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February 13, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-13

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, February 13,1992

Edilor ill Chief

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764 - 0552

MATITIEW D. RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

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Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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x ┬░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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Keepng AnnArbor green

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T he Ann Arbor City Council passed an envi-
T ronmental ordinance last Monday, authored
bq CouncilmemberRobert Eckstien (D-5th Ward),
that will seek to preserve trees and wetlands of both
public and private property of the city. The Natural
Features Ordinance will place tight restrictions on
the removal of plant life in the city and, therefore,
prdtect the city's environment from careless de-
strnction.
It is abouttime that the city passed legislation to
preserve what is left of Ann Arbor's natural envi-
ronment. Such steps are necessary in the wake of
both Gov. Engler and President Bush's loose and.
failty efforts to protect the environment.
The ordinance establishes penalties in excess of
$76,000 for anyone who removes trees more than
6Qinches in diameter without first getting ap-
proval from the City Clerk's office. The ordinance
punishes developers who destroy the environment
of construction site and fail to restore the dam-
aed natural features. Trees and wetlands damaged
duing construction must be replaced by the firm
responsible.
Ann Arbor has long been known as "Tree City"
to, nuch of the state. It is in this tradition that the
ordinance is based. It provides comprehensive

regulation for the preservation of all the natural
features of the city's landscape. Clearly the ordi-
nance is necessary to limit the relentless destruc-
tion of the environment by developers. But many
believe it may be excessively harsh on the
homeowner.
Homeowners are required to apply for a permit
from the Ann Arbor City Clerk's office to remove
trees more than 10 feet from the base of their home.
This includes trees that have to be removed to
construct pools, garages, and other home improve-
ments.
Some homeowners may be understandably upset
by such strict regulation of their property, but it is
necessary in order to insure that no loop-holes are
present for large contractors and developers to slip
through.
A similar ordinance was proposed in 1990, but
failed because it was deemed too restrictive and
might hinder growth. But Ann Arbor is one of the
fastest-growing cities of this region, partly be-
cause of its "green" image.
Despite the pressure the ordinance seems to put
on homeowners, all sectors of the community,
including homeowners and business people, must
band together to keep Ann Arbor a green city.

U
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Politicians should stop the bashing

heAnnArborToyotadealership on Washtenaw
Avenue was the site of a buy-American pro-
test last Saturday afternoon. Approximately 50
eitionstrators waved U.S. flags and picketed dur-
ifig the protest, which was organized by Burl
Adkins, a frequent Southgate political candidate.
this protest symbolizes a nationalist, anti-Japa-
nese sentiment that is becoming all too prevalent in
the United States.
While American workers - including
autoworkers - face economic insecurity, their
discontent should be directed toward those in the
U.S. government and industry that are responsible
fqr the problem. Regardless ofanti-Japanese rheto-
rnc, Japan is not the main cause of the current
edonomic conditions in the United States.
Instead of emphasizing a domestic industrial
policy like many other governments in recent
years, the Reagan and Bush administrations have
poured excessive resources into the military sector
of the economy. When other nations were re-
searching and developing alternative fuel sources
and efficient engines, the United States was invest-
ing in gas-guzzling luxury cars and B-2 bombers.
Many U.S. industries have been plagued with
inefficient management techniques and a lack of
innovation that is independent of trade practices,

and independent of the nation's large trade deficit
with Japan. It is futile to attribute every economic
shortcoming in the United States to the Japanese.
Problems in U.S. competitiveness go far deeper.
Buying American, per se, is not necessarily a
bad thing. Hopefully, Americans will want to choose
American-made products.Unfortunately, buy-
American campaigns often become intertwined
with Japan-bashing and appeal to xenophobic and
nationalist sentiments.
Americans find it much easier to believe the
Japanese are responsible for problems in the
economy, and U.S. politicians have a convenient
scapegoat.
Politicians who play on economic fears and
resort to Japan-bashing should be condemned.
Racist campaign techniques are not unique to
fringe Republicans like Pat Buchanan and David
Duke. Protectionist Democrats often play the Japa-
nese trump card. Anti-Japanese fervor has already
led to acts of violence. A Michigan Mitsubishi
dealership recently had bullets fired through its
showroom.
The United States is currently facing critical
economic problems. However, Japan-bashing will
not solve any of them. It could, however, lead to
more serious ones.

