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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE tETHBRIDQE HERALD Monday, March 18, 1974 German economy Communist countries are no different from those of the capitalist west in their need to make annual summations of national economic performance. East Germany had a year of "economic upsurge" according to the resume in Foreign Affairs Bulletin, a publication by the GDR prepared for wide international distribution. National income increased by 5.5 per cent, investment in national economy rose by 8.5 per cent, the transport industry carried two per cent more goods, construction output increased by 4.7 per cent and industrial commodity production rose by 6.8 per cent, an absolute growth rate which had never before been achieved by the GDR. It is difficult to extract meaningful comparisons from the report because, as UN demographers have long known, statistical frameworks vary from country to country. Nevertheless, the increased economic performance seems rather modest to Canadians, whose total industry volume increased by 20 per cent in the same period of time. The report emphasizes that 34 per cent of East German children under three were looked after in day care centres and 77 per cent ol pre-school children were served by kindergartens. This reflects the usual concern of Communist societies for the education 6f children. The most interesting section, however, is the one on industrial output, because it points out one of the basic flaws in any Communist economy. Production in the industrial ministries is given in terms of fulfilment of goals. This method of analysing is always questionable, since results can be pre determined by the simple expediency of setting easy goals. It is illustrative of the fact that, while there is a need and an opportunity for producing self serving statistics all along the line of production, there is no means for critical, objective analysis of economic performance in a nationalized economy. This is quite different from the capitalist West, where business and government are accustomed to appraising each other critically and where both regularly come under the objective scrutiny of outside organizations and of private research groups. Taking another look Members of city council in Lethbridge responded sensibly and sensitively, as it was expected they would, when requested to reconsider a decision to turn the old library into an office building. Elected representatives ought not to bow to every pressure put upon them but there are times when it is wise to take another look at decisions. Converting the old library into offices for the community services department would be a responsible thing to do but it doesn't seem to capture the enthusiasm of the community; something more imaginative is clearly desired. An art gallery seems like an ideal suggestion. Other possibilities, however, cannot be summarily ruled out so council has allowed some time for public opinion to sort out the options and take shape definitely behind one of them'. Whatever the ultimate decision may be, council members and the director of community services are to be commended for being willing to look again at the matter of the utilization of the library building. ERIC NICOL Food from waste paper A scientist and officials from Louisiana State University said. recently they have developed a process to convert waste paper into an animal food with more protein than steak or soybeans. (News item) And not a moment too soon either. I have a wallet full of waste paper ready to be recycled any time the plant is operational. It's called "money." The inflated cost of living being what it is, I can tind no better use for dollar bills I mean, how much protein do you get in a box of crackerjacks? The exciting thing about food produced from paper is that it can eliminate the ugly scene in the supermarket, the one when the ashiei rings up the tote of what we have put mad, impetuous fools that we 'he tiiiiihnl Instead, we shall pick up our shopping cart at the door of the bank, wheel it up to the teller, and cash our pay-cheque for a load of highly-nutritious paper money. Protein-packed ones. Twos with added vitamin iron and riboflavin. Fives and tens, ready to serve, delicious when garnished with pickled nickels and dimes. Each bill signed personally by the new controller of the Bank of Canada Sara Lee. Any paper money that we don't eat we can spend on other necessities of life wine, women, maybe the rent. The prospects for food made from paper look much brighter than the fate of paper clothing, which had a short-lived vogue a few years ago The idea was that a woman would wear her paper frock till it got grubby, or ripped in the confusion of a paper chase, then she would throw it away. But women stopped wearing dresses of any kind, about that time, and the industry was unable In engineer a pair of paper slacks that would withstand the special stresses created when a woman bends over. The breakthrough was not technological. As a result, the paper pantsuit remains one of the dreams of mankind, along with a removable