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December 08, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-12-08

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4A - Monday, December 8, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

I

C74C MC4 an i19

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

ANDREW GROSSMAN
EDITOR IN CHIEF

GARY GRACA
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

GABE NELSON
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
Federal inflexibility
Obama and Democratic Congress must revise stem cell laws
W ith the Detroit Three dominating conversations across
Michigan, it's easy to forget that this state's econom-
ic future rests with more than just car companies.
Research is part of Michigan's future, and embryonic stem cell
research is one of the areas where progress is most imminent.
Before that progress occurs, though, some things at the national
level need to change. When Barack Obama and the Democratic
Congress take over in January, they must work quickly to reverse
Bush-era policies restricting stem cell research, allowing for both
medical progress and an immediate surge in scientific innovation
at the nation's universities.

This is a bridge loan to nowhere."
-Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), speaking in opposition to a bailout for the
Detroit Three, on yesterday's "Fox News Sunday."
JASON MAHAKIAN E-MAIL JASON AT MAHAKIAJ@UMICH.EDU
&I
Rtue
1 i~re

Stem cell research is on the cutting edge
of biomedical innovation. It involves using
undeveloped stem cells from adult tissues
or embryos to create or program new cells.
Because of this flexibility, some believe stem
cells can lead to cures for some of human-
ity's worst diseases, including cancer, Par-
kinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. .
In passing Proposal 2 last month, Michi-
gan voters expressed their faith in the
potential for embryonic stem cell research
to cure deadly diseases. The proposal will
allow researchers to study embryos reject-
ed by fertility clinics in order to experi-
ment with curing diseases and to further
understand their progression. A major-
ity of Michiganders believes that stem cell
research is a necessary element of modern
medical science. As a result, the University"
of Michigan faces unprecedented opportu-
nities to engage in such discovery.
But scientists' ability to study stem cells
has been significantly curtailed by the fed-
eral government. In 2001, President Bush
decided to limit federal funding for stem
cell research only to those stem cell lines
that had been derived at that time. He also
restricted funding for embryonic stem cell
resehrch. Since then, Bush has twice vetoed
legislation that would have expanded
research into embryonic stem cells, though
he tried to assuage his opponents by issuing
an executive order in 2007 promoting pluri-

potent stem cells. Meanwhile, paramount
research has gone underfunded, and people
around the world continue to suffer from
diseases that stem cell research might be
able to cure.
President Obama will have the opportu-
nity to sign key legislation and to reverse
Bush's executive decisions with relative
ease. While it's clear that he will do so at
some point, Obama should make an effort
to reverse these policies very soon so that
universities can access public funds and
researchers can begin life-saving research
as soon as possible.
Such a federal effort would work hand in
hand with the recent ballot proposal deci-
sion in Michigan. If Congress and Obama act
soon, Michigan can become a key place to
lead this research. Universities like our own
can attract top-notch researchers to begin
these projects - a point for the pride for
the state and these universities - and, more
importantly, begin finding cures. Michigan
can also petition for desperately needed fed-
eral grants and bring in private investment
for these projects. All this adds up to an eco-
nomic solution for Michigan and a medical
solution for the state and the country.
If Obama is speedy in reviewing previ-
ous policies restricting embryonic stem
cell research, patients, the medical profes-
sion and research institutions have a tre-
mendously brighter future.

As the holiday season approach-
es, we are initially denied the
traditional "goodwill toward
fellow man" as we
frantically study for
exams, until finally
the last textbook is
closed and we can
let loose in a boun-
tiful outpouring of
generosity. At which
point, tuition bills
for next semester BRYAN
arrive.K
Itisoneofnature's KOLK
less-sensible truths
that the price of
higher education goes up most when
the economy is at its worst. Unfortu-
nately, tax revenue typically declines
during bad times, and there is a direct
correlation between tuition and state
appropriations.
But Michigan and 48 other states
have already been given an "F" in
higher education affordability by the
National Center for Public Policy and
Higher Education. With state support
dropping and a guaranteed reduction
of funds from the Univdrsity of Michi-
gan's endowment during the current
recession, we may actually look back
on 2008 as one of the good ole' days of
cheap education. The question seems.
to be what comes after F?
I, for one, still think the University
is worth the price (given, I pay in-state
tuition). Sure, it's more cost-effective
to spend freshman and sophomore
years at a community college, where
intro-level courses will probably be
taught in a more personal way than at
a big research university. Networking
potentialalone makes it worththe price
tag, not consideringthe unquantifiable
atmosphere of drive and success.
However, tuition hikes have vastly
outpaced the rate of inflation. Across
the country, public university costs

