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February03 (Feb. 18-22)



Thursday, June 26, 2003

Editor's Note: The Goodspeed Update was not updated this week due to travel and technicial problems. Starting tomorrow, I will be on vacation until July 8 near Nag's Head, North Carolina. To contact me, call my cellular phone.

Posted by Rob at 6:25 PM

Monday, June 23, 2003

The AP story quoting me made it into quite a few publications - from the Detroit News to London's Guardian.

Also, this CNN site has some quotes from U-M students.

Posted by Rob at 8:36 PM

Det. News: "Both sides claim victory in Supreme Court ruling"

CNN Coverage

Posted by Rob at 2:17 PM

Ruben Duran, JJ Wilson, Adam Dancy AP Photo
Michelle Lin, Jackie Bray AP Photo

Posted by Rob at 2:16 PM

Full text of undergrad case. (PDF Format)
Full text of law school case (PDF Format)

Posted by Rob at 1:59 PM


FREEP: Supreme Court Upholds U-M affirmative action program

> Ann Arbor News special report
> Detroit News special report
> Detroit Free Press Coverage
> New York Times coverage
> U-M Admissions Lawsuits Information Page
> U-M Press Releases

> Students of Color of Rackham
> Students Supporting Affirmative Action

9:00-10:00 AM Decision Released
11:00-11:30 AM - University Releases brief comments / legal analysis
12:00 PM: PRESS CONFERENCE ON DIAG, BE THERE! (wear M-Justice shirts)
Speakers: Angela Galardi, Brandy Johnson, Harlyn Pacheco

Posted by Rob at 10:30 AM

Sunday, June 22, 2003

For a good wrap-up about recent events in Benton Harbor, see "Benton Harbor riots serve as warning to other cities" in today's Detroit News.

Posted by Rob at 12:20 PM

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Amer G. Zahr is opening Cafe Oz, Ann Arbor's first hookah cafe, in the old Webelite building on Fifth Street, although the Ann Arbor news article about it quickly devolves into some sort of moralizing crusade against teen smoking. I wonder if they subjected La Dolce Vita to the same treatment when they opened. Just before the end of the article the rerporter squeezes in this quote:
""This (cafe) has nothing to do with the tobacco industry that he's talking about," counters Zahr. Some hookah tobacco does contain nicotine, the ingredient which leads to addiction, he says, but the brands he will offer do not. Also, says Zahr, Cafe Oz will not allow cigars or cigarettes."
> AANews: "Cafe Oz brings hookah experience to Ann Arbor"

Posted by Rob at 2:25 PM

The University has announced that Evan H. Caminker will replace Jeff Lehman as dean of the U-M law school, effective August 1. From the press release linked below: "Caminker, who has taught in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, and federal courts, has received the ACLU Distinguished Professors Award for Civil Liberties Education."
>AANEWS: "U-M chooses law school dean"
>UMPR: Evan H. Caminker recoommended as Dean of the Law School

Posted by Rob at 1:08 PM

Friday, June 20, 2003

The 40th anniversary of Detroit's massive 1963 "Walk to Freedom" down Woodward Avenue will be held next week.

Posted by Rob at 12:52 PM

Did you know 40% of the U.S. Senate are millionaires?
See "Millionaires populate U.S. Senate". The House isn't much better, with our own John Dingell high in the running. From "Pelosi among wealthiest Democrats in House.":
"Rep. John D. Dingell, Michigan Democrat, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the longest-serving House lawmaker, reported 37 mutual funds owned alone or with his wife, Debbie. He did not list the salary of his wife, who works for General Motors, but did say she has $1 million to $5 million in GM stock options and $500,000 to $1 million in a GM Savings-Stock Purchase Program."

Posted by Rob at 1:23 AM

Censorship in Iraq
"Iraq's lethal peace could yet change American minds" editorializes London's left-leaning Guardian, pointing out that: "Almost unnoticed outside Iraq, the senior US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, has issued a proclamation outlawing any "gatherings, pronouncements or publications" that call for the return of the Ba'ath party - or for opposition to the US occupation."
> A quick Google news search shows they are indeed correct - it seems mostly foreign news sources are running information about the speech ban that was announced June 12.

Also, This Guardian columnn seems to summarize the current situation in Iraq particuparly well:
... The anti-democratic and flagrantly colonial nature of the new power in Iraq is undisguised. While Iraqi political parties are pressing for a broadly-based conference to elect a transitional government, the new US proconsul, Paul Bremer, is only prepared to tolerate a hand-picked Iraqi advisory council, while his occupation authority ploughs ahead with shaping the free market, pro-western order the US plans to impose on the ruins of an independent Iraq.

this Australian newspaper doesn't pull any punches: "US forces lost an attack helicopter to enemy fire as they mounted a massive military campaign in central Iraq against what some officials are calling an organized resistance against the American occupation."

Meanwhile, the official count of U.S. casualties is up to 229. (During Gulf War I, the 'official' count was hundreds off the true number of dead.)

