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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 25, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Mkt CftUir Editorial Page Wednesday, September 25, 1974 Bird-dogging crooks TAKING any bland except tough against the habitual (“professional”) criminals of America is like taking any stand except sweet for the fine old mothers of America. No politician has to lose much sleep considering which way to go. President Ford’s tough stand this week (before the International Association of Chiefs of Police) against chronic crooks accordingly was sure to score points. The action he proposed in line with this was to devise a program that would let police keep better track of these lawbreakers and interfere with their intents, wherever they go. Dandy thought. Who could oppose it? When it comes to the justice department’s implementing this approach, in cooperation with state and local jurisdictions, so that a “criminal impact program” will spot and keep an eye on professional criminals, something else is true too: It is easier said than done. And in whatever doing may develop, one of the touchier aspects necessarily will be the matter of identifying, classifying and correctly labeling “professionals.” How many arrests does it take to rate as a pro? More important, how many convictions? How many arrests and convictions for what? Over how long a period? With any possibility of ever getting off a target list0 In short, how hard, fast and sure can any bad-guy listing start out and stay through the years? The way a sure-fire, best-in-tended, fully-applaudable idea can run into trouble is by coming up against the practical, plain facts of life on how to draw a clean, fair line between bad people and good ones. Any scheme to “keep track of” the bad ones has to mesh with a much larger system — deeply cherished in America — of personal freedoms, privacy rights, justice for all, people over government instead of vice versa, the benefit of doubt for anyone accused until hard proof removes it. Treating those too loosely for the few can start to ruin them for all. The President has accurately sensed a need to fight the nation s rising crime, and his urge to go on the attack against the worst of crime’s practitioners deserves a loud cheer. But a better time for cheering will be when the doing can pay off without too dangerous a buffeting for what the doing is supposed to save. Milquetoast forum WHEN AN energetic Common Cause lobbyist comes to town and, assisted by local activists, presents a forum starring two feisty congressional hopefuls, those attending can rightfully expect a lively time. Surprisingly, though, the 95-minute show at Kennedy high school last Wednesday night was disappointingly bland. What do Democrat Michael Blouin and Republican Tom Riley think about furtive campaign funding, the justice department’s scrutiny of its White House boss, and a raft of other ripe-for-reform issues that the national citizens lobby is zeroing in on? Why, aside from a few minor differences in proposed cleamng-up tactics, the two Second district congressional candidates appeared as peas in a pod. That sameness having been established in the early going, it occurred to at least several of the 175 in attendance that the forum perhaps should be* thrown open to campaign issues, which, though not in Common Cause’s scope-sight, might liven up the evening. It was obvious that both Riley and Blouin could spare the time and that neither would be tongue-tied. Way with words Dissonant By Theodore M. Bernstein TWO FORTES Two different words that arc* spoiled the* same prompt questions from Millieent R Prince of Philadelphia. She wants to know whether torte, meaning one’s strong point, is only pronounced fort (answer: yes) and torte, meaning loud in music, is only pronounced fortay (answer: yes) or can both be pronounced to nay (answer: no). Two look alike words. A news agency dispatch, speaking of Mr. Nixon’s resignation, said that it “would preserve his retirement pension and the prerequisites to which a former President is entitled.” As Samuel B Folk of Upper Arlington, Ohio. points out, the word intended there was perquisites. Confusion of those two words is not an uncommon error Prerequisites refer to things that are required in advance; for example, a prerequisite for voting is registration Perquisites refers to benefits or rights to which a person or institution is entitled becuse of the status or posi- But no. The amiable moderator, Washington CC Lobbyist Mike Cole, stressed repeatedly that the forum was not billed as a debate. Rather, it was held to deal with Common Cause’s chosen issues for 1974. What’s more, Cole said, the candidates were requested to be prepared for questions relating to those subjects only. The wish here is not to scold Common Cause for its coast-to-coast series of candidate dialogs. Many of the invigorating breezes wafting through fetid Washington these days are generated by the citizens lobby. But in the forum’s Cedar Rapids installment, the organization’s spokesman should have permitted the good, old-fashioned set-to that obviously was brewing. (Suggestions to that end received strong applause.) If hogtied by organizational rules, the moderator could have adjourned the meeting for Common Cause purposes, then let the session continue informally. As it happened, the restricted format prevented those attending from discerning the differences between candidates. That was disappointing to those with few chances to hear the candidates in face-to-face debate. Hon that is hold. thus, a ponton is a perquisite of tho office of President The thing to keep rn mind is the prefix pre in prerequisites, which means beforehand Word oddities You might not think of the prefix pre having anything to do with prejudice, but it has The word comes from the Latin proe (a forefather of pre ), meaning before, and ludicium, judgment A prejudice is a judgment or opinion framed before the facts are known, and sometimes a judgment made in spite of the facts. Ne* York Tim** Syndicot* Insights A PHRASE frequently heard in recent days, even from many who opposed the pardoning of Richard Nixon, is that “The man has suffered enough. Why punish him further?” The