have gone up 439 percent since 1982
while median family income has
advanced only 147percent. Stayingcut-
ting edge may be expensive, but paying
for it with steep tuition hikes is patent-
ly unsustainable.
Assuming we do need all this money
to maintain our University's high qual-
ity (which I am willing to do), it has to
start coming from somewhere else. A
recession may be just what we need to
push us into finding that other place.
Sound counterintuitive? Let me
explain our situation. The faltering
economy will be hitting higher educa-
tion everywhere, but perhaps nowhere
harder than Michigan, where the auto
industry is going down hard and jobs
are flying everywhere to get out of the
way. We suffer the triple threat of ris-
ing college costs, a fleeing workforce
and a dying industry upon which our
economyhad been balanced.
But things were very similar in
Raleigh, N.C. 50 years ago. Per-capita
income was the second lowest in the
nation and high-techjobs made up only
3.3 percent of a workforce comprised
mainly of agricultural jobs. Almost
the reverse is true today, thanks in
large part to the Research Triangle
Park, a research and development park
designed to bring educators, research-
ers and businesses togetherThe group
currently employs more than 39,000
highly qualified workers and has rede-
fined the economic composition of the
entire state.
We have already begun trying to
imitate this structure with the Uni-
versity Research Corridor, an alliance
between the University of Michigan,
Michigan State University and Wayne
State University. But North Carolina's
group has one very important advan-
tage. The universities involved in it
receive over three times the support
from industry than the URC currently
collects.

Fortunately for us, we have a large
industry right in our backyard. While
it is perhaps terminally ill, Congress
seems likely to write a big check to
Detroit's auto manufacturers. If Con-
gress wants that money to do something
besides delaying the inevitable decline
of an outmoded industry, it needs to
earmark much of that to go to research.
The Detroit Three have the infrastruc-
ture, now they need researchers back-
ing them up.
If the Detroit Three are looking for
researchers, here we sit, some of the
brightest college students in the coun-
Research funding
could put the state
back on track..
try. Right now, we are anxiously await-
ing our turn to move out of the state.
But if billions of dollars from Congress
came to the Detroit Three to retool, we
would have a reason to stick around.
IfCongress does awardChryslerLLC,
General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor
Co, the bailout money they are request-
ing, they will have the opportunity to
reshape our state's economy.Bypartner-
ing with some of the strongest research
universities in the country, they could
bring about the fundamental changes
so necessary to their success and begin
producing the greener, cheaper cars of
the future. And with increased support
from industry, university budgets could
rely less on the student. With any luck,
the good ole' days of cheap education
may come again.
Bryan Kolk can be reached
at beakerk@umich.edu.

0

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Elise Baun, Harun Buljina, Ben Caleca, Satyajeet Deshmukh,
Brian Flaherty, Matthew Green, Emmarie Huetteman, Emma Jeszke, Shannon Kellman,
Edward McPhee, Emily Michels, Kate Peabody, Matthew Shutler, Robert Soave, Eileen Stahl,
Jennifer Sussex, Imran Syed, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Margaret Young

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SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU

Daily slights 'U' Rhodes
scholar with mislabel
TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in regards to the recent
news story about University student Abdul
El-Sayed winning a Rhodes Scholarship
(First 'U' student since 2004 wins Rhodes
Scholarship, 11/24/2008). The article spoke
very kindly about a good friend of mine.
However, the Daily incorrectly referred to
Sarah Jukaku as Abdul's "girlfriend" prior
to their marriage. To many non-Muslims,
this point may seeminsignificant. However,
such a mislabel is very much looked down
upon among Muslims.
In Islam, having premarital relation-
ships of any kind is a no-no, a taboo and a
big shame. Thus,words like "girlfriend" and
"dating" are associated with promiscuity.
As a matter of fact, two years ago, the Daily
ran an article specifically about Muslim
undergraduates who are married (Married
... with classes, 10/17/2006). In it, Abdul and
Sarah were the ones the Daily interviewed
and were the ones who clarified this point!
If you would like to learn more about how
Muslims marry without dating, I recom-
mend reading that article as a starting
point.
I request that the Daily apologize for this
unintentionally haphazard comment and
print acorrection.
Yaseen Elkasabi
Engineering graduate student
What Holocaust films
do and do not mean
TO THE DAILY:
I found several things disheartening in
Sheri Jankelovitz's arts notebook about the
unnecessary spike in Hollywood making
Holocaust movies (Mistaken efforts in recent
Holocaustfilms, 12/04/2008).
Foremost, Jankelovitz had the chutzpuh
to complain about the film industry's treat-
ment of the Holocaust because, she argued,
the Holocaust is the most covered atrocity
of the last century. But not every film about
,a

