4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 2, 2005
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JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
He couldn't be
dead fast enough
for me. I want him
dead. I want him
- Susan Schorpen, the mother of a mur-
dered child, on a Florida jury's decision
to sentence her daughter's killer to death,
as reported yesterday by CNN.com.
Recent reports indicate the government hired
an entity called the Lincoln Group to place
pro-U.S. articles in Iraqi newspapers. Some-
where, Honest Abe is ashamed.
THE THUMBS HAVE IT
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All
other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their author.
Brain imaging data released this week show
that caffeine improves short-term memory.
Does this make coffee the academic equiva-
lent of steroids?
Asia's harshest city-state executes an Aus-
tralian for drug trafficking. No chewing
gum, no heroin - no fun at all.
My atheist president
JESSE SINGAL S'EM THiE TlDE"
want me an athe-
and nervous and
has trouble sleeping
because he's so con-
cerned about, well,
he laughs off the idea
of a higher power
calling the shots, he's
a details maniac - if he and his staff don't
handle this or that, who will? The only
thing keeping America going, he realizes,
is Americans. He has little faith in anything
except people and even then only in those
who have earned it.
Although he exudes confidence when it's
necessary to do so, those who know him best
understand that he can't shut off his brain.
Terrorism. The environment. Health care.
There's simply too much to handle in four
years for him to even think about a respite.
So he skips vacations and gets four hours of
sleep a night and has to be coerced by his
staff to even take a weekend at Camp David.
I want me a wonk president.
He can neither throw nor catch a football,
as he was too busy reading to have developed
those skills during his formative years. He's
not someone you'd want to crack a beer with
at a barbeque, as his conversational habits
tend toward the soporific. He has little to
say about American Idol but will have you
begging off dessert so as to avoid another
20 minutes of his extensive theories on the
economies of Southeast Asia.
I want me a humble president.
He's aware that there will always be
some topic or other for which it would be
best to bring in an outside expert. So he
does so rather often, and when the expert
arrives, some advisor to the president pulls
him aside, hands him a cup of coffee and
says, "You're going to need this." These
meetings can last for hours and hours, the
president barely saying a word while tak-
ing notes at a preternatural rate, writing
and highlighting and underlining. And by
the time the expert thinks he is done brief-
ing the president, the president has come
up with several dozen questions.
Because questions are what this president
is all about. How? When? And his personal
favorite: Why? He is, more than anything
else, a "why" president. He realizes that
tradition and habit and common prac-
tice are crutches, not virtues, and he's not
afraid to question what most people take for
granted. He's not afraid to apply this scru-
tiny to himself, either; if someone points
out something that he could do better, he
will gladly accept the criticism in the name
of progress and self-improvement.
I want me an honest president.
He's tired of the platitudes and clich6s
of elected office. When something com-
plicated happens, he explains to the people
that it's complicated. He's not a good/evil,
black/white, us/them sort of president. He
sees the shades of grey that exist every-
where and realizes that the American peo-
ple are smart enough to accept them. To
him, acknowledging nuance is not a sign of
weakness or indecision, but rather a neces-
sary result of engaging in a world fueled by
There are no easy answers for this presi-
dent; every issue requires its share of
thoughtful deliberation and consultation.
His doors are open to anyone hoping to
offer a suggestion, regardless of his politi-
cal party. He judges others in Washington
based not on which side of the aisle they
sit, but rather on their intelligence, inno-
vation and ability to positively impact the
I want me an angry president.
He's idealistic and doesn't see the need
to hide it. "The wrong people control the
important things," he repeats to friends,
families and advisors. He sees the impact
of money in Washington and keeps a very
close eye on those in office who seem to be
legislating with an eye toward their wallets.
When he finds such officials, he calls them
out. He can't hear the phrase "K Street"
without getting nauseous.
I want me a flexible president.
He came into the White House with cer-
tain beliefs, some of which have held up.
Others, however, have been made obsolete
by all the new information he has at his
disposal, so his opinions on certain issues
have changed. He understands that con-
viction is only a desirable trait when it is
thrown behind ideas that make sense, and
because of this he's come to see belief as a
malleable, plastic thing that has to adapt to
the facts, rather than vice-versa.
Is it 2008 yet?
