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September 16, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-16

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4A - Monday, September 16, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4C fitighan 4:a1,6,1
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 of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Don't adopt thi~s bill1
State-funded agencies shouldn't be allowed to discriminate
Two bills, introduced in late August and discussed by a
Michigan House of Representatives committee last week,
allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place a child in
the care of a family that contradicts the agency's religious beliefs
or polices, effectively allowing discrimination. Lawmakers could
vote on these bills this week. Although these religiously affiliated
agencies are deemed "private" institutions, the majority of them
utilize public funding. Any agency receiving funding from the state
shouldn't be permitted to place precedence on their own perhaps
discriminatory agenda over the best interest of the adoptees.

of theo
gram, a
was offi
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I was ec
After co
cover lei
and awl
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views, I
goal: I w
tol Hill.
me, wor
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I resl
utes af
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filled m3
am I goi
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ships in
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K Street
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As if
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In fact,
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is ranke
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Segregated internships
x months ago I received an I knew interning in D.C. was my formal dress code Monday through
-mail from a U.S. senator's dream, but now I just needed to fig- Thursday?
ffice. It was the director ure out a way to pay for it. Luckily, The problem of having an intern-
ffice's the University has a lot of financial ship program made up primarily of
hip pro- aid available to students who seek rich, white kids is one that will cause
nd she unpaid internships. I was fortunate a viscous cycle that will have detri-
ering me to get a couple sizable grants, but mental effects on our political sys-
'nship even still, those would just barely tem. Internships in D.C. are meant to
tol Hill cover my rent. Between a part-time be an opportunity for young Ameri-
ummer. job and aserious subsidization from cans to experience government and
static. my incredibly supportive parents, I policy firsthand and to prepare a
untless PATRICK was going to be able to pull it off, future generation of leaders. If the
tters, MAILLET but it wasn't going to be easy. only people that can afford this
rewrites When I got to D.C., I realized experience are the wealthy few, then
kward very quickly that the dynamic on our future leaders will be equally as
nter- Capitol Hill is far from reality. unrepresentative.
had finally achieved my People often say that the Senate is While many argue that there
'as going to work on Capi- made up of rich, white men. This should be a minimum wage for
To a political junkie like stereotype isn't very far from the interns in D.C., Iunderstand just how
king in our nation's capital truth, but what people don't real- complicated that would be consider-
the Holy Grail of summer ize is that the offices that work for ing how tight our nation's budget is
hips. these senators right now. How-
ponded to the e-mail min- share a similar ever, if Congress
ter receiving it, accepting makeup. wishes to host an
ernship and thanking the From the first Federal grants internship pro-
for this auspicious oppor- day I started should be offered to gram that truly
After calling my family and my internship, I benefits future
them the awesome news, I began to notice unpaid interns on generationsthere
in my chair in silence and an extreme lack should be federal
ed the moment. I had ful- in diversity on the Hill. grants for unpaid
y lifelong dream. Capitol Hill - interns for which
reality set in: How the hell not just in race underprivileged
ng to pay for this? and ethnicity, but also in terms of students can apply. Yes, this pro-
year, more than 20,000 socio-economic status. If the United gram would cost the federal govern-
age individuals descend States has aserious "haves and have- ment money, but the results would
ashington, D.C. for intern- nots" problem, then D.C. can almost be a generation of young leaders who
offices varying from the be considered the epicenter of this actually represent the country that
House to lobbying firms on rampant societal dysfunction. theywill inherit.
t. The vast majority of them You don't have to be an econo- My summer internship in D.C.
aid. mist to figure out why this unrep- was one of the best experiences of
working 45 hours a week resentative demographic exists in my life. It pains me to think that
wasn't costly enough in Washington: The only people who those less fortunate than I are
f the forgone income that can afford to take advantage of the unable to share such an unbeliev-
Id be making at a minimum- once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that ably constructive opportunity.
b, living costs in D.C. are is a Congressional internship are The federal government needs to
:he highest of any U.S. city. kids from wealthy families. After change its internship program;
according to BusinessIn- all, how many inner-city kids from otherwise our future government
m, an online publication single-parent households do you will be even more unrepresentative
nually measures the cost of know that can afford a job that than the one we have now.


