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June 02, 2003 - Image 21

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-06-02

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The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2003-9

Daily's choice not to
endorse Petering for
'U' Regent outright
It is outright hilarious that the
Daily has chosen not to endorse me
for University Regent! I am Matt
Petering, the student candidate for
Regent who was endorsed by The
Detroit News on Oct. 17. 1 might be
the first student candidate ever to
receive a major news endorsement
for Board of Regents. And I can't
even get an endorsement from my
own paper, the Daily?
This is ridiculous! It's ridiculous
because I've been reaching out to
the community more than any other
candidate in my race. I'm the only
candidate who's been to a Michigan
Student Assembly meeting.
I'm the only candidate who's
been to a Senate Advisory Commit-
tee on University Affairs (faculty
government) meeting. I've been to
more Regents' meetings (three) than
any of my competitors, except
incumbent Andrea Fisher Newman.
I'm the only candidate who tells it
like it is and has the guts to take a
stand for students. At the Sept. 19
meeting, I told President Coleman
and the top executives of the Univer-
sity that, "Funds must be shifted
away from administration and back
to teaching."
No other candidate has been
that boldly honest. I love the Uni-

versity of Michigan and I want it to
be the best it can be. I worked pre-
viously as a cryptologic mathemati-
cian at the National Security
Agency. Clearly, I'm ready and
qualified to be Regent.
Is the Daily ready to have me as
the next Regent of the University of
Michigan? Maybe not, but the rest of
the student body is.
The letter writer was a Green Party candi-
date fortthe University Board ofRegents
Quantity of 'asinine'
resolutions passed
matkes MBA irrele-
Sarah Boot and Dana Glassel
were partially right when they said
the resolution to support the Daily
boycott does not make the Michi-
gan Student Assembly "irrelevant"
(MSA executives clarify Daily boycott
resolution, 10/29/02).
What really showed how "irrele-
vant" MSA is was the fact that they
passed not one, but five asinine res-
olutions in one meeting!
If Glassel and Boot are looking
for more useless things to vote on
perhaps they could vote to support
the continued use of the block M as
the University's logo.
Engineering senior

La morte de la vie boheme

The two most
bohemian towns
in Michigan are
Ann Arbor and Royal
Oak. In these vestiges
of '60s hippy liberal-
ism, itsis still not out of
the ordinary to see peo-
ple with multicolored
hair and multiple pierc-
ings, carrying with them the scents of various
forms of plant life. How many other cities
could credibly host Hash Bash annually?
But the times are finally beginning to
catch up with Royal Oak and Ann Arbor.
The former is now host to one of Barnes and
Noble's latest flagship stores as the city
seeks to revitalize itself by attracting other
such chains. Ann Arbor's unique atmosphere
is slowly being replaced by national chains
as local establishments such as Decker
Drugs, Ethnic Creations, Shiva Moon, Lure
and Boss Guitar all exit the city's commer-
cial districts. I see this destruction of local-
ism not only as a manifestation of the
triumph of capitalism and the homogeniza-
tion of culture that have been taking place
for years, but also as a symbol of what has
happened to the political movement associ-
ated with Ann Arbor.
When our parents attended this university
during the Vietnam-era, it was host to more
protests than any other university in the coun-
try, except the University of California at
Berkeley. It was an era befitting such a move-
ment. The country's three greatest leaders (all
of whom were young) were assassinated and
then replaced by older, out-of-touch leaders
caught up in what turned out to be an unnec-

essary, never-ending war.
Two thousand three could not be more
different than that era. Following a decade
of great prosperity that made it difficult to
mobilize a truly progressive movement, the
United States has just entered an era in
which it faces real security threats. The
bombings in Casablanca and Riyadh only
reinforce this reality. It seems impossible
that any old-time progressive could ever
get elected president now. No member of
the idealistic Left will be able to defeat
President Bush. Issues such as healthcare
are important, but the average American
values his safety and security over goals
that liberals have been promising to
achieve since Harry Truman was president.
So it seems that bohemia and the political
movement associated with it are dead.
But why is this? Why did so many chil-
dren of the '6s cut their hair and don suits
and ties instead of tie-dye. My guess is that
even the most idealistic person cannot con-
tinue living in a fantasy world through three
assassinations, the Nixon presidency, a lack
of any viable Democratic candidates for
decades, the Reagan administration and the
tragedy that was the Clinton administration.
I think, however, that there is some-
thing much more significant involved in
the dissipation of the U.S. progressive
movement, and that is self-destruction.
Subscribers to this political persuasion
never learned to adapt to a changing world.
They have been bent on rejecting reality
and living in the haze of an earlier era.
Instead of embracing the triumph of cap-
italism, much of the Left turned against it,
fighting to block free trade and slow global-

ization even though trying to stop globaliza-
tion is like trying to keep the sun from com-
ing up - it can't be done and is merely a
waste of time that helps no one. A movement
that is out of touch with reality has no chance
offinding political support and winning elec-
tions. The Left can only survive by focusing
on achieving liberal goals through more real-
istic means. This means envisioning a pro-
gressive worldview that does not disregard
the state of world affairs.
Unions, for example, are still operating
on the same model as when Henry Ford
ran Ford Motor Company. And while many
of the roles that unions have played have
not changed since then - collective bar-
gaining and workers' rights remain hugely
important - workers can no longer count
on supporting a family by doing the same
task on an assembly line for 30 years.
Unions would better serve their members
by getting into the business of providing
workers with training and education - in
short, helping them adapt to the realities of
a global economy - than by fighting the
North American Free Trade Agreement.
George W Bush is the president, U.S.
Rep. Tom Delay (R-Texas) is the most pow-
erful man in Congress and William Renquist
is the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Liberals aren't doing too well in this coun-
try, which means it's time for a new strategy.
If they don't figure out a way for bohemia
and the aforementioned national chains to
coexist, I have no doubt as to who will win
that fight.
Pesick can be reached at

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