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September 29, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-29

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 29, 2000

c E Iit igtt t ttil

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

EMILY Ac
Editorial P

SPAHN
in Chief
HENBAUM
age Editor
majority of
do not

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the,
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
nial of rim

Ode to autumn; season of dreams and

Autumn is the season that snatches color
from the objectivity of science and leaves
it somewhere within the vast stretch of what we
call miracles. When we glance at and scan the
surrounding metamorphosis, our eyes must
mnimic briefly the looks of children finger-
painting for the first
time. And they do not
know that one
approaching day their
erratic creations will be
ripped off the refrigera-'
tor, bearing a texture-
less white space.
So there is Old Man.
Winter, Mother Earth
(she favors her first-
born, Spring), and per-
haps Summer is the Patrick
untamed byproduct of
too much passion, such Kiley
as aging parents might 'tilg
regret in a pampered,
prodigal son. Autumn is A
an adult in his first
ingenious step away from adolescence. He
braces every intricate fiber for the onslaught of
decay, which looms on his chronological hori-
zon, an innate expectation. But he suffers to
conceal the onus of the inexorable, and for that
receives the benediction of color: The sighing
signature of an artist, the rustle of impossible
leaves.
Perhaps we can come to understand this late
bloom a seemingly anonymous gift by describ-
ing the two discrepant sensations got from rak-
ing leaves and shoveling snow. We rake the

yard only after a savored lapse, as if it were
strewn with gold bows and red ribbons, deli-
cate reminders of the year's windfalls. And it
seems the pile helps to gather itself, and we
jump into them with the spirit of afterglow:
nothing else to do that day.
What else could shock us more sharply from
this dream than the deceptive heft of "lightly
fallen" snow? Countless old wretches can attest
that this was their final image before the stroke
pinched them from the cold: the blinding mush
of frozen wreckage scraped on a rusty shovel.
Shoveling is an upheaval of an army of
snowflake guerrillas that descended in the
night. The chore reminds us that the Old Man
has forgotten the progressive variety of his sea-
sons past and now he will churn in the clouds,
always humming to himself the same old tune.
By looking ahead, autumn's brisk pace relax-
es into each step's young moment. The trees
amber, orange and red appear no less beautiful
up-close than from afar. If we climb through
the branches we can spy a million little crafts,
which will drift down to us in natural time.
Any one of them can sustain our imagination.
What else does fall bring to mind? For me, this
whole season is a prelude to sleep, containing
the first irrational and fantastic vignettes that
the mind creates in the flux between quotidian
consciousness and Freudian ridiculousness.
That is, the ten minutes after you forget about
classes, but before your mother turns into a
lizard and eats the bramble berry pie that you
were going to give to Eleanor Roosevelt. My
Grecian Urn holds these inexplicably fluores-
cent leaves, set aglow by every Autumnal
equinox.

'me time'
And for those people bemused by my som-
nambulistic ramblings, autumn also offers
more accessible wonders. Take, for instance,
"Long Walk into Forever," a short story by
Kurt Vonnegut that will comfort the yearning
heart of any young person. Of course, you can
read it any season, but it finds a special fit near
the Diag, among the students, squirrels and r
leaves. And without question autumn ushers
the best movies into theaters, exposing the gar-
ishness of the summer blockbusters with clever
art. After that you can go collect acorns and
boil out some yellow dye for yourself. If that
suggestion isn't dumb enough, why not per-
form a Pagan ritual with some close friends, or
propose that your dorm hall do a reenactment
of the first Thanksgiving? Giblets have protein.
The preceding ode may have been a taxing
read, but before spilling beer on my column,
consider the single most awesome achievement
of the Fall: putting some time between Summer
and Winter. What if it were up to us to punctu-
ate August and begin writing late-NovemberW
all in one day? Not only could we not do it, but
the year would be shortened by a fourth! It
would be like scheduling two dates in one
night, consecutively. As you were coaxing one
girl/boy (Summer) out your door, you wouldn't
even have time to make your bed before the
next girl/boy (Winter) came a-knocking.
Besides the powder keg reaction that two
such diametric allegories would create, should
they become wise, just think of how empty you
might feel at the loss of your "me time." So
that's what autumn really is: me time.
- Patrick Kilev can be reached via e-mail at
pkiley@umich.edu.

