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September 12, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-12

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4A - Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
< Ann Arbor, MI 48109




Unsigned editorials reflectthe official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
A different standard
Research universities offer more, deserve more in return
W ith state lawmakers set to decide on funding for pub-
lic universities for fiscal year 2008, the state's Univer-
sity Research Corridor - composed of the University
of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan State University and Wayne
State University - released a report this week that highlights
those three institutions' immense contributions to the state.
Conducted by the Anderson Economic Group, the study indicates
that upwards of 68,000 jobs are generated by the MRC, which
also contributed $12.8 billion to the state's struggling economy.
This data is hard evidence of the fact that research universities
deserve more funding because they help the state in ways the
other 12 public universities do not.

It's a big blow."
- Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon on the impact drug kingpin Diego Montoya's arrest
will have on cocaine traffickers, as reported yesterday by The Washington Post.
as-t . & I

Primary divisions

All public institutions in the state are
essential to the recovery of the local
economy and will eventually supply well-
educated citizens. However, their con-
tributions are nowhere near the level of
the MRC, which, according to the report,
has 133,331 students and 46,398 full-time
employees. Despite what the MRC brings
to the state, the state and the people of
Michigan often unfairly view the big three
universities as out of touch, elite or even
wasteful. Such a position is unfair consid-
ering things like the $832 million federal
research dollars those institutions brought
to Michigan in 2005.
The resources and jobs brought to
the table by the major research institu-
tions cannot be ignored, especially with
a lack of income being raised for the state
through other outlets. While total revenue
for the MRC has gone up since 2002, state
funding has fallen 13 percent. Considering
that 77 percent of those enrolled in MRC
institutions as of fall 2005 were Michi-
gan residents and that doctors trained at
MRC institutions are more likely to stay in
Michigan than those who didn't, the uni-
versities are doing their part to help the
people of Michigan. The state must recog-

nize their contributions and respond with
more funding.
Given that the state faces an estimated
$1.6 billion shortfall for its 2008 budget,
all public universities are understandably
worried about what that means for their
funding. The MRC's request for a separate
set of funds gives some smaller schools
the impression that their funds will be cut
or allowed to stagnate to benefit the big
research institutions. Such an outcome
would be unacceptable.
The current problems being experienced
by the state appropriations committee
could easily be remedied and the worries
of the smaller state universities alleviated
with a standard education fund. Instead of
squabbling over how much to give to higher
education each year, the legislature should
agree to an established education budget
for a number of years while at the same
time allowing the funding for institutions
of higher learning to rise with inflation.
Despite the state's budget crunch, it is
important for state lawmakers to remember
that they cannot ignore the funding needs
of state universities, including the special
needs of the MRC. If they're still in doubt,
they can just look at the numbers.


We're used to seeing chalk-
ings all around campus
about mass meetings for
political groups
or protests. We'vej
all been tailed
through the Diag
by student activ-
ists determined to
get their say. But
if you've been fol-
lowing the mad-
ness of the current IMRAN
presidential pri- SYED
mary races, know-_
ing that it will soon
trickle down to our campus, you know
we haven't seen anything yet.
We know partisanship brings out
the worst in our leaders. Desperate
to stem a surging Michael Dukakis in
1988, the campaign of a seemingly mel-
low George H. W. Bush turned to despi-
cable racist symbolism in its infamous
Willie Horton ad. Looking to squash
any momentum built up by John Kerry
in the 2004 election, George W. Bush's
Kerry's resolve to his military record.
Suddenly the man who won three Pur-
ple Hearts in Vietnam had to answer
for his military service to an opponent
who was lost somewhere in Alabama
the whole time he was supposed to be
serving his country.
This sort of thing is nothing new
in America. Dirty partisan politick-
ing was alive and well in the 1884
presidential contest between Demo-
crat Grover Cleveland and Republi-
can James Blane. Even.further back,
the wrangling of the Federalists ver-
sus the Anti-Federalists, Henry Clay
against John C. Calhoun and Andrew
Jackson against just about everyone
of his era are all examples of political
disagreements going just a little too
far. The only difference is we no lon-
ger throw around the word "scoun-
drel" quite so much.
The difference now, however, is that

