Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 28, 1993
Editor in Chief
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
MATTHEW D. RENNIE
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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No business banning Color ado
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L ast week, the Michigan Student Assembly
narrowly passed an amendment to its Budget
Priorities Committee (BPC) guidelines that
plunged it into the ongoing Colorado debate.
"Until the repeal, of Amendment 2 of the Colorado
State Constitution," the guidelines state, the BPC
shall not fund, travel to, or participate in, events
occurring in the State of Colorado."
Colorado's Amendment 2 forbids the state from
passing any progressive gay rights legislation -
a severe blow to homosexuals and anyone who
cares about civil liberties. Considering MSA's
long history of ineffectual meddling in national
and world politics, and the dubious value of the
existing Colorado boycott, the move is misguided,
The signal this move sends to student groups is
especially discouraging. Afew years ago, political
symmetry with MSA's majority was a prerequisite
to receive student funding. In recent years, the
assembly has finally recognized that students of
all political bents should have access to the
Assembly's coffers, and MSA should serve as a
resource, not a political conscience.
The Colorado ban could be a step toward re-
versing this promising trend. With the ban in
effect, even student groups like the ski team (which
travels to Colorado) might risk losing funding.
Moreover, some students may chose, for whatever
reason, not to support the boycott. Should this
political - and personal - decision strip them of
Additionally, if MSAchooses - as it should-
to champion gay rights, it can take up any of a slew
of pet causes here at home. The regents still refuse
to include homosexuals in their bylaw 14.06, which
bans discrimination against virtually every other
group. Duderstadt hinted in an interview that he
might be willing to consider including gays in the
bylaw if President Clinton reverses the U.S.
military's gay ban. Butthe University regents would
likely mount as great an opposition as the nation's
Joint Chiefs, and Duderstadt has shownthatheis no
champion of gay rights either.
Gay couples are still forbidden from living in
University family housing, and awareness and tol-
erance of homosexual life-styles still needs to be
encouraged on campus.
The resolution does not specifically forbid MSA
from funding travel to Colorado, but it does make
allocating MSA funds for this purpose virtually
impossible. By forbidding BPC from funding such
activities, it would put any such action up to a full-
assembly vote - which offers a window for politi-
What's more, the logic behind the boycott itself
is faulty. Coloradans passed Amendment 2 by a 6
percent margin, but a boycott of the state would
punish the entire population.
Cities like Aspen, Boulder, and Denver, which
are fighting to repeal Amendment 2, would be
wrongly punished as well.
Additionally, the boycott may be achieving the
oppositeofthe anticipated results. Many gay groups
are supporting the ban and staying out of Colorado
- thus playing into the hands of right wing, anti-
gay groups - and Aspen has reported a record ski
These are meager results for a boycott that MSA
has mandated students throw their weight behind.
4 .. '4 , ..E .54
A dismal state of the state
There may be hope
for humanity after all
To the Daily:
Just when I was about to give
up on honesty, humanity and
kindness, someone had to come
along and put me back on the
right track. Recently I left my
wallet at Angell Hall and when I
returned to get it, it was gone.
Later that night I found a note on
my door from the person who
found my wallet saying they had
tried to return it but I wasn't
home. After attempting, and
failing, to make contact with me,
she tracked down my old room-
mate and left the wallet with her.
, Although there wasn't actually
any money in the wallet and there
isn't enough credit on my Visa to
order a pizza, the wallet still held
many personal and essential
items. Michelle K., since you
never left your number, I'd like to
thank you very much for your
thoughtfulness and trouble. (I'd
like to do more but if you looked
in my wallet, you'd know my
thanks will have to do!) Michelle
K. made me realize that there is
still hope for us humans after all.
Another top 10 list
To the Daily:
Top Ten Reasons why I go to
the University of Michigan:
1. Babes, babes, babes.
9. Cold prevents'my testicles
from becoming dangerously large.
8. Didn't want to go to an
7. Always wanted to visit New
6. Like feeling dumb.
5. Enjoy tying games - that
way, nobody loses.
4. 2 words: Greg Stump.
3. Get a kick out of saying,
"No, it's maize, stupid."
