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December 07, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-12-07

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 7, 2000"

(Thle ticl igttn ttil

Better watch out, better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu
Edited and manaed by
University of Michigan

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chietf
EMILY ACHENBAUNI
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majori v of
the Daily' editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not,
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Affirmative action court ruling offers promise

A s a hard-hitting investigative journal-
ist., I'll travel anywhere for a good
story.
My nevemr-ending search for the truth
has taken me across the globe, from run-
ning with the Zapatistas in Mexico to
exposing child
exploitation in Brazil.
I've profiled Middle
Eastern radicals and s
I've witnessed the,
locker room celebra-
tions of Super Bowl
champs. I report,
therefore I am.
It should come as
no surprise, then, that
I .jumped at the
opportunity to inter-
view one of the most CS
intriguing personali- Kula
ties, on the planet. A
man revered by mil-
lions, yet rarely seen A Arbor
in public. A judge of
character, a giver of joy, a saint in our own
lifetime. A man named Santa Claus.
Sparing no expense, the Daily recently
flew me to the North Pole so that I could
spend a few minutes with the jolly toy
maker as he prepared for the always-hectic
Christmas season. After three days of mak-
ing arrangements with Claus' elfin public
relations team, I was given an hour alone
with the man himself. The following is a
transcription of our conversation.
CK: Santa. we're all aware of your gen-
erous deeds: The toys under the trees, the
gifts in the stockings. So I'm going to get
right to the hard questions that the people

want answered.
SC: Ho ho ho.
CK: You've long been held up as an
arbiter of moral character. In fact, there's a
public belief that you have the inherent
ability to determine whether someone's
been bad or good. Yet your own personal
history is not entirely free of indiscretions,
is it?
SC: I'm afraid you'll have to more spe-
cific, little boy, Santa's been doing his job
for a long, long time.
CK: Let's go back to Christmas Eve,
1976. You wrapped your sleigh around a
telephone pole in Oklahoma City, and
when police arrived on the scene, they
found your blood-alcohol level to be more
than double the legal limit.
SC: (tugging at his collar) I admit, that
was a low point in my career, and I still
regret the example I set, but I came public
with my drinking problem, and I went
through the necessary rehabilitation.
CK: That you did. But excessive drink-
ing wasn't the only problem facing you in
those days. Court records show that you
were slapped with more than a dozen
paternity suits between '72 and '80. In one
case, an 8-year old boy in Tucson testified
that he saw you - and I quote - "special
kissing Mommy underneath the mistletoe."
SC: (visibly sweating) Okay, most of
those suits were just cases of the girl try-
ing to get a little attention, a little spot-
light. All of the blood tests came back
negative.
CK: But your rampant infidelity had a
costly impact on your marriage, didn't it?
SC: (drinking from a huge mug of
Woodchuck hard cider) So we're going to

get into this again, huh? You reporters are
all the same, just like jackals. Yes, my wife
left me, and yes, that reflects badly on the
whole toy business, but I don't miss her:
She couldn't handle the Claus. She used to
give.me a hard time, just because the
Christmas delivery meant I'd always have
to be away during Hanukkah.
CK: And that - wait, you're Jewish?
I'm sorry if I sound ignorant, but Claus
doesn't seem like a Jewish name.
SC: We shortened it from Clausenblat@
after the war.
CK: Oh, I see. So why get into the
Christmas business? Why not deliver
Hanukkah presents to Jewish children?
SC: Are you kidding? To make separate
delivery trips on eight straight nights
would be a logistical nightmare - the cost
of reindeer food alone would put me in t1le
red (drinks deeply from mug). Plus the
elves would have to put in overtime to turn
out that many dreidels, and I'd just as soon
pack up and move to old Mexico towi@
before I start paying those wee demons
time-and-a-half, (drains the cider, tosses
the mug over his shoulder). Donner, more
hooch!
CK: Santa, perhaps you should slow
down - you're starting to slur your
speech.
SC: Wazzat, boy? You wanna speech?
How 'bout a poem? "It's the night before
Christmas, and Santa's getting's trashed
forget the cookies 'n your window's get-
ting smashed. Ho."
- On that merrv note. Chris Krla
would like to wish everyone a happy holi-
days. He can be reached via e-mail
at ckulacaumich.edu.

n Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of
OAppeals issued a decision uphold-
ing the former race-based admission
policies of the University of Washing-
ton's Law School, asserting that the
policies do not violate
the 14th Amendment This rulin
or the 1964 Civil
Rights Act. Although Universifj
a this decision lacks
direct, legal influence Washingl
on the lawsuits facing
the University, it will Scho
hopefully add legiti- ,
macy to the Universi- action ca
ty's position in the
LSA race-based affir- added cri
mative action trials
taking place in our own c
Detroit.
Monday's opinion expressed
agreement with Supreme Court Jus-
tice Powell's opinion in the 1978
case, University of California
Regents v. Bakke. The court rightful-
ly and appropriately agreed that Pow-
ell's opinion was valid case law, and
that national admissions standards
are legal if they follow Powell's
guidelines against quotas, but in
favor of diversity.

