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October 30, 1986 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-30

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4

OPINION

e

Page 4 Thursday, October 30, 1986 The Michigan Dily

0

'l

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Reconsider

internships

Vol. XCVII, No. 41

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Perry
FOR 14 YEARS, Perry Bullard
has represented the residents of the
53rd House district, and he should
continue to serve. Bullard
recognizes the importance of the
University to his district and has
worked closely with the
community for many years.
Bullard is a familiar face around
campus. His Bullard Film Society
sponsors educational movies and
documentaries on such issues as
nuclear war, equal rights, and
Central America. He has worked
closely with the Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) for the Student
Bill of Rights to assure student-
rights from a non-academic
conduct code. He has also pushed
for legislation calling for a student
regent seat on the Board of
Regents. Bullard has advocated
tenants' rights for both students
and non-students through his work
with the Ann Arbor Tenants'
Union.
Bullard's activism goes beyond
strictly student related issues. He
co-sponsored the bill to divest state
pension fund investments from
companies that do business in
South Africa and has worked to
make Ann Arbor a nuclear free
zone. He has championed
employee rights with the
Bullard/Plawecki Employee Right
to Know Act of 1978, which
makes employer files on workers
accessible to the employees. As
chairman of the House Judiciary

Bullard
Committee, Bullard has tried to
simplify the legal and criminal
justice system.
He has also worked for
womens' issues. He fully
supports a woman's right to
choose to have an abortion and
defends the rights of domestic
violence victims.
Bullard has shown his
commitment to environmental
issues. He is not in favor of
nuclear energy, and has introduced
legislation which led to the
Michigan Solar Tax Credit
Program. He wants companies to
be responsible for their waste
materials and urges harsher
penalties for businesses violating
those regulations.
Bullard's challenger, Vic Holz,
has expressed concern about the
drug problem and favors increased
funding to rehabilitation programs
and stiffer penalties for drug users.
A former businessman and
engineer at Bechtel corps, he has
said that there are other means of
environmental protection beyond
conservation and favors reduced
government regulation of industry.
His self proclaimed ignorance of
State National Guard training in
Honduras, and failure to recognize
a woman's right to choose to have
an abortion are serious
weaknesses, especially when
compared to Bullard's consistently
progressive\ record.

By Bert Hornback
Let's recruit several hundred students
from political science and economics and
other humanising disciplines - the
sciences can be just as humanising as
philosophy is, and more so than literary
criticism is! Let's put them to work in
this little place, both at the University
and in the city, at levels at which they
can actually see what's going on and have
some influence on it. Let's tell them that
their job is to do good things, and to
make things work.
These new interns might, for example,
examine University bureaucracy, and
determine whether or not we can afford it.
At this crazy place, one vice-president and
his staff costs us eight teaching
faculty - something you might
remember every time you go into a
crowded classroom. Our new interns
might invade the Office of Financial Aid,
too, with a determination to make it
possible for any good student to attend
this state-supported university in this
democratic free land. To achieve this end,
they may have to demand rebates from the
highest paid among us; they may have to
tax the wealthy among themselves. Their
mission, as interns, will be to achieve
their goal - not to write a report, or
make up a plan, or set new guidelines, or
hire a staff to occupy an office and file
paper.
In the city these new interns might
take on the problem of poverty. There is
obviously enough wealth in Ann Arbor
for everybody to be fed and housed
decently. Bright university students
should b able to figure out how to match
the money with the people so that
everybody will be fed: isn't that what
economics is all about? "How we live at
home" is what the word means, after all.
If we need more housing, what better
thing could be done than to start building
it? Political science might as well start
learning the art of building the polis -
Hornback is a Professor of English.

