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September 20, 1977 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1977-09-20

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0, 1977-The Michigan Daily

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What might have

Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. LXXXVIlI, No. 11i

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Picking and choosing in
the marketplace of ideas

A LITTLE WHIRLWIND of contro-
versy blew up last week when the
African Students' Association pointed
an angry finger at Lowrens Pretorius, a
white professor from South Africa who
was due to visit the University. The stu-
dents were concerned over the hush-
hush attitude with which University of-
ficials treated their inquiries.
The African students also requested
that Pretorius make clear his position
on the issue of apartheid, the white
South African system of laws which ex-
cludes blacks from political and societal
participation.
"Since the University has extremely
articulate policies of non-discrimination
on the basis of colour, sex, and creed,"
the Association said in an open letter to
the Regents, "it appeared to us reason-
able to ask the University to require the
same moral standard of those to whom,
the institution chooses to extend service
and hospitality."
As it turned out, Pretorius opposes
apartheid. But regardless of his stand,
the African students raise a delicate is-
sue, beyond apartheid: if members of
the academic community find the

beliefs of a visiting professor or person-
ality repugnant, should the professor be
barred from campus?
Setting aside the matter of auto-
matically identifying a professor with
the policies of his government, we find
the first issue poignant and important.
A college campus is not without its
political underpinnings, but at its best it
should serve as a community of ideas,
where the push and pull of idealogies
may collide freely. That is the essence
of academic pursuits. We read the
works of fascists, Marxists, conserva-
tives, liberals, all of whose writing of-
fends someone. If we bar visiting profes-
sors whose governments we oppose,
shouldn't we also bar their books from
our curriculum?
The University and its students
should welcome people of all political
and cultural persuasions. Lowrens
Pretorius turned out to believe, in gen-
eral, in things we believe in. But in the
end, did his visit do us as much good as a
visit from a professor who favored
apartheid might have? Wouldn't we
have benefitted more from a clear un-
derstanding of the Vorster regime's
policy than an echo of our own views?

When the fire has burnt low and
the dawn is not far off, old politic-
ians play a game of whimsy.
While ancient Republicans
nudge their fellows, wink, and
say, "By God, what if old Tom
Dewey hadn't been so cocky?"
doddering Democrats pour their
buddies another shot and say,
"By God, what if Adlai had gotten
an earlier start in '52?"
The game of historical ifs is one
of utter futility but endless de-
light. Thoughts of what might
have been have enthralled lovers
and warriors since Eden, but not
even their volatile pursuits have
been so vulnerable to the sudden
change, the subtle possibility, as
the pursuits of politicians.
AS TIME WEARS ON, the once
quicksilver feats of history ac-
cumulate dust and take on the
stolid, implacable permanence of
Rushmore. But, the if-sayers say,
it was not always so simple. Play
along. Sip your bourbon, stare
into the fire, andwonder:
- A fair jumping-off point for
our game is 1932, when a would-
be assassin nearly killed
Franklin Roosevelt weeks before
his first inauguration. Say the as-
sailant had succeeded. The na-
tion was already near revolt. Its
heart broken by Herbert Hoover,
it was by no means confident in
the prospects of a Roosevelt pres-
idency. Yet the New York gover-
nor was the only president-elect
the voters had. They hoped. Im-
agine if he had been killed.
Hoover would still be president,
of course. But who would have
been inaugurated? John Nance
Garner, FDR's running mate,
Speaker of the House from Texas
who had been nominated as bait
to the South? In any event, let's
forget the New Deal. And when
one forgets the New Deal, one
might place a fairly safe wager
on the overthrow ofsAmerican
capitalism. (Isn't this fun? Take
it as far as you wish, but we'll go
on.)
- BRING FDR BACK to life,
pass the Second World War, -and
slow down in 1948. Harry Truman
is reading polls showing him to be
one of the least popular presi-
dents in history. Thomas Dewey,
governor of New York, is antici-
pated by Republicans and Demo-
crats alike with rigid certainty.
Prominent Republicans, eager
to get good buys, bought fine
Washington homes in prepara-
tion for the eight years of the
Dewey Administration. Most con-
fident of all was Tom Dewey.
Supposed he had worked harder
and won. Early on, Dewey eased
away from the issue of Commu-
nist subversives in government.
He condemned a plan to outlaw
the Communist Party. Might
President Dewey have had the
character to nip in the bud a surly
young senator from Wisconsin
who plucked the "Red" issue out
of the air in 1950? And if Dewey
had eased the nation away from
Red-baiting, might it have been
ready for Adlai Stevenson in

1956?

