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October 06, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-06

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, October 6, 1992

bE Swcigan ailg

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief
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.
An old theater returns to town

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Coming this Halloween, the State Theatre will
be opening its doors for the first time in three
years. For long-time Ann Arbor residents and
students alike, the theater's reopening may be like
the return of an old friend. More importantly,
however, there will be a new opportunity to catch
good films without having to trek to Briarwood
and dishing out $12.00 for tickets, a drink and
With the construction of modern movie "mul-
tiplexes," a trip to the movies has lost its traditional
splendor. New cinemas, such as the ShowcaseAnn
Arbor, tend to resemble airports more than movie
theaters, complete with passenger loading/unload-
ing lanes and an announcement of when movie
"arrivals" are seating.
Fortunately, the new State Theatre will try to
bring back as much of the old tradition as possible.
This may mean that there will be no art gallery in
the lobby (filled with paintings of Elvis, Marylin
Monroe, and dogs playing pool). But the State

Theatre does promise a traditional curtain and a
neon marquee.
The State Theatre also promises to be cheaper.
By showing second-run movies, the State Theatre's
prices will be under $3.00. Additionally, the theater
will offer coupons and student discounts. Overall,
their rates are far more reasonable than the $5.75 it
costs to watch classics like "Universal Soldier" at
the Showcase.
The State Theatre will also be within walking
distance from campus. Unlike the Showcase or
even Briarwood's theaters, students who don't
have cars will not have to pay an additional trans-
portation cost to get to the movies.
Everyone should remember that the Michigan
Theater on Liberty has been around since early in
the century and still offers the same conveniences
and old-time aesthetics. But since the two theaters
will cater to different tastes, the two together should
offer a balanced variety of films for Ann Arbor

Term limits limit democracy

ince the emergence of the anti-incumbent sen-
timents during the 1990 mid-term elections,
voters throughout the country have found term
limitations to be an attractive solution to the prob-
lems of gridlock and entrenched politicians. Now,
a bill to limit the terms of members of the state
legislature and U.S. Congress, Proposition D, is
pending a vote in the State house. Passing such
legislation into law would be a grave mistake,
causing a myriad of problems, and solving rela-
tively few.
Because of the complexity of Congressional
rules, the most effective lawmakers tend to be
those who have the knowledge and experience to
manipulate them for the members' constituents
benefit. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) is well-known
for his ability to direct federal funds to his home
state. Sen. Edward Kennedy, whose ideological
constituents include women, minorities and the
handicapped, managed to forge a difficult com-
promise that resulted in the Civil Rights Act of
1991. New members would rarely be able to ac-
complish such tasks. Especially if the president
holds far more clout than any given member.
Experienced members always offer a welcome
check on the president's influence.
The recession has hit Michigan harder than
most other states. Unemployment has reached as
high as nine percent. Michigan residents probably
don't want to sacrifice the job-creating projects its
experienced representatives can bring home.
Even in the Michigan legislature, freshmen are
far more vulnerable to the pressure of big lobbyists
than experienced politicians. Proposition D won't
even solve the problem of ineffective government
in Lansing. In fact, it may make the problem

This doesn't mean, of course, that entrenched
politicians do not pose a problem. But there is
another solution - mainly, the ballot box. This
year, even before the November election, the turn-
over rate in Congress is greater than it has been
since World War II.
Most of the out-going members have either lost
primaries, or have chosen to resign, fearing an
expensive loss. When the new session of Congress
convenes, Washington D.C. may welcome up to
120 new members.
The Constitution has provided an automatic
term-limiting mechanism: If a member isn't per-
forming adequately, elect a new representative.
The premise of term limits is that the American
people haven't the ability to choose on their own
who ought to represent them in government. Such
paternalism flies in the face of democratic theory.
More important is the constitutional question.
All citizens have by right the freedom to vote for
whomever they please. Restricting the choice on
the basis of experience is not only ludicrous, but
against the spirit of the Constitution. Some cite the
term limits imposed on the president of the United
States as constitutional precedent. The legal prece-
dent may exist, but the 22nd Amendment was a
vindictive act against Franklin Roosevelt, rather
than a sound electoral reform. The precedent is not
a healthy one.
Democracy relies on the responsibility of its
citizenry. If the American people want to re-elect
the same Congress and State house every two years
until the members die, that's fine. If the represen-
tative performs poorly, throw the bum out. Passing
such paternal legislation as term limits unduly
relieves the American people of the responsibility
to choose.

