Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 11, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THI UTHMIDCf HER AID Mondpy, 11, Withhold judgment lest we be judged By Bruce Hutchison, Herald special commentator To ban or bless... The government of Ontario is said to be considering an outright ban on hitch hiking. Why? Well, it's partly because of the real nuisance cre- ated by youngsters stopping cars to cadge a ride for a few blocks to a friend's house or a favorite pizza parlor. But the real reason, accord- ing to The Hamilton Spectator, is mounting official concern over "the tragic increase in murders and rapes of young hitch-hikers in Ontario." So far there have been no reports from western officials that as serious a concern exists on the prairies, but experience indicates that social problems in Canada's most populous province rarely take long to spread to the west. There is an interesting contrast be- tueen this sad situation and that which exists in Poland, where the government officially registers hitch' hikers and offers the motoring public generous inducements to encourage this mode of travel. The Polish system provides that anyone over 16 may apply for a hitch-hiking permit, pay a small fee (equal to about and receive a form of pass-book that iden- tifies him to motorists as a registered hitch-hiker. The book contains an in- surance certificate that indemnifies both the hitch-hiker and the motor- ist in the event of any injury related to hitch-hiking, together with a ser- ies of numbered coupons. When the hitch-hiker gets a ride, he gives coupons to the motorist, the number depending on the length of the ride. Each fall, at the end of what is con- sidered as the hitch-hiking season, the motorist who turns in the most coupons receives a prize. Prizes are more than just tokens; last year the top award was a new car. The pass-book also has another function; should any untoward inci- dent occur, it would serve to identify the hitch-hiker. In this connection, not a single case of theft or hooli- ganism the Communist countries' generic term for all forms of violence or rowdiness involving a card- carrying hitch-hiker has been report- ed in the past three years It seems doubtful that the Polish arrangement would work successful- ly in mis country, where the tradi- tions are so vastly different and where the population has not been so thoroughly disciplined. But it would be rather nice for the lone driver if he could pick up company without having to worry about being robbed and left in a ditch, and cer- tainly a lot of parents would rest easier if they could be confident their hitch-hiking children were com- pletely safe on the highways. Bobby started something Everyone knows the outcome of the famous Mothers' Day tennis match between time-expired tennis professional Bobby Riggs and the world's top woman player Mrs. Mar- garet Court. Riggs, stall spry and a tough money player at 55, won going away as they say in horse racing, and made his 30-year-old opponent look pretty ineffectual in doing so. Now Riggs is getting ready for an- other challenge match with a top- flight woman, 18-year-old court sensa- tion Chris Evert, this time for a purse of Bobby Riggs isn't exactly the sort of fellow everyone automatically 1 f. T..-4- 44- T------i- Clieeib IDi, UUL IL lido IU (JC that in playing a really first-class woman professional like Mrs. Court, he took a bit of a risk; age disparity or no age disparity, if he had lost he'd have looked pretty silly. And wouldn't the girls have crowed! But he didn't lose, and now it seems he may have started something. Other sportsmen if that's the right W0rd _ are taking up the idea of playing the girls. For money, of course. One prominent example is that of a Mr. Lou Nova, one-time heavy- weight boxer, who hi 1941 lasted six rounds with Joe Louis in a world's championship bout. His thoroughly democratic challenge is to "fight any woman in the world for Lou is 58 and hasn't fought much for 30 years; he asks that his opponent be a woman, with no stipulation as to age, weight, measurements or any other characteristics or attributes. Now if Lou Nova should pick up a hundred grand or any substantial part of it just for fighting a girl, surely no one could blame chaps like Sam Snead and Ben Hogan if they should seek stakes matches with the top or any woman golfers. Jackie Stewart would have to wait a decade or so, of course, before offering to take the girls on in an auto race, but Johnny Longden should be ready to saddle up any time. Then there are the team sports. One could hardly expect the girls to tackle CFL level football right away, but they do play the game in college. Nothing much has been heard of wo- men's basketball since the days of Edmonton's famous Grads. but in sports there will always be come- backs. Baseball, hockey, water-polo why, there's just no limit to the fun and games that are possible. Wrestling, though, may raise a few problems, like keeping the contes- tants' minds on their work. ART BUCHWALD Congress flubs again WASHINGTON No one believes in the leparation of powers more than I do. But wben Congress voted recently to cut off funds used to bomb Cambodia I thmfc they went too far. It has been one of the traditions of the government for the past 10 years that a president has the authority to bomb where and when ha wants to regardless of race, creed or color. This has worked very well and the United States has dropped more bombs on Indochina than it did from the first to the fifth World Wars. Not only was Congress wrong in refusing to vote the funds for the future bombing of Cambodia but it couldn't have picked a more inopportune time to have done it- President Nixon is beset with tremendous problems at home and abroad. He has lost his White House staff; the Senate commit- tee keeps probing into his role in the Wat- ergate affair, men he trusted have been lying through their teeth about admini- stration