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April 11, 1985 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-04-11

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OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, April 11, 1985 The Michigan Daily
p

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bRi CIttbia iaiI
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Working against nuclear war'

Vol. XCV, No. 152

S42AOMaynard St.
Ann Arbor; MI 48109

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

Sign of crisis

ECRETARY OF Agriculture John
lock's current financial woes are per-
haps as clear an indicator as anything
of the hardships facing the country's
farmers.
By almost any standard, Block has
been a successful farmer. In little over
20 years he enlarged his family farm
from 300 acres to 3,000 and embarked
upon a series of investment partner-
ships with other farmers from the
region.
He was a mere 46 years old when he
was appointed Secretary of,
Agriculture, and many observers felt he
represented a new model of success
within the industry:- the en-
trepeneurial farmer who nonetheless
knew and worked the land.
Recently, however, several of his
partnership ventures have failed and,
although his home farm continues to
yield a profit, many speculate he is
losing a great deal of money.
The situation is not so much a per-
sonal tragedy, however, as it is an in-
dictment of the Reagan ad-
ministration's handling of the farm
crisis.
Sandwiched between rising interest
rates and diminishing value of far-
mland brought on by the strong U.S.
dollar, farmers throughout the country
face bankruptcy. The small family
farmers have been most threatened
and have received the most attention
for their plight, but Block's situation
suggests that the problem extends to
all farmers-not just small ones.
The trend in the Reagan ad-
ministration has been to reduce price
subsidies and eliminate target prices

thus causing many farmers to spend
more in raising their crops than they
receive in selling them. Although far-
mers should not be entirely immune to
the rules of a market economy, they do
deserve some support from the gover-
nment because many of their troubles
spring directly from government
policies.
In the early 1970s,' for instance, the
government encouraged a rapid ex-
pansion in agricultural output to
facilitate grain sales to the Soviet
Union. With the Soviet grain embargo,
however, a major market was
eliminated and the demand for U.S.
grain has never recovered.
Reagan's veto last month of the
emergency farm aid bill demonstrated
the president's resolve not to im-
plement a full-scale federal aid
program, but there is still a possibility
of significant aid on a joint federal and
local level.
A glimmer of hope comes from a
proposal in the Senate by several farm
state senators which would extend
federal guarantees for loans to far-
mers from the current $630 million to
$4 billion and would allow farmers
easier access to government-backed
loans. The government itself would not
be supplying the loans, but would be
encouraging local savings institutions
to issue the loans themselves.
Ironically, the revelations over
Block's finances suggest an urgency
that may convince the Reagan ad-
ministration to free up the funds that
would guarantee local loans and finally
help assuage the plight of the farmers.

When noted anti-nuclear activist Dr.
Helen Caldicott was in town last month,
Daily staff writer Jody Becker spoke with
her about the abilities of private citizens
to effectively work against nuclear
proliferation. The first part of their con-
versation appeared yesterday.
Dialogue
Daily: You are specifically interested in
arousing women to oppose nuclear
proliferation. The women at Greenham
Common might best illustrate the intensity of
commitment you feel. How effective do you
think the peace camp has been, taking into
consideration the fact that the Cruise
(missile) has been deployed there and
military exercises have gone on despite the
women's presence?
Caldicott: Well, it's very frustrating. They
haven't stopped them, obviously. But they're
keeping a continual watch. And every time
the missiles are taken out for exercises, as
they call it, from Greenham Common, it
means that the Russians are seeing Cruise
missiles moving and they could be being
taken out for deployment and launching, and
that is a very provacative thing to do. And-
then they (the Greenham women) alert
people across the country in networks. And so

they've educated a large percent of the
American people about the danger of the
Cruise missile, they've made it uncomfor-
table for the government, so they've done a
wonderful thing. And they've made them-
selves very uncomfortable living out there
day and night in the mud and slush and the
cold and rain. It's absolute commitment and
it's wonderful they're so committed.
D: Do you feel at this point that the Peace
Camp is still the best instrument for
education? Or might the Greenham women
be more influential in effecting change in
some other ways?
C: I really can't comment on that, I
haven't been in Britain for about three years.
D: Two members of the undergraduate
student body at the University of Michigan
were recently released from jail after being
convicted for trespassing while staging a sit-
in protest in the lab of a University professor
conducting military research. While this act
might be called a noble act of civil
disobedience, the research continues. How
can concerned students and faculty most ef-
fectively protest the use of university resour-
ces for military research?
C: Well, they learned how to do it in the
Vietnam era didn't they? They took over the
labs. I think you don't have the volume of
students here now. It is absolutely immoral
for (military) research to be taking place on a
student campus-where we're educating our
young people, to blow them up-it's ab-
solutely immoral. It's much worse than Hitler
building his gas ovens which killed six million
people, because this is about to destroy four
and a half billion.
D: The New York Times and Newsweek
magazine among other media agents have

