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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 15, 2001)
Editor Sarah Baker
Opinion Page Editor Jake Glazeski
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
Let him be
Clinton are unfounded
President Bush, of all people, got it right
“I think it’s time to move on,” Bush told The
Associated Press on TUesday.
This came after weeks of constant criticism of
former President Clinton. Some of it was
deserved and some of it was not but it is time to
Sure, the pardon of Marc Rich was a little
shady. Money might have had something to do it
But isn’t anything involved with campaign
finance a little bit shady?
The reports of vandalism in the White House
offices were all but retracted once people went
on the record and reporters did not rely on
anonymous sources. There was some mischief,
but not to the extent that was described
The gift scandal was not much of a scandal .
when taken in context. This is especially true
considering what other presidents have taken in
the past - Ronald and Nancy Reagan took more
than $1 million worth of dresses,
The jewelry and other goods when
American they left the White House, accord
public has ing to the NewYorkTimes.
been As far as the alleged thefts from
through Air Force One, even Bush said
eight years that did not happen.
of Clinton So, all of the criticism comes
bashing. We down to one oftwo things-it isn't
hoped this reallyneworitisn'treallytrue.
election All of this seems to be part of
would have another smear campaign direct
brought ed toward the former president -
that to an if there is anything left to smear.
end. The American public has been
-through eight years of Clinton
bashing. We hoped this election
would nave nrougnt tnat to an end.
But with Republicans controlling both houses
of Congress and the presidency, they choose to
continue the bashing. And with no clear target in
power, it seems “Slick Willy” can take a few more
Only “Slick Willy” is not so slick anymore, nor
does he need to be.
Everything that could have been blamed on
him as he left office was, and the congressional
hearings on Rich are putting this blamefest on the
front page of newspapers around the country.
Conservative pundits are licking their chops
at another opportunity to bash Clinton, and Sen.
Arlen Specter, R-Pa., even started throwing
around the idea Congress could impeach
Don’t Republicans want to put this chapter of
history and this character they supposedly
despise behind them?
It is beginning to look like a resounding no.
Clinton proved to be the one figure all
Republicans could rally behind as an enemy. And
it was not because of policy decisions - Clinton’s
policy legacy does not seem to be so far from what
Republicans would consider moderate.
But his character was an easy target, and now
the Republicans do not have it to bash. Hie latest
round of “controversies” will only last so long,
and bashing New York resident Clinton will not
be as inviting of a target
Clinton has even tried to quell some of the dis
putes. He agreed to reimburse contributors for
some of the more questionable gifts. He is even
looking into moving his office from Manhattan
to Harlem, saving taxpayer dollars.
Clinton's character will never be considered
stellar, but dragging it through the mud once
again does not help die country.
The Clinton era is over, and it is time for the
investigations to end as well
Sarah Baker, Jeff Bloom, Bradley Davis, Jake Glazeski,
Matthew Hansen, Samuel McKewon, Kimberly Sweet
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Unsigned edtorials are the opinions of the Spring 2001 Daly Nebraskan. They do not necessarily
reflect the views of the University of Nebraska-Lincoin, its employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board at Regents. A column is solely the opinion of its author; a cartoon is
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A coming-of-age journey
I was 15 and had never
kissed a boy before. My
favorite song was “Material
Girl” by Madonna.
I remember my arms feel
ing naked and cold. I remem
ber the bus station in Omaha
ana oums sleeping on me ;
ground. I remember walking Yasmin
fast through the airport in St McEwOfl
Louis and seeing all the col- mmmmmmmmm
lege kids with their flannel
shirts tied around their waist, duffel bags hill of laun
dry and backpacks full of books on their way home for
I remember the moment I realized I had left my
purse in the bathroom at O’Hare. I was on the pay
phone, and I gasped and let die receiver go, running
clicking, clicking sliding into the restroom. Please
God, no God, please let it be there please, please,
please oh thank God - and there, on the ledge above
the sink, my large white purse. I clutched it as a new
born to my chest
I think I felt die purse embrace me, too, then the
taste of fear when I realized again where I was and
wondered how an airport such as this could be so
empty; but at 2 a.m., I guess most people had gone
home. As I walked out of the restroom, I glanced at all
the vacant chairs around me and started walking.
