The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 67, No. 61, Ed. 1 Wednesday, January 25, 1984 Page: 2 of 6
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The North Texas Daily
Wednesday, January 25, 1984
Good job, Poland
When President Ronald Reagan lifted some of the sanc-
tions imposed against Poland two years ago, he demon-
strated he had a knowledge of how diplomatic weapons
should be used.
For the first time since 1981, the United States will
allow LOT, the Polish government airline, to land in U.S.
airports. And Polish fishermen will be free to work in
U.S. waters in 1984, though details of the arrangement
haven't been announced.
Reagan's action could be mis-
taken for a weakening of the
U.S. position on Poland's hu-
man rights abuses, which, given
the Reagan administration's
eagerness to gloss over the hor-
rible human rights record of El
Salvador in its attempts to im-
port weapons and soldiers into
Central America, would hardly seem surprising. But Rea-
gan understands that a warmonger image can hurt him
And, as he has begun conciliatory rhetoric toward the
Soviet Union, so too did he lift some sanctions against
Poland for the stated purpose of attempting to improve
the Poles' less-than-perfect living conditions.
Lech Walesa, leader of the outlawed trade union Soli-
darity, made an appeal to Reagan to lift the sanctions
because they were hurting the Polish people more than
the government. Walesa's concern is justified. Certainly
no party member's diet was affected by the sanctions.
State Department spokesman Alan Romberg said the
Polish government's release of almost all of its 6,000 politi-
cal prisoners also prompted Reagan's decision, although
he said Poland was far from mending its totalitarian ways.
Still, Poland's making the effort.
Sanctions can get stale and lose effectiveness if left in
place too long; the offending government may become
accustomed to them, thereby stripping them of their potency.
But if the sanctions are oc-
casionally removed, the punished
government can again enjoy
its economic freedom, know-
ing well that any misbehavior,
whether internal or not, could
result in that freedom again
Besides, Reagan understands
that being charitable toward an
enemy-controlled country looks good to the voters.
But to retain influence in Poland's internal affairs, Reagan
has left some of the sanctions still in effect. Thus, the
Polish government is not yet in the clear, and probably
won't be anytime soon. The Polish people may benefit
from the renewed trade with the United States; if they
don't, and if the Polish government continues or intensifies
its repression, then more sanctions could be imposed.
If Poland continues to limit human rights abuses as
much as possible, then Reagan will lift more sanctions. If
not, then not.
So keep up the good work Poland.
IS ANVONE HERE
FROM OUR FRATERMITV?
I DON'T RECOGNIZE HALF
OF THE GUYS
AT THIS PARTY,
PUF of smoke
Silkwood's court victory
represents victory for us all
Do we really need to ask?
It seems like such a smart idea to have money set aside
for all state universities instead of making most of them
send administrators to grovel at the knees of the Texas
Legislature every two years.
Yet, that's what happens. Unless of course you're an
administrator from UT-Austin or Texas A&M and your
school operates on a share of the $153 million annual
interest of a $2 billion Permanent University Fund that
was established by the writers of the Texas Constitution.
Come the general election in November, Texas voters
will decide whether to approve a constitutional amend-
ment establishing a $75 million fund for universities not
in the UT or A&M systems. Schools in the UT or A&M
systems would have a share of PUF.
If the amendment passes, in the fiscal year beginning
Sept. 1, 1984, and each year thereafter, UT and A&M
will be responsible for supporting their own schools. And
the remaining 25 universities will share $75 million.
This would be a giant step forward for Texas universities.
Administrators could use their own judgments in spend-
ing this money to construct, repair or equip buildings,
acquire land, or purchase capital equipment, library books
or other library materials, instead of having to get Legisla-
ture approval for every budget item.
An ad valorem tax fund that was used by universities
for building construction was phased out in 1978. When
the fund existed, though, there was no money for build-
ing repair. Winfree Brown, chairman of the NT Board of
Regents, has said it was easier to tear down a building
than refurbish it because there was no money available.
It is important for schools administrators to be able to
recognize problems that exist at their schools and have
the means to correct them. With funds in their own domain
they will be able to make better projections for future
years. They will be able to plan logically instead of playing
quessing games with the Texas Legislature.
This amendment could be beneficial to all Texas uni-
versities. The university systems of UT and A&M would
not have to waste time and money countering all legisla-
tion that might touch their precious PUF fund, and could
spend their time devising ways to make their schools better.
Too, the universities outside of the PUF fund would not
have to make overprojections of the budget for the upcoming
years because they fear money may not be available.
The amendments, if passed, would not cost taxpayers
an additional $75 million dollars each year, since from
$35 to $100 million is appropriated for universities anyway.
It is hoped that the amendment could take administrators'
minds off the all-important dollar sign and back on more
important things—like higher education.
It would be sad to see the whole thing go up in a PUF
In November 1974. Karen Silkwood, a
28-year-old union activist and employee
of a Kerr-McGee plutonium plant in
Oklahoma, was contaminated by radiation.