cover-ups; the CIA refuses to play ball with the president's version of what happened after Watergate; and tha FBI, after a slow start, is uncovering mas- sive violations of the law. The only solace the president could take during this period is that he could bomb Cambodia whenever he wanted to. He could pick up the phone at any time, day or night, and say, "Henry, I've had a bad day. I want six squadrons of B-52s to dump two million tons of bombs oa the suburbs of Pnomh Penh." Even while the press was zeroing in on the so-called "plumbers" operation in the White House, even while John Dean was spilling the beans to Newsweek and Time, even though John Mitchell was tolling re- porters he had no intention of being a scapegoat, the president could survive be- cause he knew if things really got rough ha could always kick the hell out of Indo- china. It seems to me that Congress should have taken this into consideration when it overwhelmingly voted to cut off his presi- dential option. While they certainly have the right to look into Watergate, and while no one disputes their sincerity in getting us out of Indochina once and for all, bombing is still the president's business. Many times we have been told that only presidents really know what It is to be president. It is the lonliest job in the world with very few satisfactions. One of the big pluses was that as com- mander-in-chief you could send air force and navy planes against any target you felt threatened the security of the United States. By cutting off funds to bomb Cambodia, Congress has tied the president's hands be- hind his back They have made it impos- sible for him to use the weapons that he has at his disposal for whatever purposes he deems necessary to teach the North Vietnamese a lesson. It is a dastardly move that could only depress the presi- dent more than he is right now. I am not ]ust thinking of President Nixon when I protest this congressional action. I am thinking of future presidents of the United States. One of the great inducements for becom- ing president is being able to bomb targets at will without consulting Congress. !t is probably the greatest fringe benefit the American people can offer the holder of the most important position In this land. My fear is that Congress in taking this prerogative away from the president may have discouraged many qualified people from running for this office. Countless presidential candidates have me personally, "If I can't bomb Com- bodia when I want to, I'm not interested in the job." So tha question I pose today is: Can we afford to lose this calibre of men just be- cause Congress has thrown out the baby with the bath water? Unless he has a peculiarly ro- bust stomach, no citizen of North America should read a recent issue of the London Spectator which instructs Pres- ident Nixon to resign immedi- ately. "He must it an- nounces in a dictum warmly approved, we may be sure, by the ghosts of King George III and Lord North. Yes, he must go whether the American people approve or not, because they are obviously incapable of man- aging their own affairs and should rely on the superior judgment of foreigners. An even more robust stomach is required to digest the com- ment of the press along the lu- natic fringe in Paris. It has been earnestly lecturing the American people about their political corruption, deploring their economic mistakes and telling them how to reform their society this, mind you, from France, of all countries, which the United States helped to res- cue in two world wars and which still demands American defence for its safety. The sea green, incorruptible French press may be nauseat- ing to any North American but it is right in one respect at least. Undoubtedly the United States has made grave mis- takes and the worst among them was to suppose that, in its time of troubles, it would get any gratitude from its fair- weather friends and benefici- aries. We cannot assume, however, that the people of Britain, France and Europe generally are as mean and poisonous as a few of their newspapers. Hav- ing seen quite a lot of them at first hand, in some odd places, I would guess that they are sane, decent and human on the whole like the people of the United States. So are the people of Canada. Yet even in Canada a minor- ity of patriots has declared its patriotism by taking candid de- light in the anguish of its next- and if they do extend Canada's fishing limit from 12 to 200 miles, someone's going to lend a hand now and then on one of these oars Watergate crippling American economy By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Bri- tain and France launched their attack on Suez in the autumn of 1956, the United States was sharply critical. President Eis- enhower and Secretary of State Dulles put the heaviest pressure on the British to call the invasion off. But the prime minister, Sir Anthony Eden, said his government would not take orders from its great ally. Then the pound began feeling the effects of American and disapproval. The British considered seeking a standby credit from the International Monetary Fund, but found they could not get one. On the morning of the eighth day, the cabinet met in the House of Commons. The chan- cellor of the exchequer, Harold Macmillan, who had been an enthusiast for Suez, told his colleagues that the pound would fall unless they stopped. That night the operation was called off. Eden soon resigned because of ill health and was succeeded by Macmillan. That cautionary tale from re- cent history has relevance in Washington today. Not that the facts of our present crisis, or the power relationships, are at all the same. But in a more general sense the smell of Suez is in the ah-. In Richard Nixon's govern- ment, as in Anthony Eden's, an inner cabal of men ran im- portant operations outside the normal processes of state. In secrecy they became increas- ingly arrogant and unrealistic. In open crisis they continued stubbornly to resist