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October 09, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-09

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Elle t i an tly
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

friday morning
Poisoning the Earth in order to save it
by daniel zwerdlinG


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.



Cynicism undercuts the Left

SLOWLY, BUT perceptibly, the mood has
changed. What started. off as a charged
feeling of activism, bordering on the
McCarthy-ish idealism of '68, has under-
gone a gradual metamorphosis. A year
ago, thousands of. people thought that by
marching to Michigan Stadium and sit-
ting through a cold evening of speeches,
they were helping to end the war. The
mounting public revulsion would force
Nixon to bring the troops home, they
Twelve months have come and gone
since then. So has the march on Wash-
ington, various moratoriums and finally
the "Princeton Plan." What word have
we had of such efforts lately? Instead of
the p i c t u r e of thousands of peaceful
marchers, the chilling image of four life-
less bodies at Kent and a bullet-ridden
dormitory in Jackson, Miss., are inbued
in the minds of the former idealists. The
Movement is confused, tired and angry,
but above all it is cynical.
As the work within the System has
proven fruitless, the years of frustration
against the war were voiced outside it.
The rash of bombings makes the situa-
tion more confused, for while we sense
they hurt those we are angry with, we
must realize those now dead and maimed
because of the bombings were visited with
All this notwithstanding, can bombings
actually be considered "blows to the em-
pire?" The bombed buildings will be re-
built in some way and, as in the case of
the Army and its research center in
Madison, the cost will be a pittance com-
pared to the institution's billions.
rFUT THE CYCLE is complete is seen
from last Saturday's abortive march
from the stadium to the Diag. Where the
idea of a march and a rally to protest the
war would draw thousands of enthusiasts
12 months ago, only a small group of rad-
icals were visible this time-more intent
on taunting the liberal speakers than
voicing a solid determination to oppose
Nixon's policies of war.

It seems now as if everything has been
tried, yet the System continues, ceaseless-
ly, despite all the protests.
We, as students, are victims of only a
vague repression. Too comfortable to re-
ject everything in our society, we prefer
to rebel against what is most frustrating
-the lack of feeling, the lack of con-
science, the lack of commitment to hu-
Not being truly oppressed, the white
middle class student must identify with
those who are (or those whom he thinks
are). He must copy and emulate these
oppressed in order to feel radical, but his
fervor in a cause is sapped quickly, leav-
ing him emotionally exhausted. It is an
artificial intensity that is shown-it can
only exist by impassioned arguments. A
mystical respect is held for the black, the
poor, the minorities-the truly oppressed
of the world. Quick to defer to others and
unsure of himself, young white anger be-
comes almost laughable next to black
IT IS NOT that the young white middle-,
class peace movement can't be radical,
it is just that whites ironically can't over-
come imposed conditions of affluence to
make the Movement successful. For ex-
ample, true black consciousness can lead
only to a true rage and noble pride while
the white intellectual is too consumed
with his own self-hatred to be effective
Thus, with solutions in an abyss and
lacking in all but an artificial identifica-
tion with the oppressed, whites retreat
into the only emotion left: cynicism. This
is not the answer.
Instead, we should be honest about how
we can really identify with the oppressed.
Otherwise, we can only look forward to
more dialectic arguments and simply re-
act to the rhetoric of 'the right rather
than have an alternative to it.

