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December 07, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-12-07

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


Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Toy s afetygift from Pirgim

Saturday, December 7, 1974

News Phone: 764-

0552

420 Maynard St., Anr Arbor, Mi. 48104

SGC goofs on ROTC

IN ITS THURSDAY night endorse-
ment of reinstating academic
credit for military ROTC credits, SGC
reversed its staunch anti-ROTC po-
sition of five years ago. At that time,
the flood of anti-military sentiment
on campus had reached a high-water
mark, culminating in the LS&A Cur-
riculum Committee's removal of
credit from ROTC courses it felt were
proselytizing for a political view, and
thus had no place at an apolitical
university.
All that kept the military units
from being completely banished from
campus was the Administration's de-
sire to maintain its amiable relation-
ship with the Defense Department
and the lucrative defense contracts
it fostered.
Of the major universities, only Har-
vard was well-enough endowed to
hand ROTC its traveling papers and
weather the political and financial
consequences of its actions.
Since 1970, clashes over the mili-
tary's role on campus have lost much
of their fervor. Though more sub-
dued now, debate continues over whe-
ther a learning institution can pa-
tronize a military organization and
still lay claim to its political autono-
my.
Most military leaders, including
the heads of the ROTC department
heads here argue that the removal of
ROTC would spell the end of a civil-

ian (thus moderating) influence on
the military braintrust. If all mili-
tary leaders were products of the
academies, the argument goes, uni-
versity-induced enlightment would
be lost on the armed forces, which
in turn would more drastically di-
vorce military policy from popular
sentiment.
At first glance, the theory has a
logical ring to it. But past perform-
ance would indicate that the military
men are putting the tail before the
ass. Can we believe that ROTC mod-
erates the military? Or, in fact, does
it militarize the university. How many
ROTC students could be seen grac-
ing the lines of anti-war demonstra-
tors during the Vietnam War era? Or
what contributions did the military
make to the decade long debate over
the moral aspects of the Indochina
War. Universities are, by definition,
apolitical and unrestricted in their
pursuit of learning, and as such
should not assimilate, much less
acredit the kind of unilateral politi-
cal muck foisted on ROTC students
in the name of education.
The administration's interest in
preserving ROTC and thus it defense
contracting can be understood if not
condoned. There is no condoning stu-
dent government's approval of mili-
tary debriefing masquerading as edu-
cation.
-PAUL HASKINS

By JOSEPH S. TUCHINSKY
WHETHER IT'S Merry Christmas or
Happy Chanukah, it's reassuring to
know that the child for whom you buy
toys can be merrier and happier because
toys are safer.
This wasn't always so. When Congress
passed the Child Protection Toy Safety
Act of 1969, testimony was submitted of
deaths and permanent injuries from haz-
ards in toys not readily visible to the
shopper.
In late 1972, when PIRGIM did its first
survey of dangerous toys on sale in
Michigan stores, nationwide statistics re-
ported an estimated 900,000 injuries per
year due to toys. That year, PIRGIM's
student surveyors in five areas of Mich-'
igan found banned toys on sale in
violation of federal law in over 40 per
cent of the stores sampled. Toys with
serious hazards for which the federal
government hadn't even written stand-
ards were on sale in nearly all stores
surveyed, a total of 295 unbanned dan-
gerous toys in 29 stores.
PIRGIM's FINDINGS were dramatized
on television and in newspapers, with
pictures of dolls with their highly flam-
mable clothing afire; arrows whose
"safety" tips easily came off, shot
through eyes drawn on cardboard faces;
rattles broken open when they were drop-
ped on the floor, exposing sharp edges
and small particles that could lodge in
a baby's throat.
Stimulated in part by findings of PIR-
GIM and similar student-sponsored Pub-
lic Interest Research Groups in other
states, public awareness caused the fed-
eral government to step up its efforts.
Enforcement power over toy safety was
transferred to a new agency, the Con-
sumer Product Safety Commission.
PIRGIM surveyors in the fall of 1973
found visible progress. Only 4 banned
items were found on sale in 33 stores,
and an additional 41 unbanned but haz-
ardous items.
Two recent developments, a court rul-
ing in Washington and a new law in
Michigan, should continue the progress.

