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January 18, 1985 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-01-18

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4

OPINION

Page 4 Friday, January 18, 1985 The Michigan Daily

I

ie m dtgan t oa lt
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Freedom to make mistakes

Vol. XCV, No. 89

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Nuclear madnes

S

T oday marks the last scheduled day
of fasting for 40 members of the
Ann Arbor Peace Community. The 40
have been fasting since January 4 to
demonstrate their sympathy with
protesters who were jailed during a
civil disobedience action at Williams
International in Walled Lake on
December 3 as well as to express their
own concerns about the nuclear
buildup. Their fast has been a
provocative and effective call for an
end to the insanity of the nuclear arms
race.
There is a clear necessity for some
sort of action to halt the production of
nuclear arms. Efforts to do away with
them must begin with their produc-
tion; production which takes place at
Williams.
Those efforts have taken many for-
ms There have been letter-writing
campaigns, peaceful vigils, and civil
disobedience actions. All of those ac-
tions have contributed to the effort,
and all of them are valid.
Civil disobedience, however,
demands a high price of those who par-
ticipate in it. They are branded with
criminal records which follow them for
the rest of their lives, and they often
face extended jail sentences. In the
case of the Walled Lake protesters, the
sentence remains indefinite. Until
they promise not to return to Williams

they will remain in jail, and they have
already stated that their consciences
will not permit them to make such a
promise.
In spite of its price, civil disobedien-
ce is an effective tool for focusing at-
tention on the otherwise low-profile
proliferation of nuclear weaponry. It is
most effective, when it receives the
most attention.
The 40 members of the Ann Arbor
Peace Community have made the
Williams civil disobedience all the'
more successful by bringing more at-
tention to it. Their sympathy fast has
further validated the action by
bringing the jailed protesters back into
the news. In addition, they have been
holding open houses at Canterbury
House to further discuss the incident
and to provide -interested people with
an opportunity to explore in depth the
topic of civil disobedience.
The actions of both the protesters
and the fasters serve as examples of
methods of working towards nuclear
disarmament. Our society needs to en-
courage others to act in similar ways.
It is fortunate that so many would be
willing to make sacrifices to work for a
safer world. Both the protesters and
the sympathy fasters deserve the
thanks and sympathy of this com-
munity.

By Neil Chase
The front page of The New York Times of-
fers "All The News That's Fit To Print." The
Detroit Free Press announces that it has been
"On Guard for 153 Years." And the Southern
Digest, the student newspaper at Southern
University in Baton Rouge, La., proudly
declares itself "Louisiana's Leading College
Weekly."
There are those who would suggest that the
Daily have a similar slogan on its front page.
It could be "All the News That Fits" or
"Michigan's leading six-day-a-week-during-
the-school-year daily."
But that's not what it says. It says "Ninety-
five years of editorial freedom."
Editorial freedom means many things. It
means not having a faculty advisor telling the
staff what to do. It means no outside interest
telling the paper what to print and what not to
print.
Far more important, however, is the im-
mense responsibility which comes with the
freedom. On the lowest level it is ..the
obligation to make sure that everything writ-
ten in the newspaper conforms to the stan-
dards of truth and objectivity every
newspaper must abide by. At most other
college papers there is an adviser who can be
the final word on the appropriateness of .an
article or statement. Editorial freedom
means that the students have the right, and
therefore responsibility, to enforce the stan-
dards and pay the price if they are not enfor-
ced.
On a higher level, editorial freedom obliges
the staff of the Daily to tackle and solve
serious problems. Over half a million dollars
flows in and out of the Daily's coffers every
year. Few of the students who must ad-
minister the handling of that money are
business or accounting students. Many major
in English and the social sciences.
Last week two people -' one majoring in
sociology, the other in political science - had
to sit down with that $500,000 budget and
figure out what it said. This week 30 members
of the staff met until 2:30 a.m. to debate the
publishing schedule for the coming summer.
That group had little to go on in the meeting
other than personal experiences and
knowledge of what previous editors and
managers had done.
Editorial freedom means that the tough
decisions made last week were not made in

