Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 3, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID - Wednaday, March 3, 1971 EDITORIALS Joseph Kraft What threat? Sharp criticism of the government's handling of the Quebec crisis was expressed by the Canadian Labour Congress in its annual submission to the cabinet. It charged that the government has failed to produce a "tittle" of evidence to justify the actions which threw the country into a state of panic. The congress statement reminded the government that it had spoken of apprehended insurrection and of terrorists to be counted in the thousands. But the thousands became hundreds and the hundreds became tens. In the light of this, the congress has concluded that "the proclamation of the War Measures Act displayed an excess of zeal ill-becoming a responsible government." For the congress to make such a statement now does not constitute a change of heart by any means. The almost universal approval given to the government at the time of the invoking of the War Measures Act was not shared by the congress. At the time, the congress said it felt bound to express its concern about the virtual elimination of all civil liberties. There is no doubt' but that the big scare of mass insurrection was what kept criticism to a minimum when the War Measures Act was invoked. But those who are normally opposed to any infringement of civil rights are not apt to feel they were tricked into support. The government apparently honestly thought the threat was greater than it proved to be and only acted under pressure in a way that had to be repugnant to it. Nevertheless, the fact that the threat now appears to have been exaggerated and has not been satisfactorily explained is apt to make many more people chary about supporting withdrawal of rights if another threat is claimed in the future. Misplaced justice There seems to be popular agreement with the city's policy of not using salt on snowy or icy streets. The damage to car bodies is too expensive. Also there seems to be concurrence in a minimum policy toward snow removal. This also can be very costly, and in the chinook belt it is not so necessaiy. However many citizens, especially motorists, are wondering if the city isn't becoming too indifferent. Perhaps more streets should be plowed, shoving most of the snow on to the boulevards and leaving it there to melt. And certainly the sanding trucks should work sooner and longer after a snowstorm. Days after a fresh fall of snow many busy intersection approaches are often still dangerously slippery and innumerable minor yet costly collisions have resulted. Taxes being what they are, the city cannot afford to keep its streets totally free of snow and ice. But the cost of auto body work and hospitalization being what it is, neither can the people afford to be without a bit more effort from City Hall. Suddenly goose-pimples! f Away back in the dirty thirties, a young man by the name of Orson Welles gained instant fame for himself through a radio program. He built a play around a hypothetical attack upon the United States by invaders from Mars. So convincing was the performance, people who tuned in after the program had started were unaware of its fictitious nature and there literally was panic in the streets of many cities and towns across the nation. Recently a false alert was touched off within the United States nuclear attack warning system. A technician, inserted a wrong tape into the broadcast wires of Associated Press and United Press International instead of the tape notifying broadcasters that North American Air Defence Command was testing the system. Fortunately the error was quickly corrected and no catastrophe resulted. Nevertheless, the ramifications of what could have happened gives one goose-pimples and makes Orson Welles' program look like a cheap side-show. Millions of lives depend on the speed and accuracy of the warning systems, and in spite of the fact that they are as automatic as possible, the human element must come into their procedures at some point and there is always the possibility for either mechanical or human errors. The scare will have the beneficial side-effect of reminding officials responsible for the warning systems that they can't let up on constant surveillance to make certain all their controls are working efficiently. ART BUCHWALD WASHINGTON - The recent fiasco at T NORAD, when the wrong tape was inserted in a computer, warning the country that there was a national emergency and all TV and radio stations should go off the air, boggles the imagination. The message containing code words "hatefulness, hatefulness" was only supposed to be used for a real nuclear attack. The fact that the message was ignored by most TV and radio stations shows how serious the credibility gap is in this country between the people and its government. Civil Defence and military leaders are now investigating the foul-up and trying to find new fail-safe methods of alerting the public to a nuclear missile attack. My friend Wafferman was explaining at dinner the other night what had happened at