Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 14, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, August 14, 1974 Unanswered questions of Watergate Refreshing nonetheless President Gerald Ford's address to Congress, following his brief remarks when he was sworn into office, must have been the most welcome words the modern American nation has heard. The restoration of White House leadership, and its strong yet conciliatory quality, has revived among the American people a sense of national purpose once again, a healthy pride of nationhood. Mr. Ford seems just what the country so desperately needed. Yet his speech is noteworthy for its omissions as well as for its content. He could not say everything that might have been on his mind, but the times required at least acknowledgment of some of the problems he will have to face, problems in addition to inflation and defence and "detente." He seemed to say that inflation was due mostly to uncontrolled government spending. That is hardly so. He seemed not to question any sums spent on defence. That is hardly realistic. He said nothing of the hazards of a world armed to the hilt. He said nothing of the global food shor- tage which threatens the lives of hundreds of millions. He said nothing of the deadly threat to civilization from continued misuse of the environment. But perhaps these omissions are not significant. He seems to be a man who will learn, who will grow, who will listen, and who will act responsibly. What a refreshing improvement! Corporate responsibility The new management arts program at the U of L comes at a time when various segments of society business, in- dustry, government and consumers are thinking seriously about corporate social responsibility. There is a growing awareness that the health of a corpora- tion depends on the health of the society in which it functions. Environment, social welfare, resource utilization (both human and physical) are seen not as peripheral concerns but as factors which have a direct bearing on the ultimate success or failure of the cor- poration. It follows, therefore, that as a part of his job a corporate manager should take an interest in the quality of life within that society. If society decays, the corporation cannot exist either. The director of Montreal's Canadian Management Centre, writing for the current issue of Canadian Business Magazine, set forth two prin- ciples which should be accepted and applied. The first is that a corporation must be profitable because if it is not then it cannot contribute to society. The second is that it exists only because of the society with which it interacts and must contribute as much to that society as it takes trom it. Its margin of profit comes from efficient use of that society's resources. "If these principles are in he wrote, "then the corporation has no right to exist. It becomes in effect an outlaw, a parasite, that draws nourishment from its host without offering anything in return." To say that corporate social respon- sibility has come of age is perhaps premature. There are still organizations which seemingly cannot adapt to chang- ing needs and when faced with problems simply resort to threats of going out of business and subtracting payrolls or ser- vices from a community. And the unsolv- ed problems of responsibility faced by extractive industries are already well known. This makes the U of L program of vital, contemporary interest. Further- more, it is one which does not seem to have built in conflicts with programs already established elsewhere which, in the main, stress accounting and marketing and other applied techniques of commerce and business ad- ministration. The purpose of a management arts program such as is being inaugurated locally would seem to be two fold, to help its graduates understand the nature of corporate or organizational validity within the total structure of society and also to be able to translate that under- standing into public acceptance of the role of the organization or corporation to the mutual benefit of all. The scope of such a program is not limited to the business world, since even governmental administrative units prac- tice management arts (or but its contributions to ideas of private corpora- tion management would seem, at the moment, to be the most critical and the most exciting. RUSSELL BAKER Mr. Nixon's American language WASHINGTON "Bring us together" and "law and order" were the first catch phrases of the Nixon men, and in the end they did bring us together in the cause of law and order, but not in the way the phrase makers of 1968 had in mind. The Nixon people would have said that what went wrong was the "scenario." At the end it simply "wouldn't play in Peoria." They talk- ed like that. They were marinated in the faith of the public-relations quackery which holds that high gloss on a sow's ear will make it a big seller in the silk-purse market. Their talk was public-relations talk. Weighing a problem, they discussed the "PR" of the situation. They established, probably forever, the barbarous usage of "media" as a singular noun meaning "the news business." In the early days they talked about "the in- put process." When the president listened to suggestions about things that ought to be done, they said "the input process" was going on. In the tradition of