Singal can be reached
America's worst addiction
BY JOHN STIGLICH II - firm behavior responds to consumer incentives to consumers to purchase hybrid
demand. However, a major drop in gaso- vehicles or vehicles that meet certain fuel
Last month, syndicated columnist Charles line prices could potentially shift consumer efficiency standards. Perhaps, if the profits
Krauthammer opined in favor of a nation- demand back toward inefficient vehicles. We are large enough, the government can sup-
wide price floor on the pump price of a gal- need only analyze the gas shortages of the plement cuts in Social Security and Medi-
lon of gasoline. Krauthammer's plan runs late 1970s and subsequent oil supply boom care taxes to provide consumers with more
counter to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News thereafter to learn how consumer demand disposable income or increase funding for
poll that found 59 percent of Americans for gasoline-efficient vehicles drops with the education. The possibilities are endless.
want Congress to enact a cap on the pump price of gasoline. Most importantly, a price floor on gaso-
price of gasoline. As a free-market Rea- As Krauthammer reasons, a price floor line combined with easing regulations to
ganite, price caps and price floors worry me on gasoline would prevent such a reversal increase oil supply will kick America's
because government regulation of the free in demand. By imposing a price floor, the addiction for oil. We should call on Presi-
market is often dangerous and keeps Ameri- government sets a price-that gasoline can- dent Bush and Congress to lead the charge
cans in their cycle of bad habits. However, not fall beneath. Should the pump price fall for energy independence and American
I believe energy independence is the new beneath the price floor, the government ingenuity. American energy independence
frontier of American ingenuity and given its taxes gasoline to a price above the floor. will protect the U.S. economy from fluc-
importance, the federal government should For the government to profit more from this tuations in oil prices and turn the tables
enact a price floor on gasoline. price floor, it should permit oil exploration on Organization of Petroleum Export-
Empirical evidence shows that as the and drilling in ANWR and the continental ing Countries and the Middle East, as we
price of gasoline rose, consumer demand for shelf. It should also allow for construction could potentially turn into a net oil exporter
gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks dropped and of new oil refineries in the United States. instead of a net oil importer. I just wonder
demand for gas-efficient hybrid vehicles and The increased supply of domestic oil will if any politician has the temerity to stand
compact cars increased. This shift in demand decrease the price of gasoline at the pump up against popular opinion and explain why
led Toyota to announce its goal of selling 1 and allow for greater tax revenues. The paying more for a relatively inelastic good
million hybrid cars a year by 2010. By 2012, government can then use its revenue to is beneficial to America's future.
J.D. Power and Associates estimates hybrids subsidize research and development of
will account for 4.1 percent of all sales. This alternative fuels and energy-efficient trans- Stiglich is an LSA junior and a member of
is conclusive evidence the free market works portation. It can offer tax rebates and tax the Daily's Editorial Board.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Reggie Brown, Gabrielle
DAngelo, John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay,Jared
Goldberg, Ashwin Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Frank Man-
ley, Kirsty McNamara, Rajiv Prabhakar, Matt Rose, David Russell, Katherine Seid, Brian
Slade, John Stiglich, Imran Syed, Ben Taylor, Jessica Teng.
CARTOON TO THE EDITOR
Chris.Queenin LSA senior
'U' can't ignore Comp
To THE DAILY:
As a flagship university for championing affir-
mative action, I am appalled by the treatment of
lecturers in the Comprehensive Studies Program.
This is a central program for enabling students
from diverse backgrounds to "fit" at the Uni-
versity. Without this program the attrition rates
for black students would certainly increase. It is
through such programs that the University's true
commitment to affirmative action is actualized.
Several lecturers who also hold positions in aca-
paid for the teaching they do during the Bridge
To further the abuse and disrespect of the advi-
sors, the CSP administration decided to terminate
all advisors' teaching appointments for the winter
by eliminating the CSP 100 course. This course
has been offered for more than 30 years. This act
can only be interpreted as retaliation toward the
advisors for exercising their right to grieve unfair
employment practices. The CSP 100 seminar that
the advisors teach is highly specialized and pre-
scribed to meet the individual needs of students.
In the seminar, students are exposed to problem-
solving paradigms in humanities, social sciences
and natural sciences. This course is intense and
Cartoonist isn't the one
simpli flying affirmative
TO THE DAILY:
I thoroughly enjoyed Lisa Bakale-Wise's lettei
to the editor (Cartoonist oversimplifies role of affirma-
tive action, misses many relevant issues, 12/01/2005)
I especially thought she made good points wher
she said, "Well, obviously true! Unless, of course
he has family members who attended the Univer-
sity" (No non-white people have alumni ties to the
University.), "decides to go into nursing" (No non-
white males go into nursing.), "has a rich fathei
Delwith your bmose n your ids, not
ti students. We valeouar money too.