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March 01, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-01

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±0- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, March 1, 1995


Judge bans
school icon
of Christ
The Baltimore Sun
preme Court justice refused yester-
day to let a Michigan public high
school display a famous portrait of
Jesus Christ, at least until the full
court rules otherwise.
The portrait, which hung for 30
years in a school hallway, has been
ruled unconstitutional by lower
Supreme Court Justice John Paul
Stevens made no comment as he
Turned aside the plea by the
Bloomingdale school board and the
school district, which is about 20 miles
from Kalamazoo.
Theportrait, aprintof the Warner
Sallman painting "Head of Christ,"
was taken down a week ago, after
being covered for nearly two years
by a velvet cloth in the school col-
ors, red and white. A federal judge
had ordered the cover put on while
the legal dispute moved through
appeals courts.
The judge later said the paint-
ing had to be removed. School
officials did so. Afterward, ac-
cording to the school board's law-
yers, officials put the velvet cov-
ering back up on the empty wall
space where the portrait had been.
Students who had lapel pins made
with the portrait on it then stuck
many of them to the covering, the
lawyers said.
The Sallman painting, which lower
courts said had been reprinted tens of
millions of times, had gone unchal-
lenged until three years ago. At that
time, a student said he was offended
because it appeared to be an endorse-
ment of Christianity by the school;
the student said he was not a Christian
and did not believe that Christ was a
divine being.
A federal judge, and then a federal
appeals court, decided that the por-
trait violated the Supreme Court's
constitutional bar against government
support of religion.
One of the board's attorneys,
Anne-Marie Amiel of the
Rutherford Institute, defended the
portrait yesterday as "a work of
art, a historical painting with reli-
gious significance," and not a re-
ligious object. She noted that the
Sallman portrait shows Christ in a
head and-shoulders view, with no
halo above his head.
Although the attorneys can ask
the full Supreme Court to consider
the plea to replace the portrait, Amil
said they had not decided on that. The
school board, she noted, has an ap-
peal awaiting the Supreme Court's
formal reaction.
All that was involved in Stevens'
action yesterday was a refusal to let the
portrait go up until the court acts finally.
The Supreme Court has not issued
a major ruling on the use of religious
symbols in public schools since a 5-4

decision in 1980 struck down a Ken-
tucky law requiring public schools to
post the Ten Commandments in ev-
ery classroom.

Debate continues.
- -
over medicinal
use of marijuana

Marines take up their position between the Mogadishu airport and the coast of Somalia yesterday.
Peacekeeping troops leave
Somalia; fate left uncertain
Military helps keep warring factions at bay

Los Angeles Times
MOGADISHU, Somalia -
Americans dug into the sand along a
razor wire perimeter of Mogadishu's
beachfront yesterday. On the other
side of the wire coils, an "eerie quiet"
settled over a violent landscape.
"It would make anyone wonder if
this is the calm before the storm," said
Army Special Forces Maj. Bryan
Under a relentless tropical sun,
about 1,800 American and 350 Italian
Marines consolidated their hold on
the sand of Mogadishu, providing
protection for the retreat of U.N.
peacekeeping forces from Somalia.
By 9 a.m. on' this first full day of
the U.S.-commanded evacuation, 900
Bangladeshi peacekeepers had
boarded two cramped, run-down fer-
ries and departed for home after their
long and unsuccessful attempt to bring
order to the capital.
Without serious incident, U.S.
Marines assumed temporary control
of the Bangladeshi bunkers guarding
Mogadishu's port.
Today, some 1,500 Pakistanis with
70 armored vehicles must retreat form
their advanced positions surrounding
the adjacent city airport. These last
U.N. troops will hurry through the
American-Italian lines positionedjust
to their rear.
Their retreat will open the airport

