Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 20, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD-Tumday, August The best policy Although Watergate has been chiefly an American tragedy, there are lessons in it for everyone. One of the most valuable outcomes of the whole affair may be the re-establishment of honesty as a necessary virtue of public life. In spite of the old cliche, honesty is not always considered the best policy. This holds true elsewhere as well as in America and has been largely overlooked. Public ethics and private morality are sometimes far apart even in Canada. Those who scold their children for not telling the truth, for instance, nevertheless sometimes practise decep- tion in its many forms in their public af- fairs. On the political and diplomatic scene lying seems to be a fine art and not the sign of a flawed character. In the world of business affairs it is legality which prevails rather than honesty, and these are not really interchangeable concepts. This is not a call for a Canadian witch hunt but rather a plea for a bit of soul searching on the part of everyone everyone who has ever cheated the customs at a border crossing, or knowingly pocketed too much change at the cashier's desk, or loafed on the job, or sold inferior merchandise, or cheated on a test or tax form and a recognition that all of this contributes to a lax at- mosphere in which public corruption festers. It used to be said that every man meets his Waterloo. The same can also be said for Watergate. It isn't just elected of- ficials, or business executives or other leaders of society who are responsible for its code of ethics and its standards of morality. Everyone is a steward; everyone is responsible. If reason is to prevail in the affairs of man (and any other conclusion is untenable) then honesty has to be the best policy and it has to be everyone's business. Emergency food situation The fact that only three per cent of the world's soybean production is used in human food production is one reason why the United Nations conference on world population is expected to result in a confrontation between the poor nations and the rich nations. Most ot the world's soybean protein continues to be reserved as feed for barnyard animals in the rich countries. Malnu- trition and eventual starvation could be staved off for millions of people if the affluent could be persuaded to give up their demands for the tastier animal protein and be satisfied with vegetable protein. The belated population conference is bound to produce conflict because the problem of feeding the existing people has become so pressing. There is really an emergency atmosphere, heightened by the recent flooding in Bangladesh and India which has destroyed crops and food stocks. Who can blame the representatives of the poor nations for not wanting to get on with consideration of long-range plans lor curbing population growth when that seems so remote and hypothetical com- pared to the practical and immediate issue of coping with feeding the living? And who cannot understand the suspicions of the representatives of the poor that the rich want to promote birth control in order to maintain their high standard of living with an easy conscience.? Acrimonious sessions in Bucharest might have the effect of making people in affluent nations realize the need for a change in eating habits. However, it is difficult to visualize any significant switch from a diet rich in animal protein to one rich in vegetable protein without the imposition of government controls, and the likelihood of this happening is not very great. In fact, the indications are that the rich nations are taking steps to see that they have the reserves to main- tain present standards of living. There are some bad days ahead for those of sensitive spirit who live in the affluent countries as they watch the grim drama of consumers outstripping supplies in the poor nations. It is a drama that many hoped would not be played un- til some distant day, if ever. But it is on stage now and advancing rapidly. THE CASSEROLE The Nothing Book, a hard cover and 160 completely blank pages, has sold copies which makes it a best-seller. Lacking plot, characters or story-line, the book doesn't sound very interesting, which puts it in the same class as a fair number of modern novels. candy don't necessarily get the most cavities. It seems some people just have lousy teeth, whether they eat a lot of candy or none at all. After a head-on collision on an English village street, the drivers of both vehicles simply took off. The police later discovered that both cars had been stolen. A clear case of 'easy come, easy go.' Anyone still boycotting South African fruit, wine, etc.? If so, it may be of interest to note that despite having taken the lead in drumm- ing South Africa out of the Commonwealth in 1961, Canada still buys a quarter of its sugar, about metric tons annually, from the same South Africa. As the doom-criers insist, nothing is sacred any more. The latest eternal truth to go by the boards is the one about too much candy ruining the teeth. Researchers at the Univer- sity of British Columbia have just released their findings that kids who eat the most Canadians who complain about the high cost of medical care should take note of a new out-patient program developed by the University of California at San Francisco for those suffering from psoriasis. It provides medication and two treatment sessions daily, and costs per day. That includes lunch, of course. ERIC NICOL The barbershop ordeal "Doom Palace" my son calls it. He is referring to the barber shop. Like all small boys he sees the barber as an amalgam of Torquemada, Rasputin and Lady Clairol. For this reason my delivering him to the barber for his semi-annual (summer) haircut takes on the festive atmosphere of the beheading of Sir Thomas More. Negotiations start early. At least a month before his face disappears entirely under the dry mop. my son and I meet at the bargaining table. First item for agreement is that he needs a haircut at all. This is resolved only by arbitration, his Mother pointing out that there is a city bylaw against an English sheep dog riding a bicycle. Next item is the choice of barber. His previous barber is automatically disqualified because he "took off too much." We have a high turn-over of barbers in our neighborhood because they can't hold their younger customers. The barber who survives is the one who has mastered the art of scissoring thin air. He is also