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8The Daily Tar Heel Tuesday, November 25, 1986
94 th year of editorial freedom
JIM ZOOK, Editor
Randy Farmer, Managing Editor
ED BRACKETT, Associate Editor
DEWEY MESSER, Associate Editor
Tracy Hill, News Editor
GRANT PARSONS, University Editor
LINDA MONTANARI, City Editor
JILL GERBER, State and National Editor
Scott Fowler, sports Editor
KATHY PETERS, Features Editor
ROBERT KEEFE, Business Editor
Elizabeth Ellen, Arts Editor
DAN CHARLSON, Photography Editor
Toward harmonious leadership
Amid nearly audible sighs of relief, i
President Corazon Aquino Sunday
dismissed Defense Minister Juan
Ponce Enrile. The credit for the long
needed move should be shared with
Gen. Fidel Ramos, the armed forces
chief of staff. Together, the pair is
providing more reliable and cohesive
leadership for the Philippines.
It was Ramos who detected and
defied. the weekend's planned coup
against Aquino. The push originated
within the military, as several colonels
and other junior officers who sup
ported Enrile decided to stop threat
ening a coup and get on with it. Such
threats came twice earlier this month,
but Ramos deflected the movements
with his equal devotion and support
for both the military and Aquino.
Ramos stood behind both sides of the
issue, and his most pressing concern
seemed to be defending each faction
from the other.
In the process, however, the status
quo prevailed, as did the plots to
overthrow Aquino. Ramos' neutrality
worked in the short run, but could not
serve anyone over the long run. Thus,
Ramos' most recent actions are hear
tening. Instead of allowing questions
of his real loyalty to further circulate,
Ramos has shown that he places the
highest priority on a stable presidency.
The Aquino administration had been
No job for machines
frantic for such backing, and it came
when the president needed it the most. !
Enrile's reasons for the coup involve
Aquino's outlook on handling the
nation's Communist insurgency. The
president attempted reconciliation, a
policy that gave Enrile and others of
like mind justification for overthrow
ing a "soft" president. As she fired her
entire Cabinet, Aquino vowed to
refute any claims of weak and indec
isive leadership: "This cannot
Faced with the coup, Aquino took
this ammunition away from Enrile,
and embarked on a new, harsher
course in dealing with the rebels.
Aquino announced that the Commu
nists have only until the end of the
month to accept her peace proposals.
Such firm action regardless of its
political practicality has been
unbearably absent in the chaos of the
Like Ramos, Aquino has adopted
a stronger approach to government,
one that will give pause to opponents
like Enrile. Further, with a clearer
message to the Communists that she
is no weakling, Aquino hopes to
convince the rebels that peace is the
better option. Regardless of whether
she's right about the Communists'
resolve, Aquino could finally provide
the coherent guidance that the Philip
pines so desperately needs.
In a time when school children are
learning to program computers, and
laser surgery yields regular medical
miracles, there are some things man
should not relegate to machines.
By overuse and over-dependence,
some innovations are superseding
some responsibilities better left to man
alone. Private businesses are increas
ingly reliant on polygraph machines
to determine an employee's integrity
when even manufacturers admit the
machines are not foolproof.
Some inventions designed to give
flexibility to corrections programs also
have dangerous potential. Take the
tracking experiment being conducted
in Winston-Salem. A computer device
keeps tabs on about six juvenile
delinquents being supervised under a
house arrest program.
The youths, repeat offenders with
out violent records, are required to
wear a leg transmitter. A frequency
is maintained with a small box att
ached to the family telephone. If an
offender slips out of the house during
an unspecified hour, the frequency is
broken. A computer emits an alarm
and produces a printout identifying the
violator and time of departure. Rem
oving the transmitter can send the
violator to jail.
The computer surveillance in and of
itself may be an asset for some
offenders; it can keep youth out of jail
at about half the cost of detention. But
it becomes too easy to relegate the care
and supervision of these offenders to
computers. And no computer can set
a wayward youth on a better track.
