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January 19, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-19

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4- The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 19, 2001

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A Shakespearean awakening tofalsification

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

?s

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.

O ne night recently I dreamt that "Ham-
let" had been adapted into a porno
movie. But that isn't what was shocking.
Rather, it was my in-dream reaction, which I
can remember as being somewhat appeased
by the porn industry's
effort to send one of
their cycloptic pro-
jects on an extraordi-
narily Catholic
trajectory. ~
What I'm trying to
say is that I awoket
feeling duped, maybe,
by myself more than
anything or anyone
else. In my dream,
movies aimed at Patrick
recording sex for theK
sake of some John's
vicarious arousal xlkg
gained a credibility m. s
that, in reality, they do "_
not merit. Something
like asking a pig in a dress to the prom.
I'm not going to whittle away the remain-
der of my column arguing that pornography
isn't Shakespeare. Of course it isn't. Of
course Shakespeare can be a mantra for the
intellectual monk, and porn is a war-cry in
the derelict mindscape of lonely men.

Instead, what my dream provoked in me
was a reminder of how deceiving looks can
be. It's an old adage with which we're all
familiar, but maybe we trivialize it, and
that's to our own disadvantage. In my own
opinion, looks are almost always deceiving.
Now that I think about it, "looks"
shouldn't be confined to mean only visuals.
Appearances in general, by whatever modes
we understand them, are bound to be the
glints that catch our proverbial eye. They
are the colors and sounds that we remember
most easily; like Sally Struthers' starving
Africans, or the sizzle of your brain on
drugs.
I don't mean to insinuate some phobic
atmosphere that masks every truth in a lie.
Even the word "skeptic" has connotations
that feel too strong for my state of mind and
purpose. I guess that looks can only deceive
a person willing to be fooled. There's noth-
ing wrong with a masquerade. But for the
drunk man who storms in looking for his
wife, looks only conceal. I was thinking of
"Eyes Wide Shut" - were you?
So it turns out that, at least grammatical-
ly, the old adage was right to begin with.
What I can say is that appearances are
almost always concealing ... something(s).
My example at the start of this column
occurred in my subconscious, which was

apt to believe the intellectual pretenses of a
purely carnal circus. I sold tickets to a
peepshow standing under a sign that script-
ed "theater," and then I grabbed a seat
myself.
But I think that everyone must do that to
some extent. The person who uses big words
in bad plades is doing it. So are the beautiful
people. So is everyone that doesn't at least
try to stake some plot of indestructible, ide-
alistic truth for themselves. And so are they.
When ' get to thinking about posturing,
about the schism between what has sub-
stance and what insists on the surface, I
think about television. I get to thinking
about those Lilliputian intimacies I have had
with women, those rare moments in the dark
when all the fog seemed to lift and the clear
air could maintain any voltage, transport any
words in their true pitch. I've blasphemed
those moments with thoughts of romance
scenes from famous movies.
Yeah, appearances flashback worse than
any Vietnam acid nightmare.
One night recently a girl said we'd go one
night and she'd show me how to throw pots.
Clay, potter's wheel, that stuff. It could be
amazing, I bet. I was thinking of "Ghost"
- were you?
- Patrick Kiley can be reached via
e-mail atpkiley@umich.edu.

Standardized tests display bias

The National Summit of the New
Civil Rights Movement held a
symposium on Sunday at the Michigan
League, focusing on the severe limita-
tions inherent in standardized testing.
They found that standardized testing
presents an entirely flawed assessment
of peoples' intelligence. Their allega-
tion of bias in standardized tests is com-
pletely correct. The University should
take steps toward recognizing this bias
and move toward an admissions stan-
dard that considers more valid indica-
tions of a person's academic merit.
First and foremost, standardized
tests pose racial, class, gender and cul-
tural barriers to equal opportunity.
There is clear and conclusive evidence
that standardized tests discriminate
against minorities and the poor. An
example is the findings of Jay Rosner,
the executive director of the Princeton
Review, a company that helps prepare
students for such tests. In the 1988-89
SAT, 575 of the 580 questions displayed
"white preference."
Recently, the College Board released
SAT statistics regarding college bound
seniors in the year 2000. Whites did
considerably better than blacks, Native
Americans, Latinos and other minority
groups. Furthermore, males received
higher average scores than females.
Another study by David White, director
of Testing for the Public, concluded that

students of different ethnicities with
similar grade point averages had a con-
siderable gap between test scores.
Based on all the evidence, it is difficult
to dispute that these standardized tests
strongly favor white males.
Considering this information, the
University needs to look past standard-
ized tests as a measure of intelligence.
The numerous schools and departments
at the University must downplay the
importance of standardized tests when
evaluating students in the admission
into their programs. For example, the
GRE should play less of a role in
admissions into the University's gradu-
ate programs. Instead, more qualitative
measures of merit should be used to
consider applicants.
The University needs to follow the
lead of more than 280 other schools
around the country that have eliminated
or reduced the role of the SAT and ACT
for admissions into their undergraduate
programs.
No person should be discriminated
against based on his or her socioeco-
nomic status, gender, race or ethnicity.
Standardized tests are a tool for dis-
crimination, and should therefore be
eliminated from the University's deci-
sion processes, or downplayed. The
University has a duty to ensure that its
action, or lack of action, does not hinder
the efforts of reaching social justice.

t
' #
r
L
C
r

'Oh, Hideki who ran for president ..
what ever happened to him?'