the Holocaust has to take the same somber
perspective. For example, I truly think Jan-
kelovitz missed the point of "Life is Beau-
tiful," which is a celebration of the human
spirit overcoming unfathomable tragedy
and the story of a father protecting his kids
from the mental war of the Holocaust. Not
only are these Jewish ideals, they are also
humanitarian ones.
As a side note, I also felt that Jankelo-
vitz got too caught up in the idea that the
Holocaust was a purely Jewish suffering.
Not only were the Jews not the only ones
to suffer the ills of the Holocaust, but also
the idea that the Jews as a people are still
suffering the effects of the Holocaust is a
dangerous one.
Back to the original point: What dis-
concerted me the most was that Jankelo-
vitz complained that all Holocaust films
should be measured up to the standard set
by "Schindler's Lists" without recognizing
the privilege of that film's existence. Most
of the great atrocities committed within
and outside of this country do not have such
an excellent and knowing film detailing the
atrocity for what it really is. So in this time
of the holiday season, instead of complain-
ing about what is ultimately an inability to
appreciate the millions of different worlds
that took part in the atrocity that was
the Holocaust, maybe Jankelovitz should
appreciate the numerous films, books and
documentaries about the Holocaust.
Stephanie Leeb
LSA senior
''should stoke
excitementfor hoops
TO THE DAILY:
While it was great to see my fellow stu-
dents finally turn out for a huge basketball
game on Saturday, more needs to be done in
order to generate this kind of excitement at
future games. Responsibility for this falls
not just with the students, but also with the
University administration as well.
Coach John Beilein is doing an excellent
job of involving students, but the University
needs to provide similar support. Crisler
Arena is far away, and it gets cold here dur-

ing the winter. Transportation needs to be rockets and targeting civilians by with-
provided to Saturday games. We have the holding food and medicine. Both seem
potential for a great basketball program at equally barbaric to me.
the University of Michigan, and our admin-
istration should create an atmosphere con- MatthewBussey
ducive to its future growth. Rackham

Jonathan Blaha
Engineeringfreshman
Gaza blockade isfarfrom
necessary or defensive
TO THE DAILY:
While I took issue with several of Ari Par-
ritz's points in his recent column about how
Israel should respond to rocket attacks in
Sderot (One Qassam too many, 11/21/2008),
I will limit the focus of this letter to a com-
ment he made in passing when he referred
to Israel's naval blockade of Gazaas a "pain-
ful but unfortunately necessary means of
defense."
Israel currently has a complete blockade
on Gaza's coast, airspace and borders. What
that means is that nothingcan enter or leave
Gaza including food, medical supplies and
fuel. Larry Derfner of The Jerusalem Post
called this blockade "flat-out immoral" and
referred to the struggle between the Israelis
and the Palestinians as "the most one-sided
war on Earth."
Parritz, is it necessary for Israel's defense
to'systematically starve a population by
refusing to allow food aid through check-
points? Is it necessary for Israel's defense to
turn away trucks carrying medical supplies
destined for Gaza? Does Israel's security
necessitate stopping a women in labor atthe
checkpoint and denying her medical atten-
tion? Is Israel made safer by not allowing
diplomats into Gaza?
If the answer to any of those questions is
"yes," I would seriously question the state's
morality and legitimacy. The fact that
thousands of Israeli soldiers are now refus-
ing to serve in Gaza and the West Bank for
moral reasons testifies to the injustice that
is currently being perpetrated against the
Palestinians. As a human being, I strongly
condemn the firing of rockets into Sderot.
At the same time, I find it hard to differ-
entiate between targeting civilians with

Living in Baits is not as
bad as writerpresented
TO THE DAILY:
Recently I read William Petrich's Per-
sonal Statement about his experience liv-
ing in Baits I (Baits won, 11/19/2008), and
I would have to say that Iam horrified that
the Daily would print an article so full of
lies. First, I worked at the Baits front desk,
and Iremember the author.As he described
in his article, Petrich did receive a lot. of
mail, but most of it was letters. Though
he wrote that while he lived at Baits he
his family was "no longer able to send me
mail," I remember that he continued to get

mail the entire year.
Also, contrary to Petrich's descrip-
tion, the buses don't take an hour on the
weekends. This is just a myth that students
who don't like living on North Campus
make up. A bus may take 25 minutes, but it
is not like you have to wait in the cold. The
bus stop is very close to the door so you can
just run out when you see it. As far as the
North Star goes, it is open on weekends. It
is misleading to say that it "closes on the
weekends" because all dining halls "close"
at some point during the weekend.
Lastly, Petrich described how the police
knocked on his door and entered without
approval, but this had nothing to do with
living in Baits. That could have happened at
any residence hall.
Printing Petrich's article tarnished the
Daily's reputation. I know he was upset
about not being placed on Central Campus,
but come on, these lies were extreme.
Melissa Green
LSA senior

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HARUN BULNA

E-MAIL HARUN AT BULJINAH@UMICH.EDU

Why don't you come
back in something a
little less extravagant?
y K

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