The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 29, 1992, Page 4, Image 4

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    _ t Y--V' , _ . ■ , - . ' ' • -- ■- ' - ----—
m *| Jana Pedersen, Editor, 472-1766
Q 0 Uaily Alan Phelps, Opinion Page Editor
Page I ||^| y% 1 nn Nebraskan
4 m #111 II II II I Wendy Navratil, Copy Desk Chief
m^r JLm JL m JL ^LJ JL WL Editorial Board Brian Shellito, Cartoonist
Univaraity of Nabraska-Uncoin Jeremy Fitzpatrick, Senior Reporter
Allegiance to pledge
Senator’s resignation example to voters
Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota made a promise when
he was first elected to office in 1986.
If marked improvements had not been made in the
federal trade and budget deficits before he came up for re
election, the Democrat said, he would step down and let
someone else try.
Now, although Conrad has admitted the failure of Congress
to take action and has an
nounced his resignation, 71
percent of North Dakotans
want him to run again any
way, according to a 1990
public opinion survey, and
his office recently has been
flooded with calls. Sixty-two
percent favored Conrad in
February over a Republican
What about throwing the
bums out? Where have the
term limiters gone? Hasn’t
Congress lost touch with
nlcss the American
people arc convinced that
significant change must
usa pyttiK/DN occur, nothing much will
happen,” Conrad told the World-Herald. “We will continue to
have gridlock.”
Conrad said that on the day he announced his resignation, he
introduced a five-year, $500 billion deficit-reduction plan that
won all of three votes in the 21-member budget committee.
The Senator’s attitude on budget reform, while admirable,
probably didn’t win him the huge following he enjoys in his
state. One of his biggest accomplishments was securing a $500
million drought-relief package for North Dakota farmers in
1988 and 1989.
Conrad conceded the action added to the deficit along with
everything else.
“People have to make judgments about what they do. ...
It’s a matter of hard choices and making things add up.”
North Dakotans remember the money Conrad spent more
rcaany man inc money nc aucmpica to save, i ncy arc repre
sentative of voters across the country.
With all the yelling and hot air on how we need definite
action in Washington, it might seem surprising that a senator
who acknowledges Congress’ failings and wants a new crowd
to step in is drowned out by voters who don’t desire change.
If Americans demand reform, they must be willing to pay
the price through budgetary cutbacks. If not, they should slop
Conrad remains firm in his decision to move back to North
“I made a pledge, and violating it would have just increased
the doubts about people serving in public office,” he said.
“This was a final decision.”
Only when voters elect more such representatives will
America see any real improvement.
Child doesn’t get free choice
I am writing in response to the
letter “Reproductive freedom essen
tial” that appeared in the DN on April
27. The writer of the letter could not
understand why the issue of abortion
is an ethical or moral question. I would
like to think that all of us as individu
als have a good set of moral and
ethical guidelines that governs our
lives. Having this set of moral and
ethical guidelines, I don’t know how
a person could support a woman’s
“freedom of choice” to have an abor
Perhaps the best way to settle this
matter would be to consult Webster’s
once again and to sec what it has to
say about morals and ethics. Web
ster’s defines moral as follows: a) of
or relating to principles of right and
wrong, b) conforming to a standard of
right behavior. Ethic is defined as: a)
the discipline dealing with what is
good and bad and with moral duly
and obligation, b) a set of moral prin
ciples or values.
It would seem to me that we all
have an idea of what is good and bad
or what is right and wrong. Since
people cannot always agree on what
is right and what is wrong, we end up
with such moral and ethical questions
as abortion.
If I were to kill a 3-monih-old
child, I would think that almost every
person in this country would accuse
me of commuting an immoral and
unethical act and would expect me to
be punished for it. However, if I were
to end that same child’s life by per
forming an abortion, my actions would
go unpunished. How can we have
such a great double standard of mor
als and ethics when it comes to end
ing a life?
It has always ama/cd me how people
can use the term “freedom of choice.”
What the term is basically saying is
that a mother has the freedom to choose
whether or not her chi Id should I i ve or
die. I just wonder sometimes where is
the child’s “freedom of choice”? Does
the child even have one? According
to the letter, freedom is the slate or
quality of being free; especially an
exemption or liberation from the
control of some other person or some
arbitrary power; liberty; independ
ence. It would appear to me that the
child does not have much freedom or
much choice in the matter.
The letter was right when it said
that not all people arc treatea as equals.
Obviously, we afe not treating the
lives of the unborn as equal.
Many times I have heard the phrase
that the children arc our future. What
kind of future docs our country face
when we keep killing our children?
Ted Mckclburg
W***™ ®*K* tAt Bt "too* %NNIV*6 M«. 3&SSE..
VAK\B-! \
Garages hold untold treasures
Last weekend I was rummaging
through my parents’ garage,
looking for some semi-valu
able yet forgotten items of theirs I
might be able to pawn. They had
changed the locks on me again, but I
finally managed to get through a
window without breaking too much
The old neighbor guy was watch
ing me from his garden, and 1 sus
pected he would call my parents, but
it didn’t matter. 1 was fairly sure they
wouldn’t press charges this time be
cause I had a legitimate reason for
burglary. The shelter had called to
tell me they had picked up my dog
and I had told them 1 would be right
down to bail him out. That had been
more than a week ago.
