4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 13, 2000
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On snow (and other things that suck)
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by EM A U
student1at theEMILY ACHENBAUM
students at the- Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan E r P d r
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.
; PROM THE. DAILY
Faculty advisors should remain optional
Ihate snow. Hate it with a passion. Yeah,
Isure, it's pretty to look at, but that doesn't
make up for the monumental pain in the ass it
Christmas time is almost here and everyone
is feeling the "Holiday spirit," and I'm forced
to admit that snowmen,
white-washed trees and
hanging icicles are part
of the atmosphere. But
that doesn't help me
rationalize the hours I
spend shoveling the
crap, the extra time it
takes me to walk any- F
where or the fact that
you need an M1 A 1
Abrams tank to safely
drive on the roads.
I guess part of the Branden
problem is that I've Sanz
never really associated
snow with Christmas.
When I was a kid in H amm/
California, snow sim-
ply wasn't part of the everyday landscape.
Christmas in Sacramento is usually about 50-
60 degrees and - if you're part of my family
- is time to crack a beer, break out the grill
and barbecue some steaks and oysters. None of
this wrapped up in eight layers of clothing and
huddling inside crap, thank you very much.
From Sacramento it's an easy two-hour drive
to Lake Tahoe, with an elevation shift from
800 feet to 7,000 feet above sea-level, so when
we wanted to play in the snow it was a simple
matter of hopping in the car and, "Going to the
snow," as we used to say. You know, I like it
that way. I want to have to go to the snow. I do
not want the snow coming to me.
It been a similar scenario every other place
I've lived: Georgia, no snow - ever; Arizona,
no snow - ever; et cetera, et cetera. The only
place I've ever lived where it did snow was isl
Reno, and despite the fact that it's sitting at
4,500 feet, by some quirk of weather patterns
in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the snow
never seems to fall on the valley floor until late
January or early February. Truth be told, I've
never ever seen snow fall on Christmas day.
I can see your faces. Right now you're think-
ing: "What's the big deal? You're going home
next week, so stop whining like someone
pissed in your Cheerios." Well, my friends, the
sad fact is, I am not going home for Christmas
this year. Due to a combination of a demanding
job and the fact that I got selected for goddamn
jury duty, it looks like I'm stuck in good ol'
Ann Arbor for break.
Welcome to your first White Christmas,
Hammer. I suspect that up above someone is
looking down on me and laughing His ass ofI.
So it seems that, come December 25, I'll be
sitting in front of the TV watching bowl games
and making plenty of long-distance phone
calls. Oh well. I guess I can take solace in the
fact that this is the last winter I'll have to
endure here. But it will sure feel strange not
going through my annual two week, 4,000-mile
round-trip sojourn. I guess, more than anything
else, it's the routine that matters and the lack of
familiarity that tends to disturb us.
Speaking of routines, please allow me to
spin off on a tangent about one routine that I
absolutely despise - New Year's resolutions.
Why on earth do we feel the need to make
some sort of life-altering commitment just
because a we have to buy a new calendar? I get
sick of listening to people say that, "Come
New Year's, I'm going to _ " Or,
"Come New Year's, I'm not going to
anymore." If something was that important to
you and you could consciously change you
life for the better, wouldn't you have alread
made that commitment? I tend to think so.
On the other hand, you have the Resolution
Delusion (of grandeur). This is the kind of Ne
Year's resolution that is so vast it requires hel
from external sources, or for things to tum ou
just right. In short, you've got to be lucky
well as determined. Why set yourself up fo
failure? Are you going to get pissed off and cal
yourself "loser" just because the dice didn'
quite roll your way or Mr. Murphy (of Mur
phy's Law fame) rears his ugly head? Probabl
not too good for your self-esteem if you as
Personally, I tend to think the whole Ne
Year's resolution thing is the result of a conspir
acy on the part of the Pentavirate. The pentavi
rate, you ask? Yes, gentle reader. Th
Pentavirate is a secret society that meets once
year at an estate in Colorado known as "Th
Meadows" and, in fact, rules the world. (It's als
known as the Hallmark-FTD Florists-Insurane
So I'm not going home and I'm not makin
any New Year's resolutions. Sound dull? A
my nemesis Lee Corso likes to say, "Not s
fast, my friend." I've got two weeks with ju
duty, an empty Ann Arbor, college football an
no roommate, the combination of which put
two thoughts in my head: fn and trouble
not necessarily in that order.
So I guess I should quit my bitching. I'i
going to have a good time.
Maybe I'll even learn to like snow.
Branden Sanz willprobably be workin
on New Year's Eve, but ifhe isn 't, hejust migh
be intoxicated enough to make a New Year'
resolution not to make any more New Year'
resolutions.Until then, he can be reached a
T he University's many student
groups may face a change in the
way they are run in the near future.
The Student Activities and Leadership
Office is considering a proposal which
would require some student groups to
have a faculty adviser. While this mea-
sure is not without its good points, the
institution of faculty advisers for stu-
dent groups should be voluntary.
