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Until today, I was a proud alumni of the University of Michigan. Then I found out Obama is going to be the commencement speaker. How could our wonderful university pick him, of all people, to speak to our future leaders? How could it pick someone who is so bent on destroying this great country of ours? I agree with Mr. Eisenhartt that this is just like the farce of awarding him the Nobel Prize for something he "might" do in the future. The last I knew, to receive the Nobel Prize, one had to have actually DONE something. This just reinforces my opinion that the Nobels are a farce, and have been since before Al Gore won it for his little film that was nothing but falsehoods. Learning that Obama is going to be the commencement speaker makes me want to 1). vomit; 2). scrape the University if Michigan Alumni bumper sticker off of my car, and 3). change my personal e-mail address in which the name "Michigan" is prominently displayed. Shame on the University for even considering this man, who has proven he is the most anti-American president we've ever had.

  • Cheryl A. Pula
  • MLS
  • 1976
  • Library and Information Science
  • New York Mills

I am extremely disappointed, but not surprised, by this year's commencement speaker. While this administration is attempting to make good on its promise to "fundamentally change America" it is not the kind of change that will leave our nation a better place for the future U of M students that I am currently raising. How much proof does the world need to once and for all dismiss collectivism as a just and moral political and economic system? Does the experience of the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, Africa and all of the other collectivist societies not teach us anything? Let us pray for real "hope and change" in November.

  • David Malick
  • Northville

Dear Ms. Halpert: Thank you for your article Facing the end (Feb. 2010). Yes. We should not have to read an actuarial table to figure out that, at 70, 80, 90, etc. we are closer to death than we were at 20, 30, 40. Death should not be viewed as a surprise or something that can be put off indefinitely.

We need to get smarter at this, and get our affairs in order whether we are 80 or 25.

I work on pain and symptom issues (up to and including at the end of life) for the State of Michigan. This is a program that was established in 2008 as a response to state data that shows that about 90% of decedents in Michigan die in pain. In addition about 25% of the adult population has a chronic pain problem. Overall, pain is vastly undertreated and undertreated, including at the end of life.

This all spills over into having conversations and finalizing legal documents about our wishes for our end of life care.

Do I want a pacemaker if I have had Alzheimer's for four years? At 85, do I want to have my breast cancer treated? All interesting questions.

I, for one, accept that I will be dead some day, and do not wish to spend health care dollars on care that might extend my life--so that I can go down a lengthy, downward path of frailty and decline, taking my caregivers with me.

My advance directives are clear on my choices.

  • Susan Affholter
  • M.P.H.
  • 1989
  • Public Health
  • Lansing

I have been diabetic for nearly 30 years now, and I am always interested in research that is related to diabetes. Unfortunately, many articles that I read fail to clearly define research as being conducted with Type I or Type II diabetics. This article mentions Type II diabetes once in a sentence that does not refer to the study being talked about. Easy fix would be adding the term Type I or Type II to the headline.

  • Robert Redding
  • BA
  • 1996
  • LSA
  • Tucson

I am disappointed, ashamed and disgusted that the University, who I used to be proud of attending, would be so Politically Correct as to have Obama for the commencement address, and to add insult to injury, to diminish the value of my PhD. by awarding an Honorary Doctorate Degree for running the country into the ground. A person should be honored for doing something positive, more than just winning an election. Is this a follow-up to the ridiculous Nobel prize awarded for "Hope and Change?" Good luck with future requests for contributions from hard working prosperous alumni.

  • Robert Eisenhart
  • MSEE , PhD
  • 1966
  • EECS, Rackham
  • Woodland Hills

Re: Ode to Joy (February 2010):

Lapeer high school, 1944: At a practice before a guest appearance, Dr. Revelli stopped the band, pointed to a horn player and said, "You played a B natural and it should be a B flat." The tension never left the band until he left town!

  • Clarence Darrow
  • MS.
  • 1971
  • Engine
  • Tustin

Sensor System Designers: Don't forget to develop a way to keep the solar array window clean over long time periods!

  • Hal F. Schulte
  • B.S.E., M.S.E.
  • 1949
  • EE
  • Livermore

Having Obama as the speaker in May should be enough to get anyone to Ann Arbor for a visit. How exciting! - and in such contrast to the embarrassment of having George Bush or Gerald Ford (although I do realize he was a Michigan "boy.") Way to go, U of M!

