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October 19, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-19

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 19, 2000

Ulbe Sidgigjiuu &zir

Creed rocks: The gospel according to a Daily columnist

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

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

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.

K ids come up to me on the street all the
time and ask, "Hey, Kula: What is
hip?"
Let me just tell you, they're asking the
right person.
As a columnist at a college newspaper,
I have the crucial task
of sharing with thoses
less cultured than
myself exactly what
constitutes the cutting'
edge of trendy. It'sk
my job - nay, duty
- to enlighten the
masses.
People my age
tend to need guidance
in their lives. They
wear the wrong Chris
clothes, attend the
wrong parties and Kula
wear the wrongn
clothes. I just want to
help them realize A A '
their mistakes the
best I can - on a weekly basis.
For example, if I were to learn that many
of my peers were listening to records by the
Beatles, I would waste no time in setting
them straight. The Beatles are very old, and
most old music is just not hip. I would rec-
ommend that they check out a younger,
fresher band like Creed. Lead singer Scott
Stapp has some of the best stage moves in
rock, and he looks much better on a bed-

room poster than John Lennon, who is dead.
The same goes for literature buffs who
devote themselves to relics like Shake-
speare, Hemingway and Kerouac. Perhaps
they've never heard of "Sex and the City"
creator Candace Bushnell? She writes well,
but more importantly, she has impeccable
style and great teeth.
I witness these types of embarrassing
faults in judgment all the time, and they're
not limited to popular culture. I see people
eating bad foods, dating unattractive indi-
viduals and studying useless majors. But,
fortunately for these folks, I write a column
in a college newspaper.
As the voice of my generation in a 10-
block radius, I have the opportunity to show
these people the true way. I bear their bur-
den on my back in the form of a 700-word
article. I am the unsung shepherd to their
flock. Of course, I'm not trying to imply
that I'm a Christ-like figure - I'm just say-
ing that on most Thursdays, I do bleed from
the palms.
There are so many issues calling for my
attention, too. With the elections just a
month off, I plan to discuss national politics
at great length in the upcoming weeks. I
have never voted in an election before and I
will not vote in this one, but rest assured: I
am your learned guide to the candidates.
After all, I wouldn't be writing a column in
the Daily unless I was well-versed in Amer-
ican political theory - college newspapers
are no place for the uninformed.

The same goes for affirmative action,
eating disorders and international affairs.
My unique background as a white, middle-
classed male who's never left North Ameri-
ca allows me to write with true insight into
these matters. If there's one thing in life that
you can count on, it's that your local colum-
nist has a topical, thought-provoking per-
spective to be shared with you, week in and
week out.
Concerned about tensions in the Middle.
East? Don't worry, I didn't review CDs at
the Daily for three years without picking up
a thing or two about Israel's peacemaking
secrets.
Confused about the state of the national
economy? I have been pre-approved for
Discover cards on numerous occasions.
Looking to start a serious relationship? I
can tell you every trick that Jack used on
Chrissy in "Three's Company."
Trying to conceal your sexual orienta-
tion? I can tell you every trick that Jack
used on Mr. Roper in "Three's Company."
Other Daily columnists may try to pull
the wool over your eyes with sneaky satire
and references to '70s sitcoms, but I'll have
none of that. Laughter may feel good for a
moment, but it cannot match the long-last-
ing impact of true wisdom passed down
from a 21-year-old college student. On a
weekly basis. In a college newspaper. Out
of my ass.
- Chris Kula can be reached via
e-mail at ckula@umich.edu.

Students should trust ethos in job hunt

G Gpledge to explore and take into
Iaccount the social and environmen-
tal consequences of any job I consider
and will try to improve those aspects of
any organization for which I work.' This
statement is the pledge of the Graduate
Pledge Alliance, an organization that has,
since 1996, been encouraging college
graduates to look beyond prestigious
positions and high salaries to find careers
within companies that will respect their
ideals. A graduating senior takes the
pledge as a lifetime reminder that life has
more to offer than power and prestige.
Linking this pledge with the memorable
experience of finding one's first "real"
job after graduation is a way of ensuring
that one's values will follow him through-
out his professional life. Not only does
the pledge signing show a concern, but
also,the honest signer will always
remember his or her revolt against greed
and apathy at a time when traditionally,
students look at little more than position,
location, and salary.
The lures that corporations offer can
be tempting and the members of a gradu-
ating class often fail to give their poten-
tial employers a thorough background
check. Due to a recent shortage of fund-
ing for environmental awareness groups
and the lack of popular media coverage
on corporate ethical problems, students
often have no way of knowing about the
ignoble actions of corporations. A
recruiter will only tell prospective
employees about what is honorable and
prestigious about the organization he rep-
resents and all that advertising does is
product promotion. A graduate should
always research a company before
accepting a position; this means more
than looking at the corporate Web Site. A

