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December 14, 2009 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-12-14

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* The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, December 14, 2009 - 3A

Activists push for
carbon levels at 350
parts per million
As police cracked down on cli-
mate protesters, church bells tolled
350 times yesterday to impress on
the U.N. global warming confer-
ence a number that is gaining a
following, but is also awash in con-
Conference negotiators went
behind closed doors in talks to pin
down an elusive new pact on climate,
talks in which the figure 350 looms
as a goal for true believers, but one
that appears impossible based on
progress so far.
It refers to 350 parts per million
of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
the highest concentration that some
leading scientists say the world can
handle without sparking dangerous
climate effects.
"It's the most important number
in the world," said Bill McKibben,
founder ofthe environmental activist
group 350.org. "It's the line between
habitability on this planet and a real-
ly, really desolate future."
Not everyone buys into that.
But an entire environmental group
has sprung up around the number,
pushing 350 as a goal, sporting it on
T-shirts and flags waved by throngs
of protesters that marched to the
conference center over the weekend.
Granholm: Obama
helped Michigan's
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm is praising President Barack
Obama, saying his administration's
efforts to boost the economy helped
safeguard the manufacturers that
are the backbone of Michigan's
During an appearance yester-
day on NBC's "Meet the Press,"
Granholm lavished praise on the
administration for its role in help-
ing the Detroit Three.
Granholm says the administra-
tion made it a priority to help the
economy's manufacturing sector
and that without that the recession
"would have been so much worse."
Michigan has the highest unem-
ployment in the nation, 15.1 per-
cent, and has been in an economic
tailspin far longer than the rest of
the nation.
Grand Rapids
could return rapids
to Grand River
Grand Rapids is considering
returning some rapids to the Grand
River in downtown.
The Downtown Development
Authority on Wednesday approved
nearly $30,000 to study and engi-
neer changes designed to make the
river more navigable. The aim of the
project is to boost tourism and out-
door activities.
The Grand Rapids Press reports
$4,980 was approved for an engi-

neering firm to come up with a pre-
liminary design to create a portage
for canoeists and kayakers to exit
the river upstream from the Fourth
Street Dam.
Separately, the authority voted
to contribute up to $25,000 to the
nonprofit group Grand Rapids
Whitewater for engineering and
marketing efforts needed to modify
downtown dams to create a navi-
gable whitewater course.
Samuelson, Nobel
laureate, economist
dead at 94
Economist Paul Samuelson, who
won a Nobel prize for his effort to
bring mathematical analysis into
economics, helped shape tax policy
in the Kennedy administration and
wrote a textbook read by millions of
college students, died yesterday. He
was 94.
Samuelson, who taught for
decades at Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, died at his home in
Belmont, Mass., the school said in a
statement announcing his death.
President Barack Obama's chief
economic adviser, Lawrence Sum-
mers, is his nephew.
In 1970, Samuelson became just
the second person, and first Ameri-
can, to win the Nobel Memorial
Prize in Economic Sciences, created
in 1968 by the Central Bank of Swe-
den. The other Nobels have been
awarded since 1901.

Afghanistan policy before cadets at the U.S Military Academy at WeE

President Barack Obama speaks aboutis
N.Y. on Tuesday, Dec t, 2009.

Obm:Afghan success
will be evident in a year

From Page 1A
already filed two previous sum-
mary dispositions, both denied
by Giddings. His decision in Jan-
uary will determine the outcome
of the third.
At the hearing Friday after-
noon, attorneys for both sides
of the suit argued the validity of
the evidence that allegedly shows
that multiple votes cast against
Hammer's tenure status were
based on discrimination.
Seryak and Hammer's attor-
ney, Phillip Green, argued over
the correct number of votes cast
at the tenure hearing. The argu-
ment stemmed from conflicting
documents about the vote count.
Seryak said there were 32 ten-
ured law professors present at the
panel to decide Hammer's tenure,
with a final vote of 18 "yes" votes
and 14 "no" votes.,
But Green said, however, that
the records of the voting panel
showed only 30 tenured law pro-
fessors were present when the final
vote was cast, leaving the vote with
18 in favor and only 12 opposed.
Neither tally surpasses the law
school's tenure threshold, which
requires that a professor must
receive a two-thirds vote of ten-
ured law professors to be granted
Judge Giddings said he would
review all the documents pre-
sented in order to make a decision
on the total number of official
votes cast.
Seryak said, according to his
numbers, five opposing votes
would have to be invalidated to
grant Hammer tenure. And, of
the seven votes Green is calling
into question for discrimination,
Seryak said none of them were
rooted in prejudice.
One vote called into question
was that of University Law Prof.
Richard Friedman concerning
his actions prior to and during
the vote.
Friedman was helping Ham-
mer look for other professorship