public-relations talk, this kind of pseudo-learned jargon sounded impressive and in the words of the headwaiter justifying the flaming food in the pump room, didn't hurt the meat none. Every administration evolves its own prose signature. With Kennedy we all talked about "vigor" and "style" until we persuaded ourselves that this kind of talk was saying something trenchant. Johnson suf- fered to the end from the suspicion that he lacked both "charisma" and and often seemed deluded by the notion that but for their lack he could have raised a higher "Camelot." Politicians will not revive "Camelot" for awhile now. Every disaster has its bright side. In the manner of the public-relations minded, the Nixon men understated unplea- sant realities and overstated their case when it was weakest. Thus Watergate was dismiss- ed at the beginning as "a third-rate burglary" unworthy of presidential notice, and the judi- ciary committee's impeachment hearings were denounced as a "kangaroo court." Both phrases were disastrously memorable. Pride in phrasemanship, an es- sential quality in good public-relations men, afflicted the administration with phrases the public could not forget. In Ronald Ziegler's agony, when the "third- rate burglary" turned first-rate, he fell into the most dismal trap of all and took the public-relations man's refuge in gobbledygook. Thus was born "inoperative." The "scenario" of the "third-rate Ziegler announced after the upgrading, had simply become "inoperative." He meant the official White House story had been a lie. At this point, with cases going to court, the administration desperately needed judges who might see that it was not "appropriate" another Ziegler coinage to press the White House too firmly with the law. Unfortunately, it was too late for that. There was that wonderfully memorable phrase of the president's uttered in happier days when "law and order" meant an entirely different kind of courthouse "scenario" the phrase in which the president had denounced "soft-headed judges" for leniency toward the criminal classes. The White House was cornered by its own prose again, and in the last days Nixon men could only grumble privately about the judi- ciary's excessively unsoft head. Gassy bloat, always present in public- relations talk, swelled the language beyond all comprehension as the "PR" became more and more difficult. Bloat in language results from a breakdown between thought and ex- pression. The more determined a person is to conceal his thinking, the wordier he becomes. Eventually there is a Niagara of words that communicates nothing. Saying "at that point in when you mean requires a lot of time and wears down the audience. Talking about "seeing the constitutional process through to the when you really mean you don't know what you are going to do next, becomes an exercise in obliterating communication. The private shop talk, which was fated to become public, was the breezy colorful shorthand commonly used by bright young men in business conferences devoted to planning ways to shear the customers. "Stonewalling" and "the hangout route" will become prominent entries in the lexicon of Nixonisms to be left to the country, and "modified limited hangout" will probably need a long footnote of explication, as well "the big John Ehrlichman's term for John Mitchell. The input process is ended now and the American language as revised by Richard Nixon is complete. It is tempting to say, "now it belongs to the and unless we are lucky, some last departing phrase maker probably will. By Raymond Heard, London Observer commentator With Richard Nixon's return to private life and it may yet end in jail too many questions remain un- answered about the collective horrors known to the world as Watergate. The biggest still is why White House agents raid- ed the Democratic party head- quarters in the summer of 1972. Nixon and his associates have never explained the reason for Watergate; nor has any of the judicial or congressional inquiries reach- ed any firm conclusion. There are, of course, plenty of theories, plus some circum- stantial evidence. The most fashionable of these is that the Democrats "had the goods" on questionable dealings between the billionaire recluse, Howard Hughes, and top associates or family members of the disgraced president, including his best friend, Mr. Bebe Rebozo, the Cuban-American business- man. It is also held that the Republicans, on the other hand, were seeking evidence that the Democrats, who were about to nominate the liberal Senator George McGovern for the presidency, were getting money from Fidel Castro in exchange for pledges of a more "realistic" U.S. policy towards Cuba if they unseated Nixon. In the considerable ranks of radical leftists who (like the young conservative congressman Richard Nixon) believe in the conspiracy theory of history, there is published speculation that there was a link between Watergate and the assassina- tion of President John Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. Until Nixon and the other principals come clean, or until further official inquiries produce hard evidence on the real aim of Watergate, we can expect the rumor, innuendo and speculation to multiply. Meanwhile, it is rather odd to note that America's political disasters of the last dozen years the assassination of Kennedy, the