Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 24, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, December 24, 1974 A Christmas greeting The silver lining in the economic cloud that hangs over Christmas is the oppor- tunity to rethink the meaning of the holiday. Happiness is a state of mind, not the size of the packages under the tree. It is within everyone's power to smile, and in so doing to communicate the warmth of human comradeship. The almost forgotten ingredient of Christmas is joy. And yet, if life is not joyful, then the value of living can be questioned. To laugh, to have fun, to sing, to be rnerry is not to deny the problems of the world or to ignore its failings and its tragedies. It is, rather, a reaffirmation of the qualities of spirit which enable man to survive these troubles. Joy is not a refuge from reality. In the final analysis, it is an ex- pression of love, and that is the ultimate reality. Joy to the world! Closing highways Claresholm Mayor Ernie Patterson has a right, if not a responsibility, to speak out on the need for highway closure authority. Three times in recent years the citizens of Claresholm have had to rescue the stranded and provide them with hospitality. Mr. Patterson and his fellow citizens have done a splendid job of hosting un- wary travellers in the past but it is presumptuous to assume that they ought to continue to do so in the future. There is no reason for them to have their lives disrupted in this way. In earlier times travellers had to take risks; today it is almost completely un- necessary. With the means of com- munication now available, travel into areas experiencing blizzard conditions could easily be prevented. Most people would probably prefer to be turned back rather than take a chance of having to spend stretches of time somewhere short of their chosen destination. Those who have emergency reasons for travel would find their chances of getting through greatly- enhanced if the highway was clear of crawling or stranded vehicles Whatever extra work might be entail- ed in manning blockades at turn-back points would surely nut compare to the amount of time and effort required to rescue people who have been allowed to proceed. It certainly would be more than compensated by the time saved in the clearing of highways after storms. None or these considerations is as ini- portant as the safely factor. It is remarkable that more lives are not lust in winter stOiUiS than is the case. Luck has probably been pushed far as it should go. Henceforth, as Mayor Patterson proposes, highways should be closed when weather condiliuns warrant it. 'Tis the season to be jowly By Richard Needham, Toronto Globe and Mail coinmeniator Everybody knows about Santa Claus. but few know about his delightful wife Sandra Claus, who like most wives is eight times as Intelligent as her husband. One evening in mid December, the two of them were enjoy- ing a spot of wassail when Sandra said to San- ta, "You're not ho ho hoing quite so much as usual. Is something troubling Santa nodded his head. "It's a newspaper columnist in a far distant city called Toronto. He hates Christmas and pays no attention to it sends no cards and throws away the cards people send him. gives no presents and passes on any present he gets to one of those middle aged harpies who surround him. His Christmas dinner consists of coined beef and cottage cheese, washed down with butter- milk. He never goes to Christmas parties; and if someone forces it on him, he tries to set the tree, or the decorations, or the hostess, on fire. Perhaps I should go down and have a word with him." Santa went to Toronto, and saw the writer concerned, but had no luck. Randolph J. Noodlebaum (for such it was) told his red coated visitor, "Christmas is a fraud and you're a fraud, too; I know what kind of charge you get from having children sit on your, lap. Christmas is the time of year when Canadians spend money they haven't got to buy stuff that isn't any use for people they don't particularly like. It's a can of worms, and if I had my way, I'd do what Oliver Cromwell did ban it completely. Now kind- ly fuddle duddle before I put glue in your beard." Santa went back to the North Pole, and told Sandra the whole story. She nodded her head. then said, "I've been checking up on this guy Noodlebaum. and found that he's extremely susceptible to delightful young things of 47 such as like what I am. I'll go down and talk to him myself." Sandra put on a snug pair of bright red pants trimmed with reindeer fur. a white jacket touched up with red holly berries, sashayed down to Toronto and presented herself at the door of Noodlebaum's office. The aged man said, "Who are She said, "I'm Sandra Claus, Santa's wife, and I just wanted to tell you that we've been happi- ly married for several centuries, at least it seems like that. I also wanted to say how right you are in your attitude toward Christ- mas, what a drag worse than a drag, in fact, because it makes so much misery for so many people." A thin smile broke across Noodlebaum's withered face. "Come out to he said, "and tell me all about it." Sandra told Noodiebaum over the restaurant table, "Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy. but it makes lot of people fall apart. Statistics show that 37.8 per cent of ai! alcoholics got their start fiom dipping their