'Bring 'em back alive' slogan: AAA bunk
i~e Sirigan Uadi
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.
News Phone: 764-05521
By BILL MYERS
EVERYONE "knows" that the American
Automobile Association (AAA) is a non-
profit organization controlled by its mem-
bership, and that it has consistently fought
for consumer interests, and automobile
safety legislation. Everyone also "knows"
that the AAA in Michigan does not dis-
criminate against blacks, and is very con-
cerned with Detroit's future.
Unfortunately all these things that every-
one "knows" about AAA are patented P.R.
Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1972
THE DIRECTORS of the -Michigan Auto
Club are in fact a small clique of business-
men who place their own interests in the
auto industry above the members. These
directors own or have interest in 15 auto-
related companies, six banks, and three
William Bachman, who recently resigned
as the Michigan club's president, is close-
ly affiliated with Darcy McManus, the pri-
mary advertising agency for Pontiac and
Cadillac; Rex Brubaker, the current presi-
dent of the state club owns an Auto Deal-
ers Investment Company, Automated Sys-
tems Company (the primary supplier of hy-
draulic lifts for autos in service stations),
two auto parts companies, and the Auto-
mobile Investment and Appraisal Company.
In addition, Brubaker is a director of the
Service Savings and Loan Association which
handles auto installation contracts.
Oscar Bard, another director, is owner of
two auto parts companies and has substan-
tial interests in Alloy Steels Corporation and
Ex-Cello Corporation. The list could go on.
WHAT ABOUT the club itself?
0 The Michigan club opposed nearly ev-
ery recent safety feature, including t h e
seat belt, shoulder harness, head rest, air
bag, and federal bumper standards.
In Motor News, The AAA magazine took
an editorial stand against air bags, using
as evidence failures of air bags ten years
ago as proof that they don't function pro-
Triple A has taken the same position on
federal bumper standards as that the auto
industry originally took on auto emission
controls in the sixties - that the states
should pass all necessary laws.
Implicit in AAA's entire safety cam-
paign is a two-fold effort - first, refusal to
admit that automobiles can be built that
would prevent any lives from being lost
on the nation's highways; and second, il-
sistence that drivers are to blame for acci-
dents, with no concern that some could be
due to poor workmanship and design.
* The Michigan club has lobbied hard
against a consumer-backed no-fault insur-
ance law. Their chief lobbyist in Lansing,
John Parker of the Michigan Association
of Insurance Companies, a 40 per cent con-
trolled AAA entity, has been the chief ob-
stacle to no-fault legislation this season.
The bill the AAA has supported under the
rubric of 'no-fault' is not a no-fault bill. It
allows for subrogation - the right for the
insurance company to sue another company
for damages on the basis of which driver
was at fault in an accident.
* While fighting consumer-related issues
such as no-fault and auto safety, the Mich-
igan club has never said a word against
unhonored auto warrants. Nor have they
ever raised their voices against the auto
industry's unconscionable price increases
0 The Michigan club is racist. It discrim-
inates against both members and employes.
A sit-in by CORE in 1966 forced AAA to
start hiring blacks - who now constitute
only about 17 per cent of AAA's Detroit
work force. But the club plans to move to
Dearborn, where few black employes could
follow the club.
Further, AAA has a long record of dis-
crimination against blacks who seek in-
surance - most of the city of Detroit is
still "red-lined" or blackballed for home-
AAA's racism has been exemplified by its
refusal to take a stand against leaded
gasoline, which is the major source of lead
poisoning in ghetto youngsters.
* The Michigan club directors have been
electing themselves, their friends and their
relatives to the board for 40 years. The
directors exclude blacks, women, Jews" and
members of the state's many other minor-
What can one do to reform the organiza-
tion? You can sign the Campaign AAA peti-
tions, available at the PIRGIM office, to
enable the members to elect a new con-
sumer-oriented board of directors. At leAst
it's a start.
Bill Myers is jvnior and a member of
PIRGIM's board of directors.
s three- to support revolutionary Cuba's
e work- United Nations' resolution to once
again place Puerto Rico on the UN
n work- list of colonial territories has =just
rg pric- recently proved successful.
higher The existence of colonialism in
as a re- Puerto Rico is a justification for
of liJ- U.S. imperialist intervention every-
's poor- where. Colonialism is constant,
daily intervention and aggression.
Acceptance of this by the majority
depriva- of the American people has made
best be it that much easier for the United
emplov- States to intervene in Vietnam,
ited be- Laos, and Santo Domingo, creating
or over hardships and despair for U.S.
workers, black, brown and, white.
past 25 It is for this reason that today,
erto iRi- El Grito de Lares, must be a day
:onomic of international solidarity for youth
es. and workers in the United States.
