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January 11, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-11

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 11, 1994

UJ ,ie idYitgn dIg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.

Souhe s one-ay
A train that only travels one-way4


As the train pulled out ofAnn Arbor
I watched this pe-
culiar world of
ideas and learning.
fall away behind
me. Within 15
minutes the-
University's cof-
fee shops, book-
stores, and inher-
ent youth yielded
to the normal ex-J T
istence we all en-H
ter as we go home for break, back into
the real world.
Outside the window the small towns
of southern Michigan roll by; indus-
trial smoke rises from factories with
broken windows as men with lunch
pails walk slowly home. Abandoned
cars sit in backyards and piles of rust-
ing metal are scattered everywhere
between the patches of brown grass.
Children's construction paper Santas
decorate the windows of the trailer
houses, and there is a swing set in every
On the way to O'Hare the fine grains
of snow blow like the cold mist of a
dream over the gray highway. In the
terminal the sound of "Jingle Bells"
jazzicized on a saxophone drifts through
the corridors, and I accept the homeless
musician's nod of gratitude as my coins
clink in the black felt of his instrument
case. On the plane the flight attendants
come by peddling warm nourishment
in neat white packages wrapped in pro-
tective plastic; when I am done I pass it
away as we pass away all of our trash,
without a single thought as to where it
will go now.
The plane begins to descend over
the sprawl of suburban Dallas, the
streetlights in the mall parking lots

making fuzzy yellow circles on the
pavement far below, each separated
from the other by an arch of gray and
darkness. I spot the area amusement
park below, its tall tower an unmistak-
able star of Bethlehem, just waiting for
the wise men and their paper money to
come, bearing gifts of plastic keychains
and pens with boats in them back to
their children.
My mother is there to meet me at the
gate, wearing a sweatshirt decorated
with green holly and red berries. My
father and grandfather accept half-hugs
from me reluctantly, looking down at
their brown shoes. We walk to claim
my baggage as always; my grandfather
asks me if it was this cold in Milwau-
kee, and I remind him that I live in
Michigan. I do not add that I have never
been to Milwaukee.
They drive me home in my
grandfather's car, which after two years
still smells of chewing tobacco and
distant, dusty farms. I go into my room
which is no longer really my room and
put my bags on the meticulously clean
rugs. From the bed with the starched
sheets and sham pillows I can see the
perfect Christmas tree with the perfect
presents underneath; in the living room
my father and grandfather sit down to
watch yet another rerun in silence.
The next day the ring of the phone
lifts me out of sleep, the insistent sound
harsh against the fuzzy transom of my
mind. It is an ex-boyfriend of mine, one
I'd talked of marrying years ago. He
asks if I have plans for the day; I tell
him he's welcome to come Christmas
shopping with me if he wants. As I wait
for his father to drop him off I tell my
grandfather about my cat; he tells me I
should have a dog because then I could
go hunting.

The doorbell rings and I greet my
long-haired ex-boyfriend, consciously
turning off switches in my head as I hug
him. I ask him if he's proposed to his
girlfriend, the woman who he cheated
on me with once. He describes their trip
to Carmel-by-the-Sea - the hotel on
the beach, the natural rock formation
they stood under, how he asked her@
marry him. I ask him what the engage-
ment ring was like, all the time remem-
bering our own trip to the jewelry store
three years ago, ascertaining ring sizes.
and trying on diamonds. It was the first
time I'd ever slipped a ring onto my left
hand, and also the last.
We drive to the mall, stopping as
my ex-boyfriend leans out the window
and takes a picture of a pickup tru6
with a Bush '92 bumper sticker an
large red letters proclaiming "Jesus
Saves." We enter a busy department
store, trying to find the exit to the mall.
But the winding paths lead only to the
mirrored and glass perfume counter;
stymied twice this way, I remark that I
hate these stores because you can never
see the way out.
I had meant it matter-of-factly, yet
as I watch the people around us su
rounded by colorful shopping bags, I
realize that they don't know a way out
Two weeks later I'm back on that
train in southern Michigan. It is like a
train between two worlds - between
the factories and the classrooms, the
children on the swing sets and the single
people at the coffeeshops, the material
culture of the mall and the discussion
of ideas. I've always been sure I was
heading in the right direction, but as I
watch the little girl wave to the train
from the carseat I can't help but won-
der just a little.

Dropping the ball on NATO
U Clinton's refusal to allow Eastern Europe in is wrong

With a host of polemic issues confronting Presi-
dent Clinton at the NATO summit, one above
all stands out: the administration's decision to quash
former Soviet-bloc Eastern European nations' desire
to become members of NATO. Critical to the long-
term security of the United States, administration
members have made a mockery of just that. Leaders
of East European nations have even joked that in
order to get NATO membership they would best call
on Moscow instead of Washington.
While a case can arguably be made to block;
immediate admittance, the decision to appease Mos-
cow by creating vague requirements for "possible"
membership stand as a serious threat to shoring up
Eastern Europe and freeing them- once and for all
- from Soviet dominance and undue influence.
Throughout the adoption of Perestroika and
Glasnost under Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev,
during the mid-to-late 1980s, the Soviets continued
to extend a great deal of influence over Eastern
European domestic and foreign issues. This was
principally accomplished through the maintenance
of a large number of Soviet troops and Soviet aid.
But with the disintegration of the Soviet Union
and its collective economy, troops and aid were no
longer available as tools of foreign policy, allowing
East-bloc states to rebel and ultimately throw off
repressive Communist governments.
In the wake of its "satellites" spinning out of its
control, a broken economic infrastructure and a
loosely confederated group of Soviet states came
apart at the seems. The Ukraine refused to place