probosi.es into the punch. Psychiatrists are especially busy during the festive season; people think they ought to be happy then, but they aren't, and this makes them so unhappy that they go straight up the Berlin Wall. Many a man dates ffis ulcer to the rich food he ate at Yuietide; and many a woman packs on 10 pounds which she'll nevei. never get off. It's a terrible time for pedestrians, because half the drivers are blushed clear, out of their minds, and come right op oil the sidewalk after them. And have you realized how many people are driven into bankruptcy y.nd destitution by their Christmas spending? They don't recover till November of the following year, and then they do the same thing all over again.'' Noodlebaum laughed t-ut loud, and nodded at her tu keep talking Sandra thought, "I'm getting to and continued. "But it's in the home that Christmas dots the worst damage. Children are naturally ungrateful, and when they gel 47 expensive toys from their parents, demand to know if that's all. This makes for many heartaches but oi course the worst thing is tht it orings families together under ont roof There's nothing so awful as being boxed in with your own queer and drear, your tlinch and thud, your own kick and din; and. as the police will tell you, it causes everything up to and including murder." Noodiebuum ioid. But if Christmas is so terrible, why do you and yuuf husband go along with Santaa tapped Nijodlebaurn ever so slightK t.n the back of his claw like hand "Come, come now." sne said roguishly "haven t you yourself often said that a married man will do anything foi I would add that a married woman will do twice 01 three times an} thing for money. Santa and i have got iich off Christ mas It's a good racket, and >ve intend tu keep it that way. Besides. both :dthtr sadistic and enjoy creating for others. Now. then, are you still against Christmas': Do you still want to aboHoh Noodlebaum looked at her keenly, then said. "Oh my Satan, what a fool I've been Yes. Mrs. Claus, from here on I'm going to love and honor and cherish Christmas the wav no man ever did beibre. MON'l KKAi. ov, tht losses but against fuliirt mcrcases try U; c o s 1 1- Higher "Yes, was here last week, too. I'm kind of a Santa We all know s circle uf liiflutinn -Augi, Sail bciiiitd in iiii-ii living stan- dards so they demand com- pensation not just foi past piotection anticipated players n (o their UitiC increased t a i s i n g prices. s r.iean someone again to higher Wafjt.5, arid .so tilt .vagc price spiral goes >n But there .lie less well known ami more- insidious el fee is ot inlkition. For example, sav dis- cover that the value of their stocks, bond.i and mutual 1 11 n (t s ha v e d e c line d .significantly At the satnv (fine, savers need more savings to make a downpay- mcnt on ,i house, to educate their children, to provide for their rctirment. So they look for more profitable ways to invest. They take their money out of nEJCKT For adventure's sake By William Safire, New York Times commentator T h e sear c h f t h us Northwest Passage a waici route from to across the wastes ol North America- was OIK the great adventure, stories of all time, the vain quest ol Sir Francis Drake Hci.ry Hudson, finally discovered at the turn of this century by- Arctic explorer Ronald Amundsen. With a prosaic inud. the commercial consequence of this adventure was covi on the shipping PQKCS recently under the VValers off Jersey Wni become terminus of Northwest Passage Icebreaking super- tankers will one day be bring- ing millions of ban els of .Alaskan crude oil down through the bays seaways of Cdiuidd to ter- minals r.ea; Cape May Once again we set the pragmatizing of a dream, the glory of exploration ending up in a big tank in New Jersey. But tht search for ihe Northwest Passage always had a .-..i'niitrcicil v.'iiat has Happened tc adven- ture for adventure s sakt. the sweetening of by risk that rejects the practical applica- tion of expioi'aiion or the Cuiri- mercial crribodiment of Evei Sir KcUiiu.iU Hillary, who lea the -..vr. liu ihei' day delivv-riiig the FranK Nelson Doubleday lecture at the Smithsonian Institute "I often the way that science lia.i sometiines been introdu-, ed to jusiiiy an inteiasting pdr- it a !ut oi is lequired is vvorthwhiie lor its owr. aake." said the mail who had just come back from scaling some peaks in the Aniarelic "How many oi have been stimulated by some glorious effort that had no conceivable economic or scientific Not many of us. The rem- nants of America's space program, a great adventure drowned in the sinking of America's national spirit after Vietnam, is today justified merely on military, and applied- science grounds. When John F. Kennedy said "America has tossed its cap over the wall of space" and what a beautiful figure of speech that was. of a kid presenting himself with a challenge he did not say that spacefoods designed for astronauts would be great in school lunch boxes, or that satellite reconnaissance would make possible future arms control agreements. Essentially, the object was to shoot for the moon, which would not only enhance our national pride at beating the Russians there but lift our spirits at the thought of what puny man could do. But then we became self-conscious about our success, and em- barrassed at spending so money on pure adven- ture when there were mouths