Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 7, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDQE October Speed is blackmail American dream of life not for export By William V. Shannon, New York Times commentator The Canadian Transport Commission has been taken to task, in granting cer- tain trucking firms exemptions from provisions of the Lord's Day Act prohibiting trucking on Sunday, for show- ing no regard for people who want to en- joy leisurely Sunday driving. This is. ridiculous. There is no such thing as leisurely Sunday driving on the major highways of the nation. Speed rules the road, in practice if not in law, and it is not too outrageous to state that the maximum speed limit on any given highway is also the practical minimum. The law, as it now stands, is not much help to the driver who prefers not to drive at the speed limit. The Alberta Highway Traffic Act is ambiguous about the obligations of slower-moving traffic. Section 97-1-a states that a vehicle moving more slowly than the normal flow of traffic should drive in the nghthand traffic lane. By definition this excludes the parking lane, or shoulder of the road. And yet, section 97-1-b states as an alternative that slower-moving traffic shall drive as close to the right hand edge of the roadway as practicable, which would seem to include the parking lane. Furthermore, the regulation that driv- ing is forbidden in the parking lane has disappeared from the traffic act, just as signs forbidding driving on the shoulder are disappearing from the landscape. The only regulation in the act at present which concerns parking lanes, according to the local RCMP, prohibits overtaking and passing on the right using that lane. This puts it squarely on the shoulders of the individual driver. If the normal flow of traffic is 65 miles an hour, as it is apt to be on a good day, does this mean that the driver who is going 55 or 60 must pull over into the parking lane to let traf- fic go by if it is piling up behind him? If so, is that lane wide enough for him to proceed at that speed? Can the driver of a heavy recreational vehicle be assured that if he pulls over into the parking lane to allow traffic to pass, the pavement will be sturdy enough to hold up his vehicle? There seems to be some concern among the RCMP about the present status of the parking lane and the obligations of the driving public to keep traffic moving. It is possible that regulations in the act are being changed administratively to conform to custom. If this is so, the faster driver will have all the rights and the slower driver will have all the obligations because customarily it is the fast driver who expects others to get out of his way. It is the slow driver, even if he is travelling less than 10 miles an hour below the speed limit, who is ex- pected to do the courteous thing, to be thoughtful and neither frustrating nor frustrated. This dominance of speed on the highways is contrary to some historical precedents. On water, sail has the right of way over steam (or power boats) because it is less powerful and slower. On the ski hill, a skier is obliged to look out for slower-moving traffic on the slope below him. But on the highways it is the slower driver who must give way. He does so not because of rules or regulations but for the simple reason that speed kills indiscriminately. This might be called blackmail. WASHINGTON For a quarter century, the United States has been trying to do good, encourage political liberty, and promote social justice in the Third World. But in Latin America where we have traditionally been a friend and protector and in Asia where we have made the most painful sacrifices of our young men and our wealth, our relationships have mostly proved to be a recurring source of sorrow, waste, and tragedy. Ironically, we get on best today with the black African countries where, ex- cept for a brief flurry of enthusiasm in the Kennedy years, our relations have been marked mostly by in- difference and mutual in- comprehension. We have been seeking in the Third World to exercise power beyond our capacity to devise political instruments that could make wise use of our power. In trying to do good, we have been living beyond our moral resources and have fallen into hypocrisy and self righteousness. We have tried to export our idea of democracy and of the economically abundant good life, and have discovered this dream is not for export. No morally sensitive people could be indifferent to the Third World's claims of Human comradeship. A news- paper article about the mis- eries of Calcutta or a photograph of the starving children in sub Sahara Africa is enough to evoke anguish. We are all members of the human community and these are our brothers and sisters though we may never learn their names. Their plight im- pels us to action in the sphere of private charity or in the political realm as citizens urg- ing our government to adopt constructive policies on food and foreign aid. But it is not individual or national humanitarianism that is in dispute It is the use of our military, economic and political power power that is immense but that still has limits. Events have shown that our military power is almost irrelevant in the Third World. After the Korean War and then the long ordeal in Vietnam, no American government is likely to