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November 04, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-04

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday., November 4, 1986

The Michigan Daily

. ... .... .. .... .
.. .... ......

Edite anae Cbat Thnivrs at ig
Edited and rmanaged by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman
-r- --

4

Vol. XCVII, No. 44

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Diverse curriculum

VSKWILL NO
US, SE.NOR? N

DT M N WICAA
,ECAUiJ.YOU 4OLp
10 T RERv,..

NOT IN NFI6&RRN& 0DUNTM5~
SCA&E THEY DON'T WAMT YoU.1.

or

4

4

T HE RECENT Tennessee
Supreme Court ruling which
allows fundamentalist children to
reject books that their parents find
offensive, sets a dangerous
precedent. Heralding the decision
as a great victory, fundamentalists
in Tennessee have blacklisted
books which consider any religion
other than their own, examine one-
world government, or espouse
relative ethics.
The decision says that public
schools must accommodate the
right to a free education without
infringing on first amendment
guarantees of religious freedom.
The texts in question, however, do
not attack fundamentalist Christian
':views or religion in general. For
kexample, the Tennessee
4fundamentalists object to Cinderella
;for its treatment of witchcraft, The
':Wizard of Oz because it implies
:that courage and wisdom are not
:God given, and The Diary of Ann
:Frank because it proposes that all
;religions are equal.
This ruling puts tremendous
pressure on teachers who will bear
:the burden of altering their
curriculum to accommodate
;religious objections. Either the
entire course structure will have to
be changed to benign works or
individual students will have to be
placed on independent study
. programs. If objections are.
Openu
B Y HIS REFUSAL to take a
secrecy oath, graduate student
Robert Malcham, representative to
the committee reviewing the
honorary degrees policy,
questions an internal committee
decision to hold closed meetings.
Though Malchman's decision
stems from an obligation to report
committee progress to the
.Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA) which appointed him,
4 infraction of MSA by-laws is only
one point of objection to closure of
r this committee .
to The committee was assembled
to examine current honorary
degrees policy, which does not
, involve classified or personally
' confidential information. The
;.committee is supposed to evaluate
tithe honorary degrees policy, not
possible degree recipients. The
¥;circumstances leading to the
-= creation of the committee,
however, have charged this
particular ban on information with
j* skepticism. The committee was
** established largely in response to

common (the Tennessee case
rejects more than 400 specific
titles.) and reflect the religious
diversity of the United States, the
decision will force instructors to
dilute curriculum into the non-
controversial.
Students should read what their
classmates are reading; both
parents and teachers are
responsible for guiding and
encouraging discussion. If
parents are unsatisfied, they can
talk with their children after school.
Such interaction between parents
and children is important on its
own merit anyway. The active
involvement of parental criticism
should prompt discussion in
schools, rather than silencing it. As
it is, public schools need to
overcome bias in education to
present a more equitable picture of
different cultures.
The Tennessee ruling is a move
toward censorship against the
diversity which is a primary value
of public education. Closing
books won't allow students the
opportunity to prepare for an often
harsh reality. If parents are
concerned about their children's
religious identity, they should
supplement public education at
home. The best defense parents can
give their children is a strong sense
of self identity and confidence to
confront prejudice in all forms.
p meeting
controversy last year over the
nomination of Nelson Mandela for
an honorary degree. Mandela was
not honored, supposedly because
of a Regents' by-law which
doesn't allow degrees to be granted
in absentia. Since then, the
purpose of honorary degrees is
dubious.
Inquiry as to the reasoning
behind the secrecy pact is futile. In
a classic case of Catch-22,
committee members will not
answer questions about the secrecy
pact because of the secrecy pact.
When asked, John D'Arms,
committee chair, responds that the
arrangement allows for "free and
frank committee exchange."
Openness should not constrain or
alter the committee's conversation.
The University community that
prides itself on free exchange of
thought and ideas should not
withhold access to policy review. It
is objectionable to deny the public
of information which affects .the
entire community without offering
any viable justification.

\AE:y, Ad~At&O- ~1N& A~ ~'OULA~

0

ARNt NOT NEAR ,g U1GIVTES
OURz CITIZENS OBJECT

B

RESISTANCE IS NVEWER EASY
NklA

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4

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. . .ii

LETTERS:

Bake r protects famly

farms
On November 4th you will
decide if you want farmers and
rural communities.
-Jim Bever
October 24

4

To the Daily:
U.S. farms are being fore-
closed at an alarming rate of
300 per day. Every day 300
families are removed from their
vocation, evicted from their
home, and forced to leave the
land their ancestors may have
worked for hundreds of years.
In Michigan, 17 percent of our
family farmers predict that they
will soon be forced off of their
land. The pain involved in this
dismemberment of a way of
life has driven five farmers in
the Saginaw area of Michigan
to kill themselves after the
recent flooding. A way of life
is being destroyed.
More people are affected
than farmers. Our rural com-
munities are being destroyed.
With each farm loss we lose
five-seven jobs. Everythree
farms liquidated destroys a rural
business. The end result is a
rural exodus wlhich guts rural
communities, swells inner city
slums, and increases
unemployment.
The farm and -a.., risis is a
direct result of our federal farm
policy. Our farm policy forces
farmers to overproduce at the
expense of sound soil conser-
vation practices and rational
pesticide use. Great surpluses
force farmers to sell their
produce below the cost of
production. Next year, our
government will spend $2
billion just to store surplus
grain. Agribusiness nets
enormous profits by buying
farmers' goods at these low
prices. Under our current
policy, agribusiness benefits at
the expense of family farmers,
the rural communities, and the
taxpayer.
The Reagan administration
calls this farm policy a "free
market" policy. This policy
actually gives big business a
free shot at our farms.
In our democratic society,
we all have a say in matters of
public policy. We have a say
in whether big business will
continue to take land from
families. We decide if 30
corporations or over three
million family farmers will
produce our food. We decide
whether Michigan's small
towns will become ghost
towns.
On November 4, the Second
Tlia rin csi nvn th~..

