Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Monday, November 18, 1974 Cracks in union solidarity "Is the picket line asks A. H. Raskin, assistant editorial page editor of the New York Times, in an article in Saturday Review World. He asks the question because of instances, which he cites, of some unions ignoring the picket lines set up by other unions once an un- heard of thing. One of the reasons for the breakdown in the universal respect once accorded the picket line is probably the pragmatic one of choosing to protect jobs rather than saving vestigial unions. Automation has made some kinds of work obsolete. Sometimes the fight against automation has resulted in the killing of businesses with loss of many jobs instead of a few. This self-defeating process is being call- ed into question. Another possible explanation for failure to respect all picket lines is that many unionists have succeeded so well they no longer see the "establishment" as something to fight but as something to defend. Comfortable circumstances tend to make people unwilling to embrace sacrifice. Brotherhood fades in intensity as self-interest moves into ascendency. In some instances the old rallying cry of fighting injustice is patently absurd. Fattening already fat pay-cheques can- not arouse much enthusiasm among those not directly involved. A revulsion of sorts may even occur when people such as professional athletes, already in possession of executive-style salaries go on strike to escape "wage slavery." The effect of the pirating of their technique by other groups in society has also made a dent in popular acceptance of the "never cross" doctrine of the unions. Mass picketing has been done for everything from banning the bomb to banning birth control, carrying the process to a point of self defeat in the judgment of Mr. Raskin. Undoubtedly the calling of strikes for flimsy reasons, as in the case of the out- side workers in Calgary recently and the Alberta provincial employees earlier has been having a negative effect. Thought- ful unionists cannot help but be dubious about the Tightness of respecting a picket line where the justification for its presence is lacking. Union solidarity on the matter of sup- porting the "never cross" doctrine is not about to dissolve but there are some cracks in evidence. Some selectivity in giving support to strikes could be salutary. It could result in a reduction of ill-conceived and unwarranted strikes. There might be second thoughts about callin'g strikes which would be viewed with disfavor by other unionists. The schoolbookprotest The controversy in West Virginia over the kinds of books proposed for reading by school students continues to rage. To dismiss the whole thing as an anachronism an eruption of a mentali- ty befitting an earlier age is super- ficial. There is something about the protest that deserves widespread reflec- tion. In a pluralistic society there are sup- posedly a variety of outlooks which have a right to exist. Underlying the West Virginia protest is the suspicion that a monolithic culture is developing that is subverting the Christian way of life, es- pecially in its fundamentalist form. To resist engulfrnent by the surrounding secularism is legitimate, even laudable. A book banning crusade is not the best way to go about achieving this objective. It results in the denial of freedom for other points of view to flourish. The best procedure would seem to be to have a book list representing many outlooks from which students, under parental guidance, could choose what to read. But in West Virginia such reasonableness seems to be a casualty in the explosion of pent up feelings. Such feelings of resentment at the dis- paragement of a religious and moral out- look simmer in more places than West Virginia. Occasional outbursts against the unofficial alliance of radio, television, movies, advertising, education, and publishing in the promo- tion of an "unholy" way of life occur everywhere. The way in which bias and hidden assumptions can be present in all the broadly constitutive elements of the educative process ought to warn those in positions of responsibility that they may in fact, be guilty of promoting a single cultural outlook. An upheaval such as that in West Virginia serves to restore perspective, and results in greater effort at fairness. THE CASSEROLE People can get really worked up over the kinds of things small children see via the media. They worry about sugges- tive pictures, object to naughty words, and want the so called "blue movies" shown very late at night. And they really raise cain about nudity. But there's been surprisingly little reaction to the recent spate of pictures, in the press and on TV, of farm animals hanging by their necks from improvised gibbets in various parts of the country. Of course, hanging a calf is easily explained, by current values. Just tell the child it didn't fetch a high enough price. death of a youth by shooting him as he got out of a stolen vehicle. The Supreme Court Judge dismissed the charges against three of the constables. The fourth, whose gun fired the fatal shot, he found 20 per cent responsible for the killing, so ordered that this man reim- burse the victim's parents 20 per cent of the funeral costs. Vancouver papers recently reported what must be one of the most remarkable decisions ever made in a Canadian court. Four policemen were charged with causing the The long-awaited decision (if it really is one) to limit enrolment at the University of Alberta, has engaged the consideration of academics and politicians for at least a decade. In all that time, there has never been any discussion of how many university graduates Alberta really needs. "Trustees demand right to handle educa- tion says the headline. Right. Every dollar they can