Posted by Rob at 1:10 AM

United Press Internantional has released this analysis of the U-M case interviewing Peter Kirsanow, appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission; and Marvin Krislov, the University's general counsel.

Kirsanow predicts Rehnquist, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas and O'Connor voting to overturn Bakke - ruling diversity is not a compelling state interest: "Why take a politically charged case like this," Kirsanow asked, "if (the court) is not going to make a bright-line ruling?" He disagrees with the brief filed by President Bush - that argues diversity is a compelling state interest but the U-M policy constitutes quotas.

Krislov says he is "cautiously optimistic" the court will uphold the "Bakke principal," although declining to predict how the U-M policies will fare. He also highlights an interesting factoid - according to studies submitted in the case "without the affirmative action programs, minorities would have made up only 4 percent of the [U-M Ann Arbor] population in 2000, instead of the 14 percent that was achieved." And the University already has the socio-economic affirmative action trumpeted by conservatives.

Posted by Rob at 12:41 AM

As a note of explanation, the thing below my archives in the left column is an advertisement. Blogs of War has bought the first ad for t-shirts and other stuff celebrating Senator Orrin Hatch's comment that he would support technology, if it existed, that would destroy the computer of users who violated copyright law. (See this wired story for the details.) If you would like to place an ad (currently $5/week, $15/month) click here. And don't worry - you won't see ads for Starbucks here anytime soon - I have complete editorial control.

Posted by Rob at 12:03 AM

Thursday, June 19, 2003

I just sent this letter to the editor to the Ann Arbor news regarding their story today about the U.S. Patriot act forum:

"From: Rob Goodspeed
Subject: Letter to the Editor - Re: Patriot Act Resolution Forum

To the editor:

I was surprised by the blatantly ideological nature of the Ann Arbor News article June 19 about a forum about the U.S. Patriot act. It seemed that the story had a clear message: the Ann Arbor city council should not pass the proposed Patriot Act resolution.

The fact that a representative of John Ashcroft's Justice Department might not like the resolution is certainly newsworthy, but unsurprising. Also, I would have liked to hear what the president of the ACLU of Michigan, a well-respected attorney and author, had to say - but the article contained only one brief paraphrase of her comments.

The article doesn't even approximate balance treatment of the event or a neutral pursuit of truth, instead pursuing an ideological agenda. I hope your newspaper’s coverage of this important resolution improves.

Robert Goodspeed
315 North State Street"

Posted by Rob at 6:18 PM

Here are some highlights from today's Regents meeting:

President Mary Sue Coleman opened the meeting with an update about campus efforts to address sexual assault and harassment on campus. Coleman said among the proposals a committee was considering was expanding mandatory sexual harassment training from freshman orientation to during the year for all residence hall residents. I assume she was referring to the popular ResReps, and I think her idea is a good one. She also mentioned Regent White was not present due to her service in the U.S. Army Reserve.

According to Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper, the security measures implemented last summer have been successful. She reported the number of breaking and entering cases in residence halls dropped from 99 to 35 incidents last year; and the number of peeping tom incidents dropped from 14 to 1. Also, upon questioning by Regent Andrea Fisher Newman, DPS head Bill Bess said the security cameras have proven helpful in identifying suspects.

In a presentation on the long-range planning for the Athletic Campus, campus planner Sue Gott said that the South State commuter lot would be expanded by 200 spaces to total 680 this fall since it is currently at capacity. Gott’s presentation reviewing potential locations for future growth was interrupted by Regent Newman who commented “You’re forgetting improved parking,” to which Gott responded she was getting to that issue. In my mind, filling south campus with parking garages would only have the result of turning it into another medical campus – a Blade Runner type landscape of monumental parking structures and monumental buildings whose only pedestrian life exists within air-conditioned hallways. I believe a parking structure should be constructed on the site of the South State commuter lot, and then the University should invest in a rail-based trolley service running the length of State Street, and also perhaps utilizing the old bed of the Ann Arbor Railroad to take visitors to the Stadium and the Main street area. Also, while administrators have discussed a light rail (or monorail) line connecting North and Central campus behind closed doors, I believe it’s an idea worth discussing seriously.

Finally, MSA president Angela Galardi told the Regents the assembly had begun planning for this year’s September 11 vigil, and that they would be making a room available for students seeking information and support after the Supreme Court Decision in the admissions lawsuit is announced. She also reported that the Michigan Union Ticket office would sell MSA Airbus tickets this fall.

Posted by Rob at 5:25 PM

The Michigan Daily censored longtime Daily reporter and columnist David Enders last February when they withheld from publication the column he had written for that week. Read the censored column here.

