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February 24, 2006 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-24

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 24, 2006

OPINION

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DoNN M. FRESARD
Editor in Chief

EMILY BEAM
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK
Editorial Page Editors

ASHLEY DINGES
Managing Editor

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
What moron
would think you're
going to fire the
guy with the
No. 1 show on
television?"
- Donald Trump, in response to Martha Stewart's
claim that she was supposed to fire him in the
inaugural season of her version of "The Appren-
tice," as reported yesterday by the Daily News.

AI
Ni1
K
I ~'.

KATIE GARLINGHOUSE .OUiE ART

Spring Break 101
ANDREW BIELAK BURNI N- BRI DGES

4

Fellow students of
the University,
have an important
announcement to make.
In case you have yet to
emerge from the haze of
your sixth night in a row
spent drinking yourself
into a stupor or nuzzling
your face in the gentle
bosom of your biology
textbook, I am here to inform you that today marks
the commencement of your spring break. That
means it's time to take a brief respite from your
intoxicated revelry, board a discount flight and pro-
ceed with said revelry in a warmer climate.
Now, I know some of you are immediate-
ly forming your silly little objections. "But
Andrew, my friend" you desperately plead,
"Aren't there ways to be both productive and
have fun over this period via service-oriented
organizations like Alternative Spring Break?"
Well, first of all, I ask that you not refer to me as
your friend, because all of my friends know to
call me Bielak - so slow down there, hotshot.
But more importantly, it seems all you ninnies
and naysayers have yet to learn that helping oth-
ers is for dweebs, so I'll try to make you under-
stand why my spring break - to put it simply
- beats the living shit out of yours.
Let's first start with the preparation. As any
properly educated college student should realize,
the spring break bylaws denote that one may not
enter a sunny southern climate without logging at
least 120 credit hours in the weight room and tan-

ning salon. Many of us know that the human body
is a temple, but what you may not know is that I've
dedicated the past three months to sculpting myself
into the sweetest temple this side of the Red Sea,
complete with huge ivory pillars, stained-glass win-
dows and other architectural flourishes that help my
temple metaphor make sense.
After using my parent's kick-ass credit card to
purchase airline tickets, I will be boarding a plane
headed south of the border to Mexico with approxi-
mately 250 of my closest friends. We'll touch down
in some resort town teeming with high-rise hotels
and well-oiled college students like myself. Hav-
ing never seen any other part of Mexico, I'll assume
that's what the whole country looks like. Translation:
Mexico rules.
I can only imagine what your next problem
with my plan will be. "But Bielak, dude, you
don't even speak Mexican!" OK, well, I guess
you've got a point there, but fortunately, in the
few instances I plan on interacting with people
outside of those from my inner circle of friends
(all 250 of them), I'll keep my trusty diccionario
on hand. With this little pal of mine, I will have
the ability to translate any word that could come
up in casual conversation - bro, hospital or law-
suit, for instance - and spell it out clearly for
any jerk that doesn't speak my language. If that
fails, I suppose I can always talk really loudly
and aggressively in English while making exag-
gerated hand gestures that don't really have any-
thing to do with what I'm saying.
Once we finally get proper directions to the near-
est beach, you can probably imagine what we're
going to do - no, not sit under the sun and bronze

my pectoral muscles ... no, not chug a cooler full
of Coronas and pass out in a pool of my own vomit
... no, not - hey, hold-on a second, I'm trying to
explain. While these other pastimes will undoubt-
edly be considered and most likely carried through,
my beach experience will truly reach its pinnacle
when I run shirtless across the glistening sands as
my friend blasts the Baywatch theme song from
a boombox he'll have hoisted upon his shoulder.
We've been conducting dry runs of this scene for
about three months now, and although both of us
got a little skittish in dress rehearsal last week, I
have faith that we can pull it off.
Now, though I'm not entirely sure how my nights
will be occupied and don't plan on remembering
them afterwards, I can fill you in a little bit - let's
just say that they will involve "making out indis-
criminately" with people whose "names I don't
know" followed by "blacking out" in the "basement
of an abandoned warehouse."
So you heard it here, kids - my spring break
will unequivocally rock out like none that has
that rocked before. All its wonderful moments of
drunkenness will be discussed over other moments
of drunkenness while my friends and I play beer
pong. Facebook groups will be created in com-
memoration of its awesomeness. And if you're still
scratching your head, wondering what makes my
plans unmatched in their brilliance and giving me
that pathetic "I'm still confused" look, then the
only thing I have left to offer you is my pity. Some
people just don't get it.

