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September 28, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-28

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OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, September 28, 1980

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Honesty_

Vol. XCI, No.22

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Ml148109

It has taken quite a beating

Editorials represent a majority opinion of The Daily's Editorial Board

Tisch and Huffman: We
don't need their meddling

It's funny, the way political values change.
One election year, one quality is in vogue;
four years later, its antithesis may be all the
rage.
' Take losing. It used to be the worst thing
that could happen to a politician; lose a big
election and you're washed up, the electorate
thought. Might as well give up selling yourself
and go back to real estate.
THEN RICHARD NIXON came along. A
well-known Quaker, congressman, red-
baiter, vice-president, and kitchen debater,
Nixon to many looked like a sure thing in 1960.
But a little sweat on his upper lip, a few minor

T HE STATE of Michigan is in a
financial pinch. So what do state
officials do? They start to meddle in
one of the state's most efficient in-
stitutions-The University of
Michigan.
First Shiawassee County Drain
Commissioner Robert Tisch comes up
with his devastating Proposal D, which
would slash state revenue, desiccate
public services, and cripple Michigan
colleges and universities if it is ap-
proved by voters in November.
Tisch believes the University wastes
state money because it pays professors
on a merit, rather than a civil service
(seniority) basis. The drain com-
missioner sees some law and medical
school professors earning incomes of
$100,000 and assumes these "exor-
bitant' salaries can be cut. What this
simplistic analysis overlooks,
however, is academic quality. The
University must be able to maintain a
salary system that is competitive and
merit-based-albeit fairly expen-
sive-if it is to remain the preeminent,
productive institution that it is.
And now, as if Tisch weren't enough,
along comes State Sen. Bill Huffman
(D-Madison Heights), chairman of the
Senate higher education ap-
propriations subcommittee.'
Huffman, who has in the past been
regarded by University officials as a
friend to higher education, has decided
that the money-making athletic depar-
tment should apply its "generous"
funds to the financially-ailing Univer-
sity general fund.
The senator has asked to see detailed
budget figures from the athletic depar-
tment, presumably as a first step
toward ascertaining how much money
the department could give the rest of
the University.
Certainly the senator-and any other
citizen-should have access to budget
figures which -the athletic department
has historically kept top secret. In-
deed, the University administration
has indicated it will comply with Huf-
fman's request for specific budget data
beyond the general budget figures
which the department presented to the
Regents this month. (The Daily has

filed a Freedom of Information
Request for the same figures and the
athletic department is now preparing
itemized budgets for release.)
But to suggest that the athletic
department should share its profits
with the whole University is to ignore
what would happen if the department
someday loses money-a not-unremote
possibility.
Sharing funds, Senator Huffman
seems to forget, is a two-way street.
When the athletic department is in the
black, it is easy to eye its profits
hungrily and demand that they be used
to pay professors' salaries and fund
new academic programs.
But, under Huffman's plan, if the
department should lose money--after,
say, a few more football seasons like
this one is shaping up to be-then
general fund dollars would be paying
for coaching salaries and training
tables.
The athletic department was
established as an autonomous body to
avoid just such a situation. And The
University of Michigan is fortunate in
this respect-most other universities
are forced to pay for their athletic
programs withituition dollars.
University Vice President for State
Relations Richard Kennedysaid
Friday Huffman's threats are an "un-
fortunate fallout" of the trying
budgetary problems legislators are
facing. Huffman is just "beleaguered
and frustrated," Kennedy said.
We're sorry if Senator Huffman is
frustrated. But we would thank him not
to propose stopgap, ill-considered
schemes to help the University.
Between the foolish meddling of
Robert Tisch and the mistaken med-
dling of Bill Huffman, the University
could end up badly muddled-and very
poor.

