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October 24, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-10-24

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11y £trI$ ian Dal
Eighty-two years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Liberalguilt, social change and conscience

I .o,

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
Abortion reform: Vote Yes'

IN 1846, THE State Legislature passed
a law which made it illegal to per-
form an abortion, unless it was neces-
sary to save the life of the mother.
Now, 126 years later, the law against
"procured miscarriages" is still on the
books. It makes a woman guilty of a fel-
ony if she has an abortion for any other
reason, and she can be punished with up
to four years in prison.
On Nov. 7, Michigan voters will be giv-
en the opportunity to replace this law
with- one permitting abortions up to the
20th week of pregnancy, 'when performed
by a licensed doctor in a licensed facility.
There are several compelling reasons
why voters should vote "Yes" on this
The law would place control of a wo-
man's body in her hands - not in the
hands of the Legislature, the courts, her
doctor or the father. The current law
provides no protection to women who be-
come pregnant by rape and incest; the
new law would. The new law would also
extend protection to women who, for
whatever reasons, wish to terminate a
Obviously, abortion should not and
can not be the only solution to "problem
pregnancies" - proper contraceptive
education and methods should prevent
the need for abortion. But when contra-
ception fails, why should a woman be
forced to bear an unwanted child?
THE PROPOSED law does take into con-
sideration what are called "the
rights of the fetus" by providing a 20-
week- time limit during which the abor-
tion must be performed. For those who
wish that all abortion laws be repealed,
the proposed law does not permit.
"abortions on demand." Instead, the law
limits abortions to a 20-week period, con-

forming to what many judicial and medi-
cal authorities have found to be a rea-
sonable stage in fetal development to
mark the difficult legal distinction of
when life "begins."
And what of other "rights of the fetus"
which are never raised in anti-abortion
arguments? The right, for instance, not
to be brought into the world as an un-
wanted or possibly deformed child?
Philosophical arguments aside, there
are a number of very practical reasons
why the abortion reform proposal should
be passed. Whether abortions are legal
or not in Michigan, women will continue
to have them. Wealthier women will con-
tinue to travel to other states to have
the, procedure completed. Women who
cannot afford such an abortion will con-
tinue to have them performed in unli-
censed facilities, greatly increasing their
chances of disease or death from the op-
eration. If the abortion reform referen-
dum is passed, abortions will be made
available on an equitable, safe basis to
all women who want them.
THAT WORD "WANT",should play an
important part in consideration of
the proposal. Abortions will not be foist-
ed on those women who do not want
them-even if raped or unmarried.
What the new law does offer is the op-
portunity for a woman to make her own
decisions concerning herself and her
A "Yes" vote for Proposal "B" on the
Nov. 7 ballot is not a vote for the dese-
cration of life. Rather it is a vote for a
rational approach to life and a rational
alternative to unwanted pregnancy.
This endorsement represents the majority
opinion of The Daily's editorial staff.

WHAT HAPPENS or s h o u l d
happen in the United States
after the Vietnam War is over? In
some ways, an intriguing question.
Robert Barkin's suggestions (Daily,
Oct. 18) for those of us who oppose
the war need to be challenged. His
analysis represents (I hate to use
the term, but it's approrpiate) a
liberal's view. As such, it is in-
The American conscience died
with the failure of the civil rights
movement. It has yet to be re-
surrected. There is no reason to
suspect that once the war ends it
will be reawakened. Most people
will nothbe shamed nor will they
admit their guilt. Nor, is it clear
that they should. Everyone is not
responsible for the war. Contin-
ued discussion of the war and con-
demnation of the warmakers and
war criminals after the- war is over
will only make the necessary soc-
ial changes that much more diffi-
The United States has been and
is losing a war to little North
Vietnam and the people will sense
it if they haven't already. To
seek national repentance is to en-
tice many to look for people on
whom they can blame the defeat.
("If those anti-war people, like

necessarily translate into political
support (e.g. "We might be wrong,
but my country right or wrong.")
Thus, we need not promise to
refrain from future military inter-
ventions. We need not admit "our
mistake." We need not purge our
national soul. We could not do so
with a straight face - who doubts
a Vietnam could not happen again?
Finally, we should definitely not
base any movement for institu-
tional, political and/or major soc-
ial change on this foundation (i.e.,
a recognition of national guilt). To
do so is to ensure the failure of
any movement for change, much as
the emphasis on revolution in the
Third World undercut the viability
of and need for the New Left.
If Mr. Barkin thinks we can
move the American people to right
some of America's social, economic
and political wrongs because of
what we did to the Vietnamese, I
think he misreads the nature of
American political life and the
factors which motivate most peo-
ple to seek, social change.
Instead, those of-us who oppose
the war should realize that the war
was not "a mistake," a mere mis-
calculation. A r e Guatemala,
Greece, Laos, Thailand, Brazil and
the Dominican Republic all mis-
takes? Or can we recognize a pat-

