Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDOE HERALD TuMdiy, October 15, 1974 EDITORIALS Fifteen years later To ten or fifteen thousand Lethbridge children or more, the plebiscite on fluoridation is more important than the aldermanic or school board elections. It offers them more hope. The fluoridation campaign has been a strange one. Almost nothing has been done by its supporters an af- firmative vote, but the opponents have been working their hearts out, writing letters to the editor, using their scarce funds to buy advertisements. Whatever one thinks of fluoridation, there is no dis- puting the sincerity and dedication of those who are trying to keep it out of Lethbridge. Why should there be a plebiscite? The reasoning of the Alberta legislature is that such an-emotional question can best be decided by local option. Unless a com- munity can provide a majority of voters in favor of it, fluoridation cannot be un- dertaken. To ask the voters to decide on a scientific subject may not be logical, but it is the law. So the Lethbridge Voter, who will decide this tomorrow, must ask himself two essential questions: does it work, and is it safe? Almost all doctors, almost all dentists, all medical associations, all dental associations and numerous commissions of investigation (including one appointed by the Alberta government several years say yes to both questions, without hesitation or reservation. It has been shown in every corner of the globe that the lifetime tooth decay is reduced by at least 60 per cent where the fluoride content of the water is boosted to one part per million. Many children are raised in areas of natural fluoridation; they prove that it works. Many millions more on this continent, including those in Coaldale, Red Deer and Edmonton, for instance, have been using artificially fluoridated water, and they also prove it. Of course there are other ways of reducing tooth decay, and better nutri- tion is one of them. But is better nutri- tion likely to happen? Another is to have dentists paint the teeth with fluoride. But that is expensive, and there aren't enough dentists. Another is to have the mother put fluoride tablets in the children's drinking water. Again, too much bother! Some have questioned fluoridating all the water instead of just what the people will drink. Wasteful, they say. But fluoridation is so inexpensive and easy that, like chlorination, it's cheaper to do it all. Ten to twenty cents per person per year is the probable cost. Lethbridge is not being asked to ex- periment, to break new ground. The ex- perimentation is far behind. This is one of the most soundly researched and thoroughly proven facts in medical and dental science, in spite of the few dis- senters. It is about 15 years since Lethbridge first voted not to fluoridate the water. If the verdict had been different then, think of the misery, trouble and expense that city's children would have been saved. The children don't get a vote on this. Can the adult voters in good conscience force the city's children to wait still more years? Who's a hooligan? In the interest of justice, and nothing more, it must be said that Rick Ley of Team Canada '74, who was called a hooligan, first by a Russian hockey coach and then by a Canadian senator who was willing to take the opposing coach's word for it (not a common phenomenon in hockey is in good company. The famous Russian ballet dancer, Valery Panov, was termed a hooligan by the Soviet Union after he applied to emigrate to Israel with his wife, dancer Galina Ragozina Panov. In the two years of harrassment by Soviet officialdom which elapsed between the application and the time the couple was allowed to leave Russia, Panov was once jailed for hooliganism and imprisoned in a cell with limbless prisoners as additional psychological punishment. Since hooligan is not a Russian word, stemming as it does from the Irish sur- name, Houlihan, which came to be associated with rowdies, it is obviously an official term of convenience for the Russians. That it should be accepted as such by any Canadian is distressing. If, Ley's aggressiveness, for which he apologized, is characteristic of Canadian hockey, the senator's action also reflects the tendency of Canadians to wear hair shirts while enlarging molehills into mountains. RUSSELL BAKER What has become of elegance I have been saddened recently by receipt of several letters characterizing me as a "male chauvinist pig What has become of elegance? These letters seem to come from well educated women with sound argumen- tative powers, yet at the end they cannot resist making their points in the coarse loud- mouth style we have come to take for granted in professional athletes, television clowns, congressional candidates and almost everybody else who craves attention these days. Elegance in waging an assault makes it more deadly-in a civilized way, 