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February 08, 2010 - Image 4

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4A - Monday, February 8, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

y tIdiigan atl
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109




Unsigned editorials reflect the official position ofthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views oftheir authors.
Silence under orders
The ban on LGBT individuals in the military must end
For years, the U.S. military's infamous "Don't Ask, Don't
Tell" policy has been the focus of much controversy. This
executive order - issued in 1993 under the Clinton admin-
istration - modified full enforcement of a federal law and stated
that members of the LGBT community could serve in the mili-
tary with the caveat that they conceal their sexual preference.
But last week, top military officials addressed Congress in favor
of overturning the ban. The ban on members of the LGBT com-
munity in the military is blatantly discriminatory toward LGBT
people, and actions must be taken by the president and Congress
to end this policy.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize
from the bottom of my heart for causing many of our
customers concern after the recalls across several
models in several regions."
- Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota's founder speaking at a news
conference, as reported on Friday by Reuters.
An uneven admissions field

Since the beginning of World War II,
federal law has prevented LGBT individu-
als from serving in the military. In order to
get around this policy, former President Bill
Clinton enacted the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
executive order in 1993, allowing gay people
to enlist in the military with the condition
that they concealed their sexual identity. On
Tuesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secre-
tary Robert Gates addressed Congress and
called for an end to the law.
The law that banned LGBT people from
the military is clearly discriminatory. Previ-
ous discrimination against African Ameri-
cans in the military was also wrong, and
ending it made the military more cohesive.
And though the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" exec-
utive order aimed to soften the ban, it instead
only masked the discrimination in anonym-
ity. Demanding that an individual conceal
or deny their sexual preference is, plainly,
wrong. Every individual should have the
right to freely express themselves and their
sexual preference. And now that top defense
officials have expressed their dissatisfaction
with the ban, there is no reason it should
remain law.
The ban on members of the LGBT com-
munity serving in the military is simply a
bad, discriminatory law. And it is Congress's
responsibility to put an end to bad laws. Issu-
ing legislation to repeal old laws banning
members of the LGBT community from the
military would end this inequality and be a
progressive step for the United States. Con-

gress should recognize the inherent discrim-
ination of the ban, and overturn it as soon as
Congress has the power to eliminate the
law, but any sort of Congressional legisla-
tion will probably take months to make
it through the legislative process - the
health care bill debacle has proved that.
In the meantime, President Barack Obama
should act. One of Obama's campaign
promises was to take action against regu-
lations excluding LGBT individuals from
serving in the military. But with a full year
in office behind him, Obama's promise
hasn't been fulfilled.
Though the technicalities of executive
orders are controversial, there is histori-
cal evidence that Obama has the power to
suspend enforcement of the ban, especially
since he controls the executive branch and
is named by the Constitution as the com-
mander in chief of the military. In 1948,
President Harry S. Truman desegregated
the military by executive order. Similarly,
Obama has the opportunity to end a dis-
criminatory policy and it is important that
he takes action. Obama should issue a tem-
porary stop-gap on the enforcement of this
policy, ending further discrimination.
The LGBT community has been dis-
criminated against long enough, and it's
time that they are given equal opportunity
to serve their country. The president and
Congress need to be leaders in the fight for
civil rights and end of the ban on gay people
in the military.

ne of my closest friends has
known she wants to be a doc-
tor since middle school. And
for seven years,
she's done every-
thing by the book
in order to make
that happen.
She spent two a -
and a half years as
a clinical researcher -
for the University,
of Michigan Health
System, scored in COURTNEY
the 95th percentile
on the MCAT and RATKOWA
compiled a GPA
that, even after an
extended illness that affected her abil-
ity to go to class for almost 12 weeks, is
still a 3.73. She received her first accep-
tance letter to a medical school on Oct.
21, well before most of her pre-med
peers. It's safe to say her resume looks
like any medical school's dream.
Well, almost any medical school -
but apparently, not Michigan's.
Her parents have paid taxes in the
state of Michigan her whole life. She
has gone to school in Ann Arbor since
2006 and has contributed to multiple
University research papers in nation-
al journals. But the University of
Michigan Medical School somehow
said "thanks, but no thanks" a few
weeks ago without even granting her
an interview.
Understandably, she's upset she
won't have the chance to attend med-
ical school at the place in which'she's
invested so much for the past four
years. But she's more upset with the
fact that in the last round of inter-
view offers - right before her file was
closed - the University didn't give
more interviews to in-state students.
And after learning a little more about
the school's claim that it "actively
pursues Michigan residents," I can't
help but agree that the, Medical
School's admissions process falls dis-
appointingly short.
It's true that the University of
Michigan Medical School has a
nationally renowned reputation
that's much better than Wayne State

