Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 30, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDQI HERALD Tiwtday, April 30, 1974 EDITORIALS A bit of preaching NDP leader David Lewis over the weekend indulged in a bit of preaching to his followers. He exhorted highly paid workers to take a "rest" from wage increases this year in order to permit the inadequately paid to catch up a bit; and he excoriated union members generally for not giving enough attention to raising the standards of the unorganized and the poor. Mr. Lewis is enough of a realist to know that the likelihood of mass conversion occurring, as a result of his preaching, is remote. It is true that a different voice is now pleading for a suppression of self-interest but the reception given to a previous call for restraint in wage demands doesn't provide much encouragement for thinking a new day is about to dawn. Despite the rather poor prospects of the preaching producing immediate results it is a good and necessary exercise for a politician. Somehow it has to be brought home to people in the affluent industrialized nations that a levelling off in acquisition and consequent consumption has to come about. If enough voices are raised on this point it may begin to sink into consciousness and to prick consciences so that change can take place. Regrettably, Mr. Lewis did not look beyond the Canadian scene in appealing for greater consideration of the needy. But perhaps if he can stir some feeling for the brother close at hand then concern for the distant brother will follow. The problem is that the plight of the poor in many places in the world is so desperate that their aid cannot wait for a slowly developing awareness. Only action by governments, taken far in advance of the general state of enlightenment, can avert disaster. The message from Denmark Last December in national elections the voters in Denmark splintered their political system into 10 parties. The Liberal party of the present prime minister now has only 22 seats in a 179- member Parliament and needs the support of three other parties in order to govern. The hero of that election was a newcomer to the political scene, a millionaire whose right-wing party swept up 28 seats in the legislature. He promised during his campaign to eliminate income taxes and once remarked that he would abolish the defence department and substitute a recorded telephone message saying, "We surrender" in Russian. Denmark has not sunk beneath the North Sea since then. The government is still muddling through, but it lacks any strong base for definite action. One of the problems is the fact that income taxes are the chief source of government revenue and while there is general grumbling about them, surveys have also shown that Danes want to keep those programs which are the most expensive. In an interview, the prime minister remarked astutely that in the early, glorious-days of socialism the rich could pay for it but that now "we all have to pay for it ourselves." This might be termed the revelation of the year. Four months after the election the country seems to be just where it was beforehand the problems are the same but the solutions are harder to impose. This, in itself, is worth noting. But the main message that comes out of Denmark is a clear one and it concerns the dangers of protest voting. Such action may bring a certain amount of personal satisfaction but it is too expensive a luxury for a democratic society. Responsible voting is as much a necessity in times of economic stress as responsible leadership and this is something for Canadians to keep in mind. ERIC NICOL The spring break VANCOUVER My children have been home from school for a week on what is called The Spring Break. It has been a success. I'm broken. This holiday is what the teachers call a working break. While the kids are working the parents over at home, the teachers federation holds its annual meeting to find new ways of working the parents over as taxpayers. The teachers are rapidly revamping schooling to match their own concept of education. New Math, for instance, revolves around the ratio of teacher to students. There is the Improper Ratio (l-to-30) and the Proper Ratio As every schoolboy knows, nothing goes into an Improper Ratio, except lunch. With a Proper Ratio, however, it is possible to divide and (more important) conquer. The Proper Ratio produces a number of students too small to gangbang the teacher yet large enough to carry the film projector. The new Spelling also reflects teacher- oriented goals of instruction. My daughter brought home a spelling list made up of the following words: SCAB RAT FINK SKUNK LOUSE WEASEL SCHOOL BOARD DADDY The teacher told my- daughter that she didn't care how many of the words she misspelled so long as she got the wrong ones right. The New English is another touchy subject. After reading over an essay one of my children had written as an English project, I mentioned the word grammar. The kid blabbed to the teacher, and I received a terse note by mail from the school, signed by the teacher and counter-signed by the counsellor, advising me to wash my mouth out with soap. My mistake was in assuming that the New English is concerned with writing and speaking. I have since learned that writing and speaking are outmoded methods of communication, and that today's high school graduate is equipped to express himself by means of film, TV video tape, bongo drum, sign