and friends, to his nation and his God. Item: Each left private life Gross as a radio newscaster: Hughes as operator of his own small trucking firm to enter politics because he felt he had a contribution to make as a public servant. Hem: Each is held in highest esteem by his colleagues, be they Republicans or Democrats; liberals, moderates or conserva- tives. This can best be attested by the tributes voiced by those colleagues in the last hours of the recently-adjourned congress. In Gross' case they could be summarized best, perhaps, with this statement by Congressman Devine, Ohio Republican: "Who is going to take II.R.'s place? Which gentleman on your side of the aisle (Democratic side) will do the job that he has done throughout the years? And without exception, we have to say that there is no one who can take H.R.'s place." In the senate, Hughes was praised as "a unique a man of "personal and of "moral as both the "conscience" and "the ac- knowledged spirital leader" of the senate. Senator Church, Idaho Democrat, probably caught the mood best when he said of Hughes: "His departure will diminish the senate in a singular way, for he brought to our midst qualities which are needed here." At 75, H. R. Gross is nearing the end of 26 years of distinguished public service even as Harold Hughes, at 52, approaching the peak of another distinguished career, is turning his many talents from politics to religious work. If Iowa had a political hall of fame and incidentally, why doesn't it? H.R. Gross and Harold Hughes would deserve im- mediate admittance to places among the most outstanding public servants in the state's his- tory. Anti-smokers gaining When George Orwell con'- structed his masterful little horror novel, he neglected the ultimate potential terror for a percentage of citizens: stigmatization of smokers. Whether the late author con- sidered such oppression is unde- termined. We do know, however, that the protagonist of a fellow named Winston, was not hounded because of his name; and the movie Winston, Edmond O'Brien, was seen chain-smoking fearlessly. What brings the Orwell work to mind is the campaign of Ac- tion on Smoking and Health (ASH) to send the country's re- maining smokers retreating to the catacombs. Curiously, ASH's torch is lighted in the name of freedom that is, nonsmokers' right to be free of cigaret fumes in private places of business as well as on public property. Undeniably, the ASH people argue compel lingly. Cigaret smoke not only irritates eyes and Year-round potential nasal passages' of nonsmokers, it adds incalculably to clothes- cleaning bills. But before nonsmokers man the barricades on behalf of ASH's cause, they should consider: What next? Once smokers are routed, will chewers of gum be pursued? As any employer who has rejected gum-cracking job applicants will attest, gum chewing can be haz- ardous to your wealth. Inveterate purveyors of puns also could be persecuted in "1984" fashion, for the purpose of good grooming. If a lellee grimaces repeatedly to suppress laughter, premature wrinkling of the face conceivably could be the devastating result. Re-addressing the cigaret question: Does the right of non- smokers outweigh the right of smokers to indulge their habit? On public property, yes; but the push for antismoking standards on private property impresses us as, well, Orwellian. No date for spirit By Jim Fiebig This may start out sounding like an irreligious message, but my intention is just the opposite. The birthday of Jesus Christ was not Dec. 25, any more than it was Dec. 211 or July 18 or whatever day of the year yon can name. Our Gregorian calendar like all calendars is a man-made de- vice, created to help us nur lives, arrange historic events in order of occurrence and to establish the dales of physical phenomena. And because the calendar is man- made, it has no magical or supernatural powers. On given dale say. Dec. 25 it does nothing to recreate events that might have occurred on that same date in the past. Granted, the relative posi- tion of earth and sun may he similar but, unless you're an astrologer, where's the significance in lhat? Time is a straight line, not a circle ui 365 parts lhat can be visited year after year. Jesus was born only once, some I'M.