The wheat is as- high as ao elephant's eye.
TRUTH, as Ripley would have one be-
lieve, is stranger than fiction. And
the way .the 1972 campaign has been
bouncing along Ripley just might have a
The Republican administration, along
with the nation's largest grain exporters,
has swindled the American public and
American farmers out of millions of dol-
lars in a recent wheat deal with Russia.
First, the financial scandal allowed
several companies and individuals to
reap great profits on the deal, courtesy
of some prior inside information.
Second, the U.S.-Russia wheat deal
apparently cost the Soviet Union far less
than it would have on a pure supply and
demand basis.- -
R USSIA had a disastrous crop this year,
the worst in 51 years, and it was evi-
dent she had to look on the world market
for some badly needed wheat.
Only one country could offer the
amounts of grain Russia needed and the
United States could pretty much have
picked the price it wanted. The U. S.
chose $1.63 per pound, which is currently
47 cents below what wheat is selling for
If the International intrigue is inter-
esting, the local picture is downright fas-
cinating. Before President Nixon an-
nounced the wheat deal it appeared it
wasn't going to be a spectacular year for
American farmers. Conversely many sold
News: Gordon Atcheson, Tommy Jacobs,
Jim Kentch, Jim O'Brien
Editorial Page: Arthur Lerner
Photo Technician: David Margolick
their crops at around $1.30 a pound.
BUT IF the American farmer didn't
know what was coming off, the em-
ployes in the Department of Agriculture
did. Two of them had gone with Agricul-
ture Secretary Earl Butz to Moscow and
participated in the early negotiations
with the Russians. A few weeks before the
$750 million deal was announced they
resigned and joined two of the largest
grain exporters in the country.
Not surprisingly, these two companies
had already completed negotiations of
wheat sales to Russia before Nixon ,an-
nounced the overall deal. Presumably
these major grain exporters bought up
wheat futures while they were low,
around $1.30, and turned around and
made a killing on the deal with Russia.
Once the deal was announced prices
started to rise, not for the Russians but
for American consumption, driving it up
past $2. The grain exporters, however,
had no problem. The government subsi-
dizes the difference between domestic
prices and world prices. Consequently
when the price went up to $2.10 the U.S.
was giving the exporter the difference
between that and the $1.63 charged to
ADDING A final farcical sense to the
burgeoning situation, Vice President
Spiro Agnew "revealed" a few days ago
that the FBI was investigating the situ-
ation. The information was so exclusive
that not even the FBI had known about
it. Not for long though as Nixon, in a
bungling attempt to cover up, ordered
the FBI to start an investigation.
Perhaps the original assumption should
be modified-Truth IS fiction.
By ROQUE RISTORUCCI
'T'ODAY,Puerto Ricans in Chi-
cago, Cleveland, the Bronx, El
Barrio and in Puerto Rico w i 1 1
march, demonstrate, and speak
out to let the world know that the
struggle for Puerto Rican inde-
pendence continues and is growing
Today is the anniversary of the
reaffirmation of Puerto Rican na-
tionality and right to self deter-
mination. 104 years ago today the
desire for independence was cry-
stalized in an heroic act known as
"El Grito de Lares."
Daily Guest riter
"OUR PUERTO RICO t a s t e s
better", "Our Puerto Rico sounds
better", "Our Puerto Rico . ."
There is a grain of truth in East-
ern Airlines' chauvinistic ads.
Puerto Rico is presently theirs -
that is, U.S. monopolies such as
The struggle to liberate Puerto
Rico from the U.S. imperialists has
international significance. Puerto
Rico is the major colony of t h e
strongest imperial power in t h e
world. To expose the colonial op-
pression of Puerto Rico is to re-
veal the fangs of imperialism,
which the United States tries to
conceal in a world increasingly
dominated by anti-imperialist senti-
THE UNITED States has consist-
write your reps!
Sen. Philip Hart (Dem), Rm.
253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep),
Rm. 353 Old Senate Bldg., Cap-
itol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), Rm.
112, Cannon Bldg. Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep),
Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Rep. Raymond Smit (Rep),
House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, 48933.
tently attempted to distort, camou-
flage, and hide'the nature of its
relationship with Puerto Rico. The
first excuse for trampling on the
rights of the Puerto Rican people
came in 1898, when Puerto Rico
was part of the booty from the
Spanish-American war. The ra-
tionale then was that Puerto Rico
was being prepared for self-gov-
ernment. When this "white man's
burden" approach came under at-
tack Puerto Rico was declared too
small and too poor to be independ-
To the masses in th United Stat-
es, a major target of imperialism's
lies, Puerto Rico has been project-
ed as an economic burden to t h e
United States. Something on the
"The 'Commonwealth of Puerto Rico' scheme
was a face lifting operation in which the essence
of colonialism was maintained, but some of the
uglier wrinkles removed."
