Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
tht &nln? l\npitb
Wednesday, April 24, 1974
8-I bo mbs out
A LETTER WRITER who chose anonymity has chided this page’s caretakers for apparently ignoring the B-l bomber project, the price tag of which is growing more than slightly astronomical. The most significant feature carried lately, noted the writer, was a “gee-whiz” propaganda Item in the comics section's “Our New Age” feature April 14.
The critic is wrong about the alleged omission: With the aid of Congressional Quarterly reports, this page carried a sizable pro-con appraisal of the federal government’s B-l project last June 21. But recent as last June may seem, the B-l cost estimates used then are as obsolete as the B-25s James Doolittle Hew over Tokyo three wars ago.
Thus, an updating is in order:
When last we left the embattled super-bomber, the editorial advice was to let prototype development of three B-ls proceed but withhold an automatic go-ahead for all-out production of the 240-plane fleet. A price-tag on the test and evaluation prototype aircraft read $2.7 billion, and the projected cost-per-bombcr (built in the late 1970s) was a prodigious $43 million, compared with a $30 million estimate in 1970.
Now the air force has decided on development of a fourth prototype (which suggests possible dissatisfaction over results so far), raising the research and development tab to $3.1 billion. As for the ultimate price of each B-l, it is now a stratospheric $56 million and rising. Defense department of
ficials reportedly are estimating $61.5 million while the bomber’s sternest critic, Rep. Otis G. Pike (D-N.Y.), predicts the cost of each supersonic needle-nosed bird could reach $75 million.
Even so, assume that the B-l’s builder, Rockwell International in Los Angeles, is able to bring it in for $60 million per plane. That is $14.4 billion above the $3 billion-plus already plunked down for prototype development.
Granted, the B-l will be a fantastic weapon — able, among other feats, to carry tremendous nuclear payloads at altitudes below the range of existing radar systems. But what’s to prevent the Russians from devising a low-scan radar system able to detect treetop grazing B-ls? The scenario recalls Goliath’s invulnerability to every weapon except David’s
One needn’t be a weaponry wizard to see that a bomber boasting 1975’s finest gadgetry could be pitifully obsolete by the production schedule’s wrapup in 1980. It becomes increasingly obvious that a modified B-52 fleet would satisfy the United States’ manned-bomber strike-force capability until the needs of the 1980s and beyond come into focus.
Significantly, the trustworthy old B-52 costs only $8 million and requires cost-of-flying increases in line with the economy’s other cost hikes. In light of the cost differential, the case for full-scale production of 240 $60 million B-ls is difficult to defend.
WHEN PUBLIC issues with a heavy moral content focus on alternatives of life and death, they seem to summon from the woodwork people talented in calling names, sure as sin.
The capital punishment issue attracts them in milder form. A syndicated columnist on this page recently dredged up the musty epithet of “bleeding hearts’’ for those who stand against the penalty of death. Abortion tends to call forth stronger names. Countless of its enemies have freely hung the tag of “murderer’’ on those who think personal choice is the guideline to follow.
Fighting an idea by the name-call method rather than by offering ideas counter to the one opposed is juvenile, nasty and poorly persuasive, whichever side does it. There is no more wisdom in a “bleeding heart’’ slap at death-penalty foes than in a “blood luster’’ shot at those who favor executions. It is just as dirty to cry “murderer’’ at pro-abortion
people as to classify anti-abort ion spokesmen as “misery mongers’’ and “pain pushers.”
Ail of this malicious stuff is obviously rooted in its users’ feeling that the other side has bad or evil motives — in their failure to acknowledge that the opposition, too, is acting from a sense of helpfulness — of treating human beings right and doing good. The people who condemn abortion and the ones who favor freedom in it, for example, both regard their purposes as thoroughly respectable for everybody’s good. Too many, notably the “murder” criers, do not honor that across the line.
As all these sensitive, emotion-packed and ethics-weighted issues make their way through avenues of public discourse, a lacking element of mutual respect should temper the debate. Persistence anywhere in you’re-a-so-and-so techniques will, more than anything, discredit those who call the names and help them lose.
