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April 18, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-04-18

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, April 18, 1989

The Michigan Daily

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

4

Then and now: don't worry

about czars

By Eric Westrate
I am writing in response to Noah
Finkel's editorial on the vogue which the
term "czar" (more properly spelled "tsar")
is currently enjoying among our govern-
ment leaders. Mr. Finkel makes the
somewhat erroneous statement that the
byname of "the Terrible" was bestowed
upon the Russian ruler Ivan IV "because
of his use of terror." Actually, however,
the Russian word grozniy, which is tradi-
tionally translated into English here as
"terrible", actually means something like
"awe-inspiring", or "dreadful", and was not
originally pejorative. The idea behind its
bestowal was that Ivan inspired dread or
awe in those people (especially recalcitrant
nobles or foreign military leaders) who
might oppose him or seek to undermine
the state of which he was the protector.
In his zeal to accomplish this end,
however, Ivan succeeded in living up to
his appellation's customary English trans-
Editor's Note: The Daily follows the
Associated Press Stylebook guidelines.
These guidelines dictate the spelling
cza-

lation. At one point, he created a powerful
corps of personal henchmen called the
oprichnina , which he used for seven years
to terrorize many of the nobles of his
realm. On another occasion, he showed
that he could behave "terribly" toward all
classes of the population when he massa-
cred the city of Novgorod because he
thought it disloyal to him. His foreign
military adventures were more popular
from the Russian point of view, for he
conquered two of the last remaining Tatar
khanates left over from the days of the
Mongol Golden Horde, although a long
war that he waged against Poland and
Sweden for the control of the Baltic coast
was ultimately unsuccessful.
Incidentally, Ivan did not purposely kill
his son and heir, as Peter the Great was
later to do. Ivan killed his heir accidentally
when he struck him in a fit of rage, and
regretted the incident to the end of his life.
For all the mayhem he perpetrated, Ivan
had a strong sense of sin, and his moral
insecurities compounded with his political
paranoia. He often spoke of becoming a
monk, had masses said for the souls of his
victims, and once even considered abdicat-

ing and going to live in England, which,
under the rule of Ivan's correspondent
Elizabeth I, was making its first
commercial contacts with Russia during
the second half of his reign.
Granted, Ivan was every bit the madman
that his domestic policies showed him to
be, but in those days of Henry VIII, the
Spanish Inquisition, the Duke of Alva,
and the Massacre of St. Bartholemew, his
methods of state control were only
slightly more crazed and "terrible" than
those of his contemporary monarchs in
Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Europe.
Mr.Finkel also notes that tsars ruled
Russia from 1533 to 1917, but the first of
his dates is slightly off. Although Ivan the
Terrible, the first Russian ruler to take the
title officially, did begin his reign in 1533
as a child of three, he did not proclaim
himself Tsar until his coronation in 1547.
Before that, he and his predecessors had
officially been the Grand Princes of
Moscow. The word "tsar" itself ultimately
derives from the old Romano-Byzantine
title of "Caesar" (as does the German
"kaiser"), and had from time to time been

used informally by Ivan the Terrible's
immediate predecessors. The title was the
cachet of remote and austere power to the
Russiana of the day, and no doubt Ivan
hoped to make himself seem a little more
grozniy by permanently adopting it. Per-
haps our politicians today are also hoping
to capitalize on the autocratic mystique of
the term, as Mr. Finkel seems to claim.

tury Russian feudal demesne. "Czar"
William Bennet did not peremptorily as-
sume that title himself, like Ivan IV did.
Unless he starts running around the Mall
at night howling, as Ivan was known to
do in the Kremlin on occasion, I don't
think that we've got any reason to lose
much sleep on his account, or on account
of any of his co-tsars at the state or local

I
I

'I really wouldn't worry too much about the present pro-
liferation of "czardoms," however.'

I really wouldn't worry too much about
the present proliferation of "czardoms",
however. Bush, Blanchard, Young, et al.
may from time to time like to think that
absolute power flows from their august
selves, but, after all, they are elected offi-
cials serving in a modern Western democ-
racy and not the overlords of a 16th-cen-

levels of government. The present politi-
cal administrations in this country would
have to do something a lot more macabre
than pumpkinifying their bureaucrats with
the still-colorful titles of defunct Slavic
royalty before they could ever top the ter-
rors of, say, Dan Quayle or the Alaskan
oil spill.

