Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD-Tutaday, Ftbrutry diisf in Coleman Now that the first, horrified reactions to the latest coal dust figures from Coleman have subsided, it's time to take a more objective look at a situation which can only be described as bizarre. It passes understanding that a company could have built a coal cleaning plant five years ago for million, labelled as the most modern in Canada with emission standards considerably better than those required at that time by provincial authorities, and at the same time leave coal stockpiled out in the open at the mercy of every gust of wind that came along. What really challenges belief in this situation is the fact that the operation apparently met the environmental regulations then in force. It seems incredible that provincial environmental authorities were not aware that wind is an agent of the environment and that high winds are frequent in the 'Pass. One tenuous line of reasoning puts the blame for the coal dust on coal-mining operations to the west. Every Fernie- bound skier who has threaded his way through the coal dust miasma of the Michel-Natal area recognizes the possibilities here. If this were the case, Alberta would do well to suggest a trade with British Columbia, offering to take Fernie if B.C. will take back its coal dust. However, a study of the particulate figures from Coleman and Blairmore indicates that on a tonnage per-square mile basis even a few miles makes a great difference and the source of coal dust in Coleman would seem to be quite localized. The Alberta department of the environment is to be commended for delivering deadlines to Coleman Collieries for temporary and long-range solutions to the problem. However, the defective vision of environmental authorities who, five years ago, had never seen the wind, still needs to be improved. The department of the environment is funding two appraisals to find out how much it would cost to move the plant outside of town. This is such a narrow solution that they still might be said to have tunnel vision. Moving the plant doesn't solve the problem; it simply gives it to someone else. The actions of the department of the environment should be watched very closely. None of the extractive industries is more beset with environmental ques- tions than strip coal mining. And since Alberta has vast resources of coal, these questions are of prime importance. In balancing resource development with environmental quality there should be no illusions. The environment, whatever its state, will be around long after the resource is gone, and therefore its state is of overriding importance. If, to maintain environmental quality, a resource cannot be developed profitably, the solution is simply one of time. When the resource is needed badly enough, it can be developed profitably even within strict environmental controls. And panic should never decree otherwise. Not the way to self-esteem Putting an ideological gloss on barbarous acts, such as the kidnapping of the Hearst girl in California, may seem to the perpetrators to permit them to have a better image of 'themselves but their despicableness is not hidden thereby from others. The California incident has not sharpened the sense of outrage at the plight of the poor in an affluent nation; it has merely made people feel sorrow for the girl and her anguished parents. When the food purchased by the Hearst money has been distributed it will be found that nothing has changed; poverty is not solved in that way. Increasingly the causes for which bombers, hijackers and kidnappers claim to be supporting are not served, and may actually be hurt, as sympathy goes out to the innocent victims. It should soon be obvious to all but the most demented perpetrators of violence that the public isn't buying their protestations of virtue in serving noble causes. Looking past the thin veneer of respectability most people see only sadists. The causes which are supposedly served rights for Catholics in Northern Ireland, justice for Palestinian refugees, food for California's poor need more respectable protagonists who have some chance of negotiating permanent solutions. Hurting innocent bystanders and creating atmospheres of tension only complicates the problems. Halting the senseless acts of terrorism will not be easy but the huge negative response to the attempt to give the Hearst kidnapping the appearance of respectability may help. Others may realize that self-esteem is not enhanced by taking this route. Inequity to be eliminated Assurance that inequities in the Canada Pension Plan will be done away with is a'welcome bit of news emerging from the recent conference of health ministers in Edmonton. Bit by bit, discrimination against women is being struck down. The notion that pensions for women should be less than for men is so absurd that it is hard to understand how