Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, Dectmber 23, 1974 Syncrude: Environment The latest newsletter from Syncrude: Environment is thought provoking. The main thrust of the consortium's en- vironmental efforts seems to be on the collecting of data. There is a paucity of information on any advisory committees that may be at work or assurance that advice on environmental policy will be paramount in any conflict with economic interests. The newsletter does report a "relatively close working relationship" between federal and provincial governments and the tar sands project on research into the environmental aspects of development but, again, no in- dication that research will have any effect on policy, or any certainty that, if it does, this policy will be carried out. In the whole oil sands development there seems to be no independent monitoring of the environment and no public knowledge of what the province expects from Syncrude. By way of contrast, in Montana large strip mining operations (and this describes the pres- ent oil sands operations) are inspected by state officials every two weeks. This lack of regulations, along with a lack of policy and policy making bodies which are independent of the companies involved, is crucial for reasons that become apparent on reading the newsletter. One paragraph states: "It is important to understand that 'reclamation''implies reform of the land to a biotically active state, not necessari- ly in the same topographic conformation as was present before mining. 'Restoration' implies reform of the land to the original physical conformation and biological state. No attempt is being made at the present time to 'restore' the areas mined for tar sands." The cheapest way to reclaim any area is to bulldoze it flat and plant it to suitable vegetation. While this news- paper has proclaimed editorially that scenery does not have to be verticle to be attractive, it goes without saying that the thought of one-fifth of Alberta as levelled ground is not a pleasing prospect. This is, of course, only an extreme possibility. But what assurance does the public have that it will not occur? THE CASSEROLE If it's true that money can't buy happiness, it isn't much use at all, because it won't buy very much else Those awful socialists in Saskatchewan are at it again. Now they're going to assume the' cost of all prescription drugs. Health Minister Walter Smishek recently announced that under the terms of a new policy, the con- sumer will pay all or part of the prescription tee. and the provincial government will pay the cost of the drugs. First enacted in 1908, and regularly revised (most recently in 1970) this legislation makes it an offence for those under 16 to smoke or chew tobacco in public, or to buy or possess tobacco in any form for their own use. Giving or selling tobacco to a person under 16 is also an offence. With all the anti tobacco talk, it's odd no one ever tries to invoke the Tobacco Act. As if there weren't enough waste and cor- ruption being dumped into the oceans, under- takers operating near the coast in some countries are offering a burial at sea op- tion. Evidently the cost of burial plots on land keeps going up as space becomes scarcer, and this is one way to beat the rise. ERIC NICOL Nothing in it for me Does the government really care about your body? This is the question I ask myself, after hearing ministers of health at both the federal and provincial levels tell us that soar- ing costs of medicare can be cut if people will get out and walk a measured mile. Sometimes when I am out ponderously pedaling my daughter's 10-speed, the ienderless front wheel stuccoing my face with wet grit, I wonder if I have been conned into trying to keep fit. There I am gasping and gagging on blackflies, while some lazy slob sprawls happily in front of the tellie, con- tent to arrange the cardiac arrest that will put him into the hospital that the government is too cheap to build. He knows, curse him, that at my age riding a bike can be as dangerous as bellying up to the butter tarts Being hit by a bus is a very degenerative disease. The same applies to my taking a brisk walk for the measured mile. Brisk walking attracts the neighborhood dogs, who think I arn fleeing a felony, and they bite me in the leg Rabies is just as tedious a way to put the lights out as a coronary. That I might be a mug for trying to gain a lap on the average 60-year-old Swede, was hinted at by a neighbor when I paused in my iwo-wheelmg wheeze up our hill. "What are you trying to he asked. His paunch rested comfortably on the handle of his power mower. Good living radiated from his polysaturated fat. I felt foolish as I said "I'm trying to keep fit." "Fit for what9" He'd stumped me Fit for what indeed I thought as I trudged the bike the rest of the way up the hill By pushing hell out oi wind and limb I may be relieving the strain on government medical costs, but what's in it for me? If I am helping to moderate the number of new hospital beds needed this year, arn I not entitled to some reward besides being able to step on and off a