'whereas bluster and billingsgate degrade the cause in which it is made and leave us wondering whether even the best of causes is worth the battle. After Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill sent the following words to the Japanese am- bassador: "In view of these wanton acts of unprovok- ed aggression commited in flagrant violation of international law and particularly of Arti- cle I of the Third Hague Convention relative to the ope ning of hostilities, to which both Japan and the United Kingdom are parties, his majesty's ambassador at Tokyo has been instructed to inform the imperial Japanese government in the name of his majesty's government in the United Kingdom that a state of war exists between our two countries. "I have the honor to be, with high con- sideration, "Sir. "Your obedient servant. "Winston S. Churchill." Some people, Churchill recalled, did not like this ceremonial style. "But after he said, "when you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite." That was elegance, in the way that Senator Goldwater's reminder that the United States could deliver a nuclear warhead on the men's room in the Kremlin was not elegance. Cinching arguments by crying "male chauvinist is not only not elegance but also a gratuitous abuse of sns scrofa, a harmless and useful beast of considerable animal intelligence who is neither for nor against the feminist movement so far as anyone knows. Destroying the reputation of poor dumb beasts for monetary political gain is certainly not elegance Destroying an excellent English word like "chauvinist" is anything but elegance. according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means "militant and boastful devotion to and glorification of one's country; fanatical patriotism." As used in the feminist battle cry, "chauvinist" is inelegantly stripped of its meaning and used as a meaningless modifier, presumably because it trips smoothly on tbe tongue and is fan to say. The decline of elegance seems to corres- pond with the decline of regard for the language, of which the perversion of "chauvinist" is an example. It would be un- fair, however, to suggest that the feminists are in any way to blame for the present love of barbarisms which is turning English into a blunt instrument. The feminists have merely been contaminated by the plague. It is not surprising that they resort to ear grinders like "sexism" and "consciousness raising" to express perfectly sound ideas, for they live in a national hubbub in which the language is mostly compounded of grit (ex- pletives bombast (Muhammad Ali) and nonsense (most of what is heard on Moreover, the rare party who has elegance is unlikely to be heard over the racket of the vandals sacking the mother tongue. Frank Gifford has it on that Monday night football show and nobody seems to care. Edwin Newman has it on NBC, and the network seems to keep him locked in the attic. Radio stations refuse to hire disk jockeys who know that "presently" doesn't mean for you can drive 500 miles and be in- formed by 95 radio stations that "the temperature is presently" whatever it is at that very moment "Presently" doesn't mean it means and not knowing the difference is definitely not elegance. Not long ago, I heard a radio news man an- nounce that three convicts had "successfully escaped" jail. If he had had elegance he would have explained how they might have unsuccessfully escaped, but he lacked it, and sure enough, a moment later, he gave me the weather forecast for "the upcoming weekend." Elegance is giving the weather forecast for the coming weekend, or even for the weekend, but they don't hire them kind of guys no more. The saddest news of all comes from Theodore Bernstein, one of the most careful authorities on American usage. Bernstein now proposes that we give up trying to make the distinction between "who" and which none but the truly elegant can under- stand and which few of these could use cor- recUy without fail. Give op the struggle with Come on, Bernstein, Don't let the banner fall. It's only a short step from quitting on "whom" to agreeing that maybe "presently" really does mean "now." and then that male pigs really can be mihtantly and boastfully devoted to their own country, which would put us all in the "sexist" position of ascribing fancier powers to male pigs than to their female counterparts "female counterparts" being the sort of inelegance you fall into when you are too bullied to say "their ladies ON THE HILL By Joe Clark, MPfor Rocky Mountain "Then it's agreed, under the new government restrained-spending policy, we switch to the Giant Jumbo Economy Dispenser the one with the shorter handle." Uncle Sam's Cyprus test By C.L. Sulzburger, New York Times commentator ATHENS If Henry Kissinger can first obtain at least some concessions from Turkey, Greece is prepared to regard the secretary of state as a valid mediator