Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 29, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Monday, April 29, 1974
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Parties’ load, not public’s
ONCE every four years, each of the two major parties stages a political circus known as its national convention for the purpose of selecting presidential candidates. If the new proposal of a bipartisan committee on convention financing ever clears congress, public funds would foot the bill for these shows from now on.
That idea has the lifting power of a lead balloon.
It comes up now, according to committee spokesmen, because there is a move in congress to repeal tax provisions that have let the parties raise cash by ads selling program ads to large corporations, and because there seems to be no other sure way to drum it up. Two million dollars apiece supposedly could refloat both conventions through campaign financing checkoffs if the method were approved.
The trouble is, conventions and campaigns are far apart in content, value and productive service for elections. Public funds to help the candidates display their wares—unappetizing though this is in principle — can be defended a better, cleaner way than going on with influence-corruptive big-money systems of the past. Public funds to help the parties put on noisy, gaudy, eyewash-dipped, manipulative, overstretched per
formances to merely pick their ticket heads would verge on public waste.
Money flows so lavishly for these conventions that a program-advertising pinch alone should not have to dump it all on everybody’s back.
Convention-hosting cities usually come through with half a million to a million dollars’ worth of money, goods and services to merely get the show there. Convention delegates and visitors reportedly spend up to $7 million in the town that plays host. Two years ago, the three big TV networks spent an estimated $20 million by themselves to cover the Miami Beach affairs. The party costs were figured at about a million and a half apiece.
Before the parties dip in everybody’s taxes for the tab, strong efforts to reduce the tab should trim it down: shorter programs, fewer days, fewer delegates perhaps, less paper, less puff, more substance, more efficiency, less waste.
A tax-cure for convention ailments, in short, is premature. To ring it in without exhausting every other remedy available could sour people on the taxes-for-campaign-ing concept in itself, before it has a chance to do some good.
Reward for nonpollution
STEPPING AGREEABLY to the ecology drumbeat, all but a handful of states have adopted laws granting tax breaks for industries that install air and water pollution control devices. Iowa thus far has declined participation in the parade, as have Alaska, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.
Such abstention is manifestly wise. After all, why should a state reward industry for doing now what should have been done all along?
Unfortunately, however, Iowa seems poised to join the misdirected 43 states. If changes in the bill that cleared the house (55 to 39) last Thursday are accepted by the senate, Iowa industries w ill receive property tax exemptions for the next IO years on all pollution control equipment installed since October 18, 1970.
Major propellant for the pollution control tax exemption bill is an understandable desire to gain parity with other states in keeping and attracting worthy industries.
Meanwhile, implications of the boon to businesses are being grossly ignored: How much monetary advantage will
erstwhile polluters realize? What extra tax burden will fall on other taxpayers? In the pre-adjournment rush, no one seems to know. Similarly unclear is how far the property tax exemption will reach. As Governor Ray has noted, a homeow ner seemingly could qualify simply by having his garbage hauled to the landfill.
The bill should be shelved until the tradeoff requirements are clarified. Even then the reward for obeying environmental laws will be difficult to square with the public.
Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.
Law’s lawbreak: bad
By Don Oakley
MOST Americans are willing to give every possible benefit of the doubt, and even more, to law enforcement officials whenever they are accused of wrongdoing.
The rationale apparently is that to do otherwise would be to place yet another hindrance in the path of the law in these permissive times and provide encouragement to criminal elements.
A recent, and very prominent, case in point was the acquittal by a grand jury in Alton, 111., of IO federal undercover narcotics agents charged with violating the civil rights of two families in Collinsville, IU., during raids on their homes for nonexistent drugs.
Although there was no question that the agents, dressed like hippies, had forcibly invaded the homes without
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warrants, and although the plaintiffs testified that they were verbally terrorized and physically abused and their property extensively damaged, the jury found that the agents had acted in the performance of their duty and could not be held criminally accountable.
Here a&ain. the possibility that a finding of guilty would cause rejoicing among illegal drug users and pushers was a theme hammered on by the defense agents were portrayed as “kids’’ “kids” who had simply made an honest mistake.
The jurors heard and weighed the evidence and, it must be presumed, reached an honest verdict. But if their decision can be viewed as a discouragement to lawbreakers, it would tx* tragic if it were taken by law enforcers as an encouragement to irresponsible behavior on their part. Carried out in the line of duty or not. the Collinsville raids were incompetent, bumbling and unnecessary.
If this is the only way we can fight crime, then we have already lost the war.
It would compound the tragedy if the acquittal by the Alton jury were to lead lo the denial to the families involved of monetary compensation they are seeking from the government for their sufferings.
Bad-motive bleat shows cynicism’s reach
By James Reston
WASHINGTON - The Kissinger-Jackson row over how to negotiate a strategic military arms agreement with the Soviet Onion illustrates what happens here when a President loses the confidence of the people and politicians begin scrambling to succeed him.
For centuries the nations have been trying unsuccessfully to bring the weapons of war under control. It is obvious now that nobody in Washington or in Moscow has any dear answer to the problem. Therefore, attempts to minimize the danger of one more round in the arms race require at least some confidence in the good faith and integrity of the negotiators.
