The Agnew est Nixon
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 1968
The PBA fight:
A national issue
THE FIGHT surfacing in New York be-
tween the city policemen's Patrolmen's
Benevolent Association and the Lindsay
administration Is, in microcosm, the fight
that is developing in this country on
many levels between a dogmatic and puri-
tannical spirit of "law and order" and a
more enlightened approach to social ills.
The PBA is protesting against alleged
orders from superior officers and from
various city administrators not to arrest
certain law breakers, such as looters, van-
dals and unruly demonstrators. They are
also demanding that judges impose maxi-
mum fines and penalties and that decor-
um be restored to courtrooms which are
tolerating more disruptive behavior than
they did in the past.
John Cassese, president of the PBA, has
been saying in recent weeks that police
must enforce the laws 100 per cent, and
that orders from above directing other-
wise are illegal. Which sounds ironically
like the so-called Nuremburg rule often
raised by advocates of civil disobedience.
DEPTIVELY SO. The difference is in
the relationship between individuals
and groups and society. The police, un-
like individual private citizens, are sup-
posed to be servants of society. The PBA
case in New York raises some important
and timely questions about that relation
" The Constitution directs that the
President is commander-in-chief of all
the armed forces in the United States,
thus putting control of the military force
into the hands of the civilian authority.
It says, and rightly so, that physical force
Is subordinate to the moral and civil force
which rules our society, and that such
physical force be directly controlled by
the civilian authority.
The logic which the founding fathers
applied to the federal government applies
equally well to state and local govern-
ment. The police departments of the
cities should be subordinate to the high-
est civil authority in the city-the mayor.
The mayor's essential duty is to maintain
the general peace and order and the po-
lice are no more thana means for him to
use in achieving that end.
For the police to decide how to admin-
ister the laws - a task shared by all
three branches of government - is no
more acceptable than the military decid-
ing for the President when and where
military force ought to be applied to best
expedite United States foreign policy.
* The question of maintaining the
general peace and order in light of the
civil strife surrounding us today is clearly
not one answerable by the simplistic ap-
peal to "100 per cent enforcement of the
laws" that Cassese advocates. Keeping in
mind the dangers that are involved in
police-community relations, it is clear
that unduly strict application of the laws
often leads to violence with which the po-
lice simply cannot cope. Cassese may pi-
ously urge that all laws be strictly en-
forced, but he and his co-workers would
then be unable to handle the ensuing
mass violence. The cost of five years of
"avoidance of incidents" is surely less
than the cost of one Detroit riot. Since
the final responsibility falls on the mayor,
the mayor must be empowered to make
those crucial decisions.
A NEW YORK Civil Liberties Union law-
yer quoted in the New York Times yes-
terday put it quite well, .. . Mayor Lind-
say is appropriately concerned with
whether or not the shooting of looters
may inflame a community enough to
start a riot. This seems an appropriate
political judgement ... The police believe
that armed force is really the answer.
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The Mayor, with a more enlightened view,
thinks armed force will make things
But the call by the police for absolute
enforcement of the laws is a little strange
indeed in New York just now. The Times
recently reported an extensive betting
ring, on the order of $1 million, that in-
cluded 37 present and former members of
the police force. The traditional "blinded
eye" to certain segments of the commun-
ity that freely violate the laws need not
be further documented.I
That type of illegal action - numbers
games, illegal liquor and related vices -
serves the same psychological function1
within society as the petty crimes and
unruly demonstrations about which the
police want to be so strict. The rightness
or wrongness of either category is not the
question here. It is, in light of other re-
ported irregularities within the police de-
partment, questionable whether in fact
the PBA is really concerned with justice.
IT SEEMS NOT. Rather, the police are
making social and political judgements
of their own; they ar applying their view
of society and government and declaring
it as the way consonant with "law." It is
not only not their job to perform that
function, but it is usurpation of the duties
of other segments of government, usurpa-
tion that the police cannot be allowed to
In the face of the apparent unity which
the PBA represents, the question of the
continued effective functioning of the
police establishment is a valid and rele-
vant question. As a social bureaucratic
institution, the police department has
taken on a life of its own, with a separate
credo and philosophy than that which it
was originally meant to have.
The police department as a lower-class
white institution reflects the conservative
and racist attitudes of that class. It also
reflects the simplistic approach to social
problems tha Cassese is now advocating.
