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September 18, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-18

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4- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 18, 1996

c be £id~igrtn tail

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

rinless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily: editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Where c

aedit is due

I wanted to be a voice for students.'
- Thom Brooks, a member of the group "entity," which staged
the projected clock on the new Lurie Memorial Carillion
on North Campus - the second bell tower:


Credit hours should reflect workload

s students weave their way through the enough credits.
A University, the workload tends to grow For example, political science concen-
,and the difficulty of classes increases. trators must take 24 credits in political sci-
These harder classes are worth less credits erice, plus two additional classes in a relat-
than the lower-level classes. Students across ed subject. However, most of the upper-
all academic disciplines suffer from this level political science classes are worth only
hindrance and would like to see the policy three credits. Often, this forces a student to
change. The University should rework its take more political science classes simply
credit system to make the workload and because they aren't worth enough credits. A
:course difficulty reflect the number of cred- narrow focus prevents students from
its each class is worth. branching out to a lot of other subjects once
Currently, the number of credits each they begin their concentration programs. In
vIass is worth tends to represent the number the end, the students lose.
of hours that the class meets per week. As the cost of tuition continues to soar,
However, it does not consider the amount of students are becoming increasingly worried
homework that the course requires. Often, a about paying for their education. The
first-year student, who is taking four class- University's current credit system adds to
:es at 16 credits, has much less homework this anxiety. Because upper-level credits do
than a senior taking four classes worth 12 not reflect the amount of time a student will
credits. Yet the upper-level students are not spend on the subject, students who must
rewarded for the extra work; instead, they work while going to school could end up
face unnecessary annoyances that could staying for an extra semester or two, in
easily be prevented if the University would order to complete graduation requirements.
restructure the system. Restructuring the system will not be too
Moreover, the current credit system can difficult. The University should solicit the
hinder a student's academic exploration. opinions of students and faculty. Professors
Many first-year students do not know what could give an honest assessment of the
they will concentrate in when they first workload and difficulty of their classes.
arrive on campus. Usually, they take a van- Student input would enhance the profes-
ety of introduction courses in a wide range sors' evaluation. Then, credit numbers
of subjects. Once they begin their concen- could be assigned based on the workload
tation programs, they often have to take an and expected difficulty. The reform would
:extra class and/or an abundance of classes only benefit students, but would not harm
4i.ithin their concentrations because the the University - it should be enacted as
credits for upper-level classes are not worth soon as possible.
Clinton officials protest welfare vote

arlier this summer, President Clinton
- in a grandiose election-year fence-
straddling show - signed the Welfare
Reform Act into law. The bill angered
many, with its five-year lifetime limit on
federal aid. The law includes work require-
,ments that may be financially difficult or
impossible for people with children.
Clinton supporters and liberals everywhere
attacked the bill, complaining that it was
unfair to families, and most specifically, to
children on welfare. Clinton puzzled many
of his most steadfast supporters when he
signed a bill so unfriendly to the traditional
Democratic Party platform.
The surprise, confusion and anger even
infected Clinton administration insiders,
and last week culminated in the resignation
of two top Clinton aides. Peter Edelman and
Mary Jo Bane - both assistant secretaries
at the Department of Health and Human
Services and senior officials on welfare
policy - announced their resignations last
Wednesday. They said they had deep reser-
vations about the direction of welfare
reform under the Clinton administration
and that they would rather leave their posi-
'tions than take a role in carrying out man-
dated cuts.
News of the departure was particularly
shocking to Clinton; Edelman and his wife,
Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's
Defense Fund, have long been adamant
public supporters of his presidency. Bane
also dedicated several years of loyal service
to carrying out Clinton's plans for welfare
reform - but could not have conceived that
the plan would include such drastic cuts.

Perhaps Edelman's and Bane's resigna-
tions will sound an alarm in the Oval
Office. When otherwise loyal and enthusi-
astic aides quit, it sends a negative message
to the president about his agenda. He is
alienating his party, betraying families to
whom he promised relief and slowly bow-
ing to the GOP and its anti-welfare ideals.
This election year has seen some odd
displays of party-line crossing - Dole
toyed with a concession to abortion-rights
supporters, angering conservative
Republicans and ultimately weakening his
showing. Clinton risks the same fate even
among moderate Democrats if he continues
to sign such uncouth legislation. He would
sell out his party platform for a kinder
image among Republicans and maybe a few
more votes in November. America's welfare
families - and especially the children -
are losing to Clinton's ego.
Last Friday, in a statement to his staff,
Edelman said: "I have devoted the last 30
years to doing whatever I could to help in
reducing poverty in America. I believe the
recently enacted welfare bill goes in the
opposite direction." Likewise, Clinton's
legislation is going in the opposite direction
from his campaign promises of four years
ago. In trying to woo the GOP, he is losing
faith among members of his own party and
even among his loyal employees. Let this be
a lesson to Clinton as he continues down
the campaign trail.
Kudos to Edelman and Bane for stand-
ing by Democratic Party convictions -
perhaps a loss so close to home will pack a
powerful punch to Clinton's policy-making.

