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January 06, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-01-06

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

.e Sitian Dait
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

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.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 19711

NIGHT EDITOR: JIM BEATTIE

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Nixon at half-time

NEARLY TWO YEARS have passed since
Richard Nixon assumed the presi-
dency. In a televised appearance Monday
night, the President tried to evaluate the
first half of his term, and displayed that
emphasis on window dressing that has so
consistently characterized his tenure in
office.
Nixon cited foreign policy, particularly
the 'Vietnamization' program as the
greatest success of his term so far. We are
"on the way out" of Vietnam, he said, and
in a way that will bring a "just peace",
He notes the sharply declining count of
American combat deaths over the past
three years, while maintaining a firm
position -- warning that he will do what-
ever is necessary to "protect American
troops."
Meanwhile at home, our cities are'
"somewhat less inflamed" than before,
says Nixon, with the level of violence "go-
ing down some." And while the economy
hasn't been operating perfectly, Nixon
predicts that inflation and unemploy-
ment will decline in 1971, "a good year",
leading to 1972, "a very good year." Along
the way, we will be able to pick off the
other incidentials of poverty, health care,
and housing, leading us well on the way
to "perfecting" America, which, it will
be remembered from the President's 1970
State of the Union address, is "the sum-
mons of the Seventies."
IF NIXON'S AIM is to assure a majority
of the American people that their
problems are going away, he may succeed.
But if he aims to actually deal with these
problems so as to solve them, it appears
his Administration has hardly begun to
make a start.
Nixon has enunciated some modifica-
tions in foreign policy. He $oes envision
less direct involvement overseas for
American servicemen. But the Cold War
model of world politics remains the ac-
cepted one in government circles, with the
prevention of the spread. of communism
the cardinal guiding principle.
Despite the shar, drop in American
casualties, the conflict in Indochina re-
mains. U.S. forces continue to defend a
pro-American dictatorship against a re-
volutionary movement. It is Nixon's hope
that the military status quo in Indochina
can be maintained at a minimum cost in
American lives, with the aid of a relative-
ly small contingent of our soldiers. But he
leaves little doubt that any serious threat
to the Saigon regime will meet American
force.

will be maimed-while the justifications
for their being there are no longer widely
accepted at home. As long as the level of
fighting remains relatively low, American
casualties will be relatively low. Viet Cong
and North Vietnamese forces may keep
the level low for a long time, perhaps be-
cause of temporary weakness, perhaps as
a strategy of waiting for the accession of
an American government government
genuinely committed to withdrawal.
But it is folly to believe that those who
have fought for twenty-five years for a
socialist Vietnam free from Western dom-
ination will give up their aims. The Ad-
ministration's committment to the Saigon
regime will require that American forces
stand ready to defend it to the extent
that it cannot defend itself. Nixon can
claim little more than the partial paner-
ing over of the crisis of American policy
in Asia.
At home, Nixon judges his accomplish-
ments largely by the reduction in the
number and intensity of riots in black
sections of the cities. But the problems re-
main, and in many ways, they have in-
tensified. A large proportion of low-in-
come city-dwellers live in crowded, di-
lanidated housing, receive substandard
health care (if any), and grow up in en-
vironments conducive to crime, drug ad-
diction, and the development of attitudes
of defeat. While mass violence has declin-
ed. personal violence has continued to
spiral.
Nixon's primary creative resnonse to
the problems of the poor was his Family
Allowance Plan, calling for a minimum
of $1600 for each family of four. While the
idea of the plan is certainly a drastic im-
orovement over the present welfare sys-
tem, it was totally inadequate in the
amounts proposed, and its enactment
would not have aided the vast majority
of low-income Americans.
A PATTERN EMERGES in Nixon's noli-
cies -- he reacts but cannot lead.
When public outerv d~velons over one
siheet or another - forelmn onlicv, pov-
erty, the environment. violence - he
Moveq far enonmh to assuage some of the
ansyer. but not far enonmh to provide
much of a remedy. Always the shadow of
a prohlem i. eno'pwed in battle, while its
substance remains virtually untouched.
At half-time in his term, Nixon may
claim to be a satisfactory politician -
the American people have not t u r n e d
against him as yet. But as a constructive
leader, he continues to be sadly deficient.
-STEVE KOPPMAN