Family Farm Act of 1986 if
elected. The Save The Family
Farm Act of 1986 will prevent
the foreclosure of farms,
guarantee farmers a livable

wage, and reduce the
dependence of our agricultural
system on our tax dollars.
Farmers and rural com-
munities need this legislation.

Critic of Baker distorts central issues

To the Daily:
The ,.letter,"Baker
campaign ;distorts issues"
(Daily,i 1/3/86) attacking Dean
Baker's campaign for distorting
issues takes distortion to new
levels. For reasons of space, I
will only address four miscon-
ceptions: the treatment of plant
closing legislation, budget cuts
and social spending, Star Wars,
and the origin of Pursell's
McCarthyite attacks.
Beginning with plant
closing legislation, this is
designed to prevent firms from
simply shutting down operat-
ions and moving elsewhere on
little or no notice to em-
p.loyees. Nearly every indust-
rialized nation has some form
of plant closing legislation.
This may be as weak as simply
requiring 90 days notice, or
may involveseverance pay or
retraining benefits. This makes
it less likely that plants will
shut down instead of modern-
izing. It's unfortunate Mr.
Eberhart lost his job in
Jackson. It's even more unfort-
unate that he still can't figure
out why.
On the issue of budget cuts
in social programs, Baker has
always been very clear. He has
attacked Pursell, because
Pursell supported cuts. The fact
that Pursell supports cutting
all social programs through the
Gramm-Rudman bill doesn't
change the fact that he supports
cutting programs like student
loans, medicare, and funding
environmental clean-up. I don't
see any argument here. It's not
exactly a compelling defense in
a murder trial when the
defendant gets up and claims he
has killed other people as well.
Baker has said he would
maintain funding for these
programs and cut military
spending instead, the increase
in which is almost as large as
the increase in the deficit over
the last six years.
On Star Wars and arms
control Eberhart again misses
the mark. All Baker is calling
f-..r , .tot _ _. o na , (fro i

any more than his remarks on
evolution call that theory into
question.
Finally, on Pursell's
McCarthyism: Baker and others
attacked Pursell for voting
funding for the Contras who
are recognized as terrorists by
virtually all independent ob-
servers of the situation. There
are too many mutilated bodies
of pregnant women, children,
and the elderly for there to be
any doubt about this character-
ization. It is sometimes neces-
sary to be graphic in describing
their activities in order to alert
people's attention to where
Carl Pursell wants to send their
tax dollars.
Pursell's McCarthyism can-
not be excused in a similiar
manner. It is a deliberate effort
to divert people's attention

from issues. Baker's endorse-
ment by DSA may lose him
votes by scaring people. The
fact that he is Jewish may also
lose him votes. It would be
equally disturbing if Pursell
were to call attention to this
fact and attempt to make it a
campaign issue.
Carl Pursell has demonst-
rated that he is not qualified to
hold public office. He has little
understanding of the issues, and
is willing to resort to
McCarthyism to save his job.
This dismal performance is
even acknowledged by such a
conservative Republican paper
as The Hillsdale Daily News,
which endorsed Dean Baker. It's
time to get Pursell out of
Congress.
-Eban Goodstein
November 3

Year of Peace deserves attention

r',
' «
.4

,
:
'
r t -__
;.
-
,, '"

WI0 1It" -ME SLAMS .

To the Daily:
It is October already and few
students realize that 1986 is the
International Year of Peace.
1985, the Year of the Child,
received much attention from
newspapers, magazines, and
television, that year's signific -
ance was recognized on a
global level. Why has the
Year of Peace passed virtually
unnoticed? It seems that
somebody has decided that the
Year of Peace is not worthy of
our attention. How wrong
they are! Peace is important; it
affects us all-our lives and
possibly our survival. It
would be wonderful if we were
encouraged to think about
peace as much as we are to buy
McDonald's hamburgers! As
this is not the case, it is our
responsiblility to become
aware of the possibility of a
future of peace.
You don't have to be a
"weird activist" in the Diag,
live in East Quad, have long
hair, or walk around barefoot to
be interested in peace. The
only prerequisite is to be
human. To want to live
without fear, without the

not be concerned?
Engineers should be aware
of political issues, they are the
inventors of bombs and techno -
logical mechanisms used in
warfare. Political science
majors should have the know -
ledge about peace issues as
they may find themselves in a
position of power, where
decisions, where decisions of
warfare must be made.
Educators and media related
majors have great influence
over many people, and likewise
should be aware of the value of
peace. Regardless of one's
major, students should be
interested in furthering peace.
Why add another thing to
your ever-growing list of
things to do? Because peace is
your concern. Each of us has
the obligation to ask from time
to time: What have I done for
peace? What have.I done for
peace today? We should have
the right to live tomarrow and
in the future, and so should ou:
children and their children. We
owe it to ourselves and to
them!
-Kathryn Hauserman
-Robyn Kahler

PRESIDENT CWIVN COOLID&G',
01 V405 ECON4OMIC POLICIES
SET UIP 114E GREA' DPRESSION.

____,

Tw- AA 6 L -I I

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