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September 22, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 22, 1995

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
Ulstudents at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

7e out-ofst

ate student s'

s a:

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. A ll
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Sign dhere
AAmencean Sig-n Language deserves U' credit

T hey've got the old standbys: French,
German, Spanish and Latin. They've
also got the exotic: Urdu, Tamil and other
languages. Does the University, however,
offer for credit one of the most common
languages used in the United States? No.
Students cannot take an American Sign Lan-
guage (ASL) for credit here. This deficiency
must be remedied.
ASL is the third most common language
in the United States - behind only English
and Spanish. Its use surpasses that of all
foreign languages taught at the University
except Spanish. Furthermore, it is recog-
nized by the state of Michigan as a foreign
language. The language certainly is worthy
of a class.
Students in the College of LSA must
demonstrate fourth-term proficiency in a sec-
ond language to graduate with a Bachelor of
Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. ASL is
already recognized by the University as suf-
ficient to fulfill this requirement - to re-
ceive credit for it, a student needs to have
proof of four semesters of the language from
another institution. Many other schools offer
ASL for credit, including Michigan State.
Why can't the University keep up?
One of LSA's objectives in requiring a
second language is to educate students about
another culture. A traditional argument
against ASL as a second language has been
that there is no culture to be taught along with
it.'Yet ASL does in fact have a unique culture
and history - that of the strong and active
deaf community in the United States. Fur-

thermore, if the goal of second-language ac-
quisition is to communicate effectively with
people of another culture, ASL no doubt will
fit the bill.
Another objection some raise is that there
is no department into which to fit ASL. As the
system works, a department has to come
forward to request faculty and resources to
teach a course. The Asian languages depart-
ment came forward to request funding for
Tamil, but no department has ever come
forward with an interest in teaching ASL.
Many have mentioned the linguistics depart-
ment as a logical home for ASL--there is, in
fact, a faculty member within the department
who could teach the language. The Univer-
sity has the resources to offer ASL for credit
- it need only swing them into action.
In recent years, the word "foreign" was
dropped from the language requirement, so
that ASL could be included as an acceptable
second language. The University must fol-
low this symbolic step with real action. It
would be a progressive step for ASL to gain
the status it deserves, and interest has indeed
been expressed in the idea from all sides.
Joan E. Smith, coordinator of Services forthe
Deaf and Hard of Hearing, observed that her
telephone rings off the hook with students
asking about this non-existent class, and LSA
Associate Dean Lincoln Faller calls it an
"intriguing prospect." Despite this interest,
the best the University can do at this point in
time is to offer the language as a no-credit
mini-course. American Sign Language de-
serves more attention than that.

66 Soda" is an anachronism.
A soda is what my father got in the
early '60s after he nervously asked the cute
girl down the street (now known as Mom) if
she wanted to go to the corner store.
In these moderntimes, people drink Coke,
or Pepsi, or even - dare I mention? - pop.
Sure, it sounds stupid. I'm not going to
lie to you: Pop is a dumb name for the
carbonated, caffeine-laden beverages that
enable many of us to survive 9 a.m. lectures
about "sea urchins and their mating rituals."
"Pop," though, is exponentially better
than "soda," which gives me visions of run-
ning into the soda fountain to get one for me
and my "steady girl" as the four cheerful
men in matching Texaco suits wash the
windshield, check the tires and oil, and fill
the tank ofthe 1958 Bel Air my father loaned
me for our big date - be back by 10 or else.
Whatever they call it outside the Mid-
west or in foreign countries like New Jersey,
in Michigan we call it pop. And we play
euchre. And, yes, we root for the Lions.
These are Midwestern things, Michigan
things. They are much misunderstood by
those who cannot call themselves Michigan-
ders - almost as much as why we would
possibly refer to ourselves as "Michigan-
Thirty percent of Michigan's students
are out-of-staters. You know who you are.
Don't be ashamed; turn to the person next to
you and greet them with a hearty "I'm an
out-of-stater." Sure, they'll stare at you like
you're crazy - that's a sign of affection
here. But don't do it until you've finished

this crash course on Michigan an
Only then can you claim to und
Let's clear up some mispercep
the state and the students who co
Let's start with ...
Tuition: Out-of-staters are al
plaining about the tuition differ
You pay so much, we pay so lit
This is a myth. In reality, w
anything. They pay us to go to s
just so that you'll feel good when
not to know the answers.
In fact, your tuition, Miss Ea
the mainstay ofthis state's econor
up 86 percent of the state's Gros
What about the car industry,
Cars: The whole auto-indus
another carefully propagated u
signed to convince out-of-staters
ganders really toil like other Ar
while in fact we really just wa
hunt, living off turnip and so
Cars have never been manu
Michigan. We import them fr4
and translate their names into E
perform the work ourselves? A
In fact, we made up the w
Ford-mass production story to;
car story. Mass production was a
ated in 1953 by the Saudis; Hen
a small-time Ypsilanti mayonr
man who never rode in a car in I
closest he came to inventing m
tion was 1909, when a load of sp

