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January 08, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-01-08

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H t Sitn $an Dai1t
Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Thursday, January 8, 1976 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
The CIA's next stop: Italy

THE RISK OF sounding redundant
about America's intelligence ac-.
tivities becomes greater with each
passing week. If one has heard
enough of secret submarines, shell-
fish toxin, poisoned cigars and shoe
polish designed to liquidate Fidel
Castro's beard, there is still domes-
tice wiretapping, mail opening, sec-
ret aid to an Angolan faction, and
massive support for the ultra-right-
ists in Chile.
Finally, there is yesterday's report
of secret CIA funding for anti-Com-
munist parties in Italy.
The craziness of America's spies
has made big headlines and led to
big investigations. But now all this
takes on the frustrating quality of
trying to kill a tick: you can step on
it, bang a chairleg on it, flush it
down a drain or beat it with a broom,
and the ugly little many-legged bug
will just crawl away. The controver-
sy probably peaked when the Senate
Intelligence Committee's report was
published, but President Ford's ap-
proval of the Italy CIA funds came
weeks later.
MOREOVER, the President was said
to "boil" yesterday over news
leaks (apparently in Congress) that
led to publication of the funding
story. Spokesman Ron Nessen would
not confirm or deny the funding re-
port, preferring to make an issue of
the leak - an incident which he
claimed "truly damages our national
Indeed it does. The White House
is well aware that America does best
when it projects an image of demo-
cratic legality in its political affairs.
Yesterday's story reaffirms the op-
posite belief - that this country
will try just about anything to gain
its foreign policy objectives, morality
But we must have known that by
now. The newer problem, then, is
this confusion of image and reality:
Ford, through Nessen, yesterday re-
iterated his interest in projecting
that democratic image regardless of
what the facts are. Nessen did not
discuss facts; he simply changed the
UNFORTUNATELY, Congress seem-
ed to go along. Sen. Claiborne
Pell (D-R.I.), usually considered a
liberal, defended the $6 million fund
for Italian anti-Communists, saying,
"I would not want to condemn this
activity unless the money is being
Sen. Wayne Hays (D-Ohio) said he
only objected because the CIA
wouldn't have control over how the
money was spent.
News: Gordon Atcheson, Cheryl Pilate,
Stephen Selbst
Editorial Page: Marc Basson, Paul
Haskins, Tom Stevens
Arts Page: James Valk
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens
ir. . ' '.>'

Both men appear to support the
use of secret money to forward Amer-
ican interests by meddling in other
nations' politics. The funding is even
believed to be legal.
As with the tick, we are tempted
to conclude that the only way to
get rid of the damn thing is to set
fire to it. Short of that, the image-
versus-reality problem condemns
the funding action no matter which
way you look at it.

THERE ARE 70 million ten-
ants in the United States to-
day, one of the largest special
interest groups in the country.
But they are a disparate group,
spanning every imaginable in-
come, every racial and ethnic
group. Fifty per cent of the
Ann Arbor population are ten-
ants and regardless of wheth-
er they are living in azpent-
house flat atop Tower Plaza, or
in an unfinished basement in
some ramshackle rooming
house, there is something com-
mon to them all. Their land-
lords are ripping them off.
Although in some cases this
might be an indictment of an
individual landlord, in fact the
true villain is the economic
system .that has arisen around
the landlord-tenant relationship.
For unlike other necessities
(i.e., telephone, gas, electrici-
ty), real estate and rental hous-
ing is not considered a public
utility, and thus are free from
federal controls. There are no
controls on what an owner can
do to make more money on his
property. There is no ceiling on
profit. There are no provisions
that can challenge the basic
dichotomy that to a landlord a
house is nothing more than an
investment; while to a tenant
it's a home.
The economics of the landlord-
tenant relationship can be ex-
plained simply without losing
the essential point that land-
lords usually make money com-
ing and going, with income
flooding in from more than just
the rent you pull out of sav-
ings at the first of every month.
In fact, if every landlord in
this town were to cut his rents
in half (a situation that would
make them closer to the na-
tional average) he would still
be making ample profit on his
To understand this, consider
how the landlord makes his
money: rents, tax loopholes,
capital gains and equity.
To the uneducated observer
it appears that the only money
the landlord makes on his in-
vestment comes from rent,
while in fact, only a small
fraction of his profit (estimated
at between 20-30 cents on each
rental dollar), comes from this


