Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 20, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thunday, July 20, 1972 1HE LETHBRIDGE HERALD S Michael Davie Victorious McGovern seeks party unity MI BEACH The nom- ination of Senator George McGovern as the Democratic presidential candidate must be regarded as one of the most extraordinary events In recent American politics. Six months ago not one political commen- tator in the United States gave him a chance. Even when the delegates assembled In Miami Beacli McGovern was opposed by many of the most celebrated leaders of the Democratic parly not only the other can- didates but the big union lead- ers, scores of Democratic mem- bers of Congress, and many Democratic governors. On the first night ot the convention all this opposition was shown to be made of straw. McGovern romped home. His nomination implies a massive change in the nature of the Democratic party. In 196B, at the last Democratic convention in Chicago, one con- gressman made a speech at- tacking people with long hair, the kind of people who when he spoke were assembling in the street and about to be clubbed down by Mayor Daley's rioting police. That was one of the few times in Chicago that the convention was uni- ted and alive, cheering and shouting. This time many of the dele- gates to the convention have long hair, many of them are women. Most of them hold views that are anathema to the old-time party regulars, who tried, and failed, to promote a stop-McGovern movement in Miami Beach on Vietnam, on welfare, on race. Some ot the people who were outside at Chicago were on the inside at Miami Beach. Abbie Hoffman, one of the Chicago radical leaders, sat in the press stands with a media ad- mission ticket around his neck, paying close attention to the proceedings. Hennie Davis, an- other Chicago organizer and the fellow who staged the mas- sive May Day demonstration in Washington last year when people were arrested, was also in the hall. The lead- er of the Poor People's cam- Millhaven break: a caper? IT IS REPORTED, and we are asked to believe, that a prison psychiatrist at Millhaven The Unbreakable, said the break wasn't real: Just a cap- er, and the boys will all be back. Voluntarily. Devoted mothers say: My Johnny is a good boy, after he has cut the throat of the neigh- bor's cat. Is there anything in my evolving theory that prison psy- chiatrists and psychiatrists dealing with criminals are really substitute mothers? Not mothers who teach their little darlings anything, but mothers whose pride of possession, if not production, Is involved in the good image of their dar- lin' boys? This Millhaven psychiatrist is said to have said that the break was not planned. It ap- pears that it just occurred to somebody while the boys were watching a ball game that it would be a nice little practical joke on the prison staff if they slipped off for a littla while. This means, since barbed wire and some very thick and tough chain fence was cut, that the Millhavea prison Issue has in It some very heavy nail files or finger and toe-nail clip- pers. I've done a little fence cuU ling myself in the past. I Bonder, therefore, whether pri- By Shaun Hcrron son psychiatrists ought not to take a course or two in little exercises like survival? First discovery: Link chain fence is very hard. Second: Getting a pair of wire cutters that mil do the stuff it can be regarded by any standard as "planning." If you haven't got a pair and are not supposed to have them, does the average prison psy- chiatrist know how much trou- ble one has to go to get them and keep them until such time as they can be used. Say, till the ball game? Does the average prison psy- chiatrist know how much or- ganization goes into not get- ting at the fence while guards are on duty and watching? How many men it takes to cov- er such an operation? Cutting through layers of barbed wire and link-chain? Not planned? They just got the call? They just happened to have a heavy wire cutter? I raise a delicate point. Is there a psychiatrist for psy- chiatrists? Think of the pair who reported on the two young Americans who brought of forged money into Canada "to change it for the poor of the Dakotas." Those two lads were "modern Robin Hoods." Not only were they trying to help the poor of the Dakotas, but they weren't going to rob Dakotans to do it. They were going to rob the hillbillies north of the border. I'm not com- plaining about Uie modern Hobin Hoods; if that is how tha Hoods get their kicks and their pocket money, there are places for them. The trouble is that when they get into those places there are psychiatrists. There is a growing body of opinion which believes that for a trial period maybe we should let the inmates out in the cus- tody of the old age pensioners and put the psychiatrists in. We're always doing things for trial periods. We let sex crim- inals out for trial periods. Now we're going to keep them in for trial periods. We abolish hang- ing for trial periods. When will we abolish law for a trial period on the ground that the human race is basically nice and has drawing-room manners? We have tried so many things for trial periods and the crime rate keeps going up. Trial terms for prison psychiatrists, doesn't seem all that far out, once you look at the record. When this trial period be- gins, applications