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June 02, 1970 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1970-06-02

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Etlr Sirliian Daihj
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

balancing teacups
Oh, won't He ever shut up?
131ine (9I3Edas ..


420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Even so, Cuba thrives

precedent occured late last month
when Fidel Castro, in a nationally tele-
vised speech, explained to the Cuban peo-
ple in enormous detail exactly why his
much-publicized campaign to produce 10
million tons of sugar failed. The remark-
able aspect of this speech was that Ca -
tro laid the blame for the failure square-
ly on himself a n d his administrators.
"This battle was not lost by the people,"
he said, "We, the administrative appa-
ratus of the revolution, we the leaders of
the revolution, have lost this battle."
Such a frank admission of failure is a
refreshing contrast to the usual political
game of blaming others for setbacks and
accepting credit for successes. Castro ex-
plained that the administrators mistak-
ingly concentrated their efforts on the
agricultural aspects of the 10 million ton
goal, channeling all resources into grow-
ing a record amount of sugar cane, and
neglected expanding Cuba's sugar mills,
which were not up to the task of turning
the abundant cane crop into sugar.
CUBA'S FAILURE to achieve the 10 mil-
lion ton goal is not surprising, consid-
ering the state of Cuban economic devel-
opment. What is distressing, however, is
that traditionally liberal newspapers,
who speak for a large number of people,
are taking the position that Cuba's fail-
ure could have been prevented had there
been a different Cuban political organ-
These papers assert that legal political
opposition to the Castro regime would
have provided open debate on national
policies, and as a consequence, mistakes
that were discovered too late could have
been uncovered and corrected before the
damage was done. Of course, legal po-
litical opposition implies elections so the
people can choose whoever has the best
ideas. What these papers are in fact say-
ing is that free, open elections are the
answer to Cuba's problems.
BUT, HISTORY SHOWS that elections
in Latin America have never b e e n
anything more than a ploy - by the rul-
ing powers to justify their continuance.
Any idea that elections can provide Latin
American people with the opportunity to
better their economic or social situations
is at best wishful thinking.
That Latin American elections are a
sham was demonstrated in the Domini-
can Republic last month. President Joa-
quin Balaguer was re;elected by a land-
slide vote after his major opponent with-
drew from the race contending that re-
pressive police action and Balaguer's use

of state funds for his campaign made the
election a "fraud."
A further demonstration of how social
changes in Latin America are not en-
couraged by elections is Balaguer's record
during his first term in the presidency.
In the last four years, Balaguer has not
effected any significant social or eco-
nomic reforms.
And there are many needed reforms.
T h e Dominican Republic wallows in a
quagmire of government corruption, dis-
torted land distribution, chronic 25 per
cent unemployment, high illiteracy and
low standards of public health. Still, Bal-
aguer has not been able to significally
improve these conditions in spite of mas-
sive U.S. financial aid. In fact, per cap-
ita, U.S. aid to the Dominican Republic
is the higest of any Latin American coun-
CUBA, on the other hand, receives no
U.S. aid, and in addition has been sub-
jected to a total economic blockade by
the U.S.. Nonetheless, since the advent of
Castro, Cuba has virtually eliminated il-
literacy, provided equitable land redis-
tribution, eliminated many formerly en-
demic diseases, reduced the incidence of
all other diseases, eliminated a chronic
25 per cent unemployment burden, built
a network of good roads, provided quality
medical care for all its citizens, raised the
standard of living in general and in short,
accomplished those goals which o t h e r
Latin American countries have been un-
able to achieve even with U.S. help.
These economic and social accomplish-
ments of Cuba, however, do not mean
that the \effects of the U.S. blockade are
neglible. T h e inaccesilibity of the U.S.
market, with which Cuba did 80 per cent
of its trade before Castro, forces Cuba to
trade with the Soviet Union and other
socialist countries on the other side of the
world. The added cost of shipping around
the world instead of 90 miles are con-
siderable. In addition, m a n y products
available in the United States cannot be
readily obtained from socialist countries.
FROM THIS perspective, an irrational
obsession with the 'communist threat"
prompted the United States to attempt
the destruction of Cuba through economic
strangulation. That Cuba is still well and
thriving today is a testement to the vi-
ability of its political organization. Any
underlying reason to explain the 10 mil-
lion failure will be found in U.S. belig-
erance and not in the Cuban political or-

