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December 10, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-10

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 10, 1997

4 - The Michiess Daily - Wednesday. December 10. 1997 I

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 JOSH WHITE
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ERIN MARSH
students at the Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan
tInI's otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily/i editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion ofThe Michigan Daily
FROM THE DAILY
Legislative meddling
Assisted suicide should be a private decision
I ast Thursday, the Michigan Senate The medical establishment offers the
passed a bill making assisted suicide a best hope for an acceptable resolution to
felony. The House, in all likelihood, will this conflict. After all, doctors play a vital
drastically change the bill, but any changes role in the lives of most individuals, espe-
avoid the obvious point - that this deeply cially in their later years. If a suffering per-
personal issue should not be subject to leg- son makes up his or her mind to die, a doc-
islation. The state government should step tor wishing to help make this death as
aside and leave assisted suicide decisions peaceful as possible should have the
to individuals and the medical community. opportunity to do so without prosecution.
The legislation, passed by a vote of 28- Ideally, members of the nation's med-
7, seeks to make assisted suicide a specif- ical community would find ways to train
ically defined crime. Currently, a person doctors in dealing with patients consider-
helping another person to die may face ing suicide, and preparing these patients
prosecution under murder laws. But for their death. Doctors must evaluate each
because of the current law's ambiguity, assisted suicide case carefully; there is a
prosecutors have been unable to get a con- very real threat of cases where patients feel
,viction in an assisted suicide case. Clearly, pressured to die or are not in the proper
the Senate would like to change the current mental state to make such decisions. Also,
situation to make prosecuting these cases doctors should make patients aware of all
more feasible. their options; for example, people may be
The House brings a different perspec- unaware of pain-relieving treatments or
tive to the bill, and to the handling of the hospices. Finally, patients should have
issue. If a major House Judiciary access to counseling, as should their fami-
Committee revision passes the legislature, lies. The family left behind feels the pain
the assisted suicide bill will become a of a loved one's death long after he or she
1998 ballot proposal. Though this plan passes. They also require preparation to
puts more choice into the hands of ease this traumatic time.
Michigan residents, it still fails to effec- The medical profession, renowned for
lively address the topic. its concern with ethics, exists to help peo-
The problem lies in the fact that there ple in their most painful hours. People will
are so many diverse opinions regarding continue to kill themselves to avoid
assisted suicide. People's morals differ in unbearable pain, and doctors will continue
respect to whether or not suicide is a prop- to help them from the shadows if legisla-
er course of action when death looms on tion like this bill becomes law. The issue
the horizon. Furthermore, many different simply is too complex for government reg-
cultural views of suicide come into play. ulation. An individual, guided by his or her
Quite simply, no legislation could possibly religious, cultural and moral beliefs, along
address the issue to the majority of the cit- with the input of family and doctors, must
izenry's satisfaction. ultimately decide what is right.
-}Friendly skies

NOTABLE QUOTABLE,
'We make an educated estimate of how many students
are going to come. This year the turnout was
higher than the forecasted rate.'
- Alan Levy, director of Housing public affairs, explaining why upperclassmen
cannot live in traditional residence halls next year
JORDAN YOUNG
~d
EIERSo CTHE A EDITOR
t - 4'-
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

F irst
.two
Americ
questio
Admini
Transpe
agencie
much o
of coop
part. Th
recomm
of coop
will cau
dLast
investig
pose a
probesi
comesi
ruled oi
mechan
from th
NTSB
Jim Hal
with the
an exan
inject in
explosic
TWA 8
request
Anot
of actio
ing 11
Florida
The NT
crash w
oxygen
In its ci
plane "
hod bee
extingui
the cras
tien bef
be outf

