THE MICHIGAN REVIEW Now in TECHNICOLOR!
Volume 19, Number 6
The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan
November 8 - 22, 2000
BAMNboozled! How Jessica Curtain Lied and Swindled MSA for Money BY MATTHEW S. SCHWARTZ
ICHIGAN STUDENT Assembly representative Jessica Curtin, who was ultimately responsible for scheduling the activities of "Affirmative Action 102," deliberately lied to the Assembly at its Oct. 3 meeting in order to acquire an extra $3,000 to engender student support for racial preferences. Her attempt failed, but various activities have come to light that call into question whether she ever intended AA102 to be a balanced examination of affirmative action. On Sept. 26, MSA approved spending over $11,000 to fund "AA102," a week intended to spark debate over the use of racial preferences in admissions. The original motion proposing AA102 was cosponsored by Curtin, a proponent of racial preferences, and Communications Chair
Matt Nolan, an opponent. Both assured Assembly members that the events during the week would be bipartisan in nature. MSA voted to allocate $3,000 each toward bringing in two noted speakers: Jesse Jackson in defense of racial J. Pratt/Review preferences, and Contrary to popular belief, BAMN members do not Ward Connerly in actually live out on the Diag, it just seems like they do. opposition. Connerly, chairman preferences in California. of the American Civil Rights Institute, and Connerly charges $10,000 per debate former regent of the University of appearance, so more money was needed. California, chaired the California Civil Rights Initiative that helped pass See BAMNboozled on Page 7 Proposition 209, ending all forms of racial
Diag Surrenders, MSA Elections Back BY MICHAEL AUSTIN FRATERNALI
ICK OF NEVER knowing what is going on at school? Feel like no one is there to help the students? If you fall into this category, or if you are just sick of the way things are run at this school, then it is time for you to do something. On November 15th and 16th, the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) elections will be held. This is your chance to make some changes. There are 21 open seats this term: 8 in LSA, 3 in both Engineering and Rackham, 2 in Business, and 1 each for Dentistry, Medicine, Music, Nursing, and Social Work. In order to capture these seats, three parties have been formed and 9 hopeful
Independents have joined the race. The main parties are the incumbent Blue Party, the newly founded Michigan Party, and the Defend Affirmative Action Party (DAAP). Each has party has its own platform and goals for the future of MSA. However, all has not been smooth thus far. Some controversy erupted the day before the deadline to sign with a party. As the ballot clearly indicates, the Michigan Party is running only 7 candidates for the 8 open in LSA. The reason for this is a last minute switch by sophomore MSA-LSA candidate Jessica Cash. After initially committing herself to the Michigan Party, she told them she would not be running with them, and then committed herself to
See MSA on Page 8
Matt and Jake got on 60 Minutes and helped Ed Bradley rip the administration a new one. Meanwhile, BAMN just beats up a freshman.
From Suite One
More about AA102 (well stop reporting on it if they stop making news about it) and our MSA endorsements. Lets hope history is on our side once more.
BY ADAM DANCY
NN ARBOR IS a tricky place to live. After a mere two months as a resident here, my concept of reality has been severely skewed. This is a place where it appears that Ralph Nader has a decent chance of being elected president; where fundamentalism of any kind has been beaten, flogged, and left to die; where all views are accepted, and diversity is the battle cry. Actually, in my first two months here, the word diversity has been thrown in my face and shoved down my throat by the administration, and political student groups, especially, and most vocally, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by Any Means Necessary (BAMN). However, this group has yet to demonstrate that they have any concept of the meaning of this word. Just a few short weeks ago, the Peace and Justice Commission of the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) and BAMN sponsored the ten day-long Affirmative Action 102 program, designed to inform and convince students of the benefits of affirmative action. It was extravagant: Jesse Jackson showed up and everything. This all wrapped up the afternoon of Thursday, October 19th, with the Day of Action rally and march through the Diag. The program was hailed as a celebration of diversity. It was a sham.
Michigan Party Chairman, Doug Tietz
See RAPE on Page 3
First three copies free,additional copies 50 cents. Stealing is Illegal and a sin (Exodus 20:15)
www.michiganreview.com Serpents Tooth
The Rape of a Young Man’s Mind, Sign
Jim DOESNT write about guns, but rather about kickball. Mike goes after communism. Unlike the Daily, our columnists actually hate communism.
After a year off, we have music reviews again, but that does not mean wine reviews will be back.
El Señor Guípe and then some
El Señor Guípe and La Señorita Margarita are back. And no, I dont think either of them are remotely Hispanic.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW SERPENTS TOOTH
SERPENTS TOOTH Robert DeNiro recently gave Hillary Clinton a kiss during her 53rd birthday bash/fund raiser. One can only hope that the real world is somewhat like DeNiro's movies, in which Hillary will be "whacked" later.
Russia has announced that it plans to dump the Mir space station into the Pacific ocean this Febuary. As part of the ongoing push for cooperation in space exploration, the descent will be controlled by US Senator Ted Kennedy with assistance from former Russian president Boris Yeltsin.
The Russian Parliment recently considered a bill to establish a "Voice of Russia" radio station to ensure the survival of freedom and democracy in the United States. Moscow has been without an official American mouthpiece since the fall of Communism, as its former network, NPR, remains loyal to the old government
The Post Office is soliciting offers to supply 800,000 computers, printers and internet access for their employees, because you know, ammunition is much cheaper when you buy it online.
A member of the Islamic Jihad recently rode a bike loaded with explosives toward an Israeli outpost before he was stopped and killed. A suicidal bomber on a bike? Man, those high fuel prices must be hitting everyone...
The faculty of Penn State University recently banned booing, or "negative cheering" as they called it, at PSU football games. This might work, but Joe Pa should probably ban the team from sucking, or "negatively winning" first
A welcome mat outside an executive box at Shea Stadium has a picture of First Lady Hillary Clinton, the New York senatorial candidate who claimed during her campaign that she has always loved the Yankees. These words are written on the mat: "I've always been a Yankees fan! The Hillary Doormat."
WISN 12 in Milwaukee reported Sunday that Gore volunteers were actually caught offering Milwaukee’s homeless cigarettes in exchange for voting for Gore. However shocking and hypocritical this practice is for Gore though, this is an old tried and true method, seeing Ralph Nader had been trying to pay for the votes of these
November 8, 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW
same homeless people earlier that day, but didn’t have enough weed left for them.
The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan “Well I’m all broken up about that man’s rights.”
Last Friday saw yet another marijuana rally on our fair Diag, with drug paraphernalia freely passed around. Wow, good thing it was only joints and bongs, because you know if it was a rally to lower the drinking age and underage drinkers were drinking, DPS would’ve broken out the tear gas and fire hoses before you can say “beer buzz.”
James Y. Yeh Editor-in-Chief
a blind man. A 20-year old man from New Bloomfield, Missouri was charged with endangering the welfare of children after he handed out condoms and sealed syringes to trick-or-treaters. What, no live ammo and blasting caps?
James Justin Wilson Publisher, Managing Editor
Michael D. Austin Managing Editor
Matthew Franczak National Affairs Editor
Russian police stormed the headquarters of the Smirnoff vodka distillers last weekend, fighting off bottlethrowing employees. Meanwhile, cops that were actually old enough to drink opted for the easy way out and just went to the bar instead.
R. Colin Painter
Matt, before surgery
D.C. Lee Campus Affairs Editor ASSISTANT EDITORS:
FEATURES EDITOR: SATIRE EDITOR: COPY EDITOR: ONLINE EDITOR: MUSIC EDITOR: LAYOUT:
The little town of Virgin, Utah has enacted a new ordinence that would require a gun and ammunition in each household for self defense. Hmm, that’s one way to keep Jehovah’s Witnesses away, isn’t it?
It appears that the house that Elian Gonzalez lived in during his stay in the United States has been bought by members of his Miami family and will be turned into a shrine. Just two days later, those that played the street number of the house in the Floriday lottery each won $5000 dollars. In a related story, crowds formed in outskirts of Miami, where it is reported that a woman has discovered a tortilla bearing the likeness of Elian, and that this tortilla has already cured two cripples and
Ruben Duran Gina Fraternali Brad Sprecher Kurt Rademacher David Guipe Michael Veeser Rabeh Soofi John Pratt Carl Grant
STAFF WRITERS: Margaret Allen, Dan Honig, Branden Muhl, Ryan Serra
Jake, before Columbia Law School Congratulations to Matt and Jake for their role in 60 Minutes’ story on the lawsuits against the University. Matt got some good screen time, while Jake kinda got shafted. And kudos to Ed Bradley for ripping into the administration like he did. “Well what if it’s a really good essay? Can the applicant get TWO points?” A wonderful job indeed. You’ve renewed our faith in the otherwise liberal media.