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the most efficient way possible. People with
very little experience in such matters had to
make crucial decisions.
Last week editorial freedom also meant the
opportunity for two sports reporters on the
road covering basketball to try and cut ex-
penses by staying in a hotel cheaper than the
one they had originally reserved. But it also
meant accepting the consequences of
editorial freedom. If we had an adviser, the
adviser would probably have realized that the
more expensive reservations were guaran-
teed and had to be cancelled by a certain time
in order to avoid paying for them. We ended
up paying two hotel bills.
Maybe a faculty advisor' would have helped
us decide how to spend the money allocated
for Holiday Bowl coverage. While we argued
among ourselves, down the road in Columbus
the adviser at the Ohio State Lantern was
telling the editors how the money was to be
spent. The editor-in-chief disagreed with him,
but the money was spent his way. Maybe he
was right.
We had a similar problem, and we hashed it

out without the help of an adviser. With an
adviser present we wouldn't have had to come
up with every possible factor in the deicision
and agonize over the final outcome.
Editorial freedom also has its price. This
year the Daily editor-in-chief makes $60 per
month. At Ohio State the editor gets $1,200 per
quarter. The OSU paper has a larger
circulation than the Daily. Some of
their equipment is superior to ours. The school
gives them everything they need to put out a
paper. The Daily has to go out and find
whatever it needs.
Somewhere between high school and the so-
called real world' you have to break away
from advisers and make decisions on your
own. That applies to everything from
newspaper operation to choosing a career.
Editorial freedom necessarily makes that
break happen. It's well worth the price and
the risks.
Chase is the Daily's managing editor.

I

4

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NUCUEAR \U'A?'oNS ARETE GRETEST
\1N VT AN MS EvIEQ CREATD

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Arts get the axe

THE MICHIGAN Opera Company
may take a final bow thanks to
Reaganomics. President Ronald
Reagan's center stage budget-
balancing act has hit the National En-
dowment for the Arts with 11.7 percent
across-the-board cuts. As the largest
single supporter of the arts in the
United States, the NEA gives arts
organizations operating on marginal
budgets a legitimacy that attracts
private secor patrons. Without the
NEA funding, many of these perfor-
ming and visual arts institutions might
be dangerously depleted.-
Once again, Reagan has targeted
cultural activity as an area of "ex-
cessive federal spending" which is
open to attack in his battle to decrease
the $200 billion deficit.
Under the administration's proposal,
the NEA's funding programs for
opera, music, and dance would be most
severely cut. Reagan has proposed a
$144 million budget for the
organization. The NEA is currectly
budged for $163.7 million. With the
decrease in federal funding, artists
would have to rely more heavily on

private sector philanthropy for
sustaining and promoting the arts.
Despite protests from the art world,
Reagan and his budget writers believe
that private foundations, corporations,
and individuals should fill in the finan-
cial gaps left by the cuts.
Michigan Opera Theater Director
David DiChiera fears that lack of
NEA support will discourage prospec-
tive patrons from supporting such
"low priority" artistic ventures. New
York City Opera Director Beverly Sills
has called the proposed cuts
"apalling" and "disgraceful."
But Reagan's artistic priority
system may yet face opposition in
Congress. Lawmakers have consisten-
tly allocated funds beyond the
president's recommendation, and it is
likely that congressmen will take a
similar course for 1986.
If music, dance, and opera programs
become a low priority on the federal
budget, art enthusiasts and perfor-
mers will have to explore with more
passion than ever before the
possibilities of a "necessary" art:
creative financing.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Capitalism better than the alternative

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To the Daily:
In Brian Leiter's "The Failure
of Liberalism" (Daily, Jan. 9),
Leiter condemns both "conser-
vatism" and "liberalism" for
supporting capitalism, which in
his opinion is inadequate at
meeting everyone's living
requirements. Both do have cer-
tain flaws, but the fact they they
stress capitalism and a free
market is not one of them.
The problems spring from the
cry of both groups for gover-
nment "protection" (interferen-
ce) in the free market, which
they want to preserve even more.
The "conservatives," the sup-
posed defenders of capitalism,
have been known to use political
"pull" to enhance their
businesses (securing government
contracts and lobbying for

political-economic system is sup-
posed to do exactly that. The pur-
pose of the system of capitalism,
however, is to ensure that one can
make use of his/her talents and
abilities of body and mind to,
provide for his/her wants. The
capitalist system is the only.
system that recognizes the fact
that each person requires
freedom to work and deal with
others for mutual benefit without
the threat of force.
One might say, "Liberalism
does not employ force against

anyone"; he then approves of
legislation which will raise taxes
(which must be paid under
penalty of fines and imprison-
ment), and this revenue is then
given to those who have not ear-
ned a living. The "redistribution"
of wealth is not only legalized
piecemeal expropriation, but
(like communism) it is based on
a philosophy of self-sacrifice, not
the fulfillment of one's own life. If
someone desires to. give his
wealth or a portion of it to
someone else, no one else has a

right to interfere with what the
giver does with his wealth, but
some believe they have a license
to interfere if someone does not
"give enough." This is nothing
more than subjective morality.
Mr. Leiter condemns
capitalism, yet he does not state
the alternative. That alternative
is sacrifice for the sake of others,
out of either compulsion or rein-
forced guilt and- ultimately-
death. -Paul Hodges, Jr.
January 14

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