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January 11, 2001 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-11

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 11, 2001
1be AhMuititt aIg

Kula Airways: Flving high in the friendly skies

r _, __ o _ _ _ L _ _ _ _

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

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MIKE SPAIIN
Editor in Chief
EMILY AcHENBAI M
Editorial Page Editor

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

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
and thank you for choosing Kula Air-
ways My name is Jean-Christopher, and
I'll be y our head attendant on today's
flight My colleagues and I are here to
make your travel experience as pleasant as
possible, so if there's
anything we can do
for you, please let us ,
know
..Tday we'll be
cruising at an altitude
of approximately
30,000 feet, except at z
takeoff and landing,
at which points we'll
be considerably clos-
er to the ground The
flight time fromC .i
Detroit to Atlanta has Chrs
been estimated at Kula
three hours, but after
factoring in a strong
headwind and Cap-
tain 'ferry's choice to
navigate by the constellations, it will more
likely take 18
We are scheduled to make a short
stopover in Memphis, followed by a brief
stay in Raleigh, at which point we'll con-
tinue on to Atlanta via Virginia Beach, Key
West and a small, unnamed island off the
coast of Bermuda Also, Dallas and old
Havana And Scranton
If you could please direct your attention
to the front of the cabin, I will now detail
the features of the aircraft

We ask that all of your personal belong-
ings be stowed prior to takeoff, with lighter
articles placed in the overhead bins and
heavier articles from The New York Times
stored beneath the seat in front of you
Please be aware that baggage placed in the
bins may shift in location, namely when the
flight attendants remove them while you
sleep
We request that your seatbelt be worn at
all times when the seatbelt light is on
When the captain turns the seatbelt light
off, you are free to move about the cabin
and admire its hardwood floors and stone-
laden fireplace, perfect for the weekend
skiing enthusiast. Should you be out of
your seat when the light is turned on,
please return to your seat aware of the fact
that you have disgraced your family and
begin preparation for sepuku.
Kula Airways is proud to offer you a
smoke-free environment, so we ask that
passengers refrain from burning incense,
curing salmon filets or engaging Deep Pur-
ple-style fog machines while we are in the
air For your safety, smoke detectors have
been installed in the plane's bathrooms, so
please do not smoke 'em, even if you've
got"em
Emergency exits are located as follows
Two in the front, two in the rear and two
along the sides, in addition to the one great,
gaping exit that will be created upon
impact In the event of an emergency land-
ing, the vast majority of you will be evacu-
ated with frightening speed through this
large, jagged exit onto the charred, broken

earth where the only sound audible above
the terrible crunch of twisting metal-on-
metal will be the horrific shrieking of your
fellow passengers
Today's in-air feature film stars Kurt
Russell as "Captain Ron "
Should we suffer a loss of cabin pres-
sure, special masks will appear from your
overhead compartment The clown mask is
a traditional favorite, as is Dick Nixong
Choose your preference and place the maskW
over your face You will look positively
goofy and it will help take your mind off
the precious lack of life-giving oxygen in
the cabin. Be sure to secure your own mask
before you assist anyone else, because
that's the American way
We will be providing complimentary
soft drink service during today's flight and
alcoholic beverages can be purchased for a
nominal fee. On special today is the double,
scotch, or as we call it, "the Captaii~
Terry," We will also be serving light snac
fare including pretzels, crackers and salted,
nuts, or as Captain Terry calls them, "This
isn't my double scotch "
If you require assistance of any kind
during today's flight, simply press the call
button located above your seat and a flight
attendant will be by to thinly veil their bit-
ter, all-encompassing contempt for you or
to pass out hot towels for your face
Refreshing'
Thank you once again for choosing
Kula Airways. I love you.
Chris Kula can be reached via e-mail
at ckula(alumich edui

Engler's two-fold insurance mistake

E arly last week Gov. John Engler
vetoed a bill that would have
required insurance companies and
health maintenance organizations to
pay a claim within 45 days or pay a
12 percent interest penalty. Engler
justified his veto by arguing that
claims courts, not the Michigan legis-
lature, should have the last say in dis-
putes between businesses. The fact is
that Engler's veto
essentially gives insur- Engler S
ance companies the
power to withhold tens the insu
of thousands of dollars bill to c
from citizens - busi-
nesses that depend on political
these claims for their .
livelihood. insuranc
Engler's decision to ynm n F
veto the bill that would
have forced insurance
companies to pay claims in a timely
manner is a disservice to Michigan
citizens. By giving insurance compa-
nies the right to deny payments to its
clients, Engler is protecting the
power that corporations have over
private citizens.
Citizens and small businesses rely
on these insurance payments and
waiting for their claims can be finan-
cially and emotionally damaging. By

protecting the special interests of
insurance companies, Engler has
ignored the rights of the population at
large.
In addition to vetoing the insur-
ance regulation bill, this week Engler
will probably sign a bill that will
enable insurance companies to form
political action committees, giving
them greater influence over legisla-

fhould veto
rance PAC
irb the
power of
res.

tion and political
campaigns.
Furthermore,
Engler's decision to
grant insurance com-
panies the right to
form PACs is another
extension of their
control. Insurance
companies already
exert considerable

'That filthy lifestyle will damn the life, destroy the soul
and doom the nation.'

