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September 29, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-29

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Page 4-Saturday, September 29, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXX, No. 21 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Our

southern

neighbors

M EXICAN PRESIDENT Lopez
Portillo yesterday began two
days of talks at the White House which
should have begun over a century ago.
The parallel histories and development
of Mexico and the United States have
been marked not by such discussions
on mutual concerns, but by a pater-
nalistic attitude on the part of this
country, and a warranted antagonism
and mistrust south of our border.
This country only remembered that
Mexico even existed with the discovery
of vast oil reserves there. But in his fir-
st few attempts to dissipate years' of
paternalism and neglect, President
Carter only typified the attitude,
American has generally held towards
its poorer, less fortunate neighbor -
the president's oft-repeated reference
to "Montezuma's revenge" indicated
merely that the pdministration still
was not ready to recognize Mexico as
an equal partner.
That relationship of tension and
mistrust was underscored markedly in
the painful and tedious negotiations
over the sale of Mexican natural gas to
the United States. While the agreement
reached eliminates the primary source
of the most recent friction between, the
'governments of Mr. Carter and Mr.

Lopez Portillo, even greater issues -
with more likely opportunities, to
disturn relations - will provide even
greater challenges.
There is still the issue of Mexican
immigrants in this country, the issue of
trade barriers, and continuing charges
by U.S. domestic growers of Mexican
vegetable dumping into this country.
These issues have been around for a
long time now, but only with Mexico's
new energy resources inspiring a new
confidence and nationalism south of
our border will the United States be
forced to take these issues seriously.
Meeting yesterday and again today,
the two presidents have an opportunity
to put aside past hostilities and begin
building the kind of special relation-
ship based on common concerns which
two ideologically compatible neigh-
bors in the same hemisphere should -
and must - develop to remain
economically viable in the world of
competition for dwindling resources.
The talks will not solve everything,
since it took two centuries to get
relations between the two countries as
bad as they are now. But the mere fact
that the two leaders are talking, in an
atmosphere of mutual respect, is a
step in the right direction.

,

AP Photo
George Meany, the fiery patriarch of the cause of labor, reflects in a moment of solitude at the end of a quarter century as head of the nation's
most powerful and influential union.
THE END OF AN ERA:
GeorgeM retires at age 85

More bureaucracy

S TROLLING THROUGH little
towns in Iowa and New Ham-
pshire, candidate Jimmy Carter
pledged that, if elected, he would cut
waste in the federal government by
eliminating excess bureaucratic posts
and inefficient management. Due to a
reluctant.Congress and an inept staff,
the president has.,not lived up to the
expectations of the candidate.
There have been a few exceptions,
however, none of which have suc-
ceeded in substantially reorganizing
the federal government, and some of
which have even added to the already
obese bureaucratic mess. Just look at
the Department of Energy.
So it is amidst this background that a
clear picture of the most recent
bureaucratic maneuvering must be
viewed. With this week's close vote by
Congress to establish a new Depar-
tment of Education, the president got
what he wanted. But it is still too early
to decide if it's what the nation really
needs.
While a strong consensus exists that
education has been seriously neglected
in the annual budget battles with the
health and welfare divisions of HEW,
there is considerable disagreement as

to whether a new agency required to
handle the usual administrative duties
will be any different than the current
education sham. Proponents of the new
agency-the 13th to have a cabinet
secretary-argue it will create more
funds for the nation's educational
needs by removing the competition
that area has with the other two mini=
departments in HEW. The move's op-
ponents counter that the competition
benefits education since multi-interest
government departments, such as the
HEW, receive higher allocations and
then battle for the spoils.
On the other hand, some
congressmen argue that a one-interest
agency would consolidate various
educational programs now scattered
throughout the government, saving
money and giving educational concer-
ns more publicity and awareness.
Whether this awareness will enhance
the nation's educational system can
not be immediately determined, but
those who think the reorganization will
be a panacea for the country's
educational problems are mistaken.
More than just a new bureaucracy is
required to improve the quality and
quantity of education in the United
States.

