Page4 Thursday, January 31, 1985 The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCV, No. 100
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
A costly mistake
By Bert Hornback
Nuclear waste is a national problem. The
trouble with burying it in Michigan's Upper
Peninsula is that the inhabitants of the Upper
Peninsula are not qualified - by training,
education, or ambition - to deal with national
problems. It would be wrong, therefore, to
give them our nuclear waste.
So where should we bury it? Universities -
like the University of Michigan, dedicated to
research, if not to teaching - might be ap-
propriate sites for very low grade nuclear
waste. Some of the stuff might be buried in
Think Tanks, too, like those at Stanford and
Princeton. That would make sense.
But the best place to site this national
problem would be where those men and
women who are dedicated to solving national
problems all congregate: Washington, D. C.
We could bury it in the National Archives
building - or maybe in the basement of all
the House and Senate Office Buildings. We
could give each member of Congress his or
her own filing cabinet full, to study at close
quarters. We could give it to the Energy
Department; they could radiate everybody
concerned, and make it easier for our
national problem-solvers to see the problem.
Governments exist not to prevent problems
but to solve them. Most government agencies,
from the Congress (making new laws) to the
Courts (hearing complaints) to the various
administrative departments, are remedial
agencies. From George Washington down to
forty-term Congressman Simple, the quietist
representative of Obscurity, the heroes of
govenment are always admired for their
abilities as problems solvers. Today we have
a lot of problems, which is why we have so
much government - and that, in turn, is
But let's start with the problem of nuclear
waste disposal. Since national problem
solvers by the millions are assembled there in
Washington, ready and waiting to turn their
professional attention to national problems,
let's send them our nuclear waste.
If we do this, one of two things will happen.
Either they'll solve the problem or they'll run
away. You see, if we make members of
government live with our problems, then
those who want to be in government will have
to want seriously to solve problems - rather
than feather their own nests - when they
stand for office, or apply for government jobs.
If our national problem solvers can really
solve problems, they'll solve this one. And if
they can't - and run away, scared - well, al
least we will have solved where to put out
nuclear waste: which was the problem we
If our problem solvers in Washington do in-
deed solve the problem of nuclear waste
disposal, then we can send them all of the
homeless and unemployed Americans -a$
Again, one of two things will happen. Eitheir
our national problem solvers will solve thi$
problem, too, or they'll run away, back to
where they came from - leaving Washington
to the homeless and the unemployed, who wil)
no longer be homeless. And who knows?
Maybe some of those unemployed folks, once
they get to Washington, will themselves
become problem solvers - and quit being
Hornback is a professor of English.
put nuclear waste
resident Shapiro's claim that it is
"not technically possible to
engage in the creative solution to the
controversy surrounding the Board for
Student Publications proposed by The
Daily staff is a disturbing demon-
stration of levity in dealing with an im-
portant student concern.
The board for student publications is
a body of faculty members, elected
students, and professional journalists
that oversees the finances of The
Daily, the Ensian yearbook, and the
Gargoyle humor magazine.
The controversy surrounding the
board began in August when Ray
Stevens, one of the three professional
members, resigned from the board
because he was moving from the state.
Regents' Bylaw 13.11, the section
dealing with the board, does not men-
tion a process for filling a mid-term
vacancy to a professional position.
However, there appears to be no
reason - and the administration has
offered none - not to follow the
regular procedure set forth for appoin-
ting a professional member to a full
term. That procedure calls for The
Daily editors, in conjunction with the
Ensian and Gargoyle editors, to sub-
mit a list of six names from which the
president selects one.
Although The Daily editors submit-
ted such a list in September, Shapiro
chose Frederick Currier, who was not
on the list.
When confronted by Daily editors,
Shapiro's office admitted that it had
made a mistake, not realizing the full
wording of the bylaw. In a letter writ-
ten yesterday, Shapiro wrote, "I regret
that, quite unintentionally, an appoin-
tment to fill a vacancy created by the
resignation of a professional member
of the Board went to an individual not
on the list of journalists proposed by
The Daily editors and without con-
sultation with them."
In violating the spirit of the bylaw, if
not the letter, Shapiro threatens the
very freedom upon which The Daily is
The bylaw guarantees The Daily the
right to influence the composition of
the Board. The Daily staff's first
choice for the vacancy had been Urban
Lehner, a former Daily editorial page
editor and current Detroit bureau chief
for The Wall Street Journal.
By ignoring the bylaw and not accep-
ting the staff's recommendation,
Shapiro deprived the staff of its right to
help constitute the board.
By way of compromise, the staff
suggested that Shapiro select Lehner
to fill the vacancy for a professional
term expiring in May. That would
return to the Daily staff some of the in-
fluence it lost last month and Currier, a
respected marketing consultant, would
remain a part of the Board.
President Shapiro now has the op-
portunity to accept this solution to the
problem. By telling the students that
they will be able to select the next
board member when the position opens
in May, Shapiro can right a wrong and
show the students that he is genuinely
concerned about the bylaw violation.
