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September 18, 2006 - Image 4

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 18, 2006



aitt iff

Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors Managing Editor
413 E. HURON

He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad
brought that was new, and there you will find things only
evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the
sword the faith he preached."'
- Pope Benedict XVI, speaking last Tuesday at Regenburg University in Germany,
quoting a conversation between a 14th-century Byzantine Christian emperor,
Manuel II Paleologus, and a Persian scholar, as reported yesterday by nytimes.com.
Michigan's center city rivalry

)od move, Harvard
ding early admissions only a start

and University departed from
vention last week when it
jounced the elimination of
tion option for undergraduate
When enacted next fall - in
>lications from the class of 2012
Sion will help level the playing
en advantaged and disadvan-
cants at Harvard by institut-
rm deadline for all applicants.
n disproportionately benefits
better-supported applicants,
:hools should follow Harvard's
tempts to make the admissions
er cannot alone address the
s that make a college educa-
rdable for too many poor and
s students.
i-binding early-action admis-
vs and binding early-decision
>blematic because the students
he opportunity to apply early
ome from more affluent and
high schools, where counsel-
Idents to apply to top colleges
hem navigate the convoluted
process. These students often
e benefits of active, supportive
d admissions coaches and pri-
tting some applicants early,
ve fewer spots left for those
Eder the regular deadline, mak-
ion more competitive. This
students who simply cannot
gh early admission programs
decision at many schools is
[ must be made before they are
ess and compare financial-aid
- a crucial factor for all but the
students. As Harvard argues,
the early deadline will miti-
>roblems and leave applicants

Because Harvard is a perennial trendset-
ter in higher education, the decision sends
a clear signal to other top institutions to
follow suit. Harvard can afford to take this
risk because of its exorbitant endowment
and its already robust and highly quali-
fied applicant pool. Still, it is imperative
that other prestigious universities follow
Harvard's lead; if the new system fails, the
university has already said it might revert
to an early-admissions program.
As well-intentioned and progressive a
policy move for higher education this is,
Harvard and other universities should
not lose sight of the more important
issues facing students wishing to get a
college education. Many students are
not able to attend the college of their
choice because financial-aid packages
- which at most schools are composed
of far more loans than grants - are
insufficient. Though Harvard's policy of
waiving tuition for students from low-
income families is a good start, simi-
lar initiatives need to be expanded, and
may require government support.
At top public institutions like the Uni-
versity, tuition costs continue to rise as a
result of declining state funding. Many
would-be college-bound high-school
seniors still cannot afford to go to college
and must immediately enter the work-
force instead.
To ensure greater access to higher edu-
cation and to promote diversity in colleges
and universities across the country, these
problems must be addressed with great
urgency. Harvard's deviation from prec-
edent exhibits progressive thinking for
admissions policies. But to solve the over-
arching problems of college affordability
and accessibility, universities and poli-
cymakers need to put their money where
their mouth is..

''1 will
where jobs are
and where jobs
will be."
" I That is the
one of many
headers in Dick DeVos's "Economic
Turnaround Plan" - and it scares
the bejesus out of me. It is alarming
for two reasons. First, it reveals Dick
DeVos's commitment to building
more roads. In his section entitled
"Building a Transportation Sys-
tem that Encourages Job Growth;'
DeVos doesn't mention public trans-
portation once. He rails against how
much money we lose through gas
prices and traffic congestion and yet
proposes to solve these problems by
building more efficient highways.
I am among those who believe
that bringing mass transportation
to the more than five million people
in the Metropolitan Detroit area is
critical to revitalizing Michigan's
economy. Detroit is one of only
a handful of major cities without
public transportation, and young
Michiganians often cite this short-
coming when they leave for Chi-
cago. Unfortunately, from the
debilitated DARTA to the pathetic
People Mover, mass transporta-
tion in Southeastern Michigan has
become the frustrating Holy Grail
of Michigan politics. Contrary to
popular belief, the biggest oppo-
nents are not the automakers - they
would love the added manufactur-
ing work - but, as DeVos displays,
Michigan's public officials.
However, if Michigan were able
to muster the necessary political
and financial capital to create a
mass transit system, where would it
likely be built?
Why, Grand Rapids of course.
This brings us to the second part of

