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November 04, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-11-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 4, 2005

OPINION

ilhe arttuan antlij

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
S M 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
44 U of M
girls give me
UofM
head."
- Rapper Ludacris, modifying a line from
the song "Southern Hospitality," during
last night's concert at Hill Auditorium.

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Fitzgerald in '08! Fitzgerald in '08!
JESSE SINGAL TElM TIE TIDE

*I

was on my way to
Madison, Wisc. last
Friday when I first
heard Patrick Fitzgerald.
I had just passed through
Chicago, the town where
he usually resides as a
U.S. attorney, and with
the Sears Tower still
clinging to my rear-
view mirror, I happened
upon his press conference. As the Department of
Justice special counsel who investigated the Val-
erie Plame leak scandal, he was discussing the
five-count indictment that had just been issued
by a grand jury against Dick Cheney's chief of
staff, I. Lewis Libby - or "Scooter" to those
who prefer their public officials to have ridicu-
lous nicknames.
Fitzgerald was immediately impressive. Sim-
ply put, he knew his stuff. He was extremely
knowledgeable and confident, but modest. For
many of the questions the reporters in attendance
asked him, he said it would be outside the bounds
of his authority to answer them. He made it clear,
time and time again, that he was doing his job
and nothing more - this wasn't, from his point
of view, about politics or the war or an opportu-
nity for him to wield power - it was about a very
specific set of accusations he had investigated to
the best of his ability.
Listening to this incredibly intelligent, articu-
late man answer questions on the fly in an impres-
sive manner, my thoughts turned, of course, to
our president. I quickly realized what was going
on here. I thought about the Seinfeld episode in
which Elaine meets "bizarro" versions of Jerry,

George, Kramer and Newman - that is, people
who initially seem exactly like her friends but dif-
fer greatly when it comes to their personalities. It's
not a perfect analogy because Fitzgerald doesn't
look like Bush, but the rest applies: Fitzgerald is
Bizarro Bush.
Whereas Fitzgerald speaks authoritatively and
immediately grabs you with his eloquence, Bush,
well, doesn't. Whereas Fitzgerald is a careful,
measured speaker who is wary of unnecessary
rhetorical flourish and who seeks to avoid hyper-
bole or abstraction, Bush - uncomfortable with
specifics - can only deal in concepts found in the
Bible, Greek myths or children's books. Fitzgerald
deals only in facts and exercises restraint when
he does so - he's not one to make wild charges
or to disregard salient evidence for the sake of a
pre-existing agenda. Bush ... you get the picture.
Noting these differences, I came to the only logi-
cal conclusion: If Bush is a poor president, and
Fitzgerald is Bizarro Bush, then Fitzgerald would
be a good president.
And I mean it: I want this man in the Oval
Office. I don't even care which party he'd run
under, though I'm assuming he'd run as a Dem-
ocrat - things could get awkward were he and
Scooter to be present at the same GOP fund-
raiser. I've been so numbed by five years of ter-
rible governance, by fumblings and bumblings
and obliviousness and macho saber-rattling, that I
am starved to the point of emaciation for compe-
tence. And in this regard, Fitzgerald is a gut-bust-
ing, five-course meal.
Would someone as fastidious as Fitzgerald
have started a war based on faulty intelligence?
Would someone as humble as Fitzgerald, as self-
consciously aware of his role, its limitations and

the importance of listening to qualified experts
around him, have waged it in such a bloodily
inept manner? And would Fitzgerald, who seems
above all else to exude and admire competence,
have appointed to head the Federal Emergency
Management Agency a man whose talents would
have been better utilized on a dude ranch? The
questions stretch out to infinity: landings on air-
craft carriers? "Mission Accomplished" speech-
es? "Bring 'em on" exhortations? It's hard to
imagine as polished and knowledgeable a public
servant as Fitzgerald committing a single one of
these gaffes, let alone all of them.
So let's get the exploratory committee started.
Let's churn out bumper stickers and glossy pam-
phlets and bobbleheads. We'll need slogans, lots of
slogans - people love slogans. The bar's been set
pretty low, so this one shouldn't be tough: "Fitzger-
ald: He knows what's he's doing." "Fitzgerald:
He's not Bush." "Fitzgerald: For those who don't
see cowboy boots as a qualification."
So please, Mr. Fitzgerald, make a run at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue. You're more than quali-
fied, as anyone who heard your press conference
can attest, and you're exactly the sort of breath of
fresh air we need. If you won't do it for the people,
then do it for me, a college columnist who is sin-
cerely tired of writing about a president and an
administration so remarkably poor at doing their
jobs well.
And if you don't see the importance of sweep-
ing out the old in Washington now, you will when
Robert Novak outs your CIA agent wife in his
next column.