N'OARD, when his 17-year-old son, Joel, raised some disturbing questions. "Why would they want to turn off all the television programs and radio shows in case of a nuclear attack?" "Because," Wafferman said, "it would give President Nixon an opportunity to go on the air and calm the people." "I don't want to hear President Nixon Just before I die," Joel said adamantly. "You're not going to die," Wafferman said. "The reason for the alert is to allow everyone to prepare himself for a nuclear attack." "I read somewhere that we will only have a half-hour before we get zonked." "That's about right," Wafferman replied. "Well, what are we supposed to do in that half-hour?" "I don't know," Wafferman said, getting slightly irritated. "That's what President Nixon is supposed to tell us when all the TV station go off the air." "Maybe we're supposed to fill our bathtubs with water?" Joel said. "I don't like you being sarcastic about nuclear war. It's very unpatriotic." "Or maybe he'll tell us to run outside and put plastic over our heads." "It's typical of your generation," Wafferman said, trying.not to lose his temper, "that even when there is a nuclear attack you have no faith in the president of the United States." "I do have faith in the president. He'll probably describe it as the greatest nuclear attack in the history of mankind. But if I have a half-hour to live I'd rather watch I Love Lucy." "Now let me tell you something. This civilian warning system has been worked out by the best brains in this country," Wafferman said. "Millions and millions of dollars have been spent to give every man, woman and child in this country 30 minutes notice before the enemy strikes. Without the warning system, none of us would ever know what hit us." "I'd even settle for a re-run of McHale's Navy," Joel said. "I don't see any reason to continue this discussion," Wafferman sadd, "if you can't see the importance of Civil Defence in time of nuclear attack." "I see the importance of it," Joel replied. "But what I don't understand is why we can't watch a good television show just before we go. Why can't a compromise be worked out? Nixon can be on one of the channels, and the other stations can continue their regular programming. Then people will at least have a choice of what they can watch in the last 30 minutes of their lives." Joel started to laugh. "What's so funny?" Wafferman asked. "I'd like to be around, just to see the TV ratings the next day." (Toronto Telegram News Service) Sorting socks By Doug Walker COCK sorting is apparently a much more complicated job than I had imagined it to be. I got another surprise one morning recently. Having fished out what I thought was a pair of socks from my drawer, 1 went to put them on and discovered that I had three socks in the bundle - two of mine and one of Judi's. I wouldn't put it past Elspeth to have deliberately done that to get a rise out of nie. However. I just think it indicates that she should start to wear her glasses for other things besides reading'. Nixon's State of the World message WASHINGTON - At first glance President Nixon's second State of the World message looks like a blare of self-praise. It recounts Mr. Nixon's every deed and has quotes enough to warrant the title, "Thoughts of Chairman Richard." But everywhere in the document there are submerged concessions to the administration's critics. The total effect is a somber acknowledgement that the policies described may not be working. Take the definition of the Nixon Doctrine. The message says: "We recognize that the doctrine like any philosophic attitude ... is not a detailed design. In this case ambiguity is increased since it is given full meaning through a process that involves other countries ... for the doctrine's full elaboration requires their participation." In sum, the doctrine is what others think it is. It is a kind of Rorschach test. Which is precisely what critics have been saying. On Vietnam the message indicates that the president will not accept the rapid pull-out advocated by many senators and Secretary of Defence Mel-vim Laird. Neither will he accept political compromise in Saigon as a price of promoting the talks in Paris. On the contrary, the purpose of Vietnami-zation has been to give the North Vietnamese "incentive to turn to negotiations rather than protracted war." But the message concedes that this policy "cannot, except over a long period, end the war altogether." It further acknowledges that, as American troop strength dwindles, the chances of inducing negotiations diminishes. It says: "As our forces decline, the role we can play on many aspects of a settlement is also bound to decline." In Europe, the message affects to "welcome" Chancellor Willy Brandt's Eastern policy. But it also validates the charge that Washington has been suffusing the policy in a miasmic cloud of suspicion and mistrust. Thus Herr Brandt's ostpolitlk is made to sound like the German model of Prime Minister Edward Heath's intention to see that "British policies are determined by British interests." On top of that put-down, the Bonn regime is warned that "a