Ashcroft”s religion should not be used against him

Paul Wong
MARJORIE MARSHALL/Daily

To the Daily:

When Al Gore tapped Joe Lieberman for his vice-presidential pick last August, the choice of the orthodox Jewish senator was hailed as exceptional and ground-breaking. Sen. Lieberman, who uses his faith as a guide on many political issues, was perhaps the most important reason why Al Gore came so close to capturing the White House despite running an abysmal campaign.

However, while critics and favorites alike praised Lieberman as a veep choice, and also expressed no concern in his using faith as a compass for decisions, the nomination of former Sen. John Ashcroft for Attorney General has not received the same praise. It is hypocritical to praise Lieberman”s commitment to his faith while chastising John Ashcroft for his adherence to his own faith.

It is sad to see that people are disgracing a man who seems to be religious as well as honest. Ashcroft”s conservative voting record should not serve as an impediment to his nomination. Such an appointment should not be criticized on an ideological basis since there are no questions about Ashcroft”s moral or ethical capability to enforce the nation”s laws.

There is a clear hypocrisy that exists in the media and at the University in that Lieberman is congratulated for being religious while Ashcroft is derided for being religious. And who knows, maybe after the last eight years, we need an attorney general who is honest and uses his faith in helping actually enforce the laws of the country that have been so thoroughly neglected by the previous administration.

Nikhil Sudame

LSA first-year student

Article needed to present all facts on vouchers plan

To the Daily:

In an article (“Promise of education important to Bush”) printed Jan. 24, Hanna LoPatin reports on President Bush”s plans to improve the education system in the U.S. She does not, however, clearly explain the theory behind the voucher system the specific point around which all the controversy stems.

The writer states that the voucher system, “… directs federal funds away from public schools in order to provide scholarships towards private schools.”

LoPatin continues to say that under Bush”s plan, the system “(takes) funds away” after a school fails for a period of time. These statements are all true.

But what she fails to make explicit is that the “scholarships toward private schools” would be given to students wanting to disenroll from the failing public schools.

Additionally, the funds “(taken) away” from a failing school are also given back to that school”s student body for its use at other schools.

By not making these points clear, LoPatin commits a sin of omission one which may cause uninformed readers to think that the voucher system is designed solely to punish schools for poor performance.

While the implication is likely unintentional, her choice of language points out a bias which lessens the article”s ability to achieve its primary goal: To arm society with a well-informed readership which can use reason to form its own opinions.

Regardless of the opinions specific to the issue of vouchers, to point out the flaws of any proposal while ignoring its merits does little to advance the greater good of society.

Gerald Mangona

LSA senior

Michigan basketball has been embarrassed enough by coach

To the Daily:

What else really needs to be said about Brian Ellerbe and his coaching here at the University of Michigan. “Fifty one point loss to Michigan State last year?” Or how about six straight losses to our in-state rival? Or maybe the 34-2 beginning of our game with Duke this year?

Watching Tuesday night”s contest, I was shocked and embarrassed to see our players “quit,” as Chris Young would say it, against one of the top teams in the country.

We did not play like a team should. Bill Martin, our athletic director, even said we looked “unorganized” on the court.

Take a look on the floor of the Breslin Center next time Michigan State plays at home. They have a picture of the state of Michigan on their court, signifying their dominance in basketball in Michigan.

The rivalry is not even competitive anymore. I am a huge Michigan fan, yet when we play Michigan State, I don”t even think we have a chance anymore.

The talent is there. We have great big men an All-American candidate in LaVell Blanchard.

The question is, when are we going to get a coach who can handle a major Division I program, rather than having to rely on a mediocre coach who led Loyola College (Md.) to a record of 34-47? My answer is now.

The University has been embarrassed enough by a coach that lets his players quit in a huge game.

How many more “behind the woodshed beatings” as ESPN called it will it take for something to happen? What will Martin”s answer be? Maybe Ellerbe will make Martin”s decision a little easier.

Nathan Bertucci

LSA senior

Ellerbe”s leadership brings shame to Michigan fans

To the Daily:

I”m am writing the Daily this letter because something has occurred that had never occurred in my lifetime: Michigan State fans can legitimately claim that they are superior to us in athletics.

I have never been so ashamed in my life.

I”ll keep this simple as an alum I implore the University to act as swiftly and as drastically as is required to rectify this unpalatable situation. How has this happened? Who is responsible? The University is supposed to be about excellence. Where is the excellence in our basketball program?

I don”t think that even Bob Ufer could find any enthusiasm for a Brian Ellerbe-coached team. Who dug this guy up anyway?

Who is it that thinks that the coach of the Michigan basketball team should have such inadequate credentials?

Who among you is ready to stand before the alumni and fans and say that it is acceptable that Michigan State has a better basketball coach than Michigan?

We deserve better. The honor and dignity of the many great coaches and athletes that brought 100 years of “glory and fame” to Michigan must not be tainted by allowing this mediocrity, or in the case of basketball, disgrace and ineptness, to continue for even another minute!

We deserve a program that we can be proud of. A program like Duke, with a coach of intelligence and integrity who recruits athletes of skill, character and intelligence.

I strongly urge the University to replace Ellerbe with a coach of proven success and high character. The following coaches all have the potential to build the kind of basketball program that is worthy of Michigan: Rick Majerus, Rick Pitino or Larry Eustachy.

The demise of our basketball program was tragic but not unpredictable. I do not want a UNLV/Miami (Fla.) win at any cost program. We are Michigan.

We should be the best or among the best nearly every year. The response of the current University leadership to this tragedy is nearly criminal. It is most certainly a slap in the face to all of the great athletes who have donned the Maize and Blue in the past.

This must not stand!

Dean Glossop

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