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March 25, 2005 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-25

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 25, 2005 - 3

* ON CAMPUS
Philharmonic
Orchestra presents
celebrated opera
The theatre-opera Tartuffe, written
by Kirke Mechem and performed by
the University Philharmonic Orchestra,
which is directed by Andrew George,
will be tonight at 8 p.m. in the Lydia
Mendelssohn Theatre. Tartuffe, one of
the most celebrated operas written by an
American, tells the story of one family's
comical struggle to remove an unwel-
come "holy man" from its home. Tick-
ets are available at the Michigan League
for $15 to $20 for general admission and
$9 for students with I.D.
Diabetes expert
to speak on
insulin research
Domenico Accili, a professor at Colum-
bia University, will speak today at 2 p.m.
in Forum Hall of Palmer Commons. The
seminar will discuss recent insulin studies
and their relation to diabetes. The lecture
is sponsored by the Department of Molec-
ular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
and the Life Sciences Institute.
St. Petersburg
string quartet
recital tonight
A special guest recital performed by
the St. Petersburg String Quartet, a world-
renowned string quartet, will be tonight
at 8 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. The
event will welcome renowned composer
and soprano Susan Botti, among others.
CRIME
NOTES
Caller catches
man masturbating
in stairwell
A caller reported to the Department
of Public Safety Wednesday that there
was a subject with a large beige coat
on in the stairwell at 8 a.m. that was
masturbating while watching a female
faculty member at the Business Admin-
istration Building. An investigation is
continuing, and a report has been filed.
Suspects break
r into hospital
vending machine
A coin-operated machine at the Uni-
versity Hospital Emergency Room was
broken into yesterday. The possible sus-
pects fled the area and escaped in a truck.
There was evidence obtained from the
scene, and an investigation is in process.
Woman receives
stomach pain from
S snack bar

4 A caller reported to DPS Wednesday
that a female by the snack bar in Hutchins
Hall was complaining of stomach pains.
Assistance was later provided.
THIS DAY
In Daily History
Students protest
U.S. intervention
in El Salvador
March 25, 1981 - Several political
groups gathered forces yesterday to pro-
test U.S. intervention in El Salvador, in
one of the biggest rallies this year.
More than 400 people showed up to
the protest, which was coordinated by
the Latin American Solidarity Commit-
tee. The demonstration, which started
on the Diag and moved to the Federal
Building, was one of a series of protests
across the country on the anniversary of
the assassination of Salvadoran leftist
sympathizer and Catholic Archbishop
Oscar Romero.
Speaking at the federal building,
LASC spokesman slammed the poli-
cies of the Salvadoran junta and U.S.
involvement in El Salvador's military.
"It's a question of self-determinism,"
Head said. "The Salvadoran people
should be the ones to decide what to do

Telemarketers scam University libraries

By C. C. Song
Daily Staff Reporter
Some telemarketing companies have made millions of dollars
by targeting unsuspecting college libraries like those at the Uni-
versity, according to a number of librarians.
A primary profit-making strategy of these companies is to
tell the library employees that they have ordered their business-
to-business directories - which provide an extensive listing of
businesses that other businesses can call when they need services,
such as technical support - and demanding that the library pay
for them when in fact the library never purchased them. The cost
of such directories ranges from $300 to $1,000, according to The
Chronicle of Higher Education.
Robert Kelly, a librarian at the University's Kresge Business
Library, said employees have received phone calls in the past four
years from Centralcom Marketing Incorporated, United Pub-
lishers of America and many other telemarketing companies he
believes are scammers.
Kelly said the telemarketing companies had phoned employees
and claimed that the library had ordered their business-to-business
directory. But no employees at the library had ordered such mate-
rial, he said. Employees were still interested in buying the directo-
ries, but Kelly said the quality of the directories they received was
not consistent with what the companies promised.

"We have had instances like this, and have been informed that
we're listed in directories, and we have the staff stop that process by
canceling any on-going contracts with the vendors," Kelly said.
Leighann Ayers, a librarian at the Harlan Hatcher Gradu-
ate Library, said the companies usually try to reach lower-level
employees at the library and convince them that they have ordered
the directories.
The telemarketers usually play a recording of a past conver-
sation they had with a library staff member, indicating that the
library has purchased directories from them, Ayers said. "They
usually play the recordings, telling us that we have ordered the
directories, but we can't hear the recording," she said.
For the graduate library, the telephone scams are not new. "It
comes up every year, and this has been going for more than 25
years," Ayers said.
Despite the marketing strategies of the companies, Ayers said
the staff at the graduate library has always been able to resolve
phone call problems from the scammers. The staff can check the
online catalog to see if it has actually ordered the directories these
companies claim to have the invoice number for, she said.
Although Ayers has never ordered the directories, she said that
the directories are usually fraudulent according to what she has
heard. "Other universities have ended up in the directory, and
these directories are poor quality and they plagiarize other (direc-
tories)," she said.