chair 100 times without fain- ting? Yes, I mean a cash rebate. Good drivers pay less for their government auto insurance than do bad drivers. Why shouldn't the phyically active get a tax break over the sloth camped with his beer before the portly paragon of Cannon? Granted, such a rebate would be difficult to administer. It is complicated by the fact that many fitness freaks land in hospital as a result of their good intention to stay out of it. For example I snapped an Achilles tendon playing tennis. A snapped Achilles tendon should not affect the rebate. Nor should con- cussion incurred by diving into a pool with no water in it. What is classified as poor sport is a grossly overweight executive chasing his secretary around his desk and landing in the intensive care unit. If the rebate system is too hug-nrrmpr what about a compulsory physical fitness test on the same basis as the visit to the auto testing station? If you fail to pass the fitness test, the ex- aminer slaps a REJECTED sticker on your chest. Nobody likes to feel rejected, especial- ly if it costs him points on his company medical plan. I guess that what I'm trying to say is this' many people ask "Why should 1 knock myself out being physically fit, so long as I've got my There must be a good answer somewhere, and I'd like to hear it before I rupture my gear-change. COMPLAINTS and I'd like to thank the local merchant's association for their fine publicity and promotion for this particular church festival Ghosts of the past By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator BOSTON Two years ago the United States government began an episode that will live in infamy: the Christmas bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong. It went on for 11 days. B-52's and other planes carried out strikes, the most intensive conventional bombing campaign in history. It is not a pleasant memory this season, but it is a necessary one. To this day, the men responsible for that savagery have said not a word of regret or serious ex- planation. In the absence of public understanding, the un- derlying attitudes that produced the Christmas bombing go on. Why did we bomb? Most military actions that history comes to condemn such as the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War originated in a belief, however mistaken, that they would have a useful effect on the enemy. That is hard to say in the case of the Christmas bombing. When it was all over, the United States and North Viet- nam signed a peace agree- ment on the terms that had been worked out the previous October. The differences from the text published in October were of a trivial character, relating to such things as the speed of establishing com- missions to police the truce matters long since forgotten as irrelevant. If the purpose of the Christ- mas bombing was to force North Vietnamese acceptance of a few empty phrases in the text of the agreement, then in a rudimentary sense the bombing was a crime of war. For one of the few agreed principles governing the con- duct of war is that of propor- tionality, which condemns the use of military means grossly disproportionate to the political ends sought. But there are strong reasons to doubt that the Christmas bombing was real- ly designed to extract diplomatic concessions from its victims. Evidence publish- ed in the magazine Foreign Policy last summer by Tad Szulc suggests, rather, that the political purpose was to persuade South Vietnam to accept the truce. Ever since October, the North Vietnamese had been pressing for signature of the agreement. But Nguyen Van Thieu and his Saigon govern- ment had bitterly denounced it The "brutalizing" of Hanoi, in Gen. Alexander M. Haig Jr.'s delicate phrase, was a way of convincing President Thieu that America would re- main committed to him after a truce. There is a third possible ex- planation of the Christmas episode. From October on, the United States had poured arms into South Vietnam in an effort to reassure Thieu. Hav- ing stalled on the truce in order to let that process work, Washington may have thought it politically necessary at home to obtain a few verbal concessions however meaningless, and at whatever cost in order to justify the delay. Those are the reasons that have been suggested, in the absence of any official ex- planation for the Christmas bombing. None comes close to a justification. Any must condemn those responsible. Whatever the reason, the bombing symbolized the determination of the United States to impose its views on Indochina its unwillingness to allow change except on its terms. And that attitude goes on to this day. More than half of American aid abroad still goes to In- dochina. The meanings of policy are different, but the attitude is the same: the United States must be respon- sible tor what happens in Viet- nam. The moral cost is even worse in Cambodia. There was a country, a civilization, among the most peaceful and beautiful on earth. Then the United States made Cambodia a pawn in its design for Southeast Asia. Look at the picture now: a ravaged country of desperate people. One sin history