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November 18, 1987 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-18

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I

OPINION

Wednesday, November 18, 1987

The Michigan Daily

mem dig ttn :43a f
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
VN420 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.

Porn again crusade

a

PRESIDENT REAGAN is asking
Congress to enact legislation that
-move against child pornography and
obscenity. This is a worthy end, but
the means Reagan wants to employ is
possibly more offensive than the
pornography and obscenity itself.
Reagan's 11 point legislative plan
does have some bright spots, such as
prohibiting a parent or legal guardian
from selling children for
pornographic uses. But the main
thrusts of the "Child Protection and
Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1987"
are provisions to prohibit t h e
"transmission of obscenity" over
cable television and outlaw "dial-a-
porn" telephone services.
These two features of the bill will
hopefully die in Congress early. They
are unnecessary invasions of privacy
and are another example of the Rea-
gan administration's low regard for
civil liberties.
Much of the obscenity and pornog-
taphy communicated over the tele-
phone and cable television is dis-
gusting. Yet some people are enter-
tained by it and no one is forced to
watch it or listen to it.
Nobody is ordered to call a porn
service. These services are not adver-
Wised in "mainstream" periodicals so
they do-not reach anyone who doesn't

buy a copy of a pornographic publi-
cation. It makes sense that if one buys
a copy of a pornographic magazine,
that person will not be offended by
the phone services offered in it. True,
children can get hold of these adver-
tisements, but it is illegal for them to
buy pornographic publications.
As for pornography on cable TV,
the government should adopt a simi-
lar, to use a little Reagan rhetoric,
laissez-faire approach. All the
pornography appearing on television
comes only from paid-subscription
channels. Again, if someone wants to
watch a little pornography, it is their
own choice.
This is not an endorsement of
pornography and obscenity. But the
individual can decide whether he or
she wants to be entertained in that
manner. While some of Reagan's
proposals are worth taking a look at,
on the whole the bill is an all-out at-
tack on the right to privacy and the
right to free speech.
If people want to entertain them-
selves with pornography and others
do not have to, no harm is done and
no one is hurt. The President should
not be so deeply involved in setting
the nation's morality, especially if it
involves the elimination of some basic
constitutional liberties.

Fat Al's f
It's time for the Fatman's turkey day
column. I know, I know; it's a week carly
but I'll be gone next week, along with
most of you vacation-happy clowns out
there. I'm out of herc this weekend.
My ma called me and told me if I want to
venture home to the badlands of Wyoming
for some down-home family togetherness,
1 had to bag a bird. So, I'm headed out for
FAT
. 5 AL
the wild countryside this weekend to make
my mama proud. I'll be the only Butterball
at our table; our bird's coming from the
sky, not Farmer Jack's. I. shouldn't be
admitting this publicly because it ain't
turkey season and if Mr. Ranger reads this
while on patrol downtown, he'll know
when he sees me roaming the woods, 12
gauge over my shoulder, that I'm not out
to bag a buck but a real beaut - a wild
turkey. It's such a beautific animal that it
just makes me want to shoot one. Like my
pa told me the first time I ever laid eyes on
a gobbler in the wilds: "Look, fatso, it's
like a fuckin' B-52." And I guarandamntee
all of you that my ma wonit b e
disappointed this turkey day.
I know most of you are probably sick of
this by now, but I still haven't said my
piece on the Diag cement mess. Lots of
folks scoffed at my tirade against this
destruction of all that is sacred but they just
don't get the point. You've got to watch
the doughnut, not the hole. Sure, it just
seems like one little ol' patch of concrete
but don't lose sight of the big picture.

They're trying to pave over the whole
campus. Damn scoundrels and fools.
Your obesity,
Al, man you're losin' it. You're startin'
to show signs of good taste. First, you
respond to "Luka" by laughing at her
(him?) for "taking her name from a song
about child abuse." Think about it Al. This
clearly shows that you not only have the
taste to listen to Suzanne Vega, really
listen too, well enough to hear the words;
but you also have the brains to figure out
what it's about. Come on Al, save my
faith in you, tell me you heard it on
Letterman or something. And now last
week, you wrote about how paving the diag
is bad because it destroys the trees. Fat Al
talking about natural beauty? Come on?
Since when does a fat sleaze-ball like you
cX r?
-Caspar IH.
P.S. If you figure out what this
pseudonym refers to., I'm never reading
your column again. (It's not the ghost.)
Caspar H. pal you got yourself a bad
attitude, boy. Sit down and listen to the Fat
One. You're typical of the ignorant types
abounding at this university. You think
someone's stupid if they don't look or talk
like you. I'll wager my Winchester you
think anyone who'd bag a bird is a cretin.
Well, I ain't a .cretin - I'm just not
aspiring to sound or look like I'm from
1950s New York. I've roamed the open
range of Wyoming so don't tell me I don't
care about a few trees. Get off your high
horse homeboy.
Mr. Fat Al
DidI really hear weird (sic) commercials
during the Pink Floyd concert? Or was it
my imagination?
one tripped out hipster

