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February 16, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-16

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 16, 1990
Whe tc Tig nU]ail
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigah 48109
ARTS 763 0379 PHOTO 764 0552
NEWS 764 0552 SPORTS 747 3336
OPINION 747 2814 WEEKEND 747 4630
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.


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Companies need to clean up, not look for excuses

its by big business has long been a
source of pollution, protected by
politicians and economists who think
this greed can be harnessed and used to
help preserve the environment. Now
President George Bush has proposed a
system which would allow companies
to buy and sell the "right" to pollute as
part of a plan to encourage them to
clean up their operations. The ultimate
goal of the proposal is a global market
that would treat pollution permits like
stocks and bonds.
The idea of trading pollution rights
is the centerpiece of Bush's plan to
combat acid rain. Under the strategy,
the government would set limits on
emissions of sulfur dioxide, a primary
cause of acid rain. But, rather than the
government dictating how these limits
are to be met, the open market will de-
termine the "cheapest and most efficient
way" to meet the limits.
Each individual company would be
allotted an acceptable level of sulfur
dioxide production. If a company man-
ages to pollute less than its "share," it
would receive permits representative of
its surplus, which it could then sell to
other companies which could not meet
their limits. According to Bush, com-
panies would have an enormous incen-
tive to keep their emissions down so
they could profit from selling their
surplus. Meanwhile, Bush claims the
money raised by the government from
selling permits would go to help clean
up the environment.
Though Bush's plan is certainly in-
novative, it will likely do little to curb
pollution by big business. First of all,
companies are not environmentally
motivated. The incentive in the plan
will not be to pollute less - this would
require restructuring factories, retrain-
ing workers, and remodeling products,'

all of which require enormous expense.
The true incentive here will be to buy
up as many pollution permits as possi-
ble in order to avoid incurring the ex-
penses associated with fighting pollu-
Businesses aim to make profits, and
ignoring pollution is one way to avoid
costly environmental protection. As
long as purchasing permits to pollute is
cheaper than restructuring factories,
business will have no incentive to
change their habits and quit polluting.
Since large companies with the most
money will be able to buy the most pol-
lution permits, they will not have to
restructure their operations and will be
able to continue manufacturing their
products while ignoring harmful envi-
ronmental side-effects.
But most importantly, the Bush plan
is a fiasco because it treats the envi-
ronment like a commodity, something
to be bought and sold. This sends the
wrong message to the American people;
clean water and clean air should be
inalienable rights, along with life, lib-
erty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The United States needs to follow
the lead of European nations and insti-
tute a program that taxes companies
severely for environmental violations.
The money collected should go to envi-
ronmental education and cleanup, not
to buying more pollution. In addition,
the names of companies that violate
pollution laws should be publicized;
there is nothing a company hates more
than bad publicity.
It is time the Bush administration
faced reality - the environment is not
a renewable resource and it is not a
commodity. The only way to cut down
on business pollution is to punish those
responsible for it. Selling pollution
rights won't reduce pollution, it will
simply allow big companies to pay
their way out of laws they don't like.

AIDS is ignored in Black communities

By Kimberly Smith
Although much attention has been paid
to the impact of AIDS, Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome, on some white
communities, very little attention has
been paid to the impact of AIDS on Black
communities. Of the total number of per-
sons with AIDS in the United States, 25
percent are Black, even though Blacks
make up only approximately 15 percent of
the total population.
In the U.S., of women diagnosed with
AIDS, 60 percent are Black. In addition,
60 percent of the babies born with AIDS
are Black and 53 percent of children under
the age of 13 with AIDS are Black.
Smith is a second-year medical student
and a member of the Black Medical Asso-

Despite these facts, very few efforts
have been made to challenge and prevent
the spread of AIDS in Black and poor
communities. One consequence of this ne-
glect has been minimal allocation of funds
to AIDS-related efforts of medical and
community institutions in Black commu-
nities and half-hearted efforts at AIDS edu-
cation prevention in Black and poor com-
munities. In addition, many of the drugs
that have been shown to lengthen the lives
of AIDS patients are not available to
Black and poor communities due to their
expense and/or the bureaucracy of drugs
certification procedures. '
Unlike some white communities,
Black and poor communities have not had
the political clout and the economic re-
sources to mobilize a powerful and sus-
tained fight against AIDS. Thus, the im-

