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October 01, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-01

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 1, 1998

iE *rbguun &I


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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless 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
ets e reistrato
Students should register to vote by Saturdayv

'You have the power to change the government and
make It work for you the way you want to.'
- Michigan Secretary of State Candice Miller; at a rally
celebrating voting by school children held Tuesday in Lansing
- AffilDoM EAC 4 C'?ETEY TO APPEN opt
P'~C lU ' YOU EAuW WE4 Ar
-SNOUoi3 HES S Sbst> u.1EIA UP i v " Tt

Immanuel Kant, the German philoso-
pher, remarked that if everybody lied,
human communication would die out
because nobody could be trusted any-
more. Loans would not be given out any-
more because a promise to pay them off
would surely be false. In the same way, if
everybody took the position that they will
not register to vote and then vote this
November, the backbone of American
democracy would crumble. Students
should register to vote, if for no other rea-
son than to better American society.
Beyond that, students should register to
ensure that their interests are not over-
looked by elected officials.
Under Michigan law, everyone who
wishes to vote in the November elections
must register before Oct. 3. Since the com-
ing elections are probably the most impor-
tant that will come for the next two years,
students should make sure that they can cast
a ballot in it.
It is safe to say that the majority of stu-
dents on the University's campus are over
18, citizens of the United States and there-
fore, eligible to register to vote. If all of
those eligible to register did so by Oct. 3,
the University's student body could have a
significant political impact on local and
state elections. Obviously, the whole stu-
dent body will not agree on all issues, but it
is still important for their input to be made
on Nov. 3.
Also, students should register to vote
in Ann Arbor. Out-of-state students who
are registered to vote in their home state
should switch their registration. Students
live in Ann Arbor for eight months - the
vast majority of the year. Their time spent
here is enough to make political decisions
in Ann Arbor and Michigan important to

their lives. The Michigan governor and
the state Legislature - through their con-
trol over state appropriations to the
University - will have a significantly
greater impact on students' lives than will
a governor in a state where students spend
- at most - four months out of the year.
With its ability to set tuition, make acad-
emic policies and guide the administra-
tion, the University Board of Regents has
quite possibly the most influence of any
elected body on students' lives. But if stu-
dents are registered to vote in another
state, they will have no impact on the
composition of the board.
Students who are registered to vote
should also encourage their friends and
acquaintances to register. All those stu-
dents who have fulfilled their civic duty
by registering to vote should go beyond it
by getting others to register to vote in Ann
There are many ways for students to reg-
ister before the deadline. Students can go to
the Netvote '98 Website at
http://www.netvote.mci.com and submit
their registration form online. In addition,
Voice Your Vote, a University student orga-
nization, will be registering people on the
Diag on Friday.
Students should think of how bad it
will be if the idea or candidate they dis-
like the most won - and how they should
attempt to counteract that by casting a
ballot. Everybody in the student popula-
tion eligible to vote and not registered yet
should think about their most abhorred
political ideas or characters. Then, in that
moment of fear of that issue passing or
that candidate winning, the students
should go out and register to vote right
here in Ann Arbor.

Professor' S50
years of'service
earn him aplace
in 'U'history
T he great thing about Sidney Fine is
that he's able to take this huge,
sprawling, sometimes impersonal uni-
versity, and make i seem as familiar,
and intimate as your family's dinne4
One night this
past April, I was
talking to the par-
ents of a friend,
both of whom were '
here in the 1960s.
both of whom stud-aC
ied history with
Fine as undergrads.
The conversation
carried on for aJJEF@R
long time. They ELDRIDGE
talked about differ- 'Iis i
ent aspects of his uTN1S
teach ing and
assorted conversations they had with
It turned out that as they were study-
ing for one of Fine's exams, they sort ofb
fell in love with each other, ultimately
leading to marriage.
"You're alive because of Sidney
Fine," I quip to their daughter, when-
ever Fine's name pops up in conversa-
These people, who attended the
University about 30 years ago, still were
able to describe conversations they had
with him, and what his exams were like,
and his quality as a professor. Thirty
years from now, I'll probably be able to
do the same.
That's a testament to Fine's endurin
power at the University.,
This past Friday iSidney Fine was
recognized for 50 years of teaching.
State Sen. John Schwarz (R-Battle
Creek) presented him a proclamation.
signed by John Engler and members:;
of the legislature. Local newspapers.
ran feature packages about Fine's
Think about the numbers alone, and
the dedication it must take to do the
same job for 50 years. Think about 50
years of standing in front of a crowded
lecture hall three days a week, talking
about the Roosevelts, the League of
Nations, the New Deal and the progres-
sive movement.

