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October 15, 1980 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-15

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PINION
Page 4 Wednesday, October 15, 1980 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. XCI, No. 36 Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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by David Kirby

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

Loutish demonstrators

0 . .

T WAS A VERY uncomfortable hour
for most of the members of the
University community gathered in
front of the Michigan Union yesterday
morning.
Thousands had assembled to join in
the 20th anniversary celebration of the
Peace Corps before the very steps
where John Kennedy outlined the
program on Oct. 14, 1960.
But the celebration was marred by a
few dozen loutish protesters who con-
tinually chanted during the
proceedings. The spectators watched
in horrified embarrassment as
University President Harold Shapiro
was compelled to halt his speech
because of the screaming of the few;
as former Peace Corps Director
Sargent Shriver was forced to shout;
and as Secretary of State Edmund.
Muskie was reduced to arguing with
the churlish demonstrators.
Certainly the protesters had a right
to espouse their views-which did have
some merit-in the ideal forum that
the Peace Corps celebration presen-

ted. But they had no right to interfere
with the rights of the speakers to make
their points. And they had no right to
interfere with the rights of the
thousands behind them who wanted to
listen to the speeches.
At the very least, the demonstrators
could have confined their outbursts to
the pauses between speeches; indeed,
they might have drawn more respect
from the crowd had they not been so
boorish.
The demonstrators were par-
ticularly foolish in shouting during
Shapiro's and Shriver's speeches.
Shapiro was the victim of such ill-
placed shouts as "No war, no draft!"
And Shriver, who attacked the
National Security Council, the Central
Intelligence Agency, and foreign
policy in general, had to contend with
shouts of "No war in the Mideast''-a
statement he had actually supported.
We're sorry, visiting dignitaries. It's
too bad we couldn't have given you a
more cordialreception.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Mental health legislation dangerous

n

... with something to say

To The Daily:
We would like to alert citizens
and community groups to a very
dangerous piece of state
legislation: Senate Bill 866, spon-
sored by state Sen. Ed Pierce (D-
Ann Arbor).
This bill would amend the Men-
tal Health Code to allow
registered psychiatric nurses,
psychologists, and social workers
to commit individuals to mental
institutions.
This issue raises serious
questions concerning civil rights,
wrongful commitment and the
overall controversy on the con-
ditions of mental institutions and
the inhumane treatment prac-
ticed within.
Granted, there are people who
are either destructive to them-
selves, to others or to both. There
is no question that this element of
society needs some type of
isolation from the majority of the
society. It is generally assumed
that the isolation will be tem-
porary and that the "treatment",
will improve the condition.
We are concerned with the
large numbers of tax dollars that
support mental institutions which

engage in ,"mental health
solutions" that in truth continue a
parasitic cycle. In short, we see
little or no result-just people
who are in need of real help being
drugged or electro-shocked into
vegetables, often times per-
manently so, living in deplorable
quarters and subjected to other
things, such as beatings. We see
larger and larger numbers of
,people becoming wards of the
state at greater expense and for
longer periods of confinement.
We have so many people
engaged in the business of mental
health that you'd think there
would be a lot more "health"
than there is. We seriously
question the validity of the
current practices of most mental
institutions and we further
question the qualifications of
those engaged in commitment
and staffing them. If the existing
"professionals" are so expert in
their field, why are their results
so bad? And why is it such a
stigma to have been in a mental
institution?
A full scale investigation of the
commitment procedures and
what is really occurring in our

A LTHOUGH THE shouted com-
ments of the Revolutionary
Workers Group and others in front of
the Union yesterday were obnoxious,
and although they violated the
Elegitimate desires of the crowd to hear,
"Secretary of Siate Muskie sand the
other dignitaries, there is something to
be said in the protesters' behalf.
When they shouted at Regent Sarah
Power to "Divest now!" the demon-
strators were onto an element of
hypocrisy that certanly marred the
morning's proceedings. Power has
repeatedly cast votes to retain Univer-
sity stock in companies that prop up
one of the most unjust, violent societies
on earth-that of South Africa. With a
single "aye" vote, Power and her
colleagues could take a huge stride
toward the eventual destruction of
South Africa's apartheid regime. That
would be riskier than a speech on the
Union steps, perhaps, but the potential
positive effects would be far broader
and long-lasting.
But Sarah Power was not the.
keynote speaker of the rededication;
Edmund Muskie was. As the Carter
administration's chief representative
to the Peace Corps event, Muskie came
under the demonstrators' most ob-
streperous and sustained vocal at-
tacks. Again, those attacks, while ob-

