Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 23, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, January 23, 1975 Thank you, CIA When the laughter fades, two more blessings in disguise stand out concern- ing the latest allegation about the ac- tivities of the CIA, that American agents are lurking around the Alberta oil sands. (They are not more important than the first, however. A good laugh is hard to find these days.) The first of these additional blessings depends on the analytical skill of the CIA. If the allegations are indeed true and the Americans have indeed been spy- ing in Alberta, possibly the Canadian public can benefit. The news that has been generated by Syncrude over the past few weeks is even more confusing than that surrounding the great .egg mystery. Syncrude threatens to shut down if it doesn't get another billion, because the cost of the project has doubled in the past year. In justifying the legitimacy of doubled cost estimates, when many of the component costs have-not doubled, a comparison is made with the Montreal Olympics, the estimated costs of which have also doubled. In many ways, this is an unfortunate comparison. However, supporting Syncrude's assertion with a bit of overkill, Nick Taylor, Alberta's Liberal leader, says Syncrude deliberately un- derestimated costs at the beginning in order to attract development capital and gain favorable government terms and that it will really cost around billion. On the other hand, Mel Hurtig, former head of the Committee for an Indepen- dent Canada, says Syncrude is bluffing and Grant Motley, the New Democratic Party leader in Alberta and the party's lone MLA, accuses the consortium of op- portunism and attempting to gain more tax advantages. This is tantamount to saying their budget is overstated. This does not clarify matters for anyone interested in facts but it does make a fine political distinction: Liberals believe one can get favorable government terms by underestimating costs and NDPers believe that one can get favorable government terms by overestimating. The confusion doesn't stop here. The Alberta provincial government says on one hand that it will not bail out the con- sortium and on the other hand that it might lend it money. The federal government, taking the least commen- dable of all commendable positions, says nothing. Out of this welter of charge, counter charge, varying cost estimates and the always confusing variety of resource es- timates available, if the CIA can make some believable sense, they are welcome to try. What are the provincial government's intentions? How much will the Syncrude project cost? How much oil does Canada have? When will the federal government speak? The third blessing does not depend tin the analytical (or burglary) skills of the CIA or the willingness of any of its agents to trade oil sands information for political asylum. It is, therefore, the soundest of all. Heretofore, Canadians have been under the impression that Americans run the oil industry. Now, the news that Americans have had to resort to spying to find out what is going on reveals the truth at last. No one runs it. It runs itself. A opportunity One of the side benefits of the proposed new coal mine at Shaughnessy will be the opportunity for environmentally mind- ed citizens to have a laboratory, as it were, in their own backyard: Although strip mining is the more hazardous to the environment, un- derground coal mining also poses problems. Even without a cleaning plant, there will be coal dust, especially in a windy region like this one. Disposal of slag will present an obstacle. The effect on wildlife should be minimal but the effect on the water table may be impor- tant. Reconciling development of resources with environmental needs is one of the crucial problems of today. Antagonistic attitudes, although they are common, will not provide the proper .framework for a satisfactory resolution. If anyone in Lethbridge thought that the problems of coal mining did not affect him per- sonally, that they belonged to distant places like The 'Pass, he should now be disillusioned. Looked at objectively, this is a'valid development for the Lethbridge area. With increasing pressure as a resource; it would be foolish to think that known and accessible reserves will not be mined. If they aren't needed today, they will be needed tomorrow. The prospect that environmental ex- perts and industry experts could work side by side in developing the coal field may seem like a wild dream, but it has happened elsewhere in other industries and it could happen here. ERIC NICOL The cashless society The federal government has committed itself to making cash and cheques obsolete. An electronic payments system will service all bills, by means of ah all-purpose card similar to a credit card. Each payment will be deducted automatically from the customer's bank account, unless he doesn't have a bank account, in which case he receives an electronic punch in the nose. Gee, I don't know. These things look great on paper, and it will be progress of a sort, not to worry about that hole in my pants pocket any more, and have my, entire wallet space available for photos of not only my loved ones but members of the immediate family. Yet.. Hypothetical Case No. 1. The customer' wants to use a cubicle in the public convenience. He wants to use it quite badly. In his mind, this is not a moment for deferred payment. Thanks to a cashless society, he must present his credit card to the door of the cubicle, and wait till a complex communica- tion system checks with his bank to see if he is good for a dime. By