Category Archives: U of M
There’s been quite the (deserved) hubbub over the choice of Governor Rick Snyder as the speaker for this year’s commencement. The governor will be congratulating this year’s graduating class at the same time that he is promoting major cuts to our state’s public education system. Isn’t it ironic? I’d like to share a few of my favorite commencement addresses, and I’m sure they’ll be more inspiring than the governor’s
And I submit that this is what the real, no-bull- value of your liberal-arts education is supposed to be about: How to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default-setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone, day in and day out.
Rachel Maddow- Smith College-2010
When given the choice between fame and glory, take glory. Glory has a way of sneaking up on fame and stealing its lunch money later anyway.
Life might very well be long, keep your eye on the horizon and live in a way that you will be proud of. You will sleep more. You’ll be a better partner. You’ll be a better mom. You’ll be a better friend. You’ll be a better boss, and you will not have to remember any complicated lies to brag about at the old age home because you can brag about the truth of your well-lived life.
Steve Jobs- Stanford University-2005
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer was beautifully hand-calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me, and we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts, and since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.
If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class and personals computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.
Barack Obama- University of Michigan- 2010
What is certain -– what has always been certain -– is the ability to shape that destiny. That is what makes us different. That is what sets us apart. That is what makes us Americans -– our ability at the end of the day to look past all of our differences and all of our disagreements and still forge a common future. That task is now in your hands, as is the answer to the question posed at this university half a century ago about whether a free society can still compete.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein reflect only the views of the author and do not represent the opinions of the College Democrats at the University of Michigan (UMCD), the Michigan Federation of College Democrats (MFCD), the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP), the Democratic National Committee (DNC). And certainly not the Ann Arbor Democratic Party (AADP).
+ The University has a “virtual disaster simulator” on North Campus. Not sure why they bother with the simulator – Baits is only a short walk away.
+ The IFC has banned alcohol during rush. Not much will change if the Greeks treat IFC rules anything like state law.
+ The Trotter Multicultural Center is the only building on campus named after a racial minority. Some people don’t think that’s a problem. I happen to disagree.
The obligatory disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein reflect only the views of the author and don’t represent the opinions of any organization with “D” in it. Be thankful, organizations with “D”, you are guaranteed to be much more witty than I could ever muster.
-President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last night and gave a very centrist speech, with a few bones to progressives (high speed rail, DREAM act) and the right (spending freeze, regulation reform). Meanwhile, Charles Bogren was listening to a different speech, and when asked his thoughts he responded with a drooling word salad of “liberals liberals liberals Communism evil aliens.”
-WolvPAC wants the University to start an Israel program since apparently the students have the option of studying abroad in every other country ever, except Israel. Because the University has always been keen on sending its undergraduates to the lands of Fidel Castro and Kim Jong-il.
-The Michigan Daily Editorial: Banish the smoking ban!! Have cigarette smoke fill the University forevermore! Huzzah!
-Lighting is causing all the crime in Ann Arbor. Too bad Michele Bachmann just started leading a crusade in her State of the Union rebuttal against lightbulbs.
-Yay for Sundance short films coming to Michigan! The pinnacle of cinematography, the festival includes “Mr. Okra,” a story about a man who sells fruits and vegetables from his truth in New Orleans, singing about his vegetables. Finally, a movie geared to the small, but vibrant druggie culture in Ann Arbor.
-Rich Rod is joining CBS as a guest analyst. Funny, I had seen him working at the Bursley Dining Hall on occasion the past few weeks. Looks like he’s moving on up.
-According to the Random Pointless Student Interview, North Campus sucks. Kudos to the Michigan Daily esteemed newspaper for day in, day out, telling us things we knew the first day of setting foot on Ann Arbor soil.
For all who read through the whole thing, thank you.
There is no question our Commander in Chief is quite happy right now. First, of course, he’s going to Hawaii. That would make pretty much everyone elated, especially those dealing with the freezing cold up here in Michigan. The biggie, however, is the massive amount of legislative victories and ability to reach across the aisle to those difficult-to-compromise-with Republicans over the past few weeks. Normally, the lame duck session, or the session following a Congressional election but preceding the formation of a new Congress, is quite uneventful. Rachel Maddow said on her 92Y special last night on MSNBC that pundits were expecting perhaps “a few post offices to be renamed.” But this could not be further from the truth, as we have seen this White House finally come out and fight hard for common-sense policy items that are heavily favored by the American people. Let’s go down the list, shall we?
