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September 26, 2006 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-26

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 2006

ct e strl i cn 13 a7tiv

Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors Managing Editor
413 E. HURON

If I knew
what DeVos knew,
I couldn't sleep at
-Failed Amway distributor Paul
Bortell, who lost money trying to
sell products offered by the corpora-
tion Dick DeVos led, as reported
Sunday by the Detroit Free Press.
The glory of torture



Bleachers, not skyboxes
'U' should consider alternate stadium plan

n a move many regarded as a mistake, the
University Board of Regents approved a
controversial expansion of the Big House
last May. Unlike any previous expansion, the
plan would actually remove bleacher seats,
replacing them with club seats and luxury
boxes. At the time, it was the only one of the
proposed designs for necessary stadium reno-
vations that received significant attention. But
the Big House Plan, released last week by a
group of University alumni, would accom-
plish all of the same renovations - and add
10,000 bleacher seats instead of the luxury
superstructures. So far, the University has
shown a troubling unwillingness to consider
opposing views, effectively shutting out pub-
lic comments on the plan at last Friday's meet-
ing. The stadium renovation is a project that
will leave a resounding mark on Michigan
football culture and the University, and the
administration and the regents must seriously
consider the Big House Plan - and give the
public a chance to speak out - before mak-
ing a final decision.
The Big House has embodied the tradition
of Michigan football since it was completed
in 1927. Each home game, more than a hun-
dred thousand fans journey to that familiar
sunken bowl to watch the Wolverines take on
that week's unlucky opponent. Each fan sits
or stands on the same cold steel bleachers.
Every one of them suffers through the often
cruel Ann Arbor weather. Every one of them
cheers in jubilation when the revered Maize
and Blue score. There are no advertisements,
no distractions - just fans and football.
While the two proposed structures included
in the skybox plan might not take away from
the football program itself,they would severe-
ly disrupt the University's football tradition.
Affront to tradition aside, the skybox plan
has a number of flaws. Its estimated cost,
including interest, is more than $200 million
more than the Big House Plan. The skyboxes

won't necessarily sell out - especially if the
University decides to keep them alcohol-free,
as University President Mary Sue Coleman
intends. The skyboxes would literally tower
over the masses, leaving much of the stadium
in shadow. Further, the plan jeopardizes the
stadium's standing as the largest in the nation.
The boxes would hinder further expansion of
the bowl, effectively locking capacity at just
above 108,000.
Despite the obvious divisions with the
Board of Regents and among alumni on the
matter, opponents of the luxury box plan have
had a hard time making their opinions heard.
An apparent case of misinformation in July
resulted in opponents of the skybox plan being
all but shut out from the regents' meeting Fri-
day. Certainly, this could have been a simple
mistake. However, mistakes, clerical oddities
and other shady tactics have been the norm
regarding this subject since the administra-
tive sleight-of-hand that placed the stadium
expansion plan on the agenda for the regents'
meeting in May at the last minute - after
the deadline to register to speak had passed.
If the fact that the skybox plan is still mov-
ing forward is disturbing, the administration's
unwillingness to hear opposing arguments is
even more so.
The Athletic Department will say that
many plans were considered,yet only the plan
including luxury boxes could finance needed
renovations without increasing ticket prices.
This may have been the case among the
alternate plans the department put forth,
but as Save the Big House illustrated last
week, there's more than one way to skin a
cat. Viable alternatives for stadium expan-
sion exist and need to be considered.
In the end, the Board of Regents should
remember that Fielding Yost put extra steel
pilings into the ground for a reason. It's a
safe bet that the reason wasn't to allow for the
future construction of "enclosed seating.,

"7 Vii, s F

Christian in
me says it's
wrong, but the
officer in me
says 'I love to
make agrown
man piss him-
self.' "