-Music school sophomore Arianna Wadkins commenting on Michigan Student
Assembly President Hideki Tsutsumi's loss of visibility around campus.

Daily overlooked
economic factors

The home
Clinton's final weeks remained active

People love him. People hate him.
And tomorrow, this eight-year-long
love/hate relationship will come to an
end when the 42nd president of the
United States, Bill Clinton, leaves
office. Pundits and journalists have
been trying to articulate Clinton's lega-
cy since the resolution of the 2000 elec-
tion, yet no one can seem to agree on a
conclusion from these turbulent years.
Clinton will be remembered for an
unprecedented economic boom and
leaving office with a 65 percent
approval rating, yet he was impeached
by Congress just two years ago. His
legacy is inexpressible because it is so
contradictory.
However, in the last few weeks of his
presidency, Clinton took an active and
aggressive role in necessary areas. Most
lame-duck presidents leave office quiet-
ly, but Clinton is going out with a bang.
Although many last minute actions
by Clinton are under heavy scrutiny and
face possible retraction by Republicans
and President-elect Bush, Clinton's pro-
active stance on labor, environmental
and racial issues is well received by
many concerned liberals.
Clinton designated historical and
environmentally precious lands as
national monuments to prevent the next
administration from destroying wildlife
and open spaces.
First, he made a national monu-
ment out of the Upper Missouri River
Breaks area in central Montana, land
once traveled by Lewis and Clark on
their famous 1803 expedition. He also

preserved the historically-significant
World War II Minidoka internment
camp.
Clinton has also selected several
other national monuments including
most of the Sonoran desert in Arizona,
as well as parts of California, New
Mexico and coral reef areas in the U.S.
Virgin Islands. He strongly discouraged
the next administration from drilling for
oil in the Alaskan wilderness.
With four days left in office, Clinton
sought to leave a strong precedent for
politicians to fight child labor and
sweatshop conditions in countries that
manufacture materials imported to the
United States. He recently committed
almost $50 million from both the Labor
and State departments with a goal to
end child labor in five to ten years.
Although this goal is idealistic, Clin-
ton's actions show a strong support for
workers and children all over the world.
Finally, Clinton confirmed the
Democratic Party's dedication to com-
bating discrimination by issuing a
report to Congress which outlined
issues important to black and Latino cit-
izens and recommended to Congress
that they seek to rectify problems in the
justice system like racial profiling and
discrimination with mandatory sentenc-
ing.
Although Clinton's overall presi-
dency is getting mixed reviews from
both Democrats and Republicans, it is
clear that at the end of his term, he did
not decrease his commitment to sever-
al important issues.

TO THE DAILY:
In the Daily's Thursday, 1/18/01, edito-
rial, "Married to Nike: 'U' community
should be skeptical of deal," it is stated that
there are "fundamental and serious differ-
ences" between the recently recommended
University Committee Code of Conduct
and the Collegiate Licensing Company
Code insofar as the CLC Code states that
workers need to be paid "... at least the
minimum wage required by local law or the
prevailing industry wage, whichever is
higher." The editorial further states: "In
many Third World nations, workers making
'the prevailing wage' live in squalor and
barely make enough money to feed their
families. This state of affairs is woefully
inadequate and should not be tolerated by
the administration or the University com-
munity."
What the editorial fails to recognize is
that it is a well-established fact that multi-
national corporations like Nike and others
commonly pay their workers more on aver-
age in comparison to the prevailing market
wage for similar workers employed else-
where in the economy. In cases where sub-
contracting is involved, workers are
generally paid no less than the prevailing
market wage. The issue then is that if Nike
and other companies are mandated by the
University Code to pay even higher wages
to their workers than they do currently, the
net result would likely be shifts in employ-
ment that will worsen the collective eco-
nomic welfare of the very workers in poor
countries who are supposedto be helped.
Further, it has to be understood that low
wages in poor countries reflect the relative
abundance of workers in these countries
and their low levels of productivity. Histo-
ry has shown that, as poor countries devel-
op, their wage levels tend to increase, often
substantially - as the experiences, espe-
cially in Asia, have demonstrated in recent
decades. It is more important therefore to
encourage the continued growth of these
poor countries and their low-wage indus-
tries rather than to hit them with sanctions
with dubious justification.
ROBERT STERN
PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY
Inflammatory tactics
hurt affirmative
action debate
TO THE DAILY:
Kudos to the Daily for its informative "All
Sides Heard" Editorial page (1/16/01). This was
one of the few campus fora in which differing
views on the Law School's affirmative action
lawsuit have been tolerated.
By contrast, an unprincipled minority of
those who support the Law School's current
admissions policies have vigorouslytsilenced
and vilified all who would challenge their posi-
tion. Witness the tearing up of protest signs and
snowball barrage (not to mention whispered
threats) suffered by lone MLK Day protester
Adam Dancy ("BSU, DAAP clash during MLK
rally," 1/16/01).
Consider also the public rhetoric of three
student intervenors, who characterized those
opposing the law school policy as "resegrega-
tionists" engaging in "racist and right-wing
attacks, both in the court of public opinion and

