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March 25, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-03-25

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Page 4-Saturday, March 25, 1978-The Michigan Daily

1 #
4 /
Coq"y N.ws iorfte

Great expectations:

Take II

Last week I was a Real Estate King in
Orange County California. Starting with a
three-story walk up brownstone in downtown
Pasadena, I pyramided my assets until I
found myself sole owner of at least half the
property in the state. The other half of the
Golden Gate state was owned by a Saudi
Arabian Prince. He attempted to buy out my
share, I refused. He endeavored to bribe me
with wine, women and jewels. I held fast.
There would' be no compromise. Content with
my victory I set my financial sights east.
The week before last I created a sprawling
movie empire just outside of Dallas, Texas. I
took virtual unknowns and made them into
stars. Plagued by exorbitant labor and
production costs, the Hollywood studios found
themselves helpless. Unable to compete with
me, they were on their knees. David
Begelman phoned me asking for a position. I
hung up on him. He called again. He wanted a
job endorsing my personal checks. I told him.
to call Bert Lance. No, I didn't have his num-
FOR THOSE of you who have your doubts,
the above events are fictitious. They are the
fantasies of this college senior who-in his
quest for work as a newspaper writer-has-
received some forty-odd rejection letters. I
have been contacted by newspapers from San
Diego to San Antonio to Fort Lauderdale. The
answer is always the same. "We are looking
for more experienced reporters. We will keep
your name on file should anything arise."
ON FILE. It is my catchphrase for 1978. In
that file is my cover letter, resume and clips

By Rod Kosann

Unable, so
far, to secure the
niche that I want,
I create niches
of my own.

of my articles. I am on so many files that my
circulation is wider than the Wall Street
Journal. In my next batch of letters I will see
if any corporations would like to advertise in
my resume. The audience they might reach
will be tremendous.
The best response to these rejection letters
has been my ability to fantasize. Unable, so
far, to secure the niche that I want, I create
niches of my own. In the past six months my
mind has played out so many career
scenarios that I cannot keep track. In lieu of
an elusive reporting position, I have written
books, become an advertising wizard, and
even handled investments for the most elite of
European nobility.
WERE i NOT to indulge in such mental
machinations, the graduation process would
become far more tedious and increasingly

frustrating. Although I am itching to accept
"real" responsibilities in a "real" world, the
door to my starting gate refuses to open. The
feeling is galling. If only I could get them to
listen. To understand. To show them I am not
another face in the crowd.
Yet, the prospects are not good. Letters
continue to come in. One editor is "confident
that I will get an offer"-from another paper.
Another respondent says that I am being
given careful consideration-so are 140 other
applicants. A newspaper in Eugene, Oregon
sends back my material along with a poorly
xeroxed form letter. It says that some
legalistic loophole does not require them to
answer or consider unsolicited applications.
Tomorrow's fantasy. I own a nationwide
chain of newspapers. A 'private publisher in
Eugene, Oregon offers to sell out. "Sorry," I
write, "a legalistic loophole does not compel
me to respond to unsolicited offerings."
I have sent out more letters. This time to
advertising agencies. For every letter there is
another fantastic scenario in my head. In a
little over a month I will have to act out one of
those dreams. Fortunately, I have plenty to
choose from. My options are unlimited.
Maybe I will sell out to that Saudi Prince af-
ter all.
Rod Kosann is a frequent contributor
to the Daily 's Editorial Page, and he may
be a frequent contributor to thiis page next
year, if something doesn't come his way

°v n rT...HAH!

Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedorn
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXViII, No. 138 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
What if the floor caves in?