01

Family ties
Marriage is nation's best bet against poverty

Singal can be reached at
jsingal@umich.edu.

We join the editorial bard in
saluting John Edwards for
keeping the poverty issue alive
(Johnny's two cents, 11/03/05). Indeed,
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina spot-
lighted a disturbing reality: Poverty per-
sists in America. However, we dissent
from our colleagues where solutions to
poverty are concerned. Beyond educa-
tion, strengthening the American family
is the most necessary tactic in the war
on poverty.
U.S. Census data shows that chil-
dren born into poverty, especially those
reared by the uneducated, unmarried
and young, are likely to remain in pov-
erty. Twenty-two percent of Americans
who do not graduate high school are
poor. Nearly 11 percent of adults who do
not work remain poor over the long term.
Beyond a lack of education, children
raised by overwhelmed and unprepared
mothers are more likely to be brought
into the world in poverty. On average, a
child raised by an unwed mother is nine
times more likely to live in poverty than
a child raised by two parents in a stable
marriage. Finding a lifetime partner and
waiting until marriage to have children,
takes a step toward fighting poverty.
For instance, a single person who mar-
ries and finds employment increases his
chances of leaving poverty by more than
50 percentage points. Personal respon-
sibility, abstinence and marriage are
not only religious ideals but also proven
deterrents to poverty.
Unfortunately, contemporary culture
places disturbingly little emphasis on the
importance of marriage and abstinence.
Within its lyrics, "Gangsta"rap glorifies
the "pimp" lifestyle, degrades women and
diminishes the accountability of fathers.
Those who speak out against these soci-
etal dangers are labeled insensitive, sexist
and racist - just ask Bill Cosby. At what
point in U.S. history did criticizing con-
duct detrimental to society with morality
become intolerance?
The effects of poverty hit black Amer-
icans as a demographic group hardest.
A National Public Radio report found

almost 70 percent of black children
are born out of wedlock. However, it
is more politically effective for black
leaders (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton,
Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, etc.) to
blame conservative, white America for
their constituents' problems. Granted,
past discriminatory injustices certainly
hindered the upward social mobility of
black Americans, but statistics show the
black family structure is now the root
of black poverty. The black leadership
labels courageous black Americans like
Bill Cosby, Condoleezza Rice and J.C.
Watts "Uncle Toms" and "Aunt Jemi-
mas" because they dare to look inward
instead of pointing the finger at white
America Refusing to address irrespon-
sibility in their own communities, black
leaders continue to play the blame game
and in the process, perpetuate the belief
that the behavior is socially acceptable.
Former President Reagan famously
declared, "Real change requires real
change." Re-emphasizing the traditional
family values that permanently liberate
impoverished Americans is real change.
Enacting policies that encourage young
Americans to graduate high school, seek
a lifetime partner, wait for marriage to
start a family and take personal respon-
sibility by working will decrease poverty.
We commend the Bush administration
for encouraging abstinence-only educa-
tion, emphasizing the societal benefits of
marriage and funding faith-based, pov-
erty-elimination programs. The most
dangerous sexually transmitted disease
in America is poverty - irresponsible
behavior not only mires today's poor in
poverty, but ensnares future generations
as well. Temporary relief, such as raising
the minimum wage, only serves to pro-
vide a false sense of accomplishment in
the war on poverty. In order to enact real
change, Americans have a moral obliga-
tion to discourage behaviors that feed the
beast of poverty.
Will Kerridge is an Engineering junior.
John Stiglich is an LSA junior. Reach them
at willker@umich.edu or jcsgolf@umich.edu.

News that stays news
ZACK DENFELD 8-BIT CRITIC

Five or six hun-
dred words of
shame. Acciden-
tally stumbling upon
a website I can never
unsee. Staying up all
night turning over the
Turing-test wrong clicks
I have made on the Inter-
net super traffic jam.
Learning from Lagos
means that if the world makes a rush hour floor
plan, convert the highway into the city square. The
public green runs at 16 miles per hour.
There is an internal logic in cell-phone-to-
newscast subsistence living. An information
slow burn that still scorches in this, the 10th year
after the Information Bomb. I got video running
through my cracks and Democracy Now after-
images pouring over my ear canal. Candy-coated
commercial radio goes satellite, and the real audio
excavation returns to the 12 city blocks where it
can do the most damage.
Never forget that human eyes are information
limiters, and if we could see the purple rays and
space junk runaways, our minds would freak.

