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September 11, 2006 - Image 4

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 11, 2006

OPINION

I
I

( E i t igttn ttil

DONN M. FRESARD
Editor in Chief

EMILY BEAM J
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK JEFFREY BLOOMER
Editorial Page Editors Managing Editor
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
413 E. HURON
ANN ARBOR, MI 48104
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
I think it's clear
that we are safe
-safer- but not
really yet safe."
- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking
yesterday on the security of the United States,
as reported by the Associated Press.

ALEXANDER HONKALA FETI1 CHUMBUCET
rs

4

FoM iTH DAILY m
Priming the pump
State should make higher education affordable

The only thing they have is fear
TOBY MITCHELL

ast week, Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm's "Jobs Today, Jobs
Tomorrow program granted
$101 million to fund 61 research
proposals through the 21st Century
Jobs Fund competition. Twenty-eight
of these proposals came from Ann
Arbor-area researchers. That nearly
half of the projects that received
funding are based in Washtenaw
County is no accident. The county
boasts the state's lowest unemploy-
ment rate and was recently selected
as the base of Google's Michigan
expansion for one reason - its edu-
cated, sophisticated workforce.
The success of Washtenaw Coun-
ty relative to the rest of the state is
testament to the power of a highly
educated workforce to attract invest-
ment and jobs. The rest of the state,
however, remains focused less on
improving its workforce than on inef-
fective measures like tax cuts as the
way to a stronger economy. One cost
of the reflexive aversion to taxation
has been declining state support for
public universities - making a col-
lege degree merely more expensive
for some, but simply out of reach for
too many.
The key to winning back the more
than 300,000 jobs Michigan has lost
since 2000 is not tax cuts -- it is
improving access to higher educa-
tion. It is disturbing, then, that in
a study from the Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education, a Cal-
ifornia-based research group that
measures higher-education statistics,
the state received an F for its efforts
to make two- and four-year col-
leges more affordable. If Michigan
residents cannot afford to enroll in
college, the state's supply of highly
educated workers will not compare
well to that of other states. Research
and tech firms that could employ
thousands will just have to look else-
where to set up shop.
Enrollment statistics among stu-
dents aged 18 to 24 in Michigan are
rosy - the number of students pur-

suing a degree has increased since
1992, from 35 to 42 percent. Among
adults aged 25 to 49, however, it has
fallen - from 5.4 percent in 1992
to 4.4 percent in 2006. Given rising
tuition costs, a direct consequence of
falling state appropriations, this drop
in enrollment is unsurprising, but its
implications are troubling. Outsourc-
ing and layoffs have hit this older
group of adults hardest, and higher
education can be crucial to obtaining
jobs as these people look to change
their career tracks, often out of the
dying manufacturing sector.
With the gubernatorial elections
rapidly approaching, it is clear this
race will be centered on jobs -
where they went and how to bring
them back. Taxes, including the
demise of the widely-loathed Single
Business Tax, have been the center of
debate. But lower taxes do not neces-
sarily make for a healthier economy.
Indeed, data from the U.S. Census
Bureau show that on average, states
with more highly educated popula-
tions have higher incomes per capita
than states with low income taxes.
Further tax cuts may save residents
and businesses money, but in the
long term, those year-to-year savings
translate to a much larger loss as the
state cuts back on funding for social
services and higher education.
But what both Granholm and oppo-
nent Dick DeVos have failed to fully
embrace is that the most important
economic investment for the state to
make in its attempt to reinvent itself
does not lie in resuscitating the manu-
facturing jobs that propelled its econ-
omy forward decades ago; the state's
recovery will require legions of high-
ly educated workers taking advantage
of growing high-tech and life scienc-
es industries. For that to happen, the
state needs to ensure its citizens have
access to affordable higher education
- and opportunities and communi-
ties vibrant enough to entice those
who receive their degrees to remain
in the Wolverine State.

'll never
forget
INew
Year's Eve
2003 in New
York. U.S.
Rep. Chris
Shays (R-
Conn.) said
he wouldn't
go near
Times Square for anything. Home-
land Security Secretary Tom Ridge
warned of "near-term attacks that
could eitherrival or exceed what we
experienced on September 11" The
security state was out in force: snip-
ers on the rooftops, Black Hawk
helicopters, thousands of police.
But in defiance of those "orange
terror alert" warnings, some for-
gotten promoters had distributed
bright orange hats that thousands
of revelers wore as they raised their
glasses and shouted at the cameras.
This magnificently American com-
bination of capitalist moxie, New
York attitude and brotherly love cut
through the fear that gripped the
nation and made me feel genuinely
proud to be an American.
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11
were the best thing that ever hap-
pened to the Bush Administration.
Before them, President Bush was
a lame duck; after them he was
a hero. Policies that would have
been impossible in calmer times,
from the Iraq war to the National
Security Agency's domestic spy-
ing program, survived thanks to
countless emotional appeals to the
terrible losses of Sept. 11 coupled
with threats of attacks to come.
In the last five years, Republicans
have flogged that day's national
tragedy so shamelessly looking for
a quick fix of fear-driven support

