4A -The Michigan Daily -Thursday, January 22, 2004
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We will double federal
funding for abstinence
programs, so schools can
teach this fact of life:
Abstinence for young
people is the only certain
way to avoid sexually
President Bush in his State of the Union
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How to tell a 10-year-old her president sucks
JOEL HOARD OH YEAH?
Bush's State of
the Union address on
Tuesday night, the presi-
dent read the following
from a letter you wrote
last month: "Dear
George W. Bush. If
there's anything you
know, I, Ashley Pearson, age 10, can do to
help anyone, please send me a letter and tell
me what I can do to save our country."
Sweet, sweet Ashley. I almost cried
when I heard him read that. If only we had
more children like you. Your doe-eyed stare
could melt the hardest heart, and your inno-
cence and faith are adorable.
Which makes what I am about to do all
the more difficult. Brace yourself, my
child, because I am about to open your
eyes and shatter your world.
I think it would be easiest for both of us if
I just came right out and said it: Your presi-
dent sucks. He is a liar and a moron. He is
irrational, stubborn and incompetent. He
relies on equally irrational, stubborn and
incompetent advisors and baseless faith
instead of reason and common sense. He uses
half-truths and scare tactics to promote his
agenda. He is turning the world against us.
He is single-handedly destroying the country.
He still can't pronounce "nuclear" correctly.
As I'm sure you are aware, Ashley, on
Tuesday night the president described the war
in Iraq thusly: "Combat forces of the United
States, Great Britain, Australia, Poland and
other countries enforced the demands of the
United Nations, ended the rule of Saddam
Hussein and the people of Iraq are free." He
went on to claim that "From the beginning,
America has sought international support for
our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and
we have gained much support." He implies
that the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are
truly international ones. But this so-called
international coalition is nothing more than the
United States and a handful of toady countries
that are too afraid not to commit troops to the
cause. The president thinks that because
you're young and naive he can trick you into
believing something that's simply not true.
Don't let him.
Sadly the president's crimes go beyond
simple lies. Tuesday night he also outlined
several policies that he claimed were aimed
at protecting children like you, Ashley,
when in reality they only seek to promote
his not-so-hidden Christian agenda. He
called for increased funding for abstinence
programs and drug testing in high schools.
Because you will be in high school in a few
short years, let me warn you: He wants only
to invade your privacy and force his beliefs
on you, Ashley. Don't let him.
This next part may be a little confusing
to you, but I will do my best to explain it in
such a way that you can understand. You
know how much your mommy and daddy
love each other, right? They love each other
so much that they made a promise to spend
the rest of their lives together. It is a very
special bond that they share. There are lots
of other people who share this special bond,
and sometimes instead of a mommy and a
daddy it's two mommies or two daddies.
That doesn't mean that they don't love each
other all the same. They should be able to
promise to spend the rest of their lives
together just as your mommy and daddy
did, right Ashley? Well the president
doesn't think so. He wants to prevent these
people from marrying each other in spite of
their love. With rationale based on archaic
notions of love and marriage, he uses words
like "sanctity of marriage" and "moral tra-
dition" to try to confuse you into believing
that even though these people love each
other very much they shouldn't be allowed
to get married. Don't let him.
But please don't lose heart, little one.
There is still hope. You asked your president
what you can do to save our country. He
replied, "Study hard in school, listen to your
mom or dad, help someone in need and when
you and your friends see a man or woman in
uniform, say, 'thank you.' " It sounds well
and good, but the president's requests are tan-
tamount to slapping a "God Bless America"
bumper sticker on your mom's minivan or
wearing a "United We Stand" T-shirt. Let me
tell you what the president should have asked
you to do. He should have asked that you tell
your parents to vote for John Kerry, or John
Edwards, or Howard Dean, or Wesley Clark
- hell, even a third party candidate. I
beseech you: anyone but George W. Bush.
Otherwise, my dear Ashley, we're fucked.
Hoard can be reached
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Do not interpret Dean's poor
Iowa showing as a rejection
of the anti-war position
To THE DAILY:
Howard Dean's primary surge since last
summer proved that a lot more people opposed
the war in Iraq than the media previously
showed. But unlike Dean, most Americans
didn't adamantly oppose the war when it hap-
pened. A large percentage of the people who
are now dissatisfied with the war were on the
fence when the war began. And like the non-
Dean candidates, they have slowly drifted to
the stance that war was a poor decision. So it's
easy to see why Dean's message isn't raising
him to the electoral heights it seemed he was
destined for a month ago.