why DeVos's statement is so frighten-
be in the future if not where they are
now? Although not explicitly stated,
the Grand Rapids native would prob-
ably answer his hometown. After all,
it is where the Amway heir's office
is located and where more roads and
public transit would make his com-
mute a whole lot easier.
In April, after some political
brawling, Governor Granholm and
the Republican leaders of the Leg-
islature announced a major trans-
portation package. The bill allows
residents of Grand Rapids and South-
eastern Michigan to vote to approve
25 year tax levies that would be spent
on proposed mass transit projects in
each of those areas. Such long-term
millages are vital because local
funds are required to gain access to
the $114 million in federal funds that
are earmarked for Michigan mass
transit projects.
Originally, the $114 million
was meant to fund a light rail line
between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
However, these funds were hijacked
by an entrenched Republican contin-
gent in the State House that wanted
those federal funds to go exclusively
to a different Michigan city and its
suburbs - yep, Grand Rapids. They
passed a transportation bill that was
thankfully vetoed by Governor Gra-
nholm last December precisely for its
exclusion of Southeastern Michigan.
I had the privilege of listening
a state representative speak to a
group of students recently. Most of
us had just spent the summer com-
muting from Ann Arbor to Detroit,
and the status of the rail line quick-
ly dominated the conversation. He
was surprisingly candid about the
legislative fisticuffs and explained
how there is a growing Republi-
can notion in the state Legislature
that Michigan's second-largest city
should become the new linchpin of
Michigan's economy and cultural

As the saying goes, that would
be funny if it weren't so serious.
Detroit is the center of Michigan's
vitality, and strengthening the con-
nection between Ann Arbor and
Detroit would strengthen Michigan
as a whole. Imagine being able get
out of a class and hop on a train to a
Tigers' game, or being able to drink
at one of Detroit's many bars or casi-
nos and safely come back home to
campus while sufficiently inebriated
to not remember how much money
you lost.
If both the Grand Rapids and
Detroit areas passed transit millages,
how the federal funds would be allo-
cated between the two cities is still
up in the air. Now call me cynical,
but I don't foresee the two projects
being able to share the funds nicely.
My skepticism over the chances of
either project being built aside, the
troubling part of the debate is that it
points to a larger right-wing mental-
ity that any funds put towards revi-
talizing Detroit are wasted. DeVos's
reluctance to pay attention to Detroit
is one of the most important guber-
natorial election issues that nobody is
talking about.
Southeastern Michigan had bet-
ter gear up for an upcoming politi-
cal fight over those federal funds.
SEMCOG is busy with an alterna-
tive analysis, but it needs input on
what kind of line from Ann Arbor to
Detroit potential users would enjoy.
As the campaign season revs up,
we should express how willing we
would be to visit downtown Detroit.
I encourage students to contact
the good people at Transit Riders
United, a group at the forefront of
this issue. We should let legislators
and SEMCOG know that a rail line
from Ann Arbor would help Detroit
get back on the right track.
Butler can be reached
at butlers@umich.edu.



