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March 21, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-03-21

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

Emotional limits to blind independence

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-05521


Finally, only returnables

its step in the direction of a better
environmental future. We only hope that
the ordinance requiring deposits on soft
drink and beer containers within the
city limits is a mere shadow of the leaps
and bounds to come.
Serving as a vanguard for the rest of
the state, City Council has stepped out
on a limb. The ordinance will be success-
ful only if the people of the community
whole-heartedly support it.
Since the city's ordinance is on a lo-
cal scale, it may 'be more difficult to
prove its worth, but as Mayor Harris said
during the council hearing, "I wish such
an ordinance could be approved at the
state level. Still it is better to start at
the local level, than not to start at all."
EMANDING deposits on beverage con-
tainers-and not even all beverage
containers-is only a small part of the
real issue-the ideology of obsolescence.
In 1970 the average American created

five pounds of solid waste per day. And
as a whole, our nation generates more
industrial and municipal waste than any
other country.
For too long now, American society has
become permeated with the ideology
that: "If an auto runs relatively well for
a few years, it is a great buy," and "A
refrigerator keeping food for five years
is a heaven-sent appliance, after all, it's
out of style in five years and you need a
new one in order to 'keep up with the
Jones"' and "Of course I buy a couple
pair of new shoes every year . . . the
other half dozen pair I own are out of
A MERICANS are obsessed with planned
obsolescence. And it is time to change
our way of life.
Returnable bottles is a good start, but
it is only a start. Manufacturers must
become more environmentally aware and
more concerned with the packaging of
their products.

ON FEBRUARY 20 The Daily published
an article entitled "The Blind Stu-
dent's Desire for Independence." The ob-
ject of that article was to banish the all-
too prevalent stereotyping of the blind as
being helpless. The desire for independ-
ence is a laudable one. It is no less im-
portant for the blind to strive toward the
goal of autonomy than for any other person
or group. However, the desire for auto-
nomy, when placed against the limitations
imposed by disability, can often create con-
siderable psychic strain.
Until mid-1966 I enjoyed normal vision
corrected with glasses. Then, through the
unexpected development of detached ret-
inas in both eyes. I lost my vision over
an eight month period in 1966-1967.
I have been at the University'since the
fall of 1969, and am now working on my
doctoral dissertation. My circumstances dif-
fer from all those persons interviewed for
the article, as their own differ from those
of all the others. The problems I will dis-
cuss are, however, common to most, if
not all, of the blind.
WITHOUT SOME form of assistance, no
blind person can tell a one-dollar bill from
a five-dollar bill or a can of chicken soup
from a can of peaches. The iumber of
things a sighted person can do which a
blind person cannot do can be minimized,
but never totally eliminated.
Some of the blind refuse to face this
simple fact, thinking that to do so is to
admit that something is "wrong" with
them. Instead, whether or not they wish
to admit it, they may become victims of
internally created emotional pressures. One
form these pressures take is to rush the
blind person toward a fruitless attempt to
be more independent than is possible.
The stress is increased by the many am-
bigious encounters between the blind and
the sighted which are often difficult for

both parties. The blind person is frequently
the recipient of well meant and unsolicited
aid. Unfortunately, such aid sometimes
takes a form which is not only demeaning
to the blind person, but which would be de-
meaning to anyone.
SOME SIGHTED persons seem to feel
there is nothing wrong in taking a blind man
or woman by the back of the shoulders,
and pushing him or her down the street
like a grocery cart. The reader might con-
sider how he or she might feel to be so
"helped." Of course, the person rendering
such "assistance" is unaware of its na-
ture, or certainly would not have acted
that way in the first place. He cannot un-
derstand why such actions often bring re-
sentful looks or words from the blind. Nor
can be realize the deeper impact of such
Happily, most sighted people ren-
der aid in positive ways, and such mis-
guided behavior occurs in only a minority
of cases. Regretably, some of the blind
feel they must go to extremes of independ-
ent behavior to avoid such demeaning as-
sistance. They may begin to look upon any
unsolicited aid as a humiliation. Once
again, great emotional pressure can be
built up in the hopeless attempt to become
more independent than is possible. This
is a no-win situation. No matter how in-
dependent the blind person may feel he or
she is, or may in reality be, there is no
escape from the well intentioned sighted
person who persists in offering forms of aid
perceived as demeaning. No matter what
the degree of independence, a situation will
eventually arise in which help is :equired.
There are certain problems I have as a
blind graduate student which are beyond
my personal resources to solve. Such a
problem was the lack of reading facilities
in the graduate library when I arrived
.on campus. There are several reading
rooms in the UGLI, but a large share of the
material I had to use could not be taken

