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April 09, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-09

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 9, 1990

X be &iga al
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

At last the government takes action - on papayas


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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.



By Dave Barry
At long last, the federal government is
taking action. I found this out thanks to
alert reader Dawn Price, who sent me a no-
tice from the Standardization Section of
the Fresh Products Branch of the Fruit and
Vegetable Division of the Agricultural
Marketing Service of the U.S. Department
of Agriculture.
The moment I saw this notice, I said to
myself: "I wonder what those wild and
crazy dudes down at the Standardization
Section of the Fresh Products Branch of
the Fruit and Vegetable Division of the
Agricultural Marketing Service of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture are up to
The answer is: They are standardizing
papayas. I am not making this up. They
have churned out several dense pages of
proposed papaya standards, featuring sub-
sections and sub-subsections and state-
ments such as this:
"'Fairly well formed' means the papaya
may be moderately lopsided, flattened,
elongated or otherwise lacking symmetry,
but the fruit shall not be sufficiently mis-
shapen to materially detract from its ap-
I know how you're reacting to this
news, as a taxpayer and a consumer.
You're saying to yourself: "It's about
time, after so many tragic deaths directly
linked to misshapen papayas, that the men

and women of the Standardization Section
of the Fresh Products Branch of the Fruit
and Vegetable Division of the Agricultural
Marketing Service of the U.S. Department
of Agriculture have decided to take action.
I regret to report that the answer is no.
Because there is a serious problem here, a
problem that poses a threat potentially
even more dangerous than the epidemic of
Swine Flu shots that swept the nation dur-
ing the administration of Gerald "R."
The problem is that in certain Hispanic
cultures, particularly the Cuban culture,
"papaya" is an obscene world. Really. If
you don't believe me, walk up to your
boss and say, "you big papaya head!"
Chances are he'll stare at you blankly, but
if there are any Cuban-Americans around,
they'll be laughing like hell.
And hell is exactly where this nation is
headed, when the federal government starts
standardizing obscene fruit names.
This is just one more example of the
rising tide of pornographic filth and smut
- not just in the area of fresh produce,
but also in books, movies, "rock" music,
Care Bear episodes, cloud formations, etc.
- that threatens to destroy the moral
foundation garment of this nation.
What can we do? We can all write an-
gry letters to our congresshumans demand-

ing that the Department of Agriculture
change the official name of the papaya to*
something more suitable, such as
"Geraldo," or even - this would be a
nice tribute - "The Rev. Jerry Falwell
But that is not all. We should also
demand that Sen. Jesse Helms (R-Spider
Family) hold televised hearings that would
probe deeply into the whole alarming is-
sue of obscenity in federally standardized
produce, with an eye toward answering.
some troubling questions, such as:
1. What about the expression, "Get a
load of the mangos on that tomato"?
2. What about cucumbers?
I'm sure that I speak for all of you
when I say that, until we get some an-
swers, ALL vegetables should be required
to wear some kind of modest little gar-
ments. Come on, citizens! Let's not sit
back and do nothing while this nation gefs
flushed down the Toilet of Low Morals!
Let's actually help pull the handle!
And let's remember these worlds,
which appear on a sign that somebody
nailed to a telephone pole near where I get
my car fixed: Definitely no beer-Pepsi in
I would only add - and I am sure that
the Rev. Fruit would back me up here --
that this statement also applies to both
Classic AND Coke II.

Bucknell 'U'

should stay

sociation has always been a tenuous
"right" in the halls of academia, as is
illustrated by the current harassment of
University alumnus Dean Baker at
Bucknell University. Baker, who re-
ceived his Ph.D. here last year and is
now an assistant professor of eco-
nomics at Bucknell, has been subject to
an investigation there for his role in co-
authoring a satirical letter.
The letter was written as though it
had been sent by Ann Arbor's U.S.
Congressional representative, Carl
Pursell, and portrayed Pursell as an
apologist for the government-spon-
sored death squads of El Salvador.
In reference to the Nov. 16 killing
of six priests, their housekeeper, and
her daughter, the letter said "... if our
policy is to be successful, it is impor-
tant that Salvadoran citizens be aware
that nobody who speaks out against the
repression is immune from the conse-
quences... I am confident that with the
help of the media and my Congres-
sional colleagues on both sides of the
aisle, this incident involving the six
priests will also pass from the public's
attention." It was printed on copies of
Pursell's stationary and mailed to con-
Both the FBI and the postal service,
when pressed by Pursell to investigate,
concluded that no laws had been vio-

out of professor's life
Regardless of what one may think
of the controversy, it is clear that
Bucknell's intrusion into the legal polit-
ical activity of its faculty is a threat to
academic freedom. By no stretch of the
imagination can this activity be related
to Baker's ability to carry out his job.
Concerned students, faculty and
staff should write to Bucknell President
Gary A. Sojka (Bucknell University,
Lewisburg PA 17837), and inform him
that such McCarthy-like practices will
only succeed in damaging the reputa-
tion of his university.
The University of Michigan contin-
ues to suffer from its perpetration of
similar abuses in the past. This is one
of the only institutions of its stature that
does not have a Nobel laureate on its
faculty, because Lawrence Klein, a lib-
eral economist, was driven out of here
during the 1950s for his past political
In light of this history, it is particu-
larly disgraceful that Michigan resi-
dents, such as former Republican State
Senator Lou Cramton and Eastern
Michigan University lecturer Michael
McPhillips, would have brought the
matter to Sojka's attention by sending
him news clippings from Ann Arbor.
This childish tattle-tailing betrays a
deep lack of respect for basic civil
liberties and political rights.