Under these bills, agencies may extend
their religious liberties beyond potential
clients of a different faith to include screen-
ing single people or same-sex couples.
Adoptions by same-sex couples are on the
rise and by some are viewed as a much-
needed resource for children in government
care. Bryan Samuels, the commissioner for
the Administration on Children, Youth and
Families, explained in a memo, "The child-
welfare system has come to understand
that placing a child in a gay or lesbian fam-
ily is no greater risk than placing them in a
heterosexual family." The focus of agency
efforts and emphasis should not be placed
on the sexual orientation or religious affili-
ation of prospective parents, but rather if
they can and will provide a positive, nurtur-
ing environment for the adoptees.
The bills, both introduced and sponsored
by Republican state representatives, are just
another example of Republicans allowing
their moral arguments to get in the way of
effective policy. State representatives only
continue to delay any forward movement
or final decision on Common Care funding
- despite the fact that 45 other states have
already adopted the standards. Similarly,
and under the belief that their children and

grandchildren will eventually lie respon-
sible for what state Senator John Moolenaar
deemed the "crushing federal debt" of the
program, Republican representatives vehe-
mently fought Medicaid expansion - until,
of course, it was passed this August with the
potential to aid 320,000 people in the first
year and 470,000 by 2020.
The underlying ethics the bills represent
should neither be ignored nor dismissed.
House Bill no. 4928 would permit an adop-
tion agency the ability to refuse to place a
child with potential parents because the
couple violates the child placing agency's
written religious or moral policies; subse-
quently, House Bill no. 2937 disallows the
government's ability to deny those agen-
cies state funding. Both policies essentially
enable religious discrimination and possi-
ble neglect of the primary purpose of adop-
tion agencies: finding orphaned children
supportive, loving and nurturing families.
The proposed doctrines are fundamentally
unsound, receiving state funding and dis-
crimination should be mutually exclusive-
and adoption agencies that enjoy financial
support of the government should therefore
not also ask to undermine its existing foun-
dational principles.

hroughout the country, D.C.
d the eighth most expensive
live in the United States.

requires one to pay rent that usu-
ally exceeds $800 a month, $15 or
more for meals, and has a business-

-Patrick Maillet can.be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Eric Ferguson, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Harsha
Nahata, Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
What makes a liberal?

Art adds value
W ith more than 35,000 pieces in its Of course, the trade-off is that instead of
collection, the Louvre is an art spending on splendor for the rich, we are now
buff's dream and more. Wander- able to provide a higher standard of living
ing through it this summer, for a larger percentage of people overall. We
I had a sort of epiphany, if have made technological advancements and
you will. Forgive me for constructed standards for safety and hygiene.
stating the obvious, but We have a longer life expectancy and more
back in day, people invested medical technology at our disposal to pro-
in art. A lot. long life even further. Moreover, we have
It's nothing new, but more choices for what we will consume, and
stick with me for a second. access to more people and information than
In the Louvre, it hit me HARSHA ever before in history. The industrial revolu-
that there was a time, not NAHATA tion allowed us to provide more products for
too long ago - OK, a few a greater number of people and at a higher
hundred years ago - when efficiency. But the downside has been losing
artistic expression was valued in a way that the unique beauty that comes with fostering
can't even be considered today. People were creativity and artistry.
paid (quite handsomely, too) for being able to our world has also become dominated by
paint, write or sculpt. We didn't scoff at the one-size-fits-all standards and a need for
"creative" types, but instead admired their functionality above all else. It took 120 years
talent and work. to build St. Peter's Basilica. It took Michel-
Take the Renaissance, for example: It's angelo three years to build his most famous
overwhelming to see the amount of sheer sculpture, the sculpture of David. And da
beauty and artistry that came out of a single Vinci spent about four years on the Mona Lisa.
time period. It gave us the likes of Leon- Today, we can take a photograph in a split sec-
ardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and ond. We live in a world that moves faster, but
Shakespeare. It spawned it is also a world in which
a period of immense people don't make time to
growth and exploration 1 stop and appreciate the
that both created the Our worad is smaller details.
Roman empire and the dominated by Wandering through
67,000 square meters of countless museums and
pure splendor that is the one-size-fits-all basilicas in Paris, one real-
Versailles palace. But izes that out of everything
most importantly, we can standards. these historical kingdoms
thank the artists from and civilizations built up,
the golden years of the it's the art that we remem-
Renaissance for the ways they have inspired ber. It's the sheer creative genius and admi-
so many artists after them. rable human talent that thousands of people
Perhaps what's most striking about this flocked to these museums to see every day.
period to me is that so much of the art and The Renaissance began more than 600 years
architecture was commissioned by the state. ago. And yet, people still seek out these sculp-
From France and Italy to Spain and England, tures and paintings. By promoting an interest
states have invested in cultivating intellec- in the arts, these Renaissance societies cre-
tual and cultural progress. The best artists ated collections with timeless value that con-
and minds of the region were sought after and tinues to add to people's lives. To paraphrase
commissioned to create masterpieces. Breath- a quotation by C.S. Lewis, art isn't necessar-
takingly beautiful cathedrals and basilicas ily something that has intrinsic value for sur-
were built and royalty regularly sought out the vival, but is rather something that adds value
most talented artists to design the interiors of to life.
palaces and state buildings. Having the most It only makes me wonder: When history
creative geniuses at hand was not just amatter looks back on our generation, what creative
of encouraging cultural growth, but was seen value will people say we added?
as a symbol of status. Today, the United States
can't even agree to keep funding the National - Harsha Nahara can be reached
Endowment for the Arts. at hnahata@umich.edu.