simple Internet search using a few search
engines reveals enough published infor-
mation that one can know all recent sig-
nificant actions that one's potential
employer has taken. The GPA's pledge
encourages students to undertake this
much research - if not more - and act
upon one's findings. If the organization
does nothing to benefit society as a
whole, has a wide gap between executive
and worker salaries, or has a history of
civil suits, then the signers should neglect
the company. They should also look at
affirmative action stances, domestic part-
ner benefit offerings and sweatshop labor
practices.
Simple neglect for a company is an
effective form of resistance against even
the most powerful corporate empires.
Such resistance is necessary to encourage
civic virtue in this profit-oriented society.
Should graduating classes from the coun-
try's most prestigious universities deny
unethical corporations access to a large
number of America's brightest, the tar-
gets will invariably suffer.
There, however, are many other
means for changing corporate standards
that students who are not near graduat-
ing and those already in the work force
can employ. One only needs to spread
information and inform people of the
consequences of the facts. There are
many organizations on campus that do
just that.
The mission is simple: Inform poten-
tial employees that a company acts
unethically. The power against these cor-
porations also lies in those who would
consume their-goods and services. The
strength of society is great, and the col-
lective will of the populace can force
companies to clean up their acts.

'I feel a little funny talking about
women's Issues. I think we care about the
exact same thing that men do.'

- Former First Lady Barbara Bush at last night's Republican Feminist's con-
ference in Southfield, held by the organization "'W Stands for Women."

0

Canning Org. Studies Palestinians need
was right choice; their land, freedom
fli Uff majirS abinl

'Oops,' he did it again
Texas justice system an unjust disaster

TO THE DAILY:
I applaud Shirley Neuman's decision to
eliminate the Organization Studies pro-
gram from the list of possible concentra-
tions approved by the College of LSA.
This is a University, not a day-care center
where professionals send their pre-adult-
hood children off to play. A University is a
place where you learn about important
subjects such as math. history, English,
science and art. It is not a place where you
come to have a good time, and possibly
take some classes that might, in a con-
glomerated form, count towards some type
of concentration in the end.
First of all, most people don't even
know what is involved in the Organization-
al Studies program. I would assume that it
is the study of organizations. e.g. a busi-
ness (not the study of how to file your
bank statements effectively every month).
If you want to study business, go to the
business school. Perhaps join the College
of Engineering and study IOE. You could
even get an economics degree and perhaps
take some peripheral business riOE classes.
I believe that every time the University
g rants somebody a "fluff" degree, it
cheapens the degrees we all have.
"Fluff" degrees are essentially useless,
considering the fact that when you tell a
person you are studying one of these areas,
they nod "yes" and murmur "uh huh, that's
good" but they really have no idea what
you're talking about and secretly feel sorry
for your parents for spending all of that
money. These are also the degrees we all
joke about in private (you know: "Julie has
a 3.7,"- "yeah, but her degree is in orga-
nizational studies"- "oh").
The claim that an organizational degree
is broad and inclusive of many aspects of
life is laughable. To say this is to assume,
by corollary, that every other degree is
narrow and non-inclusive. If you are a pre-
organizational studies major, do yourself
and your parents a favor and study some-
thing that will help you and society out in
the future. Perhaps a concentration that
might help in landing a job.
BROCK VANDENBERG
ALUMNUS

TO THE DAILY:
Recently the events in the Middle East
has seen over 100 Palestinians killed by
Israeli soldiers. Many of these stone
throwing Palestinian civilians are children
being matched by Israeli soldiers with live
ammunition, rubber bullets and on the
weekend by U.S.-built tanks and Apache
helicopter gunships.
I wonder, why is this going on? Why
has this been continuously going on for
over 50 years? I visited Israel this summer
and realized why. Palestinians strive to
become an independent people free of
Israeli occupation and aggression.
I condemn bloodshed on both sides,
however Palestinians are now a people
without a land, without a voice and many
are refugees strewn all across the globe.
They are a people subjected to daily
humiliations and frustrations and live in
poverty. When we see Palestinians on
CNN demonstrating and throwing stones
they are expressing their frustrations
which have been growing since 1948. As

any other people, Palestinians deserve
their independence and deserve to live
freely on their own land in peace without
Israeli occupation. Peace "talks" won't
will solve this problem, international law
will.
United Nations resolutions 242 and 338
(among others) call upon Israel, the occu-
pying power, to abide scrupulously by its
legal obligations and responsibilities under
the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is
applicable to all the territories occupied by
Israel and calls for the return of occupied
East Jerusalem and the West Bank to the
Palestinian people. It's as simple as that.
Palestinians need freedom. They need
their land back. They don't enjoy seeing
their own children being killed every day
- however as long as Israel occupies parts
of the West Bank and East Jerusalem what
we see on TV will happen again and again.
Their leaders can "talk" about peace forev-
er but peace won't happen on the ground
until the Palestinian people regain their
freedoms and occupied lands.