But in the present poisonous atmosphere of suspicion in Washington, there is very little confidence in the good faith of anybody in the White House, the congress or the press. Men speak and act, but their words and actions are not taken straight but searched for some other hidden motive.
The suspicion is often justified, but there is an element of tragedy in all this. The atmosphere of doubt in Washington is now beginning to spread beyond Watergate and politics to policy, not only to the President and the cast of characters in the political scandals, who are the men of the past, but to people like Jackson and Kissinger, who may have more to say about the future and the policy of arms control than anybody else.
The main thing about this is that Kissinger and Jackson are now involved in a public row about the control of nuclear weapons, and how this fundamental question should be negotiated with the Soviet Union, but have never really talked out their differences in private before they differed with one another in public.
This is very odd. They arc both intelligent and knowledgeable men. Both know that the control of arms has reached a critical point with Moscow. Jackson wants a comprehensive agreement with the Soviets on arms control, which Kissinger also wants but thinks he cannot get.
Therefore, Kissinger is willing to do the best he can, to keep the talks going. What, he asks, if we added to all our present difficulties at home and the Middle East, the demands of Senator Jackson and a return to the confrontations of the cold war? Why argue about
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the number of missiles? People are killed by nuclear warheads and not by the missiles themselves, so we have to avoid 20,000 missiles with multiple warheads by the end of the ’70s, and slow down the arms race as best we can.
Jackson insists that we draw the line with the Soviet Union now — force an agreement for a major reduction ot arms, demand that the Soviet Union agree to the emigration of 100,000 Soviet c itizens a year, not only the aggrieved Jews but the dissidents from the Ukraine and the Baltic states and the other Soviet nationalities as well.
Now is the time, Jackson says, to be tough. Now is the time, says Kissinger, to be careful. You can make a good case either way, and the issues are so complicated and so grave and even dangerous that it is hard to understand why these two men do not talk out the controversy in private before they throw it into the headlines of the world.
Jackson is now charging in public that the President and the secretary of state are rushing into a compromise arms agreement because the President is in trouble at home and needs to give the impression of an agreement with the Soviet Union on arms, even if, as Jackson believes, it is a fake.
The administration denies this in public, suggesting in private that Jackson is really running for President on an anti-Soviet, pro-labor and pro-Israel platform. Probably there is some truth in this both ways, but not much.
We are in terrible trouble in Washington these days. But we have not really declined to the point that the administration would fiddle with the security of the Republic in order to pick up a few conservative votes in the house and senate against the impeachment and conviction of the President. On other issues, maybe, but on strategic arms, the
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balance of power in the world, and tho future safety of the nation, certainly not.
Similarly, Jackson may be running for the presidency, but again not by proposing policies that would help him at the expense of the nation. V et in the present mood of this city, everybody tends to believe the worst in what men say and do. This is the tragedy of Watergate for everybody. Nobody knows it here better than Kissinger and Jackson.
What is intolerable is that they do not discuss their honest differences. After all, Kissinger’s success rests on the fact that, as an outsider he won the confidence of Richard Nixon, ( hou En-lai in China, President Sadat in Egypt. Golda Meir in Israel, and the elders of the congress of the* United States.
It is odd that he has not managed to do the same with Jackson, who in the end is not likely to reach the White House by arguing for a return to the confrontations of the cold war.
New York Times Service
Isn t It the Truth?
By Carl Riblet. Jr
The fashion in local polities is to cry that the Ixtter citizens don’t run for office. The only reason we put up with some of the municipal talent that has been running our cities is that genuine talent won’t live in the city if it can help it
Experience shows that a very populous city can seldom, if ever, be properly governed
—Aristotle, 350 B C •
A hundred years ago our government was elected by votes of the unwashed millions Now, it is the washed, ironed, dry-cleaned and drip-dried millions who make up the electorate; descended from ancestors roared on soap operas after a century or more of listening to soft soap.
We go by the ma/ority vote and if the ma/onty are insane, the sane must go to the hospital
— Horace Mann
Inter oceon Pres* Syndicate
Possessable by devils, 36 percent believe
By Louis Harris
The Harris Survey
ALTHOUGH a majority, 52 percent, of the American people says it does not believe in demonism, a substantial 36 percent do think that “people are sometimes possessed — taken over in mind and body by a demon or the devil.”
With the popular success of the motion picture, “The Exorcist”, the possibility of such a phenomenon has received wide currency. A total of 5 percent of Americans 18 years and over—I in every 20—report to the Harris Survey that either they, themselves, or “someone close to them” have actually been “possessed by the devil.” In the aggregate, that comes to over 7 million adults in this country.
The phenomenon of “people becoming possessed” is baffling to believers and unbelievers alike. No more than 16 percent over-all feel that modern medicine and psychiatry have successfully diagnosed the cause of such aberrations. Another 30 percent feel that it has been “somewhat explained.” but a majority, 54 percent, either feels all explanations thus far have been inadequate or simply do not know how to explain the reported episodes.
