Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 9, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Saturday, March 9, 1974
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Testing highway air
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The people 's forum
ALTHOUGH new air quality standards of tho fedora I highway administration are viewed as threatening to hold up some of Iowa’s impending freeway work, there is no need to assume that this will interfere for long with urgent items in Iowa’s program.
The testing is not terribly elaborate or time-consuming. Under ordinary circumstances, a multi-lane highway with the traffic load it was designed for does not generate so much exhaust pollution that it rates as unacceptable. The further prospect of emission controls even stronger through requirements now pending will reduce the problem at its source still more a few years hence.
It is not unreasonable, therefore, to in\est whatever time, effort and cost it may take in the necessary studies of a given project’s likely impact on the air. The end result is much more apt to be a better project — better both for users and for other people near it — than to be no project at all.
Whichever agency of govern
ment is situated best to do this honestly, with competence, should get the needed funding in short order so that public benefits from needed work can follow too as soon as possible. Where local governments can play a part in this with local benefits in view, they should. Expediting the construction is to everyone's advantage
The main concern among state highway officials so far has centered on carbon monoxide levels under the federal guidelines. One spot in downtown Des Moines reportedly exceeded tin* acceptable limit 57 tunes during 1973’s last half. What happens in a high-rise, heavy-traffic concentration such as that, however, does not justify adverse assumptions as to what a fast-flow freeway through more common low-rise urban districts would produce.
Just to put air-quality conditions for highway construction in meaningful light, a test of how the air stands up to federal requirements right now at several locations along teeming First avenue would say a lot to residents of Cedar Rapids. It could be enlightening to find that out at once.
IF" IMAGE ADS from oil, utility and electric-appliance concerns seem more abundant than a year ago, your sensors are finely tuned. Members of the energy-distributing industry indeed are using countless radio and TV’ commercial spots for unprecedented horn-toot mg.
Johnny Cash’s video pitch for Standard Oil seems fairly typical. The homespun singer sits bundled in a cozy sweater, urging folks to drive slower and turn down the thermostats— all in the spirit of seeing the energy shortage through together.
Such sanctimony beckons for Ernie Kovacs to reincarnate just long enough to give John ('ash a pie in the face. It looks painfully hokey—doesn’t it?—to have a millionaire, exempt from the usual consumer woes, telling lower- and middle-class Americans how to combat the fuel shortage.
But we may as well get used to it. Lewis A. Engman, Federal Trade Commission chairman, says fuel firms that may have caused or benefited from the oil crisis are so stung by criticism that they feel compelled to portray themselves as “innocent cherubs, their quivers stuffed with the arrows of altruism.”
Oddly enough, such blandishments needn't be truthful to enjoy broadcast rights. That is Eng-man’s opinion, at least. Image (also known as ‘‘institutional” ads aired by energy concerns during
the fuel shortage are not commercials aimed at wooing customers, Engman said, so any FTC action against them could violate the companies’ freedom-of-speech rights under the First Amendment.
Will the FTC' thus grant energy interests the widest possible latitude in advertising? Given Uncle Sam’s recent rigidity in regulating commercial messages, Eng-man's hypothesis resounds with irony. Several years ago, federal agencies jumped all over a bakery corporation for claiming its product helps children grow 12 ways. Conceivably, an oil company now could maintain it helps America grow 12 ways and get away with it simply because no wares were being hawked at the time.
Though the FTC continues checking the truthfulness of energy industry image ads (at the request of six congressmen), the agency is expected to agree with Engman’s emphasis on FL"1 Amendment protection.
Consumers needn't be displeased, however, if the energy industry does get permission for unlimited image advertising. To have the heretofore secretive oil industry saying anything at all may prove highly instructive.
But the public may not be receptive to increased image-polishing bv energy distribution monopolies. The apparently needless expenditures (thus higher rates) make this a dubious practice.
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Who needs enemies?
Our ‘ally’ France
By Bruce Biossat
WASHINCiTON — Not just the fluted States, hut most of Western fur opt' has felt compelled for years to pretend that the French are allies In fact, they are no one s ally Their governments have consistently proved themselves to be among the most selfish, arrogant and narrowly nationalistic on the face of the globe.