Posted by Rob at 4:51 PM

Part of their ongoing campaign against the city council resolution about the U.S. Patriot act, the Ann Arbor news today ran a story where they seem shocked a member of John Ashcroft's justice department might not like the resolution, at the same time not quoting any comments by the president of the ACLU of Michigan, also a panelist at the event, aside from one brief paraphrase: "Moss said it would be an embarrassment to the city if it couldn't pass its resolution."
See:"Attorney: Patriot Act resolution has errors"

Also in the News:
> "County land trust makes another deal"
> "Court watchers intensfy guessing"

Posted by Rob at 12:07 PM

Plans for a new building for the Ford School of Public Policy (to be located between the Law Quad and Hill Street) will be unveiled at today's Regents' meeting.

Posted by Rob at 12:03 PM

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

According to the Times of London, the FBI is concerned about the safety of Ford president Bill Ford, Jr. after he purchased a $600,000+ plot of land outside Ann Arbor to build a house. Ford's future estate is near where five homes under construction were destroyed by the Earth Liberation Front.
> Times (UK): "Environmental terror group targets Ford boss"

Posted by Rob at 11:00 PM

It turns out former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney was ousted from office largely for something she didn't say: see "The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney". However, she recently announced she will be running again for the U.S. House.

Posted by Rob at 2:09 PM

The New York Times reviews the end-of-term possibilities at the U.S. Supreme Court in an article today - "10 Decisions remain this term":
"If the recent past is any guide, the justices are planning no more than two more decision days: Monday and Thursday next week. That presents the distinct possibility that landmark rulings on affirmative action, gay rights and commercial speech could all be handed down on a single morning.
The superheated atmosphere was captured today by an announcement from the media relations office at the University of Michigan that if the decisions in the Michigan affirmative action cases come down on Monday, the university's president, Mary Sue Coleman, will be on the court's plaza beginning at 10:30 in the morning to discuss them.

The only problem is that with opinions being announced from the bench at 10 o'clock, in a process that often takes 15 minutes or more, there is almost no chance that either President Coleman or any of her questioners would have had the opportunity to read and absorb them. But she will undoubtedly have an eager audience of television news reporters grateful for a live picture."

Posted by Rob at 1:56 PM

University officials are hoping a flu vaccine sprayed in the nose developed by U-M researchers may mean up to $100 million in revenue for the University.
>NYTimes: "F.D.A. Backs flu vaccine given by mist, not a needle"
>AANEWS: "Windfall coming for U-M FluMist?"
>U-M PR: FDA approves nasal spray flu vaccine invented at U-M"

Posted by Rob at 1:15 PM

Another victim of the budget cuts has been announced: the University Unions Major Events Office. See AANews: "U-M drops major concerts office after 28 years"

Posted by Rob at 1:07 PM

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Abercrombie and Fitch has been sued for racial discrimination in their hiring practices:
"According to the lawsuit, which is seeking class certification, the company has a policy that requires all sales people to exhibit an all-white "A&F look." Posters and a television program in stores display models who are mostly white, as does the company's catalogue, the lawsuit alleges. The company also encourages recruitment from overwhelmingly white fraternities and sororities, it says.

Abercrombie refuses to hire qualified minority applicants to work on the sales floor, the suit alleges. When it does hire minorities, it channels them to stock room and overnight shifts and reduces their hours, it says."

AP: "Clothing retailer accused of discriminating against minorities"
NYTimes: "Clothing chain accused of discrimination"

Posted by Rob at 11:54 PM

I've just posted a copy of the City of Ann Arbor's Noise Ordinance.

Posted by Rob at 4:34 PM

According to Dave Enders' blog, he will appear on NPR's Marketplace today. In Ann Arbor, Marketplace can be heard at 6:30 at 97.1FM or online here.

Posted by Rob at 3:22 PM

Another top-ranking member of the Bush White House has left in disgust - this time to work for John Kerry. The first to quit was former head of the President's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives John DiLulio, who told Esquire that in the Bush administration: " in domestic policy, there has been almost no meaningful consideration of any real issues." Here's what former intelligence official Rand Beers is saying:
"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Rand Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out."
"Counterterrorism is like a team sport. The game is deadly. There has to be offense and defense," Beers said. "The Bush administration is primarily offense, and not into teamwork."
Nevertheless, Beers will say that the administration is "underestimating the enemy." It has failed to address the root causes of terror, he said. "The difficult, long-term issues both at home and abroad have been avoided, neglected or shortchanged and generally underfunded."

>Wash.Post: "Former aid takes aim at war on terror"

Posted by Rob at 1:05 PM

Although the vote on the city resolution about the U.S.A. Patriot Act was postponed at last night's city council meeting, they did pass on first reads the new panhandling regulations: "Council takes first step to limit panhandling". The Ann Arbor District Library also took a position on the Patriot Act: Library affirmss opposition to Patriot Act rules".

According to this article, the ruling in the U-M lawsuits may come "any time before justices begin recess July 1."

