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I propose that it is not the gun shows that increase homicides or suicides (Gun shows do not increase homicides or suicides, Oct. 2008), but the SALE of guns that do... How about some research on that???

  • Wasentha Young
  • M.A.
  • 2008
  • Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

Very interesting. The book machine (U-M at forefront of new era in publishing, Oct. 2008) looks phenomenal at the U-M library.

However, I seriously question your accuracy regarding your headlines on gun shows not contributing to violent crime (Gun shows do not increase homicides or suicides, Oct. 2008); you seriously should run that research by U-M's Institute for Social Research (as a graduate school student at Michigan, that school was revered as one of the best in the country); also run your statement by the Michigan Graduate School of Social Work! I very seriously doubt the truth and accuracy of your statement that gun shows do not "significantly" contribute to violence. And don't argue with petty details like "significantly." They certainly do contribute to crime! Get with it! Get a conscience you ignorant intellectual!

  • Marilyn Kuenster

Re: Student by student by student, Oct., 2008): This is a wonderful story and demonstration how one person can make a difference in the lives of our youth. This message has inspired me to continue to support and mentor youth.

  • Linda Boose
  • Healthcare Administration
  • 1999
  • University of Flint Alumni
  • Flint

Professor Davis wrote an interesting article on the economy (Who's to blame? Oct., 2008). He indicates a number of changes that have taken place over the years but neglects to attribute any blame on Congress for allowing Fan and Fred to go unfettered and forcing banks to make sub-prime loans. In fact he seems to indicate that this was caused by the Bush administration. The article seems like a veiled endorsement of the Democratic Party.

  • Edward E. Mack
  • College of Engineering
  • 1966
  • BSIE 1966
  • Glencoe

Professor Davis's carefully crafted piece on placing blame for the financial mess we are experiencing (Who's to blame? Oct., 2008) was interesting. He fails to mention the candidate who says it is due to Wall Street greed, but mentions Bush's name several times. Where is Clinton's name? Where is Acorn's name? I hope the good professor is being more fair when he lectures his students. There is plenty of blame to go around.

  • Jo Ann K Brons
  • B.S.
  • 1956
  • Ed
  • Varna

I didn't see anywhere in your biased article Who's to blame? (Oct., 2008) that Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, thought it would be a good idea to lend people money who had no history of "good financial decisions," bad credit or even able to make payments—hence a slew of foreclosures! Did they think it was the American Thing to help out the poor folks? Don't blame Bush; blame Congress and the many Democrats who sit in that room, for allowing this to happen. Yes, we all feel bad that poor people can't get ahead, but look what happens when you FORCE BANKS to give loans to people who can't afford them. Yes, the banks were FORCED to have a certain percentage of loans granted to minorities. In my mind, conservatives take responsibility for their actions, liberals take handouts.

  • Jackie
  • BFA, MFA
  • 1988, 1993
  • Naperville

Great story on Red Berenson (The accidental coach Oct., 2008). As a former "M" hockey season ticket holder (having had to cancel my subscription upon moving to Chicago ten years ago) and member of the hockey band in the early 80’s prior to Red’s coming back to the U, I have the utmost respect for the man and what he has done for the program. His dedication to his players and the school coupled with his humility should set an example for all. It’s too bad, though, that he has been rewarded with only two national championships as lady luck does not seem to be his fate in this area (indeed, the two wins both came in overtime too).

  • Michael Schwartz
  • B.A.
  • 1983
  • LSA
  • Chicago

Professor Gerald F. Davis’s analysis of the present financial crisis (Who's to blame? Oct., 2008) is pretty good, as far as it goes. He talks about the New Deal creating new government agencies to deal with the crises of the Depression (e.g., the SEC, FDIC, Fannie Mae, Social Security), but these same agencies are at the heart of the present financial meltdown.

The real problem is the government distortion of the markets for political goals, and at the heart of this problem is the Federal Reserve and the fractional banking system. As long as our financial system is built on the never ending printing of money through the regime of continually expanding credit, then the system will never be stable. It will always be distorted and perverted for ulterior goals. It will continue to inflate until reality demands that the bubble pop. As long as the economy is held hostage to special interests and political power, there will never be stability. Anything controlled by the government is by definition controlled by politics. To expect government to fix the present financial crisis is like expecting a pyromaniac to put out a fire.

