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February03 (Feb. 18-22)



Wednesday, April 30, 2003

In what amounts to a slap on the wrist, a captain on the U-M basketball team, Bernard Robinson Jr. was sentenced to one year probation for groping a student in West Quad:
"Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Shelton lectured Robinson at his sentencing Tuesday afternoon, questioning the player's attitude toward women and saying Robinson needed to learn he is not above the law because he is an athlete. ..."

Here's the news roundup for LEO's successfull vote:
AANEWS: "Nontenure-track faculty unionize at U-M"
FREEP: "U-M lecturers vote to form new union"

Other articles of note:
> Detroit News Editorial: "Wayne State should disavow Anti-Israel Resolution"
> AP:"Detroit Man sues McDonald's after finding chewing gum in salad"
> FREEP: "Play it safe, but don't criminalize picture taking"

Posted by Rob at 2:19 PM

Work by a U-M graduate student caught the eye of New York Times education reporter Michael Winerip. PhD Candidate Laura Haniford has investigated the coverage of the "achievement gap" in test scores between white and black students by the Ann Arbor News, concluding that while the problem has stayed the same since the mid 1980s, the number of articles in the newspaper varied wildly year-to-year:
Ms. Haniford found that from 1984 to 1995, The Ann Arbor News published 11 articles on the achievement gap in local schools; then suddenly, in 1997, 92 achievement-gap articles appeared; and then, gap coverage virtually disappeared again, plummeting to two articles in 2001.

My favorite part? The white-led backlash when the school district decided to dedicate some resources to solving the problem:
By summer, a group of mainly whites was alleging reverse discrimination. On Oct. 24, 1997, the group filed a complaint with the federal Department of Education saying the civil rights of nonblack students had been violated. Singling out blacks for extra help was a case of antiwhite racism, they complained.
... Further proving my theory that the city of Ann Arbor just isn't as progressive as it's chalked up to be.

Posted by Rob at 11:30 AM

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The Lecturers' Employee Organization vote has been tabulated - 82.4% of lecturers across the three U-M campuses voted for the creation of the union. The totals: 631 "Yes" votes, 135 "No", and 51 challenged or spoiled ballots. Read the LEO Press Release here.

Posted by Rob at 8:04 PM

The Michigan State Senate seems poised to pass a third late-term abortion ban. Two other similar laws, signed by Engler, were overturned by the courts because they were unconstitutional. The ACLU has said: "Medical testimony on both sides in the previous cases revealed that a ban like this would prohibit many second-trimester abortions. Some doctors even testified that the bans reach first-trimester procedures. ..."Click here to read the text of the proposed law.

Posted by Rob at 3:09 PM

I've just helped my friend Dumi create a blog: While You Were Sleeping. He's a graduate student in Sociology and Public Policy, and I think it'll be very interesting.

Posted by Rob at 2:47 PM

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's on State Street - at 1 p.m. the line extended all the way up the street to Amer's. Stucchi's, not to be outdone, has a handmade sign in their window: "Buy one get one free."

Posted by Rob at 2:44 PM

U-M Department of Public Safety crime alert 4/28/03:

"Date: April 28, 2003 at about 7:38 PM
Location: 300 block S. State
Offense: Armed Robbery
Summary: Off-campus business was robbed at closing by two masked subjects. Money taken from safe at gunpoint. No one injured. Suspects fled on foot. Under investigation.
Suspect: #1) White male, 20-24 yrs., 6', slender build, blonde hair, gray t- shirt with number "3" on it, white pants.
#2) White male, 20-22 yrs., 6', slender build, gray shirt dark with Mossimo written on it, velvet-type pants


Read more about the crime in this Ann Arbor News story.

Posted by Rob at 12:38 PM

The AATA announced that the long-planned downtown circulator shuttle will start operation in August after the State Street renovation project is complete. Apparently, the AATA and U-M officials are negociating to combine the under-utilized night owl service with the new bus route: "While the main route is set, AATA is negotiating with the University of Michigan about combining the shuttle with U-M's Night Owl bus service, AATA Executive Director Greg Cook said"

Also, yesterday two masked men held up Michigan Book and Supply, stealing an undisclosed sum of money.

Posted by Rob at 11:50 AM

Monday, April 28, 2003

This Free Press article predicts something that's been discussed much recently: the idea that cities and older, "inner-ring" suburbs will ally to form a metropolitan majority that will force more reasonable growth policies to curb sprawl at a regional level. I think while the idea is interesting, it won't happen in auto and highway-addicted Detroit.

