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October 28, 1992 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-28

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, October 28, 1992

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CHARTr ON -'NE DEFT CCir ro SHo W You - 5uT 7HjF t?/sH
PEOPLE, ALON-G A tN hI 1-h 'LGACK ANrFR , THREAT ENE r T
K<ILL THE ~C1HA rtAKER/(FIHE fC ELEi) 77/Ft1.&x.oRDERs

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0552

Editor in Chief
MATTHEW D. RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL CITRO
GEOFFREY EARLE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

.. \\ / -

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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.
City has chance to help homeless

The Homeless Action Committee (HAC) has
long demanded that the city renovate and
conv ,rt the Ann Arbor Inn into low-income hous-
ing. Afraid that the project would be too costly, the
Ann Arbor City Council has dragged its heels
since the building was abandoned in 1990. Now
that the city may be able to
buy the 4th Street hotel for
only $50 (there are no other
bidders), Mayor Liz Brater
and the City Council should
move decisively to purchase,
the building and convert it
into low-income housing.,
Ann Arbor's average
.tental rates rank among the
highest inthe state. The com-
binedimpact of the local real
estate market, cuts in gen-
eral assistance, unemploy-
ment and underemployment
have been devastating, re-
sulting in anestimated home-
less population of 1,000 to
1,500. Furthermore, "There
has been no new construc-
tion of subsidized housing
in Ann Arbor during the past
10 years" according to a recent city report titled
"Comprehensive Housing and Affordability Strat-
egy."
Providing single-room occupancies at the Ann
Arbor Inn, formerly a 189-room hotel, could make
a significant dent in the problem. Obstacles now
impeding the project include the unpaid back taxes
on the Inn and the funds that would be required to
renovate and furnish the building.

The city has shied away from purchasing the
property, now owned by the state, because the
buyer would become responsible for $1.2 million
in unpaid taxes.
However, Brater may be able to cut a deal with
Lansing, especially since the state will have to
finance thebuilding demo-
lition if no buyer comes
forward.
Of course, transform-
ing the building into low-
income housing would re-
quire a financial commit-
ment from the city, which
is increasingly strapped for
funds. However, address-
ing homelessness in a sub-
stantive manner is abso-
lutely vital to the social
welfare of the city.
The city may need to
consider such creative
funding strategies as ask-
ing area businesses for
donations or putting up a
voter bond referendum.
The community would
tives FILE PHOTO/Daily likely support such initia-
With the federal and state social welfare net
continuing to fray, city government is saddled with
increased responsibilities and decreased funds.
While this may change with new leadership in
Washington and Lansing, the homeless population
cannot wait. The city should seize this opportunity
to buy the Ann Arbor Inn cheaply and reaffirm its
commitment to low-income housing.

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Vote 'November' in November

Daily reporter shows
complete ineptitude
To the Daily:
We would like to respond to
the article you ran about our
house in the Daily ("Even police
go party-hopping," 10/19/92). The
reporter's process of fact gather-
ing seemed, in our estimation,
very flawed.
Not only did the reporter
misrepresent our address (1304
Geddes, not 1302, which does not
exist), but she also failed to speak
to any of the residents of our
house. Instead, she interviewed
one of the police officers and
some student unknown to any of
us. This led to a very one-sided
description of the events which
actually occurred.
. The reporter would be well
advised to learn the fundamentals
of journalism before she pursues
or writes another story. We also
might add one other factual error.
Four, not one, kegs were "pulled
out" on Friday in celebration of a
friend's birthday.
We hope that such errors will
not be made in the future in any
of the articles in your fine paper.
Andreas Lazar
LSA sophomore
This letter was co-signed by
the six other residents of 1304
Geddes Ave.
Clean your own mess
To the Daily:
I couldn't help noticing the
unusually large amount of trash
on the ground Tuesday, Oct. 18,
at the site of the Clinton rally. It
was a laughable display of
hypocrisy by the "environmen-
tally conscious" Clinton support-
ers.
Clinton's groupies should
practice what they preach when it
comes to the Democrats' pro-
environment platform.
Marc No'a
Engineering senior

