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April 19, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-19

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, April 19,1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief



Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, signed articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Regents began studies, should do homework

UN,?LLY MoB... G oob 6r6b, 1T's A/E TE 7 o~TERSP2b
/ AA SA .
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Environmentalst ideology misleads people

E REGENTS CARE. They really do.
*To demonstrate their newfound affinity
forstudentconcems,theUniverstiy Board
of Regents held its monthly Thursday afternoon
mieeting at Mosher Jordan residence hall. Fur-
thermore,Regents Larry Deitch (D-Bloomfield
Hills) and Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann Arbor)
fielded questions from Michigan Student As-
sembly (MSA) members Tuesday night.
Apparently at least some regents have de-
cidedthatstudentsactuallydodeserve attention,
and they have decided to act on this realization.
But their actions are only preliminary and by no
means show that real change will occur in the
interest of students. Convening in residence
halls to discuss student-related issues and going
to MSA meetings are noteworthy first steps,
however the words "in touch" appear to be mere
code words and not reality to our esteemed
Unfortunately, attending MSA meetings and
schmoozing at MoJo do not automatically cre-
ate informed regents. While their efforts to meet
students deserve praise, a stunning oblivious-
ness marked their week on campus. MSA Rep-
resentatives offered less-than difficult questions
to Deitch and McGowan, and the Democrats
asked about a possible University sale of land
ftom the School of Natural Resources, Deitch
-#- a real-estate attorney - was dumbfounded.
The most frightening episode of the night
was Deitch's response to a predictable question
from MSA President Craig Greenberg. When
Greenberg asked the two regents for their views
on the Statement of Student "Rights" and Re-
sponsibilities, Deitch said he was concerned
withthe Code's possible violations of free speech.
Of course, as a lawyer, one would assume that
Deitch knew the Supreme Court had already
declared speech codes unconstitutional and that
the Codemakes no restrictions on student speech.
In a wholly unjust conduct code that could be
attacked for its lack of due process - among
myriad other things - it is a shame that Deitch
attacked the Code on an issue that was resolved
ling ago. While his philosophical stances on
many of she issues present promise for the
future, he could have better demonstrated his
commitment to act on these promises had he
better researched the issues prior to meeting
with students.
Moreover, the Thursday regents' meeting-
dedicated to addressing the problem of sub-
stance abuse - further proved that the regents

Regents McGowan and Deitch field
questions from MSA.
have a long and arduous road to travel before
they fully understand student concerns. During
a question and answer period that followed a
presentation by a student theater group on sub-
stance abuse, the regents and other University
administrators seemed amazed by the realistic
situations depicting students drinking alcohol.
The regents eagerly questioned the five student
actors about the amount of alcohol their friends
consume and how they view the level of alcohol
consumption on campus. The actors answered
the regents' inquiries and did their best to repre-
sent students, but five students can never repre-
sent 22,000 undergrads.
Regent Nellie Vamer (D-Detroit) said she
appreciated the workshop on student life at the
regents' meeting because she does not have "a
lot of direct contact with students or student life.
We come to campus and go to the board room
and unless specific efforts are made to expose us
to the University, we just don't see these compo-
nents," she said. However, it is not difficult to
locate students onthis campus. IfVamer wanted
to find student life she should not have needed a
presentation. In other words, no presentation
can co-opt the experience of meeting and talking
with actual students.
Thisis notto say that theregents shouldn'tbe
commended for their efforts. In fact, Deitch and
McGowan are showing more enthusiasm than
has been seen by regents in recent history. But
while their "classroom" education must con-
tinue, the fieldwork must begin.

