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November 17, 2009 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-17

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4 - Tuesday, November U7, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
I in Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
Relaxing late-night laws
State should let bars stay open to raise budget money
ight life in Ann Arbor may get a little more interesting
in the near future. That's because the Michigan House
of Representatives is considering legislation to allow
bars in the state to extend their closing times from 2 a.m. to 4
a.m. Such legislation will stimulate business in local bars while
allowing the government to collect more revenue in taxes due
to the increased hours. Helping businesses while closing budget
gaps is a smart move for the state, and legislators should propose,
pass and implement a policy to keep bars open later.

Having those terrorists tried so close to the attack is
going to be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers."
- New York Gov. David Paterson, commenting on the Obama administration's decision to try five men linked
to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York civilian court, as reported yesterday by the The New York Times.



Last week, Rep. Richard Hammel (D-Mt.
Morris Twp) introduced a bill that would
allow bars in the state to stay open until 4
a.m., extending closing time by two hours.
The law would also permit liquor stores to
begin selling alcohol as early as 7:30 a.m. on
Sundays instead of the current time of noon.
According to the current legislation, bars
that want to take advantage of the extended
hours would have to pay a $1,500 fee, and
local governments would have the power to
forbid businesses within their jurisdiction
from participating.
The bill is great news for many struggling
Michigan businesses. Because they would
be allowed to stay open later, the bars would
generate more sales and help offset their
economic problems with more revenue.
While the owners will have to pay a $1,500
fee, this isn't overly burdensome, and many
businesses will quickly be able to make up
the cost. And businesses that don't want to
add the hours don't have to. But those who
do will be able to employ people for later
shifts, creating more work and jobs. With
Michigan's debilitating 15.3-percent unem-
ployment rate, even small increases to the
job market can help.
And keeping bars open later will also help
the state government make some money.

This is coming just a few weeks after the
state's bruising budget debate, where fund-
ing for education was slashed across the
board because of deficient revenue sourc-
es. The government needs to find a way to
reverse as many of these cuts as yossible,
and making more money off taxes from bars
that stay open later is one way of doing that.
The state will also profit from the $1,500
one of the concerns raised about this bill
is that it will encourage late-night drinking
and decrease safety. But college students
who want to stay out late drinking will do
so in any case. The current 2 a.m. restric-
tion does not mean that people aren't drink-
ing after 2 a.m., only that they're doing it
outside of a bar. The state might as well
see if businesses and state revenue sources
can profit from these drinkers. Keeping
the bars open offers these students a place
to drink that is supervised, regulated and
relatively safe. For this reason, local gov-
ernments should not be able to opt out of
the policy.
The state legislature should pass this bill
and give businesses a break while raising
funds for the state budget. But local govern-
ments shouldn't be given the power to end
the party early.

