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October 28, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-28

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0

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 28, 1987

The Michigan Daily

I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVIII, No. 35

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.
Dying for representation

TOMORROW THERE WILL BE A
funeral march at 2 p.m. from the
Union to U.S. Representative Carl
Pursell's (R-Plymouth) office.
The purpose of the march is two-
fold; to publicize and eulogize
civilians killed by the Contras in
Nicaragua, and to demand that
Representative Pursell oppose any
future U.S. aid to the Contras.
The facts of the matter are simple.
Public opinion polls have consis-
tently demonstrated that the majority
of citizens in the Second District
oppose aid to the Contras. In spite
of this, Pursell voted for lethal aid
to the Contras in June of 1985,
March of 1986, and June of 1986.
Only in March of 1987 did he
slightly alter his stance, when he
voted to delay the delivery of $40
million he had voted to appropriate.
What kind of message does
Pursell's inconsistency send to his
constituents? At best, it sends a
message of spineless political fence-
riding, at worst Pursell' flip-flops
are a sign of blatant political op-
portunism.
Although his constituents have
repeatedly called on Pursell to meet
with them, he has never held a town
meeting with Ann Arbor to discuss
Central America. Apparently the
only Ann Arborite with enough
clout to get such an audience is
Domino's magnate Tom Monaghan,
who wants to deliver pizza to Hon-
duras in 30 minutes or less.
By ignoring the views of his con-
stituents on the issue of Central

America, Pursell fails to do his job
of representing the people who put
him in office. He has also been
conspicuously silent of late on the
Arias regional peace plan. After an
initial endorsement, all the excite-
ment seems to have left him. Coin-
cidentally, this happened just about
the time the Reagan administration
declared the plan "fatally flawed."
According to Kim Groome of the
Ann Arbor Sister City Task Force,
the task force sent Pursell a letter on
August 28 urging him to restate his
support for the Arias plan. After
numerous follow up letters and
phone calls, they still have not re-
ceived a reply. If Representative
Pursell truly supports the Arias plan
with its call to end all U.S. military
aid to the Contras, now is the time
for him to speak up.
President Reagan will ask
Congress for $270 million for the
Contras before Thanksgiving, de-
spite the opposition of all five Cen-
tral American presidents who
signed the Arias Plan. The five
presidents realize that any future aid
will defoliate the flowering peace
process and lead only to more death
and suffering by the Central Ameri-
cans.
Carl Pursell needs to realize this
as well. Representative Pursell has
got to know that his constituency
will not allow him to quietly imple-
ment his own agenda in direct con-
tradiction to theirs. The silence must
be broken. That's the least we can
demand of our "representative."

Stop w
Our fair institution recently was rated
eighth in the country. After the past week,
I'm wondering if this means the number
eight best whiners in the country. I'm sick
and tired of people bitching, bitching,
bitching about how much they have to do,
and trying to out-whine each other. "I've
got two midterms and a paper and I
AL
haven't slept in two days." "Oh yeah,
well, I've got three papers, an anorexic
housemate, and my car's broken down. I
haven't slept in three days." Wake up and
smell the bacon lards! Life ain't that bad
around here.
The Twinkies are the world champion
baseball team. A team that plays in a
place with air conditioning, a huge Hefty
bag in right field and a hockey wall in left,
is the champion. Why didn't they just
play the whole damn thing on Atari?
Twinkies? World champs? Heh-heh-heh.
Enough of my humble opinions, let's
hear from the readers. I've received lots of
mail this week.
Dear Fat Al,
A smart-aleck friend of mine who
attends U of M had the "kindness" to send
me one of your articles.
In answer to the question, "Does the S
on the East Lansing football teams' hel-
muts (sic) stand for state, Spartans, or
both?" Have you ever thought that possi-
bly it would stand for SUPERIOR?! We
think so, and I bet your football team does
too!
Sincerely,
A Devoted Spartan fan
Go MSU!!
Rosebowl?! It's a possibility!!
Helmets, huh? At least the alecks are
smart in tree town. So you took it to us
on the gridiron for a change? Any decent
team would have crushed a team that
handed them seven interceptions. The only
roses you'll be smelling will be at the
wake for the George Perles era. He never
should have left the Steelers. By the way,
I love your use of exclamation points
though I thought they went out in fifth
grade.
Dear Fat Al,
I have afew questions for ya. I read the