  • Molly Marshall Pessl
  • BSN
  • 1962
  • School of Nursing
  • Bellevue

Obama has the lowest drop in ratings of any president to date. Not a popular choice by my standards. And if U-M lets Obama gives another lecture on how to tighten our belts & live within our means... (call the kettle black now) I will no longer be giving any donations to the university.

  • Lisa Summers
  • BFA
  • 1994
  • School of Art
  • Waterford

I am offended by the choice of Barak Obama as the commencement speaker, and having any unearned degree conferred upon him.

  • Phyllis Testal Monk
  • B.S.
  • 1950
  • LSA,
  • Pittsburgh

Re David Brandon named U-M athletic director: It is very disappointing that the University has chosen to follow its recent, tried-and-ineffective strategy of having generic businessmen act as athletic directors. I believe that at this time, the University needed to find a professional from the world of the business of athletics, not, as in David Brandon's case, an athlete who became a businessman. Regretfully, I do not expect improvement in the functioning of the athletic department, and I anticipate another regime of, variously, operational chaos, bad publicity and mediocre performance on and off the fields of play. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

  • Bob Zarzar
  • BS, MBA
  • 1977, 1979

Re: "Free John Sinclair!": Music and politics ruled the day. We were there to see our leaders, political and otherwise. William Kunstler, attorney for the Chicago Seven, Stevie Wonder, and of course John and Yoko. We waited all night to see John Lennon. His visit was too brief, but he brought his voice and his commitment to an exhilarating evening. And following this event, the Human Rights Party put smoking a joint on the same level as a parking violation.

  • Jill (Shure) Gutman
  • B.A.
  • 1972
  • LSA
  • San Diego

I appreciated your article on former University president Robben Fleming, reporting his recent passing and noting how the "Imperterbable [Fleming] steered the school safely through the student unrest of the late 60s and early 70s."

I recall a letter I wrote 14 years ago (MT, Spring, 1996) in response to his memoirs, expressed in his book "Tempests Into Rainbows". My letter was published along with others by alumni expressing similar, and many opposing, viewpoints. Disagreements are certainly palpable, and estimable, in any era, particularly the turbulent times of my U-M days--as the adage runs: "You can't please everybody."

But recalling those crises (Black Action Movement, anti-Vietnam War activism, numerous others), a better question might be begged: Could Mr.Fleming, or any administrator, have pleased anybody??? Dissent was inevitable, by all concerned, regarding any decision he rendered. Iron fist, conciliatory bows, or any position intermediate, he was assured of feelings of anger due to his opposition to one's position, or to his "not going far enough."

Yet from a perspective of fully four decades, I have difficulty believing a Nixonesque tough-mindedness would have resulted in any better an outcome to the B.A.M. incident. Our campus was after all, radical, liberally-slanted and non-conformist; countercultural movements were simply inevitable during this period of national upheavals one after the other. I still have to laud Mr. Fleming for the policy of resolution he chose. Heaven knows we didn't need a Kent State U. in Ann Arbor.

  • Michael J. Polaski
  • 1973
  • LSA

Re: Housing the G.I.s: I had just finished reading Brad Leithauser's "The Art Student's War" when I saw these photos. The book really put the photos in context for me. Anyone who grew up in Detroit during this time period might want to give his book a read. It will certainly bring back memories of a different Detroit and Southeast Michigan - and the huge contribution its (then) burgeoning auto industry and diverse populace made to the war effort. Thanks for posting these photos.

  • Rose Ann Sullivan
  • B.S., M.R.P., J.D.
  • 1975, 1980, 1984
  • SNRE, Law
  • Colorado Springs

Re: How much housework does a husband create?: This study seems to have begun with the conclusion already in mind. The exclusion of certain chores (washing the car, etc.) from the tally of housework is arbitrary at best; at worst, it invalidates the contribution of men to suggest that adding a husband to her life only buys a woman more work. Perhaps this is true, but a study with a flaw like this certainly doesn't prove it and ought not to be reprinted.

  • Sean
  • BS, MS
  • 2007, 2009
  • AERO

What's going on with our traditional winning football team, we need a winning football coach right way. Thanks.

