100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 11, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-02-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
EDI ED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
UNDER AUTHORITY OF BOARD IN CONTROL OF STUDENT PUBLICATIONS

ROGER RAPOPORT:
Where Opinions Are Free, Bricks Fly
...... .... ................ ... ............r.+*a+.:",:":v,:::..v.vvr...Sw..*'v: vv".: x sv.:".^vo": r "-v::.r::.^." .. ., ,. .
....... . ... ...........:x...... }...... x.W ". .....r..,...... 4: ....r....- w.. ,......, x,., ,w -?'{!"..:...

Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 1968

NIGHT EDITOR: MARK LEVIN

The Travel Tax Trauma

DURING THE past two weeks the world press has
reported how at least 70 - and possibly several
hundred-prisoners at Arkansas' Cummins Prison Farm
were brutally murdered over the years by sadistic guards.
The story broke when a new reform superintendent
forced the exhumation of the skeletons of three prison-
ers (two of them decapitated) from a cow pasture.
Further diggings are expected to reveal more skeltons
of prisoners who had been officially listed as "missing"
or victims of "sunstroke."
Predictably the Arkansas legislature convened to
discuss the matter and took fast action. It passed a
resolution deploring the sensationalized "world press
coverage" of the scandal.
THIS IS NOT the first time that the press has
become a whipping boy for finding skeletons hidden in
someone's closet. For the truth is almost always some-
one's enemy.
Many countries get around the liability of baving
newspapers print too much truth by having censors,
thus preventing anyone from reading too much fact.
But some countries feel it's good to have a free press
around-because it will print the truth about everyone
and thus keep us all a little more honest.
The problem is that maintaining a free press is much
tougher than maintaining a censored one. For a free
press demands a great deal from the newspaper and
the reader.
Printing stories that embarrass a lot of people poses
problems. First, it alienates advertisers who finance the
paper. Second, it alienates officials who reporters "have
to work with." Third, editors and reporters have to live
in the same town with people they are exposing. Finally,
if you do enough muckraking you can alienate so many
readers that you may wind up with few friends.
So if you do your job and report everything that
should be known, yo.u're likely to wind up with a deficit,
lots of enemies, harassed reporters, and broken windows.
MOST PAPERS SOLVE the problem with an expe-
dient solution-they understaff. Not only does it save
money but it keeps the reporters so busy they don't
have time to work on in-depth exposes.
Consider the Ann Arbor News, which has nine city
staff reporters with only one full-time and one half-time
reporter covering University activities. What mortal
could possibly dig out all the stories that should be
printed? (University press releases and the' unedited
copy provided by Daily reporters who serve as wire
service stringers fill many columns.)
The normal small-town paper doesn't have time to
disclose much conflict-of-interest, secret defense de-
partment reports on discrimination, classified counter-
insurgency projects in Thailand, dubious bidding for
University projects, and confidential reports from city
officials complaining about pressure builders "who want
favors."
So as a result, a college daily with a young staff of
part-time, underpaid reporters has been left the muck-
raking job. The Daily does it not because it ,revels in
making enemies but because it feels that a free press
is worthless unless it is used to try to keep everyone
honest.
This poses problems, for while everyone pays lip-
service to the concept of a free press, most people don't
really want one.

The sad truth is that people want a free press only
as long as it doesn't hurt them or their friends. The
library director enjoys reading about the latest troubles
at Willow Run and Willow Run people get a kick out
of finding out about troubles in the library. The English
department is grateful for a scoop on the resignation of
the vice-president for students, and the vice-president
for students is glad to know ahead of time who the new
English department chairman is.
EVERYONE IS ALWAYS begging us to leave stories
out about themselves. The library director tells us that
printing a certain story will "only bring down the state
legislature to investigate-and they don't understand."
The English faculty asks us to wait "until the appoint-
ment is official."
The only moral way to handle such requests is to
simply ignore all of them equally. The Daily applies a
simple standard: Is a story new, different, and right,