not only are we bitterly divided on a
partisan basis, but both candidates and
voters acceptthetorchingof opponents
withreckless abandoninprimaryraces
too. Poor George Washington. The man
who feared the divisiveness of political
parties so much would probably be at
a complete loss for words if he saw the
firestorm that is on now - between
people of the same party.
We can rail against the long and vit-
riolic primary process, which this time
seemed to start the day Kerry conced-
ed. We can ask for stricter regulation
of attack ads and keep the politicians'
accusations of others in perspective,
knowing they're nearly always bent
beyond recognition. We should do
these things, but the most important
thing of all for us is to not let ourselves
become entangled in this mayhem.
We students are different from
those vying for the presidency - we
have to be. We are a different genera-
tion, the leaders of which will accom-
plish far more than even dreamers
like John Edwards can imagine. Our
generation knew community service
before it could walk; we recycled, sold
lemonade for charity and told our par-
ents to cut back on the cholesterol as
early as elementary school. The active
among us readily understand long-
term issues that our country faces
while so many of today's politicians
need committees, reports and junkets
to see the same realities.
No doubt we have our differences:
I suppose Young Americans for Free-
dom will never see eye-to-eye with
SOLE. We have come to a point, how-
ever, where we are needlessly forging
new divisions.
Why, for example, must students
who want to end the war in Iraq now
turn against each other and fight over
the supposed superiority of Hillary
Clinton or Barack Obama? If we want
the war ended, aren't we better off
sticking together as a strong blocAnd
what of those who want to see more

done to prevent terrorism? The "how
many terrorists did you kill today?"
infighting at the Republican debates
isn't helping anybody.
Some will argue that the vicious
potshots dished out in the primaries
among candidates of the same party
will simply be forgotten once a nomi-
nee is named. Unfortunately, it seems
that the candidates really do believe
this absurd idea. Other than making
the ultimate party platform look weak
and hypocritical, such an approach
initiates hostilities that are not eas-
ily forgotten. As many Howard Dean
supporters - a large percentage of
them college students -found out last
time around, if you pour your heart
Hillary or Obama:
Is it really worth
fighting over?
into a candidate during the primary
and that candidate ends up losing, it
isn't easy to simply jump on the other
guy's bandwagon.
We all have preferred candidates in
primaries. That's fine. We can even let
others know of our preferences and the
reasoning behind them. We get into
trouble, though, when we start dis-
paraging the other candidates, one of
whom we will in all likelihood have to
vote for at some point. This is the inane,
bitter polarity of the general election
carried to an evenbleaker level.
But the most engaged and aware
minds in our generation shouldn't fall
for that. We have bigger arguments to
partake in than the petty squabbling
of the primaries.
Imran Syed is the Daily's
editorial page editor. He can be
reached at galad@umich.edu.


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


I graduated from the University in 1973.
My experience was a five-year educational
adventure that provided me with wonderful
opportunities. Those five years were also one
of the most tumultuous times in my youth,
because a war was being waged in Southeast
Asia by a president who concealed the truth
from our country, violated Americans' con-
stitutional rights and fed the war in Vietnam
with a military draft.
During that time there were also Saturday
afternoons at Michigan Stadium, where the
Maize and Blue provided a diversion to all of
the suffering, strife and anxiety we faced.
In Saturday's blowout loss to Oregon, I saw
the utter disbelief and despair on the faces of
fans at Michigan Stadium for the second con-
secutive Saturday. I would like to remind all
those people in this state of shock that whatev-
er happens inside Michigan Stadium is not the
real focus of what is going wrong right now.
The real problems are all around us: A dev-
astated economy in Michigan that has left
so many people out of work, a lack of health
care, an erosion of America's middle class and
an illegal and immoral war in Iraq waged by
a president who has surpassed even Richard
Nixon's dastardly conduct three decades ago.
In the name of "protecting our nation from
terrorists" and "fighting them over there
so we don't fight them over here," the Bush
administration initiated a war of choice in
Iraq, a war sold to Americans using misin-
formation and fear to displace reason and
rational debate. This conflict has killed nearly
4,000 U.S. servicemen. According to an Octo-
ber 2006 report in the British medical journal
the Lancet, it has also resulted in the deaths

