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March 21, 1984 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-21

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OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, March 21, 1984 -The Michigan Daily

Answering to

one kind of conservatism

By Pete Williams
and Ben Yomtoob
We read with interest the profile of
Michigan Review Editor Ted Barnett
(Daily, March 11) and would like to
direct a fewcomments to the
distinguished editor-in-chief.
Now don't get us wrong Mr. Barnett,
we love the Review and most of the
ideals you think you stand for. It's just
that you are somewhat removed from
reality and, out of the goodness of out
hearts, we will try to set you straight.
Let's start with possibly your most
obvious misconception, concerning our
friends, the Michigan Student Assem-
bly. We believe the quote was, "I know
a lot of people that think we should get
rid of MSA." Because one of us spent a
great deal of time reporting on the in-
tellectual wonders of the assembly, we
can sympathize with this opinion. The
unfortunate reality is, however, that
these elected representatives are

perhaps the only voice students have in
the operation of the University. That is,
if you also oppose civil disobedience
(and considering your stance on the
proposed code of conduct, we think that
is a safe assumption.)
Of course, often the only way to deal
with something you disagree with, like
taxes for instance, is to "get rid of it."
We agree that MSA shouldn't be
making political statements on behalf
of the students, but is abolition the best
way to remedy the problem? Perhaps it
would be more desirable to have MSA
not make those kind of statements. How
can this change come about? Well for
starters we could elect different people
with different opinions to MSA. This
will never happen though if you and the
other pseudo-conservatives don't vote
because you're not the "certain kind of
people" who vote in MSA elections.
Make sense Ted? Maybe you should
read it again, slower this time.
"If you really scratch the surface,
you'll find that most students are con-

servative," says Mr. Barnett. By whose,
standards? We think you are reading
the mood on campus a little inac-
curately. This campus used to be one of
the most liberal in the country -
remember, the SDS (Students for a

conservative? At least, we hope not
Michigan Review conservative.
In our sympathy for publication of
free thought, which may or may not in-.
elude your publication, we also sym-
pathize with your financial situation.

'One of us . . . has spent the last fifteen
years or so being indoctrinated to the
ideology that the poor are a useless bur-
den to the rest of us real Americans and
are, subsequently, better off dead.'

on a fast decline, you could assume the
traditions of that particular office with
little difficulty. Just maintain your
current editorial policy and that should
be enough to keep the entire campus in
stitches for a few decades.
We also liked your "taxes are theft"
quip. It reminded us of your article
"The Poor: Victims of the Welfare
State" in which your writer makes an
impassioned plea for the removal of
government intervention into the
problem dt poverty. Actually it remin-,
ded us even more of the Communist
"property is theft" quip. We've thought
over both sides of the issue and have
discovered that we like both property
and taxes to some extent and conclude
that "theft is theft." Radical idea, huh?
Lastly, to avoid the risk of being
blown off as a couple of liberal, Com-
munist, journalist swine, allow us to list
briefly a few of our neo-conservative
credentials. One of us comes from a
long line of Republicans and has spent
the last fifteen or so years being indoc-

trinated to the ideaology that the poor
are a useless burden to the rest of us
real Americans and are, subsequently,
better off dead. Unlike you, however,4
this writer has the courage - or is it the
brains - to at lbast examine this
brilliant doctrine.
The other one of us considers himself
to be politically right of center and is
currently engaged in the -process of
campaigning for the president whose
picture hangs on your office wall. But
he sure as hell wouldn't work with you
on this, or any other committee.
It's not your conservatism. we
criticize, Ted. It's your blatant
ignorance. You are, however, just as
we are, entitled to your own opinion -
no matter how ludicrous. Also, we ap-
plaud your courage to allow that
opinion to be printed, circulated, and
read throughout this campus. That
takes guts guy.
Williams and Yomtoob are Daily
staff writers.

Democratic Society) was founded here.
Students on this campus were so liberal
that they made Ted Kenney look like a
member of the John Birch Society.
We're definitely not that liberal
anymore, but does that automatically
qualify us as 80 percent (your figure)

Although it's nothing a little conser-
vative economics wouldn't cure,' we
have a great proposal for you. Why not,
move down the street into the Student
Publications Building. Specifically, the
Gargoyle Office. With conservatism on
the rise and the humor of the Gargoyle

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stewart

Vol. XCIV-No. 135

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Friends in high places

A REN'T FRIENDS great? President
Reagan certainly believes in
friendship. Whatever the offense,
Reagan likes to, as the Tammy Wynette
song suggests, "stand by his man."
The latest friend Reagan has decided
to stand by is Presidential Counselor
Edwin Meese whom Reagan has
nominated for the post of attorney
general. Meese, however, has his own
sp.ecial view of friendship and
dedication to old buddies. He depends
on his wealthy friends to bail him out of
tight financial situations and the next
thing you know, his friends get
government jobs. But the question is,
will Meese be able to dig up enough
friends to get him past the Senate
Judiciary Committee which stands in
the way of his nomination? He'll need a
lot of good buddies.
Meese will need to find a court-
appointed prosecutor who is friend
enough to excuse him for failing to
disclose a $15,000 interest-free loan his
wife accepted from Edwin Thomas, his
White House subordinate and long-
time California friend. While Meese
says he forgot about this loan, he
apparently forgot to disclose the loan
five times. Though he says there is no
connection between the loans and the
fact that Thomas and his wife later
received federal jobs, this is not the
first time Meese's "friends" have been
appointed to well-paying government
positions after giving him financial
support. The committee has seen
numerous instances of this "payoff
pattern."
Why should Meese have wanted to
disclose the $15,000 loan anyway? If he
had included the loan on his financial
statements to the Senate Judiciary

