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October 08, 1993 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-08

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4 The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 8, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

JOSH DUBOW
Editor in Chief
ANDREW LEvY
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

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Communication goes hightech

I

01

By JESSE BROUHARD
The ability now exists to
completely isolate oneself within a
small selfish universe consisting of
technological toys of enhanced
"communication."
Fax machines, Caller ID, e-mail,
pagers, cellular phones and voice
mail all allow users to do one thing
- insulate themselves from the rest
of society.
These devices of innovation are
leading humans toward a world
devoid of face-to-face
confrontation, or even voice-to-
voice communication, that still feels
artificial.
Now we can pick and choose
who is lucky enough to hear the
sound of our voice or interrupt our
"important" doings.
Just last week a death threat was
faxed to the L.A. Police Department
concerning the release of the
Rodney King assailants.
Even assassins have the handy
fax machine.
Whatever happened to the
threatening phone call or the left-
handed penned death note?
At least there was some skill
involved in figuring out how to
deliver the note to the appropriate
government office or TV station.
Brouhard is an LSA junior and a
member of the Daily editorial page
staff.

These days the following fax
could arrive at a gun dealership
allowing everyone, regardless of
profession, to join the technology
craze.
"I'd like to purchase two AK-
47s and a membership to the NRA
in order to keep the Brady Bill tied
up in Congress forever. Please mail
the items to the address given."
I'm guilty of avoiding
conversations with people too. I
have faxed my parents three times
in the past two weeks. Western
Union is a sham - one fax to the
parentals is by far the fastest way to
get money.
Paper communication isn't even
-the worst.
Caller ID and pagers don't even
allow you to get a point across to
the person you are trying to reach
before they decide there is no way
they will get back to you.
"Uh oh, 758-5646, that must be
Jesse trying to find me again. I
wonder if there is any way I could
convince him that my pager
automatically erases his number
only?"
I'm on the other end knowing
that everyone I just paged is
purposely ignoring me while I have
no way of convincing them that I'll
say something interesting for once.
Caller ID is even worse because
then you know they have the
number since the machine makes a

phone directory, and that they
probably are staring directly at a
phone spiting the fact that you are
trying to intrude upon there lives.
E-mail is the worst by far,
however. Unlike all the
communication methods mentioned
so far, e-mail will sit in someone's
account for months waiting to be
read. After about six months
without a reply you can rest assured
that no return message is
forthcoming.
When a cellular phone is off it
doesn't ring.
Nice try.
Why is it that everyone can only
contact each other at their leisure? I
mean, I'm never happy about Ted
Nugent calling me to discuss a
recent speech by Orrin Hatch, but I
speak with Ted out of courtesy for
the fact that he is another human
being.
If everyone used these new-
fangled devices for the purpose they
were meant to serve, we might just
be able to stay in better
communication with everyone
around us. Now they mostly help
everyone avoid each other.
Then again I just saw 758-5646
appear on my Caller ID. Mom and
Dad probably just found out about
the Subaru, the cat and the fire
hydrant.
There are exceptions to every
rule.

Free speech for all
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to Jody
Marshall's letter regarding the
AACDARR/NWROC. Marshall
seems to think that the Nazis and
the Klan do not have the right to
free speech because they actually
act on their beliefs, instead of
merely expressing them. Ms.
Marshall gives us a long list of
things that the Nazis/Klan are
"responsible" for. While I too find
the Nazis/Klan morally repugnant, I
have to disagree with Ms. Marshall.
From what I understand, the Nazis/
Klan are staging marches. Not
lynchings, not stabbings, not
bombings, but marches. Not only
do these groups have the legal right
to march, but any attempt to
prevent them from doing so (or
"smashing them" as the case may
be) only furthers their cause by
making them look like persecuted
martyrs, willing to stand up in the
face of adversity in order to get
themselves heard.
As for your slogan,"All out to
smash the Fascists", I too find it
offensive. Stopping Fascism is an
admirable goal. "Smashing
Fascists" is not the same as
stopping them. Forcing a group
into submission has never been the
same as stopping it. Your
organization has the right to dislike
and disagree with the beliefs of the
Nazis/Klan. But even the suggested
use of force steps over the line.
Nobody expects you to love the
bullets and the noose that kills our
families, but don't claim that your
slogan is a self-defense mechanism.
These people are going to be

"yellow flier" that promoted your
criticism, it seems that your
collective opinion overlooks the
fact we must all necessarily
sacrifice some of our individual
rights for the sake of society as a
whole.
The "state is created with one
specific goal - to provide forthe
well-being and safety of its
inhabitants. Therefore, the state
must protect against an individual's
abuse of his right's - even that of
free speech - that infringe on the
food of the whole. The person who
cries "Fire!" in the crowded theater,
or who makes unsubstantiated
claims about the capabilities of his
product might well argue for the
broad interpretation of free speech
that you seem to offer in your
editorial - but the logical person
must grant that all rights have their
limitations.
Anarchists and revolutionaries,
by their very nature, are dedicated
to the overthrow of the existing
"state" -- as such they forfeit their
rights to free speech. While it may
be cute for the University to allow
fliers to be circulated promoting a
crash course in revolution (to be
held in a university building no
less!!!) under the guise of academic
freedom, it is hardly in keeping
with the duty of the university to
prohibit such activities in-so-far as
they are able.
Too many times, we as college
students get wrapped up in esoteric
and ideals rather than in reality.
Perhaps it is time for us all to
recognize that rights must have
responsibilities associated with
them - that unbridled freedom is a
license and not a right.

EVERYONE, regardless of their
views. If we start to deny this right
to certain groups, democracy is
truly in danger. Hitler himself
would be proud of how the
AACDARR/NWROC is trying to
bully its opponents into submission.
That is, after all what fascists do.
This is all part of a dangerous
trend in this country to silence
views from the right. If you look at
the lyrics to almost any rap song,
you are likely to find the artist
encouraging violence and hatred,
usually against the entire white
population of America. Yet these
people are adored by many
teenagers, and several "free
speech" groups are fighting to keep
warning labels off these recordings.
Apparently, these peoplehave a
right to openly encourage violence
against Caucasians, but anybody
who even dares to say anything
negative about minorities is
silenced.
This double standard only
serves to frustrate many
Caucasians, leading them to side
with people like the Nazis. In our
free society, there is only one way
to deal with hate groups, or anyone
else we disagree with: let them
have their say and hope that
intelligent people will choose not to
follow them. These groups must be
allowed to exist. Otherwise, every
principle this nation was founded
on is violated and every freedom
we enjoy is in jeopardy.
TIM EARL
Engineering sophomore
WRITE THE
DAILY

Croll's Camera Corner Anthony M. Croll
7171 =- 1

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