options at Ohio State University,
sending e-mails to contacts he
had there with kind words about
Hammer, Seryak said.
Just before going to the tenure
vote, Seryak said Friedman called
Hammer to wish him luck.
But Green said that at the ten-
ure meeting, Friedman spoke
out against Hammer, stating he
wasn't a "mover and shaker,"
which Friedman previously
admitted to.
Hammer's lawyer also brought
the vote by former University Law
Prof Jeff Lehman under scrutiny.
But, Seryak said Lehman, nowdean
of the law school at Cornell Univer-
sity, was "responsible for bringing
gay faculty to the University."
The votes of law professors
Kyle Logue and Bill Miller were
also called into question Friday
Logue, who Hammer claims
was a friend before the lawsuit,
is a Sunday school teacher at a
Baptist church that denounces
homosexuality on its website,
according to Green.
Seryak said that participation
in such a church does directly
show cause for his vote to deny
Hammer's tenure.
Seryak said that Miller could
not have been discriminatory
because he had mentored an
openly gay woman in the past.
But Green argued that Miller's
discrimination was only toward
gay men.
In the Lansing courtroom
Friday, Giddings promised to
have a decision made by late
January 2010.
This is the third request for
summary disposition by the Uni-
versity on this case. If Giddings
denies the disposition, a trial date
will be set.
The University could file for
the case to be dismissed again
after the decision is made, in
which case a trial will once again
be delayed.
Calls to the University's Office
of Public Affairs this weekend
were not returned as of Sunday

President says
effect of new troop
surge to be known
by end of 2010
dent Barack Obama says he'll know
by the end of 2010 if his Afghan
strategy is working, and pledges to
change direction if the U.S. mili-
tary is not on course "in terms of
securing population centers" from
Taliban militants.
The president also says his Dec.
1 speech ordering 30,000 more
American soldiers and Marines
into the 8-year-old war "hit me in
the gut" emotionally more than
any he had given.
After doubling the U.S. force in
Afghanistan in March, just two
months after taking office, Obama
raised the stakes further by order-
ing a nearly 50-percent troop
increase in a speech at the U.S. Mili-
tary Academy at West Point, N.Y. He
issued the orders even as support for
the war was crumbling among the
public and opposed by many fellow
Democrats in Congress.
Many observers said Obama
appeared overly analytical and
emotionally detached in order-
ing still more Americans into
an increasingly violent mission
against the Taliban to prevent
their takeover of the Afghan gov-
ernment and a feared return of al-
Qaida terrorists.
Not true, Obama told CBS's "60

Minutes," in an interview taped
Dec. 7 for broadcast yesterday
"You knoNw, that was actcs-
ally, probably, the most emotional
speech that Ive made, in terins of
how I felt about it," the president
said, "because I w as looking out
over a group of cadets, some of
whom ere goingto e deployed in
Afghanistan. And potentially some
might not come back."
Obama also answered critics
who saw ambiguity in ordering the
big troop increase while then say-
ing some of them probably would
begin coming home in July 20t1.
That's the date when U.S. military
forces plan to start handing securi-
ty responsibility to Afghan soldiers
and police sho would undergo
intensive recruitment and training.
"We then start transitioning
into a drawdown piase," Obana
repeated, noting that specifies
were conditional. "How many U.S.
troops are coming out, how quickly,
will be determined by conditions
on the ground."
And in gave himself a ksophole.
"If the approaci that's been
recommended doesn't work, then
yes, we're going to be chassg-
ing approaches," let said. Obasma
quickly added that the deadisne
was necessary to alert the Afgain
leadership that the United States
was not goingto make Afghanistan
an American "protectorate."
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, tise
U.S. commander in .Afghanistan,
agreed to the mission of secur-
ing the population, saying success

would mean "over time they (the
Taliban) become irrelevant and
M'cChrystal had sought 40,000
additional troops for the war.
Obama eventually settled on
30,000 after an intensive three-
month study of the mission and
how best to achieve goals. Most
of the shortfall between what
McChrystal sought and what
Obama approved was expected to
be made up from U.S. NATO allies
and other countries that have sent
forces to the conflict.
Obama and McChrystal said
the idea was to mimic - to some
extent - the Bush administra-
tion's troop increase in Iraq that
deflated the Sunni insurgency
there by bringing many of its fight-
ers into the U.S. fight to de-fang
the al-Qaida forces.

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