Posted by Rob at 7:20 PM

From a recent survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Ed.:
Affirmative-action programs at colleges and universities contribute to the well-being of society
Strongly agree: 10%
Agree: 48%
Disagree: 27%
Strongly disagree: 7%
Don't know: 8%

Colleges and universities should admit students from racial minority groups even if they have lower high school GPA's and standardized-test scores than other students
Strongly agree: 5%
Agree: 26%
Disagree: 45%
Strongly disagree: 19%
Don't know: 5%

Article: "What Americans Think About Higher Education:"
"The survey's respondents were highly skeptical about affirmative action, tenure, big-time athletics, and other entrenched practices of the academic establishment. About two-thirds of the respondents said that colleges place too much emphasis on sports, and that experienced professors should not be granted jobs for life. More than 60 percent said colleges should not admit minority students who have lower grade-point averages and test scores than their peers."

Posted by Rob at 7:11 PM

Sunday, April 27, 2003

In an exclusive editorial in Truthout, former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean (See Deanblog)addresses the U-M admissions lawsuits:
"Senator Santorum's remarks do not exist in isolation. In January, President Bush went on national television to discuss the Supreme Court's hearing of the University of Michigan's affirmative action case. One of the most despicable moments of this President's Administration occurred when, on national prime time television, he used the word "quotas" repeatedly to describe the University of Michigan's admissions policy.

President Bush knows that the University of Michigan does not now have, and has never had, quotas. His use of the race-loaded word "quota" is intended to incite people's fears of losing their jobs, or their positions in America's leading universities, to minorities. Such rhetoric, which is designed to appease the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party and to appeal to Americans' worst instincts, betrays the guiding principle that America is a nation in which all people are created equal. "

Posted by Rob at 9:34 PM

Spring commencement was Saturday, where Governor Granholm's told the graduates:
"There are some U of M grads who are complete and total losers. Here's my first bit of advice: Do not be one of them."
The University press office released photos of the governor posing with sunglasses with President Coleman before the ceremony. (From the Ann Arbor News: "Governor to grads: Don't waste diplomas")

From the Associated Press story about commencement:
Ben Conway, a classic language and literature major from Rochester, N.Y., agreed. He said Granholm's calls for leadership were particularly appealing he hopes to work for the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign or the American Civil Liberties Union in the future.
"I registered to vote in Michigan this year specifically to vote for her," the 23-year-old said.

This Ann Arbor News article includes the following statistics:
"While 84 percent of all U-M students graduate within six years, the figures are 75 percent for Hispanics, 72 percent for Native Americans and 66 percent for African-Americans. "
Although U-M administrator and advisor to the president Lester Monts tries to steer blame away from any specific environment or policy here at U-M, arguing it reflects greater social inequalities:
"We don't get (African American) students from private schools like Phillips Exeter (in New Hampshire). We get very few from Greenhills. A good number come from inner city high schools that are inadequately funded," Monts said. "It's a tribute that the 66 percent did graduate. They rose to the challenge. They had fortitude and the ability to cope."

Other stories of note from the Ann Arbor News:
>"Recipients transform letters of hate into symbols of peace"
>"Man injured in altercation at bar"
>"End of semester sees rash of textbook thefts"
>"Positive ID delayed on unearthed body of girl"
>"Handicapped U-M student forged paths"

Posted by Rob at 8:38 PM

Thursday, April 24, 2003

According to this Detroit News Story, the University of Michigan's Internet Public Library, which recieves over 12 million hits a month, may be a victim of budget cuts. According to the article: "Since the grant money ran out, the library has been funded with general fund money, a source they will not be able to continue tapping. Other funding alternatives have fallen through. The library can't tax users or solicit revenue through advertising." And this from Maurita Holland director of academic outreach at the School of Information: "We want to remain operational, but if we can't find the funding, our lights will go out." The website costs about $30,000 to run each year.

Posted by Rob at 2:33 PM

The Ann Arbor News ran this story today about the Jessica Smith case: "Clues indicate body is April Copperstone". Police have found the body of the daughter of Smith's boyfriend, whom he alleged in a letter she had killed before he murdered her and committed suicide.

Posted by Rob at 2:22 PM

According to this New York Times article, the man in charge of food at camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay Cuba is longtime U-M dining services employee James Kluck:

"The detainees are served at least two hot meals a day and some are rewarded with treats like ice cream and dates when they cooperate, said Chief Warrant Officer James Kluck, the food service director, who in civilian life looks after the food needs of a dormitory at the University of Michigan."

