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January 29, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-29

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 29, 2003


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SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

He can't put
a big toe outside
that country."

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.


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- Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif), on Saddam
Hussein's ability to inflict harm on other countries,
as quoted yesterday by The Associated Press.

Can he triangulate all the way to Baghdad?
amid Karzai, the American public that he supports dra- Frank Luntz, Jan van Lohuizen and Matthew
Rudy Giuliani matic plans to increase energy efficiency Dowd are probably still sifting through
and Sharon and wean the United States off its reliance empirical and statistical data on the public
Spann could not be on foreign petroleum. And while the $1.2 reaction to the oration. Major media organiza-
found in the gallery of billion is far from the "Manhattan Project" tions in the nation are still poring over their
the U.S. House of Rep- for new fuel technologies envisioned by transcripts with focus groups in an attempt to
resentatives. There were New York Times columnist Thomas Fried- discern which themes effectively portrayed
no strategically-placed man and then-House Minority Leader the president's positions.
heroes in the wings of Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), Bush now has I would suspect that the cowboy flourishes
Congress, yesterday the high ground with the electorate. - Bush's drawl that "they (al-Qaida terrorists)
evening. The focus was squarely and solidly From here Bush built-up to the interna- are no longer a problem to the United States
placed upon the president. tional sphere. The most serious mistake of and our friends and allies" - will be remem-
On a day that saw the reelection of Ariel last year's speech, David Frum's ill-fated bered as a boastful mistake. The unrepentant
Sharon as prime minister of Israel, the largest phrase "Axis of Evil" was jettisoned. Bush machismo cannot help the U.S. cause among
battle in Afghanistan since March and the con- articulated the essential dichotomy between the fence-sitters and plays into the worst
tinuing saga taking place at the World Eco- the rulers of Iran, North Korea and Iraq and stereotypes of Bush as a free-wheeling and
nomic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the the ruled of Iran, North Korea and Iraq. The uncontrollable Westerner. Especially in the
beginning of President Bush's State of the moral and humanitarian arguments for inter- scorned nations of "Old Europe," these rhetori-
Union was strangely out-of-place. Drug addic- vention, which were unnecessarily lost in last cal excesses prickle the conscience and minds
tion, mentoring programs, human cloning and year's State of the Union were the centerpiece of both elites and masses.
partial birth abortion. You could almost see of this year's address. - Last year's speech, hailed as a rhetorical-
William Kristol and the rest of the neocons Bush established an unambiguous outline ly gripping performance, now appears almost
yawning and turning off their TV sets, as Bush of the coming days' developments in the Iraq quaint. The world has undergone excessive
slogged through his domestic agenda. The crisis. Secretary of State Colin Powell will change since the halcyon climate of one year
assaults on trial lawyers and the bitter memo- address the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5, ago. The president faces a rapidly changing
ries of ClintonCare were a tedious prelude to where many are expecting a replay of Adlai world where Le Monde's memorable head-
next year's presidential election. But just a Stevenson's performance at the U.N. at the line after Sept. 11 "We Are All Americans
shade before 9:35 p.m., the speech underwent height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Will the Now" has been replaced with a slippery
a tectonic shift. Bush administration finally come forward with geopolitical scene. From backroom deals for
The turning point was Bush's introduc- its incontrovertible evidence that Sadaam Hus- control of the new Europe between Germany
tion of a $1.2 billion initiative to promote sein is engaged in the production of nuclear, and France to a Security Council less
the development of hydrogen-powered vehi- chemical or biological weapons? The amenable to the Bush administration's wish-
cles. Although Bush's similarities to former endgame, for better and for worse, is now set es, the obstacles lying ahead for the president
President Bill Clinton appear nonexistent and their will be little room for any party, the are vast. Leaving us with one question: Can
(and neither man would be comfortable United States, the European Union, the Securi- the hegemon ever be loved?
acknowledging any shared qualities), this ty Council or Iraq to maneuver from the brink.
proposal exemplified classic Clintonism. There will be innumerable analyses of Zac Peskowitz can be reached
Bush triangulated the Democrats, arguing to reactions to Bush's speech. GOP pollsters, atzpeskowi@umich.edu.