Woman on rampage
To the Daily:
On Monday, Feb. 3,I went to
the Church Street computing
center to finish a paper. While
working diligently I was rudely
interrupted by a loud argument. I
looked up from my work to see an
Asian-American woman verbally
castigating a seemingly innocuous
computer user. As the tension
escalated the woman grew
increasingly strident. In fact,
nearly all of the people in the
computing center were observing
the argument. The woman started
espousing the virtues of remain-
ing a virgin until marriage, saying
that this would stop AIDS. She
continued her abusive tirade,
saying that she wanted an apology
because the guy had been
"fucking rude."
Eventually, the monitor asked
her to leave, and we were greeted
with a rousing chorus of
Madonna's "Like A Prayer."
Later, I heard of a similar incident
in which this woman abused a
student in the Angell Hall
computing center. It seems she
cursed him for being a white
male. Her exit was highlighted by
a stunning rendition of Phil
Collins' "I Can't Dance."
Furthermore, she has accosted
those friendly Village Corner
cashiers with profanity and
derogatory statements about their
likeness to hippies. Does anyone
know who this person is, or why
she behaves like this? I am
curious if anyone else has
witnessed any other strange acts
which this woman has committed.
If you have, write the Daily with
your interesting stories. My
advice to all 'U' students is to
pack heat when you go to type a
paper.
Andrew Bittens
LSA sophomore
No time's a good time
To the Daily:
I find your criticism of the
timing of the hearings extremely
non-productive. When would you
rather have the hearings held?

The first two weeks of
February? Not enough time to
organize effective student
opposition.
The third week of February?
Midterms and people leaving
early for spring break (though, if
people think basking in the sun is
more important than a college
education, I wonder if they would
care about attending a hearing on
campus deputization).
The first week of March?
Nope - midterms and people
coming back late for spring break.
Late March? Nope-MSA
elections occur then, and we

wouldn't want organizing efforts
to interfere with our own demo-
cratic processes, right?
April? Nope - final projects
and final exams come due, and
besides, the Regents wouldn't
have any time to respond to
criticism before students leave
town for the summer.
There's probably no good time
for such a hearing to be held. If
you're going to criticize the
timing of the hearings, then by all
means make a suggestion for a
better time.
Jim Huggins
Rackham graduate student

Keep NORML off campus

1

To the Daily:
An article recently appearing
in the Daily criticized the Univer-
sity for not allowing a certain pro-
marijuana group, namely the
NORML organization, to partici-
pate in the Diag's annual Hash
Bash. The claim was that the
University is denying this group
the freedom of assembly and that
such censorship should not be
tolerated by any means.
To begin with, the rights given
to the American people by the
First Amendment are not unre-
stricted. They are strictly regu-
lated by the demands of national
security. For example, one can't
get up in the middle of a crowd
and urge the people to rebel and
overthrow the government.
Similarly, as an academic
community, this institution also
should have the right to establish
certain intellectual and moral
standards which serve as the
criteria to what gets published
within its campus limits. Al-
though many assert that the
University will not be held
accountable for what all is
presented within its premises, in
matter of fact, people make the
connection almost naturally.
Incidentally, it was only a few
months ago when the Daily took a
lot of heat for printing the Bradley
Smith Holocaust-revisionist
advertisement. The Diag is no
different. It is like a physical
newspaper. How can we upbraid
the administration for disallowing
a pro-marijuana rally when we

censured them for publishing the
ad only a few months ago? In the
summertime, when Stoney and
Mike haunted the campus, many
people said that it was their right
as students to be rid of such
individuals. There seems to be an
environment at this university
where criticism, regardless of its
validity, is considered to be an
achievement. We have to be more
consistent in what we're asking
for, and not respond to every
event by complaining that our
rights have been violated.
It seems only logical to me
that an institution should themati-
cally represent what takes place
under its own aegis. There may be
differences in opinion and
diversity of thought. But themati-
cally, what goes on must neces-
sarily be uni-directional. It is
paradoxical and wholly unreason-
able for a university which claims
to thrive on the themes of learning
and universal good, to also have
within its premises a pro-mari-
juana rally which advocates self-
destruction.
Say there was a huge rally in
the Diag which told students to
drop out of school and "get
hooked because life was a waste
anyway." How would the student
body react to that? Imagine
yourself watching the news and
seeing a reporter mention it on
national television. Would that be
the proper image to project?
Moddassir M. All
LSA first-year student

