100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 23, 2004 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 23, 2004

OPINION

UANN ARBOR, MI 48109
firmm atcuopion.420 MAYNARD STREET
m i chigandail.com
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

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

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

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
Frankly,
something of this
size doesn't usually
get felt."
- Geophysicist John Bellini, commenting
on a 2.0 earthquake yesterday morning,
as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

COLIN DALY iHE MICHIGAN DALY

*oi1WS%-MNPE WE: GOT OUR 1?,o?,r
1D~o0G0S' tAtiD AczENDAOF
ALL, INCLUDINQ OUR EEKPS
OFFIC(RLS ANP OUR AAIUFAY -T
PRO'TECT US FROM TH MOROF
YOUMORE AFgAlp OF, OVt2 :NFESf,.

iies MA16H~T. > WE t'EPER lb TthE
FABS~OL.M " ~CIVIL-. LIBERTIES" FOR
'OR D0 WE TRUST GOVERNMENI
o USE ThEI?- POW~ERS WISED( At
R T:RORLT'S CAN UNLEASH?"
1 AV$1iNG1N L"L FPOtjNATiON4

*I

AAvND vE W o*b& civtILidp

3
.
sy

4

L-

From LBJ's Great Society to David E.'s Range Rover
JESS PISKOR JOIN TIE PISKOR

Speaking in front of
80,000 people in
Michigan Stadium,
President Lyndon John-
son addressed the gradu-
ating class of 1964.
Calling on all citizens to
work for a better future,
Johnson used the Univer-
sity's commencement
ceremonies not just to glorify grads, but to
first reveal his greatest political aspiration.
Addressing graduates directly, Johnson said,
"Your imagination, your initiative and your
indignation will determine whether we build
a society where progress is the servant of
our needs, or a society where old values and
new visions are buried under unbridled
growth. For in your time we have the oppor-
tunity to move not only toward the rich soci-
ety and the powerful society, but upward to
the Great Society."
Johnson is but one of the many illustrious
graduation speakers the University has
attracted. In 1986, United Nations Secretary
General Javier Perez de Cuellar spoke on the
threats facing the world, including poverty
and the Cold War. Another U.N. Secretary
General - Kofi Annan - spoke in 1999,
when he urged students to embrace universal
human values and also defended the ongoing
peacekeeping mission in Yugoslavia.
Often it is not the speakers themselves,
but the honorary degree recipients that attract
the most attention. Largely due to student
demand, Nelson Mandela received an hon-
orary degree in 1987 - a degree he could
not receive in person because he was in jail in
South Africa.
Governors also make the rounds

through campus - both Gov. James Blan-
chard in 1985 and Gov. Jennifer Granholm
last year were featured speakers. Granholm
attracted ire when she honestly suggested
that some University graduates were des-
tined to become "losers" and that they had
wasted their degrees.
Of course not all graduation speakers
preach words of importance with lasting sig-
nificance. Even the worthiest of speakers can
slip up: In 1993, First Lady Hillary Clinton
said, "And I really believe, standing here in
this great university, that the Fabulous Five
are excellent and Chris Webber deserves the
kind of thanks that we can give him for going
on and going forward."
With this history of notable speakers in
mind, I have waited in eager anticipation
for the announcement of the graduation
speaker for my commencement this spring.
Maybe we would get a crazy lefty who
would blast President Bush and incite us to
greater activism. Maybe we would draw a
political leader the likes of Dick Cheney
toward whom I could hurl invectives.
Maybe we would attract a noted philoso-
pher or person of letters - like 2001's
speaker, poet laureate Robert Pinsky -
who would provide perspective on life and
teach us to value the arts. Would it be too
much to hope for Jon Stewart?
Instead, we have to settle for the
founder of Automobile Magazine, David
E. Davis Jr. While he may lay claim to the
title of foremost automobile critic, his
magazine is so influential that the Univer-
sity Library - one of the largest in acade-
mia - does not have even have one issue
anywhere. His book, modestly titled,
"Thus spake David E.: the collected wit

and wisdom of the most influential auto-
mobile journalist of our time" is also
absent from our library. Influential indeed.
I'm sure this David E. (as he is known) is
a bright guy. He did after all found a maga-
zine - with some startup capital from
Rupert Murdoch. And while he says that "I
will never have given a speech to as many
people or as big of a place in my whole life,
and I feel an awful burden of responsibility in
the nature of this assignment," I'll trust that
his speaking ability is up to the task.
While I'd like to think the University can
attract better, more famous speakers, the fact
that David E. is an unknown should not dis-
qualify him. What upsets me is that I do not
think that someone who has devoted his life
to the material lust for an inanimate object is
particularly qualified to address me on
important matters. When he says in his
columns that his "love for cars is uncondi-
tional" I am not reassured that he can put per-
spective on our graduation.
Contrast David E. who "fell in love
with (his) new 2003 Range Rover" which
is "Epsom green with sand leather and
burled walnut trim" with another rather
unknown speaker.
Addressing the class of 1965, New York
Times Associate Editor James Reston said,
"The happiest men and women I know are
not those who are providing the material
things that clutter up our lives and dull our
minds, or even those who escape from the
struggle, but those who are engaged in the
tasks that nourish and elevate the human
mind."

