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November 04, 1988 - Image 18

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-04
Note:
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JUDGES
Continued from Page 5
a one day/one trial system for jurors
where a county resident would only
have to serve one day of jury duty
every two years rather than the cur-
rent 30-day term. Such a system,
Francis said, would lessen the bur-
den on jurors and the state.
Morris advocates assigning one
judge, on a rotational basis, to ex-
clusively hear family law cases.
Morris claims this will help speed
otherwise slow-moving cases
through the system.
Michigan Daily
SPORTS
763-0376
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MARY DIBBLE
S. University
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663-2311

SHEA
Continued from Page 10
was always "Why not?" When
asked "Why?" he would say
"Because I yvant to better the
school." When asked "How?" he
would say "Through making it a
better place." The circular empti-
ness of this logic, however, was oft
overlooked by others; they were too
busy either admiring or laughing at
his blazer.
On the evening before the first
and only debate, Billy came to me
wanting to know how to approach
the questions. "Just say everything
Joshua does," I told him. He en-

joyed success with this approach
although it hardly mattered because
few of the student body attended and
those who did cheered for Billy
anyway.
I campaigned for my candidate
ruthlessly by pandering to cheap
emotion. "Listen," I told everyone
who would listen. "You've treated
Billy like a poor bastard since first
grade. He's got nothing. How much
can this mean to Joshua compared
to Billy?" I said. "For once in
Billy's life..."
Joshua pleaded with the student
body on the morning of the election
not to fall for this. "We have to
take government seriously," he said

before the ballots were handed out,
"or we are lost."
It was a touching speech.
Joshua lost by a 3:1 ratio.
Billy and I were very happy.
"Damn, Johnny," he said. "I can't
believe it. This is something I've
always wanted. I'm goin' to work
hard and be the best president this
school has ever seen."
He was, in short, the worst
.president in the school's 67 year
history. Representatives in the sen-
ate didn't take him seriously and
nothing of any merit was ever ac-
complished. The blazer, I suppose,
had lost its charm.

That was five years ago.
Today, we find ourselves four
days away from electing the new
president of the United States. And
while Bush and Dukakis are not in-
tellectual cousins to Billy, they
have, nevertheless, masked their
would-be brilliant policies behind
negative ads and unsubstantiated
accusations. This election race mir-
rors Billy and Joshua's: as I pan-
dered to my classmates' cheap
emotions, Bush and Dukakis have
pandered to ours. One waves a flag,
the other rides a tank.
The harsh reality is, we have be-
come a USA Today culture. Just

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JWB
Tuesday, November 8,10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Hillel, 1429 Hill Street
Interested in a career in Jewish Communal Service?
Meet with Steve Bayer, representative of the JWB,
who will be at Hillel to answer questions and provide
information about a wide variety of programs and
opportunities.
Call for an appointment, 769 - 0500.
II i

INTERVIEW
Continued from Page 10
Malaysia. The tribe had been
protesting the destruction of their
rainforest, and was imprisoned for
subversion. We sent money to help
them in their legal battle. We con-
tributed to AMISTAD, an
organization on campus which is at
this point working very hard to
construct a soil testing lab in
Nicaragua which will permit the
people of northern Nicaragua to
learn what crops can be planted that
are sustainable in rainforest soil.
W: Can you discuss this myth that
the soil of the rainforest is rich and
can be used to raise high-yield
crops?
F: This is a big fallacy. People see
rainforests and they see big trees
and think that it must be incredibly
fertile soil. That's probably the
furthest from the truth. The soils
through out the equatorial zone,
granted this is somewhat of a gen-
eralization, are by and large far older
than what you have in northern re-
gions. Because of their age and
evolution, they have had most of
their minerals leeched from the soil
by rain and other erosional forces.
The ultimate effect is to have the
nutrient structure of the soil broken
down. The clays that contain the
minerals become less and less able
to retain the minerals that remain.
The soils becomes poorer and
poorer. At this stage, all of the nu-
trients in the rainforest are con-
tained in the biomass not in the
soil. As you cut down trees and
burn them to clear land, nutrients
are released into the soil. However,
they are quickly absorbed by crops
planted in the first or second year.
As these crops are carried off to
market, the nutrients are carried off
to market. The soil is left com-
pletely infertile. This soil will re-
main infertile for who knows how
many thousands of years.
W: How many students are in-
volved with RAM?
F: At this point we have about
450 people on our mailing list. Not
all of those people come to every
meeting; that would be incredible if
they did. I would say regularly, we
have between 40 and 60 people
coming to meetings and participat-
ing on some of the committees or
in the events we put on like Rain-

forest Awareness Week. We ran
discussions, a bucket drive, presen-
tations in the Mug and the Fish-
bowl. This year we're producing a
news letter, a great way to keep
people tapped into what's going on
and things they can do. It's also a
way to editorialize.
W: What is one of the fundamental
problems confronting rainforest
preservation?
F: Most people agree that one of
the fundamental problems is an un-
equal distribution of wealth within
the countries that are tearing down
rainforests at the quickest rates.
People from the lower class, either
urban poor or rural, are being reset-
tIed on cleared rainforest land. These
projects (in countries like Brazil and
Indonesia) purport to be solving
poverty by providing land to the
poor. Unfortunately, the crop re-
turns are so poor that the settlers
are not being lifted out of the cycle
of poverty. Traditionally, the vast
majority of the arable land is held
by the elite. Much of this land is
not even farmed; it lays fallow as
part of a family's plantation. The
elite does not want to give up

ownership of the land as the land
equals power and control. The poor
are therefore shifted into outlying
provinces. Given land that will not
sustain crops, the Indians that in-
habit these regions are threatened
with extinction . . . Moving these
people into the rainforest lands
simply does not solve the problems
these governments face with over-
population and stagnating growth.
W: What are some of the moves
being made by our government and
international lending institutions?
F: There is some legislation mov-
ing through Congress that deals
with the debt for rainforest swap.
This involves trading part of a
country's debt, essentially writing
it off or having it paid by another
source, for a parcel of land being
preserved and protected. This re-
structuring within the economic
system, relieving the debt of the
third world, will take some of the
pressure off these countries to ex-
ploit the rainforest for quick profit.
A great deal of the foreign exchange
generated by these countries is go-
ing to service foreign debts. With
some relief, we could permit them

to take a longer range view towards
development. Another bill in
Congress would require that tropical
beef be labeled for country of ori-
gin. Large scale distributors handle
this meat. It is difficult to confront
or boycott these large scale
distributors. If rainforest products
are labelled as such, consumers can
make informed choices.
W: Do you believe that there can
be a rational use of the rainforests
by, multinationals that won't result
in the destruction of the rainforest?
F: Sustainable development is
possible for given areas. Multina-
tionals cannot be relied upon to
create development that does not
look to short-term profit and would
instead benefit local populations.
The local governments do not even
do this. Multinationals have a place
in development in the short-run
simply because they have control.
However, the first world needs to
question the role we have taken in
the exploitation of the third world.
We cannot justify the continued
exploitation of the third world to
benefit the first. The first world
continues to ignore the impact our

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PAG.. W E KE ND/NOV /1R 41988

WEEKEND/NOVEMBER,4, 1988

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