FAA must hasten its safety decisions
it was ValuJet. Then TWA. These denied the request, stating that it did not fit
flying tragedies instilled fear in the into their cost-benefit ratio.
an public and posed many difficult Many of the FAA's policies are backward
ns to the Federal Aviation and should be corrected immediately. New
istration and the National FAA Administrator Jane Garvey must
)rtation Safety Board. These two assume her new leadership role in the most
s have been feuding for years, with efficient way possible. She is an outsider to
f the conflict resulting from a lack the aviation community, which may or may
eration and slow action on the FAA's not be conducive to FAA affairs. But it does
e FAA must respond to the NTSB's mean she can attack the current internal
sendations in a timely fashion; lack bureaucracy full force, adding new ideas io a
aeration has potentially caused and somewhat aging agency.
ise many unnecessary deaths. There is a severe problem occurring
week, in response to the TWA 800 between the FAA and the NTSB that must
ation, the FAA finally agreed to pro- be resolved at once. The FAA must consid-
directive protecting fuel quality er as expeditiously as possible all NTSB
in 167 Boeing 747s. Their proposal recommendations: If, in 1993, the FAA had
in the wake of NTSB findings that not been so concerned about its cost-bene-
ut all potential problems aside from fit ratio and more concerned about the fly-
ical failure. But this latest action ing public and the NTSB's recommenda-
e FAA is a delayed attempt to follow tions, it should have mandated the immedi-
recommendations. NTSB chairman ate installation of fire detection equipment
1 has repeatedly expressed discontent in all commercial airliners. Instead, it cost
e FAA's lack of action. Hall cited, as 110 lives to finally convince the FAA
aple,'the NTSB's recommendation to change was necessary - but change will
ert gases into fuel tanks to prevent an still not come until 2001 when all Class D
an similar to the one suspected in the cargo holds must be fitted with fire detec-
00 crash. The FAA flatly denied its tion equipment.
with no explanation. The FAA has seen many recent improve-
ther case illustrating the FAA's lack ments and will hopefully grow under
n was ValuJet 592 - a DC-9 carry- Garvey's control. It has banned oxygen gen-
0 people that plummeted into the erators from all passenger planes, increased
Everglades 11 minutes after takeoff. airline maintenance and operations inspec-
'SB concluded that the cause of the tors and has required the implementation of
as a fire caused by improperly stored fuel monitoring circuits on select 747s. The
canisters located in the cargo hold. FAA must build on this new beginning and
onclusion, the NTSB stated that the forge a better relationship with the NTSB. It
would likely not have crashed" if it must clean up its internal problems to better
n equipped with fire detection and service the entire aviation community and
ishing systems. Three years before those who travel. Flying remains the safest
h, the NTSB placed a recommenda- form of transportation, yet there is always
ore the FAA calling for all jetliners to room for improvement. The FAA has a long
itted with these systems. The FAA way to go.

Bakke is
not a 'firm
precedent'
TO THE DAILY:
Your story on the legal
response of the University to
the class action suit regarding
affirmative action ('U' offers
response against lawsuit,"
12/4/97) closed with a quota-
tion from me, and I thought I
should clarify a point that
bears on the case.
Itpis true that Justice
Powell, in the famous 1978
Bakke v. Calfornia case on
affirmative action, argued
that race could be used as a
"plus" (as I was quoted in
the story). However, his
"opinion" was not the opin-
ion of the court.
Only his "decision" to
require the University of
California-Davis medical
school to enroll Allan Bakke
represented the ruling of the
Supreme Court. Four justices
voted for Bakke's acceptance
on statutory grounds, arguing
the "plain language of the
statute" (the 1964 Civil
Rights Act) forbids exclusion
on the ground of race.
Four other justices voted
against his acceptance on
constitutional grounds, argu-
ing that "racial classifications
are not per se invalid" under
the 14th Amendment.
Powell voted for Bakke's
acceptance on constitutional
grounds, but argued that race
could be used only as a
"plus" in the interest of
diversity and not as a fixed
barrier for those not of a spe-
cific race.
In short, no justice's
"opinion" or reasoning gar-
nered a majority of the
Supreme Court's votes. As
was noted by the Circuit
Court opinion in Hopwood v.
Texas: "While he (Powell)
announced the judgment, no
other justice joined in that
part of the opinion discussing
the diversity rationale."
Thus, the Supreme Court has
yet to establish a firm prece-
dent regarding affirmative
action in schools because no
majority of the justices have
agreed on the reasoning or
argument for their decision.
Simply put, a majority in
Bakke agreed he was unjustly
excluded from applying for
some seats in the medical
school (16 were set aside for
"disadvantaged" students), but
no five justices could agree
on the reason why!
LUCAS MOREL
JOHN BROWN
UNIVERSITY
'U provides
environment
for racial
interaction
TO THE DAILY:
I believe that most people

on campus have the social
skills to make friends with
people of diverse back-
grounds.
People who say that mem-
bers of different ethnic
groups stick together and
desire to socialize with mem-
bers of their group use this as
an excuse. This is compara-
ble to using the excuse that
your graduate student

