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April 05, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-05

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 5, 1991
4br Lurbrgau 'aiIy

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

ANDREW K. GOTTESMAN
Editor in Chief
STEPHEN HENDERSON
DANIEL POUX
Opinion Editors

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
° r All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
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'MSA}:: should not::."r b f unding Todd Ochoa's.J"} r:"-::-}: vJ}:"r. legal" defense~ vr:}:i:':r}

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T he Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) re-
cently approved $450 to pay legal expenses
for Todd "The Chalker" Ochoa. Ochoa, a member
of the Students Rights Commission (SRC) and
former vice-presidential candidate, was accused
of "malicious destruction" of property, for writing
anti-deputization slogans on Haven Hall and the
Dow Chemistry Building.
The incident occurred during the massive No-
vember protests against the deputization of Uni-
yersity security officers. MSA, through the SRC,
was the major organizer of the protests.
But Ochoa's affiliation with the Students Rights
Committee does not justify MSA's choice to pay
for his legal fees. On a campus where student
groups routinely beg and scramble for small
amounts of money - few groups receive more
than $300 for any given event - giving nearly
$500 to a single student's legal battle clearly sets a
bad precedent.
This act was simply the swan song of an MSA
administration that has routinely doled out large
amounts of money to its "pet" causes. The assembly
spent $1,000 on the political pilgrimage to the
West Bank last summer. The Baker Mandela Center
was made a commission of the assembly - which
entitles it to automatic funding - in September.
And consistently, partisan politics have taken
precedence over true student service. This ad-
ministration has proven unswervingly that its po-
litical allies come first- and others must fend for
Themselves.
Admittedly, the anti-deputization movement
vas a laudable cause. The University deputized its
security officers over the summer while students

were gone, and did so with - at best - little
student input. But forcing all students to pay for
one of the unpleasant results of that movement is
- quite simply - too much.
Ochoa should have tried other means of raising
the money needed to defend himself in court. If he
felt his civil rights were being violated, he should
have gone to the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU), orto the Public Defenders Office. Putting
himself at the mercy of publically funded attorneys
is no worse than pleading for the charity of the
student government.
And which legal defense will MSA decide to
fund next? Will Hash Bash revelers ticketed by
University officers for possession of cannabis ask
for MSA money to pay their $100 dollar fines?
Will some "drunken and disorderly" student un-
fortunate enough to be arrested by University cops
on the Diag implore the assembly to bail them out
of the Ann Arbor jail?
Clearly, MSA would balk at funding legal
ventures such as these. But fairness then dictates
that the assembly not serve as the legal defense
fund forTodd Ochoa. His case is really no different
from others involving the University, and therefore
merits no special attention.
MSA should concentrate on fairly giving out
money to students and student groups which make
up its constituency. The assembly has over-stepped
its bounds in attempting to provide monetary legal
aid for students.
Hopefully, the new administration will live up
to its rhetoric, and begin to fairly allocate MSA
resources. If not, it will simply add another chapter
in MSA's sordid history.

