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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 9, 1994)
Broken rule kills amendments
Life has rules. If you break the
rules, you suffer the consequences.
Stop completely at a red light.
Brush your teeth twice a day.
Pavement is very, very hard.
Well, that last one isn’t a rule so
much as it is a cold, hard fact. If I
were to write a rule about pave
ment, it would be: Don’t slam your
head against the cold, hard pave
Being the rebel that I am, I have
broken all of the preceding rules
and a few others besides.
Riding my bike home Monday
night, I took a curve too fast —
breaking some rule about speeding
— and did a nose dive with a half
twist onto the cold, hard pavement.
Thud. Skid. Ouch.
I lay on the ground, suffering the
consequences of breaking the
pavement rule, and I realized 1
should have followed yet another
rule: Wear a helmet, stupid.
Alas, had I not been a stupid
schmuck before the crash, I could
have saved myself from seeing
Lucky for me, two strangers
stopped to see if I was alive, and
one of them offered me and my
bike a ride home in his pickup.
Don’t go out by yourself at
night. Always have your Mace
ready. Don’t ride with strangers.
The pickup driver gave me and
the woman who also had stopped
his business card — so in case I
turned up missing, she would know
who did it.
Boy, that was cold comfort. I
envisioned police finding my body
in a ditch with a business card
sticking out of my back pocket.
But I accepted the ride anyway.
The business card transaction made
me think that I could trust the guy.
Plus, I was dazed and bleeding, and
I don’t think I could have gotten
home on my own.
Sometimes, in special circum
stances, we can bend the rules.
But not always.
Income taxes are due on April
The ever-vigilant lawyers in Nebraska
say binding arbitration would take
away every person's right to go to
court. But exorbitant legal fees have
done that already for most of us.
15. You have 90 days before your
birthday to renew your driver’s
license. Amendments to be placed
on the ballot must be submitted not
less than four months prior to
That last rule is making a lot of
lawmakers and voters angry. Five
amendments were missing on the
ballot yesterday because of that
Never mind that lawmakers
thought they were well in bounds.
The Legislature didn’t follow the
rules to the letter, the Nebraska
Supreme Court said. Therefore,
throw the whole mess out.
This mess started when a lawyer
saw that Amendment One could
put binding arbitration in general
For those of you who aren’t
lawyers, binding arbitration is the
out-of-court settlement of disputes.
If one party thinks a contract has
been broken, the two sides mutu
ally pick a third party to mediate
the dispute, and that party’s ruling
is binding. Hence the name binding
If you are a lawyer, binding
arbitration means that disgruntled
people no longer will go to court to
settle contract disputes.
In other words, lawyers’ services
— which do not come cheap —
will no longer be needed in many
cases, freeing up the courts to deal
with more pressing problems like
Hence again the name binding
arbitration. Arbitration would be a
real bind to a lot of lawyers’
The Nebraska Supreme Court
voted 4-3 mi Friday that, according
to the four-month rule, the amend
ments were submitted one day too
late and therefore should be buried
under a large rock where the voters
can’t get to them.
As backlogged as it is, the
Supreme Court should welcome a
way to relieve its burden, espe
cially a way that already has been
approved in 47 other states.
I smell a rat.
What did the justices on the
Supreme Court do before they hit
the big time? Gee, I’ll bet they
Don’t trust lawyers. Don t
EVER trust lawyers. And don’t
ever trust lawyers to do what’s best
for the legal system.
These rules stem from one
simple fact: Lawyers are the ones
making a profit from the legal
The ever-vigilant lawyers in
Nebraska say tnnding arbitration
would take away every person’s
right to go to court. But exorbitant
legal fees have done that already
for most of us.
My stance on arbitration is
irrelevant, however, because the
court has told voters that they can’t
In this ruling, the court has
broken the unwritten rule of
democracy: that the voice of the
voters should be heard above
Paulnuui b a senior news-editorial and
history major and a Dally Nebraskan
Child killings hard to fathom
Union, S.C., is a small town of
less than 10,000. Spartanburg is the
closest “big city,” and it only holds
about 30,000 people. Actually, the
whole state of South Carolina has
half the population of my sweet
home, Chicago. Small indeed.
That's what makes the Susan V.
Smith story so hard to believe.
Mothers being accused of killing
their babies is something that only
happens in cities like Chicago and
New York, right? I guess not.
According to Newsweek,
Thursday afternoon — after crying
on national television that week
and begging people to pray for her
sons’ return that morning —
authorities said Smith confessed to
murdering her children and was
The mother of 3-year-old
Michael and 14-month-old
Alexander had carefully strapped
them into their car seats before
sending them to their deaths at the
bottom of John D. Long Lake,
according to reports in Time.
Totally defenseless, her sons would
trust her to any end.
She may have been suffering
from emotional stress or financial
worries, or a combination of many
things. Whatever. Nothing gives a
mother the right to take two lives.
Try to imagine what was going
through young Michael’s mind
when the car began to roll off the
end of the boat dock and into the
According to a police official
quoted in Newsweek,
Susan Smith told investigators that
Michael, secured in his car seat,
woke up (he had been sleeping) and
began to struggle. “He was strug
gling in absolute terror for his life,”
. the official said, recalling Smith’s
conversations with police.
I can’t think of a strong enough
word for this crime, probably
7he only mistake these children
ever made was to be born to
rotten, worthless parents who just
because there isn’t one.
What’s more disturbing is the
number of cases of parents killing
In West Palm Beach, Fla., a
woman by the name of Clover
Demerr Boykin, age 19, confessed
to strangling her 4-month-old son
and a friend’s 9-month-old child
while baby-sitting. According to
police, Boykin said she wanted to
retaliate for abuse she suffered as a
child. She faces first-degree murder
charges, but deserves much more
than any punishment the state can
People who kill other people
should be killed, plain and simple.
If they cannot value and respect
another’s life, why should they
deserve any respect for theirs?
We are all hypocrites if we grant
them amnesty, and we, too, should
be damned for not respecting the
life that had been stolen.
Especially the lives of all these
innocent children. We are their
guardians, everyone of us who
considers ourselves adults. Perhaps
that is what went wrong in South
Carolina and Florida. They were
not responsible enough to be
adults, much less to have children.
The only mistake these children
ever made was to be bom to rotten,
worthless parents who just didn’t
There is one more child who
not an ordinary one. His name was
Jamie Butcher, 34, of White Bear
Lake, Minn. His body died Satur
day, Nov. 5, in his mother’s arms,
but his mind and soul passed on 17
years ago when he was involved in
a car wreck that left him in a
For 17 years, Jamie’s parents fed
him, bathed him, talked to him, all
the while hoping and praying that
by some miracle their son would
come back to them, that he H(Ould
wake up one day and everything
would be okay. That never hap
Think of all the energy, the love,
the money to keep him alive. But
most importantly, think of the
emotional effort expended by
Jamie’s parents. Then consider the
lack of love and interest given to
those small children by their
I'm going to go out on a limb
here, but I think that Jamie’s
Grents would give anything to
ve their son back, ifonlyfbra
day, just to tell him that they love
him and will miss him.
1 wonder if Susan or Clover told
their kids they loved them before
Justice la ■ Mcw»-e4Horial m4 bntdamA
lag major an4 • Datfy Nebraskan cohmist
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