4A - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
EDITOR IN CHIEF
and EMILY ORLEY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS
Dave Brandon was sold, and we were too:'
- Junior wide receiver Darryl Stonum said about new head football coach Brady Hoke, as reported by The
Michigan Daily today.
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Don't let our people go
Legislators need to bring people back to Michigan
t's no secret that Michigan's population has been decreasing
over the past several years. With one of the worst economies
in the country, cities that were once bustling are simply run-
ning out of people. The decline in residents was confirmed by the
results of the 2010 United States Census. While it's understand-
able that people are leaving the state because they need to support
themselves and their families, the aftermath has caused a serious
problem for the state: the loss of a seat in the U.S. House of Repre-
sentatives. Michigan needs to quickly begin the process of rebuild-
ing its population to regain its seat in Congress.
According to a Jan. 7.Daily article, Michi-
gan will losea seat in the U.S. House of Rep-
resentatives in 2012 because of population
decreases. The 2010 U.S. Census concluded
that in the last decade, Michigan's popula-
tion dropped by nearly 1 million people - or
0.6 percent. In this census, Michigan had
the largest population decrease of any state
in the country. The loss of a seat in the U.S.
House of Representatives will leave Michi-
gan with 14 seats. The census results also
impact the, amount of federal funding the
state receives from Washington - a number
that will also decrease in light of the drop in
Losing a seat in the House is a huge loss
for the state. The number of representatives
determines how many people are in Wash-
ington campaigning for Michigan anal its
needs. With one less representative at work
for us, the state will not have the same ability
to impact votes and push issues. Addition-
ally, having one less person will undeniably
result in decreased federal funding for the
state. And those funds are an integral com-
ponent in rebuilding Michigan's economy
and infrastructure. Michigan needs to work
to regain its lost seat in order to ensure that
representatives have solidified support in
Equally unfortunate as the decline in rep-
resentation is the decrease in federal fund-
ing. Population and the number of House
representatives are major factors in deter-
mining how much money is allotted to a
state. The decrease in both will make it dif-
ficult for our already cash-strapped state to
have money to put toward sectors like public
transportation and education. It's likely that
students at the University - and public uni-
versities throughout the state - will notice
this loss of funding.
One of the best ways to combat this prob-
lem is for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to
help the state develop new, innovative job
markets that will draw people back to Michi-
gan. Once people are ensured that they can
find work in Michigan, they will begin to
return to the state. But in order to expand
businesses, there needs to be people to work
the jobs and purchase the products. This
means that people need to be attracted to the
state by more than job prospects. Improve-
ments to public education and special atten-
tion to environmental issues will help to
bring people to Michigan and regain lost
representation and funding.
Between the Great Lakes and once thriv-
ing cities - like Detroit - Michigan is an
exceptional place to live. But if people can't
support themselves here they will under-
standably leave. The state government needs
to work to create jobs and bring people back
We wanted Jim Harbaugh.
The man looked per-
feet on paper and on the
field. A one-loss
season at a pres- l
institution, a Heis-
great recruits sur-
rounding him and
integrity on and
off the field. Sure,
he had made some ERIC
negative remarks SZKARLAT
about his alma
standards, but who
could blame him? All it takes is one
look at the Demar Dorsey incident
to see that we have been attempting
to recruit football players below our
typical academic level.
But Harbaugh said no. The hottest
coach available this season, he went
to the NFL to coach the San Francis-
We kicked and screamed. We asked
how a "Michigan Man" could turn his
back on this great University.
Then we saw Les Miles.
He ran a spread offense, so the
transition would be easy. He has a
National Championship under his
belt and, best of all, he had to beat
Jim Tressel and the Ohio State Buck-
eyes to get it. Miles played under Bo
Schembechler, and he has recruiting
ties to what is often considered "the
best conference in college football" -
the Southeastern Conference. Yes, he
had over signed some recruits, and he
had an odd habit of eating grass. But
we knew we would win with him.
But Miles said no too. Louisiana
State retained their head coach for
We were silent. We hung our heads
in disappointment and despair. If not
Miles, then who? Who could take up
the torch of the winningest college
Enter Brady Hoke.
A dismal overall record at Ball
State and only one winning.season
at San Diego State. He disapproves
of the spread and has even called it
"basketball on grass." The transition
would be tough. What's more is that
he is known to run the despised 3-3-5
defensive scheme that Rich Rod was
often criticized for running. He may
be a "Michigan Man" and he may,
have had some moderate successes,
but they've come from lower-end
conferences and teams.'
But Hoke said yes. Many were dis-
appointed that we only got our third
choice for coach.
I was, like many others, rooting for
Harbaugh. Then for Miles. I wanted
anybody before I wanted Brady Hoke
to be our next coach. I didn't"think
he would be successful based off the;
numbers. He only seemed to man-
age to turn around Ball State's pro-
gram and he had moderate success at
SDSU. A 9-4 season isn't satisfactory
to the Michigan fan base.
