Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, December 16, 1974 Sugar prices are coming down. In Paris a sugar brokerage firm has been expelled from the main commodities market for inability to cover speculative contracts. John Turner is praising the Alberta government. For the moment the crisis in Confederation is eased. Brazil sends word of an amazing literacy plan by which six million il- literates were taught to read and write in five months at a cost of a person. Rhodesia is near solution of the conflicting interests of its white ruling minority and its black majority. The leadership provided by South Africa in this matter indicates that country's policies may be changing. It's the season The summit meeting on European Security in Helsinki is on again. This means that countries of western Europe have been successful in eking from the Communists improved communications and contacts between East and West which were a main prerequisite of such a meeting. Canada and the U.S. will attend. A senior economist with GATT is op- timistic about 1975. He predicts that world trade will expand faster than in- dustrial output and that prospects for international co operation are good. The Third World, he says with statistics to back him up, is far from stagnating. It must be Christmas. Hieroglyphics are not enough Language is the tool of thought. It is appalling, therefore, to learn that U.S. publishers of college textbooks are now simplifying language in their texts because word has filtered back from the nation's campuses that college students can't read. At one large multiversity, 45 per cent of the student body has needed remedial English. More than one third of the applicants to one of the country's best known- journalism schools cannot meet the minimum requirements in spelling, grammar, word usage and punctuation. Even the guidebook for how to read texts, produced by the Association of American Publishers, is now written at the 9th grade level instead of the level of the 12th grade, in order to be understood by college freshmen. Although these examples come from the U.S., there is no reason to believe that the Canadian scene is much different or that Canadian texts will not be affected. To be sure, many scholarly works are difficult for anyone, not just college freshmen, to understand. Academic writers tend to be trapped by the jargon of their own discipline and much ponderous, proliferating and poly syllabic writing results. A little simplify- ing of this kind of prose would be welcome and it would not reduce preci- sion in communication. With this point having been made, almost anyone can agree with the criticism of the decline in language use among young people. Anyone, that is, who has ever suffered the frustration of being told by a student, "I can't explain and felt the impulse to thrust out both dictionary and thesaurus and say, "Yes, you can. Here are the words." The criticism of language ability is not directed at students but at an educational system which produces a situation where bright students find themselves in college or university without language tools commensurate with their capabilities. It's a heart breaking handicap. Other forms of communication exist, of course, and the world would be poorer without them. But they are no substitute for language. To believe, as some educators apparently do, that reading and written expression are outmoded, that logical thought is pretentious and that visual means will supply all the data one needs is to suggest a return of the days of hieroglyphics. While hieroglyphics have returned to today's world in a very limited fashion, it would be fatuous to suppose that they can handle more than a few problems in multilingual communication and even there, without language as a basis for thoughts they would not be understood or applied. "The plain in the words of one critic, "is that without language we can neither learn nor think." When preserva- tion of resources is on everyone's mind, it should be remembered by parents, students, educators and administrators that language is a resource, too. THE CASSEROLE "Rose by any other name" department. Reports of the death of the mini skirt are distinctly premature, tho' it has been re named. New York fashion designers are showing a full range of mini length out- fits, with the pronouncement. "American women are known for their beautiful legs, and should not be required to conceal There's been a change in nomenclature, presumably because the fashion resurrection was stage-managed on this side of the Atlan- tic. The name "skimp" is now being used, in- stead of mini. But who cares what they call it, as long as the view is unchanged? been sold. Among the odder records, roughly one million dishes of ice-cream have been- consumed by patrons during performances, and over 40 miles of white shirt fronts have had to be ironed for the players. And the author? She was there opening night, and hasn't been back. Dame Agatha says, "was enough." The Mousetrap, a play by Agatha Christie, has been running for an incredible 22 years on the London stage, and understandably has compiled some records in the process. For in- stance, during its 9000 odd performances the curtain has been raised and lowered times, while nearly 150 tons of programs have Governments, too, move in mysterious ways, their sometimes dubious wonders to perform. A recent report from Ottawa says officials of the Canadian International Development Agency will ponder in the next two or three months whether certain foreign aid programs, amounting to some million, should be continued. These are million to Nigeria, S18 million to Indonesia and million to Algeria, three of the oil ex- porting nations who have been