from the graduate library. At one point,
my reader and I were reduced to .tanding
up in the stacks to read, until a custodian
cameby to tell us we were violating some
obscure regulation.
Having made a reasonable attempt to
deal with the problem on my own, I felt
it was no infringement on my independence
to approach the University to ask for as-
sistance. With the help of Charlene Coady,
coordinator for the handicapped, the grad
library set aside two reading rooms in the
Hatcher wing. Both are now frequently
I DID NOT FEEL then, and do not feel
now that I was either taking advantage of
the system or putting myself in a position
of helplessness by asking for these facili-
ties. Indeed, I see such accommodations by
the University as simply creating a rough
form of equivalency between blind and
sighted students. The University should be
concerned with the problems of all minority
groups, and the blind form one such group.
However, the University may well have to
seek out the blind to determine what their
problems are.
Too many blind persons, caught up in the
desire to be maximally independent, may
refuse to accept the notion that there are
any problems. They may simply suffer
those problems in silence rather than seem-
ing to appear "helpless." The blind can do
more things by and for themselves than
most sighted people realize, but like all
human beings, the blind too have needs
they cannot fulfill alone.
They should have no compunction in
speaking out about those needs. Thev should
protest any discrimination against them on
grounds of disability in such areas as em-
ployment, housing, and transportation. It
is the best thing for all blind people to
strive for independence. It is folly, how-
ever, to become involved in emotional
stress in a futile effort to escape reality.




The ITT, caper returns

Daily Photo by RANDY EOMONDS
Blind student Peter Grunwald:
"I don't want someone to grab
me and walk me ,

Spiro Agnew-Vice President
John Connally-former Secretary of
the Treasury
John Mitchell-former Attorney Gen-
Peter Peterson-White House aide
THESE MEN WORKED together in
Washington as federal officials.
Monday it was revealed by congressional
investigators that they worked together
in another capacity as well. According to
the report, all of them and other high-
ranking officials were involved in helping
International Telephone and Telegraph
Corporation (ITT) settle a controversial
anti-trust battle with the Department of
The ITT case stirred up a storm
when it was alleged that the Justice
Dept. case against ITT was dropped after
ITT pledged $400,000 to help finance the
Republican convention last August.
In January of 1969 ITT acquired the
Hartford Fire Insurance Co. over the ob-
oday's staff:
News: Jack Krost, Marilyn Riley, Eugene
Robinson, Stephen Selbst, David Un-
neweh r
Editorial Page: Eric Schoch
Arts Page: Barb Bialick, Jeff Sorensen
Photo Technician: Rolfe Tessem
Editorial Staff
Co-Editors in Chief
ROBERT BARKIN................... Feature Editor
DIANE LEVICK...............Associate Arts Editor
DAVID MARGOLICK............:Chief Photographer
MARTIN PORTER ................. Magazine Editor
KATHY RICKE...................Editorial Director
ERIC OCHOCH ...................Editorial Director
QtbRIA SMITH.......................Arts Editor
CHIARLES STEIN........................ City Edtor
TED STEIN.......................Executive Editor
MARTINS TERN ....................Editorial Director
ED SUROVELL........................ Books Editor
ROLPE TESSEM ......................Picture Editor'

