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October 20, 2000 - Image 4

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 20, 2000

U l e atichimun ]Dtctltl

Kodos, Kang, Clinton, Nader and pop machines at lunch

a

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

I

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

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

bupporiror aiversuiy
Study shows benefits of affirmative action

O ver the past few weeks of Presi-
dential debates, Americans have
heard economic accusations on just
about everything from a bad tax policy
to "fuzzy math.' In an era of politics
dominated by rhetoric and anecdotes at
least one divisive issue has garnered
concrete economic support recently.
The Journal of Economic Literature
recently published a review of more
than 200 serious scientific studies on
affirmative action. The study is the
joint effort of two distinguished econo-
mists, David Neumark of Michigan
State University and Harry Holzer of
Georgetown University. The study
refutes many long-time assertions of
affirmative action supporters, including
the idea that those
helped by affirmative result
action are less quali-
fied and able to suc- H e
ceed. 'r-Netl
Although, as Neu-
mark and Holzer stuy proi
acknowledge, thefupport fo
stud isn't foolproof,
its findings support "
the case for affirma- UyiverSity
tive action at the Uni-
versity and at aintai
throughout the coun- di"versit v
try. The study diesiy
includes findings
such as that black students at selective
universities graduate at higher rates
than blacks at less demanding institu-
tions and that women hired under affir-
mative action do not fall behind their
male equivalents in either performance
or credentials. The study also shows
Hispanics and blacks hired under affir-
mative action perform on par with
white counterparts despite being hav-
ing generally less experience at the
start of their employment.
Up until this point, most of the
debate on affirmative action has cen-
tered around theory and anecdotal evi-
dence with few claims on either side of

is
1w
(I
I,
li

the debate being supported factually.
The Holzer-Neumark study helps to
prove the benefits of affirmative action.
Supporters of the policy can now point
to data that refutes claims that minority
students fail under affirmative action.
Perhaps most importantly however, is
that those in favor of affirmative action
now have empirical proof that the pro-
gram has tangible social benefits. For
example, according to the study, new
African-American medical school
graduates are far more likely than their
white classmates to serve poor and
minority patients in rural and inner city
areas.
The results of the Holzer-Neumark
study provide strong support for the
University's efforts at
of them maintaining diversity
on campus and back
Ma rkup the extensive sup-
port the University's
affirmative action
de strong policies have
-the received in the busi-
ness community as
exemplified by the
Sffors joint amicus brief
" (friend of the court)
UN , filed by 20 prominent
7 Ca us companies recently.
Scamipus. Thenbriefstressed the
importance of affir-
mative action at the university level and
eventually in the corporate world. This
study and strong corporate support for-
malize a long-held belief of the Univer-
sity: Affirmative action is necessary.
Even before the release of the recent
scientific study, these companies knew
the value of maintaining diversity. The
corporations who voluntarily choose to
support the University in its legal bat-
tles decided to do so based upon per-
sonal experience.
Affirmative action provides an ele-
ment of diversity crucial to education:
the past week of'scientific and econom-
ic support has helped prove it.

To help explain why not to vote for either of
the two main cats running for President, I
have to turn to The Simpsons. The wit and
insight of that brilliant cartoon is secorNi to
none. In 1996, an episode of The Simpsons
featured Bill Clinton and Bob Dole being
abducted by aliens who
transmorphed into their
respective bodies andb
forced the American=
public to vote for one of
them. It is full of jeering
insights into the failings,
of a two-party system.
Kent Brockman
(Springfield's Dan
Rather) asks Kang (the
alien), disguised as
Dole, "why should peo-
ple vote for you instead David
of President Clinton?" Horn
Kang replies, "It makes s
no difference which one
of us you vote for.
Either way, your planet is doomed. Doomci!"
"Well, a refreshingly frank response there from
Senator Dole," concludes Brockman.
Says Kodos (the other alien, posing as Clin-
ton) on pleasing the public. "All they wart to
hear are bland pleasantries embellished by an
occasional saxophone solo or infant kiss."
During the debate, Kang becomes so lost in
rhetoric one can't help but compare his the
bumbling Texas Governor who, as demonstrat-
ed at last Tuesday's debate, can't seem to argue
his way out of an Arby's. "My fellow Ameri-
cans: As a young boy. I dreamed of being a
baseball, but tonight I say. we must move fior-
ward, not backward, upward not forward, and
always twirling, twirling towards freedom!"
When Homer arrives to save America from
their awful fate, he rips away the aliens' human
facades and proclaims, "America, take a good
look at your beloved candidates. They're nosh-
ing but hideous space reptiles!' Indeed they
are. We have these two gentlemen - Texas
Gov. George W. Bush Jr. and Vice President Al

