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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta I inn i vj YLS Unconvincing speech None of the suspicions surrounding the presidency of the United as a result of disclosures made in the Senate Watergate were lispelled by Mr. Nixon's address last evening. He failed to be convincing in his reiterated denial of complicity ji wrong-doing. There is considerable strength to the argument that the crucial White House tapes need to be withheld in jrder to protect confidentiality in the of presidential business. The is counting on as a -natter of to be the decisive argument in persuading the courts ihat the tapes do not need to be re- eased to either the Senate commit- .ee or the special prosecutor of the Watergate case. Yet the guarding of the even for such an important does nothing to abate sus- picion of presidential complicity. And the argument about the need for con- fidentiality was shot to a large by the president himself when he put private conversations in such jeopardy by ordering the bugging of the White House. Although Mr. Nixon deplored the illegal activities disclosed in the Wa- tergate hearings he will have offend- ed many people by his attempt to evade their magnitude. The equating of illegal acts on the part of war pro- testers with those of people in top positions of trust in the nation does not wash. The damage done to the nation when the justice department does not respect the law is so much worse than that attributable to rebels as to be almost a difference in not degree. Mr. Nixon is on the other in hoping that the aftermath of the investigation into the Watergate affair will be a new level of decency in the political life of the United States and he might have throughout the world. This is a good point to make and one which must have struck a responsive note in all listeners. Perhaps a majority of Americans would now like to have the Watergate business brought to an even in- conclusively so far as the presi- dent's involvement is so that a new era can be entered into. They may be ready to extend the kind of amnesty of which James Res- ton writes in an article on this page. Th3y might even forget the presi- dent's speeches about Watergate New rules for pornography It might be something of an ex- aggeration to say that American at- titudes spill across the border at the same rate as American but the two are definitely connected. TV motion books and magazines all exert a consider- able influence on public and most that Canadians see and and read are 'Made in U.S.A.' Cana- dians should be and perhaps even a bit in a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme one that will have a far- reaching effect on U.S. publications. The intention of the Court was to generally tighten up the standards for judging whether or not a particul- ar work a picture or whatever should be classed a s pornography within the meaning of the law. Intentionally or its rul- ing went far beyond that. It had the effect of elevating the once secon- dary criterion com- munity to decisive impor- and empowered individual communities to decide for them- selves what would meet their stan- and what would transgress them. It takes only a moment's thought to see what this will do. In any one community there win be no need to decide until a complaint is made. Then there will be a ruling by a local authority. That however good or however reached and whatever based will stand unless overturned by a superior with the proviso that the 'superior authority' must also be part of the community referred to in munity if a very liberal ruling is up- held by a liberal or indifferent court of the for that community will be very liberal. if a narrow-mind- ed ruling is upheld by a narrow- minded or indifferent appeals the standard for that community will be narrow. In either note the phrase that in it means that commu- nity That may sound reasonable until one considers what happens to the local book-seller who sees an in- teresting title in a catalogue. In de- ciding whether to stock he should first know how com- munity will judge the book. But he doesn't and he can't unless he brings in the offers it for and sees if anyone complains. The risks are and ines- capable. If he doesn't stock best-sell- nationally promoted he risks going if he he risks prosecution and opprobrium as a purveyor of if it turns out a book contains passages that someone finds objectionable. Exactly the same situation confronts the news the corner drug store or any other business that sells books or magazines. Theatre man- agers and radio and TV program di- rectors face a similar problem. There can be no reliable because community do and must vary from community to and very often from time to time as well. Bureaucrats will have a field and a lot of lawyers too. That is in the of Canada doesn't have to conform to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. there are some who hint there may be some exceptions in the econo- mic But with the en- forcement of our pornography rules left to customs inspectors and the local neither immune to the spate of opinion that comes with their TV shows and censorship if that's what it really is in Canada will soon have some new and con- fusing dimensions. Commonwealth lingers on Something significant may have taken place behind the closed doors of the Commonwealth conference in Ottawa recently but it was a ho- hum affair from the outside. There wasn't much to give supporters en- couragement or to cause detractors to mute their