Tax cut would threaten program's future

In a petty attempt to push ahead an election-
year tax cut, the Republican party is hop-
ing to steal precious dollars from the Social
Security program in order to promote its party
in the upcoming fall elections. The U.S.
House of Representatives split on party lines
last Saturday while debating an $80 billion tax
cut. With a majority in the House, the
Republicans were able to kill a critical amend-
ment and approve the tax cut that will give a
break to middle-income married couples and
heirs of substantial estates. In aiding middle
class families through this tax cut, however,
legislators are quickly giving up on a program
that has lasted for more than 60 years.
In past decades, the Republican Party
touted exorbitant tax cuts and small govern-
ment as the answer to the many political,
social and economic problems that persist
in America. Republicans claim that allow-
ing business to have unfettered control of
American and global markets will spur on
progress, efficiency and a higher standard
of living. The average American's wages,
however, have, when taking interest rates
into account, gone down since the 1970s, a
clear indication that letting businesses keep
more money thorough tax cuts has not
improved the whole lot of society.
For the same reasons that supply-side
economics only furthered the rich-get-rich-
er trend during the 1980s, this tax cut will
do more harm than good. The people who
would benefit most from such a tax are
those who receive large endowments
through relatives' wills. The bill would
increase the amount that can be exempted
under the estate tax from $600,000 to $1
million. That's a potential of $400,000 that
an affluent member of society would claim
as tax-free. But who pavs for this handout

to the rich? The people do, and even worse,
Social Security surplus funds are being
diverted to bring about these handouts.
The Democrats tried their hardest on
Saturday to defend one of the most important
public programs of this century -Social
Security. While the Republicans pushed for a
portion of surplus dollars in Social Security
trust funds to produce a tax cut, Democrats
exposed how Republican leadership has
desired since the mid-1980s to phase out or
privatize Social Security. Because America is
still waiting for the fate of the Social Security
program to unfold, due to the future payments
to retired baby boomers, legislators can not
afford to reduce any possible surpluses in
Social Security. By taking away part of the
surplus, Republican members of Congress are
abandoning a program that has been instru-
mental in providing for the elderly. While
Republicans have claimed that Social Security
still has enough strength to last for 33 more
years, students and young adults who con-
tribute to the program now will be unable to
reap its benefits in the future.
The worst part of the entire tax cut is that
the House pushed the bill through at a furi-
ous rate because Congress has been too
focused on President Bill Clinton's behavior
in the Oval Office. By profusely challeng-
ing the President to resign in past weeks,
many Republican party legislators have
ignored their duty to legislate on behalf of
the American people. It is a terrible sign
that in the upcoming election, instead of
addressing issues such as financial prob-
lems in Asia, Russia, Brazil and Latin
America, a volatile market on Wall Street, a
loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and
declining real wages, the Republicans want
to talk about election-year tax cuts..

E-mail abuse
is rampant at
the 'U'
How can so many intelli-
gent people at this university
be so ignorant when it comes
to e-mail? I belong to only
three clubs at U of M, and
already, I am receiving an
average of 50 -mails a day
from morons who reply to all
recipients requesting "to be
taken off this mailing list."
Whoever invented the
"reply to all recipients"
option needs to be shot. In
addition, I think it would also
be a good idea for the
Information Technology
Division to post e-mail eti-
quette and usage info on a
tiny card on each University-
owned monitor.
Perhaps ITD or The
Michigan Daily could also
spread the word about X.500
and the "finger" command
too. These are only a few of
the many ways people can
better direct and control their
Fieger shows
a disregard
for doctors
As members of the
University chapter of the
American Medical Society-
Medical Student Society, we
would like to express our
concern with Geoffery
Fieger's disregard for the
medical profession and the
standards we hold. This dis-
regard was clearly displayed
on the front page of the Sept
16 issue of The Michigan
Daily ("Fieger seeks support,
pushes activism"). We would
like to take this opportunity
to provide a response to
Fieger's assertions.
In the article, Fieger states
that prohibiting physician-
assisted suicide causes patients
to suffer. As future physicians,
we are committed to standing
up for the best interests of our
patients. We do this by
upholding principles outlined
in the Hippocratic Oath.
Taking this oath requires first
and foremost that we "shall do
no harm" We further swear to
"neither give a deadly drug to
anybody if asked for it, nor ...
make a suggestion to this
Contrary to Fieger's asser-
tion that "patients" interests
are being sold out" by banning
physician-assisted suicide, we
believe that to condone physi-
cian-assisted suicide would
damage the unique character
of the doctor-patient relation-
ship, which could infringe on
the rights and health of
patients. At the core of the

