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April 15, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-15

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4 The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 15, 1998

tIz idignailg
420 Maynard Street F
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109 LAURIE MAYK
____ Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by JA
students at the JACK SCHILLACi
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editor
Onless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

'She's a person who has had a lot of experience and
gone through a lot of things fighting apartheid. The
students and faculty are very honored to ... see her.'
- Education professor emeritus Charles Moody, speaking about Spring
Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Mamphela Ramphele
KAAMRAN HAFEEZ As I tr HAPPENS

FROM THE DAILY
ti Scilenltif I
Research is key to groi
recent years, programs of scientific
research have been losing government
fu ding. Last year, the House Committee
off"Science recommended that the presi-
dent's budget for fiscal year 1999 increase
fluiding for scientific and social research.
While President Bill Clinton's 1999 budget
has allowed a slight increase in research and
development funding, it is important that
the government increase its support of sci-
entific, medical and social research.
Although the budget provides for a
three-percent increase in total research
funding, real spending would only be 1.4
percent more than it is now, and proposed
spending amounts for research and devel-
opment would actually fall below the cur-
rent levels. Instead of cutting back on its
funding, the government should devote
more resources to research.
Moreover, organizations devoted to sub-
jects other than medical research often
receive fewer federal funds. It is important
that less well-known branches of research
are not overlooked; the benefits of scientif-
ic research far outweigh the costs.
Another flaw within the government's
scientific research funding legislation is the
requirement that each applicant must out-
line specific goals before funding is grant-
ed. This limits creativity and ignores the
fact that many scientific discoveries and
breakthroughs are made while researchers
seek something else. Requiring a particular
aim of researchers limits the freedom to
seek alternative conclusions and hinders the
scientific process.
Scientists and researchers also do not
have a very strong voice in the govern-
ment because they do not wish to be
involved in politics, unless of course their

'C cents
wth and development
funding is cut. While this is somewhat
understandable, becoming a stronger
political force - through stronger lobby-
ing and more vocal support for research
- would help the scientific community
gain more federal funding. If researchers
can show the government that it is a force
to be recognized, it could be easier to gain
more funding.
The University's Institute for Social
Research is a nationally recognized cen-
ter. This type of institution relies heavily
on government appropriations and the
government's belief in not only scientific,
but also social research. The ISR stands
as an example of what research in all
fields can accomplish. Not only does this
institute boast world-renowned faculty,
but it also caters to a student population
that can only become more knowledge-
able with an enhanced understanding of
where research fits into the national char-
acter.
The 1999 budget does show a slight
increase in research and development
funding, but research is important and
scientific development should be strongly
encouraged and supported by the govern-
ment. It is also important that scientists
develop a stronger political voice. Only
with increased lobbying efforts can the
research community gain the respect and
attention it deserves. In addition, the gov-
ernment should not determine the alloca-
tion of funds based on specific goals, as
research projects do not always achieve
their intended aim, but yield results that
are useful all the same. The federal gov-
ernment should acknowledge the impor-
tance of scientific research for the better-
ment of society.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

4ARTi t
fu Ati v +

Children first
Mlchild program offers a helping hand

Families that currently cannot afford
health care for their children received
good news last week when the U.S.
Health Care Financing Administration
approved Michigan's MIChild program.
Designed by the state's Department of
Community Health, this program will
specifically target the state's 156,000
uninsured children. The lack of health
insurance for many Americans received a
great deal of attention during the 1992
presidential campaign, and during
President Bill Clinton's first term. With
the failure of Congress to pass a compre-
hensive health care bill during that peri-
od, most recent health care reform
attempts have focused on alleviating
health insurance problems for specific
groups of people.
The children targeted by MIChild do
not have insurance because their families
earn too much money to qualify for
Medicaid, but their incomes are at or
below 200 percent of the poverty level, or
about $32,000 a year for a family of four.
Once families begin to enroll in the
MIChild program at the end of this
month, they will pay $5 per month for a
total of $60 per year, with no co-pay-
ments.
Compromises in the state Legislature
decreased the amount of the original pro-
posed premium - $8 to $16 a month -
significantly. Under this plan, children
under the age of 18 will have their cover-
age paid for by managed-care companies
with state contracts. Some of the services
covered are doctor visits, inpatient and
outpatient hospital care, prescription
drugs. mental health services, dental ser-

