Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 27, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Friday, December 27, 1974
Land-owning in the open
This much is true about the land: It has existed long — immeasurably long — before the human being did who comes along to own it for part of his life. The land continues to exist long after the last breath of anyone who has possessed it temporarily. What people do with land they own affects the lives, deeply sometimes, both of neighbors and of whole societies close to a given piece of land. The effect can reach far into years of the future.
Ownership and use of land accordingly are everybody’s business and concern: Zoning can legitimately guide the pattern of its use, and land-use regulating has become increasingly an area of public-interest legislation. Transitory ownership, in short, gives no one any rights to put the land to use in ways that may be harmful to the neighbors now or in the future.
All this has high relevance to situations brought to light by the Gazette this month concerning the purchase of Iowa farmland in sizable pieces by buyers who are citizens of other countries and who seemingly have taken pains to keep their identities hidden.
Not only because the use made of land concerns us all but because what happens to the yield from land used in farming also has food-sufficiency implications of national importance, legislators at the state and federal level together have become concerned. Measures to cope with the secrecy penchant of foreign land-buyers may follow in the interest of assuring that domestic land is put to use in ways that serve domestic needs first.
Against this idea, resistance has come from a law school professor at the University of Iowa who sees no land-law question in the trend. A title-recording system’s key purpose is to protect the buyer in his purchase, says Prof. David C. Baldus, who adds:
“. . . What’s the difference if an Iowan or a foreigner is buying the land? I fail to see that we have a problem in land disclosures . . . I know of many Iowa corporations and individuals who would be opposed to such a law change. W hy is it relevant to know who owns the land unless you are the buyer and seller involved in the transaction? The public does not have the right to know the ownership of stocks.”
The introductory remarks above explain why land control and ownership are relevant to the problem which has developed. Corporate stocks relate to solid earth the way a cabin does to a mountain. The ownership of most land is a matter of public record already through property tax requirements. Wherever it is not sufficiently of record, ownership-identity should be of record — for Iowans or U.S. citizens as well as foreign nationals. Owners whose uses of land are, or will be, consistent with the legitimate, enduring public interest in ALL land’s uses should have nothing to fear or to hide.
In considering appropriate improvements in the law, those entrusted with this duty should make sure that ownership of land is open and legitimate in keeping with that interest, clear across the board.
Unless hundreds of observers are experiencing the same optical illusion, a 4-foot-tall, 125-pound kangaroo has been hopping through Indiana and Illinois the last few months. On the off chance that the elusive non-native someday may come bounding into Iowa, we urge the following hospitality measure:
Don’t shoot. A particularly timid creature, the kangaroo does not like to attack other animals — especially he-men with firearms. Since the kangaroo is less likely to charge than, say, a deer or an enraged ground squirrel, the visceral delight derived from gunning one down would be diminished. (If cornered, howev-
Way with words
By Theodore M. Bernstein
A current phrase that offends Miss Barbara Hall of Ann Arbor, Mich., is “where it’s at,” and she has every right to be offended. What purpose is served by the at? Wouldn’t "where it is” mean the same thing without the tautology produced by at?
And while we are on the subject of where, another usage that is frowned upon by authorities is the employing of where in place of thor to introduce a noun clause, as in, "I saw in the papers where the inflation may get worse.” That where is nowhere correct.
Word meaning opposites. Engineers are usually skillful people to have around, but they are not always skillful in the use of words. Alfred ll. Knouff of Sun City, Calif., cites the case of an en-
cr, a kangaroo will defend itself vigorously.)
The idea, then, is to offer the potential marsupial guest a finer time than was had by the fabled moose, which, after wandering in recently from Minnesota, grazed clear into East Central Iowa before falling before rifle fire.
Granted, the kangaroo-sanc-tuary proposal violates the ancient adage, “When in doubt, shoot,” but in the cause of humane treatment for harmless animals, marksmen ought to abstain. A bonus reward would be to avoid description in Time magazine and others as a state where rare beasts wander in at their direst peril.
gineer who submitted a manuscript for a test procedure to be used on a device called there “nomad’’ because it was classified “secret” at the time of the report.