popular with old bald guys. After tentative agreement on which barber he will go to, somewhere within Canada's territorial limits, the talks move on to the matter of how much hair may be removed from my son's head without his becoming the object of derision by everyone in his school except the janitor. The anomaly of the small boy's haircut is that, the fewer of his features that the haircut leaves concealed, the more he loses face. It spells disgrace for him to expose any of the forehead above the eyebrows. What he un- derstands to be his private parts are his ears-. The holy zeal with which he veils them from public gaze makes the woman of Islam look like Judy La Marsh. The hard bargaining on fringe benefits (no bangs) having been completed, we set the day for my son to go to the barber shop. He needs a week or two of fasting and prayer to prepare himself for martyrdom. During this period his friends, all of whom have got wind of the impending ordeal, respect his agony by making obscene gestures and calling him Kojak. He expects no less. Nor does it comfort him to be told that at his age I had exactly the same abhorrence of the barber shop. Hair styles may come, and hair styles may go, but the small boy's hating the barber is eternal. I know how he feels about being sat on a board because he is too short to rate the chair. Sitting the plank has about the same fun level as walking the plank. Likewise the sheet pinned too tight around our neck even Samson didn't have to put up with that indignity. Garrotted, our head pro- jecting from the white shroud and our bottom perched on the brink of Hell is it any wonder that the whine of the barber's clippers is not music to the little man's ears? We went up to the barber together, my son and I. I showed the barber the contract we had signed. I asked him to initial it, and to bless it with a sprinkle of stickum. Then I shook hands with the sacrificial lamb, and left. The haircut that he came home with struck me as being a good one, from his point of view. That is, I couldn't see any difference. But the next morning he set off for school braced for massive teasing, because small boys can detect the rape of the lock in- finitesimal. "Doom Palace" my son calls it. The kid is a bit of a poet. Quick decision regarding Nixon unwise By Joseph Kraft, syndicated commentator in doubt, is a maxim lollowed instinctively by most of us in private life. Now it applies with a vengeance to the vexing public question of whether former president Nixon should be subject to prosecution. There are no good answers to the question. So the best thing is to wait and see what evidence emerges in the future and how Mr. Nixon behaves. The starting point for analysis is a powerful presumption against prosecution. Nobody wants a former president to be in jail for the sport of it. Nor can anybody doubt that Mr. Nixon has already paid a very high penalty the penal- ty of personal humiliation. While the worst may be over for him now, there is more to come. He is going to have to testify in cases where he will not, to put it mildly, look good. He has heavy payments from back taxes due. He may be subject to civil suits from vic- tims of Watergate. Moreover, the two arguments generally used to support the case for prosecu- tion turn out on inspection to be terribly weak. First, there's the argument that it is unfair to prosecute the president's leading associates notably H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and John Mitchell without also giving Mr. Nixon the business. But in fact we all know that our system of justice is not a 100 per cent simon-pure platonic model of perfect equality. All kinds of practical distinctions are regularly observed. White-collar cime, in par- ticular, is punished much less severely and much less fre- quently with prison sentences than crimes associated with the working class. Several former White House aides who have pleaded guilty notably Egil Krogh. Charles Colson, Jeb Magruder and John Dean have had relatively light sentences in keeping with the view taken by our society of white-collar crime. Messrs. Mitchell, Haldeman and Ehrlichman are going to profit from that view in the future. Just as former White House aides are set apart from ordinary criminals, so a former president can be set apart from his underlings. A second argument is that unless Mr. Nixon is prosecuted along with the others, many people and es- pecially children will lose faith in American democracy and the system of justice. But faith in democracy and the system of justice is something acquired through many ex- periences over a long period "Democracy at work Ford's sentiments about inflation clear By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL Is Presi- dent Gerald Ford the man the world has been waiting for to lead it out of inflation? What kind of economic policies is he likely to pursue? How will they jibe with the economic policies of the new Trudeau government? Gerald Ford is a conser- vative man. During his 30 years in Congress, he has taken almost every opportuni- ty to demonstrate his conser- vatism. He has consistently voted against any proposal which would have the effect of redistributing income from the affluent to the disadvan- taged. He voted against medicare, against the war on poverty, against workmen's compensa- tion for migrant workers, against federal aid to public housing, against a minimum wage. The new president has addressed himself only briefly to economic policy. His past record, however, as well as his past statements provide a reasonable guide to his sen- timents about inflation. He is probably inclined to come down on the side of fighting it hard. It is widely known that President Ford admires the opinions of two prominent American economists Arthur Burns, chairman of the Federal Reserve, the American central banking system, and Paul McCracken, former head of the president's council of economic advisors. Burns is tough. He believes that money and credit must be dried up in order to get more of the excess demand for goods and services out of the marketplace McCracken holds similar views. Both believe that the social damage from inflation has become too serious to be shunted aside just because a few million people may become un- employed. Given a tradeoff between more .unemployment or more inflation, the two economists President Ford is known to respect, agree that it is more important to curb inflation than unemployment. The new president's per- sonal preferences seem to take him