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November 08, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-11-08

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

Young's victory kindles hope

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552



Overriding the veto

THOSE WHO OPPOSE the President's
use of American armed forces to in-
tervene in the internal affairs of for-
eign nations won a major victory yester-
day when the House of Representatives
voted to override the Presidential veto
of the war powers bill.
By a vote of 284 to 135, four votes more
than necessary to obtain the required
two-thirds piajority, the House voted to
limit the President's ability to send
American troops to foreign conflicts to
60 days, or 90 days with specific Congres-
sional approval.
The vetoed bill now moves to the Sen-
ate, where it appears that the veto will
again be overridden. It is imperative that
the Senate follow the House's example.
The -House vote may appear at first
glance to be a surprise-yesterday's vote
News: Penny Blank, Ted Evanoff, De-
borah Mutnick, Chris Parks, Jim Schus-
ter, Charles Stein
Editorial Page: Marnie Heyn, Eric Schoch,
David Yalowitz
Arts Page: Mara Shapiro
Photo Technician: Steve Kagan

was the first successful attempt to over-
ride a Nixon veto in nine tries this year.
HOWEVER, WITH the countless mili-
tary adventures of past Presidents
and this country's aggression in Indo-
china behind them, it is not surprising
that Congress has attempted to restrain
what has become an almost unlimitable
Presidential power to make war, however
Some observers will probably see the
vote as a result of the extremely dis-
credited position the President now
holds in the eyes of both Congress and
the public. Such a notion may have some
validity, considering how long it has
taken Congress to limit Presidential war-
making powers in any way.
But, hopefully, it may be that a grow-
ing number of the members of Congress
have come to realize that America's vi-
sion of itself as world policeman no long-
er has any validity, if indeed it ever did.
The war powers bill will not prohibit
the United States from operating clan-
destine actions against foreign nations
and groups (the sort of actions which
helped involve this country in Vietnam)
but it is a good beginning.

IN DETROIT, that nearby grun-
gy pit of factories and fire-
bombings, hope is a luxury few
can afford. Big-city despair is Mo-
town's premier commodity, its
stock bolstered by malignant in-
ner-city decay and a nightmarish
crime rate.
On Tuesday, Detroiters, in a
rare and brilliant display of com-
mon sense voted themselves a lit-
tle hope. By electing Coleman
Young as the city's first b l a c k
mayor, by choosing a Common
Council that promises to be pro-
gressive and innovative, and by
approving a new city charter, they
gave the Motor City what may be
its last chance for survival.
This election proved one thing:
Detroit's huge black community
has finally organized itself into
the dominant force in the city's
The mayor's race came down
to the wire as a battle between
white and black: Tough-guy cop-
per John Nichols against Young.
Young was favored to win only if
voter turnout was predominantly
favored Nichols. The weather was
bitterly cold, and turnout was pro-
portionately light. Conventional pol-
itical wisdom dictates that bad
weather forces less-mobile black
voters to stay home.
The results of the election con-
tradict this accepted wisdom and
give hope that the city's blacks -
constituting about half the popula-
tion - have finally seized the op-
portunity to run the city. Only 42
per cent of the city's voters turn-
ed out at the polls - a little over
400,000. Yet Young won by some
12,000 votes, indicating that black
turnout was much higher than any-
one expected.
Further, the voting adhered io

racial lines even more closely than
was expected. Young got about 90
per cent of the black vote, and
Nichols received close to 90 per
cent of the vote in most white
Thus, Young's 12,000-vote margin
indicates that for perhaps the first
time black voter turnout in De-
troit was proportionately slightly
heavier than white turnout, des-
pite bad weather. This unexpected
fact gives hopes that Detroit's
blacks have finally realized their
political potential, and have de-
cided to give the city the kind of
definite leadership it has lacked fir
so long.
tory, Coleman Young told his sup-
porters: "It is too bad that, if
this victory is won, it should be
won along sharp racial lines."
It was a sobering note delivered
on a gala occasion. If Tuesday's
election gave some hope for pro-
gressive leadership in Detroit, it
also highlighted the political tight-
rope Young will have to walk dur-
ing his years as mayor. His con-
stituency is black, and he knows
it. And Young's lament over t h e
black-whjte reality of Detroit poli-
tics indicates that he already has
a hint of the kind of criticism and
backbiting he will surely receive
from whites.
Throughout the mayoral c a m-
paign, Young downplayed the is-
sue of race. In the coming months
he will undoubtedly try to broaden
his base of support to include some
sizeable proportion of whites, but
from the indications of Tuesday's
voting the prospect of such a re-
conciliation seems regrettably +
* * *
THE UNIFORM base of support
that Young lacks in the commun-
ity is luckily present in his ad-
ministration. Tuesday's election