Fifteen is too young, too young, although I was
painfully aware I did not look 15. Only now, I just
wanted a bed, a pillow.
lb tell the whole story would not only ruin every
thing, but it would lose you just as I was so very lost on
that November night What would you do? Imagine
you are a girl of about 15,you are mistaken for not only
18, but 21, as die unblinking bartenders ask you what
you would like to drink.
Tonight you are wearing a red miniskirt with no
hose or tights, just bare tan legs stepping lighdy in high
black heels. Your white T-shirt is
accented with a sparkly gold chain
with matching earrings and you’ve
got curls and cuds and length and
more length to your hair
You are tired, scared and alone
at 2 a.m. in Chicago’s O’Hare air
port You've got $200 in cash and a
lipstick and mascara. You don’t have a
driver’s license because you are not old
enough to drive. So you have no identifi
cation and worse, you've got no place to go
and no one to call.
When the men look at you, the desire jjL
to be invisible almost destroys you, almost M
kills you instantly save for the redeeming
desire to be strong and defy their stares. r
You look them straight in the eye. You
heard once that rapists won’t look you in the !
eye so you are sure to look them all in the eye I
and let them know just who they are dealing - V \
with here. More like you conjure up a strong *
woman’s stare and try to project it
So tell me, what would you do? You are 1,000
miles away from home and no one knows where ^
you are. Worse than that you just want to go home,
but you don’t have a plane ticket and you are getting
colder. Outside, the snow blows, and when the doors
slide open, the wind comes barging in.
My biggest fear was: What would everyone back at
school think of me? What would all the
kids say behind my back if they
knew? As it gets later, the men f
are spending more time on
my bare legs than making
eye contact and it’s been
a long time since I've
seen any security
starting to kick in.
and then the
reality of what
could happen if I
were to still be
here at 4 a.m. -
or would I make
it that long
caught on that I
had nowhere to
The police sta
tion is very dirty, | v
smelly, and all of the
cops are eating me
up, licking me up and
down with their eyes
worse than the men in the airport
And this one in front of me paces back and forth.
He is yelling about his own daughter and what he
would do if I were her, and every now and then he
takes a break to look at my crossed legs and he eats
Lingers a little too long at the space just above
where my legs are crossed. Lingers on ray thighs and
then almost slaps himself back into his dramatic
monologue. I think I just saw spit fly out of his mouth.
Then he is on the phone yelling. Then he puts his
hand on my shoulder and says it's gonna be okay.
'Vfou’re damn lucky you know that, he says. He tells me
I have no idea just how lucky I am right now not to be
dead in a ditch somewhere - which is what probably
should have happened - but God must be watching
out for me; this is what he says and as he says it, I look
into his eyes and see my corpse lying naked in a ditch
on a bed of cold white frost, and I shudder.
Right then and there I want to start sobbing, and I
know he would hold me, too, and tell me it’s okay now,
but my role isn’t finished. I can’t give in just yet; I’m still
a strong and tough gilt
So I keep a straight face, but I’ve never been so
scared before in my life until I saw my dead body in his
eyes. I get up and go with the just-on-the-scene
female officer, and as we walk out of there some of the
guys tell me you take care.” And I look back to see
diem all watching me go.
At such a young age, it's a strange feeling to know
you’ve got the power to make grown men hungry, and
I just wanted to be stylish, not slutty, while the
miniskirt is begging to be lifted up and my legs are
begging to be touched.
Only I don’t know what that feeling is or just where
exacdy it is coming from; I only know it’s new. The
halfway house is an old brownstone, and the cop tells
me there are violent girls there, so lock your door and
hold on to your belongings.
She, I can tell, not only has litde sympathy for me
but is in a bit of a shock as to what sort of a girl I am.
What do you do with a half-naked, painted-up 15
year-old girl from Nebraska who stutters when she
I don’t think she knows either. This is neither the
beginning nor the end. This is a snapshot of the hur
l? ricane storm I lived through.
Sometimes there is nothing you can do
either way you’ll still be in die storm.
