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February 08, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-08

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44- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 8, 1996

be ffiidiigau Dalg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
A higher purpose
Can MSA rise above parties and dollars?

I think we're going to be completely washed out
by the end of the year.'
- MSA Vice President Sam Goodstein, referring to
the budget priorities committee'sfinancial crisis
- r~- V
Mideast citizens should join together

Lighting up:
Confessions ofa
closet smoke
S oI finally admitted'ma smoker.
Which means now I have to quit.
You know the process. It starts in
high school when you're trying to
be cool, and college catapults you
into the "I only smoke when I'm
drinking stage." Before too long,
you're bumming
so many off youry
best friend that
she urges you to
buy your own


TJ he Michigan Student Assembly's elec-
Ir tions are approaching with the lack of
subtlety and decorum that often describes
and defines the body. With elections in fairly
clear view beneath the forests of campaign
flyers, it is natural to ask where the assembly
has been and where it might possibly be
going. Have leaders kept their campaign
,The burden of those promises falls heavily
onrthe man who made so many of them, MSA
President Flint Wainess. Earlier this year,
Wainess' promise to spear-
head forces of opposition to
the new Code of Student Con-
duct materialized in more con-
genial - and condoning -
form than the condemning
spirit he promised. Now en-}
tering the last months of his
term, many more of Wainess'
promises are no closer to real-
ityihan when they left his lips
a year ago.
Already Wainess is en-
couraging his fellow represen-
tatives to prepare for an MSA
vithout him, as they should
be. Much of the work begun this year will
need to continue in the future to bring about
xfruitful completion to these efforts. How-
ever, the responsibility of others to continue
the work does not remove Wainess' obliga-
tion to follow through on his promises. With
a'lot of time and consequently a lot of power
left, this is no time to play lame duck.
The hotly contested issue of health care
concerns many students, especially graduate
students last year that helped fill the ballot
box for the Michigan Party. After months of
debate and few results it seems to have been
swept under the rug entirely. Too often, is-
sues that should dominate debate get lost in
the jumbled mess of internal business.
Squabbles over nuances of election proce-
dire, excessive points of order and hasty last-
ute motions reflect an MSA that is fre-
cntly ill-prepared. Members appear more

worried about re-election and covering their
own backs than accomplishing anything.
The Michigan Party's work to obtain a
student regent, which looked promising this
summer after students gained a "representa-
tive" to the Board of Regents, has stopped
after a token achievement. MSA leaders have
no reason to wait to finish the project. Before
the end of the term, Wainess should have
ensured that the efforts will continue.
The current presidential search process
and the amount of student input and involve-
ment in it raises another con-
cern. Although an improve-
ment from the 1988 closed
search, the current one prom-
ises to exclude students. The
student representative - by
definition, the president of
..:....MSA - could not be more
necessary than in the next
year. As elected student
voices, MSA leaders must
clearly articulate student con-
~con cerns, needs and desires as
the University considers ap-
plicants for its next president.
Wainess needs to finish
his term as the instrument of those concerns
- in voice and execution. The students need
more than the half-hearted nod toward lead-
ership offered as the lame last stand to the
Code. Students need their representatives to
rally in support of the interests of the student
body - to verbalize those interests as often
and clearly as they can. The present MSA
must shed concerns ofthe upcoming election
- or retirement, as the case may be. Wainess
and the assembly need to make the remaining
months amount to more than a tapering tran-
sition into next year's administration.
There are promises to be kept and deci-
sions to be made. Students need representa-
tion more than ever as President James
Duderstadt leaves. MSA's greatest obliga-
tion and most important duty is to represent
its constituents - this purpose must not be
eclipsed by its representation of itself.

Recently, a great deal of
debate and controversy has
been spurred in the Daily,
stemming from the reprint of
the Minnesota Daily article
titled, "Israel a lonely
champion of democracy" (I /
24/96). As a U.S. citizen
who believes in freedom and
equality for all, and as an
American Jew, I feel
compelled to respond to
some of the myths that have
been presented by misin-
formed students via their
I would agree that there
is currently a great deal of
discrimination and injustice
occurring today in the
Middle East. However, it is
crucial to correctly identify
the source of this problem.
The source of the
problem is not the Israeli
government, which contin-
ues to support democracy,
freedom, legal elections,
women's rights and justice.
The source of the problem is
not the Jewish people, who
have a strong desire for
peace and equality for all.
The source of the problem is
not Arab individuals, who
also desire freedom and
peace..The problems and
injustice in~the Mideast the
direct results of the unfair
and discriminatory practices
of the governments of
several Arab countries in the
For example, consider
the case of Iraq where
Saddam Hussein oppresses
his people, murders those
that oppose him and fails to
guarantee any sort of
freedom to the general
public. Similar arguments
can be made for Iran, Syria,
Lebanon and other countries
with oppressive govern-
ments. Arab people are
mistreated in discriminatory
Arab countries. All Iraqis
desire to leave Iraq, yet they
are denied permission by the
Iraqi government.
Israel is not the problem.
In fact, Arabs who live in
Israel have more rights and
enjoy a higher standard of
living than their friends in
neighboring Middle Eastern
countries. The proof for this
statement lies partially in the