ings. At its full capacity, MIChild will
ensure that 97 percent of Michigan's
uninsured children will have access to
adequate health care.
Much of the credit for this program
should be given to the U.S. Congress and
the Michigan state Legislature. Created by
the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, with bi-
partisan Congressional support under the
leadership of President Clinton, the federal
government has set aside $24 billion over
the next five years to pay for targeted health
care programs like this one across the coun-
try. MIChild will receive $27 million in fed-
eral money this year and $92 million next
year. Gov. John Engler and Michigan state
legislators deserve a lot of credit because
they have committed $13 million this year
to MIChild and $44 million to the program
next year. These efforts by both the federal
and state government show a genuine desire
by politicians to address an aspect of one of
our nation's greatest problems - the exis-
tence of almost 40 million Americans with-
out health insurance.
Now that the U.S. Health Care
Financing Agency has given this benefi-
cial program a green light, state bureau-
crats in charge of implementing the pro-
gram must make sure that Michigan resi-
dents know of its existence. The state
should set -up a toll-free number for citi-
zens to obtain information on MIChild.
Too often, government programs
designed to help people fail because the
people who they are intended to help do
not know of their creation. The process
has been long and enduring, but state
officials must not stop pushing the pro-
gram or MIChild will not be utilized to its

'U' students
should get
hockey seats
TO THE DAILY:
For four seasons, I have
dropped everything to trek
out to Providence, Cincinnati,
Milwaukee and Boston to
cheer for Michigan's fantastic
hockey team. Tice, the
reward has been a national
championship.
Three years ago, I
screamed from the third row
during the heart-breaking
loss to Maine. Two years ago,
I screamed from the fifth
row, along with the rest of
the students, while Brendan
Morrison, Marty Turco and
crew were crowned the best
in the nation. The students'
chants echoed across the ice
in full support of their team.
Then something went
drastically wrong.
University students arrived
in Milwaukee last year to
find themselves releated to
a distant corner of a cav-
ernous arena. And guess
what? The same thing hap-
pened in Boston. After 400
seats were delegated to
Michigan fan by the
NCAA - 300 in the lower
section near the ice and 100
in the upper-upper deck,
somewhere close to Valhalla
- the Athletic Department
got to assign them. The
team got a nice block of
160 seats. That left only 140
lower-deck seats for super-
rowdy student fans, right?
Nope. Students didn't know
until they arrived that they
had been duped again. The
140 seats went to the
Victor's Club, alumni and
similar types while the 100
nose-bleed seats went to the
students. The Athletic
Department short-changed
the team of its raucous fan
base, those who had driven
12 hours to see Michigan
kick some ass.
Some students impro-
vised, storming an unoccu-
pied lower section for the last
two periods against New
Hampshire. The team knew
its fans were there and the
UNH goalie knew it too -
taunted him the whole second
period. Muckalt and Turco
were smiling as they heard
the fans familiar voices. But
Michigan wasn't so lucky for
the final, and the Victor's
Club and alumni simply
could not substitute for stu-
dents' loud, obnoxious, con-
tinuous chanting. Try as they
might, the students were just
too far away to be heard well
on the ice. I hope Athletic
Director Tom Goss wakes up
and returns the student fans
to the better seats they
deserve for future Final
Fours.
That said, Michigan is the
national champion again.
Red's boys have been spec-
tacular. I would like to thank
them for four wonderful

