Press enter after choosing selection

The Way We Were

The Way We Were image The Way We Were image
Parent Issue
Day
6
Month
January
Year
1975
OCR Text

Now rhat the hangoves aregone, the confetti has heen thrown and New Year's Eve is onlv a memory, we're chargingfull tilt into 975. Since history soon becomes only tho.se events recorded in print, the SUN woulcl like to revie 19 74 lest we soon forget what really happened. We've trted to cover the angles that the regular media has seen fit to ignore, and to proride a perspective beyond the events that made it big in '74. Whil'e Watergate and the economy can 't be ignored, other events touched our Uves and will affect our fu tures. Needless to say we couldn 't cover 365 days of startling news in our limited space, but the following potpourri may halp to illuminate what the rest of the media is say ing (or not saying). AS THE WORLD TURNS: A KISSINGER PLOT Once again, Henry Kissinger logged thousands of miles in the continuing effort to assert American foreign policy on the rest ot the world. American relations abroad are pictured as Henry sipping tea in China, downing vodka in Russia, curing the woes of the Middle East, expressing concern for the starvine at a conferenrp in Rome, or guiding Ëuropeans lo unity. Despite Kissinger's deep involvement - in the Nixon administration. he pdssed through the Watergate year virtually scathed by Congress or the media. Some information on the Kissinger brand of "dirty tricks" ' did leak through, revealing a less benevolent side of the Secretary of State. Head of the "40 Committee," which guides the Centra! Intelligence Agency, Kissinger was reported to have said the U.S. could not allow a try to go Communist because its people were "irresponsible." His statement led to pouring $8 million into overthrowing the ". gally and democratically elected Allende government in Chile. When Congress seemed headed towards a full-scale investigation of Kissinger's reported authorization of illeeal wiretaDS on eovemment nersnnnpl anH newsmen, he threatened publicly to resign. The possibility of upsetting foreign policy irreparably sent the legislators scurrying to clear Kissinger without any further investigations. Although Kissinger maintained personal power at home, American influence elsewhere was openly eroding. The oil-producing countries ignored threats against high prices, and their example led to a similar cartel of coffee-growing countries. wide.anger followed American refusal to send additional aid to the planet's starving, while continuing to have the highest standard of living at home. The heaviest loss to American prestige occured in the United Nations, where Third World countries united to expel Rhodesia and explore claims of the Palestine Liberation Organization against the state of Israel. American officials have villainized the Arabs, and denounced the "tyranny" of the majority in the United Nations. But closer examination of 1974's events indicates the majority have simply banded together to exploit the economie and political weapons perfected by the United States. When complaining of wealth accumulated by the Arabs, no comparison is made to the pnee-fixing and monopolization of the oil industry leading to millions for the Rockefellers. Nor is any relation proposed between U.S. efforts to block Cuba's readmission to the Organization of American States and the Rhodesia situation in the U.N. The United States was unable to control events in the Middle East, settle the conflicts in Cyprus, uphold a corrupt dictatorship it supported in Greece, or prevent socialism in Portugal. The Communists are gaining ground in Indochina, while the American public is adamant about ending all American involvement in Vietnam and Cambodia Foreign policy. remains buried in the back pages of newspapers'and behind dynamic individuáis like Henry Kissinger. But the eroding American position, begun in the last years of the Vietnam war, could no Ionger be disguised in 1974. What remains hidden are the effectsat home. as the United States will no Ionger be able to demand 80 percent of the world's resources tor only six percent of the world's population. 1974 foretells the end of over-production and over-consumption so long a part of the American way. NEW PRESIDENT FILLS SAME OLD SHOES Watergate dominated all news in the past year, und ín events all too familiar analysts claimed to see the system tested and ultimately. vindicated. For those well versed in American history beyond the "patriotic" eigJit grade level, it came as no surprise the government lied to the American people. As Nixon and his aides pointed out time and aga.n, it all happened before. And even Ford's promises of "openess" and "candor, Have already gone the way of most political promises. Anything can be justified in the name of national security." Rather than vindicating the system, Watergate finally forced most people to recognize the riaws, leaving them thoroughly disillusioned with the way things are, and distrusltng of any proposals about the way things could be. The nation settled toto a fatalista attitude thai whatever happens was meant to be, and not much can be done about it. Even the electiun Etn W3S '0W the one PPrtunity people had to voice their disconteni. ín W tP De,m0C1rlat,s sweP' the election' "o sense of real change emerged, mim ,m8a. f . p[obkms of the untry were encompassed-the isolation of governZ 1 V ■ ,- ??