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August 09, 1968 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1968-08-09

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Seventy-seven years of editorial freeciom
Edited and managed by students of the Urtiversiity of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Pubilications
420 Maynard St., Ann' Arbor, Mich, ,New Ns Phone: 764 -
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the indi idual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in oaI reprints.


The strange choice of Spiro






A time for actio


in Biafra

'OLLAPSE -of peace talks between
Biafra and Nigeria Tuesday is an-
other instance of placing the priori-
ties of power politics before human
Censored news from Addis Abba,
where the talks began last week, makes
it impossible to place responsibility on
either Nigeria or Biafra for resumed;
But there is one certainty, one real-
ity for which we can place responsibil-
ity. Thousands of people are starving
to death each day in Biafra, ignored
by a world which insists on supplying
both sides with arms and allows the
United Nations to disregard the dying.
NAPALM dropped by plane has left
Biafran villages bereft of all ani-
mal and vegetable life. Prisoners are
crowded into concentration camps
where death conveniently keeps va-
cancies open.
Cost of staple foods has increased
more than 300 per cent over pre-war
prices. Gasoline sells for $15 a gallon,
matches for $1 a box.
Lloyd Garrison described the Biaf-
ran outlook in The New York Times:

"Before the Nig erian war erupted
a year ago, malnui rition was virtual-
ly unknown in this part of West
Africa. Many of 1 the illiterate refu-
gees here still do not associate their
illness with lack of nutrition. They
are convinced th ey are dying from
some mysterious fallout inhaled aft-
er their homes were bombed by
Egyptian-piloted planes of the fed-
eral air force."
In only 14 months of war, the cas-
ualty total has. substantially passed
that of the Vietnram War. In a strange
symbiosis, both Great Britain and the
Soviet Union slupply weapons to Ni-
THE UNITED NATIONS has failed to
Sen. Wayne Morse has proposed that
the United St ates take the Blafran
tragedy to the Security Council of the
United Nations.
As a member of the United Nations
and a signatore of the UN Charter, the
United States has the justification and
the obligation to bring the question to
the Security Council which should in-
tervene and arbitrate.

MIAMI BEACH-For the past
few days, Richard M. Nixon
has been telling Southern dele-
gations that the man he chooses
for his running mate will have
to be:
*qualified for the presidency
in his own right;
* an acceptable campaigner in
every region of the country, in-
cluding the South;
*someone Nixon knows well
and can trust.
Maryland's Governor Spiro T.
Agnew, whom Nixon announced
yesterday as his choice for the
Republican vice presidential can-
didate, fulfills the latter two quali-
fications adequately, if not spec-
tacularly. And the first is an ir-
relevancy, because the Nixon-Ag-
new team is almost certainly
doomed to defeat at the outset.
Only 27 per cent of the nation's
registered voters consider them-
selves Republicans, and it is the
map of the Republican's dream-
world that they insist on ignoring
that statistic. Any Repcblican
who would win a presidential
election must be able to woo large
numbers of Democratic and in-
dependent votes.
RICHARD NIXON, while the
overwhelming "5-2, according to
Gallup) choice of loyal Repub-
lican voters and workers, simply
does not attract these Democrats
and independents. The only avail-
able Republican this year whose'
views proximate those endorsed
by this potential swing bloc, and
whose personality might have at-
tracted their attention, was Nel-
son A. Rockefeller.
Were I a Republican, I would
be despairing of my party's fu-
ture. This wretched city, whose
heat and humidity is hardly con-
ducive to straight thinking any-
way, has been the setting in the
past few days for some of the
more exotic and baffling polical
calculations ever made by a major
political party. My solid convic-
tion as I ride the limousine to the
airport and think back on the past
few days is that if the Republican
convention a p p r o v e s Nixon's
choice for the vice presidential
nominee, then they really don't
want to win.
The themes which have dom-
inated the hotel corridor and cau-
cus discussions evince a splendid
myopia. The Republicans have
completely misunderstood the les-
son of 19Q4. Barry Goldwater was
smashed because the large ma-
jority of the American people
found him an intolerable candi-
THE WAY THE Republicans'
see it, on the other hand, Barry

