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December 02, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

OPINION
Tuesday, December 2, 1980

Page 4

We c
The two young brothers were on their
way home after playing in a newly
opened pinball arcade. When they came
to a busy four-lane road alive with
speeding cars in the evening rush hour,
the older, boy, 11, took the younger boy,
3, in his arms and started to cross. They
made it across three lanes.
A hit-and-run driver struck and killed
the pair, hurling the boys 75 feet
through the air. The impact of their
small bodies shattered the car's win-
dshield.h
THE DEATHS of these two brothers
-'on Thanksgiving eve in a small suburb
of Chicago make a sad enough story.

ire for a moment

paper was succinctly graphic: "2 young
boys lay dying as dozens simply drove
by."
"I was backed up at a red light and
when it changed, I saw cars swerving
around something," said a trucker who
stopped and tried to save the boys.
"When I saw a body-a twisted little
form-I stopped. So did another
trucker. I'm so shaken still. I can't
believe no one stopped until we did.
"AND PEOPLE still kept honking at
us and telling us to push the bodies
aside so they could get by. It was"pretty
nasty."
As we were travelling home for the
Thanksgiving break, drivers
juat like us (some of whom
might also have been ,driving
home from school) were
dodging two small bodies
sprawled on a road somewhere
west of Chicago.
You try to picture the scene,
but about the closest you can
come is thinking of dead
animals on the highway. You swerve so
as not t9 splash blood on the whitewalls.
WE ALL SAT down to our turkeys on
Thursday just the same. Perhaps a
"Tsk, tsk" or a "How horrible!"
quieted the dinner conversation for a
moment, but then it was back to "Oh,

what a tasty stuffing, mom!" or "Did
you see that kickoff return?"
As we were eating our turkeys on
Thanksgiving evening in 1978, the
bloated corpses of 900 People's Temple
members in Guyana pushed their way
into our homes, via the evening
television news. We tsk, tsked a little
longer at this story-900 is a lot of people
to die in such a bizarre cult suicide. But
we picked up with our own mundane
conversations right away-after all,
Guyana is pretty far away.
As we were opening our presents on
Christmas of that same year, the story
of John Wayne Gacy was unfolding as
more skeletons were unearthed from
beneath his home. Police eventually
found evidence of the sex slayings of 33
young men and boys. That story, too,
prompted a few tsks, but we were all
preoccupied with the joy of the
holidays.
THE POINT OF all these stories?
There really isn't one, I suppose. They
each occurred during a school vacation
and have had the effect of making me
dread such breaks even as I look for-
ward to the rest and reunion they af-
ford. But such hideous accidents,
deaths, and murders only seem to oc-
cur more frequently during vacations;
in fact, they happen every day.

We were all in classes when a
Chicago man fell onto some subway
tracks and dozens of commuters wat-
ched him struggle to climb onto the
platform, but did not help him-he was
struck and killed by a train. We were
studying in the libraries when furor
erupted in Israel over the transplanting
of a Jewish kidney into an Arab girl.
About the only thing these stories do
is make one think. I read the hit-and-
run story just as most everyone else in
the Chiago area did. I tsked, tsked.
Then I sat down with my Theatre
History textbook. Then I worked on an
English paper. Then I watched "Bar-
ney Miller."
The world is just too big, our personal
concerns are just too many, that two
broken bodies lying in the middle of a
road and 900 bodies rotting in a jungle
and 33 bodies decaying under a house
just don't make much of a lasting im-
pression.
I guess that's not much of a point. It's
fairly trite.
Howard Witt is the co-editor of
the Daily's Opinion page. His
column appears every Tuesday.

Witticisms

By Howard Witt'
Their family, struggling to survive on
the father's small salary, couldn't af-
ford to bury the boys, we learned from
our Thanksgiving morning news-
papers.
But this story is not merely sad; it is
horrible. The headline in Saturday's

Jr rGoto
John Wayne Gacy

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Editorial ignores PIR GIM facts

Vol. XCI, No.73

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M148109

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

I Registration
TN -DESPERATE TIMES, anti-war
activists can't afford to be picky. If
-one set of arguments for keeping the
peace fails to persuade the gover-
nment, we'll simply have to move to
another method to try to keep
American military power out of
,foreign countries
The case of federal registration for
the draft is one where liberals have
been beaten on one front and thus
chased to another. Despite the ad-
monition of the college-age youth who
would be most directly affected and of
some media and political voices,
President Carter earlier this year went
ahead and presented a plan to register
19- and 20-year-olds for a military draft
(should one prove "necessary").
Congress, to no one's surprise, but to
sane-thinking Americans' dismay, ap-
proved Carter's plan - most of it
anyway. The difference between Car-
ter's proposal and the registration plan
for which Congress appropriated funds
was quite simple; Carter wanted men
and women included in the Selective
Service folly, whereas the Congress -
in deference to public opinion polls -
ruled that war was for men; that only
males ought to be sent to do the
nation's dirty work, should duty call.