killing of Martin Luther King, and Watergate have this in common: no of- ficial motives have been produced to explain any of them. Nixon now is in disgrace exposed as, at the best, a liar after winning the 1972 landslide against McGovern, who was dismissed as a spoil- sport when he claimed Watergate showed that the Nixon presidency was the most corrupt ever. Robert Kennedy, who might well have beaten Nixon in 1968 (Hubert Humphrey, after all, nearly did it) was another target of an assassin, as was presidential candidate George NEWS ITEM: clix RECEM-S URBAN TRANSPORTAlioW afiANT Just between you and me, I think they're overdoing America's urban decay is worsening By Anthony Sampson, London Observer commentator WASHINGTON The American city, as anyone can notice who travels through the United States, is decaying at the centre: from Boston to Denver, from Los Angeles to Washington, the signs are the same, of crumbling buildings, derelict car parks, high crime rates, inadequate schools. Now two recent developments have made the prospects of their revival much worse. The first was the decision by the Supreme Court, the day after its much more publiciz- ed decision forcing President Richard Nixon to give up the subpoenaed tapes. The jus- tices, by a five-four majority, declared that Detroit a city which has for long been a kind of caricature of America's urban problems did not have the power to enforce the busing of schoolchildren out- side the city limits into the suburbs. The decision means that, while desegregation will be enforced within the city, still more whites are now expected to leave for the suburbs, to es- cape from the rundown, overcrowded schools in the centre: the city will lose more taxes, as more prosperous families move out, and the vicious circle wiii continue fewer taxes, fewer amenities, fewer prosperous people; therefore still fewer taxes. This new busing decision, which will affect the plans of other big cities, will have the effect of increasing the tendency to make the centres black, and the suburbs white and the economic significance of this has been Book review. underlined by a recent study that shows that the gap between black incomes and white has recently been widening. The other development is from a different direction. The House of Representatives has turned down an emergency mass-transit bill, which was to have allowed million to be spent on im- proving mass transport both buses and trains within cities. The bill was to have been the forerunner of another longer-term bill, due later this year, to provide million to the cities for mass transit over the next six years. The need for federal sub- sidies to big city transport has been evident for some time. In most American cities the sub- way systems are antiquated or non-existent, yet it has become increasingly clear that the only way to make a modern city work is by tran- sporting people underground. In Europe newer expanded underground railways have been gradually relieving cities from the pressures of overground transit whether in Paris, Munich, London or Milan. Even in North America both the Canadians and the Mexicans have shown that the supremacy of the motorcar need not prevent the building of ambitious new underground railway systems, notably in Montreal and Mexico City. In the United States the reviving or building of un- derground railways is now beyond the resources of any single city: the Washington subway, part of which is scheduled (hopefully) to be Sensible food storage "Passport to Survival" by Esther Dickey (Random House of Canada Ltd., 180 This is the best you'll ever invest not as a reading book, but as fact filled writing that can literally be a passport to survival. The author deals with the four basic foods, wheat, milk, honey and salt, and the sen- sibility of storing a year's supply of these foods, supplemented by others. Hundreds of interesting preparations are listed for these basic foods and the book also contains a chapter on care of the body, pertaining to everything from childbirth to sore throats. Every home concerned with the availabili- ty of food for use at one time or another in event of some type of emergency should have a copy of this book. GARRY ALLISON finished in time for the bicentennial in 1976, has already eaten up a budget of million, and is expected to demand still more before it is finished. The San Francisco subway, after costing even more, has run into appalling technical difficulties. The most worried city of all is New York, which accounts for 40 per cent of all the mass transit in the U.S. There the subway fare is expected to go up shortly to 35 cents a prohibitive price for the poorer city dwellers while the subway system itself is one of the most squalid and crime-ridden in the world. It was in this desperate context that the two mass- transit bills were put forward, but the reaction of congressmen has been unex- pectedly hostile. The representatives from sub- urban and rural areas have bitterly attacked what they call a "big city bill" which they say would compel four- fifths of the population to sub- sidize the other one-fifth one congressman called it a "single city bill" to subsidize New York (which would in fact have taken only one-quar- ter of the The first bill has been voted down, the se- cond is unlikely to survive. These two very