wrap for Swiss cheese. But food produced in the form of paper money not only cuts out the grocery middleman but offers possibilities for new recipes. Like: Buckwheat cakes. Place the contents of your piggy bank in a paper mill and grind the bills to a fine powder. Apologize to the Queen, then smother in maple syrup. Sourdough bread. To currency batter add the front page of your edible newspaper. No need to add yeast. Inflation occurs automatically. Lolly pops. A tasty snack, calling for only a couple of bills and a filling of peanut butter If you can't afford to buy peanut butter, shred a bill and tell the kids to try to find Sir Wilfrid Laurier. These and other giant leaps forward of mankind wait upon completion of refining of the process that breaks down the cellulose fibres into a tasteless synthetic protein substance like Mother used to make. Unfortunately, scientists estimate that this will take seven to 10 years more. Far too long. We don't have that good a supply of soybeans in the cupboard, at our house, and I bet you folks who are reading this haven't either. i.el me have a crack at those cellulose fibres. I'll make them break down. I haven't watched years of Perry Mason for nothing. Five minutes after I put them on the stand, they'll be ready for the fryer. Food from waste paper. To heck with putting man on Mars. Let's get on with what is essential: your devouring this column as a low-cal waffle. "I had a feeling this might happen when the Bloods got their ammunition Henry Kissinger's toughest assignment By James Reston, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Secretary of State Kissinger is going back to Moscow again fairly soon to ask and answer some awkward questions about the state of U.S. Soviet relations. The reason for his visit is fairly obvious. He has to find out if his affair with Moscow is real or fake. Both sides have been supporting the notion of "detente" or "peaceful but increasing their military budgets while talking about reducing them. They glorify trade while differing about the terms of trade, proclaim their desire for peace in the Middle East, while shipping arms to their belligerent clients There is something false at the bottom of this Washington Moscow "detente" and both sides know it. On the surface, things are much better. Kissinger and Ambassador Dobrynin talk much more and much more frankly than in the old Cold War days. The two sides meet in Geneva to discuss the control of strategic arms, and Nixon and Soviet Communist Party Chief Brezhnev will meet again soon to discuss the peace and world order their people want. But meanwhile, President Nixon is asking for the peacetime military budget in the history of the Republic, the Soviet Union is building up its forces in Europe and urging the Arabs to maintain their oil embargo against the United States, and President Pompidou of France is in the Soviet Union demonstrating his "independence" of the United States, and weakening the western alliance. So there are obviously some uwkard questions to be asked on both sides before Nixon makes his next appearance on satellite television from the Kremlin. For example: If the Soviet Union is really serious about reaching ;i mutual reduction of military forces in Europe, why does it now have 10 tank and 10 motor rifle divisions with tanks west of the Urals, an increase of in the last three years? Why some 31 or 32 Soviet divisions in central and eastern Europe, with to, 450.000 men in place in these areas, and more than 4.000 new armored personnel carriers since 1969? if Moscow is really serious about the principles of the last Nixon-Brezhnev Kremlin doctrine for a new world order, should there be such a frantic buildup of Soviet naval and missile power? The Soviets also have some unanswered questions: Why a record U.S. peacetime military budget when the Nixon administration is boasting about its new accommodation with Moscow and meanwhile struggling with inflation and a recession at home? -Why all this talk out of Washington about expanding world trade, while denying to the Soviet Union equal trade terms with other "most favored does Washington defend the principle of "non- interference" in the internal affairs of other nations, and still interfere in the Soviet Union's policy of deciding who should be allowed to emigrate from the U.S.S.R.? It will not be easy for Kissinger to ask or answer these questions, for there is obviously a difference between the words and the actions, the propaganda and the policies on both sides. It is good politics at home for both Nixon and Brezhnev to talk about "detente" and but there is something bogus about their protestations of good faith, and neither side is taking any chances. The result is that the Congress of the United States is not going along with Nixon and Kissinger in their appeals to grant Moscow "most favored nation" trading rights, or forget about the Soviet Union's emigration policy governing Soviet Jews. The Congress is voting for the big U.S military budget, and saying "no" to Soviet trade and Soviet emigration policy for the simple reason that it fears the