The Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 31, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THI LlttWMDOl January J1.1174 EDITORIALS Halfway house setback Not altogether unexpectedly, but disappointingly nonetheless, the establishment of a halfway house for alcoholics in Lethbridge has met with a setback. Fears engendered by unfamiliarity have led to objections to setting up the halfway house at a proposed location. It is perhaps natural for people hearing the term alcoholics to assume a hangout for drunks was being envisaged. The fact is, of course, that candidates for a halfway house are people embarked on the road to sobriety. These people have not reached the stage where they are confident about being able to resume a normal life in the community and have opted for living in a situation where strengths in resisting resort to alcohol can be inculcated. They are halfway between slavery to alcohol and freedom from it. This does not mean that they are merely tapering off in their consumption of alcohol and that thus there might be some wild parties on occasion. Residents of halfway houses have sworn off alcohol and can stay only on condition that the rule of abstinence is rigidly adhered to. Any slip normally means expulsion. Such an uncompromising regulation is essential for the success of the program. The odds are probably good that the risks of unpleasantness stemming from use of alcohol would be considerably less in the case of halfway house residents than exists throughout the community. There are lots of alcoholics at large who not only are not trying to do anything about their problem, they do not even admit they have one. These are the people to fear, not those seriously seeking sobriety. Some consolation may be found in the opportunity the setback affords to inform the community on the nature of alcoholism and the value of halfway houses as part of the program for dealing with it. But the educative value of a rehabilitative enterprise in actual operation would be much greater and more to be desired. Bicycling in the park Proposals to ban or restrict automobile traffic in parks may be realized sooner than even their originators expected. The energy crisis provides the impetus for immediate implementation. People who might normally have objected to having to abandon their automobiles at park entrances can now be expected to accept prohibition of their cars. The anticipated high cost of gasoline might even make such new regulations attractive. Planning for this year's tourist season at nearby Glacier National Park in Montana includes the provision of a bicycle rental service for the first time. Park Superintendent William J. Briggle is not waiting for legislation restricting automobiles; he believes people are ready for voluntary abandonment of their powered vehicles. Some obvious benefits will accrue to those who take to the bicycles. There slfbuld be an improvement in physical well-being for those who are in reasonable health and can stand to exercise. More importantly, people will see the park in a way not possible when stuck behind a steering wheel. Most importantly, a small contribution will be made toward conserving the park for the future. ART BUCHWALD Farewell to candor WASHINGTON Rectntly the White House announced an end to President Nixon's "Operation Candor The reason given for closing down the operation was that the presi- dent had laid to rest all the Watergate-related charges against him With the release of the two white papers on ITT and the milk fund, the administration felt there were no further questions to be answered about Mr. Nixon's role in all the strange political happenings of 1973 There was a certain amount of sadness in Washington when the White House made its announcement. Those most affected by the shutting down of Operation Candor were the special staff at the White House who had worked so hard to bring the truth to the American people. I went over there to see how they were tak- ing it. Some secretaries were crying, several press agents were cleaning out their desks. One Madison Avenue man was passing around champagne. Herman Diogenes who had headed up the operation was shaking hands with his staff. "Don't he told a mimeograph operator, "if the president ever decides to tell the truth again, we'll call you back." "What do you want me to do with this photograph of Rose Mary Woods showing how she erased the 18-minute a secretary asked. "Throw it Diogenes said "It serv- ed its purpose." "Should I put these copies of the President's income tax returns in a file another secretary asked "No, shred them. Someday some anti- Nixon historian might try to make something of them." "What do you want me to do with this pic- of an office boy asked. "Put it in the file box. We may need" it again "It must be tough to close down an opera- tion like I said to Diogenes. "It breaks your he replied. "Opera- tion Candor will go down as one of the great achievements of the Nixon Administration. We took a president whose credibility was at its lowest ebb, whose statements were being questioned every day, whose finances were