-TRY 1960, one of the finest
for if-sayers. Let's suppose that
in a burst of clairvoyant intelli-
gence, the Republican partk real-
ized what an ass it had in Richard
Nixon. A charismatic figure that
year was Nelson Rockefeller,
elected governor of New York
two years before. Next to Nixon,
he was the logical choice. Had
party regulars realized how Nix-
on's stridency bothered many
voters, they might well have
nominated Rocky. And what a
more attractive candidate than
Nixon he would have made. And

1

1964. He isolates and crush
Goldwater faction of his
but escalates in Vie
Frustrated and bewildered'
war, he pushes the party to
inate George Romney in 19
the party of war, the GO]
down to ghastly defeat4
hands of a) Eugene McCar
eloquent opponent of the w
the once defeated but mu
spected John Kennedy; c
York mayor John Lindsa;
switched party afficiat
outrage at his party's war1
(and a shrewd sense of the
cal wind.)
- WAIT! DON'T BE so

been?
res the claration of war, and orders
t bombing of the north. Americans
party, cross the demilitarized zone, Chi-
tnam. nese cross the border from the
by the north, and war ensues.
o nom- - The most heart-rending of all
968. As ifs for this generation, the pos-
P goes sibility of the first Kennedy as-
at the sassination never occurring. As-
thy, an sume he lived. Betrayed by his
var; b) own trust in his military advisers
uch re- during the Bay of Pigs episode,
New Kennedy follows his instincts and
y, who pushes the country from Vietnam
ion in entanglement. The North Viet-
policy, namese seize the advantage and
politi- press, victorious, to Saigon. In-
easy on surgents in Laos and Cambodia
also succeed. Outraged, the
rm anation votes Barry Goldwater in-
to office over a stunned Kennedy.
- Or, Kennedy keeps Vietnam
on the back burner long enough to
secure reelection Byer Gold-
water, negotiates a settlement,
and pushes, the New Frontier
through Congress: civil rights
legislation, aid to education, ur-
ban renewal.
Delighted with practical pro-
gressivism, the country in 1968
elects Hubert Humphrey to the
presidency over Richard Nixon.
But the weight of the office takes
a tragic toll on Humphrey. Rack-
ed by mortal illness, he resigns in
1975 and passes the presidency to
his vice president, Robert Ken-
nedy.

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- SUPPOSE Lyndon Johnson
decidedto fight for the Demo-
cratic nomination in 1968. Driven
by his belief that the Great So-
ciety will make him the nation's
greatest domestic president, he
realizes the folly of Vietnam and
commits himself to a withdrawal.
Hie squeaks by Nixon in the elec-
tion, keeps his pledge to end the
war, and returns to the work of
urban relief and revitalization.
But the momentum of the coun-
ter-culture movement goes unim-
peded, and Johnson, suspicious,
launches a domestic intelligence
operation. Senator Charles Percy
uncovers the affair in a series of
televised committee hearings.
Johnson is denounced, and Percy
is himself elected President in
1972.
You're ready for more advan-
ced if-saying now. Without help,
prepare five consequences of
each of the following:
- Huey Long is not assassi-
nated in 1935.
- FDR dies in 1943.
- FDR DI.S in 1943, and in
1945 President Henry Wallhce
faces down his advisers and re-
fuses to allow the atomic bomb to
be dropped on Japan.
- President Dwight Eisenhow-
er dies of a stroke in December,
1954, having been reelected over-
whelmingly a month before.
- Edward Kennedy makes the
right turn on a dusty road on a
tiny island off Martha's Vine-
yard.
The game goes on and on,
weaving fact and fiction until it is
difficult to tell which is which.
Play it long enough and well
enough,,and the department of
history may grant you tenure.

-i

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how very few votes separated the
grim, insincere Nixon from the
young, inexperienced, Catholic .
Kennedy. Had the Republicans
had it together, Rockefeller
might well have defeated Ken-
nedy.
Suppose hehad lasted two ter-
ms, defeating Lyndon Johnson in

the Republicans - Nixon had the
nomination sewed up in''60, so
let's carry him into an earlier ad-
ministration. Inheriting a luke-
warm Southeast Asia policy
from Eisenhower, he is frustra-
ted by a seeming inability to act
with force. He escalates rapidly,
pushes thrqugh Congress a de-

The union,

U'

and MERC

Mark Rudd's quiet retur

HEN MARK RUDD turned himself
in to authorities in New York city
last week, a reporter was dismayed by
his silence.
"Mark, how about some of that old
thunder you had at Columbia?" the re-
porter asked.
Rudd smiled and turned away.
Mark Rudd used to be a very big
deal. As a founder of the Weathermen
and a symbolic leader of the late Sixties'
counter-culture, Rudd shocked a gener-
ation of elders and inspired large num-
bers of that generation's children.
"Don't be timid about telling people
we're Communists," he told followers in
1969. "Don't deny it. Be proud of it."
But the reporter was right last week;
the thunder was gone. Not from Rudd,

He may or may not have an
left to contribute to American p
But as a historical milestone,
quiet return looms large.
0hiJe Midhtgan Bata
EDITORIAL STAFF
ANN MARIE LIPINSKI
Editors-in-Chief
LOIS JOSIMOvICH ............................ Mana
GEORGE LOBSENZ.......................... Mang
STU McCONNELL ........................ Mana
JENIFER MILLER ....................Mana
MIKE NORTON ..Man
KEN PARSIGIAN ............. ..Mana
BOB ROSENBAUM Mana
MARGARET YAO ........ Mana
SUSAN ADES............. Mag
JAY LEVIN .............. .... Maga
ELAINE FLETCHER Associate Mag
JEFFREY SELBST ............
Weather Forecasters:
MARK ANDREWS and MIKE GILFORD
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Barry, Rick Berke, Brian
Michael Beckman, Lori Carruthers, Ken Chotiner, E
Ron DeKett, Lisa Fisher, Denise Fox, David
Michael Jones, Lan Jordan, Janet Klein. Garth Kri
Krupa, Doblilas Matunonis, Patti Montemurri, Tor
Karen Paul, Stephen Pickover, Kim Potter, Ma