Now 1 was having trouble raising
the ransom money, and I figured
perhaps there might be something
salable in my parents’ garage. Like
most garages, theirs is a receptacle
for things that are just barely too nice
to throw out. A set of 20-year-old
ladies’ golf clubs, a broken outboard
motor, an 8-lrack collection and 100
f(^;l of leaky garden hose were the
most valuable items I could find.
I had already searched my old
bedroom closet Toroid baseball cards,
wheal pennies, comic books, any
thing of value. My dog had lo be
getting nervous by this time, but all I
could find were slacks of junk from
long-gone high school days — year
books, photographs and notebooks
full of mindless doodles and Van Halcn
song lyrics.
Actually, if you need lo kill a few
hours this summer, try looking through
your old homework assignments. For
instance, I discovered a paper I had
written on ‘The Great Gatsby.” My
thesis statement was something about
Jay Gatsby “gelling a bum rap,” but I
concluded that overall “it was a pretty
cool book.”
Not that I’m much more literate
these days, mind you. In fact, I may
have turned that same paper in again
some lime during college. In any case,
“Gatsby” might be a fine book, but
try telling that lo the smiling machine
working behind the counter at the
bookstore during buy-back time.
“Sir, I’m not sure we’re buying
that book,” he said as I handed it to
“What do you mean you’re not
buying it? Everybody should own a
copy of this book.”
At this point, he consulted his thick,
red tome full of lies and trickery.
I considered hauling
th£ trunk i/p on the
mil somehow and
dimming it an tin
driveway, but it was
probably so loaded
with told urns. L
couldn’t ljft it. And
what if it contained
priceless Ming
vases? I had to be
“Well... we can give you a dollar
for it, I guess,” he mumbled, smiling.
“A dollar? For the finest novel of
American literature?^ You must be
mad!” I yelled.
At this point, I had a choice to
make, if I left the dog locked up, he
would most certainly be killed. He
was far too ugly and vicious to be
adopted by even the most caring of
souls. But a dollar for Fitzgerald’s
finest work was an insult.
Anyway, that is how I found my
self snooping around the garage,curs
ing the bookstores for their stinginess
and inhumanity. Why couldn’t I have
been an engineering major? They
always get $50 or S60 apiece for their
used books. Besides, how hard can it
be to drive a train?
Only a few items in the garage
even had any nostalgic value. My
first shotgun, my old Scooby-Doo
tackle box, a set of fun-yet-dcadly
Lawn Darts. I was just about to aban
don hope when I discovered an old
steamer trunk in the comer.
It was one of those massive, an
cient boxes with iron straps and a
giant, rusted padlock. Certainly there
were jewels inside, or Spanish dou
bloons, or Confederate money or other
I felt betrayed by my parents. They
were in possession of a princely wealth
that could’ve sent me to Harvard (of
course, double-digit ACT scores
would’ve helped.) Quickly, I searched
for something I could use to smash
the padlock.
The shotgun was a possibility, but
I couldn’t find any shells. Again, 1
cursed my parents. No patriotic and
decent Americans would ever leave
their firearms lying around unloaded.
I considered hauling the trunk up
on the roof somehow and dropping it
on the driveway, but it was probably
so loaded with gold coins I couldn’t
lift it. And what if it contained price
less Ming vases? I had to be careful.
Finally I found a roofing hatchet
and went to work on the lock. Such a
tool would be handy — if wealth like
this was lying around a garage, cer
tainly the walls of the house must be
full of secret passages and vaults. I
would need the hatchet to get through
those walls. Besides, the hatchet would
be useful for fending off pirates.
Eventually I smashed the padlock.
Closing my eyes, I opened the lid
from behind, in order to avoid any
flying knives or poisoned booby-traps.
imagine my norror, near rcauci,
when I discovered that the only thing
in the box was a yellowy old newspa
per. It was dated July 16, 1974.
Someone had obviously beaten me to
the treasure. I fell as Gcraldo Rivera
must have felt when he cracked AI
Capone’s empty vault — cheated.
Actually, the newspaper was sort
of fun to read. It was printed back in
the days when people still took any
thing Richard Nixon said seriously.
And there were a few laughs to be had
calling about items advertised in the
Want Ads, asking people if they still
had the hi-fi or the Ford Pinto for sale.
Other than that, m y ex ped i lion was
a failure, but I encourage everyone to
re-examine the contents of their ga
rages while home for summer vaca
tion. You never know what you might
find, and if you don’t find anything,
have a garage sale. Pick a weekend
when the folks are away and slap a
pricctag on everything. People will
buy your useless junk, keep it for a
few years and then sell it at their own
garage sales.
Of course, if you need money
immediately for bona fide emergen
cies (like springing your pel from
death row), just do what any good
American citizen or Congressman
would do. Write a bad chccfc.
Rosenbaum is a senior history major and
a Daily Nebraskan columnist.