muddied by conflicting evidence, and we proved he was not a crook." "How did you do "By being completely frank with the American people. The president decided that certain questions of impropriety had to be answered. At Disney World he said he had never taken advantage of any of the usual tax gimmicks that most Americans use, such as cattle, real estate and interest. He told the governors there would be no more bombshells over Watergate and, except for the 18-minute hum on one tape, there were none. He said he would explain his dealings with ITT and the milk fund to everyone's satisfaction and he did. Thanks to Opera- tion Candor, the Roper Poll revealed last week, a whopping 21 per cent of the American people do not believe that the president is guilty of any of the serious charges made against him." "And you did all of that right here in this of- I asked in amazement. "I guess you could say Diogenes ad- mitted. "But we couldn't have done it without the president. When you've got an impeccable product to sell, it's a lot easier. If you want the truth, we were victims of our own success. When I recruited this staff for Operation Candor, I thought it would take three years to refute all the terrible things that were being said about the president. You can imagine my surprise when it took only three months to lay every charge to rest." "What do you plan to do now that Operation Candor is I asked Diogenes. "I think I'll go back to my old job." "What's "Selling used cars." Letters Quebec natives pressured By Rob Bull, Herald Quebec commentator MONTREAL The natives of northern Quebec have not been having an easy time of it recently and the pressure has been coming from Premier Robert Bourassa, the federal government and proponents of progress. Last week Premier Bourassa unveiled his government's proposal to the natives whose court action may bring the continent's largest hydro-electric project eventually shuddering to a complete halt Jean Chretien, federal minister of Indian affairs told a news conference the proposal was a good basis for negotiations and threatened to cut off federal funds to sup- port the natives' legal action unless they came up with a counter-proposal Hydro-Quebec, meanwhile, in an in-house organ, announc- ed proposals to harness the power of rivers far to the north of the current area of activity on La Grande River within the next 25 years. John Ciaccia, Liberal mem- ber of the Quebec national as- sembly and Quebec's negotiate! with the Indians and Eskimos said in an inter- view Tuesday, "These people have to realize the white man is in North America to stay." Mr. Ciaccia is a former fed- eral deputy minister of Indian affairs. Mr. Chretien said Quebec had made a generous offer to the natives of million in November but that the natives had not responded with a counter-offer and they should get on with it. Quebec and the natives, he told a Le Devoir reporter, had agreed not to make public their negotiating positions un- til the natives were fully aware of the situation. But Mr Bourassa was justi- fied in releasing the details because of the natives delay. However, there are several clarifications that should be made. Both Mr. Ciaccia and lawyers for the natives agree that the million, the money, is not important. The province has proposed that million be given to the natives over the next 10 years with an additional amount up to million coming to them as their share in the royalties from developing northern Quebec resources. The money could be put in a special fund for the natives. But as one veteran reporter who has been deeply involved in northern Quebec said, "Anybody who thinks these people will settle for or even want the money is out of the picture They just don't under- stand." Mr. Bourassa in his state- ment to the press Friday was careful to make no reference to native rights. Mr. Ciaccia later confirmed that the of- ficial Quebec position does not recognize native rights. These rights have already been accepted by the Quebec Superior Court and may even- tually be confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada. Robert Litvak, lawyer for the Quebec Eskimos, said "The real issue is what's go- ing to happen to the land. These people do have and have always had a legitimate concern for ecology. In return for an advisory role over some aspects of northern development, a land grant, some minor technical changes to projects under way, social and economic programs, a 10-year tax ex- emption, the money and some concrete changes in planning to meet environmental problems, the natives are be- ing asked to give up all claims, forever, over northern Quebec. Andrew Delisle, president of the Indians of Quebec Association, explained that before they could take a stand on such an important matter, native leaders, unlike white ones, felt they had to consult their people. While the native leaders were conducting this con- sultation, Mr. Bourassa an- nounced his side of the story, adding to the already serious mistrust the natives have for the Quebec government. This mistrust is a logical re- action to the way that the Que- bec government