fact that Arab individuals
who are currently residing in
Israel have the right to
emigrate to other Arab
countries. However, as
expected, almost none of
them choose to exercise this
right because they would not
want to live under the
oppression of say, the Iraqi
I want to make it clear
that I am opposed to the
Arab governments, based on
how they treat their own
Arab people. Most Arab
Americans share that dislike
of these oppressive govern-
ments. I am in no way
opposed to Arab Americans,
who are champions of
democracy, freedom and
political activism, in
addition to being my friends.
Furthermore, I feel
compelled to respond
directly to a letter to the
Jews and Arabs
share a common
enemy: oppressive
Middle Eastern
editor in Monday's Daily
("Israel's policies hurt
Arabs," 2/5/96), which
inaccurately displayed Israel
as the aggressor in the
multiple conflicts that have
occurred in the region. Israel
is a tiny country, which
consistently engaged in wars
only after being attacked
first and thus was forced to
respond in self-defense. (A
lone exception to this was
the Israeli bombing of Iraqi
nuclear reactors. Con-
demned at the time by U.S.
leaders, this brilliant Israeli
intelligence move saved
U.S. Gulf War troops from
having to contend with
Hussein who possessed
nuclear weapons.)
Lastly, I was outraged at
the letter-writer's unwar-
ranted attack against (former
Israeli Prime Minister)
Yitzhak Rabin's character.
Rabin was a champion of
peace. Rabin worked
tirelessly toward peace in
the Middle East, and was

killed during a peace rally.
Rabin wanted to improve life
for all of the people in the
region. Rabin was a man
who deserved nothing but
praise and support. If the
letter writer were to compose
a "fair, accurate and well-
researched" letter, he would
learn that Jewish and Arab
leaders from around the
world support the peace
process lead by Rabin. By
viciously digging up the
character of this "champion
of peace," and by attacking
Rabin, this writer has
distanced himself from
mainstream Arab and Jewish
groups who are proponents
of peace and equality. This
inaccurate and unjustified
character attack brings me to
both anger and tears, while
at the same time it should
serve to completely under-
mine the writer's credibility
as a political analyst. To put
it in perspective, this
outburst against Rabin is
completely inaccurate, and
would be similar to claiming
that the great Martin Luther
King Jr. was racist.
Jews and Arabs are not
enemies. Jews and Arabs
should be friends and allies,
united against the common
goal of dismantling oppres-
sive Middle Eastern govern-
ments and replacing them
with democratic systems that
allow freedom to all. It is the
dictatorial leaders of several
Arab countries that are the
problem. They murder their
own people, destroy freedom
and inundate their countries
with inaccurate propaganda.
I encourage all Jews and
Arabs to join forces and
continue to work toward the
peace and freedom that
Rabin desired. Communica-
tion and debate lead to
education and understanding.
I am thankful that the
Daily had the courage to
help spark discussion on this
important topic. I dream of a
future in which all Mideast
inhabitants can enjoy peace,
freedom, family and
education. Please make
yourself a part of this
ongoing dream.

I bought six
packs ofcigarettes
last summer. But
I wasn't a smoker 7
then. The fact that
they only cost 50 KATIE
cents a pack in HUTCHINS
Zimbabwe - ______
where I spent fall
semester-is what really did me in.
Now I don't have a clue how many
cigarettes I've bought, but I do know
that I almost have enough Camel
Cash to buy another pack. The ri-
diculous fact that it costs 80 Camel
dollars to buy one pack doesn't de-
ter me.
New Year's Eve was the perfect
time to stop, which shouldn't have
been too difficult as I have told
everyone I can stop anytime I want.
So as the final 10 seconds of 1995
countdown began, I rushed to my
pack and lit my last cigarette ever.
And at 12:05,1 lit another one to
celebrate the New Year.
-Livingv at home with my parents
was stressing me out, so I decided
not to attempt this quitting thing
until I got back to school. Big mis-
I entered my new house and found
two ashtrays on the living room table.
In my room, I discoveredmy room-
mate had scattered five ashtrays in
strategic spots: on the night stand,
by the computer, next to the phone,
on top of the Mr. Coffee and next to
the remote control.
Six of my seven housemates
smoke regularly and we all get rather
hostile when one of us naively de-
cides to try to quit. Four of us have
fallen ill with a mysterious cough
unaccompanied by other symptoms.
Illness spreads easily when you live



