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August 02, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1999-08-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

,- ...Sv I S T ' .. r : 1

Solutions for
I don't disagree with the
obvious character faults demon-
strated by some University rev-
enue-sport athletes, as described
by Jon Zemke in his recent sports
op-ed article ("Rotting in excess
of themselves," 7/26/99").
Speaking as one alumni, I'd
exchange a squeaky clean record
and exemplary academic perfor-
mance by Michigan athletes for a
few wins anytime.
But I think Zemke has to join
the real world. Is he really
proposing to the University and
Athletic Department administra-
tion that they close down the rev-
~enue sports for a few years? It
that the vest solution to the prob-
lem that he can can up with? If
Zemke were appointed as a stu-
dent representative to the Athletic
Board of Control and made that
proposal, I'd guess his career as
someone in a leadership position
in the University administration
would be short-lived. Proposals
to correct the "rotting" Zemke
describes have to have some
chance of being effective, I think.

ings of God, Marx, or some other
authority. In their estimation,
there shall be no free speech for
"fascists" and that extremism in
the harassment of those deemed
racist (next week it will be "sex-
ist," "homophobic" or some other
rather hard to define crime) is no
vice. As these fanatics love to say,
"By any means necessary."And if
your rights or mine are trampled
by them (I don't much care
whether some temporary fence
already has been; that's not in the
least what the argument is about),
that's of little concern.
I heard Bill Ayers, a former
national leader of the
Weatherman faction of SDS state
on this campus, "I wish I knew as
much about anything at 40 as I
knew about everything when I
was 20." Of course, by the time
you've gained that kind of wis-
dom, you're irrelevant to the
extremists. In any event, if I did-
n't have a job, I might well follow
Ms. Curtin's advice, but my
attending court might not be what
she had in mind.
I write in response to Michael
Grass's July 26 article "Study:
Race not a barrier to success for
law grads" in which he discusses
a recent study conducted by the
University Law School that
addresses how race affects the
success of law graduates after
they leave the 'U.'
I can not tell whether Mr.
Grass is for or against using racial
factors in admissions. You might
say that I should not be able to

since he is just 'reporting the
facts' but I believe he, like the
new editorial staff at the Daily,
consistently use linguistic tricks
and shadow definitions in order
to appear unbiased while decid-
edly framing their one-sided
views against using race in
admissions and against affirma-
tive action in general. I would like
to point out a most blaring exam-
ple in the July 26 article:
In the article. Grass takes
from the Law School study, stat-
ing that though white lasyers
earned nearly 25 percent more on
average than black lawyers the
"disparity can be tied to the fact
that white graduates took higher
paying positions in law firms". It
sounds so simple and straightfor-
ward. Black lawyers just did not
want higher paying positions,
right? The black lawyers just did
not take the higher paying jobs. In
a very subtle, but logically obvi-
ous way, the line 'white graduates
took higher paying positions'
implies that black lawyers did not
'take' the positions and therefore
the disparity in incomes is the
fault of the black lawyers. The
statement misses the point entire-
ly that black lawyers are not
offered those jobs.
Itsis this kind of logic which
allows people to make statements
like: "Race not a barrier to suc-
cess." For some reason, Grass,
possibly the authors of the study,
and certainly many more people
would like to believe that racial
disparities are caused by the peo-
ple on the losing end of the dis-
parity. It simply does not make
sense. Blaming the problem on
someone else works because it
tells people what they want to
hear. They do not want their msti-
tutions criticized since that criti-
cism is often taken personally.
I would ask readers of the
Daily to read with a keen eye.

