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April 12, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-04-12

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Friday, April 12,1991


' xk -

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

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Brater should place people before her political career

DRiding the crest of an anti-Jerry Jernigan back-
Ilash, new Ann Arbor Mayor Liz Brater was
rarely challenged throughout the mayoral cam-
paign to offer a comprehensive vision of her own.
But as the afterglow of last week's Democratic
Party landslide begins to fade, Brater will need to
produce more than the carefully-crafted politician's
rhetoric that catapulted her to power.
With a solid 8-3 Democratic majority- repre-
senting the largest turnaround in an Ann Arbor
election since 1969 - Brater cannot hide behind
catchy Republican-bashing soundbites. Instead,
she will have to demonstrate the leadership abili-
ties that were so glaringly absent during her three
years on City Council, during which she rarely
pushed ideas of her own and almost never demon-
strated the courage to take a strong, consistent
stand on a controversial issue.
Rather than stating a clear opposition to the
Kline's parking lot boondoggle, Brater has said
that she wants to take "another look at the issue."
Rather than maintaining a principled stand on
Jemigan's proposal to privatize Ann Arbor trash
collection - which would hurt city workers as
well as the quality of city sanitation services -.
Brater has watered down her opposition by prom-
ising to explore Jemigan's proposal and "gather
more information."
How many more "looks - and how much
more "information" - does Brater need? Such
statements demonstrate that she is either com-
pletely out of touch with debates raging for years
or, alternately, that she is more interested in stalling
for time than in making a decision.
Neither prospect is very comforting. If Brater

truly doesn't know the score on either of these
issues, she isn'tknowledgeable enough tobemayor.
If she can't make up her mind on either issue, she
isn't competent to be mayor.
Brater's recent statements on Ann Arbor's hu-
man services budget suggest that she may not be
compassionate enough to be mayor either. Though
Democratic council members ranging from Nelson
Meade (D-Third Ward) to Ann Marie Coleman (D-
First Ward) support beefing up this budget to
compensate for cuts made by Lansing, Brater has
already signalled her reluctance to compensate for
Governor Engler's war on the poor.
Such sentiments are typical among the Third
Ward residents who form Brater's base. But these
sentiments are a disgrace from a mayor with an
overwhelming mandate to undo the damage perpe-
trated during the Jernigan years againstAnnArbor's
poor, unemployed and homeless.
Libertarian mayoral candidate David Raaflaub
tagged Jernigan and Brater as the "tweedle-dum
and tweedle-dee" leaders of "one party with two
branches." While the Daily certainly doesn't en-
dorse the libertarian alternative, Raaflaub's appar-
ently accurate assessment suggests that some al-
ternative might be necessary.
The Kline's project should be axed. Sanitation
services should remain under city control. Human
services for the city's poor should be increased.
The first two issues have been debated for long
enough; the third is plain common sense. It is time
to act. We don't need a mayor who will continue to
fiddle - and play politics - while her city goes up
in flames.

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Come clea n
Environmental laws must be rigorously enforced
L ast year, after months of debate and numerous gress passed a wide range of environmental pro-
compromises, George Bush finally signed tection legislation. Much of it was subsequently
The Clean Air Bill into law. Despite the compro- rendered ineffective due to "creative" interpreta-
mises, it was the most sweeping piece of environ- tions of the laws which benefited privileged com-
mental legislation in U.S. history. panies and gutted the legislation's original intent.
Or at least it could be if the White House would Recent environmental studies demonstrate that
discontinue its efforts to subvert the new law - the price America is paying for its leader's cavalier'
which Bush supported to beef up his pretensions of habit of winking and nodding at both corporations
being the "environmental president." and the law. Because of the increasing volume of
Spearheading Bush's efforts is a presidential toxins pumped into the air by major corporations,
task force organized with the express intent of 20,000 more people are expected to contract skin
assisting companies in their efforts to bypass the cancer during the next decade. Merely breathing
legislation's more stringent requirements. Making the air in cities such as Los Angeles and Denver is
matters even worse, the new task force is being now equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes
chaired by Vice President Dan Quayle, who hasn't a day.
been especially compassionate towards environ- In this ever-more frightening context, we can-
mental legislation. not afford to allow this country's elite to continue
Such developments are disturbing for a variety the practice of flagrantly ignoring the law when it
ofreasons-not the least ofwhichis theirstunning becomes inconvenient to obey it. If major compa-
confirmation of Bush's hypocrisy. The Quayle nies with legislative and financial clout can inter-
commission will grant big and powerful compa- pret or ignore legislation at will, then our system of
nies even more leeway than they already have to law -pledged to protecting equality-becomes,
pollute the environment. instead, a law of the jungle in which might makes
Bush's duplicity has a long history and numer- right.