The question of demonology has attracted wide-spread public interest with the publication of the book, “The Exorcist”, and the movie subsequently made from the book. Fully 74 percent in a na-
To the Editor;
On CBS television a large part of what you hear week after week is Watergate . . .One can understand the Democratic party continuing to string out the Watergate matter, particularly at the cost of the taxpayers, since this is a matter of winning elections: bread and butter to a political party. But exactly why does UBS continue its relentless attack on Richard Nixon? Certainly not because they wish that Mr. McGovern was President.
Ever since Nixon opposed the press many months ago, Walter (right-hand-side-of-God) Cronkite has systematically broadcast the anti-administration side of the news, the adverse opinions and the innuendos against Nixon. Erie Sevareid has coated the attack with pseudo-Aristotelian sugar to sell the “hate Nixon” program to the intellectual portion of his
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tional cross-section say they have followed the exorcism issue. A majority of 53 percent says it personally believes in the existence of the devil, while no more than 31) percent deny it.
When asked about the ceremony of exorcism, as sometimes practiced in the Catholic churc h to “drive evil spirits out of a person,” by 55-25 percent a majority of the American people says it does not believe in such a process However, among Catholics, a narrow 41-40 percent plurality does believe in it
Recently, a cross-section of 1.405 households was questioned in depth about the demonology issue:
In the book and movie, The Exorcist , a small girl is said to be possessed by a demon or the devil. Do you believe that people are sometimes possessed — that is, taken over in mind and body by a demon or the devil — or don t you believe in this?’
the affirmative were particularly numerous among blacks in the South, among people in small towns, among those whose education has not gone beyond the eighth grade, and those with incomes of between $5,000 and $10.IXN) a year.
Women, much more than men, reported incidents where they or someone close to them had been “possessed ”
The cross-section was asked
Do you personally believe rn the existence of
The Roman Catholic church bos a traditional solemn ceremony colled exorcism, which is designed to drive evil spirits out of a person Do you believe in the power of exorcism or not’5
Do not believe Not sure
♦he devil or no*’5
Don ♦ believe
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The exorcism process, so
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50 and over
portrayed in the book and movie, is generally riot believed to have the powers attributed to it The cross-section was asked:
One notable exception to the general trend of disbelief in the power of exorcism can lie found among Catholics, who express faith in the process by a slim 41-41) percent margin However, if there is doubt about the process of exorcism, then there is far more doubt that modern medicine and psychiatry have explained the widely reported phenomenon of people being “possessed.” People were asked
Do you think the phenomenon o! people being possessed can be fully explained, somewhat explained, or not explained at all by modern medicine and psychiatry? ‘
Those who believe in the phenomenon of “possession” were then asked if either they or someone “close to them'’ had experienced it. Those who answered in
Really a full-time hatehetman against the administration, and for some time Dun Rather has headed the prosecution . , .
This is an all-out effort to tear a man to shreds. . . . Even the Democrats should begin to worry. A Democrat in the White House may have to bow also or Ik* torn apart by as clever a bunch of wolves as this country has ever seen.
Let’s look at Watergate from a standpoint of common sense. It was a stupid, illegal, nonviolent and unsuccessful attempt to find out what campaign strategy the Democrats were going to use. The Republicans could have gotten all this worthless information in a legal way by hiring a Jack Anderson at less than the cost of the bugging equipment. . . .
It is ironic that this stupid attempt to invade the privacy of the Democratic party has been turned around into a socalled legal attempt to invade the political privacy of the President. ... It is also ironic that the press has been mortally offended by the unsuccessful at-
Can be fully explained Can be somewhat explained Can * be explained at all Not sure
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Democratic party This is the press that has a long record of violations of the rights of privacy of people down through the decades. Look who’s holier than thou.
Is CBS really interested in Watergate only as a means of pinning something on Nixon? Are they trying to show what they can do to a President who opposed them? lf they have the power and for purposes of their own are willing to undertake a program of tearing a President to shreds, then one begins to wonder at what price, a free press.
Muller Keeper Alburnett
To the Editor:
... At St. Luke’s hospital in March, it was almost an overwhelming experience to recognize 53,623 hours of time given to the hospital by volunteers. Sixty-one of our volunteers each had given St. Luke’s over I.IMH) hours of precious time since 1%5 Nearly ‘MMI men and wrwnnn have
As long as the mystery of such “possessions’ is not satisfactorily explained by modern science to the American people, there will likely remain a sizable body of public opinion that is fascinuttsl with the subject of demonology.
Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate
each given over KH) hours during that time.
Ibis hospital has always viewed volunteer service as giving in its highest sense. Volunteers enrich the lives of patients. They add an important dimension to patient tare and recovery in addition to the empathy expressed by the hospital personnel.
Over 600 adults and 200 teens participated in our volunteer program last >ear. I his is increasingly important since expanding medical research develops techniques and procedures requiring more and more time of the professionals. The need for volunteers is greater each year and so are the personal satisfactions for them.
This is a salute occasioned by National V olunteer week to salute the volunteers and the services they perform for St. Luke’s and the community.
Louis B. Blair, superintendent St. Luke’s Methodist hospital
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