But he is now our coach. He is the
next man to lead our football team,
and we need to support him. It's that
or bust again, like it was in 2008.
We've lived through 3-9 and 5-7.
Finally, things seemed like they
would improve going into 2010. But
they didn't. Not enough to beat Ohio
State, Michigan State or Mississippi
State, or even play remotely competi-
tively in any of those match ups. It
seemed like yet another failure of a
season, despite the improved record.
But look at former football coach
Gary Moeller. The man had a terrible
record in the Big Ten before we hired"
him away from Illinois. He was a
coach under Bo for a while and finally
- when he got his turn - he led us to
three Big Ten Championships in five
years. We gave him the benefit of the
doubt and he succeeded. We need to
do the same for Hoke.
Brady Hoke - in spite of his seem-
ingly unimpressive successes as a
head coach - coached under Lloyd
Carr. He coached the same defense
which featured Heisman trophy win-
ner Charles Woodson. He helped to
coach our team to a National Cham-
pionship and to two more Big Ten
Championships in his previous time
So why the lack of faith?
Here we have a man who under-
stands Michigan football. He knows
what it means to us. He might just be
able to restore our program to its for-
Give Hoke the
benefit of the doubt
and he will suceed.
We're at a fork in the road of Mich-
igan football history. You may devi-
ate and oppose the Hoke hire and say
bad things about him as a coach or as
a person. Or you may maintain the
path that Hoke will now be leading
us down. That path may or may not
lead to victory. I don't know any bet-
ter than anyone else which it will be.
I can assure you, though, that
no matter where Hoke will lead us,
opposing him will not bring Michi-
gan to victory. He is our only hope
right now. You don't have to believe
in Hoke to support him. If you believe 0
in Michigan, and if you bleed Maize
and Blue, you will cheer Hoke and his
men forward. You will stay.
After all, that is the only way to
become a champion.
-EricSzkarlat can be reached
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga,
Teddy Papes, Roger Sauerhaft, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
ELIZABETH PARR I
Growing a business from dirt
Blogging Blue: Will Butler and Seeing Red: Kylie Kagen
the debate rhetoric in the wake of
p U Goto the Jan. 8 Arizona shooting.
m Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium.
SETH SODERBORG I
Obama's Christmas miracle
For a student from Ann Arbor, driving
through Detroit can feel like driving through
another world. "Lock your car doors" was
the warning I remembered as I gently turned
toward exit 51 off of I-75. As I pulled up to the
stop sign, I could feel my car tires slow. The
rain drummed in heavy time as the wipers
stepped in tune. I was alone except for Neil
Young on the radio in a city that sprawled for
miles, and he was safe and dry in the record-
ings of WOMC.
I turned onto Jefferson Avenue, a wide, five-
lane road that Ishad all to myself. The city made
cars, and its streets were made for these cars,
but both had long been abandoned with the
rise of freeways and suburbs. The day I was
there, I was one of two drivers on the road and
the other was far on the horizon. I soon found
Manistique Road, my destination, where I was
expected at the harvest festival.
The festival was put on by Feedom-Freedom
Growers, a community collaborative that began
in 2008 as a way to meet local needs by culti-
vating both food and relationships. The proj-
ect began as a single garden bed at the home of
Wayne Curtis and Myrtle Thompson. The fam-
ily was tired of seeing their neighborhood as a
place where people were uncomfortable, with
their closest neighbors scattered over several.
blocks. Plus, vacant houses become a hazard
when they're not cared for and attract drug
sales, dogfights, arson and vandalism among
other things. They wanted to recreate a com-
munity that was no longer there by drawing
people to their garden, which now spans into
the empty lot next to their home. The fam-
ily has hopes of expanding the garden to the
empty lot across from the current location in
order to better meet community needs.
All the produce that is grown at the Feedom-
Freedom garden is organic and is sold to neigh-
bors and visitors of the garden. The produce is
alsotaken to the Eastern Marketin Detroit every
Saturday morning to be sold alongside other
Detroit-grown produce. The growing process
was aided by the Greening of Detroit, which
initially provided soil for the inner-city garden.
Leaves are donated from various parts of the city
to put the garden to bed for the winter.
Urban farming has become a popular phe-
nomenon in Detroit, and it's not hard to see
why when the city has more than 66,000 vacant
lots. During the automobile boom of World War
II, people were unable to foresee the conse-
quences of their massive expansion of the city
borders once the rush for labor ended. Auto-
mation, outsourcing and racial tension quickly
emptied the city. Today, the geographical areas
of San Francisco, Manhattan and Boston can
fit inside the greater Detroit area, which has a
population of less than 1 million.
