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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archives

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 5, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Itbr Ct ? cl ar i\n pieta (ItajC’H’C Editorial Page Saturday, January 5, 1974 Unrealistic speed limit ■' IV v .ll +*' 'tm \v v 4 * WTW** ‘Half-mast will be sufficient, Corporal!' I v People's forum NOW THAT PRESIDENT Nixon has signed the bill limiting the speed of all motor vehicles to 55 miles per hour during the energy crisis, there’s little the states can do but go along. Especially when the law provides for the withholding of federal approval and funds for proposed new highway projects in states that choose not to go along. But we wish senators and congressmen from midwestern, southern and western states had put up more of a fight for a Horn, p. h. limit in states where there is more area to cover and less traffic than in eastern and New England states. Each state has its own peculiarities, such as population density and road design, as Colonel Miller, chief of the Iowa highway patrol, pointed out recently. He feels that it might have been wiser to set speed limits on a state-by-state basis, or on a regional basis, taking area into consideration. Fifty-five miles per hour is not an unreasonable limit in heavily-trafficked eastern states, where it is not uncommon for highways to be so crowded that motorists must travel under 55 to get around. In fact, speed limits in some eastern states already are in this range. It follows that motorists in those states aren't experiencing as much change in driving habits at 55 as are those in larger-area states with daytime limits of 75 m.p.h. on interstate highways and 70 on primaries. We can bv thankful, however, that congress chose not to go along with the President’s request of several weeks ago that trucks should be permitted a limit five miles above that of passenger autos. By setting the same limit for all vehicles, congress averted the possibility of adding another traffic hazard to the maze of them we have already on our highways The 55 -m.p.h. limit does not foreclose the right of states to set lower limits if they choose. But through use of the blackjack method, congress has locked all states into the maximum limit. There seems little that can be done at this point other than to make the best of it. Snowmobiles: Let ’em rip OF ALL the fuel-squandering practices still with us, none seems more conspicuous than snowmobiling. Service stations are shutting down Sundays and holidays, auto drivers are girding for fuel rationing; yet snowmobiles still are whining about country scapes, scaring wildlife and occasionally spilling occupants. Naturally, more than a few snowmobile critics are asking that the infernal machines be outlawed, or that authorities close down designated snowmobile use areas. Several writers to the People’s Forum have noted the obvious fuel-saving a mothballing of snowmobiles would bring. On its face, a sensible notion. One wonders, though, whether a ban on snowmobiles would help appreciably in cushioning against the energy crunch. After all, some people look forward to snowmobiling as eagerly as their neighbors anticipate hunting, fishing, skiing and mushroom hunting. Their eccentricities should be tolerated, even when coupon-book rationing arrives. If a person decides to use a third, half or even all of his allotted fuel gallons for snowmobiling, no governmental edict should interfere. What belter way to maintain good spirits than by making sure the energy shortage doesn’t black out choice freedoms needlessly? For the record, then, the vote here is to let snowmobiling continue—not only in deference to hobbyists but for protection of the burgeoning industry dependent upon survival of the pastime. Besides, the snow-skimming contraptions are relatively thrifty in fuel use. According to the International Snowmobile Industry Assn. (whose pitch is admittedly partisan), snowmobiles used for both utilitarian and recreational purposes account for only one-twelfth of one percent of the nation’s annual gasoline consumption. That comes to 80.1 million gallons. Significantly, however, fuel consumed by towing snowmobiles to and from recreation sites gobbles up another 45.2 million gallons. Explicit in that statistic is an argument favoring the designation of local use areas. Not only do easily-accessible snowmobile trails preclude long-haul towing, they protect animals and birds whose habitats are not yet violated by the frightening screech of man’s motor-sleighs. Unwilling Then there was the fellow who wasn’t afraid of dying intestate because he always drove on two-lane roads. Hi SUN is 3™* Ail OME IMI , twirl SUH White House vs. CBS Spite-spirit flows two ways By William Sabre WASHINGTON - When tho White House was in power, one of the most mean-spirited and petty abuses it was fairly accused of perpetrating was “the freezeout” — a stern direction from on high to cut off some reporter or publication from all communication with White House aides, after a critical or unfair article or commentary appeared. The freezeout made life difficult for the reporter, but was rarely successful in intimidating a publication. Carried to the extent of slamming the White House door to a white-haired woman reporter cover - William Safire ing social events, the freezeout succeeded only in making the President look ridiculous. What happens when power shifts from the presidency to the press0 Consider the case of Alvin Snyder, a White House press aide. Formerly a Columbia Broadcasting System employe, Snyder has for the last five years been handling many of the technical television arrangements for the President, working with the networks on how many cameras cover a given event, where the outlets are, who stands against what color backdrop He