pact of AIDS is another weight on our al-
ready overweighted shoulders. However, as
Black students, we will not stand by and
watch the devastation of AIDS without
fighting back, and the first step in this
struggle must be education.
Tomorrow, the Black Medical Associa-
tion along with the Black Law Student Al-
liance, the Black Dental Student Associa-
tion and other concerned groups will pre-
sent a forum on AIDS in the Black Com-
munity. This forum will consist of several
speakers who will discuss the medical,
epidemiological, legal, and economic
aspects of AIDS and its impact on Blacks.
The forum will be held in the auditorium
of the School of Public Health from 1-5
p.m. Admission is free, refreshments will
be served, and all who are interested are

aColIleg R undupates
Penn State joined Big Ten solely for athletics

Penn State's decision to join the Big
Fen last December was motivated by ath-
letics, a move that prioritized sports pres-
tige over the University's fundamental
mission - education.
The University's arrival in the Big Ten
represents a step above the last athletic
conference Penn State participated in -
the Atlantic 10. The athletic competition
the A-10 provided was scarce, the aca-
demic network non-existent. By contrast,
the Big Ten may be the best all-sports
conference in the country, and it offers
more academic support than the A-10.
But though the Big Ten offers a sup-
port system, it is still not something that

will greatly benefit the day-to-day aca-
demic life...
If the University seriously wanted to
ensure the move would enhance aca-
demics, it should have consulted with a
wider range of University community
members. Talking with the Faculty Senate
and the athletic director may have taken
time, but it would have been worth weigh-
ing the potential ramifications for both
students and student-athletes. Members of
the Faculty Senate last week rightly ob-
jected to the lack of consultation.
- The Daily Collegian
Penn State University
Januarv 31

Keep fighting racism
To the Daily:
I support the statement that "minority
representation deserves more attention."
(2/14/90). However, I cannot agree that
"the burden to improve the atmosphere at
the University of Michigan lies solely
with the administration... " Changes with-
in the University administration will occur
when the term "University" refers to stu-
dents, professors, and staff workers, as
well as to administrative higher-ups. The
risk of placing all the responsibility on
the administration, and on UCAR for
pressuring an abstracted "University," is to
remove responsibility from the majority
of students and faculty.
We, as students, cannot wait for the
administration to confront, constructively,
the problems of low minority enrollment
and low minority retention. If the com-
munity of University students and faculty
is to be attractive to people of color and to
individuals of different economic and cul-
tural backgrounds, that community itself
must take the initiative when the adminis..
tration seems to move ahead with geologic
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, stu-
dents turned out in impressive numbers for
a march and rally defending the struggles
of the civil rights movement. Commemo-
ration of the political heritage of civil
rights is one part of "improving the atmo-
sphere" at the Univerity. Another is a sim-
ilar show of force by students for greater
equality at the University in the 90s. The
administration will respond to proposals
by UCAR if the student body and faculty
demonstrate, at an active, day to day level,
their support for people of color on this
The Daily stated that a mandatory
course dealing with racism is "the only
way" to educate students about racism.
No. The proposal for such a course failed,

but students can still organize their own
forums which debate questions of racism
at the University and in society more gen-
erally, can still work behind the efforts of
student organizations representing minor-
ity students, and can still develop a student
movement which does not isolate UCAR
at one end of the spectrum and the
"University" at the other.
The Daily editorial rightly placed the
issue of racism at the University into the
broader context of state government poli-
cies on education. That context need not,
though, restrict student activism. Since
the University is a public and state-run in-
stitution, however much it dresses in the
garb of a private and elitist one, interven-
tion by students and faculty on decisions
about financial aid, enrollment, and curric-
ula, becomes all the more crucial.
Students have the opportunity to direct
the attention both of academic manage-
ment and of state officials to the undemo-
cratic foundations of the University. They
can best seize that opportunity by taking
the lead in thoughtful discussion and orga-
nized action.
Ellen Poteet
Member of Solidarity
Rackham Graduate Student
CC is in best interest
of students and MSA
To the Daily:
Jennifer Van Valey's letter ("Con-
servative Coalition works against pro-
gressives," 2/13/90) openly accuses the
Conservative Coalition and myself of
waging a brutal war against the old
traditions of MSA. I couldn't agree more.
Recently Aaron Williams (President of
MSA) and myself introduced over 12 new
changes to MSA's Compiled Code and
Constitution. These changes addressed
such issues as revamping the election pro-