hining, says

4

Al

Daily today and on the Opinion page it
said to write you a letter, that you're
"waiting."
Why do you want to hear from me, a
lame student who pays more money to
rent a hole in the wall in Ann Arbor than
most people in the world make in a year;
and I still don't go to a rent control meet-
ing. Why, Fat Al, oh guru of the
refrigerator, master of the 12 ounce curl?
Since you know how to write that slick
column of yours, I figger you must be
wicked smart, so I thought I'd ask you
what I should do about my philosophy
midterm. The prof asked us "What is it to
see life, or your life, as absurd?" When he
handed out the question, I thought that it
was pretty absurd that I was taking his
class, and paying him to give me an arbi-
trary grade on my answer to this question.
What do you think? How should I answer
this question, Al? I need help!
By the way, I don't think it was very
nice of you to make fun of some guy who
wrote to you as "Dick Smith." I actually
'If you were one-half the
journalist that Tom Bradford
is... well, I don't know. What
were you doing that night
anyway... watching the Brady
Brides on your VCR? Huh?'
-Luka
know a Dick Smith. I'll tell you another
funny one: I know this guy who has two
first names, for his first and last name.
Bizarre, huh? Anyway, some folks have
weird names, and ya just gotta appreciate
that. After all, how many of us could be
so lucky that we might get a first name
like "Fat" anyhow?
One last question, your obesity, are all
the folks who are trying to go to kMw
school now the same people who couldn't
hack chemistry 123 asfirst year students?
Take care and keep eating,
Skinny Paul
Great to hear from you, you old bag of
bones. Yeah, them folks Stanley
Kaplaning their way into law schools are
the very same ones who flunked out of
your Chem class. I figure that if I live
long enough, everyone I know will be a
lawyer. And that cuts to me my quick cuz
some of my best friends have become
ambulance chasers. A couple of them were
even semi-decent human beings before

they grabbed for the old juris doctorate. f
As for the philosophy prof, you spit ii
the buffalo's eye, boy. The question is
absurd. I think you ought to let him know
that if he doesn't think life is absurd he$
must not leave his ivory tower very often.,
Tell him to pick up a blamed newspaper
and figure it out for himself, if he cail
think that concretely. Oh yeah, and make
sure there's a coffee stain on it.
Why do I want to hear from you? Yeah,
you're silly and clueless but so are we all
around here so I figure the best way to
point that out is print everyone's silliness;
and then jag them off about it. It's right
plain and simple.
Dear Fat Al,
All right you two-bit no-good Bob
Talbert rip-off, how dare you insult the
"Eight is Enough" family reunion? Just
what do you know about good ol' love and
down-home family togetherness? If you
were one-half the journalist that Tom
Bradford is...well, I don't know. What.
what were you doing that night any-
way-.watching the Brady Brides on your
VCR? Huh?
Another thing fatso, I really hate the
way you write "heh-heh-heh" every
time you laugh. Just who laughs like that,
anyway? I tried it, I'll have you know, and
all my friends thought I was choking on a
fruity pebble.
But, on the lighter side (as you would
say), I like looking at your picture on the
editorial page. But if you really wanna
complain about something, how 'bout
those Mervyn's commercials? Dontchi
hate them? What a sad excuse for a theme
song, all those goofy people rapping
while.the camera moves around. Are those
camera people supposed to be drunk or
what?
Sincerely, Luka.
Heh-heh-heh. So, here she blow ,
someone who takes their name from i
song about child abuse telling me abort
"good ol' love and down-home together-
ness." I don't know what I was doing thMt
night, sweet pea, but probably working dn
my 12 ounce curl. And, I never heard of
The Brady Brides until you brought it 6
my attention. It takes someone like you tM
know such things. Yeah, Mervyn's com-
mercials are pretty lame but y'all should
know by now not to expect artistic
beautificness from TV commercials.
By the way, to clear up misconceptions,
all letters are the real thing, received atthe.
Daily's office. As sure as Custer's dead, I
don't write these things myself. Fact is
always much more bizarre than fiction.
Just ask Skinny Paul.

