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April 03, 1973 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-04-03

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*

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

Political prisoners crowd Saigon

jails

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 1973

SGC vote: Everyone loses

APPROXIMATELY 4,000 students - an
underwhelming 12 per cent of the
electorate - voted in last week's all-
campus election. No less than 303 bal-
lots have already been declared fraudu-
lent.
Student Government Council Elec-
tions Director Ken Newbury, one of
many who once touted the new sticker
voting system as "foolproof," tells us that
whoever fixed this election did is so well
that plenty of other ballots may be
phonies, too.
Once upon a time The Daily would
have used this space to soapbox at length
about the despicably apathetic student
body; we might have employed the old
maxim that anybody who doesn't care
enough to vote deserves whatever so-
called government they get.
But there is a good deal of truth in the
argument that anyone who cares enough
to vote in an SGC election is simply ex-
pressing a masochistic desire to take part
in a disgraceful farce.
MR. NEWBURY HAS delicately avoided
pointing any fingers at potential
guilty parties in this latest attempted
coup.
CERTAIN FACTS, however, are obvious.
As the intrepid Newbury himself
points out, whoever "cracked the system"
must have had a thorough knowledge of
the election computer program and the
complex registration-tabulation process.
Newbury no doubt feels that some of

the Council's fading integrity can be
saved by not blaming the fraud ballots
on anybody.
But unbiased integrity has never been
the forte of Mr. Newbury, who took oc-
casion after his appointment as elections
chief to vigorously endorse Gill's candi-
dacy.r
Moreover the 303 fraudulent votes
are enough in themselves to torpedo
SGC's already foundering ship.
ANY ATTEMPT to cover up for the mis-
takes or inadequacies in the elec-
tion process, not to mention fraud, can
only hurt the Council now. Newbury
should bear in mind that SGC efforts at
smokescreening its own flaws in the past
has led to the present state of nil credi-
bility.
In the sixties the campus was the
source of enough activism that students
could look to other' places than Council
for leadership, but that activism has all
but died.
We can no longer simply laugh when
the only group of people designated to
represent our needs and concerns to the
University behaves like fools.
At a time when we need nothing so
much as credible campus leadership, we
are forced to watch our "leaders" at SGC
embarrass themselves.
WHEN AND IF this election is certified,
the new Council has its work cut out
for it: Restore our confidence. It will be
needed in days to come.

By JAMES WECHSLER
A FEW HOURS after the news from Sai-
gon that Truong Dinh Dzu had at last
been released from prison, there was a
phone call from Chicago. It was from Dav-
id Truong, 27-year-old, Stanford-educated
son of the man who had run second (ac-
cording to the suspect official count) to
Gen. Thieu in the 1967 Vietnam elec-
tion and was subsequently held in jail for
nearly five years. His crime was his ad-
vocacy of a negotiated peace.
I first met David in midsummer of 1968,
soon after he had begun his long, often
heartbreaking fight to win American sup-
port for liberation of his father. I have
seen him often in the ensuing years, and
my respect and affection for him have
steadily grown. Now, after all the false
hopes and disappointments, the day he had
envisaged for so long was finally at hand.
But it was a day still shadowed by the
knowledge that thousands of other political
prisoners are still held captive and ap-
parently destined to be overlooked when
Thieu makes his heralded journey to confer
with President Nixon.
"Of course I'm very happy about my
father; we've waited a long time," he said.
"But now I feel even more determined to
continue what I'm doing."
What he is doing is addressing meetings
throughout the country to remind Amer-
icans that Saigon's jails are still crowded
with victims, many of them non-Commun-
ist "neutralists" like his father, who were
imprisoned for urging a compromise set-
tlement. He believes as many as 200,000
are still being held.
DAVID TRUONG had spoken to his father
for the first time since 1968 shortly before
he called me. Immediately after his re-
lease, Dzu had telephoned David's younger
sister, who teaches French at UCLA, and
she had given him David's itinerary.
The conversation between ,father and son
was a guarded one - "we assume t h e
phone was tapped" - but David said his
father was aware he is pleading the pri-
soners' cases here and hoped "I would
do whatever I'm doing to help them."
He also said the circumstances of his
father's release plainly indicate that it was
designed to deflate the pressure for free-
ing Saigon's captives during Thieu's visit
here.
"Only a few weeks ago," Truong said,
"my father was reclassified as a common
criminal, as they've done with many others,
so that they could keep them in jail with-
out regard to the peace agreement."
"Then very suddenly everything changed
and he was let out, just a few days before
Thieu's trip here."
AFTER WE HAD TALKED, I went back
through the files, including material David