reasoning, of course, is that being forced to resign in disgrace from the highest office in the land, and perhaps the most important in the world, is a crushing enough experience. To put the ousted President on trial like a common Don Oakley Envy is the littleness of soul. William Hailitt People s forum ‘We could use a zoo’ To the Editor: In response to a letter of Sept 21 stating that a zoo would be* of no value in the Cedar Rapids area, I must agree wholeheartedly that animal behavior patterns are altered in captivity. I must also agree* that using zoo animals to restock the wild would be an expensive operation I cannot agree, however, that zoos lack educational value Anyone who has seen a small child s face light up when he has seen his first giraffe cannot deny that the child has learned something Most zoos, in addition to providing animals for public viewing, also provide those same animals for academic studies. These studies yield information about the basic nature of the animals. The information gained can then be applied to preserving the animals in their natural habitats I know several people who were so impressed with zoo animals that they have given up the sport of hunting and support most if not all natural conservation issues. Subsequently, the educational nature and esthetic value of a zoo is an indirect but powerful means to the conservation of wild creatures This indirect conservation function of a zoo far outstrips the more direct fun* , tion of restocking the wild. However, many endangered species can be maintained in small numbers in zoos for the benefit of posterity. Tew* species tan be reintroduced into the wild if conditions allow A lot has been said about altered behavior patterns of animals in captivity, however, it is important to remember that these animals no longer have to concern themselves with predators and foraging for food It is only logical that their lives would be more sedate under such conditions It is also important to remember that such animals as lions are almost as adept at lying around in the wild as they are at lying around in zoo cages. Last, but hardly least, a consideration for homo sapiens. In this day of worldwide rat race, who can deny the local citizens a place to unwind? What better place to do this than at a zoo which provides education and entertainment as well as relaxation? Zoos are, after all, very nice places. Sam Drone barger 1422 Oakland road NE High-cost feed To the Editor: It would be great if Cedar Rapids could have all the things it wishes for But like personal and household budgets, needs must bi* evaluated against desires. With the whole country concerned with inflation, and with government requests that all belts be tightened, this is hardly the time to consider establishing a costly zoo in the city I quote from a report by the director of the zoo in Cincinnati which appeared in the Sept 20 Christian Science Monitor “Humans are not the only ones having a tough time making ends meet at the dinner table Zoo animals have been hard hit by recent hikes in food prices “The staff of the Cincinnati zoo has had to pull many old favorites off the dally menu. For instance, grapes are out They are too expensive, and many of the birds now get raisins. Lizards and salamanders are suffering from a $1 increase in the cost of thousand crickets, while dried flies have become an import item. “If the average housewife thinks prices are h'eh, she should see what we have to go through when we go to the Eat less? No, thanks foodstore. Food costs at the zoo have been rising $10,000 to $15,000 each year for the last five years and now have reached about $100,000 a year.” This should make us think Alma A. Turechek 1238 Robinwood Lane NE Generosity overrated By Jim Fiebig ONE DOES NOT earn the title of "expert” in any field without paying a price. And the price, often, is an uncommon lack of knowledge in other areas World finwl expert Lester Brown, for example, is a stranger to the psychology of the American family. In testimony lie-fore a house subcommittee, he said if President Ford asked all of us to eat less so more food would be available to hungry people overseas, we would voluntarily comply. Wrong The specter of “millions starving overseas” has been hovering over the U. S. dinner table for so many years that most Americans are no longer impressed by it When I was a child, for example, my mother used to coerce me into finishing my oatmeal by pleading that “millions of Chinese children would give anything for it ” After eating more oatmeal than was probably good for a growing boy, it o< - curred to me to ask if she could name just two of these starving millions. She could not. More recently, the big starvation news was thai something like “18 million American children wake up hungry every morning.” That upset me considerably more than the Chinese story. Then I realized that practically everyone in the country wakes up hungry in the morning — a condition that has led to the institution we call “breakfast " The U S taxpayer has given more assistance to more foreign countries and received less thanks for it than any citizen in history. It would take more than a presidential request to persuade him to also start donating part of his dinner General I nature* Corporation Jim Fiebig Teddy’s exit: crafty, perhaps, but wise By Tom Wicker unanswered questions about Chappa-quiddick in the most devastating fashion. After deciding to take himself out of the race — as persons close to Kennedy tell the story — he decided to defer an announcement of that decision until after the 1974 elections, on grounds that he would be more effective campaigning for other Democrats this fall if he appeared to he a potential President On recent political trips, however, Kennedy was taken aback to find that important and traditional Kennedy backers were supporting other candidates — for instance, in California. Walter Shorenstein was backing Henry Jackson. In that state, too. the Democratic nominee for governor. F.dmund Brown. jr.. declined to have Kennedy campaign for him. In Indiana, Kennedy encountered some insistent Chappa-quiddick picketers. These unpleasant developments apparently caused Kennedy to reverse himself: he came to think that he might NEW YORK — Edward