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February 16, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-16

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 16, 1994

a~iw £idCigau &ztilg

I want to have a social life and I haven't had a social life for
the past year.'
-MSA President Craig Greenberg,
on his reasons for not seeking re-election.

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

Editor in Chief
SAm GooDsTm
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Talk is cheap
Student group takes action to help Ann Arbor homeless


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S pring Break is nearly upon us, forecast-
ing warmer days and sunny skies on the
horizon. Some lucky students will find so-
lace from the lingering winter as they flock
to tropical climates where, floating on in-
flated crocodiles, they will lazily sip their
money away and work on getting a good case
of skin cancer. Stripping down to bathing
suits, these students will hardly need the bur-
densome and excessive layers of clothing
needed as protection from Michigan's bitter
cold. Those less fortunate students will settle
for home, where, if anything, they can dent
the old coursepack and eat for free. As Spring
Break approaches, however, many students
fail to realize that for Ann Arbor's homeless
population, the luxury of going "home" does
not exist.
Following spring break, students' need
for the barrage of mittens, gloves, scarves,
hats, earmuffs and blankets will melt away
with the snow. What to do with that booger-
green hat that Great Aunt Mildred bought for
your 13th birthday? What to do with that
single glove that lost its mate and pouts under
your bed, limp and alone? Don't throw them
away! There are multitudesofhomeless people
who desperately need these winter clothes!
Fortunately, both for students who have a
surplus of winter clothes and the homeless
who lack them, a small group of students has
intervened to even out this disparity. This
week's Drive for the Homeless, which be-
gan Sunday and continues until Saturday,
provides a much-needed link between pov-
erty and those of us that have the resources to
keep us warm and sheltered. Organized by
five first-year students, the drive is asking for
mittens, hats, gloves, scarves, earmuffs and
blankets. In coordination with the Ann Arbor
Shelter Association, these items will be col-
lected and redistributed to the homeless for
the remainder of this winter and the following
winter. The drive will be taking place in six
residence halls on central campus: South Quad,

West Quad, East Quad, Mary Markley, Alice
Lloyd and Stockwell. Boxes will be behind
the front desk so that students can easily drop
off their donations.
Many students, infected by the disease of
apathy festering on this campus, simply
overlook the many cold and hungry home-
less people who walk our streets and sleep
in our doorways. Ironically, while quib-
bling about beer money we all too often
don't hear -or don't listen to - their pleas
for help.
To be commended are those students who
did hear. Andy Hanson, Liz Skibo, Kym
Ahrens, Iris Gasni and Matthew Macgoffin
not only recognized the need to help, but
actually did so. "We noticed the homeless
people in the cold, and we realized we were
complaining too much. We have everything
we need-they don't," Hanson said. Despite
afew minor bureaucratic obstacles, the project
was easily established, requiring only a few
hours of organization.
A successful drive is the only respectable
outcome to the effort of these well-meaning
students. This requires that we - yes, each
of us - join the effort. To take part in this
action involves little money, and even less
time. It is not a schedule commitment, nor
will it deplete the checkbook. It simply re-
quires that students, instead of merely dis-
carding their winterwear in favor of the latest
spring fashions, take those hats and mittens
and walk the few blocks -or few feet - to
the nearest residence hall desk.
Many students claim that they are con-
cerned about the homeless problem, but
lack either the time or the funds to get
involved. For those students, the solution
here is simple: in the words of Hanson,
"Quit complaining and do something!" At
the very least, the next time you pass a
residence hall this week, donate those old
winter clothes. You'll feel warmer without

- ~HEY(1 s AAQ


Just dumb
My name is Slavko, and you
are going to bomb me. What do
you expect me to do? You told
me in August to get ready, and so
I have. Would you like to know
how? I won't tell you. But being
bombed is nothing new; only
Americans have never been
bombed. There are many things
we can do. Let me tell you some.
We can do nothing, absolutely
nothing. We're just dumb
peasants, right? So we drink our
brandy and shell the Muslims in
Sarajevo, and pay no attention to
yourwarning. When your planes-
come, we stand by our howitzers
and wave at them until the bombs
fall. Just dumb peasants. Sure.
We can pack up and leave.
Just hook up our artillery and
drive away. Maybe take a little
vacation in Belgrade. No hurry,
butwe'llbe back. Whenwecome
back, there will still be plenty of
Muslims to kill. How long you
want to play this game?
We can spread out our guns,
hide them in caves, dig them
into bunkers with strong roofs.
For every hidden gun, three





