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March 21, 2011 - Image 4

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4A - Monday, March 21, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Monday, March 21, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

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

DANIEL GOLD E-MAIL DANIEL AT DW(GOLD@UMICH.EDU
MARCH MADNESS
" . "What God does is God's business, I have no
idea. But I'll tell you this: whether you call it Gaia
or whether you call it Jesus, there's a message
being sent. And that is, 'Hey, you know that stuff
we're doing? Not really working out real well.
Maybe we should stop doing some of it.' "
-Glenn Beck, March 14,2011
Ugly subtext of college sports

STEPHANIE STEINBERG
EDITOR IN CHIEF

MICHELLE DEWITT
and EMILY ORLEY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

KYLE SWANSON
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solelythe views of their authors.
Hitting the streets
Detroit needs more officers patrolling the city
obocop may not be the only new cop patrolling the streets of
Detroit, as there are plans to add more police officers to patrol
units in Detroit. Listed as one of the most dangerous cities in
the country, crime is a major concern for Detroit. Gary Brown, Detroit
City Council president pro tem, and Mayor Dave Bing agree - Detroit
needs to get police officers out from behind the desk and onto the
streets. Brown is proposing a plan for 600 new cops to be added to the
streets while Bing's current plan calls for about 120 more cops. These
plans to add more police officers to the streets of Detroit should be
implemented in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Of the 3,000 Detroit police officers current-
ly employed, about a quarter of that number sit
at a desk every day. These officers review com-
plaints, guard buildings and courtrooms and
fill out paperwork in addition to other stan-
dard bureaucratic work. In a city with high
crime rates like Detroit, this is not a proper
allocation of trained officers. All these tasks
can be performed without the use of a gun
or police training. Instead of actively work-
ing to make the city a safer place to live, these
officers are doing administrative tasks that a
civilian could reasonably manage.
Both Brown and Bing have presented ideas
about cutting costs and adding patrolling offi-
cers. Both plans involve employing civilians
for jobs that don't require a badge or gun. Not
only would this decrease crime, but it would
also help keep the Detroit Police Department's
budget manageable because the civilian work-
ers would have lower wages than the officers.
The goal is to decrease response times around
the city and increase the rate of criminal con-
victions without putting a financial burden on
taxpayers.
One thing that could stand in the way of
implementing these ideas is the labor union.
Bing's office is currently in collective-bargain-

ing talks with union leaders. While it's impor-
tant to respect union rights and recognize the
importance of collective bargaining, the union
leaders need to work with the city to ensure
that decisions are being made to ensure safety
and also fiscal responsibility.
According to Bing's office, he hasn't heard
anything from Brown about working on this
project. The two offices appear to have inde-
pendently developed their ideas, but they
should work together and implement a plan
that will increase the number of cops on
Detroit streets.
Any plan that increases the number ofDetroit
police officerswill be a valuable change, as long
as it doesn't impact the budget of an already
overburdened city. Hiring citizens to do tasks
that don't require police training, instead of
placing trained officers behind desks, is an
excellent way to maintain the current budget
and expand the police force. Detroit needs to
work with the resources it has and allocate the
budget in the most efficient way.
On April 12, Bing will reveal his budget for
2011-2012. Those involved in formulating the
plan need to implement a law enforcement
system that increases patrolling officers and
remains within a reasonable budget.

A s a good friend described it
to me the other day, you'd
think that NBA Allstar
Grant Hill was
running to be
the first black
Republican sen-
ator from Ari-
zona.
ESPN's recent
documentary on
the "Fab Five"y
Michigan bas- NEILL
ketball teams of MOHAMMAD
the early 1990s
was unchar-
acteristically candid. The keenest
example was former University bas-
ketball player and NBA player Jalen
Rose's admission that, as a 17-year-
old prep standout from Detroit, he
was jealous of players like Grant
Hill, who came from conspicuously
wealthier backgrounds than his own.
In his mind, that disparity explained
why Hill was recruited heavily by
traditional power programs like the
one led by Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.
That would have passed without
incident except Rose also admitted
that at that age he thought that black
players like Hill, who went to places
like Duke, were "Uncle Toms."
I'm less interested in Rose's use of
that phrase than I am in the reaction
it produced. Aside from the imme-
diate chatter between the various
talking heads of the extended ESPN
media empire, Hill himself respond-
ed with a1,000word online op-ed for
The New York Times. It was paean
to hard work, bands of brothers and
- with a wholly unnecessary Latin
proverb - the value of character,
struggle and self-improvement. It
read like the flimsy, would-be Hora-
tio Alger political autobiographies
that always wash up in bookstores
during presidential election years.
It was breathtakingly inane. But in
his rush to claim what he must have
seen as the moral high ground, Hill