2. No desire to go to one of
those schools where I might have
1. Penn has only 12 coffee
Marshall valued youth, as well
as justice, courage and truth
0 n Tuesday night, Gov. John Engler articu-
lated his vision for the state of Michigan in
his third annual "State of the State Address." With
a working majority in both houses of the legisla-
ture, the Engler agenda - oblivious to the needs
of the people of this state and long stifled by a
Democratic House - will undoubtedly come
closer to becoming law.
Earlier this month, the state House passed a
complicated power-sharing agreement that virtu-
ally eliminates the power of the Democrats to
thwart the Engler legislative agenda in committee.
Co-Speaker Paul Hillegonds (R-Holland) pre-
dicts large cutbacks in funding to state cultural and
educational resources. The Detroit Symphony
Orchestra and the Detroit Institute of Arts expect
Lansing to cut their funding in half. Smaller insti-
tutions, including Ann Arbor's own Michigan
Theatre, may see their funding slashed.
Engler wants to cut property taxes by 20 per-
cent - a generous tax break for those who own
large homes and large corporations. At the same
time, he refuses to address the vast differences in
school funding between wealthier and poorer
schools. While slashing property taxes, the pri-
mary source of funding for education, Engler calls
for a "Governor's Report Card," that would rank
each of the 3,176 public schools. This, in combi-
nation with his school choice program, will do
little to settle the fundamental inequity in the state's
financing of public schools.
Aside from Engler's commitments to "reduce
harmful regulations," he offered few specifics on
how to boost the economy, or face the state's 9
percent unemployment. The property tax proposal
was overwhelmingly defeated by voters two months
There are so many areas that require attention:
health care, infrastructure spending, school fund-
ing, job training and welfare reform. President
Clinton has encouraged the states to experiment
with new programs in these areas. Instead of dra-
matic experimentation, Engler offers only rehashes
old conservative policies.
But between now and then, the voters will get
what they asked for. More people will lose their
jobs while the state refuses to provide General
Assistance; mental hospitals will release more po-
tentially dangerous inmates in the name of "budget
cuts," the legislature will pass into law Engler's
pro-auto insurance company proposal, providing
less coverage; arts funding will be slashed; and the
"savage inequalities" of school finance will only
The laundry list of proposals for dismantling the
state government's protections for its citizens will
be implemented in the name of "less government."
It's going to be a long two years.
To the Daily:
The passing of Thurgood
Marshall at age 84 makes me
regret that there is no alternative
to growing old. He was the kind
of living monument to justice,
courage, and truth who should
have remained in his 30s and 40s
at least until now.
But my guess is that calling
Marshall "a living monument"
would have made him cringe. He
seemed to be that kind of person.
In 1988, my boss in Washing-
ton, D.C. hoodwinked me into
doing volunteer work there for a
"jubilee" celebration of the
humanitarian work of Lady Byrd
Johnson, the widow of President
Lyndon Johnson. Johnson, in a
masterstroke, appointed Marshall
to the Supreme Court in 1967.
(When he did so, I would have
loved to have seen the looks on
the faces of George Wallace,
"Bull" Connor, or Ronald
My fringe benefit was renting
a tux and being a guest at a large
dinner for the former First Lady
in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary
Hall. Strolling violinists, potted
plants, and celebrities abounded.
At the next table sat Justice
Marshall. Throughout the meal,
he sat immobile as members of
Congress, movers and shakers,
actors and diplomats milled
around and stopped by to greet
him. Marshall looked totally and
utterly unimpressed with the
menagerie. A sort of weathered
world-weariness dripped from
him. I imagined that he had hung
a sign around his own neck that
might have read: "Look, I've
seen it all, done it all, and heard it
all. Time has proven me right, so
there's not a damned thing in the
world you could tell me of
interest or that I don't already
know. Move on." I did not dare
In retrospect, he could not
have been in the best of health.
The Justice's chin was glued to
his chest and his trouser legs
were up around his knees,
revealing long surgical socks
Finally, the event ended and
the crowd migrated to the exits,
where staff helped the ladies on
with their mink coats. Marshall
moved toward an exit beside me.
I cannot remember for sure if he
walked with a cane. Then it
happened - the Justice came to
life. After a few seconds, I heard
his voice happily and copiously
greeting someone. I looked. It
was an attractive young woman,
no more than 21 years old. Then,
I heard the Justice's voice again.
This time it was another pretty
young woman. The process
repeated itself several times
within as many yards. At one
point, a group of young women
stopped and greeted him.
