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February 05, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-05

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I

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, February 5, 1987

The Michigan Daily

F _ _ __.. _ x _

The Michigan Daily

I

l b fi4'Cbt4Van matilu
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 90 420 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.

Spank
Chief Justice Warren Burger's most
controversial action may have nothing to
do with his tenure on the Supreme Court.
Burger stepped down from the Court
last year and assumed the chair of the
Commission on the Bicentennial of the
Constitution.
That's where the trouble began.
Although his opponents always
claimed Burger showed no respect for the

Say no to nuclear tests

Dov
Cohen

CITIZENS OF ANN ARBOR should
speak out against nuclear weapons
testing and attend the rally and
march at the Diag at noon today.
The rally is especially timely since
the United States just conducted a
nuclear test in Nevada. two days
ago.
Several groups, many of which
receive little media attention are
organizing the rally - Greenpeace,
SANE, MSA Peace and Justice
Committee, Interfaith Council for
Peace, Physicians for Social
Responsibility, WAND, American
Friends Service Committee,
Greeks for Peace, Michigan Alli -
ance for Disarmament (MAD),
Union of Concerned Scientists,
Lawyers' Alliance for Nuclear
'Arms Control, Huron Valley Grey
Panthers, and the Women's Inter -
national League for Peace and
Freedom. Students should stay in
touch with these groups that are
trying to make the government
accountable to grassroots concerns
about nuclear war.
The U. S. government has tried to
disempower its citizens and deprive
them of the right to decide their
nuclear future. The U.S. govern -
ment originally planned to test a
nuclear weapon today, but it
moved up the date two days
because of "technical difficulties"
or perhaps because of the planned
national protest today.
This action is in violation of the
unwritten nuclear test ban ob -
served by both the United States
and the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics until Tuesday evening.
Andrd Gorbachev clearly stated that
if the United States carried out
another nuclear test, the Soviet
Union will commence testing of its
own nuclear weapons.
- If these tests are successful, the
two world superpowers will be
able to destroy the world more
efficiently than ever before.
<There is a chance to change this.
There is a chance to do something
out of self-interest and for all life.
No onewants nuclear war. No one

should have the power to end all
life.
The United States already has two
first strike nuclear weapons
systems - MX and Cruise Missile
- fully deployed. The U. S. S. R.
has similar first-strike weapons.
SDI
The United States government
also favors the development of SDI
which may partially negate the
Soviet first-strike capability. At the
Rekjavik summit, Reagan's com -
mitment to SDI was a major block
in negotiations between the two
superpowers. There, the Reagan
administration also stated that once
SDI is perfected, "it would be
made available to the world." This
is a very foolish and expensive
notion if disarmament is the true
goal of the U.S. government.
The U.S. government does not
see SDI as an impenetrable shield.
Two recent actions show SDI to be
a partial shield and a useful tool in
a winnable nuclear war.
The United States is planning to
deploy a limited SDI shield before
the full shield is perfected. In order
to do this, the government created a
more "open" reading of the 1979
ABM treaty, which both super -
powers ratified. The deployment of
a partial SDI suggests it will only
be used for the protection of
strategically important areas. It
suggests that the United States
government is secretly deciding
who deserves to survive nuclear
war and who deserves to die.
The United States also tested new
nuclear weapons in a somewhat
secret fashion. The United States is
trying to develop weapons superior
to SDI's capabilities and would be,
for a time, the only country with"
first strike capabilities.
The Daily condemns SDI and
rejects the idea that any government
should decide the future of the
world while ignoring its own
people. A comprehensive nuclear
test ban treaty is the first step in
giving the power of life back to
those in danger of dying.