d in-staters. he delivered drove 650 people to enter the
erstand us. hospital simultaneously.
tions about The Upper Peninsula: Let's face it: The
)me from it. Upper Peninsula doesn't exist. Much of it is
just a figment of your imagination.
lways com- The rest of it, the part that really does
ential here. exist, isn't part of Michigan. The existing
tle. U.P. is Canada, pure and simple. So are
e don't pay Wisconsin and Minnesota, for that matter.
chool here, Why U-M?: Many out-of-staters think
we pretend that Michiganders attend Michigan because
we weren't accepted elsewhere. This is partly
stcoaster, is true: We weren't accepted at out-of-state
ny. It makes schools because we didn't apply.
s Domestic For most of us, it was ignorance: we just
didn't realize there were schools associated
you ask? with those other football teams. How could
stry saga is Joe Kalamazoo know that Virginia wasn't
intruth, de- just a sports club, that students actually
that Michi- matriculated there? We thought Michigan
nericans - was the only football team in the country
ater-ski and with a school attached.
ybean rev- Deficiencies: While Ann Arbor, with its
high proportion of non-Michiganders, has
ifactured in all the modern conveniences - Ethernet,
om Finland telephones, cable TV, heat and indoorplumb-
English, but ing - the rest of the state still lacks these
re you kid- newfangled contraptions.
Things are looking up, however: It is
hole Henry Gov. Engler's goal to have electricity in
support the every home by 2010. Soon, we in-staters
actually cre- may even go home to hot water and electric
ry Ford was stoves.
naise sales- For now, though, I have to go feed the
his life. The horses ... how else will I get to school?
ass produc- - Brent McIntosh can be reached over e-

)oiled mayo

mail at mctosh@umich.edu.

I F-+




'I never give them
hell. I just tell the
truth and they
think it's hell.'
- Harry Truman

Gouging the poor
Earned-income tax credit should be spared
he 104th Congress continued its assault do not end with the welfare debate. Essen-
on the nation's poor last Monday when tially raising taxes on America's poor while
Senate Republicans made clear their inten- proposing a tax cut for everyone else smells
tions to scale back tax breaks for low-income of misplaced priorities. It sends a message to
families. These tax breaks - which even the public that if an individual is poor, that
conservatives such as Ronald Reagan hailed person's hard work does not merit the same
as the best anti-poverty program ever de- reward as that of other Americans. It is unfair
vised -- should be preserved in their en- for the federal government to alter the tax law
tirety. so that the rich get richer and the poor shoul-
The earned-income tax credit program, or der more of the tax burden. Tax credits are
EIC, provides federal income tax credits to not meant to vastly redistribute income. They
individuals or families whose total salaries are simply designed to raise hard-working
hover near or below the poverty line. The Americans' incomes above the poverty line.
program was born under the Ford adminis- Republicans who contend that the pro-
tration and has been on the books with bipar- gram is subject to waste and abuse have some
tisan support for the past two decades. Given justification. Congressional research esti-
Congress' current emphasis on encouraging mates that 24,000 families with incomes
Welfare recipients back into the workplace, it above $50,000 a year got some benefits this
makes little sense for the Senate to remove past year. However, it makes more sense to
this incentive to work. How can a parent address and correct flaws in the administra-
coming off welfare be expected to work 40 tion of the program than to for quick-fix cuts.
hours a week if that person's wages cannot Substantially cutting programs designed to
cover the costs of supporting his or her fam- assist the poor seems to be all the rage in
ily? Congress. While rooting out wasteful and
Social welfare is supposed to be about ineffective programs is to be commended,
providing a safety net for individuals who not retooling or replacing them could eventu-
Jave fallen on hard times. It should enhance ally leadto financially disadvantaged Ameri-
opportunities for poor individuals to hold a cans and their children being denied equality
job and get back on their feet. Tax credits are of opportunity.
'reward for hard work. If Congress is serious Congress should refocus its balanced-bud-
about its support of workfare, it should prove geting tactics on someone its own size and
this to the American people by sparing the address the waste and excessiveness of cor-
JIC program. porate - not individual - tax subsides and
The contradictions surrounding this cut welfare.
Lewis A. Morrissey, chief freedom of information officer
Office of the Vice President for University Relations
2064 Fleming Administration Building
brandrPa ntiti ranuPcts fnr doaments and other information under the state's