Obliquity
By Joshua Peck

defeats in charisma matches, and he fumbled
the ball. JFK won by a hair's breadth.
In the old days, that would have been the
end of it. Nixon would have issued his "you
won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any
more" spiel right on the spot, and run back to
his law firm in New York for good.
But Nixon would have none of it. He-
charged off to California to lose a race for
governor there, only then going into hiding for
a while. He refused to accept the "goat"
label, and instead, adopted a noble pose: He
became a New Nixon.
The public bought it. With only a little help
from Sirhan Sirhan, Nixon swept into power
in '68, permanently discrediting the "once a
loser, always a loser" theory. His defeats
were counted among his assets: They were
considered an integral, respectable part of a
long and distinguished political career.
Thus, Gerald Ford, with a sterling 0-and-i
record in presidential elections, could be
called a "dream candidate" for vice
president in Detroit. How times do change.
AND WHATEVER happened to our good
old American hatred of duplicity? Once, Ten-
nesSee Williams could-write a play (Cat on a'
Hot Tin Ropf with "mendacity" at its core
and have hikaudiences .instantly understat*, -
that the characters' lying was to be regarded
as a weakness.
These days, the most successful liars in the
cast would stand a good chance of being
hoisted to the playgoers' shoulders and
carried down the aisles, shouts of adulation
ringing in their ears.
We don't seem to care any more that our
politicians lie to us, so long as they are'clever
and crafty about it. If what a candidate says
is what we want to hear, we gladly overlook
its mendacity.
THINK BACK: IT'S spring, of 1980. The
summer, and with it the major party political
conventions, are fast approaching. The
primary system is hard work separating the
chaff from the chaff, and liberals begin to
panic, for there seems to be no progressive
candidate in sight (Kennedy is fading fast).
So what do we do? Give up? Nope, that's no
fun. Curse the opposition? Well, sure, but that
in itself is unsatisfying. Well then, what?
What do liberals do in an election with no

liberal candidate? V
We invent one, of course. We take John An-
derson, a devout evangelical Christian from
Podunk, Illinois with a totally unsurprising
voting record, and accept his unwarranted in-
trusion into the left without flinching.
He's been for the neutron bomb. For the B-1
bomber. Against migrant farm workers get-
ting unemployment compensation. For put-
ting Christ in the Constitution. Against con-
sumer law, including the Consumer Protec-
tion Agency.
And lordy, has there ever been a legislator
so rabidly pro-nuke? The man suppor-
ted-only two years ago, mind you-the Clin-
ch River Breeder Reactor project. That's the
kind of plant that can do a great imitation of
an atom bomb. (A Russian one seems to have
done just that, in fact.)
BUT LIBERALS SIMPLY could not accept
an election without "one of us" in the running,
so Anderson got the honors. Damn the record
and full speed ahead. Welcome to the left,
John.
Certainly Anderson is the generator of
1980's Big Lie, but the other liars have had
their days in the sun as well.
The Republicans could write a book about
the myriad ways the Democratic president
who "would never lie to us" has lied to us.
As a matter of fact, they have. It's called
Promises, Promises: 'An RNC (Republican
National Committee) Presidential Accoun-
tability Project. By the carefully-documented
GOP tally, Carter has kept 22 percent of the
promises he has made before and since taking
office, broken 38 percent, and stalled on the
other 40. Sounds like there's been some
heavy-duty lying going on.
OF ALL CARTER'S hundreds of lies, the
grandest centers around the issue of defense
spending. Just 4 years ago, Carter was of-
fering a positively dovish pledge to cut the
military budget some 6 billion dollars. an-
nually.
Hisyresolve, to say the least, was short-
lived. Headlines are full of the non-
competition between Carter and his elephan-
tine opposition; he wants to spend tens of
billions on arms, the Republicans want to
spend hundreds of billions.
Carter points with pride to his record of
boosting nilitary spending each of his four
q yers in office, _noting that his predecessors,
Nixon and Ford, "let" spending slip con-
siderably during their administrations.
He generally neglects the fact that Nixon
and Ford gladly would have spent more on
the military if the Democratic-controlled
Congress had let them. Walter Mondale, who
was a part of that Congress, has left that point
unmade as well. That's a lie of omission
rather than commission, but a lie all the
same.
CARTER PRODUCED HIS most unfor-
tunate lie at a news conference late in his 1976
campaign. A reporter, responding to Carter's
promises of unimpeachable (hmm) honesty,
asked the candidate if he would resign if he
were ever caught in an untruth.
Carter replied that he "didn't expect that to
happen," or something to that effect.
"Yes, but supposing it did," countered the
journalist.
The then-future president couldn't back
away any longer. He pledged to resign if the.
public caught him fibbing.

