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April 04, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 4, 1997

Ub1i £tciigjun vgi
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Mi 48109 JOSH WHITE
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed byE
students at the Edi MoaP Edtor
University of Michigan
Lkpless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
FROM THE DAILY
Legalize it!
End misinformation and legalize marijuana
W hat do you get when you combine ferers of many ailments. Cannabis is bene-
aging hippies, troops of Harley bik- ficial for the treatment of patients with
ers, all varieties of college students and a AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis,
PA system? Take a walk through the Diag epilepsy and chronic pain. While prohibit-
tomorrow and you will find yourself amidst ing marijuana is, in and of itself, irrational,
an eclectic mob, a peculiar cloud of smoke punishing the sick by withholding useful
and the 26th Annual Hash Bash. Though treatment is exceptionally cruel.
some use the festivities as an excuse to The residents of California and Arizona
spend the day in a haze, the tradition serves took a stance on the issue last November by
as a strong reminder of America's marijua- voting to legalize marijuana for medicinal
a criminalization and University students' purposes. The people of California and
long tradition of peacefully assembling to Arizona spoke. The rest of the country
protest an outdated law. should lobby their legislatures for the
Marijuana has been illegal in the United chance to agree.
States since 1937. Law enforcement agen- Critics claim that legalization - for any
cies spend millions of dollars incarcerating purpose - will add to the number of adoles-
marijuana offenders. Since 1965, law cent users. However, many thrill-seeking
enforcement officials have made more than adolescents are drawn to marijuana simply
10 million marijuana arrests; another arrest because of its illegal status. Alcohol prohibi-
occurs every 54 seconds. The time and tion in the 1920s did not work. The same
money spent fighting a drug whose affects applies to marijuana. People who want to use
are similar to alcohol - a legal substance it will find a way, despite issues of legality. If
- are ludicrous. marijuana were legal and controlled, the
The rising number of teen-age marijuana money saved in the failing "drug war" could
users concerns many parents and law contribute to truthful drug education pro-
enforcement officials. However, educators, grams for America's youth.
parents and drug prevention programs . By dictating the choices adults make for
rarely address the issue rationally; drug themselves, the government infringes on the
education programs that employ blatant same rights that allow people to choose
scare tactics only add to the problem. Many whether to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.
try to place marijuana on the same level as Adults who choose to smoke marijuana
"hard" drugs like crack, LSD and heroin. should be able to make that choice without
Marijuana's effects are not at all similar to being treated as criminals. If legalized, mar-
harder street drugs. It is not scientifically ijuana would not pose a significant harm to
groven to be physically addictive - and anyone. While the government keeps mari-
unlike drugs like cocaine and heroin, there juana illegal, it continues to be sold under-
have been no reported deaths attributable to ground, remains easily accessible to teens
marijuana overdoses. and continues to cost Americans millions of
In fact, many researchers have found dollars each year to fight a war the country
marijuana to have theraputic effects for suf- will never win.
Deuble jeopard
Reformed offenders have a right to privacy
his week, the state of Michigan's sex crimes of incest offenders currently includ-
offender registry was made public. ed on the public list, victims of incest may
Legislation reminiscent of New Jersey's feel that they are unfairly placed in the spot-
"Megan's Law" resulted in the release of light. A bill proposed by Rep. Kirk Profit
the names and crimes of convicted sex (D-Ypsilanti) would allow a circuit judge to
offenders - even those who have served consider deleting the name of an offender
their time in the justice system and are con- when the victim was a close family mem-
sidered by the state to be reformed. Many ber.

