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March 16, 1985 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-16

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4

OPINION
Page4 Saturday, March 16, 1985 The Michigan Daily

i a mebstn gan ivsty
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Tearing down the

dome

4

Vol. XCV, No. 130

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M{ 48109

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

Not espionage

A FEDERAL district judge in
Baltimore has continued a distur-
bing trend to limit public access to
some information which is likely to
spark public debate.
Judge Joseph Young found in a pre-
trial hearing on Thursday that Samuel
Loring Morison was liable for criminal
charges in a case in which he is
charged with leaking classified gover-
nment documents to the press.
Although Morison pleaded not guilty
to the charges, he has not commented
on whether he is the individual respon-
sible for giving Jane's Defense
Weekly, a British periodical, three
classified photographs of a Soviet air-
craft carrier under construction.
Earlier this year, Morison,-a civilian
employee of the Navy with top-secret
clearance, worked for Jane's with the
Navy's approval.
Morison's case marks only the
second time criminal proceedings
have been brought against an em-
ployee for leaking classified infor-
mation to the press. The first was the
case of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony
Russo" - the famous "Pentagon Papers"
in whi i the two released classifed
documents telling of government
misconduct during the VietnamWar.
The case against Ellsberg and Russo
was dismissed on the grounds of
government misconduct, but Young's

decision suggests that Morison's case
will go differently. Young announced
that "good intentions" are not suf-
ficient grounds for violating classified
restrictions. Further, he declared that
Morison need not be found to have "in-
tent to injure the United States" in or-
der to be found guilty under espionage
laws.
Morison's case will also be the first
opportunity the courts have had to test
the validity of an interagency
statement released by the Reagan ad-
ministration in which they claim
espionage laws can be used against
periodicals which publish classified in-
formation.
Young's decision, and the Reagan
administration statement, are
frightening restrictions on the
availability of controversial infor-
mation. Instances such as Ellsberg's
Pentagon Papers, it is essential that
responsible government employees
have as few restrictions as possible
keeping them from releasing infor-
mation vital to public discussion.
The government must have means at
its disposal to enforce its classifed
restriction with its employees, but that
means already exists in its ability to
fire violators. In all but the most con-
troversial cases firing will be a suf-
ficient deterrent-and it is those con-
troversial cases that must not be
discouraged.

By Peter Williams
Pontiac, it serves you right.
Once again, man has lost in his formidable
and perpetual battle against nature. Last
week, the greatest and most expansive white
elephant ever conceived by Michigan sports
entrepreneurs, the Pontiac Silverdome, took
an inevitable beating from the winter elemen-
ts. The air-supported Silverdome roof collap-
sed under the stress of heavy, wet snow.
While the stadium's demise is a tragedy for
Detroit sports fans, players, managers, and
owners, the fall of Michigan's greatest en-
closed parking lot brings to light several
pseudo-philosophical issues. Namely: fan
comfort in proportion to. economic and ar-
chitectural stability, the value of maintenen-
ce free, dirt-free concrete and plastic playing
surfaces over the value of football players'
knees, and the current tendency on the part of
sports financiers and municipal governments
to slap a dome atop new, and sometimes
existing, arenas.
Firstnthe stability issue. As the troop of ar-
chitectures and building engineers wades
through the unsheltered Silverdome en-
vironment scratching their heads, perusing
blueprints and diagrams, and looking for a
way to sew the roof back on, this group will
most likely overlook the obvious answer to its
problems. Instead of piecing the dome back
together so that next year's post-winter
snowfall can cripple the building again,
perhaps the Silverdome powers-that-be
should consider finishing the job that the
elements started. Take off the rubber roof.
Die-hard football fans will praise the
nostalgia and freedom of an open-air
stadium. Basketball fans will be overjoyed at
the concept of seeing a professional game in
an arena like Joe Louis in Detroit instead of
seeing the Pistons through binoculars. The
city will receive world-wide acclaim for
moving beyond the "dome-age" into an age
of practical and architecturally/financially
stable sports arenas.
Environmental groups would praise the
renovation. With the freedom of an open top,
marketing firms could capitalize on the new
"natural environment" of the Pontiac sports
arena. I can hear the television commercial
dialogue, "Relax, watch some friendly com-
petition, come to the Pontiac Healthdome."
(camera pan to smiling father and .son in
midst of crowd.) The possibilities for the
Healthdome are endless.
This brings me to the most logical next step.
Williams is the Daily's Opinion Page
Editor.

Members of the local media look on as Michigan's monument to architectural stupidity,
the Pontiac Silverdome, crumbles in on itself.

