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October 02, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-02

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, October 2, 1991

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editor

...,.k . ...

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.
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B'111 of R"ights,

University should live up to awa
ast Saturday, Judge Damon Keith of the 6th
District Court of Appeals presented Univer-
sity President James Duderstadt with a plaque
commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Bill
of Rights. Michigan joins Harvard and Wayne
State Law Schools in receiving the plaque, but
Michigan remains the sole university to receive the
honor. The plaque symbolizes the importance of
the first 10 amendments to the Constituion.
But for the University to receive such a plaque
on the basis of its commitment to the Bill of Rights
is questionable.
When the new Michigan Union weekend policy
restricting the building's attendance, the
University's former policy on discriminatory ha-
rassment, the continued increase of police/student
conflicts, the search & seizure policy adopted for
residence halls and the University's constant fail-
ure to solicit students' views are considered, there
seems to be little cause for celebration. The Uni-
versity of Michigan has violated the Bill of Rights
far too many times to deserve such an award.
In 1989, the University's first policy on Dis-
crimination was declared unconstitutional for its
violation of the first amendment. It prohibited
students the right to pass out "offensive fliers,"
display the confederate flag, or make certain con-
troversial statements. The interim policy laments,
"Due consideration must be given to the protection
Tax sharing
New bill is a step toward school
I nan attempt to equalize the tremendous spend-
; ing gap between varying school districts
throughout the state, the Michigan Senate last
week passed its tax sharing bill. If signed by Gov.
Engler, the bill would redistribute a percentage of
the increase in state property tax revenue from
wealthier school districts to poorer ones.
Michigan is not alone in its attempt to combat
inequity between varying school districts. During
the 1970s and 80s, there was a wave of litigation
over school finance. Some state courts found their
state finance systems unconstitutional, and de-
manded that states enact programs that ensured all
state residents receive adequate education fund-
ing. Michigan's system was upheld by the Michi-
gan State Supreme Court in 1984.
A recent wave of court rulings has once again
brought the issue of school finance to the forefront
ofpolitical debate. The Senate bill is geared toward
redistributing revenues generated by property taxes
on commercial and industrial properties within a
school district. Currently, those funds remain within
the district. Under the new bill, wealthier districts
like Ann Arbor and Bloomfield Hills would be
required to give away 50 percent of any increase in
their property tax revenues. On the receiving end
would be poorer districts that are more dependent
on state aid for education funding.
The Senate bill begins to address the critical
issue of equalizing education opportunities across
district lines. Throughout the nation, good educa-
tion often remains a privilege of the wealthy. Those
districts that bring in more money in taxes - the
wealthy ones- can maintain a higher standard of
education due to greater revenues. If a wealthy
.Bloom Cojun.

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of individual rights and freedom of speech." In
fact, there is no evidence of vigorous enforcement
of the Bill of Rights, but rather a curtailment of it.
Increased crackdowns by the police to control
student rowdiness - including the undercover
investigation of fraternities and houses - may
have been unconstitutional because of the viola-
tions of students' rights to privacy and due process.
Police may have used entrapment techniques to
gain entrance to a fraternity party, and are continu-
ally violating, at the very least, the spirit of our
right to privacy by denying students the right to
behave as they wish in their own homes.
The Union policy discriminates against non-
students by barring them from a building that was
built by state funds. The University seems quick to
disregard the legal tradition of public access to
public property.
President Duderstadt does not have the plaque.
In fact, his staff has no idea where the plaque is.
Perhaps this is symbolic of the lack of commitment
the University pays to the document. Actually, it's
in Revelli Hall, already gathering dust.
Now that the University has received the plaque,
it is time that it started focusing its policies towards
fulfilling its meaning. In the tradition of the his-
toric document which placed so many rights in the
hands of the people, the University ought to start
caring about the rights of its students.
family lives in a low-quality school district, they
can always resort to private schools. But kids who
live in poor areas have a much lower chance of
getting a decent education. There is as much as a
$7,000 difference in per-pupil spending between
some districts in Michigan. While dollars do not
necessarily translate into quality education, it is
obvious that a district with greater resources can
hire a better faculty, purchase more modem text-
books, and buy other needed equipment like
computers. Why should the quality ofour children's
education depend on which neighborhood or dis-
trict they live in?
These injustices are what the tax-sharing bill
attempts to address, but whether it will have a
significant impact is debatable. Congressional
estimates of the increase in per-pupil spending in
the poorer "in formula" districts under the new bill
amounts to about $23.20 annually. This meager
amount would hardly make the difference in en-
listing a better qualified faculty or buying much
needed supplies to an ailing school district. And
with spending gaps ranging in the thousands per-
pupil between different districts, $23.20 is a drop
in the bucket.
Residents of wealthier school districts who
stand to lose fromthis bill argue that their districts,
already strapped for funds, will suffer. Ideally,
education funding should be increased across the
board rather than dropped to the lowest common
denominator.But the tax sharing bill is a start. It
brings to attention the fact that different school
districts are shamefully unequal throughout the
state. A good - and properly funded - education
should be a right denied to no one.