Monday's Daily by Mike
Nagrant and Olga Savic.
Their list of "accomplish-
ments" is a joke on many stu-
dents. For instance:
Dispersing funds to
student groups is not an
accomplishment - it is their
job. What is so wonderful
that we should congratulate
the Michigan Student
Assembly for taking our
money, and then giving it
back to us'?
® Kicking Wok Express
out of the North Campus
Commons was an accomplish-
ment? How is decreasing the
choice of where to eat for
North Campus students by 30
percent during the day and 50
percent at night a good thing?
While the Wok admittedly had
fairly standard fake Chinese
food, at least you could get rice
there - and now there is noth-
ing to replace it, leaving stu-
dents to wait more than 20
minutes for a slice of pizza or
a cup of coffee.
Reduce printing costs
and enhance computing
packages'? No, this isn't an
accomplishment either -
not since the Information
Technology Division
changed their computer
package so that students
have less choice while pay-
ing mnore money.
A word of advice to Trent
Thompson, Sarah Chopp and
MSA: Please look at Mike
and Olga's list carefully. If
you really want to affect stu-
dent lives, talk to them more,
and pad your resume less.
KRISTEN GIBBS
COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE
AND URBAN PLANNING
Affirmative
action is not
such an 'easy
question'

than pure merit would be
shamefully unAmerican.
Something then occurred to
me that might happen to you
if you would turn thenvolume
of your voice down for a
moment: I acknowledged the
problem.
You have yet to acknowl-
edge that there is a problem
with imbalanced racial repre-
sentation. You refuse to
accept the countless social,
legal, economic and hateful
injustices that have led to the
present state of imbalance.
You also seem to feel that
you (the "individual") are
vastly more important than
the scores of underrepresent-
ed racial groups to which
affirmative action offers
opportunities - and you feel
that your niche in the world
would be jeopardized by the
policy.
I concede that affirma-
tive action is an imperfect
solution to an imperfect
world's problem.
Unfortunately, it is the pre-
sent solution. I would love
to see a way to solve
America's racial stratifica-
tion that would protect all
citizens while it cleared the
path. Interestingly, Derrow
doesn't seem to care about
that.
You need to acknowledge
the problem. Then you need
to calm down and realize that
your opinion is nothing
unless you offer a construc-
tive solution to the problem
in our society instead of say-
ing (let me paraphrase) "I
don't give a sh** about the
country's problems, I just
want to bask in the rights it
grants me." Well? What do
you propose to remedy this
problem in America? Take
your time, write another let-
ter to the Daily. This isn't
such an easy question to
answer.
PAUL BHASIN
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Daily did not
offer ample
coverage to
Islam holiday
TO THE DAILY:
As some may know, April
7 was Eid-ul-Adhar, possibly
the most important holiday in
the Islam faith. Curious to
see how the Daily covered
this day of celebration for
more than one billion
Muslims worldwide. I looked
through the Daily only to
find a brief article in the
back of page nine ("Muslims
celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, honor
sacrifice of prophet," 4/8/98).
Needless to say, I was
upset. It seems to me that
while important holidays in
Christianity and Judaism
always earn front-page sta-
tus, the same accord is not
given to Muslim celebra-

