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November 10, 1977 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1977-11-10

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e 4-Thursday, November 10, 1977-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 55 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan



NE SAL: AE"II~r thE.8 AN Et Rc


The long arm o ti
buy more cheaply and efficiently elsewhere
By JERRY WOLKE were it not for his monopolies if you did, all
A libertarian economist recently noted that the while spouting hokum about the "consent
today's government-issued coinage looks like of the governed" while the governed try to
trash and feels like trash so it's the perfect figure out how to avoid paying. Now the "star
medium upon which to imprint the images of spangled mafia" is thinking about starting a
heads of state. He might also have added that protection racket. I thought that was why we
they are also the perfect token of protest to had the Pentagon.
send to your congressman. Well, it seems that Arguments against the proposed consumer
some people have already had an idea like agency can be cited on a variety of pragmatic
that recently. There is an old expression, grounds but there is one overriding reason to
"don't take any wooden nickels," but now condemn it and that is this: censoring
congresspersons are finding the trashy metal products is the same as censoring speech.
ones in their mailbox. Ironically enough, the Progress demands a free flow of products as
reason for turning politicians into piggybanks well as ideas. True some of each is worthless,
is to convince them to establish a consumer but competition and reason are effective ar-
protection agency! biters of quality. Where fraud appears there
Can you believe it? Some people want the are already penalties.
same outfit that gave us the blackboard Free people do not need anyone making
jungle, the U.S. Snail, the Social Insecurity their choices for them whether between
system and thousands of other frauds to automobiles or arguments. What people do
establish an agency to protect consumers! need is more knowledge since our experience
Can you picture Jack the Ripper opening an is sometimes inadequate. We don't know, for
escort service? example, who will fix our car without ripping
us off because the division of labor precludes
ACTUALLY, business products you can all of us from becoming mechanics. We know
take or leave, it's up to you. Uncle Sam, that dishonest or incompetent businesses
though, ought to change his name to Don Sam won't last long in the marketplace but we also
since the godfather never had it so good. He know that they can harm some people before
helps himself to your wallet whenever he likes they go under. Some way of hastening their
and nails you if you resist. Then while demise is needed.
pocketing the bulk of it he spends the rest on
things you may or may not want and could KNEE-JERK statists will turn to their god-

he State
father and his protection racket. Freedom
loving people will have to use their ingenuity.
One possibility is what I call the market in-
formation club, a sort of AAA for consumers.*
Such an organization could amass infor-
mation on business honesty and competence,
product safety and use, job availability, and
maybe even provide prepurchase inspection
of used houses and cars. Its possibilities are,
unlimited. Organized locally and federatedr
nationally it could become a locus of market
power by organizing boycotts. No one couldi
be compelled to join the club or to abide by its
findings. Self-sovereignty would remain a
right like freedom of choice, but now a power-.
ful tool will have been forged to shape
business behavior.
Within ten years a new product will become,
as common in homes as the TV set-the per-
sonal computer. It is already a reality, but
when it becomes widely used the knowledge
problem will be licked. A hookup to the
market information club will put a world of
product and business data at our fingertips.
The consumer protection agency isn't
worth a slug nickel much less a government
one, but an agency to protect us from the
state? Ah, now there's an idea!
* * *
Jerry Wolke is a member of the Liber-
tarian Party, and a frequent contributor
to the Daily's Editorial Page.


o '' oo

(IMI so "t , STEo.'


WELiFAE. 4FCi. -j

Letters to

The Daily

'KE11N } K ' G q M1C 1 IIY


The energy crisis exists

what may well be a last chance
effort to rescue a comprehensive en-
ergy package from the House-Senate
conference committee. Carter hopes
the committee will salvage at least
some assemblage of his original plan
- the way it was before undergoing a
thorough gutting last month by an in-
terest group-conscious Senate.
The President cancelled his whirl-
wind eleven-day world tour to hand
hold his energy program as it goes
through committee, and last night he
,took to the television for the third time,
hoping to prod both the Congress and
ithe;public into an> awareness of our
energy needs.
By all indications, his efforts so far
have been little more than futile, as
Americans just don't recognize the
immediacy of the problem and are not
ready to fare the sacrifices of conser-
Last April, Carter called the energy
problem "the moral equivalent of
war," but he failed to rally sufficient
interest among either the people or
Yesterday's editorial on the town-
ship voter incident said the voters "all
thought they were voting illegally."
The word should have been legally, not
'illegally,' which was a typographical
error. We apologize for the error.