Send all letters to the editor to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

Labeling liberals

Law must be upheld in all
cases, not just immigration
In his letter, Joshua Birk argues that taking a
firm stand against illegal aliens is not tantamount
to xenophobia because, after all, illegal aliens
are subject to deportation anyway as they have
broken the law simply by being here (Deport-
ing illegal aliens does not amount to xenophobia,
09/15/2006). This seems like an impeccable
argument on the face of it, but closer examina-
tion shows that the charge of xenophobia is a not
unreasonable accusation.
Someone merely motivated by the desire to
see the law of the land upheld would also be
concerned about many other matters. Take a
few examples: Enron and other companies have
shown that corporate crime and lawlessness is a
very serious problem. Yet, while a student group
in at least one university organized a "Catch an
Illegal Immigrant Day" on campus and other
universities, such as one in Pennsylvania, seri-
ously considered it before calling it off (A tale
of two mistakes, 09/14/2006), I have yet to hear
of any chapters of that same student group orga-
nize a "Catch a Corporate Criminal Day" at any
university so far.
While both illegal immigrants and corporate
criminals have broken the law, singling out one
group (the mostly poor, mostly people-of-color
illegal immigrants) as a target for role-playing
campus games while ignoring another group (the
mostly not-poor, not-people-of-color corporate
criminals) completely suggests that there is some-
thing other than purely disinterested concern for
law enforcement going on here.
Other promising simulated law enforcement
games might be "Catch Someone Who Lied to
Congress Day" and "Catch Someone Who Sanc-
tions Torture Day", because lying to Congress and
sanctioning torture violate the very principles on
which the rule of law is founded in this country. I
have not, however, heard these games mentioned
so far as possibilities for diversion and entertain-
ment on campuses. Why may that be?
Sayan Bhattacharyya
Unfair ticket prices ice out
student hockey fans
As an alumnus, one thing that I looked forward to
in particular as I returned to the University for law
school was Michigan hockey games. Some of my
favorite moments from my undergrad years were at
Yost Ice Arena, and I look forward to the memories
there that are yet to come. However, I was shocked
and saddened to hear how much student season
tickets now cost: $247.
Athletic Director Bill Martin and the Ath-

letic Department should be trying to expand
student access to Michigan sports; universities
are here, after all, to serve students. Instead, it
appears that the Athletic Department is trying
to squeeze every possible cent of revenue from
the student body. Such high prices are too expen-
sive for many students, and that is a shame. How
many die-hard Michigan hockey fans are being
lost because students can't afford season tickets?
Hopefully, next season, the Athletic Department
will realize that the best bottom line isn't always
the bottom line.
Chris Miller
Law School
A cheer for Zoltan Mesko
Now that Michigan is using Zoltan Mesko as
a kicker on a regular basis, we need to start a
cheer for him. I am writing to the Daily to seek
its help in getting the student section involved
- such as other students did with "the claw"
in past years. Whenever Zoltan is going to kick
the ball, the student section needs to make a
'Z' with their hands, like what they did for the
"Zoltan Cult" in "Dude, Where's My Car?" It
would look sweet. Please help me in promoting
this throughout the student section.
Whitney Wright
LSA senior
Contraception contradicts
Catholicism, God's design
The editorial More pills, fewer abortions
(09/14/2006) made several good points concern-
ing the issue of bringing down the number of abor-
tions in this country. However, as I read the article,
I was startled to discover a reference to Chile as "a
largely Catholic nation where abortion is illegal, but
where contraception (is) available free of charge."
It struck me as odd because I am a Catholic, was
raised Catholic and remember being taught against
Catholic doctrine states clearly that all forms
of contraception are immoral because they are "a
deliberate violation of the design God built into the
human race" - that design being that procreation
is the end result and purpose of sex. (For anyone
interested, more complete information is available
at www.vatican.va).
Whether the Daily staff knew this was not evi-
dent in the article. I find it unfair to Catholics to
use the fact that Chile is Catholic when mentioning
their law. Certainly use the law - it's exactly the
point the Daily is trying to make in this editorial
- but please don't bring Catholics into it without
explaining their doctrinal beliefs on the issue.
Brad Phillips
Engineering sophomore

