Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, September A tough approach The use of the term "free enterprise" in connection with the Canadian economic system, is somewhat lacking in realism. On the Canadian economic scene it is hard to find any sign of freedom in any enterprise and no real desire to rally round that flag when things get tough. On the contrary, when any sector of the economy is depressed the cry is for government help in the form of financial afd, marketing assistance, tariffs or im- port quotas. In some cases nationaliza- tion is demanded. There may be some competition.along main street but con- sidering the government loans or grants ana the tariffs designed to protect Cana- dian made goods, it is hard to call this free enterprise. When egg producers get together to es- tablish production quotas, to protect markets and assure adequate prices, they may consider they are exercising their freedom to be enterprising. But when the government assists with marketing machinery and import restrictions, this moves it out of the sphere of laissez faire. And the subse- quent attacks on protesting consumers would seem to deny them the same freedom to be enterprising. In fact, Mr. Whelan leaves no doubt what he thinks of free enterprise when he speaks deprecatingly of a "cut throat open market." West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt recently had something to say about controlled economy and his remarks showed him to be a social democrat of a different order from those in Britain, France or Italy or those in Canada for that matter. Schmidt told an interviewer that the West German economy was adjusted to respond to market forces rather than to regulations. "The deeper you get into regulations the deeper you get into red tape and the more you hamper the dynamic development of your he said. In line with this philosophy, West Ger- many's troubled motor and building in- dustries are having to adjust to the market without assistance. Presumably resources, including manpower, will have to move to other sector's of the economy. This seemingly harsh approach, which can be called political courage or a lack of social conscience, depending on one's point of view, must be viewed in the good light cast by West Germany's comparatively glowing economy. The inflation rate is slightly more than seven per cent, while the rest of the in- dustrialized West struggles with double digit inflation. Unemployment is 2.3 per cent (Canada's is more than five per cent) and the trade surplus for the first half of the year was more than billion. This speaks well for Mr. Schmidt's toughness, by whatever name it is called. Alas poor comma The comma is dead along with the unsplit infinitive and the gerund. This fact has escaped all but the most acute observation because a reasonable facsimile has arrived to take its place. It might be more exact to state that it has arrived to attempt to take its place, because this is the only noticeable difference. The facsimile is so genuine in appearance, a small dot with curving appendage, that the only way to detect its fraudulent nature is to notice its posi- tion in a sentence. It will sometimes sly- ly separate a noun from its verb, which a real comma would never do. This in- dicates that the dot with the curving appendage either doesn't know the difference between a subject and modify- ing phrases or clauses in any given situa- tion or does not understand the proper behavior of a comma. The facsimile frequently substitutes for a pause any pause, possibly because of a lack of precise orientation in its duplicate makeup but more likely because of an immature willingness to play anywhere when all other forms of punctuation disdain. This has made it an easy victim in the struggle with the dash, which is rapidly eliminating all other forms of punctuation except the small dot with no appendage. Although it may seem a contradiction in terms, the existence of the fraudulent comma is as provable by its absence as by its unwanted presence. This also gives support to the additional theory that a mad comma deleter has been at work, having heard the editorial rumor that the world is becoming overpopulated with commas and having decided to institute abortion without representation. A critic who was schooled in the precise use of words and punctuation can only sigh while contemplating the dot with the curving appendage and write "Alas poor comma I knew him well." RUSSELL BAKER Equal justice? Baloney! Some years ago a colleague of mine, a reporter, was sent to the Maryland peneten- tiary to witness the hanging of three felons. two of whom were black. The white man was hanged first, which prompted my colleague to note in his article that in Maryland, even on the gallows, the white man went first. The editor excised this observation, of course, on a number of journalistically jus- tifiable grounds, but I have been reminded of it again this week by the uproar over the Nix- on pardon and the contention that President Ford has betrayed the principle of "equal jus- tice under law." In Maryland at that time it was so univer- sally understood that white men went first. law or no law. that it was considered childishly flippant to burden a routine hang- ing story with such incidental sociological data. By the same token, one assumes that most Americans today are so thoroughly aware of the double standard at law that they would scarcely iift an ear at news that it had been applied in the case of a former president. Much of the complaining about a betrayal of "equal justice under law" can probably be dismissed as political cant whose purpose is to undermine Ford's high standing