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February 16, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-16

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 16, 1996

Ulbe £fir1tgrn Da ig

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reject 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.
A dollar too much
Students cannot solve MSA's BPC crisis

It Is a visibility event to make people realize
that gays, lesbians and bisexuals still don't
have equal rights In society.'
- Sally Green, Queer Kiss-in co-coordinator,
explaining why the event was held
o~ c
Lasser's Reagan cartoon is offensive

Luke Skywalker
was no 90s
man -thank
your lucky stars

While the Michigan Student Assembly
and its Budget Priorities Committee
face financial shortage this year-the com-
mittee is expected to run out of money before
all student groups get a chance to ask for
financial support - they have taken steps to
attempt to prevent a similar predicament next
year. On Tuesday night, BPC Chair Matt
Curin proposed that students decide how to
solve the problem. He suggested MSA add a
proposal to the ballot in this March's election
that would raise student tuition fees by $1.
The proposal, amended to 50 cents, desig-
nates the money to BPC. Asking students for
a larger allocation for next year would be one
matter. Begging students to bail MSA out of
its hole is wholly unacceptable.
BPC holds seven hearings throughout the
year to determine how much money to allo-
cate to various student groups. The commit-
tee already has held five, but it is expected to
run out of money before the last two hearings
are conducted later this year. BPC gave away
too much money too early.
Before Tuesday night's meeting, BPC
members met to decide whether to introduce
the ballot proposal. Two-thirds of the com-
mittee voted against the idea, but Curin
brought it before the entire assembly any-
way. And after the assembly rejected it, Curin
vowed to bring it up again. Currently, he is
working to collect 1,000 student signatures,
which would put the proposal on the ballot in
this winter's MSA elections.
Now that the entire assembly has rejected
the proposal, Curin should give up his cru-
sade to get it on the ballot - both BPC's and
MSA's rejection indicate that members have
little confidence in the proposal.


Students should not be forced to sacrifice
because ofBPC's lack of foresight .Not only
is this proposal unfair to students - it's
arrogant. As School of Public Policy Rep.
John Roman said, "This body is unbeliev-
ably self-serving." Even if the money were
"earmarked" for BPC, there is no guarantee
it would go to the committee. Furthermore,
more money will not guarantee that BPC will
budget better in the future. Its credibility is
damaged; students will not trust a committee
that has betrayed them. Instead, the entire
proposal appears to be a political ploy that
various MSA members have concocted in
order to cover their tracks, especially with
the looming election season.
Like other organizations going through
financial difficulty, MSA must make inter-
nal budget changes. Each committee is cur-
rently reviewing its budget in an attempt to
contribute to the BPC - this is a good way
to repair a broken trust. If other committees
can give BPC money this year, it will demon-
strate to students that they are willing to
make sacrifices, and not simply pose the
choice to the students. Plus, this budget re-
evaluation might reveal that MSA's =funds
could be better budgeted in the future, with-
out asking students to contribute further.
Unfortunately, this issue is not going away
any time soon; neither is the perception that
BPC, as well as MSA, is financially irre-
sponsible. Asking students to contribute more
for the future, without detailing how they are
going to fix the present problems, will create
repeated budget crises. Students will lose,
whether the group suffer or the individuals.
Any amount of money is too much, after the

Fallen timber
Repeal of logging law would protect forests

nvironmental protection has emerged as
a salient campaign issue in 1996. Ron
Wyden, a Democrat who recently won a
special U.S. Senate election in Oregon, cam-
paigned on environmental issues; many pun-
dits predicted that this platform helped him
win. Republicans have begun discussing en-
vironmental issues as well. In response, Sen.
Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) recently proposed a bill

economy without hurting the environment."
The timber salvage rider bill is counterpro-
ductive to a collaborative economic and en-
vironmental plan. The demand for board feet
of timber has decreased over the past year,
but the rider encourages mass destruction of
national forests without regulation. While
ecological damage escalates among fish and
wildlife habitats, harming fishing and other