New START Treaty ratified by the Senate. A treaty requires 67 votes to be ratified, or made law, in the US Senate. The New START treaty was one of the items on the lame duck agenda that Washington heavily pushed. All six living Republican secretaries of state supported it, as did the joint chiefs of staff, and Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Still, however, Republican leaders in the Senate headed by Jon Kyl, minority whip, asked for more time and more funding for “infrastructure”. In the end, this was pushed to a vote and made it in just three days before Christmas, ratified 71-26. Now, we don’t have to worry about a Second Cold War breaking out and all of humanity perishing as we know it. Yay!
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repealed. A major progressive victory no matter how you look at it, the House and Senate passed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and its full implementation across the board will only take a matter of months, according to Obama himself. Better late than never, as we were the second to last NATO country to allow homosexuals in, but no matter what all of Obama’s critics on the left have to admit this was a fantastic legislative accomplishment.
Food Safety Act passed. Anyone who has read Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation knows how loose FDA regulations are. This bill will help make America’s food safer across the board by imposing stricter regulations.
The 9/11 First Responder Health Care Bill passed (unanimously!) Despite Tea Party Republicans’ best attempts to stifle a bill giving health care to those who bravely risked their lives on September the 11th, a scathing indictment over the past week by Jon Stewart and others prompted the Senate into action. The bill passed without objection.
Pell Grants, Unemployed benefits Extended. The tax cut compromise proposed by Obama two weeks ago was roundly criticized by liberals, but within it were some golden nuggets that will really help those who need the help most- students and the unemployed. Pell Grants will continue to be funded at the current amount, and God knows for me that’s essentially the only way I can attend U of M. Also, for millions of Americans who are unemployed and were worried the Congress would play politics with their benefits, they can enjoy a nice meal for Christmas and rest a bit easier. Paul Krugman, one of the leading economists in the world, points to unemployment benefits as the best economic stimulus, as the impoverished need to spend the money on goods to keep going- stimulating business, ushering in new jobs, all that good stuff.
Sure, some post offices were probably renamed too, but you’d be hard pressed to find a time in Congressional history since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt where this much has been accomplished. The tax cut compromise allowed a temporary extension of tax cuts for the wealthy, and in exchange all this has been accomplished in a matter of days. According to a CNN poll released on December 22, voters approve of Obama’s handling of the lame duck session 56-41, while voters disapprove of Republicans’ handling 53-42. Similarly, on the issue of compromise, the tax cut decision went well with voters as 59-37 percent believe Obama has done enough to reach across the aisle, whereas 68% thought Republicans weren’t doing enough in return. This poll highlights what happens when Obama fights for the extremely popular policies that he championed when running for office. Now, for the next few days, Obama can rest easy, eat lots of food, and participate in those wonderful Hawaiian luaus and know that he has really proven himself as the leader of this nation. Merry Christmas to my fellow Dems, Happy Kwanzaa if you are so inclined, and Happy New Year. Huzzah.
I refuse (cannot try) to rhyme this because the word “blog” has many limitations. Live blogging a blogging convention seems very meta to me – Philip Seymour Hoffman, where are you?!
8:11 PM – Tom Duvall just shouted into a microphone, said tonight was the greatest night in Michigan sports history and introduced Mark Brewer… who then proceeded to still talk about sports. Is game a synonym for blog? Now we’re discussing Derek Dobbies. I like his tie.
8:12 – Conservatives don’t like Obama. Obama likes blogs. Therefore, conservatives don’t like blogs. Also, we like the stimulus package, so the stimulus package likes blogs and blogs are stimulating (but not for conservatives) and Obama is a great package. SO blog for money and Obama but not conservatives (because they don’t want to be stimulated.)
8:13 – UPDATE, ALERT, there will be a Governor’s race in 2010. A whole lotta bloggers for John Cherry.
8:15 – people smoke marijuana… people who are politicians.
