North Carolina Newspapers

    6The Daily Tar HeelMonday, October 10, 1983
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Recognize the overstatement as an overstatement
91st year of editorial freedom
. Kerry DeRochi, Editor
ALISON DAVIS, Managing Editor . JEFF HlDAY. Associate Editor
LISA PULLEN, University Editor JOHN CONWAY, City Editor
Christine Manuel, state and National Editor
MIKE DeSISTI, Sports Editor
JJlLL RlEDY, News Editor
Sobering up
North Carolina's tough new driving laws, which went into effect 10
days ago, have had a sobering effect on drinking drivers. For the past two
weekends, DWI arrests have been below normal. Apparently, the goal to
cut down on alcohol-related deaths and injuries on the state's highways is
being realized. If the laws save but one life, as they most assuredly will,
the efforts will have been well worth the time and expense.
The new law has created a single offense of driving while impaired,
with five levels of punishment ranging up to two years in prison and a
$2,000 fine based on aggravating and mitigating factors presented in
court. The laws also provide for an automatic 10-day driver's license
revocation for anyone exceeding a .10 limit on a blood-alcohol test. And
perhaps the most visible impact of the law is the provision to raise the
legal drinking age for beer and wine from 18 to 19.
About one quarter of UNC students the freshmen have been
muttering under their breaths about the new laws ever since it sank in that ,
they would soon be underage." The fuming 1 8-year-olds complain that if
they are old enough to vote and to be drafted they should be allowed to
drink. A prime subject of their curses, Gov. Jim Hunt, who spearheaded
the effort to pass the laws, has even been the impetus for last-minute par
tying: "One fraternity had a " Jim Hunt Party" to celebrate the end
of legal drunken bliss for 18-year-olds. Many students spent their last
legal night gulling beer in bars. Some spent it walking about the street
and contemplating the effects of the new law. Some flocked to conven
ience stores to stock up on their favorite beer.
All of the complaints, however, pale in comparison with the potential
for lifesaving afforded by the new laws. The laws are asking a lot of
everyone, not just students and others underage. Administrators
policemen, magistrates, judges must put up with the time and frustra
tion of additional, complicated paperwork. State highway patrol officials
have said that under the old law it took about one hour to process some
one arrested for driving under the influence. Under the new law it takes
about twice that long to process someone arrested for driving while im
paired. Whatever consternation there might be, especially among those left
high and dry because of the new laws, all this has served to raise the
alcohol-consciousness level of the public. Never before have so many
students been aware and afraid of what might happen. Never before have
so many concerned themselves with holding back on that last drink in
" order to sober up before driving home. Or, better yet, they concern
themselves with finding a ride home with a sober friend.
X VP$&$!!
Question: What is the work done by force f(xy) 2-(x,y) in moving a
particle along one arc of the cycloid given by x(t) (t-sin(t), l-cosin(t)), if
t is less than or equal to 2n and greater than or equal to 0?
Wrong.
Ahh, College Bowl the time of trivia, the season of statistics.
Glazed-eyed students wander about campus, reciting the preamble to tire
Constitution. You know them by thejr looks of frustration as they fran-
tically memorize the presidents, the vice presidents, their wives and the
middle names of their first-born sons. They clasp Wordsworth's
"Prelude" as they chant of mountains and moonlight. They won't speak,
except to ask what was the capital of Montana, the name of the dog on
the Jetsons and how many kids were on "My Three Sons."
Visions of the square root of three divided by six dance in their heads.
How long would it take a car traveling at 40 mph to go 650 miles? What
percentage is 13 of 253? (Here you can even distinguish between their ma
jors liberal arts by the way they search for extra batteries to their
calculators). -
These are the grown-up high school High-Qers of yesteryear. They
can and probably will tell you all the little-knbwh facts you never
really wanted to know. And, you'll probably keep hearing those obscure
oddities for the next few weeks at least until the list of 48 teams is nar
rowed to the final two. It's double elimination in this competition, so
even those who lose by embarrassing margins can have a second chance
... that is, if they can square the hypotenuse of a right triangle and have it
equal the sum of the squares of the two legs.
