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February 23, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-23

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4 -Friday, February 23, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
The Spring breakdown
Things to remember before you black out in Cancun
Whether you bombed your latest round of midterms or
just feel worn down, you deserve a break. If you're
simply going home, give your mom a hug - she
missed you. And if you are lucky enough to be escaping the Mid-
west, you're probably making the annual college pilgrimage to the
exotic hotspots south of the border. Before you let your hair down,
though, it's important to understand the local laws and customs
and always treat yourself with some of that respect you're always
claiming you deserve. And after returning home, take a moment
to consider the plight of the real people who live outside the resort
world you just visited.

There is no bread as we are talking, but he will
be feasting and drinking with his family ... when
there is no wheat in the country."
- Zimbabwean school teacher JOHN SHIRT on President Robert Mugabe's insistence on a lavish birthday cake despite at
economic crisis that has made bread and wheat unavailable to his people, as reported yesterday by The New York Times
Mlovely man

Left on thefloor
Leavingyour body
When highs are the lows,
And lows are the way
So hard to stay.
Guess now you know, I love you so.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Tear-
His faded-out screen name still
appears on my instant mes-
senger buddy list. I know the
name will never go bold again, but I still
can't delete it. I
know I'll never
again bump into
him in Angell
Hall or cut class
to see him, and I 3
still can't believe x
it. That would
make what's
already final
become absolute- JAMES
ly certain, and I'm
not quite ready to DICKSON
take that step. -
When I first heard the news, I went
numb; I can't say I was surprised to hear
that he was gone. When friends develop
addictions,you always know what could
happen. You always overestimate the
size of the gulf between what's possible
and what your friend's real-life condi-
tion is. Addictions rarely work them-
selves into our schedule, but the end
result, death, is dreadfully predictable.
On some level, it would be sooth-
ing to make this column about what
should have been done or said to keep
my friend's demons at bay, but that
wouldn't help. This isn't about me or

about any of his other friends. To look
at his death as a failure of friends would
quite selfishly and unfairly place us in
the center of an addiction that we had
no control over - an addiction even my
friend couldn't control. While I can't
speak for anyone else, I don't really care
to feel good rightnow. Ihave no interest
in being soothed.
We are always in utter shock when
tragedy strikes. We should be. Of all
the places on Earth, the University isn't
the one that young adults should return
home from in body bags, rather than
with degrees. This kind of thing just
doesn't happen: Not here, not in Ann
Arbor and certainly not to a student at
one of the top 25 schools in the world.
At least, that's what we think. The
University is equipped to handle almost
any problem of the mind or the body.
Between the world-class hospital sys-
tem and free psychological services, we
have the expertise to solve the prob-
lems of the mind and the body. But the
problems of the soul are much harder to
get a grasp on.
These were supposed to be the years
of immortality, a concept that's painful-
ly ironic as I write my final respects. In
the ignorance of our youth, we always
think it can't happen to us. We think
that because of our affluence or because
we go to a top school, we're somehow
problems" andwholacktheresourcesto
address them. "I'm too smart to let that
happen. I know how to stop and where
to find help. I'm in control," we think.
The myth of control is powerful
for addicts, allowing them to distance
themselves fromthe anecdotes of those

unfortunate others who have fallen too
far. My friend, for his part, previously
had friends die from the same addiction
that killed him, but he never believed
that he was heading down that same
tragic road.
Never have I so regretted taking
someone at his word. No one wants to
be that bossy friend, and I certainly
didn't. Rightnowit's toughto shake the
feeling that, had I been more willing to
tell my friend how to live his life, per-
haps he would be reading my column
now, rather than beingits subject.
Ignoring the risk of
addiction doesn't
make it go away.
I wonder how many who read this
will continue down their own destruc-
tive paths and keep telling their friends
and themselves that it can't happen to
them. My friend's death is a tragedy. If
no one learns anything from his pass-
ing, it would be senseless.
My friend is gone and won't come
back. No more New England Patriots
games at his place or Madden tourna-
ments at mine. No more semi-abusive
text messages between one another
because it's been a few days since we've
spoken. No more anything - only a big
void where life once was.
Just like that.
James Dickson can be reached
at davidjam@umich.edu.


No one needs MTv's "Spring Break" or
the media ruckus over still-missing Ala-
bama student Natalee Holloway, to know
what can go wrong during Spring Break.
Just as the birds start flying north for
spring, students flock to tropical countries
with lenient drinking laws and round-the-
clock parties.
While sun, sex and booze can be the per-
fect combination for some, the three can
also spell disaster. According to a Journal of
American College Health study, the average
male consumes nearly 18 drinks a day and
the average female consumes almost 10 dur-
ing Spring Break. It's no wonder that each
year alcohol-related incidents plague Spring
Break: balcony falls, Jet Ski accidents, rapes,
drownings and alcohol poisoning.
Spring Break also leads to less noticeably
destructive behavior. As a recent Ameri-
can Medical Association survey reported,
almost 60 percent of women reported
knowing a friend who had unprotected sex
and 57 percent reported viewing promis-
cuous behavior as a way to fit in. One word,
kids: condoms. Whether your destination
is Panama City or South Padre Island, be
responsible and don't bring back a scarlet
letter. Or, you know, head trauma..
Also keep in mind the everyday respect
your body needs. While the Casper look
nay not be too hot, it is much more appeal-
ing than skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen is
easy and effective. Remember the old adage
about tropical foreign destinations, too
- don't drink the water. People say it for a
r ason. Nothing could ruin a trip more than