  • Keith Trombley

Your article Who's to blame? talks about greed as if it was something to be proud of when any business person knows that the employees and Americans must trust their management team with honesty and integrity. Vultures took advantage of legal loopholes for dishonest reasons. And yes, people who defrauded the financial system only hurt themselves. The financial crises was forcasted well before it happened, but Congress, President Bush, and others closed their open eyes to the eventual situation our country faces. Witch hunting is not fruitful,however in this case those responsible cannot be allowed to simply walk! Unethical behavior must be dealt with harshness when it is shown to be unethical. Who fell asleep at the switch when bells and whistles were sounding? We must be the monitors of business and government, not just rely on the media. There are ways out of this mess, but the poor and middle classes will suffer for along time. Imagine the employees who are preparing for retirement and check out their 401K and investments only to discover that it is insufficient? Greed is never good and the mentality that seeks it came from where? Educated businesspersons? The U of M is a treasure of dignity and pride, and should never foster graduates who seek greed at the expense of honest people.

  • john stilson
  • BSME 1967
  • MSME 1969
  • gurnee

Re: (Crash Oct., 2008): This is typical U of M liberal ideology. To write an article on this subject without implicating any liberal politicians is unconscionable. Clinton-era social engineering played a significant role in this—it used to be that you needed to prove your identity, prove your last two years of income, and come up with a 20% down payment to buy a house, but Clinton took all those sensible restrictions away. Liberal politicians in the senate blocked all efforts by Republicans and OFHEO regulators to address the problems with Fannie & Freddie. Liberal bureaucrats—some of them economic advisors to Senator Obama—made out like bandits by falsifying financial documents to pad their bonuses.

So you've shown typical liberal bias—you have no compunction whatsoever joining the bandwagon of false prophets blaming Bush for anything that goes wrong, but you don't tell the whole truth, refusing to point any fingers at liberals. You apparently didn't want to appear partisan because you quoted a presidential candidate without naming him, but you had no trouble being partisan when it came to using Bush's words against him.

I really wish some public figure—someone who benefits from my tax dollars—would stand up and tell the whole truth about this subject.

  • Dave Hawkins
  • BBA, MAcc, 1990
  • 1990
  • Business

Regarding the letters related to Coping with "chemo brain" (July, 2008):

I have some points to consider, as I have worked as an oncology nurse for several years of my career in the hospitals in Syracuse.

First, the medications usually given to chemo patients to prevent pain, nausea and vomiting, often do alter cognitive function considerably. Then there often are stress factors associated with the ordeal of the diagnosis and treatment involved. There is frequently sleep deprivation due to the timing of the chemo, medications, and the disturbing GI side effects of the chemo. Patients are frequently awakened at all hours to administer these medications out of necessity per the protocols involved. Then, at all hours of the day or night, there are blood draws for lab tests, more x-rays, vital signs, personal care, etc., the administration of blood and/or antibiotics, all often needed in relation to the chemo regime or the patient's conditon.

When you factor into the equation all of the above, it's no wonder patients do not recall things well, or think clearly for a while. The body needs to recuperate, especially when under such stressors as these.

I do think more research would be valuable, particularly to see if certain drugs contribute to this effect. Also, the oncologists need to caution patients and their families about such possible effects beforehand, and whenever appropriate.

Sometimes, however, cognitive changes can be due to other factors, such as metastasis, poor oxygenation, anemia, and electrolyte imbalance, and these do need to be addressed in the clinical setting before discounting them as "chemo brain." To do so would be reprehensible and counter-intuitive, and further more, the patient would not be served well at all and important medical issues would be overlooked and neglected.

  • Frances Walts
  • Nursing
  • 1963
  • Nursing
  • Baldwinsville/Syracuse

I do like the changes made to the Michigan Today email sent out. I particularly enjoy the views of the campus. However, it is almost impossible to find on the web good photos of the Medical Center, other than a grouping of many buildings, none of which are clearly identified. And most of all it seems that the School of Nursing is hiding in someplace undetermined, like our VP. Would you please show some photos of these sites. I am sure many of the medical center alumni would appreciate seeing them.

