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February 15, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-15

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 15, 1999

420 Maynard Street HEATHER KAMINS
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
daily.letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by JEFFREY KOSSEFF
students at the DAVID WALLACE
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
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.

Healthy move
'U' Hospital to become smoke free

St. Valentine: Cai
Iwonder if anyone knows exactly who St.
Valentine was or how he ended up with
this ridiculous holiday named after him. I cer-
tainly do not. If I had to guess, I would say he
was probably a Catholic bishop or something
that lived right during
the Spanish
Inquisition.
Perhaps after aA
long, hard day filled
with torture and
excommunications he
was sitting in his
study, sipping brandy
and trying to design a
more perfect thumb-
screw. Bamm! The
inspiration hit him like
a bolt of lightning. A Branden
holiday for people in Sanz
love! How beautiful. Dropping
How romantic. How the Hammer
perfect. ______m____
I don't think so.
But how else do you explain the existence
of a holiday (if you can even call it that since
it doesn't get you out of work or school,
which, by my standards, is the very definition
of a holiday) that is entirely controlled by The
Man. No, I don't mean the government. I
mean the REAL Man, the secret society of
elites that actually controls the world. As any-
one who has ever watched the X-Files can tell
you, this society exists and it is spearheaded
by the insurance companies, Hallmark and
the FTD florist consortium.
Of course Valentine's Day does have a pos-
itive aspect (albeit a paltry one). It forces stu-
dents to prepare for the real world, where the
post-party "hook-up" is not an incontrovert-
ible fact of life and people must actually date.
Naturally the whole dating thing has a down-
side as well, as you cannot just go out with a

friend of the opposite sex for a casual beer or
whatever because of the romantic stigma
attached to this Hallmark holiday.
I actually managed to avoid the whole
Valentine's Day rigmarole this year by
default. Not being currently involved or hav-
ing any viable prospects worth the effort, I
figured I might as well work and pick up
some extra cash.
In theory, this was a great idea. I'm a bar-
tender, and I figured that my bar would be
swamped with hordes of affluent 20-some-
things fully prepared to max out daddy's
credit card in an effort to impress and inebri-
ate their dates, meanwhile tipping expansive-
ly. I should have realized that, while theory is
great, reality is quite different and is some-
times very ugly.
I did manage to make some fairly good
money, but at the cost of running my ass off
for seven hours and pouring drinks for
throngs of inebriated, stubbly-faced meat-
sacks, dressed in their best from J. Crew and
spouting insipid witticisms in an effort to
regale their dates, most of whom were clad in
identical too-tight Urban Outfitters livery and
staring about vacuously as the alcohol hit
their systems. I don't think Hell could be
much worse.
Anyway, when I finally managed to get out
of there about 12:30 a.m., I began pondering
my options. I could go over to Friday's and
meet up with the rest of Ann Arbor's popula-
tion of disgruntled restaurant employees, but
I figured I'd had enough of that scene for the
night. I briefly considered rolling over to the
Diamondback, but decided that the thought
of being alone on Valentine's Day and sur-
rounded by country music might make me
want to put one of my handguns to use in an
unpleasant, Kurt Cobain sort of way.
On that note, do even the most stalwart
have a tendency to think of themselves as

losers if they don't have a date on Valentine's
Day? Even I am not immune to this, even if it
makes absolutely no sense. Last time I
checked, there were 365 days in a year. Why
is one so important?
I briefly considered picking up a new
hobby. Nothing too drastic - I wasn't going
to-start practicing idolatry (although I have
nothing against an occasional kneel to the
porcelain god), start listening to techno or run
out and become a member of BAMN - but
something.
I thought about cruising on over to the
Fishbowl and getting in on a pickup game of
Ages of Empire with the guys from the
College of Engineering, but decided that 'l
might end up ejaculating Chaos Theory
before the end of the night (which would
rightly make my housemates want to put one
of my handguns to use in an unpleasant, John
Hinckley Jr. sort of way) so I had to rule that
out.
I pondered going over to the Web Chateau
and maybe surfing the Web for a while (a
GREAT boredom killer) but the thought of
being surrounded by a pack of chain-smok-
ing sorority girls with large breasts and larg-
er thighs (and I don't mean "large thighs" in
a good, Katarina Witt way) prattling on and
devouring everything in sight like a locust
swarm almost made me queasy. I don't know,
maybe they were off at one of their "date par-
ties" or whatever, but I couldn't take the
chance. I was running out of options.
In the end, practicality won out over origi-
nality. I stopped at the store, picked up a six
pack, went home and put my feet up. I turned
on the television and skimmed around, finally
settling on Sportscenter. My last thought, as I
went to sleep was, "St. Valentine, you can kiss
my ass. When does football season start ... ?"
- Branden Sanz can be reached over
e-mail at hammerheadumich.edu.