Letter short
on wisdom

Monday, August 2, 1999 -The Michigan Daily - 5
Save the world with your fork
Tmagine 30 days in the wilderness without the hr. shifts in blood up to their ankles.
comfort of the "frontcountry": no phone, no I could write about environmental ruin, like
radio. those streams in New Mexico, or about Central
Add a topographic map (which initially looked America, where the leading cause of rain forest
like a series of green fingerprints to me, rather than destruction is cattle production for the U.S.- Nike
my key to survival), a 65-lb. pack, one pair of isn't the only corporation keen on exploiting the
underwear (yes, one) and a dozen strangers. lower costs of third world countries.
I'm not describing MTVs latest But the worst of it is not the damage
concept for a show. My time in New the meat industry does to the environment
Mexico's Gila Mountains on a course or the horror of slaughterhouses.
with the National Outdoor Leadership In supporting the industry, we're liter-
School was an adventure in survival: wr ally starving the rest of the world.
life, stripped down to the barest essen- The statistics on world hunger - over
tials. No mail. No showers. No frills. 50,000 people die of starvation every day
Try as we might to live a "natural" - are astonishing. But our planet pro-
existence that May, we couldn't have duces twice as much food necessary to
rnade it without some "outside" assis- feed every single person. A lot of blame
tance - specifically, purifying iodine for this gross contradiction lies within the
tablets. EMILY meat industry.
Even hiking on some of the most ACHENBAUM To support this enormously powerful
pristine land in the country, we couldn't DIA)MOND IN industry, food producers are feeding ani-
escape the damage done to streams by iTih ssR:Oi I malts raised for slaughter the very food
cattle farming. A nasty little disease car- that would eliminate starvation.
ied by cattle, jardia, had snuck into even the In the U.S., the world's largest producer of food,
impossibly isolated streams we collected water 95 percent of the soybean and oat crops and 80
from. percent of the corn is fed to animals. Grains and
I had already been a vegetarian for three years legumes grown in the U.S. and fed to livestock and
when I encountered that mountain spring water, converted into meat is consumed by only as small
unnecessarily contaminated by cow crap. minority of people in the world's wealthiest
I take a lot of flack for being a vegetarian, even nations, such as the U.S. and Western Europe. If
from other vegetarians, since I do eat fish. Yes, I'm these grains and legumes were made directly avail-
an animal-lover who saves injured kittens and talks able, it would be enough to feed all the hungry
to Diag squirrels. But don't brush me off too quick- people in the world.
y - I've seen that sentimental-about-animals eye- The waste and single-mindedness is gruesome.,
roll a million times - because the biggest reason I I don't want to make a simple pleasure like
don't eat meat has nothing to do with animal rights. food complicated. But I do want to make you stop
It's the meat industry itself and think.
It's pure evil. - Emily Achenbaum is the Editor in Chief of
I could write about watching the throat-slitting the Daily. This is her last columnfor the summer
of live cows, hung by their hind legs from the ceil- She can be reached via e-mail at
ings of slaughterhouses, where workers spend 16- emiylsa@umich.edu.
Smoking may not be healthy, but it sure is cool
Governments and non-profit organizations myself, but I didn't listen. In the end it took me a
annually toss millions or maybe even billions week in the hospital with pneumonia to realize that
of dollars into the wind in vain attempts to erase maybe smoking wasn't the best activity for me to
ideas deeply ingrained into America's collective take up.
psyche y.Stll, the pneumonia didn't deal a deathblow to
So much effort, so much money and all they my inclination towards tobacco and even though a
have to show for it are ad campaigns of frying eggs, cigarette hasn't given me a buzz in a long while I
formerly pregnant women tortured by continue to smoke socially, albeit irregu-
their guilty consciences and teenagers larly. Why? Image. You call it a teeny-
discussing the indescribable joys of wait- bopper mentality, I call it being honest
ing for that "special time" on their wed- with myself. Don't deny it, smoking can
ding nights. be downright poetic.
It's obvious why all of this money has Carpe Diem has a special meaning for
gone to waste - drugs will always make smokers, most of whom will justify their
people feel good, often abortion is the habit by saying that they don't want to
only rational choice and the loss of one's live forever anyway, conveniently forget-
virginity is (almost) always a relatively ting their last cancerous ten years will
awkward (if not harrowing) experience, almost certainly be filled with pain and
so why not get it over with? No one is NICK anguish. Smoking is a way for the non-
buying it because some truths are just WOOMER public America to have a piece of the fast
impossible to deny. BAC \IO life and we need to ask ourselves "can we
But truth is not the cause of all such THE W Ost justifiably condemn people confronted
failures; sometimes itsis the mere image with the trials and tribulations of the TV
of a certain practice is enough. culture this simple pleasure?" If so, then certainly
I smoked (and actually inhaled) my first ciga- not with a clear conscience.
rette at the rather late age of 18, right before I grad- For this simple reason alone-to make the dull
uated from high school. As I sat in an elementary and meaningless lives of millions of Americans a
school parking lot, floored for about half an hour little bit brighter, we as a society must triple, no, at
from the nicotine buzz, my friends gazing down at least quadruple funding for research to cure or pre-
me in total awe of a first cigarette's potency, I vent lung cancer and emphysema. This way the
thought to myself "so this is why people smoke!" days of glory, where absinthe was legal and smok-
Well, I soon found that that's not at all why peo- ing was good for you, can return.
ple smoke. I smoked fairly heavily right through my A certain political party spends so much time
summer orientation at the University (where I expe- trying to figure out how not to enrich people's exis-
rience that secret camaraderie between fellow tence - by building Neutron bombs, giving rich
smokers for the first time) all the while the buzzes people all of their money back, making sure you
steadily diminished. Though I was dancing with it, can't sue the HMO that didn't think that tumor was
I had not reached the point of physical addiction. a big deal, etc. - that it seems like they could at
Had I been completely rational I would have least do this. Are you listening Senator Helms?
told myself that what I was doing was stupid - I - Nick Woomer can be reached via e-mai at
was getting no buzz and simultaneously killing nstoomer@umich.ed.

The July 26 letter from Jessica
Curtin ("Evidence in case
flawed") is more of the tired,
empty rhetoric of NWROC and
related groups that feel that peo-
ple who commit crimes and deny
free speech rights to "evildoers"
(and if you don't know who is
evil, just ask members of these
groups), operate with the bless-

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