To the Daily:

Republican candidates are just characters in a bad TV show

Imran Syed’s column last week (Eight men out, 10/11/2007) shows the Republican presidential candidates’ true nature in the political spotlight of that disgraceful show of a debate. At the end of the debate, Mitt Romney guffawed, “This is a lot like ‘Law & Order,’ senator. It has a huge cast, the series seems to go on forever and Fred Thompson shows up at the end.” Thompson replied, “And to think I thought I was going to be the best actor on the stage.”

That’s exactly what those Republicans are, actors. Between Romney, who is no Gerald Ford, and Thompson, who doesn’t have a clue about Michigan’s economy, you have vile animals like Rudy Giuliani and Tom Tancredo. Romney was wrong; the debate wasn’t like “Law & Order.” It was like “The Simpsons,” where, as a parody of President Bush, Homer screams out: “We don’t need a thinker. We need a doer.”

To all the Republicans in power: You stink.

Michael Kozlowski
LSA senior

Ban on indoor smoking should be expanded to cover all of Michigan

During fall break, the University Health System expanded its smoke-free area on the Medical Campus to create a healthier environment for patients, visitors and employees. This decision reflects an increasing focus in the health care field on prevention as opposed to treatment in addressing smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in America.

State legislators should follow the University’s lead and promote public health by passing House Bill 4163 and Senate Bills 109-110, which will ban smoking in indoor bars, restaurants and workplaces throughout Michigan. Several states, including Ohio, have already passed similar bans.

A ban on indoor smoking does not discriminate against smokers. They can still smoke in their homes, their cars and most outdoor areas. This legislation protects the rights of non-smokers – namely, their right to breathe clean air. Approximately 440,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related illnesses, with more than 10 percent of these deaths resulting from secondhand smoke, according to the American Lung Association.

The positive effects of this proposed ban are as great as the negative effects of smoking. A less obvious but perhaps more important long-term impact will be a significant reduction in medical costs, which could play a major role in solving our nation’s health care crisis. The University chose to lead by example. Now it’s the state’s turn.

Aaron Potek
Engineering senior

The letter writer is a junior management engineer at the University Hospital.

Armenian genocide should not go unrecognized any longer

President Bush’s recent refusal to acknowledge the Armenian massacres of 1915 as genocide is appalling. It has been 92 years since the genocide happened, yet us Armenians in America are still not at peace. Our grandparents were massacred in the first genocide of the 20th century, and the country we call home still refuses to acknowledge Turkey’s bloody past, which deeply dishonors our grandparents and is simply inhumane.

When I read last week about how Turkey was trying to intimidate America into rejecting legislation for that genocide to be recognized as such, I felt hopeful that many other University students – Armenians and non-Armenians alike – would see the injustice done to the Armenian people by our own government and do what’s right to honor the victims of the genocide. Turkey is threatening to remove its American ambassador and to punish America economically if our government recognizes the Armenian genocide. But it has only taken minor steps in punishing countries that have recognized the genocide. Such threats should not be a deterrent anyway; if America acknowledges the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey as genocide, that act will make our nation look better because it will prove that this is not a country of false promises. The 92 years of denial, pain and bitterness must end now.

Anahid Matossian
LSA freshman

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