Foreign Minister Michel Jobert’s exhibitionist solo at the recent conference here of top oil-consuming nations was typically obstructionist and noncooperative. There is no doubt he came for just that purpose.
Everyone knows French sympathy for the Arab cause in the 1973 Mideast war spared France oil shortages suffered by their “allies" in Europe, America and Japan. More recently. France has been cooking cozy deals with the Arabs and Iran. locking up future oil supplies, sometimes offering Arab lands arms in return
It may be little known but at the time of the 19B7 Mideast war. France reneged on signed, paid contracts with Israel for vital aircraft and four small missile boats. Israeli testing crews successfully made off with the half-finished boats, but the planes were never delivered
ll. S. officials at NATO conference describe French participants as consistently obstructionist and arrogant, as striking “leadership'’ postures unwarranted by their size and pathetic national strength
Long since, of course, France has pulled men and material out of NATO and flirted its headquarters to Brussels.
F rench behavior is both handicapping and hypocritical, inasmuch as they know their security is the U. S. nuclear umbrella.
We still make secret exchanges with the F'rench involving technical military data and materials. Yet here again, officials say the F'rench attitude is nasty and one-sided.
When you consider the panorama of France’s military-diplomatic life through most of the 20th century, the ironies hit von full force. In World war I,
when the nation s countryside and manpower were ravaged in the carnage of Verdun and stalemated trench warfare, we balled out the French
It was the same in World war II Despite the vaunted Maginot defense line and a huge ground army reputed the best in the world. France fell fast before Hitler’s racing Panzers.
Moreover. French intelligence at the critical moment of German assault was grossly thickheaded. The celebrated Allied spy, a German rebel named Rudolf Roessler working in Switzerland with a priceless tie to the Nazi high command, gave the F’rench precise details — time, place, size and identity of Nazi forces — on the 1940 attack.
France ignored the warning Roessler, later used by the Russians fur years, was correct. Hitler dashed successfully for the English channel in short weeks
Nothing should detract from the bravery of the guerilla Maquis or the Free F'rench who fought with retaliating I S. and British armies to clear France in 1941 But their sacrifices, and many others, might have been diminished had the initial French army response not been so dismal a failure, so ignorantly blind to available, accurate intelligence.
Later, of course, the French battled eight years of futility against Ho Chi Minh’s communist-led forces in Indochina. Some historians blame F'ranklin Roosevelt’s “fixation" over alleged prewar F'rench colonial ineptitude, arguing it hurt re-establishment of postwar French rule. However that may be, the F'rench fought a lousy war. then signed a jerry-built, improperly revered Geneva pact in 1954 and pulled out their forces with destabilizing haste.
The final irony was F'rench moralizing over Americans rn Vietnam, and the odd sustenance I S. anti war people got from phonily “seasoned" F'rench correspondents pretending to deep knowledge of Vietnam's realities.
Since their 19th-century glories, the F'rench have been selling the world false gold The market for it has run out.
Newspapef Entprprisp Assn
Elephants’ tribulation, donkeys’ delight
By Russell Baker
IIT ASMI NGTON - If you are a VV Republican politician, good form requires you to exhibit delirious happiness each time President Nixon says he will never quit
If you are a Democrat, naturally, you are expected to scowl shake a fist, predict imminent demise for the Republic and promise impeachment unless the President agrees to leave peaceably.
Publicly, Democrats and Republicans play these roles very much ax the country expects them to Privately, they do not
In our neighborhood live a Democ ratio congressman, and a Republican, and last week both of them dropped bv the house to watch the President’s news conference
It was obvious that Harold, the Democratic statesman, was delighted at having the President on television, for after the opening minutes he began telephoning his constituents back home — he is from the great plains — and telling them to get to their TV sets and watch the President.
On the other hand, Arthur, the Republican congressman, could scarcely be persuaded to look at the screen.
“Presidents, said Arthur, "are a very minor part of government Everybody should put them out of mind instead of sitting in front of TV screens gaping at them as if they really mattered.”