To the Daily:
I do wish to offend any
member of the Jewish-student
population or any other religious
population. However, I feel
compelled to respond to Debra
Fishman's letter ("Cancel classes
for Jewish holidays," 10/19/92).
I think that Ms. Fishman was
extremely arrogant in suggesting
that the University cancel classes
on Jewish holidays based on the
fact that Jewish students consti-
tute 30 percent of the student
population. Excuse me, but what
about the remaining.70 percent of
the student population?
If the University were to
cancel classes for Jewish holi-
days, then they would be obli-
gated to do the same for Christian
holidays, Muslim holidays and
any other religious holidays.
Then we would all, regardless of

religion, be spending thousands of
tuition dollars to celebrate
religious holidays throughout the
semester.,
I think that the University's
policy of not favoring any religion
is the only one that can work in a
population as varied as ours.
In reference to your accusation
that Jewish students are made to
feel guilty for wanting to observe
their holidays, I think that is
merely your own personal
reflection. I'm sure that there are
plenty of Jewish students who feel
proud, not guilty, about celebrat-
ing their religious holidays. I
know that I certainly don't feel
guilty about being Catholic when I
miss class to attend mass on Ash
Wednesday or Good Friday.
Michelle Reckman
LSA senior

Hold classes on Jewish holidays

Pro-choice contradictions

A group called Voter Initiative for November
Elections (VINE) began a successful drive,
last March, to put a referendum on the ballot that
would allow voters to move city elections from
April to November. The city's unique April elec-
tion has long been criticized for perpetuating low
voter turnout, since few voters are energized by
city issues on their own. In addition, April elec-
tions discourage student voting, since they occur
during finals. On November 3rd, voters should
approve the measure.
Voter participation is abysmal on a national
scale, but it is even lower on a local one. Sadly, the
bread and butter issues surrounding school board
and city council elections, for example, are not
strong enough to draw voters to the polls.
But national issues are. The only time a sub-
stantial number of people show up at the polls is on
Election Day, especially during a presidential elec-
tion year. At no other time is political awareness so
strong, as demonstrated by the unusually high
ratings of presidential candidate Ross Perot's half-
hour television advertisements. Holding city elec-
tions in November may siphon off some of this
energy, and lead to increased participation..
April elections have an extra negative impact
on students. Presently, few students participate in
the April elections, in part because with finals and
graduation plans, voting is the last thing on their
minds. In addition, the primaries are now held in
February, around the time when students have
midterms and Spring Break plans to arrange.
Since comparatively, many students turn out

for Election Day voting, the only added inconve-
nience to voters posed by a November city election
is another lever to pull on November 3rd.
Moving the election would have fiscal benefits
as well. The City Clerk's Office reports that the city
expects to spend a total of $50,000 for the com-
bined cost of holding April and November elec-
tions. Holding two elections when one is adequate
is simply a waste of taxpayers' money. If the city
wants to contain costs and address budgetary con-
cerns, the savings provided by November elections
may provide an answer.
November elections make more sense given the
state of American politics. The sheer number of
elections that take place in this country - includ-
ing those for school board, and millages and even
drain commissioner - leads to decreased voter
participation.
European democracies have higher voter turn-
outs in part because they have fewer elections. A
"one-stop vote" enables more people to participate
in the electoral process.
The low voter turnouts that have plagued na-
tional and local elections may be on the up turn. A
record 3,000 new voters registered in Ann Arbor,
this year, and national registration figures are on
the rise as well.
Now, VINE's efforts have put the issue of a
November city election on the ballot, and voters
must take the next step. Ann Arbor residents should
vote in favor of moving the city elections to No-
vember 3rd, to enable more voters, and more stu-
dents to participate in the electoral process.

To the Daily:
"The utter absurdity of your
commentary - which seemed to
be largely founded on baseless
claims - shows that you know
virtually nothing about the
reasoning that lies behind the pro-
choice movement," ("Pro-
choicers fight Suhy's letter," 10/
20/92). It amazes me how this
statement can come from a
movement which is continually
contradicts itself.
The pro-life movement is
founded on the argument that
abortion is the senseless destruc-
tion of human life in order to
make it convenient for the person
doing it, but the pro-choice
movement wants to supersede the
question, by choice. They
consistently use the argument
about the inviability of the fetus.
If they believe that the fetus is
inviable then why, on the same
page, does another person
fighting Suhy's letter say that "no
one likes abortion, Mr. Suhy."

A few days later on Oct. 22, in
the letter entitled "Choice is
fundamental right," the author
goes on about saying that "we
agree that a seven-week-old
aborted fetus is an unpleasant
thought. But neither is a seven-
month-old baby in an over-
crowded shelter with no mother or
future in sight." If the fetus is not
alive, then why does the thought
of an aborted seven-week-old
fetus bother the pro-choice
movement and why do they try to
hide from it?
On Oct. 22, it was stated in a
letter from a pro-choicer that
"whether or not life begins at
conception is not the issue." But
this is the issue. You cannot put
the life of a human being in
control of a person who can
choose to end it because of
convenience.
Killing to end suffering is utter
absurdity.
Michael Suhy
LSA first-year student