italist or just plain evil? You tell me

Without knowing it, or perhaps not
accepting it, millions of people every-
day choose to consume thousands of chemi-
cals in a matter of minutes. One solitary ciga-
rette may seem harmless, but according to the
American Cancer Society each tiny roll
wrapped neatly in white contains more than
4,000 chemicals. As one puff turns into an
occasional weekend drag and eventually a
daily fix, addictions develop and the need for
nicotine becomes irresistible. Long nights of
studying and late hours of partying often trig-
ger addictive tendencies, but some places on
campus are simply unacceptable atmospheres
to light up. Sometimes health must take prece-
dence over habit; thus, the University is in the
process of eliminating smoking inside
Medical Campus buildings. Officials mapped
out the Hospital space several years ago, and
over time the areas designated for smoking
have been slowly reduced. Currently, two
areas remain where patients may smoke and
on Valentine's Day, the entire medical campus
spent an entire trial day smoke-free.
Allowing patients and staff to smoke inside
the University Hospital undermines the facili-
ty's primary purpose -the devotion to human
health. University Hospital administrators,
some of whom smoke themselves, understand
the needs of patients in today's health con-
scious society. Researchers from the National
Cancer Institute find that tobacco use, mainly
cigarette smoking, is the most preventable
cause of death in the United States. More than
one-third of all annual national cancer fatali-

ties occur solely from cigarette smoking,
which includes secondhand smoke. Exposure
to environmental tobacco smoke, also known
as ETS, drastically increases a nonsmoker's
risk of developing lung cancer. Reports issued
in December 1992 by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency reveal that ETS kills sever-
al thousand nonsmokers every year. Besides
causing lung cancer, secondhand smoke expo-
sure can lead to severe respiratory problems in
others, particularly infants. The University
medical community's commitment to preserv-
ing life justifies eliminating smoking.
The new rules bear no impact on research;
the policy specifies that under controlled cir-
cumstances, people may smoke for education-
al and religious purposes. The University
Hospital acknowledges smokers' desires and
rights in the process of making the medical
campus a smokeless environment. Following
guidelines set by the Tobacco Consultation
Service, the medical staff has initiated a
smoking cessation program that provides free
support to help smokers kick the habit. The
services include individual consultations,
group counseling and for those who enroll
before June 30, 1999, free nicorette gum and
nicotine patches. The program stresses that
quitting smoking decreases a person's risk of
developing serious illness and limits health
problems of unborn children. In complying
with the needs of smokers, the University
Hospital facilities are not only easing into the
banning process but also taking an active role
in helping smokers battle addiction.

0

King Hussein was a champion of peace

By Steve Rosenberg
Daily Editorial Page Writer
Although he was the target of many coup
and assassination attempts, in the end, it was
not a bullet that brought death. It was a dis-
ease with symptoms so unyielding that even
doctors at the Mayo Clinic could not delay its
inevitability for long. What finally ended
King Hussein's rule was none other than an
internal weakness, over which Hussein had
little, if any, control. On Sunday, Feb. 7,
Jordan's skilled ruler and peacemaker died of
heart failure, after several years of treatment
for non-Hodgkin's lymphatic cancer.
King Hussein's 45-year reign was also
quite delicate, constantly at risk from dissent
and strife. In a country with few natural
resources and an underdeveloped economy,
Hussein always had the difficulty of doing the
best "with the cards he was dealt." He inherit-
ed a kingdom in what was arguably the most
'unstable region of the world during his reign.
Yet overall, he did a masterful job.
While he might have seemed superhuman
at times, Hussein certainly did have his share
of mistakes. After all, he did defy his military