Piskor can be reached at
jpiskor@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Israel's Sharon is no
better than Hamas
TO THE DAILY:
Jonathan Goldberg's praise for President
Bush's Middle East policy (Jewish voters are
not ignorant, will vote to support Israel in
2004, 03/19/04) is unwarranted and disrespect-
ful to those on campus who support peace in
the Middle East. Bush's hard-line and immoral
backing of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
is not beneficial to the peace process. For a just
Middle East peace, the United States needs to
have a fair and evenhanded policy and end its
unquestionable support of Ariel Sharon -
Sharon being the same man who in the 1980s
lost his position as Israeli Defense Minister
after an Israeli government commission found
him indirectly responsible for the horrifying
massacres of the Sabra and Shatilla refugee
camps in Beirut.
Not only is Sharon not a "man of peace," as
Bush curiously pegged him, but another four
years of the combination of Bush and Sharon
will usher in another four years of violence and
insecurity in the Middle East.
As far as I am concerned, Sharon and his
Likud Party are in the same boat as Palestinian
groups such as Hamas. They are both extreme
right-wing groups, bent upon destroying any
attempt for a just peace, and both parties should
be marginalized by Palestinians and Israelis who
truly care for peace. Morally speaking, one can-
not criticize Hamas's disgusting attacks on
Israeli civilians and condone Israel's equally dis-
gusting attacks on Palestinian civilians. Any
attempt to criticize one and simultaneously con-
done the other, regardless of which side one
supports, is morally bankrupt and possibly
racist. The Israel Defense Force's use of modern
military technology does not give it an exemp-
tion from criticism for killing civilians. Whether
Israel kills a civilian on purpose or whether the
civilian is collateral damage is not of impor-
tance. Blame will be warranted toward Israel's
military for its very presence in the illegally
occupied Palestinian territories. Regardless of
the reason an IDF soldier shoots a Palestinian
civilian, if the soldier had not been on Palestin-
ian territory to begin with, the civilian would not
have been killed.
I am delighted to see Goldberg rejoices in
that Israel's creation ensures that there will never
be another Jewish refugee because it seems that

invade in this war. Regardless, these issues can
be resolved by campus activists through dia-
logue, which can hopefully defeat the use of
unsophisticated rhetoric in campus discourse.
MOHAMMED ELGHOUL
LSA junior
Vice Chair; Students Allied
for Freedom and Equality
LSA-SG initiative fails to
gain student support
TO THE DAILY:
The student body of the College of Litera-
ture, Science and Arts should be commended
for its decisive show of opposition to the recent
election-reform proposal aimed at internally
selecting the LSA-SG president and vice presi-
dent ('S ' clinches MSA race in landslide,
03/22/04). The overwhelming vote against this
amendment shows not only does the student
body wish to maintain direct control over its stu-
dent government leadership, but also that stu-
dents are not nearly as apathetic as many
members of government may have believed.
The results of the vote also demonstrate the
problems with the proposal. When a proposal
can pass almost unanimously (17 to 3) in stu-
dent government and not even garner 33 percent
of the student body's support in a general refer-
endum vote, it becomes plainly obvious that
LSA-SG cannot claim to have the ability to
internally select leadership that is representative
of the interests of 13,000 students. We must rec-
ognize that the intent behind the referendum
was a noble and proper one, aimed at improving
the functioning and effectiveness of LSA-SG. It
is my hope that the members of government will
now be able to move ahead and act on this intent
in a manner that does not disenfranchise those
we seek to serve.
ANDREW YAHKIND
LSA freshman
LSA-SG representative.
Our Voices Count
clarifies position
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing to thank you for your coverage
of the student protest at last Thursday's Univer-

grams, but we do not want to take credit as
the group representing the coalition of stu-
dent groups.
Secondly, I wanted to make sure that readers
were clear that the groups joining together in
solidarity are not only making complaints about
budget cuts. While some of the destruction of
safe spaces on campus is due to poor budgetary
choices by the University, other problems on
campus are not at all due to lack of funds. For
instance, the University's dismantling of sexual
assault survivor services at SAPAC is not due to
budget cuts at all, but instead due to a misguid-
ed "reorganization" plan.
The final idea I want to clarify is why all
of these different groups and communities on
campus are uniting together. The University
worked to assure that affirmative action
would remain and has said it is committed to
diversity on campus. Yet it seems that the
groups on campus that face program and
budget cuts are always the same: women, stu-
dents of color, and the LGBT community.
If the University is truly committed to diver-
sity, then programs and safe spaces that serve
these students must be preserved.
JENNIFER ANDERSON
Graduate student, School of Social Work
Member Our Voices Count
New housing director
should 'actively pursue'
projects at 'U'
TO THE DAILY:
I am pleased to hear that the University's
new housing director, Carole Henry, is interest-
ed in constructing more units of housing (New
Housing director appointed, 03/18/04). As
reported in a previous Daily article ('U'housing
candidate may consider adding suites, bed,
01/27/04), she also pledged to build more fami-
ly and suite-styled housing that will attract stu-
dents who do not want to live in
dormitory-styled rooms.
I urge Henry to aggressively pursue
this plan of increased capacity and hous-
ing options. Demand for student housing
close to campus is high, making students
susceptible to Ann Arbor landlords who
can get away with charging unaffordable

0

.. . ....... . ......

j 7

h, I

Back to Top

© 2017 Regents of the University of Michigan