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January 24, 2000 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-24

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 24, 2000

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Hate mail and other treasured Daily memories


420 Maynard Street HEATHER KAMINS
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
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.

H ate mail has become a regular fact
of life for us who work on the opin-
ion page. Just about every one of us has,
at one time or another, written something

that has elicited the
And when this hap-
pens, readers are
quick to let us know.
This is because
nowadays, in the
electronic age, e-
mail has made it
quick and easy for
people on campus to
express their feel-
ings about the arti-
cles printed in the
Once in a while
(read: every decade
or so) an e-mail will
be complimentary.
But, more often than
not, people write
letters because we

anger of a reader.

Show us the money
Clinton tax cut proposal is a good start

R Through
the Soule
writers have done

what you guys don't get to see.
So, I thought that a great way to wrap
up my years at the Daily would be to pub-
lish for you some of the funniest and
most disturbing excerpts from the mes-
sages - some venomous and some
praiseful - that I have received from
readers over the years. Believe it or not,
I've kept just about all of these e-mails
because many of them are really enter-
Just a few notes on the things you are
about to read: (1) I am not making any of
these up; (2) none of these spelling and
grammatical errors are mine - these
excerpts were cut and pasted directly
from the original e-mails; and (3) you
actually go to school with most of these
"If you're going to write a column
about new age activists, be sure to
include the ones who riot in downtown
Ann Arbor and the long-winded Arabs
and Jews.."
"God, every time I check in on old
michigandaily.com your breaking my
heart again, saying these dumb-ass
"To be perfectly honest Scott, I
couldn't help from touching myself as I
read your words... Waiting with only one
hand on the keyboard, Harriet." (Name
changed to protect the innocent)
"I just had one question about your
column today...you're Black?"
"Incidentally, my favorite part was
the bit about Jessica Curtin... ;)"
"Like Chris Rock said, 'If OJ drove
a bus, he wouldn't be OJ... he'd be
Orenthal the bus-driving murderer."'
"We're you raised as cattle, or
something? YOur mother teach you any

"I just wanted to send out a sincere
thanks on behalf of Nekkid Mile Safety
Patrol for your column today."
"I have videotaped, 'The Nude
Mile,' since 1996... Putting your hand
between some runner's arm and breast -
and making the breast flat in 1/10 see-
ond, is quite a feat!"
"I cannot comprehend the idea of
any person regarding Hunter as an affi-
cionado of love and relationships. My
experiences with relationships lead me to
believe that most women value men with
humility and not those with immodest
and disrespectable taste... The women I
know would deny him faster than a fresh-
man at Scorekeepers."
So, as I finish up three-and-a-half
years of writing for this paper, I have to
say it's been fun to mouth off in the paper
all the time, despite the criticism and that
pesky racist Daily conspiracy.
But leaving the paper might be even
more enjoyable: No more hate, no more
deadlines. And, best of all, I won't have
to hear the word "token" come up quite
so often.
Thanks for reading.
- Random shout out:
I want to say thanks to a few people
who have always impressed me with
their work on this campus.
All of you are really on-point:
Sabrina Charles, Rupal Patel, JuJuan
Buford, Peter Romer-Friedman,
Lamont Jones, Brian Babb,
Neftara Clark, Trevor Gardner, Elena ;
Gimenez, Aisha Smartt and, of course,
Brandy Johnson (BVN! Fire it up!).
This is Scott Hunter's final column.
He can be reached over e-mail at

'President Clinton announced his adminis-
tration's education initiative this week.
The plan aims at making higher education
more affordable, easier to complete and a
more realistic dream for the college students
of the future. The centerpiece of the strategy
is the bipartisan Schumer-Snowe plan, a
$31.4 billion investment over 10 years in the
form of targeted tax credits, federal grants
and a program to encourage and facilitate the
collegiate goals of younger students. This ini-
tiative will help make college education more
affordable to everyone.
Thirty billion dollars come in the form of
the College Opportunity Tax Cut. Under the
proposal, families would have the option to
claim a tax deduction or a tax credit of 28
percent on up to $10,000 of tuition and fees.
Households with incomes of up to $120,000
would be eligible, and single filers could
make up to $60,000. The tax credit would
apply to all levels of higher education. This
scenario would apply to every student within
a household and there would be no limit on
how many times students could take advan-
tage of this tax credit.
{ Another $400 million would fund Gaining
Early Awareness and Readiness for
Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) This
national program encourages disadvantaged
youths to pursue higher education. GEAR UP
students receive information about assistance
programs that can make a college degree a
feasible goal. GEAR UP advises them on
what classes they should take to prepare them
for post-secondary education.
The cost of a higher education has quadru-
pled over the past 20 years, nearly twice the
rate of inflation. This means that the price of
education has increased at a rate faster than