THESE ARE the. facts -?if co'on-
ialism.Puerto Rico is now in its
fifth centuryof colonial oppression.
However, the movement for Puerto
Rican independence has grown rap-
idly in the last 15 years, particul-
arly among youth. The movement
Rowue Ristorucci, a Puerto Ri-
can, is New York State chairman
of the Young Workers Liberation
League. This article contains ex-
cerpts from a YWLL publication
he recently authored.
order of a poor cousin that must
be fed and clothed.
This characterization is extended
to Puerto Ricans living in the Unit-
ed States. Puerto Ricans migrating
to the United States, fleeing t h e
economic deprivation of their
homeland, are portrayed as "wel-
fare chiselers." This covers tp
their use as a source of c h e a p
labor and their victimization.
AFTER WORLD WAR II, with
the rise of national liberation move-
ments, the United States was un-
der heavy pressure to change its
blatantly colonial subjugation of
Puerto Rico. The United Nations
had placed Puerto Rico on the list
of colonial territories and t h e
United States was eager to remove
the label of "colonialism" from it-
It is in this context that the Es-
tado Libre Asociado or "Common-
wealth of Puerto Rico" was born.
The "commonwealth" scheme was
a facelifting operation in which the
essence of colonialism was main-
tained, but some of the uglier wrin-
Before the "commonwealth" was
established, a group of Puerto
Rican puppets was developed, 'in-
der the leadership of Luis Munoz
Marin, to carry out imperialism's
The "commonwealth" status was
fully established in 1952. The U.S.
Congress authorized an assembly
to draw up a constitution for the
"commonwealth." This law, how-
ever, also required that the draft
constitution of the "common-
wealth" be submitted to, the U.S3.
Congress for approval - no basics
alterations in Puerto's Rico's sta-
tus was made.
MILITARILY, PUERTO Rico is in
the hands of U.S. imperialism. U.S.
armed forces have taken over 14
per cent of Puerto Rico's arable
land. The island is thus a center
equipped with atomic bases. This
occupation is aimed at Puerto Ri-
cans seeking freedom and the rest
of Latin America.
productivity of Puerto Rico'
quarter million willing, abl
These three-quarter millio
ers and their families, payi
es which are 25 per cent.
than in the United States,
sult have a lower standard
ing than citizens of America
est state, Mississippi.
The extent of economic c
tion in Puerto Rico can t
gaugedby the official un
ment rate that has fluctua
tween 11 and 17 per cent f
This explains why in the
years, one third of the Pu
can people, have sought ec
asylum in the United Stat
This political and military subihu-
gation makes it easier for the Unit-
ed States to dominate Puerto Rico
A pamphlet aimed at U.S. busi-
nessmen entitled "Puerto Rico,
U.S.A." reports that, "On a per
capita basis, Puerto Ricans buy
more from the U.S. than citizens of
America's biggest customer, Can-
ada, and on an aggregate basis
more than such huge countries as
The magazine continues, "T h e
United States, in turn, is Puerto
Rico's best customer. The value of
Commonwealth shipments to the
continental U.S., reflect the e%-
pansion and diversification of pro-
duction rose from $302 million in
1953 to $452 million in 1958 and 51,-
256 million in 1968."
But who owns these shipments to
the United States? Not the Puerto
Rican people. Such corporations as
American Can, Carborundum, Con-
solidated Cigars, International La-
tex, International Shoes, Maiden-
form, Parke Davis, Sunbeam, Un-
ion Carbide, and the Rockefeller-
dominated South Puerto Rico Sug-
ar Company own almost the whole
These corporations pay Puerto
Ricans one-third the wages paid to
workers in the United States. This
is why, according to the "common-
wealth's" own propaganda, "Man-
ufacturers average 30 per cent on
their investment - thanks to the
Conflict of interest?
By ROBERT SCHREINER
DESPITE SOME initial concern, it is clear now that that is no con-
flict of interest involved in President Robben Fleming's appointment
to the Chrysler Corporation board of directors.
The recent announcement had caused a flurry over whether the
appointment would bring Fleming and Chrysler in violation of the state
statute prohibiting conflict of interests.
This is the same statute which caused Regent Eugene Power to
resign in 1967 when The Daily reported that Power had a controlling
interest in a company that supplied microfilm to the University.
The statute also forced at least two other Regents to resign from
board positions with Michigan Banks.
A conflict of interest could only arise if Chrysler had substantial
contracts with the University, or if the University owned a large bulk of
Neither of these situations seems to be the case.
