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March 12, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-12

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41

OPINION
Wednesday, March 12, 1986

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

. ....... ..

4

n medbtiganve Micang
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Left-wing double standards

Vol. XCVI, No. 109

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board

Can the coke

B ASEBALL COMMISSIONER
Peter Ueberroth's plea for
mandatory spot drug testing on all
players represents a restriction on
personal liberties which would in-
still a sense of paranoia among the
athletes. Although his office should
now emphasize drug education
progams, the commissioner's.
suspension last week of seven
players formerly addicted to
cocaine and supsequent clemency
in exchange for future testing still
seems an appropiate response to a
malignancy that threatens to
destroy any integrity the game still
possesses.
Baseball's battle with cocaine
mirrors a society in which over 20
,million Americans have used the
dangerous drug. Estimates of
cocaine abusers in the major
leagues vary, but many players
have guessed 40-50 percent, and
players from nearly all 26 teams
have been tied to cocaine use in
criminal court cases.
Ueberroth has correctly called
drug abuse baseball's primary
problem and his actions last week
stay tenously within the bounds of
management jurisdiction.
Unfortunately, reality dictates
that baseball teams are now run
like giant corporations. Players,
making an average of $360,000 per
year, often lack the gusty
A motivation of an earlier era where
only Babe Ruth made as much as
the president of the United States.
Corporations should not be
allowed to control their employees'
personal lives, but cocaine snorting
often inextricably entwines with
lower productive capacity at work.
When drugtaking interferes with
the work a player or any other em-
ployee is paid to perform,
management then retains the right
to impose disciplinary measures.
Doctors, owners, and the players
who did drugs agree that their
habits have, in the words of the
New York Times, "tarnished in-
dividual performances, shortened
careers, and influenced the out-
comes of games and pennant
races." Players such as Tim

Raines and Lonnie Smith, two of
the- seven suspended, have
described how cocaine's initial
stimulus degenerated into reduced
coordination, alertness, and vision,
and drained them of the
motivation characteristic of any
great athlete.
Raines suffered a .27 drop in his
batting average the year of his ad-
diction. Smith and other players
have complained of difficulty
fielding and running the bases.
Though the players are now ap-
parently drug-free, they fully
deserve their 200 mandated hours
of "drug-related community ser-
vice". However, drug testing
throughout their careers is a harsh
order and contributing 10 percent
of their salaries to drug prevention
won't dent their accumulated
wealth.
If Ueberroth wins his on-going
battle to extend testing to all
players, however, the national
pastime will take on the ethics of a
police state. Unannounced tests
will virtually accuse the players of
drug abuse without any evidence,
and may lead to unpleasant
scenarios where managers run for
a urine bottle any time a player
makes a typical mistake.
The current system of voluntary
testing at the request of individual
teams should prove adequate, par-
ticularly if the commissioner
pressures management to keep
alert for symptoms.
Commissioner Ueberroth should
invest his valuable time into ex-
panding the presently underfunded
program of seminars for players on
the dangers of cocaine addiction
and for management on how to
check for symptoms. He should
also give players emotional sup-
port. When players need coun-
seling, Ueberroth's office and in-
dividual teams should pick up the
tab.
By focusing on education,
prevention and counseling,
Ueberroth could reshape current
trends and help give the institution
as well as individual players a
brighter future..

By George Nammur Jr.
No sooner had the news about the
"peaceful Filippino transition" come out,
that Congress and major mass media ex-
pressed their (often relentful) support for
the positive role played by the U.S. ad-
ministration in general, and by President
Reagan in particular in this almost
democratic process. Evidently, this is only
understandable, for the United States had to
stand up to its image as the Leader of
the Free World. Indeed, finally giving up on
Marcos' collapsing regime was a commen-
dable move by the Reagan administration
since anyway it would have been very dif-
ficult for the United States to back a
"loser", who has been deprived of his
troops' allegiance. Of course, one might
argue that this change of attitude came a bit
late, but oh weel, better late than never. The
bottom line of the story is that the pro-
American tyrant is out, another pro-
American democratic government is in
place in Manilla, the two U.S. military bases
in the Philippines will survive after all, the
Filippino people are happy, and so are the
people at home, and President Reagan got
his certificate of good standing. No
problems in the Philippines! Or almost no
problems, since Marcos was a better steal
than Aquino against the communist
osmosis (not everyone in the Philippines is
thrilled about the release of all jailed com-
munists, previously detained for subver-
sion), but nobody wants to think about that
yet.
No. The problem is much closer than the
Philippines. It is here; the problem of
people with double standards. Why is it that
a leftward shift is very welcome, while an.
adjustment to the right would mean the end
of the world? Even if the "hand" that the
U.S. gave to the Filippino rebels was more
active, or less subltle, nobody would have
had anything to say about it, for the cause of
these rebels, that is democracy, is sacred.
Dictators should be overthrown no matter
what! Granted. But then why all these
Nammur is a graduate student in civil
engineering.