  • peter p ruey
  • mph
  • 1972
  • sph
  • los angeles

Dear Rich Rodriguez: I'm just now getting around to writing you — though I should have written you much sooner. As a Buckeye, I was very embarrassed to see that some Buckeye fans held out a banner saying "We love you Rich" (or something like that) when we had beaten you —in your stadium. That's not how I would prefer you to be treated in your own home stadium. On behalf of any and all Buckeye fans who have any degree of class, I apologize. I'm glad the Bucks won. And a little jab here and there is to be expected after a game, but this was over the line and unsportsman-like (which raises the question, where is the line drawn? I'm not really sure.). So here's to the rivalry, Coach. I hope we beat you 80-0, next year. But I also hope there are a few less Buckeye knuckleheads in your stadium when we visit you next time. God Bless and Merry Christmas

  • Ron
  • OSU
  • Columbus

Mr. Martin's legacy as the University of Michigan athletic director is marred by his decision to name Rich Rodriguez as head coach of the football team prior to the end of West Virginia's playoff season. There was no reason given for making the announcement before the Mountaineers' season ended; it was apparently done entirely for the sake of expediency.

This isn't the way that college athletics should function, and the University of Michigan should neither participate in nor sanction this behavior - and they didn't used to. Way back in 1989, UM Men's Basketball coach Bill Frieder announced - immediately prior to the start of the NCAA tournament - that he would take the head coaching job at Arizona State University. The entire UM community were uniformly outraged that a coach would do that to his team of student athletes. Many were equally outraged that another University would need to announce their new head coaching choice at that instant, rather than waiting until the playoff season had ended. There was pretty much unanimous agreement that it was not a good situation for anyone - the team, UM, coach Frieder, or ASU. The team and UM were deprived of a coach at a critical time, Frieder looked like a mercenary, and ASU looked desperate.

I guess that times have changed, and not for the better. Martin's decision to announce Rodriguez as coach showed the same hallmarks as ASU's decision to name Frieder. We, as a University, appear not to have learned from a famous and painful episode - and that's a pretty damning criticism of the entire University of Michigan administration.

  • Mark Gabriele
  • BSE
  • 1985
  • EECS
  • Silver Spring

Just want to say how much I enjoy receiving this. A nice doorway to many memories.

  • Myra Joseph Feit
  • A.B.
  • 1957
  • LSA
  • Columbia

I very much enjoyed Mr. Glenn's 40th anniversary celebration of the Paul McCartney death rumor ("Paul is Dead" said Fred, November 2009), and the University's prominent place in its history. For those who would like delve further into the story, may I suggest they take a look at my book on the event, TURN ME ON, DEAD MAN.

  • Andru J. Reeve
  • Martinez

While I have no problem with the data presented, the jump to causal correlation of increased CO2 concentration to temperature increase seems unjustified. Perhaps there is evidence out there that demonstrates that increasing CO2 concentration does result in increased global temperatures, but much more in the way of evidence needs to be provided. While increasing the concentration of CO2 to 400 ppm plus sounds impressive, these concentrations still represent an increadibly small fraction of our atmosphere. I question CO2's ability to effect temperature change at these concentrations. Where is the discussion of other more likely and reasonable causes of temperature change. Is the change in atmospheric chemistry really the most important driver of contemporary global warming?

  • David Brackney
  • EdD, MS, BA
  • 2008, 1995, 1989
  • Attica

The thing I remember most about the "Paul is Dead" rumor, strangely enough, was a letter to editor by Fargo Bermann (I don't know him personally and am surprised that I remember his name after 40 years). Fargo claimed that Paul McCartney was not dead, but rather it had been Bob Dylan who had died and McCarthy was impersonating the dead Dylan. That explained the non-Dylanesque nature of Nashville Skyline, Dylan's latest album at the time. Fargo also had information, he said, that President Nixon had also died, but that no one was impersonating him. I'm sure you could find this letter to the editor in the microfilm copies of the Daily.

  • Paul Bick
  • B.A.
  • 1972
  • Res.College - LSA
  • Santa Fe

I thought your article on Canadian English (November 2009) was very interesting. In particular your sound comparisons link was very fascinating. I've always been a very proud speaker of Canadian English, but as a Toronto native I must admit I would be clueless if I saw "fish and brewis" on a menu as well. I believe that dish is mostly confined to the Maritime area of Canada.