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Krishna quest:

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By MARK DILLEN
OVER THE YEARS, those forced
by necessity to accept meals at
Salvation Army outposts came to
expect a little gospel thrown in
with their free food. Along with
the red uniforms and the brass
choirs, the Army's brand of relig-
ion became an institutional sight
for city people. Recently, this no-
velty seems to have worn off while
other causes, religions, and groups
come down the main arteries of
the metropolis, each proselytizing
to a captive, if reluctant audience.
This is not to say the audience
listens. It takes a mighty different
group to attract those already de-
sensitized by previous appeals. But
such a group is ISKCON (Inter-
national Society for Krishna Con-
sciousness). They like to go up and
down Detroit's main streets,
chanting (they call it sankirtan),
dancing, seeking converts and sell-
ing their magazine "Back to God-
head."
And it's really hard to knock
someone who wants to take you
back to Godhead (indeed, I felt a
bit uneasy not remembering whe-
ther I had ever been there.) And
despite, or perhaps because of
their strange Eastern garb, mem-
bers of the Hare Krishna move-
ment do seem as joyous as their
literature promises. Their spirit
seems to increase as the tempera-
ture drops.
Being so different from their
mundane surroundings has its
drawbacks. While most Detroiters
are accustomed to them, Hare-
Krishnaites have become recip-
ients of the city's abuse and mis-
understanding. In public, adher-
ents of the movement are likely to
receive as many insults as stares.
Not until they are at home in
their "temple" are they free from
society's critical eye. There, a
little Eastern food thrown in with

mind
Jahnavi Tata Vane Jaga Mana
Lobba
(come see all the glories of the
beautiful ceremony ... so beau-
tiful it will attract the minds of
all the people of the world).
IT'S DIFFICULT to say whether
the scene was beautiful but it does
attract one's mind. Plainly dress-*
ed women danced, holding young
children in their arms (f e m a 1 e
"devotees" say they recognize
women as being inferior to men).
A string of bells overhead was
jangled throughout and a small
hand organ supplied the back-
ground for the chanting that went
on and on. Incense lamps were
brought around so that people
might put their hand over t h e
flame and then to their forehead
-another rite of Krishna c on-
sciousness.
At intervals,devotees w oud
fall prone to the floor, burying
their heads between their thighs
and offering individual chants.
They were eager to help the visit-
ors through this motion also and,
by the time the final 30 minute
chorus was reached (hare krishna,
etc.), the "bliss" (or was it fren-
7y?) of one middle-aged business-
man equalled that of the devotees.
Earlier, he had self-consciously
stood to the side of the room.
AT ONE POINT, the red screen
in the front of the room was re-
moved, revealing three doll-like
statues (reminiscent of giant voo-
doo dolls) and numerous pictures
of the swami. One doll was black,
one white, a third yellow--t h e y
bowed down to the dolls slowly. At
that point, many of the young
long-haired visitors saw an op-
portune time to leave, and did so.
We left, missing the small portions *
of food that were being blessed on
the altar and knowing little more
than when we entered.

I

-Daily-Toini Gottlieb

a lot of free religion, awaits those
who enter this curious haven of
the curious.
"HARE KRISHNA" a voice call-
ed from behind the door. As it
opened, it was clear the 1o n g
search had not been in vain. The
2%/2 story Dutch colonial b r i c k
house hadn't seemed in character
with the dwelling's inhabitants
and so I had passed it by the first
time. It was not a particularly
safe part of the city, yet the young,
woman seemed happy, even eager
in her greeting.
"Take off your shoes and come
into the temple. Quickly, we are
putting on a play."
Judging from the pile of shoes,
many people had already come to
the weekly Sunday "feast." A few
devotees, garbed in long 1o o s e
sari-like gowns were still standing
in the vestibule. Like most other
male members of the movement, a