  • Frances Walts
  • B.S. in NURSING
  • 1963

My late mother, Mary Jeanne Winfield Cotner, went to Michigan beginning in 1942 and graduated in 1946. In the fall of 1940, when she was a junior at Grand Rapids South high, she visited Ann Arbor to check out the U of M. She stayed with a friend from GR who was a student and living in Betsy Barbour where my mom would coincidentally live her freshman year.

They went to a football game and saw the great Tom Harmon (The late great 98, Sept., 2008). My mom forgets who Michigan played, but they won, and tom harmon scored two touchdowns as she recalls. He was the total focus and center of attention of everyone in the stadium on every play, and she recalls he played defensive back as well as running back, and punted and kicked off, and was in almost the whole game, a true 60 minute man.

my mom said Tom—she always called him Tommy—Harmon was considered and treated like a present day movie idol or rock star. He was without a doubt the biggest thing on campus; only perhaps Ron Kramer, Cazzie Russell, Chris Webber and now, Michael Phelps come close to him in the U-M student athlete charisma category; but none of them equaled Harmon—MSU's Magic Johnson was the closest thing to him in that regard.

My mom thought Tom Harmon was a member of Phi Delta Theta, living in the red brick house on the corner of Washtenaw and South U, but I recall hearing or reading when I was at U-M (1966-70) that he washed dishes there or at some other house, which would belie the pampered athlete image.

I also recall reading that he drove a Packard or some such fancy car while a student, but my mom did not see him driving around Ann Arbor—only on the gridiron that fall, 1940, Saturday.

  • John W. Cotner
  • A. B.
  • 1970
  • L S & A
  • Belmont (GR)

I've been attending U-M games since late 1940s with my dad and mom. I cannot imagine why Harmon would turn to confront trailing defenders (The late great 98 Sept., 2008). I doubt he ever looked back to see if he should stop to confront them.

[Mr. McCormack is correct. Running the rapids involved heading into gaps between defense men who were upfield. Running into trailing defense men would be something that the Three Stooges might do—and are the three folks that I felt like when I realized my error. — Fredric Maxwell]

  • Edward J. McCormick, Jr
  • BA
  • 1964
  • LSA
  • Monroe

Re: The year they cancelled J-Hop, Sept., 2008: Very cute story. I'm going to Argentina soon and will share this with my fellow travelers.

  • Leslie Lazzerin
  • BA
  • 1972
  • LSA
  • Bloomfield Hills

I graduated Jonesville [MI] H.S. in 1941 and as a Boy Scout ushered at the U-M football home games. There were many unsold seats at 60,000 capacity. Tom Harmon (The late great 98, Sept., 2008) made a great record against Ohio State at home in 1939 or '40, and I was so enthused I hefted him on my shoulder with help from another to carry him off the field.

Ohio State's coach was Francis Schmidt that year, and I tried to get his signature on a program, but he was standing on a chair and would only GROWL!!

I was a fighter pilot in the same P-38 LIGHTNING Tom flew . . 27 missions in Italy, & after VE Day I was ready to join the Japan invasion which was cancelled by the Atom Bomb!

  • Ralph M. Powers, Jr
  • LSA
  • 1948
  • BA 1948 & MS 1948

Thanks for the info on Tom Harmon (The late great 98, Sept., 2008). His war and football experiences paralleled another great Michigan athlete, Bob Chappuis.

Chappuis played in 1942, then was shot down in his B-25 over Italy during the war, came back to Michigan after the War and played and excelled with several other M greats on the undefeated teams in the late 40's (and Rose Bowl). And he also made the cover of Time Magazine.

Time to do a squibb on # 49! Chappuis was recently honored at the Utah game.

  • Tom Rockwell
  • BA
  • 1958

Re: The late great 98 (Sept., 2008): What an inspiring story; I had no idea of the exploits of this great hero (Tom Harmon). In fact, I only knew of his son as a quarterback and actor.

We need more heroes to look up to and stories that inspire us. No I would not want to be shot at and injured and full of pain as my plane crashed into China, but stories of overcoming great odds and going forward to embrace life can help all who need examples of resilience to accomplish our own personal dilemmas. Thank you for the inspiring story of a great man and example to us all.