source. Rents are usually de-
signed to pay for the mainten-
ance of the building, taxes, utili-
ties and to pay off the land-
lord's mortgage.
Thus, the tenant pays for the
maintenance of his building, re-
gardless of whether or not the
landlord makes needed repairs.
If the landlord does not make
these repairs he is "milking"
theproperty, trying to boost his
profit while cutting down on
maintenance. State law main-
tains that this is sufficient rea-
son for a tenant to withhold his
In addition, the tenant pays
with his rent money for the utili-
ties to service the building, even
though he is sometimes charged
an extra fee for this service.
The high rents in Ann Arbor
are especially sufficient to or-
dinarily cover this charge.
The tenant also pays the tax-
es to be paid on the property
even though often landlords
don't pay property taxes for
several years at a time and
when they do it comes off their
federal income tax. The part
of your monthly rent check used
to pay for property taxes, how-
ever, cannot be deducted from
your personal income tax.
The remaining portion of each
rental dollar, after the above
profits and "physical expenses"
are taken out, goes to the bank
or other financial institution that
mortgaged the property in the
first place.
Thus, in addition to paying
for the general upkeep of the
property, for the taxes, for the
landlord's profit, the tenant ac-
tually buys the property for the
landlord, thus adding to his net
But by far the biggest incen-
tive for landlords to invest in
rental housing are the numer-
ous tax breaks and loopholes
inherent in the real estate sys-
tem. The most important of
these is the depreciation allow-
Landlords are allowed a de-
duction on their taxable income
for their property's "declining
value" due to use. Deprecia-
tion allowances were intended
under the law to encourage cir-
culation of money in the econo-

my, based on the assumption
(usually ill-founded), that if a
landlord is given a tax break
for the "declining value" of
his property, he will re-invest
the difference back into the
property for its upkeep.
Unfortunately most landlords
do not do this and even if they
did there are no guidelines as
to how much they would have
to re-invest in theirdeprecia-
ting property.
But more importantly, the de-
preciation allowance does not
account for the value of the
land part of the investment that
does not decline in value. Nor
does it account for the increased
value of an older house in a
rising market, as is the case
in Ann Arbor.
Thus, while the real value of
the property goes up, the land-

an investment, remember, and
thus it takes time for it to bring
in its true profits. In the case
of capital gains and equity, the
landlord does not make profits
on a year to year basis, but
rather when the house is sold.
Nonetheless don't ignore this
third profit factor. Your land-
lord surely doesn't.
To fully understand the eco-
nomic relationshiptof the land-
lord and tenant, it is important
not to underestimate the role
of your friendly neighborhood
banker, the fellow who smiles
and gives you a free toaster
oven when you open an account,
in driving your rents sky-high.
The bank receives a substantial
amount of each rental dollar
(estimated at between 20-40
cents, depending on mortgage
terms) for doing nothing but
investing in real estate. Most
1-ndlords don't own their prop-
erty outright. They have legal
title, but the bank built it, fi-
nances it, and demands that the
landlord collect higher and high-
er rents to satisfy the bank's
high interest rates. The situa-
tion is caused by the harsh
mortgage terms given out in
what are considered to be high-
risk areas such as the down-
town campus area in Ann Ar-
bor. Because a landlard's mort-
gage payments are high, he
must make up the difference



