The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 22, 1990, Page 4, Image 4

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1 Daily
Editorial Board
University of Nebraska-Uncoin
Amy lid wards. Editor, 472-1766
Bob Nelson, Editorial Page Editor
Ryan Sleeves, Managing Editor
[iric Pfanner, Associate News Editor
Lisa Donovan, Associate News Editor
Brandon Loomis, Wire Editor
Jana Pedersen, Night News Editor
Resolution needed
Homosexuals deserve military opportunities
The Association of Students of the University of
Nebraska on Wednesday passed what is possibly the
best resolution introduced in the senate this year.
Introduced by Engineering Sen. Paul Pouiosky, the
resolution protests the ban of gays and lesbians from U.S.
military organizations and supports the inclusion of
! homosexuals in ROTC programs.
It’s about time.
For far too long, the U.S. military has kept gay and
. lesbian students from opportunities offered through its
] programs. Military officials claim homosexuals in the
1 U.S. Armed Forces are a security threat because they can
be bribed.
People can be bribed only if they have something to
» hide, and homosexuals would have nothing to hide if the
I U.S. Armed Forces allowed them to reveal their sexual
identity without facing some form of punishment.
Other claims or low morale are vana only to tnose wno
are too closed-minded to accept others’ differences.
UNL’s student government is not the only one that has
recognized that fact. Resolutions at other universities
range from those condemning the ROTC’s discriminatory
policies to those that will end ROTC classes if the pro
grams aren’t changed in two years.
Rochelle Slominski, a business administration senator,
opposed the resolution, saying only the U.S. government
should deal with the military’s policy.
ASUN’s resolution doesn’t alter the military’s policy. It
only encourages a necessary change. And if enough
universities oppose that discrimination, the Joint Chiefs of
Staff and the Department of Defense may be forced to
make that change.
Discrimination -- for any reason -- is inherently wrong.
ASUN should be congratulated for its move. Hopefully,
Slominski and others who oppose that move will realize
that it is up to the people who support the U.S. Armed
Forces to force the government to respect the rights of
•• Amy Edwards
for the Daily Nebraskan
Election litter troubles student
▼▼cii, iiuw nidi uit noun ciuu
lions are over, who gels lo clean up
ihc campus? Walking lo class Thurs
day morning, 1 picked up a dozen
various orange, yellow and while pieces
of paper along with slickers care
lessly crumpled up and scattered across
campus. The messages on these balls
of pulp read basically the same: “Vote
AS UN." My sightings of this gar
bage were limited to campus only.
Who knows how much of this "Vote
AS UN" garbage has blown off cam
pus and into other people’s yards.
Did anyone handing these fliers
out ever uiin* uiai mosi 01 incm would
be crumpled up and thrown away by
people apalhclic to AS UN and even
more apalhclic to the environment?
Maybe some restraint should be taken
on how many of these flyers arc dis
tributed. Litter is a high price to pay
for a token student government. I’d
like to see some of these newly elected
persons out picking up some of the
garbage leftover from their "glori
ous” victory.
Luke J. Barker
electrical engineering
letter i_
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes
brief letters to the editor from all
readers and interested others.
Readers also are welcome to sub
mit material as guest opinions.
Whether material should run as a let
ter or guest opinion, or not to run, i
left to the editor's discretion.
Submit material to the Daily Nc
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 F
St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes
brief letters to the editor from all
readers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publi
cation on the basisofclarily,original
ity, timeliness and space available.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right
to edit all material submitted.
Readers also are welcome to sub
mit material as guest opinions.
Whether material should run as a let
ter or guest opinion, or not to run, is
left to the editor’s discretion.
Letters and guest opinions sent u
the newspaper become the property o
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot h
relumed. Letters should be typewrit
Anonymous submissions will no
be considered for publication. Letter
should include the author’s name
year in school, major and group affili
ation, if any. Requests to withhoU
names will not be granted.
Submit material to the Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 F
Sl, Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
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Everyone can learn from Haiti
Preserving a tree would save much more than a shady spot
Haiti is once again a roiling
mess of blood and revolt, if it
was ever anything else. Gen
eral Prosper Avril has been booted
from the old general’s home like Nam
phy before him. Ertha Pascal-Trouil
lot, a Supreme Court justice, heads
the provisional government. Our State
Department louts the new leader as a
positive force for democracy. But then,
the State Department was optimistic
about Avril, loo.
Stabilizing their small comer of
the Caribbean may be impossible no
matter who runs the government.
Haiti’s problems arc deep rooted --
hence the people's movement; “dcch
oukaj,” to uproot a tree so it will
never grow back. Dcchoukaj is prac
ticed to clear fields for planting. It
became a slogan signifying the up
rooting of the hated bully-boys Ton
tons Macoutc, former dictator Papa
Doc’s terrorist gang who still exert
influence on the island nation.