in the un- happy Cyprus affair, despite contradictory statements by politicians contesting this country's first free election in years. But something tangible must be secured; also Washington should make public its private acknowledgement that, even if recent policy was not it contained "omissions." This, in a nutshell, may be considered the basic position of Athens with respect to both the U.S.A. and, ultimately, NATO. If Washington takes a diplomatic initiative, relations between this country and the United States as well as those between this country and NATO should improve appreciably after the November balloting creates a normal parliamentary government. The Greeks are a proud, emotional people and ardently embrace positions unusual for other nations. Their govern- ment is fully aware of NATO's flabby Mediterranean posture and how this weakens Greece. It also fears that after Tito's death Moscow may press Yugoslavia back into the Soviet fold and seek to revive the former idea of a south Slav federation, including claims on Greek Macedonia. But it is argued that, despite these disturbing prospects, if forced to choose between security and honor, honor comes first. Such certainly was the case in 1940 when Greece spurned an Italian ul- timatum and in 1941 when it spurned a German ultimatum. This is romance, not real politics; yet it lies at the heart of Greece's contemporary thinking. And it will remain there after the voting because Caramanlis, today's national strongman, .will almost certainly retain that position next month and one knows his opinions on the above matters. Like most of his countrymen, he considers it an American responsibility to get Greek-Turkish talks on Cyprus moving by successful- ly pressing for some preliminary Ankara gesture; but he differs from many others in believing this procedure could ultimately produce a satisfactory settlement. Today Greece feels let down by the American government and immensely bitter. One leader comments: "Aristotle wrote that bitterness between brothers is the most acute; because the Greeks were so pro-American. They feel par- ticularly hurt. Britain had a treaty responsibility to intervene in Cyprus as a guarantor and based troops there. But the people trusted America above all. Therefore you are the scapegoat." Nevertheless, the problem of Greek relationships with the U.S. and the Grand Alliance is not irremediable. Although Caramanlis ordered withdrawal from NATO's military commands, Greece has proceeded with excep- tional deliberation in im- plementing this decision. Meanwhile, U.S. naval vessels quietly continue to use Greek facilities, .above all vital Suda Bay in Crete. The background of friendship remains. If Washington moves visibly to alleviate Greece's psychological distress, old bonds may be restored. America has privately ex- plained that "omissions" in handling the Cyprus crisis oc- curred because our govern- ment was overwhelmed at the time by Watergate's final denouncement. Yet, such im- plied apologies have not been publicized and the Greek people, not just their statesmen, are enraged. They need to know. Washington must openly clarify its posi- tion and take the initiative in persuading Turkey to help prospects for valid settlement by concrete gestures of com- promise. As for NATO, there is specific disgruntlement in ad- dition to pique at Alliance inability to put the brakes on Turkey when unlike its first Cyprus landing after the dying Athens junta staged a coup there Turkey invaded a se- cond time, unprovoked, in the middle of Geneva peace talks. During the consequent crisis, Greece requested NATO's Secretary General Luns to summon the Alliance council. But Luns, according to Athens, was on holiday and refused to interrupt his vacation. It is now believed there are "signs of change" in U.S. policy but these remain to be made public. If that is done and if Kissinger pursues an initiative with the Turks the American and NATO alliances might regain meaning and the storm could blow away. Yet we are still far from that point. Moreover, those in charge here insist that if an acceptable Cyprus solution is not achieved "in there will be a dramatic deterioration. Caramanlis, a pragmatic leader, not a demagogue, acknowledges limits on his ability to calm his volatile people. The beef industry is facing one of it's most difficult periods. In less than a year, selling prices have fallen by more than a third, while costs particularly feeding costs have doubled. Unfortunately, prospects are that things will get worse in both cow and calf markets before they get better. One extra blow to Canadian cattlemen would be the im- position of U.S. import quotas on Canadian beef. In August, Canada established our own quota on cattle imports a global quota, affecting all countries which export cattle, including the U.S. U.S. cattlemen are in a bad situa- tion too and, as