recently been heralding what they call a new
wave of American "campus conservatism".
Here at the University of Michigan, when
Walter Mondale came to make a campaign
speech in October, he faced a coalition calling
themselves "Frats Against Fritz". How do
you account for this trend in view of the ever
growing nuclear threat?
C: Well, you have to know that much of the
organization forbthat sort of rallying comes
from the Republican party. They are or-
chestrated by the Republican party. They
ship students in. They bus them in. They train
them how to demonstrate. So that the studen-
ts are being used as pawns. Because if they
knew the truth, they wouldn't be participating
in it. And I know that, because I speak at a lot
of campuses that are these conservative
places, or so-called conservative campuses.
And the students stand up and weep when
they hear me. Just weep. So they're
uneducated. Why aren't the American
students being taught the history of the
United States? Why aren't they being taught
what nuclear war would mean for them? Why
aren't they being taught the truth about
American History? Why aren't they being
taught about European culture and history?
You can graduate from 75 percent of
American colleges with a B.A. without having
taken American literature or history and 70
percent of the colleges without having learned
European history. I give a lot of commen-
cement addresses and the majority of studen-
ts, it seems to me, get their degrees in
business administration or computers. That's
not education! That is a perversion of
education. What has happened to this coun-
try? What are you being taught if it's not how(
to use a democracy? You're doomed if that
continues.

Si nclair

W 46

Speaking up

I

rH THE rising April tem-
peratures, students at college

campuses across the country
simultaneously raising their voices are
to call for divestment of University
funds in South Africa and to protest
CIA recruiting on campus.
At New York's Columbia University,
50 students and non-students have
blocked Hamilton Hall for eight
straight days. Pete Seeger, singer
Bono Vox of the rock group U-2 and
Brooklyn Assemblyman Al Vann have
all lent their support to the protesters.
Currently, Columbia has $39 million
invested in companies that do busines
with South Africa.
A few hours down the parkway, at
Yale University in New Haven, Conn.,
representatives from 6 collegesplan to
meet to support the 6 Yale students
faced with a disciplinary hearing for
their protest of CIA recruitment on
their campus last March.
University activists have joined ac-
tivists from eight other schools in sen-
ding encouraging letters to the studen-
ts at Yale, who also plan to discuss a
national movement against the CIA.
Activism is an important method for
individuals to affect policies they feel
have been implemented without
regard for moral or idealistic con-

siderations. Individual members of
society, students in particular, are
rarely a significant part of the
decision making process in their
governments or administrations. By
voicing their criticisms of official
policies in innovative and sometimes
illegal ways they claim a share in those
decisions.
In recent months the University has
provided several instances of effective
civil disobediance, which carries ac-
tivism to its extreme, and have
publicized issues of military research
on campus, sexism in local advertising
and the administration's disregard for
women's safety.
Obviously, the goals of all civil
disobediance actions will not be met,
but the more examples of student ac-
tivism there are, the more likely ad-
ministrations and governments across
the country will begin to pay greater
heed to student input in decison-
making. The students at Columbua,
Yale, and the University should be
commended for having the convictions
to act upon their beliefs and other
members of the University community
should use those actions as an impetus
to become informed about the issues
and then choose whether to support or
oppose them.

c~z <
V ''

his L NEIL' K
? F TAE FAT
r H
OF LAS
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1

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I

Letters
Daily irresponsible in headline use

_ _.__ ... ,, ... .,. ., ..n . __..,_ -- ._ ___

T2I

To the Daily:
I think it's time that you
become more responsible in your
use of headlines. As an officer of
LSA Student Government, which
works hard to promote the in-
terest of the LSA student body, I
am appalled that you have per-
sisted to tarnish our image by
printing misleading headlines,
which do not accurately portray
the contents of the stories. First, I
was angered by the January 31
headline, "LSA heads may throw
private parties for graduates,"
which seems to make a farce of
our efforts to improve graduation
ceremonties here 'at the Univer-
sity. Then, I was again angered
by the April 4 headline, "LSA-SG
protests Dean Steiner's
rehiring," which suggests that
we do not think he has been a
good dean. And now, worst of all,
today's (April 7) headline,
"Students condemn LSA dean,"
is simply an outrage!
For the record, my fellow
student government members

To the 1
The ID
strong
sexism
billboa
however
sexism.
sexismi
practic
than a

Please, in the future, refrain
from mocking on constructive ef-
forts and potentially harming our

relations with the administration
by immaturely sensationalizing
campus issues through inac-

Sports coverage in Daily
)aily: are now on board. This new staff
)aily rightly has taken a would not be so one-sided.
stand against overt Yet, last, week we were
as expressed in a local provided with a large section
rd. The Daily itself, devoted to baseball but nothing
r, is likewise guilty of for the women's counter-
In the Daily's case the part-softball. I decided that in-
is one of omission. Such a deed the new Daily staff was as
e is obviously less visible sexist as their predecessors aid I
large billboard, but is did not need to bring this on-

nevertheless as pernicious.
I refer in particular- to the
Daily's practice of publishing
pre-season supplements on men's
athletic teams. I read with great
interest the section on basketball
last fall but found oversight on
the part of the Daily staff and in
any event a new group of editors
BLOOM COUNTY

Letters to the Daily should be typed, triple-
spaced, and signed by the individual authors.
Names will be withheld only in unusual circum-
stances. Letters may be edited for clarity, gram-
mar, and spelling.
by Berke Breathed

curate, misleading headlines.
-Michael L. Brown
April 7
is sexist
trage to their attention. But,
having taken a stand on sexism in
advertising, this staff must put'
into practice a non-sexist ap-
proach to sports reporting or ex-
plain to the readers the reason for"
the inconsistency.
-Bob Beattie,
April 2;

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