made anugly subtext ofbig-time col-
lege sports explicit; in doing so, he
inadvertently proved Rose's point.
College sports - big-time sports
like Big Ten and Atlantic Coast con-
ference men's basketball - have
always embraced hard work as the
ultimate arbiter between success and
failure. You can see it everywhere
during this time of the year: March
Madness's fundamental appeal is
the idea that plucky upstarts can do
anything they put their mind to so
long as they work hard, pull them-
selves up by their own bootstraps
and confirm their dedication to the
pursuit of excellence. Fans love this
sort of thing, which is why people
like Krzyzewski and the late John
Wooden - whose "Pyramid of Suc-
cess" can be found ironed to the
jerseys of this year's University of
California, Los Angeles Bruins - can
transcend the relatively pedestrian
job title of "coach" in favor of some-
thing like "leader of men." The dif-
ference between success and failure
reduces to whether 'Field Marshal'
Wooden can instill enough "self-con-
trol," "industriousness" and "loyalty"
in you before tip-off. Krzyzewski is a
latter-day George S. Patton; Duke's
Cameron Indoor Stadium is his Nor-
mandy. He'll even tell you as much in
his American Express commercial.
Embracing and extending this
attitude are the alumni who watch
the games, buy the merchandise
and, for a select few, write the lucra-
tive checks that support the larg-
est and most successful programs.
Many of:them feel very passionate
about the importance of;:"playing
the right way" and believe strongly
in the Krzyzewski party line that
moral rightness is the secret to suc-
cess. This allows people to start say-
ing some very strange things about
certain kinds of athletes under the
premise that they're just defending
the integrity of the game. Cue the
Rose-produced "Fab 5," which found

footage of no less an ambassador
of the game than basketball broad-
caster Dick Vitale grimly wringing
his hands about the kind of message
that the Fab Five were sending vul-
nerable American youth by wearing
baggy shorts and listening to N.W.A.
Allegedly serious and responsible
people use their concern for the
game as a cudgel to label certain
players - players with family histo-
ries that look much more like Jalen
Rose's than Grant Hill's - as mal-
contents, unsuitable for the leading
lights of the sport-like Duke. That,
essentially, is the polished, up-mar-
ket version of the Fab Five hate mail
that was arriving in Ann Arbor by
the wheelbarrow load in 1992.
'Fab Five' took *
a candid look at
NCAA basketball.
That was Rose's argument, as he
went on to explain to sports writ-
er Skip Bayless (a man who once
argued with a straight face that
interracial marriages are a plus for
black football coaches who want jobs
with programs in the Deep South)
in a separate television appearance.
Coaches and programs have to cater
to their benefactors, and some fan
bases have little interest in recruits
like Rose for reasons that have little
to do with basketball.
It's great that Hill views himself
and his family as decent, hard-work-
ing people. What would be better is
if he entertained the idea that Rose
worked hard too, but only one of
them was ever going to get a visit
from Coach K.
-Neill Mohammad can be
reached at neilla@umich.edu.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Will Butler, Ellie Chessen, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer,
Melanie Kruvelis, Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley,
Harsha Panduranga, Teddy Papes, Asa Smith, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
PATRICK MAILLET I
Don't rule out nuclear energy

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
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. We do not print anonymous
letters. Send letters to tothedaily@michigandaily.com
BRENDAN CAMPBELL
Rock the MSA) vote

01

As the world watched the mass destruc-
tion caused by the tragic earthquake in Japan,
manythoughtthatnit couldn'tget anyworse for
the Japanese people. Unfortunately, the earth-
quake had damaged multiple nuclear power
plants, and apparently the authorities couldn't
control the leaks of radiation. While we all
watched the news looking for any glimmer of
hope for the thousands of displaced victims,
oil executives were overcome with joy: They
had won again.
America has 104 nuclear power plants
that supply approximately 19.6 percent of the
nation's energy, according to the U.S. Energy'
Information Administration. While this num-
ber may seem large, understand that no new
nuclear power plant has been built in America
since 1974. Since the catastrophes of Cher-
nobyl and Three Mile Island, Americans have
been convinced that nuclear power is unsafe
and inevitably leads to disaster. As gas prices
have soared and technology has improved,
nuclear energy has once again grown popular
in recent years. In fact, both Sen. John McCain
(R-Ariz.) and President Barack Obama were
strong advocates for new nuclear energy
plants during their respective campaigns in
2008. It appeared that nuclear energy was
finally making a comeback when Obama made
it clear that the construction of new nuclear
power plants was one of his main goals during
his first term as president.
In 2009, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Com-
mission had received applications for per-
mission to construct 26 new nuclear power
reactors. ThiswasfollowedbyObama's approv-
al for loans guaranteeing as many as 20 new
nuclear reactors. Long overdue, it appeared
that America could finally make some steps
toward reducingour dependence on oil.
However, as the old adage goes, all good
things must come to an end. Americans have
begun to see the terrifying footage of uncon-
trollable nuclear reactors in the wake of
the Japanese disaster. In recent days, many
politicians, who had finally agreed upon a
bipartisan energy bill, have begun to retract
their support for nuclear power. This piece