Way with words
By Theodore M. Bernstein
FREEDMAN’S freedom. Does a liberated person become a libertine? That’s what Ralph Borrelli of Ambler, Pa., wants to know. The answer depends, perhaps, on how long the person has been incarcerated or enslaved
Levity to one side, libertine has or has had several different meanings. In ancient Rome it meant a freed slave. Iii the 16th century it meant a member of a political party in Geneva and also a member of a sect in France and Holland that repudiated the distinction between good and evil. Then it came to mean a freethinker.
Today it means a rake or hedonist, someone who leads an immoral, sexually uninhibited life.
Feel testy? Here are a few questions to test you on words. When you have completed your answers, put them in an envelope, write your name and address on the front of it, being sure to put your return address in the upper lefthand corner, affix IO cents worth of stamps and drop it in the farthest mail box. Then in two or three days you’ll be able to tell whether you have had any second thoughts. Answers appear below.)
I In which case does the speaker crave
a. Leave me alone.
b. Let me a lime
2. In which instance is Alphonse's sense of touch impaired?
a. Alphonse burned his hands and now he feels bad.
b. Alphonse burned his hands and now he feels badly.
3. In which situation was Matlnlde disbelieving?
a. She looked incredible
b She looked incredulous.
4. Which readers found the books wicked and evil?
a. Some readers were astonished at the enormousness of the set of books on sex.
b. Some readers were astonished at the enormity of the set of books on sex.
Word oddities. With good golfing weather just upon us, you may wonder where caddie came from (and perhaps where he has gone). The word traces to the French term cadet, who was a younger son or merely an army officer without a commission or a junior officer, often a kind of attendant.
Answers, la, 2b, 3b, 4b.
New York Time* Syndical*
Theodore M. Bernstein
Pistons, Zephyrs, Tapirs...
Games-of-century ad nauseam
By Russell Baker
IN EARLY MARCH I became aware that something important had changed. I had stopped being a sports fan. News that the baseball teams were in spring training added no salt to life’s daily routine (Nixon, taxes, bills and toil) and the approach of the basketball playoffs gave no lift to tired blood.
The formation of yet another professional football league and the resulting stampede of players for more million-dollar salaries seemed drab stuff that one had to tolerate on the ll p.m. news reports to get to the weather report, and the news that one heavyweight had flattened another somewhere in the tropics for the world championship passed over me so quietly that I did not even catch the champion’s name.
Henry Aaron’s home run that beat Babe Ruth’s record was, I could still agree, a splendid thing, but my appreciation of it was purely intellectual. I was not emotionally moved, nor disputatious about it, as a true sports fan would have been.
I had simply had it with sports. I think the explanation is that there was just too much of it for any of it to be very engaging any more. It had gotten so there was a new game of the century every other day. It was like having a banana split with every meal. It just quit tieing fun.
The proliferation of teams was confusing, too. At one time there were 16 baseball teams and a comparable number of teams playing professional football and baseball, ,and if you applied yourself to it you could keep them all in your head. Not any more.
Nowadays, each sport has so many leagues with so many teams that the leagues are broken down into “divisions,” which means there must be divisional playoffs, and league playoffs, and championship playoffs constantly in progress. Teams with names like the
People’s forumRetarded helped
To the Editor:
This National Volunteer week, the Linn (Ounty Assn. for Retarded Children wishes to join all other community service agencies in thanking the volunteers who make our various projects and programs possible.
To continue to serve and support the programs offered through public funds to the retarded citizens of Linn county, nearly 2,500 volunteer hours were donated by over 235 association members. These people are to be congratulated for the time and talents they have given over the last year in more than 40 areas of involvement by the LCARC.
Many of the talents of our parents and professionals have been further enhanced by volunteer hours from citizens who are not association members. To the business men, teachers, students, professionals in health and medicine, and many other concerned and interested families and friends, we especially say thanks for support in making Linn
The Gazette s editorial page welcomes leaders' opinions, subject to these guidelines:
Length limit: 400 word*.
One letter per writer every 30 doy*
All may be conden*ed and edited without changing meaning
None published anonymously
Writer * telephone number (not printed) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate
Contents deol more with issues and event* than personalities
Pistons and the Whalers and the Bolts and the Nets and the Raccoons are forever looming into one’s consciousness.
