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October 22, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 22, 1996

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'The student body needs to learn more
about the candidates.'
- LSA senior Jennifer Norris, a member of the
Presidential Search Advisory Committee

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily' :s editorial hoard. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.



Bloody battle
Annual drive will help blood supply

odged beneath the surface of your arm
lies the power to 'save a life, earn free
cookies and put Ohio State University to
shame. Beginning tomorrow, the University
of Michigan is sponsoring the annual
"blood bowl" between the University and
Ohio State, which gives students a chance
to donate blood easily.
According to the Southeastern Michigan
Blood Region, the number of units of blood
in Southeast Michigan has fallen from
237,000 in 1991 to 206,000 in 1995. And
Washtenaw County has experienced a
decline in the number of units of 2 to 3 per-
cent per year since 1988. Students should
consider giving blood - it's needed more
than ever.
The "blood bowl" allows students three
opportunities to give blood tomorrow,
Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Faculty, staff and students are welcome to
give. Whichever school donates the most
blood wins. These types of events are
important for the nation's blood supply -
it taps into the spirit of competition while
benefiting those in need of blood.
The recent drop in the blood supply is
troubling. More than 4 million Americans
receive blood transfusions each year. It is
estimated that people who live to be 75
years of age or older will probably need a
blood transfusion at some point in their
lives. But anyone could need a blood trans-
fusion someday - medical professionals
use the donated blood to treat accident vic-
tims and patients undergoing surgery, as
well as people with cancer and other dis-

However, only 8 million Americans give
blood. This number represents less than 5
percent of those healthy enough to give. The
Red Cross cites one of the reasons for the
decline in number of donors as the aging of
the existing donor base. People also think
they do not have time to give blood, or that
they will contract a disease by donating.
Red Cross is heavily recruiting younger
donors - but the 1980s HIV scares have
left some people wary.
But fear not - the Red Cross has imple-
mented questionnaires and tests into the
donation process to screen out problematic
donors. In addition, all the equipment -
from cotton swabs to needles - is new, dis-
posable and sterilized. The supplies are dis-
carded after each use. Therefore, the Red
Cross says it is not possible to acquire a dis-
ease from donating.
The donation process itself is simple.
The donor fills out medical records and
shows identification. Workers take a small
blood sample from a finger to measure the
volume of red blood cells. If the count is too
low, the donor is deferred. If everything is
fine, they usually draw from the inside of
the elbow. It takes about 10 minutes to col-
lect a unit of blood. After, the donor is asked
to rest while given cookies or fruit juices to
rejuvenate their energy.
Giving blood means helping to sustain
life in communities. It is a quick and easy
procedure. The University is providing
chances to give blood - students should
consider using these opportunities.

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cible democracy
'Motor voter' law proves successful

hree years after its adoption, the
National Voter Registration Act is a
rousing success. The act, more commonly
known as the "motor voter" law because it
combines driver's license renewal and voter
registration processes, was responsible for
the registration of more than 9 million new
potential voters. In addition, more than 10
million citizens took the opportunity to
renew their voting eligibility. The law has
made democracy more accessible for mil-
lions of Americans - the government
should continue to support it.
One of the most unexpected results of
the law is that the political leanings of citi-
zens who registered under the "motor
voter" law have not altered the balance of
power between the two major political par-
ties. Rather, the percentage of voters identi-
fying themselves as independents rose
slightly. Originally, the law's opponents
were concerned that Democrats would be
the sole beneficiaries because they thought
the poor would use this service most. The
poor generally vote Democratic.
Republicans' concern about more
Democratic voters registering has proved to
be unfounded. While the percentage of reg-
istrants identifying themselves as
Republicans remained steady at 34 percent,
the Democratic fraction actually decreased,
from 50 to 49 percent. Out of the 26 states
where party affiliation is a requirement of
registration, Republicans gained support in
eight states, while Democrats benefited in
only one state. Independent and third-party
citizens picked up the slack, increasing
their presence in 18 states, and now repre-
sent 17 percent of the national electorate.

In Michigan, Gov. John Engler used the
party-registration excuse to keep the
"motor voter" law from going into effect for
14 months. Engler ordered state agencies to
disregard the federal mandate. This opposi-
tion was political in nature. On one level,
Michigan has offered registration at
Secretary of State offices since 1976, ful-
filling the "motor voter" portion of the
Voter Registration Act. Engler's opposition
arose from the U.S. government's mandate
that states establish registration access at
welfare and mental health offices. The state
finally complied with the statute earlier this
year, having deprived up to 200,000 citi-
zens the chance to register during the peri-
od that Engler blocked the mandate.
Engler also was motivated by a philo-
sophical belief that the federal government
should not impose unnecessary mandates
on state governments. Many Republican
governors shared in his concern, including
Pete Wilson of California.
However, it is the duty of an elective
democracy to get as many of its citizens
involved in the electoral process as possi-
ble. Through the "motor voter" law - one
of the most convenient measure ever
devised to register voters - the United
States took a giant step toward achieving
that goal. Because of the easy access to reg-
istration that the law affords, the voting reg-
istration rate may continue to rise for years
to come.
As the three-year anniversary of the law
passes, President Clinton and the legislators
who supported the law should take pride in
the fact that democracy is now more acces-
sible to American citizens.