There is not a need for a hash bash

David K. Leitner
It is a sad state of affairs when the
President of the United States is proclaim-
ing his "war on drugs" and students are us-
ing these same drugs in the center of a cer-
tain prestigious university. This does not
seem to be in accordance with the popular
national opinion.
After all, Bush's campaign of a war on
drugs (not to mention Reagan's) has drawn
much support from the American public.
In this case, why should the minority,
those who advocate the use of drugs, be al-
lowed to continue sticking their noses up
at the country?
The "Hash Bash" takes place in the
Diag of our university. This is where a
slew of people come out to smoke their
pot in order to "express themselves." But
who is to say what other drugs are being
used amid this narcotic frenzy? The diag
becomes a drug haven, for what are the
Ann Arbor police going to do, patrol the
smoke-filled diag in search of any other
drug besides pot?
Leitner is a first-year LSA student
studying bioethics.

The police can merely give out their
$25 admission tickets to this "affair" and
just sit on their hands, for the town and
the state do not give them the power they
should command to enforce the breaking
of the federally mandated substance.
Maybe there will be spin-offs of "Hash
Bash" - "Coke Toke," "LSD Jamboree,"
"Dust Bust." Kind of catchy names.
On another note, the Diag is not owned
by Ann Arbor, from which the $25 pot

tor of Ann Arbor (maybe down Maib
Street). But to have people smoking pct
in the center of one of the top ten univer-
sities in the nation takes away from the
prestige and honor that our university
President Duderstadt and other members
of the University staff should realize that
such "free expression" of an illegal (as it
is presently) substance is saying "this is
what we advocate at the University Ot

If people feel the undying need to smoke their
marijuana, they should do it in an area that is not in
the University sector of Ann Arbor.


Arab-Israel negotiations
recent vote of no confidence, Israelis
have grown wary of Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir's uncompromising atti-
tudes towards the peace process in the
Middle East.
As the Labor Party moves closer to
forming a new coalition government -
one based on tenets of change and
peace - it is hoped that the Jews and
Palestinians will come closer to
resolving the conflict which has
plagued the area for several decades.
Unfortunately, this hope is ham-
pered and trivialized by increased
threats from Palestinian Liberation Or-
ganization extremists and Iraqi Presi-
dent Saddam Hussein.
It is no secret that the PLO has been
recruiting thousands of soldiers since
the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in
1982. Recently, however, hard-liners
in the organization have been pressur-
ing Yassir Arafat to abandon hopes for
potential negotiations with Israel in fa-
vor of a mobilization of the 11,000
PLO troops located in Lebanon.
This is indicated by a recent increase
in simulated military raids against Is-
raeli targets, and an effort to re-estab-
lish the military aspect of the PLO in
To his credit, Arafat has remained
intent on pursuing talks with a new Is-
raeli government, despite criticism
from within the PLO, including a re-
quest for his resignation.
The Palestinian leader continues to
help the peace process by keeping the
radicals within his organization in line
behind his admirable goals of self-de-
termination and an eventual Palestinian
\ I

must not be


law originates, but is the property of the
University. It is the University's duty to,
as a learning institution, instruct the stu-
dents and promote an atmosphere where
study is possible.
If people feel the undying need to
smoke their marijuana, they should do it
in an area that is not in the University sec-

If this is the image the University
wishes to project, so be it. But, if the staff
wants to project the image of an educa-
tional institution which teaches our youth
in order to be prepared to accept the burden
of carrying the world into the 21st century
and beyond, the "Hash Bash" should be
moved off campus, if even kept in exis-
tence anymore.

