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November 30, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-30

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 30, 2000

UItw irbgan &Utg

Looking for sympathy? Sucks to be you...

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, M1 48109
dailyletters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Before I could skip town for Thanksgiving
last week, I had to finish up a lengthy
paper for one of my classes. And by "finish" I
really mean "start" - I know my fellow pro-
crastinators will give me a hearty "Amen,

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials rect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articls, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

brother!" on that one.
Here's the story: The
paper's due by 5 p.m.
Wednesday evening, so
I start working around
11 a.m. or so. Before I
know it, the afternoon's
speeding by faster than
Bo Jackson and I'm
only half-done. So I'm
sitting there, furiously
whipping out such
classic English major
stock phrases as
"There's a certain sense
in which..." and "The-
matically speaking,"
when my roommate
starts packing his bags
for the weekend.

New Coke. Think of David Hasselhoff's chil-
dren. Think of Roy when Siegfried's in one of
his moods. Those are people you can look right
in the eye and say, "Man, it sucks to be you"
Oh, but it doesn't stop with them...
It sucks to be the guy working the late
shift at Bell's, because every weekend you
have to deal with the drunken jokers who
never cease to find the humor in ordering a
12-inch sausage ("Dude, dude ... is that
served ... hot?").
® It sucks to be the guy who attended the
finest film school in the nation, wrote a fabu-
lous thesis on movements in cinema verite
and yet is presently forced to support himself
by working as a key grip on the USA original
series "Silk Stalkings."
It sucks to be the guy who's known for
smoking a lot of crack - I mean, if you
smoke even a little crack, you've got some
major issues, so for people to single you out
as the guy who smokes "a lot" of crack, you
must be seriously messed up.
® It sucks to be the guy who gets caught
playing air guitar to anything off of the "Mon-
ster Ballads" compilation. And it really sucks
to be the guy who gets caught buying the
"Monster Ballads" compilation.
0 It sucks to be the local TV meteorologist
who just got divorced and hates his life and
knows that he's going to have to force a toothy
grin during those final 30 seconds of the
broadcast when he and the two WASPy co-
anchors exchange snappy patter about the 90-

year old grandma that plays the tuba and then
the sports guy - oh no, not the sports guy -
adds his two cents about the Dodgers and,
Jesus, just kill him now.
It sucks to be the player's player who
takes his special lady out to see smooth R&B
singer Joe and mistakenly buys tickets for
Ugly Kid Joe.
It sucks to be the high school cheerleader
who gets a T, E, A and M and believes she has
just spelled "meat."
It sucks to be the Buddhist monk who
puts all his faith in good karma and then gets
reincarnated as a thirty-something sales exec
who has a blond wife named Cyndi, coaches
youth soccer, reads Dale Carnegie success
manuals and owns Styx's greatest hits album.
® It sucks to be the guy whose girlfriend
asks him, "You don't mind if my ex-boyfriend
comes to visit next weekend, do you?"
It sucks to be Hall. It sucks to be Oates.
And, yes, it sucks to be Hall and Oates.
It sucks to be the Leno guest who,
despite being a Nobel Prize winner, appears
second after Fred Savage.
® It sucks to be Bob Evans, always looking
over your shoulder to see what that scandalous
bastard Bill Knapp is up to now.
It sucks to be the guy who spent his
entire Thanksgiving weekend deciding who
sucks more than him.
- Chris Kulas tired of the sucking, the
endless sucking. He can be reached
via e-mail at ckula@umich.edu.

0

Preventing future presidential debacles

Chais
Kula
Unsun
Annr Arbor

From a corner booth in the Michigan
Union to floor of House of Represen-
tatives, people around the country are
asking each other one question: hat's
happening in Florida? Although history
has witnessed some close elections, not
many can compare to the excitement and
confusion that this year's presidential
election has generated.
Although some of the confusion can
be attributed to honest mistakes and the
anomaly of such a closely contested
national election, most of the blame for
the chaos in Florida
must be shouldered by TheBu
the two candidates and
their &olitical parties. campaa
Bot . ushand Gore
campaigns are ity of nothing f
out the entire election from a r
debacle. Even thoug af
slick politics are natura-
ly prevalent in elections, recounf (
agreeing to a set of stan-
dards and procedures to Simply so
elect thepresident must s
be treated with the def- Bush' s e
erence due a bipartisan the P"res
issue. Instead of agree-
ing to work together to
resolve the situation with integrity, the
Democrats and Republicans have repre-
hensibly put their agendas above integri-
ty.
Aside from all the partisan politics,
however, the request by the Gore cam-
paign for a recount of ballots in various
disputed Florida counties must be hon-
ored. These recounts are absolute nec-
essary in order to protect the rights of
both the candidates and citizens. Bloth Al
Gore and GeorgeWBushhavearightto
request a fair recount of any and all bal-
lots which thereasonably believe to be
in question. Tis is the case in Florida.
Not onlyhas there been widespread criti-
cism of the ballot design but there have
also been various accounts of machines
malfunctioning causing "pregnant chads"

