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October 14, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-14

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 14, 2004




SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority
of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

This is the single
most evil thing I have
ever experienced."
- Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly,
explaining on his website, billoreilly.com,
why he has filed a lawsuit against individuals
accusing him of sexual harassment.

AY FOR EYE, -RcOTH FOR -Tf11 HlNti FOR H 4NPtr O oT Pop, So~

leXOD&)S al ;2B




CAR.Vl- 111 N GRAN 1TJ

When (and why) will it end?

"If something cannot go
on forever, it will stop."
- Stein's Law as pos-
tulated by Herbert Stein,
the late chairman of the
Council of Economic

-Ior those of us
who don't follow
the vicissitudes
of the fashion world, the Lance Armstrong
LiveStrong bracelet is the most highly vis-
ible trend in apparel. More than 8 million
of the bracelets, which retail for $1 a piece
with the proceeds going to the Lance Arm-
strong Foundation, have been sold, and the
University community is certainly respon-
sible for a disproportionate share of those
sales. The bracelets make a great case study
in the adoption of social trends, and their
popularity raises a dilemma that most com-
mentators have ignored: When will we reach
the other tipping point? Namely, when will
people stop wearing the seemingly ubiqui-
tous bracelets?
Giving up on the LiveStrong bracelet
isn't exactly as simple as switching in your
pair of UGG winter boots for the comforts
of spring's flip-flops. The bracelets bill
themselves as a symbol for deep values, and
merely giving up on them would suggest
callousness to the plight of cancer survi-
vors. For most causes celebres that generate
an apparel-based sign of support there is a
tangible sign that a wrong has been reme-
died and the symbol can be dropped. A war

ends. A political prisoner is freed. A corpo-
rate tax bill is vetoed, etc. If Emile Zola had
asked the dreyfusards to wear pins featuring
a drawing of Devil's Island they would have
known to end their effort when Dreyfus was
eventually pardoned by the French govern-
ment. Of course, cancer isn't going away
within any of our time horizons despite the
best efforts of groups like the Lance Arm-
strong Foundation. So are we obliged to
wear them ad infinitum?
The first and most pressing concern
is olfactory in origin. It's true that the
LiveStrong bracelet is made of 100 percent
synthetic silicon rubber and unlike, to give
an example, a hemp lanyard, the LiveStrong
bracelet is less susceptible to this fetid
threat. But while the stench threshold of the
LiveStrong bracelet is substantially high-
er than in the case of other, less synthetic
wristwear, it is nonetheless an unavoidable
reality. Maybe not today, maybe not tomor-
row but someday soon a foul cloud of odor
will hover around everyone still wearing
their bracelets. From a social welfare per-
spective, continuing to wear the bracelets
after this fail-safe date would be simply
Fortunately, the Michigan winter provides
an excellent, low-cost escape opportunity.
As soon as the bitter cold mandates the don-
ning of long-sleeved shirts and bulky coats
the bracelet can be tastefully, and unno-
ticeably, removed. Six months later, when
you can once again allow your wrists to be
exposed to open air without fear of frost-
bite, the bracelets will be gone and no one

will be the wiser about this abandonment of
The accumulation of debris and body odor
clearly presents an insuperable barrier to the
perpetual popularity of the bracelets, but
there are other considerations that suggest the
bracelets may have to be thrown off before
nature works its noisome course. Obviously,
no one wears them for social acceptance
or to get a hot date - that would be wrong
and self-interested and all the things that the
Lance Armstrong Foundation stands against.
But let's just make the highly speculative
assumption that there are actually some peo-
ple depraved enough to wear the bracelets for
conformity pressures. So while seeing that
Ben Affieck, Matt Damon, Bono, Angelina
Jolie and John Kerry were all wearing the
bracelet might have encouraged some people
to go to their nearest Niketown, plop down
a dollar and do their part in the fight against
cancer, seeing that the googly-eyed kid in
your stats lecture wears one might not result
in the same behavioral response. Actually,
market research has definitively shown that
no one has purchased one of the bracelets
because of John Kerry.
But the greatest obstacle of all remains
the one first articulated by the great, self-
loathing Groucho Marx. "I don't want to
belong to any club that will accept me as
a member." Eventually and despite our best
efforts, we are all forced to accede to the
logic of this tragic conclusion.