language, or (optional) smoke signals. The Spring Break gives the students a chance to relax not only from the New English, which can be a strain on the guitar, but also from the new PE. The New PE emphasizes running, or more specifically running away from school. The student is instructed to choose a spot four or five miles from the school, then run there and wait long enough for the PE teacher to take the volleyball team to Japan, before returning to the nearest McDonald's. Athletics are the means by which today's student distinguishes essential training from non-essential. That is, if his instructor is called a he knows that the subject is non-competitive and need not be taken seriously. If however the instructor is called a "coach" what the student is learning is fundamental, and his attendance is required unless a large finger appears in the sky and writes "Excuse Kowalski." When he's the coach, you don't say goodbye to Mr. Chips till he's damn good and ready to have you turn in your athletic support. This is the kind of new emphasis that emerges from the educational solstice called The Spring Break. From which I should be fully recovered in time for The Summer Break. The trophy room Mitchell acquittal significant By William Safire, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON When Whitney North Seymour Jr., then United States attorney for the Southern district of New York, called a press conference to announce the indictments of John Mitchell and Maurice Stans, he heaved a sigh for the cameras and bemoaned a "sad day for jus- tice." It was. Seymour was playing up the irony of a former head of the justice department being indicted, but the genuine sadness to that day was in the way a weak indictment based on dubious evidence was used to try to catch a couple of big fish in the reign-of-terror atmosphere of Watergate. The acquittal of the two former cabinet members on every one of the counts brought against them is significant for these reasons: 1. People are going to come to understand that not every charge brought against an individual by a Grand Jury is true. The verdict will come as a shock to those who all too readily assume guilt when a prosecutor points a finger. 2. In a televised Senate hearing, or in a Grand Jury session, when only one side is presented and no cross- examination is permitted, it is easy to "convict" the man in the hot seat; in a court of law; especially outside the publicity-saturated District of Columbia, a jury can reach a decision protected from a climate of hatred and fear. 3. This is the first legal event since James McCord began to testify, it seems a thousand years ago, which came out on the plus side for the Nixon men. After an unbroken string of indictments, guilty pleas, convictions and sentencings, at last the words "not guilty" were unabashedly pronounced, by a young jury forewoman whose wisdom and beauty comes across to a few beleagered men as the reincarnation of the goddess Athena. One swallow doesn't make a summer, but it beats the constant sound of distressed gulping. 4. Chief accuser John Dean 3rd was not believed. Dean is reverently believed by the newsmagazines, by the majority of the television audience, and by the special prosecutor, but when the chips were down he did not deliver the jury obviously decided he was not telling the truth. The verdict in this case does not supply the White House with a pail of whitewash to splatter all over every Watergate episode, but neither can the impeachment brigade dismiss it as a fluke or a non-Jaworski production. When the House meets to consider the indictment of the president, it cannot shut its eyes to a jury's absolute rejection of an indictment of two cabinet members. As Mitchell defence counsel Peter Fleming asked the jury in his summation, with no concern for grammar but with a sure grasp of the central issue, "who do you believe? John Dean or John An American jury, located a decent distance away from the hotbed of hatred that the nation's capital has become, has answered that question with stunning finality. The next question is equally clear-cut. On the basis of the charges we have been hearing for more than a year, and on the examination of the evidence to be supplied this week in all its agonized tardiness, whom do you believe John Dean or Richard Nixon? THE CASSEROLE One can't help wondering why Ottawa is so worked up over another football league in Canada, while totally ignoring a U.S. take- over of lacrosse, especially when football is an American game and lacrosse is supposed to be Canada's national sport. interpret it in quite another way." Tremble, ye justices! The Supreme Court ruled recently that the Canadian government does indeed have the constitutional right to decide that both English and French can be official languages. Commenting on the ruling, a spokesman for the Dominion of Canada Party said this is "totally because "we In a recent study down Rhode Island way, a group of Narragansett fishermen answered the question, "What is the worst thing that could happen to by listing first their own death or injury, next the loss of their boats, and only in third place the loss of their wives. The passing of the Age of Chivalry may account for these chaps putting themselves first, but how about those boats coming in second! LETTERS UofL education highly regarded on national scene In his emotional outburst in the letter prominently displayed in The Herald, April 26, referring to Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky, Edward R. Lilley hurls some gratuitous barbs at the University of Lethbridge to which I feel motivated to react. Lilley begins with an exposition of his own academic credentials, to which I shall reply in kind. I also am a physical scientist but with more advanced and substantial credentials than he, from a much more prestigious institution. All of which of course is irrelevant either to Velikovsky's version of ancient history or to the purposes of this university in granting him an honorary degree. Although my response to Lilley will centre upon his derogatory comments on the university, in passing I recommend that he explore his interest in Velikovsky's theory either at the Canada Council sponsored Lethbridge conference on May 9 and 10 which focuses upon its historical and psychological foundations, or at the McMaster conference at Hamilton in June where physicists and astronomers will discuss its scientific implications. This word of warning both occasions the. intellectual combat will be intense and Lilley obviously has much homework to do before being able to participate effectively. Lilley seems to doubt the value of the education represented by the degrees awarded by the University of Lethbridge. I shall excuse him on the charitable grounds that he may be unfamiliar with the University and its graduates. The fact is that those degrees have come now to be highly regarded in the national university scene, as well as the university's whole approach to undergraduate instruction. They are also valued by their possessors, including many graduates who have proceeded to post- graduate and professional studies elsewhere. The university knew from the beginning that its instructional program would have to be fully competitive with the excellent standards set by Alberta universities, far above those of many impoverished state systems with which Lilley may be familiar. This insistence upon quality has been costly, prompting criticism from those, surprisingly including even local persons, who presumably would have settled for a third rate university at Lethbridge. Over the pages of The Herald there runs a continual account of subsequent achievements of graduates and accomplishments of faculty in scholarship of national and international calibre. Despite this palpable success, I suppose that there must always be those who wouldn't concede the merits of the local university no matter what the case, and others are unilaterally wedded to the notion the bigger the better. Lilley condemns the university for awarding Velikovsky an honorary degree. Again he demonstrates unfamiliarity with the institution. The Senate has performed incredibly well in bestowing honorary doctorates upon those whose lives and careers epitomize the qualities enunciated in the institutional statement of philosophy. In fact, that is precisely the criterion employed. The university states that "its primary aims are to foster the spirit of free inquiry and the critical interpretation of ideas." It welcomes "exposures to cosmopolitan influences and diverse cultures." And it "asserts its right and responsibility for free expression and communication of ideas." Those of us who have studied the scholarly genesis and the controversial reception of Velikovsky's reconstruction of ancient history can hardly imagine a more appropriate candidate. Or would Mr. Lilley prefer such as Bob and Dolores. Hope, Maurice Stans, Mamie Eisenhower and Danny Kaye, Letters Family life program Bob Pisko (letter, April 28) should avoid the use of labels such as "radical right." The term would be warranted only if it could be shown that his advocacy of the Edmonton "sex instruction" program is rightly regarded as the norm. But that is precisely the ques- tion at issue. I contend that it is not, being decidedly unorthodox in relation to the gospel, the teachings of the Popes, Vatican II, the present Magisterium, and, I might add, the natural rights of parents. Now Mr. Pisko may, for all I know, regard the authority of the church as unenlightened. He is, of course, entitled to hold any view he pleases. He may regard Humanae Vitae as "unyielding" and "narrow" (as do some or traditional Catholic teaching on chastity and purity as too rigorous, and therefore from his standpoint, "right-wing." What he is not entitled to do is to speak as a Catholic against a Catholic on this and related matters unless he makes perfectly clear his own position vis-a-vis the teaching of the church. In relation to the status quo of decadent modern society in which sex is degraded by greedy hucksters and the classical symptoms of Sodom and Gomorrah and pagan Rome are all around us, the teachings of the church on love and chastity and purity are as radical as they can be; they are the true "left" opposed to the sexploitation which is the truly dirty view of sex. And I seem to recall an authoritative voice proclaiming: "If your right hand scandalizes you, cut it off. This brings us back to the courses. How orthodox are they? The documents I have in my possession make it clear that the Edmonton program is contrary to the Magisterium, an abrogation of parents' rights and out of harmony with traditional Christian morality. Three points must suffice: (1) they include advice and information on contraception; (2) They present in encyclopaedic detail the whole gamut of sexual abuse and perversion; (3) They do not meet the