Anti-government demonstrators in Saigon: Still 200,000 South Viet-

aIfmeSe poltical prison
had given me that could not be used at
the time. There was a letter smuggled from
his father in Con Son prison dated Feb. 20,
1969:
"I am feeling well although the detention
and constant surveillance are hard for mry
nerves. Without any pressure from Nixon,
I don't think I and other non-Communists
will ever be released. I am doing my best
not to break down, but there are terrible
moments . .. A delegation of deputies from
the Assembly recently visited the island,
and I promised the major of the place that
I would not try to meet them. However,
my guardian has clamped with lumber every
door and window of the little shack for two
days and there wasn't any food coming
in ...
"You must tell the people back there
that the was is far from over. The Presi-
dential campaign might be over, but not
Vietnam. At the present rate, we might all

have to face 1972 with a bigger Viet-
nam . . "
There are also reminders of the depressing
rebuffs David Truong received from t h e
Nixon Administration when he made direct
appeals in his father's behalf - often with
the backing of Senators and Congressmen.
David never abandoned the effort. He
often expressed a desire to return to Sai-
gon, even at great personal risk, but others
persuaded him he could render more use-
ful service to his father here. In De-
cember, 1971, he sent me a not saying
"there has been some movement on my
father's case . . . and on his release for
Xmas, but something may go wrong."
Something did.
THROUGHOUT THESE YEARS David
has somehow retained both the gift of laugh-
ter and a sense of dedication. But I have
also seen how wounded and frustrated he
was by the continuing American commit-

ment -to Thieu and the unending devastation
of his country. In April, 1972, he wrote me:
"Jim, as a personal friend to another; what
are -your country and people doing to
mine?"
Now he once again talks of going home,
but his initial efforts to obtain a visa and
passport have been brushed off so far by
Saigon's mission to the UN. Looking back
over these years of David's lonely strug-
gle, my rejoicing over his father's belated
release is tempered by shame that it took
so long - and that it will now be ex-
ploited to cover up Thieu's unremitting re-
pression. For David Truong and others of
his generation who care deeply about free-
dom and independence for their country, we
have secured no "peace with honor"; their
war is not over.
James Wechsler is the editorial director
for the New York Post. Copyright 1973
by the New York Post Corporation.

Supporting the meat boycott

MEAT BOYCOTT is on, and early
indications reveal that a large num-
ber of shoppers have begun to faithfully
honor this protest week by not buying
or eating meat.
The question is whether or not such a
nationwide boycott will have any effect
on high meat prices. So far, the mere
threat of a meat boycott apparently has
been effective in that' it did reach the
White (House, where President Nixon last
week responded by clamping a ceiling on
current meat prices, but this move was
received bitterly, with the oft-heard re-
sponse "too little, too late." Indeed, it was
little consolation to irate shoppers to
hear that hamburger would not go any
higher than $1.19 a pound, or that chuck
roast will rest at $1.38 a pound.
Are meat prices worth protesting
against? We believe so. In the last
twelve months, whole sale beef prices
have risen 24 per cent. Any wage in-
creases, on the other hand, have been
kept in the area of 5.5 per cent. Even
persons living in dorms who don't shop
for meat should be concerned, for higher
meat prices will lead to more increases in
dorm rates, or lesser quality meals.
THE CHIEF PURPOSE of the massive
boycott is to show that the con-
sumers of this meat-eating nation are
organized in their opposition to runaway
meat prices.
Furthermore, the meat boycott will un-
doubtedly drive down meat prices, if for
only a short time. After all, prices are
determined by supply and demand, and
with a boycott-produced demand work-
ing against the existing supply, prices
will undoubtedly go down.
THERE ARE possibilities which could
counteract the boycott, however. One
is that farmers may withhold their
steers, hogs and lambs from market. But
as noted .by the National Farmers Or-
ganization, such a plan could only be ef-
fective for a short time, as " farmers
would still have to feed and care for the
withheld stock. With a ceiling establish-
ed on wholesale and retail prices for
meat, the feed costs would soon prove
Today's.st (1ff:
News: Mike Duweck, Bill Heenan, Jona-
than Miller, Chris Parks, Gene Rob-
inson, David Stoll
Editorial Page: Kathy Ricke, Eric Schoch,
David Yalowitz
Arts Paoe: Gloria Jane Smith
Photo Technician: Ken Fink, David Mar-
golick
1j;1j