Affi rmative
action leads
to racism
I am writing to commend
the Michigan Student
Assembly Rep. David Burden
for taking a correct (though
highly unpopular) stand on
affirmative action.
Unfortunately, it seems that
most of the people on this
campus do not understand
the corrupt moral principle
upon which affirmative
action is based: the idea that
the remedy for racism and
sexism consists of making
everyone painfully aware of
race and gender, and then
giving certain people special
preferences on that basis.
Affirmative action is the
latest manifestation of col lec-
tivism - the belief that peo-
ple should be treated primari-
ly as members of groups
rather than as individuals. In
other words, it belongs in the
same category as the thing
that advocates of affirmative
action claim to be fighting:
old-fashioned racism. To
ignore this fact and to claim
that affirmative action is a
solution to racism in our
society is a blatant contradic-
tion. It's like saying that
democratic socialism is the
solution to the evils of com-
munism, or that fundamental-
ist Christianity is the solution
to the problems caused by
fundamentalist Islam.
It is also apparent that
many supporters of "diversi-
ty" or "multiculturalism" are
not seeking an end to racism,
but rather the power to assert
group identity. The article on
last Wednesday's front page
("Tatum speaks of develop-
ing student racial identities,"
10/16/96), illustrates this
point. Students are being
encouraged to notice race,
and to consider race to be an
important part of what
defines them as individuals.
What happened to moral
character or personal
achievement? Why is the
concept of "racial identity"
considered sinister (and
rightfully so) when promoted
by someone like Adolf Hitler,
but not when it comes from
the ranks of the politically
The simple fact is that
one cannot claim to be anti-
racist while supporting pref-
erences or the twisted notion
of "racial identity." People
can try to shoehorn such
incompatible ideas into their
inconsistent belief systems,
but they cannot change the
fact that putting those ideas
into practice will result in
more misery. This is not the
road to an enlightened soci-
ety; it is the road to Bosnia,
Rwanda and countless other
hell-holes where people have

and informative article.
However, it was lacking
something: discussion of
local candidates. The opin-
ions ofthe presidential candi-
dates is certainly important,
but just as important are the
opinions and records of the
congressional candidates.
There are some very stark
differences between the con-
gressional candidates, espe-
cially on their records on
education. Our current repre-
sentative Lynn Rivers (D-
Ann Arbor), spent nine years
on Ann Arbor's school board
before going to the state
House, then to the U.S.
House. She was president of
the school board for three
terms! Clearly she is con-
cerned about education.
Her opponent on the other
hand has no political experi-
ence. He has admitted that he
didn't even pay attention to
politics before he decided to
run for Congress. And is
record on education? He did-
n't even bother to vote in
school board elections until
he threw his hat in for
Is this really the type of
person we want representing
us in Washington? I think
not. I think it is important for
students to know this sort of
information. So please
remember to include infor-
mation on local candidates
when writing about important
issues such as this, not just
presidential. Thank you.
MSA policy
won't help
Let me preface this letter
by stating that I am a Latino.
Given the intellectual short-
comings of some people that
makes it harder for me to be
branded a racist. On Oct. 15,
the Michigan Student
Assembly voted down the
MSA Civil Rights Initiative.
The passage of the initiative
would have eliminated MSA
support for affirmative action
on all levels. Unfortunately,
this bill was voted down
Tuesday night in favor of
"The REAL Civil Rights
From the second-hand
knowledge I have gained,
there were multiple speakers
against the anti-affirmative
action initiative, and only one
for it - the framer.
One does not measure
right and wrong, especially in
cases of civil rights, in the
benefits of the policy. If this
were the case, China's
oppressive population control
policy would be a good thing.
The same goes for affirma-
tive action. Regardless of any
benefits a person could cite