go to war again on the mainland of Asia or in Latin America. But given the human misery and uneven economic develop- ment of much of Latin America, and given the fragility of such political freedoms and the liberal mid- dle class institutions as were developing there, mere non intervention seemed sterile and inadequate. Thus through economic assistance and the training of anti guerrilla army teams we have been intervening with the best of motives. But benevolence, in- telligence and hard work have proved not to be enough Chile demonstrates the People not so gullible The promoter of Evel KnievePs stunt of trying to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho was disappointed when less than half the expected number of viewers paid to watch on closed circuit television. "Never in our wildest dreams did we think so few people would watch the said Robert Arum of Top Rank, Inc., in New York. Maybe this is a sign that people aren't as pliable as promoters assume them to be There certainly wasn't any paucity of publicity in advance of the jump. The promoter in this case managed to get maximum attention from the news media to complement his own efforts. Yet most people apparently were not fooled into thinking of the stunt as anything but a non event. This indica- tion that people may be less gullible than is usually thought is something to be grateful for. It would be pleasant also to think that the disappointing for the promoter turnout of viewers is evidence that peo- ple are becoming more discriminating in their tastes. The blood thirstiness that used to bring crowds- to watch hangings and other gruesome events may have abated. Or has it merely been satisfied by a surfeit of death viewing on the living room screen? Unhappily, Evel Knievel's flirt with death -attracted nearly half a million viewers. And his suicidal exhibition was only one of a kind that regularly draws hosts of viewers. Such facts mute, but do not obliterate, the satisfaction reasonable people have gained from the relative flop of the Snake River Canyon jump at the box office. "Okay, I'm givin you the count of three! 1... 2... Z1A... Z3A. Z problem. The CIA's objective was to prevent a pre emptive takeover of power by Salvador Allende and the radical minority supporting him. Hav- ing polled less than two fifths of the vote in a three way race, he had no mandate for the socialist program he was trying to put into effect. The lower house of Parliament censured him for violating the country's constitution. His own Marxist supporters in- timidated the opposition press, bankrupted businessmen with strikes and plant seizures, organized themselves into para military groups, and were conspiring to seize total power But by intervening in this complicated situation, the CIA implicated the United States in the unexpected se- quel grim military dic- tatorship that employs torture and has destroyed the very freedoms and liberal in- stitutions we were trying to protect. The effort to play God with the fate of the Chilean people has been a fiasco. Only the Chilean people can save Chile's freedom. The theologian Remhold Niebuhr warned us at the beginning of the post war era in 1945 when these secular missionary efforts first began: "No nation or in- dividual, even the most righteous, is good enough to fulfill God's purposes in history We disregarded that war- ning With our enthusiasm, our activist habits, and our crisis mongering we tried to advance our moral ideals and our political objectives and have rarely succeeded. From the Green Berets to the CIA's clandestine activities to the Marines proudly wading ashore at Camranh Bay, Americans have been im- itating in life the ironic paradoxes of Graham Greene's characters in fic- tion If we are not to follow interventionist excesses by an equally unwise isolationist withdrawal, we need new habits of detachment and skepticism. Most of all we need a clearer perception that in history's long unfolding, we are not responsible for the final answers. Irish terror stems from misguided tolerance THE CASSEROLE By Shaun Herron, Herald special commentator Ever hear of Sverdlovsk? It's an industrial city in the Ural mountains, bigger than Van- couver. It is in the news because it has started planning an underground railway, the first leg of which will be nine miles long. Five Soviet cities, Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Baku and Tbilisi, already have undergrounds. Kharkov and Tashkent systems are now being built, and in Minsk and Gorky construction will soon start. They say it's easy to forget your antecedents, once you've "made so to speak In a discussion of the consequences of Zero Population Growth, Time Magazine worries, "If births and deaths are balanced, immigration would be responsible for all the growth, and eventually immigrants and their descendants would loom disproportionately large in the population." Just how, pray, do the authors think the present population got there? ERIC NICOL Crazy wheels Canuck In every major Canadian city there are groups of people who have devoted time to collecting funds for the Provisional IRA. What kind of people they are need not be considered here. The kind of people for whom they have been working and propagan- dizing may throw a clearer light on that. On September 16, two men were murdered in Ulster. One was