by charging you more rent.
Wasn't it former city council-
person Robert Weaver (a Re-
publican, banker, no less) who
stated that "the financial in-
stitlitions are the real whores?"
Take it for what it's worth.
The question of whether rental
housing should be subject to
such extravagant profits is one
that everyone should answer for
himself. It's a question that
doesn't necessarily challenge
the entire free enterprise sys-
tem, for other necessities are
regulated to insure ample prof-
its while affording reasonable
rates and maintenance. Land-
lords make money from all ang-
les, from the federal govern-
ment, from their tenants, from
depreciation and equity at the
same time. Regardless of a
tenant's income, whether he be
on welfare or earning $50,000
per year salary, he is being
exloited by a government that
allows such things to exist, by
a bank that demands high in-
terest rates, and by a landlord
who takes advantage of the ex-
isting situation and milks his
property and tenants dry.
Martin Porter is a member of
the VISTA Housing Reform
project working out of Student
Legal Aid and a former Daily
Sunday Magazine Editor.

"But by far the big-



landlords to invest in
rental housing are the
numerous tax breaks
and loopholes inher-
ent in the real estate

e ..... .............................:?"; " .. .........s. ... : {..} '1:;:... .{ .........:": 9 "..1.


Contact your


Roni Nesseni

If the goal is to project a clean,
democratic image, America should
know from Vietnam, Chile, and An-
gola that the best route to such an
image is non-involvement.
AND IF the goal, in this much-
ballyhooed Bicentennial year, is
to behave in a truly democratic man-
ner, then clearly nothing is gained
by clandestine manipulation of an-
other nation's democratic affairs.
Photography Staff
Chief Photographer Picture Editor
Tsiddorial Staff
V. SUSAN SHEINER ........Staff Photographe
DAVID BLOMQUIST ................ Arts Editor
BARBARA CORNELL . Sunday Magavine Editor
PAUL HASKINS .......... Editorial Dlirector
MARY LONG .. Sunday Marazine Editor
JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY Sunday Magazine Editor
SARA RIMER..................Executive Editor
STEPHEN SELBST .. ............. .. City Edltor
JEFF SORENSON . Managing Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Tom Allen, Glen Allerhand,
Marc Basson, Dana Baumann, Michael Beck-
man, Ellen Breslow, Mitch Dunitz, Ted Ev-
anoff, Jim Finkelstein. Elaine Fietcher, avid
Garfinkel, Tom Godell, Charlotte Heeg,
Stephen Hersh, Lois Josimovich. Tom Kett-
ler, Linda Kloote, Chris Kochmanski, Doc
Kralik, Jay Levin, Andy Lilly, Ann Marie
Lipinski. George Lobsenz, Pauline Lubens,
TeriMageauAngelique Matney, Rob Mea-
chum, Robert Miller, Jim Nicoll, Maureen
Nolan, Ken Parsigian, Cathy Reutter, Jeff
Ristine, Annmarie Schiavi, Tim Schick, Kar-
en Schulkins, Rick Soble, Tomn Stevens. Steve
Stofic, Cathi Suvak, Jim Tobin, Bill Turque,
Jim Valk, David Weinberg, Margaret Yao.
Photography S/aff
Chief Photographer
STEVE KAGAN ..............Staff Photographer
PAULINE LUBENS.........Staff Photographer

lord gets to pretend it goes
down, and 'deductsethis fictici-
ous loss on his personal income
tax. For a landlord making
around $40,000 a year, 50% of
this deduction becomes income
in the form of tax savings.
In addition, the same building
may be depreciated countless
times. After one owner takes
his depreciation and sells, a
new purchaser starts the cycle
all over again. The very fact
that a building is later sold and
resold for a profit shows that
the depreciation allowance is
a sham.
There is still more. Capital
gains and equity are factors that
contribute to the eventual prof-
its of landlords. Real estate is

Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), 253 Russell, Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), 353 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), 2353 Rayburn Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Lansing, Mi. 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem), House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, Mi. 48933.
:+i:;:y;?::?i r,'R:?4i'"?:is ;:S r:i:5 %':{ ?:": i" i .'d": :i