cess, giving student groups a Bill of
Rights, and restricting MSA funding to
within the United States.
On Feb. 6, Jennifer Van Valey and
the Choice party successfully voted down
a proposal that would allow the students
of this university to vote on whether they
wanted their money to be spent on foreign
MSA "field trips."
In addition, Van Valey and the Choice
party opposed another proposal that would
allow the students to vote on a Bill of
Rights for Student Organizations. This
document outlined the various rights enti-
tled to every student group, in the hopes
that, if passed, MSA could no longer pick:
and choose those groups that it deemed
"politically correct" and recognize and
derecognize accordingly. This document
would outline specifically to groups like
TAGAR, Cornerstone Christian Fellow-
ship, ROTC, and others what specific
rights they have under MSA's Constitu-
tion. Currently, there exists no such doc-
The Bill of Rights states that "re-
ligious and political organizations have
the right to maintain autonomy in order-;
ing their own internal affairs... [this] is
thus a means by which religious and polit-
ical organizations define themselves." Van
Valey accuses this of being discrimina-
tory, but is it discriminatory to allow such'
groups to be free from MSA's wrath of:
derecognition if MSA disagrees with the,
religious or political mission of a group?
Overall, the Conservative Coalition:
has attempted to give the students of this
campus a vote on the activities of their
student government. The only proposal
Van Valey and the Choice party have made
thus far this term to the Compiled Code or
Constitution is to allow Van Valey's vice=,,
chair a key to the back door of MSA's
offices. Bryan Mistele
Budget Priorities Committee Chair,
Conservative Coalition Member:

- - - - - - - - - ::;; 7 - -

Teenage sex: Politicians
Senators in Washington state are trying
to impose their own morals on the teenage
population by proposing a bill that would
make it illegal for anyone under the age of
18 to have sexual contact unless they were
The rationale behind this bill is that it
would help prevent the spread of AIDS.
One of the bill's sponsors acknowledged
that it would be impossible to enforce the
law and concluded that its strength would
lie in the fact that it could be used as a

out of the bedroom!
convenient excuse for young people to
avoid having sex.
When will politicians learn to stay out
of the bedroom? There are more important
issues senators need to deal with than the
sexual conduct of teenagers, or adults for
that matter. The sexual morality of
teenagers should be the responsibility of
parents, not politicians.
- The Daily Kansan
University of Kansas
January 26

Abraham Lincoln does not deserve recognition on Presidents' Day

By Tony Silber
This week, Americans celebrate George
Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birth-
days on Presidents' Day, a national holi-
day. While Washington should be com-
memorated as the father of our country and
the crusader for our independence in the
Revolutionary war, there is little reason to
commemorate Lincoln. His birth should
not be recognized as a national holiday and
for all his glories which loom large in the

nored it, and acted unilaterally. He rarely
consulted Congress and he single-handedly
usurped more power than any other chief
executive since the founding of the Repub-
lic. Several of his actions were later ruled
unconstitutional, such as his suspending
the writ of habeas corpus and calling for a
conscription. In many ways, Lincoln
looks like a dictator in his rule over the
"divided house," and instead of seeking
support from the two other branches of the

Lincoln appointed many "political gen-
erals" at the outbreak of the war. These
were men with no combat experience who
the President appointed for their political
support, not for their abilities in a war.
James McPherson, author of the Pulitzer
Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, ex-
plains, "These appointments made politi-
cal sense but sometimes produced military
calamity... 'Political General' became al-
most a synonym for incompetency, espe-

credited with freeing the slaves. Nothing
could be further from the truth. Lincoln
was a racist who didn't care about Blacks
or slavery. In his message to Congress on
July 4, 1861, he said that he had "no pur-
pose, directly or indirectly, to interfere
with slavery in the States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so."
Then, 18 months later, he issued his much
celebrated Emancipation Proclamation
which freed all the slaves. Shelby Foote,

any means and Lincoln was not progres-
sive on the issue of Black equality.
Why do we celebrate Lincoln? His war'
was a war to preserve the union at all
costs - that cost would eventually be
nearly 800,000 American lives and prop-
erty damage which cannot be estimated in
today's dollars. He usurped and exercised
powers not given to him in the Constitu-
tion and freauently operated without the

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