What can you make of a headline that says, “Whalers Swallow Bolts’’ or “Pistons Tree Raccoons”? Half the time you don’t even know what sport is being played, or what city the teams represent.
Somebody has calculated that there were 105 professional sports teams playing games as of last winter, and new football and baseball leagues now being formed will add another 20 or 30 teams to the stew in the next few years. It is easier to keep track of Middle East politics.
Sports has come to seem like an industrial boom. The greed of prayers and owners who move themselves and their teams from city to city in quest of more
and more bucks make it increasingly silly to cultivate the home-team chauvinism on which the sports fan thrives.
How can you give >our heart to a home-team hero who may skip to Chicago next year for a million-dollar salary? Or feel affection for a team that may be shifted to El Paso next season so the owner can get a bigger cut of the peanut concession?
Sports, after all, are only games that children can play, yet how is the childish joyousness of the game to bt* reconciled with the knowledge that the player you yearn to idolize is a big businessman drawing a $3IKI,00<) salary and probably
county a community that offers a home, love and pride to the retarded.
I look forward to working with all of them again this year and to welcoming many new individuals to the ranks of this community’s fine volunteers.
Dale Bryant, LCARC president 712 Third avenue SE
To the Editor
14ist year after discovering that I was again expecting another child, I had mixed reactions. It was an “accidental” pregnancy, although I’m convinced that many so-called accidental pregnancies are not really accidental, but an unconscious wish for a baby, an inborn desire for most women. (It took me four children to be able to admit this to myself).
However, whatever ny reasons, conscious or otherwise, the idea of an abortion crossed my mind. But there was no dickering within myself; something in me said, “You can’t do it!” I had no choice but to have my baby, although I knew I was in for a rough nine months.
I ani 41, and each pregnancy was always worse than the one before. I had many problems, ranging from severe nausea — for which I was hospitalized — to painful, premature contractions that began well before the sixth month and became worse as time passed. It became extremely painful to walk, and in the last month I sometimes had to crawl up our stairs, crying the while. I also have varicose veins.
I knew what I was getting into by deciding to have this child. And true to form, I really did suffer. But I suffered also with the joy of expectancy, the miracle of creating a new life.
Pro-aburtionists are having trouble deciding when the baby becomes alive. I
entertaining a $5(61,000 offer to go over to the enemy?
Baseball’s racism, which everybody has been willing to forego mentioning at one time, seems squalidly obvious now that the club owners with their franchise shifting have demonstrated that their contempt for the hometown fans is as solid as their distaste for black hands in the management.
And then, of course, the athletes themselves make it harder and harder for fans to endow them with the stuff of heroism. Boxing has become a clown show for TV, reminiscent of professional wrestling, an entertainment for TV boobs. Baseball players strike for better working conditions, like the average working stiff, and athletes of all persuasions become as huffy as Presidents and withhold their wisdom from newspapermen who decline to priase them with regularity.
The constant court battles are also depressing. On many days more of the sports news comes from the courtroom than the playing field. Watergate is more fun.
Mostly though, it was the excess that dulled my edge. A demolition derby, a golf tournament, a motorcycle jumping contest, championship figure-skating competition, a championship boxing match, the crucial game of the NBA divisional playoffs, the climactic game of the Stanley (’up series, the setting of a new pole-vault record, the rubber game of the Orioles-Tigers series and reruns of last Wednesday’s and Friday’s games of the century are too much for one afterturn,
In “Death of a Salesman ”, tin* unworldly Happy eagerly asks his much-traveled older brother Biff, who has had a multitude of girls, what it s like, having enjoyed all those women. After awhile, says Biff, “it’s like bowling "
lo shirts, as with Biff, more is less.
Ne* York Times Service
(an tell them. My baby came alive, for me, from the moment I felt life. From then on I could sense his developing j>er-sonality by his movements. During the last three months, he had hiccups every day — like a “real” baby. I grew to love him even before he was born.
Now I look at my two-month-old son with wonder and amazement. I could cry when I think that had I made another choice, he would Im* dead.
My heart swells with pride when I cradle him in my arms; when I see the trust in his eyes as he gazes at me. I marvel at the delicate skin, the curled fists, the soft, downy hair; even his ears, which house the smallest bone in his body. How minute these structures must bt; how thread-like the veins.