that it's kind of surprising that they
haven't literally exhumed the bod-
ies of the victims and staked them
in the front yards of America with
signs reading "This is what will
happen to you if you don't vote for
us" affixed to their chests.
As the November elections
approach, that same old song is
reaching a hysterical pitch. Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld lik-
ened opposition to Bush's Iraq
policy to appeasement of the Nazis,
Bush compared Osama to Hitler
and Lenin, and Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice skirted incoher-
ence by saying that opposing the
Iraq war is like opposing the aboli-
tion of slavery. Last week, Sept. 11
terror suspects were moved from
secret CIA torture camps to Guan-
tanamo Bay so that opposition to
Bush's dictatorial policy of holding
alleged terrorists outside the basic
standards of civilized law could be
painted as sympathy for Sept. 11's
masterminds. A writer and pro-
ducer connected to far-right agita-
tor David Horowitz even convinced
Disney-owned ABC to air its sen-
sationalist anti-Democrat Sept. 11
"docudrama" on the fifth anniver-
sary of the attacks.
This latest wave of propaganda
isn't surprising. Facing a graver
threat to our nation, a great leader
once reminded us that the only
thing we had to fear was fear
itself. Today, the only thing the
Republicans have is fear. Osama
bin Laden is still missing. Our
military is stuck in Iraq while
Iran and North Korea flaunt their
WMD programs. Afghanistan is
being retaken by the Taliban. And
Bush successfully made Iraq part
of his War on Terror by allowing
its abortive democracy to become

a greater haven for terrorism than
Hussein's dictatorship ever was.
From the stream of corruption
scandals circling the GOP to the
stream of floodwater that washed
away the corpses of New Orleans,
this government has been a spec-
tacular failure.
Even this administration's sane
initiatives have failed. The big-
otry of the Republican base killed
Bush's immigrant guest worker pro-
gram. The Road Map to Peace was
replaced by a policy of midwifing
the "birth pangs of a new Middle
East," as Rice put it - if you want
to make an omelet, you have to kill
several thousand innocent people.
The message for this election seems
to be "no matter how inept we are,
the other guys will be worse." At
least now Republicans know what
it's like for Democrats to vote.
The administration is right
about a few things. We do face a
new form of fascism. We do face an
enemy within our own ranks who
manipulates themediato divide the
American people. We do face indi-
viduals willing to exploit attacks
on American soil to advance a rad-
ical agenda of imperial expansion.
And we do have a responsibility
to stand up to the enemies of free-
dom - foreign or domestic. Even
before the November elections, I'll
be wearing my orange hat in sup-
port of those New York partygoers
who remembered what it means to
live free, when they proclaimed to
both the murderers responsible for
the Sept. 11 attacks and the gov-
ernment who exploited them that
we are America and we will not
be afraid.
Mitchell can be reached
at tojami@umich.edu.

VIEWPOINT
Wait for rush, reap the benefits

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Send all letters to the editor to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

Studying abroad is more
rewarding outside the bubble
TO THE DAILY:
Whitney Dibo's column, Popping the
abroad bubble (09/08/2006), had it right. I
think it has been true through the decades
that people who travel to another country and
culture with no aim in mind, no matter who is
sponsoring the trip, often come back relatively
empty-handed. People who have familiarized
themselves as much as possible beforehand
with the language, culture and history of the
country they'll be visiting will come back
with much more.
My conviction is that it is best to become
fluent in the language of the country you're
visiting. This goal will keep you among the
people you want to learn about and whose lan-
guage you want to learn. It will also keep you
away from two other groups of people: those
who want to practice your native language
and those who already know it and don't want
to make the effort to improve their language
ability.
My experience was as an exchange student
at the Free University of Berlin. I was amazed
at how much effort I had to expend to avoid
people who wanted to practice English. I
didn't travel to a foreign country so they could
use me as a tool to learn English; I was there
to learn the German language, culture litera-
ture and politics.
When you return home to your regular stud-
ies, you will have gained a powerful learning
tool. Even if you aren't intending to pursue an
academic career, fluency in a second language

looks very good on a resume - while also
fostering a fun hobby throughout the years.
David Learned
Class of '58
The Michigan Daily just
ain't what it used to be
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to thank Daily Arts for giving me
just one more reason to hate The Michigan Daily.
In the review of "Crank" (Statham tanks in goofy
action romp, 09/08/2006), the writer starts off
by making fun of Jason Statham's fake British
accent. I'm sorry, but isn't Statham, um, British?
After being associated with the University
for going on eight years, both as a student and
an employee, I have been more and more disap-
pointed and disgusted on a daily basis (no pun
intended). During my freshman year, the Daily
articles were insightful and invigorating, hitting
a key with the editorials. Since then I've noticed
nothing but a decline in the writing, choice of
articles and overall attitude of the paper. Two
Facebook articles on the front page in the same
week? How about updating students on the major
news events of the summer? War and injustice
in Lebanon? The slow decline of the Republican
Party and how the its leaders are responding by
making people more afraid? For shit's sake, there
was an article (albeit a small one) on Paris Hilton
getting a DUI (Hilton's DUI may boost image,
09/08/2006)! This is a fucking newspaper, not a
goddamn People magazine!
Joshua West
Alumn

