4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 3, 2003
URbe Atdigu m atfdg
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors
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.
If you do your job .
you're likely to wind up
with a deficit, lots of
reporters and broken
- Daily editor Roger Rapoport
on the hazards ofjournalism. Rapoport's
piece originally appeared in the Feb. 11,
1968 edition of the Daily.
.lAc, 6t hc;
SAM BUTLER TtE SOAPBOX
Remembering not to forget the space program
JON SCHWARTZ Two SIDES TO EVERY SCHWARTZ
Iknow I'm not alone
here. I know there
are millions of
people who, like me,
have always been
enamored with the idea
of space travel. We
dreamed about putting
on that suit and helmet
and being launched out
of the atmosphere. We imagined life with-
out the shackles of gravity. We watched
"SpaceCamp" seven or eight times a week
until, thankfully, something better came
along in "Apollo 13."
The moon? It wasn't some ball of rock
in the depths of space; it was our destiny.
We exist. And I still get goosebumps
every time I hear about some space mis-
sion. I still possess the bad habit of find-
ing my way into the astronomy section of
bookstores and spending hours leafing
through books on the space program.
Friends don't know this. Family members
don't know this. But it's true.
So "I spent a good deal of this past Sat-
urday watching intently as everyone and
their brother tried to figure out what exact-
ly went wrong on the Columbia shuttle's
descent back to earth. And I heard every-
one from Walter Cronkite to shuttle pro-
gram manager Ron Dittemore say that
Americans too easily forget just how dan-
gerous space travel is, and just how amaz-
ing it is that Saturday's disaster was only
the third time NASA lost astronauts on a
-. That'-&certainly4rue. There is no doubt
that space represents the most dangerous
and mysterious frontier imaginable, sim-
ply because its limits far outreach the con-
fines of our minds.
But there's something more that poses
an even greater danger to Americans in the
wake of Saturday's tragedy. The real prob-
lem, in my view, is that, were it not for the
explosion, the shuttle would have landed
safely. It would not have been in the news.
It would not have been important. About
90 percent of Americans wouldn't have
even known that the mission was over, if
they even knew that it had ever begun.
STS-107, Columbia's ill-fated mission,
was a significant voyage. Though the
intentions were purely scientific, one part
of the ship's cargo got quite a bit of news
coverage. Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the
Israeli Air Force, was a member of the
seven-person crew that launched on Jan.
16. The launch, for the first time in recent
memory, was prominently reported on the
Internet news wires directly after liftoff
sent the first Israeli into space.
For this reason, I was able to catch a story
about the mission on launch day. It was a 15-
minute return to my old dreams. What had
become almost an irrelevant event, the
launching of men into space, was suddenly
back in the news. Then I took a shower and
went to class. And I forgot. Forgot that at
any given moment, it was possible that seven
people in an oddly shaped ship could be fly-
ing right above me. Forgot, until my room-
mate told me Saturday morning that a space
shuttle had exploded.
But at least I got to forget. Had this
been just about any other mission, Ameri-
ca's first contact with the astronauts would
have been in the form of an obituary.
Astronauts, the people we, all wanted to.
become, have become as important to
many Americans as the people who clean
the shuttle. Hopefully, that ended Satur-
We've gotten too good, too big, too
quick. We've been to the moon, so we
won't pay attention until man stands on
Mars. That International Space Station is
fine, but damn it, by the year 2003, weren't
we all supposed to be living there already?
America's space program costs billions
of dollars a year to carry on. And that
money goes to some of the most important
explorations that humankind has ever
seen. Nothing groundbreaking may have
been intended on STS-107, but look at
what space in general represents. Astro-
nauts are congruous with the pioneers of
exploration on earth. Ferdinand Magellan,
Christopher Columbus, John Glenn, Neil
Armstrong. The list of great explorers will
continue to grow as NASA finds ways to
put people in places beyond imagination.
Saturday, anyone associated with
NASA asserted that qualified people
would work to identify what went wrong,
and then the program will continue.
What's more important, however, is that
someone finds a way to make people real-
ize the importance of space exploration.
Once NASA can get through the mourning
period for Saturday's tragedy, it needs to
find a way to make sure. that space no
longer becomes a fascination that young-
sters betray when they become teenagers.
Everyone knows the stories about crew
members dying during Columbus' voyages
to the New World. Nevertheless, the mis-
sions carried on. And here we are to show
But where will we be hundreds or thou-
sands of years from now? That's the ques-
tion NASA needs to find an answer to.