Part of the report went like this:
‘ Replace all plugs and put the Nomad Freq Selector back in the test position after replacing any faulty nomads.” Curiously, the replace that begins that sentence means put ’em back, whereas the replacing used later on means don t put em back, get new ones.
Word oddities: Everyone has heard of virility, meaning masculinity, or manly vigor, but how many people have heard of the parallel word for women? Ifs muliebrity (pronounced myoo-lec-EBB-rittee) and it means womanliness or femininity. It comes from a Latin root, mulier, woman or wife.
Ne* York Times SyndicateIsn t it the truth?
Theodore M. Bernstein
The misuse of words can get a man into a lot of trouble. Look what happened to Gerald Ford some few months after he said. “I don’t want to be president.”
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold on platters of silver "
—Proverbs, XXV, ll
InterOceon Pre** SyndicatePeople’s forum
To the Editor:
How long will it last this time — the movement to fully investigate the Central Intelligence Agency, in light of recent findings concerning surveillance of up to 10,000 Americans? How long will it last before agents begin applying pressure and try to cover up their latest blunder?
On the trivial side, the CIA supposedly has jurisdiction outside the United States only. What is it doing keeping tabs on American citizens in America? (Oh, I forget that’s strictly confidential.)
Since its formation after World war II the CIA has repeatedly brought into question its role as an information-gathering agency. Instead, it has proven to be the greatest threat to democracy, with such activities as: the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Chilean intervention, Watergate, etc. The list of undemocratic offenses is endless, but has been cloak and daggeredly concealed from the American public that supports this organization with their taxes.
Perhaps the most infamous role of the
The Gazette s editorial page welcomes readers opinions, subject to these guidelines:
length limit: 400 words.
On* letter p*r writer every 30 days.
All may be condensed and edited without changing mooning.
Non* published anonymously.
Writer s telephone number (not printed) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate.
Contents deal more with issues and events than personalities.
CIA has been its involvement in the Kennedy assassination conspiracy. I’m talking here about John’s assassination, although secret agents might have helped rid the country of Bobby’s pinko-commie (?!) threat as well. Before his death, JPK was quoted as saying, “I’m going to break it (the CIA) into a thousand pieces and scatter it in the winds.”
Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t the assassin, but rather a scapegoat. He was a CIA agent, yet the agency denies ever hearing of him and one of the men who, without bias, investigated JFK’s death was none other than Allen Dulles, former head of the CIA whom Kennedy had fired earlier. (Dulles was a member of the Warren Commission, as was Gerald Ford.)
None of these allegations have ever been proven, but the evidence is too strong to ignore any longer. I plead with the American public to demand a complete, open, unhindered investigation of the Central Intelligence Agency, with drastic revision in mind once the truth does come out. We must demand this inquiry now, because if ifs not already too late, the truth is long in coming these days.
I hope a CIA agent doesn’t read this or else it might be the first and last letter I II ever write to The Gazette.
Dave Lear 2337 Ridge Trail NE
back on when disaster strikes. The reason they do not have reserves is that their ideology as preached by their rulers (and accepted by the citizens) forbids anyone to have more than his neighbor (although the rulers do not practice their preaches).
If someone should acquire something more than sustenance, the henchmen step in and take it away. Nothing can be kept to acquire a superior means of production and increase efficiency, therefore, there is no incentive to try to do more than just get by. But when a real shortage occurs, due to bad weather for example, those without reserves perish.
With this in mind I suggest we feed the world in the following manner. Explain to every dictatorial beggar crying for U.S. aid that he already has the resources to feed his people if he will just let them keep all that they produce and he can live on their charity instead of them being forced to live on his (and his connections in Washington). Those who cry concern, however, never show any for individual freedom. Consequently the proposal wouldn’t be considered. But when you’re hungry and Senator Clark says the reserves are gone, you might mention there was another route he could have taken. If his plan goes through he will have walked all over Iowa again.
