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January 18, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-18

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4 -Friday, January 18, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

74c fiiigan 4at*1V
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu
KARL STAMPFL IMRAN SYED JEFFREY BLOOMER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflectthe officialpositionofthe Daily's editorialboard.Allother signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views oftheir authors.
The Daily's public editor, Paul H. Johnson, acts as the readers' representative and takes a critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions andcomments. He canbe reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
Accelerate into the future
Big Three must realize that going green brings in the green
W hen Henry Ford started using the assembly line for
automotive production in the early 1900s, the goal
was efficiency. Almost a century later, the talk of the
industry is still efficiency, but a different type: fuel efficiency. If the
new cars the Big Three - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler - are
showcasing at the North American International Auto Show are
any indication, these automakers still haven't got the hint. This isn't
the 20th century anymore: For Michigan's automotive dinosaurs to
stave off extinction, they must adapt to changing markets that value
eco-friendly cars.

He did the same thing to us that he did to
Monica Lewinsky."
- Rev. Jeremiah Wright, refuting the argument that former President Bill Clinton was a champion of black
issues during a sermon last Sunday. Wright is the pastor of the church Barack Obama attends.

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Actually, I hate New York

Although the auto show doesn't open
to the public until this weekend, in the
past few days the Big Three have strut-
ted their steel stuff to the press and the
industry insiders. And it's been a lesson in
what not to do. In the most dramatic event
of the week, Chrysler opened the show
by parading 130 cattle down Washington
Boulevard in downtown Detroit, hoping
the Dodge Ram pickup in the middle of
the herd would get some attention. But
advertising trucks and SUVs isn't going
to improve the Big Three's sales any more
than cattle roundups will.
The Big Three are still living in the
age of the SUV and don't want it to end.
Because larger vehicles make higher profit
margins than mid-sized and small cars,
Michigan's automakers are trying to shove
trucks and SUVs down Americans' throats.
Recent consumer studies have shown that
the American people are demanding more
fuel-efficient, safe and quality vehicles,,
The only way the Big Three will improve
sales is if they start producing them like
consumers want.
In the past year, Toyota, a more environ-
mentally friendly car company, overcame

An overlooked small town
gets a little attention
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to thank the Daily for publish-
ing the article from The New York Times on
the small town of Sderot in southern Israel
(In some Israeli towns, dodging danger the
norm, 01/09/2008). Sderot has been a place
overlooked by the international community
and the Israeli government.
Having volunteered there for a few days
during my trip to Israel during winter break,
I experienced the horror of Qassam rockets
dropping on civilian towns. Once my group
had to stop in the middle of lunch and take
refuge in a small kitchen with 30 other people
as an alarm warned us of incoming rockets.
The plight of the people in Sderot needs to
be heard on a larger scale and publishing this
article was a large step toward accomplishing
this goal.
I am also proud to say that for the past year,
University students have been raising money
to help Sderot. By the end of this semester,
the student organization American Move-
ment for Israel will have raised over $1,500
to build bomb shelters for the civilians of
Sderot.
Joshua Goldstein
LSA sophomore
The letter writer is the treasurer of the American
Movement for Israel.
Early primary brought
focus on Michigan's issues
TO THE DAILY:
Does no one recognize that Michigan's
early primary was actually a good idea?
For one, I am glad that the national media
focused solely on the problems facing Michi-
gan for at least a few days. I cannot remem-
ber a time when so much attention was given
to Michigan. To the naysayers claiming that
our primary did not matter and was "coun-
terproductive," - like columnist Gary Graca
did on Wednesday (A primary not worth hold-
ing, 01/16/2008) - I would like to point out
that being snubbed by the Democratic and
Republican National Committees and some
of the Democratic candidates may actually be
a small price to pay for a little spotlight.
Instead of worrying about whether or not
Michigan will have its place at the national
conventions, we should note that viewers
and readers worldwide learned of the dire
economic issues in Michigan like unemploy-
ment. Similarly, it is absurd to think that
holding a primary could harm Michigan's
role as a vital swing state. When each party's
nominees begin campaigning, Michigan will
still receive national attention as an impor-