Reaching a
'new level of
I'd like to congratulate
Jim Lasser on his ascension
to a new level of tasteless-
ness ("Sharp as Toast," 2/12/
96). It's refreshing to see
that there are still some who
can laugh at debilitating and
fatal illnesses. Those of us
who have watched loved
ones deteriorate from
Alzheimer's disease have a
hard time finding it so
Daily must
learn from
this mistake
I am writing to the Daily
to express my absolute
repulsion with Jim Lasser's
cartoon, which was printed
Feb. 12 in The Michigan
Daily. In it, Lasser, who is
usually talented and witty,
depicts the Republican
candidates all declaring that
they are Ronald Reagan.
This is fine, as many running
for the GOP nomination
would have good reason to
compare themselves to
America's most beloved
However, the problem
with Lasser's cartoon lies in
his last caricature, one of
Ronald Reagan himself
declaring that he is Marilyn
Monroe. This is a slap in the
face to all victims of
Alzheimer's Disease.
Alzheimer's is a debili-
tating disease of the mind.
Science and modem
medicine can only identify it
- there is no cure. It is a
slow, gradual slope into a
void. Victims forget their
families, their loved ones
and their memories. There is
nothing funny, at all, about
I can understand making
fun of Ronald Reagan. That
would be legitimate editorial
material - fair game. But to
make fun of a condition that
is only diagnosable, and not
curable, to make fun of a
disease that is as sad and as
debilitating as Alzheimer's
is - that is reprehensible.
Shame on the Daily and
on Jim Lasser for taunting
the victims of Alzheimer's
on the editorial page. It is
obvious that no one on the

Daily staff is a relative of a
victim. The only way to
apologize for this is to learn
from your mistake". Please
be more considerate in the
The comic strip "Sharp
As Toast" that appeared on
Monday Feb. 12, was in
particularly poor taste, even
by Michigan Daily stan-
dards. In it, each Republican
presidential candidate is
shown saying, "I'm Ronald
Reagan," followed by a
frame in which Ronald
Reagan says, "I'm Marilyn
Monroe." This is an insult to
the millions of Americans
with Alzheimer's disease,
and their families. I guess
the fact that a former
Republican president has
contracted this disease
makes "politically incor-
rect," and therefore open to
the ridicule and insensitivi-
ties of the left.
Insulting to
loved ones
I am not writing this
letter as the president of the
College Republicans; I am
writing this letter as a
person who lost someone
very important to me, my
grandmother, to
Alzheimer's Disease a year
ago. Lasser's cartoon Feb.
12 was sure to offend
anyone who knows some-
body hit with disease. Let
me assure you, Alzheimer's
is not a laughing matter. It is
very hard to sit and watch a
person you love very much
deteriorate not only
physically, but especially
mentally. Lasser has
obviously not known
anyone with this disease or
else he would have had at
least a small amount of
compassion. I would
sincerely hope that Lasser
would think and have
compassion in further

Disease is
no laughing
I was really disgusted by
the gutter cartoon by Jim
Lasser (2/12/96).
To poke fun of a
dreadful disease like
Alzheimer's is sickening. It
seems that some people will
never run out of reasons to
attack Ronald Reagan.
What's next? Attacking
cerebral palsy victims?
Mentally retarded children?
I saw Ronald Reagan a
month ago and he was
completely unaware of his
surroundings. It was
something to cry about, not
laugh about.
I wonder if Lasser has
any grandparents that are
victims of Alzheimer's.
Maybe, then, he wouldn't be
writing cartoons about a
disease that is devastating to
satire was
This is regarding the
"Sharp as Toast" cartoon of
Feb. 12, 1996, which
depicted Ronald Reagan
saying he was Marilyn
Monroe. I assume that it was
making light of the fact he
has Alzheimer's Disease. I
was appalled at this lack of
No matter what his
public policies were, Ronald
Reagan is still a human
being. Alzheimer's is a
terrible disease, and not a
joke. It is said that no matter
what happens, no one can
take away who you are and
what you believe in. This is
not true for a vast number of
older people.
Alzheimer's disease
slowly steals perhaps all
they have left, their memo-
ries, their self and their
dignity. To make fun of this
tragedy is to display a huge
amount of immaturity and
The author of this
cartoon should be ashamed.
I think it is like seeing blind
people trip and laughing
because they hurt them-