and building houses should be a natural
ambition for economics students.
If our new interns run out of good,
constructive, useful, and educational
things to do, I'm sure the Mayor of Ann
Arbor, Dr. Ed Pierce, will have some
suggestions for them.
But let's don't go to Washington -
yet. Let's clean up our own backyard
first, and learn how to do good things -
how to make government work. The first
trick to learning the former is to want to
do good things, instead of serving
ourselves and being important. The way
to manage the second - make
government work - is to do the work
ourselves.
Washington needs the services of
bright young men and women,
desperately. But it needs them, not to
learn how it now operates - that will
only corrupt them. Rather, it needs them
to change and correct and restore what we
call government - which is what you
can't learn in Washington. You can learn
that, however, here at home, working in
someplace like the University of our city.
There's no prestige attached to being
an Ann Arbor intern, of course - but
then as President Shapiro will tell you,
prestige is a bad thing. The work means
illusion, and trickery: glitter, and false
importance.
The Peace Corps was founded in Ann
Arbor when somebody asked us if we
were willing to do something with -our
lives. He didn't ask us if we wanted to go
to Washington and be important - and
though he wanted, then, to go to
Washington, I don't think he wanted just
importance. Why don't we ask ourselves,
this time, to do something with our
lives. A hundred or so interns here in
Ann Arbor, working seriously at solving
our local problems, should both learn a
lot and accomplish good things. Who
could ask for more?
It's that time of year again. There are
signs up everywhere, littering our world
with enticing suggestions. At the
University of Michigan, we regularly
send hundreds of young men and women

- undergraduate students studying
political science and economics and other
things - to Washington D.C., to serve
as interns in various government
agencies. What they are supposed to d
is double: learn how government works,
and learn what you do in governmrit.
They also assist congressmen for
bureaucrats or presidential aids in doing
good things - supposedly. It sounds
exciting, and' important. Who could ask
for more?
But government doesn't work. And
few congressmen or bureaucrats or
presidential aids do very many good
things. And all that our interns lear
about what you do in government is that
you spin your wheels and be important
Anybody who wants evidence :to
support these allegations need only open
an eye or two. Look at the arms race, at
the crazy stockpiling of outrageous
destructiveness which we call national
defense - and look at how we manage' to
keep building more and more of it. Look
at the corruption in the Pentagon, and i
the American businesses with which it is
allied. Look at this nation's economy
and at the millions of people here and
elsewhere starving while we store an
impossibly oversized grain surplus.
Look at crime and violence - and the
locks on your doors, and your fears of
rape or worse, and the handy emergency
phones all over Ann Arbor -in this land
of the free. Look at your prospects for a
future.
Since government doesn't work, in
Washington, and nobody in the nation's
capital does anything much that's good,
let's quit sending young people there to
be tricked by prestige and other kinds of
false pretence at importance. Instead, let's
start a new kind of internship program,
here in Ann Arbor, for our students. And
let's plan on their accomplishing
something of value. Then, when they,
grow up into careers in government - i4
Washington or elsewhere - maybe they
will still expect to accomplish something
of value, and maybe they will change this
vorld.

LETTERS.

Brown and Waters

Balance of power justifies Contra aid'

. . . Regent
Muskegon)

James Waters (D-

REGENTS PAUL BROWN
(D-Petoskey) and James Waters
(D-Muskegon) should be re-
elected to the University's
governing board next week. With
each having 16 years experience in
making key University decisions,
they have the sense of history
needed to make educated decisions
in the future.
Brown and Waters were both
key when the regents approved a
set of guidelines for research
conducted on campus 'in 1972.
Although they both voted to review
these guidelines last year they
should remember their position of
14 years ago, when the regents
banned from campus classified
research endangering human life.
The incumbents' experience will
also be invaluable for finding
solutions to the University's
budget problems. Since the state's
recession of the late '70s and early
'80s resulted in inadequate state
funding to the University, regents
and administrators, hoping for

. . . Regent Paul Brown (D-
Petosky)
budget cuts such as the "five-year
plan" that severely downsized the
schools of Education, Natural
Resources, and Art. Instead, they
prefer increasing little-tapped but
available resources such as alumni
contributions.
While Republican regental
candidates Gary Frink and Cynthia
Hudgins have had some contact
with the University-Frink is an
alumni and Hudgins is the liason
between the University and Rep.
Carl Pursell (R-Michigan)-they
cannot match Brown and Waters'
16 years.
Brown and Waters have been
two of the most responsive regents
to student concerns. While they
have not always agreed with
student standpoints, they have
always listened. Brown established
the regents' public comments
session where students have been
able to express their concerns to the
board.
Recognizing that while the
session was a step forward,

