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September 21, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-09-21

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A

OPINION

Page ___Tuesday, September 21, 1982-

Watt and

Gorsuch:

The

The Michigan Daily
perfect couple

By David Spak,
This summer, during a backpacking trip to
the Porcupine Mountains State Park in the
Upper Peninsula, I ran across a most
unusual-but somehow perfect-couple.'
After a particularly invigorating hike, I took
some time to relax. Nestled in a spot overlooking
almost the entire park, I gazed out at the clear
blue sky, the green canopy of pines covering
the trails, and glass lakes reflecting the
breathtaking view.
I CLOSED my eyes for only a moment, but
reopened them as a man and woman, oddly
dressed for the surroundings, appeared in front
of me-the man in a business suit and the
woman'in a full-length skirt.
I recognized them immediately. Before me,
walking hand in hand, stood James Watt,
secretary of the Interior, and Anne Gorsuch,
administrator of the Environmental Protection
Agency.
They paid no attention to me as they started
talking.
"SWEETEST," Watt said tenderly, "as a
wedding fit, I'll sell off this eyesore to the
deserving gentlemen of the iron industry."
Gorsuch demurely lowered her eyes. "And
my dowry to you," she said, "will be to clear
those gentlemen of any teensy violations or
silly lawsuits that might cause them a
headache.""
I could hardly believe what was happening,
but I was too fascinated to stop eavesdropping.

I listened on.
"THAT'S SETTLED," the groom-to-be con-
tinued, "but we still haven't picked a wedding
site. Texas might be nice once drilling season
starts."
"But what about L.A.?" the bride demanded:
"I hear the smog is in full bloom. And it would.
be so much easier for Ronnie and Nancy to
come down from the ranch."
"Or maybe Denver, snookums. I know how
you feel about the orange tint in the air during
rush hour," Watt lovingly replied.
Gorsuch seemed to agree. "That might not
be bad, honey. We can have an open-air
ceremony overlooking one of those exquisite
new strip mines you paved the way for. We
could even make a few fundraising stops
before the big day."
"EXCELLENT IDEA, poopsie. Have you
spoken with Nancy yet about the other
arrangements and the guest list?"
"No, darling," Gorsuch admitted. "I was so
busy admiring her Adolfo at the last banquet
that I clean forgot. But I'm sure she'll be glad
to set everything up. Who do you want as your
best man?"
Watt seemed perplexed. "I'm not sure. I've
narrowed it down between the president of the
National Rifle Association and the chairman of
Exxon. I owe them both a favor. Is Sandra Day
O'Connor still going to be the bridesmaid?"
"OF COURSE. And she promised to help out
with those extremists who keep appealing
those horrid clean air cases. I hope all those

nice energy people are planning on attending,
too."
Watt beamed. "Certainly. And you'll never
guess who sent a thank-you note with their
RSVP-the chemical waste people."
"That was sweet of them," Gorsuch said,
stooping to pick a weed. "I do try so hard to ac-
commodate them by reducing restrictions and
cutting back enforcement staff and all.
"I know what you mean," Watt chimed in. "Do
you realize how much money we are saving in
the salaries of forest rangers alone by getting
rid of all that public land out West? It must be
at least a couple of million."
"DON'T FORGET the increased profits of
the nice folks at Amoco. You've done a bang-up
job, all in less than two years."
"What about your accomplishments, Anne?
All those lax standards and dropped lawsuits
have made things so much easier for our frien-
ds."
"We're quite a team."
"I know, Iknow."
I closed my eyes, hoping that I could ignore -
them. But I heard the woman say, "Jim, we
still have to decide where to go on our
honeymoon.
"How about offshore oil rig-hopping?"
"Perfect. How romantic."

6
6

Spak is a Daily staff w/iter.

