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October 27, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-27

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 27, 1992

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0552

Editor in Chief
MATTIEW D. RENNIE
OpinionEditors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

Edited and Managed
. by Students at the
University of Michigan

Unsigned editorials represent a mjority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Parties hinder progress in MSA

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As Michigan Student Assembly elec-
tions near, both of the two parties - the
Progressive Party and the Conservative Coalition
(CC) - are struggling to find enough warm bodies
} to fill their rosters. But instead of continuing the
same, old, inane party system that only diminishes
the credibility ofMSA, students'
should be encouraged to run for
MSA, and, more importantly,
to run as independents.
The Progressive Party is in
dire straits. With only two days
left to register candidates, the
party currently has only five
candidates signed up, and it is
scrambling to fill the large num-
ber of spots. In fliers posted all
over campus, the Progressives
ask those who feel "political
inadequacy," to join their cause.
It is this type of meaningless
(and Freudian) slogan that
masks any sentiment of a party
platform.
The Conservative Coalition
is also searching for people to
fill its slate. Conservative Coa-
lition flyers ask students to sign up for the party
destined to once again "throw the radicals out."
This type of campaign is symptomatic of the
visionless platforms proposed by CC in the past.
For the last five years, conservatives have run
campaigns against radicals, without offering many
constructive ideas of their own.
Both parties argue that students are too busy to

V

make intelligent decisions on the merits of indi-
vidual candidates. But the handful of highly quali-
fied independent candidates who are elected each
term invalidates this argument. Some of the
Assembly's most influential members (this is a
relative term) have been independents.
Additionally, the two-party
system takes its toll on the elec-
tion process. When students
cast ballots for party slates,
candidates are not forced to
take individual positions on
student issues, or even attend
election forums to tout their
views.
Moreover, students lose all
incentive to pay attention to
specific issues, and instead fo-
cus on the parties.
Independent candidates,
who are free of the pressures
associated with party politics,
stand a better chance of stay-
ing out of the political fray.
Students interested in joining
the Assembly would do well to
DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily realize that with the tradition-
ally low voter turnout, winning a seat is not diffi-
cult.
With effective publicity, hard campaigning, and
good knowledge and conviction about student is-
sues, qualified students will have little trouble
getting the necessary name recognition to win an
assembly seat. Then perhaps they can begin to
make MSA more responsive to student concerns.

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Biningham fights fundamentalists

Last Wednesday, more than 200 parents packed
into the Birmingham Sex Education Advi-
sory Council's meeting to protest Birmingham's
policy of offering students objective lessons re-
garding homosexuality. Despite many parents'
homophobic and paranoid concerns, Birmingham's
lessons about homosexuality are both a beneficial
part of their sex education program, and necessary
to counter the negative stereotypes currently asso-
ciated with being homosexual.
A proclaimed "family values" organization,
calling itself the Michigan Family Forum, orga-
nized the opposition. Led by Birmingham resi-
dents Curtis and Carol Pope, the Forum raised
such ridiculous arguments as the illegality of sod-
omy in Michigan. Though this law remains on the
books, no serious legal expert could credibly claim
that the law is constitutional. In any case, such a
law ought to be repealed.
The Michigan Family Forum also believes that
homosexuality is an immoral choice, and that
teaching about it may encourage some students to
become gay. The ridiculousness of such a state-
ment is hardly worth comment. Enough scientific
evidence exists to show that many people are born
homosexual. But how people become homosexual
is hardly a relevant question. What the Birming-
ham classes have tried to do is to teach tolerance
and understanding. It's typical of a "family val-
ues" organization to oppose teaching decency and
w kindness.
But, Superintendent John Hoffler bravely de-
fended the program, saying, "Our concern is for
the well-being of the students ... (the school sys-
tem) will make adjustments (to the program), but
we intend to stay the course."
Moreover, many of these students are going to