PC

and complaints of discrimination against
minorities in the voting booths. The last
allegation, which threatens the very fun-
damental voting rights of American citi-
zens, has t an mvestigationinto
events that took place in Floda byrthe
Congressional B lack Caucus. Gven
these circumstances, it is clear that a full
hand recount of the disputed counties in
Florida should continue without being
subject to deadlines or op sition by the
Secre of State; this is the only way to
ensure t election has been won farly.
In such a close election,
every citizen's vote
must be counted. We
has cannot allow ex 'dien-
cy to be placedeabove
i fear each and ever individ-
~ * ual's right to have their
ount;, I say in telection.
one finaljThe Bush campaign
has nothing to fear
rnld from a recount; if any-
g, one final recount
Fidify will simply solidify
George W. Bush's claim
aim to to the presidency If, as
he has claimed Bush
Y has won more votes
than Gore, then the
quickest way to silence the naysayers
would be to allow a supervised recount
of the counties Gore is requesting, under
the condition that both campaigns will
adhere to the results.
In order to prevent, or at least miti-
gate, the problems in this election from
occurring in the future the government
must pass election reform. Nott-of
cal tehooyshould be used isedof
the voting machines inplace today to
lessen machine error. Also, a set of
national ballot designs should be institut-
ed to prevent confusion among voters of
different states. Finally, the outdated elec-
toral college should be abolished in order
to allow the President of the United
States to be a representative of the peo-
ple, not some 538-odd Florida voters.

I tell him that I've got another five pages to
go before I'm done, and as he walks out the
door with his luggage in hand, he laughs cru-
elly and says, "Sucks to be you."
Now, that got me thinking. Granted, I hate
cranking out last-minute tripe as much as the
next guy, but it seems there are plenty more
people that it would really suck to be.
Think of the ad wizard who came up with

. _ ,,,

'I'd like to see the day when black students are not an
under-represented minority, but are a large and
significant part of the population.'
-LSA senior Sabrina Charles commenting on the drop in
minority enrollment this year at the University.

- u i

Stokhithe h19 court
Medical marijuana's SupremeCourt battle

L ast June, California resident Peter
McWilliams choked to death on his
own vomit because he was denied the
right to use medical marijuana, the only
sdibstance that would allow him to stom-
ach a potent combination of AIDS and
cancer drugs. Though California legal-
ized marijuana for medicinal purposes
in 1996 with Proposition 215,
McWilliams was denied the right to
mention the proposition in his federal
trial for manjuana possession, despite
his constant nausea, weight loss andthe
spreading of his cancer. But hope may
be in store for millions of patients who
face the same circumstances as
McWilliams. A case to be presented to
the U.S. Supreme Court early next year
has the potential to stop the injustices of
federal attacks on medical marijuana
users. It is good that the Supreme Court
has agreed to hear this case because
states should have the right to decrimi-
nalize medical marijuana without feder-
al intervention.
The case in question has been
snaking through district courts since
1998, when the Justice Department,
under the urging of the Clinton admin-
istration, won an injunction to prevent
the distribution of medical marijuana by
California's cannabis growers clubs.
Because Proposition 215 violated feder-
al law under the Controlled Substances
Act, states' rights to allow ill patients
access to marijuana were denie& A U.S.
Appeals Court then overturned the
decision because medical necessity can
be used as a defense against charges
under federal law, though that appeal
has since been stayedbythe Supreme
Court until the proba e ruling next
June, so California's Prop 215 is still
rendered impotent..
The case itself hinges on the issue of

medical necessity. Medical marijuana
advocates must be able to prove that no
other substance works to alleviate
symptoms of certain diseases like glau-
coma, asthma, AIDS, cancer and even
the common headache. This is not an
easy task, since independent medical
marijuana research has been banned in
the United States for more than three
decades. Therefore, no one at the feder-
al level has the hard scientific proof that
marijuana can be used medicinally.
According to federal drug schedulin
laws, medical marijuana has no medical
uses. But accumulating evidence sug-
gests otherwise.
The U.S. Supreme Court case has
the potential to free medical marijuana
users and legal suppliers from prosecu-
tion under federal law. Until then, med-
ical marijuana will remain an unfairly
prosecuted and underground black-mar-
ket trade. The Supreme Court has every
responsibility to pay attention to the
democratic process that has legalized
marijuana in California and eight other
states during the last five years, despite
unjust claims by federal officials that
claims of marijuana's medicinal use is
unfounded or simply a stalking horse
for legalizing pot for recreation and per-
sonal use.
The Supreme Court also has the
right to deny states and municipalities
the right to create laws legalizing med-
ical marijuana. This is especially impor-
tant at a local level as activists attempt
to legalize medical marijuana within the
city of Ann Arbor and the state through
ballot initiatives. The Supreme Court is
right in hearing this case and must not
deny the the sick their fundamental
right to this valuable medicine. Medical
marijuana laws must be free from feder-
al oversight.