different blows to the big cities will thus have the same fundamen- tal result: of making the city centres less able to compete with the suburbs, and of increasing the imbalance between the wealth round the edges and the poverty in the middle. What is it that makes the problems of American cities so specially insoluble, at a time when cities elsewhere are showing some signs of solving their problems? Of course, race is a deep part of it: the desegregating of schools has increased the geographical separation of white and black, rich and poor, which has its more ex- treme and visible effect in the big cities. But, as the defeat of the mass transit bill shows, there is also a deep prejudice against big cities among Americans a prejudice which goes back to the founding fathers, many of whom believed the cities represented the corruption and authoritarian traditions of Europe that they -were trying to escape. There were many proud cities in 19th century America, magnetically attracting the ambitious young men from the country but they were not regarded so deeply as the centres of civilization, as in Europe. Today, as the cities become blacker and poorer and harder to rescue, they call for drastic national solutions and sub- sidies which the American people may not be prepared to provide Wallace in 1972. So the Watergate tragedy will renew demands on Capitol Hill for the president serving a single six-year term. After all, had Nixon and his allies not been so desperate to win again in 1972 there might have been no Watergate horror to destroy them. But does Nixon really deserve all the credit he is getting in his political "obituaries" for his foreign policy the China breakthrough, the detente with the Kremlin and the ending of the Vietnam History will resolve this Meanwhile a dissent to the "Nixon the statesman" theory can be offered on these lines. While it took poor Lyndon Johnson four years to get the United States into such a deep land war in Vietnam it took Nixon more than four years to get out And he and Dr. Kissinger (the only senior aide to survive Watergate i did this with the savage bombing of North Vietnam at Christ- mas 1972 If Lyndon Johnson was hawkish about Vietnam between 1965 and 1967, it was partly because of constant pressure from Citizen Nixon If the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. and the Russian invasion ol Czechoslovakia had not followed in a matter of months, the now-forgotten summer 1967 summit meeting at Glassboro, New Jersey, between President Johnson and Soviet Premier Kosygm would have created better un- derstanding between the White House and the Kremlin In any case, the easing of relations between Washington and the Communist super- powers was stirring as early as 1963. when John Kennedy, in his great American univer- sity speech, made a matter ot days beiore Dallas, ques- tioned key assumptions of the cold war The Vietnam mess. in which Kennedy. Johnson and Nixon were involved delayed the first steps toward a generation of peace, which was a goal shared by all three presidents, despite Nixon's attempts to monopolize it. In Washington, members ot Congress are less interested than they were a week ago in trying to arrange an amnesty for Nixon. But if the amnestv question is ever taken up seriously it will be com- plicated by the insistence cl the Left for amnesty for young men who evaded the Vietnam draft. And if Nixon is to get oft the legal hook, why should not John Dean, his former counsel, be excused serving a jail term for his role in Watergate9 Dean, who said Nixon knew about the cover- up, has been vindicated by Nixon's resignation and belated mea culpa. Ford's great strength By James Reston, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Within the first days of his unex- pected and probably unwanted presidency. Gerald Ford has demonstrated the force of these prin- ciples of open discussion and moral example. His approach is different. His language is different: the voice is strong, the eyes straight and steady, his religious faith proclaimed openly to an unbelieving generation. So the president begins with a great strength, but maybe also with a fundamental weakness, both of which come out of his experience. His strength is that he believes in open talk and the importance of good ex- ample. He is Main Street and not Madison Avenue. He is everything Richard Nixon merely pretended to be. For him, religion is not a role but a reality; he doesn't fake it but lives by it. Middle America, with its longing for a simpler past, is not a political tactic for Ford, but the centre of his life. He is a symbol and witness of our regret for the moral values we have lost, and while many may scoff and sneer at all this, it is a powerful ethical and political force. His weakness, which is the other side of his strength, is that he is a conservative partisan man confronted by staggering radical problems both at home and abroad Good character and good intentions, important as they are, which are now changing the mood of Washington, will not by themselves deal with the domestic problems of high inflation, prices, unemployment, and interest rates or with world crises of hunger and monetary chaos. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Edilor and Publisher DON H PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"