Her home was contaminated, and so her
possessions had to he destroyed.
She died a few days later in an automo-
bile accident that occurred as she was driv-
ing to meet with a union official and a New
York Times reporter to discuss allegations
of health and safety violations in the plutoni
urn fuel plant.
IN 1976, Silkwood's father sued Kerr
McGee for the contamination of her apart-
ment and for the injuries Silkwood suffered
after her contamination.
In 1979, an Oklahoma City jury awarded
$10 million in punitive damages. $500.(KX)
in actual damages and $5,000 in property
damages to Silkwood's family.
Kerr-McGee appealed the decision to the
10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which
overturned both the $500,000 and the $10
million damage awards
The appellate court did not rule on guilt
or innocence; instead it ruled on legal issues
raised by the case.
The court ruled the $500,000 should he
covered by Oklahoma's worker compensa-
The court ruled the Oklahoma jury had
no right to award Silkwood's family $10
million in punitive damages. The court ruled
that only the federal government had the
power to regulate the safety and operation
of nuclear facilities that were licensed by
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and
that the jury's award of punitive damages
constituted state regulation of the Kerr-
ON JAN. 11, the U.S. Supreme Court
overturned the appellate court's decision,
ruling 5-4 that state juries do indeed have
the right to impose punitive damages on
nuclear plants that cause radiation injuries.
The Supreme Court did not reinstate the
$10 million in damages to the Silkwood
estate; instead it sent the ease back to the
circuit court to hear Kerr-McGec's claims
that there was insufficient evidence of negli-
gence on the part of the nuclear facility
and that the $10 million award is excessive.
The Supreme Court ruling gives states
certain regulatory rights over nuclear plants.
Companies may now have to comply with
state as well as federal regulations.
In .i dissenting opinion, Justice Lewis
Powell claimed the regulation of nuclear
plants "requires a unique level of profes-
"This case," Powell claimed, "is a
disquieting example of how the jury sys-
tem can function as an unauthorized regu
PERHAPS POWELL is riyht in saying
that regulation of nuclear plants requires
"a unique level of professional expertise,"
but arguing that this requirement means that
only the federal government can regulate
the nuclear industry is absolutely absurd.
Jury members are seldom experts on the
subject they are trying; they rely on wit-
nesses to give them relevent facts. Surely
nuclear plants have witnesses who possess
what Powell calls "professional expertise."
To provide nuclear plants with immuni-
ty from state regulations is to provide them
with an immunity they do not deserve. No
industry should be above the law—especially
one as potentially dangerous as the nuclear
POWELL PEARS that the Supreme
Court's decision has opened "a wide and
inviting door to indirect regulation by juries-
. . . even when a plant has taken the utmost
precautions provided by (federal) law."
People within a state should have the
power to impose regulations on industries
that operate in their state, even if their regu-
lations are stricter than those imposed by
The Supreme Court's Jan. 11 decision
is not just a victory for Karen Silkwood's
family—it is a victory for us all.
Arrrghh! Oh my God! It's the men who never tip!
Unfortunately, I am working my way
through school. I work on The NT
Daily for what someone with a sense of
humor might call a salary. The money isn't
worth the effort, I keep telling myself, but
the experience is invaluable.
Experience, however, is not much for
keeping out the wind and rain. It doesn't
have a whole hell of a lot of taste, cither.
And since 1 was raised with the middle-
class aversions to homclessness and star-
vation. I have spent my long and inglori-
ous college career working in restaurants.
MOST OF THE people I work with are
students who have to work to support them-
selves or whose parents pay only for neces-
sities like rent and tuition. Of course, we
love to go to school all day and then go
into work, where we make a trade with
customers: they give us what we hope will
be a 15 percent tip and we give them what
they hope is efficient, brown-nosing serv-
ice with maybe a few free drinks on the
I read somewhere that the word "tip,"
in reference to money given to a server by
a patron, is an acronym for "to insure
promptness." (No one said waiters had to
be good spellers). Originally, the tip was
given in advance to ensure the serviec would
be good. What a shame that this excellent,
civilized practice was corrupted.
Now, people tip after the meal. This frees
them to be perfect jerks without fear of
retribution from the waiter. When the tip
was forked over first and the waiter had it
safely tucked away in his pocket, he didn't
have to tolerate a rude or thoughtless cus-
tomer, affectionaliy called an "ass" by res-
WHEN THE TIP was given first, the
waiter could remind the patron that the
patron's behavior was slipping below socially
acceptable levels by giving him poor service,
or, to communicate his displeasure more
clearly, by pooring boiling coffee on his
head or a frozen pina colada in his lap.
Undoubtedly, these little reminders were
Now that the tip comcs after the meal,
however, waiters must bear their assincss
without the satisfaction of retaliation, be-
cause the worst asses arc sometimes the
Customers judge us and we sec that judg-
ment in the money they've left on the table.