IN THE LONG RUN, racial and social
peace will never be secured unless there
is a re-making of the nation's police de-
partments. They must be made to serve
the community, to be in tune with the
mood and demands of the community.
And they must come to accept their role
as servants of society, not decision-
The question remains whether the tra-
ditional method of police training and
recruitment within the current organiza-
tion can meet the present needs of the
cities. Both in recruitment and in the
current organization that that syle of re-
cruitment spawned there is need for
Investigations indicate that policemen
spend little of their time on the key, dan-
gerous roles with which they are identi-
fied and romanticized.
THE EXTENSIVE changes that are
needed will not come from cities such
as Detroit where the Mayor isn't strong
enough to re-direct the police depart-
ment, nor from Chicago or Los Angeles
where the mayor has little desire to, or
Cleveland where the political situation is
a little too delicate to undertake such
massive changes.Only inua city like New
York can reforms be initiated. A strong,
popular and liberal mayor can - and
should - seek the necessary re-vamping
of the entire polices structure.
Lindsay's remedial steps (and they
have not included a complete no-arrest
policy) so far are laudable; in conscien-
tiously restricting the police force he has
done more than any other mayor has
been inclined to do. But those steps in no
way assure such enlightened action fol-
lowing the mayor's term in office. Only
by a permanent constructive change in
the department can Lindsay assure such
reasonable administration of justice in
YOU KNOW what they say about the
pot generation and its alienation from
the political establishment? Among the
Screening at 764-1817
By SEYMOUR SLACK
HAVE YOU EVER observed a.
maintenance crew of a state-
supported university during the
process of completing one specific
job? The procedure is fairly
standard for almost any job. It
usually begins with a phone call:
"Hello. I was calling the Main-
tenance Department. Do I have
the correct number?",
"What number did you call?"
"I thought I dialed 863-7214."
"Ya, you got the right number."
'Good. I would like to report
that a window screen was blown
off our office building in the high
"Is this where I am supposed to
call to have it fixed?"
f (ause) "Could you have some-
one come out to fix it?"
"What color screen is it?"
"I believe it is ahh . just a
grey one. I guess."
"You don't know for sure, huh?"
"I ahh . . . didn't really notice.
Is that important?"
"Ya, if I know what color the
screen is then I kin send the crew
I that aie specialists in handling
that color screen. Otherwise. I
gotta send out a reconnaissance
team to estimate tha job."
"Oh, I see. Just one minute.
I'll find out what color it is a
few moments pass) Hello .
VA, MAINTENANCE here. What
can I do for you?"
"I just was talking to you about
the screen that blew off our office
"What color is the screen?"
"Well, the screen that blew off
was yellow, but the rest are blue.,
We took a vote in the office and
we would like it replaced with a
"Can't do that."
"You can't fix the screen?'
"No, can't change the screen
colors without an O.K. from the
Board of Regents."
When is their meeting?"
"Don't know. Have to call cal-
"Oh, never mind. I guess we'll
settle for a yellow one even if it
is unsophisticated. How soon can
you get it done?"
"Let's see. Today is Friday May
3rd ahhh . . . we can be there
"FALL TERM! We won't even
need it by then. What's the hold
"My crew for yellow screens are
in an eight week training work-
shop. Got no one to do it."
"What if you sent somebody
from the blue screen repair crew
with a yellow screen repair hand-
"Only got one manual."
"Give him that onp."
"Can't, there usin' it in tha
"Now really, sir, we must have
a screen in here. The building is
not air conditioned and it's going,
to be eighty degrees this week."
"Got any sal tablets?"
"Now look here! Do I have to
go over your head to get some
"If it's really that serious, what
if I send over some lawn trim-
mis-in -training. Maybe they
could fix it."
"Fine. Fine. Just send someone.
LATER THAT DAY five men
over fifty years of age walked
into the office.
"Yes, can I help you?"
"We came to fix the screen."
Oh. yes. The screensgare on the
outside of the building."
"What color is it?''
"It's the only yellow screen out
"Where's the vending machine
for coffee and sandwiches?"
"It's five minutes to three isn't
"No sense starting somethin'
five minutes before breaktime, is
"No, I guess not. The vending
machine is downstairs and to
"Ya know last week we missed
a coffee break and Lester here
had to take the next day off."
"What happened to him?"
"He had caffeinemwithdrawal
pain wor'se than cramps."
TWENTY-FIVE minutes have
gone by. It is now three-twenty.
"Ahh, lady. Where can we plug
in this radio?"
