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September 07, 2007 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-07

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4 - Friday, September 7, 2007

The Michigan Daily -r


Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. Allother signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
P * ~
Primary colors
Michigan's date change unlikely to help, adds more chaos
M ichigan suddenly has the first primary in the country.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a bill Tuesday that will
move the state's primary from February26 to January15,
just one day after the Iowa caucus. While an earlier primary in the
state would seemingly make Michigan a battleground for presiden-
tial campaigns, the exact opposite is more likely. Many Democrats
are refusing to campaign in Michigan, in part because the Demo-
cratic National Committee has said it may not count Michigan's
delegates at its nominating convention. The Republican National
Committee has threatened to dispose of half of Michigan's dele-
gates. The rescheduling of Michigan's primary has brought undue
controversy to a state that already has enough to deal with.

This is life in the technology lane."
- Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a written apology to iPhone owners posted on Apple.com after the company announced its
decision to cut the price of the iPhone by $200. Apple is offeringa $100 credit to those who bought the phone for the
full price ($599) when it hit shelves in July, nytimes.com reported.

ComCastic-ally upsetting

udging from the stream of e-
mails over the past couple of
weeks, the Big Ten Network
needs my help
fighting the big,
powerful cable
and satellite pro-
viders. Just when ,
I thought politics
andcollege football
were never going to
clash, it seems that
the stubbornness KEVIN
.of television pro- BUNKLEY
viders has brought
that about, and
fans are the ones stuck in the mid-
dle of the fray. Many Michigan fans
weren't able to see the Wolverines
play on television Saturday because
Comcast refused to let them see it.
In ~order to broadcast the game, a
deal had to be reached between BTN
and cable providers by Aug. 31. Only
DirecTV and AT&T reached a con-
tractual agreement with the network
by then. The BTN wanted cable pro-
viders to offer the channel on basic
subscription packages. DirecTV put
BTN on its basic satellite package,
which costs less than $50 a month.
AT&T added the channel to its U-
Verse basic digital TV package, which
costs $60 a month. Comcast, the big-
gest cable provider on this side of the
state, has refused to carry the chan-
nel at all, partly because BTN wants
Comcast to pay $1.10 a month for
each of its 5 million subscribers in
the eight Big Ten Conference states.
Comcast says unless that premium
comes down, it can only include BTN
in it's premium package, something
the BTN won't accept.
Comcast's hesitation is difficult to

understand. It made $26.3 billion in
Comcast contends that many sub-
scribers won't like paying for a chan-
nel if they don't want it. I contend that
I don't like paying for Animal Planet,
Home Shopping Network and the
Evangelical Television Network at my
off-campushouse. ButIdowantESPN,
Fox Sports Net and Comedy Central.
After all, isn't accessibility and choice
the beauty of cable television? Comcast
itself believes in this ideal. In 2003,
Steve Burke, then-president of Com-
cast Cable, said in regards to the agree-
ment to carry ESPN HD, "The addition
of ESPN HD demonstrates our con-
tinuing commitment to provide our
customers with the most robust high-
definition content possible."
The Big Ten Network presented
Michigan's opener in high definition
on DirecTV. DirecTV agreed to put
the channel on basic service and pub-
licly explained that the proven loyalty
fans have to their respective schools
warranted this decision. I can hear
all 420,000 living Michigan alumni
calling for Comcast's head. Those
who haven't already dropped their
subscriptions, anyway. But that's just
where the problem lies. It costs a lot
more to drop Comcast's service than
to keep it, because subscribers often
get Internet and telephone service
from Comcast's bundle packages. All
three services put together cost $99 a
month, a significant savings over pur-
chasing each service individually.
Even though Big Ten Commission-
er Jim Delany publicly claims that
the objective of BTN is more national
exposure for the conference, you can
effectively translate that into: The
Big Ten wants to make more money.

