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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 2, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Southern Alberta scenery Groenen Decline in concern about nuclear war By Joseph syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Events all over the world announce a leveling of the moral barriers that used to close the way to nuclear war. The world is getting used to and more and more treating them as just another weapon. Since the heart no longer stands as the certain obstacle against potential we have to begin to use the head. That means tightening up our institutional controls over our approach to nuclear sharing and disarmament. The most striking evidence that the world has grown ac- customed to nuclear weapons Book review is the first Indian test last month. India is not by any organizational standard a significant world power. What the Indians can a dozen other countries can do easily. But you would never have sensed that danger from the public reaction here or abroad. Washington and a few other capitals tut-tutted the Indians a little. By the second the story was out of the TV news shows and back on the double-digit pages of the newspapers. The ho-hum attitude so ex- plicit in the Indian case finds many other examples. Protests about the Chinese testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere have become purely routine. In Jean Jacques Servan Schreiber was sacked from the government with widespread approval because he publicly protested the latest set of French nuclear tests. To me perhaps the most striking evidence of the decline in concern about nuclear war came at an arms control conference which I attended in California recently. While the con- ference had hard liners and soft technical people and men and there were no young people. When I asked one of the organizers he the age of people don't give a damn about nuclear weapons. They've lived with them all their lives.1' In those conditions of grow- ing popular indifference to the nuclear responsible governments need to build in- stitutional warning systems against steps that would in- crease the peril. One obvious Discussion of cultural curiosities and The Riddles of by Marvin Harris 276 Anthropologist Marvin Harris has snmp and not- explanations for a variety of cultural curiosities manifest in various places around the world and at different times in history. I think some of his solutions are arguable but all of them are interesting and should stimulate lively discussion. The veneration of cows by Hindus is explained as a practical device for preventing massive starvation. In India the major constituent in the diet of cattle is inedible byproducts of human food crops so that cows are not in competition with people. For the the cow is an economic asset because its dung is used as fuel and its milk is and it produces male traction animals. Cow love insures survival for the poor. This is a good rationale for the encouragement of cow veneration now but I doubt if it explains the origin .of the custom. I suspect the sacredness of the cow was believed in before the pressure of population made it rationally respectable. Prohibition of the oating of pork by Jews and Harris was an ecological Middle East is the wrong place to raise pigs. The pig in a hot climate becomes unclean because it resorts to the cooling effect of its own excrement. The animal is also a direct competitor of man for food and it provides no other benefits than meat. In rejecting the notion that prohibition of pork had a rational basis as a health measure is caused by eating undercooked Harris was on the right track. He should have pursued the question of why Moslems and Jews observe the prohibition outside the Middle in Old Testament was to remind the Hebrews of their unique relationship to God By means of certain practices they would guard against merging into the general ethos of the ancient world. Pigs were not condemned because they were unclean in a physical but because they were unholy through being a sacrificial animal of the Canaanites. Refraining frr.n eating pork today can still remind the Jew or Moslem of his calling to be a holy person in faithfulness to The Holy One. War also is seen as having an ecological basis. It keeps the population down to the carrying level of the environment. Harris says is the price that primitive societies pay for raising sons when they cannot afford to rear Speaking of there's If infanticide is still being practiced a cosmic in the underdeveloped nations on female babies why not just do away with some male babies too and save having to bother with The question suggests there may be more to making war than reducing the population. Harris challenges Ruth Benedict's interpretation of Potlatch as a demonstration of megalomania. In his Potlatch serves practical function of preventing the labor force from falling back to levels of productivity that offer no margin of safety in crises such as war and crop Competitive feasting also as an automatic equalizer of annual fluctuations in productivity among a series of It is very generous of Mr. Harris to place such a high evaluation on the conspicuous consumption and conspicuous waste involved in Potlach. The ubiquitousness and persistence of assertive egotism suggests the interpretation of Ruth Benedict is more likely to be the right however. An argument is presented for the view that Jesus was the militant type and that the politico military components in Jesus' teachings were purged by Jewish Christians living in Rome and other cities of the empire as an adaptive response to the Roman victory Mr. Harris thinks the writers of the in the period after the destruction of shifted the emphasis to that of a peaceful messiah. Ever since Albert Schweitzer medical missionary published his landmark early in this demonstrating how Jesus has successively been cast in the cultural moulds of his it has been expedient to be cautious about claims for the nature of the historical Jesus. So it would be unwise hastily to either accept or reject the interpretation offered by Mr. Harris. There is plausibility to it. but so is there to the contention that the traces of it in the New Testament in the Book of are of an aberrant nature. The witchcraft argues was created and sustained by the governing classes as a means of suppressing Christian in violent protests against social and economic It caused the poor to believe that they were being by witches and devils instead of princes and That's an intriguing explanation. Does it mean that Senator Joseph McCarthy and his sympathizers were playing the same game of diverting