Funny, that doesn't look like Fritz Mondale
running the country. Plastic surgery, I guess..
OTHER THAN SIGNING a pro-abortion bill
into law as governor of California, Ronald
Reagan hasn't had much opportunity to in-
dulge in any really juicy prevarication. But
the centerpiece of his campaign rhetoric,
which could very well win him the election, is
a stunning bit of deception.
It goes like this: Conservative economics is *
good for you. Not just for the upper or middle
class. The poor, we are told, will benefit as

Nixon in 1960-A loss turned to a win

well, as the benefits of a healthyeconpy
filter down to working men and women. n,
May we never get the chance to see that
disproved in practice; we can do without that
kind of cruel experiment.
NOW, I AM a child of the modern age. I en-
joy television, I'm an atheist, and something
of a libertine. r*
But in politics, I miss certain dusty values
that seem to have been dismissed by others as-
old-fashioned, or even archaic. What hap-
pened to demanding honesty of our public of
ficials? Perhaps we've never had a com-'
pletely trustworthy executive, but certainly
. we've done better than the duplicitous wret-
ches before us in November.
Remember what happened the last time we
gave up a time-honored value? We got
Richard Nixon. This time, it will be almost as
bad-worse, if the GOP has its way. When will
we ever learn?

Unsigned ed
pearing on

litorials ap-
the left side

of this page represent a
majority opinion of The
Daily's Editorial Board.

Joshua Peck is the co-editor of
Daily's Opinion page. His column
pears every Sunday.

The
ap-

Teens afflicted with ulcers

NUCLEARI
REQAATO-
Co mis7'
:::: ... ...

Sandra Johnson did most of
the cleaning and motherly chores
before she finally moved out of
the house. She is somewhat shy
and tends to worry too much. She
goes to school, smokes cigaret-
ts, and likes "junk" food. She is
15 years old-and she has an
ulcer.
Sandra (not her real name) is a
black teenager from East
Oakland, Ca. But uclers, or their
symptoms, are an, increasing
problem for young people
everywhere in the country. In
1968, statistics from the Natinal
Health Survey recorded 0.9 per
thousand incidences of stomach
and doudenal ulcers in those un-
der 17. By 1975, that fiaure had
jumped to 1.2 per thousand, then
up to 2.2 in 1978, according to
preliminary data for that year.
ULCERS ARE ONLY one
barometer suggesting that an en-
tire generation may be succum-
bing to adult illnesses just when it
should be at the peak of youthful
fitness. Other diseases, like
hypertension and arthritis, are
also turning up in children and
teenagers:I
9 The incidence of arthritis in

By Mary Claire Blakeman

the elementary school students
he had tested since 1975. Similar
findings were reported in the
Bogalusa (La.) Heart Study in
1979.
" Hypertension diseases in the
under 17 group went from less
than one per thousand in 1974 and
1976 to 2.2 per thousand in the 1978
data, according to the National
Center for Health Statistics.
Interestingly, ulcers, hyper-
tension, and arthritis are all in-
cluded in what doctors call
'psychosomatic diseases.''
"Psychological stress develops
because of unusual life pressures
and your ,individual sen-
sitivities," explains Dr. Donald
Oken of the Upstate Medical Cen-
ter in Syracuse, N.Y. "You react
with a particular emotion and
that emotional state affects cer-
tain body organs more than
others. If the organ is a
vulnerable one and the stress
goes on and on, eventually it will
break down. Then you develop a
disease."

presents an array of lifestyle and
value choices which can be over-
whelming to teenagers already
experiencing life's most unstable
period.
Dr. Edward Stainbrook,
professor emeritus of human
behavior at the University of
Southern California School of
Medicine, cites the amount of
change in our society as a major
contributor to disease. "People
are going through many of these
cycles of stress rather than going
through them occasionally," he
says. "With a few changes,
there's not so much stress, but
it's the frequency that's hard on
the body."
MANY OF THE stresses we
now face are not only frequent,
but often relentless. One ongoing
stress factor-noise-is a prime
example. In a Los Angeles study,
the blood pressures of children
who lived and went to school near
the international airport were
compared to those of children
from nuiet aea The airnnrt

levels-showed helplessness,.
low motivation, and they tended:
to give up on different tasks. The:
group of people who don't*
generally control their out-:
comes-the institutionalized,
prisoners, children, and elderly
groups-are the most susceptible:
to stress and stress-related
diseases."
IN ADDITION, DR. Stanbrook
says that adapting to fluctuating
values can be especially hard on:
the young. "Twenty years ago an;
adolescent's task was simply to
break away from the family and
create a confident, independent
self. Then he-was to return to the
society that the family had
prepared him for.
In seeking ways to handle in-
stability, some teenagers use
drugs and alcohol, which Dr.
Stainbrook says is a way of short-
circuiting stress without
alleviating it. A growing number
commit suicide, the second most
common cause of death among,
teenagers today. Others turn to
religious dogma or cults.
"It's important to have some
kind of ideological belief system

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