8:16 – Bloggers are the best! They are better than the mainstream media! They are sticking it to Republicans in Grand Rapids! PS – here is Marcy Wheeler!
8:17 – Wheeler got her PhD at Michigan and therefore is da bomb. She straight chilled in the Libby trial and clacks mad keys for automotive issues and, more recently, the AIG scandal.
8:18 – Q: Where did the need for blogs come from? A: the internet. (but plus smarter stuff, too.)
8:19 – in the good old days, Pubbies could harnass the media (like the talkey talk box!) but now, with the evolution of the interwebs, we’ve usurped their power. Apparently bloggers are allegedly feisty than Rush Limbaugh… this is probably not the case. IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS, PARTISAN SKEWS WAS GOOD AND KIND. (Or, at least wildly accepted.) Partisan journalism cranks out da vote.
The opinions expressed herein do not represent the views of the DNC, MDP, UMCD, or our new overlords Tom Duvall and Chairman Mao
1. Basketball dominated Iowa to ensure a place in the NCAA tournament.Â Iowa’s season is over.Â Apparently, ethanol and agribusiness are the only losers that get subsidized in Iowa.
On the heels of the historic passage of Michigan Proposal 2, President Obama reversed George Bush’s 8 year old proposal that restricted federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.Â Despite the outspoken criticism from the pro-incineration crowd (given that embryos not used in research are kept indefinitely frozen or destroyed, I’m hoping this honest term will replace disingenuous phrases like pro-life) this decision is squarely within the mainstream of public thought.
Leading pro-incineration-ist and doucebag extraordinaire Eric Cantor (R-Crazy Town) says that this decision is simply a distraction from the economic crisis before reciting the paranoid talking points (human cloning, embryo farming, half-man/half-dog hybrids, oh my!) of the extreme right.
The insanity begins five minutes in:
Let’s put aside the fact that his attempt to divorce medical research from economic growth is factually impossible.Â I’d ask Eric Cantor to talk to a wife whose husband no longer recognizes her due to Alzheimer’s disease whether life-saving research is just “distracting.”
Above, UM Dems rally in solidarity with GEO. Below, Patrick (of GEO) writes a love letter oversimplified editorial to the UM College Democrats and Campus.
On page 34B of the farce masquerading as her higher education budget proposal, Gov. Jennifer Granholm proposed a 3-percent budget cut to state universities.
In the next paragraph, playing the worldâ€™s smallest violin, she beseeched colleges to freeze their tuition rates in light of â€œdifficult economic timesâ€ for students and families.
Apparently Granholmâ€™s bargain for universities is â€œDonâ€™t raise tuition and, in exchange, weâ€™ll cut your aid.â€ I suppose she also expects universities to maintain their quality of instruction and research, too.
Governor, I want a unicorn, but that doesnâ€™t mean I can get one.
Aside from state officialsâ€™ impossible dreams, historical analysis shows something more pernicious at work. Instead of making reasonable appropriations to support higher education, Michigan has quietly shifted the cost of higher education from the state to students.
Using data from the University of Michiganâ€™s Office of Budget, I calculated the percentages of the University systemâ€™s general fund revenues provided by state funding and tuition since the turn of the century. In 2001-02, tuition dollars made up 54 percent of general fund revenues. This school year, they make up 64 percent. In contrast, the stateâ€™s contribution to the University has slipped from 34 percent to 24 percent. These trends do not reflect runaway spending increases at the University; they reflect reductions in Lansingâ€™s contribution.
Adjusting funding totals for inflation with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes the picture bleaker. To put it in starker terms, the governor has proposed $362.1 million in funding to the University system in 2009-10. If state funding kept up with inflation, the system would get $511.3 million. Undergraduates and their families will have to pay higher tuition to bridge that $149.2 million gap.
No matter how the numbers get sliced, they demonstrate the wholesale gutting of higher education funding during the last decade. The state of Michigan has abdicated its responsibility to make a good college education accessible to all residents who have the talent for it.
In calling for a tuition freeze, Granholm cynically hopes to shift responsibility and outrage for the stateâ€™s own shortcomings to state universities to raise tuition.
But the numbers donâ€™t lie. Politicians do â€” and weâ€™re paying for it.