the time the cubicle door receives back confirmation, the customer is only too aware that his position is liquid. Okay, let's concede that a cashless society will liberate the public loo and other facilities at present operating on the pay-as-you-go plan. Hypothetical Case No. 2. The customer, a married man, wishes to buy a dozen red roses as a token of his esteem for a lady who, because of some quirk of fate, is not his wife. Till now his procedure has been to drive to a florist shop in a section of the city remote from his neighborhood, wearing dark glasses, and pay for the roses with unmarked bills. The feasibility of his paying for the posies with a card entrusted to a computer systems that "talk to each other" to quote the federal finance department is zilch. The computers will blab to the wife's bank statement, sure as sin. Result: a lot of florist shops will go belly up, in Canada's cashless society. Sales will also be off for such items as Passion's Plaything cologne, black lace nighties, motel accommodation and liqueur-filled chocolate bottles. Hypothetical Case No. 3. The customer is confronted on the street by a self-employed person who holds a knife to bis throat and growls: "Your money or your life." The all- purpose credit card seems unlikely to cover this type of transaction. Now, it may well be that the total absence of cash will discourage muggers, hookers, panhandlers, bookies, bank robbers and other trades that have traditionally preferred cash to credit card. The dope pusher will be put out of business because it affords little to threaten to break the legs of an IBM 8000. Except for George Raft having to adjust to flipping a ginger cookie, the big-time gangster can be expected to survive in the community devoid of dollar bills. Anyone who has had experience with computers knows that most of the darn things already are programmed by a nice old gentlemen in Sicily. Hypothetical Case No. 4. The Tooth Fairy, finding a baby tooth under the little one's pillow, reaches into her purse and takes out what? A shiny new hub cap? An I.O.U.? Come now, you feds, you simply must learn to think these things through. I won't always be around to help you, you know. Father gets the flack By Doug Walker Now I know for sure that Lynn Turner has it in for her Dad. 1 suspected that the birthday card I got from her inferring that I creak was. really meant for Bill and now the element of doubt has been dissipated. The Turners were at our place for dinner one night. Elspeth had served up an out- standing repast something she does more often than our boys will concede. When we were all well-filled the subject of having a rest after a meal was raised. "Do you ever get the chance to indulge in that sort of I asked Bill. "That's all he ever said Lynn. "I thought minor hockey week was the week WE got to play Only a small affair By Bruce Hutchison, Herald special commentator Before they finally com- mitted themselves to the purchase of Canada, the Arab oil nations wisely retained the great Belgian investigator, Hercule Poirot, to study this investment. His report, it can now be disclosed, is favorable. The deal will go ahead. "Of M. Poirot told me, "it is a small affair, a bagatelle for my clients. But still, it has points of interest. What impresses the Arabs most is the attitude of the Canadian people. They can be trusted. They will make any sacrifice to preserve their identity, raise their living standards and help their fellow 'men throughout the world. "Mais oui, the word sacrifice is on every Canadian's lips. It is uttered in Parliament whenever the members attempt to their salaries. Canadians ly-, ing on the beaches of Hawaii, skiing in the Alps and gambl- ing at Las Vegas all declare that there must be a general sacrifice. _ "Besides, Canada is a thrif- ty nation, hard-headed, a good place to invest your money. Why, it has increased its budget by a mere 25 per cent this year. I can tell you that my clients were fully satisfied when they read M. Turner's speeches and examined the figures. With such men guarding the treasury the investor has nothing to fear. "Naturally, the Arabs were not in the least deceived by that absurd contretemps when the government pretended to raise the parliamentary wages and soothe the hungry back benches. Obviously, nothing of tne sort was seriously considered. "Regardez! The sham burglars set out to crack the public safe. They leave finger prints where even the Moun- ties will find them. They ig- nite harmless explosions to alert the sleeping press gallery. M. Turner, vowing that he will never' open the safe, binds and gags himself to prove his innocence. "Then suddenly M. Mitchell Sharp, leader of the crew, notices that three of his assistants are missing. By previous arrangement with M. Stanley Knowles, he lacks a quorum. Alors, the job can- not be completed. It is to laugh. M. Sharp gives a weak imitation of surprise and fury. M. Trudeau remarks that the government must not be blamed for the crime that failed. As he says, it has no responsibility for legislation or the people's money. "Mais non, this farce does not fool Hercule Poirot. A second-rate detective like Sherlock Holmes would see through it. "They know, too, that Canada is not affected by some minor world recession. It has everything it needs at home, even enough of its own oil to last for almost a decade. No wonder the automobile industry cannot sell, its small cars or build enough big ones to satisfy the demand. A temporary shor- tage of limousines and govern- ment chauffeurs is the only embarrassment. "Another thing impresses the Arabs. The Canadian peo- ple