0
0
0

SAM DAJANI
DENTAL HYGIENE JUNIOR

~ ;
;->

D espite Texas Governor George W
Bush's repeated statements on his
confidence in the state's criminal justice
system, it's terrifying, but not surprising
to see another major mistake. This is the
state that removed 36 inmates from death
row last year by electrocuting them,
according to the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice. No one knows what
percentage of them may be innocent.
This summer, Gary Graham's pleas to
Bush went unanswered and his death sen-
tence was carried out. Most recently,
another man claimed responsibility for a
crime two men had already been convict-
ed of - but his pronouncement went
unnoticed. Texas prison inmate Achim
Josef Marino said "my conscience sick-
ens me" because two men were serving
life sentences in prison for the October
1988 rape and murder of 20-year-old
Nancy DePriest. Marino is currently
serving time for other offenses.
His confession was made to the gover-
nor in a February 1998 letter.
Marino included evidence linking him
to the crime - the victim's keys and the
deposit bags she had from work could be
found at Marino's parents' house. Police
confirmed investigators collected the evi-
dence from his parent's house after they
received an initial letter from Marino in
1996. Worse, the DNA of two men con-
victed in the rape and murder of DePriest
did not match that of the semen taken
from the victim.
So why did Marino's letter not make
an impact? When evidence is presented
that could free two men from life sen-
tences, why is it not leapt upon? This is
what those shocked by the news are
thinking. The question is, what on earth
were the staff at Bush's office thinking?

Their answer is distressingly weak.
Once arriving at the governor's office,
the letter slipped through the cracks, and
no one else saw it. Mike Jones, a
spokesman for Governor Bush's office,
confirmed the letter arrived in 1998 and
remains on file, although it was never
actually read by Bush. More than 1,000
letters from inmates are received by the
governor's office every year. Standard
policy calls for forwarding them to the
appropriate law enforcement agency.
Marino's letter was not forwarded.
Jones said the letter indicated a copy was
also sent to Travis County district attor-
ney Ronnie Earle. In such cases a letter
received by the governor's office is not
forwarded, according to Jones, to "avoid
duplication."
But Earle said the letter never arrived
at his office; he became aware of it only
after the Austin Police Department
received a copy. Earle says he has no idea
how the police received Marino's letter,
unless Marino sent it there by mistake.
Marino might have sent it to the
wrong county by mistake. But that does
not change the grave mistake the gover-
nor's office made, and the mistakes both
the Texas and other state criminal justice
systems make after they convict someone
with countering DNA evidence for life to
death. Sloppiness has inhumane conse-
quences. What if these two mhen are
found now found innocent? What if they
had been sentenced to death, been elec-
trocuted, all while Marino's letter was lost
in a red-tape 'oops'?
An inmate says he committed a crime
that two other men are currently serving
time for - and no one heard him. Maybe
Bush will hear the outcry: Your system is
an unjust disaster.

THOMAS KULJURGIS TENTATI VELY SPEA KING
~1
D TO (EQ MY-(~G~FO A'ATAT L4CORCX 1!'

0,

}

W e here at the University are in a quag-
mire. Do we face injustice only when it
is popular to do so, or do we face it no matter
mask it decides to wear? I am proud to be a
Michigan student. The two years I spent away
from Ann Arbor in between my undergraduate
and graduate studies made me crave to return
so that I could re-enter the world of activism
and feel, once again, like I was doing some-
thing.
I am a Palestinian. I am proud of that too.
Lately, however, I feel the injustice against my
people stronger than ever. I am a member of
many campus organizations and have taken it
upon myself to grasp a leadership role in many
of the recent rallies, protests and vigils held to
defend the rights of the Palestinian people,

clusions.
Here is a truth that most don't know. Israel
receives about $5 billion in U.S. aid every year.
To break it down, Israel receives $1.2 billion in
economic aid, $1.8 billion in military aid and
close to $2 billion in extra perks from the Penta-
gon's budget. In fact, every time Israel returns
more lands to Arabs, it asks for more money
from the U.S. In the recent failed peace talks
with Syria, Israel demanded a package of more
than $17 billion to pull out of illegally occupied
lands in the Golan Heights. Just facts.
Israel, a nation with a population less than
New York City or Hong Kong, is the recipient
of the most American foreign aid, receiving
more than one-third of America's annual bilat-
eral foreign aid. Pretty amazing. Every other

billion. It is a staggering difference when you
consider that while there are 6.1 million people
living in a industrialized economy in Israel,
there are more than 1.2 billion people living in
the third world countries I just mentioned.
When you add in Pentagon perks, as of
October 1999, Israel had received over $90 bil-
lion in American aid. $90 billion. When this is
all divvied up, each Israeli family of five
receives $75,000 of American taxpayer money.
That number is in fact even higher since Arab
citizens of Israel, who number 18 percent, are
deprived government assistance. I wonder how
many American families of five have ever
received $75,000 from their own government.
America has never tied its huge aid pack-
ages to Israel with performance at the peace

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