Posted by Rob at 12:35 PM

Monday, June 16, 2003

NOTE: The Supreme Court's decision in the U-M admissions lawsuits is expected next Monday, June 24th, however it could be released any time in the next two weeks. When the decision is released, this website will have ongoing coverage of the day's events including the BAMN press conference at 11AM on the steps of the Union, the Students Supporting Affirmative Action press conference on the Diag at noon, the University press conference at Chrisler Arena at 2:00 PM, and a complete summary of important news coverage of the decision.
CORRECTION: Next Monday is the 23rd.

Posted by Rob at 2:48 PM

The Ann Arbor City Council will consider new, tougher panhandling regulations, (See Panhandling rules revisited") and a civil liberties resolution tonight:
">From Mary Bejian, Campaign to Keep Ann Arbor Safe & Free
Newsflash: Urged on by the strong turnout at last Wednesday's PATRIOT Act forum, Ann Arbor City Council is planning to vote on the civil liberties resolution tonight!

PLEASE JOIN US AT CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT (MONDAY 6/16) AT 7:30 P.M., second floor Council chambers, at Ann Arbor City Hall, 100 N. Fifth Avenue. Parking will be tight at City Hall, so for those who can, we suggest parking at either of the County lots on 4th Ave. (4th and Ann or 4th and Catherine).

The media will be there in force -- let's look good for the cameras! Feel free to bring SIGNS in support of Council's anticipated action, American FLAGS (what's more patriotic than protecting our civil liberties?), or anything else that shows those viewers at home that We Can Be Safe AND Free!"

Also, the Ann Arbor news runs this catch-all story of Ann Arbor street construction: Caution: Dust and disruption ahead"

Posted by Rob at 2:35 PM

The federal government is tweaking the formula used to calculate federal financial aid for higher education, which will result it saving the government billions by requiring families to pay more for education. The changes reduce all types of federal aid - including Pell Grants. "In other states like Michigan, Delaware, South Carolina or Wisconsin, the burden will likely be greater. Families earning around $25,000 may be expected to contribute an extra $220 or less, those earning $50,000 may owe $940 more, while their counterparts with $80,000 incomes may be obliged to part with an additional $1,500."
> NYTimes: "Change in Aid Formula Shifts more costs to students"

Posted by Rob at 1:23 AM

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, in 2001 the University's alcohol violations increased three percent, and drug violations were uup 14 percent. And according to the director of UHS: "Alcohol was the single most frequent cause for going to the emergency room for students during a study done in 1999." From: "'U' alcohol, drug violations up, survey says"

Also, from the Daily's coverage of the woodshop:
"Woodshop Manager Kurt Vosburgh, who will work the next three months on severance pay, said he understood the decision to close the woodshop. He added that he had not been surprised by the announcement, since talk of closing the woodshop has been circulating "for years."
"The closing of the woodshop is something that has been talked about for years and years and years. When funds have been plentiful, it's easy to fund the woodshop," Vosburgh said. "A lot of the excitement around this is connected with the sudden dissemination of the news. On Wednesday, the only news that I had was that we were closed.""

> From this article: "Budget constraints close woodshop"

Posted by Rob at 12:35 AM

Sunday, June 15, 2003

As anyone who has been on campus in the last week or so well knows, new student summer orientation is in full swing. Here's the Ann Arbor News article about it, full of parents gushing about how wonderful Ann Arbor is: "Getting to know U".

Also, construction of the Life Sciences complex will reach a milestone this fall when faculty begin moving into the buildings.

Posted by Rob at 11:38 AM

According to rumor, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the U-M admissions lawsuit might be as soon as monday. The Detroit News has started coverage of the case with a special report that starts with a bang: "Society may change course if affirmative action dies" shouts the headline in the usually stolid News. The first story focuses particularly on businesses' use of affirmative action:
"Officials at Steelcase, the world's largest manufacturer of office furniture, said they would stay committed to recruiting diverse employees, even if it costs more to recruit from a wider spectrum of colleges because of a lack of minorities at elite schools. The number of African-American, Hispanic and Native-American students is expected to drop at the country's most elite schools if they can't consider race in admissions decisions."
>See: Affirmative action in the news ...

Posted by Rob at 2:50 AM

The woodshop closing has made the AP wire:
FREEP: "Budget forces University of Michigan to close woodshop" (MLive)

Posted by Rob at 2:38 AM

Saturday, June 14, 2003

The Ann Arbor News ran a story about the closing of the U-M Student Woodshop today: "U-M woodshop to be axed by cuts in student services" According to the story, the annual budget for the woodshop not including insurance and utilities is $53,000. That figure constitutes 7.5% of the $700,000 in student services cut this year, and .15% of the more than thirty million dollars of cuts the University has been forced to make. A "Student Woodshop Users' Meeting" has been planned for Sunday, June 15 at 3:00 PM in room 1706 of the Chemistry Building to "Discuss the present status and future of the University of Michigan Student Woodshhop."

Posted by Rob at 2:37 PM

Many expect the Supreme Court decision in the U-M admissions lawsuits this Monday. Read the email BAM-N has sent their members here, (or here) and their official positions to possible Court rulings here.