races in all facets of life. That
belief alone states that there
is some benefit to being a
certain race, that race mat-
ters. The subtext of such a
statement implies that race
creates identity, that if you
are born black, you have "the
black experience" and if you
are born white you have "the
white experience." Even if
people can say there are good
traits to being race X, how
does the framework of this
idea not prevent some
moronic racist to say there
are bad traits to being race
X? If what one truly wants is
to end racism and discrimina-
tion, then why not use the
resources forwarded to affir-
mative action to ensure that
there is no racism in the job
market, in education, etc.?
MSA's REAL Civil Rights
Initiative is as much a joke as
how they dealt with this
issue. No word was (or ever
is) given out about such an
important issue. Most of us
only find out far after the
fact. And in spite of this, our
illustrious MSA Vice
President Probir Mehta has
the audacity to say that, "As a
student voice, we spoke out
and said we overwhelmingly
support affirmative action."
Sorry, but the student body is
comprised of more than just
a 100 or so members of left-
ist student groups and MSA
representatives. Only a stu-
dent assembly with a presi-
dent who believes that a 3-
percent vote from the student
body is a "clear mandate"
could think such a thing.
You can cite the low voter
turnout and the general apa-
thy, which in many cases is
justified by the utter insignif-
icance of many of MSA's
actions, as the main fault.
But, if MSA would spend the
$10 to copy a summary of
events for a meeting and post
them in dorms and other visi-
ble areas around campus,
maybe people would care.
But then MSA would
have to do something other
than make their resumes look
lTD's flags
are 'stupid'
Does anybody write
papers in the computer sites
any more? The ITD comput-
ing people don't seem to
think so. According to the
woman who allocates funds
to students, the main priority
of the computing sites is to
provide e-mail services to
students. This wacked-out
priority is emphasized by the
stupid flags now appearing at
the Angell Hall computing
site. It makes me wonder

Dizzy Gillespie
and the 1964
t'-et's face it. This presidential eec-
tion is not only over, it is bon
In fits of desperation, Bob Dole keeps
trying to bash Bill
Clinton on the
"T&T" theme
trust and taxes
Unfortunately for
Dole, voters real- ,
ize both that Bill
Clinton is not
Mother Teresa and
that he has raised
taxes. Obviously ~' \
- and thankfully SAMUEL
- they do not GOODSTEIN
care enough to
vote against him. So, Dole keeps
pounding away, Clinton keeps his lead
by staying above the fray and talking
about the future, and the rest of us fall
Why can we fall asleep? The politi-
cal landscape is considerably mo
quiet without that little Texan with b
ears making a whole lot of noise. For
all of the sound and fury about the
oncoming threat of third parties, it
seems that Ross Perot will be lucky if
he can garner more votes than one of
the third party candidates in 1964:
Dizzy Gillespie. Yes, that Dizzy
Gillespie, the "ambassador of jazz,"
actually mounted a campaign against
Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwat*
in 1964. Granted, this may be little
more than trivia fortpolitical and jazz
buffs, but since the 1996 election is so
quiet, why not take a stroll back to the
'60s, when jazz masters, not Texas bil-
lionaires, tried to shake up politics?
In 1963, Dizzy jokingly declared his
candidacy for the president of the
United States and had "Dizzy for
President" buttons ordered. While he
was not yet a serious candidate, to
campaign had a serious purpose:
Proceeds from button sales went to
CORE (Congress for Racial Equality),
SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership
Conference) and various civil rights
projects under the direction of Dr.
Martin Luther King. When Dizzy went
to the famous 1963 civil rights march
in Washington, he was surprised to. see
a number of marchers wearing "Dizzy
for President" buttons. Not one to
his supporters down, and feeling l
had something to contribute, Dizzy
decided to give it a whirl.
To be, to bop,
to bebop
Every campaign has a platform, and
Dizzy's was no different. Among other
things, Gillespie ran on ending ,t
conflict in Vietnam and sendi
African American astronauts into
space. Of course, the platform had its
lighter sides. Dizzy proposed chang-
ing the name of the White House to the
Blues House. In addition, he proposed
appointing jazz greats to cabinet posts:
Miles Davis as director of the CIA, Max
Roach as Secretary of Defensesand
Duke Ellington as Secretary of State.
Dizzy eventually dropped out of the
race - although not before he almco
got on the ballot in California - and
still received many write-insvotes.
While he was never a serious con-

tender, he felt that he moved the
Democrats toward a more liberal stand
on civil rights (probablysnot true), and
that he injected some spirit into the
campaign (most definitely true).
Dizzy Gillespie did more than
launch a semi-serious campaign
the presidency to earn the nicknarif
"the ambassador of jazz." In 1956,
Gillespie became the first jazz artist
ever sent abroad on a cultural mission
by the State Department. He put togeth-
er a big band and - in the name of free-
dom, democracy and capitalism - led a
tour to the Middle East and South
So what is the relevance of this
flashback? First, third-partycandida-
cies are almost always electora
impotent. Except for Millard Fillmo E
in 1856, Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 and
Perot in 1992, third-party candidates
never garner even 10 percent of the
vote (excepting, of course, the
Republican party, which, after its first
victory, became one of the two major
parties). Fillmoreand Roosevelt were
ex-presidents, and Perot spent an
obscene amount of money.
But if we haven't had success
third party candidates, at least we've
had interesting ones. Dizzy Gillespie
is only one in a long line of interesting,
noteworthy and sometimes ridiculous
alternative candidates. If money were
not the driving force behind American


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