Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 12, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, March 12, 1974 The view from the bottom The neatest euphemism of the week turned up in the Financial Post, Canada's answer to the Wall Street Journal. In a front page column containing a general justification of profits in the world of business, the paper conceded that given last year's unstable conditions and uncertain commodity prices, "it may be that some firms in some industries were too quick to keep ahead of rising costs." "Keeping ahead of rising costs" is the most pleasing synonym for windfall profits that has yet appeared and it comes embellished with an innocent, or at least viable, motive. It is unfortunate that at a time when economists and business "analysts are calling for investment in Canadian production to take the edge off inflation, profits should be under such fire. However, it is understandable. Anyone who reads the fine print of the financial page of this newspaper and everyone should can check the "Earnings" column and find himself nodding in agreement over the current high rate of profits in many fields. In spite of the fact that private business must know it has a large public relations job ahead of it, statements from corporate officials have not really helped much. W. J. Tough, the appropriately named president of the Mining Association of B.C. says, "There is no such thing as windfall profits, regardless of politics." Regardless of semantics, that statement is not calculated to win sympathy among the readers of the "Earnings" column and it ignores the problem as seen from the bottom. For one thing, it is not possible to disregard politics in this matter because that is one of the means at the disposal of the man on the street, whose profits decreased last year while those of the member companies of the mining association increased. Another corporate statement which is not apt to sit well with the general public was made by T. M. Gait, president of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, who said that the rapid growth in government expenditures and the money supply had been major causes of inflation. "We must press for real economies in the operations of our governments and institutions and be ready to make and accept the sacrifices these may he said at his company's annual meeting. Regardless of the assumption about government expenditures, there is something almost ludicrous in this statement by a well-fed, well-paid executive, calling for sacrifices from everyone, which includes the person netting or less a month. Even newspaper columnists sometimes seem far removed from the scene of action. Not long ago on this page a commentator from Montreal asserted that Mr. Stanfield could not get the public really aroused over inflation because "despite higher prices on all sides, they can still buy more." He later said the same thing by way of emphasis, to wit: "There has been a change involving inflation, reducing public consciousness of it as a great problem." One can only ask, where has he been? Certainly not in the grocery store. Certainly not trying to rent a house with three children and a dog. He doesn't even own a dog, or the 50 per cent increase in the price of dry dog food would have said something to him. One of the troubles with general economic pronouncements of this sort is that they seem to come from people who have little understanding of the man on the street, or his wife, who is the usual purchasing agent. Not ail incomes, after all, are indexed to the cost of living. This is where politics enters the picture, because politicians can empathize with the so-called little man. They have to. Church dominance? The Sunningdale Agreement which produced a coalition government in Northern Ireland and promised an eventual council of Ireland is already in jeopardy as a result of the near sweep of Ulster Protestant extremists in the recent British election. It gould be further undermined by the outcome of a legislative move being made in the Irish Republic. A new law to legalize the sale of contraceptives is to be introduced soon. The bill will limit the sale of contraceptives to the married and those over 18 and then only by pharmacists registered with the ministry of health. In most countries such a bill would not be viewed with alarm; it would only be considered long overdue if something like it did not already exist. But in Ireland there is stout opposition not so much from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church as from the rural clergy and from groups of Catholic laity. One of the opponents of the bill argues that in a 90 per cent Catholic state, decisions have to be taken within the Catholic ethos. Such an argument sounds sensible enough until it is remembered that article 44 of the republic's constitution, which gave the church a special position in the state, has been rescinded. The contraceptive bill is really a test of whether the rescinding of article 44 has any meaning in practice whether Ireland is to remain a basically religious state or whether a pluralist society is to come into existence. Protestants in Ulster will take a special interest in this test: if the bill fails to pass any hope of establishing the council of Ireland will disappear because it will spell church dominance to them. ART BUCHWALD The implications of streaking WASHINGTON "Mr. President, you know those seven people who were arrested for streaking through the Watergate fountain last "1 read about in the newspaper. John." "It turns out several of them worked for the White House." "Why didn't I know about this "Well. Mr. President, we thought we could keep it from you. It is our belief that it would be unwise to have the President of the United States involved with streaking and ail its implications." "I am very disturbed that anyone on my staff would run nude through the Watergate fountain. Why did they do it. "They thought it would help you in the polls. The problem now. Mr. President is that the people arrested say if we don't help them they're going to reveal that we've been streaking in the White House for the last six months. If that gets out. we're going to be in a lot of trouble." "Thai's blackmail. John. What are our options''" "We could pay the money to them to hush them up." "How much would it cost, "Taking into consideration their lawyers' fees and what it would cost to care for their families. I would sav Si million." "We could raise that