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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa * T.T X '".-I*-.-' ®h*    fttifntU Editorial Page Tuesday, September 24, 1974 Banned in Boston S■ ■ «„y    5.', ^    ^ Kennedy    sit one out OTHER big-name politicians have announced in unequi-vocating English    that they wouldn’t run and couldn’t be-induced in any way to run — then turned around eventually and run just the same. But few have turned around such unequivocat-ing no-run oaths    as Senator Kennedy’s avowal    this week concerning the Democratic presidential nomination for 1976. “I will not accept the nomination. I will not accept a draft.” It was a “firm, final and unconditional” decision. “There is absolutely no circumstance or event that would alter this decision.” Give him credit for a tightly slammed door. Words as plain as those can only be meant. There is no way to recant them later as “inoperative” without creating so profound a credibility collapse that this itself would wreck the candidate. That was obviously that. The reasons behind it, on the other hand, leave a little more room for flexibility. Senator Kennedy put the emphasis on family commitments, manifestly a strong force in his decision as well as a valid one. Only in response to questions did he deal with an equally strong item of deterrence: the cloud on his electability (apart from getting nominated) cast by criticism and lingering doubt in regard to the Chappaquiddick incident and its still-unsettled aftermath. As long as overtones of coverup remain heavy there (as they do) and as long as much of the senator’s known behavior in the drowning tragedy raises questions as to fitness (as it does), any presidential bid by Edward Kennedy will encounter bad trouble. Asking for it would mean getting it. Considering his immediate family’s own needs and problems, the tragic record of two brothers’ quests for high office and the Chappaquiddick shadow, therefore, not to launch an all-out bid for the 1976 presidency was a wise decision. The wisest course for his supporters everywhere would be to let it stick. Idle fund interest rote Governor ray made the right move when he directed state fiscal experts to come up with ways Iowa subdivisions — municipalities, counties and school districts can earn more interest on their idle funds. If changes in the state law governing investment of idle funds are necessary, he wants to know so recommendations can be passed along to the 1975 legislature. The governor’s attention to this matter was attracted by a complaint lodged by Council Bluffs city officials who feel state subdivisions should be permitted to earn the going rate of interest. As it stands, they may receive only the maximum set by a state board composed of the state treasurer, state insurance commissioner and state banking superintendent. State Treasurer Baringer made a point when he said subdivisions may be overtaxing if they have idle funds in the amounts necessary to attract top interest rates. But there is no reason they shouldn't be permitted to get the highest rates possible, consistent with safe investment, on funds that are available. This concern over rates should serve as a reminder that Iowa has come a long way since the late Fifties and the Sixties. In those days — and for at least the first half of this century — banks were prohibited by law from paying interest on public funds possession, thanks to an bankers themselves through the legislature. in their act the pushed But when newspapers in the state began to focus attention on the fact that Iowa banks possessed as much as $50 million in interest-free state funds, the legislature went into action, thanks to some prodding by Governor Loveless. The law was changed to permit banks to pay 3 percent interest. In the mid-Sixties, State Treasurer Franzenburg forced another change in the law — one which permitted the state to invest in federal securities that were paying a higher interest rate than banks, which removed the 3 percent ceiling banks could pay and which set up the present state board. At first banks balked at paying more than 3 percent interest. But when Franzenburg pulled some state funds from banks for investment in higher-yielding federal securities, banks that wanted money to loan found they could pay more for it than 3 percent. Treasurer Baringer is right when he says those subdivisions with so much in idle funds on hand they can invest in long-term, high-interest securities are suspect of overtaxing. But this is no reason to prohibit them from getting the best rate they can on short-term investments. Not if we honestly believe in the free enterprise system. Sheppard case recalled No coverup tolerated By Don Oakley TMK SAM SHEPPARD case bobbed up again briefly the other day. The celebrated murder trial was obviously one of the things President Gerald Ford