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The Michigan Review is the independent, student-run journal of conservative and libertarian opinion at the University of Michigan. We neither solicit nor accept monetary donations from the U–M. Contributions to the Michigan Review are taxdeductible under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Review is not affiliated with any political party or university political group. Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board. Ergo, they are unequivocally correct and just. Signed articles, letters, and cartoons represent the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the Review. The Serpent’s Tooth shall represent the opinion of individual anonymous contributors to the Review, and should not necessarily be taken as representative of the Review’s editorial stance. The opinions presented in this publication are not necessarily those of the advertisers or of the University of Michigan. We welcome letters, articles, and comments about the journal. What a great World Series! Take that, Mets fans! By the time this issue reaches the stands, we will know who the next president will be. If it’s that gun-grabbing bastard, Al Gore, all I’ll be asking for Christmas is an M1 Garand and a case of ammo. And if Bush wins, well, I’d probably ask for the same thing. Please address all advertising, subscription inquiries, and donations to Publisher c/o the Michigan Review. Editorial and Business Offices: The Michigan Review 911 N. University Avenue, Suite One Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265 email@example.com http://www.michiganreview.com Tel. (734) 647-8438 • Fax (734) 936–2505 Copyright © 2000 The Michigan Review, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michigan Review is a member of the Collegiate Network.
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November 8, 2000
RAPE Continued from Page 1 Throughout the week, I longed to hear a dissenting voice shouting in the streets or an alternative viewpoint posted on phone poles. I eagerly waited for the announcement of a counter-rally. I was hoping for students to wake up, stand up, and oppose BAMN’s tyranny. It never happened, and I was left bitterly frustrated. The University of Michigan’s idea of diversity seems to be a monopoly of opinion, not an assortment of many. I was determined to show that there is a voice of opposition on this campus. But I was not about to scream at the top of my lungssurely the assembled crowd would drown out my cries. So I made a sign. I made it to be just as loud as the rally and its marchers. It screamed: “Affirmative Action Poisons Equality.” I expected glares or maybe a few nasty comments, but the response I received was far more malicious than I could have anticipated. Led by the marching band from Cass tech, the march proceeded through the Diag, and around the block. I paraded with the marchers, and allowing my sign to speak for me, I remained silent, amidst the vocal protest of others (In truth, it has been quite a while since I have been called “Uncle Tom” and a “right-wing Nazi”). Finally, the march headed back to the Diag, reentering through the West Hall arch. Once under the arch, the nonviolent demonstrators soon became an angry mob. They began grabbing for my sign, so in 10 foot-wide arch, I was trapped. I did the only thing I could think of: I sat down midway through the arch. Most of the marchers simply walked around or ignored me, but a few shouted slogans and profanities, spat on me, repeatedly kicked me, and struck my head with the wooden dowels that held their large signs. Once my sign was torn to shreds, the crowd dissipated, and their fun was over. I struggled to stand, and finally limped back to my room, enraged. Independent of one’s opinions regarding affirmative action, violence should never be tolerated or promoted. The phrase “by any means necessary” signifies more to me than merely rallying and marching. One might think an organization bent on promoting diversity would be enthusiastic about allowing an opposing viewpoint to be heard. Not so. My bruises faded within a few days, but my opinion of BAMN is irreversible. I am relieved that diversity applies to everyone.MR
This is probably where that By Any Means Necessary part comes into play. But would BAMN resort to cannibalism to defend Affirmative Action? email@example.com
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS
Review’s Ready-made Resolution As many of you may have noticed over the last few years, Jessica Curtain and her lackeys in the DAAP party have railroaded MSA right into the fiery pits of hell. What was once a fairly (we use the term loosely) effective student government has become nothing more than an extension of her own personal civil rights movement. For years we have reported on her various transgressions, but each time she wins out because she wields the race card like Excalaber in MSA -- any member voting against her is instantly labeled a white devil or something like that. The time has come to finally do away with this pestilence that has fallen on what was once a Shining City on a Hill It needs to be morning again in MSA.
Confidential This is your mission, should you choose to accept it. Mission: Impeach Jessica Curtin for Treason and High Crimes against the Students of the University of Michigan. Suspect Description: Beady, Scary Eyes. A chill enters the room upon her arrival. Often found squatting on Diag. Occasional sightings of horns poking through hair.
That being said, weve put together a Review Ready-made Resolution. We know that the people in MSA are busy chalking the diag and stuff so we decided to take a little weight off their shoulders and write the resolution for them. So, one of you MSA-types: This isnt that hard; all it takes is a scissors and a little will power. Go for it! (Cut out and submit to MSA)
M i c h i g a n
S t u d e n t
A s s e m b l y
RESOLUTION to Open an Investigation of Jessica Curtin's Involvement in AA102 Week WHEREAS, Jessica Curtin was Officially Censured by the Michigan Student Assembly in Fall, 1999, for misusing her leadership role on Activist Newsletter for personal gain; and WHEREAS, it was believed that an Official Censure would instill upon Ms. Curtin respect for MSA and the student funds it collects with which to do its business; and the recognition that it is deceitful and immoral to misuse MSA resources for personal gain; HOWEVER, evidence has come to light showing that Ms. Curtin purposely lied to the Assembly regarding funding for Ward Connerly, in an attempt to secure three thousand ($3,000.00) dollars of discretionary funding for pro-affirmative action causes during; and WHEREAS, this is but the latest in a long string of offenses spanning many years; and WHEREAS, it is clear that the Censure did not have its desired effect, and in fact appears to have had the opposite effect of causing Ms. Curtin to have even less respect for student funds; BE IT RESOLVED: That an official investigation be opened into the most recent of Ms. Curtin's alleged fraudulent activities during AA102 Week; and That the results of the investigation be reported back to the Assembly exactly two weeks from the current date; at which time the investigative committee will recommend a proper course of action concerning the continued status of Ms. Curtin as a member of the Michigan Student Assembly.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW EDITORIALS
November 8, 2000
FROM SUITE ONE
The Time Has Come:
Impeach Jessica Curtin and Don’t Re-elect DAAP
HE’S INCITED A riot, vandalized a police barricade, made illegal copies with student money, and appropriated mandatory MSA student fees to boycott a partisan political rally, but the trail of crime and abuse doesn’t stop there. Jessica Curtin, MSA representative from the Rackham graduate school, had higher designs when she returned to campus this fall. Her most recent offenses involve the embezzlement of $11,000 of MSA discretionary money to showcase “Affirmative Action 102”, a sham-debate on the University’s admissions policy. At the September 19th MSA meeting, Curtin proposed that the University’s student government allocate $53,239.05 to fund a fair dialogue on Affirmative Action. During the proposal, Curtin told MSA members that, although she is a staunch supporter of race, she would make special efforts to secure speakers on both sides of the issue, such that members of the University community might learn from the best minds on either side. MSA approved Ms. Curtin’s proposal, limiting her budget to a modest $11,000. With
only a guise of impartiality, and after having already received MSA funding for opposition speakers, Curtin never invited any opponents to the debate. In the end the only speakers to show were on the side of Affirmative Action. As co-chair of MSA’s “Peace and Justice” commission, Curtin has been charged with the responsibility of fostering acceptance and integration on campus. Sadly, Curtin’s strange breed of “peace” excludes dissenting voices. It alienates those who may desire dialogue and better understanding. Students may well have enjoyed a cogent debate on the merits of Affirmative Action, as well as the drawbacks. But there was no room for disagreement. Of course, two weeks before the event Jessica contacted conservative groups to get involved in the process, but the “debate” had already been months in the working (how else would renowned pro-affirmative action speakers from as far as California and Massachusetts have made time for the event?). With such limited time for preparation, it is no wonder that the campus conservatives were unable to
Lets Hope We’re Wrong Again: ‘Run with DAAP’ this MSA Election
OR YEARS, THE Review has endorsed MSA candidates who promise to reform MSA and make it better serve the students. Two years ago it was the New Frontier Party, which wanted to make student fees optional, privatize the dining hall service, and of course, two-ply toilet paper in the dorms. Then there was the Wolverine Party last year, who wanted to make the campus operate 24 hours. OH yeah, and the FRAT party last fall. They made MSA look like the joke that it is. Every year, the party we endorse loses. So, this year we had a new idea, endorse the party we want to see lose. It’s really a win-win situation for us. If for some ungodly reason they win, we break the streak. And if God is truly a merciful god, and they lose, we’re happy and so is everybody else. We believe that the Michigan Party, with its student focused agenda, would take the focus and money away from
pertinent student issue like Bombing Iraq or the Arab-Israeli conflict. Doug Tietz’s friendly personality and cunning leadership has no place in MSA. The Michigan Party is full of nice, caring student who just want to make the University a better place. No one should vote for them! So, that’s right, The Michigan Review officially endorses The Defend Affirmative Action Party for MSA. There is no doubt that their militant leadership and extremely pertinent resolutions will benefit the students. The time has come to put an end to the Blue and Wolverine Party Dynasty, with their oppressive studentfocused policies. The atrocious nature of their focus on community service, students, and school sprit must come to an end. Somebody has to do that, and the DAAP is the party that will. So, the Review urges you to vote your conscience on November 16th and 17th. Vote the party that won’t do anything for you. Vote DAAP. MR
If you dont feel the dripping sarcasm in this, all hope is lost for you. Just dont vote.