GM to claim the title of the world's top sell-
ing automaker, the price of oil topped $100
per barrel and experts finally reached the
closest thing possible to a consensus that
humans are contributing to global warm-
ing. These are related. Instead of mass-
producing novel, eco-friendly vehicles
with innovative technology, they continue
to put out newer versions of existing mod-
els of trucks and SUVs and absurd hybrid
SUVs. The Big Three are ignoring the big
picture.
This resistance to fuel-efficient vehicles
has led the Big Three to fight legislation
that could ease them into regulatory stan-
dards on par with the rest of the world.
Last month, Congress passed the Energy
Independence and Security Act, which
mandates that companies raise fuel
economy standards to an average-of 35
miles per gallon by 2020 for their entire
fleet. Experts from a number of groups,
igqluding the University's Transpprtation
Research Institute, have said that the law
may end up helping the Big Three make
money again.
But if that's going to happen, the Big
Three will need to change.
VD LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
tant battleground state.
Instead of complaining about the down-
sides of Tuesday's primary, we should be
proud that America was finally forced to
examine the problems plaguing Michigan.
These problems have been overlooked for far
too long.
John Sloan
LSA senior
Editorialfurthered stigma
of mental illnesses
TO THE DAILY:
While I agree with the basic premise of
the editorial "More to do on depression"
(01/17/2008) that counseling services should
be available to college students in a timely
fashion and without fear of stigmatization, I
think some of the things implied in the arti-
cle were insensitive and frankly uneducated.
Part of reducing the stigma of mental illness
requires journalists to resist the temptation
to sensationalize these health concerns. The
editorial's reference to Virginia Tech was
unnecessary considering the scope of the
argument.
Violence is not necessarily more prevalent
among mentally ill people than it is among
other groups. Those who are mentally ill are
victims of violence as well. An article truly
dedicated to reducing the stigma associated
with mental illness would have made refer-
ence to these concerns, rather than perpetu-
atingthe myth that those who are mentally ill
are dangerous and a threat to campus.
Michelle Leach
Rackham
Ifyou want Pryor, go to
basketball game .Saturday
TO THE DAILY:
I just wanted to let everyone know that this
weekend is important to Michigan football. A
guy named Terrelle Pryor is coming to cam-
pus. Pryor is a 6-foot-6-inch quarterback who
runs a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. If he plays
here, he will bring Michigan football to the
promise land. It if he attends Ohio State, he
will destroy it.
For students who don't usually attend bas-
ketball games, it should be a priority to go
to the game Saturday against Iowa at 7 p.m.
Pryor will be there. Remember the phrase "we
want Pryor" so you can yell it at any moment
during the game. The basketball team won't
mind: They will be happy that you are actu-
ally there.
Marshall Sunshine
Engineering senior

Throughout my entire winter
break, I was home flipping
through television channels
trying to find one
- just one - net-
work television
show with a plot
that was somewhat
reflective of my life,
with characters that
looked just like me.
I wanted to watch
a show that wouldS
inspire me to get SHAKIRA
out of bed, change SMILER
from my pajamas- -
and challenge the
world. As a young, black, college-edu-
cated woman, I was searching for a
show that showed me I could do any-
thing I set my mind to.
But I ended up watching "I Love
New York 2."
I remember growing up in the
1990s. I looked up to Laura Winslow
from"FamilyMatters" and TiaLandry
and Tamera Campbell from "Sister,
Sister" because all three of these char-
acters were smart, beautiful, popular,
Christian and family-oriented. They
each made dumb mistakes that teen-
agers make, but they learned from
those mistakes. There was something
sophisticated, powerful and dynamic
in their personalities. They looked like
me,,nd I wanted tobe like them.
Ten years later, I wish I could still
say the same thing for the young, black
women on television. If they aren't
obnoxious divas, they are spoiled
brats, video vixens or flat out hoes.
A good example is VH1, home of the
infamously obnoxious shows "Flavor
of Love" and "I Love New York."
I have never been more embar-
rassed to be a black woman than when
I watched these two shows. Yeah, I'm
guilty of watching them because they
are both hilarious, but that doesn't
eliminate the fact that both of these
shows are labeled "reality TV." This

sends a message to the world that in
"reality," black women are desperate,
promiscuous, gold-digging hood-rats
who don't have careers, morals or
self-respect. It portrays these women
competing against each other for the
"love" of a 47-year-old man with seven
kids and a bad dentist. To millions of
viewers, black women are ignorant
and immature.
Even on "America's Next Top
Model," where contestants are judged
in part on class, it seems that every
black contestant is the token "bitch"
of the house. In Cycle 4, it was Tif-
fany Richardson, an around-the-way
girl from the streets of Miami, Fla.,
who was always arguing with one of
the other contestants or talking back
to the judges. After not being selected
in her first audition, Richardson per-
severed and won the hearts of viewers
and the show's host, Tyra Banks, with
her heartwarming struggle to get out
of the ghetto. Although she was on her
way to achievingan impossible dream,
she got sent home for her attitude. She
failed to recognize her opportunity,
playing into the common stereotype
of young, black women.
Then there are my personal favor-
ites: video vixens. I have completely
-given up on watching Black Enter-
tainment Television. If I see another
black girl washing a '66 Chevy Impala
SS in a thong I'm going to scream.
Even female artists like Ciara parade
themselves around in their videos as
objects of sexual gratification. And
to think that BET's own president,
Debra Lee, is a black woman with two
kids of her own.
At least daddy's little girls Van-
essa and Angela Simmons on MTV's
"Run's House" have dreams and aspi-
rations of having successful careers,
whether it's in modeling and acting
or fashion design and business. They
seem to be two of the only young,
black women that use more than their
bodies to succeed. Unfortunately,
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:

