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February 19, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-19

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4A - Monday, February 19, 2007 UPkNIO The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
43.untThis is the only issue in the history of mankind
t', it E - 1 ?413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 that affects every single one of us."
KARL STAMPFL IMRAN SYED JEFFREY BLOOMER - Actress Cameron Diaz at a joint appearance with former Vice President Al Gore announcing "Live Earth"
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR concerts set for 07/07/07 to raise awareness about global warming, as reported Friday by CBS.
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solelythe views oftheir authors. ALEXANDER HONKALA
The snow doesn't lie w/
Students deserve city services, must fight for them
he first major snowstorm of the season last week brought
more to Ann Arbor than just a reason to go sledding. The
city's responsiveness in clearing the snow was lackluster
at best: Even State Street wasn't plowed until hours after the snow
began to pile up. Perhaps most damning is the fact that many stu-
dent neighborhoods remained unplowed several days later, which (
reveals a marked lack of concern for student interests. All of Ann
Arbor's residents -eventhose pesky, fly-by-night students -deserve
timely services. However, problems like this will only be corrected
if students can be convinced to play the part of informed citizen and
assertively voice their concerns.



Unplowed roads create unnecessary
hazards, even for good drivers. The Uni-
versity never closes because of show, and
students who rely on their cars to get to
school are put at unnecessary risk because
their neighborhood roads are not cleared
of snow. Furthermore, the traffic delays
and poor driving conditions that could be
ameliorated by increased efforts to clear
the streets often make punctual classroom
attendance difficult for on-campus drivers
and commuters alike.
The concerns of students should always
be considered the city's problem in a col-
lege town. But the city cannot be held
wholly responsible for these problems.
Landlords who are required to clear snow
from the walkways and driveways often
do not make good on their promises. The
city - but also the student tenants them-
selves - have done little to redress this
problem in an appropriate public forum.
Complaints about the city's lax wintertime
road maintenance and negligence by land-
lords abound in student conversations, but
few people do more than write a strongly-
worded letter to the editor.
Underneath the layers of compacted
snow and ice, residential road maintenance
is a civic problem, and it is another gnawing
indicator of apathy within the studentbody.

If the treacherous local roads are as much
of a hazard or hassle as we make them out
to be, we must take initiative and lobby for
our needs.
Students make up a significant portion of
Ann Arbor's population, and we are capa-
ble of demanding an improvement in Ann
Arbor's public services through communi-
cation with City Hall. Last year's improved
housing ordinance has demonstrated that
students can make a difference in local pol-
itics and can force City Council to consider
students' concerns - even if the ordinance
is merely an initial step in solving student
housing problems. If students can be con-
vinced to unite in fielding their complaints
directly to city, there is a good chance that
the city's response to future snowstorms
will be more timely and more thorough.
Last week's snowstorm serves as a
reminder of local politicians' lack of inter-
est in student concerns, but moreover, it
reveals that the roots of their apathy are fed
by students themselves. we have to voice
our concerns loudly, consistently and to the
right parties. It is the job of good citizens to
speak out so that elected officials can exe-
cute the jobs that they may otherwise over-
look. Local politicians will listen foremost
to those residents who hold them account-
able. It's time students start doing that.

A ddressing the American
Enterprise Institute on
Thursday, President Bush
announced that he plans to send
more troops to Afghanistan, foster-
ing the ire of many people across the
country. This comes amid the fruit-
less congressional debates on a non-
binding resolution that would rebuke
the impendingtroop surge in Iraq. It
seems liberals,
but also Ameri-
cans in general,
have become
gun-shy about
sending any f
more troops A
around the
The under-
standable lib-
eral hesitation SAM
to dispatch BUTLER
troops to quell
crises is a reversal of the familiar
adage that "Democrats want a small
army and send it everywhere while
Republicans want a large army and
send it nowhere." Fans of "The West
Wing" will recognize the saying
from a 2003 episode, but the expres-
sion actually emanated in one form
or another from the foreign policy
of the Clinton administration during
the early 1990s.
The Democratic one-time pen-
chant for sending troops "every-
protocol of ending genocide around
the world. With the dissolution ofthe
Soviet Union, we solely held the title
of superpower and therefore took on
the responsibility of international
policeman, walking a global beat to
suppressinjustice. Itwas a role Amer-
icans gladly adopted, harkening back
to a self-image that has us savingthe
day since the Second World War. We
were the world's supercop, holster-
ing the greatest army in history and
flashing the badge of our own moral
The Clinton administrationcarried

