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October 29, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-29

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 29, 1998

Ulie idtcilgu &td
4 420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109 L E MAYK
$$ f Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by IJL
students at the JACK SCHILLACI
University of Michigan 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.

'I think (Amnesty International) just wanted a break from
going to all those bad prisons in places like China.'
-- Michigan Gov. John Engler, during an endorsement interview
with The Michigan Daily, on why he did not let Amnesty
International inspectors into the state s correctional facilities

termp as
gold ct
firf ter
thi; co
lar gai
In ont
vices a
with th
melt le
to be
ist tiol
been ri
en' iro

None of the above
Neither candidate is worthy of election
ething is terribly wrong with the While his policy has proven time and
itical race in Michigan. The state's again to be faulty, he has been successful at
atonal contest - with its dogmatic getting his misguided policies enacted.
king and personal attacks - has Engler has shown that he can lead the state
to be the source of much controversy. - but he has led it in the wrong direction.
ican John Engler is vying for a third Fieger, on the other hand, has the opposite
governor against Democrat Geoffrey problem. While his social and economic pol-
- who used his position as Jack icy shows a lot of promise, his ability to
ian's attorney to propel him into the implement that policy and lead the state as
d arena. While both candidates offer the chief executive would be seriously ham-
qualities that would make them a pered by his tabloid-quality attitudes.
hoice for the chief executive position, Although an executive must be willing to put
possesses a complete package of himself on the line to enact good policy, he
s that makes him worthy of election. also must be able to build political coalitions
ler has led the state for almost eight and reason with people in a calm and ratio-
While Michigan's economy is much nal matter. Fieger has proven through his
er now than it was at the onset of his campaigning tactics that he could do neither.
m - a fact he is quick to point out - On the other hand, Fieger's approach to
uld be at policy is excel-
partially OUT OF OPTIONS lent. His policies
ed to simi- could do a lot to
ns in the Engjr has reverse the dam-
r economy. Shown that he age that has been
Tast, many done during
state pro- c l t Engler's reign as
and ser- governor. His edu-
sre at de e- u}e cation and envi-
has led it In the ronmental poli-
ler's record cies, in particular,
e environ- Engler wren5direion could bring
aves much marked improve-'
desired. Rlgeg ment to the state.
his admin- At an endorse-
n, the to rn the state ment interview
ment of would bewith The
u r al a r byMichigan Daily,
ces has Fieger insisted
educed to propensityfthat his campaign
nt of near had focused sole-
e while his FlaiI Pot shots lleger ly on the issues
nmental and had not been





policies have brought the negative attention
of the Environmental Protection Agency to
the state. In a telephone endorsement inter-
view with The Michigan Daily, Engler
claimed that he was "very proud of (the
state's) record" and said the Clean Michigan
Initiative was his main environmental policy
and had no plans further legislation. While
the Initiative is a good start, Michigan's poor
environmental record is not something
Engler can cure with a single shot.
K-12 education has a big enemy in John
Engler. While average spending is up,
Engler's approach for solving many public
schools' problems are disastrous. Less than
two years ago, he proposed that the state
wrest control of 10 schools districts from
the local school boards, appointing admin-
istrators that would be responsive to
Lansing and not the district's community.
Further, charter schools - one of Engler's
brainchildren - are not subject to many of
the same curriculum and teacher certifica-
tion requirements as public schools - pre-
venting any guarantee of quality education
across districts.
Engler's relationship with higher educa-
tion - and the University in particular -
has been equally despicable. His recom-
mendation for this year's state appropriation
was far from sufficient to fund the many
activities and services the University pro-
vides. Thankfully, the state Legislature
managed to increase it, preventing Engler's
foolishness from crippling the University's
academic strength. Throughout his tenure,
he also voiced a belief that he should
appoint the University Board of Regents
rather than allow Michigan residents elect
them - a frightening prospect that would
deny state residents the power to influence
the state's largest public university.

a contest of personalities. In a subsequent
question, he showed that he was not above
making caddy jokes as he said that the gov-
ernor is "... not exactly the posterboy for
the President's Initiative (on Physical
Fitness)." Fieger's ability to run the state
would be hampered by his propensity for
making pot shots.
Fieger would bring much enthusiasm to
the role of governor, and his conviction to
prevent special interests from interfering in
the work of government would be welcome.
At the same time, his contempt for govern-
mental processes and the media sometimes
borders on paranoia. Further, his tempera-
ment is not conducive to getting the job of
the chief executive done. It is unlikely that
his tendency to berate his political opponents
would do him much good when trying to get
his policies through the state Legislature.
So what should voters do with their ballot?
Voting for either Fieger or Engler would be
tacitly endorsing mediocrity in government.
Rather than not voting, the University com-
munity should write in a vote for a third can-
didate to send a message to Lansing that the
political landscape in Michigan is unaccept-
able. Doug Ross and Larry Owen - the can-
didates that lost to Fieger in the Democratic
primaries - are both far more worthy of a
vote than the two men listed on the ballot.
While it is unlikely that a write-in candi-
date would win, voting for a third party will
also make the elected government's credence
with the Legislature decline. As a result, the
rest of the elected positions in the state would
become all the more important. Since the
election of either of the major parties' candi-
dates would be disastrous for the state, the
state Legislature's elections' importance is
all the more prominent. Write in a candi-
date for the gubernatorial election.