Goldwater lost on account of the
disunity within the Republican
Party which was demonstrated in
such incidents as the Romney-
Rockefeller fight and the refusal
of some Republicans to support
their party's nominee. Their fear
of party disunity is almost path-
ological. This time, they nom-
inated a candidate whom all Re-
publicans can support, simul-
taneously nominating a candidate
who is almost sure to lose in No-
They have misunderstood the
lesson of 1968 almost as badly.
Yes, most Americans are dis-
enchanted with the record of the
Johnson administration. No, that
does not mean that most Amer-
icans will for that reason support
any candidate the Republicans
nominate. Yet that is what the
Republicans clearly think, how
else can they make a case for
"new leadership" while nominating
a man who with the exception of
Lyndon Johnson is the oldest and
tiredest politician in the country?
Still, even with Nixon as the
presidential nominee, the Repub-
licans could have recouped some
of their losses by offering an at-
tractive vice presidential candi-
date. The vote getting value, of
the running mate doubtless is ex-
aggerated, yet an attractive can-
didate along the lines of a Lind-
say or Hatfield or Percy could
only have hurt the party in areas
which they would lose to Wallace
YET THERE COULD be no bet-
ter carbon copy of Richard Nixon
in all his blandness and all his
predilection for catering to the
worst impulses of the citizens
(Nixon-Agnew almost certainly
will wage a crack-down-on-the-
criminal, unshackle - the - police
campaign) than Spiro T. Agnew.
Some of this came out at Ag-
new's press conference Monday.
He announced then that he was
freeing his delegation from its
pledge to him as favorite son
candidate and vigorously endors-
ing the candidacy of Richard
According to the governor, the
Maryland delegation decided sev-
eral months ago on a favorite son
strategy in order to retain party
unity while measuring the impact
of this year's traumatic national
"crises" on both the voters and
the candidates.
Questioned later about the
statement, it turned out that the
list of crises to which he referred
did not include the assassinations
of either Robert Kennedy or Dr.
Martin Luther King, the failure
of the Paris peace talks and the


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S. , ,And because of your experience in govern-
ment, 1'd like to see you on the ticket with me!"

The Republican

continuation of the war, or the
recently noticed fact that many
Americans suffer from severe mal-
nutrition. Rather, what Agnew
meant by "crises" were the dis-
ruptions at Columbia, the riots in
Baltimore, and our defeat at the
hands of the enemy in the Tet of-
new is an out-and-out racist, red-
neck and hawk, for the circum-
stances of his gubernatorial elec-
tion and his earlier support for
Rockefeller indicates otherwise.
Nor is it to argue in general that
a "law and order" appeal will lose
the Republicans votes, for again
the opposite is probably true. The
the image of Lindsay as a cru-
sading hero untarnished.
It would have been a deep be-
trayal of their touching faith that
"John would just not take it," if
Nixon had offered the New York
mayor the dubious honor of pur-
suing defeat on into November.
Perhaps the Lindsay rumors
should have been ignored. Pick-
ing Lindsay for the second slot
would have shown the kind of
thinking that wins elections. And
recent history has shown that the
Republicans are never motivated
by such crass thought as -winning.

point is that one "law and'order"
pitch is better than two; Nixon
and Agnew are too similar to be
caught complementary.
Even the usual considerations
of geography seem to have been
ignored. Ticket balancing? The
range of states from New York to
Maryland is unimpressive. A pow-
erful bloc of votes? Agnew said
it himself Monday at the press
conference, "A state like Mary-
land doesn't make a -lot of sense
as a home base for a vice presi-
dential candidate." The argument
seemed pretty convincing then; it
still does.
I AM NOT ARGUING that pol-
itics should be cynically unprin-
cipled, mere calculations of where
the votes are and how to get
them. I don't especially believe in
ideological or geographical ticket
balancing and would, have been
shocked and disappointed, had
John Lindsay been offered the
vice presidential spot on the tick-

et and accepted it. The point is
that with the nomination of Nix-
on, the Republicans have in es-
sence renounced ideology+ they
must then, it follows, be more in-
terested in winning than in see-
ing any particular ideas or pro-
grams implemented. But, they
haven't even followed a course
which is likely to give them a vic-
The startling illogic which
seems to have pervaded the de-
cisions of the assembled delegates,
and now of Nixon himself, betrays
an irony which has long cursed
the Grand Old Party. The Re-
publicans, in preaching if not al-
ways in practice, have tradition-
ally been the party of laissez
faire, a philosophy the essential
tenet of which is that man knows
his own self-interest. If there was
ever an event to repudiate this
cozy belief in rationality, this
year's Republican National Con-
vention, in all its bizarre maso-
chism, has provided it.