DA t - A-
I/Ziosi --losfii el"
- -o room sithetmIdd Ce?
erehas'beI tofd ss
s For.exmple, tyn -
- bJ the p tican eaders
Ne p 1an (mo1inh theai d g dw
T here has been plenty of discus- who would benefit liberals if they able to overcome all of that by poer-
sionon this page in recenwdays keep him on their side. For example.traying Chafee as a poppet of the evil
about the Stupak Amendment, Stupak voted to prohibit employment Republican leadership - in 2006, that
a last minute addition to the House of discrinmination based on sexual orien- meant Chafee had to go.
Representative's health care reform tation and opposed a constitutional 2006 was also the definitive year
bill that bars coverage for abortions amendment defining marriage. He in the tragic tale of Joe Lieberman.
under federally has supported 'rehabilitative pro- Lieberman was pushed the same way
subsidized insur- grae for criminals, opposed drilling Chafee was, but he had the added
ance plans (From for oil at the Arctic National Wild- burden of having supported the war
the Daily: Stop StY- life Refuge and opposed a bill that in Iraq. Despite being a three-term
pak, 11/10/2009; -- - would allow deportation of illegal incumbent, he was edged out by Ned
Defending repro- immigrants who come into hospitals Lamont in the Democratic primary,
ducive rightstseeking. care. In the last Democratic but managed to rally as an indepen
11/11/2009; Stu- presidential pris ary, Stupak support- dent in the general electionto main-
pak isn't so stupid, ed John Edwards, who - despite his tants his.eat. And then - either out of
11/12/2009). IMRAN later-exposed ickiness - ran easily a true change in his political beliefs,
Missing from the most liberal primary campaign of spite for the Democrats who had
the conversation sYED any 2008 candidate. abandoned him or sheer madness -
thus far, however, Certainly, Stupak's positions on Lieberman became what even four
has been any men- all issues are staggered within the years ago would have been hard to
sion of the man himself - a glaring grey area liberals associate with sell-
omission, considering that anomalies outs. But consider that Stupak took
like Bart Stupak ( f-Mich) will ulti- all of these aforementioned stances L eas L m s d
mately get to shape just about every- knowing full well that they would d appeara noudnt
thing President Barack Obama hopes be unpopular with his constituents.
to accomplish. Then consider that,he still managed atta k centrist
Stupak is a Democrat who has to thump his Republican rival by
represented' Michigan's first Con- mnore than 32 percentage points in the Democrats.
gressional District since 1993. That's 2Qo8 election. This is a man you want
significant because he was the first bn a your corner.
representative of the new first Dis- At a time when the blue-red debate
trict, which emerged from congres- has become more pronounced than imagine: a neoconservative.
sional reapportionment following the ever, people like Stupak are rare. These two are the opposite ends of
1990 census. This new first District There was atime when senators like the spectrum of possible outcomes for
comprises the entire Upper Peninsu- Lincoln Chafee and Joe Lieberman the story of powerful moderates being
Is and a large chunk of the northern could be seen as true leaders ground- pushed aside. Lieberman survived,
Lower Peninsula - about 45 percent ed in the center. But with the recent but did so by appealing to the right
of the state's land mass. inflammatory tactics and hegemonic wing in Connecticut, and emerged
Of the 19 men to represent that delusions of both the Left and the as part of the problem. Chafee was
region in Congress before Stupak. Right, moderates have flittered away. defeated and replaced by a Democrat
only three were Democrats. If you it's impossible to pin down one who has an almost identical ideology
know anything about northern Mich- linchpin, but the 2006 election comes but lacks the influence and friend-
igan, you know that makes sense close. That year, Chafee - then a ships Chafee had with Republicans.
- there aren't too msany "Yes We Republican senator from Rhode Liberals should hope that there is
Can-ers running around up there. Island' - was defeated soundly by a middle path that current moderates.
To represent that region in Congress Democratic upstart Sheldon White- like Stupak and Sen. Olympia Snowe
as a Democrat, Stupak obviously house. Along with his support for (R-Maine) can follow. But for that
must be an anomaly among his cau- affirmative action, gun control, stem path to exist, we have to pave it. To
cus colleagues. And so he is, taking cell research and environmental pro- do so, we might have to let Bart Stu-
the non-liberal position on issues like tection, Chafee denounced President pak take a little souvenir for the good
stem cell research, free trade and, of Bush's war in Iraq and was among the people back home. -
course, abortions. - most outspoken supporters of abor-
But a closer look at tupak suggests tion rights and gay marriage on either - wrat Syed cat be reached
a complex political entity, someone side of the aisle. Yet Whitehouse was at ealad@amich.ed.,




Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Emily Barton, William Butler, Ben Caleca, Michelle DeWitt,
Brian Flaherty, Emma Jeszke, Raghu Kainkaryam, Sutha K Kanagasingam, Erika Mayer,
Edward McPhee, Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff, Asa Smith, Brittany Smith,
Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Laura Veith

Government, not businesses,
will lead green revolution
In response to Brian Flaherty's column, I think
that he places too much faith in the business com-
munity to address global climate change (Chang-
ing the business climate, 11/16/2009).
While it is true that the private sector should -
and hopefully will - produce the innovations nec-
essary to combat greenhouse gas emissions, the
role of government is too great to dismiss so casu-
ally. It is true that the U.S. government has failed
to lead the way in combating climate change, but
the proper response is to lobby our elected repre-
sentatives and elect more environmentally friend-
ly politicians. We should not abandon what could
be out most powerful tool in enacting real change.
Flaherty was correct in pointing out the
increase in solar panel sales, but failed to mention
the hefty subsidies offeredby, that's right, the gov-
ernment. Nascent and critical industries have his-
torically been subsidized, protected or otherwise
incentivized, green technology should be no dif-
ferent. Flaherty ignored the role that public fund-
ing plays in researchingnew technologies and the
demand created by government-backed incentive
We need a bold move toward a greener econ-
omy, but it won't come from the conservative
energy and manufacturing industries. Given the
end-of-life-as-we-know-it consequences of global
warming, creating a cap-and-trade system for the
U.S. is a dramatic step toward reining in our car-
bon dioxide emissions. Climate change is a global
issue and the rest of the world is waiting for the
U.S. to take action.
Our government must take steps to create an
atmosphere more conducive to a green econo-
my, but we citizens must hold our government
Samuel Marvin
Chair of the University's chapter of the College
The Daily's top 10 rankings
ignored Texas Christian
I am just curious as to why the entire sports
staff failed to put Texas Christian University in
their iop 10 rankings. What else does it have to
do to prove it is an elite team? it crushed a good
Utah team last week, destroyed Brigham Young
in an away game, knocked off a pretty good
Clemson team and have cruised fairly easily
through the rest of the Mountain West. It is hav-