So said Charles Graner Jr., a
former corrections officer
and a military police offi-
cer at Abu Ghraib prison. Graner
had plenty of fun: According to an
internal Army report leaked to The
New Yorker, abuses at Abu Ghraib
included breaking chemical lights
and pouring the phosphoric liquid
on detainees, beating detainees with
a broom handle and a chair, threat-
ening male detainees with rape, sod-
omizing a detainee with a chemical
light and using dogs to frighten and
intimidate detainees.
As at Guantanamo, where simi-
lar abuses are alleged, the majority
of detainees were never charged
with a crime. Much of the pho-
tographic evidence of abuse was
never released - detainee Mustafa
Jassim Mustafa described a female
soldiertaking pictures while Graner
sodomized another detainee with a
flashlight. Graner is now serving
10 years in prison, but under new
Republican-supported legislation,
detainees will not be allowed to
challenge their imprisonment in
court, and officers guilty of abuse
at secret CIA prisons would never
have to face justice.
The Bush Administration
claims that to protect America,
it needs to keep evidence secret,
prevent detainees from challeng-
ing their detentions and immunize
torturers from prosecution. Non-
sense. Only 6 percent of Guanta-
namo detainees were picked up on
the battlefield and only 8 percent

were al-Qaida fighters. High-level
military officials stated in 2004
that none of the 595 detainees
were senior al-Qaida operatives
or leaders. The administration
is only protecting itself from the
PR nightmare that would occur if
citizens realized just how badly
they've been lied to. The real secu-
rity threat here is the threat to the
job security of the party respon-
sible for the torture of innocent
people like Mahar Arar, a Cana-
dian citizen the United States
deported on faulty intelligence to
Syria, where he was kept for 10
months in a 3-by-6-foot cell, beat-
en repeatedly with a metal cable
and forced to sign a false confes-
sion before finally being freed.
Apparently we fought for 40 years
to defeat the Soviet Union so that
we could become them today.
If there is one thing we should
have learned since Sept. 11, it's
that civilization is fragile and must
be protected against barbarism
within and without. Ancient cul-
tures allayed their fear of death by
ritually murdering some of their
own so God would spare the rest.
Between Abraham and Christ, wars
fought for God and country replaced
human sacrifice. Of course, no
victims of the Aztecs, Crusaders
or mujahideen actually had to die
- they were killed by people des-
perate to gain power in the face of
mortal fear by killing someone else
in their stead.
In this cold calculus of torment,
the innocence or guilt of victims is
beside the point. There are no Iraqi
civilians and no innocent prison-
ers, only insurgents and terrorists,
and by torturing and killing them,
you glorify your cause. The abuses
at Abu Ghraib and the CIA prisons
are logical extensions of Holy War
- you're winning as long as more
of them suffer and die than you.
Why not admit it? As you watched

the orange blooms rising in the
Baghdad sky on television and
remembered the fear and hatred
you felt that morning in September,
as mortar fire rained down around
the prison and you thought of your
dead friends while the naked Iraqi
cowered in the corner at the teeth
of your dog - why not admit it?
In that moment, you were God. In
that moment, death could not touch
you because you held Him on the
end of a leash and pointed Him at
your enemy.
Conservatives who decry
this as another attempt to smear
America ought to look in the mir-
ror. In arguing for torture, the
Limbaughs and O'Reillys who
enable Bush have done more to
establish a moral equivalence
between America and its enemies
than 30 years of anti-American
radical agitation. By supporting
the continuation of secret CIA
torture camps, they cement Gra-
ner as the face of America in
the Middle East and thereby do
more to support al-Qaida recruit-
ment than any leftist intellectual
fifth-columnist ever could. Mili-
tary personnel from top Penta-
gon lawyers to Colin Powell
insist that torture fails to yield
valid intelligence, endangers
U.S. troops captured abroad and
erodes America's moral authority
in the war on terror. Osama bin
Laden would be overjoyed; "the
Crusaders" will have abandoned
any claim to moral high ground
should this psychologically dis-
eased policy become law.
Of course, I'm not privy to the
sort of classified experiences our
intelligence operatives will get to
have. Maybe the joy of making a
grown man piss himself is worth
the stain on our nation's honor.
Mitchell can be reached
at tojami@umich.edu.