spending three days on the toilet.
When you're off in a Spanish locale,
knowing how to say "mis cerveza" doesn't
mean that you know anything about the
local custom and law. In Mexico, the pris-
ons are less like those in Michigan and
more like, say, Guantanamo Bay. In many
countries, police officers can detain for-
eigners for extended periods of time just
for mouthing off or carrying minor weap-
ons like pocket knives. And there's no U.S.
Constitution to protect you.
Also, be aware that theft is prevalent and
kidnappings do occur. It is important to
keep your passport in a safe place, have a
list of your credit card contacts, keep an eye
on your friends, only use certified taxis and
have plans and contacts ready in case things
go wrong.
Finally, when you make it back to Ann
Arbor safely, remember that the resort you
stayed at or the stops you made along your
booze cruise were only a small glimpse
of what those countries are actually like.
Believe it or not, everyone in Jamaica is
not a laid-back Rastafarian. Even Haiti,
the world's most direly forlorn country, has
Royal Caribbean cruise ships docking at
its port at Labadie. While it's great that the
famished nation can pick up some pennies
from tourism, the majestic beaches are just
a faqade. Kudos to the alternative spring
breakers who are working to improve these
All of us must remember that Spring
Break is not be an excuse for taking a vaca-
tion from our moral obligations to help.


The facts don't back up columnist's
claims about the effect of culture

understand the
they are (hope
simply and dire
students to wri
which ultimate

TO THE DAILY: tude concerninE
I am disappointed with columnist Jared Goldberg's If students
statement that "it is culture and the arts that bring perhaps they s
and keep jobs in a state" (The art of economic revival, Shakespeare."1
02/22/07). How can he make such a claim without literature, they
backing it up with facts? The truth is that the facts do with it. But the
not support his claim. Goldberg points to New York and who are text m
California as "states with well-established and unique dents are disin
art cultures." By his logic, they should have spectacu- the complaint
lar job growth, but this is not so. Based on the FDIC's understand," tl
2006 statistics, job growth in New York last year was taught because
only 0.96 percent, well below the U.S. average of 1.53 Harry Potter.
California did have a job growth rate of 1.97 percent, Kyle Marcum
but what were the states with the largest job growths? LSA junior
Ranked in order: Nevada, Arizona, Indiana and Utah.
California was 22nd on the list and New York 40th. In
general, the job growth rate in the Southwest and West Everyone
far outpaced that of Illinois and every East Coast state,
even though those states have more cultural institu- brush wit
tions. In other words, the states with lower taxes and

em and respond to them intelligently,
fully) exercising their ability "to write
ctly." An essay like Stampfl's encourages
ite off these works as "indecipherable,"
ly contributes to students' apathetic atti-
g writing.
want to develop their writing skills,
hould stop saying things like "I hate
With a more proactive attitude toward
might find themselves easily engaged
n these are probably the same students
essaging or sleeping in class. When stu-
terested, they write poorly. And as for
about course novels being "difficult to
Ihis is college. Shakespeare's works are
they're difficult to understand, unlike
can learn from Daily's


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
Dishonoring Washington

less public support of the arts had more job growth.

I was extre

"Over the centuries, America has succeeded
because we have always tried to maintain the
decency and the honor of ourfirst president"
- President Bush, Feb. 19th at Mount
Vernon, Va.
P resident Bush said those words and
others during a speech on Monday
commemorating President's Day and
the 275th birthday of America's first presi-
dent, George Washington. The purpose of his
speech was to inexplicably link two strange
bedfellows: the Revolutionary War and the
war in Iraq. The president also likened his
own will to win to that of President Wash-
ington. It appears that Bush, in the effort to
distance his war in Iraq from Vietnam com-
parisons, has turned to our nation's fight for
independence. He wants to convince Ameri-
cans that giving the Iraqi people their inde-
pendence is what George Washington would
have wanted. Historically speaking however,
the president could not have been more incor-
rect with such a declaration.
,Let me clarify that I do not want to dimin-
is the war in Iraq in any way, only to debunk
Bush's assertion by pointing out the stark
differences between a nation fighting for
its independence and fighting for someone
else's independence. On the surface, Bush's
comments about the resolve and courage of
Washington can't be refuted - all the histori-
cal evidence is there to support it. But the fact
that Bush would publicly compare these two
wars is almost sacrilegious.
"Today, we're fighting a new war to defend
our liberty and our people and our way of
life," Bush said, "we remember that the father
of our country believed that the freedoms we
secured in our revolution were not meant for
Americans alone."
Actually, no. Washington was one of the
staunchest isolationist presidents in history,
anid he would cringe at the thought of a for-
eign nation being given access to the same
freedoms that he fought for. In his farewell
address Washington said that American rela-
tions with Europe were "to have with them