I write, there are indications they are pressuring their government to retaliate with quotas which would sharply limit American markets for Canadian beef. For many Canadian producers, the problem is not simply a low return. Many Albertans bought cattle or feed with the bank's money. Some smaller producers, in particular, could be under real pressure from their bankers, although I understand that representatives of the banks and the cattle business are trying to avoid that kind of pressure. The question now is: what can be done? Some producers want the government to step in, with subsidies or other help. Other cattlemen argue that govern- ment intervention has caused some of the recent wild fluc- tuation of the market. They point particularly to the U.S. practice of keeping controls on cattle after they came off other commodities, and the sudden imposition and removal of Canadian sur- charges. These1 cattlemen argue that government intervention will only make matters worse. The consumer interest in all this is that, if the beef in- dustry has trouble, beef production will fall, creating high prices for scarce meat in the future. I would appreciate knowing your views on what, if anything, should be done about the problems of Cana- dian cattle raisers now. Over-stocked oil By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator Bad-mouthing rehabilitation By Carl T. Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Atty. Gen. William B. Saxbe made some unfortunate headlines again the other day when he decried as "a myth" the no- tion that criminal offenders can be rehabilitated. What is worse, in an inter- view with the Los Angeles Times, Saxbe gave the im- pression that studies financed by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) are what led him to conclude that wrongdoers can- not really be helped to non- criminal productivity. Mr. Saxbe ought to meet Mr. Richard W. Velde, who now beads LEAA after serv- ing that agency for five years. Velde apparently hasn't seen the LEAA studies that Saxbe claims exist, for Velde has been making some eloquent speeches about the need for some bonest-to-God rehabilitation programs in our jails and other penal in- stitutions. Velde spoke in August before the American Correc- tional Association He told his audience what LEAA has learned about the peo- ple in jail: 85 per cent either jobless or earning less than a year at time of arrest, 40 per cent high school drojxrats and another 25 per cent with an eighth grade education at most, 50 per cent unmarried and another 25 per cent divorced or separated "Is it any Velde asked, "that these socially inept individuals wind up in conflict with the law and so frequently go to But once these people are incarcerated, does anyone really make an effort to help them to give rehabilitation a chance? Velde pointed out that only one jail in three has an alcohol treatment program; one in four has a drug addiction treatment program, and fewer than one jail in five has programs 'in counseling, remedial education, vocational training or job placement Yet, Velde said, LEAA studies show that educational programs are "quite popular among inmates" who, "though frustrated by their own inability to pull themselves out of the quicksands of poverty and ig- norance, will grab an oppor- tunity to improve their chance to make a decent living." So while Saxbe is bad- mouthing the concept of rehabilitation, Velde is bemoaning the fact that jail staffs often must be "preoc- cupied with security to the detriment of rehabilitation programs." Velde stated emphatically that "the mere incarceration of individuals does not serve the best interests of society. It only perpetuates I might add expensively the cycle of failure There is an argent need to change this. We owe it to society, we owe it to other segments of the criminal justice system, and we owe it to the inmates." I doubt very much that Sax- be has come to the belief that we ought to forget about rehabilitation and probation and just lock offenders up and throw away the cell key. But a lot of hard-liners are bound to draw that impression from his interview and even go about claiming that, after spending billion, LEAA supports some such neanderthal approach to criminal justice. Well, it just isn't so. Velde, the man who has seen the results of every study and pro- ject financed by that billion, told the nation's cor- rectional officiate that "it is imperative that we examine the potential for programs which insure that future offenders... will have oppor- tunities to dramatically change their life-styles so they re-enter society in a more productive capacity." Velde spoke convincingly about the potential usage of computer technology and telecommunications satellites to create an educational and training system, not only for inmates but for staff per- sonnel at penal institutions. But even without these