Posted by Rob at 4:32 AM

Lee Bollinger's plan to revitalize the Columbia School of Journalism is ripped in this article by Washington Post Columnist Robert Samuelson titled "Snob Journalism". "Bollinger's vision amounts to snob journalism: journalism by an elite for an elite" writes Samuelson. "Bollinger says the label [professional] is needed to create "stronger standards and values" against nasty commercial pressures. How condescending. Most good journalists already believe in accuracy, independence and fairness."

Posted by Rob at 4:02 AM

The U-M Credit Union Michigan Union branch is set to open next Monday, where the video rental store and arcade used to be.

Posted by Rob at 1:07 AM

Detroit has landed its very own Hard Rock Cafe, located in the new Compuware building now under construction. Here's the company's press release announcing it.

Posted by Rob at 12:42 AM

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

A friend of Jessica Smith, the U-M student who was murdered last weekend, has told me the viewing for Jessica will be held on Thursday 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm at McCade Funeral Home in Canton (851 N. Canton Center Rd.), and the funenral will be held Friday at 11am at St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church in Canton.

Also, the Daily has posted a longer article about the death, but the only people they seem to have spoken to were Jessica Smith's mother and U-M spokesperson Julie Peterson.

Posted by Rob at 11:33 PM

The Daily finally posted something: an Associated Press story about the killing.

Posted by Rob at 3:51 PM

A reader alerted me to the death of a 23-year old U-M student apparently murdered by a 47-year old Belleville man who then committed suicide. He wrote: "What surprises me is that the Daily hasn't done any web updates (since it is a pretty big story concerning a student) nor has the University sent out any of their standard "for grieving help, see CAPS" emails."

Ann Arbor News coverage:
April 21: "Police seek suspeect in shooting death"
April 22: "Police think killer committed suicide"
April 23: "Murder-suicide case takes bizarre turn"

Free Press - April 23: "Cops look for man's daughter"

Local 4 : "Letter: Canton murderr suspect's daughter bured in fruit cellar"
7 News: Police search foor murder suspect's missing daughter"

Posted by Rob at 1:32 PM

Monday, April 21, 2003

I'm in the process of updating this website to reflect the "end" of Gulf War II, as well as making a number of overdue corrections. Spot anything that needs fixing? Let me know: rob(at)

Posted by Rob at 2:37 AM

Sunday, April 20, 2003

In their Thursday meeting, the Regents approved a 5% increase in residence halls rates, and the News observes U-M has the second-highest on-campus housing costs in the big ten (behind Northwestern). The Regents also approved money to renovate campus rec buildings.

The New York ACLU is working with state lawmakers to pass a law protecting freedom of speech rights in malls after a 61-year-old man was arrested in a shopping mall for wearing a t-shirt that said "Give Peace a Chance." As far as I know, there have only been a few states that have passed laws protecting some amount of speech in malls, which legally can regulate any speech they like. The kicker? The New York ACLU bought a billboard near the mall reading "Welcome to the mall. You have the right to remain silent. Value free speech." with a photo of a gagged person on it.

Also, a SARS case was found in Washtenaw county.

The University of Minnesota is writing an anti-riot policy.:The university's anti-riot policy, which is being developed by a task force that is surveying policies elsewhere, will go to the Board of Regents for approval in June. It would augment the student code of conduct, which doesn't directly address off-campus behavior.'

The Ann Arbor News finally covered the ending of the AATU for students: "Tenants union halts U-M services"

One of Detroit's oldest structures has been saved from destruction, and they plan on moving it to Greenfield Village, where it will be placed to look like it's part of a fake town.

Posted by Rob at 12:22 AM

Friday, April 18, 2003


The Dearborn teen who was sent home for wearing an anti-bush t-shirt will be honored by the ACLU of Michigan at their annual meeting in November by John Tinker of Tinker v. Des Moines.

And, MSU President McPherson will help "rebuild" Iraq.

Inside Saddam's head: "What does this painting tell us?", BBC: Saddam's Art, (another photo here), and "Saddam starred in gay porn films"

Also, "Saddam's on the run, say the street-wise", "Baghdad did not fall - it was handed over"
> "U.S. sends FBI to find looted antiquities"
> "U.S. bans media from protests"

Posted by Rob at 3:18 AM

Thursday, April 17, 2003

I was just reminded that the Metro Detroit area is home to two of the wealthiest towns in the U.S.: Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield Township, in a list that includes, of all places, Levittown NY.