out this romantic ideal and commit-
ted American forces to calm conflicts
in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo
and Haiti. This mantle of world pro-
tector was even the reasoning behind
the First Gulf War. We had to rescue
defenseless Kuwait from the villain-
ous Saddam Hussein, who unleashed
genocide even against his own peo-
ple. In 1991, we made it clear to the
world that invading another country
simply to enhance your stock of oil
reserves was against the rules.
Things have changed.
Over the past six years, the neo-
conservative agenda has reversed
trends, and Republicans are now the
ones calling for massive global troop
deployment. However, we are no
longer engaging in police actions but
instead deliberately and unabashedly
American international dominance.
As the progenitors of The Project for
a New American Century expressed
in their 1997 statement of principles,
Americashoulduse itsmilitary might
"to shape a new century favorable to
American principles and interests."
Whether we choose to admit it or
not, this is the current U.S. foreign
policy doctrine.
Although the altruism of our past
military actions may always have
been questioned, at least we had
some semblance of principle behind
them. Today, such ideological refuge
is gone.
So can we still be considered the
world's policeman? When a cop uses
his influence to pursue selfish inter-
ests, he is no longer a servant of the
greater good, but merely another
thug on the street.
We have lost our global moral
authority, exposing a crack in our
thin (red, white and) blue line. The
United Nations considers our inva-
sion of Iraq illegal. Thirteen CIA
agents cannot set foot in Europe
because they face indictmentby pros-
ecutors for the kidnap and torture of
a Lebanese-born German citizen.
And just last Friday, an Italian judge

ordered that 26 Americans, many of
them CIA agents, stand trial for the
seizure and alleged four-year torture
of an Egyptian man.
How can we police crimes world-
wide when we're seen as criminals
The Bush administration has
orchestrated the slippery transi-
tion from global protector to global
perpetrator so slowly that many of
us haven't noticed. After Sept. 11, a
strange mixture of vengeance and
self-preservation fueled our inva-
sion of Afghanistan. But in-addition,
the invasion was palatable because
the Taliban regime was described as
murderous and genocidal, an affront
to humankind.
Can America lead
the world if it is
seen as criminal?
The invasion of Iraq is markedly
different because it was justified
primarily out of self-defense - mak-
ing our lack of concern toward more
dangerous global threats seem all the
more suspicious. Only after this rea-
soning became tragically transpar-
ent did the narrative about spreading
democracy and freedom in Iraqenter
the argument.
I criticize not because I disagree
with American ideals but because I
feel they've been forgotten, and I am
ashamed at how our international
beacon has been doused. Sure Con-
gress probably has better things to do
with its time and, maybe a resolution
will do little to restore our credibil-
ity abroad. But I hope that we at least
pay heed to the message. Otherwise
they will simply be empty words,
much like a corrupt cop pledging to
serve and protect.
Sam Butler can be reached


Editorial Board Members: Emily Beam, Kevin Bunkley, Amanda Burns,
Sam Butler, Ben Caleca, Brian Flaherty, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg,
Emmarie Huetteman, Toby Mitchell, Rajiv Prabhakar, David Russell,
Gavin Stern, John Stiglich, Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe,
Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Wagner, Christopher Zbrozek


ll 11 1 - 1. -- . I- .,- - - - - - -,




Daily opinion unfairly tion by any coil
is also not opti
criticizes Church's intolerance lic adoption ag
Church is in fav
two-parent hom
TO THE DAILY: However, we
I found two different pieces printed in the Dai- experiment. WI
ly's opinion section last week a little misleading. In could love a chi
response to Emmarie Huetteman's viewpoint (The ried couple, an
Church's silenced peacemaker, 02/15/2007), I would is determined b
like to note that the Catholic League is not an offi- Were a straight
cial arm of the Catholic Church, but rather simply home, where wt
a lay organization. Also, the retirement age of bish- ships betweenr
ops is set for a reason, and despite Bishop Thomas more points to t
Gumbleton's claims of being forced out because of age anyone witt
his social views, many bishops retire at that age to One could ea
allow new shepherds to lord over the flock. We have couples and sin
all heard Thomas Gumbleton's message, and we is wrong with
will not forget it. Nothing is stopping him from con- we must simuli
tinuing his campaign. A new bishop will only add to instances of a
the dialogue, not take away from it. structure are nt
Another piece I found even more disturbing is concerned w
was Thursday's editorial about adoption (Adopting strive for perf
equality, 02/15/2007). Of particular interest is the settle.
following passage: "Not surprisingly, the voices of
intolerance on the religious right, particularly the Daniel Phalen
Michigan Catholic Conference, oppose (Rep. Paul) Rackham
Condino's bill (to allow unmarried partners to
jointly adopt children) because they claim unmar- o
ried couples, especially same-sex ones, threaten 1omney
the well-being of children by failingto provide 'tra- s
ditional family structure.' These religious groups SOn fanj
would rather have children run through the tur-
bines of state-controlled foster care than live in a TO THE DAILY:
loving, two-parent environment. And they claim Wednesday's
to have the children's best interest at heart." Gov. Mitt Rom
As one of those voices of intolerance, I would dential race wa
like to defend myself. Catholics are typically not in seen ever seeni
the business of choosing between the lesser of two launches bid for
evils. One of Christianity's most famous cham- cle seemed to h
pions, author C. S. Lewis would say that once we www.mittromne
have done this, the devil has already won. Sure, critical perspec
having a child in the state foster care is not an timely return.
ideal situation. However, I would argue that adop- As a 22-year