ing a much more dominating year than Utah did
last year, and we all know what Utah did in their
bowl game. There is no question TCU deserves a
high ranking. And if Texas slips, I believe TCU
deserves a chance in the National Champion-
ship game. What's up with the Mountain West
Eric Hutchinson
FDA has reason to exclude
gay men from donating
In his column, Matthew Green dangerously
imposes politics on medical science (There should
be blood, 11/12/2009).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
explains why gay men are excluded from donat-
ing blood on its website: "Men who have sex with
men and would be likely to donate have a HIV
prevalence that is at present over 15 fold higher
than the general population."
I wish this was an archaic issue, but it isn't.
It's actually getting worse. As of 2006, gay men
accounted for 48.1 percent of all HIV cases in the
U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Con-
trol, "Approximately 56,300 people were newly
infected with HIV in 2006 (the most recent year
that data are available). Over half (53 percent) of
these new infections occurred in gay and bisex-
ual men."
The FDA's policy to exclude gay men from
donating blood is the result of a calculated deci-
sion that keeps nearly 50 percent of all HIV cases
out of the blood supply. it has been maintained
through liberal and conservative administrations
Furthermore, Green was misleading when he
stated that more advanced tests practically guar-
antee that HIV infected blood would be screened
out. Most of it is. But all tests are guaranteed to
provide a false-negative result some of the time.
Going against the science means that a very few
unfortunate people will contract this fatal dis-
ease who otherwise might not have. That is not
medically ethical treatment. Blood shortages are
not so critical to warrant a change in the policy.
Politically, I actually agree with Green. Iwould
gladly vote to legalize gay marriage. But I will not
rieedlessly reduce the safety of a routine medical
procedure for the sake of politics. The point of
donating is that you make a sacrifice for the ben-
efit of the patient. You do not ask patients to sacri-
fice their safety so that the donor feelsvindicated.
Gavin Stern


Socialism -the new s' word


Over the past year, "socialism" has become the new
political buzzword. It inspires even more red-faced,
drooling fits of rage on the right wing than abortion does,'
and our national discourse has been completely hijacked
by demagogues screaming the new "s" word.
On Wednesday, I read Vincent Patsy's column which
warned of all the "socialism" brewing in America (The
Price of Socialism, 11/11/2009). Patsy rightly points out
that true socialism occurs when the state owns and con-
trols the means of production, but I have yet to hear a real,'
unexaggerated example of this occurring within Ameri-
can borders. The column lumps together all government
action as an evil, distortive and brutal force.
Free markets do a lot of good. They allocate resources
and set prices in a far more effective and rational manner
than command economies. But it astounds me that people
believe that any and all forms of government action are
"socialist" and evil. The Food and Drug Administration
is a form of "government intervention" in the economy
that keeps consumers safe from dangerous products. Free
market purists try to make the case that the market would
be better than regulators at protecting consumers - but
how can that be when the goal of a firm is only to maxi-
mize its profit? We wouldn't even know about the major-
ity of the deplorable practices government inspections
uncover if it weren't for the FDA. But the magic of the
market will protect us from cyanide found in our fruit,
In 1999, Congress decided to follow the "unfettered
market" dogma of the time and repealed the Glass-Steagall
Act of 1933. This law separated banks that take deposits
from consumers from those that traded financial instru-
ments like credit-default swaps and collateralized debt
obligations. For 66 years, the U.S. benefited from a rela-
tively stable commercial banking industry. The money you
put in your checking account was not leveraged for invest-
ments in risky assets in order to please shareholders. Since
t99, that evil "government intervention" safeguard has
been removed, and the economy nearly collapsed in the
fall of 2007. There were many factors involved, but had we
recognized the limitations of free markets, Citigroup and
Bank of America would never have been allowe to touch

the toxic assets referred to so often in the media.
The new "s" word recently sprung up most violently in
response to Obama's "socialist" health care reform plan.
Town hall meetings that were supposed to give citizens a
chance to be*heard became forums for rhetorical lunacy.
"Keep your government hands off my Medicare!" was my
personal favorite. According to a Public Policy Polling
survey conducted in August, 39 percent of those polled
said "the government should stay out of Medicare." Thir-
ty-nine percent of Americans think the single largest gov-
ernment program in the country shouldn't be ruined by
government.involvement. What?
If -you're going to debate public policy, at least know
what you're talking about. Socialism is not what happens
every time the government intervenes in order to protect
consumers or stabilize the economy. You can disagree
with the bailouts or health care reform for very sound
economic reasons, but the argument that the govern-
ment is engaged in a deliberate campaign to take over
the economy one industry at a time is ridiculous. This
country has had an irrational history of fear of socialism
stretching back to the beginning of the 20th century, and
it is time for us to eradicate idiocy from the political dia-
logue. Obama has been branded a socialist, a communist
and even a fascist in the same breath. And yet all these
ideologies conflict.
America is changing. It is finally starting to fulfill its
promise of opportunity for everyone, not just rich white
men. The political right is afraid of losing its terror grip
on Middle America and will say whatever sticks to make
people afraid of a progressive agenda. This is about fear of
change, and conservatism, by its very definition, is aver-
sion to change. The only thing self-proclaimed conserva-
tives seem to stand for is the reluctance to embrace the
change that occurs with the march of time.
Dear readers, if someone tries to tell you that we're on
the way to becoming the Soviet Union, kindly smack them
upside the head and explain to them that sometimes it is
necessary for the government to reinforce, not eliminate,
markets in order to save capitalism from itself.
Alex Schiff is an LSA freshman.

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