0

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Clinton 's pro-Israel stance justified

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Perot displays his own looniness

Presidential candidate Ross Perot is now blam-
ing his early retirement from the campaign
this past summer on the Republican dirty-tricks
team. At a press conference earlier this week, Perot
accused the Republican party of threatening his
daughter's reputation with doctored photographs.
Although the Republican investigation team is
well-known for its ability to track down and record
sleaze and dirt, this particular accusation is charac-
teristic of Perot's obses-
sion with conspiracy
theories. As the cam-
paign continues into its
final week, Perotis mak- '
ing it harder and harders
for many Americans to
,take him seriously.
The intriguing story
about the Republicans'
psuccessful attempt to
┬░push Perot out the presi-
-dential race seems
phony. The fact that the
Texas billionaire keot his "volunteers" on his

Committee on POW/MIAAffairs, Perot claimed to,
have hard evidence showing that living POWs
remained in Vietnam. When asked to produce the
evidence, he couldn't.
The Washington Post reported in July that Perot
offered to cut a deal with the Drug Enforcement
Agency (DEA). Perot would buy the DEA an
island, from which it could launch drug-war mis-
sions. The offer wasn't made just out of concern for
the drug epidemic; Perot
would keep the profits
from any drug-sting op-
j . eration launched fromthe
island. Nothing came of
Perot was also in-
volved in an investiga-
tion of President Bush.
He denied ever directing
such an investigation,
despite the fact that the
press had a copy of the
AP PHOTO two-volume file accumu-
lated during Perot's dirt-digging expedition.

by Jonathan Margolin and
Trevor Hart
In her column ("Clinton's pro-
Israel bias hurts peace," 10/20/92),
Katherine Metres blended dubious
logic with misinformation as she
attacked Bill Clinton for being a
supporter of the State of Israel. She
distorted history to make itconform
to her opinions, and questioned
Clinton's patriotism in a way that
many Americans would find offen-
sive.
To begin with, Metres asserted
that Clinton's firm support for Is-
rael makes him sound "more Zion-
ist than the Israelis," who have en-
dorsed the more moderate Yitzhak
Rabin as prime minister. This im-
plies that Zionism is to be equated
with unwillingness to compromise
on territorial issues. Millions of
dovish land-for-peace Israelis and
Israel supporters would find this
statement ludicrous and insulting.
This inappropriate reference also
reveals Metres' lack of understand-
ing of the very meaning of Zionism,
which is nothing more than the be-
lief in self-determination for the
Jewish people in their homeland. In
light of the proper definition, her
nf~a a " s m t nt -n ..-

Arab states. One of the framers of
that resolution, Gene Rostow, has
repeatedly stated that since Jordan
never owned any part of the West
Bank, and was in fact merely an
occupier, Israel didn't and couldn't
commit any violation of interna-
tional law. Furthermore, it is widely
acknowledged that Israel is legally
justified in holding on to the territo-
ries for security reasons, as long as
it is surrounded by hostile nations.
Metres also states that the Israe-
lis voted for Prime Minister Rabin's
LaborParty because they were frus-
trated with "the increasing isola-
tion of Israel in the international
community." Anyone who was in
Israel during its election campaign
of last June, who read the Israeli
newspapers and flyers of the vari-
ous political parties, and who dis-
cussed the issues with the voters (as
we did), would know that the party
formerly in power (the Likud), used
their huge success in the interna-
tional arena as a pillar of their cam-
paign.
With the fall of the Communist
bloc, the newly liberated countries
ofEastern Europeand of the former
Soviet Union, in addition to India
and the nations of Black Africa,

quoting Clinton, and then inserting
her own self-serving interpretation
of his words. The quote was, "If I
ever let Israel down, God would
never forgive me." There are sev-
eral different contextual meanings
to this sound bite. For instance,
Clinton might have been pledging
to never ignore Israel in a time of
crisis, or guaranteeing that Israel
will always have the means to de-
fend itself against unprovoked mili-
tary attacks. Hsis exclamation may
indeed have come from his sincere
religious beliefs, or simply the be-
lief that any U.S. president has the
duty to defend democracies that are
threatened by dictatorships.
Instead, Metres cynically con-
strued Clinton's support for Israel
to mean a lack of support for the
peace process. This is simply an
unacceptable leap of logic. Support-
ing Israel simply means working for
Israel's continued existenceand suc-
cess, and doesn't say anything about
one'sviews of the peace talks. Presi-
dent Jimmy Carter, for example,
was a strong supporter of the State
ofIsrael,andatthe same time pushed
very hard for an equitable peace
treaty between Israel and Egypt.
Chillingly, she even went so far as

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