To the Daily:
Excited as I was about the
Weekend Magazine article
("Out of the closet, onto the
campus," Weekend, Sept. 27,
1991) on the treatment of
lesbians, bisexuals and gay
men, I was disappointed to find
myself misquoted so badly that
I needed to write a letter of
These unfortunate mis-
quotes have already caused the
puzzlement and anger of
several of my friends and
acquaintances in and out of the
LGMBi community. In order to
redeem my reputation and make
public my actual views, I wish
to clarify the three most blatant
First of all, the author cites
me as responding that I, "want
to react violently" to "hetero-
sexuals (who) think all... (gay
men) want to do is sleep with
them." This was not my
reaction to the stated question,
rather to the matter of right-
wing political groups that wish
to institutionally prohibit the
lifestyles of LGMBis. My
actual reaction to the question
is that straight men will think
what they think and then get
over their fears with time.
Second, the author has

Mistakes will hap-
pen, but in the fu-
ture, the Daily should
provide its staff with
adequate training
and resources to do
its job responsibly.
quoted me as saying that, "I'm
hesitant to get involved with
bisexual men because of the
possibility that he will leave me
for a woman." What I actually
said is that many gay men are
hesitant to get involved with
bisexual men for this reason.
Of course, like most in our
culture, I'm not entirely free of
that fear, even though I realize
it is a false fear. Why would I
be concerned about a bisexual
man "leaving me for a woman"
but not another man? Hmm.
Third, and most important,
the author greatly misconstrued
my comments on "Tension in
the LGMBi Community,"
citing me as saying that "the
problem stems from a few
lesbian activists who are
completely anti-male - even
gay male." Fortunately, this is
indeed not my view, rather a
quite misconstrued simplifica-

tion of what I said. My actual
view is that the tension in the
LGMBi community stems from
a handful of individuals at both
extremes of the political
Put simply, there is a group
of blatantly woman-hating gay
and bisexual men who are
constantly at odds with the
women's community, and an
equally small group of intoler-
antly "politically correct"
persons of various attributes
who care nothing for the
politics of the "gay, white; male
oppressor." But such tension is
to be found in almost any
I commend the author on
writing such a provocative,
much-needed article about the
LGMBi community. On the
other hand, it was damaging to
my reputation in my commu-
nity to represent Vines'
interpolations and
paraphrasings as exact quotes
of mine. Mistakes will happen,
but in the future, the Daily
should provide its staff with
adequate training and resources
to do its job responsibly.
Jayson Curry
LSA senior



Outland is just Bloom County once a week

A s the summer of 1990 came to a close, cartoon-
ist Berkley Breathed announced his plans to
end the saga performed daily in the daisy-ridden
meadows of Bloom County, America. Breathed's
declaration shook the world and possibly shattered
the spirits of millions - young, old, rodent and
When pressed for a reason, Breathed explained
his decision by saying he'd like to close the strip
before the characters and drama of Bloom Country
became old and predictable. This is certainly an
understandable sentiment.
Breathed continued by declaring his intentions
to create a new strip called Outland. Outland was

supposed to be a fresh, new strip, starring our
beloved Opus and little Ronald Ann. Things looked
hopeful for the Sunday-only strip.
Unfortunately, Breathed failed to meet his own
challenge of creating a fresh, new strip. Outland,
today, looks very much like Bloom County. Many
of the old characters have returned, including Bill
the Cat, the field rodents, and others. Mr. Breathed's
fears have materialized. The characters have indeed
grown old and predictable.
For the sake of the art of modem cartooning and
interested newspaper readers all over the world,
Mr. Breathed, let's see a truly fresh, new strip.
Obviously, Bloom County is not recyclable.

