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November 01, 2000 - Image 4

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4 - The Micnigan Daily -- Wednesday, November 1, 2000

( B irbigun itIg

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 refect the opinion of the majority off
the Dailv's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Regent race is especially imperative

Its time to get offei
O ver the last week an interesting question
was raised. Is it possible that certain
columnists (not to mention any names) have
been going out of their way to write things that
are blatantly inflammatory or offensive? It's a
good question. After all, I have certainly offend-
ed a person or two in the
last few years. Could I
have avoided it? Almost
certainly. Would I want
to write a column that
was never offensive?e
Certainly not."
This is an opinion
page. I write my opinion
on matters, some that
are serious but most are
not. My opinions - my
thoughts and views on
life - have been Branden
shaped by my experi- Sanz
ences, probably just like Dop gt
each and every one of
you out there. But since H am m
no two people can have
a history of identical experiences, it stands to
reason that no two people can have identical
opinions on all matters. I simply try and provide
some intelligent and entertaining insight on
matters that people may not have thought about
or may not have looked at from a certain angle
before. It is a certainty that some people who
have not shared my experiences are not going to
agree with my opinion and some may even be
offended by it. Here's a little bit on the experi-
ences that have shaped my views on life.
I am the product of a broken home. My
mother and father have both been married
three times and my mom is an alcoholic.
There was a messy divorce when I was four
that I don't remember too well and an even
messier custody battle eight years later that I
recall all too clearly.

I have been poor. I remember times in high
school when it was so cold during the winter
that my dad and I had to go out and steal wood-
en pallets from behind grocery stores and sleep
on the floor near the fireplace while we burned
them because we couldn't afford the heating
bill.
I have seen human beings at their worst. I
was smack-dab in the middle of inner-city
Sacramento when the Rodney King riots broke
out in 1992, and for those of you who thought
the violence was limited to L.A., guess again. I
have had friends raped and murdered. I have
had friends who turned into murderers (more
about that next week.)
I have known beauty. In the rainforests of
Thailand I have heard monkeys screech and
seen jungle streams glitter like enormous emer-
alds as light from the rising sun danced upon
them. I have sat on the rocky cliffs of Big Sur,
California as the surf roared in my ears and the
wind whipped my hair and watched the sun set
in a million different colors. I have seen moon-
less nights in the Arizona desert where the stars
were so bright I could have used them to read
by. I once dated a former Ms. Ohio.
I have known pain. I have broken countless
bones, been shot, stabbed and had a finger bit-
ten off. I have endured pretty much every kind
of torture the U.S. military can devise. I had
gone off to faraway lands and had some friends
come home in body bags, all for God and coun-
try. I have lost family members to both cancer
and diabetes. I once had a girlfriend cheat on
me with my roommate.
I have been insecure. I lived in eight states
over a ten-year span and always seemed to be
the new kid. When I was in grade school, I had
a weight problem and was also the fat kid -
last picked for the kickball team and all that.
My birthday is in August, so I always seemed to
be younger (and shorter) than everyone else as
well.

ided about something worthwhile

I have known danger. I have ridden bulls (the
live kind), jumped out of perfectly good air-
planes and handled live explosives. I have rid-
den my motorcycle at 130 miles per hour and
dodged automatic weapons fire from angry peo-
ple on two different continents.
I have known love. I once saw a father give
up everything -his life savings, his house, his
job and even his wife - for the sake of his son.
In short, my experience is to complex to
encapsulate - probably just like you. I am all
of you and none of you. I am the best of you
and the worst of you as well. It is for this reason
that I don't like to judge people. Let me
rephrase that: I judge people all the time, but I
will not judge a person. A person is too com-
plex - too much light and dark - for anyone
else to know well enough to judge.
I recognize that dichotomy within myself and
understand that, as a result, my opinions are
pretty complex and involved as well, but there is
one constant to my beliefs that all my opinions
stem from: Don 't sweat the small stuff I wake
up every single morning and thank God that
I'm not dead or in jail. Beyond that, there's not a
whole lot that I take seriously - certainly not
myself. I guess with all the shit that's happened
to me I could start taking myself seriously, but I
realize that I'm still the same dork who watches
Dragonball Z religiously, listens to Enya and
cries every time he sees Braveheart.
I guess, because of that, I'm not interested in
sounding deep or taking on Big Issues. I just
like to point out little things that I find ironic or
that irritate me, but even then, I'm usually very
tongue-in-cheek. If you choose to take it seri-
ously and it offends you, so be it. Violent crime
offends me, racism offends me, and terrorism
offends me. Someone's opinion? Not a chance.
I've got too many other things to worry about to
sweat the small stuff.
- Biunden San: can be reached via e-mail
at hamrhead(aumich.edu.