jectionable, did point up the duplicity
suggested by the Secretary of State's
very appearance.
American administrations-Carter's
included-have presided over decades
of large-scale spending for charitable
purposes, only to undermine those
projects with' even greater expen-
ditures for counterproductive
measures. For every U.S. dollar spent
in the Philippines "to improve fishing
techniques," as the Peace Corps
literature boasts, many more are spent
to keep that country's tyrannical ruler,
Ferdinand , Marcos, firmly in
power-repressive martial law and all.
For every million the government
routes to VISTA or to the United
Nations, millions more go to the cof-
fers of wealthy dictators in South
America and the far east.
Unlikely though it may be that
Muskie listened seriously to yester-
day's angry voices, perhaps the
secretary at least will ponder the in-
congruity between the loftiest goals of
the Administration-as reflected in the
earnest, sweaty work of the Peace
Corps-and the lowest-as reflected in
President Carter's insistence on the
MX missile, the possibility of "limited
nuclear war," and the conscription of
unwilling young men to do the dirtiest
work of all.

mental health field is what -is
needed, not an expansion of the
hazards through SB 866. We
currently have "mental health
solutions" that are rapidly
becoming problems. It is con-
ceivable that someday 20 percent
of the population could be suppor-
ting the other 80 percent confined
in institutions.
What we really fear is the
direction this encroachment upon
constitutonal rights is taking. We
can readily see where the power
to commit someone to an in-
stitution can be abused,
politically as well as by selfishly
vested family members of an in-
dividual who is up for "removal."
This risk is tdo great for the small
"protection" it supposedly offers.
Mental institutions are ob-
viously not the best approach to
On political
To The Daily:
A few weeks ago, Rep. -Carl
Pursell told The Ann Arbor News
that his challenger, Kathleen
O'Reilly, "wouldn't represent the
people living in this district.
She'd represent Ralph
Nader . . ."
So you can imagine my sur-
prise last week during Gerald
Ford's University visit, when
Pursell's volunteers handed me
and other students a leaflet
boasting about Pursell's views on

handling mental health or there
would be a well-beaten path to
them. Locking people away into
an abnormal, degrading, and
inhumane setting cannot benefit
their mental health. That is an
undisputed fact.
We urge you to oppose SB x86
and instead call for an win-
vestigation into the practicesof
commitment, and into the con-
ditions of our mental healtb
facilities, and psychiatric abuses.
Write to the Legislative Cont-
mittee on Mental Health.
Representative Trim is the
chairman; P.O. Box 30036, LAn-
sing, Michigan 48909.
-Julie Askew
Bev Soroka
Citizens Commission
on Human Rights
October 7

L

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A good yuk over review

To The Daily:
My friends and I had a good
yuk over Martin Lederman's
review of Paul Simon's concert
(Daily, Oct. 1). "Ah," we mum-
bled among ourselves, "here is
another frightful freshman trying
to be Rex Reed and a Grand
Inquisitor rolled into one
adolescent body."
Jeez, why does he hate 'ol folks
so much? Balding musicians
have no right to play rock?
Listen, kid, those middle-aged,
balding guitar players were
changing the music scene while
you were still pissing in your
training pants.
Maybe Simon is a has-been.
But his songs are not "icons,"

(the word you culled from your
thesaurus.) They still touch those
people who haven't been en-
snared by the post-Nixon cult of
Look Out for Number One.
And, we wonder, where does an
attack on John Anderson's
validity fit in with a music
review?
Ah, what's the use? Lederman
comes off- as just a smug un-
dergrad safe behind his
typewri-ter. Betcha he would
grow up a lot were he to spend
time in the real world. But until
he does, maybe he should stick.to
what he knows. And maybe 'he
could turn downhis hostility.
-Lee Fleming
October 4

