The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, September 02, 1988, Page 14, Image 14
14AThe Daily Tar HeelFriday, September 2, 1988 96th year of editorial freedom Karen Bell, News Editor MATT BlVENS, Associate Editor KlMBERLY EDENS, University Editor JON RUST, Managing Editor Will Lingo, city Editor Kelly Rhodes, Am Editor CATHY McHUGH, Omnibus Editor Jean Lutes, Editor KAARIN TlSUE, News Editor LAURA PEARLMAN, Associate Editor . KRISTEN GARDNER, University Editor SHARON KEBSCHULL, State and National Editor MIKE BERARDINO, Sports Editor LEIGH ANN McDONALD, Features Editor DAVID MlNTON, Photography Editor Starting a new league Tradition A lot changed in Teague oyer the summer. At the end of the spring semester last year, Teague residents held an outdoor party to celebrate the last day of classes. When the party got out of hand, the area director in charge of Teague moved the party inside, and some resentful partiers made racial slurs toward her. After the party, the harassment continued. Obscene drawings and profanity were scribbled on her apartment door. She received threat ening phone calls and people pounded on her windows at night. While school was still in session, the housing department called a meeting of all student leaders in Teague to ask for help in tracking down those responsible. In a perfect world, the people responsible for harassing the area director would have .been caught, criminally charged and expelled. But they weren't. So the University decided to move everyone out of Teague. The new dorm would be co-ed, in the hope that women would exert a maturing influence on guys predis posed to activities such as "swirling" the Teague initiation in which freshmen have their heads stuck , in toilet bowls and then flushed. Throwing 72 residents out because of the actions of a few is hardly fair. Even worse, it's a simplistic solution to a complex problem. Those respon sible are still at UNC, just living elsewhere on campus. Since then, 14 of the 72 former Teague residents have been moved bacK into the dorm nine on appeal and five at random. For all anybody knows, those five random students could have been the very heart of the Teague Star Chamber that started this mess. Administrators did get, rid of what they viewed as a problem dorm, while sending a message that racial harass ment will not be tolerated. But the swift action excluded students from ' planning Teague's future. Remember those Teague leaders who were asked to sniff out the responsible party? After they turned out to be poor detectives, the students weren't really consulted again. They should have been included in the decision-making. Luckily, Residence Hall Association President Jimmy Randolph and Stu dent Body President Kevin Martin were in Chapel Hill over the summer, although neither learned of the inci dent until after the spring semester was over. Officials told Randolph he hadn't been contacted earlier because they didn't want to bother him during exams. That's a pretty weak excuse. The University did take Randolph's and Martin's advice on relocating students. Rather than giving the .students rooms wherever space allowed, the housing department tried to grant them the second or third choices listed on their contracts. The housing department made mistakes in its handling of the situa tion. But it was a few Teague residents with hateful minds and idle hands who created the problem; and who should be blamed first. The racism that caused the Teague incident is still around, but the new Teague residents have a clean slate to work on. Sappy as it sounds, it's time for a new Teague Tradition. Matt Bivens Circles in the sand of a Delaware beach Racism need not apply at BIN Several freshmen have wandered into The Daily Tar Heel office this week, wanting to know how to join staff. One such freshman had a disturbing story to tell, one that demonstrates just how much racial attitudes on this campus need to change. She said she had been told that black students were not welcome on the DTH staff. She didn't think that was true, she said, but that's what she had heard. This was a new student, who hadn't even visited the newspaper office or met any staff members yet, and she already , had a negative perception about getting involved at UNC. Her story was frustrating and disheartening. Some people will say that the perception is negative, about black students working for the newspaper or getting involved anywhere else on campus. If so, that perception must be changed. Black students are welcome at the DTH, as they should be at all other student organizations. Jean Lutes Bush makes wild promises The Republican party has recently begun an advertising campaign in support of its presidential nominee, George Bush. The campaign lends new meaning to the Orwellian term doublespeak. It sounds exactly like the intro to every campaign speech that