sophisticated devices, he said, we have a wealth of programs to draw upon. Velde believes we can turn uneducated, impoverished, socially inept offenders into people reasonably able to cope and live at peace with the rest of society. I join him in that belief. To believe less is to accept the inevitability of social chaos. MONTREAL Govern- ment policy makers in Ottawa have their fingers crossed. They wish inflation would go away, and unemployment too. They have more enthusiasm for their third wish that this coming winter will be very long and very cold. Because right now we have more oil in Canada than we need stocks of fuel oil, gas- oline and other refined petroleum products are em- barrassingly high. There is no one to sell it to. The world is in such an over- supply situation that everybody's got all they need. The. Canadian inventory of refined petroleum in June 1973 was 85 million barrels. In June 1974, it was 109 million barrels an increase of 28 per cent. As a result, one hundred- thousand barrel-a-day refinery in Quebec shut down a few weeks ago, and another in Nova Scotia has cut back production. Yet there are fears that in- dustrial economies may collapse under the strain of high oil prices. A large part of the world oil problem originates with the political cartel of oil produc- ing countries which started the oil crisis in the first place. But at least part of our par- ticular problem has been MADE IN CANADA. Many refineries in eastern Canada were built with an eye to supplying the Northwestern United States. For years they have done this quite successfully. Last winter, when Ottawa was worried about shortages of heating oil and gas in eastern Canada, it stopped the refineries from exporting to long-standing U.S. customers. Now that we're willing to sell again, guess who's not willing to buy? Even refineries which fund customers in the U.S. cannot sign long-term contracts they need export permits from the National Energy Board. The NEB is handing out permits only a month or two in advance. A second part of the new problem originates with last winter's solution to the domestic oil prices controver- sy. To keep prices more or less even across the country, Ottawa taxes western oil be- ing exported to the U.S. and uses the money to compensate eastern Canadian importers who buy at the higher world price. This compensation extends to refined oil products as well as crude. With diminished American demand for oil, there is now an oversupply of refined products from places like the Carribean. They are being sold very cheap. East Canadian refineries have found they can make more money importing'and selling refined products, for which they are compensated by Ot- tawa, than they can refining and selling imported crude. A winter would ob- viously "solve" the for the time being. There are other Ottawa could eliminate the subsidy on im- ported refined oil products. Or it could use more of our money to raise the subsidy so eastern refiners could do the job as "cheaply" as their Carribean competitors. The refineries also have two courses. They can halt produc- tion until the excess is sold off, or as long as they can make more money importing than refining. Or they can engage in price wars which would get rid of the stocks at "distress" prices. What Canadian taxpayers and consumers are left to make sense of is an in- comprehensible situation in which oil refineries which were profitable when oil was selling at a barrel, are now having trouble making it when oil is selling at five times that amount LETTER In the past many sincere people opposed vaccination, pasteurization, inoculation, blood transfusions and chlorination, but the preponderance of scientific proof has established the benefits of these procedures and we no longer die of smallpox, plague, seplicemia and polio. Brazil is a poor country, un- able to afford good dental ser- vices. So she has nade fluoridaiion compulsory. Is that unenlightened? Then look at Nebraska, which can afford11 dental services but which has also made fluoridation com- pulsory. It reasons that it is better to spend the necessary few cents per person to pre- vent or reduce tooth decay than large sums of public (and private) money to fix bad teeth. Mr. Editor, among the leaders in the health sciences it is generally agreed that barring the finding of a cure for cancer, history will declare fluoridation the greatest health discovery of the 20th century. A PROPONENT Lethbndge LelbbrWge.AtoerU LETHSTODGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors Second Ont Mail RegWMMon No 0012 CUEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON H PltUNG D0NM.D fl DORAM Managing Editor General Manager ROYF Macs Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WAIKER i Page Editor ROBERT M PBHTON Orctriatton Manager 6ARWETT Business Manager 'THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"