guidelines for sex and marriage education laid down by the Popes, Vatican II and by the stress which the church has always laid on parental rights which are primary. The proper place for such instruction is the home. If the home does not do the job, the school may assist, but only in consultation with parents and under quite strict conditions, the details of which are set out in documents I have and not fulfilled or even approximated to by the "family life" programs which have swept North America. Even many public school parents have objected in Edmonton and other places and rightly so, for they recognize that "experts" should not impose, as they do, courses which have their origin in the campaign of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States an organization devoted to so-called sexual "liberation" with all that implies in the way of permissiveness and "new" morality (the old A film, (on the junior-high course at Edmonton) which shows the seduction of a virgin by an older boy is not, in the view of most decent people, suitable material for 12- and 13-year old children. Apart from anything else, it is rather stupid pedagogy. 1 do not, of course, expect non-Catholics to share all my Catholic views, but I am sure that many Christians, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Unitarians, Hutterites, and others, would agree with me that they want their children to learn that love is sacrificial, sincere, and faithful to one person, and to avoid an atmosphere in which the lowest common denominator (by reflection of a decaying society) determines what our children are exposed to in classrooms. Like many other Catholic parents I want my children to learn about God's gift of sexual love through the wise and beautiful teachings of Christ and His church. In that direction lies the self-respect (and respect for others) which Mr. Pisko quite rightly stresses as a fundamental aim. It is uncompromising on objective principles, but compassionate of persons... Lethbridge PETER HUNT Appreciates article I would like to thank The Herald for printing Mrs. Norma Shologan's article, Freedom to be a woman, April 16. It expresses exactly what some of us feel, but cannot set forth as well as she has. I agree with her that improvement is necessary in some areas, and some laws regarding women's rights should be changed or repealed, but the "right" to be and stay women in the true sense of the word, must not change. A. HUBERT Coaldale Communication problem all recent honorary doctoratij south of the border. Obviously the University of Lethbridge prefers to bestow its honors upon individuals such as Sissons, Cousins, Palmer, Swift, Mowat, and Adaskin, to name but a few. One last deplore the scurrilous attack Lilley directs against the members of the department of physics. Only a couple of weeks ago it was announced once again in The Herald that graduates majoring in that department have won awards for postgraduate studies, this time two premier National Council Research Fellowships for advanced study in physics at Queen's University. OWEN G. HOLMES Vice-president UofL The April 24 item relative to the Cardston-New Glasgow issue prompts me to make comments which might place the topic in some perspective. Many knowledgeable Canadians consider New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, as "the racist capitol of Canada." Sensitivities and feelings' there among Blacks and Whites are very close to the surface. Modern Canada's most famous trial (the Viola Desmond case) centred in New Glasgow, for example. Blacks of Nova Scotia are jus- tifiably quick to react to any alleged discrimination or prejudice. Those Canadians, some of whom are direct descendants of slavery in Canada and elsewhere, have had a long, bitter history of second-class citizenship. The faculty and staff of Cardston High School have an earned reputation for being fair, honest, and openminded. It seems clear that school officials there are not to be accused of racist practices. If there is a problem, it is one of communication. The news item, however unfortunate for Cardston or New Glasgow, decidedly served public interest. The item clearly displayed that public issues and decisions in Southern Alberta (and elsewhere in Canada) often cannot be resolved without fully taking into account the realities of human feelings regarding race, language, creed, and ideology. Many white Canadians, it can be proven, have been racist and discriminatory. It is probable that many readers would react by saying: "That sort of thing could happen in Alabama but never in Canada." Such a reaction would be thoroughly wrong. To talk of white racism in Canada does not mean that everyone who is white believes that the white man possesses inborn superiority. It does mean that Canadian society operates as though this were the case; that the nature of our society is the same as if this belief were shared by most whites. COLIN A. THOMSON, PhD University of Lethbridge The Lethbridge Herald MM Tlh fl. 8. LatnbrMga. AIMTU LETHBRIDQE HERALD CO. LTD. ProprMorl and PuMMIfert Sacond CUM Mall RaglMratlOfl No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and PuWlalw DON H. PILLING DONALD R. DORAM Managing Editor Managar ROY F. MILES Advartaing Managar DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Paga Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Managar KENNETH E. BARNETT ButtnMi Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"