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March 12, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-12

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 12, 1996

UIb AkdWign IlgQ

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.
The chosen 12
Committee must not alienate 'U' community

'(Fiona Rose) has a lot of great ideas, but she's alienated a
lot of people on the assembly. ... It's happened with (MSA
President Flint Wainess) and that would happen with Fiona.'
--Andy Schor, Wolverine Party candidate for MSA
president, commenting on the Michigan Party's
candidate for president, Fiona Rose
r C

Fight with your
sigfiCant other
about anything
but the movies


rue to their word, the University Board
of Regents named an advisory commit-
tee to assist with the selection of a new
University president. The board announced
the panelists just before spring break -
seven faculty, two staff, one alum, one un-
dergraduate and one graduate student com-
pose the 12-member committee. The con-
ception of the panel indicates that the regents
intend to make good on their promise to
involve the community in the search and
selection process. The regents must now ex-
ercise caution, however, to ensure that the
advisory panel does not assume an authori-
tarian mentality.
The regents succeeded in selecting a di-
verse panel. They named LSA junior Jenni-
ferNorris and graduate student Doneka Scott
as the student representation on the panel.
Their choice of student advisers is com-
mendable - both females are concerned,
involved and seem willing to accept sugges-
tions from the diverse student populations
they represent. Attitudes like theirs are key to
an effective committee; however, members
should not presume to represent the vast
University community all on their own. The
panel should still be open to suggestions
from students, staff and faculty.
Neither of the student representatives are
involved in the Michigan Student Assembly,
which - while notable - is not a point of
concern. The committee will probably ben-
efit more from non-political student mem-
bers than from candidates eager for publicity

and re-election. At the same time, the advi-
sory committee should hear MSA's concerns
and suggestions and include them in the
presidential selection process. A similarpoint
rises with the Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs - no SACUA members
sit on the regents' advisory panel, but their
contributions should still be valued.
The faculty and staffpanelist are involved
with leaders from the University's academic
community. This will allow for a sufficiently
academic search --previously determined a
necessary quality - but may neglect other
concerns. For example, Law School Dean
Jeffrey Lehman, who is chairing the panel, is
a solid academic leader; however, he may not
effectively represent the concerns of the stu-
dents he works with or of faculty members
lower on the totem pole. Regard for student
concerns must not be placed solely on the
two student representatives.
The idea is to encompass the entire
community's views in the search. Each ofthe
faculty and staff advisers, regardless of posi-
tion within the academic or professional com-
munity, must expend as much effort as the
student advisers in gathering diverse opin-
The regents promised to hear and con-
sider suggestions from the search commit-
tee. Creation of the advisory committee is
certainly a step in the right direction, but
regents and committee members alike must
remember that the University community
numbers more than 12.

Last rights
Acquittal showed public favors assisted suicide

M ichigan citizens are one step closer to
determining when to end their own
lives. On Friday, an Oakland County jury
acquitted Dr. Jack Kevorkian on two counts
relating the assisted suicides of two termi-
nally ill individuals, Merian Frederickson
and Dr. Ali Khalili. The jurors' decision
deserves commendation. Moreover, the
Michigan Legislature needs to regulate as-
sisted suicide immediately.
Since June 1990, Kevorkian has attended
27 deaths. Oakland County Prosecutor Rich-
ard Thompson has zealously pursued
Kevorkian to try and convict him. In spite of
two acquittals by juries, Thompson vows to
try Kevorkian next month in a similar case.
The ban on assisted suicide has not withstood
the test ofthe law-any furthercases brought
to trial would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Thompson and the rest of the opposition
should take their exit cue.
Michigan's ban on assisted suicide dates
back to December 1992, when the Legisla-
ture outlawed it. Kevorkian continued his
crusade, putting what he believes to be a
person's right above the written law. State
citizens, through the decisions of juries and
various public opinion polls, have made it
clear that they support assisted suicide. Lan-
sing legislators need to abandon their anti-
suicide stance and listen to their constituents.
Unfortunately, legislators may be allowing
the political support and donations of the
interest group Right to Life to take prece-
dence over the will of the public.