front a counter-rally during the “debate”. In spite of the partiality built into the process, Luke Massie, a political assistant to Ms. Curtin, wasted no time in emailing the leaders of local conservative groups, chiding them for their “cowardice”. Not only have the framers of AA102 perverted their oftmentioned “justice”, but their taunts also go a long way to sever any attempts at “peace” in this issue. Unfortunately, the UM is not alone when it comes to the uncertain appropriation of student fees. The allocation of such fees to specific political/religious groups has been cause for much debate recently on the national level, with even the U.S. Supreme Court weighing in on the issue within the past year. At the University of Wisconsin, a student who was tired of funding leftist causes with his mandatory fees, took his college to court, that he might abolish the fee requirement. Ruling in favor of the UW, the High Court determined that, since student fees are distributed to student groups irrespective of religion, sex, creed, or political affiliation, the University was entitled to keep mandatory student government fees. Because all conceivable groups are given support, the Court argues that all students stand to benefit from the fees. Conversely, at the University of Michigan, MSA and Jessica Curtin have allocated a considerable sum towards a narrow political interest. In their defense, one might argue that MSA does give money to a wide array of political groups. What one may not realize is that groups like Students For Life are allocated a scant few hundred dollars while their left-leaning counterparts, the Students for Choice receive considerably more (despite “Life’s” considerable membership numbers). And neither of these groups come close to the $11,000 of money allocated for AA102, a program that had the veneer of impartiality, but was in fact another way to fund a narrow interest. Although Curtin duped MSA, as she did the rest of the campus community, the student government certainly might have used better judgment when deciding to sponsor the AA102 event. This is not to say that MSA shouldn’t have supported the project altogether. In fact, the spirit of the motion was noble, since it is imperative that all parties involved in the University’s admissions lawsuits be educated on the issue of race based admissions (this includes current students, who may be affected by the precedent set in this suit, as they apply for future academic programs). MSA’s poor judgment became apparent when it decided to allocate 85% of its discretionary budget,
designed to meet the emergent needs of the entire student body, on a single event. Surely one would expect the body to have better foresight than to throw all their funds at one issue. Even worse, in choosing Jessica Curtin to lead the search for debate speakers, every MSA member had to recognize a conflict of interest. Granted, Matt Nolan, an opponent to affirmative action, was chosen to cosponsor the program, but the task of selecting speakers was placed squarely on Curtin’s shoulders. And the poor decisions don’t stop there. Although Curtin’s proposed budget was voted on by line item, MSA, ever the guardian of University student money, saw fit to allocate a portion of the AA102 budget to high school students from the city of Detroit. The money was to provide transportation for the students to and from the rally, with dinner to boot. With no clear benefit to UM students, this last offense grates loudly against the constitutional requirements for fee dispersal. Of course these high school students have a vested interest in the Affirmative Action debate, but when enrolled University students foot the bill for non-UM students, there is a clear misappropriation of funds. Lastly, the event was poorly timed. Given that Jessica Curtin and her comrades conceived of AA102 long ago, one might have expected that the opposition would have had more time to prepare. Instead, the proposal was not approved by MSA until 18 days before the event was to take place. If MSA were truly concerned about having an impartial dialogue, they would have allowed for opponents of Affirmative Action to make their case before the campus community. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the student government at the UM might have a liberal bias. The tragedy is that singular political interest groups can squeeze vast sums from student’s pockets with MSA’s blessing with little to no accountability to the people paying the fees. Perhaps as long as students remain ignorant of MSA’s missteps and turn a blind-eye to Curtin’s egregious breech of trust, the student government’s “old guard” will continue their covert crimes under the radar. Perhaps it’s time students realized they had a stake in the allocation of their fees, and if they would, perhaps the political landscape on campus would look far different. As it is, student apathy will only preserve the status quo, leaving MSA leadership to those who do not balk at perpetuating political causes through dissention, deceit, and theft…“by any means necessary”. MR
November 8, 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW COLUMNS
A CHINK IN THE ARMOR
Roll Out a Few Balls... Play dodgeball, because it sure beats murder
T SEEMS LIKE every day we open the newspaper and we see more kids killing each other over who knows what. Just this year, on the first anniversary of the Columbine killings, a kid in Canada stabbed five people in his school. This is disturbing to say the least. It proves that guns aren’t t h e problem, as I’ve been James Y. Yeh stating ever since I’ve gotten this column. Rather, it is the basic need for people to commit some primative acts of violence. But I think I’ve got a solution to all of these problems with kids killing each other. In a word: dodgeball. Yes, you heard me right, dodgeball. That no-brainer gym class favorite we all loved from elementary school. If you attended public school in the United States within the last twenty years, then you must’ve played dodgeball in one of it’s incarnations at least once. For me, going K-12 in the public schools meant that I played dodgeball aplenty. And you know what? Out of all the things I did in gym class, I miss dodgeball the most (with kickball and handball coming in a distant second and third). I think dodgeball will solve a lot of problems if it’s played frequently. OK, here are the facts: dodgeball, or at least the way I played it in school, was a bloodsport, no doubt about it. Perhaps there are more civilized ways to play it, but I’ve never encountered any. Out of every variation that I’ve played, every single one boiled down to one basic action: hurling an object as hard as you can at another classmate. And man, let me tell you, it did wonders for the nerves. Face it, dodgeball was schoolsanctioned violence. Yeah, there was a bit of violence in football, but we always played two-hand touch or flag football in gym class, and football always involved “educational” things like teamwork and strategy. There’s no strategy in dodgeball, nor is there any teamwork (unless you’re playing the Greatest American Hero variant). Sure, there were teams, but they only served to differentiate between the kids you should be aiming for and the kids you shouldn’t be aiming for. Come to think of it, the only thing that dodgeball teaches is how to throw a ball and how to dodge. (Dodge-ball, get it?) It was an opportunity
for us kids to whip a ball at our classmates, and get graded on it. It’s beautiful beyond words. I remember the rush I used to get when I played dodgeball. You squeeze the rubber ball in your hands, and the longer you hold the ball, the sweatier your palms get. You run up to an unsuspecting classmate, and whip the ball at them, hoping they don’t catch it. And if you did everything right, you’re rewarding by that refreshing THWACK sound that a rubber ball makes when it strikes human flesh. There were always the slackers, the people who refused to participate in gym class (you know the type, the weird kids, the girls who didn’t want to muss their hair, etc.) and they always used to congregate into clusters. I remember the rush I got when I threw a ball into one of those clusters, and either seeing the kids scatter or seeing the ball bounce off someone. Malicious, you say? Well, that’s the point of the game! You’re
back, it was more than just a game. Dodgeball was the school’s way of letting us kids blow off steam. It was a release valve for all the pent up aggression and anger a kid feels in school. I remember having class right after gym class, and I was always at peace with the world. Then, as time went on, anger, aggression and angst were all bottled up inside until the next time we played dodgeball, where we all let it out in a frenzy of flying rubber balls. That’s why kids should be playing dodgeball more than ever today. I read an article on phys ed in today’s public schools last April, and it said that phys ed isn’t even required in some schools anymore. Well, for the love of God, bring it back. Save the children. Let them release their aggression in a school-sanctioned orgy of violence known as dodgeball. They can do that, or they can go home and play Doom or Quake, which probably isn’t as healthy. All bets are