"This portable one."
"Why do you need that.?"
"Oh we have one in the crane
truck and another in the tool
truck, but the guy in the crow's
nest basket can't hear up there."
"There's an outlet here, but.. ."
"NO. that's too far away. Gotta
"Well, have one of the other
four guys look for one, I'm busy."
"Can't, their busy."
"BUSY? Doing what?"
"Harry and Leonard are direct-
in' traffic around the trucks
"Directing traffic? They pulled
the trucks up on the sidewalk and
this is a dead end street."
"Rules are rules, Miss. I'm not
responsible for making them up.
I just follow them."
"O.K. What are the other two
"Lester and Mike are drivers.
They have to be behind the wheel
of the trucks at all times."
"They got out of the truck for
a coffee break, didn't they?"
"That's different. Breaks are
provided for by the University.
It's in the contract."
"I'm sure it is. Why don't you
try looking in the next office for
a closer outlet?"
"Too late for what?"
"It's after four o'clock. Traffic
starts picking up now. B'sides, no
sense startin' a job ya can't finish
this afternoon. Night Miss. see you
BY THE GRACE of Richard Nixon and Strom Thurmond,
among others, John V. Lindsay remains alive and well in
Miami Beach, with a still promising political future.
Rarely has any man had so much reason for relief in re-
jection as Lindsay did when the news came that Nixon had
embraced Spiro Theodore Agnew as his running mate to have
and to hold, at least until November.
About 24 hours earlier, a friend remarked to Lindsay: "You
know, if you run with Nixon and then Gene McCarthy is nom-
inated by the Democrats, a lot of people will wonder which
ticket you'll vote for."
Lindsay laughed and offered no comment, but he was not
a happy fellow. For he had approached the point at which he
had pretty well convinced himself that he had done everything
possible - by public and private statement of dissenting posi-
tions - to avoid this union and that he could not take the
irretrievable step of flatly refusing to. run without removing
himself from the Republican landscape for all time.
NOW LINDSAY has escaped from the jaws of victory, and
conceivably he was never in serious peri. Richard Nixon is
capable of reckless rhetoric, but he is also a cautious, insecure
man and the risk of selecting a Vice President so much taller
and more photogenic than himself may have transcended all
Certainly the choice of Lindsay would have been an auda-
cious act that would have imparted drama to these proceed-
LINDSAY'S UNEASY meditations during the days pre-
ceding Nixon's decision illustrated the continuing predicament
of many men of liberal instinct who got mixed up with the
Republican Party in their youth. Life among the Democrats
is hardly simple and serene for independent souls, as Chicago
soon may reveal. But the ordeal of progressive Republicans has
a special quality of frustration. It was plaintively voiced by
Nelson Rockefeller, moments after he had been counted out,
when he was asked to explain his defeat: "Have you ever been
to a Republican convention?" he responded.
In the atmosphere of Rockefeller's impending doom, the
emergence of Lindsay as a vice presidential prospect had be-
come the last best hope of many in the liberal Republican fra-
ternity. Some of them abandoned Rockefeller and reconciled
themselves to Nixon when the Governor initially withdrew
from the contest late last year. They decided to make the Vice
Presidency and the platform their battlegrounds, and they
looked to Lindsay.
If Nixon could be persuaded to take him as his traveling
companion for 1968, they argued, the GOP's image would be
altered, liberalism would have established itself as a major
force in the GOP and Richard Nixon would have confounded
his detractors among independent voters.
ON A PLANE to Miami last Monday, this thesis was ani-
matedly advanced by Bradford Morse, a Massachusetts Con-
gressman who describes himself as an "ADA Republican." He
is a member of the 'Wednesday Club," a caucus of liberal Re-
publican Congressmen. Lindsay was a Wednesday group ac-
tivist during his House tenure, and its current participants,
Morse indicated, had been pressing hard for the designation of
their distinguished alumnus as Nixn's partner.
As one of those who bolted to Nixon after Rockefeller's
early withdrawal, Morse had become identified with the Nixon
drive. He was optimistic about the chance that Nixon would
move toward Lindsay. He visualized this surprise as the first of
many unexpected revelations about Nixon's new direction.
UNQUESTIONABLY Nixon encouraged these expectations
without, it must be added, any commitment. His responsive-
ness was sufficient to spur a serious drive for Lindsay sup-
In lofty terms the case/presented to Lindsay was that he
could not let such men down - especially those where local
candidacies might be helped by his presence on the ticket.