jections of the Justice Dept. Until 1971
there was much controversy over wheth-
er or not they would be allowed to keep
ownership of Hartford, further expand-
ing their industrial empire.
At that time an agreement was reach-
ed by ITT and the Justice Dept. allow-
ing ITT to keep the Hartford Co. while
releasing two smaller interests.
LATER, an investigation of the case re-
vealed some interesting meetings and
correspondences between ITT officers
and influential government officials
when released Monday.
One choice item was a letter from Ed-
ward Gerrity, sr. vice-pres. of ITT, to Ag-
new dated Aug. 7, 1970 thanking him for
setting up a meeting with the asst. at-
torney general in charge of anti-trust
cases - who at that time was opposed
to the ITT-Hartford merger.
There was also a memo in the ITT
files about a session between Garold
Geneen, president of ITT, and then At-
torney Gen. John Mitchell. The meeting
apparently was fruitful for ITT because
the memo indicated that Nixon was "not
opposed" to the merger.
Of course, these two items-only part
of an eighty-page ITT file on the mer-
ger-and the fact that the Justice Dept.
refused to show the file to the congres-
sional investigators until the House Com-
merce Committee twisted their arms a
little could mean nothing.
THE FACT THAT in April ITT vice-
president William Merriam wrote}
Connally that White H{ouse aide Peter-
son and Connally were "instrumental"
in getting a delay for ITT in filing their
appeal, later leading to their victory,
could be coincidental.
Hopefully, it will not be considered
coincidental. But judging from the way
the previous ITT scandal and- the Wat-
ergate case were hushed up, we cannot
hope for much this time around. Unless
Congress finally decides such under-
handed dealing has gone on long enough.

'Withoutpity': Heightening crime hysteria


"WHY DON'T you learn to face
it?" a critical observer of
this space remarked the other day.
"Nixon's going to be President for
four more years and there's noth-
ing you can do about it. Why not
relax even if you can't enjoy it?"
A sophisticated student of af-
fairs who prides himself on his
long view offered the same coun-
sel of calm in some what differ-
ent terms.
"After all," he said, "50 years
from now Nixon will be remember-
ed as the great anti-Communist
crusader who established the de-
tente with China and Russia, and
nobody will remember what he did
to the poor or how much dirty
business went on inside his Admin-
-There are, of course, less re-
strained verbal and written ad-
mornitions to find a more useful oc-
cupation and stop badgering the
leader who has brought us peace
with honor and finally begun to put
"them"in their place.
BUT I DO NOT find much of

this advice either persuasive or
helpful. Mr. Nixon may - or may
not - retain his standing in the
polls despite the price of food and
deepening political scandal. Per-
haps future generations will indeed
recall only his missions to Peking
and Moscow, if they ultimately
lead to a new, enduring stability
and an end to the madness of over-
kill armaments.
Yet none of these speculations
justify what he continues to do to
impoverish and debase the spirit
of the country in the here and now,
and with consequences for the very
foreseeable future. His gift for
quick, slick political maneuver is
beyond dispute; he has repeatedly
shown the ability to exploit dis-
cords and to divert momentary pas-
sions. But what will America
be like by the year of the bicenten-
nial as he finishes his second
* ' * -
THE QUESTION IS stirred again
by his latest forays in the field
of crime. Many of his specific re-
commendations will, I trust, be

thoughtfully' and vigorously chal-
lenged by leaders of both the lo-
cal and medical professions; one
might even imagine some of those
who taught him law at Duke Uni-
versity articulating some anguish
over some of the simplistic rhe-
toric he advanced - from his re-
version to the ancient ritual of
capital punishment to his banal at-
tack on "soft-headed judges" and
his lamentation over "the growing
sense of permissiveness" in the
Beyond any point-by-point ap-
praisal of his recommendations,
what stands out is the tone and
temper of his language. Crime, he
chied, must be ' fought "without
The phrase - "without pity" -
will linger long. It involves a good
deal more than any debate over
the severity of sentences, or other
aspects of the judicial process. It
embodies an attitude of mind and
heart. In a sense it seems to have
become the banner of an Admin-
istration that boasts its "hard-head-
ed" view of life.

