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January 21, 1983 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-21

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4

OPINION

Pge Friday, January 21, 1983 The Michigan Daily

Who'll speak for the trees?

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By Lani Wiegand
LANSING (UPI) - Who will speak
for environmental causes?
Michigan groups that have pushed for
stricter pollution laws and more
statutes governing hazardous waste
handling and disposal have to be won-
dering that right now.
WHEN 1982 became 1983, the four
people they had counted on to champion
such issues through the House and
Seiate and into law disappeared from
the'face of state government.
Former Gov. William Milliken, an
outspoken supporter of careful controls
on ; Michigan's environment, retired
from office. Although Michigan faced
its worst environmental problems
du'ing his tenure, Milliken's legacy in-
cludles landmark hazardous and solid

waste disposal, restrictions on oil
drilling both on land and in the Great
Lakes and greater protection for state
air and water.
New Gov. James Blanchard's voting
record on such issues has made en-
vironmental groups and conservation
organizations optimistic that he will
follow in Milliken's footsteps when it
comes to their concerns.
BUT BLANCHARD is facing other
problems which may make it difficult
for him to take the lead on new laws
protecting the environment. He has
made ,Michigan's budget and sagging
business climate his first priority.
Those issues do not always mesh with
environmental legislation, particularly
at a time when businesses are blaming
part of Michigan's troubles on excess
regulation.

Even if Blanchard initiates work on
environmental laws, there may not be
anyone who can push such measures
through the Legislature.
SEN. JOHN HERTEL (D-Harper
Woods) and Rep. Thomas Anderson (D-
Southgate), for years led the charge on
tough environmental issues as the
chiefs of the Senate Environmental
Committee. Both have now retired.
Also leaving the Legislature was Sen.
Kerry Kammer (D-Pontiac), who while
tending to take a more conservative
outlook and represent the interests of
sportsmen, consistently supported
strong environmental laws.
While a handful of vetersan
lawmakers who endorsed such causes
remain, there appear to be none in
either the House or Senate who would
pursue those issues with the zest of Her-
tel, Anderson and Kammer.

While no announcement has been
made, there remains the possibility
that anti-environmentalist Sen. Joseph
Mack (D-Ironwood), may assume the
position once held by Hertel.
To be sure, some of the freshmen in
the House and Senate may begin to
move into the slots left empty by the
departed pro-environment lawmakers.
However, it generally takes three or
four years in office before a legislator
can move into a position of influence in
either chamber.
In the interim, environmentalists
may have to resign themselves to
protecting the. laws enacted in the last
decade instead of pursuing new
programs.
Wiegand wrote this story for UPI.

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

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Vol. XCIII, No. 91

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Asane idea
N THE aftermath of John Hinckley's
successful insanity defense,
numerous calls - most of them un-
Workable - went up for reform of the
insanity defense. But this week, the
American Psychiatric Association
recommended a new set of guidelines
that areas praiseworthy for what they
don't say as for what they do.
The association asked that the in-
s nity defense be allowed only in cases
of serious mental illness, that
psychiatrists not be called upon to
make definite judgments as to whether
d defendant is legally sane or insane,
and that standards for the release of
those found insane be tightened.
While these proposals are wise
reforms, the association was also
smart enough not to delve into areas
where it does not have any expertise.
The group said the legal community
should decide if a defendant is legally
insane. The group also would not say
whether the burden of proof rests with
the defendant or the state in these
cases.
These are legal questions and need to
be answered by those in the legal field.
It makes sense for the association to
leave those decisions up to the "exper-
ts."
The rest of the proposal merits close
consideration. The use of the insanity
defense is on the verge of making a
mockery of our criminal justice