Billy Graham: Hard sell in Hongkong

his arrival in Hongkong recent-
ly to begin a week-long cru-
sade, the Rev. Billy Graham
told a gathered crowd of Chi-
nese: "You had a great civili-
zation here for thousands of
years. (Pause.) We believe that
many Chinese characters, sym-
bols and philosophies came from
the Bible"
Graham, who arrived by spe-
cial launch from this British
colony's main airport - the
first dignitary to make such
a harbor crossing since Queen
Elizabeth - later told a press
conference: "We as Christians
have the responsibility to be
the salt of the earth and the
light of the world. We have to
make it a little better for our
Graham's hard sell for salva-
tion here was supported by a
massive publicity campaign, in
which nearly every newspaper,
telenhone pole and church was
plastered with his name and
face. Thirty Americans accom-
nanied Graham to Hongkong for
the crusade, including a ten-
member photography team. An
advertising man had spent near-,
ly a year here laying the
groundwork from his suite at
the Hongkong Sheraton.
Hongkong is a city of about
4 million - 99 per cent Chi-
nese and about 10 per cent
Christian. It was only one stop
on a Graham world tour that
had taken him to Brizel, Korea
To The Daily:
Paul Haskins ("New Genetic
Research Under Fire") which
appeared in the last issue of
the Daily for the fall term con-
tains many errors of fact, mis-
leading and vaguely worded
statements, and misquotations.
Since the subject of recombinant
DNA research is currently of
considerable interest at the Uni-
versity of Michigan and else-
where, I would like to comment
on several of the more impor-
tant errors.
First let me comment on the
errors of fact. Paul Berg is not
and never has been president of

and Germany.
The day of his arrival, Graham
presided at a luncheon with a
small number of Hongkong's
press. After the roast beef,
vegetable platters and silver
shrimp cocktail dishes were
cleared away, the question was
put to him: How could he, an
English-speaking American, re-
late his message to Hongkong?
"I'm here as an ambassador
from the Kingdom of God,"
said the evangelist. "I repre-
sent a kingdom much higher
than the United States."
Following the luncheon, he
relaxed with a few reporters,
autographing his newest book,
"Angels." " 'Time' has used
me twice this year," he men-
tioned to a local correspondent.
"Unless you get an offbeat an-
gle, they probably won't use
me again. Since Luce died, they
haven't been using me as
mach." He smiled and shrug-
THAT EVENING, the tables
of the Ming Room of the Hong-
kong Sheraton groaned under
platters of beef, hams, fruits
and cheeses spread out for a
cocktail party in honor of the
crusade. An immense four-foot
sugar junk with the Billy
Graham logo on every sail was
the centerpiece. A three-foot ice
sculpture of the cross slowly
drined at the table's far end,
as Graham exchanged pleasan-
tries with the colony's elite.
Two nights later, the Graham
rallies began at a local soccer

Jesus Christ if he fell over
him," complained one Protest-
ant missionary.
whose congregation declined to
join hundreds of others in spon-
soring the crusade, said, "It's
almost cruel to stir up people's
deep hopes and longings with-
out speaking to the social con-
ditions which plague most of
us here."
"My respect for Billy Graham
would be raised if he would
make more contact with Hong-
kong people by perhaps going
to resettlement estates, talking,
with pavement dwellers and
maybe seeking out government
leaders," said DeWitt Barnett,
a church consultant here on
American-Chinese relations.
Estimates on the Hongkong
crusade's cost, which was rais-
ed entirely on local contribu-
tions, range well over $200,000.
Commenting on the financing
of his huge, world-wide opera-
tion, Graham said: "I try to
keep my team on the spiritual
side of things."
Then, briefly outlining the
business side of the organiza-
tion, the evangelist said that
some 27 businessmen control the
operating budget of well over
$30 million.
World Wide Pictures in Holly-
wood, the largest makers and
distributors of religious films
in the world: World Wide Pub-
lications (the largest religious
publishing house in the world),