The Daily
Editorial Writers: Frank Bruni, Charles Ellmaker and Kelly Simmons
Assistant Managing Editors: Joel Broadway, Tracy Hilton and Michael Toole
Assistant News Editor: Melissa Moore
News: Tracy Adams, Dick Anderson, Joseph Berry hill, Angela Booze, J. Bonasia, Keith
Bradsher, Amy Brannen, Lisa Brantley, Hope Buffington, Tom Cordon, Kathie Collins, Kate
Cooper, Teresa Cox, Lynn Davis, Dennis Dowdy, Chris Edwards, Suzanne Evans, Kathy
Farley, Steve Ferguson, Genie French, Kim Gilley, Marymelda Hall, Andy Hodges, Sue Kuhn,
Liz Lucas, Thad Ogburn, Beth O'Kefley, Janet Olson, Rosemary Osborne, Heidi Owen, Beth
Ownley, Cindy Parker, Donna Pazdan, Ben Perkowski, Frank Proctor, Linda Queen, Sarah
Raper, Mary Alice Resch, Cindi Ross, Katherine Schultz, Sharon Sheridan, Deborah Simp
kins, Jodi Smith, Sally Smith, Lisa Stewart, Mark Stinneford, Carrie. Szymeczek, Liz Saylor,
Mike Sobeiro, Amy Tanner, Doug Tate, Wayne Thompson, Vance Trefethen, Chuck Wall
ington, Scott Wharton, Lynda Wolf, Rebekah Wright, Jim Zook, Kyle Marshall, assistant
state and national editor, and Stuart Tonkinson, assistant university editor.
Sports: Frank Kennedy and Kurt Rosenberg, assistant sports editors. Glenna Burr ess, Kimball
Crossley, Pete Fields, John Hackney, Lonnie McCullough, Robyn Norwood, Michael Pers
inger, Julie Peters, Glen Peterson, Lee Roberts, Mike Schoor, Scott Smith, Mike Waters,
David Wells, Eddie Wooten and Bob Young.
Features: Dawn Brazell, Clarice Bickford, Tom Camacho, Toni Carter, Margaret Claiborne,
. Karen Cotten, Cindy Dunlevy, Charles Gibbs, Tom Grey, Kathy Hopper, Dana Jackson,
Charles Karnes, Joel Katzenstein, Dianna Massie, Kathy Norcross, Jane Osment, Clinton
Weaver and Mike Truell, assistant features editor.
Arts: Steve Carr, Ivy Hilliard, Jo Ellen Mcekins, Gigj Sonner, Sheryl Thomas and David
Schmidt, assistant arts editor. ' . '
Graphic Arts: Jamie Francis, Lori Heeman, Ryke Longest, Jeff Neuville, Zane Saunders and
Lori Thomas, photographers.
Business: Anne Fukher, business manager; Tammy Martin, accounts receivable clerk; Dawn
Welch, circulationdistribution manager; William Austin, assistant circulationdistribution
manager; Patti Pittman, classified advertising manager; Julie Jones, assistant classified adver
tising manager; Debbie McCurdy, secretary receptionist.
Advertising: Paula Brewer, advertising manager; Mike Tabor, advertising coordinator; Laura
Austin, Melanie Eubanks, Kevin Freidheim, Patricia Gorry, Terry Lee, Doug Robinson and
Anneli T&k ad representatives. ,
Composition: UNC-CH Printing Department
Printing: Hinton Press, Inc. of Mebane. '
KAREN FISHER, Features Editor
Jeff Grove, Arts Editor-
CHARLES W. LEDFORD, Pho0graphy Editor
Tar Heel
To the editor: .
Overstatement is often an effective
means of making a point. Unfortunately,
it sometimes ignores certain facts while
cutting to the essence of an issue. But
when one is making an important point
tersely, overstatement is justified. I admit
that my isolated comment, "They can
send me to Lebanon to put bullets in
babies, but I can't have a beer" ("18-year-olds
had last lawful beers," DTH, Oct. 3),
could be misleading and possibly offensive
to U.S. servicemen. Yet Elizabeth Grant
Fisher chooses to ignore the fact that this
was an isolated overstatement from a con
versation with a DTH reporter. Had she
heard the rest of the conversation, Fisher
might not be as likely to assert that my
views are a perpetuation of "the idea that
military service. . .is equivalent to govern
mentally sponsored and sanctioned infan-
He shouldn
To the editor:
In reference to the article ("King's
birthday may be holiday," DTH, Oct.