was almost a progessive cle>An
sweep, and places liberals firmly
in control of the city's affairs.
Detroit voters chose:
* A Common Council of six
liberal-progressive (led by new
Council President Carl Levin) and
only three conservatives. This is
the first time that a liberal major-
ity on the council has ever been
so clear-cut.
* A liberal City Clerk, James
Bradley, who promises to clean up

the now-useless clerk's office.
* The return to the school board
of Cornelius Golightly, whose years
as board president have shown
that he sincerely cares about the
city's school children.
* The passage of a new city
charter, which provides strong
concentration of power in the may-
or's office, a five-person.board of
civilians to have absolute control
over the city police department,

and an ombudsperson to clear out
city corruption.
With this more or less unified
city government behind him, Young
must now attack the economic and
cultural problems of the city which
cannot be ignored any longer. Al-
most everpone would agree th'at
Detroit is dying; some claim it's
dead already. Maybe Motown can-
not save itself, but Tuesday's re-
sults show that at least it's willing
to try.

Confronting the

future in Dayton,


MW-I A -t4E


IT MAY TAKE me years to ap-
I preciate the full irony of being at
an Indochina peace unity confer-
ence at a Methodist camp near
Dayton, Ohio, on October 25, the
first anniversary of Henry Kis-
singer's infamous "Peace is at
hand" speech. The planet was run-
ning out of fuel, war raged in the
Middle East, and Richard Nixon
foamed at the mouth on prime time
TV. It was an action-packed week-
The conference participants first
came together in the dimly-lit base-
ment chapel,- where we watched
the president's press conference on
a television set situated in front of
the altar and below the cross. It
was an appropriate way to focus
the different people who came to
Camp Miami: when Nixon spoke of
his "hardship" in deciding to ini-
tiate the Christmas Bombing of
North Vietnam, everyone in the
room was resolved that someday
America would leave Indochina in
Friday night, we were addressed
by a panel of speakers who spoke
of current situations in Indochina
from their own experience. While
the speakers were working from
different perspectives, they all re-
iterated the same three points that
became the basis for unity among
the groups attending the confer-
ence: the Paris Peace Agreement
must be implemented, political pri-
soners must be released ,and U. S.
aid todThieu and Lon Nol must be
The first speaker, Tran Quoc
Hung, a Vietnamese national pres-
ently living in the U. S., empha-
sized the crises now facing Thieu.

The economic crunch in South
Vietnam is now so severe, that
Thieu must choose between feeding
the army and feeding the elite
classes, the classes that form his
only indigenous support group.
Because the fabric of Vietnamese
society, and therefore its economy,
has been so badly shredded, such
a large sector of the population is
unproductive that there is no mon-
ey, no food, no clothing, no shelter
to be had in areas controlled by the
Saigon regime.
rapidly eroding. And as its grip
on the populace weakens, it be-
comes more vicious. Tran de-
scribed a "reign of terror" that
includes random arrests, burning
of villages, and massive defolia-
The story Tran told that had the
greatest emotional impact on me
was about life in the refugee
camps. He said that starvation is
so extreme that parents kill their
children and then themselves be-
cause they cannot tolerate any
more hunger. The mortality rate in
the camps is dbout 70 per cent, and
higher for children. And the U.S.
government spends Food for Peace
money on weapons.
Tran also pointed out that mili-
tary conflict is reescalating, Amer-
ican forces are building up, and
the whole shooting match could
start up again at any time.
Tran said, "The only hope for
survival is to oppose Thieu, and
to hope for peace and reconcilia-
SOKUM HING, a Cambodian na-
tional and second panel member,
spoke of the many connections be-
tween the peace struggles in Cam-