  • Steven Wallace
  • Atlanta

I am tried of hearing "it takes time." The fact is that a coach taking over one of the legacy football programs—Ohio State, Florida, Alabama, LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, Southern Cal—does not require time to produce a winning program if they are competent. Fielding Yost, Fritz Crisler, and Bo did not need a couple of seasons to get on the winning track. Nebraska has yet (10 years later) to recover from a bad coaching hire. (the AD wanted someone who would do things differently and win a national championship-so the new coach changed the offense and changed recruiting targets (sound familiar) and ended Nebraska's string of winning records).

The one who wears a sweater vest commented that the offense and defense schemes must be designed to maximize the talents of the players on the field. Bo decided that he did not have the personnel to run an option-oriented offense in 1969 and 1970 and went with Don Morehead as his quarterback (those teams did pretty well).

A college coach can only succeed if he recruits the players he needs to win. Fielding Yost brought in William Heston, Knute Rockne got George Gipp out of a bar in the UP. Yet, Michigan's recent recruits are (with a few exceptions such as William Campbell) not considered top 100 material. Michigan's defense is the worst in school history in 2008. So Coach R brings in as defensive coordinator a man who lost his job at Syracuse because he was not able to recruit quality athletes. Michigan's supposedly great conditioning programs have not prevented two years of second half collapses in October and November. Usually long (over 20 yards) plays occur when the offense has more speed than the defense. Michigan routinely gives up big plays and has players caught from behind. Small and slow is not a good combination.

Coach R did not run the table at West Virginia, even though he had some great players who were ideally suited for his offense. Michigan football was bad from 1958 to 1963 but this current run just might end up as being even worse. Oh well.

  • Donald Treadwell, Jr.
  • AB, MBA
  • 1970, 1972
  • LSA, Business Administration
  • Grosse Ile

In Dr. Pollack's article (A world without ice, November 2009), he failed to provide information on the tons of CO2 increase in the atmosphere and the tons produced by the use of fossil fuels. While I am sure the data appears elsewhere in his work I was hoping that it could be made available without further digging.

  • Donald Treadwell, Jr.
  • B.A., MBA
  • 1970, 1972
  • LSA, Business administration
  • Grosse Ile

Re: A world without ice (November 2009): This piece neglects a large number key facts. Just to mention a couple: Roger Revelle, the famed Scripps ecologist who was one of the first distinguished scientists to become concerned about the potential for greenhouse gas warming and (we are told) teacher of Al Gore, became very skeptical about the magnitude of it in his later life. Another neglected factoid is that ice core CO2 changes lag temperature by several hundred years at the onset of ice ages and interglacials. An honest rendition would have blown up the scale so that all could see that. The correlation shows only that the earth responds to temperature changes by ocean up take or outgassing of CO2, just like a seltzer water.

Meanwhile the earth continues to neglect the dire predictions of the Nobel-winning climate models and advocates, pacing off its recalcitrant decade-long temperature flatline.

Your science reporting needs some balance.

  • Roger Cohen
  • B.S.,M.S.,Ph.D.
  • 1966
  • MIT, Rutgers
  • Durango

The story about Dean Bates and his reaction to a fraternity associating with chorus girls (Chorus girls, November 2009) reminded me of a story my father, Griffith Herold, (Law 1929) told of his experience with the Dean. Dad told of winning a pool tournament at the Union and when his name was published, the Dean called him in and "reminded" him he was on campus to study law and and not to shoot pool. Seems the Law Dean was very concerned about the image of the school and its students.

  • John Herold
  • BS, MS,MA
  • 1963,196,1967
  • LSA, Rackham
  • Ann Arbor

Recognize him for fine service and this is the best photo you can find? Come on, what a hatchet job. I didn't realize you were trying to copy the Daily.

  • John Herold
  • BS, MS,MA
  • 1963, 1965, 1967
  • LSA,Rackham
  • Ann Arbor

In the "Paul is Dead" article the author claims that the F. Lee Bailey trial TV show was only shown once and it was on a local NYC TV station. I remember seeing this broadcast on a Detroit TV station as well.

  • Bernie Kent
  • J.D.
  • 1974
  • Law
  • Franklin

Re: Tarantino's film history (November 2009): This review was disgusting as was the movie. The analogy to past films was a stretch way beyond any credibility. The story line of the movie was totally incredible and the violence was obscene. Pitt's accent was laughable.

  • Stephen Kale
  • BSME
  • 1958
  • Engineering
  • San Antonio

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