Lasser needs a break
To the Daily:
I am writing you with an
impassioned plea. Last year,
my mornings were lighted by
the off-the-cuff ramblings of
the talented Greg Stump, and
my grades soared. When I
heard that Mr. Stump was
leaving us, I wallowed in self-
pity for weeks. Then, the new
term rolled around, and
Surprise! Jim Lasser. Wow.
Suddenly, the skies were a
little bluer, the birds' songs a
little sweeter and classes
enjoyable once more. I've
whistled away the term,
happily thinking of only
myself. Then, one Friday
night while I was studying, I
thought of my friend, Mr.
Lasser: what would he be
doing this late at night?
That's when I realized:
obviously, he spends all his
time creating his marvelous
jokes. Each carefully-crafted
cartoon, each precise panel
of perfection, must take
hours of Mr. Lasser's time.
How can he afford to put this
sort of commitment into his
work and remain a student?

Surely, his grades have
suffered, and his social life
must be nonexistent. This
anguish in which he places
himself for his art, for our
entertainment and
enjoyment, is ruining his life.
Thus, it is with great
regret and deepest heartbreak
that I ask you to remove Mr.
Lasser, both for his own
well-being and for my sanity.
LSA senior
'UAC composed of
incompetent morons'
To the Daily:
I would like to take this
opportunity to publicly thank
UAC for wasting two hours of
my life on the evening of Feb.
14. After waiting
approximately two hours for
the free screening of the
movie "Blue Chips" in Angell
Hall, I and several hundred
other prospective viewers
were told that virtually all of
the available seats had already
been filled by people who had
picked up passes at the Union.
Interestingly enough, neither
of the advertisements for the
screening which appeared in
the Daily mentioned that one

was supposed to pick up these
passes. I can only assume that
those who did pick up passes
found out about them via a
telepathic link to members of
UAC's inner circle, and while
I am happy to discover this
breakthrough in human
evolution, it does not change
the fact that because of UAC's
transmission of
misinformation, I spent two
hours in Angell Hall waiting
in line to go home. This fiasco
has served to confirm my
opinion that UAC is an
organization composed of
incompetent morons who
could best serve the
community by donating all of
their major organs to the
University Hospital
Engineering junior



Alk 0


Environmental racism
Clinton order attempts to address decades of inequity

'Pro-deathers' ignore

n the new era of environmental conscious-
e ness, the Clinton administration has shed
light on an environmental problem that has
been going on for decades. With a new order
designed to help combat environmental rac-
ism, national attention is finally being fo-
'cused on the fact that environmental harm
disproportionately affects poor and minority
While middle-class, mostly suburban, areas
are undoubtedly also affected by pollution,
the brunt of the toxins, hazardous waste incin-
erators and other contaminants that society
produces is falling on the shoulders of poor,
urban areas. Although long overdue, the
Clinton administration has broken bureau-
,cratic tradition by ordering agencies to ad-
dress and prevent such inequities.
. Admittedly, this urgent move to correct
disparities comes late - previous adminis-
,rations tended to dismiss the years of re-
'search done by the civil rights movement and
ignore this growing problem in urban neigh-
The evidence suggests that the poor in
general, and minorities in particular, suffer
disproportionately from dangerous amounts
,of toxins that are present in their communi-
lies. Epidemiologists have backed up this
evidence by demonstrating that African
when it comes to lead paint poisoning, which
is directly attributed to housing discrimina-
tion and inadequate public housing.
The Clinton order directs federal agencies

rivers, license hazardous waste incinerators
and set health standards for contaminants
found in game and fish. The Clinton admin-
istration has also directed attention toward
this previously unnoticed tragedy by opening
up investigations into possible violations of
the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits states
from allowing hazardous-waste operations in
minority areas. Furthermore, the administra-
tion is setting up agencies to receive com-
plaints and to investigate the numerous disad-
vantaged areas where pollution has created a
major health hazard.
This type of waste-dumping in poor areas
done by companies is more than an inconve-
nience. To consistently dump environmental
waste in these areas not only contributes to
the desolate 'ghetto' image, it seriously en-
dangers the health of residents.
Furthermore, the fact that pollution dis-
proportionately affects minority areas ismuch
more than a coincidence. It is evidence of
what is known as 'environmental racism' -
a way of victimizing the poor and minorities
that is as potent as job discrimination or
voting tests.
The government's role in combating any
form of racism needs to be much more than a
reactionary one, that of prohibiting and pun-
ishing racist acts. The government must be
pro-active, taking steps on its own to seek out
and eliminate discrimination. The recent
Clinton order does just that. The Clinton
administration should be commended for rec-
ognizing its role, and for taking steps against