y
to
ft~

Hopefully, our own 11th Citrcuit'
Court of Appeals will agree witla this
latest decision in favor of affirmiative
action and rule that the University's
policies are "necessary to promote a
compelling govwern-
Q/"t the ment interest." Pro-
ponents of race-based
of affirmative action
can be optimiestic
n's Law becausethis recent
ruling contradicts a
FirmatiYe pervious ruling in a
1996 5th Circuilt of
ae lends Appeals case, which
heightens the pr ©ba-
dence n to bility that the Unver-
sity's case will appear
ase. before the Supreme
Court.
This can be added to already com-
pelling circumstances involved in the
case. Due to the high profile of the
University, the intervenors invoIved
and the massive level of research and
empirical data gathered in suppovt of
affirmative action for court proceed-
ings, our case is unique and could
quite possibly bring the question of
affirmative action to the Supreme
Court once again.

'GPAs and test scores can't measure everything. They
can't measure things like ability to overcome disadvan-
tages and other aspects that add to a person's character.'
- Third-year law student Amit Kurlekar at last night's Asian
Pacific Associations affirmative action debate.

'.U
PSates riet to die
States should reconsider euthanasia

T he popular debate regarding assist-
ed suicide has waned in Michigan
over the past few years, following the
defeat of 1998's ballot proposal B,
which would have legalized physician-
assisted suicide. Along with the defeat
of many state ballot proposals were
two key rulings from the Supreme
Court in 1997, Washington v. Glucks-
burg and Vacco v. Quill, which upheld
states' rights to main-
tain the illegality of The deci
assisted suicide.
Nationally, there has live or di
been scattered attention dealt
paid to the issue of
assisted suicide in laws that
states such as Maine
and California, but the a patient
issue remains generally across t
outside the public eye.
The issue has been brought up
again thanks to a monumental deci-
sion by the Dutch government. On
November 28. 2000, the Dutch Parlia-
ment approved a physician-assisted
suicide bill and is now awaiting
acceptance by the Senate.
The bill sets up a series of steps
that a patient must go through in
order to secure a physician-assisted
suicide, including steps to ensure that
the patient is in sound mind. This bill
makes the Netherlands the first
nation in the world to officially
decriminalize euthanasia, and is an
important first step towards securing
atient'srights. The protection of this
aw against the harsh criticisms it has
drawn from many groups, including
the Vatican, is of imperative concern.
The Dutch government has effective-
ly become the first to officially
endorse the most fundamental issue
of a patient's right to choose.
Critiques of euthanasia generally
center on the belief that no one, espe-
cially physicians, should have the right
to end a life. Unfortunately, such criti-

r
e
t
hi

cisms fail to take into consideration: the
intensity of terminal illnesses and the
conflicting feelings that patients are
forced to contend with. Physiciian-
assisted suicide isn't simply a black-
and-white issue of life versus deatlh. It
is an issue that encompasses one's right
to die with dignity, to alleviate pai, to
secure autonomy, and most import ant-
ly, to feel in control of one's own {des-
tiny. By stoppinig a
ion to patients ability- to
decide the course of
cannot his or her life, bans on
'Vlt& by euthanasia restrict a
person's 14th Amenmd-
reStrict ment freedoms. ol-
lowing the Supreme
r ,~ght Court s decision to
e board. leave this issue up to
individual states, Ore-
gon is the only state that has legalized
physician-assisted suicide.
Oregon's assisted suicide provi-
sions also set up a series of safety
nets to ensure that the power of
euthanasia was not improperly u-bed.
In 1998, the first year that the law
was in effect, only.23 patients were
prescribed life-ending drugs. Of the
23, only 15 actually committed sui-
cide. These numbers are dramatic ally
lower than the doomsday prediction
of antagonists of the bill. Oregon's
"Death With Dignity" laws hskve
proven to be a safe and cautious
method of securing a patient's right to
choose without being over-zealous.,
Michigan, and the rest of the states
currently banning physician-assisted
suicide, ought to reconsider thwir
positions. on the practice. To deiny
people the right to end their own lives,
is to deny them freedom. T'he
euthanasia debate is essentially a
moral and religious one, and the gv-
ernment should have no right to,
impose a specific set of morals oitito
the general population.