raise. ART BUCHWALD He keeps giving it away WASHINGTON This is a strange country. We kicked out Vice President Spiro Agnew because he took money, and we won't confirm Nelson Rockefeller because he gave it away. The problem, when you're a Rockefeller, is that you just can't help wanting to give money to people you like. The question is: How can Rockefeller stop a lifetime habit if he becomes vice president? This is what could happen. "Nelson, I'm delighted that you were final- ly confirmed." "Thank you, Mr. President. Is there anything you "I'm fine. Nelson. Just fine." "What about that swimming pool you've been talking about? The boys tell me you had your heart set on it." "Please. Nelson. You don't have to give me anything for choosing you as vice president. I wanted you all along." "I'm sorry, Mr. President. I just like to give money to people I like." "Well, let's forget about it and go into the Cabinet meeting." They walk in and get a standing ovation. Rocky sees Henry Kissinger "Hi, Henry. Everything okay? Are you and Nancy making it on your salary''" "We're fine. Nelson We're not buying any yachts but we manage to get by "You want a yacht. Henry''" "No. that was just a figure of speech. "Nelson 1 Well, you know where my offire is if you want anything The president says. 'Can we begin the meeting? Let's hear from Secretary of the Treasury Bill Simon." "Mr, President, I'm sorry to report ihat our overseas deficit for the quarter is million." "Hmnnn." the President says. "Does anyone have any Rocky takes out his checkbook. "Who should I make it out "Nelson, you don't have to make up the U.S. overseas deficit." "Heck, it's just chicken feed." Rocky says, and he throws the check over to Simon. "By the way, is our overseas debt Simon says. "I'm not sure. No one's ever paid it before." James Schlesinger, the secretary of defence, says. "I have to have 30 B-l air- planes by next year. Originally they cost million, but now they're up to million apiece." "No sweat. I'll loan you the money at 4 per cent." Rocky says. "Are you sure you want to do Mr. Ford asks. "Why not? I like Schlesinger. He's a good guy By the way. Jim. besides the loan for the B-ls can I open a trust fund for your "That won't be Schlesinger says "Well, the president speaks, "that concludes the meeting I would just like to say personally how happy 1 am to have Mr. Rockefeller aboard Thanks to his generosity I believe this country's financial problems are over Rocky blushes "What are vire presidents for' "Is B.C.'s attorney-general still peddling that French wine that's been fiddled about Credit cards for food By Paul Hellyer, Toronto Sun commentator OTTAWA Soon, if the chartered banks have their way, most food and household purchases will be charged to a bank credit account. Chargex and Master Charge will be two of the best known words in the language. Cash, like the dodo, will disappear slowly into oblivion. So it was a good question for Robert Stanfield to pose to Consumer and Corporate Af- fairs Minister Andre Ouellet. Did the minister propose any action in respect of the experi- ment under which selected supermarkets permit pay- ment by credit card? Yes, the minister proposed a study but no specific action. In the meantime, he said, he didn't want to interfere with private enterprise. This kind of "put-down" was not really appropriate from a government and in par- ticular from the minister of a department which interferes in almost every facet of private enterprise. In a system where intervention is fast becoming the rule, rather than the exception, it is not a virtue to stand idly by and allow a serious problem to develop. A study is not always an acceptable substitute for action. John Clement, the Ontario minister of consumer and commercial relations, was less reticent. He ordered the supermarkets to cease and desist under the threat of im- mediate action if they refuse. Mr. Clement summed up the case against the use of credit cards for food purchases suc- cinctly. The use of cards, he suggested, will increase the cost of food, discriminate against those in the lower economic spectrum who can't get credit cards, increase ad- ministration costs, create delays at check-out counters and lead cardholders into overspending. The issue is far deeper than appears on the surface. The present move is part of a long- range trend toward a cashless society. That might be more convenient for some people in some circumstances but less convenient for others. It would be more expensive for all. The trend has been pushed by the banks because it serves their interests. The banks have not yet established a reputation for altruism. They want to enlarge their share of the commercial pie. In doing so. they will earn more money from discounts on purchases handled in this way. In addition, to the extent they can shift credit from per- sonal loans to credit cards, they earn a much higher interest rate. Master Charge, for example, has just an- nounced an interest rate increase. Beginning March 1, the charge will be IVz cent per month (18 per cent per an- num) on all outstanding balances. The alternate idea of allow- ing cash discounts is not new. Hon. Barney Danson, recently appointed minister of state for housing and urban affairs raised it in the House of Com- mons as far back as February 1971. He had cards printed to dramatize the issue. Cashex, he called them. "Normally when a person goes into a store and uses Chargex, Diners Club or American Ex- press the storekeeper has to pay a four to seven per cent service he said. Danson proposed that an equivalent discount be given for cash. Almost four years have passed and a new dimension has been added. Will there be action this time? John Cle- ment is reported to have modified his position to the ex- tent of endorsing the two price system. Certainly it is the one designed to encourage per- sonal savings and to dis- courage overspending. But will the banks complacently allow this solution unless they are compelled to? Would a reversal now interfere with their long-range plans? No one knows the answer for certain. 