Bielak can be reached
at anbielak@umich.edu

The Michigan Daily and The Michigan Review will periodically
D aily m eets R eview run a point-counterpoint on issues of the day. This first installment
will discuss the philosophies that guide each publication.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Story title 'ignores the
purpose of the vigil'
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to first thank the Daily
for covering the candlelight vigil for
Jill Carroll (Muslims pray for Carroll,
02/22/06). As an organizer of the event,
I was very pleased with the accuracy of
the article and its ability to explain a
complicated and delicate issue. Howev-
er, I would like to voice a complaint over
the title of the article. It is true that this
event was co-sponsored by the Muslim
Student Association, and a great num-
ber of the participants were Muslims.
But this title does not acknowledge the
large number of participants who came
from other religious backgrounds. It
ignores the purpose of the vigil - to
unite people of all different back-
grounds in order to stand against the
execution of Jill Carroll. We attained
this solidarity during the vigil, but I
was disappointed that the title failed to
recognize this achievement.
Pauline Lewis
LSA junior
Independent plans to
reform MSA's failures
TO THE DAILY:
I always enjoy picking up the Daily
every morning on my way to breakfast
because there is almost always another
example of what's wrong with parties
in the Michigan Student Assembly.
Monday's viewpoint from the leaders of
Students 4 Michigan (Students 4 Michi-
gan outlines accomplishments, 02/20/06)
glazed over MSA's many missteps,
while last Wednesday's front-page story

(MSA votes down $4 student fee to fund
yearbook, 02/15/2006) showed that the
Michigan Progressive Party offers more
of the same.
Every time I read one of these articles,
I feel even more strongly that these par-
ties are stifling the progress that MSA
could be making. It's clear to me that we
need a new, independent voice on MSA,
which is why I'm running as an inde-
pendent in this year's election. There's
an important distinction that the S4M
leaders forgot to make between the LSA
Student Government and MSA. As an
appointed LSA-SG representative, I've
seen that it is taking on the tough issues
like creating a study abroad program in
Israel and reforming registration credit
brackets - often picking up the slack
of the Levine-Stallings administration
in MSA.
Meanwhile, MSA is stuck in a party-
induced logjam while the important
issues languish on the backburner.
There is so much more important work
to be done, and MSA hasn't been step-
ping up to the plate, which is why the
S4M's accomplishments on MSA seem
a bit light.
MSA is silent on issues like student
health care and wiring the university for
the 21st century, and if we continue to
let petty partisan politics infest MSA,
nothing will ever change. That might
work for the entrenched party incum-
bency, but as an everyday student, it
doesn't work for me. I'm running for
MSA as an independent to make our
student government work for us again,
and if elected, you can count on hav-
ing at least one independent voice for
reform on MSA.
Kenneth Baker
LSA freshman

aTie £kiwug1flaUig
BY SUHAEL MOMIN
First and foremost, The Michigan Daily is a newspaper. To that end, its main
goal is to provide objective news. The Daily, taken as a whole, has no opinions or
beliefs outside of its commitment to accurate, balanced, interesting and ethical
news reporting.
But on this page, we abandon our commitment to balance to provide com-
mentary. And within the gray boxes on the left side of this page, the Daily offers
its opinions. Our job - whether as editorial page editors or as editorial board
members - is to discover the Daily's opinion on the issues facing this campus
and specifically its students. This paper's editorials don't reflect what the cur-
rent editorial board believes, but rather what the editorial board thinks the Daily
would believe.
To understand what we mean by "the Daily," think of it as a person - com-
plete with his own opinions, beliefs and ideals. The paper's values are defined by
generations of published precedent that guide each class of editors and writers.
Editorial board meetings are conducted in the "library'," which houses yellowing
copies of the Daily published since the mid-1920s. In the shadow of these papers,
we piece together the latest installments of a decades-old tradition.
Yet even though we're committed to upholding editorial precedent, we're flex-
ible. Rather than blindly adhering to specific editorial views adopted at various
points during our 115 years, we attempt to apply the broad principles that tie
together decades of opinion.
Above all, the Daily believes in the intrinsic value of individual liberty and
social justice. Our commentary, whether on social, economic or purely'political
issues, is driven by a respect for those two ideals. We don't believe in the criminal-
ization of drugs and we don't support the crusade against smoking - we firmly
believe each individual should be free to, proverbially speaking, pick his own poi-
son. We reject the moral judgments imposed by both the political Left and Right.
We support a woman's right to choose because we don't believe one individual's
religious or moral convictions should limit another's control over her future. We
often criticize the current president and the Religious Right because we believe
legislation inspired by religious beliefs is unsound and divisive public policy.
We're equally appalled when Democratic senators, especially those female ones
from New York who appear to be running for president, start calling for federal
regulation of video games and television.
But along with our steadfast support for individual freedom, we believe gov-
ernment and public policy can be a powerful force for good. In supporting social
justice, we support fair treatment of all members of society, regardless of their
socioeconomic status, racial and religious heritage and national origin.
We don't think the richest country in the world, which spends more per capita
on health care than any other country, should brush off 45 million uninsured
citizens in blind tribute to market economics. Unlike many of our fellow voters,
we recognize that taxes - when applied to sound social policy - are fully justi-
fied. We see don't see the benefits of a public policy that pays for lowers tax rates
by slashing education funding.
We acknowledge the persistent segregation of our communities and the dev-
astating differences that separate the urban poor and suburban rich. To help
remedy these problems and ensure equal opportunity regardless of birth, we
think both racial and socioeconomic affirmative action are both necessary in
the immediate future.
You won't see the Daily talking about international issues and foreign policy,
m,-,,.ver Ac llc ctnAentc m, we're aware nn r limit-, -andl-ninnne a l an-