. . .Its just aspirin!"

County government:
centralization o civility

(Continued from Page 1)
racist "your home is a castle,
protect it" platform.
So Jack Miller and the count-
less other Republicans who sup-
ported Nixon out of faith that his
defects would be balanced out by
a colorful running mate were
overwhelmed by the party unity
they themselves preached.
A Nixon delegate pleaded with
the Iowa caucus to cast all 24
votes for Nixon because "we can
sell Nixon if we go into that con-
vention united, but we can't go
back to Iowa and sell the Repub-
lican nominee if we're split right
down the middle at this conven-
tion like we were in 1964."
It is breathtaking how many
Republicans believe as an article
of faith that it was the divisive-
ness of the 1964 convention that
destroyed Goldwater at the polls
in November.
As a consequence, rarely has a
cult of unity become so cardinal
a concern as at this convention.
And it is this amiable lack of
hostility or commitment which is
,one of the reasons that this week
in Miami Beach has been so un-
bearably sterile.
At the Iowa caucus there were
many times when references were
made to the mystic figure of 27
per cent - the number of regis-
tered voters who consider them-
selves Republicans.
But the counter a r g u m e n t
against the appeal that the Re-
publican party broaden its base
was that party workers wanted
Nixon more than "the Republi-
cans in my district want Nixon."
Furthermore, many Republican
delegates were quite prepared to
deny all the changes in America
that have occurred since the stul-
tifying days of the Eisenhower ad-
A dyed, honey blond alternate
delegate with a big "R & R" but-
ton (Rockefeller Reagan) argued
that although she had often been
called a "Bircher," if the Repub-
lican party wanted to replace the
workers and the voters who were
dying off, it must appeal to young
voters who are disenchanted with
the Democrats. "And you can't do
that by nominating Dick Nixon.,
A slightly older matron imme-
diately shot up and contended,

WE OF THE manifold though less
spectacular anachronisms in our sys-
tem of electoral politics is the partisan
election of numerous county officials
whose duties are really those of civil ser-
vants, rather than elective officers.
In Tuesday's primary election, the vot-
ers of Washtenaw County were called
to select their parties' candidates for
drain commissioner, sheriff, county clerk,
county treasurer, prosecuting attorney,
register of deeds, surveyor, district judge
and appellate judge.
The tiny part of the electorate which
bothered to pull the lever to select the
candidates for county-level positions
probably had an exceedingly scanty
knowledge of their duties, much less the
qualifications of the candidates.
In normal years, relatively little cam-
paigning is done to secure the party nom-

tons began to appear on some of
the younger Rockefeller staffers.
These Lindsay backers claimed
that they had learned the lesson
of 1968.
"If 1964 taught us the dimen-
sions of Republican stupidity,"
said a New York City party work-
er, "we learned tonight that we've
got to start working the day after
election day for 1972 and Lind-
One of the side effects of the
southern pressure that made Ag-
new the second man on the Re-
publican ticket is that it leaves

Letters:* IM failure

inations for these positions. In fact, po-
litical parties usually have to beg their
members to run for many of them.
THE AMOUNT of contact which most of
the public has with most of these local
county officials is minimal, and no in-
terest is ever shown in their activities un-
less something of a scandalous nature is
uncovered by an occasional irate victim
or vigorous journalists. County-level con-
tests attract the electorate only because
of simultaneous state and national elec-
The only time any of these positions
is seriously sought after is when some
special factor makes that post particu-
larly relevant.
ALTHOUGH there have been reforms
over the years in the structure of
county government, its basic framework