4), I'd like to say a few words about
Jesse Helms. Labelling Helms a
"racist" is an understatement. His ef
forts to fight the passage of the bill
making King's birthday a holiday and
further plans to block IRS action op
posing discrimination against blacks in
private and church schools clearly
makes him deserving of this label.
The purpose of making King's
birthday a holiday is to honor a great
man for his efforts to free blacks from
racial cliscrirnination, not to give
laborers a day of "leisure." The same
principle exists behind the observance
of Washington's birthday a holiday
to honor a great man. Obviously,
Jesse Helms does not think that the
Reverend Martin Luther King was a
great man since he describes King as
espousing Marxist-Leninist doctrine.
Why Fall
To the editor:
Concerning Fall Break: After several
years of absence, I have returned to UNC
and, as is to be expected, I have found a
few things changed and new things es
tablished. One of these is Fall Break.
Why do we need a Fall Break? I do not
really see the need for a couple of days
off in October (except to catch up on our
studies) when in about a month we will
have a break for the Thanksgiving
holiday. It seems unnecessary to have a
break now.
It is unfair for students who live in
dorms and cannot go home to have to
find a place to stay for four days because
the dormitories will be closed. There are
many out-of-state and foreign students at
this University who cannot go elsewhere
because doing so is expensive, and to
them this situation is going to be ex
tremely inconvenient and disrupting.
It is not that I do not like days off, but
I would rather have Fall Break abolished
and those two days added to the Thanks
giving or Christmas holidays. It makes
No cokes
To the editor:
Congratulations to Frank Bruni for his
insightful commentary on American
poverty ("If he were a poor man...,"
DTH, Oct. 5). As Bruni points out, the
reality of the food-stamp budget is that it is
simply not "adequate" in any real sense: it
provides money enough to eat noodles and
bread, but it does not allow for many serv
ings of the more "expensive" items like
fresh vegetables and fruit. The food-stamp
menu is boring, unhealthy and demoraliz
ing. I know: I too lived out the food-stamp
experiment.
Several weeks ago I agreed to follow
John Block's example and live on a food
stamp budget for a week as part of a
political science class. There was, however,
one important difference: Block and fami
ly had lived on the maximum allowance of
$58 for a family of four (69 cents a meal
per person); I agreed instead to live off the
average allowance for food-stamp reci
pients, which is considerably less. I re
ceived $11 for a week of groceries, or
about 53 cents a meal.
The seven days I spent on the food
stamp plan were not generally pleasant
ones. My meals largely consisted of bread
and rice with an occasional dash of
vegetables or hot dogs or soup. I wasn't
Letters?
( The Daily Tar Heel welcomes letters to the
editor and contributions of columns for the
editorial page.
Such contributions should be typed, triple
spaced,' on a 60-space line, and are subject to
ticide."
My comment was not an indictment of
all soliders as "baby killers" but rather a
testimony to the moral inconsistency of
our legislators. What was the purpose of
raising the legal drinking age? Gov. Jim
Hunt and his safe Roads Task Force main
tain that the measure was designed to
"save our youth" from the slaughter on
the nation's highways. Yet these same
representatives seem to have no qualms
about the possibility of our youth falling
victim to the slaughter in the battlefields of
Lebanon (or El Salvador, for that matter).
Fisher repeats an obvious point: that the
.N.C.. legislature cannot send-anyone to
Lebanon. But does it not seem inconsistent
that these lawmakers could revoke beer
drinking privileges' from the same, in
dividuals who could be called upon to kill
or be killed in Lebanon? Eighteen-year-old
t be senator
Marxist-Leninist doctrine (com
munism), ' as Webster's New World
Dictionary puts it, is "a hypothetical
stage of socialism, as formulated by
Marx, Engels, Lenin, and ethers, to
be characterized by a classless and
stateless society and the equal dis
tribution of economic goods and to be
achieved by revolutionary and dicta
torial, rather than gradualistic,
means."
King's efforts included a non
violent philosophy of working to
eliminate discrimination against
blacks not a philosophy of "action
oriented revolutionary doctrine,'' as
Helms believes. Jesse Helms has hor
ribly misinterpreted King's goals and
efforts and the efforts of black people.