tional change here and there will
not make the slightest wave in the
she money has already been
spent. Only the election of Mc-
Govern and his ability to actually
slash the Pentagon budget could
change this. Right now, that seems
tantamount to saying it will take
an act of God.
INSTITUTIONAL changes m a y
so some limited good. It would be
nice to see every president retire
after four years. It would benice
to see Congress exercise and take
back its rightful powers, especially
in foreign affairs, as incompetent
as the Congress is. At least, Con-
gress might do damage more slow-
But, none of this is likely. Re-
cently, the House of Representa-
tives voted by almost three to one
to give the President a line item
veto on all expenditures for the
next nine months. In effect, the
House was willing to give the
President virtually all.of its pow-
er for that period. Institutional re-
forms, to the extent that they have
a realistic chance of enactment,
are likely to be inconsequential.
Where does this leave us? What
do we do when the war is over?
What do we do in the meantime?
In the short run we vote for George
McGovern. We should do so be-
cause he will end the Vietnam '
War and, perhaps, even remove
American military and intelligence
operations from Laos, Cambodia
and Thailand as well. ,
He may also open up some
agenda and political space for those
on the Left.
Our primary goal should be to
mobilize forces for change - not
because we realize the criminality
of the Vietnam War but - on the
basis of our own experiences as cit-
izens, as workers, as women, as t
blacks, as students. Many blackt
people do not need to feel guilty
about the Vietnam war to know
they are oppressed in the Uni'edi
States. Nor do women or workers
or students. Those of us ,in o aret
opposed to thehwar and who seek
social change should take a look at
the women's liberation movemenEt.
The women's movement - cer-

8 S S wttttt
4r "?
Pentagon Paper--planning for plenty.

"The American conscience died with the
failure of the civil rights movement.... Liberal
guilt never did and never will serve as the basis
for meaningful social change."
iRrS :::,r y q{ y ,sm m v'{{ r +i{;Ys giv.: a r,.i".Yy, +. r ,.,.":{{{u err,.". ~'rii s :v-

Jane Fonda, hadn't subverted our
morale, we'd have whipped 'em
in a week.") Keeping the issue
alive will lead people to ask not
"How could we do this?" but ra-
ther "Why didn't we win?"
THOSE WHO believe the war to
be a moral disaster for this coun-
try have an obligation to a v o i d
putting the issue in moral terms.
Most people are apparently not
capable of moral outrage, at least
not over the Vietnam War. Even
if many could agree that the war
is an enormous evil, it would not

tern there? Isn't Vietnam a grand
manifestation of a rather consist-
ent American foreign policy in
some areas of the world? Those
of us who oppose the war should
not expect increased revenues for
domestic spending to come out of
the Pentagon budget. The Pentagon
has already developed plans to
spend all that money and plenty
more for decades. The Pentagon is
nothing less than a monster eating
away at America.
At the same time, the Pentagon
makes America tick. An institru-

tainly, the most vital movement for
social change at this time -_ h a s
grown in size and impact simply
because women are learning to
confront their own existence, to
understand that it can be different
and to act to close the gap between
what exists and what can be. We
need change because of what we
have done to the Vietnamese; but
even without Vietnam we would
need change because our govern-
men and society is systematically=
destroying the best within us, be-
cause they can only prevent as
from leading decent lives.
IN SUM, our own -lives verge
on personal disasters. Many do not
share in the affluence of some sec-
tors of the society. Many realize
that factories, schools, prisons and
corporations breed oppression and
debase our selves. Some of us real-
ize that American democracy is a
swindle, that most of us are mani-
pulated and dominated, that I hbe
government consistently and delib-
erately lies and deceives the Am-
erican people.
When so many Americans are be-

ing dominated and ill-used, when
so many are caught in the work-
consumption' cycle, who has. time
to worry about the Vietnamese?
Let people organize around their
own' interests, their own oppres-
sion and their own experiences;
And, let them join together as they
perceive the commnonalities in their
situations. The only way to insure
that a Vietnam willnever happen
again is to build a movement for
social chance which will enable
the American people to control
their own lives and politics, to free
themselves and to free our coun-
try from an economic-socio-poli-
tical system which must, by its
very nature, thrive on imperialism
and various forms of domestic op-
pression and domination.
Liberal guilt never did and never
will serve as the basis for mean-
ingful social change. And, that's
what it will take to prevent future
Charles Ellison is a graduate
student in the political science de-