University and Michigan State Uni-
versity, the state's two other medical
schools. That prestige is largely due
to the fact the University admits stu-
dents from all over the country. It's
the same reason why the University's
Ross School of Business is ranked so
high - it, too, attracts students from
all over the country.
But even though that's true, the
University often seems to forget it's
still a public school. And a public
school that's partially supported by
the state - even if that funding cov-
ers a very small -percentage of the
University's annual budget - should
be primarily concerned with educat-
ing the residents of that stated
The University isn't living up to
that. Its in-state interview percentag-
es are simply embarrassing. Accord-
ing to the Medical School Admission
Requirements from the Associa-
tion of American Medical Colleges,
the University interviewed just 181
Michigan residents, compared to 620
non-residents, in 2008. On the other
hand, Michigan State interviewed
323 in-state applicants and 167 out-
of-state applicants, and Wayne State
interviewed 505 residents and 161
And the final admissions numbers
follow the same pattern. Only about
46 percent of University students
who matriculated in the Medical
School in 2008 were actually from
Michigan, far short of the 74 percent
of in-state Michigan State medical
students and 85 percent of in-state
Wayne State medical students.
Medical School Director of Admis-
sions Robert Ruiz explained the dif-
ference by telling me Michigan has a
"different philosophy" than schools
like Michigan State.
"Our mission is simply different -
we educate for the state of Michigan
and beyond," Ruiz said. "It's a philo-
sophical difference. We really do try
to be the leaders and best in terms of
applicants from all over the country."
Ruiz told me that Michigan tries
to aim for a SO-percent in-state medi-
cal student rate each year. That goal
seems to be backed up by the official

Michigan Medical School Admis-
sions Twitter account, which medi-
cal student hopefuls can use to track
Michigan's progress during the
admissions season.
On Jan. 13, eight days before Mich-
igan's last interview date of the sea-
son, the admissions office Tweeted,
"Crunching numbers as we deter-
mine our next and final steps in this
year's file review process. MI resi-
dents a huge part of our current talk."
Four days later, they again said,
"Admission team will meet today at
6:00 p.m. to continue deliberations
on final interview offers with MI res-
idents top priority."
'U' Medical School
is partial to out-of-
state applicants.
But even though the University
claims that's a priority, the numbers
don't lie. A friend who will be attend-
ing the University's Medical School
next year told me that on Jan. 22,
that final interview date, 12 people *
were in-state applicants and 25 were
from outside the state of Michigan.
That doesn't sound like "prioritizing"
in-state applicants to me - and for a
public school, that's inexcusable.
Especially as the University's
available interview spots continued
to decrease this year - Ruiz said the
school offered 661 interviews, down
from 801 in 2008, according to the
AAMC - Michigan residents had
even less of a chance to attend the
public school that's the best in their
state. And even though Michigan says
it wants the "leaders and best" from
across the country, maybe itshould
consider supporting its crumbling
state by educating more of its own.
- Courtney Ratkowiak was the Daily's
managing editor in 2009. She can be
reached at cratkowi@umich.edu.

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor.
Letters should be fewer than 300 words and must include the writer's full name
and University affiliation. All submissions become property of the Daily. We do not print
anonymous letters. Send letters to tothedoily@umich.edu.

The Daily is looking for diverse, passionate, strong student writers
to join the Editorial Board. Editorial Board members are responsible
for discussing and writing the editorials that appear on
the left side of the opinion page.


A worthy carpetbagger

Oversimplifying supply and
demand misses key points

is that the hand doesn't understand human
Jeremy Gibbs
Engineering sophomore

In Alex Biles's column last week, he put forth Recent UT
the idea that the elimination of the minimum
wage would reduce unemployment rates usingd
an oversimplified interpretation of'the supply
and demand model to support his claim (Paid
with good intentions, 02/03/2010). But a more TO THE DAILY:
complete understanding of this model runs In his recent c
counter to the stance taken in his column. President Barack:
First, the supply and demand model makes been stopped by'"
the following assumptions: All goods are iden- wing ideologues"
tical, the quality of all goods are the same and 02/02/2010). Any
buyers and sellers have no market power. But it was Mr. Obama
the job market is not two-dimensional, as the any advancement
model assumes. In our job market the quality party, in 2009, en
of goods are nowhere near identical and peo- ity in the House a
ple have differing skill levels. Also, in the job ate. The Democra
market buyers (i.e., employers) do have market reform or otherwi
power. The dreaded interview process proves Second, the Su
this fact. If employers did not have power, any tion here, Citizen
person who walked into a store with a help Commission, is ch
wanted sign and asked for a job would be hired ple of judicial acti
on the spot. This is certainly not the case. The when a court deci
model of supply and demand - as well as its the Constitution,
inherent assumptions - does not accurately for its original in:
reflect the realities of the job market. political agenda. I
Second, the minimum wage was originally defended the Cons
put in place to prevent the abuse of workers' ical speech is not s
rights in sweatshops and stop child labor. If are simply a collec
there were no minimum wage, no labor unions, the right to politic
no regulation, etc. - i.e. a true free market - Finally, I would
odr country's employers would be able to open- in a country wher
ly commit human rights violations. Employers of life. Rich corpo
could choose to pay their employers less than money on large bo
a dollar per hour, which actually occurs in headquarters. Th
places like China. In our country, it would be play a larger role i
near impossible to live on one dollar per hour, American life.
or approximately two thousand dollars a year.
The invisible hand of the market is often touted Braden Burgess
as a be-all-end-all solution. The only problem LSA Freshman