and the Court
For its chauvinism, Congress was
rewarded with a civil suit intended to
bar the government from enacting
registration until the discrimination
problem was amended. A federal court
in Pennsylvania agreed there was no.
reason women ought to be excluded
from military service.
Unfortunately, Supreme Court
Justice William Brennan temporarily
overturned the lower court's decision
in July, ruling that registration could
proceed pending a review of the case,
by the full high court. Yesterday, the
Supreme Court broke the suspense by.
agreeing to review the case. It will be a
few months at most before the court
reaches a decision on the sexism issue.
Though arguments have been raised
that registration and the draft as a
whole are unconstitutional, those pleas
stand little chance of getting a hearing
before the Supreme Court. The hopes
of all of us who oppose the trend to
military alarmism rest on the court's
efficacy in adjudicating correctly
along lines of sexual equality. We hope
for the sake of feminism, and, more
important, for the sake of world peace,
that the Court kills the men-only
registration plan.

To the Daily:
The analysis put forth by the
Daily in its November 25 editorial
("No privilege for PIRGIM")
may seem familiar to persons
who attended the November
meeting of the Board of Regents.
Indeed it should, for the Daily has
merely reproduced the argumen-.
ts advanced by the two conser-
vative Republicans on the Board.
The position endorsed by the
Public Interest ResearchGroup
in Michigan, Michigan Student
Assembly President Marc
Breakstone, and the majority of
the Regents deserves a similar
review.
The University, has an
established procedure byswhich
student groups can win the right
to collect voluntary contributions
at CRISP. PIRGIM fulfilled the
requirements of this policy in
1972 when more than 16,000
University students petitioned

the University to establish a fun-
ding system whereby students
could voluntarily contribute to
PIRGIM at CRISP. Any other
student group that can demon-
strate similar student support is
also entitled to collect con-'
tributions at registration.
The Daily betrays its ignorance
of these crucial facts with its
ironic suggestion that a student
group might prove its worthiness
to collect contributions "by cir-
culating petitions among the
prospective contributors."
As for the recent decline in the
volume of contributions PIRGIM
has received, the Daily inex-
plicably failsetoenote that the
nation's severe economic
recession has limited the finan-
cial options of many students.
Moreover, there exist several
flaws in the current funding
system. One such flaw is that
PIRGIM is denied access to more

Peck on religion .0.

y
" ,3
PIGA
i '

To the Daily:
I feel compelled to respond to
Joshua Peck's column (Daily,
November 23) debunking
religious superstition and
mythology. I must question his
reasoning concerning "religion's
obligation to the world," as well
as his examination of the sources
of biblical morality. First of all, I
beg you to consider the far-
reaching implications when ban-
dying about the word "religion."
Peck argues successfully that all
religiously-related actions should
not remain exclusive from the
secular world. This point is
glaringly true, and in fact is a
gross understatement. Anyone
who believes otherwise is a fool.
You'd might as well believe that
certain wavelengths of sunlight
should be denied to our front
lawns. Religion, if accepted on
definitional terms, includes all
that we know; actions between
God and man, man and man,
molecule and molecule.
Religion's "obligation' to the
world is fulfilled in the fact that
the world exists.
But an important distinction
must be made here. A fatal error
(in the fullest sense) is made in
grouping Christianity with the
other "religions." You display
this error in your judgement of
biblical morality, stating that the
Ten Commandments are the
basic tenets of the Christian faith.
The commandments are impor-
tant in that they show us how we
should live. But it is much
more important to realize that we

don 't live this way. Some people
come a little closer than others,
but we all fall miserably short.
The foundation of Christianity is
Jesus Christ as saviour, not the
ideal standard of goodness that
convicts us as sinners. Any other
faith allows the pursuit of
salvation on one's own accord,
nothing more than glorified
humanism and the blind pride
that prohibits us from realizing
that we need God's grace to save
us. If a sincere yet very human
"religious authority," even the
pope, dismays you with his por-
tfolio of laws, please do not con-
fuse this with Christianity's true
message for mankind.
Incidentally, in reading
Genesis 38,.it appears to me that
Onan's sin was his attitude of
disobedience to his father and
disregard for the laws governing
his sister-in-law's remarriage,
not the method he chose for
denying his dead brother an heir.
If he had "spilled his seed on the
ground" solely for self-
gratification, ,we'd have a dif-
ferent story, but he did not.
Peck stated that it is our
responsibility to "peel back the
obscuring folds of Faith." Please
make an honest effort to do so,
and don't be surprised if one of
those obscuring folds is your own
fear of the absolute truth, at first
quite terrifying. You will find a
gaping chasm of separation. But
don't jump. Take the bridge.
-Steve Hamilton
November 25

