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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 23, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE IE1HBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, November 53, 197J CBC seems to think Lewis is PM By Shaun Herron, Winnipeg commentator for FF Publications Toothless environmental laws With the growth of awareness that even Canada's enormous resources are not inexhaustible, that our en- vironment's vastness does not make it invulnerable, various levels of gov- ernment have enacted laws to pro- vide at least some protection, some abatement of (he ecological outrages we heap upon our homeland. A modest start has been made by the federal government, concerned largely with coastlines and water- courses. The provinces have develop- ed codes of .sorts. Most major cities now monitor air and water supplies, and generally discourage the worst (or most noticeable) forms of pollu- tion. In short, there are many laws. Unfortunately, simply passing laws doesn't accomplish a great deal. They must have teeth, and must be en- forced. Two illustrations are offered, one from Ontario, one local. The Ontario example concerns a charcoal producing operation re- cently established in the Madawaska Valley. This site was selected be- cause it is in the midst of one Canada's few remaining stands of hardwood, excellent material for mak- ing charcoal. (The fact that it was also a designated recreational area seems to have bsen Ontario has what seemed to be an almost air tight law to deal with new industrial plants that might ad- versely affect the environment. This law provides that government appro- val, based on consideration of all rel- evant environmental factors, must be obtained before even the first prelim- inary steps are taken towards the building of such a plant. If the company knew of this law, it ignored it and started to build its plant. A complaint was made to the local government, with no significant result. Next a full report was mads lo the provincial government, and a further complaint registered. This ac- complished nothing of consequence. Finally, a private citizen, enraged at Ihe impending destruction of the for- est and the surrounding recreational area, laid a charge against the com- pany under the act referred to, and insisted on prosecution. The company was found guilty, and fined 3500. Thai's all. No restraining order, no suggestion that there be environmental studies, no pause in construction. The plant is now in operation, and the forest is doomed. The local example is familiar, es- pecially to residents of the south-east quarter of the city. Quite recently, acting on persistent complaints by residents, the government department concerned with various forms of pol- lution ordered a local firm to do all that is needed to be done to elimin- ate a sickening stench it emits from time to time. A welcome and proper order. Unfortunately, no date for compli- ance has been set, from which one can only infer that the plant man- agement can take as long as it likes, and continue to nauseate the neigh- borhood in the meantime. Growing pains The city is suffering from growing pains. More properly, perhaps, it is City Manager Tom Nutting who is suffering from the growing and he is seeking relief. He wants to have his staff increased and he wants more space for the expanding bureau- cracy. No great surprise ought to be ex- pressed at this. As a city grows, the administrative task becomes heavier and can no longer be expected to be handled in the way that was deemed appropriate in an earlier time. It is surprising that a request for help has not come sooner. A great deal is happening in the city and much more work is in the offing as the council boldly plans for the fu- ture especially in the downtown area. There may be some room for ob- jections to a sudden surge in the manager's staff. Advancing by de- grees might have seemed more poli- tic. Still, it is an honest thing to do to lay out the full picture of need rather than leave the impression that a single addition would solve the problem only to be followed by re- peated requests fur further staff. Increasing the bureaucracy is not a matter the council can consider lightly. The cost has to be bome by the taxpayers who do not like their money to be spent unnecessarily. But the important consideration is not how much is charged to the taxpayer but whether value is received. The aldermen will have to decide how well they want the city served, in determining what to do with Mr. Nut- ting's recommendation. Clear thinking about authority By Peter Hunt Words are strange things. They are so powerful on the one hand, and so stultify- ing on tho other. They are powerful be- cause, as Newman maintained, language and thought are inseparable. "Out of the fulness of the heart so doth the mouth Bpeak." Issuing from rich and full hearts and minds, words have been the vehicle of great truth, the magic eloquence that stirs men to high aspirations and deeds, the razor-keen instruments of precise minds, the utternance of poets and mys- tics. But words are also dull, heavy and blunt Instruments, often deadening in effect. Most "educational" writing is of this kind. Even more serious abuse of language con- sists in using words as manipulative tools. Advertising is, perhaps, the best example of this degradation of the gift of speech. But advertising at lesst knows what it is about. It is designed to sell goods