50-year quest for legal diversity" and "Con-
demned by Justice Powell," 1/16/01). No one
- not Adam Dancy, Cohen, or me - is argu-
ing that diversity in the classroom isn't worth
fighting for. That is a given. The question is
simply how that essential goal should be
accomplished within our constitutional system.
Like Lehman, I recognize "that a diverse
class, racially and otherwise, makes a class
stronger than the sum of its parts." I see that
every day in my classmates of various races,
ethnicities and backgrounds.
But how we should achieve that diversity if
far from a settled question.
I, for one, would like to have the chance to
keep talking about it.
ANTHONY ORR
LAW SCHOOL
Dan Rather, Daily
have not changed
TO THE DAILY:
I attended college at the University from
1968-1972, obviously during some heated
protests about Vietnam, minority enrollment,
etc., some of which served as worthwhile
change agents in a society that seemed to need
them.
The tone of the Daily's editorial Wednesday
("Don't be silenced," 1/17/01) differs from
what it was during that previous slice of history
and I am troubled by the distinction. Protesters
of the Vietnam-era were dedicated to changing
government policy, and they succeeded in
doing that without creating a divisive wedge
throughout American society. They had a clear
objective and they reached it. If the Daily has a
sliver of hope that the protesters at George W.
Bush's inauguration have any single minded
unifying purpose in being there, than I suggest
that you are more naive than your years.
After eight years of deceit, outright lies and
socialist doctrines emanating from the office of
our Commander in Chief (not to mention his
wife), this country would be better served by
expressions of support. I almost wished for a
time machine to see if the Daily's opinions
would change after 30 years of real world expe-
rience, but then I realized that if Dan Rather
didn't change, why should you? I am sure we
will both grow hoarse exercising our First
Amendment rights tomorrow.
HOWARD RICHARDS
ALUMNUS
Bush's presidency
no cause for protest
TO THE DAILY:
I thoroughly enjoyed the Daily's fiction-
al recreation of the events that led to George
W. Bush winning the presidential election.
If that was the way it happened, then every
American should be marching to Washing-
ton D.C. to protest this so-called atrocity to
the office of the President.

Unfortunately, that's not how it hap-
pened. First off, if you recall, Al Gore had
just over 500,000 votes more than Bush
nationally, which made up about 49 percent
of the popular vote. And, as everyone
remembers from high school civics class, 49
percent is not a majority but a plurality. The
"voting irregularities" in Florida were the
result of ignorance, not racial oppression, as
Caucasian Americans were also crying dis-
enfranchisement.
To say that Bush is an insult to the presi-
dency because he didn't win the popular
vote is also not entirely accurate. After all,
the founder of what has become today's
Democratic Party and the man who is most
responsible for "our democracy" won the
White House in a back-handed matter. That
was Thomas Jefferson, and I would hardly
say his presidency was a disgrace to our
nation's history.
As far as Bush not being able to con-
vince 93 percent of African Americans to
vote him, maybe that does signal that some-
thing is wrong with the Republican plat-
form. However, African Americans make up
about 13 percent of the population, and last
time I checked, our government works on
majority rule, not minority rule.
As far as the cabinet goes, perhaps his
choices were a bit disconcerting, but most
cabinet offices don't do that much. Congress
affects the minimum wage changes and how
national reserves can be used, so Ashcroft
and Norton are bound by current laws and
cannot change them.
If people want to protest this election
further, then I hope they do it based on per-
sonal convection rather than the Daily's fan-
ciful interpretation of history and
government.
JAY SCHAFER
ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE
Bring Pitino to the
University
TO THE DAILY:
Wake up University of Michigan Athletic
Director! Why in the name of everything that is
beautiful and sacred have you not made an offer
to Rick Pitino to be our head coach and turn the
basketball program around? He and he alone
may be the one man in the country that can get
the job done.
Instant recruits. Instant publicity. Instant
ticket sales. Final Fours. National champi-
onships.
As the most diehard University of Kentucky
basketball fan on campus, I am telling you I
have seen what he can do to a program in trou-
ble. Offer him whatever he wants.
UNLV is a second tier, Grade B program in
the world of college basketball. Our program is
classier, our university is classier, and Rick Piti-
no is a man of class.
Make the offer. Make it tomorrow. Call a
press conference. Get it done.
S. BRANDON COAN
LSA SOPHOMORE

JASON POLAN UM ...
/Arq L .. 240 0

DANE BARNES DISTURBED SLEEP

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