  • Eric Hipple
  • UMMC
  • Ann Arbor

The optimistic tone of this headline and article (Hefty people can have healthy hearts, Sept., 2008) obfuscates the truth in the data. The tone and method of data presentation suggests that being overweight and obese may have little to do with heart disease risk. In fact, the data shows that cardiometabolic risk in the thin/normal weight subjects, overweight subjects, and obese subjects is 25%, 50% and 66% respectively. While it is important to know that even thin people can be at risk and that some overweight and obese people may not be at risk, clearly, risk does increase with size.

  • Denise Jacob, RN, PhD
  • BSN, PhD
  • 1977, 1997
  • Nursing
  • Franklin

Re: Why we vote the way we do (Sept. 2008): I want to buy "The American Voter Revisited." Is it available from U-M Press or another publisher?

Yes, you may purchase "The American Voter Revisited" at this University of Michigan Press link.

  • Ann Dickey
  • A.B., M.A., Ph.D.
  • 1947, 1967, 1979
  • LSA, Rackham
  • Midland

The J-Hop (Sept. 2008) now lives only in the lyric of "The Bum Army," a turn of the century song still performed by the Michigan Men’s Glee Club.

Here’s to the J-Hop girls.
They have got their frat pins on.
They wear engagement rings.
See them sparkle one, two three, four, five, six!
High heels, and automobiles,
Ruby lips and wavy curls,
Tah dah, dah dah dah dah,
Hooray for the J-Hop girls!

  • Harry Forbes
  • MBA
  • 1981
  • Business
  • Wrentham

I attended the Michigan vs. Utah football game this last weekend wearing a red shirt. Although I didn't attend the University of Utah, I'm a fan of both Utah and Michigan football.

While walking through the crowds to the game, I was troubled to hear (every hundred feet or so) shouts of "F__k you Mormons" and "F__king polygamists" and shouts from bull-horns asking "how many wives do you have?"

I was surprised that students at one of the nation's top institutions would shout religious hostilities at me and my colleagues, simply because we were wearing red.

A friend asked during the experience, "what did you expect?" I responded, that I expected to hear "F__king Utah fans" or similar jeers relating to our audacity to cheer for the opposing team in the "big house" but that I thought attacks on religion were out of bounds.

For context, I note that the mainstream Mormon Church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) banned polygamy in 1890 and although there are still polygamists in Utah, they are not members of the mainstream Mormon Church. Almost all legitimate news sources have confirmed this over and over during the past few decades.

But were that not the case, consider that by most estimates, there are between 10 and 15 thousand polygamists in the Western United States, Mexico, and Canada. By contrast there are about 13 million members of the mainstream Mormon Church. Accordingly, even if all of these polygamists were members of the mainstream Church, their number would equal about one tenth of one percent of the Church population. Hardly a number whose actions should define the majority. Hardly a reason for some of the nation's brightest and best to stereotype us or insult us on the basis of our religious beliefs.

I write this letter not because I want an apology, I just want a good school to become better. I doubt that the many students who called me a "F__king Mormon" would use similar words for Jews or Musliims who came to cheer for an opposing team. (Can you imagine the uproar if the bullhorns were filled with shouts of "F__king Jews" or "F__king Muslims"?)

I trust that the actions of a few (albeit quite a few along fraternity row) do not represent the majority at Michigan. This isn't something to ignore, however, if diversity really does matter.

Best Regards,

  • Brandon Richards
  • Pittsburgh

Quite an interesting article on energy (Go with the flow, July, 2008), though I must admit my Physics is below par. One thing I could not come to terms was, when you put up your argument, do you mean that we can continue to use fuel (fossils) the same way we have been? Are we ready with alternate sources of energy for our day to day needs? I am no Economist but I must say the frivolous usage of the richer countries (North America & Western Europe) have left the prices soaring to levels we have never seen before and the impact it has on the developing and the under-developed nations has been extreme. Doesn't the planet belong to all of us? So it's our duty to maintain some responsibility in our usage. It would be wonderful if you could write another enlightening article.