Posted by Rob at 11:23 PM

You may have noticed their flyers in Angel Hall - a new student group called the "Men's Union" is trying to recruit members. Their slightly whimsical mission statement (To standardize, promote and further the ideals of Mandom through the unification of its members and to pursue masculine interests for the betterment and benefit of men everywhere." ) found on their website and email list makes me hope it's something more enlightened than Michigan Madness, where the "playoff" enters the sweet 16.

Posted by Rob at 10:47 PM

To 'Ann Arbor is Overrated': While the Current may need to break out a thesaurus, I discovered Tuptim Thai Cuisine really is excellent after a friend insisted I go!

Posted by Rob at 3:20 PM

As expected, the Naked Mile was a flop. The Ann Arbor News has declared the death of the tradition: "Seems Naked Mile has run its course", and the Free Press ran this AP story apparently written by someone who didn't venture outside: "Police: Five arrests, few spectators, at 'Naked Mile'"

From the N.Y. Times' obituary of Dr. Robert Atkins, creator of the low-carb, high-fat diet who died yesterday: "He graduated from the University of Michigan and spent a summer as a waiter and entertainer at resorts in the Adirondacks." apparently sometime in the 1950s.

Also, an Ann Arbor man held a drunk intruder he caught trying to steal his dog.

Posted by Rob at 3:01 PM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

According to tradition, today being the last day of classes, the 17th annual Naked Mile is set for around 10 p.m. at the intersection of South University and Washtenaw Avenue.

> 2003: Daily: "Officials take hands-off approach to Naked Mile"
> 2002: Photos, Daily: "Runners turnout for Mile despite increased security efforts"
> 2001: AANews: "Cold, police make Naked Mile a bust", Daily: "Few Naked, No mile"

Much more Naked Mile information here ...

Also: "U looks to increase cost of res hall living"

Posted by Rob at 1:02 AM

I've heard both of the controversial resolutions MSA was set to vote on were tabled tonight: the gag rule, and the resolution about the Caterpillar Corporation. (See: "MSA postpones taking stance on Caterpillar Corp." )

Posted by Rob at 12:51 AM

There's one clear loser in the Iraq war: history. See The 2003 Iraq War & Archaeology page, and the Archaeological Institute of America has posted an "Open Declaration on Cultural Heritage at Risk in Iraq".

Posted by Rob at 12:48 AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

A U-M graduate student is claiming a new Michigan law has made his PhD thesis illegal: "It's very difficult, reading the law, it makes basically everything that I do illegal," says Provos The law, part of a number of state-level "Super DMCA" laws makes it illegal to merely posses certain types of security technology. Also, Larry Kestenebaum posted about this on his blog last week.

Posted by Rob at 11:12 PM

MSA to vote on gag rule tonight
> More discussion about MSA politics here

The Daily finally ran a story about the AATU's demise today: "AATU ends student services due to lack of MSA funding". From the article:
"Newly-elected MSA General Counsel Jason Mironov said MSA will conduct a cost benefit analysis of the AATU and make an informed decision in the fall on whether to fund the non-profit organization.
I repeat: if the AATU ends it is MSA's fault for not finding a solution. They used to perform a critical service for students that no longer exists. If you hear MSA people say that students can go to Student Legal Services, that's a lie - they only provide legal services, not renting advice and counseling. One of the SLS attorneys is on the AATU board of directors, and has told MSA more than once he doesn't believe SLS can or should take over the role of the AATU.

Also, what do you think about this image - it's been circulating around the web for the last few days.

Posted by Rob at 1:37 PM

I've recently been told that tomorrow MSA will be voting on a proposed gag rule to prohibit the Communiciations Committee and Peace and Justice Commission from taking any points of view, or "carry out its duties in a fair and equitable manner to all constituents while refraining from promoting itself, or the Michigan Student Assembly, as a body of bias." While I think it's hilarious they used the phrase "body of bias," it's troubling there's people who so fundamentally misunderstand representative government. It remains to be seen whether or not they will abolish the Students' Rights Commission, Environmental Issues Commission, and LBGT Affairs Commission, and rename themselves the "Michigan Student Unbiased Allocations Committee."