3be ldbdig an iaUQ
4 ~ .r.. t9
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 136 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.
No more lockdowns

Food

and democracy

THE STATE of Michigan is in the
process of creating a prison which the
Department of Corrections describes as
a "supermax" facility in Ionia, Michi-
gan. This prison is designed to house
men the state arbitrarily describes as
the most "dangerous and uncontrol-
lable criminals" in Michigan. The cre-
ation of the supermax is indicative of
the "get tough on crime" attitude which
currently prevails at local, state and
federal levels in the United States.
The supermax facility is modeled
after the Marion Federal Penitentiary in
Marion, Illinois which was created
when the state of California closed Al-
catraz Federal Penitentiary. At that time
the highest security level for U.S. pris-
ons was Level 5. Marion is a Level 6
prison, the only one of its kind in the
country. The Ionia supermax will also
be a Level 6 prison.
Marion has been on lockdown since
1983 and the warden has promised that
lockdown will never be lifted. Lock-
down is a form of collective punish-
ment against prisoners. Lockdowns are
usually justified as responses to secu-
rity infractions, but are fundamentally a
brutal means of gaining control and
strip prisoners of all human rights and
human dignity.
Under the Marion lockdown prison-
ers are kept in their cells 23 hours per
day. Guards are not allowed to speak
to prisoners, and prisoners cannot in-
teract with each other. In the one hour
that prisoners are out of their cells all
movement is "controlled movement.''
This means that each prisoner is ac-
companied by three armed guards; they
wear shackles on their ankles, and
chains around their waists which are
attached to handcuffs.
Prisoners in Marion are allowed no
counseling, drug or alcohol rehabilita-
tion, religious worship, educational or
vocational training. The few books,
newspapers and mail coming into the
prison are censored.
Cells in Marion are 8 feet by 8 feet
and contain toilets and a steel "bed"
which has rings attached where prison-
ers can be chained naked when they
"act-up." There are no windows and
DAM - wNo WAS
AP
-w i- -

sometimes the lights will be left on for
days at a time.
All of these techniques are used as
means of control. This control is both
physical and political, designed to
break prisoners and force them into
submission.
Michigan is building prisons at a
faster rate than any other state and the
United States is incarcerating people at
a faster rate than any country in the
world. One out of every four Black
men in the United States will spend
time in prison and people of color ac-
count for nearly 90 percent of the na-
tional prison population. The chance
that a Black person will receive a death
sentence is six times as great as a white
person.
Governor Blanchard has told the
state of Michigan that prisons are nec-
essary to return the state to a condition
in which the basic human right to per-
sonal safety will be ensured the citizens
of Michigan. While personal safety is
important to all of us, Blanchard and
others believe that this right supercedes
other rights like education, jobs, food
and shelter. They ignore the culture out
of which street crime emerges and
refuse to implement real institutions to
address these urgent problems.
Blanchard also does not make clear
that the personal safety he describes as
a right is actually a privilege enjoyed by
a very specific group of people. In the
United States today the leading cause
of death amongst Black men aged 15 to
34 is murder. Half of the Black men
employed today will not live long
enough to collect social security.
If Governor Blanchard and the ad-
ministrators of the state truly believe
that physical safety is a fundamental
human right, and not an economic or
skin color privilege, then they should
create and fund institutions which
maximize this.
The End the Marion Lockdown
Committee is protesting the brutal
conditions at Marion Prison on the
29th of April. For information
contact the American Friends
Service Committee.
A ADCAL.
iAS-BFE

By the People's Food Co-op
The People's Food Cooperative (PFC)
continues to be guided by the Ann Arbor
community in its 18th year. As the only
member-owned grocery stores in our town,
PFC has a broad nutritional, ecological,
food justice agenda. That agenda and its
practices are subject to reconfirmation and
change by the members. The membership
is now over 1800 people and is open to
everyone. This month the co-op held its
annual election of members to the Board
of Directors and its 1989 annual meeting
to review the state of the co-op, review
goals for the coming year and consider
proposals brought forward by the
membership. 120 people attended this
meeting.
The central goal of consumer coopera-
tives is to determine the needs of the
community and meet them with the guid-
ance and input of the members. At this
point the values of this cooperative in-
clude supporting ecologically sound food
distribution and use. The co-op works to
reduce solid waste by recycling and reusing
containers and offering many of its prod-
ucts in bulk form to reduce packaging.
The co-ops pioneered the reintroduction of
bulk foods in the late 1960s. This practice
is now imitated with a small number of
products in some grocery stores and a few
specialty outlets. The co-op also actively
supports organic agriculture to reduce the
manufactured chemicals that enter the food
chain and the environment. The promotion
of a healthier diet has also been a long
term goal of the co-op. Many of the ideas

promoted by the co-op for years, such as
reducing salt, refined sugars, chemical ad-
ditives and fat in the diet, are now being
promoted in limited lines by the very
agribusiness companies that aggressively
advertised and lobbied so effectively to
move the American diet toward the highly
refined, sugared, salted, "fortified" and pre-
served state that they still promote in the
larger portion of their lines.
Any member is always invited to make
effective input in a number of ways, from
promoting informal or binding member
resolutions or by-law changes. Members