Posted by Rob at 2:50 AM

Friday, June 13, 2003

According to Andrew, an Ann Arbor News reporter and photographer will be visiting the Student Woodshop at 5:00 PM today. The Woodshop was closed suddenly without warning by the University earlier this week. I've been told the Daily has been contacted about this story, and I hope the cover it - it's a shame a small but important service like the Woodshop has been cut. If it cost $100,000 a year to run, (a generous estimate) closing the woodshop would constitute .0027% of the $36.4 million cut in state aid, and burden most directly students trying to save money or make gifts. By my count, over 150 people earn more than $200,000 each year at the University.

Posted by Rob at 1:29 PM

It's time to join the U-M chapter of Students for Kucinich! For a taste of this candidate for president, here's Dennis Kucinich's ten key issues:
"[1] Universal Health Care with a Single Payer Plan
[2] Full Social Security Benefits at Age 65
[3] Withdrawal from NAFTA and WTO
[4] Repeal of the "Patriot Act"
[5] Right-to-Choose, Privacy, and Civil Rights
[6] Balance Between Workers and Corporations
[7] Guaranteed Quality Education, Pre-K through College
[8] A Renewed Commitment to Peace and Diplomacy
[9] Restored Rural Communities and Family Farms
[10] Environmental Renewal and Clean Energy"

Ok, fine so it's a tad idealistic - but you've got to start somewhere! See full descriptions here.

Posted by Rob at 11:35 AM

A judge has dropped the obstruction of justice charges faced by Chris Webber, although he will still face trial for perjury.

The Business Direct Weekly (local business paper) follows up on the Ann Arbor News article last week about the artists displaced from the future site of the YMCA moving to Ypsilanti with this story: "Vacant Ypsi buildings lurer Ann Arbor artists" However, the story includes this kicker: the new building they're moving into is slated for demolition as part of Ypsi's "redevelopment" effort. A question for Ypsi civic leaders: why not save the old warehouses, and embrace the artist community? I'm sure the answer is that while that's a quaint idea, it won't boost property values, and hence property taxes. To me, it's obvious building a vibrant city is the best way to boost property values, not arrogantly charging forward with the destruction of buildings utilized by city residents, but that's not generally the way things work in American planning circles.

Site updates: Place classified ads on this website for less than a dollar a day - look farther down the page on the left-hand column or click here.

Posted by Rob at 11:25 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2003

"During the 1970s, the neoconservative sociologist Nathan Glazer was one of affirmative action's leading critics. Now, with the U.S. Supreme Court expected to hand down a decision this month determining the future of affirmative action in university admissions, Glazer has signed onto a friend-of-the-court brief along with six other social scientists defending the University of Michigan's affirmative action policies. . . . "

Read the article here: "Former foe of affirmative action backs policy in Michigan Case"

Posted by Rob at 8:37 PM

John Dingell has announced he plans to run for re-election in 2004.

The FBI has annouced a $20,000 reward for information about the ELF arsons.

And Granholm is expanding the amount of Michigan water that will be pumped to make bottled water.

Posted by Rob at 2:58 PM

The Ann Arbor news ran two stories on the USA Patriot act: one covering last night's extremely successful forum, another nay-saying the impact of the law, I suppose so the newspaper can stay 'balanced.'
AANEWS: "Patriot Act draws crowd"
AANEWS: "Patriot Act defenders dismiss fears that it erodes liberties"

The second article doesn't say the law has been used to see patrons' records in a variety of libraries, as I reported in the Daily September 24, 2002:
"In a survey conducted by the University of Illinois in December and January, 11 percent of libraries serving populations over 50,000 reported federal agents had requested information about patrons pursuant to the events of Sept. 11."
Daily: Libraries adjust to terrorism searches"
See also Daily: "Privacy bill to prevent FBI library info probes"

Posted by Rob at 2:41 PM

WOODSHOP UPDATE: Andrew Van Alstyne has posted an entry in his blog about the woodshop closing.

Posted by Rob at 1:56 PM

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The Goodspeed Update has learned that the Student Woodshop has been closed as a victim of budget cuts. Operating since 1968, today's closing came to a surprise to the woodshops's eight part-time employees. The woodshop was jointly operated by Royster Harper's Office of Student Affairs and the Michigan Union Arts and Programs Office. The closing will potentially disrupt a number of long-range projects such as wooden canoes. A petition and possibly other actions to reverse the decision are currently being planned. Watch this website for updates. For more information about the woodshop, see this 1999 article in the Daily.

Posted by Rob at 10:29 PM

I'm planning to attend this meeting tonight:
"Community forum regarding the USA PATRIOT Act and the proposed Ann Arbor City Council civil liberties resolution.
DATE: Wednesday, June 11, 2003
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Ann Arbor District Library, Multi-Purpose Room (343 S. Fifth Avenue, downtown Ann Arbor)
SPEAKERS: Featured speaker is Noel Saleh, Post 9/11 Fellow of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. Representatives of Ann Arbor City Council and the District Library will also speak.