TELEVISION may be a menace in disguise - a
menace when it brings us every two weeks or
so, our President speaking to us all on Prime Time
TV with nothing new to say and no new way to
say it.
Tomorrow night is going to be another one
of these occasions when Richard Nixon shall go
before the American people and report that he is
"encouraged about" or "pleased and proud of the
job our boys are doing" in Cambodia and South
"My advisers have told me," the President will
confide, "that things are going better than we
have expected. We have flushed out 34,876 Com-
munists, confiscated 980,875 tons of rice, 3,000,908
rifles and let the Cambodians know the United
States shall not be humbled, t h a t the United
States finishes whatever she has started, that she
is and was and will always be the great nation I
say she is."
And then the President will add that he knows
many young people are against the war and feel
they must dissent. The president, too, believes in
dissent, he 'will assert, but he prefersthe legiti-
mate kind that doesn't lead to violence, that is
the good old American way. The kind that is -
well, you know - so much less annoying.
And then in his Dean Martinesque style, he will
implore the silent majority to keep them cards
and letters rolling in telling him what a fine de-

cision he has made and how good is that Ameri-
can way.
Long pause.
"I am ready to report tonight," he will whisper
ostensibly to make us all think we're about to be
let in on something top-secret, "that what I said
when I spoke to you here two weeks ago, is ex-
actly the same. We can and will meet our dead-
line on withdrawing troops from Cambodia, and
we will move ahead with our plans to withdraw
troops from South Vietnam at the snail's pace I
have promised."
THEN WITH HIS customary you-won't-have
Dick-Nixon-to-kick-around-anymore 1 o o k, the
President will not so gently chide his detractors-
especially Congress - for questioning his perog-
ative to blunder without first checking with them
so they could at least approve the booboo.
"Partisan politics, a move to undercut your
president" he will curse in his veiled prose. "Your
president, right or wrong," he will let them know
in no uncertain terms.
And then with some inspiration he probably
picked up from Billy Graham at last week's Ten-
nessee crusade, the President will close with some
allusion to God to help and protect "our boys"
he, himself sent into the den of iniquity.
And then all of us at home, clustered yet an-
other time in front of our TV sets will realize yet
another time that the Beverly Hillbillies would
have been far more entertaining.


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Little boys have
lost their heroes



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,HEROES AREN'T what they used to be. In the past Americans could
look for inspiration and leadership from the top people in the mili-
tary, politics, sports, the sciences and the arts.
Who can we look up to today? What public figures can young peo-
ple use as examples to pattern their lives upon?
Certainly not a military establishment which has kept the country
in an unnecessary war for five years, mistakenly trying to win a poli-
tical struggle through military means and spilling the blood of thous-
ands in the process.
It is hard to emulate military leadership which sees force as the
ultimate solution in world affairs and year after year demands much
of the national budget to feed its death machine.
THERE ARE SOME POLITICAL figures that students look up to
but they are either dead or far from the reins of power. It is not easy
to admire men like the President and the Vice President who call you
"bums" and "hellraisers."
Most politicians are sincere men yet compromise their honor and
their principles to ge re-elected and retain power. They appeal to the
basest prejudices, fears and discontent of people to incur their favor
and their votes.
Even the better politicians, such as Sen. Edmund Muskie, equivo-
cate on the issues of the day.
Politicians generally have stood by and watched with equanimity
the fouling of the environment, unnecessary deaths of people from
starvation and disease, the continuing cancer of racism and the ab-
surd slaughter in Vietnam.
When they have acted, it's been too little too late, like bailing out
a sinking ocean liner with a thimble.
IN PREVIOUS YEARS youngsters, mainly boys, used sports heroes
as examples. Yet stars today are less interested in the sport and sports-
manship than they are in higher salaries, better retirement benefits
and outside business interests.
Men such as Cassius Clay, a member of a racist organization which
preaches hatred toward whites, Joe Namath, an advertised drinker and
girl-chaser, and Denny McLain, involved with gamblers and undesirable
characters, are difficult to look up to.
Even college athletics has become big business, coaches luring
likely prospects to their schools like a herd of cattle, concerned more
with win-loss records and gate receipts than education.
Today screen heroes, or in many cases anti-heroes, are virtual
unknowns, studios abandoning the old star system and turning to peo-
ple like Dustin Hoffman, Ali McGraw and Jack Nicholson to play ma-
jor roles in their films.
The emergence of group plays such as "Hair" have also under-
mined the importance of a single well-known actor or actress who
dominates a production in favor of a presentation where the group is
the star and parts are interchangeable.
Finally great men of science and technology have in the past been
considered popular heroes. Einstein, Edison, Samuel Morse and Alex-
ander Graham Bell were well-known public figures.
Today, however, scientific undertakings are too complicated for
just one person or even a small group of people.
But if this country is to have the leadership, inspiration and vision
it so desperately requires, we must have people who can take it upon
themselves to do something, even if they be alone,
Everybody cannot be a hero but if there is no one to admire, no
one to look to, no one to emulate our society will be in bad shape.
We need people with skills, understanding, compassion, and guts
in every field to turn things around and set an example.