differentiated detente limited to the U.S.S.R. and certain West-era allies but not others would . . . turn the desire for detente into an instrument of political warfare." As to the Near East, the message pushes once again the American peace initiative. The Arabs are to accept an agreement with Israel. Israel is to withdraw from territories occupied in the six-day war of 1967. The pre-war Israeli frontiers, the message says with new precision, are to be modified only by "insubstantial changes." But the report acknowledges that the initiative is not now being pursued jointly with the Soviet Union. It contains a detailed description of what happened to the effort undertaken last year to achieve peace in the Near East without Soviet co-operation. That attempt to put over a made - in - America settlement yielded tension between this country and' Israel, Arab cries of Israeli treachery, and - the. better to show that if peace did come it was thanks to Russian pressure - further Soviet military penetration. In the matter of arms control, the president acknowledges that the Russians have advanced a proposal for limiting deployment of the main defensive weapon, the anti-ballistics missile. But the president dismisses an ABM-only accord as a "mere token agreement." That means he wants' to build onto an ABM accord an agreement including offensive weapons. But the president complicates that task by arguing that the multiple warheads which might in future be added to the Russian SS-9 missile are somehow much worse than the multiple warheads that have already been added to American missiles. The message says: "Deployed in sufficient numbers and armed with the multiple independently targetable warheads (MIRVs) of sufficient accuracy, this missile could threaten our land-based ICBM forces. Our MIRV systems, by contrast, do not have the combination of numbers, accuracy, and warhead yield to pose a threat to the Soviet land-based system." In the end, what emerges, from the State of the World message is a sad impression. The president and his closest, advisers talk a lot about a generation of peace. They are not fooling, and they would have domestic support for any agreements they made. But they are caught, up in the toils of their own beliefs. They have a deep ideological hostility towards the Communists. They translate any Communist gains into American reverses, and they see potential Communist gains in any move made by left-wing regimes from Germany to Chile. As a result, they frame terms for negotiation, that work to block agreement. It is a case of a regime unable to let go, a government incapable of taking chances for peace, a Prometheus self-bound. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Letters To The Editor Situation regarding doctors9 earnings given clarification As your editorial recently asked for, and the February 23rd letter from "Sick Patient" demands some clarification from the medical fraternity of Lethbridge, I hope that your readers may better understand the true situation in regard to doctors' earnings if first ac- Schizophrenics anonymous I wonder how many people in and around Lethbridge are familiar with Schizophrenics Anonymous, an organization patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous* Information on this organization can be obtained by sending 50 cents to Schizophrenics Anonymous, Box 913, Saskatoon, Sask. Anyone wishing to start a chapter would be wise to seek out the advice of the local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. While AA has a strict policy against endorsing other organizations, individual members will often help by contributing their knowledge and experience. Neither should you hesitate to seek out the advice and support of sympathetic physicians and clergyman. Schizophrenics Anony m o u s do not undertake to psychoanalyze one another but to help one another. They do not concern themselves with the pasts of its members but with their futures. Many of the members of the pioneer chapters in Canada and the U.S. are on niacin or nicotinamide. The vitamin B-3 therapy is prescribed by doctors. Together with proper diet, good living habits and the fellowship of other schizaphren-ics, SA are optimistic about the future and feel that they have found many of the answers to the nation's No. 1 health problem. All of this is worth looking into. INTERESTED PARTY Deserving doctors I refer to the letter by 'Sick Patient" in which the writer criticized doctors' salaries and services. Doctors are entiled to their large salaries. Their training is long and difficult and they render a vital service to the community. Since they are paid on a 'services rendered' basis their earnings are bound to be high for in this health-conscious country most doctors are overwhelmed with patients. Specialists deserve extra pay to compensate them for the extra training they have taken and for the more advanced work that they are expected to do. It doesn't matter if you are a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or teacher, if you take extra training at your own expense and in your own time then you should