Gore - and one of them is waking up on the
morning of Nov. 8 the most powerful man in
the world. This is not the first time America has
had to choose between the lesser of two evils.
Both Gore and Bush are nice guys - well
meaning, borderline genuine, seemingly honest
- but neither has the confidence, will, nerve,
vision, character or heart for the job. The fact is
that our electoral process is grossly flawed
gives Americans no real choice.
That process will probably not be mended
unless Americans realize the catch-22 that is
our current two-party system and vote for far-
left and (forgive me mom) far-right candidates
like Green Party nominee Ralph Nader and
Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan.
My money says that Bush is going to be the
next President of the United States. He is lucky
that somewhere along the road of the great
journey we call America, our country has
regressed from a sophisticated, idealistic
democracy where men like Daniel Webster and
Henry Clay deliberated issues that shook the
foundations of our nation (ie. states rights,
slavery), to a middle school class president
election.
Bush is going to win because he could afford
to put a lot of flyers all over the social studies
and science wings. His friends (who are equal-
ly rich) threaten to steal kids' lunch money if
they don't vote for little Georgey. His brother
plays on the middle school football squad and
has promised those votes. His dad is president
of the P.T.A.
His opponent, Al Gore, is that kid who you
used to be friends with, but lost touch with
after he became just too smart for his own
good. He's sort of a dork now, but you kind of
smile and nod with a sort of pity whenever he
talks to you.
The teachers know that little Al should be
class president, and that he is more deserving
and qualified than the Bush kid. But Bush is
promising pop machines at lunch, "free home-
work" passes and the other kids are falling for
his ploys despite their best interests.
But the Vice President isn't looking much

better, really. To keep up with Bush, who is
appealing to everyone and his mother, Gore is
compromising his liberal stance (on, I don't
know, everything) to develop a similar appeal.
Poor Al. He and George have become indistin-
guishable, and will ultimately be ineffective as
a result.
"We are merely exchanging long protein
strings. If you can think of a simpler way, I'd
like to hear it." (If you missed the reference,
come on. Watch the damn show. All your
friends do).
Meanwhile there's this Ralph Nader charac-
ter. "Don't vote scared," read the flyers pep-
pered throughout Ann Arbor. That's some good
advice fromthe supporters of the Green Party.
As long as Democrats and Republicans contin-
ue to be elected to the White House and Con-
gress, laws correcting the electoral system will
never come about. Campaign finance needs to
be revamped and laws encouraging third-party
candidates need to be seriously considered.
There are other parties, and y'all should check
them out.
There's cheap beer and hot girls.
My friends ask me why I'm voting for
Nader, and my reply is simple: Gore and Bush
are about as different as Michigan State and a
pile of green dog shit. Other than abortion,
really, the two candidates' differences are rec-
ognizable only to the dorky poli-sci professors
sporting the bowties on MSNBC.
Nader isn't taking home any of the cake,,
because its winner-take-all in this country. But
I'm voting on principle rather than practicality.
The more people chose to vote in support of a
revolutionary political change, the more
change will occur. The two-party system is a
curse on this country founded by and devel-
oped via compromise. The great fraternity
party we call American politics can't be a two-
way. Let it some other kids, because their ideas
are worthwhile and have the potential to be
tremendously beneficial.
But don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.
- David Horn can be reached via e-mail at
hornd( umich.edu.

'.K

N(TABLE QUO1ABLE
'There are three issues in this generation that affect
your generation: The Supreme Court, the Supreme
Court, the Supreme Court.'
-- The Rev. Jesse Jackson during a speech vesterdav in the Law Quad.

