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October 29, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-10-29

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4A - Monday, October 29, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Monday, October 29, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

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



I don't care who you vote for as
long as you vote for Obama."
- Madonna said during a concert in New Orleans Saturday night. Boos from the crowd caused Madge to
change her tune, telling her fans "Seriously, I don't care who you vote for ... go vote."
Afew too many 360s

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.
VoteYESon2 &4,
NO on1,3,5,6
Ballot proposals often present a false image: On the surface,
proposals appear to be the product of a grassroots effort to
amend a state's constitution or change a state law to better
serve its residents. Yet that idealistic image is not reality. Special
interest groups usually finance the campaigns for ballot proposals,
using much of their funds to monopolize the debate. In 2012, Michi-
gan voters face six statewide ballot proposals. Some may genuinely
create positive change, while others are deceptive in nature and are
potentially dangerous.


kid in my elementary school
-let's call himAlex - would
o just about anything for
attention. Like

so many kids
his age, Alex
was desperate
to be the center
of attention -
whether it was
eating worms
or jumping off
He was


Proposal 1 asks voters to decide on the fate
of Public Act 4, which establishes criteria to
assess the financial situation of local gov-
ernments and authorize a state-appointed
review team to enter into local government.
It also allows the governor to appoint an
emergency manager if the review concludes
financial emergency. The emergency man-
ager is required to develop financial plans for
the city and overrule elected officials.
Michigan's emergency financial manager
law gives too much power to non-elected offi-
cials, seriously undermining the democratic
process. While policymakers can be ineffec-
tive, relinquishing power to someone who may
align incorrectly with the community's wishes
isn't the answer. In order to protect the demo-
cratic process, vote NO on Proposal Ito repeal
Public Act 4.
Proposal 2 reaffirms the rights of public and
private employees to join unions and bargain
collectively. It also overrides state laws that
regulate hours and conditions of employment
if those laws conflict with collective bargaining
agreements. Proposal 2 would thus give perma-
nent bargaining rights to all employees.
Collective bargaining is an essential right for
all workers. Proposal 2 will help keep employees
safe and provides a necessary - and often times
undervalued - voice for all workers. Unions,
for their flaws, have been essential in creating a
middle class and improving American working
conditions. This proposal ensures all deserving
workers have basic rights. To protect collective
bargaining, vote YES on Proposal2.
Proposal 3 stipulates an amendment to the
state's constitution that would require that by
the year 2025, at least 25 percent of Michigan's
energy come from specified renewable energy
sources. Acceptable energy sources are wind,
solar, biomass and hydropower. Anticipat-
ing increases in utility rates for the public, the
amendment includes a provision that doesn't
allow electric utility rates to increase by more
than 1 percent per year while achieying to 10
percent increase in alternative energy require-
ments. It also requires legislators to encourage
Michigan workers and production units when
striving for the 25 percent standard.
Clean energy is extremely important to the
future of Michigan. Renewable energy sources
can be vital to Michigan's economy and envi-
ronmental leadership. However, putting in
place a constitutional amendment that stipu-
lates an arbitrary percentage may slow down
innovation and actually restrict development
of efficient clean energy alternatives. Limiting
the types of energy to wind, solar, biomass and
hydropower puts the government in the posi-
tion of picking winners and losers, which by
2025 may be irrelevant. If these aren't the most
effective or efficient ways to produce alterna-
tive energy, this amendment would actually

push Michigan backward in the race for the
benefits of green, high-tech industry. It's essen-
tial to move toward a future of sustainability
and alternative energy sources, but Michigan
must do so in a way that is flexible and allows
for organic innovation. Because this proposal is
limiting and arbitrary, vote NO on Proposal3.
Proposal 4 deals with the rights of in-home
healthcare workers. Under the proposed
amendment, limited collective bargaining
rights would be given to more than 42,000
Michigan residents working in the homes of
Medicare-eligible senior citizens and the dis-
abled. Bargainingwouldbe carried outthrough
the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, a
board that will also provide training to these
workers and create a registry of workers who
pass background checks. The amendment pro-
vides in-home care workers with collective bar-
gaining rights, while the creation of MQHCC
ensures quality health care and increased
transparency for patients. To protect the rights
of health care employees and their patients,
vote YES on Proposal 4.
Proposal 5 would either require a two-
thirds super-majority in the state Legisla-
ture or a statewide ballot referendum to raise
taxes. Proposal 5, at first glance, appears
to give the power back to voters and keep
it out of the hands of Michigan's lately mis-
guided Legislature. However, essential taxes,
like those for education and transportation
improvements, would become extremely hard
to pass in the conservative atmosphere of the
country. Taxes aren't inherently bad - mak-
ing them even harder to pass is paranoia, not
policy. To protect our basic services and stop
our legislature from becoming even more
inefficient, vote NO on Proposal .
Proposal 6i would require a majority vote
in a statewide ballot on the construction of
new international crossings. The current
bridge from Detroit to Canada, owned pri-
vately by Manuel "Matty" Maroun's com-
pany, isn't sufficient. The Ambassador Bridge
makes his company a fortune eventhough it's
an inefficient crossing between the United
States and Canada. The Canadian govern-
ment has repeatedly offered $550 million to
cover Michigan's costs associated with the
bridge, although estimates vary as to how
much the bridge will cost. Allocating funds
for infrastructure improvements is within
the state and local government's jurisdic-
tion. Proposal 6's campaign has been heavily
funded by Maroun's greed. There is no need
to slow down the process of improving the
state's infrastructure by mandating that indi-
viduals vote on every additional international
crossing proposal. To improve transportation
in Michigan and stop self-serving interests
from amending the state constitution, vote
NO on Proposal 6.