are not materialists but idealists. They have curbed what M. Trudeau calls their acquisitive instincts. They would rather put a billion dollars into the Olympic Games than use it to buy groceries. When Montreal runs short of cash the whole nation rushes in to pay the hill. Toujours le sport! Vive le Drapeau libre! "Moreover, I have assured my clients that a little un- employment in Canada will quickly pass. The government will soon have all Canadians on the public payroll, safely indexed against inflation. Every infant in a decent home is ,born as a natural civil ser- vant, a mandarin in miniature. And if this full employment policy should fail, what of it? That problem, also, is easily solved., "When the Western world owes my clients a trillion dollars or so 10 years from now everybody will be work- ing to pay the interest on the debt. There will be no un- employment, or much of anything else, for that matter. if the Canadians must work perpetually for the Arabs they couldn't find nicer guys to work for. "So the deal is satisfactory to vendor and purchaser alike. As soon as the contract is signed and the new swimming pool is ready King Faisal will graciously take up residence on Sussex Street. As your great Laurier used to say, the 20th century belongs to Canada. And as I might add, Canada is welcome to it. Bien entendu." Is the U.S. a hostage? By Carl T. Rowan, syndicate'd commentator WASHINGTON Almost everyone is aware of the seething hostility toward the Arab oil states which is so manifest in this city and to a lesser degree in other parts of the country. That is why there wasn't much outrage expressed in newspaper editorials when Secretary of State Henry Kissinger refused to rule out warfare against the oil producers as a last resort. What most people are not aware of is a concomitant growth in irritation over Israeli policies, irritation be- ing voiced quietly in both .and private circles. Officials in the State Department and the White House aren't saying much publicly about what they call "Israel's but they're saying it privately with enough passion to raise serious doubts a_s to how far the Ford administration would go in the crunch to en- sure the survival of Israel. It was not mere bungling, or a case of the left hand not knowing what the right was doing, when the State Depart- ment followed the Kissinger talk about war over oil with announcement of the sale of 60 of our jet fighters to Saudi Arabia. Nor was it a mere coin- cidence that President Ford a few days later told Time magazine that the U.S. won't give Israel a guarantee of its security until there has been more progress toward a Mideast peace settlement, and that in any event the U.S. "will.judge what is in our national interest above any and all other considerations." Mr. Ford clearly was responding to growing com- plaints that in previous years the U.S. has let commitments to Israel endanger petroleum supplies, weaken the U.S. economy and frequently place the U.S. in jeopardy of conflict with the Soviet Union. You won't hear much said aloud about these criticisms, not just because of the ethnic and political passions in- volved, but because, despite evidence to the contrary, a lot' of politicians here think Gen. George S. Brown spoke the truth when he said, "Jews own, you know, the banks in this country, the news- papers." So a lot of officials are afraid to say aloud what they are whispering all over town. This is what is being said: 1. The Israeli government refuses to make "reasonable" concessions because it seems to believe the charge by former Sen. J. William Fulbright that Israel can round up 70 votes in the U.S. Senate anytime it really needs to, as well as a majority in the House. Mr. Ford, in that Time interview, was trying to shake the Israeli cockiness by mak- ing a surprisingly noncom- mital statement about a security guarantee. In any event, the argument is that Ford must move even further away from the "tilt toward Israel" which the Arabists in the State Department say has left the U.S. economy hostage to the Israelis. 2. Despite this growing reluctance in official Washington to risk everything on the survival of Israel, the Israelis have become more inflexible, less willing to take advice from the U.S., without whose support Israel surely cannot survive. President Ford told Time that the prospects of war in the Middle East are "very, very serious." This was a warning to Israel, which suffered greatly in the last fighting., that in the event Israel stalls on territorial -and other concessions until a new war starts (bringing a certain Arab embargo on petroleum shipments to Western then the U.S. might have to put her own interests ahead of Israel's sur- vival. 3. This part of the Ford interview was also designed to prevent the "hawks" in Israel from exploiting Kissinger's statement about going to'war against the Arabs as a last resort. There is fear here that some Israelis might become even more hard-nosed, under the impression that if they long enough a bankrupt U.S. itself will eventually go to war against the Arabs. 