Kennedy has done the wise and courageous thing in closing the door, about as conclusively as it was possible to do, on the possibility that he might run for President in 1978. .Skeptics will question whether the family reasons he stated were really controlling with him; hut the net effect of his announcement nevertheless comes down to two points of overriding importance. One is that other Democrats who may aspire to the 1978 nomination — Senators Henry Jackson. Walter Mondale and Lloyd Bentsen; Governors Reubin Askew, Dan Walker and John Gilligan. potential governors Hugh Carey and F.dmund Brown, jr.. — can now move out of Kennedy’s shadow and compete among themselves rather than against his dominance of their party. The other and more important consequence of Kennedy’s “Sherman” statement is that, whoever the Democrats nominate, he or she will be able to campaign against the record of the Nixon-Ford administration without the distracting necessity to defend against the inevitable charges Kennedy would have faced as a result of the Chappa-quiddick incident of 1969 In one stroke — and in refreshing contrast to Richard Nixon’s desperate efforts to cling to power and office — Kennedy made it possible for his party to nominate a relatively new face who will br free to carry the battle to Gerald Ford — the presumed Republican nominee — and to focus the campaign on the records of the incumbent President and his predecessor. lf Kennedy had persisted in running, and had been the Democratic nominee, it is safe to say that the focus of the 1976 campaign would have been, instead, on the Chappaquiddick incident. Kennedy chose to point to family considerations — which are real and compelling — and to dismiss the importance of Chappaquiddick in his decision. Nevertheless, he made that decision last summer, in the weeks not only of Richard Nixon's unraveling coverup but also following the appearance of an article by Robert Sherrill in the New York Times magazine which raised the manv Conscience no taskmaster That ‘suffered enough’ saw By Don Oakley criminal would be. as another phrase has it. like drawing and quartering the body after it has been hanged. This assumes, however, that any man who attains to the presidency must feel a deep and abiding — and humbling — sense of the awesome responsibilities and powers that office bestows on him. This sensibility, this humility, has never been evident in Richard M. Nixon. His involving the American presidency in the unsavory Watergate affair in the first place, whether before or after the fact, alone demonstrated his lack of respect for the office, for the law and for the people whose chief tribune he supposedly was. The continued absence of any admission of wrongdoing on his part only fortifies this harsh judgment. True, in his acceptance of his pardon, Mr. Nixon stated that “I can see clearly now that I was wrong in not acting more decisively and more forthrightly in dealing with Watergate.” But this can mean anything. Does it mean he was wrong in lying to the American people for two years? Or does it mean he was wrong in not destroying the tapes that revealed his complicity in the coverup? The answer is inescapable. Had it not been for the Watergate tapes, and the certainty of his impeachment and removal by congress. Richard M Nixon would still bt* President of the United States. The man has undoubtedly suffered, but not in the way most people understand by the word, and that is the suffering one knows when his own conscience convicts him. New*oao*r Enterprise Association be a mort* effective Democratic campaigner if he was NOT viewed as a prospective President. And although ho may have been candid in saying, in his announcement. that he still believed he could win the presidency, he nevertheless may also have recognized what a bitter and difficult campaign his presence in the race would have insured. A meeting on (’ape Cod last weekend with some of his closest advisers failed to shake Kennedy’s decision to take himself out of the race. Nor was it unknown to him that, following the Sherrill article, the Boston Globe, the Dis Angeles Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer Tom Wicker ..AND I'M The Democratic party symbol is a camel designed by a Democratic charter commission were conducting major investigations of the Chappaquiddick affair — and these could only be forerunners of other inquiries to come. Kennedy may therefore have been disingenuous in casting entirely in family terms his decision not to seek the presidency Certainly, he overstated the case considerably when he asserted that he had answered all questions about Chappaquiddick and had nothing really to fear on that issue, had he decided to run. The hard truth is, as can Ik* attested by almost any reporter who travels the country, that there is a huge reservoir of doubt and resentment about what Kennedy called “the tragedy” at Chappa-quiddiek, particularly among those who had given their allegiance to Spiro Agnew or Richard Nixon or both, and thos who had seen both Agnew and Nixo’u brought low for “coverups” rather like those of which they suspected Edward Kennedy. Kennedy did nothing to clear up such doubts; if anything, his decision not to run probably confirms many Americans in their suspicions about his behavior at Chappaquiddick. His announcement did clear up one of the major questions about 1976 politics, and so far in advance as to transform the outlook for that campaign. Now the question is not whether the voters will accept Edward Kennedy, but whether the Democrats can find a candidate to unite their party and make the case against the Nixon administration and its hand-picked successor. New York Tim** Service Isn't it the truth? By Carl Riblet, jr. This is the way things are in 1974: we have bumpers that crinkle, light bulbs that pop, appliances that fizzle, pills that deaden, food that starves and government that drives us nuts. Meantime, men and women continue to fight each other and then kiss and make up; which is to say that man’s inventions are largely a fraud, but ain’t nature grand? We are born crying, live complaining and die disappointed ” — Thomas Fuller |nt*rOc*oo Pres* Syndicate ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Cedar Rapids Gazette