IN THE BEST journalistic tradition, Sports Editor
Clark Norton and reporter Howard Kohn wrote a story
Friday which pointed out that local merchants have
been giving discounts to football players in violation of
Big Ten rules.
There seems to be little dispute about the issues in-
volved. As soon as Athletic Director Fritz Crisler found
out, he asked every store owner to stop the discounts and
went on to launch an investigation into the entire busi-
ness.
But predictably, Michigan sports fans were up in
arms. Local sportscasters lambasted the paper. In De-
troit, toupeed Channel 2 commentator Van Patrick
chided them as "would be Pulitzer Prize winners,"
(Actually, The Daily already has been nominated for a
Pulitzer Prize in local investigative reporting for last
fall's series on military research.)
Patrick went on to charge that Norton and Kohn
were "purists . . . naive journalists who apparently had
nothing better to do with their time than dig up things
that have been going on for years." Patrick even joked
with weatherman Jerry Hodak about the brick that
went through The Daily's window Friday night (nar-
rowly missing innocent girl reporters).
All this comes from the same station that editorially
laments the decline in morality, asks for full law"
enforcement, and an end to corruption and graft.
MUCH OF THIS is to be expected from the adults.
But the depressing fact is that many students reflect an
even more narrow-minded attitude.
"Why couldn't you print it next year, after I gradu-
ate," said one student. "I don't want the teams on pro-
bation now."
"The Daily really did it this time," said a sorority
girl. "Why did you pick on your own school?"
"What's the matter, don't you support the team.'
Sure, Kohn and Norton are among the most ardent
sports fans on campus, cheering over victory and an-
guishing over defeat. And they were dismayed by what
they found.
But like all good reporters they are not on anyone's
"team." A reporter's job requires applying the same
journalistic standards to "good guys" and "bad guys"
alike. Once again, a free press can work only when it
is applied equally to everyone.
All the paper did was print the story. The Daily didn't
give any athletes discounts on subscriptions or write the
Big Ten rules.
But then The Daily's windows make a much better
target for two halves of a brick (thrown in Friday night)
than any local theatre or the Big Ten office in far-away
Chicago. Someone has to take the blame.
ASSUMING WE ALL live through this affair-and
certainly there are more weighty campus issues than
athletic rule infraction-we hope you're convinced that
The Daily is serious enough about its job to print any
legitimate story.
As a newspaper reader I'm always much more con-
cerned about the papers that find nothing to get their
readers excited about; I always wonder what they are
leaving out.
The Daily doesn't ask for your love, but we do hope
you understand that one permanent risk of a free press
is that you may get caught by it. We think this
risk is far outweighed by the advantages of having an
honest interpretation of what is going on.

; .
i'
r. +
t
z

"Lest Ye Be Free of Sin,
Cast Ye Not the First Brick. '
(Correction boxes and Letters to the Editor are the
antidote for mistakes, but most papers seldom err on
major investigative pieces. For example, no one has
accused the paper of any factual errors in Friday's
sports discount story.)
Besides, if everyone's request to hold stories was
honored, you wouldn't have any reason to read this
paper. You pay $8 a year for The Daily because you
expect us to tell you ahead of everyone else that Robben
Fleming is the new president, that Vice-Presidents Cut-
ler, Niehuss and Stirton are leaving, etc.
Generally, our readership seems sympathetic toward
our exposes because the stories usually involve rela-
tively few administrators on complicated issues like
conflict-of-interest, bidding, discriminatory practices,
and unclassified research.
But it's relatively easy to take on conflict-of-interest,
discrimination, and secrecy. What takes real courage is
to question a sacred cow central to the lives of the
average student-athletics.

-U ''"IH VL 41
"RE L You WITA T HAT f-1AVY WA L LET, 'IR ? "

FOR LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON,
everything in this election year seems
to be going wrong - and for an incum-
bent seeking re-election, he has been
doing just about the worst things to
improve the situation. To fight Com-
munism he has pursued an unpopular
war in Vietnam, to fight stagnation of
the cities he has cut already minimal
Great Society funds, and to combat
inflation he has tried to raise taxes.
And now, to fight a balance-of-
payments crisis far removed from pub-
lie concern, President Johnson has
added insult to American economic in-
jury by asking Congress for govern-
ment restrictions on travel outside the
western hemisphere.
The administration's proposed tra-
vel tax would not prohibit journies
outside the country, but it would make
them financially more difficult by:
Levying a 5 per cent tax on air-
]ine tickets.
Reducing duty free purchases
from $100 to $1.
O Clamping a graduate tax on all
day-to-day spending over $7.
BEHIND THE WHOLE CRISIS is the
American balance-of-payments, the
nebulous net account of transactions
with foreign countries. Under the ideal
economy, the country would spend a-
broad just as much as it receives. Last
year, however, the United States end-
ed up with a multi-billion dollar def-
icit, weakening, according to the Pres-
idem, the strength of the American
dollar and therefore "the entire free
world economy."
Travel alone accounts for $2 billion
in the spending gap, but corporate
spending and vast military expendit-
ures (notably over $25 billion last year
in Vietnam) aggravate the situation
more.
So Johnson's agonizing question in
proposing the restrictions must be
whether the taxes will accomplish
enough economic good to outweigh
the terrible psychological and political
'risks. These risks are certainly real:
from Congress down, almost everyone
feels bitter.
NTOT LEAST AFFECTED are the na-
tion's students, the mobile genera-