iency for drug pushers or mild
reproaches for child-abusers. Mr.
Nixon's favorite debating device is
to pose spurious alternatives; thus
anyone who cannot share the exul-
tation of a lynch mob over the elec-
trocution of a murderer must
somehow be deemed an advocate
of "permissiveness." By the same
standard, any concern about the
impulses that led to murder is
equated with inadequate sympathy
for the victim. It is implicitly re-
garded as a sign of weakness to
exhibit compassion for the family
of the criminal, and inconsistent
with true indignation about the be-
stiality of his crime.
* * *
I do not believe we will achieve
any serenity if "without pity" be-
comes the national war-cry in the
battle against crime. It not only
reduces the rest of us to the level
of jungle fighters. It also imperils
the whole process of justice.
Too many criminals escape de-
tection or punishment - some be-
cause they have special connec-
tions, others because of police in-
eptitude or manpower shortages
and court congestion. But it also
remains a fact of life that too
many innocent are still unjustly ac-
cused. Recent "wrong mari" epi-
sodes have again dramatized that
point: I remain deeply convinced
that one such victim, William An-
thony Maynard - has been in pri-
son for five-and-a-half years in

New York in such a travesty, and
that he will yet be vindicated.
TOO MANY defendants have in-
adequate representation; too many
-udges - far from being guilty of
excessive tenderness - are "hang-
inz judges." Too many crowded,
wretched prisons transform minor
first-offenders into deadly, desper-
ate characters.
The effect of Mr. Nixon's stri-
dent political performance is to
heighten a climate of hysteria, in-
timidating 'judges and juries alike,
and rendering the innocent more
v"lnerable. That result will not
make the streets any safer.
Such matters as prison reform,
rehabilitation programs, improved
court Procedures, legal services for
the indigent and modernized police
techniques are not gaudy headline
themes. They are the tough - and
costly - endeavors that contain
some real promise of hope. It is
easier to declare war "without
pity" against crime in general.
While most of it is a rerun of
shows staged four years ago, it al-
wvnls gets a big hand. It may also
off-r a diversion from white collar
crime in the suites - political and,
economic. But it is talk more ap-
propriate for a sheriff than a Pre-
. James Wechsler is the editor'ial
director of the New York. Post.
C6p1yright 1973 by the New York
Post Corporation.

Letters to The Daily

Execution support
To The Daily:
BY CONJURING Congress to es-
tablish the death penalty for cer-
tain crimes, President Nixon has
displayed his eminent sanity.
As The Daily has pointed out,
there is no concrete evidence to
support the assertion that the de-
terrent effect of capital punish-
ment is greater than the deterrent
effect of any common alternative
punishment, such as protracted im-
nrisonment, etc. On the o t h e r
hand, there is no concrete evidence
to the contrary. Statistical argu-
ments on differential deterrent ef-
fects are completely unuseable,
since it is impossible to prove that
variations in homicide rates a r e
wholly or partially the result of the
presence or absence of capital pun-
If, however, one accepts that the
deterrent effect of punishment in-
creases as the severity of pun-
ishment increases, then capital
punishment, if it is the most severe
of all punishments, should produce
the greatest deterrent effect.
As Britain's Royal Commission
nn Capital Punishment (1949-1953)
:>bserved, the aim of punishment
For serious crimes is an emphatic
denunciation of these crimes by so-
ciety. Thus society, by reserving
grave punishment for grave crim-
es, fosters and perpetuates public
abhorrence for these crimnes'-
which abhorrence is ingrained in-
to public and private morality.
Hence, vengeance and deterrence
are inseparable, and deterrence
does not necessarily operate on a
purely reasonable level; so that
the deterrence of irrational men is
not, as The Daily suggests, im-
Society possesses the right to
inflict retributive punishment if it
desires to do so. Indeed, the exac-
tion of vengeance, if exami'cd in
a cursory manner, may seem pri-
mitmin end 'vneA rar hl. hi. l * it