HPV vaccine is worth your time

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

It seems that partisan politics is the norm rather
than the exception in Lansing, especially on issues
involving sexual health. For this reason, the state
Senate should be applauded for its bipartisan
approval of legislation requiring all girls to be
vaccinated against human papilloma virus strains
known to cause cervical cancer. HPV is a sexu-
ally transmitted disease so common in the general
population that the Center for Disease Control
estimates that 80 percent of women will contract
it by age 50. With 20 million already infected and
an estimated 6.2 million new cases each year, it is
time for sexually active teens and college students
to get informed.
The virus has become common for a number of
reasons. Men carry the disease without symptoms
and often pass it on to their sexual partners. Also,
HPV can be transmitted despite the use of con-
doms, making it extremely difficult for women to
protect themselves.
Finally, a major contributing factor to the disease's
spread is a lack of education. Only recently have
media campaigns started to warn women of HPV's
link to cervical cancer. Ten of the 30 known strains
of HPV are labeled "high-risk" and can lead to cervi-
cal cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates
cervical cancer will claim 3,900 lives this year alone,
making it a major women's health issue.
Luckily, scientists have developed a vaccine that
in clinical trials was 100-percent effective against
certain high-risk strains. This type of cancer vac-
cine should be welcomed with open arms, but
because HPV is sexually transmitted, the vaccine
has awakened a conservative Christian backlash
that is quick to point to abstinence as an effective
The fight has escalated since health officials
and state legislatures started considering making
the vaccine mandatory for girls entering middle
school. Many question the necessity of vaccinating
12-year-old girls against an STD. While it may be
true that not many 12-year-old girls are sexually
active, any attempt to choose a more appropriate
age would be arbitrary and leave some girls unpro-
Sexual education is often a divisive issue because
parents may believe that by educating their chil-

dren, they are approving a promiscuous lifestyle.
But there's a big difference between taking pre-
cautions and encouraging sex. If the vaccine is not
mandatory, it places the burden on sexually active
teenagers to either address the issue with their par-
ents or attempt to receive the vaccine without their
knowledge. This would be difficult because the
vaccine costs $360 if teens don't use their parents'
health insurance. Many girls will willingly take the
chance of contracting HPV rather than admit they
are having sex at 16, and that could cost them their
lives. This is too serious an issue to gamble on the
effectiveness of abstinence-only education.
Luckily for the next generation of Michigan girls,
the state Senate feels the same way. In a 36-1 vote
last Thursday, the Senate approved a bill requir-
ing all girls entering the sixth grade in 2007 to be
vaccinated. State Senator Beverly Hammerstrom
(R-Temperance) proposed the legislation, which is
the first of its kind in the nation. At a time when
Republicans are becoming increasingly intertwined
with religious interest groups, this legislation sends
a very important signal - women's health is too
important to be swept up by the political fray. We
can only hope the state House will take up the leg-
islation upon returning from break and follow the
Senate's lead.
While this legislation ensures the next gen-
eration of girls protection against cancer-causing
strains of HPV, the college generation will have
to be more proactive. The vaccine is a three-step
process that will require effort from female stu-
dents, but considering the odds of contracting
the virus, it is time well spent. University Health
Services should greatly expand the availability of
this vaccine by offering it in dorms, as it currently
does for meningitis. Sororities and other campus
organizations must also help spread the word. It's
our responsibility to make the HPV vaccine the
norm. We must reclaim discussions of HPV from
awkward high school sex-ed classes and bring it
to living rooms, classes and bars. Hopefully, the
question "Have you heard about the new HPV vac-
cine?" will become as common as "Did you see
whose relationship status changed on Facebook?"
It's certainly more important.
Burns is a LSA senior anda member
of the Daily's editorial board.