Posted by Rob at 12:22 AM

Monday, April 14, 2003

CNN's website has a well-designed Iraq war section, including a list of confirmed coalition casualties - which currently stands at 149. Although it's not often reported, during Gulf War I, an undercover journalist discovered the Pentagon underreporting U.S. casualties by 400%.Here's an article by the reporter that discovered that while the Pentagon was claiming 55 U.S. casualties he discovered the real total was around 200.

On the side, New York Times columnist John Broder discusses the problem of estimating Iraqi casualties in this April 9 column, while the Iraq Body Count website estimates over 1,300, which they admit in Broder's column to be an underestimate.

This is an excellent article by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Patrick Sloyan about how the U.S. military quickly buried tens of thousands of killed Iraqis during Gulf War I:
"Daniel and the rest of the world would not find out until months later why the dead had vanished. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers, some of them alive and firing their weapons from World War I-style trenches, were buried by plows mounted on Abrams main battle tanks. The Abrams flanked the trench lines so that tons of sand from the plow spoil funneled into the trenches. Just behind the tanks, actually straddling the trench line, came M2 Bradleys pumping 7.62mm machine gun bullets into the Iraqi troops.
What happened at the Neutral Zone that day has become a metaphor for the conduct of modern warfare. While political leaders bask in voter approval for destroying designated enemies, they are increasingly determined to mask the reality of warfare that causes voters to recoil."

Posted by Rob at 2:07 PM

The Review's James Justin Wilson agrees with me that Michigan Madness is "awfully crass," and did his best to track down its authors. The website has added a lengthy "Terms of Service" agreement to the website, where the first round of voting has completed.

Posted by Rob at 12:13 PM

The Daily has a story about the naked mile in today's paper: "Tradition of Naked Mile labeled with negative reputation". Here's my information page about the event. The forecast for Wednesday: high 63 / low 36, partly cloudy.

Posted by Rob at 12:01 PM

Yesterday's College Democrats meeting was infiltrated by members of a quasi-political cult that has been leaving pamphlets around campus led by Lyndon LaRouche. Similar to Scientology and other cults, this organization has a history of mind control and abuse of its members. Here's a Washington Post article about the cult's history. Also, I found this website designed for members, which I think will illustrate how bizzare these people really are!

Posted by Rob at 11:49 AM

Sunday, April 13, 2003

The president of the National Organization for Women wrote a letter to the editor printed in the Daily urging the University not to appeal in the Johnson sexual assault case. (Litigated by none other than BAMN/RWL attorney Miranda Massie)

Posted by Rob at 2:15 PM

Thursday, April 10, 2003

A friend told me about something called "Michigan Madness", a web site that appears to be set up by a group of friends in the greek system. The premise is the same as the NCAA basketball tournament, down to the cardinal direction brackets, but the teams have been replaced by the names of women University of Michigan students, and the "winner" of each match-up determined by voting. Here's the kicker: the website lists over 2,400 registered usernames, although they may represent multiple accounts of a fewer number of people. The most sickening part, however, is the content of the anonymous message board. Enter fraudulent information on the "register" page (just random text will suffice) to view it yourself.

Fortunately, the message board includes plenty of criticism. Here's a sample:
"I signed on simply to say that you guys suck for doing this **** to your "friends", and congratulations for making a whole slew of people feel like ****, and right on for finally showing yourselves for the a-holes that we all suspected you were for the past four years....but I think all that is obvious to anyone who is bored enough (including myself) to check out this website. What an awesome way to show how much you care about the people you've spent the past four years with, this is truly what memories are all about!"

... and an anonymous response to the critic:
"What would your mother say when i stick my dick in her butt. Will she scream or will she cry like her daughter. Deal with it because its here to stay."

In a related note, the annual Take Back the Night rally is scheduled for tomorrow on the Diag at 7:00 PM, and I know Men Against Violence Against Women is sponsoring an event for men to participate in in lieu of the march after the coed rally.

Posted by Rob at 11:54 PM

Yes, it's that time of year: Naked Mile Season. To prepare, I suggest reading my newly updated background website. The Daily also has two articles about it today:

> "Has the Naked Mile run its course?"
> And an editorial in support of the #1 campus tradition: "Run Free"

Also, I've added a Naked Mile data page, with the University's official talking points for the last two years (now removed from the News and Information page), and the minutes from an anti-mile administration planning committee from last year.