Probably did, trippy. Any band willing
to charge 80,(X)0 folks 30 bucks a pop
would prostitute themselves by taking
payola to slip ads in. Wow, man intense.
What kind of color is pink to name a rock
and roll band after anyhow?
Dear Fat Al,
Now see here, you maggot. You and
your pansy-assed friends make me sick.
You would allow a_ few blades of grass
stand in the way of progress. There are
plenty of kids all over the world that are
selling parts of their body as dog food to
save up enough money to buy just a tiny
little slab of concrete. Imagine all of the
parking spaces, imagine the sounds of the
Community Iligh kids skateboarding
peacefully. You would out turf over a
child's happiness. You are despicable. I
don't know how you can look at yourself
in the morning. "m afraid that the only
thing that exceeds your girth is your self-
centered pettiness.
Angelo Chinni
Concrete worker
P.S. If you don't think that Ann Arbor
loves concrete, just go to Fuller Pool on a
nice summer day.
"Self-centered pettiness" cries the man
who would turn the world into a sidewalk
for the sake of his own employment. Folks
can't like what they never had so nat'ly
they think Fuller Pool's the bear's bottom.
Give 'em a lake and they'll dive right in.
And, we don't need more parking spaces,
we need less government - no more
-parking tickets! Yeah, I would turf over
a child's happiness if the demented little
thing didn't know about the joys this side
of a four wheeled plank.
Happy holidays and good catin' to all my
friends and foes out there. See you in a few.

Turkey Day recipe

LETTERS
Put evaluation of Israel in perspective

Look beyond Bennett

EDUCATION SECRETARY William
Bennett has been approached by
members of the University's
.presidential search committee.
,Bennett's press secretary said it was
implied that Bennett is under
,consideration to replace University
president Harold Shapiro. It is hard
imagine a worse choice.
An important quality for a
University president is an openness to
diverse points of view. Bennett's
policies as chair of the National
Endowment for the Humanities prior
to assuming command of t h e
Education Department show he lacks
,this prerequisite.
In dispensing NEH grants, Bennett
set up rigid ideological guidelines.
,or example, no projects could be
7warded funds which "reveal a strong
; deological bias critical of the
;government." In practice, this meant a
fdecrease in the number of grants to
Slack studies from 73 to 20 and to
:vomen's studies from 69 to 15.
At the Education Department,
Bennett has supported the Reagan-
proposed cuts in college student

loans, vocational education, college
work-study programs and Pell Grants
to low-income students. Clearly,
Bennett's stand is in opposition to the
interests of students.
Bennett's frequent cries for a return
to a curriculum based on "great
books" have merit. Unfortunately,
rather than advocate a "great books"
education for its own benefits,
Bennett seems to see it as a
replacement for newer disciplines
such as Afro-American studies.
Secretary Bennett's response to the
issue of AIDS indicates both his
inflexibility and his extremism. In the
face of almost unanimous opposition
from scientists and civil libertarians,
Bennett continues to support
mandatory AIDS testing. Also,
Bennett opposes educational efforts to
slow the spread of AIDS such as
including information about condoms
in sex education classes.
If Bennett were president, his
conservatism would make him a
divisive presence. The University
can, and should, find better candi-
dates to fill the post.

To the Daily:
Your headline editorial of
Nov. 17, 1987, ("Israel in-
fringes on rights," Daily,
11/17/87) has finally angered
me sufficiently to respond to
your frequent and editorially ir-
responsible dissemination of
anti-Israel propaganda.
Your handling of Rishmawi
and Qutby's presentation of
Nov. 12 catapulted second-rate
propaganda, laden with unsub-
stantiated allegations and slan-
derous generalities, to front
page news. Your editorial car-
toon upon the closing of the
P.L.O.'s office made a point to
arouse, not the question of
P.L.O. innocence in major in-
ternational terrorism aimed at
both Jewish and non-Jewish
targets, but the demon of the
Jew-money myth by introduc-
ing the matter of the tax-status
of the Jewish Defense League
to disparage this insignificant
and minimally supported
Jewish group. It is not difficult
to detect, in fact, that behind
the great majority of criticism
against Israel that appears in
the Daily and in other sources,
lurks an anti-semitism cloaked
in respectable garb.
If this was not the case, then
why the great preoccupation
with Israeli violations of civil
liberties in its occupied territo-
ries, when they clearly pale by
comparison with countless
other infringements the world
over today? Why, then, the
overlooking of the basic facts
of Israeli history: Under siege
for the entire forty years of its
existence, fought from without
by enemies possessing
populations and territories that
dwarf her own, and attacked
from within by members of her
own Arab population, w h o
have repeatedly made school
children, travelers, worship-
pers, and athletes their targets?
How is one supposed to deal
with an army within one's
borders that wears no uni-