Grand Valley nixes same-sex couple benefits
A lthough many controversial and benefits. Although only 61 men and
complicated issues came up dur- 69 women have registered same-sex
ing Tuesday's MTV taping of partners for work benefits here at the
"Choose or Lose" this week, Al Gore University, which employs more than
seemed comfortable when confronted 26,000 people, the policy sendstan
with the issue of homosexual mar- important message: Homosexual
riage. When asked about extending employees are no less valued than
the rights of marriage to homosexuals heterosexual employees and their
on Tuesday, Gore confidently same-sex partners should enjoy the
answered that he would support same privileges as heterosexual cou-
nationwide legislation giving homo- ples.
sexual couples the same rights as The city of Ann Arbor recognized
married couples through civil unions. same-sex domestic partnerships in
Gore also noted that 1991, and the Univer-
he supports the Extending benefits sity extended equal
Employment Non- benefits to employees
Discrimination Act, to same-sex who registered same-
which would make sex partners through
sexual orientation- couples give them the city ordinance in
based discrimination 1993. In 1997, Michi-
in the workplace ille- theerights gan State University
gal. His Republican eqa extended equal bene-
opponent, George W. respect and fits to employees'
Bush, has not spouses who had
exprer sse dsup por c pportunity they signed ,a so-called
eiter the act or civil domestic partner
unions. are due. agreement, stattng the
Nation-wide recog- ' couple has pledged
nition of same-sex mutual support. By
civil unions might be years away, but 2000, six more of the 15 public uni-
many employers are acting to extend versities in Michigan had similar pro-
benefits to homosexual employee's grams in place. Northern Michigan
partners. Recently, Grand Valley University most recently joined the
State University announced that it list, its Board members approving
would consider giving the same-sex benefits for same-sex partners only
partners of their employees the same last Friday.
benefits as married employees, but Detractors to a similar plan at
after media scrutiny and community Grand Valley questioned how same-
criticism, its Board of Control decid- sex coup les would be defined, but the
ed to eliminate the issue from the successful institution of such plans at
agenda for their Oct. 6th meeting. eight of the 15 public universities in
Whether or not legally recognized Michigan show that the programs can
as married, same-sex partners are institute equal benefits. Indeed,
often no less dependent on each other extending benefits to same-sex part-
than married couples and should con- ners gives them the equal rights,
sequently receive the same types of respect, and opportunity they are due.
piring protection
Law protecting women should be renewed
A ccording to the American.Journal social disease of epidemic propor-
tof Epidemiology, 1991, violence tions; there are approximately 90,000
against women is the second leading victims per year. Nearly one-third of
cause of injury to women of all ages women murdered in this country are
and the leading cause of injury to murdered by their boyfriends, hus-
women between 15 and 44 years of bands, or ex-husbands.
age. For his part, President Clinton is
In 1994, the Violence Against calling for the speedy re-instatement
women act was passed by Congress of this the VAWA. While speaking at
and signed into law by President a victim shelter in Santa Fe, he said,
Clinton.ySince then, it has been hailed "We cannot turn our backs on the
by many as a powerful blow to the millions of women and children
beast that is domestic violence, trapped in the cycle ofdomesic vio-
It has allowed police officers and lence. It is wrong to delay this one
prosecutors to dish out tougher penal- more hour." Indeed, domestic vio-
ties to men who abused their wives, lence is a cyclical phenomenon; most
as well as allocating of the abusers them-
more than 1.6 billion U e theSe t selves have been
dollars to the cause. abused in the past.
The money was used a nA few important
to set up a toll-free ac1 now, t questtons remain
national hotline for unanswered. Why is
victims of violence, V ioene eAgainsb this taking so long?
:police units that pe- w~omen Ac il b Why did the House
cialize in sex crimes delay its decision until
and a plethora of legal a thing f past four days before the
services for abused ofteofficial deadline?
women. How hasa problem of
This brilliant piece of legislation is this magnitude managed to slip
due to expire tomorrow. Unless the through the cracks? And why has the
Senate acts now, the Violence Against Senate still not put this to a vote?
Women Act will be a thing of the past By treating the Violence Against
and many of its established programs Women Act so casually, Congress et
could be lost, making it appear that women's safey
To its credit, the House of Repre- is not one of their priorities. What
sentatives has finally passed its reau- kind of message is this sending to
thorization of VAWA. In an American women, especially to the
overwhelming 415 to 3 vote on Tues- young and the abused? Allowing
day, the House approved the alloca- these vital protections to lapse would
tion of 3.6 billion dollars to keep be a grave injustice. Countless
VAWA's programs running for the women have been helped and protect-
next five years. ed with this law and its reauthoriza-

