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November 06, 1990 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-06

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 6, 1990
GEbe £tdpjjian IBuI4
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Earle critics wrongly accuse restaurant

NOAH FINKEL
Editor in Chief

DAVID SCHWARTZ
Opinion Editor

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.

Election III

Bringing reform to a national three-ring circus

To the Daily:
A response is a must regarding the let-
ter, "The Earle is insensitive to gay men
and lesbians" (10/29/90), that protests the
politics of The Earle restaurant. When I
say politics, I'm referring to outrageous
accusations that were derived from an ex-
perience that occurred the night of Oct. 13
by Tracy Ore and Barbara Vicory.
Those of us on the staff of The Earle
find it appalling that such fiction will be
allowed to hover in the minds of the read-
ership who will assume it to resemble the
truth.
I was present the evening of the event,
and witnessed the goings-on about as
closely as was possible from close range. I
also had the benefit of hearing the staffs'
versions of what transpired, reiterated
again and again. I spoke with the two
women that were serving them as well as
my supervisor, Dennis Webster.
The fact that the event was discussed at
length is explained not by the outrageous
behavior exhibited by the drunken group,
but by our reaction to the behavior of Ore
and Vicory.
During our conversations it seemed
highly unclear whether the alleged spitting
by the drunken patron occurred at all and
there was speculation that sloppy speech
could have accounted for the bodily func-
tion Ore and Vicory chose to interpret as
spitting. Given the fact that the rest of
their contentions are so far-fetched, they
invite justification Tor such interpretation.
Since the arrival of these pro-Michigan
State visitors was concurrent with their
battle cry which drew the attention of ev-
eryone in the restaurant, those of us with

Whether or not this aggressive situation involved the
use of profanity or patronizing statements is moot,
especially since eyewitnesses are unable to concur
that such statements took place as the volume of this
exchange had diminished substantially.

concern were carefully on watch until the
moment they left.
Occurrences like the one described are
rare at The Earle, and the discomfort expe-
rienced by the rowdiness of this group was
felt by all. We concluded that the party in
question, being unfamiliar with Ann Ar-
bor, landed at The Earle by accident and
would have more enjoyed themselves at
one of the local sports bars. Since their
battle cry boasting the Michigan State vic-
tory was not met with a retort from "the

ality have no place in their argument.
The paragraph that chronicles the en-
suing events insinuates that it was only A
their gestures that prompted the expulsion.
of the patrons. In my analysis, that expul-
sion was required, more so, by Ore and
Vicory's inappropriate affront than the
Michigan Staters' drunken transgressions.
Ore and Vicory then go on to place this
incident within a context that dares to de
scribe some sort of fascist management
position that consistently subjugates

"Certain phrases we put in a spot
will resonate like in a jingle."
SO SAID PETER FENN OF FENN
and King, an advertising firm working
for the Democratic party on one of their
new made-for-TV candidate commer-
cials. In a year of exceptionally under-
handed campaign advertising, Fenn's
statement is neither exceptional nor
surprising. As the 1990 campaign sea-
son draws to a close, American politics
has reached an all-time low, resembling
a three-ring circus instead of a forum
for the discussion of ideas.
At least $30 million has been spent
on soundbites rather than issues -
about which the candidates largely
agree - in the California gubernatorial
race. A dangerously right-wing politi-
cal novice running for governor of
Massachusetts advocates putting
women back in the kitchen and gays
back in the closet. And in the Texas
race for governor- reaching depths of
vulgarity rarely matched even in
American politics - mendacious alle-
gations of cocaine abuse and sordid
rape jokes have marginalized serious
discussion of a state mired in economic
recession.
The almost complete absence of in-
formed discourse in these and many
other 1990 electoral races - including
some in Michigan - represent symp-
toms of much larger problems. Those
problems, all of which cry for imme-
diate solutions, represent the real three-
ring circus in current American politics.
In ring number one, we have the
economic aspect of elections. While we
stand by our previous call for cam-
paigns to be completely paid for by the
public, here we would like to offer
some short-term proposals working
toward that goal.
A firm cap should be placed on all
campaign donations. No corporations
and no political action committees
should be allowed to donate to any
campaign; though both are construed as
"legal persons" under the law, this fic-
tion should not let us forget that they
are neither individuals nor voters.
Furthermore, campaign contributors
should be limited to those who are
prospective constituents of candidates
and representatives. Some candidates
currently receive more than 90 percent