- (Kit) earthly revolutions ago. Not only is the moment irretrievable, we can't even visit that point in the universe where il took place. The earth, pulled along by the sun. has been moving away from it at thousands of miles per hour ever since. What I'm saying is this; If you've ev- er wished that the spirit of Christmas could exist every (lay. don'l let the cal- endar stop yoi1 It is just as much Christ's birthday today as it was Dec. 25. It will be just as much tomorrow. Christmas day is whenever you feel it in your hearl. Jim Fiebig Soviets poised to recoup Mideast power li L. tiiii Indeed, there is reason to believe by early springtime is predictable, Thai slraUW the Soviet By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON Moscow's into deadlocked Middle East peace ef- forts via the long-recessed Geneva con- ference is now all but taken for granted here, despite official denials thai Secre- tary of State Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy has run out of steam. Those denials, understandable in view of the secretary's absolute resolve one year ago to block the Soviet Union from sharing in a Mideast political set- tlement, now have a hollow echo. With Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev due in Cairo for a four-day slate visit two weeks from now, Kissinger's effort to breathe life into a second-round Is- raeli withdrawal from the Egyptian Sin- ai can succeed only by the kind of mira- cle that seldom happens in the Middle Kast. "The Russians are one Ford administration specialist told us. "They always predicted the game would come back to them." Indeed, there is reason to believe lhat some sort of Informal understand- ing may have been reached at Vladivos- tok between President Ford and Brezh- nev. Kissinger would proceed with an- other round of mediation on the Kgyp- tian-Israeli trout; but if lhat failed the U. S. would no longer refuse lo go to the Geneva conference, where the U.S. and Soviet Union would have equal authority as co-chairmen. The potential failure of Kissinger's new and valiant effort at mediation is rooted in this irreconcilable conflict: an Egyptian demand for return of the Sinai oil fields and strategic passes, together with some public indication that Israel will make a future pullback from the Syrian Golan Heights and Israel's un- willingness, so far, to meet any of those demands. Tims, both military diplomatic spe- cialists here-now say privately thai if Kissinger can'l reconcile these basic Egyptian-Israeli disagreements within six to eight weeks, a return to Geneva by early springtime is predictable, lhat would doom Kissinger's hard slrugi! e, fully shared in by such anti-communist Mideast countries as oil-rich Saudi Ara- bia, Jordan and Kgypl itself, to keep the door at least partially shut to Moscow s ambition for equal status in the Middle Kast with Washington. In his solo mediation the past year, no motive has dominated Kissinger more than a passion lo deny the Soviets a formalized presence as peace-keeper in Ihe Middle Kast. Moscow equality with the U.S. as a big-power broker from the Suez Canal to the oil riches of the strategic Persian Gulf would accom- plish what the czars always wanted but never could gel. This Kissinger nightmare is not shared by all U.S. diplomats and Mid- east specialists. The widely-quoted Nov. 17 "memorandum" of former Undersec- retary of Slate George Ball (most of which appears in the January Atlantic Monthly) takes a different view. Ball argues that the basic Kissinger activist ion was predes States reapproach old problem Seeking uniformity in anti-porn Cillllllfi I'" lauds seized in the Mx-Da.v war. ,hen, negotiations at dcneva with Moscow having equal ;Vwiil. Washington would be even ess productive than his personal brand ol shuttle diplomacy. Yd. unless. n ceptable Israeli offer to he bg P emerges very soon indeed, that is what he is going loget. PuWulun.Hnll measures By Richard L. Worsnop If 1974 was the year of campaign re- form in the state legislatures, 1975 promises to be the year of anti-obscenity laws. According to the Media Coalition. 48 of the 50 legislatures will consider such legislation and 11 of them will en- act it. Such matters arc of vital concern to the coalition, which comprises seven national trade associations involved with book, magazine, and film production and distribution. In the coalition's view, anti-obscenity legislation should contain three crucial provisions; (1) Mandatory prior civil proceedings, which would require a ju- dicial determination as to whether the material in question is obscene before any criminal charges can be brought against the seller; (2) precise defini- tions nf what is "patently (H) statewide standards, since anything less inclusive would "create a chaotic pattern of conflicting local ordinances." An, obscenity case that began late last year in Orcm, Utah, provided an apt illustration of why the coalition is leery of local efforts to monitor alleged- ly pornographic material. Carole Grant, owner of the town's only bookstore, was served with a summons for selling four books held to be obscene, including "A Clockwork Orange" and "Last Tango in Although the charges against Mrs. Grant eventually were dropped, Orem's strict anti-obscenity