Daily editora'ludicrous,'
poorly researched, has no
regard for 'realities of research'
The Daily's editorial on the Institute for
Social Research's release policy for the
Consumer Confidence Index (Early release,
01/28/03) represents dangerously flawed
thinking and a misunderstanding of the real-
ities of research. The Daily reports that ISR
funds its studies to produce the index by
paid subscriptions; the benefit subscribers
receive is a paltry two hours' advance
receipt of the results? Perhaps the master
researchers of the Daily's editorial board
should come up with the money and do the
work to produce their own Consumer Confi-
dence Index, which they may then distribute
"for the public good" or as they otherwise
see fit. If the ISR is not allowed to fund its
research through these subscriptions, the
public will indeed have to shoulder the cost
of the research, so be careful what you wish
for. More likely, with inipending govern-
mental budget cuts across the board, there
will be no money and no index. What "pub-
lic good" will that serve?
It is ludicrous to assume that all sub-
scribers to the Consumer Confidence Index
are profiteering day-traders, although I am
certain the Daily has done no research on this
subject either. More likely, the subscribers
are companies seeking a tool to run their
businesses and plan for the future more effec-
tively. In a struggling economy, should we
not applaud and admire them for performing
this valuable service "for the public good?"
Litman' column off-base;
affirmative action not
'necessary evil' of higher ed.
I was disheartened when I read Joseph
Litman's column, You people are all missing
the point (1/28/03). I agree with Litman's
main idea; there are vast differences in edu-
cation received by those in wealthy suburban
areas compared to those in poor urban areas.
However, those who live in rich suburban
areas also receive a better education than

causes the need for racial preferences. I say
we as Americans, both liberal and conserva-
tive, hold President Bush to his promise to
leave no child behind. Provide under-funded
districts with the money that is necessary to
pay qualified teachers and fund beneficial
programs for our students.
The Fourteenth amendment clearly
states, "No state shall ... deny to any person
within its jurisdiction the equal protection of
the laws." This means that universities must
treat all people equally, regardless of race.
Furthermore, Title VI of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination "on the
basis of race" by any institution receiving
federal financial assistance. Because many
University students receive federal grants
and loans, under this statute the University
is not able to deny certain students entrance
because of their race.
Though affirmative action was and still is
a noble cause, it is unconstitutional in prac-
tice and violates Title VI. Without a constitu-
tional amendment, I do not see how
affirmative action can continue in its present
state. I do agree that, without this practice,
African American enrollment in top universi-
ties may fall, but if the government would
adequately fund and administer the rural
school districts this enrollment would grow
to a proper proportion.
LSA freshman
Daily coverage ofMichigan
victory over State did not give
Blanchard praise he deserves
Although the Daily's coverage of Michi-
gan's win over Michigan State (Finally!,
1/27/03) was admirable, applauding coach
Tommy Amaker and the Wolverines' talent-
ed freshmen, the articles disappointed me in
that the Daily did not give credit where credit
was due. Instead of praising LaVell Blan-
chard for sacrificing some of his offensive
power - which often comes from inside the
paint - he moved to the field to successfully
hold Al Anagonye to only four points. Then,
the Daily acted surprised that he wasn't upset
with his performance, only happy with the
win. He told you he was a "Michigan Man,"
a team player, when the University shattered
his hopes of a postseason by its self-punish-
ment. And, he has been telling the press the

Seft too quick to criticize
activists, too lazy to tear self
away from 'Milliontaire'
I find it amazing, yet typical of many liber-
als these days that they want to participate in
voicing their opinion, but will whine and cry
that someone hasn't done it for them just how
they would like it (Hanink, Honkala get it right;
anti-war movement should be about end to war,
01/28/03). It seems to be very telling of the ide-
ologically vacant middle that these people
expect others to do all of the work for them in
organizing a protest, and then complain that it
wasn't organized by people with the same
mushy, ineffective political views as them-
selves. Instead of taking action themselves,
these status-quosaders attend a rally or protest
or conference and then immediately turn
around and cry that it was too Red for them.
It seems almost infeasible to these people to
go out and organize their own rallies or protests,
yet they feel comfortable tagging along and then
whining that it should have been done another
way. Well, then do it that way! But it is hypo-
critical to complain about the organizers and
then join simply because you were too apathetic
to do something yourself. Too often, I see criti-
cism of groups like BAMN on campus,
ANSWER nationally, and the Left in general by
people who seem willing to join in the rally
when it suits their purpose but all to willing to
complain and condemn when it's over.
You don't have to agree with these groups,
just don't complain that they aren't doing your
work for you. Until these "fence-sitters" and
their ilk get out there and organize a reasonable
alternative, they are just going to have to bite
their lip and participate, or sit at home watch-
ing Joe Millionaire complaining that no one
understands them and their apathetic, quasi-
ideology. That is not to say that certain com-
plaints are not valid, but too often these come
from those who want to participate but are
unwilling to organize an event themselves.
Derisiveness for the sake of derisiveness is
insane, and misplaced condemnation often aids
those that the coalition is trying to oppose.
The fear I see emanating from these criti-
cizers is nothing new, but criticism of the Left
does seem to wax and wane as large issues
loom on the horizon or subside. Some have
attempted to link the Left with support for ter-
rorism in not so subtle ways. However, I've
also noticed that criticism and fear of the left in
the media comes when the Left appears most






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