■ ie d?res of the the corporate stranglehold on the government. mre, hJ I0" uT rhrUgh V PSSÍble mea"S' 3nd the CO"tro1 f attUal P0Wef StCLPrP L Hly a,ha - One day after the 'd ear eded. four top Nixon aides Zi % r trï y S th Watergate and for the moment, the subject will probv w lm . WhÍ'e the indiv)duas responsibie have been replaced. the faulty-systemhasnot. The t.nal consequences of Watergate are still in the future BIG BROTHER COMPLEX COMES TEN YEARS TOO SOON On the movie screens were "Serpico" and a new James Bond flick, "The Man With The Golden Gun." "Mission: Impossible" is in its twentieth rerun, and every night, there were the men (and this year, women) in blue glowing on the tube, keeping crime off the streets and protecting the world from corruption. The super-cop is being packaged by Madison Avenue as the nation's new hero. As 1974 developed, the ominous power of America's law enforcement agencies, from the local pólice to the FBI and CIA was alarming, even to some former "law and order" politicians. For example, the National Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), with its millions of dollars for local pólice, had been used to build up paramilitary units like SWAT. SWAT, or the Special Weapons and Tactical Unit is the small army used to burn out the Symbionese Liberation Army's hideout in California. (In fact, SWAT is the name of a new televisión program for 1975, where such action can come into the nation's homes once a week.) The year opened with the release of a series of FBI documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, outlining a major program of infiltration, harassment, and actual interference with Black organizations, the New Left and various white "hate" groups. Colntel Pro, short for Counter Intelligence Program, had suggestions that Black messiahs should be eliminated (like Malcolm X), that phoney rumors could be used to discredit leading radicáis as agents, and actual agents could lead organizations to illegal acts. A government report issued later in the year concluded the program had been former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's personal idea, and had not been approved or condoned by the President or any outside agency. The report stated the program had ended, and should be no further problem. Attorney General William Saxbe denounced Colntel Pro at a Congressional hearing, but current FBI director Kelley argued there could be justification for such an operation. One group known to be a target, the Young Socialist Alliance, brought a suit in federal court to prohibit FBI spying at their convention. Although they won their case, it was overturned on appeal. The FBI argued their informants would become known if they didn't show up at the convention, an interesting argument if Colntel Pro has actually been discontinued. The FBI wasn t alone in spying on American citizens. As the year ended, a New York Times exposé pointed out what the left had claimed all along- the Central Intelligence Agency was watching and keeping records on 10,000 Americans. Other CIA exposes showed them using $8 million to overthrow the Allende government in Chile, and in two major books, by former agents, Victor Marchetti's "CIA: The Cult of Intelligence" and Philip Agee's "Company Man," the sordid truth of American intelligence hit the public. As the year ended, the Congress was promising a full-scale investigation. Of course, Congress had committees to "oversee" the CIA all along, they just never bothered to look, Closer to home, the State Legislature discovered a State Pólice "red" squad had files on 50,000 citizens, a budget of hundreds of thousands each year (which paid a staff of eight full-time spies). After a furor created by Perry Bullard and Zolton Ferency, Governor Milliken ordered the files destroyed, except for those wliere investigation was "currently" continuing. And finally, in our own backyards, the SUN revealed a Defense Investigative Service operating out of the Ann Arbor Armory. One retired admiral claimed the group was a potential "plumbers" unit, although the individuals involved claim they only do routine background security checks for potential employees. Maybe 1974 should have been renamed 1984. Big Brother has clearly been watching. THE REVOLUTION THAT WASN'T Nostalgia was a big hit, as people fantasized on the "good old days" because the present was too disillusioning. There was the chic blending of the 30's and 40's look -thin eyebrows, red lipstick, platform shoes and feather stoless. which didn't quite catch on in Ann Ar1 bor. The Pointer Sisters sane the old songs. David Bowie greased back liis ) hair and wore baggie pants, and "Chinatown" hit the movie theatres. Even televisión commercials picked up the theme, when times were "simpler," and baking soda was for brushing teeth. Not all yesteryear memories went back so far. Lingering everywhere are reminders of the late, great sixties, when youth was alive and out to revolutionize the world. Kirkpatrick Sales had a bestseller in Ann Arbor with the book SDS, a history of one part of the sixties trip. While hippies, peace and love have supposedly passed on, f the traditional media seemed out to keep such phenomenon dead. The "radicáis" of '74 are shown as shoot-'em-up gangsters who get theirs in the end. The onlv