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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 13, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ^h* €tdnt £upirU #a*#44# Editorial Page Friday. Dacambar 13, 1974 Back to the kitchen Ll. N. manifesting suicidal irresponsibility With the economy the way it is, the price a million dollars higher than it was last spring and the bond proposal’s content unchanged since then, it came as no particular surprise that the $8.9 million issue voted on this week for renovating junior highs in Cedar Rapids once again fell short of the 60-percent landslide that would have let it pass. Naturally, the key question now is, what next? School board spokesmen have been quoted in the aftermath as indicating that consideration will be given to another try for basically the same plan. Barring unexpected short-order upturns in business and work nationwide, however, there is no strong reason to assume that levels of support will rise the needed few points more. A clear majority of citizens still goes along with the improvements, unmistakably, but new and special impetus will have to come from somewhere to surmount the handicap imposed by law. On the premise that a large upgrading still is necessary on the junior high front, one way to shoot for requisite added support would be through stronger public confidence that the plan will deliver the most for the money. Modify the plan, perhaps, to meet these residual questions and doubts: Do the basics of design assure the lowest attainable square-foot costs for junior high facilities that would be adequate? Could some of the costlier space-making work (light well enclosures, for instance) be more cheaply accomplished through conventional building additions? How about a blend of both approaches? Did construction-trade inflation really jump by more than 15 percent from last April’s $7.8 million package to December s $8 9 million for the same one? How can trends be better documented for the follow-up? Do enrollment prospects at the junior high level still justify four full-scale renovated buildings at the present sites? What assurance is there that bond-issue money will finance a completely-done project — the whole thing with no loose ends or comebacks? Board member Norman Lipsky set a suitably receptive tone for what should follow in his postelection comment: “We’ll have to look at it again. We ll have to see what changes might be possible in the plans.’’ The right kind of re-examina-tion — freely publicized and candid — with some program changes keyed to concern for the dollar, could do much by way of public confidence to tip the scales by a notch or two the next time out toward what the law’s probond imbalance has to be. Another warmup of the first-time serving shows faint promise in the light of Tuesday’s minority-ruled shortfall. The next course has to be a bit more appetizing, somehow, or again the customers won’t swallow quite enough. Afterthought on oversights When a law turns up as many bugs in it as the one which finds some Iowa schoolmen tempted to clamp the “privacy’’ lid on information such as sports results, honor rolls, graduation lists, concert programs and the like, what it needs is fast repair. That seems to be in store for the one in dispute — the family educational rights and privacy act of 1974. Sen. James Buckley of New York (the problem’s main sponsor) and Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island are reported set to introduce amendments softening the unexpected kick. To meet objections at the college level: The confidentiality of existing letters of recommendation would be assured. Students would be allowed to waive their right to see certain documents, such as those. Students would not have free access to their parents’ confidential statements of family finances. Colleges would be free to send grades to the parents of students still classed as dependents. In addition, sharper definitions of such terms as “records” presumably will do away with the misunderstandings which have led to trouble with the law in Iowa Indications are that these repairs will take the form of an amendment to a now-pending library bill. Provisions for them to become effective sooner than usual apparently expedite the job That speaks well for the legislative system’s capability for prompt relief when unforeseen flaws come to light. The raising of these problems in the first place, on the other hand, illustrates the system’s knack of turning out mistakes when haste and insufficient foresight go into an idea. The essentially sound privacy-respecting measure’s pitfalls could have been predicted and avoided if the planning had been better when it counted. Good repairs are still no substitute for good, thorough work the first time around By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON - From its very outset there were some who argued that the United Nations would prove to be either a helpless or a dangerous institution. This was a minority view advanced