had in mind when he said that Richard Nixon could not obtain a fair trial anywhere in the United .Mates “under governing decisions of the supreme court Commentators immediately recalled how the Bay Village, Ohio, osteopath, sent to prison in 1954 for the murder of his wife, had won a new trial from the LL S. supreme court on the grounds that adverse publicity had hopelessly prejudiced the minds of prospective jurors against him. In the second trial, held in 1966, Dr Sam was found innocent No one is going to claim that the Sheppard story was one of journalism’s shining hours. Looking back, it is obvious that the man was tried and convicted in the local newspapers Yet it was a matter of something more than a handful of editors hoping to sell newspapers at the risk of a man s life or freedom. They were reacting to what they perceived to be* a gross injustice For days after the discovery of the murder, absolutely nothing was being done to attempt to solve it. Protected by his family, the prime suspect was not talking to police or anyone else It had all the aspects of a cover-up The newspapers demanded that Dr Sam bt' interrogated and confronted with a long list of puzzling questions about the circumstances of his wife’s death. Eventually, newspaper pressure forced Bay Village police to turn the investigation over to Cleveland detectives. The papers kep* up a steady drumbeat of publicity until Sheppard was indicted By the standards that have been erected in the last 20 years, the newspapers behaved irresponsibly. (No one has ever asked, of course, to what extent the publicity about the supreme court’s decision or the fact that Sheppard had already served IO years made it impossible for the state to find 12 unbiased jurors in 1964 ) Possibly in another 20 years it will be thought that the press behaved irre-sponsibly in the Watergate affair This seems unlikely, but should it happen, let it be remembered that in this case, too, the press was striking out at what it saw as a gross injustice being done to the people. Newspaper Enterprise Association Case in point: N.Y. Times Editorial uni-voice:‘unthinking, unfair’ By William F. W Buckley, jr. E refer to “the tion,” or “the other conglomerates, necessity; inevitably, Nixon administra-Pentagon,” or to for the sake of we administer in justice. for failure to discriminate. I think, for example, of our own frequent references to “the New York Times.” What isn t realized, thanks in part to such as myself who regularly refer to, most usually with a cultivated, and deserved. contempt for this or that position, “the New York Times.” is that like a political administration, there is only one official spokesman But there are several divisions of activity. Whereas the publisher of a major newspaper in fact exercises the technical power to replace the chief editorial writer, or the managing editor, or the Munday editor, in fact the tendency is for the separate divisions of a major newspaper to proceed with considerable independence of each other. This leaves the editor of the editorial page in a uniquely exposed position. Thus one can say . “The New York Times has come out for McGovern,” even though all that means is that the editorial page director, presumably with the acquiescence of the publisher, has committed himself to such an imbecility. I am not «»ggesting that it was so, but it could technically have been so that 90 percent of the people who work and write for the New York Times were for Mr. McGovern’s opponent, the mere mention of whose name these days distracts attention from any non-Nixon point one seeks to make. Insights No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there. F. Scott Fitzgerald Mine is that when you hear it said, “the New York Times” believes in such and such, one should comfort oneself with the knowledge that such and such is the opinion not of the massive journalistic staff of the Times, but that of a pampered princeling, sheltered from sun and air, whose whims and crotchets are smilingly, though sometimes unsmilingly, countenanced by the sovereign who finds life easier accommodating to, rather than suppressing, the raucous eccentricities of the overgrown young mahster. The coordination between management and editorial policy, in so mammoth an enterprise as the New York Times, is obviously neglected, and quite necessarily so. Take for instance the following. “The New York Times believes in wage and price controls.” But the management of the New York Times — people who do the things the public is seldom privy to — proceeds happily to do things it would hardly be able to do if the government of the United States took the advice of its editorial writers. The Times, which asked for wage and price controls, a week or so ago increased its own price by 3.3 percent. There was no invitation to presidential jawboning to persuade the Times not