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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 LETHBRIOQE HERALD Monday, March 25, 1974 IJHIOKIALS Beef prices (The first of two editorials on the Western beef crisis) The Western Canadian beef industry is still in trouble, in spite of Mr. Whelan's interim subsidy policy which obviously is not being accepted. The price of cattle at the auction ring or packing plant must cover (a) the price paid for those cattle as feeders, or what they were worth at that time if they were raised by the feeder instead of purchased by him; (b) the cost of the feed.put into them after that date; and (c) a mark-up to cover labor, overhead and a reasonable profit. Because the price of finished cattle fell to short of meeting those three items, the industry was in chaos and many feeders were on the verge of bankruptcy. The Whelan formula and subsidy were intended to make up most of the deficiency. Whether the formula was sound really doesn't matter, because the industry has rejected it anyway. Any one of three other remedies would work: (1) a lower price for feeder cattle; (2) a lower price for the feed; (3) a higher price for the slaughter cattle. The third is out of the question, as long as finished American cattle can come into the country without extra tariff or quota. To impose extraordinary restrictions unilaterally apparently would be counter, to established trade agreements. The second is out of the question. Grain prices must remain high, to ensure maximum production. A subsidy at this point, on the grain instead of on the finished cattle, would have made more sense, in the opinion of most of the trade. But more attention must be given to the first. Part of the remedy must be found there. If the industry cannot make money at the present price of feeder cattle and feed, and cannot get cheaper feed, there is some onus on it to pay less for the feeder cattle. Over the recent years there has been very good money in raising and feeding beef. The industry has been insistent on government keeping its hands off the beef industry. Now the industry is in trouble. While it is in the consumers' (and therefore the government's) best interest to maintain a healthy feeding industry, and while no one' wants to see distress in any industry, it must be remembered that there is no compulsion on cattle feeders or anyone else to carry on an unprofitable operation. The individual operator can seldom be equated with the industry, but the industry, having enjoyed great prosperity paid for by the consumer, must take more responsibility than it has so far done for working itself out of its present trouble. -And a further thought on this vexing problem tomorrow. ERIC NICOL Watching Raquel "Really Raquel" the show was called. The instant I noticed it in the TV listings I made up my mind not to watch it. In fact I tore the page out of the paper and taped it to the top of my desk, to avoid tuning into Really Raquel by mistake. The reason why I was so determined not to- watch Really Raquel was that I was pretty sure it would be an insult to-womanhood. A blatantly sensual exploitation of the female as sex object. In short, it would fight my Ovaltine. As the scheduled hour of the show drew near, however, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. With all due respect'to Women's Liberation, and to my thinking of woman in terms of Golda Meir, I was perhaps doing Raquel Welch an injustice by assuming that her TV special would have no cultural values I could take home to mother. After all, Lucy too was once a leggy sex symbol. Lucille Ball started her career as a red-headed hotsy-totsy, stumbling on her comedic talent almost by accident. Why then should I deny Raquel the chance to prove that beneath that obtrusive bust beats a heart full of fun? I therefore persuaded myself to switch on the TV set. Five minutes early. It doesn't take the set that long to.warm up, but I've slowed down a little. If you watched Really Raquel, I don't need to tell you how disappointed I was. Instead of heeding the revolutionary message of the Friedan sisterhood, Miss Welch made a conventional exhibition of herself, parading her physical phenomena in a series of musical sketches calculated to appeal to male chauvinist swine: Being alone in the sty, I lacked the moral conviction to stop watching the show. When a woman tries that hard to turn a man on, he is duty bound to turn her off. The thing is fundamental. No one who has read The Female Eunuch can doubt that Raquel is an anachronism, a pitiful relic of what used to be called A Man's World. That was how I tried to view her show. Archaeologically. As Raquel strutted forth in daring costumes, each more vestigial- than the last, I studied her as an assemblage of primordial bones. Cunningly reconstructed, I grant you. Articulated with movement that gave a convincing semblance of life. But you didn't need to be on staff at the Smithsonian to identify Raquel with One Million Years B.C. She was prehistoric, arousing that part of me that was sea turtle. I was enough of .a student of ancient ruins to continue watching Really Raquel for the full hour. Rarely do we have the opportunity, today, to dig sex in a site so well preserved from the ravage of time, from the encroachment of civilization, indeed from cover of