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October 21, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-21

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OPINION
Thursday, October 21, 1982

The Michigan Daily.,.,

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

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A strange and wonderful pair:

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Pierre and Canada

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Vol. XCIII, No. 37

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Localized disaster

IN THE VERY near future, the
Environmental Protection Agency
will formally propose some significant
changes in the way thefederal gover-
nment deals with meeting the goals of
the Clean Water Act. The proposed
changes are astounding-even by the
incredibly bad environmental record
of the Reagan administration.
The changes are going to de-
emphasize national standards for
clean water and, instead, let individual
states have a large say in deciding
what water pollution standards in any
given locale should be. The change is
necessary, the administration will
argue, .because federal pollution
regulators are inherently insensitive to
local needs and problems. Allowing
more local control will result in a more
effective water quality policy, accor-
ding to the administration.
But the new position on water policy
doesn't seem to be aimed so much at
improving the environment as it is
aimed at dissipating the progress
made in improving water quality over
the last decade and at giving corporate
America a bigger saytin environmen-
tal policy. Turning responsibility for
water quality over to the, states will
almost certainly mean an easing in
water quality standards-and the
Reagan administration knows it. State

regulatory agencies base their
decisions on criteria that are often far
different from those used by federal
regulators. Under the new Reagan
rules, water quality will be determined
by local politics and the competition
between states for industry-not on the
basis of what is best for the environ-
ment.
One of the great victories of the en-,
vironmental movement of the 60s was
the awareness it created that pollution
affects all of us-not just those who
happen to live where its effects are
most severe. The destruction of the en-
vironment was viewed as a
national-not just regional-problem.
But the administration's position is
diametrically opposed to this view.
The new rules, if they are approved,
will localize the determination of exac-
tly what levels of pollution are accep-
table.
A concern for local input into water
standards is legitimate and justified;
perhaps, in this sense, the current
standards for applying the Clean
Water Act need to be reviewed. Any
current misapplication of the rules,
however, certainly does not merit a
new policy which could very well put
water policy in the hands of those who
have the most to gain from the destruc-
tion of the environment.

By George Golubovski
This past summer, Canadian Prime
Minister Pierre Trudeau spent his vacation
traveling on a train through Western Canada.
I am sure he would have enjoyed the scenery,
if it were not for the rubbish spread across his
panoramic window.
You see, many Western Canadians ex-
pressed their unhappiness toward their chief
executive by pelting his train with rotten
vegetables. Trudeau responded in a similarly
crude fashion: He gave the protesters the
finger.
Some relationship, eh?
THESE INCIDENTS were not any real sur-
prise-Trudeau's Liberal party doesn't have
one seat west of Manitoba and Pierre has
been known to exercise his middle finger
before.
What was interesting, howeverwere the
results of this past week's three federal by-
elections (district elections which are called
because of a vacancy due to a death,
resignation, etc.). All three contests were in
Ontario, which is considered a swing province
in federal elections.
True, one of the elections was going to be
safely won by Trudeau's main opposition, the
Progressive Conservatives, but the other two
could be viewed as a referendum on Trudeau
and his handling of the Canadian economy.
THE UNEMPLOYMENT rate in Canada is
higher than here in the United States, and the
federal deficit is $25 billion, which is larger
than the entire budget, was when 'Trudeau
became prime minister in 1968.
Many Canadians would agree that Ann Ar-
bor, with its affinity for Molson, Labatts and
Moosehead beer, has done more for the
Canadian economy than Trudeau has.
But, seriously, Trudeau recently has made
an attempt to change economic policy, if not
Wasserman

substantively, that facially, by shuffling his
cabinet.
YET CANADIANS used the elections to
vote their disapproval.
In an ethnic, blue-collar district in Toronto
(won by the mildly socialist New Democrats),
Trudeau's Liberals ran an astonishing 23 per-
cent below their showing in the last election.
And in a Northern Ontario district (won by
the Progressive Conservatives), the Liberals
showed a similar, though not as intense,
decrease.
Other factors (the volunteers, visits by
prominent opposition members and local
issues) played an integral part in the poor
Liberal showing, but Trudeau was clearly the
issue.
So, if not Trudeau, then who do the
Canadians want?
SOME SUGGEST Progressive Conser-
vative Joe Clark, who was prime minister for
a short time in 1979. Clark went out of his way
as a national leader to campaign for his par-
tisans in the recent by-elections, but three
road blocks prevent him from being seriously
considered as prime minister again.
First, he is having problems within his own
party. Even though Clark survived a leader-
ship review at a party convention, a big chunk
disapproved of him being the head of their
party.
Second, Clark is perceived as a weak
leader. As many Canadian commentators and
columnists have noted, "he is a wimp."
THIRD, IF Trudeau can hold on to a
majority in the Parliament, as he is likely to
do, he doesn't have to call an election until
1985. Canadians may end up until then with
Trudeau whether they like it or not.
Trudeau became prime minister when
Lyndon Johnson was our president. Since the
last Canadian election in 1980, Trudeau has
said he will step down and end his lopg tenure.
But in homage to unpredictibility, don't be

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surprised if Trudeau is around for five more
American presidents.
Golubovskis is a graduate student in the
Institute for Public Policy Studies.

