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March 13, 1973 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1973-03-13

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"Presidents can make mistakes"

MO.-

By JAMES WECHSLER
IN AN "EQUAL TIME" radio reply to
President Nixon's message on human
resources, Sen. Walter Mondale (D-
Minn.) has recalled a memorable pas-
sage from a speech delivered by Frank-
line D. Roosevelt in his first term four
decades ago. These were Mr. Roosevelt's
words:
"Governments can err. Presidents
can make mistakes. But we are told
that divine justice weighs the sins of
the warm-hearted on a different scale.
Better the occasional faults of a gov-
ernment living in the spirit of charity
than the consistent omissions of a
government frozen in the ice of its
own indifference."
Mondale validly suggested that FDR's
statement has real and immediate rele-
vance to the battle provoked by the
Administration's reversion to the gospel
of rugged individualism and Washington
aloofness.
IN PROMOTING his program of re-
treat from federal responsibility, Mr.
Nixon has repeatedly contended that his
stand is inspired by "the failure" of na-
tional efforts. And it is not hard to find
examples of error, maladministration,
even fraud in such areas as housing and
in anti-poverty enterprises. Yet what he
is now essentially prposing is that the
doctrine of benign neglect replace the
sometimes flawed federal programs that
have meant so much to so many - and

have kept alive the hope of others.
There will, of course, be admirers of
Mr. Nixon who are affronted by Mon-
dale's quoted use of such words as "cold-
blooded" and "indifference". Those of us
denied access to Mr. Nixon's private cir-
cle can hardly claim to assess his emo-
tional temperature; his family and de-
puties attest to his sympathetic vibra-
tions.
The issue transcends Mr. Nixon's in-
ner chemistry. It is his continuing alleg-
iance to the comfortable view that this
is a land of free and equal opportunity in
which those who have the energy and de-
sire can make it, and that those who
lag behind are generally the victims of
their own indolence or lack of resolve.
(It has been frequently observed that
these exacting standards are not vigor-
ously applied to such corporate blund-
erers as the managers of the Lockheed
Corp.)
AN INSTINCTIVE reverence for pro-
positions that last prevailed in the ste-
wardship of the late Herbert Hoover re-
peatedly emerges in the President's im-
promptu pep-talks.
Thus, when Sammy Davis Jr. was in-
vited to perform at the White House the
other night in minimal reward for cam-
paign services above and beyond the
call of duty, Mr. Nixon seized the chance
to cite Davis as a luminous example of
the success of the "American can-do
spirit."

Referring to the 17 astronauts who
were also present, he said "a landing
on the moon is pretty hard to beat as an
illustration of American can-do spirit"
and then added:
"But the guest tonight exemplifies that
can-do spirit. He (Davis) began as a
relatively poor boy, overcame poverty
and prejudice and went on to the top
because he had that spirit." Davis re-
sponded with an exuberant obsequious-
ness befitting the occasion; one cannot
fail to note wryly that among the songs
he carelessly selected for his perform-
ance was the one entitled "What Kind
of Fool Am I?"
IN OTHER SETTINGS, the President
has not hesitated to depict his own rise
to eminence as similar proof of the limit-
less horizons still beckoning those un-
favored by artistocratic birth or inherit-
ed wealth. That his political career was
advanced by oil and real estate interests
who contributed to the controversial "Ni-
xon Fund" does not seem to him a
fatal challenge to his thesis; presum-
ably he would argue that only the "can
do" spirit enabled him to reach a posi-
tion in which he was deemed a worthy
investment.
Under increasing fire over his budge-
tary policy, Mr. Nixon has indignantly
affirmed his compassion and vision. Per-
haps in recognition of opinion polls in-
dicating more widespread concern over

the cutbacks than he had anticipated, he
has also simultaneously advanced t h e
theory that the crisis of the cities is real-
ly over. This ,remark may yet achieve
the dubious immortality won by Hoov-
er's 1929 proclamation (as the economic
roof fell in) that "prosperity is just
around the corner."
Yet it is too early to determine whe-
ther the spirit of ondale's speech (and
of the Roosevelt credo) will prevail in
the gathering political storm. Too many
Americans may be persuaded to believe
that the time for retrenchment at the
expense of the poor is at hand; as one
critic has pointed out, Mr. Nixon is "ap-
pealing to instincts of crass materialism"
and waging a crusade "to think small,
think simple and think selfish."
There is a new cult of intellectuals of-
fering elaborate apologia for Mr. Nix-
on's counterrevolution against the war
on poverty. It has become fashionable to
rationalize the least generous impulses
of "middle America." We are bogging
down in arguments that had seemed fin-
ally resolved long ago. It was, after
all, Sen. Robert A. Taft - "Mr. Re-
publican" himself - who decided 25
years ago that housing was the proper,
urgent concern of the national govern-
ment.
James Wechsler is the editorial direc-
tor of The New York Post, Copyright
1973 by the New York Post Corpora-
tion.