'The banks are making elaborate plans that have not, as yet, received much public attention. The current issue of the super- markets is just one more bat- tle in the long war. The comprehensive decen- nial review of the Bank Act is due in a couple of years. Perhaps Parliament should not wait until the eleventh hour but take a look at the plans at once before we all become electronic puppets dancing to the tune of the banks' computerized calliope. Oxfam suggests a fast By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator BOSTON The mind often has difficulty comprehending tragedy in the mass. One death means more to us than numbers. That may help to ex- plain the slowness of reaction to the world food crisis, with its terrible statistics: 400 million people hungry now, thousands and millions likely to starve to death unless helped. But now we have begun to understand the human mean- ing of those statistics, the swollen children and the men dying while they wait in line for food. Many Americans want to help. But in the absence of leadership from Washington, what can an in- dividual do? When the problem is so large, what difference can one person or one family make? Oxfam America, an af- filiate of the international relief agency, has a modest immediate answer to those questions. It suggests that Americans go without food for 24 hours next Thursday, Nov. 21. Can such a fast be more than a quixotic gesture by those who take part? Can it really make a difference? Doubts came to my mind when I first heard about what Oufam calls the fast for a world harvest. Reflection has settled the doubts has con- vinced me that this is something worth doing One reassuring aspect of the idea is that its sponsors think small. They are promoting it not through any high-pressure campaign hut mostly through letters to church and college groups and the like. They do not pretend that they can solve the world food problem They only want to begin. The proposal is that money not spent on food next Thurs- day be sent to Oxfam Whatever is raised will be useful in Oxf am's small, per- sonal projects to help farmers and villagers around the world raise their own food. But there is a larger significance in the idea. It is a way for Americans to become aware of what is reality for hundreds of millions of people in the world. No one can pretend that go- ing without food for a day, when you know you will soon be eating plentifully again, is the same as living all the time without assurance of enough to eat. But it is an opening to consciousness, and it does speak directly to the problem. A premise of our democracy is that individual action can make a difference that one man's conscience can change a country. It would be grotes- que in the extreme if we aban- doned individual initiative at a time when the world is facing fundamental change and the United States government is so indifferent or so slow in its response. Most Americans are probably ahead of their government today in willingness to respond to im- mediate needs for food relief. But deeper change in American attitudes toward food and its components is crucial if mass starvation in the world is to be averted. If we cut back our appetite for meat, we could in time release large amounts of grain for human instead of animal consumption. If we changed our policy on fer- tilizer to encourage instead of discourage its export, we would save money as well as lives A ton of fertilizer in Bangladesh will grow more than twice as much additional grain as the same ton on a heavily fertilized field in Iowa At the World Food Conference in Rome the well- fed countries, especially the United States, were under heavy pressure to share with the hungry. That is just a preview of what international life is going to be like in the coming decades. Not only on food but on all that goes into the standard of life, the miserable of the earth will be demanding change in the grotesque inequality that now prevails. They will in effect be insisting that rich countries use less of the world's resources. A second report to the Club of Rome on world resources and growth. Mankind At The Turning Point, has just been published. Its authors. Miha- jlo Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel. say industrialized countries must stop "further overdevelopment" and limit their own use of finite resources, in order to help others find a way out of pover- ty. Then, in a sentence, they say out loud what worries many thoughtful persons look- ing at the future in an unequal world: "Unless this lesson is learn- ed in Ume. there will be a thousand desperadoes terrorizing those who are now rich, and eventually nuclear blackmail and terror will paralyze further orderly development." In short, self-interest re- quires Americans and the other fortunates of the earth to make do with less. The transition to a philosophy of conservation and economy will not be easy. But the process must begin. One small, personal and therefore significant step would be the individual decision to go without food for a day. Letters Fire department history In regard to the early period of the Lethbridge fire depart- ment (The Herald, Nov. 8) the writer was obviously making a very poor .guess. Here, courtesy of Mr. T. E. Saunders and the Lethbridge News, is what happened. In the period between the founding of the community of Lethbridge (Aug. 1885) and in- corporation as a town (Jan. 15, 1891) there was only one major fire in Lethbridge. That was in February of 1887 when eight company cottages