Too much poik
Federal money could be used on education

'Over the years, the Capitol building
4t.Iin Washington D.C. has been home
to some of America's most distin-
guished political orations. Yet as
thovember draws closer, the speeches
the public hears from the chambers of
Congress will not resemble the flowery
rhetoric of Daniel Webster or Bill Clin-
ton; instead it will swell into one collec-
tive noise: "Oink."
That's right, "oink," because as the
Presidential election draws closer, more
media and public attention is focused on
olitics at large. With this added lime-
light on D.C., members of Congress -
even those who aren't up for re-election
or safely secured incumbents - are
being pressed to flaunt their achieve-
ments. The result of
this is notan
increased effort to pork-barrel
pass bi artisan le is-
ation, but instead an outrageous
informal agreement
among congressmen federal tax
to divide the political
funding spoils by items that
passing ludicrous
legislation that brings funded loca
new federal spending
to each member's
electoral district. The fitting term given
to this corrupt for of collective bargain-
ing is "pork-barrel legislation."
The economic effects of pork-barrel
legislation are horrendous. In fact, The
New York Times recently reported that
Birmingham, Ala. is getting a $2 mil-
lion refurbishing of the god Vulcan and
300 person town of Tafkeetna, Alaska
got $400,000 to improve a parking lot.
These are just two of the examples of
wasted federal spending. Although
many federal monuments and museums
need federal tax dollars to operate, pork-
barrel legislation outrageously uses fed-
eral tax dollars on items that should be
funded locally. Moreover, the manner in
which politicians delay this legislation
until just before the election - a sheer
political move - is unfair to needy
institutions and should be repulsive to

I
i
4

voters.
If politicians really want to appease
the electorate before an election, there
are a plethora of national issues that
would appeal to any congressional dis-
trict. In an ideal world, congressmen
would strive for these issues absent of a
political motivation. They could focus
an a range from campaign finance
reform to health care. And who could
ignore the foremost topic of them all:
Education. Without a doubt, the two
major party candidates, Vice-president
Al Gore and Texas Governor George
Bush, as well as many local politicians
have identified the problems in our pub-
lic schools as a priority among cam-
paign issues. Congress would do well to
follow in their exam-
ple.
legislation The lackluster
performance of sec-
ly Uses ondary schools,
compounded with
dollars on the skyrocketing
costs of a colle e
should be tuition makes the
American education
fly system a situation
which can be ame-
liorated only through
widespread support, both intellectual
and financial, in the hallowed chambers
of Congress. In today's information age,
the foundation of a solid primary and
secondary education is vital to the over-
all success of youth and ultimately the
country. Expanding financial aid, such
as Pell Grants and other scholarships, to
help people go to college should cledrly
take precedence over the pet projects of
congressmen.
It is time for the legislative branch to
start living up to the claims they've been
making for years. If Congressmen want
to please their constituencies this elec-
tion cycle, they shouldn't excessively
waste tax dollars on legislation to create
new parking lots or monuments; instead
they need to create scholarships or
tuition relief- that'll really bring home
the bacon.

Cameras shouldn't
have prevented
honoring of dead
TO THE DAILY:
As I'm sure everyone has heard by row. 17
Americans were klled and over 50 injured in
an attack on the USS Cole off the cost of
Yemen. By Presidential order. all flaus were to
be flown at half staff this past weekend in
honor of these sailors. fHfowever if you were at
the Indiana game this past weekend. you would
have seen the fla flyine at full staff durma the
same. Why? Because flying it at half-staff
would have interfered with with ABC's cam-
eras. As a future officer in the US. military, it
disheartens me to know that honoring the brave
men and women w ho hawe iven their lives for
their nation is not as important as ABC's cam-
era anle at the Saturday afternoon football
game.
KELLY THOMPSON
ENGINEERING SENIOR
ZBT president was'
wrong about
importance of vote
TO THE DAILY:
Not to claim that I have anv conneiction
to the I1C or their decision to expel the cam-
pus chapter of Zeta Beta Tau. but I was quite
surprised by ZBT president Israel Nosnik's
statement saying that 'this single event is
more damaging to the Greek system than
one kid getting bleach poured on him or a
kid getting shot in the penis' (IfC votes
zBT out of organization." 10 19 00). Are
you serious? I would have never thought that
someone (a male for that matter) would say
that anything is more important that some-
one getting shot in the penis.
I remember reading about this horrific act
last year and thinking that this had to be
some kind of male hate group to even aam a
bb. gun (or whatever) at someone's groin
and then to actually pull the trigger.
What kind of demonic mess is that'?
I'm sorry. but I doubt seriously that any
of the brothers of ZBT will be suffering an
unimaginable amount of pain by not being
able participate in a Greek life party. Perhaps
if they were the ones that got shot they
would sing a different (much higher) tun-e.
JASON MORRIS
ENGINEERING SENIOR
Texas justice system
is disaster area