Last week, two of my edito-
rial board colleagues, Christopher
Zbrozek (A tale of two mistakes,
09/14/2006) and Toby Mitchell (The
only thing we have to fear, 09/11/06),
claimed in their columns that con-
servative objections to illegal immi-
gration are born out of racism,
xenophobia and bigotry. Neither col-
umnist mentioned a specific example
of a conservative argument or policy
position that warranted such labels.
As a proud conservative, I am
appalled but not surprised that
liberals muddied this important
debate by playing the race card on
an issue that has little to do with
race. America has a sad history of
racism, bigotry and xenophobia,
but raising concerns over the causes
and effects of 11 million people
entering the country illegally does
not deserve of any of those labels. I
recommend Chris, Toby and other
self-righteous liberals consult the
dictionary for the true meaning of
those derogatory terms.
Conservatives advanced opposi-
tions to illegal immigration on four
fronts - national security, job secu-
rity, the costs of illegal aliens and the
meaning of American citizenship.
Since it is obvious that some liberals
dismissed our arguments through
their schema of conservatives being
racist, sexist, bigoted, xenophobic
homophobes, allow me to explain
exactly to what we objected to.
First of all, we view our porous
borders to the north and south as
national security threats. Terror-
ists and those who intend to harm
the United States will not always
enter our country through airports
and port terminals. While the Bush
administration has increased secu-

rity procedures over the air and
water,the opportunity for a terrorist
to cross by land remains unchecked.
Our Border Patrol - composed of
about 11,000 people - is vastly
undermanned and ill-equipped to
guard thousands of miles of border
to the north and south. Reinforcing
our borders with stronger fences
and Border Patrol officers will
increase our chances of stopping
terrorists and illegal aliens from
crossing the border.
Second, there is great concern
over the job losses caused by the
inflow of illegal labor. According
to the Center for Immigration Stud-
ies, between March 2000 and March
2004, 2.3 million adult Americans
lost their jobs while 2.3 million
immigrants - an estimated half of
whom were here illegally - found
employment during the same time
period. The job losses hit Ameri-
cans in the low-wage construction,
building maintenance and food
preparation industries hardest - 1.1
million immigrants took these posi-
tions from 2 million newly unem-
ployed Americans.
Third, conservatives object to
the free-rider problem created by
unlimited access to public services.
Through legislation and legal deci-
sions, some public services cannot
be conditioned on account of citi-
zenship. This gives rise to "sanctu-
ary cities" - Denver, Los Angeles
and New York to name a few - that
welcome illegal aliens with open
arms and provide them public goods
paid for using the tax dollars of legal
citizens. CIS estimates that in 2002
alone, the net effect of illegal immi-
grants on the federal budget was a
deficit of $10.4 billion.
The most salient effect illegal
aliens have on public services is the

use of emergency care. By lawemer-
gency care givers must treat anyone
that enters their facility. According to
Carol Meyer, director of Los Ange-
les County's emergency medical ser-
vices agency, nine emergency rooms
in LA County have closed down in
recent years and a 10th closing is
under consideration. The Los Ange-
les Times reported that the crippling
cost of the hospital footing the bill
for the medically uninsured was a
major factor in these closings.
Finally, we objected to the liberal
leniency concerning American citi-
zenship. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-
Mass) emphasized that because
illegal aliens contribute to the labor
force,they are Americans.However,
Kennedy forgets to mention that the
illegal aliens broke the law to enter
the country. What message are we
sending by saying you can violate
our sovereignty and 'still become
an American? Furthermore, why
would anyone apply for citizenship
legally when gaining citizenship is
as easy as crossing'the border and
finding a job?
As conservatives,we feelthat con-
tinued illegal immigration into our
country poses catastrophic conse-
quences. We need only to look back
at the fall of the Roman Empire to
see how granting citizenship to add
labor and taxable constituents can
destroy a nation. In the final hours
of Rome, it meant nothing to be a
Roman because the national iden-
tity had evaporated through mass
citizenship grants. Conservatives do
not want see the collapse of another
world superpower, in the name of
garnering future voters.
Stiglich is an LSA senior
and a member of the
Daily's editorial board.


" r






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