Constitution, it seems the Chief Justice
has decided to make his irreverence
official.
Burger has made the mistake of trying
to bring the Constitution to the huddled
masses. He realized the ordinary Joe
wouldn't be interested in high fallutin
critical symposiums on the topic or
elaborate presentations on the history of
representative government.
Rather - and this is the controversial
part - Burger has decided to bring the
Constitution to the everyman through
channels he can appreciate - like glossy
calendars, newsstand pamphlets, cereal
box inserts, fire hydrants, and bumper
"stickers.
Burger has arranged for some rather
unusual ways for people to become
acquainted with the sacred document.
According to one news story, Burger
convinced a cereal company to put
pocket-sized copies of the Constitution in
its boxes. One questions the strategy
here. People are not usually accustomed
to finding government documents in their
morning cereal and might have an
aversion to it. This comparatively bland
document may not have any appeal when
put in this context. One would think if
the Constitution were to be packed in
Dov Cohen, who won a Hopwood
Award this year, published his award-
winning columns in the Daily.

Burger'
cereal boxes it should at least be written
in flourescent green ink or come as a T-
shirt iron on or be written on a frisbee
shaped disk. And, one also wonders, can
the Constitution really stand up in the
fierce breakfast cereal insert competition?
Will people really choose the Consti-
tution over Wacky Wallwalkers or holo-
graphic portraits of Tony the Tiger?
But the Constitution commission has
not given up here. "The commission is
sponsoring commemorative calendars
with modern photos of the houses lived
in by the Constitution's signers -
complete with aluminum doors and air
conditioners visible in the windows."
Also, Burger plans to "sell 50 million
pocket-sized copies of the Constitution,
available at newsstands and super-
markets." Here I think is another
example of Burger's irreverence. I don't
know if Warren Burger has taken a good
look at what's displayed on supermarket
counters lately. But the, Constitution
would hardly look at home alongside The
National Enquirer, Good Housekeeping,
lusty novels with naked people on the
cover, plastic thermometers, double-stick
tape, super glue, automatic lint pickers,
and People magazine.
The supermarket counter idea has not
even been the commission's most absurd.
Believe it or not, the commission has
even dismissed certain ideas as too silly.
One was the idea of Constitution bumper
stickers. Another was to paint fire
hydrants to resemble the founding fathers.
One might suspect this last idea was
dropped because - as a friend of mine.
suggested - "they didn't want any dogs
pissing on the Founding Fathers."
That these two absurd ideas .were
rejected seems more the exception than
the rule, however. I would speculate on
some other ideas the Burger commission
might find acceptable. How about a rap
music video celebrating the signing of the
Constitution? It worked for the Chicago
Bears.
There could also be ads celebrating the
Constitution. There could be celebrity
testimonials for the Constitution or
hidden camera interviews showing 4 out

of 5 dentists prefer the Constitution over
any other leading social contract.
Think of the possibilities. Founding
Father bubblegum cards. Founding Father
action figures. The Constitution written
out on every roll of toilet paper in the
country.
Can we bring back those 150 Elvis
imitators from the Statue of Liberty
celebration!
Imagine the events that could be
planned. What better way to illustrate the
balance of power than a 3-way tug-of-war
over a waterhole featuring representatives
of Congress, the White House, and the
Supreme Court?W4
It is images of this type that have
probably provoked critics of Burger to
action. Indeed, there is dissension on the
Constitutional committee concerning
Burger's irreverence. The committee,
according to some, is split between the
sane part and the Burger wing of the
committee.
For the sake of the Constitution, we
can only hope the sane contingent puts
its foot down and vows to reject anymore
cheesy Burger ideas.
Some say Burger's greatest disservice
to the Constitution was his stepping
down from the court and allowing
William Rehnquist to become chief
justice.
History may yet bear this criticism

buns

out.

4

However, I believe that he and the
Burger wing of the committee are doing a
great disservice to the Constitution by
commercializing it. For that they should
be flame broiled.
The Constitution has lasted for 200
years not because people were acquainted
with it and knew what it meant, but
because people respected it. One would
like to ask the Chief Justice if he really4
doesn't think he's undermining this
respect.
After all, Mr. Burger, a person can't
just respect anything that falls in his
bowl of Wheaties.