By Adam Mossoff
Students of Objectivism
As Earth Day draws near and the Uni-
versity community takes part in events
praising the doctrines of environmental-
ism, the truth of the "green" ideology is
whitewashed or simplyignored.In fact, itis
rare today to find an individual who ques-
tions environmentalist ideology. It is for
this reason that it is very significant that the
U-M Students of Objectivism presented a
three-person panel entitled "The Case
Against Environmentalism: Moral, Eco-
nomic and Scientific." On all three of these
fronts, environmentalism represents a fun-
damental nihilism towards man.
At therootofits professednihilism is its
doctrine of value. Nature, environmental-
ists declare, has an "intrinsic value" which
is independent of any advantage man might
accrue from it. Nature, simply because it
exists in its present state, is a value to
environmentalists. The Logical conclusion
of thistclaimsts-t-hatmanis inherently
corrupt-follows from the following facts
of reality: Man's nature is that of a rational
animal. He lives only by his knowledge and
when he acts upon it, he produces items by
which he may survive. It is production -
the material expression of his capacity to
think -which allows man to live in this
Technology is the means by which man
is able to achieve this necessaryproduction,
i.e., to give material expression to his ideas
and values. Man's capacity to think and the
resulting technology and production, by its
very nature, changes man's surrounding
environment. All of this infringes upon,
even violates, the "intrinsic value" of the
environment. Thus, for the ecologists, man
is a destroyer of "Nature" by his very own
nature. He is a cancer on the planet. For
environmentalists man must be prevented
from being a man. Man must stop produc-
ing-manmuststopthinking -manmust
stop living. "In other words,"wrote Profes-
sor George Reisman, "the doctrine of in-
trinsic value is nothing but a doctrine of the
negation of human values. It is pure nihil-

Consider the principle at work when
production and capitalism are condemned,
or in the seemingly innocuous slogans like
"Reduce your use." Like the stale and
fallacious view of history perpetuated by
Marxism, the environmentalists often glo-
rify the pre-industrial condition of man.
However, the facts speak loudly of the
desperation, death, disease, and abject liv-
ing conditions that plagued man before
industrialization. In the 19th century, man
was lifted out of this quagmire through the
unleashing of his mind, creating the Indus-
trial Revolution. Mass production replaced
subsistence-level farming, and the popula-
tion of Europe grew by an unheard of swift-
ness: 300percentinamere 100years. In the
20th century alone, the average life-span of
an individual living in the United States
grew by over 30 years.
Think of the few people who die when

ideology of environmentalism. It is not the
moderate pragmatists which define amove-
ment, but rather the ideologues who uphold
their principles with consistency and lucid-
For example, in defining the Nazi ideol-
ogy, you would not look to the average
Party member in the street, but rather to the
intellectual leaders of the theory itself, e.g.,
Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, etc. It did not
matter if the Nazi owner of a bake-shop in
Berlin saw the principles in adifferent light
for when he supported Hitler he supported
the pure ideology of Nazism. It is the same
circumstance with every philosophy, in-
cluding environmentalism.
Students may shrug-off the statements
above as "extremist," or they may person-
ally reinterpret environmentalism with a
pro-man disposition. But regardless of
your own personal views or whom you


'Thus, for the ecologists, man is a destroyer of "Na-
ture" by his very own nature. He is a cancer on the
planet. For environmentalists man must be pre-
vented from being a man.'

an earthquake strikes the United States ver-
sus the hundreds, even thousands, who per-
ish in these natural catastrophes in Third
Worldnations wherepeople live much closer
to the purity of nature and the environmen-
talists' dream than anywhere else. Capital-
ism, the essence ofman's ability to produce
his values in the world around him, has
done more for man in the past 150 years
than the previous 2500 years ofhiscivilized
Thus, it is not surprising that it is capital-
ism, production, and technology that envi-
ronmentalismcondemns as destructive and
unnecessary. You - the reader - owe
your very life to capitalism, i.e., the system
that allows man to think, produce, and
strive for his happiness. You should pas-
sionatelydenounce thedoctrinewhich con-
demns your very existence.
Although these individuals may be the
"extremists" which some student-activists
purposely eschew, they represent the most
explicit, uncompromising principles of the

specifically support - whether it be Earth
First! or Albert Gore -you are advancing
theidealsabove whenyou supportenviron-
mentalism. The "extremists" are the es-
sence of environmentalism, and it is their
message you promote with every article or
paper thatyou write, dollar thatyouraiseor
technological progress that you condemn
for the sake of environmentalism. That
message, of course, is that man is funda-
mentally corrupt and evil by his very nature.
It is time that environmentalism be ex-
posed for what it truly represents to the
human race. It is not concern for our fellow
man which motivates people to sabotage
hydroelectric plants and lumber mills, or to
terrorize industry into limiting their pro-
duction. The fact that environmentalism is
thought to be concerned with our well-
being represents one of the greatest frauds
perpetuated against man in the past thirty
years. It is time that people stop assisting
those in the purchase of the rope by which
they hope to hang us.