If the government could convince
the public that its medicine would save
the world from economic crisis, citizens
might be better prepared to swallow it.
Economists, however, are not at all
certain the travel taxes will help.
"The tourist outflow is small com-
pared to the corporation outflow,"
claims University economist Robert M.
Stern. "The taxes are a very minor way
of dealing with a major problem."
A T THE MOMENT, the President's
proposal is sitting in the House
Ways and Means Committee, which
started hearings on it last Monday.
Most Committee sources expect it to
report a travel tax bill to the House
floor by the end of March. The only
question is in what form.
Rep. Charles Vanik (Dem.-O.), has
suggested a compromise proposal,
which would retain the 5 per cent air-
Mie tax but exempt tourists from pay-
ing taxes during the first 30 days of
travel. This way, hopes Vanik, "we
would get at the real culprits - the
'expatriate' rich Americans who live
in Europe year after year, spending
exorbitant amounts."
The compromise would also seek
cooperation of Candian authorities to
Prevent Americans from flying to Eur-
ope from Canadian cities, and thus
avoiding the ticket tax.
Preventing spending tax evasions
woul be more difficult. No government
machinery could monitor every dime
a tourist spends in France, or even
check exactly how much he takes
from the country.
"The graduated tax proposal will
make criminals of all of us," says Tal-
ismal i.
UNTIL AND UNLESS the Congress
passes travel restrictions, Presi-
dent Johnson must depend on the
American public conscience to help
check dollar outflow ("If they could
see their own country, it would help,"
implored LBJ).
Congressional behavior is always
hard to predict, but in the end the
President is likely to get his way.
Officials close to the Ways and Means
Committee caution citizens not to ex-
,, A fn+ I-,mhil mns

A Solution to the Middle East Agony

By DAVID SALTMAN
Collegiate Press Service
JERUSALEM-In all the analyses
of the Middle East spawned
y the Six Day War, everyone has
ignored a most critical question:
what is the relationship between
"Arab Socialism" and the "Israeli
Co-operative Movement?"
Israel's economy is largely so-
cialist: 60 per cent of its industry
and 80 per cent of its agriculture
are run exclusively by 288 co-
operatives called "kibbutzim." The
kibbutzim are the most advanced
socialist societies in the world.
They use no money or physical
rewards; everyone works accord-
ing to his ability and is taken care
of according to his needs. There
is no private property. In short,
the kibbutzim is the Marxist ideal,
the summit of social organization
and above all a system that works
in the Middle East.
Now recall that the Six Day
War--from the Arab side-was a
socialist war.. The Arabs fought
to counter alleged Israeli aggres-
sion, which they say has grown
steadily since 1955. Many kibbutzim
have Arabs working on them-
Arabs who live there with their
Israeli comrades. During and after
the Six Day War, the Arabs deli-
berately bombed Kibbutz water
towers and power plants.
So the Arab states are tiying to
build socialism by condemning Is-
rael-which has the most com-
plete socialist units in the world.
Arab leaders are in the unenviable
position of supporting Arab so-
cialism while condemning Israel!
socialism and bombing socialist
communities with Arab members.
CURIOUSLY, the solution to
this paradox also solves the prob-
lem of a lasting peace in the Mid-
east. First, some background.
It is increasingly clear that the
Six Day War was not really a war
started by the Arabs and the Is-
raelis, but rather by the United
States and the Soviet Union. Rob-
ert Scheer discusses this in the
November issue of Ramparts. He
writes:
"The Mideast contains between

UAR's Nasser, Israel's Eshkol, Jordan's Hussein: One Region?

