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September 09, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 9, 2005


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Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors

Managing Editor



67. That is 17
years past 50. 17
more than I needed
or wanted."
- Writer Hunter S. Thompson, from a note
to his wife titled "Football Season is Over,"
written four days before his suicide last Feb-
ruary, as reported yesterday by CNN.com.




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s,'..,:.t'.., .

Medical diplomacy

With the help
of its white-
c o a t e d
ambassadors, Cuban
P President Fidel Castro
has found a new way to
gain leverage in Latin
America. On Aug. 22,
the first class of 1,610
students from 28 coun-
tries graduated from
the Latin American School of Medicine in
Havana, founded in 1998 as a response to the
destruction wrought by Hurricanes George
and Mitch. Each year the Cuban government
admits roughly 1,500 students, mainly from
Latin American countries, and pays their
tuition and living expenses for the duration
of their training provided they return home
to practice medicine upon graduation. Castro
has also teamed up with Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez, to open a similar school in Ven-
ezuela, and the two expect to train 200,000
doctors within the next decade.
But while Cuba turns its attention abroad,
it is still haunted by the tensions with the
United States that threaten its work. Following
the graduation ceremony, Honduran authori-
ties announced that they would reject future
Cuban scholarships to train Honduran doc-
tors. According to the Honduran newspaper El
Heraldo, they cited that Honduras's needs have
changed, and the country no longer needs doc-
tors but medical technicians and nurses. It is
highly improbable, however, that so much has
changed in Honduras since the hurricane that a
few hundred doctors each year could not be put
to good use. Indeed, when the Honduran gov-
ernment also discussed halving the number of
Cuban doctors working in the country, public
outcry forced them to let the 300 doctors stay
at least another year.

A more believable explanation for Hondu-
ran wariness toward Cuban help is pressure
from the United States. There is a very realis-
tic fear that accepting help from Castro might
have severe consequences should it be deter-
mined that Honduras is leaning a bit too far to
the left for the United States's liking. But it is
hard to justify that hundreds of would-be Hon-
duran doctors must be denied an otherwise
unaffordable education and the opportunity to
serve their people with a stale feud more that
40 years old between Cuba and a nation that
exploited Honduras for years as a military base
and Contra-training ground.
Is Cuba acting with political considerations
in mind? Almost certainly. But if thousands
of people can be helped while Castro tries to
make friends, that might not be such a bad
thing. Doctors are doctors, and it is unfair for
nations in which more than half the popula-
tion lives in poverty to be forced to refuse aid
because of a Cold War-era grudge.
The new graduates are hardly Castro's first
attempt to open the doors to its medical schools
and share its own doctors worldwide. Cuba has
more doctors per citizen than even the Unit-
ed States, and it lvs shipped off more than
50,000 doctors to work abroad during the past
40 years. In 2001, Cuba even began offering
scholarships to the Latin American Medical
School to low-income minority students from
the United States, again provided they return
to America to practice upon graduating. After
recently negotiating an oil-for-doctors swap
with Venezuela, the number of Cuban doctors
abroad is beginning to spark concerns about
doctor shortages within the country. At a time
when nations have reached out to the United
States following Hurricane Katrina, Castro
also offered medical supplies and the services
of 1,500 of its own doctors.
As always, the United States ignored the

offer. Or rather, the Bush administration
remained silent for nearly a week before finally
rejecting the offer, making the hardly profound
statement that they hoped "Castro would offer
freedom to his people." This is nothing new;
Cuba rejected U.S. aid as recently as July; when
America offered to help out following Hur-
ricane Dennis, and the United States refused
Cuban help following the Sept. 11 attacks. But
in the case of Hurricane Katrina, there is little
shame in putting the lives of Gulf Coast resi-
dents before political considerations. The scale
of the disaster trumps concerns about how it
might look to accept help from Castro, but the
needs of hurricane victims have shamefully
been pushed aside by politics.
Despite U.S. accusations that Cuba is
attempting to.destabilize Latin America, Cas-
tro is having some success in showing off his
country's good side thanks to its army of doc-
tors. Once the United States recovers from the
absolute devastation of Hurricane Katrina,
it will once again turn its energies outward.
Attention will have to eventually make its
way back to the Castro-Chavez alliance and
growing anti-Americanism in many parts
of Latin America. Countering these factors
will require a better strategy than threaten-
ing sanctions and meddling in elections. And
if the United States is concerned with issues
of human rights in Cuba, it will have to find
a better way to handle Castro than sitting on
its hands waiting for the 79-year-old leader to
die. As America figures out how to improve
its approach to Latin America diplomacy, it
might stand to learn from Cuba's example and
use humanitarian aid as a tool to reach out to
its southern neighbors - at least some people
would be helped in the process.