Yet, God in all His wisdom has created all these body parts in perfection. I am from Missouri, lf abortion is not murder, they will have to show me.
Bonnie Turner 4443 C avenue NE
Ugly ducklingShockley putdown try blown
By William F. Buckley, jr.
AT YALE university the other night * Professor William Shockley was to debate with Mr. William Rusher of National Review the whole business of Negro psychometric inferiority and what should be done about it.
What should be done about it, in the opinion of Professor Shockley, is something on the order of genetic manipufation, for the purpose of improving the human species. You would use sperm banks, contributed by the very brightest men, destined to impregnate the very brightest women around; and before too long we would all be sounding like Albert Einstein.
This is a drastic compression of Shockley’s position, and if I have some of the words wrong, never mind — because the music is right. Doctor Shockley is the complete liberal. His judgments are scientific and his values are, well, derived from empirical conclusions. Bright people are better than dumb people. Therefore let’s have more bright people and fewer dumb people. Therefore get babies formed by the union of bright spermatozoa and bright ova. And after a while, you get Shockley-land.
What happened at Yale is now quite generally known. The debaters arrived, they stood on the platform for 75 minutes during which the audience jeered and booed and hissed; finally, Shockley being brighter than a lot of other people, realized that, to adapt slightly what they used to say in the South in days gone by, Ain’t no Shockley goin’ speak here tonight. So he left, escorted by a dozen or so marshals.
The role of Yale university was ambivalent. On the one hand, President Kingman Brewster begged undergraduate organizations not to invite Shockley to the campus. Not so much because Shockley’s appearance would result in disorder. He put it differently, stressing how obnoxious are the doctrines of Dr. Shockley, and how offensive to the racial minority of black students at Yale. Here he has a point, though it is not one he is given to adducing about other speakers representing, say, the communist movement.
And then also, to stress Dr. Shockley’s disqualifications, Mr. Brewster noted that he is not a trained geneticist. Shockley is somewhat difficult to handle because he got a Nobel Prize for something or other having to do with transistors.
At Stanford university, they have refused to permit Shockley to teach a course on his new enthusiasm under the auspices of the biology department, citing his lack of professional credentials. This is done gratefully because it gives the faculty a t«*chnical excuse for aborting a course they do not want as part of the curriculum.
The trouble is, of course, that Shockley has that insatiable mind, and there is no reason to suppose that if he gave all his time to the study of genetics, which he appears to bt* doing, he would In* professionally incompetent after a few years to teach genetics. Shockley is not (in this respect) dumber than the 22-year-old graduate students who, after two or three years of study, are permitted to teat h genetics.
The scandal, my friend, is of a different order. It was not widely noted by the press that Shockley’s opponent, this time around, was not scheduled to l>e one of those liberal Ashley Montague typos, who are put up against Shockley mostly for the purpose of delivering doctrinaire defenses against the validity of his preliminary findings on the matter of variations of intelligence. The trouble with these is that they do not always persuade the audience up against the figures adduced by Shockley. And when they fail at a technical level, there goes the ball game.
If in fact it is proved with scientific conclusiveness that there is a disparity between average Negro intelligence psychometrically measured, and that of whites, the consequences for liberal egalitarian dogma would be nothing short of catastrophic. Their cosmology would fall.
But this would not be the case for those whose values are Christian, and whose belief is in metaphysical equality. Shockley would probably win a debate with Ashley Montague. L'p against William Rusher, he would be slaughtered. Because Rusher would focus not on the inexactitude of Shockley’s findings, but on.their irrelevancy. And, as regards his prescriptions, he would say quite simply that they are peo-barbarie. By which I mean that they are the 20th-Century equivalent of the pagan infanticide by which a society regulated, to its own satisfaction, the male-female ratio of the population.
What was obviously proved at Yale is that Shockley cannot get a fair trial at the hand of Kingman Brewster. What was incidentally lost at Yale was the opportunity to show that only true conservatives can dispose with confidence of the Shockley menace.
Washington Star Syndicate
Elementary, my dear Hearst... your daughter is obviously a criminal