Nixon:Arousing the passions within



Opening up the files

THE DEFEAT of a records disclosure
bill by City Council last week was an
unfortunate retreat from active protec-
tion of citizens' rights.
The ordinance would have provided a
legal means for persons to force' disclos-
ure in open court of any recorded infor-
mation on them, kept by any private
firm or public official. It would also al-
low persons to place statements in their
files correcting errors in the data.
Under the existing legislation covering
libel and the invasion of privacy, plain-
tiffs must possess prior knowledge of the
existence of damaging information. Fur-
thermore, if a plaintiff's ber.,f proves
erroneous, the defendant can counter-
sue for malicious institution of civil pro-
The proposed ordinance would have
given the public a decent chance of rec-
tifying mistakes and discovering who has
what on whom.
One obstacle that blocked passage of
the ordinance was a constitutional chal-
lenge by City Attorney Jerold Lax - who
argued that the city does not have the
power to make laws for a circuit court.
But this legalism is not convincing, con-

sidering this city's and others' records
with similarly binding legislation.
IN THIS AGE of the computer, it is be-
- 4 coming increasingly easier to record
and store damaging information. It is
time the individual have the power to in-
form himself of his own status, if he
cannot control it. Under the record-dis-
closure law people would be able to ob-
tain information on them kept by their
employers, insurance companies, credit
firms, and local police departments.
We, as students, would have access to
files kept by the University on us, which
have never been disclosed to the sub-
BUT THIS is just a small step toward
procurement by the people of this
country of the rights and privileges due-
to them as human beings. This law would
not allow disclosure of the countless re-
cords held by the espionage and intelli-
gence bureaucracies maintained by the
federal government. Until those files are
opened to the citizens of the country, we
cannot claim to be a society based on
freedom of the-individual.

stir up the emotions.
Hatred, disgust, fear, nausea. All in-
spired not by the name, but by the man
who wears it.
A large number of people absolutely de-
test this man. "We're not so pro-McGov-
ern as much as, we're anti-Nixon."
"Why?" ask the Nixon supporters? What
about his trips to China? Russia? Doesn't
that show his sincere interest in peace?
they ask. Isn't he ending the war in Viet-
Politics is the answer. The man p a y s
politics, uses lives as pawns. The Viet-
nam war could have ended three or four
years ago. But what value would that have
on election day 1972? Instead , end the war
a week before the election, and a joyous
public rushes to the side of a president .
who has ended the war. And by the time
the drunken celebrations are over, Nixon
has been received.
THE PUBLIC forgets. Nixon haters don't.
Their revived hatred of him as president
goes back to the late sixties, when in a
repudiation of Johnson's war policies, they
chose him - but just barely.
"We are troubled," they cried. "Give us
new leadership. Bring us together. End the
suffering. End the war."
Then the letdown. An implied secret plan
to end the war turned out to be nothing
more than a continuation (and later escal-
ation) of Johnson's war policies. T w o
months after taking office in 1969, over 2,400
more American lives had been lost in a
senseless war.
Protesting proved to be of no avail
that year. The President preferred to listen
to his consenting "silent majority."
OCTOBER 15, 1969. Moratorium Day. Over
a million Americans screamed out their
anguish against the war to a leader who
stated that under no circumstances would
he be affected by the protest.
A month later, thousands of frustrated
people came to Washington to be heard
by their president. Unfortunately, the tele-
vision broadcast of a football game was
more important to Nixon.
Nixon unleashed Agnew upon the out-
spoken minority. They became "an effete

He said, "There are those who want in-
stant integration and those who want segre-
gation forever. I believe we need to have
a middle course." A paradox, for what is
half of infinity?
MEANWHILE, the war dragged on. In
June, 1969, the North Vietnamese reoccu-
pied Hamburger Hill, taken a month earlier
by U.S. trops in a ten day assault and
subsequentily abandoned. Ironic, consider-
ing 84 lives had been lost and 480 sold-
iers were wounded in the assault.
Nixon at that time expressed hopes of
ending the war by November, 1970. He was
afraid that Republican seats might be lost
in the fall elections if the war still raged
Also in thatsyear, HEW SecretarytRo-
bert Finch chose Dr. John Knowles to "be
the assistant secretary for health and sci-
entific affairs in HEW.
Knowles had excellent credentials. An
outspoken critic of unscrupulous medical
practices, Inowles spoke against h i g h
doctor's fees, and expressed support for
all-inclusive medical insurance fees to help
the poor.
However, the American Medical Associa-
tion, which contributed two and a half mil-
lion dollars to Republican campaigns in
1968, opposed Knowles. Nixon, in turn, pres-
sured Finch, who relented and dropped
Knowles from consideration.
THUS IT has been throughout Richard
Nixon's four terms in office. The "little
things" cast doubt on his character and
ableness. Unfortunately, their impact wears
off, their effect fleeting. This year again,
we are doomed to an election based on
TV image and media mirage.
Martin Stern is an editorial night editor
for The Daily.