In addition to the potential for in-
creased violence by the PLO, Iraq has
jumped on the bandwagon of threats
aimed at Israel. Last week, President
Hussein threatened to attack and de-
stroy half of Israel with newly-acquired
chemical weapons.
Last Wednesday, two Iraqis were
arrested trying to smuggle American-
made nuclear triggering devices into the
country. Hussein, wary of Israel's past
warnings to hamper any Iraqi attempts
to gain long-range nuclear weapons,
chose to make threats before any Israeli
military action was actually proposed
or taken. Nine years ago, an Israeli air-
craft destroy an Iraqi nuclear reactor
before its completion.
Hussein must be criticized not for
his fear of Israeli reprisal, but rather for
the intensity of his threats. "Whoever
threatens us with the atomic bomb,"
Hussein said, "we will annihilate him
with the dual chemical weapon."
Israel, however, made no actual
threats of this nature. Were Israel intent
on raiding another Iraqi nuclear reactor,
retaliation by chemical weapons on an
innocent population would be extreme
and unwarranted. Even Arafat ex-
pressed concern for the safety of Arabs
living in and around Israel if such an
attack were to take place.
The Arab-Israeli conflict cannot be
resolved by threats and violence, only
through negotiation and perseverance
of peace. It is disconcerting, with the
recent prospect of realistic peace nego-
tiations in Israel, that radical contin-
gents within the PLO and within Iraq
feel the need to resort to the violence of
years past.

Ignore music critic
and he'll go away

To the Daily:
It pays to be ruthless
That's why 1 do this
- Rap star and charlatan Eazy-E
Sure, he can write his own material and
he doesn't have Jheri Curls, but the above
lines could have just as easily come from
the mouth of Forrest Green III as from
that of the Midget with Attitude who said
them first. Since writing his ruthless arti-
cle about the state of popular music,
Green has been paid back with an awful
lot of free publicity.
Green was criticized on the Daily's
Opinion Page April 2, was the subject of
the Art section's lead story April 3, and
has even managed to get his picture into
the slot the Arts editors usually reserve for
photos of Mudhoney. Green is, in short,
becoming a media phenomenon.
If all the FGIII bashers would simply
keep quiet, then Green would vanish into
journalistic obscurity; only they can pre-
vent firing Forrest. As it is, they have
made Green the only Daily music critic to
have rescued himself from the anonymity
that comes with calling every third Blind
Pig booking the future of independent mu-
If people would like to see Green cease
to have journalistic clout, then they
should simply stop talking about him.
But if Green's critics continue to propel
him toward cult status, then they will
soon find themselves having to deal with
things like The Michigan Daily-Green;
FGIII: The movie; and the slew of illegit-
imate children Forrest will scatter around
the Midwest.
Gabriel Feldberg
first-year LSA student

dents, and, yes, even army officials, and
come up short.
One brave soul guessed the army dis-
criminated because of its need to maintain
"internal stability within the defense unit."
Thus, the army seemingly equates a ho-
mosexual influx into the army with de-
creased security, since gay soldiers will be
harassed by the heterosexual ones, thereby
.creating disorder within the army ranks.
Finally,some rationale.
Unfortunately, the reasoning is prob-
lematic. First, it assumes that gays will
be spotted on sight. Second, if chaos is
the inevitable result, why isn't the work-
place, where both homosexual and hetero-
sexuals share the same air, in constant
Finally, it assumes that soldiers are
homophobic far greater than we would care
to admit. Maybe they are? Maybe not. In
either case, with the army's repugnant pol-
icy, our dream of a world in which all may
thrive, free discrimination and hatred, is,
for the most part, dead.
Subhash Chandra
LSA sophomore
Let Penn State in
To the Daily:
The Big Ten is one of the premier con-
ferences in the nation, both academically
and athletically. Each university has a
strong tradition of excellence that is rec-
ognized throughout the nation. Penn State
University is also known as a fine aca-
demic institution with a decent reputation
in athletics.
Understanding that the addition of the
Nittany Lions would create hassles and
immense amounts of paperwork, Penn
State should be invited to join the Big Ten
anyway. However, just because Penn State
joins the Big Ten does not necessitate the
removal of university presently in the con-

Daily is inconsistent
To the Daily:
I find it ironic that the Daily has seen
fit to ridicule University President James
Duderstadt for trampling First Amendment
values by stifling dissenting opinions
This is the same Daily that repeatedly
warns its readers that it will not print al-
ternative opinions is finds sexist, racis;,
homophobic, or otherwise offensive.
Perhaps constitutional zeal, like char,
ity, should begin at home.
David Meyer
third-year Law student
Daily misrepresents
MSA independents
To the Daily:
The second paragraph of a Michigan
Student Assembly election article
(3/28/90) quoted Bruce Frank, former
MSA Rules and Elections Committee
chair as saying, "I hope independent candk
dates aren't discriminated against just be;
cause they don't belong to a party." I wisp
the article's author had listened to Frank.:
The Daily then interviewed representa-
tives of the five political parties running
for office in last week's MSA election.
The party candidates expressed their views
on the code, deputization, student group
funding and the proposed course on race
and ethnicity, among other issues. t
Below these discussions, an article
about the candidates who are running index
pendently was placed. Did this article ask
these students about their views on the
code or deputization or the proposed
racism class? No, on all counts.
Half of the article discussed why candir
dates are running as independents. Thy
other half quoted two independent candiL
dates' sarcastic opinions:
"We're for the greenhouse effect..

v~ttrA a. & O1e&* /Af A0%UrV /f R Atlft. -

A Lft We- ~~ lLItPq Ls.nr IV

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