DeBoer is not the only child with troubles

Saturday to rally for J
two-year-old girl caug
a fierce custody struggle. Wit
a horde of journalists from al
major networks. Although
their presence may be in-
dicative of public interest in
the case, the assemblage of
media was the direct result
Jan and Roberta DeBoer's
blatant manipulation of the
To be certain, the
DeBoers - the Ann Arbor
couple fighting to keep the
child - have every right
(and, indeed, a duty)to exer-
cise any and every legal op-
tiontokeepthelittle girl they
feel is their daughter. How-
e&er, that is not the issue.
The DeBoers have used ev-
eiy opportunity to press their
c sebeforethepublic, know-
ing full well that Michiganlav
is stacked heavily against th
ultimately the Michigan Sup
the U.S. Supreme Court -t
*rdict in the case, not th
opinion. No matter how ma
the DeBoers, their supportv

people showed up ,And while acase such asthis would probably
essica DeBoer, the have received the attention of the local media in
;ht in the middle of Michigan and Iowa without the urgings of the
th the crowd, came DeBoers, their appearances on the television
l over the country, programs "20/20" and "Good Morning
rews from the three America," and a story about the case in The New
Yorker magazine would never
have come about. The out-
right, shamelessmanipulation
of the national media - and
with it the feelings of Amen-
cans from coast to coast --
becomes apparent in light of
the fact that the DeBoers are
now negotiating with televi-
sion and film agents to sell
movie rights to their story.
By drawing such attention,
the DeBoers and new organi-
zations such as "Justice for
Jessica," - the sponsors of
Saturday's rally - claim to
atly"be fighting for the rights of
Roberta and Jan DeBoer speak childreneverywhere. Ifthatis
indeed the case, what arethey
at a rally for Jessica Saturday- doing to help children with-
w, as it now stands, out parents, children without homes, children
em, and that it is without love? Wherever Jessica ends up, she
reme Court - or will beloved. But what ofthe thousands ofother
that will deliver a children who will never know what it is like to
e court of public be fought over by two sets of potential parents
ny people support but instead must fight each day to be seen and
will not sway the heard, to get food in their stomachs and a roof

Accusations unfounded, resemble McCarthy era

To the Daily:
The April 9 issue of the
Daily carried a story,
"Students call sociology
prof. racist, sexist in letter,"
about a letter sent to the
central administration
charging a professor in our
department with racism and
sexism in connection with a
course he taught during Fall.
The letter was sent in the
name of the Sociology
Graduate Student Organiza-
tion, as well as other
organizations, but no
individual names were
attached and it is evident that
many graduate students in
Sociology had not seen the
letter or were not in support
of it. The students who sent

the letter did not bring these
charges first to the chair of the
department, nor to our
executive committee, even
though students have a
representative on that Com-
mittee. We regret that the
students writing the letter did
not feel it appropriate or
possible to bring such charges
to the department first, before
proceeding as they did. The
result was to politicize an
instructional issue, rather than
to resolve it constructively.
My letter is written after
considerable discussion in our
executive committee and after
a tenure faculty meeting, and I
believe it has the support of a
substantial majority of our

faculty. We recognize that a
number of students perceived
problems with the course in
question, which is a required
part of the curriculum, and
we have taken specific steps
to address these problems.
We do not consider the
charges of racism and sexism
to be proven by the materials
offered in support of them. A
number of students in the
course, including some who
expressed other dissatisfac-
tions, do not consider the
accusations to be valid.
Therefore, we do not plan to
pursue the charges.
The Senate Assembly has
recently taken steps to try to
undo the damage done to the

faculty during the McCarthy
period of the 1950s.
Anonymous charges geared
to obtain maximum public-
ity are not more justified
when said to be in opposi-
tion to racism or sexism than
they are from other sources.
We plan to do whatever we
can to provide students with
a setting where they can
discuss openly and freely
problems that they see in
courses, while at the same
time protecting the academic
freedom of instructors,
which is essential to the
quality of this university.
Howard Schuman
Department of
Sociology chair


Hash Bash gaied too much attention
To the Daily:
This year, as well as in high, let them go about their excessive media attention
years past, Hash Bash has business. received allowed Hash Bash


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