Congress. Since the April address; our
dependence on foreign oil imports has
risen to $123 billion.
"This energy plan is a good insur-
ance policy for the future," Carter told
us. "If we fail to act today, then we will
surely face a greater series of crises
Carter may have pinpointed the
problem best when 'he said "the
political pressures are great because
the stakes are so high."
Development of a comprehensive
energy program for the future is a step
away from the method of incremental
problem-solving that has dogged us
through both foreign policy and
domestic affairs. We have grown so
accustomed to warding off dangers
only when they become immediate
crises that we have lost a sense of
avoiding distant but potentially more
dangerous threats in the future.
We urge the House-Senate con-
ference committee to shake off politi-
cal pressure and special interest lobby-
ing, and exercise the kind of long-
range vision this country has been
The Carter energy package is far
from the cure-all for our energy prob-
lems. It emphasizes conservation as
opposed to expansion and exploration
into alternative energy sources. The
point is -for all its faults - the Carter
energy bill is a step toward solving the
energy problem if only because it
recognizes the problem before it has
reached crisis proportions.

affirmative action
To The Daily:
The comments of Julie Rovner
presented in her November 6
editorial "Student ideals go the
way of job" are really deserving
of some comment.
First, there, was never any
"spontaneous standing ovation"
given to ex-president Ford at his
November 3 lecture in direct re-
action to his statements on the
Bakke case. There was a loud
'round of applause given immedi-
atelyafter Ford's statement that
he was "strongly opposed to arbi-
trary numerical quotas." It was,
however, given from a seated po-
sition by the audience if my recol-
lection is correct. A standing ova-
tion was given to Ford at the end
of the question and answer period
following his lecture. Whether
this ovation occurred as a result
of ex-president Ford's responses
to the question he was asked is
uncertain, as the audience also
gave him a standing ovation be-
fore he had said even a single
word at the beginning of the lec-
ture. Perhaps the audience sim-
ply desired to express its appre-
ciation of Mr. Ford having taken
the time to come and speak that
day. In any case, the only conclu-
sion that can be properly drawn
is that Rovner purposely misrep-
resented the events of the Ford
lecture in her editorial to help
fortify her point. If this is the sort
of "journalistic excellence"
common to Daily staff writers, at
least we can be sure that the staff
members will have no problem
finding jobs upon graduation
from the University of Michigan.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned New
York Post undoubtedly has posi-
tions available forreportersrwho
show such great talent in crea-
tively warping the news.
Second, I would like to take
issue with Rovner's remark that
the ovation given to Ford during
his discussion of the Bakke case
"smacked of self-interest and ra-
cism." It did smack of self-inter-
est, that is for certain. Whether it
smacked of racism is question-
able. Perhaps it was simply an
expression of the prevailing atti-
tude that what should matter
when one applies for admission to
graduate school, or for a job, is
not the color of one's skin or the
size of one's bank account, but
the quality of one's abilities.
There are problems with such
an attitude, of course. It assumes
that ability is something which
can be developed regardless of
one's early environment. This is
clearly absurd. A child locked in
a dark closet all its life will surly
not develop the abilities of a child
who grows up in a stimulating
environment of light and airy
spaces. And what the supporters
of pure meritocracy fail to realize
is that life for some children in
this country - lacking in proper
food, proper shelter, or proper
education - is really no better
than growing up in a figurative
dark closet.
On the other hand, there are the
people like Julie Rovner, who feel
that the inequities between dif-
ferent socio-economic groups in
this country can be evened out by
affirmative action programs.
What Rovner and her fellow lib-
erals fail to realize is that affirm-
.. ..- ...... n . .41 .i - m m {h

housing, and inadequate eau-
cation, but now in our infinite
mercy we are going to give you
an opportunity to advance your-
selves by permitting you to at-
tend our fine universities." Af-
firmative action is, in short, not
so much a sign of idealism in ac-
tion as it is a sign of abrogation of
social duties by the American
people. And it is the true favorite
of the pragmatic "radical" who
feels that although the elimina-
tion of poverty and all its con-
comitant evils is not possible in
this country (or at least is not
possible unless the pragmatic
radical and his more conserva-
tive friends are willing to give up
their thoughts of new stereos,
sports cars, and swimming
pools), we should still make some
effort to help the disadvantaged.
In other words, on principle we,
should help the poor, but let's not
strain ourselves. Even Jerry
Ford could agree with that.
I am not saying that I am
against affirmative action
programs. What I am saying is
that they are a pitifully inade-
quate means of righting the eco-
nomic injustices which permeate
this country. Also, I think that the
damage done to the mind of a
bright student forced to live his
early years under conditions
which continually suppress his
intellectual development can
never be completely reversed.
Thus, what is needed is not only
more affirmative action pro-
grams, but more affirmative ac-
tion. We need to raise the quality
of life and of education found in
America's economically de-
pressed areas up to the levels of
the general society. To be sure,
this will take money, billions
upon billions of dollars for jobs,
for housing, for new schools, and
for high quality teachers. But un-
til we are willing to make this
total effort to help the poor, we
can never claim to have their in-
terest at heart when we initiate
affirmative action programs,
whether they contain quotas or
not. That is what the real radicals
in this country are saying right
now, as they have been saying for-
a long time. What bothers them
most at the present time is not the
wide-spread support of Alan
Bakke, but the widespread sup-
port of political leaders who, for
all their prating about helping the
poor, have no real interest in
doing so either now or in the
- Barry Peterson
paper towels