instructors did n
your dorms or al
tutor you as a re,
ing a test.
The Universi
the opportunity
to interact withc
And like GSls, I
provides the opp
you to excel in y
too. However, yi
advantage of the
ties rather than
University spoor
opportunities to
This campus
student body of
does not constil
body of pre-sehi
need the recessl
ate their relation
Affirma
action i
'immon
solutior
TO THE DAILY:
I saw the At
news broadcast
affirmative actii
facing the Univc
a terrible sound
son why it wass
so painful to the
affirmative actii
University Presi
Bollinger told tf
was honest abot
whereas most p
of it are afraid t
truth.
Affirmative

ot drop by of MSA members constantly
partments to blaming their shortcomings
ason for fail- on the student body. They
blame students for not vot-
ty provides ing in the MSA elections,
for students for not educating themselves
each other. about the candidates and for
the University laughing at them when they
)ortunity for campaign. However, they are
tour studies, unwilling to take any
ou must take responsibility whatsoever for
se opportuni- this.
o have the The fact is that if these
n-feed these MSA candidates want other
you. students to give some legiti-
constitutes a macy to their resume-build-
adults. It ing game by voting, then they
ate a student need to do something mean-
oiolers who ingful with MSA to make
lady to medi- students care about it.
iships. They have utterly failed to
do this (that is, assuming that
GRACE YEE they ever tried). Instead, they
LSA SENIOR would rather blame us for not
caring about them even.
though they haven't given us
t ive any reason why we should.
Let me clue you in, MSA:
s an The reason why people laugh
at you is because your insti-
a "tution is widely seen as a
joke. Whose fault is that?
Yours!
You have the opportunity
to do something meaningful
with MSA, but you have
IC television failed. The proof of this is in
(about the the thousands on campus
on lawsuit who won't give you the time
ersity). It was of day. If you want to change
bite; The rea- that, stop blaming them and
so terrible and do something to change their
se in favor of minds. Otherwise, blame
n, was that yourselves. You can't expect
dent Lee people to vote for you just
he truth and because once in a while they
ut the subject, see your smiling faces plas-
eople in favor tered all over campus
ro say the
CHRIS BORHANI
action is dis- RACKHAM

An idiots guide
to shopping cae
make Christmas
stress free
E verybody either is or knows a
Chrstmas Idiot.
Your lunatic great aunt who sends
you a $5 check and an illegible card
every year is a Christmas Idiot.
guy who buys his
wife unsolicited
exercise equip-
ment is a
Christmas Idiot.
The year that your
mother gave you
socks, wool
longjohns and a
calculator, she had
a fit of Christmas
Idiocy. (How do I JAM
know so much MILLER
about your moth- MILLER
er? You probably ON TAP
shouldn't ask.)
I used to be a Christmas Idiot. I
know what it's like to buy tacky jewel-
ry for every female on your list, the
kind ofjewelry that is almost automat-
ically doomed to a life in the bottom of
a bathroom drawer. From books y
dad never reads to kitchen supp
your mom never uses, I've given them
all.
But I like to think I've cleaned up my
act. People no longer wince as they
open packages with my name on them,
and most of my family is speaking to
me again. In my role as a kind of AA
sponsor to the Gift Impaired, the fo-
lowing is a brief explanation of how to
have a happy and fruitful materialistic
Christmas.
For mom. This one is always the
most difficult because mothers never
ask for things that are fun to buy. One
year, my mom actually asked fora bt-
ter dish. We asked her why she wanted
a butter dish, when we would be happy
to get her whatever self-indulgent pr-
sent she wanted. She just said, "Welt, I
need a butter dish:'
So this is the problem. You never feel
good about buying them what they
for, and if you improvise, you worry
about getting something stupid.
Bad: Miss Clairol, a membership in
the Beer of the Month club, golf clubs
and clothes from Lane Bryant.
Good: Come on, she's your mom. If
she put up with and paid for you this
long, she'll like, or pretend to lie,
whatever you get her. Just get the but-
ter dish and start worrying about her
birthday.
or your girlfriend. This one I5s
killed more men than smallpox:as
could name you, off the top of my
head, at least three guys who have
started major relationship wars
because they screwed up the
Christmas present. Bad presents p-
chased for girlfriends are the stuff of
legend and anecdote.
In this case, the issue tht needto
be addressed directly is the
Lingerie Question.And, I'm ashamed
to admit, this one is too hard for me.
There are no set rules. If you want to
go to lace country, I can't help you. Let
me just say this: do not overestimate
her size. She'll suspect either yu
think her ass really is that big, oru
have a fat mistress with more discrid-
inating tastes than her.
Bad: Sex toys (no return polic,
track cleats, "Greatest Hits" from
films, roach clips,"a copy of "
Thighs in 30 Days," cookbook, chas-