will be con- sidered for the post of prison guard. Only former prisoners in the custody of old age pen- sioners need apply. On the ground that they really know their psychiatrists. (Herald Special Service) palgn and successor to Martin Luther King, the Reverend Ralph Abemathy, was on the floor of the convention with 150 of his followers, lobbying. A homosexual reform cam- paigner from San Francisco was here too, trying to get a gay liberation plank written in- to the Demooratc platform. Gloria Steinem, the most prom- inent (and the prettiest) wo- men's lib spokesman in the United States, was also down among the delegates in a red shirt and blue jeans and big dark glasses, lobbying for abor- tion reform. These causes all of them calculated to scare the wits out of solid middle Americans have never be- fore got within a mile of the agenda at any previous serious political gathering in this coun- try, let alone one of the great conventions. Of course, many of the dele- gates who nominated Mc- Govern were not radicals. But some of them were; and a majority certainly seem- ed sympathetic to what are re- garded in the United States as radical causes. The governor of Florida, a passionate man named Reubin Askew, a liberal in a conservative state, talked in his keynote address about the new "coalition of protest" in the United States. Almost every shade of that protest was In the hall at Miami Beach. Two things were impressive, and directly related to the question of whether McGovern and his raggle-taggle army has a hope of beating President Richard Nixon in November. First, the mood of the con- vention was good-humored mainly no doubt because the delegates who might have kick- ed up rough got their own man in. Most of the pundits had predicted bitterness and blood- letting. In fact, there was much less of it than there is at any Labor party conference in Brit- ain. Second, the McGovern dele- gates seemed to be learning about serious politics at great speed. Eighty per cent of them were rank amateurs at conven- tion politics. Yet they almost all seemed avidly to realize that their chance of victory with McGovern' in November depends on him doing a mat- SUPER SAVERS TONIGHT and FRIDAY ONLY! THESE SPECIALS EFFECTIVE ONLY AT CENTRE VILLAGE IGA LETHBRIDGE ROUND STEAK STORE HOURS: Open Daily 9 a.m. 1o 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. lo 9 p.m. FREE DELIVERY IN THE CITY REGAL STRAWBERRY CHASE SANBORN COFFEE KON TIKI APPLE JUICE FROM OUR OWN OVENS BREAD WHITE or BROWN, UNSLICED CANADA NO. 1 VINE RIPENED TOMATOES Ib. sive repair job on the structure of the Democratic party a structure that they themselves helped to shatter during the primaries by the way they push- ed aside, or ignored or an- gered the old party regulars. After Chicago, tne Demo- crats established a committee under McGovern which rewrote their rules lor elect- ing a presidential candidate. The new McGovera rules got McGovern nominated. But the price has been to alienate many of the party workers and voters whom McGovern must have if he wants to via in No- vember. During the convention McGovern, an effective politi- cian, moved aside some of his younger staff people and brought in a sprinkling of hard- ened old professionals. But the young did not resent the switch. McGovern also told his peo- ple that accommodation was the order of the day. When Governor George Wallace, whose views on practically ev- erything except the weather are detested by most of the delegates, was wheeled into the hall to speak the McGovern delegates had their instructions. They were to stand up to greet him and applaud: and then to vote down every proposal that Wallace made. Afterwards Wallace said he very much ap- preciated the fine reception he had been given. Nobody was right about Mc- Govern's chances of winning the nomination. Nobody expect- ed such an orderly convention. Nobody expected that the young McGovernites would so readi- ly accept the fact that their leader must start wheeling and dealing and trimming in an at- tempt to put the party into some kind of unified shape for the November election. And now nobody knows what will happen in the coming cam- paign or who will win. If polled, virtually all the pundits would say that Nimn has it all sewn up. The war will not be a seri- ous issue; the economy is look- ing brighter. What is more, McGovern at this point seems to have shattered the old Roosevelt coalition, based on union support of the Democra- tic party, that has held togeth- er for so long. The big labor leaders today almost all strong- ly disapprove of McGovera he talks about marijuana when he should be talking about the threat to jobs from foreign competition, one of them said. Many members of Congress are extremely anxious about the McGovern candidacy, fearing that the so-called "drag down" effect will take them to defeat in November along with the candidate. McGovern has alienated the Jewish vote by lu's statements on the Middle East and the Catholic vote by the way his supporters talk about abortion. He has alarmed the Wall Street bankers who think he knows nothing about economics; he has done little to calm the fears of Middle America about law and order; he has fright- ened many blue-collar workers by talking about rash cuts in defence expenditure, which to them means shutting down de- fence plants. He