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January 09, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 9, 2001

(rfe rbigrtn Daig

I trusted Nader and now I've got ... John Ashcroft?

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'm arrogant, perhaps even egotistical. I'm
not quick to admit that I'm wrong about
anything, so the following confession is
going to involve much humbling on my part.
I was wrong. Ouch, that hurt. I was wrong
and let me explain why. When the candidates

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.

were out candidate-
ing, I was busy talking
about Ralph Nader.
Shun the status quo,
screw the two-party
system, don't "waste
your vote," ignore the
whole lesser-of-two-
evils theory. Vote your
conscience, do what
you think is right,
don't sell out to politi-
cal pressures. Sweet
mother of God, I was
A friend of my
father's saw me
recently, at one of
those lovely family



More can be done to make Ann Arbor safer
magine it's two o'clock in the morn- an interest in student's safety instead of
x ing, you are on your way home when just inanely busting parties and arrest-
you begin to sense footsteps behind ing underage drinkers.
you. Suddenly the footsteps overtake On the University's side, cheap taxi
you and a man demands your wallet. and free bus services are offered. DPS
Recently, situations like this seem to be provides escorts when the other options

Democrats and Republicans had become cen-
trists and that their political ideologies were
largely the same. I was being progressive, I
was being conscientious, I was being socially
aware. My man wasn't going to win, but I
was a fond believer in the idea that there were
no real differences between Bush and Gore.
I've never been so embarrassingly wrong
before. I had everything factored in, or so I
thought. What I failed to take into considera-
tion was the colossal stupidity of George W.
Bush. Physicists forget about friction for a
while, economists assume away inflation, and
I overlooked the supreme idiocy that is
George W. I showed weakness; I broke a rule
that I have always promised not to break -
never trust a politician. No, I didn't trust
Gore or Bush, I trusted Nader. And I forced
myself to believe that he wasn't a politician.
He is.
He promised me that Bush and Gore were
two sides of the same coin. He promised that
the country would be no better or worse for
having either of them lead us. He promised
that the lesser of two evils is still evil. I
believed him.
Bush won. Regardless of how slimy the
victory was, regardless of what kinds of
fraud, coercion and deceit factored into this
election, he is the President-elect. When I
first found out, I chortled, still believing that
the minor ideological differences between
Bush and Gore weren't worth getting upset
over. Regardless of who sat in the Oval
Office, this country would follow generally
the same path.
But then Bush started naming his cabinet
and all of my optimism crumbled. John
Ashcroft? Linda Chavez? Spence Abraham?
Gale Norton? There is no doubt at this point
that Gore, "the lesser of two evils," would
have selected a far superior cabitet. He

would have surrounded himself by better
people. I still believe that Gore would have
done what every CNN correspondent
promised; he would become a centrist presi-
dent who didn't do much of anything. I
thought Bush would do the same, but now
I'm seeing how horrifyingly wrong I was. He
isn't playing the centrist game; he's playing
the right-wing, good-old-boy, white-male-
American game.
All of this and he hasn't even been inau-
gurated yet. He's still the President-elect;
what is he going to do when the suffix get
dropped and he becomes President? I caW/
help but shiver thinking about how he's going
to stack the Supreme Court. I think of how
gleefully cocky I was before the election;
talking about centrist politics and the need for
neo-progressivism. "Gore will lose the elec-
tion because he's an impotent candidate and
it has nothing to do with Nader." I still agree
that Gore lost due to his own incapabilities,
but I'm realizing that I should have over-
looked those incapabilities and fought myw
hardest to ensure that Bush stayed in Texas.
Nader promised that his candidacy woulE
push the Democratic party back to the left
it appears as if the only thing it did was push
the Republican party farther to the right.
Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. I
know this isn't my fault; Gore won Michi-
gan and its electoral votes, so the whole
debacle in Florida really had nothing to do
with me.
But it does have to do with people like
me, who blinked for perhaps a second toe
long and missed the fact that Nader is only a
politician. Maybe that makes him a great
politician; he tricked me into believing he
was human.

happening more fre-
quently around cam-'
pus, with the robbery
of a Subway shop on
South University
Avenue and several
armed robberies in
surrounding off cam-
pus areas While stu-
dents were away
from campus during
winter vacation, bur-
glaries also rose
around town. And
although Ann Arbor
is a safe city, no
place is immune to
crime. Students have
several options to
increase their safety.
But the University