advisers, succumbing to pressure to join in the
Six Day War against Israel. In so doing, he
lost trust, much of his military, as well as the
West Bank and East Jerusalem. He also
refused to back the United States in the
Persian Gulf War against Iraq.
But alas, Hussein was only human, and
moreover, his mistakes were outweighed by
his great deeds. Indeed, as Hussein got older
and matured, he proved to the world that he
was different than so many other rulers in the
region. After negotiating a peace agreement
with Israel in 1994, and after his kind words
upon the death of Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin, Hussein undeniably showed
his true character. For in the end, though
plagued by a region and era replete with
hatred and war, Hussein transcended the
seemingly impossible. As a recent article in
The New York Times asserts, many Israelis
saw Hussein as "Israel's one genuine friend in
the Arab world." He was a genuine man of
peace, more recently helping to broker the
October Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in
Maryland. Hussein was usually able to bal-
ance the conflicting interests of the disparate
CHIP CULLEN

groups that sought to influence him. Even
when such balancing proved impossible, and
attempts at his life were made, he miraculous-
ly managed to escape. For example, at the age
of 15, when his grandfather was assassinated,
all that saved King Hussein from taking a bul-
let to the heart was a medal on his uniform.
King Hussein left his son, Abdullah, a dif-
ficult act to follow. Hopefully, Abdullah can
successfully emulate his father. His strong
popularity with the Jordanian military may
prove to be an essential asset and stabilizing
factor in his regime. It would be ideal if
Abdullah could use his influence to continue
to rally Israelis and Palestinians in support of
peace. Finally, his Western education, enthusi-
asm and charisma make Abdullah an attrac-
tive world leader.
King Hussein left the world a better place
than before. He was a great man. Yet I say so
not only as a University student and a propo-
nent of peace. I say so as a proud American,
as a proud supporter of both Israel and Jordan
and as a proud Jew.
- Steve Rosenberg can be reached
over e-mail at steveros@umich.edu.
GRINDING T HE Ni

Te naon magust msove
Trial was plagued by partisanship

F or the second time in our country's histo-
ry, the Senate was forced to vote on the
guilt or innocence of the U.S. president. And
for the second time in our country's history, the
nation's chief executive was found not guilty.
Although the process was tainted with parti-
sanship, the Senate made the decision that was
best for the country. Now Clinton must salvage
what is left of his presidency, which has been
tarnished by a Republican-led witch hunt.
The independent counsel was approved
originally as an investigation into Clinton's
Whitewater transactions. But it evolved into
an open-ended inquiry into Clinton's charac-
ter. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr
turned over every stone in pursuit of a skele-
ton inside the president's character, with more
than $40 million supporting his quest. Last
January, Starr found what he was searching
for -a scandal that he hoped would bring the
president down. Its content was sure to keep
the public captivated, as it was smothered in
sex, lies and videotape.
When the vote on articles of impeachment
moved to the House, partisanship dominated
the debates. The House's job was to set guide-
lines of impeachment that defined "High
Crimes and Misdemeanors." The representa-
tives did not do that. Giving evasive answers
about a sexual relationship with an intern may
be sleazy, but it is not a high crime. It was
especially disappointing that the House vote
was almost completely divided along party
lines. The debates on the House floor were
often uncivilized and inappropriate, focusing
more on sex than perjury. Our 435 representa-
tives played a partisan game with one of their
most important constitutional responsibilities.
When the articles moved to the Senate,
pundits nationwide speculated that the higher
house of Congress would provide a more
sophisticated and intellectual forum for

