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September 04, 1980 - Image 58

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

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Page 4-A-Thursday, September4, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Ninety-One Years of Editorial Freedom


Where to turn in November

Vol. XCf, No. 1

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michiganj
Registration an idea
whose tlme has not come'

T MAY NOT seem very surprising
that a student newspaper on a col-
lege campus should oppose
registration for the draft. Indeed,
among many students, the immediate,
almost knee-jerk reactions to almost
any suggestion that all men born in
1960 and 1961 be required to register for
the selective service system are fear,
outrage, and resentment.
There are, however, several com-
pelling reasons-not rooted in
emotionalism-why draft registration
is not desirable.
Registration is a major step toward
resumption of the draft. Although
there is some physical distance bet-
ween registration and actual ser-
vice-to register names in a computer
is rather easy; to initiate training is
far more difficult-there is a much
smaller philosophical distance bet-
ween the two. Once the Selective Ser-
vice system is in place, it would be only
a small jump for any hawkish gover-
nment advisors to urge the president to
initiate a draft program and even a
Registration, President Carter
believes, will warn the Soviet
Union-and' demonstrate to our
allies-that the United States will not
sit idly by and watch the U.S.S.R. add
to its list of conquered nations. As we
see it, registration will serve only to
signal to the world that this country
would rather fight than talk; that we
would rather deal with our most
-serious problems through scare tactics
and force than through reason and
diplomacy; that we would rather seek
confrontation than cooperation.
There is a great fear among
Americans that this, country is
militarily weak. But a more sensible
alternative to draft registration would
be the allocation of defense resources
toward the salaries of those in the
volunteer armed forces, making
military service more appealing to
skilled individuals.

In many respects, the chances of en-
tering a war center on the issue of oil.
But there is an increasing sentiment,
especially among draft-age
Americans, that the U.S.' profigate use
ot oil is not worth dying for. Many
maintain that this country could use
the shock of an oil cutoff to end our
dependence on foreign oil imports.
Others feel that the U.S. could not
possibly withstand such a sudden
shock, and therefore, Soviet takeover
of the oil fields constitutes a threat to
national security. Whichever of these
or other views prevails, the important
point is that there is currently not an
immediate threat to the oil fields.
The U.S. should wait until there is
such a threat-which may not even
develop-before it moves to re-initiate
registration for the draft.
Many consider this registration plan
a political and diplomatic move-it is
intended to show that the U.S. is not
weak, and will not stand for Soviet
However, such a gesture is in reality
quite impotent. Because registration
will riot significantly speed up
preparedness of troops in an emergen-
cy; because volunteer forces are suf-
ficient to stave off any present threat;
and because the Soviets will laugh at
any U.S. move short of renewed draft
and deployment of troops, the costs
of registration are not worth any
It is hoped that the Soviets will be
deterred from any further aggression
by the numerous sanctions and out-
cries from around the world. If and
when the Soviets decide to move into
another country, and thereby threaten
the balance of world power, the
registration and draft programs could
be considered. "Wait and see" may be
a frustrating strategy for those
anxious to reassert U.S. strength, but it
may prevent World War III.

As a professed know-it-all
about American politics (my
recent predictions include Ken-
nedy as the Democratic nominee
and Connally as the Republican),
I have been besieged of late by
friends and relatives demanding to
know who will win the presiden-
tial horserace in November, and
more important, whom
they-liberals all-should vote
My rather long-winded and
cynical answers to the latter
question have irritated acquain-
tances of my own advanced age-
group and infuriated younger
ones, i.e., those who will be voting
for a president for the first time.
PERHAPS 23 YEARS of age is
too young to be exhibiting
pessimism and disillusionment.
But the last four years could have
soured even Little Mary Sun-
shine, were she a Democrat.
As a schoolboy, my indoc-
trination at the hands of teachers
was so successful that 1976 found
me overwhelmed and slightly
teary upon entering a voting
booth to help select a president
for the first time. My choice was
the nation's as well.-
My tears this election year
have been of a different com-
position. They are bIrought by
feelings of embarrassment at
seeing the man for whom I
worked and voted become the
most incompetent and incon-
sistent chief executive this coun-
try has seen since I first set eyes,
on it.
the lever for Carter again in
November. In sheer stupidity, he
is second only to his immediate
predecessor among the
presidents who have served since
Truman. It would not surprise me
at all to see his - term charac-
terized by historians as the worst
organized and most detrimental
in the American experience.
There are countless bits of Car-
ter-brand duplicity, inconsisten-
cy, and just plain wrongheaded-
ness which are good hand-
wringing material but my per-
sonal favorites are these:
* His relentless shifting back
and forth on policy has been an
earmark of his tenure in office.
Recently, we were treated
to the president's whirling tur-
nabout on Iran. Before the April
rescue attempt, the hostage
situation was so serious that Car-
ter could not leave washington,
debate Kennedy, or tolerate
criticism of his administration.
But when our crew of merry
military men had managed to
make Jerry Ford look graceful in

