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October 09, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-09

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OPINION

S

Page 4 Thursday, October 9, 1980 The Michigan Daily

I:I

F-

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Bobtheengineer

by David Kirby

. . ........

Vol. XCI, No. 31

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

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

--p'

Ford looks
ORMER PRESIDENT Gerald
Ford was asked Tueday whether
he felt awkward supporting Ronald
Reagan even though Reagan lent him
only lukewarm support in 1976.
Ford, speaking to a campus audien-
ce, replied that he didn't feel awkward.
"I always look to the future and forget
the past," the University alumnus
said.
How frighteningly ironic it is that he
iworking for the election of a man
who looks to the past and forgets the
future.
It is disheartening to see Jerry Ford
sell out for the sake of expediency. For
all his bumbling, the former president
is almost unanimously regarded as a
caring, sincere man-a man who
shouldn't be avidly campaigning for
another whose simplicity and naive
jingoism will probably lead the U.S.
into a war.
Indeed, watching Ford, one senses a
France's Jei
T HE RECENT rash of bombings
directed against France's Jews
may be called a minor matter by
some; certainly a very small percen-
tage of that nation's people have been
directly affected by the violence.
But rightist movements almost
always start small. For a long time,
the Nazi movement in Germany con-
sisted of nothing more than drinking
bouts and perhaps the occasional
pummeling of elderly Jewish residents
of Berlin or Hamburg. It was not until
the 1930s, with the German economy
sinking and domestic anxiety rising,
that the scapegoating of the Jewish
people became a national passion.
In view of the history of France's
neighbor, the vicious strikes against
synagogues and Jewish-owned stores
and homes in Paris, Grenoble, Mar-
seille, and Montpellier are all the more
frightening. After all, France's
economy, like those of the U.S. and the
Common Market nations, isslumping.
In France's favor, its citizenry,
Jewish and non-Jewish alike, is
responding to the hateful incidents of
violence in unified and vocal protest. A
peaceful but very visible crowd of
some 100,000 Parisians marched
through the streets on Tuesday, with
representatives of every political and
ethnic grouping joined, for once, in
solidarity.
For the first time since the- end of
World War II, huge numbers of suppor-
-

... forward
man mouthing statements he doesn't
really believe but that are demanded
of him. Ford rarely speaks convin-
cingly of the need for a huge military
buildup that is the backbone of the
Reagan rhetoric.
On Tuesday, when the crowd
challenged Ford's comments about the
need for greater military prepared-
ness, the former Wolverine quickly
changed tacks, bursting out,
"Whatever wehave ought to be ready
to defend the United States of
America"-a statement indicative of
the more moderate, peaceful man we
know Ford to be.
The political system almost deman-
ds that Ford go through the motions of
supporting his party's candidate, even
if he is not pleased with that choice.
Indeed, Ted Kennedy is now doing.
commercials for President Carter.
It may be required. But it sure is
sad.
ws under fire.
ters of the current French government
marched alongside members of the
Socialist Party, and the Socialist Party
marched with their bitter enemies the
Communists. Representatives of
feminist organizations, labor unions,
and even a handful of Gypsies joined in
the demonstration as well.
That the French seem to have been
able to overcome the usual bitter
divisiveness that makes their politics
so stormy is a heartening sign. Still,
some observers feel that President
Valery Giscard d'Estaing and his' law
enforcement officials could be doing
more to thwart any future bombings,
and especially, to apprehend the per-
petrators of the crimes already com-
mitted.
There is one other concern about the
wave of anti-Semitic activity in Fran-
ce: Some French believe that the
violence may be inspired by friends or
actual members of the Palestine
Liberation Organization. While there is
no solid documentation for this view, it
does raise the possibility that the
PLO's intent is not only to destroy
Israel-an abhorrent, although strictly
political, goal-but to exterminate the
Jewish people entirely. For that
reason, swift investigation of the
claims about the PLO is essential.
It is only right that if the terrorist
group's motivation is genuine an-
ti-Semitism (as many Jews have long
claimed), that fact be publicized as
soon as possible.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Greeks portrayed unfairly in column