The fraudulent directories that the business library purchased in the
past charge approximately $300 to $400 to include a library's informa-
tion, Kelly said. The businesses listed in the directories include bars,
entertainment businesses and car companies.
"It costs that much just to have our library listed in there,
and the content of the directory is irrelevant. We have stopped
renewing contracts with (the telemarketing companies) since last
November," Kelly said.
The Federal Trade Commission has filed lawsuits in an effort
to stop the telemarketing scams. In July 2004, a U.S. district court
ordered a freeze of the assets of Pinacle Publishing and M.D.S.C.
publishing, two Canadian companies that have committed telemar-
keting fraud in an attempt to sell directories to college libraries.
Todd Hamilton, a manager at Centralcom Marketing Incorpo-
rated, said he was shocked to hear that the business library said
that the directories they sell are irrelevant. Hamilton, however,
refused to give a brief description of its products.
"This is kind of amusing to me because I've never been con-
tacted before for this matter. I was not aware of any of this going
on. Whoever authorized the invoice wanted to be in the directory.
We're strictly a marketing company," Hamilton said.
The other company that Kelly has mentioned, United Publish-
ers of America, has also refused to give information to the media.
"We're not interested and we don't have time," said a customer
representative at United Publishers of America.

Cheney touts changes
to retirement plan

BATTLE CREEK (AP) - A day after the
release of a new report by the trustees who oversee
Social Security, Vice President Dick Cheney trav-
eled to Michigan to tout the Bush administration's
plan to reform the government retirement pro-
gram.
During a town hall-style meeting attended by
several hundred people, including many seniors,
Cheney said yesterday the changes proposed by
President Bush would not affect current retirees
or those about to retire. Instead, they would affect
people born in 1950 or later.
"They're the ones whose benefits are in jeop-
ardy if we don't address this problem long term,"
Cheney said during the hour-long event at Kellogg
Community College.
Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are
spending time in their districts, trying to rally
grass-roots opposition to Bush's proposed chang-
es. They have accused Bush of seeking to privatize
the program and pay for it by cutting benefits.
The trustees' annual report says Social Secu-
rity will begin paying out more in benefits than
it receives in payroll taxes in 2017. At that point,
the government will have to increase its borrowing
on financial markets, raise taxes or divert money
from other government programs to sustain Social
Security at current levels.
The trustees also estimate that the program,
which is about to be inundated with baby boom
retirees, will go broke in 2041. They say that is
the date when the $1.6 trillion accumulated in
trust accounts from excess payroll taxes over past
decades will dwindle to zero from sending out
monthly benefit checks.
In their previous forecast, the trustees estimated
that each of those events would occur a year later
than is now predicted.
"The problem is, we have promised a level
of benefits in the future that we've not funded,"
Cheney said. "We've, in effect, said to the future
generations: 'You can anticipate benefit levels of
a certain size, but we've never made the decision
about how we're going to pay for those."'
Social Security provides retirement benefits to
more than 47 million Americans, including about
1.7 million Michigan beneficiaries.
Some Republicans in Michigan's congressio-
nal delegation have expressed reservations about
Bush's plan to divert a portion of Social Secu-