The well is dry!
To the Daily:
The money budgeted for the
LSA student government fund
allocation for the winter term
1991 has long been depleted. For
this reason, we are no longer
accepting allocation requests. In
addition, those groups who have
already submitted requests but
have not been interviewed will
not receive funding this term.
LSA student government will
welcome requests again next fall.
Stephen M. Kelke
LSA Student Government
Fund Allocator
Adios to
Dooder State!
To the Daily:
I-have noticed that in the past
few issues of the Daily, the comic
strip "Dooder State College" has
not appeared.
I am hoping that the Daily had
enough sense to drop the strip
entirely. Frankly, I never realized
why it appeared in the first place.
It not only degraded the Univer-
sity of Michigan and its adminis-
tration; it also degraded the Daily.
After reading the first "Dooder
State College" strip, I realized
how poor it was. Not only was the
point behind the comic ridiculous,
but the drawings were terrible and
it was not funny at all. I read the
Daily almost every day, and I.
don't always agree with the
somewhat liberal attitude the
Daily expresses, but this comic
strip just stepped over the
boundaries of decent journalism.
I realize the strip may have
been trying to make a point, but
come on, if this point cannot be
addressed in a non-sarcastic way,
it should not be addressed at all.
I do sincerely hope that the
Daily has dropped the "Dooder
State College" strip from its
pages. If it has not been dropped,
the Daily should thoughtfully
consider doing so. It would
greatly improve the way I and
others view the Daily. It would
also show a great deal of respect

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
the 4/2/91 article titled "EMU
Adds Anti-Discrimination
Policy to Conduct Code." I feel
EMU is taking an important step
in fighting discrimination and
I'm glad the Daily chose to
write about it.
Discrimination is virtually
everywhere, including college
campuses. Any way of fighting
the problem of discrimination is
worthwhile. I'm glad to see that
EMU recognizeskthe problem
and is willing to take decisive
measures to try to rid its campus
of discrimination.
I am also pleased that the
Daily wrote something that
wasn't biased or totally false.
I wish every article put in the
Daily was as well written and
objective as the article about
EMU. I thank the Daily for the
article, and keep them coming.
Eugene Snowden
first-year student
No speech codes
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
the 4/2/91 article reporting on
the addition of an anti-discrimi-
natory amendment to EMU's

Code of Student Conduct
("EMU adds anti-discrimination
policy to conduct code"). I
personally find the trend in
America's universities toward
the punishment of unpopular
ideas very alarming.
Such a trend threatens the
very basis of free speech. A
university is an institution
where ideas are to be expressed
and debated through reason, not
oppressed and punished by the
If discriminatory ideas are
oppressed, it will only result in
resentment and increased hatred
in the individual who harbors
such an opinion. Such an
oppressive policy is un-
American and will only
backlash in increased hatred and
By allowing individuals to
express their offensive ideas, it
will open the door for truth and
reason to combat them. This is a
job which can only be accom-
plished through discussion or
united expression condemning
offensive ideas as wrong.
Oppression and punishment
cannot correct the problem of
the expression of offensive or
discriminatory ideas; it can only
make it worse.
Neil F. Byl
LSA first-year student

