4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 8, 2002
G~hbe ltirbgu huI
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(( They give him
a 'slow puncture,'
meaning he will die
over a period of time."
SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX
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.
A~v~CA~ - OEM~S-
- Gideon Morris, the director of the General
Inspectorate of Prisons in South Africa, as
quoted yesterday by Reuters on the use of AIDS
rape by prison gangs as punishment.
Kwame takes his stand
JOHN HONKALA TOo EARLY IN THE SUN
J ust when it
well on his way to
carving out a lackluster
legacy as Detroit's first
earringed mayor, the
gresswoman's son has
taken off his kid gloves
and jumped directly into Metro Detroit's mass-
According to last week's Metro Times,
Kilpatrick is championing a new state-of-the-
art $45 million public transit center to be locat-
ed in Detroit's Times Square. And fear not ye
pessimists, this ain't just for the People Mover;
the center would be designed to accommodate
light rail and Kilpatrick intends to utilize it,
feet-dragging suburbs be damned.
Kilpatrick's proposal comes just in time
for transit boosters, whose only action this
year has been to follow the Detroit Area
Regional Transit Authority bill's stilted path
through the Michigan legislature where it has
been left for dead by petty House Republicans
upset that the Chamber of Commerce threw
their weight behind Jennifer Granholm in the
DARTA, which would essentially bring
Detroit's and the suburbs' busing systems
under one regional authority, was emasculated
long before the election, though, and it wasn't
just because of Republicans. Nay, the DARTA
bill languished in committee purgatory all
summer because a good number of suburban
politicians believe their car-driving con-
stituents won't benefit from more efficient and
comprehensive mass transit.
Metro Detroit politicians are bull-headed
and myopic by nature, but their resistance to
mass transit begs a million more pointed
metaphors that I will not subject you to. (Think
bats if you must.) The laundry list of mass-tran-
sit beneficiaries includes the environment, com-
muters, the poor, teenagers, etc., and it's central
to the creation of a truly sustainable region.
Imagine, for a moment, University students
hopping on a train to catch a show at the State
Theater and dinner at the Cass Cafe on Friday
nights; workers from Pontiac riding the rails to
work in Dearborn; and, yes, even the rural chic
in towns like Milford locomoting down to
Royal Oak and Birmingham to fill their Prada
bags with Prada clothes.
But I digress. The mayor's transit center
doesn't include any of this. It will cost mil-
lions just to construct a basic loop around the
center of Detroit. And thus far, only a hand-
ful of suburbs have expressed even luke-
warm interest in expanded bus service, much
less a rail system. But if he does indeed pro-
ceed with the plan, Kilpatrick will have taken
a step that should've been taken long ago in
the '70s when Metro Detroit fumbled away
$900 million in mass-transit aid from the
federal government; he will have laid a foun-
dation around which the entire region's
transportation system can be built upon. If
Livonians don't want to admit that theirs and
Detroiters' destinies are inextricably linked
then so be it. Ann Arbor, on the other hand,
would be more than welcome to link itself to
Detroit's transit center.
We have grown so accustomed to mass-
transit's almost complete marginalization in
Metro Detroit that a watered-down bill to link
busing authorities had us sweating into our
Vernors all summer long. Our counterparts in
Chicago and New York must have thought us
absolutely darling. With Kilpatricks' declara-
tion that "it's time to move the discussion out
of buses" we have at least shed a bit of our
And leave it the city "where life formerly
thrived" (to quote the Daily's "8 Mile"
review) to breath new life into Metro
Detroit's sluggish mass-transit debate. (Pre-
sumably the virile suburbs were too spent
from their work commutes to come up with
What the nationwide, "8 Mile"-inspired
barrage of rib jabs aimed at Detroit's sup-
posed hopelessness miss is that the 950,000
plus people who live in Detroit are doing just
fine without your condescending pity, thank
you. And while both Detroit and its suburbs
are complicit in the region's historical failure
to work together, today it's the suburbs that
have given up.
Case in point: Recent proposals for a $1
billion plan to widen I-75 in Oakland County
have met little resistance, despite that it is
common knowledge that the plan will only
increase traffic and sprawl. But fixing roads
is easy and requires nary an eye to the future.
And if that's not giving up hope I don't
know what is.
On a campus so deeply enmeshed in an
historical affirmative action court case, I am
constantly surprised by the number of other-
wise liberal folks who appose the concept.
Keith A. Owens' wonderful column in this
week's Metro Times does not directly address
affirmative action, but it just might add some
perspective to your dissent.
John Honkala can be reached at
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Playboy-video game ad may
TO THE DAILY:
"Nice" to see the "Playboy and Playstation"
ad on (Wednesday's) page 9 ... "Conquer the
Terrain", indeed. This sort of association of 1.
scantily-clad women with 2. "conquest" and 3.
the cheap excitement of video games will really
help all the young men at the University who
may spend too much time playing with their joy-
sticks (?) become more mature adults who care
about gender equality. (Remember Playboy Play-
mate Dorothy Stratten, murdered by slimy hus-
band-pimp Paul Snider in 1980? (as portrayed by
Muriel Hemingway and Eric Roberts in the film
"Star 80") Maybe pornography and its milieu can
in fact tend to promote violence against women.