scure moral grounds to :he inflic-
tion of the punishment of death:
but the majority of Americans do
not make this objection. So eat hot
ropes, guys.
-Charles Anesi '74
March 18
Daily errors
To The Daily:
IN YOUR REPORT on the Sen-
ate Assembly endorsement (by a
34 to 7 vote) of the motion to sup-
port the University's resistance to
the suit brought against it by Stu-
dent Government Council, The
Michigan Daily, et al, calling for
disclosure of salary and other em-
ployment data, you refer to some
of my remarks opposing that mo-
tion. Your reporter was accurate
in his account of what I said but
alas! - he misspelled my name.
The difference between Frances
and Francis is that between female
and male (there are, needless to
say, other differences - one of
them, frequently enough, being sal-
ary). The difference between Web-
er and Webber is a matter of na-
tional origin (my husband's na-
tional origin) and I won't bother
about that. Furthermore, although
it was kind of you to promote me
to professor, I do not hold that
-Frances Weyers Weber
Associate Professor of
March 20
To The Daily:
I SEE THAT our own dear Uni-
versity Cellar bookstore, financed
by and for students, is finally
learning the tricks of the book-hust-
ling trade and has picked up one
of its competitors' rip-off tactics.
The other day, I noticed that
there were several other price
stickers beneath the U. Cellar's
of, -irr p r nne a nra..r1 *r

And finally, the latest price tag is
the Cellar's bright yellow sticker,'
boldly oroclaiming the latest price,
- $2.80.
Oh, yes. You ask what the book
is? Why, of course, Elementary
Price Theory. What else?
-Ronald Howard '73
March 17
Fearless leader
To The Daily:
"PRESIDENT" Nixon is an in-
i;ane power-crazy dictator. He
defies our right to question his ac-
tions. What he says is almighty
law. He has prohibited the mem-
bers of his White House staff from
appearing before a committee of
Congress in any formal session. He
has further refused to allow an
aide to testify at the confirmation
hearing of L. Patrick Gray as
director of the F.B.I.
Food prices are rising higher than
ever before, and Nixon has refused
to initiate new controls to prevent
any further escalation of prices.
He is seeking to restore the death
penalty in hijack and narcotics re-
lated cases. He endorses "cruel
and unusual punishment" which is
a moral crime in itself, instead of
developing rehabilitation programs.
He continues to oppose legalization
of marijuana although numerous
commissions and government stu-
dies have recommended that t h e
possibility of legalization s h o u l d
continue to be researched.
He hears only what he wants to
hear and sees only what he wants
to see. He has an acute sickness
of selective exposure and operates
within. a vacuum of personal su-
He continues to slice the budget
for educational expenditures and
welfare. Is there not a constitu-
tional "right to live?"

Sylvia's igs
Aries are fire signs and ruled by Mars
Aries. (March 21 - April 19). Don't be
troubled by insufficient funds. Others who
are more prosperous at this time will come
to your aide. Now might be a good time
to complete those big business deals you've
been hashing about plans for.
Taurus. (April 20 - May 20). While today
may not be the best day to get involved
in a deep relationship with another individual, you are likely to be
daring. Curb fears and find excitement.
Gemini. (May 21 - June 20). Two close friends may try to in-
volve you in their quarrel. Don't take any sides. Concentrate on
improving your health and diet. Visit a health food store.
Cancer. (June 21 - July 22). Make a lunch date today with a
friend you haven't seen lately. Business deals may even be
an additional outcome. Shopping for clothes may prove more fun
than classes this afternoon.
Leo. (July 23 - Aug. 22). You are likely to spend most of the
day daydreaming of what you would like rather than what can be.
However, ecstasy can be reached as romance is very much real.
Virgo. (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22). You are in the position to assist a
close friend who needs your help. Be responsive. The favor may
be returned later in the semester. What's one paper anyway?
Libra. (Sept..23 - Oct. 22). Avoid showing any sign of conceit
to others. Relax with business associates over a few drinks in
late afternoon. Tonight you may find yourself shouldering the
tears of an intimate friend.
Scorpio. (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21). Maintain your confidence as you
will have to make a strong impression on others today. A new
proposal will be made to you which you would be wise to accept.
Sagittarius. (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21). Think carefully before you act
and speak today. A past incident sends you on a short trip. Make
the best of it and turn the excursion into excitement.
Capricorn. (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19). An evening of fun and excite-
ment is in store as a close friend makes plans for you to flash
out on the town. Be careful how vn drive as von may have a






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