When will moderate Arabs,
like Anwar Sadat, stop being
killed the moment they speak
for peace and for truth?
Today the Daily attacked Is-
rael's not havigg granted citi-
zenship to those Arabs who
live in the occupied territories.
Of course, to do that, annexa-
tion would have to take place.
If it did, I am sure that the
Daily's feature would not be
"Israel Grants Arabs Citizen-
ship and Equal Rights," but
"Israeli Imperialists Seize
Control Over Arab Land." A
complete withdrawal, on the
other hand, wougd put only 10
miles between the new Pales-
tinian slate and the sea. To
deny that a grave security
problem would ensue is tanta-
mount to blindness; to deny
that the complexity of the
situation defies facile solution.
is criminally naive. Israel will
not allow in any event for pre-
sent and future Nassars to
"finish what Hitler began."
Today the Daily quoted Is-
rael's own Landau Commis-
sion report on alleged viola-
tions by Israel's secret service
in during interrogations of ar-
rested Palestinians as proof of
Israel's "outrageous human
rights violations." Of course,
the fact that Israel herself
commissioned and published
the report is no reflection upon
the awareness that exists in Is-
rael that, like any nation,
problems do exist which peri-
odically must be investigated
and corrected. What Arab
countries sponsor such
investigations into the goings
on of their own secret polices?
Iran? Lebanon? Syria? Libya?
Today the Daily lamented
Ibureaucratic problems faced by
the Palestinians in the territo-
ries. Have the Daily editors
ever been to the Middle East?
Have you any idea of what real
red-tape is, and how it con-
fronts everyone in Israeli soci-
ety alike? Have you ever con-

place of profound analysis and publications.
accurate reporting as the bread -Jeffrey Chajes
and butter of our student November 1
Progressive LSA leadership

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TWOof o LfM~i E7sr oi l4m
Gl1bION lToAARM SECoUF-ItY

To the Daily:
LSA Student Government
(LSA-SG) elections are this
week. LSA-SG has two chief
responsibilities: distribution of
its $16,000 budget among
campus groups and academic
recommendations and appoint-
ments. The Progressive P;irty
(LSA Juniors Dan Rosenberg
and John Shea) offers new ideas
to improve the University in
these two areas.
The distribution of its funds
is an important part of the
LSA-SG duties. Actually,
$16,000 is not a lot of money,
considering thelarge amount of
student groups on campus.
Therefore, tough decisions have
to be made. The Progressive
Party feels that we must
choose those activities which
will improve the University,
and will set the University
apart from other schools.
One area that greatly needs
improvement is minority
activities, Black activities in
particular. Currently the
University has an image (often
well deserved) of being racist.
This image is preventing many
good Black students from
applying to the University.
Improving their quality of life
will not only make the
University a better place for
those who are already here, but
will enable many students who
were not considering four years
in Ann Arbor to think twice.
Another way in which we
wish to accomplish this goal is
racism awareness. We propose
that racism awareness writing
classes be organized im -
mediately, and-once installed,
we will push counselors to
urge student enrollment. It
should be set up as an
alternative to the English 125

writing requirement. A similar
class should be offered which
car satisfy the upper-level ECB
requirement. This type of class
will greatly case the problem,
as ignorance often is the
source.
Another academic area thai
needs to be looked into is the
foreign language distribution
policy. This requirement is
among the most difficult at the
University. However, this
requirement is a good reason
that a University of Michigan
degree is so well respected.
However, where in all other
areas of distribution, the
University is flexible, there
remains just one way to satisfy
the foreign language
requirement while at the
University: to take four
semesters of one foreign
language. The Progressive
Party feels that there should be
a variety of ways to satisfy this
requirement. One of these
would be to take two semesters
each of two different languages,
as having a strong background
in two languages is a valuable
skill to offer an employer.
Another way to satisfy the
requirement would be to take
two semesters of a foreign
language and three semesters of
"Foreign Culture" of the same
area, as an important part is
learning a foreign language is
learning about its culture.
The Progressive Party feels
that we can accomplish these
goals, improving the quality of
life at the University and
instituting greater academic
variety and flexibility without
in any way sacrificing its high
academic standards.
-The Progressive Party
Dan Rosenberg
November 17

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