per ought to amuse and anger its
readers. I expect that the follow-
ing excerpt from the October 30
issue of the Ann Arbor News will
do both. Incidentally, Dethloff is
the Chief of the Ypsilanti Police
" 'Any town that has females is
bound to have some problems,'
says Dethloff."
- Bob Beyer;
Biology Department
To The Daily:
I am writing in reference to an
advertisement appearing in the
Daily the week of November fir-
st. The ad begins: "Telephone In-
terviewers. . ." and it asks for
people to work on a research pro-
ject. It is the last line of this ad
that I take exception to. It states
"Non-discriminatory affirmative
action employer."
My dictionary defines discrim-
inatory as: "Marked by or
showing prejudice; biased."
If this hiring organization is
non-discriminatory, then it can
not also be for affirmative action.
I am not against affirmative ac-
tion but, according to the dic-
tionary, it is discriminatory. If a
group of people apply for that job,
they will not all be considered
equally because the ones that fall
into the category of affirmative
action will be given preference
over those who do not. This is
clearly bias and does not fit the
dictionary definition of nondis-
criminatory. Let me here
reiterate that this has absolutely
nothing to do with whether one is
for or against affirmative action.
I called the Daily to tell them
this and they suggested calling
the people that placed the ad. I
called these people and talked to
the supervisor who, after hearing
this explanation almost ver-
batim, got very defensive and
told me he would inform whom-
ever placed the ad that "one"
reader took exception and quick-
ly terminated the conversation.
Many large corporations have
used the phrase "non-discrimina-
tory affirmative action employ-
er" in the past but few use it
I believe that the Daily has a
responsibility to its readers and
should not permit contradictory
statements like this to appear
anywhere in the Daily, not even
in the advertisements. It may be
just a small point, but, neverthe-
less an important one to many of
- Elliot Michael Reisman
To The Daily:
It is a little difficult to take
issue with a homosexual who has
the personal courage to express
admiration (however guarded)
for Anita Bryant, as Mark Huck
did in his.remarkably gentle let-
ter of November 3. I concede that
my language in her defense was
impassioned. I deeply admire
Anita. She is a fine Christian
woman, a person I would dearly
love to see my daughters emu-
late: intelligent, energetic, mor-
ally courageous, charming,
chaste, beautiful, and (believe it
or not) compassionate (note her
reaction to the nie-throwing inci-

temptation to take off the gloves
and flail away is sometimes irre-
Mark, I have no doubt what-
ever that homosexuals are hu-
man and entitled to their human
rights. I also believe that pros-
titutes, exhibitionists, sado-
masochists, and even rapists and
murderers are human and en-
titled to their human rights. The
real question is what these "hu-
man rights" entail. It is far from
"clear" to me that society must
(1) force parents to entrust the
education of young, impression-
able children to homosexuals, (2)
force employers to foist homosex-
uals on others who work for them,
or (3) force homeowners and lan-
dlords to invite homosexuals into
the neighborhoods in which they
own property. Such is the effect
of ordinances like that in Dade
County: they severely circum-
scribe freedom of association for
those of us who find flaunted
homosexuality as revolting as ex-
hibitionism, as unnatural as pros-
titution, and as clear a token of
emotional impairment as sado-
I am willing to circumscribe
freedom of association to protect
the job-seeker or tenant from be-
ing rejected because of race, sex,
national origin, age (sometimes),
and other accidents of birth. And
I agree that society should not
permit such rejection because of
religious persuasions: society
thus protects a cultural and philo-
sophical diversity essential to
freedom and far more valuable
than the freedom of association
thereby circumscribed. But I am
not willing to further circum-
scribe this freedom to protect
homosexuality: such is not the
type of "cultural diversity" a
healthy society should foster.
Homosexuality is perversion,
Mark, though I have no doubt
that individual homosexuals have
many good qualities (as do indi-
vidual prostitutes, exhibitionists,
sado-masochists, rapists, and
murderers). The natural con-
summation of love between
members of the same sex is
brotherhood, sisterhood, or filial
devotion, not a senseless parody
of procreation. Sexual inter-
course is not even the "natural"
consummation of love between
some men and some women: it is
not the "natural" consummation
of my father's love for my sister
or of my love for her. Look care-
fully at God's word, Mark: He
condemns homosexuality in no
uncertain terms. And look care-
fully at God's handiwork in
nature: it bears witness to that
It is true that we have created
for ourselves an imperfect world
in which there are distorted,
warped, or (to use my stronger
language) perverted appetites
and passions in all of us. A Chris-
tian must realize this, and (as
President Carter has so simply
put it) see that before God he has
little more to say for himself than
the rapist or murderer. I would
never turn away from a person
struggling to overcome homosex-
uality as I am struggling to over-
come arrogance and insen-
sitivity. But I am commanded to
turn away from those who still
the voice of conscience and


To The Daily: j
In an effort to save money, the
University removed paper tow
els from all the student bath-
rooms. I would like to express my
disapproval of this policy. Paper
towels are an essential asset to
the bathrooms. Paper towels are
important not only for health rea-
sons but also they are a neces-
sary convenience. Have you ever
washed your hands and found
that there were no paper towels
to dry your hands with. It is ag-
gravating and the end result is
that one leaves the bathroom
with wet pant legs.
When the University discon-
tinued paper towels they should
have given the students an alter-
native other than their nants The

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