criticisms. At most it can be said though threatened with the Commonwealth lin- gers on. Can this loose association last much It hardly seems pos- sible. The indications are that Britain would abandon its child if the oppor- tunity was afforded. Although the British people appear to have doubts about the new ties with Europe in the Common there is obviously a feeling that future interests lie else- where than with Commonwealth na- tions. No natural links hind the scat- tered elements in an association that would survive the withdrawal of Bri- tain. Despite the avowals of value to be found in keeping the association in- it is hard to be enthusiastic about the Commonwealth. Other re- gional associations have more re- levance for most of the nations. More most concerns now have global so that the United Nations and its agencies take on greater importance. The conclusion to which this points is that the energies necessary for trying to keep the Commonwealth alive might more profitably be di- rected to the support of the United Nations. Nothing would be lost in disbanding the Commonwealth. Nos- talgia for the days of the old empire can be savored by any who wish without maintaining an organi- zation. In fact nostalgia would thrive because it would not be mocked by the reality of what exists. Good supply on hand By Dong Walker The least gesture of thoughtfulness to- ward Betty Gray is apt to result in an ap- preciative cat d in response at least for the next 11 people who give Betty a litUe happiness. I take a modest bow for having started train fif miaaiuaa Tlattu so touched by a little story I reported about her that she went looking for an appropriate card of acknowledgement. It required a lot of looking to get just the right card but she found it finally and now she has the rest of the package of jwoc in rlicnnea ff Amnesty for By James New York Times commentator FIERY Va. At some point in the crazy story of these we are probably going to have to think about a gener- al amnesty not only for the draft dodgers in the war but the truth dodgers in the White House. This will be hard to arrange since the president says he won't forgive the draft dod- and the draft dodgers won't forgive and prob- ably most people axe not ready to forgive but we can't go on like this with the presi- dent hiding out in Camp and San or skulking off the coast of Florida. He should be allowed to come home with the others. Sorting out the crooks from the moral cripples around the and the idealists from the cowards or revol- utionaries in the armed servic- is not going to be easy. We could still be debating all this on the 200th anniversary of the republic on July which would be a little awkward. for do you weigh the punishment between a runaway army kid who told the truth about the and an official who lied about the or an air force general who carried on his private war was with a handsome retirement or a president who assured ev- erybody he was respecting the neutrality of Cambodia when he was bojnbing hell out of in other is wise or smart enough to sort out all these philosophical and legal tangles and pass fair judgment on Are the antiwar dem- onstrators out in the streets or the isolated and suspicious men arround the president respon- sible for the fear and siege mentality in the White Are the political fund-raisers more of a problem than the corporations that give illegal political If leaders of the great departments of govern- members of the joint chiefs of and theater commanders in Vietnam do not set and abide by the standards or enforce the rules of the gov- are their subordinates to be held responsible for the negligence at the The testimony before the Senate Watergate committee is a tangle of contradictions. Like- the constitutional argu- ments in the courts over the president's right to secrecy in his own office and the court's need to know the evidence of criminal activity contained on the president's secret tape-re- cordings could be debated end- lessly and the arguments have not clarified but merely confus- ed the public debate. the Ervin hear- ings and the court actions have to go on for a but no- body pretends they will ever come out with a clear decision on the acts and motives of everybody concerned. Leaving aside all questions of fact still in we already have enough admitted facts to know that something was deeply wrong both in the conduct of the war and the conduct of the last presidential election. In this it is un- derstandable that many people long for clear and tidy solu- tions most of them for the exoneration of the and some of them for his im- conviction or resig- but like most things in that's not the way it's like- ly to be. Too much has been and too much has been conceal- ed to expect definitive answers to the tragedy. The president could suggest or even provoke the House of Representatives to bring in a bill of impeach- knowing very well they have no heart for it and hop- ing this would dramatize the crisis and finally proclaim his and put the whole tragedy behind him. But even such a grandstand play wouldn't do it. He is go- ing to have to go on with the doubts of his people for over three years. He is the head of the national and the ad- ministration has been ceught on the admitted evidence being unfaithful to the but the main hope now is not di- vorce but reconciliation. In at some hope- fully by the end of the at least the if not the of amnesty will' have to be con- sidered. Nixon said when he was rejecting amnesty for the draft dodgers that the word meant but actu- ally it