that of any other major consumer item,
including healthcare. Year after year, the rates
keep rising. It is no wonder, then, that 37 per-
cent of students who go on to college drop
out before they get a degree. While the
Clinton plan would not lower the costs, it cer-
tainly would help Americans pay them.
This package is of particular merit
because it lessens the burden on middle class
households, which might not qualify for other
longstanding federal aid programs such as
Pell Grants and student loans. Currently,
these families often face the false choice of
serious long-term debt or no college.
The federal government has a clear inter-
est in facilitating the post-secondary level
education of its citizens. In the service-based
economy of the 21st century, our nation's
greatest resource is its people. Just as the gov-
ernment provides tax relief incentives for cor-
porations to research and develop new tech-
nologies, it makes sense for the country to
invest in the brainpower of future America.
The importance of this package to
University students cannot be overstated.
While the full benefits of the proposed plan
gradually take effect over 10 years, it would
prompt many changes in the coming year.
The Opportunity Tax Cuts would total $5,000
in 2001, as would the Pell Grant increase.
Passage of this plan could mean the ability to
graduate for some students.
The administration's higher education
proposal is a decisive step forward that will
help millions of Americans who seek a col-
lege degree. It has benefits that could make a
real difference in the lives of University stu-
dents. But we hope the road to equal educa-
tion doesn't stop with this plan. Money alone
will not solve inequality.

something to tick them off. This may
mean that we printed something incor-
rectly, failed to prooofreed* our
articels*, or expressed an opinion that
someone contests.
For columnists, hate mail is pretty
frequent. It is not at all uncommon to
open the paper to find an angry letter
from a student challenging our stance or,
occasionally, threatening our lives. But
the worst of these attacks do not neces-
sarily appear in the newspaper.
As you have probably noticed, our e-
mail addresses are printed in big italic
letters at the end of each piece we write.
So, we invariably receive gazillions of
letters from the University community.
These personally addressed c-mails are

4 i
{ i




It's called diplomacy'
Helms' U.N. speech was inappropriate

L ast week, North Carolina Sen. Jesse
Helms had the honor of being the first
U.S. legislator to address the United
Nations Security Council. The occasion
could have been an opportunity for con-
structive discussions and criticisms
between the United Nations and the man
who is most responsible for making the
United States the world body's biggest
But instead of using the opportunity for
dialogue with an organization he frequent-
ly criticizes, he hurled accusations and
threats at the assembled ambassadors of
more than 100 nations.
After opening his speech by stating, "It
is my intent to extend to you my hand of
friendship," Helms demanded the immedi-
ate adoption of reforms to the United
Nations. He accused the United Nations
of trying to undermine U.S. sovereignty
and of trying to form a "central authority
of a new international order of global laws
and global governance." Helms, the chair
of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, lashed out at those who com-
plain about the United States' multi-bil-
lion-dollar debt to the organization, call-
ing them ungrateful.
Helms harmed not only U.S. foreign
policy but also the diplomacy of every
country trying to work with the United
Nations. His central role in stopping
approval of treaties, banning landmines,
protecting the environment and ending all
testing of nuclear weapons brought scorn
upon the United States from around the
world. Helms's statements indicate he sees

Why a person elected by 53 percent of
the voters of North Carolina has been
allowed to get a stranglehold on the
nation's foreign policy is completely
unexplainable. Helms has put an insular,
domineering and spiteful face on the
United States' foreign policy and exacer-
bated already widespread mistrust and
hostility towards the United States.
Despite what Helms believes, working
well with other countries and the United
Nations is important. The organization
does not have a perfect record, but its
mistakes have drawn much more attention
than its successes. The United Nations
has proven an effective provider of
humanitarian assistance to many of the
world's most needy people, is a strong
advocate for human rights and takes a
leading role in promoting economic and
social development.
Helms's intransigence harms this
important work and ultimately the United
States by worsening our relations with
other countries.
His demands for reform in exchange
for money are also explicit violations of
the U.N. charter, which the United States
ratified. The charter makes it clear that
countries cannot attach conditions to the
payment of their assessed dues. Helms
may disagree with this provision, but it is
still surprising that he would force the
United States into the untenable position
of violating an international agreement.
If reforms of the United Nations are to
be conducted, they should accord with the
charter its 187 members have agreed to,