bodia and America: the 1970 inva-
sion and Kent State, the violations
of the Cooper - Church amend-
ment, and the related lies and sec-
Sokum explained that war will
continue in Southeast Asia as long
as the Nixon doctrine continues,
and that the movement to end the
war must be linked to a movement
to get rid of Nixon and expunge the
Nixon doctrine from American for-
eign policy.
He said that ending the war and
changing foreign policy will in-
volve a long, hard struggle, but
that "the future is not in vain. The
cause of freedom is larger than
anything else. Do whatever you
can to defend us - and, in the
final analysis, yourselves."
Fred Branfman, co-director of
the Indochina Resource Center in
Washington D. C., related impres-
sions from the tour of Southeast
Asia he has just completed. He
said that a striking change has oc-
curred in the political arena, be-
cause the initiative has passed to
progressive forces that earlier
were compelled to channel all their
energy into military efforts.
cent upheaval in Thailand as "am-
biguous," and said that the Ameri-
can role in what took place is still
unclear. Branfman warned Amer-
icans that a new Phoenix (U. S.
military pacification) program has
been initiated in Thailand.
Branfman said that the U. S. gov-
ernment attitude in the face of
defeat by liberation forces is to
toughen up, to impose police
states, characterized by Thieu's
bellicose behavior at a time when
the Provisional Revolutionary Gov-
ernment (PRG) is talking about re-
f ees
em only in the narrow range of cas
'here the group's collective interests a
e subject of a dispute. These cases c
ather easily be excluded from coveraj
rder the plan.
The second ethical problem cente
round the catch-phrase "freedom
boice", pointing to the obvious fact th
i any but the "open panel" system, t
enefits of the plan are unavailable to
iember who uses an attorney other th
ne designated by the group. Of cour:
ie "choice" most members would ty
ally make, given the lack of public i
>rmation about competence of lawyers
articular areas, is little better than sta
ing a pin in the yellow pages. A n
roup members have the ability to co
,ibute to the group's choice of which a
>rneys will be designated. But in a fe
ases, a member will have gol reas
>r not wanting to go to one of the d
gnated attorneys and thus effective]
sing nis benefits under the plan.
cently in a decision against the Mic
an State Bar, has firmly upheld t h
ght to choose a group legal services pla
her than those the bir associations a
rove, as part of the freedom of associ<
on guaranteed by the 'irst Amendmer
the U.S. Constitution. The thing to hop
'r now is hat groups of working an

According to Branfman, there is
no doubt that there will be a tre-
mendous upsurge in fighting, pos-
sibly in the next few months, and
that if the U. S. continues aid to
Thieu, military struggle will re-
place political struggle in a pro-
tracted, ugly way.
Branfman explained that politi-
cal education has had a profound
impact on prisoners who had felt
that the war did not affect them.
He told us about a man who had
lost his wife and son, and been im-
prisoned in a tiger cage. The pri-
soner told Branfman that in j-il he
learned that "peace is important,
but independence is necessary.
We learned reality, and we learned
to love one another. I would do it
all again."
blinded with lime while in prison
told Branfman that anyone could
do what the Vietnamese have done,
if they understand that the strug-
gle they are involved in will trans-
form their lives and if they are
willing to make that change, that
Tom Hayden relayed greetings to
the conference participants from
the Vietnamese delegations in Par-
is. Their message was that the sit-
uation is now -ery tense. Fighting
grows increasingly heavier. The
final sentence of the tape was,
"American friends, please help
At the Saturday morning plen-
ary, we were addressed by Peggy
Duff, a peice organizer in Eirone,
who detailed various actions that
are planned for the coming months,
culminating in creating "a flood in
Oslo", packing the city with so
many people that there will be no
room for Henry Kissinger to accept
the Nobel Peace Prize.
IN MY SMALL group session on
Saturday afternoon, we met Re-
becca Shelly, an 87-year-old Battle
Creek resident, founding member

of Women's International League
for Peace and Freedom, and poet.
She explained that she has worn
mourning for the last four years
for "the sins of my country," and
told us that "The war in Vietnam
has killed the conscience of the
world." After dinner she recited
some of her poems, and said that
we were "responsible for kindling
a new heart in humanity."
In Sunday morning's plenary,
John Froines, defendant in the Chi-
cago Conspiracy Trial, reminded
t'ie gathering that the anti-war
struggle must be, defended at
Jean - Pierre Debris, who was a
'irisoner in Saigon for two years,
-leaded with Americans to con-
tinue pressure on Congress, to con-
tinaie writing letters to prisoners,
:)nd to continue telling other Amer-
icans what is hapnening in Viet-
nam. He closed the plenary by
saying, "The keys to Vietnam's
prisons are in this country."
'' MSE OF US who went to the
n ference understood that thfe
war is not over. When we left
Camn Miami on a brilliant fall af-
ternoor, we had a larger aware-
ness of the vital role Americans
c n olav in bringing the Indochina
co-flict to a real concl'ision. "We
must attack the war, the :weakest
link in Nixon's foreign policy, so
that Indochina can be free."
Letters to The Daily should
be m-iled to the Editorial Di-
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Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Letters
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and normally should not exceed
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tors reserve the right to edit
411 letters submitted.