Self defense can help
To the Daily:
In the Daily, there was a story
of a woman who had been raped
at a local park ("Woman raped at
local park; city police lack
suspects," 9/29/92).
My head and eyes hurt from
crying for this woman, for myself
and for every woman that has
been or will go through this. How
ironic it is that we have "Take-
Back-the-Night" rallies and we
cannot even walk alone during the
day. This is not just woman's
problem. It could be your mother,
sister, wife, or girlfriend that this
happens to next.
There is something that can be
done. Self-defense classes may
not be the cure-all but they have a
lot to offer. If you have been
attacked, self defense can help
you to regain your confidence. If
you are one of the lucky ones, self
defense can help you to learn
skills to prevent an attack. The
classes help you to get in touch
with your power, your strength,
and your anger at being victim-
Melisa Buie
Engineering graduate student
Calvin & Hobbes
To the Daily:
In the previous three years,
the only real value that the Daily
had was to line a bird cage or
provide real humor through the
comics. Nuts and Bolts and
Calvin and Hobbes were an
essential part of many students'
Now, Judd Winick has
graduated, leaving us with only
one true reason for picking up the
Daily. So, where is Calvin and
Hobbes this year? We want it
Paul C. Tackett
LSA senior
Chris Willis
LSA junior

Open government in Michigan
needs your help.
In the summer of 1991, the
Ann Arbor News published a
groundbreaking series on secrecy
in Michigan's judicial system. At
the State Bar of Michigans's
annual meeting, the Ann Arbor
News series and its author, Tina
Lam, received the Wade H.
McCree, Jr. Advancement of
Justice Award.
In her series, Lam focused in
part on the operation of
Michigan's criminal-
expungement law. It is extremely
difficult simply to get information
on the operation of the
expungement law. Among othe:
things, the law gives crime
victims no right to participate in
the expungement process. As a
result, often victims will not even
realize that the crime against them
has been erased from court
Last May, the Michigan House
of Representatives passed House
Bills 5688 and 5689. These bills,
which I sponsored, correct the
problems with Michigan's
criminal-expungement law. These
Require courts to keep
records on the types of crimes
expunged, specific crimes
expunged by individual judges,
and the race, gender, age, city or
township of residence, and
attorney of those getting
Limit the prohibition on
disclosure of information con-
cerning an expunged conviction
- now applicable to members of
the press - to public employees
who obtained the information
through their public employment.
Add language protecting
newsgatherers from being forced
to disclose their sources or being
sued under the expungement law.
For serious assaultive

crimes, require that the victim (or
the victim's family) be notified
when an application for
expungement is made, and have a
right to participate in the
expungement proceeding.
In the Michigan Senate, the
bills were referred to the Senate
Judiciary Committee, chaired by
Senator William Van
Regenmorter (R - Jenison). I have
written repeatedly to Senator Van
Regenmorter requesting a hearing
on these bills. Nevertheless, and
despite his reputation as an
advocate for crime-victims'
rights, I have yet to receive any
assurance from the Senator that
he will schedule House Bills
5688 and 5689 for a hearing.
I am concerned that senator
Van Regenmorter will refuse to
hold a hearing on these bills, so
necessary to press coverage of the
criminal-expungement process. I
am also worried that the Senator
may tie consideration ofthese
bills to advancement of his
Senate Bill 908.
Senate Bill 908 would
prohibit police detectives and
prosecuters from releasing the
names, addresses and telephone
numbers of almost all crime
victims except under a court
order or when the victim testifies
in open court. It would be a
tragedy if the price of enacting
bills to open the criminal-justice
process were the enactment of a
bill that closes the system even
Left to themselves, ordinary
politicians or bureaucrats will
never support increased openness
in government. Eternal vigilance
is truly the price of liberty. I urge
you to give this issue your
attention in the days and weeks
remaining in our 1992 legislative
Perry Bullard
Chair, House Judiciary