t on insanity
system - particularly in cases of
violent crime. Many feel that when
criminals are caught red-handed, they
almost automatically reach for the in-
sanity plea. If the lawyer can get a
psychiatrist or two to say the defen-
dant was "temporarily" insane, and
the jury or judge buys the testimony,
the defendant can get off.
The APA proposal makes this
scheme tougher to sell, because
psychiatrists would no longer be forced
to make absolute determinations on a
defendant's sanity.
The proposal would also set up
something like parole boards to decide
when an insane criminal can be
released from psychiatric care.
Currently, psychiatrists make such
decisions virtually by themselves.
Psychiatry is not an exact science.
Many of its questionscan never be set-
tled absolutely. Increasingly, however,
the criminal justice system has asked
psychiatrists to provide opinions in the
areas most open to doubt.
The American Psychiatric
Association proposal might not provide
all the answers to the questions raised
by the recent rash of insanity defenses.
Nevertheless, the group has set forth a
reasonable set of guidelines which, at
the very least, deserves close con-
sideration in Congress and state
legislatures.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
De fending Mormon charity

14

r' CAN KICK OUT WIESTERN QORRES1'OMPENTS
BUT WHAT PO IPO A809J ALL THESE
PAIANEP POLES?"
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To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the
editorial page article on the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints (Mormon) welfare
system. ("Mormons find charity,
and guilt, begins at home,"
Daily, Jan. 16). Bob Gottlieb and
Peter Wiley either did a poor job
of research and anaylsis or they
simply had an ax to grind.
As a Mormon, I have par-
ticipated in the Mormon church
welfare system for over fifteen
years. As a boy of twelve, my
friends and I spend every other
Saturday morning hiking across
town and doing chores such as
filling a coal bin or shoveling
sidewalks for a widow. None of us
were angels and we wanted to be
home watching cartoons like any
normal kid. We did it because we
had to; it was our church
assignment.
But gradually I became used to
the idea and looked forward to
doing chores because it made us
feel good afterward. Only later
did I realize that teaching youth
to be aware of, and active in, the

needs of the poor and elderly was
one of the reasons I was given the
task.
Over the years I have remained
active in the welfare activities of
my church. The last project I was
a part of was delivering free fur-
niture to needy non-Mormon
families here in Ann Arbor on the
day before you printed Gottlieb
and Wiley's anti-Mormon blurb.
Actually, this project is part of a
local government program, a.
fact that would no doubt astonish
Gottlieb and Wiley since they
assert the Mormons are hostile
toward such programs.
The article went further,
though. It insinuated that Mor-
mons judge the worthiness of
people on the size of their respec-
tive bank accounts. As far as
their examples go, I suppose I
could list counter ones, but for the
sake of argument, let's assume
that Mormon's really are as
dastardly as they say when it
comes to thinking about the poor.
Isn't then the Mormon welfare
program even more remarkable?
It serves the poor so well (as Got-

tlieb and Wiley admit) despite
our imperfections.
Mormons are just human
beings like the rest of the world
and don't feel any desire to
disparage anyone, especially
those experiencing hard times.

Yes, Krell has afan

I

To the Daily:
C. E. Krell, fighting, biting,
review-writing, giving 'em hell;
son of Kerouac on a vision quest?
Give 'em your best.
The fans verdict? Send him on
the first train to Clarksville
where Rich Williams will leave
him at the station and make all
the mind-parasites happy.
The McDonaldvores choke on
their second-hand condem-
nations. Rats fleeing a sinking
nation. Dan Pelekoudas gets
more respect.
Yet all great prophets are con-
demned at first. Is C. E. the new
Christ? Not on your wafer, but
he's a refreshing change from
Greek Week and Mohammed Ali
Agca. Krell on drugs? Fine him

$5 or $50 and give him a
typewriter.
Make your condemnations but
madness is quite close to genius,
as anyone who has ever had their
Ready-Teller card eaten will tell
you.
Krell, the Daily's mutant man,
gamma rays on the brain thrust
him from the Big M's suction
cesspool. Grasping, clawing he is
met by pre-programmed adver-
sity at every turn: from East
Quad's guilty rich kids to the
father-hating prelaw boys. Do not
gentle into that good cesspool.
Fight, fight, against the death of
innovation.
-Roy Zornow
January 20

Take a Mormon out to lunch and
get to know him or her. If you do,
maybe next time you won't be as
willing to print the next anti-
Mormon drivel that comes down
the wire. J. Ward Moody
January 19

I

Wasserman

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