The concern may seem to be Orwel
lian paranoia. But even supporters of
the current surveillance experiments
are nervous about newer equipment
which is being designed to record
conversations and detect drug use by
probationers or parolees.
Americans cannot impede technol
ogy. They must guard their own
responsibilities. Humans are often
wrong, but they know truth, lies,
strength and weakness in a way no
machine can calculate.
The Daily Tar Heel
Editorial Writer: Kathy Nanncy
Staff Columnist: Pierre Tristam
Omnibus Editor: Sallie Krawcheck
Assistant Managing Editors: Jennifer Cox, Amy Hamilton and Regan Murray.
News: Jeanna Baxter, Stephanie Burrow, Charlotte Cannon, Chris Chapman, Paul Cory, Sabrina Darley,
Kimberly Edens, Michelle Efird, Jennifer Essen, Jeannie Fans, Scott Greig, Maria Haren, Nancy
Harrington, Suzanne Jeffries, Susan Jensen, Sharon Kebschull, Michael Kolb, Teresa Kriegsman, Laura
Lance, Alicia Lassiter, Mitra Lotfi, Brian Long, Justin McGuire, Laurie Martin, Toby Moore, Dan
Morrison, Felisa Neuringer, Rachel Orr, Fred Patterson, Liz Saylor, Sheila Simmons, Rachel Stiffler,
Elisa Turner, Nicki Weisensee, Beth Williams, Robert Wildennan and Bruce Wood. Jo Fleischer and
Jean Lutes, assistant university editors. Donna Leinwand, assistant state and national editor. Cindy
Clark, Ruth Davis and Michael Jordan, wire editors.
Sports: Mike Berardino, James Surowiecki and Bob Young, assistant sports editors. Bonnie Bishop,
Greg Cook, Phyllis Fair, Laura Grimmer, Clay Hodges, Greg Humphreys, Lorna Khalil, Eddy Landreth,
Mike Mackay, Jill Shaw and Wendy StringfeUow.
Features: Jessica Brooks, Julie Braswell, Eleni Chamis, Robbie Dellinger, Carole Ferguson, Jennifer
Frost, Jennifer Harley, Jeanie Mamo, Corin Ortlam, Lynn Phillips, Katie White, Mollie Womble and
Arts: James Burrus, David Hester, Alexandra Mann, Rene Meyer, Beth Rhea, Kelly Rhodes and Rob
Photography: Charlotte Cannon, Larry Childress, Jamie Cobb, Tony Deifell, Janet Jarman and Julie
Copy Editors: Sally Pearsall, assistant news editor. Dorothy Batts, Beverly Imes, Lisa Lorentz, Sherri
Murray, Marielle Stachura and Joy Thompson.
Editorial Cartoonists: Adam Cohen, Bill Cokas and Trip Park.
Campus Calendar: Mindelle Rosenberg and David Starnes.
Business and Advertising: Anne Fulcher, general manager; Patricia Benson, advertising director; Mary
Pearse, advertising coordinator, Angela Ostwalt, business manager; Cammie Henry, accounts receivable
clerk; Michael Benfield, advertising manager; Ruth Anderson, Michael Benfield, Jennifer Garden, Kelli
McElhaney, Chrissy Mennitt, Beth Merrill, Anne Raymer, Julie Settle, Peggy Smith, Kent Sutton,
Ashley Waters, and Layne Poole advertising representatives; Tammy Norris, Angie Peele, Stephanie
Chesson, classified advertising representatives; and Mary Brown, secretary.
Distribution circulation: William Austin, manager.
Production: Elizabeth Rich and Stacy Wynn. Rita Galloway, production assistant.
Printing: The Chapel Hill Newspaper
Does polygraph really measure truth?
ecent articles in The Daily Tar Heel
have renewed my memories of
JA.and hatred for polygraph tests.
As an undergraduate student, I was
employed part time as a clerk-cashier at a
convenience store. Within two weeks of
applying for the job, I was contacted by the
district manager for an interview. Excited
because jobs in my hometown were hard
to find, I went to the interview with
enthusiasm. Even after being told that I
would be subjected to a polygraph test
before being hired, I was willing travel 80
miles to another store to take the test. I
couldn't wait until the polygrapher could
come to my hometown three days later.