comes from the same root as and not but And in the end this may be the only way to compromise this unhappy period in Ameri- can history. This does not mean doing nothing about the crimes of the last election or its spectacular dirty tricks. In the crisis has already produced new atti- tudes of independence in the Nixon new campaign financial and new efforts on Capitol Hill and in the courts to restore the bal- ance of equal powers. But if resolution of all these problems clearly and simply is out of the as it un- doubtedly reconciliation is the only and this means a kind of amnesty for forgetful- ness if not forgiving by the end of the year. A learned profession By Anthony New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Suppose that during the trial or Daniel Ellsberg a friend or relation of Ellsberg had had a little talk with the trial William Matthew Byrne Jr. He asked whether Judge Byrne would be interested in a job paying 500 a good for life and carrying great influence and prestige in American life. He did not make a firm offer but indicated that he might later after the trial. If that had and been the chances are that Ellsberg's friend or rela- tion would now be facing crim- inal prosecution. The federal bribery statute condemns any- one or indirect- corruptly offers or promises anything of value to any public official with intent to influence any official In such cases intent is often inferred from the circum- stances. But something very like that was done by the chief do- mestic adviser to the president of the United Staes. John Ehr- lichman called Judge Byrne down to San took him for a little walk and asked whether he would like to be director of the FBI. It was not a firm offer. That would come after the trial in which Ehrlichman and the pres- ident had such a consuming in- and Byrne might well think it could depend on the outcome of the trial. According to he did those things with Presi- dent Nixon's approval. the president dropped in to say hello to Byrne. Bribery hap- pens to be one of the two spe- cific crimes and misde- mentioned in the con- peachment. The other is trea- son. Whether the evidence of the approach to Byrne meets the standard of proof required un- der the federal bribery statute cannot be known by an outsid- er. Perhaps time will tell. What all of us may observe about that episode is the stand- ard of legal ethics it reflects. Bichard Nixon and John Ehr- lichman are lawyers. When Ehr- lichman was questioned about the approach to he said he had the canons of ethics and could not find I had in any way in- fringed on Is that really the ethical lev- el of the American legal pro- Thousanos of lawyers have been in Washington re- cently for the annual meeting of the American Bar Associa- and the question has been very much on their not the Ehrlichman-Byme affair but the involvement of so many Nixon administration lawyers in the crimes of Wat- and what that may say about the profession. It is always easy to attack lawyers. Shakespeare and Dick- ens and much of the pub- lic today probably thinks of them as a insensitive without prin- on sale to the highest bid- der. but t think mistaken. Of course there are unprinci- pled and lately a num- ber of them have wrongly been in positions of power. Lawyers often do represent vested inter- arguing the case of the polluter or the monopolist without sufficient independent reflection. But American more than any others in the dale A D0 TUlHllS as instruments of social as defenders of the weak and the abused. They or our society will fail. The responsi- bility follows from the extraor- dinary role given to law and the courts in the American con- stitutional system. Just consider some of the things done recently by lower federal courts around the coun- try. They have entertained and decided whole new categories of environmental law suits. They have found the president's impounding of appropriated funds unlawful in many cases. One has held the bombing of Cambodia unlawful. Those innovative decisions were made by trial peo- ple from the ranks of the pro- many of them Repub- licans. Why have they taken those drastically expand- ing the old limits on who may sue and for They have done so because it is the tra- dition of American law to ex- pand the rights of the individu- al in response to abuses of offi- cial power. What the American legal profession needs to remove the stain of is to live up to its own best history. That is not a novel demand. if not to the law- may we look for guidance in solving the problems of a sorely stricken social Justice Harlan F. Stone pos- ed that question in 1934. He was writing about the ethics of law- by which he meant not small niceties but their public responsibility. He warned against changed attitudes that had the learned profes- sion of an earlier day the ob- sequious servant of business and painted it with the morals and manners of tho market Letters Educational freedom I believe I am correct in as- that the country in which we live is of a democra- tic nature. I am totally at a loss to understand why the present educational system is based on fascist and authoritarian principles. This is especially confusing since it is supposed to be the function of education to effectively channel the individual into society. Teaching without a become a subversive ac- tivity. The student is told what to when to and how to think. When he has the audacity to demand of his teachers why he must accept these outrages against his dem- ocratic freedom to choose his own course of the stan- dard reply