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February 17, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-17

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 17, 2003

OP/ED

w AWodangi Datig

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
If you don't
like it, move
to France."
- Chanted by a small group of pro-war
demonstrators at Saturday's anti-war
rally in Lansing, as quoted in yesterday's
Detroit News and Free Press.

Fromv Va1ue- Inectio so Srin
0~ri c~nWo ~ x~o,-'~ n..

V+ .
N jjJ'

a
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l
',
'

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

t01

Bill Martin for USOC president
JON SCHWARTZ TwO SIDES TO EVE2RY SCHWARTZ

These days, putting
together a list of
factors in our cul-
ture that serve to embar-
rass the United States on
an international level is
pretty easy. I don't even
need to start naming
them - you know what
I'm thinking about. And
while all of those are indeed ludicrous, they
seem to come and go. One day it's John
Ashcroft, the next it's Iraq and soon enough
it will be "Married By America."
(On a side note, is there anyone out there
who's not excited as hell about this show? Is
there a more humiliating way to show what
America is all about than for a national audi-
ence to make arguably the most important
and personal decision in life for two random
people? This should be on pay-per-view and
declared a national holiday. But I digress.)
But there's one ongoing travesty that
constantly lays shame upon this country -
the U.S. Olympic Committee. Think about
it, other than the games themselves, when is
there news about this group that's not some
sort of scandal. If they're not testifying
before the Senate, these board members are
monitoring the revolving door of executives.
Morbid though it may seem, about the only
thing that saved last year's Salt Lake City
games from becoming a nightmarish mess
was Sept. 11, which made the world
embrace America and turned the Olympics
into a revival of sorts.
These are the people with whom we
entrust the responsibility of organizing
America's role in the greatest showcase of
amateur athletics. Which is why I say that
it's time for Bill Martin to leave Ann Arbor.

and go where he's needed more.
When former USOC President Marty
Mankamyer resigned her post under pressure
on Feb. 4, Martin, who was named the
USOC vice president-secretariat in Novem-
ber while retaining his role as Michigan's
athletic director, stepped into the presidency
on an interim basis.
Martin insists that he will only hold the
role temporarily, until the committee can
choose a new president. He doesn't feel that
he would be able to give both Michigan and
the USOC the attention they deserve if he
attempted to stay on permanently. But maybe
his allegiance is with the wrong institution.
Don't think for a second that I'm trying
to push Martin out of Michigan. On the con-
trary - Bill Martin is without doubt the
greatest thing to happen to this university
since I've been here.
The man exudes decency in every way
he carries himself. A department that he
found in near total turmoil has in fewer than
three years become stable, with the final
piece of the reconstruction coming when the
NCAA finally rules on Michigan's sanctions
in a few weeks, thereby ending the turbu-
lence of years past. (By the way, rest in
peace Eddie. We knew you well - you'll be
missed.) Let's not forget that when Martin
came to Michigan, with the department's
budget looking as promising as the reviews
for "Daredevil," the new athletic director
refused to take a salary, directing it instead
to the department.
It's a matter of integrity. Bill Martin has
it and the USOC needs it. He's made the
tough decisions at Michigan, whether firing
a basketball coach or banning a team from
the postseason in a year when it was finally
releasing itself from the shackles of total

ineptitude. And though he let USOC Chief
Executive Officer Lloyd Ward off the hook
in one of his first acts as interim president,
Martin still chastised Ward for the ethical
complications he was a part of and which
had been the bane of the committee recently.
Serving your country is not a uniform enti-
ty - everyone can do it differently. For some
it means enlisting in the armed forces with full
knowledge of what that can mean right now.
For others it's about protesting civil rights
violations. For Martin it could be leaving a
program he loves and instead taking charge of
one that desperately needs his help.
Today, Bill Martin finds himself in a
familiar role. After saying that he didn't
want to become Michigan's permanent ath-
letic director three years ago, coaches
around the department insisted en masse that
he reconsider. Now, he's getting the same
treatment from the USOC. It's time for him
to listen again - there's a reason he finds
nothing but support wherever he goes.
Whichever institution Martin chooses
will benefit from his decision. The same
skills that made him a tremendously suc-
cessful businessman and athletic director
will suit him well in the USOC. And should
he choose to stay with the Wolverines,
Michigan will be better for it.
But as a loyal Michigan fan, I'm willing
to give up the department's fearless leader in
the interest of repairing a organization that
should stand for only positive, but is instead
marred in scandal. As an American, I know
that I want Martin to move on.
I hope that someone out there can con-
vince him to feel the same way.-

Schwartz can bereached
atjlsz@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

