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January 14, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-14

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, January 14,1992



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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editor


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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Jackson, and
rvonomic crisis demands renewed attention to homelessness

A n unshaven man with a plastic Ulrich's bag
sorts through the garbage in Angell Hall for
aluminum cans. On South University, a woman,
children in hand, asks passersby for their spare
change. In Ann Arbor, and throughout the nation,
holelessness is no longer the vague, faceless
conception it once was. Homelessness in Ann
Arbor is well within view.
Today, the Rev. Jesse Jackson will speak at Hill
Aulitorium on the topic of homelessness - a
painful legacy of the Reagan era. His appearance
coDld not be more timely.
Winter has arrived and Ann . {
Apor'shomelesspopulation j+
must brace itself for this dif-
ficult season. National un-
employment, a factor that
eventually contributes to
h1melessness, recently.
peked at 7.1 percent, the4
highest level since 1985.k
Michigan unemployment
just reached 9.1 percent, one
of the highest jobless rates in
the nation.
Gov. John Engler plans to
continue cutting social ser-
vices in his persistent attempt
to balance Michigan's 1992
budget. A severe economic
recession continues to plague
the nation. And GeneralF
Motors, once a symbol ofx
American ingenuity and
prosperity, last month an-
nounced that it would close
one of two auto plants, which manufactures the
Chevrolet Caprice, in its attempt to scale down and
cut costs.
One of the plants on the chopping block is the
Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti, which employs
2,613 workers. The closing of such a major local
employer could have dire consequences for the
economy - and the local homeless population.
It starts with the economics. If GM were to
close the Willow Run Plant, thousands of local
residents would be out of work. These newly
unemployed workers would receive benefits and
pensions for a while, so the closing's immediate
effect would be blunted.
;hut when a major corporation like GM begins
significant streamlining and cutbacks, it should
ntt be viewed in isolation. Hundreds of support

industries, many of them local, contribute to the
auto industry.
The result of the failure of a major industry like
GM is a sapping of the state's economy, an increase
in the number of jobless, an increase in the number
of people needing health care and other social
services, and an increase in homelessness.
The Ann Arbor homeless shelter currently esti-
mates the local homeless population at 1,500 people.
Of this number, the fastestrising groups are women
and children. Local shelters are filled almost to
capacity on a nightly basis.
According to the shelter's ex-
ecutive director, Jean
Summerfield, one reason shel-
ter conditions may not be
- worse than they already are is
that many homeless people
may be leaving Michigan due
to its harsh climate. Another
factor is surely government
contempt for the poor, exem-
plified by Engler's cuts last
year of General Assistance to
y: more than 80,000 Michigan
The message being sent to
the homeless by government
is clear. It is best expressed by
/ state Rep. Dave Jaye (R-
Shelby Township), "Get a job
or hit the road, Jack."
This attitude could not be
more off the mark. As the re-
cession worsens, and poverty
Fle Photo/KENNETH SMOLLE and unemployment increase,
greater resources must be directed toward the
homeless. The government should not cut social
services to "save" the economy, but should in-
crease social services to save those who are poor.
State and federal governments would do well
not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Engler's
emphasis on balancing the budget rather than help-
ing the needy is reminiscent of the outdated think-
ing typical of Herbert Hoover.
Individuals should address the problem of
homelessness with renewed vigor, by expressing
their views to the government, and by working
hands-on to help. On a local level, the foreboding
atmosphere ofeconomic down-turn make one thing
clear. Homelessness is a problem in need of re-
newed attention. It does not look like it will go
away soon.

Time to discard sexist tradition


by Michael J. Monkman
There we were, gathered in the
lobby of the theater, refugees and
dissidents alike, in the war against
male apathy, patriarchal custom
and tradition. The women that
gathered in the theater lobby on
Jan. 1, 1992, were the refugees.
They came in twos and threes and
at least one by herself, having
been dropped off by her male
partner in front of the theater.
I was one of the dissident men
that refused to participate in the
great American male ritual of',
sitting on his behind, ignoring his
female partner and children,
guzzling beer and watching the
collective he-man weight of two
semi's collide into each other for
most of the day.
The women who stayed at
home - some of them scurried
out to buy snacks and beer before
the eight hour sit-a-thon began -
were the collaborators in this
ongoing war.
They patriotically served their
male partners snacks and beer
during the game; cleaned up after
them; laughed at their crude jokes
about the scantilly dressed
women, who sold the beer the
collaborators served to their male
partners - the ones that sat on
their behinds and ignored their
female partners and children all
day - except when the men
wanted another; and applauded
with their men as they watched a
network that shows mainly male-
Monkman is an LSA senior.