and services. This is monstrous, yes, but its monstrousness is like that of the Cyclops, in being one-eyed. But what a shapeless beast, what a slimy, sluggish, spineless and featureless thing is the modem abuse of language that, having been dredged up from the muddy depths of pseudo-science and fuzzy anti-intellectualism, consists in the' mouthing of words whose meaning is never examined except by the few; words lite "progress" (now a lit- tle discredited) "author- ity." If this were a multiple-choice test (so dear to the hearts of school-teachers) I would ask readers to pick the one word from the list above which is an exception in this grouping. Correct; you have it. "Authority" unlike (he others is n derog- atory term, at least in the hazy minds of those who are so fond of the other three. For "authority" has fallen Into dispute, ex- cept among those who are always "con- servative" and among those who have a clear idea of what authority Is. Nowadays, every kind of responsibility and power tends lo be heaped together in a congested mass by many who talk about "authority." It is rare to find spokesmen in education, for example, distinguishing Ixiwccn different kinds of degrees of authority, let alone between true auth- ority and false authority. Thus, Ihe samo hostility accorded Ihe upholding of par- ental authority oral school (minority n.s is directed towards what is loosely called "authoritarianism" in general. It Is not strict discipline (in the sense of insisting on high standards In (.hose wo care for) Hint should attacked, but false kmda of authority. Human freedom docs not consist in license to do as one pleases, a fact commonly recognized by society at large. It can only be fully realized in a context of some discipline. Parents have certain rights, and fail in their responsi- bility if they do not use Iheu4 authority to prevent ill-behavior in their children, and, more positively, to promote .virtue and sound values in them as well. Schools have authority only from the parents who send their them-; but, the com- mon good of a community, such as a school, demands that certain rules be ad- hered to; rules which are formed from" the principles which animate the educational system of the parents' choice. Churches have an authority over the consciences of their adherents insofar as these .adherents accept the religion of their own free will; this is a moral and spiritual authority which carries with it the power to exclude or to withold its services .from those who obviously undermine its authority.' Discipline is a good thing, it is self-discipline and tlus is part, of what ed- ucation inculcates. But a parental, church and communal school discipline is very different from state-compulsion: It is also quite different from robot-like regimenta- tion. "Permissiveness" in the derogatory sense consists in an attitude of indiffer- ence to the moral values people hold and a sentimental approach to the behavior (in the case of schools and families) of Uie young. True love of Ihe young is expressed sternly when sternness is needed, and in- dividuals cannot be permitted to flout basic laws of decency with impunity if the wholo community of a school is to be protected. Laws arc necessary and penalties go with them. On the other hand, the factory-model of schooling, (which the Worth Report docs not propose to almlish) is a degrada- tion of the person and an abuse of auth- ority. The person lo whom the parent dele- gates is the teacher. It is the teacher whose authority should count in the school, provided it is responsible nnd rooted in sound understanding and concern. At the senior level, the education of the intellect and of imaginative understanding arc par- amount; the Icachcr's role is primarily scholastic. It is n noble role nnd n vital modp of aulhorily based on knowledge find n passion for Irulh; nnd it is a vocation far more important then ;ill the frills nnd pandering lo mnss-Uislo in w h i c h schools commonly Indulge. It can flourish fully only in real communities delnched from the factory model in which milhorily is drawn from Ihe technocracy rather than (roiu Uio homo anil the church. WHERE is Mr. Starlield? At the time of writing, the CBC cannot find him. Each major newscast appears to begin with the new prime minister of Ca- nada, David Lewis. What does Mr Lewis think of Hie Bell claim to higher rates? The NDP caucus takes longer than it had expected to do, in decid- ing what to put in its throne speech and Mr. Lewis leads the news with an explanation. One waits for an eager reporter lo lell us what Mr. Lewis has for breakfast, in a live interview, of course, as the first item on the network news. Mr. Lewis is clearly prime minister of the CBC's network newsroom. But he still has only 31 seals in the House of Commons and the government, so spectacu- larly unaware of where their shoe was pinching the elector- ate, will surely be aware of this? The great majority in Ihe country certainly are. All but 31 scats in the Commons went to parties of Ihe centre and the right. No doubt also the government has taken this into account in getting ready its program for the new House. But when all the learned speculation about tactics in the Commons is over, maybe the real question is whe- ther the Liberal party will sur- vive Ihis session as n major parly, if il allows Mr. Lewis lo gel in Ihe House what he could not gel In the country the power to govern. It appears to be assumed in left-wing Uberal