early race will augment MS~s partisan politics

ast week, the Students' Party announced
its ticket for the Michigan Student As-
simbly presidential election, which is more
than two months away. Thus, presidential
dandidate Jonathan Freeman and vice presi-
dential candidate Olga Savic began their
canpaign at an earlier date than any MSA
ticket in recent memory. The decision to
announce in January is of questionable judg-
ment. Every member ofMSA should work to
ensure that the campaign does not undercut
the assembly's effectiveness during the next
two months.
When he announced his candidacy, Free-
man cited improvement of MSA's internal
workings as a top issue. However, a two-
month campaign likely will hinder MSA
from work, rather than increasing effective-
ness. Freeman's and Savic's campaign will
occupy a quarter of the current MSA term. It
has the potential to paralyze MSA with po-
litical posturing.
The Students' Party must strive to avoid
this unsavory scenario. If the party is serious
about improving the operation of the body,
then they must demonstrate their willingness
to do whatever they can to create a more
open, cooperative MSA. Most importantly,
they cannot allow the assembly to become a
tool of their campaign ambitions, a common
problem that has riddled MSA in the past.
Other MSA members also must make

should resist the temptation to join in the
campaign at this early date. They also must
ensure that the assembly does not become a
mechanism by which to attack the Students'
Party ticket. The Michigan Party, the Wol-
verine Party and others should give Freeman
and Savic every opportunity to demonstrate
that they will not allow the campaign to
overshadow their MSA work - or to show
that they are incapable of separating them-
selves from petty partisan bickering.
Members are sending mixed signals about
whether MSA can function properly over the
next few weeks. The other major parties -
Michigan and Wolverine - have stated they
have no intention to announce their candi-
dates in the near future. However, Dan Serota
and Probir Mehta initiated a trend this week:
Switching parties barely two months before
the election. The turn indicates an increased
politicization of the assembly.
The Students' Party displayed poor judg-
ment by selecting its nominees for the spring
MSA presidential election long before the
other parties. The party must ensure that
MSA is not paralyzed by premature election
season politicking. Also, the other members
and parties of the assembly should make an
effort to preserve the body's effectiveness.
If not, MSA could turn into a miniature
Washington, D.C.; with long presidential
campagns slowing the policy-making pro-

so close together.4
To stop the cough, I decided to cut
down. I switched to Merit Ultra
Lights. Not only was this a pathetic
failure (I ended up smoking twice as
many - and they didn't even taste
good) but I also was subjected to
ridicule from all the Camel and
Marlborofsmokers. And when a
Marb Light smoker tells you you're
just smoking air, you know you've
got a problem.
So I'm one of the many who stand
outside East Engineering at 10 a.m.
and freeze as we finish our precious
cancer sticks. I look at those who go
to class without having a cigarette
first incredulously. I don't under-
stand why everyone doesn't smoke
cigarettes. After all, there are so
many perfect times in a day to smoke
a cigarette.
There'sthe first one in the morn-
ing to accompany the coffee (an-
other addiction for future discus-
sion). There's the on the way to
class and bored while walking ciga-
rette, to be finished while standing
outside a University building and'
getting evil looks from all the pure
and prudent-non-smokers who have
nothing better to do than go to class
early and read the Daily.
There's before a meal, while-
you're cooking or waiting for the
pizza guy to come. There's after a
meal, while the food settles. While
watching TV is very key - it cuts
down on snacking. Sort of.
There's the after-shower, while
waiting for your hair to dry ciga-
rette. There's the on the phone, tak-
ing a study break cigarette. There's
the while drinking, enhance the beer
buzz cigarette. There's the just met
a new person, don't know what to4
say, need something to do with your
hands and mouth cigarette. And
don't forget the countless Euchre-
playing cigarettes and sex-related
And they serve some even greater
purposes. They're a great way to
meet other smokers, who will make
you feel less guilty about smoking
and will never let you try to quit.
You can bum a cigarette off a cute
guy or girl -always a great conver-
sation starter. You can be part of the
secret club that has to go outside at
a non-smoking house party. You
can even recruit new smokers and
convert them to full-time addicts
Uisa ,...ntl4 A Ad ,-.,., .-iitn~tp



Rap is more
than 'crap'
I'm writing in response
to a letter printed in
Monday's Daily ("Article
provides intense review of
rap," 2/5/96). "Rap is crap?"
What a witty piece of biting
criticism! In reply I would
like to offer perhaps a more
intellectual critique.
Mad props to writer
Eugene Bowen for

against the music may have
shut down a few of its
outlets, but hip-hop remains
as strong as ever. For
instance, "Gangsta's
Paradise" by Coolio is a
hard-core (not pop-oriented)
rap song, and yet it was the
number one video of 1995
on the alternative-dominated
MTV. Not bad for an art
form that is a favorite target
of the morally superior.
As for our opinionated
letter-writer, I suggest that if
you don't like rap, don't

listen to it and don't read
articles about it. But
understand: Hip-hop is
indeed a legitimate art form.
To label an entire category
of music as "crap" is
astonishingly unenlightened.
Finally, I would like to
commend the Daily for
giving a fair amount of
coverage to rap music, and I
trust this will continue with
the new group of editors.


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