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Coercion
Supreme Court subverts protections againstforced testimony
L ess than a month after the brutal police beating Sadly, the decision comes at a time when the
of Rodney King in Los Angeles, and amidst extent and the severity of police brutality and
rising concern over police violence, a recent U.S. coercion have emerged in the wake of the L.A.
Supreme Court opinion may exacerbate an already police beating. At a time when the court needed to
grave situation. The case was decided last Tuesday send a clear message. to the law enforcement
by a sharply divided court which ruled that a community against its consistent violations of civil
coerced confession may not necessarily invalidate rights, the court has opted to open the flood-gates
a conviction. to further violence.
The 5-4 decision overruled a 1967 opinion of Furthermore, as the Bush administration and its
the court which mandated that a coerced confession Justice Department publically admonish such be-
would automatically overturn a conviction. More havior and initiate a nation-wide investigation of
importantly, the decision has severely weakened police brutality, they have, at the same time, not
the provision of the Fifth Amendment in which it only tacitly supported the court's decision but
is specified thatno person "shall be compelled in presented a legal brief arguing strongly for the
any criminal case to be a witness against himself." eventual outcome of the court.
Although the decision does not completely nullify It is evident that the Bush administration's
the provision, its effectiveness is severely curtailed moves to "condemn police brutality" are little
by the court's ruling. more than thinly disguised public relations tactics
Moreover, the decision may set a dangerous concealing the true motivations of Bush and his
precedent by which the accusatorial system of conservative colleagues on the court.
criminal prosecution is slowly mutated into an One can only hope that they will reconsider this
inquisitorial one. The fundamental premise of erosion of fundamental rights and reverse this
"innocent until proven guilt" will be replaced with notorious trend. Such a precedent cannot be de-
"innocent until we make you talk." Without a fended. If the police are exempt from the very laws
strong constitutional check upon the government, they uphold and the rights they defend, then surely
prosecutors are no longer strictly compelled to more violence will follow - and more Rodney
establish guilt by evidence independently and freely Kings.
secured.
m COLLEG
EROUDIUP Censorship in Canada
A couple of years ago, the Daily was seized by positional communities? Don't be silly...
McGill's administration for reproducing a photo of a Woodstock television specials, "Keep On Truckin"'
woman grasping her friend's penis. In the mid-60s, we bumper stickers and alfalfa-sprout cafes have told us all
were nearly closed down for printing a satirical column our lives that nothing is true, everything permitted, and
which alleged that Lyndon Johnson fucked Kennedy's so, get mellow, get encore.
t throat wound after the assassination. They tell us speech is no longer dangerous, freedom
And last week, the Royal Newfoundland Con- is complete, and nobody's at a disadvantage - exactly
stabulary announced they may charge Memorial the lie countercultures have always existed to destroy.
University's newspaper with "corruption of morals" for And what with all that same-sex smooching on L.A.
printing erotic safer sex tips for gay men. Law, sometimes we just can't see the constraints.
Corruption of morals? Did you hear that, honey? Perhaps it takes a stupid, cliched act of repression
When the Queen's English is spoken with such like censoring the student press to prove how far we
classic narrow mindedness, an ancient and honorable haven't come.
desire stirs: the urge to yell, "Fuck you!" It makes you wonder what other boundaries could
It's a pleasure our generation is often denied, because use some stretching, and who's going to do it.

Entertainment?
To the Daily:
It is criminal what humans are
doing to dolphins and whales in
the name of "entertainment."
When I was a kid, my family
and I traveled to Sea World one
summer. While I was there, I fell
in love with dolphins and their
amazing intelligence: they seemed
to be enjoying themselves
immensely with the perpetual
smile shaped by the curve of their
mouths.
Now I am older and know the
truth. Dolphins and whales are
intelligent, gregarious animals
which suffer and die in captivity.
They are literally dying to
entertain you. Fifty percent of all
cetaceans captured from the wild
die within two years; the average
life span of a free dolphin is about
45 years - in captivity they are
expected to live five years.
Most dolphins die of ulcers
and other stress-related diseases.
Because their primary source of
sensory input is sonar, living in a.
concrete pool is comparable to
humans living in a house of
mirrors with their own reflection
being hurled back at them
continually.
People who claim captured
cetaceans are valuable for
education and research have not
thought out the issue thoroughly.
Studying whales and dolphins in
captivity is like studying prisoners
at Alcatraz and trying to apply it
to the whole human race.
If you wish to be entertained,
ride a roller coaster or go see a
show. Leave the ocean
"abusement" parks empty and
leave the whales and dolphins in
the oceans, beautiful and free.
Jeffrey Flocken
LSA senior
Who should judge?
To the Daily:
This is in response to Mike
Fischer's printed expression of
dissatisfaction with a supreme
court decision, which would allow

pregnant women to decide
whether they do or do not wish to
work in an environment that
might endanger a fetus.
Well, thank heaven young
proto-bureaucrats like Mike
Fischer are here to set us all
straight on the subjects of class,
safety and freedom!
In his most recent spewing of
March 29, ("Where class is a dirty
word") he expressed his paternal-
istic desire to defend what he
himself labelled as the lower class
from the dangers of self-determi-
nation.
And who could deny that they,
not having benefited from a learn-
nothing, liberal arts education and
a few resume-padding terms at the
student newspaper, are less
qualified than he to weight the
risks and benefits of a particular
career?
Or better still, put these
difficult questions in the hands of
our government, whose concern
for the health and safety of its
citizens is so great, and whose
record on these matters is so
good, that it has wisely seen that
oversight of its own facilities is an
unnecessary exercise. In fact, its
treatment of its employees is so
good that it helps its poor,
uneducated workers avoid the
time and energy-wasting frivolity
of things like strikes by making
them criminal acts. After all, why
strike against such a caring
employer, so concerned and
responsive?
Unfortunately, however, the
decision whether a particular job
is worthwhile or not remains, for
now, a problem for the child-like
brains of the working people
themselves, who no doubt wish
some snot-nosed college-boy
would come and run their lives
for them.
Frederick Weihe
Physics graduate student
Bring back
Dooder State!
To the Daily:
It is difficult to believe that the