it originated and has remained alive to this day. What possible defence is there for the idea that women can or should live more cheaply than men? Some of the rhetoric from the Women's Liberation movement may be extreme but the fundamental tenet that women have a claim on equal consideration in society is really unarguable. But even without the benefit of philosophic probing such things as reduced pensions for women ought to stand condemned out of simple awareness of humanitarian considerations. why can't we have a retirement savings plan that doesn't require burning down the U.S. Senate refugee report By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator BOSTON In the year 1973, by official count, there were new refugees in South Vietnam people who fled their homes to escape war. Hospitals admitted civilian casualties. Upwards of soldiers were killed, more than all the American war deaths in Vietnam from 1965 on. Those figures are from a report by the U.S. Senate refugee sub-committee, issued recently. It is an exceptionally informative and important Congressional document, but it would be surprising if one American in has heard of it. Newspapers gave it no more than a few paragraphs. The reason the report was largely ignored is hardly obscure. For most Americans that war is over, that problem finished. We won a ceasefire a year ago. We left with honor. Indochina is no longer our responsibility. It is time to forget. Those feelings are natural. No one wants to relive pain if he can forget. But forgetting is unhealthy when the cause of the illness remains and is still not understood. And so it is necessary to resist America's weary indifference toward the fact of life in Indochina, to seek understanding of our responsibility for the continuing misery and death. The Senate report is based on the work of a study mission sent by the subcommittee to South and North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Its members were doctors and others concerned with medical and social needs; it is headed by Professor Nevin Scrimshaw of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The mission's findings, quietly and carefully stated, make the reader reflect again on the contrast between the humanitarian pretensions and the destructive reality of what the United States has done and is doing in Indochina. We are spending now around billion a year on new arms and ammunition and military fuel for Indochina. Humanitarian spending is trivial by comparison. We are contributing nothing to help with the enormous job of removing unexploded bombs and mines from the fields; between 300 and 600 million pounds of explosives, most of it American. Cambodia is an even more pathetic example of the ruin caused by an American decision to escalate civil conflict into a war of advanced weapons. Half the country's six million people have become refugees. Half the hospitals are destroyed, a third of the roads and bridges ruined. Once a rice-surplus area, Cambodia now depends on the United States for three quarters of her supply. On Laos, the report had one revealing bit of news. It said the U.S. mission in Vientiane now puts the population of the part of the country under Pathet Lao control at to or a third of the total. American officials always used to justify the intense bombing of the Pathet Lao areas by saying almost no one lived there. As for North Vietnam, the sub-committee found "contrary to official U.S.' American bombing did "massive damage throughout the country to medical facilities, schools, boosing, churches, cultural centres. At least one million persons became homeless." The sub-committee drew some noteworthy admissions from the Pentagon. It had denied, for example, that the Bach Mai hospital in Hanoi was destroyed in the Christmas bombing of 1972, as reported by observers there. But after the Senate study mission saw the hospital and reported to officials, the defence department restudied photographs and admitted the destruction. Those are among the conclusions of this report. Why should we care now? Because of course the destruction goes on. And the American part in it is not only potential threats to bomb North V'etnam again but actual. Only U.S. aid lets President Thieu, as Frances Fitzgerald has put it, maintain control of South Vietnam by keeping "the ma- jority of the population in the army, the jails, the cities and the refugee camps." Our men are not fighting at the moment, but we are still trying to impose our military solution on Indochina. We are just doing it as we did before 1965, by arms and money. Back then we were told that we had to intervene to keep the dominoes from falling, to contain Communist China. Now China takes the Paracel islands, ousting, the South Vietnamese, and we say nothing. Our Indochina obsession proceeds on its lunatic way, long after its policy rationalizations have disappeared. Some