Democrats got excited initially by Dean's
anti-war stance, but as soon as they realized
that almost all of the candidates were adopting
an anti-war stance, they moved on to other
issues like health care and taxes. Therefore,
we shouldn't take Dean's loss as a loss for the
anti-war position. We should take it as
resounding reinforcement. It's become so
accepted among Democrats that the war was a
terrible idea that its primary-election rele-
vance is waning as I write.
Diversity most compelling
reason for affirmative action,
but must extend beyond race
To THE DAILY:
Recently I heard a BAMN representative
explain to National Public Radio that people
needed to prevent the affirmative action ques-
tion from appearing on the state ballot this fall.
He indicated that if it was voted on it would
pass and affirmative action would become ille-
gal. This comment struck a chord in me.
In our republic, minority positions are
well supported. Agents in both parties are
free to filibuster to prevent the majority
from passing popular proposals. Lobbyists
wield tremendous power. The U.S. Senate
and House were set up to address the small
vs. large state issue. These are good things.
Many who support race-respecting
admissions contend that it is due to the
strong correlation between race and educa-
support very few different cultures and ethnici-
ties - badly at best. A truly diverse policy
would not be based only on skin color, but on
several other factors - faith, ancestry, ethnicity
and a host of other formative forces.
However, race is the only method used to
bias admissions and attempt to attain some
skewed form of diversity. The real solution
requires much more work. Until we remove the
flawed, but easy path, they will have no reason
to bring real diversity to our school.
Edwards works to unite
nation by exposing two sepa-
TO THE DAILY:
In assessing the post-Iowa political land-
scape, Louie Meizlish begins to make the case
for presidential candidate John Edwards (Inter-
preting Gephardt's Demise, 01/20/04); however,
he does not fully elaborate on the reasons why
Edwards is the best candidate to beat President
Bush in November. Beyond offering the most
detailed policy proposals on issues ranging
from national security to homeownership,
Edwards has presented the most cohesive
vision for the future of the country.
The foundation of the Edwards campaign
is a desire to change the two Americas that
have developed under the Bush administra-
tion. Edwards wants to put an end to the two
educational systems we have in this country
- one for people in affluent communities
and one for children in less fortunate areas.
Edwards wants to change the two govern-
ments that currently operate in Washington
- one for the powerful insiders and one for
the underrepresented American people. And
Edwards wants to adjust the two tax systems
that are currently on the books - one tax
code for the wealthy littered with loopholes
and tax breaks and an increasingly burden-
some tax code for working people.
As someone who has not spent his entire
adult life in politics, Edwards is uniquely suit-
ed to unite the country. Edwards grew up in a
middle-class household, he was the first per-
son in his family to go to college and he
worked part-time to pay his law school
tuition. There is no better candidate to debate
Bush on empowering the middle class and
valuing work over wealth.
Edwards' campaign of hope and opti-
mim ha h i,'w na w rnm Rmr.frthe
Cagers need an offense that
puts the ball in the net
To THE DAILY:
In his column, Worst of times awaits unless
men stabilize, (01/20/04) Chris Burke quoted
Michigan basketball player Bernard Robinson
as having said, "We don't run a specific offense
like (Michigan State). We run a more open
offense so everyone gets ample opportunities."
While such a sentiment is admirable -
equality is a great value for all communities -
it has no place in Big Ten basketball. Robin-
son's quote should instead be seen as an indict-
ment of Tommy Amaker's coaching. What
kind of basketball team doesn't have a struc-
tured offense that accentuates the strengths of
its best scorers? What kind of a coach doesn't
teach his players how to recognize good shots
and then show his players how to get them?
Within the story's context, Robinson almost
sounded defiant while explaining away another
ugly loss. God forbid that Michigan employ
such a rigid system like the one Michigan State
does. What would happen then? Would Michi-
gan stop looking disorganized on offense?
Would senseless passing and dribbling give
way to efficient execution? Most importantly,
would the Wolverines lose their spot at this
summer's Andl Tour open run? It certainly
seems as if that is the only tournament for
which this team's offense is designed.
Amaker should be ashamed that his team
is mediocre, inconsistent and underachiev-
ing. Whether it's too many missed free
throws, too many mistakes at important
times, too many defensive lapses or too
many wasted possessions, Michigan bears all
the hallmarks of a poorly coached outfit.
More structure and less equity would likely
equal more victories. If Amaker cannot
understand and teach that, then maybe the
University should find someone who can.
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