in the pop- ularity polls As political baloney it is probably tolerable if we keep in mind that it comes from people uniquely positioned to be excused from the harsher rigors of the iaw in matters ranging from drunken driving and assaulting policemen upward through the bloodless felonies. A politician crying for equal justice under law is as absurd as a Mafia Capo demanding an honest judge Wha1 is trulv disturbing, however, are the many reports we have had this week of teachers asking our statesmen how they can ;o on teaching the young about equal justice under law after the Nixon pardon The alarming suggestion here is that learners have been telling children all along to expert equal justice under law Surh teaching is like encouraging belief in Santa "laus and has no place in the educational Astern, at least after the second or third There ran scarcely be a sensible adult alive who does not instinctively know that the law will be his support or his enemy in proportion to the strength of his position in the com- munity. which is to say in proportion to his wealth or power If you are stopped by the cops for weaving noozily through late-night traffic, you will be far wiser to be a congressman in a large new car than an unemployed hod carrier in a 1950 Chevrolet with one fender missing, and if teachers are teaching anything else after the third grade they ought to be sent back to teachers college. Parents generally instruct their young wisely in these matters. Blacks often train their children for survival by teaching them to fear the law. Middle class whites caution their sons against driving the New Jersey turnpike with long hair. The rich teach the wisdom of immediately calling a lawyer. None of this is to say that the ideal of equal justice is not occasionally realized. It is. sometimes, but a person would be foolish to count on it. Doubtless a thorough culling of the annals of crime would turn up the name of one or two rich men who have been hanged, but no names come immediately to mind. Execution, in fact, has been so distinctively a poor black man's punishment that the Supreme Court recently condemned it on the ground that it constituted too flagrant an ex- ercise of inequality under the law. The endur- ing pressures for its restoration suggest, however, that strong public appetite for une- qual justice under law still thrives despite the outcry against seeing the same great princi- ple applied to Nixon. Equal justice under law. it would seem, ought to be more equal in some cases than in others It is doubtful that Americans really want equal justice under law. that Use white ma- jority really wants to be subjected to the same code of policing, trial and sentencing thai applies to the black minority, or that weil-lo-do executives behind the wheel with too many martinis really want 1o be put in jail with beery hod earners instead of being taken home and put to bed, or that neb men who might' 'make a as Nixon has made, really want to be caged at Atlanta with un- routh from the streets whose mis- lakes are made with burglar tools and hand guns instead of lax forms and bank accounts. reflects a nation's consensus about how society ought to be organized, and in its present stale in this country it reflects a contentment with a justice that grants special dispensation for money and power In- stinctively, we all recognize this and govern our actions accordingly If we know the rules of the game and subscribe to them, what as it but hypocrisy to complain because they are applied ,-imong Letters Intent misunderstood He's been practising like that for two weeks I haven't the heart to tell him golf isn't included in the Winter Games." We would like to reply to Concerned Citizen and Parent, (letter.September 12) who ap- parently misunderstands the intent behind the notice sent home to parents regarding the disciplining of students who misbehave. Misbehavior, as far as we are concerned, is when a child conducts himself in a manner that may interfere with the educational processes of the school, caus- ing inconvenience or harm to either students or teachers. The notice was not intended as a scare tactic but as a warning to those parents (very few in number) who send disrespectful, ill mannered children to school. In the light of certain recent developments in school board discipline policies we feel that we have few methods left at our disposal to deal with more extreme cases of student mis- behavior. The responsibility for disciplining such cases must, as a result, revert back to the parents. Because we are prepared to take this kind of a stand we feel that our school has a very favorable educational climate, with a friendly, but respectful relationship between student and teacher. We invite Concerned Citizen and Parent to come to our school and see for We are proud of our school and we have nothing to hide. Our first concern in educa- tion is the student the stu- dent who wants to learn without being distracted by those who do not. At the same time we make every effort to encourage the latter to change their attitudes. We appeal to any other concerned parents who mis- understand our motives to arrange an interview at the school before complaining through the anonymity of a letter to the newspaper. GEOFF BRADSHAW, P. CLAMP, J. A. BOYLE, WINTON E. BROOKS, M. COLEMAN. Lethbridge Gloomy GATT analysis Fiuoridation a farce By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA In that part of his important Vancouver speech concerned with the global origins of recent inflationary pressures, John Turner reiterated the argu- ment that these "were caused basically by inadequate supplies of agricultural and