ON NOVEMBER 14, Judge Thomas
A. Flannery of District of Columbia Fed-
eral District Court ruled that the govern-
ment must issue regulations with gen-
eral toy-safety standards, not react item-
by-item as unsafe toys appear in stores.
The suit, Tuchinsky v. Consumer Pro-
duct Safety Commission, was filed ear-
ly in 1973 by attorney Arthur L. Fox
II of Ralph Uader's Public Citizen Liti-
gation Group, on my behalf as PIR-
GIM's executive director and as father
of two young children exposed to toy
hazards, as well as for other affected in-
dividuals and organizations.
Judge Flannery ruled that, with 150,000
toys on the market, an item-by-item ap-
proach would never accomplish Con-
gress' intent to get the dangerous pro-
ducts off the market.
However, he refused to issue an order
requiring 'the government to begin the
rule-making process within 60 days. Gov-
ernment attorneys informed the court
that the rules were already in prepara-
tion and would be proposed by the end
of November. Taking note of the long
delays already suffered since passage of
the 1969 law, the judge agreed to wait
the additional few weeks, but threatened
that if the government didn't act by
December 9 he would reconsider issuing
a court order.
THE REGULATIONS affected by
Judge Flannery's decision would fill in
some, but not all, the gaps revealed by
PIRGIM's toy safety surveys. The decis-
ion would require immediate work on
mechanical-hazard regulations concern-
ing sharp points and edges, projectile
toys such as bows and arows or dart
guns, and thin film plastic packaging,
among others. These would supplement
federal regulations previously issued on
electrical and heat hazards, and addi-
tional types of mechanical hazards.
By serving notice on toy manufactur-
ers, importers, distributors, and retail-
ers, and giving them detailed guidelines
to follow to avoid hidden dangers in
children's toys, there regulations should

continue progress in making children's
products safer.
The new regulations are important for
still another reason to Michigan Consum-
ers.
A toy safety bill, HP 5460, was intro-
duced early in 1974 by House Majority
Leader Bobby D. Crim, in response to
survey findings by the Genesee County
Prosecutor as well as PIRGIM. It would
give the Michigan Department of Agri-
culture, which already regulates danger-
ous chemicals and other hazardous sub-
stances, power to enforce the federal toy
standards within Michigan.
CONSUMERS WHO are dissatisfied
with the slow response from the federal
Consumer Product Safety Commissi:v7,
whose nearest office is in Cleveland, wil
have somewhere else to turn, closer to
home.

The bill was approved last winter by
the House of Representatives and, with
active libbying by PIRGIM, was finally
reported out of Senate committee last
Tuesday. By the time you read this col-
umn, the bill may have become law.
The new federal regulations to be is-
sued under Judge Flannery's decision,
when adopted by Michigan under its new
law, will further expand the State's pow-
er to remove unsafe items from toy
shelves.
After over two years of effort, in-
creased toy safety is PIRGIM's Christ-
mas and Chanaukah present to you.

josih /~S. T7
'icr o f the
C;roup in Alic
RI-TORTS is
serv ice.

'ichins y is a staff iem-
Public Interest Research
higan (Pirgim). PIRGIM
/heir regular information

You'd better not pout

Rockefeller and

the

Issues

ANOTHER YEAR HAS passed and
Christmas of 1974 is almost here.
For most, this year will be much like
any other: large dinners, many pres-
ents, trips home, and over-extended
checking accounts. To be sure many
auto workers are out of work for a
while and our economy as a whole is
off, to it's usual fast moving pace. But
it is well to remember that our trou-
bles are rather small in comparison
to many of the African and Asian
countries.'
While to us famines and plagues
are merely stories and pictures on
television, to an Indian family of ten
living in a gutter, they are quite real.
While to us rumors of draught in
Africa are merely something to be
pushed to the back of our minds as
quickly as possible, to an African
herdsman whose few cattle have all
Sports Staff
MARC FELDMAN
Sports Editor
GEORGE HASTINGS
Executive Sports Editor
ROGER ROSSITER .... Managing Sports Editor
JOHN KAHLER ........ Associate Sports Editor

died of hunger and lack of water,
and who himself may do the same,
the situation is deadly serious.
Every year around Thanksgiving
and Christmas, a few people are
struck by the obvious differences be-
tween our Christmases and the rest
of the world's, and everyday a few
articles come out making us feel
guilty - for a few minutes only-
that this should not happen. Instead
of shedding a few crocodile tears for
the destitute countries p li g h t,
wouldn't it be better to make a few
resolves to attempt to help in some
small way. Nothing major like send-
ing massive shipments of food to
hard struck countries, instead a few
small tokens of our awareness that
we are well off while others aren't.
Merry Christmas.
-PETER BLAISDELL
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Dan Biddle, Steve Hersh, Cindy
Hill, Steve Kagan, Sara Rimer, Judy
Ruskin, Stuart Sherr
Editorial Page: Peter Blaisdell, Tony
Duenas, Marnie Heyn, Steve Stojic,
Sue Wilhelm
Arts Page: David Blomquist, George
Lobsenz, David Weinberg
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens

By PETER BLAISDELL
RECENTLY A MAN of great integrity and wealth
was nominated for the vice-presidency of the
United States. This man is a model we can all aspire
to (after all, can't anyone become rich and powerful
in America?), a man to whom honor is more than
just a word, it's a noun, a man capable of leaping
great issues with a single "no comment", and a man
considered by many to be the politicians' politician.
Obviously the Daily had to interview such a man and
here is the gist of that interview (of course edited
to protect your innocence and faith in the American
political system).
DAILY: Sir, what are your thoughts on President
Nixon's resignation, amid the Watergate scandal, and
what lessons would you say you have learned from
this?
ROCKEFELLER: Well, it has shown me and the
American people as a whole that our system works!
The unfortunate incidents leading to the resignation
of former President Nixon has removed a cancer from
the heart of the American political system, a cancer
which threatened the very soul of this great country,
a cancer which had to be removed by that surgical
process known as the due process of American law.
In answer to your second question: I would be more
subtle than our former president.
DAILY: Sir, an issue which I'm sure is concerning
many people is whether someone like yourself with
so many outside interests, such as your holdings in
various corporations, can put national interests before
personal ones?

ROCKEFELLER: The answer to this question is
clear, my interests are in the nation's interests.
DAILY: Would you care to elaborate, sir?
ROCKEFELLER: Well, not really but since you ask.
Take those corporations for example. If reforms are
passed loosening up the antitrust laws why there's no
telling how rapidly these corporations could expand
thus raising the G.N.P. and incidentally my own
dividends as well.
DAILY: But surely you don't intend to continue
owning that stock? The congress and the people
wouldn't allow it.
ROCKEFELLER: No, that's the sad truth. I was
thinking of transfering my holdings to my wife or
possibly my chauffeur.

sele: ted was because you are in a good position to
cure our ailing economy since your private economic
policies are so successful, and the ease with which
you could enter the consuls of the super rich closed to
mere mortals.
ROCKEFELLER: The part about not being a mere
mortal is quite true, but as to curing the economy
- not even a god could do that.
DAILY: O.K. but you must have a few suggestions.
ROCKEFELLER: First of all let's remove a few of
the so called environmental laws, let people stop
breathing if it gets too bad, or start wearing gas
nit sks.
D4ILY: You own a gas mask producing company?
ROCKEFELLER: That is correct, also we could start
building more pipelines across the Alaskan tundra
(after all who is going to worry about a few reindeer
or Eskimos?) to get more oil to our starving economy.
DAILY: You own the land these new pipeline are to
be built on?
ROCKEFELLER: Yes, how did you know?
DAILY: One last question sir, about foreign policy,
how do you intend to advise the president and handling
the United States' relations with the smaller foreign
countries?
ROCKEFELLER: That's no problem. I own many of
those small countries.
DAILY: Sir, with you and President Ford, how can
the nation fail to improve?
Peter Blaisdell is a staff writer for the Michigan
Daily.

DAILY: Your cleverness will leave
less sir! Another question I'm sure
minds is exactly how much money}
sir?

the nation speech-
is on every one's
you actually have

ROCKEFELLER: I'd prefer not to go into this.
DAILY: O.K. can we rephrase the question? Sup-
posedly President Ford picked you primarily because
you are rich enough to balance the federal budget
out of your own pocket, would you care to comment
on this?
ROCKEFELLER: Well, that's a bit of an understate-
ment and besides that contradicts my policy of asking
not what you can do for government but what the
government can do for you.
DAILY: Rumor has it another reason you were

Letters

to

Th

1'146 H S $ 1 ANDMEANG COMr'i Rovr'I2( . .