which publishes only Billy
Graham's books; and "Deci-
sion" magazine, which is pub-
lished in six languages, as well
as Braille.
"Basically, I thing he's do-
ing Christianity a disservice in
Asia," said a local Christian
leader." "The good news of
Christianity is smothered by
flight bags, T-shirts and pins
with his name on them. He
says, he will open his mouth
and the magic will take place.
But, "he added, "he refuses to
recognize that people's so-call-
ed spiritual condition is direc-
ted by their social condition."
In response to such criticism,
Graham said, "The perfect so-
city cannot be built on the sin-
ful hearts of men."
here who flocked to see Billy
Graham came out of curiosity
or faith, thousands of coins
clanked into the crusade's of-
fering buckets passed up and
down the benches of the im-
mense soccer stadium. After
the offerings, the crowd was
presented a hymn by Beverly
Shea, who has been with the
evangelist 25 years: "I'd rather
have Jesus than silver and gold,
I'd rather have Jesus than rich-
es untold..."
Carla Rapoport is a reporter
for the Hong Kong Standard
and former Executive Editor of
The Daily.

Billy Graham

stadium. True to his style of
Southern evangelism, he ex-
torted his audience to come be-
fore him and accept Jesus:
"How many of you know you are
going to heaven? Well, you can
know tonight before you leave
this stadium!"
Although his rallies drew stun-
ning crowds of 200,000 - per-
haps the largest in Hongkong's
history - and a modest num-
ber of "decisions for Christ,"
his sermons and demeanor drew
harsh criticism from many
members of the Christian coin-
munity here.
"Billy Graham wouldn't know


Inaccuracies in DNA story

qWW-e 3 \ i

y,4S . . " ae\ ",,

cules together. This recombin-
ant DNA methodology, as it is
called, can thus be used to link
genes (DNA molecules) from
one organism to those from an-
other organism. In the case of
special DNA molecules of bac-
terial origin called plasmids,
the plasmid DNA and the genes
from another source linked to
it can be re-established in bac-
teria and grown there. This rep-
resents the introduction of a
few tens of foreign genes into
a bacterium containing thou-
sands of genes. The controver-
sy about certain applications of
this new methodology started in
19'1 when the initial work was
being done, not in 1974. Con-

of recombinant DNA experi-
ments, not to the whole field.
to comment on the vague and
misleading statements. The arti-
cle contains numerous charac-
terizations of recombinant DNA
research such as "(having) pro-
hibitive physical and ethical
risks," "the implications here
are so potentially threatening,"
"'the reslts of thfit sort of
abuse world be disastrous."
Only once is any attempt made
to cite a specific example of
all these presumably horrible
consequences, and that attempt
(the quotation of Professor
Wright) is so garbled as to be
n-i an inn] ass

only have I never taken this
position but, quite to the con-
trary, I made it explicitly clear
in my discussions with Haskins
that I recognized the appropri-
ateness of non-scientific input,
including that of the general
public, into the discussion of
whether or not and under what
conditions various aspects of re-
combinant DNA research should
proceed. I have stated this posi-
tion publically on a number of
occasions, both here at the Uni-
versity and elsewhere.
the specific errors, the overall
tenor of the article is extreme-
ly one-sided. It makes no at-
t,~mnt-to nri-n nt the reaszions

enzymes of research importance
in very large amounts with un-
precedented ease. It can in
principle be used to produce en-
zymes and hormones from high-
er animals, including man, with
great efficiency and at low cost.
If the university community
is to make informed decisions
about the future of recombinant
DNA methodology here, it needs
the facts about the field, the
risks and benefits associated
with it, and what can be done
to minimize the former while
maximizing the latter.
I would like to invite all mem-
bers of the university commu-
nity who are interested in learn-
ing more about recombinant

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