Besides needing to do something with its
vacant lots, Detroit is also in need of grocery
stores that carry fresh fruits and vegetables.
Detroit's title used to be the Motor City, but
the city is now known as the world's top potato
chip consumer. Attributing to this new title
could be the fact that Detroit is now considered
a food desert. Roughly 550,000 Detroit resi-
dents - more than half of the city's total popu-
lation - live in areas that are far out-of-balance
in terms of day-to-day food availability. This
group of people must travel twice as far, or
further, to reach a grocery store that carries
fresh fruits and vegetables than as they do to
reach the closest food location. These "fringe"
locations include fast food restaurants, conve-
nience or liquor stores and gas stations. Urban
farming provides fresh produce that is grown
in close proximity to where people live: in their
While urban farming has been hailed by
most, it does have its critics. Rev. Jessie Jack-
son is among them. He says the endeavor is
"cute, but foolish" and calls on industry to save
Detroit. Detroit was a city made from industry
and also abandoned by it. Its people are tired
of waiting for a savior and have begun to cre-
ate their own community, bottom up. Detroit
can never go back to its industrial past, and
activists such as Wayne Curtis realize this -
residents must create their own future. Maybe
urban farming won't save Detroit, but maybe
Jessie is wrong.
Elizabeth Parr is an LSA junior.
If you follow national news, you know that we live in
an era of hyper-partisanship. You know that President
Barack Obama can't corral his own party. You know that
if he would just stand up to the Republicans, he would get
things done. You know that he isn't getting things done.
You know that national politics is, for all intents and pur-
poses, irretrievably broken. Depending on where you get
your information, you know that our president is either
a dangerous communist who exploits the office of the
.President to force his radical agenda upon unsuspect-
ing patriots, or a wimp with fewer "cojones" than his
secretary of state. George W. Bush's recent presidential
memoir informs us that having "the cojones" to do tough
things is a key test of one's fitness for the presidency. By
that slightly scatological standard, Obama has failed.
Here's the thing: In the past month, the president sin
cojones got a supposedly ineffective, hopelessly polarized
and now lame-duck Congress that never does anythingto
do exactly what he wanted - just in time for Christmas.
What did Obama bring us in his holiday legislation
blitz, you ask? Help for the beleaguered, in the form of
extended unemployment benefits. Money in everyone's
wallet, thanks to tax cuts. Jobs, the result of reduced
payroll and social security taxes. A safer world, thanks
to a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia. Well-
deserved rest, in the form of health care compensation
for 9/11 first responders. Freedom, in the repeal of that
odious law, "don't ask don't tell."
How did he do it? The old-fashioned way: through com-
promise. The arms reduction treaty passed 71-26. "Don't
ask don't tell" was repealed by a vote of 65-31, including
eight Republicans. The tax bill - which included those
unemploymentbenefits - passed the House 277-148, with
112 of those "no" votes coming from Democrats. And the
bill to help 9/11 responders? It passed the Senate unani-
mously after almost all senators reprimanded Repub-
licans like Rep. Lamar Smith (R Texas), who called the
plan an "$8.4 billion slush fund."
Compromise, of course, means giving the other side
some of the things it wants. Obama's blitz was possible
because it started with him swallowing a bitter pill. A
few weeks ago, Senate Republicans signed a pledge saying
they wouldn't vote on anything until congress approved
and the president signed a controversial tax-cut exten-
sion package for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.
Numerous commentators suggested that the tax cuts
would do more harm than good. Still, the Republicans got
what they wanted in a sense. The tax cuts were extended
- and continued to favor the wealthiestAmericans - but
the extension was for only two years. Democrats cried
foul. Most of them voted against the bill and then raised
a stink about the president giving in to Republicans even
when his own patty controlled both houses of Congress
by a wide margin. In the wake of the tax cuts, the rhet-
oric of partisanship was as loud as it ever is these days,
and some speculated that the president would soon face a
revolt in his party - perhaps even a challenge in the 2012
primary elections. That now seems unlikely.
Getting everyone on board with these proposals took
quite a bit of money. The tax cut and unemployment bene-
fit package will cost $860 billion over two years - several
hundred billion dollars were included simply to placate
Republicans. In effect, the president bought the support
of dozens of Republicans by agreeing to spend billions
of dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy and for business.
Hyper-partisanship, it seems, means little more than a
higher price tag when it comes time to placate politicians
with pork. With enough money at stake, even a do-noth-
ing Congress can be persuaded to act.
Obama's Christmas miracle is, in many ways, a miracle.
But like most real miracles, it came at a high cost. Our
president proved that he both has cojones and knows
how to play politics. But we should be asking ourselves
whether the compromise and results we expect of our
government are worth the billions of dollars they seem
Seth Soderborg is an LSA junior.
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