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Getting people together on

the Left

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

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 1973

Vengeance does not pay

By JIM CONLEY
NIXON IS assuming basically dic-
tatorial powers - control of
the press, abolition of programs
by administrative order, discre-
tionary tariffs, use of government
police to maintain his personal
power. His programs, wisely de-
scribed as "socialism for the rich,
private enterprise for the poor",
is the political underpinning for the
:eveloping American fascist sys-
tem. Thousands of young intellec-
uals were forced to flee the country
during the height of the Vietnam
War. The president has let it be
known that young men who are not
willing cannon fodder have no
place in America. He has b e e n
turning the war down slowly for
years; it has served its purpose.
For several years, the interest of
progressive elements has been dis-
tracted from social concerns by a
made-to-order war that removed
millions of young men from civil-
ian life during the social upheaval
of the late 1960's. Nixon's "volun-
teer" army will perfect the can-
ning policy of militarizing the low-
er classes. What better way of
preventing their becoming revolu-
tionary?
THE PATHETIC American Left
has been playing into the hands of
the reactionaries for a long time.
The blatant elitism and plain snob-

bery of so many leftists nauseates
the American people, alienates
them even more than the machina-
tions of Tricky Dick. Too iany
leftists and activists in youth
groups see the average American
worker as the enemy.
The workers and farmers are too
often the objects of their cruel
jokes and massive contempt. The
concept of a "counter-culture" is
based on a country-club mentality.
A coalition of students and heavy

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"Workers and farmers are too often the ob-
jects of . . . massive contempt. The concept of
a 'counter-culture' is based on a country-club
mentality."
......t.... ... .. . .... .. ::":::..:. .. .::: . $i d i ax: s},a. "

thought they would. Their flash-in-
the-pan hysterical leftism of delib-
erate misfits was a form >f bour-
geois individualism.
AMERICAN MARXISM must ma-
ture so that it is no longer a
"phase" that people can grow out
of, and it must become the clear
voice of the American farmers and
workers.
Imitating Cuba, Vietnam, I r e-

WE F I N D President Nixon's pro-
posals to bring back the death pen-
alty and impose life imprisonment with-
out parole for certain crimes to be short-
sighted and unrealistic.
Nixon announced Saturday that he will
ask Congress to restore the death pen-
alty for certain federal crimes and to
require life imprisonment without parole
for twice-convicted drug felons.
We do not agree with the President
that the death penalty is a deterrent to
crime. The death penalty can only be a
deterrent when the potential criminal
rationally weighs the possibility of suc-
cess against the risk of failure and
death at the hand of the state.
But "the hijacker, the kidnaper, the
man who throws a fire bomb, the con-
vict who attacks a prison guard or an
officer of the law," in the President's
words, are 'not acting rationally. The
fear of the death penalty is not even
relevant in such cases.
FURTHERMORE, in the ethical sense,
we doubt whether the state has any
more right to deprive individuals of their
lives any more than the individuals
themselves. In this context, along with
the doubtful effectiveness of the death
penalty, capital punishment is reduced
to an act of senseless vengeance.

Neither do we believe that manda'tory
life imprisonment for second - time
drug felons would effectively combat
the heroin problem in this country.
First of all, most of those so convicted
would be small-time dealers who sell to
support their own habits. There would
be plenty more junkies to take their
place, as long as heroin is smuggled into
the country. Unfortunately the govern-
ment has been unable to either stop the
heroin flow or to arrest the major traf-
fickers. Mandatory life sentences will
probably not change that situation.
We do not believe that such punish-
ment can eradicate heroin use in this
country, and a presidentially appointed
study group will soon officially release
a report that agrees. According to NBC
news, " the report states that rehabilita-
tion, not punishment, is a better solu-
tion.
PROGRAMS such as methadone main-
tenance, if easily accessible, would
be more humane and more effective in
combating heroin use - and resulting
crime than life imprisonment. Unfortu-
nately the President, as he did with
other commissions regarding pornog-
raphy and marijuana, has chosen to ig-
nore presidential commission findings
unless they agree with his own personal
moral code.

