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May 22, 1987 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly Summer Weekly, 1987-05-22

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OPINION
The Michigan Daily Friday, May 22, 1987 Page 6

97 Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. XCVI - No. 3S
Unsigned editorials represent the majority views of the Daily's
Editorial Board. Cartoons and signed editorials do not
necessarily reflect the Daily's opinion.
Illogical illegalities

Time to choose your weapons

4

THE UNFOLDING DRAMA of the
Iran-Contra hearings has revealed a
picture of Ronald Reagan quite
unlike that drawn by the Tower
Commission Report. Whereas the
Tower Report portrayed Reagan as
"disengaged," and even ignorant of
the seeming illegalities of the
scandal, the testimonies of Richard
Secord, Robert McFarlane, and
Robert Owen describe a president
who was very much aware.
Reagan himself initially
encouraged the idea that he was not
informed by his subordinates about
the complex web of alleged
illegalities : non-notification of
Congress of covert affairs; the
solicitation of donations from third-
party countries by the National
Security Council (NSC) and State
Department officials to finance
Contra military operations; and
soliciting and encouraging
donations from U.S. citizens to aid
the Contras. Reagan has also
asserted time and again that he is
"still waiting" for answers to
questions about the scandal. The
White House stuck with this image
of an uninformed president until
one after another, congressional
witnesses and evidence unearthed by
independent counsel Lawrence
Walsh flatly contradicted the
president's posturings.
Particularly revealing was
McFarlane's testimony that he
briefed Reagan "dozens of times" on
the administration's efforts to
sustain the contras at a time when
U.S. law strictly forbade such aid.
It was also revealed that after
Congress passed the Boland
amendment which outlawed U.S.
aid to the rebels, Reagan ordered his
aides to help the Contras "hold
body and soul together," and
questioned them regarding the
Nicaraguan rebel's troop strength,
supplies, and battlefield activities,
all the while feigning ignorance.
However, the president recently
laid aside such pretensions,
acknowledged that he had been
deeply involved, and admitted aiding
the Contras "was my idea to begin
with." But he now asserts that
both he and the NSC are exempt

from the law banning Contra aid.
Such legal logic is utterly
without foundation, and shows how
little regard Reagan has for the
truth. The Boland amendment
specifically prohibited any direct or
indirect U.S. governmental aid to
the CIA-spawned rebels. This
language covers governmental
solicitation of monies, the use of
third parties, etc., to aid the
Contras, and places Reagan and his
aides squarely in violation of the
statute. It has now been revealed
.that Reagan personally phoned the
president of Honduras in an effort to
pressure that government to release
a shipment of seized arms to the
Contras, and that he held
discussions with King Fahd of
Saudi Arabia which led to $2
million monthly donations to the
rebels. In addition, Reagan met
privately with U.S. citizens, to
thank them for donating large sums
of money to the "private" Contra
aid network set up by Carl Channel
and NSC staffer Oliver North.
Channel has since pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to defraud the govern -
ment, and there are indications that
others involved in the affair - even
the president - could legally be
charged as co-conspirators. But
apparently, the president feels that
these were not direct or indirect
acts, and that neither he nor the
NSC are part of the government.
The picture drawn from these
developments is of an admini -
stration which regards certain laws
as little more than paper annoy -
ances, and of a president willing to
lie to the American people about
his conduct in office. When
pretended ignorance failed to quash
the story and derail the invest -
igation, bold claims to exemption
from the law were then advanced.
Unlike the Tower Commission,
which helped foster the image of a
disengaged president, the congress -
ional Iran-Contra committees were
not hand-picked by the president.
As their investigations continue on
Capital Hill, the trail of evidence
draws closer to the Oval Office.
Even the illogic of White House
legal counsels may fail to keep the
Reagan presidency intact.