dominated sports and ignores
most women's sports. Yet these
same collaborators will exert
plenty of energy complaining
about their apathetic men to the
women with whom they commu-

dominance, fulfilled.,But you will
nevertheless hear these purport-
edly complacent women complain
about their condition every
chance they get.
I went on to wonder why

I went on to wonder why feminism has be-
come such a dirty word in the average
woman's vocabulary.

nicate, instead of working half as
hard to demand of their men equal
participation in the relationship, to
give of their time to the women
and children in their lives instead
of to the television set.
And all the while I was
standing in the lobby of the
theater and for a time afterward, I
thought of the recent article in
The Ann Arbor News ("Femi-
nism: The Next Gerneration,"
Dec. 30,1991), which seemed to
indicate that many women were
either ignorant of the feminst
movement or had accepted
accommodationis as an acceptable
form of social advancement.
Stephanie Brush, who wrote
the article entitled "Football in the
Land of the Living" (The Ann
Arbor News, Jan. 1, 1992), even
seemed to recently satisfy the
majority of contemporary
women's beliefs that women
should be good sports and follow
men to sports bars in order to
have sexual fulfillment and feel
complete; then and only then is
she, the contemporary pacifist in
the battle against petty male

feminism has become such a dirty
word in the average woman's
Why, when women are still
being sexually exploited in the
media and in advertising; can still
be raped and then second guessed;
are still paid less than men for tle
same work; and are still domi-
nated by their male partners at
home, are women so willing to
just say, "That is the way boys
are," to accept a sub-standard
male (human) partner, apparently
to fulfill some societal propagan-
dized prophecy of wifehood
followed by motherhood, and to
believe it will all end in happi-
As a person truly concerned
about women being on an equal
social level with men, I find it
absurd that there are still women
who believe that the best they can
do for this society is to marry
(marrying into wealth is always
preferred, i.e., material vs. social
gains), turn their noses up to their
sisters, have a lot of kids to drag
around like patriarchal ornaments
and put up with apathetic men.

Antarctic waste.
U.S. endangers ecosystem by reckless detonation

Earth's atmosphere still in danger
by Liz Caile

ilitary technicians at the U.S. McMurdo Sta-
LV.tion in Antarctica were faced with a problem
that needed an expedient solution. They had to find
a way to get rid of a toxic chemical waste dump.
So, on Dec. 30, they blew it up. Greenpeace, an
environmental action group, criticized the action
because no study has been conducted on the envi-
ronmental impacts ofexploding hundreds of pounds
of chemical waste.
The explosion on Ross Island produced a crater
40 feet wide and 10 feet deep, and was felt as far as
10 miles away. The tremor may have drastic envi-
ronmental impacts on the Antarctic environment
fof years to come.
For the last several decades, the United States
has been dumping toxic waste and discarding
machinery and junk in McMurdo Station. Finally
in an effort to restore the environment, the Navy
and the National Science Foundation (NSF) began
a long-awaited and desperately needed major
cleanup operation three years ago.
Most of the toxic waste drums containing toxic
waste have been removed and returned to the
United States, but some of the "unstable" toxic
chemicals were blown up, rather than transported,
: for reasons of expediency.
NSF acknowledged that it should have looked
into the dangers of exploding possibly hazardous

chemicals before the action was taken. Lawrence
Rudolph of the NSF acknowledged, "We should be
more deliberate in conducting an environmental
assessment." However, Rudolph added that no
wildlife was spotted in the area.
Reassurances that no wildlife was seen is not
enough. Particles of the toxic chemicals could
have been scattered for hundreds of miles. Antarc-
tica contains a fragile ecosystem. It is considered
the last pristine continent. It should not have been
used as a dumping ground for U.S. toxics in the
first place. To destroy this continent for short-term
gain, either by sapping its resources or using it as
an international garbage can, would be a terrible
waste. But to blow up 400 pounds of toxic waste in
such a delicate environment, especially before
considering the consequences of such tactics, is
The United States has abused Antarctica, a
world sanctuary, in a world with few remaining
pristine environments. The military and the NSF
should do an immediate study of the environmen-
tal state of Antarctica in order in order to correct
their follies. It should also try and refrain from
exploding any more toxic waste dumps in the
future. Without proper safeguards, the next explo-
sion could result in the destruction of a fragile