the bungled rescue attempt, Iran
became a non-issue. The
situation, we were told, was un-
der control.
" The president's steadfast
refusal to seek out corruption
within his own ranks. Bert Lance
was the first beneficiary,
followed by the administration's
solid support of G. William
Miller's unlikely story. By the
time you read this, Libyan
sycophant Billy Carter's
prosecutable activities-and the
government's reluctance to
prosecute-may be in the
" I'll never lie to you," grin-
ned candidate Carter four years

By Joshua Peck

designated the guide and father
of this nation has been well
documented. But Anderson wants
us to believe that those days are
past. We are to understand that
he underwent a transformation
toward the end of his first decade
in office that left him a flaming
SINCE 1970, Anderson has sup-
ported such leftward efforts as
limiting the liability of energy
companies in nuclear accidents
and funding breeder reactors,
while opposing every piece of
pro-labor legislation that's
crossed his desk.
It is quite understandable that
liberals would embrace an

even Nixon turned out to be less
of a menace than his opponents
had feared.
If Reagan is elected, the coun-
try will see four admittedly un
pleasant years during which
Americans who rely on social
services will suffer some, and the,
U.S. will become even more
disliked and distrusted abroad.
That is a sad and alarming set of
possibilities, but I am not convin-
ced that in the long run a Reagan
presidency will do as much
damage as four more years of
Carter's inability to lead is
unlikely to worsen over the next
four years, but even the same
degree of bungling could kill the
Democratic party for the rest of
the century. On the wave of
disillusionment with the
Democrats, the conservative
establishment could ride into
power in 1984, and could well stay
there for many years to come.
I am not suggesting that I wil
vote for Reagan-I could not
possibly bring myself actively to
help aggravate America's
problems. Besides, I'm not sure
where on the ballot the
Republican candidates are listed.
BUT I THINK I will sit this one
out, and simply watch what the
public does to itself. Reagan's
growing coalition includes white
ethnic voters, labor union types
and many Southerners, all
groups that have almost always
voted Democratic. His chances
look very good.
There is no way America can
have an honest and right-minded
president for these next four
years. The only good that can
come from the election is that
Reagan's term could sway voters
to put a deserving leader in the
White House in 1984-Mondale,
perhaps, or Kennedy, or maybe
even Mo Udall, blessed be his
There is one contingency that
could change my (non-) voting
plans, and my advice to like-
thinking friends. If Reagan's
campaign rhetoric makes it clear
enough that his election would
pose a clear danger to
Americans' well-being, whether
through nuclear holocaust, star
vation of the poor, or der-
privation of civil liberties, I
would have no choice but to shuf-
fle off to the polls to pull- the
lever for that Georgian fellow
again. But I certainly don't want
Joshua Peck is co-editorial
director of the Daily.

Jimmy Carter Ronald Reagan

ago. But lie he did, and cheat, too
(cases of stealing have not as yet
been documented, though some
think the inflation rate fits the
Appointments would not be
politically biased, Carter
promised the public during the
campaign. But when government
lawyer David Marston began un-
covering corruption amongcer-
tain Pensylvania Democrats a
few years ago, he found himself
without a job. He is a
Republican, of course.
What's a liberal to do?
Democratic supporters of John
Anderson have suggested that the
Illinoisan is the only option for
the few progressives left in the
country. I must here confess that
I thought Anderson an ideal can-
didate myself for a while, and
even had an Anderson button.
soldered to my jacket. Then it
dawned on mhe that it might be a
good idea to examine the
congressman's record. Ander-
son's suggestion (thrice offered)
that Jesus Christ be officially

enemy as an ally in a year
where there are no friends. But
I've grown tired of fooling myself
about Anderson, and I wish other
progressives would come to un-
derstand what kind of politician
they're propping up.
AT PRESSTIME (July 25), it
looks as if Teddy Kennedy will be
able to do little more than cause a
ruckus at the Democratic con-
That brings us back to the
root question: Whom should we
Unlike many political sorts, I
generally have no problem with
the "lesser of two-evils method
of candidate selection. Carter
clearly would qualify by such a
criterion, for all his incompeten-
ce and duplicity do not stack up to
Reagan's macho conservative
ethic, simplemindedness, and
BUT I AM not convinced that
Reagan would ruin the country,
or that he would lead us into war.
The presidency seems to have a
moderating effect on extremists