Posted by Rob at 3:19 AM

Annarborosux should get out more, or he/she would know Cafe Ambrosia is indeed far superior to Starbucks. "Bashing Starbucks is so late '90s" they wrote in response to Jess Piskor's Daily article about coffee shops in which he castigates U-M students for voting Starbucks best A2 coffee shop, complaining about their "... poorly cleaned bathrooms, tired music, weak food options, corporately trained robot employees and exceedingly hip decor, not to mention a tragically banal clientele."

While my own opinion of Starbucks is slightly different that Piskor's, it's a shame Annarborsux hasn't ventured to Cafe Ambrosia, where you'll have a good chance of running into one of the two co-owners themselves behind the counter. They also have something the best Ann Arbor small businesses have - politics, whether you like it or not. See this quote from an April 3 Daily article:
"Café Ambrosia owner Ed Renollet said he will pull his café's advertisements until the ads are withheld. "Campus newspapers should be promoting peace - these ads do not. If someone wants to place an ad they reserve the right, but still these ads are damaging because they support hate," Renollet said."

Also, what other coffee shop can boast its own, albeit neglected, weblog?

See the rest of the Daily's 'Best of Ann Arbor' here...

Posted by Rob at 3:08 AM

Interesting: Images from Iraq

Posted by Rob at 1:09 AM

The BBC: "What will happen to POWs?":
"The United States has already opened one so-called Theatre Internment Facility designed to house 4,000 prisoners at an undisclosed location in southern Iraq.
The site is expected to expand to accommodate a further 4,000 prisoners next week."

College journalist "embedded" in Southern Iraq:
"The 36th is involved in two main projects and a number of smaller ones. Perhaps the most important is the construction of the prison camps (called Ifs – Internment Facilities – by the army) at Um Qasr. ... Two camps are under construction, another two planned, and four more possible, said Maj. Karen Ward, the executive officer of the 46th Engineer Battalion. Each camp is designed to hold 8,000 prisoners but could hold an additional 2,000 to 4,000 if necessary, she said. The plan is to eventually hold all Iraqi prisoners at Um Qasr."

Also, from the tone of the second article - posted just two days ago - it sounds like the U.S. military is preparing for a long stay in Iraq.

Posted by Rob at 1:06 AM

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I was sent this statement by the Ann Arbor Tenant's Union:

"Notice: As of April 30th, 2003, we, the Ann Arbor Tenants Union, will no longer be able to serve University of Michigan students, due to the Michigan Student Assembly's lack of funding for student tenant counseling services. Please direct inquiries and problems to MSA to Angela Galardi - President, Monique Perry - Vice President, or 734-763-3242."

To me, all politics about the Tenants Union aside, this is a stain on the Michigan Student Assembly as a whole, and a failure of our "campus leaders" to serve students interest ahead of their own.

Also, I was reminded today that the annual "Take Back the Night" march and rally is this Friday, April 11th.

Posted by Rob at 3:29 PM

The Greek system is trying to consult their way out of a hard earned reputation for hazing and date rape. Good luck!

Since I spent the evening writing and thinking about Detroit, I will subject you to a couple websites. This, apparently British website has a nifty Detroit population animated gif, and the great folks with the U.S. census are asking: "What about Detroit?", suggesting the Detroit area might have more sprawl if the population actually increased. I also came across this somewhat spotty Detroit history website.

Although it's hard to believe with snow on the ground, some scientists think by 2030 Michigan's climate may be more like Kentucky's.

Also, Grace Lee Boggs writes on "If Martin Luther King were alive today" in the Michigan Citizen:
"The whole world is participating in creating the new concept of the global citizenship which King espoused.
A new global democracy, operating outside governmental frameworks, has forced the overwhelming majority of the world’s governments to dissociate themselves from the “evil empire” that our country has become in the eyes of the world. "

Posted by Rob at 3:23 AM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

The Michigan Review editors claim over 1,000 copies of their latest issue was stolen, and there are tiny cameras all over campus, something I'll see what I can find more about.

Featured in this week's issue is an article about the Supreme Court bus flap I mentioned briefly last week. While it's too late to get into the details now, MSA has no obligation to be "unbiased," and in fact can do whatever the damn they like with their money, as long as it's within the legal limits for direct lobbying for a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. [Which they legally are] In addition, allowing (or asking) Royster Harper to come in and dictate what MSA should do is unnecissary and sets a dangerous precedent for the possibility of administration meddling in the future.