does not forgive: the destruction of a civilization. A year ago some American officials troubled by the destruction of Cambodia urg- ed Henry Kissinger to stop feeding the war, then withdraw gracefully from responsibility. He said roughly that he did not want to hear any more of that: "to lose gracefully is still to lose." The continuing obsession with Indochina after the war lost any semblance of purpose used to be considered part of the pathology of Richard Nix- on, who did not want to be seen as a pitiful helpless giant. Now, as the most fun- damental American economic and political interests are threatened elsewhere, the obsession with Indochina con- tinues to grip Kissinger. And are Congress or the country exempt from it if they let it go on? Walter Lippmann's death reminds us of his prescient early opposition to the American war in Indochina. Lippmann was not an innocent about power. But he spent a lifetime arguing that the great must use it rationally, in their own interest and the world's. The Christmas bombing, and the continuing American policy of war by other means in Indochina, show that Lipp- mann's work remains to be done. The dark forces of irrationality still deeply affect his country's foreign policy. Some day the people of In- dochina will have to be allow- ed to make their own future. When? A society of rip-off artists? By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON It has become an American com- monplace to say that "nobody trusts politicians anymore That is a bum rap for the people who run tor public of- fice, for the grim truth may be that we Americans don't really trust anybody anymore. There may have been a time when people had less faith in the free American press (for example, when Thomas Jefterson was saying in 1807 that "the man who nevei looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and but I doubt it. But it is not just major in- stitutions like the White House, the Congress, the law profession, the courts that have fallen into low esteem. There is a growing tendency to regard almost eveiy unrig and everyone as a suspected exploiter or cheater. Perhaps a measure of new wisdom lies behind this at- titude. We do seem to have more hustlers and con men in more professions than ever before in this society. i till- .1 gas tank at a ma joi Lid vici' station recentl> arm paid with oil Credit i-ard When the bills came in my wife noted that strangely I had apparently twice purchas- ed large amounts of gasoline at that station on the same day What happened was that the attendant had stamped an extra ticket while he had my card so he could later fill the tank of his girl friend's car and charge her gasoline to me. A friend left her car at a shop for a routine checkup. It was two days after she drove the car home that she dis- covered someone had remov- ed her brand new battery and replaced it with a dying klunk. A young man I know went to a prominent automotive center to have new shock ab- sorbers put on his car. A few weeks later he went back to complain that his car rode like a war surplus truck. Officials at the center inspected the car and confessed that the workman or someone kept the new shocks and put some almost useless ones on the car What kind of nonsense is this when you must get out of your car every time a service station attendant goes under the hood just to make sure he doesn't cut a water hose and then sell you a new one? What docs it do to us to walk niio d clothing store and recognize a "marked down" suit now as exactly the same suit you saw earlier for at a store that wasn't even pretending to have a sale? How do we cope with Federal Trade Commission hearings which reveal that trade schools are taking lots of precious money from tens of thousands of progress- hungry people, knowing that 80 per cent of those people will drop out, be washed out, and never get_ a thing for their money? Vvhere do people turn when the best-intentioned governmental housing programs collapse, thousands of homes are foreclosed and abandoned, because the fast- buck lawyers and slick developers (including crooks in prestigious credit agencies and government agencies like FHA) conspire to rip off un- suspecting people whoje great dream is to own tfleir own home? A lot of my readers would prefer me to be a pollyanna and simply write in a thou- sand ways, "This is a great I enjoy the sweet nostalgia of singing "The Way We but something still compels me to ask how we got to be "the way we are." Letters Amazed at sports fans I am a recent landed im- migrant of Canada, having arrived in Lethbridge in early October. Nearly all of my im- pressions of this town and province are favorable, in fact, beautiful. Some would have had me think that Canada is full of cold people. However, I have not found that to be the case. Having always been a sports enthusiast, I quickly caught Bronco fever and have not missed a home game when I am in town. I think the people of the community can be proud of their team and the support thus far would in- dicate such. I stand amazed at the at- titude which prevails in the crowd during