Perhaps Wilkins needed more
comprehensive sex-ed classes
How ironic that Morgan Wilkins was a victim
of the conservative Christian reproductive health
and sex education policies that she now espouses
(Confessions of a young conservative, 09/25/2006).
She traces her conservatism to her decision not to
abort her pregnancy at age 15. Perhaps if Morgan
had received comprehensive sex-ed that empha-
sized birth control options other than abstinence,
she wouldn't have found herself. having to choose
between single teenage motherhood and abortion.
Instead of demonizing pro-choice politicians like
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Morgan should
work on promoting a real culture of life where few
women ever have to exercise their rights to safe and
legal abortions.
Margaret McCarthy
LSA senior
Conservative finds answers in
Wilkins' life story
I have to commend the News section of the Daily
for reporting on Morgan Wilkins's rise and fall in
the eyes of the College Republicans (Confessions
of a young conservative, 09/25/2006). As a Barry
Goldwater conservative convinced government is
the problem, I often wonder what life is like as a rad-
ical religious, "neo"-conservative, the life Wilkins
trumpets - a life of big government in the bedroom
and the boardroom and the checkbook and the labo-
ratory. Now I know: It requires a cocaine habit and
an unironic love of provocation and violence.
Here's to the news, for getting answers.
Bryan Kelly
LSA junior
Apathy dilutes students'
voices in city politics
Jared Goldberg's article Welcome to the PRAA
(09/22/2006) would have been more powerful and
convincing if he hadn't turned it into a pseudo-intel-
lectual diatribe interspersed with anti-communist
fear-mongering. Student involvement is up to the
students, and unfortunately, apathy seems to be the
sentiment of the day on campus. As a student, I do
my best to be involved in current events and the
political landscape both inside and outside the "Peo-
ple's Republic of Ann Arbor," but so few students
care to make their voices heard that it dilutes the
voices of those who speak on the students' behalf.
How many people in the student body even know

the name of their City Council representative? If you
do, have you spoken with them on issues important
to you? If you will not vote, voice your concerns to
your representatives or volunteer to help causes that
you believe in, the inevitable result is you stripped
of your rights and your voice - thus creating that
which you denounce.
Sean Serraguard
Always expect respect,
even from YAF
With the beginning of a new school year, it is
important to remember that at the University, the
dignity of every individual is to be respected.
Unfortunately, some fringe elements at this Univer-
sity are using the tools of discrimination and racial
bias to tear apart our community for their own
gains. The Young Americans for Freedom's plan
to chase a person labeled as an immigrant around
the Diag is indecent and disrespectful. Posting a
reward for finding their target is degrading. We
are confident that members of our University com-
munity will reject this act and any acts like it. We
hope our community will express its own freedom
by choosing to condemn this distasteful political
We must also be mindful that respect be shown
to all, especially those with minority opinions.
We admire the Young Americans for Freedom for
representing an unpopular opinion on this cam-
pus; however, we must condemn their method of
expressing their opinions. This is a call to action
for both conservatives and liberals to be mindful
of the impact their actions on the community as
a whole. Differences of opinion can be expressed
Disrespect is not a characteristic of the political
right or left wings; both Republicans and Democrats
agree that all persons, immigrant or citizen, have
inherent dignity.
November will bring a trying election to Michi-
gan. With many divisive issues up for vote, we
challenge the College Republicans and the College
Democrats to pledge mutual respect for each other
despite the inflammatory actions of other groups.
We hope both groups will use their influence to
encourage respectful debate on this campus.
Expect Respect is a new and unique partner-
ship among students, faculty and staff. We believe
that harassment and discrimination, in any form,
severely damage our community. Be a ripple effect
for change, be aware of the effect of your actions on
those around you, and always expect respect.
Jim Schreiber
Abbie Nurse
The letter writers are LSA sophomores and members of
the Expect Respect student steering committee.



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