of its birthright. This is the threat
of Nasserism.
". . . In the post-Suez period,
the main Anglo-American concern
with Nasser resulted from his leap
into the oil-rich Arabian south
where, through the venicle of the
Yemen war, he has become a direct
threat to the feudal regime of
Saudi Arabia, and the oil-i ich
sheikdoms of that area.
".. neither the British nor the
Americans have been worrying
about ... moral and cultural is-
sues (in the Yemen war). It is,
rather, the presence of a Nasserite,
anti-colonialist thrust in southern
Arabia, where much of the oil
is found, thatdisturbs the West."
IT DISTURBS THE kibbutzniks
that it disturbs the West. They
seem to be the only Israelis who
aren't so happy about the recent
wvar. Being quite literate, and a~su
socialist, they recognize Scheer's
thesis that oil interests, coupled
with a "frantically spiraling arms
race," caused the June war, not the
Arab "madmen." E~ven though

problem in this area: again, the
influence of the U.S. and the
U.S.S.R. In short, they know where
it's at.
So there are three questions to
answer before we can see the
road to peace:
* Can we get rid of foreign in-
fluence in the Middle East?
" Do the Arabs and Israelis
want peace?
0 What could be the basis for
a lasting peace?
As to the first-foreign influ-
ence-that is mostly up to the
Soviet Union and the United
States . . . and their citizens.
Do the Arabs and Israelis want
peace? There have been some
hopeful signs lately. Jerusalem
Post special reporter Dan Bavly
writes:
"For the first time, the thought
of coming to terms with an Israel
Government willing to discuss the
establishment of a Palestinian
Autonomy (has become) a possi-
ble alternative (forthe Arabs)..
"The Palestine Arab at the end
of 1967 is gradually readjusting
"..____ r _r ._ L .. L . . . . 4U

the Diplomatic Correspondent for
The Observer of London. He
writes:
". ..at present the majority of
Palestinians would probably be
ready, like most Egyptians, to ac-
cept peaceful coexistence with Is-
rael. In this respect there has been
a real and fundamental shift in
Arab opinion since the June war.
If there ever was a serious idea of
'liquidating Israel' 4n the sense of
physical extermination of the
2,250,000 I s r a e 11 Jews, it has
been dropped. So has the idea of
ending the separate existence of
Israel as a state by war."
So at least Israel's power is
being acknowledged, andpatbest
the Arabs are willing to co.- exist
peacefully with the Jews.
Now the third question: what
could the basis be for a lasting
peace? Stephens writes:
"PresidenthNasser'ssmost re-
spected adviser on foreign affairs
envisages a settlement in two
stages. In the first stage there
could be a phased withdrawal of
Israeli forces accompanied by steps

tiation of 'recognized' borders and
with it the other broader aspects
of the Palestine question, the settle-
ment of the refugee problem and
the passage of ships flying the
Israeli flag through the Suez
Canal.
. . .the Jordan Government
is prepared to grant Israel extra-
territorial control of the Wailing
Wall and of the access to it-what
would amount in effect to ceding
part of the Old City of Jerusalem
to Israel. In addition, Jordan
would accept international super-
vision of the Holy Places."
Naturally, this will be nego-
tiated. Israel will not under any
circumstances give up the Golan
Heights, on the border with Syria,
and Jerusalem may be interna-
tionalized. But there is surprising
agreement between these Arab
proposals and those finding wide
acceptance in Israel. Many Is-
raelis are quite willing to return,
with the exception of the Golan
Heights, the land captured !n
June. The point is, though, that,
contrary to popular belief, both
sides want to negotiate.
THE IMPORTANT question -
the one which knits together Arab
and Israeli socialisms-is the ques-
tion of the future.
There are various conceptions
kicking around among the Arabs,
ranging from minimal relations
to a Middle East Federation with
Israel as an autonomous Jewish
member. But for some reason, no
one has mentioned the strongest
and most effective plan; one
which not only, ejects the Great
Powers but also capitalizes on the
common aims of Israelis and
Arabs. This is a socialist Mideast
federation.
A socialist federation invigorates
Arab socialism by ending the ex-
pensive feud over Palestine and
encouraging Arab-Israeli trade. It
also continues Israel's prospering
kibbutz economy. It guarantees
national autonomy for Israel and
the Arab states, aind guarantees
that later on-with a strong re-
gional union-no one will worry
abnt autonomy tno much anyway.

4

I

I I

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan