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September 21, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-21

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 21 1999

420 Maynard Street HEATHER KASIlN
Ann Arbor. MI 48109 Editor in Chief
daily letters@umich.edu°
Edited and managed by JEFFREY KOsSEF[
students at the DAVID WALLACE
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majorit of the
Dailv's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Dailv.

A history of the world in 10 and a half crime notes

Money matters
MSA investigates possible wrongdoing

L ast week's meeting of the Michigan
Student Assembly unleashed yet
another controversy surrounding. the
assembly's internal workings. This time,
the debate centers around the appearance
of the statement "Run with the Defend
Affirmative Action Party in the Michigan
Student Assembly Elections -
November" in an issue of the Activist
Newsletter, a publication printed by the
Summer Student Assembly.
DAAP members have since apologized
for printing the statement. MSA is debat-
ing whether or not to form an committee
to investigate any possible breach of
ethics by the DAAP. The assembly must
make an effort to seek out and deal with
any possible wrongdoing, because such
activities ultimately go against what MSA
should stand for.
In itself, the cause of supporting affir-
mative action is a worthy one. A diverse
student body is essential in making the
University a place where students learn
not only in classrooms, but from their
peers. In California; where proposition
209 removed affirmative action from con-
sideration in admissions, the populations
of minority students showed dramatic
declines in following years.
Attacks launched against the
University's admissions policies in the last
two years make it clear that affirmative
action is a cause that needs the support of
students, faculty and administrators alike.
The DAAP's commitment to diversity is
admirable, but the statement appearing in
the Activist Newsletter did not merely

express support for affirmative action;
rather, it was a campaign slogan.
Regardless of the cause, campaign lit-
erature is not an ethical use of MSA's
funds. Members of MSA are elected to
represent the student body: much of the
assembly's funding comes from fees paid
by each student as part of their tuition. For
any part of the assembly to use MSA's -
and therefore the students' - money to
finance campaign resources constitutes a
breach of ethics. After all, MSA represen-
tatives should use MSA's money to serve
the interests of the students who elected
them, not to serve any one party or orga-
In addition, not only has the cause of
affirmative action been extremely contro-
versial, but many of the particular state-
ments and positions of the DAAP are not
supported by considerable numbers of
MSA's constituents, even those who favor
affirmative action.
The alleged misconduct of the DAAP
demonstrates a possible low level of
integrity that should not be tolerated at the
college level. The rightness of the DAAP's
cause should not mitigate the conse-
quences of its actions if the investigation
yields evidence of wrongdoing. Student
government representatives must hold to
certain standards; no politician should use
funding from their constituents to finance
a campaign. And even though the reten-
tion of affirmative action is an important
cause, using MSA's resources as a soap-
box for a specific party platform is a mis-
guided, unethical action.

Th other day I tound nyself sandig
around the Daily with nothing to do. Vs
often happens when the situation a'ises. I
thought. 'Daxe. let's do s ome rummagiu.n
Generally. I only do 1uch exploration when
I'mi over at a friends
house and said triend
is in the bathroom. But;
since pressing matters
that day were the
equi alent of in the
bathroom. I had a look
Now I know I have
Vour cuIosItV piqued.
You trust my in estiga-
tive joturnaist s
instincts. You're sax-
ing, "Dave. give ne e David
the dirt on the secrets Wallace
you found. I want to
know that the business
staff sells ads at gun-
point. I want to know which three stories are
made up everyday. I need to know how much
to write the check for so the photos don't run."
Well. I don't have any of those answers. I
spent hours without finding one opportunity
for blackmail. so I 'm dropping journalism
and trying out with the CIA.
But enough of this: there is one interesting
piece of information. The Daily is old. Not
just the "one hundred eight years of editorial
freedom" old. Really old. Forgotten-about
I was in the basement leaning against the
wall reading some old Dailys when the bricks
gave way beneath my shoulder. I fell into
some long walled-up catacombs beneath the
Student Publications Building. After tripping
over Fortunato's remains. I discovered volume
after volume of Dailys stretching back until
they met time on the horizon. Looking
through them, a lot changed over the eons.
But I was shocked to see that one part of the
paper has always been around: crime notes.
What follows are some choice cuts.
Thieving couple thrown out of garden