Since ozone depletion in the
upper atmosphere made news in
1974, the trend of discovery and
reporting has been consistent,
"It's worse than we thought." The
loss of ozone over Antarctica was
observed and then found to be
larger and to last longer than was
expected. A hole in the ozone
over the North Pole was docu-
mented recently. Again, scientists
expressed surprise at its appear-
ance and size. Now, thinning of
ozone over temperate regions of
the globe is being recorded.
The crisis doesn't affect a
single region or species. All of us
are affected by the penetration of
ultraviolet radiation. Links in the
planet's food chain may be
weakened. Skin cancers, cataracts
and possible suppression of the
immune system in humans are
being traced to ozone loss.
Manufacturing habits today
drastically affect life on earth
tomorrow. Man-made chemicals
can wreak havoc in the strato-
sphere. CFCs
(cholrofluorocarbons) used as
refrigerants, solvents and spray
propellants were once lauded as
non-toxic at lower levels of the
atmosphere. They drift into the
upper level of the cap of gases
around the globe. Once there,
solar radiation breaks their
chemical bonds, and the freed
chlorine atom starts a chain
reaction that destroys protective
In December, Global
Response,the letter-writing
network, issued an action alert
tvinia the nonne crick tn hnitey'

asking its members to write the
Du Pont Co. about its plans for
replacement chemicals to be
produced in this decade. The
group is also targeting Allied
Signal Corp., a major manufac-
turer of CFCs, for its plans to
continue full production until

refrigeration. China, Latin
America, the Pacific Rim nations
and India could be major buyers
and users, so both profits and
environmental repercussions are
at stake.
Although Du Pont manufac-
tures HFC 152a on a limited

Du Pont has rigged the evidence in favor of a
product that continues to place the earth's
atmosphere in jeopardy.

required to stop by international
Du Pont supplies 25 percent of
the world's CFCs. The company
plans to phase out CFC produc-
tion by 1997, three years ahead of
an international deadline. how-
ever, a special supplement of the
News Journal, Wilmington, Del.,
shows that the switch to other
chemicals for the same applica-
tions may be profit-motivated and
environmentally unsound. The
News Journal alleges that Du Pont
plans to substitute compounds
that are also harmful. The
company is campaigning against
the CFC replacement recom-
mended by the Environmental
Protection Agency: HFC
(hydrofluorocarbon) 152a.
Millions have already been
invested by Du Pont on faculties
to produce HCFC 22 (a
hydrochlorofluorocarbon com-
pound) and HFC 134a. The
HCFCs will continue to add
chlorine to the upper atmosphere,
though less than CFCs. The HFCs
add to global warming by
cnntrihntin tn oreenhousea os e

scale, the company is campaign-
ing against its adoption as a
replacement for refrigeration. Du
Pont claims HFC 152a is danger-
ously flammable. HFC 152a
could be manufactured more
easily by Du Pont's competition,
so the company has an interest in
widespread adoption of the other
replacement chemicals, according
to the News Journal.
Du Pont has produced videos
of engineered, electrically-
induced explosions"of HFC 152a.
However, Underwriters Laborato-
ries, a standard authority on fire
related safety, predicts that under
normal conditions the use of this
substitute for refrigeration would
result at the most in one addi-
tional kitchen fire per year in the
United States.Du Pont has rigged
the evidence in favor of a product
that continues to place the earth's
atmosphere in jeopardy. However,
the rate at which our essential
biosphere is changing warrants
the utmost caution and respect in
the way we do business and live
on the globe.
f rin in n a n..nnanom tn

Nuts and Bolts

by Judd Winick







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