Once the Goodyear blimps and the rain are
again welcome to Lions games, the Lions
themselves need to feel accepted in their new
playpen. Give these men what they really
want: grass. I realize that this otherwise in-
nocuous word when used in the context of
sports arenas could get me in trouble with the
plastic and concrete industries, but knees are
at stake. Somebody should drive a bulldozer
into the old 'dome and plow a couple feet
through the reinforced cement floor, helicop-
ter in some potting soil, and seed the place.
What the hell- they could even install a
nice sprinkler system with the money saved
on teflon roof panels. The annual tractor-pull
participant could tear the place apart and
truly feel like they were accomplishing
something destructive. Angry professional
football players could work out their
frustrations by grinding their cleats into the
body parts of opposing linesmen without fear
of liability.
Insurance rates for blockers would cer-
tainly drop once the.underwriters got a glim-
pse of the new mortality statistics.
The Silverdome was built for economic
reasons, fell down for natural reasons, and
now can be rebuilt to satisfy both of these im-
portant pressures. So what if it will be harder

to play in the rain? So what is basketball must
be 'played in a 'more accessible arena? So,
what if Pontiac has to shell out a few more
dollars on lawnmowers?
The pros of redesigning the Silverdome far
outweigh the cons, which of course means
that it will never be done. People like the
security that a dome provides. Fans can buy
their tickets in advance and be assured the
convenience of perfect weather.
The problem' with this perverse logic is
that we can't put a dome over everything.
Major highways should be domed, to insure
the safety of motorists in any conditions.
Cities should be domed to allow citizens to
walk to work free from the rigors of snow and'
rain. And in a modern sports fan's perfect
world, the United States would be covered in
teflon from sea to shining sea. In this way,
Americans would be free to travel to a host of
games across fields of astroturf without the.
threat of foreign influence. Those evil Soviet
warheads would just bounce off the air-
supported national top while the country wat-
ched a football bounce across the concrete
field uninhibited by the wind.
The road to civilization's downfall is paved
with astroturf- and it begins at the Pontiac
Silverdome.

_i

Logical next step

Sinclair

THE PHILOSOPHY behind ban-
ning terrible weapons such as
flame throwers, automatic machine-
guns, bazookas and switch-blades from
general public use is that these things
cause greater harm to society and have
little or no uses other than to kill
humans.-
This was also the rationale behind
the, decision of thb Michigan House
Judigiary Committee on Thursday to
approve a bill outlawing all exploding
and many armour-piercing bullets. In
the words of Rep. Ernest Nash (R-
Dimondale), the bill's sponsor,
"Nobody can give you any purpose for
owning either piece of ammunition
other than for killing human beings."
Nash is right. Exploding bullets are
a repulsive form of ammunition which
is of little use in animal hunting or
target shooting. They were designed as
an effective way to kill people, and
outlawed for the same reason. The
Judiciary Committee should now apply
that logic to another treacherous
weapon whose only purpose is taking
human life: the handgun..
Banning handguns is not a new idea.
Handguns kill tens of thousands of
people each year. State governments
have already proven the con-
stitutionality of regulating firearms
and banning them selectively based on

their statistical harm to society. The
only hurdle lawmakers on all levels of
government have yet to cross in the
race to ban the terrible weapon is the
powerful National Rifle Association,
one of the strongest and most effective
lobbying organizations in the country.
The NRA has a habit of getting
Americans excited when any gun
legislation is introduced. Quoting from
the Bill of Rights, NRA lobbyists say
that every American has "the right to
keep and bear arms." Most often in the
NRA's campaigns for individual
freedoms, they leave off the first part
of that sentence. The amendment
begins with, in "...a well regulated
militia."
A citizen who keeps a loaded han-
dgun in his closet to protect himself
from intruders does not constitute a
well regulated militia, and while it is
comforting to know that the government
has taken a very liberal reading of this
amendment-allowing for individual
ownership of most firear-
ms-lawmakers should be aware that
regulation of guns is constitutionally
acceptable.
It is time the State Legislature ap-
plied the logic used to approve the ex-
ploding bullets bill to the larger issue
of handgun control. Banning this type
of ammunition is a start, but more
could be done.

IAAMbm

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WHEN VIEcOB~E ?P(A,1T
ca+ AANS JMm-
W'tt a&e?

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1

Letters
Letter took statements out of context

4

Letters to the Daily should be typed, triple-spaced, and
signed by the individual authors. Names will be withheld
ei ; n mni cirrmctnnoc at tory may he edited fnr

To the Daily:
In his recent letter ("Daily
story was unfair to PIRGIM,"
Daily March 9), David Rickter
states, "Even Steve Angelotti
cannot attack PIRGIM's
educational value." His
statement is based on an out-of-

that demands funding privileges
as a result.
It's funny that Rickter decries
BLOOM COUNTY

reporting inaccuracies while Funny, but not surprising.
simultaneously twisting my own -Steve Angelotti
words to suit his rhetorical needs. March 9
yt
by Berke Breathed

"Th'(5RIM 105

d

-IA

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