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October 14, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 14, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

§1oRY'
tI

JOSH DUBOW
Editor in Chief
ANDREW LEVY
Editorial Page Editor

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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
DP. reportir
Consider more than statistics when evaluating 'U' cops

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*n 1990, the University created its state-depu-
*tized police force as a pad of the Department of
Public Safety (DRS). Although there was much
debate on the need for a University police depart-
ment, the verdict now seems to be in. According to
"internally generated" statistics released last week..
crime at the University is at an all time low.
Obviously, the only conclusion possible is that t he
Department of Public Safety has been doing a
wonderful job. While it is clear that DPS is making
a good faith effort to eradicate crime from campus,
it appears that the department is misled by its own
statistics and misguided in its approach to making
the campus safer.
A closer examination of the statistics reveals
them for the garbage that they are. The first flaw is
that the statistics only show campus crime that has
been reported to DPS. Although Justice Depart-
ment statistics show that most crimes that are
committed are never reported to the police, DPS
statistics disregard the fact that unreported crime
occurs. This produces highly inaccurate statistics,
especially when considering crimes, such as rape,
where only a fraction of incidents reported. Be-
cause IMPS does not acknowledge these crimes,
which are happening, it does not recognize prob-
lem areas and therefore does not allocate its re-
sources properly. This makes the problem worse.
Another major flaw in these statistics is in how
they are compared. Before the deputization of
DES, the Ann Arbor Police Department had juris-
diction over the University and thus University
crimes were separated and counted accordingly.
Now that DPS has jurisdiction over all University
property,many crimes that were previously counted
as University crimes by the Ann Arbor police are
now not counted because although they affect
university students, they do not occur on Jniver-
sity owned property. Therefore. comparing this,
year's crime statistics with previous years is in-
valid because they are measuring two different

things. Although DPS would like to pride itself on
its newly released statistics, in reality, they are
questionable at best. It is unprofessional for the
University to have applauded DPS' efforts using
these statistics.
Regardless of these dubious statistics, DPS is
simply not doing its job. Although the name De-
par4t nnt of Public Safety implies a focus on safety,
this is simply not true. This is best exemplified by
PS Lt Vcrnon Baisden's comment that "a strong
message has been sent to the criminal element in
our community.[DPSj;will seek prosecution against
anyone who commits a criminal act against any
student, stcaff member, or visitor on our campus."
This quote shows the ultra-conservative attitude
:owards rime held by DPS, the same conservative
viewpoint that was applied to the criminal justice
system during the 1980s and led to our current
crime epidemic. Although it is the job of DPS to
make the campus safer by preventing crime, DES
would rather focus on punishments for crimes after
they occur. It might be comforting to know that
DpS will be in full force to punish the person that
commits a crime against a student, it is very upset-
ting to know that they could have prevented the
crime in the first place, but didn't.
After two years of operation, there are serious
questions about the Department of Public Safety's
effectiveness. Although DPS is famous for citing
students for' controlled substance" violations, when
it comes to crime, their practices are questionable.
First of all, DES is unable to gain an accurate
understanding of crime on campus because they
reftise to acknowledge the existence of unreported
crime. Moreover, DPS' attitude toward punishing
criminals after they commit crime instead of pre-
vention, is not an effective means for fighting
crime. Although DPS prides itself on its newly
released inaccurate statistics of low crime, the
people in charge there should be working on mak-
ing the department more professional.

ti

3

India, earthquakes, the BJP, and you

On the Monday following India's
worst earthquake in a century, the
Daily ran a won-
derfully-writtenr
article on the di-
saster. The Daily
asked Indian
American stu-
dents for their re-?
actions to the
tragedy that left
22,000 Indians
dead. One an-
s w e r e d d
movingly, de-
scribing the de-
struction of a village she had just
recently visited. But another Indian
student was placed in the unfortunate
position of explaining why many In-
dians on campus were unaware of the
devastating earthquake. Part of the
problem, he suggested, was that many
are just uninterested in national and
international affairs. Another reason
might be that events in India "lacked
pertinence" for Indian Americans here
on campus. The former reason is,
unfortunately, to be expected. The
latter excuse - that events in India
lack pertinence - is quite simply
wrong.
How does the earthquake affect
Indians in the United States? There is
on the first level the humanitarian
interest that all people share in aiding
those who'suffer through tragic disas-
ters. It took little time, for example,
for the international community to
react when thousands were left home-
less and ill after the giant gas explo-
sions in Mexico City and the massive
flooding in Bangladesh.
Likewise, members of the Indian
American Student Association
(IASA) understood their responsibili-
ties and began bucket collections, the
contents to be forwarded to the Inter-
national Red Cross for emergency
relief in India.
But events, natural disasters or
others, also cause a ripple effect that
make them pertinent to Indian - and
all other - Americans.
Case in point: the inefficient relief
efforts of the Indian government has
Mazumdar's column appears every
other Thursday.