After all, the Big Ten provides $94
million in financial aid to its member
schools for scholarships. This whole
process is cyclical to me: If the BTN
is seen by as many people as pos-
sible, Michigan and all the other Big
Ten schools can attract top athletes
with that scholarship money to play
on their sports teams. Their perfor-
mance and that of their teams in turn
makes more money for the schools,
which can then upgrade their facili-
ties and keep ticket prices down.
What's a fan to do? Simple: Stop
giving Comcast money. If a corpora-
tion is so resistant to promoting col-
Teach Comcast a
lesson for leaving
fans hanging.
lege athletics, then it has no place in
Ann Arbor, East Lansing or Colum-
bus. Only when Comcast starts los-
ing money by the truckload will it see
the error it has committed. Comcast
has said it's willing to risk subscrib-
ers jumping ship, so why not? When
I turn my television to channel 225, I
see the BTN logo emblazoned there
on the screen, taunting me. I can't
justify paying for something that I
can walk across campus to see when
others who don't have that luxury are
blacked out. Michigan football isn't
supposed to be for the select few.
Lucky for us,tomorrow's game will
be nationally televised.
Kevin Bunkley can be reached
at kevrbunk@umich.edu.


Aside from the fact that the Michigan
legislature should be focusing on other
more important issues than the state's pri-
mary date (funding higher education, for
example), the bill itself also comes with its
share of problems. After passing in the state
Senate, the House added amendments that
make the funding for the primary come
out of Michigan's general fund. Michigan
tax money - upwards of $10 million - will
provide funding for a process designed to
give parties unprecedented power. The
state's Republican and Democratic parties
will be given information like voters' per-
sonal information and party preferences.
The parties will have complete control of
and can also sell the information to whom
they please.
The move is also likely to make other
states move up their primaries. New Hamp-
shire, for example, is mandated by its state
constitution to hold the nation's first pri-
mary. This national trend to move primaries
closer to December adds even more frenzyto
an already overlong and arduous campaign
process. The primary system is becoming
more wasteful of time and money, both for
the candidates and the country.
The tendency of states to move their
primaries forward also demonstrates the

flaws of the process itself. With each sub-
sequent presidential campaign starting
earlier than the previous one, a new, fairer
system is long overdue. Finally, lawmak-
ers seem to be coming to this realization.
Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Bill
Nelson (D-Fla.) have proposed a regional
plan, where different regions of the coun-
try take turns being first to host primaries,
starting in March.
Another plan - quite possibly the fair-
est - would have every state hold its pri-
mary on the same day, just like the general
election. This would allow all states the
same exposure and all candidates the
same opportunity to target the states most
likely to support them, instead of having to
campaign in a state just because it has the
first primary.
The governor had good intentions for
Michigan when she signed this bill, hoping
it will bring Michigan's key issues to the
forefront of the campaign. Unfortunately
those intentions will almost certainly be
overshadowed. With some candidates
avoiding the state altogether, voter turn-
out and the national significance of the
Michigan primary will decline. But as Nel-
son said, "Out of this chaos, order must be


In defense of Michigan football

Campus Construction
-t~Ec CL..T,

I write this viewpoint in the midst of perhaps our
most somber moment as Michigan Men. Losing to
Appalachian State, a Football Championship Subdivi-
sion (formerly Division I-AA) team, hurt us all. It was
a reflection of too many mistakes and a lack of prepa-
ration and execution. Ultimately, Saturday's tragedy
on the hallowed grounds of Michigan Stadium was the
product of chance. Even the best fall down sometimes.
Does the loss sting and fill us with a sense of disbe-
lief? Is it humiliating to witness pundits trash us on
television, radio and in the newspapers? Yes. Are we
willingto accept the loss as an indication of larger fail-
ures or allow it to diminish our support for Michigan
football? The answer is unequivocally no.
Michigan is one of the world's greatest educational
and research institutions, and it is the nation's great-
est football program. The current coach, beleaguered
and constantly under fire, is one of the best to have
ever roamed the sidelines at Michigan or anywhere
else. Michigan has been unranked for-just a handful of
weeks in Lloyd Carr's 12-year tenure. He has won out-
right or tied for five Big Ten Championships, appeared
in four Rose Bowls, participated in a New Year's Day .
bowl game in 10 out of the past 11 seasons and com-
piled a 6-6 record against Ohio State. Lest we forget,
he delivered the national championship that even Bo
Schembechler could not.
I am a dogged supporter of Carr and of what he has
done for Michigan football and the University, but I