Save the children. Let them release their aggression in a school-sanctioned orgy of violence known as dodgeball. They can do that, or they can go home and play Doom or Quake, which probably isn’t as healthy. not trying to pass the ball to someone, you’re trying to bean someone. If the player you’re aiming for catches the ball and holds onto it, you’re the one that’s out, not him (or her, as it happens). Therefore, you have to aim the ball at an awkward spot that would be hard for him or her to catch the ball. Maybe the legs, the back, if they’re running away, or the favorite, the head. True, aiming at the head increases the chances of the other person catching the ball, but it’s worth it when you see that ball bounce off that person’s head. Even when I wasn’t throwing stuff at people it was fun. Ever be the last guy alive on your side and you have to roll and dive to escape the barrage of balls coming at you? That was a rush. And even if you got hit, and you invariably would, you knew it was just a game. And that’s my point: it was just a game. You can throw a rubber ball (replaced by a yarnball once I got to seventh grade, yeesh) at someone’s head as hard as you can, watch them get smacked by it, and by the next class period, it’s as if nothing had happened. It’s a game, that’s that. Whoever you hit and how hard, it was all part of the game. Sure, you’re not suppose to go after just one person, but still, it’s just a game. But looking
off in dodgeball, all students are equal. There are no jocks, no nerds, no babes, and no crazies in trenchcoats. Everyone is fair game. Everyone has an imaginary target painted on either their heads or their crotches. And in the end, it doesn’t matter. If you send someone to the nurses office with a nosebleed, you were doing what you were supposed to be doing. If you get hit, it’s part of the game, it’s not people going after you. No one plots revenge after a rough game of dodgeball. Because that’s all it was, a game. The gym teacher gave us a bunch of balls, pointed to a line of tape dividing the class
in two, instructed us to start throwing them at each other, then stood back and officiated. There was no order, no procedure. If someone was hit by a ball, he or she knew it, loud and clear. And when one side has no one left standing, everyone rushes onto the court for another round. A game, simple as that, no regrets, no harm done. If kids just play a game a week, I guarantee they’ll feel better, physically and mentally. Some days, after a hard week, I wish I could just go and play a game of dodgeball. Surprisingly, we have no IM dodgeball here. Maybe that’s for the better though. When you start getting organized and start competing, you take the fun out of it. Dodgeball should be a happy-go-lucky game: if you get hit, so what, there’s always the next game. One of these days, I just want to put together a random game on the Diag. Sure, rolling and diving on the bricks is going to be painful, but it’s worth it. A few scraped knees and elbows are a small price to pay for the tranquillity that a dodgeball game offers, and with all the stress that we go through here, tranquillity goes quite a long way. MR
Imagine that, Jim didnt write a column about guns. He started to, but about three hundred words into it, it became apparent that he was unintentionally condoning mass murder. So, he went with dodgeball instead. Oh well... firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW COLUMNS
THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR COLUMN
November 8, 2000
Freedom, Pure and Simple
Or: I Only Want to See Pink on Womens Underwear, Not On My Government
FUNNY THING happened after the fall of Russia. The United States lost an enemy. This in itself, this was not a bad thing, but the consequences were a little more sinister. Without the “evil empire” lurking on the other side of the world, communism ceased to be a threat. C o n s e q u e n t l y, Marxist thought has infiltrated its way into our society at a level that would usher in Senate hearings in years past. Now I’m not about to suggest that we need Michael another Joe Austin McCarthy, or that McCarthyism was good in the first place. First of all it invaded and even ruined the lives of thousands of law-abiding citizens. It also did little to defeat communism, as all the real communists had to do was offer up a scapegoat from time to time to keep the heat off themselves. In reality the only positive thing that came out of McCarthyism was a deep fear of communism and socialism in the hearts of all the citizens. That day is long past us, and so is the fear of communism. People seem to have forgotten all the bad things about communism that make it a fundamentally flawed system. So now we have little red baby steps in our government programs, slowly leading us down the path of socialism. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself if the concept of universal health care would have even been considered twenty years ago. Any lawmaker that proposed nationalizing that much of our economy would have been laughed out of the Capitol building, and then beaten up by his constituents when he returned home. Not that everything has gone south right after the wall came down. Our government is huge - unbelievably huge and it’s been that way for a long time. If I have to fault President Reagan for one thing, it would have to be that he didn’t keep those big-government liberals running the Congress on a short enough leash. But I digress. We are faced with two main questions: how did we get where we are, and why is it bad? The road to socialism is paved with good intentions. You see, a long time ago someone thought we should have a government program to take care of those people who were down on their luck between jobs. So we got welfare. Oh, and
we need to help the poor pay their medical bills, so let’s start Medicaid. Don’t forget about grandpa and grandma either, they need a little help too, so let’s create Medicare and Social Security. I’m not about to suggest that we don’t need to help those who are less fortunate. It’s just that government programs have a funny way of never going away. In fact they tend to get bigger as the years go on. Nowadays nobody would dream of eliminating Social Security (all those seniors are a big voter demographic, didn’t you know), but when you look at the concept of giving people money for nothing it’s easy to see how it’s only a few steps away from total redistribution of wealth. The thing that bothers me the most about Social Security is that it doesn’t even make sense. You get benefits for what, growing
Obviously not everyone understands this, or it is just too harsh to deal with, because now both major political parties are doing all they can to promise senior citizens that they’ll get their drugs for cheap. Meanwhile, everyone seems to forget that every government program costs money, and that money comes out of your paycheck. Actually it comes out of a lot more than your paycheck. If you haven’t noticed, we get taxed a lot. Property tax, sales tax, income tax, capital gains tax; you name something that involves money, and there’s probably a tax on it. In fact, for every gallon of gasoline purchased we’re paying sales tax on top of the 37.5 cent state and federal taxes already levied. That’s right, you are paying tax on your tax! Let me ask you something: would it be a good idea if
The government has a larger role in our lives than ever before, and it increases more and more each day. The minimum wage keeps increasing without regard to its impact on the economy. The progressive income tax is considered fair. All out entitlement programs like Social Security are taken for granted. People in Washington think they know how to handle your money better than you do. old? Nice job! Why, I’d be happy to let you take some money out of my paycheck and take care all you old folks who didn’t have the common sense to save some money for retirement! The whole prescription drug benefit issue drives me crazy too. Why is it that everybody assumes that old people shouldn’t have to pay full price for anything? Apparently the laws of economics cease to exist for anyone who can’t pay the market value for a product. Yes, there are life saving drugs out there that many seniors can’t afford, and that’s a tragedy. But the cold harsh truth is that pharmaceutical companies are in business to make money. That means when a company invests millions of dollars into research, it needs to make a return on that investment when a product actually works. So if a drug company was forced to sell a product at cost, or even give it away, they probably won’t even bother to bring the product to market in the first place.