I
I

t is rare to say an election could
actually change the face of the Uni-
versity, but that statement is surpris-
ingly true of the race for the two open
seats on the University's Board of
Regents. Fortunately, two experienced
and reliable incumbents are fully pre-
pared to hold down the fort: Larry
D eitch (D-Bloomfield Hills) and
Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann Arbor).
Deitch and McGowan are the clear
choices for several undeniably strong
reasons. First, experience: Both have
been on the board for
eight years, know how Col
the board operates and hi
have a good working
relationship with Um- OXperlen
versity President Lee -u
Bollinger. staunch
More important is -
what they have endured for the U
and accomplished dur-
ing their tenure. of a oi mtie
great significance polcie
their role on thebarpocis
during the affirmative
action lawsuits chal- Comtn
len ging University.
Both are staunch sup- academ
porters of the existing ak e
policy and are wiling make De
to defend the case all
the was' to the U.S. Mc owa
Supreme Court if need- fo
ed. Affirmative action c
is at the cornerstone of
the University's atti- Clnlverst
tude on diversity, and
the most impor tan eens.
issue facing the board
today. Republican candidates Wendy
Anderson (R-Commerce Twp.) and
Suzy Avery (R-Grand Rapids) have
expressed their interest in changing
the board's stance on affirmative
action and possibly settling in a lower
court. This is unacceptable.
Deitch and McGowan also recog-
nize that it is not the role of the board
to interfere with University curricu-
lum, an issue that got wrongly
dragged into the political spotlight
after English 317 "How to be Gay,"

'i4
C
S
V
ao
I
11
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garnered attention. If the regents have
control over class topics, they may
decide to censure classes, thus threat-
ening academic freedom Both Repub-
lican regent candidates have expressed
interest in limiting the University's
academic freedom on this matter.
The two Republican candidates
refused to debate with the other can-
didates (including the students run-
ning) at the Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs
Regents forum. The Republican Party
also canceled Ander-
son's endorsement
Sctive interview with the
Daily's editorial
e, board on her behalf
with "no chance of
rescheduling."
- verl 'S Scott Trudeau
iiversy s (Green Party), the
N best of the student
e action candidates running,
is a hard working and
nd dedicated activist.
But compared to
9n oDeitch and
McGowan, he just
feedom doesn't have the
' C u ualifications to be
tch and ?elected tothe board.
He has well-support-
the best ed ideas that would
thebest be implemented
with his continued
rBoardofr ole in student
activism. His plan to
initiate a dialogue
concerning corporate
sponsorship of Uni-
versity research is a legitimate con-
cern and good starting point. He is a
valuable resource and should definite-
ly stay involved in student affairs.
Voters are in the lucky position of
not only having two exceptionally
strong and trustworthy candidates to
vote for, but ones that will, quite sim-
ply, keep the good at the niversit
good - and tackle the tough stuff.
Vote Rebecca McGowan and Larry
Deitch for University Board of
Regents.

4

'The days of the dirty, old arcade are gone.'
--Pinball Pete's Manager Finn Jensen on the establishment's
dress code, which is meant to prevent gang activitV.