While domestic violence has been tion should be a top priority for
on the decline since 1993, it is still a Congress.

. . .; ..

'We think this is a historical decision for women'
- Robyn Menin, Planned Parenthood President for mid-Michigan on the
FDA 's decision to approve the abortion drug, RU-486.

gy" (9/25/00) was wonderful. I agree with
everything the piece said. Just because pro-
lifers don't want to have abortions doesn't
mean they should stop anyone else who
needs one. So you don't want an abortion,
fine, don't have one. But don't infringe on
everyone else's rights and choices. Good for
the Daily to point out their foolish and child-
ish behavior.
ERIN GUTENSCHWAGER

Diag protests shouldSASOPHOMOR
not impede students . .
Daily editonial page

RE

from the Diag preachers to the displays we werej
exposed to this week, it is getting out of hand.
However, free speech is a part of our constitudi
tion, and we have to abide by it. I am quite cer--
tain of my opinion on abortion, I am certain of
my ideas on religion, my views on politics, m
thoughts on war-- all of these topics I have
fairly strong handle on. Sure, these projects
may work to help students who are searching.
for a answer or an opinion, but to bombard
everyone at the University with such excessive
and disturbing messages is not necessary.
If you don't want to be a part of a picket ine
- don't be. If you are certain of where you;
stand and you are sure that no Diag extremist"
will be able to change your mind, simply avoid'
the conflict. In the long run, the thrill of scream-
ing and preaching at those resistant to th
cause will wear off, and these groups will fin
other, more effective means to spread their mes-
sage, but until then, be like a duck and let it roll
off your back.
EMILY AL
LSA SOPHOMORE
Women aren't free 4
until they are alive

TO THE DAILY:
I could really care less about the anti-abor-
tion display in the Diag. Frankly, I was too
busy reading the sports section to even bother
looking at the photos. I do consider it extreme
to give the entire Diag pedestrian space to one
group. It's bad enough I have to walk around
the beautiful. brand-nesw fences for the Univer-
sity Prison Facility, but to have to walk out of
my way again for some protest display is too
much. I thoroughly support protests and dis-
plays in the Diag. Other groups however get
their message across with out taking us so
much space. The preachers have their signs
and displays but they in no way impede me.
This however is way to excessive and extreme.
I wonder how much it'll cost me to rent out the
entire Diag, erect fences so that no one else
can get through, so that I can practice avoiding
the M all day long? Give me a break. Protest,
fine whatever. I don't pay attention and I don't
care. But don't think that you and your cause
is so special that you get in the way of 35.000
other people on their way to class, home,
CCRB or Blimpy Burger's. Show a little
restraint, courtesy, and tact.