Committee, he would have been
admitting that he was in violation of a
law which bars high government
officials from receiving gifts from a
subordinate. Understandably, he
wanted to avoid that.
The pattern of Meese's shady
dealings extends from John McKean, a
California accountant, who lent Meese
$60,000 in 1981 and demanded no
interest payments for more than 20
months, to Thomas Barrack, a
California real estate developer who
fixed the purchase of Meese's home to
the tune of $70,000. McKean, who was
appointed a part-tirme member of the
Postal Service board of governors, is
now the board's chairman. Meese still
insists . he isn't responsible for
McKe an's appointment. However, he
served on a White House committee
which approved -the appointment of
McKean. He. did not disclose the loan
he had received from this appointee
either.
On top of his shifty relationships,
Meese has a bad memory. He claims
that he doesn't know anything about
the leaked memos from the Carter
campaign that the Reagan campaign
obtained. Yet several of the memos
found were addressed to Meese.
Sen. Charles Mathias, a Republican
from Maryland, said he thought an
attorney general "must be perceived
to be above suspicion" and have "a
clear unblemished record." Reagan's
pal, Meese, will have a tough time
ahead of him trying to convince the'
eight Democrats and the 10
Republicans on' the Senate Judicial
Committee that he is blemish free. But
then again, Ronald Reagan will.
probably be standing by his buddy.
AM- f~

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
GEO fees slice into TA

S

r

F -- '
n i
's Y !
e.

' -

To the Daily:
As I contemplate the certified
letter which arrived today from
the GEO informing me of im-
minent termination from my TA
position unless I hand over my
money, I can no longer remain
silent on this issue. My
paycheck, already ricroscopic,
is now to be sliced even finer.
Despite protestations from the
GEO (and this paper's editors)
that this union is really serving
my best interest by making me
an employee vice fellowship
recipient, countervailing facts
make this argument difficult to
accept. Consider the following _
examples. First, I share my of-
fice with RA's who pay no tax on
their tuition waivers since they
are considered to be on
fellowship. Second, although
these RA's are not covered by
GFO's contract and are thereby
immune from their harassment,
they have exactly the same
benefits as I do. Third, albeit the
institution where I received my
M.S. had no TA's union, the pay
and benefits were better. Con-
versations with fellow graduate
students at "prestigious private
schools with higher tuitions who
are considered to be on fellowship
reveal that they are substantially
better off than I am as an em-
ployee of this "prestigious" state-
supported institution. Fourth,
the whopping 5 percent pay raise
that GEO bargained for us looks
re whecn omnred with a 12

Regent Baker should be booted

N

To the Daily:
There is no justification for
Deane Baker's continued service
as University regent. Although
Baker has the right to speak
publicly in condemnation of
"the homosexual lifestyle,"
whatever that may be, his
prejudice conflicts with his ad-
ministrative role at a public
university. "Regent attacks gay
rights statement" (Daily, March
16).
Clearly any spokesperson for
anti-Black or anti-Jewish ideas,
such as a member of the Ku Klux
Klan or a Nazi organization,
would not be permitted to serve
as a regent. The thought of such
an appointment sounds
ridiculous, and to treat the
present situation differently
would be hypocritical. Phyllis
Schlafly, an enemy of equal
rights for women, may be invited
BLOOM COUNTY

to present her views on a college
campus, but men and women
alike-would join together in force
to oppose her influence on
University policy.
Such influence poses an enor-
mous threat to the general public,
and a burden beyond that borne
by the single target group. In

useful at some point in the distant
past, is appropriate today. Any
school with a modicum of interest
in its reputation is aware of the
importance of recruiting and
retaining high quality graduate
students. As more and more of
these say no to Michigan because
of poor financial aid, then the pic-
ture of a monolithic institution

stubbornly trying to pinch every
penny from its TA's becomes
more difficult to imagine. Rather
than this scenario, in most cases
we have individual financial aid.
It is at this level that TA's can be
most. effective in pressing their
demands for improvements. It is
also this level which is most
likely to respond. For this ap-

naycheck'
proach to work we don't need
lobbyists in Washington or
lawyers on retainer (the Sinks for
our GEG dues). Rather'it
requires concerned graduate
students working to improve the
programs in -their individual
departments.
-D. Brown
March 10

response to Deane Baker, a man
who chooses not to "approve'' of
thousands of Michigan scholars,
past, present and future, we can-
not afford to sit back and wait to
gauge the outrage of the gay and 5
lesbian community alone.
- Donald Leichter
March16

Civil disobedience succeeds

To the Daily:
Jonathan Ellis' focus in
"Civil disobedience: A moral
force", (Daily, March 13) must be
expanded to challenge the con-
cept of elite leadership,
everywhere.
History records the failures of
rebellions (civil disobedience)'to
end the dictatorial dominance of
the privileged few over the vast
majority of the world's people. A
dean of the Medical School told

an audience at Rackham in i67
that such a survival technique is
a "formula for suicide."
Civil disobedience should ad-
dress that insane administratiye6
process. A fundamental
(revolutionary) reorganization of
the academic community- to
establish and maintain the real
peership of all the people in-
volved can't happen too soon.
- Glen Johnson
March 14
by Berke Breathed

SEES NO SAW NO

sEes No

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