Ballot initiative would ruin public schools

n the midst of this year's heated
race for the presidency, as the can-
didates scramble to capture the hearts
of the undecided voters here in
Michigan, it is easy to forget that
there are other pressing issues to be
decided on election day.
The future of Michigan's public
schools could take a drastic turn for
the worse if Proposal 1 is passed.
Under the proposal, children in poor-
ly performing school districts would
be eligible for scholarships of
;jproximately $3,300,
thp urpose of which Vouchers
would be to "bail them
out" of the sub-stan- nothingt
dard education they
were receiving in their deteriora
public schools and give
them the opportunity schools
to attend the private
schools of their choice. actualy
Advocates of this
proposal contend that exacerba
removing funds from
"problem" publicp
schools will force them
to become more com- thing
etitive for students, to
hire better teachers, to schools f
improve their curricu-
la. 14 cc mn

i
3t
ril
r

Another problem with Proposal 1
is that unlike the public school stu-
dents, there is no way track the
progress of children who transfer to
private schools as they are not under
the same standards and scrutiny as
public school students.
Furthermore, the claim that vouch-
ers would benefit disadvantaged chil-
dren i poor neighborhoods is blindly
idealistic.Even if such children were
provided with vouchers that paid
their tuition at better schools, it
would still be nearly
would do impossible for many
of hemto attend
im1 ro Ve Many of the best pri-
vate schools are not
ing public located in the inner-
cities and many
rnd would inner-city families
do not have the
means or time to
trans ort their chil-
te the dren ack and forth
every day. Proposal
The last 's vouchers would
only benefitfamilies
1ng public who live in the afflu-
ent neighborhoods
eed is where the best
schools are invari-
ably located; those
''pe best able to use the
state aid would be
those least in need of
it.
While it is true that Michigan's
public education is crumbling in
some areas, school vouchers are not
the answer. Instead of calling for the
abandonment of troubled public
schools and the further widening of
the gap between the rich and the
poor, the state legislature should con-
sider allocating more money to the
schools that need it most. Vote NO
on Proposal 1.

George W. Bush does
not stand for women
TO THE DAILY:
Most of this year, I have been referring to
George W Bush as "Slogan Boy," for obvious
reasons. The new slogan his handlers have
coined, unfortunately accepted at face value by
Daily news writer Hanna LoPatin, reminds me
of the Newspeak which George Orwell imag-
ined in his book 1984 - "W stands for
women" contains about as much truth as "war
is peace." I suggest that women read the biog-
raphy of "Dubya" written by Molly Ivins,
Shrub, if they want to see how a woman politi-
cal reporter in Texas evaluates both his life and
his record in Texas for the past six years. He
previously has approved the subordinate role
for women advocated by some Christian fun-
damentalists.
I have no doubt that Republican women in
Southfield gushed over Bush's mother. But the
reference in LoPatin's article ("The final
stretch," 10/19/00) to the crowd of 400 which
attended the event brings to mind another
topic. The Bush campaign has continued a
practice which it began in the primaries, that of
supplying a claque of Republican Party mem-
bers to any event at which the candidate or his
surrogates appear, in Michigan and in other
states. Apparently, Slogan Boy is unwilling to
face voters without such a claque.
So, if you want to know what W' really
stands for, it stands for "Wimp."
ROGER WILNER
LAW SCHOOL ALUMNUS
Capitalism should be
fixed, not abolished
TO THE DAILY:
Nick Woomer's column was an exceptional
and well-based critique of not only democracy
but Capitalism itself ("Tangible visions of Red
markets," 10/31/00). I tend to agree with this
column in that capitalism can and does fail part
of the population while allowing a small select
group to become overwhelmingly wealthy.
And I see that with Woomer's rhetoric arid
knowledge of socialism he is well prepared to
propose a viable solution.
I would have preferred to hear Woomer's
own version of these Red Markets. To have
such a revolutionary idea or plan would need
much more than Woomer's quotes of past and
present thinkers and philosophers. Quoting
Plato and revealing only a "very rough"
approximation of how this system would work
is exactly the reason it won't work. I'm not say-
ing what system we have now is working, it's
obvious that its not.
"Naturally, there is more to Roemer's pro-
posal than this - it would require complex
regulatory mechanisms and a combination of
other devices ..." This is the very reason we're
failing as a society to provide for the entire
populous. Any student reading this would
agree especially those in the social sciences.
There are thousands of regulatory programs
ant rimipz rrr(nv, VC(rf~ivento hal 1f-hike