- Baptist pastor and well-known anti-gay activist Fred Phelps, gearing up for
his planned visit to campus during gay pride week in mid-February.

political pressure but
this bill will hand them even more
power. However, in a year where
campaign finance reform is a major
issue, this bill is a clear indication of
the unwillingness of those in power
to initiate any real reform.
Engler has taken two steps in the
wrong direction: He' should have passed
the insurance regulation bill and should
veto the insurance PAC bill to curb the
political power of insurance companies.

A necessity
New law will save newborns' lives

E arlier this month Michigan
became the 29th state to pass a
law that allows mothers to safely
abandon their children without fear
of any punitive action, unless there is
evidence of abuse. This law will not
only protect the lives of unwanted
infants, but it will also provide peace
of mind to new mothers unable or
unwilling to support their newborns.
Many new mothers, especially
teenage girls, are motivated by fear of
legal repercussions as well as fear of
facing family and friends when they
must abandon their newborns. The
anonymity of the new law provides
can only help to alleviate that fear
and encourage young women to hand
over their babies to authorities with
the resources to care for them.
However, this bill will not be able
to have a widespread effect unless it
is highly publicized. Michigan needs
to continue its effort to increase
awareness of this act through the
publication of brochures and adver-
tisement of a toll-free hotline.
Also, this new legislation should
not be the end of efforts to curb the
widespread problem of abandonment,
which in approximately one-third of
cases, leads to the infant's death.

State officials need to continue to
look for ways to address other factors
that lead to dangerous abandonments.
It is important that educators con-
tinue and increase efforts at teaching
students options for dealing with
unwanted pregnancies; it is also
important that society as a whole does
not ostracize unwed mothers. The
social stigma attached with such preg-
nancies is often the force that drives
new parents to abandon their children.
Not only does society need to be
more accepting of accidental preg-
nancies, but efforts at education
about preventative options need to
persists. In this way, sex education
can be a powerful tool for avoiding
unwanted pregnancies and ensuring
that women are educated about mea-
sures that can be taken to avert these
pregnancies altogether.
Because of this law, a safe option
exists for mothers who have delivered
unwanted babies. Although critics of
the act argue that it will only encour-
age an increase in the number of
babies abandoned, the fact that none
of those babies abandoned at the
places prescribed by the law - hos-
pitals, firehouses and police stations
- will die justifies its existence.

Nader voters should
take pride in their
political idealism
TO THE DAILY:
I'm admittedly poorly versed in politics, but
I did find several aspects of Manish Raiji's col-
umn "I trusted Nader and now I've got ... John
Ashcroft?'" (1/9/01) on the recent presidential
election to be peculiar.
It seems to me that Raiji's viewpoint both
before and following the election is somewhat
close-minded. I find it unfair to say that so
many people were fooled into voting for Ralph
Nader because Al Gore and George W. Bush
were such similar candidates. Perhaps I am
wrong, but it was clear to me that Bush and
Gore were and remain very different. My
decision to support Nader was not affected by
the similarities between the aforementioned two
fellows but because I felt the same "moral
obligation" Raiji wrote of.
With that said, I would like to make refer-
ence to all those people who voted for Nader
because they simply did not see eye-to-eye with
Bush or Gore. Perhaps they saw the folly in
voting for their favorite consumer advocate
simply because he wrongly claimed that Bush
and Gore were interchangeable suits. Nader
afforded a large group of jilted voters a forum
to shout their beliefs and stick their collective
middle finger in the general direction of the
two-party system. Frankly, the thought of a can-
didate that would remove the corporate spon-
sorship from our government was extremely
appealing to me.
Moreover, I think it is equally unfair to
imply that Nader has pushed "the Republican
Party farther to the right" when it seems intu-
itive that a lowly Green Party candidate would
have no bearing on the policies of conservative
politicians. Nader did not trick anyone. If I had
not voted for Nader, I simply would not have
voted. I'd like to thank Nader for giving me and
many others a reason to.
While I wholeheartedly understand the rea-
sons people have for hurling insults at Bush, I
think it is getting old. Is Raiji claiming that the
"supreme idiocy" and "colossal stupidity" of
Bush did not hinder the man's ability to let so
many potential Gore votes migrate to the Green
side? That does not make sense. Bush probably
isn't the smartest man in the world but he
believes deeply in his politics and did not exact-
ly fool people into thinking he would pick the
same cabinet that Gore would have. I don't
think anyone who voted for the person they
believed in should feel wronged or stupid. I
think it's an affirmation that the political
process has hope. There are those people who
realized that their one vote is all they had to
give on election day, and they proudly cast that
vote, in its entirety, for an ideal that they felt
would better the American condition.
Am I upset George W. Bush won? I won't
consider that notion until that suffix from Presi-
dent-elect disappears. I truly hope that everyone
gives the man a chance, even if we don't see
eye-to-eye with him.
CYRUS KHOLDANI
LSA JUNIOR
Consideration of race
in admissions is not