tinized by the national media?
Not only do I have a hard time believing
that, based on pure numbers, anyone could be
absolutely positive of his claims. I also believe
that the multitude of horror stories I've read
detailing public defenders' lazy. racist and
sometimes drunken demeanors towards their
usually. poor. minority clients in Texas contra-
dict Bush's claim.Why is it that the powers that
be do not question Bush's integrity on this mat-
ter?
DYLAN LEOPOLD
ALUMNUS
Org. Studies will
'never' go away
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to take a moment to respond to
Brock VandenBerg and his letter from October
19th "Canning Org. Studies was right choice;
fluff majors abound." In his letter he admits
"most people don't even know what is involved
in the Organizational Studies program." He
then goes on to make many assumptions about
Organizational Studies (OS).
My question is. why would one make such
a harsh judgment about something that they
admittedly know little about? I feel Vanden-
Berg has missed one of the greatest lessons of
a university education. seeking the truth. One
does not seek truth by gathering a small
amount of information before jumping to a
conclusion.
VandenBerg suggests that this is a univer-
sity and not a day-care center. He also says "a
University is a place where you learn about
important subjects such as math. history, Eng-
lish, science and art." The fact is that the cur-
rent OS curriculum does include upper level
courses in math, history, science, and art. Fur-
thermore. OS is interdisciplinary and by
nature offers more curricular latitude than a
traditional concentration. Therefore, students
must exhibit initiative when planning their
course of study. This added ingenuity encour-
ages an OS student to be sophisticated and
responsible about their education.
Organizational Studies is interdisciplinary,
that is what the students in the program trea-
sure. Just switching to a business, economics,
or IOE degree defeats that purpose. Vanden-

Berg implies that OS students feel "every other
degree is narrow and non-inclusive" Yes, when
compared to OS, they can be. Other degrees
are usually focused in one area, whereas OS
looks at the bigger picture.
There is unbelievable support for OS on
this campus, from faculty, staff and especially
students. The dean herself has said that she
supports a concentration in OS that is support-
ed by faculty oversight (which admittedly we
currently lack). There will be a proposal for a
new OS program on the table by the end of the
month. There is every indication that this pro-
posal will be approved and that the new pro-
gram will be under way in the fall of 2001.
The dean said her decision to cut the current
OS program was made to make room for a
new OS program. While I do not agree with
the manner in which the transition is being
executed, one thing still stands; Organizational
Studies will not be going away. OS supporters
will never let that happen.
JAY SALLIOTTE
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBER, ORGANIZA-
TIONAL STUDIES STUDENT ASSEMBLY
Gore is no Nader,
but no Bush either

0I

TO THE DAILY:
I am writing to express my support for Vice
President Al Gore, and to encourage indepen-
dent voters and supporters of Ralph Nader to
join me in protecting America's future.
Voting one's conscience or heart is a noble
activity and Ralph Nader's plans for America
are steps in the right direction. However, in
Gov. George W. Bush, we can see a darkness
on the horizon for America. A Bush Presiden-
cy will mean a return to the days of broadening
economic and educational gaps, a return to the
days of ballooning deficits, a return to the days
of backroom abortions.
Gore is no Nader, but Gore's primary oppo-
nent is even less so. Bush must not be entrust-
ed with the office of President of the United
States - please join me in looking beyond ide-
alism, and vote for Al Gore on November 7th.
PATRICK KOEHN
ENGINEERING DOCTORAL CANDIDATE

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