Letters to the Editor

Published October 21, 2008

Obama’s tax increases would rob consumers and private businesses

With the recent battle over Joe the plumber and his questioning of Barack Obama’s proposed tax increases, Obama stated that “spreading the wealth” would be good for everybody. Karl Marx had the same idea in the "The Communist Manifesto".

For all the Democrats who see Obama as a Robin Hood who will take from the rich and give to the poor, consider this: How do you think that the large (and small) corporations will cover the costs of increased taxes? Do you think they will just absorb them and nothing will change? They will raise prices to offset the increased taxes. That will affect consumers across the country, regardless of their socioeconomic class.

But Obama truly aims to cross class lines and take from everybody instead of just the wealthy. My father is an optometrist who pays 85 percent of the health benefits for his employees and their families, leaving them responsible for a minute portion of their coverage. With increased taxes, he wouldn't be able to afford that large of a share, leaving his employees responsible for a larger portion of their benefits.

People need to open their eyes. Obama is not Robin Hood. He's simply robbing the 'hood.

Justin Grofik
LSA senior

Embryonic stem cell research is immoral and impractical science

I recently saw a poll in the Daily asking if Proposal 2, which seeks to loosen restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in Michigan, should be passed. A large majority of respondents were in favor of Proposal 2. This is disappointing for two reasons.

First, embryonic stem cell research crosses a definite moral boundary, because it involves destroying human embryos. In a logical and scientific sense, these embryos must be considered fully human. An organism is defined as something that grows, reproduces, performs metabolism and responds to stimuli. An embryo fulfills all of these qualifications, except for the ability to reproduce.

Granted, some people may say that the embryos shouldn't be considered fully human because they are underdeveloped. However, determining human worth based on level of development is both arbitrary and morally troubling. Using the same argument, someone could say that an infant is not human, since an infant is not yet fully developed. After all, an infant’s mental capacities are far below that of an adult.

Admittedly, many will disagree with my arguments and say that the therapeutic benefits of embryonic stem cell research are worth the destruction of an embryo. However, a few years ago, researchers found a way to make adult stem cells pluripotent, meaning that they can become any cell type and be used in countless treatments. To date, adult stem cells have been used in more than 70 different types of treatment. In contrast, no successful treatments have been conducted with embryonic stem cells, even in countries where restrictions are loose or nonexistent.

Embryonic stem cell research is immoral not only because it destroys human embryos, but also because it wastes time, money and resources that would be better used on promising research with adult stem cells.

Jeffrey Brown
LSA sophomore

The story behind the three-story beer bong tradition

After reading The Statement’s feature on houses that are traditional party places (The party must go on 10/21/2008), I was glad to see the snippet regarding the three-story beer bong from the 914 apartments on State Street. However, I think the writer, Trevor Calero, could have done a little more research.

I was a creator and owner of one of those infamous three-story beer bongs from the apartments on the corner of State Street and Hoover Street. According to my understanding, the beer bong originated at least five years ago with a group of engineering students who also rented apartments in the house. The actual apartment used for the beer bong was vacant at the time, so the engineers were able to use it on Saturdays — with the landlord's permission, of course.

However, when those students left, the beer bong wasn't in sanitary condition. I, like the students in the story, had to construct my own. During my tenure, though, the apartment that was used had tenants. The tenants were also students who loved the three-story beer bong. Thus, tradition was upheld.

I'm glad that the students currently living there are carrying on what has always been a great tradition and a fond memory for me. Hopefully, I'll be able to see the three-story beer bong every time I come to Ann Arbor for football Saturday.

Jared Goldberg
Alum