mostly by extreme isolationists in the United States. As one who watched the charter being drafted line upon line at San Francisco, I never shared it But what a travesty that the United Nations itself in a whole series of actions in recent weeks should begin to prove that they could be right. The United Nations is not showing itself helpless. It is showing itself dangerous in these ways: The General Assembly voted to expel the Union of South Africa from membership contrary to the charter and on grounds it does not apply to other na- Roscoe Drummond tions. The Security Council vetoed this action. Unrepentant, the General Assembly successfully forced the suspension of South Africa from further participation in the present session It voted head-of-state honors to the Palestine Liberation Organization. whose terrorist tactics it had noted with horror just a year ago. The General Assembly produced a majority vote — but not the necessary two-thirds — to expel Cambodia's pres ent U N. representative and replace him with the Peking-based exile, the deposed Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Over the protests of its director general, the 135-member United Nations Fducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNKSCO) twice voted its vengeance on Israel. It excluded Israel from its regional groups and barred it from the modest UNKSCO aid it receives And now, on top of it all, the General Assembly is pressing for a worldwide governmental censorship of satellite television which in a few years can carry news and ideas anywhere on the planet. The same coalition of communist. Arab and African states, which has been shredding the U. N. charter to get its way, is ordering up a U. N treaty for early next year to enable any country anywhere to impose a “prior censorship” on anything and everything it deems censorable If Czechoslovakia or Uganda, for example. chooses to say “no” under the proposed treaty to a Shakespearean play or a controversial U. N. debate, that would black out the program to most of Pastern Europe and much of Central Africa. Nobody need be fooled by any of this. It is perfectly obvious that these nations want to put the cloak of U. N. moral authority around the worst kind of political censorship, Internal censorship is bad enough, but should one nation be given the right to censor what the people of neighboring nations can hear and see0 All of the actions cited here are pernicious, dangerous and harmful. No one of them will destroy the United Nations But if they keep up, they will tear the United Nations apart and risk the financial support without which it cannot function. Lo* Anaal#* Tim#* Syndicate Judiciary loses key men early Pay-freeze exodus of top federal talent? By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON - Despite a critical warning from Chief Justice Warren Burger delivered privately to President Ford that the “American judicial system” is endangered by massive early retirements because of a five-year salary freeze, the President and fearful congressional leaders agreed on Wednesday to postpone action until next year at the least. That burying of what some politicians view as a national crisis extending far beyond Burger’s judicial domain was probably inevitable, given the deepening recession and mounting unemployment. It was President Ford himself who raised the matter behind the closed doors of his Wednesday morning session with congressional leaders After thr shing the highly-politicized issue from all its aspects, the congressional leaders left Mr. Ford with this message: If he would publicly ask congress to unfreeze top-grade government career salaries, established when the cost of living was 42 percent less than today, and promise not to veto any pay-raise bill passed by congress, the combustible issue might be pushed in congress next year after passage of anti-recession bills. President Ford made no promise, fully aware that he is loaded down with too many political problems as it is to add the fury of voters over higher government pay at a time of national belt-tightemng. Yet. both Burger’s warning and the deepening problem of resignations by top-level federal bureaucrats frozen at $36,000 a year. combined with critical recruitment gaps stemming from the pay freeze, are not taken lightly either inside the White House or on Capitol Hill Chief Justice Burger told Mr. Ford in his long White House talk late last month that seven federal judges had quit prematurely in the past 13 months. EVANS NQVAX People’s forum Censorship To the Editor: A symposium on censorship and the schools was recently held in Ames, during which various school administrators gave their views on the topic. Of the three members on the panel, all expressed their concern that the news media had either inaccurately reported the events in their schools or that they had “added fuel to the fire.” It was also stated that some communities have people who just like to be censors and are motivated in this desire by the chance of