Why do Republicans hate Presi-
dent Barack Obama?
Conservative readers will likely
find the find the question vacuous:
Why shouldn't they hate Obama?
He's at the masthead of the "sec-
ular-socialist machine," accord-
ing to Newt Gingrich; the "most
radical president" in our country's
history, according to Dick Cheney;
and a "neo-Leninist communist,"
according to the columnist Mychal
Massie. To them, a bottomless con-
tempt for the president is intui-
tive, like an unhealthy interest in
the Old Testament or a fetish for
Milton Friedman. After all, we're
talking about the man who social-
ized medicine, bowed to foreign
powers and played party politics
at the expense of bipartisanship.
For them, the totality of this anti-
American - and connivingly Euro-
pean -agenda can be summed up in
a simple phrase: He's a liberal.
This is really a case of the right
side of the aisle complaining that
they only got half a loaf instead of
the whole; Obama has been nothing
if not amenable to conservatism, an
oddly servile lapdog of what was
the Republican mainstream bare-
ly 15 years ago. So, perhaps some
introspection is required on the
part of the left: Why don't Demo-
crats hate Obama?
Picking on health-care reform
is almost too easy. Older readers
might find the Affordable Care
Act suspiciously familiar, if only
because it's almost a line-by-line
paraphrase of the legislative pro-
posal that Bob Dole ran on when
he was the Republican presidential
candidate in the 1994 election. How
did Dole get away with his apostasy
to Marxism? Well, it might have
something to do with the Heritage
Foundation's endorsement of an
individual mandate in their 1989
article "A National Health System

for America." Or perhaps he was
just taking a page from Gingrich,
the Republican Party's brainiac,
who championed the same policy
when he was speaker of the House
during the Clinton administration.
Single-payer health care has never
been on Obama's lips, let alone his
legislation. Even the Congressional
Progressive Caucus, the Disneyland
of the political left, refuses to call
for what has commendably served
the sick and dying in the Great
White North (and Western Europe,
Australia, Japan...) for decades.
After Obama's most current
speech, most of you can write this
paragraph in your head faster than
I can put it on the page. Any mis-
guided notion that Obama was a
limp-wristed peacenik who spent
his off hours genuflectingto Imams
and fellating Latin American dig-
nitaries should've been dispelled
when he carpet bombed Syria six
months ago; anyone who still clings
to this self-serving delusion can
loosen their grip on it now that
pacifism's crown prince has called
for turning Syria's few remaining
buildings into rubble but a day ago.
This is no doubt the thin edge of
the wedge. If Obama is genuinein his
desire to upend Assad's regime, then
a lengthy occupation of the country
will be required, but it's much easier
to sell the conflict as a cheap, nonin-
vasive military exercise that can be
measured in hours instead of years.
Maybe some troops will have to put
their feet on the ground eventually,
but, hey, variables are in flux dur-
ing war. President George W. Bush
said we could tame Iraq in months,
and Democrats laughed. Obama says
that we can leash Syria in days, and
Democrats cheer.
Obama is nothing if not ami-
cable. He compromised with Blue
Dog Democrats and axed the pub-
lic option. He compromised with

Speaker of the House John Boehner
and agreed to mandatory sequestra-
tion. He compromised with House
Republicans and kept almost the
entirety of the Bush tax cuts. Most
recently, he's been pushing for a (no
laughing, please) "Grand Bargain"
on the budget deficit, where slight
increases intax rates arepaired with
savage cuts to welfare and entitle-
ment spending. Republicans, always
the perennial free marketers, don't
seem to be taking the bait, but, much
like gift-giving, it's the thought that
counts. Obama, for whatever rea-
son, is a slave to consensus-building,
to reaching a middle ground even
if that middle is tilted decidedly to
the right. Republicans wring their
hands and gnash theirteeth because
the president hasn't signed on to
every dot and tittle of supply-side
economics, but if laissez-faire is a
house, then he's at least made his
way through the front door and is
snacking in the foyer.
In the spirit of full disclosure,
I'm a liberal, or at least I think I
am. I think "socialized medicine" is
alright, I wish we could stop all this
international fighting and just get
along, and I wish that Democrats
would find their misplaced back-
bones and start throwing punches
for the left-wing again. But really, in
modern political discourse the bar
for what constitutes "liberalism"
has been set so low that it's appli-
cable to almost every politician and
intellectual anywhere at any time.
Nixon? Supported Canadian-style
health care and created the EPA.
Eisenhower? Got big government
involved in public infrastructure.
Buckeley? Advocated pot legaliza-
tion. Goldwater? Wanted federal
same-sex marriage. If these are
liberals, I tremble for who's consid-
ered conservative.
Ryan Dau isan LSA freshman.

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