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September 30, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-30

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 30, 1992

1ie 3ichigau &il
Editor in Chief


420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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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[" 0

MCC cut wrong,'
M SA Rep. Tobias Zimmerman brought the art
of political grandstanding to a new level by
filing suit against the University Board of Regents.
Zimmerman naively asserts that when the regents
cut funding for the Michigan Collegiate Coalition
(MCC) - a lobbying group that includes some of
his best friends - they violated students' First
Amendment rights. Even worse, to compensate
for the loss, MSA appropriated $15,000 to the
group. However, MSA wisely postponed the au-
thorization of the funds until the situation involv-
ing the assembly's tax-exempt status is resolved.
Still, Zimmerman insisted on delivering the funds
to MCC immediately. Considering the fact that
MSA's past funding of MCC has caused consider-
able problems and confusion with the Assembly's
tax-exempt status, Zimmerman's religious war to
protect MCC was reckless, and could have cost
students thousands of dollars.
When the regents eliminated the 35-cent man-
datory fee that all students pay to MCC on their
tuition bills, it was a slight to students and MCC -
an organization that lobbies for student causes in
Lansing. It is clear that at least some regents voted
on ideological grounds. In particular, they op-
posed the strong lobbying MCC has conducted in
favor of a state-wide tuition cap, which the regents
President Duderstadt, too, was politically mo-
tivated. In a memo, he cites upcoming IRS audits
as "yet another strong reason for ceasing the Uni-
versity-funded political activities over which we
do not have absolute control.
"But as it stands, (the University) is providing
most of MCC's money ... and it continues to work
at cross purposes with us," he said.
These cynical motives should be unsettling to
Kevorkian strikes
L ast week Lois J-awes became the fifth woman
to take her own life with the help of Dr. Jack
Kevorkian. State legislators are scrambling to pass
legislation that would ban, or at least inhibit, such
doctor-assisted suicide. But Kevorkian has shown
that his method is neither reckless nor inhumane.
Rather than working to ban doctor-assisted sui-
cide, the state should be working to regulate and
legalize this sensitive medical practice.
This is not the first time legislators have tried to
interfere with this practice. The state of Michigan
has endlessly tried, and failed, to prosecute Dr.
Kevorkian on various murder and manslaughter
charges. To government officials, Kevorkian is a
rogue doctor and an embarrassment to the state.
What they fail to realize is that doctor-assisted-
suicide alleviates the dangers of reckless, unsuper-
. vised suicide attempts that in many instances leave
the victim physically paralyzed or psychologi-
cally scarred for life. The guidance of a trained
medical doctor to end a life plagued by chronic
illness, with the support and approval of the fam-
ily, is more consistent with professional medical
standards than it is to sit by passively and allow the
6 victim to take death into their own hands.
Kevorkian's methods were anything but hastily
conceived. He contacted all of Hawes's family
doctors to verify her terminal condition, and made
sure that she was making an informed decision.
The patient signed a release statement and made a
videotape of her decision to die peacefully and
A Michigan House subcommittee has proposed

but legal
students. Clearly, what regents did was wrong. But
was it unconstitutional? Of course, Zimmerman
has the right to give his own money to MCC or any
group he wishes. But the idea that he has a consti-
tutional right to make the entire student body do so
is simply ridiculous.
In order to reinstate funding for MCC,
Zimmermanturned to MSA. MSA's Budget Priori-
ties Committee recommended giving $25,000 to
MCC. Fortunately, MSA Reps. Brian Kight, Rob-
ert Van Houweling, and Sejal Mistry convinced the
assembly to cut its allocation to $15,000, and
insisted the money be held until MSA resolves its
financial situation.
But, if the spending is authorized, the $15,000
the assembly allocated could still put it in serious
jeopardy. Federal law states that an organization
which gives a certain percentage of its internal
budget to fund lobbying loses its tax-exemptstatus.
Some representatives claim that percentage is 5
percent; others insist it is as high as 20 percent.
MSA's continued misunderstanding of the situa-
tion is shameful, and needs correcting.
Add that to the fact that for 10 years (again,
some say 24), the Assembly has neglected to file
papers with the federal government to apply for its
tax-exempt status. The current leadership is hur-
riedly trying to balance a quarter century's worth of
books to confirm that status. If the numbers don't
turn out right, the assembly could be in dire finan-
cial straits, and it will need every penny it can get
With good accounting and a little luck, the
assembly may find its way out of this mess. But if
it doesn't, perhaps Zimmerman can find a way to
sue the IRS for violating MSA's First Amendments
restrictive legislation that would make assisted
suicide a felony punishable by up to four years in
jail. Another bill would create a statewide commis-
sion to further study the issue of doctor-assisted-
suicides - and would likely result in little more
than procrastination and delay.
The most effective alternative, however, would
be comprehensive state legislation that legalizes
doctor-assisted-suicide and installs a number of
safeguards for the patient. This is not an attempt to
control the doctor-patient relationship, but to pro-
tect patients' rights and uphold medical standards.
The state has no business telling terminally-ill
patients, suffering from diseases like Alzheimer's
and cancer, whether their lives are worth living or