Suddenly, a unified Italy
By Vincent Tortora

HIS IS another fine mess the
federal government has gotten us
The city of Ann Arbor this week
discovered that its bid of $147,000 to
purchase the old post office on the cor-
ner of Catherine and Main Streets had
been accepted by the U.S. General
Services Administration (GSA), which
currently owns the building. With the
completion of a few more details, the
post office building will belong to the
city - leaks and all.
Leaks? Yes, officials have long
known that the building has a leaky
roof - one that may need renovation at
a cost of up to $40,000. And the city is
more than willing to correct the
problem. That's not the messy part.
The messy part is that the post office
has been officially designated an
historic building, and in order to tran-
sfer- its ownership to Ann Arbor, city
officials are obligated to sign a special
agreement protecting the status of the
building. That agreement includes a
clause which prevents the city from
altering the facade of the building in
any way, and some city leaders are in
fear that the post office's status will
prevent its roof from being repaired.
Efforts to find out whether such
renovations are in violation of federal
guidelines have met with no success
thus far, but such rules would undoub-
tedly be outrageous.
Councilman Louis Belcher (R-Fifth
Ward) points out ' that current
regulations even go to the trouble of
specifying what colors of paint are to
be used on an historic building, and
what types of glass can be used for its
windows. If that's true, it would not be

so far-fetched if there were to be
prohibitions on roof leak repairs.
It is just Ann Arbor's luck to get
mixed up in this type of situation. Here
the city has taken the initiative to save
a decaying building and make it useful
once more, and the feds may very well
insist that the leaky roof be left just the
way it was found -) for historic pur-
poses, of course.
Mayor Albert Wheeler has the right
idea when he says, ''We're not going to
pay $147,000 for the damn thing and not
be able to fix the roof. I don't care what
the damn regulations say."




Managing Editors
EILEEN DALEY ................................... University
LANI JORDAN .. .................................. City
LINDA WILLCOX .. eatures/Projects
BARBARA ZAH . P ..........Personnel

A~r rnOTOu
Army troops overlook an Italian roadblock on the outskirts of Rome as police search for kidnapped former Premier Aldo Moro (inset). The
troops are used to protect police from terrorist attacks.

Editorial Page Director
Supday Magazine Editors

Arts Editors




STAFF WRITERS: Michael Askush, Rene Becker, Richard
Berke, Lenny BernsteinBrian Blanchard, Bruce Brumberg,
Mitch Cantor. Donna Debrodt, Eleonora diiLiscia, Marianne
Egri, Josh Gamson, Steve Gold, Sue Hollman, Eliza Isaacson,
Margaret Johnson, Caro'. Koletsky, Paula Lashinsky, Marty
Levine, Mitch Margo, Sheila Middlebrook, Dan Oberdorfer,
Mark Parrent, Judy Rakowsky, Martha Retallick, Keith Rich-
burg, Julie rovner, Beth Roseberg, Dennis Sabo, Amy Saltz-
man. Steve Shaer, John Sinkevics. Liz Slowik, R.J. Smith,
Pauline Toole, Sue Warner, Jeffrey Wolff, Shelley Wolson
Michael Baadke, Susan Barry, Mark Beyer. Michael Broidy,
Karen Bornstein, Patricia Fabrizio, Pat Gallagher, Mark
Johansson, Dobilas Matulionis, Bill O'Conner, Joshua Peck,
Stephen Pickover. Cindy Rhodes, Alan Rubenfeld, Anne Sharp.
Renee ShilcuskyJeffrey Selbst.David Victor, Tim Yagle
i I icld Newspaper Syndicate, 1978

The kidnapped Dr. Aldo Moro,
professor of criminal law at the
University of Rome, leader of the
Christian Democratic Party, and
five-time premier of Italy, may
now be exerting his most impor-
tant influence on Italian life Since
he began his. brilliant career
three decades ago. Since his
March 16 abduction by the mem-
bers of the Brigate Rosse (Red
Brigade), 15 million Italians have
reacted with a vigor and
unanimity unknown in Italy since
the war..
Until now, public reaction to
the terrorist Red Brigade on the
left, and the Otdine Nouvo (New
Order) on the right, and several
smaller groups has been
anything but unanimous.
Although these groups have
unloosed a grisly onslaught of
bombings, killings, ritual
maimings and kidnappings over
the past nine years, some Italians
tend to justify them, others to
romanticize them, and a few, to
support them.
SINCE MORO'S abduction,
however, workers and students
representing the whole political
spectrum are marching together
and demonstrating to demand
that something definitive be
done. Individuals who previously
had been intimidated into silence
are turning up in ever-increasing
numbers to offer information to
the police. To some observers,
the spirit afoot in Italy today
recalls that in the final stages of
World War II, during which the
entire population rose up to throw
out the Nazis and the Fascists.
The Red Brigade and other
extremist terrorist groups of both
the right and left were formed in