dopers is a somewhat too limited
base for a successful political
movement, though it may net a
few thousand votes in a few col-
lege towns.
This statement will provoke some
anger, I realize. In 1968, 1 told
Bill Ayers and his SDS cohorts that
their fate would be the same as
the wobblies, that within a f e w
years the brutal suppression of a
few riots, the hounding of lead-
ers and the regular forces of co-
optation would utterly dissolve their
student movement of direct con-
frontation. They laughed and call-
ed me a liberal. They defeated
themselves faster than I h a d

land, or China is misguided; dis-
tinct adaptations of Marxism are
necessary in each country. Marx-
ian thinkers around the world have
often grieved over the inability of
American Leftists to accustom their
style to local traditions. in what
Freud called 'pious America',
Judeo-Christianity a n d Marxism
can be interwoven into a strong
and popular faith, which is t h e
basis of any successful revolution.
That wizened academic George
McGovern likewise played Nixon's
game with consummate skill. In
him, the workers perceived a man
speaking even more deviously and
vaguely than Nixon. He tried the

old Democratic strategy of uniting
minorities, basically the welfarers,
the blacks, and the young.
McGovern's perspective was so
narrow that millions of people who
hate Nixon, voted for him because
they saw him as the lesser evil.
Of course, all minorities (except
the tiny managerial elite) are op-
pressed in this country, but a poli-
tical coalition based on minorities
is especially unstable and event-
ually just divisive of oppressed peo-
ples.
AMERICA is the Melting Pot;
the managerial elite and its sociol-
ogical ancestors have proven mast-
ers at playing off one= oppressed
group against another - farmers
against workers, "poor white
trash" against blacks, the masses
of Anglo-German Protestants
against Catholics and Jews.V!ere
the lines are drawn determines
who wins the fight, and McGovern
helped draw the lines so that Nix-
on's reelection was inevitable.
The distinction of the welfare
masses from the other segments of
the proletariat is a reactionary in-
vention: the welfarers are workers
forced out of their jobs, farmers
forced off their land by the acceler-
ating force of capitalist industrial-
ization, now called automation.
This distinction is matched by
that of factory workers vs. white
collar clerks, small businessmen,
and professionals and semi profes-
sionals, who have been propagand-
ized into believing they are not
part of the working class.
A youth-culture oriented toward
the students and hangers-on con-
nected with the more selective col-
leges can only alienate the major-
ity of young people who do not at-
tend college or end up attending
Podunk U.
THE ONLY REAL distinction is
this - 98 per cent of the American
people are slaving for the benefit

of 2 per cent.The fat must be skim-It
med off the top. Any distinctions
drawn farther down than the neck
of the capitalist elite work to the
benefit of the 2 per cent. We must
not divide ourselves as the over-ex-
tended investment and the shoddy
quality of the products of the Amer-
ican capitalist are producing a
financial crisis that is steadily
deepening.
The disillusionment of farmers
and workers is growing daily. If
the would-be Leftists of Ann Arbor
do not sense this, so much the
worse for them. There are many
people in Ann Arbor who feel that
the masses of people in this coun-
try are brutal and simple-minded.
There is a lot of cruel stupidity
in all people; students merely ex-
press their stupidity in a some-
what more grammatical fashion.
Those who practice hip elitism and,
youth culturalism simple direct the
brutality of many people against
themselves.
THE MOST radical thing that
has happened recently in the State
of Michigan does not involve se.-A
date Ann Arbor.
In right-on fashion, the building
trades have thoroughly trashed
scab-employing contractors. In
one instance, several dozen s t a t e
police stood by lamely as t h r e e
hundred workers burned and ex-
ploded a partially built school
building.
I relate this not to condone large-
scale violence, but to demonstrate
the growing disgust of the working
class and their continued willing-
ness to /resist exploitation. The ne-
gative attitudes of workers toward
students and "freaks" must be con-
demned and corrected, so also
must I condemn the negative atti-
tudies" toward workers that I find
so prevalent in Ann Arbor.
Jim Conley is a senior psychot-
o, y student at the University.

Letters to The Daily

*n n rr i a

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DES dangers
To The Daily:
REGARDING THE recent DES
controversy, doctors, and drug
companies:
The "anti - miscarriage" drug
DES (a synthetic estrogen) which
was widely given in the 1940's
caused epidemic proportions of
vaginal cancerin the female off-
spring. What did the doctors do?
They removed their vaginas and
"replaced them with a mold made
from intestinal tissue which need-
ed daily dilating to keep it open
but which "comfortably admitted
two examining fingers one year
after operation." (What for???)
Another "anti - miscarriage"
drug, progestin, was also widely
used in the 1940's. Progesterone
turns into testosterone (male sex
hormone) in the body and IT af-
fected the female fetuses with
masculinization: they grew up
with enlarged clitorises and with-
out menstrual cycles. What did the
doctors do? They performed cli-
torectomy. (What for??) States Dr.
John Money: "The only cases that
don't get a clitorectomy are those
in which the clitoris is sufficiently
small and sufficiently in its "hid-
ing place" where it does not ap-
pear as an embarrassment to ei-
ther the parents, the doctor, or the
child."
That was in the 1940's when the
man needed a large population (we
were at war) and every pregnancy
had to be saved. Today these same
drugs, DES and progesterone, are
given out like water for the op-
posite effect (miscarriage) be-
cause babies aren't needed a n y
more.
What will the effects be and why
aren't the WOMEN important??
Kay Weiss
Advocates for Medical
Information
March 12