reality. And in the end it may be the real world, the world of economics, that forces a change. The dollar is now effectively undergoing its third devaluation in 18 months. With currencies floating, that dees not have the devastating psychological im- pact of the old days. But the nervousness is there, and there is no sign of an end. The German bankers and French businessmen and the others who are unloading dol- lars are not radicals out to get President Nixon; even Sen. Hugh Scott would have trouble finding such a conspiracy among them. They simply see the re- ality of Washington with the clarity of distance: they see that Watergate has virtually paralyzed the American gov- ernment, and they understand how hard it will be for Richard Nixon to get it going again. Last Wednesday saw what could be the beginning of a genuine attempt by Nixon to adjust to the realities of his sit- uation. Bringing Melvin Laird into the White House as coun- sellor was a potent symbol of change. Laird opposed the Christmas bombing of North Vietnam and was thought to be in bad grace with Nixon thereafter. More important, he is a congression- al man, as he emphasized in his first appearance before the press. It is most unlikely that he would stand still for continu- ation of the lawless notion that the president can exercise Letter to the editor power in the absence of legisla- tive or constitutional, authority whether the action is bomb- ing a foreign country or setting up an illicit domestic security program. But even Laird's best efforts are not going to make the fun- damental problem go away in a hurry. That problem is the dark atmosphere of doubt surround- ing this president. Who is audacious? It is difficult to know what to do about letters like that of H. W. Schulz. One's natural inclin- ation is to ignore them. For what shall It profit a man to argue with a correspondent who beanshly intrudes upon a mat- ter on which he has no compe- tence at all? On the other hand, there may be some peo- ple who are hoodwinked by his phoney garb of authority. So perhaps this letter is not wast- ed. Mr. Schulz refers to Mr. Vaselenak's "a u d a c i t y." Change that to "audacious- ness" and we would have a more accurate description of Mr. Vasalenak's character. He speaks out without fear on mat- ters of principle. The audacity is all Mr. Schulz's. I don't recall the Catholic Church seeking Mr. Schulz's ad- vice on how she should teach or how she should run her schools. Nor do I recall any case in the career of St. Paul or St. Peter where the pagans outside the fold offered advice on church doctrine. In those dajs they simply lopped off their heads or threw them to the lions. Now everybody (or at least every protagonist of prom- iscuity) appears to want to in- terfere with the church's own affairs. It's as though a sales- man were to rush into a uni- versity English department and demand that the professors de- stroy their Shakespeare and concentrate on comic books. Where did Mr. Schulz get the impiessicn that his opinion on what our schools ought to teach counts a jot or tittle? And by what queer logic does he have the audacity to call Mr. Vasel- enak's statement Is he on the Catholic school board? Now to come to the question of evidence. Who needs sur- veys of the statistical kind on the connection between contra- ception and lax sexual behav- ior? Anyone with a knowledge of human beings and of the problems of modern society would regard the assumption Mr. Vaselenak makes as com- mon sense. The conclusions of experienced people are enough. Moreoever, informed observ- ers have repeated again and again the diagnosis that the pra- valance of the for in- stance, has played a big part in the drastic increases in VD cases. Mr. Schulz is like many other so-called supporters of "scientific evidence." He ig- nores common sense and breadth of experience. Mr. Schulz should read the papers and journals, and get out of that shell of day-dreaming But there is, of course, a much stronger argum e n t against the 'family-life' (so iron- ic a name) programs It is that their teachings conflict with Christian morals. Catholic schools exist to develop good people. Fear of disease is not liksly to prevent the wide- spread promiscuity in indus- trial, secularist societies. Cath- olic schools exist to supply the means by which a good life can be lived; mainly, they exist to teach the truth. And, in this case, the truth is that promis- cuous people are not happy. Catholic and other Christian schools are among the few agencies which go against the grain of a soft and sad age; an age when the young need, more than ever, leadership which is firm and certain; teaching which is imbued with a passion for the truth about human destiny and the good life. The Lethbridge Herald's re- cent editorial on this matter was, of course, much more in- telligent than Mr. Schulz's let- ter. The writer at least under- stands the right of any school system to follow the teaching of its church. But the suggest- ion at the end of that editorial seems insidious. It would be no better than the scheme already rejected. To introduce these programs into Catholic schools and refer the students to the contraception centres as a sep- arate part of the scheme would compromise the Catholic schools. I am sure that our board would reject that. Indeed, Laird inadvertently dramatized the painful nature of the situation when he was asked whether he had checked on the president's role in Wat- ergate before taking the job. In the old days such a question would surely have been loftily dismissed. But Laird said, "I have been assured of his non- involvement, and I accept that." He added that the Sen- ate, the press and the prosecut- ors ought to carry on their search for the truth. We can see no end now to these multiple inquiries. For months Senate committees and newspapers will be uncovering more gruesome details of do- mestic espionage, obstruction of justice and probably