Rehnquist was presiding over the trial, so it
would be impossible for the senators to dis-
play the same irresponsible behavior as the
representatives.
The Senate trial, however, was mostly
dominated by partisan rhetoric and Sunday
morning talk show appearances. Many of the
procedural votes, including the decision to
depose Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and
Sidney Blumenthal, were approved due to
Republican control in the Senate.
Ten Senate Republicans transcended party
lines and cast not guilty votes on the first arti-
cle, and five on the second article, for the good
of the country, and they must be commended.
If the Senate removed Clinton from office, the
nation's economy, polity and morale would
have suffered greatly. The Senate should
remove a president or judge if the official's
conduct threatens the safety or well being of
the nation. Clinton's actions, however, did not
harm the United States. They were dishonest
and of poor character. With a war chest of
more than $40 million, however, a lawyer
could find skeletons in anybody's closet.
Now the Senate has decided, as a body,
that Clinton's actions did not constitute
removal from office. It is important to note
that while two-thirds of the Senate must vote
to remove Clinton from office, less than half
of the senators voted that he was guilty on the
first article, and exactly half on the second.
Clinton must attempt to move on with the
presidency. He will forever be impeached by
the House, so it will be difficult for him to
have the same power he did before the repre-
sentatives cast their thoughtless votes. But now
it is time for the House, Senate and Clinton to
work together and get back to governing the
nation, which will be forever scarred by the
partisan attack on our 42nd president.
- This staff editorial originally
.' ,A------

Affirmative action
should be changed
To THE DAILY:
There are a multitude of viewpoints upon
the topic of affirmative action. But I have
found that they all seem to be missing what I
find to be the true point of aff irmative action.
Namely, it should aid those people who have
done the most with their opportunities. To state
that everyone has had the same opportunities is
an obviously false statement. To state that sim-
ply because someone is a certain race that they
have had less opportunities is also false.
Rather it is the individual person's back-
ground that is the true judge of how they have,
and will, deal with both opportunity and diffi-
culty. Therefore, affirmative action should not
be abolished, nor should it continue as it has
been. Yes, to delve so deeply into every appli-
cation sent here will take quite a bit more time
and effort, but is it not worth that time and
effort in order to be able to state that with all
things considered, only the best are allowed to
come to the University? Let us attempt to
bridge the gulf that we are creating here at the
University and at the same time, aid those that
truly deserve it.
MIKE GREER
LSA SOPHOMORE
'U' computer users
should follow policy
To THE DAILY:
In the Feb. 1I issue of the Daily, Carlos
Hernandez Ford's letter titled, "ITD access
should be a 'right' for all students;' said that he
had received an e-mail message stating "Access

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0

I

assistance, World Wide Web access,
Conferencing on the Web, Confer U participa-
tion and access to Usenet News.
Out of respect for the University communi-
ty, those using information technology services
at the University are expected to use these
resources responsibly. Like other information
technology providers, we ask that you abide by
a set of guidelines that are considered appro-
priate use. The University's "Proper Use
Policy" and "Guidelines for Responsible Use"
are included in the University of Michigan
Standard Practice Guide, that may be accessed
on the Web at:
http://www umich.edu/-SPGONLIN/600/.
Sending unauthorized mass e-mail mes-
sages to thousands is considered inappropriate
use of computing resources at the University.
Mass e-mail messages interfere with the
intended use of the information resources by
tying up equipment for extended periods, and
possibly causing equipment failures.
We urge all users of information technolo-

tion of race-based admissions at Michigan uni-
versities ("Students oppose plan to eliminate
preferences," 2/10/99), I was amazed at the
apparent hypocritical nature of the defenders.
Then I was handed a small leaflet while walk-
ing through the Diag today about the "Nationa*
Day in Defense of affirmative action" and was
incensed by the accusations leveled at the state
legislators proposing the initiative.
What is so wrong about having admissions
based solely on merit and ability rather than on
quotas for skin color, sex, nationality, etc.?
Wihy must minority groups - who insist on
equality - demand special preference? Am I
the only who sees the contradiction here?
I believe in equality and fairness for all peo,
ple, which is why I think affirmative action
should end. Sure, we don't live in a perfect
world, and some discrimination does still occur,
but let's not punish the masses with admissions
quotas. Let the universities admit students for
their abilities - with equality for all applicants.
I may not agree with the affirmative action

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