also “books” administration figures on television panel shows A quiet competent, experienced professional. Grudge-cause Couple of months ago. amid the general leakage of White House memos, a two-year-old memo from Snyder surfaces! in which he recommended that the White House not make available to CBS a group of people to talk about the Nixon public relations operation — instead, to meet the CBS request by providing an interview with Herb Klein. Not exactly a scandalous memo, but one which evidently caused CBS news in Washington to take umbrage On Nov. 7, Snyder found it impossible to contact the CBS producer who was handling the network pool on the* President’s energy crisis speech: He was informed that the producer had been in st ructed by his boss at CBS never again to communicate with that particular press aide. On Dec. 5, Snyder tried to contact the CBS producer of the Ford swearing-in; he was rebuffed; the next day, when Snyder called again, the head of CBS news in Washington picked up the phone and said to Snyder’s secretary: “This is Bill Small. Please tell Mr. Snyder that CBS is not accepting his calls.” Bygones? Next day, Snyder wrote a conciliatory letter to Small, pointing out that “the effect of this blacklisting decision makes it harder for me to function here” concluding with1, “Let’s put aside any personal animosities that may exist. I hope you will agree after a little reflection.” The letter was sent back with "I don’t — Small" scrawled across the bottom. I^st week a CBS employe did take a call from Snyder, listened to his plea, then .said, "Look — I’m putting my job in jeopardy just bv talking to you. ” On its face, this "freezeout” by a news organization of a government official doing his job is outrageous. CBS has no more right to refuse to deal with any individual in the White House than the White House has to dictate to CBS which reporter it should assign to the White House (as John Ehrlichman once tried to do). But hold on — I know Bill Small to be one of the best television news executives in the business, and author of an excellent, serious work, published last year, "Political Power and the Press”. He is neither a power-nut nor a Nixon-hater — Ins didn’t sound like him. Reached by telephone, Small said wearily that there was no CBS policy to blacklist anybody, that he would deal with Snyder if he had to, that he might have been smart-alecky in writing that snide comment on what he assumed was a private communication. He didn’t recall telling his associates to freeze out Snyder One of the CBS producers then refused to deny that he had told the White House aide he was persona non grata at CBS, but let his memory go all foggy,“not recollecting specifically’’ anything, sounding for all the world like a loyal White House aide himself, saying as little as he could even if it made him appear dense The temptation here is to take the cheap shot — to denounce CBS for beginning its uwn ‘‘enemies list.” for doing to an individual in government exactly what Erie Sevareid would rightly condemn the government for doing to an individual anywhere. Out of hand A subtler point, however, is closer to the truth. Good men, in positions of authority, can get irritated and act thoughtlessly. Their attitudes can be intensified and magnified by subordinates, who want to please and get ahead. The resulting misapplication of power, when exposed, makes good men at the top appear to be petty tyrants — which they are most often not, or at least do not intend to be. So flow gently, sweet Afton: Among thy green braes is the tendency of power to corrupt by inadvertence or pique rather than venality. We must blaze back at the insolence of office — government or corporate — whenever it appears, intended or not. But it might help cool passions to recognize that what often seems like raw tyranny at the receiving end is merely a lapse of sensitivity at th** source. New York I 'ties Service When anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it. Rene Descartes im Isn t It the Truth? By Carl Riblet, p When our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, explained that it was his habit not to say anything because he then would not Im* called upon to repeat it, he must have anticipated tape recording ’’/ regret often that I have tfHtkeni never that I have been silent." —Ihibliu* SyruA, r JO IU lnt#rOceon Pre** Svndlrute Peaceful purposes presumed Idea: Lure UFOs to land on earth and get in touch By Roscoe Drummond 1X7ABBINGTON — Now that unifier) " * tified flying objects are widely and wisely accepted as real, the next step which must concern everybody — public and government alike — is how we on earth can begin to make contact There is no reason to be surprised that our planet should be under surveillance by intelligent extraterrestrial beings. Most astronomers now share the once heretical view of Dr. Harlow Shapley, former director of Harvard (Misery a tory, that there are at least IOO million inhabited planets in the universe This makes it reasonable to expect that intelligent beings — perhaps superin-telligent because many inhabited planets may be several billions years older than ours — should pay a visit to earth There could be three motives curiosity, migration or conquest. There is reason to doubt hostile intent. Maj Donald E. Keyhoe, who knows more about UFOs than anyone else in the United States, makes this point in his new and engrossing book, "Aliens From Space” (Doubleday): Roscoe Drummond "If the aliens had intended to attack or invade our world, they could have done so long ago. During the long surveillance (by UFOs), there have been well over .TOM UFO chases by U. S. fighter planes, including capture attempts. Yet the space beings have shown surprising restraint. From all the evidence, it seems clear their main purpose requires peaceful contacts and cooperation with