I miss the 1980s. Remember that
decade? Back then, the commies
were the bad guys, we all still thought
USA Today was pretty neat-mostly
because of those flashy, coloredgraphs
- and cool was
measured in ex-
actly how acid-
washed your jean
jacket was.
The 1980s were
the decade of
Cheers, and the
classic battles of
Magic and Larry
Legend, and the
"Star Wars" tril-~BRENT
ogy. "Star Wars!" MCNTOSH
That was the
epitome of the
'80s, despite its late-'70s release: It
was simple, good vs. evil, with the
good guys always winning in trium-
phant fashion and making witty re-
marks to boot.
Can you imagine Luke Skywalker
today? Angst-ridden, Generation X
Luke Skywalker?
Today, Luke would have an eye-
brow ring and a passion for espresso,
and he darn well wouldn't don that
silly tunic. No, indeed: Luke would
wear the flannel uniform of the Jedi
frat boy, and he would dedicate him-
self to fighting the evils of political
incorrectness and bad grunge rock.
The dialogue would be a little differ-
ent. Take, for example, that little battle
between Luke and his long-corrupted
father, Darth Vader.
Vader: (gravely) Luke, I am your
Luke: (with guarded hesitation):
Well .. . where were you all these years?
Vader: (surprised) Wha ... what?
Luke: You know, all these years!
Mom and I struggled just to get along,
to make a buck, and you're out cruis-
ing the galaxy, killing off thehelpless
rebel forces.
Vader: (still in shock) Well, I ... I
didn't ... I mean .
Luke: We're busting our tails to eat,
and you can't even bring your butt
home at night - some father you are.
Could you spare a buck for us? Nooooo.
Oh no, Mister: I may be your progeny,
but you're not my pop.
Vader: (remembering his purpose)
Luke, join me. Come to the dark side.
Luke: (indignant, and not ready to be
interrupted) And what's this about the
"dark side?" Why are the bad guys
always on the "dark side," and always
wearing black? Is this some kind of
racial thing?
Vader: Racial? Luke, what ...
Luke, of course, would then flee to
Dagobah and join a support group for
"Adult Children of Formerly Well
Intentioned Jedi Knights Now Fight-
ing for the Dark Side."
Then ourhero wouldprobably release
a duet with Alanis Morisette, some little
ditty about how men suck and all the
problems in our world are the fault of the
male gender. Luke has, of course, about
as much singing talent as Alanis, which
is to say exactly zero - but he could
probably sell a couple million copies of
their single just by whining about men'
which is how Morisette's silly fame has w
sprung itselfon the unsuspecting public. ;
Let's face it: She's no Bruce
Springsteen. If the Boss had come into
his own in the mid-1990s, his trade-
mark song would be "Born in the USA,
but ashamed ofthe privilege into which
I was born and, in fact, quite critical of
the whole exploitationist system."
But back to Luke Skywalker. After
his victimization at the hands of th
evil Vader, Luke would probably e-
mail a great deal of individuals and

groups, detailing his pain and subse-
quent recovery, and they would all
reply in order to laud his courage -
except those who had no clue how e-
mail worked or why they were receiv-
ing this message from some guy with
a funny name. They would greatly
annoy the rest of the people by sending
out confused messages consistin
solely of "Please take me off this list."
We would make fun of them; they
would become offended.
Luke's e-mail would be forwarded
with empathy to millions of people; I
alone would receive 194 copies. His
revolt against patriarchal hegemony
would draw the attention of the na-
tional media, and he would soon be the
subject ofa series on "Hard Copy" and
a single, greatly anticipated episode o
"The Ricki Lake Show." "60 Min-
utes" would decline to cover the story.
Our hero would probably see his
popularity climax with a cameo on
"Friends," where he would gulp
espresso with Ross.
The '80s had "The A-Team"; the

that would repeal the timber
salvage rider-logging laws.
Congress and the White
House shouldjoin support this
measure - it is a giant step
toward protecting national
forests across America.
The timber salvage rider,
signed into law last July as
part of Congress' Budget Re-
scissions Bill, has resulted in
widespread and irreparable
damage to many of America's
national forests. Congress ig-
nored the rider at hearings
and in public forums; it ac-
companied the unrelated bill
that provided disaster-reliefJ

- vk-- .

_ n

industries, only logging in-
dustries benefit from the
short-term economic gains
ofmassive logging without
Americans will feel the
losses from the timber sal-
vage rider. The federal gov-
ernment applies tax money
to build roads into heavily
forested areas. Public tim-

for the Okla-

homa City bombing victims - a no-brainer.
Since its passage, activists have demonstrated
at ancient forest logging sites. There have
been demonstrations by citizens at ancient
forest logging sites.
Hundreds of acres of ancient forests have
been logged and 4-billion board feet of tim-
ber are scheduled to be sold and logged under
the rider. Total repeal of the rider is necessary
- healthy forests are being destroyed under
the guise of "salvage timber."
In his State of the Union address last

ber is sold at bargain prices
at the expense of decades,
of forests; clear-cutting de-
stroys streams and their eco-
systems. Furthermore, re-
MATT WIMSATT/Daily storing the forests in future
decades will be more expensive than protect-
ing them now. Only total repeal of the rider
will protect both the taxpayer and the forest.
Repeal of the rider - one of the most
anti-environmental bill in history - will
turn the tide of anti-environmentalism in
Congress. Ifthis bill exempts industries from
all environmental regulations, the legitimacy
of current and future environmental protec-
tion bills will be lost. As the election ap-

proaches, Congress need not become mired
in political ploys - members should protect
the environment rather than help to destroy it

ACLU gives
~ , U

students to: "Speak with an
attorney before saying

time lead to evidence the
University (or a law enforce-

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