The thought of taking a polygraph test
did not bother me, because, like Laura Line
("Lie detectors no test of honesty, moral
character," Nov. 20), I had nothing to hide.
I was first questioned without the
machine. Some questions posed by the
polygrapher included: Are you using your
legal name? Have you ever been convicted
of a crime or a felony? Have you ever used
or experimented with any illegal drugs?
Have you ever told a serious lie? Have you
ever stolen anything from anyone or any
previous employer? After I answered "no"
to all these questions, the polygrapher
brought out the cords and wires.
I felt a bit nervous, with two cords around
my chest and stomach and the fingers of
one of my hands taped to a cord from the
machine. However, the polygrapher told me
to relax, assume a regular breathing rhythm
and close my eyes. I was asked the same
questions as before and asked to respond
I passed the test with flying colors and
began work the next day. But my encounter
with the so-called lie detector had not ended.
I was shown the company's handbook and
VJalior JamoG III
informed that all corporation stores were
audited once a month. In the event of an
inventory shortage of $250 or more, all
employees would be polygraphed.
The handbook stated: "Polygraph testing
is an important investigative tool that
protects the continued employment of
honest employees. Refusal to submit to a
polygraph test will be grounds for immediate
Within a year, I had taken another
polygraph test because of an inventory
shortage. The machine accused me of giving
merchandise to customers. Knowing this
was untrue, I became a little disturbed
but not too heated, since I wasnt fired or
threatened with dismissal. The machine
indicated a lie on only one question. It did
anger me to see co-workers fired after being
told by a machine that they were stealing,
using drugs or violating other policies.
Meanwhile, evidence had been found
repeatedly indicating that a store manager
in the district was stealing company money,
but he had passed the polygraph test three
times within five days. Other employees had
been fired, the only "evidence" against them
being failure to pass the polygraph test. After
two years the suspect manager was dismissed
for reasons other than his polygraph results.
I was transferred to another store to help
fill the vacancies. Within seven months, I
had taken six polygraph tests. My hatred
for the tests and the company grew. The
company needed some method of protection
from inside theft, but why was the test the
sole determinant of continued employment
without even a re-audit of the store?
On the day of the fourth test, I had been
rushed at school and was depressed and
upset. Before being connected to the
machine, the polygrapher told me that
honest people like me who said they never
violated company policy were more likely
to be caught by the machine than someone
whose conscience did not bother them for
stealing. I had probably done or stolen one
or two small things which were nagging my
conscience, he said.
The machine accused me of telling a
serious lie and stealing from my
previous employer. The polygrapher
asked me what I was hiding from him and
gave me the test a second time. It accused
me yet again. The third time, the machine
I was irate, but I needed the money
provided by the job. One and two months
later, when I was out of school and relaxed,
the machine cleared me on the first round.
I decided to leave as quickly as possible,
considering it asinine that a company could
fire me solely on the basis of a machine's
indications. The polygraph is not an effective
evaluator of truth; it can only indicate the
state of mind or emotion of the person at
the time of the test.
As Mike Radford of North Carolina
Polygraph Services Inc., said in the Nov.
10 Daily Tar Heel, "Man has not yet
invented the device that absolutely measures
the truth." I doubt Man ever will. A device
with no mind-reading abilities will never be
able to accurately measure and decipher the
reactions or responses of a human being.
Walter James III is a graduate student
in romance languages from Florence, S.C.
To the editor:
I find Richard Archie's
positions about Human
Rights Week contradictory
and absurd ("Fund shortage,"
letter, Nov. 17). Consider
Archie's claim that David
Hood and Jeff Taylor, recent
column writers, might be "con
cerned with violations only to
ridicule the only campus pro
gram that attempts to address
them." I can see it now, Taylor
saying to Hood, "Hey, the
Campus Y is having a Human
Rights Week, why don't we
make fun of it." Hood
responds, "Great idea. Let's go
over to Davis and research it.