further eroded the popularity of In-
dian President V. P. Narasimha Rao,
whose support has been dwindling
since the Hindu rioting last year. Rao's
popularity might not ordinarily be of
concern to us, except for the fact that
the party offering the greatest opposi-
tion to Rao's secular government is
the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), whose platform includes es-
tablishing India as a Hindu state, de-
claring India a nuclear power, and
taking a harder line against Pakistan.
The earthquake relief may be the last
(or one of the last) nail(s) in the coffin
of secular government.
A BJP-led coalition could plausi-
bly lead to two results: renewed Hindu,
Muslim, and Sikh rioting and terror-
ism in India and escalated hostilities
with Pakistan, with whom India has
already fought a handful of wars. The
question of conflict with Pakistan is
particularly disconcerting, because
both nations have some degree of
nuclear capabilities and considerable
conventional military strength. Any
instability in the region would threaten
American interests in the region, as
well as Chinese security. A Indo-Pa-
kistani or Indian civil/holy warwould
make events in Bosnia look like a
skirmish.
There really is no question that
India and the United States have cer-
tain common interests, and yet the
sentiment that events in India lack
pertinence appears to not be confined
to campus. If Indian immigrants in
the United States understood the im-
portance of stability in India, they
would have done a far better job of
organizing politically to neutralize
political threats.
A personal experience should il-
lustrate the point. Two summers ago,
I spent three memorable months in
Washington, D.C., interning for a
congressional caucus. My office re-
ceived an invitation from the Interna-
tional Human Rights Organization to
attend a banquet organized in honor
of House Foreign Affairs Chairman
(now retired) Dante Fascell and other
members of Congress. In the center of
the card I read the words "Free Indian
Cuisine." I coaxed a fellow intern into
accompanying me, and we trotted over
to the banquet.

Upon arriving, I immediately re-
alized the International Human Rights
Organization was a Sikh separatist
group. Fascell and the others were
being thanked for their help in slash-
ing humanitarian aid to India. From
the hosts' rhetoric, it became clear
that the organization was interested
less in human rights than it was in the
dismemberment of India. My first
instinct was to leave, but my con-
science gave way to hunger pains.
While in line for food, I realized
that some of the members attending
were liberals and traditional support-
ers of India. I looked across the buffet
table to a legislative assistant and
asked him, "Does India have much of
lobby in Washington?" He snickered,
"No. Not really."
An editorial the following year in
"India Today," the nation's preemi-
nent news magazine, confirmed that
conclusion. It complained about the
lack of political organization by Indi-
ans in the United States. There is no
effective lobby that encourages
American politicians to turn away
those who would threaten India's sov-
ereignty and territorial integrity.
If our parents have failed to orga-
nize politically, the duty then falls on
the first generation. Political organi-
zation should not be too difficult,
considering every university and col-
lege has its Indian American student
association. These organizations, pri-
marily social, should consider redi-
recting resources to encourage Indian
participation in the political system.
How many politicians, for example,
have been called by Indian student
associations to defend their India
record? Probably few, if any. How
many letter-writing campaigns were
organized to prevent Congress' slash-
ing of humanitarian aid to India last
year? Probably few, if any.
But first must come the realization
that events in India do have perti-
nence; that there are certain interests
that the world's largest and greatest
democracies, India and the United
States, have in common: American
investments in India, regional stabil-
ity, and the ideals of secular, demo-
cratic government, to name a few. All
that can be threatened by something
as apolitical as an earthquake.