has infuriated Mayor Daley, whose help he must have to win Illinois, which Is essential to his election chances. He seems to have little chance of carrying Tex- as, another key state. And yet something very strange has already happened in American politics, as any- one who saw 10 minutes of the convention on television must have realized. The question is whether this invisible earth- quake will turn'out to be tem- porary or permanent. Is Mc- Govern just the candidate of the party because of a rear- rangement of the party rules, or will he turn out to be a genuine party leader whose election marks genuine change in the course of Hie Democra- tic party? It seems barely conceivable that McGovern will be able to do what he has to do to beat Nixon: reassure labor, keep his youth support, pacify Middle America, get back the Jewish votes he has lost, put the party organization together again and recreate the old alliances so that Daley really helps in Illinois and the big labor unions shell out money for the cause. However, a little humility is in order. Crystal balls are (or should be) temporarily out of style in American political cir- cles. A lot of Democrats who have been openly hostile to McGovcm In the past tew months arc now pinning on Mc- Govern buttons. Perhaps aflcr Novembcr he will never be heard of again. Perhaps lie will be president. Only one predic- tion seems safe: that the com- ing four months Is going to pro- duce the most absorbing presi- dential election campaign la modern American liislory. (Written (or The tail The Observer, tanrton} Open letter to telephone callers jAEAll CALLER, I have to wrilc you an open leller be- cause I don't know who you are. I seem lo spend a sizeable proportion of my timo speaking to you on the telephone, and Jail- ing to communicate. Maybe a letter will make my position clearer. Have you considered what you do when you dial a telephone number? You a bell to ring somewhere else. All too olten, it rings in my home. That bell has an oddly compelling ring. I once heard maturity described as "the ability to ig- nore the telephone bell, and then not spend the next two hours calling all your friends to SEE if they phoned." I have not yet reached that stage of maturity, so I am forced to answer that bell, 1[ only to stop its noise. It really doesn't matter to you, because you can't see, whether I have a cake in the oven, a child in the bathtub, a broken leg so long as I answer the phone, you don't have to consider what you may be interrupting. When I do answer, you assume at once that you have reached the right number, and begin your conversation. "Hi! Mary Jane" you say. and I often have to repeat several times that we have no Mary Jane here. When you finally bring yourself to believe what I say, you get quite angry: you accuse me of being in the wrong place, you demand to know my name, my address. Once, you called me a liar. I am aware of your difficulties. It Is ex- tremely hard to identify a voice when It says no more than 'hello.' I have tried do- ing as they do in Britain: when answer- ing the phone I give the number I am speaking from. But this confuses you be- cause you only expect "to hear 'hello.' If you call a business firm, you expect the switchboard girl to answer you with the name of the firm, don't you? When you call a private number, would it not help you to have confirmed at once that you have, in fact, reached tiie number you wanted and give you a better chance to identify the speaker's voice Perhaps we should ask the telephone companies to discourage 'hello' as an opening for peo- ple answering the phone. Your difficulties might then be less and my time saved if you were at once in a position to s a y, "Sorry, I have a. wrong and get off my line. Meantime, until we have established a more efficient way of answering the phone, may I make a few suggestions. Would you, please begin your conversation by asking Tor the person you wish to speak to, even if you are sure they are already on the line. Having said, "I would like to speak to Mary Jane, you would not feel BO cheated when I turn out not to be she. I would prefer it, too, if, when you find out I am not the person you thought I was, you would not say, "Who's For one thing, I won't tell you after all, I don't know you are not a burglar trying to 'case' my house, do I? And for another thing, it is you who have intruded upon my privacy the onus is upon you to identify yourself and state your busi- ness. It is not up to me to supply you with information. So, perhaps further refine- ment of your opening might help you even more. Would you try, "I would like to speak to Mary Jane Smith, please. My name is John Brown." Sometimes you call me, and even though you have the right number, you want to speak to another member of my house- hold. I do wisli you wouldn't start these conversations with, "Is George be- cause I am sorely templed to say yes and hang up. Firstly, you don't know for sure that you have the right number. Sec- ondly, you haven't identified yourself. Thirdly, you haven't said please. "How you exclaim. Well, maybe, but I am not a maid. If I were, you would undoubtedly be as courteous to me as you are to a waitress. You don't place your order without saying please, do you? Do you? Anyway, petty or not, I expect the same courtesy from people who come into my home by means of the telephone as I expect from salesmen at door, o r friends who come to visit. Perhaps you find my remarks trivial, but, dear caller, if you would extend me elementary courtesy, you would find me far Jess frosly, end far more helpful (o you. To sum up: please don't ring my num- ber at midnight on the off chance that I may be a friend of yours whose name hap- pens to be the same as mine. Please don't demand to speak to members of my house- hold as if I were a mechanical answer- ing service. Please don't accuse me of ly- ing when I explain you have reached wrong number. Perhaps, even though strangers, we can be friends. I look forward to being an helpful as I can next time, whether by ac- cident .or design, you reach my number. Yours sincerely, A. N. OTHER, U.S.