Good custumers know they are good cus-
tomers because we tell them, but bad cus-
tomers, unfortunately, rarely know what we
think of them.
My fellow employees and I, therefore,
have compiled a list of the rudest, most*
annoying and most thoughtless customer-
types that we must tolerate to earn our
THE MEN WHO NEVER TIP; As in.
Oh my God. it's THE MEN WHO NEVER
TIP. These men roam the streets in gangs
from three to seven members looking for
happy hours and waiters to terrorize. They
sit in your section, eat free happy hour
appetizers, order one drink and spend three
hours drinking it, thereby keeping you from
getting any turnover. They arc incapable
of forming sentences of more than three
monosyllabic words. They leave you a dime,
if you're lucky. This category of customer
is not limited to a particular class, age or
race. They can be lawyers, barbers, laborers,
businessmen, doctors or university profes-
sors. Especially university professors.
SCHOOLTEACHERS ON VACA-
TION: Not necessarily schoolteachers nor
necessarily on vacation. These people for-
get everything their mothers taught them.
They shriek, scream and get puking-drunk
so that everyone within a block will know
that they are having a great time.
They ask for crackers to absorb the 18
two-for-onc margaritas that they've con-
sumed in the last 20 minutes. None of the
crackers make it to their mouths, but are
instead pulverized and emptied in a 2-inch
layer on the table, are massaged into other
customers' heads or are inhaled through plas-
tic straws into the nose, an act which pro-
vokes more shrieking and screaming. Most
likely, these schoolteachers (often nurses)
are married to, or are girlfriends of, THE
MEN WHO NEVER TIP. because they
never tip either.
HEADS OF MUSH: Often confused
with sorority girls or little sisters of frater-
nities. These people are not necessarily
stupid. They can lie very intelligent, thought-
ful people—unless they tire sorority girls
or little sisters of fraternities. HEADS OF
MEISH will spend five minutes deciding if
they want a drink, another three minutes
deciding what to drink and, after five min-
utes of scrutinizing the menu, they will
spend another 10 minutes changing their
minds about what they want to eat.
All this time, you arc standing at their
table being pelted with icc cubes by 25
thirsty drunks from other tables who don't
think you have heard their slurred screams
of "waiter, hey waiter." They arc usually
good tippers, however.
AVAILABLE SEXPOTS: AVA1EA
BEE SEXPOTS arc men or women who
have the sex appeal of a milkweed in heat,
but .tie sure that they are the most appealing
creatuics in the known universe. They grab
whatever part of your body is in reach when
you come to their table and think they arc
being original when they respond to your
honest query of "what can I get for you"
with the terribly funny and imaginative,
"You, baby, how 'bout you." If vou don't
mind prostituting yourself a little, they can
be the best tippers you will ever have.
THE PSEUDOINTELLECTU AL:
THE PSEUDOINTELLECTU AL is not real-
ly that bad of a customer if you don't mind
listening to him explain the Machiavellian
philosophy obvious in Popcye cartoons.
Since the pseudointcllcctual is "above"
money, he thinks you arc too and is three
dollars short on his tab.
FRATS: T.ose could easily be the worst
customers a waiter will ever encounter. They
are from lamilies that arc not quite wealthy
enough in terms of money or genes to get
their spawn into SMU.
They have taken the characteristics of the
MEN WHO NEVER TIP, SCHOOL
TEACHERS ON VACATION. HEADS OF
MUSH, AVAILABLE SEXPOTS and
PSUEDOINTELLECTUALS and practiced
them to perfection—that may be their great-
est accomplishment in life. They act like
the restaurant is their fraternity house and
you are the uninvited guest who must be
tolerated because you brought the beer. The
best tip you will get from FRATS is hav-
ing them sit at another waiter's table.
These arc some of the worst customers
encountered by restaurant employees. May-
be I am being a little harsh, maybe these
customers have valid excuses for making
the lives of restaurant workers harder.
I remember a customer who complained
about his scrviec, his food, his drinks, and
about a tabic across the restaurant that was
being too loud. A few minutes later he
apologized to everyone in the restaurant,
blaming the pressures of his job for the
We asked him what he did for a living
and he reponded in all seriousness, "I install
A dirty job, but someone has to do it.
The North Texas Daily
67th Year North Texas State University Denton, Texas
Printed by the North Texas State University Printing Office
Southwestern Journalism Congress
PACEMAKER 6 TIMES
ALL-AMERICAN 76 TIMES
Wr iftf «(iht
rtSS< K leltf'D
JACQUE JOHNSON, editor
SUE BRISTOL, advertising manager
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Johnson, Jacque. The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 67, No. 61, Ed. 1 Wednesday, January 25, 1984, newspaper, January 25, 1984; Denton, TX. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth332612/m1/2/: accessed June 19, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.