The Bush court

Conservative majority can stop judicial activism

Wednesday, the Daily wrote
an editorial (The second vacan-
cy, 09/7/2005) concerning
the simultaneous U.S. Supreme Court
vacancies left by the retirement of Asso-
ciate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
and the death of Chief Justice William
Rehnquist. The Daily encouraged Presi-
dent Bush to nominate justices who will
preserve the ideological diversity of the
Rehnquist Court. Despite what the Daily
and other liberal editorial pages might
print, the preservation of ideological
diversity is not the reason for encourag-
ing an O'Connor-like nominee. Liber-
als want a justice who fits O'Connor's
profile because that justice's swing vote
on key social issues - abortion, public
display of religious symbols, affirmative
action, etc. - would still ensure a 5-4
liberal majority.
The Daily did concede Bush - as a
fruit of victory - earned the right to
select a nominee who reflects his judicial
philosophy. Bush and Republican Senate
candidates promised during the last few
election cycles to combat the infestation
of activist judges on federal benches,
and they should deliver on that promise.
The Republicans failed to eliminate the
filibuster of judicial nominees earlier this
year - a failure that did not go unno-
ticed by the conservative base. Bush and
Republican senators have an excellent
opportunity to atone for their filibuster
failure and deliver on their campaign
pledges with O'Connor's retirement and
Rehnquist's death.
Bush's nomination of John Rob-
erts as chief justice essentially replaces
Rehnquist with an acceptable strict con-
structionist who will oversee the work-
ings of the court for decades. Now the
president must roll up his sleeves, spend
whatever political capital the Hurricane
Katrina debacle left him and nominate
another strict constructionist to the bench.
The nomination of a strict constructionist
for O'Connor's seat will cause the most
contentious fight since Robert Bork.
Why am I so confident a fight is oncom-

ing? Simply put, liberalism does not win
at the ballot box. In order to survive, lib-
erals must institutionalize their beliefs in
the judicial branch. The Supreme Court
is their last defense.
A majority of strict constructionists
on the Supreme Court threatens the
holy cathedral of abortion. The pro-
cess of reversing Roe v. Wade is not
simple. The court would take down the
cathedral stone by stone through a seri-
ous of decisions, which would require
years of a stable strict constructionist
majority on the court. Rehnquist could
not overturn the court's precedent on
abortion because he lacked support
from his colleagues. A court led by
Roberts - flanked on the right by
Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and another
strict constructionist - could ensure
liberals' worst fear - that the people
decide on abortion. How confident
are liberals that state legislatures will
agree with the Blackmun majority?
The fight over abortion is just one bat-
tle in the war between judicial restraint
and judicial activism. Just last term in
Kelo vs. New London, CT a 5-4 liberal
majority ruled that local governments,
using eminent domain, can seize private
property and allow another private owner
to purchase the land so long as the proj-
ect is for public works or increases tax
revenue. A majority of nine lawyers took
away the private property rights of every
American with one ruling. I could write
for weeks and cite case after case where
the same travesty occurs - activist judg-
es write their personal policy preferences
into law, and the liberal Left champions
the decision as final.
History looks back at every presi-
dent's administration and determines
its legacy. When historians reflect
upon the Bush administration I hope
they write that he reduced judicial
activism and gave legislative power
back to the people.
John Stiglich is an LSA junior. He can be
reached atjcsgof@umich.edu.

Beam can be reached at


Blue-out the Big House
for Notre Dame game
It's once again time for the student section
to "Blue-Out" for this Saturday's gridiron
battle against Notre Dame. Let's show up
at Michigan Stadium as a unified, involved
and passionate student section ready to
cheer our team on to victory.
Wear BLUE. Beat the Irish. Enough said!
Dennis Lee
Engineering senior
The letter writer is the drum major of the
Michigan Marching Band.
Athletic department at
fault for end zone seating
I received the e-mail concerning students
standing in the south endzone this evening,
and I can't say that I am surprised that the
athletic department has chosen to take this
route in solving the problem. However, I can't
say that it is a fair solution to the students in
those sections. I know that it is easy and fea-
sible, and threatening to throw students out of
the game will certainly catch the attention of
those students in that section, but it is simply
the wrong thing to do. I know that the specta-
tors in the five or so rows behind the students
are upset that they have paid money to watch
the backs of students' heads, but I fail to see
how that is our fault.
I know that more students wanted tick-
ets than usual, but why did the ticket office
place us in sections where we would obvi-
ously obstruct the view of others? Why were
students placed in this endzone as opposed
to expanding the existing student section?
I know that my ticket was cheaper than
the fans behind me, so I have less pull with
you in this situation, but I am also paying
tuition to attend this school, and currently I
am an unhappy student and fan. You're talk-
ing about making five rows of non-students
h,.n.x of te P n- - -of 1;< .. ic of c+tii -nt