-Canadian comparisons By Hoy A. Matthews, In The Christian Science Monilor An excerpt from no address given to the Boston Committee on Foreign Re. lations. of the principle factors in the up- surge in nationalist spirit in Canada in recent years derives from a realization that there are, beneath the surface simi- larities, some profound differences be- tween the cultures (using that word in the broadest sense) of Canada and the United States, and that these differences are such as to make for a strong case for preserv- ing Canadian society, at the moment, from closer integration into a predominantly U.S.-influenced "continental" system. I refer to the really startling discrepan- cies, as between these two countries, in the incidence of murder and violence of all kinds, civil strife, robbery and similar crimes, divorce, drug addiction, and just about every other symplom of social neu- rosis that is evident nowadays. Whatever it is in the separate histories of Canada and the United States that has created these distinctions, they are clear and un- equivocal. I will mention just two or tliree examples, dealing only wilb violence and robbery. In 1970, the number of people who died by gunfire in the United Stales was in Canada, which has almost exactly one- tenth the U.S. population (and, as I noted, relatively far more recent immi- the corresponding figure was 99. Perhaps particularly interesting are com- parisons between the city of Detroit, Michi- gan, and the town we generally consider the most Americanized in sor, Ontario, just five minutes away across the river by bridge or tunnel. The inhabi- tants of Detroit, who number rather more than two million, owned between them in 1970 some handguns; the people of Windsor, whose population is just under owned 322 handguns in 1970, a re- duction of 86 from the figure for 1959. In Detroit's 10th precinct alone, which is homa lo people, 1970 brought 70 murders and robberies; among the 197.000 residents of Windsor that year there were seven murders and 102 robberies. Costly changes so often there's a flurry of talk about converting all our weights and measures to the metric system, metres, litres, grams and such. It makes good sense. Anyone who doubts it has only to consider the scales we use now, with such random-seeming quantifications as 12 inches to the foot, 3 feet to the yard, and either 5280 feet or 1760 yards to the mile. These figures and the proportions they represent don't make sense in the modem era (though they sound quite reasonable when compared to the best-forgotten fact that 5'A yards equal one rod, pole or So by all means let us dump the pints and pecks, throw out the ounces (avoirdu- pois or pounds and tons (long, short or metric) and adopt the measurements that are used almost everywhere except where Engb'sh is spoken. But let us not delude ourselves that it can lie done easily, quickly or cheaply. It will lake years, and cost millions. Take one very simple mid very minor example, one you can ponder next lime you slop at your garage (or gasoline. You'll nolo lhat the dinls on the gasoline pump measure Hie fluid In gallons, and price It in dollars and ccnls. If ws switch to a metric system, the unit of volume will be Iha litre, and of course tho price per unit will change. So (he dials, the gcnra and the face of the puinj) will have to he changed by hand. In Lethbridge, there arc at least MO pumps. I don't know how complicated their works are but I'd be surprised if they could be taken apart and new works and dials installed in less lliau an hour each, which would mean at Icnsl a couple o( months work for a qualified man. Thai's for Lethbridgc, a town o[ tnme For Calgary and Edmonton, multiply by Icn and twelve at Icasl. Then add in the re- mainder of the province, and you'll hovo just about one fifteenlh of the country ac- counted for, and an indication that just changing over gasoline pumps in Canada will require enough man-hours of work to keep some 150 men employed for a year. (And the way we operate, there'll be nbout twice that many supervisors, foremen, timekeepers, inspectors, olc.) If sucli a minor operation will cost in the millions, just Imagine what will be in- volved In conrertinR road signs all across 'lie county, changing umimici'ablo con- uiners lo grams or litres, altering speed- ometers, odometers, water and gas meters, revising Icgnl descriptions of land-holdings, re-Issuing catalogues, limoUMcs and man- uals, lo mcnlion only a few of Iho Uious- ands of changes that will bo required. Did I say it will cost millions? Make Uiat billions.