liberal voices have suggested lately that the United States should make General Thieu behave better. Back to the myths of the 1960s, the illusion that we know best for Vietnam! Our military aid, like our direct intervention, only prevents the indigenous forces from reaching their own accommodation. When will we decide that we have destroyed enough, of Indochina and of our own sense of decency, and get out? Class conflict hazardous By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Whether you sympathized with the truck drivers and their special energy crisis woes, or cursed them for the shootings and other violence which attended their protests, they ought to have resensitized all of us to one-grim truth: Class jealousy and bitter class conflict are always threats to a capitalist society; they become especially baz- ardous in times when suffering and sacrifice are not equally shared. We reacted with outrage against truckers who killed and maimed drivers who refused to join their work stoppage. But the violent trackers were reacting to what they argue is just as great an outrage: profiteering by huge oil companies, Units and other restrictions that TECHNICIAN: Why do you have to drive that monster gas guzzler? Wouldn't a compact like mine get you where you want to go? CELEBRITY: I just happen to prefer the comfort and safety of my big car, and 1 worked hard to be able to afford one. TECHNICIAN: What right do you have- to use twice as much gas as I do? CELEBRITY: Look, I'm for rationing. If we get the same amount, and I choose to burn mine up in my big car, who's to complain? TECHNICIAN: But we don't have rationing yet And I think it's immoral for you to drive that big car. CELEBRITY: Hefl, man, a 14-room house uses up more energy than a UfCiaaUfai ttftfcaaau TECHNICIAN It'i truck driven (fee tat waa M tm war cry. it m aa BBaaai wa Americans finally ara dctcraiaad to Bnva that everything, use up everything, just because you can afford it. CELEBRITY: Crapola! Water is in short supply. Am I the bad guy because I take 10 baths a week to your one? TECHNICIAN: Go drown yourself! There never has been and never will be a truly egalitarian society. Human nature is against it. A a-year worker might be happy to drag a rich man down to his standard of living, but he'll bitch till doomsday if someone asks him to live at a level in order to lift a couple of families above the poverty line. Russia's Communist society has learned that systems of special reward for extra incentive and extraordinary to Yet, a capitalist society must be mindful of daaimtifa waya in wfctch It eatroadMB aaaoiBl prtvueae aad thus clan they wara rlptt haw a day aa I CM afford It fte wMa JOT daa't Ut a ttck capitalism. Perhaps notalag ia my lifetime, including the Oppression, has around more widespread dan animosity than the energy crisis. Listen to this composite of bitter arguments that I heard recently: ?Iaeedtttokeep Letters Bilingual or unilingual? The article entitled Bilingual Canada essential for nation in The Herald (Feb. 11) brought to my mind the "ordeal" that many Canadians (French and English) have had to endure, and still do, in the province of Quebec. I speak from actual experience as I was born and raised in Montreal. Yes, I am fluently bilingual! I have, however, moved from Montreal, the city of unrest and tension and have no feeling of regret or longing to go back it is only a feeling of deep relief, the absence of friction which my French and English friends in Montreal remain exposed to. The freedom to be a "Canadian" is what I feel now! The suggestion of a bilingual Canada came to light around 1967-1968, just after Expo '67. Expo had made an international hit with many thousands of visitors from all over the world who found the city of Montreal possessive of a delightful, not over-bearing, French atmosphere that added a special charm to shopping and dining. And because of Expo's success, Montreal became internationally known and recognized as the chief centre of Quebec. With the publicity Montreal was receiving, separatists found an occasion to capitalize on a good thing and to endeavor to enforce their "bilingualism" effort in Quebec. Their effort, however, was obviously more as in their promotion English street and highway signs were completely removed and replaced with French ones only. I also recall an article appearing in local papers during 1968 which accounted for some rather dictatorship- type methods being employed to force the French language on a group of newly-arrived Italian emmigrants. It quoted some officials stating that all new emmigrants "must" enroll their children in a "French" school. I completely agree that it is advantageous for any citizen to improve his education whether in language, science, or the like, but at his freedom to do so. Education facilities are available for this throughout Canada. However, I have always