02 4




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Put Duderstadt,
Fisher on probation
To the Daily:
If I were a regent of the
University of Michigan, I would
vote to place President Duderstadt
on probation. I would move to put
Athletic Director Weidenbach on
probation. I would agree to put
basketball coach Fisher on
probation. I would insist that the
three youths immediately be
reinstated to normal status.
Because President ("the buck
stops here") Duderstadt appoints
and continues an athletic director
who is incompetent and does not
remove him. Because
Weidenbach heads a department
that does not know the rules and a
staff that does not follow them.
Because Fisher is in charge of a
sport where he does not know its
rules and has led his players to
break the rules of his sport. These
are the mnei who should be ON
Lastly, as a Regent, I would
urge a transfer of a woman to be
in charge of men's basketball.
If Ralph Aigler was still in
charge, the entire Athletic
department would know the rules
governing their performance!
John Thomas
Daily sports editor

Daily doesn't grasp co-op living

To the Daily:
Your Opinion piece on the
Inter-Cooperative Council's share
return policy ("Does the ICC
have your money?, 9/24/92) was
shockingly devoid of any real-
world perspective in the matters
of cooperative living and the
ICC' s place in the Ann Arbor
market. Even a simple analysis of
the operations of the cooperative
would have shown why shares
are returned in October.
Throughout the article, false
comparisons to Ann Arbor
landlords are made. In the ICC,
the landlords ARE the members
of the cooperative. Members set
their own rates, cook their own
meals, do their own maintenance
and manage their own property.
The members may even decide to
buy a new property, which they
have done four times in the past
six years. The point is that the
ICC is unlike any other housing
system in town. And, most
pertinent to the point of this
article, if the membership of the
ICC wished to return shares in
May instead of October, it could
do so very easily.
But not only was the ICC
founded, as clumsily stated in
your article, "with the intent of
offering cheap and affordable
housing"(sic), but also to promote
cooperative living. With that goal

comes the responsibility of
educating members about the
machinery, management and the
ideology of the cooperative. True;
the ICC could hire more staff to
take the place of individual house
treasurers (there are 17 of them)
which would certainly be more
efficient. But the cost would be
the disempowerment of the
membership as well as that
additional price tag of staffing, a
burden few members would wish
to carry.
When one weighs the $200
cost of shares in the ICC with the
standard Ann Arbor landlord
security deposit of a month-and-a-
half's rent (typically $450-$600
for a one bedroom apt.) the
comparison is further strained.
Finally, the most offensive
aspect of the article was its snide
attitude and, ultimately, empti-
ness. To anyone remotely familiar
with the nature of cooperatives the
article rings false and unknowl-
edgeable. If the Daily were more
professional it would adequately
research a topic before publishing
an opinion piece: Perhaps then it
would not need to refer to the
Michigan Consumer Cooperation
Act as some "obscure law."
Rod Schoonover
ICC president 1988-89,1991


Bush, Clinton are not the only choices

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To the Daily:
In this election year it is no
wonder people want to get rid of
Bush. In his attacks on womens'
rights and on minorities, he spews
out reactionary values and
attitudes that ought to have been
bypassed long ago. He oversees
an economic system that produces
growing poverty, unemployment
and misery. He waged a bloody
war that left tens of thousands of
Iraqis dead. And he promises
more of the same in the future. It
is clear to anyone who is honestly
looking that Bush is thoroughly
rotten and has to go.
But is Clinton (or maybe
Perot) the answer? We are told
that Clinton is the "lesser evil,"
that he is not as bad as Bush.
Maybe. You certainly cannot