people believe they have the right to know The bill is backed by the Michigan
if their neighbor is a past sex offender. Family Forum and many family therapists,
However, the law not only violates who state their belief that children who
reformed offenders' basic rights, but makes have already suffered sexual abuse by a
it even harder for them to re-enter society. family member will feel victimized again.
The legislation demonstrates citizens'- Because the list includes offenses in gener-
and lawmakers' - complete lack of faith in al terms, children who are victims of incest
the states' correctional system. The system may feel that "the whole world knows their
is designed to protect citizens from danger- terrible secret," said Tom Cottrell, director
ous members of society while they are of the YMCA Child Sexual Abuse
being rehabilitated. When convicts serve Treatment Program in Grand Rapids.
their sentences in full or are released for Cottrell said that families affected by incest
parole, the justice system deems them fit to that have gone through therapy and put their
rejoin society. If lawmakers doubt the effec- lives back together are terrified of the list.
tiveness of the justice system - as evi- The Profit Bill has yet to become part of
denced by the bill - they should dedicate the current legislation. Although the current
their efforts to improving the system and law remains flawed - and would still
correctional facilities. infringe on individual privacy rights -
Instead, the legislation inflicts additional lawmakers should consider the list's effects
punishment on offenders who have com- on those who have never broken the law.
pleted their sentence. The public list of They should pass the Profit Bill to improve
offenders brandishes stigma on rehabilitat- already sloppy legislation.
ed individuals. Past offenders have a right Releasing the sex offender list seriously
to privacy and the law makes it difficult for erodes individuals' rights to privacy and
them to re-enter society, gain employment sets a dangerous national precedent. By
and continue the rehabilitation process. The encouraging widespread fear in communi-
offenders are being made to carry the bur- ties and negating the positive effects of the
den of past offenses, for which - accord- justice system, the law indicates efforts
ing to the judicial system - they have pointed in the wrong direction.
already paid. The law reveals lawmakers' The dangerous precedent must halt.
seeming intent to lock past offenders into a Michigan lawmakers should reconsider the
vicious circle. ramifications of publicly listing names of
Offenders are not the only ones who may reformed sex offenders and overturn the
be hurt by the legislation: With names and law in favor of basic civil liberties.
WELL...
AT LZ4T
loNg4T
WoUT ITk
yK

NOTABLE QUOTABLE,
'In the end, I'm sure we all measure the success of the
Medical Center by the lives it's helped, but it's gratIfying
to know we can do that in a cost-effective way.'
- Vice President for University Relations Walter Harrison, commenting on the
University Medical Center's $2.8 million operating gain through February 1997
AIM LASSER SHARPAS TOAST

7uST ANOTHER I-ETTER .FROM4 THE fltESIVEN F ASK{NC, Fk cotN lUTioNES.

..

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Abortion law
is insulting
to women
To THE DAILY:
In trying to defend the
24-hour waiting period that is
now mandatory if a woman
wants to have an abortion,
Robert Bowes misses the
point ("Women should not
mind wait," 4/1/97). The
opponents of this new
requirement are not opposed
to having informed women
make decisions. We are not
upset because women may
have to think about their
decision for one more day or
take another day off work.
We are opposed to this man-
date because it is one more
way for the government to
rob women of a real sense of
choice.
We seem to forget that
this is at the heart of the
abortion debate. The issue is
really about a woman's right
to choose what is done to her
body, how and when. It is
unreasonable to think that
only a 24-hour waiting period
will force a woman to think
about her decision. Women
who choose to abort have
already thought about it for
days, weeks, sometimes even
months. They have stayed up
night after night wrestling
with their pregnancy. They
have missed work, they have
missed school, they have
been miserable and they have
thought. Most often, they
have received information
about the procedure and its
effects from a clinic or a doc-
tor.
So usually what they hear
from the clinic on the day
they want to terminate their
pregnancy is not new infor-
mation, it only tells them that
the decision they have come
to after all of their lamenta-
tion is wrong. They had bet-
ter go home and think about
this some more. This man-
date says that a woman can-
not come to a conclusion
about her body on her own.
She must seek the advice of
others, because if she does
not, she will later see that she
made the wrong choice. She
will think, "Gee ... if I only
had one more day ...."
Right or wrong, no matter
who she is, how much she
knows, or how long she
waits, a woman cannot
escape the emotional burden
of an abortion. She most like-
ly will feel sad and confused.
She may be angry, but at
least she knows that the
choice was hers and it was
the right one for her. And she
made this choice before she
arrived at the clinic and
before the doctor explained
the logistics of the procedure.
When she leaves the clinic
that day, instructed to come
back in 24 hours if she does
not change her mind, she is
told that her initial decision
is wrong. Her choice about
her body is taken away, even
if she returns the next day.
She has dealt with so

much before she gets to the
clinic and she will deal with
so much for the rest of her
life. A 24-hour waiting peri-
od will not change this. A 24-
hour waiting period only
solidifies the attitude that
women are not capable of
making decisions. We are not
responsible enough to choose
for ourselves. The 24-hour
waiting period is a sad com-