Mr. Justice Rory Conaghan, a Catholic. The other was Resident Magistrate Martin McBirney, a Protestant married to a Catholic. The Provisional IRA claimed "credit" for these crimes. Judge Conaghan was murdered in the presence of his daughter aged nine years. His sister in law died as a consequence, of a heart attack. Both these men were highly regarded in both com- munities as just men who dealt with the cases before them on the basis of the facts. They awarded stiff jail sentences to IRA men con- victed on the evidence and to soldiers and police convicted of abuse, in some cases they awarded heavy damages against the police and the army. They could not be faulted in their conduct of their courts Of their murder and their murderers Dr. Philbin. the Roman Catholic bishop of Down and Connor, said: "These murders can only have been the work of men who have rejected any thought of divine law or divine punish- ment and all respect for the rights of human beings and human society. They are asserting that murder in their hands must be the controlling influence in our community This is precisely it. The community that covered these men had handed itself over to them and their "philosophy" that the gun in their hands was government, law and justice. For this surrender the Catholic community has paid a terrible price in punishments from kangaroo courts, knee capping and death. Dr. Philbin went on: "The answer must be found in God's It is not often that Canadian production out- paces the American, but by George we've done it: this year, per capita Canada has nearly twice as many highway fatalities as the U.S. Let's hear it for Johnny (Crazy Wheels) Canuck! One reason for this remarkable achieve- ment is that many U.S. states have reduced the freeway speed limit to 55 mph, thereby cutting fatalities by 20 per cent Not being faced with the U S oil shortage, we Canadians have preserved our 70 mph and brought a little more sunshine into the lives of Canadian morticians. Some Americans have become so ac- customed to the relatively languid pace of their auto routes that when they cross the border into Canada they have difficulty ad- justing to Slaughter Alley. I saw a family in a car from Washington State pulled to the shoulder of one of our highways, sitting there in the litter of shattered nerves, clearly in shock from their encounter with the glorious freedom of Canadians to kill ourselves as a way of life We have Alberta to thank for saving us from having to lower speed limits, and from the tedious effect on fatality statistics For every million barrels of oil that Alberta takes out of the ground, it puts another motorist into the ground If we bad to depend on the Arabs, a lot of us would not get killed at all Our tens of thousands of injuries would be minor instead of crippling Dullsville But not all the credit for Canada's yeasty record of motor mayhem goes to our un- trammeled speed limits Canadian highways are much better designed than the American, for the driver who opts for the reclining slab U S highways are wider, and more often divided by a median, compared to Canadian highways. We have wedded the British tradi- tion of driving flat out with the French tradi- tion of highways that bring people together on the spur of the moment Thus we have vehicles approaching one another from op- posite directions at a combined impact speed ot 120 mph and passing one another with about five feet to spare. Not once, but every few seconds. For hundreds of miles. Add to this stunt which makes every Canadian his own Evel Knievel the facts that one out of 20 drivers of those vehicles is to some degree unpaired by alcohol, that one out of 12 is mentally disturbed, and that one in five is blind with rage at his the motorist that just passed him. This is why Canadian airline pilots breathe a sigh of relief when they enter the plane cabin they have temporarily found refuge from a very dangerous environment: the road to the airport This road is basically the same country lane on which horse drawn rigs and Model T Fords passed one another at a modest 10 or 20 mph All we have done is paint a yellow line down the middle of it, unleashed ex- cessive horsepower and stepped back, winc- ing slightly, to await the inevitable crunch. To do other would be to encroach on the God given nght of Canadians to attend the morgue of their choice. Any plan to reduce the speed limit m order to conserve our national reserves of both petroleum and blood, is indignantly and justly zapped as an invasion of lunacy. The highway is sacred to Canadians as the place where we go bananas Denied that venae, we are liable to start falling people as we all know, is homicide, and not very race South Africa can build the bomb By Raymond Heard, London Observer commentator LONDON South Africa, which won't sign the Non Proliferation Treaty, has become a "respectable" member of the exclusive nuclear club, according to a study published today by a London based research organization. The study says that the Vorster government now has the technical and financial capacity to make a nuclear bomb that could be delivered by aircraft to targets within a mile range. And its new process for enriching uranium means mat South Africa can earn as much from toe sale of uranium in the next 30 years as from diamonds hi the last 100 years. The Africa