To The Daily:
After much thought and con-}
sideration I have decided to
comment on the Daily's recent
column about fraternities (Sept.
27) written by staff member
Steve Hook. I was amused and
angered by it, though I do respect
the views of my fellow students.
Still, I wonder if Hook really had
the experience he writes of or if
he made it up just to fill space.
I also question his attachment
to his fraternity. Obviously he
must have something against the
Greek system in general. It is not
my purpose, however, to analyze
his psychological makeup, but
rather to point out some of the bet-

ter parts of the Greek system.
As a quick reference, I will
remind you that until recently (10
years ago), The Daily was very
objective when it reported on the
Greek system; in fact,, it was.
very, upportive. During my
four years at the University, I
have} seldom seen a fair article
about the fraternities on campus.
I am not a writer, but I, know
quite a few people that could add
a lot to your staff and give a fair
view of the Greek system. With
Greek population on campus ap-
proaching 10 percent, I think it's
time for you to re-evaluate your
opinions.
The main thing to remember

Simon review no review

To The Daily:
The review of the Paul Simon
concert that appeared in The
Daily (October 1) was not a
review at all. Rather, it was the
writer's personal statement of his
dislike for Paul Simon's music
and his general resentment
toward a whole class of people
whom he obviously believes ap-
preciate Paul Simon only
because it's the "in thing" to do;
a reflex action. Unfortunately for
the readers,Martin Lederman
simply stated his bitterness
toward these people but did not
attempt to explain its cause, for
that might have made an inter-
esting article. "
If Paul Simon was
"masquerading" as a "rock &
roll star," as Lederman asserted,
the only person fooled was
Lederman himself. I know of no
other person who believes that
Simon is or attempts to be a
"rock & roll star." His music is
complex and meaningful and
cannot be dismissed as merely
rock & roll.
As for the concert, Simon was
enthusiastically received from
the very beginning, for both new
and old material, by a widely
diverse audience. His band

backed him well; bald heads and
, chairs do not disqualify or
discredit musicians. Responding
to the audience's strongly ex-
pressed wishes, he finished the
evening with 3 or 4 encores, each
encore of at least two songs. That
is the essence of a concert-the
performer puts on a show to en-
tertain his audience. The audien-
ce'got what it wanted and what it
-paid for-the opportunity to hear
Paul Simon and his music.
- That so-called review was in-
sulting not only to the audience
but to the readers as well. With
that diatribe masquerading as a
review of the concert, Lederman
showed that he seriously un-
derestimated his readers' ability
to distinguish between the two. In-
telligent people could only take
offense at the writer's evident
lack of respect for them.
Next time a concert is to be
reviewed,, send an unbiased
reviewer ratherwthan a verbose
philosopher who could have
created the same article without
attending the concert. Further-
more, why not send Lederman to
Gargoyle, where his fiction
belongs?
-Carl Stein
October 4

is that you cannot make rash
generalizations about 3,000
students. There are as many dif-
ferent types of people in Greek
houses as there are people. I have
yet to find someone who fits the
"frat" image that you hear so
much about.
Certainly, at one time or
another fraternity brothers have
done the kinds of things Hook
describes in his column, but those
who do are in a very small
minority.
The other night I was talking to
a friend in Dooley's, and all of a
sudden this ape deliberately
spilled a pitcher of beer all over
him. All my friend had done was
to wear an OSU t-shirt. The ogre
who poured the beer was a mem-
ber of our (1-2) football'team.
Still, I do not hold a grudge
against the whole team; the ac-
tion of one blayer does not mean
all football players are jerks. Un-
fortunately, Hook is trying to be a
model for the whole campus of
fraternity men.
I would like to straighten out
some of the misconceptions that
Hook suggested.
Fraternities and sororities are
not exclusive. Most houses have
a policy of not discriminating
against anyone on the basis of
race, creed, or national origin.
The Greek system bases mem-
bership on the individual and
what he or she will add to a house.
Fraternities and sororities are
involved in more community ser-
vice projects that any other
student organizations. Fund-
raising on a local and national
scale, parties for under-
The transcript
To The Daily:
As the cost of a college educa-
tion begins to exceed the means
even of middle class families,
making debtors of more and
more students, Josh Peck, in a
unique gesture of reverse snob-
bery, publishes his wreckage of a
transcript, boasting that his ex-
tracurricular achievements far
outweight his curricular sloth
(Daily, Oct. 5).
If, as he implies, this particular
piece of self-stroking "jour-
nalism" is a sample of these