receive a much higher salary. Doctors most certainly do make home visits and if your correspondent cannot get a doctor to make a home visit then he should change his clinic. Of course doctors see their patients in the quickest possible time. Sick people who are waiting their turn to be examined are undoubtedly grateful that the doctors don't waste their time. The people of Lethbridge should be grateful for the very high quality of medical service available to them. Quality medical care like quality education cannot be had on the cheap. For the medical insurance premiums that we pay in Alberta I think we are getting very good value for our money. T. G. MORRIS. Lethbridge. (More Letters On Page Five) quainted with a few definite facts and figures. It should first be pointed out that the four doctors who were paid "over $240,000 each a year" are pathologists running private diagnostic laboratories in Alberta's larger cities. These laboratories perform routine and highly complex laboratory investigations for literally hundreds of patients using extremely expensive equipment and hiring up to 20 or more fully qualified well-paid laboratory technicians in each laboratory. Because these diagnostic centres pre run and supervised by a pathologist with many years of post-graduate training in tissue pathology and diagnostic clinical testing, the payments for the tests done are paid to the pathologist running that laboratory by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Commission. Out of the money paid to the proprietor of each such laboratory, he must then pay his laboratory technicians, finance the cost of highly sophisticated auto-analyzers and diagnostic equipment, pay a competent clerical staff to speed the reports of tests back to the physicians and pay the general overhead and rent for the large area of space required by such a business. To state that these doctors "make" $240,000 each is like saying that a large automotive dealer whose car sales total two million dollars in a given year "makes" two million dollars, or a grocery store owner selling $500,000 worth of groceries per month "makes" $500,000. The news release also stated that payments to the vast bulk of Alberta's doctors averaged some $46,000. What that news release didn't bother to point out was that these figures represented gross income only. In a city such as Lethbridge where the pattern of medical practice is largely clinic practice, it is not generally known, but certainly true, that clinic overhead runs from 40 - 50 per cent of gross income, cutting the net income per doctor to $23,000 to $27,600 average. Included in this overhead besides the recurring expenses such as utilities and rent are the salaries paid to para-medical personnel such as graduate nurses,-certified nursing aides, laboratory and x-ray technicians, cost of laboratory equipment, bacteriologist's fees for doing bacterial cultures, as well as a huge clerical staff for the mountains of paper-work. The statement in "Sick Patient's" letter that doctors do not make house-calls is patently false. Although some specialists whose specialties are, by their very nature, hospital or office-based, may not make house-calls, there are still hundreds of house - calls being made weekly by general practi- tioners and pediatricians. It is also true that it costs more for a house-call from a plumber, an electrician or a TV repair man in the day time than it does to get your doctor up out of his bed and over to see you at night. A recent survey among local doctors showed their average working time to be 63 - 68 hours per week. If the public is willing to accept the reduced standard of care resulting from doctors working the now acceptable 35-hour week, then the doctors would certainly make a reduced income, but would have free time on Saturdays, Sundays and evenings like other people. The pleasure would be all theirs and the reduction in income probably worth while! LETHBRIDGE PHYSICIAN. Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 - The Lethbridge Fair Board has been reorganized with William Oliver as president. The fair will be held this year July 20 to 22. 1931 - Hundreds of unemployed drifted into Lethbridge on freight trains and other transportation, in an attempt to procure work on the new terminal elevator. They met disappointment as local men will be given first chance. 1941 - The first class of students at the RCAF service training school at Macleod were presented their wings March 1. 1951 - Three inches of snow blanketed all of Vancouver Island, the lower mainland of British Columbia and extended as far south as Seattle, 140 miles away. It was the first March snowstorm since 1938. 1961 - The first increase in telephone rates since 1926 will face Alberta Government Telephone users, likely next fall. The new tax levy to be made on power lines through the province and the thinning surpluses are reasons given for the inceease. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Mrmber of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAY Associate Editor DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"