Greek colu

Prosterman swings wildly

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To The Daily:
After - reading H. Scott
Prosterman's article on Israel
(Daily, Oct. 11), I find that he of-
fers a valid and sophisticated
argument. Unfortunately,
several key assumptions are
simply wrong and he relies on a
rather naive conclusion.
To begin )with, Israel is not
ruled by a 'totalitarian military
government as claimed in the ar-
ticle, but by a democraticajly
elected parliament quite similar
to that of England. In addition, it
should be pointed out that every
Arab resident of Israel is also a
full citizen, including the right to
an equal vote in all elections.
There are in fact, Arab mem-
bers in the Knesset who' par-
ticipate in the lawmaking ac-
tivities of that body. To directly
compare the democratic country
of Israel with that of the
authoritarian governments in
Russia and the apartheid system
in South Africa is simply
ludicrous, and unworthy of fur-

the armies of any other country
in the world.
Finally, by quoting the Arab
shopowner that "after gaining
the trust of your neighbor, why do
you need security?,'-' I assume
that Prosterman is implying that
enough trust already exists in the
Mideast that Israel can disband
her military defense. In
discussing the real world, we can
also argue that the United States
should trust the U.S.S.R., and
that way we wouldn't need, an
army either. How would you feel
about learning Russian, Mr.
Prosterman? Hopefully the world
has learned its lesson after
trusting Adolph Hitler. After all,
Hitler only wanted Austria, and
then Czechoslovakia, and then
Poland; and the PLO "only"
wants the West Bank.
I ask you Mr. Prosterman, why
does Iraq need bomb-grade
nuclear fuel from France? Why is
Saudi Arabia so insistent on ob-
taining auxiliary fuel tanks so
that its F-15 jets can reach

To The Daily:
We take exception to the
trivialization of the Greek ex-
perience in David Finlay's letter
(Daily, October 3). We found
Steve Hook's article concerning
the joys of fraternity life to be
scrupulously accurate, not in the
direction of exaggeration but of
understatement, and being the
mark of personal experience.
What self-respecting fraternity
member can look into the depths
of his soul and say that he has
never participated in the ritual of
urination on sorority shrubbery,
or at least yearned thereto?
Would Mr. Finlay ignore the
many happy hours spent in com-
munal, blissful, alcoholic stupor
that the Greek ethic encourages
its members to enjoy? Only in a
fraternity can one know the close
interpersonal relationships that
grow from gathering late in the
evening about the porcelain god.
Mr. Finlay's tiresome harping
on the subject of fraternity public
service only serves to direct at-
tention from the fundamental
aspects of the fraternity experi-
ence. The true reasons for the
existence of the fraternity system
are not altruistic, we contend, but
selfish and childish in the best
sense of the word, creating an
Peace Corps
To The Daily:
To the hecklers at the Peace
Corps celebrations outside the
Michigan Union yesterday:
As one who has made the com-

expedzency r
environmental issues being in
accordance, with Ralph Nader's
views.
That's political expediency at
its worst. To students, he wants to
sound like a Nader's Raider;,4o
the older Ann Arbor Newa@
readership, he uses Nader's
name like poison.
Make up your mind, Mr. Put-
sell. You can't have it both ways.
-Jeff Erwin
October 14
mn praised
ideal atmosphere for:
1) Heavy alcohol consumption,
often leading to uncontrolled
aggression in public places;
2) Selfish, obnoxious behavior';
3) Parading of Greek letter
shirts, and a collection jf
sweaters with open-mouthed am-
phibians on them, often seen on
exhibition in the Undergraduate
Library;
4) Endless defense of the Greek
system through letters to To~e
Michigan Daily.
Mr. Hook's article was a mar-
velous amplification of that
which is truly Greek. It saddeis
us to see the experience we hate
learned to love belittled and tur-
ned into a melange of a ladies
bridge club and the United Wad,
with a mixture of All-
American clean living. We are
compelled to stand up for the
essentials of the Greek ethos:
that which is silly, foolish, and
relatively unhealthy.
"This house breedls
alcoholics," a fraternity member
once said. -Mark Cribbs
John Kern
Jim Nason
Tom Nickel
George Stroh
Delta Tau Delta
October 12
hecklers hit
of the celebration of this corp-
mitment by a group of people
whose dedication to their
multitudinous causes probal~y
extends no further than an hou's
worth of painting signs a~d

gnom--n

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