publication of such an ingenious
cartoon as Alan Landau's
"Dooder State College" could be
discontinued by the Daily.
The brilliant and insightful
political satire had always
succeeded in providing comic
relief as well as poignant political
statements to the pages of the
Daily.
Although it is true that
Landau's elevated humor may
have been too sophisticated for
some readers, those of us who
understood the satire were
constantly challenged and
entertained by the comic.
It seems inconceivable that a
few intolerant conservatives could
contribute to the censorship of a
political cartoon simply because
their political views may have
been challenged by it.
Therefore, it can be assumed
that those who so vocally criti-
cized "Dooder State College"
simply did not understandit.
Premises claiming that the
characters were based on Univer-
sity President James Duderstadt
and the regents and administration
could not be further from the
truth. The comic was, in fact, not
about a college administration (as
shallow minds might perceive),
but more symbolically, a biting
political satire of world leaders
and bureaucracy.
Those immature critics who do
not see past the surface of comics
they call "irritating trash" only
demonstrate their own ignorance
as they defensively attack what
they cannot understand.
This is not the first time that a
handful of very vocal complainers
claim to represent the majority of
students and staff. Perhaps those
who find the interpretation of
political cartoons beyond their
intellect should ignore them,
instead of attempting to censor
them in a way which might affect
the silent majority of readers who
enjoy the humor of cartoons like
"Dooder State College."
Jeff Marx
Music school sophomore

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GEO ust strike now.

I didn't want to write this par-
ticular column, with its call to ac-
tion, its acceptance of stalemate,
and its advocacy of what - under
Michigan law - is clearly illegal
behavior.
I hoped
- as a
scholar and
a teacher
who has de-
voted six g -
years to this
University
and its stu-
dents - Mike
that the
Duderstadt Fischer
regime
would live
up to its professed commitments to
undergraduate education, intensive
research and debate, and the kind of
intellectual community that is nec-
essary for both to flourish.
My hopes were misplaced. Not

idealist to believe that this
University's teachers are more im-
portant than either quadrupling the
budget for the Office of the Presi-
dent or initiating construction
projects which will cost hundreds
of millions of dollars in the course
of the next decade.
The University's administrative
budget has increased by almost 50
percent in the last 10 years. During
the same time period, TA salaries
grew by 1 percent.
Everywhere one looks - and
foras long as I have been here-the
University is engaged in a frenzy of
new construction and beatification.
The Diag's lawn space has shrunk
by half since I arrived in Ann Arbor
-a victim of endless new pathways
and tulip beds. Meanwhile, class
sizes increase and the number of
TAsarecut, reducing whatcould be
an exciting educational experience
to an impersonal encounterbetween
overworked TAs and bewildered,

We did so because we had to-
not just because we're human be-
ings who deserve to be treated with
dignity and respect, but because we
care enough about our students and
their education to expect that we be
allowed to teach those students at a
salary allowing us to live -and in
classes small enough for genuine
learning to take place.
Those are reasonable demands
- and the University can afford to
meet them. Without raising tuition,
which is already obscenely high.
Without subjecting this campus to
the ugly and divisive reality of an
impending strike. And certainly
without sabotaging the educational
process by cynically pitting TAs
against their professors, their stu-
dents and the clerical and custodial
staff without whom this University
could not function.
Remember-as you watch TAs
picketing and petitioning in the
weeks to come - that it is the

0

the rebellions of our immediate forebears have been so
grossly commercialized and co-opted: Sexual revolu-
tion? Old hat. Personal liberation? Done to death. Op-

March 18, 1991, The McGill Daily,
McGill University

Nuts and Bolts
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by Judd Winick
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