'From the halls of..

WITH THE AID of the U. S. Navy, three
Americans were arrested last week
on charges that they had circulated lit-
erature illegal under Philippine martial
According to the official spokesman
for Philippine President Ferdinand Mar-,
cos, friendly sources in the U. S. Naval
Command" provided the information
leading to the three arrests, although the
Editorial Staff
PAT SAUER ............Associate Managing Editor
LINDSAY CHANEY ..............Editorial Director
MARK DILLEN .................. Magazine Editor
LINDA DREEBEN . ...Associate Managing Editor
TAMMY JACOBS ........Managing Editor
LORIN LABARDEE .............Personnel Director
ARTHUR LERNER ..........Editorial Director
JONATHAN MILLER ... ......Feature Editor
ROBERT SCHREINER ...... .......Editorial Director
GLORIA SMITH . .................... Arts Editor
ED SUROVELL ..................Books Editor

ensuing investigation was purely a Phi-
lippine effort.
Two of the Americans arrested were
journalists affiliated with the Pacific
News Service of San Francisco; while the
third was a lawyer from Palo Alto.
Philippine Information S e c r e t a r y
Francisco Tahad confirmed that the
United States had assisted in the round-
up of alleged subversives.
Informed sources, quoted in the New
York Times Sunday, said American
spokesmen urged Tahad to revise his
declaration and eliminate reference to
U.S. assistance. Tahad, however, refused
to retract his statement and merely
amended it to say that the U. S. Navy
provided "assistance" at lower than the
commander level.
The self-righteous imperialism of U.S.
foreign policy has again been highlight-
ed by complicity with a military dicta-
torship. Allowing the military to define
what freedom is "good" for other coun-
tries, the United States delivered its own
itizen,, intn the hands nf military znv-

corps of impudent snobs who characterize
themselves as intellectuals."
Nixon also attacked the dissenters' pa-
triotism. They didn't support his war poli-
cies, and were expressing their con-
stitutional right to peacefully assemble and
protest, so Nixon criticized them.
Congress came under fire next. Refusing
to approve proposed hikes in defense spend-
ing, and blocking the ABM, it was labeled
Next in line were TV newscasters. They
were attacked as a powerful elite, feeding
the country only the news which they
deemed proper. The administration's main
gripe was that most of this news was anti-
POVERTY was a major concern when
Nixon entered office. Nixon, however, de-

clared that Vietnam and the economy were
his chief priorities, and that no other prob-
lems could be adequately handled until af-
ter the settlement of those two.
But the war vwas not ended, and the rise
in inflation was only temporarily slowed.
So what of the poverty problem?
In 1968, Nixon only received about 15
per cent of the black vote. Said black lead-
er Ralph Abernathy in 1969, "I really don't
think Mr. Nixon is sensitive to the prob-
lems of black people and poor people.
Blacks regard his as a president who is
concerned only with the welfare of the rich
and the affluent."
Nixon was moving cautiously in his first
year in office. He didn't want to really of-
fend any group of importance; say, a race
of twenty million people. So he liked to
take a middle of the road course.


Letters to The Daily should b
mailed to the Editorial Director or
delivered to Mary Rafferty in t h e
Student Publications business 'office
in the 'Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-spaced
and normally should not exceed 250
words. The Editorial Directors reserve
the right to edit all letters submitted.

Letters: AIP



To The Daily:
dee's article (Daily, Oct. 11) on
the American Independent Party's
rally in Dearborn I had a great
deal of difficulty believing t h a t
Labardee intended his article to
le a .: eainc imr aiti ffrt .of

that there are actual flesh and
blood petople who espouse a n d
proudly believe in the cliches of
the political right. His reaction to
all of this was to get the first ride
back to the more politically con-
genial environment of Ann Arbor
and from here to issue fierce satir-
ical denunciations of the heathens.

would sit in front of his T.V., drink
beer and talk about "Those ass-
hole, dope-smoking college hippies
who don't know what work is,," a
person who would write this kind
of article would also probably sit
in front of his T.V., but smoke dope
and talk about those "beer-belly,
flag-waving chauvinistic, 'real

Labardee makes no effort to under-
stand them. In fact, the effect of
his article is to minimize whatever
potential danger there exists in
political action based on simplistic
notions of patriotism and love of
Labardee's only insight, however
unintended, in this article was the

social causes of this fear and
alienation, and then, in the most
human way possible, try to edu-
cate those he seeks to criticize.
-Fred Fejes '74
Oct. 16



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