Daily editorial ‘ludicrous,’ poorly researched, has no regard for ‘realities of research’

To the Daily:

The Daily’s editorial on the Institute for Social Research’s release policy for the Consumer Confidence Index (Early release, 01/28/03) represents dangerously flawed thinking and a misunderstanding of the realities of research. The Daily reports that ISR funds its studies to produce the index by paid subscriptions; the benefit subscribers receive is a paltry two hours’ advance receipt of the results? Perhaps the master researchers of the Daily’s editorial board should come up with the money and do the work to produce their own Consumer Confidence Index, which they may then distribute “for the public good” or as they otherwise see fit. If the ISR is not allowed to fund its research through these subscriptions, the public will indeed have to shoulder the cost of the research, so be careful what you wish for. More likely, with impending governmental budget cuts across the board, there will be no money and no index. What “public good” will that serve?

It is ludicrous to assume that all subscribers to the Consumer Confidence Index are profiteering day-traders, although I am certain the Daily has done no research on this subject either. More likely, the subscribers are companies seeking a tool to run their businesses and plan for the future more effectively. In a struggling economy, should we not applaud and admire them for performing this valuable service “for the public good?”

David Jordan

Rackham

Litman’s column off-base; affirmative action not ‘necessary evil’ of higher ed.

To the Daily:

I was disheartened when I read Joseph Litman’s column, You people are all missing the point (1/28/03). I agree with Litman’s main idea; there are vast differences in education received by those in wealthy suburban areas compared to those in poor urban areas. However, those who live in rich suburban areas also receive a better education than most of those who live in rural areas. Non-minorities constitute the majority of the population in those rural areas. Using Litman’s logic, shouldn’t these students also get some sort of preferential treatment?

Racial preference in the form of affirmative action is not the “necessary evil” Litman claims it to be. Instead of using an unconstitutional practice (as the U.S. Supreme Court will rule this summer), people, as Litman pointed out, need to fix the problem that causes the need for racial preferences. I say we as Americans, both liberal and conservative, hold President Bush to his promise to leave no child behind. Provide under-funded districts with the money that is necessary to pay qualified teachers and fund beneficial programs for our students.

The Fourteenth amendment clearly states, “No state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This means that universities must treat all people equally, regardless of race. Furthermore, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination “on the basis of race” by any institution receiving federal financial assistance. Because many University students receive federal grants and loans, under this statute the University is not able to deny certain students entrance because of their race.

Though affirmative action was and still is a noble cause, it is unconstitutional in practice and violates Title VI. Without a constitutional amendment, I do not see how affirmative action can continue in its present state. I do agree that, without this practice, African American enrollment in top universities may fall, but if the government would adequately fund and administer the rural school districts this enrollment would grow to a proper proportion.

Patrick McIntyre

LSA freshman

Daily coverage of Michigan victory over State did not give Blanchard praise he deserves

To the Daily:

Although the Daily’s coverage of Michigan’s win over Michigan State (Finally!, 1/27/03) was admirable, applauding coach Tommy Amaker and the Wolverines’ talented freshmen, the articles disappointed me in that the Daily did not give credit where credit was due. Instead of praising LaVell Blanchard for sacrificing some of his offensive power – which often comes from inside the paint – he moved to the field to successfully hold Al Anagonye to only four points. Then, the Daily acted surprised that he wasn’t upset with his performance, only happy with the win. He told you he was a “Michigan Man,” a team player, when the University shattered his hopes of a postseason by its self-punishment. And, he has been telling the press the same thing since he stepped onto the court four years ago. He deserved praise, not criticism. If you want to talk disappointing, mention Gavin Groninger, who is supposed to be our star 3-point guy, yet is only shooting at 20 percent. Additionally, only a single compliment was given to Bernard Robinson’s aggressive play that was key in defending the Spartans and their fierce above-the-rim play.

Kristen Fidh

LSA senior

Left too quick to criticize activists, too lazy to tear self away from ‘Millionaire’

To the Daily:

I find it amazing, yet typical of many liberals these days that they want to participate in voicing their opinion, but will whine and cry that someone hasn’t done it for them just how they would like it (Hanink, Honkala get it right; anti-war movement should be about end to war, 01/28/03). It seems to be very telling of the ideologically vacant middle that these people expect others to do all of the work for them in organizing a protest, and then complain that it wasn’t organized by people with the same mushy, ineffective political views as themselves. Instead of taking action themselves, these status-quosaders attend a rally or protest or conference and then immediately turn around and cry that it was too Red for them.

It seems almost infeasible to these people to go out and organize their own rallies or protests, yet they feel comfortable tagging along and then whining that it should have been done another way. Well, then do it that way! But it is hypocritical to complain about the organizers and then join simply because you were too apathetic to do something yourself. Too often, I see criticism of groups like BAMN on campus, ANSWER nationally, and the Left in general by people who seem willing to join in the rally when it suits their purpose but all to willing to complain and condemn when it’s over.

You don’t have to agree with these groups, just don’t complain that they aren’t doing your work for you. Until these “fence-sitters” and their ilk get out there and organize a reasonable alternative, they are just going to have to bite their lip and participate, or sit at home watching Joe Millionaire complaining that no one understands them and their apathetic, quasi-ideology. That is not to say that certain complaints are not valid, but too often these come from those who want to participate but are unwilling to organize an event themselves. Derisiveness for the sake of derisiveness is insane, and misplaced condemnation often aids those that the coalition is trying to oppose.

The fear I see emanating from these criticizers is nothing new, but criticism of the Left does seem to wax and wane as large issues loom on the horizon or subside. Some have attempted to link the Left with support for terrorism in not so subtle ways. However, I’ve also noticed that criticism and fear of the left in the media comes when the Left appears most significant and gaining popularity. I believe that those who take action are worthy of praise, while those who fence-sit and complain are worthy of scorn at best. If you are not willing to organize your own rally or protest then you have no right to criticize something in which you are taking part, unless you expect people do to everything for you for the rest of your life, then you’re just a hypocrite.

Benjamin Osborne

Alumnus

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