seeing their names in print. Rationalizing is an extremely popular activity, but it can cast blame on innocent parties and throw the weight of responsibility on shoulders which were not made to carry it. Such, I believe, has been the case in this issue. The school administrators seemed to have overlooked the fact that the media did not create the news, they merely reported it. As for the charge of inaccuracy, reporters are as fallible as anyone else, but to condemn “the media” in one swoop is as naive as to condemn all big cities as "bad ” One panel-member. Lyle Kelm the executive secretary of the Iowa Association of School Administrators, said that outside elements added superficial sensationalism to the issue of censorship The outside elements he referred to were the media and the motivation of seeing one’s name in print Accurate and objective news reporting does not add sensationalism, however Perhaps if sensationalism exists it is because it has been caused by the issue itself Censorship in the schools is news, and it is the media's duty to report it fairly and accurately. To condemn the media for doing their job by saying it adds sensationalism is to be extremely unfair to one of the vital tools of our society. Peggy Carver Iowa State university Ames Steam cars To the Editor There seems to be a vicious alliance between the auto manufacturers and the oil corporations that has finally brought us to a fuel and financial crisis Worst of all, a few fanatical desert sheiks who formerly cared for their camels and sheared sheep will soon control the pursestnngs of the financial world A good (?) manufacturer never makes something that is simple, efficient, and trouble-free if it can be made complicat- ed, inefficient and troublesome and still be sold to the gullible public. The steam engine has been improved by engineers so that it warms up in about one minute, uses only a small percentage of the fuel of an internal combustion engine, is almost noiseless, practically pollution-free and requires hardly any maintenance These engines work in cars, trucks, and buses, and if put to use we would be self-sufficient in fuel and not have to rely on foreign oil But this won t happen Detroit is determined that we are going to use complicated, troublesome, gas-guzzling internal combustion engines, and the oil cartel wants us to use lots of fuel TV and magazine ads telling how to save fuel are pure hogwash The greater the “oil crisis,” the larger the oil company profits Recently the Williams brothers demonstrated their improved steam engine to the Chrysler Corporation, but that company, which rushes forward about like an aged arthritic man on slick ice, turned it down It appears that the only way to get a steam-powered car is to prevent both auto manufacturers and oil companies from reaping such excessive profits Unless that happens, neither group will kill the goose that lays the golden egg — the complicated, expensive, polltive, nosy, troublesome, internal combustion engine T G. Jackson 1465 Third avenue Marion more than at any time in the last IOO years. The main reason: the five-year pay freeze had reduced their $40,000 salary to an effective level of $25,000 First-rate U. S. attorneys, the bed rock of the criminal justice system, are becoming hard to recruit, the chief justice believes, because of vastly higher-paying law partnerships Burger's warning: Without higher salaries, already overburdened courts will dangerously decline in talent and production The salary problem is compounded by the Rube Goldberg system that pays regular cost-of-living allowances to retired federal employes but denies builtin escalation to the highest grade officials while they stay on the government payroll. That explains the startling 50 percent increase in top-level executive branch retirements since 1970 These are career bureaucrats who, in the words of Democratic Sen. Gale McGee of Wyomng. chairman of the senate post office and civil service committee, “kept this government running during the Watergate vacuum of power " One case in point is the frozen $42,500 salary for the director of management and budget (OMB), the top management job in the vast federal bureaucracy. When the President decided to name housing and urban development Secretary James Lynn to replace OMB Director Roy Ash. Lynn’s acceptance guaranteed him a 30 percent cut in pay The reason: Congress has always refused to give any presidential staff job a salary higher than its own Indeed, a quiet White House effort to raise the OMB director’s salary to cabinet level ($60,000) when George Shultz resigned as secretary of labor to become OMB director in 1970 met disaster. A bill quietly drafted inside OMB paired the chairman of the federal reserve board ($42,500) with the director of OMB. raising both salaries to $60,000 Before the bill ever was sent to congress. former White House aide Charles mr- <#* vs rn '"fen % . % Colson inadvertently got wind of the secretly-drafted bill and used it as a club to attack Chairman