Mi {"n¢

* Engler veto short-sighted,
pMork skins, sweet and sour pork and pork barrel
ing are all things Americans could use less of.
The first two are bad for nutritionalreasons while the
third has a nasty habit of inflating government bud-
gets at the expense of taxpayers.
Gov. John Engler recently made a small cut in
the state budget in the name of eradicating pork,
but as a result, opened the state to long-term mon-
etary losses through legal avenues.
Just recently, Engler line-item vetoed an appro-
priation for the Department of Natural Resources
aimed at discovering and then fencing in or cap-
ping a portion of the estimated 1,500 open mines
deemed dangerous in the Upper Peninsula.
Engler referred to the money as "special legis-
lative interest." Read "pork."
This case exemplifies short-term cost-cutting
with the added risk of large scale financial prob-
lems down the road.
Public safety hazards many times do not appear
as absolutely imperative expenditures in these times
of tight fiscal policy. These projects, however, can
result in the saving of lives, something that can not
be priced in dollars, until a court starts awarding

preventative moves needed
damages.
Engler is not completely to blame for this type
of cost cu ing. There are many more visible pork
barrel measures recognizable to both the governor
and the legislatures that could use cutting. These
appropriations are untouchable, however, since
they benefit rore powerful interest groups and are
sponsored by more important legislators than those
who find their constituencies in the Upper Penin-
sula,
There is not a lobby in existence for public
works intended to improve or save the lives of
citizens in this country. These types of projects do
not gain the admiration of voters for politicians,
nor do they benefit any company directly.
And they are only a drop in the bucket.
The total sum earmarked for the appropriation
was $153000. This small of a sum can't actually
adequately solve the open mine problem.
However, by making the appropriation and
expending the effort to close the mines, however,,
the st ate can insulate itself from the hazard of an
extremely large liability lawsuit and maybe take
part in the prevention of needless injuries.

off eealt r aatives

By REP. DICK ARMEY
Congressional Republicans have
weighed forcefully into the debate over
health care reform, recently introducing
proposals that look to individual choice
and individual freedom, rather than
government, to ensure the health
security of every American family.
Republican proposals focus on the
problems in the current system,
providing remedieswhere neededwhile
preserving the fundamental basics of a
health care system which provides

Republican proposals
focus on the problems in
the current system,
providing remedies
where needed while
preserving the
fundamental basICS of
(the) health care system.3
government mandate that would

American health care is like a house
with faulty wiring.
The prudent course of action is to
make the necessary reparis while
preserving the fundamentally sound
structure. We shouldn't tear the house
down. Republicans want to focus on
the faulty wiring, the Administration
seems anxious to start the bulldozers
and wrecking ball.
The Republican vision of health
reform puts individuals and families,
rather than the government, in greater

Legalize M.D.-assisted
suicides inMichigan
To the Daily:
When technology and morality
meet there can be only
unanswerable questions and
unchangeable opinions. When does
life begin? Conception or birth?
When does life end? With the death
of the brain, or the death of the
body? Who should be able to decide
when to end the life of a human
being? The individual or a judicial
system? In a world where abortion
and capital punishment are legal it
only makes sense that suicide
should also be legal.
Doctor assisted suicides should
be allowed at the patient's request.
They should of course be regulated.
and monitored by the government.
But, with the consent of two
doctors, one of whom is a
psychiatrist, and a iudge, doctor

With a doctor presiding, and
assisting, there is an assurance that
the patient's wishes will be fulfilled
- he or she will no longer live a
life of pain and suffering. There are
also those people who are in too
much pain, or are incapable of
ending their own lives. These
people would be (are) forced to live
a life full of pain and anguish
against their will.
Legalizing assisted suicides
would also increase the number of
lives saved. If people who really
had something to live for went to
seek assistnace instead of
committing suicide, they would
recieve counselling and support to
help them live their life to it's
fullest extent.
Saving all lives is the primary
objective of those who are against
the legalization of doctor assisted
suicides. They feel that all life is too
important to end. No matter what

One person's morals and religious
beliefs should not be apportioned to
others. If a person has an ethical or
religious conflict with suicide that
is okay, as long as it stays a
personal belief.
Indeed, it is when one crosses
the boundary between what one
believes and lives his or her life by
and what is right for all of society
that we have a conflict. When one
person tries to impose his or her
personal beliefs upon an entire
society we have a conflict. If
everyone were allowed to make
their own decision then there would
be no conflict. those who are
against suicide may show their
disapproval through words and by
encouraging others in pain not to
end their lives. In the end, however,
it should the decision of every
individual.
Whereas debate about allowing
another person to end a life such as

.

I

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