See also this IMC article: "Ann Arbor City Council Can Do Better"

Posted by Rob at 4:23 PM

Readers of this website are probably familiar with Michigian Review writer and #1 GoodspeedUpdate comment-poster Ruben Duran. He has started a blog: "Spic 'n' Spanish."

Posted by Rob at 3:43 PM

The U.S. Army has patented technology that can dispense "biological and chemical agents" over unruly crowds, further reason they need a biotechnology research center at the U of M - to protect U.S. "warfighters."

The AP estimates 3,240 civilian deaths in Iraq. (According to a February 2003 Zogby Poll, 54% of Americans said they would oppose a war with Iraq if "It meant thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties," and 54% also said they would oppose an Iraq war if "the US waged war without significant United Nations or international support.")

A front-page story in the New York Times discribes how "not a day has gone by without troops weathering an ambush, a rocket-propelled grenade attack, an assault with automatic weapons or a mine blast" in the Iraqi city of Falluja.
Ari Fleischer, April 1, 2003:
"...I can just tell you, just before I came out here, there was a report on one of the cables that showed an Iraqi citizen saying on camera, "Saddam no, America" -- and he gave a thumbs-up, like that. So we're starting to see some of the more visible signals now from the public of Iraq as the operation of Iraqi Liberation goes forward and people feel more free to speak out and I think you'll see more of that."

Hans Bliz calls the White House and Defense Department "bastards," accusing them of launching a smear campaign to discredit his work.

Posted by Rob at 1:50 PM

"A similar installation of cameras at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has also met no student opposition, according to campus officials, though some students have complained about the cost of security enhancements. The university is in the process of installing cameras at every entrance to its 16 dormitories, as part of a $4-million upgrade to its electronic key system.

In the end, the dorms will have about 200 cameras, at the cost of about $350,000, says Mr. Levy, of Michigan's housing department. The security upgrades were prompted by a rash of break-ins and Peeping Tom incidents last fall, says Mr. Levy.

The cameras are "not on residential corridors, and they're not near private areas or bathrooms," says Mr. Levy. "We tried to be as sensitive as possible to privacy concerns. We want to avoid any remote perception of any kind of Big-Brother thing.""

From The Chronicle of Higher Ed.: "Smile! You're on campus camera", See also the Chronicle's live online discussion tomorrow at 1PM.

Posted by Rob at 1:09 PM

Michigian Squirrels are changing color?
5.23.03 Free Press: "Let's hope this one's not the butt of jokes"
6.30.03 Free Press: Brown-butt squirrels all over Michigan

Posted by Rob at 1:02 PM

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer breathlessly anticipates this year's Art Fairs, warning that "Trying in one day to see everything within its 25 linear blocks of merchandise can put you on a crafts death march." The article also has this to say about our fair town: "Downtown Ann Arbor is cosmopolitan for its size, offering a United Nations of ethnic and cutting-edge restaurants. There are also more than a dozen bookstores in town."

The new 'spirit of Detroit'? - a fancy bridge. (Because who goes to downtown Detroit anymore?)

MSNBC: "Court to define 'equal' once again"

Posted by Rob at 12:00 PM

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Was Leon Trotsky a neo-conservative?
"I've talked to Wolfowitz about all of this," Schwartz notes. "We had this discussion about Shachtman. He knows all that stuff, but was never part of it. He's definitely aware." The yoking together of Paul Wolfowitz and Leon Trotsky sounds odd, but a long and tortuous history explains the link between the Bolshevik left and the Republican right."
See National Post (CA): "Trotsky's ghost wandering the White House: Bolshevik's writings supported the idea of pre-emptive war"

Posted by Rob at 7:30 PM

The first issue of the Baghdad Bulletin is online, and it includes this article by LSA undergrad David Enders about problems with Iraq's electrical system: "Getting back on the grid". While David's article is good, the whole paper smacks of cultural and economic imperialism. For example, what exactly does, "Dedicated to covering the redevelopment of Iraq," really mean? Was Iraq "developed"? (Don't they mean the imposition by U.S. elites of an unregulated capitalist system designed for the benefit of giant multinational corporations?)You think they could dedicate themselves to something else - reporting accurately on the effects of the U.S. war on Iraqi citizens, perhaps.

>AP: "Baghdad Bulletin hits the streets, in English"
>Scotsman: "Baghdad Bulletin's brave beginning":
"Nor did they know much about Iraq, so one of the first tasks was sending Enders to Baghdad to see whether it was safe enough. His conclusion was that while Baghdad was dangerous, it was no worse than his native Detroit."
>News24: "First Baghdad freesheet":
""The endgame is to set up something sustainable - run, edited and managed by Iraqis but within the framework that we are operating now," says Hassall."