“Presidents are terrific.** cried Democratic Harold, “and this one,” he said, raising the volume of Nixon, “I positively adore.” He kissed the screen
At that moment the President declared that he would never quit, not even though his staying three more years in office should endanger the careers of many a Republican pol
“Are you all right, Arthur?” I asked my Republican friend whose color had abruptly turned plum gray
“It s nothing," lie said * I just realized that I’m over 5(1 and unemployment is headed toward ti percent ”
Harold the Democrat was on his knees clapping the TV set exultantly on the back “You tell em, Dick ” he was shouting Show ’em, Dick!” he was shouting “Show ’em how you (an hang in there Three more years'” he shouted, with tears of delirious happiness streaming down his cheeks “Three more years'"
"Three more years?” groaned Arthur “Surely not three more years, Mr President ”
I brought Arthur a poultice and some spirits of camphor and elevated his feet, the prescribed treatment for stricken Republicans For Democ rats I always bring some whisky and elevate the head
Harold was leaning from the opened window waving his scarf at startled passers-bv and joyously shouting, "Three more years' Three more years'”
Arthur became furious Slamming the window shut on Harold’s scarf, he said that Harold was a disgrace to the Democratic party.
St ow ling and shaking his fist, Arthur said the Republic was doomed unless Democrats did their unpleasant duty and went ahead with impeachment
"Nonsense,” said Handel “If Herbert Hoover hue! been impeac hed and ki< keel out in 1930, he* wouldn’t have had three more years — three more years' — in tin* White House Then who would we have had to run against him f<»r the next 20 years?”
Harold went to the telephone ane! s»*nt the President a wire applauding Ins determination never to quit Arthur, boing a Republican, still had faith in the mail Borrowing a pen, he hastily wrote* the President an anonymous letter full of curt and disagreeable advice
They walked together toward the mad
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Who decides when ifs o recession?
box "You re supposed to be deliriously happy Handel said to Arthur
"Ye*s," said Arthur, "and you’re supposed to be* thirsting for the* President s downfall
“I know,” sa lei Handel “Doesn’t anybody around here* understand this game*7”
Nt * York I im** *>#r vire
UCS cut opposed
To the* Fditeir
The citizens of Cedar Rapids Marion put the 1974 campaign of United Community Services over the top by ti per cent. However, iii spite* of this, UCS made substantial cuts in the budgets of the* Linn County Assn for Retarded Children and the* United Cerebral Palsy Assn
A few years ago, the Linn County Assn for Retarded Children voluntarily reduced its budget and professional staff when tax-supported agenc ies took over programs they formerly operated This left it an advocacy group dependent on a one-woman staff, scores of volunteers and full support from UCS. Now, along with other groups for the handicapped. its budget is being reduced
UCS supports (rightfully) the work of the He'd Cross even though tax-supportexl agencies are more and more involved in disaster relief It supports (rightfully) agencies such as Camp Fire and the* YMCA even though tax-supported agencies provide character-building and recreational opportunities and facilities Why are the handicapped told to look toward tax support fur all the*ir programs?
There is need for full community support of the handicapped because, when helping them, everything turns out to be a little more complicated than it appears To take just one example*: The city operates a summer playground program free of cost to all children including the handicapped. However, as there is only one location for the mentally retarded and that is at Seminole park, the “free” program costs parents $B0 in transportation.
As long as there are handicapped people in Linn county who are nut being served by the established agencies or whose needs are being met only at a great sacrifice of time, effort and funds bv their parents, there will be a need for a strong advocacy group willingly supported by volunteers.
The citizens’ panel reviewing the original budgets supported the programs as presented at budget rev iew hearings. I feel sure the majority of citizens who put the 1974 UFS campaign over the top also support these programs.
Lorraine Snider 2942 F'ranklin avenue NE
To the Editor:
It appears that once again witch-hunting for communists is blossoming in the U. S. On Feb 23 you ran a letter by Joann Briggman of Manchester As she told it. anti-Nixon senators apparently are communist-controlled, are trying to overthrow the government and also are connected to the economic strife in Great Britain.
Then she tried to involve a man who was shot down in cold blood for trv mg to get equal rights for all men through peaceful demonstrations. She spoke of evidence that Martin Luther King was a communist I try to keep up with the news. but I never heard anything about that.