Since 1982, The Michigan Review has served as the intellectual capital of
conservatism at the University of Michigan. On a campus often characterized
by its overwhelmingly liberal student activism, the Review has found itself
operating contrary to the political current time and time again. As a biweek-
ly journal of conservative and libertarian opinion on campus and national
affairs, the Review usually finds itself in opposition to the views and opinions
supported by the editorial page of The Michigan Daily.
However, this is not always the case. As college students at the University,
we have far more in common than we often believe. The idea of a polar-
ized campus, while not completely unfounded, is often drastically overstated.
Regardless, one point is certain: We cannot progress beyond any form of
political intolerance on campus without a free flow of ideas. That said, for the
rest of the semester, the Review and the Daily will be working together on a
series of debates which allow us to dialogue with one another rather than talk
about - and misunderstand - one another. Through this partnership, we
hope to rebut many of the falsehoods which have sullied conservatism on this
campus, and to remove leftists from the high horse one rides when believing
one's self to be "doing good."
It is a glaring contradiction of liberalism that an ideology claiming to toler-
ate minorities and alternative lifestyles is manifestly intolerant of anyone who
dare question its dogmas. Not only are we constantly exposed to the gospel of
liberalism, but we're made to feel wrong for questioning its wisdom.
This is a particularly preachy liberalism, which equates intellectual dis-
agreement with malice and hate - particularly by labeling its opponents
racists, sexists, homophobes or downright fascists. The actions of groups
such as BAMN illustrate this point succinctly. Rather than address the valid
arguments against policies such as affirmative action, many groups on this
campus attempt to take the debate off the table by arguing that their cause is
"just, and thus the ends justify any means necessary. But debate and argu-
ment are fundamental elements of a top-flight university. Michigan would be
a boring place if everyone agreed with one another; it would be a scary place
if we were forced to agree. The tendency of the campus Left to shut down
debate when it's convenient (or, perhaps more accurately, when it's inconve-
nient) flies in the face of healthy disagreement and excludes untold numbers
of would-be voices from ever entering the so-called "campus dialogue:"
Perhaps, then, it should come as no shock that so many students are politi-
cally apathetic. Political provincialism and orthodoxy are fundamentally
unchallenging and lend themselves to intellectual isolationism. Positions
become extreme when one is constantly surrounded by fellow believers; iso-
lationism emerges when one believes that certain ideas aren't even worthy of
discussion. Apathy festers in such an environment.
Between the Daily, professors and many campus groups, students at the
University are inundated with center-Left rhetoric, skewing their views of the
nation as a whole. While the Daily runs the occasional "In Dissent" piece by
a conservative staffer and a conservative professor sometimes slips through
the cracks, one could easily emerge from four years at the University without
any real sense of how conservatives think and the logic behind those thoughts.
Even when the papers or professors address conservatism, center-Right ideas
are straw-manned and made to seem foolish - often because they are misun-
derstood. We believe that conservatives can best speak for and defend conser-
vatism -and with thait in mind we emhrk to exnoen th emnus to heliefs it

THE MICHIGAN REVIEWNR
BY JAMES DAVID DICKSON

a

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Kevin Bunkley, Gabri-
elle D'Angelo, Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared
Goldberg, Ashwin Jagannathan, Mark Kuehn, Frank Manley, Kirsty McNamara, Rajiv

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