A man such as Jesse Helms should not
be a senator from North Carolina.
Cezanne A. Gray
Sandra Black
Hinton James
Break?
more sense to have the final exams
scheduled earlier so we can start our
Christmas holidays sooner instead of hav
ing to stay here until Dec. 22.
For students like myself who leave the
state and travel far to be with relatives
during the holidays, a few days make a
lot of difference. Not only would we en
joy a longer vacation, but we would be
able to take advantage of reduced air
fares if we could depart before "high
season" begins and the crowds go home
for Christmas. . ., .
I hope those who prepare the Universi
ty calendar give some thought to this al
ternative and consider the inconvenience
of Fall Break and the benefit of adding
these days to our December vacation.
I am sure many students share my
point of view and would welcome a
change in the University calendar in the
future. If we did not have Fall Break eight
years ago, why do we need it now?
Miriam Asenjo-Reed
Romance Languages Dept.
for poor
able to afford "luxuries" like fruit juice,
or coffee,, or even milk. In addition, my
social life deteriorated drastically to go
for a Coke with a friend would have meant
spending half my daily food budget. Like
Block, I did. the experiment for only a
week; and I consider myself lucky to have
stuck it out that long. I quickly discovered
how depressing it can be to face a meal
that is poor quality, starchy and generally
unsatisfying. And I realized how draining
it can be to spend so much time and energy
worrying about when, and how, I was go
ing to eat next.
None of this is designed to elicit sym
pathy for the plight of a middle-class white
woman who had to eat macaroni for a few
days. The point is simply that most of us
don't have any honest conception of what
it is like to be poor. We are so busy guard
ing our tax dollars that we don't stop to
consider what our unrealistically low food
stamp budget is demanding of our coun
try's poor, 40 percent of whom are
children under the age of 18.
Bruni' s article was an important state
ment about the inadequacies of the
American response to poverty. Bravo.
Melani McAlister
MalletteSt.
editing. Contributions must be submitted by
noon the day before publication.
Column writers should include their ma
jors and hometown; each letter should in
clude the writer's name, address and
telephone number.
men have borne a great responsibility
fighting for our country's "interests" but
have not been afforded privileges given
those who would not be called up to fight "
(and who are not registered for the draft).
As an editorial in The Phoenix made clear,
"Some of the Marines shipped back to the
United States in boxes would have been
refused a beer" on Oct. 1.
As her final criticism, Fisher says I
should extend my "concern to the babies
who are killed on the highways of this
country... by drunken drivers." She
seems . to be inferring, again from an
isolated comment, that because I disagree
with raising the legal drinking age I have
no "concern" for the carnage on our
highways. This cannot be further from the
truth. Raising the legal chinking age is
neither an entirely just nor a necessarily ef
fective means of imrwrwin afWv on our
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To the editor:
Let's hear it for the University of North
Carolina Varsity Cheerleaders!!! For the
first time since I've been here (Sept. 1980),
the cheerleading squad has been allowed to
do their job. And what a job they have
done!!! Agreed, it was an ACC game and
the first half was close. But I never would
have thought that such true Carolina spirit
could be seen all over Kenan Stadium.
They didn't need jokes and innuendoes to
succeed in arousing what I hope everyone
considers the best of Tar Heel Spirit. The
entire crowd was behind our team and in
volved in the game against the Deacons.
Our cheerleaders work hard (and always
have), but Saturday the squad was given
Taxpayers
To the editor:
The liberal bias displayed by your edi
torial page is always tiresome. It becomes
infuriating when the writing is even more
careless and ignorant than usual, as is the
case with Frank Bruni's article "If he were
a poor man. . . " (DTH, Oct. 5).
Bruni, who has probably paid less than
$1 ,000 for taxes in his professional life, ex
ploits the myth that taxpayers are by
nature greedy and unsympathetic toward,
the poor. He ignores the obvious fact that
the poor have no monopoly on tight bud
gets. In my middle-class family we eat steak
perhaps once a year, partly because my
mother spends a quarter of her income on
taxes. It is preposterous and offensive to
suggest that my family and others com
plain about their tax burden out of a lack
of compassion.