Pro-lifers don't
understand the
difficult choice
I must agree with Josh Breitzer
("Abortion is concern for a woman and her
doctor alone;' 1/20/00) and comment on the
vigil held by students for dictatorship, err .
life. What a woman wishes to do with her
pregnancy should be her decision and her
decision alone. This should not be a political
issue. Against abortion? Don't have one. It's
that simple. And I am against sentiments that
state being pro choice means being pro-abor-
tion. I don't agree with abortion; I think it is
wrong for me were I to be in that position
(and you never know until you're there). But
I will defend a woman's right to do what is
best for her and her situation.
For those that were in the article that
aren't aware of Planned Parenthood v.
Casey, women seeking abortions are given
graphic information of abortion and fetal
If the past is to teach us anything, we
should know that making abortions illegal
leads to "back-alley," unsafe and unsterile
abortions. Many women die from these. I
wonder what the pro "life" ( must put that
in quotes as I am a firm believer in the slo-
gan "what's life without a choice") move-
ment would like poor women to do who
face unexpected pregnancies.
The Republicans in government - who
are basicallytthe anti-choice people, are
also adamantly anti-welfare (although its
less than 1 percent of the budget). So they
say, "You must have this child, but you're
on your own for paying to raise it." And
with all these programs saying one must
work to receive benefits, how is the single
mom to raise her infant - not to mention
the high cost of child care. All this in a
world where fathers just turn around and
leave. It's ironic that a party that preaches
less government control is trying to control
what we can do with our bodies. Aren't our
bodies the one thing we should sovereign
reign over?
I also don't know why religious special
interests have so much impact on law makers.
Isn't there a separation of church and state?
It's also interesting to note how many
women seeking abortions are black. If they
are to give their child up for adoption, the
child is usually not in a very good situa-
tion. Most children available for adoption
are black, and most families willing to
adopt are white. And the foster care system
basically will not put a black child with a
white family. So what happens? This child
is shuffled from foster home to foster
home, soon learning not to make any ties
as they will be broken soon. I understand
why many women would be reluctant to
put children through that.
When will the quest to save "prospec-
tive life" stop? As a woman, I release an
egg every month -- a prospective life
every month. Do you want to harness that
to make sure it becomes a new person?
Harness the millions of sperm a man
makes every day, and hey, we're in busi-
nece It cemc 're tint far off from tht

Letter on abortion
contained 'flawed
In a letter to the editor printed in
Friday's edition ("God's opinion on abor-
tion unclear," 1/21/00), Jesse Herzog
writes that God created everything, but
that He would not create anything He con-
siders evil. Regardless of your views on
monotheism, abortion and other related
issues, the argument put forth by Herzog is
nonsensical - that is, unless you consider
genocide, rape and similar atrocities to be
benevolent acts. According to Herzog's
reasoning, God created these things, so
they simply cannot be evil. This, of course,
is absurd and the result of a flawed argu-
I emphasize that I am commenting on
neither the morality of abortion nor God
and religion, but rather the means by
which they were addressed in this partic-
ular instance. Abortion is an important
issue that cannot be clouded by irrational
arguments if we hope to ever arrive at a
Bible clarifies
God's opinion on
In the three and a half years I've spent
on this campus, I've heard a lot of people
say a lot of things against God, but never
anything so blasphemous as this. In
response to Jesse Herzog's letter ("God's
opinion on abortion unclear," 1/21/00), I
would first encourage everyone who actu-
ally believes in God to read Rev 10:6,
along with Gen 1:31, James 1:17 and a
host of other verses to see that what God
creates is good and perfect.
Note also that Satan, although limited

also create your own heaven and transport
yourself there after you die while simulta-
neously avoiding God's judgement. Then
you will have accomplished something.
But until then, you accept God's will on
his terms or not at all. This goes for abor-
tion as well as every other facet of life.
So you want a choice? Your choice is
stated in Joshua 24:15. God is a pro-
choice God, but not when it comes to
pregnancy termination. It's completely up
to you.
Good or evil? Light or darkness?
God's will or Satan's? This is the ultimate
choice. Great column, Mike! It takes a lot
of courage to stand for what's right!
Article did good job
of examining
complex issue
Overall, Marta Brill's article in Friday's
Daily on institutionalized torture in Israel
did a good job explaining the complex facts
and history of the issue ("Israeli human
rights activist speaks at 'U,"' 1/21/00).
Very rarely do mainstream Western media
acknowledge the injustices that are and have
been committed against Palestinians on a
daily basis in Israel due to Israeli policy and
law. It's important that such social injustices
- whether committed against Palestinians,
Jews, Muslims or Christians - are docu-
mented and not forgotten and ignored.
There are, however, a few points that
should be clarified and corrected in the arti-
cle. First, the founder of the group
Physicians for Human Rights in Israel is
Ruchama Marton, not Ruchama Maron, as
the Daily reported. Second, the article men-
tions "the torture of Israeli prisoners" as the
subject of Marton's talk.
While Israeli prisoners have in the past
been subjected to torturous methods of
interrogation, this is a rare occurrence com-
pared to the frequent torture of Palestinian
prisoners, most of whom do not possess
Israeli citizenshin.

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