DOMA does
not ban
Your recent editorial on
the "Defense of Marriage
Act" misrepresents the intent
of the legislation ("Holy
Disunion," 9/16/96). It does
not, as you state "effectively
ban same-sex marriages."
Instead, as this quote from
the bill makes clear, states
cannot be forced to recognize
a same-sex marriage recog-
nized in another state:s"No
State, territory, or posses-
sion of the United States, or
Indian tribe, shall be
required to give effect to
any public act, record, or
judicial proceeding of any
other State, territory, pos-
session, or tribe respecting
a relationship between per-
sons of the same sex that is
treated as a marriage under
the laws of such other
State, territory, possession,
or tribe, or a right or claim
arising from such relation-
Nothing in the bill pre-
vents Hawaii, as it seems
likely to do, from recognizing
a marriage between two per-
sons of the same sex. It sim-
ply says that no other state
must also accept that mar-
This is a very heated
topic, and you do not serve
your readers effectively by
giving them misleading, prej-
udicial information.
United States
should hand
over its 220
years to
Great Britain
Once again our nation is
being rocked by the annual
presidential elections.
As I look over the two
major parties platforms,
Democrat and Republican, I
cannot help but notice that
both parties lack any
address of one of the key
issuesfacing America
Namely, our place in the
world and why we should be
re-united with Great Britain.
Ever since the Rebellion,
the United States as a nation
has existed as an attempt at a
great experiment. What has
been given to the American
people over the years has
been the right to vote, a right

the population.
Therefore, it can be said
Americans do not care who
runs their government, only
that they can maintain the
right to complain about what-
ever their government does.
In addition, when it
comes to foreign policy, the
United States in no way has
shown any more responsibili-
ty than a child with a shotgun
We wield our military
power over every other nation
on Earth, demanding total
obedience to our whims.
Any nations that strongly
oppose us, we do battle with,
using all means of attack, be
it trade wars, cold wars or
even "hot" wars.
Because of the citizenry's
lack of concern and our gov-
ernment's inability to act with
responsibility or restraint, it
is time for a massive change
in the United States.
Therefore, we the
Monarchist, call upon the
United States to surrender
control over its foreign policy
to Great Britain.
As a nation-state we
would maintain control over
our domestic policy, and all
laws and rights currently
enacted by the government of
the United States would still
But all decisions on the
use of military force, (bar-
ring immediate territorial
self defense), trade policy
and foreign relations with
and against other nations
should be handed over to
Great Britain once and for-
Why Great Britain? For a
variety of reasons. This
nation has the closest set of
laws and traditions to those
currently held by the United
Great Britain is the nation
that originally founded the
United States, and is respon-
sible for the education and
upbringing of all of our
"founding fathers."
Also, Great Britain.
many times over, has shown
a willingness to help other
nations and accept the
responsibility that comes
with military might - to
use that might carefully and
with discretion.
Although Great Britain is
not the best of nations in the
world, and has its own mis-
takes and failings, it has
shown itself to be a nation far
better suited to hold a power-
ful role in world affairs.
A few simple facts will
make this apparent. In both
World Wars, Great Britain
was prepared to fight to
defend its allies far sooner
than the United States.
Great Britain, although a
conqueror, over time gave up
its own empire in the face of
world pressure. Great Britain,
since 1945, has proven itself
to he a reliable and halanced

