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March 31, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-31

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 31, 2005


A&L.a. . *
ix je

Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors

Managing Editor


This is where
you dream. It's in
a perfect world.
Margaret's happy
- Greenway proponent Margaret Wong,
discussing the logistical difficulties
associated with the proposed Ann
Arbor Greenway, as reported
Sunday by The Ann Arbor News.



War of the Words, Volume 1
o I was all set to done in the past, but that would only be a hate to actually be a conservative living in
use this space to further waste of my time and yours. I guess this town. The only people to whom I'd like to
take on the Terri what I'm trying to say is that no amount of apologize for this whole matter are the Col-
Schiavo thing, but at the talking or writing about anything will change lege Republicans and the staff at The Michi-
last minute, I stopped things for the better. In my two years writing gan Review. You guys have it rough.
> <} myself. One reason was this column, I don't think I've said anything Because the column so badly missed its
that I didn't want to inflate worthwhile. If I had two or three or 10 more intended mark, I had to turn it into an exercise
this story any more than years, I doubt it would change things. of sorts. I had written a more straightforward
it's already been inflated. I only have you, the readers, to thank/blame column in favor of gay marriage prior to the
T I knew it had reached its for helping me come to this conclusion. I got election last fall, and I received exactly zero
breaking point when the Rev. Jesse Jackson into this business thinking that maybe I could e-mails in response. Liberals tend to keep a
turned up outside Schiavo's hospice in Flori- make a difference and change the way people low profile so long as everyone is agreeing
da. According to CNN.com, Jackson had this think, but all I've succeeded in doing is mak- with them, I guess. But four months later I try
to say: "This is one of the profound moral, ing people angry. Of all the people who have something the slightest bit outrageous, and
ethical issues of our time, the saving of Terri's bothered to read what I've had to say (or at everyone goes ape-shit crazy.
life." No, actually it's the exact opposite of least the ones I've heard from), maybe a few It's now my belief that trying to argue a point
that. It's a private matter between a man, his were entertained or found a kindred spirit, in a traditional way with accompanying facts
wife and her family, and by weighing in on but the majority just got pissed off. Take for and logical reasoning just won't cut it anymore.
the issue, I'd be no better than your typical example my Feb. 24 column, How the homo- The modern media are dictated by the Fox
political opportunist who looks for any lame sexuals stole my child's innocence. I took on News model these days, and level-headedness
excuse to push his views. the persona of a right-wing, Christian father went out the window years ago. If you want to
Another reason I decided against writing who teaches his young son about the horrors elicit any kind of response from the average
the Schiavo column was, well, because I don't of homosexuality. It was meant to be a trifle American these days, you'll need some flashy
care about Terri Schiavo. I feel sorry for her of a piece, a harmless little jab at the reli- graphics, a shitload of outlandish claims and
and her family, but what happens to her just gious Right. But somehow I managed to piss a catchy slogan touting your integrity. Rupert
doesn't really concern me. Call me coldhearted off everyone in the process. About 95 of the Murdoch's model is guaranteed to get you a
or insensitive, but I just don't give a shit about 100 e-mails I received were from people who reaction, but too often it's the wrong one.
some woman in Florida who's been practically didn't get it and thought I really had children, Listen, I'd love to finish that thought, but
dead for 10 years now. I'm guessing that deep taught them silly things about homosexuality I've about run out of space. It'll have to wait
down Jackson feels the same way. Sure, there's starting in 1967, etc. The responses ranged until two weeks from today, when you can
an outside possibility that I could end up like from demands for a retraction to a veiled join me in celebrating/lamenting my official
her one day, but what some doe-eyed college threat to a handful of burn-in-hell messages. final column. Until then, farewell.
student 1,000 miles away thinks probably Jesus Christ, for a liberal college town that
wouldn't matter to me at that point. prides itself on tolerance and open-minded- Hoard can be reached
I could fake it and pretend to care, as I've ness, Ann Arbor has some real assholes. I'd atj.ho@umich.edu.

Letter writer ig'nres the facts
when discussing GEO
I am writing in response to Daniel Mur-
ray's letter to the editor (GEO strike lacked
compelling argument, 03/28/2005). I feel the
need to point out several important factual
errors that Murray made in his letter:
1. The night before the walkout, the
Graduate Employees' Organization wage
proposal was for a first-year raise to
$15,300 (a $1,323 raise), followed by
annual cost-of-living adjustments (based
on a price index with a historical average
of 2.5 percent per year). This works out to
a wage of $16,476.43 in four years, not the
$18,000 that was stated in the letter. Even
with this lump-sum raise in the first year,
the total wage offer works out to 4.2 per-
cent each year. In addition, no one at GEO
is claiming that the cost of living is increas-
ing at 4.2 percent (let alone the 7 percent
mentioned), but the first-year increase is
needed to make up for the fact that wages
have not historically kept up with cost of
living increases.
2. GEO has never, and will never, ask
that English testing be eliminated. In fact,
the current offer actually increases the
number of English-language proficiency
tests. GEO has asked that when graduate
students are identified as needing addi-
tional English training that this training
not be bundled with other training require-
ments, such as teaching techniques. These
other requirements often have nothing
to do with a graduate student's ability to
speak English.
3. The back-of-the-envelope calculation
that yields graduate student instructors
having an annual salary of approximately
$42,000 is clearly incorrect. Just because a
GSI with a 0.5 appointment makes $14,000
over two semesters, does not mean that
$14,000 can be multiplied by 2 to obtain
the "real" two-semester salary and then
add $14,000 for the summer. It is simply
a matter of fact that the vast majority of
GSIs are at a 0.5 appointment or less and
do not receive any funding over the sum-
mer, and so never see anything more then
$14,000. If the method of calculation were
correct, I could mail $1, and if it took
one minute to open the letter, then there

whether or not people with mental health
issues should be GSIs, but rather if they
should be receiving proper treatment or
Ben Stearns
Gradue~s igornabout
Bmwns , cuTibtons too
quick to criticize tack of fame
The Michigan Daily article about com-
mencement speaker John Seeley Brown
(Speaker choice irks grads, 03/29/2005) was
a re-run of last year's complaints. Appar-
ently, some students would rather gaze at
a celebrity - a person best described as
"known for his well-knownness" - than
hear someone who has helped change the
world. Any University students who use
a Windows or Macintosh computer have
Brown to thank. He led the laboratory
that invented the graphical user interface
that makes these machines usable by aver-
age people. He is a visionary of the infor-
mation age, and one of the relatively few
people over age 60 who think that people
under age 25 hold the secrets of the world's
salvation. Graduating students who miss
commencement because they can't bask in
the pale light of celebrity will miss out on
something far more valuable.
John King
The letter writer is the dean of the School of
Accusations of academic
dishonesty uOunded
In his letter to the Daily, Professor distorted
facts about the Israeli military (03/29/2005),
Orrin Pail accuses Nadine Naber of academ-
ic dishonesty for saying that the "Israeli mil-
itary has systematically killed Palestinian
children, demolished Palestinian homes and
targeted pregnant women at checkpoints."
Pail goes on to cite three instances in which
children or pregnant women were found
carrying explosives, showing that, though
Naber's statements may technically be true,
Israel is "just trying to protect its citizens."

ian homes and targeting pregnant women at
checkpoints. Indeed, Pail makes no attempt
to do so, instead defending Israel's policies
of wanton brutality as-legitimate security
Unfounded attacks on professors' intel-
lectual integrity do little to advance the
cause of peace and justice for Palestin-
ians and Israelis alike. I join Pail in invit-
ing readers to investigate the history of the
Israel-Palestine conflict for themselves.
Edward McTaggart
RC senior
Schiavo a 'vegetable,' not a
disabled human being
In response to Sarah Watkins's letter
about Terri Schiavo (Schiavo story shame-
lessly politicized by the media, 03/29/2005),
I think Watkins needs to remember one
thing: Schiavo is no longer a human as you
or I am. There, I said it. Doctor after doctor
and judge after judge have all agreed with
this statement; Terri Schiavo has no higher
brain functions, and there is no legitimate
evidence whatsoever that she remains
sentient. Further, this isn't about killing
Schiavo because, as Watkins claims, she
is "'suffering' of living with a disability."
This is about putting a vegetable out of its
misery. Yeah, I said that too.
Finally, what Watkins ultimately fails to
comprehend is that Schiavo did not want
to be kept alive if she ended up as she is
right now. Her husband is simply trying
to fulfill her wish. Yeah, depriving her of
her feeding tube is a bit gruesome and a lot
less humane than letting doctors give her a
lethal injection of morphine. But you know
what? Schiavo's parents won't let the doc-
tors inject her with anything because they
cling, like Watkins, to the inane suggestion
that she is not a vegetable.
Please, give me some evidence that Terri
Schiavo is anything but a vegetable. Of
course, if 19 judges (many of whom were
appointed by Republican presidents) can't
be convinced that she is sentient, then
what's the point of even trying to refute such
"sketchy and controversial assertions?" So,
please enlighten me. How is it that Terri
Schiavo - who isn't even conscious any-
more - deserves to stay alive, when Sun


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