mentary on the esteem in
which our capability, our
thoughtfulness and our intel-
ligence are held.
KERRY THOMPSON
LSA SENIOR
Congrats to
'U' hockey
To THE DAILY:
In lieu of the University
men's hockey team's loss to
Boston University in the
NCAA national semifinal
game, I think congratulations
should go out to the team and
to Red Berenson. Last year.
when the University faced
Boston University in the
national semifinals, BU was
the odds-on favorite to win
the game and win the cham-
pionship, based in part on the
fact that they were the
defending champion. Instead,
Michigan turned the tide,
blew out the Terriers and
eventually went on to win the
national championship.
This year the roles were
the complete opposite, and
BU did what the University
did to them last year. BU
came back this year and
Michigan will be able to
come back next year, because
internally the Wolverines are
sound winners.
As a student and as a fan
of the game, it was depress-
ing to watch the seconds tick
away as the University lost.
However, I know that mem-
bers of the hockey team will
not be able to just give up
and throw in the towel. Next
year's chance will come in
October. For now, I think we
should praise the Michigan
hockey team, and especially
the seniors, for bringing us
four great years of Michigan
hockey: three berths to the
national semifinals, one
national championship after
30-plus years without one
and upholding the saying that
to be a Wolverine you are a
leader and the best. May this
year's season not be looked
upon as a failure, but as a
continuation of one of the
greatest hockey programs and
legacies in the country. Go
Blue!

to this question, but in light
of the recent protest against
Playboy and the furor over
the Weekend, etc. magazine
(3/20/97), it is in my opinion
that these objections to
pornography only serve to
perpetuate the objectification
of women.
In America, unlike many
European countries, nudity is
banned from public view.
There, they can see the naked
human body and go on with
their lives. Here, we see it,
cover our mouths and giggle.
This Puritan approach to
nakedness creates in our
minds the idea that the body
is forbidden, sinful, and, in
essence, bad.
My point is that by
protesting pornographic pub-
lications, thus making them
even more of a spectacle, we
perpetuate the idea that nudi-
ty is just plain wrong, no
matter the context. And the
presence of this concept in
the American psyche creates
the objectification that we
protest -- it makes people
look at nudity as a spectacle.
Let me say also that I
know that pornography con-
tributes to what is known as
rape culture. It is part of what
makes some men look at
women as a collection of
body parts. But again, the
problem lies not in the pic-
tures we see, it is in the
thoughts that we associate
with them. If we can get over
the forbiddenness, the sinful-
ness and the naughtiness of
the naked human body, then
maybe we can make some
progress changing legs, lips
and breasts into whole people
with thoughts and emotions.
PATRICK ON
LSA SENIOR
Schimpf
denies need
for feminism
To THE DAILY:
I am sympathetic to
Megan Schimpf's criticisms
of the modern feminist move-
ment, in that the movement is
Al l fl iro fn rh~r

Beer: The muse.
Plato overlooked
T ast eve, my darling friend Jane (of
the Pentecostal Churh of Love
fame) and I ventured to the bar in
search of, among other things, a topic
for this column. Both my bank of ideas
and my gullet were dry, so I sought the
source of all my answers in the bottom
of a pitcher of Miller Lite ($4 speci
hey). Ah, but as we sat sipping tll
sweet brew, even with our two brilliant'
heads as opposed
to just my
deranged one, try
as we might, no p 41
concepts would
come.
When all of a
sudden, the
answer to all our
prayers presented
it, or rather him,
self in front of us HEATHER
in the form of the GoRDom
age bartender RIDE Wn*
whom we shall M
call Matt. .I d
implored him, saying, "Sage
Bartender Matt, I know that only you
have the key to my column. I have
brought dearest Jane on my joume
but it seems she expended too muchW
her energies completing the crossword
to be able to help me. What, pray tell,
should I write on? Tell me as only yo
can!" And Sage Bartender Matt got a
rather Yoda-like look in his eye (not to
mention he shrank three feet and
turned green) and said, in a voice as if
from another world, "Beer you shall
write on. Beer: The essence of educ
tion. Education: The essence of beer'
And with that he vanished into thina
solving all our problems, but leaving
Mitch's curiously short-handed.
And now to the topic at hand
beer, our muse. This social lubricant
(you thought it was Vaseline, but you
were wrong), which is often the center
of any decently fun college communi-
ty, is curiously underrated. I mean, of
course there are roughly 2,094 t beer
commercials running at any moment,
and what would an Ann Arbor party I
without a cheap keg in the kitchen
basement surrounded by a delectable
puddle of mud and melting ice and my
housemate Matt (not to be confused
with Sage Bartender Matt) announc-
ing to all that hi, his name is Mat, and
he has red hair?
But do we ever consider the rele-
vance of beer to education? Answe:
no. But thanks to Sage Bartender Matt,
we realize that beer is worthy of moa
intellectual analysis than that it is tl
stuff that makes that dork in orgo look
a little more appealing on a lonely
Friday night.
Take, for example, the much over-
looked relationship between beer and
classical literature. It was a lifelong
goal of mine to survive this Earth
without ever having read anything
from the literary genre of "The Iliad"
and "The Odyssey," but as thi
University saw fit to demand of m
two semesters of Great Books, thereby
forcing me, like Adam, to eat of the
Tree of Knowledge, I shall now regur-
gitate that bitter knowledge to you,
hopefully purging myself of it once
and for all.
Consider Plato's Allegory of the
Cave, found in "The Republic." It goes
a little something like this: These dudes
are shackled in thistCave with a fi'
behind them so that they only see th
shadows projected on this wal in front