local health groups. People who
want the refund should leave a
self - addressed envelope for the
Ann Arbor CIC c/o LSA Student
Government, Room 3-M, at the
main desk on the first floor of the
Michigan Union no later than
Thursday, March 15.
Ann Arbor Counter-
Inaugural Committee
March 12.
Dump Sylvia
To The Daily:
A HOROSCOPE? Give us a
break!!! A real waste of space ...
especially asanyone who's serious-
ly into astrology knows that they
are almost entirely useless. Why
are you trying to fill up all this
space; can't you find enough news
happening in Ann Arbor? And
which intellectual level are you
trying to appeal to this time? Is it
post-kindergarten or not?
We subscribe to The Daily for a
different viewpoint on the news,'
not as a substitute for doodling or
TV soap operas. Now you've added
to the crossword puzzle, the cute-
ness in the today column, and the
overspecialized full page book re-
views . . . a horoscope!
Why don't you put Sylvia to work
getting the Culture Calendar to the
point where it is complete and ac-
curate? Or hire her to deliver in
the mornings? Our delivery person
definitely needs someone with a lot
of foresight. Or you could have her
cover city council meetings . . .
local conventions and conferences
- . . Tenants Union news . . . the
A.A.P.D. . . . the Community Cen-
ter . . . Drug Help and Ozone
news . . . the health care struggle
of the Free Clinic and N. Lassin
et al. . . . the students and freaks
who work with the P.D. on "sen-
sitive"' cases . . . the transit prob-

Dump Orr
To The Daily:
OUR INFLUENTIAL student
newspaper The Michigan Daily
ought to consider initiating a move-
ment to lure Fred Snowden back to
our University as head basketball
coach. His success as a basketball
coach is unheralded. We sh o u I d
never have lost him.
-Michael Snabes, Gra.d
March 2
Write, please
To The Daily:
I AM PRESENTLY serving
time in the Ohio Penitentiary sys-
tem at London, Ohio. I am doing
fairly well except that I have no
one with which to correspond. As
you might guess, it is quite lone-
ly for me. I was hoping that per-
haps you could print this in The
Daily in hopes that some of the
students might wish to write to
me. They would be doing a great
favor and have my heart-felt
thanks. My address is:
William N. Churcott
134255
Post Office Box 69
London, Ohio 43140
William Churcott
March 9
Brotherly love
To The Daily:
ONE AFTERNOON at about
12:10, a car drove by a group of
students waiting to cross State St.
near Angell Hall and covered us
with a combination of slush, sslt,
and muddy water. I know this is
not the worst thing that will hap-
pen to me in my life, but I'd like
to say this to that bastard: I have
only one winter coat and I can't
afford to get it cleaned. Well, what
else can I say? You destroyed my
faith in people? Corny, but you
did a little. That I hope it happens

Sylvia's Sign S
TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 1973
Pisces are Restless Sleepers
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20). Avoid pro-
crastination. Work projects should be suc-
cessfully completed. With vacation over you
will find yourself rather mixed up and ir-
ritable. Make the UGLI your home.
Aries. (March 21 - April 19). Tense day
is in store. Guard you possessions . well
against theft. Others make changes without
telling you. Think before you speak; don't argue. tB6ware of the
Wrath.
Taurus. (April 20 - May 20). A letter of great importance is
on its way, possibly an acceptance from another school. Upcoming
elections may stir you into controversies. Stay clear as tensions
build.
Gemini. (May 21 - June 20). Success is in store if you listen
to others. Favors will be given and rewards can be reaped. Keep
a good disposition. Response strong from present lover. Frequent
pleasure zones.
Cancer. (June 21 - July 22). Stay calm. Avoid sudden actions
and reactions. Study favored. A passive attitude should dominate.
Take advantage of any trick. Repeat an offer previously refused.
It will be accepted.
Leo. (July 23 - Aug. 22). Plan for summer now. Shop for jobs
and new clothes. Make contacts. Friendships may falter a little.
Drive to Detroit this evening for a change of pace.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22). Control your actions and emotions
well. Anything can happen today from a temper tantrum to a
passionate affair. Don't get too involved!
Libra. (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22). -Don't be gullible. Promises made
to you will not necessarily be kept. Suddenness of events catches
you off guard. You tend to be too unscrupulous.
Scorpio. (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21). Your prestige and knowledge will
have an immense effect on others. Shaky affairs with sexual

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