The University Department of Public Safety
is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call 763-1131 for assistance.
For a fixed fee of $2 per person, a Night
Ride cab will pick you up and take you to
your destination. The service area is limited
to the city limits of Ann Arbor. Night Ride
operates 7 7ights a week, between 11:00
p.m. and 5:45 a.m. Call 663-3888 for
service and information.
Nite Owl Bus Service
7640661 for ride information
SafewaIk (for walks in a 20-minute radius
from the Shapiro Undergraduate library)
Northwalk (for walks in a 20-minute radius
from Bursley Residence Hall)

are unavailable. But
students' safety can-
not be left solely in
the hands of the
University. Safewalk
and Northwalk are
worthwhile free pro-
grams that students
should take advan-
tage of when they
are walking home
late at night. It
seems students are
often hesitant to use
these . resources
because they think
they are unneces-
sary. Yet, people
who are walking
alone at night are
targets for attackers

outings that involves a lot of talk about one's
goals for the future followed by several hours
of political rambling. He turned to me and
said, quite bluntly, "it's your fault that Gore
lost." I tried to put up a fight, bringing up
vague notions of the loss of Tennessee, of
Arkansas, of stupid Gore supporters who
can't punch ballots. Although I still don't
agree that it was my fault, per se, I do see the
folly of my ideals.
I had it all planned out, and that's what is
so frustrating. It was very precise and scien-
tific - I would vote for Nader and fulfill
some moral obligation to do what I thought
was right, and either Gore would win or Bush
would win. I was wooed by the political pun-
dits who explained with serene verbosity that

- Manish Raiji can be reached via
e-mail at mraiji@umich.edu.


'obviously, It's flattering to hear one's name on such a
list. I continue, however, to be very happy in my work
here at the University of Michigan.'
- University President Lee Bollinger responding to his candidacy for the
presidency at Harvard University.


and the city of Ann Arbor can explore
many initiatives as well.
Police say it is normal for crime to
rise deng vacations because it is well
know n ihat students go home for the
holidays. Burglars know that students
often do not take very strict safety mea-
sures to protect their belongings. There-
fore, it is comforting that the Ann Arbor
Police Department patrols those areas,
though more could always be done to
protect neighborhoods around campus.
It's a consistent trend that crime rises
over winter break, so increasing the
level of community patrols is an effec-
tive means to dissuade would-be crimi-
nals. It is nice to see the AAPD taking

and there is safety in numbers. These
programs were created specifically to
ensure safety to students who are forced
to walk home alone after dark.
Many of the residential neighbor-
hoods and streets surrounding the Uni-
versity are poorly lit and often seem
deserted at night. Although there are
more than 70 "blue light" phones
located on campus, the University has
neither the legal responsibility nor the
authority to implement such safety
measures off campus. Because of the
large numbers of students living off
campus, the administration shoulders a
large degree of responsibility for their

Lives over petgnes
State lines should not affect organ donation

Election proved need
for a working class
political movement
Though there were several limitations
to the editorial "Republican Coup"
(1/04/01), the Daily was correct in point-
ing out the attack on democratic rights
involved in the selection of George W.
Bush as President.
The election itself involved a series of
irregularities, followed by an extensive
campaign to prevent a recount, and con-
cluded by a Supreme Court decision which
argued that United States citizens do not
have the constitutional right to vote for the
Upon recognizing this attack on democ-
racy, one must ask the further questions:
What is the basic cause of this attack? And
upon what basis must a defense of democ-
ratic rights be built?
American society is characterized by
extreme social inequality, where a tiny
minority of the population owns the vast
majority of the nation's wealth, while the
majority lives with constant material pover-
ty or insecurity.
This wealthy elite forms the social basis
of the Republican Party, and its attempts to
carry out its increasingly right-wing agenda
is bound to run up against popular opinion.
Democracy is a barrier to its aims.
At the same time the Democrats and the
liberal establishment, which in the last
analysis rest on the same social base as the
Republicans, have proven themselves inca-
pable of leading a campaign in defense of
The capitulation of Gore is pathetic but
In order to defend democratic rights, the
Democrats would be forced to rally the
working class and this they are organically
incapable of doing.
If this election has demonstrated any-
thing, it is the urgent necessity of building
an independent political movement of the
working class with the aim of abolishing
social inequality and the economic system

that creates it, thereby creating the condi-
tions for genuine democracy.
Concealed weapons
will promote safety
Does the Daily really understand what the
new concealed weapons law is going to do
("Safety Under Fire," 1/5/01)? Does the Daily
truly believe that.the law-abiding citizens who
are most likely going to be using this new law
are the ones that are going to be out committing
crimes? The people carrying guns on the streets
these days are not the ones using them for
crimes, but the ones most likely using them for
personal protection and safety.
This new law has provisions requiring gun

safety classes and training. If I was a criminal
walking the streets with the intention of harm-
ing someone or robbing them I would certainly
think twice about it if I thought they were carry-
ing a gun. As a matter of fact, if I suspected 4
person was carrying a gun I absolutely would
not use them as a target. If you want to talk
about "urban crime rates, escalation of other-
wise simple fights ..." why don't you study the
crime rates of European countries like London
where the police don't even carry guns. The
crime rate per 1,000 people is tremendously
higher than in the United States where guns are
protected in our Constitution.
If our founding fathers didn't keep arms and
put the provision into the Constitution, do you"
think we would even have a free country today
or would we still be taxed without representa-
tion and controlled by the King? We blazed the
trail for more freedom even in their own coun-
try so think twice about taking away the rights
we have as cites of this great country.