Letter was
I am writing in response
to Jacob Oslick's letter in the
Oct. 15 issue of the Daily
("Refugee problem is not
Israel's fault"). Oslick's letter
reveals his lack of knowledge
of the Palestinian-Israeli con-
flict. Most importantly,
Oslick's way of misconstru-
ing historical facts exposes
his lack of professional
integrity as a newspaper edi-
In 1948, 750,000
Palestinians, not hundreds as
Oslick puts it, were made
refugees after their villages
and towns were either
destroyed or evacuated by
Israeli forces. I (Rahim) am a
Palestinian from one of the
400-plus villages whose
inhabitants were made
refugees in 1948 and whose
houses later became occupied
by Israeli settlers.
Of course, news of mas-
sacres of some Palestinian
villages by Israel instilled
feelings of fear among neigh-
boring towns and speeded up
the evacuation process. A
well-known massacre took
place in the village of "Deir
yassin" where virtually all
inhabitants of the village
were murdered.
I honestly wonder if
Oslick consulted with any
credible historical sources on
the events of 1948 before
writing his letter. I would
encourage him and others to
read Benny Morris's "The
Birth of the Palestinian
Refugee Problem, 1947-
1949," or Edward Said's
"Blaming the Victims."
On an end note, I am a
proud member of the
Palestine Catastrophe
Committee. Our aim is to
educate the general public
about the palestinian strug-
gle, and dispel stereotypes
about Palestinians as terror-
ists. We are not an "Israeli-
hating," "anti-Semitic"
group. In fact, most of our
members are Semites, both
Jews and Arabs.
The time when "anti-
Semitic" was used as a term
to intimidate critics of Israel's
oppressive policies against
Palestinians has long gone. I
encourage Oslick to start
searching for new terms to
express his anti-Palestinian,
anti-Arab propaganda.
'U' community
should take
note of act of

and Awareness Center, a
University agency about
which this vandal had some
unkind (as well as profane)
things to say.
The Daily probably could
not print the text of this van-
dal's message, but their
choice of words is beside the
point. This vandal wanted to
silence survivors of sexual-
ized violence so desperately
that they risked serious
University sanctions by
defacing the announcement.
One in four college
women will be sexually
assaulted during her college
years. What kind of person
would want to silence the
many survivors on campus?
The only people who benefit
from the violent censorship
of survivors are the perpetra-
tors and enablers of sexual
I think that this communi-
ty should take note of this
incident of hate speech and
be alarmed. Clearly there are
some on this campus, even in
1998, who support violence
against women so strongly
that they are willing to com-
mit crimes - vandalism,
harassment, sexual assault,
domestic violence, etc.
Silence surrounding this inci-
dent will only reinforce the
feeling of entitlement that
causes assailants to feel justi-
fied in hurting others and
motivated this vandal to
deface University property.
Unfortunately for this
vandal and all other support-
ers of sexualized violence,
the survivors and opponents
of all forms of violence will
not be silenced any time
soon. Civil rights are hear to
stay, as is the freedom of
speech. Don't let this act go
unquestioned. It is imperative
that we resist such attacks
and continue to pursue jus-
tice for survivors of assault.
Daily should
use 'survivor'
I am writing in regard to
the Oct. 21 article about
Steve Nadel, who sexually
assaulted another University
student ("Student gets proba-
tion for sexual assault"). I
appreciate the Daily's fair
and consistent coverage on
issues of sexual assault and
acquaintance rape which per-
tain to the U of M communi-
ty. But I would like to again
encourage the Daily's staff to
use the word "survivor"
rather than "victim." Within
our society, the word "vic-
tim" has come to symbolize
helplessness and negativity,
whereas "survivor" implies
strength and survival. Current
legislation, literature and
commentary on sexual
assault have embraced this
positive terminology - I
hope the Daily will make an