because I say so. It is little wonder that more and more students are rejecting educa- tion as a viable alternative. Learning should be a fascin- ating but one need only sit in on a class in almost any Lethbddge school to realize that it is usually just the oppo- site Kids who try to assert their own points of view are thought to be threatening the sanctity of the teacher's role and must accordingly be humil- sent to the 01- and graded D. In those students who can sit like vegetables and spout reiterated knowledge on the final receive the stamp of approval and graded A. can't be left to dis- cover by their own one Lethbridge educator re- cently told me. need com- pulsory attendance to make sure they're there to learn what they need to This has been a strong argument against schools and democratic student oriented education principles. to illus- trate my point of I'd to quote John who without the enor- mous resources which the school can the average child has already learned an entire conceptual set and an ex- tremely difficult language in a few dozen mat- tered more motor skills in a few years than a ballet dancer could in a chased his curiosity to the point of en- dangering his learned perhaps more sheer quantity at facts per day about the exter- nal world than a physical sci- and talked about his dis- coveries to his family and peers in a stream of enthusiasm that makes him laugh and run in circles with the pure joy of it. All without coercion. All by Who says he can't learn under his own motiva- The time has come for the department of education and teachers as well to face the unless they want their secure little educational milieu to collapse around them. I think there is a new brand of teachers in the making who realize that educating isn't an it's a way of life as education should be a yearning within the not a hateful experience to be per- severed. I know that already there in a good number of teachers who are for the but there are equally as many against. We have all suffered through classes at the hands of these educational dictators. Now let's hope we can rid the educational system of them once and for all. JEREMY ETHBRINGTON Lethbridge The way to ruin So the minister of immi- gration says that immigration is better than raising our own children. The Herald has some quite that this is not the time to racial discrimination will end. Didn't The on another use the delicate All that relaxing such bars means is that the countries with the greatest population will simply swamp rest of us. That is exactly the issue that is breaking the We are afraid of being swamp- ed. And we are not the only ones. The U.S. never tried to keep the Philippines and Puerto Ricans simply because they didn't want them as citizens. Hawaii was they had already swamped the natives. No country has any right to dump either goods or people on any other country. That is the only basis on which unity can be attained but stf far it has not been admitted. Common citizen- ship should not alter this prin- ciple. But I suppose this will be Ig- nored and new rules for Immi- gration will be formulated something like the welcome only adult immi- grants. No children are want- just promiscu- non-producing people with well developed pornographic talent. Some minister will ex- plain your opportunities in a beer-in at a beer garden to get you in the Meanwhile we save on children's items and food. Isn't it great to commit race Maybe but it seems inconsistent to foster ra- cial cul- and ait the same time wipe it all out in favor of peo- ple not yet here. Personally I don't think two million soldiers died for any such concept. Sure we do need toleration and co- operation but it should be used with some plain horse sense. And not like some cooks if a little flavoring is good then a great deal is and ruin what could have been de- lightful. J. A. SPENCER Magrath Irreproachably equitable Gilbert K. Chesterton used to be infuriated by the way in Which the Tories of his day got rid of their problems by simply ignoring their existence. Prime Minister Edward Heath illustrated a similar tendency very clearly on Ques- tion Period recently. Our posi- tion be to quote to let each Commonwealth member do what is best for it- self. We will do what we think is best for the United let others do what they feel is best for them. What can be more gentle- and acceptable than a policy such as But when General Amin expels British subjects from thinking it best for What when Smith in Rhodesia brutally represses black Christians because he thinks it's best for the mul- tinational mining Are these actions acceptable to Mr. Heath because certain rul- ers deem them acceptable to Let the gophers do what's best for gophers. Let the coyotes do the What can be more irreproachably equitable un- til the coyote catches the gopher and eats him J. P. GRIFFIN Fort Macleod Letters are welcome and will be published identification it included and address are re- quired even when the letter is to appear over a pseu- they are sensible and not they are of manageable length or can be shortened letters should not exceed 300 they are deci- pherable greatly helps if letters are double spaced and with writers do not submit letters too frequently. The Uthbridge Herald _____ SIM 7th St. Albvta HERALD CO. Proprietors and Pa by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN ClM MM Mtglitritlon No. Mil CMMtan Pnn MM ttw Canadian Daily Ntwtpapar AMotUfflcn and tlw Audit turaau ClrmutlMi CLCO W m JMM fILLINA ROY F. MILlf WILLIAM HAY Editor DOOOLAi K. WAUKfH MHar ;