t.ii iced on earth. Accordingly, our space i.gi am today is justified on terms. The linkup of Soviet and U.S. space cap- sales scheduled for July 17, 1975 is said to be important for detente, and to show other nations who the real super- powers are The probe of the solar system by Pioneer II is said to be finding useful data oi, radiation belts and whatnot iiiumbojumbo. The reason we have poked a hole in the sky with a rocket is 'hat we are as curious as hell to find out what is out there. Adventure is danger faced for the sake of curiosity, the rise to a challenge "because it's there." Such self-testing en- nobles the human spirit. Why, then, is there not great 'public fascination with the half-billion mile flight of Pioneer 11 to Jupiter, wonder- ment at its grazing the Jovian clouds and then using Jupiter's gravity to "crack the whip" and head for Saturn, a half-billion miles beyond? The answer, of course, is that there are no human beings aboard and there can be no adventure without danger. But one day there will be men aboard and women, and blacks, and young people, and ethnics) and this whole world will hold its breath as the human spirit reaches up and touches another whole world. Viewed from centuries hence, these explorations will be the big news of our time, and our descendants will be amused at our self- consciousness at heavy costs of adventure without practical payoffs. Why couldn't we see that such contests and heroics provided the necessary moral equivalent of war? That is why we can hope that NASA's publicists do not equip next year's astronauts with link-up messages like "this is a giant step for detente" or "the march of scientific progress is irrever- sible." Let our adventurer crawl through the passageway, stick out his hand and say something more appropriate to the gloriously impractical spirit of the occasion. Like: "Dr. Livingston, I side effects of inflation i r.diciiU'd commentator and put it into reai estate, or markets, or aiiUqutrt. oi gold. flius. S..--, :figh art diverted from t iu; pr oo u c t i ve investiYiciii.-, financed by the capital markets to Unproduc- tive holdings The capital fiiai KcL> i.he iur.cij liiey i-- industrial expji.s- i'hia UK jn'tiSjjt.Vi.-> short i'.'iin, IDS' ..oiistruc- ion activity ..i.d .h; ii.-ag i.iji.iLiSli'lill rapacity will not. be available in pi.-nni' expanded produc- tion Ihc I'ulUi'C This and other inflation tid- bits are dealt with in the (J. D. Howe Research Institute's Policy Review and Outlook This iiUk is anyone who wants it. how ;.ind why we 'i to hcii a I1 or example, most ol ii.s know that g o v e i n in e n t spending has been increasing taster than the economy has rnent spends our money. which it gets through higher taxes, its spending is often highly inflationary. Of total government spend- ing, the institute concludes that 58 per cent is un- controllable, in the sense that there it a legislative commit- ment to make payments like ulsl age pensions, unemploy- ment insurance and so on. Forty-two per cent of the budget is immediately conn oilable. and the rest is ul- timately th.rm.igh legislative changes. The problem is that there is :K> incentive system either in i he bureaucracy or in the abmct which would make anyone care about how much a n y program costs. Politicians make their decisions on the basis of what they think will make people vote lor them again: bureaucrats make their decisions on the basis of what they think will bring them power in their own bailiwick. The Institute Policy Review esses itself to some other important and nagging questions. It finds evidence of discrimination against women and young workers. It finds an extraordinary degree of mis- matching of the skills workers have and those jobs demand. This would account for the coincidence of high unemploy- ment and high job vacancies. The Policy Review and Outlook 1975 (C.D. Howe Research Institute, Sun Life Building, Montreal) is impor- tant reading for the observer of contemporary political economy. Don't let the title scare you. The book is short (160 cheap highly readable (written by a former jour- nalist, Judith authoritative (Maxwell is a top notch economist, the Howe Institute a respected research group with no ob- vious political or profit incen- With a new cover and a jazzy title, it could become the sleeper of the year. Letters Undeserved criticism It would seem that West Lethbridge ML A, R. D. Gruenwald is being subjected to undeserved, unjust criticism. In some cases an MLA must be guided by his conscience or he could not live with himself. It is better that he express his true opinion than to be a hypocrite and go along with every breeze that blows. To be fair and just, the following points of view must be considered. I do not-vote for the Social Credit party, however in the coming provincial election I must support Mr. Gruenwald, not for his political philosophy but for the man himself as I have grown to know him over the last 35 years. The letter, No porno at centre (The Herald, Dec. 18) should bring to mind the fact that not all people see the same things, given the same facts, in the same light... We are not all perfect, if we were there would be no need for abortion, which is a very gen- tle term for pre-meditated murder. What is pornographic to one person may be just the opposite to another person, depending on the point of