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October 18, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-18

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4 - The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, October 18, 2000

tbe Miigan & ilg

Random thoughts for a
O'' kay, I admit it. I screwed up. I had this more and
kick-ass column all set to go and some- they areg
how managed to lose it inside my computer. Gestapo-li
So the result is: (drumroll, please!) Back by not the an
not-so-popular demand, the hodgepodge, last- be out in f
second, thrown-together, this-a and that-a col- have a cri

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

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

Wednesday mc
[more seriously. This is good, but
going about it the wrong way, as
ke tactics and harsher penalties are
swer. You can murder someone and
ive but drink underage and you now
iminal record for the rest of your
you kidding me ? Draconian penal-
nor offenses are just a way for peo-
e themselves into believing they still
dards in a violent and lawless soci-

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

umn!
Does anyone
besides myself wonder
how on earth our foot-
ball team can be
absolutely unstoppable
one week and the next
week look like the
Scott Bakula-led cast
of characters from
Necessary Roughness?
Well, there is one
exception - Hayden
Epstein in no way,
shape or form looks
like Kathy Ireland.
Why do the Indi-
ana University helmets
look like some sort of

life? Are
ties for mi
ple to dupe
have stand

Long fall weekend should be standard

Branden
Sanz
-, ar x

With mid-terms approaching,
major papers due and a consis-
tent lack of sleep adding up, many stu-
dents could benefit from a long
weekend to alleviate stress and pro-
vide some much needed extra study
time. Unfortunately, the first break of
the fall semester isn't until Thanksgiv-
ing--nearly three months into the
school year. We need a fall break.
Instead, the University should fol-
low the lead of other maj or institu-
tions that schedule a long weekend
earlier in their academic calendar.
Schools such as Harvard, Georgetown,
and the University of Pennsylvania all
have a three-day weekend scheduled
in early October. Williams College has
two designated reading days in the
middle of October just before most
midterms. Similar to study days at the
end of the semester, reading days give
students an opportunity to catch up in
classes and study for upcoming mid-
terms.
While other universities' schedules
should not determine the University's
academic calendar, the fact that many
other colleges have a fall break vali-
dates the argument for time off. More-
over, the University has a week-long
break in February and March. By sup-
porting time off in the middle of the
spring semester, the University further
substantiates claims for time off in the

middle of fall semester.
If the University instituted a break
in mid-October, students who live far
from Ann Arbor could have enough
time off to justify plane fares or long
car trips. On the other hand, students
who chose to stay in Ann Arbor could
have a chance to catch up on sleep,
study without the interruptions of
classes or just relax before midterms.
Whatever students decided to do with
their time off, they would return to
classes reinvigorated and more pre-
pared for midterms and major papers
in the weeks to come.
To compensate for the academic
class days lost to a long weekend, the
semester could start a few days earlier.
For example, this year, classes began
on Sept. 6th, the Wednesday after
Labor Day - a starting date already
later than many other public institu-
tions. Ultimately, a few days off in
October would be more beneficial to
students than the later start of classes.
Breaks give students a chance to
step back from their stressful, academ-
ic lives and enjoy what is going on
around them. While currently the fall
semester seems never-ending at times,
a fall break would help end the monot-
ony of regularly scheduled classes,
and students would return to class
more prepared to learn and take
midterms.

laundry detergent logo'?
I want to meet the genius responsible
for looting all the tampon machines on cam-
pus. If I wasn't so upset about somebody
stealing the University's hard-earned money ...
Hey! Wait a second! Isn't that the same Uni-
versity that's raping me for $11,000 a semes-
ter'? In that case, I salute the Tampon Bandit
for engaging in her felonious behavior with
such precision and derring-do.
Between harsher penalties for underage
drinkers and the proposal for a new bill which
would provide detailed information on people
purchasing kegs of beer, it seems that legisla-
tors are taking the problem of binge drinking