Even more irresponsible is Bruni's im
plication that putting more money into
social programs is the solution to this
American Atheists
not intolerant of
others' religious beliefs
By ALLAN ROSEN
We were recently treated to an inside
look at "The nuts and bolts of
atheism" in a column by Ken Langston
(DTH, Sept. 23). He claimed that
American Atheists, a national organi
zation with a chapter on campus,
preached on what it means to be a true
atheist. He compared this organization
to the religious right and to fundamen
talist faiths. He implied that our group
is intolerant of religious freedom,
closed to agnostics or religious persons
in favor of separation of state and
church and unwilling to admit that
religious persons have made contribu
tions to humankind.
Every accusation or insinuation in
his column is utterly false. I suspect
Langston felt compelled to write such a
malicious story because he was dis
turbed that atheists, agnostics and
other free thinkers could be motivated
to fight for separation of church and
state because they feel that religion is
generally harmful to society. To
Langston's credit, he realizes that for
separation of state and church to make
any sense it must mean freedom from
religion as well as freedom of religion.
Our group does not suggest or tell
people what to believe. People who
join American Atheists are highly in
dependent and would naturally resent
this. At the meeting Langston wrote
about, we did give an overview of the
' terms theistr atheist and agnostic.
These terms, are often misunderstood,
roads. Why should all 18-year-olds suffer
for the actions of those who drive drunk,
only some of whom "are, yes, 18 years
old"? Underage drinkers will continue to
obtain beer, as they always have, and, un
fortunately, more of them wuT have
nothing to do but drink in their cars.
Again, I would like to make clear that
my comment was not intended to be an in
sult to U.S. servicemen. I hope that Fisher
can recognize an overstatement as an
overstatement and that in the future she
will consider: both the morality and
fairness of the Safe Roads Act before
launching such an ardent polemic.
Benjy Sutker
Morrison
the spirit
the place they deserve: alone in front of
our eyes, and in our hearts!!! I enjoyed
this game more than any other game I
have been to in four years. I think that
everyone at the game appreciates our
cheerleaders and band and their time, ef
fort, dedication, and teamwork. Mitch
recognized the "Band of Champions" as
they well deserve, but no one could use the
microphone to say, "Let's hear it for our
cheerleaders. What a job!!! You're great.
We love you!" The standing ovation they
would have received might have been able
to show our appreciation.
Amy F. Doster
Granville South
hurting, too
country's poverty program. I realize that a
casual glance at the facts is too much to ex
pect of editorial writers for The Daily Tar
Heel. In this case, investigation would
have revealed that the situation of the poor
actually deteriorated during the '60s and
'70s, a period of unprecedented expendi
tures on social programs. Bruni, like so
many other journalists, finds it attractive
to blame President Reagan's economic
policies for a situation long in existence.
To other observers it is manifest that the
welfare system victimizes the underprivi
leged and perpetuates their poverty.
If Bruni wishes to demonstrate real con
cern for the poor, he will spend a little
energy exploring the realities of poverty in
stead of contenting himself with false ex
pressions of pity and ill-considered accusa
tions. Lisa D. Jacobs
Chapel Hill
so we went over their popular defini
tions as well as how they are generally
used by Western philosophers.
. Any comparison of American
Atheists to a fundamentalist religion
(or any religion) is absurd since we
don't have any doctrine and don't dic
tate behavior. To be fair to Langston, I
would say that American Atheists
could be compared to other
causepolitical organizations with
regard to their style of rhetoric.
American Atheists can point out
how religion has had negative impacts
on society without being intolerant of a
person's right to have religious beliefs.
People should be able to criticize
religion without someone shouting,
"Oh, so you believe religion is the root
of all evil," "Religious people have
done magnificent deeds" and other
straw man arguments. It is about time
for people to recite 'not only the nice
passages in their Bibles but also to
think about the social effects from its
bizarre notions about sex, its bigotry
toward women, its intolerance of non
Christian (or non-Jewish) people, its
glorification of war, rape, violence and
obedience, to authority.
American Atheists is a good and
productive organization. Although it is
not for everyone, its policies have been
able to attract members such as Isaac
Asimov, Bertrand Russell, Margaret
Sanger, Butterfly McQueen, Albert
Ellis and Leonard Bernstein.
. Allan Rosen, a graduate student in
the School of Public Health, was the
speaker at the first meeting of
American Atheists.
i i '- i
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