thought this "choice" was part of our Canadian freedom, for both newly arrived immigrants as well as Canadian-born citizens. Are the "must" tactics promoted by separatist groups more relative to a "free Canada" or to those of dictatorship countries? The frequent reference of French columnists to Canada being "French Canada" provokes this further question? Does a "French Canada" speatc to you of a "bilingual" country, as Maurice Lamontagne stressed to Alberta teachers? Or a "unilingual" country? If it is a truly united Canada, with the freedom to choose the language you wish to use, why all the reference to "French" Canada? Ask this question? MRS. G. KING Calgary Subtle, cunning evil I have just read William Peter Blatty's novel, The Exorcist. What desires I had of viewing the movie are gone. My first reflection on the novel was to marvel at the subtlety and cunning with which evil breaks down our barriers of decency. What better way to get decent people to read vulgarity, filth and blasphemy than to show that "the Devil made (a little girl) do it." So a book which most people would chuck with disgust into the nearest garbage can is avidly read because it is a demon that is spewing obscenities along with vomit. Surely there are some things so filthy and dirty that they are better neither said nor seen! I think The Exorcist fits that category. Furthermore, I find disturbing the present trend in novels and movies that glorifies evil. One can think of The Godfather and even Jesus Christ Superstar. Isn't it heart-warming that gangster godfathers in their spare time when they are not engaged in their full-time occupation of terrifying, disfiguring and murdering innocent people really love their own children? Or that Judas Iscariot really wasn't a bad chap after all. The Bible being so full of myths, anyway describes him as a hypocrite, traitor, and demon possessed; but not to worry, Jesus Christ Superstar straightens out all that. Judas was really the only intelligent and bright young men among a group of donkeyheads who followed Jesus The movie should have been entitled 'Judas Iscariot Superstar.' Now comes The Exorcist. Again, the title is misleading. It should be The Devil. For he is the dominant character in the novel. The best that God can muster is a psychiatrist- priest who really doesn't know if there is a god, and a philosopher-priest who dies after an unsuccessful attempt to cast out the demon Since without the records of scripture and traditions of the church Jesus exorcising demons, confronting the devil, etc. this novel would almost be meaninglen, I think it is important to know what the Bible atatai abort tfce deril Fran accounts of Jnus oowtMtljandaeTer-faiUnily exorcising demoni in we similarly unfailing exorcisms performed by the apostles after the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, to the devil being cast into the lake of fire in the book of Revelation, the consistent theme is that Satan has'no ultimate power, he is already a defeated foe of mankind. Even when the disciples failed in one account in the Gospels. Jesus didn't fail, and told the confused disciples that some demons can only be exorcised after prayer and fasting. But there wasn't even a hint that they wouldn't ultimately be successful. We may have doubts about whether good can overcome evil; but there is none in scripture. Whether one interprets portions of scripture referring to the devil or demons literally or figuratively, the conclusion is the same: they, whoever or whatever, must yield to Jesus Christ. For "God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every wrote Saint Paul, "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians I find it peculiar, if not sinister, that Blatty could exploit such a biblical theme and yet end up with such an unbiblical conclusion. And, one might add, so uncharacteristic of church practice down through the centuries: the church appointed exorcist usually prevailed unlike William Peter Blatty's. BILL CALDERWOOD Lethbridge Normally. Chapman, the Bank doesn't-care how its employees spend their coffee break... oouM be living iff you worked harder. TECHNICIAN: You fat cats are heading for real trouble. Yon are the ones who waste a terrible dflemma? Wt're an used to letting a aavtag if we buy potatoes in quantity; a litf- 'Takeoff" if we buy thre; hs of scotch instead of one sit fair to tell a gas company ihat it can't give a rakeof f to its big users? It is on issues such as this that societies fall into potentially suicidal conflict A few societies come out stronger. Most UK. The lethbridge Herald 8L tambrUgt, AlMftt UTMMOQf HfMLO 00. LTD. ftpprirtera and Man flafwranon NO. 0012 CLIO MOWERS. IdNor and OONH. WUJWO DONALD R. DOflAM OanmfiMara ROY F. MILES DOUOLASK WALXES ROSERTM FENTON OJrcUWion Mtragw KENNETH E. BAfMETT BwWrwnManagar THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"