December 26 1977


December 26 1977


All the news that's unfit to print

Has Maclean’s become another National Enquirer? Certainly in publishing the picture of black leader Steven Biko lying in his casket in A Nation Of Murders (No-

vember 14), Maclean’s has paralleled the muckraking exploits of the Enquirer. It is unpleasant to think that Biko joins the likes of Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby who also suffered this4ndignity at the hands of the Enquirer. It will now be difficult for me to decide which to read; for less money I can get more shoddiness in the Enquirer.


The little engine that certainly can

I was interested in Pop Goes The Diesél (November 28) as I have been a diesel driver for seven years. Some of your adverse comments on the diesel engine seem

rather weak. I usually pull away from a stop sign with the same speed as most cars and since the speed limit is only 100 km/h, I have never had any trouble keeping up with traffic. It is even a habit with me to watch my speedometer all the time as I find it very easy to be doing 125 km/h or 140 km/h with little effort. Diesels are a little noisy at warm-up time but on the highway there is practically no noise in the car. Problems with fill-ups have never bugged me either; I have traveled quite extensively in Canada and the United States and on most highways there are numerous truck stops where fuel is available.


Thar she don’t blow

To enable your readers to get the other side of A Very Explosive Subject (October 17), I thought I should bring the following facts to your attention. The U.S. Coast Guard did a five-year study into the dangers of LNG (liquefied natural gas). Partly as a result of the study, conducted by Dr. Douglas Lind, California Governor Edmund Brown Jr. approved construction of an LNG facility in an unpopulated area on the California coast. The study’s conclusion was that LNG is no more dangerous than gasoline and in some circumstances less so. For example, the study has shown that even if two LNG tank ships collide, nothing would happen to the LNG. It would just pour from the hole made in the collision. If ignited by a spark, it would burn hot and fast but would not explode. Even if a high explosive charge was placed against an LNG tank aboard a ship it wouldjust blow a hole in the ship since LNG is inert in that state. The study proves that LNG will not

change from a burning cloud to a detonation. One of the main concerns of opponents to the project in New Brunswick is the possibility of an explosion causing damage to populated areas. I think the Lind study shows that these fears are unfounded.


The wrong-way pendulum

Attention May Have Shifted From It, But Abortion Remains A Major Issue (November 14) merits comment. I, for one, am glad that the Criminal Code still insists on a hospital committee in regard to abortion. On the other hand, I am also sad that the Criminal Code does not class abortion with murder. I hope the answer is “No” to Mary Mills’s question: “Will we have to wait 40 years for abortion law to catch up, too?” Our government should immediately move to legislate stricter abortion laws to preserve the sanctity of human life. JOHN STEPHENSON, NEEPAWA, MAN.

Mounting support

It is cover lines such as SPOOKS IN SCARLET (November 14) that make you part of the problem, not part of the solution.


The citizens of Canada will rue the day we wake up to find our police forces have been rendered useless by our own stupidity. It seems to me that they should be able to investigate what seems to be an overt act of treason in Quebec.


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Behold, he makes all things news

I found The Ratings War (November 28) to be interesting and informative. I wonder why the story hasn’t been done sooner. My favorite television newsman is without hesitation Peter Kent of the CBC. He makes me sit up and take notice of the news while the others almost put me to sleep! I’m impressed by whatever it is he possesses.


In this area we can only get the two national stations on TV-CBC and CTV. The news and public affairs shows are about the only things worth watching and I am

constantly outraged because both stations seem to purposely run this kind of show at the same time or back-to-back. For most of the evening there is little but rubbish on the air and then at ten both stations present public affairs apparently in competition with each other. Will there ever be a time when the public affairs shows will be offered earlier so that we dan choose them over American situation comedies?


Bum, baby, burn!

You have convicted the world’s finest police force by publishing The Gang That Couldn’t Spook Straight (November 14). As a child I dreamed of joining the RCMP but due to a physical impairment I was not able to meet the quality of their standards. Even today I would give my right arm to

wear the bright scarlet uniform, not the slightly tarnished uniform Maclean’s described. When it comes to defending this country and its citizens I say let’s give them the power to investigate in any manner required to maintain a single country. If we must burn a barn or two to prevent any well-known radical groups getting together because we may have more trouble from the outcome of the meeting, let’s bum a city to prevent it. We could be saving this country a great deal of expense and heartbreak because a barn or a city would cost less to reconstruct than a new country. In order to keep a strong Canada we need this force which is not afraid to stick its neck out to protect and maintain its honor.


The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are made up of the finest men possible. They have the respect, admiration and love of 99.9% of Canadians and other nationalities as well. To me, there is no recommendation high enough to bestow on our famous Mounties. The world recognizes these men as loyal, brave and outstanding policemen. As long as the RCMP guards us, we have nothing to fear.


I had the painful experience of delivering the November 14 issue of Maclean’s. It is my job and I have to do it since we are sworn to deliver everything that our employer tells us to. If the RCMP were to act like the Russian Secret Service I could understand the ridicule, but I figure the force has to deal with a lot of dangerous people like the FLQ and I am glad they have some leeway. After we landed in France on DDay we all did a lot of things that were illegal and we were considered heroes. What is the difference when the RCMP does only half as much?


The greatest threat to comfortable Canadians is not the methods used by the RCMP but the mushrooming growth of subversion which makes such tactics necessary.


Let’s redefine the terms a little

In The New Color Barrier (October 31) on Allan Bakke you say in part, “ . . . court rules for Bakke ... would be used to delay civil rights progress for decades.” Isn’t this much like saying that to accept a condemned man’s appeal would set back the fight against capital punishment? There was once a quite reasonable convention that required capitalization of words used in a special sense, for example, not all Conservatives are conservative. I suggest that a return to that clarifying practice would help us to understand how Civil Rights can impair civil rights and why Affirmative Action can have the same meaning as Manifest Destiny.