This editorial gas submitted by the
Executive Committee of the Graduate
Employes Organization (GEO), a union
which represents teaching assistants,
research assistants, and staff assistants
on campus.
The Regents decided last
Thursday to appeal a judicial or-
der that the University recognize'
the Graduate Employes Organi-
zation (GEO) as the union repre-
senting graduate' student as-
sistants (GSAs), thereby delay-
ing for at least several months its
ything implementation. This order was
)olitics. issued on August 19, 1977 by
Rudd's Judge Schlomo Sperka, an Ad-
ministrative Law Judge for the
Michigan Employment Relations
Cl Commission (MERC). He found
the University guilty of an unfair
labor practice. The University
had illegally refused to put into
effect a contract with GEO, he
JIM TOBIN held, and had no grounds for
aging Editor claiming as a defense that
aging Editor graduate student assistants were
aging Editor
aging Editor not employes as defined by law.
aging Editor Rather than execute the contract
aging Editorasthejudgehad ordered, the Uni-
aging Editor versity announced on September
azine Editor 6 that they were going to appeal
;azine Editor
azine Editor to the full board of the Michigan
Arts Editor Employment Relations Commis-
sion. Last Thursday the Regents
Blanchard, voted by a majority to uphold
ileen Daley, that decision to appeal.
I Goodman, The ruling of Judge Sperka
ewall, Gregg
m O'Connell, leaves little room for doubt and
artha Retal- therefore offers the University
o, Aninmarie tt.. ..- _ .C ......«, -- -

as they were students and not em-
ployes - and that the GSAs had
no legal right to a union. The Uni-
versity asserted that MERC
should follow the precedent of the
National Labor Relations board
in its finding that research assist-
ants at Stanford University were
not employes. Sperka, however,
concluded that: "Commission
and Court decisions are clear.
Student employes are employes
within the meaning of PERA
(Public Employment Relations
Act)." He cited ample precedent,
including the decision of the
Michigan Supreme Court that the
interns and residents at Univer-
sity Hospital did have the right to
collective bargaining. In this
cas'e, the court ruled: "No excep-
tion is made for people who have
a dual status of students and em-
ployes."
So, if the judge's decision is so
forceful and the legal precedents
are so strong, why is the Univer-
sity appealing? In the University
Record of September 6, William
Lemmer, a University attorney,
claimed that an appeal was
"necessary for the good of gradu-
ate education at the University."
This comment is difficult to un-
derstand. Since the University
stands almost no chance of win-
ning an appeal, the only effect of
the Regents' decision will be to
delay justice for GSAs, to deprive
them for a longer time of their le-
gal right to a union and to collec-

time "as is compatible with the
legal proceedings," thus en-
suring a further drop in the living
standards of GSAs.
The decision to appeal seems
likely to increase the disaffection
of GSAs with the University - a
disaffection that stems from fall-
ing real wages, higher tuition.
rates, and increasing class sizes.
As such, it is hardly likely to
benefit education at the Univer-
sity. The law provides GSAs with
a channel for voicing their colle-

Letters to The Daily

tive grievances and that channel
is now being blocked. The Uni-
versity clearly hopes that the
union will be worn out financially
and organizationally by the
lengthy legal process - par-
ticularly as the University has
decided to rescind the dues
collection procedure. Instead, the
decision seems likely to
inaugurate a bitter conflict bet-
ween the union and the Univer-
csity over recognition for GEO.

To the Daily:
I am sorry to note, in the first
few fall issues of the Daily, the
continuation of two things which
have bothered me all summer
long in your paper.
The first thing is Keith Rich-
burg's inept reporting. Granted,
the VA nurses' trial was a long
and complicated one, but Rich-
burg's intellectual laziness has
not helped his readers under-
stand what happened, and his
shaky command of both gram-
mar and syntax has only made
things worse.
An example of the kind of jour-
nalism which Richburg should
emulate is the article about the
VA nurses' trial which appears
in the latest issue of the Ann Ar-
bor dbserver. Unlike Richburg's

Ann Arbor Observer article.
The second thing which has
been bothering me in Daily ar-
ticles is the persistent practice of
referring to campus film groups
as "film co-ops," which is in-
correct usage: the campus film
groups (or film societies as they
are sometimes called) are no
more co-ops than the U of M
Men's Glee Club, or for that mat-
ter, the Michigan Daily itself
The problem probably stems
from the fact that one of the film
groups calls itself the Ann Arbor
Film Co-op. But, properly
speaking, it is not a co-op, and
there is no reason for the Daily to
add to the confusion by calling all
film groups "co-ops." The North
American Student Cooperative

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