of their campaign contributions from
sources outside their district, making it
almost impossible for them to represent
the people they are pledged to serve.
As in any good circus, ring number
one resides next to - and influences
- the nature of the performance in ring
number two: advertising and media.
Candidates spend an inordinate amount
of money on very expensive commer-
cials and polls, neither of which ever
have enough information to justify their
price tag. Jingles, jangles and graphs
provide a poor substitute for debates,
forums, and platforms.
In recent years, commercials and
polls have dominated political cam-
paigns. We propose that both be elimi-
nated. The consequences of negative
advertising speak for themselves; polls
are frequently inaccurate and unduly
influence voters. Mandatory debates
controlled by a citizens' board would
provide voters with substance rather
than snippets about their candidates. A
citizens' board would assure that vot-
ers' concerns be the focus of debate.
Citizens' boards - and the greater
participation they potentially offer -
bring us to ring number three: the basic
structure of the electoral system, which
has made it increasingly difficult for the
American people to participate in a pro-
cess which is their constitutional right.
To begin with, election day should
be declared a national holiday and
same-day registration must be allowed.
In addition, ballot status must be made
easier so that more parties can partici-
pate.
Finally, we suggest that the United
States adopt a modified parliamentaiy
system. The "winner take all" method
we have is inherently undemocratic; if,
for example, 49.9 percent of a con-
stituency votes for a candidate, its
views nonetheless remain unrepre-
sented. Parliamentary government -
with a party's representation factored
according to its percentage of the vote
- would guarantee that a wider spec-
trum of views could be heard and taken
seriously.
None of these reforms can influence
today's elections, but the adoption of
even a few of them would assure that
the serious problems - and embar-
rassments - of the current electoral
season will not be repeated.

enemy," we expected this aggressive pa-
tron to quiet down for lack of participa-
tion.
If the women who are making this
complaint of the unequivocal impropriety
of this rowdy behavior expected heavy-
handed management intervention at this
point. I fear they have a lot to learn about
human relations. The fact that they chose
to affront this group personally in a matter
of moments also causes me to question
their judgment.
Whether or not this aggressive situa-
tion involved the use of profanity or pa-
tronizing statements is moot, especially
since eyewitnesses are unable to concur
that such statements took place as the
volume of this exchange had diminished
substantially. Comments overheard at a
neighboring table that speak to their sexu-

women, violates the rights of minorities,
and seizes opportunities like the event de-'
scribed to exhibit its misogynist substruc-
ture which is categorically embodied in the
personality of Dennis Webster. This anal-
ysis is so far off the mark it is laughable.
My defense of this man could only be
brought to life with the relaying of anec-
dotes which could fill volumes as he's
been my employer for thirteen years. I,
therefore, expect the following: a complete
disregard of the picture painted by these
two women, who, for some reason have
chosen to name The Earle as an appropri-
ate target in this recent trend of restaurant
bashing.
Suzanne Murray
LSA senior