Peskowtiz can be reached at



Yankees fans are loyal
during the regular season
As a Yankees fan, I am offended by a
recent column published in the Oct. 13 edi-
tion of The Michigan Daily. In response to
the column, Fans at the root of Yankee hatred,
by Sharad Mattu, I feel that Mattu's absurd-
ly biased opinion is faulty and selfish.
The fans of the New York Yankees are
among the most loyal in all of sports. Mattu
says, "Yankees fans pay no attention to
baseball until October, because they know
they'll make the playoffs." Personally, I
went to 10 games this season. This sea-
son, the Yankees had a home attendance of
3,775,292. That's about 300,000 more fans
than the next team. The Mets finished 17th,
and they have 40 percent of the New York
area fan base, according to a Quinnipiac
My Captain Theory proves how unedu-
cated Met fans really are. John Franco, a
local New Yorker and struggling pitcher for
the Mets for 15 years, is the captain of the
team and the heart of the Mets franchise. Yet
game after game, Met fans boo him when-
ever he enters or exits a game. In the Bronx,
Derek Jeter is the captain of the Yankees.
Yankee fans never booed him, even when
he batted .189 at the end of May.
If someone is going to hate the Yankees,
hate them because of the payroll, hate them
for their front office and hate them because
they win all the time. Do not hate them for
the fans! Mattu, I know that you are jealous
of the Yankees, and you chose the wrong
team to root for growing up, but don't bring
your frustration out on the fans of the Yan-
kees; it's very unprofessional. I'd like to
close with a quote recently stated by Steve
Lyons (baseball commentator), "They are
the most loyal and knowledgeable fans in
all of baseball."
Matt Steinberg
LSA sophomore
Daily editorial page finally
home to variety of views

rial board more encompassing of the broad
spectrum of political views that exist, rath-
er than positing the pretense that only one
logical position exists on every issue. I sin-
cerely hope the Daily will continue to offer
a more balanced gamut of political opinions
in the future and thus alter the exclusively
liberal slant that has so characterized it in
the past.
Ian MacKenzie
Housing rush ties Greek
system's hands
Although I was surprised to see a Daily
editorial stick up for the Greek system at the
University (Greek autonomy, 10/12/2004), I
couldn't help but notice the nice little cheap
shot the editorial made at fall Rush. What
it failed to mention was all the pressure our
national organizations put on us to fill up
the housing leases really quickly. The edi-
torial should have mentioned that the root
of the problem lies in lease-signing in Ann
Housing corporations make us all com-
mit to a lease very early in the fall semester.
While I agree that Greek Rush is too early
in the year, it needs to pre-empt the housing
rush. We would all struggle each year to fill
our homes that so many people on this cam-
pus love to come to and trash with us.
What I would recommend is some kind
of student renters' union. If we could all
sign some type of legally binding contract
that states, "I will not sign a lease until
(insert date)," I believe the Greek system
coulddefinitely delaythe Rush process.
Joseph Kesner
LSA senior
The letter writer is a member of the fraternity
Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Bush has made a number
of mistakes as president
When an audience member asked President
Bush to name his three biggest mistakes in
last week's debate, Bush failed to name a
single one. Bush not only lacks the resolve

a brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to
Attack on U.S. Soil."
You failed to capture Osama Bin Laden
when you had him cornered in Tora Bora
(this was consistent with your policy of
outsourcing American jobs to foreign labor
You lied to the American people, Con-
gress and the world by telling us that Sad-
dam had WMDs when he clearly did not
and hastily rushed us into Iraq without a
plan to win or an exit strategy.
You gave a tax cut to the wealthiest 1
percent of Americans (probably your old
drinking buddies) and turned our $5 trillion
projected surplus into a $2 trillion deficit,
wasting $7 trillion.
You failed to fund the No Child Left
Behind Act, sending a crushing blow to the
public school system and leaving .millions
of children without a quality education.
I'd like to recommend Mr. Bush, that you
keep a copy of these points in your pocket
to "refresh your memory" the next time
you're faced with that question. America
can't afford four more years of your mis-
Omkar Karthikeyan
Medical School
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters
from all of its readers. Letters from University
students, faculty, staff and administrators will
be given priority over others. Letters should
include the writer's name, college and school
year or other University affiliation. The Daily
will not print any letter containing statements
that cannot be verified.
Letters should be kept to approxi-
mately 300 words. The Michigan Daily reserves
the right to edit for length, clarity and accura-
cy. Longer "viewpoints" may be arranged with
an editor. Letters will be run according to order
received and the amount of space available.
Letters should be sent over e-mail to
tothedaily@michigandaily.com or mailed to the
Daily at 420 Maynard St. Editors can be reached
via e-mail at editpage.editors @umich.edu. Letters
e-mailed to the Daily will be given priority over
those dropped off in person or sent via the U.S.



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