"... .hi NSwhole thing wilblow over in 24 hours."
-White House Aide
Mi11X: A lousy skin 1ick

The California primaries

be the primary race in the country's
most politically volatile state. California
voters are choosing Democratic and Re-
publican candidates for governor and for
the U.S. Senate.
In the Democratic race for the senate
seat, the two leading contenders are
George E. Brown and John V. Tunney,
who are both representatives in the lower
house of Congress.
Early polls indicated that Tunney was
leading Brown who is strongly opposed
to U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia,
but his lead disappeared when Los An-
geles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn
entered the race and drew off some of
the conservative support t h a t Tunney
THE DEMOCRATIC race has heated up
in recent weeks with both candidates
levying insults at e a c h other. Tunney
calls Brown a "radical" and Brown says
that Tunney is a "poor loser . . . like so
many other rich boys who never had to
work for a living."
In the final poll released last week,
Tunney had 31 per cent, Baown had 27
per cent, Hahn with 8 per cent and 20
per cent were still undecided. The race
is far from over.
THE REPUBLICAN race is just as heat-
ed as its Democratic counterpart. The
two opponents a r e incumbent Senator

nicolor Inc. And Simon has been using
it to his political advantage.
Democrats have Assemblyman Jesse
Unruh facing Los Angeles Mayor S a m
Yorty. A poll showed t h a t Unruh led
Yorty 47 to 24 per cent, but the last time
the mayor ran, he showed how incorrect
polls can be when he defeated his op-
ponent in last year's mayoral race even
though the polls showed him well behind.
One can only hope that these polls are
more accurate.
Regardless of this outcome, either man
will still have quite a sizable fight on
their hands in November when he must
face Governor Ronald Reagan who was
unopposed for the Republican nomina-
It would be preferable if Rep. Brown
came out the winner in the fight for the
Senate seat and went on to defeat the
Republican candidate. Brown was one of
the first critics of Lyndon Johnson's war
policies and is presently a leader in the
House opposition to the Nixon adminis-
tration. He h a s shown courage while
others have remained silent over fear of
losing votes back home.
any other race - almost anyone would
be better than the Mayor of Los Angeles.
When in trouble, Yorty resorts to fierce
name calling. He was re-elected last year
by carrying the "law and order" to higher
extremes than it had ever been exploited

A healthy young moviegoer who
emerges from a showing of The
Minx is bound to have certain
questions on histmind. It is a pro-
vocative film, that elicits ques-
tions such as "Why was this film
made?": "How could any director
cast such poor actors?": and "How
in the devil did this film get past
its first screening?"
Try as I may, my attempts to
squeeze a few droplets of good
from The Minx were doomed to
failure. The only thing the staff
succeeding in doing was making a
film was remarkably devoid of
talent. Any attractive aspects ap-
pear accidental
The film's purpose is hard to
track down, but it is probably in-
tended to tie together such things

as a "wild" party, a businessman
cheating on his wife, grown men
playing with guns, corruption on
Wall Street and a call girl mas-
turbating in her motel room with
the aid of a revolver barrel while
using a special device to observe a
couple of young lovers in the next
Since the film's title is "The
Minx," one immediately begins to
look around for a minx, which
Webster describes as "a saucy
jade." No one in the movie comes
near fitting the bill, though ap-
parently it refers to Terry. the
gun-rubbing call girl.
The plot allegedly tells of a
businessman's intrigue to force his
opponent's company into a merger
by bribing two members oi the
latter's board of directors with

money, good times, and women. I
have not had much to do with.
wealthybusinessmen, but if The
Minx is representative of their
world, they all ought to resign and
become cab drivers. Harry, the
businessman has an ugly, -nivel-
ling wife, an unimpressive office,
obnoxious unsophisticated aides
and companions and his wild par-
ties are for the birds: festivities
include one of the board members
dancing the twist. The aura about
this movie continually screams
"No class! No class!" and renders
it totally unbelievable.
The Minx is hogwash, and as an
honest skin-lick it compares with
such greats as Vixen-soon coming
to the Fifth Forum-like prune-
flavored Kool-Aid with cham-


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