The many faces of George Meany: From treasurer of the old AFL in NBC's "Today" show in January last year, Meany was the undisputed
1941, to President of the newly-formed AFL-CIO in December of 1955, on patriarch of the American Labor movement.
"Face the Nation" in September 1970, and showing signs of age on

ly AP and UPI
George Meany.
For a quarter century, the
name has become synonymous
with the stogey cigar, the bitter
sarcasm, the proximity to the in-
ner circles of power.
HE WAS THE maker and
breaker of presidents, and he
outlasted seven of them, probably
eight had he chose to remain in
power for one more year.
And through his 25 years at the
helm of the nation's most power-.

ful union, George Meany
remained unyielding, unbending,
in his commitment to labor and
the cause.
Yesterday, Meany, fiery
patriarch of America's organized
labor movement for a quarter of
a century, announced he will
retire as president of the AFL-
CIO in November at the age of 85.
Suffering from arthritis and
months of incapacitating illness,
Meany revealed his decision
through AFL-CIO Treasurer

i
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I NEED SOMiE AP WCi5. _
MIN ELECTIONS WEIKE A
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Lane Kirkland, his longtime
deputy and likely successor.
"I DON'T THINK George
Meany ever regarded himself as
an inditpensible man," Kirkland
said at a news conference, adding
in an emotional voice that mem-
bers of the union's policy-making
council expressed "deep love and
respect for this great man, who
has meant so much for the labor
movement."
He said Meany informed him
personally of his decision Thur-
sday night, saying "he did not in-
tend to stand in for re-election at
the expiration of his term" in
mid-November.
Meany, whose trademarks
were his cigar and the searing
denunciations he used freely. on
enemies, has been leader of the
13.6 million-member labor
federation since its birth in 1955. }
During those years he was a
close confidant of some presiden-
ts, including Lyndon Johnson,
and a thorn to others, including
Richard Nixon and Jimmy Car-
ter.
AM AFL-CIO official said
Meany was making "slow, steady
progess" back from his ailments,
but had serious doubts he would
regain full use of his legs. He was
in his office Thursday, but can-
celled out of an AFL-CIO meeting
Friday because of "a little touch
of the flu."
Meany was incapacitated most
of the spring and summer months
after injuring a knee in a golf cart
accident in California. He was
hospitalized for a month, and the
lengthy bed rest caused
deterioration of an arthritic hip
that impaired his walking.
During the illness, it was

command for 10 years, who kept
things running. f
Kirkland, 57, and a seaman by
trade, said he is a candidate to
succeed Meany. He is the over-
whelming favorite to be elected
at the AFL-CIO biennial conven-
tion in Washington about, six
weeks from now."
ALTHOUGH A sharp contrast
to Meany in style, the scholarly
soft-spoken Kirkland is the AFL-
CIO president's alter ego on
policy and is expected to pursue
the federation's liberal positions
on domestic issues and conser-
vative stances on foreign policy.
Meany was born in New York
City in 1894 and began his long
career as an apprentice plumber
when he was just 16. He was
president of the New York State
Federation of Labor from 1934-39,
and secretary-treasurer of the
American Federation of Labor
from 1940-52.
When the AFL merged with the
Congress of Industrial
Organization in 1955, he became
the first president of the com-
bined organization, and has held
the job ever since.
He moved on to confront
presidents and other politicians,
becoming a severe critic of Nixon
but refusing to support Sen.
George .McGovern for president.
in 1972 because of McGoern's an-
ti-Vietnam policy.
Meany returned to the
Democratic fold in 1976 to back
Carter in the fall election, but he
quickly grew disillusioned. Last
year, he gave Carter a "C minus"
as president and has never
changed that opinion.
In one of his more scathing at-
tacks on the president, Meany
called Carter "The best
Republican president since Her-,

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