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July 10, 1984 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-07-10

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4

OPINION
Tuesday, July 10, 1984

Page 6

The Michigan Daily

,alble ftrdtgan 13 atilt
Vol. XCIV, No. 22-S
94 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Saving the Fourth
E XPERTS ON both sides of the ex-
clusionary rule debate agree that last
week's Supreme Court decision - while pur-
porting to create a very narrow exception to
the rule - will actually result in a major shift
in the enforcement of the Fourth Amendment.
Or, more precisely, non-enforcement. The
opinion, in casting the issue in terms of a
cost/benefit analysis, opens the door to much
greater erosions in the rights of individuals
than the court cares to let on. The court noted
that the exclusionary rule costs the states
convictions - apparently an exceedingly
precious commodity in the court's view - as
as well as a good deal of money. But in embracing
on this analysis, the court reduced the Bill of
Rights to a set of protections which are valid
only as long as they are convenient and
relatively inexpensive.
The Supreme Court appears to have inven-
ted a kind of bastardized negligence standard
for guarding the citizenry against uncon-
stitutional behavior by government. The
Fourth Amendment protection of "the right of
the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures" no
longer means just that; unreasonable sear-
ches .are now permissible if, in the court's
view, the police have manifested "objective
good faith."
The next step? Civil liberties groups must
force the critics of the exclusionary rule to live
up to the arguments which they used to attack
the rule. Many of those critics said they
strongly supported the protections of the
Fourth Amendment, but that the automatic
exclusion of illegally obtained evidence was
both judicially awkward and overly harsh in
many cases. They argued that other remedies
for victims of illegal searches could be just as
effective in detering improper police conduct.
Let's make them prove it. Now that the
protections of the exclusionary rule have been
eroded, there should be no objection to making
it easier for victims of illegal searches to en-
force their rights against police. Lengthy
state and federal civil dockets - on which
most such suits must languish before coming
to trial - must be shortened to make suits
possible in the first place. The courts must
become more willing to see through com-
plicated financial arrangements which often
hide the personal assets of police officers from
legitimate civil suits. And most importantly,
the government ipust make legal services
available to those subjected to an arguably
illegal search but too poor to pay for their own
attorneys.

Wasserman

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The march of technology;
the corruption of pleasure

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By John Critchett
The big news these days is that
attitudes are changing on college
campuses. Students are more
likely to be seen in the library
than attending a political demon-
stration. You can even find some
pouring over books on Saturday
night (in the Law Library, for in-
stance). The big theme is jobs:
how to get them, where to find
them, and what to do with the
money you'll make. New words
have been coined-yuppy, yum-
py, and the like-to describe this
trend. Peter's and Waterman's In
Search of Excellence is now read
before (or instead of) Plato's
Republic.
We are a generation obsessed
with achievement, and we are
succeeding. We have gold plated
,water faucets and fancy hood or-
naments on our cars. But are we
working harder? Are we saving
more? Are we being more thrifty
in the use of our money? The an-
swer to all these questions is
"No," but we are still suc-
ceeding. Success is not what it
used to be.
WE ONCE HAD an agrarian
based economy. The farmer
worked long hard hours in the
fields, and when the harvest
came, he knew he would have
enough food to feed his family
during the cold winter months.
That was the meaning of success.
Consumer goods were purchased
infrequently and with great
care. When products were expec-
ted to last forever (even cars),
the only way to give them value

was to make them with quality.
Good products meant success.
What happened? Today we live
in a disposable world. Disposable
cups, razors, even underwear.
Quality as a product feature
ranks behind color and sex ap-
peal. Work is different too. Some
ordinary people who are not
heirs or bank robbers are making
a lot of money without working
very hard. Is this a phenomenon
peculiar to our generation?
There is an explanation. It is
the pursuit of pleasure, crudely,
put. People have always been
willing to pay for things which
give them pleasure or make their
lives easier. Most of the
disposables are really labor
saving devices. The people who
are making all the money are
singers, movie stars, and athletes
who make our lives a little more
exciting.'They are also the drug
peddlers who provide chemical
entertainment for our weary
brains.
NONE OF THIS is new. There
was entertainment in the days of
the Dustbowl. But rapidly
progressing technology has a
way of changing even our enter-
tainment. Today the sound effec-
ts alone on a good movie may cost
$10 million. And more people can
watch one baseball game on T.V.
than all the stadiums could fill in
the 1930s.
But technology is a two-edged
sword. It gives us a higher stan-
dard of living at the expense of
obscuring the relationship bet-
ween hard work and material
achievement. It is no secret that
baseball players started earning

more when we could watch them
on television. Technology is
caught in a vicious circle. It both
fuels and is fueled by our unquen-
chable thirst for pleasure: It
provides us both the expensive
pleasures we crave and the
higher standard of living needed
to afford them.
We must redefine the meaning
of the word "success" in a more
technologically enlightened
world. We must also recognize a
growing danger. The natural
world used to protect us from
our unbridled imagination. Once
upon a time, we might have been
thrown off a stubborn horse.
Today we could be thrown out of a
Maserati at 100 miles an hour.
One man comes to mind as an
indelible symbol of our new
society. His name was John
Belushi. He grew up in a little
town called Wheaton, Illinois,
where the biggest thrill was the
new roller skating rink.
Unimaginable success poisoned
him, more than any drug he ever
took. What can one person do
with a million dollars? Put it in
the bank? It might as well be
someone else's money. What can
you do with it once you've fed and
clothed yourself? He found a
chockingly easy answer. We are
rightfully proud of our material
success. But John Belushi's story
is as much a characterization of
our society as the proliferation of
yuppies. Indeed, they may go
hand in hand.
Critchett is a graduate
student in the School of
Business Administration.

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