the postal service sent every letter they deliver to Washington D.C. first and then sent it out to its final destination? Of course not, that would be a waste of both time and money. Yet people seem to thing this is a great way to handle your taxes. I bet you’re wondering where this is all leading. Well today must be your lucky day because I’m going to tell you. The government has a larger role in our lives than ever before, and it increases more and more each day. The minimum wage keeps increasing without regard to its impact on the economy. The progressive income tax is considered fair. All out entitlement programs like Social Security are taken for granted. People in Washington think they know how to handle your money better than you do. As I said earlier, some government programs are a good idea. With our eyes blinded by apathy, however, these programs have outgrown their original scope and taken a life of their own. If prescription
drug benefits are accepted today will anybody be surprised if someone proposes nationalizing the pharmaceutical industry in order to keep prices down? We already have Ralph Nader proposing an upper limit on income combined with a massive increase in the minimum wage. That’s right folks, the redistribution of wealth, which is one step away from all-out socialism. Perhaps I’m being a little paranoid. But the point is that socialist and communist ideas have become commonplace today. Anybody should be free to express these ideas, but to implement them in our government goes against everything that has made our country great. The United States was founded on the concept of freedom, pure and simple. The government is supposed to take as little role in your life as possible. That starts with cutting taxes, so that people have more freedom to make their own economic decisions because they have more money in their pockets. And when people have more money, they benefit all of society either by putting more money into the economy or by actually adding to the economy by creating businesses and jobs. Now, there are a lot of things wrong with the United States. I’m not about to pretend that our country, or capitalism, is perfect. But it is the best system in the world, and it’s no wonder why our borders are flooded with immigrants who want to live where they are free to choose how to make and spend their money. If there is a better country in the world, I challenge anyone to move there. Any takers? I didn’t think so. All over the world new governments are forming, and most of them choose to have a capitalistic democracy. Let me put it this way: if big government is so good, how come nobody starts their government out that way? If history has taught us one thing, it is that the free market reigns supreme and that socialism was a failed experiment. The only major country left in the world that still operates under such an obsolete system is China. In China the basic standard of living would be called savage by our standards, as a majority of its population doesn’t have the conveniences we take for granted like running water and telephone lines. Oh, let’s not forget Cuba, a country so great that people risk their lives on cardboard rafts to float to the United States. The average income there is about $1,500 a year. But then again, I hear they have a great universal health care program. MR
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November 8, 2000
BAMNboozled Continued from Page 1 Luke Massie, a non-student intimately involved with the campus racial preferences group, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), sent an e-mail to a number of conservative student groups, requesting funds. It read in part: "Does any of you know of any antiaffirmative action individual, student group, foundation, etc. that would be willing to shell out some money for Ward Connerly to come to U of M to debate affirmative action in mid-October?" Receiving no help from the cashstrapped student groups, Massie then contacted the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a conservative group based in Virginia. At the Oct. 3 meeting, Curtin testified that Connerly had agreed to speak at the University on Oct. 17, and that YAF had agreed to donate $10,000 in funding for that purpose. In addition, Jackson had agreed to come for free. As such, proposed Curtin, MSA should reallocate the $6,000 for Connerly and Jackson back to the general AA102 fund, in effect letting her spend it however she saw fit. The motion failed, and the money went back into MSA’s discretionary fund, to be used for general programs throughout the year. The Truth Ward Connerly was never invited to speak, and YAF never agreed to fund anything. According to a spokesman for Connerly, Massie contacted their office on Sept. 27 and inquired how much he charges for appearances. Massie never invited Connerly to speak, said the spokesman. In addition, even if Massie had invited him, there was no way Connerly could speak, as he books speaking engagements months in advance. Sometime between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3, Massie contacted YAF national headquarters, and spoke to Rick Parsons, a program officer who helps secure conservative speakers for college campuses. According to Parsons, Massie requested help in bringing Connerly to campus on Oct. 17. In addition, "the way he was talking to me suggested he was conservative," said Parsons. Parsons told Massie that the YAF would try to help fund the event and set up the engagement, but he didn’t think there was enough time. Additionally, said Parsons, it was impossible for YAF to give anything larger than $2,000 or $3,000 – nothing near the $7,000 needed to supplement MSA. Finally, Parsons said that the YAF would only support Connerly’s visit if both
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS MSA and the U-M Administration promised that Connerly would be treated civilly, unlike his March 1998 visit in which he was booed at, shouted at, and treated disrespectfully by any standards. At the Oct. 3 MSA meeting, Curtin told the Assembly that Connerly had accepted the invitation, and that the YAF had agreed to fund it all, even though both statements were false. She then asked for Connerly’s $3,000 to be reapportioned into the general AA102 fund, where it could have been used however Curtin saw
Luke Massie, no doubt spreading his lies and communist agenda to the bourgeoisie lapdogs. And look, he still needs a haricut. fit. The YAF "never" offered any money toward AA102, let alone $10,000, said Parsons. "I wasn’t even at that point of calling Connerly’s office yet. … For [Curtin] to say that it was set up and that we would give $10,000 was absurd." When contacted by the Michigan Review, Curtin refused to comment. A Tangled Web Of course, Connerly had never been invited, so Curtin and friends had to get out of that agreement somehow. On Oct. 10 – one week before Connerly was "scheduled" to take part in an affirmative action debate – Massie sent another e-mail out to conservative and libertarian U-M groups, with the subject, "Compensating for the Pusillanimity of Your Co-thinkers." "Ward Connerly has developed a ‘scheduling conflict,’" Massie wrote. He continued, in parentheses: "(The fish was THIS BIG. The check is in the mail. The dog ate my homework.)" Massie then requested a conservative debate opponent to argue against "racebased preferences" with U-M Professor Carl Cohen. "In the event of your inability to come up with an opponent of affirmative action who is willing to debate Monday, all campus conservatives will, of course, be collectively, publicly excoriated
for your cowardice," he wrote. Most recipients of this letter took offense to its sarcastic tone. "I was disappointed when I read Mr. Massie’s comments," said Barb Lambert, president of the College Republicans, shortly after receiving the letter. "I recognize that we both favor two very differing viewpoints, but I felt it was disrespectful for Mr. Massie to solicit my assistance in securing a conservative speaker using distasteful and sarcastic comments towards a cause that I believe in strongly." In addition, Lambert felt that it was not her responsibility to pull a speaker out of her hat at the last minute, making up for Curtin’s negligence. "I am happy to work with the opposing side," she said, "but it was unreasonable to request our assistance at the eleventh hour and then hold the conservative cause responsible" for the lack of a speaker. In an interview during AA102 Week, MSA Vice-President Jim Secreto defended the Peace and Justice Commission (P&J). "They did make some effort to get an opposing viewpoint, albeit they didn’t succeed," said Secreto. But what neither Secreto nor anyone else knew at the time was that Connerly had never been invited in the first place, and the "scheduling conflict" Massie spoke of was nothing more than a method by which Curtin and the P&J could feign innocence when Connerly never showed up. A History of Abuse Curtin, a member of the Defend Affirmative Action Party (DAAP), has a long history of using MSA funds for onesided political purposes. In March 1999, MSA approved a $485 allocation from discretionary funds to the Curtin-led P&J for a DAAP-led protest at the office of State Senator David Jaye, an opponent of racial preferences. During the summer of 1999, the MSA
Page 7 abused MSA resources for her own political purposes, producing $489 worth of photocopies – over 17,000 in all – to publicize leftist events. Many have since predicted that Curtin would again twist MSA into a tool for her own political purposes. Shortly after the censure, College Republican Chairman Rory Diamond, then an MSA rep, prophesied, "This will happen again very soon." ‘A Militant, Integrated Civil Rights Movement’ While many predicted that Curtin would misuse MSA funds soon again, no one anticipated the extent to which she would siphon those funds into her cause. Despite the pro-affirmative action slant, MSA gave the program strong support, originally voting to allocate it $11,785 of MSA’s approximately $13,000 in discretionary funds. This would have left MSA with less than $2,000 for the rest of the year. Of the dozens of events that took place during AA102 week, none was conservative in nature. Every event rallied around racial preferences, and called into question the morality of those opposed. "I would have liked to see more antiaffirmative action people show up on campus," said a liberal MSA member who wished to remain anonymous. "The person to ask is Jessica Curtin, and she doesn’t want to talk to you." According to Nolan, who co-proposed the event, a good portion of assembly did not think it would be that one sided. "We had faith that it would at least have a façade of being equal," he said. But "from the start," Nolan conceded, "I was extremely wary." Critics charge that Nolan and MSA should have known better. For years, Jessica Curtin has chaired BAMN, which has been an extremely vocal proponent of affirmative action since its inception in
The YAF "never" offered any money toward AA102, let alone $10,000, said Parsons. "I wasn’t even at that point of calling Connerly’s office yet. … For [Curtin] to say that it was set up and that we would give $10,000 was absurd." authorized $400 for the creation of an activist newsletter to inform students of the various campus political groups. Under Curtin’s editorship, the "Activist Newsletter" illegally urged students to "Run with the Defend Affirmative Action Party in the Michigan Student Assembly Elections – November," a clear advertisement for a partisan party. MSA subsequently censured Curtin and the DAAP. In Sept. 1999, Curtin and the P&J
1996. The BAMN web site, www.bamn.com, is full of propaganda that makes many moderate affirmative action supporters cringe. "Until recently, only the KKK/Nazis were proposing driving immigrants out of the country and dismantling affirmative action," said an April 15, 1997 news bulletin posted on the site. "Now these
See BAMNboozled on Next Page
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS
MSA Continued from Page 1 the Blue Party. Cash comments, "[I] had to decide which party to run with. It was a hard decision to make, but people in Blue Party are already involved in government. They have been involved in committees and stuff . . . it was really because of people involved because I did run against them in previous election. The vision of so many people on the Blue Party fit in so well with what I believe." The Michigan Party, having no time left to fill the open space, was left with other feelings. John Mione, an LSA Junior running with the Michigan Party had this to say: "She was playing two hands at the same time. She appeared wholly committed to us and then dumped us. Is this the kind of person we want on MSA?" The way the election process works is that it allows students to vote only for representatives from their school and allows as many votes as slots are open. Your first choice gets the most points and the values decrease as your choice does. This explains the advantages of being in a party. If an individual candidate wins a vote within a party, they most likely will have convinced a student to vote for other candidates in the party as well. The harder an individual works within the party, the better chance the candidate and the party have in winning. This coattail voting is what makes it difficult for Independents to gain seats. As the race continues, there will be more sidewalk chalk and posters. However, working hard to get elected does not mean that a candidate will make things happen in the assembly. Here are the facts about the parties and Independents, and you can decide who you want to govern the school.