view one takes about life itself. Supplying a one-sided view- point about the doing away of a fetus cannot, by the greatest stretch of the imagination, be considered enough informa- tion to enable the one concern- ed at the time "to make moral decisions within the context of their lives." The people involved in the centre should stress that to the action of abortion there will be a reaction; that during a woman's whole future lifetime there will be a gnawing guilt, per- haps even night- mares portraying the un- necessary act of destruction so vividly that it etches deeply on the mind and conscience a picture of unneeded horrible consequences; or that the reaction may even result in a severe mental breakdown or breakdowns that mav be intermittent and last even- tually for a lifetime. In all goodness, wouldn't it be much better to let the yet unborn to be born? What real joy there could be for a new life an individual, a unique and irreplaceable per- sonality? There should be no stigma, and I am aware of none, for bearing what was once called an illegitimate child or is there? Is it the fear of shame or threatened social ostracism that forces the unwed mother to seek an abortion? The grandparents of these unborn need to be educated to the fact that society today does not place a stigma on the unwanted child. Even the most intelligent, moral, Christian people make mistakes because everyone is human. These mistakes must be accepted with forgiveness and love and without hypocritical attitudes Let nature-take its course and all will be well no un- needed breakdowns, no sense of guilt, no crime of murder to be committed and the un- surpassed joy of bringing forth a new life with its many unending compensations of love and a sense of ac- complishment will be felt. Geniuses are begot and born only once in 100 years or possibly longer. Has anyone really considered that, of the hundreds of thousands of un- necessary abortions each year in the world, there is just an infinitesimal possibility there could be one genius among them a loss that humanity cannot afford and can never recover? Can readers stretch their imaginative powers to calculate what one loss of one genius might mean to the progress of cultures, and humanity the world over? Let them live! In so doing we may be blessed with a genius the likes of which the history of mankind has not yet comprehended or imagined. What a blessing this would be to a very confused and troubled world! E. S. VASELENAK Lethbridge Instruction inadequate I was appalled and incensed to read in the Edmonton Jour- nal December 12, that the member from Lethbridge West, Mr. Dick Gruenwald, would allow himself to be quoted concerning the Birth Control and Information Centre in Lethbridge to this effect: "If I had my way I'd get rid of the damned thing" and without seeing it! Mr. Gruenwald should, but perhaps does not realize, that from January to June 30, 1974 there were 2151 elective abor- tions performed in Alberta. Of this number, 794 were per- formed on females 19 years and under. Moreover, 777 were unmarried. The Lethbridge area contributed its share. Whether Mr. Gruenwald agrees or not. teen agers in all areas of Alberta are ob- viously indulging in sexual intercourse. Small wonder that the minister of health and social development appointed an Alberta Family Planning Co ordinating Committee in 1972! One of the terms of reference was to relate, through a medical and nursing consultant, with the health units and the voluntary agen- cies, in providing advice and information regarding family planning and sexuality. This is what the Birth Control Centre in Lethbridge seeks to do. It is difficult to understand how this could be called por- nographic. The decision to have inter- course is a personal one. But if one be 16 or 60, male or female and makes that deci- sion then acquiring advice, in- formation, and if necessary, the means to prevent pregnan- cy, is much preferable to resorting to abortion as a contraceptive measure Abortion is an expensive procedure! Moreover, the possibility of complications which might result in future infertility is of concern. It is true that instruction in family and interpersonal relationships, sexuality, sex- ual intercourse and the responsibility entailed, should be taught in the home or the church or in the school. In the first two environments, home and church, it is not now being adequately presented. Hopefully, we will be able to devise programs for all Alberta school students from kindergarten through Grade 12. For the present instruction seems absent, inadequate, or ineffective. We are trying by several means i.e. the doctor's office, the hospitals, the public health units, the city clinics, and the voluntary family planning associations to offer information to anyone, but es- pecially to teen agers, such that they may avoid inter- course or at least avoid pregnancy and as well venereal disease. Any facility which offers that service in good faith deserves the Support of each member of the community, and in no sense should be classed as a purveyor of por- nography. Moreover, a member of the legislature should not condemn such a facility sight unseen. "Honi soil qui mal y J. ROSS VANT, M.D. Edmonton The Lethbridge Herald 504 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 ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"