Posted by Rob at 2:40 AM

Engineering Professor C.W. Kauffman has written a long "Faculty Perspective" in the University Record about the alleged theft of his ideas by the University. Something of a conspiracy theorist, Prof. Kauffman has long tried to drum up interest in his situation in the Michigan Daily, which resulted in this article last year about a number of other faculty complaints with University administrators. (The story was written by Daily reporter David Enders, now a columnist studying in Lebanon). One among many festering complaints from faculty about authoritarian behavior by University administrators, Kauffman summarizes his situation as follows:

... Because I protested this immoral [administration] behavior, I received retaliations including reduced salary, removal from traditional teaching duties, loss of teaching assistants and graders, removal from student advisory positions, assignment of excessive work loads, loss of laboratory equipment and space, and insulting treatment by the administration.

I brought a lawsuit that is still pending, and the U-M administration has now proposed its settlement offering me money for early retirement if I sign a gag order. I reject this payment to hide the abiding malfeasance of my own alma mater. The general counsel now asks me to propose a settlement that mimics my original proposal. This has been done, with no result as yet. Meanwhile, I have developed some serious stress-induced medical problems. As part of a campaign of unrelenting retaliation, U-M officials refuse to grant me medical leave despite requests from my physician for necessary diagnosis and treatment.

More information about Prof. Kaufman's case can be found on the American Association of University Professors webpage.

The University Record notes important Albert Kahn documents have been donated to the Bentley library.

Also, the Lecturer Employees' Union election for union representation will begin this week.

The Society of Women Engineers, the Muslim Students Association, and the Black Student Union's Andrea Johnson were among the winners in SAL's annual student leadership awards ceremony last night.

Posted by Rob at 2:12 AM

Monday, April 07, 2003

"Best Place to Be Seen: The Diag, #2 Main Street
Best Pick-Up Place: Conor O'Neill's, #2 University of Michigan Undergraduate Library

Read the rest of Current magazine's 'Best of Washtenaw County 2003' here

Posted by Rob at 3:13 AM

After pressure from SOLE, the University has established a committee to create guidelines for a new purchasing policy. I think from the administration's perspective, committees are a good way to defuse activists' vim and quietly find compromises. SOLE considers it a partial victory, something Julie Peterson seems almost too eager to concede. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the University will be cutting the contract, just waiting until it expires - November 2004 - before finding a more ethical cleaner.

Posted by Rob at 2:14 AM

Making waves online is a story about an Intel programmer who has been detained indefinitely by the U.S. federal goverenment. His friends have created a "Free Mike Hawash" website. The Washington Post determined at least 44 others are in similar situations.

Posted by Rob at 2:02 AM

The Al Jazeera english website is back up.

Posted by Rob at 1:44 AM

The Ann Arbor Sucks weblog notes this Michigan Daily article, which documents the outragous prices charged in the University-owned convenience stores. Lest the collective memory forget, it was only a few years ago both South Quad and Bursley had grills serving a wide variety of inexpensive hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream, and other foods. After an expensive "consultant" hired by housing, the University decided an overpriced, corporate-logo filled convenience store could generate more revenue. (The entire Housing Administration is run as a financially independent unit within the University.) The only place where the grill closings was sucessfully resisted? East Quad.

Virginia Tech has reinstated their affirmative action program.

Apparently, a hearty crowd braved the cold for this year's Hash Bash.

MSU has suspended two after this year's riot ... and the MSU police have posted photos of riot participants on the web.

The Ann Arbor News casts a mildly distainful gaze on Ann Arbor's homeless in a companion piece for this belated story about the creation of an advocacy organization for their interests.

Last, but not least- James Justin Wilson has issued a "correction" about Andrew Shrivell.

Posted by Rob at 1:31 AM

U-M Athletic Director Bill Martin is one step closer to being named head of the U.S. Olympic Committee after being lauded by an executive committee member in an internal email. Here's an AP story with some background.

Seven people have been charged with crimes in connection with last week's rioting at MSU.

Also, here's a column from the Detroit News about a former Michigan Daily editor.

Posted by Rob at 1:31 AM

Friday, April 04, 2003 recently began asking visitors for their ages and zip codes, like the Washington Post and an increasing number of other news websites. My advice: click on "not in the U.S.A.", or enter your birthdate as 1930.

Posted by Rob at 5:25 PM


Details on noon protest on Mary Sue Coleman's lawn

A bored patient at the U-M Mott Children's hospital is the subject of this story: "Police investigate after teen has sex with escort in hospital"

An EMU radio DJ has been fired for his pro-war remarks on the air.