they are among the only black women
who are raised filthy rich and have a
powerful dad who can hook them up
with opportunities in the snap of a
finger. So, their lives still don't reflect
my life or the lives of most other teen-
age black women.
It would be a lie for me to say that
young white women aren't misrepre-
sented in the media as well. But at the
same time, these women can flip the
channel and see other positive images
of themselves in the media to counter-
act the negative ones. They can watch
"Gilmore Girls" and see Rory graduate
from college. Meanwhile, I have the
privilege of seeing Saaphyri graduate
from "Charm School."
Black women on
TV leave few
role models.
In the past, I had the characters of
Laura Winslow, Tia Landry, Tamera
Campbell and Rudy Huxtable to look
up to. Even though they didn't truly
reflect my life, they represented the
life that I wanted and gave me hope
that someone just like me could have
a better quality of living.
As an adult, I can turn to the real-
life media moguls like Tyra Banks
and Oprah Winfrey as inspiration for
the type of woman I am striving to
become in the next decade. However,
who are my younger cousins looking
up to on TV?
Although I do all that I can to per-
sonally be a role model for them, it's a
harsh reality that New York just might
be my 13-year-old cousin's hero.

Shakira Smiler can be reached
at stsmiler@umich.edu.

0

Emad Ansari, Anindya Bhadra, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Milly Dick, Mike Eber,
Gary Graca, Emmarie Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly, Emily Michels, Arikia Millikan, Kate Peabody,
Kate Truesdell, Robert Soave, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha, Radhika Upadhyaya,
Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa.
Drilling ourselves i. 1nto a hole

have something to admit about
what happened while I was in
Germany last summer: I had
a European love
affair. Far from
being tall, dark
and handsome, my
crush was a dainty
110 pounds with i
razor-sharp teeth'
and a body cov-
ered in thick white
fur. His name was KATE
Knut.
Knut is the TRUESDELL
famous polar bear
born in captivity
at the Berlin Zoo. Unlike the lack of
interest Americans have in environ-
mental issues, I was struck by how
much passion and concern the Ger-
man people had for Knut's well-being
and protecting biodiversity. This was
put in sharp contrast for me when I
learnedwhatwashappeningtoKnut's
bear cub compadres.
Polar bears have been having a bit
of trouble lately. First of all, there's
the whole global warming thing.
Polar bear habitats have been severely
cut back as Arctic ice melts, a result
of global warming. The problem has
become so concerning that the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service was consid-
ering whether the species qualified to
be protected by the Endangered Spe-
cies Act. Originally, the organization
was scheduled to hand down its deci-
sion this month.
Then, rather mysteriously, the
organization announced it was post-
poning its conclusions. In a surely
unrelated act, the U.S. Department of
the Interior's Minerals Management
Service announced at the beginning
of the year that it would allow oil and
gas exploration in Alaska to start at

the beginning of next month. Drilling
will take place in a 46,000 square-
mile area off of the state's northeast-
ern coast in the Chukchi Sea. This
area just happens to be one of the two
remaining polar bear habitats under
U.S. jurisdiction.
Maybe this is a coincidence, but
allow me to speculate. Allowing
drilling in this area at the expense
of biodiversity is unacceptable. Prior
to this month, not many people had
even heard of the Chukchi Sea. And if
you are like me and lack abstract spa-
tial reasoning and estimation skills,
46,000 square miles doesn't mean all
that much. Imagine my surprise to
learn that this number represents an
area roughly the size of the state of
Mississippi. This represents a major
piece of habitat.
Chukchi doesn't have the notoriety
that other wildlife habitats do. If this
was drilling in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, all sorts of alarm
bells would go off and every Birken-
stock-wearing college student -
myself included - would surely take
to the streets with pen and paper to
petition. And this concern would be
justified. Shifting drilling to an area
with less name recognition doesn't
solve the fundamental problem. Itjust
encourages reliance on a fuel source
that is becoming obsolete.
But more importantly, this should
be a warning to the American pub-
lic. As the Bush administration's last
months wind down and coverage of
the Oval Office takes a backseat to
election drama, now is a time of great
danger. After suffering through seven
years of poor decision making, we
cannot leave the administration to its
own devices in its final hour.
This drilling is unacceptable. Hell,
I'll make the jump and say it if the

Department of the Interior won't:
Endangering a threatened species's
habitat for the sake of our own energy
consumption isn't a solution to our
long-term problems.
A recent study by the U.S. Geologi-
cal Survey predicted that more than
66 percent of the world's polar bear
will be gone by mid-centrury. The
polar bears in Alaska are expected to
be extinct in the same time. Allowing
this habitat destruction, which would
directly contribute to lose of biodiver-
sity, would set a scary precedent.
We should also be asking if this
drilling is really necessary. Continu-
ing to search for oil instead of an
How our thirst
for oil is killing a
cuddly friend.
alternative is not only environmen-
tally unfriendly - it also ignores this
country's larger cultural problem.
Like the Detroit auto show taking
place right now, this is just another
display of how behind - not to men-
tion shortsighted - we are in energy
policy. Findingnew sources of oil only
helps us hobble along with our unsus-
tainable consumption. And that's
the problem that really needs to be
addressed. Our outdated attitudes are
embarrassing.
More to the point, let's care about
Knut's kin. Besides, polar bears are
cute.
Kate Truesdell can be reached
at ketrue@umich.edu.

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