BAMNboozled Continued From Previous Page proposals are at the center of national political debate. This in turn gives the fascists a much greater potential for rapid growth. … BUILD A MILITANT, INTEGRATED CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT!" (Emphasis in original.) The people who set up AA102 Week "devote their lives to the creation to a new integrated civil rights movement," said Secreto. "They’re doing this education program because they want to defend affirmative action on the U of M campus." Even after MSA retracted its allocation for Connerly and Jackson, it still ended up spending close to $6,000 – almost half of
November 8, 2000
The Michigan LSA Party is a newly formed party ready to take control of MSA. With strong leadership by LSA sophomore Doug Tietz, this party has a new look to it. Their main goal is to pull MSA away from its national concerns and put Michigan students first. Engineering T i e t z comments, "We are running because MSA . . . Business has done next to nothing for Music students. We are Medicine running because Dentistry the people who Social Work control MSA Nursing today do not put Rackham students’ concerns at the forefront, but rather have their own agenda." Tietz is referring to Blue Party candidate, Scott Zitrick, who said that being on MSA would be a good "resume builder." Rackham Student, Peter Giessel agrees with Tietz, adding, "Well, I don’t know how the Blue Party picked their candidates, but in Rackham there are a lot of students like that. All they want to do is get good grades and they don’t care about what it takes to get there. They never care about anyone else, and I am running with the Michigan Party because I believe MSA can do something. MSA has a responsibility to its students." One of the main attractions for the Michigan Party is that they are ready to
its discretionary budget for the entire year. "People didn’t really have a strong grasp of how much money MSA had left," said Secreto. When examining MSA spending, one must keep in mind that its entire budget comes from a $5.84 fee levied on students every semester. So when MSA spends money on a pro-affirmative action rally, students are the ones who foot the bill. AA102 "was not worth money put into it at all," said Nolan. "It almost ended up [with] MSA paying [$6,000] for a proaffirmative BAMN rally." "It was extremely wrong to do." With reporting by Gina Fraternali, James Justin Wilson, and Carl Grant.
Restrepo Charles Wang
Jennifer Farnery Bret Mobley
Kevin Bradley, Jr.
Sarah Mohiuddin Plavia Tingling Dena Ferandez Nancy Abdel-Khalek
David Wilson Mohamed Abazeed Diego Bernal
Jessica Curtin Craig Sutton
make some changes. Instead of dealing with international issues, they want to address students concerns. This was one of the main criteria in recruiting party members, and it is evident by their platform which includes: lifting the Michigan sales tax from textbook sales, implementing a "Freshman Forgiveness" program, establishing equity in student organization funding, and recognizing the Greeks as an autonomous entity at the UM. Tietz explains the process: "When I spoke with constituents and potential candidates for the Michigan Party, I explicitly looked for people who were willing to fight for the integrity of MSA and were willing to work with others to get things accomplished, such as Multicultural Initiative. We looked for individuals who will get things done." The Michigan Party is running in order to return the government to students. They plan on doing this with strong leadership and genuine people. BLUE PARTY Like the Michigan Party, the Blue Party agrees that the MSA needs to be more orientated around students’ needs. Their solution to this problem was to compile a list of candidates, both liberal and conservative. Current MSA Communication Chair and Blue Party candidate, Matt Nolan, is a strong supporter of minimizing MSA’s international involvement. "MSA has been
there for the students, but unfortunately, due to us getting caught up in issues we shouldn’t be dealing with, our good actions have been overshadowed. I made a motion to remove the Palestinian resolution from the agenda because I didn’t think MSA should have been dealing with it, and I would continue to stand against MSA dealing with international issues…we should focus on campus issues that directly affect student lives." Adam Damerow, Blue Party Co-Chair, says, "This term the Blue Party is running a well rounded slate of individuals that represent a myriad of opinions. In recruiting our candidates we have sought a diversity of beliefs so that the Assembly once again becomes what it is supposed to be: a representation of the student body. Once elected, our representatives plan to continue working on feasible, studentoriented issues that have always been the backbone of the Blue Party Platform." The Blue Party’s platform includes: textbook tax exemption, improving campus bussing, DPS relations, and recreation facilities. The unreliability of the transportation system is also a concern of many students on campus. Suzanne Martin explains that "as an engineering student, the other major project that I plan on putting my efforts into is President Hideki’s plan to improve the University Bus system. As a resident of the Central Campus area, I am very familiar with the problems of bus timing, frequency, and general bus routes. If elected, I plan on working to see that there
November 8, 2000 is a resolution to these problems." One of the past issues that is not of this year’s platform is bringing the University Health Service (UHS) into the dorms. They have taken it off their list of priorities. DEFEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PARTY (DAAP) As its name implies, the DAAP party’s main concern in MSA is to defend affirmative action. Its representatives currently seated were responsible for initiating the Affirmative Action 102 week. The leaders of the party are Jessica Curtin and Erika Dowdell. Despite numerous phone calls and emails, DAAP did not wish to comment on its platform or future plans for MSA. DAAP chose not to explain its positions to its constituency.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS INDEPENDENTS Running as an independent candidate has both benefits and drawbacks. For one thing, they are free to set their own agenda since there is no politcal party that must be agreed with. On the other hand, independents face an uphill battle since they do not receive any “tag along” vote benefits that many party-affiliated candidates receive. Also campaigning can be difficult as there is nobody to help with the requisite campaign activities like flyering and chalking. Of the candidates available for comment, Zach Slates has the most experience with the MSA. Last fall he served briefly on MSA after being appointed to fill a vacancy, and he is currently a member of the Communications Committee, the External Relations Committee, and the Academic Affairs Commission.
If elected, Zach hopes to improve relations between MSA and the student government by establishing a direct constituency similar to what LSA-SG is implementing now. He also wants to streamline the student group funding. The main issue for Mr. Slates, however, is a fall “Reading Day” to ease the pressure of studying. “A day off in October would give students a chance to relax and better prepare for midterms.” Also running as an independent is Tony Goodman. As a geology major, he is not running to pad his resume. “I am running because I want to to make changes so that things are easier and smoother for the student body.” Mr. Goodman’s main concern is the construction around Angell Hall and the inconvenience it causes students. He argues that no walkway should be removed without providing an adequate replacement, and fences should only be put
Page 9 up where absolutely neccessary. He also advocates longer hours for University building and replacing the diesal bus fleet with clean fuel burning vehicles. Yusra Humayun is looking to “increase the minority voice in MSA, in order to bring about more diverse opinions on issues discussed in MSA.” Yusra aslo believes that MSA hasn’t done an adequate job of communicating with the students, and hopes to improve this by being more approachable. Although independent candidates face a few more hurdles by not being associated with a party they are free to dictate their own policy during the campaign and in office, and independents do get elected more often than their underdog image might suggest.MR
Justifying Evil: A Pro-Abortion Panel “Discussion” BY MICHAEL VEESER
PANEL CONSISTING OF four of Michigan’s pro-abortion luminaries visited campus on Monday, October 26th, speaking in the Michigan League before an audience of twenty-six people. According to Andrew News Shirvell, President of Commentary University of Michigan Students for Life, eleven of the twenty-six in attendance were members of Students for Life. The panelists were Robin Menym, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan; Alma Wheeler-Smith, Michigan State Senator; Renee Chilian, Administrator of Northland Family Planning Centers; and Rebekah Warren, executive Director of Michigan Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (MARAL). Questions were permitted at the end of the presentation, after being screened by a student affiliated with a pro-abortion group. According to Shirvell, his question was rephrased to give it a pro-abortion tinge. Legalized abortion was defended in a manner that can charitably be termed morally obtuse. It was competitive, but the champion defender of the indefensible on this panel was Chilian, who termed herself an “abortion provider.” In a macabre touch, Chilian was introduced by her daughter. Apparently, this child’s continued existence was convenient for Chilian at the time. According to Chilian, “every three minutes a woman dies from an (illegal?) abortion, so the real question is whether she will have a safe abortion or be maimed or killed.” In fact, the real question is whether we should
impose a 100 percent fatality rate on millions of legally aborted babies in order to save a much smaller number of women who run a small risk of fatality when they choose to undergo illegal abortions. The child, needless to say, does not choose to be killed.