draw this conclusion from his
personal history, from his record
as governor of Arkansas, or from
what he has said in the campaign.
His solution to the economic
problems this system faces: give
more to the wealthy. The same
"solution" as Bush, Reagan,
Carter and Nixon. Slick Willie is
a different evil, not a lesser evil.
Real change will not come
from defenders of this decaying
society and bankrupt economic
system. Social and economic
gains - public education, social
security, women's rights, civil
rights - have only been won
when millions of people fight for
them in mass social movements.
The social movements of the
1930s and the 1960s established
many of the rights and limited

social guarantees that politicians
today are trying to take away. In
the face of mass social move-
ments, politicians change very
quickly. For example, in the late
1960s, the broadest abortion rights
bill in the country was won in
California - and signed by a
right-wing Republican governor
named Ronald Reagan.
Our only real alternatives are
those we create for ourselves. We
don't have to be fooled; we don't
have to accept that Bush, Clinton
or Perot are the only "choices" we
have. We can begin to organize
today for the social movements of
Jeffrey Miller
James Wagner
Rackham graduate students



Clinton health plan comes together

Bush ignores oppression in Haiti


Bill Clinton finalized his plan to guarantee
health coverage to all Americans. Though it
has flaws, the plan is more promising than either
the current policy or the one that President George
Bush has proposed.
The plan would require private employers to
buy insurance for their workers. Smaller busi-
nesses would be encouraged to join together to
qualify for group rates or enroll in a public pro-
gram. The government would then provide care
for those who remain uninsured.
To curb soaring health care costs, Clinton prom-
ised to put price controls on prescription drugs and
medical procedures. He would lower administra-
tive costs by creating a universal claim form to
replace the complicated billing systems used by
different companies. According to Clinton, as much
as 20 percent of health costs are squandered on
administrative work. Cutting these costs would be
sensible, though not as significant as Clintonclaims.
Though a Canadian-style nationalized health

costly to treat. And pre-natal care and frequent
check-ups can foster a healthy population, while
actually saving long-term costs.
There are, of course, drawbacks to Clinton's
plan. Although he has promised breaks to small
businesses to ease the transition, the plan may
place aserious burdenon employers. AndClinton's
claim that administrative reforms and spending
caps will save $700 billion over the next decade is
a faulty number juggle. Clinton would ban insur-
ance companies from turning away applicants with
preexisting conditions, therefore pushing the in-
surance rates up.
Regardless of these problems, Clinton's plan is
far superior to Bush's. After looking the other way
for three years, the president has finally whipped
out the administration's favorite cure: the tax credit
Bush says he would dole out tax credits to
employers who provide health insurance, and to
the uninsured to help them purchase a policy - the

by Kenneth Brostrom
September 30 marks the first
anniversary of the coup that
overthrew Jean-Bertrand Aristide,
the first democratically elected
president in Haitian history.
During the year since the Haitian
military shattered both the
Aristide government and Haitian
dreams of escape from a bitter
past, the economic and social
situation in Haiti has continued to
deteriorate. Most immediately
distressing are the brutal, lawless
methods used by the Haitian
security forces and army to
impose the will of the junta upon
the general population. Amnesty
International, Pax Christi, and
others have documented over
3,000 political murders and 1,000
disappearances since the coup;
more than 2,000 people have been

supporters, have caused several
hundred thousand people to go
into hiding, away from their
homes; over 40,000 have taken to
the open sea in flimsy boats, in an
attempt to find temporary

not for a president well behind in
the polls. So for the first time in
U.S. history, President Bush is
returning large numbers of
political refugees to an outlaw
regime that the United States itself

The relentless use of intimidation, extortion,
arbitrary arrest, torture and murder ... have
caused several hundred thousand people to go
into hiding, away from their homes.

political refuge in the U.S. Many
have drowned.
As far as the Bush administra-
tion is concerned, it is difficult to
see any motives behind its policy
toward Haiti and Haitians other
than cynical political calculation
and racism. Certainly President
Bush's May 24 executive order,
which returns Haitian refugees
ifltprtp( nt c a t Ha iti wiithnti

refuses to recognize. The adminis
tration has ignored Haitian appeals
for a truly effective embargo
involving strategic goods; instead;
it has supported the leaky Organi-
zation of American States
embargo which, Haitians charge,
harms only the people, not the
junta. They add that it is quietly
being used to protect American


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