To the Daily:
In "Nicaraguan Sister City"
(Daily, 9/29/86) the editorial
board supported the recent ad -
option of Juigalpa as Ann
Arbor's sister city "to oppose
the Reagan administration's
aggressive policy against
Nicaragua." In principle, I
support the spirit of taking
symbolic stands. However, in
supporting the "sister city"
project, the Daily unobject -
ively criticized President
Reagan's policy.
In no way do I blindly em -
brace Reagan's policies. Ideal -
ly, the U.S. government as
well as the Soviet government
should not intervene in
Nicaragua. Unfortunately, we
do not live in an ideal world.
Due to the globalization of
economies and post-world-war
U.S. and Soviet foreign
policies, we exist in a bi-polar
world. In order to achieve a
balance of power, regions like
Nicaragua, El Salvador,
Angola, the Mideast, and Indo-
china have become theaters for
U.S.-Soviet proxy fighting.
Being a recent draft regis -
trant, the thought of a direct
conflict terrifies me. Yet, I
also understand the complex -
ities of international relations.
The Daily branded Reagan's
policy as "aggressive" but
failed to realize the $100 mil -
lion. dollar Contra aid package
appropriated by Congress is
dwarfed by the $500 million
dollar Soviet aid package.
Currently, the Sandinistas have
a fleet of 25 Mi-17 jet fighters,
12 Mi-24 gunship helecopter,
150 Soviet made tanks (source:
Newsweek), not to overlook
the 3,500 Cuban advisors.
The Daily also failed to

strategically located to threaten
sea-lanes that transport more
than half of crude oil imports
to the United States. More
threatening is that the Panama
Canal-the most vital choke
point to the Western Hemi -
sphere-is a half hours flight
from Nicaraguan bases. With
Warsaw Pact engineers current -
ly constructing a port on the
Caribbean side (source: Time),
there is a genuine threat of a
Soviet naval base. Under these
conditions, out best deterrence
is to counter with strength. A
laissez-faire attitude may be
perceived by the Soviets as a
lack of will. Just as the U.S.
support the Contras, the
Soviets and Sandinistas back
the rebels seeking to overthrow
the pro-U.S. government in El
Salvador. Perhaps the moral -
ities of determining the fate of
another sovereign state is
suspect, it is still a vital part
of the U.S.-Soviet relations.
Rather than portraying
Reagan's policy as oppressive,
the Daily should have been
objective and recognized the
fundamentals of world politics.
Another issue of concern
was the Daily's treatment of
Contra human rights abuses.
To be fair, I am the first to
concede the Contras are not the
angels of freedom that Reagan
has portrayed. The abuses may
in fact exist which warrant no
excuse. Of the $100 million
dollar aid package, $3.5 mil -
lion will go to the investigat -
ion of misconduct.
There, however, seems to be
no reform on the Sandinistas.
The Daily sensationalized the
alleged abuses of the Contras
and was sympathetic to the
Sandinistas. Contrary to the

recent closing of opposition
newspapers. How can the
Daily espouse editorial freedom
and individual rights, yet
condone the closing of La
Prensa? What if during the
student protest and building
takeovers of the 1960's the
university administration had
closed the Daily because "it felt
threatened." Would the Daily
be able to claim "ninety-seven
years of editorial freedom?"
The Daily equated the
closing of La Prensa with "past
oppressive actions" of the U.S.
when it felt threatened. True,
President Lincoln did suspenld
the Writ of Habeas Corpus
during the Civil War. How -
ever, there can be no equation
between Lincoln's actions and
Ortega's. At the time of our
Civil War, the Confederate
rebels were still represented in
a true democracy. Can Ortega
(or the Daily) claim this for
Nicaragua? No, because the
current civil war witnesses an
opposition with no represent -
ation and a fraudulent court
system not attending Sandin -
ista rallies. It also witnesses
censorship (or should I say lack
of censorship since opposing
papers no longer exist?), the
harassment of the Catholic

Church and labor unions, along
with human rights abuses.
How can there be an equation?
Yet not one hint of criticism
for the Daily.
I admit, there are faults with
Reagan's policy such as CIA's
mining of Nicaraguan harbors,
Reagan's rejection of WorldE
Court jurisdiction and CIA
manuals advocating the
"neutralization" of opponents.
On the converse, there are
many rational reasons to
support the Contras. Just as
the current administration's
campaign of "Red-Baiting" and
"Soft on Communism" is
unethical, so is the ploy of
portraying the administration's
policy as "murderous" and
"oppressive." The Daily being
liberal is one matter, but when
it loses its objectivity to
achieve political gains, all the
readers suffer. Therefore, I
propose we adopt Matagalpa
along with Juigalpa to
symbolically oppose the
aggressive policies of the1
Soviet Union as well as the
Sandinistas' many faults over -
looked by the Daily.

James Lin
-October 24
op j

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