01

Halth care is finally an issue

ational health care has been a topic tossed
around Capitol Hill for decades, but little
progress has been made. Recently, in an effort to
jump on the health care bandwagon, President
Bush has offered his own plan.
Even if his actions are politically motivated, it
i(encouraging that health care is being addressed
i01 campaign debates. That millions of Americans
niust go without adequate health care is a serious
issue that must be addressed. In addition to Bush,'
many ofthe Democrats have developed health care
plans. Unfortunately, each has its weaknesses.
President Bush has produced the worst of the
plans.,The plan would give vouchers to poor people
and offer tax deductions to the middle-class to help
pay for medical coverage. Taxes would not be
raised to pay for this plan, but Medicare and
Medicaid would be slashed instead.
In this plan, the poor and middle class may
benefit, but what about the elderly who depend on
~edicaid? What about nursing home and long-
tdrm care for older patients? The fault of this plan
if that it takes from one social program to fund
aniother. These two programs should not be mutu-
ally exclusive.
Among the Democrats, only Sen. Bob Kerrey
(D-Neb.), former Sen. Paul Tsongas, and Gov. Bill
Clinton (D-Ark.), have released detailed plans.
Though superior to Bush's, these plans appear to
b less than perfect.
: Sen. Kerrey's plan resembles a change-over to
a system similar to that used in Canada. His plan
carries with it a politically volatile new tax to
collect revenue to set up a state-insurance policy.

With federal regulations on private insurance com-
panies, every American would get health care.
Clearly, this proposal would do the most good for
the most people. However, implementation of such
a proposal could be hairy.
Any national health care program must be spe-
cifically suited for the United States. Cloning the
Canadian system, which has only a fraction of the
population of the United States, could be inviting
disaster. Furthermore, in Canada, months of wait-
ing generally precedes the use of the high technol-
ogy necessary to diagnose and treat certain dis-
eases. The United States must ensure that such
technology, like the CAT scan, will be available on
demand.
UnderClinton's plan, employers must purchase
health insurance for their employees. If they are
unable to do so, the employer is taxed to support a
national program for health coverage. Small busi-
nesses often find it difficult to shoulder such finan-
cial pressures. The federal government should
cover enough costs to prevent the retraction of
growth.
Tsongas' plan is similar to the president's in
many ways. The plan revolves around the use of
vouchers and tax breaks. Unfortunately, this pro-
posal would still leave many Americans without
coverage.
What the United States needs is total health care
that allows for a wide choice of doctors, without
stark increases in costs. Until such a proposal is
introduced, America and South Africa will remain
the only two developed nations without national
health care.

01

Tyson conviction is a hollow victory

by Pamela Shifman
American women are angry.
Over the past three months, two
women who accused powerful men
of wrongdoing were ignored, be-
littled or chastised. Clarence Tho-
mas now sits on the Supreme Court
and William Kennedy Smith, ac-
quitted in under two hours, left his
trial virtu-.
ally un-
scathed.
Now a third
man has
been ac-FE NST
cused of P E E
rape. This
time his accuser was apparently
believedand women are, somehow,
supposed to interpret Mike Tyson's
guilty verdict as a victory.
The outcome of the trial is sup-
posed to make women think that the
justice system is working for them
- if women are truly raped, ha-
rassed or beaten they will be be-.
lieved. Unfortunately, the Tyson

laws for women. The outcome of
rape trials are contingent on the
credibility of the accused and disre-
gard the voices and testimony of the
women who were raped.
In this case, Mike Tyson's cred-
ibility was undermined not only by
physical evidence, not usually found
in acquaintance rape cases, but by
the racist ideology that permeates
this country. No matter how cred-
ible a woman may be, if a reason-
able jury cannot believe a certain
man to be capable of rape, acquittal
is likely. This is why, incaseswhere
a woman is raped by a Black man,.
she is five times more likely to
report it to the police. Women know
they will be believed if and only if
the man raping them fits society's
view of a rapist.
This case was one of the few
acquaintance rape cases that could
have resulted in conviction under
current rape law. Tyson was more
than twice his accuser's size. She
had two men testify on her behalf as
to the events immediately follow-

Givens. Mike Tyson's very defense
hinged on his extremely crude, sex-
ist and offensive behavior. It is this
combination of variables that made
acquittal nearly impossible. When
these extreme variables are absent,
which they are in most rape cases, it
is conviction, not acquittal, that is
virtually impossible.
The American public should not
be pacified by this case. Instead, we
need to look at the two public rape
trials of this year to see how, why
and for whom our rape laws work.
I am not arguing for a different
outcome in the Tyson case. I am
merely arguing that justice is not
usually carried out in rape trials.
What the Tyson case has taught
us is this: First, our justice system
resonates with the predominant at-
titudes, beliefs and stereotypes of
society. Second,in arape case where
we have heard over and over, "it is
his word versus hers," ittakes every
stereotype at work in order for it to
be her word that is believed.
Our rape laws are ineffective in

Ntuts and Bolts
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