than 5,000 potential contributors
who don't register at CRISP.
The Regents' decision to
preserve PIRGIM's funding
system during this interim period
merits enthusiastic praise, as it
comes in the face of pressure
from business groups and the
Rape still a s
To the Daily:
We are womenconcerned
about sexual violence and
women's safety on this campus.
In response to the recent sidewalk
stencils saying "A Woman Was
Raped Here," new stencils have
appeared. on the diag saying "I
Raped A Woman Here." This new
statement indicates a radical
misunderstanding of the nature
of rapes. Rape is not a sexual ac-
t, but an extreme act of violence
which forces all women to walk in
fear. Rape is so prevalent in our
society that -the Law Enfor-
cement Assistance Association
estimates one out of every three
women is raped in her lifetime.
Yet there are men on this campus
who think violence against
women is something to joke
about.
Real conce
To the Daily:
I would like to respond to James
St. Pal's letter of November 26
concerning the contradictions of
abortion. St. Paul said that life,
and in particular the protection of
human life, is a moral absolute.
Many "pro-lifers" espouse a
similar rhetoric, but do their ac-
tions really reflect a pro-human
attitude? Do these people change
their lifestyles to consume less so
they can pass their savings to the
starving masses of Africa and
Asia? Do they campaign with the
same vigor and righteousness to
feed and protect these people who
starve by the thousands? I think
Counselors
To the Daily:
A fine school like The Univer-
sity of Michigan should have
competent counselors. I mean, at
such a large and prestigious
school, one expects to find coun-
selors who will be able to help
students through their years of
education. However, during my
freshman year last year, I lear-
ned that one of the counselors
was not competent.
The counselor misinterpreted
my score on the English
placement test. The English
placement test was a University
requirement for all incoming
freshmen as it consisted of an
essay writing section and a
reading section in which I had to
answer questions on some
reading passages. He told me I
was average on both the reading

New Right. The Daily has per-
formed a disservice to the
University community with its
irresponsible and inaccurate
reporting.
-Marc Manason
PIRGIM Treasurer
November 25
erious issue
It's bad news that anyone
would make light of rape. For-
tunately, though, these new sten-
cils have helped women and men
realize that rape is still a very
serious issue. As a consequence,
concerned men and women are
encouraging women to fight
back. Good work!
-Shawn Baz
Jennie Corbett
Charlote Dery
Nancy E. Heckman
Sylvia Hobart
Helen Gallagher
Linda Kaboolian4
Gail Kara
Kerth O'Brien
Ella W',Sangster
Betsey Taylor
Debbe Zinn
Graduate Women's
Network
November 25
rn for life?
the answer, typically, is no.
I suggest to these people that
the reverence for life and the
right to live be given more ap-
propriately to those already
among us, and not concentrated
so much upon those yet to be
born. As long as "pro-life"
groups spend millions of dollars a
year to "protect" the unborn
and neglect millions of people
who are already alive and face
death from starvation, I see little
consistency or cogency in their
arguments based upon their
"real" concern for human life.
-Jim Croxton
November 28
incompetent
economics. She looked over my
records and discovered that I had
a low reading score and it was
probably the reason why I had
been doing poorly in that course
and why I had done poorly in
other courses that required text
book assignments. She was very
helpful and she gave me some
course information on improving
my reading skills during the next
semester. I was happy to find a
counselor who was competent.
However, this did not make up
for my first counselor, whose
error did not help the progression
of my education. I was em-
phatically upset at that counselor
because I was doing the work, but
I showed no results. This gave me
a frustrating feeling that made
me feel dumb.
Counselors should - not make
errors like that at this University

F&WELL.
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To the Daily:
I am still not sure whether
Joshua Peck's column (Daily,
November 23) on secular
criticism of religion is a spoof or
not. If he is serious. I feel sorry

cluttering connotations of the ill-
expressed "blundering," beyond
questions of personal faith, it is
obvious that Peck has little un-
derstanding of Moses, Jesus

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