burn- ed with a loss of Before this event Mr. Saunders had suggested some North West Territories or- dinance to supply tax money for fire protection, much like the Board of Education. Now he suggested there should be a voluntary "Hook and Ladder He pointed out that although the police brought their little cart over from the new barracks it was of little use in the firefighting. So, in the manner of the time, the merchants formed a committee to raise by subscription and raised Then silence until April 13 when the editor asked, "What happened to the Hook and Ladder Company? Are you waiting for another fire? Stir yourself, Chief and do something." (Nowhere is the chief's name mentioned, but it might have been the one men- tioned in The Herald's ar- The company met by April 27 and announced they had of which they proposed to spend for tarpaulins. In July the editor was speculating what could happen if a fire broke out in Lethbridge House or the post office. I suppose he was postulating Lethbridge's nor- mal wind velocity as he could see the whole business section wiped out by such a conflagration. In September the chief an- nounced he had collected but needed another He then took possession of the ladders previously ordered and announced that these were stored in Bentley's old icehouse just east of John Craig's furniture warerooms. The only further mention of this company or lack of it comes in an editorial com- ment on the Regina fire of March, 1890 when the editor bemoaned the fact that the only fire protection Lethbridge had was three water carts. He suggested perhaps a tank such as that that the company had install- ed behind their rebuilt cot- tages would be the solution. There was no other source of water in Lethbridge than the water tank for the railway. The attempts to get wells in Lethbridge are a real comedy. It was not until Mr. J. Brown "our old time water man" got a well boring machine that water was struck in the barracks in Aug. 1888 at 230 feet. Shortly afterwards the police were trying to arrange a pipeline from the railway tank to the barracks for fire protection. When the town was incor- porated one of the arguments in favor of the proposal was the fact that a council could arrange for a water supply that could cut insurance rates by 25 per cent. The opening of Fire Hall No. 1 was a great achievement for the community of Lethbridge when one considers the dif- ficulties attendant upon supplying such a service. W. J. COUSINS Lethbridge Rock concert review I must congratulate Michael Rogers (Nazareth and Hudson rock concert review, The Herald, Nov. 12) on his use of descriptive adjectives, but that's all. His so-called review was loaded with his own per- sonal opinions. A review, written properly, is a fully ob- jective report on any par- ticular subject. As a rock drummer myself and a musician, I'm dismayed by Mr. Roger's lack of knowledge about promoting and working in a rock concert. Anyone who writes such reviews should know some in- formation on the subject. For one thing the concert was delayed for one day, thus the actual setting up and sound checks were rushed. Another is that the pavilion has very poor acoustics. The Hudson Ford bands were good, granted, but for a stage show they had nothing. The bass player, who was also the lead singer plus the rhythm guitarist, were the only two of the group who moved to any great extent on stage. During Hudson Ford's set the energy that the band gave off was very low and they went into long, energyless solos. Nazareth, on the other hand, kept the energy level up quite well, even though they were too loud. But they weren't too loud in the respect that everything was distorted. Most of the distortion was the result of poor quality of acoustic value present in the hall. Without a proper sound check, and a rushed concert, perfect results cannot be ex- pected. Most importantly nobody has the right to condemn a group of musicians or anyone for that matter, when they see them perform only one night. Nazareth had a bad concert in Lethbridge and there will be many more "too loud" bands appearing in town until we obtain better facilities for this type of stage show maybe the Sports- plex? BRUCE ATKINSON Lethbridge Hearing aids needed Several weeks ago an appeal was directed to Canadians from coast to coast to send in their used and discarded hear- ing aids to be made available, at no cost, to bard of hear- ing children in Com- monwealth Caribbean countries. Since that time the response has been most gratifying. To date, over 100 hearing aids, some almost new, others with long years of service, have arrived from individuals, organizations, manufacturers, and retail outlets. Arrangements have now been made with the electronics department of George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology for the units to be serviced by students there and the head of the audiology department of a local hospital has volunteered his services to ensure that the proper tests and fittings are carried out. If you have already sent in a. hearing aid we thank you. If you would like to help needy, deaf West Indian children you. are invited to locate a discard- ed hearing aid and forward it, with your name and address, to: PIKMECT HEARING AID, Ministry of Education, Education Warehouse, 26 Breadalbane Street. 2nd floor. TORONTO, Ontario M4Y 1C3 GEORGE J. MASON Educational Exchange and Special Projects Branch Toronto Herald 7th 91 S LMhbridga. LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO ITD and Swwnd Okm Mail RagWratkw No 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and PubHeber OONM PILUMG EtiHtor DONALD H OORAM Qaneral Adv ROY F MILES DOUGLAS K WALKER ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E 8ARNETT Buttnmc Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"