Gore should
concede election
TO THE DAILY:
In the interest of national unity, I urge you,
Mr. Vice President, to concede the election to
President-elect George W. Bush. Since you
have already conceded to him once, it should
not be as difficult the second time.
You have lost an election in Florida, sever-
al recounts and several lawsuits regarding
those recounts. All of your efforts have failed.
Any further attempt to gain the presidency at
this time is a shameless usurpation of power.
You should have conceded immediately after
the vote certification. You would have
appeared much more honorable to the nation
which you have served for many years. The
best thing for you to do now is to congenially
concede this election today.
JOSHUA BOSTWICK
LSA SENIOR
Bus accident may be
due to flawed design
TO THE DAILY:
As the question of who is to blame in the
tragic accident involving a University bus and
pedestrian comes to trial, we should consider
the fault of traffic engineers as well as that of
the driver. For years I experienced this corner
as a pedestrian, bus passenger and driver on
my way to North Campus. I cannot help but
w:onder why the intersection remained
unchanged despite its inherent danger.
It makes no sense that as traffic from
Catherine Street gets a green light, pedestri-
ans walking, across Glenn Street get. the walk
signal also. At least half of the vehicles on
Catherine turn right onto Glenn, causing a
yielding problem between vehicles and pedes-
trians alike. It is unclear who has the right of
way.
Though no one can dismiss the horror
experienced by the friends and loved ones of
the victim, this case should be considered as
one of human negligence as well as another
incident of flawed design in America. In this
case it is possible that the traffic engineers are
at fault.
SCARLET MCCARTHY
ALUMNUS
Social Darwinism
needs no legislation
TO THE DAILY:
There is a tendency in our society to pro-
tect the stupid. I think we as a society need
to differentiate between laws that protect
people from each other and laws that protect
people from themselves. It is the latter that
infuriates the more intelligent element of our
society. We need to rid ourselves of these
laws. I do not need to be protected from
myself'
Owning a gun, drinking 21 shots, not
wearina vour seat blt. having a heroin holi-

be ignorant of any such law anyway. entity, sealed by consummation, made fruit-
Robbery, murder, drunk driving and rape ful through procreation. In this sense, iar-
are all against the law, because they all effect riage is a covenant traditionally tied closely
someone else - and important laws they are. with religious principles. The very concept
I hope we wise up as a society and stop trying of "marriage" assumes a union of a ma4
to save idiots. Darwin had a theory, and it's and a woman. Saying that homosexuals
high time we let idiots bring themselves to should be allowed to "marry" is equivalent
extinction. Maybe we need a new law, "Reap to saying that a man should be able to
what you sow" and hope idiots have a bumper receive a mammogram. Performing a mam-
crop. mogram requires that the subject be female
with mammary glands in the same way that
JARED BOYD a "marriage" can only take place between a
ENGINEERING JUNIOR man and a woman.
This is certainly not to say that there
aren't those who ignore the religious
Homosexuals' 'rights' aspect of'marriage.A couple may marry
by an order of court, without the presenci
are in no way denied of priests or rabbis. But if one comes from
any sort of traditional Judeo-Christian-
Muslim tradition, the practice of homo-
TO THE DAILY: sexuality is considered a sin, like many
Nick Boncher's letter to the editor others such as stealing or murder that are
"Gay marriages should be legal" (12/5/00) simply a part of society, among all walks
grossly misrepresents two points on which of life. It is surprising that someone who
his argument rests. disregards religious principles on homo-
Boncher calls on the "land of the free" sexuality would wish to pursue a sacred
to approve of the gay marriages he is ask- ritual originally made possible by religior
ing for, saying that it treats homosexuals Although it is not my intent to press
like second-class citizens in its beliefs on others, it must be said that mar-
"apartheid." What Boncher seems to riage is a tremendously meaningful sacred
ignore is that there are no "rights" that are and religious act that is traditionally
denied to gays. Homosexuals in this coun- "blessed" by God between a man and a
try are not prosecuted for their homosexu- woman. It is not as Boncher describes, as
ality, nor are they represented any less getting joint health coverage, leasing an
equally by federal lawmakers. They are apartment or inheriting from one's partner.
given the freedom of speech, a fair trial, I find it somewhat disheartening that
due process, the right to vote and are sub- those have become the reasons why people
ject to all the laws that apply to everyone like Boncher want to "get married."
else. 'Make no mistake, there is nothing
that legally separates gays from the rest of RABEH Soo
the population. In more traditional coun- LSA SENIOR
tries, homosexuality is punishable by
death, jail, castration or public ridicule. A THIKYou'D MAIEA
society like ours, in which students take G00D COLUMNIsT? DiE.
opportunities to scrawl "dykes rule" on y.
campus builds, hold parades and celebrate THE 'U' COMMUNITY NEED
their homosexuality is by no means one T HEAR W AYOU H
that bullies, torments or represses homo-
sexuals in the ways that Boncher argues it[
does.
More importantly though, Boncher
states that gays have a "moral right" to be MAY UAVE IN STO EFOR
married. Whose morality is Boncher refer-
ring to? His own? I believe that Boncher
has seriously misunderstood the definition
of the word "marriage.' Marriage is a his- E'AIV s AT
torically sacred, religious union between a
man and a woman. Before democracy, g
republics and the "land of the free," a man N"CK AT
and a woman were united (or reunited from
their original separation upon the creation h
of Eve from Adam, depending on your R N HOW.0A. .
beliefs) in holy matrimony to constitute one
THOMAS KULJURGIS TENTAT"FIVEY SPEAKING
STA T OF CORSC oU NE s5 (LcruRE IWD-)
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