Open letter from Perry Bullard

0 #

Thomas-Hill, one year later

When you gotta go, you gotta go

"...for now America can only sit and wait for
time to tell us the answers to questions that Clarence
Thomas should have answered in the Senate cau-
cus room two weeks ago."
- Daily editorial (10/16/91)
Tt is a year ago this week that Clarence Thomas
andAnita Hill played out their drama before the
American viewing audience - spurring anger,
confusion, discontent and disgust among the pub-
lic. During the past year, answers to the questions
about Thomas have become more clear. The effect
of the melodrama of the hearings process has
become more defined. It is clear that our reserva-
tions about Justice Thomas were valid. Thomas
has proven that he does not deserve his seat on the
w Court. But it is equally clear that Anita Hill's
courage has inspired and energized women across
the nation.
A year ago, we asked, "How can the Senate
show its confidence in a man who, based on his
testimony before the committee, apparently has no
views at all?"
Thomas, through his decisions as a Supreme
Court Justice, has failed to contribute to the Court's
legal dialogue. On a majority of the decisions
made by the court this year, including the Pennsyl-
vania abortion case and important criminal rights
cases, Thomas has voted almost exclusively with
Justice Antonin Scalia. In lieu of devising an
independent opinion, Thomas has instead become
a lackey of right-wing stalwart Antonin Scalia,

take on harassers - in person and in court. There
is little doubt that the issue will remain in the
forefront of public attention for years to come.
Furthermore, and perhaps most notably, the
Senate's indifference to Hill's story has prompted
women to step forward and take on the political
old-boy network. More than a hundred women
have made runs for House and Senate seats this
year in the major parties alone. In California, there
is a good chance that Barbara Boxer and Dianne
Feinstein will make up the first all-female Senate
tandem in U.S. history. In Illinois, Carol Moseley
Braun dedicated her U.S. House campaign to right-
ing the wrong perpetrated against Hill. As a result,
she rose from anonymity to defeat incumbent Sen.
Alan Dixon (D-Ill.) in the March Democratic pri-
Time has revealed the answers to the questions
about Clarence Thomas. Time has also shown the
effect of Anita Hill's courage. But what we've
learned from them is less clear. In this politically
charged election year, it may be difficult to separate
the lessons from the politics.
But for now, America seems to have grown a
year later. And if that growth continues, we may
never again have to face a fiasco similar to the one
we faced a year ago.

Self control-as defined by the
powers thatbe-is overrated. Never
let them tell you otherwise.
You see, I am recovering from
low self control, an addictive, in-
curable condition which results from
having a mind of one's own.
Back in grade school, my happy
report cards were repeatedly marred
by low marks-in self control. The
comments sec-
tion of my report
card would in-
variably say &
something like,
"Katherine is a _ _ _
very lively little Katherine
girl, showing Metres
high enthusiasm
for her studies and her peers. How-
ever, she needs to learn not to talk so
They must have wanted more of
those zombies who only speak in
class to ask the teacher's permis-
sion to go potty. Which brings me to
describe an incident of insolence in
my pre-recovery past. In third grade,
I was caught using the teachers'
There I was, peacefully reliev-
ing myself in the neat private stall
attached to the irrk' rom. I'd ai-

"Don't you know that's The
Teacher's Bathroom?"
Obviously not, but there was no
use attempting to defend myself for
such a heinous crime. Never mind
that there was no sign on the door
indicating that it was for the use of
teachers only. I guess a more self-
controlled child wouldhaveknown.
Public school was bad enough.
When I matriculated at a girls'
Catholic high school, my lack of
self control became shockingly
obvious in contrast with my ultra-
compliantpeers. You see, self-con-
trol is the hallmark of the good
Catholic and the good girl - a
double whammy for those of us
afflicted by both conditions. God
forbid that females should be al-
lowed to express themselves freely.
Within three weeks of begin-
ning high school, I was sent to the
dean. The librarian had pegged me
for impertinence. I had dared ask
her a follow-up question on how to
find some information I needed.
After she practically bit my head
off, I replied "Okay" in an insuffi-
ciently deferential tone of voice. I
was angry. I guess having been
raised in one of those pinko-
Commie families where mnntl

But socialization is like erosion,
and the desire to get along wears
away at one's free spirit. Like this
summer, in pursuit of upwardly-
mobile social graces, I went so far as
to read an etiquette book. And it
worked! Now I am totally self cen-
sored. I can hardly open my mouth
without running through a mental
checklist: "Is it appropriate?" "Is it
polite?" I'm selfcontrolled but mis-
erable.,The main difference is now
when I'm rude to someone, I imme-
diately feel guilty, whereas before I
lived in blissful ignorance.
Seriously, though, what is this
self-control thing all about? I've al-
ways acted of my own volition, lit-
erally controlling myself as I saw
fit. But what they really mean by
self control is other controlled -
intimidated by authority into socially
correct behavior.
Many people have pondered why
today's young people seem so su-
perficial and self absorbed, more
concerned with their spring-break
plans than with the future of society.
Where are the idealists, those who
will stand up for a principle or de-
fend someone unfairly attacked?
I know that our generation has
manv such serinu and enurinznne

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