In pragmatic terms he was told that, whether the national
ticket won or lost, he would eventually provide the rallying
ground for a great liberal GOP insurgence.
LINDSAY WAS deeply aware that his identification with
Nixon would draw heavy fire from liberal independents, among
whom he has long commanded so much of his basic strength.
" lack of ardor for Nixon has never been concealed. But in
the burning Miami sun, the political heat mounted.
There were those who whispered that he was showing real
desire for the second place - especially when he learned about
some of the inflammatory stuff being spread by the Reagan-
Southern bloc about his anti-war positions. He had begun to
satisfy his own conscience by making clear through interme-
diaries that he would not mute his stands on the war, or the
cities if he were the second man. While sensitive to the charge
that he would be abandoning the city, he would not have to re-
sign until November if they won and he could tell himself that
more could be done for the cities in Washington than in City
All that became academic when Nixon produced Agnew.
MEN'S MOTIVES are inscrutable and they become pecu-
liarly tangled in the other-world isolation of a political con-
vention. There may have been a fleeting moment last night,
as Lindsay took the stage to play out the gentleman's game
and-second the nomination of Agnew,"when he wished he had
chosen to lead the challenge to Nixon's choice. But that would
have been the ultimate incongruity. He, would have been
openly fighting for the privilege of sharing Nixon's political
bed - over Nixon's objection. He got out of the hall quickly
after reciting his lines.
(Copyright, 1968 - New York Post Corporation)
Forgetting What's 'isName'
By HENRY GRIX
I'll Never Forget What's 'is
Name may not be a fine film, but
it is a curiously affecting one.
A composite of several commer-
cially successful, but "artsy" films.
like Morgan!, The Graduate and
Blow-up, it immediately alienates
one sector of the audience (typi-
fied by the sleeping viewer who
didn't realize when the lights
came up). At the same time, it de-
lights and confuses another seg-
The film is deliberately confus-
ing. It abounds with alternately
clever and obscure montages,
flash-backs and cuts, that are in-
tended to illuminate, but blanket
a hackneyed plot about a 32-year-
old "well-dressed beatnik" who,
of course, can't manage to lose in
business or bed.
And, like The Graduate, the
film is schizophrenic. Beginning
as the "sophisticated, sprightly,
satiric comedy" Judith Crist says
it is, the movie bolts three-quar-
ters of the way through and
makes a bitter-sweet attempt at
social commentary and serious
BUT DIRECTOR Michael Win-
tising underworld. And Carol
Reed, the film's Georgina Girl,
who lights the screen until' her
brutal death in an autoicrash
drives the plot and the audience
up the wall. And there is the bat-
tered, but boyish hero, Oliver Reed
whose ape-like grimaces and rope-
swinging antics mimic Morgan.
There is Otto Heller's flashy
photography that entrances the
unwary with Orson Wellian an-
gles, and Claude Lelouch colors.
There is Francis Lai's (the angli-
cization of Francois Lai's diverting
musical score, reminiscent of the
composers work in A Man and a
Memories don't make good
movies. But when a director makes
dynamic use of the best parts of
older works, he is bound to exe-
cute an entertaining film, even
if he fails to produce a motion-
There is too much wrong with
Name for it to be a landmark..
However, it aspires to greatness,
sometimes succeeds, and has a
right to be considered a "serious"
film--or an effective put-on.
The film is wittily, if not orig-
inally written by Peter Draper.
available at commercial theatres.
However, director Winner does
have reason to include the bare
bodiesrand baroque sets that have
lost visual punch and cheapened
as they have acquired vogue.
Winner is trying to slash the
umbilical cord that ties the unen-
lightened audience to its commer-
cials, God and war.
But he toys with his sets, actors
and themes until the audience
forgets whether his film is satire;
or the real thing. Just when he
should remind us, with a bit of
zany humor,, that his film is for
mocking, he stages a car incident.
Perhaps the director is kidding the
audience for their involvement in
his poor plot, but that kind of
overworn pop technique is in poor
taste, and not in character with
the sincerity that marks the rest
of the production.
At times, Winner succeeds quite
brilliantly at slashing the shallow-
ness and cruelty of the idle rich
and proper hanger-ons. At a posh
party, guests watch, admiring
Reed as he and an old school
chum bloody each other. In the
final scenes, Reed wins a bare
bosomed statuette for his com-