accordance with the philoso-
phy described in the
Hippocratic Oath, we cannot
support physician-assisted sui-
cide as a general policy due to
the risk of destroying the rela-
tionship with, and the very
health of, our patients.
We hope that whoever is
elected governor this coming
November will work to
improve the health-care sys-
tem rather than engage in
unproductive characteriza-
tions of health-care profes-
Abstinence is
the best
against HIV
The editorial "Listed
Names" (9/29/98) included
some extremely valid argu-
ments against laws which
require doctors to report the
names of HIV carriers to the
proper officials. But when
you listed the most effective
methods of combatting the
spread of the virus, you
neglected to mention what
may be the most successful
of all: abstinence.
GEO is a
waste of
GSIs' money
I want my money back or
at least a portion of it. Each
semester that I teach here, the
Graduate Educators'
Organization forcibly robs
me of a chunk of my pay-
check. It does not matter that
I am not a member of GEO,
that I disagree with them on
most of their issues, or that I
have a lot better ways to
spend that money. They take
it anyway.
As if that were not bad
enough, they then waste that
money on stupid things.
This week they are having a
party at Dominick's with
"all thebeer you can drink,"
and I am unwillingly pick-
ing up the tab (and I do not
even drink). They use my
money to send out fliers for
issues with which I disagree
and candidates I do not sup-
And what happens if I tell
them I disagree. They agree
to met with me to discuss it

does not help
I couldn't let your editori-
al on the pending domestic
violence legislation go by
without a comment
("Stopping the violence,"
9/28/98). As an activist
against domestic violence, I
commend all efforts to stop
it. Every 14 seconds, a
woman is victim to this
abuse. In the state of
Michigan, a woman dies at
the hands of her partner
every eight days. But the arti-
cle talked about the the won-
derful aspects of batterer-
counseling programs.
Unfortunately, there really
are none, as I learned when I
began my SAFEHouse volun-
teer training. Fewer than 10
percent of men who go
through these programs stop
the abuse. For the other 90 per-
cent-plus, it is used as a way to
control his partner so she will
not leave him. "I'm sorry I hit
you again, but I'm getting
help." They often use the pro-
grams to learn how to batter
within the context of the law,
such as by using psychological
and economic abuse. Also, it is
important to realize that these
men do not batter because of
alcohol or other excuses. Many
of us have gotten drunk, but do
we then go out and beat the
ones we love? Of course not.
These men ( keep refer-
ring to batterers as "men"
because 97 percent of them
are) are in control of their bat-
tering. They make the deci-
sion to hurt these women. For
them, it is all about control-
ling her. Finally, many do not
understand why a woman
doesn't just leave. Most do.
However, right after a woman
leaves her assailant is the
most dangerous time in the
relationship. That is the time
he is most likely to kill her.
Forgive her for being reluctant
when her life is on the line.
But I am proud to volunteer
for such an organization that
will help women when they
make this monumental step
(and SAFEHouse does help
male survivors, as well).
We need to encourage
legislation against this crime,
yet we need to make sure that
the legislation will not harm
those it seeks to protect.
Congrats to
the Cubs
During this past summer,
I attended more Chicago
Cubs games at Wrigley Field
than I did Detroit Tiger
games in the past five years.

One local newspaper printed an esti-
mate that 26,000 students have attend-
ed Fine's classes over this stretch of,.'
time. That's a good-sized crowd at'
Tiger Stadium. Imagine a crowd of
26,000 listening to a semester's worth
of lectures on 20th-Century American
The numbers are impressive.
From my vantage point, having had
Fine for a professor for the duration of
my sophomore year, the best parts of his
teaching are the things that can't be
Simply put, Fine is a great profes-
sor. His lectures are engaging,,learneco
and packed with information. The dif-
ficulty of the exams drives most of the
students to fits. Some of these tests
are so tough they make your hand.
want to drop off from the pain of writ-
ing a seemingly endless stream of
information in a limited amount of
He regularly admonishes students to
attend his office hours. Fine probably
has more office-hour sessions in a
month than many professors have in
semester. Visiting him, he talks enthusi-W
astically about history, but also about
his career as a professor and life at the
"Students want to know you as a
human being. I want them to know
me," Fine says in this past Friday's
issue of the Detroit Free Press. "I'm
a parental figure. I help them adjust
to the university and tell them not to
fall apart over things like one ba4
And in truth, he really is something.;
of a parental figure. A group of
friends and I referred to him as Uncle┬░.
Sid during our exam-time study-y
marathons; another adopted the affec-
tionate (if slightly silly) term "Daddy
Fine:' For someone I know, he actual- ~
ly did give some fatherly advice after
a bad grade.
I couldn't name one single, best pro- r
fessor I've had during the past thre
years. Some make you fall in love with ti
their subject. Others educate you on
virtue, ethics or ambiguity. Some give:
dry lectures packed with insight. Others
give presentations so stylish they lose
their meaning.
It's not fair to compare professors.
Nonetheless, Fine's endurance at the
University and the presence he's had in
the lives of so many students gives food
for thought.
Undergrads routinely complain that
professors are remote and care more
about research than teaching; that the
University is too big and insensitive;
that excessive focus goes to graduate ~
students at the expense of undergradu-
a needs

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