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September 18, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-18

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 18, 2003



Ulbpe £t~igmi Nadu


SINCE 1890

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.

McDonald's sees
some major trends, and
the company is trying to
be responsive."
- Bob Goldin, an analyst at Chicago-
based food consultancy Technomic, about
McDonald's launch of its Go Active meals
for adults, which will include a salad, an
exercise booklet and a pedometer as
reported by Yahoo.com.




Kittens Around the World...

If you will it, will they come?

n the early 1990s,
Paul Krugman, the
New York Times
columnist and Princeton
economist, made great
hay out of his blistering
attacks on a set of the
political cognoscenti that
was willing to use acade-
mic jargon and poor-
quality research to justify preconceived
economic policies. Krugman dubbed them
"policy entrepreneurs." From the supply siders
of the Reagan administration to the strategic
traders of the Clinton presidency, Krugman's
targets extended across the ideological spec-
trum. Marked by a propensity for intellectual
gimmickry and a Rasputin-like ability to per-
suade politicians, Krugman blamed these char-
acters for disastrous public policy initiatives.
While Krugman authored his most scathing
attacks in his 1994 book "Peddling Prosperity,"
the late 1990s saw policy entrepreneurialism
taken to new excesses. Technology was going
to remake the world and permanently alter
everything from tax structures to the way wars
are thought. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
would reach 36,000 and change economic
behavior in the process. The Internet would
lead to the withering of the state. Unfettered
trade and capitalist expansion would make war-
fare obsolete. Picking up on these prophecies,
the champions of globalization ascended to a
status of preeminence in Washington's think
tanks and wonkish journals. Politicians and pol-

icy makers used these visions of perpetual pros-
perity to garner popular support for massive
spending initiatives that have helped lead to
state budget crises across the nation. Even the
University got into the act, hitching its star to
the promise of biotech.
The Life Sciences Institute is a product of
the heady days at the end of the millennium.
Buoyed by the strongest economic performance
in decades, flush with a massive tobacco settle-
ment and ready to solve once and for all the
incorrigible problems that plagued the state
since the end of World War II, the state of
Michigan made a billion-dollar commitment to
the life sciences. The Life Sciences Corridor is
a multi-institutional endeavor stretching from
Grand Rapids to Detroit with the $100-million
Life Sciences Institute as its centerpiece.
Besides curing cancer and doubling human life
expectancy the corridor would also fundamen-
tally restructure the Michigan economy for the
21st century. Between luring high-tech jobs to
the state and ending the state's dependence on
the automobile industry, Michigan had a bright
future ahead of itself. Former University Presi-
dent Lee Bollinger was one of the corridor's
biggest cheerleaders. Through hobnobbing with
elected officials and academics Bollinger made
the corridor possible and displayed his skills as
a policy entrepreneur of the first order.
The logic of this type of research initiative
appears self evident. Pour money into some
cutting-edge research and watch your region
expand into a stalwart of an innovative indus-
try. Plus, all you have to do is look around the

country and you'll see examples of locally-con-
centrated industries. There have been some
examples of governments consciously spurring
on regional development, but by and large,
these regional concentrations of industry have
emerged as the result of happenstance. More-
over, it is simply impossible to predict what
fields or innovations will bear fruit. The life sci-
ences may have been designated the savior of
Michigan, but with such limited information it
is impossible to know if the field will pan out.
In the case of the Life Sciences Corridor,
the obstacle to a governmentally-inspired suc-
cess are particularly relevant. Biotech was the
"it" field of the late 1990s and other regions
also attempted to capitalize on the promise of
the technology. There is a Central Indiana Life
Sciences Initiative, a Long Island Sciences Ini-
tiative, Life Sciences in Missouri, a Cornell
Life Sciences Initiative, Life Sciences Research
Initiative at the University of Albany, a Califor-
nia Life Sciences Initiative and a Life Sciences
Initiative at the University of Kansas. Whew,
that was exhausting. Needless to say, other
states have devoted their resources to biotech as
well and the competition for top-flight faculty
and federal research dollars will be fierce. Add
the University's relatively late start in the
industry and the outlook for the entire project
appears relatively poor. But that's what hap-
pens when you let the policy entrepreneurs run
the show.