Group. legal services would ease hig)

ONE OF THE least-heralded side-ef-
fects of the discovery of poverty in the
United States in the 1960's was that aca-
demics, social planners, and a substan-
tial number of ordinary people began to
realize that in terms of the availability
of certain important social services, the
working and middle classes in this coun-
try were nearly as "deprived" as the
poor. This was particularly true for medi-
cal and legal emergencies as well as the
more routine medical and legal services.
The inability to put the "cash up front"
often means you just do without. As the
Medicaid and the Office of Economic
Opportunity (OEO) Legal Services Pro-
gram began to make these services more
readily available to the very poor, working
and middle-class organizations such as la-
bor unions, credit unions, and fraternal
organizations began to devise systems to
do the same for their members.
Legal services in the United States have'
always been securely available to the rich
and to the big corporations, since they are
able to pay a sizable yearly flat fee known

less pressing situation arises where aj
lawyer might be of real help (disputes
with creditors, landlords, tax collectors,
sellers of defective goods, and the draft-
ing of wills and deeds), most people must
get by as best they can without one.
The reason people do without legal ser-
vices is because they believe that the cost
of legal services is very high and that
a great part of the fees will have to be
paid in a lump sum before the lawyer does
anything. Although there is some variation
among lawyers as to willingness to accept
installment payments, legal fees are ex-
traordinarily high given the time the law-
yer spends. For example, a simple uncon-
tested divorce proceeding with no child-
ren and no major property will probably
take a total of four hours of a lawyers'
time and two of a legal secretary's time;
yet the fee will be around $400 in Ann
THE FEES THAT lawyers charge arel
typically based on "fee schedules" pub-
lished by the local bar associations. Until
very recently, any lawyer who consistent-
ly charged less than the schedule could

yers control the courts and most legisla-
tures, and their fanatical opposition to
both do-it-yourself and paralegal practice
makes it a practical impossibility.
IN ADDITION, many people irrationally
believe that the higher the fee the lawyer
charges the better the service, and con-
sequently would refuse to shop for a low-
er price even if available. And since law-
yers are forbidden as a matter of "eth-
ics" to advertise either specialties or
prices, shopping is impossible anyway.
To make lawyers available to working
and middle-class people, they will have
to get together in groups and "pool the
risk" of the need for legal services so
that the bulk of the cost for services to
an individual member can come from
small periodic payments rather than fees
for the specific service. It is. this sort
of arrangement that is called 'group
legal services" or "legal insurance".
The major argument over group legal
services, due to the intervention of bar
associations, is the type of provider. The
bar associations have spent great amounts
of energy, in the courts and in the legis-
latures as well as with specific groups,
trying to force or encourage the adoption
of systems in which the member can go to
any lawyer in the community for the
services and the lawyer bills the fund for
his fee. This is tvically called the "onen

volume of business is great enough, the
lawyer will take no other business and
will be paid a flat fee for handling a
certain volume of business, rather than
billing on a case by case basis.
Finally, in a "staff attorney" system,
the group directly hires an attorney, pays
him a salary, and he simply works a 40j
hour week handling as many cases as he
can in that time.
The bar associations' reasons for op-
posing anything but "open panel" systems
are economic, political, and ethical. All
the other systems promise that overall
costs for legal services will be tess than
at present, which could mean that fee
levels would have to come down. More im-
portantly, the promising new consumer
market for legal services that these in-
surance plans open up will not be exploit-
able by the whole bar unless an "open
panel" system is adopted, so the typical
lawyer stands to gain less (and may even
lose some if old fee-for service clients
join a plan) than he otherwise would.
THE POLITICAL reason is based on
a fear that the "closed panel" and "ex-
clusive contract" systems might be used
to reward and punish lawyers in the
community for their other legal and poli-
tical activities. This is a problem only
to the extent that one thinks lawyers ought
to be able to act without fear of the r-

as a "retainer" for a specified level of!! be disbarred. Since the Justice Depart-
services should the need arise; in effect, ment threatened anti-trust action for this
they pay an insurance premium. The price-fixing, most schedules are now lab-
upper-middle-class and medium sized busi- elled "recommended".
nesses typically do not hire a lawyer on The major factor bearing on the level
retainer, but try to keep enough money of compensation is the monopoly lawyers

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