ordinance remains on the books. "It defines obscenity so Beverly Jackson reported in Publishers Weekly, "that the city fathers were embarrassed to print all 18 pages of it in the local newspaper, as re- quired by law." The ordinance also provides for a bounty system under which the complainant receives one- third of all monies collected in fines in such cases. The local approach to obscenity con- trol has the explicit sanction of the U.S. supreme court. In a series of rulings handed down in 1973 and 1974, the court held that all parts of the country are not required to follow a national standard in deciding what is and is not obscene. The expectation was that local judges and juries, exercising local standards of taste, would be able to dispose of the vast and growing backlog nf pornogra- phy cases. Instead, the flow of obscenity cases headed for supreme court review seems likely to increase. In one of its last deci- sions of the 1973-74 term, the court over- turned the conviction of a Georgia thea- ter manager who had been found guilty of exhibiting obscenity because he had shown ihe 1971 film. "Carnal Know- The court explained that its earlier rulings on obscenity did not give juries "unbridled discretion" to ban anything they found objectionable. Justice Wil- liam ,1. Brennan. jr., who feels the guv- 'Oh, please, Mother, don't quote Dr. Spock to me! After all, Julie Eis- enhower says eminent would be wise to abandon the field of pornography control, observed that the court was still stuck in "the mire of case-by-case determination of obscenity." The new surge of legislative and ju- dicial action on obscenity comes at a time when the American public appears increasingly jaded with pornography. "People are being more selective about the porn they buy." a clerk at an adult bookstore in San Francisco told a News- week reporter. "Before, anything would sell. But these days they want better- looking people, a better-quality uct." Another factor may be the depressed state of the economy. Pornography hardly rates as an essential item on any one's budget. As demand shrinks, many purveyors of printed and filmed porri will be forced out of business, but it would be unrealistic to expect all of them to disappear. Commission makeup holds key Politics-playing gnaws at campaign law By Bruce F. Freed WASHINGTON Supporters of Ihe tough new campaign finance reform law fear that the Federal Election Commis- sion established to oversee the statute may become a patronage football. Two members have already been ap- pointed to the commission. The senate leadership Oct. 18 named the former campaign treasurer of Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) and a Penn- sylvania public relations executive who is a former fashion show director active in Pennsylvania "Republican af- fairs. If that pattern holds for the other four appointees, say Neal Grcgor of the Center for Public Financing and Fred Wertheimer of Common Cause, the com- mission could be gutted and the cam- paign reform law seriously weakened. The congressional leadership and the White House appear to be "treating these appointments with all the impor- tance of appointments to the board of visitors of the military Gregory charged. Wortheimcr warned that the commis- sion "shouldn't be considered the con- gressional retirement act of 1974." The new law goes inln effect .Ian. 1. 1975. It will regulate campaign spending and contributions, require spending and contribution reports from candidates, and provide for public financing of pres- idential primary and general election campaigns and parly nominating con- ventions. Some observers have said thai Ihe statute is as complex as Ihe internal revenue code. The six commissioners will be re- sponsible for drawing up regulations implementing Ihe new law. [or inter- preting and enforcing it, and for issuing advisory opinions to candidates. "The commission is Ihe heart of the says Wertheimer. "The new law won't work unless the commission works." The new agency is a hybrid regulato- ry body, which will be made up of per- sons appointed by congress and by Hie President. Two are to be rppoinled by the president pro lent of the senate, two by the speaker of Ihe house, and two by I lie President All must be confirmed by both ihe house and Ihe senate. Supporters of the law see the choice of persons to sit on the commission as the litmus lest of how serious congress and the While House arc about enforc- ing the new law. Hep. Bill Frenzel house Republican spokesman for relection reform, worries that the commission might fail its first test. "Creation of the commission was perceived as the special congressional response to he said. "If we appoint unknowns or people with lesser qualifications, that would indicate to the American people that election reform has low priority and that Ihe legislative action was only window dressing." As of Dec. 20, only the senate-select- ed members of the commission had been chosen. Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scotl (R-Pa.l chose Joan D. Aikens of Swarthmore, Pa. President of the Penn- sylvania Council of Republican Women since 1972, Aikens is an account execu- tive with a public relations firm and before that was a fashion show direc- tor and fashion commentator. People's forum Struggle Hopeful To the Editor: Firsl our county attorney and his po- lice boys put out a lot of statements lo put a new police commissioner in office (Steinbeck) and the public fell for it and voted him In. Now the grand jury has cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars to indict six men, only to have the courts throw it out on grounds the grand jury went over the quarter. I ihink our county attorney knew that and didn't stop it. so his boys are back on the job and have'a five-month vaca- tion. No doubt again the taxpayers will pay all back wages, which will be at least Now our new county attor- ney says he is going lo the grand jury again lo investigate everything. He was assistant county attorney and helped to create this mess, so don'l look for him lo do much except to help these boys slay on the job. I hope tin1 paper and Ihe public get behind this and get the truth exposed and make some charges stand. Also I Ihink Chief La Peters is in the wrong job. I hope something is done. William K Swcfl 2719 Dalcwond avenue SK To the Editor: A headline in The Gazette Dec. 18 read: "Fishell Sentenced for Hitting Anyone reading it could not help but believe that Fishell was found guilty of hitting this deputy. That definitely is not the case. The charge for assault with in- tent to inflict great bodily injury to a deputy was dropped. Why? Because it might prove embarrassing and damag- ing to the Linn county sheriff's office. So why was he arrested in Ihe first place? ik'causc he walked up lo his friend's car and asked his friend if everything was all right after the deputy was writing out an auto violation Ticket. This gave the deputy the authority to begin to search Fishell and put him under arrest. So at that point Ihe struggle began. It is a sad day when a man hasn't that right and gets arrested on a trumped-up charge. I sat in the courtroom listening lo Ihe charges and accusations of this deputy. Thank God for Ihe honesty of No. 2 deputy, who was on duty with deputy No. 1. Fishell might now be behind bars un- justly. So it might be well to take notice of our Linn county sheriff's office. These men should be educated lo be officers of the law instead of tyrants. I put Ihe reporter who wrote The article in Ihe same category as the No. 1 deputy Clarice Fishell Route 3. Marion Mansfield's selection was Joseph F. Meglen of Billings. Mont., a lifelong friend and Mansfield's campaign treas- urer in Ihe senator's Insl two cam- paigns. Aikens and Meglen have been criti- cized by some as political hacks. Scott's aide, Kenneth Davis, defends the selec- tions. "These people know enough about running and financing campaigns so that they would be sensitive to the prob- lems of Ihe he said. "I don't want Jaworski type of people on the commission. 1 want people who know how campaigns are operated, that you can't account for every penny, for every volunteer." he adds. H is just that attitude that has elec- tion reform advocates worried about the other appointments to the commission. Although the house leadership has not announced its selections for the two seats it can fill, chief among the persons considered likely to win those seats are two congressmen who lost their re-elec- tion bids in 1974 Rep. Vernon W. Thomson and Rep. Robert 0. Tiernan But Tiernan may lose out to a representative of organized la- bor, which wants to have its part in im- plementing Ihe new law. No sign of action on filling Ihe other two seats has come from the While House. Some persons on Capitol Hill are concerned that the White House consi- ders the commission a "dumping ground" for defeated nn-mbcrs of con- gress. Frenzel complains. "I don't Ihink the While House really understands Ihe importance of the thing The delay concerns inc." The White House appointments are crucial; some view them as "the lasl hope of those Interested in commission." But if Ford docs not choose high quality appointees for Ihe new agency, complained one campaign reform observer, "wo rmghl end up with a commission made up of Ihree ex- congressmen, a former campaign treas- urer and a sociallle Thiit's nn way lo show that you wanl to end Watergate abuses in polilics'"   

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