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October 20, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-20

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, Ocotober 20, 2005

OPINION

Gcb liriaI~

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON GO
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I said what I
said. I am not
guilty."
-Deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
on Wednesday, pleading innocent to charges
of human rights violations and murder, in the
opening session of his long-anticipated trial, as
reported yesterday by The Associated Press.

' F- k3

TRY ' 14AUI. MORE
EeCo ofMiCAL,
YWAY.2'

ALEXANDER HONKALA RENT C>-:u, B:J(c;KEr
SAfr\NoT

A-List overdue on campus
SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY AUDI AiTERAM PA ARTEM
T he countdown sibly provocative acts in the past, but col- demic relevance or even talent, A-listers fill
to Ludacris lege is not meant to be a diluted experience! seats and earn a school bragging rights.
has officially Furthermore, students must be given some Pandering to the masses might not seem to
begun. And if the credit for their behavior; political firebrand align with campus values, but it is becoming
two-hour wait at the Michael Moore's visit last year went on increasingly necessary. Along with any other
Michigan Union Tick- without a hitch and if anything, injected institution of higher learning, the University
et Office last Friday a healthy debate between sides of opposi- is a business and like any business, we 'want
was any indication, tion. to increase our brand power in the market-
the rapper's Nov. 3 The problem of lackluster personalities place. Success is measured not by revenues
performance is eager- extends beyond student entertainment and per se, but by the amount of research funding,
ly anticipated. into commencement services too. Com- average standardized test scores of incoming
And it is long overdue. This concert is mencement marks the pinnacle of a stu- students and national rankings. Addition-
the first mainstream musical act to hit Hill dent's tenure in college, and much of the ally, the "Michigan" brand is reinforced by
Auditorium in recent memory, minus the fondness graduates and families have for connections to luminaries, like successful
clamor over Kanye West's pseudo appear- this last hurrah is based on the commence- alumni or the number of Nobel laureates in
ance a few weeks ago. It is puzzling and ment speaker - not so much what he says, residence. When the University can boast that
somewhat offensive that a school with the but who he is. We are all familiar with the an alum has donated $100 million to its busi-
size and caliber of the University cannot - bewilderment and snickering generated ness school for instance, it is a boon to the
or does not, it is hard to say - draw guests from obscure speakers like David Davis Jr., school's name and reputation; obviously, the
comparable to our counterparts. Michi- the founder and editor emeritus of Auto- campus must be worthy to receive such a gen-
gan State University's Breslin Center just mobile Magazine, or John Seely Brown, a erous donation over its competitors.
brought Jay Leno to its stage last week and former Xerox scientist better known as "the As competition becomes increasingly
ironically, Kanye will be there next month. spell-check guy." stiff among top colleges, the University
There is no reason that we cannot bring In all fairness, the performers are in no needs to continue to differentiate itself.
equal or better performers to campus. A way at fault for the disappointment. Audi- Attracting better speakers and performers
sizeable audience and ample facilities ences - me included - are more easily gives students a sense of pride and in the
already exist, and from a financial stand- snared with glamour than substance. Bot- grander scheme of things, adds to the bot-
point, big names yield enough ticket sales tom line: We love celebrities. We love to tom line.
to cover most booking expenses. It has been escape the mundane by living vicariously
theorized that the University has thwart through them, even if it's through a brief Krishnamurthy can be reached at
inter-student conflicts by avoiding osten- encounter. No matter how devoid of aca- sowmyak@umich.edu.
VIEWPOINT
Northwest Airlines: a sure bet at 35,000 feet
BY RACHEL WELFORD to the Northwest website, 85 percent of hired the system completion factor, system arriv-
mechanics have had at least fiveyearsexperi- als-within 14 minutes of .scheduled time.
Detroit Metropolitan Airport is a haven ence and 65 percent have had 10 years experi- and the number of aircraft out of service.
for frequent fliers. Not only is it one of the ence, on aircraft comparable to those used by A line indicates a split between pre-strike
most sophisticated airports in the country, Northwest. To argue that these mechanics are and post-strike data. Surprisingly, the num-
it is home to one of the largest airline com- putting the lives of those who fly Northwest bers of aircraft that are out of service have
panies to date. Northwest Airlines operates at risk would be to argue that all people who gone from an approximate high of 49 air-
flights to and from more than 900 cities, in fly Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest, craft pre-strike to a record low of nine. Sev-
160 countries on six continents. With 700 American and many other airlines are putting eral weeks saw 100 percent of flights being
flights a day from Detroit, Northwest is their lives at risk as well. Northwest drew completed post-strike. Finally, at some
clearly the easy choice. mechanics from these companies, who were points before the strike, only 45 percent of
Since Northwest mechanics went on perhaps out of work or retired, re-trained them flight arrivals were within 14 minutes of
strike in mid August, there has been a great according to Northwest standards, and gave the designated time, while post-strike sta-
deal of speculation that traveling with the them work on aircraft that they were already tistics boast a record high of 89 percent. It
airline constitutes a mild level of "risk tak- familiar with. The only difference between a is clear from statistical data that the airline
ing." It has been argued that Northwest is Jet Blue 757-200 and the same exact aircraft has not been greatly affected by its replace-
lagging in performance and safety since it for Northwest is that the paint job of the Jet ment mechanics.
replaced its striking workers of the Ameri- Blue 757 is a bit more representative of our Though disappointed with its inability to
can Mechanics Fraternal Association with Michigan motto. negotiate with the labor union, Northwest
qualified mechanics from other airlines I am a frequent traveler and have been fly- Airlines has managed to maintain its system
and third-party vendor mechanics. This ing Northwest since I was young. I used the performance to the best of its ability. When
replacement, if anything, has served North- airline for several weekend trips since the students travel home for future breaks, they
west Airlines for the better, which is now mechanics went on strike and have experi- need not fly Delta from Detroit to Atlanta
boasting higher numbers of on-time arriv- enced Northwest's efficiency and the way it -- a Delta Airlines hub - to catch a con-
als, in service aircraft and system comple- has coped with the situation. I have found necting flight to Los Angels. All it takes
tion - without jeopardizing safety and my experiences to be better than they were is some confidence and faith in a reliable
comfort. before the mechanics went on strike, and in airline to get an easy direct flight from
Northwest Airlines anticipated this strike some cases, my flights have come in early. Motown to Hollywood.
and therefore began training replacements 18 At www.nwa.com, three core graphs can be
months prior to the labor dispute. According found that highlight three main subjects: Welford is an LSA freshman.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