One diva, and
four pretenders *
to her throne
Some of this is my own fault. I've
been watching VHI (the thinking
man's E! network.)
I don't know if everyone else's life is
as bankrupt and tragic as mine, but over
the past year, I've formed this unhealthy
fascination with everything having to do
with VHi, with the
exception of the
fashion program-
ming, which is
clearly aimed at fat
women and men
who collect little
figurines.
This past week, .
the "MTV Afterbirth
Network" held
something called JAMES
"Diva Week," mean- MILLER
ing that for one week M I1 R
they would drop sN 'AP
their "Grease"
obsession and concentrate on five female
musicians of such surpassing talent and
inspiration that, in the intellectual esteem
of the VH I marketing department, they
earned the appellation "diva."
And they are: Gloria "You got some
'splainin' to do" Estefan, Mariah "Still a
little too much selfrespect to be an actual
porn star" Carey, Shania "Mark" Twain,
Celine "Patrick Roy" Dion, and the tragi-
cally misplaced Aretha Franklin.
And people make such a fuss over
Jessye Norman.
The problem here is not that they
wanted to take some time out to honor
female artists, a noble effort in itself.
Nor is the problem that they wasted a
whole week on mostly mediocre,
image-driven starlets. Actually, that is
the problem.
What we have here is a classic case of
image preceding talent and merit, or
worse yet, becoming synonymous with
it. What are we really looking at here?
Estefan: Proof that pop singers can
take even the most interesting and
vibrant kind of music (Cuban) and turn
it into a 12-song aluminum turd for 26-
year-old investment bankers to listen to
on their way to work. She survived a
nearly fatal bus accident and still per-
forms while Stevie Ray Vaughn dies in
a helicopter crash before his flavor saver
gets a chance to turn grey. Given this, it
would seem Gloria's only reason for
existing is to prove that God takes the
best for himself,
Dion: To be fair, she is starting out
with a handicap. She's French
Canadian, and as such, is an amalgama-
tion of the two most backward countries
in the world. 1Fir one redeeming quality
is that she still has enough of an accent
to conjure up images of some of the
more comical post-game interviews on
"Hockey Night from Canada." As for
her musical qualifications, apart from
being the Canadian Barbara Striesand (a
joke that writes itself), she is the lucky
musician to be dragged along in the
wake of "Titanic." Which either means
she'll spend the rest of her careerO
singing love songs about drowned her-
maphrodites or will just fade into that
kind of Grace Jones sort of obscurity.
Let's pray.
Twain: This country star is responsi-
ble for singlehandedly coaching thou-
sands of Iowa farm boys through puber-
ty, courtesy of the CMT all-cleavage
policy. Look for her upcoming duet
with Buddy Whackett.
Carey: Isn't it hard to take a musician
seriously when they routinely showi
more of their breasts than Cattleman's
Meat Market? Again, I'm not basing

this on anything empirical, but there is
something vaguely unholy about a
woman who appears in a video with
Bone Thugs and a riding crop. lck.
Besides, if you look really closely at
her, you can see that she's only a frizzy
hairdo and a coat of blue, forget-me-not,
Chevette-driving eye shadow from,
being a dead ringer for that "Sweetheart
of the Bowling Alley" usually seen
pulling hair on Jerry Springer.
Lady Soul Herself: I'm not sure exact-
ly why Ms. Franklin has fallen so far from
grace, but respect for her legacy prevents
me from commenting on the state of her
career and music today. Let's just say that
after 1980 or so, things get a little ugly.
She is, however, the only one on the
list that deserves all of the adulation
heaped upon the group as a whole.
Blessed with one of the most powerful
and emotive voices of the latter half of
this century, Aretha can slide effortless-
ly between the most authentic gospel
and the earthiest Atlantic R&B. She is
truly exceptional and worthy of praise
and veneration. The other four are ugly,
trendy, rapacious usurpers.
What chaps me so badly about the use
of the world "diva" is that we are equat-
ing popularity and physical appeal with *
talent, and nobody benefits from some-
thing like that. Do you think Mariah
Carey would have the same kind of
career if she looked like Drew Carey?
Do you think a cleavage monster like
her does anything to benefit the cause of

TO THE DAILY:
I'm writing in response to
Avi Derrow's "Affirmative
action is racism" (4/9/98).
Never before have I encoun-
tered more bloatedly self-
important prose than this
half-baked anti-affirmative
action attempt. Unfortunately,
the blatant ignorance and
social maladjustment with
which this article barks are
two of the main factors that
keep the boiling affirmative
action debate in the fetal
stages of development.
The letter itself was dif-
ficult to read because I was
constantly dis'tracted by the
piercing wail of 100 babies
crying. Derrow, if you're
going to horse through the
old "affirmative action is
racial discrimination" poop
again, then at least have the
self-respect to remind your-
self, in between shouts, of a
few things: The "freedom"
in this country you speak of
is not a universal right, so

I

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