any kind whatever. Fittingly, Welch Woman concluded her performance with the ritual movements of an old-fashioned strip tease. It was the highlight of the museum. It brought out the curator in me. For a brief if shameful moment I backslid down the time tunnel, nostalgic for the era when a man could gaze at a stripper without flinching at the thought that he was violating the right of the human female to be viewed as a dentist. Too bad. If she isn't all woman, Raquel, the parts that are missing seem awfully expendable. Raquel is The National Dream of those who don't like playing with trains. That her show was not entirely fulfilling is a matter for regret, but I do not think I shall watch her again. Certainly not till next time. "No use crying over spilt with my Impeachment should be for high crime By William Satire, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON "He had been attacked by the most formidable combination of enemies that ever sought the destruction of a single victim." So wrote Lord Macaulay in his essay on Warren Hastings, England's governor-general of India in the late 18th century, and the man whose career was destroyed at the most famous successful impeachment trial in history. Richard Nixon is under attack by an even more formidable combination: not only the Nixon-haters of old, but former supporters who want to unhitch their wagons from a falling star, as well as Conservatives like Sen. James Buckley who are concerned about the nation's safety and moral climate. Impeachment momentum, given impetus by the new possibility of the previously unthinkable, is in the phrase of a former colleague "going to get worse before it gets worse." March 21, formerly remembered as the beginning of spring is now the anniversary of a less hopeful equinox, when the president first heard charges that hush money was being paid. April offers. no surcease: more indictments, the Chapin the report on the president's taxes released at the time calculated to do him the most damage, denunciations of "defiance" by the House judi- ciary committee to" be followed by its> certain recommendation to impeach. Presidential impeachment and removal from office is the capital punishment of politics. Removing and perhaps imprisoning an elected leader is a sanction so extreme that it has been tried only once in our' two centuries of nationhood. With this ultimate punishment possible, responsible citizens for or against the be encouraging, even demanding, a most vigorous and outspoken defence. Not to slap arguments down, but to consider the arguments with great care. Unfortunately, the first raised by the president's defenders was that only an indictable crime could be considered an impeachable offense. This was a weak skirmish line. Were the president to refuse to deliver a state of the union report from time to time, as the constitution directs, that would not be a crime for which he could be indicted and sent to jail, but it could be an offense for which Congress might legitimately impeach him. A more cogent argument, I think, deserves more than automatic and gleeful rebuttal. It seems only fair for the president to ask those who would impeach him to delimit and define the charges demanding the run of the White House. The separation of powers is no defence ploy, it is the essence of our system, and the best insurance against tyranny. Granted that impeachment reaches across that separation to a substantial extent; is it wise to hold that there should be no restraint at all? If that separation could be totally breached by the action of the House voting an impeachment investigation, that action or its threat could wipe out the separation completely. It would be as wrong as the executive branch getting a grand jury to indict a Supreme 'Court justice and using that as an excuse to examine all the notes of the court's deliberations. v.Common sense and institutional civility is never out of place: there is no circumstance in which any one branch of government can act without the possibility of restraint by at least one of the other two branches. Let us assume that reason prevails and the House accepts less than absolute power: what, then, is an impeachable offense? In my view, we should no more impeach a president for "misprision of a tax chiseling or other "low" crimes than we should 'impeach him for reckless driving needed is a "high" crime. To determine that, consider the reason why the job of making the accusation impeachment is given to the House, while the trial of that accusation is given to the Senate. In olden times, the House of Commons represented the English people and the House of Lords the nobility. A "high crime" was a crime against the interest of the people. Since, in common law, no victim could be a judge of his own case, the people's representatives in Commons could not be the judge of misconduct against the people. Commons could only make the charge, as plaintiffs do, leaving it for "another place" the House of Lords to judge. Similarly, the House of Representatives speaks' for the American people in complaint, and the Senate originally not chosen by direct vote, and still mor: lordly is the "other body" that can try the case. This means that an impeachable offense must be an act that strikes against the people in a fundamental way, muraering a constitutional