S
0

State needs water for
its garden of education
TO THE DAILY:
My response to yesterday's article con-
cerning higher education funding and
economic growth (Can higher ed save Michi-
gan?, 10/19/2005) is that it can't do it alone.
I view education as a wonderful and beauti-
ful flowering tree. Higher education is the
wonderful flowers and fruits. High schools
are the tree trunks and elementary and
middle schools are the roots. It makes little
sense to prune and fuss over the flowers
(higher education) if the roots aren't being
fed and insects are attacking the trunk.
Education in Michigan must be looked at as
a whole. I would argue that increasing the
quality and effectiveness of K-12 education
would have a more dramatic impact on the
economic fortunes of Michigan, both the
,,+tn . and the ITni xrreity,

cost of gas through the roof. As the price
of oil continues to surge and the mercury
steadily drops, the cost of heating homes
this winter will become a growing concern
for households nationwide. A government
report predicts that heating bills this winter
will cost Americans almost one-third more
on average; a colder-than-normal winter
could raise prices up to 50 percent. Even a
warmer-than-normal winter will see a rise
in heating costs.
We have all come to deal with the addi-
tional cost of oil one way or another. But
what will become of this perseverance
once winter hits Ann Arbor? How will
students cope with energy bills that are 30
to 50 percent higher than usual? Conven-
tional wisdom would say "be responsible."
When the weather report reads 15 degrees,
"responsible" is not a concern as you crank
up the thermostat. Many students mired in
lrnanc and ivxifltr Pxnencercanno~t afford

niably, the coming months will bring colder
weather. Action, or at least consideration,
must be taken now to help students stay
warm without breaking the bank.
Ari Cohen
LSA senior
LETTERS POLICY
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 Uni-
versity affiliation. The Daily will not print
any letter containing statements that can-
not be verified.
Letters should be kept to approxi-

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Amanda Burns, Whitney Dibo,
Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg, Eric Jackson, Brian Kelly, Theresa Kennelly,
RvPn,hb'L'r M1'r RnsP.V'DAdRnsse . tan Skowronki.Brian Slae . Lauren

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