\ naked man and woman were reported
stealine tfait t'rom a garden n which the.
were lip ML at about 3 pm. Frida\ atiernoon.
Dlepartmient of Public Sa'et \ re port indica te
the )arden's O ner sOOnl disco ered the pair
and escorted them fiom the premises. The
Owner declined to press charges. sa ing he
would handle the matter internallx.
Man dies at Greek-sponsored event
DPS officers responded to a call late ye-
terdax evening that a 70-year-old philosoph.
instructor passed out after drinking a lethal
amount of hemlock. Witnesses insisted the
man. who previously had been convicted of
corrupting youth and religious heresy. drank
the hemlock intending to kill himself. despite
the onlookers' attempts to dissuade him. 1 he
witnesses were questioned and released.
* Elephants loosed on countryside
A North' African man led an army of men
and elephants through the Roman country-
side. sacking much of it. According to DPS
reports. the man gained access through an
open passageway in the Alps. Once inside, he
cunningly outwitted attempts to stop him.
DPS handed the investigation ox er to Roman
authorities. The man remains at large.
Teenage radical captured
A teenager instrumental in the restoration
of the French crown was taken into custody
yesterday. English allies turned the young
woman over to DPS officers. reports say. She
was charged with witchcraft, heresy and
wearing men's clothes. DPS officials said she
would be burned at the stake.
* Priest vandalizes church door
A priest in Wittenberg defaced a church
door early Thursday with 95 criticisms of the
church's practices. He was not immediately
taken into custody. DPS officers on the scene
did not expect the protest to have any lasting
effects, and said the investigation should
result in a run-of-the-mill excommunication.
U' Rowdy Boston youths make 24 million
cups of tea
DPS responded to a call Dec. 16 that about
150 men poorly disguised as Indians boarded
three ships in Boston Harbor and dumped the

East India (ompamn 's tea ox erboard. Alcohol
ma haxe been inxolxed n Ithe stunt as DPS
reports sax Sam Adams was found among the
* French celebrt tound dead in bathtub
Jean Paul \larat, a leader of the rex olution.
was found dead earl,, lnda in his hath. Artist
Jacques Louis David was called in to docu-
ment the crime scene. At this time. CPS has
no leads.
* Mexicans resolve national debt
DPS is in' estigating a scuflle between local
Mexicans and an army of French debt collec- 0
tors. The in.lestigation is progressing slowly.
as DPS was informed days after the event
happened and cannot vet nail dow n an exact
date for what has come to be known as "Cinco
de Mayo." French authorities promised this
would be their last embarrassing defeat for the
next 150 years.
0 Iceberg flees scene of boating accident
DPS officers responded to a call shortly
before midnight on Apr. 14 that an iceberg
collided with a ship in the North Atlantic. The
iceberg fled the scene following the accident
and remains at large. DPS is said to be wad-
ing through three hours of material gathered
on the incident.
Republican denies wrongdoing
DPS officers are investigating a possible
connection between a break-in at a
Washington hotel and government officials.
Witnesses reported seeing a large five o'clock
shadow in the area. A report was filed.
And there we have it. I guess history is a
long line of crimes that changed the world.
Now here's a look at a crime note from the
near future.
* Columnist flogged in Dennison
A 21-year-old was assaulted by an angry
mob Tuesday evening. According to DPS
reports. numerous history professors, Daily
colleagues. friends of the writer and author
Julian Barnes dealt the young man his come-
uppance for insolence and impersonating a
clever person.
David Willace can he reached over
e-mail at davidmrw ulf'ich.edu.


a :_

Color TV?
New network shows neglect minorities

P roducers creating new fall shows
seek an original premise, witty writ-
ers, a talented, appealing cast and innova-
tive directors. But one element they do
not look for is talented minority actors to
portray important characters. The enter-
tainment industry is booming with
movies and shows stressing realism and
drama to viewers. But somewhere along
the line Hollywood eliminated the idea of
portraying positive minority lead charac-
Among the four major television net-
works - ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC -
there are 26 primetime shows premiering
this fall. Not one features a Latino/a actor
playing a lead role. Latino/as portrayed in
shows typically have been limited to roles
of criminals, gangsters, street smart,
urban characters or immigrant farmers
donning thick accents and traditional
Mexican garb.
In response, the leaders of 10 Latino/a
organizations around the country, includ-
ing the National Council of La Raza, a
national Latino/a advocacy group, and the
National Hispanic Media Coalition, urged
Latino/as to shut off their television sets
for the week of September 12.
Members of La Raza decided to stage
the protest at their annual convention last
July. The NAACP similarly introduced a
boycott, responding to the lack of black
characters on programs this fall. Already,
some networks added minority characters
to a few new shows. But including a token
minority cast member - as has been
Hollywood's practice - hardly achieves
realism on television.
According to La Raza, Latino/as make
up 11 percent of the U.S. population but

less than 2 percent of the characters on
primetime television. They are the fasted
growing sector of the United States, not
to mention the majority of television-
watchers. But segments of the entertain-
ment industry are slow to catch up.
The music industry currently brims
with bi-lingual, mainstream Latino/a per-
formers. Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias,
' Shakira and Jennifer Lopez all enjoy
strong media exposure.
These artists are in demand and con-
tributing to the country's pop-culture
industry. Television should follow the
music industry's lead and give Latino/a
performers the opportunity to bring their
talents to the larger American audience.
Television shows set in diverse, urban
cities portray a mere fraction of the
minority populations they should to
achieve realistic representations. NBC's
hit show "Friends;" set in New York City,
does not regularly feature a non-white
Shows choosing not to portray
Latino/as and other minorities holding
jobs as doctors, lawyers, dentists, writers
and more, fuel stereotypes. Such neglect
and lack of representation is a form of
racism in disguise.
This boycott should not only raise con-
sciousness about the lack of positive,
realistic representations of Latino/as, but
also raise awareness of the struggle for
minority representation in general.
Television shows claiming to portray
people in realistic situations should take
note of the country's diversity. It is simply
unrealistic and insulting to portray any
portion of America's towns and cities
without including Latino/as.