What Ms Briggman failed to realize, I think, is that the reason these senators want to impeach Nixon is that the people they represent want it I try to think that they represent the people who voted them in, not their campaign contributors
Jeff Robinson Route I. Cedar Rapids
To the Editor.
In addition to pornographic literature and triple-X movies, there is something equally disgusting to guard our children against I’m speaking of the inhumane treatment of animals occurring in the m w pet store in Cedar Rapids in full view of everyone Alter a recent visit there, my daughter and I were actually ill
While looking at the aquariums of tropical fish. we came upon tanks where the bottoms were covered with dead fish Baby guinea pigs were crowded into containers and did riot seem to Ik* in full control of their movements The big shock came when we saw at least two dozen hamsters in one container with the live ones actually devouring the dead ones
While making our hasty exit, we paused long enough to look at the five or so puppies that are confined to ( ages and forced to walk on large-mesh wire which must certainly cause great pain to their feet
Are there no law-, to protect sin Ii animals’ ll not, there most assuredly should be
It McCoy IWM) Se* find avenue Marion
To the I ditor
I would like to point out what a won dc*rfuI drum and bugle corps Cedar
Rapids has Many families attended the corps award dinner Feb. 25 at the Armory
Afterward, the boys and girls played for us These kids have worked hard, and they are really great Since Mr. James Bishop took over as director in August. 1973, the corps has grown tremendously.
The Emerald Knights have been picked out of all corps in the state to represent Iowa at the Jaycees national convention in San Diego the third week of June. I think this is just wonderful, a great honor to the Emerald Knights and to Cedar Rapids
The corps has new uniforms and a lot of new instruments. They look great There will be a Tournament of Drums June 8 at Kingston stadium. People in and around Cedar Rapids should come out to the tournament and (beer their winners on The kids will love it
Mr and Mrs George Wilcox Hiawatha
To the Kditor
There seems to be a strong possibility that crude oil shortage is a planned shortage designed to get the prices up to where already excessive profits can tx* doubled or tripled The government seems to support this idea by refusing to roll back prices to a noninflationary level, thus in effect giving the oil companies their blessing and encouraging them to raise prices all they want to.
If there is an honest oil shortage, then the government and oil companies are both guilty of shortsightedness. If there* is not an honest oil shortage, the oil companies are guilty of robbing the people How can we fight inflation if the government refuses to hold down prices on the flimsy excuse that to do so would tend to discourage production?
This seems to be contrary to common sense. The higher the price the less production is necessary to earn the same amount of profit. To encourage price increases by refusing to roll them back and compelling the suppliers to hold the lint* would seem to be tin* most inflationary action the government could take.
According to press reports the nil companies had excessive, or windfall, profits for the last quarter of 1973 when gasoline was selling for two-thirds of what it sells for today. If this is true, how come all of the price increases for gasoline since Jan I7 It seems the oil companies must have more than just excessive profits or they won t play, and can’t (or won t) increase production. What kind of blackmail is this7
When price controls were finally put into effect (already a year late) raw agricultural products were excluded, leaving the door wide open for inflation to walk iii Sometimes a job that is half-done is worse than a job left undone. Now wage and price controls are considered unacceptable, taboo, and they may well be the only answer to inflation if they were used right and put on everything without discrimination and kept there.
As things are now it is bkt* Robin Hood in reverse, rob the poor to give to the nth
Harold L Matteson 885 West Tenth avenue Marion
To the F'.dltor
I am grateful to Gux Schrader for sharing “those foolish things” which remind him of Jane I never met Jane. but after reading this tribute I feel I know something atxmt her
(ins said it very eloquently for all of us who share such foolish little things with a loved one No wonder Jane didn’t mind carrying the typewriter
Thank you for printing this column Guess I ll have to start reading the sport pages. I don’t want to miss anything as good as this March 4 Red Peppers (olumn was
Virginia Walker 2824 Southland street SU
To I fie Editor
I .Im. I think the oneriiy mMs ls .... Nixon x fault I think ext rylMi.lv start,.,I a and also can stop it
We ARF trying to stop it. and I think we are doing bitter Let Nixon trv |„s
Laura Arusler * ‘Sn,,nth avenue SU