Arthur Burns of the Fed for trying to raise his own salary. Burns was not even aware the bill had been drafted. Lynn will now take his 30 percent salary cut. Top-grade career bureaucrats, federal judges and congress itself will also forego any salary increase, given the balance of political terror inside the White House and on Capitol Hill over so sensitive an issue. Yet, Burger’s warning to Mr. Ford and the decline of top-level talent in the much-maligned federal bureaucracy are too important to be treated frivolously much longer. Put>i'«h#r*-MoH Syndicate Sense of trust comes through Ford’s pluses acknowledged By James Reston WASHINGTON — President Ford is being criticized severely and sometimes even savagely these days Even his supporters are giving him what Damon Runyon used to call a “medium hello " But in fairness, there is another side to the Ford story, which has to be balanced alongside the charges against him, The charges are serious. They are that, with the highest unemployment rate in America in 13 years, and the biggest drop in the stock market in 12 years, he can’t make up his mind whether inflation or economic recession is the major problem Also that he is making too many concessions to the Russians, paying too much attention to foreign affairs at the expense of home affairs, and stringing along with the old Nixon gang in the cabinet and the White House There is plenty room for honest conflict in the White House It would be a brave man who would say that these are mg fair criticisms. There is plenty of room for honest conflict about how to struggle between inflation and recession, what to do about the battle between the Greeks and the Turks over Cyprus, how to deal with the Russians over the trade bill, arms control, the emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel, the relations of the United States to Europe and Japan, and many other things But in al! the arguments about these domestic and foreign problems, one thing about President Ford has stood out He has restored some kind of integrity to the debate Whether he is talking to the Democratic leaders of Capitol Hill — Mike Mansfield in the senate or Speaker Carl Albert or Rep Thomas “Tip” O’Neill in the house, or the lead ers of foreign governments — somehow he manage* to convey the feeling that he is giving them an honest pitch Maybe this is not good enough, and the guess here is that it isn t. But whether he is right or wrong rn what he does, he is at least beginning to restore belief. He is available to his critics in the congress and the press He talks and even listens endlessly to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of West Germany, Foreign Minister Yigal Alton of Israel, all in the space of a single week But when they return home, despite their differences, they all say roughly the same thing We didn t really settle anything. but somehow we ft*el better, for we felt we were dealing with an honest man. This is a dicey imponderable, but it is a big change in Washington after the last few years. Presidents Johnson and Nixon may have been more knowledgeable, clever and cunning than Ford, but nobody ever quite knew where they were Ford is different He has been on Capitol Hill as a partisan leader for 25 years, which is no exercise in objectivity. but more than most he knows the difference between right and wrong “yes" and “no.” and despite all his troubles this comes through in his negotiations All the evidence here is that this human quality was very effective in his latest trip to Japan He managed to re- «r *4 James Reston store some sense of trust with Trudeau He apparently won the confidence o Schmidt. Allon of Israel, who came hen deeply anxious about the situation in th* Middle East, went away, not with the promises he sought, but at least wit! confidence in the frank and even bluni conversations he had with the Prest dent. The experts on policy, the people who know precisely what should be done about inflation, unemployment and for eign affairs, of course, doubt that Ford has the answers to all their anxieties They are probably right But they might bt1 wrong, and it is probably too early to count him out: He is a slow take and has been in the White House for only little more than IOO days He has not defined policies equal to his problems, or stated clearly where he is going or who is going with him, but he has restored at least some respect for the integrity of the presidency. Whether he is right or wrong on his policies, this is a big advance over the last few years. No* york Tunit S*mc* Isn't it the truth? By Cod tibial. i» We aren t being fair to youth the* days. While scientists are attempting ti discover how to halt the prices* of ag mg in oldsters, everybody else in th world is trying to make youngsters grot up fast in order to get rid of that goner at ion gap Tit told that pertont living on annulet are longer lived than oth ert " -—lord Byron lr»l*rO<"*on Pf*** Syndical* ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Cedar Rapids Gazette