(This is the second of a two-part series on pesticides)
WHILE THE U.S. Department of Agriculture battles
conservationists who attack its sanctions of deadly
pesticides like 2,4,5-T and DDT, it is quietly waging a
$200 million, 12-year war which will dump 450 million
pounds of theinsecticide Mirex over cities and fields in
nine southeastern states. It's the most massive insect
eradication program in U.S. history, and could become
one of its worst ecological disasters.
The government is out to get the imported fire ant
(it came from Argentina), an insect which builds three-
foot mounds in fields and has a nasty bite. Officials bill
this program as the last phase of the fire ant eradication
campaign authorized by Congress back in 1957 on a
cost-sharing basis with the states: their folks pay half,
the rest of the nation's taxpayers pay everything else.
The government and the states have been eager to start
the aerial bombardment this fall over the cries of scien-
tists and conservationists who fear that Mirex will con-
taminate millions of acres, poison and kill wildlife, and
end up in the human food chain.
"The history of the fire ant program makes your hair
curl," laments Ray Johnson, assistant director of re-
search at the Interior Department's Bureau of Sports
Fisheries and Wildlife. USDA began battling the fire ant
13 yeai's ago using Dieldrin, a pesticide found in house-
hold pest sprays, and heptachlor. The fire ant popula-
tion continued to spread, but thousands of friendly an-
imals died. So in 1962 the government switched to Mirex,
which Interior researchers swore had no harmful affects
on animals tested in their labs.
THEY WERE WRONG. Two years ago, millions of
blue crabs and shrimp died from Mirex poisoning off the
Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida - putting
hundreds of fishermen out of business.
A curious chemist repeated the lab experiment last
year, observing the test animals for 10 days after they
were treated with Mirex, instead of the standard 96
hours. A miniscule one part per billion of Mirex in sea
water killed 11 per cent of the shrimp tested. In other
experiments, 78 per cent of mallard ducks tested drop-
ped dead after 10 days. All the mice in one experiment
Conservationists fear that with these t e s t results
dropping 450 million pounds of the stuff over 120 million
acres is environmental suicide. The new and supposedly
final phase of the fire ant program calls for fleets of
World War II-vintage planes to drop Mirex in the form
of corncob grit baits doused with soybean oil, about 757,-
000 granules per acre. The planes will focus on one area
at a time, applying three separate treatments six months

USDA officials, are at last convinced that Mirex ac-
tually does kill shellfish, so they've agreed to stop spread-
ing the insecticide directly on waterways and estuaries.
No worry that the grits will get in the water by mistake:
"the planes are monitored, and are incredibly accurate,"
marvels T. C. Byerly, Agriculture's top pesticide adminis-
trator. But Mirex still shows up in water samples, notes
Interior's Johnson; perhaps the rain is washing it in.
It can't be the wind, adds Byerly, because the bombers
are supposed to stay at base when gusts come up.
WHAT'S TO STOP animals from accidently eating
the corncob grits (which, after all, will stick to vegeta-
tion) and perhaps dying of Mirex poisoning or passing
it on to humans?
Leo G. K. Iveson, USDA's Agricultural Research di-
rector, told me why that's no problem. When planes drop
the grits, he says, the fire ants will scurry from their
homes. "remove most of the bait and haul it back into
their mounds."
While no one really knows whether Mirex does harm
animals in nature,,no one knows for sure that it doesn't.
Opponents of the program argue that far too much doubt
exists to justify the most expensive, extensive insect
eradication program in the nation's history. "There are
too many things we don't know about Mirex," says Den-
zel Ferguson, a Mississippi zoologist, "sophisticated bio-
logical data like its effects on hormones, enzymes, and
Studies by the National Cancer Research Institute
found Mirex includes cancer in laboratory mice; a spec-
ial HEW pesticide commission last year urged the gov-
ernment to severely restrict Mirex to use where advan-
tages to human health clearly outweigh the potential
hazards. Ferguson and a scientist-dominated conserva-
tion group called CLEAN (Committee for Leaving the
Environment of America Natural) wrote a letter in May
asking the Agriculture Department to suspend the Mi-
rex program pending more research. But Iveson flatly
refuses to delay his ant battles.
"Research has not developed data showing that Mi-
rex has caused significant harm to a hontarget environ-
ment," Iveson insists.
ACTUALLY, USDA has established a field testing
program to see if it can trace Mirex in animals, but the
study won't be completed for six months. Researchers
haven't .yet found any animals killed by Mirex, but as
Interior investigator Tom Carver points out, "if an an-
imal is killed in nature; its predators dispose of it quick-
ly." Investigators are finding Mirex in living animals -
zoologist Denzel Ferguson at the University of Mississippi
has discovered 150 parts per million in songbirds as