EMU curbs harassment


toward the University.
Tobin Welch
LSA first-year student
Turkey like Iraq?
To the Daily:
Like the Iraqi army, the
Turkish army has been an
occupying force since 1974.
Despite many U.N. resolutions
demanding the immediate
withdrawal of the Turkish troops
from Cyprus, the Turkish army
still occupies 37 percent of this
island. Two'hundred thousand
Cypriot refugees still await.
justice, and the occupied areas are

being colonized by 80,000
Turkish settlers and 35,000
Turkish soldiers.
The looting and destruction of
the Cypriot cultural heritage in
these occupied areas is also a
matter of record and continues.
To be consistent, we assume
our government will not allow
Turkey to siphon off millions of
American tax dollars while
occupying another country despite
U.N. condemnations - and
against common standards of
human decency.
Vande Vusse
Rackham graduate student


ous predecessors. During the early 1970s, Con-
Aid for ra
Americans must help preserve
As television has made especially clear for
American viewers, the Gulf War transformed
Iraq from a civilized country into a wasteland.
Currently there is little potable water, electricity,
plumbing or health care. Food supplies - already
decimated by the pre-war embargo - are at an all-
time low.
While debates continue in Washington over
whether Iraq should receive the material aid it so
desperately needs, the American people must step
into the breach, donating their time and money to
privately-funded relief efforts. In particular, those
Americans who supported the war have a moral
obligation to assume responsibility for helping
clean up the mess they advocated making in the
first place.
Local campus organizations - such as Ann
Arbor Friends of Victims of War (VOW) - have

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a devastated nation
already begun organizing bucket drives to raise
humanitarian aid for Iraqi civilians and their ef-
forts should be supported.
But buckets of change are not enough. The
American people need to reach into their fat wal-
lets and help fund the International Red Cross and
other international peace organizations so that
substantive aid can be offered to the Iraqi people
swiftly and efficiently.
Even this, ultimately, will not be enough- and
cannot adequately compensate for the complete
devastation wrought in Iraq. As songwriter and
activist Kirk Kelley has observed, Americans un-
der the illusion that aid alone can solve a country's
problems are "armchair philanthropists and dining
room diplomats." Nonetheless, aiding the Iraqi
people now - however limited its effects -
represents a necessary stopgap measure.

What Econ
On Jan. 5 last year, six workers l
fired for union organizing were
leafletting the Ford Motor plant in
Cuautitlan, Mexico where they had I
once been employed. The police I


201 doesn't teach

drove up,
b e a t
them, and
them away.
where they
were. Nei-
ther did
their former
at Ford. So
those work-

leaving behind a wife who was seven
months pregnant.
Welcome to free trade and the
free market, Third World style. In
the 1980s, more than half of the top
U.S. manufacturing firms estab-
lished plants in Mexico. General
Motors (GM) is now the country's
top employer. Ford and Chrysler
have opened more than half a dozen
plants there in the last two decades.
And working conditions like those
at Cuautitlan are the reason why.
When workers at Cuautitlan
asked for a pay raise - they cur-
rently make $50 a week -Ford
fired 700 union activists and slashed
salaries for the rest by 50 percent.
Hoping to cut costs even further,
they installed urinals next to the
assembly lines, prohibited workers
from taking breaks, and reduced
their quota of relief workers.
If this sounds abit too remote-
one of those "unfortunate" things
done to "other people" because of
an integrated world economy -

take advantage of low-wage havens
in the American South and the Third
World. In the 1970s, nine of GM's
14 new plants were located in the
South. In the 1980s - as Mexican
trade regulations were relaxed un-
der pressure from the World Bank
-GM pursued a similar strategy in
The toppling of all trade barriers
in North America would eliminate
any reason U.S. corporatons might
have to stay in cities like Detroit.
Why pay wages of$10-plus an hour
when you can pay workers $10 a
day? Why go through the motions
of respecting labor law when you
can set up shop in a place where you
are the law?
Once upon a time, workers were
shot in cities like Akron, Detroit
and Pittsburgh with the same im-
punity that they are now shot in
places like Cuautitlan, Hermosillo,
and Nogales. An unfettered market
could bring those days back -
pitting workers here against work-




Nuts and Bolts
I unsRoiesi



by Judd Winick
WZ:NAD 2 ©N 'T
F.O~ck4 PsET

ers did the logical thing: They sat
down, refusing to work and refus-
ing to budge. Later that day, the
police released the kidnapped
But that was just the beginning.
When the plant's first shift returned

I HrLJo.

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