A NN ARBOR residents are
organizing against the opening of a
gun shop in their community.
Neighbors Against the Gun Store
(NAGS) are boycotting the Big Ten
Party Store, whose owner leased the
building which houses the gun
shop. NAGS hopes the applied
pressure will render a renegotiation
and ultimate cancelation of the
lease.
Such a boycott is justified and
merits participation. The protest
demonstrates that the gun store's
presence violates Ann Arbor's
sensibilities.
The existence of NAGS
demonstrates that the gun store is
not wanted in Ann Arbor.
Hopefully, the economic hardship
created by the neighborhood boycott
soon will bring on the
objectionable store's early
departure. If the store remains open
and conducts business successfully,
it will be from customers living
outside of the neighborhood. In this
case, the gun store should move to
where its customers live. The
present location is merely an afront

to the neighborhood's values.
The opening of the gun store
questions whether or not residents
have any real control over their
neighborhood. City council stated
that the gun store is legal within
the commercially zoned area where
it is currently located. Ann
Arborites should not consider this a
precedence and allow other gun
stores to open in the area. City
council is responsible to the
citizens of Ann Arbor. It should
respond to their outcry and rezone
Ann Arbor to prevent gun stores
from operating in the city.
NAGS presents the idea of a gun
store in the neighborhood
introducing children to the ideas of
violence and the underworld. Given
the nearby illustration of gun-
involved violence among youth in
Detroit, it is ludicrous to suppose
that guns have no effect on young
people.
Last year in Detroit 337 youths
died in gun-related incidents.
Firearms advocates argue that it is
people who kill people, not guns;
but it is clearly harder to kill

someone with a fist than with a
bullet. In each senseless gun-related
death, a violent tendency is present;
weeding out the roots of these these
violent tendencies can prevent these
needless deaths.
A primary way to accomplish
this is by removing symbols of
violence from the neighborhood.
Thoughts of violence could be
reduced through eliminating the gun
store. When one passes by a
window full of guns, it is difficult
not to think of some stylized form
of violence. This coupled with
insensitivity leads to violent acts. It
is time for people to be sensitive
and work together.
The Ann Arbor Rod and Gun
Store should be sensitive to NAGS
and Ann Arbor residents. The store
is not wanted here; and the boycott
is a positive and effective way of
communicating this to the
somewhat callous owners of the
gun store as well as the Big Ten
Party Store. City council should
also respond to their constituents
and rezone Ann Arbor to be gun-
free.

0

4

4

Tuition hike: what price glory?

UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS
have projected that next year's
tuition increase may reach ten
percent. It seems that the
administration considers students
and their families an inexhaustable
supply of funds to fill budget gaps.
Michigan already has one of the
highest tuitions for a public
university. Further tuition increases
will only aggravate problems that
have become endemic to the
institution.
Foremost among these problems
is homogenity of the student body,
especially as regards race
representation. In an attempt to
justify the tuition increase, Provost
and Vice president of Academic
Affairs James Duderstadt has termed
in-state tuition "almost a non-
entity." Duderstadt's comment is
revealing as it is absurd.
It reveals a lack of commitment
to the avowed goal of increasing
minority student representation at
the University. Thousands of
dollars may be "almost a non-
entity" to a well-paid provost but it
is a serious economic barrier to a
poor Black youth from Detroit. As
Blacks are a predominanty low-
income group, tuition increases hit
them most heavily and undercut
initiatives to help them attend
Michigan.
Of course, tuition increases
cause disproportionate hardship to
all low-income groups. This leads

i 71

one to address the more general
affliction of elitism at the
University. Michigan is already the
domain of affluent students. A
survey conducted by the
University's Office of Academic
Planning and Analysis revealed that
17 percent of entering first-year
students in 1986 estimated their
family as above $100,000 per year.
This is compared to 8 percent of
families making under $20,000 a
year. Although self-reported
statistics must be viewed critically,
the numbers indicate a highly
skewed economic bias.
Tuition hikes will by no means
alleviate the problem, but rather
magnify it, forcing out the
remaining people who have
difficulty affording it here.
Higher tuition also adversely
affects those students already at
Michigan. Some students will be

forced to leave while others will
sink further into debt. Heavier
reliance on loans encourages people
to forego liberal arts courses and
prepare for the higher-paying careers
that will allow repayment of often
monumental debts.
The American Council on
Education has shown that college
tuition has not increased
proportionally with inflation, but
in fact has surpassed it. Tuition is
250% higher than in 1972, with
inflation controlled for.
Administrators at Michigan
attribute such increases to the need
to compete with the Ivy League
schools - keep up with the
Browns. But is the task of a public
university to compete with elitist
institutions or to educate its
"constituents?" Considering the
deleterious effects to Michigan's
student body, what price glory?

4

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I

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747-2814 for details.

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