James and Anne: Caught together in the woods

-_ ____

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

01

Vol. XCIII, No. 11

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Helms outdoes himself

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W OULDN'T IT BE marvelous if
Jesse Helms were merely
tiresome?'Wouldn't it be great if his
forum were the Diag and if his audien-
ce were squirrels and pigeons?
Ahh, dreams.
Instead, Helms is on the Senate floor,
doing his bit to undermine the Con-
stitution.
Yesterday afternoon, the senator
was defeated in his attempt to end a
filibuster against his school prayer'
bill. Although the defeat came on the
heels of the Senate's rejection of the
Helms theory of abortion, Helms and
his colleagues are prepared to press
on. He says he will try once again to
limit debate on the bill today and
tomorrow, and senators on both sides
concede that he will eventually win
cloture.
At issue is no petty piece of malicious
reaction. The bill proposed by Helms
would strip the Supreme Court of
jurisdiction in cases involving school
prayer, including any law approved by
a state legislature or a ruling by a

lower court. It would, in effect, limit
the power of the Supreme Court to in-
terpret the Constitution simply
because Helms and his conrrades
disagree with the court's inter-
pretations.
The ramifications of the proposal
would extend far beyond the matter of
prayer in the schools. The Helms bill
would set up a mechanism by which
the Congress-acting outside the
procedures for amending the Con-
stitution-could limit the very ap-
plicability of the Constitution. It would
grossly distort the relationship bet-
ween the Congress, the courts, and the
Constitution, and it would provide a
means by which even the most basic
liberties could be curtailed.
No, Helms has transcended the
merely tiresome on this one. This
time-with the help of 49 senators who
sided with him yesterday-he's at-
tacking some of the most basic
freedoms of all Americans. And that's
something even a Diag preacher would
admire for its absurdity.

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At 7

JOHANNESBURG, South
Africa-In "Marabi," a play
about life in this city before
World War II, a shady im-
presario seeks to win over
George, a young black musician,
by offering him a saxophone
made in the United States.
George is ecstatic. "If it comes
from America," he cries, "It's
got to be good! All the best things
come from America."
Asked later to comment on
these lines, an actor who played
George in a recent production
added one of his own: "That's not
true any more, is it?"
THIS EXPRESSION of skep-
ticism about the standing of the
United States in South African
eyes was borne out and expanded
during interviews with many black
South Africans, including jour-
nalists, trade unionists, and
community leaders, all of whom
were aware of and deeply distur-
bed by evidence that President
Reagan's administration is not
acting to bring about any
meaningful reform in South.
Africa.
The interviews highlighted
several facets of the problem:
" The muted response of the
Reagan administration to the
death in detention of Neil Aggett,
a prominent South African union,
leader, was contrasted with the
attendance of two senior Carter-
era U.S. diplomats at the funeral

,I

America 's
image in
South Africa

tarnish es
By Miriam lamob

judgment of the Reagan ad-
ministration..
"The United States is prepared
to levy sanctions against Russia
and Poland because it is fightingO
communism," he said, "and it is
prepared to use a.carrot with
South Africa. I can only draw one
conclusion, that they are more
concerned with the Soviet Union
than they are with apartheid."
The increasingly negative at-
titude extends to U.S.
businesses in South Africa, and
their relationships with black
employees. A black executive
with a U.S. advertising agency
commented that "equal oppor-
tunity employer" was a nice
slogan, but they never checked
what it means to black people. It
means applying every aspect of
democratic America to South
Africa. But they don't. They hide
behind the laws of the country.
BISHOP DESMOND Tutu,
head of the South African Council
of Churches, referring to expen-
ditures by U.S. corporations to
improve the lives of Africans,
said: "I don't mind; let us have
part of the money they are get-
ting out of the country. But let
them not think it legitimizes their
being here. It will not count in
'their favor because they are not
doing us a favor."
This view, diametrically op-
posed to the Reagan "construc
,.- it

There is also widespread con-
viction that serious damage to
the black South African view of
U.S. policy was done by hearings
before a U.S. Senate Subcommit-
tee on Security and Terrorism
conducted by Sen. Jeremiah Den-
ton (R-Ala.,) and his assistant,
Joel Lisker, with the open
assistance of the South African
government. (Lisker gathered in-
formation in South Africa before
the hearings and was quoted in
the Johannesburg Star as
praising the government for its
cooperation.)
Althonah snme nress rpnnrts

African government."
Many of the black South
Africans interviewed responded
cynically when asked whether
they saw differences between the
human rights attitudes of the
Carter and Reagan ad-
ministrations; some cited the ex-
periences of Andrew Young, for-
mer U.S. Ambassador to the
United Nations, "who even
became unpopular in his own,
country."
AFRICAN WRITERS
Association President Mothobi
Motluatse remarked that "Carter
mac -.0ohtly hetter. hp hanffad the

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