There are certainly good reasons for
a student group to have a faculty
adviser - having a University profes-
sor on hand to give advice can be very
helpful and educational for members
of the group. However, requiring a fac-
ulty adviser defeats the purpose of
having a student-run organization. It is
not the University's place to dictate to
student groups how they should be
run. Further, this requirement could
potentially give the University a way to
shut down activities of which it disap-
proves, such as major protests (to use a
particularly relevant example).
Of course, this is probably not the
University's main objective in consid-
ering changing the policy. Part of it
has to do with the allocation of space
- it provides meeting spaces and
utilities, so technically the groups,
though student-run, are part of the
University, and the University is thus
responsible for the group's actions on
its property. However, the best way to
address this question is to treat stu-
dent groups more like renters of an
apartment, giving them responsibility
for the facilities while they are using
them. This eliminates the need for
direct supervision from the Universi-
ty, as well as allowing student groups
a greater degree of autonomy.
While this proposal would no
doubt be made with good intentions,
it is largely unnecessary. Student
groups who wish to have advisers are
free to make arrangements with Uni-
versity faculty and this can certainly
be beneficial to the group. But it
doesn't follow that, because it can be
beneficial, it should be required -
student organizations should be able
to make the choice for themselves.
Student-run groups should remain
'My car is buried, but that's all right. I can walk.'
- LSA junior Lindsey Zamplas commenting on the snow.
Lok who's watching
E-mail tracer has many negative qualities
W hile 1984 has come and past, the
threat of Big Brother remains.
The most recent threat to personal pri-
vacy takes the form of an e-mail tap by
the name of Carnivore. This software is
intended to allow the FBI to intercept
the e-mail of suspected criminals, how-
ever there are numerous glaring flaws in
the current program.
The exact nature of the Carnivore
program has not yet been released.
Some data must remain classified to
protect what integrity the system would
have, but some aspects of Carnivore are
now open for public review, as per an
order of U.S. District Judge James
Robertson. The data released to date
show several areas of concern, and
these concerns must be addressed.
The most distressing fact is that Car-
nivore has the ability to record all e-
mails which pass through the server on
which it is mounted. If used correctly,
Carnivore retains only those e-mails to
or from the person under court ordered
observation. After testing Carnivore at
the Illinois Institute of Technology, it
became apparent that the FBI might be
able "to accidentally collect too much
data." This and other concerns have
pushed the Electronic Privacy Informa-
tion Center to question the safety of
Carnivore is currently too powerful
for large-scale use. The potential for
privacy invasion remains too great.
Aside from the "accidental" overuse of
Carnivore, there is little technical deter-
rence to abuse. An unscrupulous FBI
agent or rogue hacker has too great a
potential to misuse the current system.
The issue of misuse must be addressed
and proactive countermeasures must be
The laws governing Carnivore's use
are woefully outdated. Congress needs
to draft modern legislation to govern
Internet surveillance. Substantial inter-
nal and judicial review must be
required prior to the wielding of this
system. Using laws from the '80s
designed for '80s technology is not
acceptable. It is imperative that the
legal system of the United States
remain current with technical aspects
of crime and investigation.
There may be times when federal
investigators imperatively require the
ability to intercept e-mails, and it would
be obscenely naive to suggest that law
enforcement preclude itself from utiliz-
ing electronic surveillance. In some
cases, after appropriate review, a system
comparable to Carnivore may be
required, but that system must address
privacy concerns and have limited abili-
ty to intercept and recall electronic
messages. Until the dangers inherent in
the current system are remedied, Carni-
vore should be de-clawed.
Affirmative action is a
TO THE DAILY:
I applaud the viewpoint published in the
Daily (12/11/00) by Sumon Dantiki titled
"Where do Asian Americans stand on affirma-
As chair of the United Asian American
Organizations (UAAO) I strongly support the
University in its defense for affirmative action.
It is time for Asian Pacific/Islanders on this
campus to have a voice regarding this issue and
end the silence. It is time to move beyond the
self-interest debate as to how this social policy
affects each of us individually and realize that
affirmative action has opened doors and created
opportunities that were denied to certain groups'
of people in the past - including Asian Pacif-
ic/Islanders. Imagine what this University would
look like if affirmative action was removed.
What would the demographics of the student
body look like? What kind of support would we
as organizations and individuals receive from
the University? What would happen to offices
like Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) or
the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initia-
tives (OAMI)? The Minority Peer
Advisor/Assistant Program in Residence Educa-
tion? Members of the Asian American commu-
nity have benefited from these programs and
therefore have benefited from affirmative action.
But this is even bigger than our community.
This is about social justice and changing the
effects of past discrimination imposed on
it would translate into little or no difference in
voter turnout. If people really wanted to vote,
then they would. Voting is not a difficult thing.
Indeed, the conflicts which you raise as reasons
for your case are the very reason we have the
absentee voting system.