Contract foes
To the Daily:
In response to Hays Ellisen's
letter ("Contract with America
aims at more than social wel-
fare," 9/19/95), lthink it's impor-
tant that the students here at Uni-
versity realize the facts about his
organization, the Coalition
Against the Contract "On"
America, and the misconceptions
about the Contract they have ex-
First of all, much to the
CACOAnuts dismay, the Con-
tract has been already fulfilled.
The Contract with America was
the promise made by congres-
sional Republicans that they
would bring 10 important items
to debate on the floor of the House
of Representatives. This in itself
is a major accomplishment given
that many of these items could
not even be brought up for debate.
under the Democrats' reign in the
House of Representatives.
While Mr. Ellisen mentions
that one item in the Contract
would give a tax cut to those
making $200,000 a year, he never
mentions the majority of Ameri-
cans who would also receive this
tax credit for their children. This
tax cut is designed to help all
American families and the $500
tax credit goes the same for those
making under $200,000 as it does
for those making above that. Do
we say that public services like
water, the fire department and the
police are unfair because they help
the rich? Of course not, because
these services are universal and
help us all, just as the tax credit
will help all American families.
If the CACOAnuts wish to por-
tra thaealcw.c ne t nnti fnm

CACOAnuts? Well, looking at
their membership roster one finds
not only students, but University
faculty (no big surprise there) and
also people who have openly pro-
fessed their proud communist ide-
ology to me. So who are the true
extremists? The Republicans are
providing real change in Wash-
ington that most American vot-
ers supported last election, while
the CACOAnuts consist of dis-
gruntled liberals and communists
who can't accept political reality.
The only angry white male I've
seen recently is President Clinton
when someone mentions Rush
Limbaugh. The Republicans
aren't angry, we're ecstatic that
we've been given the opportu-
nity to really change our govern-
ment. Change it we shall, to the
chagrin of all those CACOAnuts.
Mark Fletcher
LSA senior
State chairman, Michigan
Federation of College
Liberals miss
real issues
To the Daily:
I am writing this in response
to Hays Ellisen's and Marti
Bombyk's letter on the Contract
with America. It always amazes
me that in any criticism of the
Contract, liberals attack only one
issue of the 10 in the Contract,
that issue being the cuts in social
spending, and demonize the en-
tire contract based on that point.
They never discuss any of the
other nine issues, such as the bal-
anced budget amendment or the
law requiring Congress to follow
the same laws as everyone else,
to nam e n mi ith tatthen

back and let the government spend
my tax money on wasteful feel
good programs designed to "em-
power" self-described "victims of
society"? Ellisen and Bombyk list
"poor, children, elders, gays, les-
bians andbisexuals", among other
groups. Why must everyone be
labeled and identify with some
minority victim group? Whatever
happened to just people, and in-
dividual rights and responsibili-
In response to their call against
capital gains tax cuts, I believe
that taxes should be cut even more
than what is proposed, in order to
allow Americans to keep more of
what they earn, so that each per-
son can work toward financial
independence on their own, in-
stead of relying on redistribution
of income and handouts from the
government. Far too much ofmy
income goes not to people who
are genuinely in need, but to
people who rip off the system in
order to shirk their own responsi-
bilities and obligations. (I worked
in an inner-city supermarket for
six years, so I've seen how wel-
fare cheating works firsthand.)
I hardly consider eliminating
affirmative action in order to im-
pose the same standards on ev-
eryone "racist." We should not
exchange one type of discrimina-
tion for another, but should hold
everyone to the same standards
ofequality and opportunity, based
on individual merit. Living in the
shadow of past abuses will do
nothing but continue to cause re-
sentment and further poison rela-
tionships between whites and
Finally, I had to laugh when
Ellisen and Bombyk wrote that
Proposition 187 "discriminates
against immigrants." It sure does.
ILLEGAL ONES. Illegal aliens

Everson lacks
all the facts
To the Daly:
In his column last week ("In
the Osborne court of law, guilty
until proven innocent holds for
Phillips," 9/13/95), Darren
Everson criticized Nebraska foot-
ball head coach Tom Osborne for
his stance against Heisman can-
didate Lawrence Philips. For
those ofus familiar with Nebraska
football and its head coach, it is
appalling that he could question
Osborne's "morals and ethics."
Regardless of my opinion of
Osborne's moral character, let's
get down to the facts. After an
alleged incident of domestic vio-
lence between Philips and his
former girlfriend, Philips was
tossed off the team. However,
this incident is far from being
indicative of "erratic moral judg-
ment". Philips has been involved
in two other legal scuffles re-
cently, and Osborne followed the
set policy for the team. After the
first incident, the player is re-
ferred to the student athlete re-
view committee which assesses
the situation and decides upon
action to take with the player.
After the second incident, the
player meets in a conference with
Osborne. Osborne and player dis-
cuss the incident and again some
sort of action is taken. At this
point, a player is warned that any
further problems will result in
their dismissal from the team.
Although Everson cited the
cases of Riley Washington, who
is being charged with attempted
second-degree murder, and
Damon Benning, who was ar-
rested in connection with an al-
leged assault on his ex-girlfriend,
as nronf of the inconsistencv of

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