A decade or so after the W3 dropped, even here
in A2 I am reminded that the Whole Earth catalog
is gone, the planet is smaller and shrinking and my
self-portrait is more like epidemiology than physi-
ology. I might have hos in area codes, but I lost my
PDA, and I am a lonely information-provider even
though my MP3s have wiggled their way through
every zip code in the country.
It's a distributed existence. All side to side,
supermarkets in alleyways, grab some sunlight
between winter month comas and First World
summertime slumming: the creative class in ruins,
rich Detroit suburbanites' beach-going breast
implants exploding, beaming reality show reflec-
tions from cell phone cameras in Cancun to Dad's
biotech conglomerate near the edge of nowhere.
It's all unlimited rhythms and forbidden touch-
ing, and my generation is the most conservative
we should have seen coming. A damn waste to not
party it up during the end of days.
On the plus side: Zax Google capital is rising
steadily, and there seems to be no end in site. I am
trying to get a grant to make a Surinamese TV
stream that flows into the global cultural current.
A four-channel remix that bypasses international
intellectual property rights. But I might be out of

bucks: My Ebay rating is at 40 percent and diving
because I wanted a box of old Vietnamese comics.
The transaction botched and now I can't even be
trusted to sell used car parts to South American
muscle car revivers. The black market doubles
back on the backs of the poor and fallen, someday
soon the secondary market will rise up to pop the
neoclassical mystics on their well-padded asses,
and a panarchic regime of actors and agents will
probably make me pine for some good ol' state of
nature. I like buildings, but architects have given
up trying to make them because the world moves
too fast to contain us.
My advice stands: If you want to live forever
you better hire a damn good lawyer so her kids'
kids can defend your right to nanotech regenera-
tion when you leave your frozen haven.
If you want to know why there aren't more
black movies, follow entertainment companies
with economies larger than Third World countries
and their ancillary profits.
The only resistance to escape velocity melt-
down is gardening as slow as possible.

Denfeld can be reached at
zcd@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Vagina Monologues this
year silence some women
TO THE DAILY:
I received an e-mail regarding the upcoming
production of the Vagina Monologues and quickly
noticed the additional subtitle: "A Colorful Pro-
duction." As it turns out, this year's show will
consist of an all women-of-color cast, based on a
belief that it is time "for women of color to have a
place center stage."
Now, I am hardly an essentialist, believing that
women can come together through supposed "sis-
terhood," and be united on the sole connection
of their gender. Instead, I completely respect and
understand the complexity lying within intersec-
tions of race and gender. I could never associate
my experience as a woman to that of a woman of
color, as I have an amount of undeniable privi-
lege that comes with being white in this society.
It would be offensive and ludicrous for a white
actress to present any monologue intended to rep-

affect women of any color. Race is not the only
issue involved in removing white women from
the Vagina Monologue's cast. In actuality, you are
also silencing lesbians, rape and domestic violence
survivors, women of varying socioeconomic sta-
tus and others who all have a stake in defining and
shaping the perceptions of gender.
I ask the producers of the Vagina Monologues
to reconsider their decision in casting only women
of color for this year's production. Good intentions
aside, gender does not solely intersect with race,
and your actions implicate such. Please consider
how you are silencing numerous voices that could
work in cooperation with women of color in pro-
viding a well-rounded portrayal of female experi-
ence. Thank you.
Erin Cosens
LSA junior
A /-!- " 71 ..

these policies, I can vouch for this personally.
Second, if Broyles really is the "first to admit"
that affirmative action is flawed, why does he
bear no share of the onus of developing a supe-
riot alternative? "It's the best we got" isn't a very
good reason to support something.
Last, if the intent of affirmative action is to
remove the racial divisions in our society that have
been left by an ugly past, why must we continue
the ugliness into the present? I am not quite naive
enough to think that racism doesn't exist, but I
don't think that people who oppose affirmative
action should be automatically labeled as "racist."
This is simply evidence that whether one is for
or against affirmative action, it is a subject that
inherently breeds controversy. There probably is
no way to avoid this controversy, but there might
be a way to be a bit more civil about it.
Dan Bertoni
LSA junior

"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, Reggie Brown, John Davis, Whitney Dibo,
Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg, Eric Jackson, Ashwin Jagannathan,
Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Rajiv Prabhakar, Matt Rose,
T 1 " r Tl "T _1 _ C -- 1.- -1- T - - - C - AI T 'T _1

Affirmative action debate
could stand to be more civil Football crowd fueled up
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