alternatives that received massive media tention last year were groups like the Symbionese Liberation Army, which dominated front pages for days following the kidnapping of heiress Patricia (Tanya) Hearst. Rumors in the alternative press of an agent provacateur, Donald "Cinque" DeFrieze running the whole operation went untouched elsewhere, and most of the Army died in a blaze of glory on live televisión. The Weatherpeople also had media attention, through various bombings and the release of "Prairie Fire," a book distributed to the alternative press. The primary revelation turns out to be the isolation of the Weatherpeople, who conclude American imperialism will be solved through guerilla warfare. Even the individuals in the limelight were used to discredit the left and any current alternative movements. Timothy Leary is hidden away in the prison system somewhere, telling "all" on his old friends, whether it's true or not. Weatherperson Jane Alpert carne in from the cold, and is currently revealing her story to the feds. Abbie Hoffman dropped out of sight lowing a cocaine charge. the Black Panthers keep getting shot or arrested.and Karl strong is sent 10 tne pen when he is unable to justify bombinga wisconsin aérense :research building to protest American involvement in Indochina. What didn't spark headlines most places were the groups and individuals who learned f rom the sixties, and evolved a somewhat different movement. More energy is concentrated on grassroots organiing lood coops, health and child care centers, people's legal services or even alternative politica! parties. While campuses may be quieter, more students are expressing interest in using their careers for social change. Events in Ann Arbor during 1974 follow tliis trend. Fifteen alternative groups are now involved in a funding cooperative, Local Motion, to build economie stability for these kinds of organizations (a trend repeated across the country, with over twenty funding cooperatives formed in the past year alone). Three left-leaning candidates were elected to City Council last April, and Perry Bullard retained his seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. Speakers who attracted crowds in Ann Arbor included Allen Ginsberg, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Russell Means, Hunter Thompson, John Marks, Daniel Ellsberg, Jane Fonda, and even Jeff Cohen on assassination conspiracies. Several groups operating on a national level are reaching people the sixties movement didn't , and getting excellent results, like the Indochina Peace Campaign and the People's Bicentennial Commission. Consumer groups are carrying on the fight against big corporations and big government. Most noticeable is the opposition to nuclear power. In fact, Sam Lovejoy, who destroyed a utility company tower to alert citizens to the dangers of nuclear plants, had charges against him dropped. (It appeared the jury would acquit him because they agreed nuclear power did not deserve protection under the law, a precedent the courts did NOT want on the books.) The events most people never saw in 1974 show the left hasn't died in a line of pólice fire or disappeared underground. Instead, the youthful impatience evolved into a more stable and committed movement as active as ever in the past year. REACHING THE HIGHER GROUND ANN ARBOR-City voters rallied to the polls to put the famous $5 fine for marijuana session back on the books this April. The stunning victory for marijuana smoking finally stomped out GOP opposition. The Republican-dominated City Council had repealed a similar ordinance during the summer of 1(73, but following last April's elections, nnhlii'an Mavnr lames Stenhenson admitterl defeat and promised not to continue the battle in the courts. A court struggle over a similar law in nearby Ypsilanti had not resolved by the end of the year. Passing a $5 weed law by a narrow margin in this conservative community meant backers would spend the rest of the year fighting pólice opposition in court. Bounced back and forth between a conservative judge in District Court and a more liberal peals judge, the ordinance ended the year relatively intact. But the unhappy Ypsi pólice and Washtenaw County Prosecutor William Delhey have not yet given up the fight to have the law tossed out. Ypsi's $5 weed law is now awaiting another appeal. The battle over marijuana legislation raged hot and heavy across the nation in 1974. A survey in Oregon showed mass support for the most liberal law in the country -no penalty for possession of small amounts-and Texas finally reduced the "harshest" penalty in the country. Not everyone is equally enthusiastic over marijuana law reform. The U.S. Senate leceived reports from a noted doctor claiming a wide range of health hazards from marijuana, and Senator James Eastland warned we are producing a nation of pot-smoking "zombies." One brave U.S. attorney in Washington announced he would no longer prosecute individuáis for possession, but rescinded the offer once the higher-ups protested. In the most re - pressive step yet, a city council in Madison Heights, Michigan, tried to ban the sale of cigarette rolling papers to minors, and require adults to sign when buying them. The ordinance ultimately failed, when the Chamber of Commerce lobbied against the proposal on grounds that it would hurt business. continued on page 27