Although I don't
consider myself a
Republican, I'd like to
respond to a letter of Feb.
10 titled "Religion and
Politics Do Not Mix." In
this letter, Mr. Levin
raises two objections to
the pro-life platform of the
Republican Party - that it
is "unethical" to speak of
Judeo-Christian ethics
when discussing abortion
because the Constitution
guarantees separation of
church and state; and that
the platform is
contradictory to the basic
(Republican) principle of
individual rights because it
is altruistic in nature.
Most of those who
endorse a pro-death
platform begin (or end)
their defense of abortion
by raising the issue of
separation of church and
state. But is this argument
really applicable? I wasn't
sure of how the principle
of "separation" was
worded in the
Constitution, so I read
through both the
Constitution and the Bill
of Rights last night. The
Constitution mentions
religion once - when it
states that "no religious
test shall ever be required
as a qualification to any

two statements.
No one accused
President Truman of
violating "separation"
when he asked religious
leaders of all
denominations about the
moral aspects of employing
the atomic bomb against
Japan in 1945. Hopefully,
no one today would take
exception to those who are
justly embittered about the
immorality of rape.
Unaccountably, abortion
triggers quite a different
Our entire legal system
is intertwined with some
sort of moral code at its
basis. Why do we have
laws against rape? Against
theft? Against murder?
Isn't it because these
actions transgress a moral
code that is so basic to
human society that we call
this code "natural law?"
Are actions like rape, or
theft, or murder
intrinsically immoral; or
are they merely actions
that can be legitimized by
a 2/3 vote and an act of
If Congress did
"legitimize" rape, would
we really bury our heads in
"separation," and pretend
that we shouldn't discuss
the moral aspects of rape
- that we should treat this
as we would any other

themselves" -and says it
further means that we are
"morally obliged" to live
for others. Still not sure that
I really understood the
word, I looked for it in
Webster's. I may be wrong,
but it doesn't seem to have
quite the restrictive
meaning that Mr. Levin
gives it - Webster's calls
it a principle of unselfish
concern for the welfare of
others, and lists synonyms
of altruistic as generous,
charitable, unselfish or
disinterested. This is bad?
But the question of what
altruism really means andr
whether it is good or bad is
not really pertinent to Mr.
Levin's discussion of
abortion. I have never yet
heard someone who -
defends the unborn speak
of the need to sacrifice (or
"indenture") the mother to
the good of her child.
Those of us who defend
life are motivated by an
individual's rights, and not
the ambitious "good of
society" - we are
dedicated to preserving the
inalienable right to life or
the unborn child.
I almost receive the
impression that Mr. Levin
discounts this right of the
unborn, however, since he
characterizes the child
within the womb as "only
a potential life."

... Americans can
think about how
many pilots they
want to lose, how
many soldiers they
want to send. The
Germans sent a
hundred thousand
soldiers. We killed
camouflaged firing points. We
shoot, we scoot. You guess
which place has the gun. This is
hard work, but you gave us six
We can play tricks. Dummy *
guns, phony radars, fake radio
traffic. For your bombs with little
cameras in their noses, we make
smoke. For your bombs that can
smell heat, we burn trash all
around and warm up dummy
guns. You bomb our funny stuff,
maybe we try shoot you down.
Maybe not. Our choice.
We can get plenty of guns
and missiles to shoot at airplanes.
You remember Vietnam? You
lost thousands of airplanes there,
and many Yankee pilots. Our
Yugoslav Army has all those
same guns and missiles, andsome r
new ones. Maybe they lend some
to us, maybe we borrow some.
Maybe volunteers from Yugoslav
Army come help us. They are
Serbs, we are Serbs.
We can put on big TV show,
bring in guns and missiles before
your strikes, let CNN take plenty
of pictures. We tell the world, "If
they want war, let it begin here!"
Then Americans can think about
how many pilots they want to
lose, how many soldiers they
want to send. The Germans sent
a hundred thousand soldiers. We
killed plenty.
We can take hostages, move
them near our guns. Muslims,
Canadians, French; what you
like? Orwe can put our guns near
church or hospital. Or we can
shell Tuzla orGorazde every time
you bomb us near Sarajevo.
Plenty of Muslims in those places.
We can reach out and touch
you. YourememberWorld Trade
Center? How about Chicago or
Cleveland or Detroit? Plenty of.
Serbs there, and we make better








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