small thatch of hair at the rear of
their skulls set off otherwise shav-
ed heads. Brightly colored paint-
ings and flowers led into the tem-
ple on the right.
INSIDE, A SCORE of visitors in
"regular" clothes contrasted with
the devotees. All were sitting on
the floor. Incense burned. More
pictures on the bright yellow walls
showed dances in honor of Krish-
na. And in the front, the players
were depicting the outside world
as one where people were con-
stantly polishing bird cages (a
person's material self) - while the
bird (the spiritual self) was kept
inside.
Supposedly, that is theI goal of
those who honor the Indian spirit-
god Khrishna - to reject all the
material aspects of life and - to
pursue "oneness" with the spirit-
ual.
So, it seems ironic to consider

the effect of this ancient Indian
cult on the West. In the four
short years sinceHis Divine Grace
A. S. Bhakevendanta Swami
Prabhupada brought Krishna to
the United States from India "on
divine order", nearly thirty dif-
ferent cities in the West have
started chapters enabling the
swami to publish works for an in-
creasing audience that state, "only
the swami knows 'Absolute
Truth.'" And, as the Swami says,
"it is not a sentimental movement.
Don't think these boys are danc-
ing out of some religious sentiment
or fanaticism. We have the high-
est philosophical and theosophi-
cal background."
Yet such an incongruity did not
seem to bother the celebrants this
day, for they danced and chanted
with enthusiasm, praising t h e i r
ceremony:
Kiba Jaya Jaya Gouranchander
Arotike Sobha,

QO AMERICANS WILL continue to
in Indochina-some will die,;

fight
some

JAMES WECHSLER
To the President, with love

Scientific res onsibility

SCIENTISTS, who for a long time have
been up in ivory towers searching for
truth, are starting to come down to the
crowded, polluted, war-torn world that
the rest of us inhabit and recognize their
social responsibilities.
Nothing is more indicative of this trend
than the five-day meeting of the Ameri-
can Association of the Advancement of
Science (AAAS) in Chicago two weeks
ago.
Instead of the usual esoteric scientific
papers, the 8,000 AAAS members who at-
tended discussed extensively such v i t a l
topics as environmental problems, health,
education, housing, drugs, the role of
technology in society and the interaction
between science and politics.
The theme of these conferences was
that scientists must both consider the ef-
fects of their work on society and direct
their skills toward solving society's prob-
lems.
Besides these formal discussions, radi-
cal scientists actively organized among
their colleagues to direct attention to
science's past mistakes in "uncritically
creating knowledge, technology and hard-
ware which promoted military and cor-
porate interests," according to a state-
ment.
ITNDER THE SLOGAN of "Science for
the People," these activists urzed
that scientists become involved in poli-
tics and direct their efforts toward hu-
man welfare.

In one of the last sessions of the con-
vention demonstrators took over a podium
before Atomic Energy Commission Chair-
man Glenn Seaborg could speak. Seaborg,
escorted by plainclothes police as was Tel-
ler, quickly left.
WHILE SOME of the scientists w e r e
shocked at this behavior, the demon-
strations, discussions and organizing that
marked the AAAS convention signal a
welcome new era for American science.
Scientists have no right to behave like
ostriches with their heads in the sand, ig-
noring the uses to which the fruits of
their research are put.
And because of their expertise, scien-
tists have an added responsibility for
making their opinions known on contro-
versies involving technical judgments,
such as the antiballistic missile and the
supersonic transport.
Thus, the move by some scientists to
acknowledge responsibility for their re-
search is a healthy development. While
no one can foretell for sure what uses dis-
coveries will be put to, work on distinct-
ly military projects implicates the scien-
tist as well as his Pentagon backers.
Those who aid the military by develon-
ing new techniques of destruction and de-
tection in their university laboratories,
cannot disassociate themselves from the
deadly results of the foreign policy in
whose service these techniques are used.
WITH SO MANY people in need of better
hnttci ,,...,anctin r v', nr ,,i~n jidnrti -

AFTER HIS private epistle to
the Presidentcelebrating the
virtue of "benign neglects" in rac-
ial affairs had found its way into
the public prints many months
ago, Pat Moynihan protested that
his erudite use of an old, if in-
cendiary, phrase had been cruelly
exploited to bluil his larger mean-
ings.
But the text of Moynihan's
"valedictory" address to the Nixon
entourage, delivered in Washing-
ton last week and published yes-
terday by the Wall Street Journal,
permits no contention that the
lachrymose news accounts of his
speech missed any deft nuances or
overstated the extravagance of his
parting tribute to Mr. Nixon. This
was truly a love-letter.
There are even moments when
the document seems so rhapsodic
a description of some other man
in some mythical country that one
is tempted to view it as a last
satiric fling.