to Somalis - and provide the world a
clue to this troubled country's future.
Americans anticipate mobs of des-
perate Somalis will move in behind
U.N. peacekeepers to loot the airport
and nearby U.N. properties. Worse,
the sudden evacuation of this choice
real estate could trigger an all-out
battle among Mogadishu's warring
clans for control.
No matter what, once the Paki-
It would make
anyone wonder if
this is the calm
before the storm"
- Maj. Bryan Whitman
Army Special Forces
stanis have loaded aboard ships and
cleared the coast, Italian and U.S.
Marines will, if all goes well, follow
tomorrow and retreat to a 23-ship task
force standing offshore. And that will
open the second choice property to
Somalis-the port.
Stray gunfire from Somali clashes
already has rained across the Marine
For two days in advance of the
Marine arrival, heavy and intermit-
tent clan fighting occurred within

eyesight of the city's beachfront.
But yesterday, only isolated gun-
fire was heard through the city.
Some military veterans said the
Americans, thus far, had kept the So-
mali clan fighters at bay with a show of
force, which included a flotilla of ships
offshore, fixed-wing gunships overhead
and visible artillery positions.
If the U.N. peacekeepers had to
retreat on their own, they would have
found themselves fighting their way to
the beach, said Army Special Forces
Sgt. Maj. Hank Gallahan. "But the So-
malis have a deathly fear of the Marines
because they know they are aggressive.
So these young guys have done a good
job of scaring the hell out of them."
The United States and the United
Nations have invested 150 lives and
$2 billion into Somalia in the last two
years. After assisting with the recov-
ery from famine, the U.N. tried with-
out success to bring clan leaders to-
gether to form a government. All
along, the peacekeepers have man-
aged to keep open the sea and airports
which nourish this arid city.
"Without the port, Mogadishu as a
city becomes practically uninhabit-
able," said U.S. envoy Daniel
Simpson. Even a short-term closure
of the port due to fighting will deny
the city the imported fuel to run its
water pumps and likely lead to out-
breaks of cholera.

Los Angeles Times
different kind of drug store. A haze of
marijuana smoke hangs in the air and in
thebackground Mick Jagger sings, "You
can't always get what you want ..."
Dozens of people sit on rummage-
sale couches and folding chairs, smok-
ing high-grade marijuana. A dozen
more line up at the counter, fingering
the day's sample buds and buying
their ration of weed. The pungent
smoke thickens and a sense of eupho-
ria settles over the room.
It is business as usual at the Can-
nabis Buyers' Club, a flourishing
illegal marijuana market rooted in
civil disobedience. But this is a club
no rational person would aspire to
join: doing your shopping here
means you are sick or dying.
"These people are struggling to
live and marijuana is helping them
live," said Dennis Peron, the club's
founder and a longtime gay activist.
"We lose members every week and it
breaks my heart. But I'll always know
that in their final days I gave them a
little solace."
The underground pharmacy is
part of a growing movement aimed
at giving sick people the right to use
marijuana. Across the country, thou-
sands of patients with AIDS, can-
cer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple
sclerosis and other illnesses defy
the law daily to treat their ailments
or ease their pain.
In San Francisco, long known for
its tolerance, authorities have chosen
to ignore the law, saying that sick
people who can benefit from the plant
should be able to buy it.
Mayor Frank Jordan, a former
police chief said, "I am sensitive
and compassionate to people who
have legitimate needs. We should
bend the law and do what's right."
But elsewhere, medical hemp us-
ers often are casualties in the war on
drugs. Some have paid a high price,
enduring repeated police raids, the
seizure of their drugs or time in jail.
"We have many problems with
what the government is doing to us
poor people who need this stuff," said
Byron Stamate who spent four months
in the El Dorado County jail a year ago
for growing pot for his ailing girl-
friend. "We've got to change the laws."
Cannabis has been used to treat
pain and other ailments for at least