i
:4

organic
To The Daily:
THE UNIVERSITY, for the
past several months, through
the Vice President in Charge
of Snow Jobs - the Snow Man,
has been dispensing "informa-
tion" explaining r e a s o n s for
the proposed 13 per cent faculty
wage increase. This information
has led ecologists everywhere
to note happily that that well
known organic compound ordin-
arily attributed to the excre-
tory activities of bulls is not
in short supply.
Much of this university-pro-
vided organic compound deals
with the analysis and projection
of trends. What is not noted is
that trends, like erections, come
to an end when fundamental
conditioins change. President
Fleming noted, in the "State of
the University" address, t h e
glut of Ph.Ds. Fundamental re-
lationships between supply and
demand have changed. The
trend analysis which ignores
this change is that well known
organic compound refered to
earlier!
From the Snow Man, we learn
that the raise is designed to
keep top calibre people. This
argument is misleading. If top
flight people are to be kept,
each department can agree to
meet competing offers for this

clerical personnel, and students,
via tuition reduction.
To those who find the econ-
omics of the above argument
obscure, check out Fusfe'd's
Intro Econ text - it's really
quite a clear text.
-Ephraim Ben-David
hunting
To The Daily:
I RECENTLY READ an ar-
ticle from the Michigan Daily
of November 9, 1974, written by
David Warren. It was titled,
"Hunters Violate your Rignts".
When I attended the U. of M.
1962 through 1965, I had great
respect for what the Daily pub-
lished. I thought that articles
were a presentation of the facts,
whereas opinions appeased in
letters to the editor. The above
mentioned article is only an
opinion, and not very weli re-
searched at that. As a letter to
the editor I can see such an
article being published, but not
as an article of fact.
If Mr. Warren would check
his "facts" with our Wildlife
Management Department in the
School of Natural Resources, I
am sure that he will gain con-
siderable knowledge on the real
aspects of state land manage-
ment, budgets, and the ways of
nature.

nuclear energy
To The Daily:
I WOULD like to take this
time to speak out against n ;c-
Lear fision technology. The fed-
eral government has subsidized
this industry to the tune of forty
billion dollars, the money be-
ing obtained from the American
people. Unfortunately, there is
not much to show for our in-
vestment, other than the ex-
treme dangers encountered
while nuclear reactors are in
operation. In Michigan alone,
there has been one total shut-
down (the Fermi plant in Mon-
roe), and currently, -he Palli-
sadesa plant and the project in
Midland are experiencing prob-
lems.
There are other problems as-
sociated with nuclear power
plants than the obvibus radia-
tion hazards. Transportation of
radioactive wastes on public
highways could be disasterous.
From an economic point of
view, nuclear energy as a na-
tionwide energy source is only
expected to last about t h i r t y
years, due to our limited supply
of uranium 235, unless one con-
siders the fast breeder reac-ors
which operate on pl'ronium -
the most toxic substance known
to man.
IT IS CLEARLY time to ser-
iously consider other less haz-

?_ Dais
power consumption by c
tion and making more'
uses of disposable 1
manufactured in our di
economy. This move
make our present resoii
longer and make altern&
less productive energy
more practical.
-John Janowiak
. co
To The Daily:
I WOULD like to th
Gantt for his reply to m
about the copying facil
the Graduate Library.I
surprising that copying
at the University of Wa
Library have gone up,
stand corrected.
However, one needn'
gone so far afield. TI
nickel-operated Xerox r
in our own Law SchoolI
Why can't similar mac
placed in the GraduateI
-Charles Hagen
Grad, Philosoph
October 25

onserva- centuries, we have used a "pen-
thorough al system", as a means of cor-
products recting crime problems. Well,
sposable it doesn't work! The tax-payers
would are paying more Than a billion
rc ts last dollars a year for our prisn
give and system; and it isn't reducing
sources ithe crime rate, but is IN-
CREASING IT. Do you know
that:
O about 80 per cet of all
1pying crimes that are commi:ted are
committed by ex-offenders?
O 70 per cent of the men
ank Mr. and women released from our
ny letter State penitentiaries will return,
ities in within five years (w'iizh should
It is not certainly allude that our prisons
charges are a failure!)
ishington * it costs in excess of $5,000 a
and I year for each and every in-
dividiial in prison, to be kept
t have there?
here are O Community-based correc-
machines tional programs have been prov-
Library. en to be more effective, yet our
hines be State government continues to
Library? keep the prison sys'em?
* that new problems are for-
ly ever arising, within our penal
system: because the system is
actually getting worse, instead
crime of better?
O that these problems can be
eliminated, and that it can'+ be
the 53rd done, unless YOU start to care?
in that I've heard my neighbors and
ersoo in fellow Ann Arbor residents say,
atves, in "Gee, I don't even feel safe
n . . . on the streets, anymore, or even

To The Daily:
WE, THE people al
Distrikt, are fortunate,
we have a dedicated p
the House of Represenu
the State of Michig:o

i

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