Leaves on the Diag add needed atmosphere

To the Daily:
I would like to thank the people in
charge of grounds for wasting 50 minutes
of my time. During my two o'clock
discussion class I could barely here on
word of what was said because of the
group of six grounds people that were
parked outside the classroom's window and
sucking up all of the Diag's leaves into a
big truck.
During class, I had to wonder, instead
of being able to pay attention, why it was
so important to remove all of these fallen
leaves from the Diag.
Personally I like a leaf covered Diag.
The leaves aren't getting in anyone's way,
and they don't disturb the classes of the
students. On the other hand, those Turbo-
Vacs and related leaf collecting equipment
cause a major disturbance.
The Turbo-Vacs bother me for a couple
of more reasons. First of all, we are very
possibly going to be at war soon because
of this nation's desire for cheap gasoline,
and in my mind these stupid Turbo-Vacs
symbolize the pointlessness of this possi-
ble war.
Men and women will die if we do fight
against Iraq so that we can have a leafless
Diag. I find that hard to believe. This
makes no sense. the University has made
moves to help save the environment. But
gas-guzzling machines that serve no im-
portant function, such as these Turbo-
Vacs, make me wonder if there is really
any real commitment, or is the University
just pulling a public relations scam.
Secondly, I am annoyed that my
tuition dollars are being used for some
purpose that makes it difficult for me to
accomplish what I am here for, i.e. to get
an education. While some department
heads are probably very proud of their fleet
of modern leaf collecting Turbo-Vacs, I
believe that their happiness should come
after the education of the students at this
University.
If nothing more, collect the leaves on a
weekend if they are really that offensive,
but please quit disturbing classes that have
better things to do than listen to those
over-valued rakes.

D~ON'T WOfRY ABOUT
YouR APPROVAL
RATiIG O RGE ... , -"
YOU'RE No JACK a5
Y \ a

Daily should own mistakes
To the Daily:
The correction run in the Oct. 31 issue
to the article, "U publishes inaccuracy
about SAPAC" (10/30/90) deserved much
more attention than a tiny blurb on page
three. After publishing a front page story
accusing the University of inaccurate re-
porting, the Daily should own up to its
own mistake in this case and print a full
retraction.
After reading both the original article
and the correction, I am still unsure about
how SAPAC's budget was increased, who
provided that increase, and what exactly
the University said about that increase.
I am sure that each of these questions
could easily have been answered by more
complete reporting in the first article and
definitely deserved to be addressed in the
correction. I have no illusions that the
Daily will ever cover the University im-
partially, but such an egregious lapse in
journalism should not be tolerated.

More on Nuts & Bolts;
To the Daily:
Not only is Nuts and Bolts not funny,
it is often offensive. The past couple of
strips have been promoting the idea that
you are not worth anything unless you
have a girlfriend/boyfriend. Does that.
mean we really need another person in or-,
der to feel good about ourselves? To be,
worth something in this society? I am
sorry but I find this attitude pathetic.
I also found the comic strip reenforcing
the rape mentality of our society by'-'
having Lumus think he is a sex god after
making a lunch date (11/1/90). What is
this implying? That a lunch date means he
will get to have sex with Lori? That Lori
even wants to have sex with him? These.
circumstances can very often lead to date
rape. Although you may not believe it,
this is a'very common occurrence, just ask
your sister, your mother or your female
friends.
Nancy Walker
LSA junior.0

Vote

Exercise your hard-fought constitutional right

"GET OUT AND VOTE!"
Every November, the entire country
is bombarded by public service an-
nouncements and advertisements beg-
ging citizens to vote. However, in the
past such massive media campaigns
have had little effect.
Even in years when the Presidency
is at stake, fewer than half of the eligi-
ble voters in the United States cast their
ballots. A significantly smaller propor-
tion votes in so-called "off' years, 4nd
in "mid-term" elections such as this
one.
In other nations, people risk their
lives to fulfill their right to choose their
leaders; but in America, where the right
to vote is taken for granted, voters
overcome with apathy don't bother to
walk to the comer for five minutes to
protect their Constitutional rights.
Presently, public approval for those
who hold elected office is at an all-time
low, and government is fraught with
rnrrintinn an m in aiom nt Ri t

government actually took part in the
system, they might choose the best
candidates, and officials would be
forced to be more responsive to the
people and not to special interest.
groups.
In 1971, the states ratified the 26th
ammendment to the Constitution which
granted 18-year-olds the right to vote.
But once the right was granted it has
been all but forgotten as the 18 to 24
age group is the least active at the polls.
If the youth of America continue to ig-
nore their right then leaders will have
no reason to respect their wishes.
The vote is the weapon of the peo-
ple. We must use it to affect the
changes we want. They will not just
happen.
Thus, we encourage all those eligi-
ble to accept their civic responsibility
and cast a vote in today's elections.
Your vote does count. Complaining

Paul Childs

Tom Naglak

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