nuclear weapons under a single centralized author-
ity. Numerous ethnic conflicts threatened to boil
over into over republics and the Bush administration
privately muttered that the former Soviet Union
could become not unlike the former Yugoslavia.
Jump ahead to Jan. 1994. Yeltsin has been weak-
ened by a strong showing of ultra-nationalists -
nearly one-quarter of the electorate favoring them --
who are headed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a leader
who calls for Russian expansion to the Indian Ocean
and re-occupation of the Baltic states.
The Clinton administration has ignored the re-
quests of Eastern Europeans to set a timetable and
requirements for membership. The joint military
exercises do not go far enough to dislodge the
Eastern Europeans from the sphere of Russian influ-
ence. Russia - liberals and conservatives alike -
have a vested interest in maintaining influence over
Eastern Europe for security and economic reasons.
To assume any less is shortsighted.
But Russia interests do not merit its extreme
pressure and threats made on the Baltic states and
other former satellites who desire membership and
protection before Soviet expansionism rears its ugly
head once again. The United States has a unique
opportunity to prevent this. Put simply, it must not
allow a historic opportunity to pass.
A complex entanglement of issues face NATO.
The status quo-plus "Partnership for Peace" puts off
critical decisions for another day. A historic oppor-
tunity to "destroy the old boundaries awaits" as Vice
President Al Gore put it.
To short shrift true reformers to appease the
unappeaseable smacks of the failures of Munich and
another lapse in American leadership.

Without the fans, where is sport?

What happened to Nancy
Kerrigan at Cobo Arena in Detroit
last Friday was the inexcusable act of
a crazed fan. Whoever did it should
be found and put in jail.
What happened to Monica Seles
at a tennis match in Germany last
spring was the inexcusable act of a
crazed fan. The man who did it
should have been put in jail.
But not all fans are crazed.
In response to the Kerrigan
incident, New York Daily News
columnist Mike Lupica commented
on Sunday's edition of ESPN's
"Sports Reporters." He said, among
other things, that this incident (and
those like it) reflect an increased
sense on the part of fans that they are
involved in the sport - more than
just mere spectators.
As evidence of this, he pointed
out the rise of sports talk radio
programs, references to the "12th
man," and the increasing influence of
fans on the hiring and firing of
professional coaches.
And, Lupica argued, it is this
sense of involvement that leads fans
Levy is a recent LSA graduate and is
editorial page editor of the Daily.

to try to take a more active role in
sports - thrusting themselves into
the limelight by stabbing at or
attacking the athletes.
Well, I may not be as good a
writer as Mike Lupica, but I have
been around long enough to know
that - in this case - he is wrong.
Fan involvement is the one thing that
keeps sports alive in this day and age.
As best I can define modern sport,
it is an exhibition or showcase of
athletic talent as applied in
competition. I'm not talking about
six guys in a gym playing three-on-
three basketball, I'm talking about
the kind of sport Lupica writes about
- the sport we see on television and
read about in the newspaper.
So if sport is an exhibition or a
showcase, somebody must be
Look at it this way. Would Troy
Aikman be making $6.25 million a
year if nobody was watching? Would
the Fox network have paid $400
million a year to the NFL if they
wouldn't get any viewers?
The simple answer is that amateur
and professional athletics would
cease to function on their current
scale if it weren't for the interest of

the public. And that sure sounds lik
involvement to me.
There is so much more to sport
than simply the players on the field
and their coaches. Let's look even
beyond the league front offices,
NCAA committees, and international
regulatory organizations.
Who is the next most involved in
sport? I don't think Lupica would
disagree if we concluded that the
media are the next most involved -
along with the corporate sponsors
that keep the media afloat.
So why should Mike Lupica,
civilian, writer for the New York
Daily News, be any more involved in
sport than you or me? It seems to me
that if it weren't for us, he really
wouldn't have anybody to write for,
The public is more than an
impartial observer in sport. Forget
the money people pay and just think
about three words - home field
advantage - that affect the outcome
of nearly every game in sport.
Lupica's conclusion that this is a
bad thing is selfish and unfair.
Because not every spectator
wants to stab their way into the
limelight. Most of us would rather
just enjoy the game. 0.

Clinton's year wasn't that productive

Following the loss of Republican
control of the White House in the 1992
election, the media were full of reports
of a GOP fractured and out of fresh
ideas. In the year since, however, House
Republicans have risen to the chal-
lenge, crafting a comprehensive, inno-
vative police agenda and standing more
united today than at any time since
perhaps the early Reagan years.
Rumors of our death were greatly

gridlock" portrayed by White House
spin doctors. We voted unanimously
againstthe largest tax increase inAmeri-
can history for the same reason we
voted overwhelmingly for a pro-growth
trade package: Principle.
Republicans believe, first and fore-
most, in the principle of individual
freedom. This principle of freedom is
the cornerstone of the emerging Re-
publican agenda, which stands in stark
contrast against a backdrop of a Demo-

1992 campaign. His Administration
has pursued that same tax-and-spend,
business-as-usual approaches of past
Democrat administrations. The largest
tax increase in American history (in-
cluding new taxes on the very middle
class he had promised relief) will fuel
an explosive 20 percent growth in the
size of Federal government in a scant
five years.
House Republicans are also in the
process of drafting legislation on im-

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