2001

:

A collegiate odyssey

GOODBYE STUBBY erasers, fare-
well spiral notebooks. Hello TRS-
80..
An era may soon be over-the era
when students went to U-Cellar at the
beginning of the term to buy Cross
pens and Cliff Notes galore.
Tomorrow's student may well stop at
Radio Shack before hitting Ulrich's.
The wave of the future? A computer
for every student.
This week Carnegie-Mellon Univer-
sity announced that in three years (one
year after 1984), all students will be
required to buy their own computers,
just like every student now buys tex-
tbooks.
If that's not enough to satiate any
electronic craving, Carnegie-Mellon
hopes to have even more than one
computer terminal per student in the
year 1990.
Carnegie-Mellon's plan surely will
spread throughout the country. Our
own engineering Dean James Duder-
stadt predicts that, although it
probably won't be mandatory for
another decade or so, all engineering
students will soon have their own ter-
minals.
The logic behind being swamped
with computers is just as accurate and

rational as any computer's
calculation. The computer has become
an indispensible tool. It's an advance
that will revolutionize both teaching
and learning.
But it's tempting to turn one's back
to progress. Somehow, these metallic,
antiseptic devices just don't mesh with
ivy-covered halls, tweed-covered
scholars, and ink-splotch-covered
looseleaves. It's hard enough to
remember to bring a blue book and a
number two pencil to class. Will
students have to bring back-up diodes
and memory chips to midterms? Think
of how easy it is now to write off a lousy
grade to a professor's bad mood.
Rationalizing a "D" given by an Apple
Three just won't be the same.
Gone are the days when life was
simple, when students could cheat by
writing the answers on their cuffs. Crib
sheets will still be around, but maybe
they'll be scribbled on a microchip in
the future.
Some students will be able to cope.
They've been to NUBS. But for other,
humanities types who associate com-
puters with HAL in 2001, it will be a
programmed nightmare.
Today the classroom, tomorrow the
brave new world.

R.fLETW& ON WP 9, A 5
F~UTUE AND OUR PLACE 1j

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SER9IOUSSUDY

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
PIRGIMfee: Getting the

facts straight...

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To the Daily:
Although it is not one of
PIRGIM's projects at present,
the decline in journalistic in-
tegrity is an important issue in
the public interest. Therefore, it
seems expedient to react to the
Daily's editorial "It's still a bad
idea" (Daily, Oct. 15), concer-
ning PIRGIM's proposed new
fundraising method. Evidently,
you saw fit.to manipulate the fac-
ts to more appropriately arrive at
the desired conclusion.
An extremely significant
aspect of the refusable/refun-
dable system is that, when billed
by the University, a student is a)
provided with comprehensive in-
formation about what PIRGIM is
and what it does, b) provided
with a box which he may check if
he does not want the $2 donation
assessed him, and c) provided
with ample opportunity to be
reimbursed at the PIRGIM office
by agreeable workers, all at his
fingertips come bill-paying time.
No student will be "presumed"
a contributor; PIRGIM an-

ticipates increased revenue
because of these optimal con-
ditions under which students will
be propertly informed, under no
unusual pressure to make a
decision one way or the other,
and fully aware of all the circum-
stances. This carefully designed
system works effectively for all
but the very ignorant and the
very apathetic, who may still
seek a refund if it enters their
heads.
All of this business is not for the
purpose of relieving painful
bunions on the big toes of
PIRGIM - workers, although one
cannot argue the logic of wanting
to devote those 2000 "person-
hours" spent each term collec-
ting SVF stubs primarily to work
on PIRGIM projects.
The organization's convenience
in raising monies is not the issue
at all. The amount of money is of
paramount importance here. If
by stub-collecting PIRGIM
could take in as much revenue as
through the refusable/refundable
system, then those many hours

spent in the process would be
most worthwhile. Unfortunately,
this is not the case, so PIRGIM
would be grateful to have the
Regents' blessings for the new
system, which has been so suc-
cessful at other PIRGs nation-
wide.
In the end the "burden" of
either system falls into
PIRGIM's hands, because it is
responsible for informing
prospective donors, providing
useful and effective services, and
generally making whatever money
it receives a viable investment.
Whether to check a box or
surrender $2 toward- one's own
good seems a mild load for the
*.*O on1
To the Daily:
We agree with the Daily-
PIRGIM has finally asked for too
much.
The Michigan Student Assem-
bly recently supported PIRGIM's
call for a new form of fee
assessment. PIRGIM wants the
University to tack a refusable
$2 fee on each term's bill. Sure,
we can refuse payment by filling
out a form or asking for a refund,
but what place does PIRGIM
have on our bill at all?

student to bear by comparison.
Is this a "scam"? All
relatively intelligent persons can
decide to give or not to give to an
organization. Anyone
dissatisfied with the decision can
be reimbursed. The impetus to
contribute is no more "dom-
pelled" by either the University
or PIRGIM than an ad for deep-
dish pizza at Joe's is a "com-
pulsion" to go buy some.
One might better define a
"scam" as a journalist's attempt
to generate opinions based on
misleading and incomplete in-
formation.

-Emily Rosenberg
October 18

hy it's wrong

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.. . and why it's right

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each term.
Only 20 percent of the
students currently contribute to
PIRGIM's treasury. Many of
these students don't even know
what their money is supporting.
One must recognize, also, that
many bills go directly to parents
who may know nothing about
PIRGIM. If PIRGIM's fee is put
on tuition bills, these parents
may not find the time, go to the
bother, or know how to save their
mone'_and wh y nsihdthev

To the Daily:
I am disappointed by your lack
of insight into the PIRGIM fun-
ding issue. PIRGIM is not just
any student group. In 1972. 16.000

The idea behind the PIRGIM
fee is that the student community
decides that they want to
organize and then sets up a group
like PIRGIM as the vehicle to do

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