set out on the' project nearly three years ago with no consideration of native claims, an attitude which has changed dramatically since. But the fear and mistrust is strong. "I haven't been up to James Bay Mr. Ciaccia said. "They don't want to talk to me." It looks like Great White Father has fumbled again. Miscalculation on Japan By Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday "Cavil has Harm Ms rtawto Oijaaii OtncUTi far the Mt. th Recently, I wrote about the effect of the Arab oil squeeze on Japan's ability to undersell the United States in the world's markets. It may be useful here to consider further the phenomenon of Japanese industrial capability one of the three or four most important developments in the world in the past quarter century. From the American standpoint, what is most striking perhaps about the sharp rise of Japanese industrial power is that the United States didn't see it coming. American policy planners made a whopping miscalculation in the late 40s and early 50s Dean Acheson and John Foster Dulles thought the big threat to American capitalism would come from the Socialist countries What they didn't anticipate was that the main challenge to the American economy would come from another capitalist society Japan. Not only did Acheson and Dulles fail to foresee that Japan would become the arch economic rival of the United States; they did everything they could to help build up Japan. It is one of history's greatest ironies that the billions of dollars poured into Japan by the United States after the Second World War should expand the industrial capability of a nation that today is outselling the United States in many of the world's markets and that, indeed, is outselling American industry within the United States ibMlf. Here are figures on what Americans paid for products last year: radio and television sets, tape recorders, phonographs, tetecomnivnicatrans equipment automobiles, buses, trucks, transport equipment, motorcycles, motor scooters electrical machinery iron and steel computers and business machines textiles shoes, clothing chemicals The movement of all this merchandise into the American market in such massive quantities is without parallel in our history. The effects must be seen not just in terms of jobs or the losses to American industry. Less obvious but just as serious are the effects on the American economy in general. The flight of billions of dollars from the United States contributes to the weakening of the American dollar abroad and to the inflationary situation at home. It .nay be said that the American economy is robust enough to stand the strain of this kind of competition and the outflow of dollars. The point here, however, is that even the strongest economies are affected by small but vital crazy fractions. And the United States economy for the past two years has been under pressure from many directions. Watergate and associated scandals have shaken the confidence of the American people in their government. The public psychology has always been a powerful factor in the economic health of this nation. It is not true, therefore, that the American economy can withstand any amount of undercutting and underselling. What is true of the Japanese competition inside the United States is equally true of the competition for foreign markets. American automobiles, which dominated those markets not so many years ago, have been running far behind Japan and West Germany among many car importing nations. It is inaccurate to say that Japan's low labor costs account entirely for her ability to underprice the United States. Other countries have even lower labor costs than Japar. snd still haven't been able to produce highly sophisticated products at low cost. Let us face it: Japan has become a society for Total Production, one of the moat advanced and efficient such societies the world hat ever known. In the process, Japan has upset some of Karl Marx' most basic theories. Despite its lack of raw materials, Japan has been able to outproduce the most highly developed Socialist societies. It is not yet clear that American policymakers have finally adjusted to the new economic reality. The slogans of a quarter century afo are no for UK severe economic ctultonfw of today Youth must be served How can The Herald con- done sending a reporter to a Public Affairs meeting who goes out of his way to ridicule, demean and misquote a par- ticipant in that meeting? Has he heard that slander makes him and the paper liable in the courts' In the matter of school dis- cipline, with teen-age boys boxing gloves are a valuable tool. Regular bouts of three two-minute rounds under supervision, let off steam, teach the art of self-defence, develop respect for an oppo- nent and personal self- respect. Moreover they yield manliness and this quality seems conspicuously lacking in many of our sissified boys today. Respect for rules and proper decorum are also learned, particularly by the quarrelsome whose home background makes them insecure. For these a strapp- ing makes matters worse and a boxing program is par- ticularly valuable. It was not