BY TONY SAUNDERS
The National Pan-Hellenic
Council rush process is unique
compared to other councils. Our
fraternities and sororities are
much smaller in size compared to
other councils; however, whatever
we lack in size, we make up for in
hard work, loyalty and dedication.
We are small by choice. Our coun-
cil tends to recruit by the example
we set on campus rather than using
flyers, recruiting parties or bid-
ding. We stress the value of history,
familiarity and a lifetime of mem-
bership. Members of our council
fall in love with their individual
chapters because of these charac-
teristics. Chapters within the coun-
cil tend to seek sophomore students
and above because they feel these
students are most prepared to
take on the huge responsibility of
being a sister or brother for life.
When students first come to the
University, they begin a life-alter-
ing process of finding themselves,
and it is crucial that this matura-
tion process occurs without any
outside interference. Even though
many freshmen can be affected
by this outside interference, there
are some who are proven ready for
this endeavor. This is why many
NPHC chapters allow freshmen to
join, but only in the winter semes-
ter. This allows incoming students
to get acquainted with campus
life before they make such, a life-
changing decision.
The workload of a NPHC mem-
ber is enormous. Chapters have

weekly meetings, weekly com-
munity service events and weekly
programming. Along with these
obligations, each chapter has
between two and three large-scale
events per year which attract 600-
plus patrons and take months to
plan. What is so amazing about the
NPHC is that its events are orga-
nized by chapters that have 15 or
fewer members on a yearly basis.
This is why NPHC chapters feel
that a fall rush would not be in the
best interest incoming students, or
the chapters as a whole. Being a
member of an NPHC organization
is equivalent to having a four-cred-
it course here at the University. For
a student to just enter college and
also be expected to perform these
tasks would be unfair.
Since NPHC chapters tend to
rush in the winter term, we tend to
attract students who are committed
to the objectives of individual orga-
nizations instead of students who
may be only interested because
it is the "cool thing" to do when
you reach college. The important
aspects of each individual frater-
nity and sorority in the NPHC take
time to learn and appreciate.
As the old saying goes, "You
can't know where you're going
unless you know where you've
been." This applies to the NPHC.
Prospective members learn to
appreciate our rich history, and it
motivates them to do all they can
to take their individual chapters
to greater heights. This is a great
plus, because members who are
seniors are just as active as new

members. Members within the
NPHC feel that it is their personal
duty to serve their community.
The founders of our organizations
were all subject to severe forms
of racism and unjust treatment.
However, they all persevered and
strove to make things better for all
of mankind. That said, members
feel itis theirresponsibility to keep
the legacy of our founders alive by
working hard to continue educat-
ing and improving our community.
This responsibility can be very
intimidating for most freshmen.
However, there are exceptions to
every rule. This is why organiza-
tions look at candidates on a case-
by-case basis, while at least giving
them their fall semester to get
adjusted to campus life.
The NPHC is different than
other councils. However, all
councils share one common goal
- to improve the Michigan com-
munity. Technically, NPHC chap-
ters are social organizations, but
we all have a focus on community
service. The demand of being in a
NPHC chapter is huge; however,
the reward is even greater. In order
to truly appreciate this reward, we
feel students need to take time to
get acquainted with the campus,
for at least one semester. The
small wait is crucial in order to
prepare students for a lifelong
commitment and an experience of
a lifetime.
Saunders is an LSA senior
and president of the National
Pan-Hellenic Council.

I

4

JOHN OQUIST li E OY csU EET
SEAS AN MiI C HAS I

THERE'S LIKE HALF A MILLION
PEOPLE IN THIS FACEBOOK GROUP!
WOWI THAT'S AMAZING!" HMM...

- 1 F,

HI, JUDGING BY YOUR CHE
GUEVARA PICTURE, YOU ARE A
TOTALLY UNIQUE ACTIVIST. LOL
YOO ARE DUMB... 'U

-IF

"OMG THINK OF ALL WE COULD
CHANGE IF WE HAD A CAUSE,
THIS MANY POEPLE COULD MAKE
A DIFFERENCEII "SG...
FAQ$ I

III

DEAR GANDHI, IF CHANGING THE
WORLD ENTAILED SITTING ON
YOUR ASS, BITCHING ABOUT
NOTHING, AND CLICKNG LINKS,
I'D SE A SEVEN-TIME NOBEL
PEACE LAUREATE
BY NOW.

Viewpoint Policy
The Daily welcomes viewpoints from its readers Viewpoints have one or several authors,
though preference will be given to pieces written on behalf of individuals rather than an
organization.
Editors will run viewpoints according to timeliness, order received and available space.
View oints should be no longer than 700 words. The Daily reserves the right to edit for
length, clarity and accuracy. Submissions become the property of The Michigan Daily.
Send viewpoint submissions to editpage.editors@umich.edu, or contact the editors at that
address to arrange one in advance.

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