much as one year after an area has been doused with
the chemical. The Food and Drug Administration con-
siders Mirex so dangerous that it will confiscate any
foodstuffs sold on the market with more than .3 parts
per million.
Iveson won't stop the program for other reasons: "a
delay in the program would give advantage to the pest
which may- never be recaptured."
Prominent etymologists don't think the ant can be
eradicated, under any conditions. A report by the Na-
tional Research Council of the National Academy of Sci-
ences, commissioned especially by USDA three years ago,
flatly concluded that "an eradication of the imported
fire ant is not now biologically and technically feasible."
That's not what USDA officials wanted to hear, so they
buried the report in department files and never released
ETYMOLOGISTS will tell you that one colony of fire
ants can reproduce and repopulate several square miles
in less than three years. No aerial bombardment could
possibly come close to hitting every fire ant mound, of-
ten hidden in thickets or woods. "If one colony is missed,
the entire ant population would spring back in a couple
of years," says Harvard etymologist Edward Wilson who
pioneered research on the ant in the Fifties.
Even if it were feasible to wipe out the ant, scientists
say, it's just not worth the money and effort. The ant
ranks low on the etymologists list of pests. It doesn't
threaten farm animals, it doesn't damage crops. In fact,
there is strong evidence that the ants eat other insects
which do threaten crops, such as the boll weevil.
"The ant is primarily a people pest. It has a strong
bite," a USDA official told me. William Murray, a Gov-
ernment pesticide research administrator, says t h a t
while the fire ant seems unimportant to people in the
North, it poses a real threat to Southerners. "If you were
ever bitten, you'd feel differently," says Murray. "I know.
Once I knocked off the top of a fire ant mound, stuck
my hand in and let it get stuck 10 or 12 times.
Mississippi, North and South Carolina have already
started dumping Mirex over their countryside and towns.
The Environmental Defense Fund in New York has filed
suit in Washington, D.C. district court to stop the fire
ant program. So far the court has said nothing, and
USDA will forge ahead with the fire ant fiasco.
Who is USDA to tell the people what to do? In Geor-
gia, the Mirex program is so popular that it plays., a
prominent part in local politics. "The people through
elected representatives in Congress have asked for the
program," declares Byerly. "We are obligated to carry
out that directive."




proposal on coipor te


The Nixon cease-fire plan

PRESIDENT NIXON'S proposal for a
stand-still cease-fire in Indochina has
been denounced by NLF and North Viet-
namese negotiators.
Hopefully this will not be a final re-
sponse on the cease-fire qgestion. Even
a temporary halt to the killing in Indo-
china should be welcomed.
But if one believes the United States
has no legitimate purpose fighting in
N0 comment
THE FOLLOWING item appeared in last
Thursday's New York Times:
"SAIGON, South Vietnam - A 34-year-
old member of South Vietnam's National
Assembly defied President Nguyen Van
Thieu today and renewed a call for the
formation of a provisional governnient
as a step toward peace.?
The proposals of the legislator, Ngo
Cong Duc and the response to them from
the Thieu government have stirred ex-
citement since they were made several
days ago.
President Thieu implied that Mr. Duc
was a traitor and said he would be in jail
if not for his legislative immunity. A pe-
tition seeking the possible removal of Mr.
Duc's immunity is being circulated in the
House of Representatives. At least two
advocates of peace proposals opposed by
Mr. Thieu have been jailed."
Editorial Staff
Editorial Director Managing Editor
NADINECOHODAS . ... Feature Editor
JIM .NEUBACHER Editorial Page Editor
ROB BIER.............Associate Managing Editor
LAURIE HARRIS .. . . Arts Editor
JUDY KAHN..... Personnel Director
DANIEL ZWERDLING......... ..Magazine Editor
ROBERT CONROW................Books Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Dave Chudwin, Erika Hoff, Steve
Koppman, Robert Kraftowitz. Lynn Weiner
Chaney, Steve Koppman, Pat Mahoney, Rick

Indochina, it becomes difficult to cri-
ticize NLF and North Vietnamese reaction
to any American peace proposal.
Apparently, the Nixon Administration
has decided that because of next month's
congressional elections and the current
Indochina military situation, the time is
ripe for a cease-fire. For these same rea-
sons, the NLF and North Vietnam may
decide it not to their advantage to accept
No concessions were made by the Presi-
dent in his speech Wednesday on the
substantive issues of the future South
Vietnamese government and American
troop withdrawals. The Saigon govern-
ment, maintained primarily by 400,000
American troops, remains unwilling to
negotiate with the NLF on the formation
of a provisional coalition government.
There appears to be no chance of a ne-
gotiated settlement in Vietnam under
these conditions.
BUT THE question of a negotiated set-
tlement is almost beside the point.
There are disagreements over the pri-
mary motivation our government has had
in establishing and defending a succes-
sion of landlord-military r e g i m e s in
South Vietnam over a sixteen-year period.
The most prevalent theory is that U.S.
policy has attempted to maintain 'na-
tional security' by preventing one hos-
tile power (i.e., China) from dominating
all of Asia. Another view is that. U.S.
policy functions to aid American and
European capitalist economies by keep-
ing underdeveloped areas open for invest-
ment, extraction of raw materials and
marketing of exports.
The reasons for American intervention
in Vietnam appear to involve a combina-
tion of these motives. In both cases, Viet-
nam is seen as a test case of America's
willingness to engage and defeat 'Com-
munist expansionism.'
But there have never been any serious
claims of Chinese intervention in Viet-
nam. The foreign invasion force in Viet-
nam has been ours.
Serious study of what has happened in
Vietnam shows a conflict stretching in-
termittently over nearly twenty-five vnears