Marshall's eyes twinkled and he
kissed one. All the young women
he encountered acted as if they
knew the Justice and seemed
equally pleased. That was the last
I saw of him.
I was reminded of this
encounter upon hearing of his
passing. It only enhanced my
view of the Justice as a man. My
thinking is that Marshall knew
deeply - certainly more than I,
at 30, can fully appreciate -
what he did not like, what he
liked, and why. Title, prestige,
and entrenchment did not seem to
cut it for him. Instead, perhaps
what he liked and valued most
were things like youth and
allurement, as well as justice,
courage, and truth: things that
while different, are as beautiful as
they are precious. Rest in peace,
Rackham Graduate Student
r5~ .. ,,.IL
Chait bids farwell in final column
Take Clinton's wife, please
The degree of voter hostility toward aninfluen-
tial, strong-willed Hillary Rodham Clinton in
the White House became almost immediately clear
during the campaign. In a matter of hours, the
Clinton campaign revamped Mrs. Clinton's
asenda, maximizing the cookie-baking photo-op-
portunities at the expense of the policy-wonk
speeches. It appeared at the timethat Mrs. Clinton's
vast array of skills, her intelligence, and her in-
valuable experience would go to waste. By ap-
pointing his wife to head the President's Task
Force on National Health Reform, President
Clinton has ensured that the First Lady's talents
will not only be properly exploited, but directed at
the nation's most dire crisis.
According to a U.S. News and World Report,
gie majority of Americans disapprove of giving
the First Lady significant responsibilities. While
such sentiments are more likely than not a symp-
tom of our sexist society, there are some who have
concerns about how Mrs. Clinton can effectively
chair a high-level task force. Committee members
may, for example, be reluctant to speak frankly to
the president's wife. And if the task force were to
AiR E YOU1)fj7
ceptable to the teachers' union, parents and other
interested parties and then drive it through the state
legislature. The victory was not just the governor's,
but the Clinton dynamic duo's. If the president
wants to recreate that victory, only with health care
reform this time, there are few people more equipped
and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton to coordinate
In any case, why pretend that Mrs. Clinton is not
This is my last column in the
God, I never wanted to see
those words on a Macintosh
screen. I've been doing this for
two and a half years. Every time
I've written a column - 52, if
you're counting - I thought it
would come when I ran out of
material. But the world's a pretty
funny place, and I'm lucky that
the Daily has kept me around so
You may wonder why I'm
leaving now, in the middle of a
semester. This is when the old
editors depart and new ones take
over. Things are going to change
on this page, and I'll be reading it
every morning in class just like
the-rest of you. There is a small
chance that I could return one
writer's block. (All those bad
jokes? They were Jesse's. The
good ones were mine.)
I would like to thank Jay
Mazumdar and Geoff Earle for
allowing me to work beside them
as associate Opinion editor. You
are the two finest journalists I
have ever known. You held
yourself to a higher standard of
conduct than you could have
possibly been expected to. After
comparing the work we've done
with other college papers, I
believe that we've produced one
of the all-time great Opinion
pages. Nobody can ever take that
away from us.
Working with those two, as
well as a promising staff, has
been the highlight of my college
experience. (Actually, watching
my housemate drink his own
urine for money was the highlight
of my college experience. But
this was second.) Thank you for
letting me work with you and
learn from you.
Most of all, I thank those of
you who have read this column. I
can truly say that without you, I
would have had a lot less irate
Jesse, a veteran writer who I
looked up to.
"There's this place in Massa-
chusetts," he replied, "They send
me a set of column topics every
week. All the columnists sub-
scribe to it."
"Really?" I asked, earnestly.
"No," he said.
I still haven't figured out the
secret. Jesse had a certain genius
that enabled him to write quickly
and well about anything. One day,
as we sat in the Daily trying to
think up column topics, he asked
me, "Name a news topic."
"Well, Lithuania is seceding
from the USSR."
"Lithuania," he replied.
"Good. Name another."
"Pete Rose was fired from the
Jesse then proceeded to write a
fabulous column about Pete Rose
and Lithuania in half an hour.
Myself, I usually drink Coke and
play Tetris for about twenty hours
until something hits me, or MSA
does something incredibly dumb,
whichever comes first.
What now? Well, I hope to
continue writing freelance. I'm