horrors as yet unimagined. It will be in- creasingly difficult for even the most detached observer to con- sider the president free of re- sponsibility. And the investigation by the special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, will be proceeding quietly on its own. Cox failed in his at- tempt to have the Senate hear- ings suspended because of the harm they may do to the search for truth. But he has made clear to some doubters that he has iron in him. He is not going to stand still for any obstruc- tion from the White House, and in terms of concrete evidence his work could still be the most potent of all. The fact that all these inves- tigations are going on at once, and with so much publicity, out- rages the Times of London, which protested in an editorial. The Times forgets that they are a balancing part of the American system. In Britain a prime minister who had done what Richard Nixon has al- ready admitted doing in the name of "national security" would long since have been out of office. If the cloud of doubt remains month after month, with its de- vastating effects on the world's confidence, then sooner or later Richard Nixon will have to face the question that the Eden government faced in 1956. Some true friend and true Con- servative, we cannot yet know who. will come to him and say that for the country's good he must go. door neighbor. As Dr. Johnson once remarked, that kind of patriotism is the last refuge fl< a scoundrel. Happily it remains the refugt of a small minority. The vast majority of Canadians are sens- ible enough to realize that the American tragedy is the trag- edy not only of this entire con- tinent but of the entire human creaturehood. No one on earth can escape its consequences, whatever they may be, least of all Canadians, who live, and must always live, beside a giant suffering from self inflicted wounds but still a giant. Most Canadians know also that with- out the giant's protection (not to mention his market and money) their own treasure, in- dependence and nationhood would be at the mercy of ravenous world. Certainly it is difficult f o r Canada to live in such a mighty and sometimes misguiued pres- ence. As Prime Minister Tru- deau has observed, the mouse feels the slightest twitch of the sleeping elephant. Or, as the late Mike Pearson put it in a better metaphor, the continen- tal relationship is like that of a man and his wife who live a troubled life together but can- not live apart. History, geog- raphy and all the daily facts' of life have so ordained, beyond our power to change them. If the vital dependence of Canada and the Western world on the United States is obvious, the dilemma symbolized, and only sumbolized, by Watergate is not. It would be a bold man who claimed to understand what the great scandal means in historic terms and a cad, or an idiot, who would smirk at it. Although these things will not be fully understood for a long time yet, we can safely assume that Water gate represents something far more important than the fate of Mr. Nixon or any other individual. It is a symptom on the surface, and only on the surface, of a deep, organic malaise in American so- ciety, but no foreigner can pre- tend that any nation is immune to the same disease in various forms and degrees. The corruption of weatlh, suc- cess and power has been com- mon to all mankind, in all times, places and" social sys- tems. Not many men or nations can stand prosperity and the United States has not stood it very welll, or enjoyed it much either. Nor has Canada, whose politi- cal circumstances are nothing to brag about, or a rich Europe that lectures the immoral Yanks but pleads with them not to take their soldiers home, or even Russia, that paragon of virtue and efficiency which needs American food to keep its people from hunger. When all humanity floats on a dark and furious ocean, it offers little comfort to say that only the American end of the lifeboat is leaking. Still, one fact seems clear In the storm American society will solve, or fail to solve, its own problems with its own re- sources of mind and spirit, not with suffocating advice from London, Paris or Ottawa. No- body yet knows whether those intangible resources are strong enough for the task, but the Americans know that their eco- nomic and physical power alone will not save them. In the col- lective mind and spirit, not in the stock market or the Oval Office, the future must be de- cided. While awaiting the outcome, a foreigner is entitled to form his own opinion, right or wrong, but not to cast the first stone, or sermon. If he is wise he will not underestimate the latent strength of a free society all the stronger because it debates its troubles nakedly, in the day- light. K he is honest he will not denounce the mote in his brother's eye before he removes the beam from his own. K he understands his own practical interests he will not tell the Americans how to gov- ern themselves, and invite their retaliation when, God knows, no people is making much of a success in government these days. If he has any sense at all he will judge not, until the final evidence is in, lest he be judged. If that sounds rather too ab- stract, let him remember that the whole problem is, at bot- tom, not one of economics, or even politics, but of morality, in the strict meaning of the' word, and from it no man's own little life can ever be exempt. Lethbridge PETER HUNT The Lethbridge Herald SM 7th St. S., LettDzidge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD 00. LTD., Proprietors and Publisbm Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second CUM Man Registration No. 0011 Member of The Canadian Press and Canadian Dally Newspaoer AMoeiatkm and the Audit Bureau of CLEO W MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAT Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY f MILES DOUGLAS K WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Edlter "THE HERALD SEIVES THE SOUTH"