abortion voters. But of course, it is quite the opposite—opponents of abortion have failed to sensitize these voters to what is really happening during an abortion: a human life is being irrevocably ended. The panel’s immediate purpose was to get out the vote for Gore. The panelists
In a macabre touch, Chilian was introduced by her daughter. Apparently, this child’s continued existence was convenient for Chilian at the time. Chilian added that the women visiting her clinics to consider abortion “are brave, strong, scared, and sad. Hopefully, after making the right decision they will be empowered.” Pro-life supporters, however, would argue that a woman should feel “empowered” if she preserves the child’s life and then makes a rational choice between keeping the child or giving it up for adoption. Chilian then compared prochoice voters who are not active in politics to persons in Nazi Germany who failed to oppose the National Socialists until the Nazi’s targeted them personally. In other words, those who fail to promote killing today are akin to those who failed to prevent killing yesterday. By reverse implication, abortion proponents, who today promote the destruction of unborn humans, are on the same moral plane as those heroes of fifty years ago who resisted the Nazis’ homicidal racism. Remarkably, Chilian adds that the “anti’s had desensitized” these inactive pro-
concern is understandable, since Michigan’s eighteen electoral votes may well prove critical to this year’s tight presidential election. Menym contended that this election is the “moment when we will see choice lost or protected.” Wheeler-Smith opined that the next president will “appoint three or four Supreme Court Justices,” thus tipping the balance in that court from upholding Roe v. Wade to opposing it. However, there probably will be only one or two openings. Chilian stressed that the next president will have the power to regulate the abortion drug RU-486. Presumably, if George W. Bush is elected, RU-486 will face extra hurdles. The evening did provide some good news. According to Warren, only 37 of 110 Michigan legislators are “pro-choice.” Also, Michigan Right to Life is aiming to defund Planned Parenthood after the next election by changing the rules under which family planning clinics receive state funding, according to Menym. “No one
doubts that this measure will be approved by the state legislature,” she added. This panel demonstrates that “abortion is the issue that won’t go away.” Chilian stated that people she had spoken to in England were “amazed that the third question in the first presidential debate was about abortion.” In England, according to Chilian, abortion is no longer an issue. The reason abortion is still an issue in America but not in Europe, is that America is decidedly more democratic than most European countries. In European-style parliamentary systems, if the party does not like a prospective candidate’s views, that candidate will not be added to the party’s list of candidates regardless of how popular he is. In other words, the party’s leadership determines who runs. There is a consensus among European elites to ignore the abortion issue, and those who openly oppose it are prevented from running for office. And this is so despite the fact that surveys show a similar level of opposition to abortion in Europe as in America. By contrast, in America, a candidate who calls himself a Republican, for example, can run in that party’s primary, and if he wins, the party will almost invariably back him rather than risk ceding the seat to the other party. The primary system of voting for a party’s candidates is more open than the top-down parliamentary system in Europe. To reiterate, abortion is still an issue in America because the American political system is more democratic than that of most European states. The continued controversey in America over abortion is actually an indication of American political health. MR Michael Veeser is a second year law student.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW LIVING CULTURE
November 8, 2000
Radiohead Returns with New Album, Brief Appearance BY NOAH ZOSCHKE
HEN NEWS BROKE about a new Radiohead album, fans must have been wondered how a band could follow up to such a widely acclaimed album that had genre-breaking hits like “Paranoid Android” and “Karma Police.” Any worries were quieted because “Kid A,” has been received incredibly well. The first week brought number one sales in seven countries, including the US and the anticipation created sales of over four times that of “OK Computer.” Such impressive sales from such an unconventional album has caused many to believe that the recent trend of made-forradio albums is about to expire. Even though Napster has been credited for increasing sales for the band since songs from the album had been leaked 3 months before the release date, music audiences might have sophistication in them just yet. So just why is this album so good? First, “Kid A” is pure Radiohead. Thom Yorke and his crew completely break their artistic restraints and make an album onehundred-percent their own. Secondly, it reinvents music and makes rock-and-roll feel childish because the entire album has
a fresh sound. Through the hypnotic chanting of the opening song “Everything In Its Right Place,” the sound is broken down and swirled away in the calming synth sweeps. Immediately the band reconstructs what was destroyed through the unsettling yet warm “How To Disappear Completely,” the heavy “Optimistic” (which is anything but), and the biting drums of “Idioteque.” Don’t expect to see any full-length “Kid A” music videos. In the pattern of breaking convention, the band decided to release more than twenty 15-second “blips” of strange cartoons, attacking geese and various other sights. On October 17, exactly two weeks after the release of their new album, “Kid A,” Radiohead performed for a sold-out crowd at the Air Canada Center in Toronto. The 5,000 fans lucky enough to get a ticket to one of the handful of dates the band played in North America this fall witnessed an instrument-filled performance containing a drum set, an upright bass, 5 keyboards, roughly 15 guitar petals, and over 20 guitars. None would be disappointed because Thom and company were about ready to pound out some of Radiohead’s most recognized
songs. Radiohead entered the purple and red lit stage and bassist Colin Greenwood started his heavy bass line while Brother Johnny Greenwood massaged his keyboard with smooth, mechanical chords. Drummer Phil Selway slapped a driving beat and guitarist Ed O’Brien strummed some heavily filtered guitar chords. Despite all of the action, all eyes were fixed on the often spastically shaking and jumping lead singer Thom York who was accompanied by his guitar. After each song, York made a clever remark jabbing some entity in the corporate world. ‘That one was brought to you by Sony’ he playfully said after finishing “The National Anthem.” An anti-corporate theme has been a Radiohead concept has for quite some time. Unlike their North American appearances, the European tour has been held in a giant, 10,000 person capacity tent completely free of advertisements. At one point Thom asked,
BT Promotes New Album, Visits Detroit BY JOHN PRATT Many people still shudder when they think of keyboards, various drum machines and synthesizers as a form music. The word techno often brings up memories of cheesy 80's beats, bad style, and lots of makeup. After all, who would want to listen to sounds that come out of the same machine that you typed your last paper on? Some even say techno is a temporary
having reached a sort of enlightening experience. BT created the score for an upcoming movie, remixed the work of Madonna and Tori Amos, and has received attention from MTV for songs off his new album Movement In Still Life. Although he has driven his sound toward the hip-hop side of electronic music since the days of his 1995 debut "Ima," and 1997 club hit "Flaming June," songs like "Mercury and Solace" and "Godspeed"
two large springs, swayed back and forth as he pushed and played. The club atmosphere of St. Andrews Hall transformed into a high-energy concert where the crowd jumped wildy the entire time. Whether or not you like techno, BT is going to be one of the artists to watch as electronica continues to influence mainstream popular music.MR
“Is this getting boring yet or is it still funny? I think it’s funny...ahh, fuck it.” It was too late: by the 14th song of the night if audience members weren’t amused, they were amazed to be able hear him speak. A n important feature of the show was that the band actually enjoyed playing before the audience. D u r i n g “Idioteque,” as Johnny patched away at the drums on his analog synthesizer, Thom pounced around the stage while moving his hand in a karate chops fashion, eliciting a wild response. Despite having a barage of security guards, there was apparently no objection to the fans who brought cameras except strangely enough, our unsuspecting legitimate Review photographer, who was attacked (and alas, came back empty handed). The entire concert was recorded and webcast live, and should be available for listening very soon. Radiohead historically has tried to experiment with their creations and avoid repeating the successful sound of each past album. “Kid A” is a dangerous album, with breathtaking results. It leaves many with a somewhat sickening but mostly sweet aftertaste and is hauntingly comfortable. Unlike the short-lived party songs that have been infecting radio recently, this album will not soon be forgotten. MR
The word techno often brings up thoughts of cheesy 80's beats, bad style, lots of makeup, and jock jams. form of music, destined to burn out like the now unlistenable disco hits of the 70's. No group of people could disagree more than the shoulder-to-shoulder audience that packed St. Andrews Hall in downtown Detroit, ready to experience BT and the opening band Hooverphonic. BT, short for Brian Transeau, has been recognized as one of the early pioneers of the electronic movement "trance" that exploded in popularity within the last few years. Trance, known for its peaks and valleys and hypnotic structure, is known for giving the listener a constant feeling of
on Movement In Still Life show, he still has a talent for creating fresh trance. "Movement In Still Life" is a moving, jumping, genre-crossing CD that is appropriate for weekends when freedom is at its peak. The hip-hoppy song "Never Gonna Come Back Down" with its rapping lyrics and catchy melodical chorus has benefitted recently from both radio play and club popularity. Throughout the show BT liked to play rough with his array of expensive keyboards and electronic equipment. His "chrome pony," a keyboard mounted on
Wait, what do all these black and white things do?