  • Aravind Sokkalingam
  • M.S
  • 2005
  • IOE
  • Pune

A low-power microchip developed at the U-M uses 30,000 times less power in sleep mode and 10 times less in active mode than comparable chips now on the market.

I expected more from the U of M. How can something be multiplied by 30,000 and be less?

  • Dennis J. Fleming
  • 1970, 1977
  • Dearborn, Ann Arbor
  • Jacksonville

I enjoy perusing my online edition of Michigan Today.

But I was disappointed, offended actually, that the photos of the month Fun in the sun by Martin Vloet, showed none but white people in every shot of those enjoying "tree town."

C'mon! Ann Arbor is hipper than that — and more diverse!

I would hope that the editor of a major university newspaper might have caught this misstep. And I hope that it does not actually represent the myopic "view" of your staff.

  • Rita Pando
  • BFA
  • 1980
  • Art and Design, Education
  • san francisco

In this panty raid / riot (Panty Raid, 1952, were there really "unpleasant demonstrations of near-viciousness" going on? What is really being described by "bad manners" the men showed the women? This was 1952 after all; it's hard to judge whether "bad manners" could refer to anything from just barging in the women's dorms to instances of rape. These concerns aside, it is never addressed why male students are not ever punished for what is at the very least theft of property. In the real world, if a man rushed into your house, stole items of your clothing, and left, you would want him arrested — and he probably would be (depending on skin color, of course). Why is it theft in one case and "wholesome American boys" in another?

  • Michelle Wirth
  • Ph.D., 2006
  • Madison

Just wanted to thank James Tobin for his historical articles about the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor. My family connections with the University and the "town" go back to my grandfathers on both sides and my great grandfather on one side — all Michigan grads. So these insights into life was it was are very special to me. Keep them coming!

  • Katherine Guthe Coffey
  • B.A.
  • 1952
  • LSA
  • San Francisco

Last year my wife and I had an opportunity to visit China on a 16 day cruise-tour (China through a U-M lens, July 2008). I was most amazed by the diversity. Brand new multi-story skyscapers next to mom and pop shops. I expected most people to be riding around on bikes, maybe mopeds, and was surprised by the number of people driving cars and the traffic jams that rival any we may find in the USA.

One day we drove by a new road construction site, lots of heavy equipment, and at a point where one of the foundation supports was going to be was a solitary guy digging the pit by hand. Quite a statement to me about the diversity in China.

When we travelled by the Olympic site, we asked our guide if everything would be ready for the Olympics. He was emphatic in his answer. "Absolutely! That's one advantage of our socialist government. We will move the people to get the job done." That said, at another time our guide talked about China being able to take advantage of the political/economic system to the best advantage of the country and the people of the country.

Speaking of the people we met, they seemed genuinely happy. People moved because of the flooding of the Yantzee River to new towns were very happy; school children wanted to learn and were enthusiastic about their lives. Our trip is one that I'll never forget.

Ah, one thing more. As a Christian pastor I had to file a statement with the consulate where I got my visa stating that my trip was for a personal vacation and had nothing to do with my profession; further that I would not evangelize. I expected any signs of the Christian church would be well buried from my view. They were not. Inside the forbidden city we stopped to collect our group next to a mural of the crucifixion. Kids wore t-shirts openly proclaiming the gospel and that Christ is the way to eternal life. That was another point where I found China not as I expected.

  • Rev Dr Don Peet
  • BS(IE)
  • 1965
  • Engineering
  • Gloversville

In the article about energy titled Go With the Flow (July, 2008), Prof. McKay missed an excellent opportunity to educate the reader regarding the difference between energy and power. Watts are units of power, not energy. The amount of energy may only be determined if we know how long a given amount of power is employed.

  • Tom Gross
  • BSE (Physics), MS (Natural Resources)
  • 1968, 1975
  • Engineering, Rackham
  • Cross Plains

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the article about the Panty Raid riots. Being a recent grad I love hearing stories about the U-M of old, and knowing that along with medical breakthroughs we also have a rich cultural heritage. The thought that back in '52 people were that rowdy makes me smile even bigger when I see an old-timer rocking a Michigan hat.

  • Brandon Rennels
  • BBA
  • 2008
  • Business School

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