Possible uses
Marijuana advocates cite a long
list of possible medicinal uses for
the hemp plant, including the
Reduce nausea caused by
Reverse the wasting syndrome
associated with AIDS.
Ease muscle spasms in those
who are paralyzed.
Reduces eye pressure due to
5,000 years from ancient China to Vic-
torian England. In this country, it was
a battlefield painkiller in the Civil War
and was added to patent medicines
until the turn of the century.
But whether marijuana is a safe
and effective drug by modern Ameri-
can standards is the subject of debate.
Advocates cite anecdotal evidence
that the plant can reduce nausea from
chemotherapy, reverse the wasting
syndrome associated with AIDS and*
ease muscle spasms in the paralyzed,
among other things. In one survey by
Harvard researchers, more than 40
percent of cancer specialists ques-
tioned said they have advised chemo-
therapy patients to smoke marijuana.
But other doctors and federal
health officials say there is insuffi-
cient evidence to prove hemp is ben-
eficial; some suggest smoking it could
be harmful, particularly for AIDS
patients vulnerable to lung ailments,
Because of the controversy, the
government has been slow to permit
studies of its effects.
"They can't approve medical use
of marijuana because there isn't
enough research, but then they aren't
permitting the research," protested
Rick Doblin, executive director of the
Multidisciplinary Association for Psy-
chedelic Studies in North Carolina.
For nearly three years, respected
AIDS researcher Donald Abrams of
the University of California at San
Francisco has sought federal approval
to conduct a rigorous clinical trial to
determine whether smoking mari
juana can help patients overcome the
deadly AIDS wasting syndrome.

Passengers take flight at Denver's new $4.9 billion airport

DENVER (AP) - Denver's new
Teflon-spired, marble-floored airport
opened to passenger traffic yesterday
with planes and travelers moving
smoothly and without so much as a
chewed-up suitcase.
The first arrivals at the $4.9 billion
Denver International Airport got roses,
posters and buttons. Thousands of
people wandered the building, the
nation's first new big-city airport in 21
"It's nice, really nice," said Eric

Needleman, a University of Colorado
student from Los Angeles. "For all the
money they spent, it better be nice."
The airport openedl16 months late
and $3.2 billion over budget. Origi-
nally scheduled for operation in Oc-
tober 1993, it became the butt of jokes
because of the cost overruns, prob-
lems with an automated baggage sys-
tem and a dozen investigations into
allegedly shoddy construction and
fraudulent bond sales.
"There were some this morning

that hoped we would not be success-
ful," Mayor Wellington Webb said.
"Today, the jokes stop."
At Denver's old Stapleton Airport
17 miles away, parking garages and
runways fell silent. The runways at
the abandoned airport were painted
over with white X's to stop pilots
from landing there by force of habit.
As light snow fell, two United
flights - one leaving and one arriv-
ing - officially opened DIA to pas-
sengersjust after daybreak. Later, the

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MARCH 1, 1995
4:00 P.M.
r~ A ATT'T rvI~fN n

airport logged the first triple simulta-
neous landing at any commercial U.S. -
airport, according to the Federal Avia-
tion Administration.
Asked whether the airport was what
she expected, after all the construction
problems and the haywire baggage sys-
tem, Su Lyn Giles of Colorado Springs
said, "It seems pretty well-organized
for the first day."
The baggage system, which
chewed up and spit out bags during
tests a year ago and was blamed for
two of four delays in opening the
airport, seemed to work, handling
nearly 7,000 pieces of luggage for
departing United flights with no re-
ported mishaps.
"I would assume that after this big
delay, they would have done enough
testing to work out the kinks in the
baggage system," said Dick Campbell,
of LaCrosse, Wis. "I won't know un-
til I get there."
But Ted Buder of Denver didn't
check his bags "because I didn't want
to take a chance on losing them."
United relied on old-fashioned
tugs and carts to move luggage for

Critics said 65-year-old Stapleton
contributed to air traffic delays na-
tionwide because its runway configu-0
ration slowed flights in poor weather.
In the initial rush of arriving flights
yesterday, DIA maintained a landing,
rate of 92 planes an hour. Stapleton
could handle only 32 an hour, the
FAA said.
"I'm getting tired of people rais-
ing those kinds of things," Transpor-
tation Secretary Federico Pena said.
"If you're going to make courageous
decisions, you've got to take strategic
risks. The critics don't build great-

arriving passengers; the automated
system will be expanded by July. All
other airlines used the tug-and-cart
system for incoming and outgoing
Denver International is the first
major airport to open in the United
States since Dallas-Fort Worth in
1974. About 1,300 flights and an es-
timated 88,000 passengers are ex-
pected to pass through it every day,
making it, like Stapleton, the sixth-
busiest airport in the nation.


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