reaping wind- fall profits from rising oil prices. ART BUCHWALD The great plowshare treaty WASHINGTON It is written in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah that the Lord promised the people that, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." It never really happened and I have in my possession a Dead Sea Scroll which tells why. At one time the Philistines and Judah signed a disarmament pact limiting the number of swords and spears. When the King of Judah brought the treaty back to his people, there was joy in the land. "Does this mean we will not have to spend gold for they asked. "It means no such the king replied. "We will, in fact, have to spend more gold than ever." a scribe asked the king, "if we have a treaty with the Philistines, why do we have to spend more gold for "Because if we have to beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks, we must develop new weapons to oppose the the King of Judah replied. "This will involve a sizable investment in researcn of rock throwing machines and armored donkeys, which as you know are not covered by the treaty. We cannot allow our agreement with the Philistines to put us at a military disadvantage." another scribe said, "does the agreement mean that all swords will be beaten into plowshares and all spears into pruning "No, it doesn't. It means that both sides may keep the swords they now have and increase their spear carriers to The Philistines, as you know, have superiority in the weight of their spears, but our throwers are twice as accurate. We have more than enough to repulse any first strike attack, but we're still weak in conventional weapons such as sticks and large stones." "How can we be sure that the Philistines will not put more than one head on their a scribe asked. "While the treaty does not limit the number of heads you can put on a the king replied, "it does limit the number of carriers to throw them. This is the first time the Philistines have even been willing to discuss putting a stop to the spear race." "What is to prevent the Philistines from beating their swords into plowshares and then attacking us with the "At this time we have a three to one plowshare advantage over the Philistines. "Our defence people have asked for an extra ton of gold to finance an anti plowshare system which could detect the deployment of any new plowshares by the Philistines. They also are asking in their budget for a new sailing vessel capable of launching fireballs against a Philistine boat at 30 feet. This will make up for any loss we will suffer in not being permitted to make new swords. I shall make these requests to the council in my State of the Kingdom message next, week." "Sire, forgive me for saying this, but we don't seem any closer to peace with the Philistines than we were before the plowshare treaty. Could you tell us what we gained from "The Philistines have agreed to buy all our wheat crops until 23 BC." "I trust you gentlemen didn't take my national wage restraint suggestions personally Security is the game By Victor Mackie, Herald special commentator OTTAWA There he was. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau perhaps "gliding" would be a better Sussex Drive on his way to work in the Centre Block, sitting far back in the left hand rear corner of the back seat of his magnificent new Cadillac. Christmas came early to the Trudeau household thanks to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He says the RCMP in- sisted he should have a brand new armour-plated Cadillac limousine and now he has it. No one could miss it. It is as noticeable as a bikini-clad girl standing in the snow. It attracts attention and com- ment. Unlike other elongated Caddy limousines that roll around the streets of the Capital city it is silver grey in colour. All the others are jet black. This is the taxpayers' Christmas present to the Trudeaus. The cost: He already had a Cadillac armour-plated limousine that was of 1973 vintage. The "old car" cost the taxpayers Reconciling this expen- diture with Finance Minister John Turner's budgetary ad- monition to the Canadian public to practice "restraint" is difficult indeed. Restraint seems to be an unknown word in government circles. The message for Canadians clearly is "do as we say, don't do as we do." Funeral parlours have fleets of jet black Cadillac limousines. That is reportedly the reason the prime minister's new job is silver grey in colour. When the Mounties told him they wanted to buy a new limousine he and Margaret agreed they were tired of the "jet black jobs." When telling the House of Commons how it came about that he acquired a second limousine the Prime Minister made it sound like he takes orders from the RCMP. The way he put it when "the RCMP tells me something I listen." That is hard to believe. Cer- tainly one can be certain that the RCMP didn't tell him that this time it would be a silver grey Cadillac instead of jet black. The reason for the armour- plated limousines is security. The name of the game in security is to be incon- spicious. If there are three or four black Cadillacs in a procession it would throw of a would-be assassin or trouble maker as to just which Cadillac contained his target. A silver grey limousine stands out as a perfect target. There must have been mis- givings in the RCMP offices when they got the word from the PMO about the colour. But they too have learned that when the PM talks they listen. It doesn't say much for progress in our society when it is realized that as late as Lester Pearson's day the prime minister bought his own automobile and rode around in a standard passenger vehicle with no bul- let-proof glass or armour plate. Mike Pearson had a medium sized so did his