To the Editor:
I REALIZE that complaints about
the University's Intramural
Department are the current fash-
ion. I would merely like to state
my case as a single coed among
the multitudes, an amateur who
would like to enjoy an afternoon
of tennis on playable courts.
Today my roommate and I
went down to the I.M. courts
at 2 p.m. Out of 10 available
courts, one was being used; the
rest were locked and inaccessible
unless we agreed to pay a fee of
$1.00 per hour. As University stu-
dents now faced with one the
highest public school tuition
scales inthe country, such an
expense does not fall within our
budgets. We played instead at
Palmer Field where every tennis
enthusiast is faced with the pros-
pect of sprained ankles and wild-
ly caroming balls resulting from
the innumerable imperfections of
the playing surface, as well as
losing a game because the wind
takes matters into its own hands.
To me, the solution to the prob-
lem seems simple. A court" at-
tendant should be employed to
assure that players wear the
proper shoes;abut to pay him to
guard the gate and turn away
would-be players for lack of
money is the height of absurdity.
Cannot these empty courts be
made available, free of charge, at
least until the fall term begins?
-Marilyn Howey, '69
A suggestion

mouse-and-roach-harboring "old-
er building"?
No reason at all, except the ig-
norance of the victims.
nothing to lose but your damage
deposits, which are doomed any-
way. Support free enterprise by
making it work both ways. When
considering an "older building"
(i.e. the usual creaking pile, still
taking student tenants despite its
Condemned rating from the Board
of Health for the past five year)'
tell the landlord exactly what you
think the unit is worth per month,
and refuse to pay more.
You can also insist on no lease
and no damage deposit (current-
ly used as a handy device to get
the landlord an extra $100, since
no amount of scrubbing; repairing
or repainting will make a roach-
haven look like anything but a
Let the poor , downtrodden
landlord complain, but don't let
him fool you; for the kind of mo-
ney he's asking you could get into
a modern triple or even double,
where the water runs clear and
the heating really works. With
those 2000 extra vacancies in new,
modern cheeseboxes, wekneed no
longer be a captive market.
MANY OF US have used these
tactics recently, with notable suc-
cess. If enough students are will-
ing to demand realistic rates, we
can yet make Ann Arbor halfway
fit for human habitation.

by Daniel Okrent
IF EVER THERE has been a problem that plagued Hollywood, it is
the conversion of a fine literary work into an inconsequential
motion picture. On the route from paper to' film, a good novel is
often brutalized and bastardized to the point of diminishing most of
its original value.
But that is not what is wrong with Rosemary's Baby, the Roman
Polanski film adapted from Ira Levin's novel. No, that couldn't pos-
sibly happen. Levin's work, greeted by lukewarm reviews upon its ori-
ginal publication and not really catching fire until its paperback re-
lease (coordinated with an intense publicity drive), could not have
been polluted much. It is an improbable story, a queer mixture of
sentimentality and terror that precludes successful chemical blending.
Even in its unconvincing close, Rosemary's Baby remains out-of-step
with itself, an impossible tale that seems more the product of the
proverbial thousand monkeys than of a best-selling author.
So Polanski cannot be found guilty of mutilating a masterpiece.
All the fault that can really be foundin him is that his choice of
material wasn't very astute.
There isn't a lot that could be done to fix Rosemary's Baby, short
of adjusting the story's entire point-of-view and molding it to a more
credible form. There is something that cannot be taken seriously about
a young married (played well, considering, by Mia Farrow) whose
husband sells out to a band of middle-aged witches and warlocks, and
is turned over to a very real Satan who manages to impregnate her
and produce the nether world's analog of a Christ. There is something
equally incredible about the same woebegotten wife, upon learning
positively of her husband's machinations, offering him merely a spit
in the face instead of a knee in the groin.
But let Polanski be allowed the benefit of the doubt; instead of
censuring him for his choice of material, let him receive his due for
what he did with what he had. He has, indeed, produced-some honest-
to-goodness breath-catching suspense (if the viewer can forget what
the suspense is about long enough to enjoy it for its own sake). His
camera is matched by few in Hollywood (as evidenced by his work in
this film as well as in his earlier Knife in the Water and Repulsion).
And he has tremendous fun with his actors.
Most notable among these, and probably the film's number one
virtue, is Ruth Gordon. As the den mother of the witches that plague
Rosemary and her baby, Miss Gordon represents the greatest liberty
Polanski took with Levin's book. She is a ribald creation, a complete
self-contradiction who, in microcosm, is the whole story itself. Just as
the sentimental appeal of the sweet young mother-to-be does not mix
with the whole idea of fiendish rape and baby-snatching, neither does
the idea of a scatter-brained, kindly ol' witch really jive. But Miss
nni -o f -- rn - fli-s --v - p.vrrmmumniae

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