of legislation, considered a major milestone
in America's dealing with the problems of oil
dependency and climate change, appears that
it may be halted indefinitely due to the obser-
vations made in light of Japan's current chal-
lenges. The inevitable death of this bill is an
absurd overreaction that will have far-reach-
ing effects on the future of America's energy
capabilities.
We as Americans cannot look at Japan as an
example of nuclear power crisis, but instead
learn from the tragedy and develop ways to
prohibit such a catastrophe here in America.
Oil companies will do everything in their
powerto ensure that fear concerning anything
to do with nuclear power is inflicted into the
public. In 2009 alone, oil and gas companies
spent approximately $180 million on political
lobbyists and millions more on political con-
tributions to various politicians, according to
OpenSecrets.org. We cannot let these greedy
and self-driven companies simply buyout our
government and prohibit us from creating
sensible energy reform that could better pro-
tect our environment, reduce carbon emis-
sions and finally allow America to reduce its
dependence on oil.
As we have learned due to the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last
summer and the recent turmoil in the Middle
East, oil is no longer a stable commodity that
our economy can rely on. By continuing our
dependence on oil, we're empowering undem-
ocratic foreign leaders, inevitably funding
terrorist organizations and destroying our
environment. We must seek alternative ener-
gies to eventually replace our need for oil:
Nuclear energy is undoubtedlythe best option.
The tragedy of Japan's recent earthquake is
one that will remain in our hearts for years to
come. We must help rebuild Japan and learn
how we can better protect ourselves from such
a disaster. Overreacting and ending any plans
for nuclear expansion in America would be a
terrible response and one that we as citizens
must ensure doesn't happen.
Patrick Maillet is an LSA freshman.

On the first day of Welcome Week freshman year, the
world is full of possibilities. For many students, coming
to college symbolizes the end of one stage of life and the
beginning of another - one based on new experiences
that inspire both excitement and fear. Yet what we may
not have realized at first is that the moment our feet hit
campus, a clock begins to tick. In truth, we have only a
few short years to make our impact on the University of
Michigan before we must pass along our legacy to the
next generation of Wolverines.
In some ways, college can feel simply like a transi-
tion. It's the period of time that connects us from a past,
shaped by the households and high schools from which
we came, to a future shaped by our own goals and ambi-
tion. Although it can sometimes be difficult, within this
dichotomy of past and future, it's crucial that we remain
conscious of and actively engage in the present, espe-
cially in issues whose consequences reach beyond any
one individual.
As students at the University, we have a wealth of
resources at our fingertips. These resources come
in many forms and can be furnished as tools to help
further any cause. MForward is a Michigan Student
Assembly party formed on the principle of fostering
a diverse and active student body, one whose needs
and interests vary greatly and add to the energy of the
campus community. The current candidates, including
myself, hope to preserve this above all else as advo-
cates and facilitators of student activism. From MFor-
ward's perspective, our most important resources are
each other.
Advocacy, however, especially as defined in the con-
text of student government, depends upon a foundation
of engagement from those who participate in and benefit
from it. Engagement in this democratic process, in turn,
depends upon the simplest, easiest and most important
form of involvement. Yes, I'm referring to voting.
As the former chair of the University's chapter of
College Democrats, I'm sure many of you have seen me
chasing students across the Diag in order to make sure
that they are registered to vote. Perhaps you yourself
have suffered through the 30-second tutorial of how to
fill out the form or were asked repeatedly if you knew the

exact location of your polling place. Needless to say, I've
always had a strong commitment to making sure that
students have a voice in choosing everyone who repre-
sents them, and when I say everyone, I mean it.
Everyone includes your representatives on MSA. The
online polling site makes voting for your peers even eas-
ier than voting in government elections. With two days
to fill out your ballot, there is really no excuse not to click
onto the voting page and check the names of the people
who you believe will be best for the job.
With little to no cost to yourself, you can make your
voice heard in a deliberation that absolutely will affect
your campus experience. MSA works more closely with
students than any other governing body, and it offers a
direct connection between students and the Univer-
sity administration. It not only can create policies that
reflect your needs but can also serve as a forum for your
own causes. If you feel that it fails to accomplish this,
then your first step in improving MSA is voting for the
members who compose it.
Thus, casting your vote isn't merely a means to show
confidence toward those you choose on the ballot. More
importantly, it's a means of holding them accountable.
It's the basis on which any of their actions (or inactions)
may be exposed and challenged. Not voting means that
you've opted out of this process altogether.
Information about all those running for a position is
also online, and within minutes you can learn enough
about each of the candidates of your school to make an
educated decision. Platforms for all those running with
the MForward Party can be easily accessed at www.
MForward.org.
While I do hope that you vote for MForward and the
values that we represent, most importantly, I want you
to vote. Period. Electionsbegin on Wednesday, March 23
and run until March 24, so please spare the 10 seconds
it takes to add your voice to the campus community in
a very real way. Whether or not you realize it, these are
the types of precious seconds that will shape the collec-
tive legacy of this student body.
Campbell is the MForward vice presidential
candidate. He is an LSA junior.

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