too big a burden to allow farmers to con-
tinue their actions.
Of course, the rising costs of produc-
ing cattle has contributed to the rising
cost of beef. Included in these costs Is
the increased cost of feed grain. We are
now paying in part for the huge sale of
grain to the Soviet Union last year.
Unfortunately, the rocketing meat
prices are only a symptom of the grow-
ing Inflation in this nation's economy.
Phase III has not been successful In
checking inflation, especially food prices.
The boycott can demonstrate the pub-
lic's dissatisfaction with government
economic policy, since in this age the
government pulls the important eco-
nomic levers.
ONE MUST NOTE however, that the
government apparently doesn't expect
to be influenced by the meat boycott,
other than the minor concession of a
price ceiling. Over the weekend, Secre-
tary of Agriculture Earl Butz made it
clear that the Administration doubts
that consumers will have the will power
to go without meat for very long. Ac-
cording to Butz, "The question is, do
you really change your eating habits over
the long term? Probably very little."
It is up to the populace which the Ad-
ministration serves to show that it does
have the will power. For this reason, we
support this week of boycotting meat.
City budget
AFTER MONTHS of debate, City Coun-
cil finally approved a massive fed-
eral revenue sharing budget providing
funds for many necessary community
services including child care, health care,
and drug help.
Republican councilman Lloyd Fair-.
banks called the budget a "Human
Rights Party victory." Perhaps, but more
importantly the budget represents a vic-
tory for the citizens of Ann Arbor.
With federal projects aiding the indig-
ent being eliminated right and left by
the Nixon Administration, revenue shar-
ing has become the most important
source of funds for continuing such vital
community programs as Octagon House,
Ozone House, and the Summit Street
Medical Center.
Admittedly the revenue sharing bud-
get was not the best that could have
been designed. Council "threw away"
$200.000 to reduce the city debt, yet re-
fused to finance the Community Wo-
men's Clinic, a health service operated
by women for women.

Letters:
To The Daily:

Open
Carncelled

letter on SGC election

AN OPEN LETTER TO THOSE
WHO SEEK TO DESTROY STU-
DENT GOVERNMENT:
The whole ideal behind a demo-
cratic election is to obtain a re-
presentative sampling of the popu-
lace, thereby asserting the exist-
ence of every single individual in
the processes of government. Re-
cently, some individuals have de-
cided to thwart the presence of any
SGC, LSA-SG, UHC, Board of Pub-
lications and various referenda.
How dare you! YOU need an SGC.
Whot do you think would happen
without a student government?
Your voice in the University will
cease. Now suppose you did not
think your voice was being echoed
through a SGC. Well, where were
you during the elections? When is
the last time you encouraged the
existing student officials of how you
felt? How dare you camplain? How
dare you be apathetic? How dare
you!
The SGC does not exist to per-
petuate itself. Where would the
Advocates for Medical Information
be if SGC had not voted them
money? But more important where
would you the student be if AMI
had not uncovered many of the
oresent University health dangers.
Dr think of the many students who
desperately needed the student le-
gal advocate. The students who
were being evicted by their land-
lord, or the students who were
forced out of their dorms because
they thought marijuana to be a
pleasuretand notadisease. Where
would the 5000 students be with-
out their health insurance which
includes, at no extra cost, abor-
tion coverage.
You the student helped finance
these activities. Who would be
around to help establish a day-care
center for the many women who
have to work or attend school.
Wold you do it? What organiza-
tion can effectively fight the clos-
ed door decision-making of the Re-
gents. and the anti-student policies
they follow. Where do student or-
ganizations go when in a crisis
and a need of money?
If you are unsatisfied with the
existing system, vote to elect new
officials. The real sabotage does