attention away from the lords of industry and commerce while they milked the Or do these things indicate a kind of mass psychosis affecting the hunters as well as the Reason is a fragile capable of being perverted and averted as movements such as Nazism and anti intellectual fads of all sorts testify. Interestingly Mr. Harris actually pursues a line just been raised in his final he calls the contemporary rejection of science and objectivity the return of the witch. His other discussions have a dispassionate quality to them but he is obviously concerned about the adverse effects of the counter culture. He contend that it is quite impossible to subvert objective knowledge without subverting the basis of moral judgments. If we cannot know with reasonable certainty who did and we can scarcely hope to render a moral account of ourselves. Not being able to distinguish between criminal and rich and exploiter and we must either advocate the total suspension of moral judg- or adopt the inquisitorial position and hold people responsible for what they do in each other's The explanation for the passion Mr. Harris displays in his last chapter and the epilogue is that he is dealing with something that affects us directly. He ought to expand this material to book length. DOUG WALKER Books in brief Here comes another volume for the mariner's library and something usefully different at that. Authors James Moore and Alan Turvey have compiled over 400 hand drawings for a step-by-step explanation of life-under sail. The drawings have clear over photographs because the illustrator can concentrate on details viewed from every imaginable angle. It would take a very clever photographer to duplicate the same lesson material with a live model. In addition to the basic there are illustrations on knotting and safety which add to the book's value. thing for the U.S. to do is to with care and dis- the safeguards governing the nuclear sharing arrangements made with foreign countries. If the ex- perience of safeguards on domestic nuclear power is any tightening up all along the line is required. In that connection Congress ought to with meticulous the agree- ment for nuclear sharing just concluded by President Nixon with Israel and Egypt. That there was no systematic ad- vance consultation with the Congress in this matter is in itself a bad sign. Common sense suggests that the in- troduction of material which could lead to nuclear weapons into an area which the presi- dent himself describes as a is not a good idea. Nor is it simply a question of trusting Egypt or Israel. How can anybody know that the stuff won't get into the hands of less certain friends the Syrians or the So unless Congress is absolutely certain the materials being used in the sharing agreements can be insulated against weapons there should be no hesitation in rejecting the agreements concluded by Mr. Nixon in such unseemly haste. The same note of caution applies to arms control. The internal institutions for careful preparation and ex- amination of proposals and counter proposals have never been more important. in recent most of these institutions the Disar- mament the Verification the president's scientific and even the military political section of the state department have been apparently because the president and Secretary of State Kissinger want to negotiate on arms control with the Russians out of their hip pockets. That is one of the reasons for the resignation of Paul the former deputy defence from the arms con- trol delegation. Not only do we need to build up the institutional capacity for analysis in the arms con- trol but there is an urgent requirement for careful scrutiny of any deal now made with the Soviet Union. There is reason to worry that the president and Dr. Kissinger will go for any kind of cosmetic arrangment no matter what it means which can be called an agreement. But nuclear war is now a true possibility not just a chimera in the minds of planners. So it is no longer true that almost any agree- ment is a good agreement. There can be bad agreements agreements which are onesided to the point of mak- ing a nuclear war or a new build-up inevitable. It is especially at this to avoid any such deal. It is better now to have no agreement than a bad omnnt Dispose of gobbledygook By freelance writer Universities may be professors may not have it but that does not necessarily mean society is against intellectual thinking. What the public objects to is something quite different. While universities claim to have down the ivory some of their staff members have certainly not yet descended out of the clouds. If they expect government and taxpayers to support their they'll have to realize first of all that charity should begin at home. Far be it from me to disparage Canada Council grants or the time-honored practice of sabbatical leave for professors. Research and continuing education are vital in the academic but I would question some of the projects grant money is used for Has nobody ever thought of writing some decent Canadian textbooks at translating existing ones into digestible I attempted just that for a student who once intended to major in sociology a night before final was still trying to understand nothing more or less than Conflict and an introduction to sociology. The author of this an of almost exclusively with U.S. politics and problems but that would be the least of our woes. I spent considerable time trying to interpret a theory on the basic requirements for keeping a democracy stable. A monumental headache I came to the conclusion that half a page only part of an interminable sentence of unbelievable gobbledygook was simply meant to convey this not so new stable democracy requires those in power do unto the opposition as they would have done unto There no only a fine line of division between idiocy and genius. It is anybody's guess in which direction intellectual thinking is heading. If I appear to be singling out the language that passes for English and the American textbooks used in the faculty of let me hasten to say that the same problems exist in many another department. Even in a living language course like university students complained they are required to stick rigidly to textbooks even in labs and conversational practice they is soul-destroying in its monotony. At a time when universities are so concerned about lack of public it might help to regenerate interest if professors researched into the question of textbooks. Even if we have to use American they should be supplemented with Canadian concerns and students should be permitted to get away from stereotyped lectures altogether occasionally. While a