as little political connection as possible ... it
must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves,
by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes
of her politics." Does that sound like a presi-
dent who believed in freedom for everyone?
In fact, as soon as the Revolution was fin-
ished, Washington severed his alliances with
France because he didn't want to get dragged
into any more conflicts. Luckily, when the
French Revolution began in 1789, America
was spared from a ten-year commitment.
Bush's comparisons of the "overwhelming
odds" faced in being outnumbered in every
battle and the war being on the "brink of disas-
ter" can only apply to the war Washington
fought and not the one Bush is waging. With-
out a doubt, 130,000 trained soldiers fighting
a hidden enemy is a lot different than 250,000
volunteers facing the world's best-trained
army in the British. Bush also compared the
two wars as "a test of wills." Granted, the
Iraq mission is in danger of going south very
quickly, but Bush has yet to deal with the
same set of circumstances as Washington:
multiple mutinies and desertions, near death
in the snows of Valley Forge and the fact that
a significant percentage of the American colo-
nial citizens hoped for a British victory.
Washington as a general was what Bush
could only hope to be as president. When he
was nominated for the job by John Adams,
his appeal came from his ability to unite an
army of men. Bush believes in power grabs;
Washington was the one who, when the revo-
lution was over, retired and relinquished his
command to civilians - a precedent that still
stands today. Washington changed the Revo-
lutionary War's outcome by improving the
army. Maybe Bush should fix his too.
There is one way that Bush could actu-
ally follow in Washington's footsteps though.
In the same way that historian David
McCullough has called the Revolution "noth-
ing short of a miracle," Bush could pull off the
Iraq miracle.
Kevin Bunkley is an LSA junior and a
member of the Daily's editorial board.

Patrick Zabawa of plagiarism
Engineering sophomore editor, 2/21/20
er, but I'm als
stories and st
With obscenity, Walgreen Center perspective o
factual, well-i
play fails to live up to its potential learning that;
did not cause
TO THE DAILY: it made me qt
The play "Shopping & F**king" performed last week young writers
at the Walgreen Drama Center has an important mes- I personall3
sage for faculty and students alike. However, it is a pity cles, any neitt
that the promising talents of the young people involved less, I was ap
were not better utilized. Deleting much of the excessive news source t
profanity would strengthen rather than detract from the newspaper -
plot. Clearly, faculty advice was missing or ignored by are the last th
those involved. The Univei
Edward Domino one disputes t
Professor of Pharmacology one of the hig
es for one's pi
Shakespeare not to blame for poor underlyingpc
to write hero
student writing, students are for a position
I am glad t
TO THE DAILY: nated, and an
Karl Stampfl's Statement essay (Why you probably issued. At the
can't write well, 02/21/2007) was, ironically, a great has fallen. In
example of why students write poorly. To indict Shake- of plagiarism
speare as the cause of students' lackluster writing skills news coverag
is an insult to English majors, faculty and the entire its influencer
English curriculum. Stampfl's argument, based on the know. I only
idea that instructors present Shakespearean literature example and
as a model for student writing, unfairly misinterprets the school th
why Shakespeare is taught. Plays like "Hamlet" and
"King Lear" are essential for literary criticism, analysis Allie White
and discourse. If students can read Shakespeare's works, LSA freshman

mely distressed to read of the recent bout
afflicting The Michigan Daily (From the
007). Not only am I a self-proclaimed writ-
o an avid reader who relies on the Daily's
:aff writers for current news and a fresh
n the world. I trust the Daily to deliver
researched and relevant articles. However,
a writer took credit for the work of others
me to lose respect for the Daily. Rather,
uestion the morale and ethical codes that
s operate under today.
y do not remember any of the writer's arti-
her did I read the original pieces. Regard-
palled. It is difficult enough for a printed
o survive in today's world of the vanishing
accusations and convictions of plagiarism
ing a newspaper needs.
rsity undoubtedly provides a challenging
demanding much from its students. No
hat a student at the University will receive
hest educations possible or that the road to
nt is an easy one. It is easy to make excus-
itfalls or lapses in judgment. However, my
oint is this: if the staff writer was too busy
own, original articles, why did she sign on
at the Daily to begin with?
hat her time at the Daily has been termi-
n official apology to the readers has been
same time, I am disappointed that a writer
the grand scheme of things, this instance
will not have a great affect on media and
ge. But in our little bubble of Ann Arbor,
may be more widespread than anyone can
hope that students can learn from this
make it a point to protect the integrity of
ey call home.

As if instantaneous Globa They had to add a lick Che
Climate Change caused by three neylookalike and a pack of
You know what movie was gigantic land-based ice hurri- wolves'
great ?cases descending simultaneously
The Day After Tomorro wfrom the North wasn't scary leaveit tos
S enough... is*s',
* R
o e
- --



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