be homosexual, whether they are open about it or
not. Some estimate that 10 percent of the popula-
tion could be gay. If that many students are in fact
gay, then schools need to be addressing that reality,
not dodging the truth. Statistics have shown that
young people who are uncertain about their sexual
orientation are three times more likely to attempt
suicide. This is clearly a problem that teachers and
students need to address in the open.
Birmingham's lessons on homosexuality con-
sist of three to four class hours and are a part of their
sex education program. This program, fully intro-
duced last January, includes an objective video
titled "What if I'm Gay," a student attitude survey,
a student-teacher discussion, and a presentation of
community resources and support groups.
Additionally, a panel of speakers, including
parents of a gay child and gay men and women,
may be part of the program. But, in spite of the
beliefs of the Michigan Family Forum, this pro-
gram does not teach sexual acts nor does it promote
homosexuality. Moreover, in order for students to
participate in this program, their parents are re-
quired to sign a permission slip. But ironically,
most of the parents who protested these lessons did
not even send their children to Birmingham schools.
In fact, the Popes and other members of the Forum
send their children to the fundamentalist Southfield
Christian Schools.
Currently, Birmingham Public Schools is one of
the few school districts in the nation which teaches
students tolerance toward homosexual people. Other
public schools should follow Birmingham's model
and begin similar programs. This is the only way in
which the negative stereotypes about homosexual-
ity can be erased and allow gays to be openly
accepted into mainstream life.

Clinton's bias ignores
Arab Americans
To the Daily:
Thank you for running the
Katherine Metres' column
concerning Arab Americans'
concerns with Bill Clinton and the
Democratic Party ("'Clinton's pro-
Israel bias hurts peace," 10/20/
92). Many Arab Americans like
Clinton's domestic agenda but
feel betrayed by his neglect of the
Arab-American community and
his intimate ties with the Ameri-
can Israel Public Affairs Commit-
tee (AIPAC). We all understand
that candidates need money,
however it should not be at the
expense of the human rights of
Palestinians and Lebanese, nor at
the expense of thousands of
fellow Americans (in particular
the Arab-American community).
We appreciate the Daily for
allowing an Arab-American
opinion to be aired allowing the
student body to see, hear and read
something that has been system-
atically blocked out of the
mainstream press for so long.
Stephen Sheehi
Rackham graduate student
To the Daily:
I would like to congratulate the
Daily for printing Katherine
Metres' column ("Clinton's pro-
Israel bias hurts peace," 10/20/92).
Metres voiced the concerns of the
two and a half million Arab
Americans who feel ignored.
Many would gladly cast their
votes in favor of the Democratic
ticket if it weren't for Clinton's
insensitivity towards the issue of
Occupied Palestine.
His refusal to meet with a
thousand Arab-American Demo-
crats who gathered in New York
earlier this summer is clearly a
gesture to please the pro-Israel
lobby and keep their money
flowing into his campaign. It is
disgusting that because we are
unable to donate millions of
dollars to Clinton's campaign, we
are not even given the opportunity
to meet with him.
All Bydon
LSA senior

Bullard supports women

To the Daily:
As long as I have been
associated with the National
Organization of Women (NOW),
Perry Bullard has maintained
active and strong support for
issues affecting women. Perry has
sponsored and been instrumental
in passing several laws that have
worked to improve and protect the
rights of women.
Perry has chosen to run for
judge in the 15th District Court.
He is leaving the State House of
Representatives after serving the
public for 20 years. He has served
as chair of the State House
Judiciary Committee for over half
that time and has made tough
decisions regarding individual
rights and civil liberties, despite
great political pressures.
Through it all, Perry has
maintained his integrity and
commitment in serving the
people, and he will, without a
doubt, carry these qualities with
him as judge. His keen sense of

justice, fairness and his total
commitment to due process will
ensure the rights of each citizen
are protected.
Perry Bullard will bring to the
15th District Court a broad range
of experience in drafting legisla-
tion and passing laws that are
currently being implemented and
used in the district courts.
He is the most qualified choice
for judge because his experience
is broad and has not been limited
to one area of the law.
Perry's transition from making
the laws to enforcing the laws will
be successful and women will
benefit from Perry's commitment
to a people-oriented court system.
Perry Bullard will make an
excellent judge and he has the
support of the National Organiza-
tion for Women - Michigan
Conference.
Kim Gasaway-Ross
Legislative Liaison
NOW - Michigan Conference