Heir Bush has given. "Seven continuous years of jobs, peace and unprecedented eco nomic growth." How can this country have it any better? Yet, if one ignores the rhetorical subterfuge, it becomes quickly appar ent that there is little truth to Repub lican myths. Jobs. In his acceptance speech before the Republican convention, Bush claimed that 17 million jobs had been created over the past seven years and said he hoped to create an additional 30 million if elected. This is an awesome claim. The latest unemployment statistics place the number of unemployed at approxi mately 6 to 7 million and forecast perhaps an additional 1 1 million new jobs would be created in the future. Creating 30 million jobs would require the "importation" of at least 19 million foreigners, impossible under the recent landmark immigration bill of 1986. Growth. For years, Reagan and his henchmen have been spitting into the . fan of reality by celebrating the largest post-WWII period of prosperity in the history of the nation. Long forgotten is the menacing recession of 1982, the most frightening period of economic stagnation since the Depression. Reagan, along with his esteemed Attorney General Edwin Meese, claims that there is no poverty in this country. Apparently he has yet to walk a mile from his palace in D.C., where he could find many who are poor and much PCP. How easy it is to ignore the troubles of others. Peace. Only in America, in the 1980's, can an administration that has been involved in a multitude of embarrassing military expeditions, in such locales as Grenada, Lebanon, the Gulf of Sidra, Libya, El Salvador and, of course, Honduras, claim to have had seven years of peace. This claim would perhaps be excusable if our military had performed up to par. Instead, the assorted generals and admirals have managed our defense with all the subtlety and competence of a Klansman at a Black Panthers' convention. In addition to botching scores of clandestine missions, the Department of Defense has clearly defrauded the public of hundreds of billions of dollars by procuring wea pons which were originally unnecces ary and are now worthless. Many claim that our armed forces are a mess, at their lowest readiness point ever. Jobs, Peace and Growth. Remember this on election day. Dave Hall r"lour children were having relay races -H along a beach in Delaware the other JjL night. They ran between the dunes and the surf under an almost full moon. They knew it would not last. The moon would have to set. I was one of those four reveling at the water's edge that night. Even at 21, there is something about this particular place that makes me forget that I only have one more year of college and tough decisions to make about the rest of my life. Those things just don't seem to be that important at the beach. At the beach I am just one of the Yelverton kids. We play with the Green Kids, the Autry kids and the Pope kids. That is our job for a week in August, just as it was the previous generation of Yelverton kids responsibility to play with the Wood kids, the Radigan kids and the Shefnockers. This is what we do, at least what I have done for the past 18 years that I can remember. Things really don't seem to change from year to year. A winter storm may take away some of the sand, crowding the families on 3rd Street Beach a little closer, only to find the umbrellas as far apart as ever the next year. The Greens' umbrella, two to the right, the Popes' in front of ours, closer to the water. The beach itself doesn't change, but the people passing through do. Andy Green and I have been friends for 11 years now. We met as my family was evacuating in the face of a hurricane, while Bill Yelverton Editorial Writer the Greens were calmly moving in to the apartment next to us. We survived and so did they. Andy and I are roughly the same age, so it came as a shock to me two years ago when he announced he was getting married. This year I showed his son, Morley, how to build drip castles. He's almost one and a half now. . The McNeals passed away over the winter. They owned the cottage that our family has rented for the past 40 years. Mr. McNeal taught me how tosurfcast and took me clamming in the inlet. Mrs. McNeal was famous for her clam chowder and tropical fruit freeze that she made specially for my sister and me, who are allergic to eggs. Mr. McNeal would Jail asleep during Scrabble games that lasted past 9 o'clock while his wife racked up points by strategically placing "quiz" on a triple-word score. We would wake him up when it vas his turn. The Scrabble board stayed in the cupboard this summer and there was no tropical fruit freeze. I was lucky to have known the McNeals. They are a part of the 3rd Street Beach that I know. Morley Green will never know them, except through the stories I will tell him. I hope he finds some people who are as important to him