To The Daily:
LAST NIGHT I surprisingly
found a parking space on South
Thayer, walked through the rain
into the loby of the Modern Lang-
uage Building and approached the
ticket sales desk of the New World
Film Co-op. It was greatly dis-
concerting to me to discover that
the originally scheduled feature,
"The Boys in the Band," had been
cancelled.
It was explained to me (by a
woman who seemed to be affiliated
with the Co-op, or at least famil-
iar with the situation) that "Little
Big Man" had been substituted
as a result of pressurerfrom Gay
Liberation. Whether or not the
explanation for the cancellation is
accurate, the fact remains that
the film was not shown.
I am an avid fan of Cliff Gor-
man's and have been looking for-
ward to seeing this film for quite
a while. In addition to being angry
and disappointed about missing
Gorman's performance, I regret
having missed a film that com-
municates relevant social commen-
tary to the audience, about the
audience, about our lify styles (as
a society) and about the film mak-
ers.
I resent this censorship that has
been imposed on the many of us
that wanted to see "The Boys in
the Band." I imagine that there
will always be people offended by
a significant film, due to their over-
sensitivity, insecurity, hypocrisy,
intolerance and distorted per-
spective whoeversthey are.
Cancellation of "The Boys in the
Band" is a step backwards: it
pushes the homosexual down the
stairs into the Krafft-Ebing cellar,
and I consider it an act of blatant
irresponsibility on the part of the
New World Film Co-op.
-Bonni Kaplan, Grad.
March 30
Nomination
To The Daily:
I WOULD LIKEs to propose Dr.
Mark Green for consideration as
the next director of the Residential
College. The nomination of Pro-
fessor green deserves your serious
attention because he is not only
eminently qualified, but also pos-

demonstrates a dedication to aca-
demic freedom that would make
him an unexcelled advocate for the
college and its educational ap-
proach. ,
0 He has the ability to get along
and communicate honestly with
students, both in areas of personal
counciling and group instruction.
Dr. Green's record of rapport with
students is thecresult of open and
empathetic dealings where his re-
spect for the students, an exceed-
ingly rare quality among faculty
and administrators, results in an
amiable environment most condu-
cive to learning.
Don't pass him by lightly. Mark
Green may not be the least contro-
versial nominee you pick, but he
will be the most successful as di-
rector.
-Louis Miller
R.C. '73

Open coffee hour
To The Daily:
IN YOUR "Letters to the Daily"
of March 28, a revival of the
Spring Parley was suggested as a'
means of increasing student-fa-
culty contact. The idea is a good
one and I would like to point out
that something of the sort already
exists on campus.
Comparative revolution, women
and the graduate experience and a
recent visit to Hanoi have been
topics of discussion at "coffee and
donuts.- hour" sponsored by t hbe
History UndergraduateAssociation
this semester. These discussions,
open to the university community,
have been organized to promote
student-faculty rapport and an ex-
change of ideas in an informal non-
classroom atmosphere.
Our next coffee and donut hour

is scheduled for Thursday, April 5,
at 7:30 p.m. in the faculty lounge
of the Union. The topic of conver-
sation will be cyclical apathy in the
United States.
This will probably be the last
such gathering this semester, but
we, would like to establish an on-
going, regularly scheduled series of
meetings for next fall. Anyone
having ideas for topics (it need not
be a historical subject) and per-
haps specific faculty memibers
whom they would like to see invited
should let us know by writing the
History Undergraduate Associa-
tion c/o the History Department or
240 Michigan Union.
-P. Pilzer
History Undergrad
Association
March 29

A

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