ective other than a married couple but wonder wl
mal. I am sure that, as all Catho- has been all thi
encies do, the Michigan Catholic the state's econ
or of placing every child in a loving recent decades,
se. Harvard and r
e believe a child is not a social Massachusetts.
hile no one doubts that a gay couple poverty, Mitt w,
ild just as much as a straight/mar- the state was ru
major part of a child's upbringing cuing the 2002,
by the example set by the parents. While Michigan
child to be raised in a gay couple's in hard times, A
ould he learn about proper relation- sachusetts. Nov
men and women? There are many "native son" - i
his argument, and I would encour- because he nee(
h questions to contact me. to give him mini
asily point to all of the divorced The only pol
ngle parents as examples of what state with any
traditional marriage. However, tough years hav(
taneously acknowledge that these reward our proc
breakdown in traditional family looking for a ha
ot acceptable. The Catholic Church
ith ideals, and so we continually Andrew Smith
ection. Problems arise when we LSA senior

here our supposed "native son"
s time. Here is a refresher: While
omy has been steadily tanking in
our boy Mitt was graduating from
unning a consulting business in
While many in this state sunk into
as making millions out East. While
nning a massive deficit he was res-
winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
a was looking for strong leadership
Mitt Romney was governing Mas-
w Romney finally returns as our
not because we need his help, but
ds our votes. I, for one, don't plan
liticians that have provided this
strength and leadership in these
e run blue and Iam notgoing red to
digal son, who has finally returned

school, I've suffered from consistently late regis-
tration times. I've missed the chance to take class-
es with talented professors because their lectures
closed before I even had a chance to register.
Unfortunately, the LSA-Student Government's
projected reforms do not address this issue. They
will only exacerbate the problem. The LSA-SG
reforms will decrease the number of credit brack-
ets to ensure that students with more credits get
an earlier date than those who have fewer credits.
In the old system, the bracket size was 15 credits,
which means that students with 0-15 credits were
lumped together and then assigned a time at ran-
dom. A student with zero credits (no AP courses
out of high school) could have had an earlier regis-
tration time than a student with 15 credits (several
AP courses). Now, the bracket will be smaller.
In the new system, there's absolutely no chance
that a student without any AP credits will register
ahead of one who has some; such a student had a
shot in the old system. Besides being a token ges-
ture to upperclassmen, this change will only help
privileged suburbanites and overachievers - not
necessarily a bad thing, but certainly not a change.
Assuredly, the only aspect of the registration over-
haul that would help level the playing field for all
students is the elimination of the "random loser
phenomenon," a relic of the days of in-person
paper registration.
Murphy expresses such palpable excitement,
remarking that LSA-SG deserved "tremendous
credit for tackling this issue." Lest you think oth-
erwise, LSA-SG is still working tirelessly to push
for change - but only for peripheral issues. Credit
brackets and putting median grades on the tran-
script may occupy the bulk of LSA-SG's concerns,
but its impact on the students at the University is
minimal. I admit degree progress reports recently
brought to Wolverine Access would have been a
welcome change - if they were actually accurate,
that is.
Matthew Coakley
LSA senior


tnworthy of native
re in Michigan
piece on former Massachusetts
ney's decision to enter the presi-
as one of the best fluff pieces I've
in The Michigan Daily (Native son
presidency, 02/14/2007). The arti-
have been extracted directly from
y.com. It completely lacked any
tive on the presidential candidate's
resident of Michigan, I can't help

LSA-SG's registration date
reform only exacerbates woes
In Matthew Murphy's letter to the editor on
Tuesday (Registration bracket reform would level
playing field, 12/13/2007), he expressed the belief
that the "old system had the effect of creating a
fast track into desirable classes for students who
started college with a lot of Advanced Placement
credit. Most such students are from wealthy sub-
urbs. On the other hand, students from rural or
urban schools that lack the resources to fund
extensive AP programs end up at an academic dis-
advantage from day one."
That's excellently put. I too share Murphy's dis-
taste for the registration date system. As a fourth
year student who did not take AP courses in high

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