Schwartz can be reached
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Senior edition of Daily 'crude,'
'disgusting, ''not funny'
TO THE DAILY:
"It's just a spoof edition." "It's sup-
posed to be funny." "We really didn't
mean what we wrote." Three excuses that
can be used to justify offensive comments
in Friday's Daily. Here is a news flash for
you: They were not funny. They were
crude, degrading and misrepresented our
We realize that the Daily's spoof edition
is a tradition and, sad to say, this is the
fourth time in our four years here that we
have felt this way. The truth is that you can
make a spoof paper really funny without
making offensive comments like "Bruce
Springsteen is a homo. Seriously, words
cannot encompass his gayness."
Placing this comment in your spoof edi-
tion inherently meant that the Daily thought
someone out there would think that com-
ment was funny. We personally know many
people who did think it was funny. That fact
is a disgrace. So our plea to you is this:
Make a spoof edition; it is tradition. But
think before you again help perpetuate
stereotypes that our University actively tries
Daily reader is confused
TO THE DAILY:
Could somebody please explain what was
going on with the Daily online Friday? All of
the articles are crazy and do not make sense. It
is usually not like this.
Posturing of student leaders
prevents development of open
dialogue on MidEast confict
TO THE DAILY:
Concerning Students Allied for Freedom
partition of British-mandate Palestine was
taken by Egypt, Jordan and Israel. After the
internationally-recognized defensive 1967
Six-Day War, Israel captured the remainder
of that land - Gaza Strip and West Bank -
from Egypt and Jordan, respectively. Begin-
ning with the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel
began to turn over portions of the territories
to the Palestinian Authority.
The West Bank has been divided into
three types of areas, "A," "B" and "C." In
"A" areas, which contains six of the largest
cities in the West Bank, the Palestinian Leg-
islative Council has full responsibility for
internal security and public order, as well as
full civil responsibilities.
In "B" areas, which contain most of the
towns and villages in the West Bank, the
Palestinian Legislative Council has full civil
authority and responsibility for public order,
although Israel has overall security authority,
which is stated to take precedence over
Palestinian responsibility for public order.
In "C" areas, which contain mainly
unpopulated areas, Israel has full responsibil-
ity for security and public order (This entire,
unedited paragraph can be found on the web-
site of the Institute of Law at Birzeit Univer-
sity, a Palestinian university in the West
I think it is time for our student leaders to
refrain from misguided rhetoric. Romanticiz-
ing the plight of the Palestinians by claiming
they have never had "a single day" of politi-
cal self-determination only confuses the pub-
lic, presents blatant falsehoods as historical
fact and undermines any attempt to have con-
structive dialogue on this campus.
Corporate sponsorships coud
alleviate tuition crunch fr
students at the University
To THE DAILY:
Due to state budget cuts, the University
faces a debilitating deficit. Now, as the
Daily reported (University remains silent on
its contingency plan for lawsuit loss,
01/30/03), the University could be responsi-
ble in paying up to $5 million in legal fees if
it loses its cases.
Who picks up the tab for the needed
m na Xe _ oAinoTn h ah T
We could even have corporate sponsor-
ship of entire departments. The geology
department, instead of being a tremendous
drain on the University's resources, could
make us money if it was paid for by Exxon-
Mobil. Electrical engineering could be
sponsored by General Electric, the School
of Natural Resources and Environment by
Ben and Jerry's and the political science
department by Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman,
etc. for president in 2004.
What's in it for the corporations? Well,
there are 38,000 students currently enrolled
in the University. Assume we capitalize on
our degrees from this prestigious university
and make $100,000 a year each. That
amounts to $3.5 billion in earnings every
year! Wouldn't the corporations love to
pay a few million dollars now to get some
of our billions later?
Does this plan go against the morals of
the University? Not as much as you may
think. The football team, designed to teach
student athletes to play football and to pre-
pare them for future football careers, is
already sponsored by Nike for many mil-
lions. Similarly, the Business School,
designed to teach business and to prepare
students for careers, could be sponsored by
Visa. Is that so different? People have no
problem receiving fellowships and scholar-
ships from corporations. In fact, those cor-
porations are considered charitable. Would
it really matter if, in exchange for their pay-
ing part of our tuition, their logos appeared
in the bottom right corner of your profes-
sor's Power Point presentation?
Let's face it. We're all going to be work-
ing for them some day. They might as well
pay for our education now.
The alternative is higher tuition.
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from all
of its readers. Letters from University students,
faculty, staff and administrators will be given
priority over others. Letters should include the
writer's name, college and school year or other
University affiliation. The Daily will not print
any letter containing statements that cannot be
Letters should be kept to approximately 300
words. The Michigan Daily reserves the right to
edit for length, clarity and accuracy. Longer