shows bias
TO THE DAILY:
I was impressed once again by the Daily's
ability to sling mud at a group before the cam-
pus has even heard from them. The reporting
done in regards to the Students for Life demon-
stration ridiculed a cause which didn't deserve
it. Does the University student body really
need a column and an editorial preaching about
how comparing abortion to the Holocaust is
obscene? I didn't see any editorials last winter
when the Students of Color Coalition used the
Holocaust to strengthen their argument by say-
in that the phrase "Great Scalper Yost" was as

offensive as "Jew Killer Yo
the Opinion page is for e:
but come on, do we really
the same page? Let's have
layout to your paper. since
have unbiased reporting.

BRENT ACCURSO
LSA JUNIOR Students sh
be 'bombard
Holocaust analogy protesters
was appropriate TO THE DAILY:

st." I recognize that TO THE DAILY:
xpressing opinions,. "Keep women free: protect the right t"
need two articles on choose." As I passed the Diag, this was the
at least an unbiased chant that I heard, protesting the anti-abortion
we obviously can't display. Since I have very high respects for
people who can carry cardboard signs and
JONATHAN JANEGO chant, I thought of what their kind would have
been saying 150 years ago. Maybe, "keep lab
LSA JUNIOR free: protect the right to slavery?"
Some things are absolute. Most of society
agrees that murder is wrong, and I agree. Mut=
ou ldn't der though, is defined as the prevention of life;
Alrtion,sadly enough, is the same thing, the
led' by prevention of life. Should we chant, "Keep
women free; protect the right to murder?" It's
doubtful that we would have much public sup-
port.
Women can't be free until they are alive,
and abortion actively prevents life from ha
ests in the Diag on pening. I find it ironic that the same peope
not to walk through who support getting "equal access" to higher
use I knew what I education for all people tend to be those who
me. I didn't walk support not giving those same people the right
ay either - the dis- to even live.
sies being "promot- I have a good friend who was almost abort
ife and Alpha Chi ed and I am very thankful that his mother wa
Id rather not see on not as naive about the sanctity of life as those
carrying signs and stretching their lungs on the
erica we are provid- Diag. I have a new slogan for this campus to
am of assembly and chant: "Keep humans alive, protect the right to
ny humble opinion, ife "
uL;c tig a ^st p tortat

To THE DAILY:
The Daily editorial staff argues that there is
no comparison between the Holocaust and
abortion, yet they rely on euphemistic tactics
that would be the envy of any Third Reich pro-
pagandist. The Daily refers to abortion as "a
safe procedure that gives women control over
their bodies." The suggestion that women lack
control over their bodies without the option of
abortion is ludicrous. And safe for whom? Cer-
tainly not the unborn child. One can easily
imagine Hitler's henchmen describing the gas
chambers as a "safe procedure." The analogy is
real, as is the killing.
ALAN DOMBKOWSKI
RACKHAM
A question for
abortion opponents
TO THE DAILY:
What would happen if groups like the
Genocide Awareness Project put that much
effort, time and money into working toward
accessible contraceptives for women or ade-
quate social support for women with unex-
pected pregnancies?

I did not see the prote
Monday. I made it a point
that area of campus beea
would see would disturb
through the Diag on Tuesd
plays regarding pro-life iss
ed" by the Students for L
fellowship are things I wou
my way to a class.
I understand that in Am
ed with the right to freedo
free speech, however, its
these pro-life groups are tt
We do not attend this Unive
ed by political messages da

aking a step too tar.
'mity to be bombard-
ay in and day out -

MATTHEW NoLAN
COMMUNICATIONS CHAIR, MSA

6
1

DANE BARNES DISTURBE SLEEP
aV
{ . 5 A totrvie,,k
OB I5t(4-T
'M

rte, -., u" s.v EMILYl
LSA SE
Daily editorial right
about abortion
I TO THE DAILY:
N The Daily's editorial. An obscene at

TOTH
NIOR

nalb-

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