predecessor John Diefen- baker. This great emphasis on security dates from 1970 when Quebec exploded. Canadians were amazed to witness their cabinet ministers being guarded by members of the Armed Forces with carbines at the ready. Ottawa became an armed camp. Since that incredible year in our history the federal government has been ex- tremely security conscious. During the election Mrf Trudeau told audiences his luxurious bullet-proof limousine was one of the niggling criticisms he had to endure. He protested he did not like riding around in such a cooped-up conveyance. Ob- viously he would prefer his sports car. But he explained it was for loan to Her Majesty or other dignitaries when they visited Ottawa. Back last May when he in- troduced his third budget Fi- nance Minister John Turner lectured Canadians about restraint and the need to conserve gasoline. It was im- portant to drive smaller cars. Therefore he was imposing a special excise tax on high energy consuming passenger cars. He repeated the admoni- tions again when he re-in- troduced the budget with some revisions this fall. He still wants Canadians to drive smaller cars that cost less and- get better mileage per gallon. His message does not seem to have reached the RCMP or the PMO. American economy feverish By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL Nearly six million Americans were out of work last month as unemployment in that country jumped to 6Vfe per cent. Canada is not far behind with per cent and a recession that's just beginning. Consensus economists the ones who work in banks, economic advisory councils and governments, and who generally take a vote to find out what they think say there won't be a depression. They may be right, but we are hard pressed to find a single concrete action by any leader anywhere to stave one off. Even a superficial examination of one bellwether industry suggests not only that depression is possible, but that it may not be our biggest worry. The American auto industry is to the American economy what body temperature is to physical wellbeing. If you have a raging fever, you you're sick. If you have 25 per cent unemployment in the biggest industry in the country The American auto industry is near collapse. Why? Partly because inflation is cutting into budgets enough to make people think twice before buying a new car. Unemployment fears are making them think again about buying one at all. And we have come so far from the competition ethic which is supposed to have made America great that the people now running the car industry, faced with drastically declining sales, RAISED the price of cars instead of having a sale at reduced prices. The relatively young and able bodied men now lining up for their unemployment benefits are definitely angry. An American thanksgiving telecast interview with some of them left no doubt that they will not stand passively for long. One of the reasons American auto workers have so far done little more than grumble is that they are getting supplementary benefits from the union which bring their total benefits up to 95 per cent of earnings. Now union leaders are desperately worried that the fund will run out within weeks. It was set up for layoffs in the hundreds AND THOUSANDS, NOT the hundreds OF thousands. To date close to autoworkers have been laid off and plans to idle more are still in the works. The American recession is deepening not even the optimists see recovery beginning for at least six months. The auto industry touches so many other industries, like steel and plastic, that its collapse means general malaise. It also spells BAD NEWS for Canada, partly because our economies are so interdependent, and partly because the Trudeau government has been so heavy handed in dealing with the Letters Handicapped need help The cry throughout the world is for governments to provide more monies for handicapped programs. Everyone agrees that the present budget makes it impossible to implement the types of programs needed for the variety of handicapped people. It is astonishing to observe how freely government funds are fed to organizations who request money based purely on an idea or nebulous program, though the original idea may have been worthwhile, but unless practical ability accompanies the idea, the monies are wasted. There is a great need for trained staff in this field which is still very much dependent on the generosity of the public. Many clubs who work toward providing much needed equipment e.g. machinery, gadgets as well as buildings, are the real pioneers in this work. Without them the real needs of the handicapped would not be met. I believe that the city of Lethbridge has the potential to give a lead in the field of training and employing the handicapped; the university is Wherever did you dig up a name like that? Americans. The squabbling goes on as we head for the highest unemployment and inflation in living memory. On the inflation front, governments have proved themselves equally inept. We CAN be thankful they are not trying to smite the enemy with higher taxes and tighter money. Today, such a classic policy would be a disaster. And still, with rare exceptions those who take part in the bargaining process either in government, labor or management have failed to catch on to the simple truth which workers themselves understand perfectly: there is no point in getting more money if purchasing power is not protected. Almost everyone is agreed that the push for higher wages will fuel 1975's inflation, and that the wage price spiral is gaining momentum. We have already lost twice as much time to work stoppages as last year. Why then can someone not articulate a "catch up and index for future inflation" formula