easily. John. What are our other "We could say we streaked in the White House for national security reasons. We had to hire streakers because the FBI refused to streak for us, and the CIA under their mandate could streak only in a foreign country. Our streakers were hired to find out what other streakers were op to. As president it was your constitutional duty to see that the people in this country did not discard all their clothes and run around in their birthday soils." "I see. Do we have any other "We could refuse to pay the money to the defendants and let them reveal the streaking that went on here. We could say that a few members of your staff did run nude through the halls, but no one had ever streaked through the Oval Office. As soon as you heard about it you ordered an investigation of the streaking and insisted that those who did it had to if it turns out that my closest aides were involved in the streaking "There's that possibility. Mr. President. I saw two of the men you hold in the highest esteem run naked through Rose Mary Woods" office the other night" "Have you ever streaked. "Yessir. I have, Mr. President. One afternoon while I was working on some legislation for you. I suddenly took off all my clothes and went running on the White House lawn. The Secret Service caught me just as I was going over the fence." "You had better go to Camp David. John, and write a full report for me." 'Til do that Mr. President Now to get back to the people who were caught streaking at the Watergate, We do have another option. We could offer them executive clemency." 'How could we justify that "We could say they were nudists on their way to sunbathe on the Potomac, and they cut through the Watergate complex to save time." "Sure we could. John. But if I start giving executive clemency for streaking I could lose my mandate "Then what should we do. Mr. "I could try to hush the whole thing up. Or I could tough it out But I have a third option. John. Pat and I could streak down Pennsylvania Avenue tomorrow at high noon BUT THAT, JOHN, WOULD BE WRONG." Dief: Loyalty is more than tweed deep. Inside tips for Aleksandr By William Safire, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON An imaginary communication: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Frozen Wastes, Norway Dear Aleks: As the press agent and promotion man for your American publishers, it behooves me to tell you that your latest word open letter to the Kremlin has been a public relations disaster here in the U.S.A. A few excerpts make the depressing point: 1. "A judge, flouting bis obligatory independence, panders to the passions of society and acquits a man who, during an exhausting war, steals and publishes defence department documents Aleks, meaning no disrespect, somebody has to tell you the facts of publishing life nobody who expects to sell books goes around knocking Daniel Ellsberg. The Ellsberg people buy books; they are about the only people who buy books in hard covers. I realize there is a paperback sales potential for anti-Ellsberg writers (has your paperback publisher been talking to but the people who will still defend the defence department in the publication of the Pentagon Papers don't make up much of a market. 2. That turbulent "democracy-gun riot" in which once every four years the politicians, and indeed the entire country, 'nearly kill themselves over our election, trying to gratify the There is kind of a sentimental affection here, Aleks. for elections every four years, and it can't help your image to be knocking them. The masses, which I hope your translator can start calling "the get sort of a kick out of voting, and if you jump all over free elections then it doesn't help the one-man-standing-alone- against-tyranny a bit, if you get what I mean. 3. "There are examples today of groups of workers (in western civilization) who have learned to grab as much as they can for themselves whenever their country is going through a crisis, even if they ruin the nation in the process." Kicking the downtrodden British miners just when they've won a living wage is going to lose you the support of the New York review of books crowd in a hurry, and George Meany to boot. You see, dissenters like to stick together, and since you are the number one international symbol of dissent, you just can't sport a little Russian flag in your lapel and pop off at people who are popping off at the establishment.Keep in mind that dissent is your bag. Don't get me wrong: I'm for you. Some of your recent ideas are dynamite. Spinning off the Ukraine and going it alone is a real grabber of a thought (some years back, flacking for the Brooklyn Dodgers, I myself ran a campaign to "break up the and dumping communism in favor of religious orthodoxy is a gas (if you need a slogan, try "I like Aleks, all I want is that you shouldn't disappoint the people over here who are grabbing up your books like blinis. Keep banging away at tyranny and like that, and never use lines like "Russia is authoritarian, let it remain so." You're much better off staying on the anti-censorship kick. Censorship is authoritarian, you know? But let me set this ideological stuff aside and come to grips with your real problem. Your press relations while you were in Moscow were terrific, but now that you are outside they are in a shambles. You just can't go around telling photographers: "You are worse than the KGB" or beating up on newsmen with lines like "I never expected such irresponsibility in the West." Nobody's perfect, but after all these are the guys that sprung you. If the press hadn't made you an international celebrity, you'd be back in the hoosegow today. And here's a little professional tip: when you're handing out a press release, you should hand it out all around the other wire services get a little upset when you say "don't worry. Soon everyone will get the whole text- from the AP." Competition's the gimmick over here. The thing is, Aleks, you can't plead with western jour- nalists to hang out in your living room in Moscow, and then when you're bounced out alive, slam your new door in their faces. The media types get sensitive about that. I know you're not ready for autograph parties yet. And I haven't even told you some of the zingy promotion ideas I have (the new Solzhenitsyn cocktail, a brandy Aleksandr made with vodka, is gonna be a But if you keep up this new no interview, no- press conference, no photo- opportunity routine, you're liable to wind up the star of "an