To the Editor:
ON OCT. 6, 1970 the Brain Mis-
trust (BMT) addressed the Office
of Student Services Policy Board
regarding enforcement of the Uni-
versity's policy governing the use
of its facilities by corporate re-
cruiters. Our proposal reads:
Regarding the response to our
proposal, BMT says:
The argument that there must
be a full discussion of a suggested
new policy in all its ramifications
is specious. BMT replies that what
is needed is enforcement of pre-
sent policy-we are not initiating
new policy. Do University rules
aply to the University?
The University of Michigan
maintains the following policy for
campus recruiters:
The University of Michigan
Placement Services is adminis-
tered in a manner which pro-
vides equal opportunities for
placement and employmen of
University of Michigan students
and alumni. Consequently its
services are not available to any
organization or individual which
discriminates against any per-
son because of race, color, creed,
sex, religion or national origin,
nor which does not maintain an
affirmative action program to
assure equal employment op-

This policy has not been en-
Many of the companies recruit-
ing on campus operate in the
Union of South Africa. It is well
known that these companies prac-
tice b 1 a t a n t discrimination
through unequal wage scales based
entirely upon race, through segre-
gated facilities in their plants,
through discriminatory promotion
practices, and through adhering to
other apartheid laws and policies.
The companies themselves openly
admit to practicing apartheid.
No corporation operating ac-
cording to South Africa's apart-
heid policies should be permitted
to use University of Michigan re-
cruiting facilities. We call for
strict and immediate enforcement
of the University's stated policy.
The argument that it is not the
businesses, but the South African
government, that practices apart-
heid is equally specious, for Amer-
ican businesses have voluntarily
submitted to apartheid and have
profited from it. In fact, they
have bolstered apartheid. For ex-
ample; after the Sharpeville mas-
sacre, a group of American banks,
notably Chase Manhattan, bailed
South Africa out of a foreign ex-
change crisis with a $150 million
dollar loan. Subsequently Chase
Manhattan acquired huge banking
interests in South Africa.

Some argue that enforcement of at the total situation. Mr. Brose
University policy has widespread also failed to mention: 1) the eli-
implications. This may be true. mination this year of both the
However, it is irrelevant to the clothing and "special'? allowances
present point, and is no argum:nt (unusual dietary needs, laundry,
against the BMT position, telephone, etc), and 2) newly plac-
ed restrictions on deductible ex-
-Don L , penses (transportation, u n i o n
for the BMT dues, taxes, etc.), The last item, an
especially cruel blow, represents
a disincentive to employment thus
Error contributing to the myth that wel-
To the Editor: fare recipients do not want to
SPOKESMEN FOR the Poor of Two years ago the County
Washtenaw County have b e e n Board of Commissioners "found"
making front page headlines. As a after considerable pressuring, $70
result, Alfred Brose, Director of per child for clothing. Last year
the Washtenaw County Depart- the total was reduced to $38.50
ment of Social Services, was for the year. This year the Board
recently questioned in the A n n of Commissioners flatly refused to
Arbor News. Mr. Brose, in at- allocate funds for a clothing al-
tempting to provide information to lowance stating that the $7 a
clarify the welfare situation, month per child increase w a s
merely listed average in o n t h l y sufficient.
grants by specific categories. Be- What does this all mean to a
lieving that we should be m o r e recipient in the largest welfare
fully informed about the realities category - mothers receiving aid
of both* the "clothing allowance" to dependent children (ADC) ?
and the most recent political solu Mrs. Jones, a working mother with
tion to the welfare problem, I 5 dependent children, will be our
did some digging of my own. hypothetical illustration. In 1969,
Mr. Brose stated that each wel- she worked full time receiving a
fare recipient receives $44 p e r gross income of $450 a month be-
month. He did not say that this fore the above mentioned employ-
represents a $7 a month increase ment expenses were deducted.
over last year (which in the light Each month she received $215 in
of spiraling prices seems a reason- welfare aid for her family of 6
able figure), But wait, let's look (plus the one time $38.50 amount).