in- dustrial commodities to meet soaring world demand, com- pounded by the four-fold in- crease in international petro- leum prices imposed by the major oil exporting nations." The particular supply prob- lems mentioned by the Min- ister of Finance were cer- tainly important. It is of interest, however, that the secretariat of GATT offers a rather different analysis in its annual report for 1973-74. On this view, "it is clear that in recent years monetary expan- sion has been well in excess of the rate necessary for reasonably stable price levels." There is no doubt that the supply of some commodities, especially agricultural produce and petroleum products, was affected by special factors such as drought and cartel action. But the point made in the report is that such pressures affected a relatively small selection of goods. Thus, during the 1972-73 boom, there was no shortfall of metals and other minerals but a record increase. What impresses the GATT researchers is the striking recent increase in world reserves and domestic money supplies. Two interesting sets of figures are offered; the latter based on the experience of 11 major industrial countries, including Canada. Over the decade 1961-69 an- nual increases in the dollar value of world reserves rang- ed from .5 to 5.5 per cent, averaging 2.8. In the next four years, however, annual rates of increase were 18.5, 40.8, 21.5 and 15.7, much of the increase being attributable to larger holdings of foreign ex- change. Looking at domestic money supplies. the GATT, secretariat observes similar trends. Thus in 1961 aggregate money supply in the 11 countries increased on average by 6.8 per cent. In the critical four-year period, however, increases were 10.6, 17.6, 15.5 and 14 per cent. If output had kept pace, price pressures would have been less damaging. Ob- viously, it did not. In the period 1961 69 growth averaged 5.4 per cent but in 1970 through 1973 it ac- tually dropped back to 5.2 per cent. Where the special factors were not in play higher prices resulted from inflationary pressures and did not cause them. Presumably a chicken-and- egg relationship also existed in some cases. Thus the oil cartel has defended itself (as it is doing now) with the argu- ment that the world inflation justifies the higher prices it is charging its customers. According to the GATT re- port, governments have pre- ferred to increase the money supply because the public, ac- cording to their political calculations, was more concerned with the maintenance of employment than with price stability. There is a suggestion that public attitudes may change with the advent of two-digit in- flation although no such trend was apparent in the Canadian summer elections. One of the findings of the re- port is decidedly ominous. Ac- cording to the secretariat, it has become clear that "pro- gressively higher rates of in- flation are needed to maintain a given rate of un- employment''. On that basis, price pressures are not likely to be alleviated unless there are changes in public attitudes as discerned by the governments concerned. The GATT reporters, in agreement with Mr. Turner, see particular difficulties for industrial nations in adjusting to higher oil prices. They agree, too, that much social friction would result if the ad- justments took place at the same time as an all-out attack on inflation. In all. it is a rather gloomy summation. On their reading, governments led us into the great inflation by following the path of least resistance. The road back to price stability may be very rocky: so difficult in fact that the will to attempt it has yet to be demonstrated by the eleven governments. The unmaking of an emperor By Colin Legum, London Observer commentator ADDIS ABABA Haile Selassie ended his 58-year rule in Ethiopia in an atmosphere of uncanny calm. The emperor retained to the end his famous dignity, but there was not much dignity in the manner of his removal. As flower-covered tanks deployed at key points throughout Addis Ababa, the king of kings was driven from his palace in a small Volkswagen car surrounded by demonstrators shouting: "Hang the emperor." The military leaders, who have been effectively ruling the country since their first revolt in February, prepared the ground carefully for the final act The still anonymous armed forces committee has shown considerable skill in defusing any support remain- ing for the emperor. Having stripped away, layer by layer, all the once-powerful men who surrounded him in the past. Ihey finally left the old oak isolated and painfully ex- posed Then they went to work on him. One of the many posters lhal have appeared on the slreets of the capital has his head set on the Belsen-like skeleton of a starving victim of the famine in Wollo province Another has him superimposed over a sheep with a scriptural reference to the wolf in sheep's clothing On the Ethiopian New Year's day, the soldiers an- nounced that the emperor and the people were advised to watch a special television program. The first part of the program presented a devastating exposure of the emperor's greed, claiming that he mulcted the im- poverished Ethiopians of over million in the last 25 years. The armed forces allege that much of this wealth was sent out of the country to be salted away in banks and investments. For 48 hours they claim they wrestled with the emperor to persuade him to return this money, but "he showed in- difference" and said he had done what every good Ethio- pian father had done, which was to provide enough for the future of his children and grandchildren that and no more They announced that ihcy had given up all hope of being able to gel any