ty belt, fishing tackle.
Good: Stuff you can't afford.
- 8(ovfriend. Ladies, I can't hep bt
think you have this a lot easier than'-,e
do. Unless you're a lesbian. Theres
really no mystique to buying a gift Tor
your man. For women, buying the Oir-
feet present without asking for hint-is
a mark of skill, an example of t ~
vaunted communications skills.
To ask a woman what she wantslfor
Christmas practically begs the
response "If you really loved me yat
know what I want." For men, this litle
game really doesn't mean that much.
We don't care. Ask a man what'he
wants, and if it's under the tree'o
Christmas morning,uhe's happy.
Bad: Enya CDs, a subscriptionsjo
Redbook, "Our Bodies, Ourselv "
matching sweaters, his and hers a
thing.
Good: Anything you would probably
hate. I'm not sure why this is a godd
rule but it seems to work. Examte:
Would you like a series of Big en
beer stems? Now, as you just wrinld
your face in disgust, at the same time
10 guys somewhere on this campus
just said "Hey, cool!" Good luck. s
- Professors. That's a toughi t
depends on what use he or she
you at the time. The wrong gift t.:a
professor who still holds part of ytir
life in their hand may look unpros-
sional.
Greeting him first thing in the mstrn-
ing at his house, after just wishing-his
car and painting his trim may mae
you into that Mark David Chapnan
category, which is not good. '
To err in the other direction maiy
insult them. Try and imagine
crusty, tenured old fart of a clas
professor being wowed into subms
sion by the complete set ofl
McDonald's "Flubber" cups.
Grade or recommendation pendig:
Cuban cigars, cognac, call girl.
Bad grade or recommendation
turned in: Wal-Mart gift certificatejar
of broken glass, syphilis.
-James Miller can be reacrea
over e-mail at jamespm@aumich.

crimination at its core and
can never be "mended." The
U.S. Constitution is based on
individual rights, not group
rights. During the early
years of the nation when
slavery was allowed, an hon-
est appraisal of the U.S.
Constitution clearly shows
that the rights of black peo-
ple were ignored, "for the
greater good," that being,
avoiding the dissolution of
the union.
In the end that could not
be avoided, and a terrible
civil war was the price of
ignoring the Constitution.
We are again told by those in
power in the White House
and the University the same
argument that "the greater
good is served" in ignoring
the rights of white people.
This too will not come with-
out a price, the price of con-
tinued racial distrust and
division.
You can not resolve a
moral failure with an
immoral solution, no matter
how good the intentions, ends
will not justify the means,
and unintended consequences
are usually the result.
I hope thatomy school will
lead the way to the future,
and not the past.
DAVID MOHLER
UNIVERSITY ALUMNUS
MSA must be
accountable
for its faults
TO THE DAILY:
In response to Erin
Carey's letter ("MSA cannot
force students to
vote"12/8/97), I must say
that I'm getting rather sick

Daily should
support
UMGASS
productions
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing this letter
because upon picking up my
Dec. 5 copy of the Daily, I
was shocked to find no refer-
ence to the production of
"Princess Ida" by the
University's Gilbert and
Sullivan Society.
Being a company promot-
er for the show, I called the
Daily and had a reviewer
come to the Wednesday dress
rehearsal, with the under-
standing that an article would
be published on Friday.
However, in lieu of a
review for "Princess Ida" was
another review of "Henry V,'
in addition to the review
which waskpublished earlier
in the week. The Gilbert and
Sullivan Society is a 51-year
old University institution,
incorporating many students,
as well as faculty and staff,
and I think it is horrendous
that the only mention of the
production is a quip in the
Weekend, etc. section about a
"little known operetta."
UMGASS does great
work every semester to put
out a wonderful and funny
show; to receive support
from the student newspaper
would have helped us to
spread the word that the show
is not something to be avoid-
ed like the plague. Although
apparently that is how we are
seen by the Daily.
STEPHANIE TEETERS
LSA SOPHOMORE

* rs A F Ly
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