Michigan sports (and fans) great, and leave
the students in the south endzone alone.
Daniel Kidle
LSA freshman
Reformed Longhorn offers
advice to football fans
Thank you, Matt Singer, for a much-needed call
to "Pump up the volume" in the Big House (Big
House: Pump up the volume, 09/07/2005).
As a graduate from The University of Texas
at Austin, I've seen my share of college football,
and I thought I had Michigan pegged: tame tail-
gating and a raucous game. Boy, was I wrong! I
was blown away by the tailgating (exactly how
many people were on that golf course?), but com-
pletely underwhelmed by the lackluster spirit at
the game.
This is what I observed:
1. There was a lack of organized cheering. Yes,
I did see cheerleaders attempting to lead cheers
in front of blase alumni. Not once did any cheer-
leaders come over to my (student) section to get
the crowd pumped. I'm in section 11, by the way,
which is where they stuck the MBA and Law stu-
dents. Don't forget us! We may be older, but we
will cheer!
2. The stadium was incredibly quiet. As Singer
wrote, we need to use noise to create a home-field
advantage. Texas's Royal Memorial Stadium has
less than half the capacity of the Big House, but
the fans are four times as loud. We often created
so much noise that the opposing team's offense
could not hear enough to complete the play. This is
what we need to do at the Big House - this is how
we can contribute to the game! I'm sure the team
will appreciate it a lot more than all the armchair
analysis you mutter under your breath.
3. The Big House started emptying in the third
quarter - why? When did football stop having
four quarters? And what kind of fan leaves the
team before the game is over?
To sum up, I'll put a Michigan twist on an old
Texas football mantra:
Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late ... Go Blue!
Let's make some noise!
Irme C(han

the Gulf Coast of the United States, really, is no
different. If anything, it strikes a chord more deep-
ly, because the destruction of people's lives and
entire cities is not buffeted by thousands of miles
of land and sea.
Despite the deep chord of empathy that the
destruction of the hurricane has caught, our
country seems too paralyzed to react - and
the University is no exception. In the wake of
last year's tsunami, the campus collaborated in
a way in which we had never united before. Not
only did the faculty and administration answer
the call for need, but the students came forth in
a generosity of spirit. Students from all walks
of life, right-wing, left-wing, Greek and hip-
pie, cultural groups, religious groups, volun-
teer organizations and literally everything in
between answered the call for a united relief
effort on the part of the student body. I myself
was witness to a gathering of more than 150
student leaders, members of the faculty and the
administration who stepped forward to answer
the question, "How can I help?" In the after-
math of this new tragedy, my question now is,
who will again answer the call to help?
The fact of the matter is that while our nation's
leaders continue to point the fingers of blame on
how this disaster may have been prevented (if
there was, indeed, any way to do so), it is up to
us to answer the call. I know there are students
out there capable of spearheading such an effort
- and they may not lie in the obvious places. To
those students whose only impediment to helping
out is the thought of whether one person can make
a difference, I say look no further than yourself.
The resources for a collaborative effort at this uni-
versity are there, and the bridges of communica-
tion have been built. Use them! If you feel that
you have a good idea for a fundraiser or for ways
to travel to the impacted areas to physically lend
a hand, I'll bet you there are hundreds of other
students out there with similar ideas. Just imagine
a Michigan contingent going to the area during
fall break, made up of students from literally all
over the University! Here is a wonderful oppor-
tunity to make collaboration among students and
organizations occur again - and there is no rea-
son why it shouldn't. It is amazing how much can
be accomplished by e-mailing friends and rela-
tives aeking them to heln t odonnte And rnrhans



"In Dissent" opinions do not reflect the views of the Daily's editorial board. They
are solely the views of the author.
Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Amanda Burns, Whitney Dibo, Jesse For-
ester, Jared Goldberg, Eric Jackson, Brian Kelly, Theresa Kennelly, Rajiv Prabhakar,
lt++ n? n,- n-_ _ - -11 n ' a~rr iRin C - -n-1 no 0 -L T "] ..ron i ~l tY Tnkn - sralirk

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