the countless blasphemous e-
mails I have received regard-
ing the dedication of the read-
ing room to Prof. Carl Cohen.
Cohen's approach to education
was integral to the innovation
behind the founding of the
Residential College. For this
reason, and for his dedication
to upholding the standards of
this educational system, the
Residential College wanted to
pay tribute to him. But that
honor has been retracted for
"procedural reasons" and
because his views contradict
"fundamental University val-
ues." Cohen was accused of
being a racist. Calling a man
who believes that "equal treat-
ment is the moral foundation
upon which the Equal
Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment ulti-
mately rests,' who for the past
30 years has fought for equal
rights for all and who was
chairman of the American
Civil Liberties Union, a racist
is completely ridiculous. By
withholding the dedication of
the reading room to Cohen,
RC Director Tom Weiskoff not
only "confirms" the unfound-
ed allegations, he is telling
students and the University
community that the political
views that the University holds
are absolute truth. I am disap-
pointed that the open-minded
Residential College, which I
joined is not only preaching
against a diversity of opinion,
but is upholding false allega-
tions! Disagreeing with prefer-
ential treatment based on race
does not mean a disagreement
with the original definition of
affirmative action, which is to
insure the elimination of
racially discriminated prac-
tices, and it is not reason to
overlook this mans contribu-
tions to our University.
Are these "fundamental
University values" teaching
us that one should not dis-
agree with the institution?
Are they telling us that false
accusations mean more then
a life's work and dedication?
I hope that Tom Weiskopf
seriously reconsiders and
dedicates the room to
Professor Cohen.
Fieger should
leave the 'U'
Is it me, or is Democratic
gubernatorial candidate
Geoffrey Fieger spending a
disproportionate amount of
time knocking on the
University community's col-
lective door? I can understand
trying to glean votes from
one's alma mater, but quite
frankly, I'm getting a little
sick of seeing the guy. (More
sick than I already was from
his television ads, that is.)
Granted, Fieger is a
Democrat, which I am not,
but even a number of mem-

Fighting to
beat back my
e-mail demons
I'mbrowsing my saved messages
fothe past few years and realizing
the high number of quarrels inspired by
a rashly sent e-mail. Messages that
aren't rude are often vapid.
Many times, I've hit control-x on tel-
net and instantly regretted it. Just as fre-
quently, I stare at the
computer screen
wondering what the
hell was going
through the writer's'
Sending e-mail
asks for no fore-
thought. A few lines
of text are pounded
jout and the message
flies - long-term JEFF
implications be ELDRIDGE
damned. Unlike ver- STICKS ANDI
bal conversation, an STONES s
e-mail polemic isn't
expressed, then gone. It floats indefinite-
ly, a saved-message monument to ill-
temper, insensitivity or a fit of pettiness.
Here are a few favorites. Some of
them I sent; some were mailed by others
to large groups. Some of are confront a-
tional; some are just stupid. Spelling and
punctuation gaffes are left unedited:
" i don't think you know anything.
ok? got that straight? nothing.
I apologize for suggesting the three
of you should be burned alive.
You're wrong.
This is an idiotic message
Or how about one word: sedatives?
These people are not my family, and
you're the only one who's happy.
I'm the damn President - you
think I have time for all of this?
The intent of this theft was not so
someone could enjoy Mariah Carey in
the comfort of their own home - these
cd's were stolen so that I would no
longer have them
Drown him in the dipping sauce
from Mr. Spots. ANd put poisin in it, just
in case he is able to swim in it, because0
then he'll eat it and die...
if you were pondering about gary
coleman, i could understand. but not
gary indiana. gary coleman is THE
Most of these messages were written
between friends. Because of this, I read
them and laugh, but I flinch a little, too.
How does e-mail acquire such bitter
tones? Because it's easy to write these
things on a computer screen and press a
couple of buttons while forgetting the
people at the other end.
These are phrases people would sel-
dom express if speaking face to face.
Having a conversation requires both par-
ties to acknowledge each other and, at all
but the most irrational levels, listen to
what the other person is saying.
Nor would these phrases find their
way into conventional correspondence.
Sending a letter demands too much work
for a thoughtless, spastic attack to slip
By the time it's signed, sealed and
dropped into the mailbox, most people
would realize the nastiness they're
expressing and censor themselves. If
they don't, then such statements are
E-mail works differently. It's dehu-
manizing. Something annoying pops
into the inbox, and before there's been
time to time to think about what's hap-
pening, an angry reply is composed and

Obviously, electronic communication
has its benefits.
Most of us have friends at different
spots all over the country. Without e-
mail, we'd lose track of each other or
have phone bills through the roof.
Getting important information from
professors or administrators is easier
because of e-mail. It generally -does a
decent job of facilitating other formal
correspondance. For example, I get a
handful of messages replying to my
columns each week. If these people
called me or wrote formal letters, I
suppose I'd be frightened.
For my mom, e-mail is a sign of
thoughtfulness, signifying I took a
moment out of my day to let her know
what I'm doing.
Most of the time, it's not like this. I get
20-30 messages a day. Some are valu-
able. Few are as offensive as the excerpts
I listed above. Few convey lasting mean-
ing, either.
How much can we say to each other
over computer lines? Ideas are
expressed, sent and disposed with about
as much consideration as your average
piece of Kleenex. It's a fake exchange.
What is the point of a beautifully
phrased thought or a deep insight when
the person at the other end can press a
key, purge the message and eradicate its
What's to prevent a flash of electronic
Tourette's that insults others or embar-
rasses ourselves?
This past weekend, I sat down and





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