evening at the White and since that happened to Andrew Wyeth he hasn't been able to sell a painting. I stand ready to fly to the frozen wastes to consult with you at any time. Meanwhile, remember: you're here for dissenters, you're against communism, you hate censorship. Don't budge off those lines. Stop knocking the press, stop dumping on free elections, stop putting down other dissenters. We need a Tolstoy, not a Rasputin. Ikonoclasm's swell, but if you want to hang on to your image, Aleks, baby, this above all: lay off Dan Ellsberg. Because if our saints begin to fight, the heavens will fall. Letters Canadians need U.S. As a fellow Canadian, this is a rebuttal to the years of childish complaints and hate campaigns that have been waged against the United States. Canadian people are like the raw natural resources of this sprawling country. They and the natural resources must be shipped to other nations to be refined, nulured, and shaped into useful products. And the majority of the raw products, and the Canadian people go to the United States for this invaluable service. Just look at those in the fields of medicine, sports, acting, radio, television and other fields too numerous to mention. Canadians whine and blubber about Americans coming to this nation to exploit its natural resources. If they didn't, this country would .still be completely undeveloped. It would be stagnating in the days of the pioneers. Not the industrialized nation of today. Right now, Alberta is soliciting other nations to invest in its development of the northern tar sands to recover billions of dollars in precious oil. And how about Japan's multi million dollar investment in the coal fields of British Columbia. Could Canada have developed those coal fields on her own? More Canadian content in books, radio programming and television is asked for. How many Canadian authors are there writing Canadian content books? Could the radio stations or television survive without United States' taped music or shows? And how about the motion picture theatres? Could they hope to exist without American motion pictures? I say bah-humbig to the cry- babies of this otherwise proud nation. Let them spatter their immature spittle into their security blankets. Fully 25 per cent of Canadians have emigrated to the hated United States. Are they all crazy? Jealousy and avariciousness is an indication of immaturity. It's time all Canadians grew up. PETER NAGAI Lethbridge. Visitor praises city I feel that before I terminate my holidays I should inform The Herald and the people of Lethbridge what my wife and I think of the city. For the past two weeks we have been the guests of relatives who have made us well aware of the blessings here in Canada. I find however that many fine people do not realize what joys and relaxation can be theirs by visiting the Yates Centre during the various presentations. My wife and I have enjoyed three such nights which we will always remember as part of Lethbridge. The latest one we attended was the most enjoyable. As a director and producer for 36 years, I would like to congratulate the director and cast of the Fantastiks for what I felt was a heartwarming performance. Although I had the pleasure of seeing this same production in Calgary a few weeks ago I must say that I came away from Lethbridge's production feeling it excelled the professional presentation in Calgary. I found the Lethbridge cast, many of whom lack the professional training, doing an admirable job of portraying the story as it was written to be portrayed. The young lady who was cast in the lead role showed an acting talent and singing ability found only in professionals of many years training. The genuine warmth of the young lovers, so hard for a director to bring out, was in direct contrast to the weather. Yes Lethbridge has much to be grateful for. What the people have from a cultural viewpoint deserves all their support. J. H. TWAROWSKI Long Beach, California Reducing population Eliminating lives is an effective way of reducing population and I would like to congratulate The Herald for sponsoring World Population Year in this area. Of course we all have our ideas about such programs. Under my plan all murderers, women having abortions, and doctors doing abortions would be the first to go. This would: reduce prison costs, ensure that there are enough babies for parents who want to adopt and solve Alberta's problem of an oversupply of doctors. Our population must not only be ideal in size but ideal in quality. Eliminating all moonshiners, drug pushers, and drug users would achieve this. What's the sense in using good tax money to treat ungrateful and damaged brains? Last but not least, I would eliminate Mr. Parasite himself, the social scientist. MORLEY GILCHRIST Lethbridge Political hay-making It seems to me that our school trustees do not have very much to do these days. When that is coupled with a lack of imagination, the picture is nothing short of dismal. Lethbridge has a good system of education. It is a pity our elected representatives cannot measure up. In recent weeks, they have been making political hay tossing petty problems about in print. Not too long ago it was the silly strap issue. Then, a senior separate school board member reduced teachers lo the level of babysitters. Now. the political straw being tossed about is the Canada Winter Games for next year. The Games will not be around for another 250 years. The merchant community is going to make millions from this opportunity. The city will take its rake-off. The student population will engage in an enormous program of practical education. Teachers and hundreds of others will volunteer their services. Yet, the concern of two trustees in all this is to make political hay in mid-winter. If the public had the time to check such persons' records, it is likely it would find quite a series of negatives to match very "few positives. I wonder when the next school board elections are scheduled for? LOUIS BURKE Lethbridge. The Lethbridge Herald 5M 7th St S Alberta LETHBWDGE HERALD CO. LTD. ana Second daw Man Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher "lliey treated Harvey dreadfnlly at the unemployment office -they offered him a DONH PILIUNG Managing Editor ROYF MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKCft Editorial Page Editor DONALD R. OORAM General Manager ROBERT M FBNTON Circulation Manager KENNETH BARNETT Business Manager HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"