of the money back, and advised Ethiopians to tighten their belis while the new regime set about restoring the economy. The second part of the program was a showing of a iilm about the tragedy of the starving peasants of Wollo Province, where an estimated 200.000 died in the terrible drought over the last four vears The soldiers say the film was shown to the emperor and the cabinet last year, but they ordered it to be suppressed as part of their policy of hiding Uie truth from the world. Skilfully, the shots of the dy- ing women and children of Wollo were interspersed with shots of lavish champagne banquets and extravagant weddings. They showed a wedding cake ordered from London for All this, said the soldiers, took place while the people of Wollo were starving. The Wollo tragedy has played a major part in the unmaking of the emperor. After the showing of the film it was clear that Haile Selassie's days were numbered All that remained to be decided was whether the Ethiopian monarchy would be abolished with him. Bat the armed forces com- mittee cleverly decided to move cautiously by naming Uhe 52-year-old Crown Prince Afa Wossen as the new con- stitutional monarch They have given themselves time to lay Jhe groundwork for a new democratic constitution since he is unlikely to return soon, or possibly ever, to assume 1he vacant throne as he is still making very slow progress in Geneva from the serious stroke tie suffered two years ago. Several months are likely to have to elapse before the situation here crystallizes and one can see the shape of the new Ethiopia which it is planned will emerge from the ashes of the old empire which formally died on September 12 I would not for the life of me miss the comic strip (editorial, that in The Herald. I especially refer to the editorial Aug. 28, Mature thinking. The Herald never spoke more sensible words. When it comes to fluoridation we real- ly need mature thinking. I do not know where The Herald gets its information from to make the statement that anyone who is against fluoridation is taken in by half truths, falsehoods and quackery. It is gratifying to see the letter written by Beth John- ston. It contains a lot of the in- formation I sent some time ago which was not published. I was told the information was unfounded. We have raised five children, four married and one twelve years old at home. The dental records of these five are open for anyone to view at our dentist's office. We drive an old car and we do not have wall to wall carpet in our home but we do have one luxury and we never com- plain about the price of it. That luxury is a well balanc- ed nutritional diet three times a day and especially breakfast. This is the reason I am so proud of these dental records, as well as medical records. When my boy's playmates come along and they all head for the store on the corner my boy will buy some fruit and I am proud of him. If The Herald is so interested in the children of this community not benefitting from fluorida- tion I suggest that it run a weekly editorial advising against the millions of bottles of soda pop. candy bars, along with all the other trash foods that are too readily available. As I have stated, I have five children who are walking ex- amples of health and I am thoroughly convinced that fluoridation is an absolute farce. ANONYMOUS Lethbridge Fair education for all The letter (September 12) titled Information for parents, greatly concerns me. I think the parents should be more concerned about their children's education and behavior than they are about how a teacher runs his or her classroom. With class enrolment amounting to 30 or 40 children, a teacher has to have com- plete control or the class would learn absolutely nothing. I don't feel the mis- behavior of a certain child should have priority over 30 others who are there to learn. We all pay taxes, therefore why should other children be denied an education five or 10 minutes out of every school dav because of one impudent child. We hire professional men and women to teach our children, who are more capable of running any classroom than any parent or school board member who isn't a qualified teacher. I suggest this so called concerned parent be more concerned with raising child to be an atten- tive student who can be dis- ciplined without causing any hassle. PARENT WHO WANTS A FAIR EDUCATION FOR EVERYONE Lethbridge Intelligent confrontation In The Herald (Sept. 14) Mr. Noel Buchanan wrote: "Too often, in efforts to remain con- ciliatory and peaceful. Christians have kept their mouths shut. It will take all the wisdom of Solomon to launch an intelligent confron- tation, but it's either put up or shut up." I want to say amen. F also believe we need intelligent confrontations well-seasoned with brotherly love, honesty, openness, and free from vmdicUveness and religious politics Christ prayed for all His followers to be one. so that the world might believe. If our conduct is not consis- tent with Christ's preaching, JJien we ought to stop calling ourselves Christians I do not claim to have the wisdom of a Solomon, but 1 do have the faith of a Paul that genuine Christianity untainted by divisions is still an absolute, and bv no means obsolete. DONALD R. G1VENS Lethbridge Try to do better in the second mind! The Lethbridge Herald 504 Tfh SI S Alberta ICTHBWOGE HERALD OO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Ma'i No 0012 CLEO MOWEftS. Edrlcir sma DON PltllNG Managing Editor DONALD ft 0ORAM General Manager f MUSS Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Eflrror ROBERT M FENT0N CnoMOton Manager KENNETH E 8ARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"