of them. Then, we suppose, one gets
free and is thusly exposed to not th6
shadows that he has been seeing, but
rather real objects that are almost too
much for him to deal with. "Would his
eyes not feel pain?" And then there are
these philosophical shenanigans about
the objects being mere representations
of the cosmically pure forms of
objects that we can never see.
So anyhow, back to beer. Let us
restructure now the argument. Perhaps
the bar is our Cave and we are shackled
to the barstools, the beer being the fire
which projects the shadows, i.e. ills-
sions, i.e. beergoggles that we perceive
to be reality during our drunken
imprisonment of the bar. Suppose one
is liberated and leaves the bar. The
effects of the beer / fire wear off and
the pain involved in our scenario is
grimness of soberreality as well as a
hangover. It all works out so very well,
you see. Too bad Plato left this part out.
And consider beer's relationship to
American literature. How many of us
grab a drink to help us along the jour-
ney that is a paper that we do not wish
to write, imagining ourselves to me lit-
tle blossoming Hemingways? OK, per-
haps just me.
And finally, beer as parallel to so
the diet debate. Is lite beer the equiva-
lent of diet soda? Perhaps in calories,
but not in saccharin aftertaste?Are dif-
ferent brands of.beer equivalent to dif-
ferent brnds of soda, such as Sam
Adams being the beer version of Coke
and the Beast being RC Cola? If so,
where does Sprite find itself on the
beer scale? Zima? It is here that Jane
wishes me to mention that "pop" is in
fact the real word in the Midwest
mean tasty carbonated beverage -
no, that again would be "beer." Ah, the
circle is complete. Now that our little
analogy is done, I would like to
acknowledge and thank dear Jane and
Sage Bartender Matt, without whom
this column could never have hap-
pened. Them, and my muse, beer.
Cheers.
Note: No names have been changed
in the interest of protecting the publi
- Heather Gordon can be reache
over e-mail at yutz@umich.edu.

Porn di
masse
To THE DAILY
After readi
Playboy and p
the Daily's pa
couple of weel
need to interje
logue that has
into a fight bea
of art versus o
The two sides
non-issues tox
how art, in ess
fies things, an
tograph or dra
accepted as ar
be so. The que
cal differences
that the human
never be show
then there is n
argue. If, on tb
you believe th
appropriate sit
nudity is accej
question is: wt
context is it O
I cannot of

cieary nounuenng for coner-
JEFF BvAISS ence ("Feminists lose their
LSA JUNIOR strength by fighting the
wrong battle," 3/31/97). She
says, "Feminism has become
a label associated with bitter,
iaiogue angry women who have noth-
ing better to do than sit
point. around together and complain
about what they have been
. denied.'
ng about What Schimpf denies is
ornography on the need for anger and action
gea for the past against such global concerns
ks, I feel the as wife battering, female gen-
ct in this dia- ital mutilation, rape and gen-
degenerated der-based inequality. Today's
tween the ideas feminism has plans for action
objectification. concerning all these issues
seem to argue and men are not precluded
me, seeing as from participating in finding
ence, objecti- solutions to these problems.
d how any pho- In fact, the participation
wing must be of men is vital to the goals of
t if it claims to equality for women. You do
stion is of ethi- not need to endorse the
. If you believe "womyn with a 'Y"' move-
s body should ment to be a feminist. In fact,
n unclothed, with calls for further equality,
othing to public action and unity,
ie other hand, Schimpf sounds like more of
at there are a feminist than she is willing
uations where to admit. She should not be
ptable, then the embarrassed by this label.
hen? In what
K? ELLEN OBERWEmTR
fer an answer LSA SENIOR

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