* *...*.~*** -
e~ ~ + .- '~:*~'~*
ICIOGAqN 04!WY 85<9
Boys will be boys
-TT IS AMAZING how a group of guys
in upstate New York can
simultaneously offend the entire coun-
try and embarrass themselves with
such little effort. Sigma Chi fraternity
members at the University of
Rochester were recently reprimanded
by the University for a callous and un-
thinking action that reflects an
irresponsible attitude toward world
The fraternity, in an effort to
publicize a party, put up posters
around campus that read, "For the
price of feeding -an Ethiopian village,
you can go to a party at Sigma Chi."
The University's Inter-fraternity
council ordered Sigma Chi to write let-
ters of apology to the American Red
Cross and the black student union at
Rochester. That organization was
conducting a fund drive for African
famine relief when the poster went up.
The members of that fraternity will
also have to perform some type of
community service or face further sen-
tencing. The fraternity members
should take the valuable opportunity
provided them by this sentence to
solicit support for the Ethiopian relief
campaign. Some members could best
serve their sentences by educating
themselves and other uninformed
students about the severity of the
famine in Ethiopia.
Sigma Chi made a bad joke out of
starvation, suffering, and death. It is
unfortunate that such callous and unin-
formed opinions are predominant-or
even existant-on a college campus,
where education, understanding, and
above all compassion should be most
"BYE.,, THANKS A LOT .~. "
LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Daily substitutes rhetoric for research
-_ _ -- - _ _ - -- - - - - . - - '. . - - - -
To the Daily:
Well ... there you go again.
Your recent editorial "Shuttle
Secrets" (Daily, Jan. 26) is just
another example of the liberal,
half-educated journalism you
practice so well. By asserting
that the Reagan Administration
"intends to move the arms race
into space" you have shown how
naive you are when it comes to
issues in the real world. Whether
you define arms to be "in-
telligence gathering" devices (as
you seem to), or weapons used to
inflict damage in battle, or a
combination of both, an arms
race in space already exists.
In the past ten years the Soviets
have been launching an average
of 75 spacecraft per year.
"Military systems now account
for more than 70 percent of Soviet
space launches. Another 20 per-
cent have combined military-
civil applications, with less than
10 percent devoted to purely
civil /scientific activities."
(Soviet Military Power: Third
Edition, April 1984)
Both the US and USSR main-
tain between 110 and 120
operational satellites in orbit.
" reconnaissance and surveillance,
" command, control & communi-
" ICBM launch detection & attack
" strategic & tactical targetting,
" navigational support, and
Your assertions about the
Reagan Administrations's at-
tempts to."move the arms race
into space" are uninformedrand
unjustified. An arms race in
space does exist, but it has
existed for the last 20 years. It is
not the result of the first military
shuttle mission, and it is not a
product of the Reagan Ad-
ministration. Before you jump at
the chance to find another
"fault" with President Reagan,
consider researching your
position first. Uninformed
rhetoric is great for getting the
blood flowing, but it won't sub-
stitute for substance.
Cigarette advertising should
To the Daily:
Your recent editorial
"Dragging rights," (Daily, Jan.
27) contained weak reasons for
"quashing" the proposed
legislation to bar cigarette adver-
tising and promotion. Censorship
may be considered deprivation of
freedom of speech in the United
States; but we also have a rule
that one's freedom ends where
his neighbor's nose begins.
In the editorial you stated that
if the government is allowed to
ban cigarette advertising, they
should also have the privilege of
outlawing commercials adver-
tising Hostess Twinkies. What
you failed to mention is that
people don't become addicted to
Hostess Twinkies, as they do to
cigarettes, and "chain eat" twen-
ty or so a day. In 1982, in
Michigan alone, almost twelve
thousand people died as a direct
result of cigarette smoking (Free
Press, Jan. 27, 1985). I am not
sure how many people died in
1982 as a result of eating Hostess
Twinkies, but I would bet that the
national total was much smaller.
You say we should increase the
resources which educate the
public about the dangers of car-
cinogenic substances. While this
is a good idea, it is not of itself
sufficient. Instead of outlawing
handguns should we teach people
more about their dangers?
Perhaps we should have better-
educated the public on the
dangers of children working long,
hard hours in factories instead of
passing child-labor and
minimum wage laws.
Many groups exist to help the
individual who is trying to quit
smoking; it is not helpful to the
individual who is trying to quit to
pick up the nearest magazine and
see a full page ad describing the
pleasures of smoking.
It is true that congressional
support of the tobacco industry
must cease; banning cigarette
advertising is a start. No one gets
out of a hole without climbing.
Taking a firm stand against the
tobacco industry now may lead
us to a time in the future when
cigarettes are banned altogether.
The Michigan Daily encourages input from
our readers. Letters should be typed, triple-
spaced, and sent to the Daily Opinion Page, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.
by Berke Breathed
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