tion is that we ask whether we truly have a free
form capitalistic society. Perhaps the founders
and pioneers of capitalism were unable to fore-
see the problems we would face. Let us change
what we have before we try something new,
especially when it sounds a lot like what is
implemented today.
Who knows, maybe if'we let things run a
little smoother, got down to "brass tacs," used
some of that infamous American Ingenuity and
a little common sense we might make it as a
whole. Quite possibly it could look a lot like
the system Woomer has proposed.
PAUL HOWARD
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN - DEARBORN
FACULTY
Abortion is more
than a moral issue
TO THE DAILY:
I was dismayed to find in this week's letters
to the editor yet another castigation of female
selfishness in regard to her choice to have an
abortion, which the Nate Lee believes is not
only immoral, but should be illegal ("A fetus
could be a human being," 10/30/00). As far as I
can tell, selfishness in this country is not illegal
(or else many a software designer would be
imprisoned) - that is, until it comes to matters
of sexuality and childbirth, which our state sys-
tem seems ever so eager to regulate.
Lee's sweeping accusation of selfishness
must also apply to fears of death, certain dis-
eases that result from difficult deliveries, organ
damage and other complications of childbirth
for which one cannot account by simply recom-
mending adoption. I'm not sure those concerns
fit into my standard definition of selfishness.
Further, can you legally mandate that some-
one risk her life or health for another (potential)
human being? In this timely debate (read your
history - abortion has primarily become a
"crisis" since the technocratic reign of the mas-
culinized practice of medicine), the issue of
male parental obligation gets conveniently
pushed to the margins.
First of all, the decision to have an abortion
is not solely the woman's, who often considers
her partner's desires or who considers the stig-
ma (still) and financial burden of pregnancy
without a willing parental partner. And though
Lee does not consider this initial role of the
paternal father, he should be given credit for his
assessment that a man should be made respon-
sible for his part in conception.

Students need to
vote on Nov. 7th
TO THE DAILY:
Why is it so important for students to vote
Nov. 7th? One: You have the resources to do it.
Everywhere you turn there is a table, a flyer, a
Website or an e-mail about how to vote.
Two: You determine the next generation's
future by deciding how you stand on the issues
in this election. It's not about social security or
tax cuts right now, it's about a life you want for
yourself and family members. Think about
what is mraningful to you and what you think
might be important for your existing and future
family. Young people are volunteering for com-
munity service activities more than ever now
but they continue to ignore the issues they care
about the most at the voting booth. Candidates
pay little attention to young Americans because
they don't vote, and young Americans don't
vote because candidates ignore them. Stop the
cycle. Three: Vote with children in mind. This
election is about you and generations to come.
It's about your future and the ones you may
bring into the world later. Use your privilege of
having available resources and vote Nov. 7th.
JULIA STRANSKY
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK

But, alas, it seems that until that time
comes, we should definitely enforce the visible
obligation of pregnant women. With all the
advancements in science and technology, it
would seem relatively simple to discover the
male partner in procreation. But the fact of the
matter is that our male-dominated society does
not want to enforce male parental obligation at
any time - the laughable prosecution of dead-
beat dads is evidence of this pattern, and there
is no debate as to whether or not those children
are human.
The issue of abortion is absolutely a moral
one. But once morality is legally regulated, cer-
tain standards must be upheld (though often are
not). A law is discriminatory that prosecutes
only one group for a "crime" committed by the
entire group or that requires only one parent to
sacrifice her life, health and/or citizenship for
the "mistake" of conception. Instead of focus-
ing exclusively on individual women, abortion
debates should consider the accountability of
men, if not the entire state system.
KATRINA MANN
RACKHAM

0i

Unfortunately, such
a program would do student.
little to alleviate the _ _
ailments of struggling
public schools. Rather, it would cre-
ate a Catch-22 for those most in need
of aid. In order to get state dollars,
public schools need students. In order
to get students, they need good teach-
ers, state of the art technology and
rigorous curricula. In order to hire
instructors capable of teaching diffi-
cult material and purchase adequate
technological resources, the schools
need (surprise) state dollars.

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