humans.” The question now is how to bring about such cooperation. Sine*1 unfriendly contact by force has not worked, why not try peaceful contact by lure? the last chapter of his book. He ( alls it ‘‘Operation Lure”. The first attempt to attract aliens was made by the Canadian Defense Research Board when it established a lop-secret UFO landing field in 195k It failed, perhaps because there was nothing unusual about it to catch the attention of alien crews. But "Operation Lure", as worked out by Major Keyhoe and numerous specialists — linguists, psychologists, visual-aid and other experts — will be much more alluring than the Canadian experiment. It will bi; visibly nonaggressive There would Im* no attempt to capture aliens or UFOs. No aircraft or ground traffic would be allowed near the lure and all interceptor chases would be ended Us principal features as described in “Aliens From Space", would be these ‘‘The lure will have three or more dummy UFO*, disc-types with domes built of aluminum Each one will have glass panels to show that no one is hiding inside nearest humans will be stationed at hidden observation posts over a mile distant. “Near the dummy UFOs will be several ‘educational buildings’ contain ing a number of exhibits intended to interest UFO crews. 'lo emphasize that no humans are concealed, the roofs will be made of shatterproof glass, so interiors can be seen from the air Each building will have one glass wall to permit inspection on the ground Another View This is what Major Keyhoe proposes in “The base will be unmanned, and the The way things are in Washington, the Americans don ’t know what to believe " All the observer posts are to be below ground level, except for the camouflaged roofs below which will Im* high-powered movie cameras with telephoto lenses and coni calid telescopes ” Some might be understandably apprehensive as to what might happen if we make contact with Intelligent space beings or, indeed, with extraterrestrial beings from a society far more advanced than ours The astronomer, Dr J Allen Hynek, feels it would Im* a great adventure leading to tremendous benefits Other scientists hold similar views It is Major Keyhoe s conviction that the odds are against terrifying space beings and that most of the evidence so far does riot indicate any definite menace Obviously the problem of communication would be difficult But lf humans are not up to communicating with extraterrestrial iMUngs. it Is quite likely that tin* extraterrestrials, whose scientific achievements would be sn much greater than ours, can communicate with us I/ct’s try Loa AngrHr* limit ‘Unfair’ To the Editor { I think tile proposed method of gas ro Honing is discriminatory and needlessly expensive It would be much more equitable and less expensive if it handled by the auto registration office in each county or community Application with unto registration could be mailed In or taken down to receive gas coupons. Many families with only one car have two or three people with drivers’ licenses. They would receive two or three times the gas coupons tiiat a lone driver in a family would receive. Think about this and the unfairness of J Hay Mann Ml7 ll avenue NW Discriminatory To the Editor If and when the U S. begins to ration gas with coupons, only licensed drivers is years and over reportedly wiN be eligible to receive them The thing that irks me is that the 1H- and 17-year-olds who have a license can’t get’the coupons. This is discrimination I am 1H, and I have a license and a car I have to'pay for my driver’s license, plates and Insurance, and now* they’re going to withhold gas from me and thousands of other HH and 17-yesir-nldv Maybe we’re not of age yet, hilt we pay for our licenses just us others do. We expect gas too. J Schwitters 1793 Mallory street SW Snowmobile gas To the Editor. I agree with a letter in the People’s Forum Dec. 28 by Ed Hartmann. Not only did the Linn county conservation commission promote snowmobiling in Sqaaw ( reek Park but also there are snowmobile trails open ut Seminole Va Nev park and the Manhattan Robbins I ike area They talk about car pends and busing lo save on gas, then have gas used on a recreation like this When gas rationing comet, maybe the\ can park their snowmobiles somewhere and still use them. Ann Novak 824 Seventeenth street NE Osmonds To the Editor; Osmond fans here in the West read a wire-service article from Moscow, published in Tilt* Gazette Dec. 28. (quoting a Soviet publication's critical story about this American imp music group) The Osmonds were acknowledged by the Soviet paper with such pnruses as “living a pious life," and “capitalist kids, brought up in an austere spirit ” If being friends of the Osmonds is "maiming my soul," whut a way to go! Soviet teenagers should be so fortunate, not because of having these kinds of friends, but having a soul thut the "evil eye” can’t touch. When the Soviet newspaper acknowledged, though grudgingly, that the Osmonds’ parents raised their children properly, it gave good publicity to members of the Church of latter Day Saints, I had to make a new year's resolution to try to put one more Osmond concert on our family’s summer vacation schedule, which includes collecting Osmond souvenirs, posters, chums and jingles and spreading slot more “Os-love” throughout the U S A Becky Boysen 2185 Third avenue Marion Cutoff To the Editor I ve been a property owner 40 years, (Mild all taxes and paid for every drop of water consumed, yet neighbors huve my water shut off before the holy days, knowing thut a plumber will not come. I live in a garlow The stub-in is in my front property They notice a leak which does not deprive them of anything, yet take it upon themselves to act as Chris Hans (?) and have my service cut off I have other names for neighbors such us they I thank them one arid all Julia Hanna 244 Twentieth street NW ;