4. Top officials here are aware that the campaign to make the Arabs the villains in the energy crisis has been fairly successful, thanks to some help from a thoughtless Arab leaders. But these Ford administration of- ficials are acutely aware that there also has been a noticeable erosion of U.S. sup- port for Israel. Especially in view of the likelihood that backing Israel may-lead to gas rationing, or a depression, or war with Russia. What you are seeing is an extremely dangerous and potentially costly game of U.S. pressures and counterpressures as Kissinger and Ford try to bend both the Israelis and Arabs to a single point of reason. Letters Stranded on highway My husband and I will remember the recent cold spell for a long time. On Jan. 11 we started to Lethbridge from Taber after supper. Un- fortunately, our truck stopped just past Barnwell and wouldn't start again. My hus- band stood on the highway working on the truck for near- ly an hour before he finally gave up. We decided to try to get a ride back to Taber. Nearly 50 cars and trucks drove right by us, blinking their high beams at us or honking. After a very long time some people from Manitoba stopped to offer their help. Thanks to all the Alberta drivers who would just as soon leave us freeze as pick us up, we came pretty close to doing just that. If we ever came upon someone standing by the highway, obviously in need of help, in 20 degree below zero weather, we'd certainly stop and give a hand, even if it was one of the drivers who passed us by. As newcomers to Alberta, from Vancouver, we sure learned the hard way that you don't ever get stranded on the highway in the winter, and ex- pect much help. MRS. R. HAZELAAR Taber High school parking Some time after the snow- storm when school started again, the parking space around the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute and the Catholic Central High School were not cleared of snow, ex- cept in a no parking zone across from the snowed-in legal parking spots. (The sign for this no parking zone has the arrow pointing into a driveway of the CCHS.) On top of the insufficient parking area, the principal of CCHS complained about students parking their cars in this no parking area. Since there is a shortage of parking spots, student's cars, when not interfering with school bus stops should be allowed to park here. And after all this, with nowhere else to park, our city police force, one man in particular, saw fit to pass out five dollar parking tickets! A number of students, including myself, were shock- ed to see that parking tickets would be issued for parking in an inadequately posted area when there was no place near to park. The term "pig" is not used often when describing the Lethbridge city police force, but if people wonder why they are sometimes call- ed this, it is incidents like this that incite the name calling. Either this area should be cleared of snow so normal parking can take place and better post the area, or park- ing should be outlawed until a certain time in.this area so as not to interfere with school bus loading. I really did not think that our city police would issue such stiff fines, (for students is stiff) for parking infractions under these circumstances AN ENRAGED STUDENT Lethbridge Snow-filled sidewalks I would like to bring to attention the fact that every time it snows the sidewalks in Lethbridge become difficult, dangerous and hard to walk This results from people neglecting to shovel their sidewalks after it snows. Peo- ple are always travelling on the Heavy traffic will pack the snow into ice. People must either walk single file along the icy path or trudge through deep snow. These inconveniences make it extremely difficult for the older people who must travel along the walks. The sidewalks were made to be walked on. But during a snowy period the sidewalks become useless, under a mass of ice and snow. People just do not care about our sidewalks. Obvious- ly something must be done to make people concerned about them. In my opinion, I think the city should enforce the bylaw, that people must keep the sidewalks running past their property clean and safe for the use of all pedestrians. NANCY RETI Lethbridge Dangerous aerosol cans Why .is it bad to use aerosol cans? They say it damages the ozone layer miles up in the air. Aerosol can propellant is Freon. C2C12F4, or Carbon Chlorine Fluorine (Merek Index) It is beneficial to add fluorine and chlorine to water. Does the carbon base in the aerosol can make these chemicals less stable than they are in water? I would sleep better if someone could answer this. B. WEAVER Lethbridge EDITOR'S NOTE: The University of Lethbridge chemistry department replied that: Freons are remarkably stable elements which do not break up when in the earth's atmosphere but when they are diffused to the outer at- mosphere (stratosphere) they pick up high energy light from the sun and break up. Part of the resulting substance is the free chlorine atom which reacts with the ozone and destroys it. When the ozone is destroyed, harmful ultra violet light can get through to the earth. Postscript to story With apologies to Chris Stewart, I would like to add a postscript to the story on Dr. J. K. Bigelow, (The Herald, Jan. Dr. Bigelow is and always has been the greatest man to ever happen to those people lucky enough to be his patients. This and. this only is missing from the ability to make his patients feel that life is really worth the struggle required and his inexhaustible attempt to help his patients to recognize this fact. To Dr. Bigelow his patients are "people first" and case histories take second place. For this I will be forever grateful and I just know many many of his patients share this same view. I want to thank The Herald for honoring a fine doctor in our society. VERA A. SHIRLEY Lethbridge The Lethbridge Herald 504 7lh St. S. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIOGE HERALD CO'. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON. H. PILLINQ Managing .Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial PagC'Eclllor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THEHERALD'SERVES THESO.UTH"