right with malice aforethought. A "high crime" is not a mountainous accumulation of low crimes or misjudgments that "in their totality" amaze and appall us. Impeachment, like capita! punishment, is irrevocable; it admits of no second thoughts; and after what has already happened to the Nixon administration, is impeachment really a necessary deterrent to future presidents? A generation after Parliament had stripped Warren Hastings of his office, "public feelings had undergone a complete wrote Macaulay. "The nation had now forgotten his faults, and remembered only his services." Visiting the House of Commons, the ruined old man was given a standing ovation: the managers of his impeachment, their former heroism turned to villainy, slunk down in their seats. Power balance, not Nixon, is THE issue By Carl T. Rowan, syndicated commentator "Maybe a little streaking from here to here wovM help my image, too, WASHINGTON It is so temptingly easy'to reduce the whole Watergate mess to the question of whether you like or detest Richard Nixon. Or whether you think he is a crook. Or whether you think his resignation is necessary to prevent a GOP calamity this fall. The most natural human inclination is to despise Nixon because of his long history of dirty campaign tactics, or' because he earns a year, keeps most of his expense account, and still pays less taxes than laborers sweating out two jobs to pull m a year. The simplest human reaction is to overlook all manner of charges against Nixon if yon believe that nothing is more important than his efforts to "bring a generation of halt violence on the campuses, lake "crime out of the streets." block the busing of school children in particular and slow the desegregation of schools in general. These emotional, highly personal reactions tend to blind us to the reality that Watergate is about a couple of things of infinitely longer- lasting" importance than Richard Nixon the man. 1 Is it possible to curb the ever-growing powers of the executive branch, or are we hopelessly lost to an executive tyranny in which the cheques-and-balances set up by the founding fathers are destroyed? 2. Will we, can we, make Watergate the catalyst for election reforms that give politics back to the people, ending the current outrage where huge campaign contributions buy policy shifts, ambassadorships, protection from criminal prosecution, exemption from anti-trust laws? This concern for limiting executive power is as old as the republic. George Washington, who padded his expense accounts and was accused of a variety of abuses of power, barely escaped impeachment proceedings. Abraham Lincoln was a furious critic of presidential abases while he was in the Congress. He gave President Polk the kind of fit regarding the Mexican War that Congress should have given Lyndon B. Johnson when the Gulf of Tonkin resolution came up. Lincoln demanded information as to what Mexicans had attacked which Americans, where and when. Yet, as president, while Congress was out of session in 1861, Lincoln called out volunteers, built UK army and navy beyond strength, censored the; mails, suspended habeas corpus and disbursed unappropriated money. .The lesson is that all presidents will take whatever power they can and use it as wantonly as the country will permit. Most Americans have already made, up their minds as to whether Mr. Nixon is a crook or whether he was personally involved in the Watergate crimes and cover- up. The only question is whether they can do anything about it. whatever the truth. Television and radio have given the president a special power-of-incumbency that did not exist for Washington, Lincoln or even Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mr. Nixon can set up an appearance in Chicago before sickeningly sycophantic business executives and have the TV networks feed into every home in America his self- serving, long-winded replies to creampuff questions. He can yo-yo at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, and throw oat obfuscations and contradictions in Houston, knowing that the media will saturate the minds of millions of Americans. If the president lies about the specia: rgate Prosecutor. ST the position i judi- ciary ,075dering his impeachment, so what? They have no comparable way of using the same networks to tell the American people the truth. So we may find that the accretion of executive power since Washington's day has reached a point where a desperate, ruthless president can work his will over not only the courts and the Congress, but also "the fourth the press. If he can, there will be no electoral reforms. Mr. Nixon, despite all the woes that tainted big money got him into, is still opposing public financing of presidential elections. If he has his way we shall still have in 1976. and maybe in 2076, a society in which leadership is chosen through the skillful use of satchels full of secret bills. Overweening executive power is the issue of the hour for Americans, however much it may seem to be merely a question of Nixon's character. This just might be our last best chance for a century to tear down the trappings of executive tyranny and go back to the precepts of founders who wanted most of all to ensure that this country would never have a king. SO THEY SAY The question is not how low a concentration