as the McNeals were to me. The beach I go to is fairly typical. There is plenty of sand, a boardwalk that runs for six blocks, and a main street complete with an ice cream parlor, cute gift shops and places to buy rafts and trashy paperbacks. It is the people that come back every August that make it a unique place. Carolina is a place very similar to my beach. There are people here that I will remember long after I have left the University. Some of these people ' are permanent fixtures here, others just happened to be passing through at the same time I was. The people I meet today may become the important people I will remember tomorrow. Bringing these people together is the reason for the University's existence; the buildings themselves are not all that important. The make-up of the University commun ity is constantly changing. As the class of 1992 enters the University today they will hear stories about the last game in Carmichael Auditorium, but wont really understand. Just like Morley Green will never be able to play Scrabble with the McNeals. I sometimes catch myself feeling sorry for the people who missed these things, but then I wonder what 111 miss when I'm gone. Bill Yelverton is a senior English major from Darien, Conn. Meaiclleirs9 Foram Machines magnify human error To the editor. An estimated 300,000 people watched the air show at a U.S. Air Force base at Ramstein, West Germany. Almost one third of a million people, with eyes lifted towards the heavens, witnessed the ability of technol ogy, especially military technol ogy, to magnify human error. But, as was the case with the downing of an Iranian airbus, there will be no significant change in policy. German Defense Minister Rupert Scholz's ban on future air shows is ineffectual, only a public relations move. Tech nology, our unholy fascination with it, the power structures 1 which determine its develop ment and the placement of blame for misuse and error, remain taboo. These questions become particularly acute when the machinery is military equipment designed to protect. . While U.S. officials quickly pointed out that a similar ' disaster would be impossible given our guidelines for such demonstrations, other hazards and potential hazards exist. In what are surely misuses of military license, we have sup- L ported South African apar theid in exchange for strategic minerals, and we currently maintain nuclear reactors, vir tually identical to the one at Chernobyl, for the production of plutonium. And in the worst abuse, we employ over 25 percent of our country's scient ists and spend billions of dollars in a sector of our economy replete with inefficiency and corruption. The results of this grand human error are pollu tion, death, hunger, inability to compete economically and potential nuclear annihilation. Much was made earlier in this century of the barbarism that had returned to warfare. Unfortunately, just as the dis tinction between soldier and civilian is no longer extant, our Cold War has smeared the line between war and peace. This is the context in which the disaster in Ramstein must be understood. The planes that crashed last Sunday were in the process of transcribing a heart. Ironically, the plane which caused the disaster was supposed to fly through the heart's center, completing the picture. Instead, it plunged into the spectators below. In the horror of the moment I am sure its symbo- lism was missed. But perhaps upon reflection we will all become witnesses to the failure of the world's military establishments- to provide true protection. THOMAS BEESON Graduate Education. Smaller military provides best defense ith defense spending such an important issue in the 1988 election, isn't it strange that the only cost cutting measure which has not been suggested is a reduction in the size of our military force? Democrats and Republicans both want to make defense their issue. For Demo crats, it is an economic issue. Republicans have done their best to make it an emotional issue. Democrats are for saving money, which is good, but they don't offer a more inexpensive defense concept, which is not so good. What they do propose amounts to merely under-funding the glut of military might which they would inherit. Republicans claim to have made America strong again, but offer purchase orders for expensive weapons systems as evidence. Despite all their concern over communist threats, they never explain exactly how their purchases address those threats. This is akin to a businessperson up to the neck . in debt taking out a loan for a boat-load of widgets and saying to the investors, Dont worry, boys. These are the best widgets in the world. Well figure out what to do with them later." The nation agrees on the principle of national defense, but cannot decide what the expression of that principle should be. What is the role of the military? What are its