very few good teachers are already adopting such a the majority do not. Unless higher education incorporates new ideas in only from an instinct of self-preservation I predict a further decline of support and student population. Those who will desert their studies are not necessarily the mentally dull but rather those who keenly question the relevancy of time- wasting inanities in this modern age when so many urgent problems require active attention right here and now. Clearance for Kissinger By Norman editor of Saturday It seems virtually certain that the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will give Henry Kissinger the he says he needs in order to continue as secretary of state. But even this vote of confidence will not dispose of the essential issue. That issue is whether it is possible for a man to make mistakes in office and still be of great value to his country. In do Americans allow any margin for error in men who are elected or appointed to high that question can only be answered in the particular and not in the abstract. A lot depends on the kind of mistakes or wrongdoing we are talking about. There is a' big distinction to be made between mendacity and between neglect and between a lapse of judgment and stark irresponsibility. Also the extent of harm involved is critically important. One of the first questions considered by a court has to do with the degree of harm that may have been done. A man who has been assaulted and who has nothing more serious than a bloody nose may have a good case against an but he would have an even better case if he had been knocked down or had suffered a broken jaw. How serious are the misdeeds of which Henry Kissinger has been He is not accused of complicity in the Watergate horrors or in the subsequent coverup. He is accused of having ordered a tap to be put on the telephones of some of his subordinates at a time when the White House was trying to track down leaks to the He is also accused of having lied about the matter to a Senate committee. First of no law would have been broken if Kissinger had in fact ordered a wiretap. The authority for such an order is within the province of the White House. There is a moral issue of and it must not be minimized. The invasion of even for the purpose of tracing is a serious business. But no law was broken if. in Kissinger ordered the phones of his subordinates to be tapped. A Senate committee might have a difficult time in censuring or condemning a cabinet officer or the president's right-hand man on this account. The matter of false is far more relevant and serious. If the Senate committee believes that Henry Kissinger was less than candid in his it might issue a statement criticizing or even censuring him on that but there are gradations even in censure. The last thing in the world that the Senate would want to do. on the assumption it does not believe Henry Kissinger is guilty of serious is to be disproportionate in its or to raise questions that would prejudice Kissinger's ability to conduct his office. Should the fact that Henry Kissinger has performed superbly in office be a factor in the evaluation of the Senate I believe it should. It would be absurd. I to dismiss or ignore the fact that this man has done more to save human life than any statesman in modern times. Largely because of the chances for peace in the world are probably better than they have been in a decade. And his period of greatest usefulness may be just ahead of us. No man is but it is foolish to deprive ourselves of someone through the force of his intelligence and his has demonstrated the kind of leadership in world affairs that might spare the human race of a holocaust. Imperfections come with the human condition. The kinds of imperfections now involved in the charges against Kissinger are not outlandish. They do not have a Watergate dimension. The American people can afford to be magnanimous. They would only be hurting themselves if they were not. Sterile censorship Reprinted from the New York Times When Harvard conferred an honorary degree last week on Dom Helder the Catholic archbishop of Olinda and no newspaper or newscast in Brazil could even mention the event. That same day in Peru the military government ordered the deportation of Enrique one of Latin America's outstanding and closed his for on the Peruvian revolution. Thus do two Latin American army dominated each with solid accomplishments to its each cited as a possible model for other developing persist with useless repression and censorship born out of outsized fear and insecurity. Gen. Ernesto Geisel's three-month-old Brazilian government would hardly be shaken to its foundations by disclosure that Dom Helder had been honored by one of the world's leading universities or even by publication of this gentle crusader's plea at Harvard for world where justice and love open the way for an authentic and lasting And if Peru's generals could cast off their blinders they would see that many worthy aims of their revolution are not hurt but actually advanced by the investigative reporting of Caretas and by Mr. Ziieri's hardhitting but unpartisan editorials. When Mr. Zileri warned recently that sycophants and Communists were trying to push Gen. 'Juan Velasco Alvarado toward personal iron-handed and he was only voicing fears shared even by some military leaders. By way of emphasizing the relaxed climate of President Velasco waved copies of Lima's leading newspapers in front of a recent visitor and in high of these attack us but both came out as usual this But he has damaged his case in allowing the silencing of Enrique Zileri. And the continued treatment of Dom Helder Camara as an unperson is exactly the kind of counterproductive censorship that President had indicated he would abolish in Brazil In thai country and such arbitrary and repressive actions can only tarnish the considerable achievements of their military A smelly study By Don NEA commentator The good people of at least one typical American city waste a bare minimum over worth of beef a year and as much as million in mismanaged says University of Arizona anthropologist William H. Rathje. He knows whereof he speaks because he and his in a project that has to be considered above and beyond the call of academic dutv have hppn nnkinp ahnnt In people's garbage in the city of sorting through gobs of slimy piles of putrid perch and even finding whole steaks. They report that social stereotypes don't hold up in the garbage can. For the poor eat the most they and the middle class is the worst waster. People save pennies by changing their own car yet throw out hundreds of dollars worth of meat in their ;