rity taxes to create voluntary personal retirement
accounts for younger workers. Some also have
concerns about how to pay for the overhaul.
Cheney likened the proposal to the 401k-style
Thrift Savings Plan available to federal and postal
employees hired after 1983. He said that program
has worked well.
"There's a lot of evidence there for anybody who
wants to look at it and see how it works," he said.
Cheney was joined on stage by U.S. Rep. Joe
Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), who said he and the
White House have "some disagreements on how we
get there" when it comes to Social Security reform.
Schwarz said Wednesday he was not convinced
that allowing personal retirement accounts will
help solve the problem.
Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a
statement that Bush's proposal would increase
the national debt and weaken Social Security by
diverting money from the trust fund to pay for pri-
vate accounts.
"While we should work together to make some
adjustments to ensure the vitality of the program,
President Bush's plan to carve out private accounts
will dangerously weaken Social Security and cre-
ate trillions of dollars of new debt for the nation,"
Granholm said.
During a question-and-answer session with
audience members, the vice president was asked
what he thought about taking the entire Social
Security trust fund and allowing the federal gov-
ernment to invest it in the stock market, in an
attempt to improve its current annual rate of return
of approximately 1.3 percent.
Cheney said he would oppose such a plan.
"There's a lot of resistance to the notion that
the federal government own that big a piece of the
stock market," he said.
After the event, Battle Creek resident Rolf Heu-
bel, a 47-year-old Democrat, said Cheney did not
say anything that would sway him to support the
president's proposed reforms.
Heubel also said the government should stop bor-
rowing money set aside for Social Security to pay
for everything from the Iraq war to Bush's tax cuts.
"We can't afford to do that anymore," he said.
Outside the auditorium where Cheney spoke,
two men protesting the president's plan held a
large banner that read, "Defend Social Security,
Privatization Is A Scam."

VTT__

I

nouse approves d
LANSING, (AP) - The Michigan The House also approved a resolution
House voted yesterday to allow the Ten that encourages the Michigan Capitol
Commandments to be displayed on Committee to create a public display of
public property in places such as the the Ten Commandments in the Capitol.
state Capitol and public schools. The measure was approved on a voice
The Senate, however, will not take vote; individual votes were not tallied.
up the bill until the U.S. Supreme Court Republican House Speaker Craig
decides whether public displays of the DeRoche of Novi said it would be
Ten Commandments in Kentucky and appropriate to put the Ten Command-
Texas are a secular tribute to America's ments in the Capitol because it is where
legal heritage or violate the constitu- the Legislature does its work.
tional separation of church and state. "This is where we write the laws,
"To push through a state law that many of which - their origin, their
could easily be affected by a pending foundation, their roots - are related to
Supreme Court ruling is not prudent," the Ten Commandments," he said after
said Ari Adler, spokesman for Repub- yesterday's session.
lican Senate Majority Leader Ken Sik- Supporters of the bill also argued
kema of Wyoming. that it is intended to promote a histori-
The House voted 74-34 to send the cal document, not a religious one. Rep.
bill to the Senate. A number of House Tom Casperson, an Escanaba Repub-
Democrats who voted against the bill lican who introduced the bill, said the
also disagreed with the timing of yes- Founding Fathers used the Ten Com-
terday's vote. mandments to help draft the U.S. Con-
"I don't know why we're moving for- stitution.
ward while the Supreme Court is going
to come up with specific language on
this," said Rep. Steve Tobocman of
Detroit, the highest ranking Democrat
on the House committee that approved
the Ten Commandments bill earlier
this week.
The legislation would allow the Ten
Commandments to be shown on public
land if displayed with other religious
materials and historical documents ; .:
that have influenced the formation of
the state or U.S. government, such as
the Declaration of Independence.

isplaying Commandments

"They used things like the Ten Com-
mandments as a guide post," Casperson
told his colleagues. "This document is
historical and it has played a key role in
the development of our country."
Some critics of the legislation have
said the bill's supporters are wrong in
claiming that the Ten Commandments
have a bearing on U.S. law. Michigan
State University law Prof. Frank Ravitch
told a House committee last week that
there is no connection between the Ten
Commandments and the formation of
the United States.
"It's just simply inaccurate," said
Ravitch, who was among a handful
of opponents of the bill who spoke
out against the bill at the committee
hearing. He said ideas borrowed from
British law helped form U.S. legal
concepts.
The bill won approval with mostly
Republican support. Seventeen Demo-
crats voted for the bill along with 57

Republicans. Only Democrats voted
against it. Two representatives did not
vote: Republican Goeff Hansen of Hart
and Democrat LaMar Lemmons of
Detroit.
Liz Boyd, spokeswoman for Gov.
Jennifer Granholm, also said the leg-
islation should wait until the nation's
highest court makes a decision on
the issue.

"We think this whole issue is prema-
ture," Boyd said.
The bill was introduced a few weeks
after the Democratic governor said last
month she did not have a problem with
displaying the commandments at the
Capitol. Granholm later changed her
stance, saying she is not interested in
violating the U.S. Constitution's sepa-
ration of church and state.

I U

A comic opera by Kirke Mechem

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