that would go a long way toward price stability and industrial peace? Public confidence in either the American or the Canadian government's ability to cope with unemployment and inflation is weakening visibly. North Americans have been very smug about violent social upheaval in other countries. What effect will the volatile mix of high unemployment and high inflation have here? interested as is the Lethbridge Community College. The clubs are prepared to give of their time and it would be helpful if more of the general public could be involved in a voluntary capacity. At present the Reha: bilitation Society of Southwestern Alberta workshop at 1261 2nd Ave. North, is initiating a comprehensive program consisting of (1) adult special care for those who are more dependent; (2) work training program, and (3) rehabilitation program. The centre employs only five staff members; with the present government grants we cannot afford to employ more, therefore we appeal to those that can give a morning or an afternoon toward meeting the needs of the handicapped. In conclusion, if you have any machines or tools you no longer require, a gift of these may help to rehabilitate someone. Please direct all enquiries to Charles Ferris, Executive Director, RSSA 1261 2nd Ave. North, Lethbridge, or telephone 328- 2048. CHARLES FERRIS Lethbridge MLA's statement I was shocked and extremely angry when I heard on the CBC and read in The Herald the ignorant, ill informed public statements of the Lethbridge West representative in the legislative assembly concerning the Lethbridge Birth Control and Information Centre. As a member of the board of directors of the Birth Control and Information Centre I can assure Mr. Gruenwald that the centre has never been close to a porno shop or anything resembling it. We have always had well trained staff members who have done, and are doing, excellent work in spite of the ignorance and lack of support of people such as this MLA. We have always maintained an open house to any person interested in finding out about our activities and how we function. Mr. Gruenwald has made various statements about what the centre does and advocates, and yet admits that he has never been near the centre. For a man who is supposed to be a representative of this neighborhood in our provincial legislature to criticize the centre and to admit that he would be embarrased to go into it, is beneath contempt. It is quite obvious that our so called representative knows 1'ttle about birth control, or the problems that the younger generation and their parents are faced with nowadays. Fortunately there are some people in all walks of life in this neighborhood who are doing their best, in spite of stupid, ignorant men like this, to help the youth and young adults in the community in one of the major problems of modern life. R. G. H. HALL Lethbridge Commends city council After reading an editorial Dec. 6, dealing with city council's proposal to ban the freedom of dogs in the city, I felt compelled to make a comment. The editorial was a real tear jerker in many respects especially in its reference to children playing with dogs and dogs keeping children from crime. Dogs running at large are also very educational, as they love open spaces like playgrounds and school grounds. It saves the parents the trouble of explaining about the birds and the bees, the dogs can do it. It is truly time dogs in the city were put under control and even though it's heartwarming to see children playing with dogs it isn't heartwarming to stroll across your own lawn and step in your neighbor's dog's calling card. It also isn't heartwarming to be mowing the lawn with your wife sitting on the doorstep and after tho mower spatters her with fresh dog droppings, trying to explain that you didn't do it on purpose. Then there is the problem of the dogs that are tethered in the backyard and they yelp and bark from the time their master goes to work until he or she returns in the !ste afternoon. This is an irritation to neighbors. Just another form of pollution. In my opinion city council is taking a very courageous stand on this issue and I commend them. A FRIEND TO COUNCIL Lethbridge An inspired editorial Many thanks for the in- spired editorial (The Herald, Nov. 28) on Iskih Takimiska. It expresses beautifully my feelings when I first spotted the sight some eight years ago. It echoes the unspoken thoughts of the hundreds of people who have found the viewpoint. What can be done to get the Alberta historic sites boards, the minister of youth, culture and recreation and the minister of highways together to get the turn-off marked on Highway No. 3? Maybe the three have never met each other! T. W. KIRKHAM Calgary Sarcasm poor weapon The Herald places restrictions on the length of letters and yet breaks its own rules to condone the sort of drivel that appeared Dec. 11 signed by Faithful Constituent. Some of the editorials would lead one to believe that the editor writes that kind of letter himself so that no one can find out who actually wrote it. I would like to remind Faithful Constituent, who hasn't got what it takes to sign his name, that sarcasm is the weapon of the weak minded and I might add that an editor who would bend over backwards to print such stuff may well fit into the same category. LEO W. SPENCER Cardston TJte Lethbridge Herald 7W a. S. Ltffibridge. Altorta LETHBHIDOB HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and f CMM Mail No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and PuWwher DON H. PILLING HOY F. MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Paga EdMor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT ButmfM Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"