Just one problem though:
what's a Campus Y and what's
a human right?"
I also find interesting
Archie's implication that UNC
students, if they care about
human rights, must use the
Campus Y as a focus of their
human rights activities.
Furthermore, Archie claims
in a letter to The Phoenix that
the reason the Soviet Union
was not included in Human
Rights Week is that its abuses
of human rights are well
known and to put them on the
agenda would just lead to a lot
of "propaganda" being thrown
about. However, that obscure
place about which huge quan
tities of unpolarized opinions
exist South Africa was
A second reason given was
that only three groups had
protested this. I guess a human
rights violation occurs only
when enough people decide an
event is a violation. Yet in his
letter, Archie said that the
Soviet Union and other areas
"were not covered because no
one came forward with pro
grams on these areas." Which
of these statements is true?
Which brings me to the
question of responsibility, or
Archie's apparent lack thereof.
If you are one of the two
people in charge of Human
Rights Week, it is your job to
make sure that adequate fund
ing, support, interest and
balanced programs exist. If
you do not succeed, the fault
is your own, not that of the
people who choose for
whatever reason not to
The most bizarre part of
Archie's letter comes when he
strongly and repeatedly sug
gests that Hood and Taylor
don't really have a right to
criticize his leadership or the
Human Rights Week, because
they were not involved in it.
If one takes this to its logical
conclusion, then a person who
is not involved in a given
government has no right to
criticize its actions.
For example, according to
the Archie edict, we have no
right to complain about apart
heid because we are not
involved in South Africa's
With logic like that, why have
a Human Rights Week at all?
Economics Political Science
1 V V-VJ
To the editor:
Congratulations and good
luck to Rick Spargo and Lori
Taylor, co-founders of trje
"UNC Straights Who Wait
Association." According to"
Spargo and Taylor ("Funding
waits," letter, Nov. 20) this
"organization consists of hete
rosexuals who have decided to
postpone their involvement in
sexual relations until they are
married," language that sug
gests that virgins would not
even qualify for membership
if they "fooled around."
I wish them congratulations
for their freedom to pursue
their own form of sexual
practice and preference, a
freedom that unfortunately
does not legally extend to
protect homosexuals or those
who engage in extramarital or
non-missionary sex. I wish
them good luck, because I
suspect they'll have a harder
time finding celibates than
homosexuals on this campus.
But senously, I would like to
offer some advice to Spargo,
Taylor and the so-called Stu
dents for America. Do not be
too quick to use religion as a
tool to excuse hatred, prejudice
and persecution. When religion
is used in this way, God's love
and compassion are too easily
forgotten, and only His wrath
remains. In addition, it is
somewhat presumptuous to
assume that you can use your
own mortal (and fallible) judg
ment as a substitute for His.
Everyone should b pre
pared to eventually face his or
her own Judgement Day, but
no one should be compelled to
submit to the dictates of a self
appointed and self-annointed
group professing to know the
CGLA doesn't discriminate
To the editor:
I would like to address Lori
Taylor and Rick Spargo
regarding their letter, "Fund
ing waits" (Nov. 20). Have
you ever been denied a job
because you are "straights
who wait"? Have you ever
been evicted or refused as a
tenant because of your sexual
preferences? Have you been
subjected to public ridicule
and snide, derogatory com
ments based on your sexual
practices? Have you been
physically abused by strangers
who have heard about your
. , recent declaration on the back
page of The Daily Tar Heel?
Your sexual practices are
. ' your own personal choices,
right? And you, although
claiming to be part of a minor
ity in today's society, are able
' to enjoy the protections of the
law and are not persecuted
because of your minority
Homosexuals, with whom
you have paralleled your
selves, can only respond as
you would to one of my
questions. When homosexu
als can also say no to the first
four questions and yes to the
sixth one, there will be no
need for a support-education
group like the Carolina Gay
and Lesbian Association.
Until that time, however,
the CGLA is a needed and
helpful resource group for
ALL students who will open
their minds and allow them
selves to be educatH