"IN FIVE years, the only major thing Chrysler has done concerning
the University has been to give us the Continuing Education building
on North Campus, and that was wrapped up long before I got here,"
Fleming says. "Also, with all the auto companies, they are members of
the American Automobile Association, which gives money from time
to time to the Highway Safety Research Institute."
Wilbur Pierpont, vice president and chief financial officer of the
University, says the University owns no Chrysler stock at present. Pier-
pont adds that any small gifts of Chrysler stock, which the University
receives from time to time, will be sold and the money used for opera-
It is well understood by Chrysler, Fleming says, that his duties as
president will always come first. Thus, Fleming says, he was not even
present at the board meeting announcing his appointment, because there
was a Regents meetings the same day.
"I think the Chysler directors are trying to revise the company's
public image," Fleming says. "They know that I don't have much
competence in business matters, for their purposes."
To The Daily:
I AM A student teacher in the
Detroit school system. This week
all of the people assigned to Wayne
and Oakland County systems have
received the blunt end of our Uni-
versity's biggest fiasco to date.
In order to respond to social
pressures for better treatment for
all students, each student teacher
has been ordered to attend a Multi-
Ethnic Workshop program this
There is no excuse for this work-
shop being held during our assign-
ments. It should have been h e 1 d
during our method classes. Those
of us assigned to Detroit had to
leave our classrooms and come to
Ann Arbor. This was done without
of future contracts, if we did not
attend. As it turned out neither my
supervisory teacher nor my depart-
mental head was happy about this
program. My students were resent-
ful and told me so, and who could
blame them? To guarantee that at
least we would show up for the
workshops, attendance has been
taken. We have to sign our eval-
I could' understand the whole
thing if they had pulled me away
to deal with my teaching practices.
But not one single suggestion on
classroom methodology has come
to me. All I have witnessed a r e
some tired bureaucrats boring me
to death with their life stories. Tell-
ing me about President Eisenhower
Barbara Halpert of the Human
Rights Party in connection with
Sunday's abortion reform bene-
fit. The story mentioned neither
who Barbara is nor why she was
kept from speaking.
Barbara Halpert is the Human
Rights Party nominee for the U.
S. Senate. She has been active in
movements to repeal laws pro-
hibiting abortions all her adult
life. While she was in the Demo-
cratic Party she time and time
again saw motions for abortion re-
form bottled up and kept from the
convention floor by party leaders.
She became one of the founding
members of HRP as a result.
The Michigan Abortion Referen-
dum Committee - the group spon-
speech. The reasoning behind this
position is worth examining.
In essence abortion referendum
committee members argued that
abortion is not a partisan issue and
that they are not in a political or-
ganization. Furthermore, they as-
serted that mentioning anything
beyond abortion reform would
jeopardize the initiative on the
That is, they argued that it is not
worth noting that both Frank Kel-
ley and Robert Griffin, the Demo-
cratic and Republican Senate nomi-
nees, oppose abortion reform. They
preferred not to have it noted that
IIRP is the only one of the four
non-sectarian parties running Sen-
ate candidates who support the
November initiative. Or that
Republican parties refuse to do
anything on an issue, this fact
should be ignored and not attack-
ed. In short, take the narrowest
view possible and avoid controver-
sy at all costs.
HRP completely rejects this
But if the Michigan Abortion
Referendum Committee were to
call itself the Michigan Democrats
and Republicans United for Abor-
tion Reform and Against Abortion
on Demand (at least until Novem-
ber), they would be entitled to re-
fuse to allow Barbara to speak.
They would also attract a lot less
people to Hill Auditorium and to
$100 a plate receptions at the Ra-
If they are going to masquerade
Chrysler's motives are obvious, in wanting not so much Robben
Fleming, as the president of a prestigious university.. Both parties had
better be careful, however, to stipulate that Fleming is on the board
as a private individual, and under no circumstances acting as a univer-
sity president. Trouble could begin if that is not made clear at the
SOME CONFLICT of interest questions have been raised due to
Fleming's participation on both the UAW's Public Review Board and
This fact, however, does not constitute a conflict of interest because
Fleming's UAW capacity is to hear grievances within the union and is
not in any capacity connected with Chrysler.
In addition, both the UAW and Shrysler have said they are satis-
fied there is no conflict. The only way a conflict of interest can exist
is for the person in question to be able to influence one of two groups
to the detriment of the other. This is not the case here.
PERHAPS upon close examination, it is better to have someone
like Fleming on the Chrysler board; rather than another president of
another large corporation sharing Chrysler's narrow field of interest.
Relatively speaking, Fleming brings a perspective to Chrysler that is