vociferous complaints, all the kicks and all
the jumps about the U.S. covert support to
the freedom fighters in Nicaragua? Is
Nicaragua a utopian democracy that the
contras are trying to turn into
totalitarianism, or is President Danial Or-
tega too just of a ruler for his rule to be
questioned? In fact, the situation is the other
way around. Democracy and justice are
missing in Nicaragua, there is no way
around it.
Now that the truth about the political
repression in Nicaragua is out in the open,
no second thoughts are permissible with
regards to an active U.S. support of the
freedom fighters. Nobody should fight the
Nicaraguan people's war. It is their
perogative and their duty. An American in-
vasion of Nicaragua would not do too much
good under the circumstances. However,
these people need some help, military as
well as moral. How can the Free World
stand mute vis-a-vis the exactions and tor-
tures committed by Ortega's men against
the political prisoners in the jails of
Managua? And although the number of
political prisoners presented by the Per-
manent Human Rights Commission of
Nicaragua (Daily, 2/21/86) might be
somewhat exaggerated, the fact remains that
freedom in Nicaragua is very restrained, to
say the least. How could it be explained to
Nicaraguans struggling for their basic right
of freedom that there are people (and many
of them) here in the United States, ad-
vocating for leaving the freedom fighters to
their fate?.
Nobody is nostalgic for the Somoza days,
and certainly not President Reagan, who
made his point clear during the 1984
presidential campaign. To hell with dic-
tators like Somoza! But isn't Ortega nothing
but a communist Somoza? The tyranny in
Nicaragua changed hands and names, but
Nicaraguans are still being subjugated by
the squarely communist a la Castro regime
of Managua.
An American policy of non-intervention is
certainly out of place in this instance, and
would do more harm than good. Not only
have Ortega and his clique betrayed the
people of Nicaragua and the sacred cause of
freedom the people fought for back in 1979,

they are also posing a serious and definite
threat to small democracies in Latin
America, such as El Salvador and Hon-
duras, hence creating an instability that
cannot but spread out in this hemisphere.
This instability is a latent but sure menace
to the United States.
In case a leftist (say socialist) gover-
nment is democratically elected in Latin
America, then such a regime is in no way
worrisome to the United states, and neither
the U.S., nor any other country have the
right to thwart people's choice, no matter
how socialist or leftist the choice. The role of
U.S. government and military in Chile back
in the early 70s, for example, is anything but
praiseworthy, and American support of the
military government in place in Santiago is
less than commendable. Indeed, Allende's
government, unlike Pinochet's, was
reinforced by the Chilian people's trust land
support.
That's more than can be asserted about
Ortega's regime. Nicaragua is now a Cuban
satellite which in turn moves in the Soviet
orbit. Nicaraguaconstitutes a center for the
exportation of communism in Central
America, and communism, as is well
known, has no borders, and no limits. What
is the red line that the communists need to
cross, for us to start being concerned? Are
we awaiting the fall of El Salvador and Hon-
duras, or is it Mexico perhaps?
Communists have been winning, and win-
ning fast in the last few years. First
Afghanistan, then Nicaragua, then Poland,
and then...? It takes more than just a slap on
Ortega's wrist to deter him from going on
with his misdeeds. The red expansion in
Latin America ought to be stopped, and now
is the time to start moving.
U.S. support to the freedom fighters in
Nicaragua is a matter of national security.
This support should be overt and open, not
covert and hidden. The $100 million in aid
that the Reagan administration has
requested for the freedom fighters is really
the dead minimum that can be offered to the
people of Nicaragua. And what the people of
Nicaragua need most now is money,
weapons, military training and the
solidarity of the American people and ad-
ministration, not green bikes.

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Workplace safety

OVID

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Fgj U5.A/J

AST WEEK, President Reagan
nominated John Pendergrass
of The - Minnesota Mining and
rManufacturing Company to head
the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA).
Pendergrass fills the position
vacated by Robert Rowland's
resignation at the end of May 1985,
and it is speculated that he will face
little opposition to his confir-
mation. Reagan's placing business
leaders in government relaxes in-
dustry regulations, assumes a trust
in business to maintain worker
safety, and focuses attention on
business instead of worksite needs.
Though experienced in job
safety, Pendergrass is consistent
with the Reagan Administration's
policy to appoint government of-
ficials from business and industry,

ted to OSHA as a prime example of
government interference in in-
dustry - a role he sought to
reduce. OSHA gained a reputation
for being lenient on industry from
its two previous Reagan appointed,
pro-business administrators. It
seems that Pendergrass' appoin-
tment will further mar OSHA's
poor reputation.
Not only could Pendergrass'
connection with the Minnesota
Mining and Manufacturing Com-
pany be a potential conflict of in-
terest, it must be questioned why a
marketing manager was chosen
over a health care professional who
could better understand the issues
in job health and safety. A public
health adminstrator would be more
likely to heed the human element
over industrial interest.
The choice of an administrator

LETTERS:
'U' asked to unite against hunger

I

To the Daily:
We watch it on the evening
news, day after day; millions
of children dying the same
tragic way. Some of us cry -
some shake their head in
disbelieving sorrow, do you
wonder how many people will
remember them tomorrow?
In qualifying these few lines
from a song I wrote a few months
ago about hunger and starvation
in the world today, I find it in-
teresting to note that we seldom

if a virus were to descend upon
London, killing 18 children per
minute, without stop, week after
week after week. Imagine our
concern if nuclear weapons. were
to explode in the capitals of the
world's major industrial coun-
tries, killing 13 million and
maiming and injuring a billion
more in the surrounding coun-
tryside. These are the figures of
human devastation resulting
from hunger - 1 billion
chronically undernourished; 13-
18 million dead per year, two-
thirds of whom are children.
DeSnite these astounding

place in the residence halls (in
cooperation with Food Service)
and consisted of over 3,000
students skipping one meal per
month and then having that
money donated to theiHunger
Project, a non-profit, non-
religious organization whose goal
is to make the end of hunger an
idea whose time has come.
I would like to invite you, the
students at the University of
Michigan, to join us in the fight
against hunger. Be it as a senior
staff member, a student, or as a
faculty member, I urge you to
organizeyour own hunger project

up to us to keep hunger in the
news.
This letter is appearing in more
than 80 major college and univer-
sity newspapers throughout the
nation. If we stand together, we
have a voice of over two million!
Let us sing loud and strong;
"committment generates action,
and action transforms an idea in-
to reality."
- Joe Vigneux
March 3
Vigneux is a graduate student in
counselor education at Northern
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