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September 30, 2004 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-30

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 30, 2004


Lack of marriage counseling
would delay official licenses .

LANSING (AP) - Couples would
be encouraged to receive premari-
tal education and those with children
required to take a class when divorcing
under legislation approved yesterday
by the state Senate.
The bills would grant couples a mar-
riage license after three days - the
current waiting time - if they get coun-
seling. If they refuse, they would have to
wait 28 days for the license.
The Senate passed the premarital
counseling bill 23 to 14, mostly along
party lines, despite objections from
Democrats and some Republicans who
said it would intrude into people's lives.
The legislation went to the state
House, which isn't expected to send the
package to Democratic Gov. Jennifer
Granholm until representatives return

to Lansing after the Nov. 2 election.
Granholm spokeswoman Mary Det-
tloff said the administration agrees with
only a small part of the 13-bill package,
including a bill that would allow retired
clergy to provide counseling to troubled
families. But the governor has concerns
with most of the other pieces.
"She's not on board with the major-
ity of the package. She feels it's way too
invasive and goes beyond where govern-
ment needs to go," Dettloff said.
Supporters said the bills aim to
strengthen marriage and, in case of
divorce, lessen its negative effects on
Twenty Republicans and three Dem-
ocrats - Virg Bernero of Lansing,
Dennis Olshove of Warren and Mark
Schauer of Battle Creek - voted for

the bill. Twelve Democrats and two
Republicans - Beverly Hammerstrom
of Temperance and Shirley Johnson of
Royal Oak - opposed it. Sen. Jim Bar-
cia (D-Bay City) was absent.
One bill. passed 22 to 12, would
require divorcing couples with children
to complete a divorce effects program
and complete a questionnaire. There's
an exception for victims of domestic
violence. Another bill would give up to
a $50 tax credit to couples who receiveW
premarital education.
Republicans said studies show
divorce hurts society as a whole and
makes children more likely to end up
in jail and struggle in school. Tax-
payers are left footing the bill for
child support enforcement, support-
ers said.

To ih~ HITN SAFR Lf UEE OETONBto igt SLE APRBills would ban public display*
of Socia SeCuny dgts

TOP RIGHT: Michael Moore addresses Hill Auditorium last night. LEFT, BOTTOM RIGHT: Students protest Moore.
'We are hated wear desisd:'
tMoor bashes Bush policyat Hi

Continued from page 1A
ardice," in reference to Max Cleland
- a disabled Vietnam veteran in the
U.S. Senate - and "if Kerry really
loved his country, he would have died
in Vietnam ... vote Bush."
Going back to the issue of mantras,
Michael Moore proposed some possible
phrases for Kerry to pull out during the
debate tonight. Some of the highlights
were "Where's Osama," "Two quag-
mires down, one to go" and "George W.
Bush, the ATM machine for the rich."
Moore also made sure to address the
issue of Kerry's "flip-flopping." He did
not, at first, comment on whether Kerry
has flip-flopped on the issues, but instead
pointed out the many changes in opinion
of Bush's administration on Saddam Hus-
sein. He laughed as he went through his
version of United States history with Sad-
dam: first supplying him, then disliking
him, then deciding to let him be. Clinton
was told to go after him, but refused, and
then Bush went to war.
Finally, addressing Kerry's choices
over the past years directly, Moore pro-

claimed that Kerry should answer that
he was simply supporting the Presi-
dent. Moore suggests Kerry answer the
attacks with, "I believed in you. I sup-
ported you, and you let us down."
The atmosphere at Hill took on a more
somber tone when Moore started read-
ing some of the e-mails he has received
from soldiers in Iraq. He explained how
he has received more than 3,000 e-mails
from soldiers, and then asked, "When
have we heard from soldiers who are
dissatisfied with the war?"
Following the soldiers' letters, Moore
showed clips from "Fahrenheit 9-11,"
that put a human face on the Iraqi peo-
ple. Some clips showed men and women
shopping in markets. Other clips showed
children playing together at home and in
the park, flying kites and enjoying rides
at a carnival. Between the letters and the
movie clips, Moore humanized the war in
Iraq. Those scenes have been criticized,
notably by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
at the Republican National Convention,
for portraying Iraq under the harsh rule
of Saddam as a peaceful place.
"We are hated, we are despised, we are
less safe," Moore said, inciting cheers and

applause from the audience. "George W.
Bush has made us less safe in this world."
Moore made it clear that the war on ter-
ror, or in his words, "the war on a noun,"
is not making the world a safer place, but
serving as a training ground for more
terrorists. "You do not liberate a people
with the barrel of a gun," Moore said.
Moore wrapped up the evening with a
question and answer session. One of the
highlights came when someone asked him
what he thought of Ralph Nader. Moore
calmly replied that he likes Ralph and
thinks he is a good guy, but that people
did not want him to run in this election.
For the last question, Moore asked to
hear from a Republican. The man who
responded asked what disenfranchised
Republicans should do when they do
not and cannot support Kerry.
After a conversation, the man agreed
that he had liberal views on many
issues, leading Moore to bring the prob-
lem down to the issue of money; "When
you have a country where everyone feels
included and is included, and has a fair
and equal shot at things, you have a bet-
ter, more productive country that will
make more money for people like you."

LANSING (AP) - A large package
of bills aimed at preventing and crack-
ing down on those who use others' iden-
tity to rack up bad debt won approval
yesterday from the state House.
The two main bills in the 19-bill
package would make it a crime to steal
someone's identity and would prohibit
Social Security numbers from being
publicly displayed on a receipt or
The House unanimously voted to
send each of the bills to the Senate.
The legislation also would pro-
hibit Social Security numbers from
being displayed on items such as
medical insurance cards. Social
Security numbers could only be
used as an internal account number
under the bills.
State Rep. William Van Regenmort-
er, who handled the bills as chairman
of the House Criminal Justice Commit-
tee, said the legislation marks the first

less of whether they
have jurisdiction
where the crime
was committed or
where the victim
"Here are great-
er protections and
more investigative
authority to law
enforcement," Van
Regenmorter (R-
Hudsonville) said
about the bills.
Victims of iden-

"These are all things
that are crucial in
the aftermath of
a criminal event.
- Rep. Dave Robertson
(R-Grand Blanc)

time the state would regulate the use of
Social Security numbers.
The package also makes it easier to
prosecute identity theft by allowing
prosecutors to go after offenders regard-

bilitate their damaged credit.
"These are all things that are crucial
in the aftermath of a criminal event,"
said Rep. Dave Robertson, a Grand

Blanc Republican

who introduced the.
bill defining iden
tity theft.
Brian Imus.
state director of
the nonpartisan
advocacy orga-
nization Public
Interest Research
Group in Michi-
gan, said the bills
will better protect
people's identity.*
But more needs to.
be done, he said.
He pointed out

tity theft would get greater protections
under the legislation because the pack-
age would allow them to obtain a police
report to help clear their name and reha-

that the bills continue to allow a
company to give a customer's Social
Security number to a third party
under certain circumstances.


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