I voted absentee this term because I live in
Livonia and knew that I would not have time to
drive home on election day. It was not difficult
at all. I called my city clerk, got directions as to
what the rules were, and went to pick up my bal-
lot. All I had to do was fill it out and mail it in
before election day. To simplify my process fur-
ther I could even request that the forms be
mailed to me so I wouldn't even have to go
home to pick up the ballot!
If people are too lazy to do something
like this then they either do not have an opin-
ion (they are among the great, so-called
"undecided" faction of America) or they
have no respect for their civic duty. Either
way I do not think they deserve any more
on his firSt semester
TO THE DAILY:
One of the promises that I made during
my campaign for MSA President was con-
vincing professors to provide textbook info
before classes start and then post them on
the Website so that students can find ou
textbook info and then buy the textbooks
I could convince some professors to
provide textbook info, and they are in the
LSA course guide. You can see textbook
info at the bottom of course description for
some classes. I hope you will take advan-
:tage of this and buy the textbooks online
Associate Dean Owen sent my request
to chairs and directors of LSA so that they
can forward my message to faculty mem
hers of their departments.
Also, some of my friends helped me e-
mailing professors individually to ask them
to provide textbook info to LSA course
guide. I am really grateful for their help.
I will do my best to make sure that more
professors will submit textbook info next
semester. I need your help to do this. so
please contact me at email@example.com
if you can help me.
Lastly, it is the greatest honor in my
whole life to be student body president.
Thanks a million for your vote. I really
hope that I can thank everybody who voted
for me in person by the time my term
expires in the end of March.
CHIP CULLEN G INDMNG 'THEW NI
numerous groups of people. T
around and make it our own.;
people tell us how we as ac
effected by affirmative action.
Only we live the Asian Pa
experience and only we can d
policies we stand behind. As I
out, we are at a critical momenti
ty's history - what will be the
Asian Pacific American commu
TO THE DAILY:
A call for a national electio
unneeded thing ("An impor
12/11/00). The representative pr
for a holiday every four years so
go and vote.
While this sounds great on pa
rum the debate ___
Don't let other '
ommunity are 4/'
in this Universi-
response of the h/B ' '
iy is LeCovne
n holiday is an -,,f"
tant day off," 4
oposing it calls
that people can I \ F _
per I think that
BY JASON POLAN U_._____
sAM .AuW AbA INT
\)Nb R COMIcX1 .
S L moM m Mom
, ll1 ~ lli U
1 r .. n7:vs s . F 4 . ~*0t
A non-Christian prays for Christ on
By James Miller demning us but deeply disappointed, I'm
Former Daily Columnist sure.
"A $300 tea set for Aunt Barb? Gee, there
There's no more Christ in Christmas. I are several hundred children who will wake
don't expect this to be news to anyone. We up Christmas morning without even food. Or
have Rudolph, Mickey, Santa and Christina parents who love them. But it's your money.
Aguliera roasting our chestnuts for us. But All I did was die for you. You're the senior
there's no more Jesus. "Sorry, fresh of out vice-president."
that. Who? Nope, not much call for that The second reason Americans have cho-
around here. Ragland wool mittens, anyone? sen to perform a radical Jesus-ectomy is that
Great stocking stuffers!" Christ is just too hard. Not Christianity, but
There are logical, if not good, reasons for Christ. I dare say that there are millions of
Americans kicking the birthday boy out of his Christians who haven't got the dimmest idea
own party. The first is that, to most people, what it means to be "bride of Christ." These
Jesus is a real downer. I wish there were a Christians (which includes the "God hates
more elegant or Scriptural way to say this, fags" and the "gonna kill me an abortionist"
but there isn't. Christmas is a time to con- sub-species too) are filled with the letter of
sume. Food, wrapping paper, booze, TV, the Law and devoid of its spirit.
debt, credit, malls. Everything. It's kind of a True Christians don't spend a lot of time
license to indulge yourself in whatever you wallowing in the smug satisfaction of believ-
like (or whatever someone else would like, ing they are saved. They don't insult God by
more nobly) at any time. Jesus doesn't help squeezing Him into a hour once a week and
with this. There He stands in the front of they don't think that five bucks in a collec-
church or the backs of our minds, not con- tion plate ameliorates the suffering their
oil Yto~iille I VM' S Cw
wk UpV F NN'.
GFCUt t'IsioL 46" Ge NC
Those who truly believe in Jesus know
that Christianity is about mercy, compassion
and love in the face of aggression and vio-
lence. It's an example so difficult to follow
that many Christians use His (Jesus') name
like an athlete who endorses their cereal.
They're not interested in Him, just the power
over other people that His name gives them.
The faithful are left to praise their king is
exile, while we accumulate and buy and pre-
tend that we deserve heat and running water
more than that guy our age we see in front o
the homeless shelter on the way to work. Too
demanding in his example, too meek and
kind to demand obedience of His flock, we
shove Him out of his own holiday and pre-
tend that being Christian and celebrating
Christmas have nothing to a Jewish carpenter
who died burning in the sun for people who
A wise man once said "Ambition forgets
its dying king." Christians: Never forget
yours. There has never been a king like him.