backwards interpretation of these policies
The mere use of the word "discrimination"
to label a program with the intention of rec-
tifymg the historical underrepresentation of
minorities in higher education is a joke in
itself.
As for the plaintiffs in this case, the Cen-
ter for Individual Rights, I'd like to ask
them where they were the entire 20th Centu-
ry, when the rights of individuals truly need-
ed to be protected. The problem with the
CIR and some conservatives is that they do
not comprehend that in redressing an inher-
ent disparity between minority groups, indi-
vidual discrimination is moot.
Minorities weren't discriminated against
individually, they were castigated for the
color of their skin. In order to alleviate this
inequality, the issue must transcend matters
of the individual. It is outrageous to think
that the playing field has been equalized to
the point where minorities and whites can
compete on the same level.
As for the other myopic conservative ral-
lying cry - that minorities are being admit-
ted "solely" on the color of their skin I'd
ask that those who subscribe to this opinion
do a better job on their homework. Accord-
ing to Bakke v. The University ofCalifornia
Board of Regents (1978), the Court ruled
that race could be used as a "plus factor,"
but not the lone criterion for, admissions in
institutions of higher education. This is cur-
rently the policy, in accordance with federal
law, that the University upholds. The idea
that minorities are admitted simply because
they are minorities is absolutely fallacious
and a misguided attack on the University.
Third, Lankheet tries to finish his letter
on a sympathetic note and expects us to feel
sorry for his being waitlisted in favor of
other minorities who were "less qualified." I
would like to formally invite him to cry me
the largest river in the world and those of
you who also claim to be "oppressed" white
Americans can feel free to join him. Do you
honestly expect me to feel bad because the
University is adhering to policies that help
ameliorate the plight of a large number of
historically underrepresented minorities at
the expense of your inconvenient waitlist-
ing?
Finally, the assumption that you were
waitlisted and others were denied solely
because of the consideration of other minor-
ity applicants and not on the relative short-
comings of your own merit is entirely
ungrounded and confined to mere specula-
tion. The assumption that the minorities you
deem responsible for your waitlisting are
"less qualified" is unequivocally discrimina-
tory and derogatory. So Lankheet, why
don't you and your conservative friends
grab some more tissues for yourselves,
because I'm not crying for ya.

TO THE DAILY:
As a former candidate for City Council,
representing then-Ward 5 (on the West
Side of Ann Arbor) under the Human
Rights Party (HRP) in 1972, 1 want to
applaud the Daily editorial encouraging
students to run for Ann Arbor City Council
and become active in local politics ("We
need a voice: Students should run for city
council seat." 1/8/01)
I was a "sacrificial lamb" in a non-stu-
dent ward but the progressive HRP swepto
two of our candidates to victory (Nancy
Wechsler and Jerry DeGrieck) in Wards 1,
and 2 which were student-dominated. The
next year we elected a third councilperson
(Kathy Kozachencko) from Ward 1, giving
the students 3 out of 10 seats on the Ann
Arbor City Council. While popular histori-
cal memory touts our marijuana ordinance,
we were also able to pass ordinances in
support of workers and of gays and les-
bians. We also helped craft housing ordi-
nances (as so many of us in the HRP came
out of the Ann Arbor Tenants Union strug-
gles) that expanded the rights of tenants.
During that heady spring 1972 City,
Council election, HRP had 2,000 students
out onthe streets of Ann Arbor shuttling
students to the-voting polls, leafleting and
poll watching. Moreover, the actual City
Council meetings that we participated in
were exciting, productive and raised stu-
dents voices for their concerns as well as*
the concerns of those with whom we were
in solidarity workers, people of color
and gays and lesbians.
With the rebirth of the activist student-
movement all over the world and particu-
larly prominent at the University, it is time
to re-create another venue for students in
local politics. The City Council ward
boundaries should be re-drawn to give stu-
dents the fair representation they deserve.
They were clearly re-drawn in 1985 to get
rid of student power in local government
This is an important opportunity to activate
more students and give them the opportuni-
ty to be effective politically. The activists
in HRP during the early days, at least the
ones with whom I am in touch, are still
activists in our 50s - in our communities,
our unions, in the social justice move-
ments, in our writing. The University com-
munity should do all it can to support
student wards in order to foster participa
tion and some of the most profound learn-
ing experiences for students this alumd
could ever dream of.

Students on city
council can bring
major change

0

,JASON POLAN
TOM 50 Coti! . A
PeM( EPLW At.Vlf .T
.r''
MLC 1Iv'

VINCE PECORA
LSA JUNIOR

NANCY ROMER
ALUMNUS

THOMAS KULJURGIS TEN TAI VELY SPEAIKING,
4'a

i

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