Michigan Tech students are being sued by the recording industry for creating a "Napster-like" system over their school's high speed network.

Sounds like the Ann Arbor News paid to have a survey done to find something unsuprising: a majority of Washtenaw County voters oppose a war in Iraq.

Also, an interesting post on Larry Kestenbaum's blog discusses whether a new Michigan Law may prohibit computer firewalls. In a sidenote in that post, he points out the punishment for coed cohabitation has doubled, but I didn't know it was illegal to begin with - read the text of the law here.

Here's one handy website to keep track of everything you need to know about the War On Iraq:

Finally, the latest news on something that's been circulated on various campus email lists: "Coke bottler faces death suit."

Posted by Rob at 2:57 AM

Thursday, April 03, 2003

The University administration told representatives of Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality (SOLE) that they will be cancelling their contract with Morgan Linen, the Ohio laundry service hired by the U-M business school. (Here's today's Daily story about the meeting: "SOLE optimistic about Coleman's response", and a December 5 editorial) Also, yesterday the Daily printed an "Open Letter to President Coleman" from SOLE outlining their demands.

SOLE, and the laundry employees' union claim the company pays starvation wages, illegally fought unionization, and that workers were forced to work in an unsanitary environment. SOLE is planning a 'wash-in' tomorrow, on the president's lawn:
"Friday, April 4, SOLE is having either a celebration about Mary Sue Coleman's decision to cut the Morgan account, or will be forced to have wash-in to demonstrate that the students will not be satisfied until the University upholds its ethical standards and cuts the account, depending on the outcome of the April 2 meeting. This wash-in/celebration will take place at noon on the front lawn of the President's house on campus. Students will be encouraged to bring their dirty laundry to be washed in basins on the lawn, and hung out to dry. There will be a live bluegrass band (featuring a washboard- player) and food. "If the contract is not cut, we want to show the president that the students will not accept this blatant disregard for humane working conditions in a factory that the University heavily depends on," said Claire Beyer, U of M freshman and USAS member. "

Also, Hash Bash is this Saturday, and will include an anti-war protest in addition to the annual marijuana legalization rally.

Posted by Rob at 2:58 PM

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

The U.S. Supreme Court has released audio of oral arguments twice in its history: in Bush v. Gore, and in Grutter / Gratz v. Bollinger. C-SPAN has made the U-M cases' audio avaliable online here.

Posted by Rob at 1:27 AM

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

If anyone cares, the Rackham Student Government election results were released today. (Thanks for the forward)

Posted by Rob at 11:22 PM

If you have walked by the Liberty Street Borders since Friday, you saw some people with petitions. The Ann Arbor News ran this story today about the new union which is trying to negociate their first contract. The story quotes an organizer saying "We're going to do whatever it takes, up to and including a strike or boycott."

Border's employees nationally have started a website:

Posted by Rob at 10:59 PM

The two best accounts I could find of how the oral arguments went today in the U-M admissions lawsuits are the New York Times' story "On affirmative action, high court seeks nuance", and MSNBC's "High court weighs affirmative action". Overall, it sounds like the arguments went well since both articles conclude the justices' questions seemed to suggest a limited use of affirmative action, not abolishing it completely. Here's the only quote in the news I could find from someone I know after a quick search (let me know if you find others), from a newspaper in San Antonio:
"In the middle of the storm is the University of Michigan. Students from that school filled 13 buses for the trip.

"Our university happens to be at the center of a very important national movement," said Jackie Bray, a 20-year-old history major at the school. "Our university would never be the same without affirmative action."

Also,'s website on the cases is worth a visit.

Posted by Rob at 10:15 PM

This post is a bit late due to technical difficulties out of my control.
Over 800 U-M students loaded 11 MSA and SSAA busses, and 4 BAMN busses last night to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in a protest rally at the Supreme Court. Here's a Washington Post story about the U-M campus filed yesterday. The following are news stories about the events today:

FREEP: "Groups assemble outside Supreme Court awaiting U-M case arguments"
DET NEWS: "Thousands trek to D.C. for historic U-M case"
USA TODAY: "Justices hear admissions case today"
W.POST "Thousands Gather for Affirmative Action Case"
BBC: "U.S. courrt weighs affirmative action"
Reuters: "Supreme Court to Weigh Racial Preferences Case"

Many more stories on Google News ...
Photos on Yahoo News ...

Posted by Rob at 11:31 AM

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