Bureau ex- amines South Africa's grow- ing nuclear capacity and potential in its monthly newsletter X Ray. It has released it in the same week astJ S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger's warning to the United Nations that the very structure of world security was being undermin- ed by the spread of atomic weapons technology, threaten- ing "nuclear The Africa Bureau's study says that Sooth Africa is un- likely to concentrate research on making a nuclear bomb for the moment because the need to become self sufficient in energy is more pressing. the fact remains that South Africa is technologically and financial- ly capable of making a nuclear bomb, albeit in a erode state. To produce a bomb small enough to fit into a strategic warhead is probably, at present, beyond Sooth Africa's capabilities; but a bomb for air delivery is not" Sooth Africa's Canberra bombers, with a mile range, can easily be converted to carry nuclear weapons as can its British supplied Buccaneers and French supplied Mirages, the report adds. "This means that, even operating from within its own borders, these planes could extend a nuclear umbrella to cover the whole of East Africa, Mozambique, Rhodesia, most of Zaire, Angola and Namibia, as well as reaching far oat into the In- dian and Atlantic Oceans." The Africa Bureau points out that Sooth Africa stands to gain "enormously" from the export of uranium enriched by the secret process announced by Prime Minister John Vorster in 1970. For enriched uranium sells at over 200 per cent more than crude uranium, of which Sooth Africa has been a major supplier. The fact sheet also notes that a major West German foel energy company, Essener Steinkohlen Elektrizitasl A-G has, with the apparent approval of the Bonn government, signed a contract with South Africa's Atomic Energy Board to build an uranium enrichment plant and other overseas interests are involved in this venture. Sooth Africa won't disclose the identities of the other foreign participants. After India conducted its first atomic test earlier tins year, senior South African of- ficials, without confirming that they were planning their own tests, made ominous comments which, in effect, warned the outside world that: Anything the Indians can do, we can do better. help in the voices and resolu- tion of the vast number of peo- ple who are utterly appalled by what organized forces of evil are doing to us all." The Catholic bishop of Derry, Dr. Edward Daly, who was a close personal friend of the murdered Judge Conaghan, added a voice that has to be heard by all those who, by taking either side in this dispute, are contributing to their funds and therefore their capacity to do great evil. He said: "To think he was murdered by an organization that claims it has as an objec- tive the reunification of our country is irony indeed. We can only hope that this new crime will bring more people to realize that the Provisional IRA does not have the interests of the people of Ireland at heart. Whatever motivation they may have had in 1970 has become smothered in a campaign of murder and bund destruction that is a dis- grace to themselves and to the Irish people as a whole." They have also, let it be said, trained a huge body of children and youths, who responded to them for the ex- citement and presumed adventure of the life they lived, and are now confirmed criminals, killers, destroyers and lost entirely to all civiliz- ed influences. All factions except, of coarse, the IRA, and all churches and all political par- ties in all of Ireland have condemned these acts and the organization and the minds that ordered them and com- mitted them. Unfortunately some of these churches, fac- tions or parties either en- couraged these men or sup- ported them, or remained dis- creetly silent at their early ex- cesses or "understood" why they behaved as they did Out of their "understanding" sup- port or tacit tolerance of the intolerable have come the deeds that today compel them to condemn. In our own society we are hearing these days the kind of talk that preceded the begin- nings of this advancing Irish horror. We hear talk of militancy, of "demands, not requests" of "all scale war" of "meeting the police head on" all the preliminaries to disorder that can degenerate into disaster and tragedy. The men who are talking this way are not the elected leaders of their communities. Neither were the men who have smothered Ulster in blood. The men in our society who are strutting like Geronimos before .their people, brushing aside the elected leaders, talk- ing are the enemies of their own people. The people outside their community who "understand" them and help to finance them (including churches) might do well to look farther afield and wonder whether they are not themselves promoting tragedy they will not have to share and encouraging folly for which they will be held in part responsible. The lethbridge Herald n-r i iCnTWJIitdQQ, AlltWftB LE7HBRIOGE HERALD OO UD Proprietors and PuMWhers Second Clan Mall Registration Mo 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and OONH PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager ROBERT M FCNTON OictfaJton Manager ROYF MILES AdvwiWng Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor SustnessMansaer "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"