November 8, 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW FACE-OFF
STOP ME IF YOUVE HEARD THIS ONE
As Anyone Who Knows Me Will Tell You...
S ANYONE WHO knows me will tell you, I like movies. What other form of entertainment gives you an excuse to sit on your ass for approximately two hours all while munching on a variety of high calorie treats? So it should be of no surprise the excitement I was feeling upon being informed that my sidekick, El Rojo Grande, and I had been selected to appear as extras in El Señor the movie Hardball, the latest hit Guípe starring everyone’s favorite “bad boy,” Keanu Reeves. The flick was being filmed at Tiger Stadium, that grand old landmark in the midst of beautiful downtown Detroit (motto: Cashier has less than twenty dollars). Sensing an opportunity for eventual superstardom, Rojo and I decided to hop into the trusty Reliant K and head on over to Motown. After a few hours of circling the state,
HIS COLUMN IS dedicated to the thousands of nice guys on campus. You know who you are. You’re the guy who’s rarely (if ever) been on a date here at Michigan. You help the cute sorority girls in section with their quizzes and their homework assignments. You don’t take advantage of the adorable babe who’s had one too many, La Señorita and that’s even after Mar garita Margarita you’ve walked her (ok, next week we’ll get a real one.) all the way home from the house party that was way the heck across Packard to her house on Catherine and you live on Prospect. In short, you don’t get any. Well, I’m here to help you out. But there’s bad new and good news. Let’s get through the bad news first. The bad news is that this is college. Flocks of animal-printed females just want a good-looking man, especially when sipping $7.25 long islands. But don’t blame us for being shallow, because you guys can be the same way. This is the paradox of the nice guy: although you base your desirability on your stellar personality,
Rojo and I finally happened upon our destination. Despite our incompetence, we had still arrived an hour early, leaving us plenty of time to stand in the endless line and complain about the whole situation. Upon examining the composition of the group, it came to my attention that most of these people wouldn’t qualify as your average Joe on his way to a Tigers’ game. Instead, the group was a mix of homeless people looking for a few bucks, blonde haired actress wannabes, and people with nothing better to do, like me. If you have ever been forced to stand in line for hours on end, you’ll know how quickly it is that you start making friends. Rojo got lucky (well, not literally of course). He ran into Adam, one of his buddies from Michigan’s Glee Club. They occupied themselves by practicing various songs and melodies, all of which sounded exactly the same to my untrained ears. In order to distract myself, I decided to find a random person to chat with. Turning to the woman next to me, I made some witty and sarcastic comment, such as “So, are those real?”
referring to her genuine leather shoes, of course. The aging but attractive lady, who wanted to be referred to as “Vicki,” possibly because that was her name or some such thing, saw this as an opportunity to avoid going insane. She started chatting away about various topics, none of which I remember due to the fact that I quickly got bored and began to picture all of the surrounding girls naked. Seeing as the Review imposes a silly thing called a “word limit” on my columns, let me get to the meat of this story. Mmm, meat. After finally being allowed to enter the stadium, and subsequently being ditched by Vicki, we were herded like so many disgruntled cattle out onto the bleachers. We spent the next few hours moving from place to place in the structure, apparently creating the illusion that the stadium was completely full when in reality only one set of bleachers was actually occupied. I would guess that a few hundred people were present, all of which were being paid minimum wage for the job, a task which could last all night. Five bucks an hour sure didn’t seem like much, but as the extremely sophisticated woman in front of us stated, “A few hundred people
STOP, IVE HEARD ENOUGH Sexual Politics on Campus
times five bucks an hour? Heck, that’s like a million dollars!” After seven hours of shooting, at least two of which involved retakes of one of the opening scenes over and over again, the director people allowed us to break for lunch. It was nearing midnight, there were still three to seven hours to go, and the temperature had dropped to Arctic levels. It was at this point that El Rojo Grande, or should I call him, “El Rojo Frio,” wussed out. He informed me that he was a little girly man who just couldn’t take the cold for three more minutes, let alone hours. So the two of us slipped out the door and went home, forfeiting our well deserved salary. It wasn’t until later that we discovered the cruel trick Fate had played on us. It turns out that as soon as we left, the cast was moved to a part of the stadium where people were complaining because it was too hot. Furthermore, those who stayed got to go to a kickin’ party at Keanu’s hotel room, where everyone got laid! Well, all right, I made that part up. But that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve run out of space. Stupid word limit.MR
Advice for the Nice Guy
you rarely pine for the gal who’s abundant in, well, character. You sit in discussion and gaze at the gorgeous girl with the “long blonde hair right-down-to-there” and ignore the nice girls. That’s just something to think about. The good news is that this is college. Lots of chicks have outgrown the jerks
party, and at pretty much any place where there are members of the opposite sex. Chances are, though, you already have the lucky woman in mind. So let’s progress to step two. Let her know who you are. Shake her hand firmly and tell her you first and last name. Open doors. Smile. Make eye contact. Get her
The nice guy is always there for support, but never there for the nookie. My answer for this problem is simple: forget her. She’s stupid. Find someone else. and now they want to date nice men. Mature women care more about personality than how a man looks in a great pair of jeans. This is not a lie because (and here’s the most important lesson) sexiness has little to do with appearance, especially in a woman’s mind; sexiness is dictated by a man’s actions, by his mind, and by his sense of humor. So, while appearance isn’t that important, sexiness— as in sexual chemistry— is. That said, let’s progress on how to get a date. The first step is to meet the female you aim to ask out. The best places to meet someone is through mutual friends, in class, at a relaxed house
number for “study” reasons or the like. Sincerely (not transparently) compliment her humorous joke, a comment she made in class, or an excellent column she wrote. Let her catch you looking at her every once in a while (note: every once in a while does not mean every 30 seconds, that is, unless you’re in a bar, whereupon you are using this information not for good but for evil, and you should be ashamed of yourself ). Third, make your move. Ask her, preferably in person, if she wants to go get some coffee. Or study. Or get together on Thursday night to watch the TV program you always talk about together. You get the idea. Ask her out to something that’s simple
and not too time consuming. The gal will be flattered because she realizes that it takes major guts to ask someone out. And she’ll say yes, as long as she finds you interesting, she’s not legitimately busy, and she’s not already spoken for. There you go. Three simple steps to get a date with your dream girl. But here’s what you nice guys really want to know: how to get play. Simply progress through steps 1, 2, and 3, then just up the ante. Ask her out again. To coax a woman, just follow this simple, approximate recipe: add dinner, date length, frequency, and alcohol. One final warning: the biggest problem for nice guys arises when they are too nice. For instance, the archetypal nice guy has this one girl he’s totally in love with, but she’s seeing someone else who’s obviously not good enough for her. The nice guy is always there for support, but never there for the nookie. My answer for this problem is simple: forget her. She’s stupid. Find someone else. So the best advice I can give the nice guy is to pick the object of your affections wisely. Because, as you nice guys know all too well, there are too many women on this campus who, no matter how nice you are, will refuse to consider you for a date. Just remember: those are the ones who don’t deserve a great guy like you. MR