Dale L. Netherton FairfaxFood giftsInsights
To the Editor:
Iowa's Sen. Dick Clark, siding with Senator McGovern and Senator Humphrey, has proposed the United States food giveaway program be increased by one million tons. At a time when U. S. reserves are dwindling, these global donators (of other people’s wealth) would have it depleted further.
A food reserve is necessary because drought and other agricultural problems can obviously happen in America. The reason people are starving in other countries is that they have no reserves to fall
Let no one unde*intimate the need of pity We live in a stony universe whove bord, brilliant forces tog* fiercely.
Shunned, pressured, ousted
Church tramples man’s rights
By Tom Tiede
CARLISLE, Pl. — Two years ago Robert Bear decided to exercise a couple of his constitutional guarantees — the freedoms of speech and religion — and he has been paying dearly since.
Then a member of the Reform Mennonite church. Bear spoke out against the sect’s cheeky assertion of singularity — “the one, true church” — whereupon he was damned by the elders for mental perversion, excommunicated for “spiritual adultery” and, for good measure, ordered to be thereafter "shunned” by the righteous, including his wife and six children
At first the convicted Bear felt mortally wounded, he wondered, "Why didn’t they just kill me?” Then his emotions turned to anger and perhaps even revenge; Bear sued the church, asking the courts to decide whether a religion has the right to ruin a man maritally and socially.
The case, though little known outside Pennsylvania, has become a classic church-state confrontation, and the judicial decisions, expected soon. may define some modern legal parame ters as to the power of religions to punish and influence free people.
not harm the pious, exercise a control near that of life and death.
In Bear’s case, the authority of the church may be more cruel than life and death. As he puts it: "Shunning has to be one of the most terrible punishments ever known to man.” Indeed, even in a time when such a directive cannot be totally effective, bec ause* only a minority in a community will obey something so silly, Bear has suffered mightily and unusually. Besides the humiliation of his ordeal, and the resulting expense of battling it in the courts, he has been denied all this time the strength and companionship of his family.
"My wife is a devout believer,” Bear says. So when church bishops told her she too would have to shun the sinner, she complied completely. * When I tried
ay coft Riblet, ,r Overcontrol
Certainly some modern parameters are needed. Church authority has undergone a decided change for moderation since the days when, say, popes were allow til to sentence heretics to death Yet power abuses continue. Many come from the smaller religious groups which. lacking the temperance often insisted on by wide public attention, wield absolute power over believers. The snake handlers of the South, as example; sect elders there, preaching that venom can-
to go to bed with her, in the early days, she said I was trying to rape her In the morning she'd get up before me and leave, not returning many times until long after I went to bed I was left to do everything myself: cook. wash, iron.”
Finally, with neither his wife nor children speaking to him, Bear moved to a trailer house at the far end of his 400-acre farm. Today, he’s back in the main home, only because his wife and children have packed off for town.
The "wife thing,” as Bear puts it, is the worst part of his punishment And he says the church not only counts on the
fact, but exploits it at every opportunity. "When I first decided to sue, the bishops told my wife to talk me out of it. That night she got into bed with me for the first time.”
She got right back out, however, when Bear refused to recant. "And that pretty well tells you the kind of people the bishops are. They would use my wife’s body, or anything else, for their own ends. And they say I’m the one who’s a deviant.”
Bear’s determination to expose such church activity is thus now absolute. He has neglected his farm to the extent of forfeiting some $75,000 in lost production, he has invaded family privacy in court and in a soon to bi* published book. But actually, ”1 had no choice. I know another man who was shunned for nine years and it broke him totally. I couldn’t stand by and have it happen to me without a fight. I have to prove I have rights as a man. I have to prove to my children I’m right. I have to prove only God can put my marriage asunder ”
Yet even if he wins in court. Bear may lose in fact. Obeying church orders, the farmer s wife has read nothing of his heroic struggle nor of the larger community’s support for it, thus any decision against the church will likely be conveyed to her by the church as further evidence of Bear's unworthiness; if she believes that, and so far she has believed everything of the church, Bob Bear’s incredibly mistreated family may never gel back together
Newtpuper fc titertime Attoc lotion
End each day with a little smile and they ll have the auditors in within a week
— Topefco Capitol
Old light falls on hokum in new book
By William Satire
WASHINGTON - Charles (Lucky) Luciano, king of the underworld in the ’30s and '40s, may now be enjoying the last laugh from tieyond the grave.
