Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 25, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE IETHBRIDCE HERALD Friday, May 25, 1973 The Midas touch can chill, too By Bruce Hutchison, Herald special commentator A lie is a lie is a lie A good dictionary defines the word 'Lie' as: 1. a false statement made vuth a deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. 2 something intended or serving to convey a ialse impression; impos- ture. Deliberate deception, false state- ments, intentional untruths, false im- pressions; however lying occurs, it is generally held to be an abhorrent practice, bad at any time and from any quarter, but particularly so when coming from highly placed public figures. And one more generality notwith- standing Hitlerian theory about "the big the larger the audience that hears a lie, the greater the number of people deceived, the more culpable the deceiver. A reasonable person might think, in view of all this, that officials, leaders of governments and prominent people in all walks of life would scrupulously oid lying in public, or even the least that they might be hmg. Oddly, sadly, this is not the case. Politicians, business leaders, public- ists, officials, all appear to Le regu- larly, in public and to the public, seemingly confident either that peo- ple won't recognize the lies, or that if they do a later a claim to have been misquoted, a "clarifica- or an outright denial will al- ways fix it up. As an example of what happens routinely nowadays, a story appeared in an eastern newspaper that Mr. Marc Gayer, recently a prisoner in North Vietnam, had been billed for transportation, lodgings and other ex- penses incurred by the government in the course of his release and repa- triation. Later, in the House of Com- mons, opposition leader Robert Stan- field stated that Mr. Cayer was sent a bill lor on April 5 and a subsequent notice of the billing on May 5. The minister concerned, Mit- chell Sharp ot external affairs, flatly denied that a bill was sent to Mr. Cayer. Forget about privileged statements; the notion of parliamentary privilege was never intended to cover lying or deception. Forget, too, about this mat- ter having started as a newspaper story, because the source became in- consequential as soon as categorical statements were made in the House of Commons by the men concerned. Remember, though, the definition of a lie, especially the phrase "something intended or serving to convey a false impression-" So the leader of the opposition said a bill was sent, and the spokesman for the government said it was not. Whichever statement turns out to have been true, the other cannot fce. The mailer of whether or not Mr. Cayei received a bill is trivial, really, v.hich is why it makes a useful case in point. What is not trivial is the in- escapable fact that if one of the two men quoted was telling the truth, the other was not. In this particular instance it may not appear to matter a great deal. But the way it becomes routine for public officials to he just check the definition, if the word doesn't sound to start with small, inconsequential matters, and later move on to the bigger issues. It just takes practice. What happens then is being awe- somely illustrated right now, just to the south of us. A somewhat risky fad Following fashion trends can be fun the iruni-skirt comes to mind and apart from what it might do to the cost of living (and perhaps to the disposition of one's spouse) it seems a harmless enough pursuit. But as the fashion-merchants get bolder and bolder, the business of dressing oneself modishly can be- come quite complicated, even risky. A case in point is a currently popular style in both women's and men's shoes. Podiatrists, the medical specialists whose field of study is disorders of the foot, are virtually unanimous in declaring high-platformed shoes to be both dangerous and unhealthy. They claim that their studies show their latest footwear fad leads to in- creased incidence of sprains, falls, damaged ligaments and fractures. It also can cause a form of pelvic dis- tortion that contributes to the risk of disc problems, and dp things to joints that some doctors think increase the chances of arthritic conditions de- veloping later on. Then there is the matter of driving a car while wearing this peculiar footgear. Apart from steering, most of the vital operation and control of a motor vehicle is managed by the feet; the two basic controls, the ac- celerator and the brakes, both are actuated by foot pedals. In cars with standard transmissions and there are still a lot of these on the roads the clutch is engaged or disengaged by a foot pedal, and there are other controls, such as the switch that dims the headlights, the windshield v asher, in some vehicles the emer- gency brake, that are on the floor and which the driver must find and operate with his or her feet- Anyone vho thinks that risking minor injury and later health prob- lems is a reasonable price to pay for keeping in style is entitled to his or her opinion. Anyone who thinks that driving a car is just as easy and just as safe when wearing sihoes with three or four inch soles and heels is out of his or her mind. ERIC NICOL Now you've done it, Riggs You shouldn't have done it, Bobby Riggs. When you thumped women's tennis champ Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1, you lam- med the ball nglu