AS INDICATED in the early
press reports, Moynihan's thesis
is thatRichard Nixon assumed
the leadership of a nation in frag-
mented agony and, in two years,
wrought transformations that must
be deemed "considerable, even re-
markable." It would be hard to
contest Moynihan's description of
the burdens inherited by the new
Administration. It is his recital of
what happened thereafter that in-
vited wonder about where Moyni-
han has been:
"The prospect of a generation of
peace has convincingly emerged
. . . mass urban violence has all
but disappeared: Racial rhetoric
has calmed. The greatsystem of
racial subjugation, the dual school
system of the South. virtually in-
tact two years ago, his finally been
dismantled."
One is immediately disposed to
ask why Jim Farmer and Moy-
nihan himself - can bear to leave
a ship that is sailing so serenely

and surely toward new horizons.
Did nothing really happen at
Kent State and Jackson State?
Were the Cambodian adventure
and the turmoil it stirred last
spring a fantasy devised by liter-
ary leftists? Was Moynihan in-
communicado during last autumn's
lampaign when so many of his
longtime Democratic associates
were the objects of 1970-style Joe
McCarthyism with the President's
blessing and support? Did he miss
all the overtones of that Washing-
ton saga known as the case of
Walter J. Hickel? Was he around
when Mr. Nixon was beating the
drums for Clement Haynsworth
and Harrold Carswell? Has he
heard nothing about the fakery of
the Southern school story?
"AND YET how little the Ad-
ministration seems to be credited
with what it has achieved," Moyn-
ihan laments. "It is as if the dis-
quiet and distrust in the nation as
a whole has been eased by being
focused on the government."
In fact, of course, the dimuni-
tion of strife on and off the
campuses this fall reflects a com-
bination of combat fatigue and a
perceptive awareness that the tac-
tics of the guerrillas were
strengthening the hand of the
Nixon-Agnew-Mitchell h a t c h e t
men.
"Depressing, even frightening
things are being said about the
Administration," Moynihan said.
"They are not true. This has
been a company of honorable and
able men, led by a President of
singular courage and compassion

a truly astounding characteriza-
tion of a President who could
speak so alooflyafter the Kent
State killings, from whom t h e
imprisonment of Cesar Chavez
evoked neithertword nor sign and
to whose lips the epithet "bums"
came so lightly in discussing cam-
pus rebels.
THERE WAS one note of intra-
mural reproach in Moynihan's
swan song; it was addressed not to
the President but to those around
him who have allegedly let him
down. "It is necessary for members
of the Administration, the men in
this room, to be far more attentive
to what it is the President has
said and proposed," he pleaded.
."Deliberately or no, the impression
was allowed to arise with respect
to the widest range of Presidential
initiatives that the President
wasn't really behind them."
Plainly Moynihan was talking

about the widespread belief that
Mr. Nixon had too long given less
than his all in fighting for t h e
Family Assistance Program -
Moynihan's very own and deserv-
edly celebrated priority program.
Perhaps he was furtively chiding
the President himself by this cir-
cuitous thrust. Who will ever
know? What is generally, known
is that there was a far deeper
White House investment in the0
battle for ABM - and Carswell -
than in the welfare reform pro-
ject. And that Moynihan must
know.
No one can presume to dispute
the authenticity of the affection
Moynihan avows for Mr. Nixon,
especially when any need for syco-
phancy seems ended. But a con-
genial parting does not require
the rewriting of history, the fash-
ioning of a legend or the chastise-
ment of the heretics.

the
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