S. Supreme Court
roteCtsfree speech
olumn, Alex Schiff claims that
Obama's attempt at reform has
corporate lobbyists" and "right
(Supreme Court v. The People,
political observer knows that
a's own party that has stopped
of his agenda. The President's
ijoyed an overwhelming major-
nd a supermajority in the Sen-
ts could have passed anything,
se, that they wanted to.
preme Court decision in ques-
ns United v. Federal Election
aracterized as being an exam-
ivism. Judicial activism occurs
ides to interpret the law, often
with a complete disregard
tent in order to advance some
n this case, the Supreme Court
stitution by ensuring that polit-
tifled. Unions and corporations
tion of people and as such have
al speech.
d like to point out that we live
e money does play a role in all
rations are able to spend their
nuses, corporate jets and fancy
eir wealth also allows them to
n politics. This is the reality of

Americans like their politicians
strong and consistent - even
tubbornly so. As Sen. John
Kerry (D-Mass.)
found out in 2004
during his presi-
dential campaign,
a "flip-flopper" is
about the worst
thing you can be in
an election, even if
the other option is
to be misguided/
arrogant/goofy. IMRAN
But is it really such SYED
a crime for a politi-
cian to change his
or her mind upon
years of reflection and added expe-
rience? The case of Harold Ford, Jr.
offers an interesting example.
There's no way to start this column
without first admitting that Ford is a
textbook carpetbagger. That said, one
cannot help but note that Ford - an
alum of the University's law school
- has got some major moxie. It takes
courage to do what he's attempting,
and while he may ultimately fail, his
quest offers unique insights into what
the modern American politician is
and must be, for better and worse.
By now Ford's unique undertaking
is well known. A former conservative
Democratic ("Blue Dog") congress-
man from Tennessee, Ford moved
to New York after his close but ulti-
mately failed 2006 bid to become the
first black senator from the South
since Reconstruction. Since then,
Ford has maintained a public image
by appearing as a commentator on
cable news networks, and he recent-
ly announced that he is considering
challenging Democratic Sen. Kirsten
Gillibrand in the Democratic primary
in New York.
That Ford wants another shot at
the U.S. Senate is hardly a surprise:
He is a bright, well-spoken centrist
who has politics in his blood. He

gave the keynote address at the 2000
Democratic National Convention,
and was supposed to be the party's
young rising star. But circumstance
chose President Barack Obama, leav-
log Ford to contemplate his future in
a party that was suddenly re-situat-
ed further left than was previously
thought appropriate.
It's downright shocking, however,
that Ford would attempt to remake
himself in New York, as unforgiving
a public stage as one could possibly
imagine. While it may be genuine
personal growth and experience that
makes Ford sound so much different
in New York than he did in Tennessee
just a few years ago, that's not some-
thing thatwill go unquestioned in the
media capital of the world. Just weeks
after Ford announced simply that he
was considering a run, the Internet
is abuzz with talk of his Democratic
loyalties - or lack thereof.
Ford admits that he was once
against gay marriage, but says that he
has changed his mind after listening
to the debate for the past few years.
And although his critics accuse him
of being a pro-lifer now flying the
pro-choice flag for political expedi-
ence, Ford points out that he has an
extensive pro-choice record, despite
ads circulating on the web that sug-
gest otherwise. Still, on these and
other issues, it appears there is at
least some degree of political maneu-
vering going on. My question is: Is
that such a bad thing?
Right around the time of the
American Revolution, the British pol-
itician Edmund Burke expounded on
the merits of a representative democ-
racy by stating that a representative
must always be responsive to his con-
stituents. He must keep in mind their
unique needs and be their voice in the
legislature. However, Burke famously
declared that a representative owes
constituents "not his industry only,
but his judgment; and he betrays,

instead of serving you, if he sacrifices
it to your opinion."
According to Burke, our elected
leaders are elected not to do what we
say, but rather to use their judgment
about what is best for us. Should they
fail, we replace them - that is democ-
Senators should
use judgement, not
popular opinion.
Too often in America today we
elect leaders based on their views
on two or three issues (abortion,
gay marriage, etc.). Politicians must
undergo a meaningless litmus test
before being considered worthy of
getting their party's nomination.
Voters almost never consider during
elections why a candidate supported
one thing or another - we simply dis-
card him upon hearing of an unfavor-
able vote. The result is that the vital
process of vetting based on judgment
that Burke so favored has become
largely non-existent in America.
So - even if we assume the worst
about Ford for a minute - is it really
that bad that one politician is trying
to duck this misguided litmus test?
Tennesseans value different things
than New Yorkers, and it makes per-
fect sense that their representatives
would reflect that difference in val-
Let's face it: Harold Ford, Jr. would
make a fine senator from New York.
Why should it matter that he would
have made just as fine a senator from
-Imran Syed can be reached
at galad@umich.edu.

Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, William Butler, Nicholas Clift,
Michelle DeWitt, Brian Flaherty, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee,
Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff, Asa Smith, Brittany Smith,
Robert Soave, Radhika Upadhyaya, Laura Veith

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