of more than 655,000 Iraqis. Bush's Middle
East crusade has swallowed more than $450
billion in taxpayer money, funding that could
have been used to provide better education
and infrastructure improvements in Michi-
gan and all of America.
Our nation, through the actions of an arro-
gant administration bent on total control and
absolute secrecy and wanton disregard for
the rule of law, has dragged our country into a
quagmire without an exit plan. The president
now demands more money and more lives to
prosecute a policy without shame or account-
ability. Our Congress has yet to find its moral
compass and reclaim its constitutional obliga-
tion to check the executive and force a change
in policy. This reminds me of what was hap-
pening during my many Saturdays at the Big
House 30 years ago.
Today's college generation will bear the
costs and consequences of the Bush admin-
istration's poor leadership and divisive poli-
cies, just like my generation had to address
the subsequent consequences of the John-
son and Nixon administrations' failures in
Southeast Asia. Many of my peers will recall
when more than 40,000 black balloons were
released into the air during halftime at Mich-
igan Stadium, each representing an American
military death. Today, the number of balloons
from the war in Iraq would exceed 650,000 if
Iraqi civilian deaths of Iraqi were included.
Keep the two losses in perspective. Reality
is far more depressing, and that's where our
concern needs to be focused.
Peter Vander Arend is a 1973 graduate
of the College of Engineering.


The wrong day for a rap war

Until six years ago, Sept. 11 used
to be just another date on the cal-
ender. Starting this year, the day
that marked the onset of America's
war against terrorism will also be
remembered among some as the day
that marked the beginning of anoth-
er war. Sept.11, 2007 will go down in
history as the day 50 Cent and Kanye
West both unveiled their new, highly
anticipated albums.
But whyOn any other day, I would
completely immerse myself into this
media frenzied battle between two of
rap music's biggest names. But why
did they pick Sept. 11, a day that has a
special meaning to so many people?
According to MTV.com, the situa-
tion appears to be a result of a many
scheduling conflicts. 50 Cent's CD
Curtis was set to be released in
June, but he didn't like the response
he was getting on a few of his tracks
and decided to push his release date
to Sept. 4. Then, fearing Labor Day
would stunt sales, the release date
was pushed back one week further
to Sept. 11.
West's third album, Graduation,
was set for a September release, but
was pushed up to late August, ironi-
cally enough, to avoid competition.
He then decided to step up and face
50 Cent in a retail rumble on Sept.11.
Now, as if it weren't cocky enough for
both artists to release their records

on the anniversary of America's
worst terrorist attacks, 50 Cent even
claimed at one pointhewould endhis
career if West outsold him. While he
later reneged on that statement, both
artists are exploitingthe media spec-
tacle of releasing an album on Sept.11
for a sales war that distracts from the
true significance of that day.
When the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon were attacked six years
ago, Americans were forced to break
out of the bubbles of their happy
'90s lifestyle. The country had been
enjoying a booming economy and
the glory days of bubblegum pop cul-
ture. Most Americans didn't concern
themselves very much with interna-
tional issues. That is until we were
brought face to face with the political
and social unrest that plagued people
all over the world for decades before.
We learned we were not invincible.
Sept. 11 was the wake-up call that
taught us all to be a little more grate-
ful and grounded.
One would think the attack on
our country would have especially
affected our revered celebrities, who
have so much fame and wealth for
which to be thankful. This does not
appear to be the case.
Celebrity superstardom surround-
ing artists like 50 Cent and Kanye
West gives these lucky individuals a
platformuponwhich they can spread

their positive influence. Instead of
inspiring fans through some sort
of meaningful tribute to Sept. 11,
though, they are hosting a petty
rap showdown. In addition to mak-
ing themselves look foolish, they're
revertingus back to the clueless state
we lived in before Sept.11.
I'm certainly not blaming West
and 50 Cent as the sole cause of our
social woes. We choose our own role
models and we should learn to exer-
cise personal responsibility over our
choices and actions. Nevertheless,
we should still hold Kanye West and
SO Centto a higher standard. They're
pop-culture icons, and this year it
looks like they're too busy prepping
for their sales war to pay proper
respect to this day.
If the only thing on our minds
Tuesday was rushing out to sup-
port our favorite rapper, we have
all missed an extremely important
Radhika Upadhyaya is a Business
sophomore and a member of
the Daily's editorial board.

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