SRC takes action
To the Daily:
In the early morning hours of
Sept., 14, 1991, an unfortunate
series of events between the Ann
Arbor police, University of
Michigan students, and Notre
Dame students culminated in the
tear-gassing of more than 1,000
Furthermore, many were
Maced and/or arrested. Gravely
concerned about these events, the
Students Rights Commission
(SRC) of the Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) has created a
subcommission to investigate that
incident, as well as its ramifica-
tions on the future of our students.
The current focus of the
subcommission is to discover, as
much as possible, what exactly
occurred. Appropriate actions will
be taken once our investigation is
complete. The subcommission,
therefore, is hosting a general
meeting open to all members of
the University, as well as the Ann
Arbor community, to discuss the
issue. We especially need to
interview witnesses of the
incident, including persons who
were at the scene before, during,
and after the tear-gassing.
The support of the student
community during this investiga-
tion is absolutely essential, for
without such support the subcom-
mission cannot possibly achieve
its aims. The general/witness
meeting will be Wednesday, Oct.
2, at 7:30 p.m. in the MSA
chambers (third floor of the
Michigan Union).
Michael Warren
SRC Chair
What does

into the hands of those who really
need it."? As the editorial clearly
notes, there is a civil war in the
Sudan now. Nearly all the aid
being sent either sits on the docks.
and rots or is captured by soldiers
roaming the countryside.
How does the Daily expect the
United States to ensure that the
aid we provide actually gets to its
intended recipients? Ask the
soldiers stealing aid shipments to
play nice and let the food
through? Get serious! The only
people that can ensure this are the
U.S. military and the C.I.A.
The Daily has consistently
cried for the United States to give
aid to every Third World country
on the planet, yet it has also
chastised the United States when.
we ask for something in return.
The Daily has also said that the
United States should abandon the
C.I.A. and the military as relics of
the Cold War, which the Daily*
declared is over.
Now, the hypocrisy of the
Daily finally becomes crystal.
clear. The Daily shows in its
editorial that, in this one case, the
United States suddenly needs
professional military and intelli-
gence organizations to achieve its
narrow-minded foreign policy
Wake up! If the United States
is to be able to aid other nations,
as well as protect ourselves, we
will always need the U.S. military
and the C.I.A.
For the Daily to suggest
otherwise, as in this editorial, only
serves to prove just how far off
base it really is.
Unless the Daily is willing to
admit that military and intelli-
gence organizations are important
for this country, it should quit
writing editorials which it
ohinn.0v knwc nnthna ohAnnt.

of Oct. 1 titled, "ACLU head
speaks on liberties." In the article
the writer states, "For example,
the Supreme Court ruled in Rust
v. Sullivan that federally-funded
clinics, nurses and doctors cannot
mention abortion as an option to
What the article should have
said was that the Supreme Court
upheld a Department of Health
and Human Services policy that
prohibits the federally-funded
health-care providers from
informing their patients about
abortion. Apparently, the Daily is
unaware that the Supreme Court
is not a policy or law-making
body. It has the power of judicial
review - the power to nullify or
uphold laws based on whether or
not they conform to its current
interpretation of the Constitution.
The article also frequently
states that a conservative Supreme
Court would outlaw abortion. The
court could not do this. What a
conservative court would do (as it
has already begun do, regrettably,
in Webser v. Reproductive
Services) in the worst-case
scenario is to reverse their ruling
in Roe v. Wade that nullified laws
passed by state and federal
governments outlawing abortion.
If that happened, the anti-
choice laws in those states that
had them (and not all states did),
before Roe v. Wade would be
reactivated. The court would not
ban abortions in this case; it
would merely allow the state
legislatures to do so.
I do not know why the Daily
persists in writing about the
Supreme Court as though it were
a legislative body. It does not pass
laws; it merely rules on their
It really bothers me that I
aitten n coegewith a hunch of'

Nuts and Bolts by Judd Winick


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