Perhaps the Daily can start running ads for
prostitutes and customized crack pipes next.
(Rhetorical statement; not a suggestion.)
When the Daily editorials on the same day
complain about cheesy ads (Just plane
ridiculous), and about "a state of perpetual elec-
tion" (Double trouble), perhaps the paper should
also look at the advertisements it itself elects to
print, and at any nastiness perpetuated by certain
unpleasant ads and attitudes.
Law School alumnus
TO THE DAILY:
I'm weary of the Daily's solitary comic strip,
"The Boondocks." The strip has been featured in
your publication since I can remember, and I
think it's reasonable to express desire for some-
thing refreshing - perhaps others feel similarly.
Tuesday's strip included a joke on Winona
Ryder: her crimes of theft and vandalism are, in
short, pardoned because she is white. I under-
stand entirely that it's a joke, and that I should
enjoy Mr. McGruder's parodying my society, but
I'm ready for something new.
How about a strip that doesn't remind me
each day that my identity is my race? Isn't the
fact that my life is governed by white privilege
old news? The Daily quotes Raquel Fernandez
today ("Students find it difficult to keep her-
itage"): "If you forget about where you're from
you become a fake person." I'm from rural
Arkansas - you know, the "boondocks."
Despite Mr. McGruder's subtle portrayal of my
,m nnncear ar, nmvinnat ader1ncd1A~0innl ih irPI'
Boondocks" and (ironically) should defer to the
desire of the majority?
Boot's comments re: Nolan's
e-mail 'rather amusing'
TO THE DAILY:
I find Sarah Boot's comments in your article
regarding Matt Nolan's e-mail to students (E-
mail questions effectiveness of MSA leadership
11/21/02), rather amusing. Boot claims that the e-
mail was "in direct violation of the integrity of
the election" and "he Nolan sent that e-mail with
the malicious intent of ruining the election for our
(Students First) candidates)."
First, violating the "Integrity of the Election"
is actually clearly defined via a clause in the
MSA Election Code. Nowhere in this clause does
it state that sending an e-mail stating your opinion
on the election is a violation. If such a rule did
exist, I can say with some confidence that mem-
bers of all parties, including Students First, would
be in violation of it. There'd probably also be
some issues with the First Amendment.
Second, how was Nolan trying to "ruin" the
election of Students' First candidates? Not once
is the term "Students' First" even used in the e-
mail. Nor is there any mention of particular can-
didates or members of MSA. Rather, it seems to
me that Nolan was simply doing an A to B com-
parison of the 2001-2002 Assembly vs. the cur-
rent Assembly. I find it hard to believe that could
"ruin" the election for any candidate.
Instead of accusing people of "malicious
intent," Boot's time might be better spent
attempting to fix the long standing problem that
Nolan touched on in his e-mail - MSA's cam-
pus-wide status as a joke without a punchline.
University ruining aesthetic
value of historic building with
TO THE DAILY:
I read with dismay that another beautiful
building on campus will be "renovated," which
really means destroyed. The College of Litera-
ture, Science and the Arts building, like so many
other buildings on campus, represents unique
4-..0.-, withinl a., a itP,~-tu-.r,. .,riac circh hn.,,1Ah.
ings are considered as testaments of art and beau-
ty. In the last few years, this campus has under-
gone an alarming renovation trend that doesn't
respect the existing architecture of the affected
buildings. maintaining the architectural integrity
of a building should mean more than keeping the
Interior spaces represent historical, ideologi-
cal, and aesthetic trends in architecture as well.
For example, Lane Hall looks great on the out-
side, but inside is cookie cutter drywall office
boxes. Mason Hall, on the first floor, has changed
dramatically: The bathroom has been destroyed,
transformed from a beautiful piece of history into
a small box. Does anyone remember? One can go
in to any building on campus that hasn't been
renovated and leam so much about the past just
from observing the way interior space has been
used. I hear Frieze is slated to be next. God
knows what Rackham will look like. Will Hill
Auditorium still have those elegant fixtures, coat-
hangers and glorious spaces which show the
beauty of the early twentieth century? i think not.
these are works of art that should not be
destroyed. these buildings can be renovated in
smarter ways so as to not compromise their
integrity. One could argue that University is try-
ing to save money(hah!) or save resources, but I
can tell you that new technology (like plumbing
fixtures, heating/cooling units etc) all breaks and
is often much shoddier that that which it has
replaced. (Have you noticed that the new no
hands sensor toilets still screw up? Or that the
new doors and windows are harder to use than
The ideology behind the notion that the old
must be replaced by the new is scary. We have
seen the tragedy of this mentality historically,
during the Mao revolution, during Hitler's reign,
etc. the old buildings on this campus should be
left intact, not destroyed in order to satisfy the
current administrations need to feel like they've
actually done something. As I said before, most
cultures in most countries tend to treat old build-
ings with respect, as representations of historical
significance. Why doesn't the University?
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from all
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faculty, staff and administrators will be given
priority over others. Letters should include the
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University affiliation. The Daily will not print
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L etters shouil be kept to approximately 300