scuffles (sometimes brawls) on the ice. Perhaps it is part of today's trends but I feel most people would reconsider if they saw themselves as others see them. How confusing it must be for a child to get bawled out by his folk- for fighting with the kid down the block and then go to a hockey game where the parent screams "Hit "Knock and "Bust while the gloves are dropped to the ice. I was sickened at a recent game when a fight began and a little girl of seven or eight began jumping up and down in delight. I thought I was in the Roman Forum as the Christians were thrown to the lions What a tremendous ex- ample her parents must have set for her! I hope we will all consider our barbaric actions at the next game and as an audience try to discourage needless brawls on the ice and try to encourage good sound, hard checking (but not punch- throwing) hockey, that our Broncos will continue to be fine representatives of this community. LARRY BOSWELL Lethbridge More important issues I would like to thank Mrs. Eva Teles for her letter regarding the dog bylaw. (The Herald, Dec. I, too, think that city council and Mr. Tarleck would be better employed on more important issues.' For in- stance, they might start by penalizing parents who do nothing to stop children from riding cycles across private lawns, riding cycles AT pedestrians on sidewalks, breaking windows, breaking bushes, etc., instead of mak- ing things more difficult for the many people who love dogs and look after them so that they are not a nuisance to others. I agree that dogs should be under reasonable control by a competent person, but not on a leash all their lives. I also am sorry to note that some young children appear to be getting brainwashed by dog-hating adults! (MRS MARGARET M. MALLALIEU Lethbridge Delightful editorial The Herald should be com- mended for the delightful and humane editorial Dec. 6, regarding children and dogs. It is somewhat disgusting, however, to read letters written by adults who hate dogs and who then sign youngsters names to the letters. Everyone will agree that people who own dogs should assume the respon- sibility of looking after them and any owner who fails to do so should be penalized. Dogs however cannot read "keep off" or other signs and clean- ing up their litter can be a nuisance. Humans however, who can read, not only litter but deliberately deposit more filth on our streets and sidewalks than do the dogs that run at large. Dogs who may be unfriendly have usually been abused by humans but normally dogs like children and normal children like dogs and it is doubtful if anyone has ever been injured by a dog's growl. It surely would be more appropriate for a council member to devote his energy to promoting something beneficial to the citizens 'generally rather than something which would deprive many grown-ups and children the joy and com- panionship of a dog, simply to please a few animal haters. A. F. SMITH Lethbridge Invitation to relocate Thanks are extended to Mr. McDonald for the un- precedented and unsolicited publicity given our communi- ty in the recent issues of The Herald we could never have afforded it on our own. The cuiiiuiuiiig thunder of the heavy artillery, however, is becoming a bit wearisome to the good burghers of our town it disturbs the peace and tranquility of their even- ing meal. The wisdom and mature judgment of a centenarian community decries the prac- tice of quarreling with a younger neighbor, rather we suggest that if indeed Fort Macleod is to continue to be the number one news item in The Herald that serious con- sideration be given to moving the printing establishment and personnel here so that the Herald can become more conversant with the affairs of our community at a local level. After becoming established here and still deciding that a packing piant is not desirable in this area, The Herald could then turn its time and talents to locating what would be con- sidered a more suitable in- dustry for this community. Realizing that the long es- tablishe'd policy of The Lethbridge Herald is "fair play to all I an- ticipate that there will be no hesitation in giving this invita- tion top billing on what now appears to be the new Fort Macleod page page one. ANDY MACKAY, President Fort Macleod and District Chamber of Commerce. Letters are welcome and will be published providing: identification is included (name and address are required even when the letter is to appear over a they are sensible and not libelous; they are of manageable length or' can be shortened (normally letters should not ex- ceed 300 they are decipherable (it great- ly helps if letters are typed, double spaced with writers do not submit letters too frequently. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St S Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No 0012 (.LEO MOWERS. Ediloi and Publishei DON H PILLING Managing Editor ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial P.igc Editor DONALD R OORAM General Manager ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Business Manager "1 HE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"