and in NDP circles thai what we are about lo sec is a coalition in every- thing but name between the Liberals and the NDP. It is precisely because the left wing of the Liberal party was in the "I hate to do this, but I've got a cigarette habit to support." European detente worries Afro-Asia By Dcv Murarka, London Observer commentator MOSCOW Soviet delegates are going to the Helsinki prep- aratory meeting for the Euro- pean security conference con- fidently expecting a successful outcome. With the new brotherhood es- tablished between Nixon and Brezhnev, it makes little sense for the Europeans to leave their own affairs with the Soviet Union untidy. The international politics of Europe have thus come to be dominated by the detente between Moscow and Washington. The Russians may be right In thinking they will gain uni- versal recognition for the status quo in Europe since no one is really interested in disturbing it. This Will bring some peace of mind to the Soviet policy- makers, but. the jest, of the world is hot so convinced of European, American or Rus- sian virtue that such-an agree; ment will necessarily' bring comfort to them. In1 fact; there is a sense of uneasiness among non-European' nations this sudden friendship among tho powerful nations. an old Kenyan-prov- erb which says that'when'two elephants fight it is the grass which suffers.. But when ,two elephants get chummy. ,the grass may still suffer. The fear in Africa and Asia is that once the Europeans and the Euro- centric Americans and Rus- sians are free of worries -in Europe, the burden of their sol- idarity will be felt by the poor- er and weaker nations who -will be unble to bargain and man- oeuvre because of this solidar- ity and the common interests of the European powers. As the industrial and financial centre of the world, the big powers will be able to dictate even more than the terms of trade and political conditions in which the Afro-Asian countries can operate. Moscow's future support for wars of national liberation al- ready looks like a thing of the past even though lip service may continue to' be paid to- the idea. The Vietnamese know tha reality of such professions. Afro-Asians worry that the big powers will not now do by direct fighting or competiiton what they can achieve by steal- thy pressure. Unfortunately, be- cause of many disputes between numerous countries in Africa and Asia conditions exist in which they will be susceptible to such pressures. Despite the detente and thun-. dering declarations about prin- ciples, and the desire for peace, the Americans are arming the Shah of Iran to take the place of Pakistan, which has become unstable after the emergence of Bangladesh, The aim is to turn Iran into a bulwark of western .interests which will oversee the .Indian Ocean and adjacent areas. The Shah has already declared that Iran's "security perimeter" now extends to. the Indian Ocean. The Russians so far have kept silent over this development. They have their own interests in Iran which they do not want to be threatened by antagoniz- ing the Shah. Yet the Shah's own position in Iran is far from secure; there are frequent enough executions in Iran to prove this. The danger is that the Shah may be tempted into adventures abroad, and that the Persian Gulf will be added to the world's trouble spots. One way in which the non- European countries might coun- ter to some extent the superior power of the detente-making in- dustrial nations is by building a security system of their own which eliminates friction among themselves. The Rus- sians were far-sighted in launching their notion of an Asian security system long ago. As realists they knew the im- mediate reponse to the idea would be negative and even hos- tile. And they were not wrong. The Chinese raised a hue. and Letter to the editor cry about encirclement. The Western countries began attri- buting sinister motives to Mos- cow in Asia. Some of the Asian countries became frightened of having anything to do with the idea. When they begin to think of it again in terms of protecting their own interests, it will be impossible to ignore the Soviet idea. The Asians wish to leave out all the outside powers from their negotiations, but they will have to associate them as guar- antors of any system, once it is given an institutional frame- work. And Moscow will have to be one of such guarantors. This puts Moscow a little ahead of the United States In rivalry for influence in Asia, and per- haps in a sounder position than China in the long run. It could all be a paradoxical outcome of (he European security co> ference. Against Sesame Street "Henry Kissinger, on behalf of the team, I iikt How many proponents of "Se- same Street" have actually considered the impact that this anli cultural, anti intellect tual, mass brain-washing sys- lem has on young minds? I agree with people who say that Ihe first five years are Ihe most important in child raising. If they are the most important to your children, why subject them to such rubbish? If we as- sume Hint culture can be trans- mitted by television then it would be logical to realize that the, culture of the "idiot box" would become Ihe culture of future generations. Sesame Street and other similar pro- grams arc designed lo teach people what to think. It is in- doctrinating children in Ameri- canism and preparing the way for the destruction of the cre- ative individual and democracy. Many people have said that this program leaches impor- tant things. What they ignore are Ihe equally important con- cepts that it destroys. I per- sonally would never have any- thing to do with half the char- acters on the show. They are rude, Impolite, vulgar nnd dis- courteous. Oscar docs not nsk politely for a cookie; lie grabs, snatches nnd struggles lo get what he wnnls. lie says which is funny the firsl hundred times. It can bo a joke during 71 conversation, but from a four or five-year old, who happens lo Ihink it is Ihe right way lo get n cookie, 1 (io not Ihink is proper. Will nol this altitude spread lo other things? Will nol, (ho, young im- vTdssionablo children of. Looby gro.w, up, to more Insistent and less logical than Ihe radi- cals of Ihe universities today? is OK for Americans .