The PFC stores are by no means perfect
food stores, nor is PFC a perfect democ-
racy. They are, however, the only retail
food distribution system in town that ac-
tively seeks to be owned by the commu-
nity and attempts to actively solicit
democratic input.
On December 13, 1988, the Daily ran
an editorial about the PFC which was in-
accurate and misleading. The statements
that the organization had "argued that it is
not a cooperative" and that it has not con-
ducted membership surveys are among the
particular points of error. In fact, the co-op

4

'They are, however, the only retail food distribution sys-
tem in town that actively seeks to be owned by the com-
munity and attempts to actively solicit democratic input.'

and shoppers are asked to make sugges-
tions to the staff on any topic about store
operations. In fact, there is a book for
product suggestions in which the pur-
chasers respond to each suggestion. The
organization invites volunteer workers to
participate in the store, to serve on various
committees and to make contributions to
the newsletter. Committees are usually
composed of members, a board liaison and
staff. Each monthly board meeting begins
with an open comment session at which
any member can speak on any topic. Fur-
ther, members are welcome to participate
in board discussions.

was in the process of tabulating the results
of the most recent survey at the time of
publication. The survey had a response
rate of nearly 25 percent and reflected a
very diverse, interested and generally
satisfied membership.
We see the People's Food Cooperative
as a valuable community resource. It re-
mains very much a human endeavor, and
therefore subject to human strengths and
weaknesses. The staff at the Daily may
have either praise or criticism of the co-op
in the future, but the broad negative lan-
guage of the December editorial was un-
warranted.

4
4

Letters to the editor

4

Actions
speak
louder
To the Daily:
Saturday night I attended the
10th annual Take Back the
Night rally and march. As
usual, the evening was a
tremendous success. This event
provides women with an op-
portunity to band together and
experience empowerment by
walking the streets of Ann Ar-
bor at night without the fear of
becoming a victim of sexual
assault. The march is a rejuve-
nating experience for those of
us who are used to feeling
frustration when trying to
break down the walls of sex-
ism-the atmosphere of Take
Back the Night is so joyous
and exhilarating that we feel
strengthened and refreshed.
I would like to thank all
those who attended the rally,
especially the vast number of
m~an xtn mp andlApnmnn -

we passed by President Duder-
stadt's home. After reading the
virtual dissertation he com-
posed and sent to students con-
cerning his commitment to
building up the campus com-
munity, I expected him to be
out on his porch showing his
support for an issue that must
be eliminated before his dreams
of a campus community will
come true. I was disappointed,
and actually insulted, to see
lights on in his home, but no
one on his porch. If he had
merely stepped outside for five
minutes, he could have made a
lot of women feel very positive
that the administration of this
university will be supportive
of future efforts on this campus
to fight sexual assault.
President Duderstadt, al-
though your presence was not
necessary to make this march
successful, and a positive
experience for the women of
this community, if you are
truly committed to strengthen-
ing our university, you need to
act. Before you can be effective
at breaking down barriers on

(and many others) will be the simple cessation of smok-
watching for you. ing, while at the same time our
-Jill Creech government subsidizes the to-
April17 bacco industry. Furthermore,
recent findings demonstrate that
so another third of all cancers and
major heart difficulties could be
sim plprevented through a change in
diet. Yet, at present we put
To the Daily: only 3 percent of our resources
I would like to make some into prevention programs.
clarifications concerning the Should our fellow species bear
subject of the article "Experts the brunt for our unhealthy
debate animal research", Daily, lifestyles? I think not. We not
4/14/89.) The question is not, only waste our resources , but
"is there a difference between a in the end damage our own
child and a puppy when re- health.
searchers want to test a new Its interesting to note that
drug?" That is a loaded question the meetings of the Uni-
to which most people would versity's Institutional Animal
emphatically answer with a re- Committee are being kept 4
sounding "yes!" The contro- closed to students and the pub-
versy involves whether or not lic. This, in spite of the fact
alternative methods to the use that the University of Michi-
of that puppy are even consid- gan, along with all 50 states,
ered or attempted, whether or has a "sunshine law" which re-
not most or even the majority quires state agency meetings in
of biomedical research using which official acts are decided
animals results in any tangible upon to be declared public
benefit to Homo sapiens other meetings to be open at all
than the obvious monetary times. Apparently our re-
gain and prestige to individual searchers feel they have some- 4

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