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THE EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK with GARY GRACA
A look at the big news events this week and how important they really are. Conveniently rated from one to10.
rule 69: A good
friend is one you
don't have to buy a
Christmas gift for.
rule 70: At this
point in the sea-
son, it's OK to wear
Uggs, but you still
can't wear Crocs.
rule 71: Read your
Chances are good
your landlord might
try to slip you an
- E-mail role submissions to
PEACE AT LAST?
Although the Decider can't solve a conflict that his admin-
istration created fouryears ago, Bush met with Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert and leaders of 42 other nations in Annapolis, Md.
8 last week, announcing that a peace agreement to the 60-
year-old conflict with roots that go back4,000 years is
expected to be completed by the end of next year.
DAVID'S BOOKS BARONS
Seizing between 800 and 1,000 books that were alleg-
edly stolen from Ulrich's and possibly other campus
bookstores, the Ann Arbor Police raided David's Books
on East William Street. Stumped as to how so many
books, including rare and expensive medical books, were
stolen from Ulrich's, the police hypothesized that the
book barons "must not have left their backpacks on the
TAKING A CAMPAIGN HOSTAGE
With road flares strapped to his chest, Leeland Eisenberg
took a Hillary Clinton campaign office in New Hampshire
hostage Friday. Eisenberg demanded to speak with Clinton
about receiving mental health services, and she reportedly
agreed to talk, but lawenforcement officials stopped her.
In response, the Rudy Giuliani campaign pointed out that
Clinton negotiates with terrorists; his staffers have guns
and would have shot the man.
GETTING OUT OF GITMO
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court begins oral arguments for
the first case in which it will specifically address whether
or not Guantanamo Bay detainees have habeas corpus
rights. Accordingto the Bush administration, the case is
vitally important, because even if they weren't terrorists
when they arrived, afteryears of indefinite detention and
torture, they're bound to be terrorists by now.
AN EGG-HEADED PROPOSAL
In a move to accommodate Ann Arborites who want
fresh eggs, at a weekend council retreat, Ann Arbor City
Councilman Stephen Kunselman proposed allowing city
residents to keep hens in their yards or houses. Ann
Arbor hippies are uncertain how the city will make sure
that the hens are free range and instead proposed that
the city allow chickens to buy houses.
A LOT OF POT
After pulling over a white Chevrolet Uplander last week,
Michigan State Police troopers found nearly 500 pounds
of marijuana wrapped in cellophane and covered with
blankets in the minivan, valued at more than $600,000.
In related news, several witnesses reported hearing Bob
Marley at the Ypsilanti State Police post and Pink Floyd
at the Jackson post.
Magazine Editor: Anne VanderMey
Associate Magazie Edtor:Jessnica
Managing Edtor: JeffreyBloomer
PERSON OF THE WEEK
MOHAMMED THE TEDDY BEAR
It's not uncommon for a unruly pet to get its owner into legal
troubles, but it is almost unheard of for a stuffed children's toy
to do the same. Yet that's precisely what happened last week,
when a small teddy bear was christened "Mohammed" by a
class of Sudanese school children. The authorities in, Khartoum
did not take kindly to a British school teacher's class naming a
toy after the prophet and pressed charges. Gillian Gibbons, the
British school teacher who owned the bear, originally faced up to
40 lashes for the transgression but was ultimately sentenced to
15 days in prison. She was then pardoned. The fate of Moham-
med the teddy bear is unknown.
RESEARCH VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The U-M is currently conducting research to study how
blood clotting is controlled by genes. You may be eligible if you
( are between 14 and 35 years of age and have at least one
full-sibling who is also between 14 and 35.
Participation includes a short online survey and DNA sample.
Volunteers will be compensated up to $50 per person.
For more information:
Wante For tudy
Genes and Blood Clotting
From Page 5B
University relatively late. Based in New York,
she didn't want to fly out to look at apart-
ments, and the Graduate House sounded like
a convenient option - and cheap, too. She
pays $530 in rent a month for her eight-month
lease, including utilities, however question-
able in reliability.
"(The landlords) promised Internet but we
don't actually have it yet," she added. Some
attempts have been made to fix the wireless
situation. On Monday, fix-it guys paid the
house avisit. The repairmen seemed to be the
only people around, despite some acoustic
guitar sounds coming from behind a closed
The kitchen, save for its massive industrial
refrigerators, goes mostly unused.
"One person might cook, just to boil
water," Natale said, half-jokingly. "I wouldn't
trust this place. There used to be cockroaches
(when we moved in)."
It's almost unnerving to walk through
what used to be known as a warren of under-
graduate debauchery - the house istoo clean,
too silent for a place once known for its par-
ties. Beta's national organization disbanded
the Michigan chapter last spring after photos
of Beta members binge drinking surfaced in
2005 and the fraternity continued to violate
But those stories are left to live in the
walls, with any other vestiges of Beta Theta
Pi. There are plaques all over the house, brass
plates noting alumni-funded card rooms,
tributes to former members by their broth-
From Page 7B
the online poker industry, a few Washington
players are now rallying behind it.