did not design this message to rally support for Carr.
Most fans and I reasonably disagree about his legacy
as head coach, but we must unify behind Big Blue.
Since Schembechler ushered in the second golden era
of Michigan football nearly four decades ago, there is
not a single program in the nation that boasts better
The loss Saturday supplied ample fodder for detrac-
tors, but what the critics do not realize is that their
negativity only makes us stronger. When ESPN.com
columnist Pat Forde uses the headline "Hail to the
Victors" to describe the Mountaineers, he is highlight-
ing the ubiquity of the most beautiful fight song ever
written. Many of our opponents are jealous and wish
they could have what we enjoy - the unfailing promise
from the Wolverines to compete every week of every
season and win a vast majority of games. Mean spirits
from East Lansing to Columbus to California can savor
Michigan's heartbreak for now, but we shall endure.
In five weeks the Wolverines will be ranked high
once again, in five months they will have played in a
BCS Bowl and in 50 years this loss will be but a foot-
note on the pages of time. Left in its place will be the
enduring spirit of Michigan. One loss cannot and will
not diminish the greatness of the University, its foot-
ball program or the 2007 Wolverines.
Hail to the Victors today, tomorrow and forever.
Bob Lupton is a 2007 LSA graduate.



Alabama, Georgia
would not have put up
with Carr's failures

Hart makin
senior years;
to the nation
one week int
has fallen fr
poll to not b
they deserve

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.
Viewpoints should be no longer than 700 words. The Daily reserves the right to edit for length,
clarity and accuracy.
Sendviewpointsubmissionsto edilpuge.edilors a umich.edu,orcontacttheeditorsatthataddress
to arrange one inadvance.
Daily Opinion is looking for new columnists to fill out Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the
its columnist roster. Columnists are expected to turn editor. Letters should be under 300 words and
in a column of 650-750 words every other week. Inter- must include the writer's full name and University
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TO THE DAILY: I know, y
I witnessed first-hand the col- coach; that's
lapse of Michigan's football team leader of thi
against USC at the Rose Bowl in lead them or
January. Now, having seen one of football rep:
the most anemic performances by nished. It's t
a Football Bowl Subdivision (for-
merly Division I-A) team ever, I Luke Klipp
will reiterate what I said after that Alum
Rose Bowl in a letter to the editor
(Michigan football deserves better M
than Lloyd Carr, 01/05/07) and what i ore st
I think is now so readily apparent
that it goes without saying. adopt h
Fire Lloyd Carr.
If this were Alabama or Georgia TO THE DAI
or Florida, Carr would have been According
gone the day after that pathetic "recycling i
performance against Appalachian materials int
State, which followed two losses clinggeneral
to close out the previous season. potentially u
Instead, Michigan keeps him on, es the consu
as if utterly incapable of acknowl- als and redu
edging the damage this season hence greet
has already done to the immediate compared to
and potentially long-term future of The disc
Michigan football. warming ha
This was supposed to be the sea- alternatives
son - with Chad Henne and Mike ever, anothe

g a return for their
and pushing Michigan
al championship. Now,
o the season, Michigan
om 5th in the preseason
eing ranked at all. And
e it.
ou can't blame just the
too simple. Buthe's the
s team, and he did not
n Saturday. Michigan's
utation is forever tar-
ime to fire Lloyd Carr.
ates need to
ottle deposit
to Wikipedia.org,
s the reprocessing of
vo new products. Recy-
ly prevents the waste of
seful materials, reduc-
.mption of raw materi-
ces energy usage, and
nhouse gas emissions,
virgin production."
ussion about global
s focused primarily on
sources of fuel. How-
r very important pro-

environment tool is recycling. The
effort must involve more than the
consumer and the government. It
must involve those who sell and
profit from those products that can
be recycled.
For example, the manufacturers
of bottles and cans, the producers
of what's sold inside them as well
as the grocery stores that distribute
them must take on a greater eco-
nomic role in the process of recy-
cling. The voluntary "blue bag at
the curb" approach is a good start,
but it relies primarily on the altru-
ism of the consumer.
Does the consumer bear sole
responsibility for what happens to a
can or bottle that contains the prod-
uct? Or should some ofthat responsi-
bility fall on those who profit from its
use? Are these responsibilities being
borne already and are they equita-
ble? In some states, bottlers charge a
5- or 10-cent deposit on a bottle to be
refunded whenthe consumerreturns
the bottle. This concept should be
expanded to all states and a larger
variety of products. When all parties
involved have an economic incentive
to participate, recycling will make
a much larger contribution toward
preserving the environment.
Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio

Editorial Board Members: Ben Caleca, Mike Eber, Brian Flaherty, Emmarie Huetteman,
Kellyn Jackson, Gavin Stern, Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe, Radhika Upadhyaya.


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