Let's keep A2 ambience


The 'Edit Page'

--~T e y wzd 51rc

F THERE IS ONE privilegeDaily
staff members cherish most, it is
the privilege of editorial freedom-we
decide what to print and when to print
The editorial policies and opinions of
most newspapers are decided by
publishers, who hold power because
they hold the purse strings. The
Daily-because it is financially self-
supporting-is able to reserve for its
news staff all editorial powers.
Daily editorial opinions are for-
mulated during meetings of the
Editorial Board. Any Daily staffer,
regardless of seniority, is invited to
participate in Editorial discussions;
The opinions of a majority of
Editorial Board members are
published as unsigned Daily editorials,
popularly referred to as "leftsides"
because they appear on the left side of
the editorial page. The issues ad-
dressed range from University mat-
ters to international relations; the
political stances represented will of
course reflect the changing com-
position of the Editorial Board.

The right side of the editorial page is
a forum for the thoughts of individual
staffers, students, and faculty and
community members, in addition to
some material . from national press
"Rightsides" are signed and do not
necessarily represent the opinions of
the Daily editors or the Editorial
Board. Because the purpose of the
right side of the page is to provide as
broad a spectrum of ideas as possible,
submissions are accepted for
publication virtually without regard to
the opinions of the writer.
Letters to the editor serve essen-
tially the same purpose as rightsides.
Often, letters address individual points
in articles that have previously ap-
peared in The Daily, rather than
examining new issues in a more
thorough fashion
Editorial cartoons are perhaps the
most popular feature of the editorial
page. Although cartoons sometimes
illustrate left- or rightsides, they are
normally. not to be construed as
representing The Daily's.opinions, no
matter where on the page they appear.


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By Lorenzo Benet
If one seeks to maintain Ann Arbor as a small tightly-knit
community devoid of skyscrapers that create an eyesore for
area residents, he is too late. Currently, two high rise apart-
ment buildings, University Towers and Tower Plaza, cast a
gloomy shadow over Central Campus. Unfortunately, another
high rise is in the making, if developer John Stegeman has
anything to say about it.
Stegeman plans to build a 32-story multi-use complex in the
South University area, adjacent to the omnipresent University
Towers. The complex would consist of hotel rooms, apartments,
and condominiums.
STEGEMAN REFUSES to say anything about his proposed
development, however, proponents of the complex stress
favorably that it would hike the commercial property values in
the area, as well as increase the city's-tax base. In addition, the
complex would attract the convention market. The conven-
tioners, of course, would spend a plentiful amount of cash,
probably enough to tickle the hearts out of all the South Univer-
sity area businessmen. Proponents of the project, moreover,
claim the complex may alleviate the already tight student
housing market.
Despite what some see as favorable aspects of the proposed
complex, its negatives outweigh the positives. If and when the
project is completed, the city will waste little time reassessing
the property values of the neighboring businesses. The taxes on
these properties will rise, and there is a very good chance thht
the increased tax cost to the proprietor will be passed onto the
consumer. Furthermore, when the droves of conventioners start
loosening their well padded wallets, some proprietors may hike
prices to increase profit.
THERE IS ALSO the probability the apartments, some of
which will have a primre view of Central Campus, will rent at a
premium-far out of the reach of most student pocket books.
The high rents will attract people with money, who will most
likely sell their residences to others of the same economic class,
not to struggling students.
The complex will increase the city's tax base, but at what
expense? If Ann Arbor is to maintain what many describe as its
"ambience," the Stegeman plan will destroy it completely.
It's unfortunate, however, that Stegeman needs to clear jus#
one last hurdle (City Council) before he breaks ground on the
project. The Board of Regents had the chance to halt Stegeman
in his tracks last February when they decided whether to grant
him an option on a piece of University property needed for his
project. The Regents sold him the option for $5000. Deciding to
grant an option authorizing such a large project for such a small
sum is unwise.
What's even more distressing is that the Regents' vote to
grant the option demonstrates their lack of concern for the

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