Trotter House
Sunday I heard loud-
speakers blaring and music
playing off in the distance.
When I went outside, I saw a
goings-on of sorts at the
Trotter House. Although I
live across the street and half
a block down from there, the
noise was not that bad -
from where I was. I couldn't
imagine being next door and
trying to study. For the cele-
braters to accuse the annoyed
of racism is totally out of
bounds ("Spirit prevails dur-
ing festivities," 9/16/96).
They, like myself, proba-
bly didn't even know who
was celebrating next door, let
alone care. Diana Dirige's
comment (to the Daily) about
a hostile environment for
Latinos/as at the University
may be true, but to say that
this was an example was very
wrong. Unless racist com-
ments were made or other
more obvious actions were
prevalent, blind accusations
of racism do nothing to fur-
ther the Latino/a movement.
I also have a suggestion
for Edward Burnett: Maybe
you should complain when
the fraternities "do their thing
at three o'clock in the morn-
ing." And for Katalina
Berdy, there is little tolerance
for disturbing the peace. If
you are annoying me, no
matter who you are, I am
going to ask you to stop.
Celebration of Latino/a
culture and fellowship is a
wonderful thing.
Please don't ruin the cele-
brationwith negative publici-
TOM Bupp
MSA is not
a 'Fotomat'
One of the drawbacks to
being the Michigan Student
Assembly president is that I
often have to deal with the
unrealistic expectation held
by some that political change
is an instantaneous transfor-
MSA is not a Fotomat.
There is no one-hour guaran-
teed turn-around on legislation.
MSA is a group of highly
intelligent, critical thinkers
- men and women who
wish to make the best deci-
sions for their peers.
Sometimes, such an abun-
dance of opinions means we

bullies target
the most basic
U fnless you were blessed with an
Edenic childhood, you probat
had to put up with bullies. Bullies are
people that enjoy
picking on folks
who have neither
the ability nor the
inclination to fight
back against an
aggressor. Bullies
usually are binary
in nature. meaning
they travel with
certain favorite
whipping boys. JA MES
Teams like big MILLER
kids and little
gimpy non-athletes, shy kids and
obnoxious big-mouthed kids, newspa-
per columnists and everybody,
Republicans and homosexuals.
Congress has recently passed a law
that prohibitsastates from recognizing
marriages obtained by homosexuals
other states. I'd like to repeat tha
because it sounds vaguely important.
(Thank you George Carlin.) Congress
has decided. all by itself, that an entire
class of innocent people will not be
allowed to have one of the most basic
rights allowed to everyone else
because, near as I can figure, they
think gay people are icky. Let's address
this point by point, shall we?
First: Wow, is this unconstitutionl
or what? 1 can't believe they would
something that stupid. I can't believe
it. I expected more out of them, really.
The 10th Amendment states, more or
less, that every state must recognize
the contracts and licenses of every
other state. "Full faith and credit" is
the exact wording. So how lunheaded
is this? I mean, it says it right there,in
black and parchment. This is not like
affirmative action or abortion whe
conservative legislation has to be re
ly creative to evade the Constitution. It
seems fairly simple, even to a journal-
ist. They didn't even bother to finesse
it a little. What it boils down to is that
some very loud people (usually miss-
ing teeth) convinced their lawmakers
that since the thought of two people of
the same sex getting it on makes them
squeamish, there ought to be a law.
How's that for legal theorizing?
If we did things like the
Bible, we'd grow
marigolds in tank cockpits
and turn the other cheek
so fast it 'd make us dizzy.
Second: The jewel in the crown of
warm horse manure that is th
Republican '96 platform is that st
governments are smarter, better and
faster than federal ones. The militia
movement hasdconvinced many high-
ranking Republicans that state legisla-
tures can do a lot of things better ian
Congress, such as administering wvel-
fare. They happen to be right to sme
extent here, but this is a flgan ija-
tion of this plan. If state governmeets
are so much more enlightened than the
rest of us, whyrestrict them? Th
should able to deal with a handfO
ostracized sinners. Right?
All of this seems to spring from the

notion that giving homosexuals rihts
and legal protections will encourage
the "gay lifestyle." As if there's an
instruction manual and secret haud-
shake. Conservatives would love for
you to believe that homosexuals are
evil. That they really are the horrible
little sodomites that warp the -sex
proclivities of young children _a
break into your house at night and
redecorate. They say that.legal protec-
tions will encourage gay behavior.
Like people turn gay because of the
benefits package. "You know, if I
come out of the closet, I may be sub-
jecting myself to random beatings, job
discrimination and social stigmatism.
On the other hand, I can get a really
neato health plan from my lover's
company. Well, I'm sold!" 0
This issue puts two conservative pas-
times at odds with each other. One is
stealing populist votes by telling
everyone their respective legislator is
an imbecile. The other is beating up on
small and usually fairly defenseless
segments of the population in order to
garner votes from people with aggres-
sion problems. Conservatives would
also love you to believe that the
opposition to homosexuality
Biblical, because think of all the really
good things that have been accom-
plished in the name of God, like witch
hunts, the Crusades and many other
really fun wars. But that's obviously a
lie. If we all did things like the Bible

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