ety.
I, for one, was quite happy to see old
Bobby Bowden and company at Run-'em-up
University lose a week ago, but I almost wish
it had not been at the hands of the Miami Hur-
ricanes. Those lifelong college football fans
among us remember all to well the dark years
of the late '80s and early '90s when the Evil
Empire reigned supreme over the college foot-
ball landscape. One the other hand, now that
the 'Canes are good again, I can feel good
about hating them again.
I wonder if there is a single Republican
out there that voted for George W. Bush over
John McCain that isn't kicking himself in the
teeth right now. When someone who claims to
have invented the Internet routinely makes
your candidate look like an ass during
debates, you probably picked the wrong guy.
Oh, damn! I just remembered that
Sweetest Day, that most loathsome of all Hall-
mark Holidays, is nearly upon us again. I
guess that means that the Second Annual Man
Day is also nearly upon us, to the triumph of
testosterone everywhere. Save the cards and
flowers, folks. Lets go up North and get dirty.
Co'mmune with nature and all that.
The recent outbreak of violence in the
Middle East is truly sad and not something I
would ever make light of. However, I am an

w ning
eternal optimist by nature and can't help but
find the silver lining in this cloud: Majoring i
Arabic Studies just got a whole lot more mar-
ketable.
Not only did the two men who hijacked
a plane bound from Saudi Arabia to London
on Saturday land without incident and surren-
der peacefully to the authorities, but apparent-
ly some passengers didn't even notice the
plane was being hijacked until it landed in
Iraq. Talk about pathetic. I guess good terror-
ists are hard to find these days, or maybe the
were all just hard at work in Yemen.
On that note, if you accept the proposed
theory that the terrorists responsible for the
attack on the USS Cole atrocity were acting
under the fundamental Islarm-versus-the-West
ideology, their method of attack seems quite
ironic. Sinking or blowing up ships using
homemade bombs, delivery by man-powered
raft and near-suicidal mission planning was
first mastered (almost to the point of an art
form) by the Israeli Haganah back in the early
1940's.
November 7th is coming fast, so pleas
do your part on that day. Seventeen sailors died
this past weekend, like countless others have
before them, to insure you the right to choose
your government. These were not highly
trained combat soldiers, lovers of violence or
war-mongers. They were very simply young
people, much like you or I. The only difference
is that they put themselves in harm's way for
the interest of their country and they died for it.
The least we can do is take an active role i
determining who decides when and where they
lay down their lives. If we don't, we might as
well just spit on their graves.
- Branden Sanz can be reached via
e-mail at hamrhead@umich.edu.
^..:. :',Y nkW EtA 's L .?miA2: If/ r1M?4' i+ , .. 1 .. .. ..

'It doesn't seem to serve a purpose, except to give
information that Is already available through the Free-
dom of Information Act.'
- LSA sophomore Eric Buckstein on the reasons behind a failed MSA
resolution that would have called on the University to disclose its
"investments using student tuition/fees that support Israel or Palestine."

Minor offenses
New draconian MIP policies help no one

he United States government
.. trusts 18 to 20-year-olds to do
almost anything. At 18, you can vote,
drive a car, sign a legally binding
contract, or pay someone to tattoo or
pierce your body. You can be tried as
an adult and even be executed if you
commit a serious crime. You can
become a bartender, waiter, or wait-
ress and fix and serve drinks to oth-
ers. All of you are expected to pay
taxes.
But you can't be served in a bar
and best of luck if you're caught with
a beer in your hand - especially if
you happen to live in Ann Arbor.
Last week, the Ann Arbor City
Attorney's office made a slight
adjustment to its minor in possession
of alcohol policy that made the
penalties for getting caught tipsy
much more severe.
First time MIP offenders are still
able to "get off the hook" if they are
willing to take a $100 educational
course and pay $50 in court fees;
doing this will erase the charges from
their permanent records. The policy
shift will not allow second-timers to
get off so easily; their drivers' licens-
es will be suspended for 30 days and
the criminal convictions will forever
stain their permanent records.
What this means is when a student
gets charged with a second MIP, he
will be forever doomed to check the
"yes" box when asked on grad school
and job applications if he has ever
been convicted of a crime. And most
McCaffrey wil
airry McCaffrey has decided to call it
quits. Monday McCaffrey announced
his resignation, which will be effective
Jan. 6- two weeks before the next pres-
ident is sworn in. McCaffrey and his
approach to the "War on Drugs ' won't be
missed.
During his tenure as director of the
Office of National Drug Control Policy,
McCaffrey aggressively fought efforts to
legalize medical marijuana and promoted
drug testing programs for athletes. Other
efforts included shady deals with televi-
sion networks that allowed McCaffrey's
office to review shows' scripts for anti-
drug messages and overseeing the United
State's $1.3 billion aid package to
Columbia to fight drug trafficking.
Despite the suffering the War on
Drugs perpetuates, it is still politically
popular so it is unlikely that the next