AATU fails to serve the
University's student body
To THE DAILY:
As a University alumnus, a former Michi-
gan Student Assembly representative and an
Office Space Allocation Committee member, I
stand by my comments made to the Daily last
spring concerning the Ann Arbor Tenants
Union, and their status as a "pseudo-student
group." The Daily (Tenants' time, 02/14/03)
argues that: "[t]he attitude embodied by Apel
speaks to the acute lack of understanding that
many members of the University community
display toward the AATU." There is no misun-
derstanding by the University community
regarding the AATU - the simple truth is that
students do not want the tenant services offered

by the AATU.
Regardless of the good intentions and
benevolent desire of the AATU, there is no
demand by the students of the University
to have their limited student government
funding spent on a group that is inefficient,
ineffective and serves no appreciable
niche. Their well-documented low level of
service to students, the lack of public out-
rage, widespread ambivalence and largely
uninterested electorate concerning this
issue all attest to this.
Student General Counsel Joe Bernstein
and MSA are true student advocates in their
quest to thwart the hijacking of limited stu-
dent funds by a small, albeit good-hearted,
group that inefficiently uses its resources to
provide an unwanted service.
PETER APEL
University alumnus

Weekend Magazine article on
dry humping is a disgrace to
the Daily's standards
TO THE DAILY:
Sports Writer Jim Weber, is an embar-
rassment to the Daily, Clamping down on
dry humping and blue balls, (02/13/03). I
cannot believe that the Daily would
endorse and print such crap. I hope his
name gets dragged into some legal dispute
and he gets his "balls" nailed to the wall
for his ignorant words. Do the Daily's edi-
tors even read this stuff before the Daily
publishes it?
JAMEs GRYEEN
Reader

b

VIEWPOINT
Congress, can you spare a dime?

BY LOUIE MEIZLISH
JACKSON - There's a new move-
ment afoot. It's called, "Let's get as much
money as possible from the federal gov-
ernment."
Actually, it's really nothing new at all,
but rather a manifestation of the problems
inherent in the setup of Medicaid, the joint
federal-state health insurance program for
the poor.
Numerous states across the country,
many of them led by newly-elected gover-
nors who pledged during their campaigns
not to raise taxes (at the same time
promising voters they wouldn't see a sig-
nificant reduction in government services),
face severe budget deficits.
In Michigan, the projected deficit is
almost $2 billion. In New York, it's
almost $10 billion for fiscal year 2004,
according to Gov. George Pataki.
There are generally three reasons for
the various budget deficits in the states: 1)
The bad economy, which has resulted in a
decrease in income and other tax revenue,
2) Tax cutting that has gone too far, and 3)
Increasing costs of health care for the
poor, which are theoretically covered by
Medicaid.
Many of the governors, like Michigan's

the Republican gubernatorial nomination
last year - a campaign mainly focused on
his expertise in budgetary issues.
I can't blame the governors for asking.
The states need as much money as they
can get for Medicaid. People are getting
older and more people - in this economy
- are being forced to use it, thus spread-
ing thin the program's funding all across
the country.
But in addition to taking the unpopular,
yet necessary, steps of cutting other ser-
vices and (sometimes) raising additional
revenue (YIKES! More taxes!), the states
and their governors are asking the federal
government for help in balancing their
budgets.
Why is it so politically appealing to try
to get more money from the feds. Simple.
Unlike the states, the federal government
isn't obligated to balance its budget. A
few extra billion dollars for the states
tacked onto a public debt of $3.5. trillion
seems like peanuts, and no politician will
ever lose an election for voting to raise it
1 or 2 percent.
Medicaid has been described in Michi-
gan as the "800-pound gorilla" because of
its size proportional to other areas of the
budget. The current annual cost of the pro-
gram is $7.2 billion, 55.4 percent of which'

many of her fellow governors have been
asking the feds for a hike in federal Med-
icaid spending.
But Granholm isn't optimistic.
"I hope we can change (President
Bush's) mind, but I don't expect that to
happen," she said at a news conference at
the high school.
The responsibility for ensuring health
care coverage for the impoverished should
not be divided between the national and
state governments. Lack of health care
availability to the poor is a national prob-
lem, not a national and state problem. The
current setup of Medicaid only allows for
a vacuum of responsibility. All the states
and the feds have to do when there's a
lack of money for Medicaid is blame
eachother.
But health care is too important, and if
the feds don't kick in enough money,
Granholm should be prepared to find ways
so that Michigan residents don't have to
go without quality health care.
What could quite possibly happen is
that Medicaid doesn't cover care unless a
disease is life threatening, with patients
self-medicating themselves until they need
to go to an emergency room (which, aside
from being extremely detrimental to one's
health, is really expensive).

THE BOONDOCKS

AARON cRU* E

4

PRESIDENT RUSH4 SAID TODAY IT WAS (LEA

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