Kevorkian claims to counsel his patients
extensively before he will agree to be a part
of their deaths. Those who have enlisted
Kevorkian's help were either terminally ill or
were marred by continual pain and suffering.
Frederikson, for example, was unable to speak
or swallow for more than a year before her
death. Frederickson had ample time to con-
template a willful death. Kevorkian, how-
ever, was right to deliberate - doctors must
uphold the Hippocratic oath.
The doctor's pledge to save lives natu-
rally creates tension with the concept of
assisted suicide. To ease this tension, the
Legislature must rewrite and clarify its as-
sisted suicide laws. For example, the some
members of the recent jury reported confu-
sion over the words "intent" and "motive."
Jury members said they acquitted Kevorkian,
in part, because they could not prove his
intent to kill his patients - only his intent to
relieve their suffering. The Legislature must
repeal the ban on assisted suicide and write a
new law clearly outlining the difference be-
tween murder and euthanasia.
Kevorkian said that assisted suicide is not
even a right but "an inherent essence of
human existence." The state should recog-
nize this and take the inability ofprosecutors
to convict Kevorkian in a court of law as a
signal that assisted suicide is constitutional.
The Legislature not only needs to legalize
assisted suicide - it must develop prudent
guidelines that ensure that the right to die is
not abused, by either side.

'U' official
When preparing our
testimony on the Michigan
Tuition Income Tax Credit
(Senate Bill No. 678) we in
the Students' Party (of the
Michigan Student Assem-
bly) were immensely helped
by Greg Tewksbury, a
manager in the Office of
Financial Analysis. I would
like to publicly extend our
thanks to him for the hours
of research time that he
saved us.
Tewksbury did nothing
more than provide us with a
compiled version of the
information we were
seeking. That simple help,
however, saved us easily 10
hours of research when the
deadline for our testimonial
was pressing close.
It was nice to work with
someone so ready to aid us.
Tewksbury stepped forward,
asked us the specifics of our
research and promptly, nay
immediately, was able to
provide our numbers.
Sometimes, it is easy to
get caught up in the myth of
red tape at the University.
Tewksbury dispelled that
myth quite efficiently!
Again I offer my
gratitude to him.
reflects anti-
Nearly every day the
Daily's editorial page
contains something that I
disagree with, but Katie
Hutchins' column on Feb.
29 ("The meaning of life
carelessly exposed by a
biopsych GS,") expresses
many ideas that are abso-
lutely reprehensible.
Hutchins claims, more or
less, that we are nothing
more than puppets of
society, and that our heads
are full of arbitrary "social
constructs" that we all
foolishly believe to be facts.
Apparently, all of art and
science is a farce, and we
have all been paying
thousands of dollars per year
in order to listen to some-
body else's opinion, "a
category that somebody else
This kind of dogmatic
uncertainty is by no means
original. It has become part
of contemporary American
culture, and it is one of the
many reasons why our
society is spiraling into a
s~tfocy is spofirrgina

religion as the answer: "I'll
stay up all night to get an A
in English, but I won't do
the same because I'm
pondering the existence of
higher beings. That's ...
extremely misguided
I am very disappointed
to find such nonsense in the
Daily, but I shouldn't be
too surprised, given today's
anti-intellectual culture.
Perhaps someday the Daily
will find a writer who
believes in the radical idea
that facts exist and that
people can think.
Recently, a law was
passed by the Congress of
the United States, titled
"The Communications
Decency Act," which, along
with a handful of other bills
regarding Internet freedoms
and cyber rights, is reshap-
ing the landscape of the
Internet now and forever.
These new bills promise to
prevent the transfer of what
is deemed "indecent
material" over the Internet.
Such material is usually
simply billed under the term
"pornography," which is an
appropriate label.
But what we are seeing
here is not the beginning of
a new era of protection on
the Internet to the average
user, but rather the begin-
ning of the end of the last
frontier left open in the
United States. For the first
time, tangible lines are being
drawn over what can be sent
over the United States'
networks, which compose
the backbone of the entire
Internet system worldwide.
Such a loss should be wisely
considered, for quite simply
we are trading freedom for
One of the Internet's
strengths is that it allows
people freedom to circulate
ideas and express opinions
online that are different,
unique or controversial, and
to be able to achieve this
without fear of reprisal from
their communities or the
government. Weigh this
freedom against the reality
that nothing like it exists
elsewhere in the world, and
its value grows more
Unfortunately, such
freedom means that
tolerance must be practiced