in that direction anyway. The need to curb government spending provides an additional justification for a credit LETTER RCMP bravery Some time ago an article appeared in The Herald describing the different parks in southern Alberta, however the delightful 10-acre park at Kimball was not mentioned. It is situated by the St. Mary's River and is the scene of many historical events. Near the turn of the century workers digging the irrigation canal camped there and the old travois trail where the In- dians crossed the river can still be seen. Water from that canal once flowed down the streets of Lethbridge, and without it many of the towns in Southern Alberta never would have ex- isted. Around 1899 my parents along with others were eye witnesses to a tragedy which through the centuries has possibly occurred many times. The river was in flood and some Indian women and children were attempting to cross in order to catch up with the others who had been through earlier on their way to Montana. Two RNWP were there as well when three of the children were swept into the water. Without hesitation the officer in charge plunged with his horse into the raging torrent in an effort to save the children. As he did so he hollered to his companion. "If I don't get back, you will be in charge." He got the children but it was too late. Some feel the RCMP pick on the Indians but I believe that any one of them, then and now, would do the same as this one did; lay his life on the line to try to save those children. LEO W. SPENCER Cardston crunch. This sounds like the same kind of policy which caused massive unemploy- ment and little inflation relief in Canada four years ago. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's new cabinet an- nouncements pretty well signify restrictive economic policy. The most significant decision was to keep John Turner in the finance port- folio. The department of finance and the Bank of Canada have been battling for restriction against the hordes of cabinet ministers who want to do little more than spend our money. Indeed, the gravest danger to the Canadian economy is that restrictive money and tax policies will be imposed on all of us while political power seekers continue spending. There are a couple of scary factors about President Ford's possible approach to inflation. First, the American economy is in a far greater slump than the administration has acknowledged to date. The U S. government recognizes that the economy has .contracted for the last six months. What has recently come to light is the fact that business inventories have been accumulating at twice the rate previously reported. Industry is staggering under the burden of unsold inventory at a time when inflation is robbing consumers of the purchasing power necessary to buy. The consequence of huge inventory accumulation is that businesses slow down current production. Result: higher unemployment. Tightening the credit screws more may simply drive the U S. economy further into recession, with repercussions to all its trading partners. Second, a credit crunch may or may not be appropriate to dissipate inflation. inflation caused by too much money chasing too few goods can be cured by tight money. Inflation caused because two basic commodity prices, like food and oil, have changed relative to all other prices, can be cured only by economies adjusting to a new relationship between prices. Restrictive policies, in such a case, will do more harm than good. Inflation as a result of a combination of these two, can be cured only by applying two quite different sets of solutions. Obviously, what the world needs now is radical, im- aginative economic policymakers with an inter- national perspective. Gerald Ford thinks conven- tionally and conservatively. If he knows it, he will look hard for some policymakers who might do the job. of time. Anybody who turns to subversion and crime because Mr. Nixon does not do time can be assumed to have been headed in that direction anyway. Even if some shallow people are shaken in their faith because of special treatment for Mr. Nixon, the adverse social effects of a prosecution would probably be more in- jurious. For Mr. Nixon retains the sympathy and support of millions of Americans. The overwhelming evidence that he lied to the country, the Congress, the Supreme Court and his own staff has not shaken the Nixonite hard- core. It strains credulity to believe that a public trial would finally convince the diehard Nixonites. To the contrary, my own im- pression is that a prosecution of the president would look like a vindictive act of malice. It would intensify the bitterness of the Nixon loyalists, and perhaps win huge sympathy for the former president from the vast ma- jority of people whose disposi- tion is to have done with the whole affair. On the other side of the question, there is no good way to give Mr. Nixon protection against prosecution. A statute of immunity would probably be unconstitutional even if it could be passed by the Congress, which is doubtful. Certainly a prosecutor minded to try Mr Nixon would want to test such a statute in the Supreme Court with results apt to be unhappy for everybody. The final story on Mr. Nix- on, moreover, is not yet in. New evidence is likely to come out as more tapes are processed through the courts and made available to Leon Jaworski. the Watergate special prosecutor. The up- coming trial of Messrs Ehrlichman. Haldeman and Mitchell for the Watergate cover-up could well yield more material perhaps in the form of confessions. Then there is the question ot what Mr. Nixon himself does. It will be one thing if he takes the advice ol President Ford and searches for a personal peace It will be another thing if he. in his refusal to recognize guilt, goes to the point of trying to make a comeback. For the time being, however, we don't know enough to make clear de- cisions with confidence. It makes sense to hedge bets. It also makes sense to leave the decision to those entrusted with the responsibility in this case, to special .prosecutor Jaworski. And only the willfully obtuse will fail to understand why he would want to postpone a decision until the passions of the past few months are spent and the dust of the resignation has settled. Berry's World 1974 by NEA, li "MY staff came up with more foolish ways to spend money than YOUR The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St S. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor 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"