to do so. The Times, which loathes monopoly. basks in the near monopoly situation People 's forum Limit focus on amnesty To the Editor; As I have followed the Vietnam amnesty debate these last few weeks, I admit to being puzzled by arguments put forth by people representing both extremes of the question. Those opposed to any kind of amasty invariably seek to remind us that there were. indeed, men who were killed in their country’s service. The value of the sacrifice made by those young men (whether the cause itself was right or wrong) should not be forgotten or downplayed. The nature of the it has enjoyed in New York ever since the death of the Herald Tribune. The Times, which calls editorially for restraint in prices increases, has now twice in a row given the most exaggerated increases to its unions, while reserving the right to criticize “inflationary” increases given by other enterprises. The Times, deploring the money-grubbing profits of other industrial enterprises, has ranked sixth rn earnings growth per share among the entire Fortune 500 over the past decade and has increased the price of its principal product — the daily newspaper — by IO percent since 1970 and by 56 percent in the post-war period Indeed, the New York Times corporation owns ll southern newspapers which showed pre-tax profit margins averaging 26 6 percent in the first half of William F. Buckley, jr. this year. That, as Allen Reynolds of National Review has pointed out, is several times larger than the    current profit margins of either the oil or the automobile industries. The entire New York Times conglomerate earned a 14 percent return on equity last year — well above the return of such favorite media targets as ITT. U.S. Steel, or Occidental Petroleum. Leaving us with    what useful thought? Animadversions on the New York Times necessarily blur useful distinctions. Newspapers,    like political administrations, speak officially with one voice. But many men and women are spoken for, and it is unfair, and thoughtless. to impute to them all responsibility for the contradictions, the rhetoric, indeed the apparent hypocrisy of corporate practices that are out of harmony with editorial pronouncements. In the same issue    in which the Times announced its price boost, the editorial writers challenged the “toothless shrunken” Council on Wage and Price Stability. Here we have a monolithic conglomerate literally begging for a price rollback. If the new jawboning council does nothing else (which would In* a good idea), it should at least accommodate this one request. Wessington Star Syndicate crimes of draft evaders and deserters, however, is not changed by the death of only one or as many as one million men Their decision, hence their crime and the terms of their restitution, must be considered independently from the events of the war they chose to avoid. An equally cloudy line of thought contends that amnesty is being offered prematurely since there are still men listed as missing in action, or still disabled veterans needing care, or still veterans with inadequate educational benefits or without jobs. The implication is that somehow we cannot resolve any of these problems while simultaneously offering conditional amnesty. This is. at best, a deluding argument. At the same time, those demanding no conditions for amnesty are guilty of confusing moral and civil law. Unless civil laws, in this case, are changed retroactively, the relative moral merits of draft evading and deserting are irrelevant. Advocates of civil disobedience Cracking the Nixon health case Only the ultimate mastermind could have pulled it off By Russell Baker HE is a big blond guy who looks like he might have played some football in college and he is sitting there in the office when I get back from being beaten up in the case of the Dissonant Tango. “They tell me you’re an outmoded old private eye with a battered heap and too much integrity, he says. “Get to the point.” say I He says his name is Ford and he is President of the United States. “Sure,” say I. “and my name is Sam Spade and I'm the cracker of The Maltese Falcon Case.” He believes me. “Actually,” I tell him, “my name is Philip Marlow and I’m the cracker of the Lady in the Lake Job." He believes that, too. I decide maybe he really is Ford Pretty soon I am tooling my heap up to San Clemente to solve the Nixon Health Mystery. A guy wearing a business suit and an affidavit face stops me at the gate. A heater bulging on his hip makes hun a Secret Service agent, so I say, “How’s the boss feeling these days?” “Who wants to know, Shamu> he asks. I tell him I cannot reveal my client’s identity but he's a man in position to transfer Secret Service agents from California to the Bozeman, Mont., field office, and park my heap in a dump of oleander bushes to give the author time bi cook up some plot action Pretty soon out