Posted by Rob at 4:03 PM

After the University took the unusual step of releasing information about yesterday's shooting as a press release, the story was picked up by the AP:
AP: "University of Michigan offers reward in campus shooting"
CH4: Reward offered for U-M shooting suspects

Meanwhile, Chris Webber is saying the feds lack evidence he took money from Ed Martin.

Posted by Rob at 11:37 AM

The Michigan Daily has posted a story about the crime alert released today, "Shooting on North Campus", written by none other than longtime reporter Maria Sprow. Although I've come not to expect much from the Daily, this error seems inexcusable:
Paragraph 1: "A 40-year-old man walking on a North Campus sidewalk was shot five times early this morning ..."
Paragraph 7: "Only one of the shots wounded the victim, who was able to flee to a nearby apartment to call police."
According to DPS, the AP, and the Ann Arbor News, the man was shot once. The Daily also reproduced the vague computerized sketches released by DPS in full on their website, showing us exactly who to keep an eye out for: scary black men.

Posted by Rob at 1:20 AM

Democratic candidate for President Dennis Kucinich at the Conference to Take Back America:
"... Yet the most impassioned applause of the day was reserved for Kucinich. Introduced by Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers of America, as "the only vegan in Congress," Kucinich took the stage to John Lennon's "Imagine" and proceeded to conjure the heyday of American progressivism by promising a new version of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. "We're gonna rebuild America's cities, and we're gonna do it with America's steel," he roared, his voice far larger than his elfin frame. In his spellbinding speech, Kucinich laid out a lefty's dream platform: Medicare for all, money pulled out of the Pentagon budget to pay for schools and other domestic programs, and "total nuclear disarmament." He spoke to the crowd's fury over the war in Iraq, getting a screaming standing ovation when he cried, "This war was wrong! This war was fraudulent! We must expose this administration!"

When he was finished, it was clear there was no point in having anyone else follow him. "Dennis Kucinich has barbecued George Bush," said the emcee. "How about we have a barbecue right now?" With that, the crowd adjourned to a party, many daring to imagine voting for a candidate not because he seems electable, but because they want to elect him."

That, from Salon's coverage "We don't need a second Republican Party". This guy also advocates a Department of Peace.

Posted by Rob at 1:06 AM

Monday, June 09, 2003

The U-M Department of Public Safety released the second crime alert of 2003 today. (See the first here) See AANews: "Police investigate 2 weekend shootings" This isn't the first incident near Hubbard and Cram Circle as this police beat from last year can attest. (North Campus map)

"Date: 6-09-03 #2003-002

Date: June 9, 2003, Approximately 1:40 A.M.
Location: Hubbard and Cram Circle North Campus
Offense: Attempted Homicide

Summary: Victim was approached by two subjects. One of the suspects fired up to 5 shots at the victim from a handgun. The victim was struck once and received a non-life threatening wound.

Suspect 1: Black male, 6'0", 180 lbs, medium complexion, clean shaven. He is around 20 years old. Last seen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, rust-colored running pants and dark running shoes.
Suspect 2: Black male, 6'0', 180 lbs, dark complexion. He had a thin build and was around 20 years old. He was last seen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, unknown color of running pants and running shoes.


Posted by Rob at 12:53 PM

A quick aside:
6.04.03 Reuters - "Iraq's biggest oilfield still gripped by looting"
6.06.03 Reuters - "Interview: Iraq's U.S. oilman says sabotage rampant"

Posted by Rob at 11:29 AM

Last week, President Mary Sue Coleman named Dr. Robert Kelch to head the University of Michigan Health System, filling an important vacancy in the administration. I thought the AP story put his new job well:
"In his new role, Kelch will oversee all three components of the Michigan Health System: the Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, which have more than 11,000 employees and a 2003 operating budget of $1 billion; the Michigan Medical School, which has more than 2,100 faculty and 1,500 students and trainees, and received more than $290 million in research awards in fiscal year 2002; and the M-CARE managed care organization, which has 203,000 members.
> U-M Press Release
> Det. News: "U-M Health System names new leader"
> Iowa Press-Citizen: "Kelch to leave UI for Michigan"

Posted by Rob at 2:39 AM

Sunday, June 08, 2003

The Ann Arbor News covers segregation in area schools in two articles today: "Schools become more segregated" and "Few concerned about local schools' racial mix."

Meanwhile, the Freep continues to hype the three ELF arsons in sprawl around Ann Arbor in a story yesterday that contained little new information, and in this editorial. I think that the coverage of these three new home arsons has been instructive - it has far surpassed both the coverage of the fire that destroyed the Dawn Farm facility in Ypsilanti, and also the coverage of the Governor's committee assigned to address sprawl in Michigan.

Posted by Rob at 3:24 PM

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Comments are fixed - go wild!

Posted by Rob at 12:17 AM

Friday, June 06, 2003

The Dateline Special hosted by Tom Brokaw about the U-M admissions lawsuits is tonight at 8:00 PM.