into the sensitive area of us other middle-aged guys who enjoy playing the odd set against a younger wom- an. We all knew, we aging gents that amble around the court, that a 55-jearold former Wimbledon men's champion could take any current women's top player without even extending his varicose veins. It was tacitly understood that as a spec- tator sport the women's tennis tournament was an exercise in pat and pout that for sheer excitement was outclassed by watch- ing grass grow. Your assessment was accurate but painfully tact- less. Have you no code, sir? The very survival of heterosexual tennis depends on men's sustaining the illusion of equality between the baselines. If you, Biggs, choose to walk onto the court to play a game with a young lady, with con- tempt plainly visible behind your spec- tacles, that is your affair. Some people will do anything for a match purse of But let it be known that you are a cad, if not a bounder. Courtly tennis lias survived because of an entirely different approach by the gent- leman to his feminine adversary. First, and perhaps most important, there is the matter of costume. No 55-year old man is going to be competitive with a Gus- sie Moran, in visual impact, regardless of how much lace he sews on his shorts. He has lost before he serves a ball, and if he has a shred of decency in his make-up he will graciously acknowledge the defeat by uttering a short, sharp whistle and falling over backwards. Secondly, tennis is one of the few games in which a man can say "fifteen, love" to a young woman he has only just met. If the word (from the French 1'oeuf, or egg, ie. zilch) is spoken as a bleak statistic, the gentleman has a peculiar no- tion of how to score. Which brings us to the last rule of court- ly tennis: the gentleman wins, but by as narrow a morgin as he can manage with- out being oveitly soppy. When you, Riggs, humiliated Margaret Court by scores of 6-2, 6-1, you set tennis back about years, to the days whsn the game was played by loobing rocks off the opponent's head. What we now face, thanks to your brutal destruction of the social graces of mixed singles, is the female enraged. The lava flow of women's lib will ooze, steaming and horrid, out of the clubhouse and onto the tennis courts, public as well as private. Women will tram for tennis with the sin- gle-minded ferocity that Vince Lombard! instilled in the Green Bay Packers, and will develop s definite physical resem- blance to Angelo Mosca. Gone will be those merry giggles that added so much to the game, for us older men, and the girls won't laugh much ei- thci They may den wear baggy pants to play tennis Such is the ruin that one man has brought upo'i the pleasant pastime of a summer's evening. And for what? To hustle a measly ten grand. Shame on jou, Robert Riggs: May your gul, fury and the sands of the desert fill join Mieakeis Handball, anyone" If perchance the reader ex- periences moments of doubt and pessimism, let him under- v stand at once that he has been living, since 1945, in an era "by far the most brilliant in all the world's history." And if he lives until the 1990s he will see "the world's golden age" That news comes, likc an ex- hiliarating spring tonic, from no less an authority than The Eco- nomist of London, possibly the most authoritative publication in the English language. Its de- puty editor, N. A. D. Macrae, has written a long and brilliant series of articles to demonstrate that, with the single exception of Britain, all the advanced na- tions are doing fine, and will soon do better. In only 28 years they have trebled the world's living stan- dard and "added as much to daily production in this tiny in- stant of time as had been added in all the previous aeons of humankind." What more could anyone ask? Yet some wretched ingrates, even in Canada, ask a lot more than the statistics of happiness. They have the nerve to ask for happiness itself and somehow fail to find it in their standard of living because, regrettably, they don't happen to be econo- mists, only human beings It is not too late, however, to re- form them. They have merely to read The Economist and rea- how contented and fortu- nate they really are. The fi- gures prove it, no matter what they may think in their ignor- ance. To be sure, a few spots of trouble still exist. The poor na- tions are getting poorer and more turbulent. Some six mil- lion Africans are starving from drought. Probably half the world's inhabitants are ill fed and soon will ba eating less. The United States, the ideal of any sound economist, is using the lion's share of all available energy, intends to use much more and, if it has to ration gasoline and live in a cold house next winter, such small inconveniences will be overcome in a short time, say 20 years or so. In fact, the only major na- tion with serious trouble is Bri- tain, and its tragic failure shocks even the optimistic Mr. Macrae. As for the Common- wealth, he judges that the gov- ernments of former British col- odes are "a nearly unmitigat- ed and its conference in Ottawa this summer will be attended "by a steadily less democratic claque of one-party or no-party with "public executions as their lat- est spectator sport." The Economist's plan to revolutionize and revitalize Britain is too long, complicated and radical for discussion here. Mr. Macrae thus sums it up: "The purpose of any commen- tator on British