organizations won't distinguish
between a student's 19-year-old Sat-
urday night partying and, say, robbing
a bank. They will probably see the
check in the "yes" box and dispose of
his application without a second
look.
This policy change is little more
than a public relations move on the
part of the City Attorney's office: An
attempt to ma ke it appear as though
they are tough on crime and con-
cerned about the "problem" of col-
lege drinking. Never mind the fact
that that this Tegislation will do noth-
ing to deter illegal activity;. what it
may do is cut down on the number of
students who walk home from frat
parties. The message it sends is less
'don't drink" than "don't get caught."
In other countries around the
world that have no legal drinking age,
there are far fewer problems with
drunk driving and alcoholism. Chil-
dren are taught to respect alcohol
from a young age. By labeling alco-
hol as forbidden, these laws practical-
ly scream to be broken. It is because
of them that we see people attempt-
ing to do 21 shots on their 21st birth-
days without throwing up or dying of
alcohol poisoning.
When something, anything, is
withheld from a group of people, it
only enhances their desire to have it.
If the government wants to see more
responsible behavior with regard to
alcohol, perhaps it should re-evaluate
its current policies.
not be missed
president will support any type of legisla-
tion that will put it to rest.
One way to influence the War on
Druos without much political risk-taking
wou d be to appoint a less hard-line suc-
cessor to McCaffey. This would by no
means be the best way to remedy the
problems the War on Drugs has created,
but it would still be a good start.
If neither Al Gore nor George W.
Bush are courageous enough to stand up
to the interests promoting the War on
Drugs, then the least they can do is pri-
vately recognize its harmful effects and
replace McCaffrey with someone a little
more moderate: From the irrational pro-
hibition on medicinal marijuana to racist
mandatory sentencing laws to the govern-
ment's attempts to review televisions
show scripts, the War on Drugs has done
nothing but promote despair.

Palestinians' plight
cannot be ignored
TO THE DAILY:
I write in regards to the article on Prof.
Kleiman's presentation at Hillel on
Wednesday, Oct. 11, regarding the situa-
tion in Israel and Palestine.
At this event participants saw Kleiman
deny basic objective facts about the cur-
rent situation in the Middle East. It is a
fact that Israel is one of the largest mili-
tary powers in the world and is using
tanks, helicopter gunships and missiles
against Palestinian civilians either lightly
armed or armed with stones.
It is a fact that Israeli military tactics,
such as shooting at areas above the stom-
ach, inflicting eye injuries and other inci-
dents such as the shooting of children, the
shooting of medics and the blocking of
hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem, have
been condemned as excessive by respected
international human rights groups such as
Amnesty International, Human Rights
Watch. Physicians for Human Rights, as
well as Israeli human rights groups like
B'Tselem, Gush Shalom and Rabbis for
Human Rights.
The United Nations Security Council,
with the exception of the United States,
has also described (and condemned)
Israel's tactics as excessive. Kleiman chose
to deny (or not mention) these facts and, it
seems to me, to attempt to prevent others
from speaking these truths at the event.
It is sad that so many in the Jewish
community on this campus and in the
United States overall choose to turn a
blind eye to the injustices inflicted by the
Israeli government and military on Pales-
tinians, within Israel and within occupied
Gaza and the West Bank. How many years
of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land,
how many years of officially-sanctioned
discrimination within Israel against non-
Jewish Israelis, are we Jews willing to
accept? And why do we continue to act
surprised when, after the Palestinian peo-
ple have been stomped upon for 50 years
and we American Jews refuse to listen to
their legitimate demands for international-
ly recognized national and human rights,
they rise up against the Israeli government
and military, and even commit atrocities
against Israeli civilians?
We need on this campus to have an
open debate in which those defending the
status quo in Israel truly listen to the argu.
ments of those they oppose, and acknowl-
edge the basic facts of the situation.
Kleiman's presentation was not such a
debate.
AARON STARK
LSA SENIOR
Students should
protect Diag 'M'
from Michigan State
TO THE DAILY:
Listen up all you Michigan fans. I am