Taxes and Wall St. panic

IN THE WAKE of the crash of the
stock exchanges last week, there
has been a tremendous increase in
concern about the government's
budget deficit among so-called ex-
perts (the same ones that thought
the stock market would keep ris-
ing). While this concern about the
deficit is not justified, there are
some areas where Congress could
raise revenue and cut spending.
The so-called experts assert that
the budget deficit is the cause of the
nation's massive trade deficit, and
say that the problem can only be
dealt with through tax increases.
Such claims cannot be supported by
an analysis of the economy, or re-
cent history.
While the massive trade deficit is
a problem (approximately 170 bil-
lion dollars per year, and growing),
its link to the Federal budget deficit
is very questionable. According to
the theory "the experts" claim to
use, a budget deficit will push up
interest rates by excessively stimu-
lating the economy. This would
mean that the economy is operating
at too high a rate of output. Since
nearly six percent of the labor force
is still unemployed and another 12
percent are being forced to work
part-time when they want full time
employment, it's difficult to see
how anyone can seriously maintain
that the economy is operating at too
high a level.
The second step to this argument
is that the high interest rates cause
foreigners to deposit their money in
the United States to take advantage
of these high rates, thereby forcing
up the price of the dollar against
foreign currencies. This makes our
exports more expensive to foreign-
ers, and their exports cheap to us.
The result is that we buy a lot of

collapses.
Even if, as noted fifty years ago
by Keynes, the arguments that are
usually advanced about why the
budget deficit is a problem are
wrong, it may be a problem simply
because people perceive it as one.
In other words, even though spec-
ulators in financial markets may all
be wrong about the realities con-
cerning the effects of the budget
deficit, because they are important
actors in the economy and perceive
the deficit as a problem, it will not
be possible to restore stability to
these markets until something is
done about the deficit.
Rather than rushing to raise taxes,
Congress should first look at where
the deficit came from. When Rea-
gan took office and the deficits were
typically 1/10th their current levels
the government was spending ap-
proximately 150 billion per year on
the military. It currently is spend-
ing in the neighborhood of 320 bil-
lion. This is the only major cate-
gory of government spending that
has been rising more rapidly than
inflation (excluding social security
and medicare, which are self-fi-
nancing). It is undeniable that this
increase in military spending is a
major cause of the current 180 bil-
lion dollar budget deficit.
The overwhelming majority of
these expenditures goes toward
policing the world: things like
counter-revolution in Central
America, Reagan's adventures in
the Persian 'Gulf, or maintaining
U.S. troops in Europe. Major cut-
backs can therefore be made with-
out damaging our real national de-
fense needs.
The other place to look for the
source of the deficit were Reagan's
tax cuts, which primarily benefitted

LETTERS-

U racism contributes to status quo

4

To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
the Daily article on 10/16/87
concerning the Black
University worker who is
being allegedly harassed by her
supervisors because of her
labor union oganizing. The
United Coalition Against
Racism (UCAR) wishes to
express full support, in spirit
and in practice, of Ms. Clark's
efforts to stand up to
University Building Services.
For it is the racist hiring
practices and policies of the
University which maintain the
status quo with Black women
in the lowest-paying, least
prestigous job positions and
white men in the decision-
making positions. U C A R
views the struggle of Ms.
Clark and other Black workers
on this campus as intimately
linked to the students' fight
against racism. We also realize
that it would not be unlike the
University to silently condone
this type of racist behavior and
write it off as an isolated
incident, as it attempted to
write off student issues last
spring. This incident is not
unique. Racist and sexist
attacks of this type happen
frequently and and are often
used as intimidation weapons
of the system. The only
distinct aspect of this incident
is that Ms. Clark had the

and faculty would be up in
arms and calling for immediate
action. We believe that this
situation demands immediate
action. Therefore, UCAR is
consulting with the campus
workers' union to determine
the ways in which students can
most effectively aid the
workers' struggle. There will
Homecoming
To the Daily:
Please vote in the Home-
coming King and Queen
election today until 5 p.m. in
front of the Undergraduate
Library and in the Fishbowl.
-David Sternlicht
October 27

be a rally against racism in
solidarity with campus workers
and the community on
Wednesday, October 28 at noon
in front of the Fleming
Administration Building. If

you are not a part of the
solution, you are a part of the
problem!
-Trayce Matthew4
Kimberly Smitlh
October 2'

0 i

The Daily welcomes letters from its
readers. Bringing in -letters on personal
computer disk is the fastest way to publish
a letter in the Daily. Readers who can not
bring their letters in on disk should include
their phone numbers for verification.Call
747-2814 for details.

4

Zinn

No
UNIVEMITY
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PLEASE TAKE:
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