Further gun
restrictions could
not prevent tragedy
In a student-run newspaper such as the
Daily, an unrealistic and ultra-liberal view-
point is to be expected. Students of today and
indeed. of all times. are blessed with an over
abundance of idealism. Too bad as time goes
by that this idealism all too often erodes to
What I cannot understand is the students
of this University are among the smartest in
the nation, if not the world. yet the student edi-
tors of the Daily insist on proving that they
enjoy exercising their idealism more than their
realism. It seems that we have entered an age
where journalists insist on presenting us with
opinion while ignoring any and all "inconve-
nient" facts.
But. I digress. The reason for this letter is
to question the contents of the 10th paragraph
in the editorial entitled "Find the Real Cause"
This paragraph essentially asserts that the
Columbine tragedy would not have happened
if Congress would stand up to the National
Rifle Association and make it more difficult to
own guns. Now, perhaps I'm missing some-
thing, but it is already against the law for
minors to purchase or own any kind of rifle.
pistol or shotgun. What. exactly, is this editor-
ial trying to say? That my inalienable right to
keep and to bear arms had something to do
with the Columbine tragedy? What nonsense.
Alas, this paragraph exposes the true
intent of this article. Aimless, pointless, fact-
less but trendy whining. Am I surprised? No,
not at all - some of America's most notable
journalists have paved the way. What needs to
be done in this country is the enforcement of
existent laws. Why not be up in arms over the
fact that there is no enforcement of the exist-
ing gun laws? What of the Brady laws?
The Second Amendment most clearly
states that, "a well-regulated Militia, being
necessary to the security of a free State, the
right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed." I see no ambiguity in
this simple sentence. Where's-the problem?
The Daily is willing to support Dominick's
in the case of a minor in possession of alcohol,
but not my right to defend myself, my family
and my property. Where are the Daily's prior-
ities? I believe that underage drinking has
killed far more people than children with
Nuclear reactor's
benefits outweigh
dan gers
I think it is a shame that most environ-

that research on the effects of radiation on
human tissue and bone structure is being
done. This research has given us new methods
of treating and diagnosing cancer, and several
other bone and ligament maladies.
It is true that accidents such as Chernobyl
and Three Mile Island were disastrous and
cause, and continue to cause, "birth defects,
cancers and death." What is our alternative?
Coal? If one wants to speak of something
causing millions of birth defects, incidents of
cancer, deaths and pollution of water. air, soils
and wildlife, we need to look to a more dan-
gerous foe. Our current means of creating
power are obscene!
Nuclear power is an easy scapegoat for
people who feel threatened by technology.
What then is the solution to the problem of
power? One cannot just complain about some-
thing without coming up with a viable alter-
native. Nuclear power is a viable alternative to
coal. It is cleaner and more cost effective.
There are many important issues that need
consideration when dealing with nuclear
power, but the fact remains that the benefits of
the reactor are great. If I had the choice to live
next to a nuclear reactor or a coal furnace, I
would choose the nuclear reactor without hes-
itation. It is important that one understands
radiation before making such judgments.
T-shirt degraded
Normally, I am definitely not the type to
knock things I do not know. Although I have
never been a huge fan of the Greek system. I
have not really had anything against it. I actu-
ally know quite a few people in the system and
consider them to be some absolutely wonder-
ful people. How could a system that attracts
Such great people be so terrible, right?
Well, that question was answered on a
walk home from the Michigan-Rice game.
I noticed a few boys wearing the same
shirt, so I took the time to read what it said;

and absurd behavior that gives the greek sys-
tem a bad name. What I also cannot believe is,
that the head of the Greek system was
unaware of this T-shirt. The message they are
sending: hell with bettering society, let's con-
tribute to its destruction.
To the silly boys who were so proudly
showing off their lack of intelligence and tact:
use the University as a attempt to educate
To the editors, hopefully your position in
the media will bring to light the fact that the
number of young females affected by eating
disorders will not decrease if males continueW
to be narrow-minded and superficial about the
way women "should" be.
The fact that these boys were part of the
greek system reflects its crooked values and is
indicative of its shameless behavior. Their
behavior should cause potential members of
the greek system to question whether or not it
is worthy to be a part of this system.
WCBN plays to all
musical interests
This letter is in response to the attack onV
WCBN ("U' radiostation needs complete
If you listen to WCBN for more than five
minutes, you'll quickly see that it plays every
kind of music known to man. Mike Kegler's
statement that they only play "obscure jazz,
rockabilly and God knows what else" is
In fact, their "Jazz til noon" program plays
mostly jazz that is very well known. The "Go
cat Go, the rockabilly show" is one of many
programs, and it only airs once per week for
an hour. One can hear all kinds of indie rock
on "Radio ping pong," and listen to your
favorite old country and folk tunes on "the
down home show." You can also hear anything
else you wish. The programming is tremen-

9 <fi Q f4


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