by the citizen - pornogra-
phy is just one example. The
Internet is also home to
racists, sexists, revolutionar-
ies and even psychotics, who
all spread their particular
views to the masses. Curbing
them might be pleasant, but
by doing so we also curb our
own possible use of the same
The Internet is the only
public access medium that
links the globe, and allows
us to quest for whatever we
wish to find. It is a lawless
place, uncivilized and
unbound, where the unwary
can fall victim on occasion.
But it is also an unsettled
land, offering a wealth of
possibilities for those who
wish to explore.
We have so few frontiers
left open to humanity, I
simply ask that we consider
very carefully before closing
one more.
China must
not provoke
As we brace ourselves for
a possible Buchanan
nomination to the Republi-
can ticket and the Clinton-
conservatives showdown in
November here in the United
States, there is a more
imminent political upheval
looming over the horizon of
a tiny Pacific island nation
called Taiwan. In March,
Taiwan will hold its very
first direct presidential
election. More than merely a
symbol of its fledging
democracy, the outcome
could have serious repercus-
sions on Taiwan's major
national policies, both
foreign and domestic, for
years to come. Wary of the
island's intensifying
movement to garner
international recognition as a
sovereign state, China has
recently stepped up its effort
in intimidating the Taiwan-
ese people into submission.
Relying on massive military
"exercises" near the Taiwan
Strait, China hopes to
subdue Taiwan's gaining
voice of independence by
scaring votes away from the
anti-China candidates. We
are all too familiar with
China's habitual blatant
disregard for human rights
and violations of military
treaties. However, this
brazen attempt in influencing
an election outside its
borders tops them all.

It's Friday night, and you've got a
I great idea. "Hey," you say to your
friend or significant other, "Why don't
we go get a movie?"
Entering the
video store and
looking around a
the plethora of
choices, it still
seems ike a good
idea. And then the
fun begins - an
hour later, each of
you has rejected
the other's first
seven choices. Be-
fore long, you've JEAN
gotten into a TWENGE
screaming fight in
the middle of the video store: He
never likes what you like, she always
vetoes the only good movies, you
never get to choose the movie, how
can he like this crap? This just shows
you always get your way! Pretty soon
you're whacking each other over the
head with the videos you wanted to
see. So much for the good idea.
It's an especially dangerous fight,
because it comes down to basic val-
ues and one's outlook on life. Fright-
ening questions begin to surface: How
can I spend the rest of my life with
someone who thinks culture means
watching "Ace Ventura: Pet Detec-
tive?" Why am I going out with some-
one who thinks watching World War
II documentaries makes for a rip-
roaring good time? How could I be
best friends with someone whose fa-
vorite movie is "Dracula: Dead and
Loving It"?
I've always thought that choosing a
video is the ultimate test of arelation-
ship or friendship.
If you can do it with a minimum
of screaming, tantrums, carrying on,
and deep doubts about the other
person's humanity, you're doing
pretty well. If you can do it com-
pletely painlessly and without any
disagreement, you really aren't
human and should seek help for
dating your identical twin.
As narrowly focused as Hollywood
sometimes is, there are enough video
choices out there to cause some ma-
jorconflicts. They centeraround some
basic human dualities-or, as Beavis
would put it, you think it's cool and
he thinks it sucks.
The Man/Woman Thing, other-
wise known as Chick Flicks vs. Blood,
Guts, Gore and Guns. Cartoonist
Catherine Goggia captured this per-
fectly in her cartoon of a "Video
World" with two sections: "Men's
movies (Killing)" and "Women's
movies (Talking)." Most of the so-
called women's movies she lists are
real: "Howard's End,""A Roomwith
a View," "Steel Magnolias," "Out of
Africa" (apparently the Oscars favor
"women's" movies). The men's side,
though, has fictional yet accurate
titles: "Big Knife, Small Dick," "With
my Truck," "Hit, Kick, Box, Kill,"
"Pay Back," "60 down, 50 to go" and
"With my Chainsaw.'
I've never liked the designation
"chick flicks," because I think guys
tend to apply it to any movie that
doesn't feature machine guns.
And women lack a similar deroga-
tory word for the violent movies that
we're often forced to watch - the
ultra-violent flicks that try to dis-
cover every possible way to murder
The first time I saw "Terminator,"
my dorm crowd counted the number
of words Schwarzenegger spoke ver-
sus the number of people he killed.
(Just guess which won?) Action flicks
can be cool, especially if they're not

particularly violent ("Speed," for in-
stance), but I've never understood
guys who were really into seeing
things get blown up (cool, cool, fire is
cool! Heheheheh). On the otherhand,
a lot of the three-hankie tripe coming
from Hollywood (i.e., "Now and
Then") is just plain cheesy - worse
than a "chick flick."
® Highbrow vs. Lowbrow. For ev-
eryone who wants to see a French
drama with subtitles, there's some-
one who wants to see "Dumb and
Dumber." This is a difficult one to
settle, unless you want to see a slap-
stick French' comedy with subtitles.
(At least there wouldn't be many
words in the subtitles.) The best com-,
promise is probably Woody Allen, a
serious director who made movies
with silly comedy long before Jim
Carrey came on the scene.
M Adamant vs. I don't care. Some-
one who always knows what they





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