Ones" or "The Precarious Ones"
-and spoke of -"striking at the
heart of the state to create a
revolutionary situation."
of both the left and the right
decried the very same conditions
in Italian society. They dif-
fered only in the measures they
advocated for improving the
situation. With the bombing of a
Milan Bank in 1969, which killed
16 persons, terrorism was laun-
ched as a grim fact of life. Since
then, there have been at least 50
political assassinations by the
terorist organizations of both the
left and right.
Behind the extremist actions
lay a varied and complex set of
social grievances: massive
unemployment and underem-
ployment, runaway inflation and
sharply reduced buying power,
bitterness and despair over the
dead-end future facing many
young people, the seemingly un-
workability of the university
system, and so on. The official
unemployment rate is eight per
cent, or about two million jobless.
Many additional tens of thousan-
ds are pitifully underemployed,
with incomes considerable below
subsistence. A labrythine tangle
of laws and tax hazards prevents
construction of urgently needed
houses and apartments. As for
public services, is it often im-
possible to get even the most
minimal business taken care of
without submitting to an openly
solicited bribe.
AS ONE WEAK government of-
ficial succeeded another in the
late sixties and seventies, and lit-
tle progress was made in im-
proving the economic and social

50 of the rightists, including some
of their leadership, are presently
in jail. Police have been thwarted
in their efforts to root out the
elements of the Red Brigade,
because of their deliberately low-
profile, their extremely close-
knit organization which seems to
preclude infiltration, and, the
tight, well-planned paramilitary
precision of their assault on
When Brigade members are
caught, their comrades strike
back with a campaign of black-
mail, threat, and assassination
against the judges, prosecutors,
or jurors associated with the
trial. After Brigade members
were captured in 1974, their trial
in Turin was repeatedly post-
poned, as prospective judges,
prosecutors and jurors were in-
timidated by the assassination of
the president of the Turin Law
Society and a police marshal
responsible for his arrest.
BUT THE volcano of news
generated by the activities of the
terrorists has all but obliterated
some of the more positive aspects
of recent events in Italy. The new
government formed last Week by
Giulio Andreotti, after two mon-
ths of close-to-the-breast
negotiations between the
Christian Democrats, who have
ruled Italy since the war, and the
Communists, who have been
gaining steadily in popular sup-
port over the past decade,
represents a triumph of com-
"There's a big difference bet-
ween participation and a takeover
of government," notes Joseph
Luns, Secretary General of
NATO. American Secretary of
State Cyrus Vance commented
earlier to an Italian journalist

The major credit for solving the
governmental crisis between the
Communists and the Christian
Democrats goes to Dr. Moro.
Even with the seeming chaos of
recent Italian politics, the past
two years have produced
significant changes in Italian life
- which, unfortunately, are ex-
tremely slow in filtering down to
"The Marginal Ones." The num-
ber of strikes, general and
specific, has declined by about 40
per cent. Industrial and
agricultural production has in-
creased dramatically, and is now
near the top among the nations of
the European Economic Com-
among the worst in Europe, has
been reduced over the past years
from 18 per' cent to a more
manageable 10 per cent. Italian
payments deficits have sharply
decreased, and the credit reserve
holdings have increased. The
three most successful sectors of
Italian industry - textiles,
machinery and transport - ac-
counted for well over $7 billion in
foreign sales last year.
In probably the most dramatic
indication of belt-tightening,
Italians have managed to curb
somewhat their prodigal appetite
for foreign-made luxury items.
And their use of gasoline and
petroleum items is off by about
four per cent, despite an increase
in the number of cars on the road.
Despite the abduction of Aldo
Moro dramatizing the problems
and divisions in Italy, Italians in
general finally seem willing to
make those efforts and sacrifices
necessary to save their society.
Party association and political
philosophy have for the moment



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