privileged, handicapped, and
mentally retarded kids, and
blood drives are only a few of the
many service projects that
Greeks organize.
The Red Cross blood drive
usually draws about 80-90 percent
of all Greeks. Some houses have
the entire membership give
blood. Christmas parties for kids
are another endeavor of ours.
Next time my house has one I'1
have someone call The Daily so
you can see for yourselves what
the Greek system is about.
Membership in the- Greek
system is on the rise. More and
more students are finding out
about Greek life and are liking it.
My house has grown 80 percent in
the past three years.
My initial response to Hook's
article was anger, but now I'
glad I saw it. It got me pissed of
enough to write. I'm not trying to
say that everyone in the Greek
system is a model student, but I
do think we are no different from
anyone else.
Saying that all Greeks are
drunken bums is like saying that
all dormies are idiots. It's an un-
founded conclusion 'to say that
all Greeks are the same.
Greek life is not for everyone,
but neither is living four years io
South Quad or U Towers. It is a
unique way of living; fun at
times and at others a pain in the
ass. But -40 years from now when
I return to campus to see how the
house has grown, I will know that
it was all worth it.
-David Finlay
Chi Phi Fraternity
October 3
wreckage...
achievements, the point is highly
debatable. But the real question
is : ,Who paid (is paying) for this.
casual tour of academe? Not Josh
Peck, I bet.
People who foot their own bills
tend to be purposefully directed,
aggressive consumers. And while
someone who does not .may see
the whole process as a drear
post-adolescent phase througtW
which all must pass, like it or not
and for no apparent reason, he
is a fool to advertise this belief.
-Jon Udell
October 7

On politics and memory

To The Daily:
Joshua Peck's subtle and in-
sightful essay "Honesty" (Daily,
Sept. 28) points to that one
uniquely American charac-
teristic that has become the cen-
terpiece of modern campaign
strategy - that is, our inability to
recall anything that occurred
more than 24 hours beforehand.
It would not be possible for
public officials to succeed in such
dubious lying to the American
people if not for the fact that our
collective merrory has been shor-
tened in this age of instantaneous
telecommunications. Like infants
fascinated by bright, colorful ob-
jects, we are unable to concen-
trate on any theme beyond the,
moment and we are quite easily
distracted by the latest event at
hand.
It was with a knowledge of our
willingness to forget that the
White House was able to take
such a calculated gamble as to
skip the September debate with
Ronald Reagan and John Ander-
son, suffer the immediate public
outcry, and then watch the furor

that the judgement was
premature and that we should
forget it a few days later.
And since our collective
memory seems to stop fun-
ctioning week to week, of course
Mr. Carter can campaign in 1980
by totally ignring the unkept
promises of 1976. The American
public is stricken with a severe
case of amnesia, and by dodging
presidential debates in the
primaries and now in the general
election, Mr. Carter does not run
the risk of some unkind jour-
nalistic questioner refreshing our
memories before election day.
one point Mr. Peck did not
mention was the fact that Senator
Ted Kennedy could well become
the beneficiary of our amnesia.
In one moving speech at the
Democratic convention, Chap-
paquiddick was, for the moment
at least, forgotten, and the big
loser of 1980 is being cast,
perhaps prematurely, as a
serious contender four years
from now. If Teddy Kennedy does
bounce back in '84 to become his

of an immature columnist

To The Daily:
Joshua Peck's recent
autobiographical expose
(Daily, Oct. 5) represents a new
low in journalistic self-
indulgence. One wonders why
Mr. Peck takes such delight in
revealing his academic failings
to the general public.
If his intention is to demon-
strate that low grades do not.
make one ignorant or narrow,
such a demonstration belabors
the obvious. If, however, Mr.
Peck's intention is to illuminate
his insecurity and pompous man-

ner, his column is an unqualified
success.
Mr. Peck claims indifference to
grades, yet he implores the Daily
readership to understand that his
"romantic entanglements,"
"avid involvements in all manner
of endeavors," and "hatred of
authority" excuse his deficient
transcript. Joshua Peck's exhor-
tations about his "spontaneous
style" of study represent the
delusions of an immature colum-
nist.
-Stuart Logan
October 7

Editorial policies
Unsigned editorials appearing on the left side of this
page represent a majority opinion of The Daily 's

wmml - r _____________________ 4. ii' 7J

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