affairs today should be to fight his way out of the present creeping surren- der to fantasy, back towards that proud Victorian submis- sion to facts which was once our greatest British glory." The facts, yes, but what are the worldwide, facts? On one money ail you people think The Kissinger magic is fading By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON For four years most of the press and other national skeptics in Washington s u s p e n ded their disbelief when it came to Hen- ry Kissinger. He had three qualities that were ui des- perately short supply at the top of the Nixon administra- tion: Intelligence, humor and accessibility. He was worth seeing, and he could be seen. Kissinger used his talents and his position shrewdly in these relationships. He gave liberal critics the impression that he really sympathized with their position. He played to their egos by seeking their understanding and support for his difficult role in a conserva- tive goveinment. All of that is not quite yet in the past tense, but that is the way things are moving. Henry Kissinger's extraordinary sta- tus in Washington has been shaken. The immediate reason is Kissinger's behavior in the matter of wiretapping his own staff members. Not only did he have the tapping done; when that fact caught up with him, he tried to explain it away in a series of inconsistent state- ments that, to put it politely, were attempts to deceive. When first asked about the tapping, Kissinger gave a long and evasive answer. Then he indicated that he had had noth- ing to do with ordering the taps but knew about them and had sometimes read the trans- cripts. Next, in an interview, he said specifically that he had discussed security problems with then FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover but had not asked for "any particular form of inves- tigation" or suggested "that any particular individual be in- vestigated Justice depart- ment officials finally said that Kissinger had asked for the taps and named some men he wanted tapped. The alleged security reason for undertaking the wiretap- ping is also revealing. It was a report in the New York Timies in 1969 that American planes were bombing Cambodia a fact that was hardly a secret to the Communists but that was embarrassing to the Nixon ?dmmistration when disclosed to the American people. In Ms defence, Kissinger's friends have put it out that he wanted his staff members tap- ped to protect them, from doubts being pressed by the se- curity men. One of his senior aides, Kissinger has told peo- ple, had an FBI file "this thick." But any actual security violations would surely have been flagged by those in charge of the investigation. Why did Kissinger personally read transcripts of the home telephone conversations of his assistants and their wives? One must suppose that he wanted to catch any hints of flagging per- sonal loyalty. The whole business is dis- tasteful in the extreme. It is a sad example of what we are Letter to the editor learning from Watergate the degraded standards of honor in our official life. But Kissinger is also part of the deeper problem disclosed by Watergate: The ceentraliza- tion of power in the presidency, in disregard of law and insti- tutions. In all but name he has been Secretary of State but one who operates without any feeling of responsibility toward Congress and without the wise if irritating restraints of bu- reaucracy. No doubt it will be said that, unlike others on the White House staff, Kissinger meant well. But well-meaning men are even more dangerous when they abuse power. Kissinger's plausibility enabled him. to Wheat Board useless There never was 100 per cent support for the Wheat Board even though a great many people have been deceiv- ed by the sophisticated propa- ganda fed them since 1940. The old monument has been chink- ed up too many times with po- litical doubletalk and figures that don't add up, and it's all beginning to crumble now. The powerful element of poli- tical influence has always been evident in the system. If the facilities for political influence and manipulation had not been built in from the very begin- ning the system could long ago have been made more effective frcm a purely business stand- point. Top prices for grain have not been the priority. Conlrol of the industry is of greater importance. The point could be raised, since cost to the taxpayer seems suddenly to have be- come a consideration, that for million (the admitted cost of operation we could have built a fair-sized gran- ary. Big enough to hold that billion and a half bushels of unmanageable surplus we never had. A granary would be a tangible asset, and if it v.crc full right now some of our big brains in Ottawa might even be able to figure out what to do. It would be empty though, because future contracts would have been sold in a hurry be- fore the election last summer, at about 50, and the money Mr. Lang got for the option would have been used to "raise" the initial price of last year's crop. After 33 years of recurring blunders no Canadian farmer is lifcsly to get for his wheat. There are knowledgeable men of exceptional ability and wide experience, in the grain trade in this country, one or two of them right in Lethbridge. But since it is quite evident that we cannot allow any of them any latitude as gram traders because they might embanks the Wheat Board, why don't we