Haiti is the poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere. Poverty is
rampant. Food is scarce. The country
once was one of the world’s most
productive nations. Now it imports
most of its food.
In 1983, fear of swine flu led the
Haitian government with the United
Slates prompting to kill all native
pigs. Pigs were a large source of peasant
income and a staple food. The United
Slates supplied Haiti with replace
ment swine; however, these were unlike
the hearty, nauve breed that thrived
on garbage and scrub. The American
■ pigs needed pampering by compari
, son.
Governmental abuse in dislribu
s lion and peasants’ fears of a U.S.
conspiracy to control the economy
have made the replacement plan a
• fiasco. The peasants were Jell with
> even less than before and had virtu
ally no recourse to recoup the income
their swine had brought.
In a country that can’t feed itself,
propped up by U.S. aid of billions of
dollars, importing most of its food
’ and still unable to feed its people, an
[ agriculture program aimed at atlain
' ing self-sufficiency would seem to be
a reasonable proposal.
But it could be too late for Haiti to
feed its people from its own land.
Haiti is becoming a desert.
Charcoal has long been a primary
I source of fuel in Haiti. It is cheap and
easily made. Hundreds of trees are
chopped up and thrown in a pit. A
slow fire is set. Earth is poured over
the burning wood. With loo little
oxygen to burn to ashes, the wood
When peasants lost their pigs, they
needed a new source of income. Trees
became that income.
Certainly, it was exports that robbed
Haiti of its mahogany groves. And
many trees would have become char
coal without the swine disaster. But
the need for food and cash (formerly
provided by pigs) accelerated the
This peasant, charcoal economy
left Haiti a virtual wasteland. In 1920,
60 percent of Haiti had heavy forest
cover. Today, less than 5 percent is
forested. That 5 percent is comprised
of six tracts greater than 20 square
Trees are wonderful, hard plants.
They give shade, arc famous for dim
bability and hold soil and moisture.
Their disappearance coincides with
the disappearance of Haiti’s topsoil.
In tropical soils, 90 percent of the
soil’s total nutrients arc found in the
upper four inches of soil. Without
trees to hold this soil, it quickly washes
away. Rivers flow in torrents carry
ing soil to the sea. Unchecked by
trees, rivers’ effectiveness for irriga
tion is reduced. Haiti’s topsoil is in
the Caribbean. The land is left dry
and infertile.
A November 1987 National Geo
graphic article, “Haiti Against All
Odds,’ ’displays a chilling aerial pho
tograph. The photo shows a moun
tainous border between Haiti and the
Dominican Republic, which shares
the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
The Dominican land is densely for
ested, lush and green. The Haitian
land’s brown dirt and rocky outcrop
pings arc hare except for a few fra//led
trees on the slopes, standing lonely,
easily countable in their rocky isola
The same article notes that all of
Haiti’s 30 watersheds have been de
forested and that potable water is
available to only 23 percent of the
Haiti's ecological nightmare is
intriguing because the United States
shares a horrible statistic with Haiti.
Both countries have less than 5 per
cent of their native forestlands re
In the U.S., limber on national
forest tracts is sold by the Forest Serv
ice to the limber industry. The gov
ernment, however, docs not make a
profit from selling this timber. The
National Forest Service has an annual
budget deficit of more than SI bil
Because it is less expensive to cut
old growth timber sold cheaply by the
government, there is little incentive
for private industry to grow and har
vest forests specifically planned for
timber production. The government
has undercut the timber market mak
ing speculators slaver over the na
tion’s public forests.
Two-thirds of the timber cut in the
Northwest is exported as logs, chips
or pulp. The timber industry is selling
an irreplaceable natural resource be
longing to all citizens — our virgin
forests - overseas. Since the govern
ment subsidizes the timber industry
through low-cost timber sales that
produce a return which cannot cover
replacement costs of trees, the nation
is paying for this rape without exact
ing the cost of rehabilitation.
The limber industry is a necessary
and viable part of the national econ
omy. Trees must be harvested. Recy
cling can only dent our need for wood
products. So why should we worry
over the deforestation of our public
old growth forests?
Old growth forests are balanced,
self-sustaining ecosystems that pro
vide water and clean air. They main
tain topsoil and prevent runoff. De
forestation causes soil loss in the area
of the cut and degradation of sur
rounding land.
Our old growth forests arc the last
strongholds of the forests that once
covered all but the Great Plains and
the Southwest They are a record of
millennia of natural interaction, a
storehouse of the genetic composi
tion of this land. They arc a record of
how life on this continent developed
and sustained itself before man de
stroyed the balance. They are a scien
tific trove that gives to the nation
without requiring maintenance.
Seventy-two percent of the nation ’ s
forestland is privately owned. These
lands could easily support the timber
industry if public timber sales did not
undercut private investment.
Once the old growth forests are
gone, they arc gone forever. Haiti is
finding that out now.
BatUstoni is a senior English major and Daily
Nebraskan columnist.