comes this brighteyed jasper who says his name is Bobo “Don’t tell anybody where these came from.” he says, slipping me a sheaf of medical charts which look almost as bad as the Dow Jones trend for the last six months Back in L. A., I put the Be be documents in a bus station locker when suddenly the phone rings “This is Eddie Cox speaking, Spade or Marlowe, or whoever you are,’ he said “Don’t believe those medical charts, understand?” “You mean the big guy is really in the pink, Eddie?” I asked “He’s worse than the charts indicate,” says the voice “Much, much worse. Get me?" the phone clicked dead I drove home. He was on the bathroom floor. I rolled him over and didn t recognize him, but I realized he was as sick as a man can be A note stuffed in his lapel buttonhole said, “lf you think this man is sick, you ought to see Nixon.” Somebody was playing rough I throw some water on my face, get in the heap, drive to london and park in a clump of palm trees outside the American embassy. Three hours later Ambassador Walter Annenberg comes out “There s a sick man on my bathroom floor and I want to know who put him there,” I tell Annenberg Annenberg says it can’t Im* Nixon “I just talked to him on the phone His voice was firm and he seemed completely normal to me,” says His Excellency I am sitting in a New York restaurant trying to figure it out over ST 50 worth of hamburger and beer lf the big fellow is as sick as Eddie says he is, which is twice as sick as Bebe’s charts say he is, why does Annenberg say he's got a firm voice? I am .suddenly joined by a big man with rich eyes He s(w*aks in an aerosol hiss “You don’t know me, Spade, or Marlowe, or whoever you are, but Bonailie is Abplanalp I'm just going to tell you one thing Annenberg doesn’t know what he’s talking about " He is gone I drive all night and wind up sitting in the heap in a clump of bayberry bushes outside the Washington home of Dr. Walter Tkach I grab him on the way to the infirmary “How is it if we've never had a President in better health he’s too sick to say how he feels . s not “How’s President Nixon > sawbones?” I ask health, “We have better health,’ never had says he a President in “Then why do Be be, Eddie and Abplanalp tell me he’s lower than the Dow Jones'' ” “ I hey Tkach. re perfectly right," says “Simple.” says 1*ach “He President any more.” I am sitting in the‘Oval office telling Ford I have cracked the case “This mystery is so complex," I tell him. “that it can never be solved There is only one man alive who could have masterminded a mystery as inpenetrable as this ” “Professor Moriarity?” asks Ford “Richard Nixon.” I tell him. “And he would have to be in good health to do it?” Ford asks “That depends on how you define good health," I say He believes me Nm York Tim** Service Sticky Politicians wouldn’t be so cocky if they only realized that today’s President is tomorrow* 10-eent stamp Son F cornuto Chronic!# from Thoreau on have expressed the opinion that upholders of moral law should be willing to acce . civil punishment. thereby calling a tention to the unjust laws and, hopemlly, bringing about the desired change. As I see it, the on Iv.issues we need to address are: (I) the merit of forever withholding forgiveness to those who have made a civil mistake, and (2) the effect upon the nation, both psychological and physical, of a conditional amnesty program G Mark Bailey 901 S. Eleven1*! street, Marion Parking violations To the Editor: I am certainly pleased that the city council has voted in favor of the new West side shopping center I cannot see how any of the downtown merchants can bt* surprised. After having received another citation for overtime parking, I am convinced the downtown business association must have more important objectives than drawing customers Why are there 24-minute meters, or even one-hour lines'' If one has driven all the way downtown, it would seem the purpose would take longer than this. It certainly does not encourage buying, let alone any “shopping” when one has to worry about a meter running out Surely the stores such as Sears or Younkers, not home-based in Cedar Rapids, knew what they were doing in locating at Lindale Plaza I will be happy bi patronize the new shopping center even if it means driving from the east side to the west, and will continue to enjoy shopping at Lindale Mrs Hardin Abrams 25.35 Tanager drive NE LETTERS the Gazette s editorial page welcomes readers opinions, subject to these guidelines length limit 400 wwdt On* letter par writer avers JO ^ayt All may ba condor,rad rind ad,tad without cSony,ny mooning Nona pub! i J hod ononymoutly Writer v tai**phono number (not printed) ihoufd follow noma, addr an cmd readable handwritten tiynatura lo help authanhcata ( irritant* deal more with utoet and event* than par tonalitiet No poetry ;

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