entice just one shrewd and clo- ver Russian lo defect? We could certainly use him, and at the salaries we pay our officials he could soon be quite well off, while helping out our troubled government, and our farmers. Milk River L. K. WALKER P S. The recent scries on wheat was excellent, the wiit- er knew his subject. play a large role in advancing the extremely dangerous no- tion that what the president wants is above the law. Before he left for his talks in Paris with Le Due Tho, Kiss- inger conveyed a plea for just a little more congressional toler- ation of the bombing in Cam- bodia: It was our only way to make the North Vietnamese comply with the Vietnam peace agreement. There in concentrated form was the disregard for fact and law that has so wounded this country. For by the accounts of our own embassy in Phnom Penh it is overwhelmingly a civil war in Cambodia. We have intervened to keep the los- ing side afloat, at terrible cost to the Cambodians. It is the United States that is most mas- sively violating the call for an end to foreign intervention in Cambodia and violating, ev- ery day, the U.S. constitution. When the history of this time is written, Kissinger will get due credit for his part in the two major Nixon accomplish- ments that will be set against the black pages: The reap- prochment with China and the Soviet Union. But Kissinger will also go down as the sales- man of an endless war a bet- ter salesman than a more open- ly right-wing figure would have been. And he will share in re- sponsibility for the resulting strains on American institu- tions A high ranking friend has been calling the press and plea'ding that Henry Kissinger is a national asset and ought to be protected. Kissinger is in many ways an exceptional per- son. He is entitled now to com- passion but no longer to tol- eration. side of the ledger we find the assets of tripled production, the indices of the golden age. On the opposite side we find cer- tain liabilities, such as unliv< able cities, crime, drugs, poli- tical corruption, inflation and other familiar exhibits. But all these liabilities must seem comparatively minor, to the layman's non-economic mind, beside the fact that the planet is being gutted by mankind's demand upon its physical re- sources. Take heart. The Economist has seen its way even through the fact. About a year ago, when the Club of Rome pre- dicted that industrial civiliza- tion must collapse in depletion and pollution by the end of the century, The Economist, with an infallibility denied to the Pope, dismissed this warning as brilliant nonsense. While there might be bottle- necks and shortages here and there, man would invent plen- ty of new resources, would syn- thesize abundant energy and distill food out of stone, if nec- essary. Science would solve all these problems. The Club of Rome's nonsense, however brilliant, could not obstruct the golden age. As a rule The Ecnoomist sticks to economics and leaves philosophy to the philosophers but for once it indulges in some fascinating speculation, with the posthumous of the great German philosopher, G. W. F. Hegel. He held that any existing sjstem of ideas, the "synthe- invariably generates its opposite, the and the two merge to form a new which then re- peats the same process. Pre- cisely this, says The Econo- mist, is happening to our pre- sent system, or culture. The synthesis of worldly ma- terialism, the concept of man as a primarily economic ani- mal, produced the antithesis of the "econuts" as The Econo- mist calls them. They think that perhaps man is not entire- ly economic, that he may not find complete happiness in the golden age after all But the synthesis now forming does not alarm The Economist. It trusts man to reject the econuts and then- anti-materialism when he gets the facts through his head. If the new synthesis proves to be somewhat less material- istic than the old, it will still retain the sure Midas touch. Or, as Mr. Macrae puts it in an econutshell, America, Eur- ope and Japan, during the next 1.1 years, will "please Samuel Johnson by recognizing again that there are few ways in which a people can be more innocently employed than in making money." Dr. Johnson also believed In God, prayer, ghosts and other non-economic phenomena which The Economist forgets, and if it likewise has forgotten what happened to King Midas, with his golden the chancel- lor of Germany has not. In a recent article Willy Brandt warned that economic man must "prevent productivity for the benefit of civilization from turning into destruction of ci- vilization." Apparently Mr. Brandt does not find ttw Club of Rome and the econuts talking brilliant nonsense, but that commodity, unlike some others, is not scarce. The layman will get all he needs, and even more brilliantly colored, in The Eco- nomist. 'Crazy Capers' Right, now stab your arms through so I can tell where to sew the sleeves on. The Lethbridge Herald 304 7th St. S., Lethbriuge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD TO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Clau Man Registration No 001J Member of Tht Canadian Prew and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Pu Auoelatton and Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, Manager CON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F MILES OOUGLAi K WALKCR Mvirtlslng Manager Editorial Pane Editor THE HERALD SEHVES THE SOUTH"