suggested as the slandering reporter inferred that we should bat children about with special attention for screaming little girls as easy victims! But the per- missive milksop attitude of baby doctors and others is also ridiculous. By what divine right do they presume to dictate the pattern of dis- cipline our teachers shall follow in dealing with their pupils? Would the baby doctor per- mit dictation as to his methods in clinic or hospital? Possibly then, he and others should consider minding their own business. Certainly those persons making slanderous reports should study rules of good deportment in honest reporting It is surely false that oldies have nothing to give and that youth alone must be served. OldieS have given a lifetime of service to this society in peace and war. They have gained insights which the young might well seek out, particularly callow immature reporters who have much to learn and little but insult to offer. Youths constantly press upon us to learn what are acceptable boundaries and if we weakly give way in false deference they cannot learn. Under the wishy-washy regime instituted here by our misguided school board youths are denied this firmness which is their due from us. This mistaken policy has led to the removal or resignation from city staff of various capable members whom we were unfortunate to lose. Slack procedure has led to slackness of standards, seemingly with the intention of their complete removal. The system has deteriorated into a vast baby-sitting ser- vice, incredibly costly, a festering swamp, with great busloads of children flitting hither and yon about the city, including entire classes of teen-agers taken out to bowl in school time at school board expense. It is true, a bowling cham- pion or an internationally acclaimed golfer rising from a publicly-supported junior golf course will have more snob appeal than a boxing champion but the cost of producing them is much greater and more wasteful of study time. Perhaps our world has been topsy turvey all along and now at last we have it upright with youth enthroned and babyhood enshrined. Schools now will be known as youth centres with only those adults permitted who faithfully serve youthful desires without criticism in word or deed. Lay trustees will check on this and, highly rewarded, will laugh all the way to the bank like the pre- sent Calgary school board which recently voted itself a huge salary increase to en- courage its chairman in his provincial empire-building as president of the trustees' association, that anachronistic organization which should be swept into limbo with the little red schoolhouse and the dodo bird. It is a roadblock and a burden upon the educational community whose professional administrators, principals and teachers should be set free to get on with their job, educating the young. No longer should they carry this albatross. Once wholly responsible they will discipline their own ranks to protect their professional status rising from the quality of their stu- dent output for which they will be altogether responsible. Einstein is reputed to have said, "Education is what remains after you've forgotten all you learned at school" On this basis ex- cellence will be its own reward. For once be honest enough to print my letter. The Herald owes me my rebuttal against an under-the-belt attack. After all, I've bought the rag each day for 30 years; believe it or not! Let us try for some honest reaction, both sides, on this question. Too bad our teachers won't defend themselves. Perhaps they are now so hog tied they are unable to do so. The whole mess has developed insidiously like the sell-out of our power plant whose reserve fund was purloined to build a skating rink and other recreational facilities. It seems that whatever else may fail YOUTH MUST BE SERVED. We shall be able to whip up a really interesting municipal election campaign this fall. With so many sins of omission and commission we shall have ample ammunition Let us hope our school board cannot succeed in dodging behind city council but will stand up to face its dues In fact, its very existence should be called in question as an irresponsible excrescence, an obstacle and embarrassment to council as it is for the educational com- munity This youth- oriented, head-standing Yoga society is getting funnier every day! 0. CLAYTON BRICKER, RET'D Lethbridge Editor's note: Normally a letter of this length is not acceptable for publication. However, an exception be- ing made in case Mr. Bricker has not previously (in 30 had a letter accepted. mm WORLD 1974 by NEA Inc "Harold is a long-time prophet of gloom and doom, and he's really come into his own since the short- ages'" The Lethbridge Herald S Lethbridge. Alberta LETHBRIOQE HERALD CO LTD and PubMnort Second Cleat Mel) Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor end PubWner DON H PILLING DONALD R DORAM Managing Editor ROT r. MILES Adwmtng Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Ednorm Page Editor General Manager ROBERT M FENTON CfrfuMton Manager KENNETHE BARNiTT BuemeM Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"