policy of "detente" is not genuine but phony. Alexander Solzhenitsyn has contributed to this doubt on capitol hill, and it is odd that the Soviet leaders should not have anticipated the consequences of banishing him from his homeland. Why, he asked, in his letter to the Soviet leaders, should the Western nations have made such concessions to Moscow "simply to win the favor of the rulers of Russia9" How could it be. he inquired, that the Western democracies would almost vie with one another to gain Moscow's favor "just so long as the Russian press would stop abusing them Truly, he remarked the foreign policy of Tsarist-Russia never had any successes to compare with the expansion of Moscow's power into Europe. the Mediterranean and the oceans of the world. Kissinger is clearly going to have to grapple with these questions when he gets to Moscow, and before he recommends that Nixon follow him there later in the vear. For the main argument for voting against the impeachment of Nixon on capitol hill, regardless of the evidence against him, is that he has been a successful, even a brilliant leader in the field of foreign affairs, especially in reaching accommodations with the Soviet Union and China. But the accommodations with China and the Soviet Union to say nothing about our troubles in Europe and Japan are beginning to look a little dubious on Capitol Hill. Members are asking whether those Nixon broadcasts from Peking and Moscow were for real, or whether, like so many other Nixon triumphs, they were merely tactical and may be even bogus. Kissinger will be exploring all this on his forthcoming trip, looking for genuine agreements on the arms talks, and the Middle East talks, and the balance of power in Europe and on the oceans, and if he can get them, the Congress may co-operate on trade But this time, the Congress will be looking for policy and not propaganda certainly not for a splashy diversion from the impeachment proceedings in the House and this could be the most difficult assignment cif Kissinger's career. Death and demogoguery in the United States By Tom Wicker, New York Times commentator NEW YORK The Senate of the United States has voted by to restore the death penalty for a wide variety of federal crimes, and the House of Representatives undoubtedly will follow at the urging of Richard Nixon. This would be one of the most astonishing and tragic turnabouts in history, were it not for the likelihood that it is more nearly another example of supine politicians pandering to the basest passions of their constituencies. In 1935. 199 persons were executed in America. In 1950. 82 were put to death. By 1963 the number had fallen to 21. Since 1967. no execution has been carried out in this country. In 1971. nine states had abolished the death penalty by legislation. Others, like New York, had limited it to certain rare crimes. Elsewhere in the world, since 1922. 41 nations had abolished the death penalty. And in 1971. the Supreme Court of the most populous state, in one of the most brilliantly argued decisions of our time, made California the first state or nation to abolish capital punishment by judicial decision. In 1972. in a far more limited ruling, tire Supreme Court of the 'Jnited States held that the death penalty, as then administered, was not in itself, but because, as Mr. Justice Stewart argued, it was "so wantonly and freakishly imposed But that was the mark on the American movement against the death in fact seems to have turned that movement around. Since then, 21 states have restored the death penalty by legislation that they believe satisfies the supreme court ruling. The voters of California overturned that state's Supreme Court decision and reinstated capital punishment. The highest courts of North Carolina and Delaware took judicial action to make death a mandatory sentence in certain cases. A handful of other states have sentenced people to death under old statutes that may or may not meet Supreme Court requirements. All told, as shown by a study- prepared by the NAACP legal defence and educational fund. 72 people now are on death in North Carolina. 17 in Florida, eight in Georgia. five in Massachusetts, three in Texas, two in Montana, and one each in New Mexico. Pennsylvania. South Carolina. Utah. Louisiana and Virginia. What brought about the reversal? Crime rates are on the increase, including violent crimes, but not in a pattern that suggests the of the death penalty had-anything to do with the rise. states had rises as sharp as those without it. sometimes more so. Moreover, a chart in the federal government's new book. Social Indicators 1973. shows that murder and negligent manslaughter occurred at a steady rate of about 10 per 100.000 of population in every year from 1933 through 1972. a period LETTERS Streakers thumb noses As the ultra-modern fad of streaking gains more and more publicity and momentum, it isn't at all difficult, should one try. to visualize hundreds of thousands of straight-laced heaven-bound do-gooders, glaring disdainfully down their noses, at what'appears to be yet another apparent decline in the moral fibre of