for those of you who would rather cuddle
up in bed and dream of Saturday, I have
one demand of you. We will Defend the
Diag at night, you defend it during the day.
Nobody, and I mean nobody should be
able to color our Diag green and white
while students are going to class. That is
all I ask of you.
It's time that somebody other then the
football team shows some heart. This is
your chance. We will be victorious on Sat-
urday and we will succeed in defending
our home.
BRIAN GROESSER
LSA SOPHOMORE
Drilling in Alaskan
wildlife reserve is
nothing to fear
TO THE DAILY:
I was dismayed that Al Gore's rhetoric
trumped the truth for a majority of the
Daily's editorial board in "Fuel for
thought" (10/10/00). As an Alaskan, I feel
that many of the facts concerning the
Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve have
been obscured by rhetoric.
First, I doubt very much that many peo-
ple realize that ANWR is a desert. Merri-.
am Webster's Dictionary defines a desert
as an arid land with usually sparse vegeta-
tion receiving less than 10 inches of spo-
radic rainfall annually (paraphrased).
Barter Island WSO Airport (located at
Kaktovik, which is roughly in the middle
of the Arctic Preserve coastal area)
received an average of 5.05" of rain per
year from 1982-1988 according to the
National Climate Data Center. In compari-
son, Baghdad and Kuwait receive respec-
tively 5.5 and 5.1 inches of rain annually.
The "North Slope" of Alaska is an arc-
tic desert north of the treeline. No forest,
no trees, just arctic desert. You don't hear
people objecting to drilling in the Sahara,
instead you hear them telling OPEC to
drill more. Why not drill our own desert
(albeit an arctic one)?
Caribou herds are another concern,
however, according to a 9/22100 Washing-
ton Times article, the Central Arctic Herd
(which roams in the Prudhoe Bay area)
seems to be thriving. It has increased from
fewer than 100,000 in 1976 to more than
450,000 today. If oil drilling was detrimen-
tal to caribou, then the herd numbers
should be declining. The fact that they are
increasing is a testament to how environ-
mentally friendly oil production is.
Finally, I keep hearing about how

ANWR oil won't make any difference. The
1998 U.S. Geological Survey and May
2000 update put the amount of oil in
ANWR anywhere from 3 billion barrels to
16 billion barrels. Compare that with th
Strategic Petroleum Reserve, whic
according to the United States Department
of Energy Website only has the capacity
for 0.7 billion barrels and currently only
holds 0.571 billion barrels.
Even if the lowest yield proves to be
reality, ANWR contains over five times
more oil than our strategic reserve. If
allowing a little oil out of our strategic
reserve has as big of an effect on oil prices
as is being reported, imagine what five
times the entire capacity of the reservx
would do to oil prices.
I've visited Prudhoe Bay, which is
something I doubt many on the Daily's
editorial board can say and I was
impressed every minute I was there at the
extraordinary measures the oil companies
take to make sure that when they leave, no
trace of them ever being there will be left.
Far from destroying "the nation's most
beautiful landscape," ANWR can b
drilled effectively and without damagin
the environment.
PETER GIESSEL
ENGINEERING GRADUATE STUDENT

Proposed keg
registration law is
'silly,' not terrible

0

1

TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in regards to the Daily's
editorial about a proposed law regarding
kegs ("Where's the keg?" 10/17/00).3 I
agree, keg registration seems pretty silly
but they can't be more dangerous than
guns, right?
I must disagree with the stated disadvan-
tages, though. The addresses would likely
used by cops to cruise by the parties and:;1
they saw, say, drinking on the lawn or loud
music emanating from the house then they
would pursue it further. I don't think anyone
expects that the cops are going to start
breaking down doors of places where kegs
were recently bought for.
Secondly, getting someone's personal
info doesn't take much time at all and cer-
tainly is less of a burden than -- I don't
know - being compelled to store moun-
tains of returnable bottles and cans f
recycling.
DAVID GUBBINI
LAW STUDENT

MATT WIMSATT K ::'.::

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