Faith, not atheism,
leads to a just society
To THE DAILY:
I was both disturbed and disappointed to
read Nick Woomer's column "Celebrate a God-
free holiday season," (11/28/00), not only
because it belittled the spirituality central to the
lives of many students, but also because it con-
tained blatant mistruths.
Some of these blatant mistruths can be seen
in Woomer's statements that "if you're certain
that eternal paradise or a better next life waits,
there ceases to be any motivation to risk much
here on earth" and that "by offering people
visions of a glorious afterlife, spirituality weak-
ens people's desire for a more just society on
earth.' People such as Martin Luther King Jr.,
Malcolm X, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Angeli-
na Grimke (a leader in the abolitionist move-
ment), Raoul Wallenberg (a University grad
who died saving lives during the Holocaust)
and countless others have been led by spiritual
convictions to risk everything they have on
earth and to fight for a more just society.
While I can understand Woomer's frustra-
tions with apathy in the lives of people of faith,
I think such generalizations belittle the pas-
sions and pursuits of people throughout history
and in our society today. I would hope that in
the future, before preaching atheism as the way
to an abundant life and a just society, Woomer
would honestly examine those who have lived
lives of faith and consider whether or not he
really believes, as he wrote in his article, that
those who considered themselves "heaven-
bound" possibly ended up disappointed when
their time came.
ANNE MITCHELL
SNRE SENIOR
School of Americas
should be shut down
TO THE DAILY:
Being one of the University students who
participated in the protest covered in the Nov.
21st issue of the Daily, ("Students arrested dur-
ing Ga. protest"), I would like to note that the
article contained some incorrect information.
The article incorrectly stated that 1,700 protest-
ers (including myself and eight to ten other
University students) had been arrested and
cited with both criminal trespass and resisting
arrest, when in fact we had just been appre-
hended for criminal trespass. Also, it should be
noted that not all University students who went
were charged with criminal trespass. Only those
who chose to enter the base and approach the
blockade of unarmed military policemen (fol-
lowing the principles of nonviolent resistance
and civil disobedience) were.
The reasons why we went to Georgia to
participate in the protest for the closure of the
School of Americas (SOA) were not clearly
explained in the article either. The SOA is a
military training program for Latin American
soldiers that is run by the U.S. Army. The
school does not train its students to be honor-
able soldiers, nor does it train them to operate
with dignity. Rather it trains Latin American
soldiers to denude themselves of their human
conscience and lose their sense of morality.
Once these soldiers "graduate" from the SOA,
they return to their respective countries as mili-
tary zombies ready to destroy economically
poor communities (generally villages contain-
ing indigenous peoples) and torture, rape
and/or murder their civilian residents.

zombies that torture, rape and murder civilians.
Perhaps it would be more appropriate if they
renamed the SOA as "The School of Assas-
sins." Or better yet, why don't we just close the
SOA and not have to worry about what would
be an appropriate new name for it.
DEEPAK KuLKARNI
LSA SENIOR
'Beemer' is not a
term used by BMW
TO THE DAILY:
Although I enjoyed reading Gautam Baksi's
"Daily Driver" column in the Weekend, etc.
section, the term "Beemer" was repeatedly
used incorrectly in reference to BMW automo-
biles in "BMW backs up 3-series claims"
(11/16/00). While both Beemer and Bimmer
refer to BMW products, the press has taken
upon itself to use Beemer exclusively for
motorcycles, not automobiles. Bimmer is cor-
rect for cars. Therefore, I believe Bimmer
should have been used throughout Baksi's arti-
cle. FYI: Only BMW refers to its productsonly
as, you guessed it, BMW. However, too many
misinformed consumers have been using
Beemer in place of the correct term. As a
BMW enthusiast, I was appalled to see such
blunder. In fact, I believe any car enthusiast
would be.
JASON LEE
RACKHAM

Smoking isa
problem on campus
TO THE DAILY:
The article "Smoking poses risks to
women" (11/16/2000) just gives us a few lines
but makes a lot of significant impressions
about the old but not out-of-date health prob-
lem: Smoking. The fact that lung cancer sur-
passed breast cancer in 1987 as the number
one cause of cancer death in women is a reason
for catching attention of policy makers, health
educators as well as other responsible sectors
in our society. The health problem becomes
more important when the evidence provided by
the new study at University of Maryland Med-
ical School shows that "women smokers were
50 percent to 500 percent more likely to pass
on harmful health conditions to their children.'
Our recent survey (10/2000) on 204 Uni-
versity students presents the percentage of 25.3
female students current smokers, with similar
percentages for males. Why do students like to
fade their most precious property of health into
smoke? Why do female students want to risk
their future children having physical or mental
preventable infirmities by harmful effects of
smoking?
We can see many people, including stu-
dents, smoking every day. Why are helpful pro-
cedures for quitting or prevention of smoking
initiation too sparse in our University environ-
ment?
PHUNG TAN LE
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

THOMAS KULJURGIS 'TENT' A I-V ELY PEAKNG
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