-Tk- Wc lt 4i1 -PAol i'

PO su lc,?

O1 ne of the medical miracles wit-
nessed in the 20th Century was that
of organ transplants. Injury and illness
that once intoned certain death can now
be treated. However, there remains a criti-
cal shortage of organs; approximately
5,000 people die while on waiting lists
each year. The fundamental problem
remains a shortage of organ donors.
While organ shortages are the root
problem, politics exacerbates the problem
as organs are divvied up with geographi-
scal restraints. Rather than simply using r
medical criteria to evaluate which patient
receives an available organ, artificial
boundaries determine, to a degree, who
receives an organ. For instance, a patient
in New York could have expected a medi-
an 511-day wait for a liver or moved to
New Jersey and cut the expected wait to
56 days.
The federal government has correctly
taken initiatives to limit the effect of
geography on who receives an organ.
This effort should be applauded and
extended until donated organs are used to
save the maximum number of lives. An
exclusively medical paradigm should be
used when deciding an organ's fate.
The opponents of such reform exist
and have sought to block organ sharing
measures. The initial objection is that

organs cannot "survive" long enough to
be taken across geographic boundaries,
yet with current medical technology and
efficient transportation, organs can be
transported vast distances. Some have
claimed that donated organs fall under
states' rights, though one would have to
overlook the $2 billion that the federal
government gives toward organ donation
and transplantation. Others have stated
that it would require large amounts of
effort and politics to change the system
and that reform would hurt the profit of
thriving transplant centers in organ rich
states. Neither of the above arguments is
remotely sufficient to justify jeopardizing
The optimal solution would be to have
sufficient organ donors to discontinue
wait lists. Numerous ideas have been pro-
posed: Switching to a presumed consent
donation system, in which organs will be
donated automatically unless otherwise
specified; giving a small "paid gift"
toward the funeral expenses of a deceased
organ donor; and even commuting death
sentences for inmates willing to donate a
kidney. While the ethics and implications
of these methods remain in question, cer-
tainly using geographical and political
consideration when distributing organs
remains an odious practice.

a. -v.ss 'ar. r"." .
E W S ONLINE lilCl ua .------
fosTAGE RAT-'s - t
t w RF-ASE


Winter in Ann Arbor: igloos and snow angels

Gray skies, brown slush coating the
sidewalks and the smell of soy sauce
all remind me of winter in Ann Arbor.
I am originally from about 30 minutes
outside of Ann Arbor
and the winters never
seemed nearly so
dreary there.
The University is '
in its own little bio- Q
dome of torture -A2,
better known as the
frosty hell. The last
time I remember there
being this much snow
was when I actuallys
wanted it to snow -
when I was little. Erin
When you were McQuinn
little snow was fun.
One year for Christ-

igloo, that kid would always bring up the
idea that if you had a TV and some blankets
you could spend the night. And for some
strange reason, everyone always agreed.
This idea was always abandoned at
about the same time that everyone's fingers
went numb. The closest we ever actually
got to this perfect snow igloo was a side-
ways snow mound that later collapsed on
But it wasn't like I ever even got that
many chances to achieve my igloo utopia.
Parents were the self-proclaimed snow
experts. They saw that excited look in your
eye when the ground was covered in white.
That look that only kids can get after a
snow storm. Parents never felt that way
because they knew the pain in the ass that
snow really is.
They knew they would have to scrape
their cars off and shovel the driveway only

snow has lost all purpose.
You don't even see saucers anymore.
Have they gone the way of the slap
bracelet? I haven't seen one since 1987. Ate
least not the old school ones that had rope
handles. Those were the best.
They were a lot better than those roll-up
sleds. The sleds that never fully unrolled so
you had to go down the hill in a big plastic
curl until you finally wiped out halfway
down anyways.
Sledding would never last that long
since there was no chair-lift or tow-rope to
bring you back up to the top. You'd always
be bundled up to be sledding for the next
48 hours, but end up in a tired sweaty
slump at the bottom of the hill after 20
Building a snowman had to be the least
exerting of all winter activities - so there-
fore it's the only thing that college kids will


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