LETTERS:

MSA should put aside old conflicts

4

Greeks for Peace

V ARIOUS ACCUSATIONS OF
drunkenness, injury, and sexual
assault damage the image of the
University's mainstream Greek
system. Greeks for Peace, a
fraternity-sorority activist group, is
out to break the stereotypes
brought on by these accusations
while, more importantly, increas -
ing the awareness of Greek under -
graduates on important issues.
Deep-rooted visualizations exist
about the Greek system, some
more valid than others. Outsiders
traditionally view the Greeks at the
University as politically apathetic in
addition to being wild and out-of-
control.
Methods of collecting money and
conducting philanthropic activities,
the primary means used by Greeks
"to get involved," also come under
question. Organizations within the
mainstream Greek system at the

give Greeks who are individually
involved in various campus
organizations an activist outlet with
Greek affiliation. The group also
intends to excite some interest in
Greek students previously unin-
volved in or apathetic towards im-
portant issues.
The organization will debut as one
of thirteen groups participating at
the nuclear test protest today on the
Diag. Organizers Jean Besanceney
and Matt Greene hope that today
will mark only the beginning of the
group's involvement in issues and
demonstrations. The Daily en-
courages the organization to inten-
sify its concern about issues.
Members of the Greek system
should participate in Greeks for
Peace in order to increase
involvement on important issues,
to enhance the awareness of

To The Daily:
The fall semester is over,
mid-terms are almost upon us,
and Spring Break is only a few
long weeks away. For the
University of Michigan, that
means that MSA elections and
campaigns are about to begin.
But, as you already know, not
many of us vote for our
representitives, let alone the
Executive Council (president
and vice-president). Maybe
this is why we, as a student
body,sare not interested in the
dealings and "goings on" of
MSA. Perhaps we feel that
much of the student population
is not adequately represented by
MSA.
Some of us accept the
theory that MSA is an
organization that only speaks
for the extremes in our
University, and they (the
extremes) find it difficult to
comminicate with each other.
For instance, the Left-wing
feels that the Conservatives
are "consistenly ultra-
conservative;" they hold too
tight a fist wrapt around the
MSA budget and won't fund or
support enough worthy,
"collective good" types of
organizations. Meanwhile, the
Right-wing sees the Left as
being "predictably liberal;" too
often they will support groups
that have nothing whatsoever
to do with the Univerisity
community and end up trying
to save the world in the
process.
Of course, not every
member of MSA falls into one
of these two categories.
Nonetheless, there is growing
sentiment that our student
assembly does not satis -
factorily represent the diverse
factions around campus -
only these two extremes.

issue. The key is to not be
close-minded, but rather to try
and comprehend all aspects of
any particular debate and then
form an opinion accordingly.
MSA could then become a
forum in which many different
types of people with a variety
of backgrounds and opinions
work for the common goal of
improving student life here at
the University. MSA would
nor longer be "consistently
ultra-conservative" or "pre -
dictably liberal." Rather, MSA
could discuss a wide range of
topics and issues that affect
students at the U of M, keep
and open mind, and obtain an
outcome not necessarily
"predeterminded."
In reaction to this, what I
wish to propose is that if you
are interested in making a
difference in the New MSA,
whether or not you are a
Republican or Democrat,
"liberal" or "conservative,"
neither or both or nothing, as
long as you want to be active
and be the difference, then join
me and the F*L*A*S*H Party
- Fighting for Legisilation
Advocating Student Happiness.
I want to be the driving force
in a coalition of students
throughout this university who
are determined to fight for a
common cause - to create a
better University of Michigan.
It is not the administration
versus the students, rather it is
the students determinded to
resolve differences with the
administration. It is not
working around, but through
the system until it works for
you. And although we cannot
take politics out of MSA, we
must remember that MSA is
not a struggle of students
versus students, Democrats
versus Republicans, or even
"liherais" versus cnnserv -

Wasserman

IRAN- COWJTRA SGN.M AY©URS.E..F.
AWAY IFROMTNE DE.FICIT
* r I CREDIT
Is~ Wi. -.
c g 4
*8 , .LqQp

live.Please, join F*L*A*S*H.
If you are interested or desire
further information, call 663-
5087.

-David "The Pict re
Man" Sternliat
Presidential candidate for
F*L*A*S iH

svE *+ COMRA.DE. NEXT COME Polls,
~~?OLITk hLCOI4SULTA~4ts.

4

I

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