Studies showfewerthan10 percentofindi-
vidual poker players are long-term winners.
That doesn't seem like the type of statis-
tic that would be a rallying cry to poker for
sympathetic politicians, but the Democrats
sponsoring H.R. 2610: Skill Game Protection
Act are trying to use just that kind of figure to
prove their point.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Robert Wex-
ler (D-Fla.), looks to exempt games "where
success is predominantly determined by the
skill of the players involved" from being clas-
sified as gambling.
Unlike many forms of gambling, poker
allows for an element of skill to greatly influ-
ence the play. Even though instances like
Moneymaker's World Series victory show
luck plays a key role in poker, those close to
the game argue that in the longhaul, skillwill
separate the long-term winners and losers.
Other pro-poker sponsored bills are enter-
ing Congress, too. Rep. Barney Frank (D-
Mass.) and Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)
have both introduced legislation designed to
regulate poker. With support in Washington
coming around, poker appears to be back on
ers. But there are more personal touches, too, sophomore Rod-
like in Natale's room: In her closet, Sharpied erick Fitts, who
onto the cement wall by a member of the last run the University
official class, it reads "BOII. The Lambda group Students
Chapter of Beta Theta Pi. 1845-2007." of Objectivism,
- KIMBERLY CHOU so. They also dis-
dain the common
The University's most misconception
rational egoists is neatly packaged
Ayn Rand's University following ism. Objectivism,
they feel, differs
from the political
You wouldn't be wrong if you called Alan affiliation in that
Greenspan, the renowned former chairman the philosophy is
of the Federal Reserve System, an egoist - in and of itself a /
moral egoist might be a better term, though. moral base that
And another thing: he probably likes Ayn can be applied to
Rand more than you do. politics. Liber-
The author - whose works "The Fountain- tarianism, con-
head" and "Atlas Shrugged" have enthralled versely, is predicated by politics.
some national leaders, including Greens- Their enthusiasm, though, doesn't
pan, and terrorized high school students for to be too widely held on campus. Whil
decades - is the progenitor of objectivism, a Paul seems to have a devoted Ann Arb4
school of philosophy described by Leonard lowing as a Republican candidate with
Peikoff, Rand's friend and heir, as "the anti- tarian leanings, Sardone and Fitts we]
dote to the present state of the world." only people who came to last week's Stu
in terms of ethics, I'll leave Rand to of objectivism meeting.
explain: "All that which is proper to the life Still, there are ripe forums for discc
of a rational being is the good; all that which Sardone and Fitts talked at length abou
destroys it is the evil." lic smoking bans. On one hand, smokin
Politically, this translates into a complete- individual right. On the other, second
ly open and free market as well as infallible smoke is a negative force on other ind
individual rights. If the individual is "forced als. Objectivism would side with the sm
upon" in any way, that force is immoral, be it It wouldn't, though, necessarily be des
a tariff or a wiretap. as environmentalist. Since companie
Simple, yes? individuals should not be subjugated t,
LSA senior Andrew Sardone and LSA cific taxes and regulations, global warn
ILLUSTRATION BY JoHN OQUIST
an even trickier issue. Sardone and Pitts see
Al Gore as part of an "elite class choosing for
everyone else." They see class-action law suits
- individuals suing on behalf of their rights
- as the rational avenue to compromise.
But Students of Objectivism meetings
don't usually center on specific political
debate. Usually, Sardone, Fitts and their
fellow members - they say about 10 people
typically show up - discuss objectivism's
Even though last week's conversation was
littered with terms that could perplex even
the most esoteric philosophy stident, objec-
tivism has its practical uses. Just tell your
boss you're exercising your individual right
to rational egoism next time he tells you to
stop smoking in the workplace.
Many college students who experience
success drop out of school to try and maxi-
mize the opportunity. Egerer has felt the
same temptation, but he knows graduating
from college has its benefits.
"Every day it's hard. I look at going to
an hour-and-a-half lecture as 'Wow, I just
missed out on 400 bucks, or whatever the
hourly wage would be,' Egerer said. "But at
the same time, there's no security in online
poker like there is in having a degree."
More problems exist than just a few stu-
dents dropping out. Even if 10 percent of
people win overall, 90 percent of players are
losing. And while some could only lose spend-
ing money, others might lose a lot more.
With more than 1,000 Gamblers Anony-
mous groups meeting through the United
States, many pointto poker as one of the main
precursors to gambling problems. Problem
gambling is estimated to occur in 1.6 percent
of the adult population in the United States.
A recently released study showed that
problem gambling has actually gone down
since 1999 though, coincidingwith the advent
of online poker.
THE LOCAL IMPACT
Online poker hasn't just helped a core
group of talented players get rich. It's also
See NEXT PAGE
With people rallying around the game, its peak hours.)
traffic is beginning to rise again on online More tournaments are popping up around
sites open to Americans (PokerStars.com the United States, whether they be online
routinely tops the 100,000 user mark during or live. But with these opportunities comes