This year Mrs. Jones still earns
$450 a month. However, as a result
of changes in the welfare system
and including the $7 a child per
month, Mrs. Jones receives $125
per month - a decrease of $90
each month rather than the pro-
jected $35 increase (5 eligible
children times $7).
IT SEEMS to me that some-
thing is basically wrong with our
County government when a work-
ing mother, struggling to m a k e
ends meet, is penalized that much
money by a new political "solu-
tion." And this, unfortunately, is
no hypothetical example. Between
110 and 115 mothers (10 per cent)
of the total) were either dropped
from receiving any aid or had
their payments reduced under
these new provisions. Furthermore,
Direct Relief, in itself w o r t h
another letter would not apply in
Mrs. Jones' case - she is simply
$90 a month poorer than last year.
Surely the citizens of Ann Ar-
bor, when made aware of s u c h
facts, would agree that the Board
of Commissioners is doing our
community a grave disservice. We
must find a way to guarantee that
no human being is denied, by de-
ceit or otherwise, a decent stand-
ard of living.
-John Evans
5th Ward Candidate,
County Board of Commissioners



in the mother counitry
Feeling out a popular front
mnartini hirschmn

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the unexpurgated version of an
article that appeared in the New York Times yesterday.
THE TORRENT of criticism that has lately been.
leveled at violence on campus seems sadly mis-
directed. Quite possibly students have been responsible
for far too much senseless destruction. But has the
vision of those outside the universities become so clouded
that they cannot perceive the source of the vast pre-
ponderance of violence in our society?
Are we not now in our sixth year of watching scores
of Americans, hundreds of Vietnamese (and now Cam-
bodians and Laotians) slaughtered each week? Are U.S.
bombers not continuing the systematic destruction of
vast rural areas of Indochina?
Have not dozens of blacks, especially black political
leaders, been shot down on the streets of our cities-and
even while sleeping in bed-by racist law enforcement
officials and others?
Are there not thousands of Americans in Appalachia,
the Mississippi Delta and the inner cities who are slowly
starving because of the low priority our government has
nlne in +he Pliinann n onn.0

what has happened on campus in its proper context.
Except for those who wish to allow this nation to con-
tinue its inhumanely destructive course, campus unrest
is a long way from becoming our most pressing problem.
For those of us who have attempted to sort out new
directions for the student left, the question of violence
has become increasingly difficult to deal with because
our alternatives seem to be disappearing rapidly.
Dozens of times and in growing numbers over the
last five years students have petitioned the government
to end the war, but they have been ignored or offered
only token successions.
Lyndon Johnson had the audacity or ignorance to
inquire naively into the source of student "restlessness."
From the Nixon administration has come only ad homi-
nem attacks and the news that while hundreds of thou-
sands marched below his window, the President watched
football on TV.
Many students at one time or another have turned
to electoral politics. But they soon learn that these
traditional mechanisms have become, and perhaps al-

name and say, "Oh, Joe McCarthy," don't correct them.
The lack of political content to the actual foot work
of the McCarthy campaign has since been exposed
further by elections analysts: Polls show that the major-
ity of those who voted for McCarthy in the New Hamp-
shire primary thought they were showing a preference
for an escalation of the Vietnam War.
A basic realignment of the social and political
philosophies of the American people is, however, essential
if there is to be any chance of democratically instituting
meaningful, lasting change in our society. Since heavy
campaign financing and manipulative techniques have
rendered even discussion of basic political issues ir-
relevant or damaging to the vote-getting process, activi-
ties like campaigning for dovish candidates is, in and
of itself, simply a waste of time for those truly interested
in achieving long-term change.
ALIENATED FROM traditional political processes, yet
conscious-stricken by the diseases that continue to infect
our nation, many young people have turned to violence
-some spontaneously, others by design.


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