goals and missions? What is being threatened? Who is doing the threatening, and where? What is required to meet that threat? It seems logical that we should attempt to answer these questions thought fully before even beginning to think about allocations. - I offer the opinion that what serves us best is a smaller, better trained force. I do not base this opinion on idle speculation. The last four years of my life were spent in the U.S. Armored Cavalry. During that time I learned a lesson about size vs. skill. That is, a smaller, better trained, better led force is superior to a larger, poorly .trained, poorly led force, even when assuming similar technical capabilities. Third Cavalry learned this at the National Training Center. Israel has proved it in every war they've fought since 1948. Good leaders apply it in their tactics. When offered a second-rate unit to add Daniel Conover Staff Writer . to his defenses, the insightful commander holds it off the line. It is better to defend with two units you can trust than with two units you can trust and one unit you can't. When a weak unit disintegrates under fire, good units supporting it are put at risk. In the rush to buy the best weapons, we have forgotten that people fight battles, not weapons. A tank is simply as good as the tank crew,. Reagan has rebuilt the armed forces, but the restoration is full of holes. Reason? Whenever a choice had to be made between funds for training and funds for weapons procurement, training lost. There's an understandable side to this syndrome; with just a little shoe polish and starch, even the worst unit can impress a senator. No amount of paint, however, will make an old M-60 tank look like a new M-1 Abrams tank. New weapons are tangible assets to report to constituents. Our tax money bought thousands of high-tech tanks. And . half of those tanks are wandering around lost in maneuver drills because the budget to train tank commanders went to buy the tanks. It's all about goals, and the problem is that our goals are murky at best. A lot of money is disappearing into .this fog. Defense spending literally chokes our economy. Consider it this way: for $2.4 million you can buy your own tank, and that will be the last you see of your $2.4 million. Invest that same money in a business or in education and that $2.4 ' million will keep coming back in the way of jobs, profits, services, etc. In other words, a tank is nothing more than a , monetary exchange. The government collects your share of the tank at tax time, then gives it to the people who make the tank. No real money is produced. Times like they are, few people feel cavalier about throwing away a few billion dollars a year. Or is it trillions? Who can keep track? Obviously, we just cant afford this kind of spending. Most Americans now agree on this point. The problem is that everyone's for cutting the budget, but no' one is for reducing the force. Simply cutting funds Democrats refuse to touch this issue because it invites attack, not from abroad but from the Republicans. The GOP owns the rhetorical high-ground on this issue because, simply put, Reagan' made the entire country paranoid about the vague "communist threat." Average citizens are not sure how the Sandinistas plan to invade Texas, but they know Uncle Ron sure is worried about it.' v , ? If Reagan is most worried about this hemisphere, he certainly doesn't put his money where his mouth is. The admin istration is fixated on Europe, at least when judged by what they went out and bought. Every significant weapons program of the last eight years has been designed to fight Russians in West Germany. Why are we arming to fight the Russians in Europe at a time when military analysts are discounting the likelihood of an attack on nrtiu: us particularly coniusing in. light of Reagan's policy objectives in Central America. I can't read the President's mind, but I really don't need to. The fact is, you fight in a jungle with lots of rifles and grenades and mortars, aided by a few helicopters. Relatively speaking, these are pretty inexpensive items. But you fight the Russians in Central Europe and now we're talking financial opportunity. World War III requires tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, self propelled artillery, ground-to-air missiles, air-defense guns, fighter planes, stealth bombers, satellites, aircraft carriers, guided-missile destroyers, Cruise missiles; strategic bombers, chemical weapons and, finally, tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. These are the high-dollar items.: It's time the nation sat down and figured out just what we are defending ourselves against. The unfortunate aspect of all this is that we probably never will. With current political rhetoric in place, it is much easier to spend than it is to think. Daniel Conover is a junior jburnalism, major from Carrboro.