Today's Chronicle of Higher Ed. contains a series of articles about affirmative action here at the U of M. The reporter picks up on BAMN's unpopularity among student activists - the first time I have every seen a 'mainstream' reporter discuss the issue. However, like most people, the reporter doesn't seem to know that BAMN only represents the intervenors in the undergrad lawsuit - not the law school case:

"The legal strategy of the Grutter intervenors reflects the radical ideology of their lawyers and organizers, most of whom have long ties to two socialist groups, the National Women's Rights Organizing Coalition and the Revolutionary Workers League. Both organizations helped set up a third group, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action & Integration and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (widely known as BAMN), which has played a key role in organizing protests in defense of affirmative action in both Michigan and California."
Several leaders of the university's more-established black student organizations, such as the Black Student Union and the Black Law Students Alliance, expressed support for the university's educational-diversity defense of affirmative action, and sought to distance themselves from the militant tactics and rhetoric of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and other groups. Aundrea R. Johnson, a senior who was the Black Student Union spokeswoman, said, "They always paint the issue in black and white, and that does not help our cause.""

Canterbury House wants to demolish their existing building, but the city has blocked their request citing historic district restrictions.

Also, Michigan may have an anti-spam law by fall.

Posted by Rob at 11:31 AM

Thursday, June 05, 2003

While I support mixed use development, I'm frustrated when it's only built for the wealthy. A proposed 20-condo project at Kingsley and North Ashley could sell units for the 'high $300,000s' but not quite hit the 'Ann Arbor luxury market' according to this story in the Business Direct Weekly.

Posted by Rob at 5:04 PM

From this USA Today op-ed:
"... But until I reviewed my class directory, I had forgotten how unrepresentative and undemocratic law schools were before affirmative action began. My directory listed 243 graduates. Examining the names and calling upon my best recollection, here is its composition: Four women. One (possibly two) African-American. One Hispanic surname. The remainder of the class, some 97%, was non-Hispanic white males. The faculty? One hundred percent white male.
Unfortunately, conservatives who are opposed to affirmative action have become a potent part of the political base of the Republican Party. With exquisite hypocrisy, they wave the banner of "racial neutrality" in support of their efforts to retain the preferences they once enjoyed without challenge. Now the Justice Department has lent them its support, asserting that while racial and ethnic diversity in education is a legitimate goal, it can be achieved by "racially neutral" means ..."

Posted by Rob at 4:24 PM

In addition to the entire republican delegation, U.S. Represenatives from Michigan John Dingell, Dale Kildee, and Bart Stupak all voted for the recently passed, illegal abortion ban. See the complete vote here.

The two top editors at the Times, Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd, have resigned in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal.

Here's some info from ITCS and the Virus Busters on the Sobig.c virus.

Ever wonder about the Cost of War?

Posted by Rob at 12:59 PM

While this website may not look a whole lot different, I've been tinkering under the hood. It should load more quickly now, and the links section at the bottom has been removed. Please leave comments! (See website history here)

Posted by Rob at 12:28 PM

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

While Salon may have dubbed Al-Muajaha ("The Iraqi Witness") 'Baghdad's only independent newspaper,' it will be joined next week by the paper U-M student Dave Enders is helping write, the Baghdad Bulletin. Hopefully these new english-language papers will help get some information out about Iraq that doesns't make it into the New York Times. Meanwhile, Salem Pax is blogging away:

"Did I tell you about the time when one of Bremer’s aides asked [my father] what the difference between a tribal sheikh and a mosque sheikh is? They send them thousands of miles to govern us here and then ask such questions." (The U.S. neocolonial dictator of Iraq, Paul Bremer, a former employee for Kissinger's consulting firm, recently announced 'reviving the economy' (aka: oil) would take priority over limited power sharing with Iraqi leaders.)

Posted by Rob at 11:12 AM

Monday, June 02, 2003

Finding some odd-looking emails in your inbox? The W32/Sobig.c@mm virus is currently spreading around U-M systems, be suspicious of emails with subject lines including "Re: Application", "Re: Approved", and "Re: Your Application" among others. This virus also spoofs the return email address, so the return address isn't necissarily the person with the infected computer. See McAfee's virus information page for more details. Although they don't have information about this virus yet, the U-M Virus Busters has information about viruses specific to U-M people.

Posted by Rob at 8:11 PM

The lead story in the University Record this week is an article defending Pat Gurin's research from criticisms made by the CIR and Chetly Zarko. Also in the Record, information about the offices and departments dislocated by he LSA Building renovation.

The Daily this week reviews local construction in this generally weak article - including expansion of the US-23/Plymouth Road interchange, no doubt part of the reason developers are seeking to build sprawl north of Ann Arbor along US-23.

Also, of interest from the Ann Arbor News: "Police uncover local fake-ID operation"

And, "Blessed Are the Poor - They Don't Get Tax Cuts" opines TIME's Joel Klein in an excellent column about the ruins of compassionate conservatism.

Posted by Rob at 3:26 PM

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