I am still in the hurricane
I lam still scared, still
cold. I am still look
ing for a way out
Save for my
presence, the bed
I rolled over
into the space he
had left. I lay
there, fully doth
weighing heavily Jake
on my feet which Glazeski
hung over the
edge of the bed. The first track of “Kid A"
was playing, and I examined the creases
of a nearby, old easy chair while my ears
strummed over the chains of suspen
sions and anticipations with Thom Yorke
doing his thing. The fluorescent light
above shone unpleasandy and left an
odd taste in my mouth.
How long had I been asleep? I
glanced at the clock-radio on the bed
stand. Not long, maybe half an hour. I
had grown drowsy in his warmth and
drifted away while an unknown musi
cian picked at soft acoustic chords. That
was the last CD before Radiohead; I know
because I put it in.
I rolled back onto my back and
sprawled out Where had he gone? Over
Radiohead’s chords, I listened for move
ment in the apartment A TV mumbled
quietly in the other room. I kicked off my
shoes lazily, not untying them first and
left them where they fell at the foot of the
bed. I waited another moment, savoring
my cat-nature, like I would a fine wine (or
at least how I would savor a fine wine if I
should ever have access to one) before
A slight rush of blood. I stood and left
the bedroom. Down a hallway and to the
right, I could see him, sitting on the
couch, flipping through television chan
nels, holding a cigarette in his hand. I
walked down the halL I was visible I was
audible. He didn’t look at me.
1 sat down on the couch next to him.
“Hey," I said.
“Hey,” he said before lifting die ciga
rette to his lips again. Duckman was on. I
hate adult animated comedies.
I felt awkwardly set apart “Teach me
to smoke," I said after some silence.
He looked at me, finally, his mouth
twisting into a wry grin that wasn’t entire
ly kind. “You don't smoke.”
“I want to learn.”
“Haven’t I corrupted you enough?”
“No,” I said, lauding. I tried to hint at
sexual innuendo. This was lost
So he leaned back, distracted now
from whatever it was that was occupying
him. He picked his pack up off the end
table and pulled a cigarette out for me.
“Here’s howyou hold it,” he said, showing
me with his lit cigarette. I tried to imitate.
“See, just enough of the filter for your
mouth, so you can suck through it”
I smiled, a little awkward. I had
watched him smoke so often; I would
have guessed it would come more natu
rally. I placed the cigarette on my lips. He
took out a lighter, a cheap white lighter.
“Then you light the lighter and put it
to the end, and you suck in. But don’t
inhale. Suck just with your mouth, until
the tip lights.” He handed me the lighter.
With a few tries, I got the lighter to light,
finally, and I did as instructed. I sucked a
little, but not enough. A glowing cinder
was all I’d earned.
no, suck more, l snowed my recog
nition by trying again, lighting the lighter
on the second try. My mouth filled with
smoke. I let it out and checked the end. It
was now successfully lit
“Okay, now, when you inhale, you
don’t reaily inhale. You take it into your
mouth, then you wait a moment, then
you inhale into your lungs.” I nodded. I
did this. The sting in my lungs was too
much at first. I coughed. He laughed.
Recovering, I laughed too. It was an
expensive bit of community.
“There you go. A regular air-polluter.”
He leaned back. The cigarette in his hand
had burnt out He set it in the ashtray. He
picked up the remote control again.
I watched him as he began to flip
through the channels again. The ciga
rette in my hand, far from burnt out had
lost its use. I looked at it, remembering
the pain, but I couldn’t just put it out now.
I took another short, painful drag, cough
ing more lightly this time.
There wasn't much on besides
Duckman and a couple of bad movies on
HBO and Cinemax. The longer I sat next
to him, the more it felt I was invading his
personal space. I began to move away. I
finished the cigarette.
I was flooded with a frustration I
couldn’t explain. I couldn’t leave, and I
couldn’t stay. I was afraid of the present
and future. The only thing I wasn't afraid
of was the past
So I got up, he hardly noticed, and I
walked back to the bedroom. Until I
heard otherwise, I supposed I might as
well spend the night I lay down on the
bed again, staying to one side, leaving
plenty of room. I laid my head on a pillow
and daydreamed of warmer hours and
days. I examined the bed stand, with its
clock-radio reading 1:30 in the morning,
and a fancy card.
“Happy Valentine’s Day.”
And I went to sleep.
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