Because this will be my last column as an opinion columnist for The Michigan Daily, I want to use this space to predict what I see in store for America over our lifetimes if we continue to fail to unite to solve problems. Without further adieu, NostraStiggus predicts:

Angela Cesere
John Stiglich

Unless parents realize it is their obligation to rear their children to be upstanding healthy citizens and unless they check the growing authority school officials have over their children’s diets, government will gladly step in and take over parental duties. Public school cafeterias will transform into tofu bars where children who want a simple hamburger will be out of luck.

Kids with sack lunches will have to hand them over to school health officials for inspection so that the officials can ensure a healthy lifestyle. Selling candy to raise money for school athletics? I hope fresh fruit sells well door-to-door because that will be the best case scenario for those looking to fill a sugar fix for a good cause.

Unless we eliminate political correctness as a barrier to open dialogue about race relations, white Americans will continue to be scrutinized much more than black Americans. Take the recent situation involving shock jock Don Imus. Imus called the members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos” in a foolish attempt to compliment them for good team defense.

Now, if Imus were a black rapper, is there any doubt that a lyric of his including that phrase would not only receive less scrutiny but probably have little impact on his sales? Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending Imus’s inappropriate comments, but I am calling for an elimination of double standards. Black Americans must follow Oprah’s example and demand more accountability from the artists who claim to represent the views of their community before they criticize white Americans for comments that would be permissible in a more “artistic” setting.

Furthermore, the mainstream media should get over its fear of being too critical of the leaders of the black community and start criticizing Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson when they play on racial fears to demonize white males without proper evidence (the Duke Lacrosse case, for example). As Imus rightly pointed out, we’re still waiting to hear an apology from Sharpton and Jackson on that one. That’s as likely to happen as Ralph Nader being elected president.

Unless we demand the media play a lesser role in the nomination and election of our presidents and give the political parties more control over their presidential nominees, we will continue to have a choice only between the two candidates who managed to look the least scuffed for TV cameras. If we demanded a presidential contest between the most experienced, well-versed in policy candidates from both political parties, the 2008 election would come down to Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

But that match-up will never happen because Biden called Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) “clean and articulate” and John McCain looks old and splotchy on television. It is time for us to prepare for another president from outside Washington who will have no clue on how to handle the establishment or to run the office he seeks.

Finally, unless we demand that the scientific community follow the standards set forth by the scientific method, we will continue to fall hook, line and sinker for the myth that is man-made global warming. We need to ask these scientists and the politicians that fund them to explain a few of their logical inconsistencies.

For example, how do we know that the current temperature is too warm and in need of cooling? After all, a thousand years ago Greenland used to be fertile farmland; now it’s a sheet of ice. Why are we targeting carbon emissions when methane is proven to be far more damaging? Could targeting carbon have anything to do with liberal hate of the carbon producing oil and automobile industries and love of farmers who raise methane producing cattle? And what do they plan to do about volcanoes, which contribute more to global warming than man-made activities? Is it so illogical to target them first?

In closing, I want to thank all the readers who have taken an interest in my writing over the past two years. We have not always agreed, but most of you have been able to disagree with me civilly, and I appreciate that. It is not easy being a conservative in Ann Arbor, but at times I’ve found that it can be enjoyable.

John Stiglich can be reached at jcsgolf@umich.edu.

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