-.but I happen to be a Canadian, and by definition different than an American. If people want to have their children grow up under the coatlails of Uncle Sam let them leave, don't bring him lo Ihis land on the air waves. A further criticism of this program arises from its inac- curacies. On a number of occa- sions I have noticed a wide va- riety of mistakes as to factual content. They talk about a herd of lions, when it should be a pride. Articles have been mis- named and inaccurate lies made too numerous to mention. The thinking person will clearly realize that this show, with ils American prejudices, stereotypes and generalities will damage the Canadian way of life, of which wo can bt so proud. G.N.K. Lolhbridgc. driver's seat that the govern- menl lisl its majority. If this should persist in spite of the recent verdicl, when the next election comes the NDP might maintain ils base, but as far as anything is certain, the Lib- eral party would nol, and it could be a long lime, If ever, before it recovered its strength. A great many people who loy- aly voted Liberal on Oclober 30 are waiting lo see what les- sons Ihe government has learn- ed. The first one might be that consensus politics are not after all bad politics, and the consensus in Canada appears to be, from the recent result, straight down the middle. Con- sensus clearly Is that we are over-taxed and over governed, that in fact government for lire sake of government has become a politicians' fixation. If the Liberals want to see a Tory landslide at Ihe next election, they will ignore the point. One of the odd facts but perhaps it isn't odd about the standing of the government in the public mind is that there appears to be more resentment of it now than there was in the ballot box. This resentment seems to be as active among those who voted for it as it is .among those who voted against it. Those who voted for it tell me they did so "on the large issue of national unity and bal- anced national consciousness" (as one man puts it for the less articulate) but either they now regret thai Ihey did, or they are waiting nervously to see what the Liberals do about all the things that made them vote Liberal with reluctance. It would seem to be a fact that most people think national survival is surest in the hands of the Liberals from a political (French English) standpoint, but questionable from en eco- nomic point of view "wllh all those theorists sticking their hot litle hands in our wallets." National survival in this case may mean simply the survival of the middle classes. What the government should understand is that the great middle mass is determined to survive and a great mass of skilled people want to join them and believe the Liberals on their recent road will have destroyed the prize before they can get there and are just as determined that no party that works to destroy them will survive. It would appear to be likely thai if the NDP is allowed to govern from the opposition benches, the government might be able to drag the session out, but the ballot box is waiting and it will be filled with re- sentful little marks that repre- sent a Conservative landslide. The question for many Is: Can a government that was for so long so hard of hearing find a new hearing aid? Or will the sirerrs go unheeded? And what sort of future do deaf politlcans have. The foregoing was written be- fore Mr. Lewis made his an- nouncement thai he had been approached by Olto Lang, min- ister of justice, about possible across the floor coalition for that is what it means and how he nobly refused the proposition. Is it possible that politicians who, where certain essentials are concerned, have been per- sistently hard of hearing, find it progressively harder to open their ears to the unstill, un- small voice of the people? Is the left wing of the Liberal party still in the saddle? Do they still believe that the elec- torate cares more for the so- cial theorizing of the govern- ment's social theorists than they do for their own habits and their own security? Then, kiss the boys good-bye will be the electorate's theme song. 'Crazy Capers' According to these ref- erences you're quile a fast worker. The Lethktdge Herald 504 7lh St. S., Lelhbndge, Alberta LETHDHIDGE HERALD 10. LTD., Proprietors nnd Publisher! Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Clan Mall Registration No. 001} Member of The Canadian Prej! and Ihe Canadian Dally Newspamr Publlsherl' Auoclellon and Ihe Audll Bureau ol Circulation! CLEO W. MOWERS, Edllor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Edllor Assoclme Edllor ROY f WILEi DOUSLAi K. WALKER Adverllilng Manager Editorial Paga Edllor THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH" ;