Peskowitz can be reached
at zpeskowi@umich.edu


UROP offers students, fac-
ulty interaction
Your editorial, The lost pedagogue
(09/16/03), unfortunately failed to take into
account that the University supports a vigor-
ous and renowned program to do just what
The Michigan Daily claims is absent here:
"(tie) undergraduates more into the Universi-
ty's research projects."
Late last year, U.S. News and World
Report, in its annual college rankings, gave
the University's Undergraduate Research
Opportunity Program its No. 1 spot for such
programs. The definition for the category
included students or teams being "mentored
by a faculty member" with the students doing
"intensive and self-directed research or cre-
ative work" that results "in a product that can
be formally presented."
I agree with your editorial that under-
graduates need exposure to hands-on
research. I have found that UROP students
who participate in research projects get to see
the connections between coursework and
scholarship, attend faculty office hours more
often, and, importantly, study more, develop
critical thinking skills, gain research compe-
tence and explore new and cutting-edge fields
in ways not possible in the classroom. But I
respectfully part company with you when you
assert the University is not doing enough in
this area.
The University has one of the largest,
most comprehensive undergraduate research
programs in the country and one of the few to
focus on first- and second-year students, span
all academic disciplines and systematically
create a community of student researchers.
Since 1988, the program has grown from 14
student/faculty research partnerships to over
1,000 such partnerships. Approximately 60
percent of the projects are science focused,
30 percent social sciences and 10 percent
I encourage any undergraduate reading
this letter to contact the UROP office to learn
more about the vast opportunities to partici-
pate in research at the University. As I write
this, more than 1,000 first- and second-year
students and almost 100 juniors are develop-
ing research partnerships with more than 550
faculty members from all University schools
and colleges. Many more are continuing to
work on projects they began last year. The
faculty, in fact, have opened their doors to
undergraduates and offered their time, lead-
ing-edge technology and enthusiasm about
research to mentor thousands of University

(09/17/03), he cites a statement I made to him
via e-mail. Unfortunately, he chops apart my
words to serve his own ends. I have inserted
the entire e-mail I sent to him here:
Hey Ari,
There are actually some really good arti-
cles on why certain support aspects of the mil-
itary should be privatized, such as cooks,
janitors, etc. That way, those who choose to
serve in the military can perform jobs such as
radar technician, infantry grunt, etc. I believe
(former Michigan Review Publisher Matthew)
Franczak wrote a column on this my frosh
year (2000-01).
Anyway, the idea of having a privatized
fighting force (as opposed to support), I would
imagine, is an issue of security. That trusting a
private business that exists outside of direct
government control, access to military battle
plans, etc., might compromise secrets. And in
general, the idea of hiring a rent-a-grunt to
defend American interests irks many.
At the same time, though, the idea of a pri-
vatized military would ensure the best product
at the optimal price, in theory. The military
bleeds money even when it does work with
outside contractors such as Boeing. I wouldn't
mind seeing a little more fiscal control.
So, there are very valid arguments for
going both ways, I believe I support the
first one.
Reveling in the Wolverines' victory,
As one can easily see, I expressly support
the privatization of some aspects of the U.S.
military, and do not appreciate Paul's twist-
ing of my thesis.
Paul's failure of logic challenges the mind,
as his point-and-see example doesn't prove
anything. Paul claims that I point out;"not only
the flaws of capitalism but how they can com-
promise our security, well-being and way of
life." How does calling for the privatization of
non-combatant jobs in the military call for the
end of capitalism? Doesn't it, in fact, encour-
age privatization, in part? This streamlining
not only would decrease costs for the military,
in terms of training and retention, but would
also increase morale, as soldiers would spend
more time training to fight, and less time
swabbing the deck.
We have seen rank-and-file failures of
purely government-driven programs from
education to social healthcare; it is sad that
Paul not only cannot see this, but must stoop
to the mischaracterization of others' ideas to
promote his own.
LSA senior
Editor in chief; The Michigan Review

My friend Liz was in Africa for a year,
my friend Katie put herself through college
and is now employed by Teach for America
and Alice-Kate is both an amazing philan-
thropist and actress.
These character profiles don't match up to
your definition of a sorority girl. Why is this?
Perhaps you've never tried to get to know a
person involved in the Greek system - it's full
of beautiful people. Sometimes one will come
across a rotten sorority girl. Yet, I can say with
a solid foundation that ugliness holds no favor
to fraternity boys or University journalists for
that matter.
In a class of mine last year, I saw a girl with
beautiful red hair, amazing Gucci sunglasses,
and a killer outfit with an attitude to accessorize.
"Wow" I thought, "This girl could definitely be
materialistic, and even whiny." I went up and
talked to the girl and discovered one of my dear-
est friends ever. She's funny, she's interesting,
and above all, she's kind.
To answer your query, it doesn't suck to
be so cool.
LSA senior
Piskor's comments on
sorority girls judgemental
and unwarranted
I am infuriated. While reading Jess Piskor's
opinion piece Rushing by, too cool for a root-
beer float (09/16/03), I found myself agreeing
with him that, yes, a free root-beer float to
passersby is a nice, warm-hearted gesture.
Yet in the midst of propelling himself as a
selfless, fun-loving guy, Piskor turned his arti-
cle into a weakly-based, full-fledged attack on
sorority women. I myself have been in a sorori-
ty and can tell you that though there are some
girls who fit Piskor's description, I can first-
handedly assure you that they are not represen-
tative of the whole. I completely resent the fact
that Piskor assumes these friends of mine are
the counterparts to frat boys that wear demean-
ing T-shirts. To the contrary, the friends I have
made through the sorority have been some of
the most generous, genuine and non-conformist
women I have ever met.
They have begun their own national philan-
thropic organizations, are studying to be brilliant
screenwriters and doctors and some even (gasp)
favor resale shops over Burberry, Prada, and
Tiffany's. They and I are individuals who have
not been "broken down" by our sorority, yet
have gained incentive to find our own unique-
ness and sunnort while doing so.



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