Burkard: pro-abortion rights
To the Daily: human element back in the
As a candidate for the abortion issue by saving the
Michigan House of Representa- fetuses when a mother is unable
tives from the 53rd District, let unwilling to complete a preg-
me make one thing perfectly nancy!
clear. I am for abortion rights but Government should sponsor
not for abortions. more research. For children
The high number of women already born, I support tax cred
seeking abortions shows the not deductions for minors. This
private sector is not handling would reduce the stress faced by
human reproduction well. potential mothers-to-be. It shou
Beyond more forms of birth be paid for by raising the state
control - especially male - the income tax from the present
government needs to provide maximum of 20 percent for
Medicaid funding of abortions incomes over $200,000. There
and support for women in the was a day when some incomes
form of homes for unwed and were taxed at 92 percent. Close
other mothers who need special tax loopholes.
care whether they want to give up I do not support my party's
their babies or keep them. stand on abortion. I was unable
Children are our most even to vote on the Tisch party
precious resource, and their life platform, because I received
and happiness should not be notification of the state convend
threatened by all the divisiveness less than 16 hours before it tool
of the abortion issue, as it place 100 miles away.
presently polaizes women who Pat Burkc
need love, not hate. P urd Dis
Furthermore, let us get the 5r

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Madonna is not out to teach Morality

by Wendy Shanker

POW/MA prowess offers hope

Tast week, the government of Vietnam released
L.. thousands of photographs of American sol-
diers to representatives of the U.S. government.
The Pentagon will finally be able to learn the fate
of at least some of the soldiers captured or shot
down during the Vietnam War. The Bush adminis-
tration has rightly hailed the move as a break-
through in the POW/MIA dilemma. In response to
this long-awaited cooperation on the part of Viet-
nam, the U.S. government seems willing to the
normalize diplomatic and economic relations with
the communist country. The trade-off is more than
fair, if long over-due.
Hanoi also announced that all documents re-
lated to the POW/MIA issue will be released by
next year. Naturally, such an announcement will
raise hopes of MIA families. But the government
and all concerned Americans should remember
that Vietnam has been duplicitous concerning this
issue in the past, and may behave in a similar

nam and further crippled both economies. Seeking
to become an accepted member of the international
financial community, the Vietnamese government
is finally acceding to American demands.
President George Bush has offered humanitar-
ian assistance and resources to help identify
Vietnam's own MIAs in an effort to encourage
continued cooperation.
But the president should be aware that over-
compensating for early breakthroughs may pro-
duce complacency and stonewalling by Vietnam in
the future.
The current investigation by Sen. John Kerry's
(D-Mass.) Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA
Affairs, as in past investigations, has failed to
recover anything substantial. Former Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger, one of the few official most
knowledgeable about the Vietnam War and its
consequences, proved useless to Kerry's investiga-
tion. Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, the self-

If you're one of the millions of
people who hate Madonna's new
book, "Sex,"I have some good news
for you - you don't have to buy it.
But after flipping through the
book and listening to the accompa-
nying album, "Erotica," I'm proud
of the Mate-
rial Girl.
Madonna's
got a choke
hold on the
thing that
seems to
strike the
most fear in
the hearts of Americans - sex.
Isn't that what family values is all
about?
Sexual deviance frightens
people, whether it's whips and
chains, or multiple sex partners.
Madonna taps into that fear, ex-
poses it, and makes it less taboo.
Sure, she goes to extremes. But
namby-panmby doesn't get people
talking the way burning crosses do.
Here are some of the controver-

pretend ... Nothing in this book is
true. I made it all up." She takes full
responsibility for her sexual en-
tanglements.
Madonna is obviously not opt-
ing tobepolitically correct in"Sex."
She claims some women in abusive
relationships must be "digging it,"
that women in pornography "want
to do it."
We must ask how much respon-
sibility she has to makepro-woman,
feminist or politically-correct state-
ments. My contention is: Madonna
has no responsibility. She can do
what she damn well pleases. I think
Sir Mix-a-Lot is about as offensive
as they come, but he has every right
to go on rapping"Baby's Got Back"
until he's blue in face. The same
goes for Madonna.
Sex is a bad influence on
children.
By all means, keep Sex away
from horny 14 year olds. It's called
parental responsibility, not Ma-
donna responsibility. She packaged
it in Mylar so that kiddies couldn't
get a glimpse. If you don't want
your local bookseller to display it,

doesn't understand something, asks
his parents about it. Egads! Parents
We must ask how
much responsibility
she has to make
pro-woman, feminist
or politically-correct
statements. My
contention is:
Madonna has no
responsibility.
and children forced to talk openly
about sex!
Madonna is trying to steel
your well-earned 50 bucks.
You bet she is. Don't like it?
Don't pay for it. It's called Ameri-
can enterprise - get used to it.
Madonna is just trying to
shock us.Congratulations. Whatelse
is new?
Everyone of my friends who has
flipped through Sex has started a
conversation about it with me. I
think that's exactly what Madonna

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