always the first
to succumb to peer pressure. One
day when climbing the monkey bars,
someone dared him to do a back flip
off of the bars onto the ground. Alex
made the leap and proceeded to
crack his head open on the ground.
After a few stitches Alex was okay,
but the kids that walked away from
the playground that day learned a
valuable lesson.
More than a decade later, I find
myself confronted with a modern-
day Alex figure. Although I don't
know him personally, I can spot
similar personality traits from a mile
away. This figure is Republican presi-
dential nominee Mitt Romney.
Sure, Romney's definition of "cool"
is a little different than Alex's. Nev-
ertheless, whether eating a worm to
prove that you're one of the cool kids
or renouncing your previous position
on a woman's rightto choose to prove
your conservatism, in the end, you're
just someone desperate for approval.
Be it the auto industry, health-
care or Iraq, it seems like Romney
has changed his stance on just about
all of his views during the course of
his long candidacy for president.
The man has even changed his
stance on Reagan, a crime punish-
able by Tea Partier death. When
running for Massachusetts Sen-
ate in 1994, Romney once bragged

that he "was an independent dur-
ing the time of Reagan-Bush" and
that he was "not tryingto return to
Reagan-Bush" anytime soon. Now,
Romney proudly proclaims his
undying love for the conservative
demigod and his desire to return to
those "Reagan Principles."
Although the Reagan example is
somewhat comical, some of Rom-
ney's other "political evolutions" are
nothing to joke about. What is most
bizarre about Romney's unprec-
edented sliminess is that he hasn't
just done it once or eventwice, he has
completely altered some of his views
an astonishingthree times.
The GOP primary favors extreme
conservatism, especially during this
cycle. Rarely do we see a Republican
candidate come out with all of his or
her core beliefs intact.
Romney was no exception to that.
Pundits understood that Romney
would have to convince the conser-
vative base that he was "Reagan"
enough for the "Grand Ol' Party,"
but few foresaw the transition that
unfolded throughout the last year
and a half.
After all, how can the same man
who once said, "I believe that abor-
tion should be safe and legal in this
country," later say he would be
delighted to sign a bill that banned
abortion and would support the Per-
sonhood Amendment.
Now, this would be enough of a flip
flop on its own, but Romney somehow
managed to change his stance again
once the general election began, stat-
ing that he supports abortion in the
cases of rape, incest or the threat of
the mother's life. He has even run
ads bragging to independent female
voters that he is "not as against abor-
tion," as the left makes him out to be.
While some view these changes as
massive stance shifts, I believe that
term does not nearly do these maneu-
vers justice. These complete 360s are

a sign of a man with little regard for
what his personal stances truly are
- someone who's willing to sacrifice
his integrity to win. These types of
people are among the most danger-
ous people in the world because they
allow themselves to be changed by
those around them.
Romney has flip
flopped through
the campaign.


Tainted inspir

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,
Patrick Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner

The florescent rubber brace-
let was a staple of the
middle school cafeteria.
Most kids had
just one or two,
but everyone
had that friend
whose entire
arms were .
covered with
bands. I'm sure
on their arms TIMOTHY
was the yel- BURROUGHS
low Livestrong
bracelet that
started the trend.
Tens of millions bracelets have
been sold sincetheir release in 2005.
The sales have contributed to the
$470 million raised in the organi-
zation's 15-year history. Armstrong
himself, the longtime chairman of
the foundation, has recently stepped
down after additional charges of
performance enhancing drug use
were brought against him.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
issued a report detailing Arm-
strong's extensive use and distri-
bution of performance enhancing
drugs, or PEDs. The International
Cycling Union (UCI) subsequently
stripped Armstrong of his seven
Tour De France victories. The
Union also issued him a lifelong ban
on cycling.
In the USADA report, a group of
former teammates testified he bul-
lied and threatened them to remain
silent. Though Armstrong has yet
to admit to these accusations, the
findings that the USADA released
in a 1,000-page document seem
to confirm rumors of Armstrong's
PEDs use.
These recent developments have
shattered the iconic image of Arm-
strong that my generation grew
up with. He has been a symbol for
those fighting cancer and an inspi-

ration to thousands, but now he has
been exposed as a cheater and bully.
This fall from grace raises numer-
ous questions about Armstrong's
legacy. His name has been erased
from the record books, but how
will those who idolized this man
remember his story?
Cycling, wildly perceived as one
of the "dirtiest" sports, has con-
stantly been under fire for lax test-
ing policies and minimal control
over athletes. According to CBS
news, out of the top 10 finishers in
the seven Tour de Frances that Arm-
strong won, 41 have been accused
of or have admitted to PEDs use.
This context is certainly relevant
and important as we decide how to
remember Armstrong.
UCI president Pat McQuaid
urged the public to "forget" Arm-
strong and that he was "sickened"
by Armstrong's actions. Perhaps I
have just been callused by growing
up through baseball's steroid era,
but Armstrong's use of PEDs is not
the damningevidence that McQuaid
sees it as.
In a sport that's plagued with
PEDs and a career that attracted
much suspicion of PED use, it's
hardly surprising that Armstrong
was anavid user. Whathas impacted
myimage ofArmstrong the most are
the accusations and testimonies out-
lining how Armstrong bullied and
threatened teammates, drug testers
and cycling officials. Athletes are
supposed to be willing to sacrifice
anything for their teammates. This
shows a completely different side
to Armstrong's character and has
tainted his reputation. Regardless of
your opinions on his PED usage, this
will and should change the public's
view on Armstrong's character.
However in the case of Arm-
strong, this bad cannot erase all the
good he has done. As someone who
has had numerous family members

We have already seen the horrors
of a president who was controlled
by diabolical thinkers (Cheney,
Rove and Rumsfeld). The last time
we elected a president who was
unwilling to say no to the radicals
around him, we became involved in
two wars, opened Guantanamo and
began fully institutionalizing torture
as a national security strategy. The
last thing America needs is a presi-
dent who doesn't know how to say no.
Romney could very well be our
next president. I hope people are
as worried as I am about which
Romney we will be getting, and if
he will entirely allow himself to
be controlled by ultraconservative
I haven't spoken to Alex in nearly
a decade. I hope he has learned that
desperately seeking acceptance is
no way to live one's life. Perhaps he
also learned something that day on
the playground. Unfortunately, I
fear that if Romney wins, he'll sell
himself out and attempts to do a
back flip as president, it will take a
whole lot more than a few stitches
to repair America.
-Patrick Maillet can be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.
diagnosed with cancer and fought
it, Armstrong will always be a hero
to me. Obviously, he was more of a
symbol and spokesman than a major
organizer, but his inspiration and
effort has contributed to the $470
million raised. Just like remember-
ing other tarnished athletes, such
as Pete Rose or Marian Jones, you
have to judge the entire person. Now
that Nike and Oakley have cancelled
sponsorship deals and Armstrong
has been stripped of his titles, it's
easy to make knee-jerk judgments.
I urge anyone who grew up wearing
those wristbands to seriously con- 4
sider the entire man when deciding
on his legacy.
Armstrong may
be erased from
record books, but
not our memory.
Though Armstrong has clearly
wronged many people and deserves
consequences, the money he has
raised and the hope he inspired is
enough for him to be remembered
favorably. The UCI's decision to cut
ties and erase the story of Lance
Armstrong is ridiculous. Stripping
Armstrong of his titles perhaps is
justified, but his use of PEDs speaks
more to the corrupt nature of the
sport and less with the quality of
Armstrong's character. Armstrong ,
should be remembered as all that he
was and is: a liar, a cheat, and a com-
petitor, yes, but most importantly a
philanthropist and an inspiration
to millions.
-Timothy Burroughs can be
reached at timburr@umichedu.

It's time to stop prolonging
LBGTQ equality
LGBTQ rights have been disputed since
the early 1800s, and as of late become a major
debate in the United States. However, the U.S.
has already determined part of the argument:
It supports some same-sex issue - Michigan,
however, does not. In the decision of Lawrence
v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated
all laws that had gone against consensual
"sodomy" throughout America. This decision
made same-sex activity legal in every state
and territory. So why not allow them the same
rights to marriage as a heterosexual couple?
Upon the decision of the Lawrence v.

LGBTQ conduct is protected by the Four-
teenth Amendment. However, Michigan still
ignores this fact and that its residents want
a change. In the Public Policy Polling survey
of May 2012, 70 percent of voters supported
legal recognition of these couples, and it also
showed an increase in people who support
LGBTQ rights.
The U.S. has already acknowledged the
rights of numerous groups through civil right
movements. It's only a matter of time before
LGBTQ rights are finally attended to, and
eventually become legal. So why not allow
LGBTQ people their rights now, why prolong
it? We, as a diverse community, can make that
change, one vote at a time.
Jordan Killingsworth

Texas case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that LSA freshman

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