His “Last Testament”, supposedly dictated to a movie producer just before the gangster’s death in 19B2, is being published with a straight face by Little, Brown, has been chosen as the Book of the Month, and - for a while, at least -seemed to command a paperback resale of close to a million dollars.
Then Nicholas Gage, a reporter for the New York Times who often covers organized crime, blew the whistle, calling into question the validity of the book. The events recounted can be found in other published works, even to the extent of picking up other errors. No tapes or notes of Lucky Luciano have been produced as yet in support of the "Testament’s” authenticity; and there is the strange case of how Lucky got his nickname.
In the book, the writer, working from the notes of the movie producer who is supposed to have taken it all down from Luciano himself, relates an incident in 1929: The young mobster was “taken for a ride,” stabbed and beaten, but — fortunately — not murdered Hence the nickname Lucky.
But reporter Gage dug up the contemporary newspaper account of that beating, which began “Charles (Lucky) Luciano,” showing that the gangster had been known as Lucky before that incident. Does this mean that the "Last Testament” is spurious, a product of pastepot and clippings — or was Lucky himself telling that phony story or the origin of his nickname in the final years of his exile?
Perhaps I can be of some assistance. In 1954, as an army corporal assigned to the American Forces Network in Europe, I was covering some dull NATO maneuvers out of Naples and decided to try to record some interviews with local personalities.
My first target was Ingrid Bergman
and Roberto Rosselini, at the time a controversial couple trailblazing today's marital mores for celebrities. “The United States army is down in the lobby and wants to interview you” was an unorthodox approach that worked. Encouraged after getting them for an hour on tape, I looked up the other most-famous resident of Naples. Lucky Luciano.
That cautious, polite, swarthy gentleman did not want to speak into a microphone at first, but he was fascinated by the tape I had just finished making with Miss Bergman, a woman he worshipped from afar. Had they ever met? "()f course not,” the considerate racketeer replied. “She shouldn’t associate with me.”
In the lobby of the Albergo Vesuvio, with a federal narcotics agent quietly observing us from a corner, the gangster put on earphones and listened, enraptured, to Miss Berman describe her role in “Joan of Arc”. But when movie director Rosselini appeared on the tape. an expression of embittered outrage, and then of pure malevolence, crossed Luciano's face.
“Can you imagine," said the man who had been imprisoned for heading the prostitution racket in the United States. "any guy takm’ advantage of a woman like that?”
In the spirit of moral indignation, the man described by Thomas E. Dewey in “20 Against the Underworld” as "the greatest gangster in America’’ consented to a few mild questions with a recorder spinning.
Since the story of how he came by his nickname has fresh relevance now I dug up the old recording and refreshed my recollection. How did he get nicknamed Lucky?
Bein' that my right name was Luc-cania," he said matter-of-faetly, "it was cut short when I was a young boy, and made it Lucky’.”
But what about the famous story about the time in 1929 when he was taken for a ride, and miraculously escaped, and was called Lucky afterward?
"Not true Even after 20 years and on a scratchy recording, Lucky's resounding “not true" coim*s across as the irritated denial of a legendary figure who is not pleased with that part of his own legend
I must have looked disappointed. Curling a lip, he added. "All newspaper talk .’’ He hated (he press and delighted in shooting down whatever reporters liked to build up
Would this man, some years later, recounting his life to a biographer, change character and meekly accept the “newspaper talk" as the truth’’ Hardly; and the fact that reputable publishers have swallowed that concoction must be causing Luciano paroxysms in purgatory if not hilarity in hell.
New Yorfc I inlet Service
Hi! — er, I don’t suppose you ye had time yet to whip inflation, or anything